Archive for black metal

Cannibal Corpse / Eaten Back To Life

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 60000007-04:00 12 by marky7235

Eaten Back to Life

Eaten Back to Life is the debut album by American death metal band Cannibal Corpse.[1] It was released on 17 August 1990 through Metal Blade Records. The album was banned in Germany (censored versions were not available,[2] but the ban was revoked in June 2006) and other countries because of the violent cover and the extreme nature of the lyrics.[citation needed] Glen Benton of Deicide and Francis H. Howard of Opprobrium (then known as Incubus) perform back-up vocals on “Mangled” and “A Skull Full of Maggots”.

The following statement can be found in the inlay of this album: “This album is dedicated to the memory of Alfred Packer, the first American cannibal (R.I.P.)”

This album has stronger influences of thrash metal than their future releases, as well as a slightly varied vocal style. Their trademark style wasn’t present until their following release Butchered at Birth.

The Analysis:

Shredded Humans—-right out of the gate, there is a classic sound to this release that allows the die-hard fan to know whom they are listening to. The vocal is not quite as deep and the guitar squeals are not as present………in fact…you can actually catch a word or two on this debut release. There are nice bass related downshifts……the band is discovering it’s way…this is fantastic…the very beginning!!!!!

Edible Autopsy—-With a much more thrash oriented feel, this almost makes me think of classic Testament…although it is a bit more chaotic. The vocal is so much more accessible on this debut release….and the future is clearly laid out in the sound of this release….it really gives you a feel as to where the band is going. the production is full of tin…..but they all start there right? The intent is so very clear though….the promise of the future is in cement with this release…this is a collectors dream!!!!!!

Put To Death—-Coming out of a split second of silence and building and building in intensity, this is a remarkable track. This is almost classic CC…the vocals are raw and rampaging………the energy is extraordinary…the only difference is the literal so-so version of the music that is presented……but it evolves!!!!!!

Mangled—-The song title matches the intensity of the song perfectly……this is relentless and is the future sound of the band. It is almost impossible to catch even a single word of the song…it comes at you like an Afghan bullet brigade….but the intent and feeling is clear…this is was new and shocking….this was the future for every band that came after in the Florida scene…….and there is none other more known than CC!!!!!

Scattered Remains—-Much more drudge driven at the onset, the drums are incredible on this track…in fact the entire rhythm section is awesome…..the vocal enters and transforms the entire track into mayhem….but the music never looses the focus…this is so much more thrash driven than later releases…….incredible history right here!!!!

Born In A Casket—-Full of mangled guitars and an intense thrash delivery, this track is one of my favorite on this release……there are huge chord changes and musical shifts that really got me…I listen to this over and over. The vocal is as expected……but it is the music that is so powerful on this song….the shift changes only gives us a glimpse of the future,….this is incredible!!!!

Rotting Head—-From the onset, this is much more Metal than Death…….until the vocal….the voice is huge on this track……there is barely a word you can catch….but the intensity is evident. I love the downshift in the music and the super talent it takes to speed up…slow down…almost stop and allow for the bass,……this is incredible……..from the onset, this band was a legend!!!!

The Undead Will Feast—-Nothing remarkable…….deveastating and unrelenting… you would expect….the vocal is almost barking punk rock…..would love to hear the band do this circa 2012!!!!!!

Bloody Chunks—-The growl at the onset of this song sets the entire freakin tone….this is so fast and convoluted…you never catch a drift od lyrics…all you get is energy……..wanting to throw yourself in the pit and celebrate the embrace of pure Grind…..

Skull Full Of Maggots—-At the onset, this almost feels like ther are two sets of drums playing at the same time……the trademark guitar squeals make their entrance here…..and the double vocal is incredible….thanks Mr. Benton…no one does is better…..there are incredible down shifts in the song that are key to the delivery……still one of my faves on this release.

Buried In The Backyard—-An EXTRAORDINARY Instrumental!!!!

Born In A Casket—-And indeed, George revisits this classic in a live setting….adding a brutality and range you never thought possible…….the live insertion of this is just brilliant. This man knows this catalog…..and the drums on this track…live……are incredible!!!!!

**** out of 5







Wolves In The Throne Room / Celestial Lineage

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 140000009-04:00 12 by marky7235

Celestial Lineage

Wolves in the Throne Room is a black metal band based in Olympia, Washington.

Their sound is influenced by Scandinavian black metal, doom metal, dark ambient, crust punk, and folk music. WITTR has often cited American post-metal band Neurosis as a key inspiration because their music “operates on a deep and intense mythic level.”[1] They have also mentioned synthesizer artists like Popol Vuh as an influence.[2] According to the band, one of the founding concepts of WITTR is to channel the “energies” of the Pacific Northwest’s landscape into musical form.[3]

The band’s lyrics focus on themes of Apocalypse, transformation and modern society’s lost connection with the natural world.

The Analysis:

Thuja Magus Imperion—-Opening the release with an epic 12 minute track, the band sets the tone and leaves you anxious for the onslaught that you know is about to occur. by using ambient sounds and gentle female chanting, the anticipation level only becomes more anxiety producing. This is wonderfully beautiful at the onset…causing me a momentary panic that i had been presented with the wrong CD!!!! Come the 3 minute mark, the sound of the band begins to slowly emerge and you know that you are in the right place. the deep tone and the intense delivery continues to grow and grow as the seconds pass and you are once again firmly planted in what is possibly one of the best Scandinavian sounding American bands to ever emerge. This reminds me of classic Emperor so much….but all the while still maintaing a magic melodic sound that was missing from much of the music from the afore-mentioned band. This is brutal, melodic, orchestrated…dark as hell and just plain masterful!!!

Permanent Changes In Consciousness—-This short interlude only serves to keep you off-balance and allow you respite from the heavy darkness of this bands music…the chants are magnificent…the slight crackle and pop in the backdrop is like listening to an old favorite record. This is brilliant…the mood changes are just enough to cause you a pleasant nausea!

Subterranean Initiation—-With no introduction, the onslaught occurs from the very first note of this song…leaving you breathing heavily by the end of the first minute of this 7 minute track. The vocal is incredible…full of puke and regurgitation, anger and vehemence. this is noisy, heavily layered and delivered with a slight underproduced sound that makes me smile. this is just as the dr. ordered….go and have some fun…this is a freakin’ vacation!!!!

Rainbow Illness—-Another slight interlude designed to keep you off-balance and give you a moment to breath, this only builds up your stamina for the next three epic tracks that will leave you breathless and orgasmic. This is largely composed of ambient sounds and layered textures…but still brilliant!

Woodland Cathedral—-Beginning rather sedate, you can feel the underlying edge to the track despite it though. This is magical stuff…..I find it almost impossible to believe that this band is born and bred in the US of A……Wow!!! The gentle effects that run through the backdrop of the song only sets the tone for the rest of the release. The female enchantress returns and allows you to relax….almost settling yourself in to a gentle Enya style track…but have no fear…the true mayhem is not far from what we have come to expect…this is just designed to whet your buds….you thirsty yet?

Astral Blood—-Returning to the more familiar dark aggression, the surprising thing for me on this track is how much more in front of the mix the drums are…nice! This still sounds so Scandinavian….almost like the production is MEANT to sound subpar…to remind us of the glory days of the past Black Metal giants. The vocal is demonic and angry….driven and full of vitriol. This is just brilliant. The track…at almost 11 minutes is full of various movements, moods and effects…but comes together like a masterful Mashed Potato and Gravy dish. This is filling…but still leaves you wanting more…fantastic!!!!

Prayer Of Transformation—-Rounding out the release with yet another epic track……zeroing in at 11 minutes long, this band has no problem with jamming and presenting many diffeent moods all in one song. theffedback and reverb on this song are incredible…giving the entire thing an even darker feeling than anything else thus far heard on this particular release. This is huge, epic and full of a Sabbath like doom that takes you from where you are and lands you in the cold and dark areas of Europe you wish you could be….all of this from a Washington State based band. This is just incredible….I love the darkness, the aggression that comes out of nowhere and the vocal that sounds like it was ripped from the throat of others. Can’t wait to hear more from this band!!!!

**** out of 5

FleshGod Apocalypse / Agony

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 90000009-04:00 12 by marky7235


Fleshgod Apocalypse was formed during 2007 and recorded their first demo the same year. The demo was re-released the following year on a split CD with fellow Italian bands Septycal Gorge, Modus Delicti, and Onirik. Fleshgod Apocalypse then signed to Neurotic Records. In early 2008 the band toured Europe, supporting bands like Behemoth, Origin, Dying Fetus, Hate Eternal, Suffocation, Napalm Death and many more.

In May 2008, the band recorded its first full-length album, Oracles. In December of that year the band decided to part ways with Neurotic Records and signed with Willowtip Records, who released Oracles in 2009.

Shortly after the release of Oracles in 2009, the band had a lineup change, with a new member, Tommasso Ricardi taking over vocals and rhythm guitar, which were previously handled by Francesco Paoli, as Paoli took over the drums at this time.

In 2010, Fleshgod Apocalypse released a new EP entitled Mafia. It includes four new tracks and a cover of the track “Blinded by Fear” by At the Gates.

Until 2010, current Fleshgod Apocalypse drummer Francesco Paoli was simultaneously in his former band Hour of Penance doing vocals, as well as drumming in Fleshgod Apocalypse. Also in 2010, another new member, Francesco Ferrini, was added to the band to play keyboards. Ferrini had previously played session keyboards on Oracles and Mafia.

In May 2011, the band signed a worldwide deal with German record label Nuclear Blast Records.[1] The band has set the release date for their forthcoming second album, entitled Agony, as August 9, 2011.[2] The iTunes version of Agony also includes a cover of the track Heartwork by Carcass.

Fleshgod Apocalypse is part of the 2011 Summer Slaughter Tour in North America alongside co-headliners Whitechapel and The Black Dahlia Murder. The band is set to go on tour in the US with Polish band Decapitated in late 2011.

The Analysis:

Temptation—-With typical ‘technical’ flair, the band opens this release with a mysterious and dark musical intro that seems to set the tone for the onslaught that will occur over the next nine songs…..the intro…a bit drawn out, is intense and full of build-up none the less……leading into……

The Hypocrisy—-Once the said onslaught occurs, there is no stopping the barrage of sound that comes through your headphones. the drums are as good as anything that Borgir has ever produced! The sound of the band is huge…with my only complaint being the inability of the vocal…but the intent is clear. there are some fantastic clean vocals mixed through the song and a few female or really high male vocals that makes this one of my new very favorite bands….go Italy!!!!

The Imposition—-The musical delivery on this release is so intense and grand…..the high spikes from the keyboards are magnificent!!! The vocal is as dark as it can possibly get and the drums are absolute in layered noise and speed. this is like a walk in mayhem that somehow leaves my eardrums full of blood and a joker like smile on my face…..BRILLIANT!!!!

The Deceit—-Relentless in delivery, the drum assault on this CD never lets up for a single moment….impressivly enough, nor does the underlying melody of the whole damn thing. I really love this…calling it my newest favorite band in this genre at the moment. This has such promise…the overlays on the vocals are incredible…the higher pitched voice makes this record complete. This is practised and delivered with integrity…I am truly in love…again…..

The Violation—-From the onset, this track again has a huge sense of melody despite the chaos that runs underneath the entire damn thing. The vocal enters and you are transported to a cold and desolate place…ummmm…..not Italy!!!! The drums are just incredible and remain the star of the band…with the keys being second in command. this is stellar…the clean vocal gives me a massive erection….placed perfectly in the placement of the song and seemingly higher with the intensity of each song….this is incredible!!!!

The Egoism—-Another of those massive 6+ minute tracks, this is layered in both noise and huge orchestration. The chord changes are so practised, it is almost hard to believe that this band has not been around for 10 years. I wish the vocal was a little less intense, but none the less, the clean vocals save every song from becoming just like everyone else. this is a huge almost operatic piece of music…the drums seem cleaner and clearer and the keys provide a backdrop that set the mood for the entire composition. this is stellar stuff…don’t miss this band if you can help it!

The Betrayal—-Maniacal from the onset, this is layered with huge sounds upon huge sounds! The keyboards are an intricate part of this song and this band…right next to the drums which are almost superhuman. The vocal is again, a bit to deep and barked…almost impossible to understand…but the energy is contagious and will keep me charged for days. This is incredible….when all of the instruments are in synch and playing at once, the band literally produces that ‘wall of sound’ that you hear so much about. the bass guitar is ignored but noticed by me…it would not be the same band without it. I love this shit…..a pure barrage of garbage that sits in my living room with no smell at all……I am in love!!!!

The Forsaking—-Built on riffs from the previous track, it is almost impossible to tell when one song becomes the other…until the break occurs. The vocal that happens at the beginning of the song is much more to my lkiking…..less deep and more menancing…somewhat distorted and delivered in the back of the mix rather than in your forehead. this is a much more technical track…the music is the star of the show and allows the band to really shine…..this is stellar!!!!

The Oppression—-Returning to full on throttle Death, this is a track that i keep playing over and over and over. the energy is incredible…the chord changes happen on the turn of a dime. the drums are pounding my cerebellum like a hammer and the blood courses through my temples at an alarming rate. this is fantastic. The clean vocals ride in the back of the song and takes it from incredible to magnificent. This is just beyond words for me!!!!

Agony—-Ending the release in a ver surprising way, the beginning of this track is stark and almost borders on beautiful…leaving me even more impressed than I was to begin with. the piano that introduces this song is of orchestrated magnificence…they have a hell of a keyboard player with this one…you guys better keep this guy!!! This is just incredible…showing talent, diversity and a bit of indulgence…..but a great cornerpiece to introduce the band with. This is pure magic…….

