Saturday, November 2, 2019

BLOOD INCANTATION - Interdimensional Extinction (2015)

The Black Space, Our Only Almighty

Blood Incantation is yet another band in my listener's career which discography I met inconsecutively. The first sounds of these Denver based madmen stroke my senses under the „Starspawn” name and demolished me completely. Well, it was just a coincidence, I wanted to buy their stuff and the debut landed on my desk firstly. So it was pretty sure for me that this reviewed Ep, somberly called „Interdimensional Extinction”, would be the title for my collection eventually. Of course, if I hadn't had opportunity to meet their 2016 debut, I would have gotten my attention to it, no two ways about it. Why? Because no one can miss its front cover, the Bruce Pennington artwork from 1973, a true eyesnare. It is absolutely stunning: by using only two basic colors, he managed to depict the most ominous thing for every human being – the Black Space, where we are but just nothing...

Before writing about the musical content, it's worth to glance at the logo as well, a proper thing for depressive black or any goregrind slamming crew. But no, not a bit of it, Blood Incantation is just pure death metal act. And what's more, the band seems to be one of the brightest stars on the metal firmament. Their merely eighteen minutes first serious title is a cosmic journey: fascinating yet frightening to the bone, with no signs of accidentality (sometimes rather as controlled chaos). As for production side, the sounds are fresh and organic despite completely digital form, it supports the music which has been given in awesome shape. Fore sure, killing fretless bass parts played by Damon Good as a session musician are really worth checking out closely! And if I had to play in musical comparisons or parallels, I would enumerate debut album of Demilich on the first place I guess, maybe with a bit of Nocturnus from „The Key” era, however without that huge amount of Louis Panzer works. These mentioned bands are one thing, but in my opinion the Americans play in the same masterful league like Mexicans from worshipped The Chasm. However their deathly visions are different, but with the final impressions to be pretty much similar.

The whole is really varied, where many fine ideas have got its right place. There is even a room for clean vocals and Moog section. And despite drowning in technical display, being broken and turbulent, this Ep is very easy to swallow in full. Then the cosmic energy (as the booklet precisely says: cosmic echoes to the underground) enslaves the flesh and the soul. Seemingly Blood Incantation doesn't try to be the fastest band in the universe and rather mid tempo prevail, yet some outbreaks of rampant speed are present as well. With old-schoolish-driven crushing riffs, quite melodius leads, acoustic parts in „Obfuscating the Linear Threshold”, atmospheric opening in „Hovering Lifeless” or horror-like ending in the last one, the puzzle becomes to be just another great title on my shelf. And after many meetings with it, still I cannot write which track is the best one. It proves the stuff is quality equal, since the very first seconds to the end of „Subterranean Aeon” - my senses ride through the galaxies, black holes, stargates, beyond the light, beyond human life form, beyond the known universe... with only the Black Space as a comate. But this is not the end of the endless journey, as „Starspawn” is going to visit the Tulum Codex pages very, very soon...


93/100
-Tlacaxipehualiztli

(written in November, 2019)


Monday, October 21, 2019

DECEPTIONIST - Initializing Irreversible Process (2016)


Introducing Imminent Denouement

There are so many members connections in the world of Italian (brutal) death metal kingdom, please take a look on Fleshgod Apocalypse, Hideous Divinity and Hour of Penance to name just a few. And yes, Deceptionist isn't a rookie in the family, being yet another deathly hybrid on the scene. Founded by Antonio Poletti (ex-Hideous Divinity guitarist, he took part in „Cobra Verde” recording) and Claudio Testini, musically they do not flee from the standards once given. Such tunes are roots and boiling blood for Deceptionist's musical message and they play in the same league: it is served technical, it's incredibly brutal and intense, but luckily Antonio didn't copy unthinkingly more known precursors. What's more, his own visions led him to something original...

Of course, it's impossible to omit Pär Olofsson front cover art – it draws attention immediately giving clear understanding what are lyrics all about. And forty seconds of „It's Just Begun” introduction that contains of samples is a breath of mentioned originality. It's nothing new in music at all, yet Italians used it in a very good way gaining an atmosphere of futuristic reality, lowering and inevitable, reality that humanity will face sooner or later. Production-wise, it is maintained in definitely modern standards, and I cannot imagine this album with old-school touch in the vein of Sunlight or Morrisound. Anyway, it's totally sterile, soulless, machine-like... and perfectly fits the sounds and Deceptionist's concept.

As written before, the band is an Italian scene child with Hideous Divinity as one of the fathers, yet some brave journeys into Necrophagist's first album domain are discernible: in most broken „Final Innovation / Automatic Time” or „Sunshine”. The musical content doesn't let me feel bored, there are many slow-downs, however it's obvious the sound carnage is the main key to enslave the mind and the body. Luckily, using of samples in such an extensive form, isn't a determinant to name this album industrial (which I really do not like), yet track called „Industrivolutionaction” isn't my cup of tea whatsoever. Each (mechanical) component has its own place: rather one-dimensional and pretty clear Andrea's kind of growls, quite catchy riff layers, interesting leads, 'I'm not a human at all'-like Claudio's battery and lashing bass parts with the best moments in „Quest for Identity”.

Summarizing this debut, yes, it's a pretty decent piece of (modern) death metal. The adjective modern in the case is absolutely significant, as it is impossible to swallow for old-schools freaks I guess. Anyway, this red piece of wax is a frequent visitor for my gramophone. Not only because it's crude, merciless, bestial and no-human stuff. For sure the pervasive futuristic aura did a huge and overpowering impact on me. Samples are one thing, but the closing part of „When Humans Began to Be Machines” is highly frightening and totally nontypical for the album. Thus, could I name it kinda climatic album? Probably yes, in some sick way. And one more interesting thing on the end: although there are many great moments here, the best one is „Irreversible Process” lasting three and a half minute and altering effectively my body into the machine. Amazing, indeed. And really harrowing...

