Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Brodequin - Festival of Death (2001)

Since a new Brodequin album has been announced, which already may be one of the happiest pieces of news of the year, we gladly dive back to their back catalog of excruciatingly brutal early 00’s albums. 

While I think nothing can beat Instruments of Torture for me, as it has the catchiest and filthiest tracks, they kept ripping and banging for all their albums, including the follow-up Festival of Death in 2001. 

When I think of the peak of brutal death metal, I think of an era up to 2005, and bands like Brodequin, Disgorge, MorticianPyaemia and so forth. This is the stuff that is sincerely heavy, without being ridiculous or pretentious, or even abusing slams / grooves / overplayed hardcore with gutturals. 

Ugliness is the word of the day, and Festival of Death is for the ears that have the capability to acquire it. 

Definitely one of the most intense records I have ever listened to, just a thick, big, 700 kg bear mauling your face. Festival of Death straightens the soul. Hopefully the new one is as sick. Listen to their other stuff too. [4.5 out of 5 - Brilliant]

Knoxville, Tennessee, US | Unmatched Brutality Records

Track listing:

1. Mazzatello
2. Judas Cradle
3. Trial by Ordeal
4. Torches of Nero
5. Vivum Excoriari
6. Lake of the Dead
7. Blood of the Martyr
8. Gilles De Rais
9. Flow of Maggots
10. Bronze Bowl
11. Auto De Fa

Total runtime | 00:30:53

Monday, January 29, 2024

Marduk - Nightwing (1998)

Marduk’s first part of the Blood Fire Death trilogy, a three album tribute to Bathory’s monumental album with the same name released in 1988, had the theme of vampirism and “blood” in general.

While already having fairly amazing albums in their catalog, the band added yet another really solid work to the mix, which I get the feeling is a bit overshadowed by other works. Still, it is essential when thinking of the first era of the band, and has all the characteristic thunderous riffing and landmark vocals from Legion, the harsh atmosphere and the overall fast paced, norsecore body of work. 

Marduk always put one or two slower tracks in every album since and these exist in Nightwing too, for the case of this album they are also highlights (unlike in others). The lyrics are great and the concept fits them a lot, maybe even more than the obsession with warlike topics and machinery. 

Nonetheless, “Bloodtide”, “Slay the Nazarene”, the self-titled and “Kaziklu Bey (The Lord Impaler)” are bangers. On the other side, “Dreams of Blood and Iron” and “Deme Quaden Thyrane” are more atmospheric and add the needed flavor. [3.5 out of 5 - Great]

Norrköping, Sweden | Osmose Productions

Track listing:

1. Preludium
2. Bloodtide (XXX)
3. Of Hell's Fire
4. Slay the Nazarene
5. Nightwing
6. Dreams of Blood and Iron
7. Dracole Wayda
8. Kaziklu Bay (The Lord Impaler)
9. Deme Quaden Thyrane
10. Anno Domini 1476

Total runtime | 00:47:30

Friday, January 26, 2024

Pessimist - Slaughtering the Faithful (2002)

I would not say that I like this band’s debut that much but it’s been a while since I listened to it. However, their last album Slaughtering the Faithful from 2002 is a very decent mix of some Morbid Angel / Deicide riffing and vocals, also sharing elements of Diabolic or later mid-era Broken Hope, with strongly anti-religious lyrics and no breaks through the album except a short acoustic introduction. Drums are a bit repetitive and funnily sounding, but if you’re into aggressive, hateful death metal that pulls no punches, Slaughtering the Faithful is definitely for you. The great cover, titles and logo also help nurture the sensitive taste buds of the pure death metal fan, and Pessimist definitely succeed in being a band that you know only if you’re truly into it. I don’t think the tracks themselves are impressive, but in a way everything is consistent, even though some more memorability would work in their favor. Some great solos too (e.g. in “Stripped of Immortality”). Approved. [3.5 out of 5 - Great]

California, United States | Lost Disciple Records
Website | Listen
Track listing:

1. Requiem
2. Baptized in Blasphemy
3. Summoned to Suffer
4. Embodiment of Impurity
5. Slaughtering the Faithful
6. Infernal Abyss
7. Metempsychosis
8. Resurrected Torment
9. Stripped of Immortality

Total runtime | 00: 35:31

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Brutal Truth - Sounds of the Animal Kingdom (1997)

It’s unfortunate to say this since this album has maybe one of my favourite grindcore related openers ever, which is a phrase that I find myself repeating in my head when I generally listen to suboptimal music: still not loud enough, still not fast enough… As much as Brutal Truth is not your typical band of the genre, and Sounds of the Animal Kingdom was definitely another bold creation, it’s a bit all over the place, with damaged production and not nearly as good as the first two masterpieces from the band. The 22-minute mayhem at the end was kinda unnecessary and numerous tracks are skippable, yet there’s a few really amazing riffs and sections around, but you have to find them. I dig the Marvel-like cover, the title and the first three tracks. Then it’s a hit or miss. [2.5 out of 5 - Average]

Release: September 23rd, 1997
Label: Relapse Records

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Abigor - Taphonomia Aeternitatis (2023)

Abigor's latest release, initially distributed solely through physical formats, pays homage to the old school while presenting a remarkably forward-thinking album, arguably their most ambitious work to date. Demonstrating remarkable consistency, the album echoes strong influences from Deathspell Omega, embracing orthodox black metal perspectives with unhinged vocals, intricate songwriting, and theatrical delivery. The inclusion of haunting female clean vocals adds an eerie dimension to the already terrifying straightforward black metal elements. This substantial and intricate release demands repeated listens, revealing itself as a true grower. While some might identify filler moments in certain sections, these nuances contribute to the overall spectacle. Esteemed by hardcore fans, it surpasses their post-Quintessence works, marking a compelling evolution in Abigor's musical trajectory. [3.5 out of 5 - Great]

Release: December 21st, 2023
Label: World Terror Committee

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Hauntologist - Hollow (2024)

Mgła has teased the possibility of two more releases this year, leaving fans eagerly anticipating what they (and KSM) have in store. Meanwhile, Darkside's collaboration with The Fall (Over the Voids...Owls Woods Graves), under the moniker Hauntologist, unveils an album that sits at the crossroads. Half of it resonates with the familiar semi-decent Mgła vibes, showcasing their signature style. The other half ventures into the realm of experimental post-rock and post-metal, offering a unique soundscape that is, well, okay. While uncertain about revisiting this release, especially considering the remarkable capabilities of these musicians, it still manages to strike a chord. Hauntologist's offering is a blend of the expected and the exploratory, creating an album that, although not an instant classic, holds its ground as an intriguing deviation. [3 out of 5 - Good]

Release: January 8th, 2024
Label: No Solace