ASTROFAES “Dying Emotions “Domain”

ASTROFAES
“Dying Emotions Domain”
(Negative Existence)
This one is not new, not even to me. I’ve had this one on tape, well basically since it was released the first time around. That was so long ago that I don’t remember too much of it. So it is a nice reunion we have going on. Metal from the former Soviet Union can be very unpredictable. You never know when you’ll get delivered a turd or a loaf. Continue reading

ACHERONTAS “Vamachara”

ACHERONTAS
”Vamachara ”
(Agonia Records)
I have no memory of ever having come across Acherontas before but this is their 15 year celebration. “Vamachara” is black metal more in the style of Mayhem than Cradle Of Filth, more 90s old school than Venom old school. It does bring back memories of a time when the second wave of black metal was fresh and new. Continue reading

HARPOON “Deception Among Birds”

HARPOON
“Deception Among Birds”
(Seventh Rule)
There was a time when I thought Helmet was the coolest in metal you could listen to. Not so anymore. The kind of metal that Helmet played quickly got old and something new came and replaced it. Harpoon kinda make me feel like that again. This is quirky and twisty in a way that can get tiresome if you’re not in the right mood. Continue reading

NUNFUCKRITUAL “In Bondage To The Serpent”

NUNFUCKRITUAL
“In Bondage To The Serpent “
(Debemur Morti Productions)
That Dan Lilker has a taste for extreme metal is no surprise. That he can be found in various projects/bands is no surprise either. Norwegian Nunfuckritual is just another band to feature Dan in its line-up. If you expect black metal in the vein of Dimmu Borgir or Immortal you might as well stop reading now. This has more in common with Ved Buens End ear an avant-garde Burzum. Continue reading

ROOT “Heritage Of Satan”

ROOT
“Heritage Of Satan “
(Agonia Records)
I remember the first time I heard a Root album. I was pretty blown away by the primitive and aggressive metal these Czechs presented me with. That was back in the nineties. Two decades has passed and now it is time for a reunion between me and the band. Will the experience be the same? No, simply because we are both two decades older and perhaps wiser. While older I’m not sure either of us are any wiser. I like the down-tempo old school feeling that “Heritage Of Satan” brings with it. It doesn’t have to be full speed ahead for it to be good. Continue reading

THOUSAND YEAR WAR “Tyrants And Men”

THOUSAND YEAR WAR
“Tyrants And Men”
(Abyss)
With a name like Thousand Year War you are forgiven for thinking that this will be the worst kind of Christ-bashing ever seen on CD. This is not any criticism but the moment I put this on I thought I had accidentally accessed the new Amon Amarth album. This has that same groove and feel as all Amon Amarth’s records. Continue reading

Whitechapel – “Recorrupted”

Whitechapel
“Recorrupted” EP
(Metal Blade Records)

TN’s deathcore crew are on tour right now, so just to kick us in the groove, Whitechapel have issued this limited edition EP. And quite an interesting l’il puppy it is too! Comprising a brand new track in ‘Section 8’, the band then give us a deathcore take on Pantera’s ‘Strength Beyond Strength’, which although more extreme in Whitechapel’s style of sound, I still found less heavy than Dimebag & co (at least when they were at their peak). “Recorrupted” then gets even more interesting by providing alternative mixes to ‘Breeding Violence’, which is dance beat orientated ‘Big Chocolate’ style, and a weird Ben Weinman remix of ‘This Is Exile’ which is pseudo industrial with lots of creepy samples and noises. Closing it all is an acoustic (yes that’s correct) version of ‘End of Flesh’ with Spanish guitar that works so well I would dare anyone not familiar with the regular song to recognize it as deathcore in its origin. Either way, an excellent little EP that can only add to an existing fan’s collection or raise a few eyebrows from the unconverted!

Morta Skuld – “Through the Eyes of Death: The Early Demos”

Morta Skuld
“Through the Eyes of Death: The Early Demos”
(Relapse Records)

All hail Morta Skuld!! Milwaukee’s own, these guys were a regular at Metalfest thru the 90s essentially taking off where old school Death left off: brutal, dirty, evil riffs, guttural vocals and tribal rhythms. So if you were and still are fans of this primitive-yet-so-catchy death in its simplicity then look no further than this release, which essentially combines the band’s two 1990 demos, ‘Gory Departure’ (ironically produced by Death’s manager Eric ‘Griffy’ Greif right after working on “Spiritual Healing”) and ‘Prolong The Agony’, on one disc. Besides classic tracks like ‘Feast From Within’ and ‘Preacher Of Lies’, Morta Skuld offer an interesting horror / gore take on Metal Church’s own namesake song! Although the band only lasted a decade, interest in them has never waned, and as a result of founder Dave Gregor and Eric Greif rekindling their working relationship with Relapse Records recently, Morta Skuld is once again rearing its ugly head from outta the grave!

Martyr – “Circle Of 8”

Martyr
“Circle Of 8”
(Metal Blade Records)

Another NWOBHM band from the mists of time, in this case Dutch band Martyr. Formed in the early 80s as the sorta equivalent to England’s Savage or Grim Reaper, Martyr also combined heaviness with melodies (along with poof hairdos n stripey pants) and played the Eurometal circuit where they enjoyed quite a success, were voted Holland’s best new metal band in Aardschok magazine, and eventually appeared on Metal Blade’s “Metal Massacre Part 6” compilation – mind you, that was 25 years ago! So what happened in the meantime? Well, the usual tragic story ensued with the band signing to a duff label (Metalloid), trying to adopt a more mainstream sound and the rest literally was history. At the turn of the century, the band reunited to play the HM Maniacs Festival and slowly played more shows including more recently Keep It True and Headbangers Open Air, re-releasing their old material along the way. As such “Circle Of 8” is aptly titled album, returning the band to arguably the label that they shoulda been signed to all those years ago. It’s also a brand new album and their first full blown affair in 26 years! Listening to songs like ‘All Warriors Blood’ and ‘Scene From Hell’ the band have learned their lessons and stuck to their trademark meat n potatoes metal with high end vocals courtesy of ‘Rop’ van Harren (who ironically was Martyr’s original vocalist and replaced long time vocalist Gerard Vergouw), high speed searing guitarwork and a high paced rhythm – the trademark sound of the time! Just to be sure they also offer a re-recorded version of ‘Speed Of Samurai’ and it all works a treat, even if the sound is a classic one, the band themselves sound like they’re fresh off the shelf (must be all those years on the sofa eh guys LOL)!