Album Review – Malacoda / The Strain EP (2021)

Inspired by the works of Guillermo Del Toro, this Canadian entity is unleashing upon us all their second EP of the year, delving even further into their horror inspired roots.

3.0rating

malacoda-the-strain-ep-2021After the releases of their debut self-titled album in 2015, the EP Ritualis Aeterna in 2016, the full-length opus Restless Dreams in 2018, and the EP Crawling Chaos earlier this year, Oakville, Canada-based metal band Malacoda continues to deliver their fusion of Gothic, Power, Symphonic, Melodic and Progressive Metal for our total delight with their second EP of the year, entitled The Strain. Recorded, mixed and mastered by the band’s own founder, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Lucas Di Mascio at Old Haunt Recording Studio,  and displaying a goth artwork by Yeganeh Ghasemi featuring model Goddess Ov Death, The Strain is inspired by the works of the one and only Guillermo Del Toro, delving even further into the band’s horror inspired roots and bringing forward all the talent of the aforementioned Lucas together with guitarist Wes MacDonald and bassist Zak Stulla, not to mention an array of guest musicians to make the EP even more compelling.

The title-track The Strain already begins in full force to the symphonic and epic keys by Lucas while guest drummer Andrew Suarez (Bangin Productions, Fatality) showcases all his dexterity behind his drum set, adding an extra touch of heaviness to the music, and also presenting elements from Doom and classic Heavy Metal with Lucas delivering his Ghost/Candlemass/Mercyful Fate-inspired vocals. Then featuring additional vocals by Beth Wilson and with Lucas taking care of the drumming duties, Crimson Peak is a slower but heavy-as-hell and obscure creation where Wes extracts sheer darkness from his riffage and solo, accompanied by the melodic, rumbling bass by Zak; whereas investing into a more progressive sonority were treated to Where Shadows Play, another solid tune by the band to also feature additional vocals by Beth Wilson, with Lucas and Beth making a great vocal duo while guest drummer Victor Boechat smashes his drums mercilessly from start to finish. And lastly, a very melodic and introspective intro morphs into the Gothic Rock and Metal feast entitled Mind Flayer, featuring drummer Ryan Claxton (This Is Death Valley) and additional vocals by Wes, while Lucas presents both his powerful clean vocals and his demonic gnarls from start to finish.

malacoda-2021You can stream the full EP on Spotify, show your support to Malacoda by following them on Facebook and on Instagram, and click HERE for all social media, links to buy their music and merch, videos and so on. “There really is a balance of dark aggression and beauty in these songs,” stated Lucas about the band’s new EP, complementing by saying that “that’s been the consistent tone with these four tracks – keeping it dark but letting some tender spots poke through.” And let’s say Lucas nailed it, with his words precisely describing the music found in The Strain and, consequently, inviting us all to join him and his henchmen in the dark realm ruled by Malacoda, and proving Malacoda are following a healthy and strong musical path, evolving as a band and providing us all fans high-quality metal music made in Canada with each one of their releases.

Best moments of the album: The Strain and Where Shadows Play.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Independent

Track listing 
1. The Strain 7:49
2. Crimson Peak 3:51
3. Where Shadows Play 3:51
4. Mind Flayer 5:11

Band members
Lucas Di Mascio – vocals, keys, drums on “Crimson Peak”
Wes MacDonald – guitar, additional background vocals on “Mind Flayer”
Zak Stulla – bass

Guest musicians
Andrew Suarez – drums on “The Strain”
Victor Boechat – drums on “Where Shadows Play”
Ryan Claxton – drums on “Mind Flayer”
Beth Wilson – background vocals on “Crimson Peak” and “Where Shadows Play”

Album Review – Scarlet Aura / Genesis of Time (2021)

One of the best Romanian bands of all time returns like a Phoenix with the breathtaking last part of “The Book of Scarlet” trilogy, offering us all more of their flawless fusion of Heavy and Power Metal.

4.0rating

scarlet-aura-genesis-of-time-2021Chaos on Earth, uncertainty in life, plagues, disasters and once again the feeling that there is no one there to save the world. But from a distance there is always someone or something that watches humankind. Scarlet, partly Devil, partly Angel and most important, partly Phoenix, is there together with its sidekicks to set rights and wrongs. That’s what you’ll get in Genesis of Time, the third and last part of “The Book of Scarlet” trilogy by Romanian Heavy/Power Metal outfit Scarlet Aura, following up on their critically acclaimed albums Hot’n’Heavy, released in 2018, and Stormbreaker, from 2020. Mixed, mastered and produced by the band’s own guitarist Mihai “Myke D” Dănciulescu at Silver City Studio, and displaying a stylish artwork by renowned Brazilian artist Gustavo Sazes, Genesis of Time does not shy away from taking risks and introducing unexpected turns, new musical atmospheres and landscapes, bringing the perfect and balanced ending to the trilogy with its over one hour of undisputed music carefully brought forth by frontwoman Aura Dănciulescu, guitarist Mihai “Myke D” Danciulescu, bassist Rene Nistor and drummer Matthias Klaus.

