Interview: Dimitri Sagaidak (Owner of Realityfade and Vicious Instinct)

After numerous of reviews here at The Metal Gamer from Realityfade and Vicious Instinct I finally got around to do my very first label interview! Who would be a better guy to interview than Dimitri Sagaidak, the owner of both labels and who have built Realityfade to a extreme metal powerhouse in just five years. I just had to pick his brain!

What made you decide to start a record label Dimitri?

Hello, Jimmy and the Metal Gamer readers! Since I can remember my love for the Death Metal genre started, I not only liked to follow the bands but the labels that produced all the albums I liked. It was all so interesting to me and I loved to read all the news and check the releases these companies were putting out. In 2015, without any prior experience or knowledge, I went to try the craft for myself and dived into this business full of enthusiasm and excitement. The reason is that I just wanted to do something in the scene I loved. Since I don’t play any instruments I decided to try myself at running a label.

The first release I am sure was a learning experience. What was the number one thing you took away from the release that’s been with you ever since?

The first 2 releases Abhorrent Aggression ‘You Only Die Once’ and Reprobation ‘One Final Autopsy’ were worked on and released simultaneously early summer 2016. Just from these two, I’ve learned a lot of things, such as, for example, that you should never release something without a proper promotional campaign 🙂

Every release for me is trial and error and I still learn every day. Sadly they don’t teach this in uni or online.

A few wise points that I’d like to share are promotion (never stop the promotion), distribution (distribute to as many shops and labels as possible), and money (don’t be afraid to spend some if you want to make a good product).

Have you ever thought of getting your own hardware in order to press albums, castes, LP, or other merch yourselves?

Quite a surprising question but yeah I did actually! I’ve had the idea to buy my own screen printing equipment many times. Though after contemplating and researching I found it to be unreasonable. It would have required to print clothing for other bands, labels, and customers out of the music scene which in turn would require additional space and team to run this as a completely separate business. This would ruin the purpose of running a label for me but I do know a local label who does exactly that and we work with them on most of our merch orders.

Realityfade has grown a lot during the years and seems to have always stuck to the profile with slam, brutal death metal and deathcore. Was this a choice from the start or did it just happen along the way?

Initially, Realityfade was not meant to become a serious business as it is now. I wanted to make a few releases to support a more old-school type of Death Metal with no clear plan after that. All the music that was released after just came naturally. I do try to keep the level of sonic extremity high but there are no clear boundaries for genres.

You bought Australian label Vicious Instinct Records two years ago. Known for having had bands like Vulvodynia, Whoretopsy and Internal Devour. What was the decision behind that takeover and how did the deal go down?

Prior to the acquisition, we’ve been actively communicating with ex-owner Matt Turkington, sharing our experience with bands, doing distribution deals, and discussing our day-to-day running of the label. One day out of nowhere I asked Matt how much he would sell his label if such a possibility would appear. This was the first step in that direction, a question asked just for fun resulted in me becoming Matt’s assistant for some time until we arranged a full transition.

At first, when I noticed the communication went into a serious direction, I didn’t think much, I just loved the idea of getting another label who worked with some strong names in the underground scene. Now I have a much clearer vision of VI’s direction.

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Do you work full-time with Realityfade and Vicious Instinct or do you have a job on the side?

When I stepped in Vicious Instinct I immediately started working and released 3 very solid Deathcore releases. After a short pause with the label, I started to grind like a madman to make VI as awesome as Realityfade. Both labels take a huge chunk of my time and music is my full-time job now.

Which release has done best so far in terms of sales for Realityfade? Has there been any release you think did a lot worse than you thought it would have?

For the past 2 years, I’d say all releases went similarly well. I do have to point out that all 2020 releases went even better. I think that the underground community (and especially bands) should understand that the release goes as well as the label and the band managed to push it. I’ve seen people release crappy music which got a lot of praise and do well in sales, and I’ve seen outstanding music wither. All because of promotion or the lack of it.

It is very hard for an indie label to push its music when you have to compete not only with many other bands and labels, big or small but also with other types of media such as video-games, movies. I think most if not all RF releases deserve to be loved more and the bands should have bigger audiences, but that’s just the thing of promotional capability.

