Album Review – Intricated / Apocalyptic Metamorphosis (2021)

From the sin swamped streets of Bangkok to the frenzied furnace of your nightmares, Intricated are coming for you armed with ten tracks of precision putridity and bludgeoning, blasting brutality.

Twisting the very fabric of reality, tearing through the layers of existence and warping everything you know to be true, Bangkok, Thailand’s own Brutal Death Metal unity Intricated has pushed themselves to the limit in their brand new album entitled Apocalyptic Metamorphosis, a worthy follow-up to their 2016 debut effort The Vortex Of Fatal Depravity. Mixed by the band itself, mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music, and displaying a sick artwork by Japanese illustrator Toshihiro Egawa, Apocalyptic Metamorphosis brings to our ears ten tracks of precision putridity and bludgeoning, blasting brutality carefully crafted by vocalist Panyawat Sridee, guitarist Jeeraset Paemongkol, bassist Wasumit Wongwai and drummer Pratchaya Phadungthin, resulting in a monstrous opus of chaos unleashed recommended for fans of Suffocation, Cryptopsy and Deeds Of Flesh, among others torchbearers of extreme sonic savagery.

An ominous, sinister intro titled The Sixth Invisible Light of the Unobserved Heterogeneity Dimension opens the gates of hell for Intricated to kill with Ruthless Domination, a pulverizing Deathslam onrush led by the blast beats by Pratchaya and the deep and utterly cadaverous growls by Panyawat while Jeeraset and Wasumit show no mercy for their stringed weapons; whereas Impaling the Emperor is even more infernal than its predecessor, with Pratchaya sounding beyond infuriated on drums. What a solid display of Brutal Death Metal by the band, sounding perfect for slamming into the pit like a demented beast, and there’s a lot more devastation by Intricated with Summoning the Abyzou, where they kick some serious ass with their pulverizing Death Metal spiced up by the razor-edged riffage by Jeeraset. And An Experimentation of Genocide (Unit 731) brings forward two and a half minutes of brutality, gore and violence in the form of extreme music, where it’s impressive how Panyawat’s vocals get deeper and more gruesome as the music progresses.

There’s no time to breathe as the quartet continues to smash our cranial skulls mercilessly in Flagitious Meditation, with Wasumit making the earth tremble with his bass supported by the always demented drums by Pratchaya, making an instant bridge with the also bludgeoning The Manifest of Apocalyptic Variation, highly recommended for breaking your neck headbanging with Jeeraset once again exhaling malignancy from his axe. Enigmatic Portal of Demise is a lecture in Brutal Death Metal by Intricated, showcasing all elements we love in the genre including of course the bestial vociferations by Panyawat and the complex but always infernal beats by Pratchaya; and keeping the album at a high level of animosity it’s time for the instrumental Interdimensional Being…, presenting a solid work done by the quartet (albeit I miss their evil growls). Finally it’s time for Iniquitous Creatures, a hellish, absolutely heavy and devilish creation bringing to our ears six minutes of pure savagery masterfully brought forth by the band, with Panyawat leading his horde with his wicked, deranged gnarls until the song’s Stygian ending.

The apocalyptic world of Death Metal ruled by Intricated can be better appreciated by following the band on Facebook and on Instagram for news and tour dates, and of course by purchasing Apocalyptic Metamorphosis from the Comatose Music BandCamp page or webstore as a regular CD or as a CD + shirt + sticker bundle, as well as from several other online locations including Barnes & Noble, Waterloo Records, Monster Music & Movies, Schoolkids Records, and Record Archive. From the sin swamped streets of Bangkok to the frenzied furnace of your nightmares, Intricated are coming for you armed with their beast of an album, proving Thailand can easily become one of the epicenters of underground Death Metal worldwide.

Best moments of the album: An Experimentation of Genocide (Unit 731), Enigmatic Portal of Demise and Iniquitous Creatures.

Worst moments of the album: Interdimensional Being…

Released in 2021 Comatose Music

Track listing
1. The Sixth Invisible Light of the Unobserved Heterogeneity Dimension 0:40
2. Ruthless Domination 3:46
3. Impaling the Emperor 3:50
4. Summoning the Abyzou 3:19
5. An Experimentation of Genocide (Unit 731) 2:34
6. Flagitious Meditation 2:49
7. The Manifest of Apocalyptic Variation 4:17
8. Enigmatic Portal of Demise 3:02
9. Interdimensional Being… 2:20
10. Iniquitous Creatures 6:05

Band members
Panyawat Sridee – vocals
Jeeraset Paemongkol – guitar
Wasumit Wongwai – bass
Pratchaya Phadungthin – drums

Album Review – Primal Age / Masked Enemy (2021)

One of the trailblazers of Hardcore and Edge Metal in Europe returns with another furious album, again dealing with animal rights, vegetarianism, ecology, denunciation of overconsumption and abuse of power.

