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Thrash Zone! Reviews of Ad Nauseam, Death Blow, House of Atreus, Enforcer, Ichor, Hammer King, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, Eternal Armageddon, Cognitive, Abiotic, Raven, Nashville Pussy, Sigh, Sirenia and I Am the Trireme, Rotting Bull.

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By Theron Moore

Ad Nauseam

Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est

Lavadome Productions

Release: 31 March 2015

Ever wonder what a soul sounds like torn apart?  This is it.  “Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est” has an evil sound and vibe to it leading me to wonder if demons and devils rejoice loudly each time this record gets played.

It’s a crushing record start to finish.  “Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est” is eight tracks of bleak, stripped down death metal, a compliment to this band as their sound is heavy beyond heavy.  The band is firing on all cylinders here, not afraid to change up gears and quiet down long enough to build mood and atmosphere then drop an anvil on your head with the ferocity and aggression of their music.

It’s hard to compare them to another band, nor do I want to.  Ad Nauseam are making music and doing it the right way; unique and not afraid to explore this genre their way.  We already have a Cannibal Corpse and a Deicide, now we need Ad Nauseam.  Check this record out.

Deathblow

The Other Side of Darkness

Self-Release

Release Date:  21 April 2015

Five tracks of killer on point thrash and heavy as all get out.  I dig the time changes they play around with, especially on track two, “Means to an End,” which just kicks your ass.

For those not familiar with Deathblow they hail from Salt Lake City, UT and previously released a full length LP “Prognosis Negative” back in 2014.  Deathblow rock a retro style of thrash they pull off effortlessly, they’re naturals at this old school thrash genre.

Be curious as to what label scoops them up, they boys are ready and “The Other Side of Darkness” proves it.

House of Atreus

The Spear and the Ichor that Follows

Dark Descent Records

Release Date:  5 May 2015

“The Spear and the Ichor that Follows” is a sort of thrashy pagan style of metal with up tempo regal qualities to the music that gives it a big, massive feel.  It’s the kind of music that would accompany a “300” style battle or such.

The Spear and the Ichor that Follows” conjures images of enslavement, war, and the arena battles of the Greco-Roman era.  I like how it’s not afraid to stomp and mosh then open up wide with a track like “Heir to the Crown of Sodom” with a sound bigger than anything you’ve heard before.  House of Atreus will be an interesting band to watch in the next few years for sure.

Enforcer

From Beyond

Nuclear Blast Records

Holy shit, you gotta be kidding me!  Straight up, no frills fucking metal!  “From Beyond” is what metal used to sound like before music got tangled up in the gears of the corporate rock mucking everything up for fans and bands alike.

This is denim jacket, bullet belt music for people that dig true rock N roll.  It’s not speed or glam but the boys aren’t afraid to go where they want musically.  If it sounds good and it feels right, they do it and that’s reflected on this disc.

From Beyond” is the kind of thing you’d hear alongside Cirith Ungol and Lizzy Borden many moons ago; a style of old school hard rock that was the foundation of what metal became.

This is a solid record all the way through and if this is any indication of what’s to come from Enforcer, who knows, this might just be the band that saves our style of music.

Ichor

Depths

Bastardized Recordings

Release: 5 September 2014

Pretty brutal record with some truly inspired moments of over the edge destruction especially “While Giants Sleep” which evokes images of a slumbering Cthulhu somewhere in R’lyeh which in my opinion might describe “Depths” to a tee.

11 tracks of blasphemous, other worldly death metal.  Very traditional almost old school sound paying homage to the forefathers of this genre.  Bow down to the Great Old Ones and allow Ichor to tell their stories…

Hammer King

Kingdom of the Hammer King

Cruz Del Sur Music

Release: 5 May 2015

What’s a good way to describe Hammer King if you haven’t heard them before?  I’d call it 80’s influenced, fantasy driven, power metal and “Kingdom of the Hammer King,” ain’t bad.  It kinda takes me back to the days of movies like “Krull” and “The Sword and the Sorcerer.”

Hammer King are marching down the Hammerfall / Manowar path with this record but aren’t quite there yet.  This band is good, no doubt about that, but they’re young, they have a ways to go but if they keep writing songs like “II) I am the Hammer King” and “Figure in the Black” they’ll get there sooner not later.  Certainly a band to watch in the future.

CAVALERA CONSPIRACY

Pandemonium

Napalm Records

Release: 31 October 2014

Complete. Fucking. Destruction.  In fact that’s what the name of this record shoulda been, “Complete. Fucking. Destruction.” But “Pandemonium” works too and aptly describes the record start to finish — just, sheer pandemonium and thrashified chaos.

The good brothers Cavalera dig deep into their metal souls and unleash something

Eternal Armageddon

Available on bandcamp

https://eternalarmageddon.bandcamp.com/album/black-thrash-bastards

Wow.  Love to say it sounded great but to be honest it’s a low fi sounding demo and what a shame at that since the band sounds killer just hampered by the production quality sound.  The demo is five songs and I have to tell ya, the band destroys.

