Nekrodeus – Putrid Scent of Grave Perversion

“Clean Scent of Disappointment”

Death metal from Austria, how about that? I must admit I don’t know anything regarding metal from Austria, but with Nekrodeus throwing out a debut EP that has now changed! Almost all of the members has been members of the previous band Zodiac which changed into Blasphemist. That band apparently broke up due to some differences with the bassist. So maybe now the Austrian lads can catch their breath and stop forming new bands all the time. As a little note Nekrodeus was formed in 2013, and they’ve already put out their first release.

Musically this album strikes you down, it sure as hell pleases my ears from start till finish. But there is a major problem that pulls the experience down. This band has two vocalists. Stefan Rindler got deep death metal vocals and he actually reminds me of Glenn Benton from Deicide. Moritz Pollinger’s vocals is not near anything related to death metal, but deathcore. A lot of deathcore screaming occurs, and just to be clear: I do not like any kind of core. Throughout the EP it varies whether they sing simultaneously or not, but they both appear on every single song, obviously.

Regarding highlights of the album, it’s tough for me to choose anything as the songs are usually ruined by the vocals. Lenore and Witchhammer got some really good riffs, but so does all the songs. Again… the vocals. So you’ll have to listen for yourself! The guitars and drums is well produced and doesn’t sound shit for a modern release. I almost forgot the bass! It’s does its job well, gives the album a heavy feeling and doesn’t drown out the guitar. Production wise, this EP is a lovely piece of work!

The music on this album is really, really good. But the dual vocals ruins the whole album for me, and that is a real shame. I doubt the band will focus on one vocalist as the whole band (minus the bassist) have been together for years, as I mentioned in the beginning of the review. If the band only had the one vocalist this album would have gotten a way higher rating. But rating this album is quite difficult as there is a lot of good sides to the EP, and it sounds splendid. A little note on that is that they recorded in their own studio, nicely done! But back to the matter at hand. What splits me, and pulls this album down is the core vocals. So if you’re into those kind of vocals and can endure them, knock yourself out. If not, find something else, preferably a band with one vocalist.

Rating – 6 out of 10

(Originally published on September 14th, 2013.)

Newsted – Metal

“Risen From the Flames”

So Jason Newsted is back. To be honest I haven’t really been following him since he left Metallica, and he has been abroad in various bands since then. He played with Ozzy and Voivod for example, and he also recorded a single with Tony Iommi and Ian Gillan in WhoCares. I am actually not that surprised that Jason formed his own band where he would be leading the massacre. Even way back in the day with Metallica he definitely had the energy to front a band, and his live vocal duties was not that bad either!

There is so many influences on this EP. Motörhead is one of them. And there’s some Black Sabbath too. It is all blended in together over the course of the four tracks. Of course there is more to it than those two bands just mentioned. It just sounds old school, and I really mean old school. There is definitely also some ’70s stuff in there besides Sabbath, and though this might scare some people of: Groove. But that is in there too, it doesn’t shine through to much though which could be why it becomes so interesting. To kind of sum it up: It contains what probably has inspired Jason for all of his career, and also what he played himself. What bothers me the most is the annoying filter which is applied to the vocals from time to time. Hopefully that idea will be scrapped for a future album where it is just more raw and non-filtered. The tone is very different as well sometimes. When the groovy parts hit in you are assured that it is heavy as fuck, but if you take the main riff of Soldierhead, it sounds more rock oriented so to say, with the “right” tone it could had a killer thrash tune. But it is not that bad and reflects the already mentioned mixed bag principle of this EP.

Some people might, well, some people ARE going to say this EP is better than anything Metallica have released since Newsted left them, and that depends on your taste, and many people hate the new Metallica. But this EP is not even close having its claws into “St. Anger” (yes, I said it) or “Death Magnetic”. “Lulu” however… Yea, this EP is better than “Lulu”.

