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Friday 11 November 2022

Reviews: Bone Carver, Kassogtha, Wheel, Skin Failure (Reviews By GC & Matt Bladen)

Bonecarver - Carnage Funeral (Unique Leader) [GC]

Since forming back in 2014 Bonecarver have been making a name for themselves creating brutal death metal and they are now back with their second album for Unique Leader records, so let’s see if the brutality continues!

Opener Carnage Funeral builds up from an ominous opening with choral elements and a death march drum before exploding into life with some nice heavy deathcore full of atmosphere and dread that combine with fury and violence nicely, the only thing I’m not sold on is the high-pitched black metal vocals because the death metal vocals are great but the BM not so sure right now but, overall it’s a strong opening track full of all the brutality you would expect and the end breakdown is delicious! Ancient Atrocity fully leans onto a black metal influence and has all the grandiose savageness you would need here, and the vocals are a much better fit here it also combines the brutal death metal very well and creates and absolute monster of a song. 

The Reckoning throws in some angular djent riffs before cascading into atmospheric and haunting blackened death metal which is continued throughout and shows that one thing is guaranteed here there will be no letup in the pace or punishment. Thorned is more of a modern deathcore type track full of relentless drumming, chugging riffs, and harsh vocal delivery but again at the end throws djent elements with the breakdown before more savage death metal attacks.

Pillars Of Tragedy is a bit of a mess to begin with if I am honest, the first minute kind of doesn’t have any sort of rhythm and it doesn’t really get into the body of something coherent until about 2 minutes in and I’m just a bit lost with this one really, not the best track on offer by a long shot BUT, it does have an absolute peach of an ending! Thankfully Morgue Desecrator is back to what has been so successful for Bonecarver on this album, with an absolute stormer of a track mixing thrash into the overall assault to beautiful effect. 

The Red Wake has another haunting an epic choral into section that then mixes the atmospheric elements through the death metal and creates some absolutely skull crushing grooves that never let up until the very end note of this song, probably the best on the album so far for me! Horror Disorder is another heavily black metal influenced track that intertwines with the deathcore elements that have become the real trademark of this album its all done with devastating precision and focus and is an absolute joy to listen to before final track Bereavement offers up one final assault on the senses it’s probably the most brooding track on the album but this does not drop the heaviness if anything it adds just another layer of it and almost beats you into submission and rounds of a great album fantastically.

From a strong starting point this album just continued to get better and better as it went on! It is all you need from a blackened death metal release, it has atmosphere, ambiance, brutality and all the savageness you can handle. Bonecarver have created a great album here and if you like your music to brutally assault you and not be sorry about it then Carnage Funeral is the album for you. 8/10

Kassogtha - rEvolve (Klang Machine Music) [Matt Bladen]

If there’s one thing that divides extreme metal fans it’s clean vocals, you can have all the clean guitar melodies and atmosphere as you want however once a band moves into having the clean/harsh vocal style they are either celebrated or lambasted, no matter how heavy the music is, the merest hint of clean vocals can immediately make people think of the Sweden originated melodeath style. Many just adopt the melodeath tag and be done with it but there are some bands who actively try to do something different within it. Bands such as Swiss act Kassogtha, they, like The Agonist and Arch Enemy have a female singer but their sound takes more from the groove metal heroes such as Gojira and Lamb Of God than the meldodeath/thrash of the first two comparisons. 

Now of course those influences are there in tracks such as Drown, but while the thrash riffs come thick and fast, Kassogtha love a chunky breakdown and palm muted riff as much as the French whale lovers, on Venom and Eclipse especially. You could call it progressive I guess as the music shifts many times across the nine tracks here but always stays in the metal realms, just the heaviness and aggression varies, mainly due to the excellent vocal range of Stephany, who can roar like a demon and sing like and angel, while its main songwriter/guitarist Morty’s musical vision they follow, his music driving this concept album, matching the ferocity of Stephany’s deeply personal lyrics as she battles her inner demons, moving on from negativity, with a blast of aggressive yet eclectic metal. 

