Unleashing one of the most brutal releases to ever come out of Algeria, today we have Lelahell and their debut full-length release “Al Insane... The (Re)Birth of Abderrahmane”. Clocking in at around 40 minutes of music, this album is both savage and demoralizing. Elevating Death Metal to its most brutal shape, anybody will surely be blow away and rendered unconscious with such a vicious onslaught of senseless brutality.
Wasting no time after the intro track, “Al Intissar” comes at you like a bag of bricks to the face. The riffing is pummeling and energetic, while the drumming is just out of this world with a its blistering double kick sections. The band continues their onslaught with the sheer brutality of “Voices Revealed” and “Kalimet Essir”, both tracks feature a perfect balance of punishing drumming and very prominent harsh vocals. The band at times reminds us of outfits like Nile and Melechesh with some Cannibal Corpse and Six Feet under sprinkled on top.
Hailing from Indonesia, today we have Black Metal battalion Barzakh and a re-release of their crushing 2007 album “In A Meaning the Note”. BM bands from this country have a very distinctive sound and as soon as you listen to one song from this album you can recognize it. Delivering around 26 minutes of devastating music in the span of seven songs, this album is quite intense and not for the faint of heart or mind.
Opening with the crushing catchiness of “Shadow in the Grief”, the band delivers very melodic riffs underneath their fowl harsh screams and intense tempo. This track is a very solid opener as it grabs your attention in a very direct way. Keeping the level of intensity, we have “She's Not Honoured” and “Hatred in Mourn Heart” pummeling the listener while maintaining the band’s characteristic vibe and throwing in some cool guitar leads to keep things fresh.
Hailing from France, today we have Melo-death/Deathcore/Modern Metal outfit Master Crow and their sophomore release “Die for Humanity”. Delivering over 44 minutes of crushing music, the band nicely showcases their influences from bands like The Black Dahlia Murder, Whitechapel, Death, Cynic and others in between. While not very original, the album is quite enjoyable since it features tons of powerful riffs and intricate tempo changes.
Led by vocalist Julien "Nutz" Deyres, the album opens with the strong “Die for Humanity”, a track which mixes melancholic melodic sections with a funky bass guitar line. The band continues their brutal onslaught with the more Deathcore/Modern Metal influences tracks “Down from the Sky” and “Road of Vice”. It is quite interesting how the band manages to blend old-school Melodic Death Metal elements with their more modern influences and still sound fresh.
Hailing from our cold and desolate neighbor in the north, Canada, today we have one-man battalion Feral and their solid debut release “For Those Who Live in Darkness”. Nicely combining elements from bands like Vreid, Agalloch, Inquisition into a sound that is quite raw, but still in development, this release is actually quite enjoyable. For over 60 minutes of music we can her how this young outfit tries an assortment of different things in order to find its own sound.
The atmospheric opening of “Entering Darkness” nicely leads the way as the guitar’s take center stage and delivering a pummeling and moderately intense outburst. This track has a certain Viking/Pagan Metal edge to it, making it engaging and entertaining. As “Nocturnal Queen” and “True Forgotten Beauty” come around, we can instantly hear the mixture of Agalloch and Inquisition elements into the band’s music. A better testament of the band’s interest in defining their own sound is the track “Weeping Earthbound Spirit”, which features a tense atmosphere after a killer dose of solid riffs.
Hailing from Finland, today we have an older release that managed to go under our radar for a while, that is impressive enough to be reviewed all these years later. Crib45 plays a mean Post-Metal with Sludgy influences, allowing them to sound like Neurosis on command, but also deliver a wider range of sounds. With their sophomore release “Marching through the Borderlines”, the band delivers over 70 minutes of soul-crushing music.
