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.