Album Review – Anthropophagus Depravity / Apocalypto (2021)

Prepare for a new age of wicked superstition and the rebirth of old and hungry gods to the sound of the debut album by this Indonesian Death Metal tribe.

3.5rating

anthropophagus-depravity-apocalypto-2021Indonesia is a festering sore of Brutal Death Metal, infected with an array of bands that explore the outer limits of savagery and sickness just like Yogyakarta-based horde Anthropophagus Depravity. Writhing like maggots in a wound, these pioneers of putridity eat their way deeper and deeper into the darkness, entwining shuddering heaviness with chilling atmosphere and nightmarish brutality. Their debut full length album, entitled Apocalypto, is a torrent of overwhelming, suffocating horror that feeds upon the vicious rituals of the ancient Mayan religion, with its furious riffs and relentless blasts seeming to force themselves down your throat, choking you with a pitiless intensity. Armed with furious riffs, relentless blasts and nerve-shredding atmosphere, the band comprised of Pandu Herlambang on vocals, Eko Aryo Widodo and Rico Zerico on the guitars, Cahyono Hari Wijayanto on bass and Sahrul Ramadhan on drums is ready to kill with their shuddering heaviness, turning their new opus into a must-have for admirers of the music by Devangelic, Relics of Humanity, Disentomb and Analepsy.

The intro Hymn to Apocalypto kicks off with the vile riffage by Eko and Rico while Sahrul already showcases his rage behind his drums, with its tribalistic second half setting the tone for the Deathslam hymn Forecasting Ruination, with Pandu roaring like a demented beast from the underworld and, therefore, sounding perfect for slamming into the pit to the fulminating beats by Sahrul and the classic Death Metal riffs by the band’s guitar duo. Then a quick cinematic start explodes into sheer brutality in the visceral The Mayan Disaster, continuing their path of devastation, blood and fear, while Eko and Rico’s guitars are nicely supported by Cahyono’s infernal bass punches; and a gruesome gnarl by Pandu ignites another feast of dementia entitled Temple of Sacrifice, with Sahrul showing no mercy for his drums (and consequently for our necks) in a great display of contemporary Brutal Death Metal.

If you think those Indonesian metallers are tired of slamming our heads with their brutal music you’re absolutely wrong, as they offer us the straightforward, in-your-face tune Immolation for the Sacred God, showcasing their usual violence in the form of guttural growls, slashing riffs and pulverizing drums; whereas Pandu sounds even more furious than before in Escape from the Dead Lands, accompanied by the hellish kitchen crafted by Sahrul and Cahyrono. Their second to last Apocalyptic Death Metal extravaganza comes in the form of Ruthless Nation Perished, with Pandu roaring and gurgling rabidly from start to finish, or in other words, it’s another fantastic option for crushing your spinal cord into the circle pit, not to mention its disturbing ending, I might say, flowing into Mantra Solar Eclipse, a six-minute ritualistic, demolishing Death Metal creation by Anthropophagus Depravity that will haunt your souls for all eternity, with Pandu taking the lead once again with his wicked roaring, all spiced up by a sick guitar solo to properly end the album.

anthropophagus-depravity-2021The vile and infernal Death Metal blasted by Anthropophagus Depravity in Apocalypto can be appreciated in full on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course in order to take part in their demonic rituals you should definitely purchase the album from Comatose Music’s BandCamp page or webstore, as well as from Amazon and other retailers like Barnes & Noble. In addition, don’t forget to follow this talented Indonesian tribe on Facebook and on Instagram, and to subscribe to their YouTube channel for more of their pulverizing creations. Having said all that, prepare for a new age of wicked superstition and the rebirth of old and hungry gods, and of course for slamming into the circle pit like a rabid beast, to the sound of Apocalypto.

Best moments of the album: Forecasting Ruination and Ruthless Nation Perished.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Comatose Music

Track listing   
1. Hymn to Apocalypto 2:46
2. Forecasting Ruination 4:33
3. The Mayan Disaster 3:43
4. Temple of Sacrifice 4:38
5. Immolation for the Sacred God 4:26
6. Escape from the Dead Lands 3:10
7. Ruthless Nation Perished 4:12
8. Mantra Solar Eclipse 6:17

Band members
Pandu Herlambang – vocals
Eko Aryo Widodo – guitar
Rico Zerico – guitar
Cahyono Hari Wijayanto – bass
Sahrul Ramadhan – drums

Album Review – Exterminated / The Genesis of Genocide (2021)

It’s time for total extermination to the sound of the skull-crushing Death Metal blasted by this unrelenting duo hailing from the Philippines.

3.0rating

exterminated-the-genesis-of-genocide-2021Beneath the soft skin of the human animal seethes a mass of venom and vitriol, a ravenous beast that constantly tests the chains of restraint that bind it. That’s the core essence from the infernal music blasted by the duo Myke Pardo (Anal Fissure) on vocals and Ace Estandian (Anal Fissure, Guillotined) on the guitars, known as the ruthless Brutal Death Metal/Deathslam two-headed beast Exterminated. Forged in the fires of Dasmariñas, a city located in the province of Cavite, in the Philippines in 2016, Exterminated have just unleashed upon us all their first full-length album, entitled The Genesis of Genocide, the follow-up to their 2018 EP Elements of Obliteration, being highly recommended for fans of Cerebral Bore, Chancroid, Guttural Secrete and Pathology. The Genesis of Genocide is an intimidating explosion of feral hate that taps into the vein of lust and violence that runs through the human condition like a seam of black blood, representing a new high in their career as Exterminated push the limits of sonic extremity and skull-crushing Death Metal to the breaking point.

