Review: Dysentery – “Internal Devastation” (Comatose Music)

If you’re a part of the New England metal scene, and you have never heard Dysentery before, then you have made it very clear that you are not really a part of the New England metal scene and should probably get the fuck out before you get smited. This is real death metal, not your washed up, swaying hair and girl pants wearing death core that today’s youth seems to think is considered death metal, and for Dysentery, this is easily their heaviest, strongest work yet.

When I first purchased the CD (that’s right, I said purchased, which is what all of you fuckers should do) I was definitely impressed by the clean appearance of the artwork, and thought to myself Wow, this is pretty damn cool. I then removed the packaging and saw the actual artwork, and was blown away, as with just about every album Mark Richards designs.

When you pop this into your cd player (or select it on your iPod, that is saying that you bought it from iTunes or something) they really do not give you a chance to warm up and get ready for what you’re going to be hearing. They immediately burst into some ridiculously heavy slamming, which is clearly what Dysentery is all about. Their last effort From Past Suffering Comes New Flesh (2008, Amputated Vein) was a solid, fucking heavy album in its own, but you can tell right from the start on Internal Devastation that the band has matured in every way, and this time, they mean fucking business, and that business is to slap you in the face with a fucking spiked baseball bat and watch you bleed out (and this album would be provide the perfect music for such an event). The production is very clear, but not overdone, which gives it a real classic, brutal feel that is what death metal is all about. What really caught my attention, aside from wondering how vocalist Will Caruso achieves such deliciously low gutturals, was that along with such powerful songs as “Beyond Light, Amongst the Shadows,” “From Creation to Dust,” and my favorite “Pernicious Passing,” they brought back some classic songs, like “Devourer of the Dead,” “Decimation of Fear,” and “Bound by Disease” to close the album, all still retaining their beautifully slamming, blast beat filled rage and overall power they originally had, but with that intriguing, in-your-face sound that this album has produced. Open up the book, and what you’ll find is some of the most powerful lyricism there is, not only in terms of death metal, but poetry in general, and it’s very clear that there have been some gut wrenching, emotional moments that occurred to make such a statement, and Will has no fear of holding back.

An overall solid effort and a job very well done by Dysentery, this is not your closet-case of a step-sons Bring Me The Horizon 12” record he scored on Ebay for the price of sucking off some dude behind the dumpster. This is death metal for the true, death metal for the proper fitting clothes, death metal that will one day be considered the elite of its time. I highly recommend buying this and blasting it on 11, then catching these guys at a show to see them in action. If it doesn’t make you want to slay babies, it will at least make you want to beat the shit out of everyone around you in a frenzy of delicious slammy goodness. Enjoy!

RATING: 10 / 10
By: Greg Mann
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Review: Ancestors – “Invisible White” (Tee Pee Records)

Invisible White is the EP follow up to the 2009 full-length release of this LA based doom prog quintet, Ancestors. The band has brought back many of the psychedelic elements that won respect in their first two albums, but they stripped most of the heavy blues characteristics from those ventures and focused on maturing their ability to make damn near perfect melodies that can trip you far out into the clouds. The first song named after the album sets a dreamy landscape of psychedelic folk rock with a wide range of eclectic influences (from PINK FLOYDARTHUR BROWN, and URIAH HEEP) that will surely introduce newcomers to what they can expect from the entire album. Ethereal guitar and the organic keyboard tones remain to add to a mystic ambience of the record. The emotionally charged conclusion to the 29 minute long album, “Epilogue,” brings us back into the heavy distortion expected of a doom album and lures the listener into a track nearly half of it’s length. Invisible White’s most prominent characteristic is the piano backdrop that guides the listener between instrumental themes of melancholy and uplifting deliverance on all three songs. Although short (much like any EP) it promises a lot of potential for the future of this spacey band lurking on the edges of the heavy metal stratosphere.

RATING: 8.5 / 10
By: Nicholas Pendergast
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Interview: TOMBS, Mike Hill

Matt Darcy:  Tombs is out on the road in support of the new effort “Path of Totality”, how is
the tour going?

Mike Hill:  The Tour was awesome, probably one of our best as far as small tours go.  Some
shows have been surprisingly well such as Montreal, Chicago and Austin. Of course there
are the occasional clunkers but that is to be expected.

MD:  What has been the general reaction to the new songs?

MH:  So far, people have been really supportive of our new material; we’ve been playing most
of these songs for quite a while now, but I think since Path of Totality has been released,
there’s a certain familiarity now.

MD:  You guys went with John Congleton to record this new effort.  How was working with
him on this project and why did you choose him to work with?

