Friday, 30 December 2011

Exhumed & Consumed: Top 15 albums of 2011

So here are my top 15 releases of this year, out of the 50 I have listened to. Obviously they‘re some killer albums I have not acquired yet like the new Hades Archer so this list could be subjected to change. But for the moment this is my top 15.

15. Speedwolf – Ride With Death
Ride with Death is background music you expect to hear in a pub fight. Packed with killer rock’n roll riffs, shredding solos and vocalist that sounds like Lemmy on steroids, Speedwolf is straight up thrashy speed metal that is hell of a lot of fun.

14. Autopsy – Macabre Eternal
Far from their magnum opuses Severed Survival and Mental Funeral, Macabre Eternal is still a solid comeback for the Lords of gore. Insanely, Chris Reifert vocals also have retained that sickening wetness after all these years. Take note Morbid Angel this how a comeback is done.

13. Cruciamentum – Engulfed In Desolation

After merely whetting our appetite with a split since there devastating 2009 Convocation of Crawling Chaos demo, Crucimentum finally strike back with Engulfed in Desolation.Continuing on with that cleaner sound on Eroding Chaos unto Ascendant Flesh, Engulfed in Desolation is packed with killer death metal riffs and crushing atmosphere.

12. Hic Iacet – Hedonist Of Death 

Hedonist of Death is easily my most listened to demo of the year. Cryptic blackened death with a filthy atmosphere.

11. Mitochondrion – Parasignosis

Slightly less aspiring then their 2009 masterwork Archaeaeon, Parasignosis stills a worthy successor.  Empathizing more on atmosphere Mitochondrion sound still remains chaotic and unconventional at the core.

10. Whitehorse – Progression

Noisy sludge from Australia, Whitehorse play simple thick groovy riffs with scattered electronic parts in their crushing sound. It actually gets that heavy it sounds a deathly at times. Unique sludge I highly recommend.

9. Saturnalia Temple – Aion Of Drakon

Reminding me of Electric Wizard’s Black Mass, Saturnalia Temple is hypnotizing. Heaving doom passages, stoner riffs and ghostly vocals is what you can expect on Aion of Drakon.

8. Graveyard - Hisingen Blues

Improving from their s/t, these Swedish rockers will remind of acts like Deep Purple, Jimmi Hendrix and Blue Cheer. So if you’re a fan of 70’s rock check these guys out.

7. Disma – Towards The Megalith

With members of Funebarum and Craig Pillared of Incantation and Disciples of Mockery, you already know that Disma is going to be exercise in brutality. Lumbering around and devouring all that gets caught in its path, Towards the Megalith is probably the heaviest release this year.

6. Lantern – Subterranean Effulgence

Hailing from Finland, Lanterns mixes old school Stockholm sounds with their own deranged visions of death metal. I’m very much looking forward to their full length album next year.

5. Antichrist – Sacrament Of Blood

Recorded in 1994, Sacrament of Blood finally sees the day light. People have been claiming that this recording is better then anything Blasphemy has done. Though I disagree completely with that statement, this is still some high caliber bestial black metal and actually trumps many modern bands of the style.

4. Goatpenis – Depleted Ammunition

Being a huge step up from there previous full length Biochemterrorism, Depleted Ammunition is savage assault of blackened grind. While keeping the music intense Goatpenis manages keep it all rather catchy. A must listen for bestial grind fans.

3. Necros Christos – Doom Of The Occult

Don’t expect any Incantation worship or Swedish chainsaw buzz on Doom of the Occult. Necros Christos entrances you with rhythmic mid paced death metal.  Scattered with Middle Eastern oriented instrumentals, Necros Christos gives a strong necromantic vibe, but not the type where dead rise to devour the living, more of descending below an ancient temple, finding a mysterious scripture, uttering its verses that transcend you into damnation.

2. Uncle Acid & The Dead Beats – Blood Lust

Sounding like Black Sabbath after intense session of The Beatles, smoking weed and watching horror movies, Uncle Acid & the Dead Beats Blood Lust is easily my most listen to album of this year.  Stoner riffs and acid solos make Blood Lust as addictive as heroin.

