Exmortem – ‘Berzerker Legions’ re-issue

Gareth checks out the re-issue from Exmortem, in case you missed the release first time around…

‘Berzerker Legions’ is a re-release of the 3rd album from extreme brutal Death Metal band Exmortem, who hailed from Denmark. I’m not sure if this is part of a series of re-releases, or if this is a one off.

Suffice to say the music is complex and very heavy, down tuned guitars and blast beats are very prevalent, as are the guttural vocals that are absolutely mandatory. This is one for fans of the likes of Morbid AngelHate Eternal etc. Interestingly enough, for a third release, the line-up contains none of the original members.

This is a very competent Brutal Death metal album, it does no less, yet no more than it says on the tin. Standout tracks are difficult to pick out as there’s not a huge amount of variation across the whole album.

This appears to be a straight up re-issue to vinyl, there are no bonus tracks, no remastering or remixing, but it is on 3 different colours and the run is limited to 300. So, if you missed out the first time around, you better be quick and pick up your  copy now.

Exmortem – Berzerker Legions is 28/05/21 on Emanzipation Order HERE

Shrapnel – The Saw Is The Law (Cover)

The lads at Shrapnel have bust out the big guns with a cover version of Sodom’s ‘The Saw Is The Law’ and what a killer cover it is, taking the original Teutonic masterpiece and slapping a slice of British tone and fabulous production over it, what a great way to step out from the ‘Palace For The Insane’ single releases with something so recognisably Sodom, but making it their own.

We know the lads are working hard on the next album and can’t wait to see what they smash out next!

Anyway you don’t need me to waffle on about the new track though, just turn up the sound and press play below…..

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

Sadistic Force – First Strikes

Asa delves into the Blackened Thrash of Sadistic Force

Do you like your Thrash fast, aggressive and blackened? Well do we have a treat for you! Sadistic Force are a Black/Thrash outfit from Austin, Texas. Formed in 2020, they’ve released two E.P’s, which have now been compiled into one complete collection called First Strikes. There isn’t much information available about the band. Metal Archives says that James Oliver (also in the Thrash band Dibilitator) takes care of Vocals, Guitars and Bass and that Hell Troll is responsible for the drums. However, I’ve also been told that James actually does everything himself, much like another James from a certain UK based Black/Thrash band… Apparently people named James love their Thrash Metal blackened. So, are these two First Strikes deadly? Let’s get to the riffs and find out!

The first four songs are all from the debut E.P, Pain, Sex and Rapture. ‘Frost Tower’ kicks things straight into high gear, with a mix of Motörhead inspired riffing and classic New Wave of British Heavy Metal lead work before ripping into Thrashing mayhem. The chorus provides catchy chord progressions, and a mid-paced neck snapper brings us some lower, Death Metal-esque vocals that work well with the higher blackened shrieks utilized throughout most of the track. Just after the 2-minute mark is a shredding solo that has plenty of melody. The track shows you what you can expect going forward, offering us plenty of different elements to chew on within a little over 3 minutes. ‘Pain, Sex and Rapture’ brings us the Black Metal, with dark tremolo picked riffs backed by destructive blast beats. The song switches between blackened atmospheres and Thrashing brutality, with a side of Heavy Metal catchiness. The riffs are as catchy as they are punishing, with another reverb-drenched solo to satisfy the shred hungry beasts in all of us.

The third track, ‘The Blade Itself’, fades in with Maiden worship melody before abruptly switching the tempo and tearing out your throat. The riffs keep coming, with plenty of Thrash to chew on, whether it’s outright speed to conjure up one-man bedroom mosh pits or mid-paced crushers that guarantee you a trip to a chiropractor. The Maiden worship is reprised a couple of times to help tie things together, with more Motörhead influences heard throughout. The final track from the first half is a cover of Judas Priest’s ‘Hellbent For Leather’ and it is solid work. It also helps highlight how much NWOBHM influence is littered throughout the proceedings. This is a faster, more aggressive approach to the song and opts to up the tempo in some sections for a full-on Black/Thrash assault.

The second half of the compilation is taken from the second E.P, Black Moon Sadism. The title track kicks things off with more NWOBHM melodies and mid-paced riff work, before upping the tempo with typical Black/Thrash aggression, with a focus on the Black Metal atmospheres. There’s more chaotic shredding and one riff even contains a bit of a technical edge to it. It isn’t an out-and-out Thrasher, but instead opts to blend all the different styles seamlessly into one. ‘The Cauldron’ however decides to up the speed and the Thrash, bringing you all you could want from a Blackened Thrash rager. The verse riff wouldn’t sound out of place on a Hellripper record, with howling shrieks and guttural gut-bursters contrasting excellently. There’s still some of the Norwegian flavoured Black Metal sprinkled throughout, as shown during the solo section, but it’s used to compliment the insanity of Thrash as opposed to detracting from it. The final track, ‘Billion Dollar Sadist’ is another cover, this time of Turbonegro’s ‘Zillion Dollar Sadist’. It’s vastly different to the Priest cover, and to everything else on the record. It’s faster than the original version, upping the Punk vibes from the original version even further, but don’t expect anything Thrash or even Black Metal about this, bar the vocals. It’s pretty much the original song, but with a tempo change. An odd way to end things, but it’s good to hear where all these different influences are coming from. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear an early Metallica or Exodus cover on the next release by this point.

