Album Review – Gojira / Fortitude (2021)

Let’s all face up the world to the sound of the new masterpiece by one of the most dynamic, creative and thrilling bands of the current metal scene.

4.5rating

gojira-fortitude-2021Recorded at the famous Silver Cord Studio in New York City, the amazing Fortitude, the seventh studio opus by French Progressive/Groove Metal giants Gojira and the follow-up to their 2016 critically-acclaimed album Magma, is considered by the band a “groovy, aerated album” inspired as an encouragement to self-reinforcement, “to show courage to face up the world, to face tomorrow’s problems,” and after listening to each and every track from the album you’ll realize vocalist and guitarist Joe Duplantier, guitarist Christian Andreu, bassist Jean-Michel Labadie and drummer Mario Duplantier simply nailed it. According to Joe, the album’s title Fortitude “is to inspire people to be the best version of themselves and to be strong no matter what”, while the cover art, which represents “the spirit of the album”, was designed and painted by Joe himself. His brother Mario brought him various paintings of warriors and knights and showed him Pallas Athena, an 1898 oil-on-canvas painting by Gustav Klimt, and Knights of the Round Table. As he wanted to represent an indigenous person, it ended with his own interpretation of all these elements.

Their progressive vein explodes into sheer electricity in the opening tune Born for One Thing, with Mario proving why he’s one of the best metal drummers of the current scene. Put differently, it’s pure Gojira to properly kick things off, followed by the stunning Amazonia, where the band’s trademark metal is infused with local elements from the Brazilian culture for our total delight. Furthermore, it’s impossible not to sing along its lyrics with Joe (“There’s fire in the sky / You’re in the Amazon / The greatest miracle / Is burning to the ground / Godly Amazonia / Bloody Amazonia / Mighty Amazonia / Killing Amazonia”); and Joe and Christian keep kicking ass with their wicked riffage in Another World, another classic tune by the quartet perfect for banging our heads nonstop, not to mention how in sync Jean-Michel and Mario are with their heavy kitchen. Hold On is a more atmospheric and experimental composition by Gojira, bringing forward rhythmic beats, slashing riffs and the always visceral vocals by Joe, whereas in New Found we’re treated to strident, piercing riffs that only those French metallers can provide us all, feeling like it was taken from their 2005 cult album From Mars to Sirius. Needless to say, the Duplantier Brothers are on fire with their crushing vocals and pounding beats.

The title-track Fortitude is one of those classic Gojira interludes, an enfolding acoustic sound to soothe our souls before the beautiful The Chant fills outevery single space in the air, showcasing the band’s trademark, meaningful words (“You were told to swallow crawl and hide / Victims of fear and deception / Get ahold of yourself rise above / The better part of you, immortal”) amidst a lesson in Progressive Rock and Metal; and their sharp guitars come ripping in the neck-breaking Sphinx, where Joel invests into darker vocal lines accompanied by the vicious drums by Mario, not to mention how metallic the bass by Jean-Michel sounds. Let’s keep banging our heads to the fantastic Heavy Metal blasted by Gojira in Into the Storm, where the quartet enhances the epicness in their music considerably, resulting in a massive creation that will please all fans of the band, whereas slowing things down a bit and sounding more melancholic and somber than before it’s time for The Trails, a very introspective song spearheaded by Joe’s cryptic vocals. Lastly, slashing our ears mercilessly the band fires the awesome Grind, where Mario showcases all his dexterity behind his drums accompanied by the electrifying riffage by Joe and Christian, therefore ending the album on a kick-ass, piercing Progressive Metal note. In addition, if you’re lucky enough to find the Japanese edition of the album, you’ll be treated to three bonus songs (Silvera, Backbone and Pray) recorded live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in the United States on May 11, 2017.

gojira-2021Are you ready to have your mind and soul hypnotized by the unparalleled music brought into being by one of the biggest names of the current metal scene worldwide? If your answer is yes, you can enjoy Fortitude in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, or simply click HERE for all locations where you can buy or stream such fantastic album. Also, don’t forget to follow Gojira on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates, initiatives they’re involved with, and so on, also subscribing to their YouTube channel for more of their music and other exclusive footage. As aforementioned, those French metallers wanted to create an album that would help us face our problems, our monsters and inner demons, and it’s impressive how they managed to do so without abandoning their core musical essence, providing us fans of Heavy Metal what’s perhaps the best album of 2021, an year where we lost so much but that at the same time is giving us some hope to keep moving forward.

Best moments of the album: Amazonia, New Found, Sphinx, Into the Storm and Grind.

Worst moments of the album: The Trails.

