Mini-Reviews from Around the Bowl: 07/28/2016

Once again for your grazing pleasure, it’s your weekly dose of mini reviews. Sink your fangs into Wired Anxiety, Feign, Infant Annihilator, End the SunNifrost, Despised Icon, Anal Blasphemy, Celestial Grave, Solstice and iamthemorning.

Wired Anxiety – The Delirium of Negation
Transcending Obscurity | August 1st, 2016

When I think of death metal from India I think of… nothing, really. So here’s an EP by Bombay’s Wired Anxiety, and although they describe themselves as Brutal Death Metal, the closest I can think of for comparison is a heavier Lamb of God with much better vocals and less squeaky-clean production. A few riffs here are more slam-like in nature, their groove sometimes evoking Decapitated, and the slapped bass bits make for cool standout moments. I think in general the four songs could use a little more variety, but they make for an entertaining enough listen if you’re into mid-paced death metal with chunky riffs. — Moshito.

feignFeign – Atlas
Into the Night Records | July 29th, 2016

Rarely do you see an album so deserving of its cover art. Feign plays very spacey black metal tinged with the occasional burst of melodic death metal. My first thought upon hearing “Into the Celestial Nothingness” was, “Hey, this sounds kind of like Vemod!” For a large portion of the album, it does; though the styles aren’t quite the same (Feign likes to wander around the higher end of the guitar a little more), they evoke the same type of imagery, conjuring forth the sounds of a brilliant night sky. The peaceful solitude is occasionally interrupted by one of the aforementioned melodeath sections, but I wouldn’t say it hampers the experience so much as it just mixes it up. Jam this and contemplate the heavens. — Spear.

Infant AnnihilatorInfant Annihilator The Elysian Grandeval Galèriarch
Independent | July 29th, 2016

This is one of the most-over-the top albums I have ever heard. It’s so-over-the top that it feels like a parody of itself. I shouldn’t like this album. The drums are triggered to hell and back, there are sweeps right and left, breakdowns galore and the subject matter is beyond ridiculous. There’s even a few djenty tones in a few songs. 4 OF THESE THINGS ARE THINGS I HATE WITH A PASSION. So why then do I find myself sitting here with a physical copy in my hand? Please help. All that aside, the vocals on this album are arguably the craziest I’ve ever heard. Take Travis Ryan‘s vocals and amp them up to the 10th power and you get Dickie Allen‘s vocals on this album [BLASPHEMY -M.O.]. I will say that this is some of the best song structure I’ve seen in a deathcore album. There’s even a 17 minute song that somehow works within the context of the album, even though it should really just be divided into 4 separate songs. Most of you will hate this because it’s deathcore, and I don’t blame you. Hell, I don’t even know why I like it. Is this what they mean by  guilty pleasure? Lastly, I’d  like to point out that “Behold the Kingdom of the Wretched Undying” is a really cool song title.  — Bauer.

End the Sun – Rhythm of Defeat
Independent | July 26th, 2016

Let’s get something out of the way, here. Yes, this band has a “Verb-the-Noun” name. Yes, Rhythm of Defeat sounds like it could be a Hatebreed album title. Surprisingly, though, this one-man-band is neither of those things. Rather than boring you to death with chuggitty chugs as you might expect, End the Sun instead walk you through four tracks of varying degrees of experimentation, with genre boundaries blurring and flowing in a spice-fueled delirium that somehow simultaneously evokes solar system-crushing doom, Barr-esque Cascadian riffs, mental astronaut solos akin to Fredrik Thordendal at his weirdest, and painfully stirring instrumental passages that would not be out of place on an Opeth record. It’s nearly impossible to capture the many faces of EtS in one mini-review, so I implore you to press play and explore the black/death/doom/prog weirdness of Rhythm of Defeat when you have a decent chunk of time for focused listening. — W.

