Review: The Decibel Magazine Tour 4/29/2012

This past Febuary, like so many others around the time ticket sales were announced, I purchased a ticket to The Decibel Magazine Tour. This tour was full of so many heavy hitters in the underground metal scene, Swedish NWOBHM revivalists In Solitude, Dutch occult rockers The Devil’s Blood, Swedish black metal masters Watain, and Polish black/death powerhouse Behemoth. If there was ever a tour to boast high quality acts, this was it. Would this be worth it and then some?

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Review: MUNICIPAL WASTE- “The Fatal Feast”

Its been about three years since Virginia based party thrashers Municipal Waste came out with their foutth full length Massive Agressive, which in all honesty was my first real introduction to this band. Their blending of humor, politics, gore, shlock, and sleaze pretty much peaked my interest which led me to this bands ealier material, notably Waste ‘Em All and The Art Of Partying. Its nothing I took overly seriously or considered too hard hitting, but I though it was decent.

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Review: SARCOPHAGY- “The Summoning”

Are you a death metal fan that craves some brutality with an old school feel to it? Then look no further then the debut album from death metal quintet Sarcophagy as they punish you with The Summoning. Apparently this band has been around since 1993 but its taken them quite a while to get this project off of the ground. But the fine folks at Sevared Records backed this up, and now its out for the death metal masses.

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Review: JEFF LOOMIS- “Plains Of Oblivion”

When it comes to the landscape of the sound that is modern metal, there are only a few names that I can think of, but at the top of the list for me comes one musician, and that is Jeff Loomis. His guitar work is pretty much the stuff of legend in my book, and his time with Nevermore has brought forth some incredible songs and moments. But seeing as how that phase of his career is behind him, its only best he returns to his solo work and with Plains Of Oblivion, he continues his path into greatness.

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Review: EXUMER- “Fire & Damnation”

Has it really been 25 years since German thrash metal band Exhumer released a full length album? That’s a question I seem to ask myself a lot as soon as I heard that Metal Blade Records was going to issue their third full length Fire & Damnation. I’m a sucker for German thrash so it gave me just a hint of anticipation.

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Review: IMPIETY- “Ravage & Conquer”

2012 has been a very solid year for metal in my view, but there have been seldom few that almost came close to hitting the perfect mark for me, most notably new releases from Asphyx and Cannibal Corpse. But we come across something that may end up topping them both for me, and that is the latest full length from Singapore based blackened death metal trio Impiety.

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Review: ACEPHALIX- “Deathless Master”

Well i’m not gonna lie, from time to time I like a litle bit of crustiness in my death metal, so when I heard about the new album from San Francisco based quartet Acephalix, I was pretty excited. And Deathless Master seems to take the sound that this band originally carried, and infused a legitimate death metal feel to it.

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Review: MINISTRY- “Relapse”

Well when it comes to industrial styles of metal, there is really only one band that comes to mind for me and that is Illinois based pioneers of the genre Ministry. For the better part of 3 decades, this band has pretty much shape a sound thats often imitated but never duplicated and is responsible for classics like The Land Of Rape And Honey, The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste, and their most well known release, the lovingly titled Psalm 69: The Way To Succeed and the Way To Suck Eggs. Their blending of altered vocals, crazed guitar riffs, and elements of electronic sampling made the listener appreciate what this band had to offer

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Review: IMPENDING DOOM- “Baptized In Filth”

When I first heard about the name of the fourth album from Califoria based Christian metallers Impending Doom, titled Baptized In Filth, needless to say I was more delighted than shocked. The shocked part referring to some of the fans of this band going up in arms about it and making a fuss. Not every band that has positivity and virtue within their lyrics can aim to please. So needless to say this reviewer had some moderate expectations. Continue reading

Review: MIKE ARMINE- “Verse”

Ahh the soothing sounds of dark ambient. It can be a mixture of something calm and relaxing, or it can be something sinister and downright scary. Luckily there’s something out there that will mix a little bit of the best of both worlds, and that is the latest release from Mike Armine entitled Verse.

It took me a while to figure out who this person was until it hit me that he was the main man behind Pennsylvania based experimental rockers Rosetta. Anything that this band makes pretty much rules and isn’t afraid to cross boundaries. Same can be said about their frontman and his solo ventures, coming out in 2007 with his debut Cleansing Undertones of Wake/Lift which showcased more of a stretch towards drone, dark ambient, shoegaze, and noise (said album is also included and remastered for this new album).

Now we fast forward to 2012 with his long overdue sophmore effort. And in Verse, it ranges from calming, to noisy, to repetitious, to almost an entrancing mystique once you get to the closing moments of this album. Stuff like that is to be expected, same as with last year when one man whirlwind Dominick Fernow aka Prurient released his plethora of dark ambient/noise related materials in 2011. Songs like “Optical Electronics” and “Carson’s Theorem” seem to present this albums more calmer and relaxing side. While the two closing songs “The Non Place Of The Body” and the twice as long “The Non Place Of The Desire” sheds a dark light of this music style’s more darker approach including the drone and harsh noise aspects.

When all is said and done, this is an album that will stimulate the mind and bring forward your darkest inner thoughts. It may not be for everyone, but this is defintely a welcome piece of dark ambient for the year of 2012.

Final score: 8 out of 10

Armijo Out

Unleashing The Xenocryst: Thoughts On The New ALLEGAEON Track

This song has been out for a couple of weeks, and I’m pretty foolish for not even giving the benefit of a mention. Well here it is. Colorado based modern metallers Allegaeon have unveiled a new song from their forthcoming sophmoric effort for Metal Blade Records entitled Formshifter.

