Hey metal lovers! Let’s get stoked about this fantastic mid-week release from British Columbia Groovy Prog Death Metallers The Hallowed Catharsis and their new concept EP Solar Cremation!
I’m stoked to bring you a look at the review for the upcoming split EP with Fumigation and The Path To R’lyeh.
Mat Desjardins (drums)
Jay Donnelly (vox)
Tom Hansen (guitar)
Chris Humeniuk (bass)
Matt MacIvor (guitar)
The first four songs of the EP are Fumigation. This is them at their most gruesome and organic sounding yet. The approach to this EP was much more old school and gives a vibe of walking through an abandoned house that is covered in mold and cobwebs, to open up a cupboard and it be filled with a massive next of spiders.
The EP starts out with a grim build up into a cool heavy dissonant riff which transitions into a nice head-bangable verse that uses some of the same chords. The chorus is faster and has an enjoyable fast riff with more dissonant chords at the tail. I like how the theme of the first song seems to end riffs with a similar feel, but not the same part. There are some brief slams and more verses which flow well. They even make the main verse riff groovier which has a nice effect at one point. After the next chorus is goes to a series of wicked riffs that are made for a circle pit! The song continues to finish strong with sweet riffs and angry vocals. Their half of the EP continues to utilize some catchy tremolo riffs and lots of catchy Old School, bouncy but somewhat Thrashy riffs too. A Beard Full Of Maggots is full of exciting riffs and slows to a slower almost Death/Doom part near the end which is killer for a brutal and slow headbang.
The bass begins to stand out much much more in the second song, Forced Vaginal Harbourage. He weaves in and out of the riffs and the riffs themselves are more melodic as well and quite catchy, as well as pretty progressive in the intro. Near the end of the song the bass has some more sweet low but bouncy lines. Through most of the music, the bass is mixed in, making the tone nice and thick. It is audible but he only steps out of the rest of the arrangement occasionally. The parts all fit the songs and the low clunky tone sounds sweet.
You won’t really hear much blast beats in Fumigation at all. They have more Groovy and Old School vibes, especially in the drumming. There is some blasting in Forced Vaginal Harbourage. Aside from not utilizing much blasting the beats do fit, and there is some very consistent double kick. I like the organic sounding mix on the kicks and cymbals as well. Whole kit really. It has nice panning as well in the mix. Earwigs & Earwax has ripping double kick and super-fast tremolo riffs most of the time after an awesome and nostalgic King Of The Hill intro clip, perfect for the bands theme, featuring Dale Gribble leaving an angry and deranged exterminator phone message.
The vocals are also pretty old school in a good way. They have a low mid bellowy shout tone that almost reminds me of Psycrpotic but heavier at times. The vocals can also get pretty guttural at times and occasionally use semi high accents. While the vocals on this EP do not have the same badass powerful crisp low that their previous full length had, it is more comparable to the transition that Bloodbath went through vocally. This being a more putrid, organic and raw sound with plenty of passion. There are quite some brutal moments in Earwigs & Earwax, as well as some of the more “shouty” parts. It is a great and diverse performance. They are a unique tone that is hard for me to describe, and at times remind me of Deathgrind. The “shoutyness” that is incorporated almost reminds me of what could be the beginnings of those ‘hallowed priest shouts’ that Zombiefication and Apocrophex and Hour Of Penance use sometimes. It sounds kind of agonized and desperate. I like it. One other neat thing that adds to the vocal diversity is that each song has some guest vocals. Which becomes more apparent and distinct with more listens.
The second half is The Path to R’lyeh. This is their debut release and a rather impressive one at that. While none of them are brand new to the genre or scene either, they are still relatively unknown. They play an aggressive and technical Lovecraftian worship themed Death Metal and they have a pretty refreshing sound.
THE PATH TO R’LYEH
Alain Cloutier (guitar/bass)
Milann Vaidya (drums)
Yan Chatel (vocals)
Jonathan Lattimore Desabrais (guitar)
It starts with a cool groovy slam with a blast and pauses before coming in full force with heavy blasting, cool tremolo riffing and powerful vocals. After they change heavy riffs a few times they go to a more almost atmospheric part with more prominent and great bass, vocals come in and they continue to fluently turn it into a sweet techy verse with equally prominent bass and guitar. I must say I really like this riff. They go back into the slam from the start with the blast. He goes on the mix up the cymbal work and it is really enjoyable. They then go to another fast but slightly “slammy” riff into a heavy ass slam with ripping double kick and pretty brutal but not overly guttural vocals.
