Week 114.5 (June 13, 2014)

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Alright, so we’ve got twenty reviews this week. It was twenty-five, but I’ve been a bit busy as of late. Still, twenty reviews in one week is certainly not bad. At any rate, there’s a great mixture here and I’m sure you’ll find something worth checking out among the pile. I also have two announcements:

The first announcement is that Spynal is now writing for us. I came to this decision because her work has always been top-notch and I respect it. She tells the truth, whether you’d like to hear it or not. She’ll be reviewing albums, books, movies, games – whatever in the hell she wants. Just be sure to check out her work when it’s posted.

The second announcement is that I’m going to be doing a late Week 115. There’s no worries, because it’ll still be a ten album list with a highly anticipated disc review included, (As I found was a good idea after November’s Doom) but I’ve been getting so much support from other musicians about my work in Torii, that I’d really like to take about five days to finish up the whole album. Just to tackle the last recording portions of the disc, so that we can get it ready for the apparently hungry masses. It is a meal worthy of your appetite though, backed with a story by yours truly. Even after I finish it, there is still some cosmetic work to be done as far as presentation, because we want you all to have a great physical representation of the record this time. Bill has been working meticulously on that. Trust me, I’ve seen the pieces and they look brilliant. You could hang them in an art gallery. The man really has a style that is all his own, so I’m extremely proud to have his pieces decorate my tale.

Be ready for some updates in other areas and maybe even a new section on the site where I review a bit of a different side of metal. But more on that as it happens. Without further ado, here is Week 114.5!

Cave Of Swimmers - self titled

Cave Of Swimmers – Cave Of Swimmers (2014) – Taking a real nod from Pink Floyd on the album cover, these guys definitely found a way to make their progressive doom shine. Now “Hangman 7:54” isn’t the doomiest number that you’ve ever heard, but it’s got a pretty rocking groove to it that I think you’ll identify with immediately. The vocal approach is a bit of a wail, reminding me of Mastodon a bit (which could be an influence for these guys, as well as Queens Of The Stone Age) as it works to employ a fantastic percussive section. Things certainly get quite tropical, but I’m feeling the island grooves quite well and don’t mind a little dance session to get me going. Then when they throw that guitar solo in there, it becomes downright fucking magical. “Materia 8:42” throws in that old school doom you were looking for, as well as ghostly sort of howl from the band’s extremely talented frontman. Keep in mind that it took two guys to make this thing and it’s one of the best progressive doom fusion bands that I’ve heard in a long while. Things even get a tad atmospheric and slightly trippy; as yet another beautiful solo manages to escape. Just the playing alone on this record is sheer magnificence… I’ve never even heard a guitar make that kind of noise before. These guys must be extraterrestrials. And let’s back up that statement with the EP’s title track and the band’s moniker. As you might expect, this incredible tour-de-force is worth every letter of the praise I’m about to give it, showing how Deep Purple riffs can turn into exceptionally strong chorus melodies, to back an exceptionally strong chorus. As the song continues, it goes through a bit of a metal metamorphosis, with a little bit of thrash and even more memorable percussive prowess. If this record was a cake, then this song would be the diabetes inducing sugary slush of frosting that topped it. This is amazing fucking prog and you’ve got to get it in your ears. I’m not even done with the album review yet, but I’m just floored at how skilled these guys are. These guys are truly virtuosos and I think the world has yet to hear what they’re truly capable of. “Catch 6:07” ends the album with its prog meets Jimi Hendrix riff melodies, with its use of voice clips and such. (is this record about astral travel?) as well as a middle-section which has me with my mouth dropped open like the catch of the day. Put the hook in my mouth and reel me in, because you can consider me caught. As far as the musical antics on this thing go, Cave Of Swimmers is one of the best damn progressive records I’ve ever heard and I highly recommend it to everyone. When I tell you that “I’ve never heard a guitar played like this before” or that “I’m left speechless” by certain instrumental sections, then that should be a good idea of what to expect. You should get your mind blown by this one, of that there is no question. This is a musical orgasm. What’s next? I’m not sure I can even handle another bite. My head might literally explode.

