Defleshed, Grind Over Matter (Metal Blade 2022)

Defleshed have reformed and have created a new full-length album of blistering metal, Grind Over Matter.

Back when I first listened to Defleshed, I thought of them as a thrash band. Listening back on those albums from the 1990s, I can hear grindcore and death metal prominently as well. Whatever labels we might hang on them, the metal band from Sweden that is Defleshed was a major presence on the international scene in those days, but then in what seemed like the blink of an eye, they disappeared in 2005. Last year, the original core lineup got back together to record a couple of new tracks with the idea of including them on a vinyl boxset of their old material. The sessions went so well that what resulted was eleven new killer tracks that are collectively now known as Grind Over Matter. The band is Gustaf Jorde (vocals, bass), Lars Löfven (guitar), and Matte Modin (drums).

The album starts on “Bent Out Of Shape,” and with the opening notes we are immediately reacquainted with Defleshed. The heavy chop and pounding percussion is a feast for your ears and a strain on your throbbing jugular. Jorde’s vocals are as powerful as ever and the pace continues to be bewildering. The title track cranks next, and it feels like a sort of call to arms. It is “One Grave to Fit Them All” that seals the deal for me – I love this song with its hook and de-balancing act. The title of the album really sinks in by the third song, too, and I start to wonder how much longer can they keep this up. The answer is eight more songs.

The tracks are hard and fast, and on the brief side, running two or three minutes each, which is more than enough to get the job done. Every song has the ability to flatten you. I really like “Dear Devil” for its absolute ferocity and “Blastbeast” – I bet you can figure out why from the title. The closer, “Last Nail in the Coffin,” is a hard and sustained crack to the neck, a flurry of furious metal. If you are a fan of Defleshed then you are going really like the new album. This record is also the ideal gateway drug for new fans. Recommended.

Grind Over Matter hits the streets on Friday, October 28th through Metal Blade Records in a variety of formats. Choose your poison at the links below.

Links.

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

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

Metal Blade Records, https://www.metalblade.com/us/news/defleshed-announces-new-album-grind-over-matter/

© Wayne Edwards

Defleshed, Grind Over Matter (Metal Blade 2022)

Cabal, Magno Interitus (Nuclear Blast 2022)

Danish deathcore band Cabal release their darkly charmed album Magno Interitus.

Springing up not long ago in Copenhagen, Denmark, Cabal is a relatively new band. Their two previous long-players, Mark Of Rot (2018) and Drag Me Down (2020), had all the signs anyone would need to see that Cabal was a rising force and that it had the potential to erupt. The new album, it turns out, is as deadly as spewing lava.

The show starts with an excellent sentiment, “If I Hang, Let Me Swing.” It is noisy, and loud, and sounds a little like what might happen if Disturbed and Breaking Benjamin were smashed together in an industrial hardcore press. There is a lot of shouting and screaming. Clanging abounds, and spacy warbles enter and exit. It’s a situation. “Insidious” leans at first toward the black metal domain before crooking a groove. The title track, next, is a sinister whisper, a dark insinuation, that turns brutal fast and lifts your hide away. The pace is down shifted a bit even as the sentiment harshens and penetrates. This album is a raking.

If you are in the proper frame of mind, this music will affect you. Watch out for “Blod af Mit” because it has a strong industrial stance and a plying energy. Listening to “Like Vultures” is a lot like taking a beating. “Plague Bringer” might be the clearest statement of musical intent on the record, and, in any case, it is the final word so it carries weight. This is not a casual album. It is not something you can take lightly. If you have darkness inside you that needs getting out, this music might be your catalyst. Recommended.

Magno Interitus hits the street on Friday, October 21st through Nuclear Blast Records.

Links.

Cabal website, https://cabalcult.com/

Bandcamp, https://cabalcph.bandcamp.com/album/magno-interitus

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

Nuclear Blast Records, https://shop.nuclearblast.com/en/products/sound/cd/cd/cabal-magno-interitus.html

© Wayne Edwards

Cabal, Magno Interitus (Nuclear Blast 2022)

Languish, Feeding The Flames Of Annihilation (Prosthetic 2022)

Arizona deathgrind band Languish see the future in the now on their third album, Feeding The Flames Of Annihilation.

