Search Results for "Album Review"

Album Review: Tribulation – “The Children Of The Night”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at 10:44 AM (PST)

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Tribulation‘s The Children Of A Night is not a tribute to the Survivor song of the same name, but rather a sort of pure manifestation of the famous quote from Dracula. What sweet music they make, indeed! Gone are much of the death metal trappings of earlier records, with a gloriously bold leap (and perhaps a flappng of wings) into a blackened abyss of atmospheric and dark rock with harsh vocals. Imagine a much more shadowy Ghost drenched in blood and wine but with snarled vocals akin to black metal in approach. Some fans have criticized the direction, but I think it’s by far one of the most interesting records I’ve heard this year.

Like the Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson House Atreides prequel to Frank Herbert’s Dune novel, perhaps it is a bit more streamlined than earlier works but it is still quite powerful. Actually, in the case of Tribulation I feel like they’ve really surpassed their other stuff here. Old school thrash heads may shit on Sepultura’s masterful Roots, but it’s by far the most original record of the Brazilian metal band’s (with perhaps A-Lex being a close second). My point is that Roots is thus the one that is most talked about and debated. Originality counts more for most people and Tribulation have found a real sweet spot here of mixed styles. Plus in the “Strange Gateways Beckon” video the singer makes evil faces that remind me of Sebastian Bach meets Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars, so that’s cool.

Read more BELOW.

Album Review: Gutter Instinct – “The Insurrection” Ep

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Sunday, April 26, 2015 at 7:46 PM (PST)

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If you like Swedish metal fast, roaring and unafraid to get dirty hands death grinding, Gutter Instinct are for you. The Insurrection EP is a 4 song tease of a brain smasher that heralds the start of a big push for this awesome band via Prosthetic Records. Things kick off with a sweep and air raid sounding hellish atmosphere before the full on attack begins.

Gutter Instinct have only been a band a few years but you’d never tell it from the concise little life burner of an EP here. You can imagine live decimation even if the band just got up and played these 4 songs. I honestly can’t even imagine a room withstanding many more than that in a Gutter Instinct live set.

This band does not mess around. They get down to unrelenting death metal but with a decent enough production that still leaves room for rawer sounds. It sounds just good enough to not have the recording quality distract from the evil.

Taking some of their earlier Cannibal influence and adding in some more grind and blackened moments pays off well. One such win is the apeshit soloing over a super fast drum blast that batters into a razor’s edge hard charging Napalm unison riff attack on “The Invisible Hand”, Gutter Instinct nearly derailing but they never do. In fact they make it seem easy, but still have feeling in the playing.

“We Hate You” is one of the more interesting arrangements in recent death metal, respectfully dissonant weirdness birthing buzzsaw snarl straight from tremelo hell into a fucking stomp a mudhole bridge that takes no prisoners. They never get as black or crusty as Mutilation Rites but rather lean more on the Portal or classic death metal influences more.

Any true death metal fan worth their salt who doesn’t mind some more blackened textures but with the emphasis still mainly on DEATH will love the heck out of this band.

Album Review: Ensiferum – “One Man Army”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Monday, April 20, 2015 at 12:45 PM (PST)

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Ensiferum‘s One Man Army is a melodic folk metal fan’s delight if you don’t mind higher end production with still gritty sounding guitar. That said, there is still a raw and very real attack to the material. Think at times of a trace of
Slaughter Of The Soul sped up through symphonic Helsinki bombast and warcry screams mixed with folk metal. A thirst for history, warmetal and spirited endeavors will be quenched but an at times thin guitar sound but you’ll also experience a lot more variety in material and even genre as the record progresses through epic to speed to folky dreams.

“Axe Of Judgement” gets things off to a determined gallop after the intro mood setter “March Of War”. Ensiferum play a lot of their strengths right on “Axe…” with a short but lightning lead, seeming black metal influence and speed paired with epic metal touches. “Heathen Horde” is one of the best songs from the band yet and would surely appeal to fans of Hammerfall or Turisas, easilly. The mid section quiet “traditional” part of the song is glorious while the drums thunder beneath spoken shouts and a riff that’d make Estonia’s Metsatoll jealous. Man, I’d kill to see those two live. “Lady Of The Slain” by Tyr comes to mind asanother recent battle field epic that kindles the spark of heroism in the heart of the epic metal fan in a similar way.

Click HERE for the full review.

