Thursday, June 20, 2024

Full Length Review: Die Entweihung "Kings & Pawns - Remastered edition" (Inverted Chalice Prods, Bajo Tierra Records) by Dave Wolff

Project: Die Entweihung
Location: Haifa
Country: Israel
Genre: Blackened heavy metal
Format: Digital album
Label: Inverted Chalice Prods, Bajo Tierra Records
Release date: May 24, 2024
Denis Tereshenko's dark, open mind has produced another remastered reissue. The original recording of "Kings and Pawns" was among Tereshenko's most recent works, released just before "Strict Regime Country" was released in 2022.
This is the third time I'm writing about this project since almost a year ago, not including my interview with Tereshenko last July. There is a subtle difference between the original and the remaster, but if you pay careful attention, you’ll hear less rawness and more atmosphere. I'd even recommend listening to this version first if you're unfamiliar with the album, as you'll be able to gain a greater understanding of Tereshenko manifesting his vision .
There’s a greater emphasis on the finesse with which these songs were written and arranged, especially when it comes to the precision and dexterity of the guitars. In many ways, I prefer the remaster to the original, as there's more of a fullness in the overall sound, revealing aspects of each track that were previously hidden. In addition to the guitars, the piano and keyboards play more of an important role in the songs, adding different flavors to each song as they were intended to. 
There's an enhanced interplay between the acoustic sections, the bass tracks are polished so they are more prominent, and the diverse vocal tracks are incorporated into the song structure in a more significant way. You have an excellent sense of how to cross over black metal, progressive metal, and folk without overstating anything, with an even distribution of vocals and instruments, and a live feeling to the material, as if you were listening to a live performance rather than a studio recording.
Tereshenko's decision to remaster "Kings and Pawns" was wise as it provides greater opportunities to improve in terms of sound and presentation. Before I forget, please take time to listen to his black/goth metal rendition of "Working Class Hero". -Dave Wolff

Lineup:
Denis Tereschenko: Vocals, all instruments

Track list:
1. Away Into The Night
2. The Moustached God
3. As The Hangover Starts
4. Confrontation
5. Kings & Pawns
6. The Nonsense Games
7. The Only Thing Worthy To Save
8. Working Class Hero (J. Lennon Cover)
9. Sons Of The Moon And Fire (Der Gerwelt Cover)


Saturday, June 15, 2024

Full Length Review: Padus "Opera funebre" (The Triad Records) by Dave Wolff

Project: Padus
Location: Rovigo
Country: Italy
Genre: Doom metal, ambient, experimental
Full length: Opera funebre
Format: Digital
Label: The Triad Records (Italy)
Release date: April 15, 2024
I'm growing to appreciate this one man project even before my interview with him is complete; listening to "Opera funebre", the new release from founding member Matteo Zanella, makes me want to listen to every release he released previously.
Listening to the style of ambient doom metal is comparable to traveling back in time to 1922 to watch “Nosferatu” when it was just released in movie theaters. A similar hypnotic effect to this album is in the scene where Count Orlok stalks into Hutter's chamber to drink from his veins. The combination of distorted bass, churchlike keyboards and unnerving effects creates a gothic environment to easily serve as the soundtrack to that classic movie, not to mention "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" and "London After Midnight".
There’s just something about the songwriting, musicianship, and arrangements that personify the fear of the unknown, the occult, and the demonic legends associated with classic horror. I find this kind of fitting since Padus is based in Italy, home of horror directors such as Dario Argento, Mario Bava, Lucio Fulci and Umberto Lenzi, whose films continue to treasure cult followings.
Throughout his early works, Zanella has concocted euphonies far from repetitive or formulaic, as he explores multiple nonidentical, distinguishable moods and climates, with little to no vocals except for a certain kind of chanting to provide variety to his work. Regardless of their form, his compositions are made to convey anxiety and melancholy associated with fear of the darkness without and within, as well as a desperate desire to escape.
With each instrument comprising a whole that magnifies the uneasiness it evokes, you enter a world of pure and evocative trepidation when you listen to this. It's a world that is not only dark but grainy; the terrors within are well hidden until that moment they're almost upon you. There are also hardly any lyrics in "Opera funebre", except for the last track, and these are not your typical gothic or doom metal vocals. It is rather the stuff of nightmares, so horrid that your mind automatically pushes them into your subconscious so that you will not be able to recall them upon waking.
It is recommended that fans of black metal and gothic metal, as well as doom and ambient, make the effort to experience the horrors this project offers. –Dave Wolff

