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

HELLGRIND/My Time in Hell (Self Released) Classic death metal is your ticket to ride on this puppy. Prepare for destruction and despair with this release. A mix of fast and slow parts on this and they have the classic death metal sounds down no doubt. I absolutely love the guitar sound on this as it also doesn’t sound trendy or like a million other bands so a horns up for that. The vocals are low growls of death metal sung the way death metal should be and even the few shrieks, which normally I am not into don’t bother me much on this. The production is spot on and the band should be proud of this release as they did one excellent job on it. Info:

https://www.facebook.com/hellgrinddeath/

https://www.reverbnation.com/hellgrind3

MADVICE/Everything Comes to an End (Time To Kill Records) Oh this is an absolute awesome release. Just killer riffs and great singing are a highlight. The songs totally crush and are so damn catchy and memorable it isn’t funny. The singer sounds so into what he is signing he sucked me right into is hole and the music is a mix of thrash and Swedish death metal and the guitar sound is mint and just everything about this is easily a winner. One to easily check out. Info:

www.timetokillrecords.com

ARCHANGEL A.D./Warband (Self-Released) Oh wow is this some killer fast style heavy metal and the singer and music remind me of a bit of a heavier and faster version of Iron Maiden during the “Killers” era. Yeah the band is that damn good. Great hooks and songs and intensity by this band and just great songs written with feeling and passion and this band sucked me right in and didn’t let me go till the last note was played. This is a fantastic release and one you need in your collection right now dammit. Info:

https://archangelad.bandcamp.com/releases

NIHILIST/Beneath the Hollow (Self Released) Same ole groove based metal with the sound like Pantera vocals and music. Bands like this are a dime a dozen and this band does nothing new or exciting. Info:

https://www.facebook.com/beneaththehollow

Lutharo/Unleash the Beast (Self Released) This is a female fronted thrash metal band and she mixes her vocal styles as she sometimes sings in a low almost death metal style and she sounds pretty good to these ears. The music is melodic thrash and it’s sounded cool to my ears as the songs were very catchy and memorable and still very heavy as well. A good song always sucks me in and this had good songs on it and that is the bottom line. Info:

https://www.lutharo.com

HAIDUK/Exomancer (Self Released) I am not a big fan of melodic metal and this was a melodic death metal one man band with bits and pieces of black metal in the mix. The guy does set up a very cool atmosphere with the music I must say. I wish there was a some more vocals however. There is not many bands doing a style like this nowadays and this is refreshing and different on the other side of the coin. If I was him I would keep up with what I am doing even though this is not something I would listen to everyday, it is cool and very moody. Info:

https://haiduk.bandcamp.com/album/exomancer

THULSA DOOM/Realms of Hatred (Invictus Productions) Oh this is total old school death/black metal that crushes. Vocals that Satan would love and speed and intensity that is not matched my many. I love the speed and the riffs on this and you throw in some killer vocals you got yourself a crushing release. This just pounds and pounds and beats you into submission and crushes the weak. The feeling this band gets is also awesome and I love it. Memorable songs that are not easily forgotten I might add. Not a bunch of wimpy stuff on this so prepare to be run over like a mack track ha ha. Info:

Sample track:

https://soundcloud.com/invictusproductions/thulsa-doom-the-final-scourge

Label info:

www.invictusproductions.net

CREATE A KILL/Summoned to Rise (Redefining Darkness Records Total speedy, aggressive thrash metal with bits and pieces of death metal. Riffs and pounding drums that will have your head moving and air drums playing in no time. This is take you into submission thrash metal that shows no mercy at all. This is old school as well and catchy riffs and catchy music as well. Vocals that are that are sung in a fast and speedy way and fit the music too. This release rules no doubt. Info:

https://redefiningdarknessrecords.bandcamp.com/album/create-a-kill-summoned-to-rise

TOXIC ATTACK/Assassinos em Série (Helldprod Records) This has it’s good and bad points. First the good. This band deliver a nice dose of 80’s style thrash that total crushes like older Kreator/Destruction etc and those riffs will slice through you like butter and that is not a bad thing my friends. The riffs and songs are very catchy and aggressive as well and just had me playing air guitar to them. The bad is the singer is sounds not so good like a bad John Gallagher from Raven. I didn’t like his vocals at all and they don’t fit the music neither. If you can look past the vocals, you will love this. Info:

Sample track:

https://soundcloud.com/helldprod/4prazer-de-matar/s-kxdzs

Ordering info:

http://www.helldprod.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=447

TOURNIQUET/Gazing At Medusa (Pathogenic Records) The singer on this is quite good and the reason for that is it is Tim “Ripper” Owens and the music is also in the vein of Judas Priest at times. Powerful riffs and I love the solos and the music is a heavy metal delight to listen too. The music will just come and get you and pound you into the ground and this is along the lines of the newer Priest stuff which he sang on. Info:

https://tourniquet.net/

DEMANDE/A La Poussière (Self Released) Some decent melodic death metal with some doom metal thrown in the mix. The doomy parts are of course sadness related and the music also has some really melodic parts that actually I liked and sucked me in. The singer has a really depressing voice and he really sounds good and I could feel his pain as the lyrics came out. Normally I am not a fan of this style of death metal, but this is a winner in my book. Info:

https://dalpdoom.bandcamp.com/releases?fbclid=IwAR2MjOPlOiwI8oFM6RJg62dSX9Hpkgy2t7IhiiBebPZhbIXgU7PeT7yksgE

