Chuck Schuldiner Project

Friday, April 12, 2024

Terminal Nation - Echoes Of The Devil's Den


Every once in a while a record hits your inbox that makes you go 'Holy shit, this is the next level.' Echoes Of The Devil's Den is one such record. This is the sound of a band coming into their own, reaching a higher place and proving that they are among the modern greats. Such is the enduring power of Terminal Nation's new album. This is a record that showcases a band at the height of their abilities unleashing hell and proving that they have what it takes to stand shuolder to shoulder with some of the best bands in the underground today. 

Terminal Nation impress on this album because of their ability to take their core death metal sound and push it to all sorts of weird extremes. The band clearly knows how to fucking riff though, and this is the core of everything they do. The punishing assault on a track like "Empire In Decay" is addictive. Meanwhile you gotta love the ability to surprise listeners, as they do with the ballad-esque "Merchants Of Bloodshed" which features none other than Killswitch Engage vocalist Jesse Leach. Echoes Of The Devil's Den builds on so much of the early promise of Terminal Nation and seems to hint at so much more to come from the band. 

Echoes Of The Devil's Den is a skull cracker. It's a record that seems to consistently push above and beyond and which reminds listeners time and time again just how special Terminal Nation are as a band. The guys in this band are supremely talented ,and it feels good to see, that after years of hard work they are finally starting to have a moment. I suspect that Echoes Of The Devil's Den is going to feature prominently on year end lists especially among the Decibel reading set. Be sure to get in on this band before they blow up harder.

Pre-order the album!

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Hasslig - Apex Predator


Now this is a ripper. The blackened punk sound of Hasslig has me entranced. This is crusty and evil music of the sort that only true dementoids put out. Their new album Apex Predator is twelve tracks of unrelenting, vicious and gnarled heavy music. If you were looking to immerse yourself in the twisted vision of a Spanish band like few others, then Apex Predator is the ticket. There is a wonderful bitterness guiding this whole thing forward that for devotees of the underground will make for some wonderfully indulgent listening. 

There is something gloriously twisted about the vision that Hasslig unveil on Apex Predator. The hectic performances and rock and roll flourishes make it fitting that the band end their record with a Midnight cover. Hasslig are leaning into a very specific sound, but their execution is flawless. Apex Predator is speed metal punk done right, with a clear dedication to the roots of the genre and a desire to drag us all back to the void. In a world of bitter visions and toxic terrors, Hasslig are the perfect soundtrack to a failed system. 

Unrepentant, heavy and forever blasphemous, this isn't an easy listen and it's one that will get rejected by the masses. However for those of us who really lean into the most abrasive side of the underground it's hard to deny the preeminence and vision that Hasslig bring to the table on Apex Predator. This is the sort of record that exists to challenge devotees of the underground and letting yourself get swept away in its twisted vision is going to be a delight, no matter what you end up doing. This is yet another win from Sentient Ruin.

Pre-order the album!

Monday, April 8, 2024

Manasseh - Tunneling To Paradiso


It's always interesting when a musician you appreciate for one style goes off and explores something completely different. Such is the case with Manasseh, a neo folk and dungeon synth fueled project from the mind of Patrick Brown, the wizard behind Howls Of Ebb. The projects new album, Tunneling To Paradiso a wonderfully dark, moody and thoughtful release that conjures up images of abandoned castles and chilly fall landscapes.

There is something wonderfully old feeling about this album. Tunneling To Paradiso really leans into so many of the elements that makes dungeon synth such compelling and entrancing work without ever really being dungeon synth. This is much more of a dark ambient record where the influence of genres like dungeon synth are palpable throughout. The sparse guitar work though and tasteful use of samples helps to give this the feeling of a strange and haunted walk through a medieval landscape. While this isn't an 'album of songs' per say, it is certainly a record worth multiple listens which will continually draw you back into the darkness.

Grandiose and wonderfully medieval, Tunneling To Paradiso is a challenging listen to be sure, but also one that I think devotees of the underground are going to find themselves returning too. This is a record that understands the frigid power of dark and ambient medieval feeling music and the creepy, mildewy and ancient vibes of what has been accomplished here are certain to keep listeners ensconced in sound for however long they choose to immerse themselves in the work of Mannaseh. 

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Monday, March 25, 2024

Desolus - System Shock


This one FUCKING shreds. Desolus are a thrash metal band like few others, pulling deep influence from the likes of Sodom and Kreator. Their unapologetic thrash metal sound is fierce, raw and a little bit terrifying. There is something wonderfully addictive to the balls out assault that they deliver on System Shock. This is thrash metal done with a deep understanding of the German scene, where intensity is the prirority and it's impossible not to be enamored with the crippling assault that Desolut bring forward across all ten tracks of this album.

And of course - this thing is coming out on Hells Headbangers, the perfect home for unrelenting thrashing mayhem. System Shock is a skullcrusher. They come for the throat and keep us from breathing time and time again. There are very few bands I see in the US scene emerging that have such a deep understanding of the genre and go for it in a way that is so cripplingly heavy. System Shock thrills because of the blasting ferocity of the album, it's over the top, and Desolus know it. This isn't supposed to be thrash metal for VH1 fans, this is thrash metal for people obsessed with the underground, constantly looking for that next stage dive inducing terrorstorm. 

System Shock is an unrelenting delight, a record that leans into the tropes of the genre but does so with aplomb. And when the tropes rule - don't you just want more of them? Desolus get it, simple as that. System Shock is the sound of them unleashing their finely honed craft at a million miles an hour and for those of us who have found solace in the angular riffs and flashy solos that define this sound then System Shock is going to be a welcome addition to the canon. One can only hope this is just the beginning for one of the assault. 

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Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Duindwaler - In het Heemskerks duin


The Dutch black metal scene has been churning out interesting records in recent years. Duindwaler is one of the many projects that color the unique Dutch black metal landscape and their new album In het Hemskerks duin is a masterful offering. This is black metal done wit ha vision for a stripped back, twisted sound, an approach that serves them well as they unveil monochromatic and punishing soundscapes that lure you deep into the most wonderfully dark layers of the bands sound. Duindwaler understand the fundamental power of black metal and their path forward leans into this misery. 
There is a chilling sense of anguish that defines a lot of what Duindwaler do on this record. In het Heemskerks duin works because of the raw sense of suffering that bleeds through the music .This is black metal done with a vision to claw at the darkest reaches of our collective sanity. It's hard not to be charmed by the visions they bring to life here with tremolo picked guitars and surprisingly agile basslines sitting underneath some wonderfully vicious, unforgiving vocals.  Duindwaler also inject their music with a fitting sense of bombast, with tracks like "Het duister bestormd" crashing down upon listeners and forcing them to come to terms with the thunderstorm of sounds that Duindwaler control with such aplomb. 

In het Heemskerks duin is a hellishly delightful first full length from this one man black metal project. It's a record that gets wonderfully personal and which understands what iti s to suffocate under a storm of self consciousness. The undeniable and burning fires that fuel Duindwaler are relentlessly compelling and letting yourself get lost in these miserable ministrations is certain to keep listeners in awe and coming back for more.

Pre-order the album!