Hello and welcome back to The Obituarist… it’s a new year, ladies and gentleman and this marks my 20th (!) edition. My resolution this year is to buy more metal than ever before, until I am rendered utterly homeless. I would also like to fashion my own version of the Piledriver outfit, seen below. I think I’ll be looking pretty brutal with all of those nails, lord knows we can’t be that far off in size.
I have squeezed a few releases in from the tail end of last year in fear that they might have been overlooked during Year End List mania… the end or the very beginning of a year can be a hard time to successfully release a piece of music. Release it too late and people might miss it, or release it too early and people may forget about it by the end of the year after being bombarded with so many releases. While 2017 gets it’s shit together (I’ve got a few releases here from January and beyond, but not many), here are some burners from that grey area that might otherwise see them slipping through the internet cracks. This month is chock full of brutal death metal, so I hope you brought your best pit moves… it’s gonna be a brutal ride!
Acranius – Reign Of Terror
Germany’s heavy hitting slam death soldiers Acranius have returned to the fold in 2017 with a fresh offering of skull crushing goodness to kick off a new year. Do you like humongous slams and gutturals for days? Chunky stop/start riffing? Massive production? Perfected gore artwork by the amazing Daemorph? This is the total package friends, these dudes are just huge in every conceivable way. I feel this is a logical progression from Dishonor, which was a great album, into even more savage territory. Perhaps a touch more beatdown influence has crept in here, and it’s only strengthened their overall ferocity. Grab it now from the ever impressive Rising Nemesis records.
Grab it here
Death House – Demo
Nice three song demo of black/death meets hardcore damage from these Minneapolis, Minnesota druids, notably containing 3/5ths of the current incarnation of the mystical Ghost Bath. At first glance I was likening Death House somewhat to the dirge of Montreal’s Phobocosm, but they soon surprised me with a very jagged hardcore element that reminds me of something cut from the same explosive cloth of Cult Leader or Converge. The atypical shouted vocal style also lends to this fierce demo’s hardcore-ish edge. It’s rust covered, noisey, and violent material that creates an atmosphere of fear and unease while cleverly retaining its artfulness. There is a good deal of sludge married into their sound, and I swear I even heard a few welcome sliding chords that reminded me of Mastodon’s early days. Overall this is an interesting and eclectic product and difficult to pin down in a typified blunt Obituarist description. Just press play and let the tunes do the talking! FFO: Hexis, Phobocosm, Planks, Plebeian Grandstand.
Grab it here
Death Worship – Extermination Mass
This is exactly what I expected which is a very good thing. Mass Extermination is a horrifying, confrontational, Ross Bay Cult black/death excursion of the highest order, and will surely seperate the men from the boys. Death Worship is technically a one man show headed by R. Förster of Conqueror/Blasphemy fame; but his grinding guitar and bass work is complimented by the manic and abusive drumming contribution J. Read (Revenge/Conqueror/Axis Of Advance/Kerasphorus) who rejoins R. Förster merely as a session player. I sooner would lump this in with Order From Chaos or Beherit before Blasphemy or Conqueror, it has much more of a variety of tempo and feel; it’s less unidimensional and more musically exploratory. It has those scary as fuck pitch shifted vocals that I love so much in my black/death and an overall more oldschool vibe than the constant attack of current Canadian torchbearers Revenge. If you’re looking for black/death mastery with the ancient flare of authenticity, you needn’t look any further than Death Worship.
Grab it here
Decapitate Hatred – Birth Of Abomination
One of those releases that came out in the tail end of last year… it’s still new in my book and I think it would be criminal to neglect it here for how awesome it is. Decapitate Hatred are part of the massive brutal death metal explosion out of Indonesia, and they do their countrymen proud with Birth Of Abomination. The production here is pretty rough, I personally like it but I can see some people being turned off by its blatant rawness and thin, razor sharp guitars. In fact, when they get moving quickly, it’s downright hard to discern what is being played; the result is a blurred wall of insane sound. At their top speed, I feel like these dudes take a page from the book of Brodequin, which is always welcome in my world. As with a lot of Indo records, the snare drives everything here. It’s loud and fucking proud and will probably send you running the other way if flesh ripping guitars haven’t. There’s a good bit of dumbed down slamming action here too… enough chunk to inspire a few ass kickings, for sure. Grab this sickening release now from Force Fed/Stillborn sounds and soil your trousers with a smile. FFO: Range Of Mutilated, Total Rusak, Dissevered, Ecchymosis, Orchidectomy
Grab it here
Demonseed – Human Disposal Syndicate
This is sick! Nice gory groove laden brutal death metal with a great slick production and pleasant variety to boot. Not much for constant blasting, and I’m cool with that. They slam at times (and fairly creatively, might I add) but Demonseed are usually content to ride a nice clear headbobbing groove to it’s fullest potential. There is a lot of chunky goodness here to chew on. Turns out this a fairly memorable approach. The result here is quite addicting and a few songs in the genius of this album will really become apparent; these Texans really know what they are doing and have offered up a high quality brutal death offering. I enjoy Rudi Gorgingsuicide’s art… he seems to be getting better and it doesnt hurt that this is laid out so nicely. Props to Skylar Taylor out in Dallas for turning me on to these talented Texan torturers. FFO: Fetor, Dawn of Demise, Vomit The Soul.