(4 Tracks, 29:00)

10/10

Beauty In The Suffering - Reveille

Beauty And The Suffering – Two Singles (2013 & 2014) – I don’t really know who these guys are, but Beauty And The Suffering seem to have a bit of potential as far as I’m concerned. In fact, they’ve got so much potential that I would really like to hear a full album. The first single “The Crazies (The Zombie Song 3:38” reminds me of Powerman 5000, sort of a mix between Tonight The Stars Revolt! and Transform. With electronics, downtuned riffs and a vocal style much in the vein of Spider One, this is definitely the new face of electronic hard rock and I am definitely down with that. “Reveille 3:53” is a bit more forceful, it hits hard on the chorus and that’s where it succeeds. Both tracks show a rather promising act that I just don’t feel I’ve gotten enough of. This is like handing me a small portion of a feast. I know that it’s not going to be everyone’s thing, but having grown up with this kind of electronic influenced hard rock/metal stuff, I’m definitely a fan of these guys. No emo vocal, no dubstep, just rock, electronics and force. For fans of NIN, Marilyn Manson, Lockjaw, Dakc3ll and more.

(2Tracks, 7:00)

8/10

Hollywood Heads - Blood City Single

Hollywood Heads – Blood City Single (2014) – These Russian rockers start right out with “Blood City 3:32” where they attempt a southern hard rock approach that seems to work well enough for them on this one. The next song I have here is called “Hollywood Heads 3:07” which follows much the same fist pumping style and features some lighter backing melodies, almost with a sort of alternative rock flair. “Aerogrill 3:28” throws in blues riffs and some vocal style that makes me think of J-rock. Then it goes into something that you would expect more for ACDC, yet it does pack a punch. “Game 4:25” is the last song here, and it goes back to those balladic riff melodies, before giving us another shot of whiskey… I mean, vodka soaked southern, err… Siberian hard rock. Definitely worth checking out for hard rockers.

(4Tracks, 14:00)

7/10

COX - Come Here Alive

COX – Come Here Alive (2014) – Another Russian hard rock act, these guys seem to take from melancholic acts like HIM or Hinder. Take the disc’s closer for example. “What About Love 4:34” (which I think is a cover, because I’ve heard it somewhere before) is definitely the kind of soppy pop rock that you can expect from this short disc, filled with a slight bit of gothic morbidity. It definitely sounds like the sort of thing that will appeal to rocker chicks across the globe, especially with the thick makeup applied to these guys. It’s catchy as living hell, but I don’t think I’m going to be jamming it awfully soon. But let’s give them credit where it’s due and assert that it is heavily marketable. These guys could become something really big if they were to break out.

(4Tracks, 17:00)

6/10

On Top - Top To Bottom

On Top – Top To Bottom (2014) – Another hard rock band, but these guys aren’t Russian. At any rate, they make a sort of bluesy sleaze rock with classic influences and a shout along vocals as is heard on album opener “No Shame 3:02” which also showcases some really memorable rock leads. Whoever that is behind the axe, they’ve definitely got some merit and you can tell it right from the start. “Cold And Blue 4:28” almost makes me think of Rage Against The Machine in its vocal delivery, filled with a little bit of thump in areas. They’re certainly attempting to put a little bit of punch into classic rock, as well as the same recallable solo performance as shown in the previous track. “Don’t Go 4:03” continues the same vocal style reminiscent of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Faith No More and the aforementioned RATM. But whatever these guys are up to, someone’s going to buy it and I’m quite sure they’ll find it very pleasing. The last track on here is called “Bad Love 6:18” which I could find relation to almost instantly. At any rate, it definitely works as a solid enough closer to a relatively solid rock album. Could use some more tracks and more variety in areas, but you get the idea with these guys and I guess that’s what’s important. Definitely a rocker that’s worth checking out though, unless you don’t like the rap/rock vocal influence.

(4Tracks, 17:00)

7.5/10

Somnambulist Red - Birth Throes Shadows And Serpentine Curves

Somnambulist Red – Birth, Throes, Shadows And Serpentine Curves (2014) – Well, what I thought was going to be a full album turned out to be just one song. I guess it’s a better way than most to get your avant-garde progressive metal style out there, but I’ll attest to the fact that there’s not really a whole lot here. It’s got a nice and ethereal melody style, somewhat seeming like it pushed through from another dimension. I think it could do well with vocals however and I actually expected to hear some black metal scowls on it. At less than four minutes however, it seems good enough I guess. There’s not really much I can say about it. It’s like one bite of a meal. But I guess that’s what you can expect with these short singles.

(1track, 3:21)

7/10

Monumentomb - Ritual Exhumation

Monumentomb – Ritual Exhumation (2014) – Created by a former member of Spearhead, we’ve got the surprisingly melodic touch to death metal known as Monumentomb. The band considers themselves essential to fans of Carcass, Dismember, Carnage and Sodom. I would certainly have to second this, especially due to the Carcass influence I’ m hearing on “In The Crypt Devoured 4:27.” Byron Braidwood definitely has a firm finger on these leads, which are just as powerful as his vocal sediment. The title track (6:05) is obviously a great deal heavier and more in the vein of classic death metal, but it’s good to hear two different styles on one album. “Perennial Internment 6:04” manages to darken things up a little more than the last one and provides the right amount of brutality where you’d expect it, but it’s not quite as melodic. “Perpetual Execution Torment 4:15” continues the style, but makes sure to add those nice lead melodies every once in a while, further helping to beef up the song. It also includes a guest vocal from Chris Simmons of Wretched Soul. That leaves us with the triumphant closer, “Citadel of The Living Dead 6:26” which opens with a classic melody and proceeds to bash my fucking face in right before it gets down to basics. Once again, these guys show exactly why it is that I care with inarguably great lead work through and through. The man really knows how to play a solo and saves a monstrous effort for the very last track here. While there are a whole lot of bands who might be more brutal than these guys, I don’t think you’ll remember them as you will Monumentomb and that’s what matters at the end of the day. This little thing is bursting with potential and the finale proves that these guys are just getting started. Alright, so when’s the next one?

Highlights: In The Crypt Devoured, Citadel Of The Living Dead (6 Tracks, 28:00)

8.5/10

Temple Desecration - Communion Perished

Temple Desecration – Communion Perished MLP (2014) – First of all, Temple Desecration has the coolest logo I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Ever. Hands down. If these guys fall by the wayside, I’ll at least remember that they have the coolest fucking band logo I’ve ever seen. Seriously folks, that’s a work of art:

Temple Desecration logo

Now let me begin by talking about this offering of music. It’s essentially one lengthy track which is entitled “Ghoul Prayer & Apotheosis 13:43.” The track starts out with some occult chants taken from horror films as they placed right over the top of the band’s creepy doom atmospheres. From there it goes to pummeling drums amidst ghastly shrieks, with sections of crushing doom placed in between for good measure. These guys set out to make an atmosphere and they’ve succeeded in crafting a memorable one. Definitely check this one out.

(1Track, 13:43)

8/10

Boddicker - False Flag

Boddicker – False Flag (2014) – Boddicker is a filthy little band that writhe in the sludge of doom, bearing the scars of punk and the welts of hardcore. It’s an album that will leave you partially winded, panting like you’ve just ended up on the wrong side of a fight. The frontman belts out his lines with a force that feels like that of a freight train, backed by the quick to bash nature of the drummer. These guys are just fucking angry and that’s all there is to it. They manage to get all the rage out in less than fifteen minutes, leaving you enough time to clock back into work, where you can reflect on all that you’ve learned here. Just keep in mind that a man is putting a gun to his head on the front cover, which should say something about the atmosphere being unleashed here. Have hatred against many things and need to vent? Boddicker are here for you.

