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Rezn - Burden

Rezn - Burden (2024)

Added: June 16, 2024
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0.0
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0.0
Rezn - Live at Electrical Audio

Rezn - Live at Electrical Audio (2019)

Added: June 16, 2024
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0.0
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Crypt Sermon - The Stygian Rose

Crypt Sermon - The Stygian Rose (2024)

Added: June 16, 2024
Ratings: 2
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3.8
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3.8
Bongzilla & Tons - Doom Sessions Vol.4

Bongzilla & Tons - Doom Sessions Vol.4 (2021)

Added: June 16, 2024
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Grat Strigoi - Communion of the Nameless

Grat Strigoi - Communion of the Nameless (2021)

Added: June 16, 2024
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Evergrey - Theories of Emptiness

Evergrey - Theories of Emptiness (2024)

Added: June 16, 2024
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Four Stroke Baron - Data Diamond

Four Stroke Baron - Data Diamond (2024)

Added: June 16, 2024
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0.0
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Necronomidol - Vämjelseriter

Necronomidol - Vämjelseriter (2021)

Added: June 16, 2024
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Necronomidol - Voidhymn

Necronomidol - Voidhymn (2018)

Added: June 16, 2024
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Necronomidol - Strange Aeons

Necronomidol - Strange Aeons (2018)

Added: June 16, 2024
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0.0
Ironbound - Serpent's Kiss

Ironbound - Serpent's Kiss (2024)

Added: June 16, 2024
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Ironbound - The Lightbringer

Ironbound - The Lightbringer (2021)

Added: June 16, 2024
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0.0
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Galactikraken & Jonathan Young - Starship Velociraptor

Galactikraken & Jonathan Young - Starship Velociraptor (2021)

Added: June 16, 2024
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Apocalyptica - Plays Metallica Vol. 2

Apocalyptica - Plays Metallica Vol. 2 (2024)

Added: June 16, 2024
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Apocalyptica - Metal Classic, Classic Metal

Apocalyptica - Metal Classic, Classic Metal (2022)

Added: June 16, 2024
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Malignancy - Discontinued

Malignancy - Discontinued (2024)

Added: June 18, 2024
Ratings: 0
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0.0
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0.0
Malignancy - Ignorance Is Bliss

Malignancy - Ignorance Is Bliss (2001)

Added: June 18, 2024
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0.0
Despondency - Matriphagy

Despondency - Matriphagy (2024)

Added: June 18, 2024
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Regurgitated Entrails - Sickening Indulgence of Flesh

Regurgitated Entrails - Sickening Indulgence of Flesh (2024)

Added: June 18, 2024
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Swampbeast - Offering of Chaos, Lamenting in the Blood of Man

Swampbeast - Offering of Chaos, Lamenting in the Blood of Man (2024)

Added: June 18, 2024
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0.0
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Hippotraktor - Stasis

Hippotraktor - Stasis (2024)

Added: June 19, 2024
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Anomalie - Tranceformation

Anomalie - Tranceformation (2021)

Added: June 19, 2024
Ratings: 0
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0.0
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0.0
Witherfall - Sounds of the Forgotten

Witherfall - Sounds of the Forgotten (2024)

Added: June 19, 2024
Ratings: 0
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0.0
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0.0
Atrocious Filth - OVV

Atrocious Filth - OVV (2021)

Added: June 19, 2024
Ratings: 0
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0.0
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0.0
Huntsmen - The Dry Land

Huntsmen - The Dry Land (2024)

Added: June 19, 2024
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0.0
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0.0
Deceiver Legion - Varjoissa

Deceiver Legion - Varjoissa (2021)

Added: June 20, 2024
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Unknown Artist - The Stench of Delusion

Unknown Artist - The Stench of Delusion (2021)

Added: June 20, 2024
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Unknown Artist - A Pig's Head on a Stick

Unknown Artist - A Pig's Head on a Stick (2019)

Added: June 20, 2024
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0.0
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0.0
Valdaudr - Drapsdalen

Valdaudr - Drapsdalen (2021)

Added: June 20, 2024
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0.0
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0.0
Białywilk - Zmora

