Album Review – Enthrallment / Against The Will To Live – Sky Burial (2021)

Get ready to be smashed by the brand new opus by this old school band formed at the zenith of the Death Metal industry in Bulgaria in times of political and social turbulence.

Brought into being in the fires of Pleven, Bulgaria at the zenith of the Death Metal industry in 1998 in times of political and social turbulence, Brutal Death Metal/Grindcore outfit Enthrallment is back in action with their sixth full-length opus, entitled Against The Will To Live – Sky Burial. Produced by the band’s own drummer Ivo Ivanov and Enthrallment at MRDR Sound Studio in Sofia, Bulgaria and displaying a Stygian cover art by Denumbra Artworks, Against The Will To Live – Sky Burial showcases a precise mix of American and European Death Metal carefully crafted by vocalist Plamen Bakardzhiev, guitarists Vasil Furnigov and Nikola Ognyanov, basisst Rumen Pavlov and drummer Ivo Ivanov, being therefore highly recommended for admirers of the fury and talent of bands such as Suffocation, Entombed and Immolation.

The eerie guitars by Vasil and Nikola kick off the Stygian opening tune Hollow Roots, evolving into a putrid Death Metal feast spearheaded by the crushing drums by Ivo. In other words, what a pulverizing sound spiced up by the gruesome roars by Plamen, and the band continues to hammer their sonic weapons and to smash our cranial skulls in Painting A Bloody Symphony, a straightforward, classic Death Metal extravaganza tailored for fans of bands the likes of Suffocation and Morbid Angel. There’s no time to take a breath as Rumen slams his metallic bass manically in Surgical Masquarade, accompanied by the visceral growls by Plamen and the always brutal riffage by the band’s guitar duo, resulting in another excellent option for heading into the circle pit for some action.

More insanity in the form of Death Metal is offered to our avid ears in Divine Mandolins, with Rumen and Ivo generating a menacing ambience with their infernal kitchen; and get ready for another round of savagery and heaviness in Sacrificial Euthanasia, where Plamen showcases more of his deep guttural roars nonstop, being therefore recommended for some nice and sweet headbanging. Then a massive wall of deadly sounds will hit you hard in the head in Hegemony Of The Weak, where the band brings forward all their fury together with a high dosage of intricacy, whereas like a beast lurking in pitch black darkness, Enthrallment will devour your flesh in Giving Alms To Birds, with Plamen’s hellish roaring being nicely complemented by the song’s background vocalizations. It’s an evil Death Metal composition with hints of classic Doom Metal to properly conclude the album, I might say.

All the violence and hatred blasted by Enthrallment in Against The Will To Live – Sky Burial can be fully appreciated on YouTube, but of course in order to show your support and admiration for underground Bulgarian metal you should purchase a copy of the album from the band’s own BandCamp page, as well as from the Rebirth the Metal Productions’ BandCamp page or Big Cartel. Also, don’t forget to follow the guys from Enthrallment on Facebook to stay up to date with all things surrounding such talented band. In a nutshell, Against The Will To Live – Sky Burial is the ultimate proof why those Bulgarian metallers are still alive after decades on the road, elevating the name of Death Metal in their homeland to a whole new level of destruction, aggression and obscurity.

Best moments of the album: Painting A Bloody Symphony, Sacrificial Euthanasia and Giving Alms To Birds.

Worst moments of the album: Divine Mandolins.

Released in 2021 Rebirth the Metal Productions

Track listing
1. Hollow Roots 4:37
2. Painting A Bloody Symphony 3:20
3. Surgical Masquarade 3:52
4. Divine Mandolins 3:47
5. Sacrificial Euthanasia 3:37
6. Hegemony Of The Weak 3:35
7. Giving Alms To Birds 3:47

Band members
Plamen Bakardzhiev – vocals
Vasil Furnigov – guitar
Nikola Ognyanov – guitar
Rumen Pavlov – bass
Ivo Ivanov – drums

Album Review – Carcass / Torn Arteries (2021)

It’s time to wake up once again and smell the bloody and melodic new album by one of the most important bands in the history of extreme music.

If you have a craving for bloody, raw Extreme Metal, get ready to be stunned by Torn Arteries, the brand new opus by Liverpool, UK-based Grindcore masters Carcass, unleashing hell, violence and gore upon us all mere mortals. Recorded at Ghost Ward Studio and The Stationhouse, mixed at Ghost Ward Studio, mastered at Fascination Street Studios and featuring a beautiful artwork by Polish artist Zbigniew Bielak, Torn Arteries is not only the band’s seventh studio album, but their first in eight years since the majestic Surgical Steel, released in 2013, and the wait was absolutely worth it as vocalist and bassist Jeff Walker, guitarist Bill Steer and drummer Daniel Wilding are on fire from start to finish, showcasing all their refined skills while blending the aggressiveness of extreme music with their trademark melody and visceral lyrics.

Daniel kicks off their splatter show with the title-track Torn Arteries, with Jeff’s sick gnarls sounding better than ever for our total delight. What a pulverizing start to the album I might say, not to mention the demented riffs and solos by Bill, and it’s time to crack your neck headbanging to Dance of IXTAB (Psychopomp & Circumstance March No.1 in B), less violent but extremely melodic and sharp with Bill stealing the spotlight with his unmatched riffage, whereas a wicked guitar solo ignites another Melodic Death Metal and Grindcore extravaganza titled Eleanor Rigor Mortis, accompanied by the always raw and vile growling by Jeff while Daniel’s drums dictate the song’s old school pace. Then we have Under the Scalpel Blade, the only song to feature in their 2020 EP Despicable (and we already know how infernal this tune is), while more of their putrid, acid metal music is brought into being in The Devil Rides Out, again proving why they’re a reference in both Melodic Death Metal and Grindcore, with Bill’s riffs and solos being awesome as usual.