85/100
-Tlacaxipehualiztli

(written in October, 2019)


Tuesday, August 6, 2019

MASS BURIAL - Gangrene Hymns (2013)


When Music and Medicine Collide: At War with Anaerobes

In our modern times it is impossible to follow and then listen carefully to all the metal bands emerging from far and near. What's more, it is impossible to follow all the stuff with Swedish death metal flyer. Well, I came across Mass Burial when got their second full-length somewhere in 2018, and decided to buy this Ep without a flick. Released under the banner of Polish label Wydawnictwo Muzyczne Psycho, it strikes the sight organ with absolutely neat bicolor front-cover done by Juanjo Castellano. Musically, Mass Burial doesn't try to walk away from mentioned earlier old-school genre, even for a while (but yes, there is one surprise). With the very first seconds of „Beaten, Chopped and Eaten by the Porks” I face the storm of well-known stuff. Neither experiments nor unecessary quirks, just a pure tribute to the music I have been worshipping since first „Left Hand Path” / „Clandestine” meeting. During this gangrene madness, the Spaniards head to Dismember heritage mainly. And I have an impression that they mixed their two albums: „Death Metal” and „Hate Campaign”, however the structures are made of more rampant rhythms. The Spaniards boldly use it in each song, mentioned beginning of the track is the best example, here supported by furious leading guitar and absolutely memorable riffs. Then, add to the whole the guitar tone that no one can miss and the proper dosage of melody, and the formula for good old-school shit is just ready.

I wrote 'bout the speed. The same goes with catchiness. Deftly they dose such moments, not only as rhythm guitar is mentioned, but also when it refers to the leads, just take a listen to the ending part of „Unit 731” or two leads in the opener. And when ten minutes pass, „Persecution Mania” finishes the menu. Yes, you're not wrong, this is the Sodom cover. It has been played the decent way and nothing more than that, yet I'm still asking myself what this song is doing here? For sure it doesn't fit here, it ruins a bit the final impression, but if the cover song is needed as air to breathe, I'd like to hear any Dismember piece for the end of the title.

„Gangrene Hymns” seems to be kinda pass for a bigger label. The next second album has been released by Spanish Pathologically Explicit Recordings with two songs taken from the Ep, „Unit 731” and „Gangrene”. I truly do not know if it helped in any way, as the scene nowadays is overcrowded by such bands as Mass Burial, however if only good music really counts, these ten minutes of Swedish insanity are worthy of some careful spins as I do from time to time. Anyway, the band is still active, all the members are pretty active in many various bands, so the metal blood is warm incessantly. With no time for the rest, 2019 brings another title for their discography, the tilte I should check out sooner or later. Thus, let the gangrene flows through the veins of the dead. Or... something like that.


70/100
-Tlacaxipehualiztli

(written during July and August, 2019)

Sunday, June 30, 2019

HAEMORRHAGE - Obnoxious (2014)


The Obnoxious Files: Anatomizing the Past

Primarily released as a part of double vinyl split with Christ Denied in February, 1995, it has finally landed on my (operating) table in the month of April, 2019. Unfortunately it isn't the old version, I've got cd re-issue made by Mexican Diablos Recs in gatefold cardboard and finally disgorged in 2017, which is yet another „Obnoxious” title as Power It Up label gave it a vinyl life once again in April, 2014. What's more, the track order has been put on „Haematology” compilation from 2007 with all the content remastered at VRS Studios. It's not the end with sound play, it has been remastered for the newest releasing at the House of Grind once more with two bonus songs added. As Luisma once commented, it has been released as an advance for the upcoming debut album under the banner of Morbid Records. Each „Obnoxious” track had its place on „Emetic Cult”. Then, front cover from mentioned „Haematology” compilation was supposed to be the artwork for the split, yet nobody knows why it didn't happen. As compared to the first edition, 2014 has a bit different cover. Obnoxious title disappear from the right side and appeared down below with no eyeballs and written in capitals. Such a change.

All right, let's leave this historical overview. I perfectly know all the songs and there's no any surprise for me. That's true, „Reek of Putrefaction” and „Symphony of Sickness” albums were absolutely known for the Spaniards and if the general impression has got a lot of common things with the Liverpool gorefathers, however I would lie claiming „Obnoxious” is a piece of brainless copy. No, absolutely no. The idea is to keep it simple, brutally honest, and with overwhelming pathological touch. What's interesting, the music is served in rather slow or moderate paces, even meteoric shots like „Cadaveric Metamorphose” with some headbanging rhythms or „Anatomized” has got a room for breather. Those slowdowns really smash the organs especially on the beginning of „Expectorating Pulmonary Mucupurulence” and on the end of „Fermented Post-Mortem Disgorgement”. Such a skillful dosing of different tempo when the blasting speed isn't a key factor, makes this release very absorbing since the first seconds of „Nekromantik” prelude, and putting it a bit laconic, Haemorrhage just managed to create sick atmosphere. For sure, a round of applause to the realization of sound with new remastering, definitely it helps here, especially rhythm section lines has its place in the morgue. I don't care if „Emetic Cult” contains the whole of „Obnoxious”, for me as a kinda psycho fan of the band since the ages, this issue is a real pathomusical banquet: seven gore tools in twenty-two and a half minutes, being extremely good start on their medical crusade. Summing it in one sentence: it's an uncontrollable proliferation of goregrind. Lusciously!

85/100
-Tlacaxipehualiztli

(written in June, 2019)

Saturday, June 22, 2019

SAVIOR - Podział (2019)

The Salvific Convention

After two years since the first debut Ep has been thrown to the underground, Savior strikes back and tries to save some souls with its visions of metal. For starters, it's a good piece of news that beside digital versions, there's a physical format released simultaneously, given in a rather modest form with lyrics, wrong track order and grim band's photography. Yep, that's right, joke is over now, as Savior simply got matured in every aspect as compared to the previous „Panów pan”. First of all, still keeping sound realization in the underground frames, they got it more organic, maybe at the cost of first Ep rawness a bit, yet the result is pretty satisfying, especially when it comes to drums. Secondly, the first words alert it won't be a nice excursion. That's true, two years of rehearsals, gigs and countless drops of sweat should be a drayhorse to reach any progress and the opening song called „Ty” confirms this natural way of development. And if „Ciemne ludy” had some broken rhythms, here I have a real feast of tunes in the vein of Artillery, being fantastic mix of „Cybermind” and „Khomaniac”: catchy riffs, not easy for headbanging arythmic driven paces, gentle guitar passage in the middle and agonizing Jordan's vocals. One shot, one kill and one wonder at the same time... Only two and a half minutes run extremely fast, leaving me with an 'I want fuckin' more such a mutilation, guys' impression...