Białywilk - Zmora (2023)

Added: June 20, 2024
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0.0
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0.0
Troops of Doom, The - A Mass to the Grotesque

Troops of Doom, The - A Mass to the Grotesque (2024)

Added: June 20, 2024
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0.0
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Troops of Doom, The - Prelude to Blasphemy

Troops of Doom, The - Prelude to Blasphemy (2023)

Added: June 20, 2024
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0.0
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Desolus - System Shock

Desolus - System Shock (2024)

Added: June 20, 2024
Ratings: 0
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0.0
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0.0
Burning Lord - Arcane Demolition

Burning Lord - Arcane Demolition (2024)

Added: June 20, 2024
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0.0
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0.0
Destructo - Demonic Possession

Destructo - Demonic Possession (2021)

Added: June 20, 2024
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0.0
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0.0
Worst Doubt - Extinction

Worst Doubt - Extinction (2021)

Added: June 20, 2024
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0.0
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0.0
Worst Doubt - Immortal Pain

Worst Doubt - Immortal Pain (2024)

Added: June 20, 2024
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0.0
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0.0
Worst Doubt - Demo Compilation

Worst Doubt - Demo Compilation (2022)

Added: June 20, 2024
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0.0
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0.0
Under the Pier - An Exercise in Discontent

Under the Pier - An Exercise in Discontent (2021)

Added: June 20, 2024
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0.0
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0.0
Under the Pier - Puff Pieces

Under the Pier - Puff Pieces (2020)

Added: June 20, 2024
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0.0
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0.0
Dome Runner - Conflict State Design

Dome Runner - Conflict State Design (2021)

Added: June 20, 2024
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0.0
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0.0
Dome Runner - Apocalypse.Pulse.Worship.

Dome Runner - Apocalypse.Pulse.Worship. (2023)

Added: June 20, 2024
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0.0
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0.0
Atrocious Filth - OVV

Atrocious Filth - OVV (2021)

Added: June 19, 2024
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0.0
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0.0
Atrocious Filth - Atrocious Filth

Atrocious Filth - Atrocious Filth (1994)

Added: June 19, 2024
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0.0
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0.0
Atrocious Filth - Moans

Atrocious Filth - Moans (2016)

Added: June 19, 2024
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0.0
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Clans

The Fallen
The Fallen

Members: 153

Releases: 6888

The Gateway
The Gateway

Members: 61

Releases: 2446

The Guardians
The Guardians

Members: 159

Releases: 8872

The Horde
The Horde

Members: 199

Releases: 11075

The Infinite
The Infinite

Members: 120

Releases: 5490

The North
The North

Members: 168

Releases: 12157

The Pit
The Pit

Members: 170

Releases: 5139

The Revolution
The Revolution

Members: 42

Releases: 3993

The Sphere
The Sphere

Members: 28

Releases: 1004

Stillborn

By 1993, Buffalo death metallers Malevolent Creation had managed to build themselves a really strong following in, not only the global metal community, but also my own household with both Ben & I having been very impressed with their first two albums. I’d first discovered them through their 1991debut album “The Ten Commandments” which I found to be a very solid example of thrashy US death metal indeed. Their 1992 sophomore album “Retribution” would see Malevolent Creation dropping most of their early thrash leanings for a more pure death metal sound that would offer me even more appeal than their widely acclaimed debut, even if it still stayed just a touch behind the leading players in the US death metal scene. These positive experiences gave Ben & I a lot of hope that the band would manage to finally step up to the tier one plate with their next release though so we wasted no time in picking up “Stillborn” as soon as it hit the shelves. Sadly, I recall my initial listens to be a touch disappointing though, mainly due to a lackluster production job. With so much great death metal around at the time I saw no reason to persist with “Stillborn” & it would quickly find resigned to the annuls of history. I haven’t found any reason to return to it since however I recently noticed some very positive online reviews for it & found myself wondering if I’d been a bit hasty in drawing judgement which brings us to this… my first revisit of “Stillborn” in literally decades.