The futuristic and epic instrumental The Book of Scarlet will instantly transport you to the magical world of Scarlet Aura, with Mihai taking the lead with his stylish and sharp riffs and solos accompanied by Rene and Matthias with their heavy kitchen, flowing into the Power Metal extravaganza titled Raw Power, a song that will put you to bang your head nonstop to the classic beast by Matthias while Aura mesmerizes us all with her soaring, metallic and absolutely melodic vocals until the very last second. Then a a cinematic intro morphs into more of their classic fusion of Heavy and Power Metal in Dark Lightning, where Mihai once again steals the spotlight with his razor-edged riffs and striking solos while Rene doesn’t stop smashing his bass; and Aura and the boys masterfully bring forward the Stratovarius-inspired tune Utopia, another powerful composition that lives up to the legacy of Melodic Metal without showing a single second of boredom. Quite the contrary, it’s utterly electrifying from start to finish, and there’s no time to breathe as the quartet keeps delivering fast and melodic metal music for our vulgar delectation in Frostbite, with Matthias taking the lead with his kick-ass drums, whereas in The Black Roses the band slows things down a bit but keeping the heaviness of their core essence intact, with Aura declaiming the song’s lyrics with tons of passion and energy.

And the rumbling bass by Rene ignites their metal machine once again in Right Place, Wrong Time, also showcasing interesting background keys, and all of course spiced up by another sharp vocal performance by Aura, while in Human Obsolete they get back to a more metallic and thunderous sonority, with Mihai and Rene being in total sync with their respective riffage and bass jabs. It’s time for another Scandinavian Melodic Metal-like feast entitled In The Line of Fire, where Aura’s vocals are beyond impactful, supported by the old school sound crafted by her bandmates, whereas adding hints of the Doom Metal played by renowned acts like Candlemass and Black Sabbath to their trademark Power Metal they offer us all the heavy and sinister tune Saints Need Sinners, with over six minutes of groovy bass jabs, slashing guitars, pounding drums and dark vocals. Are you ready to fly high in the sky together with Aura and her henchmen? That’s exactly what Scarlet Aura deliver in the epic Wings of Light, a straight-to-the-point, in-your-face Power Metal tune showcasing all of the band’s heavy artillery, followed by the title-track Genesis Of Time, the most epic of all songs bringing forward nine minutes of sheer power and electricity, or in other words, a dense and imposing aria by the band that will please all fans of classic Power Metal, also presenting elements from Progressive Metal to give it an extra kick. Needless to say, the trilogy couldn’t have ended in a more climatic manner.

scarlet-aura-2021All good things must come to an end, which is the case with Scarlet Aura’s “The Book of Scarlet” trilogy with the release of the excellent Genesis of Time, and it’s impressive how the band managed to bring into being an even better opus than Stormbreaker, displaying a more mature, melodic and intricate sound that will undoubtedly be appreciated by metalheads from all over the world. Hence, if you want to know more about one of the best bands (if not the best) in the history of Romanian metal, you can follow the band on Facebook, on Instagram and on VKontakte, subscribe to their YouTube channel for more of their distinguished music and videos, stream all of their awesome creations on Spotify, and of course show your true support to the band by purchasing Genesis of Time from their own webstore or from other retailers such as Apple Music and Amazon sooner than you can say “scarlet”. Now that the trilogy is finally concluded, let’s see what Scarlet Aura will have for us fans with their upcoming releases. And despite the fact I doubt they can unleash upon us something better than Genesis of Time, I must also say that no one should ever doubt Aura and the boys, as just like a metallic Phoenix they keep coming back from the underworld spreading their fiery music to all four corners of the earth with each of their first-class albums.

Best moments of the album: Dark Lightning, Utopia, In The Line of Fire and Wings of Light.

Worst moments of the album: The Black Roses.

Released in 2021 Universal Music Romania/Silver City Records

Track listing  
1. The Book of Scarlet 6:31
2. Raw Power 4:49
3. Dark Lightning 5:14
4. Utopia 5:02
5. Frostbite 5:46
6. The Black Roses 6:13
7. Right Place, Wrong Time 5:46
8. Human Obsolete 5:28
9. In The Line of Fire 5:46
10. Saints Need Sinners 6:20
11. Wings of Light 4:27
12. Genesis Of Time 9:06

Band members
Aura Dănciulescu – lead vocals
Mihai “Myke D” Dănciulescu – guitars, vocals
Rene Nistor – bass, vocals
Matthias Klaus – drums

Album Review – Argesh / Excommunica (2021)

Behold 31 minutes of the most solemn, majestic and uncompromising kind of Black Metal you can think of in the form of the debut album by an unrelenting horde from Italy.

3.5rating

argesh-excommunica-2021We live in a world corrupted by moral dogmas which, unconsciously, influence and create the rotten society in which we find ourselves, a vicious circle of self-destruction and self-castration. Fortunately for all of us metalheads, Varese, Italy-based Black Metal entity Argesh stands against all that, bringing forth now in 2021 their debut full-length opus entitled Excommunica, a stunning display of “Apostate Black Metal” blasted by HHG on the guitars, drums and voice reinforcements, Il Rakshasa on the guitars, and Azghal on bass and orchestrations. Recorded at Downstreet Studios, mixed and engineered by Simone Marzullo (also known as HHG) and Nicolò Paracchini (also known as Azghal), and mastered at Wavemotion Recordings by Federico Ascari, not to mention the more-than-special guests Michele Spallieri (Kenos), Lucifero Fieri (Tregenda), Vama Marga (Depths Above, Bhagavat), Chainerdog (Grendel) and Matteo Gresele (Ad Nauseam), Excommunica is a must-listen for fans of bands the likes of Behemoth, Dimmu Borgir and Deathspell Omega, bringing to our ears 31 minutes of the most solemn, majestic and uncompromising kind of Black Metal.

