"Cornered" MCD 2010
Hailing from Moscow FATAL BAND presents us a quite strong & tough sounding debut material. "Cornered" consists of 7 short but rather furious tracks. The basic Death Metal riffs were precisely injected by a technical & fusion-like alloy, which I found very impressive, 'cause each song has something to say with its abstract riff-structures & drum patterns. Even the cover version of SIX FEET UNDER's "Torture Killer" comes in a special, slow & mind-torturing way. The nearly 20 minutes long EP features some really heavy & blasting cuts filled up by complex, progressive yet jazz-like moments, especially in songs like "The Antisymbol" and "Million Names, Thousand Eyes" one can hear those elements to be maximally materialized. On the other hand, we have songs such as "It's All Over", "Reframe" & the title track, which reminded me quite a lot Belgium's ABORTED, not just music-wise, but by the manner of the vocalist as well. In total, we have an honest & pretty massive sounding EP here, so the chance now is yours to discover the fatality of this Russian Death Metal band.
"Weltenkraft" CD 2007
(World Chaos Production / Heavy Horses Records)
Though FINSTERFORST is seemingly a young band formed back in 2004 I have to fix at once this band has a professional musicianship, which after the self-released EP in 2006 reaches its completeness in the following form: Marco Schomas (vocals), Simon Schillinger (guitar), David Schuldis (guitar), Tobias Weinreich (bass), Cornelius "Wombo" Heck (drums), Johannes Joseph (accordion) & Sebastian "Alley Jazz" Scherrer (keyboards). In this line-up the band records "Weltenkraft" in February/March 2007. The album gathers 10 highly-performed hymns of folk-influenced Black Metal. I would admit that the parallel with their colleagues from Finland is quite evident, even if FINNTROLL plays more partying music, but anyway. The production on "Weltenkraft" is just massive, love their sound, every instrument can be clearly heard and picked off the rest. There's a huge atmosphere in their songs too, which mainly due to different folk instruments & sounds involved there. To my surprise the accordion player has got a lot to do during their 77 minutes long album, I would also not fear to say, he's got a leading role there! Fans into folk & epic metal are warmly encouraged to check this band and their releases! Preferred tracks are: "Des Waldes Macht" and "Rauschende Nächte".
Label contact: Heavy Horses Records, c/o Markus Wedig, Zellerstr. 21, 78465 Konstanz, GERMANY
"Killusion" CD 2005
I would suppose it is stoner rock what we are about to experience in FORREST JUMP's eleven-song repertory, even though there's a massive so-called nu-metal influence spiced up with a pretty strange rattle-it-off shouting vocal parts here and there (it is used to be for (c)rap "music" in general). If we look through these annoying vocal themes and the irritating amount of electronics used in a few songs, we got a decent band, which manipulates mostly with the elements of such bands as BLACK SABBATH, TROUBLE or SPIRITUAL BEGGARS for example, but adds the sound of the 21st century plus the atmosphere of nowadays nu-metal movement. The music in general composed very accurately with a definite feeling so I can't complain to the musicians' technique and overall sound production at all. If you like the beforehand mentioned bands you will enjoy this circa 40 minutes long stuff. The songs have been interpreted both in English and Czech languages, the latter adds some unusual or I would say special mood to what FORREST JUMP heading for. In total "Killusion" is a very soft, full of happy melodies rock album. There's no speed, aggression, extremity, brutality or whatever in their music. It's recommended for people who are about to see only the bright side of life. The band consists of Pepa Michálek (vocals), Ivko Vrána (guitar), Mirek Kosa (guitar), Vlasta Kos (bass) and Sára Müllerová (drums).
Label contact: Élysion Records, Mokré 170, 370 01 Ceské Budejovice, CZECH REPUBLIC
"Redemption Ablaze" EP 2012
After the successful debut album "Diabolic Prophecies" (2010) the Czech Death Metal quintet returns with its freshest stuff, a 2-track teaser entitled as "Redemption Ablaze". The obscure IMMOLATION-like riffs of "I am nothing" start the EP and afterwards they turn into some complex guitar madness with storming drum parts & growls from the deepest depths of hell. The IMMOLATION feeling is quite strong throughout the whole track, but who cares if the song itself is killing the right way. The second piece, called "Into the depths of abomination", builds upon the cruel guitar formulas of HATE ETERNAL and fragmentally has some SUFFOCATION touch too. It continues the sonic massacre with its unmerciful blast-beats and double-bass attacks. This tune has rather technical riff-structures, some sick solos and harmonies from beyond. The EP lasts circa 12 minutes. It comes with a superior sound production and cover artwork done by Filip Halama. Fans of obscure Death Metal should put their hands on this stuff right now!!!
