Death metal is a very interesting sub-genre. It’s never easy to get into but, when you really sit and listen to some of the bands from that genre, you can hear some pretty amazing things. There is a real technical aspect to playing like that be it guitar, bass, drums or even “singing.” There is a band that is about to release their debut album that has really made me pay attention to the genre. I’d like to introduce you to Vitriol. This trio based out of Portland, Oregon, have made a record that is as explosive and ferocious as something that a band like Morbid Angel might release. The technical veracity that this band plays with along with the neck breaking savagery that is emitted while listening will have you wanting to listen again for the little things that you might have missed. The band which features Kyle Rasmussen (vocals/guitars), Adam Roethlisberger (vocals/bass) and Scott Walker (drums) proved on their 2017 EP “Pain Will Define Their Death” that they are not a band to miss. Their debit album “To Bathe from the Throat of Cowardice” (out Sept 6) is one of the most brutal and heaviest albums I’ve heard all year. I have a feeling that Vitriol will be a name many in the extreme metal circles will be talking about for a long time.
I love when bands combine genres and the end result is something that kicks ass. Not a lot of bands are able to pull it off especially when mixing progressive music with extreme metal but, Italy’s Destrage have become masters at it. The band formed in 2002 and have been making a name for themselves in the underground since their 2007 debut album Urban Being. The follow up The King Is Fat n Old further cemented Destrage as a force within the metal community. Their 2014 album Are You Kidding Me No was my first introduction to the band and from that point I’ve been hooked. This album saw the band really define their sound and take the heavy up a few notches while at the same time adding a bit of melody to separate themselves from the pack. The most recent album A Means To No End builds on what their previous album started. Destrage are bold and pummeling without losing their focus on the music. Do yourself a favor and delve into this great band.
There is a new force to be reckoned with in the extreme music circles. Hailing from Sweden, God Mother is here to leave you with a severe case of whiplash and change your perception of heavy music. God Mother was founded in 2012 Michael Dahlström (drums), Daniel Noring (bass) and Jonatan Lindgren (guitar). When they formed the band, they sought to combine their influences form hardcore, metal, grindcore and sludge. Until the addition of Sebastian Campbell (vocals) in 2013, drummer Michael Dahlström was the bands vocalist. God Mother have released 2 EP’s and one full length album (so far), that are a very take no prisoners heavy approach to what they do. Most recently though, while The Dillinger Escape Plan was touring through Sweden, they handpicked God Mother to be their support band for those shows. Then when it came time for South By Southwest, Dillinger guitarist Ben Weinman invited the band to be a part of his Party Smasher showcase at the event.
Now, God Mother are gearing up to unleash the fury that is their upcoming album Vilseledd. I’ve had the opportunity to hear this album and it is absolutely crushing and heavy in all the right places. You can just tell from the couple songs they’ve released that God Mother are here and are taking over. Even Ben Weinman has said “God Mother is an undeniable force majeure that demands attention like bands did in the old days, by just being that f—king good. Torch, officially passed!”
So do yourselves a favor and check out God Mother and all they bring to the table. Your ears and your CD/Record/Digital collection will thank you!
When I listen to heavy/extreme music one of the things that really gets my attention are the lyrics and rhythms. There is something truly hypnotic about a pummeling drum beat that hits you the right way. It’s as though that beat puts you in “the zone” and allows the listener to become engrossed by the waves of music coming at you. There is a band from Portland, Oregon called Shroud Of The Heretic that combines the ferociousness of death metal and the subtle undertones of doom metal. The lyrics touch on different topics such as mythology, the elements, and mysticism, providing an extra layer of darkness to their already heavy tones. The rhythm section of vocalist/bassist Thom and drummer Lauren is bursting with thunder and drive that makes you feel the intensity that is walloping in your ears. Their most recent album Unorthodox Equilibrium is a profound statement on where you can take death metal. Portland has quite the band on their hands with Shroud Of The Heretic. Take a closer look at this band!