The opening track, titled Abiura, works as a tribal intro that will put you in a trance, with the guest vocals by Vama Marga making things even more tenebrous and flowing into the visceral Suffocate in Oxygen, a fulminating aria of extreme music where guest Michele Spallieri’s vocals are nicely complemented by the celestial voice of Lucifero Fieri, while HHG, Il Rakshasa and Azghal generate a pulverizing wall of sounds. Put differently, this is what I call a bestial display of Blackened Death Metal by such talented horde, and HHG and Il Rakshasa continue to extract sheer malignancy from their guitars in Source of Miracles accompanied by the thunderous bass by Azghal, while Michele keeps growling like a demonic entity and also featuring a kick-ass guitar solo by guest Matteo Gresele.

And HHG once again sounds infernal with his blast beats in the beyond fantastic Praelatorum Pedophilia, another austere, sulfurous creation by the trio showcasing slashing riffs and rumbling bass lines, therefore living up to the legacy of both old school and modern-day Black Metal; whereas in Apocalypse 20.7-8-9 a Cradle of Filth-inspired ambience becomes even more imposing thanks to the amazing job done by HHG on drums and all background orchestrations by Azghal. Furthermore, Michele proves once again why he was chosen to record most of the vocals for the album with his vicious roars adding an extra touch of evil to the overall result. And last but not least, closing the album we’re treated to the multi-layered, bold and Stygian tune The Elohim’s Mark, featuring guest vocals and guitar solo by Chainerdog, and reminding me of some of the best creations by Dimmu Borgir. Needless to say, HHG and Il Rakshasa are relentless with their wicked riffage, ending the album on a truly sulfurous note for our total delight.

argesh-2021“Excommunica wants to point out how much can be spiritually self-sabotaging being born and grown in a religious context bare of awareness and consciousness. Its concept is based on disrupting these restrictions in order to find the human need to evolve and become something different from the herd, expressing the harsh hate against the hypocrisy which this moral society proves to be with its values. We’re all suffocating in this oxygen ruled by corrupted divine idols,” commented this talented Italian horde about their newborn spawn, and if you want to show them your utmost support and admiration you can start following them on Facebook and on Instagram, and of course purchase Excommunica from their own BandCamp page, letting the world we live in rot in chaos and darkness while you enjoy their undisputed Black Metal.

Best moments of the album: Praelatorum Pedophilia and Apocalypse 20.7-8-9.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Nero Corvino Records/Sepulchral Silence Digital Music Distribution

Track listing 
1. Abiura 2:11
2. Suffocate in Oxygen 4:04
3. Source of Miracles 6:30
4. Praelatorum Pedophilia 5:51
5. Apocalypse 20.7-8-9 5:05
6. The Elohim’s Mark 7:13

Band members
HHG – guitars, drums, voice reinforcements
Il Rakshasa – guitars
Azghal – bass, orchestrations

Guest musicians
Michele Spallieri – vocals on “Suffocate in Oxygen”, “Source of Miracles”, “Praelatorum Pedophilia” and “Apocalypse 20.7-8-9”
Lucifero Fieri – celestial vocals on “Suffocate in Oxygen” and “The Elohim’s Mark”
Vama Marga – vocals on “Abiura” and “Apocalypse 20.7-8-9”
Chainerdog – vocals on “Suffocate in Oxygen” and “The Elohim’s Mark”, guitar solo on “The Elohim’s Mark”
Matteo Gresele – guitar solo on “Source of Miracles”

Album Review – Serpentrance / Akra Tapeinosis (2021)

This infernal Russian Sepulchral Death Metal horde comes ripping with their debut full-length opus, offering us all their raw and vile view of “the Utmost Humiliation”.

3.5rating

serpentrance-akra-tapeinosis-2021Recorded, mixed and mastered by the band’s own guitarist Spīritō Destitutus in the desolate temples of doom, and displaying a beyond blasphemous artwork by the band’s own vocalist Morkh at Nether Temple Design, the excellent Akra Tapeinosis (or “the Utmost Humiliation”), is not only the debut full-length opus by Russian horde Serpentrance and the follow-up to their 2015 EP The Besieged Sanctum, but also a lesson in Black, Death and Doom Metal by this uncanny entity, or as the band itself likes to label their own sound, a fulminating exhibit of “Sepulchral Death Metal”. Formed in 2014, the band currently comprised of the aforementioned Morkh and Spīritō Destitutus together with bassist HTM and drummer Noersyl Skept is ready to darken the hearts of the unbelievers with their unique style and otherworldly sounds, proving once again why Russia is the go-to place for the most disturbing forms of extreme music you can think of.

Gregorian vociferations permeate the air in the Stygian opening tune Vomit & Myrrh, exploding into a primeval fusion of Black and Doom Metal that will haunt the souls of the lighthearted where Morkh sounds like a creature from the underworld on vocals, while Noersyl Skept hammers his drums in great fashion; followed by Clothed in Abomination, with its darkly poetic words (“Cathedrals howling in awe / The old woman of apocalypse awakes / To feed the hunger of the devoted ones / By the coffins of the blessed tree”) being beautifully complemented by a raw, sluggish sonority. Furthermore, the riffs by Spīritō Destitutus exhale pure sulfur, supported by the menacing bass by HTM in an ode to Blackened Doom. And Spīritō Destitutus keeps slashing his stringed axe with tons of hatred and obscurity in The Tarnished Shrines of God, another venomous tune by Serpentrance where the deep guttural growling by Morkh will penetrate deep inside your psyche and drag you into pitch black darkness for all eternity.