"Hellbringer" CD 2011
(Iron Pegasus Records)
The debut album from this young Australian trio (formerly known as FORGERY) travels us to the good old past, when Thrash Metal dominated triumphantly the underground scene. I talk about the golden 80s. If you miss (or even missed) those times pretty much then HELLBRINGER is the right choice to remind you those musical spheres again! The album features an intro + 7 crushing die-hard Speed/Thrash tunes, which have been provided by the sound of the past (and mastered by Harris Johns) respectively. The band combines the magic forces of Luke Bennett (bass & vocals), Tim Sheppard (guitar & backing vocals) and Josh Bennett (drums). Musically we have a strong influence of the German Thrash triumvirate there: SODOM (definitely due to the riffing structures), DESTRUCTION (not just music-wise, but even vocal-wise too, just check songs such as "The Rapture" or "Spawns of the Void") and KREATOR (listen to their "Screams from the Catacombs" song and you will know what I mean), but I would also draw a strong parallel with Swiss bands CORONER & CELTIC FROST, mainly because of Luke's vocalizing manner. There's also a superb cover of ARMOURED ANGEL's "My Fist Your Face" song that supports the fact about the band's roots and dedication to the local scene! All in all, I really enjoyed listening their over 32 minutes long debut and would wholeheartedly recommend it to every die-hard Thrash & Speed Metal maniacs worldwide!!!
Label contact: Iron Pegasus, P.O. Box 1462, 56804 Cochem/Mosel, GERMANY
"Menthell" CD 2012
(Death To Music Productions)
Rather innovative musical creation has been served on IBLIS' debut album. Kind of hard to categorize their musical approach, but epithets such as abstract, avant-garde and sophisticated are fit really well to their type of music. Indeed we have a deal with a very unusual mixture, which mostly focuses on Black Metal style, but has lots of weird elements and solutions at the same time. This quartet is definitely about to explore new dimensions for extreme music in general. They create something really different from those musically "expected" bands. In some ways I would compare IBLIS to ENSLAVED (only recent albums to be compared to), EMPEROR (due to technicality) and MAYHEM (reminded me pretty much Blasphemer's guitar sound and playing technique too), but "Menthell" is an album you should better to listen to, because it is full of unexpectedness and musical virtuosity. Eight songs are about to catch your attention, to leave your mind free and to dive into the world of unexpected. The album comes with a flawless sound production, especially I liked the guitar sound (which is so massive yet still one can hear every single note played) and those funky bass lines, but I would also pick out those impressive vocal parts and storming blast-beats. All is left to say, order this 33 minutes long masterpiece and welcome Post-Modern Black Metal!!!
IN TORMENTATA QUIETE
"In Tormentata Quiete" CD 2005
(Dawn Of Sadness)
ITQ was formed in 1998 and after a promo in 2000 they have finally out their debut album. The info sheet says they are playing neo-folk gothic Black Metal. Indeed, all these elements can be clearly found during their nearly 47 minutes long CD. Moreover, the eight members (!!!) of ITQ have managed to catch the right proportions between the aforementioned genres almost in all their songs. There are 9 compositions in total, which musically reminded me the style of CRADLE OF FILTH. I suppose it's also due to their high-pitched vocalist's close manners to Dani. Fortunately, the band operates quite a lot with acoustic & folk-oriented inclusions, thus keeping the overall CD pretty varied. It was great to notice the Italian lyrics there, which definitely add a special atmosphere to the whole material. I also found the presence of 3 vocalists too much, but if it couldn't be reduced, be it so. The album sounds very good and I am sure this line-up made it with big ease! Hopefully the team of ITQ will reach more originality with their next release! Until then fans into epic & folk Black Metal can try out ITQ's debut!