Grab it here
Desecrate The Faith – Unholy Infestation
Desecrate The Faith are an excellent young band out of Houston, Texas unfurling an impressive brand of technical yet old school informed brutal death metal. It’s not the fastest thing in the world, nor is it the most low or subwoofing. These guys aren’t caught up in all of that bullshit, they just strive to make good catchy brutal death metal and they do just that! To me it sounds like Suffocation is their biggest influence… there’s a lot of heavy, chunky stuff but not much really from the world of modern slam. Some of the trem riffs remind me old school Severe Torture. Simply murderous! Gotta love a good fade in intro. This album starts with a mammoth one: welcome to chunk city! Great production, I love that bass tone. Cool, semi understandable low vocals. I enjoy the usage of layers when they should occur. It sounds pro and keeps this interesting. The entire package is nothing you haven’t heard before, but that’s perfectly fine with me. The world has turned and bands in this style aren’t a dime a dozen anymore. In fact, this style centered around early 2000s brutality is all but gone, nice to see a few bands hanging on to the golden dawning years of brutal death as we know it. As I mentioned above my Demonseed entry, I really enjoy Rudigorgingsuicide’s artwork… it’s cool to see an Indonesian artist being sought after by American bands. Worldwide scene baby! If you like brutal death that’s tuneful and catchy while retaining its extremity, Desecrate The Faith could be the band for you! FFO: Rotting Obscene, Abhorrent Deformity, Human Infection, Atrocious Abnormality. Out March 3rd on the unstoppable Comatose Music label… keep your eyes peeled for the preorder here.
Keep an eye out here
Deserted Fear – Dead Shores Rising
Deserted Fear are an old school flavored tried and true death metal band out of Germany, and Dead Shores Rising is their third full length effort since the band’s inception in 2007. A solid melting pot of later Bolt Thrower, Illdisposed, Amon Amarth and Hail Of Bullets is what we have here… Dead Shores Rising has that same level of regal importance to their music and the ability to marry a melodic approach with all out heaviness. It’s classy, well executed, engaging stuff. Not sure why these guys haven’t made more of a splash here in the US, but they sure are gaining a nice momentum in Europe. Century Media was smart to grab these dudes up. It must be an exciting time for Deserted Fear, to be on the verge of their first CM release and all of the great touring that will surely follow. Props to all parties involved and to you for pressing play. Thumbs up!
The Drip – The Haunting Fear of Inevitability
The Drip are are cool band playing scathing grindcore out of Washington State. They’ll fit nicely on your grind shelf next to Nasum, Rotten Sound, and Gadget I would say (so long as it isn’t alphabetical, haha) with that flesh ripping HM-2 sound that has become so popular in grind today. Produced by Toxic Holocaust’s own Joel Grind, this is one mean sounding record! A true boot to the face! I don’t know if this is due to the new guitarist Blake Wolf (ex-Theories) entering the fold after their last ep or what, but I am finding this debut full length release easily wrecks their previous efforts… it’s a large step in the right direction for these dudes and one that could see The Drip moving up the food chain this year. Kudos to The Drip and to Relapse for recognizing real. Press play and redecorate your house with some new holes in the wall.
Grab it here
Ecostrike – The Time Is Now
Jesus christ this band is just too damn cool! I can’t believe there are young outfits out there that have brought back this ancient sound from the heyday of metalcore. Like Fourth Crusade (who I mentioned a bit back), Ecostrike manage to warp me back in time to playing guitar with my crappy old Metalcore outfit Blinded By A Book Of Fiction. We worshiped Morning Again, Earth Crisis, and Chokehold and played drop-tuned Gibson SG’s and jumped around everywhere like knuckleheads. We were barely out of high school… we didn’t achieve much in way of recognition but it was a total blast. During these years I went to tons of shows, and I remember salivating as I pawed through the distros there looking for my next big metalcore fix. Those were the days. Thankfully, Ecostrike is here to help one reminisce. While the 2016 demo was primarily early Earth Crisis worship, this EP sees the band tightening up quite a bit. It’s far more metallic. It reminds me a bit more of Strife than the bare-bones simplistic Firestorm style… they’ve come a long way in under a year. Kudos to the cover art, too, although relatively ugly it looks exactly like something you’d see on a Culture seven inch in the mid to late nineties. It gave me a strange erection when I saw it that I hadn’t felt in a long time… I knew what I was in for and I didn’t know how badly I wanted this sound back in my life. It just plain rules. Bring that dusty old Cabal 315 jersey out of retirement and grab this ep now.
