Tag Archives: death metal

Kharva

Review: Kharva – Demo

Death metal is an unwavering staple in the heavy metal world. It’s punishing and unforgiving. Sweden’s Kharva, with their recently released demo, are here to carry the death metal flag well into the future for the genre. Their brand of metal is raw, fast and razor sharp. I hear influences ranging from Bolt Thrower to Death.

Kharva (demo cover art)

“Present Tense” opens up the demo in grand fashion. Jacob Forsberg’s vocals are guttural and straight from the depths of hell. The song is mid-tempo at first, then breaks into a galloping death feast. “Markedness” has a Bay Area thrash feel to it, like early Exodus. The mid-section slows a bit and delivers the massive riff of the song. “Unstable Genius” picks the pace right back up to a frenzied gallop. It’s death metal proper and reminds me of Obituary. The title track keeps the same frenzied pace, and drummer Charlie Agne really exhibits his chops here. He’s a crushing drummer, no matter the tempo! “Cheers Jeff” injects a bit more depth with some melodic guitars in the beginning, and then the beatings begin.

Kharva have a killer death metal demo with this one. It rings of the old school of the genre. It’s up to them now to hit the studio again and deliver on an official release.

Arutam 666 - Arutam

Review: Arutam 666 – Arutam

With a shockingly tight performance and a handful of evil anthems, Ecuadorians Arutam 666 managed to craft a death metal beast with their debut EP titled Arutam.

The riffs on Arutam are actually memorable, with insane blastbeat drums and an uncanny sense of timing guiding the songs as they charge through one by one. “The End of the Beginning” may be one of the best death metal songs written in 2018 (though I wish the production is thicker and bigger), taking all of these elements to their natural extreme and crafting an ugly epic. “Arutam” is a speed-happy chunk of blasphemy that borders on black metal, while “Lost on the Other Side, Part I” is another gem that survives on the creative riffing.

Arutam 666 crafted one truly great EP in the death metal genre; it’s time to come up with a full-length.

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The Seathmaw Project

Interview with THE SEATHMAW PROJECT

The Seathmaw Project is Geovanni Munoz, an one-man melodic death metal band from Dallas. In December, he released his third studio album “Inexistence,” and he spoke for Progstravaganza about it, his influences, and other genres.

Alright, first thing is first. Before we dive into all the music stuff, how’s life?

Life is good, it can always be better but it’s good.

Speaking of new music, you have an album. What can people expect from “Inexistence”?

For the longtime listeners it’s more of the same just more refined, balanced, and sharp.  For the new listeners they can expect a bit of an unorthodox approach to metal.  Typically you get a band that gives you one genre or sub-genre and that’s it, there’s a handful of bands that blend a couple of styles every now and then. Then there’s The Seathmaw Project,  you get a lot of different sub-genres thrown at you and there’s no telling what’s coming next.  The song can start like a thrash metal song and you think it’s going to remain that way but it can merge into a break-beat style, then slap you in the face with some black metal and before you know it you’re leaving the song with a stoner rock style.  It’s bananas!

The Seathmaw Project - Inexistence

What was it like working on the album?

It’s pretty chill, this album kinda just wrote itself.  Since I have full control of everything the only person I have to argue with is myself,  and that leads nowhere so its a simple process.

Are there any touring plans in support to “Inexistence”?

That’s the dream, unfortunately not the reality at the moment, the drawback to being the sole creator of the music is there’s no one around to take the music from the studio to the stage.  The live band would ideally be a five piece, maybe one day.

While we are on the subject of touring, what countries would you love to tour?

With my previous band Inbryo we toured across the US, and that was fun but that was our backyard. I would love to tour Norway just cause of the amazing metal that has come from there.  Italy would be cool too, and a lot of the sales from my albums seem to come from France, so I’m thinking that be a cool experience to play to my fans in France.

Who and what inspires you the most?

