Underground Metal Flavour Since 2006

Band: IMMOLITH 
Country: USA
Title: Hymns to the Countess
Label: Carrioncrawler / Forces Of Satan
Year: 2009
Style: Black Metal

This is a release I have been waiting to hear for a few months now. Immolith are easily one of my favorite and proably one of the best new black metal bands from the u.s.b.m right now. For those of you who have not heard these New Jersey hate mongers, Immolith play a semi-raw old-school black metal, very well played and thought out guitar and bass riffs and few solo's. Vocals go between gruff styled vocals and all out violent black metal screams. The drums have a heavy mid-paced sound and feel but Immolith seem to have control on the drums unlike alot of newer bands who just use the all-out blasting insanity. The production is perfect as well it is not horribly raw/low but also does not have the crisp-perfect sound so many of the newer bands are using which I personally feel kills the black metal sound and intensity. It is great to hear/see a band keeping the early days of black metal alive and well. Fans of late 80's/early 90's black metal will love Immolith with all their dark hearts. {special note:if you are a fan of "digital" downloads you can go to Forces Of Satan for the digital download of this mighty release or fans of the real deal cd/cover etc. can contact the band. I am not sure how many copies were made up so if interested contact them asap!!}
Reviewed by Patrick




Band: IMMUNDUS
Country: Norway
Title: Haunted Memories
Label: Hypnotic Dirge Records
Year: 2009
Style:  Dark Ambient

Review:
Norwegian ambient/instrumental artist Immundus has released his newest dark masterpiece "Haunted Memories". This is proably one of the most chilling, haunting releases you will ever hear! While it seems alot of today's ambient/instrumental projects seem to focus on the depressing/dark side of things Immundus focus more on creating dark horror-soundtrack theme music. Each track on "Haunted Memories" tells a story {without ever using a single word} of pure terror and leaves the listener with a uneasy feeling. Fans of horror movie soundtracks {espically from the 70's early 80's} or dark ambient music will enjoy what Immundus has created and this is a masterpiece of dark music.
Reviewed by Patrick

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Band: IMMUNDUS
Country: Norway
Title: The Method Learned II
Label: Hypnotic Dirge Records
Year: 2009
Style: Dark Ambient

Review:
I've listed to this Ep for a few times now and still don't know how to present it to you. It's a dark and haunting jurney through paranormal worlds, it's exactly how Immundus presents it on the website: "do you ever get that feeling that someone is always there?, even when you are all alone? That feeling of being watched??". It is like you're entering a world of ghosts and really fel their grief, their hopes, their twisted feelings. It's a fantastic soundscape, a terrifying experience. Love it! 
Reviewed by Adrian

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Band: INHUMATE
Country: France
Title: The Fifth Season
Label: Grind Your Soul Prod.
Year: 2009
Style: Grind

Review:
After a five year abscence of up's and down's, France's legendary death/grinders return with their best release to date! With each release the band have written the lyrics in a concept format. This time around the band explores some topics such as time, wisdom, and knowledge. Fans of extreme grind don't let the above sentence scare you, the band has gone beyond the gore/porn grind-core of most of today's scene but this band is not weak by any means. The CD includes 19 tracks of pure in your face grind/death metal. Some of the fastest blast beats to be recorded, sick, deranged shrieks all combined to prove once and for all Inhumate are back to take their throne back as one of the leading Gods of Grind.
Reviewed by Patrick

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Band: LET THE NIGHT ROAR
Country: USA
Title: Let the Night Roar
Label: Tualatin Records
Year: 2008
Style: Doom Sludge Stoner Metal

