GUEST POST: Daniel Valcazar of Ernia – Top Albums Of 2018

Spanish Death Metal/Grindcore act Ernia, just released their brand new album, The Limits of Purity on Absolute Contempt Records. Guitarist Daniel Valcazar has shared his top albums of 2018 with Ghost Cult and our readers Continue reading

November 9th 2018 New Music Releases

Check out all of today’s new releases in the music world! Continue reading

AWOOGA – Conduit

You think I’d have learned with Slugdge. That whole book/cover, band/band name thing is long established by now… So, let me start by saying loud and clear, judge Awooga by their band name maybe not at your peril, but most certainly at your immense loss. Because debut full-length Conduit (Rockosmos) is truly excellent ,and if every person that finds something of interest in the barrage of words I’m about to spew about them goes and checks them out, and passes on the name to a friend or two, we have a chance of getting this quite special new band the coverage they deserve. Continue reading

Cattle Decapitation – The Anthropocene Extinction

TheAnthropoceneExtinction

It’s hardly an original observation, but genre labels can be something of a two-edged sword, especially when the band in question fall outside of such strict definitions. I came to The Anthropocene Extinction (Metal Blade) without having a heard a note of Cattle Decapitation’s music, but their reputation as a brutal Death/Grind band gave me strong expectations – expectations which utterly failed to capture the reality.

The grind influences which the band are largely known for are present here, but combined with a number of other reference points and styles in a way that transforms them quite beyond the ordinary.  The base-line style throughout is a crunchy, Grind-touched Death Metal that’s as comfortable with punishing grooves and sinister melodies as it is with blasting, but they expand their palette further with quasi-“industrial” effects, atmospheric passages and creepily-effective clean vocal sections. The vocals are probably the key touch-stone for the genuine fluidity of the music on The Anthropocene Extinction, switching from cavernous DM growls, pig-squeals and high-end shrieks to near-operatic, oddly paralysed singing which is hard to describe positively on paper but fits with the music perfectly.  This breadth of styles throws up some genuinely surprising reference-points, calling to mind Anaal Nathrakh or unsigned Bandcamp heroes Slugdge as often as Carcass.

Drawing on such a broad range of Metal influences runs the risk of collapsing into a formless mess, but Cattle Decapitation have the strength of song-writing and sense of individuality to hold it together.  The album is structured well throughout, with a sense of progression that maintains interest across a collection of songs which could easily have outstayed its welcome. The production does them a number of favours too, giving a sense not only of power and genuine heaviness but also of professionalism and authority – this is a “serious” album, not some arm-flailing Grindcore tantrum.

The Anthropocene Extinction is not likely to break any boundaries or transform the way you think about music, but it is likely to be one of the standout albums of big production values, genre-blind Heavy Metal in 2015.

 

8.0/10

 

RICHIE HR

Apophys – Prime Incursion

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For those who get their kicks from death metal bands with sci-fi lyrical concepts rather than tried and tested blood n’ guts themes, the debut record from Dutch stargazers Apophys will be more welcome than cast iron evidence of Area 51’s nefarious deeds. Featuring current members of God Dethroned and Detonation in their ranks, the quintet have recorded one seriously heavy record in Prime Incursion (Metal Blade) and have set the bar very high for fellow competitors who believe in scheming reptilians rather than bloodthirsty demons.

The band deliver a systematic battering over the course of nine tracks that hit harder than a sledgehammer, yet still find the time for the odd bit of noodling or a breakdown in speed to collect themselves before the onslaught begins again. Aided by a seemingly inhuman drummer who wields his double-bass pedals like pneumatic drills, the atmosphere remains tense and punishing throughout. This is best demonstrated by the sinister film quote and monstrous groove that begin ‘The Antidote’ while opening track ‘Dimensional Odyssey’ is a no-holds-barred bludgeon that brings to mind vintage Decapitated. Elsewhere, the eerie melodies of ‘Ego’ conjure images of an abandoned spacecraft drifting into the void, the slaughtered crew a testament to the madness which occurred there.

Clocking in at a mere thirty-nine minutes and thankfully avoiding pointless interludes that plague fellow bands with progressive ambitions, Prime Incursion gets the job done in uncompromising style and shows a band with an equal level of talent and prospects. The riffs are devastating, the vocals guttural, and the rhythm section is out of this world. Fans of the likes of Abiotic and Slugdge would do well to check this out when they get a break from listening to the police scanner.

 

7.5/10

Apophys on Facebook

 

JAMES CONWAY