Broken Hope – Mutilated and Assimilated (Brutal Death Metal)

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Being a very new listener to Broken Hope as I actually discovered them on Twitter a couple of months ago when I followed Suffocation and got them as a recommendation I am sorry to say I will have to review this album as it is a debut basically. Some history about the band to begin with, as I obviously had to check these bad boys out to know what I am dealing with. Created in 1988 (very good year mind you) the band has had quite the history with a band member being kicked out due to basically hustling, disbanding in 2001, reuniting in 2012 and being droped from a Deicide tour in 2013. All that shit aside the band is still going strong and Jeremy Wagner on guitar is the only original member still in the band. Has this made Broken Hope lost….their hope?

As I said earlier I haven’t listened to this band at all before and I am going into this album with a very fresh mind and don’t know what to expect, unlike I did with Origins for example. Holy crap though! If John Carpenter’s The Thing was a music album this could be it! I’m a big fan of Damian “Tom” Leski’s (Gorgasm) vocals and it really sets the tone together with the rest of the band and lyrical theme of Mutilated and Assimilated. This is a brutal death metal album filled with gore and horror. All the pieces are set in the band to make it an experience you deserve in that theme. The album proves to be a good one for me, it lacks that extra punch as I am having a hard time finding a song that sticks out from the rest. It’s solid brutal death metal through and through though but could use that tank of a song that breaks it out of the cage. With Broken Hope re-assembled (or mutilated and assimilated?), having new members and new hope (sorry) I am sure this is just the beginning for the band as they go for that tier one brutal death metal spot.

Mutilated and Assimilated is out now through Century Media Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/brokenhopeofficial
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/BROKENHOPEBAND
Label: Century Media Records
For fans of: Suffocation and Cannibal Corpse
Favorite song: The Carrion Eaters
Score: 3/5

Origin – Unparalleled Universe (Technical Brutal Death Metal)

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From the crazy White Ward jazz-post-black metal experience I go to something I feel right at home with. It’s time to review one of the technical brutal death metal greats, Origin. A band which has given us mortals some of the best brutal techdeath that’s ever existed since their formation in 1997. Since then the band has released one EP and Unparalleled Universe will be the seventh full-length release, something very few techdeath bands have even done actually. With heavy hitting albums like Antithesis and Omnipresent fresh in mind how does Unparalleled Universe stand next to them?

Have to be said Origin still got it, even seven albums and 20 years into their career. However I lack that Wrath of Vishnu, The Aftermath and All Things Dead feel to it. It’s a good album but next to a discography like Origins they almost slay themself. I always hate reviewing albums like this in all honesty. When a band has a really good discography should they get punished for releasing something not on the very very top? I mean if this was a debut or even a sophomore album I would say something along the lines of “omg this is one of the best bands that will tear the future apart!!!”. I don’t know, this is a freaking great album but knowing what Origin has done in the past I know I can expect more. A great album doesn’t cut it this year within brutal death metal, not with Dying Fetus, Broken Hope, Decrepit Birth and Suffocation getting releases out. Mithridatic, Dajjal, Burden of Prescience and Origins longest track as of yet Unequivocal are the highlights of this album and especially Unequivocal makes me go all headbang mode and presents Origin in top form. It’s a good album and any Origin fan should get it. As I said they still got the touch. However I know there is more brutality to be unleashed from them, some songs are just too soft for my liking to make this a real heavy hitter as an Origin album should be.

Unparalleled Universe is out now through Agonia Records in EU and Nuclear Blast in the US. With this review I am also bringing back the score scale, this time instead of a 1-10 scale it will be a 1-5 one. 5 being the highest grade and 1 the lowest.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Origin
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/OriginBand
Label: Agonia Records (EU) and Nuclear Blast (US)
For fans of: Nile and Decrepit Birth
Favorite song: Unequivocal
Score: 3.5/5

Shadow of Intent – Reclaimer (Deathcore)

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Released the same day as Firespawn’s The Reprobate I had to make a tough choice which to review first. Since I’d review deathcore albums for half the week I thought it was time for some death metal then. That said it doesn’t necessarily mean I like this any less! It’s actually only been a year since Shadow of Intent dropped their debut album Primordial, the Halo (video game) themed melodic deathcore sound was perfect for me to have as one of the first review on The Metal Gamer. I didn’t have it in my top 20 of the year but that was honestly a miss, Primordial mainly missed out simply due to me forgetting how great it was and took in some albums on my list that I reviewed closer in time to when I was making the list. Oh well I guess that happens to a lot of people. So does Reclaimer live up to one of last years best releases?