Review:
Let The Night Roar is a Atlanta power trio that is fronted by ex Malevoloent Creation/Leviathan guitarist Jeff Juszkiewicz. First thing to hit your eardrums is the obvious similarity to "High On Fire", even the vocals sound for the most part sound like Matt Pike but the band has it's own identity in the fact they have a more solid metallic crunch than Pike & Co. The metallic crunch comes in old-school sounds made famous by bands like "Celtic Frost, Kreator and Venom" but they put their own stamp on the songs, blending Metal, Stoner, Sludge, Doom and elements of Punk into one seamless package. There is no shortage of fuzzy guitar riffs, solid drumming and high energy driving heaviness. The band come up with some huge riffs, check out the one that kicks off the band's theme song "Let The Night Roar" for a example of sonic metallic bliss, another killer opens the album in "All Costs".
The songs are concise, nothing is spared and no time is wasted because their is a certain urgenty to the playing. Recorded by Jeff Bako, the production is solid and loud enough to crack skulls but its a little short on songs so the desire to hear a lot more from this band is already there for me.This band has a sound that could appeal to a wide range of heavy music fans from Doomsters, Stoner Rockers to old school thrash metal fans even. Good to see they have this released on a label like Meteor City and i hope they do a decent job getting their name out so people can listen to this but i have a feeling we will be hearing a lot more from this band. Sonically impressive stuff, check it out.
Reviewed by Ed

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Band: LIMB FROM LIMB
Country: Australia
Title: Rip Him from his Fucking Throne
Label: Obsidian Records
Year: 2009
Style: Brutal Death Grind

Review:
Australia's Limb From Limb unleash their grinding sickness upon the unexpecting ears of the underground maniacs with this release. 8 tracks of chaotic grinding insanity, heavy bass, crazy guitar riffs and solo's and some of the fastest drum beats I have heard from a human drummer. The band does slow down in places to a heavier bass driven mid-paced sound. The band keeps this up long enough to catch their breath before they go off into another brutality driven frenzy. Fans of old Incantation, Immolation, and more grind driven brutality fans will like this band. 
Reviewed by Patrick

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Band: LORD OF THE GRAVE 
Country: Switzerland
Title: Raunacht
Label: The Church Within Records
Year: 2009
Style: Stoner Doom

Review:
One of my favorite CD's at the moment has to "Ranuacht" by Switzerland's "Lord Of The Grave". 5 Tracks of pure Stoner Doom glory in the tradition of bands like Sleep, Electric Wizard and Saint Vitus, this CD is kind of short even though one track is over 17 minutes long. The album opens with the fuzz drenched sonic Doom of "Holy Vitus" that highlights the hypnotic riffing of Robert <i>C who also handles the vocals. The vocals are a little buried in the mix but it seems to add to the hypnotic quality of the music. This first track begins the album in a somewhat plodding way and some may say one of the other tracks might have been a better choice for a opener but this tune is one of my favorites on the album. "Ghosts Of The Pyre" follows in a similar fuzzed out fashion with moaning vocals with a layered riff sound, it is easy to forget this band is just a 3 piece. The sound is old school, i don't know for sure but this sounds like vintage equipment cranked to the max with old tube amplifiers working into overdrive. The third track "Lord Of The Grave" is 7 minutes of the same but without getting boring in anyway at all, its really just a continuation of the feel set up in the previous 2 songs. The real highlight is "Bardo" ( nothing to do with the Obsessed song ) which leads into the title track. "Raunacht" which  is a seamless 17 minute plus epic that defies its running time, a real achievement to make something so long, so brutal without it becoming mundane or predictable. "Raunacht" means "Rough Night" in English and this music is rough but it is also some real fuzzy goodness. Pity the album seems so short or maybe i enjoy it so much it just seemed that way.
Reviewed by Ed

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Band: MALEBOLGIA
Country: USA
Title: Requiems for the Inexorable
Label: Comatose Music
Year: 2009
Style: Brutal Death Metal

Review:
This is my first encounter with Malebolgia and I must say on my 2nd listen this is not a bad release at all. The band brings the listener 12 tracks of brutal pummeling death metal. They are mixing some older death/grind with touches of the newer generation brutal blasting death metal. The band does slow the pace down with a few breaks and more mid-paced passages. The vocals are harsh brutal growls with some technical guitar riffs and solo's. Fans of Immolation, Monstrosity and technical death bands should enjoy this new release from this up and coming US band.
Reviewed by Patrick

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Band: MASS OBLITERATION
Country: Italy
Title: Fratricide
Label: Selfreleased
Year: 2009
Style: Death Metal

