Monday, February 27, 2012

Review of The Art of Destruction by Desaster

1. Intro
2. The Art of Destruction
3. Lacerate (With Rans of Doom)
4. The Splendour of the Idols
5. Phantom Funeral
6. Queens of Sodomy
7. At Hell's Horizon
8. Troops of Heathens, Graves of Saints
9. Possessed and Defiled
10. Beyond Your Grace
11. Outro

The black metal band, Desaster, are back with their seventh full length album, The Arts of Destruction. The band was formed in 1988 and the line up, as it has been since returning hiatus, is Satanic on vocals, Infernal on guitar, Odin on bass, an Tormentor on Drums. The album was recorded at ToxoMusic Studios and mixed and mastered at Temple of Disharmony.

Having never heard these guys before, as I haven’t heard of many of the things I review, I must say I was extremely satisfied. Desaster know how to keep old school black metal alive with fast, in your face riffs but can also bring you slow but dark riffs as well. Not to mention the drumming is menacing and is a great addition. The vocals are very evil and demonic as well. I am not going to chose a favourite song off of this album because I think in their own way, each of these songs are amazing. I am glad some of these older black metal bands are still going strong and bringing out new music. If you are a fan of black metal you should check this album out.

Reviews of Master of Brutality and The Second Coming by Church of Misery

Master of Brutality
1. Killifornia (Ed Kemper)
2. Ripping Into Pieces (Peter Sutcliffe)
3. Megalomania (Herbert Mullin)
4. Green River
5. Cities On Flame
6. Master of Brutality (John Wayne Gacy)
7. Boston Strangler (Albert de Salvo)
8. Candy Man (Dean Corll)
9. Lucifer Rising (Live)

The Second Coming
1. I, Motherfucker (Ted Bundy)
2. Soul Discharge (Mark Essex)
3. Red Ripper Blues (Andrei Chikatilo)
4. Filth Bitch Boogie (Aileen Wuornos)
5. One Way…Or Another (Cactus Cover)
6. Candy Man (Dean Coroll)
7. El Topo
8. For Mad Men Only (May Blitz Cover - Extended Version

Church of Misery is a doom/stoner metal band from Tokyo, Japan. I am not sure what to say about these guys, it took me a little while to find their stuff. These two albums Master of Brutality and The Second Coming are re-released of the 2001 and 2004 albums. I am assuming that they are now under Metal Blade Records and that is why the albums are out again. The band is mostly based around songs about serial killers which is interesting. I have read that they are set to play their first concert at this year’s Maryland Deathfest.

In order to make this easier on myself and the readers I decided to just do both albums in one review, since it is basically the same kind of stuff. The sound clips at the beginning of each song are interesting and helps you understand the individual serial killer the song is about. I don’t think I have ever heard a band do doom and stoner metal combined, but Church of Misery did blow me away. The guitar riffs are nice and groovy and next thing you know they throw doom metal at you, which is incredible that they pull it off. Vocals remind me sort of like Phil Anselmo. A few of the songs are on the lengthy side, but the groove coming out of them all the way through is too awesome for length to matter. The only thing that is hard to sit through is the twenty minute, Lucifer Rising. These album are really awesome and I suggest smoking some weed while listening, I didn’t, but it’d be worth it.

Review of Mask of Malice by Lay Down Rotten

1. Death-Chain
2. A Darker Shade of Hatred
3. Nightfall
4. Mask of Malice
5. …And Out Come the Wolves
6. Swallow the Bitterness
7. Hades Resurrected
8. The Devil Grins
9. La Serpenta Canta
10. The Loss

Mask of Malice is Lay Down Rotten’s sixth studio album and third album under Metal Blade Records. They entered Desert-Inn Studio in September 2011 to record the album, the same place they have previously recorded. Mask Of Malice is the first album with new guitarist Daniel “Kensington” Seifert, as Daniel Jakobi left last year due to lack of time dedicated to the band caused by his other job and musical projects. The band has played many festivals such as Summer Breeze Open Air, Fuck The Commerce, and Neurotic Death Fest. They also played with many bands such as Disbelief, Hatesphere, Dismembr, and Neaera.