Carcass Torn Arteries Limited Box Set

As heavy and aggressive as its predecessors, Flesh Ripping Sonic Torment Limited is a fulminating tune where Jeff is not only bestial on vocals but his bass also sounds hellish, being the perfect option for banging your head like a maniac together with the band throughout its almost 10 minutes where savagery and harmony collide in a vicious way, therefore offering our ears a unique metal voyage. The groovy beats by Daniel once again ignite a Grindcore attack entitled Kelly’s Meat Emporium, with Jeff and Bill being in absolute sync with their respective bass lines and riffs, inviting us all to slam into the circle pit, whereas in In God We Trust a sinister start quickly evolves into a rhythmic and heavy-as-hell sound spearheaded by Daniel’s classy drums, all spiced up by Bill’s undisputed, sharp solos. Then paying homage to themselves, the trio blasts the headbanging tune Wake Up and Smell the Carcass / Caveat Emptor, showcasing another awesome guitar job by Bill while Jeff continues to haunt our souls with his demonic gnarls. And their last breath of insanity and gore comes in the form of The Scythe’s Remorseless Swing, where Jeff, Bill and Daniel smash their sonic weapons in great fashion offering us all another solid tune to close such austere and melodic album.

As Carcass are not only an awesome band but also a group of very nice gentlemen, they’ve made the full album available on both YouTube and Spotify for our vulgar delectation, but of course let’s support the masters of Melodic Death Metal and Grindcore by following them on Facebook and on Instagram, and by purchasing a copy of their bloodthirsty new album from Nuclear Blast by clicking HERE or HERE, and if I were you I would go for the sick Torn Arteries boxset limited to 2,000 worldwide, including the album on CD and veggie splatter vinyl, a 24-page booklet, and a porcelain plate with a stainless steel fork and knife dinnerware set. It’s time to wake up and smell the carcass to the sound of Torn Arteries, knowing that as long as Carcass remain active, their smell will continue to be a thrilling fusion of metal music, blood, speed and violence.

Best moments of the album: Torn Arteries, Flesh Ripping Sonic Torment Limited and Kelly’s Meat Emporium.

Worst moments of the album: Dance of IXTAB (Psychopomp & Circumstance March No.1 in B).

Released in 2021 Nuclear Blast

Track listing
1. Torn Arteries 4:00
2. Dance of IXTAB (Psychopomp & Circumstance March No.1 in B) 4:29
3. Eleanor Rigor Mortis 4:14
4. Under the Scalpel Blade 3:56
5. The Devil Rides Out 5:22
6. Flesh Ripping Sonic Torment Limited 9:42
7. Kelly’s Meat Emporium 3:24
8. In God We Trust 3:57
9. Wake Up and Smell the Carcass / Caveat Emptor 4:36
10. The Scythe’s Remorseless Swing 5:20

Japanese Edition bonus track
11. NWOBHEAD 3:03

Band members
Jeff Walker – vocals, bass
Bill Steer – guitars, backing vocals
Daniel Wilding – drums

Guest musician
Tom Draper – guitars (live)
Per Wiberg – organ, piano
Fredrik Klingwall – keyboards

Metal Chick of the Month – Ira Sidenko

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How to open your heart in the chaos of life? Learn to give and to share, to hustle and strive…

If you consider yourself a diehard fan of both old school and modern-day Death Metal, I’m certain you’ll have a very good time with our metal chick of the month of September. Not only she’s the owner of a potent and visceral voice, but her charisma, together with her onstage (and onscreen) performance, turn her into a must-listen and see for any admirer of first-class extreme music. I’m talking about the unstoppable Russian growler Ira Sidenko, also known as Irina Sidenko (or even Ирина Сиденко in Russian), the frontwoman for Tomsk, Russia-based Death Metal brigade Dehydrated, and a metalhead who is always expressing her passion for Heavy Metal through her music and art.

Born in the city of Tomsk, in Tomsk Oblast, a federal subject of Russia (an oblast) that lies in the southeastern West Siberian Plain, Ira studied at Tomsk State University, or TSU, known in her mother tongue as Томский Государственный Университет, or ТГУ, but it’s not clear exactly what course or courses she took at TSU. It was in 2008 when she founded Dehydrated (being named Dehydrated Entrails from 2008 until 2009, when they changed their name to the current one) together with guitarist Evgen Tsibulin, bassist Evgeny Zimin and drummer Alexey Ablayev, with only Ira and Evgen being still in the band from its original formation. Playing a fusion of classic Death Metal with other styles such as Deathcore, Grindcore, Groove Metal and even Progressive Metal, among others, the band didn’t know exactly what they wanted to play at first, but they knew it was going to be hard and aggressive, experimenting with several genres and subgenres of heavy music as aforementioned. By the way, when asked about the origin of the band’s name, Ira explained that’s how you feel after a concert, feeling dehydrated both physically and mentally after all the exchange of energy between the band and the crowd.

