Translating roughly to “fallen angels”, the eponymously titled seventh album from Spanish thrashers Angelus Apatrida is another brutal barrage of sweat, riffs and fury. Once again, guitarist/vocalist Guillermo Izquierdo and his bass playing brother José J. Izquierdo are joined by second guitarist David G. Álvarez, and Victor Valera on drums, admirably retaining the same stable line-up now for close to twenty years.
Who decided to file Portrayal of Guilt under Screamo? Where should we file them? I don’t know, that’s for folks who spend their time and energy in the endless heavy music genre debates and on websites like Encyclopaedia Metallum to decide. You know, the type of people that will insist that Annihilator isn’t a Thrash band as they really fall under Speed Metal. They are truly doing the Lord’s work. But to slap the screamo tag on Portrayal of Guilt, particularly on We Are Always Alone (Closed Casket Activities) seems a bit simplistic.
Hallows Eve was quite an anomaly back in the halcyon days of Eighties Heavy Metal. Even going by the standards of a time when subgenres were still nebulous and ill-defined, the Atlantans’ approach was difficult to pin down. Utilizing familiar tropes in unfamiliar ways, their Alice Cooper-inspired horror theatrics set them apart from their Speed Metal peers while their Punk attitude was a far cry from King Diamond. Their 1985 debut album, Tales Of Terror (Metal Blade Records), is easily the rawest and arguably the most endearing iteration of their Horror Metal formula.
For their seventh full-length studio release, Irish thrashers Gama Bomb return with a 19th-century nautical theme. Sort of like Moby Dick except with a Yeti, Sea Savage(Prosthetic Records) finds the band dressed like a hairier version of the cast of arthouse horror film The Lighthousewhile presenting the album as a play split into two acts. Or at least try to anyway, as they inevitably end up getting sidetracked into songs involving movies and martial arts.
A latecomer to the ’80s thrash scene, Californian act Evildead still managed to turn out two fine examples of speed metal riffery before disbanding, another victim of the burgeoning grunge movement. Aside from a single released in 2011, a first reunion proved fruitless, but this time the band includes most of the personnel from their 1989 debut, Annihilation of Civilization (SPV/Steamhammer), with bassist Karlos Medina (who played on the follow-up) completing the new and improved line-up.
Formed in 1989, but with less than a handful of full-length studio albums to their name, Canadian thrashers Entropy aren’t exactly the most prolific act in the universe. A seventeen-year absence from 1995 to 2012, and a gap of eight years since their previous album hasn’t helped, but whenever the two remaining original members, vocalist Ger Schreinert, and guitarist Dan Lauzon, do eventually get together, the results are always worth waiting for.Continue reading →
Ghost Cult was honored to chat with musician and artist Jacob Bannon of Converge, Wear Your Wounds, and his new band Umbra Vitae. That group just released their debut album, Shadow of Life, (read our review here), a brutal, OSDM flavored album created by Jacob and a group of master musicians and friends such as Mike McKenzie (The Red Chord, WYW) and Sean Martin (Twitching Tongues, ex Hatebreed, WYW) Greg Weeks (The Red Chord, Labor Hex) and Jon Rice (Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, Job For A Cowboy). In a frank discussion with our editor Keefy, Jacob discussed the impact coronavirus has had on the music world and more specifically his bands and his label Deathwish Inc., what are the Death Metal inspirations of the group, how Umbra Vitae came together, how this is a full band and not side-project, the poem that inspired the band name and the entire album, an update on new Converge and WYW music, and much more. Jacob is working to stay focused and creative during the pandemic to keep his bands and Deathwish Inc. alive in all of this and if you can, please support his music, art activities at these links.
Converge is one of the lucky Hardcore/Punk bands that has seen notable success over the years. Though they have flirted with the metal genre on some of their albums like The Poacher Diaries(Relapse Records) and You Fail Me (Epitaph Records), frontman Jason Bannon has been itching to make something heavier. This veteran vocalist loves his celebrated children Converge and Wear Your Wounds, but is now really exposing his heart for ferocity with his new Death Metal project, Umbra Vitae. Along with some other experienced and eager members, Bannon has just released the band’s debut LP, Shadows of Life on his own label, Deathwish Inc.
Ghost Cult continues to fly the flag of Slayer high, and customarily we celebrate the life of Jeff Hanneman, who passed away on May 2nd, 2013. Jeff left an indelible mark on all of metal through the music and performances he created with Slayer. His legacy as a riff maker, songwriter, soloist, and metal personality has not been dampened since his death. In the time since he passed, Ghost Cult observed Slayer as they released a final studio album with Jeff’s contributions (Repentless), had a legend take his spot live (Gary Holt of Exodus), released a comic book with Jeff’s likeness, completed their final world tour ever of two years, released an incredible film/music video trilogy (The Repentless Killogy), former bandmate DaveLombardo wrote a loving tribute to his fallen friend, and we have written two career-spanning retrospectives (read them here and here) on the end of the band. Every night on that final world tour, Slayer honored Jeff during ‘Raining Blood’ with the still reigning banner. Hail Jeff and Hail Slayer!
Judging by its title, the latest release by US thrashers Havok is either a bold, singular statement about this being their fifth full-length studio release, or, rather less plausibly, that it’s actually a concept album based on the 1980s sci-fi series about alien lizard people who wear big red jumpsuits. Sadly, it is, in fact, the rather more mundane first option, but that doesn’t stop V (Century Media) from being bigger and almost as frightening than the hairstyles on that show.Continue reading →