(6Tracks, 13:00)

7/10

Hellgoat - End Of Man

Hellgoat – End Of Man (2014) – This two track LP features just eight minutes of music, which begins with utter silence at that. Then it sounds like some sort of giant murderous robot with weapons. Then it goes right into foreboding doom that leaps right into furious black metal. These guys sound fucking vicious and this little piece of hell proves it. After some slight talking, cold winds open “End Of Man 3:46” which skips the doom riffs and goes right into frantic drumming, all over the place riffs and a brink of insanity vocal approach. These guys are pissed. But more than Boddicker pissed – they’re ravenous. These guys might eat me. Hell, they might eat you. Might even eat the both of us together. Wonder if they’re cannibals or just plain crazy? If manslaughter music is your cup of tea, then check this one out. I’ll have to add points for the giant murderous robot intro. Might be cool if these guys embraced the whole giant demon robot angle, but then that would be too much like Doom. Which they remade and got rid of the 4 at the end. I’m sure this would make a good soundtrack for that game though (regardless of Bethesda’s involvement) and other shooters as well. Just as long as you don’t physically kill people. People have been doing that too much lately, pointing the guns at living things instead of computer pixels on the screen. What’s next? Are they going to try to sacrifice someone to those same computer pix…? Oh, wait. That happened too. Better just get this album and keep your doors and windows locked. Kids be crazy these days.

(2Tracks, 8:00)

8/10

Begravningsentreprenorerna - self titled

Begravningsentreprenorerna – Begravningsentreprenorerna (2014) – Congratulations gentlemen, because you are the winners of the” I can’t fuck pronounce the name of your band for the fucking life of me” challenge. Fortunately though, their music is quite simplistic enough for me to understand. Simplistic is a good thing here, with a mixture of rock, blues and jazz culminating into something that is at times trippy, groovy and even a little rambunctious. The opener “Du Skulle Se Mig Nu Din Fan 3:19” comes off like pumping rock with a little bit of clean melody to keep things from becoming boring. The lyrics are in the band’s native tongue, but it doesn’t sound too bad actually. It’s a nice little jam and it’s got some raw sensibilities that I like. The next track, “Anden I Flaskan 4:57” takes a while longer to start before it goes into full effect, but after a short intro it bursts into action with much the same hippie jam feeling (despite those obnoxiously loud screams.) The disc ends with “Snaran Och Stålet 8:15” which also marks it longest effort, but that’s due to the 70’s retro acid vibe that occurs a bit later in the piece. One could perhaps be reminded of Pink Floyd in the solo antics, so perhaps that’s worth mentioning. These guys still have a bit of work ahead of them, but this is a decent enough start.

(3Tracks, 16:00)

6.5/10

Locusta - Dendromorphosis EP

Locusta – Dendromorphosis EP (2014) – The first track I get from these progressive tech death metallers is “Contaminant Remains 2:35” which apparently a preview of the band’s forthcoming album. Musically, you know what to expect as far as riffs are concerned; but the harsh vocal approach is unusually thick and sometimes mimics Mikael Akerfeldt. “(Cellular Transformation Through) Dendromorphosis 4:36” on the other hand, recalls latter era Death, albeit with a much coarser form of vocal, in the gravel. I think these guys really have something here, as the vocals show a much more oppressive notion then we’re used to with technical or progressive death metal. The frontman’s almost gore-soaked vocal approach seems to make things a tad bit more brutal, which might make them stand out against bands with less of a bite. “See Through Dreams 3:18” actually manages to make that bite even fiercer, while still providing a hefty amount of structure and melody. These definitely aren’t easy riffs to play and the band’s axeman really shows his stuff, especially in the ridiculously fast solo that occurs right before the leads start to thicken for a one fell swoop right before the end. The disc ends with the much more playful “The Cull 6:42” which starts out hyper-textured, but takes a turn into rougher territory before it encapsulated another smooth solo. Yet there are many lead sections in the piece, as it quietly exits to re-open with a much darker sense. The theatrics still remain in the song structure, but it’s certainly more eviscerating than the first part of the song, especially when the drums really get to pounding. The drummer sounds a little thin though in some areas unfortunately. You might think it’s a machine, but there’s clearly a drummer in the band photo that got enclosed with this album. But don’t let that stop you from checking it out. Locusta really have something of merit here, but it needs a little more polish and fine tuning before it’s ready for the big leagues. Still, it’s a breath of fresh air compared to some of the other acts in their genre.

