Ineffable Demise – Beyond the Marrow Gates (Brutal Death Metal)

Who are Ineffable Demise you might ask yourself? Hell I didn’t even know until I had a look on Trevor Strnad’s top 100 list which always features a lot of great underground bands I might have missed. Seeing this was a year where I didn’t have a lot of brutal death metal albums coming in my mailbox his list was the best way to listen to the gems I had missed. Ineffable Demise is an international trio that hails from the United States and United Kingdom, both countries having had a lot of great BDM bands over the years. Ineffable Demise started only two years ago and with Beyond the Marrow Gates their debut was upon us.

From the get go Ineffable Demise goes hard and shows they aren’t here to fuck around, instead they want to use their brutal sledgehammer to leave your brain in a mush. Music wise this is classic brutal death metal on the more technical side where bands like Defeated Sanity thrives, with some heavy hitting slams being used from time to time to hit you extra hard. In all honesty this is a great example on how to showcase musical skills but within the boundaries of their peers. While I did mention the album starts off merciless, leaving nothing to chance, it’s on the fourth track “Tyranny” the real fun starts and the slams are more incorporated making it one of my personal favorites instantly. Then the last three songs “Undercity”, “Pummel” and especially the closing song “Abolition” ends the album on a really high note where the drums and bass are really dominant acting like a tank to destroy everything in its path. The good use of audio clips and instrumental parts hitting its peak makes “Abolition” one of the best BDM songs I’ve heard this year.

There is really nothing wrong here, maybe a bit too much of Defeated Sanity worship for some but if you, like me, think they are one of the best bands to ever reach your eardrums then Ineffable Demise and their debut Beyond the Marrow Gates is for you. The mixing is good, the album got a few standout tracks, length is perfect for this genre as it keeps you interested all the way to end. An impressive debut that can be built on and I am looking forward to hear what they do next now that I got my eye on them.

Written by J.B.

Label: Realityfade Records
For fans of: Defeated Sanity and Fixation on Suffering
Release date: July 20th, 2018
Favorite song: Abolition
Score: 3.5/5 Very good

Sol – Before We Disappear (Atmospheric Doom)

Doom music is the greasy wheel that never stops to rotate. It can be full of rust, missing a part of it’s axle bit it will not stop function. Grinding, crushing and shattering every muscle of mankind. The next band to be presented is Sol. Sol (which means sun in Scandinavian) is a atmospheric doom collective, a weapon of total destruction. Behind this monstrously wheel of pain is the multi-instrumentalist Emil Brahe, that take us for a trip through darkness and insanity with his seventh full-length album. A combination of atmospheric doom, dark ambient and neo folk, the latest diamond in his crown is named, Before We Disappear.

A dirty and filthy route of demanding chaos in the most clear water, is what we are presented to. A silent dark being with a hurtful purpose in this life of the living. Six chapters of torture hiding in the unseen. A shadow that will bring even the strongest believing soul to the brink of total annihilation.

It’s slow as doom music should be, it’s atmospheric as space need to be and pretty as death need to be. A wonderful lullaby for the last great sleep. Sol was formed in 2004, and very quickly they demanded the throne of epical doom in Denmark. The act of Sol has evolved throughout the years with different members and constellations but all ways with Emil as the main root, the core of creating force.

The heart stone for me in the entire album is the song, “Carried By Old Storms”, that have a devilish choir in companion with an organ, do you actually need more..no you don’t. The use of cellos, clarinet and viola increase the love for death even further. A solid work of a genuine hard working musician.

The definition of atmospheric doom can not be written in any other description, then the one i presents here.

Written by K.P.

Label: Ván Records
For fans of: Void of Silence & The Howling Void
Release date: October 5th, 2018
Favorite song: Carried By Old Storms
Score: 4/5 Incredible

The Metal Gamer – Games of the Year

2018 was a good year for gaming with many class releases. As an owner of PC and PS4 I am obviously limited to what I can play and I sadly don’t have the time to play them all either. This year I did manage to play quite a few of the top rated releases during the last months of the year (thank you Black Friday offers). A thing to note is I have not played Red Dead Redemption 2, I have to say this as I know it’s a game on many GotY lists this year. If I aint played it I can’t comment on it though, easy as that. From the 2018 releases I’ve played this is my top 3 list.