After such intense and bold display of damnation and hatred, get ready for over 11 minutes of a demented hybrid of Black, Death and Doom Metal by the quartet spearheaded by the demonic riffage by Spīritō Destitutus and the thunderous drums by Noersyl Skept entitled Underneath Babylon, not to mention how vile Morkh’s roars sound and feel in a lecture in sheer doom for admirers of the most sulfurous side of music. And last but not least, we’re treated to the superb The Black Dawn of Sophia, offering our avid ears one final round of Serpentrance’s wicked lyrics (“Man, hast thou felt the rising winds of death / Howling among these ancient marble walls? / There, below, crawling the procession / Groveling beneath the corroding sun”) to close the album on a high and infernal note. Put differently, it’s a flawless, neck-breaking aria that positions the band as one of the most interesting names of the Russian underground scene, ending the album on an absolutely cadaverous vibe.

serpentrance-2021If you think you can endure sheer darkness in the form of the Sepulchral Death Metal blasted by Serpentrance, you can stream the full album on YouTube, and in case you survive that metallic onslaught you can join Serpentrance’s horde by following them on Facebook and getting to know more about the band, their tour dates and their plans for the future. And above all that, of course, don’t forget to purchase a copy of Akra Tapeinosis from the Godz ov War Productions’ BandCamp page or webstore in CD, LP or cassette formats, showing your true love and admiration for sick and impious doom. Serpentrance are just starting in their grim and sulfurous career, and Akra Tapeinosis is the undisputed statement that they’re indeed following the right (and by that I mean infernal) path to conquer the world of extreme music in a not-so-distant future.

Best moments of the album: Vomit & Myrrh and The Black Dawn of Sophia.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Godz ov War Productions

Track listing  
1. Vomit & Myrrh 7:34
2. Clothed in Abomination 7:38
3. The Tarnished Shrines of God 7:14
4. Underneath Babylon 11:35
5. The Black Dawn of Sophia 9:10

Band members
Morkh – vocals
Spīritō Destitutus – guitars
HTM – bass
Noersyl Skept – drums

Album Review – Nunslaughter / Red is the Color of Ripping Death (2021)

Cleveland, Ohio’s own infernal squad returns with another bestial display of their trademark “Devil Metal”, their first album in seven years.

3.5rating

nunslaughter-red-is-the-color-of-ripping-death-2021Cleveland’s own infernal squad Nunslaughter requires no introduction. Since their inception in the distant year of 1987, those Ohio natives have prolifically perfected their own brand of what they like to label as “Devil Metal”, an evil blend of classic Death and Thrash Metal with Hardcore Punk, and now in 2021, at long last, the band is back in action with Red is the Color of Ripping Death, their first album in seven years. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Noah Buchanan, the album is a lesson in savagery, speed and sulfur by vocalist Don of the Dead, guitarist Tormentor, bassist Detonate and drummer Wrath, proving Nunslaughter are far from calling it quits even after so many years on the road. Furthermore, many are still mourning the loss of legendary drummer Jim Sadist (RIP), and while Red is the Color of Ripping Death is their first full-length without him playing on it, some of the 14 songs contained herein are unfinished or unrealized music that Jim and founding frontman Don of the Dead wrote years ago, giving the whole album an even more special feel and taste.

Wrath begins hammering his drums manically in the opening tune Murmur, a lecture in fast and heavy Death and Thrash Metal by the band to properly kick things off, not to mention how vile Don’s growls sound, whereas in Broken and Alone they speed up their pace and add a good amount of Hardcore and Punk Rock to their core sonority, with Tormentor treating us with his incendiary, slashing riffage. Then it’s time for a darker and more venomous tune by the quartet named To a Whore, once again inviting us all to slam into the pit to the Stygian riffs and bass jabs by Tormentor and Detonate, respectively; followed by Banished, not as infuriated as its predecessors but still showcasing the band’s trademark heaviness and spearheaded by the deep roars by Don, and the title-track Red Is the Color of Ripping Death, a hurricane of Death and Thrash Metal tailored for admirers of that beautiful sound from the Bay Area, with Wrath once again hammering his drums nonstop. Tormentor continues to extract sheer violence from his guitar in Eat Your Heart, while Don vociferates rabidly amidst a very melodic but at the same time brutal sonority, and in Annihilate the Kingdom of God the unrelenting Don beautifully declaims the song’s austere words while his bandmates keep delivering endless aggression, with Detonate and Wrath sounding bestial with their evil kitchen.

Living up to the legacy of old school thrash the likes of Slayer and Overkill, the quartet fires the absolutely infernal Beware of God, with Don leading his demented horde with his sick growling and screams, whereas another round of deranged roars, classic blast beats and flammable riffs comes in the form of Black Cat Hanging, keeping the album at a high level of animosity for our total delight. And are you ready to be smashed like an insect? Because that’s what will happen to you in Dead in Ten, spearheaded by the fulminating drums by Wrath and the wicked riffage by Tormentor in a superb display of extreme music by Nunslaughter. Then let’s all “calm down” a bit and enjoy a headbanging extravaganza entitled The Devil Will Not Stray, where the band adds hints of Black and Doom Metal to make things even more devilish, while they get back to a more ferocious sonority in The Temptress, with Wrath kicking ass on drums once again supported by the metallic bass jabs by Detonate. Casket Lid Creaks is another slower-than-usual song that albeit displaying the band’s heaviness and obscurity, it doesn’t really take off. Detonate still showcases a great job with his low-tuned bass, though. Lastly, less than one minute is everything the band needs to crush anyone that’s still alive in Below the Cloven Hoof, putting a beyond demonic ending to such awesome album.

nunslaughter-2021In case you want to join Nunslaughter in their quest for metal, depravity and evil, you can start following the band on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and other nice-to-know details about them, stream more of their savage creations on Spotify, and above all that, purchase the awesome Red Is the Color of Ripping Death from their own BandCamp page or from the Hells Headbangers Records’ webstore in CD or cassette format. As Jim Sadist would say, “red is the color of ripping death,” and I’m sure he’s truly proud of his bandmates for their new album. Long live Jim Sadist, and long live Nunslaughter.

