Let’s face it folks in the world of brutal death metal some bands come and go or are either handed so much to them early on that they do not have to do the real hard grunt work, that is sometimes needed, to keep a band together. Enter in Beheaded, from Malta. For over 2 decades Beheaded have been slinging their brutal take on the death metal genre. Through the struggles of band members leaving, people having family responsibilities-unable to tour, or whatever the case may be, bassist, David Cachia has been the glue to this wonderful brutal band.
Alphabetical Interview Archives
To this day, Canadian thrash metal band, Sacrifice, have not only put out quality music, but have been one of my favorites in the extreme metal music scene. Ever since their incredible 1986 debut, Torment in Fire, they have been highly influential to the scene that they helped to create. They started out primarily as a death/thrash band, with even some black metal influence early on then developed into a speed/thrash band. Put on any one of their albums, Forward to Termination, Soldiers of Misfortune or Apocalypse Inside and you will hear a band that has created outstanding music that has aged extremely well. When the band put together the pieces and reformed and put out the 2009 The Ones I Condemn album I was skeptical as to how they would sound.
Several months ago, Lacerated Enemy Records sent me the Inquisition EP from UK brutal tech-death metal band, Cognizance. I was blown away by the production and song structures. This did not seem to be a band that had only one EP under their belts. Then the band released a two song promo EP and the songs continue along the same lines as on their first EP; brutal riffing, blast beats, guitar solos, pummeling double bass drums and bass twangs to snap your ribs outta your body! If you dig bands like The Faceless, Obscura, Deeds of Flesh, Rings of Saturn then you must check out Cognizance — an up and coming band looking to eventually put out their debut album…
Switzerland’s Eluveitie (‘The Helvetian’ in Gaulish for those interested) , have been around for a while now but it seem like only yesterday that they burst onto the folk metal scene with 2008s ‘Slania’. Despite having released their debut Spirit two years before it was ‘Slania’, released by Nuclear Blast that put them on the map, mixing melodic death metal and folk elements such as the hurdy gurdy, Mandola, Tin whistle, Low whistle, Gaita, Uilleann pipes and Bodhrán as well as a Celtic theme. And while the rap on the band was that they were simply Swedecore with folk elements the band has powered on to be one of the more consistent and recognizable (and still difficult to spell/type!) names in folk metal.
The harsh winters and glorious landscapes, in Romania, are not only hiding the hardworking citizens of this particular country, but are also known to house vampires. That’s right those long toothed bastards, feasting on the blood, of their human prey, in the wee hours of the morning, before the sun comes up. However for the last decade or so, the vampire population has been slowly diminishing. It seems that the brutality of Romania’s death metal act, Necrovile, has been the cause of this. Calin Paraschiv, Necrovile’s guitarist/vocalist/bassist, had enough of the vampire’s feasting on his fellow friends and family members, that he said ‘enough is enough’. In 2009 he unleashed The Pungency of Carnage, a brutal, yet primitive death metal debut, with his band Necrovile. This album crushed a lot of the vampire population, the music too brutal for them to endure.
Austria’s goat porn fetish-izing death metal kings have been around since 1992. 2014 will see the release of the band’s tenth studio album, after a bit of a delay. And while the longevity and consistency of arguably Austria’s most famed metal export after Pungent Stench, has never been questioned, Belphegor never seemed to get mentioned amid death metal’s upper echelon acts. Even with a 10 album legacy, the band just seems to get ignored.
Lacerated Enemy records sent me one of their releases, not too long ago, The Murderous Inception EP, from Australian one man death metal machine Gaped. The man behind Gaped is Ryan Huthnance. He programs the drums, plays the instruments and does the vocals. Whole nine yards. I found a lot of old school Cannibal Corpse influence on the EP, which also incorporates some original guitar tones and well placed groove sections. The music is mostly mid-paced to a fast death/thrash pace and I really enjoy this EP. Well produced and well written, simply, it kicks serious arse! Ryan is now working on the debut full-length for Gaped and I’m sure it will be just as great as the EP. So pick up the EP, fire up some Outback steak and blooming onions and read this interview with Ryan Huthnance, from Gaped.
To those in the know, the name Lord Worm is synonymous with death metal. Having been the pivotal mouthpiece for the first two seminal Cryptopsy albums, Blasphemy Made Flesh and None So Vile and then returning for the band’s 2005 effort, Once Was Not. For many he is the only Cryptopsy vocalist that mattered, especially in lieu of a revolving door of controversial and divisive vocalists that followed him.
