Howdy, zombies! Trevor from The Black Dahlia Murder here with another raging edition of The Obituarist, chock full of extreme goodness for your blood-starved undead ears! I’ve featured some releases I am really quite excited about… I feel like this is a pretty good group of tunes right here.
These new jams kept me sane during periods of frustration while writing lyrics for the eighth TBDM album. Between this column, writing a whole record in about a month, and the current political frenzy, I am about ready to launch this laptop devil machine into the woods until further notice. My hands are riddled by carpal tunnel and my eyes are dry as fuck from constantly staring at this piece of shit. But fear not, I’ll be back in about thirty days time with another scorching list of skeletal sounds. For now, feast your eyes and ears on these 19 chunks of extreme metal shrapnel and thanks for stopping by!
Abnormal Inhumane – Consuming The Infinity
Yes, I know, I’m pretty late on this one. Another instance of me being too stoned and forgetting to include an awesome entry (Malignancy, I'm so sorry). This is just too good to let go by without singing some praise. I LOVE THIS. Abnormal Inhumane play ripping, blast heavy brutal death fucking metal from Greece. I was pretty stoked to see these guys get picked up by the unstoppable NSE. I enjoyed their previous album, Disgusting Cruelty Of Homicide a great deal. I’ve gotta say I kinda miss the gory aspect here, but that’s literally my only complaint as this is some seriously fine brutal death mastery in the vein of countrymen Inveracity and Mass Infection. They have that same level of head-lodging catchiness that will keep you coming back for more tremolo picked wizardry. These dudes have solid riffs for days. Get this now and be privy to one of New Standard Elite’s finest outings yet!
Grab it here
Beheaded – Beast Incarnate
Maltese murderers Beheaded are back with a vengeance! Beast Incarnate is a monstrous outing, propelled to victory by it’s firey tremolo riffs. It’s truly catchy stuff that is in the same wheelhouse as modern Sinister or Dawn of Disease. Now backed by the insane drumming skill of one “Brutal” Dave Billia, Beast Incarnate is an energetic charge of blasting death metal mayhem. It’s somewhat strange to hear Dave relent a little bit, approaching Beheaded’s stuff with a more traditional, old school outlook. To me it says that he’s more than a one trick pony. Wisely, there’s none of his trademark 3000bpm double bass here. He’s chosen to stay with whats appropriate for the old school tinged material at hand and his performance is as godly as ever. Kudos. By this time, they’ve moved so far away from the brutal sounds of albums like Recounts Of Disembodiment that I’ll bet most wouldn’t even recognize them if heard back to back. It’s not a bad thing necessarily, as Beast Incarnate is quite good but I do miss the NYDM chunk that used to be a much more prominent part of their sound. “Reign Of The Headless King” has a little of this beefy style to it. Bittersweet! The vocals here are nice and definitely competent but I would prefer a more guttural vocal style like the older releases… you know me. Overall, this is really professional, slick, and catchy offering of middle of the road death metal that I think many of you will take kindly to.
FFO: Dawn Of Disease, Sinister, Supreme Pain, Dehuman Reign
Grab it here
Carnal – Promo
Damn, this is insanely good. New Standard Elite does it yet again (no real surprise there, right?). New Zealand’s Carnal (Not to be confused with Carnal from Colombia, who are also sick) play a grinding brand of technical brutal death metal, rife with guttural brutality of the nastiest kind! If this is any indication of what’s to come, we will have a year end chart topping brutal death benchmark on our hands when the time is right. The vocals of Carnal are of an insane multi faceted variety and are fucking killer. Over the course of these two tracks, vocalist Daniel Birrell unfurls a putrid wrath, ranging from a poop mouthed guttural to wild tongue trills and snorty predator-esque vocals. I am thrilled by the inventive riffing and I love the blatant slides down the neck… tasty little details like this are what make this so excellent. I enjoy the dark, dirgey chords used in the slower moments. I feel like these guys exist in a unique corner of brutal death metal where few travel… it has a real darkness that you just don’t hear everywhere. By now I have listened to these two tracks a countless number of times and I don’t see myself relenting any time soon. I am damn excited to receive a physical copy of this so I can sleep with it on my pillow next to my head. It’s that really that good. Check these dudes out and get with the Kiwi kraze of Carnal! You can snatch a physical copy from NSE for merely the price of shipping… you’d be a fool not to comply!