XXX

Album Review: Acid King – “Middle Of Nowhere, Center Of Everywhere”

Posted by Joan on Friday, April 10, 2015 at 3:49 PM (PST)

 

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Heavy and atmospheric, stoner band Acid King return with their 2015 album, “Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere”. Fronted by San Francisco natives, Lori S. (vocals and guitar), along with bandmates, Joey Osbourne (drums) and Peter Lucas (bass), this trio delivers on slow groove and ambiance. Unlike their previous efforts, this album’s vocal stylings and guitar work play more on the doomy side of stoner, offering the listener a darker and more introspective tone than what might be expected from their earlier work on Acid King III. After a slow building and jamming Intro track, Acid King’s second track, Space Pictures, coalesces into a thick, unassuming, sludge-inspired sound, placing the band’s sound somewhere between King Woman meets Sleep meets Electric Wizard. Add to that, the driving doom of their sixth track, “Infinite Skies”, and you’ll feel like donning your biker jacket and going for a ride.

Click HERE for more of the review.

Album Review: Monolord – Vænir

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Monday, April 6, 2015 at 9:35 AM (PST)

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Monolord‘s new record Vænir is the essence of good tone, landscapes of riff and monstous, heaving sonic swirl that will kick your ass. There’s loads of feel here, from the gut punching downstroke hits in “Cursing The One” to the perfectly restrained doom of classic rocker slowed down by deep oceans of smoke second track “We Will Burn”. This rocks like some slow stampede inevitable procession over a cliff that falls through the abyss to thunder to Earth again. It shakes the ground but somehow rise from the dust and keep marching, these songs are BIG.

Like fellow Swede doomers The Order of Israfel, the Monolord guys are really deft at shaping their doom obsessed Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters of the Third Kind giant pudding/mashed potatoes mountain sculpture of Riffs into just the right amount of onslaught and chaos amidst controlled form. There’s a similar to Wovenhand/Conan really reverbed the fuck out vocal thing going on and the songs are generally in the not so atypically for the genre nowadays 8 minute + mark. Some absolutely crushing passages like the 5 minute mark of “We Will Burn”, which somehow is the heaviest three note thing you may have ever heard and will make High On Fire/Sleep fans pee.

PR says: Initially formed as a side project in 2013 out of the ashes of Swedish bands Marulk and Rotten Sound – comprising of guitar player and vocalist Thomas Jager, drummer Esben Willems and bassist Mika Hakki – Monolord emerged as one of 2014’s heaviest, loudest and most loved new bands.

“Died A Million Times” is a guitar lovers wet dream of deep, no bullshit reverance. Fans of some of Southern Lord’s brilliant ASCEND stuff or recent Yob will likely super dig on this.

Monolord are early in their career in some ways but if their live show is as on point as their recordings, shit will be ill . Love to see a Lord Dying, Geezer, Monolord type package tour go down sometime once Lord Dying are done touring with mighty Crowbar (here’s putting out hopeful horns to the world). Big fan of the very Spirit Caravan-esque, well paced and doom as fuck drums on this baby. While some might argue this record is getting by on form, they nailed it to the doom cross, pissed on it and lit that gasoline on fire so I certainly can’t complain. Turn it up!

Pre-order HERE.

Album Review: Moonspell – “Extinct”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Saturday, April 4, 2015 at 11:38 AM (PST)

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The shadows part again and reveal a glimpse to the other side of mirrored realms, or perhaps the reflection of horrors we see is actually the truth? Portugal’s Moonspell  have proven through their career they are one of the most ambitious bands metal has EVER produced and their newest Extinct continues this. It’s deep reunion with their gothic tendencies but still full of anthemic black clouds of brooding riffs (such as the title track “Extinct”).

“Breathe in, breathe out. You’ve reached the top of the chain”. Opening cut “Breathe (Until We Are No More)” captures the striving yet destructive poles humankind’s pendulum swings between , set to a knife-edged hard rock soundtrack with symphonic gusto.

On this album, Guitarists Ricardo and Pedro deftly set up cunning and exciting momentum for poetic vocalist Fernando’s moody, low croon or the times he lets go and unleashes one of the heaviest and blackest screams in heavy metal. The keys, strings and as always the excellent drumming of Mike Gaspar really make this a very even listeing experience you can enjoy the whole way through. “Medusalem” is one of their more brilliant songs in years, really triumphant and practically sending imagery and pathos leaping from the speakers, especially during the otherworldly almost Moroccan sounding solo section, which is hard to even describe.

