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Thursday, 14 September 2017

Reviews: Cannabis Corpse, Cripper, From North, Pulvis Et Umbra (Reviews By Paul)

Cannabis Corpse: Left Hand Pass (Season Of Mist)

There is only one marijuana themed death metal outfit and here they are with album number 4. The four-piece from Richmond, Virginia follow up 2014’s From Wisdom To Baked with another powerful ode to the weed. It’s skull crushingly heavy whilst retaining the humour that we’ve come to expect. In Dank Purity and Final Exhalation hammer hard and as expected from Landphil of Municipal Waste, the Cannibal Corpse parody continues unabated. Closing track, The Fiends That Comes To Steal The Weed Of The Deceased makes worth listening to the album for that title alone. 7/10

From North: Self Titled (DownFall Records)

I must admit that opening track Volund The Smith, on the self-titled debut by Swedish folk metallers From North took me totally by surprise. A massive, raging beast of a track, it took the best part of the song for me to acclimatise to the aggressive but quite impressive sound these guys make. He Who Hates follows and once again it worked superbly. Haken Johnsson’s gruff vocals work fantastically well, but it’s the crunching guitar work that makes this record more enjoyable than many of the rather dire folk metal outfits about today. Yes, there is still the hurdy gurdy wail in the background but this is more Amon Amarth than Eluveitie. It’s not all fantastic with Ship’s Tale a little weak and several tracks slightly repetitive but overall this album is a heartfelt passionate and impressive release. A drunken evening with a roaring fire calls for those From North. Light the beacons. 7/10

Cripper: Follow Me: Kill! (Metal Blade)

I was unaware of Cripper who hail from Hannover, Germany. Follow Me: Kill! Is the band’s fourth record, and follows 2014’s Hyena. The band has a powerful sound, huge chunks of thrash and melodic death metal combine with haunting gothic elements to produce a stunning release. Lead singer Britta Görtz, who also sings for Critical Mess, has a snarl comparable with Arch Enemy’s past and present vocalists, although she favours the Angela Gossow sound with a growl so deep it could curdle milk. It’s not all from the gut though and she varies death growling with clean vocals on the mammoth Running High, the penultimate track on this impressive release. For an album that clocks in at just shy of an hour this fairly raced by and the cutting guitar work of Christian Brohenhorst and Jonathan Stenger add steel. It’s high octane fury from start to finish, and you can take your pick of tracks. Opener Pressure is particularly malevolent but there isn’t a poor track here. If you like your riffs huge and hard, then Cripper will certainly be a band worth checking out. 8/10

Pulvis Et Umbra: Atmosfear (Self Released)

Multi-instrumentalist Damy Mojitodka’s project Pulvis Et Umbra has been in existence for over 15 years although this is only the third record Pulvis Et Umbra (Italian for Dust & Shadow) has released. It’s an interesting mix of influences, ranging from ferocious death metal to calmer, Opeth-like passages and some virtuoso guitar work. There is a lot going on in every track, with roaring gravel gargling shouty vocals, huge chugging riffs and blast beats pounding away. The tracks are short with the album coming in at just under 35 minutes but there is no cessation in the barrage during that time. The haunting Divinity Or Icon and the title track probably stand out most. There is a nagging problem for me with all multi-instrumentalists and that is that it often feels like everything has been thrown into the mix just because it can This is often the case on Atmosfear, with a palette that is just too demanding. 6/10

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