Carnal Decay – When Push Comes to Shove (Brutal Death/Slam Metal)

Carnal Decay - When Pushes Comes To Shove. Cover Art

Let me start with saying I really enjoy Carnal Decay. Last years full-length release You Owe You Pay from them didn’t make my top lists but in all honesty the album has only grown on me and I still spin it from time to time. It’s easy to headbang to, a user friendly brutal death metal, with some slam to it, album if you can call it that which is sometimes more than enough. When Push Comes to Shove follow the bands head-on approach with three murderous songs that are just as heavy as their previous releases. The opener and title track “When Push Comes to Show” is a slower but brutal track that’s insanely catchy. Of course there are a few breakdowns and tempo-changes that eventually ends in a faster finisher. Perfect start to get you going. Next track is a lot faster from the get go and here Carnal Decay brings a friend with them as Igor Fil from Katalepsy does some sick guest vocals. “We All Bleed Red” ends these short but intense ten minutes. It instantly becomes a Carnal Decay favorite of mine as it shows the band on form with some of their nastiest riffs and breakdowns.

I have to say Carnal Decay sure got a way to even make even the easier breakdowns and tempo-changes get you hooked up, it’s an art really that gets you in the groove with ease. The music does exactly what it intends to do, no bullshit just pummeling metal and they aren’t sorry for it. They know what they are all about and deliver it. If you want a quick fix to your brutality and slam addiction then When Push Comes to Show is just about perfect.

Label: Rising Nemesis Records
For fans of: Acranius and Ingested
Release date: July 20th, 2018
Favorite song: We All Bleed Red
Score: 4/5

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Abolishment of Flesh – The Inhuman Condition (Death Metal)

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A new challenger has entered the death metal stage and they are looking for the abolishment of flesh. Hailing from Texas, USA, the band was founded in 2006 but under the name Abolishment. The debut came out 2008 and was named Abolishment of Flesh which later on became the bands new name after numerous member changes. Meaning even though this is Abolishment of Flesh debut album the foundations were there already in 2006. Nowadays the band consists of two members, Ramon Cazares on guitar/vocals (while recording drums and bass as well) and Izaak Chaves on guitar.

Alright this album is one I find very strange to review. Want to know why? It’s due to the fact it is very inconsistent. A reason for this is that they are a bit all over the place and with various results. Abolishment of Flesh showcase a wide range of different styles be it technical, brutal, melodic and classic death metal, which is good however I can’t help to think some of these tracks are somewhat of a snooze fest. They can go from an absolute killer track to one I just want to press skip on. The vocals is one of the things that does that to me. I say keep the brutal growling, let go of the screeching vocals as when that comes in it kills some songs for me as it feels out of place. In “Inhuman Anatomy” it works fine but on the follow-up “Lack of Emotions” I would much rather they’d left it out and the song overall leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It’s the same way when listening to Cattle Decapitation though, the vocal style doesn’t always work for me and I am really picky when death metal switches style like that. Which is a big shame because when Abolishment of Flesh get it all going they are incredible and provides some of the best extreme metal I’ve heard all year.

You have your classic Suffocation sounding tracks like “Morbid Imagery” that provides solid death to the masses, your massive guitar solos with some Dying Fetus vibes on “Servitude of Endless Suffering”. Then you got my personal favorite “Slaves of Animosity” which is simply a monster of a song that’s doing a great job showcasing the bands melodic and technical side, yet keeping it brutal. Almost a bit like older In Flames, which is probably why I really enjoy it. Tracks like those proves the band got diversity, can play both polished melodeath and the more extreme kind with ease when it works which alone keeps the score on a good level. I just hoped the album was more consistent as the duo are definitely talented musicians that can produce some pummeling headbang crazy material. All in all this is a debut album and it sure got me interested in the band. I will follow the band closely, looking forward to hear what they come up with next. Who knows this might just be the first stepping stone into greatness?

Label: Unholy Anarchy Records
For fans of: Suffocation and Cattle Decapitation
Release date: April 20th, 2018
Favorite song: Slaves of Animosity
Score: 3/5

Ingested – The Level Above Human (Slamming Deathcore/Death Metal)

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Lets talk some about what I think of Ingested. The UK band almost single-handedly acted as a sort of gateway to slam, together with Disentomb. When The Architect of Extinction came out in 2014 it blew my mind and I was sold on the whole slam scene, even though some say *cough* the slam police *cough* it’s more deathcore than slam (or slamming deathcore) I don’t care I liked it and it opened up a new genre for me. Granted I am not a diehard fan and my knowledge of the scene bar said bands and some others like Devourment, Pathology, Abominable Putridity and Katalepsy is very limited. With that in mind I was surprised with The Level Above Human and the direction Ingested went with it.

“Sovereign” starts off hard, really hard, and I am here thinking “damn this is going to be one of my favorite albums of the year”. The album has some good highs but also lows for me though. The production quality is almost too clear and while some tracks like “Sovereign”, “Invidious”, “Better off Dead” are of top notch Ingested quality and are in some ways a development from the bands past release. Mainly since they flirt with heavy hitters from brutal death metal like Dying Fetus and others creating a, perhaps, less slam sound but more of a death metal fused together with slam. Then you have “Last Rites”, a song that switches tempo well and is by far their most technical and well written track to date. Songs like that can make me see this as an evolution of their sound and slam in general, The Level Above Human will surely bring in more fans to the fray due to this. While “the slam police” will surely say this isn’t true slam but slamming deathcore/brutal death metal or whatever I can understand why Ingested takes this road, just like Thy Art is Murder with their latest release took more inspiration from death metal to change it up some. It’s bound to happen to some of the bigger bands in such underground or even hated scenes from the general metal community.