They got the epic entry down with We Descend… orchestral setting joined with Ben Duerr’s growls from hell (or space in this case), sweet guitar plays and roaring drums. The orchestral elements are a lot more present on Reclaimer than on Primordial, which is great in my opinion as it adds more depth to the music. It also feels closer to the Halo series due to it, more of an epic battle kind of feeling. The use of clean vocals I was a bit scared how it would turn out but already when the single The Horror Within came out I knew there was nothing to worry about. He nails it! What else is new on Reclaimer? Oh Shadow of Intent managed to get some really class acts to feature on Reclaimer. Or how about Jason Evans (Ingested) and Dickie Allen (Infant Annihilator) joining their evil vile forces on The Catacombs? Aleksandr Shikolai (aka Alex Terrible from Slaughter to Prevail) continues to remain an active presence having featured in quite a few albums so far. He does a great job just as well here on The Gathering of All. Then we also have a vocalist from a band I recently started getting into Tom Barber from Lorna Shore on The Prophet’s Beckoning.

While I see those three songs as highlights on Reclaimer, Shadow of Intent pushes their sound even further even if those songs wouldn’t be on the album. Songs such as The Horror Within, The Forsaken Effigy and The Great Schism (instrumental song with sweet guitar, piano solos) are more than great examples of that. Primordial was a great debut, Reclaimer is, only one year later, even better and really shows the talent Shadow of Intent got. To be able to develop so much as a band in such a short amount of time is nothing short but greatness in the making. Who knows how far these guys can go? Maybe it’s time to bring Shadow of Intent into the discussion who can be crowned as the new deathcore kings soon? All hail the king Shadow of Intent. The best deathcore band to have spawned these past years.

April 28th was a wicked day for music, one of the best death metal and deathcore releases of the year out on the same day. Shadow of Intent’s sophomore album Reclaimer is out now as an independent release. A must have for any deathcore fan.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ShadowofIntentCT
For fans of: Angelmaker and Aversions Crown
Favorite song: The Catacombs

Persefone – Aathma (Progressive Death Metal)

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Ah Persefone, a band that I’ve always liked when I want “sofisticated” progressive/technical metal as I like to call it. Plus the fact the have some of the coolest album covers I’ve seen on literally every single album. Andorra’s offering to the metal world Persefone now gives us Aathma, the bands 5th release since they formed in 2001.

You are instantly hit with sweet guitar solos and riffs that will make you blush like if your crush were singing to you from the guitar sound. I know a lot of my readers aren’t fans of clean singing but how can you not like Persefone when musically everything just clicks. Aathma is as much as an outer body experience as it is progressive death metal madness.

The fun thing with Aathma is how the tracks leads up to one another and you can feel the emotions flow through this album. Opening songs are instrumental and will guide you through the journey to come. Then comes Prison Skin and you’re left numb. After that you just sit down and relax, take it all in as I am sure Persefone fans know by now. You enter such a calm and blissful place in your mind while listening to Persefone it’s a nice change from the worlds usual sorrow and death. Let go of anger, fear and guilt.

If you were to listen to only a few tracks on this album then do take Aathma Part I to IV. The ending of this album is superb and could easily be an EP by itself (actually looking at metal archives they have it down as a 20 minute long track). Lucky enough it’s on Aathma and the one hour soul searching experience is over in a great fashion. Fans of Persefone don’t worry Aathma is another hit from Andorra’s finest, granted hard to top Spiritual Migration as that’s one of the best progressive albums released in my opinion but still an insanly good album. If this was a release from a band which didn’t have such a high average level then it would be named progressive album of the year right away. Question is readers, are you ready to transcend?

