ENTRAPMENT

“Through Realms Unseen” CD

(Pulverized Records)

 

Entrapment come out of the Netherland’s death metal scene with their newest release “Through Unseen Realms”. This album features eleven songs of solid, heavy death metal with some very creative and well performed passages. The guitars are played with both heavy mid paced guitar riffs and more straight forward fast patterns. The guitarist does know how to write, and perform well written guitar patterns, and even mixes in some well done solos. The drums are done with a lot of class, and well done patterns going on an all out assault on the drum kit, to a more controlled mid paced drum style. This is my first time hearing Entrapment’s music, but this new release mixes solid, heavy death metal with some melodic dm passages and even some thrash elements in the guitars.  - Patrick

http://entrapment2.bandcamp.com/    http://www.pulverised.net/          

 

 

EPI-DEMIC

“Malformed Conscience” CD

(Horror Pain Gore Death Productions)

 

It is a pretty interesting coincidence, at least to me, that I receive an album from a band not only out of my homeland and even the same province. But, they are also signed to a record label, which is only a short drive away from where I now reside in Pennsylvania. It is a small world I guess. The band plays a style that unlike many sub-genres these days is not oversaturated. I am talking about Crossover Thrash, you know thrash metal mixed with healthy doses of punk and hardcore. Epi-Demic keep it traditional and right down the middle, with frantic speed showing little to no sizeable swings in tempo or range, another trademark of the bands that defined the term Crossover. Epi-Demic do slip in some pretty catchy rhythms into the riffing framework, at times, which helps keep the interest and differentiate the songs a little more from one another, in turn producing a light headbang from me. Between the punk and hardcore influences, I would say hardcore is far and away taking the lead with a lot of hardcore style cadence to the pacing. Plus, you have the vocals, which are probably more hardcore shouted style than your usual gruff thrash vocal staple. Some bands I can hear influence from on here are Cryptic Slaughter, Wehrmacht, SOD, Crumsuckers, COC during their crossover period, maybe a little bit of early Nuclear Assault as well. You often hear in reviews, they are retro but bring in modern touches, I am not saying that here these guys are old school all the way, even the production in some ways, but they own it and are proud of it. So kudos to them for doing what they like, and not pandering to modern fans, just to try to be more relevant as it seems like a lot of bands try to do. It might not be mindblowing stuff, but it is good Crossover Thrash, done unapologetically in the old tradition with spiked fist to the face.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/theplaguebegins13    http://www.horrorpaingoredeath.com/   

 

 

EPOCH

“Sacrosanct” CD

(Lavadome Productions)

 

Coming out of Belgium’s death metal scene is Epoch, with the cd version of “Sacrosanct”, which was originally only a digital release back in 2015. The music is heavy death metal, with elements of black metal and various other genre’s mixed in, to create a very heavy and unique sound and style. The guitars are nicely performed and well written; mixing in raging fast speeds, but the guitarist can also play mid paced sections with similar skill. The music is a nice mix of fast melodic parts and moving at times into more diverse tones and patterns. The vocals are brutal death metal growls with some gruff vocals mixed into a few of the songs. To sum it up, Epoch create and execute an enjoyable style of death metal with some other varied minor influences, so if you are a fan of brutal yet unique death metal then be sure to check this out today.  - Patrick

https://epoch616.bandcamp.com/album/sacrosanct    http://www.lavadome.org/  

 

 

FACE OF OBLIVION

“Cataclysmic Desolation” CD

(Comatose Music)

 

Minnesota’s Face Of Oblivion are back with their second full length “Cataclysmic Desolation”. They play a brutal death metal style that has a blending of middle ‘90s sound and some elements of more recent technical death metal. The drums are played with a lot of skill that goes from crazed blast beats mixed with some really well constructed drum patterns. The vocalist is Jesse Watson (singer of Incinerate) does a great job with his deep, brutal growls, and in a few songs, there is even a few lines of raw screams mixed with the death metal growls. If you enjoy brutal death metal, with touches of technical death, be certain to pick up a copy of Face of Oblivion’s new cd today.  - Patrick

https://www.reverbnation.com/faceofoblivion    http://www.comatosemusic.com        

 

