Deathdomain Webzine

Deathdomain Webzine – Random reviews & Random rants

Against the Wall – October 2014


ALBUM:
 Cannibal Corpse – ”A Skeletal Domain”

LABEL: Metal Blade Records
GENRE: Death Metal
OVERALL RATING: 8.3/10

(TK): Do you like Cannibal Corpse? Well, then you also like “A Skeletal Domain”8.0/10

(BH): Ladies and gentlemen, this is a finely honed death metal production. I can’t remember an album that just sounded this good in quite a while. Oh and by the way, this is one of the best 3 or 4 Cannibal albums there is, loaded with brutal and catchy riffs that destroy your senses for 44 minutes. 9.0/10

(JP): Yes, yes, yes and so fucking yes! 9.0/10

(MJ): Fire up the chainsaw! Hack all their heads off!  9.0/10

(WN): ”A Skeletal Domain” has everything that makes Cannibal Corpse so special. The great riffing, the brutality and specially the masterful manipulation of rhythmic feel that makes their music so dynamic. Also, hooks for days…! Good luck getting “Kill or Become” out of your skull. 7.5/10

(GJ): Messy and gory, like Cannibal Corpse. Oh wait, it IS Cannibal Corpse. Nothing new under the sun here, guys and gals. Not bad, though. 7.0/10


ALBUM:
 Dark Fortress – ”Venereal Dawn”

LABEL: Century Media
GENRE: Melodic Black Metal
OVERALL RATING: 8.3/10

(TK): Dark Fortress have been stepping up their game for every new album throughout their career and “Venereal Dawn” is no exception. This is some brilliant, and highly varied, melodic black metal. 8.0/10

(BH): This band has always been excellent, but this one along with “Ylem” has taken their brand of catchy melodic black metal to new heights. They’ve written some stunning compositions and combined them with enough atmosphere to keep it nice and black. 8.0/10

(JP): This is the first Dark Fortress album where they hit a homerun throughout most of the album. Previous efforts has been good, but always with a few bad apples to spoil the rest. Not this time, even with song stretching up to 11 minutes, I never get bored. 8.0/10

(MJ): Anyone else than me that thought this would be a tech death record when seeing the cover? Anyhow, I only have these two words to say to Dark Fortress: Thank you. 10/10

(WN): October’s most grueling album. “Venereal Dawn” is a dense slab of black metal peppered with beautiful acoustic parts, doom, exotic melodies and progressive elements. After 5 spins I’m still unable to fully comprehend it but I keep coming for more and that’s high praise for an album this thick. 8.0/10

(GJ): Fetching inspiration from many different sources, Dark Fortress ends up with an album that is… well, different. Very interesting and well arranged, but does it have “it”? I’m not sure yet. 7.5/10


ALBUM:
 Xerath–”III”

LABEL: Candlelight Records
GENRE: Orchestral/Progressive/Groove Metal
OVERALL RATING: 7.3/10

(TK): Simply brilliant! Devin, Gojira-fans will and must rejoice!! This album is a victory and has a guaranteed spot in my 2014 Top 10 list that is to come.  9.0/10

(BH): Here’s yet another finely polished piece of death metal in this edition, and this one may be the best record in it. Almost every riff is a thing of beauty, and the synths provide a clinic of how to use those sounds in modern death metal. I’m blown away. 9.0/10

(JP): When the vocals on the first track I am 100% sure that Devin Townsend is doing a guest spot on the album. After some google research, I cannot find any evidence of such guest spots. And all I can say, the vocalist can do a damn good Devin. One of the most unoriginal albums I’ve heard in a long time. But still very enjoyable, so who cares. 6.0/10

(MJ): I’m sorry Xerath, you seem to have caught me at an inopportune time. Maybe in a year or two? 4.0/10

(WN): Does Xerath blatantly rip off Devin Townsend’s sound? Very much so. It’s distracting and even slightly embarrassing. However, once I got past that I had to surrender to how overwhelmingly good this album is. Beyond the obvious influences, these guys have immense talent, color me impressed! 8.5/10

(GJ): Totally missed the first two albums, never heard of the band before and now I have to revisit their previous work. This one has many levels and needs to be explored further. 7.5/10


ALBUM:
 Calm Hatchery – ”Fading Reliefs”

LABEL: Selfmadegod Records
GENRE: Death Metal
OVERALL RATING: 7.1/10


(TK):
 Polish Nileish death metal! Been looking forward to this album since I really enjoyed the “Sacrilege of Humanity” (2010) album. Nothing is reinvented with “Fading Reliefs”, but it is a solid release indeed. 7.0/10