Having not heard of these before I didn’t know what I was getting into but they proved to be better than I expected. The album brings heavy riffs but also has melodic bits that comes standard in European death metal. The drums are a mix of fast paced pounding and slow breakdown like bits. I’m not in tune with different styles of death metal vocals but they seem quite good. My favourite three tracks are Mask of Malice, …And Out Come the Wolves and Hades Resurrected. They may not be my kind of band, but you like death metal be sure to check out this album!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cattle Decapitation finishes recording new album, "Occupation Domination" US tour announced‏

Cattle Decapitation wrapped up recording their new album last week and have returned home for a couple weeks before heading out for their European tour with Suffocation! The album was produced, engineered, mixed and mastered by Dave Otero of Denver's Flatline Audio. The humans of earth can expect a much more updated production, complete with some surprising guest appearances and the kind of musical exploration that garnered the band droves of new fans with 2009's The Harvest Floor. Once again, Cattle Decapitation gives us more extravagantly intense artwork from artist Wes Benscoter and the CD/LP layout are as over the top as the album's concept itself.

Some of the track titles on the new album include: Forced Gender ReassignmentA Living, Breathing Piece of Defecating Meat, and The Carbon Stampede. All of the details from the new album such as, cover art, track list, guest appearances, and pre-order info will be revealed in the coming months.

Cattle Decapitation is also pleased to announce their participation in the "Occupation Domination 2012 US Tour" with Origin. Vocalist Travis Ryan has posted the following update: "We're fresh out of the recording studio and are very much looking forward to dissecting the auditory canals of all who bear witness to our set on the upcoming US tour with our friends Origin! We're hitting up some areas that we haven't in a while and those who we are missing this time, not to worry... you will be seeing us back out on the road over the coming months as we support our upcoming album. We will also be focusing a lot on international touring on this new album, which will keep us away from the states for a bit, so we urge our USA fans who want to see us to be sure to mark when we're coming through their town on their calendars. We are very excited to show the world our new material and are looking forward to sharing information regarding our new album in the coming month! Stay tuned... stay GORE!"

Occupation Domination Tour
w/ Origin, Decrepit Birth, Aborted, Rings of Saturn, 
04/20 Baltimore, MD - Sonar
04/21 Wilmington, DE - Mojo 13
04/22 Trenton, NJ - BackStage at Champs
04/23 Keene, NH - Railroad Tavern
04/24 Brooklyn, NY - Europa
04/26 Peoria, IL - Brass Rail
04/27 Joliet, IL - Mojoe's
04/28 Portage, IN - Camelot Arena
04/29 St Louis, MO - Fubar
05/02 Albuquerque, NM - El Rey Theater
05/04 San Diego, CA - Ruby Room
05/05 Tempe, AZ - The Clubhouse
05/06 Hollywood, CA - The Whisky A Go-Go
05/07 Fullerton, CA - Slidebar
05/08 San Francisco, CA - DNA Lounge
05/09 Stockton, CA - Plea For Peace
05/10 Sparks, NV - The Alley
05/11 Portland, OR - Branx
05/12 Seattle, WA - Studio Seven
05/13 Boise, ID - The Venue
05/14 Salt Lake City, UT - In The Venue
05/15 Denver, CO - The Summit Music Hall
05/18 Lawrence, KS - Granada Theater

Monday, February 13, 2012

Review (and guest review by Matt Meehan) of Misery Wizard by Pilgrim

1. Astaroth
2. Misery Wizard
3. Quest
4. Masters of the Sky
5. Adventurer
6. Foraken Man

“From the hallowed halls of ancient tombs to the shimmering slopes of frozen mountain peaks, an archaic dirge resonates faintly and eternally— the lingering of a sound once so huge that it could be heard across oceans in distant lands. It was said that long ago, three men harvested the power of sonic amplification through arcane wizardry and dark bargainings with powerful demons, and that they used this power to create a band with powerful, heavy music unlike any that had ever been heard before.”

Pilgrim formed in early 2010, in Rhode Island, and was created to be a true doom metal band. With The Wizard heading the band with guitars and vocals, Count Elric the Soothsayer on bass, and Krolg, the Slayer of Man, they have developed a unique fantasy style of doom. Misery Wizard is the band’s first full length album of many more to come.

This album is one of my favourite doom albums, Pilgrim did a good job with it. The first track Astaroth, brings the feel of a very fantasy driven doom metal band and you can expect this the whole way through the album. The vocals are unique and I’ve not heard many doom metal bands with this style. The guitars are very sludgy and bassy and the faster riffs are catchy although they are far and few in between. The songs are a little on the long side, no complaining here, wouldn’t even mind if they were longer. I was going to name my favourite songs, but that was just naming off the whole album.