Grab it here
Gangrenous – Necrotic Tumor Of Mankind
Damn, this is a sick one. I saw a lot of my dudes on SMN talking about this and I had to check it out. Gangrenous hail from Chile, and purvey a solid low end heavy brand of blasting and slamming brutal death metal that’ll surely rock you. Necrotic Tumor Of Mankind is utterly bruising gore-filled affair, It’s nice, raw yet meaty brutality with a huge, bone rattling bass sound. It’s also host to great trashy snare and super live sounding kit to boot. Plenty of pinch harmonics and catchy riffing all around. The vocal approach is that of a dry and guttural variety and the lyrics are entirely unintelligible. Pretty sick in my book. It’s hard to pinpoint their influences and that’s kinda nice… this has more variety and depth that I would expect when glancing at the themes and artwork and it by no means just another Devourment clone. If you dig Degrade, Meat Devourer, Guttural Disease, or Welding Torture, you ought to check these sick Chileans out. I should also note that the band is part of the roster over at Rotten Cemetery record out of Chile. Rotten Cemetery is a great label if you want to expand your horizons outside the usually known brutal bands while keeping your standards high. They’ve got disgusting brutal death outfits from all over the map and I’ve dealt with them a few times now… great service. They have good prices and a tight line up, I am constantly impressed by these guys and I urge you to let them on your radar. You won’t regret it.
Grab it here
Gerogot – Cruelty Vomit of Hatred
Wow, this is fucking crazy heavy! Props to Mike “Gunface" McKenzie for the hook up on this one. Although we don’t see each other as much as I’d like to since The Red Chord left the touring circuit, we stay in pretty constant contact via text, nerding out about new brutal death albums on the regular. I love the low end here, its like a fucking train hitting you at 200 mph. Gerogot play monstrous brutal death metal in that savage Indonesian style owing much to US legends Disgorge. It’s manic, labyrinthine technical material that is highly entertaining to follow along with. It find the guitar work to be a lot more legible than a lot of these Disgorge clones… I dare say that some of this is actually catchy! I appreciate the musicality here. Overall, this is a fine brutal death offering all around, don’t miss it! FFO: Disgorge, Cenotaph, Putridity, Devangelic.
Grab it here
Gutted – Martyr Creation
Released at the tail end of last year, most likely after everyone’s top whatever lists had already materialized, Gutted from Hungary are a long-standing technical and brutal outfit with killer, shredding chops. Admittedly, I have somewhat lost track of these guys after their debut “Defiled”, something I will be sure to rectify in the wake of taking in the awesome album at hand in Martyr Creation. These dudes have blistering fretwork, impressive speed, and clever, professional songwriting skills. You can hear their years of experience under their belts. I should also mention a cool guest by Attila Csihar from Mayhem. It’s not something I would have expected to find on the liner notes of a brutal outing and it’s just plain cool to see/hear. Martyr Creation is a well executed technical maelstrom of the highest possible order… this is truly exciting stuff and I’m glad I gave it a proper shot. If you enjoyed the recent outings by Carnophage, Beheaded, or Unfathomable Ruination, you’ll find a lot to enjoy in Martyr Creation.
Grab it here
Lago – Catacombs And Oceans
Lago out of Phoenix Arizona are a band that have been trying to get my attention for a while now and they’ve definitely done so with their Catacombs and Oceans single. I can recall a few times when they’ve popped up over at TBDM’s Facebook over the years and for whatever reason I never really got around to giving them a proper listen, a move I have now come to deeply regret. Lago is a scorching, highly musically proficient old school flavored death metal outfit with a unique mystical touch that I love so much. Like innovators Morbid Angel, Lago do their evil thing with a lot of confidence and otherworldly style. It’s creative, organic, and atmospheric death metal wizardry that oozes with real feelings of arcane magic. These dudes sell an impressive spaced out/cosmic vibe that is very believable… one that has me eager to hear their next move, also prompting me to dive into their back catalog for further investigation. I can really see these guys doing something under the right label supervision. I think the high quality seal of Willowtip or Dark Descent would look appropriate on the back of their album jackets, don’t you? Get with Lago now and get the cosmic key to gateways unknown! FFO: Altars, Mithras, Konkeror, Golem.
