Scaphism – Unutterable Horrors (Death Metal)

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As far as death metal goes Scaphism has released an album that checks every box for what an old school album should be. You got the guitar shredding, death metal growls, gore and horror themed metal produced in a neat package. It’s hard to not headbang to the Unutterable Horrors Scaphism unleash upon the listener. It’s easy to digest and it’s 28 minutes of classic death metal you’re most definitely going to enjoy but probably not remember. With the opener Gruesome Unmentionables and Unutterable Horrors (what a name) Scaphism were off to a really great start and it’s the best track on the album. They don’t really lose focus and throughout the album they lay down the hard hitting catchy melodies. A perfect example of an album rated good, there is really nothing wrong with this album and it’s catchy enjoyable metal but it brings nothing new to the table and is easily digested (for good or bad depending what you’re after).

There is a lot to like on Unutterable Horrors and if you really like death metal like me this is worth looking into for sure. However if you’re more picky with your choices then there are better albums out there.

Label: Horror Pain Gore Death Productions
For fans of: Obituary and Malevolent Creation
Release date: 12 January 2018
Favorite song: Gruesome Unmentionables and Unutterable Horrors
Score: 3/5

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The Metal Gamer Best of 2017

Another year another best of the year list! This one is long overdue as I planed to post this several weeks ago but something always came in the way. Some of you might know I also write for Swedish site Rocknytt and I’ve of course submitted a best of to them as well. Difference from that list versus this one is that, just as last year, my list here will be based on albums I’ve reviewed in this blog. So the two lists will differ but I rather keep my blog to the more underground music (even though I do review some mainstream stuff as well). Some big changes to this year is that the list is now a top 40. I’ve added some more categories as well with best debut, concert and more. List is in no order (except for the categories I’ve chosen) and without further ado here it is, The Metal Gamer albums of the year!

Album of the Year: Archspire – Relentless Mutation
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The complete Top 40:
Archspire – Relentless Mutation
Trivium – The Sin and the Sentence
Havukruunu – Kelle Surut Soi
Decrepit Birth – Axis Mundi
Ereb Altor – Ulfven
Evocation – The Shadow Archetype
Dying Fetus – Wrong One to Fuck With
Mordbrand – Wilt
Hour of Penance – Cast the First Stone
King of Asgard – :taudr:
Firespawn – The Reprobate
Svart Crown – Abreaction
Mordbid Angel – Kingdoms Disdained
Shadow of Intent – Reclaimer
Desultory – Through Aching Aeons
Coffin Creep – Corpse Defiler
Hideous Divinity – Adveniens
Inanimate Existence – Underneath a Melting Sky
Shaarimoth – Temple of the Adversarial Fire
Throne of Heresy – Decameron
Amentia – Scourge
Legacy of Emptiness – Over the Past
Dzö-nga – The Sachem’s Tales
Solbrud – Vemod
Ofermod – Sol Nox
HerezA – I Become Death
Svartsyn – In Death
Entrails – World Inferno
Oceano – Revelation
Lorna Shore – Flesh Coffin
Enterprise Earth – Embodiment
Wolfheart – Tyhjyys
Mors Principium Est – Embers of a Dying World
Persefone – Aathma
Benighted – Necrobreed
Gutslit – Amputheatre
Corpse Garden – IAO 269
Falls of Rauros – Vigilance Perennial
Rings of Saturn – Ultu Ulla
Ne Obliviscaris – Urn

Deathcore album of the year: Shadow of Intent – Reclaimer
Technical death metal album of the year: Archspire – Relentless Mutation
Death metal album of the year: Evocation – The Shadow Archetype
Atmospheric black metal album of the year: Solbrud – Vemod
Black metal album of the year: Havukruunu – Kelle Surut Soi
Debut album of the year: Coffin Creep – Corpse Defiler
Best concert I went to in 2017: Avenged Sevenfold, Disturbed and Chevelle (Royal Arena, Copenhagen, March 4th)
Five albums I missed but need to listen to:
Necrot – Blood Offerings
Phrenelith – Desolate Endscape
Fit For An Autopsy – The Great Collapse
Azarath – In Extremis
Wolves in the Throne Room – Thrice Woven
Most anticipated album of 2018: Necrophobic – Mark of the Necrogram

Coffin Creep – Corpse Defiler (Death Metal)

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Yay more classic death metal from Sweden! After basically not a single swedeath review for months I get two in two days, lucky me! Coffin Creep is a rather unknown band, formed in 2014, coming from Sweden but been very active in the underground scene around here, playing a lot of shows showcasing their demos live. Corpse Defiler is the bands debut album which consists of re-recordings of mentioned demos and a brand new song in Corpse Defiler.

