Benighted – Necrobreed (Brutal Death Metal/Grindcore)

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Wow! The opener Hush Little Baby gave me the chills like it was the movie The Omen. What a way to start off this massacre that is Necrobreed. The French band Benighted are known for their brutal ways and high standard of releases (Necrobreed being the bands 8th offering). Starting as a black metal band but has since then turned into a brutal death metal/grindcore machine not to be taken lightly. During the years there has been a lot of change within the band, not just genre wise but also change of members. Only original Benighted member left standing is the vocalist Julien Truchan. That said I find it quite astonishing Benighted keeps up the high level of releases with these changes and relatively short time in-between the albums.

Benighted doesn’t hold back on anything with Necrobreed, this is a tank with no brakes. As much as I love brutal death metal and think some of the newer bands are really great, showing a lot of potential and can play with the mean big boys along comes a real heavy hitter like Benighted and show the value of experience. There is no denying these guys knows their shit and have been crushing skulls for years. Also needs to be said Julien Truchan has to be one of the best vocalists within the genre, his pig squeals are out of this world to be honest.

Benighted – Necrobreed is something you need in your life, or death. One of the best brutal death metal albums I’ve reviewed since I started this blog. Necrobreed is out now from the legendary label Season of the Mist.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/brutalbenighted
For fans of: Aborted and Cattle Decapitation
Favorite song: Monsters Make Monsters

Mustan Kuun Lapset – Saatto (Black/Dark Metal)

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Mustan Kuun Lapset, MKL for short, was formed in 1993 but after releasing four albums the band decided to call it quits in 2007. However the time has come for a comeback! The reunion features two of the original members Mikko Hautala and Pete Lehtinen with the additions of Heikki Piipari and Ville Pelkonen. You might wonder what the name Mustan Kuun Lapset means? Well it is Finnish for Children of the Black Moon, pretty badass don’t you think? Another change is that the band has gone from black metal towards dark metal, while also changing their lyrical theme from satanic to poetic. A really big difference in many ways but it’s still very dark and black.

The album starts off with an instrumental track that sets the tone for a very beautiful album. After that it you get to hear the very Finnish melodical sound, with synths, down to mid-tempo guitars and an average track length on around 5,30 minutes. Have you listened to more melodic black metal bands from Finland like Moonsorrow, Shade Empire, Ajattara and Thy Serpent then you know what I am talking about. Lyrics are in Finnish so most of you will have a hard time understanding what MKL sings about, however the music in itself speaks a story so even if you do not understand the language Saatto will give you a great music experience.

All in all I had a great time with Saatto. A great comeback by Mustan Kuun Lapset and people into the Finnish style of black/dark metal will feel right at home. Saatto is out now from Inverse Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mustankuunlapset
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/MuKula_Official
For fans of: Thy Serpent and Shade Empire
Favorite song: Kuolemanvirta

Cranial Engorgement – Horrific Existence (Brutal Death Metal)

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It’s taken the Americans in Cranial Engorgement ten years (they formed in 2007) to release their full-length debut, that’s a long ass wait! One reason for this is the band, which consists of three members, has changed two of three members during this time and seems to have had a hard time getting it to find the motivation when losing the members (just speculating) to keep on going and actually release a full-length. Up until now that is!

Horrific Existence starts with an sample and instrumental track on Prelude to Horror, which is heavy and groovy that will kickstart your experience. On Dawn of The Final Day the mayhem truly starts! Blasting out like Dying Fetus on the good old days with tempo changes, brutal death metal groove and gutterals that will keep you going for days. After that is just keeps on going at full speed, Cranial Engorgement doesn’t know how to slow down but they don’t have to because this is fucking brutal death metal!

They say those that wait for something good can wait for a long time and Carnial Engorgement’s full-length debut Horrific Existence is the perfect example of that. It’s what the American brutal death metal scene is about and fans of Gorgasm, Dying Fetus, Cannibal Corpse, Deeds of Flesh or Nile (for that technical spin) will be right at home with this album.

Cranial Engorgement – Horrific Existence is out now from Gore House Productions!

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CranialEngorgement
For fans of: Dying Fetus and Cannibal Corpse
Favorite song: Dawn of The Final Day

Voidthrone – Spiritual War Tactics (Black/Death Metal)

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Voidthrone came from no-where last year and released the debut EP Spiritual War Tactics the very same year the band was formed. Not only is that quick work but it was also very well received by the metal community so it caught my interest and I had to see what these Americans have been up to.

Have you ever felt isolated, angry and want to unleash your vengeance upon the world? Good then you will feel right at home with Voidthrone and know exactly which dark zone they want you to visit in the Spiritual War Tactics. This is very disturbing music which makes you feel uncomfortable, yet curious and it makes me draw parallels towards Deathspell Omega and Zhrine who plays around the same musical mindset. Voidthrone is maleficent sounds filled with despair and it will make you numb, you can be sure of that. Even the cover art (a picture says more than a thousand words) can tell you what Voidthrone wants to tell with their music.