A few months ago when The Dillinger Escape Plan came through town on their recent tour, they brought with them Cult Leader as an opener. I had really been looking forward to seeing them. After listening to their latest album Lightless Walk, I knew I was going to be in for a treat. Needless to say, their performance left me in awe, and inspired. Cult Leader is the type of band that will steal the show, and leave the audience in a state of astonishment.
Formed in 2013, following the break up of their former band Gaza, Anthony Lucero, Casey Hansen, and Mike Mason decided to continue to make music together. They then recruited Sam Richards to join them. After spending time working on new music and releasing two EP’s, Nothing For Us Here and Useless Animal, it was time for the band to begin work on their first full length. Lightless Walk was produced by Converge’s Kurt Ballou. The album is a righteous slab of metal, hardcore and punk with bits of ambiance properly placed to give the songs the proper dynamics they need to be powerful. With songs like “Great I Am,” The Sorrower,” “A Good Life,” “How Deep It Runs,” and “Lifeless Walk,” it’s no wonder that Cult Leader has become one of the best bands in the genre of heavy music. Their live performances are intense, aggressive and hypnotic. I highly recommend seeing Cult Leader when they come though your town.
Take a moment and expand upon your musical palate… Listen to Cult Leader!!!
Cult Leader- Lightless Walk:
Cult Leader- Live (10/30/16 @ The Regent Theater with The Dillinger Escape Plan):
There are certain genres of heavy music that most people just don’t get. In fact most people would give you “the look” if they heard what you were listening to. One of the best things about being into heavy music is the matter of not caring what people think about what you listen to. Which brings me to Scour. This band is a “supergroup” consisting of Philip H. Anselmo (Pantera, Down, Superjoint, etc) – vocals, Derek Engemann (CATTLE DECAPITATION) -Guitar, Chase Fraser (ANIMOSITY) – Guitar, John Jarvis (PIG DESTROYER) – Bass, and Jesse Schobel (STRONG INTENTION) – Drums. Their debut E.P. sounds nothing like their main projects. Their sound can be derived from influences of the ’90s Scandinavian black metal movement. The six songs that appear on the E.P. are nothing short of heavy, dark, and pummeling. The songs “Dispatched,” “Clot,” “Codes,” and “Tear Gas,” all exemplify what modern day black metal with a bit of thrash should sound like.
For all his faults and tendencies to put his foot in his mouth, Philip Anselmo, has delivered one of his best vocal performances on an album in some time. His ferocious growls and screams are right in line with how black metal vocals should sound. Musically this band is top notch. I for one would love to see them have time to really work together and create a full length album.
So if you are looking for something different and heavy, then Scour is what you need.
Solstafir are different breed of metal. Their unique blend of metal with beautiful melodies, psychedelic moments and a strong undercurrent of classic / hard rock strikes rough, rugged and cinematic as the climate of their native Iceland can be. The band has been around since 1995 and have released 5 full length albums, and assorted EP’s, and singles. The band started out as more of a black metal band and over the years have really evolved into more of a progressive post metal force. Their album “Masterpiece of Bitterness” released in 2005, got exceptionally good reviews almost everywhere and the band kept on making a good name for themselves with powerful live performances. Their followup “Köld” was released in early 2009 and like “Masterpiece…” it not only got exceptionally good reviews, but most critics also had a hard time putting Sólstafir’s music into a specific genre. Descriptions like“Sigur Rós goes metal!” were becoming really common as did band comparisons such as “Imagine if Nachtmystium, Alice In Chains, and Neurosis got hammered while listening to Entombed.” Their fifth full-length “Otta” released in 2014, is the next step in their evolution this four-piece adopted over the years. If anything their new album is a concept album that needs to be heard over and over to really grasp all that it has to offer. Solstafir are one of those bands that if you take the time to really listen to, you will come away with a greater appreciation for heavy music. It’s not your run of the mill garbage that is out there. These guys have real depth and truth to their music and it shows in each release they put out.