Saturday, June 20, 2020

VAGINALLUFTWAFFE 8 (2020)




May 2020, 44/A4, hand-numbered, xeroxed, Polish, interviews: MARTWA AURA, VACANT BODY, MORBID WINDS, SATHANAS, HYPERDONTIA, GRAVEWARDS, BURIAL IN THE WOODS, ELIXIR OF DISTRESS.

I did not go wrong this time and purchased the recent, still hot issue with the number eight immediately after hitting the bowels of the underground. As for size, layout and such stuff I could copy and paste my previous VGL reviews. It's been released in the same form, it does not really develop anymore and... I do not need any changes. The front cover greets with a dark, obscure picture and on the start I have another three bands that screwed up and didn't answer. Really strange as all are on Polish Fallen Temple roster. Pawel cares for wood resources and there's no single place left empty, just take a look on page number 4, as he put one review under Martwa Aura chat. Ok, let's go the content: the eight consists of eight interviews, but let me describe the weakest ones for starters. Hyperdontia, despite having quite huge impact here and there, completely failed. Pawel explained the case in words of introduction preparing pretty much interesting questions, but in the end I got terrible answers and two of them without any words of explanations. What's more, there are many editor's necessary footnotes which isn't a standard thing for VGL. The contest on the biggest lame of the issue is finally settled. In turn, Sathanas gave a shedload of laconic answers shorter than questions making this intie average and totally forgettable. All right, I guess all my whinings are over, because the rest is pretty decent, good (Martwa Aura that opens, Vacant Body – the shortest with only ten questions yet definitely concise, Gravewards, very interesting with ten questions as well, unfortunately it ends too abruptly) or just very good. Polish Morbid Winds, new blackish beast, proudly opens the remaining trinity, giving fully informative friendly chat made in last April. There is no surprise here as Diabolizer (in alliance with Cryptic Lust), the band's drummer and Worship Him zine editor knows the subject perfectly. In similar way Elixir of Distress shines through pages, however I found it as a great complement to the interview from R'lyeh 15. And the third one lastly: Burial in the Woods led by modest Gerileme again with very interesting chat, definitely to check it out. The answer on question two has got a funny (or not, it depends...) typo though.

As compared to 7, the font has been changed into smaller size, however still being readable and not causing an eye pain. The old sin with midsentence capitalized 'and' conjuction didn't disappear, there are some spelling mistakes as well. Due to reduced amount of pages, the review section offers 20 zines (in the case of this zine, I even would write only 20...) and 135 musical different formats written with using the same rules as always. Flabbergastingly, this time the Chilean ungerdround isn't the leading force. The live reports are present too (7 described visits). Then, the page 2 features nice science and history section – good move, clever and interesting treat, especially when it comes to the person of Herodot. So, allow me to capsule this issue: VGL doesn't disappoint providing a few hours of pure hellish underground reading once again. I expected solid stuff from experienced editor, and I got such. And for sure, questions on non-musical topics (for instance, ecology, Earth's overpopulation, historical facts, burials) are an added value. Fully recommended, no two ways about it.


cold666@tlen.pl


8,8/10
-Tlacaxipehualiztli

(written in June, 2020)

Thursday, June 18, 2020

VAGINALLUFTWAFFE 7 (2017)




September 2017, 58/A4, xeroxed, Polish, interviews: RAGEHAMMER, GALVANIZER, OPPENHEIMER, LIVING ALTAR, COUNTESS, DEMONIC RAGE, TOTTEN KORPS, REVENGE, TYRANNIC.

Despite quite positive review of the previous issue 6 from 2014, somehow I missed number 7. And you know what? Nothing rather has been changed: still I deal with old-school layout and cut'n'paste method of execution. The reading itself goes definitely smoothly, the font is my friend, not an eye-burner. I wrote 'rather', because it has got slighlty better cover art and the interviews are preceded by some short intro: one or two sentences and the subject is clear. Pawel, the editor, admits once again that the process of zine creating isn't an easy ride. It's very hard to argue with that, and I'm fully excited another title hit my modest collection. Ok, as the bands are concerned, there're nine crews in the menu, what's interesting, only two of them come from Poland. Ragehammer opens the thing up and this is killer, to put it briefly. Friendly, with easy flow talk, but Tymek's attitude is not an exemption in any form. Then, the Finnish Galvanizer gives me an interesting meeting supported by surprising sense of humor. It's a shame, but this is still unknown for me during the review, but for sure this VGL issue made me to act. The third one on the list is Living Altar coming from Lithuania and... we have got the winner. Dainius, the drummer, is an astrophysicist and Pawel knowing that fact, led the interview in a really splendid and absolutely interesting way. Very good questions, very good answers (and one pretty shocking for black metal die-hards on Archgoat lyrics). Two next nice causeries with Demonic Rage and Totten Korps, the representatives of Chilean hell, give some exotic and nonexpendable aura to the whole. What do I need more? But at the other end of the spectrum I'd place Oppenheimer which is a typical black metal yarn that brings nothing new to the matter. In turn, Revenge wishing for humanity to be annihilated in nuclear holocaust (believe me, the Earth itself will be faster), turns into load of nonsense with its acme in the fourteen answer...

