Blasphematory, The Lower Catacombs (Nuclear Winter 2022)

New Jersey death metal band Blasphematory drive up the demons on their second album, The Lower Catacombs.

Blasphematory came together by happenstance, the story goes. After compiling a demo, they released the full-length Depths of the Obscurity as a duo in 2019. Expanding the line-up by fifty percent, the sound honed in to what we hear today on the new album. It is classic death metal with notable doom leanings and an ear for perpetuity. The band includes veteran musicians Joe Aversario (bass, guitar, vocals), Chris Warhead (drums), and Tom Deceiver (guitar).

Seven savage tracks make up the new set. “Cruciform Shadows” begins with what sounds like a warning – a creepy, warbling ramp that peels off to reveal the shaggy darkness behind the veil. “Unclean Eulogies” is transportative, welling up in deliberation and with purpose, and slow-stomping the black earth with massive musical paws. “Key to the Furnace” steps back a touch, lays in on the grind then ramps up the tempo. This opening triad shows clearly the world you have ventured into by dropping the needle.

There is much to admire in every corner of this record. “Perpetual Despair” is heavy doom, sounding very much like it indeed comes from the lower catacombs. It is my favorite track on the album, the crushing hopelessness is what appeals to me. “Flooded Graves” has a feeling of deep mystery to it in the melody and in the rumbling percussion. And then there is the title song. “The Lower Catacombs” is the longest track and the anchor to the set. You feel the weight of the world – and the underworld – descend upon you from the very beginning. New looks and perpetrations roll over you as the music continues, and you want it all to happen. The guitars are mournful and unrepentant. The vocals deep and unwelcoming. The music is murky dank darkness. Recommended.

The Lower Catacombs came out on Friday the 13th through Nuclear Winter Records on digital, CD, and vinyl. You can get it now.

Links.

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

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

Nuclear Winter Records, https://nuclearwinterrecords.com/shop/

© Wayne Edwards

Blasphematory, The Lower Catacombs (Nuclear Winter 2022)

Cognitive and Hath at the E Street Pub, April 26th

There was a Midwest metalfest this week at the E Street Pub when Cognitive and Hath showed up.

Cognitive

Hath and Cognitive, both death metal bands from New Jersey, are on tour for a few weeks, hitting venues from New York to Chicago to Atlanta. On Tuesday night, they rattled the brick walls of the E Street Pub in Richmond, Indiana.

Hath went up first. They released a new album in March, All That Was Promised (Willowtip Records), and they are on the road carrying those new songs to the waiting world.

Hath
Hath
Hath

Cognitive has been laying down the metal for more than a decade. Their catalogue boasts four fierce long-players, including the newest, 2021’s Malevolent Thoughts of a Hastened Extinction (Unique Leader Records). In the past few months, Cognitive announced they have signed with Metal Blade Records, and I bet that means a new album is not far off.

Cognitive
Cognitive
Cognitive

Check out the links below for music and merchandise. Cognitive is on the road right now with Hath and Inoculation through May 8th. See the tour poster for cities and dates.

Photos by Wayne Edwards.

Links.

Cognitive, https://www.indiemerchstore.com/collections/cognitive

Hath, https://hathnj.bandcamp.com/album/all-that-was-promised

E Street Pub, https://www.facebook.com/estreetpub

Unique Leader Records, https://uniqueleader.indiemerch.com//collections/cognitive

Metal Blade Records, https://www.metalblade.com/us/news/metal-blade-records-welcomes-cognitive/

Willowtip Records, https://willowtip.bandcamp.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Cognitive and Hath at the E Street Pub, April 26th

Fit For An Autopsy, Oh What The Future Holds (Nuclear Blast 2022)

The sixth full-length album from Fit For An Autopsy makes a move in the intensity direction.

Jersey City deathcore band Fit For An Autopsy began in 2008 and released their first album, The Process of Human Extermination, in 2011. Four more long-players followed, most recently The Sea Of Tragic Beasts (2019). The band has reshaped itself over the years, keeping a steady and growing fan following all the while. The musicians are Joseph Badolato (vocals), Patrick Sheridan (guitar), Timothy Howley (guitar), Will Putney (guitar), Peter Blue Spinazola (bass), and Josean Orta Martinez (drums).

The new album is not as abrasive as some of its predecessors. It is loud and intense, and it crackles with an unexpected poignancy. Fans will hear Fit For An Autopsy loud and clear in every song, and newcomers to the fold will experience a somewhat broader umbrella.

“A Higher Level Of Hate” is a stand-out track. It starts out with unusual percussion, driven by hand. Coarse, screeching lurches into the mix from both the voice and the guitars and it never turns back – offering abatement only toward the end, but it isn’t real. “Savages” is another one I especially liked for its persistently stabby nature and the killer bass line. If you let this one knock you down you will have a hard time getting up.

The exit door is marked “The Man That I Was Not,” and it is a parlor of mystery. At times melodic and at other times brazenly harsh, this long piece is a well-executed choice for the set’s anchor. I can’t wait to the band them tour with this material. I expect they will get rave reviews and a roaring reception. Recommended.

