Review: Bölzer – “Hero”

Bölzer’s debut full-length album ‘Hero’ is finally here. It’s a testament to the quality of their music that they have succeeded in setting the metal underground on fire with less than an hour’s musical material to their name. Because Bölzer has set such a high standard with their music so far, and the media buzz around the band, there’s an enormous amount of pressure on the band for Hero to live up to everyone’s expectations. And in most respects, Hero delivers the goods.

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Review: Deathspell Omega – “The Synarchy of Molten Bones”

Deathspell Omega have never sounded this violent and unsettling. On a cursory listen, the utter chaos of this album renders it impenetrable. Not since Fas – Ite Maledice… have the band rejoiced so much in the discordant noise of their craft. Just 29 minutes long, there are so many eerie, dissonant riffs colliding with each other, the drumming is so varied and intense, that it can seem totally overwhelming and impossible to make sense of. But on a much more careful listen the album’s complexity and depth begins to reveal itself.

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Album review: Ulcerate – “Shrines of Paralysis”

Ulcerate‘s brand of technical death metal is compelling precisely because it challenges so many of the established tropes that have emerged in the genre over the last decade. This New Zealand group are certainly incredibly gifted musicians, and the technicality and complexity of their music more than proves this. But more than this, Ulcerate understand the importance of the raw feeling of an album, and of atmosphere and songwriting. The heaviness has to serve some kind of end: Sheer technicality, speed or brutality can never compensate if an album lacks in these departments.  Shrines of Paralysis is a majestic, haunting record encapsulating vitriolic misanthropy redeemed through violent, decadent beauty.

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Dead Congregation – “Sombre Doom”

Dead Congregation prove that it’s not necessarily about doing something first, it’s about doing it better than anyone else out there. There’s nothing ground-breaking or innovative about their music, but when a new release by them makes its way into the world, you’d better be paying attention.

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