FANTHRASH
"Duality Of Things" CD 2011
(Rising Records)
The roots of FANTHRASH guides us back to the year 1986, when they formed under the name of FANTOM. Unfortunately, after a couple of demos the band split up in 1992, but luckily reformed in 2007. "Duality Of Things" is their very first full-length album to date, but I have to admit it's pretty mature and has a top sounding quality. The quintet – Less (vocals), Greg (guitars & artistic vision), Pilate (lead guitars), Mary (bass) and Radd (drums) – processed a flawless work on the 12 tracks of the near 50 minutes long CD. Stylistically the five-piece propagates and possesses Thrash Metal in its heaviest form. But they are so tough and heavy sometimes that I would even consider them a Thrash/Death Metal band though. Plenty of great, twisted, complex riffs, groovy parts, ultra melodic yet fast solos combine their songs. For checking out their skills I advise you to listen to their experimental "Lizard Skeleton" tune. As the practice proved us, Polish bands whatever do, they do it seriously and professionally. So if you are into quality Thrash Metal, get this album right now. The CD comes with a nice quality booklet designed by Greg & Less. There's a new 3-track EP called "Apocalypse Cyanide" is out as well, so get both by contacting the band.
FATAL BAND
"Cornered" MCD 2010
(MSR Productions)
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.
FINAL SIX
"Religious Psychosis" CD 2015
(Thanatology Productions)
Experimental grind'n'roll massacre with only bass, drums & vocals is what awaits us on "Religious Psychosis" – an album that features 19 songs in total. I would grade their music into two categories; the first contains straight, super fast and super short grindcore tunes, which are paying tribute to the pioneers of the genre, while there are songs full of funny, catchy, groovy parts with crazy hysteric-like screams and ultra deep pig snorts – something that is pretty common for the new-generation of gore- and porngrind acts. The absence of guitars in is this kind of style is a bit strange to me, but I can assure you FINAL SIX sounds super killer with their over-distorted bass likewise. The band features Jarek on bass, Krzysztof on drums and both Kacper & Kasia on vocals. Their debut album lasts a little bit more than half an hour and hides 2 special covers at the end of it (VADER's "Carnal" and AGNOSTIC FRONT's "Power"). Both are worth to check out! Besides the insane musical mixture I also really enjoyed to observe their fantastic cover artwork! Hope to listen to their second album in the near future!
FORMOSUS
"Signvm" MCD 2012
(Self-released)
Unfortunately this Polish Melodic Death Metal quintet is already split-up. Besides this 5-track EP they also released a demo called "Alter" in 2008. Listening to their 20 minutes long stuff one can clearly understand why this band broke up so fast. First of all, because the music they made was totally unoriginal/uninteresting and lack of any highlights in it. Secondly, nowadays there's a pile of other bands copying the outworn Swedish Melodic Death Metal cliché, which does this far better. I can only write about the influences and parallels regarding their compositions. Here's a list of a few Swedish bands, which names just automatically jumped in during the listening of their EP: AT THE GATES, early IN FLAMES and DARK TRANQUILLITY, HYPOCRISY (especially during the instrumental title track), A CANOROUS QUINTET and SACRILEGE. In case you collect every single release put out by a melodic Death Metal band, then go ahead and grab this one too!