nifrostNifrost – Motvind
Naturmacht Productions | July 23rd, 2016

Naturmacht has quite a knack for picking up awesome Gaia-oriented bands, and Nifrost are no exception. Motvind is very much the quintessential pagan black metal album; it’s unlikely to hold any surprises, but it’s going to have everything you’re looking for. This album has riffs upon riffs and plenty of roaring about larches and bears and stuff (I assume- I don’t speak Norwegian), broken up by the occasional clean bit (both vocally and, er, guitarally). It superficially resembles Bathory at times and Wolfchant at others, but it sounds surprisingly modern for a past-facing band. The production is clear and crisp, and the performance is very precise. Fortunately, it’s all the better to hear those sweet, sweet layers of tremolo harmonies. Sometimes all you want to do is bang your head, quaff some mead, and burn a small effigy in the name of the Norse god of your choice, and Motvind provides the perfect soundtrack for all of the above. — Spear.

Despised Icon Beast
Nuclear Blast Records | July 22nd, 2016

C’est ne pas un power metal. French Canada’s masters of flat-brims are back after a prolonged absence from the scene, and they return with what could be their most hardcore-leaning release to date. Beast is filled with blast-beats, breakdowns, gangshouts and the band’s signature two-vocalist attack. As always, drummer Alex Grind is the standout performer for most of the album, blasting at a staggering 280 BPM on “Grind Forever” and generally laying waste at similar tempos throughout the album. If you were a fan of the band before they called it quits this is sure to appease you; if you are not a fan of heavily-triggered drums and getting ignorant, look elsewhere. Check out singles “The Aftermath“, “Beast” and “Bad Vibes“. — Moshito.

Anal BlasphemyWestern Decadence
Iron Bonehead Productions | July 15th, 2016

Anal Blasphemy has been around a while and I like their brand of raw, filthy, unhinged and simple black metal enough to check everything they spew out. Western Decadence’s titular track opens with a Darth Vader-sample leading into far lass noise and distortion than I had expected. Organs and faint melodies at the background round out a fast and filthy anthem that sounds just like the band, but not like they’ve done before – the rocking frolic is rather reminiscent of Barathrum. From thereforth things are simple. “I Am the Claw of Vengeance” is a fast, tremolo-lead song with awkward spoken word sections, “…And God Punished Them” is as much an interlude as an industrial metal song, and “Believe in the Devil” breaks out the clean vocals, and I keep hearing “His king Tom Waits” on that chorus. A sign? I think it’s a sign. The only real complaint I can think of are the last two song, both basically stretched outros. — Karhu.

Celestial GraveCelestial Grave Burial Ground Trance (Demo)
Iron Bonehead Productions | July 7th, 2016

Burial Ground Trance seriously took me by surprise. When you have pretty much heard every riff and guitar tone under the sun, black metal can feel a bit stagnant, but worry not my brethren, I have found a remedy. This German black/thrashy duo does the tried and true trve buzzsaw, low-fi approach, but this ain’t your average basement dwelling group. With undeniable melody and a mix of atmospheric shouts along with standard screams creating a remarkable listening experience, Celestial Grave create an impressive first taste of what is to come, despite being only three songs long. A haunting and unforgettable debut is soon to follow hopefully. This just became my demo of the year. FFO: Mgla, Malum, Bog of the Infidel — Brock Samson.

Solstice To Sol a Thane
White Horse | June 21st, 2016

In preparation for their upcoming full length, UK epic doom metallers Solstice have released their latest demo, To Sol a Thane. Do not let the medium fool you however; this is far more than a mere demo. To Sol A Thane spans just over twenty-three minutes and is a masterpiece of epic doom. On it, Solstice performs as battle-tested veterans proving they still have the vigor for war and metal. The title track opens the demo with a majestic execution of riffs and harmonies. “White Horse Hill” sits as the median, featuring an astounding chorus with pummeling drums that mark my favorite track. Finally, rounding out this demo is “For All Days, and For None” a somber ballad of clean guitar, the sound of waves on a beach and Paul Kearns‘ chill inducing, baritone vocal performance. I await with anticipation for the full length LP, but in the meantime To Sol a Thane is reserving its spot in my top 10 of 2016 list. (FFO Slough Feg, Candlemass, ManowarBoss the Ross.

