Category Archives: Death Metal

Mayhem – Deathcrush (Review)

Released back in 1987, before lineup changes led to a chain of events that would make them infamous, Mayhem’s debut EP Deathcrush achieved notoriety on the strength of its music alone. It’s 18 minutes of metal that’s as primal and abrasive as it gets. With neither black or death metal codified as separate musical styles yet, Deathcrush is a mercurial mix of both. The rumbling riffs and crude lyrics (“her guts were boiling out of her butt”) lean towards the fledgling death genre. But the necro production, bulldozer guitar tones and punk mentality follow in the footsteps of early Bathory, Hellhammer, Sodom et al: a course that would eventually to lead to the birth of black metal in the band’s native Norway. The howling, stubbed-toe vocals of Maniac, the harsh Quorthon-like vocals of Messiah and the spooky unease created by the avant-garde instrumentals Silvester Anfang and Weird (Manheim) all add to the palpable sense of darkness and evil that make Deathcrush a crucial evolutionary step in the black metal story. Pure Fucking Armageddon from start to finish. And the band was just getting started…

HMO Rating: 4.5 Out Of 5

[Mayhem – Chainsaw Gutsfuck]

Paradise Lost – Lost Paradise (Review)

Paradise Lost – Lost Paradise (1990)

The punishingly bleak death metal on Paradise Lost’s 1990 debut Lost Paradise makes it the odd-one-out in a discography more renowned for gothic melody. But the five teenagers had only been together about a year before being faced with the challenge of recording their first record and, despite not having found their voice yet, they make a pretty decent fist of it. A lack of songcraft means it all kind of mushes together but they already have their doleful mix of riff and lead guitar down, there’s the occasional decent hook (“where is your God now?”), and the whole thing has a entrancingly subterranean atmosphere. And Lost Paradise has proven pretty influential in its own right as one of the earliest albums to slow death metal down to a miserable crawl. The Yorkshiremen would do much better with subsequent releases but fans of meat and potatoes death/doom could do a lot worse than check this out.

HMO Rating: 3 Out Of 5

[Paradise Lost – Rotting Misery]

The Antichrist Imperium – Volume II: Every Tongue Shall Praise Satan (Review)

The Antichrist Imperium – Volume II: Every Tongue Shall Praise Satan (2018 – CD Version)

The Devil rides out once more as The Antichrist Imperium follow up their 2015 debut with this second volume of unrelenting Satan worship. Of all the members of the sprawling Akercocke family tree, The Antichrist Imperium’s death metal sticks closest to the parent band’s legacy of progressive, debauched, blast-furnace goat homage.

And for the first three tracks of Volume II: Every Tongue Shall Praise Satan, blast-furnace goat homage is exactly what you get. A bit of diminishing returns starts to creep in here but once the album settles into a more adventurous mode with the sumptous Liturgy Of The Iconoclast/Blood Sacrifice it never looks back. Golgothan Heiros Gamos is occult ecstasy and Sermon Of Small Faith is an epic, joyous closer. Top marks to guitarist Matt Wilcock and drummer David Gray for whirling like dervishes throughout and the twin vocalists Sam Bean and Sam Loynes conjure up an increasingly captivating vocal chemistry.

It’s great stuff so fans of blasphemous and seductive evil metal should pee on a pentagram, leave it for three days, and pray for a third outing. Everyone else? Salt and mercury… effective against the dark forces.

HMO Rating: 4 Out Of 5

The Antichrist Imperium – Volume II: Every Tongue Shall Praise Satan (2018 – Vinyl Version)

 

New Releases – 28th September 2018

New releases. That is why you are here.

Anaal Nathrakh – A New Kind Of Horror

I was a big fan of AN’s last album The Whole Of The Law so I was looking forward to this one. Unfortunately I wasn’t that fussed by new song Forward! so I decided to ignore all advance tracks and just wait to hear the album in full. It has put a wee dampener on my excitement though… but not enough to stop me buying it.

A Forest Of Stars – Grave Mounds And Grave Mistakes

I first heard these Victorian black metal thespians in a documentary about the UK scene and I’ve wanted to get into them ever since. But so far, I want to like them more than I actually do. I’ve tried this new album and I still don’t quite get it. If you do get it then the handcrafted box edition looks very snazzy.

Horrendous – Idol

Modern death metal mavens Horrendous return with their fourth album. I’ve only heard their last album Anareta which was pretty good but got drowned out among all the other releases of the time. Might happen again with this one cause there’s so much coming out now. But we’ll see.

Cinderella – The Mercury Years

And last but certainly not least, the classic Cinderella studio albums get some long overdue reissue love. I’m not that familiar with the fourth album but the first three are golden. And there’s also bonus tracks on the albums and an extra disc of live tracks and B-sides. And all for just £20?! Ewwww! Ewwww yeah!