GUTTED
"Martyr Creation" CD 2016
(Xtreem Music)
I've been paying attention to Hungarian GUTTED since their debut album "Defiled" (2001). I remember how complex and atrocious was it at first listen, albeit musically it captured an over brutalized mixture of such Death Metal pioneers as DEICIDE, CANNIBAL CORPSE and CRYPTOPSY in my opinion. With the addition of Gábor Drótos (guitarist) the band began to evolve step by step omitting the influences. There were two more releases "Human Race Deserves to Die" (2005) and "Mankind Carries the Seeds of Hell" (2010) in the row until their most original and best work to date was born. "Martyr Creation" is simply mind-blowing in every sense of it. After the mysterious intro "Chaos of the Beginning" the 5-piece pounder-unit strikes into the riffs of "Cosmos of Humans", which is my favorite song off the 10-track CD. That one has the essence of Death Metal in its 3 minutes. I mean here the ultimate combination of speed, melodies, dynamism and brutality. The energy is just awesome there. It follows "False Happiness". Another super fast tune with lots of staccato like guitar madness and soloing from the world beyond. Have to admit with Tamás Sándor behind the drumkit the band did a fair replacement to Zsolt Kovács, who was an insane beast drummer so to say. The bulldozer-like drumming in "Consuming Life" corroborates their right choice. The 5th track is "Deeper than Hell" which was selected for the video clip idea as well. This one became very variegated to be honest. You can hear there lots of interesting rhythm changes, blasting, otherworldly acoustic parts plus an awesome child monologue executed by the daughter of the vocalist. In a few moments I felt a strong BEHEMOTH/NILE twist, but who cares, still amazing track in total. "Fades Away" continues the massacre. It's a hyper fast track featuring a catchy but pretty short guest solo by Attila Vörös. It reminded me a bit the "Defiled" era. Pure brutality in a word! Then we have "Kings of Emptiness", a massive riff-orgy with kind of DECAPITATED-like riffing and crazy as hell bass parts of Péter Lipák. Interesting fact, that this is the only song contributed by the other guitar player András Horváth. Composition number eight named "Hell Dwells Inside". It grinds perfectly and is followed by the most abstract and surreal track of the album called "Into Oblivion". This song also features guest vocals by Attila Csihar. Coincidence? I think not! Anyway it is a superb tune which at the end continuously passes into the last cut, a symphonic-oriented outro, namely "Atrophied Existence". I can easily conclude that the ultra fast tempos are more than determinative for GUTTED's music. They dictate so high tempos that you have to hear them to believe! The chemistry of the musicianship is just remarkable. At the end, let me introduce Sándor Hajnali the man behind the microphone and only member left from the beginnings. His vocals or rather say growls/screams are kind of trademark in GUTTED's music. Earlier he used to sing mostly in the manner of Glen Benton, but on "Martyr Creation" he stepped forward quite a lot and finally built-up an own character that's just great. Still there's a small detail he should definitely improve in the near future, which concerns his pronunciation, though it sounds special in some cases. To sum it up, this album is a blast from the beginning to the end! I really enjoyed listening to it and thus waiting for the continuation. Fans into technical and brutal Death Metal should check it immediately!
HEAVING EARTH
"Redemption Ablaze" EP 2012
(Self-released)
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!!!
HEGEMONE
"Luminosity" CD 2014
(Self-released)
If you like atmospheric, slow motion-picture-like marching music then you will definitely enjoy HEGEMONE's debut album. The quartet plays king of really catchy blackened post metal during their six-song repertory. The overall atmosphere is pretty Nordic thus the fact the band comes from Poland adds even an exotic touch to HEGEMONE as a musical entity. The cyclic, sometimes even ritualistic and trans-like riffing approach creates a calm and very relaxing mood. The 47 minutes long album is full of better and better soundscapes, which are perfect for just relaxing or also for reading books meanwhile. The electronics got a big part in making this album even more variegated plus have to admit the mesmerizing saxophone parts are just fantastic and extraordinary. The angry blackish vocals come pretty good along with the well-thought sound production of "Luminosity". Meanwhile the band released a digital split with Belarusian CHALLENGER DEEP, where their new track demonstrates a bit less black metal influenced approach; it is more experimental and I would say ambient-like. Anyone interested in this outstanding Polish band, feel free to get in touch with the band to order this masterpiece or simply visit their pages to dive into their sounds. Me personally, looking forward to their second full-length album!
HELL UNITED
"Aura Damage" CD 2012
(Hellthrasher Productions)
Massive second album has been unleashed upon the humankind by the Tarnów-based Death/Black squad HELL UNITED. The band counts four sinner souls in its ranks, i.e. Void (vocals/guitar), Rzulty (guitar), Bartollo (bass) & Dügy (drums). The CD consists of 9 blasphemous pieces, which are about to crush your brain not only sonically, but lyrically as well. The band plays very tight plus knows the ultimate combinations between harmonies and brutality, which led them to create a perfect essence of dark arts. However, the albums of such huge hordes as BEHEMOTH, KRISIUN and IMMOLATION had a very big impact on HELL UNITED's musical substance. Still it doesn't mean they have nothing own to offer, just keep in mind the mentioned analogies. In the 35 minutes of "Aura Damage" you can witness the sheer power and immense brutality of the strong yet devastating unit called HELL UNITED. Throughout their tunes you will definitely bump into some really high-speed double bass attacks, morbid invocations, obscure blackish atmospheres and solos from the other side. A must for all the fans of Death & Black Metal genres! Can't wait to check out their forthcoming release, hopefully it will arrive sooner than I assume!
