Reptilian Rapid Review Round-Up II
…or Watch As One Man Tries To Empty His Overflowing Inbox. Mini-reviews of new stuff from Spectral Lore, Nekromantheon, Obsolete, Intonate, Mare Cognitum, Disembodiment, Metharoma, Wode, and Tunic.
Hey, look, I’ve been flat-out working, fathering, existentially dread-ing(?) and subsequently poisoning myself lately, I’ve not had cpu time to keep up with things happening on my long-time lover (this ‘ere lavatory). So no Riff-Raff podcasting, reviewing, riff ov the week-ing, etc. Anyway, enough excuses. The promos don’t stop rolling in and guilt has overcome me…plus I have Opinions™. I’m going to try and review a bunch of stuff in short-form, maybe once or twice a month if time permits. Last week I covered new stuff from Yautja, Midnight Odyssey, Grave Miasma, Victory Over The Sun, Carcinoma, Balmog, Cathexis, Mephitic Grave, and Cannibal Corpse. Apologies if this stuff has already been covered or commented on but here’s some things I’ve been spinning this month.
Nekromantheon – Visions Of Trimegistos (out now)
After doing a couple of Obliteration releases, the Norwegian black-thrash bastards Nekromantheon are back with the long-awaited follow up to Rise, Vulcan Spectre. 9 years on and Visions Of Trimegistos sees the band offering a slightly less consistent level of frenetic playing, resulting in a somewhat more dynamic sound. Yes, they’re still ripping your face off with hooky thrash metal mastery, but there are some more death-derived elements creeping in around the edges. Banger album.
FFO: Inculter, Deathhammer, Aura Noir
Wode – Burn In Many Mirrors (out now)
Listened to this new Wode one once, nearly fell asleep. Dunno what else to say about it so I’ll make some unnecessarily imflammatory stabs.
Lode (prod. Bob Rock)
Wo(ah, I couldn’t be anymore) de(void of interest in this band’s output)
Intonate – Severed Within (out now)
Another “long time between drinks” comeback album for 2021 is the second release for Canadian proggy-death band Intonate. Over 5 years have passed since their impeccable psych-spun debut The Swerve, and the follow-up Severed Within sees a more technical approach form. As someone who prefers a hallucinatory haze to imbue my death metal than a clinical cleanliness, this wasn’t really the direction I’d have rathered the band move towards; however my taste is bad and yours is more important so still give it a spin.
Metharoma – Pipe Dreams (out now)
Brutal death metal has always been a genre I should really enjoy on paper, but aside from a handful of stand-out bands I’ve never been able to really commit to the genre. No matter how insanely technical your playing, or how absurd your production-pinging is, there’s only so many minutes of homogenous blasting I can endure at a time. Also, your song is earnestly titled ‘Excreting Esophogeal Entrails’ or whatever-the-fuck. However, when coming across this Metharoma album I decided it’s somehow one of the 5 brutal dm albums I will actually listen to more than once. Don’t ask me why.
Obsolete – Animate//Isolate (out now)
A few years ago, Leif Bearikson and I hyped a little two-track EP on our Riff-Raff Podcast by a new band borne from members of Sunless and Australis (hear me rave about the EP here). Fast forward 3 years and Obsolete‘s debut LP definitely lives up to expectations. Insanely tight but most importantly creative, technical death-thrash with an organic production and orbit-escaping velocity. Riffing flare and songwriting skills to match, Animate//Isolate is one of those albums you’ll be recommending to every metalhead you know for years to come.
FFO: Sadus, Aspid, Vektor if they could thrash as hard as they suck.
Tunic – Exhaling (out now)
Ok, so this isn’t metal by any stretch but I’ll be damned if this didn’t scratch the weird-punk itch. Can’t even remember where I came across it tbh but I’m glad I did. 23 tracks of off-beat atonal quirk-riffs, feedback fun, and varied vocals. Fun stuff.
FFO: Future Of The Left, Virus playing alt-punk, The Bronx on a deranged PCP bender.
Disembodiment – Mutated Chaos (out now)
Another no-bullshit dirty death metal release from our buds at Everlasting Spew. Fits into the prevailing filthy aesthetic without the overly muddy production or try-hard gimmicky schtick of most contemporaries.
Mare Cognitum – Solar Paroxysm (out now)
Hot on the heels of their sprawling epic split with Spectral Lore, Mare Cognitum return with what is easily their his most accomplished work to date. Writing a 5-song hour-long atmospheric black metal album which doesn’t waste a single moment would be an essentially unbelievable premise for almost any other act, but Solar Paroxysm does it, and does it with panache. Read Beargod’s review if you still don’t believe me.
Spectral Lore – Ετερόφωτος (out now)
Hot on the heels of their sprawling epic split with Mare Cognitum, Spectral Lore return with what is easily their his most varied work to date. The first couple of tracks took me off guard at first, experimenting with some almost minimalist prog-rock Tool-like textures, perhaps more matching what you’d expect from the odd (for the usual black metal style) cover art. Things on the back-end return to the sort of grandiose fare we’ve come to expect from the most inspiring (and prolific) artist in the RABM scene; soaring and intricately-laced melody seamlessly meld with enormous and often explosive riffing.
FFO: Mare Cognitum, Void Omnia, Blut Aus Nord