Album Review – Infected Chaos / Dead Aesthetics (2021)

 Behold the new opus by this ruthless Austrian-South German Death Metal outfit, by far their most intricate, obscure and dynamic album to date.

Holding a giant mirror right in front of the rotten, perverted part of humanity, the ruthless Austrian-South German Death Metal Commando Infected Chaos returns to action with the follow up to their 2015 debut effort The Wake Of Ares and their 2017 sophomore opus Killing Creator, the pulverizing Dead Aesthetics, combining the brute force of contemporary, complexly poured death lead with a touch of the North American new school. Mixed by the band’s own guitarist Matthias Mayr at DC-Records, mastered by Dan Swanö at Unisound and displaying a Stygian cover artwork by Wildan Slam Artwork, Dead Aesthetics is highly recommended for admirers of bands the likes of God Dethroned, Hypocrisy and Kataklysm, showcasing all the fury, talent and passion for extreme music by Christian Fischer on vocals, Matthias Mayr and Martin Hartmann on the guitars, Ronny Lechleitner on bass and Matze Wilhelm on drums.

Ominous sound permeate the air before Infected Chaos smashes us all mercilessly in When Yonder Calls My Name, a dark and melodic tune led by the classic drums by Matze, also presenting hints of Hardcore to make things more frantic; and Chirstian roars like a gruesome creature form the abyss in Hollow Chars, accompanied by the rumbling bass by Ronny and the sick riffs and solos by Matthias and Martin, resulting in an infernal creation that lives up to the legacy of old school Death Metal. A brutal, slammin’ and utterly awesome Death Metal raid comes in the form of Eager Breed the Gods of Pestilence, with Christian once again vociferating the song’s dark words manically, and there’s no time to breathe as the quintet pulverizes our souls with the demented Gehenna, a lesson in savagery and harmony where their guitars sound piercing and caustic, supported by the metallic jabs blasted from Ronny’s bass. Then Matze and Ronny make the earth tremble in Iron Nights, an infernal Death Metal extravaganza bringing to our ears another round of Christian’s inhumane gnarls.

Are you tired already? Because Infected Chaos will keep hammering our damned bodies with their brutality in And Thus I Fell, where the band’s guitar duo does an excellent job with their sharp and strident riffage, followed by Death Metal Shock Prayer, a straightforward, in-your-face metal feast spearheaded by the thunderous beats by Matze, sounding as hellish as heavy as it can be. Pitch-Black Fever is simply demonic form start to finish, or in other words, a bestial depiction of classic Death Metal by the band with Matze once again stealing the spotlight with his vicious and fierce drumming; whereas bringing elements from classic Norwegian Black Metal added to their core sonority, in special to their riffs and blast beats, the band fires the fulminating Away, keeping the album at a high level of violence and obscurity. Following such demented tune, a beyond sinister intro quickly explodes into a lesson in violence by Infected Chaos titled Lethargia, with Matthias and Martin slashing our ears with their razor-edged riffs, and closing the album it’s time for five minutes of darkness and heaviness entitled Of Death and Birth, not as electrifying as the rest of the album but still presenting Christian’s otherworldly growls.

The infected world of Death Metal crafted by Infected Chaos in Dead Aesthetics can be better appreciated in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, but as usual if you consider yourself a true supporter of the underground you should grab your copy of the album from their own BandCamp page, from Apple Music or from Amazon, and don’t forget to also follow them on Facebook and to subscribe to their YouTube channel for more of their sick creations. Dead Aesthetics is by far the band’s most intricate, obscure and dynamic album to date, showing not only the evolution in their musicianship and fury, but also that Austria, and of course the southern parts of Germany, are indeed an amazing source of musical brutality.

Best moments of the album: Hollow Chars, Eager Breed the Gods of Pestilence and Pitch-Black Fever.

Worst moments of the album: Of Death and Birth.

Released in 2021 Independent

Track listing
1. When Yonder Calls My Name 5:43
2. Hollow Chars 3:22
3. Eager Breed the Gods of Pestilence 4:04
4. Gehenna 4:28
5. Iron Nights 4:40
6. And Thus I Fell 4:52
7. Death Metal Shock Prayer 3:56
8. Pitch-Black Fever 3:36
9. Away 5:22
10. Lethargia 4:58
11. Of Death and Birth 5:20

Band members
Christian Fischer – vocals
Matthias Mayr – guitars
Martin Hartmann – guitars
Ronny Lechleitner – bass, backing vocals
Matze Wilhelm – drums

Album Review – Antim Sanskar / Antim Sanskar (2021)

An international outfit formed of members from India, Austria and the UK is ready to bring doom to us all with their heavy and dense new album.

What started back in 2019 as a one-man project evolved into an international three-headed beast part Indian, part Austrian and part British that’s ready to crush your damned souls with their undisputed extreme music. I’m talking about Antim Sanskar (referring to the funeral rites in Sikhism, as antim means “final” while sanskar means “rite”), an Atmospheric Doom and Black Metal entity comprised of Sunay Bhat on vocals, Riccardo Veronese on rhythm and lead guitars, and Desderoth on bass, keyboards and drums, who has just released their debut full-length self-titled album. Recorded, mixed and mastered by C.P.P at W.I.E Studio, featuring a minimalist cover art by Sunay Bhat himself, and band logo design and commissioned art design by Dandi Iskander, the album consists of seven tracks embedded with skull-crushing riffs, painful melodies and heartfelt lyrics presented with a blend of clean vocals and harsh growls, dealing with somber themes such as depression, loss, regret and death and, therefore, being highly recommended for admirers of the darkest and most melancholic side of doom.

