Album Review – Axedra / Mass Deception (2021)

After a long period of inactivity, this promising Vancouver, Canada-based Death Metal unity is back in action and ready to kill armed with their debut full-length album.

3.5rating

axedra-mass-deception-2021Formed in Russia in 2008 by the “Garipov Brothers”, those being vocalist and guitarist Ramil Garipov and guitarist Ilnur Garipov, Death Metal unity Axedra played only a few shows in their hometown before they had to disband when both of them moved to the city of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada in 2010. After a long period of inactivity, they finally gathered their material, put together a full-bodied band with Logan Jarred Charron on bass and Daniil Volovik on drums, and recorded their debut album Mass Deception, released now in 2021. Mixed and mastered at Death Culture Studio and displaying a bloody, cult-like artwork by Joyce Peng, the first official effort by Axedra will smash you like an insect with its old school Death Metal approach, being therefore recommended for admirers of the gore and destruction blasted by bands such as Cannibal Corpse, Deicide and early Decapitated.

Get ready for an infernal hurricane of old school death in the opening tune Momentary Control, a visceral welcome card by the quartet where Ramil begins his growling attack accompanied by the crushing beast by Daniil, whereas speeding things up they offer our ears the slamming hymn Buried Alive, showcasing classic Death Metal riffs by the band’s guitar duo and vile lyrics barked by Ramil (“Awoken by the deafening silence / Blinded by the absolute fiery darkness / Dampened air tastes decrepit / Restricted mind within fibromyalgic body”). Then the title-track Mass Deception will bring to your putrid ears two and a half minutes of sheer savagery led by the scorching riffage by Ramil and Ilnur, while Logan hammers his bass mercilessly, and it’s time to slam into the circle pit to the sound of Apocalypse, a straightforward, thunderous creation by Axedra where Daniil dictates the pace with his fierce and rhythmic beats.

Axedra keep destroying everything and everyone that crosses their path in Infectious Insanity, a pulverizing Death Metal feast where the riffage by Ramial and Ilnur is as demented as it can be, followed by Parasitic Nightmare, showcasing apocalyptic words vociferated rabidly by Ramil (“Wake, see your world turn into a parasitic nightmare / Left a wasteland, there’s no retreating / Soon you’ll find your soul is bleeding / Trapped, your dream is now a burden / Watch this planet contort and worsen”) while Logan and Daniil make the earth shake with their sharp and thunderous instruments in a lesson in violence and hatred. Are you tired already of their sick and heavy sounds? Because you better be prepared as the quartet will kill once again in Thought Corruption, offering us all a huge dosage of the old school, pounding drums by Daniil. And last but not least, it’s time for Hellbringer, a solid composition by the band that keeps the album flammable and demonic, albeit not as dynamic as the other songs.

axedra-2021In a nutshell, in Mass Deception, which is by the way available in full on YouTube, Axedra don’t aim at reinventing the wheel as you can see, but at keeping the fires of classic Death Metal burning bright thanks to the talent, hard work and aggressiveness of the band spearheaded by the Garipov Brothers. Hence, don’t forget to show them your support by following the band on Facebook, on Instagram and on VKontakte, by subscribing to their YouTube channel for more of their heavy-as-hell music, and above all that, by grabbing your copy of Mass Deception from the band’s own BandCamp page. I’m beyond certain you’ll have an amazing time slamming and banging your head nonstop to the first-class Death Metal crafted by Axedra, leaving you eager for more from those Canada-based Russian brothers in a not-so-distant future.

Best moments of the album: Buried Alive, Apocalypse and Parasitic Nightmare.

Worst moments of the album: Hellbringer.

Released in 2021 Independent

Track listing  
1. Momentary Control 4:12
2. Buried Alive 3:30
3. Mass Deception 2:36
4. Apocalypse 4:36
5. Infectious Insanity 2:37
6. Parasitic Nightmare 4:06
7. Thought Corruption 2:53
8. Hellbringer 3:11

Band members
Ramil Garipov – vocals, guitar
Ilnur Garipov – guitar
Logan Jarred Charron – bass
Daniil Volovik – drums

Album Review – Diabolizer / Khalkedonian Death (2021)

Turkish torchbearers of diabolical abomination return with their first-ever full-length opus, blasting our souls with eight tracks of unrelenting and savage Death Metal raids that will just leave you mouth-watering for more.

4.0rating

diabolizer-khalkedonian-death-2021Turkish torchbearers of diabolical abomination Diabolizer are finally back with their debut album Khalkedonian Death, the follow-up to their critically acclaimed EP’s Shadows Of Impending Decimation (2012) and Apokalypse (2016), offering fans of bands the likes of Sinister, Hate Eternal and Deicide eight tracks of unrelenting and savage Death Metal raids that will just leave you mouth-watering for more. Recorded, mixed, mastered by Ozan Yıldırım (Deadhouse Studio) and displaying a sick, demonic cover painting by Jon Zig, Khalkedonian Death is by far the most pulverizing and complete effort by this Kadıköy, Istanbul-based horde comprised of Abomination on vocals, Mustafa and Can on the guitars, Malik on bass and Aberranton drums, not only positioning the band as one of the driving forces of the extreme music scene in their homeland, but also helping spread the burning fires of Turkish metal to all four corner of the earth.

The opening track Dawn Of Obliteration is absolutely infernal and devastating from the very first second, with Aberrant being merciless behind his drums while Abomination arises from the pits of hell with his trademark roars. Put differently, this is Turkish Death Metal at its finest, which is also the case in Maelstroms Of Abhorrence, where Abomination manically growls the song’s wicked lyrics (“As if trapped in singularity / Countless relics I behold / Seconds are aeons / My mind is drifting”) while Mustafa and Can extract sheer malignancy and hatred from their stringed weapons; and it’s time to bang your fuckin’ heads to the demented Cloaked In An Aura Of Madness, a lesson in Death Metal by the quintet where Malik’s rumbling bass and Aberrant’s classic beats bring the groove to the band’s usual demolition for our total delight. Then more of their demented and Stygian music invades our ears in the steamroller tune Mayhemic Darkness And Possessed Visions, living up to the legacy of old school Death Metal, and with the band’s guitar duo delivering sick Cannibal Corpse-inspired riffs nonstop.

And there’s no sign of slowing down for those ruthless metallers; quite the contrary, Diabolizer continue to crush our senses in Sulphuric Vengeance, another pulverizing lecture in Turkish Death Metal where Abomination’s gruesome growling walks hand in hand with the vicious drumming by Aberrant, whereas the riffage by Mustafa and Can will penetrate deep inside your putrid skin in Bringers Of Khalkedonian Death, a massive, disruptive tune that invites us all to slam into the circle pit like rabid metal maniacs. Spearfuck The Throes Of Treason, their second to last blast of obscurity and rage, will inspire you to break your neck in half headbanging, with Malik hammering his bass nonstop while Mustafa and Can alternate between sheer savagery and somber moments on the guitars. Lastly, ending such intense and hellish album of death it’s time for the quintet to haunt our souls with Perishing In His Oceans Of Blood, showcasing grim riffs, wicked solos, guttural vociferations and pounding drums, or in other words, everything we love in savage Death Metal.

diabolizer-2021If you consider yourself a true metalhead and are ready to carry the torch of Turkish Death Metal together with the guys from Diabolizer, you can start following the band on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and so on and, of course, above all that, purchase your copy of one of the best Death Metal albums of the year from the band’s own BandCamp page, from the Everlasting Spew Records’ BandCamp page or webstore, from the Me Saco Un Ojo Records’ BandCamp page, from the Desiccated Productions’ BandCamp page, and soon from Apple Music and Amazon. Diabolizer have been solidifying and perfecting their sound with each one of their releases, and their first ever full-length opus perfectly summarizes everything the band stands for. As a matter of fact, the band’s hometown Kadıköy used to be called Khalkedonia (which means “the land of the blind”) by the Byzantines, showing Diabolizer’s masterplan with their newborn spawn has always been to warn the entire world Khalkedonian Death Metal is among us to stay.

Best moments of the album: Dawn Of Obliteration, Cloaked In An Aura Of Madness and Bringers Of Khalkedonian Death.

Worst moments of the album: None, of course.

Released in 2021 Everlasting Spew Records / Me Saco Un Ojo Records / Desiccated Productions

Track listing
1. Dawn Of Obliteration 5:17
2. Maelstroms Of Abhorrence 5:23
3. Cloaked In An Aura Of Madness 5:11
4. Mayhemic Darkness And Possessed Visions 7:22
5. Sulphuric Vengeance 4:46
6. Bringers Of Khalkedonian Death 5:50
7. Spearfuck The Throes Of Treason 5:45
8. Perishing In His Oceans Of Blood 6:45

Band members
Abomination – vocals
Mustafa – guitars
Can – guitars
Malik – bass
Aberrant – drums

Album Review – Eonian / The Nomad EP (2021)

Raise your horns to the first-class fusion of furious riffs, drums, and vocals with epic choirs and orchestral arrangements carefully brought forth by this international Symphonic Extreme Metal project.

4.0rating

eonian-the-nomad-ep-2021Assembled in 2020 by Manhattan, New York City-based Spanish guitarist Jaume Antuñano, the amazing multinational Symphonic Extreme Metal project that goes by the name of Eonian is set to release their debut EP, entitled The Nomad, a must-have for fans of bands the likes of Cradle Of Filth, Dimmu Borgir and Septicflesh. Mixed and mastered by Simone Pietroforte at Divergent Studios, and displaying a classic cover art by Javier Barjollo and a stunning logo designed by Alice Malvisi from Hexibex Design, The Nomad was fully produced online and includes five songs that blend furious riffs, drums, and vocals with epic choirs and orchestral arrangements carefully brought forth by Jaume together with French vocalist DM (Helioss), Italian bassist Francesco Loconte (Koroth, Kormak), Swedish drummer Freddy Ortscheid (Entrails) and Argentinian musician Diego Soldi on all orchestrations, as well as seven other very special guest musicians from all over the world.

A metal storm is about to begin in Winter Wanderer, featuring guest solos by Indian musician Manish Kashyap (Deathknell) and Spanish musician Isaac “Whitefingers” Solanas (Frozen Shield), with Jaume’s riffage and Freddy’s blast beats generating a bold and visceral ambience, all boosted by DM’s infernal roars; whereas living up to the legacy of Symphonic Black Metal the band delivers the imposing Versus The Titan, where the orchestrations by Diego are superb, not to mention the stunning guest violin solo by Russian musician Margarita Chernova. Then a movie-inspired intro grows in intensity until all hell breaks loose in the Dimmu Borgir-like aria Cleansing Fire, featuring a keyboard solo and arrangements by Mexican musician Andrés Samboní (Desvirtual), once again showcasing all the fury of DM on vocals together with the piercing, scorching riffs by Jaume. It’s time for an epic journey with Jaume and his horde in Delirium, offering us all a keyboard solo by Argentinian musician Pablo Pallares (Utópica) and an electric violin solo by Spanish musician Néstor Català (Tales of Gaia), with Francesco, Freddy and Diego generating a beautiful wall of sounds in the background, before the piano solo by Ukrainian musician Polina Chornaya adds a touch of finesse to the thunderous tune Shores Of A Lost Sea, putting a fantastic and climatic ending to the EP with DM roaring and screaming rabidly amidst a top-of-the-line Extreme Metal sonority.

eonian-logoIn a nutshell, the debut EP by Eonian is without a shadow of a doubt a precious gem hailing from the underground of several countries that truly deserves our admiration, and you’ll soon be able to stream it or purchase it from different locations by clicking HERE. Hence, if you want to know more about the team led by Jaume you can start following Eonian on Facebook and on Instagram and click HERE to not only read more about the project, but to also hire each person involved in the creation of The Nomad in case you’re looking for some skillful musicians for your own metal or non-metal endeavor. In a world where we’re all becoming more and more involved with technology yet at the same time isolated from society, it’s always a pleasure to witness guys like Jaume bringing people together in the name of heavy music, providing us fans first-class Extreme Metal and, therefore, pointing to a bright future ahead of the project. And although the name of the EP somehow represents Jaume’s personal and musical life, as if he is the nomad depicted in the album art moving from one place to another, he’s far from being a solitary man in our Heavy Metal universe as you can see.

Best moments of the album: Winter Wanderer and Cleansing Fire.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Independent

Track listing 
1. Winter Wanderer 4:17
2. Versus The Titan 4:32
3. Cleansing Fire 4:55
4. Delirium 3:37
5. Shores Of A Lost Sea 4:44

Band members
DM – vocals
Jaume Antuñano – guitar
Francesco Loconte – bass
Freddy Ortscheid – drums
Diego Soldi – orchestrations

Guest musicians
Manish Kashyap – guitar solo on “Winter Wanderer”
Isaac “Whitefingers” Solanas – guitar solo on “Winter Wanderer”
Margarita Chernova – violin solo on “Versus The Titan”
Andrés Samboní – keyboard solo and arrangements on “Cleansing Fire”
Pablo Pallares – keyboard solo on “Delirium”
Néstor Català – electric violin solo on  “Delirium”
Polina Chornaya – piano solo on “Shores Of A Lost Sea”

Album Review – Despotic / Where Freedom Dies EP (2021)

Four tracks of pure, unfiltered Death Metal brought forth by three talented guys from Down Under who are ready to tell you where freedom dies.

3.0rating

despotic-where-freedom-dies-ep-2021Created in 2020 out of a shared interest in old school Death Metal, Ballarat, Australia-based act Despotic is unleashing upon humanity their debut EP, entitled Where Freedom Dies, offering fans of extreme music four tracks of pure, unfiltered Death Metal carefully brought forth by Chris Newell (Vestal Cuntvomit, The Nihilistic Front, Pervertum Obscurum and Maleficium, among others) on vocals, Allan Butt (Maleficium, Into Ruin and Apocalyptian) on guitars and bass, and Andrew Loynes (Into Ruin) on drums. Not only that, the EP also represents the first go at handling the entire production, including tracking, mixing, and mastering, by Allan Butt, proving that not only he kicks ass it doesn’t matter which band he’s playing with (as you can see in our review for the EP Citizens Of The Apocalypse, released last year by Apocalyptian), but also that it looks like in Australia the DIY metal scene is stronger than ever thanks to skillful musicians like him.

Hammering their instruments in the best Death/Cannibal Corpse-inspired way, the trio delivers raw and classic Death Metal in Foreboding Obscurance, with Andrew dictating the pace while Chris growls like a demonic beast, resulting in an awesome welcome card by the band. Then in Citadel of Lies we face austere lyrics barked by Chris (“From our first breath we are numbered, Tagged and coded for their database / Sentient perception expurgated, Born to serve the high agenda / Acquiesce our souls to the acrid, Arrogance of the elitist subjugation / To yield such supreme over governance, you then crush and usurp all objectors”) accompanied by the infernal riffs by Allan; and more of their somber and visceral sounds comes in the form of Narcissistic Dominance, where Allan continues to slash his stringed axe furiously while Andrew sounds like a stone crusher on drums, delivering tons of intricacy and rage through his blast beats. Lastly, closing the EP the trio fires another round of their Stygian Death Metal in Rendered Senseless, with Chris vomiting the song’s wicked words supported by the thunderous riffs and bass jabs by Allan, as well as the always vile drums by Andrew.

despotic-logoYou can take a shot at Where Freedom Dies in its entirety on Spotify, but of course in order to show your support to the vibrant Australian underground you should click HERE for all places where you can stream or purchase the EP. Also, don’t forget to follow Chris, Allan and Andrew on Facebook and on Instagram, getting to know more about such promising name of the Australian Death Metal scene and staying up to date with the next steps in their career. If you have absolutely no idea where freedom dies, why don’t you join Despotic in their quest for extreme music? Those guys are not only talented musicians, but they can also help you answer such delicate question armed with their undisputed Death Metal, showing to us all once again that heavy music is always the best remedy when all hope is lost.

Best moments of the album: Narcissistic Dominance.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Independent

Track listing   
1. Foreboding Obscurance 3:56
2. Citadel of Lies 4:03
3. Narcissistic Dominance 3:27
4. Rendered Senseless 3:56

Band members
Chris Newell – vocals
Allan Butt – guitar, bass
Andrew Loynes – drums

Album Review – Hyperomm / In My Own Spaceship (2021)

Dealing with the conquest of space in different parts of history, the new and exciting album by this one-man army from Russia touches on historical facts and thoughts on the topic of our future.