Though I stand with some mixed feelings towards this EP, I am actually looking forward to the debut whenever it comes out. The band have a really solid base to build upon and I am really looking forward to see what they come up with, and hopefully they will drop the vocal filter. If you like Jason from the old Metallica days, or some other times then check it out. If you would like some solid metal with a bunch of different influences hidden in each track then get your filthy hands on this album.

Rating – 7.7 out of 10

(Originally published on March 2nd, 2013.)

War Device – The Anger

“The Greek Army’s New War Device”

When it comes to Greece and metal, I know just about nothing, the only band I know about is Suicidal Angels who I saw back in 2010. But the Greek thrash scene got a brand new contender in the likes of War Device. The band was formed in 2012, in Serres, and this year they released their first piece of material in the likes of “The Anger”.

The EP contains five tracks and an intro, and the intro itself was actually surprisingly good. It doesn’t have a name so it is simply called “Intro”. It is a recording of a guy who goes into his room and listens to some different bands. So throughout the intro you will be warmed up with bands like: D.R.I., Overkill, Megadeth, Sodom, Slayer, Venom and Razor. Note the last band. My favourite thrash band, so I got totally hyped when Evil Invaders started playing. It ends with some radio scrabbling and then breaks into the first track Evil, Death and Hell. From start until finish, this album is just non-stop madness. When new thrash bands pop up these days I always fear that they try to re-invent the genre, or the usual cliché stuff. However, War Device keeps a fresh and aggressive approach the entire time, and even take the time to start of the title-track with a bassline. I really enjoyed that myself, it is nice with some diversity! The music itself takes roots all the way back to the early eighties and you can definitely hear some Slayer in there from the “Show No Mercy” days, and mix that up with Max Cavalera vocals and you got War Device. The production… oh yes, the production. This shit is not overproduced in any way, the band have gone for a old school sound and they got it. The vocals has also been mixed perfectly for the purpose of this EP.

When I first laid eyes upon the tracklist it first struck my eyes that the band had a cover of Kreator’s Under the Guillotine, and since I hadn’t heard the band before I was really frightened that it would suck. Of course it doesn’t, you just have to imagine Max Cavalera in his prime singing a cover of it, because musically it rips and the band got the situation under control! With EPs I don’t really highlight any tracks because it is so short, and since this EP is really good so there’s not going to be any problems listening the whole thing through. It will be well worth your time.

With the right amount of promotion this release will without any doubt make a way for War Device, and if they manage to follow up with a debut album that contains just as good, or even better material then I would say the future is bright for the Greek thrashers. So if you are on the lookout for some new thrash metal that keeps it the way it is supposed to be and filled with good and interesting influences then I will definitely recommend that you check out War Device.

Rating – 8.5 out of 10

(Originally published on March 8th.)

Haiduk – Spellbook

“The Novice’s Guidance”

Haiduk originates from Canada and is a one man project by Luka Milojica, and this album is his debut album after releasing a demo in 2010. Haiduk is definitely something you need to be acquainted with as it stands out from what usually pops up here and there when it comes to new bands and releases.

“Spellbook” is really a unique album in my opinion, not because it in some way is a concept album but because of the material. It features ten songs, and each song is about a spell (hence the title of the album). These spells are portrayed on the album cover and I actually find it really interesting, compared to your standard metal release I think it is a breath of fresh air. You won’t find any choruses on this album, each spell is described in some way with just a couple of lines and performed with the pretty fitting deep, angry death metal vocals of Luka Milojica. Haiduk is usually described as “Melodic Death/Black Metal”. Sorry to bring the genre frenzy into the review, but that doesn’t quite fit, at least not to me. Specially the black metal part and also the melodic to a certain degree. I would say there is some technical and thrashy elements here and there and for the black metal thing, it could be defended with there is a bit of atmosphere on some of the tracks. In short: You can’t put Haiduk into a genre box. Basically I just wanted to clear that out, I normally don’t really do that, but there you have it!

