Sunday, 25 October 2020

ALBUM REVIEW: Septicflesh, “Infernus Sinfonica MMXIX”

By: Peter Morsellino

 

Album Type: Live Album

Date Released: 31/07/2020

Label: Season of Mist




 

“Infernus Sinfonica MMXIX” CD//DD//LP//DVD/BluRay track listing:

 

1. Intro
2. Portrait of a Headless Man
3. Martyr
4. Prototype
5. The Pyramid God
6. The Enemy of Truth
7. Communion
8. The Vampire from Nazareth
9. Dogma of Prometheus
10. Lovecraft's Death
11. Dante's Inferno
12. Persepolis
13. A Great Mass of Death
14. Anubis
15. Dark Art 

 

The Review:

 

In 2019, Septicflesh embarked on a journey to Mexico for a single night of symphonic glory.  Accompanied by the Toluca Philharmonic Orchestra, the magical night served as a highlight of the band's illustrious career. “Infernus Sinfonica MMXIX” documents that night for all to experience in its full majesty.

 

Available both on audio in CD and Vinyl formats and as a full length concert video, Septicflesh grant access to those outside of the lucky few in attendance to bear witness to a phenomenal performance by one of the world's premier Symphonic Death Metal acts. While live albums have historically been a point of contention within the community of music fans, I believe that this album does its job in spades of documenting a once in a lifetime experience.

 

The mix is fantastic, providing both the band and orchestra ample space to move and breath, creating a wonderful sonic experience. The performance is as tight as can be expected, serving listeners with a magnificent collection of performances of the band's greatest work.  With such quality in one place, this album can be used as a jumping off point for Septicflesh just as equally as a collection piece for uberfan.

 

If available to you, I would have to recommend the concert video over the audio recording, but only as a preference of mine. The video recreates the experience in its whole, whereas the audio falls to the same trappings as many live recordings, with stage banter and hype work distracting from the audio experience.  While audible in the recording, the video also documents the absolutely spellbound audience, who lend themselves heavily to the performances energy.

 

All in all the performance is amazing, and despite my nitpicking, I would recommend either format to both new and veteran fans alike. Check it out. Experience this once in a lifetime event for yourself.

 

“Infernus Sinfonica MMXIX” is available HERE



Band info: facebook

ALBUM REVIEW: Raging Speedhorn, "Hard To Kill"


By: Richard Maw

 

Album Type: Full Length

Date Released: 23/10/2020

Label: Red Weed Records


“Hard to Kill” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). Snakebite

2). Doom Machine

3). Spitfire

4). Hard To Kill

5). Hammer Down

6). Hand of God

7). Brutality

8). The Beast

9). Children of the Revolution

 

The Review:

 

Raging Speedhorn are back in business with their sixth record. Their previous album, “Lost Ritual”, was pretty gnarly with just the right amount of grit and guts to see the band firing on all cylinders. Since then, there has been a big change in line up; a new vocalist, bassist and guitarist, while the core trio of vocals, guitar and drums remains. Longtime vocalist John Loughlin has stepped down, while Dan Cook is in.

 

Speedhorn have always been at their best when playing very noisy rock n roll. It is what they do best- they are not a sludge band or a whatever-core band. They are distant cousins to Motorhead: aggro rock n roll their speciality. Opener “Snakebite” is a fair summary of where the band and what they do; it's rough, raucous and ready to kick your teeth out.

 

From there, the band drop the tempo to their pretty much trademarked swagger through “Doom Machine” and “Spitfire”. The title track is headbanging heaven; that rolling Speedhorn groove- a throwback to their excellent second album “We Will Be Dead Tomorrow” in attitude and approach. Again, the vibe of Motorhead is not too far away- it's one of the reasons I first loved the band.

 

Speedhorn are a bit of a British institution these days; they've been around over twenty years (!?) but they have retained their venom and bite from the early days. I was a fan from early on for a couple of reasons: they played the kind of music I like and they bothered to play in Humberside. I never saw them there at that early stage in their career, but my younger sister did and told me about them. I became a fan instantly; a heavy band had bothered to trek to the arse end of nowhere (Grimsby/Cleethorpes) and play for the metal starved youth there. I first saw them in Leeds in 2002 (I think?) and that made me a fan for life. It was a standout gig for me and I've followed them off and on ever since.

 

There are few other influences that you might pick up on; you get some Down-esque riffage on “Hand of God” and slow burners like Entombed did in their mid-period- but really this sounds like Raging Speedhorn. The double-vocal attack, the distorted bass, the straight-to-the-point drums and riffs. It can only be one band. The tempos are varied; “Brutality” is speedy, “The Beast” isn't and there is one huge curveball to finish things: a T-Rex cover. Yes, you read that right!