This is not their heaviest album by any means. Fans looking for those should check out Night Eternal or Memorial, which will rip your faces off though also contain more mist shrouded numbers as well. Extinct however is a very potent and somewhat different brew. “Funeral Bloom” is one of the best songs they’ve ever written, a big rock statement that floats way above genre limits to feel like they just made some death rock song to rival U2 for stadium grandeur (I wish).

Click HERE to read more.

Album Review: Enforcer – “From Beyond”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 9:52 AM (PST)

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Enforcer are back with a sturdy classic heavy metal by the books record. The debate is always raging if this style is mroe pure or if people are just retreading the past. Whatever you think, Enforcer have written a great metal record that could have come out in 1986. The band claim they don’t limit the type of music they write but this album is all clearly under the classic heavy metal sound genre. Ripping solos, soaring/shriekd vocals and mostly breakneck tempos to start up a thrashing intense time. “One With Fire” or any of the tracks really all have something to offer and could each be singles in their own right, though again this is for a certain type of fan with a retro bent. Hints of early Metallica and also nspired by eastern European metal bands from the late 80s and early 90s, such as CREDO, MAGNIT, POKOLGEP and KAT, this record is unabashed heavy metal pride. Proto-ballad “Below The Slumber” features a sick melodic, piercing vocal from very talented singer Olof Wikstrand. If it was the 80’s this dude would be a metal god, for sure. The arrangements are rewarding if traditional and you’ll be undeoubtedly banging your head or making a “this is cool” face, furrowing your brow and nodding along, tapping your foot to these “anti-existential” leaning songs as the dual guitars carry you along/aloft.

The recording is the perfect blend of old and new production for the Enforcer sound and, like Amulet’s recent record, is one of my favorite things about the release. The band seem to have known exactly what sound would suit their charging compositions best. “From Beyond”, the title track, has a very Maiden-esque or kind of old Horror movie soundtrack vibe, a wise choice for the “focus” track. The chorus/repeated phrase of the title and the guitars above the very Steve Harris bass attack of this number ensure it sticks in your head. Also a standout is the quite NWOBHM take no prisoners number “The Banshee” which just explodes out the gate with liquid fire leads and then kicks in with purpose to blow the doors off any venue. It’s got delicious high shrieks and fun lyrics, definitely my favorite track. While this album isn’t creating a new path for metal, it’s a great addition to any collection and sure to liven up any keg party. And if anything, the cover art just screams “cool back patch.” \m/

XXX

Album Review: Wrath – “Stark Raving Mad”

Posted by Andrew Johann Datoush on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at 3:52 PM (PST)

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Anyone remember the movie Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3?
You know, the really dark and gritty one starring Vigo Mortensen and Ken Foree… Getting anywhere yet?
No?
Ok, let’s try this – the one with the kickass metal soundtrack?
Oh yeah, now we’re getting somewhere.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane…
Back in 1990/91, when I was a wee little tyke, I saw this movie for my first time. I was into a lot of horror as a kid, but the most memorable part for me wasn’t the scares or the gore. It was this intense metal sound that came blasting through my giant ass 36 inch box of a TV. The music that was featured in the movie was my introduction to metal, though addmittedly, I can recall my very first cassette tape I owned was the soundtrack to Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, which featured bands like WINGER and SLAUGHTER, but that’s another story for another time, as I am here to talk about one of the TCM3 soundtrack bands today. No, it’s not LAAZ ROCKIT, who had the song Leatherface. I’m not talking about SACRED REICH or DEATH ANGEL either. I’m talking about a band known as WRATH, who’s song “When Worlds Collide” can be heard in the film during a fight scene while a little girl stares out the window holding a doll and a knife chanting “Get Them! Get Them!” I haven’t seen the movie in quite some time, but upon looking up this track, I remembered exactly where I heard it the second it got to the solo. Pretty good memory, eh?

Fast forward to 2015, this very day, and I sit here rocking out to new music by WRATH. That’s right folks, WRATH is making a comeback! The album is called Stark Raving Mad. It’s a very old school style thrash album, filled with shrieking vocals and 80s influenced riffs.

For the full review see BELOW. (Note: This album came out last year late Summer but since we missed it and are glad they are back we are running this review anyway!)