The Ep contains of three songs clocking in twelve minutes, and it's a clever measure. Each track has something different to offer and so is the next „Obywatel”. Preceded by horror-movie introduction... wait, wait, no, I need to hold my horses, too much goregrind stuff lately. All right, once again: preceded by short talk about the main colours in Polish society, it becomes a song with less thrashing vibes and more clean Jordan vocals, based on fast memorable theme, with changing tempo and furious lead. But the best is yet to come. I mean, the closing and the longest one is a kind of twist ending for sure, being an obvious evidence the band doesn't want to be a slave of any limits or constraints. Despite Vektorish-like portions of riffs, Savior tries to sneak out the thrashing formula, providing both calmer acoustic sounds with melodic chanting and all-consuming drum cannonades that hook death metal domain. And in contrast to this controlled sonic speedy disruption, the second part seems to be a couch potato: very, very slow pace dominates and when it doesn't want to go fast, Jordan changes his voice to more guttural. Yes, these slowdowns in the vein of Dying Fetus or Ingested really smash all the organs without any mercy! That is completely unexpected, yet it sounds absolutely perfect to me. Believe me, I listened to many thrash slabs for years and such a method of sonic execution is given for the first time in the genre, I guess. What's more, „Nam B(Jaro)sław” has a chorus no one can miss. Simply, a highlight!

In a deep sorrow I must avow I missed their last gig this June during the next editon of „The Massacre of the Innocents”, as my son didn't share my enthusiasm and preferred to slaughter me during FIFA 19 game to listen to any metal noise. You know, priorities. Anyway, it's not a challenging task to summarize „Podział”. I am very pleased with the final effort, even if the short adjective aspires to be one of the most important word on the board. Well, as mentioned above, there is a progress, vision and off the chain youth. The holy trinity that will lead them to a full-length, I hope. I'd like to write all the doors are open for them... but unfortunately I have to quote Tadeusz Sznuk 'not exactly' right now, as due to the whole lyrical content, Savior won't be invited on PiS convention, however I've got a strange feeling the band will handle the issue.

80/100
-Tlacaxipehualiztli

(written in June, 2019, in searing heat)


Sunday, June 16, 2019

NASTY SURGEONS - Exhumation Requiem (2017)

At Surgical Cafeteria: Human Flesh Is Also Food

Writing that Spanish death metal scene is really interesting these days seems to be a cheap slogan. There are many bands worthy of note and Nasty Surgeons are one of them beyond a shadow of a doubt. Directed by Raúl Weawer, it has been created to bring more brutal and rotting sounds after twenty years of activity in his previous melo-death Mistweaver. This, in turn, led Burgos surgeons to exhuming the old death-gore-grind flesh. With no tape demo or even digital single, they signed a deal with Xtreem Music and „Exhumation Requiem” saw the light of January day in 2017. But I didn't buy it because they are from Spain. No, it was great Juanjo Castellano's front cover, the first thing that got my attention in the case.

The opening song „The Resurrectionists” is on the table and everything is clear for me. After ominous introduction, Spaniards strikes with sounds that defines its style without any problem. Yep, I know, Carcass was on the beginning of the road, yet the Surgeons are another killing offshoot. Two various kind of vocals, varied pace, a dose of catchy melodies with leads (the latter reminds me of Entombed's debut, superb!) and razor-sharp riffs slicing the tissues. To simplify the thing, there are many musical and lyrics influences from gods like Haemorrhage or Exhumed, yet the final conclusion is they are rather a bit slower. It means the band is definitely more death than grind, but still gore.

As I read in some interview, the music has been created in one month. Not sure if something like this can determine the sounds to be good, but „Exhumation Requiem” is an example that such kind of realization works here really fine. All is fresh, without calculation, yet splendidly kept in the genre frames. Even if the front-cover may mislead a bit, the lyrical content is mostly related to surgeries. As for production, both studios Undead and Sinergia gave it a proper vibe for the old-school, I mean, it's neither old-fashioned, nor too modern, it sounds just great especially bass line got the room. Then there is a space for short opening introductions (in four tracks to be more precise) that don't disturb at all, with the best one in „Nasty Surgeons” song: after gentle speech which seems to be kinda surgical credo (and later all the lyrics for the track), nice relaxing and idyllic-like melody is given to the audience to become one of the best medical tool on the album immediately afterwards. There is no filler track, each song has something interesting to offer, no matter if it is really solid and bone-crushing portions of riff cascade in „Human Flesh Is Also Food” and „Autopsy's Protocol” or mostly slow mincing paces in „The Creation of the Monstrosity” and „Devoured Alive”. For sure I have to mention all guitar leads, they're very interesting, compelling, perfectly fit to the sick structure and simply make this album better. Just take a notice on „Burnt with Sulfuric Acid” with two fantastic lead explosions, the first lead in mentioned „Autopsy's Protocol” or total leading madness in the ending title track that opened by the theme based on Chopin's Funeral March.

This promising band offers good music level in all forty minutes. Even if inspirations are quite obvious for them, the performance is more than decent with every aspect of the release, not ignoring memorable song titles and lyrics as well. But... wait, there is only one moment that made me a bit wonder: pretty strange guitar work in „Antemortem Dissection” lasting a dozen seconds (2:02 – 2:26) that suits better for groove or metalcore style, I think. Anyway, while writing these words, the new album has been ready since July, 2018, oozing its infectious stench and invading the underground air. It seems there's no time to rest for nasty surgeons... so, let the operation begin!

