Paganizer – Land of Weeping Souls (Death Metal)

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Paganizer was created in 1998 born from the ashes of Terminal Grip, plays classic Swedish death metal and have been producing a ton of EP, split and full-length albums since it’s creation. With that amount of releases it isn’t weird that there has been some varied quality over the years but when Paganizer are on form I consider them one of the best old school death metal acts. Rogga Johansson, the creator, vocalist and also on guitar in the band has to be the most productive member in the death metal community. He has always been the bread and butter for Paganizer and on this album he has some friends joining him since the last full-length release, Kjetil Lynghaug (Echelon, Mordenial, Stass) on guitar and Martin Klasén (ex-Vicious Maggot) on bass. So where does Land of Weeping Souls stand with a new lineup?

Well not much have changed, but that’s alright since I am expecting that classic death metal sound. It’s raw sound is mixed and produced just the right amount to be filthy death but not sounding like a garage demo, as some bands seems to go for and I really dislike. Your Suffering Will Be Legendary starts off the album well with it’s pedal to the metal force but not making too much of an impact on me. It’s with the title track Land of Weeping Souls I really get into headbanging mode and find a track that sticks out. Here the guitars and drums just seems to jell better from the starting tracks and The Insanity Never Stops follows that up great with another solid track. Selfdestructor feels like it’s taken from a book on how to create classic death metal, the whole flow of the song and chorus screams old school. Again it doesn’t stick out but it’s well made by a band that definitely knows the genre by now. As an old school death metal fan this is candy I easily devour but I am sure plenty of people out there will think this isn’t something new nor interesting. If you’re not an old school death metal fan looking for more of that sweet 90’s sound then this isn’t for you.

Death Addicts Posthumous is another track I really liked, takes the vibe Selfdestructor gave me and put in some wickeds solo into it. To follow it up The Buried Undead comes, the best song on the album in my opinion. A pummeling machine of death with great tempo-changes, solos and Rogga on vocals is always a joy to listen to.

Slow start but it gets better over time. Nothing new under the death metal sun but fans of Paganizer knows this is what the band is all about, well made classic death metal. In the bands vast discography I would say Land of Weeping Souls stands somewhere in the middle, solid release with some ups and downs which will please fans of the genre. With Rogga holding the lines you can be sure to expect quality death metal with any lineup. Land of Weeping Souls is what I was expecting and support Paganizer for sticking to it.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/paganizersweden
Label: Transcending Obscurity Records
For fans of: Grave and Dismember
Favorite song: The Buried Undead
Score: 3/5

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Desultory – Through Aching Aeons (Death Metal)

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Here we go, another old school Swedish death metal act is releasing an album! These past years have definitely been good to us swedeath lovers as a new wave of filthy death is taking over. Desultory might not be a name many are familiar with, I wasn’t for example. A brief look into the bands history though and I find out the band was actually formed almost 30 years ago, 1989 to be exact. After some successful demo and full-length releases in the early 90’s the band took a huge hit when Stefan Pöge left the band in 95, thus changing the style drastically on the bands third full-length release Swallow the Snake. An album that has to be seen as a dark spot in Desultory’s discography and ultimately the band disbanded in 96. Reborn in 2009 the comeback Counting Our Scars put the band on the right track once again and now eight years later Desultory are saying goodbye with their last album Through Aching Aeons.

Having not heard Desultory’s past work before I obviously had to listen to it after reading this background story. Safe to say there was some varied quality but also some really really great death metal. So now I knew what I could expect. Or rather to expect that these 43 minutes and nine tracks could be anywhere between heaven or hell. Will it be a Swallow the Snake fiasco or Into Eternity death metal masterpiece. Answer is this is the later. Through Aching Aeons consist of some of the best death metal I’ve heard this year. The guitars, oh the guitars, chainsaw their way through the competition together with Klas Morberg on vocals leaving me stunned on how the hell I can have missed these guys when growing up. It’s a mistake I will atone by listening to this album, over and over again until I know every word, every beat and every riff.

