Deicide - To Hell With god
As I've said, I'm not the huge fan of death metal I was at one point, but jeez this album was bad. There's not one redeeming quality about anything this record has to offer. Poor songwriting, poor vocals, poor guitar riffs, no likable material here whatsoever. It's most disheartening considering the potential these guys have… or use to have. It's not surprising though. Other than The Stench of Redemption
, they haven't done anything great since the 90's.
Used to love this album but now it sorta annoys me, to be honest. Was in my top 10 a couple months ago, now it's not even in my top 25.
#2 .../Dead/Vidharr - Cold Journey Through Madness
Cold Journey Through Madness
is the title of this split, and that title is fairly representative of what we hear. Clocking in at fifty-one minutes, and featuring three different artists, all specializing in depressive black metal, this split is worthy of being amongst the higher ranks of this year's releases. The first two tracks, "Cytostaticum," and "Exploring Secret Hideaways of the Mind Through Apathy" are very soft and ambient-type tracks, featuring gentle post-rock esque guitar work, piano, and BM screeches before Dead's "Mental Disorders" brings us an aggressive barrage of violently executed, dense, black metal. Dead's two tracks are my least favorite, though that doesn't mean they're not well written. Vidharr's tracks are much more doomy black metal. ... / Dead / Vidharr wins 2nd because its length to substance ratio is higher than any other split I heard this year.
HIGHLIGHTS: "Cytostaticum," "Exploring Secret Hideaways of the Mind Through Apathy," "Void," "Processed"
I actually really like that Dead song... brilliant atmopshere. But, like most suicidal black metal, fucking atrocious production. Dunno if I'll bother downloading it.
I was gleeful when I finally heard this. Overmars has written some of the neatest stuff in the doom metal department I've heard. Affliction, Endocrine...Vertigo
in 2005 and Born Again
in 2007 for anyone unfamiliar with them, the latter being their last release save a ten-minute EP they put out in 2008. They best get on their game and put out another album soon. The two tracks here by Overmars include "Solitary/Following the Sperm Whale (Once Again)" and "Last Sail Sinking," both of which are great, especially the foremost. It's typical weird, experimental, avant-garde, doom/sludge Overmars. "Last Sail Sinking" features vocals from the brilliant female vocalist we heard in Born Again
(I believe her name is Marion?). I read somewhere she's no longer in the band but she's sure enough featured in this split. These songs don't seem as heavy as the Born Again track, but they're awesome enough.
HIGHLIGHTS: "Solitary - Following The Sperm Whale (Once Again)," "Last Sail Sinking"
Someone hasn't uploaded this to YouTube...also, you didn't even mention Starkweather
#4 Apostle of Solitude/Rituals of the Oak/The Flight of Sleipnir
Rituals of the Oak's one contribution, "Hallward," is the highlight of this release - all 17 minutes of it. As you'd guess, this is a doom split all the way around with different doom elements in the different contributions, but Hallward stands out as far and away the most complex, well-constructed track here (with female vocals, for you female-fronted doom enthusiasts).
"Hallward" sounded pretty good for the first four minutes, but goddamn, I don't have the attention span to hear a band play the same note for 17 minutes (BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT DOOM IS, GET IT?? HURHURHUR)
Other two bands sound cool, too, especially Flight of Sleipnir.
#5 Mammoth Grinder/Hatred Surge
There's some real tasty death metal here with some excellent riffing going on. Mammoth Grinder > Hatred Surge, so naturally their tracks are better. Hatred Surge is predominantly grindcore, but the last track, "Supernova," slows down a bit and is centered around a crushingly heavy riff that's highly satisfying and easy to get behind. The one and two minute songs Hatred Surge provides ("Invega," "Disconnected," and "Mood Stabilizer") are garbage.
HIGHLIGHTS: "Pulverizer," "Survielad," "Supernova"
It's all right.
Vastum - Carnal Law
Now this thing really impressed me. Vastum has been a band since 2009, and though they haven't released anything prior to this I've read they've played quite a few shows in the Bay Area and acquired a decent amount of attention. Well let me be the first to say this demo makes Vastum deserving of any attention they've received. This isn't some low quality poorly written garage recording... this is a heavy, intelligently written, professional sounding death metal record. In fact it wouldn't be out of line to compare this record to Eparistera Daimones
. It has that heavy pounding rhythm to it (not as heavy as Eparistera Daimones
, but pretty heavy). Fans of Hooded Menace or Autopsy are strongly advised to check it out. It's got a classic death metal feel to it while maintaining a modern black and doom influence. I'm definitely going to keep my eyes on these guys. They're accomplished songwriters and they've written some very promising material here.
I'm usually a fan of crusty death metal, but meh.