Mini-Reviews From Around The Bowl (22/09/2016)

Fresh out of the incubator, these lawless little larrikins promise to keep you on your toes. Here’s a heap of new metal from Burial Hordes, Darkrypt, Brutally Deceased, Log Driver, Implore, An Autumn For Crippled Children, MindscarHowling Giant, Sol Sistere, and Entropia to help calm your fraying nerves.

Burial Hordes Extinction [EP]
Folter Records | October 28th, 2016

Scanning through the inbox to see what potential treasures it holds is something I genuinely enjoy doing, although some days seeing cover after cover of squatting skeletons farting blood starts to feel a little tiresom… wait, what? *clicks to enlarge image* Oh, good. Thank fuck Mr Skeltal’s arse cancer hasn’t relapsed. Otherwise it may have taken the focus off this pretty damn solid offering of genuinely threatening blackened death. Apparently Burial Hordes have been charring the Grecian landscape since the turn of the millennium, however this is my first time hearing them, and after a few plays of these four tracks, I’m certain it won’t be the last. Burial Hordes rip through some aggressive yet very deliberate riffing, replete with suitably cavernous vocals, and handy drumming throughout. Overall, the sound falls somewhere between that of their much vaunted countrymen Dead Congregation, and the dependable Imprecation. While not as dynamic as Henosisimpressive debut from a few weeks back, Extinction provides enough substance to keep your black blood pumping. — Lacertilian

Darkrypt Delirious Excursion
Transcending Obscurity | October 15th, 2016

When I saw the seductive tags “Dark Death Metal”, “India”, “Demilich”, “Dan Swano”, “Demigod”, “Turkka Rantanen”, “Adramelech”, and more in but a single promo, I just had to give it a shot. While not as overtly hyperbolic as some of the blurbs we’re sent, the descriptors did call for an approach of careful optimism. Unfortunately, there’s not a great deal of info about the Mumbai-based quartet online. What I can tell you is that Darkrypt have compiled a pretty solid debut. Does it live up to the expectations set by the tags? Well, not exactly. Delirious Excursion sounds great; especially the clean and lead guitars, and the drumming displays some equivalently dynamic moments. One listen to the instrumental track “Folie à Deux” proves this. However, if I’m going to compare it to what I’m led to believe they were attempting here, it falls a little short of the mark. The riffing lacks the murky aggression of its forebears; coupled with the cleaner production, this makes for a much more placid overall tone. Sure, there is a certain degree of technicality on display here, but it doesn’t even begin to approach the degree of angular fret-friction one expects after hearing even but a passing mention of Demilich. Did we set the bar too high for a debut? Probably. Should you disregard my critique and give this a try anyway? Of course. — Lacertilian

Brutally Deceased Satanic Corpse
Doomentia Records | September 30th, 2016

Just when you think you’ve seen the last float in the near-ceaseless cavalcade of 90’s Swedeath-worship disappear over the horizon, the moment when the HM-2 buzz finally fades below the audible threshold, just as you take off your poxy online bootleg Dismember shirt, another. fucking. parade. begins. At first your head slumps atop the stretched tendons in its whiplash-stricken throne, your bloodshot eyes wincing in unison. This might be it. The time to say “NO FUCKING MORE”. You’ve got all the classics, you don’t need whatever this is. But somehow, some fucking how, once the riffs start you’re drawn back in, as if by an innate Pavlovian response to the shred. Before you know it, your neck is involuntarily pivoting about its fulcrum in a feverish fit of face-flinging fun. For the next 30 minutes you don’t care if it’s actually 2016 and you’re in your makeshift trailer-home, in your heart it’s 1993 and you’re wrecking the pit in Stockholm. For this pleasure you have Czech band Brutally Deceased‘s third album Satanic Corpse to thank. Adorned with quality Girardi art and combining the sounds of Grave, Entombed, et al. with some melodic Iron Maiden-esque harmonised solos (Yes, seriously! Check out album highlight “At One with the Dead”) in a very enjoyable fashion, Brutally Deceased have produced one of the strongest Swedeath albums in years. Highly recommended for: People who are Scrimm, and people who are not Scrimm. — Lacertilian

Log Driver Extinction Is Forever
Independent | September 14th, 2016

Long-time friend of the site Roshin linked us to this new project from the brothers Kaminsky (Stone Healer) titled Log Driver. Extinction Is Forever is the duo’s debut EP and is just under 15 minutes of (self-described) deforestation-core. What does deforestation-core sound like, you ask? Well, during the mental meltdown that ensued my initial investigation, I was reduced to this contrived description – if there was ever a crusty black metal band who combined the aggression of grind with the awesomely deranged guitars of The Red Chord‘s Gunface while playing exclusively at local backyard punk gigs, they would almost sound as gnarly as Log Driver. Equal parts violently abrasive and creatively crafted, this little release immediately lignified my soft-tissue (Read: I got wood). Even though the subject matter is something I’m passionate about, I can tell you it did not cloud my judgement here, this shit rips. — Lacertilian

