Albums of the Month: April

This time the album of the month section is coming a late, I’ve simply had too much to do past few weeks. However here it is the 4th edition, 1/3 of the year complete and even though it took a few weeks before most of the good albums dropped we yet again have some great albums to show!

Album of the month

Månegarm – Fornaldarsagor

Månegarm seems to do no wrong and Fornaldarsagor is a stunning album. In my opinion this is their best release since Vargstenen, which is hard to beat as it’s considered a viking metal masterpiece! Released April 26th via Napalm Records.

Runners-up

Gods Forsaken – Smells of Death

Their sophomore album is even better than their also great debut. One of the best HM-2 swedeath albums you will hear all year! Released April 19th via Soulseller Records.

Enterprise Earth – Luciferous

As one that have never truly got behind the Enterprise Earth hype train this took me by surprise. While they’ve released good albums in the past this is one of the best deathcore albums I’ve heard since I started this blog three years ago. If not for Månegarm releasing an album of the year contender this would be my album of the month pick. Released April 5th via Entertainment One Music.

Murg – Strävan

Yet another surprise. This time due to the fact I hadn’t listened to the band prior to Strävan though. Strävan is the bands third release and after going through their old stuff I dare say this is their best yet and the best black metal release of the month. Released April 26th via Nordvis Produktion.

Dawn of Demise – Into the Depths of Veracity

Dawn of Demise is, together with Illdisposed, the best death metal band Denmark has. Into the Depths of Veracity is yet another class release from these mad fuckers. Released April 19th via Unique Leader Records.

Honorable mentions

Numenorean – Adore
Istapp – The Insidious Star
AntropomorphiA – Merciless Savagery
Hath – Of Rot and Ruin
Hedonihil – I
Dethrone The Corrupted – Sintrophia
Belzebubs – Pantheon of the Nightside Gods
Marianas Rest – Ruins
Allegaeon – Apoptosis
Mephorash – Shem Ha Mephorash
After The Burial – Evergreen
Mist Of Misery – Unalterable
Waldgeflüster – Mondscheinsonaten
2 Wolves – …Our Fault
Archaic Decapitator – The Apothecary
Devour the Unborn – Liturgy of Irreverent Oblation
Wormwitch – Heaven That Dwells Within

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Albums of the Month: February

While January was in general a bit slow it still put out some solid albums, you can read more about my favorites here. Enter February though and it was a whole other level, the quality releases just kept on coming and I had a really hard time choosing my top 5 this month around. I can only imagine some months will be even harder two as there are ten more to go… Last month was filled with death metal from my part but you will find February had a more varied selection. The albums I pick from needs to be full-length releases (I didn’t mention that last month), but in the honorable mention section I will mention those too. Give the albums bellow a listen, comment on your own list (maybe I missed a release!?) and don’t forget to support the metal underground!

Album of the Month

Saor – Forgotten Paths

Maybe not the strangest choice as the Scottish one-man army that is Saor is probably one of the most known acts within atmospheric black metal by now. Forgotten Paths is in my opinion his best release yet and it just keeps getting better with time. This is not just the album of the month, this is a contender for album of the year! Released February 15th via Avantgarde Music.

Runners-up

Ossuarium – Living Tomb

Who doesn’t love old school death metal and especially the filthy straight from the severs kind that adds some doom elements to it? That’s exactly what Ossuarium does and this is very well executed, hard to tell this is a debut album. A crushing debut that bulldozed its way to my heart. Released February 1st via 20 Buck Spin.

Rotting Christ – The Heretics

I know this album has got some harsh review from some sites but God dammit I love Rotten Christ and this is black metal 100% their way. I don’t think it’s their best album ever but 32 years down the road this band is still one of the best in the business and The Heretics is another solid effort that many bands wish was their own. Released February 15th via Season of Mist.

Wretched Fate – Fleshletting

I am just a sucker for meaty death metal riffs, sue me. There are obviously a lot of bands from Sweden who plays the same kind of HM2 infused metal but not everyone does it as well as these guys, on their debut to boot! Their biggest influence is definitely coming from Bloodbath and in all honesty I think Fleshletting is on par with them at its peak. That speaks volume on how bright the future look for this band! Released February 22nd via Redefining Darkness Records.