90/100
-Tlacaxipehualiztli

(written in June, 2019)

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

RAVENOUS DEATH - Chapters of an Evil Transition (2019)

Evil Transition: Awakening of the Damned Ones

The main reason I purchased this album was Ravenous Death's previous „Ominous Deathcult” Ep, really noteworthy piece of rotting death metal. I was just curious if this debut shot wasn't an one-night stand as all the members are involved in other different bands or projects. Luckily, the Mexicans went malapertly ahead and recorded those chapters, this time under the banner of Memento Mori bigger label, so the better production isn't just a sheer coincidence, I guess. Then, the next change appeared in the line-up as Miguel Angel left the band for serious healthy reasons (however he wrote music for three tracks) and Victor Mercado entered as a new leading vocalist. So, the scene has been infected in January this year, with ten completely new songs in the vein of... Yes, that's right, in the vein of pure death metal. And you know what? With the very first seconds of opening „Prelude to Evilness” I can see the goosebumps forming on my skin: this is slow introduction, mysterious and dark, with fantastic main riffing and ominous noises in the background. Having no time for a rest, „Doomed to Exist” strikes with full force and there is no any moment of surprise...

Well, the first meeting with the album was a little bit misdefining. I mean, not about the genre of course, but I got the impression that Esteban and his drums ordnance ruled the space. Next listens assured me it wasn't an incessant drum blast. What's more, the musicians avoided the boredom and monotony bringing just good and diversified portions of music within aforementioned style where inventing a wheel once again is absolutely redundant. My first connotations headed for two Vader's albums „The Ultimate Incantation” and „De Profundis” if the guitar and drum work is concerned and for old Demigod if I would like to underline some slower parts and its eerie melodies. Such a mixture supported by Mexican hot passionate blood and metal dedication results just a good old-school slab.

Yes, to mutilate the senses is the main purpose. And if the speed is the key in a way, there are a lot of memorable slowdowns. I still remember such tunes from „Rotten Flesh Murderer” and here I can easily indicate another ones in „Evil Dementia” (with pure Finnish scene worship), „Awakening of the Damned” starting at 1:23 which is quintessence of the style or the beginning of „The Sinister Being” with fantastic melody at 2:23. In turn, „Massacre Cult”, definitely written in the vein of Remains (but it's not a surprise as it was composed by Miguel himself) is an interesting collage of catchy leads and enraged destructive paces. I know I wrote about style purity, yet two more tracks should be mentioned right now. They are a bit different, „Initiation Ritual” has distinct yet short sounds familiar to melodic black metal (Dissection, Sacramentum), the closing track „Soul Consumed by the Occult” (mere fact, the last song from their Ep has word 'occult' in the title as well...) distinguishes itself from the rest by killing guitar parts with strong Spanish Ataraxy touch, being an exquisite closing song for the end.

This album is nothing but the evidence. The evidence that one may create gripping stuff using once invented and recorded things. Old-school is the spinal column throughout, the Mexicans were able to add the rest, boldly, precisely and at last successfully. All the pieces of the puzzle fit together, from scary and no hope giving front cover to rather not typical for such a genre Victor's gutturals, from ominous atmosphere to each single hard hitting ravenous riff. The sounds skelter along ruining the serenity without any mercy revealing something new to adore with every next meeting. And I tell you, as compared to the previous Ep, the transition has been done. Now, the band is a beast, ready to inscribe another death metal chapters. I wait.

88/100
-Tlacaxipehualiztli

(written in April, 2019)

Sunday, February 17, 2019

HAEMORRHAGE / DISGORGE - Morgue Metal (2011)

The Mortuariumfilled Highlights

Such a split release was just a matter of time, I guess. Two highly respected bands, the true connoisseurs of human anatomy and diligent students of pathophysiology lectures united the forces to vomit musical entrails into absorbent layers of the underground. And believe me, these 22 minutes are anything but just a gore grind knockout. Three opening tracks shown by the Spaniards have been extracted in VRS Studio (like their „Apology for Pathology” and „Hospital Carnage” albums), so the sound is satisfying, very similar to the split with Dead. Musically I didn't expect any surprises, what's more, the first one „Buried in Viscera” delivers everything Haemorrhage is loved for: being one of the longest piece in their discography clocking in almost four minutes with slow, fast and absurdly fast paces, catchy riffs, obnoxious vocals, long guitar lead (all right, it's not obvious for them), mortuary-like atmosphere. Yeah, it's perfect for me. The second „Chainsaw Necrotomy” known from aforementioned split with Dead hasn't got an introduction, in turn „Reamputated” lasting one and a half minute fits into the pattern of merciless short gore choppings, such popular in Haemorrhage family.

Disgorge part is really worth a damn, as it is their last created stuff so far. And bringing some dates on the operating table: recorded at Inzonic studio in 2009 during two days and released as „Morgue Metal” two years later. The count is easy: eight years have passed and nothing indicates I will see new album this year (or ever???). Ok, first of all, I don't agree with some opinions the realization of sound ruined this Mexican side. For sure it differs from „Gore Blessed to the Worms” (same studio, same engineer) which has more human, but still deformed, face. This time, the sound is focused on extreme rawness and harshness and shrithes to the well-known Swedish dimension sometimes. Musically each song has something interesting to offer, providing very energetic and severe portions of sonic lunacy. Yep, there are pace changes through the whole, there are diverse Edgar vocals that prove he's not worse than Antimo himself. The four tracks flow with sickness and inconceivable putridity cumulating in closing „Corpus in Pest”. Its ending slow mesmerizing part, similar to „Pest.Blood.Metal” fragment from last album, just left me speechless making this track one of the best in Disgorge's anatomic crusade. Such catchy rhythm one may find in „And the Pus Goes On”, just like obscenely slow beginning of „Putrefest”. For sure, there is no space for jokes, everything is dead serious, still with gentle touch of „Symphonies of Sickness”, but mainly with its own ideas and corporeal morbus charm. And it's pity these thirteen minutes are the last bricks for the goregrind morgue, but I return to it very, very often. That's right, „Morgue Metal” as another kind of metal fascinates me hugely, being one of the best splits in my collections... But wait, didn't you hear, the doorway has just been closed... It's morgue time!

90/100
-Tlacaxipehualiztli

(written in February, 2019)




Wednesday, December 26, 2018

ASEDIO - Mi nombre es legión (2018)

III: I Am Legion

Six years. Six long years have passed since releasing the second album of Asedio, the album that completely wrecked my senses. Its destructiveness and mental addiction forced me to worship this cult of rebellion. It was back then and you know what? Nothing has been changed so far and nothing is going to be changed. „El orígen de todos los males”, as a natural follower of crushing debut „Somos nada”, is still one of the best recordings spat into the underground this century. Yep, nothing has changed if quality of music is concerned, however there are things that should be mentioned right now. The band now is four piece as Andrés took the vocal duties, they went through some line-up changes, cut their hair and altered a bit own logo. Of course all these elements don't mean the band followed the way of Paulina Rubio. Fortunately, Asedio is still on the proper trail. I mean, their smeltery is active and delivers metal goods incessantly...