The production on the album is good, I like the sound of the guitar and the bass, specially since the bass is audible. The guitar has a really heavy sound to it that kind of leans on a death metal sound but on a track like Stormcall it sounds a bit thrashy, mainly because of the riffing. While at the riffing it is worth mentioning that Luka is a pretty skilled guitarist and there is some really good, technical heavy riffs on this record. But since this is a one man band, with no session drummer there has of course been used programmed drums, and that is what ultimately drags this album down. This does not mean that I am an “anti programmed drums”-guy, because the kicks and snare sounds pretty good. But the hi-hat and cymbals does not sound good at all, the hi-hat in particular when the tempo is on the double. Just try a track like Black Wind which got some really strange breaks on the drums as well, but it goes pretty fast and the hi-hat follows up and it just sounds so mechanical and it ruins the song completely for me. Another song that’s a good example for that is Tremor. I would love to hear this album with a real drummer, it would pull the rating up a lot, because Haiduk definitely got potential!

This album is pretty unique sounding to me, so having recommending this album becomes a little tricky for me. If you’re a fan of death, thrash or even black metal I would actually suggest you check out Haiduk. My two favourite tracks are Lich and Stormcall, but tracks like Fire Wield and Lightning can definitely be spun as well! And even though the album contains 10 tracks it only lasts for 32 minutes, so it won’t take you long to check out the entire album instead of just a couple of tracks. But one thing’s for sure, Haiduk is something to keep an eye on in the future, especially if a drummer finds his way onto the next recording!

Rating – 7.6 out of 10

(Originally published on February 7th, 2014.)

The Cleansing – Feeding the Inevitable

“Contaminated, Yet Cleansed”

It wasn’t until August 2012, I really explored The Cleansing when they warmed up for Gorguts in Copenhagen. Prior to that I only knew the band by name and I was only present to see Gorguts perform for the first time in 16 years or so on Danish soil. But I got bored of waiting and forced my ass inside where The Cleansing had just begun their set, and I was positively surprised. I decided to explore the band further and learned that they had another singer when they started out, and their first album is not really in the reach of my likings to be honest. So after acquiring the new lead singer Toke Eld, The Cleansing set out to record the follow up to the bands debut, “Poisoned Legacy”. Previously Toke used to be the frontman of Usipian which he formed back in the day, but taking part in The Cleansing has been a wise choice, and with the new vocals I think the band sound better than ever!

The more I listen to this record the better it gets. People often describes the band, and their albums as mediocre, and maybe they are. To be honest I am not a death metal fanatic but I enjoy some of the old stuff from the ’90s. As I said, the record gets better for every listen. At first it didn’t strike me as anything special, but after some time and really listening it through it has received a lot of air play on my stereo lately.

With smashing highlights in the likes of Third Eye Starring, Hour of Decadence, Two Days and Crossroads, and down to the slower but yet still awesome song Processed to Contamination. A song that just got a special feel to it. If you like me enjoy to workout and need a little refreshment for your playlists of fierce power, it would be a good idea to include some
songs from this album. The feel of the album really comes to life if you own a good pair of speakers. Everything blends in the way it should and sound-wise there is not really anything that I would put a finger on. The production is just great! Every album has its fillers and doll moments and so does “Feeding the Inevitable”.

If you like Behemoth then there is a chance this is something for you, as they got a few similarities. I noticed this as when I suddenly had the urge to listen to some Behemoth, so after hearing some tracks from “Evangelion” and “Thelema.6”, I was pulling towards another cleansing listen of “Feeding the Inevitable”. If you however don’t like Behemoth then don’t be scared off! I said a few similarities. “Feeding the Inevitable” is a good and solid death metal album with a scent of brutal style over it. Mediocre or not, this album entertained me from start until finish and I believe that the bands finest work is yet to come.

Rating – 7.8 out of 10

(Originally published on November 15th, 2012.)