Grafvitnir – Venenum Scorpionis

Six albums in and I still think Grafvitnir is the best hidden secret from Sweden. Their whole discography is filled with Dissection worshiping black metal that will make any extreme metal fan headbang with joy. Venenum Scorpionis is another great offering to the black metal scene and I think it’s about time they get the respect they deserve. Released February 22nd via Carnal Records.

Honorable Mentions

Relics of Humanity – Obscuration (Best EP of the month!)
Electrocution – Psychonolarty
Ulfven – Folklore
Blodhemn – Mot Ein Evig Ruin
Candlemass – The Door to Doom
Continuum – Designed Obsolescence
Phrymerial – Xenomorphic Creation
Lucidity – Oceanum

Organectomy – Domain of the Wretched (Brutal Death Metal)

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New Zealand, a country that not only has beautiful scenery and was where my favorite movies were filmed Lord of the Rings but it’s also the home of Organectomy. The band was totally unknown to me until one day I got a single called “Beckoning the Horrors of the Depths” and since then I was hyped for their debut Domain of the Wretched. I am perfectly aware though that a good single and a good album are two completely different things so where does this leave Organectomy?

Well hell this is one sweet domain they got there. From the get-go this is kickass brutal death metal that’s everything I hoped it would be. This is the music your mother has warned you about and it reeks of filthy death metal gore. It’s heavy as hell and once the album got its claws in you it never let go. Domain of the Wretched honestly got it all going from what I want in a brutal death metal album. There are the breakdowns, got a lot of technical aspects, insane gutterals, some slam in there and heck even a couple classic filthy old school death metal riffs here and there too (like on Beckoning the Horrors of the Depths). It’s a complete package. For me this is a mix of Disentomb, Analepsy and Bloodbath getting mixed in a blender to produce this retched filth, and it’s glorious. Actually it’s not just those band getting put in a blender, so is your brain as this will leave it in a muss from all the brutality. It may not be as heavy as Pathology, it may not be as technial as Defeated Sanity or whatever but they use all the elements I enjoy and perfected the mix with just the right amount of each part.

It’s been some time now since I had so much fun with a brutal death metal album. Domain of the Wretched does just about everything right on their debut and I am glad it wasn’t just the single I heard before being good, it’s the whole album. Anything from Sanctum of Deceit, Carnal Bloodlust to the epic, closing in on eight minute long, instrumental track Cascading into Despair (how many BDM songs you heard being that long before?) with an acoustic intro are of high quality. The best brutal death metal album I’ve heard all year which uses all the tools available.

Label: Unique Leader Records
For fans of: Disentomb and Rendered Helpless
Release date: April 6th, 2018
Favorite song: Beckoning the Horrors of the Depths
Score: 4/5

Ingested – The Level Above Human (Slamming Deathcore/Death Metal)

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Lets talk some about what I think of Ingested. The UK band almost single-handedly acted as a sort of gateway to slam, together with Disentomb. When The Architect of Extinction came out in 2014 it blew my mind and I was sold on the whole slam scene, even though some say *cough* the slam police *cough* it’s more deathcore than slam (or slamming deathcore) I don’t care I liked it and it opened up a new genre for me. Granted I am not a diehard fan and my knowledge of the scene bar said bands and some others like Devourment, Pathology, Abominable Putridity and Katalepsy is very limited. With that in mind I was surprised with The Level Above Human and the direction Ingested went with it.

“Sovereign” starts off hard, really hard, and I am here thinking “damn this is going to be one of my favorite albums of the year”. The album has some good highs but also lows for me though. The production quality is almost too clear and while some tracks like “Sovereign”, “Invidious”, “Better off Dead” are of top notch Ingested quality and are in some ways a development from the bands past release. Mainly since they flirt with heavy hitters from brutal death metal like Dying Fetus and others creating a, perhaps, less slam sound but more of a death metal fused together with slam. Then you have “Last Rites”, a song that switches tempo well and is by far their most technical and well written track to date. Songs like that can make me see this as an evolution of their sound and slam in general, The Level Above Human will surely bring in more fans to the fray due to this. While “the slam police” will surely say this isn’t true slam but slamming deathcore/brutal death metal or whatever I can understand why Ingested takes this road, just like Thy Art is Murder with their latest release took more inspiration from death metal to change it up some. It’s bound to happen to some of the bigger bands in such underground or even hated scenes from the general metal community.