***** out of 5 [!!!!!]

Macabre / Grim Scary Tales

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 290000006-04:00 12 by marky7235

Grim Scary Tales

Macabre is an extreme metal band from Illinois. They were formed in 1985 in Chicago, Illinois, and have never had a line-up change. They blend thrash metal, death metal, and grindcore (sometimes with nursery rhymes and folk melodies) to form their own unique style dubbed murder metal. Lyrically, they have a strong focus on serial killers, mass murderers and a touch of sick gore humour. Most lyrics are based upon true stories and are about real infamous personalities. The content of the lyrics is historically accurate, and band members actually have known and met with convicted serial killers such as John Wayne Gacy on a personal level. They also have a side project called the Macabre Minstrels that play acoustic camp fire songs. Their current label is Decomposed Records.

Macabre’s music was strongly influenced by US and UK hardcore, grindcore, and death metal acts, ranging from The Accüsed and Cryptic Slaughter to Possessed and Napalm Death. Macabre’s sickening sense of humour alienated casual metal listeners. However, it helped to gain a small but strong cult status among gore metal fans.

The Analysis:

Locusta—-This is so familiar and nice to hear after such a long time with no new material. The sound is consistent…the swirling and heavy lead guitars…the high hats on the drums….and that damn voice…which still manages to sound as demented as hell. The energy is incredible…the leads are wire filled and remind me of classic King Diamond. Nice!!!

Nero’s Inferno—-Returning to the campy sound that this band is known for, this takes of the fun of a campfire song….resplendenat with almost theatrical vocals. This is such great fun…until you really listen to the lyrics and then you are led down a road questioning your sanity since you found such a song so much fun. This is classic Macabre…..I would expect nothing less!!!!

The Black Knight—-Taking on the subject of the last Cradle release, the band delivers an aggressive yet still fun track that conjures up the darkest days of Giles De Rais…..the guitar solos on this track are incredible…the bass is masterful and the drums have a nice share of cow bell sounds. the voice is deeper in tone, but still brings about a fun sound…until you really listen!!!!

Dracula—-Deep and bass heavy as you would expect, there are some chords in this song that are just massive. The drums, combined with the bass provide all the darkness you need. The vocal enters with a demented delivery…taking you to an even darker place. This is pretty phenomenal…I’m always so impressed with this very long-standing grim band!!!!

The Big Bad Wolf—-Delivering what should perhaps be the theme song for this band, this is a pretty apt title. Taking the predictable Nursery Rhyme route that you would expect, that does not last forever. The drums on this track are literally incredible and the vocal delivery is full of dementia. This is energetic, dark and scary as hell. this is one of my favorite tracks on this release…just because it is so HUGE!!!!

Countess Bathory—-Beginning with a huge lead guitar sound, the song is almost crisp and clean at the onset. When the vocal enters, I am almost shocked…sounding like early Metallica or a pre-pubescent Mustaine!!! This is thrashing, metallic and full of a unique energy I have not heard from this band in a long time…masterful…another favorite!!!!

Burke And Hare—-Much deeper and more in tune with what i expect from this band, this is stellar from the onset. the lead in is long and drawn out…the drums are huge! Just when you begin to lose interest in the whole thing, there are chord changes and the entrance of a pretty maniacal vocal. This is classic Macabre…just what I needed to hear at the time…even injuecting the track with a nice sing song dose of humor…classic!!!

Mary Ann—-Wow…..I’m impressed by the rhythmic quality of the song from the very onset….not just the usual thrash that you recognize with this band. The vocal is damn pleasant and accessible….you could hear this damn thing on the radio…until you read the lyrics….LOL!!! This is perhaps one of the most accommodating songs this band has ever made…still brutal in content, but damn pleasant to listen to!!!!

The Bloody Benders—-Another bit of a surprise to me, this has a remarkable ‘countrified’ delivery that makes me laugh out loud to myself. This is freakin’ fantastic….I would expect nothing less from this band…how fantastic is this? BLUEGRASS METAL!!!!!

Lizzie Borden—-Returning to a much more familiar ground and sound, this is truly classic Macabre!!!! The driving lead guitars and the machine gun drums all laid over the vocal that seems to be driven by mania. Gosh, I would love to sit down and talk with this guy…I bet he is a fountain of information. This is not a disappointment…exactly what I would expect just from the title of the song alone!!!!

The Ripper Tramp From France—-Beginning with a huge Maiden drum trample, the song dissolves into complete mania. The only thing that stays consistent is the trampling beat that comes from the drums. The vocal is indiscpherable….but the song is as evil as you would demand from the band….thank God for lyric sheets.

Bella The Butcher—-Returning to the nursery rhyme rhetoric that the band has become famous for, this is no disappointment for the true fans of the band. this spoken word track is remarkable….the lesson is learned and you just laugh your way into the mayhem of music that occurs mid way through the song. The fat lady kills the men after the act….come into my web says the spider to the fly…..fantastic!!!!!

The Kiss Of Death—-Delivering really nice drums and bass sections at the onset of the track, this is a loud and aggressive track. The leads enter the scene and the song really begins to move at an incredible pace. The vocal is so erratic that it almost impossible to catch a word…but you cannot turn away from the aggression. This is fantastic for me…I love this!!!!

The Sweet Tender Meat Vendor—-Layered with sound and aggressive drums from the first note! I don’t think this drummer gets near enough mention in the evolution of this band. The vocal is what you would expect……dissolving into that familiar sing song delivery that you are accustomed to and at times reminding me of Gwar. The musicianship is tight as hell though…and that has really captured me on this release…much more than the content or vocal!

**** 1/2 out of 5


Deicide / To Hell With God

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 170000006-04:00 12 by marky7235

To Hell With God

To Hell with God is the tenth studio album by the American death metal band Deicide. The follow-up to Till Death Do Us Part (2008), it was originally intended to be released in 2009[1] before being pushed back to a 2010[2] release, and was finally released on February 15, 2011 through Century Media Records.[3]

On January 11th, 2011 the Song “Hang in Agony Until You’re Dead” was debuted on Deicide’s MySpace page in full for streaming.

The Analysis:

To Hell With God—-Picking up and delivering much in the same vein the band has for many years, this song is full of classic Benton blasphemy and incredible Owen riffs. There is a nice bit of melody on this track…allowing you to breathe on occasion during the song. This band never disappoints….if you want dark and brutal, you got it!!!

Save Your—-I love how this track begins…the drums are AMAZING…both in volume and speed. The deep sounds of the bass are incredible and Glen delivers line after line like a machine gun. This lacks the melody part of the song…at times a bit chaotic….but would we really expect anything else. Sometimes, Glen scares the yell outta me!!!

Witness Of Death—-Sounding more Metallica than Deicide at the onset, there is a refreshing feeling to the difference in sound. Once Benton opens his mouth and delivers line after line of anti-religion rhetoric, you are sure you are listening to the right band. I am still surprised at times, after all of these years, that this guy can still sing like this and with such range. The overlayed vocals are fantastic…one of my favorite tracks from this release.

Conviction—-At the onset, this has a much more mainstream feel to it…the lines are pretty crisp from Owen…but the drums kick in and the hyper delivery begins. Benton enters with his vocal and it is delivered in an almost hypnotic and rhythmic feel that suck me in right from the onset. This is another favorite track of mine…and you can actually catch many of the lyrics without help!!! Magnificent…but dark none the less!!! I swear the guitar solo reminds me of Mercyful Fate!!!!