So, are these First Strikes deadly? The answer is an obvious yes. Remove the covers and look at the original material and it’s clear that Sadistic Force know how to deliver a Black/Thrash assault on the senses. The various influences throughout all merge together well, and most importantly for an album of this kind… It’s fun! When you’re mixing Thrash, Speed, Heavy, Black and Punk, it can all get a bit much if done incorrectly. Songs could meander and sound a little lost, confused. However, such is not the case here. The songs are short, to the point and make sure to pick the strongest parts of each influence and use it to their benefit. The production feels incredibly raw and old school, with gritty, ridiculously over-driven guitars being the focus here. The bass is all about bringing the low-end, with the drums pushed back a little. This is the only real critique I have, they’re sometimes a little too in the background, but it’s a pretty small thing and is obviously an intentional choice to generate that old school, DIY vibe that the Black/Thrash scene has become known for. The vocal performance is solid work, using some mids and lows here and there, plus a few super high shrieks to add a few dynamics to the typical blackened howls that make up the main vocal style. It’d be nice to hear the variety used a little more in the future, but the vocals pack a punch and fit neatly into the music. The covers are decent but may not be for everyone so if you’re here just for the Black/Thrash you know and love, then they wouldn’t be essential listening, though I do think the Priest cover is great stuff.

Overall, it’s an excellent release that will please anyone who loves their Thrash Metal mixed with NWOBHM and Black Metal stylings. I’m excited to see where this project goes in the future, but for now this will have to do. Black/Thrash fans, if you haven’t already, make sure you pick this one up on release. It’s well worth your time.

Sadistic Force – First Strikes – Is available in the UK on Old School Cassette from Mercenary Press – The first pressing is limited to 50 cassettes and will come with a patch and pin! Available from 02/04/2021 https://mercenarypress.bandcamp.com or Digitally on the bands own BandCamp HERE

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.

Seven Doors – The Gates Of Hell

Somewhere through the mists of the New Orleans swamps looms the Seven Doors hotel, a portal to realms of ungodly suffering. It is just one of three known gateways to hell, though seven exist. It also happens to be home to punishing Old School Death Metal too. Seven Doors is the Death Metal solo project of Ryan Wills, a man best known to UK Black Metal fans as the guy that does the sick shreddy stuff in Deadwood Lake and Wolves In Exile. If the name wasn’t a big giveaway already, the music is based on cult classic Horror’s of the 70’s and 80’s, most notably the works of the Italian Godfather of Gore, Lucio Fulci. After releasing a stand alone single in October 2020, entitled ‘The Nights Of Terror’, Seven Doors follow up to pay loving respect to Fulci’s most acclaimed, and notorious, body of work… The Seven Doors Trilogy.

‘Into The Tombs’ opens with a sample taken from the first film in the trilogy (The City Of The Living Dead), before descending into maddening melodies and huge chords. The song hits like a drill to the temple, with a variety of savage riffs to satiate even the thirstiest of riff lover’s needs. The opening tremolo picking riff is bound to get bodies slamming, with slower sections sending you to A&E in need of a neck brace. The chorus is as catchy as Death Metal can be, with heaps of groove and Ryan’s raspy caveman lows suitably disgusting for the music. The list of influences ranges from old school bruisers such as Gorguts or Asphyx, to modern day heavyweights like Skeletal Remains and Blood Incantation, choosing the best parts from all of them to create an audible nightmare, the perfect backdrop considering the lyrical content. And, of course, there’s some fine lead work on display with an incredible solo that is fast and shreddy but maintains a sense of melody that helps elevate Ryan’s lead writing chops above most in the country (ask any Deadwood Lake fan and they’d tell you the same). The song reprises the intro melody before leading into a clean guitar homage to Fabio Frizzi’s ‘Irrealtá Di Suoni’, which is taken from the film’s soundtrack. It’s the perfect way to start the E.P, showing you exactly what Seven Doors are about.

The mid-tempo uppercut of ‘Blinding Horrors’ makes for the perfect neck muscle workout, bringing out the inner Corpsegrinder in all of us. The riff work is infectious, laying the perfect foundation for Fulci’s masterpiece, The Beyond, to get the audio love affair it deserves. The middle section riff has an almost Doom vibe to it, bringing in some dissonant bends to perfectly encapsulate the fever dream nightmarish quality of the film. The speed picks up a touch during the solo section, where we are treated to slower, more melodic affair compared to the previous song, though there’s still some sweep picking in there towards the end for those fearing you may not get the shred fix you need. The song ends with the chorus leading into a distorted version of ‘Verso L’Ignoto’, taken from the film’s soundtrack, once again composed by Fabio Frizzi. These little nods to the music of the films help to tie up this neat Fulci package and are great little easter eggs for fans of the films.

The final track goes straight for the jugular, with tremolo picked riffs and devastating blast beats. ‘Cellar Dweller’ is all about The House By The Cemetery and Dr. Freudstein’s reign of terror (and also Bob’s reign of terror on the audience’s ear drums), shoveling riff after riff down our throats, with fast sections capable of whipping up hurricanes and the slower moments opting to pummel you in the face until you’re left feeling battered and bruised. The slamming chorus hits harder than a truck made of lead, the verse blitzes everything in its path with ferocious speed and the solo being suitably manic, providing the shredfest we desire but with a melodic touch that gives it an edge. The constant switches in tempo add to the madness and envelops the listener in Fulci’s blood-soaked world. The song ends with a final rasp of “Fulci lives!”, a statement that Seven Doors fully back-up.

Seven Doors have hit the ground running with this release, blending old school and modern Death Metal flavours together to devastating effect, and tying it all up with the gore-drenched horrors of Lucio Fulci’s demented work. The riffs in all three songs is top tier stuff and with the constant change in tempos and variety, you won’t ever find yourself getting bored. It’s a short but punchy listen that does a Dicky and goes straight for the throat, tearing it to bloodied shreds in the process. Ryan’s vocals are exactly the kind of low, raspy bellows the music requires, adding to the atmosphere of the music, with the addition of Frizzi’s music being the cherry on top of a perfect cake. The performances are as good as they come, with everything sounding tight and locked in, which adds to the overall huge sound the E.P possesses. The bass tone is chunky and slightly dirty, the guitars are crisp and clear but maintain plenty of bite and the drums sound organic and pulverizing, adding to the old school aesthetic. The production is also noteworthy stuff as it sounds like it came from the early 90’s Death Metal scene with it’s raw, gritty savagery in full display. Nothing outshines each other in the mix and the clean sound makes everything is easy to pick out. Overall, this is a solid debut release that will please every Death Metal fan, new or old. If you’re looking for a quick slab of brutality, set against a backdrop of crumbling zombies, vomiting entrails, face-munching tarantulas and twisted undead experiments then this is the perfect release for you. Fulci does indeed live, and Seven Doors are here to spread the word.

Seven Doors The Gates Of Hell is released on Friday the 29th Jan 2021 and available on BandCamp https://sevendoorsdm.bandcamp.com/releases

3000AD – The Void

Our review tryouts continue, and today is the turn of Robert Chapman who tackles The Void by 3000AD, heres what he thinks about the New Zealand Thrashers

“Tunes to make the neck ache”

Formed in Christchurch New Zealand in 2018. 3000AD are a 3 piece Crossover punk/Thrash band consisting of Hellmore Bones (Drums and Lead Vocals), Scott Austin (Bass, Vocals) and Sam Pryor (Guitars, Vocals). They have taken their passion for the 80s crossover scene and brought it right up to date with their debut album The Void. Released on 27th March 2020 on Metal Scrap Records

The art work shows an apocalyptic sci-fi scene with a craft leaving a decimated wasteland, a bold logo and title sits in the corner and It is nice not to see the sometimes different to the tired pointy thrash band logo that we have become so accustomed to.

The cover piques the interest so let’s see what this band, style and lyrical content will be about.

It’s a great debut album even though they have taken some risks such as having long intros to songs, long 7 minute plus songs and an instrumental track end That ends the album. The album delivers on all levels with the progressive take on a classic genre.

3000AD for 2020

It is clear this is a band that has a passion for the crossover scene of the 80s, but They obviously didn’t want to recreate any of these albums. They are not all about the speed usually associated with the genre, though there is still plenty of that.

The riffs are heavy and crushing but there is also an intricacy and technicality to the guitar playing, which give the sound a real groove and melody in certain parts.

There isn’t a reliance on the speedy double bass kicks to make the thrash sound, but instead intricate patterns and fills.

The bass is its own instrument and doesn’t just compliment the sound it creates its own identity.

I really like the mix everything is in perfect balance nothing is turned up too much and everything sits where it should be, the vocals are clear in the mix and aren’t over powered nor overpowering.

There is a nice balance between the classic crossover music that we love and are used to, and a new modern take on the genre with some really anthemic chorus lines and some nice guitar melodies.

Some of the stand out tracks for me are:

Cells this is a brilliant crossover track and will be a staple of their set list.

Who’s watching? A nice melodic intro in to a beast of a song, the paranoia in this song really builds up and leads to a thought process that we are not alone on this planet.

My personal favourite is Born Under a Black Sun.  Even though it is an instrumental track it never loses momentum or interest in the song. 

These 3 songs are the ones I will keep going back to. 

Overall this is great album and sits proudly in the genre, I feel this is a band to keep an eye on in the genre and I am really looking forward to their second album to see how the sound evolve, it has everything needed in a crossover album and it will be an addition to my collection for years to come.