3.5rating

primal-age-masked-enemy-2021Bringing forward a furious mix of Heavy Metal and Hardcore since 1993 and still going strong, always with a lot of energy, passion and determination, and relentlessly presenting a strong critical view on the ugliest parts of our rotten society, Évreux, France-based Hardcore/Edge Metal unity Primal Age is back with more of their furious music in their new opus entitled Masked Enemy, the follow-up to their 2017 EP A Silent Wound. Refusing to hold back on themes like defense of animal rights, vegetarianism, ecology, denunciation of overconsumption and abuse of power, the band comprised of Didier on vocals, Benoit and Florian on the guitars, Dimitri on bass, and newcomer Miguel on drums goes once again straight to your jugular in their new album, with the crisp recording and mixing by Guillaume Doussaud at Swan Sound Studio, the awesome mastering by Alan Douches at West West Side Music, and the ass-kicking artwork by Visual Injuries (who have been working for the band for several years and know how to translate their music and lyrics into images), turning it into a must-have for fans of extreme music with a meaningful message.

Their political feast of heavy music begins with Intro & Wise Old Man, featuring an excerpt from 12-year old Severn Suzuki’s speech during the United Nation’s Earth Summit Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992 (see the full video HERE), with sinister sounds growing in intensity until Didier comes growling manically supported by his bandmates, generating a sick atmosphere that lives up to the legacy of classic Hardcore. Then it’s time to slam into the pit to the vicious beats by Miguel and the always melodic but extremely austere riffage by Benoit and Florian in The Devil Is Hidden In Shadow, not to mention Didier sounds even more demented on vocals; followed by Adolescent Humanity, a fusion of Metalcore, Hardcore, Heavy Metal and classic Punk Rock that will invite you to crush your skull into the circle pit, with Dimitri and Miguel being on fire with their hellish kitchen. In The Two Heads Monster we’re treated to the acid lyrics barked by Didier (“Control of the living became an economic stake / Sectors collusion promises us the best / But it’s a dark future’s conjuring / Chemistry and Nature are not getting along”) amidst sheer violence in the form of old school Hardcore, whereas the title-track Masked Enemy reminds me of the music by The Exploited with hints of the Thrash Metal played by Slayer and Exodus, which obviously translates into pure awesomeness, while Miguel dictates the song’s visceral pace.

The frantic beats by Miguel, the intense riffs by Benoit and Florian, and endless electricity are the main ingredients in I Warn You, another excellent creation by Primal Age that will please all fans of the genre without a shadow of a doubt, while the semi-acoustic interlude The Downside Of Progress will capture your soul before the band comes ripping once again in Who Dares Wins, a smashing, in-your-face tune led by the infuriated roars by Didier displaying no shenanigans nor any artificial elements, just our good old Hardcore to make you crack your neck headbanging like a true beast. And get ready to be dragged into a hurricane of Metalcore and Hardcore to the incendiary guitars by Benoit and Florian in the high-octane tune Passion vs. Fashion, while Dimitri keeps hammering his bass nonstop. What a pulverizing composition, I might say, whereas the second to last explosion of their politics-infused metal music, entiled Blinded By Cruelty, brings to our ears another round of their wicked riffs and beats, all of course spiced up by the deep growling by Didier, before all comes to an end with the instrumental outro Awakening Of Consciousness, putting a serene, melancholic and climatic ending to the album.

primal-age-2021Masked Enemy is available for a full listen on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course in order to properly show your support to Primal Age and join them in their fight against everything that’s wrong with our decaying society, you should definitely purchase the album from their Big Cartel in CD or vinyl, from the WTF Records webstore also as a CD or vinyl, from Coretex Records, from Apple Music, from Amazon or from Discogs, or simply click HERE for the digital version of the album. In addition, don’t forget to follow the band on Facebook, on Instagram and on YouTube to stay up to date with all things Primal Age. Those French trailblazers of Hardcore and Edge Metal nailed it once again with their new album, and may their powerful message reach the four corners of the earth in hopes that we can all make the world a better place to live to the sound of their first-class music.

Best moments of the album: The Devil Is Hidden In Shadow, Masked Enemy and Passion vs. Fashion.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 WTF Records

Track listing   
1. Intro & Wise Old Man 4:24
2. The Devil Is Hidden In Shadow 3:12
3. Adolescent Humanity 2:22
4. The Two Heads Monster 3:16
5. Masked Enemy 3:14
6. I Warn You 3:14
7. The Downside Of Progress 1:09
8. Who Dares Wins 3:58
9. Passion vs. Fashion 3:16
10. Blinded By Cruelty 3:48
11. Awakening Of Consciousness 2:00

Band members
Didier – vocals
Benoit – guitars
Florian – guitars
Dimitri – bass
Miguel – drums

Album Review – Cannibal Corpse / Violence Unimagined (2021)

State of the art Death Metal played with passion and breathless precision is what you’ll find in the superb fifteenth studio album by the most violent and unrelenting band of all time.