(4Tracks, 17:00)

8/10

Ruins - Usnea - Split EP

Ruins/Usnea – Split EP (2014) – This is a thirteen minute split with just two tracks. Yet these are both rather long tracks, with Ruins taking more of the Neurosis meets Mayhem approach to things on “Discrimen 7:00” and Usnea taking more of the frantic death/doom approach with “Only The End Of The World 6:15.”

Ruins offering “Discrimen” comes along with highly esoteric and confusing lyrics, but this sort of matches their image, which has all of their faces blotted out and is done entirely in blacks, whites and grays. The song itself is pretty meaty, with some obvious black metal riffs strewn about hard thumping post metal melodies. It’s quite promising, but I wish they’d make it more of a fusion and less of something that just really sounds like post-metal with a dash of black metal. It just sounds like a post metal act looking for a new edge, really.

Usnea on the other hand, look like a bunch of laid back dudes who like to write about stuff they know. One of these things just happens to be Lovecraft’s Old ones and Weird Tales, for which the premise behind “Only The End Of The World” lies. I was almost reminded of Neil Gaiman’s Only The End Of The World Again which is certainly not my favorite of his works. But in all the melancholy riff melodies and rumbling doom drones, these guys certainly sound like they’re having a good time. These vocal lines don’t really come from pain, they sound like the frontman just trying to emulate horror a bit and that’s fine with me. I still think that people who like real thick doom will love it.

It’s not really certain who won the split, but both bands offer decent enough efforts and I don’t think anyone is going to go home unhappy, unless they didn’t know what kind of album they were buying beforehand. Check it out if you it sounds like something you’d be into.

(2Tracks, 13:00)

7.5/10

Morbid Slaughter - Wicca

Morbid Slaughter – Wicca (2014) – An eight minute LP that offers an old school approach to thrash metal with some of the most vile black metal scowls I’ve ever heard in my life, I’m quite amazed with the vocals on this record. There’s really nothing like it when you start to wonder if the vocalist is even human. “Wicca 4:03” thrashes along on the musical front, but it’s that uncanny vocal performance that would make me recommend this. Because quite simply, I’ve never fucking heard vocals like that before. Ever. There’s a solo section to round it out in the vein of classic black/thrash, but even that solo section pales to the immeasurable vocal performance. Whoever summoned a fucking wraith and gave it a microphone, well… kudos to you! “Nightly Breath Of God 4:25” comes next, offering much the same approach, but still delivering just as well in the vocal realm. I don’t really know about the musicality of the act, as it really doesn’t offer anything all that promising – but the vocals here are the disc’s major standout, without question. This guy would sound good in a lot of bands really, not just this one. However the hell he learned how to do that, I’m apt to start taking classes. Or maybe it’s just one of those “one in a million” type things that can’t be replicated. At any rate, be sure to check out this band.

