Music Review: DEATH REQUISITE – Revisitation

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death requisite - revisitationDEATH REQUISITE
Revisitation
Rottweiler Records
2016

After one out of print full-length and a handful of EPs, Florida death metal outfit Death Requisite released their first full-length on Rottweiler Records, titled Revisitation, in 2016. Being released on Rottweiler Records made it a bit more available on other sites for purchase than the previous two EPs. If only they would make the first earlier releases available. But that’s neither here nor there. Let’s get to what’s on Revisitation, shall we?

Popping this onto the media player and pressing play, immediately during the opening track “Revisitation”, I can already tell the major plus this release has over the other releases: the production makes this sound fantastic. This works in favor of the style of metal Death Requisite has been honing, as you may recall from the previous reviews, is a tasty blend of melodic and technical death metal, with touches of symphonic and flolk, with a bit of black metal for texture. “Revisitation” has a good opening solo + riff, some tight technical Death Metal going with a nice folk / symphonic midpoint. “Vivens Sanctuarium” features a fantastic mid-paced riff, blastbeats and technical solo work, and has a good atmospheric mid-point. “Veneration” leans more towards a black metal riff and features a blistering shredding solo. “Nova Creatione” has some good use of synths to give this a dark hue, with a bit of a melodic mid-point while remaining good and heavy. “Redemptio Per Deicide” continues with the nice dark, heavy pace with some doomy and symphonic bits, while “Ineluctable Castigation” starts with an acoustic flamenco-style opening, then blasts into a blackened doomy death metal riff. The last track on here, “Recapitulation”, is a 17+ minute epic classical style symphony instrumental, complete with strings, brass, piano, percussion, and eerie choral vocals which is an interesting way to end the album.

Overall, I found Revisitation a good, solid and satisfying Death Metal album, making good use of various musical techniques and throwing in a bit of a curve by the full-on mini classical symphony at the end. This makes me look forward to more releases in the future, hopefully there shall be more of this caliber. Recommended.

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Music Review: MALCHUS – The Evil House

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malcus - the evil houseMALCHUS
The Evil House
Roxx Records
2016

Malcus is a Polish band that formed in 2004 and released a handful of Polish-language albums, until their 2015 full-length release — Dom Zly — was re-released in an English version through Roxx Records in 2016, under the title of The Evil House. This being the first time I’ve heard of the band, I picked up a download copy from Amazon to give it a listen, and holy livestock of your choice, we need to get more Malcus over here in the States. Like, right now.

In case you were wondering about the name, Malcus was the name of the servant of High Priest Caiaphas who got his ear lopped off by Peter when Jesus was being arrested. Pretty cool, there. Also, I love the cover art, as I’ve been rather interested in the plague mask style for a few years, now. It’s a chilling image of something that’s supposed to be bringing cleansing and healing. But, let’s get to the meat of this album, shall we? The METAL.

So, we begin with the track “The Enemy No. 1”, and right out of the gate, we’re treated to a fast and furious thrash riff that grabs you by the lips and yanks hard, fast and continually. This pretty much sets the pace for what to expect with the rest of the album: really tight thrash metal with heavy melodic death metal leanings with some serious technical prowess with the riffs and solos. Title track “The Evil House” features a freakin’ HEAVY riff, some progressive key changes and an atmospheric keyboard break; “77” has a good, galloping heavy thrash riff following a heavy mid-paced opening hook; “Eyes Open” has a very solemn opening, then progresses to a heavy mid-paced riff on to a faster paced heavy metal bit of goodness; “From Dust” just rips into a fast and furious thrash riff that manage to cram several riff changes into the 4.5 minute run time; “Mother” is a good, heavy mid-paced offering; “Tripidium” features yet another HEAVY furious riff, with some technical solo bits and rhythms; “But Deliver Us” is a bit more melodic, using some keys and violins to give it a doomy, gothic feel; “Creed” has a doomy riff opening, then settles into a good mid-paced riff w/ melodic touches; the album closer, “Winter” ends the album on an acoustic note, which seems more like an outro cap to an otherwise fantastic \,,/METAL\,,/ experience.