Review:
Another Italian band, another good band. :) Mass Obliteration comes from the capital, Rome, as a four pieces band. This one is their second Demo CD, a very professional release I might say. The CD comes packed with a 4 pages booklet containing the lyrics, a profi sound, so this shows that they keep tights when it comes to presenting their tracks to the outside world. Fratricide contains 4 tracks, almost 17 minutes of playing a massive assault of death metal. The blasting drums do a very good job here are supported by a vocalist that recorded a lot of his parts twice, mixed them and presented them as a compact "voice", two guitarists that seem to get along very well together, and a bass line that makes it all more brutal and deep. Very good, profi recorded sound, a packaging that makes it worth your money, good compositions, basically this is an overall short description of Fratricide. Mass Obliteration is a band with good potential that is bringing nothing new to the table, but does its music with passion and succeeds to offer a kind of death metal that will be welcomed by the ones that search for what death metal is supposed to bring: deep dark and aggressive atmosphere.
Reviewed by Adrian

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Band: MY OWN GRAVE
Country: Sweden
Title: Necrology
Label: Pulverized Records
Year: 2009
Style: Brutal Death

Review:
Just like label mates Sanctification, My Own Grave is doing their best to keep the brutal death metal scene and sound alive and well. The biggest difference with the two bands are My Own Grave seems to enjoy the more chaotic and aggressive side of death where Sanctification are more mid-paced, early 90's style of brutality. Necrology is a brutal and classy at the same time with some violent and chaotic drum patterns, while the guitarist keeps the sick sound flowing with some intense guitar riffs and solo's and some of the best death metal vocals to be heard in the scene today. Recomended to fans of brutal, dark Swedish death metal.
Reviewed by Patrick

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Band: MYTHOLOGY
Country: USA
Title: An Infernal Grave
Label: Morgue House Records
Year: 2008
Style: Black Death

Review:
By their looks (corpse paint, spikes, axes, swords) you would say you're dealing with an old-school black metal band, and by their band name you could say you have here a melodic black metal act, but you would be wrong in both cases, Mythology is a fast, brutal black death 4 pieces band from USA formed back in 2004 and that became a pretty solid name in the New York scene along the years. It is my first contact with the band so I knew nothing about them.
This one is their debut EP, released in 2007 by Morgue House Records to celebrate one of their shows with Vital Remains. Basically this is their demo, but re-recorded, so it contains the same 4 tracks from their 2007 demo. Mythology's music is aggressive black death, a very good combination for old-school followers: hellish screams seconded by some growls in the background from time to time, fast, uncompromising black metal guitar riffs, death metal guitar solos and a devastating rhythm section. Promising debut!
Reviewed by Adrian

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Band: NEIGE ET NOIRCEUR
Country: Canada
Title: Demo V
Label: Hypnotic Dirge Records
Year: 2009
Style: Dark Ambient

Review:
This is a new Canadian band/project with a Swedish raw black/thrash sound but also mixes alot of dark atmospheric ambience. The band has some good ideas but I think they need to work on the music some more. It will be interesting to hear the future releases but this one very interesting or memorable.
Reviewed by Patrick

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Band: OL SCRATCH
Country: USA
Title: The Sunless Citadel
Label: Oppressive Sound System Releases
Year: 2009
Style: Sludge Doom