Tucson, Arizona’s Languish having been plowing the musical fields of destruction since 2014. After an early demo, they opened the gates of the end times on Extinction (2015). Pausing for a split with Oryx, they then handed the waiting the world Unworthy three years later. Their music is a blackened death metal brand of grindcore that is a short blade to your kidney and another to your throat. The music is fast, load, and hard, and it keeps on coming. The band is Sean Mears (vocals), Zack Hansen (drums), Ryan Bram (bass), and Matthew Mutterperl (guitar).

There are eleven exterminating tracks on the new album. “Manifesto” is the first egg cracked, and it is an all-out high-speed assault on your self. It is a defining pummeling, a kind of outline for the rest of the set with its growling and grinding. The song starts fast and stays that way. “Last Legs” has a more oppressive ideology at the beginning but just as much heavy throughout. Then “Ripped Remains,” in a way, is the objective combination of the two. The rhythm and percussion coalesce to form the heart of the songs, establishing the baseline devastation while the vocals and careening features color in the darkness.

You can hear doom lines now and then, like at the front of “Parasite.” You always know the speed is not far away. Slower moments create drama and depth and are a significant part of the whole. The eeriness of “Failed State” is a fine setup for “Feeding The Flames,” a song which could be the banner anthem for the album. This is a great set, and I am hoping to see tour dates for Languish pop up soon because I can’t wait witness them on stage. Recommended.

Feeding The Flames Of Annihilation is out now through Prosthetic Records. Listen to it at all the usual places and examine the physical possibilities at the links below.

Band photo by Pablo Vigueras.

Links.

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

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

Prosthetic Records, https://www.prostheticrecords.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Languish, Feeding The Flames Of Annihilation (Prosthetic 2022)

Abaddon Incarnate, The Wretched Sermon (Transcending Obscurity 2022)

Irish grindcore band Abaddon Incarnate release their sixth album, The Wretched Sermon.

Abaddon Incarnate started out in the early nineties, and even before that under a different name. They broke ground with black metal and death metal, evolving over time toward the grindcore side of the field. It has been eight years since their last long-player, Pessimist, and fans are more than ready for new music. The band is Steve Maher (vocals, guitar), Bill Whelan (guitar), Irene Siragusa (bass), and Olan Parkinson (drums).

There are thirteen tracks on the new album, mostly in the short and savage territory. To wit, “Rising Of The Lights,” which opens the show. It is bewilderingly aggressive at the jump, with screeching vocals and positively pummeling percussion. “Veritas,” at seventy-seven seconds, is even more to the point. It is amazing how much the musicians can pack into to such a compact delivery vessel, from the squealing guitar instantiations to the insistent pulsing bass, the music is designed to disrupt.

With so many short, fast, loud songs, you might worry they’ll all run together, but they absolutely don’t. “Gateways,” one of my top picks from the album, has a killer lead break and a dire, eerie atmosphere unique to it – no other track on the album sounds like it at all. “Parasite” breaks sour and twists you up while “Into The Maelstrom” is a slight of hand behind a dark veil that raises a sense of terror throughout. Great song. “Resurrected From A Mass Grave” has a delightfully caustic groove.

The brevity works to advantage, overall – get in, do it, get out. “Isolation And Decay” is a long piece that stands apart because of its size and, more importantly, due to its unique construction. The song contains a few movements and pace shifts, although the intent itself never dissipates even when the sounds move from valley to mountain to sea. The last word is “Silent Indifference,” and it takes the set out on a howl. Killer track.

If you haven’t heard Abaddon Incarnate yet, it is time to get with it. Start here, because this album will shake you up. Recommended.

The Wretched Sermon is out on Friday, August 5th through Transcending Obscurity Records. Touch the links below.

