By the Patient - Catenation of Adversity
Before you listen to this album, make sure that the area around you doesn't have any objects that can hurt you. One of the first things that you will probably do is to involuntarily yell,, "Holy Shit!" That's because not only is this an absolutely PERFECT death metal album - it's also very original. Where does one start? Believe it or not, I actually waited a week before I wrote this review because I didn't want to sound like an asslicker, but I still can't help but to bow in worship. Not an ounce of energy has disipated. It all still courses through me, excited to see how a band has brought such style into being. Even if all you want out of an album is to hear something before kicking a priest in the balls, you can't help but notice the flavor that these sick puppies injected into the music. Each song stands on its own, and although I can endlessly praise the musicianship, the sound quality, and the brutality, it's really the superb emotional flow that they nailed down and which will make your jaw drop like a nigger who is asked to solve a math equation. Enjoy the return of lead guitar that has meaning. Just get the CD, or retire from metal. Rumor has it that these are Danes. Denmark is now the site of death metal's new gods, BY THE PATIENT. contact firstname.lastname@example.org for manly information abou this album REVIEW BY METAL MONSTER
Ahab - The Divinity of Oceans (Napalm Records)
Ahab have produced a rather unique doom album. These songs contain many different elements from the various dark styles, making even the longest of the tunes an exploration into the vastness of melancholy. Riffs are of many faces. At times the rhythm is an ebbing, like black waves carrying the ear until decay breaks perception. At other times grim melody meanders through arpeggiated notes, spinning a tale through music instead of words. Vocals are both stererous and clean, and both fit perfectly. The energies flow through all black emotions, musically and vocally. Rage rolls into sorrow, and agony eventually becomes lifeless. Dare to listen with eyes closed and you will become buried. But what a sweet death that will be. by BILL ZEBUB
Bloodthorn - Onwards Into battle - (Seasons of Mist)
Every once in a while there comes a vocalist whose powers are legendary, and bloodthorn is the band with the chosen one. He wears the crown of two kingdoms, ruling black metal as well as death metal. It is uncanny! This is a voice that can lead legions into certain death. There is great strength in this vocalist. There are other shades that he an emote, making this album quite a listening experience. Sparse use of soprano contrasts the bitter harshness, and the music is a majestic hybrid of doom and death, borrowing dissonance from additional styles, and yielding a theatre of the mind. Psychodelics can make one hear color, touch sound, and blend other senses impossibly. Bloodthorn can do something even more miraculous. It can make one feel anger, sorrow, vengeance, forgiveness, strength, fear, luridity, and beauty all at once. But to know this, you must already have been taken to the farthest reaches of each. Listen to this album and your journey will begin. - by BILL ZEBUB
Cenotaph - Puked Genital Purulency - (Hammer Musik)
Holy fuckin’ Brutality, Batman! This is the sickest fuckin’ album of the issue! This makes everything else sound like the Partridge family! Cenotaph has everything, even a killer production. You can hear every little extra tidbit of nastiness. Ask yourself what brutality means to you. When you hear this album it will totally re-define the word! I’m so fuckin’ battered that I can hardly believe I lived through the experience. If you need music that will beat the shit out of you, this is the only thing you will ever have to buy. the vocals will make you shit your pants. The rhythms will snare you and then shred you. The drums will make you lurch involuntarily. In short, this fascinate you with violence. by BILL ZEBUB
Drautran - Thorne of the Depths (Lupus Lounge)
This album really surprised me. I expected to be completely tuned off because it was black metal, but it's just too good to be dismissed so easily. Dratran has something that seems rare in black metal - BRUTALITY. There were many times, while listening to the album, that I wanted to go on the warpath. I swear, it sometimes sounds like the vocals are coming straight from the battlefield! It's glorious! The guitar stays heavy, keeping away from the jazz-sounding chords.
After repeated listening, I realized that the crazed vocals were what chiefly addicted me to this album, and occasionally the guitar becomes a devastating force. Who amoong us can resist that?
