YSMT,ILTT: Asgrauw, Hate Beyond, Deathmace
Welcome back to You Send Me Things, I Listen To Them. We’re getting international as fuck with black metal from the Netherlands, thrash from Japan, and death metal from the U.K. Let’s get to it.
Mail kicks ass. I love coming home from work, checking the mail box, throwing away bills and jury summons, and finding a mystery package. Is it an album submission? A gewgaw I forgot I ordered while drunk? A bomb? Who knows! One thing is for certain, it is surely a physical Thing which is fun and exciting. Over the course of a week I received three separate CDs from far across the globe. Because they took the time to send me their shit, the least I can do is listen to it and offer my unvarnished opinions. Let’s listen to Deathmace, Asgrauw, and Hate Beyond.
Let’s begin with Deathmace, a crew of dudes from York, England. Prior releases like The Blast Jedi, The Blast Supper, and Blast Christmas contain live demos of tracks that appear on this, their latest release, Bleeding Frenzy. Despite the blasting focus of their material, Bleeding Frenzy really shines when the lads slow down and let their downtuned death metal riffs drill through your skull. “Charcharchodon” allows some breathing room for the band to groove and the results are fantastic, especially coming on after a forgettable grey thrash tune like the title track. Likewise, “Skull of Spikes (The Deathmace)” fucks around with some neat-o back and forth guitar interplay that freshens up the whole album. Whatever quibbles I’ve got with this record are resolved by “Renatus in Vindicata”. This closing track is extremely siqqq and also nasty good. I’m looking forward to future Deathmace tracks that work within its formula. Overall, Bleeding Frenzy is a pretty good time with lotsa forceful BLEH’s interspersed throughout.
Cool, a second wave black metal record! Time to play my favorite game: Is It Sketchy? Fortunately, my research didn’t indicate anything that would dissuade me from writing about what is an extremely tight album. Gronspech, their third full-length is rife with paeans to their Scandinavian forebears of moonlit forests and frozen tundra. It’s 105 degrees Fahrenheit in Austin right now but the icy nature of tracks like “Wolvenbloe.d” are enough to send a chill through the stifling Texas air. “BUT WHAT OF THE RIFFS?!”, you shriek. Yeah man, the riffs are pretty fucking good and the mid-heavy guitar tone kicks ass. Gronspech contains some incredibly tight musicianship, especially through Batr’s fluid drum skills. The anguished cries and screams and shrieks lend an emotional heft to Asgrauw’s scythe-like attack. Highly recommended, y’all.
Hate Beyond is a Japanese thrash band with a French vocalist that sings in English. The results are sometimes extremely silly. But beyond the cringe-y lyrics and delivery, beyond the clicky drum production, there are some thicc ass guitar lines. Guitarist Warzy is a fucking monster; he can play incredibly precise thrash riffs, killer lead lines, and absolutely insane guitar solos. Sometimes his skillful performances are enough to salvage a song and make it a shining spot on an otherwise lackluster thrash record. Perhaps I’m just not as much of a thrash fan as I used to be, but Ruthless Aggression, the band’s 5th full-length, just doesn’t hit me in my sweet spots. I’d invite you to decide for yourself if you enjoy the music or not but you can’t stream this record anywhere. If you’d like a preview of Hate Beyond’s music you can watch this trailer that features a few seconds of each track. Sorry friends, no singles for you. If you want to buy the thing you can get it solely through Japanese distro Jackhammer Music.