… however the front-cover made me a bit wonder as it reminded Golden Dragon of Unity that appeared in Mulan part 2, but I don't think the whole concept of the album has been based on Chinese history in a something way. As for production side, they threw dirty underground brand aside and offered more clean and orderly tunes. And for sure bass lines are the winner in this sauce with the best example in the title song. Musically the opener haven't got such a clout as compared to „Batalla contra la esperanza” or „Morbosidad del alma”. Moreover, this beginning with a bit faster „Pensamientos asesinos” disappointed me after first meetings. In addition, an instrumental acoustic piece that divided the sequence stiltedly didn't convince me at all. And yes, that's true the band doesn't offer complex ideas and completely broken rhythms, but I needed many, many careful listens to get the point of the third. Precisely, with an uncountable amount of hours I can write righteously (damn, as always!) „Mi nombre es legión” did not beat their previous works. After two splendid albums my expectations were extremely high...

All right then, let's start once again... I wrote about general impressions concerning two first tracks. „Árido infierno” starts in a slow way being some kind of answer rather to melodic death metal than thrash itself. Undoubtedly, there are catchy riffs, tempo changes, brand-new guitar lead and Spanish only roars. What's interesting, the song ends with an „infierno” word, just like in „Morbosidad del alma”. The next one shows different opening tunes, initially it's played more mechanical way, but it is clear evidence Asedio tries to find something new. I could compare this situation to Sepultura's „Arise” where Brazilians proposed new sounds in comparision to „Beneath the Remains”. The Asedio way is a bit shy, yet it is a good prognostic for the future. Admittedly the start wasn't a piece of cake and giving myself a short summation, I have been convinced by these two songs eventually. Simply I had to give them a chance. You know, something like 'patience is a virtue'.

And finally the third one in the family is the reason to write: all kidding aside! „Sangre inocente” is not only the best one here, but one of the best songs I have heard during this century. Fantastic portion of riffs in pure thrashing madness style with a stamp of sorrowful melodies take my heart without any mercy. There's a time for memorable slow down, there's a time for killing guitar lead in definitely Asedio style. But the best is yet to come: this mentioned leads turn into sounds in the vein of British masters like Paradise Lost (especially some similarities to „True Belief”) and finest moments from Bolt Thrower's „The IVth Crusade”. All mixed in perfect way made this track a real highlight. I just love such kind of mournful, melancholic yet catchy tunes. Genius!

That's not the end of new stuff or surprises. For example „Contra la muerte de la luz” with its beginning fitting to Running Wild's „Death or Glory” album – phenomenal thing! In a flash it stuck to mind bringing another pirate memories. For sure very interesting melody parts in the middle with dominant bass are worthy of note. As for structures and riffs „Anarquía” with rousing leads, re-recorded „Días de furia” (it sounds absolutely better) and „La horas violentas” which falls like a wall after aforementioned „Los crímenes del amor” keep the old Asedio genetics. And if we are one foot in biomolecular dimension, the closing title song has got some modifications in Asedio DNA strand. The four Mexicans obtained entirely new musical sample. Of course, it's still hot metal, yet served in a very intriguing manner.

I found verdict earlier, but it doesn't mean Asedio recorded a weak album. For sure it's not equal and its weaker mark results from differences in song qualities. There is an excellent leader, there are great songs and just good as well. The band explores unknown areas, doesn't avoid experiments, and what's more, all their efforts work in a good way at least. It is good evidence that balancing on the edge of melodic death metal and thrash, gives an opportunity to create fantastic tracks. I didn't expect „El orígen de todos los males” replica and I didn't get such a record fortunately. The newest one is a bit different but this fits to the whole musical Asedio message. I can feel the music flows smoothly, without any obstacles or barriers, I enjoy the record from start to finish, giving it pretty high mark in the end. Six years have passed, it seems they're just good friends with passion, vigour and ingenuity. Good metal is still detectable. Ah, and one more thing, there's no „Victimas de la prohibición” and „Vastagos del miedo” case as all tracks are finished. Finally.

90/100
-Tlacaxipehualiztli

(written in December, 2018)



Sunday, October 21, 2018

LOVEBITES - Battle Against Damnation (2018)

Higher and Higher!

Only few months passed since the Lovebites splendid debut album has broken down the door to my world and overturned a fair amount of titles on the shelf. The ladies seem to follow 'make hay while the sun shines' adage and do it a serious way, furthermore, giving a live show at Wacken Open Air on August of 2018, they became the first Japanese all-female rock band to visit this German festival. And even if another European performances have been scheduled for this year, four new songs managed to complete their third offer. The magic of „Awakening from Abyss” provoked extremely high expectations for new Ep, and as compared to the full-length, one thing should be mentioned at first: three songs have been written by Miyako („Break the Wall” with a help of Miho). For me it's pretty clear, she is becoming a musical leader in the crew. The first one called „The Crusade” was also chosen to be a promotional video piece and... I liked it instantly. Being a modern version of Iron Maiden's „Be Quick or Be Dead”, it's like a war hammer hit in my occiput. And if this heavy song confirms the whiteness is still in great condition, Asami left me speechless. That's true she showed herself as a volcano of true emotions, but in „The Crusade” (during chorus in particular), she is full uncontrollable vitality when she sings „... break free, fight to live on, forever strong...”.

After such an optimistic yet furious opening Lovebites craft „Break the Wall” which is described in the booklet as the fastest and most aggressive song in band's short history. Very mechanic, with almost thrash-based portions of riffs it does a havoc. But, wait, not all the time, there's a surprise, an unexpected guest in the middle: after the duo leads, one-minute lasting fabulous calm break appears. This great balance of emotions shifts the song into something spectacular. In turn the second part of the Ep has been influenced by Rachmaninoff. If „Above the Black Sea” is concerned, „Piano Concerto No. 2” is the main reason Miyako wrote that song and payed the homage to his work. Her vision worked here perfectly, it's worthy to mention amazing guitar leads from both guitarists. And just as on the debut, one track belongs at least to Mao as a music writer, however „Under the Red Sky” seems to be the answer to European power metal, especially when it comes to bombastic chorus. Based on mentioned Russian, it is very optimistic song in musical form, sometimes, in the second part, even fairy-tale with seraphic voice of Asami.

