ALBUM REVIEW: The Black Dahlia Murder – Verminous

Taking their name from the brutal unsolved 1947 murder of Elizabeth Short, appropriately monikered Michigan death metallers The Black Dahlia Murder unleash a slightly different kind of visceral hell on Verminous (Metal Blade), their ninth full-length studio album. Continue reading

Exclusive Album Stream: Fractal Generator – Apotheosynthesis

Fractal Generator album

 

Ghost Cult is pleased to present the full album stream of tech-death upstarts Fractal Generator’s debut album – Apotheosynthesis. For fans of the brutality of Deicide, Immolation and Pessimist, yet need that current extreme aesthetic in their life such as Decrepit Birth. You will love the complex riffery and masterful ryhthms. You can stream the album below: 

 

Fractal Generator band picture

Fractal Generator at Bandcamp

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Horrified – Descent Into Putridity

Horrified - Descent Into Putridity album cover

Death Metal is a scene that welcomes reverence to the masters and is happy in its conservatism, providing certain aesthetics are adhered to. So, set your HM2 pedals to stun as Newcastle’s (England) Horrified pay tribute with grand devotion at the altar of Entombed  as they channel the Sunlight Studios spirit to the max on their crunky Death Metal debut Descent Into Putridity (Momento Mori).

‘Tomb Of Rebirth’ lurches into aural consciousness with a crawling opening riff not entirely dissimilar to ‘Dismembered’ by, um, Dismember, from the legendary Like An Everflowing Stream (Nuclear Blast), before the pace is picked up, and Horrified churn down the Left Hand Path (Earache). The lo-fi production gives a sense of timelessness, like this album could have been a product of the Scandinavian Death Metal explosion of the early 90’s. This is also to their detriment at times, as the power and scything rage of closer ‘Repugnant Degeneration’ is hamstrung by a biscuit tin snare and disappearing toms, while the double kicks sound like a 1970’s typewriter.

But the production is only a small element, and adds to the homage Horrified undertake. Dan Alderson’s sandpapered-throat pitches around the Martin van Drunen mark, and helps draw ‘Narcolepsy’ into the Consuming Impulse (Roadrunner) ballpark, before the song swerves off via Leprosy – era Death (Relapse) and ‘Fall From Grace’ (Blessed Are The Sick, Earache) style Morbid Angel tectonics, raging to a close.

Diversity is not necessarily the name of the game here, but neither have we ventured into the land of the pony with one trick, as a slew of gratifying vari-paced old school riffs tick various boxes, with Horrified parading and espousing an obvious love of classic, dirty Death Metal to their benefit.  As the band name may suggest there are also plenty of Repulsion references in some of the grindier and grimier passages, such as the blast that opens of ‘Veil Of Souls’.

You do have to be careful with Death Metal as it’s very easy to end up with a collection filled with thousands of bands not saying anything new or exciting, but all churning out decent enough music that references, but doesn’t better, the greats. That said, a quick dip and a descent into putridity is a good a way to spend half an hour as any.

 

7.0/10

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STEVE TOVEY

Avulsed – Carnivoracity (20th Anniversary Reissue)

avulsed

The fact that Spanish Death Metal was never really a “thing” is despite the hard work and commitment of Mr. Dave Rotten. As a promoter, label boss and vocalist, he was the tireless mentor and visible face of Spain’s nascent 90’s Death Metal scene, and still regarded as a hero to many of the musicians and fans who grew up in that scene. With this enhanced reissue of his own band’s first serious release, Rotten’s own Xtreem Music label aims to celebrate not only his music but the scene he passionately tried to build.

Despite Rotten’s obvious passion and commitment, however, the music on this new edition of Carnivoracity (Xtreem Music) suggests a reason why his beloved scene never really grew beyond its inspirations. Consisting of the initial three track EP (two originals and a Pentagram cover) and a further nine live tracks, there is nothing particularly wrong with Carnivoracity. This is solid, competent Death Metal very much in the 90’s American style, and the live tracks sound surprisingly sharp and heavy. The band’s enthusiasm and passion for what they’re doing shines through constantly – Rotten’s between-song banter in particular reveals a man whose clearly doing exactly what he dreams of, even if you can’t speak Spanish.

The problem, such that it is, is simply that there’s nothing special here. There were a lot better bands doing the same thing in ’94, and there have been a great many since. You can hear Avulsed’s inspirations clearly, but on this record they have no identity of their own.

This is one of those releases that it’s hard to recommend, not because it’s bad but because it’s not clear who’d benefit from buying it – fans of Cannibal Corpse, Monstrosity or early Malevolent Creation will enjoy it, but will already own a shelf full of albums that are better, and those who prefer something quirkier or more abstract in their Death Metal won’t find very much here. Hardcore Avulsed fans or Spanish Death Metal completists may want it for the live tracks, but even within Death Metal, they must be fairly niche groups.

5/10

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RICHIE H-R