Label contact: Dawn Of Sadness, CP 317, 07100 Sassari, ITALY
"Life" CD 2004
(Grind Your Soul)
If you search for some fresh yet chaotic Grindcore stuff supported by some really weird and awesomely executed vocal parts, then this is it! Stop searching, because these French freaks, namely Christophe Knecht (vocals), David Loessl (guitar & backing vocals), Frédéric Anton (bass) and Yannick Giess (drums), have placed their musical abnormality to a new level. Continuing as well as expanding further the terrific formula unleashed on "Growth" (2000) the band incorporates the craziness and high-speed riffing manner on a top level here. Their 4th album has been aptly titled "Life" and it is the middle album of the concept, which on the one hand illustrates the maturity of a life and on the other hand the accelerating progression of INHUMATE. It gathers 16 pieces of totally sick and abnormal Grindcore insanity. The well-guessed mixture of speed and dynamism is the key for their creativity. There's really no time to think about any thing during their almost 42 minutes long repertory. "Life" makes your head banging all the way until it becomes definitely paralyzed. To all this you can add a massive sound production, which is pretty clear and brutal at the same time. Oh, and if you need some more INHUMATE madness then you have to check the multimedia part of the CD that features tons of great shots, discography, artworks as well as 3 live videos taken at the Obscene Extreme Festival in 2003. I think such a large amount of audio/video brutality should please every grindcore freak. By the way, front cover artwork by Jon Zig!!! Preferred tracks: "A Trip", "Sickness is the Law", "Life?" (it contains a bunch of live tracks).
Band contact: c/o Fred Anton, 19 rue des paturages, 67310 Zeinheim, FRANCE
"Frozen Darkness" CD 2005
INTERITUS combines from the following musicians: Ioannes (guitar/vocals), Bára (vocals/flute), Honza (bass), Ota (guitar), Nicko (drums), Andrea (keyboards) and Vítek (viola). As you might noticed there's a few classic-oriented instruments in the band. Right, the 7-piece plays slow-paced, rolling Doom Metal with enchanting female vocals and beautiful yet classic accompaniments of flute and viola parts. The music they play over their 47 minutes long material was pretty well-composed, arranged and executed. It's just OK, but nothing new was done along their 11-song repertory. We have a deal with a decent album that was mainly influenced by Baroque music. I can more or less remember the harmonies of some songs for a short time (e.g. "Deep in the Pain" and "Frozen Darkness"), though it's hard to figure out them later on as most of the parts/structures were done earlier by hundreds of doom acts as well. It's a pity, but nowadays original doom bands are really scarce. Can't complain to the sound production neither as every instrument can be audible perfectly. So all is left to say, fans who want to fill in the emptiness in their collection with a decent Doom Metal band from Czech Republic should take their hands on this release.
"Dispatch The Incarnation Of God" CD 2005
(The Flaming Arts)
Included are 7 songs of antichristian Black/Death Metal in the most intense form of it. The Belarus trio – Wrathodd (6-string desolation, chaotic mouth), Werwolfe (4-string disaster) and Forneus (drumfire) – mixes rather well the technicality of Death Metal along with the rawness of Black Metal. Rough uncompromised music is what we are going to experience throughout the nearly 36 minutes long material. The band displays a quite sinister attitude both music and lyrics-wise. Here you get some song names to decide for your own their lyrical approach: "In the Name of the Reversed Cross", "The Chris.t.slave", "Coronation of the Self-God" and "Desecrated River of Life" to name a few. Well, the production on "Dispatch the Incarnation of God" is very good even if I suppose it was a totally home-made recording. All the instruments sound very clear and the overall sound is simply killer. Congratulation guys! The album storms like a tornado and has a definite "kill the christian filth" motto. This CD will surely please fans of BEHEMOTH, HATE and MARDUK, but it's warmly recommended for fans of extreme Death Metal too. For example, the song "Plague Spreads Decease" has some MORBID ANGEL- and NILE-type riffing, which I really enjoyed. Keep it fierce and blasphemous guys! All is left to say, beware IRATUS DOMINUS the destroyer!
