Mini-Reviews from Around the Toilet Bowl: 04-28-16

Get ’em while they’re small! Today we review Maleficence, Aborted, Tusmørke, Path of Destiny, Nokturnal Mortum, King Goat, American Head Charge, Begrime Exemious, Temple of Gnosis and Besta.


13015414_1072167626159064_5738628128519657923_nMaleficenceRealms of Mortification
Blood Harvest Records | May 6th, 2016

Many of you will be familiar with the allure of a fine dubbel or tripel,  and scoff chocolate as you check out Moshito’s Aborted review. Contently you’ll rub your bier and cacao-filled bellies, assuming you’ll have tasted everything that Beligum has to offer. Well, now you can add shit to the menu, because that’s what you’ll be eating if you miss out on Maleficence’s upcoming 7″ EP of speedy black thrash. The Belgian quintuple manage to distil a heavy intoxicant that will render you all kinds of fucked-up in just over 10 minutes. Realms of Mortification shows that the band have riffs on tap; my only complaint is that after the 2 tracks are over, I’m left stranded, over the legal limit yet still thirsty for moooaaaarrrrr! — Lacertilian


Aborted Retrogore
Century Media | April 22nd, 2016

Gore? Check. Riffs? Check. Blast Beats? Check. Travis Ryan guest spot? Check! Aborted seem to be on a roll, with three albums and an EP in under 4 years. The Belgian masters are back with a yet again re-tooled lineup (still helmed by the impervious Sven de Caluwé), delivering another record’s worth of horror-sample filled, modern-tinged Death Metal. The production is a bit much for my taste, but it doesn’t take a lot away from the music; the songs are permeated with a certain catchtiness that seeps from the crunchy guitars and soaks Retrogore‘s atmosphere with an air of melody that makes for a very fun listen (even if it’s a bit repetitive). Listen here and grab it here— MoshOff


Tusmørke – Fort Bak Lyset
Svart Records | April 1st/22nd, 2016

Should you find yourself even vaguely interested in dark, folk-ish music, carrying a psychedelic vibe and more than a little of 70’s prog on the side – please, step in. But be ye forewarned, if guitar theatrics, clever riffs or magnificent(ly overdone) solos ye be looking fer, ye shall find none. What you will find is catchy, memorable songs, filled with flute, and loads of Norwegian – so, rash alert. On the other hand, the first two minutes of “Ekebergkongen” include the aforementioned flautist, scarce choir and a bass solo, which is to say, you’ll know what you’re in for soon enough. The album is a fluent combination of old school prog, timeless folk and something that has been described as pornofunk (see “Vinterblot” and you’ll understand). I wasn’t 100% sold on the sound of the record at first; it struck me as oddly modern for a band inspired mainly by older things. But it’s grown on me, or I got used to it – it does breathe, though not as organic as I had hoped for. It’s dark but clear. The lack of guitar is another thing that contributes to the album’s “off” sound, but as the bass more than makes up for it I, soon enough, found myself enjoying it. If you’re even slightly into anything prog, for the love of god, check this out. — Karhu


Path of DestinyDreams in Splendid Black
Apostasy Records | April 1st, 2016

Germany’s Path of Destiny blend a mixture of aggressive death metal and symphonic metal that will get your neck snapping and your heart pounding. The symphonic touches help separate the band from your run-of-the-mill death metal products. It gives a sense of grandeur and magnitude to the pounding drums, unrelenting guitars, and unforgiving vocals. The songs on Dreams In Splendid Black make me want to sit on a throne of bones and drink from a golden goblet forged in the lava fields of Iceland. Or eat off the face of my enemy. Whichever comes first.  RIYL: Dimmu Borgir, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Glass Casket.  — 365


Nokturnal Mortum The Spirit Never Dies
Heritage Recordings | March 31st, 2016

Nokturnal Mortum‘s latest full length was released all the way in ’09, so it’s about time we get some new material. I’ve been curious to see where Knjaz Varggoth will take his companions without long-time keyboardist/songwriter Saturious, but it looks like my appetite will not be sated just yet – these are his last recordings. The Spirit Never Dies begins with a lengthy intro, now almost synonymous with the band, with horns and strings setting the mood against keys, not quite crafting a song, but serving as more than a mere opening. “Eastern Breakdown” takes off very much in the vein of The Voice of Steel, but but with a less apparent folk music influence, whereas “In Shackles of Time” is slower, grander and almost ballad-like. The split/EP is an excellent continuance to their unique, triumphant black metal, but while I know a good EP leaves a smouldering hunger for more – The Spirit Never Dies doesn’t even begin to sate my appetite. It’s been so long, I desperately require a full meal. — Karhu


King Goat Conduit
Independent | March 25th, 2016

Progressive Doom. These two rarely-joined words alone were enough reason for me to award King Goat’s debut Conduit a fair chance, and it deserves the tag more than pretty much anything else I can think of. Balancing both their inner Candlemass and Paradise Lost, King Goat slowly dig into your psyche with complex, melodic arrangements and more straightforward, plodding riffs. Over the course of five tracks, we’re treated to a wide array of tempos, textures and moods, given an extra push by vocals that go from melodic, soaring phrases to deep growls and everything in between. The songs are long and might take a while to get into at first listen, but the reward is great if you stick to it. Get Conduit here. — MoshOff


