Amentia – Scourge (Technical Brutal Death Metal)

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From Belarus a techdeath band named Amentia have come to surprise us all with some of the best brutal technical death metal you will hear all year. They might not be a household name within the genre, yet, but Amentia have existed since 2003 with Scourge being the bands third full-length release, six years after their sophomore album Incurable Disease. Having never heard of the band myself I was caught off-guard by the bands tight riffs and blasting drums. To me this is close to a perfect score, everything just seems to hit the right notes at the right times.

Not a single song on the album is even close to being bad and Scourge has been on repeat several times these past days. Only thing is that the songs tends to be a bit indistinguishable which makes it hard for the songs to stand out to one another. Sometimes that can be a good thing, sometimes not and in this case I would like there to be some more variation. In a year when heavy hitters like Decrepit Birth, Suffocation, Hideous Divinity and Hour of Penance are releasing killer techdeath Amentia are making a great effort to stand tall next to those monsters. This is the perfect opportunity to get to know a great upcoming band with an album you do not want to miss.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/amentiabelarus
Label: Satanath Records / Amputated Vein Records
For fans of: Defeated Sanity and Decrepit Birth
Favorite song: Noble Death
Score: 4/5

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Pathology – Pathology (Brutal Death Metal)

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The self-titled album from heavy hitter Pathology is upon us. This is the 9th release from a band who’ve been the gateway for many when it comes to slamming brutal death metal. Formed in 2006 by legendary drummer Dave Astor (founder of Cattle Decapitation and The Locust) Pathology have released a new album every single year, amazing work if I do say so myself. Alongside bands such as Abominable Putridity, Devourment, Visceral Disgorge and Kraanium my journey into the slam world began a few years ago. I’ll tell you right now, I am not an insanely big slam fan just as I isn’t with brutal death metal (granted I enjoy BDM more). There is simply too much shit within the genre. As I read somewhere on Reddit some time ago “for every good slam band, there’s 50 shitty ones”. I think that summarizes quite well what I think of the genre. That being said Pathology is one of the bands that do produce some wicked good slam!

Pig squeals, gutturals, chuggy groovy riffs full of breakdowns your thing? Hell Pathology got you covered once again my friend! Their 9th release is just as brutal as their old albums and when tracks like Servitors, Putrescent or Shudder comes on you just have to get fucking mental. The thing with slam is I think it has a ceiling to it that prevents it from staying in my playlist for a longer amount of time. It’s simplicity and overall trying too hard to sound brutal as fuck all the time is good for a few spins during the year but it’s generally not something I remember. It goes in one ear and out the other.

Pathology suffers from the same fate. Whereas I think this is almost as good as it gets within the genre, the genre in itself has a limitation to it. I had a good time with Pathology, just as I do with all their albums, but this isn’t something I will remember for long. For you hardcore slam fans out there though this is a must have.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PathologyMusic
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/PathologyMetal
Label: Comatose Music
For fans of: Abominable Putridity and Visceral Disgorge
Favorite song: Putrescent
Score: 3/5

Excommunion – Thronosis (Brutal Death/Black Metal)

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Been waiting to review this EP for quite some time now and lucky I was to receive it in the latest The Metalhead Box so I could listen to it on an actual cd. Excommunion is a band I am not too familiar with but I’ve heard good stuff about them. The band was formed in 1998, Colorado, and are known for playing brutal death metal with atmospheric black metal elements, which is exactly the reason they caught my eye. That and the two band members Christbutcher (bass, vocals) and Kyle Spanswick (guitars, vocals) both being active members of Nightbringer. So there has to be a lot of potential in a band like that.

Oh and was I right! The opener Twilight of Eschaton is freaking brutal! I swear to you this is an EP you do not want to miss. I understand perfectly what they mean with atmospheric black elements joined together with the sheer force of brutal death metal. It’s a sound I haven’t really heard before but hell I love it. You can hear that this is death metal from members you usually associate with the black metal scene with influences from both Nightbringer and Enthroned being heard here and there. Just like Morbid Angel, Incantation and Immolation makes their influences on Excommunion.

Each track stands tall on their own, none being the weak link. I could choose either one of the tracks for my favorite song, not just due to the four songs being being solid with none standing out. Rather I think they all do in their own right.

Ladies and gentlemen be taken in by this whirlwind of darkness like me, you deserve it. Thronosis is my rite into Excommunion and I am ready for them to lead the way. One of the best releases I’ve heard all year.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Excommunion
Label: Dark Descent Records
For fans of: Enthroned and Morbid Angel
Favorite song: Twilight of Eschaton
Score: 4/5

Winter Deluge – Devolution – Decay (Black Metal)

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I rarely review albums released in 2016 as they are simply not new enough but seeing as Winter Deluge’s sophomore album Devolution – Decay came out early November I am making an exception. Formed in 2005 as Desecrate this black metal act from New Zealand have started getting a following in the underground scene so I was interested to hear what they are all about.

