Mini-Reviews from Around the Toilet Bowl: 02-25-16

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It is Thursday. That means small reviews for small brains. GETCHA PULL!!!!!!!!

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Abbath Abbath
Season of Mist | January 22nd, 2016

Let me start out by saying I really didn’t have any expectations for this album. I’ve been a moderate Immortal fan for some time, but I wouldn’t freeze my ass off in a forest for them, you know? Nevertheless, Abbath’s first solo outing is surprisingly enjoyable, and, dare I say it… fun?!???!? All kvlt kidding aside, Abbath is very well written and executed and sounds just right for a modern BM record in my humble and dorky opinion. Keep in mind if you haven’t heard it yet; this record isn’t going to win any points for creativity, but it doesn’t need to. It does what it sets out to do extremely well: provide riffs to crabwalk to for icy eons on end. — MoshOff

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Cetacean – BREACH | SUBMERGE
Apes Who Looked Up Records | January 29th, 2016

Mmmm. Progressive-Black-Post-Metal. As I do a Homer-like doughnut drool to an amalgamation of my favorite subgenres, I encourage you to check out this excellent new band. Cetacean beautifully mix droning heavy grooves with punching vocals that demand your attention. The album opens with a few minutes of theme-setting sax, then get ready to wade through three ten-minute-plus songs of sludgy post-metal goodness spliced up with some interesting progressive interludes. I am struggling to come up with similar bands, since they really do have their own take on the genre. In certain spots, I can see The Ocean, older Opeth, and maybe East of the WallYour Logic is Flushed

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MagrudergrindMagrudergrindII
Relapse | February 12, 2016

Magrudergrind, easily one of the best active grind bands in the world, has made us wait six whole years for a new full-length album. The result is II, roughly 20 minutes of perfectly executed punk/grind/powerviolence bouillabaisse. In a crowd overloaded with interchangeable riffs and blastbeats, II stands out with skillful tempo shifts, breakneck drumming, and thrilling arrangements. Half of the tracks here are essential listening, which, by my scientific calculation, may make II an all-time great grind full-length. Do not sleep on this record. Joe Thrashnkill 

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Suppressive Fire Bedlam
Independent | January 14th, 2016

It’s loads of fun to follow a band you enjoy and see all their hard work come to fruition isn’t it? I’ve been a fan of NC thrash trio Suppressive Fire since the Toilet’s creation, and with this, their full-length debut, the rest of the metal world will finally notice how awesome they are. Five of the tracks from the EP are re-purposed here, though not my favorite one (“The Christian Crippler”) sadly, and they are given the Joel Grind mixing upgrade and increased in speed and viciousness. Of the six new tracks, opener “Ceasefire”, “Crucify the Kings”, and the closing title track are my highlights. the latter song starting with a nice little clean chord before exploding into double-timed destruction. In fact the “hook” of the aforementioned Ceasefire may sum up this band’s approach to song-craft perfectly “Don’t hold your breath for a ceasefire/It’s never coming/expire in a hole.” In other words, Simon says grab a hamburguesa de rata and your coldest beer, and head-bang to the relentless riff onslaught or burn with the other wieners. Simon Phoenix

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Zephaniah Reforged
Tribunal Records | February 12th, 2016

Zephaniah is the aural equivalent of a leather clad Poseidon leaping forth from the ocean, impaling you upon his thunderous trident, then conjuring a guitar and shredding a ridiculous solo as he sinks back into the ocean. If you crave high energy power metal soaked with mighty riffs, top-shelf musicianship, and outrageous guitar solos, this is your album. Just look at the artwork, you already know exactly what this is going to sound like. You know it’s going to be great. Randall Thor

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Helion Prime Helion Prime
Independent | February 15th, 2016

What’s that? Don’t have enough power metal? Here’s one with a giant robot T-Rex on the cover. In space. Do I really need to sell this album anymore? Helion Prime is a power metal band out of California that plays a pretty standard, but high quality, style of modern USPM. Unique to this band is the interesting melodies/harmonies that singer Heather Michele chooses to use to great effect, making many songs like “Into The Black Hole” and “Moon Watcher” stand out strongly in the growing USPM scene. Randall Thor

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Widower – The Unholy Oath [EP]
Independent | January 22nd, 2016

Blackened thrash from Austin Texas. If after reading that and looking at the cover art you need more coaxing to click play on this album, you should probably take a long look in the mirror. Five tracks of bustling and surprisingly diverse metal await you. Although the stream starts on track 3, I strongly advise clicking back to track one and taking in the whole 20 or so minutes of thrashing goodness that Widower have compiled here. There are layers of killer riffs adorned with fist-pumping hooks, tinges of melody and even some eerie sounding leads. The vocals lean towards an old-school approach but will still appeal to those who were born long after the hey-days of those who used their bullet belts to accentuate their majestic beer-guts. After seeing this pop up in my feed, I immediately wishlisted it for a later date, until Boss The Ross showed me what he described as “southern hospitality” and kindly gifted it to this broke lizard. Lacertilian

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LVTHN – Eradication of Nescience
Amor Fati | February 21, 2016

It’s hard to believe that an album of this caliber is a debut, but the black metal genre often plies in the unbelievable, and LVTHN clearly has the raw talent to deliver the impossible. The Belgian duo certainly make a great case for their place in the scene with a tireless drum assault that blasts and d-beats its way through each song like a hell-spawned minotaur on full-tilt through a labyrinth of human flesh while the sulfuric guitar tone blackens the sky with a corrosive ash. What really stands out to me though is when the band switches from typical black metal to full on rockin-riffs and beats, creating some truly sinister dick-swingin’ moments of hellish fun. Rock out with your pentagram-encrusted codpiece out. — W.

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Naturvidrig – Sönderfall
Independent | February 16, 2016

Looking for the perfect ratio of quality to time? Look no further than new Swedish black metal band Naturvidrig’s first EP, Sönderfall. Clocking in at just a bit over twenty-one minutes, this EP maintains an excellent economy of top-shelf assets throughout. The riffs perpetually rip and seem to draw inspiration from Swedish death metal and Hellenic black metal as much as any of the orthodox influences the band holds. These flaying riffs are supported by an impenetrable backbone of peerless, if not a bit stock, black metal drumming. The vocals add a bit of atmosphere to the whole procedure, but the forefront of this band is definitely the riff, and by keeping the release short, Naturvidrig make sure that your attention never deviates from those killer licks. Now give us a full-length, dudes. — W.

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Spiritual Beggars – Sunrise to Sundown
InsideOut Music | March 25, 2016

Let’s polish off this mini-review set with something supremely fun and rocking. Although it’s extremely unlikely I’ve never heard Spiritual Beggars before, this album is the first I’ve ever sat down with and just jammed straight through, and let me tell you, it’s got my hips thrusting and my heart soaring. The simple, melodic riffs and catchy song structures are sure to wriggle their way down to your very bones, and the old-school keys will give you good vibes for days. Even when the band’s songwriting does bare its teeth a bit, the aggression always yields to pure splendor. This album likely won’t be a regular spin for me, but when I’m craving a soundtrack for cruising down the road with the windows down while the sun shines and a gentle breeze cools, I’m going with Spiritual Beggars— W.

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