I’m going to come right out and say that Xibalba has outdone themselves with Hasta La Muerte, their first release for the almighty Southern Lord. Their second full-length following the crushing Madre Mia Por Los Dias, Xibalba has crafted a warhorse of a record that is likely to rival if not belittle anything similar this year. Xibalba has perfected the art of corporeal hatred with Hasta La Muerte. It is first and foremost a dark hardcore masterpiece, replete with enough malice to send chills down your spine. Xibalba continues their judicious use of death metal while demonstrating song writing skills that far and away outdo any prior material. The record’s first five tracks are Xibalba at their usual, crafting feral hardcore with death metal’s shuddering thunder. Hasta La Muerte balances its fury with calculated brooding channeled through down tuned dirges that permeate the record’s middle. Xibalba has added a sparse blackened flavor to their sound, most noticeable on “Sentenced”, which calls to mind Behemoth’s seminal Zos Kia Cultus.
On August 28th, the almighty GRAVE release their new album entitled Endless Procession Of Souls via Century Media, and it’s classic fucking death metal that will drag you into the underworld. This record is packed with 10 bestial compositions that will have you stoked that it’s in your collection of madness. CVLT Nation is excited that we are exclusively streaming the new GRAVE song “Perimortem” below! Stay tuned for other events with CVLT Nation and GRAVE.
First things first: No Absolutes In Human Suffering is really an amazing record title. It reads and sounds good, it’s ruthless as fuck and it gives you a nice hint about what to expect from GAZA’s new full length. The first time I heard about this bands was a couple of years ago when they were playing with Converge, if I remember that right. I somehow liked it, but unfortunately it was a Sunday evening, which isn’t exactly the time I prefer to get exposed to harsh and demanding music like GAZA’s. So I kind of always had GAZA in the back of my head, but didn’t really check their records out. A big mistake, as I have to find out now that I have the chance to review No Absolutes.
This is the type of record you can not use as background music. At the same time it’s not a record you can really tag as “nice”: In every single word, chord and drumbeat lie misery and pain, expressed through a sick and brutal bastard born of Grindcore, chaotic Hardcore and extreme Metal. In this manner GAZA remind me of 90’s “bulldozer” Hardcore à la Deadguy, Kiss It Goodbye or Coalesce. This is the type of record that makes you feel uncomfortable, gives you sweaty palms and a racing heart.
Needless to say, GAZA are doing all this very good. The song-writing is overflowing with ideas, the instrumentation is excellent and the cancerous vocals let facehuggers seem like nice dudes. Sometimes you’ll even get a glimpse of melody in between all the boiling hatred and it’s these moments that make No Absolutes a really outstanding record. Try it, if you dare.
TOUR DATES AFTER THE JUMP!!!
Review source Equivoke
This is a record I’ve been patiently anticipating. The perfect record for post #500. Witchrist are probably at the top of the pile of newer-old school death metal acts alongside Antediluvian, Ignivomous and Mitochondrion and it was “Beheaded Ouroboros” that solidified that spot. Now with their second full length there can be no doubt that they have a tightening grip on that position.
“The Grand Tormentor” is oppressive. It is surrounded in a grainy, pitch black shroud of production to achieve this. Songs of untold hideous realms make up this 50 minute chilling trek into the clouded pits of horror that is Witchrist’s lair. It is a record that summons a war lust draped in terrifying and cold darkness.
Opening with far off whines and ghostly cathedral bells the first monolithic track “Into the Arms of Yama ” staggers forward heavily with an aberrant grace that builds at a crawl. It’s doomy and foreboding until the scratchy tremolo riffs emerge to grasp at the acrid atmosphere, bringing the distorted death riffs into a blackened caress.
From this track onward it is just a torrent of scalding, primitive death metal that plows straight to the depths of disgust and vitriol. All the greatness of their previous record is ratcheted up ten-fold here. The lyrics centered on old eastern gods and goddesses invoked during battle and defiled by each other, frightening serpents bringing destruction, war, etc. The jagged, muddy, painful riffs peppered with brief and chaotic whammy solos, the waves of putrid roars, the dirty flurry of drums, the rough bass growls — it’s all amplified and tailored brilliantly.
Fucking insane: Acephalix straight ripping shit at the Oakland Metro for the Jeff Davis aka JEF LEPPARD R.I.P memorial it was also a benefit show for Nikki Davis , captured by Kevin Hobbs. The band put on a raging set in memory of their homie, and the crowd was a part of this black magic awesomeness. The way that Kevin filmed this full set makes you feel like you can smell the filth and feel the sweat! Peep Acephalix on the wings of black and white radness after the jump!