Album Review: Carach Angren – “This Is No Fairy Tale”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 8:57 PM (PST)

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Carach Angren‘s This Is No Fairy Tale is a frightful blend of horror and metal with symphonic elements akin to a Tim Burton score. These hell-forged songs are at times vertigo inducing as well as insane. Definitely a niche band but fans of Septicflesh on a much more horror bent will thrill to it. This is a blackened and death infused updated version of Hansel and Gretel that has heroin abuse and domestic violence (“There’s No Place Like Home”) and a much sicker tone or darker flare than the recent silly, if fun, action movie “Witch Hunters” (give me Monica Bellucci in The Brothers Grimm instead any day).

Anyhow, the Netherlands based band are very tight and complete professionals here, though at times it is usually less about the song than how it feels in relation to the whole story piece. Still, there are way worse things. Many bands can’t come close to the skill of Carach Angren in heavy metal and they obviously don’t give a fuck what anyone thinks. Horns to them for their full embrace of over the edge, dark creativity to shed light on the horrors of the ill nature of deranged psychosis out there. Sickening candy addiction is a metaphor for perhaps shallow culture, the material working on many levels of the psyche. We are lonely in a forest and hunger for blood, convenience or even a deeper, damaged sense of family are all examined.

For more see BELOW.

Album Review: DHG – “A Umbra Omega”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 12:47 PM (PST)

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DHG/Dødheimsgard‘s A Umbra Omega is a must hear experimental mind fuck that beckons with pure freedom to establish new high water marks for extreme music. Much like (I’ll get shit for writing this) the “critics be damned” attitude displayed by Liturgy on transcendental collage  The Ark Work, DHG don’t let genre constraints shackle them but do care about form , and have a lot more old school cred vs art school smarts, if that makes a difference to you. Regardless, it’s the unshackling of spirit here amidst tectonic time signature shifts, howled madman vocals from returning original co-founding member Aldrahn. Piano and saxaphone burst and funeral bloom out of the shadows of blackened, despair filled  avant garde structure. The umbra is certainly breached and the record looms like the Tower card in the tarot, foreboding change via a perhaps painful but perhaps needed rebirth.

There is no stagnation here.

This is a hard record to review. It is really an experience and the bulk of tracks except for opener “The Love Divine” stretch near fifteen minutes or more. Each song has tendrils snaking back to traditional Norwegian black metal but the scope here is insane. Where, for example, a more mainstream but mentally sophisticated black metal band like Watain have pushed the philosophy of their vision far, DHG have gone even farther than a band like Enslaved in expanding what it means to be limitless. There is still a molten core of deep soul upheavel and the empty void at the heart of these tracks, but along the way you will encounter near every emotion possible on the human spectrum. Mastodon may get praise for being progressive and trying different things (their new song for Game Of Thrones sounds like a mellow Katatonia number on a big budget), but DHG are REALLY experimenting on a whole other level.

Brilliant passages abound. At the mellow 7 minute semi-ambient mark of “Aphelion Void” you could almost be inside a  Mogwai tune, while “God Protocol Axiom” blasts furiously down the well tracked black metal path to hell before spilling into the River Styx via an emergency brake pulling industrial guitar crunch and the carnivale shouted lines “the devil hides in fractal patterns, beyond the singularity where everything you lost is waiting”. It sets a tone for madcap vertigo and a high bar. The drums tumble and get insanely busy before an almost Cure guitar line, watery and seminal, seduces the ear and carries us through melancholic death rock to disharmonic piano and strings that balk like howling furies, resisting any coherency. It’s like a drunken Bosch orgy on the burning pages of jazz, blackmetal and rock’s most outre fringes.

“Architect Of Darkness” opens with a riff akin to some of the Agonia label’s roster, a dissonant march that will please many fans of the shadows. The vocals all throughout are much more akin to strangled cries or a barking mounteback or the histrionics of Nivek Ogre or Arcturus than, say, “Freezing Moon” Mayhem’s frog vocal or a more shrieking black metal vocal. Vicotnik’s musical compositions are really out there and few bands, save Emptiness or Ephel Duath (r.i.p.) have dared to push themselves this far in recent (or any) years. You might be exhausted by the end of this record but your brain cherry will most certainly be not only popped but downright burst like one of the face hugger eggs in Alien. You’ll be shaking and left sweaty and breathing on the shores of wherever you drift to once the fog clears in the aftermath of the brutally unravelling quarrel of “Blue Moon Duel”. A great succesor to Supervillain Outcast.