I have to recommend this album. You might not have heard about this band before, so I feel that it is my responsibilty to inform you about albums that are important. You should be able to enjoy this like a good movie. It's got dramatic flow. The production isn't overly polished, which somewhat compliments the barbaric ferocity. It's worth a try. (Oh yes, before I forget - the lyrics are all in German) by BILL ZEBUB
ESOTERIC - The Maniacal Vale (Season of Mist)
Esoteric have produced, I dare say, the most atmospheric doom ever. I have often warned friends that they should not drive or operate machinery while listening to this music. Just make some time for an Esoteric session, get the best headphones you can, lay down with eyes closed, and travel inwardly.
These musicians are so masterful that they can make intensely beautiful soundscapes and suddenly bring down passages that are so frightening that your blood will freeze. Esoteric is a rare band that offers the full menu of doom: You can lose yourself in the rich and endless textures and the vast dreamlike chasm of sounds. You can seethe in burning anger as the stererous vocals call forth your darkest passions. You can gnash your teeth as icy and lifeless doom holds sway for a time, trapping you in an existence of hopelessness. And you can be overtaken by crushing riffs that break down the walls that bar you from your sorrows, leaving you painfully listening to the most powerful music ever made.
I can write many pages of appreciation. But for now, I will just caution that Esoteric is not for the shallow. Consider this album a gate and ask yourself if you can brave what lies beyond. In the words of Esoteric, from the song "Beneath This Face" - EMOTIONS DETERMINE WHAT IS WON AND LOST HERE. by BILL ZEBUB
Cynic - Traced in Air (Season of Mist)
When I heard that these guys were putting out some kind of reunion album I wondered if they would use the same kind of robot-vocals . Yes, there is a tad of a robot effect, but there are clean vocals on the album too, which reveal exactly how gay the vocalist is. It sounds like the album was recorded while he had a vibrator in his ass. I’m not interested in hearing a fag pleasure himself. This “adult contemporary” pretentious music should be avoided . Cynic seems to be one of those bands who are embarrassed by metal, or maybe they just don’t have any masculine traits. Why they claim any association with metal is beyond me. This is even less metal than a rap album. If you haven’t wanted to bitch-slap someone in a while, listen to a few seconds of the whining fag and soon you’ll be slapping everyone around you. If you can tolerate more than 20 seconds of any song, it will be obvious to you that no member of this band had a heterosexual father. by METAL MONSTER
Cianide - Death, Doom, and Destruction (Razorback Records)
If you really miss the sound of old Celtic Frost then I prescribe this band as a sort of Methodone. No, this band isn't a clone, but these true undergrounders have always kept the same flavor, which is a sort of time capsule of metal. They have consistently ignored the many changes in the underground, remaining true to their origins. Trendfags will probably not be able to understand the essence of this band, but maybe the posers who try to out-underground each other may try to gain status by having this record in their collection - after all, this band plays in the way of the forefathers. I could go into all the details of the album, but maybe it's best to leave it described as "An album for fans of the older Celtic Frost style." by Metal Monster
Crematory - Pray (Blistering records)
Years ago this band played mediocre death metal. They had occasionally explored the melancholy side, and if they had changed into a doom band then maybe they would have become memorable. But each album got gayer and gayer, and with this new release they are almost full-blown faggots. They should have learned from Celtic Frost. Tom Gaybird Warrior has no chin, yet he thought he could excel as a glam fag with the betrayal of “Cold Lake.” Similarly, the fat pig who sings for Crematory thinks that black clothes really do have a slimming effect, and he chooses a massively gay wardrobe for the stage. Bands that fag-out should really understand that gayness is a superficial world and that a fat pigs just can’t be the front man. But you don’t need to see this band live, or in a music video, to witness the gayness. The faggotry is loud and clear in the music. As you hear the blubber churn inside the fat neck of the main vocalist, you also get to hear penisy whining from the dick-hungry back-up queer. The song titles are pure poser, and the lyrics would make you laugh if you can stand more than a few seconds. Their last song title is most fitting of their career. It is “Say Goodbye.” by Metal Monster
