There's too many of them. I'm overwhelmed. Perhaps later I will review some of these in full, but for now, I just want to do a quick and dirty paragraph for each of the albums I recently received from Hell's Headbangers. The Cobalt album came from the same place, but that's alright.
I ordered recently from Hell's Headbangers. It's kind of an annual thing for me. Each year after my tax return comes in, I place an order, mostly to add to my vinyl collection. Hell's Headbangers specializes in punk-influenced extreme metal. It's all very cool.
Anyway, here are the albums:
OCTOBER 31: VISIONS OF THE ENDThis is kind of a side project for King Fowley of Deceased... It's traditional metal and it sounds great. It's hard to believe that this album was recorded recently and not in the 1980's, that's how true to the sound they are. Fowley uses much more of a clean vocal style this time around, instead of his harsher death grunts. The sound calls to mind groups like Liege Lord and Jag Panzer. This is a great, fun throwback to a better time in metal.
CHURCH BIZARRE: SINISTER GLORIFICATIONThis is a really good melodic black metal album. The riffs and leads are catchy as hell. The vocals are harsh, but not so much that the lyrics cannot be made out, which is surprising in black metal. This band owes much more of their sound to groups like Naglfar and Lord Belial, but with even better riffs and leads.
CONVULSE: WORLD WITHOUT GODThis is a reissue of the underground Finnish death metal band's masterpiece. It is much slower, atmospheric death metal kind of in the vein of Incantation. It's dark and forbidding. There has been a recent resurgence of reissues (try saying that three times fast) of old death metal albums. Convulse is the latest to receive this honor with their music finally being widespread. Their demo is also tacked on as bonus tracks. Contender for reissue of the year.
SAURON: SATANIC ASSASSINSSauron has been making a name for themselves in the metal underground over the last few years, so of course I had to check them out. This is very dirty blackened thrash similar to 1980's groups like Sodom, Venom, and early Bathory. It's fast and it absolutely shreds. Great upcoming band.
DECEASED...: FEARLESS UNDEAD MACHINESThis album has been called a masterpiece of metal before. It's easy to see why after listening to it. Deceased... is just an amazing band with a knack for catchy songs and infectious riffs. This is a concept album dealing with Romero's Living Dead movies. There's also a bonus disc featuring various demo, live, and rehearsal recordings to hear the band in a more raw stage. I also bought the t-shirt.
NECROPHAGIA: HOLOCAUSTO DE LA MORTE/BLACK BLOOD VOMITORIUMNecrophagia was a very early death metal band. They did not release many full-length albums, instead choosing to independently release demos and splits. This album is notable for the inclusion of one Anton Crowley on guitars, better known as Phil Anselmo of Pantera and Down. This is very dirty, grimy-sounding death metal of the underground variety. There are lots of samples at the beginnings and ends of songs that appear to be taken from horror movies. Mostly, this is just good, old-fashioned death metal and there's something to be said for that.
CRUCIFIED MORTALS: PROMO 2008Very short and dirty promo from death/thrash metal band. It sounds pretty good and is extremely raw. I just wish it were a little bit longer. These guys might have a decent future.
DECEASED...: LUCK OF THE CORPSEAn earlier album by the band that is fast becoming a favorite. On this album, they are much more death metal oriented than on later material. The music still owes quite a bit to thrash and other traditional metal styles, although the riffing is heavier and the vocals are also delivered in a much more death metal style. This is the band's debut album and it appears that they were always great.
DEIPHAGO: FILIPINO ANTICHRISTThis is very dirty black metal from the Phillipines, as if you couldn't tell from the album's title. The band musically bears a strong resemblance to Singaporean band Impiety. This is absolutely hateful black metal. It's fast and razor-shapr, with really grimy production value and very extreme vocals. It will take more than a cursory listen to get through the muddy production, but I'm up to the task. Raw, fast black metal is very interesting to me.
SHACKLES: TRAITORS' GATEAnother blackened thrash metal band from Australia. Bands from this country have a very distinctive sound. Shackles is a little slower-paced than some of the other groups, but they have more of an epic and grandiose feel to their music. This band could be very good.