Released in 2021 Roadrunner Records

Track listing
1. Born for One Thing 4:20
2. Amazonia 5:00
3. Another World 4:24
4. Hold On 5:30
5.New Found 6:36
6. Fortitude 2:07
7. The Chant 5:12
8. Sphinx 4:00
9. Into the Storm 5:02
10. The Trails 4:07
11. Grind 5:34

Japanese Edition bonus tracks
12. Silvera (live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre 2017) 3:57
13. Backbone (live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre 2017) 6:23
14. Pray (live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre 2017) 10:20

Band members
Joe Duplantier – vocals, guitar
Christian Andreu – guitar
Jean-Michel Labadie – bass
Mario Duplantier – drums

Guest musician
Adriana Vanella – vocals on “Amazonia”

Album Review – Salò / Sortez vos Morts EP (2021)

A newborn French entity brings out their dead in their debut EP of pulverizing Industrial Metal and Blackened Crust.

Labeling their own music as “Blackened Crust Industrial As Fuck”, Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, France-based Industrial/Blackened Crust outfit Salò is unleashing upon humanity their debut EP entitled Sortez vos Morts, or “bring out your dead” in English, which as the band itself says, “tells you, without telling you everything either, poor little ones, how it generally goes – after all the lights at the end of the tunnel have closed.” Recorded and mixed by Manu Laffeach at Studio Chaudelande, mastered by Cyrille Gachet at Dick Doom Studio, and featuring an apocalyptic artwork by CLLK Artwork and logo by Dehn Sora, Sortez vos Morts is highly recommended for fans of the darkest and most desperate form of Industrial Metal you can think of, showcasing all the rage and versatility of this up-and-coming quartet formed by HCT on vocals and bass, AVS on the guitars, DLE onkeyboards and samples, and NGH on drums.

There’s nothing better than kicking of an Industrial Metal album than with a wicked, cinematic intro the likes of La Morale C’est Ça… (or “the moral is that…” in English), setting the stage for the band to crush in the visceral Sans Gêne Ni Haine, or “without embarrassment or hatred”, sounding sick and demented from the very first second with AVS and NGH making an infernal duo with their respective riffs and beats, while HCT barks and roars like a rabid beast. Then the phantasmagorical keys by DLE add an extra touch of dementia to the furious fusion of Industrial Metal and Blackened Crust by Salò in Sans Toit Ni Loi (“no roof or law”), with AVS firing his Thrash Metal-inspired riffage, followed by Tant D’interdits (“so many prohibitions”), where another eerie, alternative intro morphs into a neck-breaking sonority showcasing the rhythmic drums by NGH spiced up by the sick keys and samples by DLE, not to mention how HCT effectively takes the lead with his deranged screams. Their second to last blast of industrialized sounds, titled Sonnez La Curée (“ring the quarry”), is an insane and demonic creation by the French quartet where its thrashing, Punk Rock-infused riffs, together with its rebellious attitude and Hardcore growling by HCT, turn it into the most detailed and thrilling of all songs; whereas the ruthless and hellish Contagion closes the album in the most aggressive way possible, bringing to our ears venomous screams and riffs, menacing keys and Doom Metal-inspired beats.

Sortez vos Morts is available for a full stream on YouTube, but of course if you want to truly show your support for those French metallers you should start following them on Facebook and on Instagram, and even more important than that, purchase the EP from their BandCamp page, from the Cold Dark Matter Records’ BandCamp page or Big Cartel, from the Coups de Couteau’s BandCamp page, and soon also from the Duality Records’ Big Cartel. We must all admit Sortez vos Morts is indeed an amazing start for Salò, therefore already positioning them as a driving force of the genre in their homeland, and if that’s the music we’ll all hear “after all the lights at the end of the tunnel have closed”, then we can rest assured that the other side is at least heavy, furious and frantic, just the way we like it.

Best moments of the album: Sans Gêne Ni Haine and Sonnez La Curée.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Cold Dark Matter Records/Coups de Couteau/Duality Records

Track listing
1. La Morale C’est Ça… 1:04
2. Sans Gêne Ni Haine 6:53
3. Sans Toit Ni Loi 4:28
4. Tant D’interdits 4:02
5. Sonnez La Curée 6:29
6. Contagion 3:53

Band members
HCT – vocals, bass
AVS – guitars
DLE – keyboards, samples
NGH – drums

Album Review – Subterraen / Rotten Human Kingdom (2020)

Behold the debut opus by this Nantes, France-based Sludge and Doom Metal entity, narrating epic, anguish-ridden tales of the slow destruction of the planet and sowing seeds of the inexorable vengeance of mother nature.

