Reviews

ANY BANDS/LABELS that want their releases reviewed can send me a promo kit at the following address. Anything sent will be reviewed and posted within 30 days.

Metal Core Zine
c/o Chris Forbes
7 Laurel Drive
Maple Shade, NJ 08052

NECRODEMON/Reclamation of the Stygian Throne/Black Art Revenge (Necrotic Records) This band sees a re-release of this release (from 2010) and as a bonus you get the band’s EP called “Black Art Revenge” (2012). This band play straight ahead, brutal, no frills bone to bone death metal with singer Rob Elliott singing his heart and lungs out on this. Production is fantastic I love the guitar and drum sound and this is the way death metal should be and needs to be played 150% on the money, no if’s ands or but’s. Track after track of explosive death metal that has to be heard and should not missed at all costs. What the fuck are you waiting for? Info:
www.necroticrecords.com

RUIN LUST/Sacrifice (Sentient Ruin) This isn’t bad death/black metal, but it isn’t anything I haven’t heard since 1983 when I got into the underground. The music is fast and punishing and the production is really good and the guitar sound crushes and the music is fast, but not too fast. The vocals are pure growls of death and not all that black metal annoying screeching which was good in my book. If your new to the underground scene you will do black flips over this, and again it isn’t bad, but just nothing new in my book. Info:
https://sentientruin.bandcamp.com/album/sacrifice?
utm_source=Sentient%2BRuin%2BPromo%2BList&utm_campaign=169e2ec6f

BLASPHEMOUS PUTREFACTION/Festering Plagues (Death In Pieces) Same ole boring fast death metal with the low growl vocals, which aren’t convincing at all. The music just plain sucks it is so generic it isn’t funny. Let’s just copy every other death metal band from the 90’s and get a singer who just growls in the mic. Fantastic idea. Info:
https://www.facebook.com/deathinpiecesrecs

ARKONA/Age Of Capricorn (Debemur Morti Productions) This is fast, face pounding black metal with sprinkles of keyboards at times. The songs are long, but that doesn’t matter they are still pretty good. Yes the band isn’t original at all, but for someone who hasn’t heard a ton of black metal this will do the job. The production is more than solid and singer is very good and he doesn’t do all that annoying, screeching black metal screams that I hate. Check these guys out as they aren’t bad. Info:
https://www.debemur-morti.com/en/

CANIS DIRUS/Independence to the Beast (Bindrune Recordings) Totally worthless, generic black metal with the pic riffing guitar licks and the blast beats and a worthless singer with the annoying black metal screams that don’t even sound good. This band sucks period. Info:
https://bindrunerecordings.com/

KAWIR/Adrasteia (Iron Bonehead) Melodic black metal, but a not so good melodic black metal band. I feel the songs and riffs and song structures are boring and bad and the singer didn’t do anything for me. Just scream into the mic with no feeling. The band do have some blast beats, but all they are is same ole generic black metal sounds of yesteryear. Pass on these guys. Info:
Sample track: http://soundcloud.com/iron-bonehead-productions/kawir-limniades/s-bHZiT
Label info: http://www.ironbonehead.de

The DEVILS REJECTS/Blood Feast (Polypus Records) Very boring release with that groove death metal style without all the blast beats. Vocals have the lower than low growls and then the shitty black metal screams and screams. This is just so generic on all fronts. The riffs are not catchy and are boring. The vocals are, well the guy should give up and this is plain terrible all the way. Info:
http://www.polypus.no/

SARTEGOS/O Sangue Da Noite (Blood Harvest / I Voidhanger) This isn’t bad and is a wicked mix of some weird death/black metal with great vocals and he sounds evil beyond the mic and he fits the music well. The music is mostly fast death metal with some black metal mixed in and it is just a cool combo and the music is memorable and that scored a plus with me on here as well. Check out the sample track below:
http://bloodharvestrecords.bandcamp.com/album/o-sangue-da-noite
Label info: www.bloodharvest.se

ANNIHILATOR/Ballistic, Sadistic (SL Music) As I always am a bit worried or let down when a band from yesteryear releases something new and it is terrible. Not so with this band. I used to even write to Jeff Waters a bit back in the day (when all there was, was well letter writing) and enjoyed the band’s debut release “Alice in Hell”. Well we have a new release and Jeff is back with a total deadly release. Jeff’s vocals sound godly and the music on this is total ass kickin thrash with plenty of power and speed to keep any thrasher happy I can tell you that. Production on this is perfect and the guitar sound totally crushes and I was banging my head big time to this. This is the cure to your thrash blues. Info:
http://sl-music.net

QUASARBORN/A Pill Hard to Swallow (Self Released) This is some decent thrash that has a sort of groove style to it, but I can overlook that as the singer doesn’t sing in that tough guy style and even though he sings in a more clear style, I was not a fan of the growls he does every now and then. No need for them bud. The production is totally on the money and the guitar sound is mint and when they go in the speed mood, it rules. Overall I liked this. Info:
https://www.quasarborn.com

ENSNARED/Inimicus Generis Humani (Invictus Productions / Dark Descent) Blah, blah, blah death metal mixed in with a bit of black metal. The songs and riffing are useless and sound horrible. The songs are boring and terrible. Nothing memorable on this at all. Info:
Sample track: http://invictusproductions666.bandcamp.com/album/inimicus-generis-humani
Label info: www.invictusproductions.net

HAZZERD/Delirium (M-Theory Audio) Well we are gonna start the new year off right and the new year starts with some great thrash and this is just what the doctor ordered. Excellent riffs, melodic solos and great vocals are what you will find on this. Awesome production as well. The crunchy riffing and speed will have any thrash metal fan smiling. I hope to interview these guys as well. Pick this one up they rule. Info:
https://www.m-theoryaudio.com/

HUMAN FORTRESS//Reign Of Gold (AFM Records) This is well played Hammerfall like power metal with lots of catchy riffs and speedy parts and clean vocals. The production is nice and clean and the riffs are very catchy as well. The problem is this style has been done to death and there have been 100’s of band’s doing this style and while this isn’t bad, this is nothing to do backflips over. Info:
Label: www.afm-records.de

JORN/Heavy Rock Radio II - Executing The Classics (Frontiers Music s.r.l.) OMG I am totally blown away by this. This is an all covers release by singer Jorn Lande and is band and this is incredible. A total all hard rock assault on your ears and also a gem of a cover of Pages “I Do Believe In You”. The guitar sound is unreal on this and his vocals own me. Each tune has it’s own identity and that is what makes this release special. Also he didn’t just pick popular tunes from even some of the more popular bands on here and he made each and every tune his own. 10 out of 10 easily in my book. The band on this is great and the singing is even better. One of the best singers my eyes have heard. Info:
http://www.frontiers.it/index.php

INNARDS/Back From The Grave, Straight In Your Face (Transcending Obscurity Records) 3 tracks of straight forward, no frills death metal with a big of black metal in the vocals, but who gives a rat’s ass cause they sound good everyone. The music is thrashy, death metal played fast and takes no prisoners. Great riffing and it is catchy and fast the way Mr. Forbes likes it. The production is also good and I like the guitar sound and this also doesn’t sound like a million generic death metal bands as well. Worth checking out. Info:
https://tometal.com/

PESSIMIST/ "Slaughtering The Faithful (Self Released) This came out originally in 2002 on Lost Disciple Recs and that is a name for the past and the one sole member of the band Kelly decided to remaster it and re-release it on his own. Well the production on this is outstanding I must say. The music is fast pounding death metal with plenty of speed to keep any death metal fan happy. The vocals aren’t that super low style that I’m not crazy about neither and actually thr singer crushes on here and this being from 2002 sounds good and fresh to these old ears these days. This band or Kelly should be proud of this release and I am sure any death metal fan will want this in their collection for sure. Info:
www.pessimist666.com

ANVIL/Legal At Last (AFM Records) I have an up and down thing with Anvil. Loved their early releases when I was young and then they changed their sound and then went back to more of their original sound and that movie that came out a few years back was awesome and here we have a brand new release from the band. How is it your asking me? I think it is pretty damn good if you ask me. The sound is heavy and the guitar sound and the music is more back suited to what the band was doing back in the mid 80’s and I was happy to hear that. Lips still sounds great on vocals and this is as good as Anvil have sounded in my eyes and ears. So don’t listen to me, go out and buy the bloody thing yourself and prepare to be pounded. Info:
https://www.afm-records.de/en/

SALTAS/Mors Salis: Opus I (Nuclear War Now! Productions) This IS ultra raw black metal with a total punishing bass sound, but the vocals are stupid and dumb. All the guy does is little in pain like, buried screeches. It makes a possible killer realse worthless in my book. Sample track is below:
http://nuclearwarnowproductions.bandcamp.com/album/mors-salis-opus-i
Label info: www.nwnprod.com

SKUMSTRIKE/Execution Void (Caligari Records) While this offers up nothing new, it is still pretty cool black/thrash metal. The music is more in a old thrashy vein, while the vocals are big time black metal. I do wish the singer would sound like he is actually singing some words though ha ha. Overall the music is really good and sucked me in and I’m a fan. Info:
Sample track: http://caligarirecords.bandcamp.com/album/execution-void
Label info: www.caligarirecords.com