MH:  Congleton is probably the most pro engineer we’ve ever worked with in addition to being
a really cool guy.  Initially, I met him a couple of years ago in Dallas when we were on tour
with Isis and Pelican. A the time, Baroness were recording their new record with him. John
Baizley texted me about getting a few people into the show that night and Congleton was part
of the crew. Over the course of the year, we stayed in touch and I sent him demo’s of our
material as it progressed. When the Blue album came out, we were all blown away by the
sounds on that record so the opportunity to work with Congleton was something we all were

MD:  “Path of Totality” has a more black metal sound to it, can you explain the direction you
guys took to writing and the sound you wanted this time around?

MH:  We were going for a more aggressive vibe on the record. The Black Metal influence has
always been present but with the addition of Andrew on drums, the ability to play faster and
with more intensity allowed the influence to move more to the front and center.

MD:  In late July and into August Tombs will be touring Europe with The Secret, where are
you excited to visit?

MH:  We’re looking forward to getting back to Germany and Scandinavia.  This time around
we’re heading to Ireland which will be a first for us.

MD:  Any plans for after the Europe trek?

MH:  There are some plans for package tours, but nothing is finalized yet.

MD:  Besides music, what other passions/hobbies do you have? 

MH:  I like working out a lot. I do a lot of kettlebells and cardio; running, boxing drills etc.
Lately I’ve been doing a lot of reading about “The Singularity” the Ray Kurzweil concept of the
merging of biology and technology.

MD:  Condiments, what is your favorite and why?

MH:  Siracha! You can put it on anything

MD:  Any last words you would like to add?

MH:  We’ll be out on the road a lot this year. Come on out.


Review: Orwell – “AVOHFASIH” (DIY)

Once in awhile as a reviewer you hear a band that reaffirms everything you believe about music. A band that puts out a piece of music so good you want to stand up and shout. I listen to more records than I review because that is the life of a professional music appreciator. Not everything you get to listen to is the best quality or inspires great reviews because simply put, not everyone is great. The word great gets thrown around like love and hate in this disposable age. The new record from ORWELL, which is in fact great with a capital G, came to me as part of my job as a reviewer. Had I just come across it as a fan I would  love it all the same. If I was starting a brand new band today and declared that it was going to be metal, I would aspire to be a great as ORWELL is on AVOH FASIH.

Laid out as a concept record of the highest order, the first song “In Tides, I Wake” is a slow, moody crusher of a song. Although it opens with gentle picked guitars, the bruising riffs and anguished vocals kick in to give it the right heavy flavor. The track would not be out of place for a CONVERGECAVE IN or MASTODON album. Such a good songwriting choice to build tension and start the record off with this tempo as opposed to the million albums I come across that just blaze right off the bat. There are also some beautiful and unexpected droning guitars towards the end that call to mind A PERFECT CIRCLE. From the wash of guitar noise, to the chugging middle section all the way until  to the final chiming notes, the track is a keeper. Second track “In Crude, I Remain” tricked me a bit. The song started off like the last one ended, but amped up the heavy factor even more with a snake-like main riff that is addictive on repeated listens.

Vocalist Logan Hauser has pipes of cement and is a difference maker with his low howling voice and his caustic screams punctuating every track. When the tempo kicks into high gear the song shifts into overdrive. Rhythms that evoke both LAMB OF GOD and DREAM THEATER at the same time will make heads spin. The song spirals out into some top choice chordal aggression. Guitarists Tim Bradley and Erik Bolstad do a fine job of weaving complex parts together that mesh perfectly. “In Depths, I Sink” starts off with a metal roar and doesn’t let up until the very end. A true neck breaking mosh song full of PANTERA-esque grooves. None of this blend of prog and brain bashing metal would be possible without the skills of drummer Cris Bissell.

Bookending the previous track with its heartbeat ending and tribal drum intro “From Depths, I Rise” features gorgeous female vocals and a hypnotic beat. We also hear bassist Will Strickland stretch out with some fine walking lead lines. This one of the best tracks among the other outstanding ones and really surprised me on a lot of levels even though I was already enjoying the album. This song ought to have a chance to live on a place like  the Liquid Metal XM radio show for being so heavy yet, so damn catchy. Frankly, I expect a song of this quality from a much older group and this speaks to ORWELL’s readiness to rise to bigger things soon. Another epic in the form of the thoughtful “In Dust, I Stand” comes later in the album and is an exercise in dynamics not unlike TOOL, especially after the breakdown. Finally the closing song “A New Awakening” ties the experience of the album together with a fitting and adventurous ending. Military marching drums give way to more intricate guitar while Hauser just wails away on vocals. The song is also gritty and has plenty of heft to go with its soulful melodies. After the climactic ending riff the entire opus ends with a mournful piano piece that just drifts away leaving a reminder that you just listened to something truly amazing.

RATING: 9.5 / 10
By: Keith “Keefy” Chachkes
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Review: Sourvein – “Black Fangs” (Candlelight Records)

SOURVEIN’S last full-length album came out in 2003, so Black Fangs has been released with a high degree of anticipation leading up to it. Along the way, SOURVEIN has done several splits and EPs to keep their listeners… well, listening, but no opportunity to present something truly demolishing has been granted to them until now. SOURVEIN formed in Cape Fear, North Carolina (as if you could form your band in a town more heavier than that) back in 1993, and with that they wield a double edge sword: big fucking clout, but that they need to keep up among fresh audiences and newcomers to the rapidly evolving sludge metal scene. Unfortunately Black Fangs doesn’t deliver anything ground breaking or exceptional. Although they certainly have remained true to the crushing roots of the swamps that spawned their nasty heavy style of crust punk infused groove metal, they have done nothing to separate themselves from legendary acts like EYEHATEGOD and CROWBAR, and those are two bands that no one will ever overshadow by copying their own breed of music.

RATING: 5.5 / 10
By: Nicholas Pendergast
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Review: Humanity Falls – “Ordaining The Apocalypse” (The Path Less Traveled Records)

As evidenced by the healthy amount of bands sprouting up left and right, my hometown of New York City is not short on talent or love or all things metal. With a taste for all things grind, technical and blasphemous HUMAITY FALLS is out on tour behind their recently released new record. Having had a few releases and lineup changes over the last few years, they have refined their sound and sharpened their musical axe into a new fine edge. Although they haven’t tried to conquer much new ground stylistically since forming this release sees a clear leap forward in talent and skills compared with their early days.

Firing off the opening salvo of “No Room for Ingenuity” finds the band pushing the boundaries of death, grindcore and weirdness. Guitarist Ammo’s string shredding riffs and random musical twists and turns are a force to be reckoned with. Equally impressive is drummer Ed Bednarek’s crazy fast hands and double kick work. The first song alone shifts tempos and genres constantly, but not so much that they lose the song. This is all topped off with fine vocal grotesquery from Eston Brown (ex-ANIMALS KILLING PEOPLE). Second track “Prolonging the Inevitable” is another sick track. A cross between classic death metal and over the top crazy grindcore influences the song is brutal and complex. The mid-song seasick sounding riffs sound like they should come with a bloody meat cleaver jumping out of your speakers. More aggressive playing and adventurous riff choices highlight the track. “To Have Or To Be” continues the madness with insane amounts of blasting beats and more impressive, blood curdling screams and growls from Browne. The discordant, off-kilter axe work from Ammo has as much in common with death metals proggier cousins as it does the typical names in the genre like SUFFOCATIONIMMOLATION and even MALEVELET CREATION. “The False Enmity” has some brilliantly structured motifs and head-spinning changes. For a change-up the band turns in the ethereal instrumental “At The Temple of Everlasting Condemnation” (great name!) that features some deftly acoustic sounding guitars plucking away and drenched in delay effects. This gives way to the title track which is fittingly the best thing the band has ever done. If you are a fan of the most extreme styles of music, this band is definitely one on the rise you should check out.

RATING: 8 / 10
By: Keith “Keefy” Chachkes
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Review: Age of End – “Rhythm of the Slaughter” (DIY)

Hailing from the North Shore of Massachusetts are rocking upstarts AGE OF END. I actually saw one of their very first gigs and recall being impressed that night. This release synthesizes the bands’ catchy rock
anthems with their obvious harder metal influences in the style of early STAINDGODSMACKSTONE SOUR and MUDVAYNE.

Leading off with the excellent “Shattered” the track is the epitome of active rock as the industry types call it. Metal influenced hard rock that has a place in the clubs and on radio. Rocking verses that give way to hooky choruses with the occasional breakdown tossed in for good measure. Vocalist Chad Hickman leads the way with his solid singing, good screaming and occasional rapping. Mark McKeller’s guitar work is solid and the songwriting throughout is strong. Second track “The Awakening” starts off feeling like a STAIND or AIC mellow depresser until the beat kicks in and it begins to rock hard. Cool guitars wash over intense beats and the singing/screaming dynamic works well for the band. Mid-way through the song there is a definite nod to TOOL which I rather like and the band proves adept at building tension with changing dynamics and tempos. The ending of the track is just a cathartic release and I can hear this being a big radio song someday. “Mammon” is another song straddling commercial modern rock and brutal metal flourishes and cues. Especially the fine drumming of Alex Wagner and more of Hickman’s vocal work. The song has an inventive breakdown that sounds like a salsa dance groove and then downshifts into hardcore again. Impressive. “No One To Blame” is comprised of fairly standard rock balladry with a harder edge until it changes part way through in to histrionic aggressiveness again. Extra props for Steve Madigan’s bass work on the this cut. McKellar also plays a sweet guitar lead in the song. These guys are not afraid to touch ever base they can musically as evident on their single “beLIEve” which I really like a lot. The ending of the song is especially crushing and will have the mosh pit going off big time. This album is a good jumping off point to bigger things for these guys.

RATING: 8 / 10
By: Keith “Keefy” Chachkes
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