Having already played in several international festivals including Metal Head’s Mission (Ukraine), Metal Crowd (Belarus), Petrogrind (St. Petersburg), Metal Maidens (Kaluga), and Cieszanów Rock Festiwal (Poland), as well as tours around Russia and Eastern Europe, the band has unleashed upon humanity an array of high-quality albums and EP’s, those being the 2009 demo Suffering from Mummification, the full-lengths Duality of Existence (2011), Zone Beneath the Skin (2012) and Awake in Era (2012), the EP’s Mind Extract (2011), Piranha or Whale? (2019) and Piranha or Whale (Part II) (2020), and a 2011 split with the bands PureFilth, Grace Disgraced and Redrvm. Furthermore, in one of her interviews, Ira mentioned that her favorite Dehydrated album to date is Awake in Era, as she considers it more professional and more atmospheric than the other releases, with each of its songs representing a different story, but I’m sure that opinion will change with each of their releases just like what happens with any musician. And when asked about what Dehidrated means to her, she said that as music is her life, the band represents life to her, always showing a lot of love for her own work.

Dehydrated are a DIY band, doing everything themselves and relying a lot on the internet for sales and promotional activities just like countless underground bands worldwide. Ira mentioned that services like BandCamp, Spotify, Patreon and YouTube have been helping the band a lot with their promotion, but that at the same time they still have a hard time trying to organize tours all by themselves.  Hence, if you want to give the music by Dehydrated a try, you can stream all of their creations on BandCamp, on Spotify and on YouTube, where you can have an absolute blast with songs the likes of Hell Doesn’t Exist, Parallels, Sickness, Outlaws, Thirst of Dose, Werewolf, Alive Underground, Piranha or Whale, and their excellent covers for Motörhead’s Ace of Spades and Lake of Tears’ U.N.S.A.N.E.

Apart from her career with Dehydrated, you can also find Ira kicking some ass with a female-fronted metal band from Saint Petersburg, Russia named Fallcie for a while, and she can also be seen as a guest vocalist in the song А Время Шло, from the 2020 EP А Время Шло (or “time went on”) by Kaluga, Russia-based Melodic Death Metal band Last Trial. In addition, Ira is also an amazing online vocal coach as you can see on her own YouTube channel, not only providing some great tips to growlers worldwide, but also uploading to her channel cover versions for countless songs the likes of Slaughter to Prevail’s Hell, Rammstein’s Sonne, Linkin Park’s From the Inside, Decapitated’s Homo Sum, Death’s Without Judgement, Vader’s Hexenkessel, and Whitchapel’s I Dementia.

All those top-notch cover versions are not in vain, as all of those bands are also part of Ira’s idols and influences list. As a matter of fact, when asked about how she would define the sound by Dehydrated, she mentioned it’s a fusion of different styles from bands such as Death, Gojira, Animal as Leaders, and so on. Regarding her personal preferences, our beloved growler mentioned the first bands she fell in love with were Rammstein and Slipknot, later moving on to Black and Death Metal and getting absolutely addicted to that. Furthermore, the first time she heard a Death Metal band was when she got to know the music by Aborted, also getting hooked to the music by Whitechapel, Deicide and Vital Remains. However, Ira said she doesn’t have any limits when listening to music, being also a fan of Jazz, Blues, Grindcore and many other distinct styles, but of course always praising metal behemoths the likes of Motörhead, Manowar and Metallica.

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Ira also provided her view on how to become a metal vocalist in one of her interviews, saying that there’s no secret to that but several years of practice and studies (and tons of mistakes) and a never-ending desire to grow, always searching for the right sound and for professional development. Although she mentioned she hadn’t had an older brother to show her metal music, Ira mentioned she had a friend with whom she used to listen to Rammstein together, which inspired her to form a band and, later, as her taste for music became heavier and heavier, she naturally decided to learn how to do guttural by herself. Having the flexibility to sing in English, Russian and German, Ira believes her vocal performance and her confidence have improved a lot since the band’s 2009 debut demo Suffering from Mummification, again pointing out to the importance of constant learning to become a better vocalist.

When asked about the metal scene in Russia (and in Eastern Europe in general), she thinks the bands in Russia need to show more of their own culture and ideas when creating music instead of trying to mimic famous European or American bands, but of course she acknowledges there are tons of fantastic bands in her homeland such as Katalepsy and Arkona. Moreover, in regards to her hometown Tomsk, she said that there was a time when Siberia, where Tomsk is located, once had a very strong metal scene, but that has changed over time and today the scene is not as powerful and the attendance to metal concerts has dropped significantly. She complemented by saying that not only in Tomsk, but in the entire Russia (and maybe we can also add the rest of the world to the mix), you can only get in contact with metal music through the internet, as the radio and TV do not offer any space to bands like Dehydrated, and there aren’t any major festivals either to promote the bands. She still thinks that there are great bands coming from her hometown, though, such as Apokefale and Dark Revenge, which needless to say need our total support to avoid getting extinct.

Last but not least, our Russian growler believes that becoming a Death Metal vocalist isn’t easy at all, it doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman, but of course it can be a little bit tougher to girls depending on the situation due to the sexism that still happens in the metal community all over the world. She said that once in a while she’s the target of that sexism, but she doesn’t really care about it and keeps working hard to make Dehydrated a better band and to make herself a better vocalist. When asked about how she responds to those attacks, she said she simply doesn’t answer back to the haters, ignoring them on social media and focusing on what really matters, which is the opinion and support of her fans, her friends and her family. And to be fair, she’s more than right in doing so, avoiding bringing that negativity to her work as a musician, therefore keeping her haters screaming in anger (but not as greatly as her) for not engaging in a virtual battle with her. That’s how you recognize a true musician, and let’s hope Ira keeps growling in our faces for many years to come with her ass-kicking band.

Ira Sidenko’s Official VKontakte
Dehydrated’s Official Facebook page
Dehydrated’s Official VKontakte
Dehydrated’s Official Instagram
Dehydrated’s Official YouTube channel

“We are very pleased to be able to create and do what we like, we do not know for how long but the only certainty is that there is only one here and now. We look to the future positively.” – Ira Sidenko

Album Review – Goratory / Sour Grapes (2020)

A ruthless Death Metal entity is back from its putrid grave with a brand new album after 16 years to spread their filthy and immoral music to all four corners of the earth.

