GMA - Vol194 - Kryocell, Blackened Ritual, We Are The Catalyst, Overoth, Incipit, Countless Skies, Mutagenocide, Saille, Battalion, Valkyr
'Entrail Fuelled Leviathan'
If there is one band name that should be on everyone's lips in the Death Metal scene this year, it's Kryocell. Exploding with sheer confidence through their premier EP 'Entrail Fuelled Leviathan', it is crystal-clear that this Liverpool quartet know where they want to take their infectious blend of complex rhythms, barbaric riffs and gut-grinding vocals. This four-track beast has enough ferocity to crush your cranium with such conviction, you would immediately begin to believe that Kryocell are one of the most exciting bands to emerge out of the British Metal scene this year. On the strength of this EP, the eventual debut album will certainly have a lot of expectation riding on it, in fact this could be the time that the Liverpool Metal scene gets a shake-up. If you like your Death Metal full of grit, thick elements and stomach-wrenching vocals, then you have come across the perfect release.
Download This: "Entrail Fuelled Leviathan" - Click here to listen
For Fans of: Nile, Machine Head, Decapitated
[8.5] RHYS STEVENSON
Dropping a release before any major festival appearance always bodes well in allowing punters to get a taste of whats to come, this is exactly what Blackened Ritual have done. These bonnie Scottish lot lay down the law with their uncompromising mish-mash of Thrash Metal maniacal brutality and heavy-punching Heavy Metal beats with their self-titled debut album. Hailing from the home of fellow metal brethren Alestorm, Blackened Ritual form the next link in the chain of hidden gems from the Gaelic north and whilst Thrash Metal appears to be seeing a slight lull in the overall British scene, Blackened Ritual certainly keep the flag flying for Scotland. If you are not banging your head to this delicious beast-of-an-album, then ponder why that is.... Blackened Ritual just blew up your speakers, word.
Download This: "Eradication Of The Human Disease" - Click here to listen
For Fans of: Pantera, Megadeth, Iron Maiden
 RHYS STEVENSON
WE ARE THE CATALYST
We Are The Catalyst are without a shadow of a doubt, Sweden's answer to Evanescence. Through the magical dynamics developed between the crunching riffs, mind-blowing vocals, unrelenting drumming and thunderous atmospherics, this Swedish quintet's debut album 'Monuments' may well just position the band as perhaps one of the most exciting prospects to emerge out of the Nordic nation in the last few years. Funnily enough this is the sort of effort that could enable Sweden to retain their Eurovision 2015 crown (well Finland did win with Lordi!), whether this is in the scope of the band's career is another proposition, but what is clear is that 'Monuments' has given WATC well deserved attention. In fact there are some pop elements wafting in and out of this release alongside the crystal-clear metallic rock sounds, make no mistake WATC are here to stay and are going places. Amaranthe and Evanescence rolled into one = We Are The Catalyst, you better believe it.
Download This: "Time Will Show" - Click here to listen
For Fans of: Evanescence, Amaranthe, Linkin Park
 RHYS STEVENSON
'Kingdom Of Shadows'
You would have to take a trip back to the year 2010 to see the latest official material by Northern Irish Death Metal mob Overoth. Their debut album 'Kingdom Of Shadows' blasts out a furious hailstorm of ballistic drumming, gnarly riffs and guttural sermons that coupled with the almost Doom-inspired atmospherics, immerse the listener in a sea of rotten blood, horror-orgasms and cranial dispositions. In other words, a skull-cracking effort. Upon listening to 'Kingdom Of Shadows', you will experience a sensational mauling that will leave you whimpering for your mummy. For this slab of concrete Death Metal should be taken with a serious conviction, as it is not for those who love their Death Metal full of flash and beautiful elements, this is for the down-and-dirty-laden-with-blackened-grit Death Metal fans. Take it away Captain Mainwaring.
Download This: "The Serpent Of Old" - Click here to listen
For Fans of: Obituary, Unleashed, Cattle Decapitation
 RHYS STEVENSON
Given the strength of their premier demo released in 2013, Incipit's forthcoming debut album will be one exciting release to keep an eye out for, especially given this Blackened Death Metal unit know how to deliver a rapid firing of blazing drums, murderous riffs and ferocious vocals, sure the line-up between the two releases has changed, but the spirit of Incipit still remains as solid as it did at the point of the band's inception. Whilst not as clean-cut as the likes of Behemoth, the level of raw emotion and sounds pouring out of this demo is riveting, pleasing and without any doubt a fine way of paying homage to the Norwegian Extreme Metal scene. If Incipit do not get a record label deal within the next year or so, then either there is something drastically wrong with the music industry or there is something wrong with me, if it's the latter I'll quit my day job.