Svartsot - Ravenene's Saga (Napalm Records)
You're not going to believe this, but this folkish metal album has manly death metal vocals and a heavy "bottom" sound. No screechy vocals or thin production. The songs are both HEAVY and catchy, but not catchy in a gay way even though some of it is a bit upbeat. If you have already developed a taste for the folk-sounding black metal then you are going to experience something quite new when you hear the monstrous vocals, and if you hate folkish metal then this album is going to be a sort of gateway for you. It removed all of the gayness from that style and created something really tasty. I think that the lyrics are entirely Danish, but that just adds to the delicious old world flavor. This metal has been tempered by excellent song-writing and will sunder many shields, even the shield of narrowmindedness. When you take a chance on this album be sure to leave some room for the t-shirt that you are going to want to buy to show your new allegiance. by Bill Zebub
Candlemass - King of the Grey Islands (Nuclear Blast)
When I heard that Messiah Marcolin was not singing on this album my heart sank. Although I was dying to hear this, part of me was afraid. Yes, the music would still be Candlemass, but a vital part has been severed. If you marry a beautiful woman and one of her legs is taken by a shark, it would never be the same. Such was my outlook.
It was with trepidation that I held the CD. Summoning the courage, I embarked. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Lay your fears aside, for Candlemass has been reborn, and dare I say, they are even better than even the most devoted fan can imagine. I feel like I have betrayed Messiah for loving the album, but I have never been blown away like this. Deep is my shame for having doubted what could come from the masters.
Part of what had caused me to dim my expectation was that I was familiar with the vocalist's former band "Solitude Aeturnus." That was a flavor I did not consider to be good enough for this band. But those are not the vocals that are on this album. Robert has transformed into a god! His vocals truly enhanced the music. His range, power, and emotion are unlike anything I have heard from him before, and I almost cannot believe that this is the same person. These vocals are a thing to be savored.
Musically, this album is astounding. The riffs are as delicious as the "Epicus Doomicus Metallicus" album, but propelled by different energies. The intensity, mood, and texture is the most dynamic I have heard on any of their albums. Play the album a thousand times and your ears will still be dazzled. If I am ever called forth to defend metal, I shall count this album among those I would present to the naysayers, and then I would watch them fall aghast.
This is one of those albums which have nothing but amazing songs. Each track is utter perfection. When was the last time that you bought an album that kicked your ass? Get "King of the Grey Islands" and you will know what it's like to be excited by music. by BILL ZEBUB
Bathtub Shitter - Dance Hall Grind
This was one of the dozens of CD's handed to me at the Maryland Deathfest. I couldn't decipher the band's logo so I opened up the insert and saw that these guys are (probably) Japanese - and discovered the name of the band. Before I heard the music I saw song titles like "Re-Shit" and "Rest in Piss," and "PS from BS" which could have been an indication of cheese, but when the first song came on I shot coffee out of my nose and almost killed myself laughing. I am not "shitting" you! You MUST get this CD! But remember, do not eat or drink anything while listening to this. Nothing can prepare you for that first song. These guys are now my heroes! I would pay a million dollars for this album. If you don't buy a copy, don't you dare ever buy another Grimoire because you will not deserve it. I am calling on you to support this genius band www.bathtubshitter.com by Bill Zebub
Deaden - Displaying the Art of Carnage - Epitomite Productions
Simply put, this is an amazingly brutal album. Imagine the insanity of early Cryptopsy, but reel in the chaos enough to create more of a sense of flow. The songs are not only dynamic in tempo and volume, but also in embellishments. There just seems to be that extra bit of effort put into the compositions. There are some bizarre ideas in here that remind me of Gorguts, but as with all similarities that you may find in this album, the qualities of this band are all original - the similarities are just in the feeling, not in the music per se. So they do not imitate Gorguts or Cryptopsy, but at times I am reminded of how I felt when I heard Gorguts or Crypstopsy. This album gets a strong recommendation. by Bill Zebub