The duo’s gruesome Death Metal attack begins in full force with Systematic Holocaust, where Myke sounds like a deranged beast on vocals, vomiting the song’s lyrics while Ace slhreds his stringed axe nonstop, not to mention how organic and primeval the programmed drums sound and feel, and continuing their path of devastation it’s time for the Deathslam extravaganza Impulsive Decimation, where they need less than three minutes to pulverize us all with their infernal music, once again inviting us to smash our cranial skulls into the circle pit. There’s not a single second to breathe as Exterminated fire another Brutal Death Metal tune titled Detrimentum, showcasing the trademark guttural roars by Myke accompanied by the sick riffage by Ace, and let’s keep slamming to the sound of Murderous Intent, where the song’s demented beats will hammer your heads mercilessly while Myke keeps doing what he does best, which is barking the song’s sick words viciously.

Myke’s roars get deeper and more bestial in the pulverizing Grave for the Slaughtered, where Ace doesn’t stop delivering sulfurous riffs, therefore resulting in a lecture in raw, primeval Deathslam tailored for admirers of the genre; whereas in Inevitable Annihilation we’re treated to some wicked backing vocals which enhance Myke’s putrid performance even more, while the instrumental pieces go straight to your jugular. Are you tired already? Because those Filipino death metallers will keep crushing your souls in Chaotic Dimension of the Insane, perfect for headbanging to the sound of the ass-kicking riffs by Ace, and there’s no sign of them slowing down, as Ace continues to kill on the guitar while Myke growls and gnarls in great Death Metal fashion in Abyss of the Dead, also offering some interesting breaks and variations, and  the duo offers us sheer madness and violence to properly close the album with The Art of Mutilation, again displaying a dynamic (and vile) alternation between deeper growling and demonic screeches.

exterminated-2021Although Brutal Death Metal is not usually recommended for the average rock and metal listener, the music by Exterminated might be exactly what you need to get your first taste of such distinct subgenre of extreme music, heading into the circle pit like the true metalhead that you are. Hence, don’t forget to show your support to those talented and unrelenting Filipino metallers by following them on Facebook, and by grabbing your copy of The Genesis of Genocide from Comatose Music’s BandCamp page or webstore, as well as from Monster Music & Movies. Myke and Ace are not among us to only prove Filipino extreme music can be just as brutal and visceral as the classics found in North America and Europe, but also to provide us another excellent soundtrack for the inevitable end of the world as we know it, or maybe I should say the genesis of the extermination of the human race.

Best moments of the album: Impulsive Decimation, Grave for the Slaughtered and Chaotic Dimension of the Insane.

Worst moments of the album: Detrimentum.

Released in 2021 Comatose Music

Track listing
1. Systematic Holocaust 3:51
2. Impulsive Decimation 2:49
3. Detrimentum 3:19
4. Murderous Intent 3:05
5. Grave for the Slaughtered 3:46
6. Inevitable Annihilation 3:32
7. Chaotic Dimension of the Insane 3:11
8. Abyss of the Dead 3:33
9. The Art of Mutilation 4:11

Band members
Myke Pardo – vocals
Ace Estandian – guitars, drum programming

Album Review – Vox Mortis / Avignam Jagat Samagram (2021)

The Indonesian rabid dogs of Death Metal are ready to attack in their visceral 13-track debut opus packed with aggressive riffs and intense blast beat while at the same time raising awareness about animal welfare.

Mixed and mastered by Indonesian musician Muhamad Ridho Leonard (of bands like Choria, Infitar and Kill Athena), who’s also the session guitarist in the album under the moniker Rsharsh, Avignam Jagat Samagram is the debut opus by Indonesian Death Metal act Vox Mortis (which translates from Latin as “the voice of the dead”), containing 13 visceral songs packed with aggressive riffs and intense blast beat while at the same time raising awareness about animal welfare. Formed in 2020 in Jakarta, Indonesia’s massive capital sitting on the northwest coast of the island of Java, by vocalist Doni Herdaru Tona (of Funeral Inception, Bloody Gore, Kerangkenk and more), bassist Donirro and drummer Achmad Mustaid (of Vomitology and Funeral Inception), Vox Mortis will pulverize your senses with Avignam Jagat Samagram, attacking you like a feral beast while sending a very important (and obviously dark) message about how animal cruelty is helping to drive our society to its abominable and inevitable end.

Rev up your engines as total annihilation is about to start in Sadisfaction, with Achmad crushing his drums ruthlessly while the guitars by Rsharsh will slash your ears like a sharp razor blade. In other words, it’s brutal and technical Death Metal for the masses, which is also the case in Forever No To Dog Meat, a Brutal Slamming Death Metal chant made in Indonesia where the band tries to uncover the dark side of dog meat trade circulation and the cruelty behind it until it is served as food, with Doni sounding like a creature from the abyss with his guttural growls; followed by the title-track Avignam Jagat Samagram, just as bestial and pulverizing as the previous songs, with the addition of some background orchestrations making it even more diabolical and with Donirro and Achmad being on fire with their rumbling bass and blast beats. Their fusion of old school Death Metal with epic music goes on in Bayar Dendam Balas Hantam, where Donirro delivers some Alex Webster-inspired bass jabs while Achmad keeps hammering his drums furiously; and talking about human abusive behavior and animal cruelty, it’s time for the trio to get back to a rawer and more visceral sonority in Primata Durjana, where Doni keeps barking like a deranged dog (which makes total sense) accompanied by the demented kitchen by his bandmates. Then vile and aggressive from the very first second, Mati! Mati! Mati! Is another solid display of savagery in the form of Death Metal spearheaded by the thunderous drums by Achmad.