Download This: "Iconoclast" - Click here to listen
For Fans of: Enslaved, early-Myrkskog, Eastern Front
 RHYS STEVENSON
For their first effort, Countless Skies' self-titled EP is not half bad, but is not half good either. The EP itself is split 50/50 into two bad and two good tracks, so despite the attempt to create something that would give them the ammunition to take things seriously, they are not near that stage. Ignoring the production qualities, the vocals are too domineering in the way they are delivered and whilst the guitars save the EP with eccentric elements, the drums at times are so dirge, it would make you cry. But despite all of the said negativity, there is glimmers of hope in that Countless Skies can re-arrange their outlook and craftsmanship into something that will keep listeners hooked. That is not to say they aren't trying, they just don't seem to be looking in the right areas with this effort.
Download This: "Reverence" - Click here to listen
For Fans of: Amon Amarth, Kalmah, Dark Tranquility
 RHYS STEVENSON
'Devolve' & 'Demo 2015'
One of Oxfordshire's most exciting metal exports Mutagenocide show why they are the next Thrash Metal band that will be paying your local venue a visit in years to come. Reflecting back on their follow-up EP 'Devolve' released last year and the progression made is evident, the brutality has amplified, the rhythms gone complex and the effort as crisp as glacial water. In fact, this EP ought to come with a health warning of imminent neck-ache, for the velocity shat out has enough power to blow your skull clean off your spine. Thrash Metal in the UK certainly seems to be going through a transitional phase and it is bands like Mutagenocide who are overseeing it with sexy efforts like this. Then of course forward a year and then you come across their latest material.
Demo's are always a hit or miss, usually a miss and sadly this time it's a big miss. The vocals are poor, the drums forming a wall of sound and the riffs so messy they couldn't organize a festival er-hem. In all honesty given their EP 'Devolve' was so well done, this is a huge step down for the boys from Oxfordshire, it really lacks that killer instinct and thus brings the band back to the drawing board. Here's hoping though that they pick up the pieces and deliver another belting EP not before long in order to eradicate this demo from recent memory.
For Fans of: Slayer, Evile, Fallen Fate
Download These: "Half-Born" & "The Reason" - Click here to listen
 & [5.5] RHYS STEVENSON
Soon to become veterans of the Belgian Black Metal scene, sextet Saille take no prisoners when it comes to unleashing seismic belting albums. Their third album 'Eldritch' released last year sees them carrying on their furious undertone of soul-soothing symphonies and erratic-yet-erotic Black Metal compositions. All within the Lovecraft sermons from which embodies their albums lyrically, as for their latest effort, it's nine tracks lasting a phenomenal 56 minutes gives any listener plenty to chew on. From start to finish, the majestic nature of this Black Metal outfit begins to bore down into 'Eldritch' with such conviction, their recent Bloodstock appearance would certainly be deemed as their just reward and will no doubt be the start of something rather magical. Move over Dimmu Borgir, Saille want your scalps and they want them now!
Download This: "Walpurgis" - Click here to listen
For Fans of: Dimmu Borgir, Vesperian Sorrow, Advent Sorrow
 RHYS STEVENSON
It does not get any better than this for Battalion, or does it? Having released their fourth album 'Generation Movement' upon the masses, they then had the privilege of performing at Bloodstock Open Air Festival. For this Swiss quartet, their fashioned style of Thrash Metal bodes well in the eyes of whomever listens to their latest offering or at said live performance. 'Generation Movement' packs a seismic punch that will get you fist-pumping, banging your head to death and snorting beer before you can say 'what the fuck is this?'. But that's not all, what with the unrelenting, vocals so gritty they make your ears bleed and riffs so tasty, they relegate Swiss chocolate becomes relegated, 'Generation Movement' is a toast to one of the oldest forms of metal music. This may be a 'Generation Movement' in terms of new wave of Thrash Metal, but as far as Battalion goes, this is just another chapter in their sensational career.
Download This: "Rapid Damage" - Click here to listen
For Fans of: Evile, Metallica, Dublin Death Patrol
 RHYS STEVENSON
It's all well and proper to make your own music but it is not alright to sound exactly like tens to hundreds of other bands and this is exactly what Valkyr have done. Ironically the music is just as good, full of punch, grit, sweet and blood. Said sentences are about the German quintet's premier EP 'Sovereign, there is very little key changes and the songs sound too similar, leaving the EP to fall into the trap of being lauded as one that perhaps needs revisiting in order to make their impending debut album the best it can be. However there is some conciliation in as far as their cover of Kreator's 'Phobia' is a remarkable effort that needs a gentle nod to. But as a whole the EP just does not cut it and thus may fall short of some listener's expectations, irrespective of the effort because effort does not always equal success, Valkyr need to configure their sound before they become entrapped in the 'common metal' cesspool for good.
Download This: "Under The Spell Of Time" - Click here to listen
For Fans of: Omnium Gatherum, 'Melodic Death Metal'
 RHYS STEVENSON
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