I couldn’t make up my mind. Was it a brutal death metal kind of week or a crossover thrash kind of week? I’m feeling both so here are my two pick’s for this week:
SWINE OVERLORD Parables of Umbral Transcendence (Gore House Productions)
I usually don’t lean this far into the brutal death metal genre, but the tracks on this album are so well executed, I can’t help but appreciate the effort. It’s heavier than osmium (look that shit up on the periodic table) but has a gutturally melodic appeal. I’m having a hard time picking a favorite, but don’t take my word for it. Listen!
CROSS EXAMINATION Dawn of the Dude (Organized Crime Records)
Holy fuck, CROSS EXAMINATION gives a fun ride! I really dig the vocalist’s nasal nerdcore rap. These dudes know how to have a good time without sacrificing the music. The seven compositions on this EP are tight, fierce, and tongue-in-cheek. The Ghost Busters sample only increased the manic grin factor. You can listen for yourself HERE. (genre: crossover thrash)
GHOST SEASON Ghost Like Her (independent)
The title track of this EP is melodic and thick with satisfying riffs and heavy metal vocals.
Another track, “The Bleed,” can be found on their Facebook. This power ballad contrasts bare bones acoustic verses with crunchy, heavy-hitting choruses. GHOST SEASON is working on a full-length album, but the EP releases today. Check it out! (genre: alternative metal)
VERSE VICA Endeavor (independent)
VERSE VICA offers an awesome mix of melodic prog and heavy guitars. There are vocals too, some clean and some growled, but there are plans to release an instrumental version in addition to the full album. The tracks are a sweater-vest-wearing metal head’s dream with a dash of down-and-dirty for those of a deeper level of brutality. The teaser that follows left me hungering for more.
GRADIENT Vice (independent)
A new offering from Illinois is GRADIENT, whose music blends hardcore with melodic death metal. This is a Frankenstein of those two genres and each takes turns coming to the forefront of the seven tracks. It’s not melodic hardcore though the label is catchy and easy and will probably stick. I’m inclined to call it melodic deathcore though even that doesn’t quite describe it either. Whichever way you call it, GRADIENT makes it work. The stitches are neat, even seamless, and there’s ample riffage to power the beast. Favorite tracks: “Envisioning,” “Attacking the Vital Principle Within Us,” and “When Good Men Fail to Act”
DYING OUT FLAME Shiva Rudrastakam (Xtreem Music)
The album promised Vedic chants and delivered without overdoing it. DYING OUT FLAME also delivered some brutal folk death metal and an edu-ma-cation on a few Hindu concepts. There is all the rage of metal mixed with the cultural traditions of the Indian subcontinent. For the Occident, it is as exotic as a rampaging Kali with just a hint of funk. Favorite tracks: “Praise of the Omnipresent One,” “Eternal Mother of Great Time,” and “Tinetra Dhari (Three Eyed One).”
SIFTERCIDE Self-Titled (Nailjar Records)
The horns are awesome. Yeah, there’s an ephemeral horn section and it adds to the insanity of this resurrected grindcore outfit with no official lineup. The songs are deliciously brief, maddeningly chaotic, and a bucking beast of a ride. The guitars buzz, the snare drum is a perfect timbre, and the bass plays to the beat of a different drummer as the vocalist black metal screams all over it. The album is set to drop on September 16th via Nailjar Records. Listen in by clicking their Facebook link.
REVALD Fiat Luxe (Solitary Force Records)
REVALD is a solo instrumental metal project out of Denmark that relies on the composition and title of a song to evoke images and feelings. What I enjoyed most was the variety in a single composition without detracting from the unity of the track. Fiat Lux, only has two songs loaded up onto SoundCloud, which you can listen to HERE. There is a prior release called In Perpetuum that can be found HERE. (genre: progressive metal)
METAL DESCENT’S Battle of the Bands – Round I
We’ve taken six of I.O.’s weekly picks and pitted them against each other in a brutal Battle of the Bands. At the end of the year, we’ll take the readers’ votes from each of the battles and write up the Top Ten Underground Heavy Metal Bands to watch in 2015. Vote for as many bands as you want but make sure to check all of them out. Round I closes on September 17th. Vote HERE.
Submissions from bands are accepted HERE.
I.O. Kirkwood is a Metal Descent contributor. You can visit her personal blog at iokirkwood.com.