Game of the year:
God of War
An absolute masterpiece. Not only the GotY to me but one of the best games made this whole gen! Can’t praise it enough.

Spider-Man
The best Spider-Man game ever released (granted there has been few). Only times I’ve enjoyed my experience playing a Spider-Man game is when Spider-Man (PS1), Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro and Spider-Man Shattered Dimensions were released. None of those come close to Insomniacs version though. If you’re a Marvel fan this is THE game for you.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
While I think the voice acting is subpar Ubisoft does a great job making a bigger and better game than Origins, which was also a great game mind you. If you liked Origins you need to play this. Also a nice touch that you can choose to play as a male or female.

Honorable mention:
Detroit: Become Human

Even if it is a lot like I,Robot in gaming form it is an interesting concept and story. Best Quantic Dream game yet and fans of storytelling games should be all over this.

Of Hatred Spawn – Of Hatred Spawn (Death Metal)

Close to Christmas I got one last album to review. What better genre to review before going on a break than the one I love the most, death metal! Of Hatred Spawn were formed in 2017 by the two brothers Remy and JJ Tartaglia who later on added ex-Annihilator bass-player Oscar Rangel and Matt Collacott on vocals. Hailing from Toronto, Canada they are said to play old-school death metal in the vein of Decapitated, Suffocation and Dying Fetus. So far so good right?

The first thing that catches my eye is the cover art, a great looking fantasy painting that captures the lyrical themes of slavery, darkness and the balance of evil well. What awaits in the musical section is modern extreme metal meets the ways of old. The razer edge guitar plays fused with groove and blast beats along with the superb vocals from Collacott is nothing short but great music to my ears. As soon as the opener Global Dehumanization hits me with it’s fast paced aggression I am hooked but the 28 minute span the album offers is over too quick, I want more. I do hear a lot of grindcore death a la Dying Fetus, Aborted and Benighted influences when I listen to Of Hatred Spawn, mainly due to the way Collacott sings, which is like a blend between Frank Mullen of Suffocation, Sven “Svencho” de Caluwé of Aborted and Julien Truchan of Benighted. There is also a lot of technical death metal aspects as the drumming and riffs leans more towards newer Suffocation, Misery Index or even Hour of Penance at times than for example Obituary or Entombed.

There is really nothing negative to say about this album, it was solid throughout albeit a bit short for a full-length. Sure it isn’t anything groundbreaking that re-invents the wheel but the skill involved in this group is more than enough to win me over. Death metal fans should definitely check this out as here is something for everyone.

Label: Boonsdale Records
For fans of: Suffocation and Aborted
Release date: December 21st, 2018
Favorite song: Nocturnal Swarm
Score: 3.5/5 Very good

The Metal Gamer Best of 2018 (J.B. Edition)

Here we are, another year is coming to an end and what a year it has been! I got married to my wonderful supporting wife, turned 30, started supporting events in my hometown to help the local scene while we had a lot of awesome games and albums released too! New for this year is that I am doing a top 50 instead of top 40, now with a top 5 in order then I split the other 45 albums into two tiers (in no order). This way you get more of a read on what I enjoyed the most instead of just a long list. Obviously this list is personal and I am sure to have missed out on an album or two during the year (some of them I mention in my “five albums I missed” section). I have linked the reviews, if there is any, on the album titles. There will also be a best of list coming from Kristian Person, my partner in crime since a couple months back driving The Metal Gamer forward. One thing worth noting is that to be eligible for this list the album needs to be a new full-length release, so no EP’s nor re-releases. So lets recap the year!