In Tetes Darah Pecundang the band adds elements of Groove Metal to their usual sonic madness, but of course always loyal to their vile roots, with Doni’s growls walking hand in hand with the stone crushing beats by Achmad, whereas leaning towards the Death Metal played by Cannibal Corpse in their most recent albums the band fires the obscure and groovy Torture 365, presenting an amazing job done by Donirro with his sick bass while Rsharsh’s riffs overflow violence. There’s no time to breathe as Ronta Semesta begins in full force, led by the infernal drumming by Achmad and the always wicked roars by Doni, and also no sign of things slowing down as Vox Mortis keep demolishing our senses in Di Atas Altar Tradisi, with Doni vociferating manically while Rsharsh brings wrath to the music with his riffage. After a wicked intro the band comes back with their fusion of Death Metal and Deathslam in the form of Friends Not Food, where the bass by Donirro sounds more metallic and vicious as the music progresses, and the band delivers a fast and hellish Death Metal sonority that’s pretty good by itself, but that of course lacks Doni’s evil roars, in the instrumental Ode Untuk Sang Jendral. Lastly, how about a sick tribute to the one and only Morbid Angel with Chapel of Ghouls/Immortal Rites, both taken from their 1989 classic album Altars of Madness? You can check the original versions for Chapel of Ghouls and Immortal Rites on YouTube and see for yourself that Vox Mortis’ tribute lives up to the darkness of the original songs.

If you want to know more about those relentless Indonesian death metallers and their quest for animal rights, you can start following them on Facebook and on Instagram, subscribe to their YouTube channel and stream more of their music on Spotify, and sooner than you think purchase their excellent and devastating debut album from their own BandCamp page, from the Necropsy Records webstore and from the Rapture Records webstore. The album’s aggressive album art, designed by the talented Indonesian musician and illustrator Adi Christianize (Dechristianize Art), is the perfect depiction of the music by Vox Mortis, where a beastly, monstrous dog is finally unleashed from his chains and is ready to seek revenge against mankind, exactly how the Death Metal by those Indonesian rabid dogs sound. It’s visceral, violent and thrilling from start to finish, just the way we fans of extreme music love it, and I personally can’t wait to see what’s next for such promising band from “The Emerald of the Equator.”

Best moments of the album: Forever No To Dog Meat, Avignam Jagat Samagram and Torture 365.

Worst moments of the album: Ode Untuk Sang Jendral.

Released in 2021 Cerberus Productions/Necropsy Records/Rapture Records

Track listing
1. Sadisfaction 4:02
2. Forever No To Dog Meat 3:17
3. Avignam Jagat Samagram 4:09
4. Bayar Dendam Balas Hantam 3:58
5. Primata Durjana 3:17
6. Mati! Mati! Mati! 2:51
7. Tetes Darah Pecundang 3:55
8. Torture 365 3:54
9. Ronta Semesta 3:37
10. Di Atas Altar Tradisi 3:50
11. Friends Not Food 3:49
12. Ode Untuk Sang Jendral (Instrumental) 5:00
13. Chapel of Ghouls/Immortal Rites (Tribute to Morbid Angel) 3:52

Band members
Doni Herdaru Tona – vocals
Donirro – bass
Achmad Mustaid – drums

Guest musician
Rsharsh – guitars (session)

Album Review – Booze Serpent / Slices Of Death (2021)

Turkey’s own Death Metal one-man army is ready to strike his venom once again through his first full-length opus, featuring nine original tracks of sick, alcohol-fueled terror.

Hailing from the dark pits of Antalya, a gateway to Turkey’s southern Mediterranean region, Death Metal one-man army Booze Serpent was formed back in 2019 by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Serpent as an ode to 1980’s horror B-movies and H.P. Lovecraft novels, having already released in 2020 the project’s five-track debut EP Drünkard. After less than one year, Serpent returns in full force with his first full-length effort, the sick, alcohol-fueled terror party entitled Slices Of Death, offering us fans a high dosage of old school Death Metal with no shenanigans nor any artificial elements. Mixed and mastered by Polish musician Mikołaj Krzaczek (Thamnos Records), displaying a classic artwork by Death Rattle, and featuring an array of guest musicians such as Cezary Borawski on drums and Burak Ulugüney (of Minus Life) on keys, Slices Of Death was recorded entirely live, with no drum machines nor midi used in the recordings, giving it a more organic, honest and, therefore, violent feel throughout its nine inebriate and visceral tracks of groovy death.

An ominous, atmospheric intro ignites Booze Serpent’s evil brewing machine, morphing into the venomous Dead Fak, where Serpent blends a high dosage of Black, Death and Thrash Metal in his infernal riffs and screams; whereas Turkey’s own one-man horde gets the support of guitarist Gavin Brooks with a sick solo in Man-Eating Plant, while Cezary keeps hammering his drums nonstop, leaning towards contemporary Blackened Death Metal. Then guest drummer Jeremiasz Baum (of The Materia) lends his violence to Booze Serpent in Motel Hell, another short and sweet homage to darkness and drinking where the deep gnarls by Serpent will haunt your soul during your sleep, also presenting the trademark futuristic keys by Burak. And Serpent keeps slashing his guitar and bass in the straight-to-the-point, headbanging tune They Live We Drink!, another heavy and unfriendly creation showcasing the most visceral elements from Black and Death Metal, featuring a guest guitar solo by Gavin Brooks.

