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

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Integral – Resilience (Technical Death Metal)

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I’ve said it before and I will say it again. 2017 is a great year for Italian death metal, be it technical, brutal or whatever. Integral is probably not a name you know when you think of the Italian scene. Which isn’t strange since Resilience is the bands full-length debut and they were formed in 2013. That being said do not take this band lightly! When you can draw in guests like Steffen Kummerer from Obscura and Tommy Talamanca from Sadist on your debut you know this band is going to go places.

So what do they sound like? Well this is where it gets tricky! I label Integral as technical death metal but in reality they sound like a mix of a lot of different genres and bands. Vocals I think is rather close to The Black Dahlia Murder, while the instrumental play is as much The Faceless as it is Gorod, Obscura and Beyond Creation. Add some deathcore groovy breakdowns to it and you got yourself an Italian Chimera that’s ready to devour you. This is an album full of surprises. I mean even having the different influences in mind there are plenty of tempo-changes, riffs and what not that makes me go wow. There are also equally many parts that makes me go urgh I didn’t like this. A perfect example of this is the song Hieroglyphica. While it features some really awesome segments it also got leaves me wanting to almost skip the song at times, really weird roller-coaster ride for me musically. Both the bands strength and weakness to have all these mashups, I am sure they can only improve their sound in the future.

All together the ten songs Resilience offers is a good start for Integral and this album is sure to make at least one of you become a fan of their style. While I am not completely sold yet I think this is a superb debut and I am interested to see where they take their sound on the sophomore album.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/integralbandofficial
Label: Ghastly Music
For fans of: The Faceless and The Black Dahlia Murder
Favorite song: Realm of Atlantis
Score: 3/5

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

Valgrind – Seal of Phobos (Death Metal)

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Despite the name Valgrind being Swedish (it’s the main entrance to Valhalla) the band in itself is from Italy. If you’ve read my blog this year then you probably know by now that I really dig what Italy has produced this year, with some of the best releases having come from there. Valgrind is a band that’s been going for a long time, since 1993, but only produced demo’s until 2002 when their first EP came out then in 2012 they released their debut full-length album Morning Will Come No More. Seal of Phobos is a five track EP continuing Valgrind’s crusade and last years death metal goodness Speech of the Flame.

Seal of Phobos will leave no death metal lover standing still as it features a flurry of crushing riffs and is aggressive as hell. This will surely get your blood pumping. The bands newest member, guitarist Umberto Poncina, makes a fine debut and might be one of the reasons why this sounds like Valgrind’s heaviest release as of yet. The solos are on point and I only got one negative thing to say about this EP really, that it’s only an EP and not a full-length album! I love myself some classic death metal and when it’s done this well I can’t do anything else than to sit back, take a sip of my beer and headbang in joy. The two favorite tracks for me are the two last ones, Traitors Will Bleed and Ekphora’s Day, where Jonny Petterson (Wombbath, Ashcloud and Henry Kane) makes a great guest appearance.

Seal of Phobos is a solid pickup for anyone who wants some classic hard hitting death metal. It’s Valgrind’s most aggressive release yet and also their best, it’s looking really well for their upcoming full-length. Seal of Phobos is out now through Everlasting Spew Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/valgrindband
For fans of: Morbid Angel and Monstrosity
Favorite song: Traitors Will Bleed

Hideous Divinity – Adveniens (Technical/Brutal Death Metal)

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Guess what? There is a third good album that came out April 28th! Hideous Divinity is a band I am sure many of you are familiar with. Being formed in 2007 (in Norway actually) and featuring two ex-Hour of Penance back then they took the brutal technical death metal scene by storm. Since then quite a few lineup changes have happened, one were Mauro Mercurio (ex-Hour of Penance) left forcing Enrico Schettino to rebuild. That didn’t stop him nor the band though as the debut album and sophomore received much praise from the metal community. Adveniens has been on many peoples minds when thinking what album can be a contender for best techdeath album this year.