Opening with the wall of sound created by crushing pieces like “Gathering the Storms” and “Catharsis”, the band really comes in tune with their characteristic sound with the dramatic “Waiting for Deliverance”. Aside the heavy distortion, the band layers atmospheric elements and dramatic lead guitars that give their music a certain Doomy feeling, setting them apart from the rest. Another interesting element in this song is the vocal experimentation introduced, which allows the song to be more dramatic and engaging.
Hailing from France today we have a very interesting release from the enigmatic Amiral!, titled “Les Territoires interdits”. Mixing ambient and trip-hop influences, this release moves the band further into the cinematic realm with very futuristic and tense pieces that elevate the listener’s state of consciousness.
Opening with the very ethereal and magical “Barry”, this one-man outfit sets a very unique and promising mood. Other tracks perfectly complement each other in terms of buildup like “Nu, dépouillé” and the very upbeat “Jericho II”. We prefer more dreamy songs like “Papa maman”, the mysterious “survivre en mer” and the very peaceful “réserve indienne”. Amiral!’s strength lies on the ability to create very piercing songs that while minimalist in nature, engage the listener in multiple ways.
Hailing from the Netherlands, today we have a short but sweet 7-inch release from a band named Vandersloot. Featuring six tracks, this release delivers a very unique combination of Sludge and Punk that gets the listeners going with its high-octane approach to the genres. Keeping things simple, the Dutch trio crafts straightforward songs that are quite catchy and heavy at times.
Opening with the all-out Punkness of “Socially Stabbed”, we are quickly introduced into the band’s unique world. The riffs feel a bit heavier than normal and as “Frustration” creeps on the listener, we start noticing their Sludgy edge. This last track is also quite melodic in nature, showing even more versatility from this outfit.
Spewing their Black Metal poison, today we have Greek outfit Heretic Cult Redeemer and the re-release of their 2013 debut full-length self-titled release. Delivering seven punishing acts of BM devastation, this band sets a very sinister mood while beating the listener to a pulp with their crafty riffing and demoralizing vocals.
As the opener “Crawling Hope” delivers the first blows, the band delivers waves of traditional BM riffs with fuzzy distortion and sickening vocals. Mixing in some solid headbanging moments in their music, allows HCR to crafty catchy and memorable tracks like “The Oldest of Times” and the very melodic “Bleeding of the Giant Sun”. The band’s command of the Black Metal arts is infused in the sinister oppressive atmosphere of songs like “Destiny of Death” and its super catchy yet firm riffage.
Constantly scouring the planet for the best Metal, it is very exciting for us to find hidden gems like Moldavian Progressive/Avant-garde Black Metal outfit Chordewa and their debut full-length release “Recast Gear for the Mindcraft Course”. Featuring a very futuristic theme and sound, the band delivers 36 minutes of brilliant music that reminds us of acts like Arcturus and Vulture Industries.
The album starts with the funky tempo changes of “Psyche in the Shell”, a great intro to the band’s deranged musical brains filled with lush keyboards and intricate drum patterns. The Artcurus worshiping “Mindcraft Course” brilliantly shows even a more aggressive and faster side of the band as this track merges from familiar to fully represent the weirdness of Chordewa’s sound with its Proggy undertones. The playful “The Spiral” is one of our favorite songs thanks to its ritualistic percussions section and how the band swings the direction of the song’s mood very drastically.
Perfectly blending Middle Eastern influences into crushing Death Metal, today we have Cyahares and ‘their’ full-length release “Whores of Babylon”. This one-man battalion delivers blistering riffs and furious drumming thought eight brilliant tracks. If you like extreme brutality, melodic/folky parts and a great production, this is one album that you don’t want to miss.
Fully exploding in the listener’s face since the opener “Thy Winds in Coordinations of My Sand Status”, Cyahares delivers waves of crushing riffs, hyper fast drums and relentless growls. The overall combination of brutal elements is pretty awesome and commands instant attention. In a similar fashion than Nile, tracks like “Temples of Fire” and “Shahnameh” perfectly blend the Middle Eastern influences into the mix, allowing the music to be both dominant and crafty.