(BH): I have no idea what a calm hatchery is other than a place where hens with anxiety issues go to lay eggs, but this is definitely high quality death metal that is most definitely Polish in origin. Nowhere near as good as “The Satanist” but quality nonetheless. 8.0/10

(JP): Tech death with massive hooks and strong songs. Reminds me of a less chaotic Hate Eternal. Any fan of death metal should give this a listen.  7.5/10

(MJ): I want to describe this as melodic/technical death metal with a Polish sound and American influences. Whatever their origin, these guys do it well. Oh, they really are from Poland? Well, not every generalisation is prejudice. 7.5/10

(WN): On paper I should love everything about this album. I’m a sucker for polish death metal and Calm Hatchery are every bit as proficient as their better known compatriots. Unfortunately “Fading Reliefs” seems to be missing that mysterious x factor and ends up leaving me quite indifferent. 6.0/10

(GJ): Better vocals could lift this album beyond the skies (or at least to 7.5 or 8.0) , but unfortunately they chose to go down this road instead. Sorry guys, I can’t cope with the vocals. Music is really good, though. 6.5/10


ALBUM:
 1349 – ”Cauldron of Chaos”

LABEL: Indie Recordings
GENRE: Black Metal
OVERALL RATING: 6.8/10

(TK): It’s been a long long time since I bothered to care about 1349, well pretty much since “Hellfire” and that’s almost 10 years ago. So after listening to “CoC” I had to rewind some in the 1349 discography and baed on those findings this is indeed their most interesting release in quite a while. 7.0/10

(BH): This band always seems so full of surprises, both good and bad. I’ve always been hoping for a natural successor to “Hellfire,” but I’ve never gotten it, and this one is no different. However, this one brings that style of ugly blackness that I’ve always loved so much. The reverb on the vocals is a nice touch too. 8.0/10

(JP): I’ve always disagreed with the production of 1349’s albums. They have mistaken a raw production for a weak and flat one. They seem to have learned how to harvest their sound (minus the awful kick drum), and I can finally enjoy their high speed black metal. 6.5/10

(MJ): Perfect autobahn music? 7.0/10

(WN): Solid, relentless thrashy black backed by the most badass album title of the month. I’ll have a massive cauldron of chaos, thanks. 6.5/10

(GJ): Some BM-bands tends to strive for a “raw” and “primitive” sound, many just end up with a bad production that makes the album sound boring. Like 1349 did on this one. Still, this is good, well played and varied. A conundrum, indeed. 6.0/10


ALBUM:
 Decapitated – ”Blood Mantra”

LABEL: Nuclear Blast
GENRE: Death/Groove Metal
OVERALL RATING: 6.75/10

(TK): I like my Decapitated death metal. But as far as it goes with groove metal, well “Blood Mantra” ain’t half bad. Fans of stuff such as Sepultura, Soulfly and Machine Head will most likely enjoy this. 6.0/10

(BH): Shockingly, this is the second-best Polish death metal release in this edition. This one’s better than their last carnival of crap, but Decapitated‘s best days are probably behind them, and that’s sad. Very average and unmemorable, by-the-numbers death metal. 6.0/10

(JP): Initially I did not like this album at all. But after giving a few more spins, I find gems here and there. Far from their best, but not a bad effort. 6.0/10

(MJ): The executioner’s axe is real fucking heavy. It’s sharp and it’s shiny. 9.0/10

(WN): Talk about a grower! At a first listen I was a bit put off by some of the “core” elements on “Blood Mantra” (is the opening riff in “Veins” stolen from Slipknot?) but ultimately Vogg’s infectious riffing and grooving is just too good to resist. Evolution is not a bad thing if it sounds this fresh! 7.5/10

(GJ): I really had hopes for this one. It started out really, really good, then it faded into mediocrity.  6.0/10


ALBUM:
 Khold – ”Til endes”

LABEL: Peaceville Records
GENRE: Black Metal
OVERALL RATING: 5.8/10

(TK): “Masterpiss of Pain” is still my favorite from Norwegian Khold. But “Til endes” manages to place itself as #2. Kudos on the nice classic Sepultura cover as well. 7.0/1o

(BH): I like exactly one Khold song. It’s not on this album. 5.0/10

(JP): After 6 years of silence one of my favorite Norwegian bands are back. As always they are spot on, and a lot of the other Norwegian black metal bands could learn a lot from Khold. This is how you take the legacy forward. 8.0/10