Empowered By Blasphemy—-With little time to catch your breath, this song begins and sounds a bit underproduced to me…the sound of the track lacks a bit of the shine of previous tracks. The band saves the day…this drummer is fucking stellar….delivering minute after minute of hyperactive machine gun speed that blows my mind. The joint vocals or overlays really provide a nice full sound to the song….and when Owen goes off on his solo…you are really reminded of the old days.

Angels Of Hell—-This is really nice….well produced with some good head phone speaker play, the song again reminds me of early Mercyful Fate…until Glen opens his mouth. The marked difference with this track is the nice overlay on the vocal, the almost addictive melody and the drums as ALWAYS. This has a nice ebb and flow to it…building you up a bit and lying low for a moment…definte must have track from this release!!!!

Hang In Agony Until You’re Dead—-The first track to be streamed from this release, it still is less than my favorite from this CD. This is nice, but seems like a re-tread of some material from the last release. I still have to commend the incredible guitars…and the drums which shatter my brain with precision, speed and accuracy!!!

Servant Of The Enemy—-Right out of the gate, this track is delivered with speed, desolation and chaos. One thing that holds the song together is the amazingly clear vocal from Benton…not what i am accustomed to!!! This is brutal…the higher pitched overlay is freaking fantastic and rounds out the song. when Benton delivers his little nursery rhyme at the midpoint of the song….I just sit and smile!!!!

Into The Darkness You Go—-A bit predictable but still delivered with fresh brutality, the song takes a remarkable turn once the vocal enters the fray. This is almost addictive…despite the sometimes chaotic flavor of the music. I am blown away…despite the content and the religious backlash, this is stellar. This has a really nice rhythmic feel to it…just fantastic!!!!

How Can You Call Yourself A God—-Ending this rather generic and predictable release with a song that has a slight 80’s metal intro is a bit of surprise…I guess it is the high pitch lead in that reminds me of this. The drums enter at break neck speed and Benton continues to spew his distaste for anything even remotely Christian…..but the brutality and the force is true and real…you HAVE to love this band…..

**** out of 5

God Dethroned / Under The Sign Of The Iron Cross

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 130000005-04:00 12 by marky7235

Under the Sign of the Iron Cross

God Dethroned is a blackened death metal band from the Netherlands.

The New God Dethroned album ‘Under The Sign Of The Iron Cross’ was released through Metal Blade on November, 22nd 2010 and met rave reviews. It marked the first time God Dethroned became ‘Album Of The Month’ in Holland’s Aardschok magazine.

Sattler announced that 2011 will be the last year of the band and their final show will be in December.

The Analysis:

The Declaration Of War—-This short yet powerful instrumental introduction only lends a hand at preparing you for the melodic yet brutal onslaught that is about to smack you in the face and leads into……

Storm Of Steel—-Once the onslaught begins, there is very little time for you to catch your breath. the music hits you hard and heavy…reminding me of the classic Dimmu of the past. The lyrics are hard to understand…yoet you catch bits and pieces which put the track together for you. the drums are literally incredible…the most impressive part of the band outside of the vocal…this is exceptional…I have to get some of this older stuff!!! There is an underlying melody through the entire thing that makes you an instant fan…STELLAR!!!!

Fire Storm—-The drum onslaught that welcomes the intro to this track is only eclipsed by the subtle death growl that is almost buried in the noise. This is melodic, intense and brutal as anything you could ask for. the track is loaded with dark lyrics…huge energy and a pummeling bass.drum delivery that puts you on the edge of your seat…gosh…where have I been?

The Killing Is Faceless—-You are given very little time to catch your breath as this ‘concept CD’ moves from idea to idea….centered around the chapters of World War I, the music is a ruthless and brutal as the war itself. the vocal is incredible….this guy can sing like nothing I have heard in quite sometime. This is layered with drums, bass and an underlying melody that sucks you in and comes back time after time. There are some leads on this track that are incredible…please dont tell me this is really the end?

Under The Sign Of The Iron Cross—-Almost…at the onset…reminding me of Iron Maiden, this quickly dissolves into a classic death rage that brings an ever bigger smile to my face. The drums on this track are like nothing you have ever heard. The vocal is very acceptable…understandable and clear…but the barrage of musical noise is almost orgasmic….this is incredible!!!! Perhaps the best track I have heard in this bands catalog!!!!

Chaos Reigns At Dawn—-Beginning much as you expect, a complete progression from the previous track, the drums…again…are just stellar. the voice is clear yet full of guttural admonitions that urge you to pay attention to the mistakes we have made in the past. this is a natural story…you can feel the progression without a history lesson…the concept is well in tact….war kills people…brings about horror and cause damage that last forever!!!!!

Through Byzantine Hemispheres—-Again, this is much more Metal influenced at the onset….onlyu the vocal causes a pure differential from the mainstream. the drums are incredible…but the3 leads are even BETTER….this is exquisite. the energy is all encompassing…the song has these slight mood changes that wrap around you like a huge electric blanket…all the while tighter and tighter  by the drum propulsion and the bitter voice. This is fantastic…perhaps my favorite track on this release!!!!

The Red Baron—-Leaving no time for introduction or sedate musings, this is right out of the gate pure and brutal. the vocal is stellar…this is classic black metal…delivered with a genuity and commitment. the guitars that emerge as the track progresses are huge…this is just incredible…this reminds me of Satyricon…..even more every time I listen to it. This has melody, brutality and a real delivery that you can’t walk away from….stellar!!!!

On Fields Of Death & Desolation—-Winding up the release with a rather sedate beginning to the last track, this is not to last for long. Although the entire thing again makes me think of classic Maiden, this is superb. There is a heaviness in the track that pulls you in…and you find yourself entranced by the ‘end of the war’……but the eclipse of music reminds you it was not the end for many…as far as Black Metal goes…this is stellar…as far as concepts go…this is stellar….if this is the swan song for real…well done my friends!!!!

****1/2 out of 5

Catamenia / Cavalacade

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 160000001-04:00 12 by marky7235

CavalcadeCatamenia is a black metal band from Finland, founded in 1995 by original members Riku Hopeakoski and Mika Tönning in Oulu. They have been signed to Massacre Records ever since their first full-length, Halls of Frozen North in 1998. As of 2010, they have released nine albums, 1 EP, and one DVD. They are known to frequently use wolves in their album art. Catamenia means “Menstruation”. The band didn’t know about this until a fan pointed it out to them after the release of their debut album.

The Analysis:

Blood Trails—-I have to admit, sometimes I’m slow….I’m new to this band…even though they have been around since 1995…slowly I am managing to discover the back catalog. The remarkable thing about this band, for me, is that the music is damn accessible and melodic…actually bordering on Progressive, all the while the vocal delivers a brutality to keep them in the forefront of my brain. This is superproduced, well delivered and almost mainsteam….with a magical dose of evil thrown in for fun. Fantastic!

