AGGRESSIVE MUTILATOR

“They Want Me To Cut Off My Head” Demo Tape

(Self Released)

 

Lock your doors and hide your women Aggressive Mutilator are sweeping through town once again. Aggressive Mutilator continues to do what they always do on this six song demo. Just play down ‘n dirty thrash, this time I would say they are little more energetic and forceful than say their Death Toll release I reviewed here as well. I got a nice little headbang going on the song “Storms Of Evil”. This may be the best production I have heard from them, the grimy low-fi sound really suits them, this is good but almost a tad too clean for this filthy band haha. But they make it work and run rough shot over top of the listener. The raw black metal rasp vocals on here are very well done and add that element of an evil aura to their sound. I honestly can recommend this to those that are not obsessed with technical, razor sharp plastic metal, but do like ripping thrashing black metal. Keep the cassettes coming sickos!!  - Dale

http://aggressivemutilator.bandcamp.com/   mikael_holm@hotmail.com      

 

 

ALTARS

Self-titled

Demo CD

 

This is the first demo from Altars, an Australian death metal band. There are five songs on tap, this release is apparently limited to 500 copies. The production is pretty thick and dense, but heavy. It is also a bit muddy, but that kind of just adds to the atmosphere for me and everything can still be heard fairly well. While Altars put a few more dynamics than many death metal bands, I am not sure I would push the “experimental” title that they seem to fancy themselves on. Actually some of the quirky bits and time changes, remind me of shit Gorguts were doing in the late 90s and what Cryptopsy were doing on their first few records some years ago. But full marks should be given, due to the fact that they do incorporate some unconventional style elements, into their material. All the while, not hurting the overall, brutality and flow of the music. Which is something, I have seen gone wrong many a time, over the years, on releases I have reviewed and purchased. As far as influence goes, I can hear stuff like such as old Entombed, Dismember, Morbid Angel plus the Canadian bands I mentioned above. All of which, receive regular rotation from my record collection. So I suppose, it is of little surprise that I enjoyed this demo. The vocals though in case you wondered, are nothing like the bands I compared them to, save for Cryptopsy a little bit. They are mainly belched and growled with the odd higher pitched squeals to add some counter point. The packaging is well-done here too. I can recommend you check these blokes out. Apparently a 4-way split CD and split 7” ep in the works, so keep an eye out for that as well.  – Dale

http://myspace.com/altarsofficial   http://altars.bigcartel.com/   

 

 

ANGELHOLOCAUST

“Heretical Goat Worship”

Demo Tape

 

We have six, six, six tracks of depravity, bloodshed and antichrist hate and vitriol bursting out of Thailand. As one might expect, from the band name and song titles, such as “Hail The Goat”, “Eternal Pandemonium Antichrist”, and a Sarcofago cover. This is a war metal band; they wear that title with pride and come ready for battle. I must say there are some extremely interesting, off-kilter song structuring and speed changes on this demo. The likes of which you rarely or almost never see displayed in this style. They make sure it never takes away from the speed or brutality though. At the same time those quirks and changes in the song really helps hold your interest and adds some depth to the overall maelstrom of lightning sickness and chaos. Without any doubt in my mind this is one of the best war metal bands I have heard in the last half decade, and maybe even longer than that. This comes highly recommended for those who worship the goat and musical pandemonium of the old gods like Sarcofago, Blasphemy etc… but with a new twist. I also recommend those of you that can play tapes, you proceed with haste as this killer demo cassette is limited to only 166 copies. $6 USD / 5 Euro.  – Dale

http://www.myspace.com/destroyallreligions  phzine@yahoo.com 

 

 

ARA

“Devourer Of Worlds” Full Length Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

I must say for a self release, the band has not gone the cheap route on anything, from the packaging to the recording. Ara hail from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and they play very technically proficient death metal. Now, I must confess, when it comes to this particular sub-genre of death metal, much like that of melodo death metal, I am very picky. I will only re-listen to and enjoy, the elite cream of the crop bands / albums from those two sub-genres. As opposed to just straight up brutal non-technical / non-melodic dm or black band, where I can listen to an average or slightly above average album, and still enjoy and get something out of it, and play it again and again. So how does Ara measure up to my lofty standards of this style? I am happy to report, they measure up quite well, thank you, as I will admit they both surprised and impressed me. I would even go so far, as to say they flirt with the gold standard quality level of bands, and albums, like Gorguts “Obscura”, Atheist “Unquestionable Presence”, and Theory In Practice “The Armageddon Theories” etc… I would not, and do not put them in that company lightly, let me tell you. I dig the growling style of the vocalist as well, he has a deep frightening roar, but mixes in a bit of Toad’s croak, that croak reminds me of the great old Demilich vocals on the “Nespithe” album from the early nineties. This has to be close to the best debut album I heard in ages. Not sure what else to say, except, if you like, love or worship brutalizing techno death metal, then you simply must have a copy of this album. I am convinced after listening to this, that either the band will not be unsigned for long or they never had any interest in being with a record label in the first place.  - Dale

http://arawi.bandcamp.com/   https://www.facebook.com/Ara.Music.WI   

 

 

AKRTOGAA

“Blood For Wotan” Demo Tape

(Self Released)

 

This is a very good looking cassette with nice professionally printed packaging. Arktogaa is an Italian band playing a NS black metal hybrid, mixed with punk and Oi! hardcore influences. I would say black metal is the more dominant sound within the music, but they do fluctuate depending upon the song. There is some fine old school traditional riffing on here I enjoyed, as well the songs are quite catchy at times, which adds an extra dynamic to the proceedings. The atmosphere and feeling of the music is a very triumphant one, possessing a sort of militant aura, yet always keeping a dark edge. I hear hints of influences on the bm side from bands like Bathory, Burzum and Graveland. The vocals are the gruff yelled variety, with a slight growled underpinning, but still fairly decipherable in a forceful style. I like them quite a bit. I also enjoy the break from time to time, in the epic malevolent black metal side of things, as the energy injection of the hardcore / punk influence kicks in before inevitably returning to the darkness and evil. “Blood For Wotan” is a rather impressive debut demo, as far as I know, this is the three members first band but they do not use their real names, so who knows. The recording and production for a first effort is solid. I did not get into the philosophical side of the band, but this often does not interest me much in many cases anyway, so no different here. This cassette is limited to just 100 copies, so if you have any interest based on my description, get on this sooner than later or miss out.  - Dale

http://arktogaahorde.bandcamp.com/releases    Wotanfront@hotmail.com       

 

 

AUTUMN GRAVE

“Demo 2014” Cassette

(Self Released)

 

I got this demo tape in a very interesting package one day; it had this cassette, the Black Blood Stigmata cd and issue 2 of Extreme Metal fanzine. What all three of these creative underground entities have in common is, the main man Troy, whose last name I have no idea what it is haha. He simply lists his first name in all three of these projects. Okay, now on to the project in front of me, there are only two tracks on here, everything written & performed by the mysterious Troy. The opening track starts off with some melancholic sounding, dark and serene music, which is shattered by the high nasally rasping screamed vocals. They sort of remind me a little of the first Burzum record, I like them, such emotional and tortured vocals over spat out over the top of mildly tranquil guitars. They really do not fit together, both are good on their own, but do not, in my opinion, really compliment one another in the least. After flipping the tape, the music is some melancholy acoustic guitar; it almost feels like some atmospheric road music or something to chill to while you float down a river. The vocals are a little more subdued on this track, which fits the music better; though I am still not sure the music and the vocals are good match here again. I am not trying to knock the music or the vocals, both are fine, but they do sound like they should belong to two completely different bands. I do dig the lost in thought, meditative vibe of the music on this track, it might have actually worked even better for me as an instrumental song. The music is well done and you can tell Troy has some talent at striking emotion in the listener. I think this is worth checking out for sure, if you can get past those cool vocals that just do not mesh with the music they are paired with.  - Dale

http://autumngrave.bandcamp.com/    autumngrave@hotmail.com    

 

  

 

AUTUMN GRAVE

“Forsaken By The Gods” Demo Cassette

(Self Released)

 

Autumn Grave, the brainchild of Troy Reynolds, has returned for another foray into the pages of Canadian Assault. This time, once again, with another nice looking tape & packaging. The quality level extends to the recording which is extremely clear and nice. I found myself focusing the most, on the opening track entitled “Immortal Through Suicide”, it has this weird break in the flow, then goes into this stunted sing song children rhyme type rhyme, like dunt da da dunt dunt da. That is just sounded so weird to me, sort of irritating at first, but with each new listen that started to grow on me, and I started to like it. That is not the whole song of course, but that part just cuts in and out of the flow a couple times, again at first it seemed out of place and now feels seamless to me. Speaking to the overall sound now, I still feel much the same, as I did on their last demo tape. It still feels to me like the vocals, and the music, do not really belong together, but obviously that is a choice on Troy’s part, and we just apparently disagree on that fundamental point. It still feels like the harsh screeching tortured (ala early Burzum) black metal vocals; do not belong with the light, airy, beautiful flowing folk music. I will admit, I think, he has managed to make this unlikely coupling work slightly better and more smooth than it did the last time around. I like it, but I want to like it even more, because the vocals are great, and the music is wonderfully written and performed, but they do not mesh together for me. Having said that, if that unlikely mix, sounds like something you would be into? Then I can this, because all the elements that make up “Forsaken By The Gods”, are of high quality and deserve to be heard.  - Dale

https://autumngrave.bandcamp.com/   https://www.reverbnation.com/autumngrave    

 

 

AVITAS

“Northern Ghosts” Full Length CD

(Bud Metal / Self Released)

 

I had not heard anything from Avitas, prior to receiving this, but it is always good to get something form my homeland and better yet, a release from a Western Canadian band. The area in Canada where I was born and raised. Avitas’ music, is a blending I do not think I have heard before, philosophically / image wise, as they are a national socialist black metal band, which heavily incorporates weed use and weed culture, which for lack of a better term some might call stoner black metal. I may be putting, a little too much emphasis on the weed thing here, then again their band name is a form of pot spelled backwards and they have Cannibas in one song title, and finally, their label name is Bud Metal. I’m not going to lie, when the first song hit after the intro, I thought to myself, I often say a one man band does not sound like a one man band as a compliment, but based on the start of this album, I could not bestow that compliment on Avitas. It just sounded disjointed and too separated. I am pleased to say, slowly track by track, everything gets better and better, smoother and smoother, and generally more quality and convincing steadily as the album goes along. Avitas play raw, mid paced early 90s Scandinavian influenced black metal, with a minimalist approach, putting an emphasis on a dark, creeping atmosphere, that so many bands seemed to forget about, over the years, as the scene trended towards slicked up, shiny plastic sheen presentation across their music. No, Avitas keep it cold, harsh and hateful, with gloomy touches and interludes. With each listen, I get more and more into this album, it really holds up the old ways very well. But, one thing that holds it back for me, a little bit, is the vocals. They are just sort of coarsely yelled vocals, that are a bit clunky and slightly amateuri-ish sounding at times. They do get the job done though, and do not distract too much, from the great raw sounding black metal that flows throughout this killer record. If you like your black raw and rough, then check this out, for those overseas, it is also distributed by PHD (Plastic Head Distribution) so hit them up.  - Dale 

http://avitas.bandcamp.com/   http://www.plastichead.com       

 

 

AVITAS

“Pioneers” Full Length CD

(Self Released / Bud Metal Records)

 

Avitas are back at it once again, in the pages of Canadian Assault, with their newest offering and second full length release “Pioneers”. I am very pleased right from the first listen that Myrtroen, the one and only man in this band, has taken everything across the board up a level (with the possible exception of the second track on this full-length effort). I mentioned, if you read my review of their last release, whilst I enjoyed it I said it had room for improvement, and improved it has. I mean even starting with the recording, now I like raw recordings, and there is still a raw edge to this release. But the recording is a bit crisper, a touch cleaner while remaining heavy and retaining that evil edge to it. This time around the playing is better, smoother; the song writing is enhanced and more confident sounding. Avitas for the uninitiated, play epic old school Scandinavian influenced black metal, wrapped in brooding atmosphere with even a slight psychedelic feel to it. It is an interesting blend the band pulled off well here. Some of the songs are very long, in the eight to ten minute range, but thankfully they do not drag at all, quite the opposite really. At times it creates a very dark, hypnotic journey which invokes for me many fantastic creepy, fog covered mountainous mental landscapes, mixed with occult imagery and ritual. The bands style of play and slower to middle pacing, reminds me very much of the diverse black metal scene of the late 80s and early to mid 90s. Bringing to mind, in addition to the Scandinavian scene, the early Greek scene or great old bands like Mortuary Drape or early Ancient Rites. Which is a style, I would like to see return, even more in the modern bm scene. I can not continue on without also praising Myrtroen, for strengthening maybe the weakest area in the past, which were his vocals. He has worked hard on those here, while it could still use some sharpening in the more partially sung, partially spoken word bits, but overall the improvement is dramatic and his delivery is filled with great emotion and poise. Mytroen even gets adventurous in a way, by doing a black metal style cover of Ministry’s “N.W.O.” (I am a big Ministry fan), which is very interesting, and dare I say, it turned out better than you might think with that cover choice in this style. I find myself coming away quite impressed with “Pioneers”! The bands previous release was a little below average honestly, yet showed stong elements of promise underneath peeking through it’s blackened soul. Now they have taken that rough diamond, and now have honed that diamond to dangerous sharpened point, which strongly gleams brightly, reflecting it’s creators black heart. This comes highly recommended from me, but do not take your time, as I believe this is professionally produced record is strictly limited to 300 copies!  - Dale 

http://avitas.bandcamp.com/    avitas66@hotmail.com        

 

 

 

AXESLAUGHTER

Tape # 2

Demo

 

