Maze of Sothoth – Soul Demise (Death Metal)

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Italy, a country that’s been very active this year with a new Hour of Penance release and upcoming albums from Antropofagus as well as Hideous Divinity. With that kind of heavy hitters it might be easy to forget a new challenger with the same origin, Maze Of Sothoth. What differs Maze of Sothoth from said bands is that they play more traditional death metal drawing influences from the likes of Morbid Angel, Vomitory and Vader. Add to the fact that their lyrics are heavily themed around HP Lovecraft and horror then you got yourself another beast entirely.

Cthulhu’s Calling opens up with setting an feeling of unease and horror until Maze of Sothoth blasts off with furious riffs on Lies. Make no mistakes Maze of Sothoth are here to bring the riffs to you metalheads who feels the urge to headbang tonight over a few cold beers. It’s very catchy, evil and reeks of death. Just the way us old school death metal fans wants it. The HP Lovecraft theme just adds to the pure evilness coming into my ears. I am honestly a bit surprised how well Maze of Sothoth pulls this off. Marasco and Rubini do a splendid job on guitars bringing out those killer riffs, Moioli on drums is a beast and Marchesi on bass and vocals totally nails it. Together they do really sound like an reborn Italian version of Vomitory, which is freaking sweet and full of vile energy. I do feel a few songs doesn’t deliver that same punch as for example Lies and Divine Sacrifice does but at the same time this is a debut album. When Maze of Sothoth are at it’s peak then they are a band to look out for.

Maze of Sothoth delivers a great full-length debut album with Soul Demise and I can’t wait to see what they got in store for us next. Fans of old school death metal in the veins of Vomitory, Morbid Angel and Vader got yourselves a new band to look into! Soul Demise is out now from Everlasting Spew Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MazeofSothothOfficial
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Maze_of_Sothoth
For fans of: Morbid Angel and Vomitory
Favorite song: Lies

Virulent Depravity – Fruit of the Poisoned Tree (Technical Death Metal)

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What do you get when you get three very talented technical musicians together? You get Virulent Depravity! The band was created by Colin Butler, who is on guitar, bas and vocals duty. He quickly got the attention from well-known musicians within the technical death metal community and before he knew it he had guitarist Malcolm Pugh (Inferi, ex-Entheos) and drummer Kevin Paradis (Svart Crown, ex-live Benighted) in his line-up.

Fruit of the Poisoned Tree is the bands debut album. Get ready for a flurry of blasting solos, high speed tech-death with a very high level of quality throughout the album. You can definitely tell this is the craftsmanship of some veterans in the scene who knows how to maintain quality and pushing themselves all the way through. The guitars and the sound of it takes me back to Spawn of Possession and their legendary Incurso album. Not a small feat. This is one of the more technical albums I’ve heard in a long time, even for a technical death metal album it’s very heavy on the solos and tempo changes. Meaning this is the wet dream to people who like their tech-death as technical as humanly possible. Whereas I am personally more of a Hour of Penance kind of tech-death type of guy I still need my fill of this type of thing too, I just need to be in the right mood.

Virulent Depravity delivers what most metalheads hoped for, a freaking sweet technical death metal album for fans of Spawn of Possession, Origin and Archspire to dig into. Fruit of the Poisoned Tree is out April 7th through The Artisan Era Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/virulentdepravity
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/VDepravity
For fans of: Spawn of Possession and Origin
Favorite song: Mechanized Defilement

Viles Vitae – IV (Black Metal)

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Oh my Satan! Been a long time since I got so overwhelmed by a new black metal act. I stumbled upon Portugese band Viles Vitae yesterday as someone recommended the band in a black metal facebook group and I thought why not look them up. I am glad I did as I instantly realize these guys are the real deal as I get hit with the darkness that is The Vortex Of Disharmony. Viles Vitae never stops and keep on giving it’s listeners sheer brutality accompanied with catchy riffs and primal vocals we all love in raw black metal.

Viles Vitae captures the essence of black metal well in IV. It’s raw, primal sound together with strong musical performances all around, dark atmosphere and solid sound quality makes this EP a must have for black metal fans all over the world. The four songs features the translation of the four basic elemental principles still used in ritual magic. Which in itself tells us this is a band that truely grasps the spirit of black metal and as written on the bands bandcamp “the death is all around, the ritual has just started”. I couldn’t have said so better myself.

Viles Vitae debut EP IV is out now through Caverna Abismal Records. Give it a listen and embrace the darkness!

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/vilesvitaeband
For fans of: Dark Fortress and Lord Belial
Favorite song: Sunless Redeemer

Siegelord – Ascent of the Fallen (Melodic Death Metal)

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Not too long ago I reviewed Winterhymn’s latest release Blood & Shadow. From Winterhymn Warg, Sieven and Ulfr left to form Siegelord in 2013 adding Therod on guitar. Even though the band has ties to Winterhymn the music differs quite a bit (my guess is that may even have been the reason they left to form Siegelord). Whereas Winterhymn plays folk metal mixed with black, death and power metal Siegelord is more towards melodic death metal with hints of black metal. Epic battles and mythology awaits the listener as Siegelord grants you a battlefield filled with bloodshed. Think of bands like Ex Deo, Amon Amarth and Dissection then you know which direction Siegelord are going.

