Saturday, August 1, 2020

Pagainzer - Basic Instructions for Dying (2009)

   Paganizer's "Basic Instructions for Dying" is an enjoyable compilation album of unreleased songs from 2003 to 2007. Shows nothing new for the fans of the band, but still it's something interesting enough to get for their collection.
   The wide time range of the song recordings means also sound diversity, but unlike at most throwback compilations, all songs having studio quality instead of demo sound. Even though the sound isn't unified, the album definitely is, partly because the band's style didn't change since they've switched from the mixed heavy/speed/thrashy influenced style of "Deadbanger" to death metal. And the other thing is that the old school sound of Swedish death doesn't give many opportunities. It keeps staying between a quite narrow range of sound preferences to be easily identifiable. By being mean it could be said that even a compilation of various different Swedish death metal bands could be seem the same unified like if they were all one band. But that may be not so far from the reality if we think about that one of the songs meant to be a Ribspreader song, but it was kept for Paganizer. It might be also not shocking to know that it's also a side project of Rogga Johansson, the dumping master of Swedish death metal.
   The album is strongly recommended for those who never can get enough from the sound of the Swedish scene.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Skeletal Spectre - Tomb Coven (2009)

   After a while it seems like there's no newer Swedish death metal project without Rogga Johansson, who definitely became a centric figure of the local scene. But fortunately his frequent appearence rather expects certain high quality instead of various forms of self-repetition.
   Skeletal Spectre catched a new waved form of death/doom that's evidently strongly compatible with the sound of Swedish death metal, and doesn't go too far with slow downs and extented song lenght. The album mostly prefers to stay at middle speed, but the heavy, ominious doom themes having the main focus. The style of the noisy riffings and background atmosphere creating guitar themes are somehow strongly reminding to Acid Witch. This is like a modern way to create some vintage-like effect that sounds like to refer back to some old horror classics. And musically it serves as a reference to the metal classics o the '80s, like occasionally a very familiar feeling might wave back from these quite simple but the same time catchy themes. Something that reminds to old Celtic Frost? But before the dejavu effect was complete, they switch by some speed up, or slow down, and it gets perished. The way how they created a bridge between the old school and modern sound of metal could be enjoyable for the fans of the genre.

Bone Gnawer - Feast of Flesh (2009)

   When big names of a scene are united in one project (in this case big names of death metal, like Kam Lee, Rogga Johannson and Ronnie Björnström), the audience might automatically have high expectations and hopes about the outcomes, but usually world redemption gets hold off and an average material comes out.
   This wasn't different in the case of Bone Gnawer either. Even though the main concept (surprisingly gore and cannibalism) and the album cover might perfectly fit to any slamming brutal death band too, Bone Gnawer plays traditional old school death metal. It's like a summarizing death metal nostalgia that includes elements that didn't exist in the exact form back then, and that's how it's offering great entertainments for the fans of the early '90s death metal. For those who are enjoying the sound of Swedish death, sickening bloodthirsy concept, and missed the characteristic vocal style of Kam Lee, "Feast of Flesh" is a perfect choise. A generic combination made only for the exact target audience. Nothing more should be expected, and the album definitely wouldn't be disappointing.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Eternal Grave - Arquitectura del horror (2009)

   Somehow it's always appreciating to find new bands who are playing in old Cannibal Corpse style. Partly because it's not easy to give back the same combination of heaviness and sickness, and partly because it's exaggerated effect could be addictive.
   Eternal Grave recalled that very familiar feeling with success. They've reached the same level of heaviness, brutality and intesity, even the deep growling vocal style is quite Chris Barnes-like. For direct comparsion the album reminds the most to "The Bleeding", except in the case of sick melodies. They experimented with some short ones, but they didn't become the essential part of the songs like at Cannibal Corpse, only showing up as some background melodies for a while. Some of them worked out well, others not that much, but sometimes they've shortened them to weird fripperies. Therefore the noisy brutality have absolute leading role, and this way the main impression is quite raw, but keeps staying enough enjoyable to keep the listener's attention. The band preferred common slow downs between the hammering parts. "Arquitectura del horror" might be fun to listen for the lovers of Cannibal Corpse nostalgia, and also for the fans of gory brutal death.

Itself - Make My Suffer Short (2009)

  It seems like it's not hard to find South American metal albums starting with some demonic erotic/orgy performance, even if the followings have not much to do with the whole thing, like in the case of Itself.
   The band's one and only album was a modern death metal release that sympathized with the technical ambitions of brutal death bands, but only in common, but short theme switches. The band didn't go too far, and switched back to old school tendencies before the songs would become too complex. The song composiotions and the way how they built on the effectiveness of theme contrasts are typically a modern thing that spreaded in the '00s. The influence of new waved bands is also noticeable, and therefore the main impression isn't so exaggerated like in the case of brutal death bands. "Make My Suffer Short" sounds like if the musicians had an experimental period to find some common ground. That happens if band members having different influences and imaginations. The lyrical concept is based on mental issues, so they also had an interesting topic. Their drummer was their frontman too, and therefore must admit that doing vocals while such intense drumming style is also extraordinary. The album is more or less unified, but not completely outbioled. Though all-in-one it was a stunning debut.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Bestial Possession - Duros, ebrios & lujuriosos (2009)

   After an awkward intro that probably referred to Sarcófago with the imitation of a demonic orgy, Bestial Possession showed it's persevarance on it's debut to the '80s thrash era and to the traditional mixed sound of the once notorious South American scene.
   There are plenty of possible influences to mention from Slayer to Atomic Aggressor, so it might be simpler to describe "Duros, ebrios & lujuriosos" as a nostalgia album. The concept on the side of the overloaded old school thrash references is an evident sing that proves that it's a newer band, a fan-made project that not supposed to take too seriously. In this form it might be harder to do that anyway, but that's basically because the '80s classics often have been like that, the band just brought their most characteristic features into highlights. Like in the case of most black/thrash bands, their black metal references are restricted to the most ancient, mixed form of the genre, that was mainly noticeable in the lyrical concept and at the vocal style, while in the intense themes commonly they often getting lost amongst the frequently returning thrashings. In general it might be a great and enjoyable nostaglia album for old school fans.

Shadow of the Torturer - Marching into Chaos (2009)

   Fortunately there's no lack of high quality sludge/doom materials since the late '00s. There are basically 2 reasons why is that. At the beginning of the decade sludge metal had some sort of renaissanse period by bands who played the style more complex and progressive than before (like Mastodon for instance), and even though this direction turned further from what sludge was actually about, their increased popularity had it's influence. The second reason was that noisy sound and minimal themes was brought into focus in the underground scene (it was also responsible for drone metal) and that was like a perfect opportunity for a counteraction for bands who preferred the more tradional form of the genre.
   "Marcing into Chaos" was a stunning debut of Shadow of the Turturer, that introduced well the darkened depths of this old but still somehow recent sounding style. Basically classic, but quite noisy doom themes are pulling down the listener into a dirty, muddy pit of depressing hopelessness. The influence of old Cathedral is waving back frequently while listening the album. The difference is that while Cathedral sounded simply desperately depressed, Shadow of the Torturer introduced the same from a way more obscure aspect. Not the method of inner or practical suffering is the point - it's just like a necessary inspirational resource, but the certain approach of death itself. Rotting away in that dirty, muddy pit in solitute. Perfection. According to the sound and vocal style, the band also sympathized with death/doom, so their music is on the borderlines of 3 genres the same time. Still, the album is quite unified, because these styles are compatible for combining them with each other. Recommended for the fans of sludge/doom and death/doom.