September 2018 Blasts

This edition of short reviews take in some very interesting stuff, including one of my favourite releases of the year (which is it? Read on to find out!). It also features a split that, though I find it flawed musically, I can’t help but want to emphasise how much I love it for what it tries to do, and how important it will be to some people. There’s a real mix of the underground and bigger names, with three of the six releases being put out without label support.

So, this month, we have melodic punk; crusty powerviolence; not-actually-war-metal; noise rock; thrash/heavy metal; goth-laced metal that all-but resurrects the spirit of Sister; and blissful blackgaze. Enjoy!

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Review: Canavar – Canavar (self-titled)

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Label: Self-released

Normally if we talk about a band blending hardcore and metal, it’s likely that the term “crossover” will come to mind, and with it, thoughts of bands like Suicidal Tendencies of Power Trip. But there’s more than one way to combine the two genres, with Canavar on their self-titled debut combining moments of Slayer-influenced thrash with hardcore that sits between Sick of it All-style muscle and youth crew melodic sensibilities. It’s a bright, energetic sound, and though it might be a rough around the edges, Canavar is an album that’s a hell of a lot of fun to listen to.

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Review: Master – Vindictive Miscreant

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Label: Transcending Obscurity Records

It’s incredible to think that it’s almost 30 years since Master first unleashed their self-titled debut album; and since then, the death metal veterans have barely put a foot wrong. They’ve never gone chasing trends, or caring about what is fashionable. Instead, they’re focused solely on doing what they want to do, releasing album after album of old-school death metal. It leaves them in an enviable position now, with latest album Vindictive Miscreant doing exactly what you’d want a Master album in 2018 to do. It’s an album filled with solid tunes, crushing riffs, and a brutal sense of energy. It’s also that most difficult of things to review – an album that does nothing wrong, but sticks so closely to the blueprint of what Master are that critically assessing it is all-but impossible.

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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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July 2018 Blasts

After a break of, well, much too long, the (hopefully) monthly review round-up is back. Truth be told, I missed writing these, despite the work involved. I intend on publishing these towards the end of each month, covering… well, as always with TSNTW, covering whatever I feel like that I think is worthy of your time. This month’s selection takes in the progressive metal of Khôrada (featuring former member of Agalloch and Giant Squid); high-speed thrash from Black Fast; a first-time on vinyl reissue of a Sarcófago album; dark ambient courtesy of ELMA; punk-infused thrash metal nastiness from Butcher in the Fog; and crushingly negative hardcore from Sense Offender. Enjoy!

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Review: Sahon – Chanting for the Fallen

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Label: Transcending Obscurity Asia

With a lot of thrash bands, the tendency is to slow down a bit as they get older – for the wild fires of youthful exuberance to become dulled into something more considered and, if not exactly tame, then more controlled. It’s not always the case, and sometimes it can result in a genuine masterpiece being created (as with, say, Sodom’s Agent Orange). With Korean band Sahon though, latest album Chanting for the Fallen could never be considered slow, or restrained, or tame. It is a full-on thrash onslaught, utterly relentless in its pace and delivery, carrying with it an undeniable energy and sense of enjoyment.

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Album of the Day: Sepultura – Machine Messiah

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Label: Nuclear Blast

I confess, somewhere along the line, I lost my faith in later-day Sepultura. I have soft spots for Against and Nation, but from Roorback onwards, nothing had grabbed me. It’s not that they’re not the same band as Max-era Sepultura – they might as well be different entities completely now – and I’m longing for the old days. It’s just that the albums weren’t that, well, good. So, imagine my surprise when Machine Messiah didn’t so much change that streak as it did grab me, shake me around, and realise just how great their prog/thrash/groove combination can be. Their best album since Chaos A.D? As far as I’m concerned, yes.

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