Skullcrush – Visions of the Firestorm Eclipse (Death Metal)

Skullcrush Cover Art

Old and filthy. Not only do I feel so myself but that’s the quickest way to describe Skullcrush and it’s only within the death metal genre that’s a good thing! There is no over-produced stuff in here, just pure no-bullshit crushing death metal. With a name like Skullcrush I should have imagined that would be the case though. Even the artwork on the album screams of savagery as what looks like Conan is battling a creature. Basically this is underground death metal the way it’s meant to be played.

The three tracks “Spectacle of Suffering”, “Entrails Ablaze” and “Hellwater” offers very different experiences as well. Where I first thought those three songs would be Skullcrush showing one type of move on their debut EP they instead go for showcasing a varied death metal approach. I bit surprising but at the same time really good stuff and I don’t know what I would expect from a full-length as they can go in any direction, or keep changing it up. The opener “Spectacle of Suffering” is death metal candy in the veins of Blood Incantation or Undergang, the really heavy stuff from the purest depths of the underground. “Entrails Ablaze” ups the tempo a bit, is shorter and adds a bit of an Entombed flavour to the album. Then the closer “Hellwater” is both the longest and slowest of the tracks, downtempo death with some doom elements going towards Finnish death metal acts Corpsessed and Krypts.

A really solid debut from Skullcrush. A varied album that shows a lot of promise for what is to come from the band. Underground death metal candy that I devour with ease and I am sure many underground fanatics will too.

Label: Camo Pants Records
For fans of: Blood Incantation and Corpsessed
Release date: July 6th, 2018
Favorite song: Spectacle of Suffering
Score: 3.5/5


Inherit Disease – Ephemeral (Brutal Death Metal)


The heavy slamming Americans in Inherit Disease are back! It’s been six years since their last hard hitting album Visceral Transcendence came out and I was almost thinking the band had called it quits due to the long absence. Instead the get back hitting me straight in the face with brutal force! Be warned Ephemeral is not for the faint of heart. This is brutal death metal in it’s rawest heaviest form, American style. Obie Flett is just as visceral as ever in his insanly deep growling technique, just as Josh Welling’s grooves on the bass sticks out putting the tempo just right (which is brutal as fuck). Dan Osborn should get an award for keeping the insane drumming up without dying while doing so. Lets not forget the guitar duo Derek De Roos and the bands newest member and album debut Tom Wilson who seems to be the apocalyptic riders duo Death and War taking human form blessing us with their riffs.

Inherit Disease continues their Man vs Machine theme and it’s just as cool as ever. Very fitting to their brutal death metal style as well. These is not a single bad track on this album either, it was worth the six years waiting. If you are an Inherit Disease fan you are going to love Ephemeral. If you haven’t heard Inherit Disease before then get ready to get your mind blown by the sheer brutality they unleash.

For fans of: Defeated Sanity and Wormed
Favorite song: Drone

Volturyon – Cleansed by Carnage (Death Metal)


Volturyon comes from Sweden and plays not what I would like to call your generic Swedish death metal sound. If you think you will get an Entombed or Dismember experience you are quite far from the truth as this is a more brutal technical death metal experience than you might be used to from Sweden, while still keeping that grooviness. These guys got more in common with bands like Cannibal Corpse, Deicide and Decapitated than any generic old school Swedish death metal band. Closest you can come in Sweden I would think is my local favorites Deranged (more on their latest release in an upcoming blog post) and the now split-up Vomitory.

The band features one of my favorite vocalists Alexander Högbom (Centinex, October Tide) and I might even go as far as saying this is his best performance yet! He just seems even more on point than usually with the more fast brutal sound seeming to fit him like a glove. Adding the long-time members Christian Netzell (ex-In Mourning) on blasting drums, Johan Gustafsson (Fimbultyr) together with Andreas Olander bringing the relentless guitar solos and their latest member Oskar Pålsson putting the bass grove all of a sudden you got the formula of a great brutal death metal band.

Volturyon has evolved loads since their debut album from 2008 Blood Cure with their new lineup and sound. It’s an development that’s been fun to follow and this headbang friendly album Cleansed by Carnage is a most have for every death metal fanatic out there.

For fans of: Deicide and Decapitated
Favorite song: To Starve You

Enigma – Stars Misaligned (Technical Death Metal)


Having recently toured with Inanimate Existence, one of the bands I rank really high within the techdeath sphere, I knew the San Jose based band Enigma had something special to offer. I am glad I wasn’t wrong! Stars Misaligned is the debut EP from Enigma and since there is a lot of hype surrounding other new bands such as Virvum, Blade of Horus and Burial in the Sky it might be easy to miss Enigma just due to the sheer amount of good new bands coming out in 2016.