After sixteen years of absolute silence, Boston, Massachusetts-based sickest perverts Goratory are finally back with a brand album of degenerating, grinding and schizoid Technical and Brutal Death Metal entitled Sour Grapes, reigniting their path of devastation initiated with their 2000 demo Wrestling with Feces and that was interrupted in 2004 with their third full-length opus Rice on Suede. Mixed and mastered by the band’s own drummer Darren Cesca at House of Grind Studios, with the vinyl mastering being handled by Carlo Altobelli at Toxic Basement Studios, and displaying a psychedelic artwork by Tony Koehl, Sour Grapes is tailored for admirers of the gory and depraved death blasted by Malignancy, Cryptopsy, Gorgasm and Pillory, among others, showing why lead singer Adam Mason, guitarist Alan Glassman, bassist Zachary Pappas and the aforementioned Darren Cesca decided to come back from their putrid grave after so many years to spread their filthy and immoral music to all four corners of the earth once again.

Get ready to be bombarded with blood and feces by this evil horde of extreme music in Rat King, undoubtedly a bestial, sick and depraved display of Brutal Death Metal perfect for kicking off the album, with Darren being infernal on drums while Adam barks and vomits the song’s wicked words manically.  Then demented vociferations and endless insanity will haunt your souls in Losing Streak, an ode to gory and grim Death Metal where Alan shreds his axe with tons of violence accompanied by the fretting bass punches by Zachary, and there’s  no sign of the band slowing down or making things lighter in I Shit Your Pants; quite the contrary, it’s another feast of heavy-as-hell riffs and beats, showcasing the band’s dynamism, refined technique and passion for sheer brutality, followed by Bottom Feeder, where Goratory will smash your head to pieces to the sound of the unstoppable blast beats by Darren and the metallic bass by Zachary. Moreover, what the hell are those lyrics (“I recall it all in flashes. / What was left unconsumed is now ashes. / Power turned to powder. / Rice on my Suede socks? Chop you into pieces and puree you into sauce.”)?

Adam keeps growling and snarling like a rabid creature while his bandmates exhale aggression and progressiveness through their vicious instruments in Evolutionary Wart, displaying a great fusion of Technical and Brutal Death Metal, and you might not believe this but Goratory managed to sound even more violent and thunderous in The People’s Temple, highly recommended for fans of both Death Metal and Grindcore, with Zachary being on fire with his Alex Webster-inspired bass lines. The quartet then offers their personal tribute to Seth Edward Putnam (1968 – 2011),  the founder, vocalist and occasional guitarist of American Grindcore act Anal Cunt, titled Seth Putnam Was A Sensitive Man, bringing forward distinguished lyrics (“Fuck you cause you’re dead, / Now you’re giving Satan head. / Force fed demon splooge, / Loads of jizz inside of you, / Bukkake in a Putnam stew.”) amidst a sonic demolition that would put a huge and sick smile on Seth’s face. And lastly we have Back To The Grinding Machine, originally released as “Into The Grinding Machine” on their 2001 album Sexual Intercorpse, with the 2020 version maintaining the core malignancy, depravity and fury from the original one, with Alan and Darren making a venomous duo with their pulverizing riffs and beats.

Goratory’s vicious and brutal comeback can be better appreciated in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course in order to show your support to those sick bastards don’t forget to grab your copy of Sour Grapes from the Everlasting Spew Records’ BandCamp page or webstore (in CD format or as a special CD + LP + shirt bundle), as well as from IndieMerchstore, from Apple Music or from Amazon. In addition, why don’t you give the guys from Goratory a shout on Facebook and follow them on Instagram? I’m sure that by doing those things you’ll inspire Adam, Alan, Zachary and Darren to keep blasting their demented music for many years to come instead of going into dormant mode once again, keeping our world as vile, insane and putrid as it can be.

Best moments of the album: I Shit Your Pants, Bottom Feeder and The People’s Temple.

Worst moments of the album: Losing Streak.

Released in 2020 Everlasting Spew Records

Track listing
1. Rat King 3:07
2. Losing Streak 3:35
3. I Shit Your Pants 2:58
4. Bottom Feeder 3:04
5. Evolutionary Wart 3:14
6. The People’s Temple 3:00
7. Seth Putnam Was A Sensitive Man 3:07
8. Back To The Grinding Machine 4:09

Band members
Adam Mason – vocals
Alan Glassman – guitars
Zachary Pappas – bass
Darren Cesca – drums

Album Review – Carcass / Despicable EP (2020)

The trailblazers of Goregrind, Grindcore and Melodic Death Metal are back with a four-track collection of songs serving as a precursor to their upcoming 2021 album.

The legendary Liverpool, UK-based institution Carcass has released several classic albums over the years and changed the trajectory of Extreme Metal with each consecutive release, with albums like Reek of Putrefaction and Heartwork creating the template for Goregrind, Grindcore and Melodic Death Metal. Now in 2020, seven years after the release of the excellent Surgical Steel (and six years after the EP Surgical Remission/Surplus Steel), the band currently comprised of Jeff Walker on vocals and bass, Bill Steer and Tom Draper on the guitars, and Daniel Wilding on drums is about to release a new EP entitled Despicable, a four-track collection of songs serving as a precursor to the band’s upcoming 2021 full-length album and, above all, a bold and gory statement that those four guys still have a lot of fuel to burn and blood to spill with their wicked creations.

