Music Review: DEMON HUNTER – Live In Nashville

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demon hunter live in nashvillDEMON HUNTER
Live In Nashville
Solid State Records
2009

Something I’ve always wondered about Demon Hunter is, what are they like live? Mainly because, despite what you think of them, you have to admit that they have a rather layered and complex sound going than your standard metalcore / deathcore / NWOAHM style that you labeled them with. The vocal harmonies and melodies often made me wonder how they pull it off in a live setting. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to hit Omaha very often when they are on tour, and when they did I wasn’t exactly as big of a fan than I am now, so I didn’t go out to see them and discover how they are live for myself.

Fortunately, Solid State Records stopped ignoring my calls and letters, and released Live In Nashville. This is essentially the audio version of the live show filmed for the second DVD on the 45 Days documentary set that was released the year prior to this. This set was recorded at Rockettown in Nashville, during their Stronger Than Hell tour with Living Sacrifice. That sounded like an awesome show, that. I wish they would have recorded Living Sacrifice’s set as well. I also wish to one day ride a unicorn, but that’s probably not going to happen, either.

Here, they play cuts from their 2002 self-titled debut (“Infected”), 2004’s Summer Of Darkness (“My Heartstrings Come Undone” and “Not Ready To Die”), 2005’s The Triptych (“Ribcage”, “The Soldier’s Song”, “Undying”, and “The Flame that Guides Us Home/Not I”), and of course, the album they were touring for, 2007’s Storm The Gates Of Hell (“Storm The Gates Of Hell”, “Lead Us Home”, “I Am You”, “Carry Me Down”, “Fading Away”, “Follow The Wolves”, and “Sixteen”). After a nice atmospheric instrumental leading up to the famous “Dine in Hell!” clip from the movie 300, Demon Hunter rips into their set, sending everyone into a frenzy (I presume…it’s not like I can actually see them like I could on the DVD or anything, but in my head they’re all going berserk).

As far as how they handle playing their songs live…they do so admirably. Obviously, they don’t reproduce everything exactly like they do on the studio albums. Unless they were pulling a Top Of The Pops and “playing along” to a prerecorded track, that is. They sound live and raw, with no discernible overdubbing, keeping things organic with the execution. And that makes this rather fantastic as a live album.

So, there you go. If you love Demon Hunter, or even just like them, and haven’t had the chance to check them out live, Live In Nashville is the next best thing, while waiting for them to show up in your neck of the woods, methinks.

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Music Review: ABATED MASS OF FLESH – Moth And Rust In the Temple Of Putridity

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ABATED MASS OF FLESH - Moth And Rust In the Temple Of PutridityABATED MASS OF FLESH
Moth And Rust In the Temple Of Putridity
Martyrdom Records
2011

Abated Mass Of Flesh is one of those bands that I really wanted to like. I kept hearing good things about the band, and the fact that they were signed to Rottweiller Records at the time is what got me to purchase a number of their albums before listening to them. Do I regret doing so? Not really. But, that’s besides the point.

I did purchase Abated Mass Of Flesh’s first release–Moth And Rust In the Temple Of Putridity–in the spirit of continually giving ’em the benefit of the doubt. That, and probably being a bit OCD with the collection. Missing even one of the releases would make me feel…weird. I had to catch ’em all, as the young people are fond of saying. I think that’s what they say. Eh, young people confuse me.

This first release of theirs is an EP, with seven tracks clocking in at a grand total of just-under 22 minutes in length. Which, really, is the perfect running time for the kind of Br00tal Death Metal these guys play. This being their first release, there are some decent ideas here, the songs having more of a mid-paced groove to them than the kind of chaotic deathcore they would settle into. Mind you, there’s bits of that here in the music. As a matter of fact, I would say that the biggest downfall to this album (EP? It does have the general amount of tracks for a full-length, but only clocks in at a bit less than half an hour…gads…) is how the songs all seem to blend together, like the same riffs were being recycled. There are some decent ideas being formed here; the vocals utilized are mostly the ultra-guttorial type, with the insufferable pig squealing that happens on future releases only rearing its ugly head on the final cut “True Vision”. The production seems a bit on the thin side, but not that big of a deal in this case. I have to say, though, that the drums sounded rather thin as well, almost processed sounding on “Undeserved”.

Overall, this first independent release by Abated Mass Of Flesh is listenable, standard grinding deathcore. There are no solos, and the entire things comes off as monotone and, really, kind of forgettable. In other words, this is an Abated Mass Of Flesh album, nothing more, nothing less.