MARCH IN ARMS/Same (Self-Release) Some crunching melodic thrash with lots of hooks and some speed when needed. Vocals are clear and powerful though at the same time. The production is crystal clear and everything can be heard perfectly. I am a sucker for a good riff and this had plenty on it let me tell you. Sort of like newer Priest, but inject some thrash to it like the “Painkiller” era. A band worth checking out. Info:

https://marchinarms.bandcamp.com/album/march-in-arms-self-titled

CROC NOIR/Mort (Wolfspell Records) A bunch of senseless black metal noise with an awful screeching singer. The music is just a bunch of mumbo jumbo with nothing of value and the production sounds like a 4 track demo. Don’t waste your time. Info:

Sample track:

http://wolfspellrecords.bandcamp.com/album/mort

Label info:

www.wolfspellrex.com

MUSMAHHU/Reign of the Odious (Iron Bonehead) A fast, blasting, unrelenting attack of black metal that never lets up and will destroy the weak. The songs and riff structures are also catchy as well. Brutal vocals are also a highlight on this as well. Great production allows everything to be heard and this is what a killer black metal band should sound like. Well worth getting and one of the better black metal bands making the rounds and I love the speed and power this band has as well. Info:

Sample track:

http://soundcloud.com/iron-bonehead-productions/musmahhu-musmahhu-rise/s-zUw0s

Label info:

http://www.ironbonehead.de

KOMODOR/Komodor (Soulseller Records) This is like 70’s style rock and I loved it. Sort of like way early Rush in a way. The songs are catchy as hell and I loved the singer he fits the music perfectly. The songs just have a cool vibe and there is no bands that I have heard doing this style so it was totally fine by me. The band have no newer sounds coming out at all and hey that was fine by me. This was different for me and I dug there also Woodstock sounding sounds. Info:

http://www.soulsellerrecords.com

FEEL NO PAIN/Into The Chaos (Self-Released) This is groove thrash metal and is just not my cup of tea. I wouldn’t go as far as to say it is Pantera Jr, but the band just have some of that groove metal style to them that I am not a huge fan of and the singer I didn’t think was so great as he just screams into the mic with little or no feeling. This band should just work on writing better tunes and the singer get into the lyrics a bit more. Info:

https://feelnopainmetal.bandcamp.com

KILL ALL THE GENTLEMEN/The Loss And The Rapture (Sliptrick Records) This is nu-metal and I hated it. All that groove metal shit with the tough guy screaming vocals and they are sung with no feeling in my book. The music is pointless and sounds like any other band from the nu-metal genre and this pretty much sucked through and through. Info:

HOMICIDE HAGRIDDEN/Effect Lucifero (The Goatmancer Records) Some hard hitting thrash, but the vocals aren’t the greatest, but they don’t suck really bad neither. The music is more old school based thrash and the band hit you hard with their fast thrash sounds, but nothing on this grabbed me and took me off on a journey. The music was kinda faceless and just sat there as it didn’t suck, but it wasn’t anything mind blowing neither. Kinda just an ok fast and speedy thrash band with a not so hot singer is what you get on this. When the band slow down and he sings in a normal style voice it’s just plain awful too. Info:

http://www.thegoatmancer.com/

OMEGAVORTEX/Promo 2018 (Self-Released) Some serious fast, blasting crunchy death metal in the vein of Necrovore, old Morbid Angel, etc. Vocals from the pits of hell and the music is from the pits of hell. Super blazing fast and unrelenting this is when the underground ruled when you had bands sounding like this. I love the guitar sound and the drummer just flys like the wind on this as he never lets up and the power and steam this band gets is killer. Looking forward to hearing more from this band for sure. Info:

https://omegavortex.bandcamp.com

CRAWL/Rituals (Transcending Obscurity Records) This is some brutal and crunchy death metal with some heavy as balls guitar crunch and some ballsy death metal vocals to boot. The production is on the money and the band don’t just go through the motions neither. This is awesome death metal that gets to the heart of the matter and is the way death metal should be and needs to be played. Up the hammers on this. That guitar sound rules. Info:

https://tometal.com/

ANGEL MORGUE/Angel Morgue (Redefining Darkness Records) 3 crushing tracks of some damn prime death metal that is done the right way. No groove, no slamming riffs, just a full throttle attack of pure death metal with tons of speed and intensity in the mix and vocals from hell. The guitar sound just totally rules as does the vocals. The pure speed and feeling this band get I totally love it and I want more from these guys dammit. Info:

https://redefiningdarknessrecords.bandcamp.com/album/angel-morgue-angel-morgue-ep

RAVEN/Screaming Murder Death From Above: Live In Aalbor (Steamhammer /SPV

I have always had a soft spot for Raven and have seen them live several times over the years and always thinking it was a shame they never got their due and yet the 2 Gallagher brothers keep on going. This is a brand new live release from them with plenty of old stuff on it and a few newer numbers and the recording is really good and John sound’s good on the mic and I think everyone should go out and support this band and pick this up and I tell you John sounds great behind the mic and the band is pretty damn tight as well. Well worth picking up. Info:

http://www.spv.de/

VETRARNOTT/Scion (Self Released) Some decent black metal, that while not original or anything mind blowing, was a good listen nevertheless. Fast speedy riffs and whipping drums along with good sounding black metal vocals made this a good listen. The vocals don’t sound stupid or forced and he is into what he is singing and the music is not just a wall of noise neither. The feeling and the atmosphere is there my friends so if you enjoy black metal here ya go. Info:

