“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      




“Death Toll VI” Demo CDR

(Salute Records)


The Swedish purveyors of filth return already with yet another attack already. Aggressive Mutilator is a very prolific band, they released three demos and a seven inch in 2012 alone. They show no signs of slowing down as you can see this is the second demo they sent me this year already! The sounds on Death Toll VI is very rhythmic, almost ritualistic feeling, they still play that dirty thrash style but the music on here reminds me a lot of old thrashing black metal bands from the late ‘80s / early ‘90s. You know stuff from that time period like Mortuary Drape, Necromantia, Vital Remains or even something like the “Inside The Circle Of The Pentagram” demo from Morningstar or the “Satanas Tedeum” demo from Rotting Christ mixed with some Celtic Frost. You know I worship all of that, so it is no surprise that I also like the stripped down low-fi sickness of the Mutilator. I need to go to Scandinavia one day soon and see a gig with Aggressive Mutilator playing alongside Axeslaughter and Bestial Mockery, I might not make it out alive!  - Dale    





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   




“A Menacing Reality” CD



This is something different from what I usually get and that is a nice change of pace. Not to mention they are from my homeland (or the old country if you prefer) of Canada. It is always a pleasure to get some music from back home. Ancient Obliteration play a quirky sort of thrash and death metal mixture most often played at a pounding slower to mid-paced speed. They sing about monsters and cool shit like that from what I can gather, you know the kind that wreck cities, slither out of swamps, ooze puss and sending people scurrying like roaches when someone turns on a light. The production is clear enough for me but also kind of muddy and obscure sounding, but if you read Canadian Assault often you know I tend to like that kind of thing. The vocals of Geoff Olson are excellent and I never tire of hearing them. They are part shouted, part growled with that old school thrash gruff clarity and he comes across a little bit like he is an off-kilter mad man that stepped out of one of those cheesy but great 70s horror flicks. Actually musically their attitude and quirkiness makes me think somewhat of another great old messed up Canadian thrash band I worshiped growing up by the name of Dayglo Abortions. You mix Dayglo Abortions with some great old American deathrashdoom sicko bands like Righteous Pigs, Impetigo and Goatlord, then smatter in a healthy dose of their own sound and you have Ancient Obliteration. Seriously the more I listen to these guys it makes me think of a more off-balance slightly more modern version of Righteous Pigs (which featured Mitch Harris of Defecation/Napalm Death fame in its ranks). I loved the Pigs so that is a compliment. Ancient Obliteration is probably an acquired taste for some that like it all slick and by the numbers. For the rest of you reading this check out these dirty sounding, fuzzy monster obsessed pervs out.  – Dale




“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 




“Self Titled” Demo CDR

(Mandarangan Recordings)


I have heard a lot of bands over the years from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and that region. But this Malaysian band, I am pretty sure is the first doom band I have ever heard from there. No not pure doom, but rather a death doom metal band, a scene which for a while there about half a decade ago seemed like it was poised to break out, then quickly went back in the shadows. It is raw and simplistic doom death, but rhythmic and heavy, every now and then there are even these crazy little guitar solos, which should not fit with this music but somehow Ataul make it fit and it sounds cool. The vocals are part spoken, part growl, and part whisper which all combine together for a cool sound that compliments the dark mood. Which brings up a point I wanted to make, that is unlike most doom bands Ataul music is not really depressive, but rather it is evil and sick sounding which is cool. An old fave doom death band for me is Goatlord and I feel like they might be a big influence on this Ataul, I also hear a little Disembowelment and Cianide in there. Only three songs here, so not a ton to go on but I like what I hear and I look forward to following this killer band.  - Dale 





“Northern Ghosts” Full Length Demo 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       





Tape # 2



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    




“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      





“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  




“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   




“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   




“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     




“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    




““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  





“Winter 2012 Promo” CD

Compilation CDR


This seems to be a brand new record label, so new it was very hard to find any kind of an online presence for the label. The same, to a lesser extent with the three bands they are kicking off the label with, all of whom are apparently brand new bands as well. Those three bands are Relentless, Nocturne, and Deathcult, with the exception of Deathcult who previously had a demo out, none of the other bands have released anything. Now I do not know if this is the label of one of the bands. But two of the bands Relentless & Deathcult are one man bands and both are the same man (Tim Pearons) doing everything for both bands. Nocturne is also a one man band, but a different guy than the other two one man bands, you got all of that straight haha? I think I do now. This release is basically a three song sampler, with one song form each band and one song is obviously not a lot to go on, but I will try my best. Relentless, as soon as I read the name I wondered if it was a Pentagram influenced band and named themselves after that bands classic album. That is the case they are very Pentagram influenced, a really cool song, entitled “United By Darkness”, replete with Bobby Liebling copy vocals. I like Relentless and want more, I am sucker for this stuff! Noturne hit us up with the song “Pain of Purity”, hard to take away a lot from one song, but I would say it is some interesting melodic flowing catchy death metal, not bad stuff. Finishing things off, we have Deathcult, who brandish a flaming sword of bitter, early 90s black metal destruction with a fuzzy, otherworldly fuzzy guitar sound, some cool riffing, a bit too stop and start in the middle for my liking, but it does add some dynamic to the song. The production is clear enough but pretty low-fi stuff which can be a positive with this style of bm. With this band I feel I need more material to make any kind of judgment, some stuff I really liked and some stuff I was so-so on with this track. One thing is for sure apparently Do Or Die Records plans to burst into 2013 like a blaze across the northern sky, as all three bands will be releasing full length records in first few months of the year. On a final note, love the artwork on the front and the killer fanzine style page borders on the inside of the booklet.  - Dale  