Following the ponderous steps of giants like Eremit and Jupiterian while adding their own darkened grit and weighed down heaviness to the proceedings, Nantes, France-based Blackened Sludge/Doom Metal trio Subterraen has just released their debut opus entitled Rotten Human Kingdom, crafting 10+ minute songs narrating epic, anguish-ridden tales of the slow destruction of the planet and sowing seeds of the inexorable vengeance of mother nature. Formed in 2017, the band comprised of Clem Helvete on vocals and guitars, Chris KKP also on the guitar and Milvus on drums masterfully carries the torch of the style on their newborn spawn, with the crisp recording, mixing and mastering by the band’s own Chris KKP and the cryptic artwork by the talented illustrator Adam Burke (Nightjar Illustration) turning it into a must-listen for admirers of the somber creations by renowned acts such as Eyehategod, Neurosis, , Conan and Primitive Man.

Just like a creature form the abyss the band arises with their sluggish, eerie sounds in the 13-minute doomed feast titled Blood for the Blood Gods, where Clem roars and gnarls demonically while Milvus pounds his drums in the most devilish way possible. Furthermore, their guitar work is also amazing, exhaling darkness and evil, and with all atmospheric, melancholic passages enhancing the song’s taste and punch considerably. Then we have For a Fistful of Silver, an explosion of the most Stygian and darkest fusion of Sludge and Doom Metal, with Clem once again taking the lead with his enraged roaring while Milvus alternates between Black Metal-inspired drums and primeval doom beats. It’s impressive how the music evolves and progresses like if it was the soundtrack to a psychological horror movie, with the dirty and visceral riffs by both Clem and Chris penetrating deep inside your skin. After such avalanche of blackened sounds, it’s time for the trio to enfold us all with the delicate interlude Oceans are Rising, where minimalist guitar lines permeate the air for over two minutes until Clem, Chris and Milvus show no mercy for our souls with the demolishing Blackened Doom Metal aria Wrath of a Downtrodden Planet, a beastly creation by Subterraen where slow and steady beats and malignant ambience provide Clem exactly what he needs to darken our thoughts with his hellish screams, and the music remains as imposing, dense and vile as it can be, all spiced up by their trademark raw, piercing guitars.

Subterraen’s massive monolith of doom can be appreciated in full on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course in order to show those French metallers your support and admiration go grab your copy of Rotten Human Kingdom from countless locations such as their own BandCamp page, the official Transcending Obscurity Records’ webstore, where by the way you can find an amazing Coffin-Shaped Wooden CD Box Set with Laser Engraving including an 8-panel Digipak CD with metallic effect/UV embossing and sandalwood scent, an autographed certificate, a fridge magnet, a metallic sticker, a gold patch and a badge (also available through their US store), Apple Music, Amazon, Walmart and Strictly Discs, and don’t forget to also follow them on Facebook and on Instagram. As the band members themselves like to say, “from ashes to ashes, from dust to dust”, and in the case of their debut album Rotten Human Kingdom, we can also add to that “from doom to doom.”

Best moments of the album: For a Fistful of Silver and Wrath of a Downtrodden Planet.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 Transcending Obscurity Records

Track listing
1. Blood for the Blood Gods 13:28
2. For a Fistful of Silver 14:30
3. Oceans are Rising 2:33
4. Wrath of a Downtrodden Planet 18:20

Band members
Clem Helvete – vocals, guitars
Chris KKP – guitar
Milvus – drums

Album Review – Ecclesia / De Ecclesiæ Universalis (2020)

Showcasing the perfect syncretism between Heavy and Doom Metal, this army of French inquisitors stands strong on their crusade against every doom heretic with their incendiary debut album.

Playing what they like to call epic and dark Doom Metal-influenced Heavy Metal since their formation as a trio in 2016, the now fully-formed army of French inquisitors known as Ecclesia (the Latin word for “church”) unleashed upon us sinners this Friday the 13th their debut full-length musical mass De Ecclesiæ Universalis, which is Latin for “the universal church”, following up on their highly acclaimed 2017 demo Witchfinding Metal of Doom. Armed with purifying fire, blessed swords and Holy Rage, the band currently comprised of Frater Arnhwald on vocals, Julius Accusator and The Witchfinder General on the guitars, Frater Ignis Sacer on bass, Pater Hexenhammer on drums and Pater Walkelinus on organ and keyboards deals with the 12th Century dark medieval age of Holy Inquisition in their lyrics, showcasing the perfect syncretism between Heavy and Doom Metal in their music and, therefore, being highly recommended for admirers of the music by Candlemass, Cathedral and Solitude Aeternus, among other giants of the 80’s heavy and doom scene, standing strong on their crusade against every doom heretic and urging us all to confess our unholy sins.