1.Antediluvian –Cervix Of Hawaah

After several releases, each being an improvement on the last, Antediluvian first full length is a disturbing masterwork in chaos. Crawling and twisting in the darkest depths, Cervix of Hawaah’s bizarre style of ritualistic blackened death pushes the boundaries of extremity. Caution though this album is not for the weak.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Blessed Offal - Blessed Offal

Creeping out of Boston, Massachusetts, Blessed Offal serves up their first mini album.    This thirty minute self-titled EP is manifested with relentless grinding, hallowing doom passages and a cold dense atmosphere. A slight Incantation vibe flows from Blessed Offal; but it is far from mindless worshiping currently occurring. In fact Blessed Offal roots dwell in more traditional sounding death, doom and grind.

What sets Blessed Offal apart from death metal masses is how they weave different styles of extremity in their sound. Moments of Entombed Clandestine era groove and Brutal Truth bludgeoning courses through Blessed Offal veins at battering moments, which often slow down into to doom segments. These doom sections is really where the Blessed Offal impresses for the atmosphere become more compelling, shifting to a mid-paced wander of wet sloppiness reminiscent Mental Funeral and Severed Survival era Autopsy. And often enough the band slows down to the crushing crawl of DiSEMBOWELMENT.  This deadly combination of blasting death grind and harrowing doom keeps you on your toes.

Blessed offal also shows their skills with Seasons in Sepulchral Depths and A Means to an End both surpassing the eight minute mark. These two songs being lengthy never feel dull or dragged on, and contain some of the most powerful moments on the EP, especially the doom ending to A Means to an End. My only detract with Blessed Offal is it sounds is a bit clean. I would have preferred a more abrasive sound to go with the dark atmosphere. Regardless this is a solid first step for Blessed Offal and this EP should have you enthralled for a decent amount of time.


Sunday, 18 December 2011

Heresiarch – Hammer of Intransigence

If audible chaos is what you’re after, Hammer of Intransigence will definitely satisfy that primordial hunger. Hailing from New Zealand, Heresiarch spews fourth a raw mix of violent blackened death metal, just as their barbaric countrymen Diocletian, Vassafor and Witchrist.  Actually in fact there are two member of Diocletian present in Heresiarch so with that knowledge you should only expect an absolute pulverizing experience. And that Hammer of Intransigence delivers.

The music is apocalyptic. From the howling shrieks and torturous sneers, to the bombarding artillery strike drumming and the furious riffing, creates are barrage of chaos which fits perfectly with the intensity of the style. But just like many other bestial grinding acts Heresiarch become repetitive sounding. Providentially by weaving some doom section like at the end of Carnivore keeps you enthralled. These almost ritualistic doom sections offer relief to the restless frenzy and try evoking an atmosphere of dread. Sporadic solos like in Thunorad keep you griped also.

The ambiance on this album is very fitting to the chaotic vibe. Abominations the opening song uses the sounds of war sirens, marching and twisting steel to paint images of a hellish wasteland where war rules supreme; while at the end of Conflagration the distant haunting echo of chanting monks is heard. By demonstrating a solid understanding of the blacked death blue-print merely on their second release, they’re no doubts Heresiarch will continue expanding on their already deadly aptitude.


Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Corpressed - The Dagger & the Chalice

Swirling in Corpressed’ s cauldron of influences are the likes of Incantation, Bolt Thrower and that old school sound of Finnish death metal. With a thick muddiness discharging through all instruments and a cryptic atmosphere, for a young band Corpressed have ticked the right boxes in regards to heaviness. But as grizzly at the mood is, it won’t be enough to keep you completely bogged down.