3.5rating

hyperomm-in-my-own-spaceship-2021Dealing with the conquest of space in different parts of history, In My Own Spaceship, the third full-length opus by Moscow, Russia-based Melodic Death Metal project Hyperomm, following up on the success of the band’s 2019 album Transcendence, touches on historical facts and thoughts on the topic of our future, all taken from the innovative mind of the band’s founder, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Anton Trubin. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Anton himself, who was also responsible for all vocals, guitars, keys, sampling, lyrics, songwriting and the album’s artwork and design, In My Own Spaceship invites the listener for a metallic space journey together with Anton and session drummer Vladimir Fomenko (of bands like Lautreamont and Дебри), all embraced by a more futuristic version of the music played by renowned acts the likes of In Flames, At The Gates and Arch Enemy.

Rocket Scientist (1929) kicks off in full force to the sick blast beats by Vladimir and the always melodious but piercing riffs by Anton, resulting in a true headbanger that lives up to the legacy of Scandinavian Melodic Death Metal to set the tone in such futuristic album, followed by Hope Springs Eternal (2150),  where poetry flows from its lyrics (“Our fathers killed this place / Blood of their grandsons on their hands / We are looking for a clue / That will come to the rescue”) while the music blasted by Anton is imposing and epic from start to finish. Then guest vocalist Katerina Zabolotskaya brings a beautiful touch of finesse to Close Your Eyes (2151), where Anton once again slashes his guitar in great fashion accompanied by the thunderous beats by Vladimir in an amazing display of modern-day Metalcore and Melodic Death Metal, and there’s no time to breathe as our journey through space and time goes on in E Pur Si Muove! (1633), showcasing crisp, intricate riffs and drums while Anton growls and roars like a creature from outer space.

Investing in a more aggressive and demonic sonority, Anton and his Hyperomm put the pedal to the metal in Humanity’s Dream (1961), a great option for slamming into the pit in the name of metal and science, whereas a video game-inspired start explodes into first-class Melodic Death and Industrial Metal titled Emotional Anchors (2055), where once again Anton roars rabidly form start to finish while he delivers ass-kicking riffs and solos for our total delight. In Who Are on the Stars? (3000BC), get ready for another round of cryptic words declaimed by Anton (“Our grandfather’s fathers talked about the skies / That gods and our ancestors indwell there / They look onto us and guide our lives / Oh how we want to look at them”) amidst an intricate, Dream Theater-ish sound, while slowing things down a bit Anton fires Invention/Dissemination (2200), showcasing a heavier and darker atmosphere spiced up by Anton’s futuristic keys; however, it’s not as vibrant as the rest of the album. And lastly, we’re treated to the melancholic, pensive outro 13799000000 Years Ago, featuring arrangements by guest Alexander Glinsky and, therefore, putting a beautiful and climatic finale to In My Own Spaceship.

hyperomm-2021Anton’s journey through space and time can be appreciated in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course if you want to show your support to our dauntless Russian metaller you should purchase the album from his own BandCamp page, from the Soundage Productions’ webstore, from Apple Music, from Amazon or from Discogs. In addition, don’t forget to follow the project on Facebook, Instagram and VKontakte for all things Hyperomm, an to subscribe to his YouTube channel for more of his unique music. Having said all that, what are you waiting for to jump on Hyperomm’s spaceship and follow Anton on his wild quest through space? And instead of the silence found out there, you better be prepared for an overdose of first-class metal music by such creative and hardworking musician hailing from Russia.

Best moments of the album: Close Your Eyes (2151), Humanity’s Dream (1961) and Emotional Anchors (2055).

Worst moments of the album: Invention/Dissemination (2200).

Released in 2021 Soundage Productions

Track listing 
1. Rocket Scientist (1929) 5:03
2. Hope Springs Eternal (2150) 4:21
3. Close Your Eyes (2151) 4:53
4. E Pur Si Muove! (1633) 5:55
5. Humanity’s Dream (1961) 5:44
6. Emotional Anchors (2055) 5:13
7. Who Are on the Stars? (3000BC) 4:17
8. Invention/Dissemination (2200) 4:53
9. 13799000000 Years Ago 1:52

CD bonus track
10. We Made Because We Could 5:01

Band members
Anton Trubin – vocals, guitars, sampling, drums

Guest musicians
Vladimir Fomenko – drums (session)
Katerina Zabolotskaya – female vocals on “Close Your Eyes (2151)”
Alexander Glinsky – arrangements on “13799000000 Years Ago”

Album Review – Discarded Self / Discarded Self (2021)

Created during a time of personal isolation, the debut solo album by this Canadian metaller ranges from tales of the macabre to introspective trips into self-loathing and personal degradation.

3.5rating

discarded-self-discarded-self-2021Flooding forth with misery and hate comes the first (and self-titled) album from Lloydminster, Alberta, Canada-based Blackened Doom/Sludge Metal act Discarded Self, the solo project from Jarret “Fuzzgod” Beach, who’s also a member of the bands Destroy My Brains and Ashes of Yggdrasil. Created during a time of personal isolation, the album ranges from tales of the macabre to introspective trips into self-loathing and personal degradation that dredge up terrible memories of the past to drown in personal regret. In other words, there is no hope for the future in the debut opus by Discarded Self, only darkness and hatred in the form of raw, unfiltered extreme music recorded at Doom Tomb Studios, featuring an array of local Canadian drummers as special guests, and displaying a beyond demonic artwork by Thahir M (The Black Catalogue) and Angel Carvallo (Avenged Creations).