As soon as I opened the package that this tape came in, it took me back to the early 90s. When I was ordering demos left and right and would rip open the rectangular package with adrenalized fury and pop the cassette right in the stereo. The cover and inlay are pure old UG style, photocopied and cut ‘n paste – hell yeah! Axeslaughter are a bit sloppy and dirty as hell, they play death thrash metal in sound and especially the spirit of old gods like Nunslaughter, Slaughter, Repulsion etc… I find the riffing to be both heavy and abrasive, yet strangely hypnotic in it’s own rhythmic / ritualistic way. The vocals are harsh sandpaper growls / screams, the sorts of which you might imagine coming forth from a well rotted decaying corpse. In another old school tradition Axeslaughter employ weird or disturbed audio samples from movies, tv and wherever in the intro and peppered throughout the songs themselves. By the way a message to the band with the outro entitled “Outro (FUCK YOU)”. I think you twats put the outro one too many times in a row, so fuck you too! ha ha. Some other song title highlights on this six tracker are “Ripping Up The Virgin’s Tomb”, “Coffin Breath” and my favourite “Never Drink From The Dead”. For those reading this that like slickly produced, tightly played modern death and thrash metal. You need not apply here as this was not made for you and you could not handle it anyway. It is rough, ugly, low-fi and I like it, it keeps the old spirit burning bright! Nice to see something like this come out of Finland.  – Dale

http://www.reverbnation.com/axeslaughter    

 

 

BARISHI

“Self-Titled” Full-length Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

Hailing from Battleboro, Vermont comes the self-titled debut album from this progressive metal foursome. When I read the bands style, I expected clean, silky vocals like Fates Warning or something, but no, the vocals are very audible and decipherable yet pretty extreme craggy yells and screeches. The vocals are sort of like a less maniacal version of the vox, employed by the The Accused, which are total over the top insanity. They do switch it up on us, now and then, suddenly employing a cleaner style of vocals I expected, for an example check out the “Through Streams, Through Mountains” track. But that is only a moment’s respite, as the cool vocal savagery quickly returns. The music itself however, while pretty hard edged, does fall a little more into what you expect, when you see the progressive metal descriptive thrown around for Barishi. The music, is very free flowing and introspective, with some skillful time changes and arrangements. When the vocals start getting faster and meaner, so does the music, yet the music at all times is smooth and the interesting time changes and overall dynamic speeds up, while always maintaining that finesse, that is ever present on the pensive mainstay material. The musicianship and song arranging, are pretty impressive on this album, surely belying the age of this recently formed band. I would think this album would be a must own, for progressive metal fans, that do not mind or even like a heavy edge to their progressive rock / metal.  - Dale

http://barishi.bandcamp.com/   https://www.facebook.com/barishiband      

 

 

BEER, GUTS & GLORY

“American Pride” Demo CD

 

Here is something a little different and interesting arriving in my mailbox. They label themselves as a Metal/Rock/Blues mixture. Which, all in all is a pretty fair description I suppose. I would say some influences I can hear are Down, Alice In Chains, Pantera, Crowbar, Eyehategod and just generally shoot from the hip garage rock ‘n roll bands. I don’t hear that much blues influence but you can detect it here and there, also despite some of the influences I list they are not a doom band. The name does give you a pretty good indication of what to expect. Just really raw and raunchy hard rock that is probably played with few a beers in them, you know what I mean? I dig some of those short spastic and energetic fills/solos. It is pretty loosely played, lacking precision in the playing or in the song writing and again I use the term raw sounding. Now for most reviewers in this day and age that is probably enough to write them off. But I think you know me by now I tend embrace the loose, the low-fi and the rough music presentation. What Beer, Guts & Glory lack in precision, technical song writing, they make up for with coarse, nerve jarring emotion and fuck you we are doing what we want and play what we like type of attitude. I respect that and you will have to as well to enjoy this beer stained, cigarette smelling four song demo tape. If you like your shit polished, clean and by the numbers then you are going to hate these guys, you can book that son. Didn’t blow me away yet I got some enjoyment out of it for sure.  – Dale 

http://www.myspace.com/beergutsglory  http://www.reverbnation.com/beergutsglory  

 

 

BLACK BEAST

Demo 2” Cassette

(Self Released)

 

I was happy to receive this demo in my mailbox. It is not every day you get something from a band from Chile. When I hit play, I was very satisfied to have some evil old school ‘80s black thrash metal, come attacking through my speakers. It reminds me of some of the more savage, early neck breaking material from bands Master, Sacrifice, Possessed, early Sodom, early albums of Razor and the like. I quite like this stuff, the singer has this cool, dark relentlessness to him, possessing a very driven yelled delivery. I think my fave track, out of the four here, is probably the excellent and memorable “Fuck This World”, with its mix of blitzkrieg speed, slow down moody breaks and catchy chorus. They love to play mainly at a frenzied lightning pace, but when they do slow down, it adds such a heavy dynamic and makes speedy mainstay really have more impact. The drummer is a maniac behind the kit, attacking it like, well, a beast and I also liked the short frantic guitar solos mixed here and there. This is a good demo tape for fans of old dark thrash from the 80s, as well as bands I mentioned above. Check this out.  - Dale

black.beast.cult@gmail.com   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZTPRFGwwx4 

 

 

BLACK BLOOD STIGMATA

"Deviant Dieties And Perverse Prophets” Full-length Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

That album title is great, it really does a good job of painting a vivid picture, and it rolls off the tongue with an inevitable wry smile to follow. It just sounds like something, which is right up my perverted sleazy alley, so to speak haha. The music on here is audio hatred incarnate; it is low fi and reminds me of the black death metal, that was coming out in the early and mid 1990s. It has that old spirit, also like bands of that time period, almost all bands calling themselves black metal, were very satanic lyrically or at the very least extremely anti-religious. Black Blood Stigmata are no exception, they are filled with venom and vitriol towards religion, one only needs to peruse their song titles to know this. The music is very stripped down, evil and filled with brutal, vigorous riffing that quickly assaults the senses and rarely lets up. There are brief sort of melancholy introspective moments, that add emotional depth, to the music. The vocals are a high / low mixing of two distinctly different vocals styles. The slightly more prominent vocal is a raspy screamed bm style vocal, with a very nasally, whining resonance to them that I could see being a bit of an acquired taste for some, for me I liked them after I got used to them. The other vocal is whispery dm growling, the juxtaposition of two vocals styles, really fits the music well and they play off of each other, never stepping on one another, but do a good job of point and counterpoint. There is some synth on here, it wafts in and out, like a wisp of smoke, but tends to stay more in the background where it belongs and is not over used for the most part. It did not bother me that much, but if I did have one complaint, it would be a couple of the songs maybe over stay their welcome slightly. But otherwise this is a superbly crafted album, by men who make music the right way, in my estimation, and also it has the right kind of old spirit and attitude behind it. You can just feel that bleed through listening to the music. I should mention as well, you get your money’s worth length wise, as this album clocks in close to the one hour mark. I can recommend fans of old-style black metal, with large doses of death metal, who enjoy a touch of unabashed blasphemy in their lives like I do.  - Dale

http://www.reverbnation.com/blackbloodstigmata       

 

 

BLACK SPACE RIDERS

“Refugeeum" CD

(Self Released)

 

This is my first encounter with Black Space Riders, despite this apparently, being the German bands fourth album. This is most definitely something different, from the usual fare, I receive for review. BSR play atmospheric spacey, non-technical prog rock, with some metal touches in some of the riffing. I have to be honest, the first listen through, I thought well this is okay, but that is really about all. But with each subsequent listen, I am feeling my way emotionally, into the soundscapes and mental tapestries, they are weaving and warming up to it. If you are willing to let yourself, you can really go on a free flowing journey, which for me, felt both chilling and uplifting at times, yet also very sorrowful and melancholic at other times. I think, to get the full experience of this band, patience and a number of repeated listens are required. The band make quite a big deal on their website, about having two lead vocalists, but honestly, not to disparage the vocals performance on here, because I like it. Yet, had I not known there were two vocalists, I may have thought it was just one person, as it is usually not that apparent to me, as a listener, where one guy ends and the other begins. The drumming, at times is sparse, but there is a real feel with drumming of when to turn it up and when to recede into the shadows, then take a brief breather and wait for the optimum time to join back in. The drums are definitely more important, to their sound, than you often find in this style of music. I enjoyed this record, but I should probably reiterate here, considering my usual readership, this is not metal, so keep that when reading this review, and if you are a little adventurous and like what I have above definitely check this out.  - Dale

http://www.blackspaceriders.com/   

 

  

 

BURIAL CURSE

“Oppressive Darkness”

Demo Cassette

 

Normally this is the part where I say it is fucking awesome to get a cassette tape and that never happens any more in this day and age. But the last year or so has been a pleasant surprise and I have received I think 3 or 4 demo tapes. The old school way lives and the old traditions die hard. That brings a smile to the sullen face of this old UG scene goat! I read a review online that said these New Orleans ghouls rose from the ashes of a band named High Priest which I see released a demo and ep. I would call Burial Curse a blackened mixture of brutal death metal and doom. The said review above (from a site called Chips & Beer) compared these guys to Profanatica and Incantation, I would agree with that but I would say a slowed down version of the former and bang on the latter comparison. Oppressive Darkness has a very brooding and suffocating atmosphere which slowly grinds and steam roll you to bits. The vocals much like the music itself are very obscure, sounding like blood curdling screams and growling howls emanating deep in the woods, on a foggy night, chilling you to the bone. This is an excellent debut release for Burial Curse, look into this band, I believe this whole demo or most of it is available to listen to for free online. So you have no fucking excuse not to check into this tremendous new band.  – Dale

http://www.reverbnation.com/burialcurse  http://www.myspace.com/burialcurse   

 

 

 

CANYON OF THE SKULL

“Canyon Of The Skull” CD

(Self Released)

 

There are a lot of two’s going on with this Canyon Of The Skull disc. There are two members in the band, two members who do not do vocals, only two songs on here, yet it clocks in at over 35 minutes. This Texan band plays doom metal, though they keep things moving at a slightly quicker pace than you might imagine, when you see two songs and the run time. The songs wind, and stagger, their way through the desert, occasionally stopping to lick their dry lips, at the sight of the next mirage, then continuing on through the sun hammered sand that feels like it is burning through it’s boots. Canyon plays less of a Black Sabbath style doom, and more of a sludgy doom style, minus the constant screeching feedback some of those bands, ala Cavity love so much. The band manages to convey a good amount of emotion, considering their instrumental nature, and lack of general pace or directional change within the songs. They do start the album off on a higher energy note though, with a chugging riff at a higher than normal velocity, but by the two (uh huh!) minute mark, they have pretty much settled down into the flowing introspective journey you will partake in for the rest of the album. I think this is a good release, if you are a doom fan in general, and like the sludge doom side of things and do not mind instrumental releases, you dig will this puppy, just give it a few listens to really dig it’s claws into you.  - Dale 

http://canyonoftheskull.bandcamp.com/  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Canyon-of-the-Skull/100972360126         

 

 

 

COMMUNION

“Instrumental Rehearsal” Demo CDR

(Self Released)

 

This is an interesting release to receive in my mailbox. I am not certain what the thought was by the band, on here, of playing instrumental versions of songs that were from one of the members past bands Chainsaw. Which, was a good band, and these songs of course are good. Without vocals, it gives their brand of black thrash, more of a hypnotic feel, but the hate and blasphemy still emanates from the music like a rising fog. The music just rages on here, dark and thrashing riffs, alongside strong militant drumming. Despite the rehearsal tag, the sound on the recording is actually quite good, and fits the music perfectly. I hope to hear some new music from Communion soon, assuming it will be in vein of this Chainsaw stuff, I know it will be something I will not want to miss. But in the meantime, if you missed out on the Chainsaw album, or are just a die hard fan of the band, then pick this up to tide you over until the next attack.  - Dale 

https://www.facebook.com/CommunionBlackMetalChile   proselytismrecords@yahoo.com         

 

 

CRATOR

“The Ones Who Create : The Ones Who Destroy” Digipak CD

(Self Released)

 

The band has spared no expense with this Digipak, everything looks beautiful, from the layout to the extra touches with the gorgeous gold accents and lettering. Prior to this, the band had only released one song digitally. Which immediately floored me when I hit play, how could such a young, inexperienced band produce this music out of the gate?! Then I quickly did a bit of digging, which quickly brought expectations into sharper focus, as this band is made up of current or former members of bands like Gorguts, Angelcorpse, Dim Mak, Possession, Skinless, Origin etc… The breadth of quality experience of the band members is impressive. I have not listened to a whole lot of Origin, but I am a big fan of Gorguts and have been actually since I ordered their demo tape way back in the day. But we are talking more modern Gorguts here from the “Obscura” era and forward. So you guessed it, Crator play very technical death metal, but one area they differ is I would say Crator lean a little more towards speed and brutality. Technical death metal when done well is something I am fan of, when the technicality does not stifle the emotion and song flow, it can be a beautiful thing. There are those who do not like excessively technical dm and I can understand where they are coming from, this may not be for you, but as mentioned Crator do keep a decent level of cruelty and speedy barbarism in the mix. An area that reminds me a lot of Gorguts is the distinct interplay, leaving room for both the guitars and the bass, to do their thing separately and together, rather than the bass just providing a cloned bottom end. The vocals are all death metal, but are still quite varied with deep growls being higher and lower end, along with slightly nasal tinged growls which gives the listener some variety to keep their interest sparked. This album is an impressive display of technicality, brutality and speed, alongside some very skillful song structuring. This is definitely of particular interest for techno dm heads devotees.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/cratorUS/    https://crator-us.bandcamp.com/  

 

   

 

CRYPTIC REALMS

"Eve Of Fatality” Demo Cassette

(Weed Hunter Records)

 