“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   




Storm Of Swords” Demo CD


This is the debut e.p from the Texas based Enormicon I guess the best way to describe this band would be is a mix of stoner rock, traditional doom, and older prog music. It's not really my styles of music so this review is going to suck as I don't too much about these particular genres. So I will say if you are a Sabbath or High On Fire fan or just old-school doom in general then you might enjoy Enormicon.  - Patrick  




“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     




“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      





““Future History” Full-length CD

(Self Released)


The fascinatingly cool and enigmatic, Guilty As Sin, once again grace the pages of Canadian Assault. Guilty As Sin, has always been a bitch to nail down with a style to classify them. They are simply all over the place and it is quite amazing their albums manage retain a coherent lucid flow to them. I mean you can hear damn near everything out of these guys, from Scifi / space rock to thrash and hardcore metal, to death metal to punk, jazz bits, to pure atmospheric wandering ambient music! Hell every now and then they throw in belly dancing music, I shit you not. Also I should convey, a lot of the time they do not do all of these styles in the confines of one song, rather there can be a hardcore song, an ambient song follows that, a thrash song and then a middle eastern belly dance song. They keep you guessing and you just do not know what is around the next corner as one song ends and the other begins. Future History is no exception you get some ripping, heavy headbang tunes, you get some really epic; at times almost awe inspiring guitar ambient songs that will set your mind off wandering into the cosmos. Then abruptly you jolted with some blast beating grind death metal madness to slap you back awake. The vocals, which is another thing whole sections of GAS albums have none, but when they are there with this album on the more aggressive metal tracks. I hear a real Master influence in those vox, they sound like they could have almost come right off of the “On The Seventh Day God Created…Master” album, love those vocals. No matter what you get with this band, it usually has a sense of purpose, and vision, generally all pulled off with an uncanny sense of emotive feel and care. I am not sure these guys are for everyone, but they are for me, I think they are pretty fantastic and you should at least give them a try. You might just be surprised.  - Dale 




“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  





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




“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   





“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




"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     




"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       




“Plastination” Demo CD

(Self Released)


Italian death metal brutality, the production is pretty rough and muddy, but fuck this is a demo people. The production still gets across what the band were going for. Which is some brutal, unrelenting death metal backed up with some pounding drum work. The vocals of Klaudia are probably a bit of an acquired taste, I mostly quite liked them, though at times were a touch grating. Nothing groundbreaking here or that you have not heard before, but there is some talent there and you can see with a little more time to simmer they might come up with something special. This was another disc sent to me by Paul Caravasi of Aquelarre zine, and like the other band Killing The Reason, I will be interested to hear what this band does next, could be something devastating. This release in the meantime is worth a listen, as long as you are not one of those super picky assholes with production, you might dig this one.  - Dale   




"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       




“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    




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    





“Self Titled”

Full Length Demo CD


It is nice now and then after being inundated with slick, glossy produced and tightly computer controlled recordings. To have something like Lavagoat come to me with its heavy raunch production that really punctuates the crushing meandering riffs perfectly. Lavagoat are from my homeland and play death like doom with some of that stoner doom sound / feeling mixed in. I suppose parallels and/or influences like Disembowelment, Mastodon, early Cathedral (a lot), Black Sabbath come to mind, along with some of the heavier stuff from Kyuss, Orange Goblin, Melvins, Electric Wizard can be heard. This demo is definitely a mixed bag and they are pretty adventurous in the directions they take these sounds. There is some subtle yet fantastic guitar work going on here if you have the patience to pay attention. The vocals are decipherable semi-clear growls that have a lot of power and emotion in them. No possibly not the most original release, but it is fucking good and Lavagoat stomp everything in their path, leaving behind only sloshed beer drips and ashes from their funny cigarettes.  – Dale




“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




Centrifuge Of Man” Full-length Demo CD

(Self Released)


Ahhh the gods of brutal underground death metal return! After hearing the 2008 demo Vae Victis {which can be downloaded for free on the bands F.B page!}. I was hooked on this German bands catchy, brutal and just plain vicious death metal style. It is full of fast, thick guitars that build  from mid-paced to all out whirlwind riffs and masterful played solo's. The drumming is precise with the speedy, blast beats chaotic in some songs while other structures are more heavy, mid-paced drum beats. Timm's vocals are vicious deep death growls with some higher screams and fit perfectly with Mental Killing Spree's original brutal death metal style. Fans of brutal straight-forward death metal are urged to check this band out today!  - Patrick     