Review:
Virginia’s Ol’ Scratch has had its fair share of line up changes over the years but this band seems to get better and better. The latest album proves that point more than anything else, this is a powerhouse monster of a recording that left pinned against the wall when i first heard it. Ever been to a live show where everything is so loud and heavy you felt like you wanted to vomit? That's what this CD can do to you if you cranked it up, the bass sound on this is the driving force. I have to say its the best bass sound i have heard in years. Ol Scratch are know for being a loud band but on this album they pushed their sound to a new level of power especially in the bass department. The album kicks off a intro piece before unleashing some Sabbath inspired Sludge that pummels your brain in the form of a track called  “Infernal Judgment”. This is like Buzzoven but with a even more viscous attack, i mention the bass sound before and i must warned you i hope your stereo can handle this. My sub-woofer shit itself not long after listening to this album, i am not blaming Ol Scratch for it but it wouldn't surprise me if they are ones that did the damage. While the bass sound is so thick, you have a guitar sound that compliments the bass perfectly. It cuts, slices and tears its way through most of the tracks while the bass simply bulldozer's its way through. Most of the riffs on this album combine two things, cranked to the max Sludge Metal and dirty Doomed Out Southern Rock. There hasn't been a album released this year so far in my opinion that combines these elements and manages to keep it interesting for a entire album. Tracks like  “Draconian March and Bottom Basement” which blend together like most of the tracks do on this album have a filthy groove about them. Guitarists Steve and Willy trade licks and split up solo's with demented abandon and the vocals howl and growl. One thing that comes shining through is you can tell the guys have worked their butts off on this, slightly ambitious and a totally complete album. “Brink of the Maelstrom” is another major highlight, a twisted riff monster that leave you hitting the repeat button over and over again. There is also  “Redneck Deity” where the band becomes slightly (shock-horror) a little catchy and heads more towards a Doomed out C.O.C sound. There is a couple of quieter moments where the band moves into Swamp-Blues Mood but they pull that off so well it just add another dimension to the album. The closing 17+ minutes of “Wizard Smoke and Goatbridge”, the band manages to combine everything the band has played on the album so far and construct into a epic piece of Sludge/Doom Heaven. It has the Electric Wizard drugged up riffage but also with some psychedelic breaks before ending with a wall of noise effect. There is also the Sludged Up Boogie of “Last Charge of a Dying Race”, yes the band covers a lot of ground on this album. If there is any weak point at all its the drum sound which seems to get buried a little at times under the monstrous bass sound. Normally that would hurt the rating but with the songs being so good and solid it doesn't affect the overall listening experience of this CD. Conclusion - this is my favorite CD of the year so far,a release so good that i don't know if this band will ever top it. Its out on Oppressive Sound System and the artwork and package is pretty damn good also. I hope everyone into Sludge and Doom check this mutha out. Essential....
Reviewed by Ed

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Band: ORBSEVEN
Country: USA
Title: The Linear Divide
Label: Selfreleased
Year: 2009
Style: Ambient Death/Black Metal
Review: 

This is a powerful one man project of Anthony, who plays really everything. He founded “Orbseven” in late 2004. Since 2005 he worked on this album. A quite long process. But the long work was worth it.
He created a very individual style by using depressive black metal guitar lines, a hard death metal drumming and a changing rhythm setup. His voice is distorted and also a mix of black and death metal.  Then there appear also the typical complete death metal songs. The ambient sounds developing then a quite unique sound. I cannot yet remember any band which is sounding like “Orbseven”. The only help here is the female singer of the band “Gaia” from Florida who fits very good to that quite science fiction style. 
The quality of the sound is very good for an underground project and the skills and the quality of playing are very high. It was a pleasure to hear this stuff. As play-tip I could tell you: “Whereas None Remains Infinite”.
Reviewed by Robert

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Band: ORDO TEMPLI ORIENTIS
Country: Belarus
Title: Pagantum (Pagan Autumn)
Label: Satan Fights Humanity Records
Year: Re release 2009
Style: Depressive Black Metal

Review: 
Who read my former reviews, maybe knows, that I am a friend of good black metal, even if it is in lower quality, but there are borders. And the borders are exceeded here. I mean, this album could be somehow good, but the quality is underground. I really mean underground in a shitty way. The guitars are just a stream of somewhat, which you could call a sludge of tones, not even audible as a guitar. The drum is just a silent all the time the same rhythm picking sound. Either the voices and screams are lagging completely of variance or quality.
Here you really can say, quantity doesn´t make quality. The guy behind releases much, yes, 18 pieces of music form 2007 till now, but maybe he should concentrate to make music and not just some mixture of shitty quality sounds.
Beside that, I wonder how the name comes for this Demo. At least I know it already. Pagan is in, but you cannot find any pagan spirit in this music or at least I didn´t find!
Reviewed by Robert

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Band: ORDO TEMPLI ORIENTIS
Country: Belarus
Title: Pant - The Doll (Temptful Whisper of Succubi Lilith)
Label: Self release
Year: 2008
Style: Depressive Black Metal

Review: 
Hm, what can I say now about that release?
The quality is better, luckily, but the music? Not really. Now it is some mixture of random ambient sounds and black metal songs. The same type, the same concept. At least that we have at much bands, though. But I really cannot tell you that I like it. He has good ideas and as already told, he made a process in the quality of the sound, at least little bit, but the output of them is juts not good enough to touch me in some way, then juts hope that this is soon ending. Either the porn sounds in it  is a big help to that. Hard but honest.
Reviewed by Robert