The cryptic piano notes by Desderoth in the intro Funeral Without Goodbyes will penetrate deep inside your mind before gentle acoustic guitars kick off The Feral Child, earlier released as “Asylum” for Sunay’s solo project Window of Doom. The song has been completely reworked and rereleased, resulting in almost 10 minutes of melancholic Doom Metal presenting deep, visceral gnarls by Sunay beautifully supported by the sluggish beats and ethereal keys by Desderoth, as well as elements from Funeral Doom to make things even more obscure. Changing gears to a more introspective and melodic vibe, Embers of the Ancient Flame offers the listener Sunay’s dark, clean vocals accompanied by the classic piano by Desderoth, evolving into a Melodic Doom Metal extravaganza spiced up by the stunning guitar lines and solos by Riccardo.

Then in the cinematic, instrumental Interlude the music blends majestically with the sound of the storm and the Gregorian chants in the background, setting the tone for Window of Doom, showcasing darkly poetic lyrics declaimed by Sunay (“In her withered bosom / She held a bed of thorns / Yearning to fall asleep, / Lay there forever / Allow the time to fade / Slip into eternal darkness / The only friend she knew / To sink in grief”) while the music offers a fusion of classic Doom Metal and Funeral Doom thanks to the spot-on beats and guitars by Desderoth and Riccardo, respectively. After such intense aria, phantasmagorical keys will crawl under your skin in DRC, exploding into a massive Doom Metal sonority where Riccardo is on fire with his wicked riffs, sounding very unique and disturbing from start to finish; and last but not least, it’s time for the trio to deliver a more infernal version of their doomed sounds in Die, Decay, Disintegrate, with Sunay roaring in a deeper and more demonic way while the guitars by Riccardo sound utterly metallic.

In case you’re curious to see how the collaboration between India, Austria and the UK resulted in first-class Atmospheric Doom and Black Metal, you can enjoy the album in its entirety on YouTube, but of course in order to provide your utmost support to the guys from Antim Sanskar go check what they’re up to on Facebook and on Instagram, and purchase a copy of their newborn opus from their own BandCamp page (and don’t forget to visit their online merch store as there’s a lot of cool stuff there waiting for you). In a nutshell, the music crafted by Sunay, Riccardo and Desderoth in Antim Sanskar is truly unique and captivating, proving once again that good metal music has no boundaries, and leaving us eager for the next step in their short career in our world of death and doom.

Best moments of the album: The Feral Child and Window of Doom.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Independent

Track listing
1. Funeral Without Goodbyes 2:56
2. The Feral Child 9:51
3. Embers of the Ancient Flame 7:49
4. Interlude 2:48
5. Window of Doom 8:12
6. DRC 6:01
7. Die, Decay, Disintegrate 4:54

Band members
Sunay Bhat – vocals
Riccardo Veronese – rhythm and lead guitars
Desderoth – bass, keyboards, drums

Album Review – Harakiri For The Sky / Mӕre (2021)

This Atmospheric Black Metal duo from Austria returns with a breathtaking collection of tales from feverish dreams in the form of their fifth full-length opus.

Mӕre, a malicious folkloristic entity creeping on sleeping people’s chest during the night and causing breathlessness and anxiety, is the exact state of diffuse terror and paralysis that has been enshrined in Vienna, Austria-based Atmospheric Black Metal duo Harakiri For The Sky’s music ever since their debut album. Now in 2021, a breathtaking collection of tales from feverish dreams is being released in the form of the band’s fifth full-length opus Mӕre, the follow-up to their critically acclaimed 2018 album Arson. Founded in 2011 by vocalist J.J. and multi-instrumentalist M.S., the aim of Harakiri For The Sky has always been to create a unique mixture of melancholy and aggression, madness and meaning, wrapped in alternately manic and mellow songs that bridged Black Metal and Atmospheric Post-Rock. Featuring session drummer Kerim “Krimh” Lechner (Septicflesh, Act of Denial) and an atmospheric artwork by Meike Hakkaart (Art of Maquenda), Mӕre will haunt your soul and darken your heart in a majestic way, being therefore highly recommended for fans of the somber music crafted by bands like Alcest, Wolves In The Throne Room and Agalloch.

The atmospheric guitars by M.S. kick off the venomous opening track I, Pallbearer, with Kerim hammering his drums in great Black Metal fashion, providing J.J. al he needs to vociferate rabidly. In other words, what a sensational start to the album, ending with gorgeous, serene piano notes and setting the tone for Sing for the Damage We’ve Done, a lesson in Atmospheric Post-Black Metal that’s as visceral and aggressive as it’s melodic and epic, with guest vocalist Neige (from bands like Alcest and Zero) helping J.J. declaim the song’s poetic and introspective words (“It’s been so long, it’s difficult to tell / If I truly miss what I once called home / It’s been so long, it’s difficult to tell / If this truly was my longest way home”). Another round of their imposing and captivating sounds fills our ears in the pulverizing Us Against December Skies, where J.J. sounds bestial with his sick screams while M.S. slashes his stringed weapons mercilessly supported by the always infernal blast beats by Kerim, and you better prepare your senses for 11 minutes of modern-day, vibrant Atmospheric Black Metal in the form of I’m All About the Dusk, where M.S. will hit you in the head with his low-tuned bass while piercing your mind with his riffage, being full of breaks and variations and an endless sense of despair. And the duo continues to spread darkness and rage through their devilish roars and riffs in Three Empty Words, another good tune blending the heaviness of Melodic Black Metal with Post-Black Metal where Kerim proves why he was invited by J.J. and M.S. to be responsible for the drumming duties.