Cavalcade—-The intro to this track comes off as much louder and darker than the opener here. The melody is quick to kick in and softens up the delivery a bit, but the band never seems to lose any of its power. When the vocal begins, you almost automatically think of James Hetfield. The vocals manage to switch effortlessly between a melodic singing to a deep growl that causes me to shake my head in wonder. this is the best of all worlds thrown together in a 5 minute excursion that will have you vacationing here again and again.

The Path That Lies Behind Me—-Again, the song begins with a burst of bass driven aggression, when the leads kick in the song calms a bit but the vocal scream that opens the track gives it a much more brutal feel. the drums on this track are like machines…incredibly fast and aggressive with huge breaks that just leave you in awe. The song actually has a chorus that allows for melody AND harmony….I love this band…even though they are more accessible than I normally gravitate towards.

Silence—-Much more somber and falling in the almost ‘ballad realm’, this is nice and bass heavy. The leads enter the song and the track just seems to soar above everything else around right now. At times the voice reminds me of a hoarse Dani Filth…delivered with a slight evil timbre that only causes me to smile…when the guttural growl enters, the song takes on even more atmosphere…this is stellar!

Quantity Of Sadness—-Returning to a more acceptable full throttle Metal delivery, this track is speedy as hell and delivered with what seems to be a much more under-produced sound. This comes across as gritty, dirty and damn evil. The vocal is pushed to the back a bit and the sound levels seemed turned down on everything…but somehow the underground feel leads credence to the band and remains one of my favorite tracks on this release.

Post Mortem—-Returning to the trademark polished Black Metal sound of most of the record, the leads on this song just manage to soar way above your head. The vocal delivery is deep, fast and spit at you like lead bullets…meanwhile the breaks continue and are mixed with a REALLY nice clean vocal that provides an irresistible harmony to the whole damn thing. This is rather phenomenal, this band provides something for everyone but never becomes so overbearing that it will turn off some. Remarkable…why is this band not huge?

The Vulture’s Feast—-Again, the band breaks the momentum of sound and delivers another Metallica styled ballad that almost seems out-of-place once you have finally found your groove. The high points? ….the wonderfully soaring leads that stick in your brain…the constant cymbal crashing in the backdrop and the damn exquisite vocal…delivered clean and with overlays that allow the track to be huge. This is nice, but a bit wimpy compared to the rest of this release.

A Callous Mind—-Delivering a nice return to the more than predictable material on the record, this is Prog-Death Metal at it’s finest. the mood swings that this band manages to produce are incredible…the drums are stellar and when the guitar really lets loose with the vocal you are in the middle of a noise fest. This is what I needed at this moment and the band has not failed me…delivered with venom and speed, I am at once comfortable and smiling.

Reincarnation—-This is a remarkably full sounding song from the very first notes…the guitars are layered and the drum track is pivotal. the scream that leads off the vocal is trademark by now and almost expected…this is stellar stuff. The slight fuzz that runs through the guitar sound is dark and the clean vocal that enters really give the song a nice melody…this is superb.

Angry Again—-Ending the release much as it started, this track finds the band in fine melodic form without ever losing that slight touch of Finnish Black Metal that has steered the group. this is Finland’s answer to Metallica and the band lives up to that moniker in a rather spectacular way…it will be interesting to get the debut release and watch the progression….Onwards and Upwards!!!

**** 1/4 out of 5

Cradle Of Filth / Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 1000000011-04:00 12 by marky7235

Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa

Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa is the ninth studio album by English extreme metal band Cradle of Filth. It was released on November 1, 2010 by Peaceville Records. Earlier the album was erroneously referred to as All Hallows Eve,[2] probably because the announced release date was close to Halloween. This is also the first Cradle of Filth album to not feature any instrumental tracks.

Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa is a concept album in the same vein as its predecessor Godspeed on the Devil’s Thunder; this time centring on the demon Lilith, the first wife of the Biblical Adam.[3] Dani Filth revealed to Metal Hammer in September 2010 that it will be a “feminine” companion piece to Godspeed, “which was a very masculine album, obviously due to its protagonist, Gilles De Rais.”[4] Unlike previous historically based concept albums Godspeed and Cruelty and the Beast, Darkly, Darkly will tell an original story. “It’s about the resurgence of Lilith into modern society as a deity,” Filth said. “There’s a bit of Victoriana in there. Essentially, at heart, it’s a nice gothic horror story.”[4] Reference to Greek mythology and the Knights Templar will also be made, in what’s referred to by the label as “a dark tapestry of horror, madness and twisted sex”.[5] At an early stage of the album’s development in late 2009, Filth hinted that its sound is “creepily melodic, like Mercyful Fate or a dark Iron Maiden“.[6] The Metal Hammer interview also likens it to King Diamond.

The Analysis:

The Cult Of Venus Aversa—-Beginning rather quiet with an almost acoustic, spanish style acoustic guitar, the intro of the song is led by the female spoken word that introduces the track before the mayhem actually begins. Dani enters the fine voice and with a welcoming shriek that makes me at once comfortable with the sound of the song. Trust me, if you are looking for something new and fresh, you really will not find it here. If you are looking for a new fix..a consistent sound and a welcoming blast of aggressive Metal…well, here it is!!!

One Foul Step From The Abyss—-With huge orchestrated overtures and plenty of dark mood settings, this song opens up and catches me attention from the first aggressive chords. This is classic SHIT!!! For the past 15 years or so, this band has kept me very happy and they continue to do so with this release. This has some catchy melody lines that sit with me from the very first listen…this is huge, dark, aggressive and full of that classic Filth vocal..alongside the gentle female backdrop vocals that add atmosphere and mystery to the whole damn thing. Freakin’ incredible!

The Nun With The Astral Habit—-Beginning with little fanfare or buildup, the heavily orchestrated mayhem is there right at the onset of the song. Filth delivers line after line at a blistering pace…making me question how the hell he manages to keep track of all of his words. Even more remarkable to me, is his ability to go from a growl to a shriek to a whisper at the drop of a dime. Some of the deep sounds he produces on this song are better than anything I have heard since Nymphetamine!!!

Retreat Of The Sacred Heart—-With really nice aggressive lead guitars and short keyboard blasts of orchestration, Dani enters with his vocal and delivers a track that is trademark and fairly rote. sounding like it would have for perfectly on any of the last three releases, the band and Filth himself seems to have found a very comfortable place in which to create music. I still question how long this guy can really continue to sing like this, but for me..on this song, the star is the stellar music..with huge and monumental chord changes, tempo shifts and exquisite are always guessing as to what comes next. Fantastic!!!

The Persecution Song—-This is fantastic right from the onset…although this bears a striking resemblance to a song from the Godspeed release. The melody is so dark and attractive…it is quickly becoming a favorite of mine from this CD. This is sharp, moody and incredible dark…with a damn accessible vocal to boot. This is stellar!!! The guitars are just incredible….I love MELODY!!!!

Deceiving Eyes—-This begins with a much more classic Heavy Metal sound than I have heard from Cradle in sometime…the keyboards don’t really kick in until the vocal does. At that point, the song becomes much more layered and symphonic and that sound seems to increase as this almost 7 minute track progresses. This is stellar though…classic Cradle with all the trimming…right in time for the Great Thanksgiving!!!

