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Monday, 3 August 2020

Reviews: Elimination, The Vice, Angel Morgue, Ravened (Paul H, Rich, Paul S & Matt)

Elimination: Of Gods And Beasts (Self Released) [Paul Hutchings]

Formed in 2007, Elimination are a thrash trio from the depths of Suffolk who released two albums in Destroyed By Creation and The Blood Of The Titans before heading into a hiatus in 2012. Having toured with bands such as Evile, this was a massive shame but now Elimination are back with a fresh and ferocious three-track slab of pure UK thrash which brutalises from the opening shred. The line-up has been refreshed, with Neil Stevens joined by Leight Rumsby and David Hill and the band are eager to make up for those lost years. Opening track In The Name Of Violence opens in unconventional style, a shrieking guitar leading into the song but after that there is no holds barred as the band explode into a flaming ball of pent up thrash aggression. With a clear UK thrash feel running, no, surging through these 13 minutes, the main risk is cutting oneself on the jagged and razor-sharp riffs.

The band’s previous mix had comprised a mixture of hardcore and thrash metal moulded from the music of Kreator, Death, Slayer and more. It’s frantic stuff as Elimination strain every sinew. The Return follows and is a driving, punishing track, Stevens vocals raw and gravel-soaked but high enough in the mix to ensure that you get a full face of the venomous angst. I’m not hugely enamoured by the backing roars which sound like another band member has the shits in the background, but that’s small beer in comparison to the thunderous thrash that is slicing the airwaves. There is also some pleasing melody on The Return, demonstrating the band’s metal side with a segue into more classic metal before the reigns are tightened and the gears increased.

It’s all systems go on the final track, What Have I Done and whilst the backing vocals once more fail to excite me, the remainder of the track provides the epic feel of a band whose muscles are coiled for an assault on the British thrash scene. When that happens, you’ll want to be in their trench because there will be no mercy for those who oppose. Pleasing stuff indeed. 8/10

The Vice: White Teeth Rebellion (Noble Demon) [Rich Oliver]

White Teeth Rebellion is the new album from Swedish band The Vice and follows on from the EP Let Me Go in 2012 and a self titled debut album in 2016. The Vice perform the style termed black ‘n’ roll which is the mix of styles and elements from black metal and hard rock mixed together championed by bands such as Satyricon, Vreid and Tribulation. The Vice sit more on the roll side of things rather than the black with only the harsh vocal style being the closest link to black metal. The album is more of a mid tempo affair resulting in an album that lacks the energy and dynamics that is usually a prevalent feature of black ‘n’ roll and rendering this quite a repetitive and forgettable release. 

The best moments on the album are where the pace is kicked up a notch with Run To Seed and the title track being far more energetic and the clear highlights of the album. The slower pace and more atmospheric approach does work on occasions and especially on songs such as Empty Halls and To Each His Own. White Teeth Rebellion is an ok album which tries to steer the black ‘n’ roll sound to a slower paced and more atmospheric sound but lacks the punch needed and results in an album which I just found very forgettable. 5/10

Angel Morgue: In The Morgue Of Angels (Redefining Darkness Records) [Paul Scoble]

Angel Morgue have been making very nasty music since 2017, and when I say nasty I mean it. The five piece, made up of Colin Ward on Bass, Drew Katsantonis on Drums, Ian Warren and Leonard Trombly on Guitars and Josiff Scurto on vocals, play a very extreme form of Death Metal, that has some influences from very extreme Black metal for good measure. So, this is very extreme and in some places very heavy. The band have released a demo in 2017, but other than that that, In The Morgue Of Angels is the band's first release. The band clearly have a liking for slow, heavy and very nasty as well, there is a clear nod towards the sickening, putrid evil that is Autopsy. We get some very nasty slow riffs that are dripping with tri-tones, these are usually juxtapositioned with some of the fastest tremolo picked riffs I’ve heard in a very long time. 

The fast passages are fantastic, and feature some of the incredibly viscous drumming, the snare in particular batters the listener into submission. The album opens with the track Lust Murder, which starts with that sickening puss dripping slow and putrid riffing that Angel Morgue excel at. The track is slow and heavy for the first half before an incredibly fast, battering riff kicks in and we get a ridiculously fast section with machine gun snare keeping everything in time. This is full speed blasting, it reminds me a little of Pissgrave and Drawn And Quartered, it’s almost as fast and nasty as Revenge, very few bands can manage this level of ferocity. 

There are the odd mid-paced riff as well. Cosmic Torment opens with some very effective mid-paced riffs, broken up by faster blasting, but the mid-paced sections dominate. They feel powerful and driven, it doesn’t detract from the feeling of extremity that runs throughout this album.
There are some more punky influences on here as well, they aren’t obvious, but they are there. The Sigil And The Key has several sections where the drums feel decidedly D-Beat, giving a Hardcore / Grindcore feel. This does give a nice bit of variation to the album, so the fast and very nasty / slow and very nasty juxtapositions don’t completely dominate.

In The Morgue Of Angels is a great album. It’s almost ridiculously extreme, but if that is what you like then this is an album you will get a lot from. There aren’t many bands doing this style of Death Metal, for most bands this is way too extreme, but Angel Morgue can be added to the (short) list of bands that can take things to this level of extremity and still make it listenable, and enjoyable. 7/10

Ravened: From The Depths (Jono Music) [Matt Bladen]

From The Depths is the debut(?) album from Swedish modern metal band Ravened. Now when I say Modern Metal I mean in this instance the sort of music that draws from influences such as Lamb Of God, Machine Head, early-Trivium and Pantera. It's full of big groovy breakdowns, speedy thrash/death metal riffs and harsh vocals throughout, opening with the furious Foul Deeds you get a raging introduction to this very young band (their membership is between 19-24 years old) and from there the songs are driven by a bouncy rhythm section ideal for pitting, choppy down-tuned guitar playing and aggressive vocals.

Apparently all the band members have familial connections to established Swedish bands (sons/nephews of members etc) but that doesn't really influence the record at all as Ravened worship at the feet of the NWOAHM from the early 2000's early 2010's, all channeled aggression and amped versions of the 80's/90's thrash scene with some Swedeath (obviously) added to make it a lot heavier. Musically they are a tight unit especially for their age but there isn't much to distinguish these guys from any band that you may see in your local scene. I could list them but you'll know what I mean. From The Depths is a pit-friendly record delivered with the tenacity of yoof, on really the track Personal Universe takes this into a different realm with the addition of a church organ. Formed in 2018 there is enough on this record to see that there is potential but it's still a little formulaic, and their singer should stick to the extreme vocals and not attempt cleans at all. 6/10

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