It’s raw filthy rotten sound brings back memories from a time when swedeath was at it’s peak. The mixing is usually something I think it really hard to get right at this day and age for my ears. I don’t want it too raw because I think the music has evolved in production enough to make it sound good yet filthy. Coffin Creep manages to get a good mix with the right amount of editing to make this album sound really good to me. As a side note I noticed when reading up about Coffin Creep is that the drummer is the vocalist, cool stuff and I don’t see that too often.

Song by song I think Coffin Creep does a good job on catching the ways of the old making a death metal fanatic like me happy. I am sure Coffin Creep is going to be one of the bands from Sweden that keeps the old corpses still rotting instead of withering away. Seeing this is just their debut album filled with demos it’s interesting to hear what they come up with next. Give these guys an album or two and I am confident you will see them go toe to toe with the bigger Swedish acts such as Entrails or Grave. Obviously some of you will think this is just another death metal album you’ve heard before but when it’s done so well like this and manage to capture the essence of the horrors death metal can do it’s not something you should sleep on. One can never get too much swedeath in their life so I suggest fans of Entrails, Grave, Dismember and the likes gets this pile of defiled corpses into your collection right now.

Label: Unearthed Production
For fans of: Entrails and Grave
Favorite song: Puking Necrophilia
Score: 4/5

Morbid Angel – Kingdoms Disdained (Death Metal)

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A band that’s had it’s ups and downs during their career is definitely Morbid Angel. While being a band that created death metal with Altars of Madness being a masterpiece every metalhead needs it’s obviously hard to review a band that’s had such a big influence. It’s been six years since the horror that was Illud Divinum Insanus and with Kingdoms Disdained I dare say Morbid Angel are back on the right track. It’s not an album that will go to history but it’s a good album that puts Morbid Angel back to where they belong, as a death metal giant. I might have had too low expectations of this album and am just too darn happy they’ve found their way again but hey let a guy be happy they are back! Actually all this album needed to do in my book was not being Illud Divinum Insanus, which says a lot.

In all honesty the only negative parts on Kingdoms Disdained is that the first half is a bit weaker than the second half of the album. However The Pillars Crumbling and onwards almost brings tears to my eyes as it’s been years since I heard Morbid Angel this good. Apart from Declaring New Law (Secret Hall), that song just feels out of place and I would honestly have a better experience as a whole if skipping it. It’s not just the riffs, the vocals or the fact that Morbid Angel pulls off a tight performance. It’s the fact that the song-writing is spot on and is touching issues happening in the world right now. For No Master, From the Hand of Kings and The Fall of Idols will be tracks I spin regulary from now on that’s for sure.

Along with Immolation’s Atonement and Mordbrand’s Wilt (super underrated band in my opinion) Kingdoms Disdained is a must have release this year for death metal fans.

Label: Silver Lining Music
For fans of: Immolation and Deicide
Favorite song: The Fall of Idols
Score: 4/5

Necrotted – Worldwide Warfare (Deathcore/Death Metal)

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Coming out with their third full-length album just a few days ago we got Germany’s deathcore/death metal unit Necrotted. Worldwide Warfare has a lot, and I mean a lot, in common with Despised Icon and Thy Art is Murder. The breakdowns and brutality are on point which really does make me think of some early Despised Icon or newer Thy Art is Murder. It’s heavy and filled with class riffs. Worldwide and No War but Class War could be what Puppet Master and The Son of Misery is for Thy Art is Murder on Dear Desolation. Heavy but also really catchy.

My favorite however is Hunt Down the Crown. The drumwork on this song is so freaking fast and brutal, almost 1349 Hellfire style of intro and outro which I love! Overall the song just feels more aggressive getting me headbanging along wanting to get bat-shit crazy and mosh. I kinda wish they took this route more often on the album because the rest of the songs are too much alike Thy Art is Murder and Despised Icon for my taste. As much as I like those bands and think Necrotted does it well it won’t make me go back to this album much in the future as then I might as well pick up an album by TAIM or DI.