To sum the issue up, I didn't notice any signs of professional burnout or loss of form. Some nice additions from daily press, culinary guidance how to prepare human flesh to eat and the crossword brighten the serious reading time. No needless questions, no commercial sections, but still with this strange typo using 'and' as capitalized conjunction. As for the review part, it's enormous and overwhelming. This time I got 48 zine (rather more complex) and 141 musical opinions with names I have never heard about, for South-East Asia hunters one comes from Brunei. Served precisely and to the core, it's easy to detect editor's taste, yet I have an impression that this part of VGL has been patronized by Chilean government as many of them praise the stuff from this country. But truth be told, I cannot remind now any weak Chilean recording or review. Then, Pawel didn't forget about live visits and gave six reports written in simple but truly enjoyable way. So, on a final note, the pages assure an underground atmosphere all the time created by experienced zinewriter and a complete metal freak, so there's only one thing to do: support his doings.


cold666@tlen.pl


8,5/10
-Tlacaxipehualiztli

(written in June, 2020)

Sunday, June 7, 2020

KANDARIVAS - Grind Surgical Shrine (2019)

Grind Taiko Shrine Shines!

A big surprise coming straight from the land of Japan. The Ep is fourteen minute of... experimental grindcore as the band comes with some help on their sites. And to put briefly, it's almost impossible to dispute with such a fact. Led by Tomoki armed with guitar and different kinds of vo-kills, they use two drums, the standard drum set demolished by Onobone and taiko (or wadaiko) played by Kaiki. And this third instrument I consider to be experimental for sure, as I have never heard anything like that in such a genre. The main question occurring to me is: do they fit to the whole?

But from the start, these minutes runs extremely fast, the tracks differ in length, from „G.S.A.” song lasting fifteen seconds only (and the only one that falls under one minute) to broken a bit and more complex, if I can say so, „Fuminijire” which is almost three-minute monster. Of course, as mentioned above, it is kept simple and directly to the (grind)core, yet for the Japaneses the light velocity pace isn't the main guideline. What's more, I have an impression that slower parts dominate, just listen to this absolutely crude roadroller-like „Hakikudashi”. Even in the shortest one there is a small room for breather. The production-wise has got a clear underground flavour, guitars are sharp and rough, however taiko sometimes lose its place in the final mix. And those traditional taiko are present all the time, giving its first breath on the very beginning, and for sure being just good and very interesting addition. By using it, the stuff gets archeological (yep, it sounds strange, but the first usage in Japan has been dated on the sixth century C.E.) and tribal touch definitely, and even mysterious, as the origin of taiko is still unclear. Anyway, including Kaiki to the line-up is really bold and great idea that works without any hindrance.

The music itself is pretty varied. Some parts are just a highlight for headbanging, other do a complete sonic havoc where there's no place for escape. All balanced and despite some chaotic layers, well-thought-out and executed with precision. Musically speaking, I would be prone to place them somewhere in Takafumi Matsubara dimensions with the best example in „Fuminijire” (really good to be a track for „Longhena” album) or „Dissemination”, being a proper thing for his last solo title. Of course, I cannot forget about the vocals, they are delivered by each of them, throat grunts, agonizing screams, yells, shrieks, and some kind of chanting („Dissemination”, „Kobudo”), so I tell you, all the vocal bands madness included. Concluding, there is a vision, there is an idea. This is sick and organsmashing. This is different as well, not only in musical terms, just look at them.


80/100
-Tlacaxipehualiztli

(written in June, 2020)

Monday, May 4, 2020

BLOOD INCANTATION - Starspawn (2016)

I Am the Portal, I Am the Stargate

Everything Is Cosmic.