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    




“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      




“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




“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 




Gods Failed Creation” Full-length Demo CD

(Self Released)


Prayer Of The Dying from Malta have returned with a brand new release of all new material. Main man Martin Ciappara {vocals, instruments} has some friends, musicians that help him out on Gods Failed Creation. As always Martin does a great job of writing and creating a unique style of blackened death metal with some doomish element. On the song "The Desert Inside" features female vocals which are only used in a few lines {and if I am not mistaken this is the first time Martin has ever used female vocals with Prayer Of Dying} which sound really good and fit nicely with Martin's musical writing style so hopefully he will consider using more female vocals in the future {as long as he does over do it like so many bands do these days} If you have heard past Prayer Of The Dying releases and liked them definitely get Gods Failed Creation as it is the bands most creative and strongest release to date.  - Patrick      




The Call Of Exitinction” Demo MCD


Germany's Running Death have just released their second Mcd "The Call Of Extinction”. The music comes across between fast and speedy thrash and some influences of old-school heavy metal. The guitars are done with a lot of talent and creativity, writing some blazing fast riffs and then slowing it down, to a more mid paced range that is very memorable. The drums are chaotic in some parts of the Mcd and other times very controlled. The vocalist has a good range with some good hollering/yelling vocals and even some deeper thrashy screams. I will admit that this could've been better in some areas, but on the other hand I've heard much worse. So if you’re a fan of metal music {thrash / heavy metal} give this band a listen and judge for yourself.  - Patrick   




Self Titled” Demo CD

(Self Released)


The Rut is the new band from Andrew Parrish on vocals {besides being a good friend, he 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       




“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  




"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      




Demo Tape 1

(Forever Plagued Records)


Firstly I would like to apologize to Forever Plagued for long this review took to see the dark of night. I had thought I lost the package of review material Tom sent me when I moved sometime ago. I opened some boxes left untouched and surprise motherfucker! Oh well better late than never and I think this was an old release as well. Doing a quick bit of research on Lurker the one man behind Toil and was shocked at the extensive list of bands this guy is in or was in: Taog Susej, ex-Vrolok (US), ex-Interfektor, Mord (US), Sangraal, Dawn of Sorrow, Nazroth, Satanic Funeral, Old Oak, Funeral Mourning, Gravestench, Raw Hatred. How in the hell is he in that many bands?! Maybe they mail tapes back forth? Anyway, I am hesitant but would have to describe Toil as an atmospheric black metal band. Even though in some sense that particular tag does not do them (figure of speak, this is a 1 man band) justice as Toil are definitely not elevator / nature music ala Vinterriket and the synth is also not crass and overpowering keyboard junk ala Xasthur. No the guitars the guitars, drums and traditional instrumental rhythms are driving the vehicle and the keys are sitting comfortably in the back seat where they belong. I am not certain how to explain this demo cassette. They do not exactly sound old school yet the bands pacing, tempos and structuring remind me strongly to the old / early days of black metal (before the Norwegian explosion). Toil are extremely rhythmic, simple, effective and dark. Hails to Toil! – Dale 




"…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    





“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   




"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    




"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      




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      




“Where Fate Lies Unbound” Demo / CD EP


I have to commend this Wisconsin band, on going all out on the promotion front; they sent a very complete and impressive promotional package. I have not seen this much effort, money and patience put in to a promo package for probably a decade now (Yeah I have been at this a long time I know) at least. It was a little more common place back then, but these days in the age of digital downloads and everything, well it is nice to see. Warseid play I suppose more of a European style black folk metal. Now this is listed as an ep, but you get 30 minutes of music, to Decide and a lot of bands would consider that album length. The vocals are harsh black metal rasps with a growling undertone type of vox, they are fine for what they are, but I have to be honest, for me, to my ear they do not really suit the music very well. They just do not seem to convey or match the energy or emotion of the music or seem to fit very well to the music, if you know what I mean? It is not one of those cases where you go I can not imagine a different vocalist in there, I can and the one I imagine is a better fit. The music itself is some good black metal, not really harsh or low-fi, yet they do not abandon their aggressive or hateful roots altogether either. No it is a little crisper, with a slight punchy metal edge, but that edge is rounded off by some of the symphonic elements and nice rhythms and well thought out, catchy harmonies. The music is really pretty solid, it could honestly use a bit more flow though, it is a tad rigid and not always seamless when transitioning from straight up parts to the more symphonic or melodic sections. But that will come with time; I am sure because there obviously is some imagination and talent on display here with Where Fate Lies Unbound. I think fans of the more symphonic or melodic black metal and folk sounding bands will be interested in this one. Yes it is not without its faults, but at the same time it nicely displays a talented band still finding their way they just need to work on those vocals first, of course.  – Dale  




"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     




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