Mini-Reviews from Around the Bowl: 09/01/2016

Small things come in big packages, or some deep thing of the sort. This week: Zealot Cult, Eschatos, Dopethrone, Mr. In Your House 4, Cesspool of Corruption, Marsh Dweller, Sect, Viha SurmaAesop Rock and Endless.

a0487408627_10Zealot Cult Karmenian Crypt [EP]
Blood Harvest Records | October 24th, 2016

The catastrophic series of eruptions from the seething volcano that is Blood Harvest Records shows no sign of relent this year; the next igneous death ball heading our way is the debut EP from Ireland’s Zealot Cult. Atop the ground where genre legends Pestilence, Death, and Obituary solidified into the death metal landscape, Zealot Cult’s riffs of liquid hot lava form a confluence of pyroclastic flow that will immediately burn these 3 tracks into your mind. If you, like me, were a little let down with Gruesome‘s EP earlier this year, Zealot Cult have got what you need to fill that void. The eponymous first track is a great no-nonsense introduction, but it’s on tracks 2 and 3 where the band really sear their intent on the surrounding Earth. Karemenian Crypt may only run for 20 or so minutes, but over the last couple of weeks, all this has meant to me is that I get 200% more of this awesomeness per hour. Seriously, the replay button is suffering a case of stigmata after the fucking crucifixion I’ve put it through this month. Even better news is that the band have just announced they’ll be hitting the studio later in the year for a debut album with current death metal overlords Blood Harvest. — Lacertilian.


Eschatos – The Grand Noir
Starwolf Records | October 7, 2016

Latvia: the birthplace of black metal. Wait–Latvia is in Norway, right? No? Shit. Well, go find Latvia on a map or globe and stick a pin in it, because if this latest album by blackened Latvians Eschatos is any indication, Latvia is where all the riffs have been hiding all these years. And I know you are all mindless slaves to the RIFF, so get in here and subjugate yourselves. Sophomore album The Grand Noir finds Eschatos letting loose with the voluminous riffjaculations. It’s catchy, proggy and mean all at once. I’m hearing dissonant black metal, traditional heavy metal, punk and just a pinch of gothic drama all firing at once. The music is both technical and passionate; the production is gorgeously crisp and clear (which I usually fucking hate, but here it is warranted). Out now on digital or you can wait for the cassette if you crave obsolete technology. FFO: Black metal bands who have mastered their instruments. — Richter.

Dopethrone 1312
Riff Dealer Records | August 29th, 2016

After the release of the uberheavy Hochelaga, Montreal’s powertrio Dopethrone have decided to waste absolutely no time this year with new music. May showed us a split with Fister and now the band is back again with an eleven-and-a-half minute EP of suffocating riffs, pulsating drums and lifecrushing vocals. Dopethrone don’t break any new ground with this release, but why would you want them too? They have hit their stride with Hochelaga and will continue with it for the foreseeable future. Dialogue samples? Check. Fuzz? Check. Horror? Check. Sounds like a winning combination to me. My single complaint is the song lengths; surely they could’ve added at least another minute to each song. Just as the groove really starts to set in each song is briskly over. — Boss the Ross.

Mr. In Your House 4 Mr. In Your Liver: The Beer Reviewing Album 
Independent | August 28th, 2016

Simple. Elegant. Straightforward. Artistic. Innovative. These are merely a handful of words used to describe what some may call the concept album of the year. Done in classic Ventures style, Mr. In Your Liver: The Beer Reviewing Album (MIYL for short) is a brisk tale of woe and shitty beers. Personally, this album really speaks to me. One can’t help but agree that Miller High Life really is not the champagne of beers that people think it is, rather it is the champagne of beers for people that don’t know what champagne actually tastes like. Despite the fact that track 9 states the artist admits to not being a beer drinker, the knowledge within MIYL is so groundbreaking that a listener would suspect him of years of beer consumption. This earns 6 out of 6 empty Old Rasputin bottles. — Boss the Ross.