Has there ever been a band you could have signed but never managed to for one reason or another and regret today?

The most memorable would be Molested Divinity. At the time the label and the band were just starting out. There was no telling if MD would grow big or stay a studio project and we, as a business, were cautious about putting investments into bands like that. We almost had them but the stars didn’t align 🙂

Is there a dream signing for Realityfade? Doesn’t matter how big it is.

I wouldn’t say there is any particular band that I’d like to work with. What interests me more are bands which have already established themselves, bands whose music I like, and bands that have a release or two behind their backs. I still like to get new bands but I rather prefer those who already proved to be serious about what they do, capable of creating great music and growing their fanbase. Sometimes, new bands don’t take their craft seriously, and a label can waste money and more importantly TIME growing and promoting them. In the end they can just split-up or go elsewhere, that doesn’t motivate me.

Have you ever thought of having a Realityfade festival or tour package with Realityfade bands?

Oh yeah we did! This is something that I’ve been dreaming to do for quite a while, and got a few offers too. If the future is bright we might do a Realityfade tour next year featuring a lineup of RF’s Euro bands. That’d be just legendary.

You’re a gamer and a collector like me. Which shows in your new collector’s boxes which has trading cards in them and comes in a nice DVD package with other cool stuff. What made you come up with the idea?

A company called Limited Run Games. When I saw how they treat their game releases I immediately came up with the ‘collector’s edition’ idea for our current release at the time Esophagus ‘Defeated By Their Inferiority’. This is still pretty new for us but people love these editions and they always sell like hotcakes haha.

As a fellow gamer I have to ask, what do you play now and what’s your favorite game of all time?

Oooh, nice question. Like yourself, I’m a huge video-game fan. My very favorite game would be Thief: The Dark Project, so many fun memories and good times with it. Besides the amazing story campaign and 2 awesome sequels, it has a ton of fan-made missions which could make you play it for years. 

I also like these franchises a LOT: GTA (with 3’d and Vice City being the best), original Hitman Series, Prince Of Persia Sand Trilogy, Max Payne Trilogy, The Elder Scrolls Series, Gothic Trilogy, Assassin’s Creed, new Batman games, Zelda Series, Castlevania Series. The past few years I’ve been trying to catch up on all the console goodness I missed or haven’t played since I was a kid. I just beat Zelda: The Minish Cap for the Gameboy Advance and currently getting through the Castlevania Circle of the Moon also on GBA, it is such an amazing game!

Final words:

Thank you, Jimmy and The Metal Gamer for the opportunity to talk about Realityfade and Vicious Instinct. Thanks to everyone for reading. Stay sick but stay safe!

Facebook RF: https://www.facebook.com/realityfade
Facebook VI: https://www.facebook.com/viciousinstinct
Instagram RF: https://www.instagram.com/realityfaderecords
Instagram VI: https://www.instagram.com/viciousinstinct
Bandcamp RF: https://realityfaderecords.bandcamp.com
Bandcamp VI: https://viciousinstinctrecords.bandcamp.com
Merch Store: https://www.realityfade.com

Laceratory – Extermination of the Dissidents (Slam/Brutal Death Metal)

Laceratory is a new name on the ever growing tapestry of brutal death metal bands. Being an international band (Spain, New Zealand and USA) with members from Putreseminal Viscosity, Face of Oblivion, Acanthostega and even Chalice of Suffering you have a very, and I mean very, varied range of genres mixed in what became Laceratory. That’s not even half the bands the members have been a part of at one point or another but already you have brutal death metal, black metal and funeral doom metal fused together, now this is interesting!

