Blood of Serpents – Sulphur Sovereign (Black Metal)

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Blood of Serpents have been a rather unknown Swedish force but have slowly gained a following after some great live performances following their debut album Black Dawn. However to reach the next stage something needed to change for the sophomore album. In comes one of my favorite vocalists Thomas Clifford (Throne of Heresy, Abscession) ready to take them there and what a match it is. While I thought Black Dawn was a good debut it wasn’t that memorable, it missed some of that hard hitting edge I look for in this type of music. Now with Sulphur Sovereign I get a massive dose of onslaught coming my way. Where Black Dawn was a mid-paced black metal effort with some atmospheric parts to it Sulphur Sovereign is straight up Belphegor, Marduk and Dark Funeral style with it’s fast, powerful and relentless sound. While I personally love this style there is a thin line on creating an album that doesn’t become monotone due to it. The singles have been great for example but does 46 minutes of blast beats do the trick or become boring? That’s where the songwriting and having variation to it all is very important, so that the songs don’t feel like one big mass. In some ways this is where I think Blood of Serpents have not really found their way yet, there are a few songs that are simply too similar to eachother, which lovers the overall enjoyment somewhat.

The first few songs for example do tend to sound like one long track due to this. Whereas “As the Temple Burns” make a great job adding the variation I crave for in a full album of this sort if I want replay value. It’s bit funny really, track by track this album is close to perfect from what I look for in Swedish black metal but when listening to the album back to back then there is too much of the same candy so to say. Which to some will be just perfect though, and it is to me in some ways too mind you. If you like your black metal relentless and well produced like me then this is a must have, make no mistake. Just understand it can give you a feeling of having too much of the good things and it might have been good for the album to be a bit shorter, or have some more variation to it.

Blood of Serpents are better than ever though! This is exactly the path they should continue walking and I am certain they will gain more fans as they’ve taken a giant leap as a band (has to be said they had some line-up changes but hopefully found a stable one now). There are things they can do better but this is the type of core sound I want them to build on. I believe this is a new start for the band that will take them further than ever before. Fans of fast aggressive black metal that the likes of Marduk and Belphegor offers will enjoy this release a lot.

Label: Non Serviam Records
For fans of: Marduk and Dark Funeral
Release date: September 25th, 2018
Favorite song: As the Temple Burns
Score: 3.5/5

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Infuriate – Infuriate (Brutal Death Metal)

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Alright first of all I need to start with saying sorry for my absence, I was meant to review this album and one more last week but I simply didn’t have much spare time so I am a bit behind on things here now. I will do my best to catch up and give you the content you metal gamers deserve! I do have a real treat for you guys though. Infuriate consist of veterans within the Texas grindcore and brutal death metal scene who joined forces to create some old school brutal death metal in the veins of Deeds of Flesh, Disavowed and Severe Torture. One of the bands the members have, or are, a part of is Whore of Bethlehem. I actually got the 2017 release Extinguish the Light in a The Metalhead Box last year and it was a good album so that in itself made me a bit interested what this debut had in store for me.

While I know this was advertised as Deeds of Flesh, Disavowed and Severe Torture kind of music I would personally say Monstrosity mixed in with Deeds of Flesh is closer to the truth. It’s a bludgeoning riff-fest that leaves no head without the banging. It’s hard to not get caught in the flurry of riffs, relentless drumming or Jason Garza’s great vocal performance. The best part about the album though is that Infuriate does a great work changing the pace and what flow they want on the different tracks, making the almost 30 minutes a joy and easy to get back to. Be it the bas that is prominent in some tracks with a sweet groove solo or the hard hitting drums Infuriate got a knack for creating music that leaves the listener wanting more. In all honesty I hoped there was more too, 30 minutes is fine for this type of music as it does leave your brain in a mush but hell this is awesome stuff so this once I could want another song or two. One thing that sometimes can be a bit disappointing in this genre when listening to an album fully and not just a track here and there is it can feel monotone, Infuriate does not fall into that trap and that’s exactly what makes them stand out for me. They have that red thin line to follow throughout but also goes outside it from time to time to add a breakdown here, some slam there and extra heavy bas to top it off. Be it classic American crushing death metal “Mori Terrae”, the slamming “Surrogate” or groovy “Engastration” Infuriate does a superb job and has released one of the most memorable brutal death metal albums of the year.

Label: Everlasting Spew Records
For fans of: Monstrosity and Deeds of Flesh
Release date: August 31st, 2018
Favorite song: Mori Terrae
Score: 4/5

The Metal Gamer becomes a Club Abraxas sponsor!

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When I started The Metal Gamer it’s always been to support the underground metal scene. While I will always enjoy sharing music and reviewing albums I’ve wanted to do more than just that. It just so happens I got the opportunity to sponsor the local scene in my town Malmö, Sweden! Starting with the Oktoberfeast event featuring Venenum, Slægt, Maligner, Armory and Völva the 20th October. It is a privilege to be able to sponsor the underground metal scene for real with helping host plenty of events just like this one for a long time to come. I have said it before metal gamers but I will say it again, always support your local scene! If anyone of you happen to drop by one of the many events coming up for the rest of the year then feel free to have a beer and say hi! This is a new chapter for The Metal Gamer that I am really excited about and hoping it brings a lot of joy to the underground scene.

You can find the announced events here:
Oktoberfeast (Venenum, Maligner, Slægt, Völva, Armory) – October 20th
Day of the Dead (Necrophobic) – November 2nd
Nekrokraft, Orm, The Generations Army – December 8th