Monday, July 16, 2018

Cerebrocide - Delusion (1999)

   Cerebrocide was also an old school death metal band with a late full-lenght debut, such as most newer names in the almost decayed death metal scene of the late '90s.
   After an average start, "Delusion" was a great step, and showed stunning progression all-round. The sound developed a lot, they played far more intense and diverse than before. Their music still included the feeling of old school death metal, the actual changes in the main scene didn't have much influence on them. Very enjoyable guitar themes, fast, thrash influenced hammering, and deep growling are the main features of "Delusion". Such as most old German death metal bands, they also tried to involve some plus, something uncommon into their music. That lies mostly in the lyrical concept, but their themes are more diverse than what may be usual at ordinary death metal bands. They tried to focus on heavy societal problems, inner struggles and the morbid aspects of life. This gave a relevant seriousness to their lyrics and a positive main message, that definitely counts as an explicit and rare feature. Unfortunately the album is barely known and badly underrated, but "Delusion" was probably one of the best death metal albums of the late '90s.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Paganizer - Deadbanger (1999)

   Paganizer beceame known as a death metal band, but their debut was quite different from their late style.
   "Deadbanger" had an old school '80s-like style that is frequently appearing in the Swedish metal scene. This is usually a mix of heavy, speed and thrash metal with some black metal touch. It's like a reference to Venom, but this style is more genuine and far more intense. To balance on the borders of those genres may also give wider possibilities, but similar bands prefer to create a unified style. The lyrics may sound immature like old heavy metal lyrics, and including a doubtless sympathy with the devil, but that just serves the old school feeling. The themes are showing plenty of heavy metal references, but for the intensiveness and the aggressive attitude the speed and thrash influences are responsible. The touch of black metal appearing only in the vocal style and in the lyrical concept. The demo versions of the songs had a vocal style closer to death metal growling. Albums likes "Deadbanger" could leave a dejavu feeling in the listener. However the '80s have passed without similar bands too, but still these are excellent nostalgia albums, filling a long time missing part in the main scene and are party compatible the same time. Hails for the "Deadbanger"!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Avulsed - Stabwound Orgasm (1999)

   Avulsed is definitely Spain's number one death metal band and also counts as a unique band of the main scene that always deserves attention.
 "Stabwound Orgasm" was only their second full-lenght album, even though they started to play their mainly Cannibal Corpse influenced music already in the early '90s. This is probably their best and most melodic album and includes their catchiest themes. But it was never far from Avulsed to put some melodies on the side of heavy brutality. If the style melodic death metal wasn't depend from the growling vocals only and lack the musical features of death metal, "Stabwound Orgasm" could redefine that term. This album is really like old school death metal all-round and melodic the same time. This combination assisted by Dave Rotten's iconic deep growling style creating a very enjoyable whole. Probably it's not surprising, but their most preferred lyrical topics are gore and sexual perversions. Their creativeness about these topics are quite remarkable. Somehow they never sound boringly repetitive. "Stabwound Orgasm" provides excellent entertainment for the fans of gore based old school musickness.

Noothgrush - Erode the Person (1999)

   After plenty of split albums and demos, finally came out the first full-lenght Noothgrush album. Some of the songs were not completely new and appeared on their short previous materials before, but it's definitely better to listen everything together.
   As one of the earliest sludge metal bands, Noothgrush counts as a veteran and cultic band of the genre. Their music was very similar to Grief, not only because they were also into sludge/doom, but the sound and the vocal style are almost the same. So if "Erode the Person" was came out as an actual Grief album, nobody would have complained. The wave of bitter anger could carry away the unsuspicious listener by that over one hour long heavy, noisy, depressing suffering, that illustrates well the seamy sides of life. Such as most similar albums, this also introduces a tragical performance of self-torment with common political references and occasional sarcasm. A very demoralizing record especially in this extented lenght. These are the most common features of a sludge metal masterpiece.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Dystopia - The Aftermath (1999)

   Dystopia was an extraordinary band formed in the early '90s. They sparked attention in the underground scene by their exaggerated style that was a mix of crust punk and sludge metal.
   "The Aftermath" is a compilation album that collected the songs of their late EP's and split albums to shock the audience with an over one hour lenght. The mix of the two styles worked very well, and showed wider perspectives of diversity than ordinary crust punk or sludge metal. There is no sign of the monotone, endlessly repeating simple themes, and the common speed changes also made their music quite enjoyable. It may be a wonder why aren't there many other bands trying this combination. The concept and the lyrical background is very similar, politics, societal problems, hate and antisocial behaviour are related to both styles. In the performance of Dystopia these topics sounding very dramatic. The intense musical background assisted by the angry, and the same time very desperate screaming vocals are quite effective together. Their music showed a new level of the mix of bitterness and anger with an often sarcastic touch.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Control Denied - The Fragile Art of Existence (1999)

   After the last Death album Chuck Schuldiner finally had the chance to focus on his side project named Control Denied, that gave him an opportunity to keep merging into progressive metal between more melodic musical frames.
   Musically "The Fragile Art of Existence" sounds like the next step after Death's "Symbolic". Plenty of themes are sounding like to refer back to that album, while there are no signs of the needlessly overcomplicated frippery themes of "The Sound of Perseverance". The typical Mr. Schuldiner-styled themes and song compositions are waving back druring listening. The easily recognizable bass lines of Steve DiGiorgo also had important role to form the main charecteristics of the album, and of course to give another Death reference, in this case to "Individual Thought Patterns". The vocal style of Tim Aymer is able to make jelous any power or heavy metal singer, and definitely fits better to progressive ambitions than growling. The lyrical background is fortunately more serious than power/heavy metal lyrics used to be, and follows the almost philosophical approach of societal problems, that was the main feature of the late Death albums too. So even though Control Denied used to show something different than Mr. Schuldiner's main project, it became the part of the Death life work.

Spirit Caravan - Jug Fulla Sun (1999)

   Spirit Caravan just continued where The Obsessed, a strongly Black Sabbath influenced doom band stopped.
   First the difference may be barely noticable in general, even though Spirit Caravan involved stoner rock influences too, so they sounded heavier. And by this heavier sound they were not just like a Black Sabbath influenced band, but it seemed like they got free from their ties and showed what Black Sabbath overdose may mean. The members probably listened to them from day to night so that completely infested their minds. The stoner influence was not only useful to turn their sound heavier but also gave a gentle psychedelic touch to their music and the desert rock feeling that became indispensable since the '90s for a band that chose to play in '70s style. "Jug Fulla Sun" is like a short encyclopedia of how to plant a specific styled of old school (Black Sabbath influenced) music into the '90s and keep it updated. Even though their concept was quite unifacial, they've tried all possible ways to entertain the listener between these borders, and the album is definitely enjoyable.