The opener “Bathed in Entrails” from the get go unleashes some seriously vile vocals from John McGovern which took me by surprise. Honestly at first I thought it was in a bad way, as I’ve not actually heard these kind of gut wrenching sounds before but after a while I get rather used to it and think it’s one of Laceratory’s selling points. Laceratory have some crazy vocals that stand out (might be an hate or love relationship though mind you) but other than that I don’t think this is anything but an average display I’m afraid. Sorry but the drums doesn’t sound organic or fluid at all half of the time, I almost get the feeling it’s drum programming on some songs even. Seeing I know Eric Baumgard has done some nice work in both Face of Oblivion and Glutton for Punishment I’m actually surprised by this performance, I expected a lot more. Add a mix that I don’t think do the album any favors at all and sadly those two things ruin a lot of my time with Laceratory. The guitars have some sick riffs and a heavy guitar tone but are bit too inconsistent (or more like in the shadows) to bring it home. I guess sometimes getting a mix of genres together in a blender to create slam/brutal death metal just becomes a bit subpar compared to veterans of the scene.

There are some highlights that saves the album from the lower spectrum of the scoreboard though, “Extermination of the Dissidents”, “King of the Maggots” and “Peripheral Slaughter” are definitely songs I will add to my brutal workout playlist but that’s about it. Has to be said that the second half of the album does sound better than the first as until “King of the Maggots” came on I was almost ready to call it quits on my first listen as I only really enjoyed “Extermination of the Dissidents” before that. Less than half a good album doesn’t cut it though when I’ve heard of the best brutal death metal of the year these past weeks.

Laceratory do have some tricks up their sleeve that can maybe make them a a quality stand out brutal death metal band, however the debut shows way too little of that. A very mixed bag that I can only recommend to hardcore followers of the genre who always got that itch for new music.

Written by J.B.

Artist: Laceratory
Label: Coyote Records
Release date: August 1st, 2020
Favorite track: Extermination of the Dissidents
For fans of: Epicardiectomy & Prostitute Disfigurement
Score: 2.5/5 Decent

Laceratory

http://www.laceratory.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Laceratory/
https://www.instagram.com/laceratory_brutal/

Coyote Records

http://coyoterecords.ru/
https://coyoterecords.bandcamp.com/
https://coyoterecords.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/coyoterecords666


Disavowed – Revocation of the Fallen (Brutal Death Metal)

Another brutal death metal album is on the menu today as this month has featured some really heavy hitters in the genre. If you know about the genre then you surely know all about Disavowed. Created in 1994 as Nocturnal Silence they changed named to Disavowed in 2000 and shortly after, 2001 to be exact, release one of the most known brutal death metal albums Perceptive Deception. Six years later they dropped Stagnated Existence, which in my opinion was an even better album but since then the band has laid dormant for 13 long years, until now. Believe me I’ve been super hyped for this album but at the same time scared it won’t live up to my expectations. 13 years is a seriously long time, does Disavowed still hold?

One thing that’s always astonished me with Disavowed is that the lineup has almost been intact since 2000 apart from the drumming position which they’ve had a hard time finding a long-lasting member for since the wrist injury Robbert Vrijenhoek suffered, making him leave the band back in 2005. The Netherlands band found a kickass drummer from Romania in Septimiu Hărşan though who has actually been in the band since 2015 but now five years later will finally be on a Disavowed album. And boy let me tell you Hărşan is definitely the right stuff for Disavowed as his style fits like a glove with the classic brutal death metal chaos.

One thing that’s hard with a review like this is that Defeated Sanity just dropped a serious contender for the best brutal death metal album of the year, and might as well take it home. Disavowed does not bring the same firepower to the fight nor is this as memorable. However it’s a fine work of art and have some really wicked highlights such as “The Process of Comprehension”, “The Enlightened One”, “Imposed Afterlife” (man this song slays, by far my favorite) and “Therapeutic Dissonance”. Disavowed is a legendary brutal death metal band in my eyes and their experience shows, Revocation of the Fallen is musicianship at high levels at work.

I’m honestly just glad Disavowed is back and gives us a very good comeback, I was stupid to be scared Revocation of the Fallen would of failed me because I mean it’s Disavowed we’re talking about! Revocation of the Fallen is a great brutal death metal album and Disavowed proves they still got it in them. It’s what I want in a successor to Stagnated Existence. They did play it a bit too safe as I did expect more after such a long wait but I don’t blame them at all when it sounds as good as this truth be told. Fans of Disavowed can breathe again as they are back in style where every brutal death metal maniac will have a wonderful time. I just hope we don’t have to wait another 13 years for a follow-up.