Best moments of the album: Broken and Alone, Red Is the Color of Ripping Death, Beware of God and Dead in Ten.

Worst moments of the album: Banished and Casket Lid Creaks.

Released in 2021 Hells Headbangers Records

Track listing 
1. Murmur 1:33
2. Broken and Alone 1:50
3. To a Whore 2:34
4. Banished 2:48
5. Red Is the Color of Ripping Death 3:34
6. Eat Your Heart 2:41
7. Annihilate the Kingdom of God 2:48
8. Beware of God 1:49
9. Black Cat Hanging 2:13
10. Dead in Ten 3:39
11. The Devil Will Not Stray 2:51
12. The Temptress 2:01
13. Casket Lid Creaks 3:04
14. Below the Cloven Hoof 0:52

Band members
Don of the Dead – vocals
Tormentor – guitars
Detonate – bass
Wrath – drums

Album Review – Silent Obsession / Countdown EP (2021)

This up-and-coming Algerian Death Metal outfit is back with an in-depth extreme musical perspective into the devastating, global apocalypse.

3.0rating

silent-obsession-countdown-ep-2021Following the release of their 2020 EP Lost, Algiers, Algeria-based Death Metal outfit Silent Obsession is back with another short and sweet display of violence, heaviness and speed in the form of a new EP entitled Countdown. Written and composed by the band’s mastermind and guitarist Max Marginal and produced by Redouane Aouameur of Fermata Studios, the EP portrays an in-depth extreme musical perspective into the devastating, global apocalypse carefully brought forth by the aforementioned Max together with Danny on vocals and guitars, Manil on bass, and Ben Der on drums. “It’s about the apocalypse, the end of the world,” commented Max, also complementing by saying that “Silent Obsession reaches a highest level of a global mental failure, when madness become something legit in this society,” giving us all a very good idea of all the aggressiveness and brutality found in the band’s new EP.

After the short and infernal intro Apocalyptic Manifestation, Silent Obsession come crushing our souls with their venomous Death Metal in End of an Era, where Ben Der showcases all his talent behind his drums, providing Danny and Max all they need to slash their strings mercilessly and with Danny also vomiting the song’s acid words nonstop. There’s absolutely no time to breathe as the quartet keeps hammering our skulls with their old school Death Metal in Exhausted Resource, another violent and heavy-as-hell creation where Manil and Ben Der are on fire with their thunderous kitchen accompanied by the monstrous roars by Danny and the always visceral riffage and wicked solos by Max, living up to the legacy of bands the likes of Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse and Deicide and, therefore, leaving us utterly eager for more of their music in a not-so-distant future.

silent-obsession-2021If you’re curious to know how ass-kicking Algerian Death Metal sounds, you can listen to Silent Obsession’s new EP on YouTube and on Spotify, and soon you’ll be able to purchase it from your regular retailers and show your support to the underground from “Algiers the White.” Also, don’t forget to follow the band on Facebook for news, tour dates and other nice-to-know details about Max and his henchmen. Silent Obsession couldn’t have released their new EP about the end of the world in a more appropriate time, as it looks like that’s exactly what we’re experiencing everywhere with viruses, natural disasters, wars, conflicts, hunger and climate change disturbing our peace. At least, as I always say, we’ll have another set of high-quality songs to be added to the end of the world’s soundtrack when that inevitable moment comes, and let’s hope the band releases a more robust full-length opus in the coming months to show us everything they got in the name of old school Death Metal.

Best moments of the album: Exhausted Resource.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Independent

Track listing
1. Apocalyptic Manifestation 0:30
2. End of an Era 2:55
3. Exhausted Resource 2:51

Band members
Danny – vocals, guitars
Max Marginal – guitars
Manil – bass
Ben Der – drums

Collectibles Review – Iron Maiden’s The Studio Collection – Remastered (Deluxe Edition)

Do you want to make an Iron Maiden fan truly happy? How about giving that person a deluxe edition of five of the band’s most beloved albums, including a figurine and a patch?

4.5rating

iron-maiden-4th-batch-the-studio-collection-remasteredIf there are still a few Iron Maiden albums missing in your personal collection and you want to complete it before Senjutsu is released on September 3, or if you want to give an extra touch of awesomeness to your memorabilia, our third (and probably last) special review in preparation for the band’s highly anticipated seventeenth studio album will not only focus on The Studio Collection – Remastered, released back in 2018/2019, but more specifically on the DELUXE EDITION of five of the band’s most beloved albums, those being Fear of the Dark, A Matter of Life and Death, The Number of the Beast, Somewhere in Time, and Live After Death, which also come with a kick-ass figurine, a very cool patch, and of course the remastered versions of the albums in digipak CD format, because as you all know it’s all about the music in the end.

