Album Review – Defechate / Unbounded (2022)

The experiences and new ideas of a ruthless Death Metal duo from Italy pushed inside an infernal musical grinder, highlighting some aspects of the evil inherent in humans.

Playing Death Metal with feet sunk in the old school domain with the gaze turned to their own influences, the ruthless Italian entity that goes by the name of Defechate is unleashing hell in the form of their first full-length opus, entitled Unbounded. Recorded and mixed at Perish Studios, mastered at Netherworld Studio, and featuring a sick artwork by Sidjimbe Art, Unbounded collects the experiences and new ideas of vocalist and bassist Giuseppe Tatangelo (Antipathic, Glacial Fear, Throne of Flesh, Unscriptural, Zora) and guitarist Luke Scurb (Humangled, Suture Messiah), and pushes everything inside an infernal musical grinder, highlighting some aspects of the evil inherent in humans and, therefore, turning the album into a great alternative for fans of Cannibal Corpse, Autopsy, Entombed, Vomitory and Obituary who also nurture a deep passion for the underground scene.

Luke’s sinister riffs ignite the brutal Hyperammonaemic, featuring a guitar solo by guest Federico Fulceri (4-Dimensional Rage, Exence), with Giuseppe barking like a rabid dog in a Brutal Slammin’ Death Metal feast for the masses; and more of the visceral roars by Giuseppe accompanied by his own low-tuned, rumbling bass are the main ingredients in Naked Thoughts, with Luke slashing his stringed axe nonstop. Then enhancing the progressiveness and dementia in their core sonority it’s time for the duo to hammer our heads with Burning Like The Water, with guest drummer Nephros dictating the song’s infernal pace, whereas putting the pedal to the metal they deliver a sonic attack entitled Unexpected Denier, where the strident riffage by Luke walks hand in hand with the vicious bass punches by Giuseppe. Then featuring guests Fred Valdaster (Humangled) on drums and Paolo Olivier on the guitar, Giuseppe fires Stygian bass lines in the massive, violent Repent To The Dead, keeping the album at a humungous level of insanity.

Oxydized Man is another infernal extravaganza by the duo showcasing their trademark guttural gnarls and demented Death Metal riffs. It lacks an extra kick, though, but it’s still heavy and obscure. Then wicked voices and gruesome vociferations kick off the Death Metal feast Epicurean Herd, once again presenting the duo’s demented but at the same time progressive sounds, with Giuseppe sounding possessed on vocals; whereas investing in a more direct, no-shenanigans sonority the duo brings forward the vicious The Unbound Storm, where Giuseppe is on fire with both his deep growls and metallic bass lines, followed by Just Falling Leaves, a lecture in Brutal Death Metal by Defechate where Luke is absolutely infernal with his sick riffs, inviting us all to slam into the pit like true metalmaniacs while sounding pulverizing and dense from start to finish. Lastly, there’s fuel for one final deranged attack by Defechate titled II Signore Del Disordine, bringing forward an awesome job done by both Giuseppe and Luke with their sonic weapons, therefore providing Giuseppe with all he needs to vomit the song’s acid words.

The insanity and heaviness found in Unbounded can be appreciated in full on Spotify, but of course in order to support the underground and keep the fires of Death Metal burning you should definitely purchase the album from the band’s own BandCamp page, from the Great Dane Records’ BandCamp page or webstore, from Apple Music, from Amazon or from Discogs, and don’t forget to also follow Giuseppe and Luke on Facebook, on Instagram and on YouTube. As aforementioned, the musical grinder by such demented Italian duo is working at full speed crushing everything and everyone that crosses their path just the way we like it in Death Metal, with Unbounded being just the first step in their path of devastation.

Best moments of the album: Unexpected Denier, Just Falling Leaves and II Signore Del Disordine.

Worst moments of the album: Oxydized Man.

Released in 2022 Great Dane Records

Track listing
1. Hyperammonaemic 3:15
2. Naked Thoughts 2:56
3. Burning Like The Water 3:40
4. Unexpected Denier 3:47
5. Repent To The Dead 3:32
6. Oxydized Man 3:27
7. Epicurean Herd 3:16
8. The Unbound Storm 3:20
9. Just Falling Leaves 3:44
10. II Signore Del Disordine 3:20

Band members
Giuseppe Tatangelo – vocals, bass
Luke Scurb – guitars, synthesizer

Guest musicians
Fred Valdaster – drums on “Repent To The Dead”
Federico Fulceri – guitar solo on “Hyperammonaemic”
Paolo Olivier – additional guitars on “Repent To The Dead”
Nephros – drums on “Burning Like The Water”

Album Review – Gorebringer / Terrified Beyond Measure (2022)

Behold the sophomore opus by an international entity that’s back from the underworld, offering us more of their blackened yet technical Melodic Death Metal with gory themes.