Guest review by Matt Meehan

Starting off from the first track Pilgrim takes you on a Doom styled epic adventure, with fantasy influenced track titles such as Quest and the title track Misery Wizard.  Masters of the sky blew my mind making Pilgrim a new favourite of mine. Most of the tracks are a little on the lengthy side ranging from four minutes to twelve minutes in length. Misery Wizard being the band’s first full-length studio album is very impressive I totally recommend this album to any doom fans out there.

Review of Blood Ceremony's self-titled album

1. Master of Confusion
2. I’m Coming With You
3. Into the Coven
4. A Wine of Wizardry
5. The Rare Lord
6. Return to Forever
7. Hop Toad
8. Children of the Future
9. Hymn to Pan

Now I know this album has been out for four years now, but I believe it has just been re-released by Metal Blade Records. If this means that Blood Ceremony is now under the label, then congratulations to them! Being from Ontario, I kicked myself in the teeth for not knowing this band, since they are from Toronto and I am an hour from there. This is their first album, which is self titled. They have a more recent album, which I am sure will be re-released as well at some point. The band consists of Alia O’Brien doing vocals as well as playing flute and organ, Sean Kennedy on guitars Chris Landon  on bass, and Andrew Haust on drums.

First of I have to praise Alia for her vocal and flute skills. Her voice is really strong and her flute playing is very well done. She never misses a note and from the live performance videos I have seen she is flawless on stage. I’d hate to talk badly about Eluveitie, but I would say that Alia’s live flute performance is a lot better than theirs. The guitars on this album have a mix of metal, folk, and blues elements which are all very well delivered. Some of which remind me of Black Sabbath and anything from that era really. I have quite a few favourites on this album and by a few, I mean half the album. The songs that really catch my ears are Master of Confusion, I’m Coming With You, Return to Forever, Hop Toad, Children of the Future, Hymn to Pan.

Guest review of Blood for the Master by Goatwhore written by The Left Hand Creation bassist Rob Holden

I would just like to take the time to introduce a new guest reviewer that is helping me out by bringing you a more in depth look at some of the albums I will be reviewing. Rob Holden is the bassist of Oshawa, Ontario based metal band Left Hand Creation. They combine all types of metal and make it their own with brutal riffs and gut wrenching vocals. You can like their page here and you should show some support for local bands!

1. Collapse in Eternal Worth
2. When Steel and Bone Meet
3. Parasitic Scriptures of the Sacred Word
4. In Deathless Tradition
5. Judgement of the Bleeding Crown
6. Embodiment of This Bitter Chaos
7. Beyond the Spell of Discontent
8. Death to the Architects of Heaven
9. An End to Nothing
10. My Name Is Frighful Among the Believers

Blood For The Master is Goatwhore’s 5th studio album, spanning over 15 years since the band’s conception. This record includes 9 tracks of the familiar extreme stylings that we have now learned to associate with Goatwhore. Collapse In Eternal Worth starts the album off with the familiar blackened death metal speed and chugs with the unholy fire breathing of Louis Falgoust that the band left off with from their last studio album Carving out the Eyes of God. The speedpicking harmonies are welcomed and placed perfectly overtop of gravity blasts and slower snare and crash which have become a signature of the blackened death metal genre and is sure to give this album what I like to call excellent “Headbanginess”.

The energy and aggression on this album is unmatched, but nothing takes away from the catchiness and the comforting familiarity of the song structures. Embodiment of This Bitter Chaos starts with a minute long instrumental and signifies a change in the atmosphere for the rest of the album. From here on out be sure to expect epics of Goatwhore proportion!  If you were headbanging before, then you are certainly smashing your face to the floor for the rest of this work. Other than the speed, the musicianship is nothing spectacular in comparison to the rest of the genre, though there is no need for showboating. The song writing is incredible and leaves no room for needless flare. The album ends with a legendarily epic track My Name Is Frightful Among The Believers and is my favorite track off of the album. Embodiment of This Bitter Chaos and Collapse In Eternal Worth are two more tracks that stand out in this album. For fans of Goatwhore, Blood For The Master is a recommended buy as I believe it is their best work to date, and will undoubtedly attract more new listeners than their previous albums.