Worldwide Warfare is worth a listen for deathcore and death metal lovers out there. Necrotted promises fast, heavy music and they deliver just that. A bit too repetitive in the end so Worldwide Warfare loses me around The Lost Ones which also lowers the score. However I did dig the start of the album and especially Hunt Down the Crown has been on my playlist for a few weeks now.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NECROTTED
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/NECROTTED
Label: Rising Nemesis Records
For fans of: Despised Icon and Thy Art is Murder
Favorite song: Hunt Down the Crown
Score: 2.5/5

Neck of the Woods – The Passenger (Progressive Death Metal/Metalcore)

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Sometimes Spotify really does give me great weekly lists with some new bands and albums I’ve never heard before. This time they pointed me in the direction to Neck of the Woods, a Canadian band which plays a progressive death
metal/metalcore type of music. Think of Misery Signals or August Burns Red doing a co-op project with Dillinger Escape Plan and you’re kinda there. The Passenger is the bands sophomore release and from hearing the opening track Bottom Feeder before I knew I was in for something great.

The progressive elements really does push this albums to great heights. I never get bored and there are so many good riffs and breakdowns on The Passenger it’s almost silly. I haven’t really enjoyed metalcore releases these past years since the genre doesn’t give me anything to enjoy anymore. However once in awhile a band like Neck of the Woods comes along and mixes different elements creating something fresh and new. They got slow paced starts like on Bottom Feeder which eventually turns and produces some metalcore goodness. Nailbiter on the other hand is pedal to the metal from the get go with furious riffs and becomes a favorite of mine, really giving me those August Burns Red vibes. White Coats bass solo is sweet but other than that the song doesn’t quite capture me like Bottom Feeder and Nailbiter did, good song but a bit too slow for me. Open Water is a beautiful passage leading into You’ll Always Look the Same to Me. Initially I found the song a bit too metalcore, less progressive, for my taste but halfway into it they change the pace and I really like it. Making use of the elements I find them sticking out from the rest.

Face of the Villain, oh wow, the start on that features everything I am liking with Neck of the Woods. The bass, the drums, guitar and vocals. Everything is synced well, pushing their sound to new levels and this is the way I want them to sound. Together with Bottom Feeder and Nailbiter it’s definitely the song I will remember from this album. Drift crates another well written intermission until Foothills kicks in. Starts as one of the heavier tracks on the album but eventually slows down and becomes very progressive-sounding like Vattnet. Not a personal favorite of mine but I like that they did a song like this going more all in progressive. The song to end the album, Before I Rest, features another slow progressive start then eventually turn into the August Burns Red-like metalcore sound just to turn it back around. A good ending and one of the better songs on The Passenger.

I have to say I enjoyed my listen of The Passenger. It had its up and downs giving and taking from a wide range of genres but when Neck of the Woods are on form jelling those elements together into one I find them being one of the most interesting bands to follow.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pg/neckofthewoodsmetal
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/NOTWmetal
Label: Basick Records
For fans of: August Burns Red and Dillinger Escape Plan
Favorite song: Face of the Villain
Score: 3.5/5

Throne of Heresy – Decameron (Blackened Death Metal)

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Throne of Heresy is a band I’ve always thought it very underrated. Since their formation in 2009 they’ve released killer music with last years Antioch being one of my favorite death metal albums coming out (which I sadly didn’t review) that year. Sure they have their ups and downs, good and bad songs but who doesn’t? When Throne of Heresy are on point I would say they are one of the best blackened death metal bands going at the moment.

Decameron is the bands latest offering and The Shores of Issyk-Kul starts off the album insanely well. Classic death metal riffs with a touch of black metal aggressiveness that makes me think of the mighty Firespawn. With Decameron being a concept album based on the old book with the same name I had a rough idea on what to expect, a dark album with tales of the black death (the plague). 10 tales into 10 songs of death, brutality and utter horror. The essence of this is captured really well in Decameron, as I said before The Shores of Issyk-Kul sets the tone with it’s aggression, atmosphere of doom and death. Which sets the pace for the rest of the album. Every song have a eerie feeling to it and is very dark, from lyrics to the whole overall performance. In that sense Decameron is almost a perfect concept album for what Throne of Heresy want to broadcast, one of the darkest eras of mankind.

Musically this is an album on par with Antioch, even if they are quite hard to put against each other seeing as they are very different. While Decameron offers an even more atmospheric feeling and blackened death metal take, which I can see as a mix of Naglfar, Dissection and Firespawn at times, Antioch was a more head-on death metal approach in my opinion. I think this is Throne of Heresy’s best work yet and they keep evolving with each release, honing that blackened sound. I hope that soon their plague will spread among the metal community to make more people give into their darkness.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/throneofheresy
Label: The Sign Records
For fans of: Firespawn and Dissection
Favorite song: Siege of Caffa
Score: 4/5