Mini-Reviews from Around the Toilet Bowl: 01-14-16

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We welcome the new year with a fresh look and the humblest reviews on the face of the Earth.

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Teramaze Her Halo
Mascot Records | October 30th, 2015

Ever wish Dream Theater did a whole album eschewing all the boring filler stuff and focusing on writing songs with nothing but amazing, brooding melodies and great guitar riffs? Yeah, I didn’t see that happening anytime soon… but then I found myself face to face with Teramaze‘s Her Halo. Researching this Australian band, it turns out they started out playing thrash and then evolved to a progressive/thrash hybrid very reminiscent of my dear Prototype. Nowadays, armed with the talent of new vocalist Nathan Peachey, they sound more like a midway point between DT and Kamelot, only… consistently good. The real star of the show throughout the album though is guitarist Dean Wells; damn if that man can play the coolest riffs and make them just complex enough to keep things interesting but still really memorable. Prog Metal fans, DO NOT skip this, I need to go spin it again. Listen here and grab here.  — MoshOff

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AgelessPowerArisenRide for RevengeAgeless Powers Arise
Bestial Burst | October 8th, 2015

Ride For Revenge has dabbled in bestial black metal madness as well as recorded fifteen minute-long droning, noise-like songs. But Ageless Powers Arise sees neither. While it’s still black metal at heart, doom/sludge keeps dominion here. Songs are extremely bass heavy and plodding, rarely deviating from a mid-tempo and even revisiting “anti-music”, managing to agitate itself into such fervor songs that break into an utter chaos of sounds. Yet, the album never feels very diverse – everything falls into its logical place, and the whole appears almost uniform – though some songs, like “The Hell of Old Testament” and “Pale Is The Moon of Doom” feature, for the lack of a better expression, electronic influences. AGP is Ride For revenge’s most interesting and, quite possibly, best album.  Karhu

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bode preto

Bode Preto – Mystic Massacre
Iron Tyrant | January 7th, 2016

I (very) briefly mentioned Bode Preto on TTT, but this album deserves your attention for another time. I previously compared the band to Goat Semen, if they were more thrash-y and frantic. And I’ll hold my ground on that regard. Mystic Massacre is 12 (actual) songs  in little less than 30-minutes. These Brazilian [Oi! – M.O.] Black Goats are fast, brutal and dirty –  to a point where it becomes too much for some. Our friends at AMG noted that there was very little to differentiate the songs from each other, and that is indeed the case. There’s little in the way of dynamics or variation, but while they felt it was a fault, I feel it is the purpose. Mystic Massacre as an album is much (or more) about the experience of listening, the feeling of playing it through. Repetition is an essential part in its construction – in, out, no fucks given. If you can spare a moment and get yourself in the mood, I highly recommend this.  Karhu

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Cape of Bats – VIOLENT OCCULTISM
Grim Winds Records | December 21st, 2015

Cape of Bats is punk rock at its very core. It is black metal on the surface. And there’s some gothic influence mixed in between. It successfully twists and turns those elements on VIOLENT OCCULTISM while you hardly notice. It is crusty, dirty and ugly in all shapes, sizes and forms. To further complicate matters, they employ some weird hybrid of Type O Negative/Locust keyboard stylings just for flavor. The recording has a genuine shitiness to it that is so repulsive, you will either pledge your allegiance to its unpleasantness or avert your ears in horror of its lo-fi chest thumping. There are no build ups, no breakdowns. Every track just rages like a pack of savages that have rampaged through a local village and laid everything to waste with total disdain for everyone and everything. Cape of Bats takes you on a wild ride of thirteen tracks that live up to the album’s namesake. Ron Deuce

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The Afternoon Gentlemen –  S/T
Bones Brigade Records/Dead Heroes | May 27th, 2015

You’d think these lads from the UK would be inviting you over for a spot of tea with a name like The Afternoon Gentlemen. Bar room brawls with broken beer bottles is the more appropriate description when it comes to the grinding powerviolence that the band delivers over the course of sixteen tracks on this album. Vocals range from Jon Chang-esque screams over the blast beats to mongo stomp grunts over the hardcore aspects of their sound which rips many a page from the NYHC playbook. TAG pulls it off by multitasking between the two genres within their short bursts of volatile meanstreaks. All of it is delivered with precise musicianship that is tighter than J-Lo’s backside [wat the h*ck is a jlo u must be rly old lol haha – M.O.] as the group doles out healthy doses of concentrated blast beats and a fist-flinging moshability. Ron Deuce

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Terror Legion of Gore EP
Hell’s Headbangers | January 1st, 2016

Not to be confused with Scott Vogel’s hardcore unit, this Terror has actually been around for quite a time longer than their more famous name doppelganger [ALWAYS THE HARD WAY – M.O.]. Their new EP Legion of Gore is their first studio recording in 20 years, and while I’d never say two songs are worth a decade wait each, they ARE pretty damn good slices of deathrash. Riffs bob and weave from fasten-your-seatbelt thrash to more measured and pounding death. The vocals leave a bit to be desired, but having been raised in a world where the standard vocals for this genre are more akin to Sadistic Ritual or Mortal Scepter, that’s more taste than some kind of legitimate failure. If you want to get your 2016 off to a deathrashin’ start, this EP ain’t a bad way to do it. — Leif B. Eriksson

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Oxygen Destroyer OD Demo 1
Independent | December 3rd, 2015

The guitars ring out with tremolo-dominated thrash furor, a really good riff occasionally shooting out with the speed and deadliness of King Ghidorah’s lightning, such as the opening riff to “Summoning the Moth of Divinity”, or manifesting as a slow city-crushing stomp like the middle part of “Atomic Breath”. The bass is almost as non-existent as fans like to believe the 97 live-action movie is. The drums are slightly sloppy but done well enough. And front-man Jordan Farrow exhibits a fairly commanding monster snarl. Overall this 4 song demo, released last month, doesn’t hide that it’s a demo but is still serviceable. So why am I even reviewing this you ask? Because I am absolutely stoked about the existence of a kaiju themed death-thrash band, let alone one who named themselves after the weapon the government used to kill the OG King of the Monsters [W. – I’m sold]. So you can be certain I will keep an eye on this trio from Seattle to see what audio behemoth they can unleash from the depths of the sea on future releases. Simon Phoenix

 

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