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Vltimas 'Something Wicked Marches In'

Vltimas 'Something Wicked Marches In'

2019 is slowly unveiling some fine releases.  With Altarage, Overkill and Candlemass all making me grin thus far in the past three months, despite a slow start and some disappointments (Venom, Queensryche and Legion of the Damned).  Naturally, your ears prick up when you hear Flo Mounier, Rune Eriksen and David Vincent have decided to get together and make some unholy communion.  Straight away I thought we had potential AOTY material right here given the obvious talent and experience present on
Queensryche "The Verdict"

Queensryche "The Verdict"

The verdict is in.  The jurors have been recalled into the courtroom.  The journalists have all sharpened their pencils and the public gallery is filling up with any interested parties still left out there.  Let's get the background check out of the way first.  This is not the Geoff Tate version of the band that eventually ended up not being called Queensryche.  This is the "original" version of Queensryche (albeit with only 3 original members) and one time Crimson Glory crooner Todd la Torre do
Candlemass "The Door to Doom"

Candlemass "The Door to Doom"

Two reviews in one weekend?  All work and no play makes Macca a dull boy!  Wait a minute...not when I am reviewing top notch releases such as the latest from Overkill and Candlemass.  I mean it is like I fell asleep on Thursday night and woke up in the eighties on Friday morning.  Like Overkill, the Swedish doom legends are enjoying a new lease of life, this time in the form of Johan Languist (yes,him) who returns to the band after a 32 year gap to ingratiate the memories of anyone with a copy o

MacabreEternal

MacabreEternal

Overkill "The Wings of War"

Overkill "The Wings of War"

Full length number 19 from overkill certainly makes a splash in the energy stakes, I mean there's some modern thrash bands that are a good two decades younger than Overkill who can only hope to achieve the levels of spunk that New Jersey's finest produce here.  That in itself is an achievement, for a band of Overkill's stature and reputation to be able to still sound relevant four decades into their career is no mean feat.  Even in the albums weaker moments it never gets redundant and the energy

MacabreEternal

MacabreEternal

Rotting Christ "The Heretics"

Rotting Christ "The Heretics"

Last Rotting Christ album I enjoyed?  "Triarchy of Lost Lovers".  Last Rotting Christ album I bothered to listen to upon release?  "Aealo".  It is fair to say that the Greek stalwarts of the Black Metal scene now have a sound that rarely ventures into the territory so well tread on "Thy Mighty Contract" and "Non Serviam" but it is also fair to say that "The Heretics" sounds from start to finish like a band who firmly stamp themselves on the metal map for 2019.  What album number thirteen from Ro

MacabreEternal

MacabreEternal

Drudkh/Windswept "The Onlooker"

Drudkh/Windswept "The Onlooker"

So here I am reviewing the new Drudkh album...oh...wait a minute...no apparently it isn't Drudkh, it is Windswept.  A quick look on the internet tells me that Windswept are Drudkh minus keyboards in terms of members.  Therefore Windswept is just a less atmospheric version of Drudkh?  That's not really a question as I have heard "The Onlooker" and I know it is in fact a statement of truth. I don't get it.  If I want to hear a Drudkh record I will just put one on.  Similarly, if I was a membe

MacabreEternal

MacabreEternal

Ossuarium "Living Tomb"

Ossuarium "Living Tomb"

When it comes to death/doom, variety is not necessarily top of the average listener's appeal list.  Usually when I review such a release I find myself typing "doesn't reinvent the wheel but does the genre justice with this solid offering" or words to that effect.  Ossuarium's debut full length falls under that banner most definitely.  Nobody is fucking around here with a saxophone to make the offering standout with some eclectic and unnecessary deviation from tradition.  If you like your death m

MacabreEternal

MacabreEternal

Altarage "The Approaching Roar"

Altarage "The Approaching Roar"

The roar has always been approaching.  As far back as three years ago when Altarage dropped their debut full length 'Nihl', this scribe could already hear the threat of their ability, feel the menace of their presence from over hills far away and sense the nefarious intent as the raw fury howled over my skin.  Sophomore effort 'Endinghent' further cemented the prowess of these blackened death metal Basque country residents.  Although slightly less of an impact than the opening salvo of 'Nihl' it

MacabreEternal

MacabreEternal

Malevolent Creation "The 13th Beast"

Malevolent Creation "The 13th Beast"

