Hello again – greetings from South London and another episode of Metal Morsels. I’ve been listening to a lot of death metal again of late, so I’m going to give over this latest column to some of the good stuff I and my neighbours have been enjoying of late – hope you enjoy it as much as Yuri at number 13!
First up, some solid sounds from Denmark. Chronicle promise ‘a pure death metal onslaught’ on their third album, Where Chaos Thrives – and they ain’t fibbing! Brutality goes hand in hand with technicality here, with the band achieving a refined but pummelling sound thanks to production genius Tue Madsen. The man’s ability to separate out all the instruments, giving each space to breath, is a huge asset to the band’s sound.
Opening in classic style with some tasteful acoustic guitar, WCT doesn’t break any new ground, but the patch of dirt it does cultivate turns out to be choc-full of mutilated corpses and flesh-drunk maggots. Fans of anyone from Children of Bodom to Black Dahlia Murder will find something tasty to gnaw on here, I’m sure, when the album emerges through Mighty Music on May 19th.
Named after the Great White Shark, French outfit Carcariass have been navigating the depths of metal for a quarter of a century, and they show no signs of slowing down on their latest effort Afterworld.
Ostensibly ‘prog-death’, they actually cheery-pick from all metal angles to deliver a sound that manages to mix old-school primitivism with futuristic sci-fi on tracks like No Aftermath. Having been around for a while they’ve met a few people around the traps, and here Drop from Samael records whilst noted producer Jens Bogren mixes and masters; all that experience isn’t wasted, as the band create metal at the more polished end of the death spectrum for sure.
Still, the hoarse throat of Jérôme Thomas keeps things grounded however melodic things get elsewhere; The mixture of Pascal Lanquetin‘s super-tunesome guitar work and Thomas’s vocal approach pays dividends big time on The Hive, and if overall this is a little too melodic for this writer’s tastes it’s not hard to see new fans flocking to the Carcariass banner when Afterworld comes out.
On a far filthier tip we find veteran American deathgrind exponents Deathgrave. The superb vid for their new track Your Rulers Are Here has rarely been off the Stronge family smart TV screen since it came out about a month ago and, now that I’ve had my chance to get familiarised with the rest of that track’s parent album, It’s Only Midnight, I’m glad to say that the rest of the material to spew forth from the band ain’t too far behind in quality and, more importantly, levels of sheer filth…
In simple terms, It’s Only Midnight is a riot of violent thrills and spills for anyone who finds comfort in heavily distorted rumblings; Best track On All Fours is grind as it should be played in 2023 – no quarter given or asked for – but across the whole album the quality doesn’t let up for a second. These people clearly know what they’re about, with vocalist Andre Comejo using his voice with brutalising and debilitating effect. You could host weekend symposia on the efficacy of Clint Zane‘s drumming and still not get to the bottom of how he does it, and then there are the stringed instruments, all of which do serious damage to the nervous system thanks to the combined efforts of Greg Wilkinson (six) and Fern Alberts (four). I bloody love this band!
Staying in the US, we come across New Jersey noiseniks Voidscape, who may only be three in number but are definitely a thousand strong in terms of pure, thunderous heavy metal generated!
There’s a djenty, groove-laden feel to the opening track on their new EP Odyssey Of Spite, Grief Eclipse, that sets these guys apart from the other bands we’ve featured so far in this episode, but that needn’t put you off if it’s the dirtier strains of death that really get your motor running. Mike Ximenez‘ eye-bulging vocals are more than enough to compensate, and it’s the juxtaposition of his vocals with the at times more considered approach of guitarist Rob Torres that really gives the music of Voidscape a winning edge.
Throw in the fine drumming of Justin “Ninja” Spaeth, a man who brings a welcome edge of swing to the music thanks to his superior chops, and you’ve got a pretty enticing package overall.
Finally for this episode we head to Italy and Vision Deprived, who have recently released their new album, the intriguingly titled Self Elevating, Deep Inside The Void via Slaughterhouse Records.
These guys aren’t afraid to mix things up a little, adding elements of more traditional heavy metal as well as a soupçon o’grind to their death metal stew, and the results are pleasing to say the very least. They don’t hang about, either – SE,DITV crams ten fully-formed bangers into just a tick over half an hour; The pedometer on my smart phone registered a distance travelled of over one kilometre whilst I was listening to the album, such is it’s all embracing nature, and you too will find it hard not to get involved on a physical level with out n’out ragers like Pledge Allegiance should you take the plunge and get involved – which I recommend you do!
That’s your lot for this episode – I’ll try and mix things up a little next time but there’s such a lot of strong death metal around at the moment I felt I’d like to share some of it with you – cheers until the next time we meet!