Obliteration (Nor) – Total Fucking Obliteration (2005) [EP]


Pretty standard death metal EP with a questionable drum sound on Track #1. If I heard this back in 2005 I wouldn’t have given this another listen and frankly but for the standard delivery there isn’t much which makes it stands on its own. My favourite track is “Babtized in Vomit” which just marches on with fantastic vocals and relentless drumming. Yes, you do hear the bass pop in now and then but otherwise this is a decent effort on the whole. I’ve to chip in about the production here, it is well done. It gives good room for the instruments and giving us a nice well rounded sound. To sum it up, it sounds alright with nothing really standing out on its own. It sure passes for a decent death metal EP but would easily get lost in the mix of releases unless you’re specifically looking for it.

Gorguts (Can) – …and Then Comes Lividity (1990) [Demo]

I haven’t heard the entire discography of any band from the start to finish and I decided on rectifying this beginning with Portal (Aus) which was a huge success and then I immediately thought I should do it with other bands I love as well. The next (not so obvious choice) was Gorguts! Other bands in contention were Emperor (Nor), Iron Maiden (UK) and even StarGazer (Aus). Anyway “…And Then Comes Lividity” is technically Demo #3 of Gorguts as per their page on MA.

The demo kicks off with the well known acoustic intro which I actually like better here. Moving onto Haematological Allergy Gorguts immediately gets into the business. The writing is spectacular, the riffs are heavy and the band jumps between tempos at ease. I think we need to spend a moment on when this demo was released, it’ll add good context to the sound of the band.

1989 is one of the most important years for Death Metal, Bolt Thrower (UK), Death (USA), Morbid Angel (USA), Terrorizer (USA), Pestilence (Hol) and Autopsy (USA). Gorguts (Can) release this demo in 1990. Now, Morbid Angel gave us all batshitcrazy riffs and mind-melting solos so technically Gorguts isn’t reinventing the wheel nor (at the time of this release) were they the pioneers of Technical Death Metal. This demo serves to showcase what the band is capable of and it is impressive! Gorguts dropped a quality demo here, no denying it. Tracks like ‘Inflected Maturity’ showcases the maturity in songwriting and instrument proficiency.

The overall sound of the demo is surprisingly decent to say the least. The riffs are engaging, the drumming is never dull and the sound is richer! This demo showcases the seriousness and the talent of the band quite well. Frankly, I’d be sold if I heard this when this came out. The riffs are in the time continuum between Leprosy and Altars of Madness, although it is not a fair comparison, it is perhaps the best description of how heavy the band sounds and the approach to their songwriting on the whole.

Kawthra (Can) – The Tenets [EP] (2021)

It was quite an accident that I came across this release. Kawthra are a Canadian band who in their own words are “Bound by an ever present disdain for existence, Kawthra’s form of sludge fills the sonic space with reverberating screamsand thick, burdensome riffs. Born from Fort Erie, Ontario, this four piece combines brooding passages with hauntingly melodic expanses that frame the desperate cries for purpose.” This is one of the most accurate mini bio’s written by bands. Kawthra haven’t split the sky into two, they haven’t redrawn parameters of existence into auditory aberrations, they’ve just decided to play riffs that bring down buildings with heaviness that is usually associated with the apocalypse or the more accessible internal torment. Their lyrics are introspective and it makes sense why they’ve chosen the form of metal they ended up with. This brand of doomy sludge offers the width to carry the burden and the band manage to bring all their angst festered with harshness onto this EP. Kawthra also manage to put together an absolute bare bones eerie atmosphere that chills in between the monolith of riffs. I’m going to follow this band till their first full length at the least.

Bandcamp: https://kawthra.bandcamp.com/album/the-tenets

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kawthraband/

Convulse – Deathstar (2020)

Growls ruined a rock album! This is perhaps a line we don’t really come across, it’s a brand new sentence for all we know. Convulse, the legendary Finnish death metal band has released a new album titled “Deathstar”. The name immediately took me to “Oldstar” but we can come to that in a bit. What we have here is a rock album with varying degrees of influence from Psychedelic, Souther and Post-Rock. The odd piece in this puzzle are the vocals, had the band decided to stick with non-growls this album would’ve been a really radio friendly record. The opener ‘Extreme Dark Light’ starts off as a soundtrack to James Bond playing Poker in Casino Royale, it’s perfect! It was the first image that came to my mind when I first heard this album. Musically this isn’t soft death metal or an offshoot of death metal, this is a rock album. As we go further into the record, we have Pink Floyd’ish keys which Syd Barrett (R.I.P) would’ve been proud of. Some pieces across the songs are spectacular! The guitar tone is akin to dark metal bands but the spirit of the solos are straight out of a Post-Rock atmosphere. Prime example of this is track #3, ‘The Summoning’ which ends with a nice vista of post-rock atmosphere. 