Almost three years after the release of their debut effort A Craving For Flesh, the infernal, multi-national outfit known as Gorebringer is back with more of their Melodic Death Metal with gory themes in the form of their sophomore album, entitled Terrified Beyond Measure. Produced by the band itself, mixed and mastered at Tide Studio in London, England, and displaying an old school cover art by Delic Saike, Terrified Beyond Measure represents a step forward in the band’s career, currently comprised of Serpent on vocals, Kaz “Stench” B on guitars and bass, and guests Krzysztof Klingbein on drums and Burak Ulugüney on keyboards and synths, showcasing an “evilution” in their slightly blackened and somewhat technical sound, but melodic and yet dirty at the same time, being therefore recommended for fans of At The Gates, Death and Dissection, among several others.

Arising from the underworld, the quartet begins blasting their instruments with sheer violence and hatred in The Bottomless Pit, where Serpent sounds beyond bestial on vocals supported by the pulverizing drums by Krzysztof, or in other words, a perfect and devilish way to kick things off; whereas keeping the level of adrenaline extremely high it’s time for Man To Beast, another high-octane, pulverizing feast where Stench is on fire armed with his sharp riffage and rumbling bass lines, while Burak keeps the atmosphere as grim as possible with his spot-on keys and synths. Then we have the title-track Terrified Beyond Measure, bringing to our ears a full-bodied sonority alternating between galloping drums and bass and pure dementia with Serpent roaring manically nonstop, and like a stone crusher from hell Krzysztof will demolish our senses in The Evil Ones, providing Stench all he needs to slash our ears off with his beyond strident guitar lines in a lecture in contemporary Melodic Death Metal with a visceral Black Metal twist.

The instrumental interlude Moon Circle sets the stage for the band to demolish our senses once again with A Blackened Circle, an Arch Enemy/In Flames/Soilwork-inspired extravaganza showcasing piercing riffs, pounding drums and the always venomous gnarls by Serpent. It’s indeed a solid and entertaining tune albeit losing some of its punch after a while, though, whereas Necro Mess is a thrilling instrumental creation by Gorebringer where Stench delivers an amazing performance on the guitar supported by the blast beats by Krzysztof, resulting in a sonic hurricane that will please all fans of the genre and generate intense mosh pits if played live one day. Finally, closing such infernal album of Melodic Death Metal we have Flesh Feast, sounding fast and furious just the way we like it with Serpent’s growls making a brutal paradox with the crisp, melodic guitars by Stench, leaving us eager for more of their music in a not-so-distant future.

As aforementioned, the pulverizing Terrified Beyond Measure, which is by the way available in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, represents a huge improvement in the sound by Gorebringer, and you can put your dirty hands on that album by purchasing it from the Great Dane Records’ BandCamp page or from Apple Music. Don’t forget to also follow the band on Facebook and on Instagram, keeping in mind that gore is their business (and business is good), which means unless you have what it takes to face their evil Melodic Death Metal, you’ll become an easy prey to them.

Best moments of the album: The Bottomless Pit, The Evil Ones and Necro Mess.

Worst moments of the album: A Blackened Circle.

Released in 2022 Great Dane Records

Track listing
1. The Bottomless Pit 4:06
2. Man To Beast 4:49
3. Terrified Beyond Measure 5:49
4. The Evil Ones 4:25
5. Moon Circle 0:59
6. A Blackened Circle 4:47
7. Necro Mess 3:38
8. Flesh Feast 5:45

Band members
Serpent – vocals
Kaz “Stench” B – guitars, bass

Guest musicians
Krzysztof Klingbein – drums
Burak Ulugüney – keyboards, synths

Album Review – War Agenda / Propaganda (2020)

Join those Teutonic thrashers in their quest for heavy music to the sound of their sophomore album, bringing to our ears a collection of rebellious anthems inspired by the glory of the 80’s and 90’s.