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Review by Joan Singh

As most loyal fans of Crisis will find—Gospel of the Witches is a departure from the core metal/death sound of their 90’s heyday. But that’s to be expected. Away from the East Coast metal scene after the Crisis break-up, Karyn traveled to California to learn more about her experiences with the incorporeal, having had countless episodes of what could best be described as “encounters with the supernatural” during her childhood and onward.

In between self-discovery and music-making with a brief stint in husband Davide Tiso’s band Ephel Duath, we find a new Karyn, grounded in her abilities to communicate with her own spirit guide and with humanity through the medium of music. Ever the creative soul, she’s crafted and pursued leatherworks, paintings, and mediumship and come back full circle to music.

Gospel of the Witches’ debut album, Salem’s Wounds, is Karyn’s latest mesmerizing project with husband Davide Tiso of Ephel Duath and Bob Vigna from Immolation on guitar, Ross Dolan, also from Immolation, on bass and backing vocals, and Charlie Schmid from Vaura on drums. Each member brings a range of experience to the table.

To me, the first significant song is the opening track, aptly-titled “Omphalos”, which becomes just that – an object of power, positioned to propel the listener on a journey of arcane reflexivity. Karyn’s “I am no one, I am nothing, I am nowhere,” juxtaposed with “I am everything, I am everywhere, I am everyone,” starts with clean vocals and quickly metamorphoses into a growled delivery layered atop Ross Dolan’s own deathly vocals. It sets both the tone and expectations high with a powerful intro to the album. Its subtle ascending vocal tempo creates an escalating mood, a musical ascension of sorts. Short, simple and leading; it directs the listener right into the second song, “The Alchemist”, in which the theme of being an acolyte learning the ways of the occult arises from both the composition of Karyn’s music and lyrical content that points heavily towards mysticism and transmutation – “I am no longer the dust and lifeless, waiting to be swept away…” and “…I hear those words, kept unsaid, and I walk in the world of the living and the dead.” A little more than halfway through the song, we hear a bit of the old Crisis as Karyn alternates styles with bits of clean and heavier vocals with Dolan backing the choruses.

For more see BELOW.

Album Review: Torche – “Restarter”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 6:13 AM (PST)

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Torche‘s blend of harmony, sludge with a smirk and a no fucks given attitude has unfairly had them judged hipster metal by some black hearted types, the same sort of goons who’d write off Gorgoroth once they’d discovered Gaahl was gay. Or snob hardcore kids…don’t get me started on the idiots I heard at a recent Converge tour stop who were trashing on Torche’s support slot. Excuse me, but the great Converge hand picked them for the tour, not to mention aren’t exactly a punk by numbers band themselves. Torche have been a vital part of the scene the last few years and inject a welcome dose of self awareness and heft into everything they do. I find them extremely refreshing. If you can’t be affected by a song like first single “Minions” off this baby just leave rock n roll behind you and go play in traffic. The rest of us will be playing Torche Vs. Robots.

New record Restarter is quite an experience, just a shining example of a band being themselves (much like the new Coliseum material, it’s “love us or leave us. This is what we do”). Like Pelican offshoot The Swan King it is both quirky and smart but also pretty easy to rock out too. My only critique is most of the material works as a feeling or vibe  more than as super distinct songs, but that’s kind of always been their bag, it seems. It’s kind of about the delivery.

It has been cold as a witches balls in Upstate, Ny and Torche (or the reunited Floor for that matter) always manage to warm me up with those huge walls of distortion and massive low end. Restarter is heavier than the recent Floor effort Oblation which was great (“Rocinante”= so good) but seemed more concerned with pop structure. This Torche record really stretches out and gets weird, but within certain frameworks. It kind of reminds me of old Soundgarden in an odd way in that the album is clearly structured to be listened to all the way but each song really compliments the others or works alone. Torche really upped their game here making sure every inch of Restarter counts, from the trudging “Barrier Hammer” to the near nine minute title track’s thrills and sheets of distorted chills.

Click HERE for the full review.

Album Review: Rise Of Doom – “Purgation”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 11:56 AM (PST)

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Rise Of Doom are a metalcore band somewhere between the synth and hook heavy sounds of Betraying The Martyrs and the low end breakdown gurgle of Oceano. It’s a good record and obviously they love what they do. My only real gripe is most bands doing this style don’t seem to have much regional difference no matter where they come from in the world.