This is a very unique collaboration, almost a super group of sorts, but this time on the underground level, and on a purely for the love it basis, and not for monetary reasons. A truly international effort, with the four members hailing from Greece, Romania, Brazil and the last member is listed, as being from both the US & Mexico. I was hooked up with this release, by the bass player from Mexico, named Victor Varas (thank you Victor of Zombie Ritual Fanzine). So what have these men gotten together and produced? Well, Cryptic Realms is a tribute or love letter of sorts, to the great brutal death metal beginnings, of the late ‘80s to early 90s. I would say, looking from the extensive list of influences they included, in this promo pack, those influences center upon American (they even named the band after a Massacre song!) and Euro early death metal, while excluding the whole Swedish sound that became the rage. The bands that immediately come to mind, upon first listen were Incubus, Death, Hellwitch, Massacre, early Obituary (the vocals are very John Tardy sounding), Baphomet, Monstrosity etc… Yes, this is definitely the death metal sound that I fell in love with, during the late ‘80s and start of the ‘90s, when I was tape trading my ass off with traders around the globe. As you can see, from my list of bands, I feel the American sound had a far bigger influence on this material than the European bands they named. This is just brutal, stripped down, driving and ultra heavy memorable death metal. Done in the old tradition, when the songs still meant more, than just relying on pro tools and doubling everything up fifty times, and trying to fit a dozen riffs, and dozen time changes, in every song. This when the song drove death metal, you could really get into a trance-like headbang flow while listening to it. You know, before clinical and plastic, replaced the sinister atmosphere and ominous, foreboding aura, within the brutality. If I could find one nitpick, and believe me that is a difficult task, it would be that the recording does sound a tad separated, like these guys were never able to rehearse the songs together properly. But that feeling is only there, in a fleeting way, because considering every part was recorded in a different country, with different equipment, the result is still very even and relatively cohesive. I really enjoyed this demo and I hope there are plans for an album!! Get this, if you love the old death metal traditions, which spawned the whole scene in the first place.  - Dale

http://crypticrealms.bandcamp.com/   http://weed-hunter-records.blogspot.de/       

 

 

DARKRISE

“Fear, Hate & Corruption” Full-length CD

(Punishing Records / Self Released)

 

I have heard the name of this Swiss band, but I had not realized how long they have been around and releasing albums. As “Fear, Hate & Corruption” is their 5th full length album! These veterans play quality brutal death metal with some underlying groove elements. I hear influences like Napalm Death, Nile and Cannibal Corpse in their music. Darkrise write some good riffs, that at times sound like they have a slight thrashy feel to them, ala Pantera or something, but it is just a hint of it. There are some pretty killer guitar leads / fills on here, such as you will hear towards the end of the “You’ll Burn For This”, which I enjoyed. The vocals are deep growls yet not at all garbled you can easily make out a lot of the lyrics the singer is snarling at you. There is nothing ground breaking or spectacular here, but all the same it is a really solid death metal record, which I am sure the die hard followers of the genre would enjoy.  - Dale

http://www.darkrise.ch/    http://www.punishingrecords.com/  

 

 

 

DEATHKINGS

“All That Is Beautiful” CD

(Self Released)

 

I have heard the name of this band for a while, all good things, so I am happy to get a chance to judge for myself. There are only four tracks on here, from this Los Angeles band, but do not let that fool you as the run time on thing is over 60 minutes! So prepare yourself for a couple nearly twenty minute epic songs. The Deathkings play moody, strikingly melancholic doom, with a real sense of elegance and flow in the song writing. Some of the music style on here, reminds me a little of the best Paradise Lost albums (ala “Shades Of God” and “Gothic” era), even a little in some of the vocals too, which is all a very good thing in my books. Speaking of the vocals, much like the guitar playing, and the song structuring, there is a diverse array of vocal approaches. There are the mainstays, which are the somewhat obscured sounding hoarse shouts, as well as decipherable but deep and great dm growls, all backed by accents of clean sung parts and chants, shadowy whispered spoken word etc… “All That Is Beautiful” is a really good doom metal record, I think it is diverse enough that fans of other sub-genres of metal, who are not die hard doom fans like me, will also be able to get into this and enjoy it. Highly recommended.  - Dale

http://deathkings.bandcamp.com/    https://www.facebook.com/DeathkingsMusic      

 

      

DEATHQUINTET

“Godwork” Full-length Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

This preamble could take a while, so stick with me here, if you want some background information on the band. First off, the band is formerly known as Sargatanas Reign, who was around for quite some time releasing albums on I Hate Records and Regain Records. Also, on this album you interestingly, or strangely, upon your view get two songs, from full time vocalist Petter Hauckland, then they have a roster of guest vocalists, who also get two songs each on the album. Both strange and interesting to me, and I can only guess, the full time vocalist was okay with this arrangement? The roster, of guest vocalists, include Tompa Lindberg (At The Gates, Disfear, Lock Up), Roberth Karlsson (Edge Of Sanity, Scar Symmetry), Mathias Vreth Lillmans (Fintroll, Magneta Harvest), Joakim gothberg (Marduk, Dimension Zero). This variety will surely interest some, while frustrating others who wish their favourite, had done the whole album. Once again, I found myself feeling both emotions, the variety was welcome at times, other times I wish for less of it and a concentration on the best suited vocalist. So anyway, we have that out of the way, on to the music. Deathquintet play mainly mid-paced death metal, which is solid and at times really good. It is pretty simple and straight ahead material, fairly heavy, with maybe a touch of thrash aesthetic mixed in for good measure. Even though, they do not overall sound exactly like that, I can not shake the often reoccurring undercurrent, of a more brutal “Heartwork” Carcass influence. Not quite as intricate as that influence, or as catchy, yet all instruments are expertly handled and performed. The straight forward nature of the material could be seen as a plus, no million miles a second pro-tool to death, with the needed accompanied math sheet, to try to follow along with it. No this has more of an old school vibe. There is something about Deathquintet’s overall sound, that just does not do it for me, I am sorry to say, often times when I think they have a good idea or section going, it seems to promptly die, they repeat themselves, things just never seem to progress to anything that held my interest for long and I am a pretty patient listener. There is so much here, that is honestly top notch quality, from the playing to large portions of the material, that I can see this band working out the bugs and creating something really special in the future. But this not it.  - Dale

http://www.reverbnation.com/deathquintet   http://www.deathquintet.com/   

 

 

DECONSTRUCTING SEQUENCE

“Year One” Demo MCD

(Self Released)

 

I was not sure what to expect from this Brit band after just looking at the cover. You have the old school sci-fi font with an accompanying picture that reminds of something from old British science fiction TV mini-series The Prisoner or some such. Now that I think about it another UK band used that same / similar font on their album, a certain Live At Last from Black Sabbath in fact. So now you are expecting some spacey, floating mellow space rock right? No wrong, really the only place where the elements of sci-fi are prominent on this three track, twenty-three minute outing are in between the songs. Where you get some spoken word passages about black holes and the like, with a few 70s sci-fi movie bleeps in the background. No I would probably describe their music as progressive, sometimes technical death metal with epic, flowing sensibilities and more aggression than that description makes it sound. As you can imagine from that description the skill level of the musicians is high as this sort of style simply demands for it to be, lest it fall to pieces. Their performance on this adventurous piece of atmospheric brutality is damn impressive. It is a clinic of emotive playing that is technical, expertly timed, progressive and somehow in the middle of all of that harsh sounding. The production on here is superb as well and those deep growling adaptable vocals just add the cherry on top. I can not help thinking while listening to this that record labels must be falling all over themselves like their shoe laces are tied together to sign this talented band.  - Dale

http://www.reverbnation.com/deconstructingsequence     

 

 

DECONSTRUCTING SEQUENCE

"Access Code” Demo CD EP

(Self Released)

 

I am glad I was able stream the two lengthy tracks on this disc. Because I put the disc I received, in my computer drive, it asked if I wanted to burn something to the disc, as it is empty haha. Oh well, shit happens and I was glad in a rare case (I generally prefer to review physical copies of releases) like this, to be able to still make the review happen without another disc being posted across the globe. As you already know, if you read my prior review, I am fan of this young and exciting band. Deconstructing Sequence once again weave a cosmic, sci-fi theme through their release, but this time the accompanying sound samples, spoken words and sounds have not just been relegated to in between the songs. They are wonderfully, expertly made part of the music itself and add an extra dimension to the sound, which I found quite exhilarating and interesting. The concept feels more like a human exploratory mission, rather than just a space-y, flowery journey along the Milky Way, it feels a little more gritty and grounded than that. As I mentioned the last time out, these two musicians are highly skilled, but what is more exciting for me, is they are not just highly skilled on their instruments, they are also extremely talented song writers, and construct songs that are emotional works of death metal art. This is an audio version of Hierronymus Bosh or Pieter Bruegel The Elder. What I love about this, again it speaks to their song composing talents, even though there are many progressive elements, very technical elements, somehow they make the songs flow like a river. It is all very accessible, for someone, who is not necessarily into those beautiful intricacies, to just pick up and enjoy straight away. That is talent and vision at work. The dimension about DS, which may not be coming across yet in my review, is just how fucking brutal and aggressive this band is. The harsh moments, are violent and destructive, the brief quieter moments are very contemplative and emotionally atmospheric, and the cosmic elements only help to propel you on a superb mental journey. I am not sure, if the band prefers putting out just eps, but that seems to be their modus operandi, maybe it suits their concepts better? Maybe they are waiting for the right record deal? Record labels should be climbing over each other in order to sign this young British band. Not sure what the story is there, but I am very hungry now for a full length album! Someone make this happen please. Beyond recommended, for anyone who complains the scene is stagnant or everything sounds the same, Deconstructing Sequence has heard your pleas and responded with “Access Code”.  - Dale

http://www.reverbnation.com/deconstructingsequence   https://myspace.com/dsprogart     

 

    

 

DEUS OTIOSUS

“Too Maimed To Use – Live in Svendborg, Denmark”

Promo CDR

 

You will remember my favourable review of their “Death Lives Again” 2007 demo. Well these Danish purveyors of dark and dirty death metal have hit me up again with this release. Which I think could be considered a taster, for the upcoming “Murderer” album that was scheduled for release sometime in late 2010. There are only 2 live songs on here, those being “Wall of Violence” and “I Seen Him Slay”. The band is loose and raw on this recording, but powerful and it adds an atmosphere to their sound in a live setting that really works. I enjoyed this, but it is short and only leaves me wanting for a copy of their album now. Hail Denmark!  – Dale

http://www.myspace.com/deusotiosus    

 

 

DIRT WORSHIPPER

““Self Titled” DEMO CD EP

(Self Released)

 

Here is some filthy blackened death metal from my old stomping grounds of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There are five songs on this EP, the band name seems an apt one for their sound, it is heavy and dirty metal. The vocals are dark yelled screams with a death metal growling edge to them, quite decipherable, so you can follow the lyrical content, yeah I like the vocals. The music is sinister and grave, but also seems to also have some emotional, introspective elements also, which I quite enjoyed. Those elements give the music some extra depth making it more memorable. Their sound is a nice mix of speed, barbarism, slower maudlin moody passes and the odd quirky bits to keep you guessing. I also like some of the subtle, classy guitar work going on here. There are five songs on here, the band lists this release as an EP, Deicide would probably call this length an album, I would say it is plenty long enough to at least consider it a mini-albums worth of material. So you get plenty of material here, go check out their band camp site, download it and apparently you name your price on the download, so it is hard to beat that with a stick. Check these guys out, good to see the Philly scene showing some strong signs of life.  - Dale

http://dirtworshipper1.bandcamp.com/  https://www.facebook.com/DirtWorshippermetal  

 

 

 

EMPIRE OF THE SCOURGED

“Transcend Into Oblivion” Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

I have to give, this young Dutch band credit, they do a fine job with all of their promo materials and this release is a professional looking / sounding release, across the board. The band, in their promo material fancies themselves, as quite original and avant-garde sounding and uncommon within, what they call a close-minded death metal genre. What Empire play, is death metal with mostly mild and not so mild industrial sounding elements, plus some underlying synth. The vocals, unlike the music are less adventurous, mainly a mix of indecipherable (which is not a bad thing, I often prefer that) mix of belching growls and more nasal higher pitched growling, there is some brief cleaner obscure sounding whispered bits, now and then. They are, a pretty quality band and the material overall, is decent. But no matter how many times, I think for the most part, they fall a little short, with regards to being innovative and original, like they are selling their music to be, in all of their promotional material. Despite their attempts to throw all of these elements together, the individual songs kind of tend to blend together a little bit and become a bit repetitive. I know, that sounds like I don’t like it, or it is not good. But that is not true either, this is some good stuff, not great, but good and a nice ambitious start for this young band. I look forward to seeing, how this young talented band progresses, it is solid outing that should get some recognition as they continue to hone their craft.  - Dale

https://soundcloud.com/empireofthescourged   http://www.empireofthescourged.com/   

 

 

ENTHEAN

“Priests Of Annihilation” Full-length CD

(Self Released)

 

South Carolina’s Enthean bring us 8 songs of technical black/death metal. I find the same thoughts creeping, as I had recently reviewing Illusions Dead’s disc, which is this bands sounds awfully mature and proficient for a band with only one demo under their belts. I am not sure I could say I loved this release as much as the one mentioned above. But that has nothing to do with the playing as it is top notch and impressive. It is more the music itself, which at times, for me lacks enough flow in some sections. So, in other words, many of these impressive sections of music do not feel like they fit together and the transition from one section to the next, often feels forced and not smooth enough from a construction point of view. I hate to sound like I am just bagging on this, because these guys are talented and write some good raw material, but the actual song writing needs some time to mature by my ear. Also I am not sure if it is the production or mix, which seems okay, but I find the emotion the band tries to imbibe into the songs, are not allowed for lack of a better term to explode like it should, it feels like there is an invisible wet blanket dampening things. I think it needs be more raw and forceful to highlight the material. It is weird to say, and hard to put into words, but I get this weird feeling that this album is a technical symphonic black metal record being played by a band that is more of a melodic death metal band by nature, almost subconsciously suppressing that tendency. At the end of the day, the final result, in my opinion, is just not as good as it should have been. I guess the old saying fits of having all the tools, but have yet to find the toolbox to put them all together in.  - Dale

https://enthean.bandcamp.com/    https://www.facebook.com/Enthean       

 