Written by J.B.

Artist: Disavowed
Label: Brutal Mind
Release date: July 31st, 2020
Favorite track: Imposed Afterlife
For fans of: Defeated Sanity & Deeds of Flesh
Score: 3.5/5 Very good

Disavowed

https://www.facebook.com/Disavowedofficial/
http://www.disavowed.nl/

Brutal Mind

https://brutal-mind.com/
https://brutalmind.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/brutalmindjakarta
https://twitter.com/brutalmindstore
https://www.instagram.com/brutalmind.idn/

Shezmu – À Travers Les Lambeaux (Death/Black Metal)

When I started to listen at Shezmu’s debut, the raw an filthy soundscape wakes my nasty curiosity. A band that was created from the northern hemisphere must know how darkness best comes together in the most rightful way on a record. Shezmu introduces themselves with this bombastic release, À Travers Les Lambeaux (Through The Shreds, if I’m not mistaken). Shezmu saw it’s first formation as duo in 2016 in Montréal, Quebec (one of my favourite place on the map) by Berubé Emond on vocals/guitar and Marc-André Labonne on drums. They managed to release a demo in 2017 and two EP’s the following year. Later in the year of 2018, Shezmu grew more powerful with the addition of Yannick Tremblay-Simard on bas.

À Travers is an welcomes you to the absolute centre of brutality, with an mixture of mid-tempo riffs a la doom, drum-beats that stinks death and growl that screams of evil misery. There are also some variations, for example the harmony filled instrumental Interlude-La Rage, that gives you a felling of relaxation on the shore of the Nile. You will hear the emotions of punk and core as well. I mentioned the Nile and that for a reason. Shezmu is a god of ancient Egypt, the god of oil, blood and slaughter. The artwork smells 90’s gore, which is plus for me, hahaha. This wretched trio from the beautiful city of the north will be the nightmare that wears a suit soaked in blood.

Written by K.P.

Artist: Shezmu
Label: Krucyator Productions
For fans of: Ultar & Incantation
Release date: July 29th, 2020
Favorite song: Lex Talionis
Score: 2.5/5 Decent

Shezmu

https://www.facebook.com/shezmudeath/
https://shezmu.bandcamp.com/

Krucyator Productions

https://www.facebook.com/krucyatorproductions
https://www.instagram.com/krucyatorproductions/
https://krucyator.bandcamp.com/
http://krucyatorproductions.e-monsite.com/

Above Aurora – The Shrine Of Deterioration (Black/Doom Metal)

The metal explosion that we have both seen and heard from Poland for the last decade have not yet peeked as it seems. Formed 2015 in the city of Poznaň, but currently with stronghold in Reykjavik, Iceland (another metal metropolitan of the world). Above Aurora is an black metal trio that have been raised and very well adopted to the more modern sound of this genre, with the more atmospheric and crystal clear sound. After 4 years of work, they’re back with follow up The Shrine Of Deterioration.

For the last 10-15 years black metal have become more accepted in the common household. Instead of a rusty axe we now got a sharp double edged sword, instead of dripping sewer sound, we now have a well acoustically theater. Is it wrong..well no, if metal is good then it’s good. Above Aurora is heavily inspired by acts such as Mgła, Watain and Behemoth, three titans within the black genre and I think they managed to do a really excellent job to take that heritage, mixed with their own taste and quality.

Above Aurora have built up their own reputation by touring around Europe and with that have their fanbase grown as well. In 2018 they released an EP from the studio that have put out music from well known Icelandic acts ( Svartiđauđi and Sinmara) The Shrine Of Deterioration is a combination of feelings and knowledge from different worlds and different sounds, a hybrid from two metal industries, that in my opinion is in the lead of black metal. I really hope that we will see this trio on the road in a near future and for many years ahead.

Written by K.P.

Artist: Above Aurora
Label: Pagan Records
For fans of: Watain & Mgła
Release date: June 6th, 2020
Favorite song: Virus
Score: 3.5/5 Very good

Above Aurora

https://www.facebook.com/aboveaurorapl/
https://aboveaurora.bandcamp.com/

Pagan Records

https://pagan-records.com/
https://www.facebook.com/paganrecords
https://twitter.com/PaganRecords
https://paganrecords.bandcamp.com/

Defeated Sanity – The Sanguinary Impetus (Technical Brutal Death Metal)

A band that surely needs no introduction is Defeated Sanity. The German band has been carving the way for technical brutal death metal since their formation in 1993 by Lille Gruber and his father Wolfgang Teske. While their latest album Disposal of the Dead // Dharmata is actually the only time I think Defeated Sanity has made a wrong move (still a pretty solid album though, read the review here) it did leave me wondering what I would think of The Sanguinary Impetus. New in the lineup is vocalist Josh Welshman (who I did an interview with in January, read it here) and they are now a three-piece instead of four as Christian Kühn is not on guitar duty anymore as Lille Gruber has done that together with drumming this time around.

“Phytodigestion (Nepenthes)” does start off a bit slow but “Imposed Corporeal Inhabitation (Pompilidae)” is there to save the day and bring it right back up to my good side. “Conceived Through Savagery (Mantodea)” is then even heavier and now I’m getting some serious Passages into Deformity vibes (which is my favorite album by then, and one of the best brutal death metal albums of all time). I just can’t begin to even describe how much chaos that song has, yet it’s contained and just blasts your skull with sick music. This is a song I can show people when they ask what Defeated Sanity is all about. And you know what from there on Defeated Sanity really hits the mark, “Entity Dissolving Entity (Serrasalminae)” keeps on mangling your skull to show they mean business and they aint done yet. “Insecta Incendium (Apis Cerana Japonica)” picks your brain, poking the right spots to satisfy your different musical urges. Being one of the shortest tracks it’s the one that goes in hyper speed along with the follow-up “Arboreously Transfixed (Laniidae)”. It’s almost like Defeated Sanity wanted you to go so hard in the moshpit for five minutes you were left with no energy left, these guys want it all!

The Sanguinary Impetus does everything better than Disposal of the Dead // Dharmata did. Here you have an album that also try to experiment a bit but not as spread out like they did back then. Here the mixing is exactly what I look for in a Defeated Sanity album, mean as fuck and let all chaos shine in all its glory. Josh Welshman does a superb vocal performance and hell I don’t even notice it’s a three-piece either as Gruber can definitely do some sick riffing. The best part of the album though? They go back to the roots as you hear music that could be take straight from their whole collection of Prelude to the Tragedy, Psalms of the Moribund, Chapters of Repugnance or Passages into Deformity. I would almost call this album a best of the ways of Defeated Sanity as it showcase all the good sides of the band, you get music from every era of them that fans will enjoy. It only really had a slow start in my opinion but once it got going it never slowed down. I still hold Chapters of Repugnance and Passages into Deformity in higher regard but this is their best album since Passages into Deformity and more importantly shows Defeated Sanity are back on track not ready to give up on their crown as masters of the genre just yet.

Written by J.B.

Artist: Defeated Sanity
Label: Willowtip Records
For fans of: Wormed & Suffocation
Release date: July 24th, 2020
Favorite song: Conceived Through Savagery (Mantodea)
Score: 4/5 Excellent

Defeated Sanity

https://www.facebook.com/DefeatedSanity/
https://www.instagram.com/defeated_sanity_official/
https://defeatedsanity.bandcamp.com/

Willowtip Records

http://www.willowtip.com/
https://willowtip.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/willowtip
https://twitter.com/willowtip
https://www.instagram.com/willowtiprecords

Albums of the month: June

After a couple of extremely good months with releases it seemed it slowed down for June. Obviously there were still good music to be heard but after having had quite a few albums that could compete for album of the year in such a short time you start to get used by it. I have to note two comebacks that for me were two bands I’d completely stopped caring about, namely Lamb of God and Make Them Suffer. It’s been many many years since I heard those bands put out something that interested me but they both did so this month. The biggest surprise this month is by far Visions of Disfigurement, I didn’t even like their debut that much but Aeons of Misery is one of the heaviest albums of the year! What a killer release. One of Finland’s first death metal bands Purtenance is still alive and kicking with yet another great album. Serocs just keeps on giving and are solidifying themselves as one of my favorite bands within the technical brutal death metal genre. As always check out the bands on this list, support the ones you like and give The Metal Gamer playlist a go for an easy way to dig through the bands with two hand-picked songs by me. Stay safe metal gamers!

Album of the month

Visions of Disfigurement – Aeons of Misery

Going into this month I would of never have thought Visions of Disfigurement would even be on the albums of the month list. They completely changed my view on them as Aeons of Misery kicks some serious ass. This is one of the heaviest albums you will hear all year, don’t miss it! Read the review here.

Visions of Disfigurement – Aeons of Misery was released June 8th via Realityfade Records.

Runners-up

Purtenance – Buried Incarnation

When one of the very first death metal bands from Finland puts out a new album I for one am there on the front row to dig into it instantly. Buried Incarnation might not be the bands best work but it’s still a great slab of Finnish death metal that many of us crave for.

Purtenance – Buried Incarnation was released 23rd via Xtreem Music.

Sinira – The Everlorn

Funny enough Sinira was recommended to me by a member of The Metal Gamer community and I can’t thank her enough for it! This debut screams Dissection, hell I even had to check at times if it wasn’t them playing some unreleased tracks or something. If you love melodic death/black metal then you will love this, simple as that.

Sinira – The Everlorn was released June 26th as an independent release.

Firelink – Firelink

Firelink released a stunning debut last year in The Inveterate Fire. I didn’t think they would drop their follow-up, and self-titled album, just a year later. It’s lyrical themes comes from Dark Souls which any gamer should know about and this is yet another wicked release by the band. Dark Souls has a rich universe so I’m sure Firelink will keep on giving the metal world great music for years to come.

Firelink – Firelink was released June 16th as an independent release.

Insatanity – Hymns of the Gods Before

I’d honestly not heard of Insatanity before this release but a quick google search and I noticed they’ve been going since 1992! Crazy good bands such as this can miss ones radar. Either way Hymns of the Gods Before is a superb example of American satanic death metal that hits the right spots.

Insatanity – Hymns of the Gods Before was released June 19th via CDN Records.

More great music of June

Goreworm – Prodigy of the Grotesque
Nemesium – Continua
Lamb of God – Lamb of God
Carnifloor – Engulfed in Gold
Vampire – Rex
Acherontas – Psychic Death – The Shattering of Perceptions
Pyrrhon – Abscess Time
Cryfemal – Eterna Oscuridad
Carach Angren – Franckensteina Strataemontanus
Varus – A New Dawn
The Hallowed Catharsis – Killowner
Al-Namrood – Wala’at
Re-Armed – Ignis Aeternum
Serocs – Vore (best EP)
Lune – Ghost
Foetal Juice – Gluttony
Obscene – The Inhabitable Dark
Exocrine – Maelstrom
Visceral Abnormality – Humanity Lost
Make Them Suffer – How to Survive a Funeral
Dismalimerence – Tome: 1
Shemhamforash – Entropy
Devorate the Universe – A Dark Essence of Mankind
Carrion Vael – God Killer
A Light in the Dark – Insomnia
Voidceremony – Entropic Reflections Continuum: Dimensional Unravel
Dekira – Ominous Prophecies
Nexion – Seven Oracles
Xazraug – Unsympathetic Empyrean
Instigate – Echoes of a Dying World

The Metal Gamer songs of the month Spotify playlist

Oncology – Omniversal Antigenesis (Brutal Death Metal)

Three years ago I reviewed Oncology’s debut album Infinite Regress (read the review here) which I thought was a stellar release of classic brutal death metal with nods towards both Cryptopsy and Suffocation. Now four years later (Infinite Regress was released in 2016) the band is ready to drop their sophomore album Omniversal Antigenesis. One big change since the debut is that the band now has a permanent drummer in Doru Florin instead of programmed drums whereas Aaron Rankin is not a member of the band anymore, leaving the band with one guitarist Connor Brown, who has also picked up the bass. Quite big changes if I say so myself and I was very interested to dig into this album to hear if these were for better or worse.

