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

Cardiac Arrest/ A Parallel Dimension of Despair (Memento Mori) Punishing death metal with some nice hooks and songs. Vocals are a pure death metal delight and I like the guitar sound and speed this band uses as well. This is the way death metal should sound and if you crave solid death metal well here is your band for sure. Info:

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DAGGER LUST/Siege Bondage Adverse to the Godhead (Invictus / Vrasubatlat) This was sludge like death metal and to me not very good. The singer all is does is growl and sort of screams into the mike with no feeling or passion and the music was pointless and went in no direction at all and pretty much bored me so me this was awful and terrible. Info:

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AD HOMINEM/Napalm For All (Osmose Productions) Heard it a million times before black metal that sounds no different than the many bands before them. Now in saying that, this was far from bad at least the band doesn’t a million miles an hour every minute and the singer has a powerful voice as well. I would say that while this band isn’t doing anything new, it is enjoyable to a point and the slower parts are a nice change up from all the speed. Info:

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SPEEDCLAW/Beast in the Mist (Shadow Kingdom) Some ass kicking heavy metal with plenty of chunky and heavy riffs that will have any head banging for sure. Vocals that are also good and solid and this is metal played the old way and the way heavy metal needs to be played. I heard a little bit of Diamond Head in this for sure and this isn’t far off from older early 80’s Judas Priest and the debut album from Fastway as well. Just a fist banging display of metal. Info:

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DESOLATION ANGELS/King (Dissonance Productions) Classic heavy metal is the ticket here. Great riffs and songs and vocals are the highlight on this for sure. This is like the days when Maiden and Priest ruled the metal world. Denim and leather all over again. If you missed this classic metal band around the 1st time well this label was nice enough to re-release it and all metal fans this is for you.


MORBOSIDAD/Corona de Epidemia (Nuclear War Now! Productions) A decent mix of death/black metal that lacks a big due to them sounding like too many other bands I have heard since 1983! I know you can’t be original and this band hits hard and fast and oh are they fast, but this kinda didn’t take me by the balls and lead me down the path of destruction. The music is fast and furious and is easily old school and the singer more than delivers the goods, but the music just lacked that killer punch to give this anything but average at best. Info:

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ELCAMINO/Same (Night Tripper Records) This was pretty awful with an annoying screaming singer. The music went nowhere fast and was just a bunch of mindless mumbo jumbo with no catchy riffs or songs. For there to be mention of Venom while this played on is a total joke. This band isn’t even close to Venom. Just a worthless band piling up in the underground.


UNRAVEL/Eras Of Forfeit (Testimony Records) Bands like this are a dime a dozen. Same ole heard it dozens of times death metal riffs and some nu metal death metal in there with the cup the mic low style vocals. Nothing new, nothing good, don’t waste your time on this death metal outfit. Info:

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SODOMIZED CADAVER/Verses Of Vorarephilia (Immortal Souls Productions) I think this pretty cool for what it is and that is straight forward death metal. No gimmicks, no nu metal, no super low death metal vocals neither. Think older Morbid Angel, Incantation, Immolation and early Death. Nice thick guitar sound and I like the speed of course and the vocals are spot on. If you crave real death metal, then this is your band. Info:


KILLING ADDICTION/Omega Factor (Xtreem Music [reissue] Oh wow I remember when this came out way back in 1993 and it is great to see it come back out and it is done right with bonus tracks (their 1990 demo and a 7” of them). This is just classic most mid paced death metal that did hit the speed button at times as it played. The only thing I would say in the negative is that the vocals are a bit too buried for my liking, but other that this is crushing death metal that hit homes and the bonus tracks are a great addition to this as well. Florida death metal in it’s prime. Info:


GHOUL CULT/Ghoul Cult (Duplicate Records) Now this is some kick ass thrash metal that had my head moving big time. Great riffs and vocals too. There is some strong songs on this and this band deliver the goods. Not this new wave of thrash this is 80’s sounding thrash and this is the way thrash needs to be baby. Just listen to those riffs pound out of your stereo and that neck will be moving or its air drum time as well. If your into thrash here is your band. Info:


ANGEROT/The Splendid Iniquity (Black Market Metal) This has a bunch of seasoned death metal veterans who decided to release an album dedicated to early 90’s Swedish death metal and they did more than get the job done. This totally crushes with that unholy Swedish death metal guitar sound and vocal style to boot. James Murphy and LG Petrov (who gave up on death metal though) make guest appearances on this. If you weren’t around in the early 90’s you get to revisit an unholy time in the underground as this band nails it right like a nail to wood. Also helps that you have Tomas Skogsberg mixing your album. Prepare for speed and power and a Swedish death metal assault that will leave you breathless. Info:


VAHRZAW/Husk (Blood Harvest) Some pounding, fast death/black metal that gets the job done. Riffs that pound into your skull and fast tunes as well. I love the speed and intensity on this big time. Vocals are spot on as I can hear the hate and intensity in his voice and I can feel it. The music is not pointless nor boring at any time on this and this just kicked my ass big time. Get it. Info:

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BYYRTH/Echoes from the Seven Caves of Blood (Iron Bonehead) Just a wall of senseless noisy black metal that got old fast. All the singer does is wail and scream into the mic with no feeling or passion and he is just awful. The music isn’t much better as it is just a wall of noise with no feeling and nothing catchy of good about it neither. When the band slows down it isn’t bad, but the singer plains ruins this for me. Info:

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Barbarian Prophecies/Origin (Base Record Production/Hecatombe Records) Like the 1000’s before this band has come to my underground metal table and offered me nothing I haven’t heard a 1000 times. This is just a boring run of the mill death metal band that did nothing for me. The songs were ok at best, but nothing special and at least the singer didn’t cup the mic and he wasn’t too bad. In an overcrowded metal scene this band offers very little in my book. Info:


GRAVEYARD/Back To The Mausoleum (War Anthem Records) This wasn’t bad death metal as the band write some catchy and fast tunes with a singer who gets it as well. Nifty riffs and the blast beats kill. The singer has a nice death metal style voice and he puts it to good use on this. Songs will have you banging you head and I give this a horns up. Info:

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KOSMOGY/Eviternity (Flowing Downward) This is a 2 man black metal band and it isn’t bad, but it also didn’t blow me away. With black metal vocals it is hit or miss with me and with this it is hit. He sang with a ton of passion and feeling and didn’t sound like he was out in the woods at 3am. The music on this is rip roaring fast blasts of black metal that isn’t noisy at all. This hits hard and hits fast and if you like fast black metal then this is your band. Info:



BLOOD TSUNAMI/Grave Condition (Soulseller Records) A total thrash metal assault on my ears and I loved it. Easily the best band of the week. Bone crushing thrash metal riffs with great vocals. Oh the guitar sound is on fire and the speed, sound and fury this band gets is unreal. I was banging me head from note one till the end. The production lets everything flow and this is easily thrash metal at its finest and this is as good as it gets my friends out there. Info:

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STORMZONE/Lucifer's Factory ( Metal Nation Records) This is some ass kickin straight forward metal that more than gets the job done. The tunes are on the melodic side, but this is no Hammerfall clone or what have you. The tunes are catchy and are melodic metal sounding, but fuck are they good. The singer has an unholy voice and damn if he vocals don’t fit the music like a hot blonde in tight jeans. His voice is perfect and he sings with such passion and feeling too. Simply a great band and release. Info:

GREYBEARDS/For The Wilder Minds (Attitude Recordings) More ass kicking rock n roll that sounded good to these ears. Not like this modern rock crap, this band just shoot it right down the line and come up with some good to great solid as heel rock tunes that had me hooked in like a fish to water. The singer ruled his voice was fantastic and he fit right in with the music. This is a lot better that any of that modern rock crap I hear on the radio I can tell ya that. This is one band that deliver the goods and are keeping the flag of rock n roll high and in my book that’s awesome. Info:


Expulser/The Unholy One (Greyhaze Records) This came out originally in 1992 and now it is seeing a re-release. This some crushing old school death metal with a singer similar to Chuck from Death at times. I love the brutality and speed on this as well and I can feel the hate and fury from this band as the music plays on. Lots of catchy and brutal riffs on this as well. Check them out for sure. Info:


AXEGRESSOR/Bannerless (Brutal Records) Wasn’t into this much as they play groovy like metal in the vein of Pantera and all that nu metal crap. Of course we get the tough guy vocals and lots of non catchy riffs that pretty much bored me. Bands like this are a dime a dozen I am afraid. Info:


THE AMORETTES/Born To Break (Steamhammer/SPV I like good rock bands when they deliver the goods and this band I am sorry to say they don’t deliver them. Very weak tunes with no power or substance to them at all. A weak singer who sings with very little power and I felt nothing as she was singing these tunes. Limp rock is what is on this I am sorry to say.


DEPRAVITY/Evil Upheaval (Transcending Obscurity Records) While this breaks no new ground this is some decent death metal with plenty of speed and intensity and fury to boot. Sick vocals and he sounds great and he reminds me of Ross from Immolation a lot. If you crave sick brutality and speed this is your band for sure and production rules too. Info:

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HAMMERSTROKE/Satan’s Claw (DocRock Music Records) Oh this is like a bad version of when Judas Priest were selling out. The music is so limp and worn out and nothing heavy on this. The singer is like a bad version of Halford and he mixes up his vocal style and that makes this even worst. Terrible attempt at metal and rock n roll that is a complete failure. Info:


THE GROTESQUERY/The Lupine Anathema (Xtreem Music) Oh yes a splendid slab of prime death metal and this is the way death metal should be. Vicious like riffs and awesome death metal vocals from Kam Lee. Catchy songs and played with a lot of emotion and fury too. With death metal to me you either got it or not and this band sure has. I love the thick and heavy as fuck guitar sound they use as well. Prepare to be pounded with a death metal fury from these guys. Info:


CASKET FEEDER/Scalps (Hibernacula Records) This is a death metal band, but they play with way too much groove style for my liking. The singer does deep death metal growls and then he does those scream o core vocals at times too. The groove stuff is easily forgettable and when they get fast that wasn’t much to speak of neither. Nothing worthy on this.


THE ABSENCE/ A Gift For The Obsessed (M-Theory Audio) This was some bone crushing thrash with some killer vocals too boot. Memorable riffs and songs and plenty of speed mixed in between. Great production and riffs that had my feet tapping and the air guitar going as well. The guitar crunch of this is top notch and this is well worth seeking out. Info:


CORAM LETHE/In Absence (Buil2Kill Records) Boring death metal with awful vocals. The songs offer nothing of value at all. They are melodic in nature and just pretty much bored me. Nothing catchy and the guitar sound is terrible. Just a bunch of senseless melodic death metal that is just a nothing and the vocals are just generic growls as well. Info:


SADISTIK FOREST/Morbid Majesties (Transcending Obscurity Records) A nice dose of Swedish death metal can be found on this and also the fast parts crush. A ultra thick guitar sound and death metal vocals the way they should sound are a highlight on this. The fast parts cut like a knife through butter and fuck does that drummer kill it on this. To sum it is up this is death metal done right and damn if it doesn’t get the job done. Info:


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ROCKA ROLLAS/Celtic Kings (Stormspell Records) Another gem of a find by this great label. Great power metal band here with that classic early 80’s sound with plenty of hooks and powerful vocals. I love the guitar sound and the singer has a great set of lungs as he bashes out the vocals. There is also plenty of double fast stuff as well and this isn’t that Hammerfall Jr crap or a lot of those new European bands that all sound alike. Get this instead and you will be glad you did. Info:


SPELLWITCH - The Witching Hour (Stormspell Records) The metal fist is back up again and this band delivers the goods for sure. You can’t fake metal and while there is so many shitty bands making the waves this band is like a breath of fresh air. Chock full of fist held high riffs and another band with a powerful singer and memorable songs made this a pleasure to digest and listen too. This is real heavy metal not some lame band trying to be metal. Think old Armored Saint or Savatage and bands of that nature. This was the quality stuff I enjoyed back in the day and this band brought me back to it. Another great find by Stormspell. Info:


FLAME ACAUSAL/Contra Mundum in Aeternum (Blood Harvest Records) A crushing slab of old school death metal with bits and pieces of black metal that will blast you into oblivion. This shit hits hard and hits fast. The raw, restless sound this band only adds to the madness. The singer sings like he is on death row with his last meal ready and he is awesome. The music is just a fast and furious and doesn’t let up till the last note and the raw production only adds not subtracts. Solid release. Info:

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TO DESCEND/People Of The Abyss (Chaos Records) Some killer old school pure death metal sort of in the vein of Possessed at times. Catchy riffing and great vocals are highlights on this. A nice thick heavy guitar sound easily with an 80’s like death metal sound which was fine by these ears. Production allows everything to flow freely and this is definitely one of the death metal bands making the rounds these days I can tell you that. Info:


EKPYROSIS/Primordial Chaos Restored (Terror From Hell Records) The problem with this is that it just sounds like an exact copy of Incantation and hell there is even a cover tune from the band on this. Yes, this is heavy and the band have a nice mix of speed parts and slow doomy like parts with the low like death metal vocals, but if I want to hear Incantation I can put them on. This wasn’t super bad as at least they play death metal the right way, but that is about it. Info:


DEIQUISITOR/Downfall of the Apostates (Dark Descent Records) Another generic death metal band that is doing nothing new or exciting. I don’t expect originality, but please bring something to the table. Just a run of the mill death metal band that sounds like 1000’s of other that are out there. Info:


VARMIA/W ciele nie (Pagan Records) Some of the worst vocals I have heard highlight this awful band. The music is a bunch of senseless noise and doom with no sense of direction and the singer is god awful just sounds like any other screaming singer singing with no emotion or conviction. The clean vocals are a total joke and are so out of place too. Avoid like the plague.

TERRWSREIAL HOSPICE/Universal Hate Speech (Shadow Records /Regain Records) Typical fast black metal with the screeching black metal with a few slow parts mixed in. This actually wasn’t too bad, but was nothing to write home about as the band aren’t doing anything new. Average fast black metal is what you will find on this release. Info:


HUMAN CULL/Revenant (Self Released) Some solid fast death/grind metal that kicked ass. Speedy riffs and ponding drums with some sick death metal vocals had me liking this a lot. This never approached a wall of noise and the songs were enjoyable and catchy and also played at a 100mph too. The vocals were deep growls as death metal should be, but not that super low cup the mic style. The production allowed everything to flow freely and this was a nice solid listen. Info:


TORTURE SQUAD/Far Beyond Existence (Secret Service Records) Some wicked old school sounding thrash metal from Brazil. Riffs that cut through knife going through a butter. The female vocals I didn’t like at first, but soon I got into them and this is speedy thrash that never lets up and I love it. Music that takes me right back to the mid 80’s when the underground was fresh and these new bands were blowing everyone away with their power and speed. The guitar sound will rip through you and have you playing air guitar and banging your head. A great display of old school thrash metal all the way. Also some bonus tracks of cover tunes including Wasp, and Motorhead. This band has been around for a long time and this is my 1st time hearing them and I am impressed. Info:


DEATHWARDS/Towards Death (Invictus Productions) Holy shit is this some devastating death metal and this is old school like 1989 style death metal. Think old Pestilence, Sindrome (remember them) and bands from that era. Riffs that tear and rip your skin and power and fury of a 2 ton truck. Riffs that are catchy and speedy and big time memorable I assure you. Awesome vocals I can hear the power and fury and aggressive lungs of this man as this plays on. God I feel like I am doing reviews on my dad’s old typewriter when this plays and that my friends is a good thing. Info:

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GRIND ZERO/Concealed In The Shadow (Punishment18 Records) This is an insane release of old school Swedish style death metal and you can throw in some grind at times too. While this is not super original, this more than makes up in that with its delivery. The riffs. The vocals. The speed. The aggression and the speed left me wanting more. God that Entombed guitar sound and vocals and throw in total intensity and speed and you won me over. Production is perfect and on the money and if you missed Entombed when they were good, come check these guys out and see why they were so worshipped back in the day and if you were around back then, come take a ride again on the ride, you’ll be glad you did. Info:


GHOUL CULT/Same (Duplicate Records) Oh they said this was old school thrash/death and they were not kidding. This is like 1984 or 1985 style thrash/death with thrash like vocals. Riffs that tear through the body and speed and intensity and vocals that totally rule. They are sung with such a feeling and intensity too. It is such a simple, but heavy production that more than gets the job done. This has that old Hellhammer/Celtic Frost sound for sure. If you like Hellhammer you will die over this as did I. Info:


RIBSPREADER/The Van Murders - Part 2 (Xtreem Music) Typical same ole heard it a million times Swedish style death metal with the mid tempo and faster parts and same generic death metal vocals. This band brought nothing to the table with this release and I was bored in minutes. Avoid. Info:


OPPROBRIUM (AKA_INCUBUS)/Supernatural Death (Brutal Records) This a re-issue of this which originally came out in in the late 80’s. This band was fast and even more fast ha ha. Now we are talking real black beats now that crap you hear these days. Vocals sound like Mille from Kreator and the music is just unholy killer. Super fast death metal with plenty of speed and intensity and also 2 bonus tracks and yes I do remember these guys when I was doing the print version of my zine and they were compared to Morbid Angel a lot and yes they do sound a bit like them, but to me they have their own style as well. This is just breath taking speed/death metal at its finest and I think it is fantastic this is back out and it absolutely belongs in every fan of underground metal fans collection period. Get this at all costs. Info:


Sadistik Forest/Morbid Majesties (Transcending Obscurity Records) Another average run of the mill death metal band doing nothing new, but for more than that, doing nothing exciting. No ripping riffs, no catchy riffs, just songs that just kinda stand still and do nothing. The production is good, but the songs offer nothing of value at all? Another band to avoid.

