Deathdomain Webzine

Deathdomain Webzine – Random reviews & Random rants

Against the Wall – May 2014

 Triptykon –”Melana Chasmata”
LABEL: Century Media
GENRE: Gothic/Doom/Death/Black Metal

(TK): Hakuna Matata! I was recently introduced to this unreleased Celtic Frost material from 2002 and while I love the fact that I was, I also regret hearing it since everytime I hear Tom G. Warrior nowadays – that damn song comes to mind. But, after getting over that after a minute or so “Melana Chasmata” is indeed a highly enjoyable piece of doomy goodness. 7.0/10

(BH): This is a band I’ve actually been meaning to check out for about the last 3 years. What was I thinking? I know, right? This is some menacingly dark and foreboding doom with some nicely added blackened touches and groovy riffs around every corner. Tommy G. still has it. 8.5/10

(WN): Sorry Tom, but meh…Kind of… Or…wait a minute…Yeah, I’m conflicted about this album. At first listen, and with the exception of some excerpts, it just sounded plain boring and uninspired, much like what I experienced when I first listened to “Monotheist”. But I kept on listening and I definitely begun warming up to the album. There´s some great doom to be enjoyed in “Altar of Deceit” and I really dig “Aurorae” , with it´s almost post-metal build up. I do have issues with the Warrior´s theatrical voice but every now and then he strikes death metal gold, particularly during the harsh vocals in “In the sleep of Death”. At the current stage, ”Melana Chasmata”  still feels pretty unexciting as a whole, but I’ve  grown to really enjoy some of the material so I don’t rule out the possibility of updating the score later on. Now, there’s this thing that´s been eating at me and that I really need to know…. Emily, why don’t you speak to Tom?  6.5/10

(JP): I really liked “Eparistera Daimones”, it was heavy yet beautiful. On “Melana Chasmata” they have taken everything that was good with the first album and crammed it into a + one hour album that fits beauty, despair and darkness. I love this album! 9.0/10

(CÄ): Even though I do like me some good ol’ Celtic Frost every now and then (I will never grow tired of “To Mega Therion”), I must admit I’ve never been a huge fan of Thomas Gabriel Fischer’s patented vocal style. It’s by no means bad. It just doesn’t do a whole lot for me. Regardless, this is a solid release. 7.0/10

(MJ): This is some heavy shit! 7.0/10

 Insomnium–”Shadows of the Dying Sun”
LABEL: Century Media
GENRE: Melodic Death Metal

(TK): I like bands such as Amorphis etc. Same goes for Insomnium. But this isn’t sadly that impressive. Finnish Melodic Death Metal and that is all. 6.5/10

(BH): This band’s first three albums are some excellent examples of Finnish melo-death done well and borderline necessities for fans of the genre. If you haven’t heard them, you need to find them. However, on this one, the band just sounds tired and out of gas, leaving me bored and looking for something else. 5.0/10

(WN): I have a tumultuous relationship with melodic death metal. When done right, it´s probably one of the most satisfying genres to listen to, but unfortunately what seems to predominate in the genre is plagiarism and lack of originality. Luckily for me, “Shadows of the Dying Sun” is melodeath done right. What comes as a welcomed surprise is that there’s very little in here that borrows from giants of the genre like At the Gates or Dark Tranquility. What we get instead is a more folk and prog oriented mix, with uplifting melodies and lengthier compositions. While not as bombastic, Insomnium reminds me of bands like Wintersun or Ne Obliviscaris. Bands that possess the evasive skill of making epic sounding metal without being cheesy. Highly recommended! 8.0/10

(JP): Not my cup of tea. However I will say this…out of all the Finnish melodeath, this is probably the least offensive.  5.0/10

(CÄ): Very Finnish, but more importantly, very, very good! However, if I was to be nitpicking at something, it would be the somewhat low-mixed vocals, which is a wicked shame, since they’re all so exquisitely executed! Then again, that’s just me seeking a knot in a bulrush really! Kudos on a job well done guys! 8.5/10

(MJ): Insomnium have put out some high quality releases in their past. This one is no different. Atmospheric/depressive (Finnish) death metal with lots of melodies. However, and I usually don’t have the ear for it, I figured something was sonically wrong with the album. I found out that it is brickwalled, so I want to clarify that the score is for the music only.  9.0/10

 Aborted –”The Necrotic Manifesto”
LABEL: Century Media
GENRE: Death Metal

(TK): This is a fun and groovy album filled grinding death metal done the Aborted way! 7.5/10

(BH): There’s not much wrong with this, but there’s not much right either. It sounds pretty much exactly like every other Aborted album I’ve tried to like, and like all those others, I just can’t enjoy this one either. Hyperspeed kicks and blasts with the occasional breakdown-ish parts interspersed. Ultimately too predictable and formulaic and simply not groovy at all. 5.0/10

(WN): I’ve been guilty of overlooking Aborted because somehow I thought they were just a generic brutal death metal band. After giving a few spins to ”The Necrotic Manifesto” I gotta say that my opinion has changed. The music here still follows the constraints of the genre but there’s  proficiency in the playing and good compositional skills that manage to keep things interesting and entertaining. For brutal death to work for me, it has to be catchy, and there´s a good dose of that in this album. Extra points for the sweet, bluesy guitar leads which are a bit reminiscent of Dave Davidson´s work in Revocation7.0/10

(JP): After “Goremageddon: The Saw and the Carnage Done” spiraled downwards and every record sounded more and more uninspired. But with their 2012 release “Global Flatline”, it looked like their gore flame was reignited. Even if it was lacking a bit of the brilliance from “Engineering the Dead” and “Goremageddon…” it was still the best they have sounded in a long time. And with “The Necrotic Manifesto” they are one step closer to the magic of those mentioned albums. 7.5/10

(CÄ): Yet another blast-fest from this Belgian death machine, kicking ass and taking names!
I love it! 8.0/10

(MJ): Wow. This album does not live up to its hype. I’m sorry, I just don’t feel it. 5.0/10

 Enthroned –”Sovereigns”
LABEL: Agonia Records
GENRE: Black Metal

(TK): Even though “Sovereigns” gives the impression of a rather generic product in todays black metal market it still leaves me with a feeling of content. It might not climb on my top lists this year but there’s some really nice melodies to be found here, along with the terrific vocals of Nornagest. 7.0/10

(BH): Enthroned is a black metal band that I’ve surprisingly never gotten into for whatever reason. It seems they would be right in my wheelhouse. After listening through this, their 10th(!) full-length, I realize that I probably haven’t missed much. It’s dark and occasionally enjoyable but nothing I’d want to play over and over. 6.0/10

(WN): Perfectly fine black metal with enough dynamics and melody to keep me invested through the album. I particularly enjoy the production and the mix. Clean enough to let every instrument come through but with plenty of grit to create the right atmosphere. Prove that black metal doesn’t need to be recorded in a toilet to sound raw. 6.5/10

(JP): I’ve never been much of an Enthroned fan. It’s not that they are bad, I just find them to be a bit boring. And their new album does nothing to convince me otherwise. 6.0/10

(CÄ): The very opposite of a trailblazing effort! 4.0/10

(MJ): I loved “Sovereigns” during the first few spins, but then I lost interest. The music is sinister and mostly pleasant, but the production suffers in the same way that Insomnium does. 7.0/10

 Autopsy – “Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves”
LABEL: Peaceville Records
GENRE: Death Metal

(TK): Look, I don’t know if it is the fact that old school death metal has been “the new black” for a while now that has overfed my ear canals with too much same sounding stuff or if “Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves” just isn’t that great despite it being a product of the masters Autopsy5.5/10

(BH): Look. I own “Severed Survival”. It was one of my favorite albums years ago. Raw American death metal with sick lyrics. I loved it and still do. However, I’m sorry, but I cannot understand how someone would dig this new album by Autopsy. The production is utterly horrific. The guitars are just mush, the vocals are entirely too loud and loaded with reverb. It’s hard to enjoy an album when it’s simply so difficult just to hear it. 3.0/10

(WN): Reifert and his ghouls are at it again and that should make any old school death metal fiend giggle in anticipation. And this is not just because Autopsy is a household name in the genre, but because they work hard and have high standards for their releases. That shows in ”Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves”, that delivers all the trademarks of the band in spades. The grinding, chaotic and groovy guitar work, the relentless drumming and the insanely grisly howlings of Reifert. This is Autopsy 101 updated for 2014, with a crispy production and enough fresh ideas to keep the formula from going stale. At this stage in the game it is just a privilege to get this kind of material from a band as genre defining as Autopsy8.0/10

(JP): Autopsy does what Autopsy does best on “Tourniquets, Hacksaws And Graves”. Dirty, rotten death metal that is heavier than any sludge or doom band out there. Rawer than any of the carbon copies that popped up like mushrooms over the last few years. Boys and girls, this is how Autopsy death metal is meant to sound, and no one will come close to the original. 8.0/10

(CÄ): Sometimes it’s better to let sleeping dogs lie and this is one of those times! 5.0/10

(MJ): Autopsy know the game, and the game is death. 6.5/10


Deathdomain ATW May 2014 on Spotify

Categorised as: Against The Wall | BH | | JP | MJ | TK | WN

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