Overall…wow. The Evil House was amazing. As I said before, we need more of Malcus in our lives. They just released a new album in 2017, and I’m surely going to try to find their past releases somehow; in the meantime, let’s try and focus our energies on making them easier to get here in the States, maybe? Recommended.

Music Review: DEAD IN CHRIST – Summer Of Murders

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dead in christ - summer of murdersDEAD IN CHRIST
Summer Of Murders
Independent
2008

Third and final release by Dead In Christ, and…okay, look. Let’s just get right ot the review and get this over with.

Released in 2008, Summer Of Murders, pretty much follows the same low-fi black metal and doom formula of the previous two releases. Like those previous releases, Summer Of Murders begins with an instrumental; unlike those two, however, it’s only 55 seconds long and features some clean guitar pickin’ and ambient backgrounds. For the most part, the songs maintain the band’s standard doom metal / black metal switch-up style, sometimes within the same song, like on the 10-minute long “Drowning In Shame”, “War Within”, “The Death Of Me”, and “Pray For Death”. There’s some interesting use of clean guitars and water ambient sounds on the instrumental “Through The Eyes Of The Rejected”, with “He Remains” being a black metal song utilizing a kind of hardcore shouting and black metal shriek tag team for the vocals. The album ends with “Victim Mentality”, a bizarre outro instrumental featuring background black metal and soundclips.

Overall, while there was a bit more musical texture on some of the tracks on Summer Of Murders, it still seemed a bit long in the tooth when all is said and done. I do think that, of the three Dead In Christ releases, Summer Of Murders is the best one, despite the production value.

Music Review: DEAD IN CHRIST – Steps

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dead in christ - stepsDEAD IN CHRIST
Steps
Independent
2006

The second release from black metal / doom band Dead In Christ, and if you recall from the review of their first release, I got Steps from the long-gone Blabber Jesus download section, along with the other demos from the band.

Looking at the track listing, it’s understandable if you mistake Steps for an EP. There are only six tracks, with the first track (“Something In October”) being a brief 42-second-long intro of urban sound effects. But, lest you think you’re getting short-changed on the music, I assure you, Steps clocks in at 44 minutes, roughly the same length of a standard LP album. Then again, this having been a free download, I don’t know why I’m bringing this up.

Anyway, the first proper track, “Forgive”, continues on with the caustic blend of doom metal and blistering black metal featured on Funeral For The Flesh, only the production sounds a bit better on this release. “Sounds Of The Cross” is more straight-forward black metal that has several breaks. One thing to point out, that with this and the previous track, both songs just cut off suddenly, like no one figured out how to fade out properly. It’s kind of jarring, really. Which may have been the intent, I don’t know. This is black metal, after all. Anyway, “Pain” has enough changes going on, I began to wonder if this was a bunch of song ideas slapped together. “The Murdering Of One’s Faith” is a doomy, droning instrumental, while the album ender “Steps” is more straightforward blistering black metal.

Overall, I did find this a bit more…listenable, I would say, mainly because of the slightly better production and the fewer tracks included. There are times where I once again checking the time on certain songs to see how much longer we had left, but not as much as with the first release. Still, not really seeing this back in my playlist any time soon.

Music Review: DEAD IN CHRIST – Funeral For The Flesh

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dead in chirst - funeral for the fleshDEAD IN CHRIST
Funeral For The Flesh
Independent
2005

Well, here we go with another group that mysteriously appeared and then disappeared, leaving nary any information to find online. Do a Google search for Dead In Christ band, and you just bring up links to more, shall we say, blasphemous reworkings of the name. Do a search for the band and this album we’re reviewing — Funeral For The Flesh — and you get funeral information for Catholic churches. The Encyclopaedia Metallum has nothing on Dead In Christ; about the only place that has even a modicum of information on this band is the Firestream Music Vault. And besides the album listings, the only other bits of information involve them hailing from Pennsylvania, and the band members having the names “Exorcism”, “Phantasm”, “Haunted”, and “Crow”.

