Grotesqueries, Haunted Mausoleum (Caligari Records 2022)

Death metal band Grotesqueries present their debut EP, Haunted Mausoleum.

Grotesqueries was started by drummer Yianni Tranxidis, known for his work in bands like Black Mass, Garroted, and Gog. Well versed in a broad array of heavy music stylings, he focuses on death metal in the new effort with impressive results. Joining Tranxidis for the album are Brendan O’Hare (guitar), John Rainis (bass), and Mike Buonomo (vocals). The EP runs a sparse three tracks, but in those moments you can get a good feel for what Grotesqueries is capable of achieving. Let’s track-by-track this one.

“Flesh Prison” is a surging dirge of obliteration. It begins with a battering attitude, then turns to a short series of great hooks before settling down into a growling steamroller of a death metal song. At times sounding like the disturbed rantings of an unstable dark wizard, the music cradles the evil spark inside you.

“From Skin Into The Sin” hangs you on hooks and beats you with switches. There is charging quality to this track, as in an armed force on horses charging toward their foes. The groove moments are tantalizing delights while the vocals are relentless, insidious. The lead guitar break is harnessed chaos.

“Gortician” is muscular, like a rampaging gorilla jacked up into a white line fever. A third of the way through, there is a wind-down that serves to create tension more than relaxation, because you know this is not the way it ends so you get worked up wandering what comes next. Urgent slicing riffs break through and resolve your uncertainty.

This EP builds a strong foundation that points toward splendid possibilities for the future. Recommended.

Haunted Mausoleum opens to the public on August 11th through Caligari Records.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://grotesqueries.bandcamp.com/releases

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

Cailgari Records, http://www.caligarirecords.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Grotesqueries, Haunted Mausoleum (Caligari Records 2022)

Cryptum, Vile Emergence (Caligari Records 2022)

Joliet, Illinois’ own Cryptum bleed black on their new EP, Vile Emergence.

Cryptum came together very recently, just in the past couple of years. Their self-title demo was a solid declaration of straight-ahead death metal. The new EP has four tracks that stretch out more and give listeners additional perspectives to consider. The band is Kyle Pooley (drums), Carlos Santini (guitar), Mike Brilmyer (vocals), Trevor Cook (guitar), and Matthew Aguilar (bass).

Each song has an attitude all its own. Together they form a quadrangle, and they also, at the same time (in denial of accepted geometric principles), demonstrate a clear progression in complexity. You hear heavy weight doom along with steamrolling death metal and dark hooks that latch onto your skeleton and leave gnawing marks.

“Torrent of Infinite Time” is a threatening piece of heavy music. The riffs are crushing, the vocals demonic. “Volitional Sacrilege” extends the wickedness into new realms with a bit more tempo and deepened darkness. These first two make you believe there is something in the shadows. A tortuous lead crack and vile growl signals the end is near.

“Dead Celestial Bodies” gets down to business with a rapid, dirty rhythm and schizophrenic whorls that come and go. “Vile Emergence” is the final assault. The tone is serious, and the licks are violent. All gears are turning at fever pitch. This one is the closer and it’s the one you’ll hit replay on more than once.

I’m sold. These four songs are an excellent portfolio for fans to peruse. If you want an exercise, listen to this one first then take a few minutes to hear the band’s earlier demo. Comparing the two, you can see the roots and what they grew into with the new EP. Recommended.

Vile Emergence comes out on digital, CD, and tape through Caligari Records on February 24th.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://cryptumofficial.bandcamp.com/releases

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

Caligari Records, https://caligarirecords.bandcamp.com/

Cryptum, Vile Emergence (Caligari Records 2022)

Descent, Order Of Chaos (Brilliant Emperor 2022)

The new album from Descent is step forward in their heavy music campaign.

Order Of Chaos is the second full-length album from Brisbane, Queensland death metal band Descent, following 2018’s Towers of Grandiosity and a demo three years before that. The music they play is a brutal mesh of death metal, black metal, and hardcore. According to the Metal Archives, the band is Jim Dandy (bass), Anthony Oliver (vocals), Kingsley Sugden (drums), Brendan Auld (guitar), and Josh Kane (guitar).

I wrote a book (pseudonymously ) a few years back titled The Sequence Of Random Events so I appreciate the concept of Order Of Chaos. You think about it for a while and there is always a pattern in there somewhere and meaning can be ascribed. Alternately, the chaos itself might be the order, eh – that’s a brain-pulsing notion on its own. Of course it could just be that there is never any order and searching for it is a waste of time so you might as well embrace the chaos. Or … we could just listen to the music.

The punishing begins at the jump with “Tempest” and carries through on all eight tracks. The gravely rawness of the vocals is hammered home by the relentless percussion and rhythm. The riffs carry both a violent menace and a patterning groove. The lead guitar is like close-up knife work that makes an art of the carving. Don’t drop the needle on this one if you are not ready for the rumble.

My favorite tracks are “Fester” and “Safe.” The former has a hook with a wicked barbed that attracted my gaze and then would not let go. The latter track is the shortest of the set and it is just a hard straight shot to the face. The album shook the ice out of my beard and got my blood up. Recommended.

Brilliant Emperor Records releases Order Of Chaos on Friday, January 14th. Redefining Darkness has the CD and Caligari Records offers up the cassette.

Links.

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

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

Brilliant Emperor Records, https://brilliantemperor.bigcartel.com/

Descent, Order Of Chaos (Brilliant Emperor 2022)