Review (and guest review by Matt Meehan) of Blood for the Master by Goatwhore

1. Collapse in Eternal Worth
2. When Steel and Bone Meet
3. Parasitic Scriptures of the Sacred Word
4. In Deathless Tradition
5. Judgement of the Bleeding Crown
6. Embodiment of This Bitter Chaos
7. Beyond the Spell of Discontent
8. Death to the Architects of Heaven
9. An End to Nothing
10. My Name Is Frighful Among the Believers

Blood for the Master is Goatwhore’s fifth full length album. This is the first album featuring new bassist, James Harvey since he joined in 2009 after Nathan Bergeron departed from the band. The other current members are Sammy Duet on guitar and vocals, Louis Falgoust on vocals, and Zack Simmons on drums. The album was recorded and mixed by the band’s long time friend and producer, Erik Rutan, who had worked with them on their last two albums, at Mana Recording Studios in St. Pertersburg, Florida. Duet said in an interview with Decibel Magazine: “It’s not like the new songs are a drastic change. It’s like an experimentation on how much more metal we can get – I mean actual metal; the roots of heavy metal. But not in a way that it sounds like power metal or anything like that. It’s like an extremely metal version of us.”

I don’t really know what to say about this album. I am not really a fan of Goatwhore, although they seem like a tight band. They do bring great music nonetheless, the vocals are very thrashy but sound like it belongs in a black metal band. The guitars are very catchy, but can switch from blackened death to thrash in an instant which is hard to follow. The guitar solos are very awesome and bring off a heavy metal feel. My favourite song is probably Collapse in Eternal Worth. All in all, I couldn’t get into this at all. I won’t rob Goatwhore of their talent but I just couldn’t do it. I think it may be because one minute you could classify them as thrash and the next you could say they’re blackened death. Its really hard to follow thus making it hard for me to get into it.


Guest review by Matt Meehan

This being the first time listening to Goatwhore I expected a lot from a band with such an intense name but sadly they seemed to fall short for me. I found my self losing interest half way through the album, I found many of the tracks uninspiring. Although I found the tracks In Deathless Tradition and Embodiment of This Bitter Chaos to be quite satisfactory the rest of the album fell short in comparison. If you happen to be a big fan of Goatwhore you may want to pick this one up, but as far as Black/Death metal goes for me I’d rather listen to bands such as Behemoth or Belphegor. 

Review of Farewell to the Flesh by Dawn of Ashes

1. Farewell to the Flesh
2. Transformation Within Fictional Mutation (K. Bathory Mix)
3. Carnal Consummation in the Empty Space (Falling Skies Mix)
4. Carnal Consummation in the Empty Space (Die Sektor Mix)
5. Carnal Consummation in the Empty Space (To Mega Therion Mix)
6. Seething the Flesh in the River ov Phlegethon (The Juggernaut Mix)
7. Torture Device Part Two
8. Blood-Shed With the 3rd Eye (Instrumental)

Farewell to the Flesh is a digital EP from Dawn of Ashes. It features three new tracks Farewell to the Flesh Torture Device Part Two, and Blood-Shed With the 3rd Eye an instrumental. The other songs on this album are remixes of songs from the previous album Genocide Chapters. Now, before I continue, I want to note that I have never heard of this band before but in researching them I read they recently switched from “aggrotech” to melodic black metal. I am totally fine with that, so I looked up their actual stuff. Seething the Flesh in the River of Phlegethon is a decent song, and I think they may be able to pull off the whole melo-blackened death turn. Now onto this new album.

The album starts off with the title track Farewell to the Flesh. It is an alright track, although at times it feels a little more too much on the industrial side to me and the riffs are a little repetitive. Next we have the remixes, and then my ears bleed. Doing remixes of metal bands just makes it seem like an industrial band, and this is what most of the album sounded like to me. It made me question the bands genre, I don’t know why remixing has become a new trend in the metal community but it need to end! Also putting three remixes of the same song in the middle of the album just makes me cringe. Noticing that it wasn’t as repetitive as I thought it was going to be, so it wasn’t too unbearable. The only remix that I didn’t mind was The Juggernaut’s mix of Seething the Flesh in the River ov Phlegethon, which is probably because that song is actually good. The second new song is Torture Device Part Two and it just sounds like Farewell to the Flesh with faster riffs thrown in and maybe a different bit here in there. The instrumental at the end is just an annoying way to end the album with demonic growls and screams and creepy voices, I don’t see the point of it being there.