Tag Archives: death metal

In The Fire

Review: In The Fire – Volatile Beings

So-called prolific artists, at least within the scope of heavy metal, tend to fall into the dime-a-dozen category, often releasing large bodies of work but with very little actual quality to be found within. This requires a lot of legwork and listening to mediocre-to-outright boring music just to find something worth its time. As with any rule, however, there are exceptions. And Philly’s blackened death metal savants In The Fire are a shining example of such an exception. There is a certain level of quality consistent throughout the band debut full-length release Volatile Beings that makes exploring it an engaging experience and not a chore in the slightest.

In The Fire - Volatile Beings

Without warning, “Feral” flings its serrated hooks from the darkness and drags its victim deep into its twisted world of terror. Instantly noticeable on this journey through hells unknown is the almost ridiculously modern production. Rather than relying on haphazard production to add character to the music, the production is domineered with sadomasochistic control. Sterility is often a negative term, but in this case it’s the sterility of a surgical scalpel, gleaming in the florescent lights of the morgue as the first cut glides through cold flesh, opening the abyss that pulls its prey into the guts. The tremolo riffs swirl around the churning, steady pacing of the drums in a doom-laden groove before opening up into all-out death metal fury. The leads aren’t so much leads as they are controlled noise, screeching and wailing their way over the seemingly bottomless maw of low end. Ryan Moll’s (vocals, guitars, bass, keys) obsession with control is apparent here as well, as on repeat listens it becomes quite evident that there is method to the racket; the cries of feedback are crafted into subtle yet memorable hooks.

The leads aren’t always as noisy, but they do play a large part in creating the atmosphere that is so key to Volatile Beings. On “The Devil in the Mirror” there are moments of haunting, spaced out arpeggios that lie beneath the thunderous riffing like shadows in the dark. There’s an almost epic feel at play here as In The Fire do indeed feel like it’s rising above the weak, feeble masses in a display of the complete and total power of an unearthly monstrosity. The rhythm section, completed with Patrick Battaglia on drums, bulges with might, locking into the groove like the inescapable constraint of an anaconda the size of an oil pipeline.

The onslaught doesn’t relent until the opening passage on “Into Battle” that ends with an unexpected, almost melodeath riff at the end, making for a refreshing take. The instrumental title track lurks its way in, building and pulsing before dropping into a lurking bit of doom as it coils before striking out with sinister precision. In The Fire layer on plenty of effects and production tricks that drip like virulent venom over the body of the beast, continuing its merciless assault of riffing. “Techno-Sociopathic De-Evolution” fully harnesses control of the melodic riffs, this time striking straight for the kill like a cunning predator who will not make the same mistake twice.

Needless to say, In The Fire’s Volatile Beings only strengthens the confidence to be had in the band’s ability to deliver. Ryan Moll simply understands extreme metal, and has a way of adapting the core of a style and distinctly making it his own. Not only does Volatile Beings shine as an instant highlight, but among the neverending slew of death metal at large as well.

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CHINE_PROMO_2018_FINAL

Review: Chine – Like Vultures

Chine is a Swedish progressive death metal band with elements borrowed from Swedish death metal and progressive metal. They are about to launch their new EP entitled “Like Vultures” on March 2nd. Both musically, and lyrically “Like Vultures” has its dark side but never forgets to be melodic from the beginning to the end.

CHINE - Like Vultures

Singer Tintin Andersen has a great voice especially when it comes to clean vocals. A thick voice, ready to sing any kind of high pitched parts in a song. Which brings the release its power. Passages between growl and clean vocals are very well designed and executed. And more importantly they sound very tasty.

There are four tracks on the EP. Another highlight here are great and imaginative guitar solos. They are carrying the songs on a closer level to progressive metal and display the band’s influences, which range from old Opeth, Between The Buried And Me and Dark Tranquility.

It is hard to say that Chine bring something new to the scene, but without hesitation it can be said they brought a tasteful release, very well composed and executed. It highly satisfies the expectations from a listener.

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Diagoras

Review: Diagoras – Enigma

Progressive death metal is a genre that can be quite difficult to appreciate at times. It took me some time to get my head around some of its intricacies. I would now consider it to be one of my favourite sub-genres. Enter Diagoras, one such band hailing from Sweden, who have been active for over a year. Back in October last year they launched their debut EP titled “Enigma.” Straight off the bat it is clear that Diagoras have a bit more to them than some of the more generic progressive death metal bands around.

