Paganizer, Beyond The Macabre (Transcending Obscurity 2022)

Beyond The Macabre is the twelfth studio album from the death metal menace that is Paganizer.

From its earliest days, Paganizer has been a welcome presence in the death metal world. The music is always filled with hooks and crushing riffs, dizzying pace and unstoppable percussion. Every new album is an event, and the latest is no exception. Founder Rogga Johansson (vocals, guitar) and long-time regular Matte Fiebig (drums) are joined by Kjetil Lynghaug (guitar) and Martin Klasén (bass) who have played on the last couple of albums.

Beyond The Macabre takes its cues from the band’s history and wraps itself in classic forms of Swedish death metal. As with recent albums, there are many melodic elements but no one would call this music melodic death metal. It is heavy and charging throughout, and the hooks and melodies that are in play make the music memorable while never taking away from its power. The guitar work is exemplary and Rogga sounds great, as always.

There are no low patches to be found on this album, and it gets off to a vigorous start by focusing on the band’s strengths with “Down The Path Of Decay.” Other tracks that stood out for me are “Raving Rhymes Of Rot” for laying on the extra heavy and “You Are What You Devour” for its plain speaking declarations.

I have been a Paganizer fan all along. For me the new album maintains the accessibility of recent work by the band and holds the death metal line fast. I will be spinning this one a lot in the coming weeks. Recommended.

Beyond The Macabre is out on Friday, June 24th through Transcending Obscurity Records. As always, there is a great collection of variants and merch available to go along with the music.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://paganizer.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/paganizersweden/

Transcending Obscurity Records, https://transcendingobscurity.aisamerch.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Paganizer, Beyond The Macabre (Transcending Obscurity 2022)

Goatwhore at Higher Ground, Burlington, Vermont, June 15th 2022

Goatwhore is on tour with Gwar right now – I caught up with them in Burlington, Vermont.

Goatwhore is a New Orleans death/black/thrash metal band that has been roaming the earth for twenty-five years. I have listened to them for much of that time, but I didn’t get a chance to see them live until Psycho Las Vegas in 2019. I was completely blown away. They played their set in the House of Blues and that place absolutely melted down. Ever since then, I have been on a quest to see them again and maybe get a couple of photos.

I saw Gwar at the very first stop on their current tour, but Goatwhore wasn’t at the show because they were playing somewhere else. Damn and blast. I tracked them to the North Country and found them at Higher Ground, one of my favorite music venues in all the world. Here are a few photos from that show. Go see them on their co-headlining tour in August with Incantation – and any other time you can.

Photos by Wayne Edwards.

Links.

Goatwhore, http://www.goatwhore.net/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/thegoat666

Higher Ground, https://highergroundmusic.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Goatwhore at Higher Ground, Burlington, Vermont, June 15th 2022

The Eating Cave, Ingurgitate (2022)

Newly minted death metal band The Eating Cave rumbles the underground with Ingurgitate.

From Virginia Beach, The Eating Cave has been releasing singles for a couple years leading up to their first long-player. Their music is a solid reign of death metal terror. The style is on the technical (and tech) side of the field and the sonic images tend toward the disturbing. The band is Thiago Campanhol (vocals), Evan Hope (guitars), Chris Basham (engineering), and Tyler Boylan (guitars).

Ingurgitate gathers four songs previously released as singles and adds four new ones to the bunch. The opening track, “An Aura of Terror,” is upsetting. If you are going to listen to this album you should be ready for more of that. Mad percussion, hissing black metal vocals tag-teaming with devouring death metal vocals, and raking guitar riffs that take you down and kick you on the ground. Don’t worry, though, because the next song, “Sadistic Entanglement,” is even harsher with entirely disorienting lead guitar work.

If you have been following along with the singles as they came out, then you already heard “Aggregate Vanity I – Heretical Hypotheses.” With the new album you get to hear the finish, “Aggregate Vanity II – Periodic Absolution,” in case the initial battering of the first part was not enough for you. My favorite track on the album is “Inherited Extinction” for both its ideas and the execution of them. The guitar work caused my brain to lock up.

This music takes a lot out of you, and it is not the sort of thing I listen to all day every day – I don’t have the stamina. When I need to burn off some excess energy or anger or anxiety, this is exactly what I want to hear, and The Eating Cave may be setting a new standard in this lane. Recommended.