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Band: ORDO TEMPLI ORIENTIS
Country: Belarus 
Title: Vex Irritation (Split)
Label: Rigorism Productions / Fights Humanity Records
Year: 2009
Style: Depressive Black Metal

Review: 
A very new output of the one-man-project O.T.O.. A Split-EP with the band Iad Uroboros from Russia, either a one-man black metal project. I must say, the songs of that band are really spicy. Also not the greatest quality, but that is not the point. The guitars are good hearable and they have an acceptable quality. And just from the atmosphere it is a nice cold piece of music. 
But what can I hear, nice guitar quality either form O.T.O.. And as I said, it makes much good to the song itself. A long but good song. Depressive, cold and full of emotion, that is how I would had wish it for the release before. Also the singed vocals I like. But you cannot have everything from the beginning. Though it is good to see, that he improved all things.
No one, who read my reviews about this band before, would maybe thought, that this would really happen, but I must say, I like this Split. A good raw black metal EP!
Reviewed by Robert

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Band: ORDO TEMPLI ORIENTIS
Country: Belarus
Title: Where Eternal Autumn Winds Blow
Label: Rigorism Productions
Year: 2008
Style: Depressive Black Metal

Review: 
So what now? Now I have the great pleasure to hear the first full length album of this band. I must say that is the first time I can say that I like some parts. At least the Intro sounds good and brings some atmosphere in my room. The next songs is coming up. Not bad, the guitars are still little bit to law quality, but the screams are way more better and the keys are covering the shitty side of the guitars. Either drums are not only a monotone hacking in my ears. I am relieved. Some nice mid-tempo parts and faster ones. Bu t I wonder still, what the guy wants to tell us with the band name. There is nothing really medieval or historical, nor a topic which you could connect to a monk crusade order. Anyway it doesn´t matter that much.
I must say, I am now, after the two not good examples quite surprised. Now it is really depressive black metal. But he should really try to record the guitars in a better way, they take in my opinion much of the good atmosphere away!
Reviewed by Robert

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Band: PATHOLOGY
Country: USA
Title: Age of Onset
Label: Comatose Music
Year: 2009
Style: Brutal Death Metal

Review:
I knew Pathology would find a good home and label to release their brutal sickness on. I had heard this bands previous release 2008's "Incisions of Pure Debauchery". Between the two releases Pathology found a new vocalist in Matti Way {ex-Disgorge}, his pure guttural vokills fit perfect with Pathology's brutal sick death metal. Deep guttural vokills, some of the best and most intense drumming to be heard and a heavy guitar/bass all of these elements mixed with a top-notch production will please fans of Suffocation, Fleshgrind {R.I.P} and mid-90's US guttural brutality!
Reviewed by Patrick

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Band: PONAMERO SUNDOWN
Country: Sweden
Title: Stonerized
Label: Transubstans Rec.
Year: 2009
Style: Stoner Metal

Review:
Ponamero Sundown, would you believe another awesome band from Sweden! This bands debut album plays almost like a tribute to everything Stoner Rock has gave us over the last 15 years. Within the album's grooves you can hear traces of Kyuss, Spiritual Beggars, Dozer, Truckfighters, Fu Manchu, Color Haze, The Awesome Machine and early Nebula. So as you can worked out by now, there is not much in the way of originality here but they still dish up some major fuzz rock music and are really pretty diverse within the Stoner Rock genre considering the amount of ground they cover on this disc. The band has a obvious mid 90's sound while the production is beefed up into modern day standards. The tracks on all reek of different influence's , "Live The Lie" sounds a little like mid era "Kyuss", "Doctor Of Evil" sounds like classic "Dozer" and you can pick out influences on every other track on here. This would be unfair for me to do though because this band do what they do so well that if i make comparisons to other bands with every track if would sound like they are just pure copy cats and that they are not ! “Alcoholic Deathride” is one track that they seem to have their own thing going, this is the opening track on the CD and it kicks some serious butt. Even more so is the aggressive “Double You” which has so much angry Stoner groove, you just want to crank this mutha up to 11. "Hell Bent" and ''Curtain Call" are great tracks full of some powerful Stoner riffs but the later sounds has a section that sounds like a clear rip off of something. Maybe someone out there can tell me what it is, it has been driving me nuts thinking about it. Instrumentally the band know their stuff, great guitar work played with real passion and energy. The vocals are just right for the tunes, well balanced in the mix but nothing to get too excited about. They do the job well however and the the overall mood of the CD is one of driving in your hotted up car, even hotter chick beside you with beer and weed to share. The instrumental title track is a surprise here, it finishes the album in a softer fashion. Weird way to finish the album, i think it would have been more effective in the middle just to serve as some sort of interlude. If you fell in love with Stoner Rock in the early to mid 90's like i did, you will eat this up. However if you are looking for something unique or original within the context of a Stoner/Fuzz/Desert Rock band you might this a little too much on the familiar side of things. What they do have going for them is some killer catchy riffs and just enough diversity to make you want to listen right to the end. A couple of interesting points, this album got to number 2 on the Swedish hard rock chart and cracked the top 30 on the mainstream chart. I guess that shows you much more the Swedes love their hard rock compared to the USA. This is only their debut album so maybe they are just testing out their Stoner craft, the next album could be truly amazing. 
Reviewed by Ed

