Monday, September 13, 2021

Kal-El ~ Dark Majesty (August Album of the Month )

 


Damn Kal-El, damn their eyes! I really wanted to appear kvlt and not include their latest album 'Dark Majesty' in my top five album releases for August unlike so many of my peers, but however much I resisted (And I listened to a LOT of albums, my shortlist numbered just over 80), I had no option but to return to 'Dark Majesty' and place it at the pinnacle of August releases.

Sure, there were a couple of albums that contained exceptional tracks that were superior to anything on 'Dark Majesty' but the crux of the matter is, containing an exceptional song does not make a great album, especially when compared to one which can be described as stellar from the first track to the last.

Lets face it, stoner doom albums are ten a penny, it takes a special album for a band to rise above the others and be noticed. Kal-El has done it by adding an ingredient I haven't come across too often in the doom genre, a sense of elation. It's the harmonies that do it for me, it's really magical the way the soaring vocals hitch a ride on some of the smoothest yet heaviest stoner doom riffs ever laid before the Sabbathian altar. Elephant Tree  touched on it with their track 'Bird,' but that's one track in a fantastic album in its own right, Dark Majesty is chock full of 'Bird's.'

Releasing such a fine album does, of course, present Kal-El with a problem, albeit a nice one.....how are they going to better this?

Saturday, September 11, 2021

DEATHRATTLE'S DIRTY DOZEN ~ Best Of August (2021)


 

Doom once again dominated the upper regions of my 'best of' list of albums for August particularly the occult/stoner variety and thrash was more prominent this time. Although I usually have more than a few death metal albums bubbling away in my list with Fearancy and Headshrinker, the brutal side of the genre is conspicuous by its absence. Indeed, Headshrinker is August's surprise package. I've tagged them as a death metal band but their album 'Callous Indifference' is far from straightforward, incorporating elements of thrash, doom and even post - metal into a rather dark sound.

So, the following bands take a bow

KAL-EL

Kal-El is the fuzzed-out step-child of hard rock and heavy metal, often with hints of pyschedelic and blues rock as well as doom metal. Songs typically feature a bass-heavy groove, detuned guitars and mind-expanding lyrics...

WITCHANGER

Stoner/doom from Finland, Hämeenlinna
 
 TAXI CAVEMAN

Polish stoner rock trio. Influences? California, Fuzz, Tony Iommi, arcade games, prehistoric era and Prehistoric game.
 
 HEADSHRINKER

Headshrinker is a metal band based out of Denver, CO. A symbol of the mental health issues we all struggle to deal with, Headshrinker is inspired by persevering through dark times, and the will / strength to battle through when the outlook is bleakest. Headshrinker embraces the pain and finds the expression born out of raw emotion. We all struggle and only death is real
 
 SUNCRAFT


Flat Earth Rider is Suncraft’s debut album, written and recorded during 2020. The album is a collection of six unique tracks that show off the band’s wide array of songwriting prowess. They draw from diverse rock n’ roll influences, from the classic rock-inspired riff of the titular track, to the doomy chorus of «Commie Cannibals», the spaced-out vocals on «Adaptation» and the blast beat-induced ten-minute closing track «Bridges to Nowhere», this album is filled to the brim with genre-breaking tricks-up-the-sleeve.
 
Lyrically, the album ponders on themes of greed, alienation, loneliness and spirituality, reflecting upon conundrums of contemporary life. One highlight in particular would be the song «Flat Earth Rider», which paints a tragicomic picture of an imagined flat earther’s search for truth and meaning.

WITCHCRYER

“Their Gods Will Come For You” is a new conceptual album from Texas classic doom band Witchcryer, featuring songs about gods across various ages of civilization throughout time. Featuring thickly-woven epics such as a Faustian tale of a damned soul swallowed whole by an apocalyptic leviathan, an account of a Mesoamerican sun deity teaching its doomed warrior people to fly, and a Roman goddess seeking justice for crimes against women, vocalist/lyricist Suzy Bravo says, "this is the album I’ve been writing in my head my entire life." Ambitious and dynamic, this is anthemic old-school metal mixed with weighty modern doom!
 
 DESECRATOR (Aus)

With a sound that has been compared to early Testament, Dark Angel and Sacred Reich DESECRATOR’s twin guitar attack, punishing rhythm section and blood soaked vocals have won over the old guard of staunch metal fans as well as recruiting a new wave of young thrashers. 

 
 WITHOUT GOD

Another masterpiece by Without God crafted through hard work, as if one has plowed up black shriveled earth and sowed it with anger and aggression, fear and anxiety. The album is filled with yearning for magical worlds from where only a few can return. The work comes as "Siberian Tunes: The Green Light" EP featuring lightness, green tones and Russian lyrics for better perception.