Lineup:
MZ (Matteo Zanella): Bass, organ, drum programming, effects

Track list:
1. Lento incedere catacombale
2. Tomba d'autunno
3. Croce di marmo nero
4. Galaverna
5. Nebbia ai cipressi
6. Grimorio
7. La lingua oscura

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Full Length Review: Frostmoon Eclipse "Gathering the Dark (Alternate Version)" (Immortal Frost Productions) by Brynn Kali StarDew

Band: Frostmoon Eclipse
Country: Italy
Genre: Black metal
Format: Digital album
Label: Immortal Frost Productions
Release date: May 24, 2024
The beginning of 'Where No Light Burns' was pretty sick. It comes in kinda heavy but I'm like "well it's called Heavy Metal for a reason". I don’t know, it just kinda got me into this song more. The ambient break around 3:59 was stunningly beautiful as well before it goes back into the brutal pounding drums and screaming. Definitely an original 10/10! Track number two 'Worms On Mankind' had a cool intro and kind of had an old school Thrash Metal sound that was totally priceless. 'Ashes' and 'Ruins' both were really beautiful songs as well and gave the album a nice medieval ambiance. 'I Am My Worst Enemy' was really good; I mean they are all good but the lyrics on this one were interesting to me. The part where he says "Demons in me" was pretty cool in my opinion. All in all this album really has changed my perception of Black Metal now and will definitely recommend it to any fans of Black Metal music! –Brynn Kali StarDew

Lineup:
Lorenzo Sassi: Vocals
Claudio Alcara: Guitars
Davide Gorrini: Bass
Gionata Potenti: Drums

Track list:
1. Where no Light Burns
2. Worms on Mankind
3. Dragon Millennium
4. Ashes
5. I am My Worst Enemy
6. Let the World Burn
7. Dusk to Exalt My Triumph
8. Ruins

Monday, June 10, 2024

Full Length Review: Cosmic Jaguar "El Era del Jaguar" (Independent) by Dave Wolff

Band: Cosmic Jaguar
Location: Zhytomyr
Country: Ukraine
Genre: Avant garde/technical thrash metal
Full length: El Era del Jaguar
Format: Digital album
Label: Independent
Release date: May 29, 2024
On May 29, Cosmic Jaguar unveiled their new full-length which as usual demonstrates eclecticism and dedication. The forward thinking and drive to push themselves of their last album, "The Legacy of the Aztecs", is reaching new pinnacles as their elements of metal, progressive rock, jazz fusion, and folk are much closer in structure. It’s as if Voivod, Kreator, King Crimson and a Mesoamerican folk ensemble brainstormed together during long, intensive meetings as this album was the result.
With the band's advanced progressive elements, their heaviness and aggression have not diminished, which should be a reassurance to purists who prefer to see bands maintain their edge. In "El Era del Jaguar", they channel their aggression in radically new ways we hadn't heard, adding heaviness to the folk and prog they write with. One example is the integration of a stronger classical influence into the blast sections in some of the songs, as well as more prominent classical themes in the guitar solos.
With its nuanced sophistication, there is a greater presence of guitars on "El Era del Jaguar". Juan Maestro and Pablo "el Sicario" are given much free reign to display their dexterity and ability to handle time changes, different genres and subgenres, and Spanish-Mexican-Mesomerican melodies. Their respective handling of acoustic guitars and keyboards take the album to places connoisseurs of jazz and progressive rock would swear by. Mazatecpatl, a guest musician from the Mexican prog-power-thrash-folk band Cemican, contributes wind instruments giving the material a timeless autochthonous feel.
Several guest and session musicians contributed their own unique vibe to the album, including Morgoth, Blind Illusion, and Sadist. It’s most noteworthy that Dionisio Oscuro (Dark Matte Secret, Denis Shvarts, Ritual of Descent) contributes acoustic guitars and solos and Regina "The Bishop" aka Chimalma (Bestial Invasion, Lord Erektus) provides additional vocals. Chimalma in particular has a revenant-like bearing comparable to Livia Zita (King Diamond) and Tarja Turunen (Nightwish, Tarja).
Finally, Cosmic Jaguar dives deeply into Aztec legends and myths. Their homages to the Aztec sun god Huitzilopochtli, Tepēyōllōtl, the god of the Eighth Hour of the Night, the goddess of erotic love, fertility and childbirth, Xolotl, the god of lightning, fire and death, and Coyolxauhqu, the goddess of the moon are accorded to ensure familiarity with these and the other legends lyrically imparted, and something about their presentation will inspire you to conduct research on your own.
"El Era del Jaguar" shows a band getting its act together and working hard to fulfill their potential. Give it a close listen. –Dave Wolff

