Emerging from the darkness to shine brightness in a world of incredibly dark music is a band called Emergence. This trio of expansive minded gentlemen create something new that is progressively strong, providing harmony with melody, delivers a slight ‘djent’ feeling and melts our faces with professional production as well as great song writing. The overall execution of the album will have you saying: “Periphery who?”.
Napalm Death’s career spans longer than I have been alive and I am turning 30 next month. Slaying people since 1981 with blended punk/thrash and death metal and ultimately creating the genre known as grindcore. Napalm Death has used heavily distorted guitars, blasting drums, fast tempos, powerful vocals and overdriven bass tone for the majority of their career and “Apex Predator – Easy Meat” is no exception. Why would they change? I mean this band is a dominate choice for people who want quick, impacting songs that ultimately leave the listener in shock. The UK band comes back with this new album, their SIXTEENTH studio album, and nothing has changed. Their aggression has not diminished, the songs have not lost their fire and the band is still pumping out songs of pure chemical warfare. This is Napalm Death. This is grindcore.
Melodic death metal is nothing new to me but still gives me goosebumps when done right. Add in a mentality and focus that makes you feel like you are on an epic journey and the music will definitely be among my all time favorites. Well behold the majesty of Adversary, a melodic death metal band from Columbus, Georgia (Really?!? You would think they are from Sweden or Norway) who brings forth nothing but quality song writing, catchy musicianship and music that has long lasting appeal. Songs of adventure, tales of tragedy, triumph, despair and survival are backed with strong riffing, powerful vocals and slamming drum techniques. The groove and melodic death metal workings on Ruination are on par with Amon Amarth’s style and grace with the song writing. Each track has strong rhythmic guitar gallops and riffing, then they are topped with a thick layer of superior axe emotion and epicness with their blended use of leads and harmonies. Yeah, Adversary’s new album is already best of the year content.
Man, have you ever just wanted some truly aggressive Nordic folk metal? I mean the kind that doesn’t really have tribal atmosphere or melodic death metal focus but just axe swinging riff oriented heaviness? Well look no further as the gang from Latvia called Varang Nord gives us the ultra headbanging album called “Fire of the North”. A ripping metal montage of Vikings on the hunt, ale being consumed, Gods being hailed and blood spilled on the snow. Varang Nord brings the heavy with a slight touch of folk metal, just enough to appeal to those looking for new folk metal but not enough to drive those away who just want pissed off Viking metal.
The Finnish trio of blackened death metal cultists known as Desolate Shrine bring forth hell’s fury on their new album “The Heart of the Netherworld”. Their simple stance on death metal meets atmospheric blackened chaos breathes fire and wrath onto us. Their sound sits well with me, as they conjure up the forces from the Netherworld to create a soundtrack of debauchery and uncertainty. The evil experience feels genuine and not cheesy or forced. This is the dark magic of Desolate Shrine, masters of unholy darkness and fierce sound.
Taking the fantasy driven RPG theme seriously, Dethlehem pulls us into a realm of evil, goblins, swords, bows and adventure! Dethlehem’s “Destroyers of the Realm” takes us on a quest to defeat evil, by grinding xp through riffs, melodies, barbaric vocal power, ravenous drumming and quirky sounds that sound like they come straight from a video game in the 8 bit era. The escapade is more along the lines of straight up metal with melody driven riffs, a minor influence of metalcore and melodic death metal also pokes it’s head up from time to time, giving this album a bit of a kick and excitement throughout the endeavor. In between a couple of songs are some story based tracks, talking to a Soothsayer and a Goblin or readying themselves for the final boss fight! These interludes continue on the story and they also crack me up with their narration and dialogue. All in all, I really enjoy this thought out story of might and magic!
Abscession is a Swedish death metal band that has major focus on just blasting the listener with old school death metal riffs that are chunky, leads that are more focused on “wowing” you with melody rather than brutish speed, sinister drum tactics that roll well with the guitars and vocals that are a lower growl. Their overall sound just calls out to those fans who love bands like Bloodbath, Grave and Entombed. Fans of this raw sound will love Abscession’s “Grave Offerings”, as the tried and true musicianship gives dedicated fans of the genre something new to gawk at, while new fans will be drawn in by the relentless rhythm and evil sounds.
Lately, I’ve been following this group of guys from Ohio as they have been in many bands with good music, but either call it quits or work on something new and focus on that entirely. Bands like Unbodied, Baal, Horse Drawn Death Machine and Doctor Smoke have been around the Ohio area for years. I’ve actually genuinely enjoyed each of these bands and they were all short lived and massively talented. Well, Doctor Smoke is still playing and kicking some major ass but it’s good to see another band rise from the ashes of the other bands from that area. Thus, Plaguewielder is born! A blackened sludge/doom act with major riffing, tone and substance that you just cannot get enough of. The band also utilizes gigantic doom atmosphere to induce fear and aggression onto the listener. It exceeded my expectations greatly and I think you all will enjoy their debut album, Succumb to the Ash.
Carnation may be a nice flower that can brighten up the look of a room and make it even smell nice, but Belgium’s Carnation brings forth a nasty ‘chainsaw to the neck’ old school death metal grizzle. Something nice we can sink our teeth into and headbang along with the carnage. The 5 song EP just breathes gore, ultra heavy groove with rich and thick guitar tone. Vocal presence is lower-mid range vocal filth, spattering horror over the terrifying riffing. The flow and homicidal attack on this release, Cemetary of the Insane, will appeal to fans of Slayer, Exhumed, Autopsy, Entombed and Bloodbath.
Dimesland’s sound is…quite different. A very aggressive controlled chaos. Very unorthodox metal with grind energy, progressive talents constructed through the hectic energy and frenzied musical arraignments with a cloudy atmosphere that only someone in a mental ward could figure out and understand. The anxiety filled, claustrophobia inspired writing is something fans of Artificial Brain and Gorguts can grasp onto. The atmosphere and sheer raw metal also has an uneasy abstract feeling about it. The band is very experimental and when you first listen to this album you won’t know what to expect. Hell after a few listens I still don’t know what to expect but I definitely enjoy their imaginative writing and song structure.