Believe me when I tell you that Enigma can easily be named in the technical death metal debut albums of the year, just as the previous named bands. Bonus note that has to be said! I think Petr Oplatka sounds a lot like The Black Dahlia Murder singer Trevor Strnad. This is only positive stuff though as Trevor is a sick vocalist and a good influence.

I really like their progressive style shredding (guitar solo on Of Vile and Bliss is just sick) and lyrical take on the album. Philosophical questions like why do we exist, views on humanity, are we in control of our own destinies and what exists out there in the universe? These lyrical themes I find really satisfying to listen to when it comes to techdeath with the more sci-fi sound that techdeath usually is and Enigma ends up making me question everything about existence. This is as good as a band within the genre can leave me feeling and I hope to see a full-length album from Enigma soon.

For fans of: Inanimate Existence and The Ritual Aura
Favorite song: Of Vile and Bliss

Saor – Guardians (Atmospheric Folk/Black Metal)


Starting off like an intro to Braveheart with crows singing, bagpipes playing and thundering riffs Saor lays the foundations on their latest release Guardians right from the start. It has to be said that Guardians is the first album I hear from Saor, even though I’ve heard a lot about them since Roots came out I’ve never actually sat down and listened to one of their albums. So why the name Saor? Saor means “free” and “unconstrained” in Gaelic. The name was inspired by the Scottish independence motto “Saor Alba” which translates to “Free Scotland”. Perfect for Andy Marshall’s solo project which lyrical theme revolves around the Scottish heritage and landscapes.

The music is very beautiful and atmospheric, what you would probably have guessed. However it also adds that harsh tone from the vocals and guitars making it change phase when needed and adds a lot of depth to the sound. I really love how Saor uses bagpipes and violins as it just makes me take in the celtic atmosphere and almost feeling the sorrow and grief the Scottish have endured. Or as to quote my favourite song on the album (they are all great though) Hearth:

“I’ve wandered through the ancient glens
Where the air is filled with sorrow
and climbed to the highest of peaks
Walked amongst the haunted ruins of my nation
There’s nowhere I’d rather be
This is my home
My heart
My soul
My hearth”

Simply beautiful, yet a saddening masterpiece and I hope you will all take an hour of your time to experience this amazing album. Now I need to book a trip to Scotland…..

For fans of: Winterfylleth and Panopticon
Favorite song: Hearth

Alaska – Subsequent (Metalcore/Post-Hardcore)


I’ve never heard of Alaska before, they basically came to me as a gift from the Spotify discover weekly and I am very glad they did. The song I got in my discover weekly playlist was the opening track on Subsequent, Hegemony and I was instantly hooked. Not only was the song great but the album cover is so beautiful and clean. One of the best album covers I’ve ever seen.

So who are Alaska? They come from Paris a city that’s produced many great bands such as Betraying the Martys and As They Burn. Alaska being no exception and just adds to the list of top tier metal bands the city has produced. As I’ve stated before I haven’t really heard many newer bands that adds to the metalcore scene these past years and it’s been kind of stale for a while. This year has been great so far though with first Beacons and Invent, Animate releasing great albums and now we have a wicked debut album in Subsequent that is easily in the running for best metalcore release of the year. On their first try nevertheless!

Alaska sticks out from other metalcore bands as they are more on the progressive side, at times making me think of their fellow countrymen Gojira. Even adding a pure instrumental track Juvenoia, something that’s very rare in the metalcore scene but very common in prog. Album cover alone makes Subsequent an album you want on your shelf just for the looks. With or without the cover art though this is one of the best debut albums of the year and Alaska is a band everyone should know who they are very soon.

For fans of: Carcer City and The Healing
Favorite song: Midnight Sun

Traitors – Mental State (Deathcore)


Mental State starts in 120km/h and it never stopps. You can be sure that Traitors brings you 36 minutes of pure, fast, groovy deathcore. I’ve never actually been a big fan of Traitors, up until now that is. I think Mental State is a milestone in their discography and it has certainly got me into listening to their older stuff more. That in itself is a good grade for an album.

The lyrics are angry and hits on many important subjects in todays society about how people act and behave towards others. Great lyrics are only as good as the performance of them though and Traitors will make sure you headband while they lash out some truth. The whole album just feels so complete and on point on what a lot of people need to hear and get into their heads.

All in all Mental State really got to me. It’s a great album and this is coming from a guy that wasn’t all down with the Traitors hype train. I am now though! Traitors have persuaded me to become a fan with this sweet Mental State release. If you haven’t already then give this album a listen today!

For fans of: Enterprise Earth and The Ten Last Seconds of Life
Favorite song: Irrelevant