Wormhole – The Weakest Among Us (Technical Brutal Death Metal/Slam)

The year starts heavy for The Metal Gamer as the first review of the year comes from the brutal tech-death band Wormhole and their sophomore release titled The Weakest Among Us. Their debut album Genesis was a sleeper hit that came out late 2016, which I personally didn’t find out about until around a year after but it was definitely one of the better brutal tech-death albums for its time where I enjoyed the hints of slam and deathcore. Fast forward to 2020 and the Kumar brothers now got a drummer in Matt Tillett (Greylotus, ex-Cognitive (live)) and Anshuman Goswami (Perihelion, Cognitive (live)) on vocals joining them on The Weakest Among Us after Goswami having been doing vocals live for Wormhole. He got some big shoes to fill as both Calum Forrest and, the almost legendary, Duncan Bentley were doing solid work prior. Will The Weakest Among Us solidify Wormhole as a giant within the genre or will it prove to be the weakest among us, seeing the band take a step backwards with the member changes?

To start of with The Weakest Among Us got a whole different feel to it than their debut, the deathcore vibe is completely gone and it’s a lot more technical. The title-track “The Weakest Among Us” showcase that right from the start and shows a new side of the Wormhole that sounds more mature, heavier and vastly improved songwriting. With “rA9_myth” bringing way more slam bits into the giant hole I’m just about ready to be devoured by this worm as it is surely going for the kill by now. “D-S3” slows it down a notch, walking on the progressive path for a while, where you can hear some similarities to Sanjay Kumar’s other band Equipoise at times.

With more heavy slam in “The Gas System” putting the….gas back in the tank…. and the mouthful “Wave Quake Generator Plasma Artillery Cannon” we quickly go back into full gear again. The album closer “Ingswarm” is a wicked way to start your 2020 with some filthy breakdowns and the highlight of the album for me together with the opener, and title-track, “The Weakest Among Us” has been my two most played songs at the beginning of this year. Those two songs I think capture perfectly who Wormhole are in 2020.

One thing is certain The Weakest Among Us is a completely different beast than their debut Genesis and a much more varied effort. While Genesis was solid it might have lacked some bits to make it stand out and be a long lasting album in my playlists I find The Weakest Among Us bringing all the right stuff. As far as technical brutal death metal goes this is definitely one of the more experimental albums I’ve heard in the genre. Or as the promo said “prepare yourself for a new generation of Slam and Technical Death Metal!”. It might be a bit too nice and a bit too little brutality at times, while going too hard on the progressive/technical side but at the same time that’s a thing I like with the album. The Vulvodynia resemblances are basically all gone in my opinion, welcome the lovechild of Wormed, Decimated Humans and Equipoise in all its glory. A band that says “fuck it lets go nuts on our sophomore album”, try breaking some boundaries and the result is a good fucking album that makes 2020 have a flying start. Oh and did I mention they base their music on not only common sci-fi but Metroid lore (which you can see through the cover art)!? Metal gamers better dig this!

Written by J.B.

Artist: Wormhole
Label: Lacerated Enemy Records
For fans of: Wormed & Decimated Humans
Release date: January 14th, 2020
Favorite song: Ingswarm
Score: 4/5 Excellent

Facelift Deformation – Cybernetic Organism Atrocities (Slam/Brutal Death Metal)

You want heavy, like a Facelift Deformation heavy!? Well here you go, this is some utter sick shit. This is so juicy the groovy riffs got me banging hard at work when I heard this the first time, and I usually try to keep a low profile there! The band features members from Hong Kong and Taiwan which are also active in bands such as Gorepot, Maggot Colony, Fatuous Rump, Dimensional Decay and of course Virginity Fraud which all three members share. While I thought the latest Virginity Fraud album was a solid effort I think everything Facelift Deformation does is just on a whole other level. After their debut album Dominating the Extermination last year the band has been on every brutal death metal fans mind as that was one of the best albums in the genre last year. Already they got a new one in store for us!

Facelift Deformation still got those sick intros intact with all the gore and samples they had on the debut, actually there is even a bit more of that on Cybernetic Organism Atrocities. So if you, like me, think that’s something that goes hand in had on creating the right atmosphere for a brutal death metal album then that’s a big added bonus (maybe a bit too much of it, but I’m not one to complain). One thing that’s been the highlight in this band is the bass, holy crap does that get me going and Larry Wang is just a genious on creating the right groove for this kind of music. Spoiler, he got it on lockdown this time too! The sophomore slump people sometimes talk about is completely irrelevant to even discuss here as not only does Wang perform just as good as he has on his other project, so does the rest (I even think Randy Leung is a tad better here)! Best part is this album is actually quite a bit longer and overall just feels more complete than the debut it’s hard not to mention this album when someone asks me what the best brutal death album this year is.