KILL WITH HATE
"Voices Of Obliteration" CD 2012
Hungarian Death Metal machine KILL WITH HATE storms pretty well on their debut full-length album. The 5-piece squad perfectly combines the fastness, brutality and technicality of the US Brutal Death Metal bands along with the classical yet obscure attitude of the European hordes. I would say a right formula with right proportions was applied for the songs of "Voices of Obliteration". Some modern & experimental elements were also used there (in songs like "Doubt", "Imprisoned" & "Speech of the Defendant", just to name a few), which were meant to variegate the overall material as there's no doubt that brutality dominates most of the time in their repertory. At the end we have a salutation to the heritage of an old Hungarian Death Metal band EXTREME DEFORMITY in form of a cover song called "Internal". Very well executed one! In total there's 39 minutes of professionally recorded and served Death Metal madness! Sure to hear more about this band in the future. Support them and order this great piece of massive killing and destruction! Thanks to Szandra for giving me this killer CD!
"Undressed Momento" CD 2003
(My Kingdom Music)
Hell, it will be a big challenge to criticize this album for me. Why? Simply, because it is the very first time I write review on such a material. Do you know what Post Modern Art is about? No! Me too, he-he... But for a better understanding I will provide you some additional information hereby. To get the right description of such a style you have first to imagine a mix between avant-garde sounds, alternative gothic metal and extraordinary new wave moments. Secondly, we can come closer to their post modern way of thinking by naming a few common acts, e.g. ANATHEMA, MY DYING BRIDE, KATATONIA and OPETH should be mentioned from the metal spheres, while THE BEATLES, THE CURE, FIELDS OF NEPHILIM from the pop & rock genres. The sound production of "Undressed Momento" is pretty focused on softness and crystal clear interpretation of each instrument. It was provided by their mates (Giuseppe Orlando & Massimiliano Pagliuso) from NOVEMBRE. They helped them out not just with their professional assistance, but with additional orchestrations too. The album lasts 47 minutes and consists of 9 post modern tunes filled with deep emotions, melancholia, desolate atmospheres, vibrant guitar passages and way too intimate vocal parts. The latter one pushes the album mostly to the fields of rock and even softer music, because for example their last song "Stalingrad Theme" is quite heavy with all those fast double bass attacks used there and with deep growls it would definitely sound heavier and just killer to me. The same goes to the beginning of "That Girl", which reminded me quite a lot MY DYING BRIDE music-wise. But these are just my personal remarks; don't take them seriously, because I am more than sure fans of Post Modern Rock music will definitely price this album! At the end, find enclosed some facts about KLIMT 1918 itself. This Italian band was formed in 1999 by Marco Soellner (guitars/vocals) and Paolo Soellner (drums). Later on Davide Pesola (bass) and Alessandro Pace (guitars) joined forces. Their debut album "Undressed Momento" was recorded at Outer Sounds Studios in July/September 2002. And now if you think it's the music you are searching for, go and get it by ordering it from My Kingdom Music!
Label contact: My Kingdom Music, P.O. Box 31, 84015 Nocera Superiore (SA), ITALY
"Nessun Urlo Nell'Ombra" MCD 2007
I have the pleasure to introduce you this young but quite promising Italian Death Metal quintet! LACERATER was born in 2002 and before this MCD they've managed to record 2 demos. On this MCD their line-up is: Antonio Susca (vocals), Marco Lambertini (guitar), Stefano Sabattini (guitar), Marco Zirondelli (bass) and Riccardo Grechi (drums). LACERATER plays in a kind of very groovy Death Metal style and as nowadays bands aren't fear to incorporate as much as possible brutality and melodic passages to their repertory. I don't know why, but when I listened first to their music it reminded me very much KATAKLYSM's "Sorcery" album. Maybe due to the special arrangements and vocal parts, which are all in Italian, by the way! The atmosphere is pretty same too and the riffing solutions are also above average. These 4 songs have been quite precisely built up and yet executed plus have to add that an awesomely good sounding production unites them. Eagerly waiting their full-length album as I really enjoyed listening to this 14 minutes long material. Keep it this way dudes!