Lilith Immaculate—-With thunderous drums ushering in the song, the guitars and orchestration provide the perfect backdrop for the murderous and tortured screams from Dani…the gentle interludes that the female vocal provides round out this track as masterfully as anything the band has produced. Sarah does not sing with Cradle anymore right? This female is so damn close I have to wonder. Anyways, the melodies that all of this noise produces is freakin’ amazing…it is hard to imagine order through all of the chaos, but it is well in tact…this is another favorite track of mine!!!

The Spawn Of Love And War—-This is one of those familiar filler tracks…that helps to round out the story and seems a bit weak on substance but delivers a powerful Metal element none the less. Dani sounds possessed at times on this song…the epic lines of the song are believe it or not a bit too overblown…but this seems to be the only misstep on this release for me…to me it sounds like the band is just going through the motions…although there are some stellar vocal moments!

Harlot On A Pedestal—-With some overt Maiden sounds, this song travels at an amazing pace..pleasing me to no fucking end. This is intense and may very well be the most ‘brutal’ track on this release. I love the speed and the drums with leave you in a damn coma…this is fast…furious and delivered with an energy that you don’t even get from brand new bands..let alone bands that have been in the game for this long. Dani delivers a great vocal…I love his growl as much as his shriek and you get a nice mix of both. The lead guitar solo on this track is something that is missing from most music today and it is almost refreshing to hear. This is incredible…another favorite track of mine!!!!

Forgive Me Father [I Have Sinned]—-The first ‘single’ release from this CD, this is classic and a bit predictable. delivering to new and old fans alike a sound that is trademark and reliable, I rather like the tone of the vocal from Filth….indeed it is the most accessible on the release. The music is full of that magnificent kind of pompous music that filth has built the career upon in the past few years, and it plays damn well. This is melodic..almost bordering on contagious!!! this is stellar..another of those songs that I will turn to again and again when I need a ‘quick fix’!!! Fantastic!!!

Beyond Eleventh Hour—-Ending the release, much as it began, the female spoken word introduction is rather wonderful. You wait and wait..knowing that the onslaught is not far behind…this is stellar…full of energy and the kind of mayhem that will make you a bit crazy after repeated listens. This is soooo classic and expected that it somehow catches you off guard. The band sounds better than ever…delivering the closing lines with the same mastery as the opening lines. Filth sounds like these are the fist notes he has ever uttered…the sound is that genuine…this is just incredible…another release that finds itself in my ‘favorites’ catalog…long live the Cradle!!!!

****3/4 out of 5

Naglfar / Harvest

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 700000011-04:00 12 by marky7235

Harvest (Bonus Dvd)

Naglfar formed in 1992. The band was originally called Uninterred, and was founded by Jens Rydén on vocals and guitar, and Kristoffer Olivius on bass. The band had its first full line-up when Ulf Andersson from Nocturnal Rites joined the band to play drums, and Morgan Hansson and Fredrik Degerström joined on guitar. With this new line-up Jens could concentrate on vocals. In March 1994, Fredrik left Naglfar due to personal issues with the band as well as musical differences. Soon afterward Ulf left the band as well so that he could concentrate on Nocturnal Rites. It was during this tumultuous period which the band was writing and recording their first demo in Garageland Studio, titled Stellae Trajectio. The demo was released in November 1994. Before it was publicly released, however, the band officially changed their name to Naglfar.

In early 1995, the band was signed by Wrong Again Records, and that summer they released their debut full-length album, Vittra. After the recording was over, Mattias Holmgren left the band. Other than appearing on an Iron Maiden tribute CD (they performed the song “The Evil That Men Do”), the band was relatively inactive for the next few years. Their second album, which received strong reviews, was titled Diabolical and released in 1998. After more line-up changes, Naglfar recorded an EP called Ex Inferis, and a full-length called Sheol.

In 2005, the full-length album Pariah was released. With some of the best production values to date and more imaginative song formats, this album was impressive to old and new fans alike. The album was followed by a highly successful tour together with Dark Funeral across Europe, as well as several festival dates.

In December 2005, Morgan Lie was confirmed as the full bass player for the band. “It’s now official. Morgan Lie has joined the ranks permanently as our bass player. He’s been handling the live duties exceptionally well, and also has been contributing with music for the new album, so it’s our pleasure to welcome him into the band”.

In August 2009, the band announced on their myspace page that they were about to begin recording the new album, without mentioning any planned date for release.

The Analysis:

Into The Black—-Beginning rather congenial, and slowly building to a mind numbing dementia, you have no doubt that you are in the middle of classic Swedish Black Metal mastery. This has a remarkable melody line…and the vocal is incredibly and surprisingly clear. this is a true joy…delivered with a remarkable accessibility yet a brutality that you could only hope for, this older release has become one of my favorite ‘new’ discoveries!

Breathe Through Me—-Giving you just a few moments to catch your breath, you realize that the short intro song was just to whet your appetite. This track enters and is resplendent with sounds that make you think of the true greats…I want to grab my favorite Gorgoroth or Emperor after listening to this release. This is delivered at times breakneck, at other times in a pretty damn accessible form that is full of contagious melody. I can only wait with bated breath for the next chapter from this band.

The Mirrors Of My Soul—-What I really like the most about this band…beyond the heavy delivery and the remarkable vocal is the fact that this band does not necessarily depend on any kind of Satanic imagery to get its point across. These lyrics are full of real, human emotions that anyone can read and relate too. The music might not always be accessible to everyone…but the sentiment is very real and human to me.

Odium Generis Humani—-This was the track that first got me interested in this band. This is literally layered with levels of intensity that will almost cause you to tear your hair out. This is delivered with relentless speed and vehemence that is seldom copied in the Black Metal world. This is as good as anything that Gorgoroth has managed to produce for years…and just when you feel like you are going to go mad, along comes this remarkable melody that brings the entire damn thing into focus. This is not just an onslaught of noise…but one delivered with focus, purpose and a musical ideology. Just incredible!!!

The Darkest Road—-Again, the band gives you little time to catch your breath before the mayhem begins anew. the vocal is amazing on this track…the opening scream is a good as anything you could expect from Dani! This is layered with some exceptional noise…the drums are so freakin’ huge…the bass is deep as hell and the energy is like 5 hour energy x’s 10. There are some really nice downshift and tempo changes in the song that catch you off guard and full of anticipation. this is more than a noisefest…this is MUSIC!!!

Way Of The Rope—-From the onset, this delivers a much more mainstream Metal sound….until the onslaught of vocal enters and transports you back to the cold Icelandic wasteland of the origin. Again, though this song has a remarkable melody line that runs through the entire thing…to me, this is musical talent. At times this reminds me of early Satyricon….before they became more of an Industrialized Metal band…this is layered with noise, but never looses that melody line throughout the song. This is fantastic….even when all the forces come together and you are on the floor wiped out from the delivery…there is still a melody that revives and sustains you. Just incredible!!!