The next song comes in with a catchy kind of Melodic Death style Thrashy riff. The vocals in this song switch depending on the verse, from a more love mid ranged bark to a wicked cool low tone to semi guttural and guttural at times. The vocals start to stand out more to me at the 1:10 mark when they change riffs and he goes lower. It is a very cool tone and I feel that it hits a bit harder than the more mid range tone, which is still a good one.
The following song starts out fast and strong, opening with a quick drum fill into furious riffs and drums and powerful low vocals. This is the first demonstration of highs in the album and it may catch some off guard. They are a rather blackened sounding shriek that has a piercing and agonizing pitch. Once you get used to them they are pretty badass, but definitely sound a bit unexpected almost every time. It almost reminds me of the ‘pterodactyl scream’ from Unhuman. The vocals and drums are totally furious in this song and they have some cool Origin-esque moments.
The final song starts with a super-fast riff with some quick gallops thrown in and techy fills. The drums are ripping the whole time with nice switching up on the cymbals quite often. The cymbal work right around the middle is totally excellent. The vocals are powerful and pretty brutal at times. Near the end of this song there is several sick groovy riffs that are really well executed.
This is a cool split EP of two bands that are different enough yet familiar enough to totally work and be enjoyable as one full listen. Their songs are quick and hard hitting. These bands managed to write some catchy songs, without any solos whatsoever. Proving that good songwriting really does topple over all. Though, I do love me a good solo. I would love to see the addition of tastefully placed solos into these bands music down the road. Perhaps that is not what they are going for, but here and there to mix it up like that is great in my opinion. Go pre-order the album now, it drops next Friday!
For fans of Skinless, Gorguts, Obituary, Cephalic Carnage, Bloodbath, Immolation, Konkeror
For fans of Origin, Demented, Cognitive, Brain Drill, Abysmal Dawn
Path To R’lyeh
Check it out below
Hi guys! I am honored and extremely stoked to bring you my review for the brand new release from my Chilean brothers in Bleak Flesh!
First, let’s look at a bio of the band…
Formed in 2004 in Santiago de Chile by Matias Quiroz under a different name. By 2009 the project had evolved to what is Bleak Flesh. Soon after, bassist Enrique Carvajal joined ranks. By 2012, talented drummer Sebastián Vidal had joined the ranks and they had recorded some demos which would later be released on a compilation in 2015 called “A Glimpse from the Past: The Unreleased Demo Collection”. In 2013 the band was complete with addition of Nicolas Martinez on guitar and Paulo Carcamo on lead vocals. The band would the release their 2013 debut EP, THE GATEWAY, presenting an interesting mix of genres like technical and melodic death metal with progressive touches and nice synth mixed in. In 2014 Bleak Flesh released their first full length album called TRANSCENDENCE. The album got great reviews from fans and critics alike and I even reviewed it a while back! The CD’s even sold out! This EP should be highly anticipated based on the great response Transcendence got, not to mention the brand new vocalist. On January 1st 2016 Radial Velocity came out as the first song recorded with Ngen Kerruff on vocals, being the first single for the new OVERCOMING REALITY EP. On December 19th 2016 they released the second single for the EP, The Spectral Path, along with a sweet music video.
Order or stream their new EP here:
Their music is extremely well rounded within seamlessly molding different subgenres together. Not the same way Cyborg Octopus does, but these guys are still completely unique. They mix Progressive Metal with synths, Technical Death Metal, Djenty and other groovy and sometimes funky riffs, melodic Death Metal and more!
The vocals are powerful and have a great tone. His delivery isn’t quite as enunciated as their previous vocalist Paulo, however he makes up for it by having a really excellent tone and range. He does have enjoyable delivery as well and a wide range. He can go from gutturally low, which he only does on occasion, to a powerful, almost Polish DM sounding mid low and some soaring awesome highs which are also kind of dark and intense. They remind me of the blackened highs heard in Slugdge. Though overall, the bands are very different, they are both slightly experimental and incorporate similar vocal traits at times.