Lineup:
Sergio Lunático: Vocals, bass
Pablo "el Sicario": Rhythm guitars, acoustic guitar
Juan Maestro: Lead guitars, keyboards
Alejo Bárbaro: Drums, percussion

Session musicans:
Chimalma: Female vocals
Dionisio Oscuro: Solo guitars, acoustic guitar

Special guests:
Mazatecpatl (Cemican): Wind instruments (track 1 and 3)
Tommy Talamanca (Sadist): Guitar solo 1 (track 5)
Miguel Slam Tornado (Fusion Bomb): Vocals 2 (track 5)
Mark Biedermann (Blind Illusion) Guitar solo 4 (track 5)
Marc Grewe (ex-Morgoth): Vocals 3 (track 5) and vocals 1 (track 7)
Thomas Zeller (MP (Metal Priests)): Vocals 2 (track 7)
Michael Wehner "Micky" (ex-Vendetta): Guitar solo 2 (track 7)
Achim Daxx (ex-Vendetta): Guitar solo 3 (track 7)
Vakhtango: Vocal “Cortes” (track 8)
El Mesías Digital: Guitar solo 2 (track 8)

Track list:
1. God of Sun and War
2. The Eight Lord of the Nights
3. Solar Logos
4. Ashes in Eyes
5. Obsidian Mirror
6. Decapitated Lunar Goddess
7. The Shorn Ones
8. La Noche Triste





Saturday, June 8, 2024

Full Length Review: Gurthang "Martyrium" (Immortal Frost Productions) by Brynn Kali StarDew

Band: Gurthang
Country: Poland
Genre: Black/funeral doom metal
Full length: Martyrium
Format: Digital album, jewel case CD, standard black vinyl, opaque mustard/black swirl vinyl
Label: Immortal Frost Productions
Release date: May 31, 2024
I don't really see a lot of METAL bands nowadays where I am like “WOW that was truly original”, but I definitely felt that listening to Gurthang’s “Martyrium”. The lyrics were really interesting and I liked the part in “Aestherics of Solitude” at the end where he says “there are no gods in me” I can really relate to this as a Satanist. The ambient effects are excellent as well as the Musicianship/vocals. The transitions from slow, slow ambient sounds to fast guitar and drums are nicely done as well. This is definitely demonstrated on “Antithesis of Creation” and I think the ambient sounds are really nicely incorporated into the music in “Discernment”. However all the tracks have a good touch of it as well that brings out the real magic of the genre. -Brynn Kali StarDew

Lineup:
A.Z.V.: Drum programming, guitars, vocals
G.H.: Synthesizers
Turenn: Drums, bass

Track list:
1. Aesthetics of Solicitude
2. Conundrum Unfolds
3. Antithesis of Creation
4. Discernment
5. In Voidwards Begotten

Thursday, June 6, 2024

The SelfMadeRecords L.L.C. Roster by Erik Leviathan

SelfMadeRecords LLC is a beacon for independent artists striving to make their mark in the music industry. Run by a team of passionate music enthusiasts and artists from various genres, the company understands the unique challenges faced by independent musicians. Their mission is to provide a robust platform that helps artists transition from underground obscurity to mainstream success. Through strategic partnerships and protective measures, SelfMadeRecords LLC ensures that their artists are not only heard but also fairly compensated for their work. The label focuses on building a solid platform for success, ensuring that artists have access to the best tools and opportunities. This includes everything from digital distribution to marketing support, all designed to help artists reach their full potential. SelfMadeRecords LLC has formed a strategic partnership with Earache Digital Distribution to ensure that their artists' music reaches a global audience. This collaboration allows artists to deliver music to your fans efficiently and effectively, leveraging Earache's extensive network and expertise in the digital music industry. To safeguard the rights and earnings of their artists, SelfMadeRecords LLC provides A.S.C.A.P. protection. This ensures that artists receive proper compensation for their work and that their intellectual property is protected. By aligning with A.S.C.A.P., SelfMadeRecords LLC demonstrates a commitment to the long-term success and security of their artists.

The SelfMadeRecords L.L.C. Roster


The Distinguished Order of Disobedience (The D.O.O.D.)
Location: Sarasota, Florida
For Fans Of: Slayer, Bring Me The Horizon, Pantera and Disturbed
The Distinguished Order of Disobedience (The D.O.O.D.) is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with in the metal music scene. With their unique blend of extreme stage performances and powerful music, the band has solidified their spot as one of Florida's premier acts and is now making waves nationally.

Chuck W Chapman
Location: Greenville SC
For Fans Of: Cheap Trick, Kiss and good ol' fashioned Rock & Roll
Singer/Songwriter/Musician, Rock n' Roll Band & Horror Author Published by Black Bed Sheet Books.

December Screams Embers
Location: DFW Texas
For Fans Of: Ice Nine Kills, Nevermore and Escape The Fate
Unveiling their stirring force in the world of Rock and Metal, December Screams Embers was founded in 2016. The dynamic band has been steadily making waves with their unique fusion of musical styles, capturing hearts and minds with their diverse sound.

Redrumed
Location: Phoenix AZ
For Fans Of: Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson and White Zombie
An Unapologetic, Unfiltered, and Riveting Heavy Metal Experience
Founded in March 2018 by Scott Rowe, REDRUMED’s evolution from hard rock to a formidable metal sound has been fueled by a relentless pursuit of authenticity. REDRUMED is a rising powerhouse in the metal realm.

Honeybunches Of DEATH
Location: Denver, CO
For Fans Of: Steel Panther, Gwar and Green Jelly
Comedy Groove and Metal Find a New Light- The music world is not ready for the eclectic tastes of honeybunches of DEATH- bringing audiences a little bit of humor, a dash of groovy riffs, and a whole lot of chaos. Hailing from Denver, Colorado, the dynamic group, comprised of five uniquely talented individuals, is here to turn the world upside down with their blend of Comedy Groove Metal.

A. Moortal
Location: Lake County CA
For Fans Of: Wage War, Slipknot and Lamb Of God
Aaron Moore, known professionally as A. Moortal, is a talented guitarist, songwriter, and producer who has made a mark in the music industry with his passion for heavy metal and nu metal genres.
Alongside his bass guitar skills, Aaron's interest in heavier music led him to explore bands like Pantera, Cannibal Corpse, and As I Lay Dying. The combination of distorted guitars and intense screaming became an obsession for him, inspiring him to further develop his own musical style. 