Plutonium Reveries—-With little time for introduction, this smacks you in the gut with a double fisted punch that will leave you gasping for breath. this is incredible and reminiscent of the best Gorgoroth that you can imagine. The only missing element is the overt Satanic messages,,,but the music works remarkably well without it. this is classic, Norwegian Black Metal that few bands these days come close to replicating. There is no overt symphonic sounds overproduction additives…this is straight forward brutality that will leave you fully satisfied, hard as a rock and waiting for the next intimate encounter….BECAUSE MUSIC MATTERS!!!

Feeding Moloch—-Beginning in a rather congenial manner, the song slowly develops and becomes a nice huge overture of glacial sounds. This is a remarkable track…the vocal is full of that icy feeling that reminds you how much you love this shit…the drums are all encompassing…taking control of the song and almost leading it. The breaks and the slight manipulations of sound remind you that there is much though put into the mechanics of EVERY song…this is artisrtic…true and full of a vigor you have not experienced since Into The Darkside Eclipse!!!

Harvest—-Ending the release in a huge, grand epic manner, the band and the vocal is a classic delivery of everything that defines the Norwegian style. This track, right from the onset, reminds me of the very early days of Dimmu Borgir….before they discovered orchestration and overblown sounds. This is a pretty damn remarkable and epic track. The delivery and overall sound is cold as ice…the vocal is fueled with gentle shovels of coal that set it on fire and it increasingly becomes stronger and more embittered. This is a freakin’ masterful end to a most incredible release…hurry up guys…’s been 4 years already!!!!

***** out of 5

Metal For The Masses [Vol. 4] / Various [2 Disc Set]

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2700000010-04:00 12 by marky7235

Continuing the highly successful Metal For The Masses series, the Century Family unseals Metal For The Masses Volume Four, once again,exclusive to Hot Topic locations nationwide. The 2-disc compilation contains 40 tracks totaling over 2 hours of music. The artwork for Volume Four incorporates the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to stunning effect and also depicts the album art for each featured artist within as well as additional artist and album information. Volume Four comes housed in a deluxe double Digipak and is available now at all Hot Topic locations nationwide.

The Analysis: Disc One

The End Of The World [God Forbid]—-Coming out of your speakers at hyper speed, this is fine Metal delivered with blistering intensity. For me, the vocal is a bit generic, although this has never been a very favorite band of mine. What is stellar is the instrumentation and the vocal melody. This has some pretty great drums, an incredible bass line and some clean vocals that provide all of the melody you need.

Weathered Soul [Manntis]—-I like this…I have not listened to this comp in quite sometime…it is almost like everything is brand new to me again! This has a great crunch to the music..the vocal is brutal and at the onset reminds me of early Fear Factory. This has a great melody line…the leads are huge as are the drums. This is a band I need to investigate…if you see this release in a bargain bin, pick it up!

These Days [Diecast]—-This comes roaring out at you from a darkness that literally breathes aggression. I love the double bass sound and the way that the vocal magically switches from growl to clean vocal. the song is laden in emotion and leans very heavy on the Nu-Metal doorstep. This is nice!

Days Are Numbered [Brand New Sin]—-Just freakin brilliant….if you are in the mood for nice stoner rock, this is the band that will satisfy you every time. The sound of the band is recorded in a retro way that allows you to think it is much older than it actually is. The chorus enters this track and makes you think of the big 80’s style verses that used to blast from speakers everywhere. This has a nice taste of the dirty South…nice!

Without A Trace [Agents Of Man]—-Beginning with a soft acoustic sound, the song comes out at you with a nice aggression that is delivered with some almost punk style vocal…they slowly disappear and allow for a clean melodic voice. I have listened to this a number of times…I just can’t wrap my heart around this.

Enlightened By The Cold [Shadows Fall]—-One of my more favorite bands, this proves to me that Heavy Metal is alive and well in this century. This borders on the edge of every musical genre in the Metal Community you could imagine…thus appealing to the teenagers, emos and crusty guys like me. This has a nice brutality, a great lead line, incredible drums and a killer vocal.

Nemesis [Arch Enemy]—-Long a favorite band of mine, I wish they would hurry up with a new release already. Angela can sing like no man ever dreamed of…the brutality and force of the vocal literally shakes you to your bones…the band that is behind the voice is loaded with even more brutality than the double edge tongue that Angela delivers. This is heaven for me…I never get tired of listening to these songs. Just brilliant!!!

No Compromise [The Haunted]—-Taking a bit to really get started, this is another of those bands that have never really found a place in my heart. I love this song, but a release full of material sounding like this was a bit hard for me to find. The brief glimpses of brilliance do not make a stellar band. The standout for me is the very upfront in your face drums!!!

Slaves Shall Serve [Behemoth]—-The mighty Behemoth!!!! One of my personal favorite bands and one that in my book has never made a misstep. This band has always stayed true to its vision and intent…delivering a blistering and aggressive brand of Black Metal that will leave your brain echoing inside of itself. This is masterful…intense and brutal as you know what. The kings…hold on guys…..

Enslaved And Condemned [Old Man’s Child]—-This is another of those brilliant bands that are incapable of making a bad record. Resplendent with that cold European Black Metal sound, slight but magnificent symphonic sounds and a vocal that rattles your bones, this is a band that is very dear to my heart. I love this stuff…I could listen to this all day!!!

Perpetual Horrors [Naglfar]—-Man…..I need to find out some more stuff about this band. I love the vocal…this is very primitive Dimmu…the overt symphonic sound is incredible and the sound, even though a bit primitive, shows huge promise. I love this stuff…the drums..even though pushed to the back of the mix, really shine. This is incrredible….why have I not heard more from this band?

Possessions [Strapping Young Lad]—-Devin Townsend delivers a track that really borders on Industrial Metal. This is not to say that this is bad, but the change between genres on this compilation is a bit abrupt. I like Townsend and his many incarnations…but not enough to really start collecting it. this is acceptale….but far from stellar.

The Psalm Of Lydia [Nevermore]—-Nevermore is one of those long-term outfits that you either love or dismiss. This is a pretty great song…the power chords that the band deliver are pretty impressive. I love the high and accentuated leads from the production. I could do without the overblown Power Metal vocal though…it just does not fit in to well with the music for me. This is not to say that this is bad, it just sounds like this is a band, that after all of these years, is still struggling for an identity.

It All Dies Today [Eyes Of Fire]—-I’m really not to familiar with this band….the sound is a bit underproduced and removed…never really reaching your speakers with the intensity that you think it deserves. There is so much going on in the backdrop of the song, that you lose much of the vocal because of the lack of clarity and production. Too bad…I think this is a pretty great melodic Metal track.

Splintered Visions [Into Eternity]—-Well, right from the onset this reeks of progressive genius. The chords that are released from the lead and the bass alike just captures and hypnotised me. The vocal is stellar…I love this stuff. This is like the perfect mix of 80’s hair metal progression with 00’s brutality and grunts. I love this…you will not hear one single complaint form me…sometimes I’m so slow when it comes to some of this stuff…where the hell have I been living…under a rock?