There is still clean vocals on this EP, like their previous work, but it is different and it isn’t coming off forced. That being said, no vocoder. Which I am OK with because I don’t really like vocoder and their previous work war the only use of vocoder I have ever managed to enjoy in any band. In fact the clean vocals in songs like Overcoming reality, where the cleans come in right away, before they even proceed to get brutal, and Sunshine, which has some great epic but totally add to the overall vibe and epic-ness of the songs. Sunshine by far has the most cleans and I think they are really fitting. It also has some great riffs and beats and grooves. The cleans remind me of the cleans that Cyborg Octopus lays out in their Neo-classical influenced song, Divine Right (In D Minor). I personally like them a lot.
The bass work sounds great! The opening and title track, Overcoming Reality has some sweet bass lines, especially during the parts with prominent synth. It sounds like there are some cool slapped bass licks and fills.
Expanding the Existence has an excellent bass solo when it mellows out and then goes in to a beautiful guitar solo section. They mellow it out the first time and he plays a great bass line and then they go to a nice upbeat riff for a bit and mellow it back down to the amazing solo sections.
The guitar is very enjoyable as well. Matiaz is an amazing player who can create beastly riffs and beautiful solos. The riffs are exciting and very upbeat. Expanding the Existence has some super catchy and quite intricate riffs and that absolutely lovely solo mentioned before after with wicked bass sections. Galactic Monolith is a great and varied song. Several awesome grooves and lots of really wicked fast parts too. I particularly love the little melodic lead near the end of the song!
The instrumental track, The Dawn of the Ancient Realms, is simply outstanding!
They soften it down at just before 2:00 and the bass has some totally awesome lines, then they go into a rather freely and super epic solo, into a sick groove with more awesome bass! This then leads into another fantastic solo! Love the tone too! The riffs are extremely exciting and quick with really blistering drums, though he has great feel when they need to let the song breathe too. The synth is pretty prominent through most of this song and it is used well. It fades out with a kind of tribal feel.
The guitar solo in Radial Velocity, which was one of the first singles for the album, released last year, is absolutely amazing. It is fairly lengthy and goes through several different ‘sections’ and is extremely well written. The solo section in the more recent single they released at the beginning of this year is out if this world as well. The Spectral Path has all sorts of incredibly catchy riffs, wicked intense drums and roaring and soaring vocals. But that solo is just absolutely fabulous!
The drums are killer. Great beats and mix. The cymbals sound great as is but when the synth is going, it is mixed really well too. The frequencies add a really nice angelic feel. He sometimes tastefully incorporates gravity blasts as well. Such as in Galactic Monolith, which also has some wicked groove at times and some excellent fast double pick and ride beats that I lust love. And also such as in Spectral Path, which has awesome blistering fast beats that are perfectly placed and not only speed, but excellent feel as they give this song room to breathe several times and every instrument totally plays into making it work, especially the guitar and drums in this song. All sorts of other enjoyable cymbal work as well. not only on that song. The EP is packed with awesome grooves, sweet super fast yet creative beats with lots of great cymbal and especially ride work, and seamless transitions.
It makes me proud to hear this EP. These guys are amazing people and musicians, creating truly unique and inspiring Death Metal. Fans of original and slightly experimental sounds with great melody and groove, this band is for you! The vocals are well ranged and have an exciting delivery and great tone. The drums have incredible speed and excellent beats and fantastic groove and feel when called for. The riffs are creative and very intriguing, with tons of stand out bass through this EP! I strongly urge you to give this a listen! I know this band can have a bright future in this genre if they reach the right amount of fans! It would be a dream come true to see these guys live or play with them some day!
For fans of Atlantis Chronicles, Between The Buried And Me, Dark Matter Secret, Cyborg Octopus, Slugdge, Flub, Black Crown Initiate
I have a very special review of Slugdge – The Cosmic Cornucopia.