Ready to kill in the name of old school Bay Area Thrash, a Daisbach and Sinsheim, Germany-based horde formed in 2012 that goes by the straightforward name of War Agenda has just unleashed upon humanity their sophomore album, titled Propaganda, a rebellious ode to 80’s and 90’s thrash in the vein of Exodus, Slayer, Testament and Kreator, among others. Featuring an insurgent artwork by Mal Semmens Art, Propaganda has everything a diehard fan of classic Thrash Metal can ask for, from its austere lyrics to raspy vocals and smashing drums, showcasing all the talent of one of the band’s masterminds Ingo on the guitars together with his loyal henchman Hamdi on drums and newcomers Mostafa Troll on vocals, Raafat on the guitar and Marcel on bass. In other words, simply put on your best mask and join those Teutonic thrashers in their quest for heavy music, slamming into the pit and raising your horns to the sound of their visceral creations.

In the intro Sounds of Oppression we’re treated to serene and melancholic acoustic guitars, but of course darkly oppressive, exploding into the title-track Propaganda, where the metallic bass by Marcel will smash your head while Mostafa begins his Bobby Blitz-inspired vocal attack in an old school Bay Area Thrash extravaganza with the band’s own Teutonic twist, perfect for igniting the album’s endless circle pit vibe. Then blending the Speed Metal of Megadeth with the insanity of the early days of Exodus, Ingo and Raafat slash their stringed axes in great fashion firing ass-kicking riffs and solos nonstop in Plan B, a song that will inspire you to bang your head in the name of thrash, followed by Human Race, an acid “tribute” to our rotten society, with Hamdi pounding his drums accompanied by the strident riffage by the band’s guitar duo, spearheaded by Mostafa’s manic declamation of the song’s austere lyrics. And more of their no shenanigans Thrash Metal comes in the form of United in Hypocrisy, a headbanging tune showcasing crushing beats and strident riffs, recommended for slamming into the pit while enjoying a cold beer; whereas Marcel brings forward obscure bass lines in the bold Silence of Justice, before morphing into another feast of classic thrashing sounds the likes of Obituary, Nuclear Assault and Exodus, presenting Ingo and Raafat’s riffage in total sync with Mostafa’s raspy gnarls.

Heavy-as-hell and menacing from the very first second, the quintet brings forth the violent Apartheid, a lesson in 80’s Thrash Metal where Hamdi goes berserk with his wicked beats and fills from start to finish, and it’s time for total anarchy and chaos with the thunderous Chaos Invasion, blending their trademark Thrash Metal with modern-day Groove Metal thanks to the fulminating sounds blasted by Marcel and Hamdi with their unstoppable bass and drums. Then let’s head into the battlefield together with War Agenda in the frantic War of Nations, with Ingo and Raafat taking the lead with their razor-edged riffs while Mostafa vociferates and roars like a true thrashing beast in an awesome display of German Thrash Metal for fans of Kreator. In Killer Disease, despite its dark and venomous feel, the music is not as inspiring as its predecessors, sounding a bit generic I might say. Mostafa continues to bark rabidly while Hamdi smashes his drums with tons of precision, though, and closing such austere album we have Child of Dreams, showcasing a delicate intro before exploding into their classic thrashing sonority where Ingo and Raafat are on fire with their wicked solos, ending the album in a pensive and rebellious way .

You can enjoy Propaganda in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course in order to keep supporting underground Thrash Metal you should purchase the album from the band’s own BandCamp page, from the Great Dane Records’ BandCamp or webstore, from Season of Mist, from Amazon or from Discogs, keeping the band more than inspired to destroy everything that crosses their path with their thrashing music for many years to come. In addition, don’t forget to also follow War Agenda on Facebook, and whenever this never-ending, shitty pandemic is finally over, I’m sure you’ll be the first to know where you can slam into the pit like a true Thrash Metal lover to the music crafted by this talented and ruthless German squad, just the way we all like it in the most rebellious music style in Heavy Metal.

Best moments of the album: Propaganda, Human Race and War of Nations.

Worst moments of the album: Killer Disease.

Released in 2020 Great Dane Records

Track listing
1. Sounds of Oppression 2:10
2. Propaganda 4:03
3. Plan B 4:20
4. Human Race 5:31
5. United in Hypocrisy 3:27
6. Silence of Justice 4:49
7. Apartheid 4:08
8. Chaos Invasion 3:20
9. War of Nations 3:46
10. Killer Disease 4:39
11. Child of Dreams 5:24

Band members
Mostafa Troll – vocals
Ingo – guitars
Raafat – guitars
Marcel – bass
Hamdi – drums

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 – Refusal / Epitome of Void (2019)

A straight-to-the-point album of Finnish Crust Old School Death Metal, as pulverizing, heavy and infernal as it can be.