Music Review: ABATED MASS OF FLESH – Brutal Death

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abated mass of flesh - brutal deathABATED MASS OF FLESH
Brutal Death
Rottweiler Records
2013

In 2013, Tennessee-based deathcore outfit Abated Mass Of Flesh released their second EP on the Rottweiler Records label, entitled Brutal Death. Clocking in at 18 minutes, Brutal Death continues on in the “BR00TAL” deathcore style that their first release brought forth, your basic mid-paced chunky death metal riffs, backed-up septic tank style vocals, no solos, , some blastbeats and some movie clips thrown in here and there. In other words, your standard serviceable slab of basic deathcore, with not much deviation therein, which has the effect of things getting rather monotonous and stale mid-way through. And there are only seven tracks on here. The production is good, though, so that’s a plus mark there. Also, at no time do they venture into the whole “pig squeal” vocal territory. They come close on the track “Iniquitous Decimation”, but they don’t, so another plus in their favor.

Really, I can’t find much to talk about Brutal Death, other than it’s a decent bit of grinding deathcore brutality that kind of gets stale after a bit. It’s definitely not bad, as I’ve heard worse from the genre; but my attention began to wander, and for an EP length that isn’t even 20 minutes long, that’s not exactly working in favor of relistenability for me.

NECRO SHOCK RADIO – May 6, 2017

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MAY 6, 2017

Finally, after taking two weeks off to deal with a massive sinus cold infection, Uncle NecRo is back to continue the weekly dispelling of the Brutal Music Therapy we all crave…

Featuring cuts from:

NECRO SHOCK RADIO – 4-8-2017

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APRIL 8, 2017

Not even having a massive head cold will stop Uncle NecRo from dispensing the Brutal Music Therapy!

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Music Review: DEATH THERAPY – The Storm Before The Calm

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death therapy storm before calmDEATH THERAPY
The Storm Before The Calm
Solid State Records
2017

Death Therapy is the solo-ish project of former Becoming The Archetype bassist/vocalist Jason Wisdom. He started writing and recording under Death Therapy in 2015, and released an EP demo that can be found on Bandcamp, and then released this full-length album, The Storm Before The Calm, on Solid State Records earlier this year.

There, now that I have the preliminary stuff out of the way…

Holy expletive of your choice, this album is great. I had first heard of it being a thing due to Jason Wisdom’s interview about the project on the As The Story Grows podcast, where some previews of some of the songs were played. What I had heard blew me away, and I immediately wanted to know when the album was going to be released. It wasn’t until the end of February, but I had done a pre-order (something I rarely do), and when the day it was released came around, I immediately loaded it up into my media player, and had it blaring through the speakers. And believe me when I say, the wait was well worth it.

The best I can describe the music on The Storm Before The Calm is very aggressive industrial hybrid metal. Industrial because of the electronic hooks and sampling; hybrid because the only actual instruments used are a heavily effects distorted bass and a drum set for a thick and insane rhythm base. Mix in vocals that range from intense growl shouts to dark melodic singing, and the result is an incredibly infectious brand of dark and heavy goodness that is different and completely awesome. The diversity of the styles that come together on this, especially with the EBM side of things.

Look, about the only gripe I have with this release is that it ends far too soon, and I find myself wanting more than just what’s on there. Here’s hoping there’s more in the future. For now, do yourselves a favor and grab yourselves a copy of The Storm Before The Calm and enjoy immensely.

Music Review: DEMON HUNTER – Outlive

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demon hunter outliveDEMON HUNTER
Outlive
Solid State Records
2017

After fifteen years since their self-titled debut album, it’s no denying that Demon Hunter has evolved and forged ahead with its signature sound, rather than continue on with the same-old and remain stagnant. To put it bluntly, they are a far cry from the Slipknot style of metal, complete with Good Cop/Bad Cop vocals. I joke that they have transformed into more of a HIM-style metal band, but that’s really what has happened, fifteen years later.

Outlive, the band’s newest release as of this writing, showcases the band as getting better with age. While the previous release was rather hit-or-miss for me, I found Outlive to be a more solid listening experience. While the majority of the cuts could be tagged as “radio friendly” and melodic, the songs are heavier and darker than your standard modern pop metal song. Ryan Clark does favor the melodic singing more over the angry growly shouts, and he sounds much more comfortable with that, giving the songs a texture and depth that manage to haunt you while the heaviness sticks in your head.

Make no mistake, though: Outlive is multi-layered and very textured \,,/METAL\,,/, comfortable with treading familiar ground while not being afraid to experiment with touches of death metal, groove metal, dark gothic and straight-ahead rock and a bit of industrial for some texturing. Even then, they still manage to throw in a classic deathcore aggression like “Jesus Wept” and “Cold Blood” to sandblast your face off.

Overall, while I wasn’t sure what I was going to be getting into before listening to Outlive (the pre-release video for the single “Died In My Sleep” didn’t exactly set my world afire), I still purchased the download on Amazon the day of its release. After playing it back-to-front a couple of times, I have to say that it is a very solid release, more so than the previous.

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