Archive for Death Metal

Track Review: Charred Walls of the Damned “Ghost Town” [2010]

Posted in Charred Walls Of The Damned, Tim Ripper Owens with tags on December 4, 2009 by gearsofrock

The sickest metal track to hit the airwaves this week is “Ghost Town” by Charred Walls of the Damned. The band features the vocals of the legendary Tim “Ripper” Owens and the blistering drums of Howard Stern Show personality Richard Christy.

Owens always delivers to an astronomical level, but one would think Christy would have lost some thunder, or at least be rusty, after spending recent years acting like a complete jack ass for the Stern Show.

Christy’s drumming is phenomenal between his double bass technique, exciting rhythm changes, and heavy ass breakdowns (2:25). In fact, Christy is the back bone and the main reason “Ghost Town” is awesome.

Death metal producer Jason Suecof provides the shred work utilizing guitar harmonies and rapid-fire licks that you would expect from John Petrucci.

Honestly, this song took me by complete surprise this week. Perhaps my expectations were too low or I have been starving for some great new metal; anyways, I am officially looking forward to the full self-titled album from Metal Blade Records in February –Meds

Charred Walls of the Damned is Tim “Ripper” Owens (Vocals), Jason Suecof (Guitars), Steve Digiorgio (Bass), & Richard Christy (Drums).


SOS Metal Reviews: Napalm Death “Times Waits For No Slave,” Death By Stereo, Minsk, Warbringer, and more…

Posted in Napalm Death, SOS Metal Update, Warbringer with tags on September 1, 2009 by gearsofrock

Amazon Napalm DeathNAPALM DEATH


Pioneering grindcore unit Napalm Death continue their trademark trail of wreckage, willfully destroying everything in their way with lethal rounds of speed and a rabid sense of aggression on Time Waits For No Slave, the British troupe’s 14th studio endeavor. Exhibiting the ravenous thirst for domination they’ve built into every face-splitting blast beat, crossover metal interchange, and skull-caving breakdown lovingly churned out since their inception in 1981, Napalm Death is one of the few bands that have a broad enough scope to pull off balancing finite consistency with experimental growth spurts, flat out refusing to rest on a decorated extreme metal pedigree or glories of their blueprint back catalog. Instead, this incendiary foursome opts to kick up the intensity and lunge at the jugular with a vintage voracity fueled by the danger and dread they’ve carried since their salad days. Look no further for an album that will blow your head clean off, as Time Waits For No Slave provides a tantalizing mix of grind, death, thrash, and punk as only Napalm Death can deliver. www.centurymedia.comamazon.comwikipedia.comMike SOS




A revisiting of the Swedish old school death metal style seems to be thriving as of late, and countrymen Axis Powers is making sure the revival stays strong as heard on their sophomore nine-track excursion Marching Towards Destruction. Relying on the wares of the pioneers from the genre for their crushing servings of sinister sonic bliss, this quartet’s retro metal renaissance resonates with the feral fury and devious cadence of early Entombed, Bolt Thrower, and Grave, nailing each ear-splitting guitar riff, rollicking bass line and mangled growl with the menacing malevolence of the originators fully intact. Eschewing metal’s modern virtues for the sake of whipping up a dastardly display of metal the way Mom used to make, Axis Powers provides an unsurprising yet uncompromising listening experience bursting with the distinguished tones of early death metal’s dissonant anguish www.pulverised.comMike SOS




Italian quintet Incoming Cerebral Overdrive’s eight-track endeavor complementarily exhibits this audacious outfit’s well-versed variety of avant-garde hardcore a la Dillinger Escape Plan and Poison the Well. Exuding mighty metalcore premonitions laced with a cathartically scream-y set of vocals, spastic time signature shifts, and a hodgepodge of hellacious guitar tones ranging from ear-splitting to bottom-scraping, this band’s slanted sensibilities yield a dizzying array of volatile tunes armed with spiky transitions, sludge metal tendencies and a dash of cosmically-induced prog-rock noodling for a daring and daunting listening experience. www.supernaturalcat.comMike SOS