The raw sound Winter Deluge oozes out screams second wave black metal with a touch of death. Think Immortal having a bastard with Archgoat and they spawned the great Winter. Devolution – Decay got a great flow to it and the songs transition well into the next. The crushing riffs, harsh growling and pummeling drums is something any black metal lover can appreciate and will be sure to get their fill with this album. How Winter Deluge creates the perfect passages between the tracks is what I love the most with the album, it’s so fluent and makes the whole experience that much better. It also leaves me in a bit of a peril, which song do I like the most? With each listen it changes but that just means Winter Deluge has done a great job with Devolution – Decay as it’s an black metal album I am glad I received although almost a year too late. Definitely one of the better albums I missed from 2016 and now you, as well as I, have a chance to get to know these black hearts from New Zealand.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WINTERDELUGE
Label: Frozen Blood Industries
For fans of: Immortal and Archgoat
Favorite song: Corrupt Prophets
Score: 3/5

Suffocation – …of the Dark Light (Technical Brutal Death Metal)

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Another album I’ve been waiting far too long to review. Suffocation started same year I was born in 1988 and I’ve always had soft spot for them due to them being a major influence in what we hear in brutal and technical death metal today. When I saw them on tour last year in Sweden with Cattle Decapitation, Exuviated, Infernal Tenebra it was fucking sweet to finally get to see them live and I just hope they come here again for a EU tour on their new release.

Just like with Dying Fetus album Wrong One to Fuck With Suffocation are back with a message: …of the Dark Light is hell of a lot better than their latest releases. Even though I thought Pinnacle of Bedlam might have got too much shit I understand it didn’t live up to the expectations one might have on the band (just like me with Origins latest release). On this album no one can say Suffocation are done and dusted though. In many ways this album stands for exactly who they are, creators of the fine balance on technical and brutal death metal. I am quite happy to hear they have found their ways once again and while I still enjoy their first albums the most this might be their best release since Pierced from Within.

What a fine year for the more brutal ways of death metal this is turning out to be. Suffocation, Dying Fetus, Broken Hope and Origin (yes I know I’ve givem them some harsh words but it’s still good) all having released top notch records and the year isn’t even over yet! So far I hold Dying Fetus as my favorite release out of those but hell, anyone would be a good pick and it’s the small things and my personal preference that makes the difference in this case. All I know is Suffocation is back in action for real this time and I am sure they want to retake that crown!

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/suffocation
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/suffocation
Label: Nuclear Blast
For fans of: Dying Fetus and Cryptopsy
Favorite song: Your Last Breaths
Score: 4/5

Dying Fetus – Wrong One to Fuck With (Brutal Death Metal)

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Brutality, its not just something you can do when you win in Mortal Kombat but also the first word that comes to mind when I think of Dying Fetus. The brutal death metal kings have been slaying the shit out of mankind since they formed in 1991. Since then a lot has happened though, only original member still standing is John Callagher, but that’s more than enough as they haven’t slown down ever since the start. Granted there has been a few releases which might not be up to the level they can produce but that’s when Dying Fetus says we are the Wrong One to Fuck With.

This is brutal, as you could expect. Want your head smashed by a sledgehammer and put in a blender, then this is for you! I’ll be honest with you, I haven’t been a big fan of Dying Fetus but Wrong One to Fuck With is one of the best releases this year. Everything is just working for them on this album, which I can’t say it have on all their releases. Within their vast discography I would definitely put this as a contender for the best one. Just listening to the first three songs was enough for me to know this is an album when they are on form. One thing that usually puts me off brutal death metal genre is that all the songs on an album tend to sound the same, just sheer force with little thought behind it. There is a lot of crap coming out of it is what I mean. That’s not the case here though, sure it’s a brutal force with lyrics to go with it but Dying Fetus also got some variation on the songs and I can enjoy the whole album over and over again. Not just a song here and there when I work out or want to get fucking mental (although it works for that too!).

Songs like Panic Amongst the Herd, Die with Integrity, Ideological Subjugation and Weaken the Structure are sure to be on my playlist for years to come. Wrong One to Fuck With is Dying Fetus best album in years and fans of the band will love it. As far as brutal death metal goes it doesn’t get much better than this.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DyingFetus
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DyingFetusBand
Label: Relapse Records
For fans of: Suffocation and Misery Index
Favorite song: Ideological Subjugation
Score: 4.5/5

Integral – Resilience (Technical Death Metal)

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I’ve said it before and I will say it again. 2017 is a great year for Italian death metal, be it technical, brutal or whatever. Integral is probably not a name you know when you think of the Italian scene. Which isn’t strange since Resilience is the bands full-length debut and they were formed in 2013. That being said do not take this band lightly! When you can draw in guests like Steffen Kummerer from Obscura and Tommy Talamanca from Sadist on your debut you know this band is going to go places.

So what do they sound like? Well this is where it gets tricky! I label Integral as technical death metal but in reality they sound like a mix of a lot of different genres and bands. Vocals I think is rather close to The Black Dahlia Murder, while the instrumental play is as much The Faceless as it is Gorod, Obscura and Beyond Creation. Add some deathcore groovy breakdowns to it and you got yourself an Italian Chimera that’s ready to devour you. This is an album full of surprises. I mean even having the different influences in mind there are plenty of tempo-changes, riffs and what not that makes me go wow. There are also equally many parts that makes me go urgh I didn’t like this. A perfect example of this is the song Hieroglyphica. While it features some really awesome segments it also got leaves me wanting to almost skip the song at times, really weird roller-coaster ride for me musically. Both the bands strength and weakness to have all these mashups, I am sure they can only improve their sound in the future.

All together the ten songs Resilience offers is a good start for Integral and this album is sure to make at least one of you become a fan of their style. While I am not completely sold yet I think this is a superb debut and I am interested to see where they take their sound on the sophomore album.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/integralbandofficial
Label: Ghastly Music
For fans of: The Faceless and The Black Dahlia Murder
Favorite song: Realm of Atlantis
Score: 3/5