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

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

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

Broken Hope – Mutilated and Assimilated (Brutal Death Metal)

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Being a very new listener to Broken Hope as I actually discovered them on Twitter a couple of months ago when I followed Suffocation and got them as a recommendation I am sorry to say I will have to review this album as it is a debut basically. Some history about the band to begin with, as I obviously had to check these bad boys out to know what I am dealing with. Created in 1988 (very good year mind you) the band has had quite the history with a band member being kicked out due to basically hustling, disbanding in 2001, reuniting in 2012 and being droped from a Deicide tour in 2013. All that shit aside the band is still going strong and Jeremy Wagner on guitar is the only original member still in the band. Has this made Broken Hope lost….their hope?

As I said earlier I haven’t listened to this band at all before and I am going into this album with a very fresh mind and don’t know what to expect, unlike I did with Origins for example. Holy crap though! If John Carpenter’s The Thing was a music album this could be it! I’m a big fan of Damian “Tom” Leski’s (Gorgasm) vocals and it really sets the tone together with the rest of the band and lyrical theme of Mutilated and Assimilated. This is a brutal death metal album filled with gore and horror. All the pieces are set in the band to make it an experience you deserve in that theme. The album proves to be a good one for me, it lacks that extra punch as I am having a hard time finding a song that sticks out from the rest. It’s solid brutal death metal through and through though but could use that tank of a song that breaks it out of the cage. With Broken Hope re-assembled (or mutilated and assimilated?), having new members and new hope (sorry) I am sure this is just the beginning for the band as they go for that tier one brutal death metal spot.

Mutilated and Assimilated is out now through Century Media Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/brokenhopeofficial
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/BROKENHOPEBAND
Label: Century Media Records
For fans of: Suffocation and Cannibal Corpse
Favorite song: The Carrion Eaters
Score: 3/5

Origin – Unparalleled Universe (Technical Brutal Death Metal)

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From the crazy White Ward jazz-post-black metal experience I go to something I feel right at home with. It’s time to review one of the technical brutal death metal greats, Origin. A band which has given us mortals some of the best brutal techdeath that’s ever existed since their formation in 1997. Since then the band has released one EP and Unparalleled Universe will be the seventh full-length release, something very few techdeath bands have even done actually. With heavy hitting albums like Antithesis and Omnipresent fresh in mind how does Unparalleled Universe stand next to them?

Have to be said Origin still got it, even seven albums and 20 years into their career. However I lack that Wrath of Vishnu, The Aftermath and All Things Dead feel to it. It’s a good album but next to a discography like Origins they almost slay themself. I always hate reviewing albums like this in all honesty. When a band has a really good discography should they get punished for releasing something not on the very very top? I mean if this was a debut or even a sophomore album I would say something along the lines of “omg this is one of the best bands that will tear the future apart!!!”. I don’t know, this is a freaking great album but knowing what Origin has done in the past I know I can expect more. A great album doesn’t cut it this year within brutal death metal, not with Dying Fetus, Broken Hope, Decrepit Birth and Suffocation getting releases out. Mithridatic, Dajjal, Burden of Prescience and Origins longest track as of yet Unequivocal are the highlights of this album and especially Unequivocal makes me go all headbang mode and presents Origin in top form. It’s a good album and any Origin fan should get it. As I said they still got the touch. However I know there is more brutality to be unleashed from them, some songs are just too soft for my liking to make this a real heavy hitter as an Origin album should be.

Unparalleled Universe is out now through Agonia Records in EU and Nuclear Blast in the US. With this review I am also bringing back the score scale, this time instead of a 1-10 scale it will be a 1-5 one. 5 being the highest grade and 1 the lowest.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Origin
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/OriginBand
Label: Agonia Records (EU) and Nuclear Blast (US)
For fans of: Nile and Decrepit Birth
Favorite song: Unequivocal
Score: 3.5/5