Gregorian chants and the always tenebrous sound of the rain ignite the album in the bold intro Excommunicamus, before the strident riffage by Julius and The Witchfinder General dictate the rhythm in the hybrid of classic Heavy and Doom Metal titled Vatican III, a superb song to start the album where the rockin’ vocals by Arnhwald truly enhance the song’s impact and blasphemous feel, whereas their Black Sabbath vein beautifully explodes in Ecclesia Sathani, with Walkelinus’ phantasmagorical pipes bringing a touch of evil to the overall result, blending the glory of the 70’s and 80’s with their modern-day Doom Metal. Then get ready to crack your neck headbanging in the name of the unholy church of doom ruled by Ecclesia in Montségur, where Hexenhammer and Walkelinus are in absolute sync with their respective beats and keys while Arnhwald continues to fire his ass-kicking, King Diamond-inspired vocal lines. And never tired of hammering their sonic weapons, Ecclesia deliver another amazing tune entitled Behold the Heretic Burning, feeling like it was taken from one of Dio’s classic albums (which obviously means excellency), while Ignis Sacer makes sure the earth shakes to the sound of his menacing bass.

After such amazing first half of the album, how about seven minutes of a fusion of classic Doom Metal with Stoner and Southern Metal, spiced up by epic keys and soaring vocals? That’s what you’ll get in the Stygian hymn Antichristus. Needless to say, the band’s guitar duo will pierce your skin deep with their venomous riffs, ending the song in the most visceral way possible, and you better prepare your ears for another round of slashing riffs in Deus Vult, where the church-like organ pipes by Walkelinus will captivate your mind, opening it up for the slamming Rock N’ Roll crafted by his band members while sounding as harmonious and thrilling as it can be. It’s time to go full doom in the cryptic God’s Trial, with the sluggish beats by Hexenhammer walking hand in hand with the riffage by Julius and The Witchfinder General, being tailored for admirers of the most primeval form of Doom Metal (albeit not as powerful as the rest of the album). Before all is said and done, we’re treated to their cover version for Venom’s classic Burn The Witches (actually, the original song is titled “Don’t Burn The Witch”), from their 1982 cult album Black Metal, and you check the original version HERE, with Ecclesia’s version being absolutely awesome from start to finish, morphing into the stunning church-inspired outro Ite Missa Est to put a proper ending to their metal mass.

In case you’re considering joining a church for any given reason, I suggest you go check the services provided at the temple of doom ruled by Ecclesia on their Facebook page, and purchase your copy of the sensational De Ecclesiæ Universalis from their own BandCamp page, from the Aural Music webstore, from Season of Mist, from jpc.de, from Best Buy or from Amazon, proving to those French metallers you’re not a doom heretic and that you’re worth their mercy. Put differently, why not confessing your darkest and most impure sins to the sound of the ass-kicking metal music blasted by Ecclesia in their flammable newborn spawn? I’m sure both God and the Devil will love to witness you succumbing to their visceral, damned creations.

Best moments of the album: Vatican III, Montségur, Antichristus and Deus Vult.

Worst moments of the album: God’s Trial.

Released in 2020 Aural Music

Track listing
1. Excommunicamus 1:07
2. Vatican III 4:44
3. Ecclesia Sathani 5:26
4. Montségur 6:03
5. Behold the Heretic Burning 4:57
6. Antichristus 7:11
7. Deus Vult 5:33
8. God’s Trial 6:32
9. Burn The Witches (Venom cover) 3:25
10. Ite Missa Est 1:39

Band members
Frater Arnhwald – vocals
Julius Accusator – lead guitar
The Witchfinder General – rhythm guitar
Frater Ignis Sacer – bass
Pater Hexenhammer – drums
Pater Walkelinus – organ, keyboards

Album Review – Dead Tree Seeds / Push The Button (2020)

Simply slam into the circle pit like there’s no tomorrow to the sound of the brand new album by these talented thrashing maniacs hailing from France.