 The heavy tone is simply let down by the average musicianship.  The riffs are very standard being mid paced for the most part with a bit of groove and the leads are the least bit memorable. Not sticking out either but being slightly more engaging is the drumming, which often drives the music forward and keeps some some of the mid paced moments interesting. Tracks open with short intro s like Nameless Cult but this offer nothing to the experience.  Being the standout on The Dagger & the Chalice are the vocals.  Brutal bellowing that sounds similar to Daryl Kahan of Funebrarum and the occasional gut wrenching screams helps add variety, noticeably in Altars of worms (being the best song on The Dagger & the Chalice). As it pummels forward before slowing down into murky melody’s, only to set to rampage mode again.

Though this is decent attempt at creating heaving nihilistic death metal its easily forgettable amongst old school tide of resurgence. The sheer weight within The Dagger & the Chalice makes it well worth a listen or two. But due to the standard dynamics won't have you coming back for more.


Thursday, 8 December 2011

Vastum - Carnal Law

Vastum is a young band hailing from San Francisco. Carnal Law being their first release combines old schools sounds of Autopsy, Bolthrower and Asphyx, offering  mid paced sounding death metal with hints of doom. Usually certain ugliness is associated with that tank treading sound, from pounding riffs or devouring atmosphere.  Lacking in these crushng attributes makes Carnal Law  equally thrilling as a ride on a merry-go-round.

Hitting thier stride early on the twisted galloping of Re-member , Carnal Law never continues with that consistencey and remains collapsed in mediocrity. 
Everything  just simply feels generic , occasionally engaging riffs and meaty doom sections creep in but it is simply not enough to retain ones attention.  Being lackluster Carnal Law in not completely soulless. L.B’s vocals which are a standard affair still give a slight push with his decent range of bellowing growls and raspy screams. And while the leads are not amazing they  are still enjoyable, but to sit through a song just to hear a moment  of sharp soloing is  tedious.

Giving Carnal Law a score of 5 may be bit harsh but it just sounded so  uninspired. Considering there are much better modern bands like Cauldron Black Ram and Hooded Menace coming from the same pool of influence, simply makes Vastum not a very tempting listen. 


Sunday, 4 December 2011

Graveyard - Hisingen Blues

It appears these Swedes have really picked up the game on their latest effort Hisingen Blues. Vastly improving on there 2008 self-titled that sounded a bit safe for its own good. Graveyard have splashed more paints on their canvas, streaking it with a improved and more natural approach.

The musicianship on this album has improved greatly.  Never being forced or contrived as their previous effort all the songs flow  naturally. The opening track Ain’t Fit to Live Here rockets forward  with a searing riff that will remind  of classic  Led Zepplin and Deep Purple. Then followed by the chilled out No Good, Mr Holden, with its bluesy licks and blissfully loose soloing.  Running down the spine of Hisingen Blues hints of The Jimmi Hendrix Experience and traces of Black Sabbath can be heard in thier 70's wordhipping sound. And finally mention should go out to the massive closing track The Siren (where vocalist Joakim Nilsson  sounds like man possessed), which can be described as locomotive carrying TNT slowly picking up pace, losing control, derailing and exploding in a blaze of glory.

Not only big a big improvement on thier previous full length, Hisingen Blues also gives a big middle finger to all the naysayer of "rock is dead". If your into psychedelic, stoner or that 70s rock sound Hisingen Blues should definitely be checked out.


Sunday, 20 November 2011

Hic Iacet - Hedonist of the Death

It’s a rare occurrence for a bands first release (especially demo) to leave a strong impression and not be forgotten. Spanish inquisitors Hi Iacet have hammered all the right nails into the coffin leaving such notion. Mixing the repulsive combination of black and death metal, Hic Iacet (translating from Latin “here lies” which is commonly written on a grave or tomb’) Hedonist of Death demo is monstrous.

Caught in between a slimy web, Hedonist of Death takes the chaos of Teitanblood, the buzz of old school Darkthrone and the slithering tempo of Necros Christos. Vocals are deep and grueling very comparable to Craig Pillared efforts on Prelude to Apocalypse, and the guitars thick buzzing tone could just oozes through anything. This all  evokes a claustrophobic atmosphere, that encloses the listener into a tomb buried deep into the earth’s crust. Moments of Hellhammer and Celtic Frost rear their way into Breviary of Congenital Rot and The Four Deathaphorisms. While the dense Nihilistic Hellannihilation’s punishing rhythms takes you on a mid pace ride through the murky catacombs of hell, making sure you witness every atrocity. To then fianlly t be consumed by the slightly doomy outro Mortuary Psichophonies  with eerie riffs and suffocating rasps.  

