Estuary To Exist and Endure

Estuary
To Exist and Endure

Ibex Moon Records

Also from back east is Estuary, with To Exist and Endure. This band started out as Estuary of Calamity, and had a more melodic beginning, adding keyboards and black metal vocals, among other effects. Now, they’ve stripped down their sound, ditched the pretty keys and sissy black metal vocals, shortened their name and released a punishing “rebirth” album! Listeners will be reminded of old Amorphis or Sinister upon first spin, and the guitars bring some serious Iron Maiden-style melodies to mind, but make no mistake; this disc will beat you down.
This review originally appeared in Butcher’s Block, March 2005, Issue 195.

Enthroned Enthroned
XES Hareticum 

Napalm Records

Ah, Enthroned … one of the best and most underrated black metal bands around. While most BM bands annoy me with their vocalists constantly screeching into the microphone, Enthroned’s vocalist is actually the focal point of the band for many people. The band has learned that light-speed fast all the time isn’t the key to success. Instead, they opt for some slow breakdowns, which are very dark and heavy, lending to the overall success of this album in The BUTCHER’S ears. The biggest surprise is the odd vocal arrangements of the title track.
This review originally appeared in The Butcher’s Block, June 2005, Issue 198.

All Systems Fail 7inch
All Systems Fail
Self-titled 7″ vinyl EP

Loderback Records
All Systems Fail = Discharge + Nausea + Chaos UK

Remember the good old days of punk, before the intervention of Hot Topic, AFI, Green Day, mall punks and other assorted corporate shit? Then you need to pick up All Systems Fail little vinyl beast! Metalcore? No! Emo? Fuck no! This is 100 percent angry, pissed-off crust punk! Think Discharge, Nausea, Sore Throat, Chaos UK. This 7″ vinyl EP boasts five kick-ass tracks, my all-time favorite being “Arm Chair Generals”—fucking kills! This release is fairly limited, comes on clear vinyl, and includes lyrics, stickers and a patch for your stinky, dirty old Levi jacket or leather!

Funerus Festering Earth

Funerus
Festering Earth

 

Ibex Moon Records

 

The first demon to escape the gates this month is Funerus, a side project of Incantation mastermind John McEntee. Funerus play abysmal and turgid death metal, with the occasional outburst of speed. They usually keep things slow or mid-paced, though. This is a good example of what real, old-school death metal is like—there are no keyboards, female vocals, nonsensical lyrics about forests … Songs titles such as “Festering Earth” and “Stagnant Seas” tip you off to what you’re in for with these guys.

 

This review originally appeared in Butcher’s Block, March 2005, Issue 195.

Winter SolsticeWinter Solstice
The Fall of Rome 

Metal Blade Records

Ooh, tricky—I thought by the title and statue on the cover, this would be gothic metal or power metal, but it’s just another piece-of-shit screamo metalcore band. Fuck this waste of plastic. And I wish these fags would stop trying to trick people into thinking their CDs are other genres with names, titles and artwork, when it in fact belongs to one specific genre—SHIT. With these continuous metalcore signings, Metal Blade should just change their name to Screamo Edge, or something like that. Cyanide caplets must be slipped into Brian Slagel’s coffee, NOW!!! Remember the Metal Massacre comps? I didn’t think so …
This review originally appeared in The Butcher’s Block, June 2005, Issue 198.

Pagan Dead

Pagan Dead
Mors Janua Vit Æ Et Vita Janua Mortis

Self-released
Pagan Dead = Misfits + Accused

 

When I first received a copy of Pagan Dead’s debut album, I was a little leery, thinking, “Rockabilly? Next!” But after giving it a chance, I was instantly hooked! Relentless drumming by Jodie Hecate, demonic guitars by Jessie Demonio (no longer in the band) and the upright bass slapping and plucking from “Pagan” Patrick Muerto, all evilly complemented by his demonic vocals. Lyrically Pagan Dead is very similar to the Misfits and Samhain, concerning themselves with Christians, witches and other deviousness. The black-hearted humor and Halloweenish feel make this a must-have for anyone who sported a devilock in the late 80s.

Hell-Born Legacy of the Nephilim

Hell-Born
Legacy of the Nephilim

Conquer Records

Hell-Born is a band from Poland that sounds remarkably close in style to Japan’s Hellchild. This album has a definite thrash metal feel in the guitar playing, as well as the way the vocalist belts out the lyrics, but that’s as close to thrash as this gets. The rest is pure death metal. I have to admit, the vocals really stand out on this with the way the singer enunciates certain words. The guitars are also interesting, which says a lot coming from me, since I fucking HATE fretboard gymnastics, i.e., wanky guitar-playing. Don’t know what I mean? Check out Cannibal Corpse!
This review originally appeared in Butcher’s Block, March 2005, Issue 195.

 Death Du Jour - Fragments of Perdition Death Du Jour
Fragments of Perdition 

Golden Lake Productions

With a silly name like that, you would expect these guys to sound like Lawnmower Death or something, but instead, it’s Finnish death metal, the old-school way—fucking heavy and fast. If you are into Drawn and Quartered, Mortician, Centinex or anything in between, you should own this release! Very old-school death metal, so you know it’s going to be better than 98 percent of the junk that’s out these days!
 This review originally appeared in The Butcher’s Block, June 2005, Issue 198.

MALIGNANT INCEPTION

Malignant Inception
Black Death

Slaughterhouse Records
Malignant Inception = Malevolent Creation + Suffocation + Decapitated

 

Malignant Inception have everything the die-hard death metal fan needs—relentless double-bass drumming, ever-changing guitar and bass technicality and trademark dual low vocals topped off with the screeching highs that made this band notorious. Black Death is a bloody, throat-wrenching 55-minute treat. Comparisons will obviously be made to bands like Suffocation and Malevolent Creation. The band is currently working on a new album, incorporating more progressive technicality and black and death metal brutality. Watch out for them live this fall around town.

Bloody Sign - Vana Vingala Loits

Bloody Sign
Vana Vigala Loits

Ibex Moon Records

Like their fellow death-metal countrymen Mercyless and Phazm, Bloody Sign manage to combine the speed with guttural heaviness while keeping things interesting the whole way through the disc. You might say they come across as sounding like a slightly less sepulchral and less down-tuned version of Incantation. Fuck your “freedom fries,” Bloody Sign want your death!
This review originally appeared in Butcher’s Block, March 2005, Issue 195.