WOM Reviews – Skorbutiks / Birdflesh / Vomit Angel / Orbstruct / Skullcrush / Coffin Curse / Slave One / Miles to Perdition

WOM Reviews - Opeth / Ivory Tower / Yawning Man / Above, Below / Voyager / Chaos Over Cosmos / Vulture Industries / Kosm

Skorbutiks – “Archaeonecrosis”

2019 – The Spew Records

Probably, the worst aspect of this album is talking to a friend of yours and saying: “I’ve heard an awesome band” and realizing you don’t know/can’t pronounce neither the name of the band nor the name of the album. Skorbutiks is an Italian death metal band started in 2011. Although the album we present here today is their first one, the band has released both an EP and Split in the past, however let’s focus on the task here: reviewing/commenting Archaeonecrosis. One as me, may consider the death metal genre to be kind of worn-out, however there are always sometimes when a band appears and makes you believe otherwise, and this was one of those times. There seem to be three aspects that characterize Archaeonecrosis, them being: brutality, melody and mysticism, the latter being somewhat vestigial. Starting on the brutality, you can find it basically over the entire album but with precise focus on the vocals (that resemble a more perceptible Cannibal Corpse). When it comes to the melody part, there are some solos here and there as well as some riffs that really give another feel to the album overall. When it comes to mysticism, you have one or two tracks that let down on the melody and brutality and there seems to be some kind of aura that really appeals to the mystic side of music, but as I’ve said this part is vestigial, and as soon as you realize it, you get bombed once again qith an explosion of force. It’s a very good listen and, for some reason I can’t point out, it sounds different from your generic death metal band. However, it seems the band has gone through some internal problems, let’s hope they get fixed in some way and that the band keeps releasing such good albums as this one in the future.

Nota 9/10
Review por Matias Melim

Birdflesh – “Extreme Graveyard Tornado”

2019 – Everlasting Spew Records

Well, this is a weird one. Personally, I’ve never heard of Birdflesh but God have I been missing. This Swedish band has been developing their random, humorous and explosive Grindcore sound since 1992 and after an absence of around 10 years, they are back this year with their newest album – Extreme Graveyard Tornado. With 24 tracks, this album is going to stone you to death with its aggressiveness and you will like it. The themes in which this album dives are somewhat varied, but as one may guess, after 10 years of relative silence, one of the theme that is almost a “must” is the political one, being Grind a style known for its position against the more authoritarian positions. However, there’s nothing conventional in the way Birdflesh goes about it with their mixture of satire and violence. Just to give an idea, there’s a segment in which you hear a voice (very akin to that of Louis Griffin from Family Guy) saying: “I’m going finger you both at the same time! Bang! Bang!”. Moving on to the instrumental part, this album is a literal pump of adrenaline, which even sometimes resembles death metal with very powerful vocals and also heavy hitting drums.  Even though Extreme Graveyard Tornado checks all the requisites to be considered a noisy band (you know, like those most older folk hate) there are plenty of segments in which you get clearer sounds and some good guitar passages. Basically, I’m just wasting your time just to say that this album made me an instant fan of this band. Come for the humor, stay for the brutality.

Nota 9.5/10
Review por Matias Melim

Vomit Angel – “Imprint of Extinction”

2019 – Iron Bonehead Productions

Formed in Denmark, Vomit Angel is a duo of either death metal or grindcore; its kind off hard to discern one from the other with this band mainly due to the way they sound: raw. That being said, I should mention that I’m not a particular fan of any raw style. Anyways, after their formation in 2014 this band has been relatively busy working, having released to the date basically every type of “release format”: an EP, a Compilation, a Split and an album. We’re going to focus on the latter, since most people recognize albums as the true start of bands. This album, named Imprint of Extinction, was released in July, and as any prideful grindcore album, is composed by many short tracks, 20 to be precise. The overall sound is, as I’ve already said, raw and putrid mainly when it comes to the vocals that vary from the raw death metal to the pig grunting (which actually really fits the overall sound, unironically). I think the vocals were enjoyable, not for the faint of heart but different and with purpose, however with the rest I didn’t manage to find that much substance, personally. The drums are the instrument that mainly guide this cacophony of sounds and are characterized by a degree of “anti-rhythmicism” that were too much for me to bear, without even taking into account their extra-dry sound. Moving onto the guitar…it’s too distant for my taste, and it just plays a role of prop in this whole wave of brutally. By other words: raw as f*ck. However, I’ll score this both basing my thought on my personal taste and how normally this subgender goes; and my conclusion is that this album is positively average, and I think that those that appreciate this style of sound will love this work right here.

Nota 6.5/10
Review por Matias Melim

Orbstruct – “Phobos Rising”

2019 – Edição de Autor

From the bowels of Ukraine comes Orbstruct with their death metal. Formed in 2016, this band presents itself through their debut album, Phobos Rising, released in the past month of May. Well, if you like particularly heavy music, this one is for you; if you don’t, well you can’t still find plenty to enjoy in this piece. Phobos Rising is a death album that stands out on its “extreme vein” more than in its “melodic vein”, for other words, this is one of those types of sounds most suited to brutal moshing than for more eccentric solos or anything; despite there being one or other that fall in this category, the majority tends to remain on the most conventional side of things. Instead the sound tends to fall on the entire band than in any specific instrument. Overall, the word that I think better applies to their sound is “intimidating” in the way that frequently sounds like its ready to punch anyone in the face. It also create a good atmosphere that helps guiding the listener trough the tracks, however sometimes this atmosphere might give a sense of repetition while listening to the whole album. Either ways, it’s a good album, and even a better start to the career of this band.

Nota 7.5/10
Review por Matias Melim

Skullcrush – “Archaic Towers of Annihilation”

2019 – Redefining Darkness Records / Raw Skull Records 

Hailing from the USA, Skullcrush is a 2 year-old band of death metal. After their first release in 2017 (an EP by the name of “Visions of the Firestorm Eclipse”), these guys now present their debut album with the epic title “Archaic Towers of Annihilation”. The sound that marks this album is one of “mild” death metal that occasionally, and in this case, positively, drags itself to the borders of raw (it’s worth mentioning that I’m not a big fan of the more raw genres) specially when it comes to the vocals. However there’s also a clear investment in the rhythmic aspect, as can be heard already on the 2nd track, which really highlights the headbanging component imbedded in these tracks. Despite the vocals being relatively dry (not in the sense that they are bad, but regarding their overall sound) the instrumental part of the album allows for some agility in terms of sound, in the way that you don’t feel that pressured by the whole environment that this album manages to create. There is also some space used by some more melodical riffs, howeverall that in that more evil side of things, and that’s the thing that I think better manages in winning me over: the sense of evil, dread and brutality that emanates from this album. Normally, I prefer my death metal quick, loud and full of semi-hypnotic rhythms; however this band, while being relatively slow and moderate in “explosivity” convinced me with their miasma of “mid-paced” aggression. Conclusion: it’s a very good way to return to reality after so many Christmas jingles poisoning your mind.

Nota 7.5/10
Review por Matias Melim

Coffin Curse – “Ceased to Be”

2019 – Memento Mori

Debut Alert! Well, the band has released numerous EP’s and even one split throughout the years, but as far as albums go, this is a first. Coffin Curse is a band from Chile formed in 2012. Their style is grounded in death metal, however one would debate they frequent “fly” over to the more extreme brutal death. That being said, it’s hardly a surprise that this band is very (and positively) direct with their earthshattering sound. Scheduled for release in the 27th of this month, “Ceased to Be” is one of those albums that’s going to put you wild on the moshpit. With very high-paced rhythms, Coffin Curse doesn’t allow you to take a rest; second after second, and minute after minute, you are bombarded with addicting “drum pounding” and hypnotizing riffs from the guitar, and just to crown this disintegration (sorry, but I had to make the pun with the name of the album) the solos will melt your face, as people used to say. The problem when reviewing these more up-front bands is that sometimes readers think that short reviews (as this one) mean that the album is nothing to write home about, however it is. To exemplify, this is one of those times I wished the band was more famous so that around-the-globe tours would occur and I had the chance to watch them live, because, if on live shows they are at least a third of what they are in album, they most certainly put a hell of a show.

Nota 8/10
Review por Matias Melim

Slave One –“ Omega Disciples”

2020 – Dolorem Records

Hailing from France, Slave One is a death metal band that came to be in 2009. Despite having a tradition centered in a more progressive approach to  death metal, their up-coming album choses to follow a more extreme route while also sometimes stopping and taking into itself more ambient characteristics to deliver their dark and somewhat esoteric gospel. Omega Disciples is an album that really is a mixed bag of impressions. Starting with the good aspects: occasionally, or rather frequently, there are hypnotizing riffs that really conduct the listener through strangely positive experiences; throughout most of this album, the changes in pace are done in a very positive manner, a thing that manages to keep the listener focused. Regarding the negatives: I’m of the opinion that a bit more moderate approach to the aggressiveness of the vocals would serve this band’s efforts in the production of deep lyrics (according to online outlets this band dwells on cosmic and ancient knowledge, however I couldn’t listen any of it); occasionally, the well performed “hypnotizing riffs” end very abruptly and give way to completely different passages – a certain type of incoherence; there seems to be a bit too much of vocals ending up overpowering the other instruments when both are present (again, for my taste). It was a good listen, however this is one of those albums that definitely is situated in the spectrum towards those who like their metal more extreme and less melodical (despite there being melody in this album).

Nota: 8/10
Review por Matias Melim

Miles to Perdition – “2084”

2020 – Perdition Records

When was the last time you started listening to an album and one of the first spoken sentences was “We will abolish the orgasm”? Probably never, right? Well, this will be a first one. Miles to Perdition is a band formed in 2008 in the not-so-often talked nation of Luxembourg. Their career started with a self-titled demo, and after it there were two other releases: an EP and a full length album. Now they aim to add another member to the family, an album by the name (number) of 2084. Contrary to the introduction of this review, 2084 is an album of serious themes: the future dystopia to which we are headed for and the contrast of the utopia we so often idealize, everything with a sci-fi twist (the band points to “1984” and “Brave New World” as some of the literary works that influenced their own sound). Miles to Perdition chooses the melodical death metal genre to present their work and while their style isn’t that melodical (there aren’t, for example, any memorable solos for me) and a bit repetitive, it’s definitely worth the listen. 2084 is an album that opts to focus on some interesting riffs always giving priority to the aggressiveness that stands out mainly in the vocals. However, and here comes my main turnoff regarding this album, the type of aggressiveness they display is one that lays on a more acute approach which isn’t of my personal taste(reminder that reviews are opinions which, of course, are never absolute). The bass seems very absent to cause any type of relevant impact, at least, any “mighty impact”. All in all, it’s a good album which will, in my opinion, please most of those that dedicate their time to this style, mainly those who like the more “extreme” of it, as this album is basically that: hard semi-melodical death metal. Good to see that Portugal and Luxembourg, share something besides the smaller national size: good metal.

Nota 7/10
Review por Matias Melim

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