 

HAMMER KING

“King Is Rising” CD

(Cruz Del Sur Records)

 

The German power metal kings of saying the word king more than any other band, in that they work it into their name, album title and pretty much all of their songs! Haha. No, they do not spare the cheese quotient, in the lyrics and concept. These guys are not resting on their laurels; it seems like only a couple months ago, I was reviewing their debut album “Kingdom Of The Hammer King”. This record pretty much picks up right where the last one left off, which is energetic, uptempo melodic music that is a little on the lighter more airy side heavy metal, but still possessing the earmarks of the old traditions. I still hear influences like Manowar, Blind Guardian, Hammerfall, Grave Digger etc… The vocals are very good, as you need for this style; the vocalist has some good range and control over his pipes. Honestly, like I said just check out my last review, as this is really is totally a continuation of their last album (though now with more flute J), so if you liked that one you will not be disappointed in this follow up record. If you have never heard them, I think I have given a decent idea of what to expect. But in my view, they do everything very well, it is enjoyable for me, but in the end it is pretty predictable stuff and not too essential to more discerning or picky fans of this style.  - Dale

http://www.hammer-king.com/   http://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com/      

 

 

IRON FIRE

“Among The Dead” CD

(Crime Records)

 

Iron Fire are back, with their eighth full length to date, featuring twelve songs of power metal mixed with traditional heavy metal. The guitars are written and performed with a lot of skill and maturity, presenting a lot of class and interesting patterns. The guitars range between faster and more controlled mid paced ranges, with some very well composed and great sounding solos mixed into the music. The drumming as well is top notch, with a varied drum style going from a semi-fast drum style and sound, to a more mid tempo style. The vocals are a mix of screams and hollering, to a more well sung, heavier power metal vocal fashion. This album is a really good power / heavy metal band, so if you are a fan of this genre, then be sure to pick up a copy of this album today.  - Patrick

http://www.ironfire.dk/    https://shop.crimerecords.no/   

 

 

INVASION

“Destroyer Of Mankind” CD

(Abyss Records)

 

It was a nice surprise to receive this disc in the mail. I was a fan of the band’s first two records, especially the second one “Berserk Artillery Barrage”. So much so, on the strength of that record, we interviewed them in Canadian Assault back in the print days, believe it was issue 6 or 7. Despite it being about 15 years since then, the band has picked right up where that second record left off, continuing with that style / sound that made me like them. Invasion has melds a large dose of catchy melodicism within death metal extremity, but it feels like they may have turned said ingredient up even further on “Destroyer Of Mankind”, as this record is as catchy as all fuck. I still hear that early ‘90s Swedish death metal guitar sound and style I love so much, however I feel like they toned that element down a tad, with other influences from the same time period via other parts of Europe (ala Bolt Thrower, Benediction, early Sinister) and the US have asserted themselves more prominently. There is a little more refinement in the material, aside from the high tunefulness mentioned above; there are some great underlying guitar fills and patterns that are pure class. I can hear an example of it right now, as I write this, on the killer song “A Satisfying Death”. Main man of the band bassist / vocalist Peter Clemens has his death growling pipes in fine form, as he puts on a commanding performance consisting of mostly decipherable bestial growling, which is sure to frighten even a raging bear into turning tail. I see Peter is still obsessed with World War II, as with past albums, it is largely or even solely based upon that epic war. I can not blame him there is a ton of material to be mined (no pun intendec) from that war, and as a bit of a classic war buff myself, it is the war I probably find the most fascinating as well, not sure if my grandfather fighting in that war and on D-Day might have something to do with my personal interest in the subject. But Invasion do it justice, the lyrics on WWII are passionate and visceral (with various audio clip samples to aide in setting the scene), even rather moving and has me reaching for my Band Of Brothers dvd set, since it now has an alternate soundtrack courtesy of Invasion. Well done boys.  - Dale

https://invasion2.bandcamp.com/    http://www.officialabyssrecords.com/   

 

