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
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!
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
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
Created in 2014 by the duo Slobodan Stupar (guitar, bass, drums and backing vocals) and Ivan Kovačević Kova (vocals) this Croatian death metal band were quick to release their full-length debut Misanthrope the year after. Since then the duo have worked on I Become Death, an album that hopefully put Croatia on the death metal map this year.
You want the aggression from punk and death metal joined together in a wonderful symbiosis? Then this is what you need in your life. I’d heard from a few people this was a really good death metal album but already on the opening track I Become Death I am stunned. This isn’t just really good this is a death metal masterpiece! I am getting my brain put into a blender from these crusing riffs and sheer brutal force Slobodan and Ivan hits me with. You hear their influences from the old school death metal sound, like the masters Entombed or Obituary, with the groove on tracks like Jebem vas u usta ladna and Homo homini lupus est (yes they do have songs in their own language). Hell they even manage to fit in a sweet slow paced intro on Tombcrawler just for the sake of it. Their influences doesn’t stop there though! I dare say I hear a bit of Aborted, Anaal Nathrakh and even grindcore a la Carcass. Meaning this is some heavy shit and you should get prepared before listening. Not just with the standard beer but you need a bucket next to you as your brain will come out of your ears.
I’ve been insanly lucky this week. I’ve not only found one but two contenders for album of the year! Hereza is not just one of the best death metal albums this year but one of the best albums this year full stop. It’s brutal, raw, full of headbangning hits and mixes a lot of metal styles with perfection. HerezA has quickly got themselves a new fan and put Croatia on the metal map for me. My favorite tracks, this week have been hell choosing those mind you, would have to be I Become Death, Full Moon Slaughter and Tombcrawler. Hereza’s sophomore album I Become Death is out now through Godz ov War Productions.
It’s been quite some time since I put my teeth into a brutal death metal release. Lucky for me Scordatura are here to give me my fix! Formed in 2007 these Scottish madmen have spread their filth with several demo’s, toured with acts such as Aborted, Misery Index, Cryptopsy and Beneath The Massacre until they finally released their debut Torment of the Weak in 2013. Lucky for us we didn’t have to wait as long for the follow-up as Self-Created Abyss is the bands sophomore release.
If you’re familiar with Scordatura then don’t worry they are just as brutal as ever. Self-Created Abyss continues where Torment of the Weak left off just great. Same deep demon growls and gutturals, hard hitting drums and fast technical riffs. Wrapped in with some defiled gore lyrics. Throughout the album they don’t slow down for even a second and you would do best to prepare yourself for the onslaught that’s about to hit your ears. Self-Created Abyss also features a great guest performance by Malignancy’s vocalist Danny Nelson on Malignant Form of Inhumanity. Favorite tracks for me would be the opener Repulsive Miscreation together with Ritual Acts of Malevolence and the closing track Confessions Inscribed.
Brutal death metal fans would be wise to pick this album up. It’s the perfect drog to satisfy your thirst for brutal gore. Self-Created Abyss is out now through Gore House Productions.
Guess what? There is a third good album that came out April 28th! Hideous Divinity is a band I am sure many of you are familiar with. Being formed in 2007 (in Norway actually) and featuring two ex-Hour of Penance back then they took the brutal technical death metal scene by storm. Since then quite a few lineup changes have happened, one were Mauro Mercurio (ex-Hour of Penance) left forcing Enrico Schettino to rebuild. That didn’t stop him nor the band though as the debut album and sophomore received much praise from the metal community. Adveniens has been on many peoples minds when thinking what album can be a contender for best techdeath album this year.
What strikes me straight away is the punishing drums that keeps on hammering your skull. Enrico hasn’t lost his touch on the guitar either as he has yet another really strong performance. Stefano Franceschini on bass (Aborted) adds a lot of heavyness with his bass play, as expected from a man with his caliber and he already showed it on Cobra Verde, this time he is even better though. There is a lot here that you can hear have the roots from Hour of Penance, which isn’t a bad thing since it’s one of my favorite bands when it comes to techdeath. Ages Die starts off violent with some of the best work Hideous Divinity has done. Hard to top that you would think right? Be sure as hell they do though! Passages starts off slow (one of the few times you get to breath on the album) and it features several different “passages” throughout the song, showcasing a lot of different aspect to their music. The song got a bit of a Nile touch to it that way (I’ve always loved how they change tempos) and it sticks out for me.
All in all this is a great album. Hideous Divinity is definitely one of the best technical death metal bands going, having released three solid albums now. Getting slightly better with each one. Italy might just have Europe’s best techdeath scene right now with Septycal Gorge, Deceptionist (featuring two ex-Hideous Divinity members), Hour of Penance and Hideous Divinity all released top albums these past three years. And they don’t look like they are slowing down either!
Adveniens is out now through Unique Leader Records.
Wow! The opener Hush Little Baby gave me the chills like it was the movie The Omen. What a way to start off this massacre that is Necrobreed. The French band Benighted are known for their brutal ways and high standard of releases (Necrobreed being the bands 8th offering). Starting as a black metal band but has since then turned into a brutal death metal/grindcore machine not to be taken lightly. During the years there has been a lot of change within the band, not just genre wise but also change of members. Only original Benighted member left standing is the vocalist Julien Truchan. That said I find it quite astonishing Benighted keeps up the high level of releases with these changes and relatively short time in-between the albums.
Benighted doesn’t hold back on anything with Necrobreed, this is a tank with no brakes. As much as I love brutal death metal and think some of the newer bands are really great, showing a lot of potential and can play with the mean big boys along comes a real heavy hitter like Benighted and show the value of experience. There is no denying these guys knows their shit and have been crushing skulls for years. Also needs to be said Julien Truchan has to be one of the best vocalists within the genre, his pig squeals are out of this world to be honest.
Benighted – Necrobreed is something you need in your life, or death. One of the best brutal death metal albums I’ve reviewed since I started this blog. Necrobreed is out now from the legendary label Season of the Mist.
Freya are no newcomers to the metal scene, having formed in 2001 and their latest full-length Grim is the bands fifth release. New for this record is that the band have recruited the well known drummer Dirk Verbeuren (Megadeth, Soilwork, Aborted etc) with Karl Buechner and co are now being more than ready to reach new grounds with Grim since their latest release Paragon Of The Crucible being the bands best one so far.
The name Freya might make you think the band will be playing Amon Amarth or Enslaved kind of music but they are not. Instead they take a more melodic death metal approach sounding more like Soilwork (Dirk influences?) and God Forbid. Even the lyrical theme isn’t within the Norse mythology realm as, like the name of the album says, it features Grimm folktales.
I really enjoy listening to their Grimm folktales and the musicianship of the band shines throughout the album. Adding Dirk has done Freya good and Grim is the bands best release so far.