The Pestilence That Walketh In Darkness [Cryptopsy]—-Right off, this is a surprise for me…not really familiar with this band, i was listening with preconceived notions based on the name alone. The song starts off rather sedate and accessible…but the brutality grows and grows until you are planted deep in a nice mix of Black Metal, Grind and Progressive chords and lyrics. This gives you a nice taste of all of them…magnificent!

Bastard Son [Watch Them Fall]—-This is another of those bands that combine a nice retro sound with more progressive elements of Thrash and Death Metal. I love the voice on this guy…the energy that the band manages to produce is pretty incredible…Tthe drums are freakin magnificent. When the whole band joins in on the vocal, you are whipped into a frenzy from the energy of the music alone. This has nice Maiden style guitar galloping that makes you comfortable…only the vocal reminds you this is not your brother’s favorite band!!!

Silence Is Deafening [Napalm Death]—-Have no doubts, this long-term band is alive and well…and still thrashing the hell out of your brain. This is so layered with instruments, that the distorted delivery seems appropriate and like nothing else you would get from any other band. These guys are some of the kings of the genre, and they still deliver enough brutality and energy to make you say…..OH SHIT!!!

The Sunset Will Never Charm Us [Despised Icon]—-This is very noisy….the vocal is extreme and somewhat comforting, but the music seems to lack a clear direction and ends up all over the place. This is like rudimentary Thrash that still needs time to mature.

Harnessing Ruin [Immolation]—-Another of those bands that really hold a special place in my heart. This is as aggressive as two fists right in the fucking face…and delivered with enough power to send you reeling back for two blocks. This track is delivered at a much deeper recording level than the newer material…the bass and the deep tone of the vocal almost blocks out everything else…this is not the more polished 2009 Immoliation….none the less, the brutality and the venom is well intact. This brings a huge smile to my face!

Disc Two:

Alt Lys Er Sunnet Hen [Dimmu Borgir]—-Anyone who has read my blog entries for any amount of time knows that I have a huge love affair with this band. There is seldom that has ever been a misstep in my book and this song is just another crown jewel in the evolution of the band. shagrath sounds literally possessed…the foreign language delivery makes it even more menacing and the keyboard orchestration allows this track to be HUGE!!!

Nerve [Soilwork]—-Although I have never really been int  this band too much, this song may make me rethink my choice. I like the far away slight orchestration sounds of the band…the vocal smacks you right upside the head and the slower interludes gives the song a huge substance. This is fantastic…I love this.

Like You Better Dead [In Flames]—- Aggressive leads set the song off to a great start. the drums are pretty far up in the front of the mix. The vocal enters and I find my enthusiasm deflate…this really does not impress me.

Shed [Meshuggah]—-Just freakin’ aggression!!!! Right from the onset, your head almost explodes…the scream slows to allow the guitar to settle in a bit and the bass line to capture a permanent place in your soul. The vocal returns…in a deep and menacing tone…leaving me with goosebumps. This is stellar…the density and depth of the song is incredible…the cross over appeal is magnificent. This one is a keeper!

Kill Tank [Bleed The Sky]—-Right out of the gate, this sits in the pit of my stomach and brings a smile to my face. there is just enough melody and substance to this mayhem to really appeal to many Metal and Punk fans as well. This is really a stellar track…when the clean vocal hits, you are wondering if you are listening to a more aggressive Fear Factory….brilliant!

Secondary Effects [Darkane]—-This is brilliant…a nice mic of aggressive Thrash and layered with elements of Death, the vocal comes through and shows the true roots of the band…settled deep in the Exodus style of thrash Metal with a bit of an updated sound. this is aggressive, but incredibly accessible and listenable. I love this stuff!!!

Door 2.12 [Mnemic]—-Wow, I really did not expect to like this, based on past listening experiences. This from the very first notes reminds me of classic Testament. I love this stuff…there is a remarkable melody, a nice aggression…all delivered with a sound that is damn accessible…this is stellar!

Scrutinized [Hypocrisy]—-This is another of those bands that are hard pressed to do anything bad in my book! I love the aggression of this band and I love the dedication to delivery pure and brutal Death Metal that shines above all the rest. This has great crunching guitars…the drums are intense and the vocal will leave you wringing your hands because of the sheer intensity. Just what I needed today…remarkable!!!

Now Thy Death Day Come [Exodus]—-The God-Fathers of modern Day Thrash are still alive and kicking….your ass!!! The sound has seldom deviated from the beginning…the production rarely gets better, but you ALWAYS know what to expect from an Exodus recording. This is predictable and as freakin’ fantastic as ever!!!

Tree Of Life And Death [Cathedral]—-This is intense as fuck from the very onset. the music is delivered in a huge mess, but somehow it magically seems to make sense. The vocal is delivered in that early day Thrash manner that makes me think of the very beginning days of Slayer. This is loaded with intelligent and frightening lyrics…but never loses any of its demented feel despite them. This is a band that had a direction and is still headed in it!!!

Sundown [Fireball Ministry]—-This comes across as hollow to me and incredibly misplaced on this compilation. This is much more Pop/Rock with a vocal that rivals Ozzy. To me, this is a waste of space…there could have been such better material put in its place.

Lightbringer/Demo [Nebula]—-This is raw and rude…just as Metal was meant to be. There is nothing polished or professed about this demo track. The metal quotient is a bit hollow for me, but it would be interesting to hear the fully polished finished track. In this state, it just blends in too well with hundreds of other average bands.

Everything’s On T.V. [The Hellicopters]—-Wow, to me this is just slop! This is a quasi-UFO sound-alike band that is delivering sounds that have been re-hashed and re-re-hashed. This is just a waste…this is not Metal!!!

Goin’ Down [The Illuminati]—-Ugh…..oh lord!!! This is quasi Metal that is so steeped in Blues that I can’t even begin to like this….next…PLEASE!!!

Three Sheets To The Wind [The Black Halos]—-The track begins with a huge intro, the drums enter and seem to take control of the entire direction of the song. the downfall enters when the vocal does. This sounds like a cheap and BAD ACCEPT impression…please…why do bands make music that they think will be successful riding on what has already been done before….I’m so over this!

Love Me Electric [Crash Kelly]—-Well, it would seem obvious to me that the last 1/4 of this compilation is steeped in some Blues bullshit that has nothing to do with Metal. This is crossover Pop/Metal crap that makes me want to throw this against the wall.

Gimme Some Lip [The Thieves]—-Oh For God’s Sakes……….

The Day Of Neverending/Demo [Scott Reeder]—-This is nice, with an alluring Alternative Metal sound that makes me think of bands like Alice In Chains. This has some nice powerful guitar leads and a drum track that although moved to the back still shines through. The production of this ‘demo’ track is pretty damn awesome.

Things Are Looking Up [American Heartbreak]—-Lord….even more blues influenced sad excuses for Metal….this is not Metal people…this is pop/rock that does not belong on this compilation next to bands like Dimmu or Immolation. This is embarrassing!

Brand New Hate [Backyard Babies]—-This is much more Post-Punk metal than Heavy Metal….although it is much better than most of the slop on the last part of this compilation. Still, this deviates from so much of the material on this release that you wonder if you will ever invest in another one of these again!!!

*** out of 5