James Hetfield inspires me and lets me know that metal never dies, dude is still cranking out the riffs like a mofo, that’s the coolest most inspiring person in metal today in my opinion.  What keeps me going is the future, what songs I will create, will I learn to sing? the unknown is a great inspiration.

What other genres of music do you listen to? Have any of the other genres you listen to had any impact on your playing?

Oh man, great question.  I listen to a wide range of music: Indie Rock, Pop, Pop Rock, Speed Metal, Thrash Metal, Death metal, Black Metal, Symphonic Metal, Goth Metal, Industrial, NuMetal, Melodic Death Metal, Hardcore, Hip-Hop, Traditional Mexican… I could go on for days, I think it’s important to listen to as many genres as you can handle, I’m a music head, I love music.  I think I draw from all of them for sure, a little bit of everything in the stew. My starting band was Metallica so Thrash Metal runs through my veins, I love speed more than anything in all of music, a good fast song regardless of style of music just gets me going.

I really appreciate you giving us your time today. Is there anything else you would like to tell us and the fans before we wrap things up?

Thank you guys for giving me a platform to speak on. To all new and old school fans that have been there from the beginning, thank you, good things are coming, these 3 albums are just the beginning.

“Inexistence” is available from Bandcamp.

Heyoka's Mirror

Interview: HEYOKA’s MIRROR

Heyoka’s Mirror is a progressive metal trio from Canada who has just released its debut EP “Loss of Contact with Reality.” Over the course of my time writing for this and other websites, I’ve come into many interesting and unique acts. I can certainly say that Heyoka’s Mirror are creating a very interesting progressive metal, which is often mixed with other different styles such as classic Power / Heavy Metal, Modern Metal and Opera.

The three dudes in Heyoka’s Mirror — Andrew Balboa, Omar Sultan and Bayan Sharafi — answered my questionnaire about the EP, touring, and more.

Alright, first thing is first. Before we dive into all the music stuff, how’s life?

HM: Life is good and life is cold right now. Today (Dec. 30th) is -27C but it feels -40C with the wind chill. So yeah… But life is great right now!

Speaking of new music, you have an EP. What can people expect from “Loss of Contact with Reality”?

Bayan: People can expect a musical adventure.

Andrew: We’ve had a few reviews from other magazines and everyone is getting pretty confused hahaha. People love it but they say they have never heard anything like this before. So….. expect something new.

Omar: Even if you don’t like heavy music or prog music.. try it! This will be a great introduction for you.

Heyoka's Mirror - Loss of Contact with Reality

What was it like working on the EP?

Andrew: It was fun! It took nine months to write the three songs, and recording took ten months. We all have full time jobs so, finding the time to write and record was a bit challenging. But the overall process was really fun!

Are there any touring plans in support to “Loss of Contact with Reality”?

Omar: We would like something short to start… Three or five cities, nothing big because our main focus right now is to record the full album.

While we are on the subject of touring, what countries would you love to tour?

HM: Japan, Germany, Brazil, Russia and the States of course!

What other genres of music do you listen to? Have any of the other genres you listen to had any impact on your playing?

Omar: Hard rock! I grew up listening to hard rock and that’s the reason why I started playing when I was 16. It made my playing very musical.

Bayan: Funk! A lot of 80’s and 90’s music like Tom Jones and The Bee Gees. And it has changed the way I feel groove.

Andrew: I listen to a lot of jazz, classical… everything! Even J-Pop! … Japanese pop is beautifully composed.

I really appreciate you giving us your time today. Is there anything else you would like to tell us and the fans before we wrap things up?

Omar: Get the EP, listen to it with headphones. find the time to really pay attention to it, give it a chance and you’ll love it!

Andrew: I think that you have to listen to it a few times, you can’t just listen to it once; if you do, you’ll think it’s just another “wanna be prog album”. Listen to it a few times and you’ll discover really interesting things.