https://vetrarnottofficial.bandcamp.com/releases

COFFIN BIRTH/The Serpent Insignia (Time To Kill Records) Another useless death metal band doing nothing new or exciting and all the sing does is growl into the mic and the band play faceless death metal with nothing exciting or made me stand up and take notice. It’s like taking a shower in the morning as this is is something you do 7 days a week and this band is something I have heard 1000’s of times before. Info:

http://www.timetokill-records.com/

PERVERTICON/Wounds of Divinity (Iron Bonehead) Nice and fast and pulverizing death/black metal that is pretty damn good. Songs that have solid riffing and song structures and that you REMEMBER, not just a bunch of noise with music flowing in all different directions. The singer is great as his mostly black metal vocals sound great here and he is not just some mindless screecher neither. He can be understandable and also very convincing at the same time. Good solid production as well and well worth checking out. Info:

Sample track:

http://soundcloud.com/iron-bonehead-productions/perverticon-cold-embrace-of-sanctity/s-Ml6pE

Label info:

http://www.ironbonehead.de

GORGON/The Veil of Darkness (Osmose Productions) Gorgon was a black metal that formed back in 1991 with band member Chris and he released several releases back in the day before him breaking the band up in 2001. Now he is back where he has a session drummer and he does the singing, guitar and bass. Let me tell you this is easily one of the best black metal releases I have heard in fuckin years. Chris captures that old school spirit that many can. I could just feel it as this played on. I was total open mouthed as this played. Oh his singing is top notch too. The production is perfect and this just is easily a 10 out of 10. Old school black metal with a touch of death metal. Info:

www.osmoseproductions.com

ATRIA/New World Nightmare (Self-Released) All this was, was some of that nu-metal garbage with the shouted tough guy vocals and thrown in with some clean vocals. This sounds like any of those other bands and also some melodic parts thrown in the mix too. No thanks bands like this are a dime a dozen. Info:

https://atriaband.bandcamp.com/releases

MORTAL SCEPTER/Where Light Suffocates (Xtreem Music) Nothing really good or great on this. Pretty average at best death metal. Nothing stood out and made me stand up and take notice. It is well played death metal, but I felt the songs weren’t anything mind blowing and while the singer was pretty good, the songs just weren’t that strong. This is the band’s debut release so maybe next time. Info:

www.xtreemmusic.com

DEFY THE CURSR/Defy The Curse (Hammerheart Records) Just a crushing attack of Autopsy like death metal with a smack of the Swedish (think Entombed) guitar sound. Sick as fuck vocals as well and they fit the music perfectly. Production rules and that guitar sound is totally sickening. If you like your death metal pure and to the bone here ya go. Info:

www.hammerheart.com

PLAGUE YEARS/Unholy Infestation (Seeing Red Records) Awful death metal that was like a beyond generic version of Entombed and the like. The singer just growls and goes through the motions and the music is pretty much faceless death metal that does nothing. Just a bunch of mumbo jumbo with nothing catchy at all and just goes through the motions and bands like this are a dime a dozen. Info:

https://seeingredrecords.bandcamp.com/album/plague-years-unholy-infestation

HORRENDOUS/Idol (Season of Mist) This was below average death metal that did nothing for me. The music was just “bland” and the singer just growled out a bunch of “blah, blah, blahs” with no feeling or emotion. There was nothing that made me stand up and take notice or was there that killer, catchy riff on this. Nothing good on this I’m afraid. Info:

http://www.season-of-mist.com

VENOM/Storm the Gates (Spinefarm Records) Now I had no idea what to expect when I listened to this and after a few songs I must say this is terrible. Cronos’s vocals are garbage and the music is like grunge and punk rock at times and has nothing to do with Venom at all. Hell he should have release this under another name not Venom. I can’t see any Venom fan liking this. This is like I said a bit faster than a grunge band and the songs aren’t even any good, just pure garbage all the way. Info:

https://www.spinefarmrecords.com/

NEKROFILTH/Worm Ritual (Hells Headbangers) This band delivers some insane charged up death/thrash with that chainsaw sounding guitar sound that isn’t out of the 80’s and vocals from the coffin depths of hell. This is fast, deadly, and at all costs a must have. Think Repulsion and Slaughter (Canada) in the super fast parts and a little Celtic Frost in the slower parts. This band also captures the old school sound that is missing in today’s scene and buy and prepare to be blown away. Info:

Sample track:

http://nekrofilth-ohio.bandcamp.com/album/worm-ritual

Label info:

www.hellsheadbangers.com

LEACH/Hymns For the Hollow (Self-Released) More jump or nu-metal crap with those shouted tough guy vocals. Nothing of value on this at all. More Pantera Jr garbage. Info:

https://www.facebook.com/leachswe/

WARKUN/Of Ruins And Agony (Great Kane Records) Some decent Swedish sounding death metal with some solid vocals. He sings with a growling death metal voice, but you can also here some words here and there, which was fine with me. He also can growl low with the best of them. The music switches from slow, almost doomy parts to some super fast parts. Not super original, but not bad neither. Info:

www.greatdanrecs.com

CRITICAL DEFIANCE/Misconception (Unspeakable Axe Records) Holy shit is this an incredible thrash release not far removed from the 80’s. This is pure Bay Area style thrash like old Testament (think 1st 2 records). The vicious and razor sharp riffs will have you head banging or moshing around your bedroom ha ha. The shouted vocals are a bit like Chuck Billy as well. The guitar sound totally crushes and the speed and intensity on this crushes too. Old school thrashers like me will go postal over this.