 

KALOPSIA

“Angel Plague” CD

(H.P.G.D. Productions)

 

Coming out of New Jersey’s death metal scene, is Kalopsia, with their third full length “Angel Plague”. Kalopsia play heavy, chaotic death metal which is not all fast, as the band writes and plays some very good mid paced sections. The guitars are played with a lot of skill, their experience level shows through as in their playing, going from an all out assault of fast riffs and patterns to a more controlled, well written mid paced passages. The drums follow along in the same vein, possessing a lot of power and skill, showing variety with more of a mid paced style in a few songs. The vocals are deep death metal growls with some gruff screams used in a few of the songs. If you enjoyed Kalopsia’s previous releases then be sure to check out “Angel Plague” today.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/youwillsubmit    http://www.comatosemusic.com/     

 

 

KILLING ADDICTION

“Shores Of Oblivion” CD EP

(Xtreem Music)

 

Killing Addiction first formed at the end of the ‘80s, they released a demo tape in 1990 and a 7” EP in 1991, before putting out their debut album “Omega Factor” in early 1993. Did I mention they are from Florida? I am not sure why they did not get more attention, or more well known, along with so many of their peers early in the early to mid ’90s, as people were eating up anything Floridian death metal back then. The band called it quits some time in 1994/95, but decided to get back together some years back now. “Omega Factor” (I had my JL America cassette baby hehe) is, and was, my only experience back in the day (or since then) with Killing Addiction. I liked that debut album, it was good early death metal. Listening back to that album, and then “Shores Of Oblivion”, it would seem the band has stayed true to their old school dm style, back then though I think they may have had a bit more dynamic song structuring. Yet, this more straight forward, stripped down structuring on this EP, seems to fit them well. If anything, since the early days, Killing Addiction has slowed things down a tad, going for a more brooding gloomy vibe with the atmosphere. I kind of dug how the third track “Extinction Agenda” starts, it fades in slowly with a sort of muffled effect until everything slowly becomes clear, not only that but it starts off sounding like you are already a minute into the song, not something I want on every song but a really cool effect for one track on here. Besides the heavy dirge riffs, I think my favourite part of this release is the great vocal performance, from bassist/vocalist Patrick Bailey. He slides seamlessly between deep dark growling, slightly nasally growls and obscured rasping type vocals. He makes those changes in a very subtle way, so it is not jarring or too different from one style to the next, just really well done vocals. To end this review I want to say R.I.P. to guitarist (and brother to Patrick) Chad Bailey, who passed away a couple months after this recording, and prior to it’s release. This four song EP is for old school Floridian death metal fans, who are not obsessed with newer sounding death metal that has a million riffs and time changes in every song. This band is more about the song and the music rather than being fast and technical all the time. Check it out.  - Dale

https://killingaddiction.bandcamp.com/music    http://www.xtreemmusic.com/        

 

 

LOGIC OF DENIAL

"Aftermath” CD

(Comatose Music)

 

Italy’s brutal band Logic Of Denial, are back with their third attack entitled “Aftermath”, featuring twelve songs. The band plays a brutal and vicious death metal style and do it with a lot of skill and talented musicianship. The guitars are played mainly with crazed and fast riffs and patterns, as well as some well done solos, mixed into a few of the songs. The vocals are low brutal death metal growls. The drums are played with some insane blast beats and the drummer does know how to create and perform well done heavier mid paced skin beating. If you are a fan of modern brutal death metal then be sure to pick up a copy of “Aftermath” when it is released.  - Patrick

http://www.logicofdenial.com/    http://www.comatosemusic.com/      

 