A StateOfMindTX
Location: Beaumont Texas
For Fans Of: Dio, Iron Maiden and Queensryche
Modern Classic Heavy Metal. Their songs are written to shine a light into people's darkness. To give hope and understanding to those who are lost in the dark. With their hard hitting rock and metal tunes, Tto their dark ballads, John Ferris, turns the pages of his own life with every song. Addiction, heartbreak, self reflection, and life are the inner demons that we all keep. “We want our music to reach everyone and maybe heal something inside.” -John Ferris


Misanthropik Torment
Location: Lexington KY
For Fans Of: Six Feet Under, Dying Fetus and Deicide
Misanthropik Torment have been pushing the boundaries of extreme metal since their inception, Misanthropik Torment's sound is a unique blend of man-hating death metal with a truly unique sound. Their music is full of passion, anger and vitriol, making them a must for all extreme metalheads. Website: https://selfmaderecordsllc-business.com/misanthropik-torment

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Full Length Review: Dystopia "De Verboden Diepte I: Veldslag op de Rand van de Wereld" (Immortal Frost Productions) by Brynn Kali StarDew

Band: Dystopia
Country: Netherlands
Genre: Black metal
Format: Digital, jewel case CD, standard black vinyl, transparent crystal clear / multi-colour splatter vinyl
Label: Immortal Frost Productions
Release date: April 26, 2024
Although I couldn't really understand what they were saying because it was in Dutch I really enjoyed this album. I thought the medieval elements on the album were good, but I wasn't like "wow". I also think they could benefit greatly by having some pauses with maybe some slow keyboards added to the background for ambient effect. I think even though it's not amazing, there was definitely some potential here. I really thought the end of 'Giftige Woorden' was well done. This, or perhaps 'De Val' was probably my favorite song on the album. Excellent Musicianship and the Vocalist sounds good but it just seems a little basic. -Brynn Kali StarDew

Lineup:
Cees de Wit: Drums
Dennis Onsia: Lead vocals, guitars
Rick JongmanL: Guitars, backing vocals
Thomas Cochrane: guitars, trumpet, trombone, backing vocals

Track list:
1. Dood van de Wachters
2. Giftige Woorden
3. Eerste Enkelen, Toen Honderden, Toe Duizenden
4. De Val

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Full Length Review: MNHG "Necare" (Immortal Frost Productions) by Brynn Kali StarDew

Band: MNHG
Country: Germany
Genre: Black n roll
Full length: Necare
Format: Digital, jewel case CD, standard black vinyl, transparent red/black marble vinyl
Label: Immortal Frost Productions
Release date: March 29, 2024
All the tracks on this album are really Brutal with well thought out lyrics and musical composition. The melodic guitar riffs throughout the album are Masterful and all the music really gets me worked up and in a headbanging mood. The album art is simple, but it gets the job done and I think it looks great with the black marble Vinyl.
I also like that with MNHG I can understand the Vocalist K (it's just the lyrics are really cool and its a shame when you cant understand them). I haven't really listened to a lot of 'Black N Roll' but if this is it I like it. I like how 'Far From Home' started with the pounding drums slowly fading in, very nice. However I would have to say my favorite song on the album was 'The Fall of Wormwood' but in all honesty you can't really go wrong with any of these Dope and Brutal Tracks. -Brynn Kali StarDew

Lineup:
K.: Vocals, bass
J.: Lead guitar
N.: Rhythm guitar, backing vocals
R.: Drums

Track list:
1. The First Sacrifice
2. Fratricide
3. The Fall of Wormwood
4. Agony and Pain
5. Lucifer's Claim
6. The Devil Eyes
7. Dying Faith
8. Blessed by My Hand
9. Far From Home

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Full Length Review: Pulmonary Fibrosis "Severe Pulmonic Valve Regurgitation" (MELTAAARGH!!!! Records) by Devin J. Meaney