Through Aching Aeons isn’t perfect but death metal isn’t suppose to be. A vile riff feast that’s an homage to everything swedeath stands for is exactly what I wanted and Desultory were kind enough to deliver. I hope this isn’t the last I hear from Desultory, I want more.

Through Aching Aeons is out now through Pulverised Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Desultory-50447918404
Label: Pulverised Records
For fans of: Entombed and Dismember
Favorite song: Beneath the Bleeding Sky
Score: 4/5

Vallenfyre – Fear Those Who Fear Him (Death Metal)

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One of the few super groups that’s actually been around for years and making it work, becoming much more than just a super group in the process. If you don’t know why I call them that it’s because the trio consists of Hamish Hamilton Glencross (ex-My Dying Bride, ex-Solstice and ex-Seer’s Tear), Gregor Mackintosh (Paradise Lost) and Waltteri Väyrynen (Paradise Lost). Meaning some of the best doom metal bands to ever exist. Which is also why it’s obviously hard to keep Vallenfyre strictly death, they do of course have quite a lot of doom influences in their sound. However they do lean more towards band such as Entombed, Bloodbath and Asphyx than anything pure doom.

With their past two albums A Fragile King and Splinters being two albums I really like I was wondering if Fear Those Who Fear Him is on the same level or if Vallenfyre are losing their touch. Fact is they haven’t lost their touch the mix of doom and death Vallenfyre produces is still top class. They haven’t really managed to bring the magic out fully since their debut actually as that album still remains their best work as of yet. Songs like Degeneration, An Apathetic Grave and Soldier of Christ are songs that can definitely feature on a Vallenfyre best of though so fans of the band, or the genre overall will do best not to miss this one. Vallenfyre keeps on proving super groups can work and this is yet a solid release. If you haven’t listened to the band before I suggest you start with A Fragile King but Fear Those Who Fear Him can easily make you become a new fan of the band in its own.

For Those Who Fear Him is out now through Century Media Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Vallenfyre
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Vallenfyre
Label: Century Media Records
For fans of: Entombed and Paradise Lost
Favorite song: An Apathetic Grave
Score: 3.5/5

Mordbrand – Wilt (Death Metal)

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Mordbrand means arson and is not only a horrible act but also one of Swedens best death metal acts that’s spawned this last decade. Having listened to their compilation album Hymns of the Rotten several times this past year I knew Wilt was something to look forward to. Why you ask? Because in this trio you got Per Boder, the vocalist who has been on the frontline to create the Swedish death metal sound with God Macabre. Joining him we got Björn Larsson (who plays for God Macabre since the resurrection in 2013) and Johan Rudberg. This trio has made some of the best death metal music these past years (their debut Imago came out in 2014) and it’s a band that I personally feel will should be up there among the greats soon if they keep this up. My only question to this release is if they can? Is Wilt as good as Imago or Hymns of the Rotten?

Short answer is yes, yes it is. I am not sure how Mordbrand does it, have they made an pact with Satan? Have they found the pick of destiny? Becuase wow I keep getting stunned by this band. Every single song is a hit to me. Every single song. It’s pure death metal which is perfectly produced and every single riff is a headbanger. The songwriting is great and heck even the album cover is freaking art. This year has been too kind to me. As a lover of death metal I’ve not only got to listen to releases from the more known acts such as Immolation, Firespawn, Evocation and Entrails but also found new bands like HerezA and now got something confirmed. Confirming that Mordbrand are here to stay, they are one of Swedens best death metal bands full stop. If you think otherwise listen to Wilt, or any other album in their already great discography.

