Blasphemous Creation, Beyond The Grave (HPGD 2022)

Reno’s Blasphemous Creation re-records four classic tracks on Beyond The Grave.

Blasphemous Creation is a death metal / thrash metal quartet centered in Reno, Nevada. Since 2009 they have been handing fans a steady flow of full-length albums jam-packed with searing metal. The new EP is a blast from the past. The band has gone back to the early days from 2006-2009 and cherry picked four of their favorites to re-record and re-celebrate.

“Diabolical Kingdom” is a high-speed invocation. The vocals are grumbled and run so quickly you have to put your ear into it to get it all. The lead guitar is a whirlwind, a bladed assassin’s weapon that has you down before you even know it has hit. “Beyond The Grave” has percussion that seems to be beating directly onto your defleshed skeleton. This song is a ravaging in every sense of the word. The guitar here is speedy and sour, with more than enough bite to make you squeal. There is an extended groove passage in the middle that is completely unexpected, and it rolls back into speeding metal with little concern for your equilibrium.

“Shadows Of Evil” is creepy, as the title implies it should be. Don’t worry, though, because the gleeful pummeling and the hooks are in here as well, along with shocking moments of belligerence. The final track is “Black Winter,” and it is my overall favorite of the four. It contains all the elements I like about the band, and they are executed with insistence. The darkness combined with the groove is a beautiful thing. Recommended.

Beyond The Grave is out now through Horror Pain Gore Death Productions. Bandcamp is the quick place to pick it up.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://hpgd.bandcamp.com/album/beyond-the-grave

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

Horror Pain Gore Death, https://www.horrorpaingoredeath.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Blasphemous Creation, Beyond The Grave (HPGD 2022)

Stricken, From A Well Of Emptiness, A Stygian Serpent Born (HPGD 2022)

Heavy doomers Stricken shake the Seattle mist off to throw out a new long-player, From A Well Of Emptiness, A Stygian Serpent Born.

Stricken materialized in the Pacific Northwest around 2017, releasing a three-song demo the following year. Sometimes described as blackened doom metal, their music sounds more like a death metal / doom metal crossover to me – but what’s in a title anyway? The songs are heavy and grim in the best possible way. The Metal Archives tells us the musicians are Rob Ropkins (bass and vocals), Chris Wozniak (drums), and Nick Charlton (guitar).

Over the course of seven big tracks, Stricken puts suffering, misery, and hopelessness to music. To wit, the aptly titled opener “Consuming Misery” is an avalanche of mourning. Surprisingly peppy percussion channels the heavy riffs into a primordial swirl. “Divine Appointment” follows with shuddering drama. Ropkins’ vocals are strong, and project a soaring quality. You have to admire the consistency and enthusiasm of the pummeling rhythm.

“Sacrifice” is the heaviest song of the first side, and that gives it an elevated position in my mind. I can’t get enough doom, and this one lays down three strong merciless minutes of it then picks up the pace a bit and steamrolls on.

Every track has something particularly notable about it from the great buried hook in “Eon” to echoing tragedy of “Dishonored In Death” to penetrating inevitability of “Sudden Fall.” The closer is the epic “Beyond The Void,” hoisting metal heavy enough to smother any remaining resistance from you. This new Stricken album needs to be in heavy rotation. Recommended.

From A Well Of Emptiness, A Stygian Serpent Born is out on Friday, March 25th through Horror Pain Gore Death Productions on digital and limited-run CD. You can also grab a shirt if the spirit moves you.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://hpgd.bandcamp.com/album/from-a-well-of-emptiness-a-stygian-serpent-born

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/stricken.seattle

Horror Pain Gore Death Productions, https://www.horrorpaingoredeath.com/

© Wayne Edwards. All rights reserved.

Stricken, From A Well Of Emptiness, A Stygian Serpent Born (HPGD 2022)

Beldam, Live At The Golden Pony (HPGD 2021)

The live album from sludge masters Beldam is an historical artifact of doom and despair.

This is one from the archives, recorded live at The Golden Pony in Harrisonburg, Virginia on January 8, 2017. Beldam is a band that started out in Charlottesville, Virginia and has moved around since then. In a mere three years they released two impressive albums, Still the Wretched Linger (2016) and Pasung (2018). The new one was captured in between these releases and completes a menacing triptych.