Ingurgitate is out now. Look in on it at Bandcamp or your favorite other portal for music.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://theeatingcave.bandcamp.com/

The Eating Cave website, https://the-eating-cave.creator-spring.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/theeatingcave

© Wayne Edwards

The Eating Cave, Ingurgitate (2022)

Hypermass, Empyrean (2022)

Progressive death metal band Hypermass release their debut full-length album, Empyrean.

Formed ten years ago in Norway, Hypermass issued a demo in 2013 called Into Oblivion, then the EP Clouded Visions a couple years later. Since 2015 they have been rather quiet on the recording front, raising expectations for their first long-player, Empyrean. Playing progressive death metal that is loaded with grooves, hooks, and technical proficiency, they exist on their own self-constructed plane. The band is Markus Sundet (vocals), Thomas Pedersen (guitar), Sindre Dagestad (guitar), and Martin Nordvik (bass). Torgeir Aambø did the drum work on the new recording.

There are nine tracks on the album, starting with a short on ramp, “The Constant.” “Hivemind” is the first detailed glimpse into the universe of the set and it walks you around the expansive neighborhood, offering clues to the keys to the coming compositions. The hammer drops and the prog breaks out and it is more like a festival than a chemistry class. That is the hallmark of Hypermass – they confident enough in their own ideas that they do not try to fit in anyone else’s mold.

There is a plethora of looks on the album. The grisly “The Degenerate Strain” has its own approachability despite its sharp edges. Watch out for the ripping lead guitar that springs to life unexpectedly. “Null and Void” has the fully formed heaviness, too, that is somehow carried on a musical anti-gravity mechanism that allows it to move toward wherever you are at the time you hear it. It is almost mystical the way it works.

The title track comes near the end of the record and it is an achievement. Whether the sky is coming down or we are rising to meet it the journey is multifaceted and absolutely fascinating. The guitar on this song shines again, and the coarse vocals remind us that existence is multidimensional. Excellent throughout, and recommended.

Empyrean is out now. Bandcamp is a quick place to hear it – at the link below.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://hypermass.bandcamp.com/album/empyrean

YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHw3woqZYJMR4AN9Yf02jRQ

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/hypermassmetal

© Wayne Edwards

Hypermass, Empyrean (2022)

Kreator, Hate Über Alles (Nuclear Blast 2022)

German thrash legends Kreator are back to shred the bare earth with Hate Über Alles.

Kreator is one of the most prolific and influential European thrash (and speed) metal bands. Taking the name Kreator in 1984 after trying on a few others, they released their first full-length album in 1985, Endless Pain, followed almost immediately (the next year) by Pleasure To Kill. The thrash has flowed ever since as one classic after another was brought forth. It has been five years since the last studio album Gods Of Violence and fans are chomping at the bit for more hair-raising metal. The band is founders Miland “Mille” Petrozza (vocals, guitar) and Jürgen “Ventor” Reil (drums), joined by long-time member Sami Yli-Sirniö (guitar) and relative newcomer Frédéric Leclercq (bass).

There are ten songs and an intro piece, “Sergio Corbucci Is Dead,” on Hate Über Alles, and it breaks out in a dead run on the title track right after the calming ramp. This is Kreator from the first note – a careening juggernaut hellbent on its objective. Blast beats, a commanding bass line, Petrozza telling you the score, and, of course, the blazing, blistering guitar shreds.

Every song is a powerful statement made in metal. “Crush The Tyrants” slows the tempo a bit but keeps in all the heavy. “Strongest Of The Strong” has a melodic take while “Conquer And Destroy” begins with a reflective cadence and inserts battering passages along the way to make its point. “Midnight Sun” employs the beautiful voice of Sofia Portanet to deepen and shade the thrash that surrounds her.

My favorite tracks come toward the end of the album. “Demonic Future” is a dizzying construct with a melodic chorus that ensures the song cannot be forgotten. “Dying Planet” is the final song on the album, and the longest one as well. It feels like the biggest, too, and not just because of its length. The weight of the composition, its tone and theme, and its resolving moments are poignant. This album is going to be a big one for Kreator fans, and it reaches across the aisle to anyone who wants to join in the pit. Recommended.