What strikes me straight away is the punishing drums that keeps on hammering your skull. Enrico hasn’t lost his touch on the guitar either as he has yet another really strong performance. Stefano Franceschini on bass (Aborted) adds a lot of heavyness with his bass play, as expected from a man with his caliber and he already showed it on Cobra Verde, this time he is even better though. There is a lot here that you can hear have the roots from Hour of Penance, which isn’t a bad thing since it’s one of my favorite bands when it comes to techdeath. Ages Die starts off violent with some of the best work Hideous Divinity has done. Hard to top that you would think right? Be sure as hell they do though! Passages starts off slow (one of the few times you get to breath on the album) and it features several different “passages” throughout the song, showcasing a lot of different aspect to their music. The song got a bit of a Nile touch to it that way (I’ve always loved how they change tempos) and it sticks out for me.

All in all this is a great album. Hideous Divinity is definitely one of the best technical death metal bands going, having released three solid albums now. Getting slightly better with each one. Italy might just have Europe’s best techdeath scene right now with Septycal Gorge, Deceptionist (featuring two ex-Hideous Divinity members), Hour of Penance and Hideous Divinity all released top albums these past three years. And they don’t look like they are slowing down either!

Adveniens is out now through Unique Leader Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hideousdivinity
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/HideousDivinity
For fans of: Hour of Penance and Nile
Favorite song: Passages

Maze of Sothoth – Soul Demise (Death Metal)

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Italy, a country that’s been very active this year with a new Hour of Penance release and upcoming albums from Antropofagus as well as Hideous Divinity. With that kind of heavy hitters it might be easy to forget a new challenger with the same origin, Maze Of Sothoth. What differs Maze of Sothoth from said bands is that they play more traditional death metal drawing influences from the likes of Morbid Angel, Vomitory and Vader. Add to the fact that their lyrics are heavily themed around HP Lovecraft and horror then you got yourself another beast entirely.

Cthulhu’s Calling opens up with setting an feeling of unease and horror until Maze of Sothoth blasts off with furious riffs on Lies. Make no mistakes Maze of Sothoth are here to bring the riffs to you metalheads who feels the urge to headbang tonight over a few cold beers. It’s very catchy, evil and reeks of death. Just the way us old school death metal fans wants it. The HP Lovecraft theme just adds to the pure evilness coming into my ears. I am honestly a bit surprised how well Maze of Sothoth pulls this off. Marasco and Rubini do a splendid job on guitars bringing out those killer riffs, Moioli on drums is a beast and Marchesi on bass and vocals totally nails it. Together they do really sound like an reborn Italian version of Vomitory, which is freaking sweet and full of vile energy. I do feel a few songs doesn’t deliver that same punch as for example Lies and Divine Sacrifice does but at the same time this is a debut album. When Maze of Sothoth are at it’s peak then they are a band to look out for.

Maze of Sothoth delivers a great full-length debut album with Soul Demise and I can’t wait to see what they got in store for us next. Fans of old school death metal in the veins of Vomitory, Morbid Angel and Vader got yourselves a new band to look into! Soul Demise is out now from Everlasting Spew Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MazeofSothothOfficial
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Maze_of_Sothoth
For fans of: Morbid Angel and Vomitory
Favorite song: Lies

Hour of Penance – Cast the First Stone (Technical/Brutal Death Metal)

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Italian brutal techdeath masters Hour of Penance are back with a flurry of blistering riffs and brutality some bands can only dream of to jell together into a perfect mix. And oh does it deliver! After having listened to the single XII Century Imperial Crusade a million times already I knew this album was going to be something special. However after listening to the album I am still in ave. XII Century Imperial Crusade, as great as it is, isn’t even one of the best tracks on the album!

Track after track Hour of Penance keeps on giving me some of the best riffs and music I’ve heard in a long time. The album is so polished, yet undeniable crushing and I can only applaud them for keeping such high quality during their career even on their seventh release. The addition of drummer Davide “BrutalDave” Billia (Beheaded, Septycal Gorge and Xenomorphic Contamination) only seems to have fuelled this tank of destruction that is Hour of Penance. I have to say time after time again when I hear Davide he rises on my list of the best drummers in the world, he puts in a lot of hard work and has never let me down so far.

Hour of Penance has already released a contender for album of the year. I urge you, do not miss this album!

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hourofpenance
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/HourofPenance
For fans of: Nile and Origin
Favorite song: Cast the First Stone