Embodiment of Suffering – Revoking Salvation (Brutal Death Metal)

Hey note to bands, when I see an album with song titles such as “Exterminate The Baby Boomers”, “Beer Run Gone Wrong” and “Fuck Religious Freedom” then you got my attention! This short, just under 20 minutes, debut EP from American act Embodiment of Suffering proved to be just as fun as the song titles gave away. It’s brutal death metal of great caliber that might not do enough to stand out in the crowd of other solid acts but Revoking Salvation definitely brings the breakdowns and heaviness to get you going. Fact is the band has only been going for just over a year (started in 2018) so the future is with Embodiment of Suffering.

The intro which eventually leads into “Exterminate The Baby Boomers” is a good start, I can hear some grindcore influences here but it’s with the follow-up track, and title-track, “Revoking Salvation” when Embodiment of Suffering really showcasing what they can do. “Beer Run Gone Wrong” gives me a bit of Dying Fetus vibe but it still doesn’t quite hit the mark like “Revoking Salvation” did, still beeing a great track though and we already got three songs who all shows a varied style of brutal death metal. “Your Corpse is My Domain” is more straight forward brutal death metal but with a hint of slam and classic death metal solo into it. Together with the title-track this quickly became my two favorite songs. “Fuck Religious Freedom” ends the really album well with especially the drum and guitar solo starting mid-way through the song grabbing my attention.

The vocals can be a bit of hit and miss. Vile Kyle uses a lot of different tools and while that’s great and all I sometimes wonder if it would be an even stronger album if he stuck more to the gutturals and brees as that’s where I think he shines. Overall this is a very good debut album with a lot of styles incorporated. There are mighty solos, nasty vocals and wicked breakdowns which will satisfy any brutal death metal fan out there. I see this as a bit of a Dying Fetus and Devourment lovechild type of band. Great start by Embodiment of Suffering which isn’t without a case of maybe trying to much in some cases but there is something to build on here to pave a bloody way to the top I’m sure.

Artist: Embodiment of Suffering
Label: Ungodly Ruins Productions
For fans of: Dying Fetus & Devourment
Release date: December 27th, 2019
Favorite song: Revoking Salvation
Score: 3.5/5 Very good

Unfathomable Ruination – Enraged and Unbound (Brutal Death Metal)

I don’t know about you but England’s Unfathomable Ruination has quickly become my favorite brutal death metal band this past decade after having had Cryptopsy, Dying Fetus and Defeated Sanity as my trio to go to for many many years when kicking back with some heavy music for the gym sessions, getting those extra gains. Already on their debut Misshapen Congenital Entropy in 2012 you knew something special was at work here, they then released Finitude and with that release one of the best brutal death metal albums of this decade. You didn’t think they could top that, but here we are and Enraged and Unbound is upon us. Buckle up because Unfathomable Ruination is coming in hard!

Wasting no time Enraged and Unbound starts just like you would thought an album with that title would do, pedal to the metal and enraged like a motherfucker with “An Obsidian Perception”. Nothing is left to chance here, production value has always been one of the things that I think Unfathomable Ruination almost perfected for the genre with Finitude and of course this album is just as crisp, making each element pop like it should at the right times. The vocalist, and gamer, Ben Wright pulls of his most varied performance yet and does it incredibly well (check out “Occulta Violentiam” as an perfect example of this). The title-track and later on “Codebreaker” gives you no room to breath as the sledgehammer keeps on bashing your brain in with mighty riffs, thundering drums that Odin himself would love and Ben’s sick vocals. “Defy the Architect” might start of a bit slow but it’s all a ruse as it gives you breakdowns and heavy hitting music that will make you want to mosh with your dogs at home straight away. Hell they even try an Cattle Decapitation approach on “A Prophetic Compulsion”, with elements of Suffocation and Morbid Angel on “Maniacal Disillusion” and does so with ease. This is one of those albums where every single song can be put into the favorite song section. Usually that’s because a band does an album where a lot of the songs sound the same but here it’s due to Unfathomable Ruination give life and identity to each and every one of the tracks, there simply isn’t a bad song here and every one could be put into singles. There is something for everyone of the brutal school here and I’m sure if I asked five people what their favorite track was I would get five different answers. That speaks volume on what they’ve created here.

Enraged and Unbound is a new step for Unfathomable Ruination that shows a band that’s not scared to try out some new things, be it vocals or instrumentals they are really pushing themselves here. If Finitude was the perfect album for how to make old school brutal death metal fresh then Enraged and Unbound is the perfect album for how brutal death metal can evolve into a new monster. There is nothing holding this album back at all. I can go as far as to say this is the None So Vile album of modern times and the best brutal death metal album I’ve heard since Defeated Sanity’s Passages into Deformity in 2013. This is how brutal death metal is made 2019, you try to break the boundaries with every single note to production and artwork being nothing but the best of quality. A pure gem for the genre that will blow you away and you will see this in the single digits on my album of the year article, that I can assure you.

Written by J.B.

Artist: Unfathomable Ruination
Label: Willowtip Records
For fans of: Defeated Sanity and Abysmal Torment
Release date: November 22nd, 2019
Favorite song: An Obsidian Perception
Score: 5/5 Masterpiece

Of Hatred Spawn – Of Hatred Spawn (Death Metal)

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

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

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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

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