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Band: PRAYER OF THE DYING
Country: Malta
Title: From the Mouth of the Passing
Label: Nekrogoat Heresy Productions
Year: 2009
Style: Black Death Doom

Review:
Here we have the second and most recent release by Prayer Of The Dying. Once again Martin C. handles all instruements and vocals. The music starts off with a much more brutal black/death sound than on the debut release but has not totally abandoned the death/doom style as he slows the music down mid-way through the CD and the song "Breed up with Hate" have some really well sung and placed clean-male singing and chanting style vocals. Prayer Of The Dying are a band fans of blackend death/doom will love.
Reviewed by Patrick

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Band: PSYLOCYBE LARVAE
Country: Russia
Title: Non Existence
Label: Mazzar Records
Year: 2008
Style: Melodic Progressive Black Death

Review:
This is the first time I get in contact with this band. Psylocybe Larvae was formed back in 1996 and since then released 1 demo and 3 full-length albums, Non Existence being their 4th effort to date. These 5 guys play an exquisite melodi, progressive (black) death metal, very interesting and entertaining, very catchy and well executed. This album reminds me of Polish band Lux Occulta's "My Guardian Anger" album, it has the same amount of melodic touches combined with aggressive parts, and even the keyboard parts are similar. I simply loved that album and I like a lot this one, too. These Russians are very good instrumentists, they deserve a larger audience than Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, countries where this album is released by Mazzar Records. The album was mixed in Poland at Hertz Studio and mastered in Cutting Room from Sweden. The production is great, this is certainly an album worth checking. I think I'll end my reviews for today here and listen to Psylocybe Larvae for the rest of the day.
Reviewed by Adrian

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Band: SAAC
Country: Finland
Title: Evil Imagination
Label: Death Worm Records
Year: 2009
Style: Black Metal

Review: 
“SAAC” is a Finnish black metal solo project founded this year of the member of “Goat Tunnel”, which new stuff is also reviewed in September. The three songs of the EP are normal length ones. They are raw, cold and brutal. There are not much speed or rhythm changes and the drums, screams and guitars are juts blasting your ears. Lyrically “S”, the guy behind “SAAC”, uses the much used topics of misanthropy, hate and insanity. 
11 minutes, released by “Death Worm Records”, a small also Finnish label, of raw black metal, which have their good moments, but in my opinion they are not to often. The price of the EP (3,50 €) is okay and if you have “paypal”, you can order it over the labels myspace page.
Reviewed by Robert

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Band: SANCTIFICATION
Country: Sweden
Title: Black Reign
Label: Pulverised Records
Year: 2009
Style: Brutal Swedish Death Metal

Review:
Fans of pure brutal death metal but are tired of all the newer bands who add black, prog or even the horrific "core" to their brutal sound can take a huge sigh of relief with Sweden's Sanctification. Black Reign is nine tracks of pure old-school Swedish brutality. Hypocrisy and early Entombed {think Left Hand Path era} come to mind when listening to this band. Extreme fast guitar chords and few solo's and a drummer who is a master at creating a heavy mid-paced beats or the more psychotic blast beats. Fans of {early} Hypocrisy, Desultory, and Entombed will defintly want to check out this band and their brutal yet "classic" sound.
Reviewed by Patrick