Bayan: Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for cool and fun updates every Saturday!

HM: Thank you very much for interviewing us!

“Loss of Contact with Reality” is available as digital download and CD directly from the band, here.

Impera

Review: Impera – Weightless

Right from the opening track, Lisbon’s groove metal unit Impera showcase a level of tightness and technicality. Gustavo Reis’ vocals sound fierce as he switches between his somewhat decipherable lows and screeching highs. The guitar work is of a very good standard — riffs are well written, heavy and catchy. In terms of the drumming, Daniel Chen is very adept. Double bass patterns are superb and his choice of fills can be remarkable at times. The bass, courtesy of Miguel Santos, is audible.

Impera - Weightless

Album highlights include the brilliant “Five to Nine,” which features some superbly well written riffs. Weightless album continues with a melting pot of complex rhythms (both on the drums and the guitars) and ferocious vocals. Another album highlight comes in the form of “Lebensraum: Scorch.” This track is slightly slower in pace (focusing more on groove). But Impera keep the best for the end — the album finale “Grasp” is over 10-minute monstrous jam packed with melody, ambiance, crushing riffs, growls and screams. It’s the band at its best.

All in all, every track on Weightless is good. It isn’t a particularly long album but it has good replay value. Every song showcases interesting guitar riffs and solid (for the most part very impressive) drumming. Vocally, Reis is strong and creative with his delivery and lyrical ability. Whilst the guitars are impressive, it can be said that they tend to utilize a lot of gallop rhythms. Whilst this isn’t necessarily problematic, some could say that they could vary the rhythms a little bit more.

There are a lot of positive elements on Weightless. The production is great, the instrumentation is varied and the vocals are perfectly controlled. In conclusion, I would definitely recommend this album to any metal fan.

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Söthis

Review: Söthis – Trails of Blood

Oakland’s Söthis proposes four excellent classic Death Metal songs with their re-released debut EP Trails of Blood. Yes, this EP was originally released in 2016, but was remixed and remaster and re-released in September this year with the band aiming for a fuller sound.

This is violent with extreme riffs and fast tempos but we also encounter great dark melodies. Trails of Blood is a pure album of old school Death Metal but with great melodies and naughty and disturbing ambiances. I like that fact; Söthis is maybe violent but the music of the combo is always melodic without being commercial.

Trails of Blood

This EP is perfectly produced, the performance of the guys is simply amazing and the artwork fits perfectly to the general ambiance of the release. There is nothing wrong to say about this EP actually, if you’re into Death Metal, you just cannot miss this release. The songs are four Death Metal anthems and we don’t have any kind of mistake in the album, this is just classy Death.

The only thing that I will add to this review is that I’m waiting for the upcoming full length album which should be released some time during 2018. Let’s hope that the band will follow this way; Trails of Blood offers a taste of things to come.

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Xeno

Interview: XENO

There is another cool band coming from the land of windmills. And weed. They are called XENO, they serve uncompromising prog death metal with tech tendencies, and they came up with their debut album “Atlas Construct” this year.

I talked with the band, and here is what they tell about their work.

Alright, first thing is first. Before we dive into all the music stuff, how’s life?

Life’s good. There are a lot of cool bands out there right now, so life’s good. We hope you can say the same! Thanks for asking.

Speaking of new music, you have an album. What can people expect from “Atlas Construct”?

Well, yeah! We just got our album out recently. On it you’ll find a handful of songs with styles ranging from death to groove, melodic, black, whatever. Expect an album without boundaries set genre-wise. We wanted our album to represent ourselves, and we think we pulled it off.

Xeno - Atlas Construct

What was it like working on the album?

It was fun, but hard work. This is our first recording attempt, and with it came challenges never faced before. Luckily for us it worked out in the end so here it is. The band has it’s base in the south of the Netherlands, but not every member lives there. Due to that, recording fulltime proved to be difficult, so we had to improvise sometimes. All lessons learned made us wiser in the end. We know what to do and what not to do now.