HELLBRINGER
"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
HELLEBORUS
"The Carnal Sabbath" CD 2016
(Satanath Records)
HELLEBORUS is a creation of the Houseman brothers known also from the Black/Death Metal entity called AKHENATEN. In HELLEBORUS the music is a bit different, I would say more mystic, grandiose, atmospheric and abstract at the same time. Still they use to compose songs mainly in the frames of Black Metal, more punctually in its symphonic vein. The nine tracks of "The Carnal Sabbath" debut album have been masterfully arranged, executed and armed with a top sound quality. The influences of CRADLE OF FILTH and DIMMU BORGIR can be heard in a few compositions, but still the USBM way is totally different in my opinion. For example in their "Temple of Seventh Death" the contemplative approach is just awesome, while songs like "Edge of Black Waters" and "A Gift of Renewal" start off with some really old-school Heavy Metal riffs, that are pretty odd for such music, but still work fine in total. They also like to incorporate relaxant parts in their music, thus I found their album good for meditation too. And as beseem for such a material it lasts almost an hour, well 55 minutes to be precise. You can order this CD directly from Satanath Records or have a listen to the entire album at the band's bandcamp site.
HELLSPAWN
"The Great Red Dragon" CD 2012
(Wydawnictwo Muzyczne Psycho)
This is the second full-length album of this less-known, but really worthy Polish Death Metal quartet. To my surprise their 10-song repertory stormed pretty well in my ear-phones. Their tunes are very well-constructed and professionally recorded. Musically I would compare them to their most successful neighbours – BEHEMOTH – and their "Pandemonic Incantations" album. The riffing techniques, the musicians' overall skills and even the sound production are pretty similar to that era of BEHEMOTH. We have a deal with obscure fairly blackened Death Metal inferno. The greatest thing about this release is that it has no modern influences at all, everything kept in the old-school way of the 90s! Their tracks are full of evil energies, killer dynamics, fast blast beats and unmerciful vocals! The album lasts nearly 28 minutes, which one would say isn't a long album at all, am I right? But believe me it is simply ideal for this kind of sonic destruction as "The Great Red Dragon" crushes like a tsunami and songs like "Diabolic" or "The Greatest King Among Demons" display how proficient the musicians of HELLSPAWN are!
IBLIS
"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!!!
INFERNAL DEATH
"Gniew" CD 2012
(Wydawnictwo Muzyczne Psycho)
Despite this band was formed in 1991 (but then split up in 1993 and became active again from 2009) their heritage is pretty small. Having a couple of demos on their bill the first full-length album came out only in 2012. The main influence as one can already notice by the band's name is the mighty DEATH, especially their "Scream Bloody Gore" masterpiece. The 10 songs of "Gniew" musically reflect those plain riffs, but unfortunately the lack of originality is totally audible in their repertory. The sound production is raw and close to those times when DEATH, AUTOPSY, MASSACRE, INCANTATION and other classic Death Metal bands ruled the scene. Moreover, the 5-piece eagerly spices up their songs with some Thrash Metal vibe, which is cool indeed plus a big dose of blast beats are also presented there. Their lyrics were written and sang in Polish language, this fact in my opinion can be taken as an exotic approach. As a bonus the CD contains the band's 1991 demo called "Twilight Tales". The sound is quite bad there, but being restored from some old archive cassette it is still interesting to listen to it. The only thing I wish for INFERNAL DEATH for the future is to find their own path and try to sound less like old DEATH demos!
KILL WITH HATE
"Voices Of Obliteration" CD 2012
(PRC Music)
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!
MANIPULATION
"Ecstasy" CD 2015
(Satanath Records)
Let's imagine a musical alloy that combines the dark monumentality of BEHEMOTH plus the nowadays so beloved movement among the youth, which is deathcore respectively. The five members of MANIPULATION are skilled enough to bring you some super technical, ultra complex and heavy as hell repertory. Thus you can easily bump into a bunch of blasting machinegun fires with unmissable breakdowns, twisted guitar riffs spiced up with otherworldly melodies and fairly wicked vocalizing techniques. Musically it is a very variegated album so to say, but quite enjoyable and there's a big potential in this musicianship, just listen to their "Sunset over Vatican" song, which besides the marvelous soloing includes a decent dose of originality as well. Needless to say, the sound-production of the whole material is just crushing and as massive as possible. If you crave for extreme, here and there experimental but totally high-quality Death Metal made in Poland, don't hesitate to order the third opus of MANIPULATION! Worth to check out!!!
MASACHIST
"Scorned" CD 2012
(Selfmadegod Records)
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!
NOMENMORTIS
"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
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