I am basically too much in awe of this band right now that I shouldn’t even write in all honesty. I usually take an album for a few spins, cool down and then try to make a fair judgement (read my Svart Crown review for example) but this is so good I starting writing this review before I’d even give Wilt it’s first run. I mean fuck, already three tracks in I was asking myself if Bleed Into Nought, Delivering the Gods or Worship Predation was going to be choosen as my favorite track. Fact is they are all good in their own right and I could pick a song at random and still be happy with my choice.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again. Mordbrand is one of Swedens best death metal bands. It’s a beast that’s been unleashed and ready to ravage the world with death. I suggest you get Wilt now through Carnal Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/officialmordbrand
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/MordbrandBand
Label: Carnal Records
For fans of: Evocation and Grave
Favorite song: At the Larvae Column

Entrails – World Inferno (Death Metal)

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Ah Entrails, a band I always know what to expect from. Solid old school death metal with crushing riffs. For those of you that don’t know the band has a quite interesting history. Entrails was formed in 1990 but never actually released anything as they were never satisfied with their demo recordings so the band eventually died out. However in 2008 the guitarist Jimmy Lundqvist resurrected the band and in 2010 (20 years after their original formation) Entrails debut album Tales from the Morgue was finally released. Since then the band has been very active and released some killer albums with World Inferno being the bands fifth full-length album.

So how does World Inferno stack against their solid discography of death metal madness? It has to be said Entrails definitely knows how to create death metal by now. Just like their past albums this is a most have for fans of old school death metal. It’s a hard hitting and soul ravaging tank coming at you. Entrails have always had a nack to get those catchy tunes going which you will find yourself singing along to the course already on the opening track World Inferno.

It’s hard to say if this album is better or worse than the rest because, just like with their older albums, this is simply solid. They deliver what you expect of them, nothing more nothing less and they don’t have to with the band being a go to for many death metal fans. World Inferno is an album you will need to grab if you want some riff friendly music that is sure to make you bang your heads. If you’ve liked their past albums you will have a good time with World Inferno as well that’s for sure. Favorite tracks on World Inferno are Condemned to the Grave, Serial Murder (Death Squad), Insane Slaughter and Suffer.

World Inferno is out now through Metal Blade Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Entrails666
Label: Metal Blade Records
For fans of: Entombed and Grave
Favorite song: Serial Murder (Death Squad)

HerezA – I Become Death (Death Metal)

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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.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/herezametalband
Label: Godz ov War Productions
For fans of: Entombed and Anaal Nathrakh
Favorite song: Tombcrawler

Shores of Null – Black Drapes for Tomorrow (Doom Metal)

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Candlelight Records used to be a label I always looked at when I wanted the more extreme quality music. Sure they still got Emperor, Winterfylleth, Shade Empire and Limbonic Art that I like but they used to have so much more than that! Entombed, Enslaved, Enthroned, Dismember, 1349, Candlemass etc. The list is very long on some of the worlds biggest metal acts that’s been with Candlelight one way or another. From Candlelight we do have one of the best melodic doom albums you will hear this year though. It’s the Italian band (I’ve told you, this is probably Italy’s biggest metal year) Shores of Null that bless us with their sophomore album Black Drapes for Tomorrow. The band was formed in 2013 with members from the likes of Zippo and Noumeno.

Black Drapes for Tomorrow offers the same kind of high quality doom metal you’re used to hear from heavy hitters within the scene like Katatonia, Daylight Dies and Novembers Doom. This is the first time I hear Shores of Null and they are blowing me away quite frankly. I can’t really find a single song that isn’t good, and it gets better each time I play it. I’ve heard from others that told me about Shores of Null that this record is a safe path and a bit weaker than their debut Quiescence. If it is then I’ll be damn that album is nearly perfect, just like this is a hidden gem within the metal community every doom fan should be all over, safe path or not. Straccione’s vocals are perfect for this kind of music and the guitar duo Raffaele Colace and Gabriele Giaccari are in sync like it’s almost a symbiosis.

As I said before this album is so damn good and solid through and through it’s hard to pick favorite tracks (second album in a row, lucky me). If I had to then it would have to be Donau, Tide Against Us and We Ain’t Ashes. If you need your fill of gloom and darkness then Black Drapes for Tomorrow is an album you can’t miss. Shores of Null sophomore album Black Drapes for Tomorrow is out now through Candlelight Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoresofnull
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/shoresofnull
Label: Candlelight Records
For fans of: Katatonia and Daylight Dies
Favorite song: Tide Against Us