WOMBBATH/Choirs of the Fallen (Soulseller Records) Utter worthless generic Entombed like death metal that has been done to death and on top of it the songs suck. Info:
https://soulsellerrecords.aisamerch.com/

GOATBURNER/Extreme Conditions (Chaotic Doom Records) Horrible death metal that has nothing memorable on it. Terrible songs that go nowhere. Riffs that aren’t catchy and are just “there”. The singer is also bad and this is just plain terrible. Another worthless death metal band making the rounds. Info:https://www.facebook.com/GoatburnerMosh/

SKULL KORAPTOR/Chaos Station (Ragnarok Records) Some total old school thrash is the ticket here and this reminds me of Whiplash at times and those razor sharp riffs totally had me moving and banging my head. Great thrash metal vocals too, nothing of this tough guy crap that a bunch of bands in the past playing thrash did. The production allows everything to come in perfectly and this is some godly thrash that should not be missed. Info:
Video track: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPO2PWzL9zk
Label info: https://www.ragnaroek-records.com/

NECROGOSTO/Ancestral Bestiality (Nuclear War Now! Productions) Raw, pounding death/black metal with a killer old school underground demo like production. I love the chainsaw pounding guitar sound and the pounding fast as fuck drum sounds. The singer is total black metal, but he actually sings and satan would be proud of him I can tell you that. This is what black metal is meant to be be: violent and not letting up at any costs. This kills. Info:
Sample track: http://nuclearwarnowproductions.bandcamp.com/album/ancestral-bestiality
Label info: www.nwnprod.com

BLOOD AND BRUTALITY/Fatal (Blood and Brutality Records) This is straight forward no frills death metal and it isn’t bad, but it is also nothing mind blowing neither. This is a one man band and I don’t like the singing as it is more in that Pantera tough guy style and it knocks this down a few rungs in my book. The music is decent crunchy, death metal with some catchy tunes, but Arant find a singer and also the music is too typical in my book. Info:
http://www.bloodandbrutality.com

SLAUGHTER MESSIAH/Cursed To The Pyre (High Roller Records) I detect a bit of Kreator as this played on and old Kreator mind you. This is speedy thrash/death metal with a singer who sounds like Mille a lot. The songs are killer and the tunes are catchy, speedy numbers with no modern influences to them and that got a horns up from me. The production is good and solid and the guitar crunch and sound is on the money and the speed I loved as well. The intensity this band gets on this rules and yes speed all the way and any fan of old Kreator, like me, will do backflips over this. Info:
https://www.hrrecords.de

TOXIC HOLOCAUST/Primal Future (Entertainment One) This just didn’t register with me. Boring, generic thrash on this release and I enjoyed this band’s past releases, but this one didn’t kick in with me. The songs didn’t have that killer hook or riff and this just seemed weak and bad. Not worth your time I’m afraid. Info:
https://ffm.to/primalfuture2019

VEHEMENT THROWER/I Come in Peace (Nuclear War Now! Productions) This is a re-release that came out in 1992 and is now seeing a re-issue through Nuclear War Productions and I am glad to see it get a re-issue. This is some killer old school death metal just like in the late 80’s and early 90’s (this originally came out in 92). The production is raw and crude, but I love it and is the way death metal should be. They also have a bit of a punk edge to them and this blows away 99% of all these so called death metal bands making the waves around here these days. Check out the sample track below if you don’t believe me.
http://nuclearwarnowproductions.bandcamp.com/album/i-come-in-peace
Label info: www.nwnprod.com

IMPIETY/Versus All Gods (Evil Dead Productions/Shivadarshana) Yes this is the same band from all those years ago and they still deliver ultra punishing death/black metal of the highest order. A total assault on your ears of black/death metal as only this band can deliver. The music is a total slam dunk of speed and power and oh those vocals, fuck those vocals. This was an assault on my brain and the power and speed this band has and uses will crush the weak and any and all generic black metal bands. Prepare for death and prepare for black. This band plays with feeling and the old school way, and fuckin all the way. Hail. Info:
https://www.edp-store.com

MAGEFA/New Era Of Darkness (Self-Released) This is sadly another case of another death metal band making the rounds that just sounds like so many bands before them. They aren’t doing anything I haven’t heard a thousand times before and I am not a fan of the screeching and then lower death metal vocals neither. This didn’t suck, but wasn’t anything to write home about neither. Info:
https://www.magefa.com

PHOBOPHILIC/Undimensioned Identities (Blood Harvest) 4 tunes of decent death metal. Nothing mind blowing, but this didn’t suck neither. A nice mix of slower almost doom like music and some blasting fast parts with lower death metal style vocals. The guitar is big time thick and heavy and the production is solid as well. The tunes are catchy and memorable and not just a wall of noise. Think Incantation and you’ll get an idea how these guys sound. Info:
Sample track:
http://bloodharvestrecords.bandcamp.com/album/undimensioned-identities
Label info: www.bloodharvest.se

EXHUMATION/Eleventh Formulae (Pulverised Records) Fuck yeah this is what the doctor ordered. Fast, blood curling death metal that hits hard and hits fast. The vocals are like the late Chuck from Death and this blew me away. Just the speed and feeling this band get on this is the key. Memorable catchy riffs and the speed sucked me right in. The production is total underground and the drums may not sound great, but who cares as that guitar sound will own you and the singer is totally convincing. Check these guys out. Info:
Video track: https://youtu.be/TtLeP6Ub6E4
Label info: https://www.pulverised.net

BLUE OYSTER CULT/Hard Rock Live Cleveland 2014 (Frontiers Music s.r.l) This sounded like the band was going through the motions and the songs I din’t know were pretty boring to me and were like a bad rock band. The sound on this isn’t bad, but this to me is a rock band way past it’s prime that needs to hang it up.

CRUEL FATE/A Quaternary of Decrepit Night Mares (PRC Music) Nothing special here. Just average run of the mill death metal that sounds like a trillion other bands and nothing to do backflips over. An average death metal Band playing the same style and playing the same style riffs that have been done for ages now. Info:
https://prcmusic.bandcamp.com/

VIOGRESSION/Expound And Exhort (Hammerheart Records) This originally came out in 1991 on Tombstone Records and now Hammerheart is re-issuing it. This is just a Obituary close except there is way more fast parts that the band uses. It isn’t bad, but it isn’t anything special and for me it never gets above the average mark and they were just a faceless death metal band back then and to me that6 still hasn’t changed. Info:
[email protected]

NEXORUM/Death Unchained (Non Serviam Records) More average death metal that did nothing for me. Yeah it was fast, it was brutal, but IO can put on a Death or Morbid Angel for that. When I hear new bands I need to hear something that will blow me away and this just didn’t do it. Fast and slower parts and the slower parts were that awful groove stuff. Yuk. Info:
https://www.non-serviam-records.com/products/nexorum-death-unchained

THRASHERA/NÃO GOSTO! (Helldprod) I like the music, but wasn’t all blown away by the vocals. The music is total old school thrashy speed metal in the vein of say a band like Whiplash and the riffs are easily memorable, catchy and head banging all the way. The vocals are sort of punkish in a way. The production has that raw sound to it and I love the guitar sound as well. Easily a band like this keeps the thrash metal flag high and high up it goes. Check out the sample track and decide for yourself. Info:
https://helldprod.bandcamp.com/album/thrashera-n-o-gosto
Label info: www.helldprod.com

HELLGARDEN/Making Noise, Living Fast (Brutal Records) Pantera Jr. No thanks with the groove metal and tough guy vocals. God I thought this was Phil’s new band ha ha. Sound like Pantera clones to me. Info:
www.brutalrecords.com

SPACE PARASITES/Raw and Violent (Zound) Horrible thrash metal with some of the worst vocals I have ever heard. His voice is so annoying it’s not funny. The riffs are just generic thrash riffing with little or no power and you throw in the bad vocals, you go an awful band. Info:
https://www.facebook.com/Spaceparasites/

DEAD RISEN/DeadRisen (AFM Records) Oh this is some ass kickin heavy metal with some thrash overtones to it at times. Great vocals by the singer almost sounding like Dio at times and the music is like the music on Megedeth’s 4th release “Rust in Peace”. The production is spot on and the guitar player is simply amazing as are these songs. Easily one of the best albums I have heard in awhile. Info:
https://www.afm-records.de/en/

TERRIFIANT/Terrifiant (Gates of Hell Records) Total garbage heavy metal with some thrashy overtones with a terribl;e singer who ruins any chance of this being any good. The music is a attempt of NWOBHM, but it is not even close to being like that. Just a big bunch of mumbo jumbo. Info:
http://www.gatesofhellrecords.com/

CENOTAPHE/Monte Verità (Nuclear War Now! Productions) Same ole tired, generic and cliché black metal that has been done to death. These 2 guys bring nothing to the table except Bathory like sounding music and I have heard that over and over throughout the years and I’m about through with bands like this. Info:
Sample track: http://nuclearwarnowproductions.bandcamp.com/album/monte-verit
Label info: www.nwnprod.com

LIVE BURIAL (UK)/Unending Futility (Transcending Obscurity Records) Ok death metal with vocals that sound like Chuck from Death and the music not far behind expect this band uses more blast beats at times. The music just kinda bored me at times as the songs just sound like any typical death metal band making the rounds and didn’t have anything to it to make them stand out from the others. This was just ok. The guitar sound is solid and so are the vocals, they just need to work on getting a bit more of their own sound next time. Info:
https://tometal.com/

