The reviews are on a 5 star scale.
Genre: Brutal Death Metal
As simply one of the planet’s most brutal bands, Germany’s Defeated Sanity have been delivering absolutely pulverizing tunes for almost two decades, and with their fourth record Passages Into Deformity the four piece show no sign of taking their foot of the pedal.
Brutal death metal isn’t for everyone, but for those who love finger jarring riffs, inhuman grunts and spine ripping slams, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more savage and violent album coming out this year.
Expurgate – 'Dementia Tremens' (Comatose)
Genre: Death Metal
Colorado slam-fiends Expurgate have purged themselves of their debut full-length album, Dementia Tremens, a gut shot of toilet bowl vocals and slogging breakdowns that’s as high on narcotic abnormality as it is on its assortment of the thuggishly vile.
Blending precision with incensed melodic derision, Expurgate heave forward with pummeling and impressively brutal tracks like “40 oz. Facef--k” and “Viscous Human Putrilage.” But for all of its delirious carnage, Dementia Tremens is a fleeting high, relying on sheer shock and weight instead of its broiling, untapped talent. The end result is clinically unstable, which, contingent on whom the listener is, may be a good thing.
Grisly Amputation – 'Cannibalistic Tendencies' (Innervenus)
Genre: Death Metal/Grindcore
You know what you are getting ready to digest when listening to Grisly Amputation: Suffocation and Cannibal Corpse inspired death metal with a touch of grind. Lyrically we are in classic grind territory on tracks “Liquefaction Necrosis” and “Birthed From Defecation.” A short, fast and intense listen; all of the tracks are interspersed by quotes from horror movies.
Buzzsaw guitars dominate this 27-minute blast through hell. Nothing stands out as overly memorable. Singer Rob Grisly follows the music a tad too much instead of singing over the riff. An okay debut, but when compared to Suffocation’s latest, Grisly Amputation have a long way to go before they can think about being mentioned in the same dying breath as their influences.
Genre: Thrash Metal
Heroes of Origin, the full-length debut from Oakland’s Hatriot, is long-time thrasher Steve “Zetro” Souza’s family project. The one-time frontman for Exodus, Legacy, and the current co-lead vocalist for Dublin Death Patrol, Souza has brought along his sons Nick and Cody to man the drums and bass. The result is an old-school thrash free-for-all; high speed, leathery vocals, and an appreciable focus on anthem-writing.
Nostalgia-seeking thrash fans should have no problem cracking a six-pack to Kosta Varvatakis’s lively solo work, and while Souza’s voice may be a tough sell nowadays, his sons do dad proud with their new-school energy. Not ground-breaking, but surly enough to snap a few limbs off the family tree.
Genre: Death Metal
Skin The Living is the original demo Jungle Rot recorded in 1995. Victory Records has done an outstanding job on the reissue. The sound quality is excellent and one would be hard pressed to believe this is a 17-year-old demo. Jungle Rot has not changed their sound since this dark, vicious release.
Straightforward death metal is incorporated with more groove-oriented riffs as singer Dave Matrise does his best to embody Unleashed’s Johnny Hedlund. Standout tracks include the insanely catchy “Tomb Of Armenus” and the sludgy thrash infused “Killing Spree.” The blueprint is already in place on the amazing career that Jungle Rot would go on to have. A perfect beginning for one of the premier death metal bands, at 25 minutes this is a volatile, brutal release.
Genre: Death Metal
The Italian band Logic Of Denial return with a vengeance on their second album Atonement. Their style of death metal is brutal and technical, annihilating everything in their path. Some tracks are blazing fast, others are more mid-paced, but the destruction is equal.
And while you'll hear all the genre trademarks like blastbeats, pinch harmonics and guttural, unintelligible vocals, Logic Of Denial change up tempos and even throw in a brief guitar solo here and there. It makes the album more diverse and interesting along with being skull-crushing.
Lycosa - 'Lycosa' EP (Innervenus)
Lycosa (whose name is a genus of wolf spiders) climb into their fully-blown Scooby-Doo van, slam down on the gas and blast through the doors of their wicked Pittsburgh garage studio with this six song EP. Mutated from genetic splices of Exodus, early Converge, Illnath, Whitechapel and anyone who burps up sludge, Lycosa are as subtle as a phosphorous grenade in the lap.
“Barbara,” “Circles” and “24 becomes 0” are monstrous assaults guaranteed to bang heads into skull-fracture frenzy. The diversity, power and willingness to not take themselves seriously propel this sloppy, superb coke furnace of an album down the highway through the valley of steel.
Genre: Hard Rock/Progressive
Vocalist/bassist Dug Pinnick (King's X), guitarist Eric Gales and drummer Thomas Pridgen (ex-Mars Volta) have teamed up to form Pinnick Gales Pridgen. The name isn't creative, but the music is. Their self-titled album blends hard rock with touches of metal, blues and prog.
Gales' bluesy guitar work is outstanding. From basic riffs to clever licks to screaming solos, he's a versatile and skilled player. Pinnick's voice matches really well with Gales' style, and Pridgen's creative drumming solidifies the package. Pinnick Gales Pridgen is an excellent debut, and hopefully more than just a one-off.
Psychothermia - 'Fall To The Rising Sun' (Self)
Genre: Hard Rock
Fall To The Rising Sun is the debut album from San Diego hard rockers Psychothermia. The hard rock genre has a million bands that sound almost exactly the same, and to stand out requires something exceptional. Psychothermia aren't there yet, but their debut offers promise.
You'll hear elements of bands like Five Finger Death Punch in Psychothermia's sound, and their strong point is vocalist Johan Maldonado. He sings with a lot of passion and varies up his style to make things more diverse. The songs are solid, but need to be more memorable and catchier if they want to make it to the next level.
Genre: Traditional Metal
Though Descent To The Underworld is their debut album, Raven Lord identify their peers as Dio, Black Sabbath, Yngwie Malmsteen and Judas Priest. The songs themselves reach for a sense of grandness, hitting all the major, traditional heavy metal notes. Raven Lord hit all the hot buttons and strike all the right chords, but working so closely within an established genre they are also enslaved to it.
What made their influences truly revolutionary instead of merely good was their innovation; in adhering to deeply established aesthetics. Raven Lord allow their slavish devotion to tie them down, and relegates them to paying tribute rather than being worshiped.