4.5rating

cannibal-corpse-violence-unimagined-2021Violence Unimagined. The title tells you everything you need to know about Buffalo, New York-based Death Metal titans Cannibal Corpse‘s fifteenth hellish opus. Comprised of eleven tracks, it is state of the art Death Metal played with passion and breathless precision by George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher on vocals, Rob Barrett and Erik Rutan on the guitars, Alex Webster on bass and Paul Mazurkiewicz on drums, making for another flawless addition to what is inarguably one of the premier catalogues the genre has thrown up. Produced, engineered and mixed by Erik Rutan at Mana Recording Studios, mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music, and featuring another terror-infused artwork by Vincent Locke, Violence Unimagined is the band’s first album in nearly four years since Red Before Black, the longest gap between two records in their career, and the first studio album to feature Erik Rutan on lead guitar replacing Pat O’Brien. Not only that, already well known for the level of extreme technicality they bring to every record, on Violence Unimagined they have further upped their game, with the album’s titled, created by Paul Mazurkiewicz, “summing up what the band is about in every facet, and taking violence to another level of extremity.”

Their vile onslaught begins in full force in Murderous Rampage, with Corpsegrinder already barking like a rabid beast while Rob and Erik slash their axes furiously. Put differently, the album couldn’t have started in a better way, and the same can be said about Necrogenic Resurrection, a bestial creation by Cannibal Corpse where Paul hammers his drums while Alex extracts sheer insanity from his bass, and with its frantic vibe more than inspiring us all to crush our skulls into the circle pit. Then the title-track Inhumane Harvest (don’t forget to watch its sick official video below) showcases the band’s classic, visceral lyrics (“Twisted criminal underground / Subjugation of the victim / For complete control / Reaping vital body parts / Surgical precision taking / All that will be sold”) amidst a heavy-as-hell and extremely detailed sound; and it’s time to bang our heads nonstop to the demented riffage by Rob and Erik in another Death Metal extravaganza titled Condemnation Contagion, proving they don’t need to play at the speed of light to sound and feel absolutely insane. And their path of devastation and gore goes on in the superb Surround, Kill, Devour, with Paul dictating the pace with his trademark beats and fills, offering Corpsegrinder all he needs to thrive with his venomous guttural.

cannibal-corpse-2021There’s no time to breathe as our beloved Death Metal giants fire another massive tune entitled Ritual Annihilation, where the guitars, bass and drums make our heads tremble, overflowing sheer brutality and also showcasing wicked guitar solos, and you know it’s not a Cannibal Corpse album without a neck-breaking anthem the likes of Follow the Blood, where Alex proves once and for all why he’s by far the best extreme music bassist out there with his low-tuned, intricate and evil bass lines. Bound and Burned is another lecture in old school Death Metal where the band’s guitar duo is on fire with their riffs and solos, keeping the album at a high level of dementia and violence, whereas in Slowly Sawn the lyrics barked by Corpsegrinder seem as if they were taken from a slasher flick (“Bound tight to the table / Unable to scream / The blades of the sadist / Are all I see / Meticulous slaughter / A saw for each limb / Cuts through my flesh”) while the music will lacerate your ears just the way we like it in Death Metal. Then we have the fulminating Overtorture, and I must say I simply love this version of Cannibal Corpse, a straight-to-the-point, aggressive and infernal circle pit-catalyst tune where Paul is beyond ruthless behind his drums. Finally, the quintet darkens the sky once again with the hammering Cerements of the Flayed, spearheaded by the sick bass jabs by Alex and the always bestial roars by Corpsegrinder.

cannibal-corpse-violence-unimagined-artbook

Cannibal Corpse Violence Unimagined Limited Edition Artbook Set

Cannibal Corpse are by far the most violent and hardworking Death Metal band of all time, with Violence Unimagined not only representing another ass-kicking, top-of-the-line display of all their talent and passion for extreme music, but also showing a Death Metal band can indeed reinvent itself without selling out or sounding cheesy or tiresome at all. If you haven’t taken a listen at such masterpiece of extreme music yet, an album that will surely feature among the top metal albums of 2021, you can find it in full on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course I highly recommend you purchase it from the band’s official webstore in the United States or in Europe, or from Metal Blade Records, where you can find the link to the fantastic Limited Edition Artbook Set, containing a digipak CD, a 12” exclusive crimson red marbled vinyl, a patch, a sticker and a flag, and don’t forget to also follow the band on Facebook and on Instagram to get updated on all things Cannibal Corpse. Needless to say, if you don’t do all that, you can’t even imagine the level of violence you will suffer.

Best moments of the album: Murderous Rampage, Inhumane Harvest, Surround, Kill, Devour, Follow the Blood and Overtorture.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Metal Blade Records

Track listing
1. Murderous Rampage 4:07
2. Necrogenic Resurrection 3:06
3. Inhumane Harvest 4:32
4. Condemnation Contagion 4:17
5. Surround, Kill, Devour 4:10
6. Ritual Annihilation 3:48
7. Follow the Blood 4:39
8. Bound and Burned 4:04
9. Slowly Sawn 3:30
10. Overtorture 2:28
11. Cerements of the Flayed 4:07

Band members
George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher – vocals
Rob Barrett – lead and rhythm guitar
Erik Rutan – lead guitar, backing vocals on “Murderous Rampage”
Alex Webster – bass guitar
Paul Mazurkiewicz – drums