NOMAD/Transmogrification (Witching Hour Productions) This wasn’t too bad. Decent death metal with bits of pieces of black metal screeching vocals thrown in every now and then, which I wasn’t a fan of. The music is mostly faster style death metal, which was fine by me and the vocals were good and solid. Thick and heavy guitar sound which rules too. Overall this gets a horns up from me. Info:
https://witchinghourproductions.bandcamp.com/album/transmogrification-partus

HELLRAIDERS/Fighting Hard (Inferno Records) This is straight forward heavy metal with bits of pieces of power metal thrown in the mix. At first I didn’t like the female vocals of singer “Thrasherlady”, but she grew on me and she isn’t bad at all. The tunes are catchy metal tunes with plenty of hooks and the guitar sound is on the money as well. Production is good and this is a winner in my book. Info:
www.inferno-records.net

HEMOTOXIN/Restructure the Molded Mind (Unspeakable Axe Records)Average at best death metal that does nothing to separate itself from the 1000’s of bands I have heard over the past 30 years. The band is heavy and yes they are fast, but not super fast and the singer has a good death metal voice, but this was just nothing that made me stand up and take notice. If your new to the scene this might tickle your fancy though. Info:
www.unspeakableaxerecords.com

SHARDS OF HUMANITY/Cold Logic (Unspeakable Axe Records) This is some crushing death metal in the vein of early Death. Brutal riffs and vocals to match the sounds of the music too. Riffs that hit hard and hit often and are memorable as well. The production is solid and that guitar crunch just kills and will have you headbanging no doubt. This does sound like the 2nd “Death” release “Leprosy”, and I don’t care as that release was unreal and while I won’t rank this that high, this band does a damn fine job of keeping the death metal flag alive. Info:
www.unspeakableaxerecords.com

NECROPHILIAC/No Living Man is Innocent (Xtreem Music) No this is not a Slayer tribute band or a new band. This band formed in 1988, recorded 5 demos and then release their debut album in 1992 and then went away. Well here they are back in 2020 with 4 original members of the band no less. I just couldn’t get into this as the songs just didn’t do it for me and sounded weak and nothing earth shattering on this for my ears. I was waiting for that killer riff or song and it didn’t come. The vocals are fine as they sound like John from Obituary. I like the raw production as well, but this didn’t do a thing for me. Info:
http://www.xtreemmusic.com/

OZ/Forced Commandments (Massacre Records) Yes this is the same OZ that released the classic “Fire in the Brain” many moons ago. Well this is an utter piece of crap if you ask me. Weak ass riffs that go nowhere. Songs are like a limp dick. No power behind them at all. This is like a bad rock or faceless hair metal band from LA in the 80’s. Avoid and they released this under the “OZ” name which is laughable in itself. Info:
https://massacre-records.com/

SHADOW KILLER/Dark Awakening (Stormspell Records) Nice solid, straight ahead heavy metal like you heard in the 80’s and not like all the clone bands you heard when Hammerfall got big. This is straight forward metal like DIO or Black Sabbath (Dio era) with a singer who is not far removed from Ronnie. The songs are good catchy numbers with a singer who has a good set of pipes. The songs will take you back to the denim and leather days before thrash and death metal ruled the underground. This was nice and refreshing and a nice break from all the horrible, generic black metal bands and the awful death metal bands making the scene these days. Raise the metal fists high. Info:
http://www.cdbaby.com/all/stormspell

TYRANT/Hereafter (Shadow Kingdom) Long time fans will remember this band from their releases in the 80’s from Metal Blade and here they are back with a band new release with a few of the original members, a couple long time members and a new singer, Rob Lowe of Solitude Aeternus and ex-Candlemass singer. The sound is a bit more doomier I’d say than their 80’s releases, but this album grows on you. Very catchy tunes and Rob sounds great on the mic with this. The guitar sound has that 80’s crunch and sound as well. The tunes on this have a ton of melody and are so damn catchy and heavy it’s not funny. Easily one of the best releases of the year and this band did not release a weak or horrible comeback album like so many others before them. Info:
Sample track: http://shadowkingdomrecords.bandcamp.com/album/hereafter
Label info: www.shadowkingdomrecords.com

STALLION/Slaves Of Time (High Roller Records) There was a band with this same name, they were a rock band that at one hit here in the US. This is a thrash/speed metal band that wasn’t bad musicwise, but I didn’t like the singer and his soaring high pitched vocals and don’t say I don’t like them kind of vocals cause I like Agent Steel. His voice just annoyed me. The music was solid thrash with catchy Bay area like riffing, nothing mind blowing, but not stinking neither. Some may not mind the vocals, but I did. Info:
https://www.hrrecords.de/

KORGONTHURUS/Korgonthurus (Woodcut Records) Completely worthless black metal. A wall of noise with some idiot screeching into a mic ha ha. Trust me Satan would hate this band. Info:
http://www.woodcutrecords.fi/product-category/pre-order/

PESTIFER/Expanding Oblivion (Xenokorp) Pretty cool death metal band that doesn’t sound like a million other clone bands out there. The singer is a bit like John from Obituary at times. The music is semi technical death metal at least to my ears, but it big time crunchy and heavy and speedy too. This isn’t a speed for speed sakes death metal band, it is more controlled at times and they are trying not to be the average joe death metal band and are pretty damn good at what they are trying to do. If your looking for something different that they typical death metal band, look no further. Info:
https://www.xenokorp.com/

VERBAL RAZORS/By Thunder and Lightning (Deadlight Records) This is an awful attempt at crossover music. The singer just shouts into the mic with no conviction or feeling. The music is generic thrash all the way and was quite boring. It is a bad version of Municipal Waste.

SICARIUS/God of Dead Roots (M-Theory Audio) This was some below average death/black metal that did nothing for me. All the singer did was bark and yell into the mic with no feeling or conviction at all. The music was just a mess and nothing felt exciting at all and I was just pretty much bored. I also hated the drum sound as it felt like a machine like trigger drum sound back there. This just didn’t just the mustard for me.

HARDLINE/Life Live (Frontiers Music) I loved this band’s debut album formed by Journey guitar player Neil Schon. Of course he is not in the band these days, but they still have their original singer and a few new members and here is a recent live album from them. Oh this is just horrible. The songs are just so weakly played and this goes from the debut album to the newer stuff. The guitar sound on this is god awful and the songs from the debut album are so badly played it’s not funny. This sounds like a bad bar band doing covers of the band Hardline.

RIPPED TO SHREDS/亂 Luan (Pulverised Records) Finally some decent death metal that hits you a wicked punch in the stomach. Wicked, fast pounding tunes that don’t sound like a ton of other bands and actually have some catchiness to them as well and you’ll be playing air guitar to them like I was. Crushing guitar sound and nice thick slabs of riffing that totally kills. Beautiful death metal vocals that sounded great and go right along with the music and I could feel it in his voice as this played on. A total speed attack that I loved as well. This is the way death metal needs to and sound my friends. Info:
https://www.pulverised.net/

COLLISION/The Final Kill (Hammerheart Records) The bands bio wasn’t kidding about a mix of grindcore and thrash metal. The music is some killer thrash with some growly vocals that totally crush. Also blistering blast beats mix in with the thrash and make for quite a combo. The riffs and songs are quite solid and memorable as well. Shame this is the bands final release because they rule big time. This band mixes the 2 styles quite well I must say. This release just pounds you into submission. Info:
https://www.hammerheart.com/

MASS MURDER/Extreme Extinction (Sliptrick Records) Typical Cannibal Coepse like death metal that you have heard a million times. This why the death metal scene is weak and pretty much sucks these days. Hardly any bands impress me and most just sound like bands from yesteryear. Low growled vocals with speedy parts will leave you getting nothing excited about. Go play your Cannibal records. Info:
https://sliptrickrecords.com/

WITCHES HAMMER/Damnation Is My Salvation (Nuclear War Now! Productions) Yes this is the same band that has not been around in ages and they are back and this new release is pretty damn kick ass to these ears. Not sounding like every trendy band out there, this band deliver the goods and just blow you away. Fast, punishing music that sounds like no other and awesome vocals that go with that music. A mix of death and speed metal with a touch of black metal with vocals that are off the charts. This band more than stand on their own and are one of the best bands out there and this is one incredible release. There are some older tracks re-recorded and some new tracks, but I don’t give a shit this release rules.
Sample track: http://nuclearwarnowproductions.bandcamp.com/album/damnation-is-my-salvation
Label info: www.nwnprod.com

SÖLICITÖR/Spectral Devastation (Gates of Hell Records) Decent thrash metal with some catchy thrash like riffs and I like the female vocals a lot as well. There is not a ton of speed on this it is more controlled thrash metal like the debut release from Overkill. This is more to me power metal than thrash and it has a more mid 80’s sound to it, but that is fine with me. Thank go no new thrash metal sounds are on this at all. Info:
http://www.gatesofhellrecords.com/