Are there any touring plans in support to “Atlast Construct”?

At the moment we are playing some clubs and a festival here and there. No tour booked or planned. We are going to try to organise a tour next summer, hopefully in one of our neighbouring countries.

While we are on the subject of touring, what countries would you love to tour?

An ultimate dream would be Japan, we love the culture there. America would be great as well, since not everyone in the band has been there yet. The vastness really appeals to us. Sightseeing aside, we would play in any country if the people there share our energy.

xeno_band

Who and what inspires you the most?

We try to be selfproviding with inspiration. Of course this is difficult to maintain since there are a million things going on around you. Most of our ‘outside’ inspiration comes from other bands we listen to. I’m referring to bands like Lamb of God, Xerath, Meshuggah, Gojira, that kind of stuff.

What other genres of music do you listen to? Have any of the other genres you listen to had any impact on your playing?

We listen to a lot, haha! Ranging from black metal to jazz, or even blackjazz (Shining, anyone?) we find ourselves drowning in a forever refilling pool of awesomeness.

I really appreciate you giving us your time today. Is there anything else you would like to tell us and the fans before we wrap things up?

This is not the time for life advice I guess. If it is, don’t stare directly into the sun, you’ll go blind.

Don’t give up on metal.

Period.

Links:

xenometal.com

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i-shall-devour-the-misanthropist

Review: I Shall Devour – The Misanthropist

Sometimes it takes a seemingly unrelated source to explain why an album is so damn good, and that’s certainly the case with I Shall Devour’s debut full-length, The Misanthropist. This record is the death metal album by a newcomer to beat in 2013, at least in the sub-genre’s more technical and venturesome sphere. Admittedly, that might seem debatable, especially as Illuminance, the latest release from similarly adventurous death metallers Virvum, is a masterful display of technical finesse and ferocity. However, there’s a very good reason why I Shall Devour’s album edges ahead, and the reason is provided by the world of evolutionary biology.

It’s not surprising that a scientific theory could help explain why The Misanthropist is such a commanding album, and why I Shall Devour is such a fascinating band; after all, you could write a doctoral thesis on this band’s complex musicality.

Based in Brisbane, Australia, I Shall Devour has been able to craft music isolated from the main branch of death metal. That’s not to say Australia lacks other death metal bands. However, Australia’s geographic remoteness, and the nation’s idiosyncratic and driven creative culture, has allowed I Shall Devour to bring something fresh and unorthodox to the death metal underground. The band has developed a truly distinctive voice, one that was first heard by the majority of the international death metal community on 2013’s Manipunation. That EP certainly put I Shall Devour on the map, but it was a mere appetizer compared with what’s served on The Misanthropist. Both these releases are unquestionably intense and impressive displays of technicality and originality, seeing I Shall Devour garner increasingly more attention and acclaim in the global metal scene.

I Shall Devour has continually refined its sound over the years, bringing more artful sculpturing to its downtuned dissonance, and setting that against a backdrop of often kind of experimental textures. The band’s work has evolved to become steadily more nerve-shredding and formidable, with the usual riff-based shreds of death metal mutilated into a seething and polychromatic canvas of avant-garde atmospherics.

The crushingly heavy technicality on the eleven-song release will either be wholly attractive and hypnotic, or simply bewildering. There are no doubt a few metal fans who appreciate where I Shall Devour are heading in theory, but are left scratching their heads trying to find an entry point into the band’s works. The cryptic and claustrophobic vortex of The Misanthropist won’t make that quandary any easier, and if you felt I Shall Devour’s sonic template was a maelstrom of inaccessibility before, nothing has changed in that regard.