Atmospheric Black Metal usually means lengthy songs, and in the case of Harakiri For The Sky that’s translated into a thrilling musical voyage through obscure lands titled Once upon a Winter, a multi-layered and very detailed composition where J.J. takes his rage and despair to the next level, whereas in And Oceans Between Us we face more of their cryptic, somber lyrics (“You were the ailment / And leaving was the cure / I fell away and I still suffer / And year by year I’m fading away”) enfolded by a beyond mesmerizing sonority led by the strident guitars by M.S., exhaling epicness and bringing to our ears grandiose passages intertwined with classic Black Metal beats. The anonymous vocalist of Portuguese Black Metal band Gaerea lends his sharp vocals to the Stygian tune Silver Needle // Golden Dawn, with the song’s guitars overflowing pure Atmospheric Black Metal while drums and vocals lean towards contemporary Post-Metal, and acoustic guitars kick off the melancholic and embracing Time Is a Ghost, growing in intensity as the music progresses with Kerim stealing the spotlight with his infernal drumming, while J.J. continues to growl and bark just the way we like it in extreme music. And as the icing on the cake, Harakiri For The Sky offer our ears a fantastic version for Song to Say Goodbye, from the 2006 album Meds by Placebo (you can check the original version HERE), and let me tell you the band did a tremendous job adding a gargantuan amount of obscurity and heaviness to their version, with J.J. taking the lead with his trademark hellish roars.

As you might already know, the word “harakiri” means a ritual suicide by disembowelment with a sword, formerly practiced in Japan by samurai as an honorable alternative to disgrace or execution, and after listening to the deep, scorching music found in Mӕre it’s easy to understand why the name of the band was chosen to be Harakiri For The Sky, piercing your soul like a samurai sword and eliminating all traces of life from your body, therefore leaving you in pitch black darkness for all eternity. Hence, don’t forget to give the duo a shout on Facebook and on Instagram, to stream more of their enfolding music on Spotify, and to purchase their excellent new opus by clicking HERE. Needless to say, you should definitely go for the very special CD Wooden Boxset edition of the album, available from AOP Records, EMP, Nuclear Blast and Amazon. Melancholic and aggressive, Mӕre represents another solid stone in the career of Harakiri For The Sky, showing us all that in Atmospheric Black Metal there’s nothing better than a never-ending, eerie onrush of fear and terror.

Best moments of the album: Sing for the Damage We’ve Done, I’m All About the Dusk and And Oceans Between Us.

Worst moments of the album: Three Empty Words.

Released in 2021 AOP Records

Track listing
1. I, Pallbearer 7:06
2. Sing for the Damage We’ve Done 8:05
3. Us Against December Skies 8:21
4. I’m All About the Dusk 11:09
5. Three Empty Words 9:29
6. Once upon a Winter 10:27
7. And Oceans Between Us 8:57
8. Silver Needle // Golden Dawn 7:09
9. Time Is a Ghost 8:33
10. Song to Say Goodbye (Placebo cover) 5:25

Band members
J.J. – vocals
M.S. – all instruments

Guest musicians
Kerim “Krimh” Lechner – drums (session)
Neige – additional vocals on “Sing for the Damage We’ve Done”
Anonymous – additional vocals on “Silver Needle // Golden Dawn”

Album Review – Angra Demana / Triptych Of Decay EP (2019)

From the the boundless darkness of hell, here comes an infernal Black Metal duo armed to the teeth with their sulfurous and violent new EP.

Formed in 2007 in the city of Karaj, Iran, but currently located in Innsbruck, capital of Austria’s western state of Tyrol, Ambient/Atmospheric Black Metal entity Angra Demana is unleashing upon humanity a brand new EP entitled Triptych Of Decay, marking a new beginning for the band such is the difference between this EP and the band’s debut full-length Dissolve Into Nothingness, released in 2012. For instance, the meaning of Angara Damana (which by the way was the band’s past name) is based according to Zoroaster’s book, stating there are four levels of hell, with the first three levels, Malicious, Scurrility and Malfesant, being the upper levels and beneath them is the boundless darkness, which is Angara Damana or “Angra Demana”.

Lead singer Atöm Krieg and guitarist and bassist Radman, together with guest drummers Jocke Wallgren (Amon Amarth) and Fredrik Widigs (Marduk), turned Triptych of Decay into a handful of surprises with their creativity, rage and dexterity, successfully avoiding to enter the mined fields of eccentricity or elitist avantgarde. Featuring a Stygian artwork by Vojtěch Doubek (Moonroot), Triptych Of Decay will lacerate your damned soul without a single drop of mercy, elevating the name of Angra Demana to new heights in the underground Extreme Metal scene, and leaving you eager for more of their intricate and vile Black Metal.

Brutal and raw from the very first second, Rupture is a true headbanging massacre featuring the demolishing Jocke on drums, or in other words, it’s a classic Black Metal composition where Radman fires sulfurous riffs from his guitar, not to mention how Stygian the lyrics vociferated by Atöm are (“Darkness emerged – enlightenment of my sight / It granted me a world , far beyond this life / To the seclusion atmosphere of flawless awareness / In resistance, transgression against this mortal breed / In a world of forgotten deserted mankind / I start a battle between glory and corruption”). And Jocke once again lends his refined technique to the ominous Erode, where the riffs by Radman will cut your skin deep while Atöm continues to bark rabidly, sounding wicked and diabolical from start to finish. Furthermore, its background keys give it an extra touch of obscurity, with the bass lines by Radman dictating the song’s lugubrious rhythm. Then it’s time for Fredrik to kick some ass on drums in Extinction, and the final result is a berserk onrush of Black Metal sounds. Radman sounds infernal on the guitar, as well as Atöm with his deranged roars and grim vocalizations, effectively giving life to the song’s apocalyptic words (“And the sickness will be erased / When the last scream drift away in the eternal cosmos / Peace through extinction of flesh and blood / And finally all is drenched in thy wisdom”). In my humble opninion, Angra Demana couldn’t have ended the album in a more hellish manner.