HOHENSTEIN/Weisser Hirsch (Purity Through Fire) Boring black metal with a singer that just screams into the mic with no conviction or feeling. The music is boring and faceless and goes nowhere and the minute you hit the “off” button, you remember nothing afterwards. Sorry I need songs and riffs and arrangements that are memorable and can be brutal or not, but I need something that sticks in my head and this for sure didn’t. Info:
www.purity-through-fire.com

ORDER OF ORIAS/Ablaze (W.T.C. Productions) Yawn. It’s beem 9 years since this band has released a new piece of work except a single track on a split release. God after 9 years you think the band could do much better than this garbage. C’mon guys I have heard this fast picking black metal style music from at least 500 bands or so in the last 9 years with the same vocal styles to boot. Actually the vocals are about the only good thing on this. If I hadn’t heard a million other bands like this, I might be impressed, but I have and it’s another case of another band sounding the same as the next one. Info:
http://www.w-t-c.org/

MORKETIDA/Traveler of the Untouched Voids (Werewolf) A mini Ep of this black metal band and I didn’t dig it much. The band I will say at least is trying to be different and not sound like every other band out there, but the tunes didn’t stick in my head and were just a bunch of blah, blah, blah. The singer isn’t band and he has a good voice and he sings with feeling and I am sure some people will love or like this band because they are different. Me I just didn’t get what this band is selling. Info:
Sample track: http://werewolfrecords.bandcamp.com/album/traveler-of-the-untouched-voids
Label info: www.facebook.com/werewolf.rex

GRAND MASSIVE/4 (Metalville Records) This is a groovy/nu metal band, but it one of the few that is not bad in my opinion. This is due to the songs not sounding like Pantera or having all those silly generic breakdown parts and also the singer doesn’t sing in that tough guy style. He sings with a more normal voice that is still powerful as well. This is a band that has to be heard before you make up your mind. The songs are catchy and powerful and for once a band that does this style delivers the goods. Info:
www.metalville.de

DEAD PROPHET/Sounds of Enlightenment (Self Released) This band try to be progressive sounding with the guitar going all over the place on these songs and they start off with solos and more solos with gruff same heard it all before death metal vocals. Bands need to realize a strong memorable riff is what they need to do nowadays as how do you think such bands as old Slayer, Exodus, Kreator, etc did it back in the day. This just sounds the same except the solos, but they sound out of place and go nowhere. Lose the solos going all over the place guys. Info:
https://deadprophet.bandcamp.com/album/sounds-of-enlightenment

KARNIVORE/Dödsriket (Self Released) This band is from Sweden and this is their 3rd album of death metal and I must say they are pretty damn good. The songs are semi speedy and heavy and the singer doesn’t sound like every death metal singer on the planet. The riffs are catchy and memorable too. A strong production makes this a band to seek out. They have their own sound as well. Info:
https://karnivore.bandcamp.com/

GRIM FATE/Perished in Torment (Xtreem Music) Low tuned down death metal that crushes. Wicked riffs that will have your head going up and down. I love the guitar sound this band gets and those riffs and songs are just so catchy it isn’t funny. Vocals are gruff and strong the way death metal should be. He sings with passion and feeling and in death metal you need that big time. You can think Autopsy and Death on this release. Info:
http://www.xtreemmusic.com/

SELF DISGRACE/Fetus In Fetu (Malevolence Records) The label said this was death/thrash, but to me this was groove metal in the vein of Pantera with those tough guy vocals and this went downhill fast after the opera vocals of the first song. There is also some newer Exodus sounding stuff on this, but this is far removed from death metal and is far from a thrash metal classic. It isn’t good at all. Info:
https://selfdisgrace.bandcamp.com/album/fetus-in-fetu

HEGEMONY/Enthroned by Persecution (Hells Headbangers) This is a pure avalanche of death metal that hits hard and fast and does not let up. Crushing heavy as fuck death metal riffing that will punish and lighting speed that will turn the weak into nothing. Vocals are a pure death metal delight and are not super low, but are right where they need to be. The production is massive and that guitar sound on this is top notch and no trigger drums or any of that crap. Death metal at its finest. Info:
http://hegemony-us.bandcamp.com/album/enthroned-by-persecution

JUMPMAN/What We Saw Before the Darkness (Prank Monkey Records) I usually don’t like metalcore bands or most of these modern metal bands that have groove in them, but this is one band that is different and I like what they are doing. It must be the music as the vocals are in the tough guy style, but not that band. The band also I would say throw in some punk in their music as well. They also have a big of a techno style as well. It is tough to describe, but this band just makes it work and they are different than all those generic bands out there. Give these guys a try. Info:

TYRANT/Hereafter (Shadow Kingdom Records) Yes this is the same Tyrant that released a few albums on Metal Blade back in the 80’s. The band is back with a couple new members including a new singer, who does an incredible job on this I must say. These tunes are just a heavy metal fan’s dream. These tunes kick ass and aren’t and don’t seem like some false metal or some wimpy metal or even a Hammerfall clone band with a high pitched singer. This is fist thrusting, head banging metal that was very catchy and easy to get into as well. One of my favorite albums of the year so far. Sample track:
http://shadowkingdomrecords.bandcamp.com/album/hereafter
Label info: www.shadowkingdomrecords.com

MALIGN/Demo 1/95 (Shadow Records /Regain Records) This is a re-release of this black metal band’s demo from 1995 and some different versions of the same songs that were recorded in 1994. This is some excellent black metal that is played with a ton of feeling and passion and you just can’t fake it with black metal in my ears or eyes. You either got it or you don’t. This has it. Just fast ripping tunes with Satanlike vocals that hit hard and fast. The guitar sound is razor like and I love the and demo like sound this is on this as well. If you asre a black metal this is easily a must and this blows away all the crap wannabe poser black metal crap I can tell you that. Info:
www.shadowrecords.se

SARCOFAGO/Hate (Greyhaze Records) This originally came out in 1994 and was at the time the band’s 3rd album. This is a let-down from the band’s early stuff. I hate the drum machine and the songs just aren’t strong enough to keep my attention through this. I mean it’s not band, but they should have used a real dreamer. The songs just don’t fully cut it on this and yes it is brutal, heavy, and fast and does at times reach like the olden days, it is just not enough for me. This gets a slight horns up from me. Info:
https://tinyurl.com/tnxfbgx

SAVAGE ANNIHILATION/Soumises à la procreation (Xenokorp) Above average death metal with lots of fast riffing and speedy music. The music is catchy and will have your head swirling. The band do sound a bit like Cannibal Corpse and Decide, but I don’t give a rat’s ass as they sounded good to my ears. Track # 4 which is a tribute to Slayer called ‘When the Slayer Banged His Head” is unreal and totally crushes. I was banging away in seconds. There is also Decide and Helloween overs on this as well, but the Slayer tune is a highlight for me. This is one cool piece of death metal that I praise and you should get. Info:
https://www.xenokorp.com/

DOMINION OF SUFFERING/The Birth of Hateful Existence (Slovak Metal Army / Necroeucharist Productions) Heard it all a million times before standard death metal. Blast, fast riffs and speed and growl vocals and while it isn’t bad, it just isn’t anything that excites me or gets me going as I have 50 billion other bands doing this sound and style before and I was quite bored with this after a few minutes in. Info:
www.slovakmetalarmy.bandcamp.com

OBNOXIOUS YOUTH/Mouths Sewn Shut (Svart Records) This has the sound of good ole hardcore from the 80’s and I love it. Blistering riffs, sheer intensity, a hardcore vocals dream and the songs even though they are fast and speedy are still memorable. Hell I thought I was listening to old Agnostic Front, Sick of it All, or The Cromags as this played on. This just totally kicked my ass and finally a band that brings back the old sounds of 80’s hardcore and does it the right way and not a bunch of nu metal shit. Info:
https://obnoxiousyouth.bandcamp.com/

DEVILTOOK/???Gaspar from Base Record, who organize all this release. This is more of a death metal sound with the screeching black metal vocal style. This band is ok, but the songs just aren’t very strong and don’t hold my attention for that long. There is nothing mind blowing on this that makes you sit up and take notice I’m afraid. Just another faceless underground band.