As I promised myself some months ago during „Interdimensional Extinction” space journey, the review of the debut „Starspawn” is now taking a shape. What's interesting I guess, I have already bought their second album which awaits its first listen, however I just do not want to be infected in any form by a new release while reviewing it. The debut, released on August, 18th, 2016, has been bought by me one year or so after the date and it wasn't an easy task. The Denver madmen became quite popular in the underground, giving the spectacular shows here in Poland. Unfortunately I wasn't able to join them in their cosmic presentation in Poznań with Cruciamentum, on March, 2017. Eventually I saw them during 2018 edition of Brutal Assault. Yes, I saw them and got crushed despite small sound problems with guitar leads. Anyway, someone's opinion on the band is one thing to make you spending money, in my case, the most important was the interview with Paul Riedl in „7 Gates” magazine (41st issue), which is one of the most exciting stuff I have ever read to date...

Blood Gets Vitrificated.

…and according to Paul's words, the only purpose for Blood Incantation's existence was creating sick death metal with bizarre and twisted riffs completed by dark metaphysical and spiritual lyrics where one may find the alien hybrids, zen quantum theory, transcendalism, nihilism, mysticism and esotericism. And you know what? Paul didn't lie. The band opens the star gate with „Vitrification of Blood (Part 1) track, a real deadly beast lasting almost fourteen minutes! And during those countless listens it became something more than 'just the opening song'. Without any needless introduction, quite slowly like a road roller to finish the song like a supernova consuming everything on its way. So, what can be found there? From phenomenal guitars layers (both riffs and leads) to merciless onslaught of rhythm section, from massive slow almost doomish parts with overwhelming atmospheric vibe that no one can miss to furious ones ripping the air, from broken complex moments to more simple methods of execution. Yes, this song is a cosmic feast. This song is a complete death song. And I tell you, I couldn't pave the sound realization over. This time, unlike their previous Ep, it got only analogue life and it sounds simply superb, vivid, organic, carnal. But what about the rest? Only four tracks and somebody may complain it's not too much. In terms of numbers probably it would be right, yet it's enough to praise the title for good as the „Starspawn” hasn't been filled by any accidental sound or moment. And as the influences are on the table, I met in different reviews such bands like Morbid Angel, Gorguts, Timeghoul, Demilich. For me, if some touches of Finnish „Nespithe” are perceptible in riff construction from time to time, I should add Mexican The Chasm in this place when the general atmosphere is concerned. But if the Corchado crew explore more down-to-earth dimensions, Blood Incantation takes me into something unknown far beyond any understanding... into something more ominous...

God Equals Space.

This space driven madness is short yet truly intense and completely sense exhausting journey. As compared to the previous title, the progress is absolutely dominant. Even if it is released in 2016, I wouldn't be surprised to find it somewhere in the eighties / the nineties and with first single spin it became just a classic death record. But wait, is there anything that doesn't fit? Well, not really, however I still can't warm to Don Dixon's cover art. Ep's artwork was spectacular, „Starspawn” picture, beside great logo is preserved, is one of many unfortunately. But it is easy to swallow, as the music counts. So, trying to sum the thing up: these 35 minutes are definitely spawning of another star in death genre firmament. Metal, Skills, Vision. I listen to it only when I have free time to do that. The whole. No piecemeal. By all me. Devotedly. Just paying tribute to the Space itself.

...no death as known, only doorways...


97/100
-Tlacaxipehualiztli

(written in 2020)

Sunday, March 29, 2020

BLAKE'S VENGEANCE - 7747-7744 (2014)

Milan Green Blade

The debut of Milan based Blake's Vengeance has a similiar story to many titles in my collection. You know, in many cases, there is only one master: a lucky fortune. Knowing nothing about the band, first I saw it on Selfmadegod Records site last year, in new arrivals section. The front cover, bathed in green (remember, Overkill was absolutely first!), wasn't anything encouraging, yet I decided to give it a chance: one fast listen to the opening song and here is my cd version. Originally released as a digital demo in 2014 with different logo and cover art, then one year later on cd with changed logo, cover art and titled as „7747-7744” and the green reviewed copy, the last edition so far from 2016, this time under the wings of Polish Defense Records. And to put it briefly, the label should be awarded for such a neat and surprising move.

Surprising? No! The combination of two different numbers couldn't be omitted. This demo brings almost twenty minutes of music deeply rooted in thrash and heavy metal with definitely clear technical touch. Another recognizable element of this puzzle is clever using of melody, both in riffs and spectacular leads. But the very first thing that got my attention was the vocal lines of Davide and his manner reminding me Eric A.K from the eighties period. So, is it possible the famous singer has got younger brother somewhere in Lombardy? Of course no, it's not like that. Anyway, Davide's voice sounds great and really fresh for me.

