Eternal Armageddon – Black Thrash Bastards (2015)

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Bangladeshi act Eternal Armageddon started out as a melodic black metal band, with quaint and meandering tracks that built up nice atmospheres. However, for whatever reasons, most of the members went their separate routes with only main man Asmodeus left to pick up what remained in the aftermath of “Her Forlorn Monsoon” (the title of their first EP). His warcry was heard by Blasphemouranter on drums and Sarcophagous on guitar, the trio now set to construct a new sound to take the band further.

 

All ties are severed with prior incarnations of the band. The title “Black Thrash Bastards” should be a sign enough. Atmosphere and melody is traded in for vicious- ultimately intoxicating – riff-work and chaotic solos. However, the intelligent approach to songwriting that was present even on early works remains ever-present. Sing-along choruses as on the title track, and well placed mid-tempo grooves, drum fills, bass interludes show that there is method to the madness on display. The music here is meant to be played live.

 

Despite the moniker of Black Thrash Bastards, the music here is untainted and purely old school, and will appeal to fans of this strict niche. The metal on display here is not bastardized or watered down. Like a nasty pint of locally brewed ale, this material comes as an acquired taste. Stay clear if you expect anything less than Hellhammer, NME, Bulldozer, or Sodom worship. And for the die-hards, a quality cover of Sodom’s “Blasphemer” is also included. My personal pick however, would be “Satanic Whispers” and the title track.

 

Regardless of the inherent musical quality of this little demo, recorded in a rehearsal pad, it serves more as a sign of things to come rather than an all-encompassing entity on its own. Rest assured, however, until a proper EP or album is unleashed by this incarnation of Eternal Armageddon, this 5 song demo can rest easy in your collection for whenever you need a dose of third world barbarism.

 

 

EA3

 

 

Eternal Armageddon Interview

Eternal Armageddon on Facebook

Imperial Savagery – Imperial Savagery

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Imperial Savagery; the Satanic Death Metal cruelty from Chicago, Illinois have recently come up with their first self-titled full length in one year after their declaration of existence. United States have always been the Eden of Death Metal blessed by the bands like Morbid Angel, Deicide, Incantation, Cannibal Corpse, Death, Master, Autopsy and what not! Following the path of the ancestors, Imperial Savagery have shown how promising they are.

 

The album has got 10 different tracks with a total duration of 26:28. Vocal Brice Dalzell did a great job I must say. He has got a very powerful screaming voice that made the songs real sick. Guitarist Tom Flanagan had come up with some vile riffs that totally reminds me the playing of legend like Trey Azagthoth. Throughout the album Tom kept declaring his supremacy with his savage distortion. The bassist Pat Clancy was really supportive with Tom. His powerful and strong output made the songs alive. Garrett Scanlan did a catastrophic job with drums. His devastating blasts made the songs real fast and steady. I cannot remember last when I heard such terrific drumming. All I can say is, Imperial Savagery have produced one of the vilest death metal violence in recent memory.

 

To conclude I would to say this record is worth collecting. I wouldn’t wonder if this album becomes a Death Metal classic in few years.

 

Score: 80/100

 

 

Imperial Savagery

 

 

Imperial Savagery on Facebook

Imperial Savagery on Bandcamp

– Asif Abrar

Sangus – Saevitia (2014)

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Sangus is a relatively new Black Metal/Crust hybrid out of Providence Rhode Island that has been leveling local audiences with show-stealing live performances. Luckily, they also translate well to recorded audio. The band features members hailing from all over the gamut of underground metal: Vovk (vocals) formerly of grind bands Paindriver and Ulcer, Executioner (drums) who also plays in black metal outfit Haxen, Barbarian (guitar) of the blackened doom band Churchburn, Vamakara (guitar) of the sludgy death-doom Sin of Angels, and Czarnobóg (bass) who used to play dirty black thrash in Nachzehrer. Looking at the pedigree of bands these guys have played in, the sound of Sangus makes total sense, the surprise being that apparently they had all been harboring some latent desire play something crusty.  Besides my own soft spot for the crust, I can say that their new album objectively and undeniably, rips.

 
Their previous EP Vengeful Brutality had a straight blackened crust/thrash vibe reminiscent of Dishammer, full of anthemic riffs found in more modern crust outfits. Brutal, yes, balls-out aggressive, yes, but also very much a rock and roll inflected sound. The new album Saevitia (Latin for cruelty), is a different animal. Sangus has traded a crusty black and roll sound for an album attitudinally aligned with bestial war metal, while still sounding somewhat displaced from the stylistic rudiments of the genre. If anything, the crust elements are more subdued and metallic than before, and overall this feels much more like a metal album than a punk album. They remain much more melodic than the likes of Revenge or Blasphemy, but the message, the relentless aural attack, and the near-grind pacing of the music put this album in rank with the best of modern war metal. The bloodthirsty attitude inspiring this album remains obvious throughout. They don’t concern themselves with the sharpening of swords, the vagaries of war, or pre-battle rituals, only the throes of violence in the midst of war. Not the impersonal war of the modern age but rather War of an epic and fantastical nature, where your killer somehow finds 30 seconds to raise his weapons to the sky, and shriek some barbarian screed, before driving two blades into your brain through your ears. This entire album pretty much exists in the moment between being cornered, and being epically fucking slaughtered.

 
The fact that the vocals are genuinely dripping with blood and hate helps keep the whole things from getting silly. In comparison to the previous album, Vovk’s vocals are mixed front and center, and he’s worked out a unique style of vocal delivery. Similar to the vocals in Burning Witch (although there is no doom anywhere on this album), Vovk’s shrieking vocals cut through everything else and are responsible for driving the songs forward. Most noticeable is the way the mixed English/Italian lyrics are delivered, with odd spacings between words and unusual choices for emphasis, which comes together as a peculiar dialect whose overall effect is pretty terrifying, and makes for a memorable listen. The instrumentation is no-nonsense, with the drummer making absolutely no unnecessary indulgences, and the guitars fluxing between stenchy grooves, raw thrash, and old school tremolo death mayhem. The guitar solos are short and dissonant, and every now and then, the guitars bring the song to an anthemic climax with a huge melodic riff, as is heard on the standout track “Live to Kill”. There is a 6 minute noise track at the end, that I can’t really speak to, but the 10 minutes of metal on this a album are brutal and fast, managing to stab in and pull out of before you have time to spit out your last words. Fans of the new Diocletian, later Darkthrone, and all things crust, black, thrash and death will be right at home with this album, kicking down the doors and lighting the walls on fire.

 

 

 

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Stream it on Bandcamp

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– Arjun Ray

Gravecrusher – Morbid Black Oath (2014)

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Gravecrusher are a band that obviously pulls their influence from the old school of death metal. Head-melting solos are abundant and crushing rhythms drive their riffs with neck-snapping vigor. The Bolt Thrower influence is just as prominent as their Swedish death metal roots (though the latter isn’t present to the point of including the more annoying tropes of that vein of music).

 

The song writing and riffs are all there and are done with great precision and craftsmanship but the one thing that isn’t very “old school” about their approach is how they chose to record. I am one of those people that absolutely believe that production plays a vital role and establishing the sound and aesthetic of a death metal band and this just comes across too cleaned up and processed.

 

The only complaint that I really have is the production; the guitars lack the layering that they need to make this music effective and the drums are have too much treble, which doesn’t exactly help beef up their sound. That all being said that is my ONLY complaint. Everything else is done in a way that comes across as convincingly genuine death metal made by people whole love this music.

 

 

Listen to the album here

 

– Jerrod Preston

“My lil’ Murrican Adventure” – MDF retrospective

Guest writer Shruti Kumar wrote about her experience at Maryland Death Fest and wanted us to put it up here. It’s a nice little read that gives some insight into the things people are willing to do to see the best extreme metal festival in contemporary times. She’s an Indian who currently resides in Australia as a permanent citizen, and regularly attends local shows as well. Read on:

 

 

Asphyx

Asphyx

 

 