BLASPAMAGOATACHRIST/Bastardizing the Purity (Nuclear War Now! Productions) Raw as fuck, dirty black metal that crushes the weak. A pure death/black delight no doubt. This band just has it. This blows away all these silly wannabe black metal bands that just wear make-up and scream and pretend to be “true”. This is raw and is not for wimps. Look I’m no big black metal fan, but when it is done right I love it and this sick, raw sound the band gets also just makes it that much better. This is a must if you love black metal and this will take old timers back to the demo and rehearsal days of getting tapes in the mail! Info:
Sample track:
http://nuclearwarnowproductions.bandcamp.com/album/bastardizing-the-purity
Label info: www.nwnprod.com

KARNOVOREDödsriket (Southcoast Productions) When this started plaing I was digging the music and even with the keyboards the music still sounded fresh and powerful and then came in the horrible vocals. I didn’t like them at all and it just sounds like he is going through the motion in my eyes. This band is more on the melodic side of death metal and that’s ok as the song are catchy and powerful, the vocals lose me. Some may like this I didn’t and production is good and solid as well. Info:
https://karnivore.bandcamp.com/

WITCHES/The Fates (Mighty Spells Records) This is some wicked sounding thrash metal with touches of death metal and they have a female singer, who is absolutely incredible I might add. The riffs and songs stick in your head big time as she belts out the death metal vocal sounds and the combo works quite well I might add. I love the guitar sound and production too and this will have that neck moving in seconds and her vocals come across as real and not generic or out of place. This is just an all around great release that needs to be heard. Info:
[email protected]

UNMERCIFUL/Wrath Encompassed (Willowtip Records) Another Cannibal Corpse Jr. band with some screeching black metal vocals mixed in with the death growls. The band isn’t bad for doing nothing that doesn’t sound or has been done a million times, but the screechy black metal screams and vocal lines should be taken away and buried as they sound horrible on this. This is straight forward fast blasting death metal all the way and Cannibal Corpse fans will go apeshit over this. Info:
https://bit.ly/unmerciful-wrathwt

SELF DISGRACE/Never Born (Malevolence Records) This band has a female singer and they mix in thrash and death metal with some of the thrash in the groovy way. The female has a solid, death metal sounding voice and the production on this is good as well. Now I am not a fan of the groove style of thrash and this never reaches, thankfully, the Pantera style at all. This wasn’t bad for what it was and didn’t blow me away and on the other hand it didn’t suck and having that great female singer helped as she isn’t a typical growl singer. Info:
https://malevolencerecords.bandcamp.com/

HELLGARDEN/Making Noise, Living Fast (Brutal Records) Cool just what we need Pantera Jr. Same vocals as Phil and the same style of music Pantera was playing back in the 90’s. Thanks but I’ll pass. Info:
Sample tune: https://sites.labelgrid.com/brutal_records/r/hellgarden-making-noise-living-fast/10596
Label info: https://www.brutalrecords.com/

DEVILSKIN/Red (Devilskin Ltd / Distributed by Plastic Head Music Distribution) This band plays what I would say is a more “modern metal” sound as they have some “breakdown” parts in their tunes and also a godly female singer who sings with such feeling and passion I was in shock. Now the band use a “tough guy” singer in a couple tunes (think Pantera) and that is absolutely fuckin garbage. Get rid of them cause they make you sound like every other band out there. Use only the female singer cause she is amazing and the music is pretty damn good on this I admit. Her voice just flows with the music big time and she is so passionate when she sings. I can see big things for this band. Info:
https://devilskin.co.nz/

NEMESIUM/Continua (Black Lion Records) While this is not the most original death metal band, this band hits hard and hits fast and they are vicious to say the least. Riffs that tear through you and speed that will have you playing air drums. Vocals that Chuck from Death would be proud of and yes I’d say this band have some of that old Death in their music. They also go into fast, blasting mode at times and holy shit was I playing air drums to that. The production on this is awesome and the singer has a great death metal style voice as well and I can’t say anything but if you like or love death metal, this is easily a must. Info:
https://nemesiumblacklion.bandcamp.com/album/continua

SANCTIFYING RITUALS/Same (Iron Bonehead) Finally a band who sounds like the old 80’s demos sound when the underground was in it’s core years. This sound like early Sodom/Destruction/Celtic Frost and I was totally blown away by this musicwise and production wise, The feeling and sounds on this just crush. A total speed attack with just that feeling and sound of the mid 80’s German thrash attack!!! This band is from Germany and this is their debut release and you better prepare for the attack of these guys cause they will hit you hard and fast and this is what a underground speed metal attack sounds like dammit. I can’t get enough. Info:
Sample song: https://soundcloud.com/iron-bonehead-productions/sanctifying-ritual-into-obscure-abyss/s-rdt71
Info: http://www.ironbonehead.de

MOTIVE/Fight The World (Metal Devastation) Steven Buschart is someone I have known since the early days of my print zine as he was in bands Crucible/Travail back then and now he is back with a new band. Steven knows me and I’m going to be honest with his new band too. His new band plays modern thrash that isn’t too bad, but I was not a fan of the Pantera like vocals of the singer. The band I am sure have quite a following cause they are playing a style that is big time popular at the moment and they sound better than most of the other Pantera style bands I have heard, but I’ll take old Kreator, Destruction, Violence, Wargasm, etc. Info:
www.MetalDevestation.com

BLACK FUNERAL/Scourge of Lamashtu (Iron Bonehead) This is some damn good black metal. To me most black metal is a wall of noise with some guy screeching on the mic and then trying to say their ”true” or because the production is so bad or because the band can’t play or a write a decent song it’s terrible. This band I always liked as they write songs with meaning and their music just puts you in a certain kind of mood and the feeling they get and just the overall song structure to these songs just rules. The chainsaw sounding riffs and old school (not noise) production with have the devil smiling. This band delivers yet again. Info:

Sample track:http://soundcloud.com/iron-bonehead-productions/black-funeral-kassaptu-lemuttu
Label info: http://www.ironbonehead.de

THE DEVIL’S SERMON/Rydwany Ognia (Black Metal Promotions) This is a 4 track EP from this black metal band. It has the usual speed and fast pic riffing that most black metal bands have, but this is different and quite good. The songs are memorable and catchy as well as fast and speedy. The singer has a great black metal style voice and he just a bunch of mumbo jumbo on the mic, I could feel the pain and anger in his voice. One of the better black metal bands around. Info:
https://www.putridcult.pl

BASEMENT TORTURE KILLINGS/Lessons In Murder IN MURDER (Bizarre Leprous Productions) Typical generic Cannibal Corpse like death metal with some of the worst vocals I have heard in a while. The band use the death metal vocal sounds and then use the screechy almost black metal screechy sounds as they dual off and omg does it suck. Nothing good on this at all. Another faceless death metal band. Info:
www.facebook.com/Basementtorturekillings/

FAITH OR FEAR/Live In Philadelphia 1989 EP (Sub Level Records) Now for the 1st time is the full set from this NJ thrash band (at the time on Combat Records) at the Ultimate Revenge 2 Show in Phila, PA. I was there that night too. The band rocked that night as did all the other bands and there is 6 songs on this EP and it cool hearing them again and also hearing the couple tunes that never made it onto the VHS tape ha ha. I also heard a new tune from the band and it sounded great as well. Info:

https://faithorfear.bandcamp.com/album/live-in-philadelphia-1989-ep

EXPUNGED/Expunged (PRC Music) Low tunes down old school death metal. This is vicious and speedy and I liked it. I love the Entombed sounding guitar on this and the total pure death metal vocals were a nice touch too. This is like Death meets old Entombed in a dark alley and they get into a wicked brawl. The low, putrid vocals I loved and the band mix up the speed and slower doomy parts perfectly. This is what death metal is and should sound like my friends. Check these guys out for sure and link to their album is here:
https://prcmusic.bandcamp.com/album/expunged-expunged-cd

No/MAS/Raíz Del Mal-Sick fast death/grind metal with putrid, screaming vocals along with some death metal vocals. The songs are short, speedy tunes and what isn’t bad about this, is that the band is not a wall of noise. While I’m not a huge grind fan, this isn’t bad for what it is and the production helps out in my ears as it is good. Info:

https://www.facebook.com/NOMASGRIND/

RICH DAVIS/Not Dead Yet (Crushing Notes) This is a DVD/CD release. Rich had started the band Mystic-Force along with Keith Menser back in the early 80’s and heck I used to write back and forth with Keith back in the day. The music and singing is all done by Rich and wow what a job he had done I must say. The production will blow you out of the water big time. He has an explosive drum and guitar sound on this to say the least. You get 9 DVD music videos and 14 tunes on the CD. The music has some groove to it, but it is not that bad and is powerful and fast as well. I didn’t like some of the screechy vocals he does, but I am not a fan of that style vocals at all. This is not a solo project neither. Rich wanted to be the boss and do this all himself and he did quite a job I must say. The production really knocked me for a loop big time. He did one hell of a job on this and he does have a powerful voice and doesn’t need those screechy stuff, but who the hell am I to tell him what to do ha ha. Good job Rich. Info:
www.crushingnotes.com
http://www.richdavismusic.com/index.html

RICH DAVIS/The Awakening (Self Released) This is an older release by him and this has a few instrumentals on it and it is also a CD/DVD release with 17 tunes and 5 tunes on the DVD. This has a more of a progressive modern feel that his above release. There is also some more guitar shredding and solos on this unlike the above release. They didn’t get to the point of being over the top though. Production on this is great just like the above release. One thing I did prefer was there wasn’t much screechy style vocals on this, but again that is just my thing on singing styles. As with the above release there is plenty of enjoyment on this as well as the above release, so go get em both. Info:
http://www.richdavismusic.com/index.html

CHAKA/Neanderthal Tales (Self Released) 4 tracks of down and dirty hardcore punk that ruled in the 80’s. This is a nice mix of metal and hardcore punk with punk vocals all the way. Sort of like Leeway meets Sick of it All with a bit of metal thrown in the blender. The production has that old 80’s style too and there is nothing modern on this at all and thank heaven for that. Really cool stuff on this and I thought I was back in 1985 listening to this. Great job. Info
http://neanderthaltales.com/