As much Hedonist of Death has to offers it never tries to re-invent the wheel. Instead follows and strengthens the black/death blueprint already lain down. Created with such wicked conviction Hedonist of Death, it's only a matter of time before Hic Iacet conquer all.


Sunday, 13 November 2011

Stench of Death #1 Naked Whipper - Painstreaks

Naked Whipper has become quite the cult band, due to their short life span and limited availability of thier releases. Since their 1995 debut Painstreaks, Naked Whipper has  remained remembered in  few cirlces.  Making their sado grind metal classic an almost lost gem.Combining the primitiveness of early Napalm Death, rawness of Repulsion and the malevolence of Blasphemy, Painstreaks is eleven songs of pure raw satanic aggression.

Pagan Pussy Gore Intruder begins Painstreaks assault with a take no prisoner policy. With the vicious sounding guitars, bestial barking of impious lyrics and machine gun blast beats. Setting the listener up for the cyclonic ferocity that is Painstreaks. Each song is short burning incendiary round never passing three minute mark, the shortest being Naked Whipper; which starts with a hard-hitting rhythm before ensuring decimation with relentless grinding. The riffs are what really stand out on Painstreaks, they are insanly catchy and at the same time they never lose there sheer aggressiveness, same goes for the choruses that will have screaming like a maniac to. It  should also noted  all that songs are also delivered in  live ritual form  adding another raw and filthy  layer. Notably vocals are a step grittier and demented then the studio recording, making it worth the listen.

Painstreaks is definitely a gem of the genre. It is rather unfortunate this release still has not had a proper reissue,  only coming in form of bootlegs nowadays. Regardless it's very worth getting your hands.


Saturday, 5 November 2011

Murkrat – Drudging the Mire

Mandy VKS Cattleprod’s has returned with her doom project, Murkrat. Drudging The Mire follows from their 2008 self-titled album, however they have made minimal progress between albums.

Just as its predecessor, Drudging the Mire offers a unique conjuration of doom but it is lacking in the riff department. There is not any bad riffs so to speak, but mediocre riff being dragged along for the majority of songs becomes borderline boring. The Drumming also doesn’t aid the situation which is held down by Neil Dyer, which is unfortunate since his work in Innsmouth is attention-grabbing. The saving grace on Drudging the Mire is Mandy's vocals. Her haunting wails and disturbing shrieks holds everything together and take charge on songs. Her vocals also evoke a very creepy atmosphere which is assisted by the gloomy production which fits perfectly compared to the rawer sounding self-titled. Synthesizers, pianos and even organs drape a thick shroud of fog around songs amplifying that lingering mood. At times Murkrat struggles to move forward, I. Rodent and Faceless for example both  have no general direction and shamble around. Though their are moments of doom brilliance. Electric Womb's  lumbering  passages  and slithering  twists drags the listener on a slow haunting  journey through a maze of thorns.

Drudging the Mire is no easy listen as it takes time to grow into, and some may find this only to be a slightly rewarding experience. Though Mandy summons a distinguishing doom sound, it is held back by a lack of progression that make Druging the Mire merely decent listen rather then classic. 


Monday, 24 October 2011

Cianide – Gods of Death

Twenty years on since Cianide’s sinister debut The Dying Truth, and not once have these Chicago crushers compromise their brand of primitive death doom for any trends. Ironically calling their 5th full length Gods of Death, Cianide prove why they are still leaders of the underground.