Links.

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

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

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

© Wayne Edwards

Abaddon Incarnate, The Wretched Sermon (Transcending Obscurity 2022)

Wake, Thought Form Descent (Metal Blade Records 2022)

Canadian death metal band Wake release their sixth album, Thought Form Descent.

From Calgary, Alberta, heavy music band Wake has built a career by being different, not just from other bands but also from their previous selves. Moving from grindcore and crust toward black and death metal, combining and fusing them, and adding whatever was right and deemed needed is a hallmark of Wake. Over the course of five previous long-players, a couple of EPs, and split, the music is as reliably earnest and unpredictable.

There are eight tracks on the new album. “Infinite Inward” opens like a melodic death metal song and travels on an arc that leads to more extreme environments. “Swallow The Light” has a rambler kind of feel to it in the opening bars, reminding me a little of Mastodon. “Mourning Dirge (Repose of the Dead)” completes the first triplet, sounding for all the universe like a battling starship in an uncertain scrap that could go either way.

After a transition piece, “Venerate (The Undoing of All)” leads the way into part two. The song is a big production with dramatic presentations throughout, pushing even more than the previous pieces, and that is saying something as, up to this point, the album has already been intense. “Observer to Master” plasters rage across the horizon, and then does it again, and then does it some more. “Bleeding Eyes of the Watcher” puts me in mind of sorcery and has me thinking the world is not what it seems to be on the surface. This is a steady one that climbs a mountain then explores the coastline on the other side. Unsatisfied, the music presses on to reveal horrors buried deep. That is where it leaves you. “The Translation of Deaths” is a short reflective cooldown.

I presumed this album would diverge from the previous one because the previous ones had done that very thing to their predecessors. The new album lived up to that expectation and, more than that, provided active entertainment, drama, and opportunities for introspection. Recommended.

Thought Form Descent is out through Metal Blade Records on Friday, July 22nd. Explore the possibilities at the links below.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://wakegrind.bandcamp.com/album/thought-form-descent

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

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

© Wayne Edwards

Wake, Thought Form Descent (Metal Blade Records 2022)

Ernia, How To Deal With Life And Fail (Transcending Obscurity 2022)

Spanish grindcore band Ernia release their second album, How To Deal With Life And Fail.

Formed initially from a couple of the members of Wormed, Ernia is a blasting grindcore band from Logroño, Spain that appears to value variegation, and perhaps chaos, in their musical compositions. Mainlining death metal into the grind framework and then cracking it in every direction has worked out for them. Following up on their self-titled debut (2016/18), How To Deal With Life And Fail might just be the ticket they are looking for because it is a major accomplishment. The band is Omar I. Sanchez (vocals), Gabrial Valcazar (drums, bass), Daniel Espinosa (guitar), and Daniel Valcazar (guitar).

There are thirteen tracks on the new album, all save one running under three minutes. “Farewell Sputnik” begins with a tinkle and a scream before moving on to flat out belligerence. “Q,” up next, has a very punk feel to it, and it goes out on a thrashing ravager ramp. Very nice. “Room Full Of Paper Cranes” is like a car that didn’t pass a state safety inspection going at a high velocity on a rough road until it breaks apart, with a nice little bass romp in the middle.

By now your senses are becoming a little frayed and you are only six minutes in. Suddenly, “Frustration Theory” brings the doom, and then “The Deer Chaser” pops it up for a while, making sure to slip in multiple chops and hacks. “Dharma” is a devastating deathpunk piece. “A Mute Florist” is a chainsaw in a beehive. It is one outlandish expression after another. The final song is the epic “Ikigai,” twice as long as any other on the album. It is surprisingly somber and sad in its first half, then otherwise after.

I am not sure what I expected from this album, but it definitely delivered – which makes little sense because I didn’t know what I was looking for. But there you have it. Recommended.

How To Deal With Life And Fail is out on Friday, July 22nd through Transcending Obscurity Records.

Links.