SACROCURSE/Gnostic Holocaust (Hells Headbangers) Yes this is what I like. A wicked combo of death/black metal that is fast and fast and never slows down except here and there. A total blast of powerful death metal with perfect death metal vocals as well. The music to your funeral you death metal fanatics. Think Incubus (see above), think old Morbid Angel and you get an idea of what this band brings to the table and they bring quite a meal. Easily a favorite of mine so far this year. Info:

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SATHANAS/Necrohymns (Transcending Obscurity Records) Damn this band has been around forever and here they are back with a brand new release of death/black/thrash metal that more than delivers the goods. Killer vocals and this band just does not let you down after all these years and this totally has that old school sound and the songs are brutal and catchy at the same time and this never got boring. They mix up 3 styles and do it well and for a band that has been around since the 80’s to be alive and more than kicking this crushes. Info:

WOMBBATH/The Great Desolation (Soulseller Records) Just another faceless Swedish death metal band with the same tired vocals and riffs and song structures. It is like Entombed Jr here. Nothing worth getting here. Info:

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MOS GENERATOR/Shadowlands (Listenable Records) Oh my god this is some of the best hard rock I have heard in a long time. Great, catchy tunes that you will instantly get into and love within seconds. Fantastic vocals and the songs are heavy too as they have a little heavy metal in the mix. The production allows everything to flow freely and this blows away a lot of the crap that goes for rock on the radio I can tell you that. One of the best release so far this year. Info:


NEUROSIS/Pain Of Mind (Self Released) This originally came out in 1987 and what a slab of hardcore punk this is. Total pissed off vocals along some raw as fuck hardcore punk make this a release not to miss. You can just feel the energy and madness on this as it plays on and I felt like I was at a City Garden’s concert in Trenton, NJ as this played on. Just fast lighting like riffs over shouted vocals is a punk rock lovers dream. I do remember a bit about this band way back when, but never got a chance to experience them live. Just expect a fury of loud and pissed off sounds on this great release and good for them for re-releasing it after all these years. Info:


BULLET/Dust To Gold (Steamhammer/SPV) Oh now this is some killer heavy metal with hints of power metal at time. Great, classic riffs and strong songs and awesome vocals made this a winner in my book. Think old Accept and hints of Judas Priest as well and I mean the ‘Restless and Wild” era as well. The songs are very catchy and they are just head banging slabs the way metal should be. A great production and the singer is also fantastic and you can just hear and feel the power in his voice as he belts out the lyrics. Thank god no Hammerfall Jr. here neither. Just great fist banging metal. Info:


BLACK MASS PERVERTOR/Life Beyond The Walls Of Flesh (Blood Harvest/Regain Records) This isn’t bad, but as with the problem with a lot of bands making the rounds these days this does nothing to stand out or impress me. It was just a average at best death/black metal band making the rounds. The music has the chainsaw pounding riffs and the same style hate filled vocals as all the others and they play fast and slow and they just do nothing to stand out at all. Sorry nothing solid on this I’m afraid. Info:


DREADFUL FATE/Vengeance (I Hate Records & To The Death) This is some fast and vicious stuff and doesn’t let up at all and I liked that fact. Kinda like old Kreator as it just hits hard and fast and doesn’t let up. The singer screams and sings his heart out that I thought the last notes were coming out of his heart on this at times. The band do slow down to let you catch your breath, but for the most part this is a speed blasting assault that doesn’t let go and it is a speed metal attack that will have you going nuts I assure you. Info:


RITUAL NECROMANCY/Disinterred Horror (Dark Descent Records) Some Incantation like death metal that sounded good to my ears. Thick as fuck punishing riffs and a speed attack to match it and thick growls of death make this a death metal release not to miss. The songs while speedy are also memorable and catchy and not just a wall of noise and the singer just so fits the music too. Yes, this isn’t original, but I love Incantation and yes this is Incantation worship and I fucking loved it dammit. Info:


HATE MANIFESTO/To Those Who Glorified Death (Helter Skelter/Regain) This again is a case of I have heard it over and over and then over. At this point in time when I hear a band I need them to bring something to the table for me and this sadly doesn’t bring anything to the table. It is faceless fast death metal that haven’t been done to death I’m afraid and left me bored. Info:

EMBRACE OF THORNS/Scorn Aesthetics (Iron Bonehead) Nothing special death metal with touches of black metal. The songs to me weren’t strong and left a lot to be desired. The singer was average at best and the songs just didn’t grab hold of me and send me for a loop so to speak. When I hear a new band these days I need to be taken on a ride or be knocked out of my chair and this band didn’t do that in the least and this was boring death metal big time. Info:


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ULFHEDNAR/Ulfhednar (Self Released) Some decent melodic black metal that didn’t bore me to death. The songs were good and the songs were memorable and the singer has a good voice and he fits the musical style of the band as well. The chainsaw like riffs with bore into your head and stay there as this plays on. This band is young and hopefully they will get better as times goes on, but for now they are headed in the right direction. Info:

MUTILATE/Tormentium (Iron Bonehead) Bad death/black metal with awful songs and vocals. The songs went nowhere fast and the singer just has a creepy, but terrible voice and he does not fit the music. The music is a mix of fast and more doomy parts, but they guy singing sounds like a 70 year old man and that is not good in my book. The songs have nothing memorable about them and just plain bored me really quick. Info:

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IMMORTAL SYNN/Machine Men (Self-Released) This is was a heavy metal band with traces of thrash in the mix and again the songs were not strong, nor catchy or memorable. No rip roaring riffs and fist pounding anthems that would make me stand up and notice. The music just plodded along and then it was on to the next song. Sorry guys this was not good at all. You need to work on your song writing skills.