 
 HOODED MENACE

With the immaculate songwriting skills and the perfect balance between harsh death metal fueled outbursts and exquisite melodic melancholy, HOODED MENACE unleash skeletal horror and somber despair onto their craving audience with 'The Tritonus Bell'!

 
 FEARANCY

The new style is still based on some of the original style elements, but taking a new and heavier direction to a modern form of melodic death metal.


TOXIC RUIN

TOXIC RUIN was formed in 2014 with a mission of blending classic thrash metal, old-school death metal and modern technicality and tones into a wicked headbanging brew. 

 
 VOLTAJE CADAVER

Five guys from the north of Spain playing loud and intense heavy music with a lot of influences.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

DEFORMATORY ~ Inversion Of The Unseen Horizon (2021)


Frenzied technicality and bulldozing brutality that couldn't have gelled any better if the tracks had been assimilated by the Borg. 'Inversion Of The Unseen Horizon' sounds like it's been lifted straight from the final scene of a slasher movie only this time the baddie wins. Every track is  relentless, a rabid assault weighed down by a growling vocal delivery that meshes seamlessly with the voracious myriad  tempo changes, shifting from complex Morbid Angel like structures to punishing Suffocation barbarity and I can't think of too many bands that have done this as successfully as Deformatory.

FFO Cryptopsy, Morbid Angel, Suffocation, Origin, Hate Eternal


Thursday, August 26, 2021

HEADSHRINKER ~ Callous Indifference (2021)


 If you think that an album featuring Pete Webber ( Havok ) is going to sound like any other thrash band, think again. 'Callous Indifference' is a death metal Frankenstein, all of the bleakest aspects of the genre have been sewn together into a schizophrenic tapestry of mental torment. Over the years I've read hundreds of interviews by bands, describing their latest opus as a statement reflecting the current psychogenic ill health of various band members at that time. With 'Callous Indifference' Headshrinker drags you into the inner chambers of the mind, force feeding you the anguish within. It's a harrowing listen but a captivating one all the same. I found myself trying to pick out as many examples of the death metal genre as I could, and there are many, however, rather than a chaotic mess 'Callous Indifference' actually works. There aren't many bands that can successfully blend grind with brutal tech riffs and throw in the odd doom passage ( Triptykon ) but Headshrinker does. 

Guaranteed to wipe the smile from your face!


Saturday, August 21, 2021

WITCHANGER ~ Witchanger (2021)


 Heavy, heavy Finnish doom with THAT guitar sound I love so much. Fathomless riffs that spit and growl as they bring you to your knees. A leviathan seance invoking gargantuan sounds, the vacuum crushes your chest driving splinters of bone through your heart. The guitar tone  is so immense it has it's own moon! 

It's going to take something really special to top this as my August album of the month


Monday, August 16, 2021

BORBOROPSIS ~ Decorticated Burial Of Delirium (2021)


Released earlier this year by the band and now exhumed by Solitude Productions, Decorticated Burial Of Delirium is a harrowing example of how to mould death, doom and funeral doom into a congealed morass of tormented anguish and unbearable agony. Sounding like the offspring of a hellish triumvirate of dISEMBOWELMENT, Dusk and Worship, there is a choking atmosphere of foul odour and poisonous foreboding, where only the condemned and the damned can enter the gate to the final track Decortication/Delirium and pass beyond, head bowed, shoulders slumped, all joy and hope abandoned.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

CONSUMPTION ~ Recursive Definitions of Suppuration (2021)


 

Any band that includes Håkan Stuvemark ( Wombbath) is going to have a particularly gruesome edge to it and Swedish duo Consumption doesn't disappoint. 

'Recursive Definitions of Suppuration' the band's debut, now available in 180 gram vinyl format, is a blood spatter analysis of the carnage left behind by the likes of Carcass and Autopsy. The sound isn't as murky which means the bloodletting caused by the eleven tracks of macabre sounding deathgrind on the album are more indiscriminate in their butchery of the ears. I'm not sure if Håkan Stuvemark is solely responsible for the vocal delivery here, if he is then many demons must inhabit his body because they are pretty varied, none pleasant, but not too extreme either, while the manic drumming of Jon Skäre gives depth to the grind, elevating it to death metal intensity and depth.

This is the soundtrack to your own post - mortem.

https://hammerheartstore.com/collections/vendors?q=Consumption

https://napalmrecords.com/english/consumption

https://www.napalmrecordsamerica.com/search/?q=consumption