Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Hungarian brutal death metal, veerrryyy interesting, Gutted is the only Hungarian band that I am currently aware of. I haven’t even been listening to these guys for more than two months and I already love them. They have been around for over 10 years now (making this album ten years old!), and yet they still remain obscure and unknown to the majority of us metalheads. I feel that Gutted deserves a lot more attention than what they are currently getting. I don’t know a whole lot about them and their history, so I don’t know how much media attention they’ve gotten (if any). There are so many brutal death metal bands out there (I’ve recently found out), and a lot of them suck! Some examples would be Orchidectomy, Biological Monstrosity, pre-2010 Waking the Cadaver, Sadistic Mutilation, The Eye of Yoda, and Let this Die (who should do exactly what their name says). Gutted is one of the brutal bands that has spoken out to me saying “We are not shit!!!!” After hearing this album once, you will compulsively play it again and again.

Even though I’ve been talking about pure brutal death so far, these guys like to shake things up a little and throw some grindcore here and there and every once in a while they’ll pull off a breakdown. Considering that this album was made by an extremely unknown band in 2001, the production and sound quality is outstanding. I guess the prices on recording equipment went down in the late 1990s. The overall skill of the musicians and…what’s this? Exhaled vocals?? Now that’s not something that I hear very often in underground brutal death! And not only that, they’re guttural and deep! Oh man I must be dreaming!! (Maybe I’m exaggerating a bit) But still, it’s not as common as you think. They have one of the much better vocalists in the genre, and I’m glad that they’ve kept him too.

Their drummer doesn’t do traditional blast beat drumming. He have some fast kickdrum action going on though. His drumming consists of almost constant kickdrumming and really technical and abstract use of the rest of the set. I do wish that the kickdrums had more of a punch instead of having a clicking sound (a lot of albums have this problem). The bass guitar is also too high-pitched, I can’t hear very much of the deep tone coming out of the bass as I would like to. I’m a bass player myself, and I’m also a bass junkie, so I’m truly satisfied when there’s lots of it in the music I listen to.

I feel that this is Gutted’s best album. Their second album is just as good, but showed some lack of focus, and their most recent album is still very satisfying, but isn’t nearly as juicy and unique as Defiled. Anyone who has not heard of this band and is a cool person should either listen to this album at least three times or buy the damn thing! This album gets 17/20. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ezophagothomia-Instinct of Inhuman Devourment

Ezophagothomia means…….I don’t know…I’ve looked far and wide and haven’t found it. It’s probably just a made up word that sounds like something you’d find on a Suffocation album. This is though definitely one of the best brutal death pieces I’ve heard since the release of Ingesting Putridity by Visceral Disgorge. For those of you that haven’t noticed already, I’ve been doing a review series where I’ve been reviewing albums that are part of the recent wave of brutal death metal with bands such as Disentomb, Vomit the Soul, Devourment, Bloodboil, Pathology, and Putrid Pile. So far, this has been one of the much better albums.

These guys come from the European country of Ukraine, which has produced some excellent bands such as Moloch, Drudkh, and Fleshgore. Ezophagothomia was around for a few months about two or so years ago. They got back together in late 2009 and went through lots of frequent lineup changes. As obscure of a band as they may appear to be, they have played at numerous festivals around the world and have even gone on some tours as one of the opening bands. So they haven’t been doing all that bad for a young brutal death band.

I think that I should let you know that I’m a huge fan of Mortal Decay. I love them, saw them live in California and was blown away by the band and the crowd’s obvious support. And those of you that have already checked this album out already know why I’m mentioning this. They have done a fantastic cover of a song off of Mortal Decay’s debut full-length. The band also lists Mortal Decay as their biggest and most prominent influence, which isn’t something I’ve ever heard before.

The intro makes it sound like you’re listening to an album by The Faceless, but that all goes away when it gets into the second song. The vocalist made me laugh. Why you ask? Because he sounds like he drank too much Coca-Cola before the recording! My favorite kinds of growls are super deep exhaled gutturals, which is far from what this is. Now I’m not saying that his vocals are absolutely distasteful, I’m saying that I would put Demon Carcass in this band instead of this guy if I could.