Very thrashy, very tight with a lot of promise and soul but muddy sound couldn’t connect with it.  Beyond that can’t really say much.  Not gonna say yea or nea since I know young / unsigned bands aren’t rich and they give it their all and try and that’s all they can do and more power to ‘em.  Give it a shot folks, they’re at bandcamp.  Show ‘em some love…

Cognitive

Cognitive

Self-Release

Currently Available

Blood soaked death metal from Cognitive, an up and coming band that’s getting a lot PR juice these days on the back of their self-released “Cognitive” record.  Musically this band is a ten ton boulder destroying everything in its path.  The production quality is terrific and the band is in top form here.

Cognitive is the total package with songs that have a very unique quality about them set against mid to fast tempo death metal with time changes in each song that enhance the bands’ already heavy sound with simply hellish sounding vocals.   This isn’t retread death metal, this is Cognitive forging new territory in a genre that needs growth by serious bands to stay alive.  Expect this band to be a leader, along with the likes of Abysmal Dawn, in the near future to come.  Buy this record.

Abiotic

Casuistry

Metal Blade Records

Release: 21 April 2015

Brutality be thy name.  I believe “Casuistry” is Abiotics’ sophomore release on Metal Blade and damn does it deliver!   Nine tracks of solid deathly mayhem.  The vocals mix it up between traditional death growls and black metal screams, the music is tight as fuck going back and forth between death metal and thrash and the heaviness factor is right there where it needs to be.

Track three, “Cast Into the Depths” has a nightmarish quality to it, an ethereal quality mingling amidst a wall of collapsing death.  Track four, “Violent Scriptures,” ups the insanity ante measurably with a song that could very well be the soundtrack to the “thing” that lives in the cellar in “Evil Dead II.”

Casuistry” is a crazy hybrid of thrasy death / black metal that doesn’t go too far in either direction, finding a nice happy medium with its unique sound abrasiveness. Definitely recommending this album as a buy.

Raven

ExtermiNation

Steamhammer / SPV

Release: 27 April 2015

I can’t get over it, Raven actually made a good record!  If it sounds like I’m being mean or critical, no, I’m being honest.  In my most humble opinion their recent output hasn’t been that great or memorable.  “ExtermiNation” has broken that chain, thankfully.  “Destroy All Monsters” and “Tomorrow” are the perfect openers to the record.  Track three “It’s Not What You Got” keeps the party and the tempo going.  I’m already having flashbacks to the days of “All Systems Go” and “Stay Hard.”  This one’s a buy and hopefully, and this isn’t something I don’t always say, hopefully they’ll play more than a few cuts off this record on their upcoming tour.

Nashville Pussy

Ten Years of Pussy

Steamhammer

11 May 2015

Holy shit it’s the Pussy!  Been around a long time and if anyone can honestly say they’re the guys to take over Motorhead’s throne when they vacate it, it’s Nashville Pussy.  Ain’t a bad song on this record nor a bad song from this band ever.  One of the few bands that could do a Motorhead / Rev Heat bill and pull it off.

What the fuck do you want me to say, it’s NP!  Automatically great.  One of the few bands around still supporting sex, drugs and rock N roll and not bullshitting about it.  Nashville Pussy is the new Pantera and with “Ten Years of Pussy” they’re still preaching it ma’ brothers and sistas!  Eat this “…Pussy”  it’ll leave a good taste in yr mouth!

Sigh

Graveward

Candlelight Records

5 May 2015

Discovered this band back in the 80’s when they were signed to Wild Rags Records, ‘mem ber that?  Bizarre back then, still that now, that’s what I loved about ‘em.  Wild, extreme and unpredictable.  Without this band wannabes like Psyopus and The Number 12 and See You Next Tuesday wouldn’t exist.

I often wonder what’s going through the mind of this band when making music but I’m not sure if I really want to expose myself to that sheer wall of insanity.  And “Graveward” is a weird one.  Samples, electronic beats, thrash, the list goes on.  But does it work?  It does if you’re into Sigh, you’ll get it.  Sigh’s an acquired taste so if you’re not prepared to handle their brand of oddball metal it probably won’t make sense to you.  I have to say, check this band out if for nothing else, out of morbid curiosity.  You’ll be entertained.

Sirenia

The Seventh Life Path

Napalm Records

24 April 2015

If you’re into Nightwish, Epica, Amaranthe or Xandria this record’s for you.  It has that big, sweeping, cinematic feel to the music which the aforementioned bands have.  Beyond that there’s nothing new or exciting I can talk about regarding this record.  As far as I’m concerned it’s rehash.  It sounds good but it’s rehash.  If you’re a fan of the bands I mentioned before you’ll dig this record.  Not my cup of tea personally,.

I Am the Trireme

Gnosis: Never Follow the Light

Horror Pain Gore Death Productions

Release: 30 June 2015

Not one of my more favorite black metal records but just…okay.   There’s inspired moments on this disc but for the most part nothing earth shattering, nothing I can get behind on.  I love black metal but I just can’t find myself talking it too much further.  “Gnosis: Never Follow the Light” just kinda sat there…

Rotting Bull

Beyond Ragnarok

Seriously heavy black death with this band.  7 tracks, super tight and brutally on the mark with each song.  This is what it sounds like when a soul is torn apart in hell for sure.  It’s a little old school in some parts harkening back to a Hellhammer type vibe and then changing up and going into full hell mode ala  Emperor / Mayhem / Dark Funeral as in the song “Part Two:  Auld Crow Murder Plot.”  Great record, solid band overall.  Check out “Beyond Ragnarok” here — http://rottingbull.bandcamp.com/album/beyond-ragnarok.

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