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

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

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

© Wayne Edwards

Ernia, How To Deal With Life And Fail (Transcending Obscurity 2022)

Morgue Supplier, Inevitability (Transcending Obscurity 2022)

Grindcore vaporizers Morgue Supplier hit back hard on their new album, Inevitability.

Paul Gillis (guitar, vocals) founded Morgue Supplier more than twenty years ago. Joined by Stephen Reichelt (bass), the pair assemble brutal death metal and grindcore designed to disturb your sense of self. Both are also in Drug Honkey, but the music here is off in a different direction. Over the years, Morgue Supplier has issued two previous long-players and a host of EPs. It has been six years since their last full-length, the aptly titled Morgue Supplier, so we have been standing at the barricade for a while now. It was worth the wait.

The album begins in chaos with “Absurd Identity.” The opening bars are scrabbling madness. A beat and riff becomes discernable eventually, then it comes and goes. The vocals are the howls of a gored bull and the hiss of a diabolical serpent that is being crushed to death. The music is sorrow and suffering juxtaposed with active violent aggression and surrounded by confusion. “Closing In” comes next and is more linear, at least to begin with. It does its own share of twisting and curling amidst the screams, miasm, and turpitudes. “Empty Vacant Shell” completes the first triplet with a strangling odyssey of retribution.

An ominous transition piece brings us to the second triplet. “My Path to Hell” has a fairly clear narrative and “Existence Collapsed” lowers the doom on doleful listeners. The most impressive song on the record for me is “Thoughts of Only Darkness.” Clocking in at over eight minutes, the epic nature of the track allows for more development of musical ideas. It is a journey, but not a labyrinth – you begin to feel how it is going to unfold as you progress and you become part of the darkness. The title track is the cooldown piece at the end, offering closure but no hope. This album is loud and noisy metal that will leave you bruised. Recommended.

Inevitability is out on Friday, May 13th through the irrepressible Transcending Obscurity Records. Have a look at all the related merch and variants available for this release and I am sure you will be satisfied. Links below.

Links.

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

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

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

© Wayne Edwards

Morgue Supplier, Inevitability (Transcending Obscurity 2022)

Nequient, Darker Than Death Or Night (Nefarious Industries 2022)

Chicago hardcore band Nequient release their second full-length studio album this week, Darker Than Death Or Night.

You’ll see Nequient described as a hardcore band or maybe a death metal band. The press release declares the band’s music to be from a variety of wells, and that the band draws “influences from a broad spectrum of aggressive styles including grindcore, crust, sludge, death metal, black metal, and noise rock.” That covers a lot of ground, and it absolutely rings true. Wolves At The Door (2018) was Nequient’s first long-player, and I think the new one is even better. The band is Chris Avgerin (drums), Keenan Clifford (bass), Patrick Conahan (guitar), and Jason Kolkey (vocals).

The first track is a rampage, “First Casualty.” It sets the bar very high right at the jump. The chaos of “Worshippers of the Apocalypse” is what I imagine being gargled in Satan’s colon might be like; so to, “Consensual Hallucination.” The ragged rawness of these tracks is enough to make your gums bleed. The intensity and rapidly shifting off-angle attacks are a true aural battering. But this manner of music isn’t the only look you get, even if it does predominate. “Minotaur” is a gloriously doom-ridden landscape of mountain-high walls past which you cannot see the sun. “Wrongs” does this a bit, too, but with a more active brand of gloom.

The number one track for me comes near the end, “Bootlicker.” Here the emanations are barely contained. At many points along the way it seems like the music might burst apart into a ball of fire. “Golden Age of the Grift” is the kiss goodnight, and it is more of a kidney punch than a peck on the cheek. Nequient has put together one of the fiercest albums I have heard this year. Recommended.

Nefarious Industries will release Darker Than Death Or Night in multiple formats on Friday, March 18th and you can preorder it now.

Band photo by Nicolas Côté.

Links.

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

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

Nefarious Industries, https://www.nefariousindustries.com/

© Wayne Edwards. All rights reserved.