The album is essentially a bit slower paced, but way meatier than before and that’s a pure win in my book as it just make the bass work stand out more. One may argue they would rather have the more straight to the point sound from the debut (they got those songs too though mind you) but I think this is a way for Facelift Deformation to stand out a bit more and play to their strenghts. See them as different beasts and you will go in with the right mindset. In the end I think Cybernetic Organism Atrocities is the right step to take for Facelift Deformation, a logical step for a sophomore album which isn’t a simple rinse and repeat job. Sure there are some things they can improve on still, such as it might be a bit too much of groove fest at times and using samples a few times too many but those are small things in my world. When the music hits you hard, with that said groove factor working so well along with the samples then it’s just nitpicking trying to find errors. This album is actually a bit easier to get into due to those elements, meaning this album might work as a great gateway for new people into the slam and brutal death metal world (just like I think Analepsy is). If I had to give my top songs those would be “Siege”, “Slaughtered and Infected” and the title track “Cybernetic Organism Atrocities”. All three got a different element I like making it differ which one I enjoy the most, meaning all three could feature on my favorite song section.

Cybernetic Organism Atrocities is easily one of the best albums this year with sheer brutality in mind along with Organectomy and Rendered Helpless who plays roughly the same type of slamming brutal death. Simple to like and get into on the very first note or bree. If this doesn’t get you wanting to hardcore mosh in your home I’m not sure what will. Pre-order or grab it when it releases August 31st via Realityfade Records by going here!

Written by J.B.

Artist: Facelift Deformation
Label: Realityfade Records
For fans of: Analepsy and Organectomy
Release date: August 31st, 2019
Favorite song: Slaughtered and Infected
Score: 4/5 Excellent

Putrified J – The Deep End of Horror (Slam/Brutal Death Metal)

The relentless killing machine from Belgium that is Putrified J started off as a one-man project by Jason Lambert (Klysma, Neuromoral Dissonance, Impure Violation and Human Barbecue) but eventually expanded into a duo in 2012. Since then Jason has worked with a few different people and joining him for this EP The Deep End of Horror we got Hervé Dieudonné on guitar. Putrified J has been one of the most active bands the past decade (celebrating 10 years this year) as there has been a release each year up until Kill the Living in 2016. Since then it’s been rather quiet, up until now that is!

The Deep End of Horror contains six songs clocking in on 12 minutes. Meaning it’s a rather short offering but we all know sometimes less is good, quality over quantity and all that. Does The Deep End of Horror offer the listener just enough quality music for the buck? The opener and title track “The Deep End of Horror” starts of a bit slower than I expected but on the follow-up track “Sickening Decapitation” all is good again in the slam world where the crushing drums together with the buzzsaw guitar tones and gutturals of Jason hits you straight in the face. Just the way it’s meant to! “Relentless” turns out to be even better as here it’s a more varied track on both tempo and use of vocals. Then “Undead Terror” comes along and just decides to curbstomp your face with the fastest track on the album. You don’t get any time for rest though as the previously released single “Seeds of Infamy” comes along that just like “Relentless” is showing just how varied Putrified J can bem with a killer solo to boot. “Infected Oath” closes out the album with a pure brutal death metal vibe and while I think it ends a bit abrupt it was fine while it lasted.

In the end The Deep End of Horror showcase Putrified J at its best. The only negative is that it’s short but at the same time it offers a very varied album for being slam/brutal death metal with each song sticking out and holding their own. Quality is the most important factor of course, but obviously the EP would be better with a couple more songs in it. Production value is top notch, they might even have made it a bit dirtier for that extra slam feeling but I dig it just the way it is too. Putrified J fans will get their fill here and this is yet another fine release during a Summer that’s seen already releases from Organectomy, Disentomb, Vulvodynia with Pathology and Visceral Disgorge coming up. 2019 is looking heavy!

Written by J.B.

Artist: Putrified J
Label: Comatose Music
For fans of: Abated Mass of Flesh and Placenta Powerfist
Release date: June 28th, 2019
Favorite song: Seeds of Infamy
Score: 4/5 Incredible

Albums of the month: June

Half the year is over and with that we can look back and see there has been a lot of great metal albums released so far. Will the next half be even better or has the best music of the year already been released? Time will tell! I found June being a bit slower after having a couple months seriously stacked with album of the year contenders. Still there were good albums released this month as well and here are some releases you should check out!

Album of the month

Panzerfaust – The Suns of Perdition I: War, Horrid War

Having never heard of the band before this promo dropped into my mailbox I didn’t know what to expect. Safe to say their album blew me away and has been the album I’ve listened to the most since it’s release. Released June 14th via Eisenwald.
Read the review here

Runners-up

Organectomy – Existential Disconnect

Organectomy keeps on pushing brutal and slam metal forward. One of the best, if not the best, albums in the genre this year. Released June 21st via Unique Leader Records.

