Chuck Schuldiner Project

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Psycroptic - As The Kingdom Drowns

We are in a dark point of human history. The world is collapsing, some think that the planet will be uninhabitable by 2040. There is political tension, strife, madness, things are not going great and this is what we have to deal with. Psycroptic understand this, and their latest opus, As The Kingdom Drowns is sort of a testament to the searing and devastating terror of the modern world. With their trademark high powered riffs and crazed songwriting approach these Tasmanian devils have brought their sound to a new level, and I can't help but to love it.

From the circle pit inspiring shred to the bone crushing breakdowns, As The Kingdom Drowns encapsulates everything that has made Psycroptic a special band over the years. The sense of grinding forward motion and almost terrifying sonic assault that they so eagerly embrace here has me thrilled and the breadth of their sound has only grown since 2015's excellent self titled record. Now, seven albums and two decades deep the group seems poised to be unleashing what is some of their strongest material to date. There has always been a very clear progression for this band from release to release and now we see them bathing in the bloody kisses and fragile realities that define the modern death metal scene.

With potent melodies underscoring rich rhythm sections the band brings all of the trademark swagger, precision and technicality that has made them so great over the years. With flashy guitar solos that remain tasteful and a strange sense of aural poetry As Th Kingdom Drowns leaves you with a good taste in your mouth. It's a record from a band with a clear commitment to growth and expansion, yet it never leaves behind what made the band such a head turner in the first place. Squirrelly and fierce, Psycroptic have done it again.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Svartidaudi - Revelations of the Red Sword

Svartidaudi are one of the most interesting and potent bands in the world of black metal these days. I remember seeing them play at a cafe in Paris years ago with Mgla and being simply floored by the sheer demonic majesty of the band. These Van records signees have always played by their own rules and their brand of super powerful and twisted black metal can't help but to fascinate the devout listener. Revelations of the Red Sword is simply the next step for these black metal visionaries and hints at their legacy and all that is to come.

This is a record that sounds simply massive and Svartidaudi know it. With Revelations of the Red Sword the group has really pushed over the edge, crafting bombastic epics that perfectly counterbalance the demonic vocals. The powerful synths that provide padding to the more stripped down histrionics seem to find a perfect balance within the mix. This is a band who are capable of invoking old school black metal whilst pointing the way towards the future of the genre and reminding us of what is going to come next. Revelations of the Red Sword is an out and out journey towards black metal liberation.

With blasting drums and epic guitars crashing into tormented blasphemous screams, Svartidaudi continue to polish their formula on Revelations of the Red Sword. The infernal majesty of the mix gives you a chance to appreciate both the breadth of the album as well as the sheer sense of misery behind it. Yet this band is driven by so much, summoning an almost old school swagger and pulsing along towards moments of shining brilliance. This is a dark murk that we can't easily escape, so take a deep breath and dive on in.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Devil Master - Manifestations

Devil Master is a band that I have been meaning to document properly here for a while now. These Philadelphia freaks came from the gutter in 2016 and have since then managed to record a pair of demos. It is these demos that have been compiled, remixed and remastered by Relapse Records on Manifestations in preparation for the release of their upcoming full length in 2019. Eerie and grim, manifestations is a wonderful mix of death rock with punky black metal that represents everything their city stands for.

The weird mixture of almost Darkthrone-esque vibes with a more Christian Death inspired backdrop is interesting to me. There are moments of jangly weirdness counterbalanced by pure black metal majesty. Through it all though there is a wonderful undercurrent of true Philthadelphia scum punk that reminds us just where the band come from. Never straying too far from their roots, Devil Master instead focus on the powerful and transcendental, swooping to new heights and embracing bizarro realities. This articulate, demonic and thrilling sound is the sort of thing that I can't help but to love simply because it's so out there and the combination of sounds really speaks to the zeitgeist.

It wouldn't surprise me if I found out that Devil Master was comprised of freaked out punk kids from Mars. Their sound is all over the place but gleefully so. It fuses disparate elements but does it in a way that makes sense and has a sense of grace. The Iron Maiden inspired Sex with Succubus seems to counterbalance crust punk histrionics and the groups black metal flair seems distinctly touched by a scene that is inextricably linked to Philadelphia's many colleges. This is a unique listen to be sure and one you will be coming back too in preparation for the mastery to come.

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Monday, October 15, 2018

Evoken - Hypnagogia

It's hard to believe that it's been six years since the last Evoken record. Sure in the interim they have stayed busy with a single and a compilation having been unleashed upon the earth since then, but there's nothing quite like a full length from these New Jersey visionaries. Well into the third decade of their career the band is only just preparing to unleash their fifth full length, a masterful and swooping body of work that encapsulates everything which has made Evoken such a special group over so many years.

Hypnagogia is a stunner from front to back, the songs dabble in both dark and light and then seem to conjure up just about every emotion in between. The crushing growls seem to have grown in intensity since 2012's Atra Mors and the bands execution has only improved and evolved to bold new heights. The potent melodies on these tracks are absolutely massive in scale and seem to only grow stronger with each passing hour. Hypnagogia is the sound of a band plumbing the depths of the humn condition and moving towards ever bleaker strains. There is something incredibly fascinating about the refinement and sense of pure poetry to these songs. You find yourself falling forward with the music, deeper and deeper into odes to a time forgot and a human spirit that refuses to be crushed.

Evoken have always been one of the most potent bands in this scene and here their unique brand of funeral death/doom seems to have attained bold new heights. It's always exciting to see a group continuing to expand their sonic horizons a quarter of a century in, but such is the case with Hypnagogia and it feels like it's only going to keep pushing that way. Immense in scale and simply thrilling in approach, Evoken consistently grow, expand and discover new ideas here. Dig in, the powerful soundscapes and mournful epics are waiting for you. Join the threnody.

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Saturday, October 13, 2018

Festerday - Cadaveric Virginity

You wanted some twisted fucking death metal? I thought so. The band has been around since 1989 and this latest EP, Cadaveric Virginity sees the band prepping for what will be their first ever full length to celebrate their thirtieth anniversary as a ban. If the twisted assault of Cadaveric Virginity is any indication, then this is going to be an absolute monster of an album. Though this EP barely clocks in over five minutes it has all of the tropes that make Festerday great and hints at so much more to come.

What appeals to me about this band is the burning magic and crippling hatred of these songs and their chainsaw gutfukc of an attack. The second track, Let The Sun vomit Upon Your Cold Swollen Skin is barely over a minute long and yet its already one of my favorite death metal songs of the year. This Owe Inborr produced banger is a tightly put together brutal assault. You can practically see the circle pit opening up before you as the band goes into the next insane groove and one gets the sense the bands time has come. Fusing death metal with black metal and punk, this is the sort of stripped back punishment we deserve.

Fierce and unrelenting, Cadaveric Virginity is so short as to be addictive. It is a swaggering testament to why Festerday have been cult favorites for so long. With this release we see that the underground is alive in the twisted Finnish forests and that they are hungry for your blood. Though this may not be your typical death metal aural abuse, it comes across as a cut above. Playing on every single trope and turning it up to eleven whilst bringing in exciting new ideas, Cadaveric Virginity is an absolutely blasphemous abomination and I love it.

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