Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween! This is a Post About White Zombie

The last few days, in honor of Halloween, I have been listening to all of my White Zombie albums. In fact, I even dug out my Rob Zombie albums that I have not listened to for quite awhile as well.

White Zombie's music just fits with the atmosphere of the holiday. With his lyrics about monsters and horror movie subjects mixed in with sound clips from various terrible movies, the music is just campy and evil-sounding at the same time. Just like the holiday. It has a sinister background, but has become a holiday centered around going out and having fun, whether that be in costume trick-or-treating, or out to a party.

Similarly, though the music is dark and oftentimes deals with disturbing things, no one can accuse White Zombie of having any motive other than having a good time.

I have been a fan of White Zombie since I first started getting into metal. At that time, La Sexorcisto had recently come out and White Zombie was one of the most popular bands in metal. I did not quite know what to think of the band, but I did know that they always looked like they were having a blast.

Astro Creep: 2000 is still my favorite album by the band. But unfortunately it was the last full album of original material by them. Rob Zombie was beginning to get bigger than the band and decided to go out on his own. He still managed to put out some interesting material, but the returns on each successive album continued to diminish.

Music was no longer Rob Zombie's major calling as he began to direct movies. Unfortunately, I have not been terribly impressed with any of his movies and his music continued to get worse as well. I have not bought a Rob Zombie album since The Sinister Urge. It's a shame that his career went downhill because he was always such an interesting character.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Metallattorney's 10 Favorite Debuts of the Last 25 Years

Spurred by the abomination that was Metal Hammer's list, I decided to do one on my own.

In no particular order:

Absolutely raw and rough around the edges, this is an album that had a very large influence on the formation of death and black metal. It is completely unlike anything the band did afterwards. With an impressively evil atmosphere and some of the most beastly vocals Max Cavalera ever uttered, this is a very chaotic listen. The frenetic intensity of the album is its greatest quality. Sepultura refined their craft quite a bit since this, but this still remains my favorite album by the band.

Dissection is a group that surpassed their debut album with their sophomore album, but that does not make their debut any less impressive. The band developed a feel for writing cold and merciless melodic black metal and that feel was evident even from their first album. The drumming is the standout on this album as the drum patterns constantly change but never vary their power. As with other groups, Dissection eventually smoothed out some of their rough edges, but they did keep their intensity, particularly on their follow-up.

The Swallow the Sun debut was one of my first real experiences with death/doom and I was simply blown away. The album cover caught my eye and I had to pick it up immediately and I was glad I did. Swallow the Sun does somber and yet menacing music extremely well. Their cover of Candlemass's "Solitude" is on par with the original version. I have said it before and I will say it again, the cover art on this album perfectly matches the music.

The bands of the Norwegian Second Wave of Black Metal almost to a band released great debut albums. Mayhem's debut, Immortal's debut, and Satyricon's debut were all strongly considered for this list, but I ultimately picked just this one. Emperor was always much more grandiose and musical than their countrymen, and this debut is one example. While other bands strived for brutality through simplicity, Emperor tried to find the beautiful in the very ugly. Both sides are very evident in this release, which still remains one of my all-time favorite black metal albums.

Like Emperor for black metal, Immolation's debut is one of a number of great death metal debuts in the early 1990's. Immolation is a band who really helped death metal distinguish itself from thrash metal with their bass heavy slow and lumbering riffs and the deep guttural roaring vocal style. Immolation was a fairly early occult death metal band from the same New York scene that spawned Incantation and Cannibal Corpse among others, but Immolation's debut was more impressive.

Deicide rose out of the Tampa, Florida death metal scene and were immediately one of the most frightening death metal bands going. Their lyrics were unapologetically Anti-Christian and often invoked the devil and all sorts of other hellish demons. In addition, their music was fast and loud. Of course this was all eventually revealed to be a big joke, that Glen Benton has a, let's say interesting sense of humor. Their first two albums are excellent pieces of fast-paced, evil death metal.

One of the very first death metal groups, Morbid Angel's debut was completely unlike anything ever heard before. Morbid Angel took the speed and intensity of thrash metal and added occult lyrics and growling vocals. This was one of the first death metal albums and a definite influence on a lot of bands that would arrive in later years. This is also still one of my favorite albums by the seminal death metal band, possibly only surpassed by Covenant.

