Metalheads are suckers for nostalgia. The very root of its subculture is framed as defenders of a faith that upholds a purity of metal. This did not begin with neckbeards arguing in the comment sections or message boards about what metal is true or false, it came from the earliest days when bands were hosting “anti-disco” shows into the eighties when Thrash bands set themselves against the glam rockers of the Sunset strip that spilled over into parking lot fisticuffs. Continue reading
Autopsy is a band that understands itself. Like spiritual death metal brethren Cannibal Corpse, the band has core musical, thematic and visual staples you can almost always depend on (the poo-chomping album cover of Shitfun being an outlier). Think Autopsy, think the evil, Black Sabbath-inspired tri-tones, pulverising percussion, slow, menacing crawls blended with charging gallops, malevolent guitar lines, bowel-loosening bass, squealing bursts of lead guitar and rasping vocals, all tied up in a bloody bow of bodies being monstrously torn to pieces.
To be perfectly frank, the biggest issue with Static Abyss’ Aborted from Reality (Peaceville Records) is that they decided to release the album the same year as Obituary’s recent destroyer, Dying of Everything. It’s been a consistent thorn on the side of Chris Reifert and Greg Wilkinson for quite some time as Obituary has always outshined their most well-known project, Autopsy, as well.
With the first release in eight years, Norway’s Dødheimsgard return armed with a reputation for the abstract and the almost absurd. Formerly a more pure Black Metal act, 1999’s seminal 666 International saw the band broaden their sonic palette to incorporate a widening range of styles within their sound, often incorporated in sudden ways as opposed to fluidly throughout, with 2015’s return, A Umbra Omega, receiving plaudits and adding to their cult following.
Hellripper is the one-man retro Blackened Thrash metal project from Scotland’s James McBain, who has been purveying his retro sounds since 2014, releasing a number of EPs including debut The Manifestation Of Evil (2015) and Complete And Total Fucking Mayhem (2016) before dropping the full-length Coagulating Darkness in 2017.
Chris Reifert (Autopsy, Death) and Greg Wilkinson (also Autopsy, Deathgrave) combined bring sixty-one years of experience to the death-metal scene, the former since 1985 and the latter 1998. It’s only fitting that the two would not only come together to form a new band, but to also unleash an album that immediately sounds simultaneously old-school and deep-rooted.
It has been thirty years since drummer / vocalist Jonas Renske and Anders “Blackheim” Nyström began a musical journey that would see them evolve from a studio-only project exploring their darker musical tastes to becoming one of the most respected purveyors of melancholic and post-Gothic music; always evolving with each album, embracing Gothic and progressive metal, and always distinctively Katatonia.
According to reports from Decibel and Metal Sucks, Peaceville Records founder Paul “Hammy” Halmshaw is terminally ill with a heart condition and needs help to cope with his condition from fans, and peers. There is a crowdfunding campaign launched via JustGiving. Peaceville has given the world albums by such legendary musical acts as Katatonia, Autopsy, Darkthrone, Paradise Lost, and My Dying Bride. Hammy, who is now 56 years old, was recently diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, a hereditary, terminal condition in which the heart muscle becomes weakened and enlarged. “As a result, the heart cannot pump enough blood to the rest of the body,” according to MedlinePlug.gov.
The reignited interest in distinctly eighties-sounding metal styles, and more specifically, the thrash revival of the 2000s, has brought with it a handful of blistering new acts, alongside a slew of respectable releases from its originators. However, as a general scene, it has also suffered from a lack of innovation and compositional creativity. Often bands of this scene are perfectly content to just emulate classic sounds long-established by Sodom, Kreator, Venom, Bathory, and Slayer. Oftentimes, I find it a dull guessing game of which thrash bands are being ripped off whenever I listen to these bands. But there are nevertheless a handful of acts that in addition to paying tribute to the old guard’s sound manage to capture that fury, excitement, and blasphemous spirit of heavy music during the proto-extreme metal era. James McBain, the singular creative force behind Hellripper, clearly loves the style of first wave black metal and Teutonic thrash but is also creative enough to blend them to create something that sounds completely fresh. The result here is The Affair of the Poisons (Peaceville Records), a sophomore effort to the more straightforward Coagulating Darkness, and a release of blackened thrash/speed metal fury that will leave you yearning even more for a destructive live experience in 2020.Continue reading