(2Tracks, 8:00)

7/10

Primitive Man - Hexis - Split EP

Primitive Man/Hexis – Split EP (2014) – Both of these bands seem to offer a big chunk of doom, with Primitive Man having an almost drone sort of feel. I don’t really like the squeal of the amps though, as that doesn’t really classify so much as music or atmosphere to me. But to each their own. As for the other guys, Hexis seems a little more vicious in their vocal attempt (though both really carry the same vocal style) but more or less embody the same spirit as Primitive Man, amps squeals and all. I’ve never really gotten into drone and I’m not about to start now. Apparently there’s a band that recorded a 21 hour drone track and put it on a thumb drive because it’s too large to put on a CD. And people say that it sounds awful (please, please don’t sent that one to me!) so I’m not even going to bother with it. I like atmosphere, but I just don’t feel that squeals and one riff every few minutes counts as atmosphere. I just can’t get into either of these tracks and don’t consider the effort all that great. I’d rather both of the vocalists be in much faster and fiercer bands.

(2Tracks, 16:00)

5/10

Father Murphy - Pain Is On Our Side

Father Murphy – Pain Is On Our Side (2014) – Father Murphy gave me the choice of two different formats with this album. The first offers two tracks at thirteen minutes, while the other is nearly thirty minutes long and offers four tracks. For this review, I will do the thirteen minute version of the disc, considered the “simultaneous listening edit” and consider the unedited version ripe for your own listening pleasure. I’ve heard both, so perhaps I will do the other version of this disc in the next .5 review week. The first of these two tracks combines the first and third “Let The Wrong Rise With You & They Will All Fail You 8:28” as one piece. It’s safe to say that the music this band creates is something deeply disturbing, yet interesting. They call themselves the “Italian Occult Psychedelia” and I can surely see why. But there’s something here that’s so topsy-turvy that it caught my attention instantly. Throughout the chants and electronic/industrial noise, not to mention the dreary piano and angry female shouts that take place throughout the piece, (it really is unlike anything I’ve ever heard before) I’m rather quite floored with this odd extremism. The next track is a combination of “Bones Got Dry & Despite All The Grief 5:31” which is much shorter and features even more uncomfortable weirdness. It’s no wonder that Deer hoof took a liking to them. And trust me, Deer hoof is some seriously weird shit. But I can’t get enough of oblique stuff like that, so I guess that’s why I’ve also taken a liking to Father Murphy. If you’re looking for something to chill the bones and freeze the heart, then you need look no further than the discomfort caused by Father Murphy. Keep in mind that these guys have other records besides this one, so go backwards if you feel that you haven’t gotten enough fear and uneasiness from the band. I’d definitely recommend it.

(2Tracks, 13:00)

9/10

Aggravator - Populace Destructor

Aggravator – Populace Destructor (2014) – When I first turned the album on, the first band I thought of was Carcass. At least as far as the vocals are concerned. As far as the musical atmosphere on this thing, you’re definitely getting a hard does of thrash metal. I can hear those Slayer riff melodies a mile away. Just goes to show that Jeff Hanneman’s riffs will be memorable for several ages to come. The band’s frontman certainly commands Jeff walker’s broken glass tone quite well, with a few nice solos appearing here and there throughout the disc. It’s nothing utterly amazing, but these guys certainly make a mark with this nod to the past that should sit well with fans of thrash and death metal for a good while. It’s short, but it’s quite vicious. Maybe the band didn’t really need the short break in “Fatalist 1:07” but the rest of the disc certainly makes up for it. There’s even a small amount of progressive work on the album, showing that these guys really like their Death, Carcass and Slayer. Even though the band shirts these guys sport might say much different. But I’ve found that people usually listen to different music than they actually play. I’m even guilty of it.