Implore – Thanatos
WOOAAARGH | September 11, 2016

Three ingredients make up the tasty meal that is Implore. One part Rotten Sound, one part Entombed/Dismember, and one part Trap Them . All the ingredients are served on a platter of savory HM-2 distortion with side dishes of blast beats, breakdowns, and Swedish death metal. You will digest this meal in just five easy bites and in the span of under eight minutes. This will not fill up your stomach, so you alert your waiter that you’ll need another round and that you’ll likely be back for thirds, fourths and beyond because your taste buds simply cannot get enough of the meal that these three death grind chefs from Germany have prepared. If this is just an appetizer for a future main course that will be served at a later date, then bookmark this restaurant and give it 5 stars on Yelp because your going to want to return and feast at this place to the point of gluttony. — Ron Deuce


An Autumn For Crippled ChildrenEternal
Wickerman Recordings | August 26, 2016

Sadness is the only thing that is real. By default, that makes the Dutch trio An Autumn For Crippled Children the realest. The band’s depressive post-black metal stylings on their sixth full-length album Eternal drip with an unfathomable sense of pain and loss like tears down a widower’s cheek. The fuzzed-out guitars and anguished vocals magnify the internal emotional maelstrom that we all go through when dealing with loss. They are complimented by peaceful bits of clarity brought on by quieter ambiance and soothing keyboards. Eternal is the soundtrack for those of us who cannot and must not let go. It is an album for those that want to scream, but cannot find the breath in their lungs. It is the cold embrace that we all feel at one point or another. I need a hug now. RIYL: Deafheaven, Alcest, ColdWorld. — 365 Days Of Horror

mindscarMindscarWhat’s Beyond the Light
Independent | August 19th, 2016

My first thought upon hearing Mindscar was, “Cool! It’s like a -core band listened to a bunch of Psycroptic and decided to give that a shot!”. Now that I’ve listened to the whole thing, I hear that they realized that doing Psycroptic is pretty hard and gave up halfway through. It has a few solid riffs and the solos are all great, but so much of it feels overblown and redundant that I’m starting to wish I could get the last half hour I spent listening to this back. However, the last two tracks are really, really good, ditching the “Tuff Guy” pretense for a couple slow progressive pieces with some solid clean vocals and riffs. These guys need to take that sound and run with it, because they’re damn good at it. — Spear

Howling Giant Black Hole Space Wizard: Part 1
Independent | August 12th, 2016

Big scope, big fuzz, and big buds. This combination seems to have come back into vogue for a while now. Combine a penchant for the stoner sound with huge otherworldly concepts, drench it all in a fuzz-haze, and you’re good to go. Nashville’s Howling Giant are a trio who seem to have adhered to this fairly tried-and-true formula for their second EP in as many years. As with many of these releases, the results ultimately come across as earnestly ambitious. On one hand, there’s a lot to admire about a few friends getting together and rocking the shit out of their garage, honing their chops until they reach the level where they are almost within grasp of their inspiration’s coat-tails. However, there are a million bands doing essentially the same thing. Unfortunately, sometimes simply playing from your heart is not enough to propel you beyond the terrestrial confines of the common-man into orbit, let alone to the far reaches of the galaxy. This EP almost has two quite disparate styles on display. In my (unsolicited) opinion, I think Howling Giant need to pick one direction and push further. Either go deeper into the inoffensive Khemmis-like doom (track 2), or go harder into the wilder stoner-punk style exhibited on track 3 “Dirtmouth” (This is where my vote lies). FFO: Bedowyn, Mastodon (later), Baroness. — Lacertilian

Sol Sistere Unfading Incorporeal Vacuum
Hammerheart Records | June 6th, 2016

Atmospheric black metal is one of those sub-genres that tends to be really hit or miss for me. Sadly, most never manage to grab my attention; they seem to just pass by in a fairly mundane fashion, and are quite forgettable. However, the handful that do hit are like precious jewels that can be adorned and subsequently gazed upon at seemingly any time without losing their lustre. Moreover, their amaranthine-glow seems to strengthen over time; the associated memories you attach with each listen compounding the music’s overall impact, until it almost feels almost intrinsic. For me, Chilean band Sol Sistere‘s debut has quickly managed to reach that stage of appreciation. Layers of swirling tremolo melodies combined with ardent riffing dominate this record. At its darkest, Unfading Incorporeal Vaccum shows some Vinterland-esque undertones, yet with a noticeably warmer overall poise. If atmospheric black metal is even a passing interest for you, be sure to give this a try. — Lacertilian


Entropia | Ufonaut
Arachnophobia Records | February 16, 2016

I’m late to the Entropia party, in fact I only gained entrance thanks to a serendipitous bandcamp gift from another flusher… anyways Ufonaut blew me away with its creative genre mash-up of black metal, post-metal, and psychedelic rock. On this album the band present to us songs of a progressive nature with fast-paced riffs that wax and wane around the listeners feels with a layer of tasteful keyboards that complement the music in unpredictable ways. (They are listed as “blackgaze” on bandcamp, and if you can shed any preconceived notions of what that might mean, that could be an apt genre label.) Thankfully, the band avoids any “progressive metal” label by keeping the technical wankery to a minimum and focusing squarely on providing a positive-sounding experience. They’re not out to crush us with sheer brutality, they’re here to show us something bizarre yet creative within the reaches of our own psyche with constant tempo changes and instrumental jam sessions. This album is incredible. — Jimmy McNulty

(Image via)