 

I can't think of much more of a stark difference in guitar music than the effete and androgynous Marc Bolan and the members of Raging Speedhorn who... are neither of those things. Bolan wrote some cracking riffs, though, and one of them is the backbone of this song. Speedhorn do it justice, just as Paul Di'Anno did on “Murder One” by Killers thirty years ago. Great song.

 

Overall, this is business as usual for Speedhorn; reinvigorated by a new line up and a four year stretch between records, this is one to pick up ASAP and play as loud as you can. No higher compliment is needed.

 

“Hard To Kill” is available HERE



Band info: bandcamp || facebook

Friday, 23 October 2020

VIDEO PREMIERE: Cell Press fucking destroy with debut single "Desert Breath"


You know that feeling, when you spin a new record for the first time and it just fucking destroys you? Well today I am happy to report, Cell Press outta Montreal have truly delivered the goods with their debut self titled EP.  I mean fuck, is it any wonder this band rules, when they can boast members from the likes of The Great Sabatini, Biipiigwan, I Hate Sally, Architect.

 

With their self-titled release, Cell Press give zero fucks about accessibility, instead they focus on delivering punishing aggression with a melting pot of sludge metal, noise rock, and grindcore.

 

Be sure to dial those speakers up loud and watch you speakers die, as we debut the single “Desert Breath” belowThe “Cell Press” EP is set for release on November 27th, digitally here and on limited edition cassette from No Funeral Records here and here >> Ancient Temple Recordings on Nov 27th.


Wednesday, 21 October 2020

ALBUM REVIEW: Wytch Hazel, "III Pentecost"

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 30/10/2020
Label: Bad Omen Records
 

“III Pentecost” CD//DD//LP track listing:
 
1). He is the Fight
2). Spirit and Fire
3). I Am Redeemed
4). Archangel
5). Dry Bones
6). Sonata
7). I Will Not
8). Reap The Harvest
9). The Crown
10). Ancient of Days

The Review:

Wytch Hazel, perhaps the North West of England's premier medieval metal band return with their third full length and it is an interesting and progressive beast. Their debut, “Prelude” was an excellent mix of particularly British hard rock, folk rock and proto-metal, while “Sojourn” went into more straightforward rocking territory.

This time around, the band have expanded their sound further and deliver songs that are thematically even more pro-Christian with a sound that is hard driving and whimsical by turns. “Pentecost”, as one might expect from the title is fairly steeped in Christian theology and comes on with a sound that mixes Wishbone Ash, Jethro Tull, Thin Lizzy and Iron Maiden to quite glorious effect.

The opener “He Is The Fight” lets you know exactly where you stand; approximately in 1975 in a  warm recording studio complete with ornate rugs and wooden floors. The sound and production is excellent; it's warm and vibrant with organic sounds aplenty. James Atkinson (of Gentlemens Pistols fame) has done a superb job of capturing the band's heart and soul. The nifty production trick of adding acoustic guitars to augment and fill out the electric instruments is introduced from the get go and it is repeated throughout the record, making for an expansive and airy sound.

The religious themes and imagery crop up time and again also; “Archangel, “Reap The Harvest”, “I Am Redeemed...” anyone reading these song titles should not be surprised at all by the lyrical content. It might be hard to swallow for some listeners- but, of course, those same listeners are probably happy to imbibe the cod-satanism of any number of other metal bands. I must confess, this includes me. I find the religious aspects of the record problematic and distracting. However, the quality of material such as “The Crown” shines through, though, so regardless your of your belief system you should be able to enjoy this.

It's my view that this is the best and most developed Wytch Hazel record yet; it conjures up a uniquely English atmosphere (once again the spectre of  Argus!) and is expertly played and delivered by a band of clear capability. All band members do a great job from the vocals (masterfully double tracked in places) to the melodic guitar playing to the rock solid rhythm section it is pretty much flawless. The songs are there, the production is there, the front cover is fantastic. There are so many plus points to the album that they outweigh any gripes one may have with the lyrical themes contained herein. It's an excellent record by a unique band- one that deserves to be given a try and heard by any fans of any of the bands mentioned or alluded to here.

“III Pentacost” is available HERE

Band info: bandcamp || facebook

Sunday, 4 October 2020

6 NEW BANDS: THE SLUDGELORD's "666 Pack Review" (44th Edition)


Welcome to the 44ths edition of the “666 Pack Review”.  Last time, I do not believe there was a single score of 666 and we even provided the bands with “the future is so bright!” scoring motif.  This time around, we’re going negative because that’s the only thing that seems to be consistent throughout 2020.  So, if you’re new to this, we handpick 6 review submissions and critique them by only using 6 words, then we rate them on a scale from 1 to 666!  Check out our “fuck everything” rating scale below: 

 

1 – You’re wasting yours AND our fucking time. 

2 – Fucking A.  At least it’s better than a 1.   

3 – Only three fucks to give?  Fuck it.

4 – This isn’t that fucking bad, at least you fucking tried.