Born from the ashes of a Thrash Metal band named Triakanthos in 2009 in Paris, France, an unstoppable thrashing beast known as Dead Tree Seeds is back in action after seven long years with their sophomore full-length album, entitled Push The Button, the follow-up to their 2013 release Seeds of Thrash. Inspired by the biggest names of the scene, from Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer to the most violent fringe of Kreator or Sepultura, as well as the groovy forays the likes of Testament and Pantera, Dead Tree Seeds go straight to the point in Push The Button, paying a vibrant and aggressive tribute to that classic Thrash Metal sound from the 80’s and 90’s while at the same time adding their own French twist to each one of the ten original tracks of the album. Currently comprised of Frank Vortex on vocals, Francois Odonnet and Aurelien Gonzalez on the guitars, Sidi Assila on bass and Alexandre Prudent on drums, Dead Tree Seeds are definitely back on track in their explosive new album, inviting us all to join them into the circle pit to the sound of their American Thrash Metal-fueled creations.

In the instrumental opening track Thrash Tales, Francois and Aurelien begin extracting serene, acoustic sounds form their guitars, gradually enhancing their rage and punch while accompanied by Alexandre’s fierce drums, setting the tone for Fangs Of The White Wolf, an old school Thrash Metal hymn perfect for crushing your skull into the pit, with Frank rabidly vociferating the song’s epic lyrics (“Fear, frost, blizzard in your eyes, welcome to the great white storm / Lost in travel, gone to the North, hailstones like a swarn / You’ve been followed by hungry eyes, the wild is craving for your flesh / Meet the Lord of the frozen wastelands, killer of a million wanderers”), whereas drinking form the same rebellious fountain as Anthrax, Exodus and Overkill, it’s time for the quintet to put the pedal to the metal in Thru God For Vengeance, where the band’s guitar duo fires their trademark shredding and solos while Frank keeps barking and growling like a true thrashing maniac.

No Time To Complain stats in a darker way before morphing into classic Thrash Metal led by Frank’s rabid roars while Sidi keeps smashing his bass mercilessly, maintaining the level of adrenaline in Push The Button extremely high, followed by the title-track Push The Button, a demented thrashing extravaganza where Alexandre sounds brutal and demolishing on drums, therefore providing his bandmates all they need to thrive, in special Frank with his raspy, punk-ish vocals, not to mention the sick guitar solos fired by Francois and Aureliene. Then strident guitar sounds permeate the air in the melodic bridge The Way To Eternity before tribal beats hammer our heads in the headbanging tune Abjection, blending the obscurity from Slayer with the inebriate sounds from the early years of Exodus while also showcasing a great balance between their razor-edged riffage, visceral growls and groovy background sounds.

And Alexandre doesn’t let their wrath and electricity go down with his vicious beats in Enemies Of Rome, where Frank’s deranged screams are effectively supported by the band’s old school backing vocals, all spiced up by their accelerated pace halfway through it for our total delight. Wailing Wall reminds me of both old school and contemporary Testament, which is obviously an amazing feature of the song, focusing on the precise and incendiary riffs by the band’s guitarists while Frank alternates between deeper growls and more desperate screams, paving the band’s path of destruction to the closing tune Shotdead, offering over seven minutes of savagery, rebelliousness and, above all, pure 80’s Thrash Metal spearheaded by Alexandre’s blast beats. Furthermore, their sharp riffs will pierce your ears in great fashion, and despite all breaks and atmospheric passages not sounding bad, they end up taking away some of the song’s ferocity in the end.

As I already mentioned in a few older reviews, if thrashing is your business (and business is good), you can start following Dead Tree Seeds on Facebook to know more about those talented French thrashers, and in order to show them your utmost support and admiration you can purchase a copy of Push The Button from their own BandCamp page, as well as from the Rock Metal Market webstore in regular CD format, in vinyl format, as a special CD + vinyl bundle, or as a very special CD + vinyl + cassette bundle. It might have taken seven years for the seeds of thrash planted by Dead Tree Seeds to finally grow into their newborn spawn Push The Button, but the wait was definitely worth it for all fans of classic Bay Area Thrash, who know have another excellent reason for having a cold beer and slamming into the circle pit just the way we love doing since the beginning of the glorious decade known as the 80’s.

Best moments of the album: Fangs Of The White Wolf, Push The Button and Abjection.

Worst moments of the album: Shotdead.

Released in 2020 M.U.S.I.C. Records

Track listing
1. Thrash Tales (Instrumental) 1:42
2. Fangs Of The White Wolf 3:40
3. Thru God For Vengeance 3:52
4. No Time To Complain 6:27
5. Push The Button 4:12
6. The Way To Eternity (Instrumental) 2:03
7. Abjection 4:34
8. Enemies Of Rome 6:00
9. Wailing Wall 4:53
10. Shotdead 7:29

Band members
Frank Vortex – lead vocals
Francois Odonnet – guitar
Aurelien Gonzalez – guitar
Sidi Assila – bass
Alexandre Prudent – drums

Album Review – Serocs / Vore EP (2020)

Bang your heads to the new EP of brutal and technical Death Metal offered by a rising force from the international extreme music scene.