‘Chernobyl’ opens with the traditional heaviness and it slowly dissipates into an 90’s English sound. Again, the vocals play the spoilsport here, I mean when the music clearly has taken a different route why have these vocals? They ruin what the rest of the band are doing. This track has one of the nicest solos on the entire album. Very balanced, melodic and as straightforward as a radio friendly jingle. This is not progressive death metal in any way, case in point is the track ‘We Sold Our Soul For Rock ‘N Roll’. I can imagine Britney Spears covering this for a Side B of her Christmas special. It feels like the band is making a conscious decision to infuse the heaviness but then change their minds. The title track of the album ‘Deathstar’ sticks to your traditional distorted riffs but gives space to nice spacey notes in the track. I’ve got to admit it’s done well. This is a good album to hit the charts with or perhaps have a couple of singles out there for the general public to pay attention. With the year as it is as, I suppose, anything is possible. 

A track that immediately catches your attention is ‘Make Humanica Great Again’, this is your typical Slash/Myles Kennedy affair. A traditional riffy opening, vocals kicking in to make the statement about the condition of humanity. Slash taking over to thrill us with his gifts and then we move on to the next track. I particularly like the guitar parts on this track, pieces of it are clearly influenced from Pink Floyd’s sound from ‘Set The Controls’ timeline. Another interesting thought was how I’d enjoy this on stage but not on a record. To sum it up, no track on this album is remarkable even though the band has strayed significantly from what I’ve expected. These are your average rock songs done well. The first listen was painful but the subsequent ones were not hurting as much. Everytime I came to the songs I’d round them with being ‘decent’, ‘good guitars’ and ‘bad vocals’. That is how I’ll end this. Give it a try, if you’re streaming this album, do put it on random. Might give you a different perspective. Best track: Light My Day

Bandcamp: https://transcendingrecs.bandcamp.com/album/deathstar

My Dying Bride – Macabre Cabaret [EP] (2020)

My Dying Bride sticks to their well established template with this EP. Although the band seems to have sped up their riffs and songs in general, otherwise there are no haunting riffs, no eerie slow drums that pierce the atmosphere. The keyboards are slid within the rhythm section and shine through on the last track ‘A Purse of Gold and Stars’. This is a good-riffy EP. Not that the riffs in themselves are spectacular, they just stick to an essential My Dying Bride sound. However, the guitars sound absolutely spectacular, the tone isn’t too distorted or tuned down to the depths. It’s a fine balance to carry the band forward. Aaron’s vocals add a brilliant layer on the top, no complaints there. The EP is a fantastic display of the band’s musicianship.

To add to it, the EP has been mixed really well, there is not a dull moment. The opening track is a 10 minute hymn to the darkness, the band puts their best foot forward and sound their coherent best. Propelled by Aaron’s vocals and fantastic rhythm section, this song alone makes sufficient case to get a physical copy of this release. The guitars aren’t muddy, they’re deep, easy and relatively slow in comparison. The band has also released a video for this and that it in itself speaks volumes of where the band currently are. I’m delighted to hear this and I’m positive every fan of Peaceville sound will definitely appreciate this track in entirety.

‘A Purse of Gold and Stars’ should be called out for invoking the beautiful atmosphere of “Sear Me MCMXCIII”. Albeit this track feels like is a gentle reflection off a nice quiet stream. This song is a fantastic look into My Dying Bride’s phenomenal sense of songwriting. A slow, reflective composition that embraces the shallow atmosphere and to add to the effect are brilliant vocals. These are the tracks where the band springs to life. No matter how well they weave their rhythm to the dark atmosphere, it’s these gentle pieces where the band is at their best. It’s a relatively short EP clocking at 22 minutes and it does leave you wanting for more.

From the memorable yet basic riffs on the title track ‘Macabre Cabaret’ to the more doomy ‘A Secret Kiss’ where the entire band is at their best, there are no complaints. Infact ‘A Secret Kiss’ takes us back to the band’s heavy sound which is an absolute pleasure. I see this EP as a good companion to their stronger albums. There are no identify problems or sudden departures from the established. It’s a wonderful release on this whole. Do get a copy! This is a good display of My Dying Bride’s agility and I for one am glad to hear this release this year.

Label: Nuclear Blast

Of Feather And Bone – Sulphuric Disintegration (2020)

Released on the 13th of November, 2020 by Profound Lore Records.

Luckily there is a post on the Metal Archives forum that describes my feeling towards this release with an uncanny sense of accuracy – Link

One of the many bands on Profound Lore/Relapse/Prosthetic that I listen to and think, are they really doing anything unique? The single is pretty solid and ripping, but at the same time it feels like this style is reaching Cascadian Black Metal in 2012 levels of oversaturation. Maybe I’m missing something but it just feels like there are a thousand bands in the US alone doing this exact same thing with only the tiniest differences (OSDM but fast! OSDM but super slow! OSDM but slightly more technical!) and it’s starting to wear me out.

By – narsilianshard

You know what, the atmosphere is great, the execution is fantastic, the production is kickass, then why am I not feeling anything more after the initial euphoria died down? It’s perhaps the same thing done to death before and is now being done slightly better. Make no mistake, I would see this band on stage without a second thought because this is clearly music to be enjoyed in a pub with friends. Otherwise, everything sounds alright but nothing seems memorable. Allow me to rectify that line, the drumming and the vocals on this album are top notch! Really well done. We’ve heard the riffs a hundred times before, nothing too interesting to wake me up or push me aside. The leads are few and far between which give the occasional kick of life to the songs. Otherwise, it’s a fine album. It’s put together well, the musicians clearly know what they’re doing but it’s not doing much for me. I’ll however definitely go see them live, they seem like a fun live band.