Grab it here
Lorna Shore – Flesh Coffin
For those uninitiated, Lorna Shore are a technical, blackened deathcore band from New Jersey who have been making some major waves in recent years. So much so that my band The Black Dahlia Murder was prompted to take them out on a brief tour a while back. Hard workers, exceptional live and cool guys to boot. Lorna Shore has had an impressive arc of evolution in their short time on the scene. They’ve gotten astronomically better with age, each release is leagues better than the previous one. I think a lot of you metalheads who are too uptight to like deathcore might see something to like in these guys. I feel like Lorna Shore easily transcend what is commonly known as deathcore with their blisteringly creative marriage of black and tech metal chops. There’s definitely enough here to appease you tech death guys, it’s clinical, quick moving, with impressive instrumental shredding. Yes, it’s modern, and yes there are breakdowns (fairly creative ones might I add) from the downtempo school of thought, slow, skull crushing chug sure to send fists flying in concert halls across the nation and beyond. Fret not, this simple trick doesn’t completely define this talented and highly musical band. It merely serves to strengthen their attack and give the listener a breather from all the technical whirlwind whipping by. Throw in some decent leads and some synth accents and you’ve got one beast of an album here. The conceptual narrative scope of the album is noteworthy… you can tell a lot of thought and extra effort went into the careful construction and flow of Flesh Coffin and it really works. Open your sourpuss elitist mind and give these young deviants a whirl, your ears may thank you.
Grab it here
Menstrual Disconsumed – Consuming the Infinite Rancidity
Dis-consumed? So like the opposite of consuming… puking? As in, Barfing Period blood? Yikes. Shouldn’t have tried to eat it in the first place. Whatever, man, I’m here for an earful of gross, broken english or not. Fully constructed by impressive guitar bass and drum programming work of 25 year old Indonesian loner only known as Nugek, Consuming the Infinite Rancidity is ultra brutality to the maximum. The extremity needle is firmly pegged into the red from beginning to end… I’m talking that Putridity or Neurogenic level of all out slaughter on the senses. This shit will overwhelm you at times, it just that off the chain brutal. Upon the first listen you may find yourself cackling loudly in mad laughter (much like I did) in sheer disbelief! There’s not a great deal of intelligence here, but that’s not why you’ve stopped by, is it? What Nugek lacks in originality he manages to make up for in unbridled sonic violence. If you enjoy the unrelenting eastern brutal death sickness of Cadavoracity, Intricated, Perverted Dexterity, or Interfectorment, this savage young mastermind will absolutely kill you in the best way possible. Grab one of these bad Larrys on the cheap from Carl over at Force Fed… he’s always got the hard to find Eastern brutal death goodies right here in the good ol’ USA.
Grab it here
Mortifica – Atrocious Autopsy
I was honestly gonna pass over this because of the amateurish logo and album title font but someone made a point to stop by my Twitter and tell me to listen to it so I thought twice. I’m glad I did because these Connecticut killers are pretty cool actually. Mortifica purvey raw, semi brutal sometimes grindy death metal with a home-grown, garage-y charm. At first glance I am reminded of long lost Michigan sickos Sadomasochism’s “Worship the Dark” album. It has some of the bouncy catchiness of old Deicide and some of the good old head bangable death metal chunk of Cannibal Corpse. Tons of horror movie worthy riffs… some real hair standers here! There’s nothing really modern in Atrocious Autopsy, this could have easily been recorded ten years ago and I really like it for that. It harkens to times almost forgotten in brutal death metal. The live sound of the drums especially gives this a timelessness. It sidesteps the trappings of sound replacing and quantized perfection in favor of a more human personality. I can imagine this one on the table at a random Don Decker RIP (Anal Blast ) run Midwestern Metal Fest in the year 2003 between would-be peers Burial, Mutilated, Incestuous, and Regurgitation. Grab this now and get gory with these promising upstarts.
