Coming off a self-titled demo in 2019, Midnight Dice’s first EP, Hypnotized (Underground Power Records/Hoove Child Records), sees the Chicagoans continuing to build their momentum. Comparisons to the musicians’ previous band Satan’s Hallow remain inevitable as Hypnotized rides on a similarly anthemic Classic Metal style. However, there are also developments that show the band beginning to carve out a more distinct identity. Continue reading
A popular name amongst the musical community, there are several Ghouls in the band world. There are the legendary punk rockers from Japan, the cult black metal outfit from the UK and the gothic German rock band who only made one 7-inch vinyl. There are also a few others, including the subject of this review, the Ghoul of Oakland, California. With a cult following and more masks than WesCraven’s garage, Hang Ten (Tankcrimes) is the quartet’s latest EP and it’s one that combines their penchant for the thrash, the punk and the death.
Largely instrumental, the six-song release weighs in at just over 17 minutes long, giving you small and quick blasts of music throughout. Leading with speedy thrasher ‘The Midnight Ride of the Cannibals MC,’ Hang Ten starts and continues to be short but deathly sweet. From the 70’s punk-esque beginnings of ‘Sidehackers’ to the mixture of death and hardcore vocals on ‘Kregg’ this EP may sound at first like a straight up thrash affair but for those willing to give it another listen, there’s more dimensions to Hang Ten than first meets the ears. Got a spare twenty minutes? Give this a try.
The tolling of the bell calls out to the disciples of metal to join this unholy sonic experience as once more we make a sacrifice of the living to join the realm of the dead. Known as the garden of England, Kent may not seem the usual breeding ground for such homage to blood, booze and brutality, but underneath the tranquil exterior lies Monumentomb, a four-piece death metal band hailing from Maidstone. Appearing on the scene with their debut album Ritual Exhumation, they have unleashed a record of pure chaotic fury. Digging up the old sound, their music pays homage to the Swedish scene with definite hints of Entombed and Grave coursing throughout each song.
At a mere 30 minutes long, this is a short, sharp attack on the senses. Opening with the call of church bells, it is a deceptively calm intro that launches up straight through into title track ‘Ritual Exhumation’. From there on out the album is unrelenting in its frantic clawing from beginning to end, with every instrument barely holding itself in place with its inexhaustible aggressive energy. It is only during ‘Perpetual Execution Torment’ that the listener is given the briefest interlude with the arrival of backing vocals that perfectly counterpoint Byron Braidwood’s gutturals. Monumentomb are showing they mean serious business here with razor-sharp riffs, piercing solos and great production quality. Although it can lean slightly on the repetitive side at points, there’s no doubting Ritual Exhumation could challenge many of the newest release by the big names in death metal. This is pure, old school death metal at its very finest.