Kreator – Phantom Antichrist

“Phantom Mainstreamist”

A return to form is what this album should have been. When the title-track was released as a single, I bet many Kreator fans was high on excitement (myself included), and apparently it stayed that way for many people. But not me, I don’t understand all the praise that have been given to this album. The first two times I listened to this album I had to turn it off when I was halfway through it. I was really looking forward to Kreator “returning to form”, so I pre-ordered the album on vinyl, and that is something I really regret.

After the first three tracks, one of them being the intro, the album has already peaked, and from here it goes downhill until the record is done. If you heard the main single off the album, it contains an Iron Maiden cover. Despite a laughable scream in the start of the track, the band covers The Number of the Beast quite well. The only problem… That style continued on the full album. I guess Kreator wants people to sing along and wave back and forth because this album feels like a melodic thrash metal tribute to Iron Maiden. There is only two tracks that I would shine some light on from the album, and that is Phantom Antichrist and Death to the World. These two tracks are the only ones I would describe as being worthy of being on a Kreator album. The rest of the tracks are just not as well composed so they end up feeling really lacklustre. Because the main problem for this album is the band is trying to be something they are not. And when that doesn’t ruin the songs, then it is the incredible bad lyrics… Something I really do like about the album is the production. Everything just sounds really good and it is mixed so well. The guitars sounds crispy and they are layered very well with the bass. The same goes for both the drums and vocals. A really fine production value on this album, there is no doubt about that.

If you like me expected Kreator to return to the tunes of “Violent Revolution” and “Enemy of God”, then you are in for a disappointment. The phantom that appears on this album is what I would call melodic thrash metal, and a tribute to Iron Maiden. I really want to like this album but it just don’t have what it takes. Even though I like some other melodic genres, this one does not please my ears, specially not when it has been “kreated” by a band that brought me albums like “Pleasure to Kill” and “Extreme Aggression”.

Rating – 6.2 out of 10

(Originally published on November 28th, 2013.)

Destruction – Spiritual Genocide

“Mediocre Genocide”

“The mad butcher has returned”. Well, if you think cover-wise, yes. Other than that the butcher haven’t even been away for two years… So I wouldn’t call it a major break. Schmier and Destruction should take a recording break if you ask me. They haven’t really bashed out anything really memorable in a while, and when I heard the band was releasing “Spiritual Genocide”, I wasn’t really excited. And since the album doesn’t even match the predecessor “Day of Reckoning”, there isn’t really much to come after. It seems like the album is a cliché in itself, and the band had sat down together and just said: “All right, let’s make a fucking thrashing record. Thrash, thrash, thrash”. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Maybe they should have waited until late 2013, or even 2014, to release this album, as it got some pretty good riffs coming at you from time to time. So it’s a really shame they kind of just repeat some stuff, and make most of the songs repeatable and what goes for the lyrics… Well: “What is the most precious thing in your life?

I don’t really know what to recommend from the album. If you got the limited edition which features a Saxon cover that would be a good way to start, as you can never go wrong with some Saxon, and the cover is pretty good. Cyanide, Spiritual Genocide and Legacy of the Past can also be heard, and even though those tracks aren’t anything special, it is the best I have to offer. To be quite honest, I think they should just have released Princess of the Night as a single and wrote some better album material, because this doesn’t quite cut it. As it was announced, Tom Angelripper from Sodom, and Gerre from Tankard features on the track Legacy of the Past which in itself is an okay track. But Tom and Gerre are not as present as I would like them to be, and that’s a damn shame.

This album is probably only for die hard Destruction fans. As a big thrash enthusiast myself I think there has been released a lot better albums so far this year. Together with Kreator that makes two out of three of the teutonic thrash bands who have disappointed with a bad release in 2012. Hopefully the next Sodom album won’t leave me with an empty feeling that I just wasted my time. If you’re getting this album, make sure you get the version with the Saxon cover, because that definitely gives the album a better score. But since Destruction have released better albums, even a year before this, there is not really any reason to give this album a lot of attention unless as I said, you’re a die hard Destruction fan, and feel like having an overdose of gang shouts.

Rating – 6.5 out of 10

(Originally published on November 27th, 2012.)