Giving Flotsam and Jetsam vocalist's name as an example above doesn't refer only to it and has its own reflection in musical layer and some influences from Phoenix legend are audible. What's interesting, it seems the Italians know perfectly two first classic albums „Doomsday for the Deceiver” and „No Place for Disgrace”, yet I found references even to „High” from 1997, however demo hasn't got such fast paces, rather being maintained in moderate speed. Yes, there are short faster moments in the second half of the opener or in „Blind to the World”, but it isn't the key here. And as for heavy genre in general and pervasive catchiness, I would indicate the Iron Maiden shades. And such a bag of ideas is something really compelling. Lightness, facility, openness, with use of great skills where technique isn't a mindless display, make the stuff pretty accessible. And absolutely fantastic!

The production side is an added value as the whole sounds exquisitely. Hard to believe it's just a demo. And hard to choose the leading song. For sure, „Ronin” has a chorus that cannot leave my head and I often catch myself on singing it during my work. The longest one here, with splendid guitar leads lasting over one minute, there's even a room for drum solo. In turn, „Blind to the World” is like a semi-ballad due to its mysterious, eerie guitar parts, in some definitely strange way I could compare this track to the beloved „Escape from Within”. These twenty minutes run very smoothly, with not a single boring second, and I've got a real pleasure to listen to it, as I face the metal thing it should be played in such a way in this genre. Despite of mentioned bigger names, the demo sounds very fresh, vivid and quite... original. On the other hand I am a bit concerned as the band hasn't recorded anything since 2014. Yes, as opposed to the opening song title, they are still alive according to their social media and I do hope to hear something new in our current very hard times. All right, on the end, this music is yet another great evidence that using sounds once intended and played, there is always possibility to create very good music supported by own talent, skills and visions, not being locked down in the snares of soulless imitation. Believe me, Blake's Vengeance has got it all.


90/100
-Tlacaxipehualiztli

(written in March, 2020)

Saturday, March 21, 2020

HYPNOSIA - Violent Intensity (1999)

No Dormancy Detected

Being on my must-have thrashing list since the ages, the title joined my musical treasury last year eventually, and ya know, I bought it on tape just like my first own records thirty years ago. It was released by Iron Fist Productions in 2018 which is in fact the same label responsible for 1999 cd edition. And to put it briefly, the title doesn't lie and nobody can be wrong, as it brings violent intensity only. This seventeen minute Ep has something like a short guitar introduction called „Funeral Cross”, turning smoothly into „Hauting Death”. Almost four minutes and all is clear: the band delivers furious piece of thrashing whipping, where apparent traces of Sadus debut and „Pleasure to Kill” combine, even Mikael vocals are a fusion of Darren and Mille. With skill, the Swedes move between two different thrash stylistics, in turn, „Undead” and „The Storms” have got a distinct touch of „Schizophrenia” when the pace is slow down a bit.

These five equal shots don't let me sit snugly in my lounge chair, however I cannot tell they boogie down indiscriminately. No, there are slowdowns used to be rather a small breath before another merciless attack, as well as well-though-out guitar leads, short, rampant, and longer, more complex with the best example in mentioned „The Storms” that ends the whole. For sure, the production side really helps the thing to be absolutely hot, especially when it comes to the work of rhythm section. It slays and always great to hear a thrash band putting the bass lines in such a way. I wrote the songs are kept at the same level, yet I lean towards „Perpetual Dormancy” to be a leader in the herd, with its perfect beginning and catchy riffs all the time. And believe me, this misleading title is a complete contradiction to the sounds coming from this ripping song.

I wasn't a lucky freak to get „Violent Intensity” when it came out back in 1999. The Ep seemed to be just a typical way of progress I guess, after two demo tapes. Then the debut appeared in 2000 and after two years, Hypnosia went asleep forever. All right, let's summon the 1999 year once again and take a look on Hypnosia main influence: at the time Kreator records „Endorama” album considered to be the worst in their discography, and having nothing common with the thrash roots; Sadus, after releasing „Elements of Anger” (which I really like!), the most experimental and... with no (almost) thrash shades, goes to inactivity / hiatus era. So, what is the point? This reviewed Ep was like a medicine for the times when thrash music was in hiding and even now, it's a musical cure, as there are not so many bands unleashing such kind of thrash. And such kind of straight insanity.


85/100
- Tlacaxipehualiztli

(written in March, 2020, dedicated to Mike)

Sunday, December 29, 2019

GRAVEYARD / MORBID FLESH - Split (2018)


From the Iberian Peninsula Comes the Menace

Graveyard side.

Before writing anything about the song „I, the Godmaker”, I must repeat once again: their third album from 2016 still belongs to one of the best deathly slabs recorded in the twenty-first century. And I tell you, they are real busy bees looking at their full discography. The year 2018 brought another two titles: „Back to the Mausoleum” Ep and split with Morbid Flesh, however this reviewed song has been recorded during Ep session in 2017. And you know what? The track simply slays. In a flash, it joins the best ones ever recorded by Graveyard. I got crushing riffs and varied paces. I got captivating and truly mesmerising lead-like guitar part. I got 'from the depth of the abyss' vocals. I got just superb solo on the end. I got the ancient spirit of metal. Simply I got a metal anthem. Being completely speechless, „I, the Godmaker” makes my Graveyardish madness still continues...

Morbid Flesh side.

If their comrades recorded a song that differs from the previous album, Morbid Flesh follows the deathly searchings in „Rites of the Mangled” domain. The main idea of „Seventh Hell” is to keep it ugly, obscure and eerie, not complex but simple and straight to the single cell. Even if the not so fast tempo dominates through the catchy groove parts supported by fantastic melody-driven lead, there are outbursts of furious pace that ravage everything in sight. Also, vocals lines are varied from deep growls to maniacal shrieks. Being in the claws of the old death metal, they boldly juggle different influences. And they do that in a really devastating way.

Summary side.

Released as a strictly limited piece of black wax, this title is definitely worthy of admiration. The songs are neither session cripples nor poor rehearsal failures. They are just two brilliant death metal hits, showing rather different musical view. Even if both tracks have been recorded in the same place (Moontower Studios) by the same man (Javi Felez), there is no way to mistake them. I think the future for those Spaniards seems to be really bright and writing the words, Graveyard has just released another album in September. Thus I wait for Morbid Flesh move.


93/100
-Tlacaxipehualiztli

(written in December, 2019)  

Saturday, December 28, 2019

THE DEAD GOATS - Baptized in the Grave (2019)

Goats Got Baptized

Yes, it finally happened! The Goats are back with completely fresh blood. Despite the line-up scission and, what is the most important, serious health problems, three new songs became another acts of worship for ages. This time, the band joins the ranks of buoyant Deformeathing Production releasing the title in limited vinyl format only. And just like their some previous deadly shots („Don't Go in the Tomb”, splits with Icon of Evil or Calm the Fire), the two songs formula supported by one cover works really fine. But for sure, the closing track is a bit surprising in the goat family. It's not a metal classic like Napalm Death, Autopsy, Repulsion or Carcass before. No. They recorded the song from Swedish punk band called The Baboon Show and I bet there were just few Goats freaks knowing this crew. For sure I was not. And if this track is the softest one in their roster, it is nice stuff to be played live. Good fun guaranteed.

All right, to put it mildly, I do not buy The Dead Goats vinyls for cover songs, and something about the rest must be written. As for production side and the style, nothing has been changed and I face again with Swedish land migration into Białystok region. This characteristic part of guitar sound is familiar since the very first seconds of the „Path of the Goat” debut, yet I have an impression it's been served a clearer way. And if the title track is on the plate, the baptism begins with no time for any reflection, resembling a bit their „The Gloom That Came to Salem”, with some horror talks and so gripping melody-driven in the second part. It rips the flesh because it's brutal, ass-kicking and exhuming Swedish old-school spirit. Yep, I know it sounds like a cheap advertising slogan. But it's true to the core (or grave, if you really wish). What's more, it's not about originality at all, it's all about how they can successfully renew and explore the sounds once invented. And this makes the band just splendid. In turn, the next track „Fancy Funeral” is more slaughtering, kept in the vein of the most frantic songs ever written by them, however the title may mislead and arguably it doesn't refer to Manfred Alois Segieth, commonly known as Fancy, and his future funeral.

Since 2017 reunion, I was awaiting for any sign of their musical activity. It's not a full-length, yet these eleven minutes bring enough music to be fully glad about. I acted pretty fast and bought two versions: the black one for ordinary spins and the yellow/black splatter, definitely for exclusive Sunday's listens, hoping it will survive for a long time, maybe till the next album? And for the end, there is only one thing to do: paraphrasing the Fancy's hit song, these baptized pieces of musical rottenness become „Flames of Goats, flames of Goats..”. Did anyone inform Fancy?

80/100
-Tlacaxipehualiztli

(written in December, 2019)

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)