There are five looming tracks on the album. The first three are from Still the Wretched Linger, “The Foundling,” “From Grave To Cradle,” and “Needles.” From the opening bars that rise over the cheering crowd you get an intimate feeling of being in the room surrounded by the dark energy. The weight of the guitar and impenetrable bass is immense. The warbling, wandering lead guitar and searing vocals press the air from your lungs in the opener, and the music only gets heavier from there. The pace ranges from dead slow and absolutely crushing to pounding and assertive — the latter is particularly notable on “Needles.”

The two final pieces originally appeared on Pasung, so they are being performed here to promote that album. “Vial of Silence” sounds like it was recorded in a torture chamber that never closes.

“That Which Consumes You” identifies the burdens of life that wear on us and tells the story in an eerie, dank kaleidoscope of torment. It is an experience.

I would like to hear more music from this band but if the internet is to be believed, the future is uncertain. We do have the two studio albums and now this live musical artifact. Recommended.

Live At The Golden Pony is out now from Horror Pain Gore Death productions on CD and digital.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://hpgd.bandcamp.com/album/live-at-the-golden-pony

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

Horror Pain Gore Death Productions, https://www.horrorpaingoredeath.com/

Beldam, Live At The Golden Pony (HPGD 2021)

Covered In Sores, Civilian Casualties (HPGD 2021)

Covered In Sores release a new compilation of their early demos, Civilian Casualties.

Covered In Sores is a Grindcore/Death Metal band from Philadelphia. Earlier this year, they released an EP, Putrescent Hind-Sight, after a steady stream of demos in the years leading up to it. Now you can look back to the beginning and see where all the rampaging started with Civilian Casualties.

The new compilation includes Militaristic Cannibalism (2018), Blown To Bits (2019), and Evil Experiments (2020). These demos had six tracks each, and they are all on Civilian Casualties. What kind of music are we dealing with here? The press release calls it “sadoballistic guerrilla Deathgrind.” That pretty much sums it up.

Most of the songs run right around a minute long, with only three crossing the ninety second mark. Listening to them, then, is like getting punched in the face by an invisible fist. The perfect example is the lead song, “Fatal Bacteria.” Landing at exactly one minute, it is a blistering compressed combination of screaming, percussion, and rapid-fire riffing.

The music changes up with alternating compositional arrangements – the occasional lead break and tempo shift, now and then a bridge. There is the periodic mid-tempo passage but mainly look for shrieks and breath-stealing pace.

You can hear a difference from one demo to the next. My favorite set of six is Blown To Bits, and I really like “Krokodil Tears,” “Funeral Ambush,” and “Sucking Chest Wound” from that demo. The third demo is the most aggressive and off-the-hook of the bunch, so you have that to look forward to. If you don’t already hold these demos in your collection, grabbing the compilation is a no-brainer. Recommended.

Civilian Casualties is out on Friday, July 30th from Horror Pain Gore Death Productions. Bandcamp has the goods and/or you can check out HPGD’s site.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://hpgd.bandcamp.com/album/civilian-casualties

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

Horror Pain Gore Death Productions, https://www.horrorpaingoredeath.com/

Covered In Sores, Civilian Casualties (HPGD 2021)

Exsanguination, Spectral Hymns (HPGD 2021)

Massachusetts Death Metal act Exsanguination presents Spectral Hymns, the band’s first long-player.

Not much is known about Exsanguination – at least not much yet in the usual places. The band’s first EP came out last year, and there have been several singles as well. The new one is the first full-length album to hit the streets. The music is Death Metal, and it lies on the groove and riffy side of the street. There are many clever twists and quirks that make Exsanguination’s style easily recognizable.

The Spectral Hymns album includes four new tracks and gathers six previously issued ones as well. The new tracks are “Martyred,” “Mortal Wounds,” “Revenant,” and “Blasphemous.” It is convenient to have the singles and music from the earlier EP collected here, and naturally it is the new music that is the big sell.

“Martyred” has a nearly two minute instrumental lead in that bangs well and good before the vocal growls show themselves. It is the perfect way to kick off the set, highlighting the musical style and song-writing approach. Vocals are a smaller part of the compositions for Exsanguination than they are for many bands that might otherwise seem similar. “Mortal Wounds” is instrumental in its entirety, and “Revenant” has another long lead-in, as does “Blasphemous.”