So, is there anything to complain about? Seemingly the Lovebites machine looks impeccably, but I'd like to hear louder Miho lines in the final mix on next recording. Yep, exactly, as the new album called „Clockwork Immortality” has been announced to be released on 5th December 2018. This year! That's absolutely incredible, however I'm not fully surprised at the news as they're just toiling Japaneses. And I am not afraid of the result: the band is in very good form providing fascinating piece of music since its beginning. It is young vivid and modest (just take a look on liner notes from the booklet) organism with absolutely fanstastic cooperation, especially in Midori and Miyako performance. In conclusion, these twenty-one minutes are totally worthy to fight against (musical) damnation and looking at the song titles with their four definite articles, I can write: The Lovebites.

88/100
-Tlacaxipehualiztli

(written in October, 2018)

Sunday, May 13, 2018

DESULTORY - Through Aching Aeons (2017)


Now, the Aching Aeons

You know, their previous album „Counting Our Scars” was something spectacular bringing lethal sounds after many years of dry spell. Still having in mind the terrible number three, I am somewhere in the middle, torn between joy with a new title at last and unimaginable regret, because 2017 year seems to be most significant date in their career being just the last one as they announced it seriously. With such an attitude towards these forty-four minutes I proceed to face the thing. And to put it briefly, they didn't fail. If the front cover isn't a strong point right now, the production from Necromorbus depths is a highlight here, but as compared to the predecessor it got rawer sound with more readable bass lines. The first song couldn't be better way to open the album up: „Silent Rapture” confirms extremely good condition of Swedes even though seven long years have passed since I was counting my scars. Using the same methods of execution, musicians delivered me fantastic death metal once again. Although it is natural follow-up of the number four, the Swedes put emphasis on simplicity describing it in one word. The album is way faster, and such paces dominate. At first spins mentioned speedy marks were the first thing that made my senses open wide and even they do not play technical stuff, I needed many careful meetings to know what the album is all about. Anyway, there is no song similar to „The Moment Is Gone”, yet everything the band is known for, is served here in killing proportions.

As the whole „Through Aching Aeons” is incredibly equal, I cannot choose the leader. And I really don't want to do it, I just absorb the music from the first to the last second. That's the way it works fully and I always try to listen in such a way, completely absent to reality. Like their classic titles. again nine songs that left me speechless, no matter if I listen to the simplest vulcanoes of all-consuming energy in „Spineless Kingdom”, „In This Embrace” and „Slither” or songs containing absolutely splendid layers of catchiness in the opener, title track or „Beneath the Bleeding Sky”. In this dish, the band managed to stick compelling parts of acoustic guitars in „Beneath the Bleeding Sky” as well as desolation-bathed opening piano tunes in „Divine Blindness”, both as something new for them definitely. But giving all the tracklist isn't my purpose, each track is made of Desultory stamp and their musical madness I've admired breathless for so many years. And if both music and lyrics feature pervasive sadness, despair, woe or lack of hope, the last „Our Departure” merges all the feelings up, multiplies it and makes a speech to me that this is the inevitable end...

Waiting for this album seemed to have no final releasing date. Soon after distressing news appeared and somehow changed the way I felt this last band's work. In any case, Desultory left the scene excellently bringing me another fantastic title: with no weak moments, musical dullness, stagnation or copying the sounds once created. Every single while beams with genuine and passionate music created by mature musicians and their off the chain visions along the way. I fully understand the band says the final farewell to the scene in best possible way, just delivering the goods one more time, yet being at war with my thoughts I am now prone to write that „Through Aching Aeons” is kinda Pyrrhic victory. Even if every band will reach its end and put the instruments to the grave, it is too early for such a band Desultory is. Oversimplifying: extremely good music, many souls broken... Anyway, I don't wanna bawl my eyes out and pour my heart to anyone. Desultory has brilliant releases on its deathly trail, it has become one of the best musical forms since I've listened to the debut for the first time while deflowering pirated tape with wrong song order. The newest one is nothing but a real confirmation of their domination in my metal world. And still, our journey through those aching aeons has been lasting since 1993... into eternity!

(...your trace will never fade...)

98/100
-Tlacaxipehualiztli

(written in May, 2018)

Sunday, April 15, 2018

XIPE TOTEC - Axomimitl (2017)

Mexicayotl Equals Mexicanidad

After my four reviews of Xipe Totec titles, it is challenging task to write anything new I haven't already done earlier, as Martin and Alex still ride in the dimension once created during „Eztlacuani” session times. I can't imagine any changes of style, I do not expect any changes of style and I got what I was asking for. Surely, three long years between „Miquian” and „Axomimitl” were something new for the band and I do not need to write how I was curious about Martin's new ideas and visions. The album brings eight tracks with an ending mostly acoustic outro, becoming one of the best records released last year. That means the band didn't let me down once again. Starting with the best front cover so far done by Alex and again with MAT studio sound realization placed somewhere between „Eztlacuani” and „Miquian” providing really energized bass lines, the two opening songs are just pure killers that leave my thoracic cage open and bleeding. Besides the things I have known the band for years there is a room for some kind of a breather: bass passage and drums solo (similar to Dew of Nothing song „Doomed by Omen Circus”) in „Cihuateteo” and rhythm section display in the title song. And mind you that this second track after slow almost forty second beginning mammocks the senses in a flash with ravaging paces and delivering slight melodic influences from Dissection's second album. Yes, Xipe Totec couldn't serve better opening for the album!

