Saturday, May 26, 2012

Diskord - Dystopics

Diskord is a name that needs recognition amongst death metal fans. If Diskord was a creature, Doomscapes was its (glorious) birth in archaic slime. On Dystopics we see that creature grow and evolve into a titanic monster that's just as amorphous as the ooze it was born from.

The sheer unpredictability of Dystopics makes it a worthy listen. You never know when a measure will end or a riff will lead. Something about it is off - in a good way. Diskord isn't afraid to show their love for mangling and shaping the beast that is Autopsy's sound into new and dangerous tracks. Opener "Entropic Death" is an old school death track that has a bit of a grind flair and just a smidgeon of dissonant jankiness. Diskord is a band that doesn't take just one sound and stick to it though. These Norwegians are all over the place, and you can literally tell that each track is deliberately unique. There's the dissonant jazz influence, grind and hardcore d-beats and shouts, the occasional black metal rasp, a flirtation with doom, and some absolutely crushing death metal riffs.

Dissonances and technical flair aren't the highlight on Dystopics, but they serve to convey the weird atmosphere wonderfully. Eyvind Wærsted Axelsen's basslines are the driving force behind much of the music, creating a powerful sound that despite all the time signature-bending remains headbangable. As a bassist, I'm a huge sucker for bass dynamics and the occasional solo, and Axelsen delivers multiple times throughout Dystopics. "Overseer," "Godsends and Hellbents," and "As The Circus Leaves The Galaxy" all feature numerous memorable basslines, often toying with guitar riffs while enveloping them in low-frequency sound. Rhythmically speaking, the album is fantastic. The basslines and Hans Jørgen Ersvik's drumming work together to create a disharmonious background with which to spew troubled and cataclysmic sounds. Guitarist Espen T. Hangård is a powerful actor in the sound of Dystopics as well, and he and Axelsen often play off of each other, one's instrument taking dominance over the other multiple times throughout the album. His solos are well-written and aren't an exuberant display of technicality despite actually taking talent - something to admire in modern death metal.

If Dystopics had come out twenty years ago, I honestly believe Diskord would be up there with genre greats Atheist, Autopsy, and Gorguts. The production makes Dystopics actually feel like it came out in that time period, amplifying the old-school appeal of the music itself. The album is refreshingly organic much like Doomscapes and it's equally as weird. Even the more doom-influenced tracks like "Tremble" and "Ambisinistral" are interesting, both contextually and as individual tracks. They help convey the odd vortex of emotions that is Dystopics perfectly and fluently, keeping everything paced.

I found Dystopics a bit tougher to jump right into than I did Doomscapes, but after a few spins I was hooked. Albums like this tend to be growers by nature, and that was the case for me. Like a big ball of potential energy that slowly becomes kinetic, Dystopics' waves of tortured sonics wash over you in increasingly potent measures. If you want truly unique death metal, look no further than Diskord's Dystopics - you won't be disappointed.

9.0 out of 10


1. Entropic Death
2. Overseer
3. Epochal
4. Tremble
5. Woebegoneness
6. Ambisinistral
7. Psychotic Process
8. As the Circus leaves the Galaxy
9. Rambling Words from a sore Throat
10. Metamorphosis
11. Godsends and Hellbents
12. Primitive Doom

Samples on Soundcloud // No Posers Please!

Whirr - Pipe Dreams

I've had recurring anxiety these past few months due to workload, a tachycardia attack (which biologically means nothing; it was set off by extreme caffeine intake), and a bunch of other stressors. Whirr, and shoegaze in general, saved me from falling into the panic attack/mid-life crisis feel that most people get at some point. Fuck that shit. Seriously.

That's part of the reason I haven't been posting as often, but it's starting to subside as summer is finally hitting me..

Vibrant and flavorful, Whirr's Pipe Dreams conjures up dreamlike sequences and sepia-colored memories. It's everything Neige wishes he could do with Alcest, but that's beside the point that this album is fantastic. I've yet to delve into Whirl but I can only hope their material is as good as this.