Change or no change you have your mid-tempo slams, Jason Evans on form (as always), angry hard hitting metal with that Ingested stamp on it. It’s a rather big change from The Architect of Extinction, less deathcore, more brutal death metal added to the mix, less monotone and it’s definitely got more technical aspects to it than any of their older releases. I should be all over this because of those elements but I can’t help but to say I personally liked The Architect of Extinction a lot more than I did with The Level Above Human, maybe even because of the more straight forward and monotone approach even. I can not deny however that this is probably the right step for the band to take in order to leap forward. Ingested are not afraid to change it up and I respect them for that and while some were scared that they would lose their slam when joining Unique Leader Records this was definitely not case. They simply evolved and while I may not be completely down with this change as of yet (give me time guys) I am sure many will.

Label: Unique Leader Records
For fans of: Acrania and Cerebral Bore
Release date: April 27th, 2018
Favorite song: Sovereign
Score: 3/5

Best of 2017 so far

Picking a top 10 is always hard, I personally try to mix it up with various genres as well. There were some albums which on any other day could be in this top 10 but this is what I am sticking with! Also just like last year I only choose albums I’ve reviewed. Meaning there are some albums that’s actually good and been out before this is written but I haven’t had the time to review them, hence they are not in the running. So here you go The Metal Gamer top 10 albums of 2017…..so far!

Mordbrand – Wilt (Death Metal)
Review
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HerezA – I Become Death (Death Metal)
Review

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Havukruunu – Kelle Surut Soi (Pagan/Black Metal)
Review

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Svartsyn – In Death (Black Metal)
Review

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Svart Crown – Abreaction (Black/Death Metal)
Review

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Hideous Divinity – Adveniens (Technical/Brutal Death Metal)
Review

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Shadow of Intent – Reclaimer (Deathcore)
Review

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Firespawn – The Reprobate (Death Metal)
Review

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Evocation – The Shadow Archetype (Death Metal)
Review

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

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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

So This Is Suffering – Palace of the Pessimist (Deathcore)

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As I did the Enterprise Earth review yesterday I realized I’d totally forgotten some deathcore releases I’d even looked forward to review. One of those is So This Is Suffering’s Palace of the Pessimist. Being formed back in 2006 they are one of the oldest deathcore bands going (yes I know the scene isn’t that old), having released their first EP Harlot in 2009 and eventually their full-length debut A Deathscene on Delay in 2012. Despite being formed 11 years ago Palace of the Pessimist is the bands sophomore album, having had to wait five years for this record. So the question is, is this worth the wait? Will So This Is Suffering stand their ground in this ever so growing scene?

Sleeper Hold builds up the album, starting slow and groovy but that changes less than one minute in as it unleashes chaos. To follow it up Lecherous got the most wicked technical riffs quickly turning it into my favorite song on the album. After that great start you might wonder what’s next in line. My answer is it doesn’t get any better than that, does that mean the rest of the album is bad? No it means Lecherous is simply too good of a song in my opinion. Other high points for me are Columbine and Dreameater, both tracks that’s become music videos and are probably the two tracks that’s drawn you into listening to Palace of the Pessimist. Rest of the album is solid too and if this release came out almost any other year I would place it as a contender for deathcore album of the year. The competition is simply too fierce this year though, a good or great album won’t win this year. A freaking amazing album that blows you away will. Who knows though, some albums grows on you more with time and some you like less with time. I might change my opinion giving this album more spins the coming eight months. Time will tell.

What I do know is that So This Is Suffering is a band some people might take too lightly. Even with them being veterans within the genre I sometimes think they are overlooked. Don’t be that guy. So This Is Suffering is a band among the greats of deathcore and Palace of the Pessimist will make any headbanger happy.

So This Is Is Suffering’s sophomore album Palace of the Pessimist is out now through your favorite brutal label Unique Leader Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sothisissuffering
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/sothisistweetin
For fans of: Boris the Blade and Fit For An Autopsy
Favorite song: Lecherous