Sample track:

https://youtu.be/TxQ0WKquTPk.

Label info:

http://www.unspeakableaxerecords.com/

AGGRESSIVE MUTILATOR/Det Djävlanästet (Defense Records) This is some really raw black metal and it is pretty damn good. Vicious, real black metal vocals that aren’t a bunch of senseless screams backed with some raw black metal music made this a winner in my book. Fast raw black metal with sounds of Hellhammer and the like creeping in within the music. While this isn’t original it is totally enjoyable and you can feel the music and feeling this band gets on this. Info:

https://aggressivemutilator.bandcamp.com/music

BENEATH THE HOLLOW/Nihilist (Self-released) More groove thrash type metal with tough guy and they also use clean vocals and I’m sorry bands like this are a dime a dozen and this is nothing far off from what Pantera did years ago and Pantera sucked then and suck now and we don’t need a copy band. Info:

 

https://www.facebook.com/beneaththehollow

CONTRARIAN/Their Worm Never Dies (Willowtip) This was a boring attempt at progressive death metal (their term) as the songs pretty much sucked and had no catchy riffs at all and the songs lacked substance and the vocals were terrible too as it sounded like the guy was going through the motions big time. Not a very good release. Info:

www.willowtip.com

LACVERATION/Remnants (Unspeakable Axe Records) This was some pretty wicked death/thrash not far removed from Demolition Hammer if you can remember them from way back when. Fast pounding drums and speed galore with some vicious vocals make this a winner in my book. The songs chop away and pound and ground you into the ground. Riffs and song structures that are memorable and you can feel the power and hate that this band delivers over and over as this plays on. Info:

http://www.unspeakableaxerecords.com/

CHAINBREAKER/Lethal Desire (Hells Headbangers) This was down and dirty chainsaw pounding speed metal, but it just lacked something in my book. I was not a huge fan of the vocals and while the music will have any fan of old Razor, Piledriver and Slaughter loving this, the vocals just didn’t thrill me. The music as well as the production keep that old school sound and memory alive and if you can overlook the vocals a bit this is something you will want and need. Info:

Sample track:

http://chainbreaker-canada.bandcamp.com/album/lethal-desire

Label info:

www.hellsheadbangers.com

CYCLONE STATIC/From Scratch (Mint 400 Records) An absolute gem of a release. Totally catchy poppy punk rock from my home state of NJ. The songs have such catchy riffs it isn’t funny and also that punkish edge that was around back in the late 70’s with such bands as The Ramones and Sex Pistols. Vocals are angry, but fit the music well and you will feel yourself bobbing along to each song and I easily did and not many bands these days that combine the pop and punk into one world and make it work, but this band did. Great job. Info:

http://www.mint400records.com

RITUALIZER/Blood Oaths (Self Released) Really solid straight forward heavy metal with some aggressive (not screaming or tough girl shit) female singing that is really good. The riffs and songs are in the vein of such bands as Iron Maiden, Priest, Dio, etc. The songs and song structures are catchy and not boring or generic at all. Solid production to boot as well make this a winner. Finally a straight forward metal band worth listening too. Info:

https://ritualizer.bandcamp.com/releases

INFERITVM/The Grimoires (Inverse Records) This is black metal, but it is more on the more melodic side and also keyboards are thrown in, which was fine by me. The band does play fast, but the riffs and song structures just are on a more melodic side and the songs are also catchy as well. The singer sings like a typical black metal singer with a screechy style, but he isn’t bad and doesn’t sound like some singer at 3am in the woods. The keyboards actually work for this band and I think make them different and better for black metal. Check em out. Info:

http://www.inferitvm.webs.com

AGGRESSIVE MUTILATOR/ Det djävlanästet (Defense Records) This is a total old school sounding release. Think back to the 80’s my friends. This band is a mix of black/thrash metal that wouldn’t be far off from the German thrash/speed era back then. A raw production too. The intensity and feeling this band gets totally rules as well. Please check them out and check out the album on You Tube at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pa3AIiSfP5U

DER ROTE MILAN/Moritat (Unholy Conspiracy Deathwork) This is a mix of death and a bit of black metal and it wasn’t anything great or good. The songs weren’t strong or overwhelming and were kinda just there. The singer wasn’t bad, but the songs lack intensity and feeling and just weren’t strong. Average at best. Info:

http://www.ucdeath.com

BLACK MASS/Warlust (Self Released) The music is good ole thrash and I like it, but the vocals aren’t there and I don’t like those. The guy has a gruff voice and he just doesn’t sound convincing enough to me. He takes the band down a notch. The music is crushing thrash with plenty of hooks and power and fury. Some of the music reminds me of NJ thrasher’s Whiplash at times. It’s not bad so check these guys out. One thing though I wouldn’t call myself Black mass playing thrash metal. Info:

www.facebook.com/BlackMassBand/

MISANTHROPIC MIGHT/Feindt (Self Released) Typical, boring black metal with the fast pick riffing screechy vocals. Awful and I have 100’s of these bands before. Info:

https://www.facebook.com/misanthropicmight

NUISIBLE/Slaves & Snakes (Deadlight Records) Oh the Swedish death metal sound is back and delivers on this release. Those razor sharp riffs had my head moving and banging and the songs are mega catchy and this is no Entombed clone, they mix in some of the Entombed sound along with their own brand of death metal. Vicious vocals as well and they sound convincing and ripping and they are a death metal delight. Production crushes and that guitar sound is unholy so dammit get this. Info:

http://www.deadlight.fr/

DEFY THE CURSE/Same (Hammerheart Records) All this is, is a Entombed clone band and I have heard 1000’s of other bands doing this same style over the years and this is not good or exciting. The songs pretty much suck and they are generic, old and tiring. The singer just sounds like any other death metal singer. Not for me. Info:

www.hammerheartrecords.com

THE BLANK STANDARD/Same (Self Released) Standard same ole heard it all before groovy thrash with a mix of tough guy and death metal vocals. Think Pantera meets Biohazard here folks. The songs, while catchy, leave a lot to be desired and the vocals are just awful. He is a terrible death metal singer and bands like this are a dime a dozen. Info:

 

https://www.facebook.com/Theblankstandard/

PERNICION/Seek What They Sought (Osmose Productions) Some pulverizing death metal is your ticket on this one. Brutal and fast and wicked cool too. This is some crushing death metal too and is more in the old school vein and all the music is done by one person and the singing another. The singing is killer as he belts out the vocals like a classic death metal singer should. Think early 90’s death metal my friends and you will love this trust me. Info:

www.osmoseproductions.com

CHAINBREAKER/Lethal Desire (Hells Headbangers) This band consists of former members of Cauldron, Toxic Holocaust, and Rammer and this is one hell of a debut release. Just crushing old school power/thrash metal at its finest. I hear a big Razor (old) sound within the tunes and that was fine with this old fart. Catchy as fuck riffs and just plenty of power (ala old Exciter) had my neck moving big time and plenty of air guitar as well. Great vocals that fit the music and are sung with feeling and passion as well. I total winner all the way around and this keeps the old thrash scene alive big time. Info:

Sample track:

http://chainbreaker-canada.bandcamp.com/album/lethal-desire

Label info:

www.hellsheadbangers.com

BLACKLIST 9/Mentally Ill, Legally Sane (Eclipse Records) This is a groove metal band, but not in the thrash metal vein of groove and aren’t bad at all. The tunes are good and catchy and not generic and the singer is good and even great at times as he sings with passion and feeling and the only negative thing with him is when he does some low death growls as I don’t like them. The production on this is solid as well and this gets a horns up from me. Info:

www.eclipserecords.com

MOURNING SIGN/Contra Mundum (Orchestrated Misery Recordings) This is progressive death metal and may take you a few spins to get into, but once you do you will be hooked. The tunes are heavy and in the death metal vein, but are not the typical death metal style. The tunes are layed out and well thought out and this is also very different from anything you might have heard and that is actually what I am sure what they wanted. Brutal vocals that are sung with a ton of feeling and fit the music as well. When death metal, like thrash, is done right, I totally love it and this my friends is done right. Just don’t prepare for the norm ok. Info:

https://www.facebook.com/mourningsign/

NORDJEVEL/Necrogenesis (Osmose Productions) Terrible death metal with horrible singing. The music is just garbage and goes nowhere and is not memorable at all. The singer sings with no passion nor feeling and this was just another band making the rounds just taking up space. Info:

www.osmoseproductions.com

HE SCARS IN PNEUMA/The Path of Seven Sorrows (Promethean Fire/Kolony Records) This is a mix of melodic black and death metal and it is pretty bad. No catchy songs at all. They just do the pic riffing style though in a more melodic way and the singing wasn’t bad, but the songs don’t reach out and grab you like they should and this just falls about rather quickly. I need passion and feeling and this had neither. Info:

www.kolonyrecords.com

DEATHSWARM/Shadowlands Of Darkness (Chaos Records) Some nice tasteful Swedish death metal is the ticket here. Thick and heavy riffs that will have your head banging along with some deep death metal vocals that will have you smiling from ear to ear. This band knows how to deliver the death metal goods and they play with a bunch of feeling and passion and the songs are memorable and catchy as well. Get this. Info:

www.chaos-records.com

ARCHEAN/Same (Self Released) This is actually a mixture of black metal meets punk rock! The music is raw and the guitar sound sort of has that punk edge to it, but the vocals are easily in the black metal style as is some of the music as when it gets fast it goes into that fast pick riffing black metal style. It is weird at times, but I also liked it cause it was different and not your run of the mill band so give em a listen. Info:

https://www.facebook.com/ArcheanBlackMetal

CRITICAL DEFIANCE/Misconception (Unspeakable Axe Records) Killer old school razor sharp riffing like the good ole Bay Area thrash days. The riffs and song structures will have that head banging and moshing around your room ha ha. This band does this the right way and doesn’t play that modern nu metal shit and this is thrash done right. Check out the sample track below:

https://youtu.be/TxQ0WKquTPk.