Hate Über Alles is out now through Nuclear Blast Records in an array of variants and formats.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://kreator.bandcamp.com/

Website, https://www.kreator-terrorzone.de/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/KreatorOfficial

Nuclear Blast Records, https://shop.nuclearblast.com/en/products/sound/cd/cd/kreator-hate-ueber-alles.html

© Wayne Edwards

Kreator, Hate Über Alles (Nuclear Blast 2022)

Max & Iggor Cavalera, Warbringer, and Healing Magic at The Vogue, Indianapolis, June 6th 2022

Heavy metal giants Max & Iggor Cavalera brought their show to Broad Ripple on Monday. The feature act was neo-thrash metallers Warbringer and Healing Magic opened the show.

Healing Magic is a duo from Arizona comprised of Igor Amadeus Cavalera on guitar and vocals and Johnny Valles on drums. It is amazing, truly incredible in fact, that such a full and complete sound can be created live by only two people. Roaring psychedelic riffs and astonishing percussion filled the club and got the crowd whipped up for the evening ahead. I have seen two-man acts before, but none could hold a candle to Healing Magic.

Veteran thrashers Warbringer held the middle slot. Formed in 2004, Warbringer has an impressive catalogue of albums in their canon and a formidable roster of metal musicians who line the stage every night and deliver stunning performances. Front man John Kevill stalked the stage and the pit and the crowd, becoming one with the concert-goers and making the night one they would remember all summer. The hard-driving attack of the guitars along with the steady rhythm section and searing percussion had the house speakers swaying.

Max and Iggor Cavalera are luminaries in the heavy music world. Remembered first as stalwart members of Sepulchura, they continued to create new and compelling music without pause after their departure from that iconic band. As Cavalera Conspiracy, they released four riff-filled albums in ten years. Operating now as Max & Iggor Cavalera, they continue to answer the call from the legion of their fans.

On Monday at The Vogue they played Beneath The Remains and Arise straight through, and a couple of bonus tunes at the end. This tour is a celebration of the early days of Sepultura. Being there to hear it live again was an amazing experience. The influence and lasting impact of that band cannot be overstated. This tour will help keep the music alive.

The links below will connect you to more information on the bands and to photo galleries of Healing Magic and Warbringer for more snaps from the show. There are many dates remaining on the tour. Grab a ticket and go.

Photos by Wayne Edwards.

Links.

Max & Iggor Cavalera, https://cavaleraconspiracy.bandcamp.com/

Warbringer, https://warbringer.bandcamp.com/

Warbringer photo gallery at FFMB, https://flyingfiddlesticks.com/2022/06/11/photo-gallery-warbringer-at-the-vogue-indianapolis-june-6th-2022/

Healing Magic, https://www.facebook.com/healingmagicaz

Healing Magic photo gallery at FFMB, https://flyingfiddlesticks.com/2022/06/12/photo-gallery-healing-magic-at-the-vogue-indianapolis-june-6th-2022/

The Vogue, https://thevogue.com/calendar/

© Wayne Edwards

Max & Iggor Cavalera, Warbringer, and Healing Magic at The Vogue, Indianapolis, June 6th 2022

Photo Gallery: Healing Magic at The Vogue, Indianapolis, June 6th 2022

Healing Magic is on tour opening for Max & Iggor Cavalera and Warbringer. These photos are from their appearance in Indianapolis at The Vogue. Hit the link below for the full review and photos of the other bands.

Photos by Wayne Edwards.

Links.

Main FFMB article on the show, https://flyingfiddlesticks.com/2022/06/12/max-iggor-cavalera-warbringer-and-healing-magic-at-the-vogue-indianapolis-june-6th-2022/

Healing Magic, https://www.facebook.com/healingmagicaz

The Vogue, https://thevogue.com/calendar/

© Wayne Edwards

Photo Gallery: Healing Magic at The Vogue, Indianapolis, June 6th 2022

Photo Gallery: Warbringer at The Vogue, Indianapolis, June 6th 2022

Warbringer is touring with Max & Iggor Cavalera. These photos are from their appearance in Indianapolis at The Vogue. Hit the link below for the full review and photos of the other bands.

Photos by Wayne Edwards.

Links.

Full FFMB review, https://flyingfiddlesticks.com/2022/06/12/max-iggor-cavalera-warbringer-and-healing-magic-at-the-vogue-indianapolis-june-6th-2022/

Warbringer, https://warbringer.bandcamp.com/

The Vogue, https://thevogue.com/calendar/

© Wayne Edwards

Photo Gallery: Warbringer at The Vogue, Indianapolis, June 6th 2022

Kardashev, Liminal Rite (Metal Blade 2022)

The second full-length album from Arizona deathgaze band Kardashev is Liminal Rite.