Grab it here
Carnal Decay – You Owe You Pay
Nice! This is crushing! I feel like these Swiss dudes (and dudette) have gotten substantially better in recent years. Their brand of straight forward death metal meets slam friendly brutality has been honed into an addictively brewed concoction of street wise rage! The two song promo was great and definitely had me anticipating You Owe You Pay and it’s delivered the skull busting goods. Both of those songs have been featured here as well. Michael Kern delivers a convincing vocal performance here. It’s deep and tough yet understandable. This dude could surely kick my ass all over the place. The threatening nature of the lyrics and gratuitous swearing help ramp up the gangster swagger Carnal Decay excel at. The rapping vocal in Decimating the Living is just about the most wiggery thing I have ever heard. It might be too much for some of you, but I like it, if even guiltily. Also notable since their last full length are additions in the rhythm section department. They’ve recruited some exciting new blood in Rising Nemesis records owner Nasar Skripitskij on bass and Defaced skinsman Markus Röthlisberger… an overhaul that is likely partially responsible for the increase of quality of output. The moral of the story here is DO NOT fuck with these guys… if you owe them bitcoins, you’d better pay up! FFO: Internal Bleeding, Soils Of Fate, Dying Fetus, Waking The Cadaver
Grab it here
Cartilage – Dialect Of The Dead
Fuck yea! I didn’t know these guys (and gal) had one in the oven…. a nice surprise from a band I’ve only become privy to in the last 6 months or so. Cartilage (not to be confused with Finnish OSDM crew) hail from California and bring a brand of Razorback records friendly blood splattered grindcore/death that’s a lot of raucous fun. It’s raw, garagey stuff but still has good songwriting and chops… it has a professional edge to it, if you will. This is leagues better than the last ep, which I was already quite fond of. They have the dual Carcass vocal thing on lock and use it to great effect. There is a surprising amount of groove displayed in these songs, “Entangled In Innards” is a great example of this prowess. You can’t help but bob your head to this stuff. The amount of variety here is really something worth mentioning as well. These dudes know how to keep the listener fully enthralled for the duration, and for that I thank them. I have no problem taking this entire tape down in one gulp, and that’s a lot more than I can say for a lot of the stuff I take on. I also appreciate the covert art here, nice, colorful, and ghoulish; a vast improvement over the point and shoot gore of the last tape. If you like the scabbed sounds of Haemorrhage, Blood Freak, (early) Ghoul, Cropsey Maniac, or VHS; Cartilage may prove to be your new favorite fiends!
Grab it here
Cynic – Uroboric Forms: The Complete Demo Recordings
Cynic? EWWW!!! Right? WRONG. I’ll bet a lot of you think Cynic is weak sauce and have never heard the band’s thrashier pre-Focus incarnation… well friends, it’s high fucking time. This shit hasn’t aged a day and will blow your skeptical mind to mere bits! In a way, I feel like the sexual preferences of the band and the divorce-like drama of the recent split of core member Sean Reinert are sooner on people’s tongues these days than praise of the amazing music this band has produced. Hell, on Metal Archives the band’s status is listed as “disputed", and I think thats the first time I’ve ever seen that there. Tabloid bullshit aside, Cynic began as a technical thrash outfit heavily indebted to Atheist, whom they considered to be mentors at time. You’ll hear a great deal of Piece Of Time creeping in here. Presented in reverse chronological order, the first two demos offered up (1991 and 1990) are the absolute gold of Uroboric Forms. Godly material! What they are doing in this era should not sound unfamiliar to those who have heard Death’s Human album (on which both Paul Masvidal and Sean Reinert shredded). Its virtuosic, fusion inspired technicality; the perfect blend of mind and muscle. Bands today like Hemotoxin and Locusta take direct influence from this aggressive yet highly creative style. Uroboric Forms is pretty much what I thought I was getting into with blindly buying Focus when I was a young bowl-cutted turd. I would have liked this much better! I remember choosing the album based on the cover alone and absolutely hating it… it was just too darn forward thinking for my Cannibal Corpse obsessed fifteen year old mind to deal with at the time. The robot vocals were a big turn off too (both are aspects I’ve grown to love about the album over the years). Whether you have any love for the futuristic Focus album or any of the material since their 2006 reformation (goddamnit I love Traced In Air!), this is simply must hear stuff for all fans of Death and Thrash metal, period.