5 – Fuck! You were sooooo close.  That’s your fucking clue that you need to try fucking harder next time. 

666 – It’s about fucking time.  THE SLUDGELORD is very fucking proud of you…now fuck off.   

 

Caveat:  Even though the “666 Pack Review” is meant to offer humorous critique, there are no safe spaces here and your gripes will only make you sound like a bellyacher.  THE SLUDGELORD is a picky listener…and doesn’t care what you think of his opinions….


1). Unbelievable Lake “Forgive” (Belfast, United Kingdom) Rating: 5

 

Because they recorded at a church.



2). Legion and the Thieves “Through Painted Skies” (Pensacola, Florida, U.S.A.)   Rating: 5

 

Talent is there, but lacking flux.


  

3). Catapult The Sun “Human Empire Fails” – Athens, Greece Rating: 5

 

Heavier than Ouzo.  Zeus is proud. 

 



4). Burial Fog “Burial Fog” (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.)   Rating: 2

 

Please fog my ears…uninspired doom.


 

  

5). Huntress of Stars “Borrowed Eyes With Which to Sorrow” (Illinois, U.S.A.)  Rating: 3

 

More average doom.  Fuck my life. 


  

6). Chimney Creeps “Nosedive” (New York, U.S.A)   Rating: 2

 

Desert rock belongs in the desert. 



Friday, 2 October 2020

TRACK PREMIERE: "Ookoo" by Positiivinen Ongelma



Today at THE SLUDGELORD were excited to debut a fresh and exciting new Finnish crust punk band called Positiivinen Ongelma.  Their debut EP “Kaikkea Kivaa” which translates to “Everything Fun”, is highly ironic given the subject matter of the lyrics, which mainly deal with mental health issues and often out refusal to acknowledge them.

Check out the track “Ookoo” below, preorders for the EP are availabe HERE



Band info: bandcamp || facebook


Tuesday, 29 September 2020

ALBUM REVIEW: Skeletal Remains, "The Entombment of Chaos"

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 11/09/2020
Label: Century Media Records



“The Entombment of Chaos” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). Cosmic Chasm (Intro)
2). Illusive Divinity
3). Congregation Of Flesh
4). Synthetic Impulse
5). Tombs Of Chaos
6). Enshrined In Agony
7). Dissectasy
8). Torturous Ways To Obliteration
9). Eternal Hatred
10). Unfurling The Casket

The Review:

“The Entombment of Chaos” is album number four for these Californian death metallers. It's incredible, really. It's not because of their longevity, but instead it is incredible they are not from Tampa, Florida and this is being released in 2020 and not 1992. This album is a beast. It's resolutely old school and nods to the best bands of the genre; Death, Morbid Angel, Obituary et al. The promo photo says a lot; Obituary and Grave shirts proudly on display and the band looking like they are deathly serious- which they are.

The fact that the bonus track is a Disincarnate cover- that's the James Murphy Disincarnate- shows that these guys are very interested in going for real old school fans of the genre and also that they are exactly that themselves.

Of course, this is fast, of course this is brutal, of course this is pure death metal; but it's never at the expense of riffs and attitude. It's not fast for the sake of being fast and doesn't overstep the mark into unlistenable brutality. Instead, there are plenty of melodic shifts and tasteful leads (“Synthetic Impulse” has this in spades). The atmospheric intro of “Cosmic Cavern” nods to the tech greats like Cynic, while the opener proper “Illusive Divinity is headbanging heaven.

Elsewhere, the propulsive thrashing of “Tombs of Chaos” is very satisfying- with added blasts for seasoning. Ten tracks (eleven with the bonus track) is more than enough of this type of carnage. Just like their forbears, this is to the point and focused- just as well because if this ran to a full hour or similar it would be hard to get through. Instead, the band know that a little goes a long way and the record clocks in around the length of one side of a TDK 90 cassette (which I used to have Death albums dubbed onto).

What Skeletal Remains have done here is recreate the atmosphere and approach of classic early 90s Floridian death metal, and they have done so expertly. It's really good death metal, complete with a mood setting intro, a clean interlude (“Enshrined In Agony”) that kicks off the second half and all the good points of the genre rolled into one album.

There are echoes of Deicide's riffing approach in “Dissectasy” and Morbid Angel's angular musicality in “Torturous Ways To Obliteration”. Yep, for the old school death head, there is nothing to dislike here. The production is spot on, too. This is a great throwback to the g(l)ory days of death and makes me want to dig out everything from “Cause of Death” to “Altars of Madness” to “Tomb of the Mutilated” and feast upon their innards.

It's a deathly delight from start to finish. Have a listen to any one of the eight full original songs here and you are bound to agree- if you have any interest in any of the aforementioned bands. Death metal the way it was and the way it should be; loud, fast and raw with grit and guts aplenty. 

“The Entombment of Chaos” is available HERE 

Band info: facebook