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SACRIFiCIUM CARMEN/Ikuisen Tulen Kammiossa (Saturnal Records) Worthless black metal with the pic riffing style and just a wall of noise and the singer just screams in the mic. This was more death metal than black metal too. Please stay in Finland. Info:

VEHEMENT ANIMOSITY/Entropy (Self Released) This wasn’t too bad it was a technical death metal band with some weird riffs and it sounded cool and different and then the low throaty vocals came in and they lost me. Oh I hated the vocals, they are awful. The music is all over the place death metal that wasn’t bad, but the vocals just aren’t my thing. Info:

ROCKETT QUEEN/Goodnight California (Fade To Silence Records) This is one of the new rock bands that sounded good to my ears. Really strong songs with catchy hooks and memorable songs and a total kick ass singer too. The production is very good and I like the guitar sound the band as and for me music and bands is all about sounds and hooks and then vocals and this has all 3. Good release. Info:

WITH OUR ARMS TO THE SUN/A Far Away (Fade To Silence) This I found very boring as the songs were too mellow for me and the songs dragged on like a snail and this wasn't even doom metal. It is almost psychologic music at times with some hippie stuff thrown in. The vocals are buried in the mix and the songs were pretty to put me to sleep. Info:

ANTICOSM/Same (Born of Chaos Records) Decent thrash metal, but the black metal vocals need to go. The music is more in the 80’s style bay area vein, but the music is not something mind blowing. Then the black metal like vocals kick in and your like, “what the fuck” and it just takes away anything good this band is doing. At least this isn’t all that modern thrash rage that was going on a few years back. Info:

GESALT/Infinite Regress (Self-Released) More heard it a million times black metal with the fast pic riffing and tired screaming black metal vocals that have been done to death. Bands such as these are a dime a dozen. Info:

MINORITY SOUND/Drowner's Dance (MetalGate Records) Oh absolutely awful death metal with those tough guy vocals and groove metal riffs. This was so beyond bad and also the band throw in keyboards too. Info:

CTULU/Sarkomand (Static Tension Recordings) Fast pounding death/black metal that wasn’t bad. The songs were somewhat memorable and the singer didn’t sound like he was out in the woods at 3am and also he had a solid voice. The production also has that old school sound and the band just isn’t some generic black metal band neither. One of the few decent black metal bands making the rounds these days. Info:

BLAZON STONE - No Sign of Glory (Stormspell Records) Just total ass kicking power metal with loads of head banging riffs and powerful vocals. No groove or nu metal crap on this. The songs are just crunchy power metal tunes with that 80’s power metal feel and I loved this and the vocals go right along with the music and if you’re a power metal fan, this is a must get. Info:

ROCKA ROLLAS - Pagan Ritual (Stormspell Records) More 80’s style power metal in the vein of Riot and Judas Priest (painkiller) era. The tunes are just catchy numbers with soaring like vocals and I enjoyed this. How can you not have that head banging with this riffs start playing? I like the guitar sound and everything else about this. More great stuff from this label. Info:

KAECK/Stormkult (Folter Records) Totally noisy black metal and I liked it a lot. Just the feeling and aggression this band has was good to my ears. They also use some keyboards, but they are more in background and this just crushed. The singer has a great voice and he spews out the lyrics with hate and fury and this is a very good black metal release no doubt. Info:

SEROCS/And When the Sky Was Opened (Comatose Music) Just what we need another Cannibal Corpse Jr style of band. No thanks I’ll pass. Info:

RAVENOUS/Abhor (Coffee Jingle Records) This wasn’t bad, but I was not a big fan of the singer when he went into the tough guy style. The music is thrash metal with a mix of the new style and some of the old and didn’t sound bad and the fast parts are wicked cool. Sort of like Exodus at times minus the vocals. The guitar sound I like and just need to get past the vocals. Info:

CONVEYER/When Given Time To Grow (Victory Records) A Christian hardcore band. These are short bursts of hardcore, 2-3 minutes of music. The band has a sort of different style as this just isn’t typical grove metal stuff and that is due to the guitar sound the band uses. The music wasn’t bad, but I was not a fan of the vocals, but that is just me. At least they are trying to be different. Info:

SYNAPSES/Devoutness (Cimmerian Shade Recordings) Absolutely worthless death metal with garbage songs and worthless vocals. All the singer does is growl with no feeling and the songs are totally worthless. Info:

INSANITY/Visions of Apocalypse (Unspeakable Axe / Dark Descent) This band has been around since the 80’s and have gone many ups and downs including losing their original drummer to cancer, but here they are with a band new release and what a release it is. Bone crushing death metal that had me playing air guitar and nodding along with the songs. This is just a total lay to waste of these generic death metal bands that is for sure. Punishing like riffs and this is death metal at its finest. The production is perfect and everything just flows perfectly and easily one of the best death metal releases of the year. Info:

SEPULCHER/Mausoleum Tapestry (Edged Circle Productions) Raw as fuck death metal almost like a demo production. However is saying that, this was some ripping to the core stuff. Riffs from hell and the speed and intensity was top notch and the singer just screams and sings with such a feeling it is not funny. This also doesn’t sound like every other death metal band out there as there is a bit of Voivod in their music too.

THE ARISEN/Rising Times (Autoproduction) Oh awful typical death metal with groove riffs and clean and gruff death metal vocals. Bands like this are a dime a dozen and I am sorry clean vocals do not belong in death metal and plus with so many bands doing it, it is generic big time. Nothing good on this. Info:

You Shall Suffer/We Are Invisible (Self Released) Just same ole heard it a million times groovy deathcore with the Pantera like vocals and then the really low growls. Too many bands have done this before and way too many are still doing it today and I found nothing of value on this. Info:

AVULSED/Altar of Disembowelment (Xtreem Music) This band has been around forever and have never strayed far from their original sound. They play straight forward no frills death metal with plenty of speed and power. I totally love this new Ep and Dave’s voice is great on this and the music is flawless. The production is right on the money and that guitar crunch they got on this is wicked cool. I love the speed and intensity as well. Also include is a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Neon Knights” that has to be heard. A must buy. Info:


PROLL GUNS/Fucking Trouble Maker (NRT – Records) This is some boring hard rock metal that pretty much bored me. The tunes were just weak and there was nothing there that stood out and this lost me by song # 2. Info:

IRATA/Sweet Loris (Retro Futurist) Awful modern grove metal with a female doing the screaming and singing. The band just sound like too many other bands and there was nothing of value on this. The tunes are boring and went nowhere with me. Info:

ESSENCE/Prime  (Spinefarm Records) Boring thrash metal with some metal parts sprinkled in. The songs were boring and the vocals weren’t much better and this band pretty much bored me and did nothing for. Just a faceless underground band pretty much. Info:

BASTARD GRAVE/What Lies Beyond (Pulverised Records) Some decent Swedish style death metal that was pretty crushing. The singing was solid and the riffs and songs were quite catchy and the speed I liked as well. Solid production and no groove or low as hell vocals that I personally hate. One of the better death metal bands making the rounds these days. Info:

VISIONARY666/Into Abeyance (Vic Records) Same ole heard it a million times death metal and the very low death metal I was not a fan of. Bands like this are a dime a dozen and this band are bringing nothing to the table that has been done over and over and the vocals were pretty bad on top of this. Info:

ASS/Shitty wizard VS Super Satan (PRC MUSIC) This was a crossover type of band and to me not a bad one. The singer reminds me of the singer in DRI and the songs were just a good mix of thrash and hardcore music. Catchy and fast too with hardcore type of vocals. Just nice blasts of speed and intensity on this. Info:

TYMO/Same (Self Released) Some decent straight ahead heavy metal with some bits and pieces of power metal thrown in the mix. The singer has a good strong voice and the songs are catchy numbers and the guitar crunch is solid as well. The production is also on the money and they also don’t sound like a million other bands as well. Worth checking out. Info:

SPEEDTRAP/Straight Shooter (Svart Records) I loved this bands prior release and this one was just as good. Bone crushing thrash metal with tons of catchy riffs and songs you will remember and vocals sung with passion and intensity. This is how thrash metal should sound,. Mean, fast and dirty. Prepare for your neck to hurt again while this plays on. Info:

TRAITOR/Same (HPGD Productions) 4 tracks of hard hitting old school thrash. The tunes are very catchy and the singer has a solid voice that fits along with the music. The production even has that old school feel, which I also liked. The 4 tunes on this left me wanting more and this band plays thrash the way it should and was meant to be played. Info:

TORCHIA/Ending Beginning (Self Released) Generic heard it a million times death metal with those annoying screechy type vocals I am not a fan of. This sounded a lot like At The Gates Jr. and those vocals just took away for me at least, anything remotely good about this. I was almost covering my ears when he was singing. Just a bad death metal band here doing nothing new and bringing nothing to the table. Info:

BLASPEMOUS CREATION/The Rise Of Marduk (Self Released) This band returns with another crushing release of black/death metal that destroys the weak. This band is way better than a lot of stuff I hear on labels and I am surprised some smart label has not snatched these guys up. They play a wicked mix of black/death metal with the vocals more towards the black metal side, but they are great black metal vocals. The music is awesome speedy death metal with wicked solos and just catchy tunes to boot. Great production too and this is an awesome release no doubt. Info:

FRACTAL GENARATOR/Apotheosynthesis (Self-Released) This isn’t bad, but this is something I have heard over and over. The band play fast style death metal without all that groove and stuff and the songs weren’t bad, but there was nothing mind blowing. In saying that the singer had a good death metal style voice and the guitar sound and production on this were very good and I will say they are better than some signed bands I hear. Info:


THE ARCANE ORDER/Cult Of None (Massacre Records) Ah more groove nu metal crap with those gruffy vocals. Bands like this are a dime a dozen and this is no better than all the rest. Info:

HAUT & COURT/Troffea (Basement Apes) More useless groove metal crap with the tough guy vocals. Bands like this offer nothing new and there is just 1000’s of them around and this is another one. Info:

YSENGRIN / BLACK GRAIL/Nigrum Nigrius Nigro – (I Void Hanger Records) Ysengrin are one weid band as they combine black metal with regular metal and it is some warped up shit that make take a few listens to get into, but they are a cool band and I love the singer with his death metal singing and he really gets into it as well. Black Grail offer up one track that clocks in at 15 minutes! All it is is a bunch of screams and hardly any music and it goes on for 15 minutes! That band needs a wake up call and fast. Info:

AUDIOTOPSY/Natural Causes (Napalm Records) This band reminded me of Alice in Chains at times if they threw in some death metal in their sound. The singer easily sounds like their singer and the tunes are big time catchy and I was into this big time. A band that knows how to write songs that you will remember after they are done. Great vocals, great singer and just a cool band and not band sounding like this these days and that was also a plus. Info:

REBAELLIUN/At War (Hammerheart Records) This is a single that was released in 1999 and now it is seeing a re-release via this label. This is 2 songs of some speedy death metal in the vein of Angel Corpse. The songs pretty much crush and I love the speed and intensity on this and the singer has a good death metal voice. Production is good as well. Nice re-issue. Info:

DIGRESSION ASSASSINS/Merkaba (Perrenity records) This was some decent rock/metal stuff until the singer, who was signing in a cool voice went off into the tough guy style and there they just lost me. The music isn’t bad on this, but the singer should lose that tough guy style as it seems this band is better than that. Info:

CEIFADOR/Heavy Metal 666 (Helldprod Records) Some very cool totally old school death/black and even some thrash metal with that 80’s feel and production to it as well. The vocals are more in the black metal style and that was fine with me. The songs are catchy, speedy numbers with riffs you will not forget and aren’t just a bunch of mumbo jumbo. Solid release that if your into old school stuff you must have. Info:

SADISTIK EXEKUTION/30 Years of Agonizing the Dead (Nuclear War Now! Productions) This contains two old Eps and 2 demos from the early 90’s and if you’re not familiar with this band, you better get familiar. Absolute crushing death metal like early Morbid Angel. The vocals are from the pits of hell and the blast beats and playing are unreal. I also love Morbid Angel and hearing this stuff was a big treat for me. This is how death metal should be played. This is a must get for sure. Info:

NECROSOSM/Damnation Doctrine (Self-Released) Nothing new I haven’t heard a 1000 times. Typical straight forward death metal that offers nothing new with gruff and sometimes screams death metal vocals. This bored me within minutes. Info:

WILT/Moving Monoliths (Bindrune Recordings) Some of the worst black metal I have heard. All it is, is some guy just screeching like its 3am and some ultra-awful doom/black metal in the background. One of the worst releases of the year.