Band contact: Marco Lambertini, Via Crespi 4, 40129 Bologna, ITALY
"Pustte Nás Dál" CD 2005
Now imagine a mix between SEPULTURA's groundbreaking "Roots" album along with a massive SOULFLY influence (of course) and for example the latest AGNOSTIC FRONT release. Well, maybe it's not too precise, but LIKE FOOL plays "modern" hardcore with the aforementioned mix plus lyrics in Czech language. The 5-man performs us groovy guitar riffs along with roaring bass lines, dynamic drum patterns and the usual sharp shouting vocals. There's really nothing special about them. Typical stuff with native lyrics, that's all. If you didn't experience a Czech hardcore band so far then it will be a good choice for you and for them as well. You'll get 12 songs in nearly 43 minutes.
M.A.D & GOYA
"Put Olindrali Avlijanera" CD 2008
Not a fresh material so to say, but I've got it from Blaza a few weeks ago on my recent visit to Novi Sad. The CD features 2 albums by these Serbian Punk/Thrash/Crossover maniacs. Musically, the trio follows the path of the good old days of the 80s. It's maximally old-school, be it regarding their songs, lyrics, sound or visuals. As a comparison I would mention the kings of beerthrash TANKARD, as they made a definite impact on the band's song structures and lyrical content. The first part of the CD contains 10 songs out of the "Put Olindrali Avlijanera (Road of shabby mongrels)" that was recorded back in 2007. If you like 100% die-hard & old-school metal music then this lyrically beer, alcohol & black humor filled stuff will be definitely for your taste. To spice up the mood in the right way they also included some excellent covers of BOMBARDER, S.O.D. and VENOM there. The second part features the band's "The Number of the Beers" material recorded in 2001. It has a bit rawer sounding, but still kicks ass. So you have 13 more reasons, oh pardon tracks, to have fun and bang your head until your neck breaks, he-he… And as usual, some more covers like "Death Comes Ripping" from MISFITS, "I Hate You" from VERBAL ABUSE have been added successfully there. In total there's 67 minutes of music + a multimedia part (video clip for their song called "Duha Je Ostavila Devojka?!"). All is left to say, enjoy the musical madness provided by these Serbian crossover-mongers!!!
"Scorned" CD 2012
This is the second album by this all-star Polish Death Metal squad. The band features Pig on vocals (better-known as Sauron from his past works in DECAPITATED), Thrufel on lead & rhythm guitars (ex-AZARATH, ex-YATTERING), Aro on rhythm guitar (SHADOWS LAND, TORQUEMADA), Heinrich on bass (VESANIA, ex-DECAPITATED, ex-ROOTWATER) and Daray on drums (DIMMU BORGIR, VESANIA, ex-VADER, ex-PYORRHOEA and many more). The material on "Scorned" can be characterized as a precisely mechanized sonic invasion with lots of ominous background motives that mainly give an industrial touch to the songs. There are 9 crushing songs in total supported by a crystal clear yet super massive sound production. On the one hand, you can find there militarily marching themes as "Drilling the nerves", "Straight and narrow path" & "Inner void", while on the other hand, you can bump into a bunch of fiercely storming Death Metal cuts like "The process of elimination", "Manifesto (100% D.M.K.M.)" or "Liberation" just to name a few. The album has an awesome instrumental track called "Liberation Part II" as well. Sometimes I felt some kind of surrealism in their songs. If "Scorned" would be materialized on a painting then it would definitely display a post-apocalyptic vision! The cover art of Anna Rosól is also something to look and think for. I think the music of MASACHIST would be positively priced by any extreme metal music fan on the globe, but as an advice my recommendations are going at first to the fans of FEAR FACTORY, DECAPITATED and YATTERING!!! At the end I would like to express my gratitude to Marcin of Mythrone Promotion for this submission!
"Brutal Constructor" CD 2004
Fast, faster, even more faster. That is the recipe of MERLIN's new masterpiece. Unbelievable, but this band storms like a hurricane over their 32 minutes long Death Metal opus. There are 11 songs in total, but I can't even take a normal breath during their repertory as it combines from such a killer bunch of riffs and grind tempos that it just simply blows me away. Exciting and at the same time incredible the masterfulness of the band members. Unfortunately, it was the last album with the best Russian Death Metal drummer ever - Nickolay Byckoff. He died in a sudden car accident last year. We will definitely miss his talent in the future, rest in peace Nickolay. Maria Abaza (vocals/bass) still incorporates well her death shrieks along with some ultra guttural voices. Her bass work is also remarkable. And last but not least, we have the Ioffe-Nazarov pair, whose guitar technique is some sort of supernatural phenomenon. Especially wild is the soloing work! It's a pity, but it seems that I wouldn't pick any song above the other as "Brutal Constructor" features just flawless songs in my opinion! It's a blasting over-structured and over-brutalized sonic Death Metal annihilation! That's it! And to all this you can add two cover versions. One on DEATH's "Zombie Ritual" song that was, of course, merlinized and executed in a way that Chuck (R.I.P.) would also estimate outstanding. The second one is "Slaughter on Ice", which is nothing else than a classic Prokofiev cover! Again flawlessly executed and merlinized to the core! In a word, if you wish to be torn apart in circa 32 minutes then you should buy this incredibly ferocious record right now! MERLIN is for sure a band that widening the borders of Death Metal even further!
Band contact: c/o Mary Abaza, Volgina str.25-2-189, 117437 Moscow, RUSSIA
"Cadaveric Changes" CD 2007
Hell yeah! Finally out the long-awaited new CD by these Slovakian deathgrinders! The core of the band is still: Peter Hija (vocals), Peter Hutyra (guitars, bass) and Marek Mikudik (drums). "Cadaveric Changes" combines 9 tracks of rather sick Death/Grind devastation in approximately 32 minutes. The trio does everything on a pretty high level due to the insane live activity they manage to produce lately! The new stuff is quite different from the 2 years ago released "Slaughter of the Fatstock" album, be it musically or sound-wise, it simply displays a band with another view and another attitude. So to say, the band progressed amazingly a lot during this 2-year period! Their new songs are totally crazy, full of energetic yet complex rhythmic solutions, furious guitar parts and extra guttural vocals. The guitars have been tuned as low as possible thus making the entire material sounding ultra sick. I would also like to point out Marek's unstoppable variations, especially hand-wise, because there's a hell of a lot of breaks, blasts and fills there. To all this you should imagine a very tough, brutal yet clear sound production! Their half an hour long repertory storms like a tsunami and there's really no escape from its massive sonic attack! The CD comes with a quality 12-paged booklet full of killer live & band photos + lyrics (there's even a bonus insert with lyrics in Slovakian language too) and if somebody needs more there's a video clip for "Coldness (Algor Mortis)" song + lots of interesting stuff in the multimedia part as well. Mental & physical satisfactions are 100% guaranteed!!! Go and get your copy now! Preferred songs are: "Blood Coagulation" (like the opening riff a lot!), "Gas Diffusion" (nice, melodic solo there) and "Autolysis vs. Putrefaction" (awesome that alternated riff along with those variegated drum patterns at the end).
Band contact: Peter Hutyra, SNP 1445/37-2, 017 07 Povazska Bystrica, SLOVAKIA
"Ordinary Misanthropic & Repulsive Anthems" CD 2009
(Rebirth The Metal Productions / Darzamadicus Records)
The latest MOONFOG album continues the well-guessed path established on "Cadaveric Changes", which in my opinion was more brutal, sick and insane. Still the new album kicks ass, but in a different way. With "Ordinary Misanthropic & Repulsive Anthems" the band reaches a maximally clear sound-production thus, of course, achieving less brutality, but, for example, all those fast riffs, which earlier sounded to me a bit chaotic now come in a rather crystallized way. I would say the band expanded pretty much its sounding and developed it to the next level. After the sinister intro called "Traumatic Prelude" we have a deal with 10 bone crushing, ultra technical, fast as hell and extremely repulsive anthems, which are all about to destroy and damage your nerve system. This sonic therapy lasts circa 34 minutes and guarantees all pleasures of the flesh & blood. Fans into gore lyrics will also enjoy the stories there, which are pretty meaty this time. They were laid down with the precision of a serial killer and executed in a sick as possible manner. The cover artwork supports the sick tendency of the lyrics and appropriately displays 3 zombified butchers very busy with their dirty job. Conception-wise it's pretty similar to CANNIBAL CORPSE's "Butchered at Birth" cover. This massive album was recorded by the same trio as its predecessor was, i.e. Peter Hija (vocals), Peter Hutyra (guitars, bass) and Marek Mikudik (drums). At the end, let me mention some of my favorite throat-cuts out of the 11 songs, they are "Human Colony Collapse" (with its super fast tempo during the entire track), "Leprosarium" (love those catchy riffs & double-bass attacks) and "Use Me for Torment" (simply awesome blasts and energetic riffs there). All is left to say, the doctor wholeheartedly recommends this brutal Death/Grind recipe for all the crazy underground freaks out there.
