Mini-Reviews from Around the Toilet Bowl XIX


The circle is complete. The seal is broken. What lies beneath the swirling vortex?

More mini-reviews, duh. What exactly did you think was going to happen?

Dew-Scented – Intermination
Prosthetic Records | June 29, 2015

Teutonic titans Dew-Scented have been in the thrash game for over 30 years (!), and despite never seeming to get the acclaim heaped upon the other German thrash bands, they’ve managed to crank out headbanger after headbanger with a remarkable consistency. If you’re a fan of the band, you likely already know what to expect from Intermination. If you’re new to the group, you’ll find a ton of high energy, capably wielded instruments, and pit-ready riffs and solos. It isn’t the most inventive thrash album you’ll hear this year, but it certainly holds its own as a by-the-numbers exercise in the genre. Listen to “On a Collision Course“. – W.


VallenduskHomeward Path
Northern Silence | June 5th, 2015

What’s the first thing that springs to mind when you think of Indonesia? White Sand Beaches? Orangutans? Tidal waves, maybe? Atmospheric black metal was probably not on the tip of your tongue though, right? Hailing from Jakarta, Vallendusk have just released their majestic second full length and it will squash your silly stereotypes. The lengthy compositions are bursting with warm, resonating melodies layered atop dense, intricate riffs that never outstay their welcome. The blackness is all present and correct, delivered by expertly crafted tremolo picked riffs, blasting drums and ice-cold rasping vocals, all tempered with ethereal flashes of pure brilliance. The production is crisp and clear and allows the unquestionable talent of this band to shine. So when you need a vacation from the frosty North, let Homeward Path take you on a voyage to the tropical East. Hop aboard. – Stanley


Venomous Maximus Firewalker
Independent | May 19, 2015

I had a lot of questions when I reached the end of Firewalker. Why am I in a parking lot with a beer in hand and this album blasting on my van’s stereo? How did my hair grow so long in 44 minutes? Why is my Judas Priest sleeveless T so tight? I must have been teleported to simpler times, the days heavy metal was actually called heavy metal. The guitarmonies are awesome, the riffs a-bangin’ and the solos a-blazin’, the rhythm section precise and driving. In the vocal department, a few shades of post-punk give the album a unique vibe.  — Dagon


Horse Lung Gethsemane Haze
Independent | April 25, 2015

This record is a must for doomheads, one of those rare instances in which a 50 minute+ instrumental album is able to capture your attention and never let go. A great display of maturity by a very young band – they know exactly when to plod, when to groove and when to exercise restraint. Check out “Coughing Fit” for further proof of dynamics. It becomes quite obvious that the Horse Lung camp takes gear worship very seriously. The riffs come in gigantic monoliths of a truly immense, earth-shattering tone. The bass is my favorite part of this LP; it’s almost too smooth and groovy for its own sake. The skins are bashed perfectly with all the elements necessary to make doom compelling. Shouts out to Darren Favot who engineered and mixed this album, a brilliant job.  — Dagon


SODShape Of Despair | Monotony Fields
Season of Mist | June 15th, 2015

Simon Phoenix got there first and included this in his Q2 best of (right after I finished the original version of this, damn you!), and I have only few things to add. If you are familiar with the band’s brand of funeral doom you won’t be surprised, but at the same time, the album doesn’t sound like anything Shape of Despair has ever done. The songwriting is most reminiscent of Shades of… but without the keyboard dominance, leaving more room for the other instruments and resulting in a more balanced effort. Henri Koivula’s growl is deeper than Pasi Koskinen’s, and on a few occasions he utilizes cleans to drive the feels through. Seriously though, read SP’s thoughts on it because I have very little to add. — Karhu