  

 

ENTRENCHED

“Preemptive Strike” Full Length Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

New Jersey's Entrenched have launched their debut cd “Preemptive Strike” up on the underground. But listening to the cd it is hard to believe this is a debut. The band play a mix of brutal old school death metal with a huge influence of violent war/thrash metal intertwined within the violent speeding guitars and machine gun like drum patterns. The vocals are shared by the duo and fit perfectly with a more deeper, angry growl, grunt and intense shrieks of hate. While the band takes no prisoners and refuses to compromise its sound. Entrenched have a lot of good musical ideas and even some catchy memorable guitar patterns throughout. If you enjoy straight forward death/thrash with a touch of war metal insanity then entrenched is a band you must hear!  - Patrick

http://www.myspace.com/entrenchedusa     

 

  

 

ETERNAL ARMAGEDDON

“Black Thrash Bastards” Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

This is Eternal Armageddon's second demo, to see the light of day. The band originally started out playing a melodic black metal style, but with this new demo “Black Thrash Bastards”, they have gone for a more thrashy blackened sound. They pull it off extremely well with some good drum patterns and guitars on display. The drums start out at a mid paced range before speeding up to faster beats. The guitars follow in the vein, beginning with lightning speed intense riffs, but are not over the top, and they do when to slow down to a heavy metal guitar speed. This is a great demo, from this band coming to us out of Bangladesh, hopefully they will stick with this style and put out some more good music in the coming years.  - Patrick 

http://www.eternalarmageddon.bandcamp.com   http://www.facebook.com/Eternalarmageddon   

 

 

FERIUM

“Behind The Black Eyes” Full-length CD

(Self Released)

 

I do not often get to review bands from Israel, so in that sense, this was a bit of a novelty for me. I wish I could say I loved it, I wish I could say I even kind of liked it. But, that would not be the truth; this is to my ears a very generic blending of death metal and metal core, or I suppose the deathcore tag may apply. A style I am not very fond of, so to impress me you had better do it really well, something that Ferium does not do, in my view. This is just awfully pedestrian stuff, the playing is okay, the songs rather uninteresting and pretty interchangeable with very little standing out. I mean it probably does not help Ferium out that I have been lucky lately by reviewing a lot of high quality releases, from the material to the performances. It only serves to make things like “Behind The Black Eyes”, when they come along, to stick out like a sore thumb by contrast. A strong influence within the deathcore sound is Pantera, I can hear that in the music, but really strong in the vocalist as well, as he does a more growled, more shouted lesser quality imitation of Phil Anselmo. Yeah, sorry guys but this was just not for me, and in my opinion, just not that good either.  - Dale 

http://ferium.bandcamp.com/    http://www.feriumband.com/          

 

 

FORNICUS

“Storming Heaven” Full-length Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

Coming out of the U.S. black metal scene is Kentucky’s Fornicus. The music is a blend of vicious, evil black metal, with some death metal influence, thrown in for good measure. The guitars are played with a lot of speed and the riffs are aggressive, but also have some really well played patterns within the music. The vocals, are a mix of black metal shrieks, mixed with some death metal growls. I would say Fornicus, has done, a very good job of creating an excellent blackened death metal hybrid album. Check this one out.  - Partick

http://www.fornicus.com/   http://fornicus.bandcamp.com/      

 

  

 

GLAUKOM SYNOD

“Covered In Semen And Slime” Demo CDR EP

(Visceral Circuitry Records)

 

This was sent to me, in a package of promos from Nihilistic Holocaust Records, yet as near as I can tell they have nothing to do with this release, maybe a favour for a friend’s label? As you can see from above, this is mostly covers, but they honestly do not sound anything like the original songs. This is labeled as electronic extreme metal industrial darkwave or some such title. It is all done completely with a computer program, so right off the bat, the talent involved in doing so is pretty minimal, plus when you base nearly the whole release on covers, obviously there is also minimal imagination and song writing prowess involved. Maybe this release is just not for me, but I find this very simplistic, not catchy or interesting, not very imaginative, just a bunch of sound samples thrown in a pot, shake it up and see what the result is. Obviously that is an exaggeration, as there was some thought put into this, but how much really, and even what is here has very little flow or feeling to it. A lot of it, just sounds like someone played around with some computer software, for a couple days, recorded it and released it. Maybe if you are a big fan of this style, then you will like this, but I find entirely throw away, not even a novelty for extreme death metal fans, as the cover versions are nearly unrecognizable to the originals at times, and as I said, it is not very well done, in my opinion.  - Dale

https://myspace.com/glaukomsynod   http://visceralcircuitry.bigcartel.com/  

 

   

 

GRAVERED

“Promo 1” Demo CDR

(Self Released)

 

There is only one track, on here, entitled “Hail To The Legions That Rise From Flesh and Darkness”. So not all that much to go on for a review, the song is just under seven minutes, and that includes an intro and outro, so about 4 minutes or so of actual song. But what I can get out of it is some ferocious, and brutal, darkened death metal sickness. The riff in this song is heavy as fuck, the growling vocals sound like they are emitted from some blood thirty beast, come to life straight out of an HP Lovecraft story. I would tell you more, but there is not a lot to go on here, I see they have just released a full twenty minute demo now. Here is to hoping I get a chance to hear it, because this one track promo did it’s job in wetting my appetite for Gravered, and has me looking forward to hearing more.  - Dale 

https://www.facebook.com/gravered.deathmetal  http://gravered-deathmetal.bandcamp.com/releases    

 

    

 

GUILTY AS SIN

“Robot Masquerade Party” MCD

(Self Released)

 

Well then, it has been a while since I have heard from Guilty As Sin, but the enigmatic and talented metal merchants return once again to the pages of Canadian Assault (dig around for my past reviews of GAS). The band has sent in releases for nearly a decade probably, during which time I have become a fan, as you never know quite what to expect from this diverse band. Having said that this may well be one of their more straight forward albums. It is a display of driving extreme metal, which is well crafted, part cerebral grace, part unbridled aggression and destruction, but all enjoyable. At times in the past, the band has been fairly instrumental oriented, but this time around I think this may well be the most vocals I can remember on a GAS release. The vocals are gruff hardcore style shouting mixed with slight dm growl. There are moments of more ambient, mind journey atmosphere which give you a moment to breathe, a moment to reflect, a moment to enjoy the well rounded musicianship and vision behind the band, before launching back into the fire once again. Guilty As Sin is never run of the mill, it is always an experience, always an expansive mental ride, a ride that is always worth taking so hop aboard.  - Dale 

ovoianrocks@yahoo.com    http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/GuiltyAsSin         

 

   

 

HAMMER FIGHT

“Self Titled”

Demo CD EP

 

This is interesting and different. I remember another band some years back with the same name and I wondered if this was them, but apparently not, it is a new entity. Hammer Fight play raunchy, really heavy hard rock / metal with balls and I can hear some punk / hardcore influence and maybe a little Motorhead in there somewhere, but they are heavier than that. Another band that just popped into my mind as possibly being a real influence and a starting point for the reader to gauge their sound and that band is Antiseen (whom I like). I could see these guys appealing to both death metal fans with the brutality edge and to the hardcore fans that like some metal in their music. This disc definitely caught my attention and I will be interested to see where this band goes from here. These bar brawling, vodka drenched, tattoo’d motherfuckers even finish off this ep with an AC/DC cover of “If You Want Blood (You Got It)” for fucksakes. I need not saying anything more.  – Dale

https://www.facebook.com/HammerFight  

 

 

HAIDUK

“Spellbook”

Full-length Demo CD

 

Well normally I am pretty stoked to get any releases from bands that hail from my homeland of Canada. But a much rarer occurrence, would be to get something from a band that hailed directly (and roughly at same time) from the stomping grounds where I grew up and spent the first 24 years of my life. Which is the case with Haiduk, also a one man dark death metal band, delivering to us his debut full-length after demo released previous. Being that this is a one man band from Alberta, immediately the almighty Darkness Eternal, a one man band from the same area, whose album I helped release through Autopsy Kitchen Records, comes to mind. Spellbook is a very riff driven album and in this category it is excellent, some really good memorable  headbang riffs that propel this album ahead with force. Some of the other areas do not hold up the quite same level of quality, the drums are programmed, at times they are really well done and you can not tell and other times well they sound a tad weak and suffer from the dreaded programmed drum syndrome. You know kinda thin, a bit clunky and repetitive in execution, but I have heard much worse with programmed drums too. The vocals are good, a tad sparse at times but well done nonetheless. You get some really evil sounding death metal on here that is really good, driving material, could have a touch more flow at times but still this young one man band is something you should keep an eye on, the one man in question Luka Milojica is advancing quickly with a solid skill level and a fine musical mind. This release is well worth checking out.  - Dale

http://www.myspace.com/haidukmetal  http://www.haiduk.ca/

 

 

HAMMERDRONE

“A Demon Rising"

Demo CD

Nice to have a band, from the area where I was born and grew up in, in Canada send in a promo. This release is the bands first outing, though I can see a couple of the members are fairly experienced in other bands, one member, apparently is a transplant from overseas was in bands for years over in the UK. Hammerdrone play hypnotic, melodic death metal that really does a solid job of still maintaining that brutal metal edge throughout as the underlying backbone. That is what helps put it over the top for me. There is something there for the brutal death fan, something for the melododeath file and it has, to use the term again, a hypnotic flow to the music that some doom fans might grab on to. In some ways it reminds me to Edge of Sanity from their classic period, ala Purgatory Afterglow / Crimson. I am not trying to say Hammerdrone are at that level yet, but those EOS albums are some of my all time faves of any genre, so… It goes without saying if I make that comparison these guys know a thing or two about harmonies, song writing and there is some really nice emotive guitar work on here. The vocals from Graham Harris are a nice compliment to the music, they are very thick, brutish growls but much like the music, there is some so emotional range present and they play off the music, rather than just vomited over top, whether they fit or step on the toes of the music itself as a lot of bands are prone to do. I am impressed here, there are a couple of experienced members in this group, but all the same A Demon Rising showcases a band that has room to grow yes, but also a band that shows a lot of maturity, vision and talent. I eagerly await more from Hammerdrone and boys you are doing Albertan scene proud. This four song disc is well worth your time / money.  - Dale 

http://www.hammerdrone.com/  http://www.reverbnation.com/hammerdrone   

 

 

HOKEDUN

“Succumbing To Decay” CD-R

(Self Released)

 

This may come on a limited edition CD-R, but the packaging is a nice professional looking slipcase, rather than the usual CD-R and cut out piece of paper with the album cover/info. We are treated to 9 songs of black metal; the material is written and performed in the ancient way, a surprising approach coming from this intriguing young band from the United Kingdom. Hokedun play really old school black metal, many think of early to mid 90s Scandinavian scene with that term, but I am reaching back even a little further than that. Yes, the roots I hear in the bands music are from things of the very late 80s and early 90s variety, such as the early works by Greek bands like Rotting Christ, Necromantia, Varathron, Zemial etc… Plus also they bring to mind a similar style to the first days of Ancient Rites and Mortuary Drape. I am a huge fan of that era, and that time period for those bands, so this is welcome choice for me made by the band. The music and riffing is very stripped down, simplistic, moody and vaguely hypnotic like an audio soundtrack to an occult ritual performed in some dark cave. The vocals are evil raspy, partially sung screams that really fit the music very well and are in a classic style. But do not get too attached to them because I think only about half of the songs have vocals and the rest are instrumental. I could have used a little more of the vocals personally, yet I do concede, in some parts of the songs lacking them they may not have fit as well with those songs. I think for a lot of more modern black metal fans, they may not like this; it would be too simple for them, not over produced enough and not filled with a hundred riffs and time changes. But guess what? Hokedun did not make this for those people. No, the band choose to keep things straightforward, they let the songs breath, placing importance on feeling and atmosphere, sometimes the old saying is true that less is more. I quite enjoyed this release, it is for diehards like me, who long for the great early days of black metal that had a very distinct and interesting sound. “Succumbing To Decay” has also been released in a cassette version, through Hexenreich Records, so keep an eye out for that as well if interested. But do not hesitate or procrastinate as I believe both formats, CD-R and cassette are limited to just 100 copies.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/hokedun    http://hexe.pimeduse.org/       

 

 

HOLODOMOR

“Temoignanges De La Gnose Terrestre”

Demo CD EP

 

My thought part way through the first listen was man this is some directionless, go nowhere shit. But it started to grow on me a little upon repeated listens and a vague method to their madness started to present itself to me. Their style I guess you could call it a mix of old style German thrash from the 80s mixed with 90s Canadian war metal ala Blasphemy, Revenge, Axis of Advance and bands from other countries like Angelcorpse or Bestial Warlust. They tend to break things up by slowing things down from time to time a little more than your average war metal band. This is still a wee bit of a mess as the Scottish would say, but it is a good mess in a lot of ways. A real wall of noise and adrenaline mixed off-kilter thrash influence with crazy little guitar fills. The vocalist sounds like a mental patient that is going hoarse from a two day binge of yelling, trying to poke his eye out and repeatedly banging his head against the little wire crossed plexi-glass window of the door to his padded room. The vocals remind me a touch to the Canadian band Lust, but they are not quite that insane or haunting, but what the hell is?! This is one for the fanatics of old thrash and war metal fans, if you love both, then I have this little British bands demo I can turn you on to.  - Dale

http://holodomor.co.uk/

 

