Prominence and Demise
It’s important to mention right off the bat that Eik rules. He was instrumental in the creation of the second Top Ten Most Ridiculous BM Pics and it’s evident that Winds is a talented, unique band in possession of refined songwriting skills found in few places across the metal morass. Still, I can’t get over the vocals; they are simply not working here. Rather, they fit occasionally, but when the altos and layering kick in, I grind my teeth a little. I’m fine with piano, violins, or hell, fucking trombones if you want them in your metal but they’ve got to remain moderated because, let’s keep it real here folks, they suck a majority of the time and end up being more of a nuisance than anything. Winds manage to pull it off in bits and pieces but most of the tracks are indistinguishable from one another. There is dire need for a great vocalist in the rhapsodic Arcturusian metal scene, but you won’t find him on this recording.
Drops the axe on just about everything they’ve done since World Demise. Obituary’s sound has remained virtually unchanged since the beginning and ER is no exception. The difference here is we get the feeling that the band actually cared about what they were recording rather than just sputtering out the same bland horseshit that we’ve all put up with for the last ten years. Tardy has always had one of the freshest, most original voices in death metal and he’s somehow back in top form despite being a gargantuan bore to interview.
Dimension Zero –
He Who Shall Not Bleed
After a few goes, and drinks, I’ve realized that this is my least favorite Dimension Zero album. Sure, it’s hard to botch a relentless death/thrash attack but some of this shit is starting to sound like melodic Arsis cheese. Jocke’s reliable blackened snarling now sounds like every squealing, tapered jean-wrapped hardcore fag in the business. Not quite enough blast fills this time around is an additional letdown. If anything, it’s worth the “Staying Alive” cover. Yes, the “Staying Alive” cover.
Job for a Cowboy
Wouldn’t it be nice if Davy just shut the fuck up for two seconds? Must he fill every moment on the album with his inane jabbering? More or less standard death metal sprinkled with a bit of hardcore— choppy riffs, endless changeups, etc. Worth checking out if you’re sixteen and your nose is peppered with blackheads.
Impending Doom –
Nailed. Dead. Risen.
Christian death metal from Corona? First of all, Corona is a complete fucking cesspool so I can’t altogether blame these kids for finding Jesus to make sense of their miserable lives. However, the fact that they kick a bit of ass doesn’t absolve this impermissible blunder. Sheepism aside, if you like it bonecrushingly brutal, this is for you. Monstrous vocals, pulverizing breakdowns, meaty sledgehammer drumming, ridiculous song titles— this has it all. Early Fleshgrind, Origin, Disgorge, Dying Fetus, and Suffocation fans would have a good wank to this. Fun stuff.
Nocturnal Breed –
Fields of Rot
The new album from S.A. Destroyer (ex Gehenna/Satyricon) and his posse of Norwegian black-thrash metal degenerates. Fast, screamy, chaotic, riffy, tolerably produced, and carefully massaged with an old school touch. Reminds me of bit of Impaled Nazarene in their thrashier moments. It might not have longest shelf life in your metal collection (which should have a fairly high turnover rate) but you might need to hear this.
A decent encore to The Cult is Alive only not quite as generically cool. Is it surprising to anyone that the last two albums are the least offensive dung Darkthrone has dredged up in their shit-shoveling career? Everyone knows that Panzerfaust would’ve been good if Nocturno hadn’t sounded like a drunken black metal derelict with Asperger’s, but this new sound they’ve perfected should’ve happened fifteen years ago. What they need to do is re-record some early material with the current production and wicked echoed vocals. These Shores are Damned fucking rocks, then, sadly, or predictably rather, the album crashes steadfast through the seven gates of boredom.
Death Breath –
Let It Stink
Fucking awful. Stinking Up the Night might have been a refreshing exhumation of the old Swedish style but this is nothing short of insulting. I’ve heard better 4-track demos in my day. Nobody cares about your hammy Wrath of the Corpse video you bedraggled fucking geezers! Please stick with what works or just stop.
Evocation – Tales from the Tomb
This might be the most blatant Entombed clone ever. So flagrant, in fact, that they cover But Life Goes On and do nothing to make it their own. What’s the point? Dan Seagrave cover art doesn’t hide the fact that this throats black cock. Embarrassing.
Limbonic Art – A Legacy of Evil
Every black metal fan should have nothing but respect for these two. Sure, they’ve had a few flops over the last decade like everyone else, but now they are back with a savage slab of unadulterated black metal sickness. Less symphonic atmosphere + more riffing blast madness = good shit. Of course there are a couple moments of goofy diddling here and there, notably on Twilight Omen, but by and large this is a worthy and evil comeback.
While I’ve always considered Monstrosity to be the weakest Floridian death metal link, this is inarguably their best album. Morrisound provides the goods so you don’t have to worry about shit production and plenty of scenesters, young and old, make cameo appearances. My main issue is with the new vocalist; he’s lifeless and so obviously trying to be brutal it becomes a bit laughable. Seriously, samples of Terry Schiavo’s vegetable groaning would’ve made for better listening. As decrepit as Benton has become in recent years, Monstrosity might have been wise in convincing him to whore out and keep the Florida pride at optimum gayness. Worth illegally downloading at any rate.
Korpiklaani are truly ridiculous. You either love the accordion-laced Finnish folk metal variety or you don’t. Somehow, for me anyway, it’s impossible to not revel in this complete nonsense. As always, take with alcohol.
This is a pretty solid effort. Should appeal to black, death, and Viking metal fans alike. It’s got a good mix of everything— enough blasts and battle themes to erect the cocks of the Unleashed, Allegiance, Enslaved, whathaveyou camp, as well as enough folky rhythms for any Finntroll,
Turisas, or Korpiklaani fanboy to enjoy. Underneath the war cries and chainmail is some pretty good songwriting and guitar work worth mentioning. The production is a bit thinner than previous outings but in the end, like every Ensiferum album, it has a few standouts, a few fillers, and a few
Gorefest – Rise
I suppose I’ll end this drunken rant with Gorefest. Rise to Ruin entered the Dutch album charts at #61!! I’m amazed what with all the diverse musical brilliance exploding out of the Netherlands these days. My love for Gorefest was shattered with the monumentally heinous Erase before it was spat and shat upon by the unspeakable atrocity that was Soul Survivor. La Muerte was a return to proper form musically but JC’s semen-gurgling remained as unbearable as ever. Does anyone actually like his vocals at this point? So here we have more of the same; everything kicks ass except for JC’s silly bubble-blowing gab. My advice is to stop being a stubborn old coot and hire a new vocalist you selfish twat. You’re killing your bandmates! Cheers.