Featuring B.J. Gingell (of Dahlmers Realm) on drums, the opening tune I Smell Pipes brings forward a cryptic intro accompanied by the low-tuned, damned bass by Jarret, evolving into a sluggish, sinister Doom Metal feast that will put you to bang your head until your neck breaks in half; and it’s time for drummer Jadan Paluck (of Destroy My Brains and Wrought) to crush our heads in Orbitoclast, with Jarret roaring like a rabid beast while he slashes his axe in great fashion at the same time in an awesome display of modern-day Sludge and Stoner Metal. Then get ready for 10 minutes of suffocating Blackened Doom Metal masterfully brought into being by Jarret in Push The Knife, with guest Brett Stewart (of Ashes of Yggdrasil) on drums and backing vocals, with Jarret sounding utterly demonic on vocals and also firing melodious, grim riffs for our total delight. And Jadan returns with his darkened and sluggish beats in the full-bodied aria entitled On The Unlevel, supporting Jarret in his quest for doom. Jarret’s bass punches sound even more menacing than before, not to mention how the aggressiveness and malignancy grow in intensity as the music progresses, therefore resulting in a disturbing Doom Metal feast.

Robert Hayman (of Ashes of Yggdrasil) is the guest drummer in I’m Weak, blasting his drums fiercely while Jarrett is infuriated with both his raspy screams and venomous riffage, or in other words, this is another fantastic option to headbang like a true metal maniac, whereas B.J. is back in action in Cultist Of The Pentagram in total sync with Jarrett’s devilish gnarls, riffs and bass jabs, keeping the album at a high level of adrenaline, rage and darkness. Then rumbling bass sounds will punch you in the head in Abused (e)Motionless, with Jarret once again adding his share of evil to the overall result through his wicked growls in a solid display of Blackened Sludge Metal. Jarret comes ripping one last time with his somber guitar lines in Dance Upon The Dead, while Jadan returns with his slow and steady beats; it lacks a little of the punch from its predecessors, though, but it’s still a damn good song. And if you go for the limited edition of the album you’ll be treated to Discarded Self’s cover version for Upside Down as a bonus, just as demented and heavy as the original version from the almighty Fistula’s 2006 EP For a Better Tomorrow.

discarded-self-2021Jarret “Fuzzgod” Beach and his Discarded Self are waiting for you on Facebook, on Instagram and on YouTube, but of course in order to show your true support to underground Sludge and Doom Metal you should definitely purchase a copy of the album from the project’s own BandCamp page, as well as from Apple Music or Amazon. As already mentioned, Discarded Self was brought into being during a time of personal isolation for Jarret, which proves once again extreme music is the perfect channel for all hatred, frustrations and fear we’ve been experiencing worldwide since the beginning of this endless pandemic. In other words, let’s all succumb to the dark side and join Jarret in his world of insanity and hopelessness, with his solo effort representing the perfect soundtrack to our damnation.

Best moments of the album: Orbitoclast, Push The Knife and I’m Weak.

Worst moments of the album: Dance Upon The Dead.

Released in 2021 Sarcophagus Recordings

Track listing   
1. I Smell Pipes 7:26
2. Orbitoclast 6:35
3. Push The Knife 10:51
4. On The Unlevel 10:04
5. I’m Weak 5:30
6. Cultist Of The Pentagram 5:55
7. Abused (e)Motionless 7:52
8. Dance Upon The Dead 8:27

Limited Edition bonus track
9. Upside Down (Fistula cover) 8:05

Band members
Jarret “Fuzzgod” Beach – vocals, all instruments

Guest musicians
B.J. Gingell – drums on  “I Smell Pipes” and “Cultist Of The Pentagram”
Jadan Paluck – drums on “Orbitoclast”, “On The Unlevel”, “Dance Upon The Dead” and “Upside Down”
Brett Stewart – drums and backing vocals on “Push The Knife”
Robert Hayman – drums on “I’m Weak” and “Abused (e)Motionless”

Album Review – SynlakrosS / 0K4M1 (2021)

Spain’s own Melodic Death Metal institution returns with their most creative album to date, showcasing a message by a creature brought into being by humans from a synthetic embryo and alien DNA.

3.5rating

synlakross-0k4m1-2021Pre-produced by Roronona and produced by Facundo Novo at Novo Studios, 0K4M1 is the brand new opus by Valencia, Spain’s own Melodic Death Metal institution SynlakrosS, following up on their critically acclaimed 2018 release Malice Murder while addressing a conceptual message in which the listener also becomes the protagonist of the story. “This album is completely different from our previous albums. This time you are part of history, how? The album is a message sent by the creature 0K4M1, and you are the one who receives this message from millions of light years away. Like a message in a bottle. At the end of the listening, you must choose if you want to keep it a secret, or if you want to share it with others. And who is 0K4M1? 0K4M1 is a creature created by humans from a synthetic embryo and alien DNA. Created to be a lethal weapon, the new antichrist. Before dying, it decides to record its life experience and share it with everyone who receives this message. Because perhaps its experience can ease the listener’s existential pain and suffering. It’s a sad but beautiful album, dark but full of energy,” explained the band currently comprised of frontwoman Patricia Pons, guitarists Ivan Muñoz and Aaron Hidalgo, bassist ‘Roro’ Pablo Fuentes, and drummer Dan Shurak.

As soon as you hit play you’ll be treated to a futuristic, eerie intro simply named Intro 0K4M1, warming up our senses for the melodic and visceral Pitch Black, with Patricia screaming the song’s words beautifully (“Alone I am. Cold and black / Neutron Star / Dark halos of God shine when massive stars collapse / Black Goo / Blood, hate and fascination”) in a venomous display of the band’s modern-day fusion of Melodic Death Metal and Metalcore, flowing into the headbanging Melodic Death Metal extravaganza Oscilloscope, where newcomer Dan smashes his drums mercilessly while Roro extracts the most metallic sounds you can imagine form his menacing bass. After such exciting start to the album it’s time for The Last Day of Eris, another shot of their multi-layered and thrilling music once again showcasing cryptic words vociferated by Patricia (“This is the last day of Eris / I sail in the storm / Everything crashes around me, / but I don’t want to lose hope”) while Ivan and Aaron slash their axes in great fashion.