(10 Tracks, 29:00)

7.5/10

Heid - Voces De La Tierra Dormida

Heid – Voces De La Tierra Dormida (2014) – I really love it when something original comes my way and that’s what I’ve witnessed here with this mix of black metal and Spanish instrumentation known as Heid. They’ve been through a name change and numerous lineup changes, but this one actually features a record behind it; so they must have done something right. They consider themselves a Pagan metal band, but don’t have the same grandiose and virtuous feel as acts like Equilibrium or Ensiferum, for example. Still, they do feature flutes, bagpipes and violins in addition to ass-kicking metal. Seriously, album opener “No Habra Paz 6:12” kicks all sorts of ass with its frost riff melodies, harsh vocal scowls and growls, musical attention to detail and certainly a great deal of ferocity. These guys could do without the folk instruments and atmospheres, but they sound better for it. “Golpejar 4:26” sounds more like Equilibrium however, (and I know that because I just got through listening to all of Erdentempel today) with its driving folk metal riffs, thick symphonics and flutes. In comparison to the last track, this one sounds rather basic. It’s not that they’ve done a bad job, but it just sounds like every other harsh folk metal band that’s come out in the last twenty years. “Mano Negra 3:40” seems to be a breath of fresh air at that moment, as fierce notes thunder in its arrival as a rather heady thrash effort takes place, with some nods to black metal in the tremolo usage and obvious selection of percussive blasts. That follows into flutes, which end the song out on some rather thick breakdowns. “Ruido De Batalla 6:03” features things in a much lighter tone at first, but quickly warms into an inferno as it quakes the skies, leaving little to remain in its path. There are also occasional sections for more medieval folk influence (I’ve not really heard anything that I can discern as being truly Spanish in nature). The final track on the disc is “El Canto De Los Responsos 7:52” which also doubles as it’s lengthiest effort. The song begins with an acoustic moment in folk, as it then rumbles into action with a powerful battering ram of drums and gravel. It’s odd to hear such a fierce approach and then the flute, but it isn’t something I’ve ever really heard before in a band (even the heaviest folk metal acts aren’t this fucking heavy) and it works. Heid is going to be one of those acts that you won’t cast out of memory easily and they truly deliver on both sides of the spectrum. These guys can be light and fluffy, or extremely thick and menacing. It doesn’t matter which, because they bring it with force and fire. Fans of folk metal and heavier genres might find something that they both can get into, so that’s all that matters in the end. I definitely recommend it.

(5Tracks, 28:00)

8.5/10

The Lustmord - Trapped In Purgatory

The Lustmord – Trapped In Purgatory (2014) – From Phoenix, Arizona comes The Lustmord. But I’m already noticing some immediate problems. I knew to expect a sort of raw (yet thick) production, but the vocals don’t sound right. Though I’ll get to that later. Apparently, these guys have a long history and are fronted by Anthony Lustmord (Womb Raiders, De Kinderklokkers) and a slew of other guys who also play in Bloodhaven, Exiled, Kult Of Thorn and Southwicked, whom I reviewed a few years back and quite liked, I believe. These guys are working on a film soundtrack to a movie called The Fallen One and are promoted by Universal Music Group. These guys on Universal? Well, they’ve also played with Obituary Deicide, Megadeth and Slayer which are some pretty fucking big life experiences.

My only problem with this EP is that it sounds a little rushed then, I guess. Seriously, Anthony sounds horrible here. The vocals aren’t even in line with the music. What in the hell happened? Did he just give up after all these years? These lyrics are just sort of spat out at damn near random. It sounds more like a man screaming with occasional memorable moments in gravel, but even those seem rushed. Was the band so busy that they did have time to do a proper vocal take? A lot of this sounds like one take stuff as far as the vocals go. I wouldn’t have let this leave the studio. But I’m hearing something that musically and vocally could be good if it just matched. These guys do soundtracks for horror films and I’ve seen tons of low budget horrors, so maybe I’ve heard their music in something. But I can’t recall it. Still, I would like to hear some of their earlier work to compare. Something about this record really bugs me, even though I can admit from a musician’s perspective that it sounds really tight. The drums sound good, the guitar riffs are as menacing, even ghastly (Zombie Disease 4:03) as they need to be. And what’s with “Shadow Of The Sun 4:19?” That sounds like black metal in the rawest construct. It quickly changes though, offering the same vocal mix-up when the vocals change over. His heart’s in it, but where’s the tempo? For a man who tracks until he’s fucking hoarse, I’m not sure what happened here. Why isn’t this matching up? The last song on the disc has an even odder production value, making me wonder what the hell happened with this thing. For a band that has to date three full-length albums and several EP and split releases, I’m not really sure what happened here. The first four songs are mixed just fine, with the exception of the vocal sections. The fifth track sounds like it was an unmixed demo and the final track sounds unusually forward in the mix. It even has a clearer production than the first four.