Cognitive is a brutal technical death metal hailing from New Jersey. I met guitarist, Rob Wharton, through Internal Bleeding guitarist, Chris Pervelis, last year and Rob and I hit it off pretty quickly with our sarcastic sense of humor. He sent me their ep, The Horrid Swarm and I was an instant fan. I met up with him on their tour with Wormed, last fall, and was able to talk at length with him, regarding the band and everyday life. Cognitive put on a blistering set that night and it was awesome to see them crush! I even picked myself up a shirt, that has some vicious looking demon on it, with sharp teeth, giving a gruesome smile. Scares the hell outta my kids everytime I wear the shirt.
A while back I was chatting with Bob Bagchus from Soulburn, ex-Asphyx and I asked him, in an interview, about what it would be like for Asphyx to do a blast beat and than go into an abrupt doom laden part, that I thought it would be pretty interesting. He said he was not opposed to the idea, however he was fairly certain it probably would not happen. So than I get Philadelphia’s own, Trench Rot’s debut album Necronomic Warfare and was like the band is in my head, because they did just that. The heavy doom laden crushing bulldozer sound of Asphyx and Bolt Thrower is prevalent on the album, however than the band will go into a vicious blast beats. The timing of the tempo shifts is dramatic and really adds to the intensity of this excellent debut album.
Back in May of this year I made the 2 hour trek to the Riot Room in Kansas City, Missouri to see Paganfest V. This years iteration was the usual mix of big name headliners in Finland’s Korpiklaani and Turisas, a little different flair with Taiwans’s Chthonic and Kentuckian Winterhymn. Of course my main reason for attending was to see to two Finnish folk heavyweights, who rarely make it to the midwest, let alone Missouri.
Internal Bleeding-so where do I go with this intro…Well the band has been around for over 20 years, in various formats with various members. I bought their ’92 demo, Invocation of Evil, from guitarist Chris Pervelis, at a show back then. I was already friends with drummer Bill Tolley and saw IB countess times in NY opening up for a lot of bands. Chris was the epitome of the DIY mentality and his passion for the scene and IB was and still is undeniable. This was one of my favorite demos, when I packed my gear and left for college and cranked this sucker all the time. Imagine that graduating in ’94 with a Bachelor’s Degree and than seeing local record store, Slipped Disc promoting an IB flyer about them seeking a new singer. They put me through hell in the practice sessions, just wanting me to get better but also seeing if I was the right fit and it turned out I was. I was in IB from ’94-’97, played countless shows and toured with Immolation and Six Feet Under throughout the U.S. and Canada. I was on the first 2 IB albums, Voracious Contempt and The Extinction of Benevolence. We saw a lot of stuff together, including a wrongful multi million dollar civil lawsuit that was eventually thrown out but took a huge toll on us. The period I was with IB was some of the greatest moments of my life, meeting fans, being best friends with my fellow band mates and conquering cities and having a blast with the bands. Little did we know all these years later how IB would influence a generation of bands. IB put their stamp on what is now called slam death metal.
Occasionally I like to break up my more ‘broodle’ musical leanings with something a little more amicable. Stuff like Protest the Hero, the recent Barishi album, maybe some older Killswitch Engage or Life in Your Way. A few years ago, the debut, On the Bottom from Canada’s metalcore act Odium was that break, and I still play that album fairly regularly (the track “Serenity’s End” just still kills it). Its mostly due to the simply excellent clean vocals of Thomas Emmans- a mix of Tools Maynard Keenan and Howard Jones.
Near Death Condition is a brutal Swiss death metal band who have just released their 3rd brutal offering, Evolving Towards Extinction. It’s one of the best in brutal tech death metal for 2014, for sure and the band has grown quite a lot since their debut album, Delusional Perception of Reality back in 2004. Their second album, in 2011, The Disembodied – In Spiritual Spheres, was one of the standout releases for that year. However the band expanded on that sound, became heavier and added a human drummer to the mix, the new cd really crushes
There is prolific and then there is Swedish musician ‘Revolting’ Rogga Johansson, who makes a mockery of the word. Currently listed in 13 active bands and has guested or appeared on numerous others over the years, the man is synonymous with old school Swedish death metal. Originally starting out with Paganizer, the guy has his finger in so many band’s it insame to think about. His most recent projects and releases includes Down Among the Dead Men, a project with former Benediction front man Dave Ingram and his fourth full length Ribspreader album, Meathymns.
Hiss From The Moat is a pretty intense death metal band from Italy. Incorporating brutal blackened death metal, alongside a few corish sounds, similar to Whitechapel, but by and large this is ferocious evil death metal. Their debut 2013 album, Misanthropy is quite a brutal offering and there are a lot of brutal elements on the album. While there are plenty of blast beats and such the band does give the songs a chance to breathe. There are some incredible groove elements that are beyond heavy and just kicks ass.