During the few years I’ve been running The Metal Gamer this has been the best year for death metal with veterans like Monstrosity, Unleashed and At the Gates as well as younger blood such as Corpsessed and Lik putting out killer releases. Technical death metal did also have a fantastic year and I even had to leave out albums from Arsis, Revocation, Psycroptic, Inferi and Alkaloid due to this year having so much great tech-death it wasn’t easy to pick. Deathcore had an off year in my opinion but at the same time I think last year was that genres best in many years. However The Breathing Process, Ingested, Within Destruction for example did release great material you shouldn’t miss. Brutal death metal may or may not have had a good year, in all honesty I haven’t listened to a lot of the albums that’s been released within that genre this year. From those I heard it was either hit or miss, with Serocs being one of the few hits. With that said, if you’re a label that specialize in brutal death metal (or in a band) then feel free to send promos my way, I would love to hear more what the genre has to offer! Just like BDM I didn’t get a chance to listen to much of the atmospheric metal side either but with class releases from the likes of Ennui, Sojourner, Raven Throne and totalselfhatred I can’t really complain there, I got my fill.

Black metal had an interesting year for me. Necrophobic showed me just why they are one of the best bands I know of, both live and with their latest release Mark of the Necrogram. Immortal surprised me with a comeback that just about missed my top five, even though I was very hesitant on the release to begin with. Behemoth was another band I was debating adding in my top five, it wasn’t as good as The Satanist (hard to do though) but even with the hate it received from some people I can’t stop playing it every now and then. On the other spectrum my biggest disappointment is Eonian by Dimmu Borgir, I just can’t get into it even after several spins… Biggest surprises for me this year were Serocs, Ennui, Sadistik Forest and 1914. 1914 just about made the list as I only found out about them a week before I wrote this (note this was written a week before being published). Without any further ado here is The Metal Gamer Best of 2018 by Jimmy Barendt!

The Metal Gamer Best of 2018

The top 5:

  1. Necrophobic – Mark of the Necrogram
  2. Rivers of Nihil – Where Owls Know My Name
  3. At the Gates – To Drink From the Night Itself
  4. Hate Eternal – Upon Desolate Sands
  5. Beyond Creation – Algorythm

Tier 2 (6-25)

Behemoth – I Loved You at Your Darkest
Lik – Carnage
Bloodbath – The Arrow of Satan is Drawn
Unleashed – The Hunt for White Christ
Funeral Mist – Hekatomb
The Breathing Process – Samsara
Immortal – Northern Chaos Gods
Amorphis – Queen of Time
Gorod – Aethra
Monstrosity – The Passage of Existence
Corpsessed – Impetus of Death
Harakiri For The Sky – Arson
Serocs – The Phobos/Deimos Suite
Sojourner – The Shadowed Road
Aborted – TerrorVision
Wombbath – The Great Desolation
1914 – The Blind Leading the Blind
Sadistik Forest – Morbid Majesties
Vanhelgd – Deimos Sanktuarium
Abysmal Torment – The Misanthrope

Tier 3 (26-50)

Stilla – Synviljor
Sargeist – Unbound
Ingested – The Level Above Human
Nekrokraft – Servants
Totalselfhatred – Solitude
Inferi – Revenant
Paara – Riitti
Deicide – Overtures of Blasphemy
Svavelvinter – Mörkrets Tid
Gluttony – Cult of the Unborn
Avslut – Deceptis
Skinless – Savagery
Ennui – End of the Circle
Raven Throne – I miortvym snicca zolak
Krisiun – Scourge of the Enthroned
Infuriate – Infuriate
Enblood – Cast to Exile
Bloodtruth – Martyrium
Watain – Trident Wolf Eclipse
Imperialist – Cipher
Skeletonwitch – Devouring Radiant Light
Within Destruction – Deathwish
Carnation – Chapel of Abhorrence
Crawl – Rituals
Wolfheart – Constellation of the Black Light