Pipe Dreams plays off your past: mostly the good, but also the bad and ugly. There's a good variety in song structuring and styling that lets Whirr cover these crevasses.You've got your upbeat dream-punk riffologies like "Bogus" and "Toss," slow-yet-powerful psychedelia on tracks like "Flashback" and "Hide," and the bad times you just want to forget on "Wait," "Formulas and Frequencies," and album opener "Reverse." You can take your pick from any of them and be enjoyed - even if the memories themselves aren't that enjoyable, although individually I have to say "Formulas and Frequencies" is pretty dull, like a gray mouse huddling in the corner of a room filled with roaring lions. However contextually the song works wonders in conjunction with the rest of the album.

Three guitarists m a shoegaze band works wonders. I have to say the layering and texture of the sound on Pipe Dreams is great. Add in the dreamy, incomprehensible vocals of Alexandra Morte and you have one of the most soothing yet driving releases in recent memory. I know this album oft gets compared to classics My Bloody Valentine but so does all shoegaze, and to be quite honest comparing them is fucking stupid. The guitar tone(s) and songwriting make Pipe Dreams stand out amongst the horde of My Bloody Valentine copycats, although I wouldn't go so far as to call it the most original thing ever created either.

The production is thick and obviously layered to a good degree. The occasional twang of the guitar is heard over layer upon layer of effect and distortion, much like any good shoegaze. The bass is strong as well, and some of the tracks could fit in more with psychedelic/stoner rock. "Hide" is a great example with it's straight eighth note riffs. It's a solid, relaxing listen and a break from the endless grind (and grindcore) I've had to endure recently. Highly recommended.

8.0 out of 10


1. Reverse
2. Junebouvier
3. Bogus
4. Flashback
5. Formulas and Frequencies
6. Home Is Where My Head Is
7. Toss
8. Hide
9. Wait
10. Reverie

Listen to older albums

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Oblivionized - Nullify The Cycle

Well this was unexpected. Oblivionized released a second demo and it's significantly shittier than their EP. Let me reiterate: demo status does not excuse it from being bad.

Two things you'll notice upon listening to Nullify The Cycle: the production and the vocals. They're significantly weaker and more flimsy than those featured on Abhorrent Evolution, with highs being the primary form of enunciation. Not that highs are bad, but these are just pathetic. They sound like a dying parrot squawking out to a hardcore song. The production and mixing makes them that much more annoying since there's hardly any low-end at all. In fact the bass drum sounds like a defunct metronome. It's not the sound you want to hear when it's set to the high tempos one would expect from a grind band.

The guitar tone is more subdued, the drumming and rhythm is muddied up by a weak snare, and the songwriting...well, at least the first two tracks are pretty okay in that department. The title track however is a completely forgettable clean guitar, clean vocals track. It's BORING. I don't care if you think it's "artistic," I think it's fucking stupid and a dumb way to end what should've been a killer deathgrind demo. There's only three tracks, so there's not much to really listen to here either.

Here's hoping the next release won't be this unquestionably bad.

3.25 out of 10


1. The Nullification of Philanthropy

2. Cycle of Deprivation

3. Nullify the Cycle

Oblivionized - Abhorrent Evolution

Alright, finally back to reviewing. It's going to be a sporadic summer with all these shows going on. Last night I just saw Ulcerate with Tombs and Svart Crown at an extremely small venue. Needless to say it was fucking awesome, but sadly their set was relatively short. Jet lagged, I assume. Next week there's a few hardcore shows and Nasum. That alone should leave me incapacitated for awhile.


UK technical deathgrind band Oblivionized awed the world with their extremely accessible debut EP Abhorrent Evolution last year. It reached a degree of acclaim that solidified Oblivionized at the top of the "to watch" lists for many.