 

LUNAR SHADOW

“Far From Light” CD

(Cruz Del Sur Records)

 

Cruz Del Sur are quickly becoming the champions of heavy metal, the label tends to have quite discerning tastes and their stable, to me, is beginning to set the standard for excellence in the genre these days. This German band is clearly full of energy and very talented. They play an entertaining brand of heavy metal, which is deeply rooted in the NWOBHM and I can hear a lot of Iron Maiden at their deepest core. Much like those heroes and Judas Priest, there abounds some wonderful soaring twin guitar harmonies. That is the main template for their sound, but they do have some other influences, as I hear a bit of 70s and believe it or not, some slight influences from ‘90s extreme metal. Which is quite the juxtaposition, with some of the very light airy moments, sitting next to the heavy, gloomy introspective passages elements. There are some frolicking lively guitar solos scattered through the album which were engaging and pleasurable, those solos give off a improvisational vibe to me. One thing that is a must, if you are even going to attempt this genre is a good vocalist, enter Alex Vornam. With his soaring clean vocals, which are possibly a tad too light and not gritty enough for some, but he fits the music well and has a smooth voice with pretty solid range. Yeah, this is a pretty kick ass album, displaying real talent across the board. I guess the only criticism, I might have is some of the songs are a little too long, about half of the songs are 8 to 10 minutes long. There is nothing wrong with that, but I think maybe this very young bands experience is a little short, and their maturity as song writers, needs some more time to develop before they have the vision and discipline to make such epic length songs. I have little doubt as I said, with some experience, that they will be full value for such a gargantuan undertaking. Having said that those are still good songs, but could benefit from a little tightening up. But, if you are a fan of the styles I mentioned above, then I am certain you dig this album.  - Dale

https://lunarshadow.bandcamp.com/    http://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com/       

 

 

THE MIST

“Phantasmagoria” CD

(Greyhaze Recrods)

 

Originally released in 1989 Brazil’s The Mist is getting their debut album “Phantasmagoria” re-released through Greyhaze Records. For those who have never heard The Mist, they played fast and thrashing metal, but the band was not all blind speed and aggression as the music is extremely well written and performed. The guitars filled with both chaotic fast riffs, but do slow to a more controlled mid pace, in a few of the songs. The guitarist knows how to write some extremely tight patterns and even does some well done solos in some of the songs. The vocals are raw thrashy screams with some deeper gruff screams mixed into the music. If you were lucky enough to have heard The Mist back in the day, be sure to this up, re-live the glory days of the classic thrash metal scene.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/TheMisTband/    http://greyhazerecords.com/   

 

 

MUTILATOR

“Immortal Force” CD

(Greyhaze Records)

 

Greyhaze Records is getting set to re-release, yet another Cogumelo Records classic Brazilian band, this time around it is Mutilator with their debut album. Originally released in 1987, “Immortal Force” is thrash metal at it’s best, playing extremely fast thrash showcasing musicians who know how to write and perform quality music. The guitars are played with hyper-speed riffing patterns executed with skill and excellent precision. The guitars do slow to a more mid paced range, at times, with some nice patterns and solos intertwined within the music. The drumming, is top notch, with both fast blasting drums and more controlled mid paced patterns. If you were lucky enough to have heard this band back in their prime, then you know what to expect, but if you are a new listener then just imagine fiercest, most violent thrash metal possible. Check this release out today.  - Patrick

https://greyhazerecords.bandcamp.com/    https://www.greyhazerecords.com/  

 

 

NERVOCHAOS

“Nyctophilia” CD

(Greyhaze Records)

 