Seven years on   after their last full length Hell Rebirth  this formidable trio have not lost any Vitriol at all. With that signature crushing tone Gods of death is sledgehammer to the skull Constructed with bruising straightforward riffs and earth quaking Celtic Frost rhythm. From the infectious power chord pulling in Forsaken Doom  or the hurtling of Idolator and Rising Of The Beast that charge  forward like stampede of flea infested rhino, the sheer simples ness and heaviness will have most salivating. Expected there is bit of doom and gloom. The Dead and Rotting trudges along bulldozing anything that gets caught in its path, slowly picking up the pace before erupting into absolute monstrous riff, making the six minute wait well worth it. The longest song The One True Death unfortunately is rather monotonous, unlike its doom counter part it does not build up to anything and plods around for far too long. Being left to the end of Gods of Death leaves the album on a bit of disappointing note. But since all the songs are stellar make this complaint a minor affair.

Gods of Death is no landmark in death metal, but indisputably to Cianides consistency for over the last twenty years and having stood the test of time. So don’t expect anything innovative from this death dealing trio other then their rotting formula of crushing death metal.


Sunday, 16 October 2011

Cruciamentum / Vasaeleth - Eroding Chaos Unto Ascendant Flesh

Here we have two young death metal bands both with high caliber releases under their belts, that being Vasaeleth full length Crypt Born & Tethered to Ruin and Cruciamentum demo Convocation of Crawling Chaos. On this 7’ split one could only expect to hear some filthy death metal tunes. And Eroding Chaos unto Ascendant Flesh definitely delivers. Cruciamentum track Rites to the Abduction of Essence composition sounds very akin what was on there previous demo, though with a shift in production and vocal style. The production is slightly cleaner and the vocals are less guttural being more of a slight raspy growl. Despite the minor changes the track still retains its sinter edge. While on the Vasaeleth side, Profane Ceremonial Exudation sounds like anything off Crypt Born & Tethered to Ruin, so expect muddy Incantation-esque production and crushing doom riffs. Unfortunately the fact that their in only one track offered by each band is slightly disappointing, especially since many would be craving new Cruciamentum material.


Sunday, 9 October 2011

Beyond - Relentless Abomination Vortex

Belgium label Detest Records has been adding some impressive death metal revial bands to thier roster, from likes of Stench of Decay, Swallowed and Miasmal. Beyond  is not different. Changing their name from Shapeless after two demos, German horde Beyond offers three grimy tracks in the vein of that Scandinavian death metal tradition.

The guitars pack a fuzzy punch, vocals are violently bellowed and though the drumming is slightly lacking it still manages to hold everything together. The production is raw giving the music a malicious edge. Aswell Beyond show some of  their musicianship skills by weaving some mid-paced sections amongst their violent assaultThrash elements also churn through Relentless Abomination Vortex, the opening riff on Pointless Prayers reminder of Nifelheim venomous blackened thrash assault. While hints of Celtic Frost are also noticeable, especially at the end of Appearance From Beyond, with the Tom. G. Warrior-esque “OOOOHHH” which is then followed by pummeling Celtic Frost sounding rhythms. Regardless Beyond wears their death metal influences on their sleeve for the most part of the demo. Though not at the same level of some of their Detest Records peers, Relentless Abomination Vortex is a very good indictor of what we can expect from this German horde in the future.


Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Lanterns - Subterranean Effulgence

Amongst the Incantations clones and Sunlight studio revival bands that populate current underground death metal scene, only very few bands reinvent or create an original formula. And Lanterns is definitely one of them. Slivering out of the Finland, Lanterns exhales an unmarked stench into the crypt of death metal. Reeking of old school sounds like Treblinka, Morbid and Hellhammer mixed with their own morbid visions of death, spawning a very unique cryptic sound.

 Multi-instrumentalist Cruciatus spews forth gloomy and thrashy riffs, battering drumming and heaving bass lines. While vocalist Necophilos sinister wails tie everything into murky aura. Lurching forward like shambling corpse fresh from the tomb, Revert the Living into Death begins your plunge into Subterranean Effulgence, with haunting melodies and dark leads. Drenched in gruesome howls and steamrolling riffs Slumbering Dying Dreams displays some raw old school thrash elements creeping through, with out loosing  sight  of the grisly atmosphere.. While the maniac occult cries of “RITUAL” at the end of Ritual Unearthing hammer the final nail into the lid of the coffin shut.