Label info:

http://www.unspeakable-records.com/

WOLVES IN ARGYLE/Dangereux (Self Released) This is a rock/punk band and a good one here. Simple, but effective tunes with a good singer and very catchy tunes that had me nodding along to the tunes. Production is good and solid and the singer really gets singing and he sings with some passion and feeling and he fits the band well. One of the better rock bands making the rounds these days. Info:

http://incineration-ceremony.bandcamp.com

BARKASHASKETH/Same (W.T.C.Productions) Typical black metal with the fast pick riffing and screeching black metal vocals that sound no different from the 1000’s of other bands of today and yesterday. Pretty much awful. Info:

https://www.facebook.com/Barshasketh

Insanity Alert/666-Pack (Season of Mist) This is absolute killer crossover thrash/punk at its finest. Just ripping riffs and screamed vocals are a highlight on this big time. The production even has that 80’s like sound too. This is fast, brutal and unrelenting big time. Hey don’t believe me well here is a link to the stream of the whole album:

http://www.invisibleoranges.com/insanity-alert-666-pack-premiere/

Hecate Enthroned/Embrace of the Godless Aeon (M-Theory Audio) This band has had a few prior releases and this was just nothing special. Average at best death metal with screeching almost black metal like vocals did nothing for me. The songs weren’t catchy and were actually quite boring. I found nothing of value on this. Info:

https://www.facebook.com/HecateEnthroned

OBTURATE/The Bleeding Mask of Dread (Bleed Records) This is some wicked, very brutal death metal played with passion and feeling. Good to great songs with killer riffs and awesome speed and just headbanging riffs galore. I love the guitar sound and the singing is top notch too, no stupid generic growls neither or black metal screeching. Check these guys out. Info:

www.bleed-records.net

DEAD HEAD/The Feast Begins At Dawn (Hammerheart Records) A re-issue here and this is some punishing death metal and a nice mix of speed and slower parts. Lots of extra goodies as there is a ton of bonus tracks on this as well. Just in your face death metal that doesn’t let go and vocals from the pits of hell too. Info:

[email protected]

MOSH-PIT JUSTICE/Fighting The Poison (Punishment18 Records) Musicwise this is like old Forbidden and they deliver total old school thrash with tons of hooky songs and plenty of speed to back them up as well. The vocals sound a bit like Russ from the same band, but he sings a little too opera like at times for my liking, but that is just a minor complaint. The tunes just whip down and punish you and this is real thrash metal not that Pantera crap my friends. Info:

www.punishmentrecords18.com

Malevolent Creation/The 13th Beast (M-Theory Audio) 13 goddamn releases. This is how many releases this band has released and there have been many ups and down for this band, including a new singer as the old one unfortunately passed away. The new singer is awesome as he belts out the tunes with a fury and fire let me tell you. As for the music it also crushes. Blazing speed and a fireball or power and death metal fury make this something you need in your collection. One of the best death metal releases out there for sure. Phil you did it again.

Info:

www.facebook.com/malevolentcreation

VOVKULAKA/Same (Self Released) Really weird and cool band here. They mix in a form of metal and some like Type O Negative metal and a weird singer, but his style fits the bill. Also a bit of industrial is in the mix too. I felt the music was quite catchy, original and with a right push they could easily sell some records. Very original and different band here. Info:

www.Vovkulaka.com

SID BRADLEY/Same (Self Released) This band plays music like it is back in 1971 reminding of bands like CCR, The Byrds, America, etc. I listened to the bands back in the day so this was cool and fine with me. They even have an almost garage like production to their songs as well. The singer I dig as he sings with a ton of passion and obviously no way many bands are doing this early 79’s style now and this was cool and refreshing I can say that. Info:

https://sidbradley.hearnow.com/

DOOMBRINGER/Walpurgis Fires (Nuclear War Now! Productions) Just a bunch of worthless death metal that goes nowhere. The music is just pointless and is not catchy, nor good at all. The singer just needlessly growls and screams into the mic with a dying man with no power. Avoid. Info:

Sample trachttp://nuclearwarnowproductions.bandcamp.com/album/walpurgis-firesk:

Label info:
www.nwnprod.com

APES OF GODS/Procession of Death (Death in Pieces) This band mixes both death and thrash metal and it isn’t bad at all. The music is relentless pounding thrash with touches of thrash metal. Wicked riffing and solid vocals too as the vocals are more in the death metal style. Production is more of an old school production too. Music is fast and furious too. Worth checking out. Info:

 

www.deathinpiecesrecs.com

ENIGMATUM/Same (Chaos Records) Decent death metal, but this isn’t mind blowing, nor does it suck. The band play typical fast style death metal with the growl vocals and it isn’t bad, but this isn’t mind blowing as it was when releases came out in the 80’s if you get my drift. Thick, heavy guitar sound and fast pounding drums as well. If your newer to the scene you will love this. Info:

https://www.chaos-records.com/shop/

HELLNITE/Midnight Terrors (Sliptrick Records) Ripping, razor sharp thrash metal that hits hard and hits fast. Classic thrash metal, not that Pantera crap. Cool vocals too and thrash metal riffs that you will remember and get into for sure. Heart pounding riffs and they will have that neck moving and that air guitar god in you going strong. Thrash metal done right and strong is your ticket on this. Info:

https://sliptrickrecords.com/hellnite/

MEGASCAVENGER/Boneyard Symphonies (Selfmadegod Records) A nice release of some Autopsy like death metal. Fast and slow parts and plenty of thick growls and screams as well. Pounding riffs that will have your neck moving and the slower parts kill as much as the faster, speedier parts. I love the death metal vocals as they are perfect and he gets into them big time at least in my book. Awesome production too and this is a great release. Info:

www.selfmadegod.com

BATTLE BEAST/No More Hollywood Endings (Nuclear Blast) This is classic heavy metal with some power metal mixed in with a solid female singer who has quite a set of pipes to her. She sings with a lot of fury and passion and really gets into what she is singing. The music is straight forward heavy metal with plenty of chops that will have your head nodding and toes tapping. A solid release all the way. Info:

