Mini-Reviews from Around the Toilet Bowl: 7-15-15


The cycle is complete. The cycle begins again. The serpent swallows its tail. The waters of the great toilet whirl endlessly. Mini-Reviews conclude. Mini-Reviews commence.

dddddEmbodied Torment – Liturgy of Ritual Execution
New Standard Elite | May 31, 2015

You wouldn’t expect a brutal death metal album to be something that we’d be gushing over at the Facebook group, but ever since Roshin posted this a few weeks ago, many of us have been using it as a soundtrack for running amok in the streets, starting car fires and knocking over utility poles to the sound of blastbeats! What makes it so special? All the requisite BDM strongholds are in place, but there’s more to it than that. Elements of melody, surprising technicality, and even atmosphere pop up unexpectedly amidst all the gurgling and thumping. This all comes to a head in “Thrones of the Slain”, one of the most impressive brutal death metal songs you’ll ever hear! Press play and go upend a fruit stand! – W.


Downfall of Nur – Umbras de Barbagia
Avantgarde Music | March 21, 2015

This suggestion comes to you via our esteemed clown friend Pagliacci! As you likely know, Pagliacci is enamored with black metal of a distinctly sylvan quality, and that pagan connection with the forest primeval proliferates every facet of Umbras de Barbagia. The vocals (a high point for me on this album) sound like the shrill cry of a predatory bird chasing down its prey. The instruments are oozing with texture and incorporate diverse and unique segments that truly make you feel as though you are on a mountain ridge overlooking a misty glen while the wind gently tousles your flowing locks. Every element of this album is crafted with care, but there’s enough rawness to keep even the most frostbitten among us interested. – W.


Church Of Lies No Gods… No Manners
Independent | May 30, 2015

I am a big sucker for stoner metal, y’all already know. Brace yourselves for the cliché: Church Of Lies does not reinvent the wheel. What they do is make it spin in a way that turns this record into a great ride. Everything is on point – creative bass lines roll off in a velvet tone, riffs vary from groovy to thrashy however the songs command, drums provide plenty of enjoyment and the vocals are especially enhanced by the good hooks these guys come up with. To my tastes, a few changes here and there in terms of production, i.e. making them sound fuller and more menacing, would be enough to elevate this band to an upper echelon. I’ll root for them to achieve their potential. — Dagon


AKASAVA Strange Aeons
Independent | May 26, 2015

Variety is the name of the game when it comes to AKASAVA’s EP Strange Aeons. I don’t know if I should light some candles over a crudely drawn pentagram on my bedroom floor or if I should go out and start a fight. Some might view this lack of cohesiveness as a problem, but I see it more as a band that is still coming to terms with their own diverse pool of influences. My only qualm with the EP is that some of the best sounds were used in songs that ended too abruptly. “The Witch is Rising”, I’m looking at you for that case of musical blue balls. — Dagon


Silent Snare Darken EP
Independent | May 30, 2015

This EP is a journey. The transition between segments and songs is seamless, alternating between fuzzy aggression and spacy leads. Also diverse is the vocal delivery – although singing is predominantly employed there are well placed screams in each song. My favorite aspect of this release is by far the guitar work. Whether we’re hearing a Sabbathian groove, a more modern stoner metal approach or a post-rockish crescendo, the tone is always appropriate and the instrument beautifully performed. Seriously, wait until you hear the solos on this baby, all of them soulful, tasteful and epic. Most important of all, they are meaningful.  — Dagon


Sovereign – Nailing Shut The Sacrosanct Orifice
| October 9th, 2014

Late last year Sovereign released an album which has somehow been overlooked for review here in the bowl. This oversight must be rectified! Sea-sawing between death & black metal, Nailing Shut The Sacrosanct Orifice assails the listener with ferocious blows and then hastily charges toward the next battle to the sounds of blackened despair with little to no middle ground. Completing the package deal with flourishes of anguished melody and some slightly unexpected but no less welcomed solo spots (evidenced here), this album has a lot to offer. While never really exploring the depths of either side of the sine wave it seems to ride, the album remains a satisfying jaunt through desolation. Although I have not witnessed a nailing of one’s sacrosanct orifice, I’m almost positive the pain it undoubtedly entails would sound like the shrieks found at the end of half of these tracks. – Lacertilian


Cult Leader  |Useless Animal
Death Wish Inc. | June 16, 2015

Self proclaimed “progressive crust” band Cult Leader lives up to that description for the first two tracks of this brief yet well-crafted EP. If you blink you’ll miss the opening tracks that feature the trademarks of Cult Leader’s sound – sea sick guitar riffs, distorted bass lines, angrily growled vocals and controlled chaos from behind the drum kit. The highlight of this release however is a cover of Deathshore‘s “You Are Not My Blood” which also features members of Subrosa helping out. This track is the polar opposite of the other two songs. It’s a gloomy yet relaxing track with vocals that fall somewhere between Depeche Mode and Danzig. Cult Leader let you know it’s them by having some distorted bass meandering in the background. The way the EP closes out will make you want to chill out on the coach and wish you were out in the desert being baked away by the sun’s unforgiving light. — Ron Deuce


Deathwhite Solitary Martyr EP
Independent | July 14, 2015

Deathwhite describe themselves as dark metal, but they sounds more like a prog-by-means-of-Soen, but with some of the progressive tendencies removed. What’s left is an EP that just rocks. They certainly figured out how to create some catchy hooks and the clean vocals are a perfect match for the tone. There are very few surprises within, but the EP sets a solid platform for them to expand upon in their hopefully-long careers.  FFO: Katationa, Paradise Lost. — YLiF

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