PIGTAILS/SHE MALE PENETRATION (Eenetration - El Cabrón/Pansexual Divinity) Split 7” This I wasn’t expecting much and it wasn’t great and it wasn’t totally awful. The Pigtails play 3 cord doom like metal with laughable vocals. The guy or whoever just does low grunts into the mic. She Male Penetration (laughable name) play very lowly produced grind mixed in with slower parts that actually wasn’t half bad. The vocals are just screamed and yelled into the mic and they aren’t that bad either. This isn’t something I loved, but have to admit I was surprised as I expecting this to be complete garbage. Info:
[email protected]

LIVE BURIAL/Unending Futility (Transcending Obscurity Records) This is another heard it a million times death metal bands that make the rounds these days. They don’t totally suck, but are offering me nothing I haven’t heard a million times over. This sounds like early Death, including the vocals, but it’s nothing to get excited about. If your new to the underground you’ll like this a lot, but fans from the 80’s that were around back then, you’ll be like nothing special. Info:
[email protected]

DEATH COURIER/Necrotic Verses (Transcending Obscurity Records) I like the music as it is fast and brutal in the vein of Cannibal Corpse, but the cookie monster vocals lose it for me and then the deep growls are horrible to me as the singer just isn’t cutting it. Just another faceless death metal band that isn’t doing anything exciting. Info:
[email protected]

MALDITO/O Renascer, O Crer (War Arts Productions) This is 4 tracks of old school death metal with some of black metal thrown in the mix. The production on this almost has a demo like sound, which I liked. All 4 tunes aren’t a million miles an hour all the time, which was a nice change of pace too. The singer, he sings in a black metal style sound and he wasn’t bad neither. Pretty good band here nd at least don’t sound like every other band. Info:

http://war-arts-productions.com/

HYPERIA/Insanitorium (Sliptrick Records) This I was not a fan of at all. The music has that modern melodic or a metalcore sounds and the vocals (by a female no less) are terrible. She sings in a annoying high pitched voice and then does some death metal growls that are even worse. I’m sorry to say, but she needs to go as she ruins the band in my opinion. The music is tolerable, but she isn’t. The production isn’t bad, but when she starts to sing, I oh no please shut up. Info:
www.sliptrickrecords.com or www.deadpulse.com

PROPHETS OF THE APOCALYPSE/Threshold Of War (Sliptrick Records) This was a cool and different band and was a mix of thrash with a big of death metal as well, with the death metal more in the vocals. The band is a very weird style thrash band as they aren’t just like a typical thrash band that’s for sure. This will take a couple listens to fully digest and get into. This is technical in a way, but it is a good way as this isn’t just some run of the mill band I can tell ya that. Production is good and the singer has a good voice as well. Solid release all the way. Info:
www.sliptrickrecords.com or www.deadpulse.com

NAMTARU/Ancient Serpent 7” (Plague Records) A blistering old school black metal attack with a mic of old Morbid Angel in the mix. This is fantastic cause it is not a wall of noise and I love the chainsaw riffing and speed it awesome and it is not just a wall of noise. The band mix it up and slow down, but not until they break out into a total speed attack. The production is good, I like it because it has that old school vibe and it is not overproduced like a lot of the garbage these days. Singer has a great black metal voice as well. Info:
https://namtaruband.bandcamp.com/

PERVERSERAPH/Savage Messiah (Plague Demon Records) This originally came out on Gothic Records in 1997 and now the label got some original copies of this release to spread/sell. It is punishing death metal at its highest levels. Vocals from hell itself. This isn’t black metal, but raw, go for the throat death metal that doesn’t let up. The songs are also catchy and memorable, but are 110% brutal big time. This will make all death metal fans proud and they will be loving life as the band is just a raw, intense, crushing display of power that is second to none. Get this. Info:
Plaguedemonrecords.bandcamp.com

Crooked Horns/The Metamorphosis ((Plague Demon Records) I didn’t think this was very good. The songs didn’t connect with me as I felt they weren’t strong, catchy or any good. They just kinda went on and on. The singer was another low point with me as his voice didn’t stand out and he just sounded like so many other black or death metal singers out there and to me I need that catchy riff or that riff to get me sucked or hooked in and this had none of that. Just a faceless melodic death metal band. Info:

Plaguedemonrecords.bandcamp.com

Exhumed/Gruesome Twisted Horror Split (Relapse Records) Exhumed have been around a long time and offer up 3 good and solid death metal tunes in the vein of Cannibal Corpse, but the songs are also fast and catchy and memorable and I liked them. Gruesome Twisted Horror offer up 2 tunes of fast death metal, but it is the vocals I don’t like. I don’t like the screeching style of death metal vocals and they sing one line in normal death metal vocals and then the next line with the screechy shit, which I fuckin hated. Musicwise they aren’t bad, but Exhumed were better. Info:
https://store.relapse.com/

DIGEST/Hard To Digest (Unholy Prophecies) This was pretty bad and the songs weren’t strong not to mention the vocals. The songs dragged along and just didn’t have that crushing sound and style that you need when your playing death metal. There wasn’t that one riff or riffs that wanted me to bang my head or get into the music as this just plodded along like so many other bands do these days. Info:
http://www.unholyprophecies.com/

POLTERGEIST/Feather Of Truth (Massacre Records) Terrible, melodic thrashy groove metal with a singer who sings in a clean metal style and it didn’t work. This was just one of the tons of newer thrash metal bands that are out there and a few are decent and good and this just didn’t fly with me. The band I think was too melodic with their thrash metal attack and I don’t need a wimpy Testament, I need the debut release from Exodus style of thrash and this for sure wasn’t it. Info:
https://massacre-records.com/

DARK FOREST/Oak, Ash & Thorn (Cruz Del Sur Music) Straight ahead, no frills heavy metal with bits and pieces of power metal mix in. Fantastic singer and he sings with a lot of feeling and passion and this is also not like a Hammerfall Jr. style of band and that was a welcome addition as well. Just fist pumping, head nodding riffs and music that will have the hands of horns raising high. A band that delivers metal the way it should be. Straight and to the point. Info:
https://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com/store/

RITUAL MASS/Abhorred in the Eyes of God (Caligari Records) While this is far from original, this band gets it done with their brand of death metal that doesn’t sound far off from early Death and Autopsy. Punishing riffs and deathlike vocals are a highlight on this. The speed and intensity crush as well. Great death metal vocals that sound like Chuck himself. The band slow it down so you can catch your breath and then they hit you again a million miles again and again. I enjoyed this big time. Info:
Sample tune: https://caligarirecords.bandcamp.com/album/abhorred-in-the-eyes-of-god
Label info: www.caligarirecords.com

BLASPHERION/Path Of Fire (Plague Demon Records) Raw, fast pounding black metal all the way. While this isn’t original, it isn’t bad. The band take and use the same approach as many other black metal bands with the screeching vocals and the razor sharp fast riffing and speed playing. They do need to slow down a bit in parts and not just play at speed all the time. There is 7 main tracks and some bonus tracks and a couple are from 2003 and they are like demo tracks so to speak. I actually like the singing more on the older stuff as he doesn’t use the screeching style as much. This isn’t bad at all for black metal. Info:
https://blaspherionband.bandcamp.com/album/path-of-fire

DECEIVERION/The Separation (Plague Demon Records) A fast, ripping and shredding attack of death metal with a few Celtic Frost bits and pieces in the mix. This is fast, pounding and unrelenting. The vocals are a pure death metal delight and I love the guitar sound and speed on this. This is how death metal needs to be and sound. This is will crush you into the ground and then some. Info:

https://deceiverion.bandcamp.com/album/the-separation

ALVAREZ/Hadad (Plague Demon Records) I really wasn’t into this much. This was just too doomy for me and the slow music didn’t jell with me. Nothing just jumped out and made me go “yes”. I am not a fan or doom music and this just had too much of that style in it for me to like this much. If your into the doomy side of things, you probably enjoy this. Info:

https://alvarezband.bandcamp.com/album/hadad

RITUAL POSSESSION/Solitude (Plague Demon Records) Sick, punishing black metal that has a nice mix of slower parts and also speedy parts. The dying man vocals I like as well. The tunes are well played and catchy as well. The music just has a big time hint of feeling with it, which to me, is a key in this style of music. This is not some run of the mill black metal band that’s for sure. This will suck you in and keep you there that’s for sure. Info:
https://ritualpossession.bandcamp.com/album/solitude

MaelstroM/Of Gods And Men (Self Released) This band, based out of NY was around in the late 80’s when I was putting out issues 4 and 5 of my fanzine and now they are back. This release has been 32 years in the making according to band’s bio. Now I have to be honest and there was some good and bad things on this. First off 69 minutes of music is too much to digest in today’s music world especially for an unsigned act. Now the band did release a great 3 song EP back in 2009 as well. The music is thrash metal and opening tune totally crushes with wicked riffing and Gary’s strong vocals as well. Now on this they mix in chanting like vocals you would hear at a choir, female vocals, and even clean vocals. They even get into the Pantera (yikes) sound of thrash metal at times, which I was like what happened??? Now in saying some of those negative things, this is not all bad, there are some tunes that all and out destroy and the middle part in track 4 is a total headbanger. My opinion the band tried to lump in too my styles into the blender in this one and some worked and some didn’t for me. Info:
https://www.facebook.com/metalmaelstrom/