Just hit play and when The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue begins you’ll know it’s goddamn Carcass form the very first guitar note, with Bill and Tom sharpening their axes for a Grindcore and Death Metal onrush that’s about to start while Jeff snarls demonically as usual, also full of breaks and variations effectively inserted throughout this infernal tune. Led by the classy beats by Daniel, the quartet fires another solid, headbanging creation beautifully titled The Long and Winding Bier Road, where Jeff’s inhumane gnarls get deeper and more enraged, with their guitars showcasing more of their trademark riffage; and one more round of darkened riffs, devilish growls and rhythmic beats fills our avid ears in Under the Scalpel Blade, where it becomes clear the band is focusing a lot more on shaping up their melody rather than pure speed and heaviness. However, it’s when they accelerate their pace that things get really exciting (at least for old school fans like myself). Lastly, the band’s guitar duo keeps extracting strident, razor-edged sounds form their guitars in Slaughtered in Soho, sounding very progressive at times while Jeff continues to haunt our souls with his demon-like barks and vociferations.

I must admit Despicable is much better than what I was expecting, a really entertaining EP of modern-day Melodic Death Metal infused with Grindcore elements, and if this is the direction Carcass are taking with their music I can’t wait to see what they’ll bring into being in 2021 with their seventh full-length opus. Having said that, you can add Despicable to your demonic collection by clicking HERE or HERE, and keep an eye on the band’s official Facebook page and on Instagram for news about their upcoming album and, of course, for their tour dates as soon as all this madness is over. Let’s all hope 2021 is a much better year than this nasty 2020, and that bands like Carcass keep inspiring us all, “despicable” human beings, to slam into the circle pit while they pulverize our ears with their refined technique and aggressiveness for many years to come.

Best moments of the album: The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 Nuclear Blast

Track listing
1. The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue 6:00
2. The Long and Winding Bier Road 4:21
3. Under the Scalpel Blade 3:55
4. Slaughtered in Soho 4:37

Band members
Jeff Walker – vocals, bass
Bill Steer – guitars, backing vocals
Tom Draper – guitars
Daniel Wilding – drums

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 – Abatuar / Mortandad (2020)

Beware this unstoppable Panamanian beast and his brand new destructive installment, continuing on the legacy of the ultra-conservative declaration of Death Metal and Grindcore.

Active since 2013 and following the previous album Perversiones de Muerte Putrefacta, the side project of the sick mind from vocalist and drummer Cadaver, the Panamanian Black/Death Metal entity known as Abatuar,  has just unleashed upon us all feeble-minded bastards a new destructive installment entitled Mortandad, continuing on the legacy of the ultra-conservative declaration of Death Metal and Grindcore with clear influences of old school bands such as Napalm Death, Repulsion, Blood and mixing these with the regimental militancy of Proclamation and Black Witchery. Recorded at the rehearsal room Plug & Play (while the vocals were recorded in 2018 at Sendero el Pianista, a trail located in the city of Boquete, Panama), mastered by M. Dahmen at Liquid Aether Audio in Germany in 2018, featuring a demonic artwork by Indonesian artist Bayu Putrasangfajar, and also featuring guest guitarist Yigo Manzo (Merciless Death, Atrofia) and bassist and guitarist Anibal Sucre (Enslaver, Hatross), Mortandad is filled not only with the purity of the genres perhaps due to the isolation of the Panamanian scene where they are from, but also soaked with the Central American brutality which they draw their lyrical influences from.

The razor-edge guitars by Yigo ignite the sulfurous Death and Black Metal feast titled Ritual Nigromante Por Medio De Profanación De Cámaras Funerarias, while Cadaver basically regurgitates the song’s dark lyrics and smashes his drums manically, followed by La Muerte Ha Llegado, Todos Lo Pueden Ver, Atare Tus Manos Hasta Que No Puedas Defenderte, another bestial, old school display of Death Metal infused with Grindcore elements where Cadaver sounds utterly demented and enraged on vocals, and Sanguinaria Ejecución De Individuos Despreciables, a venomous headbanging tune where Cadaver’s insane blast beats are nicely complemented by the scorching riffs by Yigo. Then the rumbling bass by Anibal together with the vile drums by Cadaver will make your head tremble in the ode to primeval Black and Death Metal beautifully entitled Perversa Psicopatía De Infantes Homicidas Que Juegan Con Sangre Y Vísceras, with its second half inspiring you to break your neck headbanging like a maniac; whereas in Solo Los Que Han Matado Entenderán Esta Sensación, No Puedo Esperar A Estrangular De Nuevo the trio needs less than two minutes to decimate everything and everyone that crosses their path, showcasing demented drums accompanied by a crisp guitar solo by Anibal.

Rameras Desfiguradas Y Enterradas Vivas En Antro De Tortura Y Depravación Demoniaca is one more short and vile explosion of extreme music made in Panama, with Cadaver’s deep guttural gnarls adding an extra dosage of malignancy to the music, being therefore highly recommended for fans of the early days of Mayhem and Marduk. After such infernal tune it’s time for Trastorno Esquizoide De Trisomía Sexual XYY Con Impulsos Asesinos Y Necrofílicos, drawing inspiration from the sexual bestiality usually found in Goregrind while the guitars by Yigo couldn’t have sounded dirtier nor rawer, followed by Estrangulamiento De Prostitutas Callejeras Como Medio De Liberación De La Ira Y Lujuria, where a demolishing start to the sound of the sick beats by Cadaver and the thunderous bass by Anibal morphs into a gory and evil Death Metal extravaganza that will smash your skull mercilessly. And there’s not a single second to breathe as Cadaver and his henchmen explode our ears once again with Exterminio Humano Por Hambruna E Inanición Sistemática En Regiones Sublevadas, overflowing depravity, obscurity and blasphemy in the form of ass-kicking Death Metal. Lastly, an ominous, cinematic and cannibalistic intro suddenly explodes into a putrid onrush of Death Metal titled Rituales Necrófagos En La Selva Maldita, led by Cadaver’s gruesome vociferations. All I have to say is that this is what I call a spine-chilling ending to a metal album.

