GMA - Vol 227 - Nafrat, Mors Subita, Astray Valley, Acefalo, Bloodshed, Krummholz, Artemis Blade, Asylum, Aohen, Burst
Singapore has a long standing history within the extreme metal community, it has been producing top notch bands for the past two decades. One of it's exports Nafrat re-emerge fresh from their 10 year slumber with their second unforgivable slice of no-bullsh*t Death Metal in the form of their new album 'Abnegation'. By taking elements from the old-school faculty and bolting on modern elements, the Singaporean quartet remind listeners as to why the South-East Asian Metal scenes are as brutal as they are. Demanding your attention at every passing second, this album will sit well with those well and truly seasoned with the genre, but moreover would provide a platform for those getting into Death Metal to explore it further. 'Abnegation' is one Death Metal album for the ages, gripping, tense and outright ferocious.
Download This: "Iconoclasts" - click to listen
For Fans of: Cannibal Corpse, Modern Death Metal, Rudra
[8.5/10] RHYS STEVENSON
'Into The Pitch Black'
Just like being smacked in the head with a metal pole, Mors Subita's third effort 'Into The Pitch Black' comes slamming down on to your senses and leaves you left for dead. The strong opening track 'As Humanity Weeps' sets the tone for the album and arguably is the strongest track on the album. Throughout the album this Finnish outfit romp throughout. Bolting together the Modern Metal sound (with Industrial in tow) with the underlying current of Melodic Death / Thrash Metal, Mors Subita once again prove themselves to be the dark horse of the Finnish Metal scene. 'Into The Pitch Black' is loaded with aggression, slick swift elements, an electric atmosphere and a sound that is potent enough to leave you in a coma. For a band who has been going 19 years, they aren't giving up just yet not by a long shot as demonstrated on this album; if Scar Symmetry and In Flames are up your street, then Mors Subita is the mansion at the end of the road.
Download This: 'As Humanity Weeps'
For Fans of: Scar Symmetry, In Flames, Asylum 8
[9/10] RHYS STEVENSON
Modern Metal seems to be the in-thing of late, it seems that the metal style cannot be shaken off and has arguably become the best thing since Nu Metal (was Nu Metal good though?). Escaping the claws of generic sounds is Spanish quartet Astray Valley, whose latest album 'Unneath' is laden with so much aggression you wouldn't know how to mosh to it. This quartet are young and full of energy, however they are also set to become the next successful Spanish Metal export having already hooked up with the likes of The Agonist for example. By lashing together elements from Metalcore, Alternative Metal, Melodic Metal and Groove Metal, Astray Valley are destined to go places with this rather unique and disturbing sound. 'Unneth' is one album that every fan of hard, abrasive metal should have, it's got more brutality in it than the Saw franchise ever delivered.
Download This: "Waters Of Skylah"
For Fans of: Butcher Babies, In This Moment, Jinjer
[8/10] RHYS STEVENSON
Sometimes the old ways are the best ways and Argentina's Acefalo have demonstrated this very well through their debut album 'Sin Piedad'. By harnessing the old-school Thrash Metal style and adding a side serving of grit and sweat, this quintet deliver a sound that echoes the early days of Slayer; full-on fast-paced Thrash that leaves your neck aching for days to come. Singing in their native Spanish, Acefalo know how to create an infectious sound that will make Thrash diehards weak at their knees; through the unrelenting drum-thumping, riff barrage and vocal onslaught. Granted it's nothing new, but it's worthy of utmost attention and once again, sometimes the old ways are the best ways. If you're seeking thunderous Thrash Metal then Acefalo will provide you with the best fix available.
Download This: "Apostoles De La Crueldad 1" - click to listen
For Fans of: Slayer, Machine Head, Nuclear Assault
[7/10] RHYS STEVENSON
Could you blame Vietnam's Bloodshed for using pig squeals in their gruelling and gritty form of Death Metal? Not really, seeing as the extreme forms of metal out in the Far East are ultimately in their own league. Digesting their debut EP 'Scoundrel' is like sinking your teeth into a gourmet burger, its full of flavour and warrants finishing to enjoy the full array of ingredients. It comes together lashed with a sizeable dollop of unintelligible vocals, thick riffs and battering drums, overarching all of this is an innate sense of aiming to craft a signature sound and whilst it's evident Bloodshed tries their best, the result is merely a cry for help or raising the white flag to surrender the generic pig-squealing Death Metal formula.
Download This: "Scoundrel" - click to listen
For Fans of: Prostitute Disfigurement, Suffocation, Visceral Bleeding
[5.5/10] RHYS STEVENSON
'Rooted In Despair'
It's rare to find Black Metal in Sub-Sahara Africa let alone Atmospheric Black Metal, but Uganda-based trio Krummholz aim to change that and having released their debut EP 'Rooted In Despair', it would seem they've found their sound to march on with. Full of magical harmonies and riveting metal elements, this is one EP any metal fan should have in their collection because it's sound is so mesmerizing, it puts the Scandi-bands to shame. 'Rooted In Despair' comes in a 20-minute two-track onslaught that is almost guaranteed to keep you awake whilst listening to it. It would be fair to say that with this EP now in the wider world, that the dawn of 'True African Black Metal' is upon us, it's majestic sound is enough to satisfy anyone's musical thirsts.
Download This: "To Father Worlds in the Bones of Ancient Solitude" - click the link
For fans of: Windir, Winterfylleth, Carach Angren
[8/10] RHYS STEVENSON
'As Above… So Below'
It's always fascinating whenever a band splits only for some of the members to form a new band, because at times they'll carry forward influences on from their previous outfit to their new one. Australian Melodic Death stalwarts Artemis Blade have done just that with their debut album 'As Above… So Below', having been a Thrash Metal band in The Blackened Beneath beforehand, it's clear some of these elements have seeped into their new music. Despite this the vocals are inhaled mostly but are savage enough to keep your attention from swaying away and if that's not enough, the three guitars, bass and drums will staple your ears to the speakers so hard that it won't be the staples that'll make your ear bleed, but the sharpness of Artemis Blade carving right through your senses.
Download This: "The Fall" - click to listen
For fans of: Silent Descent, Scar Symmetry, In Flames
[7.5/10] RHYS STEVENSON
Prior to slaughtering the Wacken faithful this year by winning the Metal Battle Caribbean heats, Surinamese Groove / Metalcore outfit Asylum dropped their debut EP 'Domination'... and f**k does it kick some ass. Creating such a glowing effort in a relatively small metal scene is not easy, but Asylum have done just that, presenting a release that's guaranteed to smack a few jaws hard. Having been around six years, the wait for this release was worth it as the quintet summon every fighting spirit within their grasp to present metal so attention-grabbing, you would be a bloody-minded fool to ignore this promising outfit. Sure for some it's stripped bare and has no flashy riffs or trickery that the likes of Lamb of God might wield, but 'Domination' is one hell of a ride... free at that.
Download This: "Dis Na Mi Kondre" - click to listen
For Fans of: Lamb Of God, Fear Factory, DevilDriver
[8/10] RHYS STEVENSON
'失魂 (Lost Souls)'
It goes without saying that the Asian Extreme Metal scene is by far the best to have ever existed and Taiwan's Aohen make that point loud and clear. Dropping their latest demo '失魂 (Lost Souls)' this year, the Doom / Death Metal stalwarts waste no time in delivering such raw and energetic music, yeah sure it's a demo and yeah their fifth demo in a row, but who cares? '失魂 (Lost Souls)' is a two-track dynamic force that exhibits thick distortion, raw vocals and riffs so fluid they make your urine seem viscous. With some dabbling in Black Metal along the way, this quartet know how to hone their craft and whilst it might not be groundbreaking, it certainly adds up for a refreshing listen.
Download This: "失魂 Lost Souls" - click to listen
For Fans of: Myrkur, Amorphis, My Dying Bride
[7.5/10] RHYS STEVENSON
'You Must Die'
It's always amazing to find bands from the most far flung lands and yet to discover their music to be as professionally done as you would find in the leading metal scenes. Entering the fray are Burst, a Death / Grind band from the Pacific island of New Caledonia whose debut album 'You Must Die' is a tour de force. All across the fourteen tracks, listeners are subjected to a barrage of double bass drums, thick and heavily distorted guitars, topped by some rather neat and brutal vocals. With songs exclusively in French and English (although it depends if you call it audible), this outfit are sure to garner attention from outside of the French island dependency. If you're digging and looking for something exotic, then Burst's 'You Must Die' is your first port of call.
Download This: "Bastard Extravagansa" - click to listen
For Fans of: Deathbound, Carcass, Cattle Decapitation
[8/10] RHYS STEVENSON
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