You can tell this is business as usual by the song title “Tartessos: The Hidden Xenocryst”. So damn manly. But musically, it seems as if everyone has stepped their game up from their acclaimed debut Fragments Of Form And Function. The dual guitar weilding of Ryan and Greg is pretty much monumental, with amazing riffs and immaculate solo work. Corey’s bass is solid, new drummer JP impresses with some awesome and solid pacing. And frontman Ezra sounds more motivated than ever with his growls and screams.

Their debut in 2010 was marked #5 in my top 10 list of that year. Here’s to hoping that in 2012 with Formshifter, they can hit that spot, or perhaps climb higher than that.

Armijo Out

Splitting Limbs Texas Style: 5 Way Split From Ossuary Industries

Something pretty damn giddy to be excited about here. Texas based record label Ossuary Industries has released the second part of its Limb Splitter series by including 5 different bands with a touch of death metal laced in there somewhere throughout 18 tracks.

It would be hard to describe every single song in detail, but in a few short paragraphs, i’ll describe the songs from each band as a whole.

Ingurgitate- in their 4 tracks, they display their raw blending of traditional death metal, with some of the true Texas style of death metal. Guttural vocals, some wicked drumming from The Dobber, and some meaningful riffing blend together nicely here.

Hod- easy way to describe this band:  FUCKIN METAL! Or if you wanna be all fancy about it, blackened death metal, with no gloss, no pomp and circumstance, and no gimmickry. True and as real as it gets. 3 songs showcase the renegade style they’ve always known how to do with awesome guitar work, fast drum blasting, and Vladibeer spurting out some rather evil vocals. Sort of giving you an idea of when the next full length from these San Antonio based heathens will come.

Iniquitous- well here’s a supergroup for you. Featuring current and former members of esteemed metal bands such as Solstice, Sarcolytic, and Suffocation, they only have 3 tracks to work with, and they deliver a quite punishing amount of death metal for the masses. Wicked vocals, some rather catchy guitar work, and some awesome drumming from Mike Smith best sum up this collective.

Locusta- pretty much the only non Texas band to appear on this split, but the 4 tracks they bring are just monumentally earth shaking. Their blend of death metal, black metal, and progressive work splendidly well, and it also doesn’t hurt that they have a Death cover on here, Human‘s “See Through Dreams”, it rules.

Demoniacal Genuflection- to be honest its basically 3/5ths of Ingurgitate, but its not a bad thing, trust me. Its still death metal, but a little bit more wickedly paced, and darker. Punishing riffs, disgusting vocals, and Dobber steadying the pace with his awesome drumwork.

But if you want one of 2012′s most punishing split releases, make your effort to give Limb Splitter II your undivided attention.

Armijo Out

Track Review- HIGH ON FIRE “Fertile Green”

Well this took me by suprise today. Oakland, CA’s own stoner metal trio High On Fire have unveiled a new song off of their forthcoming sixth full length De Vermis Mysteriis set to be released on April 3rd. This album will mark a change in the production values as they team up with Converge axe weilder Kurt Ballou for the production and mixing work.

And its evident from the first 30 seconds. You hear those almost Lombardo-esque drum blasts (at least that’s how it sounds to me), then soon after you hear the thunderous riffing you would best know this band for.

Guitar work is incredible as per usual HoF, Matt Pike is pretty much a skilled master of his craft when it comes to playing a guitar and he makes it work so good, just pure awesomeness at the 2:16 mark when he breaks off into almost Mastodon territory with the solo. Pretty damn memorable in this reviewer’s humble opinion. Current bassist Jeff Matz makes this song extremely dirty with his lurking and intense bass strumming, its clear, audible, and played expertly well.

Des Kensel, alongside Matt Pike as one of the founding members of this fine band, shows you his pure class as a drummer. Those militant moments at the beginning are awesome, and what’s even more awesome is that it transitions to a more fast paced style of playing, still stoner doom in essence, but you know….faster. And back to the face of the band (or as I refer to him “The Grill Of Metal”) Matt Pike. Business as usual, his vocals have always been unique. His rugged and throaty growls pretty much rules, reminds me of Lemmy Kilmister fromMotorhead, but more along the stoner side of things. He delivers a frantic vibe and gets his point across as only he can.

I know April 3rd is pretty much 5 weeks away, but I am gonna go on a limb and say that this song may eventually lead to the best album that High On Fire have ever made. All I can say is, we’ll see what happens. Blaze one for me.

Armijo Out

Review- TERRORIZER “Hordes Of Zombies”

*sighs and frumps*

Terrorizer are pretty much responsible for a single classic album, 1989′s World Downfall. That album was full of some absolute classic material, from the nastiness in David Vincent’s bass, to the awesome guitar work (RIP Jesse Pintado), the fast blasting of Pete Sandoval, to the frantic words and growls of Oscar Garcia. This album blended death metal and grindcore precisely well.

But move about 20+ years later and we have a reached the current state of this band. And in this reviewers humble opinion, it is a state that is in dire crisis. They released a 2006 album Darker Days Ahead, and sad to say, it was just horrible. Wasn’t feeling the vocals, and the rest of it was just disappointing. Now fast forward to 2012, word spreads that the band is signed with Season Of Mist. And they have David Vincent back on bass. And they have a new female guitarist. Not gonna lie, i’m the kind of person who’s kind enough to give something a chance, regardless of the outcome. So I give this thing a few proper spins…. Continue reading