Venturing through the realms of Deathslam and Brutal Death Metal, Serpent fires the sick and vile The Beast (Pumpkinhead), blasting sheer rage through his demented riffs and growls, and all spiced up of course by the pounding beats by Cezary. Then uniting the obscurity of Black Metal with the bloodthirsty sounds of Death Metal we’re treated to The Animal, showcasing a bestial guest guitar solo by Croc (of Axxen Conners), resulting in the perfect tune for cracking our necks headbanging to the sound of Serpent’s hellish roars, while guest drummer Charlie Nicholson (of Psychosexual) brings his share of dementia to the short and pulverizing Live Brains!, a tribute to zombie flicks from the 80’s where Serpent sounds even more demonic than before on vocals, not to mention his infernal bass jabs and cutting riffs. The epic and imposing keys by Burak make the final result even more Stygian in Resurrected In Chapman Labs, where the cryptic lyrics barked by Serpent are complemented by his own razor-edged guitars and low-tuned bass, flowing into the atmospheric outro Slices Of Death, where grim piano notes permeate the air in the best Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir-inspired style.

Dedicated to Serpent’s dearest friend Onur Soyulmaz, who sadly passed away in 2018, Slices Of Death is indeed a fantastic display of underground extreme music made in Turkey, bringing to our ears endless amounts of fury, electricity, heaviness and acidity, which obviously translates into awesomeness after all is sad and done. Hence, don’t forget to show your utmost support to such skillful Turkish metaller by following his project on Facebook and on Instagram, and of course by grabbing your sulfurous, alcohol-infused copy of Slices Of Death directly from Booze Serpent’s own BandCamp page, raising your glass high in the sky in the name of horror movies and Death Metal, and getting absolutely drunk to the sound of Serpent’s venomous compositions on a dark and bitterly cold winter night.

Best moments of the album: Man-Eating Plant, The Beast (Pumpkinhead) and Live Brains!

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Plague Demon Records

Track listing
1. Intro/Dead Fak 4:19
2. Man-Eating Plant 3:04
3. Motel Hell 2:58
4. They Live We Drink! 2:50
5. The Beast (Pumpkinhead) 2:16
6. The Animal 3:18
7. Live Brains! 2:14
8. Resurrected In Chapman Labs 3:00
9. Slices Of Death 2:28

Band members
Serpent – vocals, guitar, bass

Guest musicians
Burak Ulugüney – intro, keys
Gavin Brooks – lead guitar on “Man-Eating Plant” and “They Live We Drink!”
Croc – lead guitar on “The Animal”
Cezary Borawski – drums on “Intro/Dead Fak”, “Man-Eating Plant”, “They Live We Drink!”, “The Beast (Pumpkinhead)”, “The Animal” and “Resurrected In Chapman Labs”
Jeremiasz Baum – drums on “Motel Hell”
Charlie Nicholson – drums on “Live Brains!”

Album Review – Dark Zodiak / Ophiuchus (2021)

These Teutonic bringers of Death and Thrash Metal are ready to smash us all to the sound of their third full-length album, translating into extreme music the thirteenth sign of the zodiac.

Thrilling live shows, a crushing sound, direct interaction with the crowd and an incendiary fusion of Thrash and Death Metal forged from whipping riffs, vicious drums and thunderous female growls. That’s exactly what Eggingen, Germany-based squad Dark Zodiak stands for, leading the band to rock all over Germany and Europe and to share the stage with renowned acts such as Tankard, Debauchery and Eluveitie, among many others, since their inception in 2011. After the releases of their 2011 debut demo Throwing Stones, followed by the full-length albums See You in Hell, from 2014, and Landscapes of Our Soul, from 2017, it’s time for frontwoman Simone Schwarz, guitarists Charly Gak and Benni Poeck, bassist Steffi Bergmann and drummer Dieter Schwarz to smash our skulls once again with their third installment, the heavy and furious Ophiuchus, the thirteenth sign of the zodiac. A large constellation straddling the celestial equator, having its name taken from the Greek Ὀφιοῦχος (Ophioukhos, or “serpent-bearer”), Ophiuchus is a lesson in underground extreme music, showcasing a band that’s not only extremely talented, but that also nurtures a deep passion for Death and Thrash Metal presented as 48 minutes of music split into the ten unrelenting, organic and honest tracks.

A sinister intro evolves into the thrashing beast Do More Say Less, with Simone providing her welcome card through her guttural, she-demon vocals, while Charly and Benni fire razor-edge Death Metal riffs nonstop, and it’s time for Dieter to smash his drums rabidly in the fast and furious Heaven, Earth And Beneath, showcasing a perfect combination of the instrumental madness from Thrash Metal with the vile growling from Death Metal, consequently inspiring us all to smash our skulls into the circle pit. Their sick and violent display of Death and Thrash Metal goes on in Invisible Apocalypse, where Simone invests in some demented Deathslam-inspired screeches while Steffi and Dieter make sure the ambience remains as dense as possible with their infernal kitchen; whereas the obscure vociferations by Simone kick off the infernal Ophiuchus, sounding as if Exodus went full Death Metal and presenting a great job done once again by the band’s guitar duo with their dirty riffs and solos, resulting in over seven minutes of ass-kicking metal with atmospheric passages and endless rage. Then another round of their unstoppable beats, crushing riffage and devilish roars is offered to our ears in the form of Destroy Destruction, a classic Death Metal tune with Dieter showcasing all his dexterity and insanity behind his drums.

The band’s blazing guitars will slash your ears in the also violent, headbanging tune Humor, where Simone’s deep growls walk hand in hand with the classic beats by Dieter, resulting in a solid and entertaining display of old school Death Metal, followed by From Thrash Till Death, once again bringing to our avid ears a pulverizing fusion of Thrash and Death Metal spearheaded by the scorching riffs by Charly and Benni during its three minutes of music tailored for banging our heads like true maniacs. The lyrics in 2020 A.D. couldn’t have represented better the current (and shitty) state of our world, while musically speaking it’s a mid-tempo, hammering extravaganza where Steffi’s bass (together with Dieter’s drums) will make your head tremble in great Death Metal fashion; and after a quick intro, Total Freedom explodes into pure Death Metal in their second to last breath of violence, and you better get ready to growl and gnarl together with Simone during the entire song, not to mention the heaviness of the pounding beats by Dieter. Lastly, blending the gory sound of Cannibal Corpse with the thrashing madness of Exodus and Nuclear Assault the band offers us all Ignorance, a great choice to close the album showcasing Simone’s vicious and demonic growling and the always thrilling drums by Dieter from start to finish, leaving us disoriented but absolutely eager for more of their music in the future.

After all is said and done, we must all admit Dark Zodiak did a damn good job throughout the entire album, offering our ears humongous dosages of savagery, dexterity and passion for extreme music. Hence, we should all hail those Teutonic bringers of Death and Thrash Metal by following them on Facebook and on Instagram, by subscribing to their YouTube channel, by streaming more of their music on Spotify, and by grabbing a copy of Ophiuchus from their own website, from their BandCamp page, and soon enough from other retailers like Apple Music and Amazon. And may the stars of our beloved Death and Thrash Metal keep guiding Dark Zodiak in their quest for total annihilation, celebrating heavy music with more ass-kicking releases like Ophiuchus.

Best moments of the album: Heaven, Earth And Beneath, Ophiuchus and Ignorance.

Worst moments of the album: Total Freedom.

Released in 2021 Independent

Track listing
1. Do More Say Less 5:49
2. Heaven, Earth And Beneath 4:04
3. Invisible Apocalypse 3:45
4. Ophiuchus 7:18
5. Destroy Destruction 4:40
6. Humor 5:16
7. From Thrash Till Death 3:03
8. 2020 A.D. 4:52
9. Total Freedom 5:27
10. Ignorance 3:57

Band members
Simone Schwarz – vocals
Charly Gak – guitar
Benni Poeck – guitar
Steffi Bergmann – bass
Dieter Schwarz – drums

The Year In Review – Top 10 Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Albums of 2020

“Rock stars come and go. Musicians play until they die.” – Eddie Van Halen

What can I say about the year of 2020? No words can describe all the pain, fear, anxiety, losses and struggles we all had to endure during what’s going to be sadly remembered as the worst year of our modern times. We saw the rise of coronavirus, which had a huge negative impact on pretty much everything and everyone we know, with millions of hardworking people unfortunately losing their jobs, concerts being cancelled, restaurants and other businesses being shut down, people getting stuck in their homes and having to deal with psychological issues like depression, and more important than that, with countless lives, and in some cases people really close to us, people we love, losing their battle against such horrible disease. We also witnessed a gut-wrenching surge in racism against black people all over the world, and the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement in the never-ending fight for freedom and justice, trying to make our world a better place for everyone. And last but not least, we lost so many iconic figures it’s hard to list everyone without crying a little. We lost sports titans such as Kobe Bryant, Diego Maradona and Paolo Rossi, amazing, talented actors and actresses including our beloved “Black Panther” Chadwick Boseman, the original “Darth Vader” David Prowse and the unstoppable Mad Max’s villain “Immortal Joe” Hugh Keays-Byrne, and music geniuses like Rush’s unparalleled Neil Peart and one of the best and most revolutionary guitarists of all time, the one and only Eddie Van Halen. May their souls rest in peace.

However, although we might be living such difficult and stressful times, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel with the development of effective vaccines that will certainly put our society back on track sooner than later, giving us all some hope and pointing to a much better future for all of us. In the meantime, I guess one thing that we metalheads have been doing (and will always do) throughout such shitty year is using the music we love to face all of our problems and fears with our heads and horns high in the sky, never giving up nor giving in. Having said that, I’ll leave you with The Headbanging Moose’s Top 10 Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Albums of 2020, excluding EP’s, best of’s and live albums, showing to us all that it doesn’t matter what happens with the world, heavy music will always stand strong. From the most primeval form of Black Metal to fast and electrifying Power Metal, from a beyond amazing soaring numbers of women kicking ass in an array of styles such as Doom, Symphonic and Death Metal to the most underground Atmospheric Black Metal entities you can think of, from our good old Rock N’ Roll to modern-day Alternative Metal, music prevailed above darkness, pain and hate, and that’s how it will be forever and ever. Enjoy our list of top metal albums for this (terrible) year that’s coming to an end, and let’s keep raising our horns and banging our heads together in 2021!

1. Primal Fear – Metal Commando (REVIEW)
Join Primal Fear’s undisputed rock brigade and become a true metal commando to the sound of their breathtaking new album.
Best song of the album: Infinity

2. Trivium – What The Dead Men Say (REVIEW)
It’s time to listen to what these four (un)dead men from Orlando, Florida have to say in their thrilling new opus.
Best song of the album: Amongst the Shadows & the Stones

3. Testament – Titans Of Creation (REVIEW)
The titans of Thrash Metal are back in action with another technical, melodic and absolutely pulverizing album of extreme music.
Best song of the album: Night of the Witch

4. Lamb of God – Lamb of God (REVIEW)
Re-energized and unrelenting, Lamb of God are finally back after five years with their pulverizing eighth studio album.
Best song of the album: Gears

5. Sepultura – Quadra (REVIEW)
A sensational concept album based on Quadrivium embraced by a fusion of Thrash, Groove and Progressive Metal.
Best song of the album: Guardians of Earth

6. Onslaught – Generation Antichrist (REVIEW)
These UK veterans are ready to set the world on fire once again with one of the most ferocious Thrash Metal albums of the year.
Best song of the album: Religiousuicide

7. Ecclesia – De Ecclesiæ Universalis (REVIEW)
This army of French inquisitors stands strong on their crusade against every doom heretic with their incendiary debut album.
Best song of the album: Antichristus

8. Eleine – Dancing In Hell (REVIEW)
Time for us all to dance in the fires of hell to the sound of the striking new opus by this unstoppable Swedish Symphonic Metal group.
Best song of the album: Where Your Rotting Corpse Lie (W.Y.R.C.L.)