My first impressions upon reigniting my “Stillborn” flame were one of significant optimism. Hhhmmm… sure, the production job isn’t wonderful but it isn’t in any way unlistenable either & I’ve certainly heard a lot worse. The rhythm guitars are a bit muddy & the drums have a bit too much high end & the snare sounds a little wishy washy at times, strangely seeming to change from song to song. The volume between the tracks on the Spotify version of the album is a little variable too which would seem to be a mastering issue. In saying all that though, all of the instruments are in balance & easily identifiable so I found that I could forget these flaws easily enough, especially since the quality of the song-writing is of such a high standard.

Yep… I did just say that. In fact, I’m gonna go one step further by gushing a little bit about just what a great death metal band Malevolent Creation were at the time. The professionalism in the riff construction, transitions & overall compositional work is absolutely top notch & sees the band playing very much in my ball-park of choice. I just love this sort of shit. It’s brutal enough to get my blood pumping but maintains enough of an understanding of the importance of melody to ensure that each piece remains memorable & catchy. Front man Brett Hoffmann’s death growls are a brilliant call to arms for fans of this style of music while the guitar work of Phil Fasciana & new kid on the block Jon Rubin (formerly of Monstrosity) is excellent. Where things fall apart a bit is during some of the blast beats sections though with drummer Jason Blachowicz struggling for control & timing & the production job not allowing the cohesion the band would usually be used to achieving.

Thankfully the song-writing is well & truly strong enough to overcome any flaws that “Stillborn” may suffer from. There are no weak tracks included although “Geared for Gain” does suffer more than the others from those blast beat issues I just mentioned. Opener “Dominated Resurgency” sits right up there with those from the previous two albums (i.e. “Premature Burial” & “Eve of the Apocalypse”) as Malevolent Creation’s finest works to the time & was a fantastic way to start the record. The title track & closer “Disciple of Abhorrence” aren’t far behind either & have really surprised me with just how classy they are. The remainder of the tracklisting is all of a very solid standard too so I very quickly found myself realizing that I had indeed been a little hasty in judging “Stillborn”.

This is quite clearly a more significant record than I’d given it credit for. The fact that I could remember so much of the album without having listened to it since the mid-1990’s speaks volumes for its depth. Perhaps the production issues may give the tracklisting a more "samey" feel than is actually the reality but if you give it time you’ll find that the class in the arrangements shines through. In fact, I’m gonna go so far as to say that I enjoy “Stillborn” just slightly more than “The Ten Commandments” these days & it gives “Retribution” are run for its money as top dog too. Is this just a guilty pleasure for someone like me whose musical allegiances so clearly fall into the same space as the one Malevolent Creation are playing in? Possibly but I can confidently say that this is a seriously underrated release that I should have given more of a chance back in the day.

For fans of Monstrosity, Deicide & Sinister.

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Daniel Daniel / June 21, 2024 09:14 PM
Bestiary

Technical Deathcore eh? Well that's a genre that I don't see very often. Although a lot of deathcore bands use very technical/brutal death metal trends during their composition cycle as interludes between breakdowns, so this combination is not that uncommon.

Bestiary by Protosequence is an album trying to be about three artists at once. The first is (perhaps the most obvious one) Between the Buried and Me. The rapid style changes on individual songs are reminiscent of early BTBAM (Between the Buried and Me) albums such as The Silent Circus and Alaska. The issue here is that Protosequence are not super committed to the riffs as much of it falls into sounding very similar very quickly. The short passages of reprieve that the album gives you during the intro of "The Caveat" feel more like obligatory rests, which I do appreciate, but provide no value to the remaining material throughout the rest of the song.

The second and third acts Bestiary are replicating are Job For a Cowboy and Imperial Triumphant. Let's start with Imperial Triumphant, because this is in the production. Something about the instrumental timbre of this record just screams Alphaville just without the avant-garde instrumentation and it generally serves the album well when it comes to making the heavy sections sound heavy. The Job for a Cowboy comparison is more in the songwriting itself. These tunes are not as complicated as BTBAM, but their structure is quite similar to an early JFAC (Job for a Cowboy) release; specifically the "Entombment of a Machine" one. The vocals are furious in their delivery and show off a wide range of vocal capability, including pig squeals and gutturals, and the instrumentals can go from relentless death metal riffage to stank face breakdowns without warning. This is not really a style that I relate to very much at all since my attention span continues to get smaller every passing day, and the implication of "riff salad" leaves it half baked and missing that one connecting branch to lock it all together.

Two of these three comparisons look kind of familiar don't you think? BTBAM and JFAC both used to play a very technical, unfiltered kind of death metal, but both have moved on to greener pastures. Bestiary sounds like a record that wants to be placed firmly in the year 2005. That was twenty years ago. Come up with your own ideas.

Best Songs: Sam, The Caveat, Twelve Ropes

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Saxy S Saxy S / June 21, 2024 07:16 PM
The Human Equation

I've been a bitdistracted from the prog metal for a couple days since I've been going through so many projects lately, but now I've got the time to take on this 100-minute Ayreon album in one sitting.  I don't like splitting albums in parts unless it's just THAT long, like the 10-hour Grateful Dead Fillmore West comp I once listened to years ago.  I didn't have super-high hopes for this one as Into the Electric Castle didn't amaze me as much as the fans would want, although I still liked it.

Akin to Into the Electric Castle, this 100-minute album shows Ayreon going for another new sound for the band, but a pretty familiar one for me.  This album's a bit reminiscent of the themes and guitar tones of Metropolis Pt. 2 by Dream Theater.  Don't believe me?  Guess who sings as the main character of this concept: James LaBrie of Dream Theater.  To be fair, I skipped over the Universal Migrator albums for the list challenge, so I'm not fully aware of the transition.  But I know the first part of that two-album series has symphonic prog elements from a little research.  The folksy aspects make occasional returns, and sometimes it's just glorious like in the Disc 1 outro: Love.  It's a pretty incredible track melodically and aurally.  And thankfully, the space rock elements of the debut are here without the cheesy symphonia that didn't really add to the emotional core of the debut.  Thankfully there are a large number of influences here.  Some of the electronic elements faintly ring of Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream, while some of the more dramatic vocals on Day 8 and the rhythm have a Meat Loaf ring to them.  The song Loser somehow manages to combine Celtic metal with metalcore screams and still maintain the themes and presence of the song.  Pride's repeating metallic riff can also be attributed to some Devin Townsend influence.  This is no surprise as various characters are played by people such as Townsend, LaBrie, Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth, Mike Baker of Shadow Gallery and even Eric Clayton of Saviour Machine, along with so many more.

The story is certainly an intriguing one.  This one's like a combination of the mystique of Metropolis Pt. 2 and the scene-by-scene history of The Wall or maybe the 1975 Russian film The Mirror, telling the story of a man who gets into a car accident, is comatose, and goes over his history with his childhood, his wife and even his own emotions.  Listen closely to the lyrics as they get incredibly personal.  However, these themes, while well-delivered, aren't entirely new, as they still ring heavily of the psychological lyrical imagery that's been seen in rock operas ever since the emergence of The Who's Tommy.  On top of that, I'm not really sure the album needs to last 100 minutes.  I mean, some themes feel recycled overtime, not having the originality of similar stories like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.  Despite these things, the melodies are always beautiful and the number of influences are both consistent and always intriguing and / or catchy.

Now for the four questions:

1. What is the goal of this album?  It seems to be Ayreon's attempt at another "essential" prog metal opera as it fits the tropes.

2. Does it meet this goal?  Considering the melodic quality and variety of each song, I'd say so.

3. What did this album sacrifice to meet its goal?  I'd say uniqueness.  It's tropey and also a little long.

4. Are these sacrifices made up for by other aspects of the album?  Oh, yeah.  The album might be overlong, but its musical prowess is phenomenal.

So overall, I'd say this is EASILY a good 100 minutes of my time that I find myself tempted to go back and revisit.  I didn't think this was gonna be as high on my rating chart as it's gonna be considering that I wasn't wowed by their album The Human Equation which is just as lauded, but this album wowed me a few times.

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Rexorcist Rexorcist / June 20, 2024 02:22 AM
Independent

Phoenix thrash metallers Sacred Reich may not have been a member of the infamous Big Four or even one of the close runners up like Testament or Exodus but this didn’t stop them playing a significant role in the childhoods of Ben & I. I first picked up on them through their very solid 1988 “Surf Nicaragua” E.P. before heading back to check out their equally impressive 1987 debut album “Ignorance” & things only escalated further when Ben got onboard for 1990’s “The American Way” sophomore album whose steady stream of quality riffs could be heard emanating from our bedrooms for many a weeknight. While the impact of “The American Way” has faded for me a touch over the years, it’s still a pretty decent thrash record that had the two of us showing more than a little interest when its follow-up “Independent” hit the shelves in 1993. Sadly though, my initial exposure to “Independent” through metal radio programming hinted at a different sound that I wasn’t so onboard with & this caused me to hesitate a little before rushing out to buy the album. I opted to take the safer option of picking up a dubbed cassette copy through the tape trading scene rather than dishing out my hard-earned cash for a legal version &, once I heard the album in full, I was glad that I took that direction as “Independent” wasn’t everything I’d hoped it would be. It’s been decades since I last heard the album though &, given that I’ve found a new appreciation for Overkill’s notorious “I Hear Black” record over the last week, I thought I’d give it one more chance to win me over.

My first impressions upon revisiting “Independent” were that the production job is a little unusual for a supposed thrash metal release. The guitars are tuned down a half-step & have been given a thicker, heavier tone that’s more commonly associated with groove metal than it is with thrash which isn’t a coincidence. You see, despite what most online resources will tell you, “Independent” isn’t a thrash metal release or a heavy metal one for that matter. It is, in fact, a pretty obvious example of the groove metal sound that had quickly stolen thrash metal’s crown following the Pantera explosion. The riffs are far more simplistic & rhythmic than you’d expect from thrash which is more fast-paced, incisive & exciting. There is some tremolo-picked stuff here at times but it’s nothing out of the ordinary for your average groove metal release to be honest.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with this stylistic deviation in theory but there are a couple of obvious problems with “Independent” that make it feel like a poor option for Sacred Reich to have taken. The first is that bass-playing front man Phil Rind’s voice doesn’t suit this material as well as the thrash metal of the band’s roots as the less cluttered riff structures give him a lot more space to work with & he’s simply not a good enough singer to pull it off. It’s not that he’s consistently pitchy or anything (although he certainly is in places). It’s just that he feels a little bit out of his depth most of the time. The other issue is that some of the song-writing is subpar, particularly the God-awful heavy metal ballad “I Never Said Goodbye” & the double-whammy of “Crawling” into “Pressure” which is really very dull indeed. There are some positives though as almost half of the tracklisting offers something of interest. The high-quality, mid-paced chugger “Product” is my clear favourite but I also enjoy the more aggressive, hardcore-driven numbers “Independent”, “Supremacy” & “Do It” as well as the pretty folk instrumental “If Only”. The guitar solos of Wiley Arnett are also excellent & often represent the high points of the songs.

Look, there are worse records out there than this one but it was clearly a misguided attempt to cash in on the growing popularity of the groove metal movement & it didn’t pay off for Sacred Reich who were previously regarded as a consistent performer in the thrash scene. I would check out each of their subsequent releases, if only for reasons of nostalgia, but none of them could compete with their early releases so “Independent” is very much the tipping point for them as a band. It’s a real shame as releases like “Surf Nicaragua” & “Ignorance” showcased a clear talent that I expected to flourish into something genuinely special at some point but it was apparently not to be.

For fans of Machine Head, 90's Anthrax & "I Hear Black"-era Overkill.

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Daniel Daniel / June 18, 2024 08:58 PM
I Hear Black

As an old thrasher from way back, I’d suggest that my relationship with New Jersey second tier stalwarts Overkill might surprise a few people. You see, despite finding most of their material to be pretty enjoyable, it’s very rare that I find any of their releases to be anything like essential with only their very solid 1991 fifth album “Horrorscope” ticking all of the required boxes. Their other widely claimed classics like “Feel The Fire”, “Taking Over” & “The Years of Decay” simply don’t get me going as much as they do the rest of the extreme metal community for one reason or another yet I’ve still religiously kept up to date with each successive release since first discovering their “The Years Of Decay” album back in 1989. In fact, my enthusiasm for Overkill was probably at its highest point leading up to the release of their 1993 sixth full-length “I Hear Black” given that it came off the back of what was comfortably my favourite Overkill record to this day in “Horrorscope”.

My younger brother Ben would end up picking “I Hear Black” up on CD at the time which suited me just fine as it enabled me to continue focusing on my unquenchable thirst for death/black metal. That arrangement would only become more favourable for me after I heard “I Hear Black” for the first time too as their brand new opus showcased a very different Overkill to the one I was expecting &, upon first impressions at least, it wasn’t for the better. Unfortunately, Overkill seemed to have succumbed to the dreadful virus that was going around at the time: influ-Pantera (I know… I couldn’t come up with anything better at short notice). As with many other prominent thrash bands of the early 1990’s, Overkill had opted to follow the current trend towards Pantera’s groove metal sound in the hope of receiving a similar level of riotous attention. It didn’t work for them however & “I Hear Black” would be regarded by most as a creative flop but is it as bad as I (& the vast majority of the metal community) thought it was at the time? Well, if the last couple of days have taught me anything it’s that sometimes music needs a second chance because “I Hear Black” isn’t half bad.

As with all Overkill records, “I Hear Black” is a reasonably well produced album with strong performances, particularly from front man Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth & the twin guitar attack of Merritt Gant & Rob Cannavino who pretty much do enough to carry the album thanks to some high quality vocals & some equally strong guitar solos. The appeal of the rest of the album’s components really does come down to how open you are to hearing Overkill playing groove metal though &, at the time of release, I don’t think I was ready for it. Now though, I can appreciate the song-writing a lot better given that I know what I’m in for & haven’t touched on Overkill for a while. Don’t get me wrong, it’s never gonna be a memorable, vital metal record, even for the groove metal crowd, but it is worth listening to & doesn’t deserve the flack it cops from some stubborn thrashers out there.

The major drawback with “I Hear Black” is its inconsistency with four of the eleven songs doing very little for me. These songs generally match up with the more groovy material with my least favoured inclusion “Spiritual Void” even sounding like stoner metal at times. That still means that the decent tracks outweigh the duds though which is a clear sign that the album has been a touch underrated, at least in my household. That’s not to say that there are any classic tracks here though with my three favourite songs heavy/thrash number “World of Hurt”, grunge piece “Shades of Grey” & the atmospheric interlude “Ghost Dance” all being more solid than they are unforgettable but the rest of the material is still decent enough to leave me with positive experiences overall.

Look, I’m not gonna deny that “I Hear Black” was the weakest Overkill album to the time because I believe that it was but not by anywhere near as much as people seem to think. In fact, I’d comfortably take it over the 1984 self-titled or 1987 “!!!Fuck You!!!” E.P.’s these days if I'm being honest. If you categorically hate groove metal then you may have a dealbreaker on your hands but I think the genre has its moments & have been very pleasantly surprised to find that “I Hear Black” has a lot more to offer than I gave it credit for over the years.

For fans of Pantera, 90’s Anthrax & latter-day Annihilator.

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Daniel Daniel / June 18, 2024 07:00 AM

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Rexorcist in What are you listening to now? : Non-metal Edition at 22.06.2024 04:13 AM: I've had an excellent exercize in mu...
Daniel in The New Music Thread : The Infinite Edition at 21.06.2024 10:05 PM: Belgian post-metallers Amenra have a...
Daniel in The New Music Thread : The Infinite Edition at 21.06.2024 10:03 PM: Brooklyn avant-garde/atmospheric bla...
Daniel in The New Music Thread : The Horde Edition at 21.06.2024 09:47 PM: Finland's Amorphis are releasing a l...
Daniel in The New Music Thread : The Pit Edition at 21.06.2024 09:45 PM: The brand new fourth album "Infinite...
Daniel in The New Music Thread : The North Edition at 21.06.2024 09:42 PM: The brand new ninth full-length "Hea...