What began in 2009 in Guadalajara, a metropolis in western Mexico and the capital of the state of Jalisco, as a Brutal Technical Death Metal one-man project by guitarist Antonio Freyre under the name of Serocs later transformed into a full-blown international band with members from Mexico, France and Canada, exploding to its full capacity with the release of their 2018 opus The Phobos/Deimos Suite. Now in 2020 the band comprised of the aforementioned Antonio together with vocalist Laurent Bellemare (Sutrah), guitarist and bassist Antoine Daigneault (Chthe’ilist) and drummer Kévin Paradis (Benighted) returns with the next step in their evolutionary career, the five-track EP entitled Vore, offering fans of Cryptopsy, Severed Savior and Gorguts, among others, an excellent sample of what Serocs mean when they say they play “Death Metal from all over the world”. Reamped, mixed and mastered by Hugues Deslauriers at Roarrr Sound Studio in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Vore is “a very important release for me. It has all the elements of classic Serocs at first but then it transitions into something new and exciting,” commented the band’s mastermind Antonio about the album, inviting us all to know more about his project and his passion for brutal and technical music.

A wicked intro explodes into brutal and extremely technical Death Metal in Anthropic, where Kévin dictates the rhythm with his vicious beats while Laurent blasts inhumane, gruesome gnarls for our total delight, with the band’s guitar duo also showcasing all their rage and dexterity with their scorching riffage. More intricate and absolutely visceral sounds invade our senses in Building a Shrine Upon Vanishing Sands, a lesson in Technical Death Metal spiced up by Groove Metal nuances where Antoine is on fire with both his guitar riffs and utterly metallic bass punches, not to mention the fiery guitar solos by guest Phil Tougas, whereas we’re treated to a few moments of peace in the instrumental bridge Shallow Vaults before the quartet comes crushing once again with their rumbling, venomous music in The Temple of Knowledge, with Kévin once again sounding very technical but at the same time berserk on drums while Laurent continues to vociferated deeply and rabidly in great Death Metal fashion. Then venturing through darker and more progressive lands the band brings forth To Self Devour, leaning towards pure Progressive Death Metal with Antonio and Antoine extracting sheer electricity from their guitars nonstop, providing Laurent all he needs to thrive with his vicious screeches. In addition, as bonuses to fans of Serocs’ music the band offers two demos recorded in 2011 for the songs Nihilus, from the album The Phobos/Deimos Suite (check the official and infernal studio version HERE), and Anthropic, both raw and demented, and both presenting even sharper and more thunderous bass lines and drums compared to their final, lapidated shape and form.

As mentioned by the band’s mastermind Antonio Freyre, Vore is more than “just” an excellent EP of Technical Death Metal, but a solid step in the career of a band that has been on a constant rise since their inception. Hence, you can follow Serocs on Facebook and listen to more of their music on Spotify to show Antonio and his henchmen all your support to the underground, and purchase your copy of Vore from the Everlasting Spew Records’ BandCamp page or webstore in regular MCD format or as a stylish MCD and shirt bundle, as well as from Apple Music, keeping the flames of brutal and technical extreme music burning bright and, consequently, fueling bands like Serocs to keep providing us all amazing options for banging our heads like maniacs, for practicing our musician skills, and for disturbing the peace of our quiet neighborhoods.

Best moments of the album: Anthropic and Building a Shrine Upon Vanishing Sands.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 Everlasting Spew Records

Track listing
1. Anthropic 5:17
2. Building a Shrine Upon Vanishing Sands 3:51
3. Shallow Vaults 1:22
4. The Temple of Knowledge 4:47
5. To Self Devour 4:40

Bonus tracks
6. Nihilus (2011 Demo) 3:18
7. Anthropic (2011 Demo) 3:09

Band members
Laurent Bellemare – vocals
Antonio Freyre – guitar
Antoine Daigneault – guitar, bass
Kévin Paradis – drums

Guest musician
Phil Tougas – guitar solos on “Building A Shrine Upon Vanishing Sands”

Album Review – Voorhees / Chapter Two (2020)

A Death Metal quartet from France arises from their graves once again with more of their demolishing music inspired by old school horror movies.