Even if Martin is absolutely faithful to his clearly defined musical visions, it's easy to hear through the sound avalanches there are some new things put here and there. Songs are longer and what's the most interesting, I have an impression that using prehispanic instruments has been cut a bit. Two tracks „Tonalyecantoc” and „Cuahxicalli” consist of atmospheric gruesome parts reminding me about similar fragments on Nile's „In Their Darkened Shrines”. For sure some melodic lines from „In Mimiqueh In Tlahtol” (an ending part), „Miquihtotl” and „Tlachihualiztli” are absolutely fresh air to the structure making the whole more interesting. Then, as an introduction to the first song, some samples from „Retorno a Aztlán” movie (to be more precise, it isn't anything new in Martin's career, just take a listen to Miquian's album „Tlaltecuhtli”), a short chat with archeologist on Xipe Totec cult in „Ahneli Tlahtolnemiliztli” or the complete novelty: mostly acoustic last song...

Thus, is there anything I should grumble about? Well, after maaany meetings with the album, my 'problem' concerns two mentioned tracks. The opening riffs from „Tlachihualiztli” don't convince me at all, the last one seems to be ill-thought out (spoken intro, prehispanic intruments and acoustic tunes given separately), although guitar catchiness is major-league in this blend. Of course, I do not treat it as a serious mistake, just like „Roots Bloody Roots” cover on „In Moyocoyani”, yet it drags „Axomimitl” down a bit. All right then, so how do I treat this album? My regular blog reader (hm, if there is anybody like that) should notice without any problem Xipe Totec belongs to one of my all-time favourite crews and with The Chasm and Desultory to the best death metal trinity in my collection. And summing the things up, this album is yet another proof that Xipe Totec music is still extreme and still extremely fantastic: riffs, leads, drum works, indigenous instruments, Alex bestial growls and Nahuatl lyrics. Martin surprises all the time with his great talent, there is neither time for boredom nor depletion even if they breathe death metal genre only. Changelessly, it is vivid, fresh, gory, sense devastating and with Mexica national heritage mighty spirit. Simply, this is Mexican metal of death keeping the glorious past alive...

95/100
-Tlacaxipehualiztli

(written in April, 2018)

Thursday, March 29, 2018

EXIST - Get Your Own (2017)

Thrash Sells... But Who's Buying?

The thing was simple: I bought the newest issue of Metal Up! magazine, read an intie with enthusiastic review, and purchased my own copy of the debut Exist's Ep. Well, this is how it works, doesn't it? Modestly released in an independent way as digipak it struck my tired eyes with terrifying sentence 'all lyrics available on our Youtube channel' placed down under the band's photography. I avow you, after reading the last word, I fell my chair off. And I'm asking you right now: what the hell is that? Is this a complete PHYSICAL release? You can call me a geezer and I might know nothing about our modern metal times, but believe me, it's not the proper way. You know, all or nothing. Damn, of course, the fact I didn't get your own lyrics in the booklet doesn't mean I would throw this into fireplace (well, it's fake, I have gas heating...). So, I got up quickly and put cd into the deck without delay.

Anyway, thumbs up, as the band made my blood run definitely faster before the first second of the music. But fortunately, the whole musical content brings positive emotions only. Supported by faultless sound realization being so far away from nowadays Sneap template, those four rookies don't follow the way of Fokus Group, DJ Rodrigo, DJ Jacek, Etna and the likes, and execute thrash metal in the vein of the biggest dinosaurs from the States, including Bay Area movement unaffectedly, with a pinch of madness of „Beneath the Remains” / „Arise” authors. But their flirt with such paradigms enforces high technical skills and precise ideas on the members. Otherwise, it sucks. Luckily, both elements work fine during the clocking time. They know how to handle their own instruments (three of them know Szosa Chełmińska street by heart, I guess), and there's nothing to complain about. The band concocted four tracks, two of them with running time over seven minutes. The opening title piece surprises from the very start with pretty long but very interesting introduction-like. A couple of memorable guitar leads, tempo changing, and seven minutes turn into three or four. But, if the vocal lines are concerned and especially when the debut is on the table, Kacper doesn't scream his lungs out. His middle range fairly convinces me, however adding more harshness and venom to the pharynx should him teleport to something better. I hope, it's the only matter of time.

To get things absolutely straight, the second song „Lawlessness” is a fantastic example how to obliterate poor lambs during the gigs. Extremely good riff-driven, a bit with Exodus lick, it mashes my tissues, giving a breather at 2:54 when short slow-down appears. It seems to be the fastest in the family and the most neck-breaking, and if the first duo is with thrash sigil exclusively, the next „On Your Own Accord” shows the narrow entry to heavy metal dimension. Maybe not so obvious and not the whole piece, but guitar passages starting at 4:12 and 5:27 take a deep bow to the heavy legends from the eighties. And as opposed to the rest, the closing one is fully heavy stuff, scandalously catchy it makes my brain cells rolling all the time, just take a listen to the fragment starting at 1:48 and admire Exist's fascination with title track from the fourth Running Wild album. Man, with my vivid imagination I can see Rock 'n' Rolf Kasparek chiming with them and shouting „they fuckin' rule!”. But wait, it's not over, there's also Steve Harris casting a smile at 5:40 and saying „Rolf, you're fuckin' right”. All in all, adding such tunes determines this song to be the softest, although I do hope Exist will be exploring thrash dimension obstinately.

We live in crazy world and it's almost impossible to keep a watchful eye on every day titles and even if band's name wasn't completely unknown for me as I found their drummer to be live Savior's musician, I didn't decide to listen to anything on Youtube (you know, the place where the lyrics live...) and just followed Tomek Woźniak opinions about „Get Your Own”. Without any expectations back then, now I'm totally amped up listening to this four-piece thrashing insanity. The next thing is the first case on the beginning of the mentioned interview broaching speedway issues in Toruń and Bydgoszcz. Well, I wouldn't be myself ignoring such topic here as I have had methanol in my veins for forty years. In a nutshell, leaving the shameful last season and comparing Exist and its debut shot to the present Toruń's situation, it's a polar opposite to Jason 'I don't need my legs to ride a bike' Doyle, Niels Kristian 'the porky cat' Iversen and Rune 'I want to ride for Częstochowa till my last breathing day' Holta mercenary spirit. Exist seems to be like Paweł Przedpełski, maybe not yet from his best performance as being under 21, but with all chances and hopes to reach similar level. Simply, the youth is coming from the city of Copernicus. But I should take a notice of „Get Your Own” is still underground execution, kept within the genre canons, and done in a right way. I know that statement 'the best metal comes from the eighties' or, as translated into modern Polish 'kurła, kiedyś to było' is quite stock today, however absolutely unfounded are the charges tagging the band an unoriginal one. This stuff simply kicks my thrashing ass, there's a speed, metal madness and catchiness, sometimes Exist goes straightforward, sometimes more complex. It's great they want to play it and they can do that but I'm really far from claiming their parents give them meldonium to the school breakfast every single day. Youth is coming, I repeat once again...