Grab it here
Expendiency – Sadistic Murder
Expendiency are one of my favorite of the newer brutal bands from the fertile lands of Indonesia. Their 3 song promo from 2015 was outstanding stuff that really got it’s hooks into me with its heavily Disgorge/Jasad based style. Expendiency unleash abrasive, white-knuckled, snare heavy brutals housing crushing breakdowns and gutturals for days. I enjoy these cats so much so that I willingly wear a shirt that brazenly totes hilarious NSFW song names on the back including “Cannibal Connoisseur Pussy” and “Erection Masturbating Post Mutilated.” I live for this kind of stuff. I am such a sucker for gory broken english and the underdog swagger of the Indonesian bands. It’s a combo that wins me over every time. They are charming. Along with Chalera, Viscral, Hypochondriac, Reduced, Reviled, and Apoptosis Gutrectomy, Indonesia continues its legacy of utmost brutality in the bruising Sadistic Murder. Don’t miss these young slayers!
Grab it here
Gravestone – Rotten Kill EP
Damn, Raw Skull Recordz does it again with the old school death goodness! I’m fast learning that the young label is one to watch for high quality true death output. Young Swedes Gravestone deliver a hefty three song ep in Rotten Kill that will surely get your undead blood pumping! Featuring Pontus "Penki" Samuelsson (Entrails) on not only guitar and vocals but ruling in the engineer’s seat, this EP is twelve minutes of sheer death metal bliss! There is a real combative, war-like intensity to the blasting sections. Mean stuff! There is a actually good variety of different paces and feels here… they do the Torture Division blast fest as well as nice slower headbangable chunk. “Fucking Your Corpse In Hell” is such a great song name. There’s nothing tougher than posthumous disrespect to one’s enemy. It’s a topic I am definitely a sucker for. It’s on par with Autopsy’s one two punch of “I Shit On Your Grave"/”I Sodomize Your Corpse” and Leviathan’s “Fucking Your Ghost In Chains Of Ice”. Too good! Title track “Rotten Kill" opens with some of the most awesome lyrics I’ve heard in a while. There is a pretty good synergy here between the music and lyrics. You can tell they were written specifically to fit each moment of the music, and the extra thought is appreciated. Penki and crew know a little extra attention to the details go a long way. There are countless HM-2 toting bands these days, and these guys know just what to do to rear their ugly heads above the crowd. Hail Raw Skull Recordz and hail the mighty Gravestone!
Grab it here
Heinous – Demo
Heinous are a raw as fuck gore grind/grindcore outfit out of Phoenix Arizona. This shit rips hard! I feel like Reek Of Putrefaction has been channeled in a pretty awesome way in this brief demo of barf breathed grinding insanity. There’s also a major dose of straight up tried and true grindcore energy ala Cali gods Excruciating Terror. The vocals are completely unintelligible pitch shifted sharts but the riffs are razor sharp and catchy as fuck! It’s Dead Infection A Chapter Of Accidents all the way! There is a really distinct sound to the blasts that is just sheer grinding bliss to these ears. A blast that is tight as fuck but also has a lot of force behind it… think the kind of din worked up by one Mick Harris in his prime. If you’re into the whole goregrind without sexism thing of fellow sickos Couple Skate, Grotesque Organ Defilement, Parfumerie, or Pancreatectomie, don’t miss this gouge to the eyeball.