Produced at Fascination Street Studios, the home of melodeath, rEvolve is much more than just your standard blast, growl, clean record, there’s a lot of depth to it with influences from the prog world, to go along with the massive death and groove metal assault. As the record closes with the anthemic Plume and the dramatic Save Us, Kassogtha show that there is much more to them than on the surface on this superior follow up effort. 8/10

Wheel – Rumination (InsideOut Music) [Matt Bladen]

To celebrate their signing to seminal prog label InsideOut Music, Finnish/British grooving proggers Wheel release three song EP entitled Rumination to introduce themselves to those who may not know them. Having released all three as singles, here they are compiled in order to give highlight the talent of this already excellent band. 

First off is the modern djent of Blood Drinker which has choppy, groove drenched riffs, played with palm muting and lots of start stop riffs set to rhythmic bass and impressive drum breaks. There’s plenty going on musically which will take a few listens to fully realise, but like with a lot of Wheel’s music it’s got a directness that hooks you in. The heaviness breaks for Synchronise, a song filled with orchestral strings, which gives a moodiness of a band such as Katatonia or US tour mates Apocalyptica, it’s a polar opposite to Blood Drinker, which again is an example of the kind of band Wheel are, able to crank out huge riffs one minute then introspective moments the next. 

This three track introduction comes to a close with Impervious which almost combines the previous two songs together as the heavy riffs are counteracted by the atmospherics. If you’re not familiar with Wheel then Rumination will be a great entry point into their sound, hopefully winning over anyone that didn’t and proving to their new label that they’ve made the right decision. Modern prog at its finest, this is just a start. 8/10

Skin Failure - Radillac (Small Pond) [GC]

Today’s review is the debut offering from Skin Failure, who are listed as a band who are for fans of fun and as we all know I am the grumpiest of all writers here at MoM so this could be a challenge!

After the very pointless In Time And Space (Intro) we are directly into Sleeveless Jesus (The Void) which is a full on barrage of big scuzzy hardcore riffs and full throttle drums that drive the song forward with a great energy and leads into a nice melodic but still heavy as hell section midway that mixes everything up nicely before heading directly into an almost black metal style section before the final section is a pure psychedelic doom crush and its clear to see the Skin Failure aren’t here to mess about! 

In a more straight forward rock n roll vibe Meat Pond (Down By The River) jumps forwards from the speakers and is a relentlessly twisting and groove filled beast that throws in some more vicious jagged and stabbing hardcore sections before heading back into the foot stomping groove form the beginning, a really well worked mix of styles are being shown on this record so far we the get a little comedy skit in the shape of Skit (Remy LeBeau’s Big Pile Of Bones) which again seems a little pointless even if it does feature Ed Gamble, just seems a bit meh? 

But Full Throttle Pt2 (The Montage) then pick everything up nicely and is exactly as the song title says it’s a big thrashy noisy attack that mixes with some sludgy stoner passages but never seems to take sit foot off the throttle before The Beast Awaketh (A Hole In The Sky) is another seemingly pointless interlude that just unnecessarily slows the whole album down again but once again.

After this however it does pick straight back up with Southern Fried Homicide (The Radical Battle Sequence) which is another stoner infused thrash attack that also has hints of power metal in places, however this leads to some of the vocals being a bit poor and wacky, but it does end in a head bangingly beautiful way and this is probably the most accessible track on offer so far and is an absolute blast! Give’r By The River/As Bridges Fell (Metal Alarm Call) offers us some more jagged hardcore mixed with stoner doom and is urgent and angry but never loses the big groove running throughout the song and bound to be an absolute joy to witness live! 

Then its final track Radical One (Amphetamine Dreamland) which is an absolute riot definitely the most punk that Skin Failure have been so far and at the same time the most stoner they have been mixing furious sections into a huge riff midway before a bit disappointingly just ending everything and fading into nothing?

Bit of a mixed bag here for me, when they are on form they are really good to listen to and I think that in the future they can harness all the talent they have and create something special, on Radillac they have given us 6 tracks of hardcore thrash and stoner doom that shows all the potential in the world and while the ‘fun’ is there it sometimes isn’t really needed as the music is good enough. 6/10

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