Archive for Death Metal

Cannibal Corpse unveil new album title and cover art

Posted in Metal, Misc., News with tags , on 26th September 2017 by izaforestspirit

The well renowned  American death metal band Cannibal Corpse have recently announced that their new album, the follow up to ‘A Skeletal Domain’ will be called ‘Red Before Black’.

Here is the cover art:

The track-listing will be as follows:

1. Only One Will Die
2. Red Before Black
3. Code of the Slashers
4. Shedding My Human Skin
5. Remaimed
6. Firestorm Vengeance
7. Heads Shoveled Off
8. Corpus Delicti
9. Scavenger Consuming Death
10. In the Midst of Ruin
11. Destroyed Without a Trace
12. Hideous Ichor

‘Red Before Black’ is scheduled to hit the shops worldwide on 3rd November 2017 via Metal Blade Records. This will be followed by a European tour starting in early February next year. Stay tuned for more details.

For more information visit:

http://cannibalcorpse.net

https://www.facebook.com/cannibalcorpse

 

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Immolation – Atonement

Posted in CD, Metal with tags on 20th February 2017 by izaforestspirit

Immolation
Atonement
Released 24th February 2017
Death Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast Records


My first death metal review of 2017! The last death metal release that caught my attention was the latest Vader album, which was mentioned in my top ten metal releases of 2016. I have to admit that when it comes to death metal I’m more familiar with the European death metal than the North American variety. My knowledge of the American death metal scene is mostly based on my experience of a handful of bands, primarily old Morbid Angel and Cannibal Corpse. Immolation started out around the same time as Morbid Angel and that’s why they caught my attention. So I decided to check out their latest album.

The pace is fairly varied, ranging from mid-paced to slow depending on the track. It’s clearly not meant to be all about the blast beats or the ultra fast shredding of guitar riffs. That’s not to say that all the tracks are slower and ponderous but rather that the overall style, particularly the guitar and drum patterns have a more complex and ‘layered’ approach. For example there is the groove-laden Throw into the Fire, which comprises a mixture of low-tempo, sludgy death metal at the start leading towards some faster, more death-thrash style midway through before slowing down again at end.

For those who want something more aggressive and brutal, then Lower and the title track will not disappoint. These two are structurally simpler and less technical than some of the other songs on here, with the emphasis being on the thrashing guitar riffs and pummeling drums. ‘Lower’ caught my attention due to the thrash metal tinges in guitar riffs half way through the song.

In summary, what we have here is a very consistent, old-school death metal album. For those who are familiar with Immolation’s earlier work, ‘Atonement’ doesn’t offer anything dramatically new. There’s a good balance of aggression and brutality with melody and precision. It might take a few listens to get into, but once you do you will be rewarded for your patience.

4/5

Iza Raittila

Iza’s Highlights of 2016 (Part 2: Metal)

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated, Metal, Misc. with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 31st December 2016 by izaforestspirit

Time for the second part of my highlights of 2016, the metal edition. This part was much harder to write than the first because it took me a long time to chose my top ten metal of albums and even longer to decide on the winner. So here are my top ten favourite metal releases of 2016:

1. Vader – The Empire
Genre: Death Metal

This year, Vader strikes back with ‘The Empire’… Let’s face it, they were kind of asking for comments like this with that kind of an album title. Star Wars jokes aside, this is a really good piece of work. If you’re looking for some new death metal to check out, I would strongly recommend this album. Unlike their previous work, the masterpiece that was ‘Tibi et Igni’, ‘The Empire’ shows a back to basics approach. No complex structures or atmospheric intros, just good, old-school thrashy death metal. Best tracks: ‘Iron Reign’, ‘No Gravity’ and ‘Army-Geddon’.

2. Rob Zombie – The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser
Genre: Hard Rock/Industrial Metal

This year’s runner up deserves an award for coming up with the one of the longest album titles in years. I tend to refer to it simply as ‘The Electric Warlock’… Whilst still no match for his first two albums, ‘The Electric Warlock’ is Rob Zombie’s best work in years. Favourite tracks ‘The Hideous Exhibitions of a Dedicated Gore Whore’, ‘In the Age of the Consecrated Vampire We All Get High’ and the ultra cheesy but super catchy ‘The Life and Times of a Teenage Rock God’.