Grab it here
Invasion – Destroyer of Mankind
Michigan City, Indiana’s Invasion play a striking style of war-fueled straight forward death metal leaning toward the old school side of things. It’s catchy, professional, combative glory that like kindred spirits Hail Of Bullets; is thoroughly obsessed with WWII. The guitars here are the biggest selling point. There is a lot of tasty, monstrous riffs. Destroyer of Mankind is packed to the gills with them. The vocals are notably good as well. A relatively clear and understandable midrange roar. There is definitely some Martin van Drunen behind them. The drums have been handled quite nicely by Chicagoan Dan Klein of the mighty black metal masters FIN. He seems to know just what every situation calls for here. His playing is quite tasteful, and expertly compliments the riff festival at hand. The end result is good tried and true death metal steeped in the classic era. There’s definitely nothing new to this equation whatsoever, but that’s death metal for ya. These guys have a classic air to them that demands the listener’s respect. They are passionate, and this passion permeates each moment of the album. I wish the packaging was even half as good as the music is… I feel like a lot of people could be turned off by the amateurish visual presentation; which would be a real shame. If you dig the sounds of Weak Aside, Warmaster, Decaying, Hail Of Bullets, or Jungle Rot, you should surely give Destroyer Of Mankind a go.
Grab it here
Lantern – II: Morphosis
Lantern have turned it on again, sickly illuminating the darkest caverns of the mind with blackened old school Finnish dm perfection! Feel yourself sinking deeper and deeper into a well of disembodied souls and love every second of it. These dudes have a gargantuan sound. The dreadful, ancient, moss covered vibe these Fins purvey is truly bone chilling stuff. Lantern are masters of artful, thinking mans old school death metal with an Autopsy-esque flair for all things doomy. The vocals sound like the intense proclamations of a raving lunatic… this dude is quite commanding. He is the ruler of the dank dungeon in which this music was spawned. Overall, this is really nice offering of gripping, narrative music seething with the arcane that I’m sure will please all fans of dark death metal.
Grab it here
Mnemonic Wetbrain Syndrome – Mnemonic Wetbrain Syndrome EP
Fucking A this is pretty gross stuff! Mnemonic Wetbrain Syndrome play a two faced style of haul-assing death grind meets slow, slamming chunk and I am loving every second of it! At very first glance it seems neanderthalic, but it soon becomes clear how professional and talented this band is. Every moment of this EP is cleverly written extremity aimed at taking your head clean off of your body. When they get grinding they sound really freaking tight, in spite of the garagey feel of the recording. The drummer sounds like he’s damn good. He nails everything here and the blast beats are just so clean and virtuousic sounding; so ridiculously in the pocket. This is one of the coolest things I’ve heard in a while. “Lyra” reminds me of the greatest moments of Pigsty in their heyday… surgically deadly hate grind that eventually dissolves into a neck wrecking breakdown from hell. I am also getting some Medecophobic and Orchidectomy vibes here and there. Disgusting stuff! I hope this isn’t the last we’ll hear from these guys… I’m already covered in hives anticipating a full length.
Grab it here
Scordatura – Self Created Abyss
Scordatura are absolute beasts and purvey killer brutal death metal from their home of Scotland. I had the pleasure of playing alongside these guys out there and I’ve been eagerly waiting for these new songs to drop ever since catching their enticingly heavy and catchy set. In a way, they are somewhat similar to our first entry, Abnormal Inhumane. They have a lot of straight forward blasting parts with those hooky, million dollar trem riffs by the dozen. On top of that, they also wield a mighty breakdown, somewhat culled from the same chunky school of thought as Dying Fetus. Like legends Dying Fetus, Scordatura can groove with best of ‘em, sometimes they even get a little sideways with it and I can appreciate the efforts to be original. It appears that a great deal of thought and consideration went into the creation of this music. This is not just some endless parade of aimless riffs. The sound here is very nice. Clean, heavy sounding production with good live-feeling drums. While the main vocal is a deep, tough roar, they also employ some cool high accenting vocals that help ramp up the Deicide when it’s needed… I can dig it. The two voices dueling together reminds me of the back and forth that was a prominent part of early Deeds of Flesh. All in all, this a great release from a band that should be on your radar if you like Aeon, Cannibal Corpse, or Dying Fetus. Kudos to Gore House for picking these dudes up… more of this, please!