The overall production of the album is really good considering how underground these guys are. The musicianship is good, but they could use to be tighter though because the timing is sloppy in some parts. I think that with a little more practice, and some improvements on the part of the musicians would really make this band’s potential soar. So my overall opinion is that this album is great, but there is room for improvement that can be easily reached within a year or two. This gets 16/20. 

Devourment-Unleash the Carnivore

I’ve known about Devourment for quite a long time. But I never really looked them up until I saw their logo on the shirt of the vocalist for Cerebral Bore. I’ve been aware that Devourment’s popularity has been gradually increasing over the years, and has gotten to the point to where they are headlining shows. So I figured why not? So for those of you who aren’t familiar with Devourment, they’re from Dallas, Texas and have been around since the mid 90’s. I have also heard from numerous places that they are one of the most brutal bands of all time. And the only way for me to believe that is to hear it for myself.

The first track took me by surprise. I have never heard such a brutal explosion in my life. And in order for you to know what kind of “explosion” I’m talking about, click the YouTube link at the bottom of the review, it’s not something that won’t surprise you. These guys are chaotic to the point to where it’s worse than Skinless and Cattle Decapitation (which is saying a lot!). The amount of brutal bands in my collection has been rapidly expanding since my discovery of Disentomb’s debut album in late 2010. I got this album about in the late summertime in 2011, so I’ve been listening to Devourment for a couple of months.

My favorite musician is definitely their drummer. He is one of the craziest and most chaotic drummers in the history of mankind. He has one of the fastest blastbeats, and he’s one of the most creative and inventive death metal drummers in history. He has a big drum set, and he uses all of it in every single song. It should be obvious to anyone that he knows what he’s doing and that he means business.

The vocalist is really good too. He does really deep inhales that sound like he’s inhaling more gently, which will lengthen the time it takes for his throat to get fucked up. Just to let you all know, I know that inhaled vocals are bad for you; there is no “right” way to do inhales like there is with exhales. I rarely like the sound of inhales, and don’t get me wrong, doing a pigsqueal every once in a while isn’t gonna hurt you at all, it’s when you have inhales as your primary vocal style where you’ll get screwed over within 4 years if you do it enough. So I’m not a huge supporter of the whole inhaling thing, but I can’t control what other vocalists do.

The vocalist is also the guy who mixed and produced the album. And he did a damn good job at it too. There isn’t anything that’s overpowering and drowning out the other instruments. The vocals are a little quieter than everything else, but it sounds really good though. This is one of those albums where the drums are what drive the music. The drums sound fantastic, I love that whispy sound that he has on the symbols and…actually pretty much the whole drum set.

This album is extremely impressive. The amount of brutality of this album has made it so far that there are only a handful of other albums that can match it. I will definitely be ripping things apart in the pit the next time these guys come to Seattle. This album gets a solid 17/20.

Brutal Music Review Series

The next five or so reviews that I will be doing are going to be some of the most brutal music out there. I have already started with a review of Disentomb's debut album. I will also be doing reviews of Visceral Disgorge, Ezophagothomia, Slaughterbox, Vomit the Soul, and Gutted.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Disentomb-Sunken Chambers of Nephilim

Before late 2010, the only brutal death bands I listened to were big names like Cryptopsy, Nile, Suffocation, Aborted, and a couple of underground bands such as Insision and Intestinal Strangulation. Here’s the path that led me to Disentomb: I ran across the album Couldn’t tell the Bodies Apart by Awaiting the Autopsy, got curious on where it came from, looked up the record label, found Amputated Vein Records, and Sunken Chambers of Nephilim was the most recent release they had posted. Amputated Vein Records has some of the best and most brutal music out there. They have continued to impress me with bands such as Bloodboil, Evisceration, Pathology, Eden Beast, Visceral Disgorge, Carnal Disfigurement, Guttural Engorgement, and most recently, Cerebric Turmoil. But out of all of those, Disentomb is my favorite by a long shot. They have impressed me to the point to where I bought their CD and shirt from Amputated Vein (which is from Japan, so it took about a month to get to my house in the western U.S.A.). And here’s a cool thing that I bet most of you didn’t know, All Shall Perish released their debut full-length under Amputated Vein! They later went on to re-release Hate.Malice.Revenge under Nuclear Blast.