Breaking ground in 2012, Karadshev is peopled by founders Nico Mirolla (guitar) and Mark Garrett (vocals), along with Alex Rieth (bass) and Sean Lang (drums), who both joined in 2019. With three EPs and the full-length album Peripety (2015) under their collective belt, the band now ventures forth on Liminal Rite. The style of music they play has received a variety of labels ranging from progressive metal to atmospheric deathcore and on to the catch-all post-metal. Most recently, deathgaze has been frequently leveraged as a description. As with most successful bands, the music of Kardashev has been growing and evolving with the passage of time.

There are eight principal tracks, an intro, and two interstitials on the new album. The story is spoken by drummer Sean Lang, and the music surrounds these establishing ideas. Talking about the narrative, Nico Mirolla says, “Liminal Rite explores how the past can both wound and seduce, leading us down a path of self-destruction. It’s an anecdotal tale from a fictional man’s perspective late in life on how perception and reality do not always coalesce. His experience tells a larger message of how our minds often create a false view of the past. Sean’s narration is him expressing the man’s perception and recollection of life. The failure of his memory, the nature of dementia, and how it plays into his experience are all encapsulated by the narrative sections.”

The music has a serious air about it, a sense that it is the result of a preponderance of manifest ideas that could not be contained. The spoken word passages begin on the first track, a short ramp into the blistering “Silvered Shadows” where percussion blasts and riffs rail against it all. Melodic vocals sweeten the harsh realities that are made solid by the growling, croaking singing that follows. The mixture is the paradigm throughout.

Stand-out tracks for me are “Lavender Calligraphy,” which is hopeful sounding and “Compost Grave-song,” which is the opposite. The final two tracks together run over twenty minutes, “A Vagabond’s Lament” and “Beyond The Passage Of Embers.” Taken together they lift my respect for this album, which was already climbing with each song that came before. The music here is challenging and exceptional, and not to be missed. Recommended.

Liminal Rite is out on Saturday, June 11th through Metal Blade Records. Examine the many varieties of physicals at the links below.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://kardashev.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/Kardashevband

Kardashev website, https://kardashevband.com/

Metal Blade Records, https://www.metalblade.com/kardashev/

© Wayne Edwards

Kardashev, Liminal Rite (Metal Blade 2022)

Monasterium, Cold Are The Graves (Nine Records 2022)

Cold Are The Graves is the new album from doom powerhouse Monasterium.

Hailing from Kraków, Poland, Monasterium is an epic doom band that formed in 2014. Up to now they have released two full-length albums, including their self-titled debut in 2016 and Church Of Bones in 2019. Known for grand and sweepingly dramatic doom metal compositions, Monasterium walks the world revealing dark secrets in a shroud of arcane mystery. The band is Michał Strzelecki (vocals), Tomasz Gurgul (guitars), Filip Malinowski (bass), and Maciej Berniak (drums).

There are eight compelling songs on the new album, beginning with “The Stigmatic.” Strzelecki’s voice is the pillar the guitar riffs surround, establishing an emblematic insistence that is returned to frequently throughout the record. The pace is measured and the rhythm is sturdy, granular. It is a bit like a doom version of a combination of Ronnie James Dio and King Diamond, told in a lower tone. “Cimmeria” follows and the pace accelerates. This song puts me in mind of 1980s era dark fantasy metal, reminiscent in some ways of early Fates Warning in its slower tempo moments. Excellent, pushing and surging metal.

“The Great Plague” brings us back to darker times, and structures its composition in a somber theatrical stance. “Seven Swords of Wayland,” on the other hand, has the feel of an adventure tale to it even as it retains a serious menace, rather in the manner of Iron Maiden, you might say, in their extended pieces. And then “Remembered” is completely different, with a sorrowful gentleness and the pervasive worry of loss.

“The Siege” marches out and “Necronomicon” angles the fear of eternal torment toward our visage. The danger seems very real in the listening, and the lead guitar work here is the most compelling so far. The album ends on the title track, the longest and most musically diverse piece of the set. The elements that define the band really come together here, from the solid doom to the elegant lead guitar to the stalwart vocals. This final song closes the curtain with a memorable flourish. Recommended.

Cold Are The Graves is out on Nine Records on Friday, June 10th. Check it out at the links below.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://ninerecords.bandcamp.com/album/cold-are-the-graves

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/monasteriumdoom

Nine Records, http://shop.nine-records.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Monasterium, Cold Are The Graves (Nine Records 2022)