Witching Metal Webzine

Witching Metal Webzine

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Kingdom of Decay – Demo 2010

It’s not often that I’ll go out of my way to review an obscure two song demo that’s been available for nearly two years, but, when I came across Kingdom of Decay on BandCamp last week, I was really impressed with this demo and have been listening to it a shit load.

Kingdom of Decay is a death/doom metal band from Darwin. They’ve been around since 2005 and have only released this demo, with a new release coming later in 2012. Their sound can best be described as “funeral” death/doom, taking influence from bands such as; Mournful Congregation, diSEMBOWELMENT, Winter, Agalloch, Evoken and the like.

The mood is rather hefty and depressing, with themes focusing on the end of the world with all religion crumbing and a new society rebuilding around the worship of a Sun God, or something to that effect. The music is generally slow, but, occasionally picks up the pace with the occasional slow-mid pace moment peaking through. The vocals are gruff and death metal-ish, guitar tone is what I’d expect for this type of music; simply crushing, the bass is there doing its thing in the background and the drums just plod along, driving forth this lumbering mammoth.

I really can’t go into much more detail about a two song demo, but if funeral doom or death/doom is your bag then check out Kingdom of Decay. I’ll be waiting for that new EP!


Demo available for free download at BandCamp.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Exordium Mors – Sacrifice, Perish and Demise

Exordium Mors is a band from New Zealand who feature strong elements of black and thrash metal with a smidge of death metal in their music. They’ve been around since 2004 and put out a few demos and an EP. I met one of their members at Evil Invaders and he passed their latest promo along to me. “Sacrifice, Perish and Demise” features a few older songs and a Venom cover.

The first thought that came to mind when I listened to this promo was “this sounds like Absu sharing a flock of sheep with Impiety”, but after a few more listens I came to realize Exordium Mors have their own sound, rooted deeply in the black, thrash and death metal bands that influenced the aforementioned chaotic hordes. These guys meld blazing twisted riffs, sizzling solos, fist pumping choruses and a bestial attitude with a certain sense of restrained technicality that allows each musician to show off the hours of practice they have clearly put into learning their instruments.

Of the three originals featured here, “Ancestors Call” is my personal favourite, however; “Exordium Mors” is a close follower and there’s nothing wrong with “Sign of Judas Liege”, either. Hell, even the cover of “Black Metal” is executed well and suits the bands style. So, in short; if you like chaotic and bestial black thrash with dueling guitars a la Slayer/Priest played by very skilled musicians, Exordium Mors should be right up your alley.

Watch out for these kiwis in the future, as they’re hoping to have an album out later this year!


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Altar of Oblivion- Salvation

Altar of Oblivion are a doom metal band from Denmark. They released their EP Salvation not too long ago. It's a little on the epic side of the spectrum, most of the songs -if nearly all- are well over six minutes long. But don't let that fool you, it's no snoozefest. Unless you don't like doom metal, then you're just a wanker.

The EP's got all you want from a doom band, slow, trudging riffs that crushes everything in it's path as well as those slightly up-tempo galloping riffs to break the slow speed and give some dynamics. That tends to make the long songs go by a little faster than they seem to be. There's a great atmosphere to the EP. The vocalist has a great range, ranging from a baritone to a high tenor at some points, much like Messiah or Johan from Candlemass.

It's hard to choose the hits from just a 5-song EP, but "Threshold to Oblivion" and "Narrow Gate of Emptiness" are the most solid. And as if doomy songs just weren't enough for these guys, the frantic track, "Salvation," seems like it comes out of a death metal album with lots of blast beats, harsh vocals, and minor chords. It's rather quirky sounding, seemingly out of place, or at least just very unexpected for a first-time listener. And then to fuck with your mind again, they change pace midway and go back to their slow, operatic style. The last track is a nice, 2-minute instrumental, a flourishing finish to a fantastic little EP.

Getchoo sum!


Agresiva- Eternal Foe

Agresiva are a thrash band hailing from Madrid, Spain, having released their debut album, Eternal Foe, earlier this year. They really capture the late 80s speed/crossover sound much like Anthrax did years before.

The band sounds like a blend of Anthrax and Megadeth, with the punky feel and chunky riffage. Don't pelt me with beer cans for this, but they're almost like Spain's Gama Bomb. The vocals are reminiscent of Joey Belladonna with a Spanish accent.The production is a bit modern and has a bit more spit and polish than a normal thrasher would be used to, but it doesn't take away from the songs at all, it works for their "cleaner" sound.

There aren't exactly very any horrible songs per se, but only those like "Hell Town," "The Glorious Revolution," "Eternal Foe," and "Sent to War" really capture any attention. The album is chock full of those great mid-tempo and speedy riffs to satisfy all your moshing needs. The solos aren't choppy and tend to flow like liquid gold down your ear canals.

Like many other contemporary thrash bands, they don't seem to gone out of their way to break any barriers or change any rules, just make good music. And that's what it boils down to. I've spoken/written about this "problem" with modern thrash bands before, hardly few of them do anything new, but that doesn't discount that they can make decent music.  If one just wants to listen to a band that puts out solid riffs without caring if they do anything new, then I don't see a problem with this at all.

Getchoo sum!


Innsmouth/Mongrel’s Cross – The Plutonian Drug/Starfire Communion SPLIT

Innsmouth and Mongrel’s Cross are two Australian bands who haven’t put out too much since their respective inceptions, with each band having only released a demo tape and a 7” EP before this split, although Mongrel’s Cross has since put out their first full length. 

Innsmouth has the first side of this split, with their new song “The Plutonian Drug”. People who are familiar with their previous releases, “The Departure of Shub-Niggurath” and “She-Goat” should have a rough idea of what to expect from this offering; almost seven minutes of mid-paced death metal with raw production, some of the most sinister vocals I’ve heard, HP Lovecraft inspired lyrics, catchy guitar and bass work and solid drumming.

The Mongrel’s Cross song, “Starfire Communion”, sounds like this missing link between “Whoresanna” and their recently released album “The Sins of Aquarius”. On this track they have fused the raw and rough black/thrash sound of their earlier work with the more “epic”, death metal influenced sound they are going for now. There’s still a bit of Motörhead riffage and “barking” vocals going on here, but also a more epic and melodic feel to how the guitar is played, I’m not quite sure to describe it, but those who have heard the album will know what I’m talking about.

Both bands have delivered one of their best songs on this split 7” and I would strongly recommend that fans pick it up, as well as people who haven’t gotten around to hearing either band yet.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Backyard Mortuary - Lure of the Occult

Backyard Mortuary is a death metal band from Sydney, Australia which has been around since 2002. Unfortunately, until a couple of weeks ago, they had only released two demos. I remember jizzing buckets when I got a hold of their second demo a few years ago, back when I was first getting in to underground death metal, as it was one of the better demos I looked into at the time. “Lure of the Occult” is their full length album, which was released just in time to coincide with the bands “last ever” gig at Evil Invaders IV.

 The first thing you will notice when listening to Backyard Mortuary (and I think the main thing that separates them from other death metal bands) is the unique guitar sound, which would sound just as fitting in an old-school grind band as it does in Backyard Mortuary. The vocals are also worth mentioning, ranging from low gutturals to high shrieks and everything in between. The drum work is tight and changes up quite often, paving the way for some nicely varied song structures. There’s not much to be said about the bass, but the bassist fills her role rather well and I’ve nothing to complain about.

The song writing reminds me of early Autopsy; the tracks range from slow and almost doomy to all out blasting ragers with plenty of mid-paced headbanging moments in between, often within the one song.  My personal favourite tracks would probably be; “Beyond the Grave”, “Mutation”, “Diseased”, “Macabre Butchery” and one of the best album closers I’ve heard in a long time; “Demon’s Blood”… however, these preferences are subject to change, because every song is great.

It is always unfortunate to see the end of a killer band, but with “Lure of the Occult”, Backyard Mortuary has gone out with a bang and left us with one of the best death metal albums to be released thus far in 2012.


Demonreich - Bastard Reich EP

Demonreich is a four-piece band hailing from Brisbane. “Bastard Reich” is their first EP, released following their self-titled demo tape. They  play a mixture of old-school thrash and early death metal with a bit of punk catchiness thrown in. Everything about their music sounds old-school; be it the crunchy and catchy riffs, the unpolished production, the evil vocals or the deliciously raw and non-triggered drum sound.

The songs themselves are good fun, most being catchy mid-paced, no-bullshit thrashing numbers that should inspire any old-school metal fan to get their head banging. My favourite tracks of the five featured on this EP would be the title track, “Witchslut” and “March in to Lava”. Having seen Demonreich live twice before getting my hands on the EP and demo, I can say that I’m not disappointed in how the bands songs transfer between a live setting and hearing them on CD and tape.

There’s really nothing else I can say about “Bastard Reich”, it’s just a straightforward EP that makes me think of the phrase “No bullshit, just metal!” If you're into old-school metal, definitely check Demonreich out if you get the chance.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Lucifer D. Larynx and the Satanic Grind Dogs of Death – Absolute Defilement

Lucifer D. Larynx and the Satanic Grind Dogs of Death (henceforth referred to as LDL because fuck typing that again) is a grindcore band that originally formed some time during the 90’s and has put out a couple of demos, a split with Aussie grindsters The Kill and a self-titled EP. “Absolute Defilement” is their debut full length, which finally saw the light of day in April this year.

LDL play old-school grind in the most straightforward sense of the word. The main influences being the obvious suspects; early Napalm Death, early Brutal Truth, early Terrorizer, Repulsion and so on.  Pretty much every track starts off with a sample intro leading into a short and to the point song featuring catchy riffs, blasting drums that tend to worship Sandoval’s work on the first Terrorizer album, incoherent low growled vocals mixed up with some high pitched shrieks… all in all, rather stock standard grindcore fare.

Basically, if you’re into old-school grind; you’ll dig this album, if you’re not, then it’s not going to change your opinion. There really isn’t much to be said about this type of music. LDL take an old and overdone formula, put their own spin on it and manage to play it well enough to stand above the legions of boring grind bands out there. These guys have done a top job and "Absolute Defilement" is a fine example of everything I like about grind.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sanguinary Misanthropia – Loathe Over Will

Sanguinary Misanthropia is a black/death metal band from Melbourne, who have so far put out a few EPs and a demo. “Loathe over Will” is their debut full length, which will be out soon on Supremacy through Intolerance. Previously, I had only heard two of their EPs, but that was enough for me to happily oblige when one of their members asked if I would like to do a pre-release review for their album. Since the album is not out yet, please excuse the lack of album art in this post.

Sanguinary Misanthropia tends to blend a few different influences together, I’m thinking a touch of Norwegian black metal here, a bit of Dissection and Watain style so-called “Orthodox” black metal there and a healthy dose of bestial war metal to keep things interesting. Within the songs present, you will find; straightforward tremolo passages reminiscent of early 90s black metal, blasting and forceful breaks that remind me of earlier Impiety, Angelcorpse and the like and more melodic sections that remind me of the aforementioned Swedish “Orthodox” black metal bands. All this combined makes for some very interesting and pretty original music.

The songs are all well written and interesting examples of occult black/death metal, although, some of them may seem to drag on a bit due to being rather long, but that’s small potatoes and I doubt many people into this type of music would get bored since the band does a good enough job at changing things up. That being said, if you are going to listen to this album; make sure you set aside a good amount of time, because it is a long one, with most songs ranging from five to ten minutes in length and the whole thing stretching out for over an hour. Sanguinary Misanthropia is not the type of band to do things half-arsed.

I’m not going to list my favourite tracks, as I feel “Loathe over Will” needs to be appreciated as a whole piece of music in order for you to understand what it’s all about, not split up into individual songs. However, I will mention that so far, this is the best black metal release that I have heard this year. Grab this when it comes out, you will not be disappointed.