Chuck Schuldiner Project

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Ulcerate - Stare Into Death And Be Still

It's been four long years since we last heard from Ulcerate. These technical death metallers have had a history of crafting truly devastating and oppressive music. The sort of stuff that keeps you up at night thanks to the sheer demonic torment that they invoke Their latest offering, Stare Into Death And Be Still is one of their strongest efforts to date, a sweeping effort that sees them further honing their oppressive sound ad guiding the listener deeper into their bizarre crypt of riffs, torment and unadulterated sonic hate.

The bands Debemur Morti debut, Stare Into Death And Be Still is a stunner because of Ulcerate's unique ability to craft distinct sonic landscapes. The way that they present themselves on a track like 'The Lifeless Advance', the album opener, is one of a kind. It is terrifying in scope and hints at twisted internal lives. The level of technicality here isn't so much for the flash of it all as much as it is to represent how far the band has gone and their willingness to put listeners through the ringer. Their songwriting is a head and shoulders above their peers, taking advantage of techniques and approaches rarely broached on in metal and ensuring that no one can look away.

Stare Into Death And Be Still is striking in the bands unique ability to evoke a sort of Dante-esque reality. As you make your way through this record bizarre images appear before you and it becomes harder than ever to tear yourself away. This is intensely cerebral and introverted music. The touches of post metal that have started to infect the record only make things even grander and remind us of our own bitter loneliness. What more could you want? Ulcerate are a technical death metal band like no other an Stare Into Death And Be Still is a masterwork.

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Friday, March 27, 2020

Warbringer - Weapons Of Tomorrow

Warbringer, have had a bigger influence on the thrash metal scene than basically anyone else in their generation. The way that they perfectly fuse classic ieas and art with more modern approaches to thrash has always amde them a delight to me. The unapologetic bloodthirst that they showcase throughout their discography has fascinated me since high school. Now they are back with another new record, one of their fierces and most over the top yet - and what more could a guy really ask for from a band?

What gets me about Weapons Of Tomorrow is just how sharp the guitar tone is, you can practically cut yourself on it. Yes there are moments of bombast and triumph, like on the album closer 'Glorious End' but there are also razor edged riffs fascinating throughout. The gnashing of teeth that accompanies these tracks serves to only make them rawer, more vicious and addictive. Warbringer use this record, not to expand their sound but to double down on what they were already great at. The tight and angular playing serves to make this an exciting record that any thrasher is going to find themselves instantly enamored with - it's simply that good.

This is the sort of thrash metal record that you can get lost in, it has its own inherent magic and it seems to jump from peak to peak with aplomb. Weapons Of Tomorrow is a fun listen, and while it has a spirit very much in line with its 80s ancestors the band brings in so much more beyond that. This is an above and beyond effort that is going to leav you on the edge of your seat, thrilled for what's to come next from these California wastoids and curious to delive back into their wonderfully strong discography.

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Thursday, March 26, 2020

Cosmic Putrefaction - The Horizons Towards Which Splendour Withers

This is a rager. The Italian blackened death metal scene may not have the pedigree of scenes in France or Germany for instance, but some of these guys just know how to bring it. The perfect example of course is GG who has, with Cosmic Putrefaction proven that he is one of the premier composers in underground metal today. This record is monumental, beautfully produced and full of all manner of exotic frills. It makes for exciting listening and seems to continually force the band to new heights. What more could you want?

Out on, who else but I, Voidhanger, Cosmic Putrefaction capture the imagination with The Horizons Towards Which Splendour Withers due to the breadth of the sound if nothing else. There is a vision behind the compositions that is hard to match and it's exciting to really sink your teeth into what the band is all about. In 2020 it's rare to find a group with such a clear overall approach, providing devastating sounds and haunting glimpses into the abyss. There is a sense of torment here that is truly potent. It leaves us scraping our collective jaws off the floor and stunned by just how devilish the band can be.

When the chimes introduce 'The Arcane Soothsayer Carefully Sculpted his Demise' before diving into a searing extreme metal riff I feel like you rally get a sense of what this band is all about. Yes there are arts moments and unique songwriting choices, but there also is a deep understanding and clear respect for the magic of second wave black metal and old school death metal. The way that Cosmic Putrefaction balances these things out is what makes the record so exciting and what has me coming back to what they have to offer time and time again!

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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Abysmal Dawn - Phylogenesis

It's been six long years since we last had a record from Abysmal Dawn, a group who burst onto the tech death scene and left us all in awe. It's good to have the masters of the genre back, unleashing pure sonic fury once more thouhg. The sheer madness of their new record, Phylogenesis borders on the intimidating. The ridiculous scope of the band is thrilling and leaves me constantly eager for more from the death metallers. Their approach here is matured and exciting, a clear step forward for the metal masters.

For even the casual tech death fan like me it's easy to get lost in what Abysmal Dawn have on display here. After all this is a record that relishes in having multiple layers, it revels in the murk and continually stuns with the flashy playing. For those of us enamored with the underground, this groups dedication to the tropes of the genre is delicious. Especially when you consider just how perfect their execution on these tropes is. The blasting drums on a track like 'Soul-Sick Nation' are delightful. They demonstrate a stunning depth of knowledge about tech death songwriting and leave me ready to dive into the pit for the first time in years.

Phylogenesis is a tech death masterpiece - an early nominee for technical death metal album of the year if nothing else. The band has found a way to continually improve upon past offerings, and now, after a six year wait the group has cranked out what is probably the best album of their career. With delicious grooves and solos that will leave you scraping your jaw off of the floor it seems obvious that Phylogenesis has what it takes to impress from the first. A one of a kind band who have put out a one of a kind album - what more could you want?

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Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Witches Hammer - Damnation Is My Salvation

Out of the old underground Witches Hammer has re-emerged. This is the perfect sort of release for Nuclear War Now! Productions. It's wickedly fast, wonderfully brutal and emerging from the primordial ooze of early extreme metal. The bands first full length, Damnation Is My Salvation comes 36 years into their career, but in many ways it stands side by side their early demos and EP's that made them such a force in the Vancouver scene to begin with. Vicious and relentless, Damnation Is My Salvation is a twisted offering.

The hyper power assault of tracks like the album opener, 'Across Azeroth' stands out to me because it immediately calls to mind why I fell in love with this music in the first place. There's an inherent drama to the band that ensures dedicated listeners are going to stay enamored with what they have put together here. These high speed blasts of guitars and battered drums come together to make something memorable and exciting. Who wouldn't want to hop into the pit during a song like 'Solar Winds' with its circle pit inspiring riffage? It's hard not to be in awe of what the band so eagerly bring to the table here.

The toxic waltz laid out here is addictive. The band unleash raw chaos and with their brutarian riffs grab you by the hair and toss you back into the pit. There is a certain madness that serves to make Witches Hammer an essential part of the Canadian death metal canon. Damnation Is My Salvation only serves to solidify that, proving once and for al that this is a band apart, a truly talented group of guys bringing the rage in a potent way that should not be discounted but instea celebrated time and time again.

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