Band contact: Peter Hutyra, SNP 1445/37-2, 017 07 Povazska Bystrica, SLOVAKIA
"Smear Campaign" CD 2006
One of my friends gave me the NAPALM DEATH's "Smear Campaign" promo to check it out and to write a review. The CD was already covered with dust when I finally found a spare minute to listen to it. Actually I'm not a fan of the band and this is because I have never listened to them nor read about them up till now. Of course I've heard about NAPALM DEATH's accomplishments but somehow couldn't get myself to listen to them. And now I join the army of the band's fans.
The story of NAPALM DEATH's life is even longer than mine. They've released 13 albums, were the first band to play the style that later came to be known as grindcore, were included in the Guinness Book of World Records as writers of the shortest song ("You Suffer" from their first album "Scum"), and also lost one of their band mates Jesse Pintado.
And now to the point. What is smear campaign? It is a deliberate plan to tell untrue stories about an important person in order to make people lose respect for them. "Smear Campaign" is also considered to be one of the best NAPALM DEATH's albums. The main lyrical focus is criticism of the United States Government and other governments, who are strongly religious, take, for instance, the title of the song "Puritanical Punishment Beating".
What is characteristic of most grindcore bands is that the vocals tend to be monotonous but this is not true of "Smear Campaign". They are switching from low growls to high shrieks during the 45 minutes' play time. As for drumming, I would call it typical death which includes lots of fast blasting. The whole album is an insistent blend of noise, riffs and catchy melodies.
The opus starts with "the pain of the world", i.e. "Weltschmerz". A fantastic instrumental track with some piano added and a voice with intonation like that of Hitler's in the background. One of the most vigorous tracks on the album is "Sink Fast, Let Go". It is skillfully performed with a wide range of vocals. The next track, namely "Fatalist" reminded me of SLAYER. The drumming is notable for being filled with energy. Another one worth being mentioned is "In Deference". It is extremely rhythmic and features a guest appearance by Anneke van Giersbergen – vocalist for the Dutch band THE GATHERING. As for "Short-Lived" I can't help repeating "In and out of boxes and herded into packs...". It has some punk features that make it highly dynamic. "Shattered Existence" is, to my mind, a logical and musical continuation of the previous one called "Identity Crisis". "Eyes Right Out" is melodic and the lyrics is like a list of instructions to carry out. Another one, "Rabid Wolves (For Christ)" will definitely become the favourite of every extreme music fan. Seeing is believing but the guys from NAPALM DEATH say, "Believing is deceiving". You're expecting something special from "Persona Non Grata" at the beginning. And it definitely surprises you by the way it is performed, by some clear vocals towards the end of the song and of course by some really cool riffs in the end which later on turn to be the beginning of the next track. The album ends with "Smear Campaign" which differs greatly from the rest of the album, first of all due to the vocals. The lines are moshing inside of your head all day long.
To sum it all up, I'd say that the album's suitable for every fan of heavy music as it is melodic, brutal, entertaining and totally unexpected at the same time. I would strongly recommend everyone who hasn't got this album yet to buy it and to get ready for a real grindcore attack that will definitely slay everything within a 100 kilometers radius. (Review written by Outsider)
"Stín" CD 2005
This band used to call their style earlier as experimental positive music (why then the bandname is negative?). Well, it was and still really strange categorization, isn't it? OK, to make clearer the musical direction of NEGATIVE FACE I will tell you they play progressive Doom Metal with elements from almost all the musical genres, beginning with classic, jazz, fusion, rock, whatever up to Death Metal. Vocals are as varied and limitless as the music itself. There are so many instruments and influences involved that I fear even to count them, ha-ha... The band or I should say the team (11 people in total???!!!) has a big potential undoubtedly. But to be honest this kind of abstract yet meditative music isn't for me at all. It's looking more like a cocktail of every style known. There are 10 songs in about 38 minutes supported by an excellent sound production. The CD-packaging is also remarkable. I can advise this band for people who simply like good music without borders and without exact style-categorizations.
