Saturday, June 18, 2016

Striker-Stand in the Fire (2016)

Cast your minds back to about 1986-1988, during a period of time when heavy metal was cool. Striker from Canada will have you breaking out that well worn air guitar and denim cut off vest once you hear this blistering album. The album cover has that good versus evil factor with the corpses battling a sole warrior, classic heavy metal imagery. So far so good. The moment that “Phoenix Lights” opens with its speed metal double kick you know you’re in for a metal hell ride. Most opening songs on heavy metal albums begin with a fast one and this is no different as the riffs and vocals are crystal clear, possess depth of character and emotive supremacy. The test for albums like this is the guitar solos which show considerable promise on the starting tune, highly melodic, matching the core of the song exceptionally well. So it’s a good start which only improves on “Out for Blood” NWOBHM worship, though Striker like to bolster their songs with double kick similar to prime time Priest from “Defenders Of The Faith”. The riffs are amazing, as again the vocal delivery is exceptional, and I guarantee you will sing the chorus of this album that is wonderful and missing from far too many heavy metal songs these days. There is nothing wimpy about having a chorus which makes your hair stand on end, sends your skin into goose bumps and makes you want to clench that hand into fist; Dio made a career out of it so why the hell not. Every single tune on this album probably merits a mention. However there is so much 80's heavy metal bands running through the molten metal fluid of this album that to deny it would be criminal, to ignore it would be ridiculous and to use it to berate the album would be insane. This is a stupendous album in every single way. To quote a well worn cliché this is thunderous heavy metal that will set your heart on fire.
Review by Paul Caravasi

Grotesque Ceremonium-Demonic Inquisition(2016)

This was a truly awesome listening experience. I must say, those words have never been truer. Brutal Death Metal bands try to be over the top and too technical for their own good, however in the case of this One man Turkish death metal band called Grotesque Ceremonium, he creates something extremely brutal but not over the top and too extravagant for it's own good. Each track on this album has at least one fantastic guitar shred solo if not more. The drums  pummel through your ears like a heart attack. Something truly relentless here. Instead of rehashing the same thing over and over again like so many Death Metal bands do these days. It is difficult to tell any highlights on this because it's very consistent but i think "Demonic Inquisition" density, "Barbaric Apostasy" catchiness, "Crushing morbid death" brutality and "Agonized screams of the damned" doomy sound are the best of this.
Review by Paul Caravasi

Friday, June 10, 2016

Cough-Still they pray (2016)

Upon first listen this isn’t what I would consider boilerplate doom (plodding tempos, waif-ish vocals, and slow, chunky riffs that don’t really go anywhere), but rather taking the slow, dragging approach into a sound that is purely experimental. The overall performance is just as old-school sound-wise, bringing crushing guitars, avant-garde synth dabblings, wah-wahing solos and bleak vocal work to life with a scratchy analog sound for that extra “classic” touch. So in the end I really dug this. Maybe...time will have to tell me if i'll enjoy more stoner bands. But until then I'll have this little wonder to enjoy to my blackened heart's content.
Review by Paul Caravasi

Psychic Possessor-Nos somos a america do sul (1989)

"Nos somos a america do sul" is a fucking incredible hardcore album. It's like getting ramshafted by a charging bull... IN THE ASS. If you can tolerate punk, crust or extreme metal for that matter, Psychic Possessor delivers the goods on a silver platter of splatter HA! All tracks are an all out assault and are blastbeat overkill. Hardcore is hardly known for it's pristine production, but this reissue sounds great. It rules. All in All this album is perfect, if you have any interest in this band or extreme music in general, pick this album up and give it a spin, you won’t be disappointed.This album is not recommended for: pregnant women, Rob Halford, fans of Whitesnake or catholics.
Review by Paul Caravasi

Zamak-The dark of the Sun (2015)

Simplicity and toned down brutality. This is an extremely straightforward record and does not have the intensity of your average death metal album but the riffs have a heavier emphasis on melody and harmony rather than brutality. The vocals are a major highlight of this album. Rather than using the bellowing growls of regular death metal Lindberg employs an abrasive, almost black metal-like scream. What makes Antonio Ruiz screams so effective are undeniably his power behind them. He literally sounds as if he has been stabbed in the stomach with a hunting knife and is spitting out blood as he screams. A vocalist with emotional expression in the genre. The guitar work is the centerpiece of the album and the riffs as well. It could be odd for a death metaller to hear a death metal album with such an emphasis on melodic riffs and guitar harmonies.The riffs are rather simple in terms of structure, but are extremely catchy. They are, in essence, über melodic thrash metal riffs. Despite their simplicity they work quite well, creating catchy and great songs. I cannot say that that there are any standout tracks since they all sound very similar. The album is consistently good. To bring this review to a close this is definitely a good album. I recommend this for anyone who is new to extreme metal since its a decent starting point before moving on to heavier and/or more technical bands. Good job Zamak !
Review by Paul Caravasi

Nuclear Assault-Pounder (Ep 2015)

Still very solid – the new guitar player is definitely a worthy addition to the line-up and it’s still 100% Nuclear Assault. This Ep is aggressive. It simply sounds tighter, there are no actual weak songs on "Pounder", everything sounds very homogeneous from start to finish and it  has to be listened to in its entirely to be really appreciated. The bottom line is that this is a highly recommendable Thrash Ep. Quite excellent…NUCLEAR IS FKN BACK !!
Review by Paul Caravasi

Repulsive Death-Putrid acts of depravity (2016)

A festering zombified nightmare that is "Putrid acts of depravity" may convince the listener that this album would have been a heinous and fitting death-metal soundtrack to a zombie flick. The opening track, reaches the imagination of the listener, sick riffs are intentionally putrid and  heavy.  The drumming quality adds a suspensful feeling of something(s) hideous this way coming. Tying this stinking, maggot-infested, centuried package together is the savage growled voice of Tomil, which has an unrepentant and inexplicably whispery quality to it throughout. In conclusion, Repulsive Death from Costa Rica is an old school death metal spectrum. It could stay in the middle of the road, though being an excellent work on its own. So, we better don’t argue about the categorization and just enjoy this record for what it is: a good piece of horrific extreme metal, created by a band which i think possesses a vision about horror imagery, and brought it to life in a consistent and personal way, influenced by tons of old school death metal bands. However, if you want to hear extreme music, you should purchase “Putrid acts of depravity”. It should definitely be checked out by an metal head wanting to hear death metal and horror lyrics before it shambles horribly to your doorstep and gets you.
E-mail: (costa rica) (usa)
Review by Paul Caravasi