Slugdge is a fantastic 2 man studio Death Metal project from Lancashire, UK. The band consists of Kev Pearson on instrumentation, guitar & bass performance, main composition and Matt Moss on vocals, lyrics and composition. I have been following Slugdge for a few years now, and it makes me so happy to see them finally able to physically release their material. They play an absolutely enthralling take on Blackened Death Metal with prominent elements of OSDM, Sludge, Prog-Death & Doom Metal. They mix these genres so well and fluently, it really makes for an amazing musical journey. When I first heard them it was about a week after they dropped Gastronomicon. My friend showed me them on bandcamp and we each bought both of their first albums for $20 each. (They are on bandcamp for NYP download).
This album is the Bible of The Greatfather Mollusca, harvester of the universe. An epic, 24 track, reverse chronological order compilation of Slugdge’s 3 full length albums, Dim and Slimeridden Kingdoms, Gastronomicon & Born Of Slime. Each album contains 8 dark and progressive Death Metal tracks.
First you have their newest album Dim and Slimeridden Kingdoms. The songs are pretty long, with only 1 song clocking in just under 5 minutes and most of them being between 6 and 8 minutes. They do not drag on though. They progress wonderfully with great songwriting that allows the riffs to flow to one another perfectly. This album is definitely the most diverse Slugdge album. It has the most technical riffs out of any of their other albums, and some of the blackened parts, always present in Slugdge, are more Technical and Progressive in this album. One thing that may come as a downfall to some, is that this album seems to have more clean vocal range and cleaner clean vocals & ‘Priest Chants’ as I like to call them. The gents have clearly progressed at their respective instruments. Definitely noticeable in the advancement of the clean vocals and the grim highs as well as the technicality of the riffing. That’s not to take anything away from their previous works.
The middle of the album consists of most of my favourite Slugdge songs, in Gastronomicon. It has a really great instrumental intro whoch flows directly into the title track, which is almost 8 minustes long as it is. I like to think of the intro, Dark Side Of The Shroom (LOL) as part of the song Gastronomicon. This song also contains the lyrics which they will choose for their compilation title. This album has a very bleak, but yet spectral feel to it. It is dark, epic, and fantastical, all at the same time.
The last third, Born Of Slime, this is Slugdge’s first full length album, and it’s pretty much just as great as the other 2. It’s place on this compilation is well deserved even though it does sound more primitive and raw than the other 2. Slugdge, to this day has a very dark vibe to their songs, but this album is especially grim and bleak. One interesting piece of trivia is that this album’s cover art was very obviously inspired by The Destruction of Soddom and Gomorrah, painted by John Martin in 1852.
Sometimes people tend not to like compilations, and for me, it depends on the case but I generally don’t care. This one is great because it makes all 3 of Slugdge’s fantastic releases, available physically to the fans. The first 2, physically for the first time. Plus, the albums do flow really well. Though I do kind of feel that it should have gone oldest release to newest release, they obviously chose this order for a reason. One thing that I like about Slugdge that is not musical is that their titles are parodies of classic Metal titles that most fans of Slugdge have probably heard before. It is a fun Easter egg and reminds me of Cannabis Corpse and Dethklok.
For fans of Behemoth, Bal-Sagoth, The Chasm, Apocrophex, Emperor, Nile
Hey there metal heads,
it gives us great pleasure to announce a new member to the mix. Many have read his reviews in various Facebook groups, and some of you have also heard him if you are a fan of Progressive Death Metal. As he is also a member of the Cambridge, Ontario based band Æpoch, that’s right Brett Macintosh the 5 string bass wielding madman who also handles vocals will be bringing the brutality with his reviews.
So not only is he living the metal scene through his music, he is also a huge supporter of the metal scene. Not only helping promote shows, but also writing up some of his very detailed reviews. We have always dedicated our reviews to the support of the metal scene, and to help try and spread the word for bands signed or unsigned. When there is good music out there, it should be heard, and that’s what we are all about, so that’s why Brett is the perfect fit. His reviews will continue to be in his normal format and he will be contributing regularly between his other musical endeavors.
So while you are letting that soak in, it is worth mentioning that he already has been working some reviews and has been listening to a lot of metal lately, so stay tuned this week as we will be dropping his first review in the coming days. but in the mean time have yourself a listen to Aepochalypse. \m/
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