Grab it here
Shit Life – Graveshitter
Holy cow! It’s finally here. The first legit release from Michigan’s finest grindcore outfit, Shit Life! These two have been grinding out CDr releases and peoples beer stained basements for six or so years now, and we in Michigan love the shit out of them. I suppose it has come time to share them with the world. Graveshitter is nice and short like all good grind releases, leaving you to want more rather than be beaten beyond one’s threshold for pain. The vocals just amaze me. It’s a familiar vocal approach in grindcore, but one that’s technique just eludes me… how does a person sing so fucking high and crazily? I love it. I gotta say I am missing vocal contributions from Zach a little here… he used to sing as well as drum and contributed some awesome Infest style gorilla vocals on the early demos. You can’t take anything away from Chris alone though; he’s still scathing as ever. How can one man be so pissed off? Because it took them three years to get this thing out? I couldn’t tell ya. Physical CDs are rumored to be in production now, and I’m sure if there is enough interest, a vinyl will follow. Check these dudes if you enjoy the hateful sounds of Insect Warfare, Chiens, Lycanthrophy, Whoresnation, or Warfuck.
Grab it here
Surgery – Massive Terror Remains
Surgery! I think by now, most of us have undergone some kind of surgery in life… and I’ll be the first to tell you. It royally sucks! For me, it was treating a hernia I earned while singing like an idiot at TBDM practice. I had to leave on tour to Mexico while the wound was still fresh and boy was it a horrible time for me. Speaking of Surgery and Mexico; Surgery are a little known a gory semi-brutal death metal outfit out of Mexico that I have been following for about a year or so. Their previous album Whore Head Collection was a real banger and I was pretty excited when this release snuck up on me. Old school Cannibal Corpse still seems to be the main influence here, in fact I would say there are quite a bit of old school leanings… it’s not all blasting brutality all the time, which is nice. The vocals are a pretty generic understandable low roar. I don’t at all mean that in a bad way. You know how much I like my middle of the road death. The overall sound is fairly raw, enough so to give the album it’s own unique identity, which in my world goes a long way. There really aren’t that many Mexican bands on my radar aside from the classics, so I find these dudes especially cool. If you enjoy Spectral Mortuary, Burial (us), Defloration, Prostitute Disfigurement, or (early) Vile, give Surgery a go, you won’t regret it! No matter how I try, I haven’t been able to find this for sale anywhere, but I’ll bet if you hit them up personally at Facebook, they’ll help you out.
Pester them here
Suspiria – Psychologically Impaled
One of the things I am committed to doing this year with The Obituarist is bringing more attention to cool reissues on the horizon. I’ll take new old music any day… the prospect of hearing a lost classic is something that really excites me. This beast of a discography is a perfect example of how a good reissue should be handled. Suspiria are a long extinct thrashing death metal band from Crystal Lake, Illinois that in spite of their immense talent have toiled in the throes of relative obscurity… until now that is, thanks to Divebomb Records undying dedication to unearthing overlooked thrash and death metal goodies for us waiting die hards. Fuck, this is great! Psychologically Impaled is host two both of the bands early nineties demos, remastered here for maximum awesomeness and a slew of live tracks from a couple of different shows. I love the artwork… it’s so cheesy on purpose. Looks like it could’ve been on a Panic or Epidemic album from back in the day. Grab this now and support one of the finest labels in the game and a wonderful glance back into extreme music’s past.
