DEFILED – Infinite Regress

Japan’s unique death metal veterans, DEFILED, have delivered a whopper of an album! Don’t believe me?  Check out the video below.  As always, the constant is guitarist Yusuke Sumita, and his chaotic riffs are on full display with an excellent complimentary lineup to forge his passion for underground death metal.

After the intro, Infinite Regress opens up with the dizzying track, “Divide and Conquer” and unloads a healthy mix of grind, blasts, and discordant riffs.  DEFILED is chock full of technical parts, but not the usual guitar noodling “sweep after sweep” garbage that has infiltrated the “technical metal” subgenre these days.

The production is hearty and crisp, without sacrificing any distortion crunch or having the drums getting buried in the mix.  However, don’t think this album is just a blast fest, as “Tragedy” starts with a mid-paced slew of riffs before showing their trademark off-time riffs and maniacal vocal lines.

Some great bass lines are thrown in “Aftermath,” and DEFILED’s catchiest material to date is offered here on tracks such as “Systematic Decomposition,”  “Masses in Chaos,” and “Slaverobot.”

DEFILED is a band that takes multiple listens before appreciating the whirlwind riffs and savagery of it all, and this album is no different.  So many riffs are unleashed everywhere but somehow it all comes together nicely with different tempo changes and great drum patterns.  The band should be extremely proud of this effort, and fans of classic riffage influenced by NAPALM DEATHTERRORIZERCRYPTOPSY (just to name a few) should enjoy this album immensely.  Last but not least, the sick work of Wes Benscoter graces the cover and solidifies this album as a great pick up in 2020. (Season of Mist)

Sean Reinhert – RIP 1971-2020

The debate over which DEATH album is the best will have various results, depending on who you ask.  Some swear by the sheer brutality and simplicity of Scream Bloody Gore, or the ultra-catchy riffs from Leprosy.  Some guitar enthusiasts enjoy Spiritual Healing the most because of James Murphy’s wizardry, but my personal favorite will always be Human, simply because of the flawless performance by Sean Reinert.  The album opens with the obvious focus on Reinert’s talent as the double bass crescendos into some toms and then…brutality.  The rest of the album never lets up, and while Chuck Schuldiner’s riffs and leads are in top form, to me, it’s Reinert’s execution that makes this album one of the ultimate death metal albums of all time.

The technicality of well-placed cymbal hits, rides, complex drum patterns are so succinct and perfect, that it honestly takes tens of listens before you can fully comprehend and appreciate the greatness that Reinert infused on every album he’s played on.  Not only did he implement such a brutal touch on the album, but his jazzy influence was well-documented as well, especially on the track “Cosmic Sea.”  Admittedly, I was not a fan of CYNIC when Focus was first released, but after I heard Human, I decided to revisit the album and once again, realized the sheer genius that Reinert facilitated.

On a personal level, I only met him for a few minutes on two separate occasions, but he was a genuine and extremely kind person.  He was appreciative that I had almost everything he had played on and was very humble about it all.

Our condolences go out to his husband, family, and his friends.  The music and metal scene has lost one of the greatest game changers in drumming history.

National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) 2019 Show Report

Greetings and salutations from sunny California!  Once again, another amazing National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) convention has come and gone!  There were a few surprises along the way, they also had the Free Music Lesson, and as always, we had a great time checking out all the gear!

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TERRORIZER – Caustic Attack

The world is always a better place when THE master blaster, Pete Sandoval, is actively playing music.  After overcoming the arduous journey back from back surgery, he teamed up with multi-instrumentalist Lee Harrison (MONSTROSITY) and vocalist Sam Molina (ex-MONSTROSITY) to revive TERRORIZER.

The long and short of it is that Caustic Attack is the band’s best album since their infallible landmark debut, World Downfall. In fact, Caustic Attack is one of the top albums of 2018. All apologies to Lee but shit, we didn’t know he could bust out out such good riffs as he’s built his reputation as a drummer.