Band: Pulmonary Fibrosis
Country: France
Genre: Death metal, grindcore
Full length: Severe Pulmonic Valve RegurgitationSevere Pulmonic Valve Regurgitation
Format: Digital, cassette
Label: MELTAAARGH!!!! Records
Release date: April 12, 2021
More recently I have been reviewing albums and EP’s that were freshly released in 2024. With that said I stumbled upon a LP by Pulmonary Fibrosis from 2021 that I did not hear (or do not remember hearing). As I am a fan of Pulmonary Fibrosis I figured it was worth my time to give this musical abomination a view! The LP title is “Severe Pulmonic Valve Regurgitation” and after listening I can state that it is by far a sordid little blast of nauseatingly delicious goregrind!
The vocals are pitched (think Rompeprop and bands similar) and the guitars are deep and booming. The percussion is steadfast and vicious—and once these things are combined what is offered up is abysmally delightful!
Nine tracks in just under fourteen minutes is what is on the platter and every minute is on par! Even the sampling is on point, although “sparse” in comparison to a lot of gore within this vein! As stated in the YouTube bio Pulmonary Fibrosis is a “goregrind band from Yzeures-sur-Creuse, France since 1998. This is their awesome single-sided LP from 2021. Released in December 2021 on 12" vinyl format by MELTAAARGH!!!! Records.”
The LP is also available in digital format at the band’s Bandcamp page and is available for streaming on YouTube. Once again this was uploaded by the wonderful Gore Grinder account! So buy it, download it, or at the very least give it a stream or two! I hope you enjoy it just as much as I did! -Devin J. Meaney

Lineup:
Reno: Bass
Simon: Vocals
Adrien: Vocals
Guyome: Drums, guitar, vocals

Track list:
1. Pleural Effusion
2. Juices Digested From Each Pus Swollen Pore
3. Acute Peripancreatic Post Necrotic
4. Severe Pulmonic Valve Regurgitation
5. Maggots Drown In Suppuration
6. Slow Decomposing Of Verrucos Amorphus
7. Stomatitis Aphthosa
8. Corrosive Digestion Of Embryonic Corpus
9. Infected Remains

Full Length Review: Flax "Carnage Craft" (Independent) by Devin J. Meaney

Band: Flax
Location: Wales
Country: UK
Genre: Goregrind
Full length: Carnage Craft
Format: Digital, CD, cassette
Label: Independent
Release date: February 23, 2024
“Carnage Craft” by FLAX! This is the second album I have heard from this guy and just like his previous offering this is quite the extravagantly tasty morsel of slamming goregrind!
This is coined as a “slamming one man band” (fitting overall) by a guy named Tom from Wales! Music wise I am highly reminded of the work done by Clay Lamanske of Cemetery Rapist (R.I.P. Cemetery Rapist)—though vocally there is quite a dramatic difference from Clay’s “cricket” vocals!
The vocal work on this release is varied and quite enjoyable, and the instruments are well played. Just like the last release I heard from FLAX the percussion is a bit weird—but I mean that in a good way. It is not uber-standard and the programming has a sound all of its own!
All 13 tracks on this album are spot on and although 25 minutes is a short release within most genres in terms of goregrind this feels a bit more “full” than a lot of the stuff I have been perusing over the past little while!
As stated on YouTube:
Self-released in February 2024 on cassette, CD and digital format.
Overall I just want you to check this shit out. It’s pretty golden! -Devin J. Meaney

Lineup:
Tom Hughes: Vocals, all instruments

Track list:
1. Mechanically Skinned
2. Carnage Craft
3. Suicidal Titration Pt I – Withdrawal
4. Forcible Separation Of Limbs
5. Corpse Sludge
6. Timewave Zero Cheese & Wine Evening
7. Cranial Necrolysis
8. Menticide Through Selective Social Outrage
9. Hyperactivity-Hypermobility
10. Suicidal Titration Pt II - Potential Underlying Pathophysiological Trauma
11. No One Will Remember You
12. Posthumous Depression From Sudden Familial Murder-Suicide
13. Petrol Enema