Speaking of bands who did something no one had really ever heard before, here is Opeth. Opeth started out as a death metal band with a little bit of an interesting twist, they incorporated a lot of 1970's progressive rock elements to their music. They were a little bit long-winded and this album was still something of a work in progress, but the ideas were definitely there and they were definitely fresh. Opeth just needed to build on them some more.

With this album, Amon Amarth began their long career of releasing basically the same album. This one is a little bit further along the death metal lines than some of their later releases, and it is a little heavier as well, but other than that Amon Amarth has made a career out of re-releasing this album. Which really is not as problematic as one might think. That is how truly great this album really is. It is hard to pick a favorite album by this band, the debut is certainly a worthy choice.

Suffocation rose out of the same New York scene as Immolation, but their music was decidedly different. Suffocation incorporated a lot more technical elements to their sound and also emphasized brutal breakdowns. Their influence can be felt in slam death, brutal death metal, and technical death metal. All three subgenres owe a massive debt of gratitude to this release. Suffocation has continued with the sound that they developed, but this is still probably their best.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Compilations: Hell's Headbangers Vol. 3

Attached to the Denouncement Pyre album I bought earlier this year was this compilation from Hell's Headbangers, one of the better underground metal labels around. I know a lot of these bands because I have a lot of albums from the label's artists.

I am very familiar with a lot of these bands and Destruktor is no exception. the blackened death/thrash metal band from Australia creates a sound very similar to their countrymen in Destroyer 666. That's unsurprising given the scene they come from. Their sound is a little darker and heavier though than D666's newer material. Sonically they sound a bit more like the early more black metal-oriented D666.

Another Australian band I am familiar with, which given my affinity for this scene is completely unsurprising. Shackles is a little bit different though. Shackles has much more of a classic metal sound to them than Destruktor and their ilk. It is a refreshing change of pace and the album these tracks come from is quite good. Unfortunately the band split up recently.

I am still eagerly anticipating a full-length album from these guys who wear their Hellhammer influence on their tattered sleeves. I own the demo and the EP that this is from and they look to be a very impressive rising band. One of these days I am sure they will bless us with a full-length.

This is the first band from this compilation that I was not previously familiar with. The Spanish band is a blend of thrash metal and crust. I am not the biggest fan of crust in the world, but this manages to hold my interest well enough. I don't know if I like it well enough to get an album.

Manticore is a very raw-sounding black/death metal band. They would fit in pretty well with the bands from Texas. This is just raw and filthy sounding metal. Nothing wrong with that. The second track is not quite as impressive as the first.

Much more infamous, than famous, Profanatica was originally a very early black metal band from the United States. Their sound was absolutely disgusting and their stage show matched it. They have lost a little bit of the shock that they used to have and have become more accomplished musicians, but the spirit is still there.

Havohej is the one-man band of Profanatica's Paul Ledney. Like his other band, Havohej is a very raw and dirty sounding band. It is fairly repetitive and simple black metal, much more in line with groups like Burzum and Darkthrone's early black metal material. How you feel about that stuff will influence how you feel about this.

Arphaxat is a French black metal band that oddly creates their music without the use of guitars. The band is the creation of one of the founding members of Deathspell Omega, and does sound a bit like their earlier material, though without the guitars. What results is kind of an unsettling sound. It is definitely interesting.

Holy shit, an Australian band I am not familiar with? Featuring members of Denouncement Pyre, this band definitely fits in with the scene. They have a darker, more evil sound than some of the other bands, sounding much more like Denouncement Pyre than some of the other groups. Still pretty great though. I will be checking them out.

I am a big fan of Atomizer and though these songs come off of my least favorite album by the band, they are still pretty damn good. Jason Healey was completely in command of the band by this point. The clean vocals take a little bit of getting used to. This was Atomizer's swan song and the band will be missed.

Atomic Aggressor is a very raw, occult death metal band. This takes me back to when death metal really sounded evil. Not bad, a little too raw, it would be nice to see what this band could do with some better production.

Nunslaughter has to appear on all of these things. Of course that's because members of the band run the label, but that's beside the point. They of course bring their typical brand of punk-infused death metal to their tracks. The first one has horrendous production, but that's probably done intentionally.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Horrible List Time: Metal Hammer's Top Debut Albums of the Past 25 Years

I am not sure why I bothered to cover this. I knew this would be bad, but this is ridiculous.


Among the issues is the fact that Pantera's Cowboys from Hell was listed, despite the notable problem that they released a few albums before that one. Then there is the presence of Bullet for My Valentine, which boggles my mind. And then Linkin Park. And then we have the issue with Slipknot taking the top spot. Sigh.

I will have to think about this for a little while and get back with my pick. I have considered Morbid Angel and Suffocation. I will give this some thought and come back with a top 10. In the meantime, what are your picks?

Monday, October 24, 2011

One and Done? Pt. 7: Burn to Black

Burn to Black is a band that is probably more well-known for who was in the band than for the music they put out. And that is honestly a shame because Burn to Black's only full-length album is an excellent slab of blackened thrash metal. But that one particular member was too busy doing his own thing to continue with the band.

So who is this individual? Well, it is Sam Dunn, the documentary film maker who gave us A Headbanger's Journey, Global Metal, and Flight 666. Dunn played bass for Burn to Black.

This is actually a pretty good album, with a focus on Celtic Frost-style riffing and decayed vocals. The Celtic Frost influence is obvious as the band covered them as a bonus track at the end of the album.

It's a shame Burn to Black did not continue.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Initial Impressions: Skeletonwitch: Forever Abomination

Skeletonwitch is one of my favorite bands of the moment, so it was without any hesitation that I went out to the nearest music store to pick up their latest album last week. The band has simply gotten better with each new release. This one was not any different.

At one point, the band was often thrown in to the hipster metal crowd for some stupid reason. They never really fit in, but I suppose it had something to do with the fact that they had the John Baisley album cover like Baroness and Mastodon and all those groups. Sonically of course Skeletonwitch had little to nothing to do with those groups.

Skeletonwitch's brand of manic blackened thrash has improved on each album. This time they sound even more intense and furious than ever. I was personally surprised on the first listen by the Immortal-esque songwriting, particularly on the first song. The vocals always resembled Norwegian black metal vocals, but that tendency was kicked up significantly on this release.

The only problem here is the same problem that Skeletonwitch has always had. A lot of their songs tend to run together and some seem a little incomplete. Nevertheless, the band continues to impress.

Skeletonwitch keeps getting better. They are easily one of the better bands going today and this album shows why.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Slam Poll Closed

Here are the results:

Love it
1 (11%)
Hate it
2 (22%)
What's Slam Death Metal?
1 (11%)
1 (11%)
It's okay
4 (44%)

I must say I am a bit surprised. I always assumed slam was really a love-it-or-hate-it genre and a lot of people are pretty apathetic. Oh well. By the way, my wife was one of the two votes for hating it. Which does not surprise me at all.

My Top 5 Slam Albums

These are my favorite slam albums of the moment. Some of these could easily change at a moment's notice:

I have alluded to it before, this is an utterly unique album by an utterly unique band. Wormed does not sound like any other band. They do science fiction-based slam death metal with an unusual almost dissonant atmosphere to their riffs. As I mentioned on the Initial Impressions post of last year's teaser, the band sounds like Demilich's singer fronting a combination of Devourment and Voivod. It is a truly unique sound. Wormed is one of a kind.

German slam/brutal death metal band Defeated Sanity is also highly unusual. The band uses a variety of influences worked into their brutal style of metal, including some almost jazz-like experimentation and sections at times. The vocals are extremely deep and guttural and the riffs fly by at lightning-quick speeds. Defeated Sanity is another example of a highly unusual slam band.

Sarcolytic is one of a number of great bands from the Texas Death Metal scene. Most bands from the scene exist on the border between slam and brutal death and Sarcolytic is no exception. While this album, their first full-length, has lightened the slam influences from the earlier material, they are still definitely present and absolutely crushing when they are there. The almost Lovecraftian sound of the band makes this an album to check out.

Now we get to a more typical slam album. Technically this is a compilation album including the band's fantastic Molesting the Decapitated debut and some demos and of course the infamous "Babykiller" track which is the band's most well-known song. This is exactly what slam should be: short and brutally intense with extremely heavy breakdowns, which are of course the slams. The vocals of Wayne Knupp were also extremely influential on the genre.

Dying Fetus was one of the first bands that got me into slam and of course the band was hugely influential on the formation of the subgenre as well. This is, in my opinion, their finest album. It was not the first album I checked out by the band, but it is the one that convinced me of their influence. The band has been softening their sound somewhat lately, but this is brutal as it got for them. Just an incredible, furious album.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Initial Impressions: Wormed: Quasineutrality

The best slam bands are those that take a different viewpoint on the genre. Bands that are not obsessed with ultra-gory violence and have something to say and bands that are a bit more technical with their music while avoiding the overly simplistic style that slam is known for.

Enter Wormed.

Wormed has still not released the follow-up to their fantastic full-length debut album Planisphaerium from 2003, but they did release this two track teaser last year. It has just taken me a long time to get around to checking it out for some reason.

Imagine Demilich's vocalist Antti Boman fronting a band that sounds like a cross between Devourment and Voivod and you have a pretty good idea what Wormed sound like. That is a pretty unique sound if you ask me and Wormed pull it off incredibly well. As I mentioned, their debut album was incredible and, if anything, they have just gotten better on this short release.

There is not much more to say, this is amazing.

Infernal Revulsion: An Epic Conviction vs. Putrid Pile: House of Dementia

For Slam Week, I revisited my Now That's What I Call Slam compilation and found my two favorite tracks. I then checked out both of the bands: Infernal Revulsion for "Rot in Peace" and Putrid Pile for "Dead".

This is a compilation made up of each of the band's two previous full-length albums. As such it is a little on the long side, so those of you who can not put up with this for very long should be wary.

Infernal Revulsion is another Japanese slam band. Japan seems to have a lot of good slam death bands, with Rest in Gore, Gorevent, and Vomit Remnants being other good examples. As with other Japanese slam bands, Infernal Revulsion has a slightly different take on their genre of choice.

Infernal Revulsion keeps listeners on their toes by throwing in the occasional thrash metal or tremolo riff. Pretty unique for this style of metal. They are also typically faster-paced with some somewhat bouncy riffs and impressive guitar solos thrown in occasionally. The vocals are very deep and froglike, occasionally sounding like Demilich's vocalist.

This is pretty impressive stuff. Infernal Revulsion avoids a lot of the traps that other slam bands tend to fall into. Their music sounds fresh and original.

The melodic intro sounds like the kind of thing Air Supply would have done, but then it kicks into the frenzied brutality of "Dead", which is one hell of a song, let me tell you. It is extremely heavy with the opening riff reminding me of some of Gojira's work. The heaviness continues throughout the album. Putrid Pile do the Deicide-style layered vocals quite a bit, to great effect.

Making things even more impressive is that Putrid Pile is the work of just one person: Shaun LaCanne, who provides all of the instruments and vocals, as well as the programming. This is one talented individual. Putrid Pile is one of the best slam/brutal death metal bands I have heard in awhile.

This is an extremely impressive album. I will definitely be keeping an eye on Putrid Pile.

I preferred the Putrid Pile album personally, though Infernal Revulsion was also great.

A Quick Look at Slam Death Bands on Bandcamp

I have not done much with so far. I have listened to a few bands that have requested me to do reviews of their material, but I have not explored the site much other than that. This week, I decided to do a search for Slam Week to see what kind of slam bands bandcamp has to offer. The results were fairly impressive.

Okay, this band is freaking incredible. They have two EPs available on their Bandcamp page and both of them sound great. The band is definitely influenced by Wormed, hence their kind of bizarre, sci-fi sounding slam. The atmosphere is the most impressive aspect from this band, something that is pretty lacking in most slam. This is some surprisingly good and original-sounding slam. I prefer the second EP personally, but they are both pretty damn good.