It’s obvious that The Lustmord have had SEVERAL problems if you look at their release history. They released several recordings until 2008, which were on all sorts of various independent labels throughout the years. Some of these might not even exist any longer. It literally looks like they switched record labels every couple of albums, from Death Rape and onto ICEE then back to Death Rape again before a stint with Putrescent and then to Death Star, rounding out one more time on Death Rape. The band then released a demo again in 2009 (it’s never a good thing when you’re releasing a new demo after having a full roster of releases behind your belt) right before releasing this digital EP five years later. This is the first recording from the band in five years, so perhaps we can expect things to be a bit rough and unpolished. At any rate, perhaps the next album will see them a little stronger. It’s got promise, but there’s certainly a few dents that still need to be ironed out and I’m sure that these guys realize that, after playing this sort of music for as long as they have. Still, I can’t punk the rest of the band on the singer’s performance or the recording issues. It’s still relatively decent, but I just wish these guys were firing on all pistons.

(6Tracks, 24:00)

6.5/10

Deep Coma - Down The Gutter

Deep Coma – Down The Gutter (2013) – Deep Coma is the last record I have for you, being composed of two guys and originally releasing for free on 2010. Which is probably why the Myspace stuff seemed so relevant. When this released, I had only not gotten laid in three years, as per now the nearly eight. At any rate, these gentlemen make what they term a bizarre kind of death metal with all sorts of little wizzums and such; it’s the kind of thing that has its own little quirks. The production is quite raw, but it’s nonetheless a recording that you can tell these guys put effort into. Before the days of djent, these guys relied on thundering riff melodies, weird guitar ideas and an alternating vocal style. I am not sure if that’s a real drum kit on the disc, however. It sounds just a little tinny to me. ve that’s a real drum kit he’s playing on the disc, but I could be wrong. The record sails through nine tracks, albeit failing miserably with clean vocals (Compulsive Disorder) which is rather unfortunate. Yet some weirdness can be heard in parts of “Addicted To Kill 2:27” and the insanity laden “Dear World 3:42.” It almost sounds like Nu-Metal influenced the vocals on “No Soul 2:51” despite the approach being heavy, while an even more raucous approach is utilized on “Killing Tomorrow 3:39.” As much as I want to like “Surrounded 2:17”, it really gets on my nerves as far as the clean approach goes. He does try to lose his mind on the track, but it doesn’t hold my attention much due to the rather bland sounding vocal. “The Backstabber 3:45” didn’t really offer much either. The final track is “Day By Day 4:20” which starts out quite mellow, but goes back into those clean vocals. Maybe he’s gotten better now? It’s been four years. Good thing that the song ends the album out on a heavy note before going to static.

Well, Deep Coma offered something interesting or tried to, but these guys were so young at the time and their sound wasn’t really all that fine-tuned yet. The thing sounds more or less like a demo, which is what it really is. It sounds like Nu-Metal or hard rock with a more extreme and thrashy edge and groove to it, so if that sounds like something you’d dig, then you might be able to find it somewhere. Perhaps these guys have even made more albums since then. I can’t say that the record didn’t show potential and experimentation, because it did. It just wasn’t quite there yet. I’m curious to what Tito Bettencourt and Maldor Evil are doing now though. Seems worth an internet search.

(9 Tracks, 28:00)

5.5/10

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