http://www.nuclearblast.de/battlebeast

OPPROBRIUM/The Fallen Entities (High Roller Records) This is fast pounding death metal played the right way, but there is nothing here that excites me or makes me want to jump out of my seat and go nuts. The music just sits there and flys by me. It is old school fast death metal, but as the problem with a lot of bands of today, I have heard so many bands that when I hear something like this and others, it doesn’t make me take notice. If you are newer to the scene you will love this as it is heart pounding death metal with solid singing no doubt, but it is just missing something in my book. Info:

https://www.hrrecords.de

IMPRECATION/Damnatio Ad Bestias (Dark Descent Records) Punishing death metal that will have you on your knees you bastards. Vocals from hell and they are perfect for this band as well. An early/late 80’s death metal sound with slow and fast parts and just a classic old school sound that will slay this band from the pretenders all the way. The music is damn catchy and played with a ton of feeling and passion as well and you can just feel it as this plays on. A great way to start off 2019 with death metal such as this. Info:

www.darkdescentrecords.com​​​

DARK HELM/HYMNUS DE ANTITHEIST (Self Released) This band is described as “progressive death metal” and there is no doubt they are that. The songs are all over the place as are the vocals. The clean and death growls got on my nerves. If your death metal sing like death metal dammit. The songs just seem like they progressive parts in there and they don’t stick nor was any of this catchy or memorable at all. It was like just there. This band has no direction at all and I was quite bored guys sorry. Info:

https://darkhelmpune.bandcamp.com/album/hymnus-de-antitheist

ATHANASIA/The Order of the Silver Compass (Seeing Red Records) A decent rock record with some good songs and a strong singer. The singer really gets into the songs and sings them with feeling and passion and that really helps this band out. The songs are a mix of rock and some heavy metal. They also have a pretty original sound and the tunes are also quite catchy so give em a chance. Info:

https://seeingredrecords.bandcamp.com/album/athanasia-the-order-of-the-silver-compass

HERETICAL SECTH/Same (Redefining Darkness Records) Some crushing doom/death metal on this. Think Black Sabbath and death metal. The slow punishing riffs hurt and then they speed up into a death metal delight. Vocals that are low pitched, but they fit the music and a total crushing guitar sound as well. While this isn’t super original, it gets the job done and it is enjoyable and that is the bottom line. Info:

https://redefiningdarknessrecords.bandcamp.com/album/heretical-sect

ARCHEAN/Same (Self Released) I didn’t find much value in this. Typical screeching black metal singer with raw black metal music that is chaotic and out of control. Nothing much worth getting excited over on this. Info:

https://www.facebook.com/ArcheanBlackMetal

LAST IN LINE/II-STREAMING (Frontiers Music) I am a sucker for a good rock or metal tune and fuck if they didn’t suck me in big time. You into bands like Saxon, Dio, Accept, etc you will post postal over this as did I. The singer is so spot on as he sings the tunes with such passion and the songs omg they are so catchy and they are just perfect. This is a great rock album and when you Vivian Campbell and Vinnie Appice in the band you know it is gonna rock and this is easily my favorite release this year so far. Info:

http://www.frontiers.it/index.php

CERMONY OF SILENCE/Outis (Willowtip Records) Worthless death metal that goes nowhere fast and those trigger like drums are terrible. Songs are awful, vocals stink and this band just plain sucks. Info:

www.willowtip.com

ENTHRONED SERPENT/Towards the Unknown (Self Release) While this isn’t super original it isn’t bad for what it is and that is a mix of some fast and furious death/black metal. This band doesn’t let up in keeping the petal to the metal and will knock you down with their speed and power. The vocals are more in the black metal vein and they aren’t bad as well. A nice mix of the 2 styles. Info:

https://enthronedserpent.bandcamp.com/album/towards-the-unknown

CREMATORY STENCH/Grotesque Deformities (Blood Harvest) Total Celtic Frost worship and I loved it. I ripping attack of old 80’s like death metal the way it used to be. Vocals from hell and music not far behind. Riffs that are both catchy and memorable and have that old school crunch that is missing these days from a ton of bands, well not these that’s for sure. A fast attack of the highest order of death metal so buy into this. Info:

https://bloodharvestrecords.bandcamp.com/album/grotesque-deformities

VIRCOLAC/Masque (Dark Descent Records) Typical death metal/black metal that does nothing to stand out from the pack. Same old tired riffs and fast music with the vocals being the only good thing even on this. The music is pointless and just does nothing. Info:

https://www.darkdescentrecords.com

AMBROTOS/Cosmic Annulus (Sleaszy Rider Records) Typical overdone black metal with the fast pick riffing guitar sounds and death metal vocals. The band is more of the melodic side of black metal, but the songs did not hold me attention at all and were just run of the mill black metal that offers nothing of value. Info:

https://ambrotos.bandcamp.com/

GRAVE VIOLATER/Back To The Cult (Reaper Metal Productions) Some decent old school ripping speed metal that got better as it played on. The vocals are total killer almost black metal like, but not trendy or stupid. The music is a brutal speed metal attack that never lets up and will knock you over like a ton of bricks. A very cool band here. Info:

https://reapermetalproductions.bandcamp.com/album/back-to-the-cult

BAND VS BRAND/DVD This was a very interesting DVD in that it talks with a lot of musicians from back in the 80’s and 90’s and NO notjust hair hair metal bands, you get Dave Lombardo for one, Mike Varney from Shapnel Records, several band managers and they are talking about what it was like to promote their band or just bands in general vs bands that have to promote themselves these days and with so much social media available most say that album sales are way down and that the way to get your brand out there is to tour and sell merchandise. I for one couldn’t agree more. A select few buy albums or CDs these days and that is mostly the older crowd I would say. This is one interesting DVD and I enjoyed it a lot as I grew up in the 80’s while a lot of what they were saying made total sense to me. Info:

https://mvdshop.com/products/band-vs-brand-dvd

CREMATORY STENCH/Grotesque Deformities (Blood Harvest) Total crushing death metal with Cronus like vocals at times. The low tuned heavy as balls riffs with force your neck into going into a super fast motion and the speed and intensity with have you playing air drums and air guitar. This band play death metal the way it should sound big time and totally crush. Prepare for battle and prepare to be destroyed. Info:

DEMANDE À LA POUSSIÈRE/Same (Self Released) This was decent. The band play a mix of doom and black metal to my ears. They sound better with the more doomier parts as when they go in the black metal mold it sounds generic and the singer during that part is just going all over the place with his voice and to me I don’t see the need for it. The doomier parts are pretty decent and I am not a fan of doom neither. The band do mix several different styles and for me some work and some don’t. You be the judge. Info:

https://dalpdoom.bandcamp.com/releases

PUTRID COFFIN/Under the Cemetery (Australis Records) Some decent death/thrash metal, with this more on the old style of thrashing, but more in the vocals of death metal. Plenty of speed and intensity on this and the songs are good, but not great as they were just missing the killer riffs of such bands of Forbidden, Exodus to name a few. That being said the material on this is more than enjoyable and I am sure the band will grow as time goes by.

UNDEATH/Demo '19 (Caligari Records) I hear a lot of Immolation sounds on this and that to me isn’t such a bad thing. The band play low tuned brutal style death metal with plenty of speed and intensity and death metal vocals the way they should sound as well. The production is very good for a demo and if you enjoy the sounds of Incantation, Immolation, etc, then you will easily love this band as I did. Info:

Sample track:

https://caligarirecords.bandcamp.com/album/demo-19

Label info:

www.caligarirecords.com

BAT/Axestasy (Hells Headbangers) This is some down and dirty heavy metal with a Motorhead sound to it. Very catchy tunes to say the least and the raw sounds only made me love this more and more. The vocals are sort of in the Cronus vein as well. This has the drummer from DRI and a couple members from Municipal Waste, but this is not the speed attack of their former bands as while this is somewhat fast, it is more controlled and it works as this kills. Info:

www.hellsheadbangers.com

GODS FORSAKEN/Smells Of Death (Soulseller Records) Typical death metal that has been done to death and then some. Yes the band play death metal the right way, but it has been done before so many times this is like a broken record I’m afraid. Info:

http://www.soulsellerrecords.com

CRITICAL EXTRAVASATION/Morbid Existence (Redefining Darkness Records) 3 tracks of death metal including a Morgoth cover. The 3 tunes are solid death metal tunes with some good death metal vocals to boot. The songs are catchy and fast and not boring at all. The riffs and song structures are good and the vocals are good death metal type vocals too and are sung with passion and feeling. For only a demo this band is off to a good start. Info:

HATH/Of Rot and Ruin (Willowtip) Faceless death metal with bad songs and just plain growl vocals with no emotion or feeling behind them. The songs are just there and aren’t catchy and memorable at all and it’s just a faceless band within the underground doing nothing exciting. Info:

https://www.willowtip.com

HEDONIGIL/I (Inverse Records) Decent black metal with plenty of fast parts and screechy vocals to make the black metal fan happy. The production is good and solid and the music is good and not just a wall of noise like other black metal bands and the singer you can feel the hate and feeling as he sings the tunes. One of the better black metal bands making the rounds these days and there is even some death metal I hear in parts and hey that worked for me as well. Info:

https://www.facebook.com/hedonihil/

GODS FORSAKEN/Smells Of Death (Soulseller Records) A total copy of Entombed and bands have done that in the past to death so this didn’t impress me much. If you miss the old Entombed, here ya go.

GRAVE INFESTATION/Infesticide (Invictus Productions) This is old school death/thrash metal, but I just didn’t feel it with this band. Hell this sounds like it could have come out in 1987, but the songs just didn’t grab me. Something was just missing for me. They sound like old Venom and that includes the vocals as well. Sample a track for yourself:

http://soundcloud.com/invictusproductions/grave-infestation-dead-wrong

Label info:

www.invictusproductions.net

EUGENIC DEATH/Under the Knife (Heaven and Hell Records) Killer thrash metal with lots of catchy riffs and speed to boot. This is not that nu metal thrash, but the 80’s style of thrash, when thrash was thrash and not Pantera like thrash. This reminded me of a band like Whiplash at times and also in the vocals as well. The guitar crunch is killer on this and just prepare to be thrashed when this plays and this is easily well worth picking up. Info:

www.heavenandhellrecords.com

NOCTURNAL HOLLOW/A Whisper of a Horrendous Soul (Redefining Darkness Records) Decent at best Entombed like death metal. The 2 guys in this band have the Swedish guitar sound down pat as well as L.G.’s vocals as well. This isn’t anything to write home about unless you weren’t around when Entombed “Left Hand Path” came out. The tunes are catchy and heavy and speedy and his vocals are good. Like old Entombed, you’ll like this. Info:

http://redefiningrecords.com/