Decomposed from Sweden is one of the most engaging bands I discovered by impulsively buying the CD of their 2014 release ‘Devouring’. Decomposed’s brand of meat and potatoes Swedish death metal is instantly alluring and I’ve been waiting for a follow up for quite some time now. Switch to 2016, and the band has now become a one man studio project with Jesper Ekstal handling everything with the help of drummer Emil Leijon. Their latest release, ‘Withering’ showcases how Decomposed has not suffered due to the exit of the other members and the band continues to deliver bludgeoning death metal, which is exactly what I’ve come to expect and love from this band.
The warlords of heavy metal are back with quite a ferocious package!
With the kings of metal – Manowar, duh – seemingly going on pension (as if that’ll last) as of 2017, who will pick up the mantle as the supreme rulers of the realm? With a slew of brilliant albums behind them, the previous of which being the immortal opus ‘Triumph and Power’ from 2014, Grand Magus surely stand ready and are more than capable!
These days, creating a concept album seems to be in vogue and many bands try to come up with a “concept” album that has no real story to share. Swampcult, the enigmatic duo from Netherlands on the other hand take up established tales of mystery and create their own musical rendition of said tale. Their second full length effort titled ‘The Festival’, focuses on the H.P. Lovecraft short story of the same name. Swampcult’s style of black metal meets doom, is perfectly suited for this weird, mysterious story and the band makes best use of the atmosphere to drive the narration forward.
Having grown up with the music of bands like Spazz and Black Army Jacket, the supergroup Deny the Cross excites me. Bringing together veteran musicians from different bands in the powerviolence / grind sector, this band emulates the classic powerviolence / hardcore sound of the 90’s in a way that is still engaging and fun. Their album ‘Alpha Ghoul’ is an eighteen track maelstrom that slams like it’s still the 1990’s, but it’s also more than mere imitation. Deny the Cross have a way of writing music that is savage, brutal and insanely memorable, which does not really come as a surprise considering the talent present in the line-up.
Canadian four-piece Iskra, make use of the black metal / crust punk template to issue one of the most savage statements against capitalism in recent times. The band’s third full length titled ‘Ruins’ was initially released back in 2015. It’s a good thing that Southern Lord Recordings are reissuing this album this year, as this album deserves more attention. The music is absolutely vicious in it’s intensity and rarely do Iskra let up during the course of the record. Right from the start, the abrasiveness is set to 11, making this an album not for the fainthearted.