Grab it here
Rude – Remnants…
Damn, what a great throwback! Everything about these guys just screams early nineties death metal. I can see Remnants… in an old Nuclear Blast advertisement next to Master and Disharmonic Orchestra when I close my eyes. Those were the days, and these fuckers know it! Using shitty fonts on purpose, italics, ellipses, outdoor daytime photos that remind me of the back of Utopia Banished or something. Striking! And of course, the music, which is the most important part! These guys are living and breathing every aspect possible of this old style and I love their dedication. It’s very real when you listen to Rude’s music. Monstrosity, Gorguts, Pestilence, Morbid Angel, Necrovore… this is a melting pot of classic OSDM sickness and I love every second of it. Bust out your tight jeans and giant white shoes with huge tongues… it’s time to wreck shit with Rude!
Grab it here
Terminus – Tomb Of Infinity
Damn man, Divebomb records is just the shit! They just can’t stop unearthing all of these rare and buried metal greats for their exceptional deluxe reissue and remastering treatment. Terminus is no exception to their rule of utmost quality. I had no experience with the band before hand and I think that most haven’t either yet, but this is top notch thrashing old school death metal perfection and totally deserves to be known as a classic! Think of the earthy thrashing death of a band like France’s Mercyless spliced with a mid-paced to slow grooving death metal in the vein of Viogression and Obituary and you basically have Terminus in a nutshell. I get some Epidemic Exit Paradise vibes at times too. The first six tracks are from an ep the band recorded back in the day in 1996 but was never released. Here its presented in full with a brand spanking new mix handled by Kenn Nardi from Anacrusis and boy does it sound awesome. Also included is the bands Creations full length as bonus tracks, thirteen songs in all. Its so dark, and so fucking old school. They just don’t make em like this anymore. This makes me feel like a kid again, I loved every second of this. Thanks to Divebomb for digging up gold, I’d honestly prefer a new old album to listen to over a newly recorded one any day of the week so I hope they’ll keep it coming! FFO: Obituary, Mercyless, Viogression, Epidemic
Grab it here
Time Walk – Beyond Eternity’s Grasp
Okay man, I’m just gonna level with you. This band is FUCKING AWESOME. Time Walk out of Missouri play the most crucial mishmash of styles and the result is an unhealthy kind of addictive. I’m like two inches away from getting TIME WALK on my knuckles in a circus-y woodcut font. Beyond Eternity’s Grasp is another one of those osdm meets hardcore scenarios but I swear its not what you’re expecting. This time were talking a knock out combo of later Bolt Thrower married with Hatebreed. I shit you not. It’s not only possible, but it really works! I would say the ratio is like 85 percent metallic BT to 15 percent Hatebreed. Maybe some Merauder in there somewhere. Perhaps that’s where we’ve gotten the Samurai dude on the front. The Hatebreed touches recall their most brutal days, taking me back to scooping Under The Knife up on seven inch from the skateboard shop when I was young. Like Jasta on Under The Knife, this dude sounds like he is hungover as fuck and will decimate you if you don’t shut the fuck up so he can nap. The guitar tone is fucking godly and metallic as shit and the guitar players are obviously very talented guys. There are a lot of straight up death metal bands that would kill for some of these riffs. Jesus Christ! The production is all around perfect for what it is. As if I couldn't like this any more, these fuckers go and cover nail a perfect cover of my absolute favorite Runemagick song, “Enter The Realm Of Death”. When I saw it at the end of the tracklisting, I did a double take! I thought my girlfriend Casey and I were the only Americans to appreciate that album, I’m glad its not true. It’s a very faithful tribute and is of a rare quality… its phenomenal. Time Walk has my vouch in every conceivable way… I’m ready to crip walk through time and space with them and you should be too.
Grab it here
That’s all mutants! Thanks for stopping by to hear my rambles and this month’s selections. I feel like it was a really good one, and I hope you did too! Please do your part by posting about these bands on social media, buying the albums, and going to see them in person if luck should permit. Like The Force, the underground is all around you, even if you can’t readily see it with mortal eyes. Get involved! Your ailing, aimless spirit will thank you!
Read past columns from The Obituarist here.