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Thursday, 2 August 2018

Reviews: Kontinuum, Beyond Carnage, Drawn & Quartered, Vomitile (Reviews By Paul S & Sean)

Kontinuum: No Need To Reason (Season Of Mist) [Paul Scoble]

This is the 3rd album from Icelandish 5 piece Kontinuum, the first since 2015’s Kyrr. The bands previous output had a progressive/post metal feel to it, with maybe a touch of post black metal. On No Need To Reason, the metal part of their sound has softened to a more Alternative Rock sound. You can still sense some of the metal from their previous path, but the band has let it’s sound develop towards the softer side of their sound. To my ears, this sounds mostly like early eighties New Wave sound. The guitar sound is mostly clean (there are distorted guitars on 2 or 3 of the songs), with a shimmery, slightly echoey, sound to it. The vocals have a distinct gothic feel to them. At times vocalist Birgir Thorgeirsson sounds a little like Dave Vainian from The Damned, during their more ‘Gothic’ phase. There are a couple of times where I expected him to go into the chorus of Eloise.

The songs on offer here, have a distinct early eighties sound to them. The beginning of the song Erotica sound very reminiscent of Martha And The Muffin’s track Echo Beach. There is a darkness to most of the material, the band have definitely been listening to Joy Division and The Cure as well. Kontinuum have produced a very interesting alternative rock album. It has a dark, sometimes gothic feel to it. The albums real strength is the quality of the songs. The band have clearly spent a lot of time making sure all the songs work well. Great riffs and solos, memorable choruses that stick in your head. The album has a lovely flow to it as well, they’ve clearly put some time and thought into how the songs fit together. Really enjoyable album. 8/10

Beyond Carnage: Profane Sounds Of Flesh (Firecum Records) [Paul Scoble]

Formed in 2017, this is the first release from Portuguese death metal band Beyond Carnage. The death metal they play has a distinct old school feel to it. The riffs are tight but not ridiculously complex, the solos are discordant and atonal, the drums and bass thunder and rampage. This is exactly what made death metal so cool back in the early nineties. The EP features 5 tracks that pummel the listener into submission. Opener Infectious Parasitic Fungal God starts with a riff that sounds very like the opening of Ov Fire And The Void by Behemoth, but that is as technical as these guys get. The vocals are harsh, but at the same time, you can hear most of the lyrics. This works particularly well on the best track on the EP Necrowizard, which has an absolutely massive chorus. Profane Sounds Of Flesh is a cracking little EP, great songs, well played. I look forward to hearing a full length from Beyond Carnage. 8/10

Drawn And Quartered: The One Who Lurks (Krucyator Productions) [Paul Scoble)

Formed in 1993 Drawn And Quartered (originally called Plague Bearer), have been stalwarts of the American death metal scene. The One Who Lurks is Drawn And Quartered’s 7th full length album, their first since 2012’s Feeding Hells Furnace. Drawn And Quartered have never been a band for the faint hearted, they have always been on the extreme end of the extreme metal spectrum. So the fact that this album is spectacularly extreme shouldn’t be much of a surprise to anyone who has heard this band before. This is death metal pushed to ridiculous levels of brutal intensity. There are places on this album where it comes close to War Metal (Revenge, Deiphago, Morbosidad etc.) degrees of viscousness. The sound is old school American death metal, but pushed to ridiculous extremity. The riffs are sick, and so fast, the vocals are insanely harsh and sound so angry.

The track Temples Of Arcane Devotion is a case in point. The song blasts strait into an insane blast beat, with a screaming, snarling atonal guitar solo that is as nasty as any guitar part I’ve ever heard. The track pummels the listener into a bloody, sweaty mess, everything is pushed to 11. The band can do slow as well. The title track to the album The One Who Lurks opens with a sickeningly slow, heavy as fuck riff, that takes the sickest riffs Autopsy have ever written and just makes it sound more putrid, more twisted, more evil, and much more sick. The only death metal album I can think of that comes close to the extremely of The One Who Lurks is the 2015 album by Pissgrave, Suicide Euphoria. If you enjoyed that album, then Drawn And Quartered’s new album will put a very big smile on your face.

Metal this extreme is always going to be a niche interest. Most Metalheads won’t get it. There will be complaints, it’s too fast, too nasty, too viscous, too much in every way. But if extremity is what you like, then this album is essential. It’s crazy, it’s putrid, it’s squalid, it’s horrific, it’s evil as fuck, it’s so nasty, it’s the musical equivalent of swimming in raw sewage with your mouth wide open, and I fucking love it. If you like the really crazily extreme stuff, then this is going to be one of your favourite albums. Very few bands can deal out these levels of intensity, which is what makes this album so special. Not for everyone, but essential for those who get it! 9/10

Vomitile: Pure Eternal Hate (Satanath Records) [Sean Morgan]

Relentless low tuned guitars? Check. Breakneck marching tempos? Guttural roars howling all manner of inhumane atrocities? Abso-bloody-lutely. Make no mistake, Cyprus bruisers Vomitile play ye olde death metal with a capital D. No unnecessary frills here, just a straightforward assault of old school brutality. Drawing on the similar approach of legendary act such as Vomitory, Bolt Thrower and Vader, Vomitile offer up 10 hymns of war with a mission of leaving no survivors. So let’s ask the obvious, does Pure Eternal Hate, album no.3 bring anything new to the table? Absolutely not and it doesn’t matter, Vomitile have already smashed said table to bits! Cry havoc and let loose the dogs of war!

Sparing no time whatsoever, Vomitile immediately strike with opener Mass Extermination which more or less sets the tone for the remainder of the album. Strong riffs, tight song crafting and the intent on making every single blow as devastating as the first. Labelled Dead blasts with little regard for any innocents caught in their hellish crossfire, Vomitile simply don’t care! There is only one commandment on this field of war, thou shalt kill! Occasionally Vomitile change tempo, as displayed on the trench-like dirges of HateField and Executioners Of Strength. To Deflesh continues the savagery, vocalist Khatch Yildizian bellowing his inhuman bloodlust at those that who would dare cross his path. Carnal Surgery closes the brutal skirmish, it’s fading echo providing the only reprieve across this 36 minute killing spree. Checking that I still have all my limbs attached, I take a much needed breath of air and reflect.

Vomitile do what they do very well. While one could say the’ve have heard a riff here or a blast there from bands of yesteryear, this isn’t just simply aping sounds of an antiquated decade. No, Vomitile remind us exactly what made 90’s Death Metal a force to be reckoned with in the first place.  Could the production be a filthier? Maybe, though that’s more of a personal preference. Could things stand to be a bit more varied? Probably, but that’s hardly a negative. Pure Eternal Hate only lasts 36 mins, doesn’t outstay its welcome and states the bands intent very clearly. They play Death Fucking Metal, they will continue to play Death Fucking Metal and there’s absolutely fuck all anyone can do about it. Blood for the blood god, skulls for the throne! 7/10

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