Sotajumala | Raunioissa
Sotajumala-Yhtiöt Oy | Jan 16th, 2015

There aren’t too many death metal bands singing in Finnish, so Sotajumala has been standing on the top of that heap for a long time. I must admit I was never tremendously excited about their new album before the news about Raunioissa dropped. It was supposed to be the perfect blend of catchy and heavy. Needless to say, it was the first Sotajumala album I was disappointed in. This is largely due to having played their song “Paratiisin Kutsu” countless times last summer. Timo Häkkinen (Wintersun) is not only a technically proficient drummer but also knows the value of groove, and Mynni Luukkainen has one of the best (and most decipherable) growls around. There are good riffs, but the songs seem driven by either heavy or catchy, and never both – which caused my mind to wander every time. Simple death metal without many attractive factors. Good but not great. Try “Päivä Jolloin Aurinko Sammui” or the links. — Karhu


Ol Drake Old Rake
Earache Records | June 22nd, 2015

Truth time: if you don’t enjoy instrumental, guitar-oriented stuff, this is probably not for you. Having said that, if well executed six-string shenanigans are your thing, Old Rake will make you grin non-stop for a good 40 minutes. Former Evile lead axeman and one of the most under-appreciated guitarists in metal, Ol Drake, is back with his debut solo album almost two years in the making. Anyone expecting a vocal-less thrash outing might be a bit dissapointed, because Old Rake is more of a rock-y shred recording than anything else. With song titles like “Guitarists Playing Guitars” and “Han Valen”, you know this man is well aware of what he’s doing, and I’ll be damned if it isn’t entertaining. Grab it here– MoshOff


Independent | January 16, 2015

G.L.O.S.S. (Girls Living Outside Society’s Shit) are here to take a spiked bat to your trans-phobic nuts with this 5 track demo of venomous hardcore from 5 pissed off “trans bitches with problems.” It’s angry,  subversive, and violent stuff, but also honest, heartbreaking and anthemic, as “Masculine Artifice” loudly proclaims TRANS GIRLS BE FREE! This less-than-10-minute demo is a reminder to us all of what punk and hardcore are supposed to be – loud, obnoxious, and sick of everyone’s bullshit. Get in on the ground floor with these ladies, because this shit is about to blow up. — Celtic Frosty


Protagonist Music | March 10, 2015

Italy’s Discomfort breaks down like this – 75% Converge worship, 15% blackened, and 10% grind/crust/d-beat. This all adds up to a middle finger pointed 100% way up. It’s a brief album that oozes ferocity right from the very beginning to the very end. This is what’s playing in the tape decks in all the vehicles in Fury Road as people are being violently mauled and shot at. Try to envision being trapped in a crumbling building with glass shattering, ceilings falling, and people running for their lives. Discomfort creates that kind of atmosphere as they run through seven tracks of feedback laden hardcore. While you’re waiting for Kurt Ballou and company to drop a new record, play Worst on repeat and you’ll find that it’s not far from that. — Ron Deuce

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    …can’t stand it anymore.

    • Tyree just posted a new song on Facebook. Did you catch it?

      • No, I don’t “follow” the group cuz my phone blows up nonstop. I just read some of it when I have time.

        • I haven’t listened yet, but people seem to like it.

          • I shall listen very soon-like.

          • Lisbeth (Tyree) Salander

            It’s Krisiun… and it’s not this ping pong ball sounding shit.


          • Yeah, they’ve gotten far better on recent albums IMO. The Great Execution is 10/10 for me. A death metal album with great songs that don’t sound like a bunch of others deserves ten-ten.

          • The W.

            The Southern Storm was heavier than hell!

          • Lisbeth (Tyree) Salander

            I just like songs that start off with drum solos.


          • Buttcheeks Full Of Sardines

            Tyreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Are you ready for some brutal death fucking metal?!?!?!?!


          • Phoenix of the House Tendies

            Their old stuff is awesome too for different reasons. I tend to divide Krisiun’s career in two periods: the old era (their demos – Ageless Venomous) and new era (Works of Carnage onwards.). I love both eras equally.

          • Phoenix of the House Tendies

            This is the only album of theirs that isn’t good. Though I’m not a fan of Southern Storm either, but that’s likely more due to the tuning.

