Mini-Review Roundup: Athame, Carnal Decay, Eteritus, and more

July 1, 2016


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Always more for you here.  I sacrifice my vision and sanity at this computer screen for you and the bands.  Anywho, this week I've got some brutal death metal, vicious black metal, old school melodeath, crusty post-hardcore, progressive tech death, and totally depraved goregrind.  Lovers of all things extreme: I've got you covered.

1 With Cunning Fire and Adversarial Resolve See Details for With Cunning Fire and Adversarial Resolve

Athame has been recommended to fans of Craft, Gorgoroth, Aosoth.  The band plays a particularly wretched bit of black metal with the occasional added blast of old school death and thrash.  The growls are vicious and grim, the drums utterly destructive and chaotic.  One need only listen to the first single, "Five Fold Kiss," to get a sense of the cataclysmic nature of this album.  Athame keep things pretty simple, sticking to raw production, basic chord structures, and a very live-sounding performance to bring you the latest in kvlt brutality.  However, "The Heretic's Horn" does give a sense that there is more than meets the eye.  Those are some ominous builds indeed.  Watch for the full release on 7/8.

2 Carnal Decay See Details for Carnal Decay

From Zürich, Switzerland comes a new death metal short release from Carnal Decay.  It may only be two tracks, but what this promo/demo lacks in length it makes up for in pure terror.  Fast, brutal, ugly.  Vocals gurgle forth from choked vocal chords in time with the chugging power chords and malevolent blackened tremolos.  More excellent drumming of note on this one.  Both speed and variety are on display with the kit as if this guy is trying to prove something.  Sir, your point is proven.  Now give those poor, aching joints a rest.  I am not sure why they chose to only release 2 tracks at this point, but the tactic has sure left me craving more.  Keep shoveling those corpses into the furnace...we've got more music to record.

3 Following The Ancient Path See Details for Following The Ancient Path

Poland strikes again with this ragng hard-on of a record.  More of that gritty At The Gates style distortion we know and love to comliment the old school leanings of Eteritus' personal take on melodic death metal.  Great for fans of Wombbath and the like.  This came to me at a period where I was feeling swamped with great releases.  I was ready to skip over it, but something about that cover art and the first few moments of "Hellish Imagery" warned me that I might find myself dragged into the shadows in the middle of the night if I did.  Well, I'm still here to write this, and I'm more than happy to share the spoils of my decision.  Killer riffs, gritty vocals, and totally bangable grooves make this another welcome addition.

4 Gnork See Details for Gnork

Disgusting.  Gnarly.  If there was an award for most horrific band name, I might have to give it to these guys.  Rectal Smegma are German goregrinders.  This would have fit nicely on my ugly metallic punk, crust, and grind roundup.  Gnork carries all of those elements and perhaps outshines them all while throwing feces and deliverying completely unintelligible vocals.  There's little more to say, so just press play.  What do you say? 

5 All Empires Fall See Details for All Empires Fall

Time for some crust/punk/post-hardcore from Australia.  Fans of Anopheli rejoice, Threskiornis bring more excellent D-beat and string combo to the table.  But this group has their own take on the style.  All Empires Fall is a much rawer affair, utilizing more extreme black and death vocals and dissonant instrumentation.  The band takes a few more lessons from the doom metal camp as well with their slower pace and drawn-out, depressive vibes.  Even so, the use of cello never ceases to be a lovely addition to the otherwise harsh clashes of distortion.  My personal favorite track is "Land Stolen," which given the lyrics and band's location I believe to be about mistreatment of the Aboriginal Australians.  If you're into the whole "emo-violence" crust movement, definitely add this to your list.

6 A Maze of Recycled Creed See Details for A Maze of Recycled Creed

Gorod was another group I seem to have missed out on in 2015.  It was not until a fellow writer featured them in a technical death metal round-up that they really caught my attention.   Looking at the cover, I inaccurately assumed this would have a dark, blackened feel.  Quite to the contrary, A Maze of Recycled Creed features a bright, energetic sound.  And even though these Frenchmen do play technical death metal, this is offset by a very heavy-handed dose of progressive metal.  Songs feature an impressive, and unique, amount of melody and songwriting experimentation which keeps them more in league with other excitingly fresh groups like Gigan and CB Murdoc than Dying Fetus.  Plenty outbursts of jazz and regional music (am I wrong in thinking I heard some polka?) on this as well. "Temple To The Art-God," "Celestial Nature," and "The Mystic Triad Of Artistry" are all excellent starting points.

7 IV Kataklismo See Details for IV Kataklismo

Those vocals.  F@#k me.  They are unrehearsed howls of agony.  Stormvold from Spain are a death metal band who report being influenced by bands such as Genocide Shrines and Bolzer.  Their unquenchable thirst for speed and chaotic, asymmetrical compositions also brings to mind ZOM.  There are clearly touches on this album of everything from black metal to punk, but no matter what, the output is always extreme.  The drumming is another one of those rare examples of perfectly controlled chaos with live production that leaves no room for digital trickery or otherwise masturbatory fakery.  With Stormvold, what you see is what you get.  Between the unforgiving vocal destruction and harsh thrash metal solos, this is just the prescription for a day that's just a little too bright and sunny.

8 Black Fucking Cancer See Details for Black Fucking Cancer

Sometimes all that is needed is the right amount of venom.  The music will follow.  Black Fucking Cancer is another in the seemingly endless march of black metal groups trying to outdo one another in extremity.  Fortunately BFC knows the formula better than most.  Spawned from the likes of Satyricon, early Gorgoroth, and Mayhem; this is a band that cranks the disdain-ometer to new levels.  It takes a special kind of twisted to turn a hatred of all mankind into anthems, but when they start croaking "ready to die!" on this opening track, I'm just like "yeah, that sounds awesome."  The band has a bit of a dissonant, avantgarde side as well on freestyle tracks like "Acid Ocean."  Check out "Wall of Corpses" and "Exit Wounds" when this drops Friday.