Mini-Reviews from Around the Toilet Bowl XIII

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Did you know that some “miniature” breeds of dogs are more expensive than their regular-sized counterparts? So you’re technically paying more money for less actual dog. What does that say about mini-reviews? You tell me.

 

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Possession – 1585-1646
Invictus/Iron Bonehead | June 5, 2015

Much to the displeasure of my main man Tyree, I’ve been jamming 1585-1646 daily for the past few weeks while he’s stuck with the two tracks on Bandcamp for another month. Laugh at him. This 4-song EP takes perhaps a little too long to get going, but when the moody, brooding intro finally boils over into a blasphemous black/death battering ram, you have your reward. From then on it’s a non-stop attack, and you’ll come out on the other side of 20 minutes with 3rd-degree burns all over your butt. The last track “Ablaze” is the best of the lot, and injects just enough thrash to end the EP with a serious muscle. Worth your time. For fans of: Black Witchery, ZomListen to “Cermony” and “Guilty”. — Masterlord

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fgdfFragarak – Crypts of Dissimulation
OK Listen (India) | May 5, 2013

Progressive death metal today can mean a whole host of different things to different people. With Crypts of Dissimulation, India’s Fragarak have managed to carve a vaguely classic Opeth-shaped hole into the sheer and typically uniform cliffs of death metal. Acoustic tunnels perforate the dense, stony riffs, allowing the funk of 40,000 year-old-crypts to waft through the openings in the form of ghastly vocals. The long tracks here provide a strenuous climb, but there is enough style and attention to detail to give you plenty of hooky outcroppings to grip along the way. My only complaint is that the final instrumental track lets us off the peak a little too gently. — W.

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ddddddUlulate – Back to Cannibal World
Xtreem Music | February 1, 2015

We’ve been getting a ton of OSDM promos in the inbox lately. Most of it is derivative drivel (as is often the case with this bloated genre), but this release had the word “weird” tagged to it, so I just had to take notice. What I found was an excellent Chinese band playing a fresh take on a tired genre by channeling a bit of Obituary, a bit of Demilich, and a whole lot of creative thought. The first few tracks start off a bit slow and standard, but things take a turn for the unexpected around the fourth track “Anxiety of Mortality” with the incorporation of spooky chanting. Conventions thankfully become tested with each successive track. This one is worth the long haul. — W.

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wpid-a3272646843_16.jpgAnd So I Watch You From Afar – Heirs
Sargent House | May 5, 2015

With every album, ASIWYFA gets shinier, spacier, and more vocals-ier. By “spacier” I don’t mean “more ambient” – I mean it sounds like riding shirtless on the roof of the Space Shuttle on a weekend trip to the Moon. While they continue to pile glittery reverb, chorus, and delay onto the outrageously fun shred riffs that have defined them since Gangs, on Heirs they’ve toned down the effects on their vocals, as if they’ve come to embraced themselves as singers instead of apologizing for their voices via their pedalboards. If you’re already an ASIWYFA fan, you’ll dig Heirs. If you’re unfamiliar, there’s still time to hop onto the party train. — HessianHunter

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Antigama The Insolent
Selfmadegod Records  | May 7th, 2015

Antigama are back with the pleasant surprise of the month! Well, it was a surprise for me because I had totally forgotten this was dropping. Anyway, if you’re anything like me, you thought that Napalm Death‘s latest offering was a tad disappointing. But fear not! The Polish maniacs are here to satisfy your appetite for dismally dissonant deathgrind, complete with VICIOUS drumming VISCERAL guitars and BRUTAL grooves (sorry). But really though, if you want off-kilter grind with riffs that’ll make you want to pause and hear them again, tight-ass drumming, and slower parts that’ll incite you to break stuff faster than Fred Durst, get The Insolent here, right now. – MoshOff

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11053058_10152678926609109_8441806701416536973_nYen PoxBetween the Horizon and the Abyss
Malignant Records | May 5, 2015