I would call this traditional brutal death. I don’t know the whole “slamming” thing that I hear other brutal music fans talking about, I guess I’m still pretty new to the brutal/gore/grind scene. But I feel that I have enough knowledge and experience with the genre to say that this album is pretty damn amazing. This is one of the fewer underground brutal bands that are very tight and on time; the music is performed sloppily and it’s obviously been practiced well. The drummer is very good; he is a great kick-drummer and has a unique blast beat that really focuses on the snare where he has taken the buzz off. That’s another thing that I like about the drummer, he took the buzz off the snare drum, but it doesn’t sound annoying like in Preverse Recollections of a Necromangler by Waking the Cadaver.

I guess I wish that I could hear the bassist more often (being a bass player myself). Their vocalist does super deep inhaled growls (which is what initially grabbed my attention). I will admit that their guitarists aren’t really anything special; but they at least have what it takes to play the kind of music that they play. Their vocalist’s lyrical themes are mainly gore/violence oriented, but he expresses a large vocabulary, unlike some uncreative lyricists.

Disentomb really expanded my appreciation and interest in the underground brutal death scene. I have since come to discover other awesome bands such as Ezophagothomia, Gutted, Gortuary, Brutal Truth, General Surgery, Wormrot, Gridlink, Devourment, Cerebral Bore, Deeds of Flesh, Vomit the Soul, and Putrefy. This album has blown me away with its sheer brutality and musicianship. Those of you fans of BRUTAL music that haven’t heard this album, LISTEN TO IT! This album gets 19/20. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Germany, the heavy metal capital of the world. Home of the biggest and highest attended metal festival in the world, the Wacken Open Air festival and home of some of the genre’s biggest legends such as Destruction, Kreator, Accept, Heaven Shall Burn, Helloween, Necrophagist, Sodom, and more recently, Obscura. Being a huge technical death fan, these guys are very high on my list, and not only that, they’re coming to Seattle this Friday where I will hopefully see them if I can get a ride. For those of you who are still new to the tech death world, Obscura is way up there with Atheist, The Faceless, Decapitated, and The Black Dahlia Murder. It’s surprising how quickly bands gain high status in such a short amount of time. Sometimes it gets to the point where they go on headlining tours having other seemingly bigger name bands opening for them. For example, The Faceless is about to release their third album, and to support that album, they’re going on a headlining tour with DevilDriver and Dying Fetus opening for them! I’m most surprised about DevilDriver, because I saw a show headlined by them where Suffocation was one of the opening acts!! Now that I’m done rambling on, let’s turn our focus back to Cosmogenesis.

I’ve only been listening to Obscura since last summer, so I would imagine that there are a lot of you out there that are way more familiar with the band than I am. I have though, listened to this album countless times to the point where I’ve practically memorized all of the songs and most of the lyrics. Obscura relates to tech death band Decapitated because of one thing, most of the technicality lies within the drums and the bass. I noticed that on YouTube, their drummer had posted a couple of videos of him just soloing endlessly, and it fucking blew me away. He has one of the best blast-beats I’ve ever heard. The whole band overall is very tight and together, they work together as a team to make the best out of the random notes that they put together (ha!).

Now here’s something you probably didn’t know about me: I play bass, and not just any bass, I play a fretless bass. That’s right, a fucking fretless bass. And Obscura’s bassist plays a 5-string fretless bass that I would die for, and he plays it so good and is obviously so connected to it that I think he’d have my head removed if I did so much as touch it. But that aside, I’m pretty sure he’s a really cool guy, just like every other awkward metal bassist out there.