This band has only released one song so far, but it is fairly impressive. The vocals can actually be understood and are not delivered in a completely generic style. The music is kind of a mix of slam death and Cannibal Corpse.

This one is almost morosely slow and has a mechanical quality to it that sounds surprisingly good. The production is interesting as it gives the whole album a spacey feel. The vocals echo quite a bit which gets a little annoying at times, but it adds to the spacey feel. On first listen I was not terribly impressed, but it grew on me.

Extinctionist's EP is a short blast of slamming fury. There are five songs here and the whole thing clocks in at about eight minutes long. There is an old school death metal influence here, so the music is actually fairly fast while retaining a lot of the slam style.

This band has a sense of humor, I'll give them that. Song titles like "Dingoes Ate My Baby" show this off. Musically it is faster-paced brutal death/slam, which sounds pretty good. After the first track, the rest of the songs on the free promo are demo and live tracks without as good of production values. But there is some talent here.

I like this one quite a bit. The band does a lot to build an intense atmosphere. They sound like a mix of Devourment and Deicide, with the double layered extreme vocals and the rather impressive soloing mixed with the slams.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

5 Important Bands, 1 Genre: Slam Death

I have not done one of these posts for quite some time, so here we go. For those who don't remember one of these before, I am looking at five bands that were important in forming my opinion of the genre. This one is a little bit more specialized.

Suffocation is not a slam death metal band. Let us just get that out of the way first. However, they were a major influence on the formation of the subgenre. Slam death metal bands took some of the breakdown-laden ridiculously heavy sound that was Suffocation's bread and butter and took it to the extreme. They simplified things a bit and focused on the breakdown. Suffocation was vitally important in the formation of slam death and that is why they are listed in this post.

Internal Bleeding is often cited as the first real slam death metal band. My first album by this band was this compilation pulling together most of the band's demos that I received in a Century Media grab bag. My first impression was not terribly positive, but I did grow to really enjoy it. This is still one of the first CDs I grab when I want to listen to some slam. The rawness and energy of it grabs your attention.

Another album that I received in a lot of CDs, this one a lot of death metal CDs off of ebay. Sanatorium was the first band I listened to with the kind of frog-like gurgling vocals that have become a staple of the genre. This, in addition to the violent lyrics and deep throbbing slams, caught my attention from the beginning. It was kind of a joke album that I would put on to blow the minds of passengers in my car, I just grew to love it.

Dying Fetus is a group that I loved from the first time that I heard them. I realize that my first album from the group, their 2007 release, is not one of their strongest upon looking into their back catalog, but it definitely grabbed my attention. It was extremely powerful and chaotic, but with a political side to the lyrics. Dying Fetus catches a lot of crap for the singer's admitted love for rap music, but the band continues to put out good music.

Atrocious Abnormality is the first band that I successfully added to the Encyclopedia Metallum database. They exist on the border between slam death and brutal death metal with some surprisingly technical riffs in places. I also picked up their album after I submitted them to the database and was very impressed from the first time I heard them.

After those five bands, I started paying attention to Sgt. D's posts on slam on Metal Inquisition which lead me to finding more and more slam death.

Gorevent: Worship Paganism vs. Rest in Gore: Culinary Buffet of Hacked Innards

I get Gorevent and Rest in Gore confused. Both bands are slam bands from Japan, and they have similar names. I had a chance to listen to each band's newest album in an effort to determine which Japanese "Gore" band was better.

This is plodding-speed slam death with ultra-low guttural vocals and some extremely bass-heavy slams. I generally prefer the stuff that is not over-the-top violent and this album qualifies more than a lot of other stereotypical slam bands. Notice the cover art is not soaked with gore and the name of the album is not referencing some horrible act of violence.

Musically, Gorevent lacks originality, but how many truly original slam bands are there (other than Wormed)? That's not why people listen to slam at all. Nevertheless, the album does tend to drag a little bit and the songs kind of bleed together. When it's good though, it's very good. It is an absolutely crushingly heavy album.

The vocals are a little bit interesting on this one because they are not always delivered in typical slam style. Sometimes they bear more similarities to old school death metal vocals.

And there's that cartoonish violence I referred to in the above review. We have a really messy album cover and quite the grotesque title. We also have song titles like "Pus from Rotten Sutures" and "Pierced Eyeballs".

