Where do you start with this? Ohio gore monsters with the unpronounceable name produce one of the most repulsive albums of 2021. And it’s their debut to boot. A fierce 33 minutes of perverse, vile and festering puss-balled death metal which has been described as music for “fans of sewage”. Combining the best or is that worst of slasher movies with the OSDM sound of the likes of Morbid Angel, Bolt Thrower and Obituary and adding a fresh take, Tortured Whole is a putrid example of the extreme; or ‘down tuned drug death’ as the band have named their sound. The album is pure filth. Battering drumming, gruesome riffing and a demonic vocal delivery that rumbles Satan’s bowels, even though he doesn’t feature here. Just about every other expulsion of body fluid does though. Wade through this cesspit of depravity and you’ll be confronted with Menstrual Envy, a song about drug consumption followed by the removal of one’s own penis.
Exist Immortal - Act Two: Gold (Seek & Strike) [Matt Bladen]
Part two of their trilogy of EP's dealing with internal struggles, Act Two - Gold is about finding positivity with a healthy attitude rather than dwelling on the past trauma's. Exist Immortal are progressive metalcore band in the djent style of thick grooves, flittering electronics and anthemic emotional vocals. As I said this EP is the second of three and it continues with a concept that is positive in nature powered by Exist Immortal's innovative take on djent/metalcore, a track such as Gold highlights this with it's almost pop sound and anthemic refrain. At only four tracks Act Two - Gold is a short jaunt into Exist Immortal's world but when you take it as the middle part of this project it builds on what has come before and sets the tone for the final part. 7/10
Storm Siege – Satanus Sum (Self Released) [Paul Hutchings]
This record was initially released in August 2020 but has only now arrived at our attention. Storm Siege is a Spanish thrash outfit, from the Spanish Capital Madrid, or to be correct, Storm Siege is all the work of one man, Salvo Campuzano who plays and sings on everything. For a debut solo project, it’s a reasonably well produced release, with ample old school rawness. This is someone who doesn’t want clean, crisp lines on his production. It shows in the music which crosses the boundaries of straight forward thrash and dives headfirst into the blackened thrash pond. There’s a feisty mix of Venom, Sodom and Motörhead, all explosive and aggressive.
The songs power forward, the drumming ragged and energetic, the riffs frantic and the vocals a snarling roar. There’s little variation, although the high tempo of the title track and the likes of Inquisitor and Flagellator (I think you’ll start to guess the themes by now if you haven’t twigged from the album title) do slow a little on parts of Plague which merges a thicker chug with more full-on riffing. There’s the odd blistering solo that roars out of the melee, with some decent harmonies and melody. It’s not all brilliant though and some of the songs are a little ragged. But I’m sure that’s partly the appeal from a project that like so many these days, worships more at the blackened old school altar. If like me, you enjoy your thrash with a charred blackened edge, this album is most worthy of your attention. 7/10
Aziola Cry - The Ironic Divide (Sensory) [Matt Bladen]
When a band is signed to Sensory records, you pretty much know you're about to get some highly complex prog metal. The Ironic Divide is their first album in 2007, so with nearly 14 years between them this album is basically the rebirth of this Illinois trio comprised of Jason Blake on Warr Guitar, Mike Milaniak on guitar, and Tommy Murray on drums. I know you're asking what a Warr Guitar is so I'll explain that it's basically like Chapman Stick featuring bass and guitar strings designed to be played by two hand tapping. It means that there is a a massive amount of two hand tapping across these four tracks and 48 minutes! Yep it's certainly prog with the title track clocking in at a mammoth 21 minutes. Now that is usually no problem however Aziola Cry are all instrumental meaning that despite the obvious variation in their playing styles across the songs they never really feel truly different enough to keep the attention of non-musicians. If you play an instrument or you're REALLY into bands such as King Crimson of Behold...The Arctopus you will lap up this slice of virtuoso playing but for others there may just be a little too much chin stroking. 6/10