Amazon Death By StereoDEATH BY STEREO


Orange County hardcore punk bastion Death By Stereo have made a career of taking chances and changing up their sound, so there’s no surprise that the stalwart act’s fifth full-length disc, the 15-track Death Is My Only Friend continues the trend. Pulling further away from their hardcore punk roots (associating itself more with a modern metallic approach a la Atreyu and AX7 these days) yet retaining the simmering intensity regardless how far the group has traveled off the starting line of the journey, their well-tread lead guitar heavy style and fist-pumping group vocal anthem paradigm remains a huge part of the music’s makeup much to the chagrin of old-schoolers (“Welcome to the Party,” “I Sing for You,” “The Ballad of Sid Dynamite”). The disc does include its fair share of clunky head-scratching moments however, as piano ballad “Forever and a Day” and the awkward stab at radio rock on “The Last Song” comes off contrived and out of place, but ultimately Death By Stereo redeems itself by laying down a satisfying smattering of the hurried punky hullabaloo that put this band on the map in between moments of well-earned but shaky attempts of artistic liberty (“We Sing Today for a Better Tomorrow”). www.serjicalstrike.comamazon.comwikipedia.comMike SOS




One-man progressive metal machine Tosin Abas is the main brain behind Animals as Leaders, a project whose eponymous 12-track excursion daringly thrusts into the far reaches of the metal spectrum, encompassing a progressive metal edge with a slew of decadent fretboard nuances with all-inclusive jazz-fusion tendencies. Doing all the bass and guitar (both 7 and 8-string) tracks himself, Abas creates a world engulfed in lush soundscapes aimed to beguile the listener as a rich array of technical intricacies dually derived from the foundation of both jazz and metal pours out of the speakers. Armed with flurries of enthralling expansiveness, this affair fosters the ambitious musical spirit of a virtuoso player a la Vai and Malmsteen whose first-rate chops never get in the way of its composition’s flow, while displaying a lack of the typecast clinical residue which results in the invigorating feeling of refreshed fluidity this release exudes. www.prostheticrecords.comMike SOS




Hungarian modern groove metal merchants Ektomorf’s latest effort What Doesn’t Kill Me is a plodding installment of utterly unoriginal down-tuned new school heavy music. Are they aware that Sepultura and Soulfly have already written half of these riffs and vocal lines? Simultaneously beating the rap-metal horse to death while grinding the nu metal movement to a halt by rendering a virtual line for line reprisal of all things Cavalera, Ektomorf’s uninspired homage properly radiates a solid slab of rage; shamefully it’s not their own. www.regainrecords.comMike SOS


Amazon MinskMINSK


Minsk’s third full-length offering serves up a transcendent smorgasbord of post-metal garnished with a masterful blend of styles and flavors. This Chicago, IL quartet channel the spirit of early Genesis, Voivod, and Mastodon to form sonically rich music laden with a cosmically charged left of center progressive metal edge, thrusting this fearless foursome’s pummeling pops of sinister sludgery and episodes of ethereal abrasiveness into realms reserved for the elite of the metal adventurers and the ensuing tolerant followers. Issuing an aura of uncanny uneasiness via the help of exotic compositions and intoxicating instrumentation, With Echoes In The Movement Of Stone wields a power derived from a blend of Minsk’s multitudes of non-metal influence, unrepentant waves of oppressiveness and foreboding musicianship, captivatingly holding attention spans with a mix of skull-splitting scintillation best heard under black light. Epic and intense, Minsk delivers huge here. www.relapse.comamazon.comwikipedia.comMike SOS




After a four-year slumber, Dimmu Borgir guitarist Galder resumes his prolific solo project Old Man’s Child with the release of Slaves Of The World. This Norwegian’s nine-track aural assault contains an obligatory dose of symphonic metal complete with keyboard flourishes and dastardly vocal growls, yet there’s also strong elements of death and thrash metal (“Unholy Foreign Crusade”), allowing songs like “On The Devil’s Throne” and “Saviours of Doom” to delve into more sadistic and sinister territories. Maintaining a grandiose vibe that simultaneously spews epic and evil visions (“Ferden Mot Fienden’s Land”), those who despise high-end production will shun this disc immediately, but for those who don’t mind some cracks of light seeping through black walls of despair, Old Man’s Child steadfastly delivers another well-manicured collection of black metal blasphemies. www.centurymedia.comMike SOS