Voidthrone’s debut EP Spiritual War Tactics is out now as a digital and independent release!

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/voidthrone
For fans of: Deathspell Omega and Zhrine
Favorite song: Spiritual War Tactics

Nekrokraft – Will o’ Wisp (Black/Death Metal)

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Nekrokraft is a rather new band being formed in Linköping, Sweden 2012 and got an EP released during the same year, Witches Funeral (Reborn in Fire). Since then the band has gone through a lot of changes, adding new members (from four to five) and changing some (bass and drums). With the changes the band has been ready to work towards releasing their first full-length album named Will o’ Wisp, which came out from the ashes in late 2016.

The band draws a lot of influences from the old school black metal scene from legends such as Emperor and Immortal with a hint of death metal Behemoth and Dissection style. There is much to like on this album, it’s melodic yet punishing and the vocals are just what I am looking for within black metal, angry with hissing shrieks and screams that gives me the chills. Lyrical wise it’s what you expect from a black metal album, occultism but taken from folklore (also a reason the album is named Will o’ Wisp I take it), a concept I like and had a bit different touch to it due to it. All seven tracks on the album are of high quality and I had a really hard time picking my favorite song from the album. Which eventually actually lead to a choosing a song at random from Worship, Hellfire and Armageddon Unleashed.

Only downside of Nekrokraft’s first full-length album is the length of it, clocking 23 minutes. I personally feel anything less than 30 minutes is more of an EP than a full-length album. However you do get 23 minutes of great black/death metal and fans of the dark arts will surely enjoy the will o’ wisp symphony.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/nekrokraft
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Nekrokraft
For fans of: Immortal and Emperor
Favorite song: Worship

Analepsy – Atrocities from Beyond (Brutal Death Metal)

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Portugals very own Analepsy have been on many brutal death metal fans minds since their debut EP Dehumanization by Supremacy came out in 2015 like a hurricane and destroyed any competition in its path. Follow up the EP Analepsy has finally given us their first full-length Atrocities from Beyond. Continuing their path to extinction Analepsy are more than ready to devourer their competitors in the brutal death metal slam scene. I have to say this is one of the best debut full-length albums I’ve heard within the genre. Even with the change of a vocalist from Ricardo Proenca to Diogo Santana getting both guitar and vocal duty they still keep it brutal and it’s like nothing has changed in the band.

Analepsy are producing some of their best tracks on this album. Rifts to Abhorrence, Witness of Extinction and Atrocity Deeds are instant brutal death metal classics that will put Analepsy on the map for even more metalheads out there. Analepsy deserves all the praise they get and they are here to stay folks. The share brutality, shredding and gnarly vocals mixed in a blender is a sweet symphony of destruction. Atrocities from Beyond is a perfect debut album in many ways and Analepsy has really paved their way to the top now.

Atrocities from Beyond is out now by Rising Nemesis Records (who by the way keep releasing great stuff).

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/analepsyofficial
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/analepsy
For fans of: Vulvodynia and Acranius
Favorite song: Witness of Extinction

Vanhelgd – Temple of Phobos (Black/Death Metal)

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Are Vanhelgd Swedens best death metal band? Many claim they are so obviously I had to visit this Temple of Phobos to see what’s special with them. The name Temple comes from a chain of religious words Vanhelgd use on their albums (Cult, Church, Relics and Temple) with Temple of Phobos being the bands fourth full-length release since their formation in 2007. Vanhelgd, being Swedish for desecrated, comes from a small village in Sweden and hardly tour. I take it that’s the main reason they are not up there with heavy hitters like Entombed, Grave or Unleashed in popularity because I am almost inclined to agree, Vanhelgd is one of Swedens best death metal acts today.

The album got a red line of death from start to finish and you don’t want to skip a single tune until the pale horse has come to take you. The mixture between Swedish and English feels just right here, for example Den Klentrognes Klagan takes my mind towards Behemoth’s wonder Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel but in Swedish. Overall I think Vanhelgd has more in common with Behemoth or black/death metal hybrids than the Swedish death metal such as Entombed just due to the atmosphere during Temple of Phobos, which is chilling and filled with horror and anti-religion. Also half the band is in King of Asgard, which was created by legendary ex-Mithotyn member Karl Beckmann, so I guess that could be an influence of the black metal sound.

I am surprised Vanhelgd has escaped my grasp for so long, even with the hype surrounding them (and my love for King of Asgard) I never stopped by to listen to an album until now. I am glad I finally got around to it though. As a Swedish death metal fan this is pure drogs for my black soul. If you’ve been like me and missed Vanhelgd then you should stop with whatever you’re doing and fix that, listen to Temple of Phobos now! If you do know of Vanhelgd then I sure hope you have visited the temple and spread it’s knowledge to the world.

Temple of Phobos is out now through Pulverised Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/vanhelgd
For fans of: Entombed and Behemoth
Favorite song: Den Klentrognes Klagan