Persefone – Aathma is out now through ViciSolum Productions.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/persefoneband
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/persefoneband
For fans of: Ne Obliviscaris and Edge of Sanity
Favorite song: Aathma Part I-IV

Blind the Sacrifice – The Desecration of Existence (Deathcore)

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Browsing through music albums on youtube I find this gem. Blind the Sacrifice is a rather new band that I didn’t find too much information on, but it seems they were formed in 2015 in Chicago. They call their music Progressive Deathcore and I do hear progressive influences on most tracks (Eridian and Parasitic Breed or the instrumental track Lord of the Sands for example) but while I can agree this isn’t typical generic deathcore I will still simply call it deathcore.

It’s not too often I find new bands I’ve never heard of from browsing youtube so this was a nice surprise and also shows how many good bands exists out there that might just need an extra push to gain a following.

Musical wise I would put Blind the Sacrifice somewhere around the area of Aversions Crown, Enterprise Earth and Shadow of Intent. Bands that have a technical feeling to the deathcore genre (instead of just aliens take in some Egyptian style in the mix though) and can showcase a wide range of vocal styles. It’s been a while now since I reviewed a deathcore album and this is actually the first one I review that’s been released this year since the latest ones have been late 2016 releases. That said we are off to a great start on 2017 deathcore releases as this is better than most of the deathcore that came out in 2016, and the year has only just started.

If you want a technical/progressive twist on your deathcore then Blind the Sacrifice’s debut The Desecration of Existence is the album for you. It even comes with a wicked All Shall Perish cover There is no Business to be Done on a Dead Planet.

The Desecration of Existence is an independent release out now digitally.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BTSbandChicago
For fans of: Aversions Crown and Enterprise Earth
Favorite song: Devoid of Existence

Analepsy – Atrocities from Beyond (Brutal Death Metal)

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Portugals very own Analepsy have been on many brutal death metal fans minds since their debut EP Dehumanization by Supremacy came out in 2015 like a hurricane and destroyed any competition in its path. Follow up the EP Analepsy has finally given us their first full-length Atrocities from Beyond. Continuing their path to extinction Analepsy are more than ready to devourer their competitors in the brutal death metal slam scene. I have to say this is one of the best debut full-length albums I’ve heard within the genre. Even with the change of a vocalist from Ricardo Proenca to Diogo Santana getting both guitar and vocal duty they still keep it brutal and it’s like nothing has changed in the band.

Analepsy are producing some of their best tracks on this album. Rifts to Abhorrence, Witness of Extinction and Atrocity Deeds are instant brutal death metal classics that will put Analepsy on the map for even more metalheads out there. Analepsy deserves all the praise they get and they are here to stay folks. The share brutality, shredding and gnarly vocals mixed in a blender is a sweet symphony of destruction. Atrocities from Beyond is a perfect debut album in many ways and Analepsy has really paved their way to the top now.

Atrocities from Beyond is out now by Rising Nemesis Records (who by the way keep releasing great stuff).

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/analepsyofficial
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/analepsy
For fans of: Vulvodynia and Acranius
Favorite song: Witness of Extinction

Human Vivisection – The Perpetual Gap (Brutal Death Metal)

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I can’t say I’ve heard of any brutal death metal bands from Belgium before so I was stoked to see what Human Vivisection got to offer from, get this, the city of Bree (such a perfect name for a brutal band it’s insane). The road for the band has been a hard one because since the band was founded in 2012 by Roy Feyen Human Vivisection had trouble keeping a lineup so the band was quite fast put on ice. The in 2015 something happened, one after another Human Vivisection got new members joining who felt the same love for brutal death metal as Roy. At the end of 2015 The Perpetual Gap was recorded and mixed by the band itself, to eventually be released through Rising Nemesis Records (a label everyone should keep a close eye on) in May 2016.

The record is has a good mix of slam, brutality and plain groovy metal. Putting on The Perpetual Gap is a great way to get some headbanging action the more brutal way than regular death metal. You can not sit still to this one as you will soon start to drum and headbang yourself that’s for sure. I am glad to say that Belgium can produce brutal death metal with high quality and I hope to see more bands incoming, this is hopefully just the begining. I am also happy every time I hear a band on the brink of dying out rising up and produce something that’s really great. Because that’s exactly what this is, a great album that every brutal death metal fan should listen to.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HumanVivisection
For fans of: Analepsy and Xenomorphic Contamination
Favorite song: Feed the Warmachine