After a rather long intro the opener “Expulsion into the Human Psyche” starts a bit slow. However it gets the blood boiling and energy levels up on the following track “Celestial Ruination” which shows what Oncology is all about. Two major differences are already heard since their debut, one the drumming is miles better, what an impact Doru Florin has! Two, the production and overall mix is much better, bringing out all the right sounds highlighting them at the right time but nothing disappears which I thought Infinite Regress sometimes did. “Ravagers of Synaptic Cruelty” has that slam vibe to it, goes super hard and it quickly turns into one of my favorite songs on the album. Geoff Bradley shows of his massive vocal range on “Virions in the Exosphere”, the guy has definitely evolved during the years into an mean killer machine behind the mic (maybe otherwise too, what do I know!?). “Liturgies etched in Blood” ending I could live without, I am all for atmosphere when an album is following a concept but that just didn’t do it for me. Luckily “Tumultuous Echoes of Punished Humanity” is there to bring you some sick gutturals and riffs again which one min in has wicked tempo changes, slams and blastbeats where you can’t help but wanting to start your very own moshpit at home while in quarantine. Safe to say it has been the single song I’ve listened to the most, absolute killer stuff!

All in all the album has its ups and downs but when it is good it is the best material Oncology has produced so far and some of the best brutal death metal of the year. The band is finding their sound, they have more of their own identity now than they did earlier which in the long run is what you want as a band to be remembered. The addition of a new drummer was key for them to reach this step in my opinion, adding the fact that experience is showing and everything has improved from what was already a good debut album onto the sophomore release. Oncology is a band to keep your eye on.

Got an itch for the brutal? Oncology is here to save the day as they once again provide a solid slab of hard hitting death metal in the veins of legendary Suffocation but this time heavier, even with some slam elements to it. They got more experience as a band which shows very well throughout. If you didn’t know about Oncology before then check the band out now, this is a release that shouldn’t be slept on for brutal death metal maniacs.

Artist: Oncology
Label: Rising Nemesis Records / Sevared Records
Release date: July 17th, 2020
Favorite track: Tumultuous Echoes of Punished Humanity
For fans of: Suffocation & Inveracity
Score: 3.5/5 Very good

Oncology

https://www.facebook.com/OncologyBand
https://www.instagram.com/oncologydeathmetal
https://oncology.bandcamp.com/

Rising Nemesis Records

https://www.facebook.com/RNRecords
https://www.instagram.com/risingnemesisrecords/
https://risingnemesisrecords.bandcamp.com/
http://risingnemesisrecords.bigcartel.com/

Sevared Records

https://www.facebook.com/Sevared-Records-193691420645482/
http://www.sevared.com/
https://sevared.bandcamp.com/

Convocation – Ashes Coalesce (Funeral Doom/Death Metal)

Convocation is a rather new band from Finland made by the duo LL (Desolate Shrine) and MN (Dark Buddha Rising) who released their debut Scars Across a couple of years ago. While I thought Scars Across was a solid affair it wasn’t an album I came to revisit. Enter their follow-up release Ashes Coalesce and I’m spellbound.

“Mayrtyrise” starts the album in a grand fashion, with more solid funeral doom that Convocation showed us they’re capable of doing before. Then it comes, the close to perfect funeral doom song, “The Absence of Grief”. I haven’t heard such a well crafted piece of work in a long time and the close to 14 minutes playtime almost goes away too fast. It isn’t an easy feat to have a listener intrigued and focused for such a long song but here Convocation pulls all their stuff. Perfect small tempo changes, eerie beautiful melodies reeling you into the darkness Convocation presents. Just stunning and hauntingly wonderful. “Misery Form” comes on and while I’m still in awe after the last song I can’t help but feeling even more sucked into this vortex of despair. It just never stops.

