Reptilian Rapid Review Round-Up
or Watch As One Man Tries To Empty His Overflowing Inbox
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. Apologies if this stuff has already been covered or commented on but here’s some things I’ve been spinning this month.
Yautja – The Lurch (out 21/5)
How to describe Yautja? Aggro-dissonant-prog-tinged sludgey deathnoise? Fucked if I know, but they rule.
At first The Lurch sounds more calculated than Songs Of Descent but don’t get the wrong idea, it’s calculated same way that the Yautja programs its alien-ass wrist display to detonate an atomic self-destruction device and obliterate Arnie and co. to oblivion.
FFO: Coffin Wisdom, Thermal Imagery, “Getting To The Choppahhhhh”
Mephitic Grave – Into The Atrium Of Inhuman Morbidity (out now)
Look, I tried to like this one, but this is absolutely the type of death metal album you’ll listen to once and think “that was decent” then literally never come back to ever again. Maybe if it is somehow the first deliberately lo-fi detour you take away from whatever-the-fuck gets kids deeper into underground metal these days, it might stick but let’s be honest, you didn’t end up on this site sometime during the last 6 years from a stray SiriusXM link. You’ve heard at least fourfty bands who’ve written this exact album before. Monotone growls, rudimentary riffs, dorm-room drumming, and public-domain production.
Victory Over The Sun – The Nowherer (out 23/4)
Not gonna pretend to understand the complexity of microtonal metal being produced these days, if I ever want to hear intervals shorter than a semitone I’ll hit my sitar raga playlist or some fretless Cenk Erdoğan virtuoso gear. However, a good half of this 4-track EP is top-tier atonal weirdness that some of you freaks will no doubt shit your pants over.
Grave Miasma – Abyss Of Wrathful Deities (out 14/5)
Took me a good 2 weeks to stop laughing at the cover art enough to give this new Grave Miasma album an ‘unbiased’ listen. Abyss Of Wrathful Deities is a much more upbeat addition to the band’s discography than I was originally anticipating. Looking at it now, I think I subconsciously conflated their previous output with the quetiapine equivalent songwriting of Grave Upheaval. This is nothing of the sort. Now sounding less cavernous than many of their contemporaries, Grave Miasma use sonic clarity on their latest effort to their advantage. Sure the style here remains congruous with the darker undercurrent of present-day death metal, but the guitars and vocals are produced in such a way that puts them closer to the qualities we’ve come to expect from the burgeoning Norwegian death metal scene (think Obliteration, Reptilian, et al.)
Carcinoma – Labascation (out now)
Not sure if this one’s been covered on the site yet, but alongside Suffering Hour‘s latest, Labascation has easily been my favourite release of the year. Scathing dissonantly-flared riffs erupt and mutate into apocalyptic thunderclaps as quick as lightning through a wet dog. Bridges the gap between the oppressive and asphyxiating atmosphere Ulcerate are renowned for, and the phrenetic phychosis-inducing turnarounds you’d expect from a band such as Pyrrhon. Brilliant album.
FFO: Convulsing, Ad Nauseum, growing your fingernails out for 5 years before angle-grinding them into pointed objects likely to get you stopped by airport security then flensing your facial skin in front of your loved ones at Sunday night family dinner.
Cathexis – Untethered Abyss (out 25/6)
Serviceable modern death metal erring on the technical side of things. Probably more interesting than whatever pablum is being ceaselessly promoted on whichever +27k DeATh MeTuhLL Fanz ONLY FB group you’re still a member of, but not really breaking the boundaries of anything you’ve heard before in the songwriting department. Still a solid jam though if you’re looking to scratch that kind of forward thinking death metal itch.
Balmog – Eve (out 14/5)
Having been such a long time since Svmma Fide (and the fact that my memory has faded considerably since 2015), all I can say is this new Balmog joint sounds relatively streamlined; moving away from a Sinmara or Carpe Noctem-esque take on modern black metal towards something resembling the more accessible Blaze Of Perdition styled riffing structures.
Cannibal Corpse – Violence Unimagined (out now)
A new Cannibal Corpse album.
Midnight Odyssey – Biolume Part 2: The Golden Orb (out 14/5)
If you’ve ever wondered what a lo-fi dungeon (read: bedroom) black metal project could sound like if the person making it had as much talent as ambition then the new Midnight Odyssey album is the answer. Epic in scope, and subsequently in length, Biolume Part 2: The Golden Orb is nearly 2hrs of supreme dork material. Masterlord cannot convince me that he didn’t at least ghost write part of this album.