American Head ChargeTango Umbrella
Napalm Records | March 25th, 2016

I feel like almost more than any band from that era, American Head Charge found a wider acceptance among metal fans that didn’t like nu metal. After their second major album The Feeding, numerous drug issues, the death of guitarist Bryan Ottoson, and an extended hiatus dampened AHC’s output until 2013’s excellent Shoot EP. The band has returned with their 4th studio album Tango Umbrella, picking up where The Feeding left off. Cameron Heacock’s distinctive voice still bores into the listener’s skull with the perfect combination of melody and earnest determination. The band still churns out their brand of industrial-tinged metal, complemented by the haunting keys of Justin Fowler. I really enjoyed the Shoot EP, which was a catchy, more rock-centric departure from their usual sound. While Tango Umbrella is certainly heavier, the influence of the EP can still be heard on songs like “Perfectionist” and “Let All The World Believe“. Tango Umbrella is a welcome return for American Head Charge, a band that has always marched to the beat of their own sound.  — 365


Begrime Exemious – The Enslavement Conquest
Dark Descent Records | March 4th, 2016

Begrime Exemious are back with their third full-length, and with them they’ve brought an armored division of speedy, boneheaded riffs sure to please the headbangers among us. Blazing fast punk beats launch salvo after salvo of anarchist fury while the deft guitar tones enact a scorched earth policy of blackened thrashy riffs. These tracks aren’t particularly strategic, but what they lack in cerebral warfare they more than make up for in bloodlust and bestial energy. — W.


TOG_coverTemple of Gnosis – De Secretis Naturae Alchymica
ATMF | March 4th, 2016

Like a cross between an old Dimmu Borgir album with its cathedralesque synth choirs, and a Cryo Chamber release with its wide expanses of space in which dread and awe can breed, TOG have created a grandiose unholy black mass. Spoken word interludes provide a dose of cult leader menace while massive synth layers and double-thick walls of pure menacing power chords interlace between tritone melodies and unsettling intervals. Drums are kept at a slow, Type O Negative dirge. On the whole, this is almost a bit of a throwback to mid-to-late 90s black metal when use of keyboards was encouraged, before they were either shunned completely or nixed in favor of a full orchestra. A fully-realized sound and concept, even if the production isn’t top-notch. For fans of Limbonic Art and Darkestrah.  — Cyborg


BestaFilhos do Grind
Raging Planet | February 19th, 2016

I have sung the praises of Portuguese grinders Besta on more than one occasion, and now is the perfect time to get yourself familiar with one of grindcore’s most criminally underrated bands. While the the twenty-five tracks on this release are not new, this collection of covers, splits, EP’s and demos showcase Besta’s ability to deliver some textbook grind in the vein of Napalm Death, Phobia and Nasum that is sure to please any fan of those three acts. Short, quick bursts of punk-fueled grind fire off one after another with no signs of letting up ever. Besta write fierce music that is well-written and well-recorded. Quantity and quality reign on this album.  The punk covers from the likes of Dag Nasty, Spazz and Devo to name a few are just as enjoyable as the ones recorded by both Slayer and Napalm Death on their respective covers albums. Get a hold of this and hear for yourself why Besta belongs in the conversation of top grind bands in the game today.  — Ron Deuce


  • Blood Harvest Records is quickly becoming my new favorite label. Just got half of my Blood Harvest order yesterday which included the newest Voidceremony and Cadaveric Fumes split with Demonic Oath. Played both of them last night and this morning, both slay of fucking course. Looking forward to getting the Necrosemen and Xantam tapes today.

    Playing that Maleficence song now. Sounds fucking oldschool. I like.

  • Joaquin Stick

    Love King Goat so far. Progressive doom is becoming my new addiction.

    Karhu, a few moments in that Tusmorke made me start laughing because of how ungodly happy sounding the melody is, and also just not understanding the language at all probably contributed.

    • Is Norwegian, I think. Is probably about miserable on a fjord, or a forest. Or a miserable troll living in a forest.

  • Good roundup, guys! Interested in King Goat, Nokturnal Mortum, Tusmorke and Path of Destiny.

  • I kinda feel like King Goat should have been reviewed by Herbert.

    • Who? (bert)

      • God Damnit.

        *see myself out*

    • Hubert

      King Goat – Conduit

      Independent | March 25th, 2016


      – Hubert

  • That new Aborted is hot rocking.


  • That King Goat is good

  • Waynecro

    The new Aborted fuckin’ rules, and I’m digging Maleficence, Path of Destiny, Nokturnal Mortum, Begrime Exemious, Temple of Gnosis, and Besta. Sweet picks, bros!

  • Hubert

    Aborted is a bit too clean and polished for my elitist liking. Haven’t really clicked with them.

    • I can feel that. Macñulti passed me the record, is not bad and I know this one will not change your perspective.

    • i love the album. i also will never question a person who says “not for me”. so that means something, right?

  • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

    Woah, definitely checking out the new Besta, especially for the grindified Devo cover.

    • It’s a high energy crusty version of Mongoloid. I enjoyed their take on it.

      • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

        Definitely sounds right up my alley! Lol, I’d love to hear a death or grind version of ‘Speed Racer’ or ‘Puppet Boy’.

  • Hubert

    I be digging that King Goat

    • Lacertilian

      How did your chain mail taste?

      • Hubert

        Like glorious victory.

    • CyberneticOrganism


  • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

    All of these sound good today! DAMMIT.
    Fine work gentlemen.