3. Devilment – II- The Mephisto Waltzes
Symphonic Gothic Metal/ Groove Metal

For those of you who read my highlights of 2015, you might remember my comments on the latest Cradle of Filth album. This year their vocalist Dani Filth has been busy working on the second album for his other band Devilment. ‘II- The Mephisto Waltzes’ is a delightful opus which happily mixes a variety of metal genres including Gothic, symphonic and groove metal. There’s even a touch of humour in the lyrics and several references to horror movies, modern horror literature and art – most notably Alfred Hitchcock and Stephen King. Best tracks are ‘Hitchcock Blonde’, ‘Dea Della Morte’ and ‘Full, Dark No Stars’.

4. Mortiis – The Great Deceiver
Genre: Industrial Metal

Ever since the Norwegian musician Mortiis started his own band in the mid ’90s, there has been some debate as to what category their music fits into. The older works are very much dark ambient, followed by the synth-pop period of ‘Smell of Rain, turning into the latest era of industrial rock. Their latest effort, the ultra creepy -sounding ‘The Great Deceiver’ is undoubtedly their heaviest and most complex album to date which is why I chose to include it in my metal top 10. Best tracks: ‘Doppelganger’, ‘Demons are Back’ and ‘Shining Lamp of God’.

5. Moonsorrow – Jumalten aika
Genre: Pagan Black Metal

Moonsorrow caught my attention after I saw them live at Tampere Metal Meeting Festival in the summer. I like some of their older material and after hearing some of the new songs live I decided to check out their newest album ‘Jumalten aika’. This is one of those releases where there are no real outstanding tracks, but rather the whole album is worth listening to in full. It’s one of the best pieces of pagan black metal that I’ve heard in a long while.

6. The Vision Bleak – The Unknown
Genre: Gothic Horror Metal

German Gothic horror metal duo The Vision Bleak are back with a new album. ‘The Unknown’ struck me as being somewhat “Lovecraftian”, both in the visual concept of the cover art and the the lyrical themes. Musically it is in every bit that you can expect from a Vision Bleak album; eerie Gothic horror metal with some doom influences added creating the soundtrack to your worst nightmare. Best tracks ‘The Kindred of The Sunset’ and ‘Into the Unknown’.

7. Metallica – Hardwired…To Self-Destruct
Genre: Thrash Metal/Heavy Metal

Just in case anyone is wondering why the new Metallica is so low down on this list, the truth is that I expected it to be better than it turned out to be. After all, it’s been eight years since their last studio album. Needless to say that the expectations were high. I wasn’t expecting this to be another ‘Master of Puppets’ or ‘Ride the Lightning’ but I was hoping for something along the lines of ‘Death Magnetic’ which I really enjoyed. Luckily ‘Hardwired…To Self-Destruct’ isn’t as bad as ‘St. Anger’ but it’s hardly a masterpiece. To be honest I think that it would be have been better off as an EP with just four or five tracks instead of the 12 songs and 13 music videos. I definitely like the first disc more than the second one and my favourites include: ‘Moth To The Flame’, ‘Dream No More’ and ‘Spit Out The Bone’.

8. Sabaton – The Last Stand
Genre: Power Metal

Sabaton are one of the very few power metal bands that I like. I’ve always enjoyed their live shows and I’m very fond of the concept album ‘Carolus Rex’. As with all Sabaton albums, their latest piece of work doesn’t disappoint as far as the historical themes go. This one tells the stories of eleven defensive “last stand” battles. Each song focuses on a different battle from various historical events ranging from ancient Greece, medieval Scotland, the two World Wars to Japan at the time of the samurais. That sounds awesome in principal, if only the actual music was that good. Sadly it isn’t. It’s ok but not great and most of the time Sabaton are just recycling old ideas, changing the themes but making similar music. The only tracks that I liked are: ‘Shiroyama’, ‘The Last Battalion’ and ‘Blood at Bannockburn’.