Their vocalist has a really unique growl. It’s not like Corpsegrinder’s growl, where it’s deep but with a high-pitched sort of whistling sound. It’s more like he’s trying to go deep, but he’s unintentionally growling two octaves higher than he wants. But don’t think I’m ripping on him, because I love the sound of his vocals. Their lyrical themes fit in the science fiction area right with bands like Dystrophic, The Faceless, Decrepit Birth, Rings of Saturn, Atheist, and many others within the realms of technical death metal. I just recently noticed that my favorite lyrics typically lie in this science fiction themed area.

For those of you that have read this far and still don’t understand what my opinion on this band is, THIS BAND IS AMAZING AND WILL GO FAR. There is one thing that I wish this band would do differently, and that is to get progressive and do something new, because this whole science fiction themed technical death metal is starting to become a little too common. So I feel that Obscura is among the group of mature and intelligent bands that will move on and progress before they get caught up in the flow and become sheep. This album gets 19/20. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cipher System-Communicate The Storms

This is Part-2 of my Cipher System review series where I am reviewing both of their albums. First, I would like to say that before you listen to this album, give their first album a listen so that you can have an idea of their musical history. So they released Central Tunnel Eight in 2004. The album got rave reviews (by the few people that reviewed it) and had minimal sales. They went on a few European tours and one Asian tour as an opening band. In 2006, the band split with their record label and disappeared for almost two years. In 2008, the band surfaced announcing that they had written their new album and had an album cover for it and were currently on the hunt for a permanent lineup and a record label to release the album on.

I can still remember the morning when I was checking up on my favorite record label, Nuclear Blast. I check up on them every once in a while to see any recent signings or any updates on any of the bands. This time I noticed that the name Cipher System had been added to the bands list. This was a huge surprise because we hadn’t heard anything from the band in almost three years. I’ve always felt that they are worthy of being on the Nuclear Blast roster and had always hoped to see their name on the website.

The band then said that they had found a label and had found a solid lineup and were going to start recording immediately. A little over a month later, the album was inside my mailbox (I pre-ordered it).

The first thing that I noticed was that they had gotten a new vocalist…one that is a lot better. Their first vocalist was amazing, but Karl blew me away. His filthy, high-pitched growls fit the music perfectly, and his singing voice is comparable to Christian Alvestam, the former vocalist of Scar Symmetry. The best example of his singing would be in the title song, which is also my favorite song on the record. Cipher System has also evolved their sound in many different ways.

First of all, they don’t have as much of an angry, aggressive sound. They’ve shifted
their sound to one that relates to many other melodic death bands like Scar Symmetry, Before the Dawn, and Dark Tranquility. They’ve gotten more melodic, and also have more colorful guitar and bass riffs. They still have most of the traditional Cipher System sound, but they’ve done what I expect every band to do, and that is to evolve, grow, and mature. Cipher System has also started adding in breakdowns in almost all of their songs. There aren’t very many other melodic death bands that do this other than In Flames and Soilwork.

The album kicks off with an astonishing track titled 7-inch Cut. This song has a really difficult bass line which actually takes the lead part in most of the song. Other favorites of mine are Forget to Forgive, Project Life Collapse, God’s Terminal, and The Stairway. All of the songs on this album are purely amazing. This album is a thousand times better than Central Tunnel Eight. I look forward to the time when they come to visit the United States.

Cipher System-Central Tunnel Eight

I have been meaning to review this album for quite some time now and since their second album has just been released, I decided that I should do a 2-part review series of both of Cipher Systems albums. So this is part-1: Central Tunnel 8. I first heard this album when I was in my early death metal stages. I was borrowing CDs from the library of any metal band I could find. I would say that this was happening from 2007-2009. So I probably got a hold of this album in early 2008. And before any of you jump on me for not supporting the band, I HAVE bought the CD (both of them actually) to show my support for them, because this album is nothing short of amazing.

I know that everyone goes through the stage when they first start listening to the death metal area to where anything that’s heavy and loud is awesome. And after a few years, you start to be able to tell the difference between a good and bad metal band and start to develop a taste for certain kinds of metal. I was listening to these guys during that stage where I was impressed by anything that had screaming/growling and distorted guitars. So now I’m writing this review almost four years later, and I think even better of it than I did when I was in middle school.

