Today we have USA Death Metal outfit Abysmal Dawn and their fourth full-length release titled “Obsolescence”. In a year filled with new albums from several genre greats like Obituary and Cannibal Corpse and a few high profiles returns like Centinex, it is surprising to find out that this release got us going from beginning to end, like no other one.
The riffing onslaught immediately starts with the punishing “Human Obsolescence”, a track that features demoralizing Deathcore-like vocals and intricate guitar work. As the band pummels through tracks like “Perfecting Slavery”, or the groovy “Inanimate” and “Devouring the Essence of God”, we are very impressed with the perfect crafting and execution of such epic head banging pieces.
Hailing from the UK, today we have one of the most interesting bands we heard in 2013 return with their EP titled “Access Code”. The Deconstructing Sequence this time around delivers 16 minutes of music in two superbly written tracks that will only make you crave a full release from the band even more. The band’s progressive sound paired with their futuristic atmospheric elements makes them standout immediately.
Opening with “A Habitable World is Found”, DS makes you believe things will be going a more ‘traditional’ way with the Death Metal-ish opening as they deliver growls, crushing riffs and powerful drums. This nicely changes as time goes by into their trippy atmospheric passages with multiple vocal styles and very proggy sounding synths. The track nicely culminates with spoken vocal sections and the nicely cascading musical elements as a backdrop.
Hailing from Belgium, today we have one of the best Symphonic Black Metal bands in the planet, delivering their 3rd full-length release titled “Eldritch”. Greatly improving over time, this band delivers nine intense tracks of melodic brilliance that only a handful of bands are capable of. With other bands being stuck in using over the top orchestrations as gimmicks, Saille focuses on the underlying brutality of their music and throws in melodic and atmospheric passages to round things up.
Skipping the typical intro, Saille quickly delivers the first blow of intensity with the blistering “Emerald”. The band perfectly blends traditional melodic BM riffs with creepy atmospheric elements and intense vocals. As we move into “Walpurgis”, this album is already reminding us of the crushing “Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia” by Dimmu Borgir, as Saille is really on top of their game firing in all cylinders and crafting some intense music.
Today in our mail box we found French Black Metal horde Incipient Chaos presenting us with their debut EP titled “Sulphur”. Featuring five tracks of savage Black Metal, this new French band packs a heavy punch with their crushing guitars and harsh vocals crafting intense tunes of crusty and cavernous music.
Blasting things wide open with the blistering “We Live”, the band delivers the line “Chaos Reigns” and brutality ensues. With pummeling drums, demoralizing vocals and intense riffs, the band instantly makes an impact with their wicked sound. Invoking genre greats like Gorgoroth, Merrimack, and Vorkreist, the band perfectly crafts savagery into their chaotic and massive tunes as we can appreciate on “Redemption by Lie” and the short but punishing “War – Blood – Flesh”.
With the latest Thrash revival still in full swing, and all the legendary bands releasing crushing albums, Exodus does not fall behind and they are releasing “Blood In, Blood Out”. Marking their first release without Rob Dukes in almost 10 years, the band fully takes advantage of the return of Steve Souza and crafts 11 tracks of solid Thrash Metal filled with all those awesome riffs that make you feel warm inside.
Quickly getting on the scoreboard, the band unleashes “Black 13”, a powerful track filled with Gary Holt and Lee Altus signature riffing and the typical Thrash Metal tempo we all enjoy. Steve’s vocals while not the favorite of many, they do a solid job in conveying the band’s lyrics in tracks like “Blood In, Blood Out”, charged with aggression. The band stays current and shows sings of incorporating more Groovy/Modern elements in songs like “Collateral Damage”, a thing they perfectly blend into their already established sound.
Continuing to go down a completely different path, today we have Decapitated and another entry to the band’s ‘second period’ of average Death/Groove Metal music. With two new members (that is half the band) since the last release, this band seems to be wondering what kind of music they should be playing. Featuring eight tracks, this release has some moments, but they continue to fall flat compared to their early legacy.
After the uninspired opener “Exiled in Flesh”, we are treated to a brutal track filled of intense drumming and some Djent-esque elements thrown into the mix. This makes “The Blasphemous Psalm to the Dummy God Creation” one of the oddest named tracks, and one of the better ones in this release. Both “Veins” and “Blood Mantra” have some cool Death Metal moments here and there, but fail to grab our attention.
Fresh after completing their 777 trilogy, Blut Aus Nord returns with another part of their Memoria Vetusta saga titled “Saturnian Poetry”. Moving away from the electronic/experimental elements introduced in the 777 releases, the band returns to their Black Metal roots with seven devastating tracks that will re-capture the attention of the band’s most purist fans.
After setting the mood with an atmospheric prelude, the devastation begins with the furious “Paien” and its nearly 8 minutes of blistering riffing and savage shrieks. The band invokes some epic melodic riffing passages on “Tellus Mater”, perfectly accentuated with guitar leads and clean Viking Metal-esque vocals; we also get an early Borknagar vibe in this intense track.
Usually, there are weird releases that completely push the envelope and then you have Manes weird. “Be All End All” delivers nine tracks that mash genres together and crates a truly bizarre, and yet awesome, experience. Having passed seven years since the band’s last full-length release, this album will surely please and puzzle all fans of Tor-Helge Skei (aka Cernunus) and his uniquely odd musical vision.
Opening with the jazzy/trip-hopish “A Deathpact Most Imminent” clearly states that this is going to be one unique musical experience. Asgeir Hatlen’s vocals are one of the band’s signature elements and greatly enhance the experience with his unique pipes having influences of Kjetil Nordhus and Kristoffer Rygg. Experimentation is the main theme behind this release, and by the odd vocals mixed in with the mellow tempo and atmospheric jazziness of “A Safe Place In The Unsafe” you clearly notice how everything comes together in a very bizarre way.
Out of the hundreds of releases we receive at Infernal Masquerade every month, it is always refreshing to find some extremely well produced self-released albums that sound better than some more popular and well-established bands. Luckily for us, Derdian’s 5th full-length release is one of them with their well-refined Power Metal that reminds us of bands like Rhapsody of Fire, Blind Guardian, Stratovarius, etc.
After the typical atmospheric opener, “Human Reset” kicks off with the album title track delivering excellent vocal melodies and a very healthy pace. The band’s sound is clearly very well refined and everything sounds just right, making the songs flow like water. As the album keeps providing us with gems like “In Everything” and the melancholic “Mafia”, we are greatly impressed with the perfect union of crafty drumming, playful keyboards and soaring vocals.
As a solid contender for Black Metal album of 2014, today we have Winterfylleth and their ravaging latest release: “The Divination of Antiquity”. Showing that Black Metal does not need to be static to deliver raw brutality, the band has been slowly morphing over time while maintaining their devastating BM roots. In this release the band’s sound is as crisp as ever delivering eight brilliant onslaughts of sheer devastation that any fan of the genre will surrender to.
Opening with dissonant title track, we can hear fierce drumming and a melodic undertone in the band’s blistering first few minutes. This level of intensity only lets go when the band is delivery melancholic passages that further enhance the destructive powers of their music. The band’s superb ability to construct playful riffs that shift the mood of the song in an instant, are clearly outlined in songs like “Whisper of the Elements”. We particularly love the disarming melancholic passage in this song that bleeds into more merciless brutality.