Capturing the grind essence of aggression with a tasteful sense of melody and technicality, Abhorrent Evolution doesn't disappoint. "Born Into Decadence" is a strong opener with multilayered vocals and some cool effects, while "Subject to Extinction" and the title track are both more pummeling exercises in brutality. The title track features a solo as well, something most grind-influenced bands would be proud to exclude. Each track is memorable, although they are a bit more in line with technical death metal length-wise.

The aggression on here is primarily thanks to the powerful production and mixing. The snare is loud, dominating, and pounding. The guitar tone is strong as well, and the multiple vocal tracks make for a solid sense of texture. Abhorrent Evolution is a solid release if perhaps not exactly the most unique one. A great first stepping stone for a band that I look forward to seeing more from.

7.5 out of 10


1. Born Into Decadence

2. Abhorrent Evolution

3. Subject to Extinction

4. A Modern Prometheus


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mithras - Worlds Beyond The Veil

Continuing where Mithras left off with their debut, Worlds Beyond The Veil takes the listener to an entirely different realm. The cosmic atmosphere and soaring production of Worlds Beyond The Veil help differentiate it from their debut, but when your first release is as good as Forever Advancing...Legions, there's not much you can improve on.

Here we have Mithras doing what they do best: combining atmospherically dense songs with bizarre, technical riffs and structures giving them an otherwordly sound. Perhaps the biggest difference a Mithras fan will notice right off the bat is the different production techniques used on Worlds Beyond The Veil. The riffs all have an echo to them, giving the album that aforementioned “spacey” feel, and the synth is much more subdued than it was on their previous release, which I believe fits this album's theme much better. The drumming is as brutal as ever, and the solos have gotten a lot more developed. There's also a distinct lack of the short interludes that the previous album used to break apart the intensity of it's main offering, instead replacing them with tracks like “Sands Of Time” and “Search The Endless Planes,” where synth and guitar intertwine to bring the listener into the dense sonic soundscape.

The space atmosphere is the second thing any Mithras fan (or new listener for that matter) will notice on Worlds Beyond The Veil. The entire feel of the album is very cosmic and enticing, explorative and yet grand in scope. Thankfully, unlike some more atmospheric bands, the songwriting on Worlds Beyond The Veil doesn't suffer because of this in any way. Mithras continue their aural assault unhindered by such issues, providing the listener with a living, breathing impression of the universe.

Although it might be similar to Mithras' previous work, Worlds Beyond The Veil is still fantastic. The atmosphere alone is enough to take any listener to another plane of existence, but when combined with the crushing drumwork and technical riffing, it can really immerse the listener for the 46 minutes it lasts. Without a weak track on the album it's a very well-developed album by one of my favorite artists.

9.0 out of 10


1. Portal to the... (Intro)

2. Worlds Beyond the Veil

3. Bequeath Thy Visions

4. The Caller and the Listener

5. Break the Worlds' Divide

6. Lords and Masters

7. Psyrens

8. Voices in the Void

9. The Sands of Time

10. Search the Endless Planes

11. They Came and You Were Silent

12. Transcendence

13. Beyond the Eyes of Man 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Pseudogod - Deathwomb Catechesis

Pseudogod's debut LP Deathwomb Catechesis landed sometime last month and the album is everything I wanted to hear from this band coming from their previous releases.

This is some bestiality I can get behind. As Deathwomb Catechesis pours molten rock down your gullet, you'll heartily agree with me that this is thus far the best bestial black metal release of 2012. It's a riff-heavy spiral unto knuckle-dragging brutality that only a Russian band could accomplish. Jokes about Abominable Putridity aside, this album is intelligently composed with tracks featuring distinctly evolutionary song structures. Nothing bothers me more than hearing bestial bands just plod away on the same two-note riff. On their debut Pseudogod amps up the technicality a little bit and turns janky time signatures into Satanic headbanging fun.

Oh and did I mention the album art is fucking awesome?

