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
Check out all of today’s new releases in the music world! Continue reading
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
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.
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.
Here are the “Top 25″ albums I heard this year that didn’t quite make my Top 25. Maybe there’s something in this for you to check out?
As is always the way I’m discovering more great albums from this year now from everyone else’s lists, so, looking forward to checking out Code Orange, Indian, Krokodil, Hark all amongst others!
ANAAL NATHRAKH – Desideratum
Relentless anarchic vitriolic mix of black metal and intense industrial. Reviewed this one – you can read the review here: https://ghostcultmag.com/anaal-nathrakh-desideratum/
ANTROPOMORPHIA – Rites ov Perversion
Old school influenced Death Metal. Good vibe. Nowt new, but bloody well done. Reviewed this one n’all: https://ghostcultmag.com/antropomorphia-rites-ov-perversion/
ARCH ENEMY – War Eternal
Best one they’ve done since Burning Bridges. New vocalist is better than Gossow too. Ha, another I reviewed if you’re interested. https://ghostcultmag.com/arch-enemy-war-eternal/
ARTIFICIAL BRAIN – Labyrinth Constellation
Mental Death Metal.
AUTOPSY – Tourniquets, Hacksaws & Graves
More great Autopsy, innit
COFFINWORM – IV.I.VIII
Hateful, with big, skull crushing riffs. Heavy, weighty. Bit of sludge, bit of doom.
CONAN – Blood Eagle
Epic, heavy doom, innit. Reviewed n’all: https://ghostcultmag.com/conan-blood-eagle/
DARKEST ERA – Severance
Bit of trad, bit Celtic, good riffs, strong vocals. Promising. Good band, good album. Another I wrote about. https://ghostcultmag.com/darkest-era-severance/ (Not necessarily the song I’d have chosen for a vid, but decent enough)
DELAIN – The Human Contradiction
Poppy, bit more symphonic than I was expecting. Went down a storm at Wembley with Within Temptation too.
DEVIN – Dark Matters
Aka Ziltoid 2. The heavier, more symphonic, more metally of the two parts of the double album. I like it, just a bit too much monkeying around at the expense of the songs, for me.
DRAGONFORCE – Maximum Overload
Not quite as good as ‘The Power Within’ but still proving they write better songs since changing vocalists. Some belters on here, tbf.
ENGEL – Raven Kings
Like In Flames, but heavier guitars and catchier choruses. I like this one (well, I like them all on here, or they wouldn’t be on here, but this surprised me). Wrote about it, too. https://ghostcultmag.com/engel-raven-kings/
EPICA – The Quantum Enigma
Took a few listens, but once it clicked, there’s a lot going on but it’s bloody massive. Symphonic to the max. Another I wrote about. https://ghostcultmag.com/epica-the-quantum-enigma/
GRAND MAGUS – Triumph & Power
Ronseal Metal. Doesn’t quite compare to Hammer of the North or Iron Will to me, but big Valhalla filling songs. Very enjoyable, if no surprises. Another of mine. https://ghostcultmag.com/grand-magus-triumph-and-power/
I AM HERESY – Thy Will
Haven’t listened to it for a while, but appealed a lot at the start of the year, and a good combo of metal and hardcore that mixes it up a bit. https://ghostcultmag.com/i-am-heresy-thy-will/
JOB FOR A COWBOY – Sun Eater
Took me by surprise this one. Adding a large dose of Ulcerate to their sound, but all the better for it. Rather than rattle clattering through a load of sterile overly tight DM/core, they wrote some (very) heavy songs, too.
KING 810 – Memoirs Of A Murderer
The marmite album of 2014! Ha, I liked it. Big angsty anthems. Not perfect, but some quality tunes. Korn meets Slipknot fo’ sho’, but some different stuff going on too. Another one off the review list! https://ghostcultmag.com/king-810-memoirs-of-a-murderer/
LORDI – Scare Force One
I like Alice Cooper. I love King Diamond. This mixes the two with aplomb, delivering a monster munch bunch of good fun tracks. https://ghostcultmag.com/lordi-scare-force-one/
MORBUS CHRON – Sweven
Interesting album, this one. Don’t think I’ve quite given it all the time it deserves, but another I’ve liked this year that doesn’t just sit in a box. It starts from Death Metal but doesn’t stay there.
OBITUARY – Inked In Blood
Really good comeback album. Big grooves. Big riffs. Great tunes. Well done. Best Obi’s album since ‘Cause of Death’ , for me.
ORIGIN – Omnipresent
This is a relentless fucker, this one. Love the aggression, love the riffing, love the technicality, love how much it just wants to punch you in the ear drums.
SLEEP OF MONSTERS – Produces Reason
Babylon Whores are one of my “hidden treasures”, probably the most underrated band of all time, always loved Ike’s vocals, too. He doesn’t quite hit it with his new outfit, but some cool gothy, dark/death rock going on. Grabbed this one for review as soon as it appeared in the inbox. https://ghostcultmag.com/sleep-of-monsters-produces-reason/
SLUGDGE – Gastronomicon
Only heard this once so far, but really impressed me on first go, will be getting a fair few listens going forward. Interesting modern melodic death metal.
TOMBS – Savage Gold
Black metal meets post-metal. Really good shit.
WITHIN TEMPTATION – Hydra
Started the year with this one. Massive pop-metal. Preferred the last one and Silent Force, but it’s got some big old songs, mofos. https://ghostcultmag.com/within-temptation-hydra/