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)

Gwar, The New Dark Ages (Pit Records 2022)

The mighty Gwar has returned to scorch the earth once again with their 15th album, The New Dark Ages.

Richmond, Virginia monstrosities of metal, Gwar, entered the universe in 1984. Prophetic year, wouldn’t you say? These costumed warriors have been entertaining fans with punk, hard rock, and metal music, and especially their stage performances, all these years. There have been changes along the way, including the devastating loss of founding member Dave Brockie in 2014. Through it all they have never faltered, and they continue now as strong as ever on the Black Death Rager World Tour.

What’s this band all about, you might wonder, if somehow you’ve never come across them before. Here is a snip of the bio from their Metal Blade Records page that will catch you up. “The story of GWAR is carved across the history of this barren and hopeless planet, but GWAR themselves are not of this world … their story begins in the deepest reaches of outer space. Long ago, the beings who would become the rock band GWAR were part of an elite fighting force, the Scumdogs of the Universe. For eons, they served as thralls to a supreme being known only as the Master. But one by one, each future member of the band earned a glaring reputation for being an intergalactic fuck-up. And so, they were banished, sent away on a fool’s errand to conquer an insignificant shitball floating in a dark corner of the universe: the planet Earth. Once here, GWAR shaped the face of the globe, destroying and rebuilding the natural world, and giving rise to all of human history. Aliens to some, gods and demons to others, our erstwhile Scumdogs fucked apes to create the human race, and this fateful unplanned pregnancy would prove to be truly disastrous!”

OK, but there is more. Each album is a new story with more adventures. The narrative thread to The New Dark Ages is even detailed in an illustrated missive. “The album concept is tied to a companion graphic novel, GWAR In the Duoverse of Absurdity, which will also be released by Z2 Comics on June 3rd. In the graphic novel the band are sucked off into an alternate universe to do battle with their evil twins and the specter of rogue technology.”

Besides the long arc of the album, each song has a story. “Berserker Mode,” for example. This is what the lead singer himself has to say about the song. “This is my origin story, about transforming into a drug-jacked unpredictable liability on the battlefield. But like me, it has a softer side, a tale of the struggle of becoming my authentic self…a sexy, multi-donged, vajazzzled, Viking cow beast known as…The Berserker Blóthar!!”

Never at a loss for words, Blóthar has this to say about “Motherfucking Liar,” one of my favorite tracks on the album. “This song is for anybody who’s sick of all the pieces of shit talking out of both sides of their mouth. Motherfuck a motherfucking liar.” Were truer words ever spoken? You decide.

There are thirteen songs on the album altogether, including the final epic “Death Whistle Suite.” It is rousing metal that can be used to get your adrenaline flowing, or can be a model for the way you live your life. Heh heh, maybe that live-your-life approach is not such a great idea. Either way, the music is filled with satire and loaded with great riffs and hooks. It is definitely engaging and entertaining.

You can listen to Gwar and take the middle ground. Some people could, anyway. When you see them live, however, you are either in or out because you cannot escape their overwhelming presence on the stage. Neither can you elude the lavishly shared fluids. For my part, count me in. Recommended.

The New Dark Ages is out now through Pit Records. You can get it just about anywhere, and hear it through the usual services. Put it in the queue on your way to their show, because live is the best way to experience Gwar.

Live photos by Wayne Edwards, Piere’s Entertainment Center, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 2022.

Links.

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

Website, https://gwar.net/

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

© Wayne Edwards

Gwar, The New Dark Ages (Pit Records 2022)

Primitive Man at The Monkey House, Winooski, Vermont, May 30th

Denver’s Primitive Man is on the road with Mortiferum, Jarhead Fertilizer, Body Void, and Elizabeth Colour Wheel. Spirit Possession joins in July for several dates as well.

The show at The Monkey House featured the first five bands, beginning with Elizabeth Colour Wheel. It takes a lot to describe Elizabeth Colour Wheel. They are a doom band, I would say, but their approach is unique. The lead singer wanders through the crowd during the performance some of the time – at other times she is playing the keyboard or lying on the ground. There is a great deal of stomping on stage, and shrieking can often be heard. I could go on, but you really need to see the performance live to appreciate it fully. There isn’t much like it out there.

Body Void is well known in Vermont. They are a doom duo, performing as a trio. Teetering on the funeral doom edge some of the time, slow ponderous riffs are abundant in their performance. Their latest album is Bury Me Beneath This Rotting Earth, housing four long tracks all running over twelve minutes each. Their live performance maintains the ambience of the studio recording.

The first thing you notice about Jarhead Fertilizer is the overwhelming assault of percussion that lands hard from the beginning to the end and at all points in between. Their music is a death metal / hardcore / grindcore slam that will shake you fillings loose. This was my first hearing of them and I was left wanting more.

Just when you think you can take a breath, Mortiferum hits the stage and really pins your ears back. Their newest album is Preserved In Torment, and it is a death/doom metal manifesto. I first heard this band on the split they did with Hyperdontia a couple years ago and I have been waiting anxiously to see them live ever since. They were incredible in every aspect. They have made my list of bands I will see whenever possible, and it is a short list.

The headliner stood in posture of contemplation. Primitive Man, touring their Insurmountable album, lived up to what the press has been saying about them. The new EP is exceptional (link to review below), and their doubtless execution of doom leaves you speechless when you witness it. The music seems to emanate from them as a primal force of nature; their instruments are as creatures themselves. Put yourself in their path and you will be changed.

The tour goes on through mid-July so there are many chances to see these bands in action. Don’t miss out.

Photos by Wayne Edwards.

Links.

Primitive Man, https://primitivemandoom.bandcamp.com/album/immersion

FFMB review of Insurmountable, https://flyingfiddlesticks.com/2022/06/01/primitive-man-insurmountable-closed-casket-activities-2022/

Mortiferum, https://mortiferum.bandcamp.com/

Jarhead Fertilizer, https://jarheadfertilizeroc.bandcamp.com/

Body Void, https://bodyvoid.bandcamp.com/

Elizabeth Colour Wheel, https://elizabethcolourwheel.bandcamp.com/

The Monkey House, https://www.monkeyhousevt.com/calendar

© Wayne Edwards

Primitive Man at The Monkey House, Winooski, Vermont, May 30th