With a nice outro in the instrumental “Portal Closed” the album is over, it was a beautiful display of funeral doom with a hint of melancholic Finnish death metal that left at least me hooked and invested all the way through. Ashes Coalesce is a much stronger release than Scars Across was in every single way, yet Scars Across was already a good album. With “The Absence of Grief” alone they’ve presented themselves as one of my favorite bands of the genre by now and almost single-handedly pushes the score up even more. Convocation will be on everyone’s lips when people talk about great funeral doom bands, and they’re just getting started. Has to be noted that LL also did a great job on the artwork, big plus for collectors as I’ve of course pre-ordered this album!

Artist: Convocation
Label: Everlasting Spew Records
Release date: July 3rd, 2020
Favorite track: The Absence of Grief
For fans of: Esoteric & diSEMBOWELMENT
Score: 4/5 Excellent

Convocation

https://www.facebook.com/ConvocationDoom/

Everlasting Spew Records

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Serocs – Vore (Brutal Technical Death Metal)

Serocs was a band that many got to know in 2018 with their fourth full-length album The Phobos/Deimos Suite. The album crushed all competition in the genre and I myself had it high up on my yearly list and got the “brutal death metal album of the year” award. With that being said I was obviously stoked for their upcoming EP Vore. The album consists of seven tracks, where the two last tracks “Nihilus” and “Anthropic” are from a 2011 demo (“Nihilus” was featured in a new version on The Phobos/Deimos Suite, while the new “Anthropic” is the opener for Vore). So for an EP this is actually pretty sweet, close to a full-length I would say seeing the running time is over 26 minutes. The line-up has stayed mostly the same, with the big difference being that Phil Tougas (Chthe’ilist, First Fragment and Funebrarum) is not a full member any more like he was on The Phobos, but instead has helped as a session member with sick guitar solos on track two and additional songwriting on track one and five so he has been apart of almost half the album.

It starts of just like I’d hoped on the opener “Anthropic”, with some fast and heavy music that got killer technical riffs which they set the bar really high for on their last full-length. Gotta love those bass solos too! Need more of that in metal overall in my opinion. Following it up “Building A Shrine Upon Vanishing Sands” comes on, the single I quickly fell in love with and made me pre-order the album. This is also were Phil Tougas comes in with wicked solos. This is Serocs at its peak and it’s one of the best songs that will be released this year. If you don’t just go ape-shit over that solo half-way into the song then I don’t know if you even like guitars! It’s close to a perfect track in this style. After a short breather with the instrumental tune “Shallow Vaults” it’s time for another previously released single in “The Temple of Knowledge”. The track is a bit slower paced than the first two were but still packs a punch that will sucker punch you if you’re not ready for it. “To Self Devour” has some nice hooks to it but that song doesn’t really connect with me at first. I feel they might have strayed away from their sound a bit too much on the start of that song until it, around 1/3 in, ramps up where I then feel at home again and it ends on a high note. Then we have the two demo tracks. I could have lived without them in all honesty but at the same time it’s actually really fun to hear how two instrumental songs can turn into something quite different on the end results. The blueprints they used did eventually turn into two killer songs after all.

As it usually is with a good EP it’s over way too fast. Vore is another great piece in the Serocs discography and while it didn’t blow me away like The Phobos/Deimos Suite did (which I consider being one of the best brutal death metal albums of the decade) it’s superb musicianship by a very hungry band. Vore has some real highs but it isn’t near the same overall level however it showcase different sides of Serocs that fans can appreciate. I do miss having Phil Tougas on guitar on the whole album that’s for sure, but Serocs is all about quality and do extremely well on their own anyway it has to be said. Serocs is a band everyone should know by now, if you don’t Vore is a great place to start your journey before jumping on their masterpiece The Phobos/Deimos Suite.

Artist: Serocs
Label: Everlasting Spew Records
Release date: June 26th, 2020
Favorite track: Building A Shrine Upon Vanishing Sands
For fans of: Defeated Sanity & Unfathomable Ruination
Score: 4/5 Excellent

Serocs

https://www.facebook.com/serocsband/
https://twitter.com/serocsband
https://serocs.bandcamp.com/

Everlasting Spew Records

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