iamthemorning Lighthouse
Kscope | April 1st, 2016

We haven’t talked about chamber pop in a while, so now seems like a good time to introduce this amazing progressive Russian duo. I was grabbed instantly by the impressive way vocalist Marjana slips between notes in the most beautiful and uncanny way. This alone would keep me coming back, but the instrumentation on this album is unmatched in complexity. Gleb’s piano work is subtle and lays the perfect atmosphere, and (to my nerdy surprise) the album features guest musicians Gavin Harrison and Colin Edwin of Porcupine Tree and  Mariusz Duda of Riverside. A never ending list of additional musicians and instruments adorns their bandcamp page, showing just how meticulous this album is. Though often light and ethereal sounding, this album is heavy in theme and gorgeously somber. This flawless piece of art will be in my top ten this year. — Joaquin Stick.

  • I only just had time to listen to the Toilet Radio from this week, so I am a day or two behind… If you were like me and have not listened/heard of Spirit Adrift yet, I would surely recommend you taking a peep. Specter of Ruin has to be the biggest “wow” songs of the year thus far. Seriously awesome.


    • tertius_decimus

      Dope stuff, GL!

  • Celestial Grave >>>>>>>>>>

    Seriously, that release blew me away upon my first listen. Definitely one of my favorite black metal releases of this year for sure. Just wish it was longer.

    That Anal Blasphemy ain’t bad, it’s better than most of their past releases. That’s for damn sure.

    • Agreed, Celestial Grave is way better than I expected it to be.

    • Stanley

      That Anal Blasphemy album cover is quite…um…special.

      • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

        Just keeping in spirit. There are others, more… special.

        • Oh yes. Yes indeed.

        • Stanley

          You are not wrong.

        • RJA

          I just went and looked at their covers on metal archives – good lord they are something – I suppose with a name like anal blasphemy you do have certain expectations, but damn!

  • Old Man Doom

    iamthemorning is incredible. Checking out End the Sun right now.

    • right meow, you say?

      • No he said hes gonna check it out on october 24th cant you read?

        • Mosh Hoff

          ouch be careful with that edge man you gonna hurt someone


          • Mosh Hoff

            I bet your new PC is sharper

          • My new PC is sexy as fuck. We’re getting married next year.

          • I call Best Man. Wait nevermind, DJ

  • Brock Samson

    Correction on my part, Celestial Grave is Finnish, not German.

  • Eliza

    I like Feign, Nifrost, Celestial Grave, Solstice, End the Sun and I really love iamthemorning.

  • Joaquin Stick

    I am just falling into a doom hole recently. Solstice is dope, excited to hear a full length. Name your own price on the demo too! I’m in. Thanks BtR.

    • Have you heard Messa’s Belfry yet?

      • Joaquin Stick

        Nope, listening now. It may be a little heavy on the occult-doom for my weird tastes, but I’ll give it a full listen

        • Owlswald

          Messa’s was good but it all seemed to blend together too much.

    • Joaquin Stick

      I also really like the idea of releasing a name your price demo to help fund an LP. It’s like a simplified kickstarter.

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      I aim to please.

  • Going to have to check out the new Solstice at some point.

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      I can’t express how much i enjoy it

  • Despised Icon lost me when they started getting too triggery with their drum sounds. Their drummer is clearly capable of sounding fine without the digital steroids.

    • Agreed. Dude fucking rips.

    • I do not think they sound all that triggered. Maybe I just cannot spot it?
      I was surprised when I read you all suspected as such. Thoughts?

      • Guacamole Jim

        They’re better than some triggers, but they’re obviously quantized to shit, and hyper compressed to ensure every sound is the same volume. While it makes the drums come out with startling clarity, it removes any natural feeling from the overall mix. I’ve seen them live, and the dude can play everything on the album to a T, so I don’t know why they bother with such aggressive correction. I’d prefer to hear a more natural drum sound (ie. with human fluctuation and nuance) over their oddly perfect timbre.

        • I think I understand what you mean. I guess the difference is not that noticeable to the average poser. They sure rip hard, though!