Album of the year:
Necrophobic – Mark of the Necrogram
Deathcore album of the year:
The Breathing Process – Samsara
Technical death metal album of the year:
Rivers of Nihil – Where Owls Know My Name
Death metal album of the year:
At the Gates – To Drink From the Night Itself
Brutal death metal album of the year:
Serocs – The Phobos/Deimos Suite
Atmospheric black metal album of the year:
Sojourner – The Shadowed Road
Black metal album of the year:
Immortal – Northern Chaos Gods
Debut album of the year:
Imperialist – Cipher
Song of the year:
Necrophobic – Tsar Bomba
Best concert I went to in 2018:
Necrophobic, Blood of Serpents and Coffin Creep (Plan B, Malmö, November 2nd)
Five albums I missed but need to listen to:
Sigh – Heir to Despair
Svartidaudi – Revelations Of The Red Sword
Obscura – Diluvium
Between the Buried and Me – Automata I + Automata II
Møl – Jord
Biggest disappointment:
Dimmu Borgir – Eonian
Most anticipated album of 2019:
Malevolent Creation – The 13th Beast

Child of Waste – The Stillborn King (Deathcore)

Child of Waste are the new young blood who wants to make a name for themselves in the ever growing sea of deathcore bands. They hail from France, were created almost to the day four years ago and prior to this EP named The Stillborn King the band had a demo out in 2016.

When I first saw Child of Waste calling themselves a brutal death metal/deathcore hybrid I was intrigued. Add the fantastic cover made by the ever so great Swedish artist Pär Olofsson and it all seemed fine initially, this could be something special in the making I thought. I really soon figured out that the BDM stamp was a big lie though. This is straight up deathcore to the bone the way Angelmaker, Enterprise Earth, A Night in Texas and Aversions Crown does it. As much as I enjoy those said bands I feel The Stillborn King is too much of a clone. Child of Waste offers nothing new to the mix and is in many ways just another “standard deathcore” release with no new tricks to add. However with slick production and some fine breakdowns this is something that can be just what you need if you crave more of the same type of candy you usually devour every Friday night.

There is nothing really memorable for me here as it flies by without leaving a mark, but the 18 minutes of playtime is certainly not a lot so with that in mind this EP is worth checking out for the fans of the genre. Otherwise I suggest you check in the latest releases from The Breathing Process or Carnifex.

Written by J.B.

Label: Independent
For fans of: Angelmaker and Enterprise Earth
Release date: December 14th, 2018
Favorite song: I, Atlas
Score: 2.5/5 Decent

Curse Upon A Prayer – The Three Woes (Black Metal)

Curse Upon A Prayer is for me one of the most underrated black metal acts from Finland, a well kept secret you might say. Since the 2014 debut From the Lands of Demise this Finnish band has shocked many with their songwriting and in many ways been the embodiment of black metal with it’s anti-religion messages. Reason why it seems to shock so many is due to the anti-Islam lyrics, which to me is no different than other anti-religion themes that often occur in black metal. It does seem that both their videos on YouTube (involving the Quran) and shows get cancelled or taken down due to “not meeting the values”, which in my opinion is bullshit. Enough of that though, I just wanted to share some of the bands lyrical theme and background.

So what about the music? Well if you like black metal in the veins of Marduk, 1349 and Gorgoroth then you will feel right at home. It’s aggressive, got blast beats, hate for religion and haunting vocals to top it with. The three songs this EP offers captures the essence of what Curse Upon A Prayer is all about with “Thou Shale Be Cursed” being a highlight not only on the album but the band itself. The atmospheric flair that song offers is exactly the territory I want the band to play around with. While this only offers 16 minutes of playtime it’s a great opportunity to dig into a great underground black metal band, get to know Curse Upon A Prayer then dig into the rest of the discography as the band deserves it. The Three Woes might not turn around any non black metal fans over but it is a short but sweet black metal release that will please any fan of the genre.

Written by J.B.

Label: Saturnal Records
For fans of: Marduk and Gorgoroth
Release date: June 21st, 2018
Favorite song: Thou Shalt Be Cursed
Score: 3.5/5 Very good