Evil In – An Ethereal Force Beyond

Gareth checks out the new two track EP from USA thrasher, Evil In, lets see what this guy deliver on the first outing…

If you fancy a quick death/thrash fix, you could do much worse than giving the debut from one man band Evil In, the 2-track single/EP ‘An Ethereal Force Beyond’ a try. 

Starting with the brutal ‘Macabre Deadly Friend’ this is raw and gritty old school extreme metal, there’s nothing polished about this, and the production is suitably dirty and murky, which is just what the music demands, and there’s something pleasingly familiar with this opening track, and it’s obvious where the influences come from.

Second track ‘Ravager’ is a bit more varied, adding some doom-like dynamics into the mix while retaining the aggression. Whether this is a precursor to a full-length album I’m not sure, as the information I have about the band is fairly limited, but I do hope that more material is on the way. A good solid start, and something to build from.

Evil In- AN ETHEREAL FORCE BEYOND is available via BandCamp and was released on July 1st

Exterminated –The Genesis of Genocide

Paul Hutchings heads to the Philippines to investigate the new album by Exterminated

I’m not familiar with the extreme metal scene in the Philippines but if Exterminated are anything to go by, it’s a savage land with little other than hostility and punishment. 

Their debut full length is a ferocious affair and doesn’t stop for long either. 31 minutes of some of the most savage brutal death metal, with wave after wave of blistering blast beats, raging walls of crushing riffs and some of the thickest, guttural vocals combine to steamroller and flatten all in its path. If there’s one criticism, it’s the hideous snare which sounds like drummer Myke Pardo is hitting a baked bean can, albeit amazingly fast.And once you notice it, boy does it rub. 

Formed in Dasmariñas in 2016 by Ace Estandian (Anal Fissure, Guillotined), the band first rippled the extreme pond with the Elements of Obliteration EP in 2018. This debut sees the band progress with some of the nastiest, disgusting death metal you’ll hear all year. The harrowing torture intro of Systematic Holocaust leads into a slow burning start that quickly engages the pulverising riffs. Dive into the centre of the album and you’ll encounter Grave for the Slaughtered. It’s a similar tempo to every song here. Hell, the variation is about as adventurous as painting a magnolia wall cream.

But it works and the sheer force of Chaotic Dimension of the Insane is a levelling boot to the face. There are some downsides. The programming is raw and somewhat over played, and the songs aren’t anything that special. In fact, apart from the sheer size of the music, there is a frustration with the lack of any variation. But that’s small beer for a band who have grabbed their opportunity with both hands and proceeded to wring its scrawny neck.

EXTERMINATED –THE GENESIS OF GENOCIDE is out on Comatose Music on April 9th 2021

Vesicarum –Great Decay (Single)

We can always count on Paul Hutchings to turn around a review in record time for us, as he checks out the first single from the upcoming new album due in the summer…

My first exposure to Vesicarum, a five-piece from Kent whose style is unashamedly death metal. Formed in 2016, initially as a solo project by vocalist Glynn Neve, the band released their debut EP Reign of Terror in 2019. Meaning ‘to fester’ in Latin, Vesicarum’s sound certainly lives up to that translation. Filthy, fetid riffs and a sound that makes the skin crawl, I was scratching frantically by the end.

Great Decay is the first single from the band’s debut long-player Place of Anarchy, due out on One Eye Toad Records on 18thJune. Inviting James Dawson of Brighton’s Bleed Again provides a clever contrast with the unique style of Neve whose delivery isn’t going to be to everyone’s taste. Lyrically, Great Decay looks at Neve’s personal struggles with depression and mental health during the past year and is likely to resonate dramatically with many who listen to this single. Neve’s voice sits low, gravel coated and to say the man sings is probably a lie. He spits out the words, the distress and bitterness evident in his tone. Dawson by contrast is energised, raw and ferocious, a snarling pit bull chomping at the bit. 

Musically this is a devastating track that builds slowly, increasing in tempo as the song progresses. Walls of spine-busting riffs, punishing rhythm section and the odd lead break all combine to provide an aural assault that is brutal in delivery and composition. It’s an assault on the aural senses, and one that demonstrates that the Kent outfit’s new album is one that should be very interesting to listen to.

Vesicarum is Glynn Neve–vocals, guitarists Martin Shipton and James Thompson, drummer Donal McGeeand bassist Mark Willson

Vesicarum Great Decay is out NOW go find it!

Twitch of the Death Nerve –Beset by False Prophets

Paul Hutchings steps up the brutal gauge and reviews the new EP from Twitch Of The Death Nerve, here’s what he had to say….

There’s death metal and then there’s brutal death metal. It’s the music that forms the extreme end of extreme, and which I freely admit I rarely head for. It’s usually a bit too much for me. But occasionally something that simply blasts the cerebrum is just what you desire.

Enter Twitch of the Death Nerve, a three-piece noise machine whose extreme brutality is relentless. The London three-piece, named after the 1971 culthorror movie by Italian Mario Bava bring a sonic disruption that inevitably scrambles the signals. Four new tracks that resonate with a deathly substrata hum, batter at the front door before kicking it in completely.

This is such an aural assault that blood flowing from the inner ear canal should be listed on the consent form that should accompany this release. The four new songs follow on from 2020’s incredibly well received ‘A Resting Place forThe Wrathful’. Each track comes with a sound clip that captures the essence of the track.

Of the four, the standout track is ‘At theTrial of the Exhumed Pope’, which creaks with horror and relies less on the intense filled battery and more on enormous death crushing riffing. Alongside the fresh pummelling, this release also includes the full nine-song set recorded at the Xxxapada Na Tromba festival that took place in Lisbon, Portugal in January 2020, just before everything went to total shit. A demonstration of the sheer firepower that these three musicians possess, one can only wonder at how Tom Bradfield -Guitars/Vocals can produce such demonic sounds. You can marvel at the insane pace that drummer Mauro Hammerition conjures up to propel the band forward or feel for Tom Carter’sgut rumbling bass that echoes in the very bowels of hell. It’s intense, filthy riff-laden stuff and the appreciative crowd certainly make themselves heard. 

The combination of new tracks and the live recordings works exceptionally well. It’s sick stuff, an orgy of brutality and a cascade of demented chaos. Sometimes isn’t that just what you need?

Coming at you on March 12th, direct from the infamous dungeons of Comatose Music, Beset By False Prophets will set the benchmark for brutal death metal in 2021.

Green Mantis – Kill The Plague

Blackened Thrash Metal has become one of Thrash’s more popular hybrids over recent years. With bands such as Toxic Holocaust, Skeletonwitch, Aura Noir and Witchery bringing it to prominence in the 2000’s, it has slowly influenced many bands to carry on in a similar vein. The UK has recently started to become a hotbed for this style of music, with Hellripper flying the flag high for Black/Thrash, and Devastator, Hellfekted and Night Fighter all coming out swinging with incredible releases lately. This trend has been taken worldwide, with one-man side project Green Mantis jumping on the Black/Thrash Express to riff town. The brainchild of Rodo Insaniac (Acidez), Green Mantis are keen to whip you out of shape with a flurry of sharp riffs and howling snarls. Rodo is responsible for all the instrumentation but his friend Pentagramator (Terrörhammer) is here to provide vocal prowess. So, can Mexico and Siberia Thrash as hard as their contemporaries? Let’s get to the riffs and find out!

The E.P Starts with the title track. It’s explosive, starting with a catchy but powerful Blackened Thrash riff. As with a lot of these bands, the key influences of Venom, Bathory, Motörhead,early Slayer and early Sodom can all be heard. The song crushes with fast paced riffs and a mid-tempo middle section that will please any headbanger in search of a neck-brace. The drums provide plenty of back bone, the bass is disgustingly dirty and there’s a shorty but brilliant piece of shred work for lead playing enthusiasts. The simplistic chorus will become an earworm that bores deeper into your brain the more you hear it, and the vocals do a decent job. They’re mostly one note but the occasional use of high shrieks works well. It’s a bombastic start and let’s the listener know exactly what they’re getting.

Die Human Die follows the same idea, with the energy sucking you in like a whirlpool of blackened blasphemy. The chorus has a punk feel to it and is one again simplistic, making it stick in your brain for hours on end. There’s some brilliant double bass footwork, with a more technical and prog focused middle section that contrasts well with the simple nature of the music. Another shredfest for the diehard axe men out there pleases the others, adding a touch of additional spice to an already tasty enchilada of Thrash excellence. It’s short, packs a punch and hits the sweet spot for every Thrasher to enjoy.

The third track keeps (This War Goes On) the momentum going, whipping up a frenzy from the offset. The riffs are sharper than a razor, cutting deep into the listener and leaving them feeling a little degraded in the process. The mid-paced chorus with a short lead provides excellent contrast against the speed and fury conjured by the verse riff. If the previous two tracks haven’t left you with long-term whiplash then this song certainly will. Lyrically it’s a bit on the silly side but this is clearly meant to be fun Thrash. It wants you to mosh in your room and summon a pizza dude whilst downing a few beers. Who doesn’t want to do that?

Deadliest Poison starts off with a dark intro, power chords and atmospheric lead work leading into another blizzard of ravaging Thrash. The riffs hit with the force of an avalanche, with the darker atmosphere of the song suffocating the listener. It’s a stark contrast to the fun vibes of the previous track but it’s a strength for the song. It leaves you feeling beaten, battered and torn. The song is short, at just over 3 minutes in length, making the punishment more impactful. The middle section is another whiplash-inducer, providing some devastating riffs that could level entire cities.

The final track, Diabolical, is the longest that is nearly 5 minutes in length. The first minute or so is made up of atmospheric synths, burning fires and rolling thunder. The song takes a turn and ups the ante, with one of my favourite riffs form the E.P. The verse leaves you in the dust, with the chorus taking no prisoners, using more traditional Black Metal tremolo picked riffs and a furious barrage of double bass drumming. The middle section slows the pace, opting to smash the listener in the face like a ten ton hammer. It’s a destructive affair, that makes sure to end with a bang. The riffs are catchy and fun, and will certainly make every Thrasher grimace with joy. It certainly doesn’t feel 5 minutes in length, being a suitably excellent way to end the E.P.

Green Mantis have proven that they can provide Blackened Thrash of the highest order. It may not be the most unique or original piece of music, but if you love the modern-day bands leading the charge such as Hellripper, Evoke or Devastator then this will hit that spot and then some. I’m a big fan of this style of Thrash, it’s got an energy that just keeps constantly excited and this E.P does the same. The riffs are fun, sharp and will either cause you to destroy your room in a one-man wall of death or destroy your neck through intense headbanging. Rodo has a real knack for this type of music, with spectacular performances across the board from him. He knows what he wants to do, and he does it very well, creating a thoroughly enjoyable experience that gets better with each listen (and you will definitely want to hit the repeat button once this is over!). Pentagramator does a decent job on the vocals. They’re nothing you haven’t already heard but the suit the music well and you can tell that they’re having fun, something that I feel shines through in the performance. My main complaint is that I wish they used the higher range more often as that is what really sticks out on the vocals point. They’re well executed, just not as frequently used as I would like.

The production is also worthy of note. It has an old school DIY fell to it, with gritty guitars, overdriven Bass and pounding drums all complimenting each other. Nothing really stands out as the main focus, instead opting for everything to work in harmony. Everything is easy to hear but it has that old school sound that I know will please a lot of old school diehards. To conclude, Green Mantis aren’t reinventing the wheel any time soon, but they don’t want to. They want to conjure a storm of fun and infect you with their Black Metal infused Thrash excellence that has plenty of DIY Punk attitude to boot. If you love Blackened Thrash, Black/Speed or whatever you wish to refer to it as, then this release is perfect for you. I personally can not wait to hear more from them, and if it’s anywhere near as good as this, then we’re in for a real treat in the future!

Kill the Plague was released on December 3, 2020 find it on BandCamp

Underking – Embrace the Arcane single

Gareth took a listen to the new single from Underking

2020 has already been prolific year for Nottingham’s Underking, the one-man project and brainchild of guitarist/vocalist Maxwell Jeffries, already releasing not one, but two mini-albums: ‘Ghosts of the Past’ and ‘Amongst the Dead’ back in April this year. Both were quite different from each other, the first being more melodic and saw Maxwell take on the majority of the singing, while the later saw him join forces with Dustin Burmeister, who took on the majority of the vocals and lyrics, and was altogether a bit heavier, Dustin’s vocals being much harsher than Maxwell’s (reminding me of Matt Heafy when he’s doing his screaming vocals) giving the overall sound a more ‘blackened’ feel. The music on both is quite varied, having parts from all sorts of genres, thrash, speed, classic heavy metal, doom, and even some groove, Maxwell proving he is a very versatile composer. 

Max Underking courtesy of http://frankiethephotographer7.wordpress.com/

That brings us nicely to latest release, the new single, and a taster for their, as yet, untitled third album. First thing I noticed, was the slightly beefier production this time, courtesy of Stephan Waltl of SAW Audio, not that the other releases were bad by any means, but there is a noticeable difference. The improved sound gives the riffs a bit more of a prominent role than before and there’s an almost symphonic feel to the track, enhanced by Maxwell’s uniquely melodic vocals. It’s a song that is very well crafted, and although this certainly isn’t thrash, there is undoubtedly enough here for thrashers to enjoy, especially if you prefer the more melodic end of the genre. Overall, I think it’s a song you’ll have to make your own minds up about, but I do very much urge you check it out. Another very promising up and coming UK metal act.

Embrace The Arcane is out on the 11th December