There's life in the old dog yet it seems.  In terms of original members only Phil Fasciana remains in the ranks of Malevolent Creation now and after the passing of Brett Hoffman last year you could almost forgive fans for thinking the curtain had fallen on Malevolent Creation.  The fact is that whilst "The 13th Beast" reinvents no wheels it does exhibit the sound of a band in the throes of something of a regeneration phase.  There's nothing tired sounding here, no dull interludes to build unnece

MacabreEternal

MacabreEternal

Legion of the Damned "Slaves of the Shadow Realm"

Legion of the Damned "Slaves of the Shadow Realm"

Variety is the spice of life, so they say.  Someone might want to mention this to Legion of the Damned.  Picking up right were Venom left off last week in the the generic stakes, "Slaves of the Shadow Realm" churns out largely unvaried, unremarkable and unmemorable thrash metal with the odd splash of death and black metal smatterings here and there.  To give you some idea of how hard going this is I have to wait three whole tracks to here a lead guitar!  I love good chug fest as much as the next

MacabreEternal

MacabreEternal

Venom "Storm The Gates"

Venom "Storm The Gates"

So, my first review of 2019 is of the latest offering from UK legends Venom.  37 years after the debut full length and the band are still active, albeit as a much changed line up from that which recorded "Welcome to Hell".  I'll be honest, I haven't bothered with Venom beyond "At War With Satan", so I really had a blank slate in terms of expectations when I put "Storm The Gates" on this afternoon.  To say it is generic is something of an understatement.  Each track just morphs into the next
Corpsessed "Impetus of Death"

Corpsessed "Impetus of Death"

It was 2014 when Corpsessed released their debut full length and mighty fucking good it was too.  Some 4+ years later and it is time for the sophomore release to land in my music stream and seek my attention.  When I say seek I actually mean possess my attention.  Although the album is by no means perfect, this record grabs hold of you by your very soul, dragging it off on a journey littered with horror, darkness and crushing heaviness to boot.  One of its main successes is the atmosphere that i

MacabreEternal

MacabreEternal

Soulfly "Ritual"

Soulfly "Ritual"

Surprises are nice aren't they?  I mean, not socks for Xmas type surprises.  Not even tax rebate on your birthday-esque proportions either.  I am more concerned with those times in your life where you tell yourself you will hate something before you even get round to trying it, convincing yourself in the process this unheard, untasted, unseen or unfelt thing would be a waste of your time.  When you eventually throw caution to the wind and give it go you find no repulsion, no bile in your throat

MacabreEternal

MacabreEternal

Behemoth "I Loved You At Your Darkest"

Behemoth "I Loved You At Your Darkest"

The first song I heard ahead of the full 2014 release ("The Satanist") from Behemoth was "Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel".  It immediately peaked my interest, setting the tone nicely for what was to become one of my favoured full lengths of that year.  This time around I heard "God = Dog" (which I think means the band are more cat people?).  It sounded blunted and frankly restrained.  Yes, there was a brief passage of some interesting string work towards the end but generally it just passed me by. 

MacabreEternal

MacabreEternal

Deicide "Overtures of Blasphemy"

Deicide "Overtures of Blasphemy"

Glen Benton is 51.  Fuck I feel old now too.  Deicide are 30 years old (32 if we count the Amon era).  Album number 12 from the fathers of Florida death metal is a strong effort considering yet another change of personnel has occurred.  It is bye-bye Jack Owen, hello Mark English of Monstosity fame taking up guitar duties and ironically I like "Overtures of Blasphemy " a lot more than Monstrosity's effort this year. Whilst it can never make the "beast of a DM record" title I would give to t

MacabreEternal

MacabreEternal

Khemmis "Desolation"

Khemmis "Desolation"

I have heard a lot of metal over my 29 years of listening to little else genre wise.  I have seen the birth and death of genres and sub genres and even witnessed things come back full circle as the twenty teens (?) churn out the likes of Visigoth with their traditional take of heavy metal that was the audible catalyst for me at 13 years of age to go down this route as a fan. Khemmis are a band that embrace that "older" or more "traditional" feel to metal in 2018 that has been popular over t

MacabreEternal

MacabreEternal

Immortal "Northern Chaos Gods"

Immortal "Northern Chaos Gods"

Behind every great man, there's a great woman.  Behind every camped up, shape throwing, garrulous Black Metal vocalist there's a great song writer.  Both of these statements are true, except the second one actually does not commend Abbath as being the imaginative, creative and artistic driving force behind Immortal.  This is blatantly obvious if you have heard his solo pop/rock record of a couple of years ago. What "Northern Chaos Gods" does is essentially pull off one of the best tattoo re