I would have to say that my favorite member of this band is their keyboardist. The album kicks off with a really low tone that shifts into the keyboardist playing the lead guitar part before any of the other instruments start playing. He also does the outro track, which is actually my favorite track off the album. The outro has a really atmospheric and melodic sound that actually shifts into a really upbeat/happy mood. I would highly recommend listening to it even if you’re not much of a fan of the really softer stuff. I’m pretty sure that none of you have heard of this guy, but this outro track really reminds me of the new age stuff done by Patrick O’Hern (most of you probably haven’t heard of him).

The most well-known track off of this album is Hours Left, which is also my favorite actual song on this album. Another thing that I think I should mention is that this isn’t super melodic like the majority of melodic death bands out there. Most of the melody actually lies in the parts that the bassist and the keyboardist play. But on songs like C.S.I., Sufferstream, and the end of Hours Left, there’s a really atmospheric vibe.

This album is amazing, I’ve always loved it. I would highly recommend listening to this album before listening to Communicate the Storms so that you have an idea of their original sound. This gets a perfect score.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Rings of Saturn-Embryonic Anomaly

I stumbled upon Rings of Saturn last summer on Spirit of Metal. I don’t remember exactly how I did, but I can remember that the name seemed really cool so I looked them up. Now I’m a huge tech death fan. And unlike some, I do appreciate the really crazy stuff like The Faceless, newer Decrepit Birth, and Brain Drill. My first tech death band was The Black Dahlia Murder (not too uncommon for most people). After that, I didn’t really discover any other tech death bands until 2009/2010 when I found bands like Arsis, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Decrepit Birth, The Faceless, Decapitated, Embryonic Devourment, and many others. But Rings of Saturn, they’re a completely different kind of technicality.

The first song I hear by them was Seized and Devoured. The song sounds like a broken arcade machine. I really didn’t like it, I thought I could handle the most technical music, but I had no idea this was even possible! I assumed that they used a drum machine and keyboards as the guitars. So I listened to the rest of the album and hated it, but for some reason I kept it on my computer.

Months had gone by and pretty soon, school started. I saw a flyer up for a show with a lineup of bands that I couldn’t possibly miss! Headlined by Decapitated, whom I had to miss when I went to 2010 Summer Slaughter because I had to leave early, so I HAD to go see them. The opening bands were Decrepit Birth, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Funeral Age, Rings of Saturn, and Blood & Thunder (an amazing local Seattle melodic death band). I’m already pretty familiar with all these bands except for Rings of Saturn. I gave the album another listen, and was greatly impressed. I saw them live at that show, was amazed, and instantly bought the CD.

Now I know that there are bands out there that actually try to be the fastest and most technical band in the world, and make really fast and technical noise that has no creativity, is just random notes being played as fast as the musicians can, and has no tempo. That’s what I initially thought of Rings of Saturn until I watched them perform in front of me. They are actually very tight and together, their bassist is amazing and plays a custom-made 7 string bass, and their vocalist is one of the best and deepest growlers I’ve ever heard.

I think I should say that their music isn’t constant high-pitched technicality. Although the words “tame” and “slow” don’t apply to any aspect of Rings of Saturn’s music, it’s not constant technicality. One of the unique things that Rings of Saturn does that isn’t common in the technical death area is slow and outstanding breakdowns, the kind that is found in deathcore. There is one breakdown in just about every song, so if you listen to at least four of the songs, you’ll know what I mean.

Their lyrical content is the signature science-fiction themes found in many bands all throughout the technical death genre. In case you were curious, some of the bands that also use that theme are Decrepit Birth, The Faceless, Dystrophic, and Origin. Rings of Saturn tends to stick to the extra-terrestrial/alien invasion side of things with a twist of blood and gore themes.

Overall, this is actually quite an impressive piece of work. I will warn you that it might take some getting used to. The album cover is pretty amazing and the band logo is one of the most creative I’ve seen in a while. My favorite song off this album is definitely Corpses Thrown across the Sky. This record gets 15/20.