If you’re a true metalhead and at the same time a fan of old school horror movies from the 70’s to the 90’s, you’ll have an absolute blast with the music found in Chapter Two, the first full-length opus by a French Death Metal unity that goes by the name of Voorhees. Formed in 2017 in Metz, a city in France’s northeastern Grand Est region, the band comprised of Chris on vocals and guitars, Sébastien “Seb” Valbrecq on lead guitars, Fred on bass and Will on drums obviously had their name, logo and everything else inspired by the one and only Jason Voorhees, the main character from the Friday the 13th franchise, with their old school Death Metal being highly recommended for admirers of the sonic devastation blasted by renowned acts such as Death, Cannibal Corpse, Massacre and Obituary. Having released their debut EP entitled Chapter One on Friday the 13th, October 2017, this talented slasher squad once again chose the iconic date to release Chapter Two, on Friday the 13th, March 2020, dedicating pretty much each one of the eight songs of the album to a specific movie. Recorded by the band’s own drummer Will (known for his work as Willy Lang with French Doom/Death Metal one-man act Nosphares), mixed by Dan Swanö at Unisound, and featuring a classic and visceral artwork by Fabrice Romo (Kaos Obscure Art), Chapter Two is the perfect soundtrack for your horror flick night.

Inspired by the Wes Craven movies The Hills Have Eyes (one of my favorite slasher flicks of all time), the opening track The Lucky Ones Die First exhales pure, undisputed Death Metal form the very beginning, with Chris and Seb doing a great job with their unstoppable riffage while Will smashes his drums in great fashion, followed by My Horror Event, drawing inspiration from the movie Creepshow, directed by George A. Romero in 1982 and with script by Stephen King. Putting the pedal to the metal, the band adds hints of Thrash Metal to their insane riffs in this wicked tune while Chris keeps barking like a true beast, not to mention Fred’s rumbling bass punches, whereas in Evil To Come, largely inspired by the movie The Day of the Beast (or “El Día de la Bestia” in Spanish), directed by Alex de la Iglesia in 1995, we’re treated to more classic Death Metal the likes of Unleashed and Obituary, resulting in the perfect choice for cracking your skull headbanging or for slamming into the circle pit. And in The Will To Kill, their musical representation of the movie Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer, directed by John McNaughton in 1986, a somber start evolves into a mid-tempo, dark sonority led by Fred and Will with their thunderous weapons, while Chris vociferates the songs words deeply and rabidly.

The cryptic voice by Charles Manson kicks off I’m The Man Who Became God, a gruesome, headbanging Death Metal extravaganza re-recorded from their first EP where Chris and Seb sound truly infernal on the guitars, accompanied by Will’s putrid and classic beast and fills, setting the tone for Voorhees II, obviously inspired by the second chapter of the Friday the 13th franchise, directed by Steve Miner in 1981. It’s time to brutally slam into the pit to the sound of this frantic and berserk composition, may favorite of the album by the way, where Will is at the same time groovy and demented on drums and with the band’s stringed trio slashing our minds and ears with their razor-edged riffs and sick bass lines. Then we have Reanimated, originally supposed to be a song inspired by the movie Re-Animator and finally turned into an almost instrumental “tribute” to the evil characters that are Jason, Leatherface, Michael Myers and Freddy Krueger, who always resurrect at the end. Will and Fred generate a menacing atmosphere perfect for Chris to growl and bark like a horror movie monster, all spiced up by Seb’s classic guitar solos, and closing the album it’s time for more obscurity and aggressiveness in the form of Death Metal with the climatic Into Darkness, a crushing, mid-tempo tune led by Will’s fierce beats while Chris keeps vociferating and roaring nonstop, and after all is said and done you’ll feel absolutely disoriented without a shadow of a doubt.

Voorhees’ horror movie-inspired Old School Death Metal feast can be appreciated in full on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course if you want to show your true support to the band (and avoid a visit of Jason Voorhees himself to your home) you should purchase the album from several locations such as the band’s own BandCamp page, the Great Dane Records’ BandCamp page or webstore, Apple Music or Discogs. In addition, don’t forget to follow them on Facebook and to subscribe to their YouTube channel, filling your ears with that traditional Death Metal sonority we all love so much with no shenanigans nor any artificial elements added to it. Will they continue their path of violence and bloodshed with several more chapters in the form of metal albums inspired by each one of the Friday the 13th movies? Only time will tell, but based on the high quality of the music found in Chapter Two I’m sure it won’t take long for the quartet to arise from their graves once again to haunt our damned souls.