Then a cryptic beginning grows in intensity until all hell breaks loose in Ökami, with the rumbling bass by Roro walking hand in hand with the vicious drumming by Dan, therefore resulting in a solid display of Melodic Death Metal for admirers of the genre; followed by Lost In The Universe, a somber mid-tempo tune by SynlakrosS where the guitars by Ivan and Aaron sound utterly sharp, piercing our minds mercilessly (albeit not as breathtaking as the rest of the album). And Patricia mesmerizes us all with her wildest side in the high-octane Escape From Earth, screaming like a true she-wolf while also providing at the same time some rebellious clean vocals. Furthermore, her bandmates make sure we feel absolutely inspired to slam into the circle pit to the sound of their infernal riffs, bass punches and stylish beats, before the entire band brings forward six minutes of introspective, futuristic sounds in the grim Stardust, flowing smoothly and darkly until the very last second and, as a consequence, putting a climatic ending to their first-ever Sci-Fi release.

synlakross-2021After all is said and done, are you going to share the message sent by the creature known as 0K4M1 with the world, or are you going to keep it a secret? In case you haven’t made up your mind yet, you should definitely stream the album on  Spotify as many times as you want, follow the band on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and more of the band’s unique music, subscribe to their official YouTube channel for more of their insane videos, and above all that, click HERE to purchase your copy of the album and support SynlakrosS on their quest for heavy music. Those Spanish metallers did an awesome job narrating the synthetic life and death of this uncanny creature named 0K4M1 in their new album, and let’s hope we hear more from Patricia, Roro & Co. in a not-so-distant future. End of transmission.

Best moments of the album: Oscilloscope, The Last Day of Eris and Escape From Earth.

Worst moments of the album: Lost In The Universe.

Released in 2021 independent

Track listing
1. Intro 0K4M1 1:14
2. Pitch Black 3:04
3. Oscilloscope 3:34
4. The Last Day of Eris 3:44
5. Ökami 3:30
6. Lost In The Universe 4:14
7. Escape From Earth 3:56
8. Stardust 6:27

Band members
Patricia Pons – vocals
Ivan Muñoz – guitar
Aaron Hidalgo – guitar
‘Roro’ Pablo Fuentes – bass
Dan Shurak – drums

Album Review – Lucifuge / Infernal Power (2021)

The full moon is nigh, and all the witches are about to dance to the infernal fusion of NWOBHM, Punk Rock and early Thrash Metal crafted by an unrelenting beast hailing from Germany.

3.5rating

lucifuge-infernal-power-2021For the past five years, Bremen, Germany-based Black/Thrash Metal beast Lucifuge has been perfecting an addicting fusion of NWOBHM, Punk Rock and early Thrash Metal, all guided by the iron fist of mainman Equinox. Starting in 2018 as a one-man wrecking crew inspired by Venom, Bathory and Hellhammer, Lucifuge have expanded to a full-bodied quartet comprised of the aforementioned Equinox on vocals and guitars, Berenjenix also on the guitars, Matorralix on bass and Dominatrix on drums, taking the band’s signature greasy n’ galloping riffs, locomotive rhythmic (dis)charge and twisted n’ pissed vocals, and spit-shining them with the dirtiest motor oil known to man, resulting now in 2021 in their brand new and fulminating opus Infernal Power, a breathtaking album of unrelenting metal music highly recommended for fans of bands the likes of Exciter, Warfare, Running Wild and Onslaught, embraced by the old school warlike artwork by Italian painter Paolo Girardi.

Rev up your engines as their feast of frantic and dirty sounds is about to begin in Infernal Power, blending old school Heavy Metal the likes of early Running Wild with Punk Rock, with Equinox and Berenjenix being on fire with their lancinating riffs. Put differently, what a bestial way to kick off the album, and they keep slashing their stringed weapons mercilessly accompanied by the furious blast beats by Dominatrix and the in-your-face bass punches by Matorralix in Leviathan Arise; followed by Black Battalions, where its lyrics reek of violence and rebelliousness (“Destruction, Disorder and Desire / They cling to him who braves the gale of high / They rush upon him like a wave and break / in fiery foam against him and they shake / They Open Hell”) while the music is a beautiful, galloping fusion of Heavy, Black and Speed Metal. And putting the pedal to the metal the quartet sounds like a demonic version of the early days of Megadeth in Temples Of Madness, with Equinox delivering his trademark raspy roars nonstop.

Let’s keep slamming into the pit and raising our horns and beers high in the name of metal to the sound of Heresy Shall Remain, with Equinox and Berenjenix once again sounding hellish on the gutiars, whereas in Beneath the Eyes of the Black Flame we face another round of their wicked lyrics (“Solemn dusk descending from the East / Demons rise around us in the mist / Deep beneath the Eyes of The Black Flame / Rise the One whose name shall not be named”) amidst a hurricane of metallic and sulfurous sounds. Then investing in a more melodic sound while maintaining their core essence intact the band offers us Black Light of The Evening Star, not as demented as its predecessors but still extremely enjoyable; and they’ll make your head tremble to the sound of the Speed Metal and Punk Rock hybrid entitled The Doors of Hell May Shake, where Dominatrix is once again insane behind his drums. After such pulverizing tune, it’s time for their own rendition of Good as It Is, from the legendary Japanese Hardcore Punk band G.I.S.M.’s cult second album M.A.N., released in 1987 (and you can check the original version HERE), with Lucifuge’s tribute sounding and feeling beyond stunning and vibrant. And lastly, sounding more epic than usual, Equinox and his henchmen fire the neck-breaking Midnight Sun, with the bass jabs by Matorralix making the earth tremble while the music remains utterly venomous until the very last second.

lucifuge-2021After all is said and done, it’s quite easy to join Equinox and his henchmen in their quest for metal music. All you have to do is stream Infernal Power as many times as you want in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, follow the band on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and other nice-to-know details about such talented horde, and above all that, purchase your copy of their scorching new album from their own BandCamp page, or from the Dying Victims Productions’ BandCamp page or webstore (in CD or LP format). As the band itself likes to say, the full moon is nigh, and all the witches are about to dance. Prepare to feel Lucifuge’s Infernal Power!