 

HORRIBLE EARTH

"Horrible Earth” Full-length Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

Horrible Earth waste no time jumping right into it, it is almost like the opening track starts mid-song, no easing into this shit but nothing wrong with that. These boys are from Boston, Mass and regular Canadian Assault readers will recognize the name Zak Ovoian, the mastermind from the band Guilty As Sin, as I have reviewed I think at least four or five of his releases on here. They call themselves Grindpunk, now I definitely hear the grind end of things, the punk well maybe a hint of that, more of hardcore sound mixed in with the grind and death metal influence than punk. But that is just my take on it, mainly Euro influences but I would think it might be fair to throw a bit of Brutal Truth in the mix too. I hear more of a Swedish death metal and grind sound than the usual American grind you would naturally hear over here. Think of bands like Entombed, Dismember mixed with Nasum, Rotten Sound and then throw a healthy dose of American hardcore in that mix. I like it though it is fast, brutal and hard hitting, there are enough death metal slow down breaks to really keep things interesting adding a nice level of dynamic to their sound. The pacing of the songs in the faster parts remind me a lot of hardcore riffing pace and structure, of course backed up with grinding drums. The vocals also have a growling undertone with the primary hardcore coarse throat rip yelling. The songs are short and steeped in adrenaline, that must be great live. The mix of all of these things rather than being a jumbled mess actually for me the death metal sections only serve punctuate the high hardcore speed then it is sped up even more with some pit inducing grind and back down again producing a very intriguing, attention holding listen. Which can be a weakness of grind that it gets all same-y sounding, thankfully Horrible Earth do not suffer from this problem. Honestly I think this album is fantastic! I really hope this gets some attention as Horrible Earth should get a similar level of recognition to say a Nasum or a similar level band. If you love the genres I mentioned above this is a must buy. My only complaint is it is too short, I want more now, until then I just have this set to repeat and am listening to it over and over.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/HorribleEarth   http://www.reverbnation.com/horribleearth     

 

 

HOWLING GIANT

“Black Hole Space Wizard: Part 1” CD EP

(Self Released)

 

Just in case you are curious about the “Part 1” in the title, the band apparently has planned a three or four part series of EP’s, to follow this original world concept. I find everything about this young Nashville band interesting, from their conception of this series, vibe of the band pics, to the artwork and finally the music. Speaking of which, Howling Giant draw from a fairly diverse sub-genre pallet, but I would have to say the more prominent one is a stoner doom sound yet you will also find hints of traditional doom, progressive rock, 70s psychedelic hard rock (ie – the organ accents), space rock etc… Despite that description they do not sound overly retro and have a more updated and fresh feel to sound. I do like to liberally apply the doom tag to the band, but the third tune on this four tracker is pretty fast, displaying an upbeat energy you can headbang along with. Somehow, that change up does not interrupt the flow of the other three songs, and serves as a vibrant bridge to the overall doom foundation “Black Hole Space Wizard”. The main vocals are interesting they are sung quite clean and clear, yet sound they are bouncing off the walls of a wide open empty building, with a slight echo effect. That is until the final track “Clouds Of Smoke”, which features a more straight forward almost slightly commercial clean sung vocal, which may not be for some extreme metallers, but it fits the music here very perfectly. All in all, I have to say this is a pretty polished and mature effort from a young band, with only one previous ep to their history. If they continue to progress it could result in something special. I can definitely recommend this (in particular to stoner doom and seventies psy rock fans) and will be pulling it out from time to time for sure. Hopefully I get a chance to hear the other forthcoming parts in this series.  - Dale

https://howlinggiant.bandcamp.com/music    https://www.facebook.com/howlinggiant       

 

 

HUMUT TABAL

"The Dark Emperor Ov The Shadow Realm” Full-length Digipak Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

The first song, or rather the first few minutes of the opening song, burst out of my headphones like a blitzkrieg attack wall of noise trampling everything in its path. I have to admit, as impressive and ferocious as that first volley was, I thought to myself I am not sure I am up for an entire album of nothing but that right now. Thankfully, for my sake, that first track is akin to being slapped aside the head to make sure you have someone’s full attention. Like start paying closer attention, because here comes something special. Humut Tabal have my attention now, and it is focused on the rest of the album, which proves the band is a whole lot more than just a single-minded bull, raging ahead headlong into a red cape. The bombast is always lurking below the surface waiting to re-emerge for brief, but deadly attacks, which you never really know when they are coming. The spaces, in between those attacks, shows a lot of variation, creativity and even catchy elements, which will have your head grimly nodding, as you mentally wander through the black ink audio that is “The Dark Emperor Ov The Shad”. Just reading their bio, they name Emperor and Dissection as influences, I can definitely hear both of those in there, but there is much more to it than that. It seems to me, listening to some of the playing and elements they mix into their song structures, these guys transcend just black metal and metal in general with their influences. But, I am happy to report, that despite letting those unconventional inspirations seep in, the band never lets it interfere or poison the roots of its base black metal hatred and sonic bloodshed, which inspired them to play within the genre to begin with. That is something I can respect, expand your boundaries, but always keep a firm grasp on your identity, which in this case is cold, sadistic black metal. This is the bands second full length and they are clearly hitting their stride. If you like dynamic black metal, played with hostility and imagination, then let me introduce you to this great band from Texas I heard just recently.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/humuttabal   http://www.reverbnation.com/humuttabal       

 

 

ILLUSIONS DEAD

“Celestial Decadence” Full Length CD

(Self Released)

 

Illusions Dead are Finnish band who play extreme melodic (I know those terms rarely belong together) death metal. The first thoughts that came to me, upon my initial listen, these guys sound really polished and mature; when taking into account they had only released one demo previously. Now, before you get the wrong idea, yes they do play melodic death metal, but not the lighter, sweeter sounding stuff ala In Flames, Dark Tranquility, Shadows Fall etc… No, they have more in common with the catchy, while still being very brutal and mean bands such as Dissection, Kataklysm, At The Gates, early Arch Enemy and the like. There is one exception to those bands, and that is, in some sections of the material I.D. display a doom metal side which is skillfully done, adding a nice moody contrast. When they pick up the pace, which is most of the time, you are treated wonderfully constructed and performed barbarity, overlaid on top of some great melodies. They really scratch an itch, if you like violent music, which is mixed with finesse and musical subtlety. The recording, on this self financed effort, sounds great. I have to think, record labels will be knocking on this bands door, as should you be.  - Dale

http://illusionsdead.bandcamp.com    https://www.facebook.com/illusionsdeadofficial       

 

 

IMPENITENT THIEF

“Self-Titled” Demo Cassette EP

(NoVisible Scars Records)

 

This may be this bands first release, but the members are anything but new to the band experience and the UG scene. As members of this band are or were in Witch Tomb (IT seems like it is a continuation from the ashes of Witch Tomb), Embryonic Cryptopathia, December Wolves, Blessed Offal, Hirudinea etc… Good thing Christ is nailed in place, because he would be swept away by the utter bestial filthy bombast, which is belching wonderfully out of my speakers. It is a total cacophony of grating, grinding, scourging metal sickness, in the vein of Profanatica, early Beherit, early Bathory, old Impaled Nazerene, Archgoat and the like. The vocals are like an exhilarating cheese grater to the brain, they will remind you much of Profanatica, as does the music of course. Both are intense and great, keeping up the tradition and great legacy of that legendary band. Definitely a must have for fans of the above mentioned bands and time periods. This is unrelenting!  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/impenitentgestas   http://novisiblescars.bandcamp.com/      

 

 

IMPERIAL SAVAGERY

"Self-Titled” Full-length Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

After doing a little digging, to find out more about this Chicago band, I almost want to call say, the band formerly known as the great Corpsevomit. I say that, because this as Imperial Savagery contains three of the four members that were previously mainstay members of Corpsevomit. But having said that, the members were or are also in bands like Lividity, Evil Incarnate and a little known band, whose demo I liked back in the day (ala mid to late 90s) called Pederasty. But enough of that, let’s talk some Imperial Savagery, who as you can see are no rookies to the underground scene. The band play vicious, exceptionally brutish and barbarous death metal, that immediately transports me back to the great death metal scene of the mid to late 90s. They do the sound proud of keeping this sound and tradition alive. The band play nearly everything at break neck speed, I mean they do slow it down briefly now and then, then again their ‘slowed down’ is a lot of other bands top speed gear. Damn I miss dm played this way, I mean if you are searching for that plastic Pro Tool’d to death production, or some more slam death metal or Mallcore, then move along bitch! No, this is pure old school death metal that gives me tingles, at how ferocious and sadistic it is played. The growled vocals on here are great to, deep, semi-decipherable and they match the savagery and unrelenting emotion created by the music. This is a death metal purist’s wet dream!  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/imperialsavagery   http://www.reverbnation.com/imperialsavagery       

 

 

KHAZADDUM

“In Dwarven Halls” Demo CD EP

(Self Released)

 

This Wisconsin band, as you may be able to tell from their name and album title, are a concept band, based on the classic works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Something you may not know about me, both myself and my wife, are huge Tolkien and Lord Of The Rings fans. So much so, we have in our home a couple swords, a dagger and Gandalf’s staff replicas in our home, made by the company that made them for the film. So as you can imagine straight away, I am fully on board with the band’s concept from top to bottom. Now on to this bands music, this demo contains three tracks of middle earth inspired, brutal death metal. I would describe their brand of death metal, as a combination of New York sound, mixed heavily with old school Floridian death metal style. I can hear influences from bands Morbid Angel, Suffocation, Nile, Immolation, Incantation, Death, Massacre etc… It is very well done though, it is brutal, but also there is some nice subtle and not so subtle guitar finesse elements, worked beautifully into the crushing barbarism. I am sure this is where the Tolkien works come in, but there is also an epic, triumphant emotive atmosphere, you can feel through the music, which reflects the world the band clearly worship. This is on full display, during my favourite song, the third track entitled “Thorin Oakenshield”, it is a glorious and the proud warrior Dwarf King Under the Mountain, would be honoured by this song. Check this out ASAP!  - Dale 

https://www.reverbnation.com/khazaddum6    https://www.facebook.com/Khazaddumband/          

 

 

KILLING THE REASON

“Beyond Eternity” Full-length Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

Thanks to Paul Caravasi from Aquelarre ‘zine for passing along this piece of black metal hate emanating from Spain. Killing The Reason, play an acidic brand of blackened metal with some death metal touches. The vocals are purely spat venomous rasps in the early 90s great tradition and I really enjoy those, very cryptic and hateful. The music itself is good, pretty straight forward, but it is well executed with an intense energy about it. I feel like the songs and riffing, at times, could have a little more flow at times, but that is a minor complaint really. Followers of old school black metal should keep an eye on this band, they have something special starting to brew. I will really be looking forward to hearing what they can do on their next release. Beyond Eternity is an extremely impressive for a debut release!   - Dale

http://www.myspace.com/killingthereason  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZMYc4KGOpY    

 

 

KRUEGER

Return To Death” Full-length Demo CD

(Self Released)

Brazil’s Krueger have released their new cd “Return To Death”. An album which has unleashed a blast of old school death metal and a healthy dose of thrash guitars. The guitars are fast with some speedy thrashy riffs and some heavier death metal riffs, with some solos mixed in a few of the tracks. The drumming is top notch with some crazed and chaotic patterns. The vocals are death growls, as well as some raspy screams mixed in a few of the songs. Krueger have released a very solid album, which I can recommend to anyone who is into early nineties death and thrash metal.  - Patrick 

http://www.reverbnation.com/officialkrueger   https://www.facebook.com/officialkrueger    

 

 

LAVAGOAT

“Weird Menace” Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

It is good, to see my Canadian brethren gracing the pages, of Canadian Assault once again. This is an interesting release, to say the least, what the band has done here, is in two recording sessions live in their rehearsal space; they have recorded an 18 minute ep, which has no over dubs or special editing. I mean there are six songs on here, but they are all one continuous track on the disc. I kind of like this idea man, in some ways, this serves to add more grit and more of an organic feel to their sound. The sound is not bad at all, it gets the job done in its rumble-y rattle fashion, yet is more than clear enough for my tastes. They picked six of their songs, from their catalog, all of which are horror themed for this release, to give it some sort of a thematic feel. However, for you doom fanatics, their doomy side from their last release feels a little less prominent here, in this live setting, their old school death thrash roots come across a touch more in this setting. Not to worry though, their doom roots still are present. I hear things like old Cathedral, Venom, Celtic Frost, Cianide and the like as influences on this release. When the sludge-y doom does come in, rearing its beautifully beastly head, this is when Lavagoat feel like they are truly in their element. I do kinda dig the all the horror theme grouping, it gives a little darker feel overall, than their last release “Monoliths Of Mars” did. That cosmic psychedelic feeling still pops up here and there, however briefly and is a welcome counterpoint to the impending horror. I like the experiment this little basement recording endeavour has wrought here on this release. I can recommend it, to fans of doom death metal and sludge type music. I know I enjoyed it. I hear there is an album either just out or about to be released. I hope I can get my grubby little mitts on that thing!  - Dale

http://lavagoat.bandcamp.com/   https://www.youtube.com/user/LavagoatTV

 

    

 

LAVAGOAT

“Ageless Nonesense” Full-length CD

(Self Released)

 

It is a good day when a new Lavagoat release ends up in my mailbox. The boys pick up right where they left off last time around. We are treated to another sludgy, doomy slab of atmospheric metal, which will hunt you down tirelessly in slow motion. I always like the dark and heavy vibe Lavagoat projects mentally with their rumbling audio tapestries. I still hear bits of influence in their sound from the likes of old Cathedral, Celtic Frost, Sabbath etc… Despite their doom mainstay, the band are not adverse to speeding things up, such as they do in the song “Cimmerion Fury”, they pick up the pace, and ruin everything in their path, with some great affecting guitar work. The guitars on the whole album are fantastic, they do some really cool things with the sound of them, they creatively to manipulate those sounds in a variety of ways, which create some diverse emotions in the listener. Lavagoat only gets stronger with time, and I must strongly recommend yet another of their releases, for you dear readers to check out post haste.  - Dale 

https://www.reverbnation.com/lavagoat   https://www.youtube.com/user/LavagoatTV         

 