The distinguished, demonic and violent fusion of Black and Death Metal with Grindcore crafted by Cadaver in Mortandad can be experienced in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, and you can also follow the multi-talented Cadaver and his Abatuar on Facebook, but of course in order to properly show your support to evil music made in Panama you should purchase a copy of the album from the Dunkelheit Produktionen’s BandCamp page or webstore, from Ván Records, from Apple Music, from Amazon or from Discogs. In addition, why don’t you try translating the names of the songs (and their respective lyrics) and see what Cadaver has to say in Mortandad, which by the way is the Spanish word for “mortality”? I bet not only you’ll feel even more intimidated by his scorching metal music, but you’ll also see the decaying world we live in is nothing but a big, infernal and gruesome slaughterhouse.

Best moments of the album: La Muerte Ha Llegado, Todos Lo Pueden Ver, Atare Tus Manos Hasta Que No Puedas Defenderte, Perversa Psicopatía De Infantes Homicidas Que Juegan Con Sangre Y Vísceras and Estrangulamiento De Prostitutas Callejeras Como Medio De Liberación De La Ira Y Lujuria.

Worst moments of the album: Sanguinaria Ejecución De Individuos Despreciables.

Released in 2020 Dunkelheit Produktionen

Track listing
1. Ritual Nigromante Por Medio De Profanación De Cámaras Funerarias 2:58
2. La Muerte Ha Llegado, Todos Lo Pueden Ver, Atare Tus Manos Hasta Que No Puedas Defenderte 2:06
3. Sanguinaria Ejecución De Individuos Despreciables 2:07
4. Perversa Psicopatía De Infantes Homicidas Que Juegan Con Sangre Y Vísceras 4:15
5. Solo Los Que Han Matado Entenderán Esta Sensación, No Puedo Esperar A Estrangular De Nuevo 1:49
6. Rameras Desfiguradas Y Enterradas Vivas En Antro De Tortura Y Depravación Demoniaca 1:32
7. Trastorno Esquizoide De Trisomía Sexual XYY Con Impulsos Asesinos Y Necrofílicos 2:54
8. Estrangulamiento De Prostitutas Callejeras Como Medio De Liberación De La Ira Y Lujuria 2:40
9. Exterminio Humano Por Hambruna E Inanición Sistemática En Regiones Sublevadas 3:52
10. Rituales Necrófagos En La Selva Maldita 4:25

Band members
Cadaver – vocals, drums

Guest musicians
Yigo Manzo – guitars (session)
Anibal Sucre – bass, lead guitars (session)

Album Review – Resin Tomb / Resin Tomb EP (2020)

A newborn Australian quartet offers in their debut effort a thrilling blend of dissonant Death Metal with flesh-ripping Black Metal and visceral grind madness.

Formed just two years ago by members of the underground Australian bands Hell Sounds, Descent and Snorlax, the furious Brisbane, Australia-based Death Metal/Grindcore unity Resin Tomb is unleashing upon us their debut self-titled EP, offering a blend of dissonant, intricate and soul-crushing Death Metal with flesh-ripping Black Metal and visceral grind madness at times as their signature sound, exuding a vibe not too far removed from one of their other projects, Snorlax. Recorded and mixed at Black Blood Audio, mastered by Simon at Empty Hall Studio, and featuring an old school, cadaverous artwork by Ethan Lee McCarthy (from bands like Primitive Man and Vermin Womb), the EP will decimate your senses with its five grotesque tracks full of bestial and serpentine riffs coupled with a skull-crushing percussion and guttural vocals, showcasing how vile the Dissonant Death Grind played by vocalist Matthew Budge, guitarist Brendan Auld, bassist Mitch Long and drummer Perry Vedelago can be.

Get ready to be smashed like an insect by Resin Tomb in the eerie and acid opening track Abrogate, blending the savagery of Grindcore with the obscurity of Black Metal while Matthew gnarls rabidly and Brendan cuts your skin deep with hi riffs, whereas Penance is even more devastating, sinister and atmospheric, presenting an amazing job done by Perry with his intricate and demonic beats, while Mirch’s bass generates a thunderous background perfect for the piercing roars by Mathew, therefore resulting in a lesson in contemporary Death and Black Metal infused with Deathcore elements. Then the strident riffs by Brendan ignite the also menacing Surfacing, an infernal Black Metal extravaganza spearheaded by the crushing drums by Perry while Matthew’s gruesome gnarls penetrate deep inside your psyche; and rumbling, vicious guitars and bass lines permeate the air in the short and absolutely violent Prostrated, with Brendan once again firing sheer darkness and wrath through his riffs, accompanied by the pounding beats by Perry and the always hellish growls by Matthew. And last but not least we have Bestial, where the name of the song says it all, bringing to our avid ears a brutal and of course bestial display of extreme music displaying the most visceral elements from Black and Death Metal. Furthermore, Brendan and Mitch are on fire with their stringed weapons, providing Matthew all he needs to shine with his deranged screams and gnarls, ending the album on a truly demented note.