So here I was, looking at the Maryland Deathfest XII lineup for the first time. I’m your typical overseas-based university student, with only a fast food job to sustain my gig needs and this wasn’t even a local show. I’d always wistfully gazed at MDF lineups every year but this time the lineup was so fucking unreal that I just HAD to be there. Mostly for the fact that I’ll get to see Immolation twice because I’m a massive Immolation fangirl and by massive I mean being-at-the-front-taking-pictures-screaming-for-autographs fangirl. I hardly ever feel like that for a band because let’s face it, band members are probably just as fucked up as you are, if not more. So anyway, to make this work, I’d have to sort out money, flights, visas, university, immigration and parents (yes, that is actually a legitimate concern for an Indian kid). I had traveled internationally before, but never alone. Thankfully, I have super liberal and highly educated parents, who even though were initially reluctant to let their little girl go alone to a foreign country for an extreme metal festival, eventually thought that this would be good to make me self-sufficient. For money, I worked my arse off and saved up cash. Stopped spending as much, worked full time for the three months I had off after my second semester finished. One thing I had decided right from the start was that I’ll have to make this happen by myself so I didn’t burden my parents financially. Money and parents sorted. Now for the worst part, immigration. Immigration was the one thing that made organizing this trip a massive pain and a lot more difficult than it should’ve been. I lost my passport so I had to deal with cops and some really nasty people at immigration but once my application was finally in, it was just the wait. Oh, the fucking wait. It took about a month for me to get it back but little did I know that my problems had just started. Because bam! As you can guess, it was time for me to get visas. Since I’m a permanent resident in Australia but actually an Indian citizen, I had to get two visas. I won’t bore you with the details, but long story short, the US tourist visa was the reason that led me to be uncertain if I was even gonna make it till the last minute. Literally. I really wish I was kidding, but nope. My visa interview was 2 days before my flight was supposed to leave. Thankfully, I didn’t buy tickets and decided to wait till my visas came through ‘cause I’m smart like that. Anyway, my visa got approved but I read on the US immigration website that my passport won’t be sent back to me within five days. BA DUM TSS! All my hopes of going to the US crushed in a minute. All the months I spent working hard and dealing with immigration gone for nothing. It affected me more than any break up I ever had and it was just plain awful. So much so that I tried to find solace in alcohol when I don’t even fucking drink. But life had something else in store for me. The very next day I found out that my passport had been shipped and I would be able to go to the US afterall! So I did end up going, albeit three days later than planned. It was pretty outrageous, I got my flight tickets at 4 pm and my flight left 7 am the next morning. But as you would’ve guessed by now, I’m a pretty crazy person. It was a jampacked trip, with so much to do and see in just a week. But I was up for it. I admit, I’ve been a very naughty girl to make this work, I skipped uni and rescheduled a few assessments. But look at the fucking lineup! Can you blame me? In a matter of four days I saw Immolation, Incantation, Asphyx, Gorguts, Necros Christos, Mgla, Pseudogod, Coffins, Noothgrush, Crowbar, Agalloch and so many others. Phew! And I was right at the front for almost everything because if you haven’t experienced a band up front, I highly recommend it. I also got to meet Ross Dolan and Rob Vigna of Immolation which was an absolute dream true and made my US trip worthwhile straightaway. I also had great company, my friends Gautam and Nikhil, who were so much fun to hang with! Here’s a few day-to-day updates/diary notes from the time I was in MDF and then came back:

 

 

Noothgrush

Noothgrush

 

 

After the prefest gig: Got to see Immolation in a private gig environment and being practically on top of the stage for the entire thing. Had a super long chat with Ross Dolan and Bob Vigna and it really is amazing to know that your favourite band is comprised of really down-to-earth people instead of dickheads, which they very well deserve to be considering the unreal music they make. They played Into Everlasting Fire! I think now I can die happy.

 

MDF Day 1: Coffins were so fucking good! It’s that amazing feeling you get when you finally see a band you’ve been obsessing about for ages. Every track they played off their Buried Death album made their set exponentially great. Crowbar were insanely heavy and other highlights included Whitehorse and Sourvein. Bring on tomorrow!

 

MDF Day 2: Watching Incantation, Bölzer, Agalloch, Mgla, Necros Christos, Cancer, The Ruins of Beverast, At The Gates and Taake back to back on the same day. FUUUUUUUUUCK. This lineup has ruined every music festival for me. Also, bumped into Ross Dolan again and he recognized me. Fuck yeah. Winning.

 

MDF Day 3: HOLY FUCKING SHIT. Asphyx were fucking perfect. Reformed Pungent Stench and Hooded Menace were really tight and so were Tankard, Dark Angel and Noothgrush. Got my hardcore/grind fix from Victims, Dropdead and Birdflesh. Machetazo destroyed the venue and there were many others I can’t be bothered mentioning. I’m gonna have some serious psychological depression after this festival ends but fucking hell, so many happy feels right now.

 

MDF Day 4: Candlemass. Owned. Everyfuckingthing. So much stoner/sludgy/doomy goodness today with My Dying Bride, Bongripper, Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats and Soilent Green. Inquisition rocked my socks and so did Pseudogod and Gorguts. Immolation ending the festival with a second set was probably the best farewell to MDF. Can’t believe I’m flying back to Sydney tomorrow, it’ll take me some time to readjust to drab ol’ life again.

 

On my way back to Australia: Homeward bound. Maryland Deathfest was amazing, never did I see so many bands, have so many people stage dive on my head and have so many guys come up to me and tell me they thought I was gorgeous (which included this creepy Argentinean guy who wanted to get a picture of me). Even though I’m now drugged on painkillers because I headbanged too much and have heaps of overdue assignments and a raging jetlag to look forward to, there’s nothing in my life I want to change right now.

