Review: Mutilate – All Life Ends

MUTILATE - ALL LIFE ENDS

Label: Camo Pants Records

Following the release of debut full-length Tormentium on Iron Bonehead Records, New York’s Mutilate are back with All Life Ends, a three-track, ten minute demo that sounds just as nasty and fetid as the cover art would have you hoping. As with that album, and their previous demo Fortress of Suffering, there is literally nothing new here – this is death metal as it was when the genre first clawed itself out of its shallow grave to inflict pain and suffering upon the world. This could well have been recorded in 1987 and only just now been unleashed upon the world; and that is exactly the point.

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Review: Stormland – Songs of Future Wars

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Label: Self-released

Sci-fi and fantasy is practically woven in to the DNA of metal, and there are plentiful examples of it in extreme metal’s history, whether it be bands taking inspiration from the obvious culprits (see: the plethora of bands taking names from the works of J.R.R. Tolkein), to Trey Azagthoth giving praise to 80’s NIntendo games in the linear notes to Covenant and being pictured with his anime collection, to Gridlink writing songs inspired by Neon Genesis Evangelion and the Culture novels of Iain Banks. One-man death metal band Stormland‘s latest album, Songs of Future Wars, is heavily inspired by the Mobile Suit Gundam metaseries, but as with those previous examples, you don’t need to know your RX-78-2 from your EVA Unit 00 to enjoy it, as this is a solid slice of death metal that pulls from multiple strands of the genre to create something crushing.

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2018 Favourites: (just over) half-way edition

So, we’re a bit over halfway through 2018, and there’s been some excellent records released. Most notably, 2018 is shaping up to be an excellent year for death metal – bands such as Tomb MoldOur Place of Worship is Silence, MemoriamSlugdge, and practically everyone on the Dark Descent Records roster are killing it with top-tier death metal. Things aren’t quite so grand when it comes to black metal, but the new Immortal is pretty note-worthy, and there’s been a few other strong releases in the underground – including the final release by Cosmic Church.

Here, I’ll pick out ten of my favourite records released so far this year, in alphabetical order. Hopefully you’ll find something new here to enjoy, or be reminded of something you were in to earlier in the year. Enjoy!

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Album of the Day recap: 23/7/18 – 27/7/18

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Another week, and another selection of five records to help get you through the day. Here is the recap of this week’s Albums of the Day:

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Review: Void Ritual – Death is Peace

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Label: Ipos Music

Are Void Ritual one of the most under-rated bands in US black metal? Based on previous releases, it would have been a reasonable question to ask, with albums from the solo project of Daniel Jackson, such as Heretical Wisdom, providing evidence that there is plenty of life left in second wave worship, even if said records do little to advance the style. Yet with Death is Peace, the answer becomes more concrete, with the latest album being not so much an evolution of previous Void Ritual releases, but a reinforcement of all that was good about them. Frost-bitten melodies sit atop atmospheric riffs, all laced with hooks and a sense of character that brings to mind forgotten forests and secluded, snow-topped mountains. It’s all done with a sense of conviction that is so often lacking in other adherents of the second wave, and on Death is Peace, it comes together in a excellent style, making this record the equal of practically second wave inspired act you care to name.

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Review: Sathanas – Necrohymns

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Label: Transcending Obscurity Records 

There’s something to be said for consistency. Now on to album number ten,  Sathanas are the kind of band who have probably passed under your radar; their discography is one of solid black-thrash, that has – for whatever reason – largely been unheralded beyond their section of the underground. Latest record Necrohymns may be unlikely to change that, but it does serve as a demonstration of what the uninitiated have been missing out on. This is the sound of experience, of old hands who are utterly confident in their chosen style, and are seemingly content to keep doing what they do, regardless of whether anyone else pays attention or not.

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Review: Witchgöat – Umbra Regit

Cover Witchgoat TAPE 2018

Label: Morbid Skull Records

A lesson that’s often overlooked in extreme metal is the importance of melody. You can blast away at 666 BPM, and your riffs can be as crude and violent as an army of rampaging demons, but without even a hint of melody odds are that it won’t half the desired impact. There are exceptions, of course, but these are few and far between. This lesson is one that Witchgöat have well learned, with their Umbra Regit demo demonstrating a band who appreciate the importance of melody in creating something vicious. Sitting somewhere between 90’s Dissection and 80’s German thrash, this is old-school through and through, and highly effective.

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