9. DevilDriver
Trust No One
Genre: Groove Metal

DevilDriver - Trust No One

The only real groove metal entry on this list, ‘Trust No One’ is DevilDriver’s best work in years. It is an aggressive beast of guitar-driven groove metal made all the more powerful thanks to Dez Fafara’s vicious growls. Best tracks: ‘Trust No One’ and ‘Daybreak’.

10. Theatres des Vampires – Candyland
Genre: Gothic Metal

It’s been a while since the Italian Gothic metal band Theatres des Vampires have released anything new. I’ve been a fan of their music for many years and so I was keen to get my hands on a copy of their latest piece of work. ‘Candyland’ is somewhat more metal-sounding than its predecessor ‘Moonlight Waltz’. There are notably less vampire themes on here compared to the previous album but other than that not much has changed. Sonya Scarlet is still the key figure in Theatres des Vampires. Whilst I still prefer their older works, back when Lord Vampyr was still a member of the band, I did enjoy this album. Best tracks ‘The Morgana Effect’ and ‘Resurrection Mary’.

 
Biggest New Discovery: Powerwolf
Best live show of 2016: Powerwolf live in Tampere
Most anticipated albums of 2017:
Ex Deo – The Immortal Wars
New albums from Cradle of Filth and (hopefully) Behemoth.

That’s all from me for now. Happy New Year!

More details about the new Ex Deo album

Posted in Metal, Misc., News with tags , , , on 7th December 2016 by izaforestspirit

Good news for fans of the ancient Rome -themed, symphonic death metal band Ex Deo. The  band have revealed that their new album, the long-awaited follow up to ‘Caligvla’ will be entitled ‘The Immortal Wars’. This will be a concept album about the Punic Wars fought between Rome and Carthage which took place 264 B.C. to 146 B.C including epic tales two of history’s most famous generals Hannibal and Scipio Africanus.

You can check out the cover art and the track listing below:

1. The Rise of Hannibal
2. Hispania (The Siege of Saguntum)
3. Crossing of the Alps
4. Suavetaurilia (Intermezzo)
5. Cato Major: Carthago Delenda Est!
6. Ad Victoriam (The Battle of Zama)
7. The Spoils of War
8. The Roman

‘The Immortal Wars’ is schedule to hit the shops worldwide on 24th February 2017 via Napalm Records.

In the meantime here is a short teaser video with some song previews:

 

For more information visit:

https://www.facebook.com/exdeo/?fref=ts

 

Vader – The Empire

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , on 2nd November 2016 by izaforestspirit

Vader
The Empire
Released 4th November 2016
Death Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast

‘The Empire’ is the latest album by the Polish death metal titans Vader. The band has been around since the mid-1980s and they are one of the forefathers of the Polish extreme metal scene. This release follows the well renowned ‘Tigi et Igni’ album which was regarded as one of the band’s best works. As a long-time Vader fan I have high hopes for this opus.

Unlike its predecessor ‘Tigi et Igni’ which featured the odd atmospheric intro and more complex song structures, this album marks a return to good old, straightforward death metal with short but aggressive songs packed with pummeling drums and crushing guitar riffs. Oh, and let’s not forget Peter’s characteristic growls. It’s a vicious, brutal assault from start to finish. It’s like an army trying to break through a castle gate with each song marking another attempt to penetrate through the barrier. Eventually the defenses give in and the real battle begins.

Standout songs include: ‘Prayer to the God of War‘; a very guitar-driven track that owes more to old school thrash metal than death metal, the slightly slower-paced and predominantly death metal -style ‘Iron Reign‘ and the ferocious beast that is ‘No Gravity‘ which features some excellent drum work. Then there’s ‘The Army-Geddon‘ with its chugging, machine-gun like guitar riffs and shouts inviting everyone to join the Vader army. The brutal assault continues for the remainder of the album with chords flying at you like a hail of bullets and the artillery barrage of drums spurred to frenzy by Peter’s war cries.

In summary ‘The Empire’ is another case of Vader striking back (sorry, I just had to squeeze in at least one Star Wars analogy) and doing what they do best. Fans of the band will know what to expect from this album. The one thing that I value about this band is that they have always stayed true to their roots, never drifting too far away from the thrash-tinged death metal that they are synonymous with.