Golgata – Skam

With each album Golgata grows stronger. Skam is their best release yet and this hidden gem of the finest Swedish black metal craft should be hidden no longer. Released June 17th via Satanath Records.
Read the review here

Enthroned – Cold Black Suns

It’s always a safe bet grabbing a new Enthroned album. Even with all the band member changes the heart and soul always remains intact and Enthroned is yet to release a bad album. Released June 7th via Season of Mist.

Kingdom – Rotting Carcass Arise upon the Burial Mound

Kingdom is another hidden gem from Poland and their vast death metal market. With their latest album they evolve their sound to new heights (or should I say underground lows?) and this was easily the best death metal album I head all month. Released June 6th via Godz ov War Productions.

Honorable mentions

Beheaded – Only Death Can Save You
Memoriam – Requiem for Mankind
Hate – Auric Gates of Veles
Serpent of Gnosis – As I Drink from the Infinite Well of Inebriation
Ingested – Call of the Void
Vulvodynia – Mob Justice
Temple Of Demigod – Onslaught Of The Ancient Gods
Heilung – Futha
Bestialord – Black Mass Wedding
Ov Lustra – Tempestas
The Odious – Vesica Piscis
Birdflesh – Extreme Graveyard Tornado
Flub – Flub
Shinda Saibo No Katamari – Saibogu
Yellow Eyes – Rare Field Ceiling
Putrified J – The Deep End of Horror

Decomposition of Entrails – Abnormality (Brutal Death Metal)

Lets get br00tal metal gamers! We all know Russians knows how to slam and get their moshpits going hard. Fact is the band I got for you today is from Russia and a personal favorite of mine as I reviewed their last release Pestilential Synthesis back in 2017 (album released in December 8th, 2016) where I mentioned it was one of the best brutal death metal releases all year. Guess what? Abnormality is yet another step in the right direction! The Russian bulldozer that is all about the Decomposition of Entrails aint stopping anytime soon and it just goes faster and faster!

What’s happened since the last album? Well the band has added the drummer Evgeny Egolnikov to their ranks, going from a trio to party of four. One of the main thing that is the icing on the cake on Abnormality is just the drumming section, because wow has that improved! Not that I thought it was bad on Pestilential Synthesis but it sure does add a lot when it isn’t programmed and just feels more fluid and alive. From start to finish this close to 26 minutes of brutal death metal machine will hammer your skull with massive gutturals and moshpit starting riffs, with superb headbang friendly drums to boot. Not a single bad song on the album but at the same time not that massive hit that could push them closer to a perfect album score. Who knows next time they might just raise that bar even higher? They’ve improved with each album so far and there seems to be no limit to what these guys can do!

Yet again Decomposition of Entrails prove to be a force to be reckoned with and Abnormality is one of the best brutal death metal albums you will hear all year.

Written by J.B.

Label: Realityfade Records
For fans of: Disfigurement of Flesh and Abated Mass of Flesh
Release date: May 30th, 2019
Favorite song: Viral Eruption
Score: 3.5/5 Very good

Devour the Unborn – Liturgy of Irreverent Oblation (Slam/Brutal Death Metal)

Looks like Texas death metal is back on the menu metalgamers! Devour the Unborn is the brutal death/slam horde created by Joseph Carrillo in 2011 which had quite some underground success on their two first albums Consuming the Morgue Remains and Meconium Pestilent Abomination. It went home with the slam fam but the band has always had a problem getting a solid lineup going. Both guitarists and vocalists have come and gone during the years and for this EP there are two new faces, Swedish guy Andy Tseung (Immersed in Blood, ex-Vomitous) on vocals and Ramon Peña (Defleshed and Gutted) on guitars. With Peña and Carrillo both being in Defleshed and Gutted I hope this time around the lineup can get some consistency and hopefully get a bass player to make it complete. That aside I know you wonder, does Liturgy of Irreverent Oblation slam hard?

Quick answer is yes, it does. Only thing I’ve heard this year that’s heavier to my eardrums is Epicardiectomy but these two bands are totally different beast, especially with the drum snare sound (which I know a lot of people find being goofy when it comes to Epicardiectomy). This is more straight forward Texas brutality which the giants Devourment bulldozed its way into the extreme metal scene in the late 90’s. The five songs clocking in on 18 minutes is enough to have me convinced this is the best Devour the Unborn has ever looked. Tseung is such an incredible vocalist! I might be a bit biased being Swedish and all but I think he is one of the best in the scene at the moment, his gutterals can wake the dead (or kill the living, whatever floats your boat). Devour the Unborn even made a new recording of their hit “Cesspool of Stillborns”, and guess what? It sounds even meaner and got more meat on its bones with this crew going at it! A great song becoming even greater, which easily became my favorite (again) on this album. That being said their newly written material is killer too, it’s just hard not to choose such a beast song when it is probably the best Devour the Unborn has released so far. A slam classic.