If you have been following the band in its new career you might have already heard the compiled tracks, but if not here is another chance. Stand-outs are “Lords Without Thrones,” “Tombs of the Blind Dead,” and “Blood Ocean.” The more I listen the deeper this music sinks in. The slowdowns and accelerations are planned to turn your attention rather than shock you, and the doom-heavy moments are perfectly compatible with the up-tempo segments for this reason. Everything comes together like perfectly fit stones of an ancient wall built by a lost civilization. This is a great album. Highly recommended.

Spectral Hymns is out on Friday, June 11th. CDs and digital are available at the links below.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://hpgd.bandcamp.com/album/spectral-hymns

HPGD, http://www.horrorpaingoredeath.com/index.html

Exsanguination, Spectral Hymns (HPGD 2021)

Necronemesis, Some Things Should Remain Underground (HPGD 2021)

The first full-length studio album from Necronemesis is a milestone in the long career of the Death Metal band.

The band is from Puerto Rico, and they started out back in 2000. Over the years their style and approach evolved toward Death Metal, and the title did too until it landed on the current Necronemesis. In 2005 they released a demo under the same title as the new record, and then an EP in 2008. The recording front has been mostly quiet since then until the present. According to the Metal Archives the band is Raymond Flores (drums), NecroJay (guitar), Angel David (vocals), and Sigfredo “Pirulo” Machado (bass). Rick Rozz (of Death fame) is reported to have played on this album as well.

There are seven tracks on Some Things Should Remain Underground. The music is an old school brand of Death Metal and the mix has a DIY feel to it with the percussion going a little poppy and the levels somewhat discordant – the result gives the album a sense of being recorded live.

“Cranial Disfigurement (By Fist)” winds you up from the jump with speed and aggression. When the vocals start it catches you by surprise – in a good way. Not the typical sound for this type of band, the singing gets your attention with its gruff mid-range presentation and occasional Black Metal hisses. A short lead guitar break slides in and there is a plenary scream toward the end to push the conclusion. The next song is “They Live In The Attic” and it features a more schizophrenic path that takes your balance away. And then the third track is another altered state all its own. The set keeps you guessing.

The highlights are “Horrorpit” for its absolute reckless abandon and the title track for its insistent darkness and sheer relentlessness. This album has a lot to admire and I hope we get more music from Necronemesis preserved in a permanent form so we can come back to it over and again. Recommended.

Some Things Should Remain Underground is available on Friday, June 4th from Horror Pain Gore Death Productions.

Links.

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

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

Horror Pain Gore Death, http://horrorpaingoredeath.com/

Necronemesis, Some Things Should Remain Underground (HPGD 2021)

Led To The Grave, Pray For Death (HPGD 2021)

Massachusetts Death Metallers Led To The Grave come out swinging on their first Horror Pain Gore Death Productions release.

Led To The Grave’s origins stretch back to at least 2007 with their self-titled demo. Since then there have been many more recorded artifacts, including two full-length albums, most recently Bane of Existence (2017). They have signed with HPGD now and metal fans will be glad for the easier access to the band’s music, which is a smash of Death Metal and Thrash that would melt a stone cold hunk of iron.

There are two songs on the EP. First up is “Pray For Death,” a rousing ripper with a catchy, progressing riff that opens up space for the growling vocals and peppering drums. The song is fast but not super-speedy and it ends with a bang.

“No Salvation” spins at you like an expertly thrown bladed weapon. There is a siesta in the middle that walks you right into the charging second half. It is a savage ride that will raise your blood pressure and get your fists punching in the air. These two songs are an inspired metal pairing. Recommended.

Pray For Death is out today. Look on the Bandcamp page or at HPGD’s website to order cassettes, digital, CDs, t-shirts, and all. After you hear these two songs you are going to want more. While you’re waiting for future music releases to materialize, check out the band’s Bandcamp page where you can get the earlier music to hold you over.

Links.

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

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

HPGD website, http://www.horrorpaingoredeath.com/

Led To The Grave, Pray For Death (HPGD 2021)

Monnier, Monnier (HPGD 2021)

Grindcore duo Monnier sign with Horror Pain Gore Death and release a compilation to the wider world.

Jasper Swerts (instruments) and Makiko Suda (vocals) are Monnier. They have issued two EPs, Monnier (2018) and EP2 (2020), collected here for ease of acquisition. The music is hard cracking grindcore, and it gets under your skin.