 

LAVAGOAT

“Ladies From Hades” CD EP

(Self Released)

 

The Canadian doom veterans from Saskatoon return to the pages of Canadian Assault with another massive audio tidal wave. The band often varies their sound in tone and feel, slightly in style, from release to release always keeping you on your toes. But the one constant is they always keep their doom metal roots strong and grounded. This time around, we get more of a straight on doom sound, but as always mixed with healthy traces of pure evil and nostalgic psychedelia. I absolutely love this combination! I always mention the early releases of Cathedral, as an influence, that influence may not come through any stronger than on “Ladies From Hades” when comparing this to their past releases. That is a positive; I wish Cathedral would have carried on that sound, a lot longer and stronger than they did. Regardless of this heavy influence, Lavagoat put their own distinct stamp, on that sound and style. I dig the audio movie clips mixed in wonderfully in the songs, they really add a creepy 70s hypnotic satanic occult exploitation feel to the music. The riffs on here are massive and roll on for ages just wrecking my head. The vocals are pretty sparsely used; they are performed / recorded in an obscured half growled, half spoken manner, and done in a way which only heightens the malevolent sinister atmosphere. Despite the feeling of evil and impending doom, there are still sections of these hymns that make me headbang, which is a song writing talent marrying those aspects so seamlessly. For me, “Ladies From Hades” is an infectious listen that I don’t want to end, I find myself setting this to repeat and listening over and over, it is an experience and not just something to listen to. Lavagoat always deliver the goods, but they have really out done themselves this time around!  - Dale

http://lavagoat.bandcamp.com/    https://youtu.be/efls-a-b6fE

 

 

LORD ALMIGHTY

Paths” CD

(Self Released)

 

Lord Almighty springs up from the Boston metal scene, delivering to us their debut full length, with only an ep previously under their collective belts. I don’t know, if I can really confess to ever in particular, to being a fan of the whole black ‘n roll sub-genre. I mean on the surface it does not seem like the two genres should mix, one is generally very serious and the music is very dark and harsh tonally, where as rock ‘n roll is usually the opposite of that. I will leave the debate to purists, whose stance I have some sympathy for, on whether or not the two should be mixed. For me, it comes down more to the fact I usually have to be in the mood for both, and those moods are generally very different from each other. So with this particular sub-genre, for my tastes, it has to constructed quite carefully and be very well done, which often results in a love it or hate it reaction. I am pleased to say, Lord Almighty has put a lot of thought, and care into their song writing, so one element does not over power the other and the transitions betwixt the two forces is surprisingly smooth. There are times you can revel in the evil aura, as well as other times, you can just headbang to the riff and let the adrenaline flow a bit. Then at other times, often in the transitional periods you are treated to some wonderful, dare I say even soulful guitar fills and leads, which simmer slightly with hints of classic 70s rock southern style guitar work. I could see for the more ardent black metal fans, they might have a tough time getting into some of the airy and upbeat riffs and rhythms, which pop up from time to time. I don’t know man, I sort of feel like I should not like this, but the impressive vision and skill in the performance and songwriting, just refused to let me turn away. It is infectious like that, and I have succumbed to it’s insidious charms, so if you are open to this kind of music, this surely comes recommended.  - Dale 

http://lordalmighty.bandcamp.com/    https://www.facebook.com/lordalmightymetal         

 

 

 

METHEDRAS

System Subversion” Full-length Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

This is Italy’s Methedras second cd “System Subversion”. The band plays a mix of early to mid nineties death, thrashing metal. The guitars are fast with a lot of great thrashy riffs and some solos, mixed in a few of the songs, but also have some heavier more chunky riffs intertwined in the maelstrom. The drumming is done, with a lot of good heavy beats, but also can speed up with the guitars at times too. The vocalist has a mix of death metal growls and some gruff screaming in a few of the tracks. All in all, not a great release, but it does have some good songs sprinkled among the average ones.  - Patrick 

http://www.methedras.com   www.reverbnation.com/methedras    

 

 

MIDNITE HELLION

“Enter The Unknown” Demo MCD

(Self Released)

 

This has been out for a while, but it was nice to get a chance to finally hear this disc. This New Jersey band, takes heavy metal back to its roots of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, in pretty much every way possible. The riffing on here is solid, very memorable with melodic song structures and harmonies, which will stick in your head. You can tell they worked very hard, to make their songs catchy, and have some nice old school flow to them. The vocals follow suit, they feel like they pulled them straight out of 1983 or something. I dig it. I think fans bands like Virgin Steele, Riot, Lethal, Meliah Rage, Armored Saint, Running Wild, plus the very early works of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, should enjoy the hell out of Midnite Hellion. The band has a seven inch out, on Witches Brew, since this disc came out and I believe a live album is in the works as well. Check this out, NWOBHM and just power metal fans from the early days of the genre, this is for you.  - Dale

http://www.reverbnation.com/midnitehellion   http://www.midnitehellion.com/index.html      

 

 

MORKHGRAT

“Deathmarch” Demo MCD

(Self Released)

 

Philippino black metal and there is some decent stuff coming out of that country over the years. This is another one man band, that one man being Zargoth. It says all instruments by him but those drums sound kinda drum machine-like to me. This is some cool stuff but the drums are probably my least favourite part about it. “Deathmarch” is some extremely harsh sounding, low-fi stuff and that is going to turn off all the people that love their slick, plastic pro tools crisp production jobs. But I like it, it suits the music, which is raw flowing black metal with some great riffing that resonates with an atmospheric, rhythmic sound structuring that made me headbang and howl. The vocals are obscure raw acidic rasping yells from beyond the abyss and go with the music very well. The drumming aside I enjoyed this release quite a bit. They end it with a Bathory cover, which is very fitting as clearly their sound is old Bathory maybe mixed with a little early Mayhem gutfuck and other influences along those lines. This CDR is limited to 100 hand numbers copies, mine is #31 in case you wondered.  - Dale

https://myspace.com/morkhgrat

 

 

NECROCOSM

“Damnation Doctrine” CD

(Self Released)

 

Necrocosm hails from North Carolina, but despite their location, they play more of a melodic European death metal style to mine ears. It is quickly evident the band is highly skilled. They also know how arrange a good song, not to mention, write some extremely infectious catchy riffs. I am not the biggest melodo death fan, but when it is done well, as it is here, and when they maintain a brutal edge within the finesse playing and harmony, then I can really appreciate it. Once again Necrocosm achieves just that, even to some fairly biased ears. Having said that, it does border on the too pretty at times, then that brutal edge takes over and strikes a balance to make you stay around and stay interested. There is no denying there is some stunning guitar work on here, and some smoking speedy solos, yet never forgetting they are serving to accent the song ultimately. I like the vocals, they are not at the guttural belch level, but they are deep growls that hold down the vicious end of the melody / barbarism counterpoint, which makes Necrocosm interesting and vital to me as a listener. “Damnation Doctrine” is an impressive debut album, which is sure to greatly please die hard followers of bands like At The Gates, Arch Enemy and early In Flames.  - Dale

http://necrocosm666.bandcamp.com/   https://www.facebook.com/Necrocosm  

 

 

NEUTRAD ARCHON

“Overture” Demo Full Length CD

(Self Released)

 

Interesting.  That's the first word that comes to mind when I listened to Overture - Neutrad Archon's newest full length.  Hailing from California, this sextet is truly a mix of many different style of metal and music in general.  Progressive base is mixed with black, death, folk, and experimental metal elements. Quality musicianship is on display with these guys for sure.  The vocals are probably the weakest part, though.  I think there are parts on some of the songs that are screaming for a clean vocal line ala Halford or Dickinson, instead of the thrash/blackened hybrid voice that permeates the album.  The keyboard parts are a little out of place at times as well. There are parts of the album that remind me of Emperor in places - a wall of sound if you will.  Again this is an interesting release.  I'd like to see what they do in the future.  If you like your metal with a cerebral component, Neutral Archon may be for you.  - Mark

http://www.myspace.com/neutradarchon  http://www.neutradarchon.com/ 

 

 

NO SALVATION

“Defiling Verses” Demo CD EP

(Self Released)

 

No Salvation burst out of the deep Polish death metal scene. This is their second release, after their previous demo, this one consists of five songs, plus an intro weighing in at a run time of around 26 minutes. This is some brutal and punishing fast death metal sickness. I can hear a variety of influences, like a bit from their Polish countrymen such as Behemoth and Vader, but also there is a strong old school American influence here with a mix of the NY death metal sound (Suffocation, Vital Remains etc…) and the Floridian dm sound (early Deicide, Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse). They mix it all together quite nicely, there is barbaric riffing and the drummer as needed for this style is a busy bombastic whirlwind on the kit. The vocals are semi-decipherable deep growls, with a slight gurgling quality, at times, bubbling underneath the growling. I like them quite a bit. The end result of it all is somewhat unremarkable, but all the same a rather enjoyable listen, which the real diehards of the genre will likely enjoy.  - Dale 

https://www.facebook.com/nosalvation666    http://www.nosalvation.pl/          

 

 

NORTHERN CROWN

"In The Hands Of The Betrayer” Demo Digipak MCD

(Self Released)

 

When I first perused the cover and band name, I thought to myself a black metal band, and well, I thought very wrong. No these south Floridians, play epic ‘80s style heavy metal, with heavy doses of classic doom metal influence. They show their doom influences on their sleeve, with a cover of “Crystal Ball”, from the mighty Candlemass. This cover interestingly, is placed right in the middle of the song order, rather than the usual, traditional tacking on of the cover song at the end of the album. Speaking of the length, this is quite prolonged for the ep or mini-album designation, I seem to see it listed everywhere as, you get five tracks in total and it just breaks the thirty minute mark. The first song, also the title track, is darn good song in its own right, but for me has more of the eighties metal feel, less of the doom feel. As the record continues along, it continues to build steam, the cover song aside, each track gets better and better as you go along, and also their doom influences seem to grow stronger as you go. They do employ some synth / organ backing and accents, which give off a ‘70s vibe ala Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Lucifer’s Friend and the like. They doom it up, but then they mix in poignant, introspective passages, and they know how to rock a bit form time to time too. I really like the vocals, again eighties heavy metal rears its gorgeously beast-y head again; the vocals are clear and smooth, with depth to them at both ends of the high / low spectrum. I also enjoyed some of the hot solo work, like that displayed in the middle of the opening track for instance; I think I got a little hard listening to that one. The closing track, entitled “To Thee I Give An Orchid”, is a ten minute magnum opus for the band. This song is the band at its best, there is a cool muted gallop riff, a punching synth atmosphere, which surges to the forefront and then recedes again to resume the gallop. The song slows down, to a brooding standstill towards the middle, the emotion very slowly starts to build back up the anticipation, as the flowing doom riff sweeps you along, taking you on an emotional grand journey. The vocals on this track really showcase well, even though, they are used in a judicious manner. That closing act is really the clincher, on me recommending this release, to fans of classic doom metal and heavy metal of old. I am really looking forward to this bands next record, it feels like they still have another gear to get to, and the next one could be something special.  - Dale

http://northerncrownband.com/   https://soundcloud.com/northern-crown-doom       

 

  

 

NUCLEAR HATRED

"Nuclear Hatred” CD

(Self Released)

 

Nuclear Hatred is a band made up of the members of Zamboni, who recently had to change their name (after having this album under that name all ready to go, the company that owns the rights to the hockey zamboni threatened to sue them if they did not cease and desist in using the name - Dale). Nuclear Hatred play a good style of crossover metal, which has a really good mix of fast thrashing guitars, and some well written and creative guitar patterns. The drums are played with both a mid pace, and a crazed fast pacing within the drum arrangements. If you are a fan of crossover metal, then you should definitely give Nuclear Hatred a listen today and buy this thing.  - Patrick

http://nuclearhatred.bandcamp.com/    https://www.facebook.com/NuclearHatred/       

 

 

OSSUAIRE

“Le Troubadour Necrophageophile” Demo Cassette

(Nihilistic Holocaust Records)

 

This is a re-release of the French band, Ossuaire’s 2005 debut demo, which originally was released on a limited run, of only 100 pieces on cd. This is my first encounter with the band, who are apparently still active. But one thing is for sure, they are not a very prolific band, having formed in 2000, and since then they have released a total of 11 songs over three releases in sixteen years! So how is the music on here? It is some solid death metal, in vein of stuff like old Morbid Angel, Bolt Thrower, Cannibal Corpse, Immolation and that style of death dm. I must say, for a first time demo, the song writing on here is quite good, and the guys play their instruments well. They are not just brutal, but at times create a pretty cool atmosphere or vibe, with their music, that creates a dark and dangerous feeling emotionally. I like that. No, there is nothing groundbreaking here, just a really solid release, which should appease fans of old classic American style of death metal.  - Dale

http://ossuaire-deathmetal.blogspot.fr/   http://nihilisticholocaustrecs.bandcamp.com/music     

 

 

PATH OF DAMNATION

“The Rehearsal Demo MMLV” Cassette

(Self Released)

 