Diagoras - Enigma

The music is essentially a riff soup that is continually stopping, starting and changing tempo. There aren’t any direct comparisons to be made to other bands though there are plenty of influences including Hate Eternal, Immolation, Between the Buried and Me and Meshuggah. The sheer intensity of this release is something to behold. It has all the characteristics of a band that have been playing and recording together for years, although this is their first release ever. It is a credit to their musicianship and provides a glimpse and a hint towards what they may be able to achieve in the future.

Not only is “Enigma” extremely heavy, it is ultra technical also. There isn’t a moment where the entire band are resting on their laurels. While the guitars are shredding away, drummer is putting in one of the most spirited performances I have heard for some time. Though he isn’t the fastest drummer I have ever heard his choice of beats and fills is really interesting and creative. When it comes to production, everything is audible and certainly doesn’t lack the bite and the punch that would push the sound to the next level.

“Enigma” is out now and is available from Bandcamp.

Wroht_band

Review: Wroht – Worship Rot

With their debut album, Bay Area death metal quintet Wroht are only going to reach new heights for themselves and garner an ever-growing fan base due to the quality of this debut.

news-wroht-worshiprot

What stuns you upon a first listening of “Worship Rot is Wroht‘s great maturity in structuring a song, considering that this is their first full-length. In a year where we saw and are about to see tons of great death metal releases, these Americans have added a great value to the genre, all while keeping the flag flying high. Word of warning though as this is not for everybody and the weak. Only those who can withstand brutal, uncompromising, chaotic, and destructive and a horrific extreme metal need apply.

Across the record’s twelve tracks, Wroht show what they’re capable with controlled chaotic force and malignant intention. It’s cavernous, monstrous, claustrophobic, and downright nasty. Mixing together groove metal with straight-up death metal, while adding elements of crushing doom here and there, this is music that’s not for the unwary. Steeped in the aesthetics of black metal’s corrupted skin, while having a certain atonal death metal power, Wroht merge these two styles together seamlessly. The grim doom elements here are comparatively less-used, but enhance the music when they appear with further levels of darkness.

Grab “Worship Rot from Bandcamp here. For more info about Wroht you can follow them on Facebook.

Wayward Dawn

Album Review: Wayward Dawn – Soil Organic Matter

Soil Organic Matter is the second full-length release from Denmark-based band Wayward Dawn, providing ten tracks of uncompromising and very much 100% death metal.

From opener ”Requiescat in Pace” to closer “Thy Name Is…,” this outfit plies the listener with agonised strains which develop into gruelling yet melodic heaps. Imagine a thicker, denser mixture of Lamb of God and Bloodbath in those thrashier segments as each track builds with suspense to become a hammering tool of brutality where you’re force fed those vocal gargles and accessibly yet gnarly structures.

Soil Organic Matter

As one would expect, there’s very much a groove death metal feel throughout. The vocals range from snarling rasps to deep, guttural coughs. And there’s a great variation of pace too, the title cut being a prime example of the band and their flexibility as they race with haste and aggression, melodiously carving grating strands of death / thrash and coating them with those sickly vocal smears.

Soil Organic Matter is a solid effort throughout, although the flavour isn’t necessarily old-school; at times there’s more of a mid-to-late 90s style of gushing death metal.

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Sinnrs

Review: Sinnrs – Profound

In some ways many metal listeners have divided opinions when the topic is “black metal.” Most of them find it raw or pretentious, but there are some that adore every melody that could come out of a black metal song. Sinnrs, a Danish symphonic black metal duo of Nero and Maestus, is just like a problem solver at this point. This band’s versatility lies in combining epicness of the pagan take on the black metal genre and folk, heavy, doom, and symphonic metal elements, wrapped with a touch of prog.

Sinnrs - Profound

Their debut album, “Profound,” is specific to the mentioned genres. Very epic, at times softened by great high pitched clean vocals, you can also find a fair dose of doom metal. Lyrically the album has its own dark side either.

There is a similarity between with the known doom bands such as Candlemass, While Heaven Wept, maybe a little of Solitude Aeternus and there is a smell of Void of Silence in the vocals. In some parts you find similarity with Moonspell and a little bit of early Amorphis. As all these bands are far from black metal, and that is what makes Sinnrs different. A must-listen album of the year right here.

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.