Brazil’s raw thrash black metallers Nervochaos are back with a new release featuring thirteen songs. The guitars are played with intense, fast guitar patterns throughout most of the songs. But the guitarist does slow down to a more controlled mid pace pattern in a few of the songs. The drumming is done in the vein, with chaotic and crazed drum patterns, but does slow to a heavier slower pacing. The vocals are a mix of raw death metal growls and some screaming intertwined within the mix. If you are a fan of the previous Nervochaos releases then be sure to pick up a copy “Nyctophilia” today.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/NervoChaos    https://www.greyhazerecords.com/      

 

 

NICK NORO

“Vietnamm” CD EP

(Merdumgiriz Recs / NBRD Recs)

 

This is the solo release of Nick Noro, who comes from the robust Bay Area thrash band Survival, I have reviewed a couple of their releases now, if you want to check those out. There was already an older re-release of a Survival recording, which was essentially a Nick Noro solo release using the Survival name. But this one is quite different, man how to even begin to describe this, it is so different from Survival and different from most of what I get to review or choose to listen to. After a spoken word recount of a victim, who was shot in the head, it then cuts over to Bruce Buffer from the UFC of all things, doing one of his trademark intros. So yeah, that is the start of this four song, roughly eleven minute EP, yes it is weird. The music, which makes up the rest of “Vietnamm” is actually pretty good stuff, much better than the old Noro solo Survival record. But it is kind of hard to describe the music, it consists of cool but random short songs that are strange hard rock things, which is a mix probably of who knows what, but maybe stuff like Rollins Band, Faith No More, Mr. Bungle with some art rock and like pop punk or something. I obviously have limited references points on these styles. When I read that description of the style above, I think fuck I don’t want to listen to that, but honestly if you can stomach that kind of weird mix, this is actually some pretty interesting and catchy stuff. One thing it shows for sure, there are many musical sides and lot of talent, within this tortured (see my Survival review for details on his imprisonment etc..) artist Nick Noro. This is a pretty tough sell to most readers of my site, and honestly it was a tough sell on me too, not my kind of thing either truly, but I can appreciate the talent and vision going on here.  - Dale

https://nbrd.bandcamp.com/    http://www.merdumgiriz.org/     

 

 

NIHILISTINEN BARBAARISUUS

“Madness Incarnate” CD EP

(Symbol Of Damnation)

 

If you see my review of this bands album, entitled “The Child Must Die”, you know I have become a big fan of this band. So, I was very pleased, to find this new release (limited to 500 copies) in my mailbox. The main man you should concern yourself with is Mika Mage, who is Finnish and now resides in Philadelphia, he is generally responsible for the majority of everything Nihilistinen Barbaarisuus (Nihilistic Barbarity in English), from the musical creation, to composing and concept. Though on this release, he has decided to enlist some friends, and former band mates, to lend their playing and voices to these songs. I get that feeling, from this release; it is a collection of songs rather than a cohesive whole. This just feels like it is Mika letting loose, and stretching his artistic legs, outside of the album concept, to where the individual songs are meant to be enjoyed on their own, the opposite of the old saying the sum of it’s parts… Which I think, on an ep is where you like to see that kind of thing, which if done well can be a welcome and enjoyable distraction, whilst you await the next full length album. Regardless of intentions, Mika’s superior composing skills and vision are ever present. It is a little different here at times, compared to the album, but that combination of ambient black death metal mixed impressively with frosty aggression, yet maintaining this perplexing infectious, uplifting and triumphant quality that is fast becoming a celebrated (by me at least) signature of Mika Mage’s writing style. His style is not easy to describe, but it is a near perfect blend of ambiance, cold hate and melodicism. The style, on this on five track nearly 20 minute release, varies more than the album, nowhere more apparent than vocal performances with no less than three guest vocalists. Despite the lack of cohesion in that area, it also adds a certain dynamic, varied quality which is sure to keep the listener engaged, as all the variant performances are well done. This is yet another fine Nihilistinen Barbaarisuus release, which only serves to wet the lips of the bands parched fans, myself included, who eagerly await the next full length album!  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/nihilistinenbarbaarisuus    http://satanath.com/sodp