Best moments of the album: Infernal Power, Black Battalions and Beneath the Eyes of the Black Flame.

Worst moments of the album: Black Light of The Evening Star.

Released in 2021 Dying Victims Productions

Track listing  
1. Infernal Power 2:52
2. Leviathan Arise 2:55
3. Black Battalions 3:36
4. Temples Of Madness 2:54
5. Heresy Shall Remain 3:05
6. Beneath the Eyes of the Black Flame 2:55
7. Black Light of The Evening Star 3:08
8. The Doors of Hell May Shake 3:48
9. Good as It Is (G.I.S.M. cover) 5:20
10. Midnight Sun 3:59

Band members
Equinox – vocals, guitars
Berenjenix – guitars
Matorralix – bass
Dominatrix – drums

Album Review – Crypts of Despair / All Light Swallowed (2021)

Behold the breathtaking sophomore opus by a ruthless Death Metal unity from Lithuania, embodying the perfect combination of face-melting aggression and electrifying atmosphere.

3.5rating

crypts-of-despair-all-light swallowed-2021Formed in 2009 in Kaunas, a city in south-central Lithuania, the ruthless Death Metal band known as Crypts of Despair has made a quantum leap from their well-received debut full-length opus The Stench of the Earth, released in 2017, to their brand new one, entitled All Light Swallowed. Produced by the band itself, recorded at Lapės Records, mixed and engineered by Alexander Sarychev at DTH Studios, mastered by Arthur Rizk, and featuring a classic, somber artwork by Néstor Avalos, All Light Swallowed is at once ferocious, rife with unearthly and dissonant sounds, and punctuated by hair-raising, eerie ambience, embodying the perfect combination of face-melting aggression and electrifying atmosphere, with song structures remaining unpredictable and yet strangely coherent, all carefully brought into being by vocalist and guitarist Dovydas Auglys, guitarist Benas Juskus, bassist and vocalist Simonas Jurkevicius, and drummer Henri Mall. Put differently, if you’re an admirer of the music by bands the likes of Incantation, Anaal Nathrakh and Morbid Angel, this album is a must-have in your personal collection.

Get ready for total annihilation to the sound of the pulverizing opening track Being – Erased, a lecture in modern-day Death Metal led by the blast beast by Henri while Dovydas and Benas extract piercing, sulfurous Black Metal-inspired riffs from their guitars, and there’s no sign of slowing down as the quartet continues their path of devastation in Anguished Exhale, even more brutal and infernal than the opening tune with Dovydas and Simonas roaring manically nonstop. In Choked By The Void a cryptic start morphs into another visceral Death Metal feast led by the strident riffage by the band’s guitar duo, smashing our cranial skulls and dragging us into eternal darkness, and more of their furious sounds comes in the form of Condemned To Life, where Henri pounds and crushes his drums in great fashion, sounding very violent but at the same time technical and melodic and, therefore, resulting into sheer Death Metal awesomeness.

crypts-of-despair-all-light-swallowed-black-coffin-shaped-wooden-cd-box-set

Crypts of Despair All Light Swallowed Black Coffin-Shaped Wooden CD Box Set with Engraving

Living up to the legacy of renowned acts such as Incantation and Immolation, the quartet fires the visceral Synergy Of Suffering, once again presenting the dynamic (and bestial) vocal duet between Dovydas and Simonas, and if you thought those Lithuanian metallers couldn’t sound more demonic you better get ready for The Great End, a sinister, neck-breaking tune that blends their trademark Death Metal with Black Metal nuances. Then venturing through more obscure lands we’re treated to the venomous Disgust, a beautiful Death, Black and (even) Doom Metal creation by Crypts of Despair where the vocal lines sound and feel utterly satanic, not to mention the thunderous drums by Henri. Dovydas and Benas definitely know how to send shivers down our spines with their wicked riffs, generating a menacing ambience in Excruciating Weight, putting a grim smile on the faces of the damned and flowing into the Stygian instrumental outro Bleak View, sounding as if it was taken from the most horrifying psychological thriller you can imagine.

crypts-of-despair-2021It’s quite easy to put your hands on such amazing album of Baltic Death Metal, as All Light Swallowed (which you can by the way stream in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify) is available for purchase from the band’s own BandCamp page, from Apple Music or from Amazon, but if I were you I would definitely go for the ass-kicking, limited Black Coffin-Shaped Wooden CD Box Set with Engraving by clicking HERE, HERE or HERE (depending on where in the world you are), containing an 8-panel digipak CD with sandalwood scent, an autographed card, a shaped silver sigil patch, a keychain with bottle opener, an album artwork badge, a beer coaster and a metallic sticker. Also, don’t forget to give the guys from Crypts of Despair a shout on Facebook and on Instagram, showing your support to such incredible band from the Baltics. And you better hurry, before all light is finally swallowed and you’re trapped in eternal Death Metal darkness.