Path of Damnation features a name familiar to me and the readers of Canadian Assault. Which is Troy Reynolds, whose past works such as Extreme Metal fanzine, Autumn Grave, and Black Blood Stigmata have all been reviewed on these pages. Now Troy has joined with another group of musicians to form Path Of Damnation. The band play straight up death metal, it is brutal stuff, but not so much in the guttural belching fashion. No, this is more in the vein of say late ‘90s style death metal, when the bands were still brutal, not yet so overly slick as would become the fashion. But all the same, heading slightly in that direction, with added clarity, and focus on musicality, and not just pure brutality. You know the sort of direction, a lot of the scene slowly headed in, after some landmark releases like Carcass “Heartwork” etc.. There is some really nice guitar work, and arrangements on here, that show talent in handling their instruments, as well as their song writing skills. Look no further than the song “Sky Turns Red”, where there is some nice underlying guitar, a cool guitar lead fill and a short, but very cool emotive solo to finish off the song. The vocals, are deep largely indecipherable growls, which I did enjoy, as they add a little of that gritty bestial feel to the mix, which counterpoints the finesse of some of the guitar work. It is a pretty nice balance, they have struck between those two sound elements, of elegance and cruelty, though it could still use a little more refinement to smooth out the transition and integration between the worlds. But that is precisely why they have first released this live in the form of a rehearsal demo tape. It is for fans to enjoy the songs, before the arrangements and execution, are tweaked and polished. So with that in mind, I will be looking forward to checking that out, hopefully sooner than later!  - Dale

https://www.reverbnation.com/oblivion666   https://www.facebook.com/pathofdamnation/       

 

  

 

PROFANER

“Promo 2015” CDR

(Self Released)

 

This is another cool band sent to me by Huaida, who runs Friends Of Hell Promotions, out of Chile. He also sent me great stuff from bands like Gravered, Communion and Worship Death. Focusing on this release, at hand, Profaner are an old style death metal band from Peru. This promo contains five tracks from the bands past demo and 7” ep releases. The band has been around a long time now, starting as Bestial Death in 2005, and changing the name to Profaner in 2007. Profaner in the music, and the vocals, remind me very much of early Death, with the growled stylings of one Chuck Schuldiner. Plus, I can hear a touch of Autopsy, and the early Swedish death metal sound. The raw, heavy but still more than clear enough production really fits perfectly with their sound. The second track, “Zombie Curse”, really shows Profaner at their best keeping ultra heavy, but really varying the pace up and down, in a very infectious manner that is sure to get your head banging along. That must be a killer song live. The bands age shows through, on this release, as they have a mature feel for song flow and arrangement, which really evokes emotion in me as a listener. Another fantastic band here, recommended to me, that shows how alive and kicking the Chilean and Peruvian scenes really are these days! If you love old school atmospheric, but really heavy death metal, then you need to get your hands on some Profaner material soon.  - Dale

profaner_deathmetal@hotmail.com   http://www.friendsofhell.cl/       

 

 

REANIMATOR

"Horns Up” Full-length Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

Coming out of the Canadian heavy metal / thrash scene is the new band Reanimator. The band, play a good mixing of hyper-fast, thrash metal. The guitars are done with a lot of fast paced structures, with some contrasted with some heavier slower paced sections. The drumming is top notch, with fast drum patterns and some mid-paced runs intertwined in the music. The vocals are a blending of screams and gruff styled vocals. If you are fans of Exodus, early Testament and all the other mid-80s thrash scene, then you should do yourself a favor and check this band out today.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/reanimatormtl/timeline   https://myspace.com/reanimatorthrash       

 

 

REPULSOR

“Trapped In A Nightmare” Demo CD EP

(Self Released)

 

The amount of Polish bands releases, which have been filtering through the mailbox of Canadian Assault in the last couple years, is kind of staggering. It is, pretty impressive, as to just how fertile and prolific the metal scene is over there. Repulsor are thrash metal on high, they just scream mid to late 80s thrash, all over the place. Immediately, for me, bands like Kreator, Exodus, Razor, Testament, Forced Entry come to mind, all from that same time period I named. These guys show the style respect, they handle their instruments very well, and you get 21 minutes of face ripping thrash metal, presented with a top notch production. The riffs are razor sharp, lightning quick, and they are complimented by a relentless drumming performance, all of which combines into a perfect storm of headbanging fury. The vocalist, reminds me of some German thrash singers, from the ‘80s, the fellow sings with a fairly thick accent at times, which may be an acquired taste for some, but I really dig the vocals. This demo really takes me back man; get ready for an all out attack, which will satisfy all old school thrash maniacs! I believe this has been re-released, just recently, by Thrashing Metal Productions in Poland, along with some bonus tracks and sold as an album. So be sure to look for that.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/Repulsorthrash   https://myspace.com/thrashingmadnessprod 

 

 

RUSTY PACEMAKER

“Ruins” Full-length CD

(Self Released)

 

This Austrian band is the brainchild of, the man it is named after, one Rusty Pacemaker. He has had some guest musicians, brought in for some female vocal accompaniments, as well as the drumming on this record. The other instruments are all by Rusty himself, as well, of course, the song writing itself. I would call this, something like gloomy metal or maybe more aptly heavy dark rock music, something along those lines. The atmosphere on here is very introspective, and melancholic, all delivered in a pretty subdued manner. The songs feel largely guitar / vocal based to me; I mean the drums do their thing well, but in a supporting role. The songs are quite well constructed, though there are some sections here and there, which I felt could use a little something more, and maybe those sections, were a bit too minimalist at points. But that is a minor complaint, and this is a new band, so there is room for improvement of course. The man handles his instrument well and has song writing talent. The monotone, valium sounding vocals, at times, fit the music pretty well, yet other times, they would really benefit from a little more range and emotive register to them. I liked the repeated chorus, in the good song “The Game”, where he shouts “Fight! Attack!” it is one of the only instances of Rusty stepping out of his laidback comfort zone, and showing some emotion and anger in vocals, and it serves him and the song very well. All in all, a solid debut album, I will look forward to see what Rusty Pacemaker comes up with in future as his skills progress.  - Dale

http://www.rustypacemaker.com/   http://rustypacemaker.bandcamp.com/album/ruins 

 

 

THE RUT

Self Titled” Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

The Rut is the new band from Andrew Parrish on vocals {besides being a good friend, is the one who got me interested in doing my own zine, but enough of the history lesson}. The Rut is a very hard band to put into a certain genre {or even genre's}, the musical styles vary, from cross-over punk / thrash to to a more rock ‘n roll vibe, with some death metal creeping in the songs. The guitars are all over the place, one minute doing rock style riffs, the next playing cross-over thrashy / punk styles. The drumming is a good mix of mid-paced rock, with some faster beats and Andrew’s vocals are done really well, with clean vocal patterns {this is my first encounter hearing him sing like this} and some screams. This is a good release, for anyone who wants to listen to something different. - Patrick

http://www.reverbnation.com/therut   https://www.facebook.com/therutmusic       

 

 

 

SEWAGE GRINDER

“Sick” Demo MCD

(Self Released)

 

I have no information on this band and could dig up very little about them online. But I can tell you they are from Ohio and play a disgusting brand of grindcore. I rather enjoyed this album, it lives up to it’s title and is very sick, it is also very high energy, dirty grind with that cool fuck you and everything about you attitude. Which I really liked haha. Some of their stuff reminds me of some earlier Meat Shits material, like some of the stuff off of that bands “Fuck Frenzy” and “Ecstasy Of Death” albums, minus all the porn samples and horror movie clips though lol! This is some good shit, if you are into wall of noise grind, with short blasting songs and enjoy rolling around in your own filth, while listening to this juggernaut musical maelstrom. This is what they are about, no deeper than that, so if you like ripping grindcore with an attitude, then pull your dick out of that hooker, take your last swig of whiskey and get in touch Sewage Grinder!  - Dale

http://sewagegrinder.bandcamp.com/   https://www.facebook.com/shitgrinder  

 

 

SKELETON WOLF

"Skeleton Wolf” CD

(Self Released)

 

This is Skeleton Wolf’s debut release, featuring seven songs, of newer blackened death metal. The guitars are well written, and extremely well played; they go from a fast black metal guitar style to a more controlled modern death metal pattern. The guitarist knows how to create, and play, a lot of solid guitar runs, and some very well written solo’s mixed into a few of the tracks. The drumming is very skilled as well, and can go seamlessly from a mid tempo drum style, to executing a faster aggressive drum pattern in a few songs. The vocalist does a good job with brand of death metal growls, interspersed with some black metal screams filtering in and out, from time to time throughout the material.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/skeletonwolfmusic/    http://skeletonwolf.com/      

 

 

SKITZO

"Dementia Praecox” CD

(Self Released)

 

Skitzo returns to the pages of Canadian Assault, this legendary California heavy metal / thrash band, continues to conjure up the old metal rituals! I say legend, and I mean it; this band is grossly underrated, and not nearly heralded enough for continuing on from the early to mid 1980s until today! I have total respect for someone keeping the dedication and faith for decades. Skitzo is, and always has been, the brainchild of the talented and imaginative, and deliciously perverted Lance Ozanix. Skitzo effortlessly from song to song, switch from heavy metal to thrash metal, and back again. When they thrash out they fucking thrash, Lance’s vocals on thrash parts, at times, are the spitting audio image of classic era Nuclear Assault and Overkill. A lion’s share of the time he sings in a gruff, partly spoken, partly sung vocal style, which I believe is partly handled in a co-vocal situation by bassist of Nate Clark. “Dimentia Praecox” is filled with massively heavy, melodiously memorable riffing; that and the arranging are a real strength for the band. Finishing off the trio, we are treated to a strong performance from drummer Mike Carli, with some tasty drum patterns, and a powerful pounding of each and every strike on the kit. As usual with Skitzo, they seem to get some great guest musicians, this time is no different, as we hear an extensive, and impressive appearance by Tony Rainer formerly of Blue Cheer. Okay so that covers the new Skitzo tracks on here. This release is an interesting mix of things, as you get those new songs, you get an old Skitzo song about Ted Bundy from 1982 (!!), plus a bevy of great cover songs, which are deep cuts from bands like PCP, Axe Witch, Posthumous and Skullduggery. Plus some unlisted devilish surprises, at the end of the album, which I will let you discover for yourself. As ever, you should expect absolutely beautifully produced, crystal clear yet heavy productions we have come to expect from this band. I say get this fucking thing, right now, it is about time this band got the recognition it is due!  - Dale

https://myspace.com/skitzo667   http://www.skitzo.biz        

 

 

SONS OF FAMINE

“Alcohol And Razor Blades” Demo CDR

(Self Released)

 

I recently glowingly reviewed a release from the band Imperial Savagery. I mentioned at that time, it is almost like having one of my fave old death metal bands, Corpse Vomit reformed, as that band had three former members of Corpse Vomit in it’s ranks. Well, apparently I spoke too fucking soon, because Sons of Famine has no less than all 4 members of Corpse Vomit, and for all intents and purposes is literally a new band, entirely reborn from the ashes of the mighty Corpse Vomit. They certainly share something in common with their other band, which is unadulterated savagery; they have it in spades and deal it out with no mercy. This is some raunchy, dirty, and angry death metal played at blitzkrieg speeds, there are some truly biting riffs on this bitch. I like the odd brief, frenzied little guitar fills strewn about the album, they really stand out in contrast to the pounding and add a cool dynamic to their sound. This demo brings me back, to the early to mid 90s, when for me the death metal scene was at its pinnacle. I mean, this does not sound dated, but it does sound classic and timeless. I’m not just talking about the awesome guitar sound on here either with that comment. There are four songs on this demo, and it is a little on the old side currently, so fuck me, I hope we get a new release from this great band soon! These death metal legends, all these years later, still deliver the goods and still deserve your attention.  - Dale 

http://sonsoffamine.bandcamp.com/releases   https://www.facebook.com/sonsoffamine        

 

   

 

SUNLORD

"The Fire One” Full-length Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

This band is from New York, the main force behind the band, is the Argentinian guitarist / vocalist Alfonso Ferrazza. Apparently Sunlord started out as a cover band and then eventually morphed into what we have here on this disc. I am not sure, how to describe them, as they display a bit of a hodge-podge of influences from song to song. One song might be all out ripping thrash, the next is kind of crossover punk / thrash thing, the next is hard rock / metal with heavy influence from Motorhead and so on. It is all over the place, but there is some cohesion of style, which manages to peek through now and then, within each song. I am guessing in this trio, Alfonso is doing the vocals mostly out of necessity, because his vocals are clearly the weak link in the Sunlord sound. At first, to be honest, I thought they were terrible, but as time went on and more listens were had, they started to grow on me a little bit to the point I did not mind them as much. Nonetheless they are still the achilles heel of the band in my opinion. Because the music is pretty great, there is a lot of talent there, some cool riffing and skillful song structuring, which kept my interest very well. I might like to see the band try to hone their sound a little more, so their next album has a little more unity, and a possible vocal upgrade possibly, would go a long way. Because the there is a lot of talent in this band and they know how to write some killer songs that rip. So I am looking forward to see how they progress with time.  - Dale

http://www.dinnermusicforthegods.com/   http://www.reverbnation.com/dinnermusicforthegods      

 

 

SUPPRESSIVE FIRE

"Bedlam” CD

(Self Released)

 

Coming out of North Carolina’s metal scene is Suppressive Fire, combining elements of complex and guitar driven death metal, with some thrashy elements. The guitars are very well done, with outburst of fast thrash guitars, with some mid paced heavier sections. The drumming is performed, with a lot of power, and fast drumming patterns that fit with the chaotic guitars quite nicely. The vocalist does a good job, delivering gruff vocals, intertwined with some screams. If you are a fan of early to mid nineties, style of death metal, then this is a band you will want to check out very soon.  - Patrick

https://suppressivefire.bandcamp.com/   https://www.suppressivefire.net/      

 

   

 

SURVIVAL

“Shayda” Cassette EP

(Self Released)

 