Paraphrasing a bit Britney Spears song „I'm Not a Girl, Not yet a Woman”, Exist exists somewhere in the middle of the road, I would say. The first step towards glory has been done: there is cd, there is a truck for carriage as shown on the front cover, there are stage performances. Now it's time to record a full-length, I do believe with more technical touch served completely without restraint and with lyrics in the booklet. And summing the thing up, let's summon the mighty Sesame Street for a while: surely three letters 'o', 'w', 'n' are major sponsor for my review. Three letters, three combinations: 1. own, as they already have own stuff, 2. now, as this is their time, their chance, 3. won, as definitely they won bringing me such a killing release. A little bit childish and funny, but the whole is very serious. Can't wait for your next move, youngsters!

85/100
-Tlacaxipehualiztli

(written in March, 2018)

Sunday, March 18, 2018

HAEMORRHAGE - Live Carnage: Feasting on Maryland (2013)


Baltimore Festers

It took me three long years to get this title to torture my gramophone. There were always another things to purchase, yet I didn't lose my favourite gore pathologists and their live performance from my radar. Yes, browsing Haemorrhage large discography, „Live Carnage” becomes the first proper live piece released on black wax, not counting „Grind over Europe” split from 1996 and „The Kill Sessions” executed live, but in Cata Studios. Anyway, no matter what kind of the release is, the new stuff extracted by these Spaniards is a big affair for me.

The note from the gatefold clearly declares: sound taken directly from the soundboard, no mix, no effects, no edits... this is Haemorrhage in its rawest form. And I agree with that in a full extent. Recorded at Maryland Deathfest X in Baltimore, 2012, it provides really crude murderous tune exclusively. Maybe sometimes, in guitar raging conflagration, drums disappear for a short while, on the other hand, bass lines sound fantastic, especially in „Hospital Thieves” and „911 (Emergency Slaughter)”. As for track list, it's obvious the band was promoting their last album „Hospital Carnage” at the time and the first strike consisting of three tracks comes from it. Although there are eleven tracks only, each album has its own representative, pity that my beloved „Anatomical Inferno” has merely closing „I'm a Pathologist” flagship song... Pretty interesting is fact that they shortened „Deranged for Loathsome” keeping the first slow part only, then becoming imperceptibly another song, very short „Putrescent Necromorphism”. Well, I don't think they wanted to have any ballad, yet it seems to be a breather for wrecked audience.

This is just great as it delivers me everything I expect from such a release: eleven gore highlights bathed in sonic pathological madness, with no needless introductions, just pure musical bloodbath I have known for twenty years. And of course with classic question to the maniacs: „How many pathologists...?”. Do I need more to enjoy the music in general? No. 28 minutes runs extremely fast, curt words on the end „see you next time good people” and the carnage is done. So let's face it once again as I've been a pathologist since „Grume” old times. Simple.

85/100
-Tlacaxipehualiztli

(written in March, 2018)

Monday, January 29, 2018

VOMIT THE SOUL - Apostles of Inexpression (2009)


Expressing the Soulvomiting Mechanisms

This album has been on my unending must-have list since the first sound contact with. Well, many years passed and I have finally bought it last year. It means the music and its indisputable quality isn’t any surprise for me. And if their homeland Italy wasn’t a cradle for such outfits, our present century brought many positive changes with 2000 year as a date of creating Lecco based Vomit the Soul. And as regards the band’s name, it has been taken from the Cannibal Corpse’s „Butchered at Birth” track list, though American creation isn’t the main determinant of the things to come. The Italians shows more complex sounds not forgetting about unrelenting brutality and, for sure, they are much closer to Dying Fetus, yet it is impossible naming reviewed trio Italian fan boys of Gallagher’s child.

The blast avalanche isn’t the only key to devastate the listener. What’s more, they offer medium or slow and slamming tempo most of the time. Yes, the opener „Prototypes of Values’ Incarnation” with „Unrecognized Elements Presence” are probably the only exceptions showing fast paces through the song predominantly, on the other hand most of the title has nothing in common with a word ‘speed’ at all. The important thing is the Italians are able to maintain the proper balance among changing tempoes and it works till the last seconds: the whole is perfectly crafted and arranged, offering so many goods to worship the album for aye. There’s no time for a breather, no time for introductions, with relentless clash of guitars and bass works. That’s true the album has great production and with a help of Stefano Morabito everything is served in a way it should be. Just take a listen to fantastic Andrea’s performance. He’s a real beast with the most astonishing moments in killing „Self Perception Veil”. In turn, Max provides multitude technical riffs, at first it’s not easy to swallow the thing and follow the unceasingly changing ideas as the whole is snagging, turbulent, completely broken with pervasive groove touch. But, the grinding wall of the eight isn’t murderous all the time, yet there are fragments with catchy melodies (it sounds pretty ridiculous, I know) with examples in mentioned second track or the title one. As for vocals parts, Max belongs to the elite of the genre, no doubt about it. For sure powerful gutturals dominates, but he tries not to be onedimensional, spitting high-pitched screams and squeals to the air. Mind you, his great efforts are perfectly put to the immane sound wall.     

The main goal is to hold the listener by its incredible intesity and the Italians did it. Being rather ‘love it or hate it’ choice and very hard to go through even for any metal dude, for me these almost thirty-three minutes brought in such a spectacular form are just a musical banquet for my ears. As compared to the debut released in 2005, the band made a significant progress and now I may only mourn Vomit the Soul has been dead since 2011. „Apostles of Inexpression” triumph: starting from very successful Marco Hasmann front cover, through absolutely awesome portion of music to the final last impressions of deathly expression.

95/100
-Tlacaxipehualiztli

(written in January, 2018)