SHED THE SKIN/The Forbidden Arts (Hells Headbangers) Decent low tuned death metal. Nothing great on this, but it doesn’t suck neither. The band play old school death metal, but it is nothing you haven’t heard a million times before. The music is mostly mid paced and fast at times too. A sample track is below:
http://shed-the-skin.bandcamp.com/album/the-forbidden-arts
Label info: www.hellsheadbangers.com

DIABOLIC OATH/Profane Death Exodus (Sentient Ruin) This is a good, solid death/black metal band with 3 different singers and they all brought different styles, but all 3 I liked. The music is a fast onslaught of mostly death metal, but a mix of black metal makes it deadly. The atmosphere and feeling the band gets is great. The this also doesn’t sound like a million other bands and was a stand out to me. This is easily worth checking out and I think you’ll like what you hear.
Sample track: https://metalinjection.net/av/song-premiere/diabolic-oath-are-opening-the-gate-to-blasphemic-domination-with-their-menacing-death-metal
Label info: http://sentientruin.com/main

SINISTER/Deformation Of The Holy Realm (Massacre Records) This band has been around for a long time with this now being their 14th album release to their credit. This new release I would say has some thrash injected in the style of the band and the one thing I hated was the trigger drum sound on this. The music is fast death metal with the growly vocals (those were fine with me), but guys lose the trigger like drum sound. This is straight ahead no frills death metal and while I wasn’t blown away by this, it was decent. Info:
https://massacre-records.com/

THRONEUM/Oh Death Oh Death Determinate, Preach and Lead Us Astray (Godz Ov War Productions) The first that struck me was the awesome vocals on this. I could feel the pain and agony as the words came out on this. Lots of feeling and emotion on this. The music is a weird style of death metal and that I could feel the emotion and feeling as well. The music is death metal with a total old school feel with doomy and fast parts and this sort of has that Hellhammer/Celtic Frost sound at times and the singer is just out of his mind. Check this out for sure. Info:
http://www.godzovwar.com/

EVIL INCARNATE/Depopulation Agenda (Darkpath Records) A bone crushing release of death metal of the highest order. Riffs that go through your brain and make your fists and hands go high. This is prime time death metal and the music will cut through you and the vocals are a total death metal paradise. You can feel the hate and fury and this played. The speed and intensity at times just knocked me for a loop as well. The production is also right on the money and the slow parts will have you just nodding your head and the speed parts will have you in a air guitar or air drumming fury. Death metal that sounds great. Info:
https://www.facebook.com/Evil-Incarnate-1655061108078286/
https://darkpathmerchandising.bigcartel.com/

SXUPERION/Omniscient Pulse (Bloody Mountain Records) Kind of a weird death metal band at times. I mean they have the speed and power and the low grunting vocals for sure, but they mix in some weird and different stuff in the mix and it works. They for sure are in the Cannibal Corpse vein and they just have a few things in the mix of their music that makes them different at times. The vocals are actually cool to me and I like them a lot. Don’t take my word, visit their bandcamp link below and decide for yourself:
https://bloodymountainrecords.bandcamp.com/album/omniscient-pulse

DARK RITES/The Dark Hymns (Brutal Records) Just what the underground wants and needs a 10th generation Cannibal Corpse soundalike with an awful drum sound and terrible vocals. This is total garbage and bands like this just need to go away please. Info:
https://www.brutalrecords.com/

FACELESS BURIAL/Speciation (Dark Descent Records /Me Saco Un Ojo Records) This is like a semi technical death metal band and they just don’t have your Cannibal Corpse or Suffocation or let’s sound like every other death metal band sound. They blend in some really cool technical parts with some blasting speed parts and the songs also don’t get boring even though they are on the long side. Think Immolation with longer songs. This will make you stand up and take notice big time and this was a quality death metal release worth checking out big time. Info:
https://www.darkdescentrecords.com/

BEAR MACE/Charred Field of Slaughter (Self Released) Some crushing death metal with plenty of power and speed behind it. Thick, punishing riffs fill the air The speed and power the band gets is awesome and the singer has a fantastic voice and he sings these tunes with hate and I could feel it as this played on. The band mix up the speed and mid paced and even slow it down a tad, but for the most part this is speed and this is death metal Mr. Forbes likes and you will too. Production is fantastic and this is some death metal not to be missed. Info:
https://bearmace.bandcamp.com/

CRO-MAGS/In The Beginning (Mission Two Entertainment) OMG was a totally digging on this. A total ripping slab of prime time hardcore done right. Harley Flanagan returns with the 1st Cromag album in 20 years and he brings Rocky George from Suicidal Tendencies along for the right. Harley sings on this and he sounds amazing and his vocals fit the music like a tight glove. The tunes are short (3 minute) blasts of Cromags like music and this sounds like it could have been released in 1988. No nu-metal crap neither. I have to say I am shocked at how good this was. Incredible. Info:
https://missiontwoentertainment.com/

DEVASTATOR/Baptised In Blasphemy (Clobber Records) Holy shit is this one monster of a release. A mix of Motorhead meets Venom and some speed metal mixed in with it. Think old Razor and those Cronos like vocals had me smiling big time. The great thing is too, this band play catchy fuckin riffs and will have you head moving in seconds and the speed and intensity are insane. I was playing air drums throughout this and I was floored at how good this. This band doesn’t play around and are a throughback to the good ole days and aren’t just a shitty retro thrash band neither. These guys are the real deal and any old timer thrasher will go bonkers over this. Info:
http://www.clobberrecords.com/

EVOKER/Evil Torment (Blood Harvest) This is a ripping old school speed/thrash/death release that will remind you of old Sodom and Kreator and the production is not far off from those bands old stuff as well. Razor sharp headbanging riffs will tear through you and the intensity this band gets rocks as well. The singer has a awesome voice as he tears through these tunes like a knife through better. This will crush the wimps and posers no doubt about that. You will love this as I did and check the sample track below. Info:
http://bloodharvestrecords.bandcamp.com/album/evil-torment
Label info: www.bloodharvest.se

VIOLENT HAMMER/Riders of the Wasteland (Hells Headbangers) Another SOLID find but this great label. Fast, punishing, old school death metal with the dying man vocals. Think like early Death meeting Autopsy. I didn’t love the vocals as to me it was the one thing that held me back from totally loving this. It just seems the sainger is growling into the mic with not a ton of feeling or power, but that’s just me. The thick, death metal like riffs will satisfy any death metal lover of the old days. The band also throw in some blast beats at times too. Info:
http://violent-hammer.bandcamp.com/album/riders-of-the-wasteland
Label info: www.hellsheadbangers.com

UERBEROS/Stand Over Your Grave (Godz Ov War Productions) This isn’t bad as the band play crushing old school death metal with punishing riffs and plenty of speed in the mix as well. Vocals are solid growls and none of that screeching that I hate. The band mix up the slow and fast parts as well. The production is good as the guitar sound is heavy as fuck and I like the drum sound a lot as well. While this band is doing nothing new, if your new to the death metal scene, this band isn’t a bad place to start. Info:
http://www.godzovwar.com/

VIOGRESSION/Expound And Exhort (Hammerheart Records) This is a re-release of a band I remember back in the early 90’s that signed with Tombstone Records and then the label went under right around the release of the album. Well Hammerheart has re-released it with 9 bonus tracks! This is big time Obituary worship with some blast beats mixed in. The singer totally has John Tardy down to a science. Lots of slow, almost doomy like riffs are also found on this as well. That being said, this is enjoyable for what it is I’ll say that. If you like or love Obituary, this is a MUST. Info:
[email protected]

DEAD CARNAGE/From Hell For Hate (Immortal Souls Productions) Simple, but effective riffs and songs really work on this. Just crushing straight forward death metal that pounds and pounds more you right into submission. Riffs that will have that neck moving and just enough up tempo speed to make me smiling. The production is right on target and this is one great release. The singer has a great death metal voice as well as he growls out the tunes with plenty of power and conviction. Death metal the way it needs to be. Info:
www.immortalsouls.sk

BLOOD OF ANGELS/Failure of Faith (Sliptrick Records) Horrible death metal with terrible production with the guitar buried and a tin can sounding drum sound and a singer who can’t sing his way out of a paper bag. The songs aren’t catchy or memorable at all and this just plain sucked. Info:
https://sliptrickrecords.com/release/blood-of-angels-failure-of-faith/

INSIGHT/Neura (Australis Records) This band was described in their bio as a heavy metal/thrash band and they are spot on. There is also a hint of prog parts in the music as well. The band is from Chile and are very different and fresh to my ears and not just a Hammerfall Jr or some cheezy thrash band neither. It will take a few spins to get into this and I think after that you’ll be hooked and really get into this band. The singer, even though the band is from Chile and you can clearly hear he has an accent is quite good and the production is good and that bass player lets loose on some parts as well. A must hear to see what you think I must say. Info:
http://www.australisrecords.com/

ONSLAUGHT/Generation Antichrist (AFM Records) Onslaught were responsible for 2 great releases back in the day, Power From Hell (1985), The Force (1986) and they released a few more releases, but none as good as those 2 in my book. This is their 1st release in 7 years and the first featuring new singer “David Garnet”. He reminds me of Zetro from Exodus, which isn’t a bad thing in my book. And as the music goes it bone crushing, fast thrash metal and I love it. Unholy guitar sound and plenty of speed had me smiling from ear to ear. This does have an Exodus vibe to it in spots to me, but make no bones about this, this band is back and this is hands down the best thrash release of the year. That guitar crunch is unreal and will have you going crazy. Info:
https://shop.afm-records.de/onslaught/

