GMA - Vol156 - Fortress Of Thanatos / Wintercold, Sodomophilia, Eating Shit, Backdawn, Lagerstein, Speirling, Ethernal, Internal Corrosion, Saprophyte, Glacial Fear
FORTRESS OF THANATOS / WINTERCOLD
'When The Moon Is There...'
Once again here is another split release by the Swedish underground Gothic Doom Metal one-man project Wintercold and this time Satanic Tony duels with the long-going Black / Doom Metal ensemble Fortress of Thanatos from The Philippines. What more can you want than two grueling and abysmal bunch of musicians indulging in their musical passions, well how about a split release that broods in gloomy depression and powerful atmospherics, because that is exactly what Fortress of Thanatos kick off with and as the keyboard elements drag in an ecclesiastical feel, as if a funeral was taking place, the pitch is set for a blooming blackened storm of which there is no relenting mercy. Following the darkened epitome they initiated, the Filipino warlords curse and spit at every moment, that with their unruly and unconventional music plays right into the changeover hands for Wintercold. Wintercold in turn delivering another smacking of frosty darkness and carries on the gloomy doom emotions that Fortress of Thanatos laid out at the start. Certified not for those who cannot take the dark side of life lightly and absolutely for those who love their music to be as dark as death itself, Wintercold finishes up the split very nicely indeed and with it another shadow strike of true cult Doom Metal comes to a close... until next time.
Download These: "Nahash" (Fortress Of Thanatos) & "Pitch Black" (Wintercold)
For Fans of: Watain, Ghost, Candlemass
 +  RHYS STEVENSON
It's always nice to see a metal band arise from a hostile area such as Iraq in the Middle East, politics aside Iraq has over the last few years developed and nurtured a growing underground scene, the latest are bruisers Sodomophila of whose early style Death Metal plagues the atmosphere with guttural gluttony and abhorrent murderous incantations. This is of course their premier demo released this year via Salute Records and what comes with it is a face-smacking bombardment of blood-soaked Death Metal, verging on Deathgrind at intermittent points. Sure you would need to turn the speakers up to hear it, but given due this is a credible release and baths in the bloody history of the past decade or so in Iraq. Sodomophilia's 'Demo 2013' is a fine start and will surely give the band enough credibility to bring Iraq to the forefront of the emerging metal scenes. I would very much like to see them at Dubai Desert Rock Festival, if they plough this demo intro the ground then that dream will come true.
Download This: "Incest"
For Fans of: Cannibal Corpse, Dying Fetus, Gorgasm.
[7.5] RHYS STEVENSON
'Supersonic Black Metal' + 'Bon Appétit' + 'Paradox'
For a band that has been going thirteen years, Eating Shit certainly have had their fair share of delivering a musical battering that would leave you on the toilet for ages with the runniest of shits. Enough graphic detail, their latest release 'Supersonic Black Metal' is apocalyptic to say the least, sure it's a modest 40 minutes long, but the songs are practically insanely fast music with pig squeels, exactly how it should be. However listening closely and you can get a whiff of industrial music in the background or indeed what The Berzerker once was called 'gabba' and 'cybergrind', so you could easily say that the French trio have kept that tantalizingly brutal sound alive. Whilst the title may suggest otherwise, there is very little Black Metal in this release, but it is there none the less.
Turning back the clock to 2011 and the band's second album 'Bon Appétit' immediately kicks off with a bit of tongue-in-cheek, with a waitress welcoming customers to their tables in a restaurant whereby the food being served has been genetically modified using meats and vegetables and will kill the eater via pleasure, the closing part of the intro audibly features the famous French phrase ''Bon Appétit' before the full atomic explosion of extreme grindcore takes a foothold as the album kicks into fifth gear and delivers a full smacking of funky noise, even venturing cheekily into the French language on 'Bioman' at the beginning; clearly an extract from a popular song before the grindcore crushes it to death, such violent pleasantries are utmost welcome. Not as extreme as their third album, 'Bon Appétit' none the less features some face-grilling music.
Turn the clock back even further to 2010 and the debut album 'Paradox' sees light and whilst it clearly is the least heaviest of the three albums it still warrants a listen, it still is as brutal and heavy as any other Grindcore release but compared to the other two albums it lacks that final panache. Even though it carries on that really funny tongue-in-cheek element that the band's second album also features, 'Paradox' is primarily a Grindcore release and features barely any industrial elements in the background except for some clever tricks done on the evident drum machine on "Wall E"; just for a few seconds or so though across the song. Overall the album is very impressive, just don't call it groundbreaking.
Download These: "Your Ballot In My Box"
For fans of: The Berzerker, Anaal Nathrakh, Aborym
[8.5] + [8.5] + 
There's a reason why some underground bands stay underground, purely because they are not good enough to get well known, much is the case for French metal troupe Backdown whose debut self-titled EP makes Justin Bieber sound godly. Ok maybe that's a bit overboard, but the EP is not even worth entertaining, the vocals are relatively fine but the guitars and drums need fine tuning and more effort put in. Basic Groove / Death / Thrash Metal and nothing more, simply put there is nothing to suggest this band have done something no other band has done, ironically it is a decent release and shows the band has put some effort into it. Spin it how you will because 'Backdawn' has more confusion in it than someone who is high on meth.
Download This: "Backdawn"
For Fans of: god only knows.
 RHYS STEVENSON
'Drink 'Til We Die'
Since Alestorm started the Pirate Metal craze, it seems nearly most folk metal bands want to join on board HMS Metal, however Lagerstein is a different ale of beer, in fact they go for straight and basic gaudy Pirate-themed Folk Metal. Pretty sure they have got a better connection with pirates given that convicts in the UK used to be shipped to Australia. However last year Lagerstein made their breakthrough with their emphatic debut album 'Drink 'Til We Die' which features a rather nifty booklet that opens out into a pirate map, now that is highly original as is their music. Using a keyboard to create the melodies of traditional pirate music and the same sort of Folk music experience in the Celtic guild, that traditional old folk / doom metal feel surging through the core of this album seals the sound very nicely. It is early days, but Lagerstein could be the metal fans new favorite Australian Metal band.
Download This: "Pirate Music Piracy"
For Fans of: Alestorm, Finntroll, Dropkick Murphys
 RHYS STEVENSON
Who would have thought that Buckinghamshire would play host to a two-man Black Metal project, well that is exactly the case with Speirling. The sole and latest release 'The Piper' drives out the old school style of Black Metal, nothing too fancy nor too fast resides on this 2008 release. However the vocals do make up for that substitute as they deliver a level of sound that would equate to the said missing music elements, for you to to really get anything out of this album, you need to listen to it numerous time sadly. On a more positive note it does offer something new, and so for those who prefer their Black Metal to be pleasant and more percussive than raw or atmospheric, 'The Piper' by Speirling is for you, a true taste of the English underground Black Metal scene.
Download This: "The World Breaks"
For Fans of: Underground black metal
 RHYS STEVENSON
'Grim Ethernity' + 'The Black Sun' + 'Arkioas'
Buckinghamshire's Black Metal trio Ethernal delivered hell with their debut album 'Grim Ethernity' released back five years ago in 2013. Much like Mark's one man project (where he is known as Nechtan and partners Blaidd) Speirling, Ethernal also drives out the old school style of Black Metal and again nothing fancy happens on this album, just simple and true English underground Black Metal, with a thick and atmospheric feel to the sound and more organic feel to the lyrics in heritage context whereby English mythology comes into practice. Again like the drummer's side project, Ethernal's 'Grim Ethernity' also does offer something new, therefore those metalheads who prefer their Black Metal to be along the lines of Winterfylleth and Old Corpse Road, 'Grim Ethernity' by Ethernal is for you, another true taste of the English underground Black Metal scene.
Focusing now on the premier EP 'The Black Sun' which was released back in 2011, the first thing that strikes out is the title and the artwork and some metalheads would now dub them NSBM owing to the Nazi links to The Black Sun, this simply is nonsense it is more of a pagan, wotanist, esotetic and occult symbol, as for the music well that in itself is an occult, much improvement can be heard on here in relation to the debut album 'Grim Ethernity', the drums have a more pronounced presence and so give that really dark feel to the ambient atmosphere and the feeling this EP sparks off is one of druidism ironically given that said movement is of the Celtic mythology and occult, even so the lead song "Order Of The Black Sun" belts out a colossal sound that can only be improved if it were blasted out at Bloodstock per se. For all the controversy surrounding the EP the music deals with it via a mesmerizing and powerful enchantment.
Furthermore when checking out their latest album 'Arkioas' which was released last year, the two tracks from their premier EP make a stark appearance on the album as the first two tracks, they are also of the same quality as on the EP which is rather odd. Duplication aside the album carries on that mind-breaking power of chaotic occult Black Metal and leaves the listener with a great deal of satisfaction. Shrieking vocals curse the airwaves with venomous spit and whilst that happens the drums and guitars battle each other for monstrous supremacy, hark 'Arkioas' is an album to be afraid of as it is not for the commercial Black metal fan, this is an album that shines kvlt and utmost truth as a force to be reckoned with, this is only the beginning...
Download These: "Echoes" + "Order Of The Black Sun" + "In Silent Halls Beyond..."
For Fans of: Winterfylleth, The Meads of Asphodel, Old Corpse Road
 + [8.5] + [8.5] RHYS STEVENSON
With a career spanning 20 years you would expect that Internal Corrosion has a fruity backlog of releases that follows a similar patten to those bands who have been around for two decades... but no. 'Spiritual Poverty' is only the band's second album and so you would question what the hell has been going on? Ah what the hell, California's Thrash maniacs wield an album that does everything a Thrash Metal album is meant to do, fast paced music laced with neck-breaking riffs, unrelenting drumming and radioactive vocals, needless to say that 'Spiritual Poverty' is definitely worth that extra dollar to buy but don't expect it to be another "Reign In Blood" or "Ride The Lightning", just expect good ole classic American Thrash Metal, old school style. Heck they might as well resort to becoming a pub band or a titanic band in a local setting, after all isn't that 'Spiritual Poverty'?
Download This: "Draw The Line"
For Fans of: Metallica, Dio, Megadeth
[7.5] RHYS STEVENSON
'The Aberrant Paradox'
It has always seen to be the case that Canadian Metal tends to be very ballsy, with a lot of cheek entering the affray and I don't refer to South Park on this occasion, nor the consistent linkage with syrup and a horny moose. I refer to the second album by Progressive Death Metallers Saprophyte who have dropped a bombshell on this occasion, with djent making somewhat an abrupt appearance on some of the songs and yet the maniacal punching in the face sound continues to wallop the hearing senses as if ear fetish was the latest trend. 'The Aberrant Paradox' is a musical feast that even the most gluttonous person could not devour or apprehend to, with the sheer magnitude of the death growls that rot the songs dry, the chemistry between the razor-sharp riffs and the solidarity of the drums, it is safe to say you would need life insurance to get through this one.
Download This: "Nightmares"
For Fans of: Gojira, Opeth, Periphery
 RHYS STEVENSON
'Equilibrium Part II'
This is the kind of music you want to shove into everyone's face, especially the hypocrites of today who ruin every country through mass control, that includes the corrupt governments of the world. Can we say that sort of thing? Glacial Fear can. The Italian's latest EP 'Equilibrium Part II' spits venom into your face so hard you wish you wasn't born, formulating a sound that comprises of Death Metal, Metalcore and Technical metal, this is the sound of mass brutalization. With a crunchy bass line, an emphatic array of fluid riffs and mentally-destroying vocals, 'Equilibrium Part II' is the musical sound of mass murder and as the fury unfolds you better take out life insurance, because boy are you f**king going to need it. Now, unleash the pain of a thousand spikes stabbing your senses dead, because that is what Glacial Fear's is like 'Equilibrium Part II', a crude slaughtering.
Download This: "Ghost City"
For Fans of: Quo Vadis, Architects, Born Of Osiris
 RHYS STEVENSON
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