RUACH RAAH/Under the Insignia of Baphomet (War Arts Productions) Some solid black metal with a wicked raw sound and the singer is solid and good too. I can feel the pain and feeling coming from his throat and the raw sounding black metal sounds this band has made this a treat to listen too. The music is fast and furious and it kills. A black metal assault on your ears that you won’t soon forget. This is the way black metal should be. Info:

SUBDUER/Death Monolith (Dunkelheit Production) This band (I use that term loosely) is the biggest piece of shit band I have heard in years. The music is pointless and just a wall of fast noise and NO guys it’s not black metal. Satan would hate you guys. Just a bunch of pounding on the drums with some idiot screaming in the mic. This fucking blows. Info:

HIRAX - "Born in the Streets 1983/1984" LP (F.O.A.D.) Oh how killer it was to hear this as I love Hirax and had never heard this early demo (I know shoot me) until and this and it totally shreds. Incredible riffing and of course the incredible vocals of Katon and for a demo back in 1984 the production isn’t bad at all and also including on this lovely piece of vinyl is 3 songs from Katon’s pre Hirax band called LA KAOS so this of course is well worth getting and here is how to get your copy. Info:

BLASPHEMY/Victory (Son of the Damned) (Nuclear War Now! Productions) This band has been around forever churning out their own brand of black metal and they return with a new release and this is another classic example that when done right black metal that crush. Raw as fuck sounds and riffing fill the air as this played on and sick black metal vocals also fill the air. Speed and intensity and feeling are also in the air as this just totally killed. I totally love the production too as this band just gets it right and this is one of the best releases of the year and black metal is back with this band no doubt. Info:

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TYRRANICIDE/God Save The Scene (Deluxe Edition) 2xCD (Divebomb Records) I used to write to these guys back in the day and I don’t mean by email. We used to write hand written letters to each other and when I got this promo from Divebomb I was like a kid in a candy store as I had long forgotten about this band that’s for sure. Wow what I can I say except this is some awesome old style thrash from back in the day and you get plenty of goodies on this that’s for sure. 27 songs and from the band’s early demo stuff to their full length to what would have been their 2nd full length (which I was not aware of) to an unreleased (until now) demo and stuff off some comp releases. A 24 page booklet is also included and if you’re a fan of thrash, this is a must get at all costs. Info:

BETRAYEL/Death Shall Overcome (Divebomb Records) Oh Matt finds another treasure here. This is another 80’s thrash band that appeared on a few comps Godly Records' Raging Death and Metal Massacre 10. They play a style of thrash like Exodus and Death Angel and I for one had never heard of these guys back in the day. The singer has a voice a bit like Blitz from Overkill and that was fine by these ears. Just crushing riffs until your ears bleed from the sounds you motherfuckers. Matt finds another pearl in the ocean. Old school thrash fans will love this. Info:

RAGING ROB/Always The True Assassin (Self Released) This is Robert Gonnella’s new band as he was the former frontman for the band Assassin. This is old school wicked thrash with plenty of crunch and intensity to the music. Rob sounds great singing and I could feel the intensity and feeling in his voice as this plays on. This is easily 80’s style thrash and that was fine with this old time metalhead. Pounding windmill riffs of thrash are a highlight on this and the production allows everything to flow and this band sounds they are proud of this and they should be as it is an excellent release. This is also free so what the hell are you waiting for. Info:

Evil/THE EVIL (Osmose Productions) This is Sabbath like doom with some Soundgarden mixed in. It is very cool for what it was and the heavy, doomy riffs will suck you in and the singer has an amazing voice and he fits the music perfectly and he sings with such emotion and feeling it isn’t funny. The production is also great and this is some killer Sabbath doomy metal my friends. Info:

DJEVELKULT/Når Avgrunnen Åpnes (Saturnal Records) All this is some noisy black metal with a singer who just screams and yells into the mic. The music is big time generic with the band going from playing super fast to slowing down at times. Just a bunch of blah blah blah that is quickly forgotten. Info:

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REFUGE/Solitary Men (Frontiers Music) This is some straight ahead right down the line heave metal music and it is not so good. The songs aren’t strong and the vocals to me are weak. The guy doesn’t sing with much power and he didn’t impress me at all. The songs just didn’t have any killer riffing and songs that would make my head want to bang or play air guitar. This just didn’t do it for me at all. Info:

GOAT DISCIPLE/Wolfcult Domination (Blood Harvest) This isn’t bad, but it is nothing I haven’t heard a million times before and nothing just stood out on this at all. The singing isn’t bad and the music also isn’t as it least it is not some generic crappy death/black metal band. The music is fast and furious and does pack a punch so if your into the fast death/black music and haven’t heard a million bands before this could be right up your alley. Info:

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SIEGE COLUMN/Inferno Deathpassion (Nuclear War Now! Productions) I like the music on this, but the singer not so much. All he does is growl into the mic, but he is not convincing at all and just seems to be going through the motions and that is where he loses me. The music is fast death metal for the most part and isn’t bad and the fast parts where just total crushing. The raw production also adds to this as well. If only this 2 piece band had a better singer I would be enjoying this that much more. Info:

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DEATH STRIKE/Fucking Death (Vic Records) This the band’s legendary demo that was released way back in 1985 and the 8 tracks on this are from a CD re-issue that came out in 1991. Now fuck all that right. You want to know about the music well the music on this fuckin kills. Paul Speckman pulls out all the stops on vocals and this is how your supposed to sing, with fury, passion, and with a ton of feeling and on this release it nails it to a “t”. The music is just a fast and furious wall of thrash and doom metal with a ton of speed and power. This is like a ton of lead coming at you with nowhere to escape. This is a must have if you consider yourself a fan of metal. Info:

GLUTTONY/Cult of the Unborn (Vic Records) This is a rip roaring display of some classic Swedish style death metal that will pound you into the ground and leave you buried. Unholy riffing that will have that neck moving in no time I can assure you of that. The guitar sound I totally love and the singer is spot on as well. The fast parts just kill and the band take a break now and then to let you catch your breath, but this is solid death metal with catchy and memorable tunes and this is not some faceless death metal band and well worth checking out. Info:

ARCHAIC TOMB/Congregations for Ancient Rituals (Caverna Abismal Records) Boring death metal did nothing for me. Nothing special about the songs and they are just there and they had no feeling, no emotion and were just like out there and then after the song was over it was onto the next. Nothing wanting me to bang my head or play air guitar or drums neither. The vocals were good and that was about the only good thing on this actually. Info:

IPERYT/The Patchwork Gehinnom (Pagan Records) This wasn’t a very strong release neither. The vocals I didn’t like as they were weak in nature and not violent or aggressive enough and the music just lacked any killer punch to it and this just make for a weak and bad release. Info:

INFRARED/Saviours (Self Released) This band was around back in the 80’s and now return with a new album full of classic thrash metal let me tell you. Classic, crunchy riffs and just enough speed and plenty of aggression to get the job done. Singer has a nice voice and he more than gets the job done with his singing. Guitar tone and crunch work big time on this and air guitar you will be playing in no time. Nice to see this band back as I had never heard them around the 1st time and this is something they should be proud of. Info:

CARNIFEX/Pathological Rites (Xtreem Music) This is the band’s 3 demos that were released in the early 90’s and this is classic Swedish inspired death metal with plenty of speed, power and vocals from hell. The songs are catchy and heavy as fuck as you would expect and for demos the production is quite nice and is classic Swedish death metal all the way and I liked it and I think you all will as well. Info:

MORGENGRAU/Blood Oracle (Unspeakable Axe Records) Nothing impressive on this at all. Below average death metal with poor tunes playing with no feeling. The riffs and song structures are not strong nor memorable at all. The singer isn’t bad as at least he tries, but this band does nothing right musically at all. A poor attempt at death metal for sure. Info:

SATAN MY MASTER/The King Of Hell Arrives (Helldprod Records) This is fuckin old school black metal and it crushes. Think back to the early Venom records both vocals and musicwise. Riffs that pound into your skull and stay there. I was easily taking this and enjoying it big time. The speed and intensity of this totally rules and you can feel the hate in the music and the vocals too. Black metal played the right way and not just a bunch of senseless noise and this will satisfy any black metal fan out there. Info:

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DE PROFUNDIS/The Blinding Light Of Faith (Transcending Obscurity Records) Typical death metal that has been done to death and then some. Generic riffs and music with some average at best singing. The singer at least makes an attempt and isn’t bad, but the faceless music behind him doesn’t help him at all. Not worth getting at all. Info:

THRONEUM/The Tight Deathrope Act Over Rubicon (Hells Headbangers) Just a bunch of noisy black metal that didn’t impress these ears. All the band did was play super fast and it to me was just a wall of noise and the vocals are just screamed into the mic and this was not a very good release at all. Info:

ANTISOPH/Self-Titled (Self Released) This is some pretty cool alternative rock/metal that was different and catchy and even sounded like Voivod at times musicwise. I like the singers voice he is different and he fits right in with the music as well. This is like going to the dinner table and trying out some new food and liking it a lot. Really weird guitar tone and the music might take a few of used some getting used to, but it is well worth checking out. Info:

ESKHATON/Omegalitheos (Lavadome Productions) Yes, Yes, and more yes. A total crushing release of death metal that will blow over the weak. Fast and furious this will have the death metal fan in you smiling I assure you. Pounding, lighting fast drums, blistering riffs, and vocals from hell. Production is good and solid and this grabbed me within a minute and didn’t let me go till the last note. This is death metal done the right way and it totally kills. Pick this one up for sure. Info:

PSYCOREPATHS/UNDERGUST Split-ANNOYING TRUTHS FOR HUMANITY (Self Released) Psycorepaths play that nu metal style with all the jumpy happy riffs with the tough guy vocals and then mix them up with lower vocals and while the music actually wasn’t bad when they were playing at a slow tempo this got old fast. Undergust play old school hardcore and they simply ruled. Total 80’s style hardcore with vicious vocals, but not in that tough guy Pantera style. Songs are big time catchy and easily won me over. So you have one ok band and one great band on this. Info:

CRYONIC TEMPLE/Deliverance (Scarlet Records) This is a simply amazing release and I was totally floored at just how good this is. I was expecting Hammerfall Jr. or some generic power metal, but fuck NO was I wrong. The music is simply beyond godly and is so catchy with great hooky guitar riffs and arrangements. The guitar sound is also great and the singer has a tremendous voice and he sings the songs with such feeling and passion it is not funny. This is in the vein of Judas Priest I’d say, but it is way more than just a clone band. In my top 3 of this year so far. Beyond great. Info:

ETERNAL LIES/Burning The Nest (Chaos Records) Some decent black metal that didn’t sound like a wall of noise and a singer, while he screams and screeches at least I can feel it while he was singing and he didn’t sound like a singer at 3am in the woods. This was a bit more on the melodic side, which was fine by me as I am not into a black metal band just playing 99mph the entire time with a screeching singer. Solid production and if you care for melodic black metal this might be up your alley. Info:

PHENOMY/T.W.O (Self-Released) This was a typical new rock/metal band that you hear on the radio these days so of like Nickleback to my ears. The songs were boring to me and the singer, while not bad, with bad music behind his voice, didn’t have a chance with me. This is just generic rock/metal music that bored me quickly. Info:

SHED THE SKIN/We of Scorn (Hells Headbangers) Brutal, punishing, raw death metal that will have you smiling. Love the death metal vocals and he sounds great as he belts out the lyrics on this. The music goes from fast to mid-paced and when they go fast I love it. Just blistering speed that smashes the weak and the generic bands out of the way. Straight forward death metal that hits hard and is heavy and fast as fuck. Info:

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FAITHXTRACTOR/Proverbial Lambs to the Ultimate Slaughter (Hells Headbangers) Totally godly death metal that blew me away. This is built on speed and speed we go. Just killer speed parts that had me banging my head in seconds. Great songs and great guitar sound and awesome vocals made this a complete triple assault not to miss. Perfect death metal vocals and he sings with such feeling and emotion. The music slows down every now and then to let you catch your breath and then it is back into the ultra fast zone. Below is a sample track to check out and one of the best release of the year hands down. Info:

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MASS OF THE HERETIC/Flames of Hatred (More Hate Productions) While this is far from original it is some decent black metal that is wicked fast and more than gets the job done. Good, solid black metal style vocals and fast as fuck music are highlights on this. This is all not a wall of noise and the music is quite catchy at times with memorable riffs and song structures. This will just pound into your head and do that till you submit from its power. I was loving the speed and power this band gets and uses too. Info:

ELEGIS/Superhuman Syndrome (More Hate Productions) Just some awful generic death metal that goes nowhere fast. The vocals are garbage and the music is just nothing to write home about. No strong riffs or song structures at all. The songs are just kinda there and just do nothing after they are done playing. Nothing memorable on this I’m afraid. Info:

5RAND/Sacred Sacred (My Kingdom Music) This band plays extreme metal and they do a pretty good job on this. Some catchy, memorable riffs are on this and plenty of speed and intensity to keep you satisfied. There are also wicked guitar solos that had me open mouthed at times. The singer, Julia, has a great set of pipes and sings her ass off literally on this. Now I wasn’t a fan of her singing with clean vocals, but when she sings with her growl style it totally works. The production is great on this as everything can be heard and for me it is the singing and the guitar playing and song structures that make this band. Info:

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IVORY KNIGHT/Unity (Self Released) Now this is some solid straight forward no holds barred heavy metal with a good singer with a nice set of pipes. He sings with songs with plenty of power and he sings them with feeling and emotion. The songs are in the classic Judas Priest mode and that was fine by me. Tunes that will bang that head and have the air guitar going as well. The songs are memorable and catchy big time and this was one of the best heavy metal bands I have heard in quite some time and this is along the Priest “Screaming for Vengeance” era not the more recent thrashy Priest. Definitely check these guys out. Info:

COLLATERAL BRANCH/Chaotic Pulse ((Self Released) Oh this is simply an amazing band. They mix up some prog metal along with a bit of alternative to it and plenty of emotion and feeling and that is not just in the tunes, but in the godly singing of singer Lisa Parella. She sings the songs with such passion and feeling it is not funny. The music is also ultra catchy and very original and the songs are big time memorable as well. This band just plain rules and smart label would snatch these guys up pronto. Info:

HALF MIDDLE CHILD SYNDROME/Tarah Who? (Self Released) Another good solid band that plays a mix of alternative rock and a bit of rock n roll. Good vocals that are sung with feeling and passion and fit the music. Kinda like an alternative version of Voivod at times. Just a warped out band, but the songs are catchy and memorable and not just a bunch of mombo jumbo. Nice to see some bands breaking out from the norm and trying, and this case, are being original and different and it works. The vocals and music will suck you and not let you go I can assure you. Info:

SHOCKPROOF/More Broken Chains (Time To Kill Records) This is straight ahead metal with some Metallica to it and that is fine with me because the songs are strong and so are the vocals. The songs are ultra powerful and heavy as fuck and don’t go into that whole nu-metal style which for me was a blessing. The singer has a tremendous set of pipes and he sings the songs with a ton of power and he fits the music rather well I’d say. I love the guitar sound on this and the band also don’t sound like every other band out there and the singer sounds a bit like James from Metallica I’d say. If your into the Metallica ear of say the “Black” album you’ll love this. Info:

ROYAL ORPHAN/Same (Self Released) Some decent prog metal with some impressive vocals. The music also touches on thrash every now and then too. What stops this from getting boring is the songs are strong and not boring and have catchy riffs. Excellent playing by the 2 main members in the band and the production is also strong on this as well too. You are urged to check these guys out as they are impressive in my book. Info:

JOSHUA’S CREED/Same (Self Released) These guys just grew on me. They are I guess a metal band with some groove to them and hard rock as well and I think they grew on me was the fact no tough guy vocals are not around. They just hammer out the tunes and the singer has an excellent voice and he sings with a lot of pop and feeling and the tunes are pretty catchy. I wish there was some more speed in the tunes, but that is just me. This is sort of like Pantera at times without all the speed they use on some of their releases way back when. Good job on this guys. Info:

PAGANFIRE/Play Loud & Fuck Off The Rest (Self Released) Some wicked very fast thrash/speed metal that sounded good to these ears. Atrophy was a band that came to mind as this played on, but this band would be a faster version of them. Twirling riffs that suck you in and vocals that are over the top make this a winner in my book. This is from several different releases and that was fine by me as the speed just owned me. Singer has a good voice and sings with a lot of feeling and this is a thrash metal band not to be missed that’s for sure.

RIVETHEAD/Fix Our Enemy (Self Released) This was a neat band for sure. This reminded me of Ministry a lot and I loved band a few years ago. Heavy pounding riffs and even some sampling within the metal sounds and for this band it works. The songs are balls heavy as fuck and the combo of metal and industrial styles is a perfect blend for this band. They are also throw in some female vocals here and there, which I wasn’t a huge fan of, but they aren’t around much so it wasn’t too bad. Great production and this band has 9 releases out so they have been around awhile for sure! If you miss bands like Ministry and NIN and stuff here is something right up your alley. Info:

TYRANT WRATH/1979 (More Hate Productions) Really solid and good straight forward death metal on this. The tunes blast straight forward knocking you right over. Awesome, strong vocals and they are sung with a ton of feeling, passion, and feeling and fit right along with the death metal music. Great production and a great guitar sound on this too. I personally wish the band had a bit more speed to this as speed is what I personally prefer, but this still gets the job done. This is just hard hitting death metal that you will love I assure you. Info:

BLACK SOULBLADE/Masterpiece of Hate (More Hate Productions) This really wasn’t my thing as it is that groove metal style of thrash with the gruff Pantera like vocals. He also sounds at time like he is cupping the mic as he sings on this. The music actually isn’t that bad, but is nothing to write home about, but the vocals ruin any chance of me liking this. Info:

NAVALM/Nothingness (More Hate Productions) Fast crunching death metal with a touch of industrial to it. The music sucks you in and the singer I love his voice as he sings with a ton of feeling and hate and his voice just fits this music perfectly. Big time crunch of the guitar and a bottom end heavy production also work wonders on this and the intensity I also liked. This is not for the faint of the heart. Think Ministry meeting death metal in an alley and out this pops. Very solid release. Info:

DARGONOMEL/Astazebian (More Hate Productions) Ultra fast combo of death/black metal that will have your neck snapping and air drums galore. Vocals from hell and the speed doesn’t let up except a few stops along the way. The drummer pounds those drums into hyperdrive on this and the guitar crunch is big time heavy and sounds greats to these ears. This band has a great combo of both styles and this does not sound generic at all and with this you get the best of both worlds. Info:

SVIRITUAL HOLACAUST??/Feast of Maggots (More Hate Productions) I thought this was going to be a generic copy of Cannibal Corpse and I was wrong about that. This band plays a more controlled form of death metal that has slower, not doomy, crunchy parts that are heavy as fuck along with some deep, but not too deep death metal vocals. The music isn’t half bad and the singer actually is good and solid and you can feel that in his vocals as he sings. To sum this up I’d say this is straight forward brutal death metal that gets the job done. Info:

GUTTED BRIDE/??? (More Hate Productions) Below average death metal with weak songs and horrible vocals. Another run of the mill death metal band here that sounds like 1000’s before them playing bad death metal with a singer who sounds to these horrible. All he does growl into the mic with no feeling, no nothing. The songs go nowhere and just sounds like too many other bands to have any impact at all. Not for me. Info:

PANOPTICON DEATH/The Final Prophecy (More Hate Productions) Below average death metal with those terrible guttural vocals. All he does is grunt and growl into the mic with no conviction nor feeling. The music is faceless death metal that goes nowhere fast and just a bunch of fast music that is blah blah blah. Avoid. Info:

NACHASH/Phantasmal Trinunity (Shadow Kingdom) Boring music by a boring band. No strong songs as they weak as hell and nothing memorable about them at all. They are generic as hell and don’t leave a lasting impression on the listener. Nothing powerful about this at all as well. Avoid. Info:

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ART OF DECEPTION/Path of Trees (Rob Mules Records) Awful groovy thrash metal with the Pantera like vocals. This got old really fast as this band adds nothing new at all and just sounds like any other generic band doing this style these days or back a few years. Awful and terrible. Info:

BARKASTH/Decaying (Svarga Music) More terrible, generic death metal that goes nowhere fast. The songs as weak and are not at all memorable and the annoying screechy singer is beyond bad. The songs have no feeling, no emotion and this got old for me really fast. Avoid this band as they suck.

ABIGAIL/Far East Black Metal Onslaught (Helldprod Records) I like the music on this as it is totally raw old school black metal, but I could do without the vocals. They are too screechy for me and buried in the mix too much and by song # 2 they were really getting on my nerves. Some may like this and/or not mind it, but this is hit and miss with me. 200 copies of 7” on vinyl. Info:

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WITCHFYRE/Grimorium Verum (Fighter Records) An awesome heavy metal band in the vein of Mercyful Fate and even the vocals are a bit like King at times. Great riffs and song structures played with tons of feeling and catchiness as well. A non-generic band that doesn’t sound like a million others and actually write and play quality tunes and I was hooked on this within 2 minutes. Excellent release. Info:

DRAGHKAR/The Endless Howling Abyss (Craneo Negro Records / Nameless Grave Records)

This is a 4 song Ep of some very good death metal. It is old school in style and sort of have the Possessed style of vocals to it. The music is mostly fast, but not super fast and the songs are pretty catchy and heavy and set a mood of gloom and doom, but not like a doom metal band. The songs just hammer into you and don’t let go and pound into your skull. This band is better than most of the death metal stuff I have heard this year I can safely say that as well. Info:

DEMONIC OBEDIENCE/Fatalistic Uprisal of Abhorrent Creation (Satanath Records/Sevared Records)

This just didn’t grab me and I was just bored with the songs. The band play brutal death metal, but the vocals seemed forced and fake and the music was just nothing special and nothing I have not heard ten million times before. As I have always said I need bands to bring me something to the table and all this band was bring me a generic death metal meal. Info:

CEMETERY LUST/Rotting in Piss (Hells Headbangers) Brutal, ripping, razor sharp thrash metal that will cripple you. Sharp, punishing riffs will bleed you dry along with vocals from hell make this a band to easily get into and enjoy. Fast pounding riffs and songs had me playing air guitar in no time. Production that feels like the 80’s and this is an old school thrash lovers dream. Check these guys out for sure.

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HELLISH/The Spectre of Lonely Souls (Unspeakable Axe Records) This was another old school thrash band with some cool vocals. The band remind me of Destruction and Razor at times with the song structures. The music is mostly fast with some slower parts here and there. The songs are catchy and solid and I like the old school production on this as well. Prepare to be thrashed on this motherfuckers and the songs will slice through you like a knife through butter. Info:

INVOCATION SPELLS/Spread Cruelty In The Abyss (Hells Headbangers) A brutal combo of death and thrash metal is on this along with some hellish vocals as well. Razor sharp riffs that tear at the flesh and will evoke images of the mid 80’s again. Violent, fast tunes that will shred you to pieces and have you crying ha ha. This simply crushes the weak and lays to waste the pretenders. A great black/thrash release to say the least. Sample track below:

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