Monday, 30 December 2019

Azarath - Diabolic Impious Evil

AZARATH - Diabolic Impious Evil (PAGAN Records CD 2006)
For me Azarath is a synonymous with fury and savagery. Their death metal belongs to the most intense, uncompromising, blasphemous and bestial and I think that only very, very few bands are equal to them in that aspect. And even less are as good as Azarath. Every album in their discography is a fuckin beast and I worship them all, but of corpse I have my favourites. And "Diabolic Impious Evil" is probably the one album, which I like the most, although it’s a tough call if compared to such “Demon Seed”, “Praise the Beast” or other records. Azarath is a band, which never disappoints and the quality is always top notch. So, let’s leave the contest for the best album and enjoy this ferocious beast, which "Diabolic Impious Evil" is. 
Basically "Diabolic Impious Evil" is nothing new, when compared to Azarath’s two previous albums. They still bring the death metal crusade with the name of Satan and use the same weapons. It is a furious, insanely vicious and bloodthirsty infernal blasting death metal. But the riffage is better and better, so are the ideas, arrangements... I feel like everything is more interesting and capturing, but without compromising or losing the madness and chaos, which characterized Azarath from the very beginning. Take the first song on this album for instance, "Whip the Whore", with its neckbreaking speed, but kind of memorable music. Great riffs, Bruno's vocals are even more beastly and the production is just perfect for my taste in this kind of death metal. It's powerful as hell, nasty and aggressive - so, it absolutely works amazingly when played loud. 
If you like fast, blasting death metal, "Diabolic Impious Evil" will not disappoint you. If you like throat cutting, sharp riffs, insane brutality and satanic madness, this album is also perfect. There's a little bit of slower or mid paced patterns, I actually would like to hear few more of such killer riffs, which even have an Immolation mark on them. They sound killer, in my opinion, especially when they’re closer to "Dawn of Possession" than “Majesty and Decay”. With "Anti-Human, Anti-God" it’s a peak of my excitement and pure sadistic pleasure.  
So, do you I need to add anything else? If you're not convinced yet, you'll never be, no matter how many more words I will write here. For me this is a masterpiece. Get yourself "Diabolic Impious Evil" or "Praise the Beast", or "Blasphemers' Maledictions", or any other Azarath album. Get them all, because this band fuckin rules. 
Standout tracks: "Anti-Human, Anti-God", “Whip the Whore” 
Verdict: 85/100 

Sunday, 29 December 2019

General Surgery / Butcher ABC Split

Among all grinding death metal bands, General Surgery is one of my very favourite acts. I absolutely love their music and appreciate it even more than early Carcass’ albums – and I say so despite the fact that Carcass was a big influence for General Surgery. At the same time, I feel that the Swedish band is criminally underrated. Maybe I am wrong or maybe it's because they do not release music that often - their last album is from 2009 and since then we only got a 7"EP and 12" split with Body Bag. Not much, you have to say. Some managed to forget about them and younger listeners probably have no idea band like this even exists. Hope that will change! 
But here's one chance to read few words on one of earlier releases - a killer split General Surgery / Butcher ABC, released by Japanese Obliteration Records in 2009. An excellent piece of grinding death metal, I think. General Surgery is absolutely in top form here, presenting seven killer songs, where not even a single second would sound false. An instrumental opening piece "Antemortem Symphony #9" immediately brings back the reek of putrefaction, with that characteristic riffage I love so much. And whether I hear their little bit slower or mid paced tracks like "Enforced Acceleration Disintegration Constant" and "Cadaverine Treatment Regimen" or fast grinding attack from "Anthropological Abattoir", I worship them. Of course vocals of Grant McWilliams and his two colleagues do the job also, just like the Carcass trio did! Anyway, every aspect of their songs is top notch - from the spotless, powerful production (play these songs loud and you will feel how energetic and aggressive they are!), through the performance, songwriting... I have only positive words for them. Excellent stuff, excellent band – real symphonies od sickness. 
Then Butcher ABC, who turned to be a great surprise for me on this split, because I never had a chance to hear this Japanese band before I got this split (and that was already few years ago). On this split they sound awesome. Sound wise their songs are a bit rawer, more obscure. But stylistically it’s quite similar, actually, but with less death metal influence. Still great though and sick as fuck. And in songs like “Fall from Grave” they also show a strong similarity to the British gods of grind. For Japanese band, it all sounds extremely good and I am very impressed. They even bring Carnage cover for the end... so, I do not need more. I need to get more records from Butcher ABC for F sake! 
Standout tracks: "Enforced Acceleration Disintegration Constant", “Cadaverine Treatment Regimen", “Fall from Grave” 
Verdict: 85/100 