VASTUM/Hole Below (20 Buck Spin) This was god awful as well. Except for black metal vocals, this is death metal vocals at 3am and they are so buried in the mix it’s not funny. The music is stupid and pointless and goes nowhere and there is not one thing on this at all good and the songs just plain stink. No good riffs, no song structures at all worth getting into. Info:

SHUMAUN/Shumaun (Self-Released) This reminded me big time of Dream Theatre, but just a notch below them. The singer has a fantastic voice and the songs are also very good catchy tunes and they are also heavy as well. The production is also very good and I don’t see why a label would not snap there guys up as they are better than 90% of the stuff that is on labels these days. Info:

VENEFIXION/Defixio TAPE (Iron Bonehead) Absolute crushing old school 80’s style death metal that crushes. This band does it right and the atmosphere they got on this crushes. I love the vocals and speed and intensity also rule. This is totally how death metal should sound. No folk music, no groove, no nu metal, just a tidal wave of pure death metal. Info:

UNDER THE CHURCH/Rabid Armageddon (Pulverised Records) Yes. Some solid death metal with lots of catchy and solid hooks and this had me nodding my head and playing air guitar. The music has a bit of that old Entombed sound to it and just crushed. The speed parts melted me and the singer has a crushing death metal voice that I simply loved. The production ruled and this is an explosive death metal release for sure. Info:

NASHORN/Echoes of war (Morbid Syndicate) This was just kind of average at best death/doom metal that wasn’t anything breath taking, but it didn’t suck neither. The singer has a good death metal voice and sings the songs with emotion and feeling. The songs were ok, they are death metal played the right way, but nothing was mind blowing neither. If your into doom/death this will be up your alley. Info:

VINGULMORK/CHIAROSCURO (CRIME RECORDS) This is some cool thrash metal with almost black metal like vocals and the vocals are cool on this. The songs are good thrash metal tunes with some speed and intensity and the songs are quite catchy to boot. The songs never get boring and this is a solid release. Info:

RAVENS CREED/Ravens Krieg (Xtreem Music) Just crushing blasts of speedy death metal that was killer. Vocals that tear through you and make you weak. The blasts of speed had me playing air drums in no time and air guitar followed. I love the guitar sound on this and the intensity and feeling this band gets out of their music is second to none. A great death metal release not to be missed. Info:

CRYPTOPSY/The Book Of Suffering - Tome 1 (Self Released) I have never been a fan of this band, but I will say this, this is better than some of the other stuff I have heard from them. The blast beats seem more real and there is less of that Cannibal Corpse Jr sound on this. If you have loved this band in the past you’ll love this new Ep for sure. The singer is totally out of control and I mean that in a good way too. Info:

NUCLEAR/Formula for Anarchy (Candlelight Records) Some wicked thrash metal from these guys that is old school thrash and this kicked my ass. Riffs that had my nodding my head along with the tunes and the speed parts had my playing air drums. The vocals are more in the hardcore vein and that was fine by me as I am not a fan of all that nu metal shit vocals. One of few thrash bands that are doing it right these days that’s for sure. Info:


HADES ALMIGHTY/Pyre Era, Black! (Dark Essence Records) I remember this band from way back when and here they are with a new 3 song release. The music is black metal and is better than a lot of the black metal shit I have been getting to review this year. The singer doesn’t sound like he is in the woods at 3am and the music is haunting and memorable and isn’t just a bunch of mumbo jumbo and this is one of the best metal bands I have heard this year easily. Info:

INFINIGHT/Apex Predator (???) Power borer metal with clean vocals and all these bands all sound the same ever since Hammerfall got big and this did nothing for me as I have heard this a million times before.

OTARGOS/Xeno Kaos (Kaotoxin Records) This wasn’t bad black metal as the band is vicious and hit you like getting it with a baseball bat in the head. It is fast and furious music my friends. The singer sings with a vicious tone and he is more in a death metal sound so I would say this is a combo of both styles and it pretty much crushes. Just a wicked slab of death/black metal. Info:

BLACKOSH/Whores, Booze & Black Metal (Iron Bonehead) This was black metal that was nothing special and the songs just flew by with nothing to them and nothing memorable and were just almost like just a bunch of mumbo jumbo with no meaning behind them. Info:

GRAVE RITUAL/Morbid Throne (Dark Descent Records) Oh my god is this prime time death metal. Big time old school 80’s like death metal that totally crushes all these wanna be bands. Riffs from hells and vocals from hell. Incantation was a band that popped into my mind as this played on and the speed, intensity, feeling on this was insane. If you’re a death metal fan this is a must get no question about it. Info:

DIAVOLOS/You Lived, Now Die (CD, LP) (Hells Headbangers) Decent death metal, but it lacked that killer punch as the songs began to get boring by song # 3. The vocals aren’t bad, but the band need to work on writing more memorable songs. Info:

ONE YEAR DELAY/Deep Breath (Pavement Entertainment) Complete nu metal stuff with tons of grove music and tough guy vocals mixed in with clean ones. I’ll pass. Info:

APPARATUS/Apparatus (Lavadome Productions) This wasn’t bad in parts, but most of the music bored me and there was not enough strong riffs or song structures to keep me interested for very long. The singer has a nice black metal style voice, but the music wasn’t very good and satan would not approve of this I am afraid. Info:

WARBOMBS/Same (HDP/Raw'n'Roll Records) Just wicked old school mid 80’s style punk/hardcore that totally kills. Riffs that will bring you back to the days of early DRI and Agnostic Front. Pure hardcore yelled vocals too. A very tasty treat for all you old hardcore fans like myself this band brings us back to the good ole days of hardcore when it was great. Info:

REVOCATION/Empire of the Obscene (Metal Blade Records) This was released in 2008 on the bands own label and now Metal Blade is re-issuing it and as far as that goes it should have stayed that way. Pure Pantera worship music and vocals and this is utter trash that belongs in the garbage. There is nothing good on this at all. Pure junk. Info:

HIMINBJORG/Wyrd (Osmose Productions) Oh this is one awesome black metal band. They has a ton of feeling to them and the singer is also amazing. The music took me on a rollercoaster ride and it had its up and downs and never left me bored. This also didn’t sound like 5 million other typical black metal bands and easily the band had its own sound and was doing something new, different and exciting as well. Production is also great and if your sick of all the horrible black metal bands this is one that you’ll love. Info:

VASTUM/Hole Below (Sentienruin) This was a sort of weird band that had to take a bit to get used to as they are a death doom band and not many of them around these days and they mix up the styles pretty good and the doomy parts are very slow and wicked heavy and the death metal bands are just that death metal straight down the middle. The singer has a solid voice and the production on this is good and overall this is a solid release from this CA based band. Info:

ANTICOSM/Same (Born of Chaos Records) Some cool NJ death metal that hits home fast and hard. No gimmicks and just straight forward death metal with meaty riffs that are catchy too. Singing is good and solid and NJ has a nice death metal band here and the band play death metal the right way and also don’t sound like a million other bands. Info:

TANKRUST/The Fast Of Solace (Almost Famous) This to me was just like a typical death/thrash band with gruff vocals that did nothing for me. This band brought nothing to the table and the songs were faceless and pointless. Not a good band here. Info:

PESTILENCE/The Dysentry Penance (Vic Records) These are the 2 Pestilence demos with 2 bonus live tracks and this is what the doctor ordered. Crushing old school death metal. The 1st demo is not with Martin Van Drunen singing, but is still some crushing death metal. The 2nd demo is total ripping death metal with those vocals they are one of the best in the business. This is one awesome release and well go buy the bloody thing. Info:

ENVENOMED/Evil Unseen (Punishment 18 Records) Awesome thrash metal and no Pantera in the mix. Catchy riffs that you will remember and plenty of speed in the mix too. Vocals are good and solid and even though are sung in a clean style they are quite good sort of like Agent Steel without all the high notes. I love the guitar sound on this and the riffs just had me playing air guitar as I am a sucker for a good thrash tune and there was plenty on this for sure. If your into thrash metal a band worth checking out for sure. Info:

UN/The Tomb of All Things (Black Bow Records) The music on this dragged on too much for my liking and the songs were long and this just bored me as most doom metal bands do. Info:

TAPHOS NOMOS/West Of Everything Lies Death (Hammerheart Records) Same heard it a million times before death metal. It is played well, but there was nothing stood out or kept me interested. The music is just kinda faceless and the singer does have a decent death metal voice, but overall this is just flat. Info:

NAR MATTARU/Ancient Atomic Warfare (I, Voidhanger Records) Just plain garbage death metal with nothing good to it. The songs are flat as a pancake and they go nowhere. The singer isn’t bad, but the songs have nothing to them and just go nowhere fast. Info:

WAR CURSE/Final Days (Self-Released) Some well played thrash metal in the vein of Testament. Crushing riffs and awesome vocals had me tapping my feet and playing air drums. These were songs that you remember and the vocals were vicious slabs of power. Plenty of up tempo stuff is that is the way I like my thrash metal to be played. This is thrash metal played the right way all the way. Info:

SPIRIT OF REBELLION/Then enslavement process CD (Prc Music) This isn’t bad, but I hate the breakdown parts as they sort of have that nu metal style to them. The vocals are great slabs of death metal as the singer sings with conviction and feeling. The music is a mix of fast and slower stuff and for the most part they stay away from that breakdown nu metal shit and when they don’t they pack quite a punch. Solid release. Info:

DIATONIC/Hidden Pieces (Into the Night Records) Just another faceless death metal one man band this time doing nothing new and tired same ole riffs that have been done to death. I found nothing of value except the singing on this and the songs were pretty much boring. Info:

AUSTRAL/Cold (The Exalted Shadows of Death are Dancing (Tyrannus ) A split release and Austral is up 1st. Austral aren’t bad as they offer up some wicked heart pounding black metal that hits hard and fast and isn’t a wall of noise. The singer sounds good and the music isn’t just a wall of noise. Cold is the exact opposite as they are just a wall of noise with a total annoying singer that sounds like he is in a grave at 3am and he is totally awful as is the music. Hit and miss here. Info:

SACRILEGE/Behind The Realms of Madness (Reissue) (Relapse Records) This originally came out in 1985 and this totally kills. A pure punk/hardcore masterpiece that blows away all these so called punk bands of today. Riffs and songs that were ready to have me stag diving and slamming around my house. The songs just ooze that feeling that you just can’t get being fake. The vocals are screams and yells that fit what a punk rock singer should be. A must get. Info:

ZALBATSU/Zero (Killerpool Records) Modern metal that went nowhere. I was not a fan of the music as it just sounds like anything you would hear on the radio and I was not a fan of the singer’s voice neither. Not for me.

SATAN/Atom By Atom (Listenable) Some of you might remember this band from way back when and now they are back and this totally crushes. A total heavy metal onslaught with great songs that are catchy and had me nodding right along with the music. The singer Brain sounds fabulous on this and the music is just a fist banging affair that no metal fan would want to be without that is for sure. Info:

ROSES UNREAD/The Silver Lining (Self Released) Some decent rock/metal on this disc with a really good female singer who can belt out the tunes. The music is nicely played and the songs are strong and catchy too. Production is spot on and this is a good rock band with some metal mixed in and one of the better unsigned bands I have heard this past year. Info:

TANK/Valley Of Tears (Metal Mind Productions) Oh this was awesome. Tank were a band back on the NWOBHM era and they are back and this is just such a great pure heavy metal record. Riffs that will have your head banging and the songs are memorable and catchy too. Great, fantastic vocals as well. This easily one of the best release of the year. This has no nu metal or any outside influences on it and is straight ahead bone crushing metal the way it should be. Info:

ARXCH DEEP AND THE MONEY SHAKERS/Self Titled (Self Released) Sorry, but this is 5 awful tunes that go nowhere fast. There was nothing catchy in the tunes and they just dragged on and I found nothing of value on this disc. Info:

OSCUROS/Shallow Graves (Self Released) 2 tunes are tough to judge a band, but this is 2 songs on not too bad black metal. It is a one man band/project and his vocals are good and the music isn’t a wall of noise and I like the raw sound he gets on this and the tunes do have that raw black metal feeling too. Looking forward to hearing some more. Info:

ANNUNCIATION/Annunciation Mortis Metalluim (Self Released) Some cool old school death metal here that was a mix of like Autopsy meeting Incantation in an dark alley. The vocals are deep, but not too deep growls of death, sung the way death metal should be. Now this band wasn’t super original, but they sounded good, I liked it and they are worth checking out. Info:

SARCOFAGO/Die...Hard (Greyhaze Records) I remember these guys back in the day and now this is an official collection of all there demos and some unreleased stuff and their very first demo too. This is total old school crushing death/black metal done the right way. The feeling and playing are just so over the top it’s not funny. The speed and intensity of this band is total killer and if you’re a fan of old school, such as myself, this is a must buy. Info:

BASTARD GRAVE/What Lies Beyond (Pulverised Records) Some decent Swedish style death metal, that while not original, gets the job done. Chainsaw pounding riffs with real death metal vocals and the band mix up the speed nice and the songs were catchy and not boring like some bands doing the Swedish style of death metal these days. Production is right on the money as well. Info:

XUL/Malignance (Redifining Darkness Records) This apparently is a re-release and this is some pretty solid death metal in the vein of Morbid Angel at time musicwise. The vocals are more in the Chuck from Death vein. The music is mostly fast, which was fine by me, with some slower parts thrown in, but the songs are memorable and this never got boring. I love the guitar sound on this and production is great as well. A death metal band you can sink your teeth into and no generic boring stuff on this. Info:

SURGE ASSAULT/Lust & Misery (Earthquake Terror Noise) This was an old school mix of thrash and death metal, but it didn’t do much for me. The songs just lacked any punch for me and they were kind of boring The singing wasn’t also very hot and this just bored me. Info:

PSYCHOTOMY/Antimonia (The Spew Records) Pure awful death metal with some of the worst vocals of the year. That and they are so buried in the mix and all the singer does is growl into the mic. The drum mix is awful and all the drummer does is just blast into the songs. Songs ha ha, these songs are completely worthless. One of the worst releases of the year.

AFFLICTION GATE/Dying Alone (Transcending Obscurity) 4 tracks of heard it a million times death metal that was both boring and generic. More garbage to fill up the overpopulated underground. The singer was the only good thing as the songs just sound like any death metal band from the early 90’s.  Info:

JUST BEFORE DAWN/The Dead And Those About To Die (Chaos records) More bad death metal with terrible songs that go nowhere and singing that is just there. These bands need to go work and writing and playing some memorable material. Info:


PHRENETIX "fear"(Inferno Records) This is some awesome thrash and some not so good vocals. The music is 80’s style killer thrash with tons of hooky riffs and speed that I was totally loving. The singer has a sort of high pitched voice, not like Agent Steel, but just almost to the point he gets annoying, but with music this great I almost forgot about him and the singer will be hit or miss with people. This is thrash the way it should be played not this nu metal shit and judge for yourself on these guys. Info:

DIAVOLOS/You Lived, Now Die (CD, LP) (Hells Headbangers) Oh holy hell did this just crush. Total 80’s style mix of thrash and death metal with razor sharp riffs that will cut right through you and body. The songs are so damn catchy too and the speed and intensity and feeling I just totally love. The singer has a wicked cool voice that doesn’t sound like anybody I can think of and overall this is one of the best damn releases of the year. Info:

The BENTAL INTERLUDE/Reign of the Unblinking Eye (Black Bow Records) More groove style metal with those screeching vocals I hate. As soon as I heard the vocals I was totally turned off and the music isn’t anything to write home about and I found it boring and this was not good at all.

THE DESOLATE/The Great Departure (Self-Released) Great just what the underground needs another groove metal band with a bit of death metal in it with screeched vocals and then mix them in with growls. This release was easily one of the worst I have heard. Fuckin junk. Info:

BODE PRETO/Mystic Massacre (Iron Tyrant) Now this is something I can sign my teeth into. Just bone crushing pure death metal. The music will just pound into your skull and vocals from the pits of hell. The speed and intensity of this was just unreal and never lets up and the power this band has will crush the weak. A pure death/black metal masterpiece. Info:

INSISION/Terminal Reckoning (Sevared Records) This was some brutal death metal, but I hated the production. The drum sound is awful and those trigger like drums sounds have to go. The guitar sound when the band went into solos was bad too. The singer just has the standard growl voice and with so many other releases out there, this is nothing special. Info:

INVOCATION SPELLS/Descendent The Black Throne (Hells Headbangers) Well this label does it again and finds another crushing death metal band sort of in the vein of Order From Chaos. Riffs and vocals from hell and the feeling and style and stuff this band gets is awesome. Total rip roaring old school to the bone. I love the guitar sound and the singer sounds like Cronus from Venom at times too. Perfect production and this just plain rules. Info: