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Sunday, 23 April 2017

Reviews: Necrowretch, Ex People, The Evil Dead, Cocyte (Reviews By Rich)

Necrowretch: Satanic Slavery (Seasons Of Mist)

French blackened metal masters Necrowretch return with their third album Satanic Slavery which is a very appropriate title for a very bloodthirsty and evil album. Also it's a bit fucking good! Necrowretch continue with the style they have laid out on their previous two records which is a hybrid of black metal, death metal and thrash metal. The sound is very old school with a suitably raw yet clear production. This album is absolutely relentless with a barrage of savage tremolo riffs, blastbeats and the raspy evil vocals of frontman Vlad.

They also use a echo effect on the vocal for added evil effect which I absolutely adore. There isn't much different on this album from what Necrowretch have previously done but the songwriting is definitely improved with such savage gems as Sprawl Of Sin, Hellspawn Pyre, Trediciman Blackfire and the absolutely sublime title track. There isn't much variation between the songs but it doesn't matter at all when they all sound as wonderful as they do. Being a lover of all things gnarly and evil in metal this album appealed to me in every sense and is definitely one of my favourites of the year so far. 9/10

Ex People: Bird (New Heavy Sounds)

I have found that the doom/sludge/stoner scene in the UK has become very oversaturated and that currently there are few bands who make a lasting impression on me but Ex People have immediately grabbed my attention with their stunning debut album Bird. This London four piece have managed to combine catchy hooks with absolute sonic destruction. The band sound like a mix of Electric Wizard, Melvins and Kylesa with influences from grunge all wrapped up in a blaze of punk rock attitude.

This is truly a heavy heavy album with thick distorted fuzzy riffs, bass denser than molten lead and an absolute percussive beatdown. The vocals by frontwoman Laura are soaring and melodic but with a punk rock bite to them. The songs on the album range from catchier numbers such as Without and Surekill to bludgeoning monolithic bruisers such as The Host and Crested. Ex People have managed to craft a fantastic debut album that proves to me that there are still bands within the doom/sludge/stoner scene that can surprise and impress me. 8/10

The Evil Dead: Earth Inferno (Witches Brew)

The Evil Dead are a band from Argentina (the first metal band from Argentina I have heard) and 'Earth Inferno' is their second album released on Massacre Records. The Evil Dead are an interesting band with a very wide array of sounds and influences. The band play a melodic black metal style reminiscent of Dissection mixed with 70's rock and 80's metal influences. The songs themselves are all lengthy pieces containing masses of riffs mixed with some odd time signatures and interesting twists and turns.

Highlights for me included the epic Maragnon which sounded like black metal meets Blue Oyster Cult, the blackened thrash of the title track and my personal favourite the speed metal meets rollicking hard rock Of Electric Evil Revisited. With so many styles and influences present the album can feel a bit uneven and disjointed but where it does hold it together it works very well indeed. A solid effort. 7/10

Cocyte: The Human Disease (Self Release)

The Human Disease is the debut fulll length album by Belgian band Cocyte who have previously released a string of self-released EP's. Cocyte play a modern style of death metal which leans towards technical death metal and deathcore with bruising chunky riffs, brutal breakdowns, technical flourishes and the odd off kilter jazzy break. The harsh vocals are atypical for this style with them sitting somewhere between a guttural growl and harsh scream. Unfortunately this album is so generic with absolutely no stand out moments or moments or originality. It's all been done before by a multitude of sound alike bands.

It's all played to perfection by the band but trying to remember a moment of interest or significance from the album is virtually impossible as it is so by the numbers modern death metal. The production is very clean and clinical which detracts what death metal is meant to be (in my opinion) and that is repulsive and evil sounding as well as brutal and heavy. I'll hold my hands up and fully admit that I can't abide this style of death metal and despite really trying I can only find one song of worth which is Mechanical Refuge and that's only because it sounds exactly like and completely rips off Necrophagist.

If you are a fan of bands such as Whitechapel and Suicide Silence you will probably think this album is phenomenal but if you like your death metal dirty and gnarly avoid this like the plague. I give one point for musicianship skills and one for Necrophagist worship. 2/10

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