Today we have here with us a very promising Progressive Death Metal band from Belgium names Ackros, and their short but sweet Promo 2010 four song demo. Boosting powerful and yet intricate guitar work, Ackros is one of the few bands that have submitted promo/demo releases and really have impressed us with the quality of their work.
Opening with “Drop Trip”, at first the band gives you the impression that you are set to review ‘just another’ Death Metal release, but suddenly the guitar work gets interesting and hooks you immediately. While doing nothing completely revolutionary, Ackros does manage to craft pretty nifty guitar sections that keep the songs very engaging and different from each other. “Axis Antiseptia” immediately starts with the progressive influences with some brilliant guitar work paired with nicely timed drumming. The vocals are typical DM growls, and fit very well the mixture of chugging traditional DM section and the progressive elements of the music.
From Spain/Colombia’s Mighty Hordes Productions, today we have a re-issue of a 2006 release that nicely combines brutality with melody and delivers almost 40 minutes of pure fucking Black Metal. “Black Magic” is one of those releases that is very brutal and chaotic, but also excellently mixed and sounds very clean in comparison to most of the bands trying to be as brutal as Atanab.
Wasting no time, the band starts creating a thick evil atmosphere since the intro track and with “Is Sentence of Satan” they deliver a very impressive first blow. In this track we have hellish vocals, massive drumming and powerful riffing, all delivered at a very high intensity. In a more atmospheric way, “Sons of Evil” delivers the same brutal sound but at a slower and more painful tempo. We particularly enjoy the subtle keyboards that are never overdone and just add the right amount of atmosphere to the music.
Once again the people over at Mighty Hordes productions deliver a very powerful and intense Black Metal release that will quench your thirst for high-paced devastating music. However, “Dark Gods of the Eternal” is one of those releases the clearly sacrifices the quality of the music for high-paced hellish brutality with no clear aim or direction. While this might be exactly your cup of tea, we expected a little more from these excellent musicians.
Opening with the traditional intro song, the band at least shakes things up a bit and includes some shrieks, some riffing and drumming instead of the cliché keyboard/sample approach. Immediately after, “Lord of Chaos” blows through your speakers with some very intense drumming and bestial riffing creating a purely chaotic and excellent atmosphere. In a more Gorgoroth-like fashion, “The Black Flame Spirit” delivers powerful singing and somewhat entertaining riffing that keeps things fresh and fucking intense.
Having recently ‘discovered’ Helevorn at WGT 2011, we set out to find all their releases once we got back to the USA. Playing a mixture of Death/Doom Metal with some Gothic elements, Helevorn is one of the last remaining bands that keep the genre alive. With “Forthcoming Displeasures”, these Spaniards have cranked out 50+ minutes of crushing music that will surely impress any fan of the genre.
Since the opener “From Our Glorious Days”, the mood is set to dark and desolate place that only keeps getting more and more depressing over the tracks presented in this release. The mixture of bleak clean vocals with the crushing (and proper) growls makes the band a double threat and truly delivers in all emotional ranges. Opening with some atmospheric keyboards we have “Descent”. Keyboards provide a nice backdrop through this release and never get on the way of the crushing riffs, mournful vocals and mid-tempo structures that we all love from Death/Doom Metal bands.
Today we have the Cold Northern Vengeance… of the USA? With such a powerful name we expected them to be from Norway or somewhere really up North. Anyways, “Trial by Ice” showcases the transformation of this very promising USBM band and how their sound have evolved over the years from the traditional kvlt Black Metal to some more refined and stylish pieces. If you never heard of this band, you can be caught up with them by the time this 70 minute release is over.
After the traditional filler intro track, “Acausal” shows a very strong Black Metal influence that incorporates different tempo changes. This makes the song a nice departure of the traditional BM crap we are used to reviewing. The band goes a bit more extreme with the denser “Black Metal Isolation III”. This track features a different sound than the previous one but still creates an eerie atmosphere. The vocals, guitars, and drums are very well crafted for this song.
Marking Zerstörer second full-length release today we have “Panzerfaust Justice”. In this album the band wastes no time and delivers an in-your-face Black/Thrash Metal assault of the most rudimentary and crushing fashion. The band features no fancy elements, just the traditional metal lineup and a shit ton of build up anger inside, perfect for Black/Thrash Metal.
Over the span of nine songs, the band does deliver very aggressive tracks full of raw energy and sound, but it also falls short in creating something we haven’t heard before. The bands sound is very traditional and is limited to the very similar structures in each song. While there is nothing bad in this, after the first 4 songs you start to get drowsy and with a sudden urge to change the CD.
With Death/Doom Metal being almost a dying art, Graveyard Dirt delivers a gasp of fresh air to one of our favorite genres. In “For Grace of Damnation” the band crafts one of the most monumental releases of the genre we have heard in quite a while.
Drawing obvious inspirations from early Anathema and Paradise Lost, and combining them with newer influences of Mourning Beloveth, Shape of Despair, etc, the band shows great maturity in all eight tracks presented in this release. Painting landscapes of desolation and darkness, “For Grace or Damnation” is sure to attract all fans of the genre.
Relentless and Brutal are probably the two best words to describe Canada’s Massive Slavery debut album “Global Enslavement”. Featuring inhuman vocals and drumming paired with skillful guitar and bass guitar work, this release is as crushing and technically proficient as you can imagine for a veteran band, which Massive Slavery is not.
Since the opener track “MediAssasiNation”, the band will blow you away with harsh vocals, very brutal drumming and an array of guitar riffs and solos that will make your fingers and hands hurt just by thinking on how to play them. The band specializes in creating hyper-fast songs that feature almost equal amounts of aggressive and melodic sections, creating a perfect harmony between the two of the (e.g. “Shade of Corruption”).
Hailing from France, today we have Oyabun and their very entertaining release “Gods and Dogs”. The band’s sound is a mixture of 70’s Rock with some psychedelic elements, Stoner Rock influences, and some Blues. All of these influences are nicely packaged into seven songs that while not extremely original, they are very catchy and well crafted.
Opening with “Brontosaurus Blues”, the band gives a full view of what it is to come in this release: catchy and groovy guitar riffs, some Stoner/Sludge influences and very retro-sounding vocals. While many bands try to emulate the Psychedelic Rock influences, Onyabun sounds very naturally at it, and does not care too much about focusing on the ‘occult’ side of things.
As a little taste before the release of their highly anticipated full length “Misanthropy”, Pandemonium has unleashed their 2010 promo with two ‘un-official’ versions of the songs from said album and a few video clips. Packaged in a nice digipack version, this promo will surely generate more expectation after listening how crushing the two ‘advance’ tracks sound.
“Black Forest” gives us a very dense and atmospheric track that showcases brutal drumming sections tightly coupled with dark and desolate Black/Death riffing. The vocals are truly haunting, maintaining a very deep and decadent sound to this song. The overall atmosphere of the track is very effective and features a very good improvement over anything presented in the band’s last album “Hellspawn”.