However, musically this band is much more interesting than Gorevent. The riffs are almost bouncy. The music is a little bit faster and there is a lot more energy in it. In addition, the band experiments with some unusual, almost funky rhythms, particularly on "Splattered Slime" and "Putrid Autopsy". The clicking drum sound is interesting as well, but gets to be a little grating at times. It is present throughout the entire album.

The vocals do not really do anything. They stay the same throughout, deep guttural growls. Fairly typical for the style.

This is a bit more original than the Gorevent album. It is certainly a slightly different take on a mostly stale style.

Despite the gore and violence-filled lyrics, I prefer the Rest in Gore album.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Strange Cover Songs: Katalepsy: "Symphony of Destruction"

Initial Impressions: Embryonic Devourment: Fear of Reality Exceeds Fantasy

Embryonic Devourment's debut is shockingly good. Featuring dissonant and technical riffwork and progressive song structures, this album is a mind-bender. There is so much going on musically that it is sometimes hard to determine when one song ends and another begins. But that is part of what makes this such an interesting, if somewhat bewildering, listening experience.

Their music is a mix of technical brutal death metal and grindcore with occasional slam moments. The guitars are extremely busy throughout, riffs fly in every direction and in every speed. The drumming is near constant blastbeats. And the vocals are delivered in a deep guttural growl, with the occasional scream thrown in for good measure.

All this makes for a very unique album. This is highly recommended for fans of technical death metal.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Demo Review: Vomepotro

I don't listen to a lot of demos. Usually the production quality is not terribly great, or the songs are rough. However, I do find them to be an interesting look at the early stages of a band.

Here are three demos from Vomepotro, a brutal death/slam death metal band from Brazil.

This is the very first recording from Vomepotro and it is clear they were not really sure what they were doing. The sound is raw and sounds a little weird because it is missing a lot of distortion. The guitar riffs just sound a little off. The band also throws in two covers of Cannibal Corpse's "I Cum Blood" and Slayer's "Angel of Death". Interesting, but the band has not fully emerged yet.

A slightly longer recording this time around, this one is more like an EP than a demo. Except the production values still are not really that good. The band has incorporated a little bit more of their later defining characteristics into the music. Slamming riffs and a heavy muddy sound have emerged. The vocals have become much more guttural as well. This is a definite step forward for Vomepotro.

This is the most polished demo from the group, though it was still several years before the band's first full-length. The band has really discovered their sound on this one and that sound is a mix between Devourment and Cannibal Corpse. It is a shorter demo, which is disappointing given the fact that it probably has the best production and best songs of the three I have reviewed here.

Initial Impressions: Engaged in Mutilating: Population: Zero

Engaged in Mutilating is a side project made up of members of Putrilage and formed in San Antonio, TX, home to several other slam and brutal death metal bands. While not completely a slam death band, Engaged in Mutilating definitely incorporate slams in their breakdowns and do a damn good job of it too. Engaged in Mutilating owes more musically to groups like Cryptopsy, Pyrexia, and Suffocation, with a little bit of slam thrown in.

EiM (as I will refer to them from now on in this review) plays fast and brutal death metal with a little bit of technical riffwork and some progressive structures. The music is fast and punishing with some impressive riffwork. The whole thing comes off like a runaway steamroller.

This is the band's first album and it shows. They have a lot of pretty cool ideas, but have a hard time really making a connection. I enjoyed this album, but I feel like the band really has some room to grow.

Monday, October 10, 2011

New Poll: What Do You Think of Slam Death Metal?

Any thoughts that can't be expressed in the poll?

Slam Splits

I have not done a split post for a little while. It just so happens that I have two ready to go.