Best moments of the album: My Horror Event, Voorhees II and Reanimated.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 Great Dane Records

Track listing
1. The Lucky Ones Die First 4:34
2. My Horror Event 3:44
3. Evil To Come 5:12
4. The Will To Kill 5:09
5. I’m The Man Who Became God 6:39
6. Voorhees II 3:31
7. Reanimated 5:14
8. Into Darkness 5:11

Band members
Chris – vocals, guitars
Sébastien “Seb” Valbrecq – lead guitars
Fred – bass
Will – drums

Album Review – Prismeria / Requiem (2020)

Behold the rise of one of the most promising acts of the current French underground scene armed with their new album of undisputed Deathcore.

Forged in the fires of Lyon, France in 2017, Thrash/Deathcore outfit Prismeria is back in action with their first full-length album Requiem, following up on the very positive feedback received for their debut effort, the 2018 EP Lost Individual Thoughts. Bringing forth a fusion of the different influences of each one of its five members, ranging from Thrash and Death Metal to more modern sounds such as Deathcore, the band comprised of frontman Cyril Weinbrenner, guitarists Benjamin Lamy and Leny Garcia, bassist Alexandre Gros and drummer Nicolas Voydeville put a lot of effort and heart into the creation of Requiem, resulting in nine original and electrifying songs that perfectly represent all the modernity and rage proposed by the band. Produced by Convulsound Productions, Requiem also showcases a crystal clear sound quality which enhances the band’s punch considerably, again proving why they’ve been recruited for so many gigs throughout France since their inception, including opening for renowned acts like Nervosa and Nervecell.

The opening track North is frantic and furious form the very first second, or in other words, a thrashing Deathcore tune where Cyril begins his growling attack accompanied by the bestial beats by Nicolas, resulting in an amazing welcome card by the quintet to newcomers to their metal realm. Then we have Native Spirit and its rebellious lyrics (“Bang your fucking head / The battalion of mad / Crossing the swamp of the fetish / Bringing the cornerstone from the underground / The shrine of their incarnate God, was set… to become”), while Benjamin and Leny bring forward a mix of insanity, melody and industrialized sound through their wicked guitars, followed by The Ceremony, a headbanging, galloping tune by Prismeria where Alexandre adds thunder and groove to the musicality with his metallic bass while Cyril keeps barking and growling like a beast.

Blending their Deathcore essence with Progressive and Groove Metal the band fires the high-octane and violent Irkalla, with its razor-edged guitar riffs walking hand in hand with Nicolas’ blast beats and fills in a lesson in modern metal music; whereas Life is an instrumental extravaganza where the band accelerates the speed and invites us all to slam into the pit together with them, showcasing classic, incendiary riffs that live up to the legacy of Metalcore and also reminding me of the sonority blasted by Danish act Xenoblight. And Nicolas kicks things off in the high-speed Passenger with his insane drums before Benjamin and Leny come crushing our heads with their sick guitars, also presenting groovy passage where we have the pleasure of listening to the band uncompromisingly jamming, while Cyril darkly vociferates the song’s cryptic words (“Born in the nuclear explosion / Raised as nothing from the nothing / Your time here is just a perception / Stand up right now and act like a king”).

Deep Into Dementia sounds and feels like a ritualistic call to arms by Prismeria, displaying a scorching riffage by the band’s guitar duo and of course endless aggressiveness flowing from Cyril’s demented roars in an awesome feast of Metalcore infused with Thrash Metal nuances. After such demolishing song it’s time for Low Hopes of Men, a serene instrumental bridge featuring crisp acoustic guitars setting the stage for The Groovy Snake, even more progressive than its predecessors with both Benjamin and Leny firing sheer dementia through their riffs while Nicolas’ beats bring forward a huge amount of intricacy, ending the album on a dense and visceral way just the way we like it in Thrash, Death and Metalcore.

You can take a full and very detailed listen at Requiem on Spotify, but of course in order to show your support to those French metallers and to properly bang your head to their modern and vibrant Deathcore you should definitely purchase the album from their own BandCamp or Big Cartel, as well as from Amazon. In addition, keep up to date with all things Prismeria by following them on Facebook and on Instagram, and by subscribing to their official YouTube channel, witnessing the rise of one of the most promising acts of the current French underground scene, and with Requiem being another solid step forward in their musical journey.

Best moments of the album: North, Irkalla and Passenger.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 Independent

Track listing
1. North 4:58
2. Native Spirit 3:19
3. The Ceremony 3:13
4. Irkalla 3:09
5. Life (Instrumental) 3:46
6. Passenger 4:38
7. Deep Into Dementia 3:32
8. Low Hopes of Men (Instrumental) 4:16
9. The Groovy Snake 4:12

Band members
Cyril Weinbrenner – vocals
Benjamin Lamy – guitars
Leny Garcia – guitars
Alexandre Gros – bass
Nicolas Voydeville – drums