Mini-Review Roundup: NAG, Maze of Terror, Grace Disgraced, and more

Sept. 6, 2016


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1 NAG See Details for NAG

NAG is crust/metallic punk/hardcore band from Stavanger, Norway.  They are new to the scene having just formed in 2015.  The trio have recently completed recording their first full-length, which was released last week through Fysisk Format.  The band's sound is ideal for fans of groups like Converge, Trap Them, Årabrot, and Okkultokrati.  

2 Ready to Kill See Details for Ready to Kill

Lima, Peru's Maze of Terror are just what the doctor ordered for you extreme thrash fans out there.  Channeling the heaviest bands in the genre, from Slayer to Exodus, this is that fast and furious 80's stuff fit for the pit.  Raw, vomited vocals join some serious hooks and intense drumming.  You'll be doing air guitar in no time.  Ya'll know I only highlight a thrash band every so often, so you know that Ready To Kill has something special in store.  Tons of energy and primal rebellion make this a glorious listen. 

3 Lasting Afterdeaths See Details for Lasting Afterdeaths

Grace Disgraced is a Russian death metal band fronted by Polina.  This may sound like the name of the sweet, quiet girl that might have sat in the back of your economics class, but I assure you this one would have either ditched to smoke in the bathroom or lunged at you with a pencil for making fun of her metal band t-shirt.  The death growls are are capable ones and have every right to stand alongside anyone else in the genre.  Add to this some twisty, proggy compositions and you have yourself an interesting take on tech death that walks through both the brutal and melodic territories with finesse.

4 Paths See Details for Paths

Boston black 'n rollers Lord Almighty released Paths late last year, and somehow I managed to miss it.  There's only so much music you can listen to in a single year, but luckily this one came back around the bend.  Despite the intense riffs, harsh vocals, and black metal ethos; this album has a progressive, story-telling aspect that is further emphasized by the titular interludes.  Each track serves well enough alone, but as a whole their form a grim opus on par wtih recent albums from groups like OutreLord Almighty certainly has a fire in their belly, but they aren't above creating a few melodic moments as well.

5 This Temple Is A Grave See Details for This Temple Is A Grave

Death metal from Sweden?  Who knew?  All joking aside though, Cerecloth is off to a good start with this demo.  All three songs feature plenty of mid-paced, chuggy riffs and harmonized melodies that mangage to stay interesting.  The release is a little rough around the edges, but then again, so are most demos.  But between the energy, Behemoth-y vocals, and general consistencey; I feel that given some time this little David could grow into a goliath one day.  See what you think for yourself below.  Digital is Name Your Own Price.

6 Sonance See Details for Sonance

Well this is an interesting one.  Progressive instrumental bands that I get wind of tend to focus on extreme melodicism, but Contemplator is different.  With more than a dash of avant-garde and atonal influences, this album takes the dissonant experimentation of darker groups like Krallice and infuses it with a bright soul.  Also check out the string arrangments on a few of the tracks.  Simultaneously beautiful and a little off-putting at the same time.  Like a David Lynch movie, even when the visuals extend into art, there is always a certain eeriness lurking in the background.  Check it out below. 

7 Fetters See Details for Fetters

A creepy, crawly walk ever downwards into a dark labyrinth.  Fetters don't make music: they create suspense and terror.  I don't want to spoil too much of this one for you...or maybe I just can't find the right words...but it you prefer your horror to burn slowly like The Shining or Alien, this is something you should listen to.  Turn off the lights, wait until midnight, and maybe light a few candles.  Not recommended for LSD users.  You might rip your face off.