Mini-Reviews from Around the Toilet Bowl: 7-23-15


Where you can read a lot of dumb opinions about a lot of dumb music in record time. 


NMNecromantic Worship – Spirit of the Entrance Unto Death [DEMO]
Nuclear War Now | July 15, 2015

As a huge fan of old-school Hellenic black metal, reading the phrase “ancient Greek canon of black metal” in band’s press kit does two things to me. 1) It gets me all excited. 2) It sets my expectations to a nigh unreachable height. This L.A. duo pulls most directly from the early, less-realized Necromantia demos and mimics their signature emphasis on guitar-dethroning gutter-bass while adding their own tinge of subterranean occult to the mix. It’s a hit-and-miss affair, and while the “miss” tends to overpower the “hit”, the strong mood-setting of the interlude track and the classic song-title-repeating chorus in “The Dark Young of Shub Niggurath” brought me back for repeated listens and convinced me to give their full-length a chance when it drops later this year. — Masterlord


Howls of Ebb – The Marrow Veil
I, Voidhanger Records | August 8, 2015

Surprise, surprise, I’m writing about something weird. I teased Howls of Ebb earlier this year before I ever had a chance to jam the entire mini-album, and I stand by every word I wrote. In the course of only three songs (one of which is over 19 minutes long), the band resets the metallic world’s axis, subverting all norms of song structure and riff composition and reshaping reality as they please. The entire album is strange, disarming, and chaotic and uses other instruments to alarming effect, but lead track “Standing on Bedlam, Burning in Bliss” somehow manages to still be catchy. I can’t get that main evil surf rock riff from Satan’s beach part out of my head. If you’re looking for unique music in metal, look no further. – W.


MakavrahAwakening The Ancients
Unknown | March 23, 2015

‘Open unto me the way across angled time and curved space, let the passage be free unto the crawling chaos’ is the inscription emblazed upon the cover for this 11 minute, one track release from New Hampshire’s Makavrah, and to be blunt, one track is all you need. You need to come up for air sometime. Drenched in a fuzzy hallucinatory haze, this meandering trek through ephemeral stoner-doom will cloud your peripheral vision, swirling it until but a central point of focus remains. Interspersed between the plods of thick droney sludge are alluring clean sections with some overlying exotic flavour (particularly at the 6:30 mark). Juxtaposing the murky guitar tones are clear vocals which, while sparse, are perfectly suited to the music. This might just be the furthest you’ll ever travel for $1. FFO: Sleep, Saturndust, Watchtower. – Lacertilian


Independent | May 20th, 2014

Italy sure does seem to have some impressive bands that need to be heard in other parts of the world. Venice’s Zeit come at you in full attack mode on this brief two song release that draws much of its influence from Converge‘s last album, All We Love We Leave Behind. There’s plenty of aggression mixed with post metal elements that strike a balance between their metallic hardcore approach fused with colorful accents of melodic riffing. The drumming in particular sounds like Ben Koller himself in some sections while the vocals are more harsh in tone instead of crazed screaming. The only downside is the running time which leaves you starving for more as you eagerly await a full length. — Ron Deuce


Yellowtooth Crushed By The Wheels Of Progress
Orchestrated Misery Recordings | July 21, 2015

Listening to Yellowtooth’s latest record was a surprising experience to me. While most of the riffing and grooving of this LP comes from the South, straddling that middleground between rock and metal that came to define a whole slew of bands, there is enough sonic elements in the production, songwriting and most importantly, in the vocal delivery that makes me feel like these gentlemen appreciate a bit of death metal on the side. The barking here would not sound out of place among the most intelligible OSDM vocalists. This certainly adds a sense of danger and aggression unfound in other similar bands. The LP is filled with memorable moments and Riff ov the Week contenders, just listen to “Manifesto” for further proof.  — Dagon


Mist Inan’
Souseller Records | May 8, 2015

Short and sweet, Inan’ brings 4 songs of high quality doom/trad/occult metal. I know, I know, there are thousands of bands that fit this mold out there right now, but few deliver music on the same scale this Slovenian band does. The vocals in this EP are very good – both the lead and backing vocals are delivered by powerful female voices, made more charming and interesting by the subtle foreign accent. My favorite aspect is how nuanced they sound, changing in intensity and tone however the music commands. The riffs are tasteful and, when harmonized with the vocals as they do in the end of the title track, greatly enhance the memorability of the songs. The riff that opens “Under The Night Sky” is one of those guitar bits that you’ll find yourself hearing in your head throughout the day.  — Dagon


Noisem Blossoming Decay
A389 Recordings | June 6th, 2015

Baltimore’s Noisem are here to make you bang your head, plain and simple. Blossoming Decay is very far from being the musical discovery of the century, but it’s a really satisfying helping of tightly delivered blast beats, meaty riffs and hardcore barks: think of a more Death Metal-leaning Black Breath minus the Kurt Ballou-infused Entombed-worship production. This album sounds exactly like it’s supposed to; it’s unpolished but it doesn’t suffer from lack of punch or definition, with all the instruments coming across as natural and not processed. It’s how I imagine the latest Obituary album should have sounded like. So really, if a handful of dudes under 23 can burst eardrums this well, I think it’s time for everyone else to start taking note. Get Blossoming Decay here.  – MoshOff


Erang | Ki67_logongdom of Erang
Self-released | 31st March

Erang has been steadily increasing the template of different sounds he uses to craft his albums. While Kingdom of Erang does act as a somewhat of a return after the more Nordic-inspired We Are The Past, saying that it’s flat-out looking back is missing the point completely. Apart from the new winds in the sound department, Erang also brings harsh vocals to his palette, which works well. Whether you are looking for atmosphere, melodies or just music-to-relax-to in your dungeon synth, Erang delivers – on Kingdom of Erang all of the aforementioned are amalgamated thirteen tracks unique sounds and absolute nerddom, just like it should. — Karhu


Alustrium A Tunnel to Eden
Independent | July 24th, 2015

I had never heard of this band until a few weeks ago, and upon first listen, it didn’t do much for me. Maybe it was a black metal kind of day and I wasn’t in the mood to hear anything else. Regardless, after subsequent listens, I find myself really, really enjoying it. It’s nothing new in the world of tech death, but it’s extremely good for what it is and manages to separate itself from the hordes of generic tech death bands. I find myself more impressed by this group’s talent and musicianship the more I listen to them. If I had to make a comparison, I’d say they are like Black Crown Initiate without the clean vocals. – Jack Bauer


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