Reviews

BLEEDING GODS - SHEPHERD OF SOULS

PUNISHMENT 18 RECORDS 2015

Release: 23-02-2015
Origin:    Netherlands
Length:    41:25

One god, no good! No god, all good! More gods are only leading to bleeding souls of mankind.
Bleeding Gods from the Netherlands are here to decapitate any religious aspect with their strongly believed death metal. So either seek shelter at their antireligious herd or end up around 30 centimetres shorter and brainless…
Bleeding Gods is a new preacher within the Dutch death metal scene, but can rely on a strong historical background. With members, who also have contributed to the growing popularity of Dutch death metal through institutes like Sinister, Houwitser and Supreme Pain and in retrospect Ceremony, Bleeding Gods can preach some quality written (hi)stories based upon the deeds of their shepherds.
This past is also the basic for their new and first complete chapter “Shepherd Of Souls”. Strongly Sinister based death metal is twisted with a thrash orientated direction. The ten Commandments on this record are blessed with a solid technical background, a furious aggressive faith and a clear and impressive persuasion done at the holy “Soundlodge” cathedral. Praise the mighty parson Jörg Uken.
The more you worship this Bleeding Gods movement, the more strength you draw from the several single aspects and become a believer. Predecessor Mark Huisman convicts his words with a strongly The Grotesquery and Bone Gnawer creed, while both drum and guitars choirs avow the sermon with  Seance confusing riffs and an Immortalis hammering conviction. Take cover and you may find even more godly preservations.
Interesting start of a young and promising new Dutch Death metal herd! Praise the Gods.

BLOODCORPSE


   

Machine Head – Bloodstone and Diamonds

NUCLEAR BLAST 2014

Northern California’s Metal veterans Machine Head have dominated the scene for over two decades now.  Making a lasting impression with their 1994 debut album, Burn My Eyes, lead guitarist/vocalist Rob Flynn has kept the band at the top with steadily pumping out top selling records year after year.  With consistent touring in recent times, 2014 saw the four-piece band return with one of their strongest offerings to date titled Bloodstone and Diamonds.  Released on November 7th, marking their eighth overall album, it is a defining point in the band’s history with a return to the blending of Groove and Thrash Metal with the addition of former Sanctity bassist Jared MacEachern in the fold.

Opening the album, “Now We Die” breathes new life into the band.  Originally under the working title “Back From the Grave,” they reached out to keyboardist Rhys Fulber on a recommendation from Dino Cazares of Fear Factory, and the addition worked out flawlessly.  The keyboard work adds the texture of stringed instruments and blends into a beautifully grooving song with the throaty singing style of Flynn. “Killers & Kings” is an up-tempo and crushing song that was actually the first finished track from beginning to end for Bloodstone and Diamonds. Flynn works twenty-one tarot cards into the lyrics and it is his chance to explain the duality of the cards, but also gives him the freedom lyrically to move in any direction he saw fit.  It is undoubtedly one of the most brutal and crushing tracks on the album.

“Night of the Long Knives” sees Flynn attack the subject of the Charles Manson murders in 1969.  Opening up with the repeated line “You won’t see us come” it almost has a Max Cavelera-esque sound combined with a Stormtroopers of Death Punk approach that is coupled with blast beats and furious double bass. Without a doubt a pit song from beginning to end that is sure to make newer fans flail, and older fans windmill.  Keeping up the intensity, “Eyes of the Dead” is for the thrashers with relentlessly fret-wandering that hearkens back to the bands Thrash roots. It is perhaps the most Thrash track on the album that is a constant fury of string-bending.  Interestingly, “Game Over” was written during an hour and a half-long dog walk and is about a relationship gone bad and having to end it. The song highlights the human struggle in relationships and shows the pain of losing a friendship, even when it is in one’s best interest to part ways.

Winding down Bloodstone and Diamonds, “Imaginal Cells” is an instrumental track that comes from the inspiration of the audiobook Spontaneous Evolution (2009) that focuses on challenging the beliefs of a society. Vocal snippets from the audiobook of Dr. Bruce Lipton and Steve Barrowman are weaved into the song. Dr. Lipton was honored to take part in the song and said, “Metal fans are already on the fringes of mainstream society; they already think differently. I really feel the message we are talking about (in his book) is one Metal fans need to hear.”  This comes right before the album closer “Take Me Through the Fire” which is a high-octane mix of chugging guitars highlighted by some killer drums by David McClain.

Drawing from the beginnings of their Thrash roots after being members of bands like Vio-Lence and Forbidden, Bloodstone and Diamonds combines all of the elements of the bands past musical ventures and proves to be a solid and amazing record. This album is unadulterated brutality, with the beauty of being run through a Groove Metal filter.  Be it the creative process of structure, lyrical content, or deeper esoteric and philosophical thinking, this album, in one word, is phenomenal.

Joshua Stavrakoglou


   

MORTUARY DRAPE - SPIRITUAL INDEPENDENCE

IRON TYRANT 2014

I’m into Mortuary Drape’ s mystic circle since late 80ies. Particularly from their demo days.

Mortuary Drape was formed in 1986 and, according to my opinion, has to be considered as one of the oldest and still influential occult metal bands. As understood I feel great respect for them and every movement they attempt is an important event for me.

Mortuary Drape is not the most creative band in terms of releasing new albums. After a thirty years career, “Spiritual Independence” is just their fifth full length, ten years after “Buried In Time” (as a little reference to quote that “Buried In Time” was band’ s worst release) .

Those who already are familiar with the band are already suspicious what will listen to. A well mixed techno death/thrash metal with lots of eerie atmosphere and compelling riffs and melodies. Once they have succeeded a mysterious and occult balance of power and lyricism.  Of course lyricism vessel covered with darkness and mysticism. In any case ooccultism has always been the pillar of their artistic discourse.

All the songs are moved under the same philosophy. Technicality. The rythm and tempo changes are the hallmark of the band assisted by the impressive bass playing and the staccato still specific drumming of Wildness Perversion who is the lifeblood of the band.

Doubtless we could characterize”Spiritual Independence” as a progressive work without losing its dark charm! The title itself defines the unlimited of their musical option.

As an option if you are a fan of mystic, technical and grim music that blurs the lines between black, death, thrash and traditional occult heavy metal with atrocity and lots of melodious textures, “Spiritual Independence” is a must for you.

PANTHRO


   

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