Nequient, Darker Than Death Or Night (Nefarious Industries 2022)

Cryptivore, Celestial Extinction (Bitter Loss Records 2022)

Australian one man band Cryptivore rakes the earth with Celestial Extinction, the inaugural long-player.

Brisbane’s own Chris Anning handles all the instruments, including voice, for his project Cryptivore. Five years ago he released a demo called Unseen Divinity, and now we have ten new songs. There isn’t any inherent reason why one person cannot take on the complete burden of creation and performance, except that it is a lot to do – it’s an enormous task. Sometimes it turns out well and other times you really miss the third party perspective collaborators provide. In the case of Cryptivore, the end result is excellent and engaging death metal. Well done.

The ten songs on Celestial Extinction all fall in the two-to-three-minute range, and brevity is an opportunity for high impact. “Gate Of Dismal Torture” is an excellent example. Clocking in at just over two minutes, it has great hooks and is able to stimulate suspense with tempo changes and unexpected punches. The track the follows immediately, “The Ethereal Deceased,” has a convincing doom intro followed by a catchy hook then pressed on by a forceful death metal verse. There are many looks on this album – it is full of exploration.

The elements in the music are clear enough to see. The best part about the music is the way Anning combines them and puts his own unique flair and sensibility in the mix. The first bars of “Solemn Desolation” are like a call to dark meditation and that gets almost immediately juxtaposed with a ravaging death metal torrent but then on the way out there is a cooking groove. I got into this album immediately and stayed with it all the way through, from the opening wails of “Cocoon Hecatomb” to the closing dramatic bars of the anchoring title track. Recommended.

Celestial Extinction is out on March 15th through Bitter Loss Records on digital, CD, and vinyl.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://bitterlossrecords-au.bandcamp.com/album/celestial-extinction

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

Bitter Loss Records, https://www.bitterlossrecords.com/

© Wayne Edwards. All rights reserved.

Cryptivore, Celestial Extinction (Bitter Loss Records 2022)

Transcending Obscurity 2022 Label Sampler (2022)

Here it is, the official preview of the upcoming year in heavy music from Transcending Obscurity Records: the 2022 label sampler.

An independent record label headquartered in India, Transcending Obscurity has been quietly growing in catalogue and international reach since its inception in 2005. Now, albums from them routinely hit the top ten annual lists in every heavy music corner of the world. If you are a regular reader of this column then you know a lot about them already because I write about TO all the time as they have been one of my favorite records labels for many years. I reviewed twenty-five of their albums last year for Flying Fiddlesticks – more than any other, nudging out even Ripple Music in the stats.

Hit the links below to see the full contributor list. Bandcamp is the easiest route and that is the place to pick up the collection itself for free. To give you some idea of how it all breaks down, here is the categorization provided by the label for what is included in the sampler: Tracks 1-12 – death metal; Tracks 13-15 – black metal; Tracks 16-30 – dissonant/ brutal/ atmospheric/ experimental death metal; Tracks 30-33 – grindcore; Tracks 34-35 – doom/ sludge metal.

You can tell the music is tilted in the death metal direction, but whatever persuasion of heavy music fan you are, there is a metric ton of music here to enjoy. There are many familiar names on the roster – Wombbath, Lurk, Veilburner, Replicant, Imperlialist – and many more I know less about that I can’t wait to hear. The sampler is massive, and it is free.

You cannot go wrong with Transcending Obscurity. I have been an avid follower of the label for a good long while and I never miss an album they put out because I know the quality is going to be there. Count on reading about many of the records as they come out this year and, meanwhile, grab the sampler and hear what you are in for. And if you like merch, you cannot do better than the product line Transcending Obscurity offers. Highly recommended.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://transcendingobscurity.bandcamp.com/album/label-sampler-2022

US Store, https://transcendingobscurity.aisamerch.com/

Main Website, https://tometal.com/

Transcending Obscurity 2022 Label Sampler (2022)