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Band: SEELENFROST
Country: Germany
Title: Im Schatten toter Wörter
Label: Selfreleased
Year: 2009
Style: Black Metal

Review: 
Imagine cold rain falling in big drops and rumbling thunder. A smooth undistorted e-guitar starts some lonely and sad tunes. The song “Als kalter Regen...” (When cold rain...) is a nice break after the two fast songs in the beginning, but then a cut: the next song and the typical “Seelenfrost” sound comes up. A fast and raw coldness of black metal with much blast-beats and an atmospheric guitar riffing. I like very much that there are still some short moments of speakings or some ambient sounds, they make the album a great varied one, because there are appearing also some songs which are not fitting directly in the concept (e.g. D.S.O.N).
The band itself is coming from Germany and includes three (source: homepage) guys. The founding year is 2006. This reviewed piece of music is their first Album, but one split and five demos are preceding. The lyrics are moving between dark nature mystic and sorrow of the human existence.
I really appreciate the listening to this band. Everyone who likes German underground black metal can grab this without any doubt. You can order it from their homepage.
Reviewed by Robert

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Band: SIHR
Country: USA
Title: Beneath the Twelwe Mile Zone
Label: Selfreleased
Year: 2009
Style: Doom Metal

Review:
This is a must for fans of Electric Wizard, Bongzilla, Church Of Misery and Weedeater, this is one of the heaviest things released this year and its all free from their website, the link is below so grab a download and you wont be disappointed. The album starts with "Russian Legs" full of monumental riffage, shredding solo work and some spoken word samples that add to the crushing intensity of this track. They couldn't open the album in any heavier fashion, this is pure unadulterated heaviness. "Comes With The Territory" is up next and continues the intense pummeling attack. The vocals are typical of bands like this but so heavy in their delivery, the thought of being unoriginal wont be a issue. The rolling riff lines combined with a super heavy bottom end bass sound makes this impossible not to get blown away. "Working With Knots" starts off with a twisted, distorted riff before it moves into more pure Sludge driven headbanging ecstasy. This reminds me of "Church Of Misery's" finest work and the section starting at 2:20 is just magic in the most Doomed out way possible. The guitar work is exceptionally good and it seems like these guys were made to play this sort of music, this band has the potential to be the next kings of super heavy ass Sludge/Doom music. "Running Wild" is again another killer track with the a riff that slays,not to mention the lead work that interweaves its way through the arrangement. Still 4 tracks in and the quality hasn't let up, crank this baby up and you will have to scrape yourself off the walls after its finished. "Unbecoming Misdeeds" is one of my favorite tracks on the album, once again its heavy as hell with those tortured growling vocals pushing the Doom intensity to a new level. "Kurmari Kandam", the final track and the longest track on the album at over 10 minutes is a tour de force of Sludge Metal. The solo that works its way into the track at around the 4 minute mark is a monster, swirling and twisting all the way. The track winds down to a feedback laden, Psychedelic finish which seems a perfect way to end such a great album. I say download this band before they become household names in the Doom/Sludge world. This is so good and so freakin heavy.... Essential listening and get it for free from their site.
Reviewed by Ed

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Band: SOULDECEIVER
Country: Italy
Title: Mankinds Mistakes
Label: SG Records
Year: 2009
Style: Thrash Death

Review:
Souldeceiver is a relatively young band in the Italian Extreme Metal scene. Formed in 2007 they have already released a demo the same year and their debut album this year. Mankinds Mistakes treats us with a very good stab of aggressive death thrash with progressive direction a la Death school. The very first positive thing that hits you (or at least got my attention) when listening to this 9 tracks album is the fantastic voice of Francesco. His vocals are pretty linear (when it comes to the tones used), but this is the exact voice that a band like this needs to become loved in the extreme metal scene: wicked, sharp as a razorblade, comprehensive, I would say a more Death Metal like Mille Petrozza, so to sum it up: metal to the bone! Then it's obvious how talented the other guys are when it comes to composition: catchy guitar riffs, perfect solos (the right amount, not too many), hammering rhythm section and also melodic from time to time, all these presented with a crystal clear sound. This is another band that should make Italy proud to have such a vulcano as a metal scene... Again: awesome vocals! :)
Reviewed by Adrian

