Monday, October 31, 2011

Mercyful Fate - Melissa

Classick bone-chilling spookiness by the King and Krew. Happy Halloween!!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Golem - The 2nd Moon

Total Carcass Heartwork worship, and that's never a bad thing is it? Listening to this is like taking a trip down memory lane, back to the late '90's early 'aughts when black metal bands were starting to give technical death metal another listen...and vice versa.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Under Black Clouds - As Darkness Falls

Epic doom post-rock death metal from '92.  I didn't even know this type of musick was being made back then!! Equal parts Neurosis, Obituary and My Dying Bride, this is an original and beautiful forgotten gem...let the sweet darkness fall.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ancient Wargod - When Darkness Rises...

Incredibly obscure and memorable death/black from '97 with insane riffs and progressive inclinations. This is one of those rare death metal albums where every song has a unique character...nothing bleeds together. One of my favorites for sure!
P.S. Long split-up, these guys are apparently together again since last year...hope they record some new stuff!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Eternal Dirge - Morbus Ascendit

Damn, damn, damn, where has this been all my life?? The German version of Atheist, and it couldn't be any finer.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Android Empire - Android Empire

Death'n'roll as played by sentient automatons. Very much like later Entombed, but with a really nice melodic dm vibe (I can hear a tiny bit of vintage In Flames). You really can't go wrong with this one.

Atrocity - Todessehnsucht

God, it's hard to believe how bad Atrocity went to hell after this album...unimaginable really. How do you go from this technical atmospheric death metal masterpiece to the piece of shit that is Blut? As you know from my Hallucinations post, I absolutely adore early Atrocity...their first 2 albums specifically. Todessehnsucht (fancy Deutsch for Longing For Death) is a wonderful followup to the rather insane out the theme of a drug abuse hell for the more spiritual (if overdone) concept of death in all it's guises. Technicality is intact, but many of the songs possess an otherworldly atmosphere that conjure up images of a graveyard at dusk, populated by cloaked figures engaged in some mysterious rite. Instead of the quirky riff oriented songwriting, we get longer more melodically driven songs that are downright epic in scope. The eerily dissonant guitar figures and chanted chorus of And the Sky Turned Red are prime examples of this shift. Such a singular album...death metal like this just isn't being made anymore.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Obscura - Omnivium

Even better than Cosmogenesis...Grosseman is an absolute machine on this album, and golden boy on bass is superb as usual. One of theeee best rhythm sections in contemporary death metal.

Infected Virulence - Music Of Melkor

And here I thought Tolkein obsessions only applied to black metal bands! Infected Virulence let their inner hobbit shine through on their '94 full-length with these 8 brootal tales from mystical Middle Earth.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fertilizer - A Painting Of Annoyance

What is it with Germans and their knack for crafting idiosyncratic death metal? Much as the Czechs crafted wonderfully romantic death metal, the Germans seem to have cornered the market on perfecting the art of death metal + grunge. Atmosphere reigns supreme on Fertilizer's Painiting. So let me paint you a undercoat of vintage Soundgarden mixed with the primal brushstrokes of an early Amorphis...and a few glazes of Led Zepellin II. Underground as hell, raunchy and wild. Fuck I love this album!

Obscenity - Human Barbecue

One of the many noteworthy bands from the German scene, these guys play their style of brutal Suffocation inspired death metal well (complete with wonderful Mike Smith styled blasts!), and they play it with a modicum of pizzazz (especially the epic beginning to the title track). They finish things off with a rip-roaring cover of Raining Blood, so maybe not the most original band, but satisfying nonetheless...actually, listening to this is making me hungry for some BBQ.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dark Millennium - Diana Read Peace

A band seemingly lost in the sands of time...only together a few short years and releasing 2 full lengths before disbanding in '93. Their first album Ashore the Celestial Burden is an INCREDIBLE melodic death metal album...leads are EVERYWHERE lush and gorgeous and beautiful. Not only that, but the riffs retain a technical thrash edge a la Dark's almost like being in guitar heaven for an hour.
That said, I actually prefer their follow up album from '93, the intriguingly titled Diana Read Peace (I'm guessing named after Diana Roman goddess of the hunt, but who the hell knows!) This one is much more rock-oriented than it's predecessor...approaching a Jesus Lizard meets Angel Rat era Voivod sound draped in a cult death metal aesthetic. The sound is spacey and bold creating dynamix that are faaar outside of typical death metal. At times the album starts to morph into a weird darkened-folk jam which makes me want to call DRP the death metal version of Comus's First Utterance, as ridiculous as that sounds (but imagine such a thing, it would be great, wouldn't it!!!) Take the incredible Pandemonium...the building and layering of sounds in this song is unconstrained and reaches emotive heights that are incredibly moving.
DRP is an album that you kind of have to live with for a while...a grower not a shower if you know what I mean...but do give it a shot, because it's charms are sure to delite and titillate even the most stubborn of death metal fans.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Absurd Existence - Angelwings

Incredibly potent death/doom metal from '94. Wonderful classic metal riffing and melodies that will make you swoon!! The main guitar line of Black Sun makes me think of Varathron nuzzling up to early Dark Tranquility, which is only a good thing, trust me! Ooooohhh that balmy mediterranean-styled riffing!! After this album, the band changed their name to Croon (WTF?) and moved into a more stoner metal direction.

Killer Fox - Orgasm Of Death

Truly an awful album, and one that is really only worth playing for it's shock value. Released by the notorious German label Metal Enterprises (read a great article about this farce of a label here). Killer Foxx is basically below par heavy metal with robotic death metal vokillz and elements of wackiness. Even though this is completely substandard and the people responsible for it should be wrangled up and promptly put out of their misery, there is a certain masochistic enjoyment I get from listening to it. Sort of the same pleasure I get from hearing a blastbeat infused accordian serenade...or an out of tune opera hog belt out a passage from the Necronomicon...illogical? Sure. Inappropriate? Hell yes. Hilarious? You betcha.
P.S. perhaps the most brutal cover art ever.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Scythe - Poetry Of Illusions

Opethian-flavoured prog-death that surprisingly doesn't suck a duck...Imagine that!!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Blood - O Agios Pethane

It doesn't really get any simpler than Blood...from the name to the music, this is absolutely by the books tried and true death/grind. But that's exactly why it's soooo good! The spirits of Carcass and Napalm Death flow mightily through these German's veins...and promptly coagulate, turning them into a chortling, gurgling pile of mess...
I think I need a Blood transfusion...AAAHHHHH CHRISTBAAAIIITTTT!!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fleshcrawl - Descend Into The Absurd

I first came across Fleshcrawl with their 2002 album Soulskinner, and it didn't leave a very favorable impression...the only things I can recall from that album were a very cheesy chorus line "Sooullskinner...Skkiiinn Mmmyyyyy SSSooooooouuuulllll" and a misguided cover of a Judas Priest song. Despite my initial dislike of the band, I wanted to check out one of their earlier I went with their very first, and goddamn this is like a totally different band!! Nothing cheesy about Fleshcrawl anno '92 at all. These dudes were dead serious...emphasis on the "dead" because this is some grim subterraneous material right here. Crushing and plodding, like a panzer tank rolling roughshod over unsuspecting masses...only to be interrupted by machine-gun blasts from the turret. I just love how during the blast sections the drummer highlights each new measure with a little extra ooomph to his blast...a really nice touch!! Truly an underground classick in the spirit of Asphyx, Autopsy, Demigod, Bolt Thrower and all that is old school and cool.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Impending Doom - Apocalypse III-The Manifested Purgatorium

Black + Death + Thrash + Germans = Old school headbanging delightfulness!!!

Pavor - A Pale Debilitating Autumn

Pavor's first album put out nearly a decade before Furioso...when I think of the death metal that was being released in '94, I don't think there was much out there that could compete with Pavor in terms of sheer technicality...hell, there still ain't too many bands that can hang with these guys. Landfermann is once again the lynchpin, laying down convoluted and idiosyncratic basslines that are totally outside the realms of conventional death metal. The guitar playing is a bit less outrageous than on Furioso...but only by a little bit...a tad doomier perhaps. Probably the only albums that sounded remotely close to this at the time were Individual Though Patterns and maybe some of the Atheist discs...but then again, neither of those bands are as brutal as the music on A Pale. An obfuscated black metal backbone seems to run undercurrent through most of these tunes, providing a sinister, somewhat desperate atmosfear. In fact, the strange voicing of the chords will bring Ved Buens Ende to mind (especially during the epic (and epically named) Imperator Of An Ashen Bane). Overall, this is just an extremely engaging album, and one of the very few tech death albums that I find myself returning to again and again.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pavor - Furioso

A combination of furious thrills + virtuoso skillz and the eponym could not be any more perfect. Pavor is like putting a beehive up Steve Vai's lycra bikeshorts and Buddha Dickens XXXL eggplant-colored pantsuit then catching the resultant shredfest on tape. If someone wanted to make a death metal version of Spiral Architect, I would say sorry, but these Krauts beat ya to the punch...Rainer Landfermann (former vocalist of Bethlehem (back in their good old daze))) is a tour de force on bass...taking control of these songs in a way that can only be likened to Lars Norberg's performance on Sceptic's Universe. The guitars are right there in step...playing off (or trying to keep up with) the bass plasticity. Witness the insane guitar/bass solo trade off runs during the album's title track. This is some wild, wild shit and Pavor know it too. According to the band "all posers, fakes, scamps and bored lowlifes need to STAY HOME AND PRACTICE!"...I know this applies to most of you (I myself am a scamp). So lock yourself in your room, start practicing those scales and arpeggio runs, and after a few years of shredding your fingers to the bone you can emerge with maybe juuuuuussst enough skill to carry Landfermann's quadruple-necked 8-stringer guitar case.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Professor - Academizer ep

An incredibly fun romp is this ep from '93 containing boatloads of blurred out Carcass-inflecked SLayer begotten speed-demon wizardry...comes on a cute little 3" mini-cd too. This German Professors got some skillz....almost as much as that one Professor Dayton from CreepShow3.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Kiss and Tom Snyder

This is one of the most hilarious things I've seen recently....Ace Frehley is a hoot, and Gene looks soooo pissed!!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Purgatory - Psychopathia sexualis

Gonna keep the German death metal thing goin' here with the ripping dripping nastiness of Purgatory's Psychopathia sexualis (scientifically named of course). Given the artwork and album title you'd be forgiven for thinking this is some Cannibal Corpse Wretched Prawn knockoff, one that is content with wallowing in cliched B movie gore, but this right here is some seriously slithering Lovecraftian gore. Full of wicked tendrils, untamed lust, and priapic animism (conjuring up images from a recent novellete I read called The Cannibal Within). It begins with the dynamism of the riffs...extended phrasing is used much as Atrocity did on Hallucinations, but advanced guitar lines will writhe into Autopsy cum Celtic Frost sludge instead of the jazzy leanings of their Kraut brethren. The vocals are incredibly forceful and deep; whilst retaining a rasping bite that cuts quick to your core...I'm even going so far as to say that they are unique in the realm of death metal...I don't think I've ever heard another grunter with soooo much bite to his hogcall. Atmospherically, this is some dense shit, in league with Darkthrone's Soulside Journey and Hallucinations....showing that a German death metal ep from '94 with a crudely drawn cover and dodgy outro has more than enough charms to bang with the big boys.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Incubator - McGillroy The Housefly

This album just really captures my imagination...grungy German death metal from '92 dealing with greys, gore, rape and all things unwholesome. The cover is an exemplary piece of demented Seagrave-styled artwork (that sweet little alien-like insect with a dagger sitting on a tree/pile of it's own larvae is a real keeper) and sets the stage for the weirdness of the music within. This is what I call "relaxed" death metal...almost having more to do with Voivod (especially Outer Limits era) than Morbid Angel. Actually I think a good comparison can be made with Supurations's Voivodian masterpiece The Cube mixed with a little bit of Carbonized's Disharmonization. Rhythms play a big part of this "relaxed", but unsettling atmosphere...always kept tastefully in check...more apt to use a jumpy hi-hat or well-placed crash instead of a blast; although there is one blast section on this housefly...I won't say where, suffice to say it will throw you for a loop. Really an underrated gem, and a real score for those that like their death metal weird and wild.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

RALF Projekt II - The Sloppy Feast

RALF returns with a vengeance...3 impromptus and 3 covers of Led Zeppelin, Dissection and Iron Maiden. It's been described as a "low-tech Siege's Even with much better vocals." Get ready for a real sloppy feast mutherfuckas!!