It may surprise more than a few of you good people to learn how many African countries boast top-quality metal bands. Limiting ourselves to just one genre, the ever-popular death metal, let’s take a short journey from the northern end to the southernmost country of my home continent, with a halfway stop for lunch in equatorial Africa.
Thus our itinerary is mid-morning tea in Egypt, a lunchtime barbecue in Kenya and an afternoon beer or six in South Africa. At these events we’ll say hello to truly world-class bands. I’m not going to say much about each band. Let them tell us who and what they are.
The culturally and religiously conservative south-east of the USA, commonly known as the Bible Belt, isn’t the first place that springs to mind when you consider the roots of old-school, fuck-you-all death metal and black metal. Yet it’s given rise to some of the enduring stalwarts of those genres over that last three decades or more.
Extreme underground metal isn’t exactly popular in the Bible Belt. The kick-ass bands that start there go elsewhere in the US to find audiences who won’t damn them for all eternity for playing the music of the Devil. The more successful of those bands go to Europe to spread their type of music to new audiences.
The demonic-looking guy in the photo is Kelly McCoy, one of the seasoned movers in American underground metal and a champion of other extreme bands as well as his own. He invited Metal State to make a short journey into the hard, nasty, uncompromising shadowland of brutal bands from the Deep South. He introduced us to bands he’s with and to other bands who have chosen the same road to perdition.
The metal they play is raw. This certainly doesn’t mean raw in the sense of underdone or unprofessional… anything but! No, it’s raw in the sense that the flesh still drips blood when you rip it off the bones. It’s mighty powerful, deeper than the region where it originated, and I’m sure you’re going to find diabolical beauty in the music. I did. I have the scars to prove it.
Label: Metal Blade
Release Date: 10 Oct 2014 (US)
Length: 53 Minutes
Previous Albums: Empire of the Obscene (2008); Existence is Futile (2009); Chaos of Forms (2011); Revocation (2013); Deathless (2014).
Location: Boston, MA USA Read the rest of this entry →
Release Date: 18 Nov 2014 (US)
Length: 47 Minutes
Previous Albums: Resurrection Through Carnage (2002); Nightmares Made Flesh (2004); The Fathomless Mastery (2008)
From: Sweden / England
FFO: Quality death metal Read the rest of this entry →
Release Date: 28 Oct 2014
Genre: Death Metal
Length: 50 Minutes
Albums: Slowly We Rot (1989); Cause of Death (1990); The End Complete (1992); World Demise (1994); Back From The Dead (1997); Frozen In Time (2005); Xecutioner’s Return (2007); Darkest Day (2009).
Location: United States
FFO: Groove-Oriented Death Metal Read the rest of this entry →
Album: Timelapse; this is their fourth album
Release Date: 3 Nov 14
Genre: Avant-Garde / Progressive / Post Death Metal
Length: 43 Minutes
Location: Italy Read the rest of this entry →
Centinex – Redeeming The Filth
I can first describe Centinex has a faster paced Six feet Under. They have that infectious rhythmic groove, but it’s just a little faster and equally ruthless. Death Glance and Bloodraze are born of scorching cadence along with many others; built for the pit. The good thing is that not all of their songs are just neck snapping fervor. Ok, the neck snapping part might be true, but Centinex tones things down a bit focusing more on a vicious groove with songs such as Stone of Choice, Unrestrained, and Rotting Below. In terms of death metal; it’s a diverse album highly recommended for anyone into death metal acts such as Cannibal Corpse, Six feet Under, and Obituary…just to name a few.
I have been sitting here trying to think of an approach to review Cannibal Corpse’s new album, A Skeletal Domain, their 13th studio album since 1990. I mean when you take a band that churns out speedy riffs and ruthless death metal album after album, what words can I use to describe the brutal consistency of the band? I guess if there is one thing Cannibal Corpse has going for themselves is their stability with their lineup; it’s been the same since 2005. As much as apprentice members can breathe new life into a band, having the same members for a long period can allow a band to grow together and become a leader in their genre; the example to emulate. This is where Cannibal Corpse stands out among their peers. Read the rest of this entry →
Released just this month (Sept 2014), the new Bloodsoaked album, Religious Apocalypse, features three crushing new tracks combined with several live tracks and two covers of Cinderella and Ratt. Yeah, I am not sure how 80s bands fit into this mix of death metal, but they definitely put their own twist on those classics. Is anything out of the 80s “classic.?
First, focusing on the three new songs – Devouring, Abomination, and Religious Apocalypse…they are nothing short of brutal with that classic 80s (I said it again) death metal feel. They are clean, but not overproduced; complete with that raw, unedited feel from some of the more classic 80s (damn, I did it again) death metal bands.
The live tracks represent a selection of their older material which are equally brutal, but live. You know how live songs go. They sound good, but don’t “sound” all that good. It’s hard to capture the essence of a band with a live recording. But, Bloodsoaked sounds like they nail it live.
And, lastly, what interests me are their glam covers of bands I used to love. Ok, maybe I didn’t love Cinderella, but I was a big fan of Ratt back in their heyday. Bloodsoaked basically kept the core of the song intact, meaning you should easily recognize them if you are into classic 80s songs (last time, I promise). Throw in some growls and double bass and the covers are pretty cool, actually. Overall, some cool brutality, cool covers, and some live tracks that demonstrate the band’s ability to play live brutally. Here is the link below. Enjoy!
Release Date: 30 September 2014
Length: 39 minutes
Genre: Old Swedish-style Death Metal
Studio Albums: This is their debut album