While listening to Ascent of the Fallen I can’t help but draw a lot of parallels to the latest offering from Amon Amarth, Jomsviking. A melodic death metal concept album has been done before of course but this album has more in common with Jomsviking than anything else I’ve heard. The groovy riffs, harsh vocals and tales of war and battle simply makes me think of Amon Amarth. Like when I hear A Grim Destiny which then leads to Unkillable I can’t help but think of the opening track of Jomsviking, First Kill. This isn’t anything negative as I had Jomsviking set as my favorite album last year and if you also enjoyed it then you will also have a great time with Ascent of the Fallen. Siegelord delivers a dark fantasy world that even Tolkien would deem worthy.

Looking for a tale of epic proportions? A tale that involves war, betrayal and the birth to a new dark conqueror. If you are then Siegelord’s debut album Ascent of the Fallen will keep you more than occupied. A great debut and the future is bright for the Siegelords. Definitely an album that didn’t get the attention it deserved during 2016.

Ascent of the Fallen is out now as an independent release.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Siegelord
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/siegelord
For fans of: Ex Deo and Amon Amarth
Favorite song: Totem

Persefone – Aathma (Progressive Death Metal)

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Ah Persefone, a band that I’ve always liked when I want “sofisticated” progressive/technical metal as I like to call it. Plus the fact the have some of the coolest album covers I’ve seen on literally every single album. Andorra’s offering to the metal world Persefone now gives us Aathma, the bands 5th release since they formed in 2001.

You are instantly hit with sweet guitar solos and riffs that will make you blush like if your crush were singing to you from the guitar sound. I know a lot of my readers aren’t fans of clean singing but how can you not like Persefone when musically everything just clicks. Aathma is as much as an outer body experience as it is progressive death metal madness.

The fun thing with Aathma is how the tracks leads up to one another and you can feel the emotions flow through this album. Opening songs are instrumental and will guide you through the journey to come. Then comes Prison Skin and you’re left numb. After that you just sit down and relax, take it all in as I am sure Persefone fans know by now. You enter such a calm and blissful place in your mind while listening to Persefone it’s a nice change from the worlds usual sorrow and death. Let go of anger, fear and guilt.

If you were to listen to only a few tracks on this album then do take Aathma Part I to IV. The ending of this album is superb and could easily be an EP by itself (actually looking at metal archives they have it down as a 20 minute long track). Lucky enough it’s on Aathma and the one hour soul searching experience is over in a great fashion. Fans of Persefone don’t worry Aathma is another hit from Andorra’s finest, granted hard to top Spiritual Migration as that’s one of the best progressive albums released in my opinion but still an insanly good album. If this was a release from a band which didn’t have such a high average level then it would be named progressive album of the year right away. Question is readers, are you ready to transcend?

Persefone – Aathma is out now through ViciSolum Productions.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/persefoneband
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/persefoneband
For fans of: Ne Obliviscaris and Edge of Sanity
Favorite song: Aathma Part I-IV

Defiants – Integral Annihilation (Deathcore)

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Since I heard Shadow of Intent I’ve been following the bands vocalist Ben Duerr closely and knowing he was going to feature on Defiants latest release Integral Annihilation I’ve obviously been stoked to get my hands on this EP. And oh boy was I right that this was going to be a special release. Defiants releases a heavy deathcore album full with breakdowns, wicked riffs and growls that will blow your head clean off if you’re a fan of the genre.

It might not deliver anything groundbreaking but when it’s do well made then it doesn’t even matter. This World is Not Ours, the song that features Ben Duerr is a great example on how to make the best use of a featuring track. Dakota Brown and Ben Duerr have some kind of symbiosis going on and I hope they do more tracks together in the future.

Even without Ben’s great work the band stands well on their own legs. The greatness and sheer brutality doesn’t just stop there you see. The title track Integral Annihilation which comes on right after This Worlds is Not Ours is actually even better. It’s almost like the band said “sure we can do something sweet with Ben Duerr but we will have something even better right after!”. In all honesty the tracks keeps getting better throughout the whole album and once done listening to it you will find yourself begging for more. The tempo changes, breakdowns, differences in growling techniques is simply some work of art.

Fans of Oceano, Lorna Shore, Shadow of Intent, Enterprise Earth (or any deathcore for that matter) and the likes beware! This is an album you do not want to miss! Integral Annihilation is out now through Chugcore.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Defiants408
For fans of: Oceano and Lorna Shore
Favorite song: Father of the Abyss

Frowning – Extinct (Funeral Doom Metal)

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German band Frowning is a tale of one man, Val Atra Niteris, being so impressed with the mesmerizing music of bands such as Evoken and Pantheist that he eventually founded his very own project in 2011. The debut Funeral Impressions came out in late 2014 and just like that Val’s solo project Frowning turned into an admirable name inside the funeral doom metal scene. Now the time has come for the long awaited follow-up which he named Extinct.

Extinct is a five track album which gives you a but over an hour of cold atmospheric death and suffering. Originally when I started this blog I didn’t have too much love for funeral doom metal (nor atmospheric black metal) as I cared more for melodic black or raw old school black metal at the time. During my time as a blogger though I’ve come to understand, expand my knowledge and love for music though which has made me come to realization how beautiful this kind of music can be.

Frowning’s expression of suffering, depression and sorrow through music is nothing short but bitter sweet harmony. I am left cold and alone, finding a place within me that few wants to explore but is spiritual and makes you grow. Only when you’ve been at the abyss can you know what true despair feels like and learn from it. The mournful growls, eerie cold melodic atmosphere and slow desolate tones from the guitar will all together guide you through this journey. A journey I hope you dear reader will take with me.

Extinct is a masterpiece within funeral doom and Frowning has once again show the one man band is a force to be reckoned with. Extinct is out now Black Lion Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/frowning.band
For fans of: Funeral Tears and Ahab
Favorite song: Encumbered by Vermin