Founded back in 2008 in the city of Helsinki, Finland by guitarist Tero Pirhonen and bassist Timo Pirhonen, before bringing in vocalist Niikka Lius, drummer Aleksi Roitto and more recently guitarist Kalle Kuosmanen to complete the band, the unrelenting squad that goes by the name of Refusal does not just play your regular Death Metal, but something they like to call “Finnish Crust Old School Death Metal”, smashing you like an insect with all their fury and heaviness without showing a single drop of mercy. After releasing several demos and their debut full-length album We Rot Within, in 2016, Refusal are back in action in 2019 with a brand new (and pulverizing) opus, beautifully titled Epitome of Void. Featuring a somber artwork by Finnish artist Sakke Vinko, Epitome of Void is highly recommended for fans of the music by iconic bands like Napalm Death, Nasum and Entombed, being absolutely perfect for slamming into the circle pit like there’s no tomorrow.

The distorted guitars by Tero and Kalle ignite the pulverizing opening track Suffocate, reminding me of the devilish sound by Turkish beasts Diabolizer, or in other words, a brutal slamming Death Metal extravaganza led by Niika and his deep, visceral growls. If you survive their initial onrush of extreme music get ready for the insanely heavy Hectic, showcasing an enraged Niikka on vocals while Aleksi decimates his drums in a precise and groovy manner, accompanied by Timo’s roaring bass; whereas Disregard brings forward a less frantic but still acid and violent version of the band, urging us all to bang our heads manically to the infernal riffs by Tero and Kalle while Timo smashes his bass chords nonstop.

Disgust is just as brutal as Death Metal can be, with Refusal inviting us all to crush our skulls into the circle pit while Niikaa vomits the song’s lyrics in a very traditional way; followed by Slaves, the darkest of all songs in Epitome of Void, showcasing hints of classic, obscure Black Metal added to their unrelenting music. Moreover, Tero and Timo bring some welcome balance to the sonic havoc going on with their crisp solos. Then it’s time for more demented slamming to the infernal beats by Aleksi in Exploit, while Niikka keeps growling and vociferating manically for our total delight. Put differently, this is the undisputed epitome of Refusal’s classic Death Metal, highly recommended for all fans of the genre.

If you think your neck will have a break from all the insane headbanging proposed by Refusal you’re absolutely wrong, as the band ignites their most demonic mode in the rip-roaring Bound, with their guitars and drums being in full destructive force. Then their second to last deranged Death Metal attack comes in the form of Futile, where all band members sound even more infuriated than ever, pleasing anyone who admires old school Brutal Death Metal from the bottom of their (blackened) hearts, setting the stage for the the thunderous and vile closing tune Void, where the smashing sounds of drums and bass provide Niikka the perfect atmosphere for his sick guttural vocals. There’s no escape from Refusal, and their most unfriendly, obscure and intricate creation beautifully represents all their fury and rage, ending the album on a very high note.

Do you have what it takes to face the demolishing Death Metal by Refusal? If your answer is yes, simply slam into the pit by listening to Epitome of Void in full on Spotify, by following the band on Facebook and by subscribing to their YouTube channel. In a nutshell, Epitome of Void, which by the way is on sale from Refusal’s own BandCamp page, from the Great Dane Records’ BandCamp page, from iTunes, from Amazon or from Discogs, will not change or revolutionize the underground metal scene at all; quite the contrary, it’s pure old school Death Metal, without any artificial elements nor any type of shenanigans, thoroughly crafted by five Finnish guys who are beyond loyal to the foundations of the genre, deserving all our admiration and support for keeping the flames of true Death Metal alive and kicking.

Best moments of the album: Hectic, Disgust and Exploit.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2019 Great Dane Records

Track listing
1. Suffocate 2:20
2. Hectic 2:51
3. Disregard 3:13
4. Disgust 3:27
5. Slaves 4:33
6. Exploit 1:48
7. Bound 4:14
8. Futile 4:10
9. Void 5:19

Band members
Niikka Lius – vocals
Tero Pirhonen – guitars
Kalle Kuosmanen – guitars
Timo Pirhonen – bass, backing vocals
Aleksi Roitto – drums