Full of Hell & Merzbow – “Blue Litmus”

Powerviolence outfit Full of Hell has been making a name for themselves over the past few years with some pretty brutal full-length recordings, but their interests reach outside of the dismal worlds of sludge metal, grindcore, and hardcore punk. In a series of EPs I believe they’ve been dropping since 2011, the band actually indulges in some experiments in noise music–not to imply that their LPs aren’t noisy hellstorms, though.

With a healthy interest in the abrasive, the band has invited none other than Merzbow to participate in their latest collection of songs, adding some head-splitting feedback shots and distortion walls to the band’s already aggressive collection of blast beats and punishing guitars.

Give a listen to the track “Blue Litmus” above, which sounds like Full of Hell as usual, but with a bit more noise peppered in between the riffs.

Beyond Creation – Earthborn Evolution

I’m no technical death metal fiend, but I’ve been warming up to the new Beyond Creation album lately, and I’m really liking what I’m hearing. These guys dropped a debut album in 2011, but Season of Mist reissuing the record in 2013 gave the band some serious momentum.

It’s not hard to figure out why a label like SoM would salivate at the prospect of working with a band like this. The playing maybe be flashy, but the writing being executed here incredibly catchy and tasteful. Not only that, but the band’s incorporation of fretless bass leads to a sound unlike any relevant technical death metal act out there today.

It’s great to hear bass playing such a pivotal role in a genre where it’s typically tacked on in the background. Plus, the fretless’ fluid, smooth tone brings finesse to a metal style that is typically a little too rigid for my ears.

I could go on, but I’d rather save something for the review, ya know? Stream Beyond Creation’s sophomore album via the widget above, and enjoy!

Bölzer – Soma

Swiss death metal outfit Bölzer drop another EP of grimy, blood-caked, old school death metal.

Slugdge – Gastronomicon

A f-fun death metal album? Sure, they exist – the new Slugdge record Gastronomicon is one of them. If you’re unfamiliar with the UK duo consisting of guitarist Kev Pearson and lyricist/vocalist Matt Moss, then allow me to explain: they make music about interstellar slugs and are on a mission to “cover the world of man in a viscous goo.” But I’ve gotta say as ridiculous as the twosome’s concept comes across on paper, it amounts to a staggeringly captivating alternate reality for the run-time of this sophomore LP of theirs. The lyrics of Gastronomicon come off not as parody, but as a surprisingly imaginative mythology. Moreover, the compositions are rather progressive and the production is stellar - this is a properly heavy listen. Hopefully you can get past (or better yet, embrace) the campy concept, because otherwise you’ll be missing out on one of the year’s most enjoyable death metal releases so far.

Gastronomicon is out now with the blessing of Mollusca the Greatfather.

Vallenfyre – Splinters

The UK’s Vallenfyre brings together a slew of different death metal styles on this sophomore record of theirs, and feeds them through some incredibly heavy, pummeling production.

YUNOREVIEW: APRIL ’14

It’s that time of the month, isn’t it? I’M TALKING ABOUT ALL OF THESE RECORDS IN BRIEF. I WISH I HAD THE TIME TO REVIEW THEM IN FULL ON THEIR OWN IN APRIL, BUT SUCH IS LIFE. HERE’S THE LIST:

PROTOMARTYR – UNDER THE COLOR OF OFFICIAL RIGHT
CURRENT 93 – I AM THE LAST OF ALL THE FIELD THAT FELL (A CHANNEL)
DANGER – JULY 2013
GRIDLINK – LONGHENA
AFGHAN WHIGS – DO TO THE BEAST
ASHER ROTH – RETRO HASH
WYE OAK – SHRIEK
MERKAHBAH – MOLOCH
ODONIS ODONIS – HARD BOILED, SOFT BOILED
AUTOPSY – TOURNIQUETS, HACKSAWS AND GRAVES
WOODS – WITH LIGHT AND WITH LOVE
TEEBS – E S T A R A
KELIS – FOOD

Artificial Brain – Labyrinth Constellation

New York’s Artificial Brain comes through with a galactic take on technical death metal on their debut album.

Mantar – Death By Burning

The latest full-length album from the previously mentioned Mantar is now available for streaming via the widget embedded above.

Various shades of metal play into this ten tracks on this record: death, black, sludge, doom. And some of the riffs here have a faint rock ‘n’ roll vibe as well. Mantar certainly shows off a lot of diversity for a “band” that’s only got two members. Their exclusion of bass guitar doesn’t stop this record from sounding heavy as hell either.

While there isn’t exactly a lot of subtlety or layering going on here because of the stripped back instrumentation, Mantar’s infectious grooves and manic vocals still bring a lot to the table. Enjoy!

Coffin Dust – “Pig Roast”

An incredibly grimy combination of punk rock, rock ‘n’ roll, and death metal come together on the new Coffin Dust album that’d dropping next week via Unholy Anarchy Records & Distro. Stream one of the tracks from it above. It’s one of the most blistering tracks on the album, and is too gruesome to deny. Enjoy!

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Dea Marica – Curse of the Haunted

A lot of death/doom heaviness packed into this debut album from London metal trio Dea Marica. Throughout Curse of the Haunted, frontman Riccardo Veronese’s voice is exceptionally powerful, whether it be clean and operatic or coarse and growled, and multi-instrumentalist Roberto Mura and drummer Marco craft some weighty, emotional arrangements. Give it a listen in full via the above widget through the group’s Bandcamp.