A free three-track ep from Canadian sludge deities Dopethrone, which, by the way, is completely free to download if you wish. So why write a review about it? After all, every Dopethrone fan should know about this ep already, and most of them should already have it in their digital collection, no? Well, like I said, "should". I know that there are some lazy stoners out there that haven't checked out the crushing 'Shot Down', the grinding 'Drifter' (my favorite) and the pulverizing closer 'Skag Reek' yet. Maybe because it's monday morning and they still need to get the weekend out of their systems. Good new, this ep can help you with that by knocking you out cold...
The Scandinavian countries have always been the place to be for decent black metal and Swedish trio Astrophobos are here to prove that. Since their inception in 2009, they've released an ep and a full-length, now followed by this triumphant four-track. These songs resemble some of the all time greats, including Satyricon, Dissection, Immortal and so on and comes with an excellent production, solid enough to blast the wax out of your ears. My favorite track is the epic 'The Cadaver Monarch', a massive piece of (mainly) slow, grinding black metal in the vein of some of the best Dimmu Borgir songs. This ep certainly is a must-have for ever self-respecting black metal adept, that's for sure...
crust / post-metal / sludge
In a faraway future, when our civilization is left in unrecognizable ruins, a number of new people will form tribes and start all this madness all over again. London, UK based supergroup Morrow created the soundtrack for this post-apocalyptic world, and what a massive beast that album has become. Crust, post-metal and sludge with violins and cellos accompanying the more traditional instrumentation, intense, heavy and often straight-in-your-face music that is quite hard to categorize. The band is huge, featuring a massive number of guest vocalists and narrators speaking or screaming in different languages. This certainly is a strange but highly immersive experience.
sludge / noise rock
Ready to be hypnotized by repetitive, almost ritual, sludge doom? Well, than the first part of this burdensome split is something for you. Black Tar Prophet for Nashville, TN, specializes in thick, harsh sludge with samples instead of vocals and the result is mesmerizing and immersive. It could very well be the soundtrack for a David Lynch movie about Dante's 'La Divina Commedia', or something. Iron Gavel basically follows a similar pattern with harsh guitar riffs and pummeling drums but seem to throw a thick sauce of noise rock over the whole thing. In any case, this split comes highly recommend to anyone who wants to scare the shit out of people...
Headbanging time! Drop whatever you're doing, play this one loud and bang the day away. This band from Montenegro, featuring members from Abhoth, comes up with bloody delicious thrash induced death metal. Slayer meets Obituary and Testaments meets Dismember, which obviously means fingerlicking riffs, a fierce tempo and deep guttural growls. However, it might be interesting to notice that these guys never let brutality get in the way of musicality, which is a massive plus in my book. The level of variation is high, the mid-tempo parts are immersive as hell and 'Demigods' is a world class death metal track. This album certainly is a highlight in 2016's death metal scene.
This strictly limited 7" (250 copies) is meant to be an appetizer for the upcoming debut of American trio Impure Consecration. I'm not sure when the full-length will be released but if you're a fan of old school death metal, you might start preparing to feast on the corpses of your enemies. The two songs on this single are primitive, harsh and unforgiving pieces of death metal, quite similar to some of the oldest works by Morbid Angel, Sepultura or Vital Remains.'Apparitions of a Malevolent Spirit' for example, completely reeks of the early eighties when extreme metal started to take form with its growling voice, it's chaotic riffing and it's nutsack piercing drums. Try it, it's good for you....
black metal / death metal
I have no idea where Blood Harvest keeps finding these ancient school bands. I wouldn't be surprised if there is a time portal to the early eighties in their office. Take this Supremative ep for example, an intro with gregorian chants, followed by chaotic and psychotic noise, moshing on the thin line between black and death metal. The tempo is murderous, but so seem to be the intentions of this whole thing. This Spanish act blasts and grinds its way through your eardrums, right into wherever your soul is situated. I'd recommend this thing to all the old schoolers out there. Maybe to the new death metal kids too, hoping this music will devour and destroy them completely...
punk / metal
One is a metal band, the other a collective of punks. Both play heavy music, preferably loud. Both have recorded one brand new song and a cover of the other band. But the whole thing kicks off with a song they wrote and recorded together. That song, called 'Imitators' is an intense piece of punk-metal, guaranteed to start a moshpit or at least a decent headbanging session. The whole thing feels a little Exploited-like, you know, thrash metal meets punk. Other bands that often come to mind include Overkill, Anthrax and The Unseen. This really is a fun crossover ep by two of Essex' loudest bands, exceptionally suited for those who long for the good old days of both genres...
Dissonant music doesn't always have to be metal. Take this impressive six-track split for example. Opening with a brilliant piece of noise-rock in 'Something Better', American trio Buildings comes up with one of the best things in the genre I've heard this year. The other two tracks are just as much dissonant delight, bringing everything from Unsane over Godflesh to The Jesus Lizard to mind. Fellow countrymen Volunteer add a few hints of sludge to the whole noise-rock sound, perfectly completing this already stunning split. This is something for fans of Vandal X, Today Is The Day and Neurosis, maybe, probably. I don't know. This is noise-rock perfection...
metalcore / metal
Although metalcore usually isn't my thing, I do feel some sympathy for these youngsters from "De Kempen", a geographic region in Belgium, claimed to be "silent". Well, nothing is silent on this debut ep, on the very contrary. With their mix of fast hardcore, melodic metalcore and metallic extremes these guys are preparing for the bigger stages. This is pure aggression, dressed in something that seems to be influenced by everything between Alexisonfire, Parkway Drive, Trivium and Gojira. There are some brilliant passages, plenty of variation and sheer power, everything a good metalcore band needs. So yes, this is highly promising. We'll hear a lot more from these guys in the near future...