Not only you can show your support to this sinister, up-and-coming horde from Australia by listening to their debut EP in full on YouTube and on Spotify, but you can (and should) also purchase a copy of it from the band’s own BandCamp page, from the Brilliant Emperor Records’ BandCamp page or webstore in LP format or as an LP + longsleeve shirt bundle, or from Amazon. Also, don’t forget to give the boys a shout on Facebook and on Instagram, keeping up to date with their upcoming releases, live concerts (whenever this COVID-19 madness is over, of course) and other nice-to-know details about the band, keeping the flames of extreme music burning bright in the always prolific Australian metal scene.

Best moments of the album: Penance and Bestial.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 Brilliant Emperor Records

Track listing
1. Abrogate 1:53
2. Penance 3:02
3. Surfacing 3:59
4. Prostrated 1:35
5. Bestial 5:16

Band members
Matthew Budge – vocals
Brendan Auld – guitars
Mitch Long – bass
Perry Vedelago – drums

Album Review – Xythlia / Immortality Through Quantum Suicide (2020)

Enjoy this visionary soundtrack for our brutal, mutant universe, pushing the boundaries of Extreme Metal through the horrors of space vacuum.

The solo project of Minneapolis, Minnesota-based vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Nick Stanger (also active in the ranks of black metallers Ashbringer), the distinguished entity named Xythlia brilliantly blends the most extreme Technical Death Metal and Grindcore with Voivod’s progressive and experimental approach and the mind-shattering guitar acrobatics of Krallice and Ocrilim, resulting in the perfect visionary soundtrack for our brutal, mutant universe, constantly changing its shape and skillfully alternating complex concatenations of schizoid death-grind riffs with short atmospheric interludes and space noises, dissonant and slanted melodies and crushing slow tempos. Engineered, mixed and mastered by Nick himself at Sound of the Northwoods in Minneapolis, and featuring a creepy and fascinating artwork by Mexican illustrator Carlos Agraz (The Art of Asty), where an alien creature performs a suicide ritual through the space and time continuum, furiously stabbing itself to death, the project’s debut album, entitled Immortality Through Quantum Suicide, testifies the birth of a new talent capable to look beyond the narrow confines of Extreme Metal, and to push it through the horrors of space vacuum. “When quarantine started, I had nothing but time to kill with a myriad of frantic uncertainty and anxiety,” explained Nick. “This record is a reflection of that. It’s a concept album that follows a character experiencing the full extent of isolation throughout infinite time.”

In the visceral opening track Death Unyielding, we already face a vile sonic devastation led by Nick’s infernal shredding, while at the same time he barks the song’s demented and chaotic lyrics (“Collider, a force that could wield the aeons / The secret to transcending time / Death will always show / Rearing its ugly head / Chaos, the beast unfolds / Devouring what’s left of this world / Day of reckoning / Waking nightmare / Chaos reigning / Death unyielding”), flowing into the also demolishing To Defy Inevitability, a lesson in Grindcore the likes of Napalm Death which also presents groovier and more atmospheric moments than its predecessor. In Initiation: Void we’re treated to thirty seconds of insanity in the form of sick riffs and blast beats, morphing into a Technical Death Metal havoc titled Tachyon Malnourishment, where Nick’s growls get more and more violent as the music progresses, with his riffs and bass punches sounding utterly metallic. Then in Antidream serene guitar lines work as the calm before a metal storm titled Ablation of Subconscious, starting in a more introspective way with Nick of course roaring like a beast while at the same time smashing his guitars and bass mercilessly, accompanied by his programmed but very organic drums in the most technical and progressive form of Grindcore you can think of.

Flesh Prison sounds infernal, rumbling and hammering from start to finish, with Nick’s riffs setting fire to the music, boosted by his thunderous bass jabs and the song’s wicked words (“Damnation / An eternity of peril / No end to suffering / Clench my fist / One more click / Body frail / Frantic mind”), whereas Post-Ironic Indoctrination is probably one of the most insane and disrupting minutes you’ll ever experience in heavy music. And that musical madness goes on in Schrödinger’s Foreskin, bringing elements from bands like Slayer and Exodus to Nick’s already hellish sound, not to mention the demented progressiveness he extracts from his violent bass, followed by The Eye Bath, another atomic bomb delivered by our lone wolf in a little over three minutes where he doesn’t stop slashing his guitar not even for a single second, therefore making your head tremble vigorously. After another round of sheer dementia titled Mutagenic Growth, it’s time for the closing tune Fester in the Nether, showcasing an eerie intro gradually evolving into more of Nick’s Technical Death Metal, blending furious riffs and beats with a reverberating bass sound. Furthermore, Nick definitely knows how to make the earth shake with his technical Grindcore, always vociferating rabidly to make things even heavier and more sinister.

Nick and his wild Xythlia are waiting for you to exterminate your senses in Immortality Through Quantum Suicide, and in order to show such insane entity of Technical Death Metal and Grindcore your support simply follow Xythlia on Facebook and purchase your copy of the album from the project’s own BandCamp page, from the I, Voidhanger Records’ BandCamp page, or from the Metal Odissey webstore. Nick might be one single man enduring isolation just like the rest of us, but we must admit he made an excellent use of his time alone to bring his unrelenting Grindcore beast to life in Immortality Through Quantum Suicide, condensing all the horrors, darkness and fears from space vacuum into a massive wall of sounds that will leave you absolutely disoriented after the album’s 23 crushing minutes are over. Let’s hope we can witness a second round (or maybe I should say reincarnation) of Xythlia in the near future, pushing the boundaries of extreme music more and more into the unknown, exploding our heads with his austere sounds for centuries to come.