          • Lisbeth (Tyree) Salander

            I can agree with this. I know a lot of people here liked Southern Storm, but I did not.

          • The W.

            Dang, I feel like I just got stabbed twice :p

          • Lisbeth (Tyree) Salander

            Yeah. Didn’t do it for me. Just indifferent.

          • The W.

            To be fair, it’s the first album by them that I heard.

          • Just listened now and can not complain at all.

            IDK how Krisiun found time to record a new album…they’ve been nonstop-touring TGE since it was released in 2011. All I know is they stand high above nearly all their peers.

          • Lisbeth (Tyree) Salander

            Watching Max Kolesne blast away at the drums is always a real treat.

          • They’re all a bunch of total badasses. Had they been born a few generations ago they’d be sombrero-wearing pistoleros on horseback; riding down their enemies and gunning them down in cold blood.

    • Lisbeth (Tyree) Salander
    • it’s been so long i forgot i needed another album from them! you’ve reminded me that I DO!!!!!!!

      • Thx for that upvote, Jimmy. My morale and self-esteem is really low today. I just did that “inspect element” thing and discovered that somebody doesn’t love me. Ruined my WHOLE day 😉

        • JW(E)G

          Some weeks I swear my downvote count is outpacing upvotes.

          I suppose I could just go upvote farming somewhere easy, like posting some exposed ladyparts on one of those bro-bait blogs. But there’s no sport in that.

          • Those upvotes are critical to my self-esteem. If some asswipe on the internet doesn’t like my comments it keeps me awake at night.

            I especially seek to please those who can never STFU about their fringe-left political positions and commentary on current events. I know to normal people it’s ill-mannered at best to start conversations that are divisive and controversial but I’m the type of hard on that walks into a voting booth wearing a shirt that tells everyone I adhere to a single party and I often like to tell people they’re “terrible people” because they think wrongly. Makes me feel a lot better than politely persuading them that my views could be more logical.

        • improving the world one stab at a time…

    • Buttcheeks Full Of Sardines

      Best I could find. Me of all people wants some new KRISIUN!!!!!!!!!

      And this is what you’d expect from my favorite death metal band!!!!!

  • Backing Karhu and Simon on Shape of Despair. That album is really good.

    • The W.

      Maybe I need to try it again. Nothing stuck with me.

      • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

        You should play it in a room without light, curtains down, wife asleep, wishing death.
        It’s definitely a mood album but seeing as I’ve been “in the mood” for last eternity I’ve no problem.

        Also that’s kinda what I meant with songwriting being close to debut. Simpler and without many places to hang onto.

        • The W.

          I shall try it again. Mostly for the Masterlord, but a little for you, I guess.

  • That G.L.O.S.S. demo sounds pissed. Some quality punk shit.

  • Dagon

    Unsurprisingly I am jamming the fuck out to Discomfort’s Worst



    *punches wall very hard


  • I realize it is likely kinda far off, but I am really looking forward to a new Lazer/Wulf release. Also, Protest the Hero. Also, a new Conquering Dystopia effort. Those are on my wish list at the moment.


    • Dagon

      Lazer/Wulf >>>>>>>>>

    • Hubert

      New lazer/Wulf release?

    • Blotted Science is working on new stuff currently

      • hmm I have never heard of them. . .

        • MoshOff

          This is a comment about which I would say “this comment doesn’t surprise me at all”.

          • Ahhh yiiss I should pretend to have listened to every band in the world.

          • Le Tapir The Based

            Don’t pretend, JUST DO IT!

          • -Nike

          • Lisbeth (Tyree) Salander

            -Shia LaBeouf

          • Le Tapir The Based

            -Shia LaBeouf

          • -Shia Labeouf

            (Am I doing dis right?)

          • Lisbeth (Tyree) Salander
          • When the insides joke start going above my head, I start feeling real bad for any new comment readers.

          • The W.

            I don’t think this is a ToH thing. Shy Labeef made a viral video. I haven’t seen it either.

          • JUST DO IT!

            I think.