Shape of Despair - Illusion's Play (Spikefarm Records)
These masters of doom change with every album, but not in the treasonous way that other bands do. These virtuosos stay within the realm of doom, exploring its many labrynths. Sorrow is limitless, and this band knows it well. For best listening pleasure, become well-acquainted with sadness, and in dark mood don the headphones that will take you to another world. Even with eyes open, this world will fade, and far will be the inner journey. Should even one happy thought intrude, the spell will be broken, and the special nuances will be lost. Yes, this music is richly seasoned with all manner of sonic embellishments, delighting the crying ear and opening the senses. Favorite elements of previous albums, like the ebbing beauty of Shades of... and the cold doom of Angels in Distress emerge throughout this new incarnation, bidding welcome to the devout fan. But so much more awaits. And whoever is new shall delve into the old upon hearing the magic of these songs. Such ice will our hearts be. by BILL ZEBUB
High Power - High Power (Brennus)
The only time I had ever heard this band was on a college radio station long ago, and I had hunted the album ever since... to no avail, until now.
This French power metal album has been newly re-released by fellow countrymen, and should be acquired at once if the name is recognized.
Most of the songs are unremarkable power metal songs typical of the ‘80’s, including a ballad, and entirely sung in French. But there is one song that is so special as to have inspired a decade of searching. Perhaps it was only because my mind was young, or maybe because I was not accustomed to dynamic songs, nonetheless I was hooked by “Offrande Charnelle”, and I think you might find it charming as well. Brennus, 5 rue de LIXY, 89140 Villethierry, France by BILL ZEBUB
Shape of Despair - Shades Of (Spikefarm Records)
This album is mortal to my ears, for it makes me a dead man, ebbing in a slow tide, rife with drear. The drone lulls me into a blackness where mere moments ago I beheld the world, and now my eyes are organs of the mind. On this stark canvas, the music makes a brush of every instrument, and woeful colors do depict such scenes as only could be made by the feelings this album inspires.
The slow, plodding rhythm appears harmless, but it guides the imagination into depths without noting the passage of consciousness, and then the altered state is achieved without memory of the inner journey. This is when the theatre opens, and no one can possible know the same experience.
No such descent can remain without a guide, and the rumble of a demon god assures no joy can be felt in this sinking plane. So terrible is the tone, yet the voice deepens the trance. It is as a flame that causes no flesh to recoil.
All the while, despair overtakes the heart, and the pulse becomes a drum which compels life to move toward death. Amid the crushing threnody rides soprano so haunting that the sky could have released black angels and even they could not match the impact of the voices. This, coupled with the morose synthesizer, creates such despair that the only thing preventing suicide is the longing to hear the music again.
This band has made a grand contribution to atmospheric doom, introducing fresh elements and exhibiting a rare creativity that I hope will become appreciated by people who otherwise see nothing in such dark music. Hasten to the vendor, for it would be a painful regret to have missed the opportunity to know this music. How many things have you let fall between your fingers, out of your grasp forever? by BILL ZEBUB
Esoteric - Metamorphogenesis - Season of Mist
The greatest, most visionary atmospheric doom band ever formed has created yet another masterpiece. This time it is in the form of a 3-song EP instead of a double cd, but the songs add up to almost 40 minutes. Esoteric is so rich with sound that to hear their music is to attend the theatre of the mind. If you’ve never heard them before, don’t just get this EP. Get everything they ever made! Then buy some expensive headphones and close your eyes. It is the farthest you will go without physically leaving. Every day there is a moment I reflect upon how lucky I am to have discovered this incredible sound. I shudder to think that there could actually be something better, for I do not think I could survive the ecstacy of the experience. by Bill Zebub