Folter Records, 28.04.17
We move west on the Iberian Peninsula, from Spain's separatist capital, Barcelona, to Portugal.
Corpus Christii, who turns 20 as blasphemous collective next year, releases their eighth album.
The band was hastily and delayed presented the year after they released their first album for Folter Records, PaleMoon just over two years ago.
The album had a fragrance of vintage Darkthrone, without appearing as plagiarizing. This time, however, the veterans have chosen to freshen up by wandering along a bit more experimental trails.
Not to say that you need to prepare yourself mentally for ambient oddities. Corpus Christii still plays black metal. However, the music has a somewhat more dissonant dreamy mood. To imply that Delusion has an atmospheric or particularly spiritual approach, however, would be to stretch the truth a bit far.
Parts of the material have a hint of Inquisition, and some sequences have a whiff of something I associate with for instance Tulus. A direct comparison becomes a bit amiss, though. Atonality also form a vital part of the expression, without making it all too enclosed and suffocating. In general, the music is somewhat more spacious than intense, and their black tones aren't of the fastest type this time. Even the production leave a little headroom, as the dynamic range holds a steady DR8.
Nocturnus Horrendus is the only remaining member in what apparently has primarily operated as a duo. He takes care of guitar, bass and vocals, and must especially be commended for the latter. The vocal is qualitative and very varied. In some segments, such as in Chamber Soul, he almost sounds like Attila, whilst he in more necro-orthodox settings has a classic sparkle of Nocturno Culto, Satyr Wongraven and Erik Danielsson. J. Goat, who also handles guitar and bass, performs on his sophomore album with the band. He otherwise dwells in half a dozen other bands. On Delusion, Andrecadente takes care of drums as a session musician, something he also did live a few years ago.
I enjoy Delusion, and I'd like to praise the band for daring to attempt new approaches. However, the variation in the material is splayed to some degree. I still put PaleMoon a little bit higher, but at its best, Delusion is undoubtedly very good. Especially the last two songs leave a very good last impression. Rating: 4
Check out the Portuguese's past on Bandcamp as well.
Unholy Prophecies, 24.04.17
The most conventional metal, as in this case; classic death metal, can be worse to descriptive than odd irregularities. There's not really anything new to report without repeating oneself, and I often-times end up resorting to wildly abstract allegories and metaphors.
The Spanish quintet plays thundering death metal so timeless that time it selves seems to be encapsulated in vacuum. The band's second album was released just the other day. It's been three years since the men last were on the warpath.
They then released the EP Embedded in the Ossuary, of which I mainly pointed out that the band performed...
...dirty and pissed off death metal. The sound is surprisingly succulent, which matches the brutal and ungodly mood the band convey, as well as the aggressive way in which they do it.
Fortunately, the guys haven't change the recipe, whilst today's baking don't taste too identical. The band is not brutal as in “vile, chaotic and speedy death cacophony”, but rather brutal in booming heaviness, as well as in the raging morbid moods. Both the music and its adequate production sound like a convoy of tanks. Leaden and deadly.
A few days ago, Soulrot was sent back to the drawing board. Morbid Flesh also has an inherent character of Swedeath, and does not necessarily have better sound, or that many more meat-hooks, but the material still sounds a lot better. It's a bit hard to put the finger on exactly what separates chaff and wheat in this case. The drift is more intense here, as the drums are more sturdy and the riffs are rapid and don't allow for any doubt or escape. I like the vocals in both cases, but the Spaniard's resounding basement voice is priceless. Still, the atmosphere should probably take most of the credit.
Where Soulrot was on the more aggressive battle trail, Morbid Flesh is on the lookout for occult journals. On their quest to provide black arts to expedite the day of judgement and reckoning, all means are allowed. Everything from sneaky killings by poison to loud bombs. The death metal, often slow and wretched, has a gloomy, reckless and demonic approach.
Whether or not Rites of the Mangled has ingredient X, or if the chromosomes are simply put together in some black magic constellation, or if it's me that is missing a handful of chromosomes, I'll as usual leave for you to decide. When the noisy tracks of the panzer division roll by and the grenades blast, at least yours truly thrives, even though the battlefield doesn't hide anything new in the trenches. For being death metal, this is pure evil.
If ignoring the 5 years under the name Undertaker, we can also congratulate Morbid Flesh with 10 years of service. Rating: 4+
Memento Mori, 24.04.17
New day, new debutants.
Polish Martyrdom is a quartet that doesn't have much earlier experience, but that's spent seven years together and during that time launched both split and demo.
In that order.
The band performs rather intense doomy death metal, which in my ears is not death/doom, as both label and Encyclopaedia Metallum profess, but rather zombified death metal that blood-dripping wanders this putrid earth ...bewitched, cursed and damned.
The band at times hits the gas, but they never floor it, and it's the exception. Grievous Psychosis is characterized by slow mid-pace where the guitars resound in droning manners. It's almost so that you may wonder what is guitar and what is bass. The vocalist seems to have an urgent need for an exorcist. However, as we learned in connection with Possession in week 14, it can prove difficult to obtain one.
Martyrdoom gives me some vibes of Obituary, that we by the way met just last week. There's quite a bit of John Tardy in the articulation of vocalist Sociak, and the music has a sense of the same dark, ill-fated and dystopic doomsday-atmosphere as Cause of Death and The End Complete. Hell, even the drums have some of the same room like reverb that penetrates the wall of vibrating and resonating barbed wires.
I wasn't really aware of this being the first album from the Poles before I started writing. It sounds professional through and through. The material has enough twists and turns to never become entirely boring, but of course; Grievous Psychosis offers on a lot of the same for 38 minutes. Still, that's never been a valid argument against anything amongst the extreme metallic hordes.
Grievous Psychosis is in my ears a good debut that sounds good and reek of the same bestial gore as Regan MacNeil. Too much of a good thing can of course become too much of a good thing, but as a somewhat calmer abyss as a diversion from your Pazuzu-infected everyday extremity, Martyrdoom definitely supplies a proper spell. Rating: 4-
Memento Mori delivers the CD, while Martyrdoom themselves offers the digital version. (Click the bc logo.)