4.5/5

Iza Raittila

Brujeria – Pocho Aztlan

Posted in CD, Grindcore, Metal with tags , , , on 17th September 2016 by izaforestspirit

Brujeria
Pocho Aztlan
Released 16th September 2016
Grindcore/Death Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast


The Mexican-American death-grind band Brujeria are back with a new album ‘Pocho Aztlan’, their first full length release in sixteen years. ‘Pocho Aztlan’ follows ‘Brujerizmo’ which was released back in 2000. The band was originally formed in 1989 but they have been on hiatus various times due to line-up changes and the members being involved in other bands.

Now, before I start the review, I would like to clarify what exactly is death-grind metal. Well, the biggest clue is in the name “death-grind” combines the brutality of death metal with the ferociously fast speed of grindcore. So it’s loud, brutal, aggressive and fast; and about as melodic as a chainsaw… In Brujeria’s case, the grindcore elements come from Juan Brujo’s shouting and the overall feel and the speed of the music. There’s not a hell of a lot in the way of death metal on here, with the possible exception of drumming style and the odd guitar riff. These guys clearly just have a habit of bashing their instruments as hard as they can. The closest comparison I can think of would be Napalm Death – only in Spanish and with a slightly irritating vocal style.

As with their previous albums, the lyrical themes are pretty much the same: crime, drug use and smuggling all laced with a sizable amount of (possibly Mexican) slang, swear words and insults. For example Plata o Plomo is a clear reference to drug trafficking originally used by the infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar. Bruja stands out as one of the very few tracks to feature a slight groove metal tinge in the guitars which makes it more tolerable than the majority of the album. Oh, and by tolerable I mean listenable – it is not great or even good by any means. The only decent song on here is their cover of The Dead Kennedys’ California Uber Aztlan which suits their style remarkably well.

In summary, to call this a death metal album would be a gross misunderstanding of the term. Brujeria’s chosen sound is primarily grindcore with the very occasional death metal tinge. As far as grindcore goes, it’s no match for bands like Napalm Death nor is it as fast or technical as The Berzerker nor as dark and creepy as Anaal Nathrakh.

2/5

Iza Raittila

The 69 Eyes live in Tampere

Posted in Gig, Live, Rock with tags , , , on 10th September 2016 by izaforestspirit

Black Royal, The 69 Eyes
Klubi, Tampere, Finland
9th September 2016

The 69 Eyes is a band that reminds me of my teenage years; takes me back to a time when I had posters of bands such as HIM and The Crow movie on my bedroom wall. I used to love the albums from their Gothic rock period, especially ‘Blessed Be’ and ‘Paris Kills’. I still revisit their music occasionally but sadly I lost track of them after the ‘Devils’ album.

Then a few days ago I discovered that they were coming to play a show here in Tampere. So naturally I jumped at the opportunity. Unlike HIM who I saw live when I was a teenager, I’ve never been to a 69 Eyes show before.

The warm-up was a local death metal band called Black Royal. They had a relatively short set so there’s not a hell of a lot that I can say about them. They reminded me a little of Entombed but their music had more melodic elements, like a mixture of death metal and heavy metal. Not a bad start to the night. 3/5

The “Helsinki Vampires” took to the stage fashionably late but the wait proved to be worth it. I was pleased to find out that they actually played quite a lot of the older material including classic goth’n’ roll songs such as: The Chair, Gothic Girl, Wasting the Dawn and Feel Berlin. Frontman Jyrki69 was keen to point out that some of their music videos were actually shot in Tampere. One of them is Brandon Lee, which happens to be one of my personal favorites – they played it as an encore. Another highlight of the evening was the beautifully dark love song Dance D’Amour. I had a great time dancing to the same songs that first captured my attention all those years ago. 5/5

In summary I’m really happy that I finally got to see these guys live. A lot has changed since I was a teenager, I’m not the same person that I was back then but their music has stayed with me and I continue to enjoy it.

Iza Raittila