9. Grave Digger – Fields of Blood (REVIEW)
Grave Digger celebrate 40 years of their undisputed Heavy Metal on a journey back to the vastness of the Scottish Highlands.
Best song of the album: Freedom

10. Konvent – Puritan Masochism (REVIEW)
A dark, primeval and stunning fusion of Death and Doom Metal masterfully crafted by four unrelenting women hailing from Denmark.
Best song of the album: Puritan Masochism

And here we have the runner-ups, completing the top 20 for the year:

11. Genus Ordinis Dei – Glare of Deliverance (REVIEW)
12. Paradise Lost – Obsidian (REVIEW)
13. Axel Rudi Pell – Sign of the Times (REVIEW)
14. Raventale – Planetarium II (REVIEW)
15. Hellsmoke – 2020 (REVIEW)
16. My Dying Bride – The Ghost Of Orion (REVIEW)
17. Burning Witches – Dance with the Devil (REVIEW)
18. Naglfar – Cerecloth (REVIEW)
19. Scarlet Aura – Stormbreaker (REVIEW)
20. Thundermother – Heat Wave (REVIEW)

And how about we also pay a tribute to the bands that released short and sweet albums that condensed pretty much the same amount of electricity, rage and intricacy than any of the full-length albums from the list above? That’s why we’re also going to provide you as usual our Top 10 EP’s of 2020 for you to see that size doesn’t really matter.

1. Front – Antichrist Militia (REVIEW)
2. Malfested – Shallow Graves (REVIEW)
3. Tøronto – Under Siege (REVIEW)
4. Soul Dissolution – Winter Contemplations (REVIEW)
5. Lutharö – Wings of Agony (REVIEW)
6. Póstuma – Moralis (REVIEW)
7. Black Sun – Silent Enemy (REVIEW)
8. MĀRA – Self​-​Destruct. Survive. Thrive! (REVIEW)
9. Serocs – Vore (REVIEW)
10. Invocation – Attunement to Death (REVIEW)

Do you agree with our list? What are your top 10 albums of 2020? Also, don’t forget to tune in every Tuesday at 10pm BRT on Rádio Coringão to enjoy the best of classic and underground metal with Jorge Diaz and his Timão Metal, and every Thursday at 8pm UTC+2 on Midnight Madness Metal e-Radio for the best of underground metal with The Headbanging Moose Show! And if you lost some or most of our special editions of The Headbanging Moose Show, including our Top 20 Underground Albums of 2020 – Parts I and II, go to our Mixcloud page and there you have hours and hours of the best of the independent scene, sounds good?

Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year! See you in 2021!

And before we go, let’s bang our heads one last time in 2020 with a classic Christmas song by an amazing Romanian band that loves Heavy Metal from the bottom of their hearts, pointing to much better times ahead for all of us! Enjoy!

Album Review – Vaginal Anomalies / Violent Devotion to Kill (2020)

Get ready for a feast of gore, heaviness and perversity in the form of Brutal Death Metal, courtesy of two demented Mexican metallers armed with their new full-length album.

What began as a one-man pathological project formed by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Pozolegrind (whose real name is Erick Alejandro Navarro Jimenez) back in 2014 in Poncitlán, a town and municipality in Jalisco, in central-western Mexico, has evolved into a beastly duo through the years, taking no prisoners in their quest for heaviness, blood and perversity. I’m talking about the infernal Brutal Death Metal/Deathslam two-headed monster curiously named Vaginal Anomalies, and even if you think the name of the band is too dark and gory for your standards, you should definitely take a listen at the infuriated fusion of Grindcore and Death Metal found in their first full-length opus, titled Violent Devotion to Kill, where Pozolegrind together with vocalist Cheve (also known as Alejandro Magallon) distill their most venomous sounds in the form of nine putrid and acid compositions, plus three amazing live bonus tracks.

A classic Mexican-inspired intro invites the listener to the blood-soaked world of Vaginal Anomalies, before exploding into a visceral and barbaric Death Metal feast led by the inhumane gnarls by Cheve in The Embalming Process in Decomposition Bodies, and Cheve’s growling gets even more demonic in Ditch Full of Dismembered Corpses, while Pozolegrind extracts sheer savagery from his riffage and beats. I must say this is a bestial way to break your neck headbanging to their vicious extreme music, whereas in Poncigrind we face less than two minutes of disturbing screeches and heavy-as-hell guitars that will penetrate deep inside your psyche before the demented tune Improper Desires to Fornicate Satan comes crushing our skulls mercilessly, with Pozolegrind maintaining the atmosphere as heavy and obscure as possible, therefore offering Cheve all he needs to basically vomit the song’s lyrics. And let’s keep banging our heads to the duo’s sick and brutal Death Metal in God Advise Me to Torture and Kill, where Cheve and Pozolegrind sound even more insane than before, in special Cheve who simply barks, snarls and roars like a demonic entity.