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Band: SOUND OF DETESTATION
Country: Sweden
Title: Sound of Detestaion 
Label: Grindhead Records
Year: 2009
Style: Grindcore

Review:
Sweden's Sound Of Detestation have released an impressive debut for Grindhead Rec. The band has the brutal approach of most European grind bands as well as some old-school hardcore influence that only adds to Sound Of Detestation's already brutal, old-school grind approach. The vocals like most bands playing this style are shared and fit very well together mixing in brutal growls, screams/screechs and some hardcore "clean" vocal screams. The drums {compliments of a human drummer} are blasted through each song with a psychotic intensity. The production even gives off the old-school feel not extremly raw and underproduced but also not polished and over-produced like so many of todays bands. Sound Of Detestation mix old-school grind, hardcore together nicely defintly worth a listen for fans of the European style of grindcore.
reviewed by Patrick

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Band: STILLNESS BLADE
Country: Italy
Title: The First Dark Chapter (Misanthropic Elevation)
Label: Obskure Sombre
Year: 2007
Style: Brutal Death Metal

Review:
Stillness Blade comes from Italy and was founded 2002 and before releasing this debut album in 2007, they have tested the public's reactions with 2 demos, one in 2004 and another in 2005. Unlike many other Italian death metal bands Stillness Blade goes for old-school fast and dark death metal. Don't be fooled by their band name and logo like I was, this is a straigth in your face brutal death metal band taking inspiration from the glorious days of this genre, meaning the end of '80's - beginning of '90's. To be honest, I don't like their band name and logo, I think it's not suitable for their music, but in exchange I looove their music: great growls, powerful guitar leads and great solos here and there. It's awesome! The only minus for their music, the drums-pedal which is going nuts sometimes and doesn't fit at all with the music. If the drums are programmed (which I think they are), they should work more next time. If that's a real drummer on this release, well, he should quit drinking energizers.
Good band, rotten, old-school atmosphere, I love it. But you should stay away if you're looking for something new.
Reviewed by Adrian

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Band: SWITCHBLADE
Country: Sweden
Title: Switchblade
Label: Trust No One Rec.
Year: 2009
Style: Sludge Drone

Review:
This is another band from Sweden,it seems every review i am doing at the moment is a Swedish band.You can't complain though when bands like Switchblade are just so good. I will put it this way, if you have been listening to bands like "Khanate" for so long you have become immune to the heaviness then you must check out this band. The band has been flying under the radar for most people for years so it might be surprising to know that this is their fifth album and best but strangely self-titled album. This is one real ugly sounding album, bleak and often painful to the senses but so heavy at times its in danger of being crushed by its own sonic weight. Its not a album that you need to highlight certain tracks, it is better appreciated to be judge as a whole body of work. There is only three tracks on here taking up the best part of a hour and its a body of work that is bleak, dark and extremely abstract. Obvious comparisons will point to Khanate and Earth but really this band can stand out on their own. I don't think any other band can touch them at the moment for avant-doom. Musically the band can move from ambient moments with whispering vocals to massive, bludgeoning sections with some frenzied shrieking vocals. The guitar and bass is thick and buzzing while the drumming is hammering but with a real feel for making the tracks even more dramatic. This is a band that understands the dynamics needed to make some rather uncomfortable doom-noise while still retaining enough arrangement skills to keep it interesting.
This record is a beast that makes no excuses for being absolutely monolithic and intense,this band plays from the gut. There is some insane vocal work to compliment the harrowing guitar work and the production is right up to the challenge. If you like music that builds to massive peaks and then takes you down to dark ambiance only to bring you up  to harrowing heights once again then check this out. I can't see how this band can follow this album, its a monster and one of the most intense doom albums ever made. Don't expect many if any traditional doom metal riffs or heavy metal style vocal techniques here, this is for the hardcore doom/sludge fan that can appreciate the abstract doom approach. Best listened to by yourself in a dark room, cranked to 10 but don't expect to get too cozy in your chair because this is one punishing album.
Reviewed by Ed

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