Cesspool of Corruption Eradication of  the Subservient 
Independent | August 27th, 2016

This debut release by Cesspool of Corruption was brought to my attention by the ever immaculate Dubbbz. With a brief and descriptive sentence he lured me into the pit of an awaiting monster that yearned to be unleashed. What is it he said that led me to this you may ask? “Check out this Texas Death Metal.” Being a sucker for anything Texas, my interest was already piqued. Hell I was practically sold on the bandNow, I am no expert on Death Metal, but I know when I hear something I can enjoy, and Eradication scratched all of the right places. This quartet of Texas Deathmetallers know how to jam. Simultaneously they write catchy, yet technical riffs that will appeal to many listeners. The bass is audible, slinking in and out of each riff while the drums are well-mixed to stand clear and drive the album forward. Vocally we get a mixture of low grunts and high shrieks, reminiscent of Trevor Strnad at times. Simply put Eradication is a beast. Just look at that kaiju on the cover! That is really all you need. — Boss the Ross.

Marsh Dweller The Weight of Sunlight
Eihwaz Recordings | August 15th, 2016

Miss the sounds of the leaves crackling underfoot as birds chirp and the gentle rain gradually completes its descent down to the forest floor? Part of that same rich sonic tapestry of melodic and medieval metal that Obsequiae encapsulated on their critically acclaimed Aria of Vernal Tombs is present on The Weight of Sunlight, the debut album from Pittsburgh’s Marsh Dweller. While this album falls a little short of the serene majesty that Obsequiae reached last year, let’s face it, everything does. But before you lament the lack of harp, lute, or whatever you damn nerds finger at parties, know this – The Weight of Sunlight is still a thoroughly enjoyable album. The music is beautifully composed, astutely executed, and resplendent in practically every way. While Marsh Dweller is essentially a one-man band, there are a bunch of really cool guest spots in the shape of Aaron Carey (Nechochwen, End), Andrew D’Cagna (Obsequiae, Nechochwen), and Tanner Anderson (Obsequiae, Celestiial). Did I mention this album sounds like Obsequiae? Well it sounds like Obsequiae, almost obsequiously so; and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  — Lacertilian.

Sect – Sect
Independent (Vinyl Available Through Deathwish) | August 5th, 2016

A supergroup that’s actually super? We’ve seen that phrase bandied about before, and for the most part it has failed to deliver. That is not the case with this collection of hardcore veterans that includes Chris Colohan (Cursed, vocals), Scott Crouse (Earth Crisis, Guitar), Ian Edwards (Earth Crisis, Bass), James Chang (Catharsis, Guitar) and Andy Hurley (Fall Out Boy, Racetraitor, Enabler and other notable hardcore street cred). Right now you are thinking that this is some pom poms waving unity hardcore brotherhood 25 ta Life non acoustic set type shit. Sorry to disappoint those of you who have pre-conceived notions, but the music here heavily leans towards 90’s Swedish death metal more than anything else. The guitar players took the HM-2’s, threw them out the window, picked them up off the sidewalk and then plugged them into the amps and recorded this album. Oh yeah and they smack you in the grill with feedback quite frequently because the feedback and HM-2’s make beautiful music together. Colohan has a sharp and pointed tongue in the lyrical department. Most folks don’t typically read the lyrics to most of the music they listen to. Do yourself a solid on this one and engage with the lyric sheet because Sect speaks quite eloquently on subjects such as police brutality, education, war and plutocracy among other things. Unlike most things you encounter in life, Sect raises your IQ. Think of your future, people. — Ron Deuce.

579953Viha Surma – The Tower of Witchcraft
Predator Records | April 30th, 2016

When it comes to raw, underground black metal, there are few new bands as mysterious as Mexico’s Viha Surma. Lacking any sort of online presence aside from a Facebook page (oddly), and with only a 42-copy run of their only album The Tower of Witchcraft, Viha Surma certainly couldn’t hold you accountable for going your whole life without ever hearing a single second of their music. If you like rrrrrrrrrripping black metal that hearkens back to the trve days of yore, though, what a mistake that would be! TToW showcases a hungry, eager band blazing through six tracks of tremolo riffs, black’n’roll riffs, and melodic riffs with some delightful alterations in drum pace and attack. What’s most noteworthy, though, are vocalist Saturnaalinen A.’s caterwauls. If you’re the kind of masochist who holds Fleurety‘s (understandable) change in vocal approach in reproach, you’ll be delighted to hear Mr. Saturnaalinen shriek and scream and generally make an unholy racket with utter throat-shredding abandon. There isn’t much new to find on TToW, but if you’re a fan of tape hiss, primordial banshee shrieks, and rrrrrrrrrrrriffs, you’ll surely love this. Make sure to jam it on the excellent Har’oloth youtube page— W.

Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid
Rhymesayers Entertainment | April 29th, 2016

Pardon the interruption of your daily metal broadcast because if you like hip hop, you should really hop the fence and listen to Aesop Rock’s latest album. His rapid fire flow is loaded with quick-witted and complexly worded rhymes that often say more in one line than some emcees are capable of conveying in one verse. Given that prior statement, the album is loaded with replay value as you’ll discover something new with each and every subsequent spin of the album. Lyrics alone cannot carry a hip hop album which is why the beats for each of the fifteen tracks on The Impossible Kid are loaded with punchy drum sounds, funky bass lines and a horde of other instrumentation including the choppy guitar riff on “Dorks.” There’s no filler here either, no shit talking before the song starts, just beats and rhymes, the way hip hop was meant to be. It’s also worth noting that the seemingly lost art of turntable scratches makes an appearance on many tracks. Welcome back to the needles that carve vinyl; we missed you. — Ron Deuce.

endlessEndless – The Truth, The Chaos, The Insanity
Power Prog | March 25th, 2016

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like power metal has been sorely lacking 2016. Then again, maybe it’s all just been sifted safely through my hirsute music-baleen, like Brazil’s Endless. They had the terrible misfortune of sharing a release date with their labelmates Eternity’s End, damning them to obfuscation through no fault of their own. These gents continue the time-honored tradition of South American power metal bands bringing the riffs and the cheesiness in equal measure, sounding a bit like Rhapsody diluted with a dash of Angra’s recent material. There’s some borderline hard rock chord riding and it does get a bit too up its own ass with the ballads sometimes, but it has sated my thirst for soaring vocals and epic quests during these dark months.  Spear.

  • Lacertilian

    Pretty sure that latest Aesop Rock album has had as many plays on my shit as any metal album this year. So fucking good. Highly recommended.

    • Dubbbz

      Aesop is, imo, one of the best in the game right now.

      • Lacertilian

        If you go by individual word count/vocabulary used he destroys too.

        • Dubbbz

          That’s funny that DMX is all the way down there at the end.


          • He puts in work and it’s all for the kids/but these cats done forgot got what work is/uh huh!!!!!!!

          • more beer

            That is due to his use of the word dawg.

          • Commodus, Flusher Of Worlds

            And getting tossed in jail every two months.

        • Abradolf Lincler

          “Each word is counted once, so pimps, pimp, pimping, and pimpin are four unique words.”


    • He’s never really clicked with me until this album. I’ll be delving into the back catalog at some point. Definitely my fav hip hop album this year. If Doomstarks ever comes out, that would be the only thing that could top it.

      • xengineofdeathx

        I’ve been hot and cold on his stuff over the years, loved Labor Days and Skelethon, but this new album seems like some next level stuff. Also, dude is outstanding live.

        • Thanks for recs, I’ll start up with those.

          • Lacertilian

            Skelethon is great but I was always in a similar mindset as you dudes, his older stuff was way over my head. This album is just amazing from first listen and gets better each time.

          • Yes, this one definitely grabbed me, the songs are very well put together.

      • None Shall Pass was important to me during my formative years.

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    Hey MoshOff, you told me ’twas supposed to be haikus. D*ck You, MoshOff.

    • Lacertilian

      That was just the Dengue fever talking

  • Howard Dean

    Words to live and grow by:

    “Miller High Life is the champagne of people… who doesn’t know what champagne tastes like… Miller High Life… is th-… the champagne of… people who can’t afford champagne.”

    “If you like Budweiser… you’re just a common human being.”

    • Howard Dean

      And from the sequel album:

      “Milwaukee’s Best is a misnomer… it’s actually tastes like a deep fried corpse.”