Body of Proof by Sophie Ellis and Darrell Brown

I’ve just finished this Podcast and it tries and succeeds in adding in some vital questions into the disappearance of Suzanne Pilley and the eventual conviction of David Gilroy. It’s pretty well done throwing in multiple angles of the case itself and highlights potential gaps that may have been overlooked. Based on and only on what the podcast states, it’s clear some angles need to be immediately looked into by the authorities –

  1. Time loss – Although Fox Mulder would chew this up, this is something that clearly needs to be re-checked
  2. SP9 & SP10 – Well if the quality of the evidence is as bad as what this podcast makes it out to be, how have these been admissible in the first place?
  3. Blue Car – What’s with the blue car that was mentioned? It made an illegal entry onto a road and it still wasn’t identified? That’s strange.
  4. 7 mins – What is the minimum recorded time to perform an act of violence? Is 7 mins sufficient to do what Gilroy has been convicted of doing?
  5. Re-surfacing – Who was this person who identified Pilley post a year? What caused the delay in talking to her and investigating her recollection?

I suppose on the whole, it’s a well produced Podcast but it definitely lacks the punch. Non UK audience could find it slightly tuff to follow. If you have some time on your hands, give this a go.

This is the ten year anniversary page on Suzzanne Pilley’s disappearance – https://www.scotland.police.uk/what-s-happening/news/2020/may/suzanne-pilley-disappearance-ten-year-anniversary/

Dying Embrace (Ind) – Era of Tribulation [2012]

Originally published at Metal-Archives on 22nd April, 2013 [Link]

Dying Embrace are the pioneers of Indian metal scene, having been around in various avatars, they’ve delivered most intriguing forms of metal music through the various projects they’ve been involved in. Era of Tribulation is a compilation of everything that the band had put out in their earlier active years, needless to say this is indeed a piece of Indian music history, the band is currently active and plays shows in their hometown, Bangalore to thunderous responses every single time. Coming back to the compilation, the guitarist Jim is a force of nature, he has written some really unorthodox riffs, not only do they complement the monstrous vocal madness that Vik is but also they build up the whole atmosphere with an underlying old school rawness which to say the least is spectacular.

One can see a lot of work has been done putting together this cd/LP, this has been very carefully crafted with attention being given to the finest details, the cover art in specific has caught my attention, very detailed intricate artwork that gives the listener to the inherent doom this release carries. The inlay and the thought that has gone into every single aspect of this release is brilliant. The inlay has documented the band at what they do and enjoy best and in black and white, giving an insight into this band’s glorious past. I have the LP and boy! Armée de la Mort Records has done a fantastic job of putting it all together, the parent label Legion of Death had released the band’s 2002 EP Misanthrope. All in all the finished product with the music together is a veritable feast for the eyes and ears.

Dying Embrace are a primitive Death/Doom band, mind you I say primitive because this band is muddy, dirty, rough and to put it all in one word, old school to the bone, lets put together Autopsy worship, a portion of Trouble’s doom glove to get the gears moving and finally the relentlessness of Bolt Thrower to churn out all these together on stage, put all these up in a portrait of a toxic degenerative atmosphere, that’s the band right there for you, as much as I’d like to chip in adjectives, this band is simply the old school fans home, an interesting thing to point out here being, these are the same folks who put out Gruesome Malady’s Infected with Virulent Seed, so you see the pendulum here swings to the other edgy shore of melancholy.

The musicianship on this compilation is fantastic, it’s free-flowing, specially with Jim, there is no plan here, it’s just a gateway to what is an often path into an intricate spiral, the bassist Jai Kumar has been elemental in providing the edge to their sound, unlike the regular bassists one can hear the bass guitar’s frets have been traversed up/down alongside the guitars to give in depth to Jim’s riffage onslaught. The vocalist sure has the Italian horror influence, I think that should explain it all, unlike the textbook doom vocalists, Vik clearly leans onto death growls in places which fit in beautifully to the music. What clearly differentiates this band, their music is the spirit behind it all, the band is clearly enjoying every single second of this often muddy, leaning to an old Swedish production sound creating a cloud of dark force that I thoroughly enjoy, for example I’ll pick up the most death metal sounding track on this compilation “Degeneration”, this track is home, an absolute bliss for the old school fan out there where the band is relentless and gives it all and it totally rubs off onto the listener. Doom/Death is but a mere tag, the band clearly wants to do one thing and one thing alone, annihilate and annihilate you into the abyss, that’s how I describe them, a band that would draw you into the abyss and you’d gladly do so giving into their madness. All in all a proud moment for the Indian Metal Scene.

Blog Post #2

This is still a test post to check how the posts are being published, although I have a fair idea about wordpress, setting up of pages and the links within is proving to be quite a pain.