Perhaps inspired by one of the most iconic scenes from Breaking Bad, the duo fires another slamming and absolute raw creation titled Addicts to Disolve Torsos in a Bathub, where the guitars by Pozolegrind are just as hellish as Cheve’s deep guttural barks, while an ethereal start quickly turns into a visceral display of Brutal Death Metal entitled The Vulgar Pedophile Incitement of the Priest, featuring vocalist Alex Gama From Mexican Brutal Death Metal band Hallux Valgus, with both vocals being a lesson in bestiality and dementia. There’s no time to breathe as those Mexicans keep hammering our heads with their vicious sonic attack in Whore Maniac, offering more of their trademark riffs and otherworldly growling, and last but not least, they bring forth another shot of cinematic and traditional Mexican sounds in the title-track Violent Devotion to Kill, morphing into a slamming extravaganza led by the smashing drums by Pozolegrind while Cheve snarls in a true grim mode. Not only that, Vaginal Anomalies also offer their fans as bonus tracks the songs Internal Examination, Pelvic Infection and Placenta Abnormalities live at Mexxxicore Death Fest Open Air in 2019 in Poncitlán, providing us all a sonic carnage showcasing all their talent and fury on stage.

I guess I don’t need to say the music by Vaginal Anomalies is not recommended at all for the lighthearted, right? However, if their savagery and gruesome lyrics (and name) don’t make you vomit, you’re more than welcome to pay them a visit on Facebook and to grab your copy of their infernal album sooner than later from the Necromance Records’ BandCamp page or webstore, as well as from the Base Record Production’s BandCamp page. This is crude, primeval and extremely brutal Death Metal infused with Goregrind elements, with no shenanigans nor any artificial elements, with Vaginal Anomalies clearly wanting to send us all fans of heavy music a clear message that their home country and of course the rest of the world are not a place for love, peace and butterflies, but for sheer violence viciously turned into the ruthless Death Metal played by those two depraved Mexican metallers.

Best moments of the album: Ditch Full of Dismembered Corpses, Improper Desires to Fornicate Satan and The Vulgar Pedophile Incitement of the Priest.

Worst moments of the album: Whore Maniac.

Released in 2020 Necromance Records/Base Record Production

Track listing
1. The Embalming Process in Decomposition Bodies 3:32
2. Ditch Full of Dismembered Corpses 2:19
3. Poncigrind 1:42
4. Improper Desires to Fornicate Satan 2:25
5. God Advise Me to Torture and Kill 2:33
6. Addicts to Disolve Torsos in a Bathub 2:04
7. The Vulgar Pedophile Incitement of the Priest 2:24
8. Whore Maniac 2:13
9. Violent Devotion to Kill 3:40

Bonus tracks
10. Internal Examination (Live) 2:31
11. Pelvic Infection (Live) 1:42
12. Placenta Abnormalities (Live) 1:36

Band members
Cheve – vocals
Pozolegrind – guitars, bass, drum programming, vocals

Guest musician
Alex Gama – vocals on “The Vulgar Pedophile Incitement of the Priest”

Album Review – Chancroid / Bestial Perverse Of The Anomalies Psychoneurotic (2020)

An up-and-coming Indonesian Brutal Death Metal trio is ready to kill with their debut opus, offering us all an onrush of psychological depravity, gore and terror.

Formed in 2011 in Bekasi, a city in West Java, Indonesia, located on the eastern border of Jakarta, where the underground music scene teems with sounds of insane brutality and extremity past the point of reason, an unrelenting unity that goes by the name of Chancroid plays a furious blend of Brutal Death Metal and Deathslam that stands out for its blood curdling bludgeoning, even amongst those rabid, gore hungry hordes. Formed of vocalist Wira (Infinite Torture, Vomit Larynx, Hypocrisis), guitarist and bassist Hendri (Gyarotium, Hujjat) and drummer Arief (Digging Up, Opium), Chancroid are ready to please all lovers of the gore and endless brutality by bands such as Devourment, Skinless and Disgorge, among others, with their debut full-length release beautifully titled Bestial Perverse Of The Anomalies Psychoneurotic, an avalanche of psychological depravity, gore and terror, all embraced by the vile cover art and layout by Indonesian artist Aghy Purakusuma.

Like a good slasher flick the album starts with a phantasmagorical Intro, dragging the listener to the violent and gory world ruled by Chancroid with Coitus Deification Terminology showcasing straightforward lyrics vomited by Wira (“Bestiality ordered sacrilege committing / Deified sinners, morals depravity / Divine excoriated / Scriptures mockery / The terminology of new order”), sounding raw and visceral from the very first second with Arief hammering his drums manically, and even more infernal the band offers us all the putrid Maximum High Tension Penetrating, a pure, unfiltered Brutal Death Metal tune where Hendri fires some Cannibal Corpse/Aborted-inspired riffs accompanied by the always inhumane gnarls by Wira. And in Xyy, another blast of undisputed violence and dementia by Chancroid, it becomes very clear that although they might be only three guys, they surely know how to make a lot of noise, with Arief once again going berserk and furious behind his drum kit.

Hebephrenia is a cryptic instrumental interlude once again highly inspired by the greatest classics of the horror cinema, filling our ears with its darkly beautiful sounds and tones before the band attacks our senses once again in Bestial Perverse of the Anomalies Psychoneurotic, bringing forward another round of bestiality in the form of wicked lyrics (“From the chamber of atrocity / Brutal heavy killing machine / Inhuman deviations / Consists of lust and voracious / The anomaly / Stench of blood / Arousal concordance / Amalgamated / Bestial creature / Bestial perverse of the anomalies psychoneurotic”), hellish blast beats and scorching riffs. Chancroid continue their path of sheer devastation and savagery in Sadomasochist, where Hendri lives up to the legacy of classic shredding beasts while Wira doesn’t stop vociferating rabidly in this ode to Death Metal, and there’s no time to breathe as the trio continues to smash our cranial skulls in Abysmal Tranquility, where Hendri and Arief make a dynamic duo from hell with their classic riffs and beats, respectively. In Distortion Cognitive of Malicious they need less than three minutes to pulverize everything and everyone that crosses their path in a lecture in Brutal Slamming Death Metal spearheaded by the vicious drumming by Arief, and how about ending the album with more bestiality, blood and violence? That’s exactly what they offer us all in Haemophilus Ducreyi Inoculated, with Wira sounding truly demonic and enraged on vocals.

If you have never, ever in your life had any type of contact with a metal band from Indonesia, let’s say Chancroid might be one of the best options for you to start on the underground Indonesian scene, as not only they play high-end Death Metal, but their compositions are also very cohesive, entertaining and, above all that, very professional for a band that has just released their first album. Hence, let’s support this hellish Indonesian trio by following them on Facebook and on Instagram, and by purchasing a copy of the fulminating Bestial Perverse Of The Anomalies Psychoneurotic from their own BandCamp page, from Apple Music or from Amazon. Wira, Hendri and Arief are more than ready to kill with their debut effort in the name of Death Metal, warning us all that this is only the first chapter in their history of underground brutality.

Best moments of the album: Maximum High Tension Penetrating, Bestial Perverse of the Anomalies Psychoneurotic and Distortion Cognitive of Malicious.

Worst moments of the album: Haemophilus Ducreyi Inoculated.

Released in 2020 Brute! Productions

Track listing
1. Intro 1:55
2. Coitus Deification Terminology 2:41
3. Maximum High Tension Penetrating 2:44
4. Xyy 3:11
5. Hebephrenia (Instrumental) 3:16
6. Bestial Perverse of the Anomalies Psychoneurotic 4:26
7. Sadomasochist 3:27
8. Abysmal Tranquility 3:07
9. Distortion Cognitive of Malicious 2:47
10. Haemophilus Ducreyi Inoculated 3:01

Band members
Wira – vocals
Hendri – guitars, bass
Arief – drums

Album Review – Heisenberg / Heisenberg (2014)

Say their name, because they are the ones who slam.

Rating5

heisenberg_coverDirectly from Long Island, New York, comes a band which specialty and purpose are pretty straight-forward: having fun and slamming into the pit. Not only that, they have chosen an excellent name for the band, honoring one of the most outstanding fictional characters the world has even seen from the cult series Breaking Bad, the chemist teacher and drug lord Walter “Walt” Hartwell White Sr., or simply Walter White (who doesn’t love his most famous quote, “SAY MY NAME”?). I’m talking about American Brutal Death Metal/Deathslam band Heisenberg, who have just released their self-titled debut album and are ready to slam as much as possible.

Heisenberg, which is the  clandestine pseudonym used by Walter White in the show (as if you didn’t know that already), was formed by members of other Deathslam bands: Two Shells Left, The Forrest Gump Mile High Marathon and Ellery Park, and they list among their biggest idols many important Death Metal bands such as Devourment and Suffocation, and other less crude but still heavy names like Industrial Metal band Fear Factory. Those influences are easily noticed throughout the entire album, which despite being short will surely disturb your neighbors’ peace and provide you some bruises and that unique pain in the neck after listening to it.

One of the best things in the music by Heisenberg is that you can actually listen to all instruments, which means you can also enjoy the musicians’ abilities instead of only slam like a motherfucker. That’s the case with the opening song, Plecostomus Prime, with its brutal guttural vocals, and riffs and drums as heavy as hell, followed by one of the top songs of the album, the violent Meth Shots, where the excellent vocals and chorus match perfectly with the instrumental parts. The following track, Explosive Innards, is as explosive as its name says, with highlights to its good riffs.

The band doesn’t let the ball drop, offering us another massacre named Glory Hole Confession Session, with its strong bass lines and drums showing why they cite Fear Factory as one of their biggest influences. And pay attention to the vocals on the last part of the song, they’re gruesome (in a good way, of course). Then we have what in my opinion is the best track of the album by far, the brutal The Pantera Factor: the “Beavis & Butthead” intro as a tribute to the mighty PANTERA is so cool, and the song itself is so heavy (especially the riffs), that I’m pretty sure wherever Mr. Dimebag Darrell (R.I.P.) is he might be really proud of Heisenberg now.

heisenberg_bandThe last part the album kicks off with Black Metal Joe, the longest track of all and also the one with the most melodic riffs, and I have to admit this song sounds extremely professional for an independent band, with highlights to the changes in rhythm and breaks which give it an extra level of energy. Then we have Razorblade Enema, a very Death Metal tune perfect for slamming like crazy, and finally Fulminated Mercury closing the album, which despite being an extremely heavy track, lacks something to put it in the same level as the rest of the album.

I have some trouble understanding the lyrics in all songs, but who cares?  As I said, the objective of Heisenberg with their music is providing the fans an awesome soundtrack for slamming, nothing else. In addition, the album art by American bassist, singer and artist Mike Majewksi, showing a very violent and merciless Walter White butchering all those rotten corpses, is more than awesome and becomes a crucial part of the album.

In summary, Heisenberg, which can be streamed and purchased at the band’s bandcamp page, is a recommended album for all fans of old-fashioned Deathslam and even for metalheads that want to learn more about this music genre. And if you’re also a huge fan of Mr. Walter White, you’ll surely “remember his name” while slamming with Heisenberg’s music.

Best moments of the album: Meth Shots and The Pantera Factor.

Worst moments of the album: Fulminated Mercury.

Released in 2014 Independent

Track listing
1. Plecostomus Prime 2:49
2. Meth Shots 2:14
3. Explosive Innards 1:57
4. Glory Hole Confession Session (feat. Joe Marchese) 2:22
5. The Pantera Factor 2:12
6. Black Metal Joe 3:05
7. Razorblade Enema 1:56
8. Fulminated Mercury 1:59

Band members
Paul McGrath – vocals
Brandon Moran – guitars
Billy Haiduk – bass
Tim Schmidt – drums