No longer in their rebellious youth, Fog of War is evolving from a traditional thrash party act into a politically charged, free-thinking evangelist machine. What inspired the band to redefine their tried-and-true, crush-your-face-in-the-mosh-pit riffs into funky, cross-genre musicianship? With Fog of War deliberating on their latest album, which promises an evolved sound and powerful message, everyone has been curious about the new direction of this 10-year-old thrash act. We recently sat down to for an exclusive interview with them to find out more about these exciting new changes.
Thanatos were the first extreme metal band to burst onto the scene, from the Netherlands, in 1984. As any band that has been around for so long they have had their highs and lows in the metal scene, seeing the band breaking up in 1992, then reforming 7 years later. I first heard the band in 1990/91 with their debut album, Emerging from the Netherworlds and I really enjoyed their blend of thrash metal with sprinklings of death metal. The band would then take their songwriting to another level on their 1992 album, Realm of Ecstasy, with even more memorable songs and the death/thrashiness still kicking asses all over the place. Their reformation album, Angelic Encounters, in 2000, is a phenomenal piece of music but the production, during that time period, hindered the drum sound quite a bit. That album saw more of an emergence of their old school death metal influences. 2004 saw the band expand on their brutality as well as having a pretty sick looking album cover, with Undead.Unholy.Divine. Justified Genocide, in 2009, saw Thanatos just getting better as the years ticked on by.
Back in 2011, New York’s Pyrrhon released their debut album, An Excellent Servant But A Terrible Master on Selfmadegod Records. It was a noisy discordant death metal/grindcore record, but more importantly it featured a good friend and former co scribe from my metalreview.com days, Doug Moore. I had every intention of reviewing the album and also interviewing Doug for this site, but alas I never followed through. A full 3 years later and look at Pyrrhon now! All signed to Relapse Records and shit and releasing one of 2014’s early stellar releases on The Mother Of Virtues.
Last year when Lacerated Enemy Records were back in business, one of the smartest things Zdenek did was sign Arizona brutal slam death metal act, Necrambulant. The band unleashed Infernal Infectious Necro-Ambulatory Pandemic, their debut album, which contains 8 vile gore soaked secretions that can give any band a run for their money, when it comes to sheer heaviness. The music is well crafted with extremely memorable songs. Plus what more could you want than the absolutely disgusting toilet bowl brown effect vocals that will fill your ears with filth and pustulating sores? The answer is nothing, because, as I stated in my review, not too long ago, this album is one of the heaviest and best slam death metal albums I have heard in a long time and I’ve pretty much heard ‘em all.
Despite hailing from Stockholm, the birth of Swedish death metal, Astrophobos have chosen a different path, a path traveled by fellow Swedes like DIssection and Naglfar; an blacker path. Make no bones about it, Astrophobos’s influences are as clear on their sleeve as the moon in the night sky, and their brand of melodic, razor sharp black metal is a solid throwback to the mid 90s, performed with an energy and reverence that comes with inate Swedish genes.
I was able to acquire Calmed by the Tides of Rain debut album, Phaeton, last year and was mightly impressed by their ferociously heavy sound. I called them the Russian equivalent to The Acacia Strain, but much better and more of a focus on slower groove oriented death metal. The album is punishing and the slams will make you want to lift houses up from their foundations and toss them around like Legos
Chalk up yet another winner in the Finnish death metal community, with Desecresy, a 2 piece act. In 5 years they have released 2 full length albums. The 2010, Arches of Entropy and 2012 The Doom Skeptron are among some of the finest death metal you will find anywhere. I agree with Tommi’s answer, when you read it, that they do have a strong Bolt Thrower influence. This is in terms of their rumbling mid paced heaviness that steamrolls all in its path, taking no prisoners. The band also has a thick Finnish atmosphere in terms of the riffs in that they’re heavy, memorable and played with feeling.
Vulvectomy is a brutal gore/grind band from Italy. They have 3 albums under their belts and their latest album that came out last year, Abusing Dismembered Beauties, on Sevared Records is their best one yet. Showing more maturity in their writing and song structures. With drum machines, it can be a hit or a miss, but Vulvectomy really goes the extra mile in making sure it sounds close to organic as possible and they do an excellent job of this. I swear listening to their latest album, there were times, that it feels like a human drummer. Really if you love ultra brutal music, with tons of memorable slams and if you have failed to buy a Vulvectomy cd, than you need to be given a beating.
Back in 2012 I interviewed Carnifex drummer and founder Shawn Cameron before a show they were opening for Fleshgod Apocalypse and All Shall Perish. The dude was polite, friendly and more importantly unwilling to go into too many details and throw then label Victory Records under the bus (on the record anyways…) . Almost two years later and a lot has changed. The band is gearing up to release their fifth album, Die Without Hope on new label Nuclear Blast Records, and embark on a headlining US tour. I caught up with Mr. Cameron again to see how much better things are for the band in 2014