Covering Iron Maiden’s sixteen-strong studio albums across their career to date, plus what’s in my humble opinion the best live album of all time, the recordings were taken from the same remasters as the 2015 hi-res digital releases and with the track listing matching the original UK releases, all reissued by Parlophone Records (or BMG in the United States). The albums from The Studio Collection series were released chronologically in batches of four (as you can see below), plus Live After Death which was released separately, with one CD from each batch of releases also optionally available in a specially artworked box featuring the aforementioned 1:24 scale figurine and the exclusive patch. “We’ve wanted to revisit these for a long time and I was delighted with the remastering we did in 2015. I thought it was the best that our albums have ever sounded and it was only right that we made them available on CD now too,” said the one and only Mr. Steve Harris.

First batch
Iron Maiden / Killers / The Number Of The Beast (option of standard or collectors boxset edition including TNOTB Eddie figurine and patch) / Piece Of Mind

Second batch
Powerslave / Somewhere In Time (standard/collectors) / Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son / No Prayer For The Dying

Third batch
Fear Of The Dark (standard/collectors) / The X Factor / Virtual XI / Brave New World

Fourth batch
Dance Of Death / A Matter Of Life And Death (standard/collectors) / The Final Frontier / The Book Of Souls (not remastered, but appearing in digipak for the first time)

fear-of-the-dark-2015-remaster-deluxe-edition03The remasters are an amazing choice for newcomers to the world of Iron Maiden or to fans whose CD’s or LP’s are not in good condition anymore due to the repeated plays, but even if you feel your collection is already complete I think there’s still room for the collectors/deluxe edition including the figurine and the patch. The figurine is pretty much an “add-on” to the Legacy of the Beast figurines collection, being made of the same material and displaying the same size and finishing, which means if you’re collecting those then this is the only way you have to complete your Legacy of the Beast set, as the figurines from the deluxe editions are not sold separately anywhere (unless you go to eBay, of course, but then it’s up to you how much you’re willing to pay for those). Regarding the patch, they’re beautiful and will make your metal vest shine even more whenever you’re wearing it, with the only “issue” being the fact they’re iron-on patches, not sew-on ones, which means it will be almost impossible to take them out if by any chance you decide to move them to a new vest or jacket. Not a big deal, but it’s important to keep that in mind if you’re a patch lover.

fear-of-the-dark-2015-remaster-deluxe-edition02You can find all five deluxe edition boxes on Amazon Canada, for example, but pay good attention to the prices as they vary from around 25 to 90 Canadian dollars based on the availability of each item. Furthermore, you can also try your luck on other online stores worldwide such as Siren Records, Waterloo Records and Easy Street Records, which might not have all five albums but will be very helpful if you don’t have any issues buying from multiple sellers. And as the delivery is quite fast in all cases, you’ll have plenty of time to listen to all of the remastered albums, add the patches to your vest, place your new figurines together with your other items such as the Funkos from Funko Pop! Rocks: Iron Maiden (Wave I), drink a nice pint of Red ‘N’ Black, and be more than ready to blow your speakers with the release of Senjutsu on September 3! Does that sound like a good plan to you?

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Album Review – Fleshtorture / Grotesca Doctrina De La Perversidad (2021)

A fulminating display of Death Metal made in Nicaragua, dealing with the poisonous hypocrisy of faith in unseen gods and the structures of domination built around those abominable names.

3.5rating

fleshtorture-grotesca-doctrina-de-la-perversidad-2021Armed with riffs that no god could stand against and a vocal roar to cut through lies and debasement, León, Nicaragua-based Death Metal bulldozers Fleshtorture are back in action with the third and most powerful full-length album of their career, the devastating Grotesca Doctrina De La Perversidad, or “grotesque doctrine of perversity” in English. A consistently stunning display of real Death Metal from start to finish, dealing with the poisonous hypocrisy of faith in unseen gods and the structures of domination built around those abominable names, the album is highly recommended for fans of renowned Death Metal titans the likes of Cannibal Corpse, Deicide, Suffocation and Incantation, showcasing all the talent and violence of vocalist Xhugore, guitarists Lenin Galo and René Schock, bassist Hanry Cano and drummer Rudy Wolf. Add to that the visceral recording by Hector Cerrato at Zombie Records, the vile mixing and mastering by Chris Wisco, the sharp production by Joi Brute, and the demented artwork by John Quevedo Janssens, and there you have an essential  album that will certainly leave a permanent scar on the tortured visage of Death Metal.

In the insane Intro: Grotesca Doctrina de la Perversidad, gruesome, cryptic vociferations will warm us up for the bestial Canibalismo Eclesiástico (“ecclesiastical cannibalism”), where Xhugore’s roars together with the frantic drums by Rudy Wolf are a stunning invitation for all of us to slam into the pit like true maniacs, not to mention the awesome Cannibal Corpse-inspired riffs by the band’s guitar duo; and their Death Metal extravaganza goes on in the visceral tune Blasfemando en el Trono de Dios (“blaspheming on the throne of god”), showcasing another amazing job done by Lenin Galo and René Schock on the guitars accompanied by the menacing bass jabs by Hanry Cano. The band continues hammering their wicked instruments in Flagelando al Mesías (“flogging the messiah”), with Rudy Wolf dictating the song’s demonic pace while Xhugore barks the song’s Spanish lyrics with tons of hatred and darkness, followed by Tumba de Niños (“children’s tomb”), another ode to old school Death Metal with the band’s own twist. Furthermore, its backing vocals provide a very effective support to Xhugore, while the guitars keep piercing our souls mercilessly until the very last second.