Best moments of the album: Being – Erased, Condemned To Life and Disgust.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Transcending Obscurity Records

Track listing   
1. Being – Erased 4:33
2. Anguished Exhale 4:13
3. Choked By The Void 5:17
4. Condemned To Life 3:27
5. Synergy Of Suffering 2:57
6. The Great End 5:32
7. Disgust 4:23
8. Excruciating Weight 3:57
9. Bleak View 3:37

Band members
Dovydas Auglys – vocals, guitar
Benas Juskus – guitar
Simonas Jurkevicius – bass, vocals
Henri Mall – drums

Album Review – Varang Nord / Pārķiuņa Uomurs (2021)

One of the best metal hordes hailing from Latvia is ready to bring down the hammer with their fourth studio album, proudly dedicated to their vast and beautiful homeland.

3.5rating

varang-nord-pārķiuņa-uomurs-2021Founded in 2014 in the cold woods of Latvia, more specifically in the city of Daugavpils, located in south-eastern Latvia, the unstoppable horde known as Varang Nord combines harsh Death Metal riffs with epic accordion chants, creating a unique blend of northern Folk, Pagan and Viking Metal while praising a mighty battle, a bloody sacrifice to the Old Gods and a joyful northern feast with endless mugs of ale. Now in 2021, the band comprised of Maksims “Wolf” Popovs on vocals and guitar, Jelena Kalniša on vocals and accordion, Javgenijs Selivanovs also on the guitar, Danila Lopuha on bass and vocals, Vjačeslavs Janens on percussion and vocals, and Aigars Zeiza on drums returns to the battlefield with Pārķiuņa Uomurs, or “thunder’s hammer” in English, their fourth studio album, proudly dedicated to their homeland, the power and beauty of its nature and the depth of its cultural roots. Produced by the band and recorded at their personal studio, and mixed and mastered by Gints Lundbergs at Sound Division Studios, Pārķiuņa Uomurs is also the band’s first-ever album where all lyrics are written in the Latgalian language (an eastern dialect of Latvian), giving it an even more personal and organic feel.

A war is about to begin in the epic intro Pi Tuoļim Krostym, getting us ready for our bloodthirsty destiny to the sound of Stuojīs!, where the accordion by Jelena and the blast beats by Aigars make a superb paradox, offering Maksims everything he needs to roar like a true barbarian while Jelena brings a touch of finesse and melancholy with her clean vocals. Cīņis Gors, a battle anthem capturing the spirit of hard, long sea travels and conquests Northmen have been involved in, is a fun and inspiring Pagan and Viking Metal tune where the background elements by guest Yuri Borin walk hand in hand with the slashing guitars by Maksims and Javgenijs; and let’s keep banging our heads to Pārķiuņa Uomurs, another solid composition by this Latvian horde with Danila, Vjačeslavs and Aigars making the earth tremble with their imposing kitchen, whereas their warlike metal feast goes on in Dzeļža Ryuda, again presenting a headbanging, prancing rhythm led by Jelena’s wicked accordion, not to mention the awesome job done by Maksims with his evil growls.

It’s time then for a journey through the melancholic realms of old school Pagan Metal spearheaded by Jelena’s vocals in Svietņeica, accompanied by the rhythmic beats by Aigars and all somber background sounds, while Maksims roars deeply and more enraged in Uperiešona, a classic Viking Metal extravaganza the likes of Amon Amarth that will please all fans of the genre, with Danila crushing his bass guitar while Maksims and Javgenijs bring fire to the music with their riffage. And let’s prance around the fire pit together with those Latvian marauders in Syt Pa Seyi, a Pagan Metal feast perfect for their live performances with Aigars once again kicking some ass behind his drum set. Then mesmerizing accordion sounds, infernal and thunderous bass jabs and blast beats, and troll-like vocals set the tone in Troļļs, the epitome of Latvian Folk Metal where all band members are on absolute fire from start to finish, followed by Karaveiri, another good composition by those talented metallers (albeit not as dynamic nor creative as its predecessors) that flows into the atmospheric, acoustic outro Ceļš Da Sātai, bringing peace to our hearts after such intense battle.

varang-nord-2021Having said all that, I guess I don’t need to tell you that the time has come to grab your sword and shield, and join Varang Nord in the battlefield to the sound of their new opus, right? In order to do that, you can stream the album in full on Spotify, or prove you’re a true warrior from the North and purchase a copy of the album from Dead Pulse or from Apple Music. Also, don’t forget to follow the band on Facebook, on VKontakte and on Instagram for all things Varang Nord, and to subscribe to their YouTube channel for more of their epic music and videos. Varang Nord are not just another band recommended for fans of bands the likes of Ensiferum, Amon Amarth and Turisas, but a fantastic Latvian institution that truly deserves our appreciation for their contribution to heavy music. And let those talented Latvians bring down the hammer on us all!

Best moments of the album: Cīņis Gors, Uperiešona, Syt Pa Seyi and Trolls.

Worst moments of the album: Karaveiri.

Released in 2021 Sliptrick Records

Track listing  
1. Pi Tuoļim Krostym 2:07
2. Stuojīs! 4:28
3. Cīņis Gors 4:18
4. Pārķiuņa Uomurs 4:44
5. Dzeļža Ryuda 5:18
6. Svietņeica 5:39
7. Uperiešona 5:00
8. Syt Pa Seyi 4:06
9. Troļļs 4:18
10. Karaveiri 5:48
11. Ceļš Da Sātai 2:16

Band members
Maksims “Wolf” Popovs – vocals, guitar
Jelena Kalniša – vocals, accordion
Javgenijs Selivanovs – guitar
Danila Lopuha – bass, vocals
Vjačeslavs Janens – percussion, vocals
Aigars Zeiza – drums

Guest musicians
Alyona Fomina – medieval bagpipes, talharpa, other traditional instruments
Yuri Borin – orchestral arrangements