THE BANDS: Artery Eruption and Inhuman Dissiliency.
ARTERY ERUPTION: This is one of the most cited names in modern slam and they show why here. Absolutely sick and twisted riffs with the deepest gurgling vocals I have heard in quite some time. The slams are absolutely crushing, it feels like the whole world is coming to an end. This just sounds inhuman.
INHUMAN DISSILIENCY: Faster and with a better production, but otherwise not a whole lot different. Their slams also slow things WAAAAYYYY down. The vocals are so deep, you almost cannot hear them over the music.
WINNER: Artery Eruption

THE BANDS: Embryonic Depravity and Gorevent
EMBRYONIC DEPRAVITY: They have a reasonable grasp on melody, which can be a little rare with modern slam. Not to say this is at all melodic, but slightly moreso than some groups. They incorporate old school death metal influences and throw in slams at opportune times. This is actually pretty impressive stuff.
GOREVENT: Japan has been producing a lot of slam lately. Gorevent is at the top of the list with Vomit Remnants and Rest in Gore. This is pretty indistinguishable from most other slam bands. I like the guitar tone in the riffs, but that's about it for originality.
WINNER: Embryonic Depravity

Initial Impressions: Disfigured: Amputated Gorewhore

I mentioned yesterday something about cartoonish violence in lyrical themes. Well Disfigured has them in spades. Just look at that cover art and the title of the album. There's also "Cadaver Meatballs", "Chainsaw Buttplug", and "Vehicular Vasectomy". None of which sounds like a very fun afternoon.

Musically, Disfigured is fairly basic brutal death with some slams thrown in for good measure. Think Pyrexia and Suffocation meets Devourment and you have a pretty good idea of what this sounds like. Just your average Texas-style death metal band really. The band does occasionally throw in some technical riff to keep things interesting.

The production is fairly impressive here. Everything sounds full and meaty, which with this style of metal is what you really want.

I like this album reasonably well. The sound bites can be a little annoying at times, particularly for "Drowning in Feces", but overall, it's a reasonably decent album. It is a quick and fun listen, even with the over-the-top violence.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Initial Impressions: Aborted Fetus: Fatal Dogmatic Damage

Okay, this is as basic as slam gets. Seriously, this could be Slam 101, all of the elements are here, with the exception of the almost cartoonish violence-filled lyrics. Not to say the lyrics here are not violent, but they are not as extreme. Otherwise, this is what slam is.

Aborted Fetus is a Russian four-piece who has been quite prolific in releasing something almost every year since the band formed in 2000. This is the band's second full-length album amongst a number of splits, demos, and EPs.

Their music is groove-laden slam death with fairly simple riffing and blastbeat-driven drumming. Every song is basically structured the same way. The band does not really go too far out of their comfort zone. The vocals are the standard pig squealed gurgling that a lot of slam bands use.

There is virtually no originality here. Even the name is lifted from two other bands. This is just simple slam without any real standout sections. The band just simply crushes for 25 minutes. It is utterly forgettable, but that is part of its charm. It hits you like a steamroller and then leaves you afterwards wondering what happened.

My 1,000th Post!

I planned on doing something special, but I can't think of anything. So there you go.

Slam Week

The remainder of the posts this week will be about slam death. I have several new albums and have been listening to a lot of newer bands lately. It's become a recent obsession. So this week is Slam Week.

Reader Submission: An Idol's Plague: Angels to Some...Demons to Others

Adrean of An Idol's Plague recently contacted me with a request to review their EP after seeing that I reviewed The Aberrant Phase's EP.

An Idol's Plague is a hardcore/grindcore band with some metallic influences. There is some interesting stuff going on musically here, but nothing mind-blowingly original or anything you have not heard somewhere else.

The band is certainly heavy. Their riffs in "Sleep While There is Peace" and "The Same in Another Way" have a lot of bass and crunch to them. There are some more experimental moments here as well. "Cosby Sweater" is all over the place, making as much noise as possible. And they do certainly have a lot of energy, playing mostly fast tempos with a lot of fury.

The vocals do not do much for me. They are mostly hardcore-type shouts throughout the EP. There is not a lot of variation with them either.

Similar to The Aberrant Phase, I will not deny that this band can play their instruments and there is some decent stuff going on, but this is not really my thing. Nothing personal, it just does not do much for me.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cover Art: My Kingdom for a Throne

Today is just an art post. Sorry I have not been posting much, I have been pretty busy with work.

Today's post is all about thrones. Thrones appear on metal album covers a lot, mostly for the symbolism of power that inherently goes with the throne. So here are some examples: