Saturday, November 29, 2014

Meat and Potatoes with a side of Dal Bhat

Written by Kevin Page.


Sweden's version of Bolt Thrower, Just Before Dawn, returns for their sophomore effort of war induced death metal, aptly named, The Aftermath. This is the brainchild of ex Amon Amarth guitarist, Anders Biazzi. Following the path of its predecessor, it's loaded with guest appearances from well known members of the scene (too many to list, you can see who after you click the link and listen). It's death metal, its mid paced, it's like getting hit by an artillery strike. This should come as no surprise as the band isn't looking to reinvent the wheel here. If you'd like to know more, read my interview over at No Clean Singing.


[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]


Yes, more Swedish death metal. Is that ever really a bad thing? Featuring Per Boder and Björn Larsson of God Macabre fame, Mordbrand have released multiple splits and EP since 2010.  Imago is the band's debut full length and finally something that clicks with me.  It's not that I disliked their prior material, but it just never did much for me.  I can't put a reason on why or what it is about this album that resonates with me though.  Did they finally wear me down with their take on the style?  Did I have an epiphany?  I dunno, I just like it.  It's thick and heavy but with a looser and dare I say "bouncier" vibe than most bands doing the 'ole Swede thang.


[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]


Another Swedish band, really? Well, Pyre are from Russia, but they sure sound Swedish. Think of an old school Dismember, during their violent and angry era (Like an Ever Flowing Stream/Pieces). I wrote about their prior 2012 EP here and stylistically they haven't changed one lick. And why should they change? They've only gotten better and better with each release. But before you roll your eyes and think they are yet another band mining the same overused well, give it a listen. If their conviction and energy don't win you over, the earworm riffs will.


[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]


Now what do you we have here. This band from Nepal unleashes their debut album seemingly out of nowhere. While they refer to themselves as Hindu/Vedic death metal, it often straddles the line of brutal death metal. The use of traditional ethnic instruments, along with chants and some female vocals add to the diversity. At times this works flawlessly and at times it feels slightly jumbled. When the band turns to blastbeats and treads into the brutal death metal category, it usually feels underdeveloped and/or "old hat". Overall there is much more to like here than be critical of. This is a band that is just screaming out for a more polished and refined sophomore record. I hope they can pull it off when that day comes.


[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

Tagged with 2014, Chaos Records, death metal, Dying Out Flame, Just Before Dawn, Kevin Page, Mordbrand, Pyre, technical death metal, Xtreem Music
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