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Thursday 21 November 2019

Reviews: Red Death, Kamchatka, Fit For An Autopsy, Rising Insane (Liam, Zach & Matt]

Red Death: Sickness Divine (Century Media) [Zach Williams]

It’s 13:15 on a Tuesday afternoon and I am still in my dressing gown. Mucus runs from almost every hole in my head. My first cold of the winter and boy, oh BOY it’s a doozy. I have so much housework I need to get on with, but the idea of getting off the sofa is enough to make me want to weep. I press play on Sickness Divine – the third album by Washington, DC’s crossover titans Red Death – and instantly something changes in me. I don’t want to just get up and hoover the stairs; I want to ride down them on a door I’ve pulled off the hinges. And I want to chug a beer while doing it. This, my friends, is the power of the thrash this record brings to the table.

The album opens a beautiful, if not haunting, acoustic guitar piece like so many other great thrash records (Beneath The Remains by Sepultura and Conformicide by Havok are the first two that spring to mind). Apart from this and The Anvil’s Ring - which is pretty much a minute and a half of the most triumphant sounding guitars you’re going to hear on an album this year - the album is just balls-to-the-wall crossover thrash. Fast, chuggy, angry and in your face. Production was handled by the incredible Arthur Rizk who also produced Nightmare Logic by Power Trip, and it has that same kind of feel that pays homage to the early days of thrash, without trying to sound purposefully dated. If I could be knit-picky I would have preferred a bass tone with more bite, but that’s about the only criticism I really have. This album kicks an alarming amount of ass. 9/10

Kamchatka: Hoodoo Lightning (Border Music) [Matt Bladen]

After taking a hiatus in 2017, Swedish retro blues rock masters Kamchatka came back to the live circuit last year with their classic power trio sound of The Jimi Hendrix Experience or Cream back expanding minds it was only a matter of time that a new album would come and here it is ready to land on your record player as you dial up the volume. Hoodoo Lightning is the bands seventh full length and it is the sound of a band with a renewed vigour, throwing some grit down as the swaggering rhythm section of Tobias Strandvik (drums) and Per Wiberg (bass) bring deep grooves ripe for the explosive guitar prowess of Thomas "Juneor" Andersson to walk all over.

Both parts of Blues Science the two that open this album are exactly what you would want from these retro styled rockers as they take that explorative sound nailed by Bruce, Baker and Clapton to the 21st Century, Thomas and Per even share the vocals on this album, making it a much more rounded record as both are suited to certain styles. Hoodoo Lightning has some analogue production which benefits the record and it's got a "live-in-the-studio" vibe to it as the band kick out the jams, but without any of the audio loss that you get from early vinyl releases, every virtuosity note is audible, showing just why the band are revered, as well as being a regular touring partner of Clutch, who know a thing or two about what it takes to be a great band! Hoodoo Lightning is a rocking return from Kamchatka with some psych touches on Stay In The Wind, heavy blues on A Drifter's Tale and a boat load of jam rock anthems, welcome back Kamchatka, stay groovy! 8/10 

Fit For An Autopsy: The Sea Of Tragic Beasts (Nuclear Blast) [Liam True]

Before I wrote up the review for this album I had to listen to this album a few times. Not because I had too get my head around it, but because the album is that damn good. From start to finish it’s an adrenaline filled absolute diabolical sounding album. And that’s the best part, on TSFTB the sound is as dark and downright filthy as Deathcore is right now, and it adds to the aesthetic of the next 44 minutes of ear-destroying breakdown glory. FFAA are one of those bands who get progressively better with each album and learn from previous records evolving their sound while staying true to their roots. The revolting growls of vocalist Joe Badolato mixed with the stomach churning down-tempo fury makes the album more enjoyable than it already is, as the production is impeccable. I only have one point of criticism here. The cleaner vocals just feel like they don’t belong on the record, and they were a bit rushed into the songs. Apart from that, the album is just a rollercoaster of destructive breakdowns and unearthly vocals. 9/10

Rising Insane: Porcelain (Long Branch Records) [Liam True]

This band is exactly what we need right now in the Metalcore scene. I’m not going to run the genre into the ground again. That schtick is old now. Rising Insane are a powerful Metalcore group with the intensity of a flaming inferno, but can be as melodic and soothing to tame the most harsh beasts. The album itself is full of the classic Metalcore elements, breakdowns, build ups and beefy growls. The main thus that sets this record out from the crowd is that’s mainly riff based. Somewhat unusual in modern day Metalcore. But Rising Insane know what they’re doing with it and perfect their craft while laying on the massive dose of heavy as cinder blocks dropping on your balls meaty instrumentals. Vocalist Aaron has no issued navigating the deep gutturals and high impact cleans that bring the record together like glue. The only issue i have with the record is the production. You can’t really hear the riffs buried under the bass filled record. But other than that, the record is, simply put, a Metalcore revival. 8/10

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