MacabreEternal

MacabreEternal

Winterfylleth "The Hallowing of Heirdom"

Winterfylleth "The Hallowing of Heirdom"

Okay, so I will admit that the prospect of an acoustic only Winterfylleth album didn't exactly fill me with joy.  The pagan, black metallers have long existed on the fringes of my radar but never somehow managed to make much more than a fleeting blip historically.  The fact is that this is one of the most heartfelt records I have listened to in quite a while.  I have more than once found myself stood stock still, completely captivated by the atmospheric beauty of what I have heard on this r

MacabreEternal

MacabreEternal

Circle II Circle "Burden of Truth"

Circle II Circle "Burden of Truth"

I invite you to come with me to a time before 2008. It may surprise you to learn that at this point, Circle II Circle was actually a pretty damn good band. They did eventually become prog Godsmack, as history will record with bitter regret chronicling the storied tale of Savatage. For now, however, let’s make like boomers and complain about how things used to be better. Burden of Truth sounds like sentimentalism, at times. It feels rather like Skid Row filtered through Phantom of the Opera,

Iceni

Iceni

Ministry "AmeriKKKant"

Ministry "AmeriKKKant"

No matter how much you dislike Donald Trump, Ministry's overt and constant attack on his administration doesn't mean that "AmeriKKKant" is actually a good album.  I mean it isn't entirely a terrible album either but you will struggle to remember much of it after even a couple of listens, beyond the endless stream of frankly confusing and almost barrage like snippets of Trump audio bites that is, they are the only really memorable part. It isn't really an industrial metal album either.  It s

MacabreEternal

MacabreEternal

Judas Priest "Firepower"

Judas Priest "Firepower"

When I was 14 I witnessed the video on Raw Power TV to the title track from Judas Priest's "Painkiller" album.  I hadn't heard any Priest up until that stage despite me having a good selection of Iron Maiden and Saxon records under my belt by that age.  "Painkiller" blew me the fuck away!  I mean, what was not to love?  Thunderous drums, a mix of gruff and shrill vocal antics and duelling lead guitars.  I went straight out that afternoon and bought the album on blasted it for consecutive days fo

MacabreEternal

MacabreEternal

Portal "ION"

Portal "ION"

One of my favourite urban myths is that you will go blind if you masterbate too much.  Listening to Portal might make you go blind as you ears frantically take resource from your brain that was needed for mundane tasks such as vision and bladder control as they try to cope with the relentless auditory assault of "ION", however pulling your pud won't affect your eyesight boys.  Science bit over, on with the review. "ION" seems instantly more refined than previous outings.  Don't get me wrong

MacabreEternal

MacabreEternal

Machine Head "Catharsis"

Machine Head "Catharsis"

Fucking hell.  Where to start really? Nu-metal is apparently alive and well in 2018 and I don't like Nu-Metal, so the prospects for positive words in this review are slim.  It is not that I don't like Machine Head.  I mean I am not one of the mindless internet troll brigade who respond to every release with "These guys made "Burn My Eyes" and listen to this!".  Get over it bell ends, there's no more "Burn My Eyes" nor is there anymore "The Blackening" left to come.  Whilst I will openly adm

MacabreEternal

MacabreEternal

Watain "Trident Wolf Eclipse"

Watain "Trident Wolf Eclipse"

Watain's last album "The Wild Hunt" got slated on one internet review for being "Nu-Dark Funeral with the heart of Bon Jovi".  Whilst a certain amount of butthurt contributed the scribe of aforementioned review choosing such a frankly ridiculous statement, it was unfortunately indicative of the direction change of the album that saw the raw and ferocious nature of the band be trimmed back to make way for more melodic, progressive and accessible aspects. "Trident Wolf Eclipse" is a return to

MacabreEternal

MacabreEternal

Shining "X - Varg Utan Flock"

Shining "X - Varg Utan Flock"

Two album reviews in one day today.  Boy, will I sleep tonight.  Although perhaps not as easily as I might think.  "X - Varg Utan Flock" has a bit flustered, a bit confused yet in a good way - like when I saw a magician at my friend's wedding and he wasn't just counting cards even though he didn't walk through a wall either. Shining's latest album twists and turns as it unfolds in front of you like some venomous snake.  Depressive tone? Tick.  Demented vocals? Check!  Sad piano track?  That

MacabreEternal

MacabreEternal

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