Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Album Review: MOURNING Blinded By Hate

Blinded By Hate
Ossuary Industries
This is an earlier release from the New Jersey black/death metal band, having been recorded in December of 2004 when the old Myspace was still an active social network and the corporate sellout hadn’t yet happened. This was also when extreme music still belonged solely to the underground; MTV and VH1 had just started including B/M and D/M bands in rotation. People bought CDs on a regular basis, went to shows as often, and internet downloading was a non-issue (with the exception of Metallica vs Napster). The five cuts recorded for this EP retain that exclusivity many of us recall from the 90s. We all know what has happened in metal since then, with those stations and others introducing the underground to every trend jumper who got tired of their pop records (smile). But in the early part of the decade we had that by-the-fans-for-the-fans attitude by which sincerity and falsity were easier to differentiate. The material on Blinded By Hate is mostly straightforward black/death crossover with unexpected time changes making just enough appearances to sustain your interest and have you wondering where they’ll go next. It could just be me but hints of Marduk, Internal Bleeding and Carcass showed themselves in the song structure and vocal arrangements. The closest they approach Swedish black metal are Impending Doom and Embrace The Apocalypse, the first and last songs respectively. Bands like Mourning help me stay in touch with the time the term “underground metal” had a clear definition. -Dave Wolff

Mike: Guitars, vocals, bass
J.J.: Drums
Bill: Bass, guitars

1. Impending Doom
2. Entormented Visions Of Domination
3. The Ballad Of Joel
4. Destroying The Innocence
5. Embrace The Apocalypse

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Album review: TOXEMIA Ancient Demon

Ancient Demon
The 3rd Inferno
The full length from this Philippines death-thrash band plays similarly to a horror film. Not from the contemporary era but rather the pulp occult period (late sixties to mid-seventies). Think of The Devil’s Rain or something more obscure like Virgin Witch with a thrash soundtrack and you’ll know what you’re getting into. The bell chant and haunting female voices opening Holocaustic Ritual III feels like the house lights dimming as the movie’s introductory sequence shows on the screen. Soon after we hear the opening guitar riffs introducing the album. There’s a certain amount of buildup before a brief vocal section establishing what could be a unifying concept depicting Armageddon itself. The sound is extremely raw, especially in the vocals; this somehow seems to suit the imagery resulting from all we heard previously. Fans of Blasphemy and Sacrofago will appreciate the rough-hewn production and the equally abrasive vocals the most. The rawness is akin to material being recorded live with inexpensive equipment. But you can hear each instrument for all the distortion the material is delivered with, and there is a cult like motif much like the early DM from the 80s/90s. The playing is tight and the guitar solos in songs like Ang Manabas Ng Kadjiliman show dexterity amidst the chaos experienced through this CD. A few movie samples and some embellishment help the concept along, reinforcing the occult noir this recording presents an impression of. You can only guess how things turn out in the end; as a hint the album closes with a cover of Celtic Frost’s Dethroned Emperor. -Dave Wolff

1. Holocaustic Ritual III    
2. Sa Kagabhiong Kahadlokan    
3. Death Blood And Murder    
4. Ang Mananabas Ng Kadiliman    
5. Destroying Relics    
6. Drunkards Law    
7. Summoning The Beast    
8. Dethrone Emperor