Survival are a thrash band, with some hardcore leanings, and hail from Oakland California. They sound like a pretty wild band, just from reading some background on them, with various members slipping in and out of jail stays. But on to the music, which is really heavy, catchy and minimalist. They get straight to the point here, they find their sweet spot and stick to ala old Prong, another band that pops into mind is DRI during their great “Thrashzone” album era, but Survival are probably a bit more stripped down than them. You can hear the hardcore influence, every now and then, in the structure and gang shouted parts on the track “Walls”. At times, they create more of an atmospheric sound with their music, than you would probably think reading this review. It is that, you just have to hear it to get it, with that element of their sound. This is nothing mind-blowing, but I enjoyed this cassette, but I could see some of the extreme metal die hard crowd, which often reads Canadian Assault, having a tougher time getting into this. But, especially for 80s thrash crossover fans, who are into stuff like the aforementioned Prong, or maybe Biohazard (with their heavier songs), will want to check this out. I have seen this listed somewhere as a full-length, that is simply not the case, this puppy is less than 17 minutes long, it is short but good.  - Dale 

https://www.facebook.com/SurvivalBayArea/   https://survival1.bandcamp.com/music     

 

 

TORN THE FUCK APART

"…The Dissection Of Christ” Full-length Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

Torn The Fuck Apart hail from Kansas fucking City, Kansas and play brutalizing death metal. I love some good crushing and pillaging death metal as much as the next guy. I liked some of the little secondary guitar noodling accents to the riffing, similar to stuff Cryptopsy used to do and others. But I have to be honest that was the only thing about this album I really liked. The vocals are decent too. The music however, overall is some really generic, boring death metal, Torn even try to throw in some groove parts that sound forced and uninspired. I can respect these guys for trying to do things on their own and just getting out there and making it happen, more power to them. But after releasing a demo and well I guess, essentially two self-released full length demos after that, over the span of nearly a decade, with still no action on the label front, I can see why. But hey, if the boys believe in what they are doing and are having fun, well then keep on plugging away. I am not saying they are terrible or anything, just very, very average.  - Dale

http://www.reverbnation.com/tornthefuckapart  https://www.facebook.com/tornthefuuckapart    

 

  

 

TRENCHROT

“Dragged Down To Hell” Demo Cassette

(Nihilistic Holocaust Productions)

 

It really is a small world sometimes. I get a package from an old contact / friend from France, who runs Nihilistic Holocaust Records, only to find out the band he sent me for review, is from my own backyard in Philadelphia. Damn! I am glad he did send this may way. Trenchrot play great old school death metal, in the vein of stuff, like early Dismember, Carnage, Grave, Afflicted (“Prodigal Sun” album), Pestilence, Repulsion mixed with other different stylistic dm bands like Asphyx, Autopsy and slower more doomy death bands. Despite those latter examples, most of the music on here, clips along at a pretty brisk pace, it is more the atmosphere of those doomy bands. The sound on here is crushing and the riffs will melt your brain, as they roll over you, in ever attacking waves of audio orgasm. I should mention I am an absolute sucker for that old Swedish dm style and the other bands I rattled off. So a more picky fan, of this style may disagree, but all the same, I think Trenchrot fucking kill it here, despite wearing some influences on their sleeves. I believe the band have just released their debut album on Unspeakable Axe Records. I need to get my claws on that thing, as this demo has me excited about contracting a more severe case of Trenchrot.  - Dale 

http://trenchrotdeathmetal.bandcamp.com/   http://nihilistic.voila.net/   

 

 

TRIALS

"Witness To The Downfall” Full Length Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

I am immediately hit with a very, very familiar sound when pressing play. Right from the vocals to the guitars, to the riffing style and really everything sounds like Pantera. That is not to say they do not have the sound down and are good at what they do. It is probably boils down to the fact I am a not a huge fan of this, what is sometimes called modernized thrash metal, when I do feel like listening to some (which is not often) I will just reach for a Pantera album to be honest. I will say they did not skimp on the production of the album, everything sounds very good and clear. If you are not like me and wish Pantera was still around then this might be a band for you to check into.  – Dale

http://www.facebook.com/trialsmusic    

 

 

TWIST ENDING

“Musica Di Morte” Demo Tape

(NoVisible Scars Records)

 

Well, for the Impetigo die hards out there, you wanted more Stevo, you shall get more Stevo! This time, it is not delving into his early pre-Impetigo days; no we get to see what Stevo has been up to lately. I was pretty damn excited to be honest as an Impetigo die hard my own self. There is an interesting twist in here, in that Stevo’s lyrics are written and sung in Italian! His vocals sound really fucking cool, like half sung, half spoken, deep vocals that remind me, a lot of the great Big Boss of the Czech band Root, especially in his earlier days. I am mesmerized by those fucking vocals, Stevo sounds like a maniacal beast of an uncle, on a murderous drunken rage, taking the time to deeply enjoy living out those deep dark thoughts. His vocals only sound more diabolic being sung in Italian. Also, I should mention in this trio, it features Vanessa Nocera of Wooden Stake & Razorback Records on bass. This band and it’s entire concept is a tribute or an ode, a love letter of sorts, to the great Giallo genre of cult horror movie classics from Italy. They mix in lots of audio clips, as intros, and directly within the songs, which I really enjoyed and thought they incorporated very well. The music really mixes up the pacing, from mid-paced to fast sections, which are then interspersed with some slower moody atmospheric sections, which really add some emotional depth and punch when things speed up again. The music itself, I am not sure how to describe, probably dark heavy metal and thrash would be the mainstay of the sound, but there are also some of the band members death metal and grind backgrounds seeping in, if you listen closely. There are some parts, that remind me of the early 90s period, from one of my fave Italian bands of all time Mortuary Drape. The production / recording almost sounds like it is from that late 80s / early 90s and I fucking love that too. This demo is simply amazing, I keep listening to it over and over and over, it is so addictive and good, one of the best releases of the year hands down for me. I am getting aroused and bathing myself in blood just thinking about a full album from Twist Ending…Oooohh. By the way the tape has 2014 printed on it, not sure if there was a delay or what, but it was not actually released until 2015.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/twistending   http://novisiblescars.bandcamp.com/   

 

    

 

VEIN

"Into The Vein” Demo Cassette EP

(NoVisible Scars Records)

 

This is a one man band by the drummer of Blessed Offal (among other bands). There are four tracks on this cassette, which are filled with hatred and drip with a morbid atmosphere. I think Vein could be best described as worshippers of Blasphemy and Sarcofago. That is what you get here, nothing new or innovative, but it was not meant to be, it is not pretending to be anything else. The atmosphere on here is extraordinary, it really does capture the mastery of the classic works by the bands I mentioned above. I mean right down to the obscure sound, low-fi production values, which is probably the only way this style of evil warring black metal should be heard. If you are a devotee of this sub-genre of music, you will want this release, if you are not a die hard follower of those bands and this sound; this is probably not for you. I seen online there is only 5 copies of tape left, hopefully you get one before they sell out. There is however, a digital download version for $4 you can find at a link below.  - Dale

http://novisiblescars.bandcamp.com/album/into-the-vein  http://nvslabel.blogspot.com/      

 

   

 

VIOLENT REVOLUTION

"Damaged Society” Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

This was a pleasant surprise to see arrive in my mailbox. This band based out of Phoenix, Arizona may be a new band, but their members are anything but, they are all veterans of the scene, having been in various bands. The band leader bassist / vocalist George Robb, has also been in many bands, maybe best known as a founding member of Agent Steel, where he appeared on their demo, debut album and ep. These boys could have stepped right out of the great early to mid 80s Crossover Thrash scene. I can hear influences in here (think specifically of the earlier works from these bands) like Slayer, D.R.I., Cryptic Slaughter, The Exploited, Exodus, S.O.D., Corrosion of Conformity, Sacred Reich etc… Violent Revolution carry on the tradition perfectly, they really have this sound down, playing with a raw, angry edge at all times. This album is a wonderfully rampaging wall of noise and controlled chaos. I even dug that short manic solo in the middle of “Damaged”. I love the vocal parts, where they spit out that gruff thrash and hardcore mix of vocals, and multiple members trade off lines of lyric. It really keeps the energy high, and gives you a feeling, of how cool it must be to see Violent Revolution live. Because there are many times, I found myself headbanging to this, and the sudden urge to jump up and punch the air wildly, like it had stolen something from me. The only thing I can seem to find that is wrong with this demo; it is 4 songs and an intro, too fucking short! I want more ASAP!! Get this raw, beautiful throwback angst drenched, spiked fist in the face of modern slickly produced bullshit.  - Dale

https://www.reverbnation.com/violentrevolution1   http://www.violentrevolution.net       

 

 

VORZUG

I Am In Hell” Digital Single / Download

(Self Released)

 

This is the debut single, “I am In Hell” from Vorzug, a new band from the Phoenix, AZ area. The band plays a very old school style of blackened death metal, with some thrashy guitars in the song. The song is mid-paced, with some great killer guitar solos and riffs in the debut song. The drumming goes from extremely fast thrashy drums down to a middle paced range. The vocalist, starts off with the death growls, but towards the middle of the song, it switches up to old school black metal screams. I am very eager, to hear the debut when it is released, but for now if you are into digital songs / downloads, then get a copy of this one.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/vorzugmetal   http://www.reverbnation.com/vorzug      

 

 

WHORE OF BETHLEHEM

“Upon Judas’ Throne” Full-length Demo CD

(Self Released)

 

Damn, it seems like I get a lot of quality stuff to review, from bands emanating out of Texas. Whore Of Bethlehem are no exception, this Austin Texas band immediately rub raw the senses, both audial and visually speaking, when you hit play and then start reading their song titles and lyrics. I must say first off, the guitar sound on here is fucking massive and brutal, I love it, and those riffs simply crush all unfortunate to get caught in its path! If is obvious, to me at least, listening to this that these guys are big fans of a large section of the old Floridian death metal style. I can definitely hear influences from bands like Morbid Angel, Deicide, Malevolent Creation etc… Maybe I imagining things, but I think I hear a little Dismember in there as well. But these guys are tight, barbaric; they keep the song writing dynamic and even mix in some frenetic solos. The drummer is a beast, he mixes it up well and puts in a Herculean performance, and he matches those massive riffs step for step and beyond. The vocalist also varies his vocals, slowing it down in sections, speeding it up his growls in others, slipping in an out of a higher, more nasally sound for brief periods and spits out growling yells at emotional high points in songs. I am pretty impressed with the vocal work on here, it is not just growling slapped over top of music, there is thought and timing put into his pissed off roaring. For me, this is a great young band, to keep an eye out for as fans of old school Floridian death metal will wet themselves listening to this album.  - Dale

http://www.whoreofbethlehem.com/   http://www.reverbnation.com/whoreofbethlehem   

 

 

WITH BURNING CONTEMPT

"Red Visions” Demo CD EP

(Self Released)

 

I love this bands attitude and honesty in their bio, I also can really relate to them as they speak about playing a style similar to what they grew up listening to through tape trading, plus talk of being old. I am right with you brother, grew up on tape trading too (early to mid 90s) and I am also an old goat in this fucking scene haha. The four songs on here for me simply are fantastic, they are heavy, they are rocking, they are dark and they are dripping with old school intensity and attitude. Not to mention combining some of my favourite bands and styles as influence. I am not even sure where to start but think of mixing classic Celtic Frost / Hellhammer, Venom together with Dismember, Grave, Darkthrone (especially their releases where they show their Frost influence) and even some Motorhead thrown into the mix for good measure. The vocals kind of follow suit to those influences I mention above, a mix of old thrash gruff yelling with a decipherable growling undertone. They wear their musical hearts on their sleeve, and I like that, we share that metal heart and it is hard to tear apart. I say if you are a product of the 80s and early 90s metal and miss those days, With Burning Contempt is for you. Keep the ancient flame burning and the spiked fist pounding!  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/WithBurningContempt http://www.reverbnation.com/withburningcontempt     

 

 

WORSHIP DEATH

“Promo MMXV” CDR

(Self Released)

 

This Chilean band took me by surprise and in a good way. There are only two songs on here, but they are both killers and not short songs. Worship Death play grimy, pulverizing old school death metal in the vein of Autopsy, Repulsion, Dismember, Grave etc… This is some pretty fucking glorious stuff. It brings back that old feeling, very nicely to the point; I can almost taste the air of ripping open one of my tape traders packages from the early 90s. I love the trademark Autopsy style drumming and angry bee in a box gutfuck riffing. The vocals are like hearing an obscure recording, emanating from a pit, that serves as the mouth of hell. About the only even remotely negative thing I could say is, I wish the mix on the recording was a little better, more even, and the first song could use a little more flow to the pacing. But otherwise, I can not recommend this enough, to old school death metal die hards!!  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/worshipdeathmetal   https://worshipdeathmetal.bandcamp.com/      

 

 

ZLOSLUT

Abyss of Eternal Deception" Demo

(Silent Scream Records)

 

I wasn't sure what to expect from this one man Serbian band. But for a debut release and considering one-man did everything vocals, music. Abyss of Eternal Deception turned out really good. The vocals remind me a little of early Immortal with some deeper, gruff vocals. The guitars are a little on the raw/primitive side but I've definitely heard much worse productions/sounds before plus I kind of like it as it gives the band the old-school feel of the late 80's,early 90's demo tapes before everyone went to the crystal clear cd sound of the digital age of today. The guitars have the thin, razor sharp guitar riffs but stay within the mid-paced style but Stefan is definitely an old-schooler by heart and mixes in some traditional heavy metal, and thrashy guitar riffs and few solos within the songs. Abyss of Eternal Deception is a great debut and well worth your time and money if you can find it. But I am also extremely curious to hear future Zloslut releases to see if Stefan lets his aggressive blackened thrash side loose or if he stays with the more mid-paced and controlled style of black metal. I think both styles could work for Stefan and Zloslut as he seems very comfortable playing both the faster, aggressive and the more controlled mid-paced style.  - Patrick

http://www.myspace.com/zloslutserbia666  http://silentscreamrecords.webs.com/