          • Le Tapir The Based
          • Lisbeth (Tyree) Salander

            He was in Nymphomaniac. And I saw more of him than I wanted too.

          • The W.

            I heard that film sucked.

          • Lisbeth (Tyree) Salander

            I liked the first part with Stacy Martin. Second part was pretty fucking stupid.

          • Le Tapir The Based

            Only movie I’ve seen him in was Transformers and that was more than enough.

        • Hubert

          Do you even music?

          • Apparently not!


        • Members of obscura ,spawn of possession, alkaloid and what not

          • MoshOff

            To be fair, all three of those is the same dude.

            EDIT: Nope, no one from Spawn of Possession. Alex Webster from Cannibal Corpse though.

          • I sit corrected.

      • That sentence is never not a good thing to read.

      • HessianHunter


    • Trees ‘n Shit is Kvlt O)))

      Wait, new Lazer/Wulf already? Didn’t that forwards/backwards thingy album come out just a few months ago? Or is time flying faster than I realize?

      • no not yet. I was just saying I was looking forward to a new release from thems

      • last year

    • it may go w/o saying that i too anxiously await new Lazer/Wulf!

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    That Vallendusk album>>>>>>>>>>>
    A lot darker and grittier than their debut, loving every moment.

  • Howard Dean

    Definitely not the strongest group of material to ever grace the mini reviews segment. Might be the weakest, actually. But kudos for tackling these albums and reviewing them.

  • I dug that Dew-Scented song, maybe I will try with the album, W. Because late At The Gates riffage.

    Discomfort have pummeling drumming. I’m doomloading this one, Ronny. I liked the song that goes: “RAAAAAAAARHGHFGHHGGHGHRGHRGHR RARAAHAGRGAHGAGHRGHAGH”.

    Good roundup.

    • The W.

      I’ve got no skin in the game with Dew-Scented, but I hope you enjoy it!

      • What means “I’ve got no skin in the game with Dew-Scented”?

        • The W.

          Sorry. Saying, “I’ve got no skin in the game” means that you are unaffected by the outcome. Basically, I reviewed the album, but I don’t have strong feelings about it.

          • Oh, ok ok!

          • Stockhausen

            Meanwhile, I piled all of my skin on Dew Scented’s merch table.

          • What?

          • Celtic Frosty

            In America, human skin is a very valuable commodity and can buy lots of merch.

          • Void Dweller


          • I think I better get going. Don’t understand.


            *Goes to take a walk*


          • Celtic Frosty

            Just making a stupid joke.

          • Sorry, more dumb than usual because headaches.

            Look this!!


          • Lisbeth (Tyree) Salander

            Don’t forget your kite.

          • Stockhausen

            It’s just an old expression we use when we strip our bodies of flesh and lay it at the feet of bands.

    • I think every song I listen to goes like that accept the ones where they rap and the ones where they sing.

  • The W.

    On the topic of Ol Drake, I actually really enjoyed Evile’s first album, but the subsequent ones sort of went off the rails.

    • Celtic Frosty

      I liked Five Serpent’s Teeth. It was a pretty blatant rip off of Master of Puppets era Metallica, though.

      • OldMetalHead

        Didn’t Evile start as a Metallica tribute band?

        • Celtic Frosty

          Sort of. They weren’t called Evile back then, it was just a couple of the dudes when they were in high school doing covers. Thanks, Wikipedia!

      • Evile followed the reverse Star Trek formula: even-numbered albums weren’t good.

  • JW(E)G

    I’d like to say that it’s entirely just coincidence that Dagon’s two picks for Mini-Reviews grab me more than the rest; but it’s probably not coincidence at all.

    “A must for doomheads” in particular seems like the kind of sequence of tags I would set for every single search for new music.

  • old_man_doom

    Really diggin’ the new Shape of Despair, Karhu. Makes me wonder when the new The Howling Void album is going to drop.

  • Buttcheeks Full Of Sardines

    Lol, haven’t heard Dew Scented in forever!