In a nutshell, the music by Angra Demana is evil, frantic, chaotic, ritualistic and sulfurous, exactly how we expect a good Black Metal band to sound, and Triptych Of Decay is the perfect depiction of their obscurity. With that said, let’s show our support to such distinct underground duo by following them on Facebook, and especially by purchasing their brand new EP directly from their BandCamp page, keeping the flame of devilish and atmospheric Black Metal burning bright for centuries to come, it doesn’t matter if it’s in Iran, in Austria or in any other part of our decaying world.

Best moments of the album: Extinction.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2019 Independent

Track listing
1. Rupture 7:06
2. Erode 5:55
3. Extinction 6:05

Band members
Atöm Krieg – vocals
Radman – guitars, bass

Guest musicians
Jocke Wallgren – drums on “Rupture” and “Erode”
Fredrik Widigs – drums on “Extinction”

Album Review – Sunterra / Reborn EP (2017)

Under the sign of the ancient Egypt goddess Isis, one of the most important Industrial Metal bands from the underground Austrian scene is reborn with a new lineup and a reinvigorated attitude.

Rating5

coverUnder the sign of the ancient Egypt goddess Isis, Austrian Gothic/Industrial Metal act Sunterra are celebrating their reunion after a 10-year hiatus from the music scene with their brand new EP titled Reborn, which as you can imagine by its name marks the resurrection of the band, presenting a musical progression without forgetting their own roots. Combining Industrial and Gothic Metal with hints of Electro and Dubstep, Sunterra aim at creating their own, distinctive sound, oferring the listener fresh and thrilling music that will put you on a trance and certainly sharpen your senses while listening to it.

Formed in 1998 in the charming city of Vienna, Austria after the split of a band named Virgin Seed, and having chosen their new name Sunterra as a game of words standing for the gathering of fire and earth, the band led by bassist and lyricist Chris enjoyed almost a decade of considerable success in the independent Austrian scene, releasing the demo In Diebus Illis in 1999 and the full-length albums Lost Time, in 2002, and Graceful Tunes, in 2005, before calling it a day in 2006. In 2015, with a brand new lineup and a reinvigorated attitude, Sunterra were reborn from the ashes like a phoenix and are more than ready to rock again, with their brand new EP being the first and exciting installment in this second incarnation of the band.

Electronic and futuristic elements set the tone in the solid Industrial Metal composition Reign Supreme, with the harsh growls by Carlos and the clean, gentle voice of Slovakian singer Lilly reaching a great balance, complementing each other’s lines effectively. In addition, the song’s chorus is quite catchy and should work really well live. In Shadow in the Dark, the band “abandons” their heavy industrialized musicality a bit, focusing on their Gothic Metal vein, with gentle piano notes and the delicate vocals by Lilly guiding the listener in this eccentric voyage. This is a melancholic, alternative ballad that ends with Carlos and Ivan delivering some heavy gnarls and riffs respectively, generating an interesting contrast with the song’s initial smoothness. Then in Lord of Lies we face some obscure guitar and bass lines by Ivan and Chris, which together with the potent programmed beats will break your neck while Lilly keeps delivering her angelical vocals. Put differently, this is a high-end professional fusion of Industrial and Gothic Metal, with its background effects helping make the overall sonority truly menacing.

sunterra-1This is W.A.R. brings forward an eerie futuristic ambience with elements from electronic music, feeling like a dance hit from the 80’s or 90’s with a metallic approach and gentle breaks being thoroughly inserted amidst the fury emanating from Carlos’ guttural growls; whereas Ministry of Thoughts presents a strong Marilyn Manson-inspired atmosphere, sounding extremely alternative and mechanized. In this song highly recommended for lovers of the darkest side of Industrial Metal, Ivan showcases an excellent performance on both guitar and all programmed elements, turning it into one of the best tracks of the album. And concluding the EP, Shut Up!!! begins in an ominous way with a whimsical dialogue between Carlos and Lilly before becoming a feast of electronic Industrial Metal perfect for hitting the dance floor, a creepy track by Sunterra to end Reborn on a high note.

As one of the most important Industrial Metal bands from the underground Austrian scene is finally back in action, why not feed their newly reborn fire  with your passion for heavy music? You can watch a preview of the entire EP on YouTube to get a better sense of what the music by Sunterra is all about, or stream it in its entirety to be enchanted by their modern metal music, as well as follow them on Facebook to know more about the band and their future projects and live concerts. And if you want to show your true support for these Austrian industrialists of darkness, you can get your copy of Reborn at their BandCamp page, on iTunes, on Amazon, at Discogs and several other online retailers.

Best moments of the album: Lord of Lies and Ministry of Thoughts.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2017 NRT-Records

Track listing
1. Reign Supreme 4:28
2. Shadow in the Dark 5:15
3. Lord of Lies 5:05
4. This is W.A.R. 4:49
5. Ministry of Thoughts 4:47
6. Shut Up!!! 3:51

Band members
Carlos – male lead vocals
Lilly – female lead vocals
Ivan – lead guitars, programming
Chris – bass

Album Review – Proll Guns / Horseflesh BBQ (2016)

Groovy riffs, inebriate growls and a humongous amount of bloody horse meat. This is what you’ll find in this entertaining Western Thrash N’ Roll album heartily crafted by three talented cowboys from Austria.

Rating5

Proll Guns - Horseflesh BBQ CoverartworkWho could imagine that the lovely city of Salzburg, the birthplace of the legendary Mozart in Austria, would also be the hometown of three villainous buckaroos who, despite have nothing to do with the state of Texas (the undisputed land of cowboys in the United States), are capable of producing high-octane Western Thrash N’ Roll? Singing about essential themes for any real man such as women, drinking and barbeque, here comes the dynamic power trio Proll Guns, pointing their sonic guns directly to our faces. YEE-HAW!

This libertine Thrash Metal posse was formed back in 2013, when they released their debut full-length album entitled And the Western Blood Runs, mixed and mastered by Danish producer Tue Madsen (who also worked with renowned bands like Ektomorf and Sick Of It All). Mounting their metallic horses once again, armed with their rowdy instruments and totally soaked up in whisky, they are ready to rock your town with their second album, the sonorous Horseflesh BBQ, a solid and fun fusion of traditional Thrash Metal with the dirty and drunken music from the Wild West. In addition, if you have the pleasure to see them playing live you’ll also be treated to their gorgeous “saloon girls”, Miss Candy Rose and Miss Sherly Colt.

Just as if a bloody western movie is about to start, the instrumental intro Texas Banjo Massacre sets the tone for the title-track Horseflesh BBQ to come kicking everyone in the head with its blend of Thrash and Sludge Metal. The inebriate growls by lead singer and bassist Evil Ed not only sound very thrashy, but also at the same time displaying a huge Rock N’ Roll influence, and needless to say how “carnivore” his embodiment of the song’s lyrics are. Then we have the darker and heavier anthem From Texas To Hell, a good song to enjoy while drinking a bottle of Jack Daniel’s where drummer Cra-“Y”-Maker will put you to bang your head nonstop. I wonder how Candy Rose and Sherly Colt would dance to this electrifying tune, but that’s something we can only witness if we go check the band kicking ass live.

0002Do you want some devilish Blues Metal in your life? Well, in Bloodgun Blues guitarist The Burner “scorches” our ears with his fiery riffs while the level of alcohol in Evil Ed’s blood just keeps rising; whereas Fucking Troublemaker brings forward a bad-tempered sonority with The Burner leading this excellent Rock N’ Roll anthem. Moreover, all the elements from the music by Volbeat found in the music, together with the intoxicating punch of Chrome Division, turn this into one of the top moments of the album in my opinion. And Reno Gang is yet another anthem tailored for bikers and heavy drinkers, slightly more melodic than the other tunes thanks to the crispier riffs and solos by The Burner, maintaining the alcohol content of the album way above 100 proof.

Lookin’ Out my Backdoor, a short and sweet Thrash N’ Roll chant, will generate some “friendly” circle pits during their gigs, and when the banjo hits the music things get even more fun; followed by the longest of all tracks, entitled The Revolver, a brutal Rock N’ Roll song where the screams and growls by the “cowboy from hell” Evil Ed enhance the song’s ferocity, with highlights to the nice work done on guitars and drums as well. Their western sounding keeps reverberating in the thrilling Execution, a more violent version of Hard Rock where The Burner offers some nice guitar effects and Cra-“Y”-Maker keeps kicking ass on drums. Also, its rhythm is what we can call the perfect soundtrack for a “drunk badass Rock N’ Roll party”, which translates into awesomeness. Lastly, Southern Slavery, the acoustic tune that aims at concluding the album in a pensive way, goes on for too long and doesn’t really provide anything fresh to the album, or in other words, it’s the only song that doesn’t make sense to be in Horseflesh BBQ in the end.

To sum up, Horseflesh BBQ is a highly recommended choice for fans of groovy riffs, inebriate growls and a humongous amount of bloody horse meat, and if you see yourself as one of those western metallers go check the Proll Guns’ Facebook page and YouTube channel to know more about their music. You can purchase the album at different locations such as the band’s BandCamp page, at the Grooves Inc. webstore, on iTunes or on Amazon, among others. You can either show your support and appreciation for these talented cowboys from Austria, or I believe Proll Guns will have to challenge you for a pistol (or drinking) duel to introduce you to the world of good old Thrash N’ Roll.

Best moments of the album: From Texas To Hell, Fucking Troublemaker and Execution.

Worst moments of the album: Southern Slavery.

Released in 2016 NRT-Records

Track listing
1. Texas Banjo Massacre 2:12
2. Horseflesh BBQ 4:35
3. From Texas To Hell 5:40
4. Bloodgun Blues 5:08
5. Fucking Troublemaker 3:43
6. Reno Gang 3:59
7. Lookin’ Out My Backdoor 2:09
8. The Revolver 7:35
9. Execution 4:16
10. Southern Slavery 3:18

Band members
Evil Ed – lead vocals, bass guitar
The Burner – vocals, guitar
Cra-“Y”-Maker – drums

Saloon girls
Miss Candy Rose
Miss Sherly Colt

Album Review – Infected Chaos / The Wake Of Ares (2015)

In the wake of the god of war, it’s time to join this excellent Austrian band to the sound of their warlike old school Death Metal.

Rating4

infected chaos_the wake of aresFans of Cannibal Corpse, Deicide, Entombed and old school Death Metal in general will love the violence found in The Wake Of Ares, the brand new full-length album by Austrian Death Metal band Infected Chaos. With an amazing artwork by JL Rey (Phlegeton Art Studio), and dealing with controversial topics such as suppression, slavery, gaining strength and revolting against it, The Wake Of Ares will surely awake that “spirit of war” inside you with its ruthless onrush of extreme music.

I don’t know exactly if this can be considered a concept album or not, as according to this Vils-based band the album title can be interpreted on two levels: the first related to Ares, the Greek god of war and the son of Zeus and Hera who usually represents the physical or violent and untamed aspect of war, being the supreme god of what the band calls the “blooddawn resistance”, while the second is a direct statement from Infected Chaos telling the world they are here to stay and, obviously, to crush each and every living creature that crosses their path.

I have already used the expression “calm before the storm” here at The Headbanging Moose before, and I have to apply that once again to the intro Rotting In Chains, with its occult atmosphere and eerie voices in the background, opening the gates for the brutal Death Metal tune Devours The Light to come crushing your soul. The deep growls by Christian Fischer are exactly what a Death Metal band needs, enhanced by the album’s clean and powerful production. Moreover, this song will make you go crazy into the circle pit, with the impressive bass lines by Florian Betz (who’s probably a huge fan of Alex Webster) together with its more melodic parts providing a great balance between harmony and cruelty. Ninth Circle, a song about death (or how the Ancient Greek people could have seen it) that begins as violent as the previous track, shows us that when Infected Chaos slow down they get fuckin’ heavy as hell, with drummer Christoph Raggl being completely merciless behind his drum set.

Christian’s vocals get darker and more demonic in Arson Anthem, where the guitar duo composed by Martin Hartmann and Matthias Mayr delivers pure Death Metal through their fierce riffs and solos, while Wolves In Thy Pantheon has a Cannibal Corpse vibe that makes it even more violent and amazing. Its riffs and blast beats reach a higher level of destruction, enhanced by some excellent guitar solos and background chants that add even more excitement to the song. The next track, Code Of IC, is just a simple declaration of love to Death Metal according to the band members themselves (by the way, IC is the acronym for Infected Chaos in case you haven’t noticed that yet), and they do it the most brutal way possible with an incredible assault of deep growls, nonstop drumming and huge doses of anarchy through its riffs and lyrics.

MMA02_bandphoto_infectedchaosAwaking Into Nightmare is a more introspective song that deals with a huge issue Christian had to face in 2013. Musically speaking, it keeps the album at a high level with more of the berserk sonic demolition proposed by the whole band, just like what happens in Strike From The Sky, where it actually feels like Infected Chaos come striking from the sky (or maybe from hell) with a feast of traditional Death Metal riffs and beats, perfect for breaking your neck. Then we have IA, God Of War, another great display of the skills by Florian on bass guitar and with a musicality slightly different from the rest of the album, focusing on more modern and metallic elements.

The final triad of Death Metal in The Wake Of Ares starts with The Silent Monolith, where once again the band invests in a sonority similar to the latest Cannibal Corpse albums, with an exciting rhythm tailored for banging your head on the front row during their live performances, followed by the sickest of all tracks, Blooddawn Resistance, a fictional underground movement created by Infected Chaos. I would love to see them playing this song live, as it’s the best of the album in my humble opinion and a flawless display of Death Metal where the whole band is kicking fuckin’ ass, in special frontman Christian for leading the “resistance” with an awesome vocal performance. And closing the album we have a song that its name says it all: The Sea Of Grief evokes darkness in a truly hellish and melancholic way, with even its guitar solos transpiring melancholy and sorrow.

To sum up, Infected Chaos are summoning all of you to join their “resistance” through their Facebook pageSoundCloud, BandCamp and at the Metal Music Austria official webstore with The Wake Of Ares, a great album perfect for all headbangers who love high levels of ferocity amidst a professional and thrilling sounding. In the wake of the god of war, it’s time we all join those Austrian metalheads to the sound of their uprising warlike Death Metal.

Best moments of the album: Wolves In Thy Pantheon, Code Of IC and Blooddawn Resistance.

Worst moments of the album: Ninth Circle.

Released in 2015 Metal Music Austria

Track listing
1. Rotting In Chains 1:03
2. Devours The Light 5:29
3. Ninth Circle 3:46
4. Arson Anthem 4:23
5. Wolves In Thy Pantheon 3:18
6. Code Of IC 3:52
7. Awaking Into Nightmare 4:30
8. Strike From The Sky 4:10
9. IA, God Of War 4:08
10. The Silent Monolith 3:33
11. Blooddawn Resistance 3:57
12. The Sea Of Grief 4:52

Band members
Christian Fischer – vocals
Martin Hartmann – guitar
Matthias Mayr – guitar
Florian Betz – bass
Christoph Raggl – drums

Album Review – Void Creation / Deadnology (2015)

A perishing and decaying world in the form of extreme music by an outstanding Death Metal band from Austria.

Rating4

void creation_deadnologyDo you love happy and cheerful music? Do you feel deep affection for bands and artists who sing about butterflies, unicorns and other cute animals? If so, stay away from Deadnology, the brand new studio album by Austrian Death/Thrash Metal band Void Creation. Deadnology is a heinous feast of extreme music which will crush your body and soul, leaving you totally beaten and bruised rolling around in your own blood, but also with an awesome feeling of “mission accomplished” when the war spearheaded by Void Creation is over.

Founded in Vienna, Austria in 2006 by ex-members of Diabolica and Saviour, and having already participated in events like Wacken Open Air 2010 and supported bands like Nile, Gorguts and Possessed, Void Creation are back with their second full-length album to tell us the confusions of a perishing and decaying world along 10 tracks of utter savagery, and they do it in such an impressive way that not only your neck will break, but also your jaw will drop after listening to this excellent release.

It doesn’t take more than two seconds for Void Creation to start fuckin’ slaying everything around them with their technical and totally brutal Death Metal in the opening track 1984, a song full of variations and breaks where the deep bloodcurdling guttural by lead singer Alex will infect your ears while drummer Börni delivers some fast and complex drumming perfect for this type of music. Following that carnage we have Devoided, with guitarists Gilli and Piz making sure we do not stop banging our heads to the sound of their sick heavy riffs inspired by bands such as Deicide and Cannibal Corpse, and Sepsis, with its even more diabolic vocal lines and its violent but melodic guitars and drums maintaining a good flow of the music.

MMA01_photo_voidcreation_promo_01We Give You Hell Tonight is an awesome exhibit of old school Death Metal from the 90’s, very Deicide-ish, and with a name like that we couldn’t expect less than that level of devastation, right?  In addition, Börni once again is an unstoppable beast on drums, and you’ll feel impelled to scream “HELL! HELL! HELL!” together with Alex for sure. Then we have an impetuous track named Ruthless, where the band gets even faster and heavier with the intricate bass lines by Berna giving it even more substance; Symbols From The Soul, the shortest song of all which demonstrates absolutely no mercy for our necks thanks to more of Void Creation’s relentless and technical riffs and beats; and the magnificent Dystopia, which focuses on slower and heavier headbanging riffs strengthened by its dark and hopeless lyrics perfectly vociferated by Alex.

The last part of the album keeps annihilating everything, starting with The Plagues and its harsher screams nicely mixed with deeper guttural vocals. Moreover, it’s simply amazing how skillful this band is, capable of crafting such aggressive music with so much harmony in it. The next song, Thelema, is another good old school Death Metal track with hints of the music by Sepultura in its guitars, with its end being a raid of sheer brutality, before Earthlings 2.0 closes the album in a unique way: this song is completely different from the rest of the album, with more introspective and melodic passages, as if the band wanted it to represent a horribly melancholic end of the world with their music.

Lastly, isn’t the fetus/unborn baby in the album art cute? Of course not, but unfortunately that’s the world we’re living in and we have to deal with that, and nothing better than some extreme music to help us face this brutal reality. Thus, go visit Metal Music Austria’s official BandCamp page or their official online shop to get ahold of your copy of Deadnology. And may God or any other deity of your choice have mercy on your cursed neck.

Best moments of the album: 1984, We Give You Hell Tonight and Dystopia.

Worst moments of the album: Sepsis and Earthlings 2.0.

Released in 2015 Metal Music Austria

Track listing
1. 1984 3:09
2. Devoided 2:49
3. Sepsis 2:57
4. We Give You Hell Tonight 2:49
5. Ruthless 3:44
6. Symbols From The Soul 1:57
7. Dystopia 4:08
8. The Plagues 3:49
9. Thelema 3:02
10. Earthlings 2.0 4:16

Band members
Alex – vocals
Gilli – guitar
Piz – guitar
Berna – bass
Börni – drums

Album Review – Mandatory / Catharsis (2014)

A good option for fans of Melodic Death Metal who enjoy European harmony blended with North American violence.

Rating5

MANDATORY_Catharsis_Cover_HQAustrian Melodic Death Metal band Mandatory is one of those cases where harmony and brutality walk hand in hand with each other, creating an electrifying sound perfect for live performances, which by the way helped this Linz-based quintet win the International Live Award in 2011 in Austria. Now with Catharsis, the band’s second full-length album, those guys deliver a more melodic and technical Death Metal than their previous releases without sounding too commercial or generic.

Although Catharsis is quite different from the band’s 2009 debut album Carbon Black, it’s still very technical and heavy, recommended for both fans of Melodic Death Metal and the more modern heavy music from North America. Moreover, do not expect to listen to old school Death or Thrash Metal, as the sounding in the whole album is very polished and even progressive depending on the song, similar to what bands such as Arch Enemy are doing today. You can indeed expect lots of shredding, guttural and clean vocals mixed, and fast and technical blast beats.

The opening track, End of Watch, can be summarized as pure European Melodic Death Metal with hints of American Metalcore, with its double bass boosting the very melodic guttural vocals. Then we have Act I: Tragedy, the first of three “acts” (or whatever the band wanted those to be) where its excellent instrumental, clean vocals and motivational lyrics (“Embrace the Light within / Shatter the Sky / Your pain and misery / Will purify your mind”) give a good balance to the song; and the slower but heavier To the Streets, a modern Thrash Metal tune the likes of contemporary Metallica and A7X, with some intense riffs and an interesting guitar solo perfect for some headbanging.

Mandatory_2012_1500_webEmperor has the most Metalcore rhythm of all songs, especially its guitar duos, with highlights to its very polished production (enhancing the sounding of all instruments) and the political message in its lyrics (“You aren’t machines / You are not chained / To these ambassadors / Of hatred fear and despise”); while the very enjoyable Act II: Catharsis begins with an intense low riff before turning into fast Melodic Death Metal. It even flirts with progressive metal due to all its breaks, variations and the excellent work done by both guitarists Chris Hörmann and Manuel “Mani” Rohrauer.

Shadowmaker is another good melodic and very progressive tune, albeit not as heavy as the rest of the album, with its guitar solos reminding me of some old stuff done by Dream Theater; followed by For the World to See, which gets back to Melodic Death Metal with its clean vocals being once again a nice touch to the overall musicality. Finally, we have Act III: Purification, the last of the three “acts”, another progressive/melodic heavy track with uprising lyrics (“Rise Up! / Liberate your wisdom / Rise Up! / Let the storm break loose”), and closing the album we have Blueprint, the most Thrash/Death Metal track of all with highlights to its technical and professional instrumental and the nice sound effects on the background. In addition, it might only be a coincidence, but the three “acts” (add also “End of Watch” to this list) are the best songs of the album by far in my opinion.

You can purchase Catharsis at Mandatory’s official BandCamp page, where the album comes as a special edition with lots of extra stuff, or also at Amazon, iTunes and other online stores. Go for it if you’re a fan of the most modern type of Melodic Death Metal available in the market, uniting melody, violence and fun in heavy music.

Best moments of the album: End of Watch, Act I: Tragedy, Act II: Catharsis and Act III: Purification.

Worst moments of the album: To the Streets and For the World to See.

Released in 2014 Independent

Track listing
1. End of Watch 3:53
2. Act I: Tragedy 4:15
3. To the Streets 6:53
4. Emperor 5:08
5. Act II: Catharsis 6:53
6. Shadowmaker 4:36
7. For the World to See 5:45
8. Act III: Purification 5:18
9. Blueprint 3:51

Band members
Markus Hundsberger – vocals
Chris Hörmann – guitars, backing vocals
Manuel “Mani” Rohrauer – guitars, backing vocals
Leo Wolfmayr – bass
Mike Pfaffenhuemer – drums, clean vocals

Attraction Review – Arnold Schwarzenegger Museum (Thal bei Graz, Austria)

You want to know what is best in life? To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to visit the Arnold Schwarzenegger Museum in Austria!

Rating1

Arnies_Life_ThalIf you’re a fan of Heavy Metal, you’re probably a fan of the one and only Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger too. Also known as the Austrian Oak, the Styrian Oak, The Governator or simply Arnie, he is unquestionably the greatest action movie actor of all time, the most successful bodybuilder in history and, of course, a hero for millions of people all over the world. Movies like The Terminator (I, II and III), Predator, Last Action Hero, Conan the Barbarian, The Expendables II, among others, are either an inspiration for many heavy music bands such as Austrian Death Machine, with awesome songs like Get To The Choppa and I Need Your Clothes, Your Boots, and Your Motorcycle, or their soundtracks are full of powerful Heavy Metal/Hard Rock tunes like AC/DC’s Big Gun, Megadeth’s Angry Again and, of course, one of Guns N’ Roses’ greatest hits, the awesome You Could Be Mine. Who doesn’t love when Arnold stares at Axl Rose, grins and walks off in the official video for this song?

IMG_2667

“I’m a cybernetic organism. Living tissue over a metal endoskeleton.”

That’s why the third (and last) installment of my recent trip to Europe will be dedicated to reviewing one of the coolest museums in the world, and by far my favorite one of all: the Arnold Schwarzenegger Museum (or Arnie’s Life) in Thal bei Graz is not just a regular museum with some of Arnold’s old stuff and memorabilia, but a place where you can live his life and truly breathe all his accomplishments as a Hollywood star, his work as a the Governor of California and his exceptional achievements in bodybuilding. And the location of the museum was not chosen in vain, as it’s the actual house where Arnold grew up and spent a great part of his life, including his childhood and adolescence, and where he started his path to glory in the world of bodybuilding. Moreover, the overall quality of this amazing collection of documents, awards, props and everything else you can imagine about his bodybuilding, acting, political and personal life is enhanced by all the beauty and peace of the sorroundings of Thal. Arnold himself said many times how all the nature and peace in Thal inspired him to be a protector of the environment, especially during his years as “The Governator”.

In regards to the museum itself, I would say the top must-see items available are everything related to his role as the T-800 terminator, including his totally awesome Harley-Davidson from Terminator II, all his bodybuilding equipment (which by the way are all original from when he started working out), and many documents and other items related to his years as a politician. In addition, things like the sword used by the mighty Conan, the jacket and gun used by Sheriff Ray Owens and the costume used by Mr. Freeze make the whole experience even more fun, and of course, the Arnold statue at the entrance of the museum, just outside the front door, is truly inspirational for anyone, even if you have never been a fan of Arnie.

DSC05464

“Conan, what is best in life?”

Finally, although many people say the museum is located in the city of Graz, it’s not that easy to get there from the city centre, especially walking. Arnie’s Life is actually located in the city of Thal, which is about 20 minutes from downtown Graz if you’re driving. I went there by car and used my GPS, typing in the museum’s postal code (8051) instead of the city name as it wasn’t finding Thal in the list of cities, and that worked perfectly. However, if you’re backpacking and travelling by train or bus only, there are some options available by public transportation from Graz which you can see HERE.

DSC05456

“The best activities for your health are pumping and humping.”

To sum up, instead of “getting to the choppa”, get to Arnie’s Life and enjoy all your moments there: it’s such a pleasant and entertaining environment you won’t even notice time quickly passing by. In a world where pretty much all blockbuster movies are pure garbage and the actors and actresses have zero charisma, it’s good to “go back in time” and admire the history of a man that has always helped change the world for better, no matter what he does. I just loved the museum, and when I left it the only sentence I could think of was, of course, I’LL BE BACK!

Opening hours
Monday to Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm (last entrance: 4:30 pm)

From June 1, 2014 on: every Saturday and Sunday guided tours through the museum (start: 11 am, 3 pm)

Admission charge
Adults: € 6,50
Concessions*: € 5,00
Children from 5 to 14 years / school groups: € 3,00
Regular guided tour: € 10,00 (unique for a group)
Audioguide (German or English): € 2,00

* Valid for groups of 10 or over, children up to age 15, teens, students up to age 27, senior citizens over 65 or on presentation of a valid pensioners´ ID, challenged people, military and community service conscripts, unemployed persons.

Contact info & location
Arnold Schwarzenegger Museum
Linakstraße 9
A – 8051 Thal, Austria
+43 (0) 316 571 947
http://www.arnieslife.com/