Grab it here
Saponification – Saponification EP
This was a pleasant surprise I was tipped off to by the head of the Bay Area Deathfest, the ever friendly Andrew Manganiello. These young guns come blasting out of San Francisco delivering the guttural goods, offering slamming brutal death metal sure to excite you tall T wearing slam hunters and grisly gore hounds alike. If you are frothing at the very gash at the thought of new skull crushing tunes to drop hammers to, Saponification could be the fix of nastiness you’ve been looking for. This ep is just plain heavy as fuck. It’s like a building falling down on top of your head. I can’t recommend enough that you buy this from their Bandcamp and play it in lossless. The low end put out by this thing is absolutely mammoth! You can actually SEE how heavy they are in the kbps of their EP tracks. 3078 kbps?!? that’s a lot more than you’re average death metal tune in FLAC or APE file. It’s that sub-woofing bass, son. It just crushes. I appreciate the realness of the production… sounds like it was made by humans, I enjoy that about it. It’s not as plastic-y or pristine as some of the slam outfits out there. I like this in slam and I feel like its often forsaken in this age of protools ease. I feel like this is a real band that practices together as opposed to a one or two man outfit. There’s nothing wrong with a solo slam band, but a lot of them tend to be a bit on the unreal or mechanical side. It’s good to know there are still real bands out there that get together with their friends and practice every week. This will almost always end in a better product. Grab this now so you can elitely say “Oh, well, I’ve been following them since their first release” when they get signed and everyone is jocking them.
Grab it here
Sunlight’s Bane – The Blackest Volume – Like All The Earth Was Buried
Apocalyptic blackened grindcore madness! Yet another great band emerges from my miserable state of Michigan… maybe there’s something in water here, and that’s not a Flint joke. The reality is that we have long torturous Winters and during which there’s nothing to do here but come up with fucked up music to pass the time. These talented dudes frankenstein a few styles together into the scuzzy black toothed monster that is The Blackest Volume, they are especially adept in their blackened chops. In their slower black metal mode, comparisons to the vitriolic swagger of recent Craft could be made; when they REALLY get cooking, they remind me of Canada’s black/death gods Revenge. Then there’s the very prominent hardcore aspect. I hear traces of hardcore damage from the handbooks of Nails, Integrity, and Ringworm all cleverly interwoven in Sunlight’s Bane’s eclectic sound. The vocals are gruff, distorted, abrasive growls and scalding high shrieks; with a blown out peaking sound that adds to the overall violence level. You can’t discern all that much of what is being said, but there’s no doubt in my mind that these fellas are some negative nancys. One thing is for sure, it’s all confrontational as fuck. This is nihilistic, miserable music and I think it occupies a unique slice of the big picture… for now, this is to me a new sound where there are few emerging in these crowded times. FFO: Vermin Womb, Plague Widow, Absvrdist, Nails
Grab it here
Syntax – Rosarios Negros
Are you constantly craving more artsy thinking man’s grindcore? Do you like Gridlink and/or Discordance Axis? Fuck the Facts? Cloud Rat? LA’s Syntax are here to scratch your unorthodox grinding itch with their shrieking, feral approach. Released on Christmas day, this is yet another one of those too-close to year end releases that I don’t want to see fall into the cracks of obscurity. Syntax have grown into a real grindcore institution at this point, with a myriad of ear piercing releases under their belts and Rosarios Negros has proven to be their best songs yet. This is truly challenging, abrasive as fuck music. It won’t be for everyone but I sure dig this kind of thing. Press play now and prepare to jam your fingers in your ears in disbelief. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya! FFO: White Eyes, Atomck, Amnesian, Antigama, Pig Destroyer
Grab it here
Vampire – Skull Prayer single
Vampire are just the shit and I’m not sure why they haven’t made bigger waves in the US… I mean it just does not get cooler than these deathly Swedes! They play a style of raw and thrashing old school death metal that would fit on a shelf nicely beside the garage-y offerings of Repugnant, Death Breath, Tormented, and early Tribulation. “Skull Prayer” is a wicked, grimy little ditty chock full of graven panache. The energetic riffing gives the listener the feeling of running in fear just beyond the grasp of a knife wielding maniac… As their name would suggest, Vampire deal horror in spades. This shit will make your blood pump and all of your body hair stand on its very end! This rough mix is small taste of the exciting sophomore full length that will be spawning this year through Century Media records so keep your eyes peeled for more info.
Stalk that preorder here
That’s all for this month, freaks, I hope you’ve enjoyed my 20th installment of The Obituarist! Check out all the bands, follow them on social media and please, buy their music and merch… it will likely mean the world to these smaller bands. If you do go that mile and pick any of this stuff up, be sure to send me a pic over at my Twitter (@trevortbdm) of yourself reppin’ the home team. Also, if you haven’t already, follow me there for a daily dose of metal from all eras and more crappy juvenile fart joke humor than you can shake a freeze- dried turd at. Thanks to all my hookups out there and to you for stopping by. Until next month, stay brutal!