Anyway, this French band have a sound sure to appeal to many scene kids worldwide who like their metalcore stuff new school + occasionally djenty, mostly mid tempo with lots of double kick and generally screamed vocals augmented with cleans. You know the style. It’s not for everybody but this band does it way better than most. I was really impressed with the professionalism and drive which is obvious in their video “Gaia”. Some real mosh worthy parts on here and if you like this style you will be sure to hit repeat on Purgation!!! Pick it up at Bandcamp HERE.

Click HERE for the full review, moshers.

Album Review: New Plague – S/T EP

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Monday, February 23, 2015 at 4:59 PM (PST)

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New Plague from Long Island play a style we’ve heard a lot the last few years, the sort of hyper kinetic gnarly hardcore with occasional Entombed nod that made Trap Them scene demi-gods and with the dissonance and sharp, spasmic edges Converge have had forever. Newer bands like Full of Hell, Hierophant, Blackened and others kind of fit this mold as well… but honestly its a style in the underground so savage and alive that in my opinion it doesn’t hurt to have more bands doing this to counterbalance trendier mall-core bullshit. New Plague might not bring much new to the table but they certainly kick the table over in style on their new EP and add to the general plague of this newer movement. Brutal, blistering and fast but with plenty of interesting knuckle ripping guitar punching feedback drenched breaks as well. This shit will get your adrenaline pumping and leave you breathless if you have any love for hardcore at all. I’ll take this style over dumb ass downtuned breakdowns the whole song with pop barely in tune even with auto tune emo vocal clean choruses any freakin’ day.

“Blood Offer” kicks off with pure abandon and hoarse cries, the band really sounding commited to their songs. It rages with a ferocity akin to Baptists if a bit less well executed. That said, this is by no means a let down and I only said that because let’s face it…it’s pretty hard to top Nick Yacyshyn these days, the new poster boy for underground hardcore percussive ferocity. That noted, these dudes come pretty damn close with this S/T beast. “Angles” is my favorite track, a number that slows the tempos to really let you feel the meat peelig off your own bones. When I think of Long Island I associate it with Mind Over Matter, V.O.D. or Glassjaw more than this style but I gotta say these dudes are a great addition to the heavy scene. “Hounds Of Sleep” could basically be a Blissfucker B-side but again, how many thrash bands are there our there? It doesn’t make it bad to love a style. I’m giving this 4 stars because I gave mega band All That Remains 3.5 on their latest and even though this is way less technical and produced, the energy still hit me harder.

Stream this in full at great sight American Aftermath HERE. Tell em Metal Riot sent ya. Pre-orders can be placed here.

Album Review: Crypt Sermon – “Out Of The Garden”

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 5:26 AM (PST)

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Right off the bat let’s cut to the chase…this record is amazing. If you’ve gotten tired of stoner/doom bands glutting the scene and want a release that will still hold up years from now Out Of The Garden from Philly’s musically gifted Crypt Sermon is the one to grab (though I’d also point you towards Eric Wagner fronted The Skull’s 2014 crusher For Those Which Are Asleep). What makes CS stand out? Sure they mine territory we’ve heard before (“Heavy Riders” is a Cathedral-esque plodding winner that kicks into “Symptom Of The Universe” mode gloriously about 3 minutes in). The songwriting is pure power though and you can hear the conviction in every ripping solo (Steve Jansson- holy cow ) or mournful cry from the role owning theatrical frontman Brooks Wilson. Wilson’s bluesy yet kind of mid range voice is yearning and bleak with classic metal qualities (he even reminds me of Saxon at times). After hearing this release (over and over again lately, honestly) I am dying to see the band live. “Byzantium” the vocals have an epic melodic yet somber quality which slightly reminded me of the very different Primordial, though the riffs are pure morose doom. The opening onset of stirring guitars and death march through mud drumming is real heavy metal all the way.

So many bands are worried about the wrong things but Crypt Sermon (like T.O.A.D. recently on their more extreme metal, weirder and completely killer Vacant Face) punch right to the guts by focusing on intense metal music over being posh or Instagramy (I can’t hate…I’m on Instagram all the time, haha. It’s part of why I had a flip phone still for years to keep me from wasting time on stupid shit). Anyway, fans of stretched out classic rock leaning face searing solos over big, fat riffs of doom with dark and melodic lava flowing beneath the surface will eat this sermon up. Can’t recommend this enough. “Will of the Ancient Call” indeed.

Pre order via Dark Descent HERE.

XXX