ANNIHILATE THIS WEEK hits every Weekend (Saturday or Sunday) with the intent of covering important new releases — grouping short reviews for albums, EPs and demos selected from the current week’s best. These albums were overlooked for more detailed review for any number of reasons, I’m either low on time or the music itself doesn’t warrant depth of inquiry or require too-serious engagement. I do my best to cover as much of everything I receive in some form regardless of genre or representation, so, don’t hesitate to send anything and everything my way: firstname.lastname@example.org
The twenty-fifth week of 2021 is highlighted by thuggin’ beatdowns, atmospheric whatever-core, deathgrind, punchy melodeath, symphonic death metal, pure black metal, technical death metal, old school technical death metal, atmospheric sludge, experimental stoner drone, and it ends up being just alright stuff to sift through. If you’re not into the selection this time around, relax! This’ll be back every 7 days with five more new releases from different styles, genres, etc.
The Album of the Week for my own taste is not a tough choice as Siderean‘s ‘Lost on Void’s Horizon‘ is also [spoilers] my Album of the Month. Cerebral Rot‘s ‘Excretion of Mortality‘ is also slaughterous stuff, a must hear for death metal fans. Polemicist bring their own idiosyncratic vision of ‘dark’ black/death metal into a classic narrative on ‘Return of the Sophist‘. I think most death metal listeners will be checking out Pestilence‘s ‘Exitivm‘ which I’d reviewed a couple of weeks ago, it is not half bad and should be an interesting follow-up to the more traditional prior record. We don’t have all of the death metal out of our system as two records from the technical spectrum Cathexis ‘Untethered Abyss‘ and Catharsis ‘Human Failures‘ represent some of the best tech-death we’ve heard in months. Hellish Form are a newer sludge metal group who have a deeper shade of early Pallbearer to their slow motion gait which I’ve enjoyed during my time with ‘Remains‘. And finally, perhaps even more importantly for many we’ve got the second and hotly anticipated Warmoon Lord album, ‘Battlespells‘, it’ll leave none unimpressed! I am still wrapping my head around Beyond Man‘s self-titled debut album ‘Beyond Man‘ but will attempt a timely review of it this week.
Thank you! I am eternally grateful for the support of readers and appreciate friendly and positive interactions. Think my opinions are trash and that I suck? Want to totally tell me off, bro? Click away and let’s all live more sensible lives full of meaningful interactions. Onto the reviews:
|TITLE:||Mass Rebel Infest|
|RELEASE DATE:||June 25th, 2021|
Canberra, Australia based quartet Mental Cavity represent a strong crossover of sub-genres that were all incredibly popular when I was in my late teens: 90’s hardcore punk, sludge metal, and deathgrind should all feel familiar a combination for those of us who’d grown up grabbing from Relapse, Victory and other likely fonts around that time, especially since these styles toured well together. Much like their moderate contemporaries in Mastiff (U.K.) they’ve taken a couple of albums to iron out the particulars on when to blend and when to separate out elements for a well rounded album. I’d suggest that ‘Mass Rebel Infest’ is the one to get it most right, especially since they’ve leaned into the big, swinging hardcore stomps of pre-‘Equilibrium’ Crowbar for their sludge dives and eased their grind influences just enough to let the beatdown level stuff hit harder. That said, the do a brilliant job covering Disrupt at the end of the record. I’m not one to be impressed by certain eras of tough guy hardcore and its influence upon extreme metal today but I have to say, I enjoyed every minute of this record for how hard it goes. Any flex-heavy stylistic choice made typically serves the song rather than sells a point of view, and I appreciate that Mental Cavity can generally keep me guessing as to what they’ll do minute-to-minute.
|RELEASE DATE:||June 25th, 2021|
Florida’s The Absence or, the original version of the band, basically picked up the reigns of commercial melodeath back when most of our Gothenburg heroes had either disappeared or gone “melodeath/thrash” following the arrival of melodic death metal influenced metalcore in the early 2000’s. The band we’d first hear on record circa in 2004 featured two Swedish guitarists and well, despite this they were often treated as a bit strange for reaching directly for the sort of “poppy” shred-heavy, tuneful spectrum which had been developed in similar groups like Sins of Omission. I’m not saying they weren’t popular, you’ll remember their Erik Rutan-produced second album ‘Riders of the Plague’ (2007) by sight alone, but the “underground” of the era was never particularly receptive to the accessible style they’d pursued. The Absence more or less stuck with their gig despite what looks like a fairly unstable line-up on paper, revising most of the line-up save vocalist Jamie Stewart once their three record deal with Metal Blade was up, largely out of necessity. Eight years later their ‘comeback’ in 2018 was just alright, their original drummer (Jeramie Kling of Inhuman Condition, Ribspreader) had returned and constant co-conspirator Taylor Nordberg had long been the main guitarist. In terms of hitting the implication of a nostalgic sound and taking it to their own headspace, they’re still on point with the major goal of the original albums here within ‘Coffinized‘.
Well, being too on point is a bad thing if you’d been exposed to countless bands in this style during the span of the 2000’s. The vocals are largely one dimensional, the riffs are solid and energetic but never reach quite as far into their bag of tricks as say, the first Arch Enemy record in terms of giving us full on power metal moments to latch onto. That isn’t to say that a songs like “Cathedral Dawn” or “The Consuming Nocturne” aren’t enough to sustain most any classic melodic death metal fan through the duration of the full listen but that it all lands along the same energy level, similar delivery, and simply fills the 50+ minute space with the dryly middling pace and mid-90’s Michael Amott-esque flair. So, classic melodeath? Kinda, just not as ballsy or ‘heavy metal’ as that might indicate. Great first impression, it just didn’t stick for me.
|RELEASE DATE:||June 18th, 2021|
Here we’ve got a good solid ten minutes of hyper Finnish hardcore punk in the best tradition. Finnish hardcore sort of percolates in my mind via a sharp screamer who outpaces the guitar riffs with their syllable-heavy rants, wall-to-wall adrenaline guitar and drum interplay that verges on chaotic speed within very short spurts of rage. So, my introduction to this style, which Kova Rasvaa do incredibly well, was Oheisvasara back in 1998 and it is kind of wild to get hit by this record many years later and get the same feeling. The “new wave of the good old shit”, or just a good blood-shaking fastball spin.
|TITLE:||Auscultating Astral Monuments|
|RELEASE DATE:||June 25th, 2021|
|LABEL(S):||Bloody Mountain Records|
This independent death metal project from Valdur drummer M.S. has been an intent focus for the artist via a consistent schedule of releases starting around 2011 and really amplifying towards regular full-length releases beyond 2014 or so. The style Sxuperion has developed lands somewhere between hints of early Mithras and a form of cosmic blackened/death metal that I’d describe as closest to certain shades of anti-cosmic war metal and atmospheric death from that realm. I’d reviewed the previous two records and at this point I’d say he is writing songs that feel more complete and straight to the point in terms of riffs and atmospheric generation here, cutting some of the samples and ambiance for the sake of homebrewed death metal with plenty of riffs and otherworldly sounds. The overall experience improves and deepens in layers with each release and I’d appreciated how well he generates motion and presence with synths and a simple recording setup otherwise. It is well worth supporting his continued exploration of the cosmos and if there was a place to jump on board it is ‘Auscultating Astral Monuments’
|TITLE:||Dangerovz Magick Zpells from the Mesziah of Death|
|RELEASE DATE:||June 25th, 2021|
The latest EP from Portuguese black metal stalwart Irae is just as raw, unhinged, and coldly violent as expected. Sullen guitar work pools beneath Vulturius‘ howling, tormented vocal performances and wounds us with his curse, a solemn and outrageous performance that develops within a very live feeling drum recordings. The guitar performances develop a subtle melodic verve as the record progresses and this gives the EP a haunting presence rather than an emotional voice. This fellow has brought a lot of personality to the Decayed records he’s played on so, it is always kind of a mind-bending trip to see his passion for this very different take on a raw black metal sound and absorb it as his own distinct personality. There is an LPs worth of material here by todays standards so, don’t hesitate to try this one out of you’re deep into raw black metal.
|RELEASE DATE:||June 30th, 2021|
Euthanized are a punkish early second wave infused black metal trio from Victoria, British Colombia featuring members of Heidenland and Devouring Void. Distant, raw, yet heavy as nails these guys carry the hidden blade of melody here that reeks of the most classic first wave “evil heavy metal” sentimentality but shows no signs of sophistication. The appeal is uncomplicated here, easy to grasp and fun to ride black metal pieces that “rock” ass. If their originals don’t nail this ideal to heart, the Venom cover surely does it. A fantastic tape from a band hitting their stride just, here’s hoping they lean into those street punk beats a bit harder and don’t go post-punk or Midnight-core too quickly.
CHECK THESE OUT TOO
- KOLLAPSE – Sult [June 25th, Fysisk Format]
- BONG-RA – Antediluvian [June 25th, Tartarus Records] Reissue
- EXORCIST – Nightmare Theatre (Re-Release) [June 28th, High Roller Records]
- STENCH COLLECTOR – Effluvatorium du Jour [June 25th, Redefining Darkness Records]
- PRAYERS OF SANITY – Doctrine of Misanthropy [June 25th, Rastilho Records]
- LA MERDE – La Vie en Noir [June 21st, Signal Rex]
- SEANCE OF… – The Colour of Magick [June 21st, Signal Rex] Premiere
- ODYRMOS – For the Brightest Light [June 22nd, BMC Productions]
- KILTER – Sys [June 25th, Alter-Nativ]
- INSTITUTION D.O.L. – The Thelema Tales [June 25th, Edged Circle Productions]
- RUACH RAAH – Misanthropic Wolfgang [June 30th, Signal Rex]
- ANTOLOGI – Chronicles of Catastrophes [June 30th, Vrykoblast Production]
- LORD MORTVM – Diabolical Omen of Hell [June 22nd, Helter Skelter/Regain]
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