          • Owlswald

            No matter how much I try to not like Despised Icon, they hook me. I’m really digging the new album now.

          • The brevity of the album is nice. It is easy to listen to twice or more a day (I am currently listening to it twice a day). Its a good.

          • Guacamole Jim

            Oh, I’m a fan – don’t get me wrong. Love me some Despised Icon.

          • What do we do now? Fist bump? High five? Secret deathcore handshank? Kiss?

            plz rspnd

          • Guacamole Jim

            I don’t even know what a handshank is, but I think that’s it.

        • You covered it Guac, sounds like copy and paste drums.

        • More human flatulation >>>>>

      • Very easy for me to pick off. All drums get some level of assistance in the recording studio. When they are overly clicky, it sticks out like a sore thumb.

        • Farts In A Maggot Factory

          *cough cough Ageless Venomous cough cough*

  • Owlswald

    New Anciients song: Also, the Grind Forever song on the new Despised Icon album has some sick riffage.

    • Joaquin Stick

      I keep forgetting that I really like this band.

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    Wired Anxiety doesn’t sound too bad, Infant Annihilator doesn’t sound too good.
    Celestial Grave is better than all hell, just too damn short.
    iamthemorning sounds like something that will occupy my headphones for the next 7 months and Solstice has me interested to hear the full-length for sure.

    • Joaquin Stick

      I’ve known about iamthemorning for all of 4 days and I’ve already listened to that album and one other 4 times. It’s a problem.

    • Infant Annihilator is awful. Brb listening to it again.


    (Are we still yelling?).

  • tertius_decimus

    iamthemorning is very interesting project. Opens up deepest basements of imagination where spiders dwell without demanding of sharpening the mind tool. Music draws images so easily, effortlessly, so you may just relax and enjoy the journey. However, vocal hater in me dislikes presence of vocal line as is. The music is rich already, no need to do textual connotations which imply the direction you have to go to get what the journey is all about. Gimme the freedom of choice, I wanna switch off all vocal lines in the music like layers in Photoshop.

    • Ted Nü-Djent ™

      At US$13 for a digital copy, I unfortunately will never find out

  • tertius_decimus

    Solstice hooked up. Very uplifting.

  • Matt Pike’s Sweaty Left Nipple

    Nifrost is fantastic. Feign sounds like something I’d really enjoy judging by Spear’s description. I think I’m gonna give that Wired Anxiety a spin too, cuz LoG with better vox and less-polished production sounds like a good time to me.

  • TrundleTheGreat

    Really digging Nifrost. I’ll give the others some extended listening as well.

    Edit: Wired Anxiety is pretty kickass.

  • InfinityOfThoughts

    Literally everything on this mini-review today has me interested. Usually, one or two bands I find intriguing; now it’s the whole damn list.

    There goes my bank account (if I like it all enough to purchase). Thanks Toilet.

    • “You’re welcome.”
      -The Toilet

      • InfinityOfThoughts

        See you at the pahhty Richter!

    • Before the toilet started I used to have spare money to spend. Ah the memories.

      • InfinityOfThoughts

        I thought you chased terrorists and yelled , “form a perimeter” and, “where’s the bomb?” every hour?

        • You forgot “Shit!!”

          • InfinityOfThoughts

            Wasn’t it, “DAMMIT”? Shit.

          • Idr it’s been so long since I watched Fox’s lame interpretation of me. I’m much more badass in real lfie. Now they have the nerve to bring back 24 without me. FOX is like worse than Nickelback.

          • InfinityOfThoughts

            It’s as if FOX hired Nickelback not only to write the theme song, but hire Kroeger to play you.


  • Waynecro

    Feign sounds pretty cool, and I get a kick out of the absurdity of Infant Annihilator. Nifrost is also pretty swell.

  • Hans Müller

    Thought that End the Sun cover art might fare well in Prisma. Was not disappointed:

    • Dubbbz


    • Austin Arthur

      Haha that’s great. I’m the guy behind EtS. I wish I thought of using prisma!

  • Austin Arthur

    Hi this is Austin of End The Sun. Thank you so much for reviewing my album! You guys are awesome!