Loathfinder / Druj - Aspects of Oblation

LOATHFINDER / DRUJ - Aspects of Oblation (GODZ OV WAR - CD 2019)
Here's split CD called "Aspects of Oblation" from Godz ov War and for me it was a good opportunity to check two bands, which I only knew by name, but I didn’t have a chance to hear their previous recordings (which were also released for Godz ov War, by the way). Their names are Loathfinder and Druj. 
And the Polish band opens the split... I have to say that I like Loathfinder’s music more. They play quite interesting mixture of doom, death, black metal, but in that kind of more progressive way, as nothing in their music is simple and foreseeable. There's a whole lot of unique arrangements, great diversity in the riffage and style - from fast opening part of "Soil of the Starving" to the sludgy, instrumental parts of songs like "The Ugliest Crown". This is where the atmosphere calms down, giving a listener a nice mesmerizing feel, what always sounds great, when is aside to more aggressive and furious black / death metal riffage. I would prefer to avoid describing some of these parts as post metal, but that comparison comes to my mind immediately just as much as sludge does, so I don't care, I did it. And as a result, I think we get pretty solid three songs, which did interest me a bit, even if it’s not a style of music, which I would listen to often and be my favouriteBut it’s decent. 
As for American Druj, their music disappointed me strongly and to be honest, I think this band is just forgettable. Not only the production of their part of the split is not so good, but the songwriting and everything else about their music is boring and unimpressive. They're more death metal band, with a hint of doom, which can sometimes remind you bands from the Incantation worship circle. Well, normally I would love that kind of obscure death metal. But not this time, because Druj bores me. Maybe it’s only because of weak production, which is a reason why these riffs do not crush with a massive punch just as they normally should. Or maybe it’s because these riffs are not that interesting (very few are)... Your ears won’t bleed this time. All in all, Druj music is mediocre at best. There are many similar bands around these days, which are simply better than there’s no point troubling your mind with this particular act. 
Neither of these two bands managed to impress me 100%, but Loathfinder at least sounds interesting. Druj is nothing special, which is a shame. In the end I think that "Aspects of Oblation" is not a mandatory release, but one for the devoted underground metal collectors only. I won't be playing it often in the future, I'm afraid. I hoped for something better. 
Verdict: 60/100 

Saturday, 28 December 2019

Archives of the Dead part XXXIII – Abhorrence - Ascension... / Triumph in Blasphemy

Archives of the Dead part XXXIII – Abhorrence - Ascension... / Triumph in Blasphemy (Demos 1997 / 99) 
Line up: Rangel Arroyo (vocals, guitars), Kleber Varnier (bass), Fernando Arroyo (drums) 
"Ascension..." was recorded at Da Tribo Studio in Sao Paulo November 1997. 
“Triumph in Blasphemy”, has no recording info available. 
Brazilian death metal scene is filled with bands, which are real nut-crackers – most barbaric, vicious and insanely merciless acts, which crush with their intense and blasting, brutal metal of death. Abhorrence would definitely be among the best ones and those, which I recommend the most, despite the fact that they split up already a decade ago and had only one album "Evoking the Abomination" in discography. But they also unleashed their death plague on some shorter releases, among which there's "Ascension..." demo from 1997 and “Triumph in Blasphemy” demo from 1999. Each of them contains three songs and is about ten minutes long, so these demos are no very long, but the intensity and aggression of theirs are enough to give you a nice, powerful kick in face. 
Obviously, if we speak of Brazilian death metal, then we all have in minds their most ferocious and blasphemous stuff, which came from acts such as KrisiunNephasth or RebaelliunAbhorrence definitely is in the same category of death metal bestiality. Their stuff is fast, very brutal and kind of evil sounding, uncompromising and vicious, so do not expect to hear even a bit of melodic parts or more memorable music. Obviously, the real influence of Abhorrence music would be in classic Slayer, Morbid Angel, Deicide, Vital Remains and this sort of bands. But these Abhorrence, just like some of other Brazilian bands, which I mentioned earlier, managed to perform it in their own way, which is even more bestial and blasphemous. Luckily, these two demos are not a constant blast beat show off, it is more diverse, with few mid paced or slower parts, so I think their music is much more interesting that Krisiun’s, for instance.  
If I was going to compare these two demos, then “Triumph in Blasphemy” is definitely faster and more intense, it’s really sick stuff, and I could notice great improvement in the songwriting, ideas they had and most of all, the performance, which is tighter and more precise. Especially the drumming is faster. The production on both demos is very raw, especially on the "Ascension..." demo, but it underlines that barbaric character of Abhorrence music perfectly, in my opinion. 
All in all, I think this is great, savage death metal and certainly Abhorrence belonged to the best bands from Brazil. "Ascension..." demo was released on CD by Wild Rags Records, but it goes now for silly money, the MC version also. “Triumph in Blasphemy” came out on the split CD with other Brazilian commandos, Nephasth / Mental Horror / Ophiolatry, so this one is easier and cheaper to get. But it would be wise to re-release both these recordings anyway, as they’re worth it. 
Verdict: 80/100