Mini-Reviews from Around the Toilet Bowl XVII

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There are things in this world that some would refer to as mini, there are things in this world that some would refer to as reviews, and then there are things in this world that some would refer to as both mini and reviews. What follows are some of those things which people may refer to as both mini and reviews.

 

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NettleCarrier – Black Coffin Rites
Aftermath Music | March 27, 2015

Do you like Taake‘s music but refuse to listen to it for fear of condoning the treacherous inability of Hoest’s mouth to contain his various unsavory leanings or the treacherous inability of his pants to contain his various unsavory parts? Nettlecarrier might be for you. Black Coffin Rites seems to be something of a sleeper, which, when considering the moderate renown of its 3 Norwegian members (also members/ex-members of Djevel, Koldbraan, Urgehal, Gehenna, Aura Noir, Enslaved, Gorgoroth, etc.), seems sort of weird. At any rate, I urge anyone with an interest in black metal to give it a good listening-to. Oldfangled second-wave fury is balanced with eccentric, Taakeian guitarwork in an enjoyable 40-minute (that’s the perfect length, people) black metal jaunt. So get jaunting. Listen to: “Bloodmoon“. — Masterlord

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Woebegone Obscured | Deathscape MMXIV
Solitude Prod. | December 22, 2014

Funeral doom is a subgenre that requires patience. Long songs, somber melodies, and plodding paces all test listeners, and Woebegone Obscured are no exception. The question then becomes whether or not all that patience is rewarded. With Deathscape MMXIV, the answer is both yes and no. Beautiful clean vocals and enchanting melodies do provide little moments of exhilaration, but on the whole, this record lacks hooks. Those who aren’t fans of the subgenre would probably do best to stay away, but if you find yourself more inclined to melancholy, you’ll discover some gleams of gold buried in this grave. — W.

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Scorched | Scorched
Unspeakable Axe Records | June 2nd, 2015

You know what, citizens? I’m 99.9% certain that Scorched‘s self titled EP is what Michonne listens to on her hidden and somehow still functioning iPod while she is cutting up hordes of walkers. Badassery born of pure righteous anger and pure fucking riffs. This quintet from Delaware makes curb-stomping death metal in the vein of Obituary, Impetigo, and more recent bands like Mausoleum. The chunky riffs, monstrous vocals, drumming, spine shattering blasts, grooves, production, creepy samples. Everything here is top notch. When the last minute or so of the self-titled track goes into your ears, I promise you’ll want to put your proverbial fist to someone’s throat. Get on this NOW. — Simon Phoenix

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Ufomammut | EcateEcate
Neurot Recordings | March 30th

I’m surprised no one has reviewed this album yet. I mean, I did see it make some waves in the Toilet-water. It’s a return from the feel-heavy post-psych-whatevs to the  almighty riff. Filled with almost droning songwriting, driven by the drums, Ecate may be a return, but it’s a step into the unknown as well. Ufomammut still knows how to  write a riff that sticks in your head and never lets go, but this time around they’ve brought more than a little from the twin-masterpiece ORO. Songs are based on no more than a few motifs and the album feels like a complete composition instead of individual songs. On Ecate, Ufomammut sounds more spaced-out than ever before, and not in the usual way. The atmosphere is more unnerving/unsettling than just plain stoned. For those who felt ORO needed more punch and riffs, this might be the best these Italians can offer. — Karhu

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The Negation | Memento Mori
Kaotoxin | July 10th

Honestly, I was expecting a boring, as-average-as-it-gets black metal album when I first got hold of Memento Mori. It’s taken me a while to write this review because I’m still a little unsure of what I actually got. Sure, The Negation plays a very basic kind of blackened metal. The exact type that you could bet on being uneventful-to-tears and win. Truth be told, “uneventful” is a word that describes this album, but “unexciting” is not. Songs like “The True Enemy” contain just the right amount of tremolo-picked, memorable-enough riffs to keep attached parties interested, and throwing in some solos doesn’t hurt either. Thanks to the occasional mid-paced stuff Memento Mori doesn’t blur together either, so all the genre’s biggest pitfalls are avoided. The production may be a little too clean for trve kvlt purists but calling it polished would be going too far. I don’t know to whom I might recommend this so if you like BM you ought to give it a shot. — Karhu

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Korpiklaani | Noita
Nuclear Blast Records | May 5, 2015

Sing along, get drunk, and windmill dance in the woods with this last record from the Finnish folky bouncers Korpiklaani. I was very impressed by the relaxed vibe of Noita, it’s a very laid back record, with simple riffing that sets the groove for the folk instruments and the raspy vocal melodies, accentuated by the Imaginary Land’s irresistible accent. Inspired by shamanistic traditions, the guys of Korpiklaani just made a pretty good record to play, feel pumped about, and chug a couple of cold beverages. The direction here is more rock ’n’ roll-ish, but it still has some pummeling, headbangable folk metal tunes too. Recommended! Listen to: “Pilii on Pajusta Tehty” — Link Leonhart

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Mellevon | Solace
Independent | December 15, 2014

Industrial synth, death growls, and modern melodies are the direction on this new Mellevon album. What I liked most in this new effort are the female vocals that spark with ethereal style (“Under Moss” and “Acrasia” are the best to illustrate this). If you dig acts like late Soilwork or Sonic Syndicate, you will dig this. (Pssst, it features Björn “Speed” Strid in the last song! Check it on their Bandcamp — Link Leonhart

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Cruciform | Atavism + Paradox Reissue
Infernal Devasation Records | August 17, 2015

Y’all need to get on this reissue from one of the more important bands Australia has ever produced. Displaying a unique brand of death doom, this album was one scary arse mother fucker back in the day, and I’ve always regretted losing my CD. Only one song is available to listen to on Bandcamp at the moment, and its release date seems like an eternity away, but I implore all you doomy gloomy folks to pre-order/add this item to your wishlist and look forward to an under rated Aussie gem which 22 years later still holds up as well as when it was first released. More songs are available to listen to on You Tube here and here. — Ted Nü-Djent

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Hellrad | Things Never Change
Self-Released | April 20, 2015

There’s only one word to describe Mike Hook’s other bands Bad Luck 13 Riot Extravaganza and Eat The Turnbuckle: Ow! Both bands are known for bringing the pain and their blood to their live shows, and while I can’t speak for Bad Luck’s music (because I was too busy getting as far away as possible at Hellfest 04), ETT falls into the metallic punch-you-in-the-face genre. That’s why Hellrad is such a surprise with their fuzzed-out brand of sludge. “Things Never Change” manages to contain a healthy amount of groove without sacrificing any aggression. Songs like “Dope Fiend Jesus” and “15 Years And Counting” will have you nodding your head in approval as you smash open someone’s head to feast on the gooey insides. RIYL: Black Cobra, Javelina, Indian — 365 Days of Horror

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