IMPERIAL SAVAGERY/Lashing The Feral Swine (HPGD Productions) Fast, pounding, punishing death metal with some fantastic vocals is what you will find on this. Love the thick death metal guitars as they chop away and pound away at your senses and the speed and power on this crushes too. This just has that savagery of the way death metal was in the early 90’s and that razor sharp guitar riffing is driving me insane. Production is perfect and that drummer gets in quite a work-out on this I must say. Looking for the real deal in the death metal? Well look no further:
https://www.facebook.com/imperialsavagery/

The Glorious Dead/Into Lifeless Shrines (Bindrune Recordings) This is just average at best death metal. Obviously I have 1000’s upon 1000’s of death metal throughout the years and this was just to me another faceless one. They play straight forward death metal the right with crushing riffs, deep dark vocals and mix up the speed with some wicked slower parts. This was just like Death “Leprosy” era, but obviously not as good. If your new to the scene this would be a worthy pick-up, but to a veteran like myself, it is a case of heard it all before and then some. Info:
https://bindrunerecordings.com/

DROPDEAD/Dropdead (Armageddon Label) This band formed in 1991 and they have had numerous releases over the years, but what we have here is the band’s 3rd full length release. This is awesome, pissed off, old school hardcore like it was back in the 80’s and early 90’s. Think the 1st Agnostic Front, early DRI, Larm, Discharge. This is a full head on charge of blistering hardcore at it’s best. Wicked fast bursts of fast tunes with pissed off angry (not that nu metal shit) and this blew me away as this was the way hardcore was back in the day and they don’t make bands like this anymore. Buy, Buy, Buy. Info:
www.armageddonshop.com

GANGRENA/Oscuro Tormento (Australis Records) Yawn death metal with groove mix in. Vocals go from low generic growls to those screech vocals. The music pretty much sucks and the singer does not convince me at all. Nothiong good on this at all. Info:
https://www.australisrecords.com/

ALTER IDEM/Fragments Of Consciousness (Viciousinstinct Records) Decent low tunes down death metal with some solid vocals. The music goes from slow, chunky like riffing to faster parts. Of course think Cannibal Corpse and bands in that vein. The production is solid and this didn’t blow me away, but it is better than a lot of other death metal band making the rounds these days. Info:
www.viciousinstinctrecords.com

VORACIOUS SCOURGE/In Death (Massacre Records) 10 death metal tracks on this including a cover of Death’s “Born Dead”, which I must say totally rips. Just lighting fast death metal riffing plenty of speed, but a certain amount of catchiness to it as well. Riffs that stuck in my head and speed that I loved and the slower parts to have me take a break. The singer has that perfect low growly voice too and he sounds convincing as well behind the mic his deep growls fill my brain and I was going “yes”. A death metal band well worth checking out and better than all that generic shit out there. Info:
https://massacre-records.com/

INFESTICIDE/Envenoming Wounds (Blood Harvest) Prepare to be devastated and blown away from this band. A total thrashing and death metal attack not unlike the debut release from Morbid Angel. The speed and power and this knocked me for a loop and just everything about this rules. A great old school, non modern production too and those riffs and bass sounds and pounding drums oh I’m in hell along with that singer who just makes this a masterpiece of death metal. Chwckj out the below track and then buy the bloody album dammit. Sample track:
http://bloodharvestrecords.bandcamp.com/album/envenoming-wounds
Label info: www.bloodharvest.se

INCANTATION/Sect of Vile Divinities [Relapse Records) Long time death metal veterans John McEntee and company have been churning out their brand of death metal since the early 90’s and have never strayed from their ultra brutal death metal sound. This new release continues that tradition. Thick as fuck death metal riffing and lighting speed and mix that in with doomy like sounds to let you catch your breath and also some mid paced parts as well. John’s vocals are still a pure death metal delight to any death metal fan I assure you of that. While some bands experiment or change their sound or even wimp out, Incantation never have and looks like they never will. A pure death metal delight to review. Info:
https://store.relapse.com/

SARCATOR/Same (Redefining Darkness Records) While reading this bands bio I was blown away to find out the guitar player is only 16 years old!!! He also is the son of one of the band members of The Crown. This is bone crushing thrash/death metal with tons of catchy hooks, MEMORABLE tunes and plenty of ripping speed to back this baby up. Death metal vocals that I totally dug and that guitar sound is mint! This is a great mix of death/thrash metal no doubt about it. It combines the speed and intensity of both styles like a best of attack of both. The production is perfect and this is a release not to be missed I can tell ya that. Info:
https://sarcator-se.bandcamp.com/album/sarcator

WRECK-DEFY/Powers That Be (Sublevel Records) This has quite a line-up featuring guitarist Matt Hanchuck alongside former Annihilator singer Aaron Randall, former Testament bass player Greg Christian and former Malevolent Creation drummer Alex Marquez. The question is, of course, is this any good. I didn’t think so. It sounds too modern sounding for me and the vocals are too much in that tough guy mode and the drums sound too triggered for my ears. The music is bone crushing at times fast thrash metal, but it just has like that Machine Head sound to it and I wasn’t impressed with this at all I’m afraid. The slow and mind-paced stuff was plain awful. Info:

www.sublevelrecords.bandcamp.com
JESUS WEPT/Apartheid Redux (Redefining Darkness Records) Judging by the name I bet you thought you were getting a black metal as did I, but no no no. This is just crushing straight forward death metal that is not super fast much, not doomy, but somewhere right in the middle. Just a pure head banging delight and a Wasp cover of “F**k Like A Beast, which is a riot live. A pure delight with those low growly death metal vocals that are delivered perfectly. Guitar sound that kills too. What more can you ask for? Info:
https://jesusfuckingwept.bandcamp.com/

ANTICHRIST/GOATSMEGMA-Split (Nuclear War Now! Productions) Antichrist deliver some raw, punishing raw sharp black metal with tons of feeling and passion and exactly how black metal should be. Goatsmegma go even father and deliver a crushing blow to the head of raw black metal like not many can do. The extreme raw production only adds fuel to this fire. Both bands totally deliver the good on this baby. Info:
Sample track: http://nuclearwarnowproductions.bandcamp.com/album/split-3
Label info: www.nwnprod.com

REVOLTING/The Shadow At The World's End (Transcending Obscurity Records) Standard death metal that I have heard a million times before. It just gets old really quick. Yes this is heavy and crunchy and has solid death metal vocals, but I can also just throw on Incantation, Immolation, Entombed, Deceased, etc for my fill of death metal. To me when I review something these days whether it be thrash, death, power, black metal etc I need a band to bring something to the table and this did nothing for me.

JEREMY HARRY HARRIS/Kings Of Time (Self Released) Some tasteful melodic rock from this gentleman. Catchy riffs and songs are a plenty on this. This is better than a lot of the modern rock crap I hear when my wife is driving me around ha ha as that all just sounds like a bunch of mish mash. This has plenty of drive and force behind it and Jeremy for sure knows how to write some great music. Jeremy’s vocals also don’t take a back seat as it sings the songs with a lot of passion and his great rock n roll voice fits this like tight leather pants. Info:


www.jeremyharryharris.com.au

Aggressive Mutilator/Kill A Million (Necrotic Records) This is a compilation of this 3 band’s demos and now Necrotic Records has all 14 tunes on one disc. This band on this don’t crush you with speed or doom parts. It is that mid-paced (for the most part) just excellent sounding guitar sound and the absolutely incredible vocals of the singer. He just screams his guts out and comes out with a really cool non generic death metal singing voice. You also get a Hellhammer cover (Massacra) and also a Bathory cover (Sacrifice) on this release. I really enjoyed this band’s brand of old school death metal. Info:

www.necroticrecords.com

 

PANTHEON/Age of Wolves (Necrotic Records) This band is sort of similar in a way to the above band as they don’t attack and shred you with speed, but there is more speed on this than the above band) as they work with more mid paced and slower parts. The singer screams and growls his lungs out and you can feel the hate and anger in his vocals as this plays on. Production is good and solid and none of that trigger drums sounds on this as well. This band more than gets the job done. Info:
www.necroticrecords.com

 

XENOS/Filthgrinder ( Club Inferno Ent) Finally some thrash that is no bullshit and no nu metal, groove shit. This is hard hitting, speedy thrash metal all the way. The band mentioned Megadeth in their bio and they wouldn’t be far off from that, but this is the old style that band used on their debut and Peace Sells, not that new crap they are releasing on that name now. The music is punishing and is furious and the singer has a fantastic voice and he fits right in with this band’s style and he sings the songs with a yon of passion and feeling and I could feel his voice go all through my body as this played on. This band is easily a fantastic thrash band and they are different from the norm I can tell you that. You into REAL thrash, this is a must check out. Info:

https://xenosthrash.bandcamp.com/album/filthgrinder?fbclid=IwAR16cl2z-Jq8Lxx260qVwiBzAuXSYQmQKG0Io_0T79ffiOM9CVL9rqlsdkI