So to pick up from my (last post). I’d like to share some sights and sounds from some radical shows that happened here in the Bay over the course of this Summer.
Review source Equivoke
Prepare for a grotesque and bestial assault from the darkest bowels of Chile. The Sun of Moloch has risen to cast its searing rays upon us all.
Wrathprayer engulfs listeners in the scorching fumes of ripping, gritty riffs and an ominous, archaic atmosphere. Beginning with a to-be-expected dark occult intro to set the atmosphere (paired with a similar outro) the cruel nature of this album is slowly revealed. It becomes sluggish and dissonant before tumbling into chaotic swelling riffs with distant, cavernous vocals and storming percussive barrages.
Its a smooth balance between death and black metal that revels in the old path, maintaining a depraved and sour tone one would expect and at the same time satisfyingly revitalizing it.
And this is generally how The Sun of Moloch feels throughout the 40 minutes you’ll be enduring. Baneful, filthy and swirling in it’s blasphemous tone. The record is spilling over with a ritualistic heat which incorporates the Incantation structure well with touches of Portal-esque writhing. Eerie sampling of discordant strings, screams, chants and moans with ambient rumbling accents some tracks like “The Darkest Fyre” and “From the Depths of the Phlegethon” sliding up the cult factor a few notches.
Once again the twisted minds behind Impetuous Ritual and Portal, through their heinous Death/Doom Metal project Grave Upheaval, unleash more crawling chaos in this split with Manticore; who also contribute to their own seasoned catalogue of filthy death metal.
Probably the only thing that bothers me about Grave Upheaval (other than not having recorded a full length yet) is the fact that all their tracks are “untitled” which can make things a little confusing. A minor and insignificant complaint considering whenever they raise from their earthen tomb to project cold doom-infused death metal upon the underground community it is uncompromisingly destructive.
They contribute two tracks to this record, both of which I saw performed at Rites of Darkness III not long ago and both are suffocating, crushing and dirty as a smoker’s lungs. The production is slightly clearer on this compared to their split with Encoffination which to some might take away from their murky atmosphere but to me the riffs and groaning vocals are no less oppressive and lurching with a little more clarity in the mix.
The first track is a little shorter but the severely low tuning and creeping pace is such that it feels just as torturous as any ten minute doom track, hammering the listener with drawn out tremolo riffs as the moans crawl forward — drums flickering ominously with the sudden appearance of a gong. The pacing is set slightly faster by the drums as the riffs continue to weigh down with a single set of notes which continues right to the finish, so low and dirty.
Hooded Menace’s third album, “Effigies of Evil”, sees the band make another label move for a full-length release, this time from Profound Lore over to Relapse Records. In many ways the label moves are indicative of the strides the band has made as entities to themselves in the doom scene. While second album “Never Cross The Dead” came out just over two years ago, the Finnish duo of Lasse Pyykkö and Pekka Koskelo have not, in any way, been reclusive, releasing four splits with bands from Ilsa to Asphyx.
Review Source Equivoke Written by Sanakan
This is a split I’ve been hearing about while it was being formed since late last year from a few friends “in the know”, and I’ve been quite excited to hear how it turned out. Needless to say it’s phenomenal.
A split record of churning chaos containing two of Canada’s most talented, ferocious and hard working death metal acts couldn’t be anything less than utterly destructive. Antediluvian and Adversarial on their own have both made big impacts in the last few years so I guess it was only natural they would combine their efforts. While both bands play distinctly different styles of death metal their pairing feels natural. And because essentially each release they’ve worked on independently has been gold (with growth in each careful step) you shouldn’t be surprised once you unleash this to find it is no different in that regard.
Adversarial commits three wicked songs to their side. Two of the songs here (“Swirling Chaos that Swallows Horizons” and “Spiraling Towards the Ultimate End”) they’ve been playing live since ROD III, and I’ve heard them each time they’ve played a set since. Hearing them live in their more raw form it was undeniable that they were no less crushing than their work on “All Idols Fall Before The Hammer”, but now having the chance to listen to them full worked through and a little cleaned up their impact has risen greatly.
For those of you who were bitching about the snare on “All Idols…” there’s good news: the snare is far more tame here. Every other aspect of the percussion remains the same: intense, blazing fast and intimidating. It really does the job of amping up the guitar in the faster sections very well, trampling like a stampede of elephants. Adversarial continues to hone their unique style of awe-inspiring and tasteful technicality with restraint allowing it to feel far more orthodox than you would expect. Carlos is still a fucking beast: his ability to craft high velocity, smart and dissonant riffs that remain catchy and memorable is something more musicians in the modern death metal arena should take note of.