Well thanks for Satan Spawn for letting me write on here. This is indeed shaping up to be a good site. Here are a few releases that I reckon are good although not groundbreaking nor AOTY material by any means. Still all of them hold a charm of their own.
1. Descend – Wither (Inverse Records)
Opeth, personally, has been much like that large menace of a tree with far too many branches (styles) to its credit. Pictorially making it look like a BDM band logo. Lacking structure and form with far too much of that random meandering guised as entering unchartered territory. In Mourning on the other hand is Opeth after a session of careful pruning. Which effectively renders it a far more cohesive and discernible entity (Opeth was that on ‘Ghost Reveries’). Pummeling riffs with a more pronounced sense of melody and groove adds girth to both bole and bough. Descend from Sweden embodies the spirit of In Mourning and almost mirrors their style of execution. Their sophomore effort sees the band netting down its previously misplaced style and taming them. This brand of prog laced, melodic death metal steers clear of mediocrity and lands them in this zone of ‘quite interesting’. Clear audible bass lines that acts akin to reinforcing steel, vocals that fling between deep grunts and mid register screams with ease, the occasional cleans rearing to add grace , and carefully placed melody-entwined riffs make this a must listen.
Full album streaming here
2. Avichi – Catharsis Absolute (Profound Lore Records)
Andrew Markuszewski (a.k.a Aamoneal), the man behind one of the best albums of 2012, Lord Mantis – Pervertor, also runs the one man black metal band Avichi. His 3rd and 2nd on the peerless Profound Lore Records is once again a great treat for a good part. Catharsis Absolute although not as catchy as the sophomore effort The Devil’s Fractal, has its share of brilliant songs in ‘Lightweaver’, ‘Voice of Intuition’ and ‘All Gods Fall’. Prizing personal isolation and complete command over the creative output, Aamoneal meticulously weaves post-metallish melody with a much refined dissonance that one particularly associates with Deathspell Omega. The track ‘Lightweaver’ takes a black n roll sort of posturing in the short 3rd riff which along with a subtle permeating melody makes instantly catchy. Songs like the penultimate ‘As Gods Fall’ on the other hand takes the slow brooding development route and has a more pronounced blackened post-metal, say for instance like Altar of Plagues on ‘Mammal’. There are a few blemishes like the first proper track ‘Flames in my Eyes’, with its melding of Deathspell Omega, early Darkthrone and a bit of Beherit in the middle falls flat for the better part of the track. Another point of contention is the closer title track which sort of overstays its welcome, while the similar sounding intro is spot on. A few blemishes aside this is indeed a good album, although far from AOTY material.
3. The Kennedy Veil – The Trinity of Falsehood (Unique Leader Records)
The call for brevity in metal rests entirely on how inclusive it can be. Brief yet comprehensive. Chaotic yet coherent. More so for a band that plays brutal death metal. Clearly making up the eligibility criteria to be on the Unique Leader roster of terribly same-ish BDMers. For The Kennedy Veil being brief is both its plus and down point, well initially. The second full-length from this BDM quartet, titled ‘The Trinity of Falsehood’ hits several sweet spots but fails to capitalize as an album, again initially. Each song rings close to the 3 minute mark with just two going above it. This obviously calls for some crowded riff/drum/vocal packing. Identifying patterns in a throng is indeed hard and that is where TTOF seemingly falls short, albeit initially. There is so much packed content and listening to it at a stretch becomes a laboring task unto itself. You’d be wondering, “Then why all the pain in mentioning them in the first place?”. The thing is on repeated listens the album slowly unpacks itself. Initial listens serve to cast out a boundary and further listens populate and arrange its innards. All semblance of structure appears gradually. This is when the sheer force of the record hits you. The level of brutality peppered with miniscule amounts of melody takes form. Tracks revealing them to the best extend are ‘King of Slaves’, ‘Seventh Circle’, ‘In the Ashes of Humanity’ and the title track to name just a few.
Like their facebook page goes
“No throwbacks, no breakdowns, no wanking, no trends. Modern American Brutal Death Metal!”