Best moments of the album: To Defy Inevitability, Flesh Prison, Schrödinger’s Foreskin and Fester in the Nether.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 I, Voidhanger Records

Track listing
1. Death Unyielding 1:06
2. To Defy Inevitability 1:38
3. Initiation: Void 0:27
4. Tachyon Malnourishment 1:32
5. Antidream 0:45
6. Ablation of Subconscious 3:04
7. Flesh Prison 2:05
8. Post-Ironic Indoctrination 1:04
9. Schrödinger’s Foreskin 2:55
10. The Eye Bath 3:04
11. Mutagenic Growth 0:41
12. Fester in the Nether 4:45

Band members
Nick Stanger – vocals, guitars, bass, drum programming

Album Review – Tristwood / Blackcrowned Majesty (2020)

Behold the final part of a saga about the return of a legendary ruler named Ar’ath to Ma’haxul through the eyes of an infernal Industrial Black and Death Metal band from Austria.

Blasting their venomous hybrid of Avantgarde, Black, Death and Industrial Metal with Grindcore nuances (being even labeled Blackened Grindcore by some fans and critics) since their inception in 2001 in the city of Linz, Austria, the cryptic entity known as Tristwood is ready to raise some hell with their fifth full-length opus entitled Blackcrowned Majesty, a musical journey led via Nihilist, early Bathory, Oxiplegatz, Morbid Angel, Hellhammer, Skinny Puppy and Killing Joke into the world of the real underground of the rough 80’s and early 90’s. Representing the final part of a saga about the return of a legendary ruler named Ar’ath to Ma’haxul, born out of pure blackness and disaster, the album describes in a musical way how she flows to the north after her destruction and is crowned again by her faithful. The album art, created in the summer of 2019 in the Alps by Ani van Sunnjurck, is the basis and building block of the story, showing the anti-hero Rauthra and hinting at his outer appearance as well as his quest from northern shores to the interior of the country to join Ar’ath. Comprised of Deimon on vocals, synths and flute, Jegger on vocals and guitars, Neru on guitars, backing vocals and synths, JD on bass and fretless bass solos, and HMG on drums, Tristwood are on fire throughout the almost 40 minutes of music found in Blackcrowned Majesty, uniting a very entertaining concept with their usual musical madness and rage.

Arising from the underworld like evil creatures of darkness, Tristwood begin blasting their fusion of industrial, electronic and extreme music in Re-Enthronement Of The Damned, bringing forward an infernal sound masterfully crafted by all band members, with HMG being beyond pulverizing on drums while Deimon and Jegger keep growling like true demons. In the heavier and more caustic He Who Traversed A Greater Oblivion, the scorching riffs by Jegger and Neru will pierce your ears mercilessly in a frantic and chaotic fusion of Industrial and Black Metal, whereas wicked, uncanny sounds ignite the electro-dark title-track A Blackcrowned Majesty, before all hell breaks loose in another hellish extravaganza by Tristwood. Moreover, the background synths and keys by Deimon and Neru add a touch of dementia to the music, while JD simply hammers his metallic bass nonstop. And it’s time to bang our heads like maniacs to the obscure and futuristic Her Wraith Through Stygonian Lands, where Deimon and Jegger are once again berserk on vocals, supported by the classic beats by HMG and the venom and acid flowing from the band’s stylish guitar riffs.

The quintet keeps smashing our skulls in The Hall Of Rauthra´s Fate, a vicious fusion of Black and Industrial Metal presenting machine gun-like blast beats, razor-edged riffs and demonic gnarls and roars, sounding as dark and grim as it can be from start to finish; and there’s no sign of Tristwood slowing down at all as they continue to fill every single space in the air with sheer darkness, hatred and lunacy in Acherontic Deathcult, with the whimsical keys and synths by Deimon and Neru bringing a welcome balance to their sonic havoc. Then inhumane, desperate screams are potentialized by the band’s high-octane guitars and drums in the visceral Bone Cathedral, a lesson in contemporary Industrial Extreme Metal by Tristwood, not to mention how thunderous the bass by JD sounds during the entire song, followed by the Stygian and captivating Nightshade Eternal, the epic finale to the saga of Rauthra, where the sick and deranged harsh growls by Deimon and Jegger are effectively spiced up by all background elements and the always pounding beats by HMG, flowing smoothly and infernally until its abrupt and somber ending.

Will Rauthra join the Nightshade? All you need to do to have the answer to that question is listening to Blackcrowned Majesty in full, and in order to do that simply go to Tristwood’s official BandCamp page, where you can obviously purchase your copy of the album and show your support to such talented Austrian band. In addition, don’t forget to give the guys from Tristwood a shout on their Facebook page, where you can get more details about the band, their future releases and tour dates. In summary, Tristwood undoubtedly reinvented themselves in Blackcrowned Majesty, adding another solid stone to their ever-growing castle of Industrial Black and Death Metal with such multi-layered and distinguished concept album and, consequently, paving a promising path for those Austrian veterans who know how to make some reverberating and loud noise when armed with their weapons of sonic destruction.

Best moments of the album: He Who Traversed A Greater Oblivion, Her Wraith Through Stygonian Lands and The Hall Of Rauthra´s Fate.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 Independent

Track listing
1. Re-Enthronement Of The Damned 4:16
2. He Who Traversed A Greater Oblivion 4:23
3. A Blackcrowned Majesty 5:18
4. Her Wraith Through Stygonian Lands 4:54
5. The Hall Of Rauthra´s Fate 4:08
6. Acherontic Deathcult 4:24
7. Bone Cathedral 4:24
8. Nightshade Eternal 6:16

Band members
Deimon – vocals, synths, flute
Jegger – vocals, guitars
Neru – guitars, backing vocals, synths
JD – bass, fretless bass solos
HMG – drums