Crucificado, Muerto y Sepultado (“crucified, dead and buried”) is undoubtedly one of the most violent compositions of the album, a circle pit-catalyst that will please all fans of classic Death Metal with Rudy Wolf once again taking the lead with his rhythmic and utterly aggressive beats and fills, whereas sinister sounds permeate the air in Aberracíon Maligna (“malignant aberration”), with the band offering a Doom Metal-ish side of their music evolving into another showcase of sheer brutality. Needless to say, Lenin Galo and René Schock are on fire with their riffs and solos, and more of their sulfurous and blasphemous sounds comes in the form of Morgue (“morgue”), again presenting wicked vociferations by Xhugore amidst a rumbling atmosphere crafted by Hanry Cano and Rudy Wolf. The band’s last breath of malignancy and depravation is offered to us in Crematorio (“crematorium”), less intense than its predecessors but still dark and heavy, with their guitars again penetrating deep inside your skin while also presenting Xhugore’s trademark guttural gnarls, flowing into a quick and phantasmagorical Outro to darkly conclude such hellish piece of music.

fleshtorture-2021If carnivorous and blasphemous Death Metal is your cup of tea (or maybe I should say “cup of blood”), then you should definitely take a full listen at the new album by Fleshtorture on YouTube or on Spotify, but of course in order to show those Nicaraguan metallers your true support you can purchase a copy of the album from their own BandCamp page, from the Brute! Productions’ Big Cartel, from the Sevared Records’ webstore, from Apple Music or from Amazon. In addition, don’t forget to also follow such distinguished Death Metal force on Facebook, keeping up to date with all things Fleshtorture and, above all that, inspiring them to continue their path of perversity and violence just like what they offered us all in the excellent Grotesca Doctrina De La Perversidad.

Best moments of the album: Canibalismo Eclesiástico, Flagelando al Mesías and Crucificado, Muerto y Sepultado.

Worst moments of the album: Crematorio.

Released in 2021 Brute! Productions

Track listing 
1. Intro: Grotesca Doctrina de la Perversidad 0:42
2. Canibalismo Eclesiástico 4:17
3. Blasfemando en el Trono de Dios 4:20
4. Flagelando al Mesías 4:30
5. Tumba de Niños 3:16
6. Crucificado, Muerto y Sepultado 5:20
7. Aberración Maligna 5:20
8. Morgue 3:58
9. Crematorio 4:59
10. Outro 0:18

Band members
Xhugore – vocals
Lenin Galo – guitars
René Schock – guitars
Hanry Cano – bass
Rudy Wolf – drums

Album Review – Antediluvian / The Divine Punishment (2021)

A lesson in savagery thematically centered around the many manifestations of carnal deviance by a blasphemous horde hailing from the Great White North.

3.5rating

antediluvian-the-divine-punishment-2021Nearly eight years after the release of their sophomore album λόγος, Canadian Black/Death Metal horde Antediluvian returns with a new full-length opus entitled The Divine Punishment, a lesson in savagery thematically centered around the many manifestations of carnal deviance. Formed in 2006 in Guelph, Ontario, but currently located in Edmonton, Alberta, the band comprised of Haasiophis on vocals and guitars, Aedh Zugna on bass and Mars Sekhmet on drums offers in their newborn spawn a contorted rendering of the spirit, once pure, blemished and bespoiled through sexual blasphemy, turning the album into much more than a return to form for Antediluvian, but a reflection of the band’s evolution from their inception, extrapolated over the near-decade since their last album, to reveal a meticulously sculpted masterwork that continues to push boundaries just as the band has done for the last 15 years.

Eerie sounds ignite the almost 10 minutes of insanity in the opening track Obscene Pornography Manifests in the Divine Universal Consciousness, before morphing into a raw and absurdly grim Black Metal extravaganza where Haasiophis roars and gnarls like a demonic entity nonstop, accompanied by the sulfurous drums by Mars Sekhmet, and keeping the flames of the underworld burning bright this Stygian horde fires the excellent All Along the Sigils Deep, blending the furious Death Metal riffs by Haasiophis with the Black Metal atmosphere crafted by Aedh Zugna and Mars Sekhmet. How the Watchers Granted the Humans Sex Magick in the Primordial Aeon carries a darkly poetic title to a visceral and utterly primeval Black Metal aria by Antediluvian, once again presenting the infernal growling by Haasiophis amidst atmospheric, cryptic background elements; whereas Guardians of the Liminal is shorter than its predecessors but still fulminating to the core, also bringing some progressiveness and experimentations added to their Black Metal sonority and with Mars Sekhmet taking the lead with his rhythmic beats, followed by the no-shenanigans, brutal Tamasic Masturbation Ritual, a hybrid of the most putrid forms of Black and Death Metal where Haasiophis vociferates rabidly from start to finish.