Getting back to the Commando, the beauty of Caustic Attack is that it can be thoroughly enjoyed in different ways.  You can enjoy the exciting, heart pumping songs themselves or you can just focus in on Pete‘s drumming and just marvel at how he crushes all.

Caustic Attack starts off with songs that are geared towards being album openers with lots of immediate blasting and catchy, simple riffs that carry more of a punk/grind feel.  Half way through the album with “Trench of Corruption,” things get more ominous and darker.  There is this tangible feeling of urgency and momentum that are undeniable.  And this is where TERRORIZER truly shine and separates itself from the pack.

Don’t deny yourself one of the best extreme metal albums in recent memory.  A new beginning is here for one of the godfathers.  Bow down.  (The End Records)

 

 

 

Video of the Day: VED BUENS ENDE Quietly Reunites for Show

The criminally underrated gods of Norwegian avant garde black metal, VED BUENS ENDE, recently reunited to play a live show this past Saturday, January 26, 2019.  Check out this short clip.

Hopefully, this signals more to come from the band.  Last December, Soulseller Records reissued the long out-of-print masterpiece, Written in Waters, with the original artwork.  Check out the details here.

DISMEMBER: Original Line-Up Announces Return

In glorious news the original line-up of Swedish legends, DISMEMBER, have announced their reunion in order to play the Scandinavian Deathfest this October.  According to their Facebook post, it sounds like there will be, at least, more shows to follow.

Line-up:

Matti Kärki – Vocals
David Blomqvist – Guitar
Robert Sennebäck – Guitar
Richard Cabeza – Bass
Fred Estby – Drums

The band were last active with the release of Dismember in 2008 before calling it quits in 2011.

APESHIT’s Top Metal Albums of 2018

What a glorious year in metal we just experienced.  After the sheer amount of quality albums that were released in 2018, there is no question that the genre is as healthy and full of life as ever.  Thus, making our top albums lists harder than usual.

For the APESHIT goons, 2018 was the year where the legends all shined.  JUDAS PRIEST led the charge with their best album since 1990’s Painkiller.  DIMMU BORGIR finally emerged from a long slumber and did not disappoint. VOIVOD remain the gods that the mass metal media won’t acknowledge as such.  We can’t really think of any letdowns.  Can you?

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Video of the Day: Max and Igorr Cavalera Destroy Belarus

Last year Max and Igorr Cavalera celebrated the release of SEPULTURA‘s Roots by playing the album in its entirety on tour.  Currently, they are tour celebrating the two albums that put the band on the map, Beneath the Remains and Arise.  Check out their performance from the Re:public Club in Minsk, Belarus on October 5, 2018.

This is probably the most and best live guitar playing that Max has performed in a long time.  A very welcome return.

THE SPIRIT – Sounds from the Vortex

While THE SPIRIT hail from Saarbrücken, Germany, they sound like they were born in the metal Mecca of Gothenburg, Sweden.  It’s abundantly clear that DISSECTION are, by far, their main influence.  However, a closer ear can hear influences from other Swedish black/death metal bands such as UNANIMATED and SACRAMENTUM.

A handful of bands have tried to carry the torch left by the legendary DISSECTION, such as THULCANDRA, but none of them have come as close as THE SPIRIT.  On their debut album, Sounds from the Vortex, they essentially wrote the album that could’ve followed Storm of the Light’s Bane, and I do not make that statement haphazardly.

Sounds from the Vortex has the perfect balance of pure ferocity, melody, and, most importantly, that mysterious atmosphere of the classic albums that came out of Sweden in the mid to late 90’s.

Having said all of that, THE SPIRIT should also be praised for the endless prime riffing, instrumental prowess, and tight songwriting. Check out the barrage of ice that hits on the 4:09 mark on “The Clouds of Damnation.” “Cross the Bridge to Eternity” has unique riffing patterns reminiscent of something off of DARK TRANQUILLITY‘s The Mind’s I.

The album’s finishes out as strongly a possible in its final three songs.  Powerful and confident, these songs close out what is one of the best debuts in years.  If THE SPIRIT can replicate this level of excellence on album number two, their ascension is guaranteed. (Nuclear Blast Records)