It’s been over a decade since Mnemonic Induction, Yen Pox’s brilliant collaboration with drone kings Troum and their last full-length release. Between the Horizon and the Abyss, their new album and fourth for Malignant Records, proves the wait was not for naught. Brief moments call to the work of the pioneering Raison d’être before ascending to reveal a sound that is entirely Yen Pox’s own–a sound that refutes any attempts at explanation or context. Between the Horizon and the Abyss is an immediately gripping record from the first listen, but given time to sink in it reveals ever more luxuries around every corner. — Christian

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Dan TerminusThe Wrath Of Code
Blood Music | March 10, 2015

Electronic music is not something we discuss here too often, mostly due to the inherent fact that it’s just not fucking metal! However, I know that many of you stray from the darkened path and dabble in other genres, namely hip-hop and alternative/rock, but today we’re going to check out something different. Dan Terminus released this album in March and after seeing the memorable cover around on various metal sites, I decided to take one for the team and give this a spin (it’s name your price after all). There to greet me was an esoteric mix of driving synth, upbeat rhythms and a somewhat dark nebulous atmosphere. If you enjoy The Algorithm, (early) The Presets or, video game music from the 90’s, be sure to give this a listen. – Lacertilian

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Sirenia | The Seventh Life Path
Napalm Records | May 8th, 2015

Sirenia is one of those bands that suddenly return to the scene and deliver memorable songs, even with their revolving door of members. Their Norwegian mastermind Morten Veland and the great Spanish vocalist Ailyn created a new album called The Seventh Life Path. What grabbed my attention on this effort was that the metal pieces are heavily rhythmic and the melodic parts rely more on the delicate principal voice and the keyboards, which gives now a more “modern” vibe than the traditional Victorian Gothic style they played before. Check it if you’re in the mood of Gothic sentiments. — Link D. Leonhart V.

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Dendritic-Arbor-Romantic-Love-e1426251313661Dendritic Arbor – Romantic Love
Grimoire Records | May 5th, 2015

I checked out Dendritic Arbor’s Romantic Love after a No Clean Singing article called it one of the best albums I would hear this year. I’ve been equally guilty of heavy metal blog hyperbole, but that doesn’t change the fact that this is a great fucking album. Dendritic Arbor play black metal, with one foot in the grave and the other coated in bathtub crank. Pause from the debased guitar playing is given for surprisingly large drums (like during the first track “Murmuration End”) and interludes of eldritch harsh noise (like on “Blooming Amygdala”). The vocals range from screams and howls to perverted spoken word (“Horizontal Key Vertical Gate”). Grind is woven efficiently throughout – this will get your adrenaline going as much as it makes you want to sit alone in the dark. At thirty-two minutes, you don’t have to take my word for it. Check out Romantic Love for yourself on Bandcamp. — Edward

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Apostate – Time of Terror
Ferrrum Records | March 02, 2015

 “I reveal my inmost self unto my god” are the first words heard in Time of Terror. This sentence is part of the communion ritual of the mutants from Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970). Appropriately, the music that ensues afterwards sounds like the wailings of an agonizing planet. Pained, sorrowful melodies combined with a rumbling, pulsating low-end and guttural vocals that invoke melancholy, not anger. Most of the record is played at a slow tempo, brief moments when the death metal influences abound interspersed throughout. Some of you might feel that the album lacks variety, but those patient enough to champion Apostate’s second full-length will have their days ruined in the best way possible. Repeated listens are your friend. — Dagon

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The Fiend – Greed Power Religion War
Candlelight Records | 27th April 2015

When I saw the cover for this I knew exactly what to expect, and I was not disappointed. Hailing from Newcastle upon Tyne, England, these dudes play a ferocious brand of crust punk with just the right amount of Discharge and The Exploited influences to help sweeten the deal. Listen to “I’m Bought” , “War and Control” and “Dig Your Own Grave“. — Ted Nü-Djent

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