And that’s about the lot for this week. See you next week for more new release antics.

New Releases – 14th September 2018

It’s time for more new releases. In today’s special themed post I’ll be overusing the word “legends”.

Deicide – Overtures Of Blasphemy

The satanic, squirrel-shooting death metal legends are back with another new album. Not heard the whole thing but songs like Seal The Tomb Below sound great. Got me thinking this might be an old-school victory along the lines of last year’s Immolation album. And Overtures Of Blasphemy also comes hot on the heels of news that Hammerheart Records are lining up reissues of the band’s back cat too… good times! Praise Jesus!

Abhorrence – Megalohydrothalassophobic EP

The legends of filthy Finnish death return with a surprise new EP. It’s their first new music since 1991 and seems to be a subterranean, Lovecraftian affair about the catastophic ecological end of the human race. Typical. You wait years for a new Abhorrence release and then the catastrophic ecological end of the human race happens just as you get your hands on it.

Virgin Steele – Virgin Steele and Guardians Of The Flame

Cool new reissues on CD and vinyl of the first two Virgin Steele albums with Jack Starr on guitarr. Not the best stuff these legends ever put out but still well worth a listen and they’ve been out of print for a while too so if you don’t have them already, now’s your chance! Lots of bonus tracks but I think I’ve got it all on previous editions already. But it’s neither here nor there cause these are getting bought again anyway.

Twisted Sister – You Can’t Stop Rock N’ Roll

Legends legends legends. Deluxe reissue of the band’s second album with some bonus tracks added and a live bonus disc of the 1983 Marquee show too. The Marquee show has been released in the past so I don’t think there’s anything new here for diehards but I don’t have the Marquee show so I’ll bite. The album and the Marquee show disc are getting separate LP releases too for all you vinyl-loving legends out there.

Elsewhere, Blasphemy’s 1989 demo Blood Upon The Altar gets spruced up and reissued by those legends over at Nuclear War Now! Conan’s Existential Void Guardian should satisfy anyone that can’t go a whole week without some new doom metal. And there’s even a new Uriah Heep album! Legends all.

But that’s really about the lot for this week. Happy hunting and hope you all have an awesome weekend full of exciting new music.

Now Playing: Memoriam – The Silent Vigil

Memoriam – The Silent Vigil (2018)

I initially thought Memoriam’s second album The Silent Vigil was a weaker repeat of their debut album 2017’s For The Fallen but I’ve been drawn back to it a lot in the last couple of weeks and it’s clicking with me now. The authentic old-school death metal sound is a thrill (even if the inconsistent production from song to song can be a bit distracting) and I just love the whole world-weary character of the music, from Karl Willetts’ weathered, crusty vocals to Scott Fairfax’s earthy, war-torn riffs. It’s not quite as memorable or as well-executed as the debut but, like the ominous tree-thing on the cover, it’s a grower. There’s such a deep and powerful vibe here, I know there will be times when this will be the only album that will do. And when there are a gazillion extreme metal albums competing for your attention every week that’s no mean feat. Pay your respects.

CD Edition – with bonus track

New Releases – 7th September 2018

A shitload of new stuff out today so enough of my yakkin’, whaddya say? Let’s boogie!

Allfather – And All Will Be Desolation

You can’t call your album And All Will Be Desolation unless you’re going to reduce everything to rubble. And Allfather’s second album is precisely the kind of bruising, burly, bearded, fuck off racket that will do precisely that. Blackened sludgy goodness for fans of High On Fire, The King Is Blind, old Mastodon.

The Skull – The Endless Road Turns Dark

The ex-Trouble outfit returns with their second album of psychedelic doom. I’ve not kept up with all the Trouble and ex-Trouble activity but I found The Skull’s new track Breathing Underwater pretty compelling. So I’d like to check this out. Not to be confused with the much-loved Bob Kulick band Skull.

Satan – Cruel Magic

Returning NWOBHMers Satan are back with their third post-reformation album. Not too sure about the new song The Doomsday Clock. Hope the album will be a bit better… they get extra points for the brill album cover though. And for being called Satan.

Saxon – Thunderbolt (Tour Edition)

Saxon reissue their latest album with a couple of bonus live tracks of Thunderbolt and Nosferatu (The Vampire’s Waltz). Not quite enough of a bonus to make me want to buy it again. I imagine there will be another live album before long anyway. There always is with Saxon.

Fart jokes ahoy! as members of Asphyx, Autopsy and Hail Of Bullets team up in Siege Of Power and release their death/doom debut Warning Blast. Exciting on paper but not too fussed by what I’ve heard. And there are also new albums from Clutch, Cauldron, Krisiun, Suicidal Tendencies and on and on and on. What were all these bands thinking bringing their albums out on the same day as Allfather? Stupid tossers.

Happy hunting everyone! See you next week for more new release shenanigans.