Lanterns sound so familiar yet different, not falling into any of the current trends in death metal. Concocting their own morbid art, Lanterns is one step closer to claiming the thorny crown of death metal.


Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Eskhaton - Nihilgoety

For those who prefer their death metal dark and malevolent, Australian trio Eskhaton debut album Nihilgoety will be a favorite of 2011. Nihilgoety compositions are unconventional, complex and chaotic leaving the listener in complete disarray. The atmosphere created is absolutely suffocating and relentless, as each song destructively collides together. The drumming is utterly pulverizing, the guitar riffs are violently twisted and the vocals are bellowing and brutal.

Intro is a disturbingly spaced out, ambient piece that thunderously erupts into the roar of the drums and guitar. This is merely the calm before the storm as the listener embarks on a fifty minute journey into the malevolent mind of Eskhaton. The ferocious Transcendental Interstice savagely tears away at you, just as Poltergeist Possession and Exoverse Assassin are both unrelenting, with pummeling drumming and furious riffing. The only time the Nihilgoety is merciful is during the Antimission where you lulled into a foreboding interlude before the crushing onslaught resumes. The punishing track, Nihilgoety, adds some unsettling Samarian chanting over their monstrous sound, heightening the atmosphere. Finally what is left of your sanity is destroyed with the monolithic Megaloport and Blackoutro both clocking in around seven minutes each.

Nihigoety is an album that should be listened in it’s entirely to appreciate and experience the suffocating atmosphere. This is a must have for fans of Ignivomous, Portal and Mitochondrion or devotees of dark malevolent death metal.


Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Machetazo - Desolacion Mental

After the devastating 2008 release Munda Cripta, Spanish death grinding duo Machetazo have finally released a new 7’, Desolacion Mental. Desolacion Mental offers 3 original vile tracks that will have fans licking there lips and clawing for more. On the side Cara A the listener is given Unete al Muerto and Más Allá Del Hueso Y La Carne, two bludgeoning tracks of dirty old school deathgrind. While on the side Cara B there is a surprising change of pace with the hauntingly sludgy Desolacion Mental, which is reminiscent of Corrupted. Unfortunately this 9 minute 7’ of sickening death grind will not satisfy the hunger of Machetzo fans but instead keep them salivating for more.


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Bones - Bones

Hailing from Chicago Bones is three piece band that playing crust laden death metal as if Master, Motorhead and Discharge got into a drunken fistfight. While originality is not strong point it is quite obvious that Bones does not care to be such an entity. If the listed influences did not give it away Bones pay dues to the old school.

The guitars tone has that crusty crunch to it that will most likely remind of the late eighties death, thrash, puck scene. The riffs in general are very straightforward and don’t linger on technicality instead carry with them aggressive d beat attitude. This is accompanied by some meaty bass work that really drives the sheer heaviness of the crusty sound and works in hand with the powerful drumming. Surprisingly the skin bashing is rather engaging compared to how simple the music flows and nerveless a relentless affair. Savage vocals are barked with raw heinous conviction and production is perfect,  all instruments can be heard while maintaining that unpolished sound and menacing personality. Bones grips you by the throat from the beginning with the furious Motorhead esque March of the Dead followed by the blistering frenzy that is Bloodlust, ensuring that heads will be rattling.  Tribute is made to Chicago legends Devastation with a battering cover of Apocalyptic Warrior. Some tracks move at slower pace like the Good Die Young, and the insanely catchy 666 but are none the less abusive then their rapid counterparts.

The songwriting is primitive and works well at creating memorable songs, unfortunately though at the time this comes across tad repetitive. Compositions become very predictive and follow the same simple structures. But when listening to a band that pays respect to sounds of the extreme scene of the late eighties I guess such variety is not required. So if innovation is not what you’re after then Bones should gratify your filthy old school needs.



Welcom to my blog Beyond the Crypt. This blog will contain metal reviews and as well as gig reviews. Expect to see 1 or 2 reviews done every week.

Cheers Crypt Fiend