 

So I’m back home now , with 0$ in my bank account and having some serious MDF withdrawals. Everything is dull in comparison to the time I had. After some of the shit I pulled to make this happen, I don’t know if I’d ever get to do this again. But hey, it was totally worth it.

 

 

 

Immolation

Immolation

 

 

– Shruti Kumar

Ecocide – Eye of Wicked Sight (2014)

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Starting as this album does with an unusual spacey ambient track, I did wonder briefly if I was in for brutality in the vein of Wormed. That notion was swiftly dispelled by the first “proper” song, the awesomely-named Planet Eater, which quickly builds from a laid-back intro into the kind of groovy thrash/death riff that fills you with the urge to grab a beer and jump into the pit.

 
Firmly establishing themselves in this mould, the Dutchmen then proceed to pummel the listener into submission with simple, heavy riffs that always just manage to avoid slipping into the horribly overpopulated realm of slam. The outro riff from Alien Intervention is a great example of this; if you’ve got long hair, you’ll be windmilling.
Whilst the vocals could in my opinion benefit from being slightly thrashier rather than remaining steadfastly at Corpsegrinder-approved pitch, the drums are tight and interesting throughout, never leaning too heavily on blastbeats and double-kick, and the bass has a brilliantly nasty tone, and is situated perfectly in the mix, remaining audible without being intrusive.

 
The real highlight of this album, however, is the guitars, which strike a fantastic balance between wild thrashy abandon and threatening death metal chugging. Unknown Disease provides some fantastic opportunities for drunken pit antics, as well as incorporating a solid solo towards the finish, whilst Beneath The Flesh opens with a genuinely unsettling groove riff that breaks into a fun speedy-yet-brutal riff that any 80’s thrasher would be proud to lay claim to, before settling into a great old-school death metal chug-fest.

 
Overall, Eye Of Wicked Sight is a solid representative of often somewhat nebulous genre of death/thrash. Ecocide have got the balance between the two genres (which, don’t forget, share very common roots) just right, and although they may not be a band that immediately stands out from the pack, they do make extremely good music nonetheless. I would very much like to see them build on this foundation and continue to evolve as musicians.

 

Music – It’s not amazingly innovative, but it is good fun.
Artwork – Wonderfully weird and a little bit creepy.
Overall – Well worth checking out, especially for fans of bands like Foetal Juice and Flayed Disciple.

 

ecocide

 

Listen/Buy

Disharmonic Records

– Marcus Vine

Odem – The Valley of Cut Tongues (2013)

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Odem along with Pyre is the best Russian Death Metal band. While the other is more derivative, you can’t hold that against Odem – it’s something else entirely. It’s not old school which is a relief, but it’s got that essence, that substance particularly and it’s taking with it the whole genre ahead. There’s the Black Metal influence coupled with Death Metal brutality not too different from Azarath but this one goes beyond that. It’s also got that eccentric and unpredictable flair, a curveball that Azarath can’t throw. But then again let’s not compare too much and let each band do its own thing. Odem is truly special and deserves your attention.

 

This is an EP however, four songs, all powerful, fast and going straight for the jugular while doing the frills, so to speak, along the way. That’s the way it should be. The momentum is raging, remains like that and your head continues to be crushed or is getting there. The music reeks of an esoteric air which is hard to pinpoint – a remarkable feat these days to do something like that. Given this day and age, with the redundancy of Death Metal bands, Odem’s ‘The Valley of Cut Tongues’ sticks out like a sore thumb everyone wants to suck. It’s that age of infancy all over again, with old school making a comeback, but that’s hardly reinventing the wheel. And that’s what Odem is doing. This will stand the test of time.

 

Released on the respectable Daemon Worship Productions, mostly known for its Black Metal art, this is a great discovery, a revelation for the Death Metal fans. It’s intense, unrelenting and at the same time artistic without allowing pretension to seep through. It’s just too fast and powerful for any of that. This is the template of the future – there are the so-called modern influences reminiscent of the Canadian bands namely Deamon and hints of Cryptopsy and Gorguts, channelled through the Polish school of Death Metal but executed to perfection. I can’t get enough of this EP because there’s so much happening in there and at a speed and level of diversity difficult to comprehend all at once.

 

‘The Valley of Cut Tongues’ is easily one of the best EPs to surface in recent times. It’s almost like the Death Metal equivalent of that sensational Bolzer debut. Odem is more experienced however, having released a full length album prior to this, and is forging its own path, burning conventions and hackneyed templates. Excellent.

 

 

 

odem

 

 

Daemon Worship Productions

Odem on Bandcamp

– Kunal Choksi