Band contact: Matej Lipský, Hradeínská 70, 101 00 Prague 10, CZECH REPUBLIC
"Quarrel In Hell" CD 2007
(Ibex Moon Records)
It's the third album by this antichristian Brazilian Death Metal horde. I would say the quintet plays typical Death Metal, 'cause there's really nothing captivating in their 48 minutes long disc. Even the appearance of such special guests as Alex Camargo (KRISIUN), John McEntee (INCANTATION), Emperor Magus Caligula (DARK FUNERAL), Sanguine & Wrath (AVERSE SEFIRA), Mark "Barney" Greenway (NAPALM DEATH) doesn't helped them to get an extra interest to their material. The plain guitar riffs, monotonous vocal parts and the drummer's total lack of fantasy during the entire album makes me sleepy. I really wish this band to have better albums out in the future, 'cause the actual 10 compositions are bored me to death. At the very end of the CD, you can taste a cover on MOTÖRHEAD's mighty "Iron Fist" song. Unfortunately their version became as it was expected really boring. SODOM has done a flawless cover of that particular song back in 1987!
Label contact: Ibex Moon Records, P.O. Box 5321, Johnstown, PA 15904, USA
"Forget Arcadia" CD 2011
(Darzamadicus Records / Sevared Records)
NOMENMORTIS is around us since 1992 and this is their fourth full-length album to date. The band was always mixing the most extreme forms of underground music. "Forget Arcadia" can be divided into 3 parts. First part including their new effort in 14 tracks (circa 46 minutes), which mainly reminded me the first 2 records of CARCASS, so you can expect a fast, unmerciful, non-stop blasting mixture of grindcore with a sound that perfectly fits this kind of extreme music! Recording line-up was Martin (lead vocals – the only member who left since 1992), Adam (guitars, bass, backing vocals) and Neptun (drums). Fans of old-school grindcore musick will definitely enjoy this sonic massacre! The second part features an old, maximally fastened up, song from the band's 3rd album re-recorded in 2011, so the sound is as massive as for the beforehand mentioned 14 cuts. Then we have the third part that gathers 6 more tunes taken from the unreleased "Loathspells" album (2009). These tracks have a little bit chaotic mixing, but they still do a pretty awesome sound effect. Somehow it reminded me in some ways GORGUTS' latter over-brutalized era. So in total we have 21 lethal pieces to select from. Get this devastating CD right now!!!
Band contact: NOMENMORTIS, c/o Martin Lukac, Lomonosovova 2, 040 01 Kosice, SLOVAKIA
"Back To The Shores Of Grey" CD 2008
(Heavy Horses Records)
The story of this German Black/Death Metal horde starts in 1996. Since that time the band's arsenal has been enriched by a demo from 2003, a full-length called "North Arise" from 2004, a split 7" from 2006 and now with their second album to date. "Back to the Shores of Grey" stands for raw & uncompromising Black/Death Metal exclusively. It captures 9 songs of an apocalyptic vision to come. The grimness, the aggression and all those dark atmospheres the band operates with are not simply common, but a must for these underground styles. This album won't open the gates to something new or undone before as it features all the traditional marks & melodies these styles produced over the years. Anyway, it's a great album, which has just awesome tunes and destroying sound qualities to perceive. The vocal abilities & the overall execution of them reminded me Abbath of IMMORTAL very much, while musically I have to draw NORDAFROST a shortcut to the Scandinavian scene, especially to bands such as NECROPHOBIC, DISSECTION and the aforesaid IMMORTAL. If you are upset about the freezing sounds of the north then this album is what you are searching for. Get obsessed or curse instead!!! Preferred tracks: "Cursed Despot", "Carnal Worship" and "Aversion".
Label contact: Heavy Horses Records, c/o Markus Wedig, Zellerstr. 21, 78465 Konstanz, GERMANY