Still, challenging music is the point here, and if there’s one thing I Shall Devour demands, it’s full commitment to its releases. Guitars provide deluges of malformed riffs and piercing notes plucked from the depths of the cosmos. The slow hypothermic intro of “Wilful Ignorance”, and mid-album instrumental “Interlude,” show how effective and chilling the band can be when pared down to bare industrial bones. However, it’s the multifaceted and atmospheric turbulence of “VI” and “Spiteful Nature” that exhibit the band’s prowess at splicing anti-harmonic insanity with maestro dexterity, to hammer the inhospitably home.

The Misanthropist is a challenging album, and also electrifying. It’s unconventional, and it transforms death metal into something transfixing and novel. It certainly fits into the wider ordo of death metal, resides in the familia of technical death metal, and you could rightly situate it in the genus of progressive technical death metal too. Still, it’s the species that’s most interesting. There’s imaginative (and murderous) musicality here that would easily occupy space in the avant-garde metal realms. Ultimately, the fact that it’s necessary to debate how to best to describe I Shall Devour proves just how innovative is the band’s approach to death metal.

The Misanthropist is a forward-thinking album to savor over time. Repeated listening reveals more layers and buried detail, and there’s abundant wrathful dynamics and density to luxuriate in.

That’s why The Misanthropist is one of the very best death metal albums you’ll hear in 2016.

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nomadic

Interview: Nomadic

Nomadic, a death metal band from Tampa, has just launched a new single titled “The Crooked Man,” a follow-up to their debut EP “Horror” which was released earlier this year.

Alright, first thing is first. Before we dive into all the music stuff, how’s life?

Life’s good. I’m touring, man. I’m playing music.

Speaking of new music, you have an EP. What can people expect from “Horror”?

People can expect a death metal album that is in no-way “ordinary” or “classic”. There’s everything from blast beats, to driving, intense melody, and from low-guttural screams to soft, melodic singing.

What was it like working on the album?

It was stressful, yet very rewarding.

Are there any touring plans in support to “Horror”?

We toured the album already with our buds in Untomoria, and played a CD release party and some other shows around Florida. We leave for tour again this month to support our new single, releasing 10/14/16.

While we are on the subject of touring, what countries would you love to tour?

I would love to tour Spain, Japan, England, Finland, and Sweden. I feel like we’d kill it there.

Who and what inspires you the most?

I get the most inspired by people having a positive reaction to our music. It means a lot to me when our music means something to someone else.

What other genres of music do you listen to? Have any of the other genres you listen to had any impact on your playing?

I listen to a lot of pop, indie, and trap music. I wish I had a better answer, but they don’t really have any impact on my playing, I just really enjoy listening to them.

I really appreciate you giving us your time today. Is there anything else you would like to tell us and the fans before we wrap things up?

Make sure you pick up our EP “The Horror”, check out “The Crooked Man” when we drop it, and come to a show when we play a city near you.

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Xeno

Review: Xeno – Atlas Construct

Xeno is a melodic death metal band from the Netherlands. The band came together in 2012, and they released their debut album this past summer titled “Atlas Construct.” A promising piece, with various different elements blended together. It could be easily said that “Atlas Construct” forces the limits of the melodic death metal genre. Different nuances all around give the record its uniqueness.

No matter of it being classified as melodic death metal, “Atlas Construct” collects lots of elements that are coming from other genres such as symphonic and progressive metal. Because of that, the record gives almost a theatrical vibe. All that is wrapped up with prog metal riffs and structure.

Xeno - Atlas Construct

“Atlas Construct” has eight songs in total. The first track is a symphonic intro which actually hints on what awaits ahead. Until the sixth track, each song comes as quite steady melodic death metal piece with many visits to the prog metal camp. With “Construct Part II: Columns Of Creation” the sound eases a little bit, branching out towards more down-to-the-ground vibes. Well-thought melodic lines on “Atlas” definitely single out this piece as one of the highlights.

Melodic, progressive, heavy and cinematic — that is how I would described this debut effort by Xeno. Highly recommended.

Links:

xenometal.com

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