(MJ): As average as average can be. 5.0/10

(WN): You could pretty much copy paste my feelings about Horned Almighty´sWorld of Tombs” here. Pretty good, still not very exciting to me. My favorite thing was probably the “Troops of Doom” cover, even if it feels like a very odd choice to place a cover in the middle of a record. Is it just me?  5.0/10

(GJ): This is interesting, but feels… unfinished…  5.0/10


ALBUM:
 Evergrey –”Hymns to the Broken”

LABEL: AFM Records
GENRE: Progressive/Power Metal
OVERALL RATING: 5.8/10

(TK): Evergrey is in no way a bad orchestra. Thing is though that I never really got hooked even though I enjoy progressive metal. This isn’t bad at all, but sadly doesn’t change anything. 6.5/10

(BH): I was 100% sure this was going to be very droll, annoying, and unenjoyable in every way before I heard it. It’s actually pretty decent. There’s several cool grooves that keep it exciting and interesting. I’m not crazy about the vocals, but it doesn’t suck nearly as much as I was expecting. 7.0/10

(JP): This band has never been my cup of tea, and this album does not change my mind. 4.0/10

(MJ): The hype-train did it’s job good with this album. I was initially very underwhelmed, but now this album stands out as one of the band’s strongest releases, ambient helicopters be damned. 9.0/10

(WN): Excuse my ignorance but, is every song on this record a prog power ballad? Technically speaking, “Hymns to the Broken” sounds great, but this is just too much brooding and sulking for me so early in the autumn. Will give it another try in January.  5.5/10

(GJ): Boring! 3.0/10


ALBUM:
 Horned Almighty – ”World of Tombs”

LABEL: Scarlet Records
GENRE: Black Metal
OVERALL RATING: 5.6/10

(TK): Last month I gave praise to Goatwhore for their gripping riffs and this month that honour goes to Denmarks Horned Almighty. Still, I don’t find this as cathcy as the prostituted goat. 6.5/10

(BH): Black and roll and skip to the next track. 4.0/10

(JP): How I have been waiting for this album! “Necro Spirituals” and “Contaminating the Divine” are albums that I listen to at least once a month. And “World of Tombs” continues where “Contaminating” left off. A thick meaty slab of blackened death metal (yes I call it death not black). 9.0/10

(MJ): Good enough for a rainy day, but this month holds releases leagues better. Please look elsewhere for your fix of dark music. 5.0/10

(WN): “World of Tombs” seems to place slightly above the average punk infused black metal but still sounds too generic to keep me invested. Fans of the genre will probably appreciate it much more than I did. 5.0/10

(GJ): Somehow, I couldn’t shake the feeling that this was satire. Then I remembered; this band is from Denmark. It’s fun to listen to, makes you wanna smile and laugh. Good? Not really. 4.0/10


ALBUM:
 In Flames – ”Siren Charm”

LABEL: Epic Records
GENRE: Melodic Groove Metal/Alternative Rock
OVERALL RATING: 5.0/10

(TK): In Flames goes Farmer Boys goes alternative rock. For some reason I like this a lot more than I thought I’d do judging from the first tracks that the band released. 6.0/10

(BH): I think In Flames‘s last three albums are probably their best three albums (please don’t hate me yet), but this one is just not very good. They sound like they’ve run out of good ideas and grasping at straws. I like the direction, but they just don’t pull it off here for whatever reason. 5.0/10

(JP): Having given up on In Flames being a metal band ages ago, I try to listen to this album with a new light. And yes, the clean vocals are better than they ever been, and yes they have finally fully emerged as a alt rock band cutting all ties to their death metal past. But are the song really that good? Both yes and no. They have some really strong hooks and choruses, but the travel in-between those are just boring and bland 5.0/10

(MJ): It’s not completely lacking interesting ideas. “Reroute to Remain” mixed with new influences. I even thought my player skipped to an Iced Earth album when “Monsters in the Ballroom” started. 5.5/10

(WN): I´ve never been very big on In Flames. You know what´s not helping? “Siren Charm”2.0/10
(GJ): I have never been a fan of In Flames, although this was a good effort to win me over. A little bit too “modern” and “hybrid” for my taste, especially since it doesn’t sound genuine and messes up the “flow” of the songs.  6.5/10

 

Deathdomain ATW October 2014 on Spotify


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



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