If you’ve enjoyed Devour the Unborn in the past you will gobble this right up. Hell slam and brutal death metal fans all around the globe should get right on this album anyways as this is some of the sickest shit you will hear all year. Bring your hammers folks because it’s about to get rowdy in here!

Written by J.B.

Label: Lord of the Sick Recordings
For fans of: Vulvectomy and Devourment
Release date: April 14th, 2019
Favorite song: Cesspool of Stillborns
Score: 4/5 Incredible

Epicardiectomy – Grotesque Monument of Paraperversive Transfixion (Slam/Brutal Death Metal)

Three months after the release I find myself in Epicardiectomy territory with their third album Grotesque Monument of Paraperversive Transfixion. The title is as massive and hard to say fast three times as the album is brutal, exactly what can be expected by these crazy Czech’s. I’d honestly forgot about this release as I had it marked down but then it kinda went into the black hole due to a wave of promos in 2019. Reason I came to remember Epicardiectomy’s latest release is because I very recently booked a trip to Prague with my wife for our wedding anniversary (booked time to get a sweet Megaman tattoo there too) and I was like “oh shit I need to take this bad boy on a spin!”. So here we are, a bit late to the party but I am sure it will be a grand party anyways!

So what’s happened with Epicardiectomy since their last offering to the brutal slam world? In 2014 Putreseminal Morphodysplastic Virulency took the world by storm and kinda cemented Epicardiectomy into one of the most promising bands in the genre. However after that the trio lost their original vocalist Tom Vysoký, who was a very important piece of the slam puzzle. I for one thought it would be hard to replace him. The trio has since then been looking far and wide for the perfect replacement which eventually become a very young prospect in Andrew Benc. Not only that they have also become a four-piece act! Serge Gordeev has gone from doing both guitar and bass to being solely on guitar duty while they added another youngster Stan Pozharnitsky on bass. Going from a trio to a four-piece can be challenging enough but doing so while also looking for a new vocalist can be way harder. We will soon get to realize nothing can stop the slam tank that is Epicardiectomy though!

Ah how I’ve missed these crushing drums, that wicked snare and gnarly slam that Epicardiectomy is all about. Having the founding member Milan Moškon still on drums is the bread and butter of their sound, damn does this hit hard and can make you go ape shit on the drums alone. Stan Pozharnitsky does a superb job on bass, actually he makes it more than superb. I would go as far as saying this is the best Epicardiectomy has sounded on that department. Gordeev did it fine but you can tell it’s been given more space on Grotesque Monument of Paraperversive Transfixion to shine. So how has the replacement for vocals done on his first try? Well Andrew Benc definitely nails those gutturals like one could expect in the style Epicardiectomy does. On tracks like “Repugnant Hemicraniotomical Ingurgitation” and “Chamber of Excruciation” he even gets to showcase a bit more variation to his sewer gut-wrenching vocals. Sure I can argue that I did enjoy Vysoký’s deeper gutturals more but Benc is a whole different beast with other tricks ups his sleeve. I am sure with time I will come to embrace Benc’s style more and miss Vysoký less.

They played the safe card when creating this album as it sounds an awful lot like Putreseminal Morphodysplastic Virulency but at the same time who can blame them? They had so much going on behind the scenes this was the best option. If anything this is a good thing, I would say most slam fans have some love for Putreseminal Morphodysplastic Virulency (which was a major improvement from their debut) and this is more of that same filthy candy for you ears. You still have the insanely sick lyrics to come with it too. There is certainly a few things they’ve improved on, especially in the bass department. One major improvement to me, which I’ve always think has been a bit too much, is that there are less samples being played on this album, they let the music talk more. Big win here to me! While some areas have stayed the same and that’s all fine. Right now my biggest fear was that Epicardiectomy would take a few steps back but instead they took a few step forward, yet maybe a bit small and this ends up being their best work yet.

A small note is that they also have what I think is the most brutal album cover I’ve seen in a long time! Who says how the cover looks doesn’t count though? You need something sweet to wrap around the filthy maggot eating insides.

In conclusion there is no need to fear slam fans! The future is bright for Epicardiectomy once again, the young guns deliver and with the long lasting members Gordeev and Moškon to guide them I can only see the band grow from here. It’s quite astonishing such a revamped line-up can still produce one of the heaviest albums I’ve heard in a long time.

Written by J.B.

Label: New Standard Elite
For fans of: Cephalotripsy and Devourment
Release date: December 31st, 2018
Favorite song: Chamber of Excruciation
Score: 4/5 Incredible