The sixteen songs contained in Monnier rarely break the two minute rule. They are raging, savage attacks, all of them. Titles like “Writhe In Agony,” “Excruciation,” and “The Abyss” give you a pretty good idea of the themes. But then “grindcore” gives you a pretty good idea of what you are in for, too, doesn’t it.

The titles of the second set of eight tracks are in Japanese, and they are written in the usual combination of kanji and hiragana, which I can’t read. There is no preemptive expectation this way. You can definitely hear a difference between the first half and the second; between the two EPs. I wouldn’t say that one is better than the other, but there are different emphases, in the percussion especially.

What I like about this music particularly – and what makes it different from the usual tumult – is what happens in between the dissonance and the roar. The hooks and riffs, the musical progressions. These are the elements that make you want to listen to the music rather than just hear the sound. Monnier does these things in rare and compelling ways.

The compilation is out on Friday, April 23rd so get yourself together before then. Recommended.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://hpgd.bandcamp.com/album/monnier

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

Label, http://www.horrorpaingoredeath.com/

Monnier, Monnier (HPGD 2021)

Mortify, Grotesque Buzzsaw Defilement (HPGD 2021)

The new EP from Mortify will punch you into unconsciousness with Grindcore madness in less than 10 minutes.

Mortify is Ryohei Kikuchi (drums), Takuya Koreeda (guitar), and Adam Jennings (vocals). After demos in 2017 and 2019, they followed up with the full-length album Stench of Swedish Buzzsaw that holds twenty songs with a running time of ten minutes. They are on the same trajectory with the new one, Grotesque Buzzsaw Defilement, that has thirteen songs in under ten.

So what do we know? Mortify is a fairly new band that plays short, blazing Grindcore with a buzzsaw through-line. OK. Ready to go.

If we do the math here, these songs are going to be less than a minute for the most part. The shortest is twenty five seconds, pushing the envelope on the idea of a fully realized stand-alone concept. Mainly, they are getting in and getting out quick, with a blistering pace and destructive attitude.

My favorite tracks are “Flesh Creep,” which is a thirty-five second doom song that opens the set, and “100 Rats,” a beautiful horror story that shreds all surroundings and has a catchy riff. “Mangy Mutts” and “Deviant” also spoke to me because of the guitar riff in the former and the oppressive, weighty shots in the latter. I’d love to see the band perform this entire album live, straight through in a sweaty, claustrophobic club. That’d be great.

If you are not into commitment but you are a fan of fast, loud, and aggressive music, this one is for you. Recommended.

Grotesque Buzzsaw Defilement is out on Friday, April 2nd from Horror Pain Gore Death Productions. Hit the Label Bandcamp link below for the download, CDs, and merch in the US.

Links.

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/Mortify666/

Bandcamp, https://mortify666.bandcamp.com/album/grotesque-buzzsaw-defilement

Label Bandcamp, https://hpgd.bandcamp.com/album/grotesque-buzzsaw-defilement

Label, http://www.horrorpaingoredeath.com/

Mortify, Grotesque Buzzsaw Defilement (HPGD 2021)

Coffins, Defilements (HPGD 2021)

The new compilation from Japan’s Coffins scoops together nearly two hours of out-of-print musical pieces from across almost ten years of work.

Coffins has an astonishingly long list of releases dating back to 2000 including splits, EPs, live albums, LPs, compilations … you name it. The music is a Death/Doom Metal amalgam that takes a grind-you-down approach to melody. The Metal Archives lists the member as Uchino (guitar), Satoshi (drums), Jun Tokita (vocals), and Masafumi Atake (bass).

Defilements gathers together materials from five EPs that have been out of print for a while: Craving To Eternal Slumber (2015), Noise Room Sessions 2014 (2016), March Of Despair (2012), Sewage Sludgecore Treatment(2012), and Live At Asakusa Deathfest 2016 (2017).

It is out now, and you can get the digital, CD, and merch at Bandcamp. If you missed a couple of these beauties when they first appeared, now is the time to make amends. It will press the pain right out of your brain. Recommended.

Links

Bandcamp, https://hpgd.bandcamp.com/album/defilements

Website, http://www.coffins.jp/

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

Coffins, Defilements (HPGD 2021)