      “Nnn… no wait. The only reason I know what Nah-RANG-gus-set is is because of the movie… JAAAWS.”

      • Señor Jefe El Rosa

        I believe the second has surpassed the first.

        • He butchers Narragansett. 🙂

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            He sure does. He never knew how to pronounce it.

    • Count_Breznak

      “If you like Budweiser…how can you call yourself a human being”

      ..I don’t even know what MIller High Life is, but considering the context, I don’t think I want to know.

    • Commodus, Flusher Of Worlds

      Gah, I drink more bottom end swill than anyone here, and even I won’t touch Miller! This coming from a guy who’s drank Stack, Axe Head, Dimitri vodka, Canadian Reserve for a night cap, Natty Daddy, Thunderbird, Mad Dog, Earthquake, Night Train, Marlot, and various other nastiness for years on end. I stopped drinking anything Miller almost 8 years ago.

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    How is a band called Viha Surma from Mexico?
    Why is the band’s name and the members’ pseudonyms in Finnish?

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      Finland ist krieg

    • Commodus, Flusher Of Worlds

      Perhaps they moved to Mexico from Finland? First time I’d ever hear about that happening, but I’m sure it’s happened.

      • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

        It’s grammatically a bit odd, so I’m almost sure they’re not native speakers at least.

        • Commodus, Flusher Of Worlds

          Kinda reminds me of Uada in that regard. Black metal band that sings in nothing but Swedish, but from Portland, Oregon. Guy’s never been to Sweden, none of his family is from there, etc.

          • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

            Shit, Uada sings in Swedish? I haven’t even taken note, loved the album, the titles were in Emglish.

          • Commodus, Flusher Of Worlds

            My bad, I was thinking of Utstøtt, who are from there and sing in Norwegian.


          • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

            Makes a whole lot more sense rn.

    • Kvlt Latin Americans want to be North Europeans; we see those countries like with majesty or that.

  • Waynecro

    Thanks for the great reviews, dudes. Sect and Marsh Dweller are great, and I like what I’ve heard of Eschatos so far.

  • The Tetrachord of Archytas

    I’m more familiar with Latvia for their orthodoxy

  • Zealot Cult.


    • Elegant Gazing Globe

      agreed, but drums sound a little mechanical to me

      • Yeah, all well. Vocals are fucking amazing though!

      • Elegant Gazing Globe

        oh wait they sound better with my headphones on all the way

    • Lacertilian

      This thing rules. Looks like they’ve got vinyl to be released for you dudes too.
      Turns out they’re from the place in Ireland where half my ancestors lived. Riffs on the last track are mad.

      • Elegant Gazing Globe

        one one available for us peasants to hear, you tease

        • Lacertilian

          Sorry man, I think the whole thing was available earlier in the year but probably was pulled back once Blood Harvest picked them up for this release.

  • Elegant Gazing Globe


    • Señor Jefe El Rosa


  • Elegant Gazing Globe

    Bravo to Marsh Dweller for the sellout.This is outstanding

  • Waynecro

    By the way, I just got the new Hannes Grossmann album, and it’s pretty fuckin’ swell.

  • Commodus, Flusher Of Worlds

    Loving Endless so far, but not really hearing much Angra in there at all (this coming from a long time, hardcore Angra fan).

    • Spear

      A dash. Just a dash. Mostly on the slower ones.

  • Marsh Dweller is quickly becoming one of my favorites of this year, Lizard. A lot of Melodeath worshipping in those sweet riffs <3 This Zealot Cult ain't bad either, Blood Harvest knows their game.

    I will check the Endless record when I got the chance, Spear.

    Thanks for the round, guys!

  • 365ChaosRiddenDays

    Zealot Cult are good and I have something for you too, The band is Arkaik Excruciation from Spain and their debut album Cursed Blood of Doom will be released on CD by Caverna Abismal Records on October 3 but it’s already available digitally on Bandcamp. The music is a violent onslaught of speed metal riffs with a very crushing drumwork along with a demonic vocal performance, think about the furious Black/Death made by bands like Teitanblood and Altarage mixed with that old school thrash and you’ll have Arkai Excruciation, here’s the link: