Barrabus: Barrabus (Undergroove Records)
Prepare yourself before listening as the self-titled debut album by Barrabus is a weird listen indeed. Based in London Barrabus have been in various states of activity since 2005 with various support slots and a demo but after 12 years they have finally gotten around to releasing a debut album. The only way I can describe the music on this album is it's as if a bunch of cool guitar riffs have been put into a blender, a live grenade dropped in and the on button pressed. It's a brilliant half hour of unhinged schizo weirdness with songs that jump from the confusing to the eccentric to uncontrolled rage.
There's elements of math-rock and hardcore that can be heard throughout but the sound of Barrabus can't really be described and more has to be experienced. The drawback to this completely off the hook approach is that it's a difficult album to get into and it would take several listens for it to sink in. That being said there's no denying the genius of songs such as Porn, Kleptomania and Pre Op. Barrabus have crafted an album that is extremely unique and very left-field albeit not wholly memorable throughout. Definitely a band to keep an eye out for and I'm looking forward to seeing what they have up their sleeves for album number two. 7/10
Bloodthread: Era Of Corruuption (Self Released)
Scotland has proved to be quite a hotbed for quality death metal over the past few years and BloodThread from Glasgow are no exception to the rule as proven with their second self-released EP Era Of Corruption. Era Of Corruption is made up of four songs which are all equally rooted both in modern and old school death metal. The riffs have bagloads of groove to them and this groove carries the majority of the songs though they all do explode into violence as well with frantic riffing and blastbeats aplenty.
There are also technical and progressive elements on display as well especially with the time signatures and especially evident in ...For I Am The Butcher. BloodThread have released an impressive and enjoyable EP which is well written and performed and which will appeal to the majority of death metal fans. My only criticism is that there is nothing on display which really sets BloodThread apart from the pack. A solid effort though. 7/10
Prometheus: Consumed In Flames (Katoptron IX Records)
Consumed In Flames is the debut album by Greek black metal band Prometheus. The band formed back in 2004 and released a couple of demo's but were involved in a serious motorcycle accident which delayed things considerably for the band resulting in it not being until 2017 when their first album is finally released. They say good things come to those who wait and that is definitely the case with Consumed In Flames. The music on Consumed In Flames is very much inspired by the classic Norwegian second wave of black metal but also adds in elements of old school death metal especially in the dissonance of some of the riffs but there are also elements of thrash metal as well as a melodic sensibility running throughout the album.
The songs range from straight for the jugular black metal rippers with tremolo riffs and plenty of blastbeats to more subdued mid paced atmospheric numbers. The songs which work better in my opinion are the more violent and faster numbers which cannot fail to bring a smile to the face of any extreme metal fan. This album does not have anything new to offer the world of black metal but is an extremely well done and very overdue album. An excellent listen. 8/10