Sadomaniacal Katabasis (Last Fuck of The Dying) brings to us fans one minute of pure, fuckin’ sonic devastation to crush our damned souls before the trio blasts our ears with Temple Prostitute, starting with a beyond disturbing intro and quickly exploding into a dissonant feast of deep guttural growls, frantic beats and obscure riffs and bass jabs, keeping the album at a gargantuan level of dementia. Then get ready for another bestial display of Black and Death Metal by Antediluvian in Circumcision Covenant, with Aedh Zugna hammering his bass supported by the intricate beats by Mars Sekhmet, whereas an ode to the number of the beast entitled White Throne goes on for way too long (if it was a little shorter it would have been a lot more effective, I might say). Fortunately, their second to last blast of demonic sounds, entitled The Liar’s Path, puts the band back on track, offering another crude, boisterous Black Metal exhibit with Haasiophis stealing the spotlight with both his inhumane gnarls and sick riffage. And lastly we have Winged Ascent unto the Twelve Runed Solar Anus, an insane way to conclude the album with its nine minutes of sheer obscurity and hatred in the form of metal music where Haasiophis and Aedh Zugna will pierce your ears with their stringed weapons, while Mars Sekhmet sounds like the apocalypse on drums, before all fades into the void in a truly climatic and sinister manner.

antediluvian-2021This Stygian horde hailing from the Great “Dark” North is waiting for you to join them in their quest for blasphemy and extreme music on Facebook and on Instagram, and don’t forget to also stream their vile creations on Spotify. The Divine Punishment, available for presale from the Nuclear War Now! Productions’ BandCamp page and soon from the Nuclear War Now! Productions’ webstore (as well as from Apple Music and Amazon), is indeed a fantastic display of everything Antediluvian stands for, providing fans of Black and Death Metal with the perfect soundtrack for 666 days of carnal deviance, profanity and punishment, exactly the way we like it when the music in question is so dark and evil.

Best moments of the album: All Along the Sigils Deep, How the Watchers Granted the Humans Sex Magick in the Primordial Aeon and Winged Ascent unto the Twelve Runed Solar Anus.

Worst moments of the album: White Throne.

Released in 2021 Nuclear War Now! Productions

Track listing   
1. Obscene Pornography Manifests in the Divine Universal Consciousness 9:47
2. All Along the Sigils Deep 6:03
3. How the Watchers Granted the Humans Sex Magick in the Primordial Aeon 8:36
4. Guardians of the Liminal 4:13
5. Tamasic Masturbation Ritual 3:15
6. Sadomaniacal Katabasis (Last Fuck of The Dying) 1:11
7. Temple Prostitute 5:14
8. Circumcision Covenant 5:23
9. White Throne 6:42
10. The Liar’s Path 5:39
11. Winged Ascent unto the Twelve Runed Solar Anus 9:02

Band members
Haasiophis – vocals, guitars
Aedh Zugna – bass
Mars Sekhmet – drums

Album Review – Mütherload / Ü EP (2021)

This regrouped tour-de-force from Canada is ready to kill with a six-track introduction of their thrashy, groovy and melodic death sound.

3.0rating

mütherload-ü-ep-2021After two years of creating and crafting their own sound, along with being the local opening support for touring bands the likes of Threat Signal, Green Jëllo, Beyond Creation and The Blood of Christ, London, Canada-based Melodic Death/Groove Metal unity Mütherload, a regrouped tour-de-force birthed from the ashes of Heaven Ablaze, is now ready to present their first offering in the form of an EP simply entitled Ü, a six-track introduction of Mütherload’s thrashy, groovy, melodic death sound recommended for fans of Lamb of God, In Flames, Mastodon, Opeth and Tool. Produced, mixed and mastered by Thomas Ireland and featuring a sick artwork by tattoo artist Dave Schultz, the EP offers us a very good and incendiary sample of what vocalist Derek Lee, guitarists Patrick Davison and Derek Haley, bassist Chris McKichan and drummer Matt Ashton are capable of.

And Patrick and Derek Haley begin slashing their guitars in great fashion in Insect, accompanied by the groovy bass jabs by Chris and the rhythmic beats by Matt in an awesome display of Groove Metal, all of course spiced up by the demented roars by Derek Lee; and continuing their path of devastation with a melodic touch, we’re treated to The Visitor, offering us all more of the flammable riffage by the band’s guitar duo while Derek Lee doesn’t stop screaming like a beast, living up to the legacy of renowned bands like Lamb of God. Then in the interlude Ü a sinister dialogue between two guys about their future quickly explodes into Iniquity, another infernal creation by the quintet presenting hints of Brutal Death Metal in Derek Lee’s vocals while Chris and Matt make the earth tremble with their respective bass lines and beats, morphing into a serene instrumental interlude entitled Thaügüst, where acoustic guitars will soothe your souls before we face Lamia, the darkest composition of the EP. This Stygian tune will pierce your mind mercilessly, with the entire band being on absolute fire delivering heavier-than-hell growls, riffs, bass punches and blast beats, inspiring you to bang your head nonstop in the name of our beloved metal music.

mütherload-2021“The Ü EP is our first step back into the metal scene after years of silence. We feel this small collection of music represents the focus that we’ve developed as a band in our songwriting for the first time in years. Musically, we’ve stretched our reach into new territory with open tunings, and more space for vocals. This EP deserves to be played loud, so crank it up,” commented Patrick about the band’s newborn spawn, and you can enjoy each second of music from Ü by streaming the full EP on Spotify. In addition, don’t forget to show your support to this newly formed band of metal veterans by following them on Facebook and on Instagram, and by grabbing your copy of the EP from their own BandCamp page. The EP might be the band’s first step back into the scene, as mentioned by Patrick, but what a great step it is, and I can’t wait to see what’s next for Mütherload and to witness them kicking some serious ass on Canadian stages soon with their awesome creations.

Best moments of the album: Insect and Lamia.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Independent

Track listing 
1. Insect 3:54
2. The Visitor 3:39
3. Ü 0:44
4. Iniquity 3:06
5. Thaügüst 1:43
6. Lamia 3:24

Band members
Derek Lee – vocals
Patrick Davison – guitar
Derek Haley – guitar
Chris McKichan – bass
Matt Ashton – drums