Featuring four members from Canadian cripplers Kataklysm, Ex-Deo (rounded out by members of Martyr and Blackgard) focuses on The Roman Empire as the subject matter for this sextet’s incendiary offering Romulus. Masterfully harnessing melodic death metal’s majestic overtones, this 11-track affair bids few surprises yet crushes with a menacing mid-tempo pace, recreating the epic history of the events behind the world’s greatest civilization’s rise and fall along the way. Sturdily built from a proper blend of cavernous chugging guitars, purposeful keyboard accoutrements, and ferocious vocals that accurately narrate the gory glories from the beleaguered battlefields, Ex-Deo’s intriguing slant on Pagan metal renders a cohesive metal attack whose distinct cinematic scope and orchestral instrumentation radiates with the freshness that saves this disc from being cast as just another side project and is worthy for those who enjoy metal at its most sweeping and regal. www.nuclearblastusa.comMike SOS


Amazon WarbringerWARBRINGER


Los Angeles metal troupe Warbringer churns out an authentically replicated form of the best from thrash metal’s guilded age on the squad’s sophomore effort Waking Into Nightmares. Emulating the fury and power of every Testament riff, Overkill tempo acceleration, Baloff vocal pattern, and Slayer drumbeat as if their own, this quintet’s tried and true array of speed and heaviness (“Shadow of the Tomb”) coupled with a rousing ability to stay the course yet still knock out their own unique blend of searing compositions and rebellious subject matter that gloriously screams 1987 Headbangers Ball all the way. Complete with a snarling Kreator-esque guitar tone (“Scorched Earth”) yielding only to the rich classic metal influenced breaks and interludes peppered throughout (“Nightmare Anatomy”), Waking Into Nightmares is an excellently rounded 10-track disc laden in apocalyptic atmosphere and chock full of unquestionably volatile thrash metal virtue. www.centurymedia.comamazon.comwikipedia.comMike SOS




German quintet The New Black purposely channels a hard rock from North America appeal on their eponymous debut disc. Sounding like a hybrid with Nickelback’s hooky choruses and commercial flair, Black Label Society’s fretboard gymnastics, and Hellyeah’s sinewy swagger, this outfit’s mammoth whiskey-fueled guitar chugs and piledriving bottom end is solidified with a metal cowboy appeal that fans of Shinedown will appreciate (“Why I Burn”) and a modern hard rock sound tailor made for action sports highlight reels (“Wound”). While some derivation from the blueprint would knock this disc out of the park, all of The New Black’s ass-kicking elements are in place and uncoil at the right times to offer a listening experience for the gym or the pub that won’t disappoint. www.afmrecords.comMike SOS


Amazon Grief of WarGRIEF OF WAR


Japan’s Grief of War embraces a conglomeration of Bay Area thrash signatures, Germanic rapid-fire tempos and Sepultura-esque intensity (“Disorder”) as evident via the trio’s latest endeavor Worship. Despite the squad’s honorable homage to the battering riffs (“Into the Void”), dive-bomb friendly solos (“Built My Brain”), skull-jolting rhythms, and Kreator-esque seething-mad vocal shouts of yesteryear, Grief of War’s retread is sturdy but a bit too unimaginative, ultimately lacking that intangible spark necessary to place them into the realms of thrash metal’s upper echelon, yet maintains a solid undercurrent of visceral aggression that can easily find a spot somewhere between Nuclear Assault and Death Angel along the grand sonic spectrum. www.prostheticrecords.comamazon.comwikipedia.comMike SOS




NYC underground mainstays Iconicide celebrates 20 years of causing a ruckus from below with their subversive mix of NYHC chaos, anarchistic rock tendencies, lo-fi metal belligerence, and caustic punk abrasiveness on Bout Fucking Time. This 10-track affair explores this nonconformist squad’s dastardly mix of snarling guitar riffs, furious drums, and rabid vocal rants, sounding as if unearthed from the catacombs of the abyss (“Name Your Price,” “Biochipped”). Crustily non-PC and completely unapologetic, Iconicide’s slanted sociopolitical stance and unadulterated utter reckless abandon is intentionally sloppy at times and drips with every undesirable nuance of the Big Apple, rendering a welcomed reprieve from the cleanliness and clarity of modern music that sonically socks you in the jaw with the shock of a suckerpunch from behind. www.iconicide.comMike SOS

Review: Ignominious Incarceration – Of Winter Born [2009]

Posted in Ignominious Incarceration, SOS Metal Update with tags on July 11, 2009 by gearsofrock

Amazon IgnominiousUK death metal mavens Ignominious Incarceration’s truncated technical torrents of dastardly death metal is bound to garner the quintet the well-deserved attention and accolades from those who appreciate bands who exercise the difficult task of balancing ferocity and brevity. Manning a full-on ambush with all of the expected death metal tactics and weaponry in tow, the path this neophytic unit follows seems a bit too well tread on the surface, but upon closer inspection this squad manages to expertly compose elements of old school devastation and beatdown deathcore together to coexist in utter disharmony (“In The Face of Absolution”), working in symbiosis in fighting the same battle to destroy at all costs. Explosive yet refined for such a young act, if you’ve ever pined for a cross between the brain-rattling dynamics of Suffocation and the warmongering malice of Amon Amarth (“Of Winter Born,” “Elusion of Mortality”), this band delivers. www.earache.comMike SOS

4 StarsIgnominious Incarceration is Andy Wardle (Vocals), Steve Brown (Guitar), Bobby Daniels (Guitar), Chris Ball (Bass), & Sam Bailey (Drums).

Track Listing:

  1. “Avarice”
  2. “Deeds of Days Long Gone”
  3. “Elegance in Aggression”
  4. “Saviour”
  5. “Of Winter Born”
  6. “Solitude”
  7. “Dynasty Damnation”
  8. “Tide of Pestilence”
  9. “In the Face of Absolution”
  10. “Elusion of Mortality”

GOR Recommendation: Brother Von Doom – Relentless

Review: Landmine Marathon – Rusted Eyes Awake [2008]

Posted in Landmine Marathon, SOS Metal Update with tags on June 9, 2009 by gearsofrock

Amazon Landmine MarathonArizona metal merchants Landmine Marathon hammer out a potent death metal meets grindcore jamboree on the quintet’s most recent effort, the eight-track RUSTED EYES AWAKE. Taking cues from beloved acts of 1990’s extreme metal, this squad lovingly pays homage to the likes of Carcass, Napalm Death, and Bolt Thrower on menacing cuts such as “Certain Death” and “Skin from Skull,” pounding out a slash-and-burn approach able to whip the pit up into a frenzy. But it’s the vocals of the vivaciously venomous Grace Perry that make this band one to watch, as the raven-haired beauty channels Beelzebub with a fervor and fury that male counterparts surely can only dream of (“Xenocide”). While some of their tunes would benefit from straying from their initial formula to provide a well-rounded assault, Landmine Marathon does an adequate job of carrying the torch while supplying the ferocity necessary to run with the pack. -Mike SOS

2.5 StarsLandmine Marathon is Grace Perry (Vocals), Dylan Thomas (Guitars), Ryan Butler (Guitar), Matt Martinez (Bass/Vocals), & Mike Pohlmeier (Drums).

Track Listing:

  1. “Bile Towers”
  2. “Certain Death”
  3. “Bled To Oblivion”
  4. “Xenocide”
  5. “Heroin Swine”
  6. “Skin From Skull”
  7. “Red Days”
  8. “Rusted Eyes Awake”

Review: Necroblaspheme – Destination: Nulle Part [2009]

Posted in Necroblaspheme, SOS Metal Update with tags on June 4, 2009 by gearsofrock

Amazon NectarssNecroblaspheme delivers a vicious barrage of muscular death metal intensity and foreboding doom metal juxtaposing on the nine-track DESTINATION: NULLE PART. Chock full of slamming grooves (“Sorry for Us”) and brazen flashes of technicality within a well-structured metallic paradigm (“Descent’s Genesis”), this French outfit’s off-kilter atmosphere stems from the ferocious flurry of tempo changes and dynamic shifts woven into the framework, rendering exhilarating demonstrations of extreme metal ( “2h40am,” “=????>I”). Take the exploratory nature of Gojira, sprinkle in some Celtic Frost, and top it off with precise devastation a la Suffocation and Necroblaspheme is the end result, a menacing beast whose bastardized blasts grip tightly on the jugular throughout the album’s entire 36 minutes. -Mike SOS

3.5 Stars

Track Listing:

  1. “All In Vain/All In Veins”
  2. “After All”
  3. “Descent’s Genesis”
  4. “2H40 AM”
  5. “Sorry For Us”
  6. “Untitled”
  7. “Wounded”
  8. “Thoughts Close At End”
  9. “Nameless”

Review: Those Who Bring The Torture – Tank Gasmask Ammo [2009]

Posted in SOS Metal Update, Those Who Bring The Torture with tags , on May 20, 2009 by gearsofrock

Amazon Those Who BringSwedish death metal merchants Those Who Bring The Torture reinforce their band’s moniker by carrying out a sublime shot of what their name suggests on TANK GASMASK AMMO. While this quartet won’t be scoring any awards for most unique metal crew, their ’90s death metal meets groovy grindcore redux (“All Hail The Goat”) fits snugly between your Entombed and Dismember albums as songs like the blunt “You Should Be Brutally Slaughtered” and the D-beat madness of “Expecting a Search Visibly Hiding the Flesh” lead this unit’s riff-heavy low-growled bludgeoning. And hey, what metalhead worth their salt can resist thrashing about to a song entitled “Mutant Slut”? Providing a dash of old school good friendly violent fun, Those Who Bring the Torture have developed an admirable yet familiar blend of extreme metal goodness deserving of a few spins. -Mike SOS

3 StarsThose Who Bring The Torture is Crawl (Vocals/Guitar), Worm (Lead Guitar), & Maggot (Battery).

Track Listing:

  1. “Napalm God”
  2. “Mutant Slut”
  3. “All Hail The Goat (Lord of Great Mutation”
  4. “Tank Gasmask Ammo”
  5. “Celebrating Gamma Bliss”
  6. “Riders On The Mushroom Cloud”
  7. “Expecting A Search Visibly Hiding The Flesh”
  8. “When Humans And Axes Collide”
  9. “You Should Be Brutally Slaughtered”
  10. “Upon The Bonethrone”
  11. “Reveler In Rot”
  12. “Ionizing Rapture Altering Tissue”
  13. “Radiation Blessed”

Review: Order Of Ennead – Order Of Ennead [2008]

Posted in Order Of Ennead, SOS Metal Update with tags on May 9, 2009 by gearsofrock

Amazon Order of EnneadOrder of Ennead is a bold blackened death metal troupe whose latest eponymous offering showcases a band with a serious multifaceted extreme metal strike. Featuring Deicide skin basher Steve Asheim, this quartet’s scope explores the vastness of both the forests in the Netherlands and the catacombs in Stockholm with a diabolical rasp and an adventurous sense of composition leading the caravan (“The Culling”). Tracks like “Conferring With Demons” tackles glacial Nordic nuances with honor and finesse while “As Long As I Have Myself I Am Not Alone” demonstrates the squad’s crushing technical prowess and ability to balance out a lengthier track with intriguing twists. Add in an excellent usage of piano throughout the disc, most notably on the closer “Dismantling an Empire” and this colossal concoction of forward-thinking metal combines a solid amalgamation of styles and an unquestionable vitriolic virtue to create an enjoyable listening experience for those who dwell in the dark. -Mike SOS

3 StarsOrder of Ennead is Kevin Quirion, (Vocals/Guitar), John Li (Guitar), Scott Patrick (Bass), & Steve Asheim (Drums).

Track Listing:

  1. “Seeking The Prophets”
  2. “Reflection, An Endless Endeavor”
  3. “As Long As I Have Myself I Am Not Alone”
  4. “The Culling”
  5. “Introspection And The Loss Of Denial”
  6. “Conferring With Demons”
  7. “As If A Rose I Wither”
  8. “Interlude With Reason”
  9. “A Cry To The Perilous Sun”
  10. “Prelude To Ruin”
  11. “Dismantling An Empire”

Review: Impiety – Dominator [EP-2008]

Posted in Impiety, SOS Metal Update with tags , on May 7, 2009 by gearsofrock


Singapore black metal troupe Impiety maintain a dastardly level of speed throughout the course of their latest five-song, 15-minute endeavor DOMINATOR, as this black-death hybrid troupe bludgeon the ears with a speed-driven assault exploding with bad intent. Tracks like “At War with Temujin” demonstrate this veteran squad’s penchant for whipping up a maelstrom of malevolent riffs, hyperspeed percussion, and diabolical vocal all in the name of evil while the title cut showcases a blackened outlook with a particularly menacing vocal performance full of grunts and laughs guiding the hellacious affair. Dripping with demonic overtones and wrought with a vicious display of velocity, Impiety’s brief yet potent strike yields a listening experience tailor made for those unafraid of the darker side of the spectrum. -Mike SOS


3-stars3Impiety is Shyaithen (Vocals/Guitar), Mike Priest (Guitar), Demonomancer (Bass), & Tremor (Drums).


Track Listing:

  1. “Introbliteration”
  2. “Slaughterror Superiority”
  3. “Dominator”
  4. “The Black Vomit”
  5. “At War With Temujin”

Review: Brother Von Doom – Relentless [2008]

Posted in Brother Von Doom, SOS Metal Update with tags on March 30, 2009 by gearsofrock

amazon-brother-von-doomSwedish melodic death metal such as At the Gates undeniably had a profound effect on Ohio quintet Brother Von Doom judging by their 10-track release RELENTLESS. Properly titling this debut effort, there’s no question this squad maintains a firm grip on producing technically sound songs completed by an ample array of blistering riffs and pounding drums (“Blood on the Betrayer,” “Judas Kiss”) at a frantic pace, truly leaving no room to catch a breath (“Eater of Days,” “Norse Demise”). What they gain in firepower though this unit loses in lack of variation and originality, as midway through the album everything (especially the skilled yet exchangeable guitars) starts to sound a bit similar to many of its peers, even though it maintains its ravagingly brutal delivery. A few composition tweaks and some time spent on the road however and Brother Von Doom may be able to shed that skin, but for now this band’s debut provides a solid listening experience that would appeal mainly to those unscathed by melodeath’s rampant oversaturation. -Mike SOS

Review: Nefastus Dies – Urban Cancer [2008]

Posted in Nefastus Dies, SOS Metal Update with tags , on February 20, 2009 by gearsofrock

amazon-nefastus-diesURBAN CANCER showcases a discernibly blackened death metal delivery courtesy of Canadian crew Nefastus Dies. Be warned though, this band of maulers from Montreal take some liberties with their sound (especially vocally), so those into musical purity should look elsewhere. Nonetheless, this unit successfully maps out a majestic and malevolent grade of grindcore, death metal, and symphonic black metal on cuts like the growl and squeal laden “Hate Vector.” Consisting of seven multi-faceted extreme metal cuts, what this release lacks in memorable moments it makes up for by pounding out a brutal blend of blast beats and scathing guitars which yield to melodic keyboard-led interludes (“Fragments of Poisoned Components”) before tearing back your face with pummeling drums and guitars. Recommended for those up for something a little off the beaten path yet utterly savage. -Mike SOS