Oh What The Future Holds drops on Friday, January 14th through Nuclear Blast Records.

Links.

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

Website, https://fitforanautopsy.co/

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

Nuclear Blast Records, https://shop.nuclearblast.com/en/products/sound/vinyl/lp/fit-for-an-autopsy-oh-what-the-future-holds-orange-vinyl-import-.html

Fit For An Autopsy, Oh What The Future Holds (Nuclear Blast 2022)

Replicant, Malignant Reality (Transcending Obscurity 2021)

New Jersey Death Metal extremists Replicant hit hard on their second album, Malignant Reality.

Replicant is a trio. They released their first recording in 2016, the EP Worthless Desires, following it up with a long-player two years later, Negative Life. There has been more since then, enough to whet the appetites of fans and wind up their cravings for a longer course. And here it is now: Malignant Reality. The musicians are Mike Gonçalves (vocals, bass, and guitar), Pete Lloyd (guitar), and James Applegate (drums).

Let’s begin at the beginning. In “Caverns of Insipid Reflection” the vocals are often reminiscent of the excruciating emotion of an animal caught in a trap from which it cannot escape. The general dissonance of the compositions and the jarring juxtapositions of the melodic with the noise further the disorientation the listener experiences. “Relinquish The Self” is next and it is a bit more linear but, never fear, it has more than enough crooks and splits to fragment your understanding of what is going on. This song continues directly into “Excess Womb” in a sort of draining extension leading toward a proper stop.

The approach established early in these first three tracks continues, with innovations and explorations cantankerous enough to surprise even the most jaded. Even on the anchor piece, “The Ubiquity Of Time,” unlikely events occur. Quiet at first, like a demented lullaby, the guitars kick you hard in the teeth a couple of minutes in and the vocals grind you up. There is no tactic of evasion that will be successful; there is no escape. Once you start you will be there until the end.

Listening to Malignant Reality is a disturbing and upsetting experience. Recommended.

The new Replicant album is out on Friday, September 10th from Transcending Obscurity.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://replicantband.bandcamp.com/album/malignant-reality-dissonant-death-metal

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

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

Replicant, Malignant Reality (Transcending Obscurity 2021)

Monster Magnet, A Better Dystopia (Napalm Records 2021)

Monster Magnet comes out with a cover album of psychedelic songs you have probably never heard before.

The legendary Monster Magnet was formed in New Jersey on the cusp of the nineties. Creating an innovative fuzzy sound that sparked memories of the psychedelic past, Spine Of God (1991) and Superjudge (1993) are now classics that set the stage for the popular success of Dopes To Infinity (1995) with the radio hit “Negasonic Teenage Warhead.” Best remembered in the mind of society afterwards for Powertrip (1998) and Mastermind (2010), Monster Magnet has always created music on their own terms. The band is founder Dave Wyndorf (vocals) along with Phil Caivano (guitar), Garret Sweeny (guitar), Alec Morton (bass), and Bob Pantella (drums).

You never know for sure what the next Monster Magnet album is going to be like. The Last Patrol came out in 2013 and then the very next year the band released a “re-imagining” of that album, Milking The Stars, with substantially altered arrangements. Then in 2015 Mastermind got a make-over with Cobras And Fire in a similar fashion. Mindfucker (2018) was tailored for the wild turn the world took in 2016 and now we have A Better Dystopia, a collection of covers that many fans will be entirely unfamiliar with. Consider this: Is it a cover tune to the listener if they never heard the original?

An odd choice, this album, but a bold and brilliant one. Drawing mainly from psychedelic-styled work from a by-gone era, the songs chosen by Wyndorf and crew have a contemporary resonance. Some of these were new to me and are genuine deep pulls. Here is the track list to marvel at: “The Diamond Mine” (Dave Diamond), “Born to Go” (Hawkwind), “Epitaph for a Head” (J. D. Blackfoot), “Solid Gold Hell” (The Scientists), “Be Forewarned” (The Macabre), “Mr. Destroyer” (Poo-Bah), “When the Wolf Sits” (Jerusalem), “Death” (Pretty Things), “Situation” (Josephus), “It’s Trash” (The Cave Men), “Motorcycle (Straight To Hell)” (Table Scraps), “Learning to Die” (Dust), and “Welcome to the Void” (Morgen).

The song that interested me most was Dust’s “Learning To Die.” I love Dust and this song in particular has always been one of my favorites. Like all the music on this album – and every album by Monster Magnet – energy and passion blazes through no matter the tempo or perspective. Expect fuzzed-up heavy psychedelic stoner rock. First listen to this album all the way through, then go out and dig up the originals. It is a trip comparing the new versions with the way-back-whens. Highly recommended.

A Better Dystopia is out now in myriad forms to please each and every one of the people of the Earth.

Links.

Napalm Records, https://www.napalmrecordsamerica.com/monstermagnet

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

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

Monster Magnet, A Better Dystopia (Napalm Records 2021)