20 Sep 2012

Garoted - Evil Personified [EP] (2011, Self-released)

Does the US need another death metal band? Yes, there's always room for more quality death metal! Garoted, a band from Nebraska with a demo, album and now also an EP in their catalogue, is (as you might have guessed) a death metal band. Breakneck speeds is an element that I think most people can appreciate in death metal, and the American band does not waste time. Even if their drums are beyond crazy and demented blast beats are what dominate their music their songs are still close to or above 5 minutes, which I think most will agree is alot for death metal music. The roaring vocals, grisly riffs and ripping drums all come together in a malicious explosion of death with an old school feel.

Something that death metal has always had trouble overcoming is the chaotic feeling that the downtuned guitars and high speeds induce, and while Garoted feature all those elements that normally make it hard to listen to, the first two songs on the EP are both memorable, sinister and brutally well-organized. Unfortunately this can't be said for the entire EP, and this is one of the main weak-points of Evil Personified. Variation is often great, but on this EP there's a huge difference in quality. The last two songs, "Heretic Fire" and a cover of Deicide's "Oblivious to Evil", are marginally worse in production, and this bothers me tremendously especially because they aren't marked as demo tracks or anything like that.

What I mentioned above seriously messes the wholesomeness of the release, and this makes it really hard to take serious as a complete release. I would've preferred if the two first tracks, which are really strong efforts on their own, were released without the last two as this would've given a better general view of the band. Heretic Fire is still a good song in its own right, still displaying the great variation structure-wise that makes Garoted a special band in my ears, but the inferior sound quality makes it terribly hard to enjoy.
Check out Garoted if you're into really really really fast no bullshit death metal with no room to take a breather. This shit is intense, and the first two tracks alone speak of monumental talent that earns this EP 7/10 guitars. I would've given it more if there wasn't the issue with the production on the last tracks.

1. Under the Infernal Allegiance
2. Raping Benevolence
3. Heretic Fire
4. Oblivious to Evil (Deicide Cover)

GAROTED official site

10 Sep 2012

Silent Carrion - Andras (Full length) [2012, Self-released)

Scaia, the only member of the Italian underground project Silent Carrion, is what can best be described as an invocator of ritualistic and industrial sounds beyond this realm. Suffice it to say that some will find his music to be the soundtrack to certain nightmares while others will enjoy it endlessly.

The Andras album is something out of the ordinary. It suffers from a lot of inconsistency in the way that some of the tracks seem completely out of place, maybe even as if they were created with a completely different mindset. The tracks are a fair mix of pseudo black metal with that familiar and unwelcome tinge of programmed MIDI-drums, so often heard in conjunction with innumerable bedroom black metal one-man bands, and above-average dark ambient with influences from both industrial, noise and even some hints of 80's video game music.

In spite of the wide mix of genres and influences on Andras, Scaia's efforts as Silent Carrion makes for a rather fluent and impressive journey through his twisted mind, although tracks like Mist and Copper almost turned away from listening to the album entirely. Those two tracks were what I was referring to when I talked about inconsistensy - They are out of place and much below the otherwise high quality of the rest of the tracks on Andras, and I feel that if you cut those two away you would be left with a better listening experience.

Andras invokes an atmosphere that reminds me of old video games like Castlevania, or perhaps dark 80's sci-fi flicks with hinted horrors. A solid experience for those who seek some dark ambient out of the ordinary. 7/10 guitars.

1. Mountain (An Invocation)
2. Mist
3. Fear Spread like Plague
4. The Ground Seems Hollow
5. Echoes from a Deep Chasm
6. Copper
7. Suprematism (Sickness)
8. Krieg

SILENT CARRION official site
Want to listen for yourself? Get the album for free right HERE

3 Sep 2012

Grenouer - Computer Crime [EP] (2011, Copro Records)

The Russians have become a larger and larger part of the international music scene during the last decade or so. Especially slam bands like Abominable Putridity, Katalepsy and Abnormity have become well known throughout the world, but Grenouer, a band with its roots in hard rock and modern heavy metal, are also part of the growing Russian metal scene.

Grenouer is a rather interesting band. They've been part of Russia's metal scene since 1992, where they started out playing a genre very unlike the turn they took later. They started out as a death/thrash metal band and have several full lengths, splits and EPs in their quite formidable catalogue, but have gained limited global recognition.

One must ask, is there room for yet another band that goes back to the very roots of metal? Yes and no. No because there already are a literal horde of 80's revivalist bands and old school metal bands, and even 70's progressive rock has had a resurgence in today's metal scene. However Grenouer, though they aren't exactly reinventing the spoon, could very well be something many have been looking for. Their approach to heavy metal is a far heavier and modern one than many of their brothers, while still leaving room for melodic vocals and sombre interludes.

Especially the collected guitar work of Igor and Alexander in the Russian band brings a very heavy outlook to a genre otherwise tried through, giving additional life to the time tested formular. While the band's efforts have the feet planted firmly in the soil of heavy metal they also lean heavily on the sounds of 90's NU metal, metalcore and even djent in some parts.

Though I've given them much praise I must admit that I find it hard to really thoroughly enjoy their EP "Computer Crime". The song "Fix Your Life" is by far the most enjoyable track of the five, because it has the most variation and the greatest guitar and drum work on the entire EP, and especially because it doesn't resort to melodic intermezzos when things get rough. Grenouer isn't a metal band in the traditional sense as they take so many elements from related genres, and I could imagine this would mean many people end up in the same situation as me: It's either too heavy or not heavy enough. Rock fans would enjoy parts of the EP, while metal fans would enjoy other parts. 6/10 guitars.

1. Last Stop
2. Rejected
3. See no Sun
4. Fix Your Life
5. Golden Years

GRENOUER official site
Copro Records official site