Deathwomb Catechesis gets more potent as it progresses. "Malignant Spears" is a rampaging devil of a track, but it's small time compared to the colossal demonic monstrosities that are conjured by apocalyptic "The Triangular Phosphorescence" and "Necromancy of Iron Darkness." The third track, "Saturnalia (The Night of the Return)" is pretty good too. These tracks all feature slower, more dense riffing which makes them memorable and fun. This is everything bestial black metal should be, although black metal purists might cringe at the mention of "fun" and black metal in the same sentence.

The first thing I noticed coming to Deathwomb Catechesis from the previous compilation and splits was the vastly improved production. The grit and rage are still contained perfectly in the mix while each of the instruments remain audible. The whole thing feels natural, and don't let the "enhanced" production fool you - this album is every bit as dark as Pseudogod's other material. Perhaps moreso now that the atmospheric element of the album is multiplied tenfold thanks to more coherent songwriting. The cult-like feel of bestial black metal remains intact throughout all of Pseudogod's debut, and it's as dark and as harsh as ever thanks to a well-rounded mix.

Clearly this is still bestial black metal. It doesn't deviate from the norm, but it does a great job of making the norm entertaining again.

8.5 out of 10


1. Vehement Decimation
2. Malignant Spears
3. Saturnalia (The Night of the Return...)
4. Azazel
5. The Antichrist Victory
6. Necromancy of the Iron Darkness
7. Encarnación del mal
8. The Triangular Phosphorescence

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pseudogod - Triumphus Serpentis Magni

Bestial black metal - we all love it or love to hate it. Pseudogod is a Russian band, and up until 2012 they've only performed on splits. Their new LP Deathwomb Catechesis just dropped last month and I'll be covering that one shortly. As for now, I'll be reviewing their compilation album, Triumphus Serpentis Magni.

I'm not impressed. Bestial black metal is supposed to be gritty, dark, and brutal with tinges of cult-like atmosphere. Triumphus Serpentis Magni has the grittiness, the "dark" sound, and tinges of the atmosphere, but the brutality is lost in the poor mixing and muffled production.

Now before you bitch me out with rants about how black metal (especially bestial black metal) is supposed to be muddled and poorly produced, this album doesn't have the songwriting to back it up. Everything on Triumphus Serpentis Magni is predictable and as uninspired as the legions of Canadian bands that wish they were Blasphemy. Honestly even after listening to the album a few times, I can't recall anything about the first two tracks "Branded By Hornz" and "The Firstborn of Abhorrence." They're both very typical exercises in bestiality with a generic structure and forgettable soloing. The compilation ends with a Beherit cover from the kvlt classic Drawing Down The Moon. It's alright, but still a cover.

However I did find myself somewhat enjoying the track "Illusion of Salvation." Obviously it's dense and murky like the rest of the release, but it has a great headbanging riff and a few slower segments making it less formulaic. The track "Azazel" is by and far the best on here though, with some extremely aggressive drumming and a discernible main riff. It's a pounding whirlwind with slightly better production than the rest of the release.

Even as a compilation I guess Triumphus Serpentis Magni falls flat since it only covers one of their splits with Blaze Of Perdition (and technically some demo material), but whatever. Based on the number of quality tracks (two out of five) and the half-decent cover, I feel like this short compilation is pretty average.

5.0 out of 10


1. Branded By Hornz

2. The Firstborn of Abhorrence

3. Illusion of Salvation

4. Azazel

5. Gate of Nanna (Beherit cover)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Alive and Killing

I'm back fuckers. Back and filled to the brim with rage. Having an extremely rough time with school and finals will do that to a person. I sincerely apologize for not letting you folks know what I was up to. As the weeks go by I'll slowly finish all the reviews I half-wrote for April and then keep The Disgust up to date (daily) for the summer. I'll continue my tech death series until it's done as well.

All of you will be covered in my venomous slag by the end as I rip into all the newest music, so open your mouths and get ready for a pounding - there'll be a ton of updates to come.