Chuck Schuldiner Project

Sunday, August 30, 2015


Horrifying Nightmares... cover art

Italian death metal slaughterlords Gravesite have a wonderful understanding of what it truly means to be brutal. You find yourself being crushed by the suffocating attack of their new record Horrifying Nightmares and in a way you find yourself kind of falling in love. The fact of the matter is that Gravesite in all their Death-derived riffing magic have actually hacked into one of those things that makes death metal so magical in the first place. Gravesite know how to slow it down, choke out the listener, and then ramp the velocity back up so that you're left wondering where the fuck you are. Gravesite understand the primal power of death metal and that's what makes their chunky and angular riffs on songs like Horrifying Nightmares of Flesh and Blood just work. Gravesite invoke the ungodly spirit of the underground and they blast forward hard enough that you will never find respite despite years of suffering - so turn it the fuck up.

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Analepsy - Dehumanization By Supremacy

ANALEPSY | Dehumanization by Supremacy CD cover art

Sci-fi album art? Check. Ridiculously brutal growls? Check. Chugging riffs that beat your head into the ground? Check. Analepsy's latest record - the over the top brutal Dehumanization By Supremacy is a brutal death metal record for the ages. The crushing attack of these riffs and the swirling destruction wreaked by these Portuguese death dealers is palatable and speaks to their ability to unleash the kind of face wrecking death metal that losers like me need if we want to find a way to fight our way forward in this uncaring world.

Just listening to the ungodly drum assault that defines this record is enough to make the casual fan fall in love. There is a clear sense of passion behind the music too - I mean obviously it kind of needs to be there if you're going to do something this iconoclastic, but it's still potent. Analepsy are fully aware of the lessons in violence that they need to deliver if they want to properly crack skulls with Dehumanization By Supremacy. Even the bands Putrid Pile cover at the end carries their own signature mark of painfully heavy death metal whilst staying true to the concept and beauty of the original.

And so we come to the end of this little review and realize that if nothing else - Analepsy understand what it means to utterly pummel the listener to the point of no return. Dehumanization By Supremacy is cruel and unforgiving, it will make you bend the knee to the kind of death metal poignancy that few of their peers could ever dream of. There is something distinctly and wonderfully fucked up about Analepsy's sound and it proves that this kind of brutal death metal has a strange vibrance that will resonate for years to come.

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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Swamp/Fetid Zombie - Necromantic Passages

There is something intrinsically delightful to me about basement dwelling death metal You know the stuff - minimal production values, guttural growls and vicious guitar work. The crushingly heavy madness that defines Necromantic Passages really gets at the beauty of this profane music and the deeper I delve the harder it becomes to deny that Swamp and Fetid Zombie are two of the most wonderfully vile examples of death metal out there today. Both bands go for the throat and understand true darkness - making for a delicious split cassette.

Swamp fully understand their own disgusting glory - it's made clear from their first song on the split that Swamp are here to kick ass and make you suffer. The pummeling drum assault on Lunar Fantasies is simply another step forward in the perpetual burn of Swamp's three tracks on this split and it evidences their ability to create positively mammoth sounds that terrify the listener. Fetid Zombie seem to revel in dragging us even deeper into the darkness with primal sounds that are frequently counterbalanced by melodic guitar lines that don't shy from being flashy. They unleash a primal balance of precise guitar work with more devastating sounds to make for some grim listening.

At the end of the day splits like these are part of what makes death metal work. When you're blazing forth with ungodly rhythms and barked vocals it becomes increasingly difficult to deny that there is something very human about this music. Both Swamp and Fetid Zombie bring their A-game on this record and perform wonderfully - giving a look forward and a refreshing outlet into the bleak realities faced by both sets of musicians. Death metal is cleansing and potent, and Necromantic Passages proves exactly that.

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Fetid Zombie:

Holy Sons and Earth at The Underground Arts in Philadelphia

As I always like to start these things... another night, another show. This time in Philadelphia, that weird, battered hellscape that gets far too few good metal bands coming through. The fact of the matter remains though - Philadelphia is the kind of cleansing environment that makes crushing drone metal all the more poignant and fits into the vibe that is need when going to see a band of Earth's legend and caliber. Toss in a stellar opener featuring a member of Om and it seems hard to deny the potency of such a soiree.

Holy Sons was a truly unique live experience. These guys in their washed out Pink Floydy magic manage to create a potent sonic collage that gather s the listener up under storms of sound and powerful songs that speak to the heart. Holy Sons never got the credit they truly deserved, and yet Emil Amos's genius was on full display last night in Philadelphia. Here's a guy who understands the heart and soul of what music is meant to be so god damn well that few of his peers can even dream of matching up to it. With over a thousands songs written Emil Amos is the real fucking deal and watching him unleash like this live is a true honor. 

When Earth came on there was a sense of ritual. There is a strange sort of ritual surrounding the band and what they do. After all, Dylan Carlson is something of a mythic figure. I mean, he did used to room with Kurt Cobain and he was  the guy who lent Kurt his shotgun which Kurt would go on to use to kill himself. This is experimental rock, and it has its gods, as strange as they might seem. And so with all this in mind, the band strode on and commenced what would be a nearly two hour long set. One with triumphant climaxes and jarring denoument's, filled with glorious sustain and crushing chords, Earth, despite all the years, still know what's up.

See - watching Earth live is a wholly inhuman experience, or perhaps, as a result of their very weirdness it is a wholly human one. The thing is... Earth have a way of taking you in holding you close and giving you a chance to unleash all of the pain and suffering that can define your day to day. Earth are turned on to the profound realities that make life hard, after all, they've lived through the worst of them. So now they stand proud, waving guitars and creating Messianic poses and providing salvation for those who seek it. An experience I feel every human should be exposed to at some point, Earth are drone metal to soothe the savage beast.

And so the night comes to a close, every roaring note is put into check and those of us who came to submit ourselves to the powers that be leave satisfied with the sacred rites performed before us. These two bands are the kind of groups that give us a chance to leap forth and see that there are solutions to the struggles of our own daily existences and this gives us a reason to look beyond. Heavy music is more than just something that can piss off your parents, for those of us without meaning, it provides a destiny.

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Mord'A'Stigmata - Our Hearts Slow Down

Mord'A'Stigmata are one of those bands that are almost painfully interesting. Their latest release off Pagan Records, the three track and twenty seven minute long Our Hearts Slow Down is a strangely charming and oftentimes ambient black metal record that emphasizes atonality and strange moments of sonic chaos. They have finely honed their sound into something inherently twisted. This record screws its way into your skull inch by bleeding inch and then forces you to pledge fealty to one of the most unique black metal releases of the year.

The thing is, Mord'A'Stigmata don't really sound like anyone else, except for possibly Sigh or even Hawkwind. The thing is, these guys are so far gone into their own triumphant trip that it's really hard to find any concrete ties to the rest of the musical world in their sound. The poetry behind every dissonant guitar line is kind of jarring and the despairing vocals that kick off the record maintain a similar level of intensity throughout making for some truly unsettling listening. The point is - Mord'A'Stigmata are aware of how wonderfully demented black metal can be and they exploit every side of it on Our Hearts Slow Down.

As the record winds down to an appropriately disquieting conclusion it becomes even harder to ignore the eternal power found within. Our Hearts Slow Down sees the band taking bloody bites out of your flesh and forcing you to chortle with glee at each painful chord. Mord'A'Stigmata have hacked into my very psyche on this album and it makes for a record that is really hard to turn off. These guys understand the delicious evil behind their music and they want you to choke on it, can you take the pill?

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