Change or no change you have your mid-tempo slams, Jason Evans on form (as always), angry hard hitting metal with that Ingested stamp on it. It’s a rather big change from The Architect of Extinction, less deathcore, more brutal death metal added to the mix, less monotone and it’s definitely got more technical aspects to it than any of their older releases. I should be all over this because of those elements but I can’t help but to say I personally liked The Architect of Extinction a lot more than I did with The Level Above Human, maybe even because of the more straight forward and monotone approach even. I can not deny however that this is probably the right step for the band to take in order to leap forward. Ingested are not afraid to change it up and I respect them for that and while some were scared that they would lose their slam when joining Unique Leader Records this was definitely not case. They simply evolved and while I may not be completely down with this change as of yet (give me time guys) I am sure many will.

Label: Unique Leader Records
For fans of: Acrania and Cerebral Bore
Release date: April 27th, 2018
Favorite song: Sovereign
Score: 3/5

Pestilent Reign – Pyres (Death Metal)

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Looking for breakdowns that slay, vocals that could scare the hell out of your grandmother and riffs that makes your neck break due to all the headbanging you will do? Then look no further because Pestilent Pyres got you covered. So far the more brutal death metal scene hasn’t had too much action in my opinion. Sure it’s only April but time flies and we all urge to get some neck breaking, go bananas style of death metal every once in a while. Last year we saw bands like Suffocation, Dying Fetus, Gutslit and more hit us with the brutality we crave. It would be nice to have a similar year every year of course but I understand it can’t always be like that.

However Pestilent Reign makes a superb effort to make 2018 just as good of a year. Instantly “Martyr” almost catch me off-guard with it’s hard hitting death metal but it’s when “You Will Kneel in Piss and Blood” the real action comes. Holy shit this song made me go wild. It has everything you want, fast paced brutal death metal with a lot of technical aspects into it and a solo to die for at the end. Dying Fetus, Defeated Sanity, Misery Index and Psycroptic becoming one of sort. Speaking of Defeated Sanity, Pestilent Reigns logo made me think of the band straight away but seeing one of their band members having a Defeated Sanity hoodie on made it quite clear they are probably big fans of the band.

“Saviour” brings and even more technical aspect to it, a bit less of the brutality but with more sick riffs instead. “Pyres” keeps on doing this throughout the entire album, taking in different influences, doing great justice to them and be it technical, brutal or simply death metal they pull it off. The album feels rewarding to listen to with a sweet balance between different takes on death metal which is sure to bring the listener some headbang worth material. Personally I would love them to stay on the more brutal side of things like they did with “You Will Kneel in Piss and Blood” and “I.M.T.R.M.” but whatever road they choose to walk on I am sure it will be great as the band evolves. A thing that holds me back from choosing the big scores with Pyres is due to half the album feeling a bit weaker than the rest. The tracks I will take with me from the album are definitely “You Will Kneel in Piss and Blood” together with “Zealot”, “I.M.T.R.M” and “Gutter’s Filth”. These songs present Pestilent Reign at their best from different perspectives. However the rest were “only” good. Great album that could almost have been a masterpiece from the 2018 releases but for now I am happy to have found a new band to follow on their wicked path of death.

Label: Rising Nemesis Records
For fans of: Misery Index and Psycroptic
Release date: March 16th, 2018
Favorite song: You Will Kneel in Piss and Blood
Score: 3.5/5

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

Logic of Denial – Aftermath (Brutal Death Metal)

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Italy, not just a beautiful country but starting to become my go to country for great quality metal releases. 2017 has been a great year overall for metal but for Italy it’s been insane. I’ve mentioned it quite a few times already but wow are bands from that region pulling all the stops this year. Logic of Denial hails from, yes you guessed it, Italy! The band started off as Collapse in 2003, eventually changed name to Logic of Denial in 2006 and got two full-length albums behind their name prior this release. This is my first time with the band but from what I see it seems they’ve evolved nicely, having somewhat average reviews on their debut but on the sophomore and especially on Aftermath getting really good reviews.

I have to say the reviews I’ve seen are completely justified. Aftermath is a fine piece of work that sets the bar high for what Logic of Denial can produce. Just as Unfathomable Ruination was a smashing hit last year with one of the best brutal death metal albums which saw the band take new heights I see Logic of Denial doing the same this year. This is 43 minutes of an unrelenting force you do not want to stand against. Go with it instead, give into the beatdowns, the crushing waves of drums coming at you, the tight guitarplay and gutturals. Tracks like Larvae of Eden are leaving even the mighty Dying Fetus wondering what hit them and here I am wondering how I could not have heard of this album sooner? Everything I want from a brutal death metal release is in Aftermath. Having had a rough week at work this album has been going at least once a day and I’ve loved every second of it.

Aftermath is one of those albums that makes me want to dig into the bands discography and listen to how they have evolved into this sweet sound of death. A splendid release from Logic of Denial and definitely a contender for the best brutal death metal album this year.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LogicOfDenialBand
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/LogicOfDenial
Label: Comatose Music
For fans of: Unfathomable Ruination and Septycal Gorge
Favorite song: Larvae of Eden
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