I came about discovering Dead In Christ back in 2009 or so, when Blabberjesus was still up and running and offering free band demo downloads. They had Dead In Christ’s three independently released demos available, and I decided to download them and check them out. While I know some songs of theirs found their way into NECRO SHOCK RADIO Sessions, I just now found time to listen to them. Sorry.

So, Dead In Christ’s first demo release, Funeral For The Flesh. I have to admit, the cover art used does nothing to give you an idea what to expect with the music. It’s rather generic looking, and looks like it was assembled on MS Paint. Believe me, this is not a criticism, as I understand using what you have available to you at the time; it’s rather an observation. One would maybe think, this could be Death Metal. But, you would be wrong, as I was when I hit play on the media player.

The first track, “Funeral For The Flesh”, opens things up with a five-minute-plus instrumental track that alternates between slow doom metal and a black metal riff, with not much variety in-between. It’s pretty basic, and made me worried that the entire album was like this. If it was meant to be an introduction…well, it’s overly long for that. Moving on to the second track, “Speak To Him”, we get a pretty decent black metal riff, filled with atmosphere, with a first showcase of the vocals utilized in the metal. Which, I should say, is not exactly your standard black metal shrieks and banshee screams. For the majority of the tracks on this album, the vocals alternate between a chillingly atmospheric whisper and a kind of processed growl effects that lend to more of an otherworldly feel to the music. For the most part, the songs are standard lo-fi Black Metal with some doom bits thrown in, very repetitious, with the songs seeming to go on for long periods of time, which tends to get monotonous, where I would lose focus and begin wondering how much longer this was going to be. Especially with “Tears From God”, which is a ten minute instrumental that takes a doom riff and drones on and on and on…yeah.

I hate to say this, but Funeral For The Flesh was a bit of a slog to get through. If they were going for more atmospheric and ambient background music to set a mood, sure. I can see that. But, for the most part, I got bored too early on to really want to give this a replay any time soon.

Music Review: VARIOUS ARTISTS – Falling On Deaf Ears

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falling on deaf earsVARIOUS ARTISTS
Australian Metal Compilation IV: Falling On Deaf Ears
Rowe Productions
1996

The final entry in the Australian Metal Compilation series from Rowe Productions, and here it’s more of a solid release than the previous one, in my not-so-humble opinion. This, too, was picked up at the same place I got the other three in the series, albeit not along with the others at the same time, mainly due to financial reasons. Anyway, here’s the rundown.

Falling On Deaf Ears kicks things off with the band that would go on with some notoriety themselves, Virgin Black, featuring three songs from their self-titled demo (“Veil Of Tears”, “Mother Of Cripples” and “Anthem”). Again, this being my first exposure to the band back in the day, I didn’t know what to make of them at the time. Fortunately, they’ve grown to be one of my favorites of the Gothic doom metal genres. Then, it’s two more cuts from the properly spelled Embodiment, “If God Exists” and “Meantime Saviours”. It looks like these were recorded specifically for this compilation, as I cannot find evidence that they appeared on an official release or demo beyond this. Fun Fact: Embodiment then changed their name to Embodiment 12:14 and went in a more hardcore direction than the death metal they played before. Anyway, next are three cuts from the band Teramaze, here in their more thrash metal leaning days, from the Doxology release (“Generation X”, “Ever Enhancing” and “Emancipator”). Then three cuts from death metal band Disparity — “The Truth”, “Manipulator”, and “Refine The Fire”. Again, this seems to be their only appearance anywhere, as there’s no other releases from the band listed that I can find. And finally, the collection ends with thrashy death metal band Rageflower, featuring three cuts from their Awaiting demo release (“Prepaid”, “Do Not Destroy” and “Set Apart”).

As a whole, Falling On Deaf Ears falls along with the second in this compilation series as far as frequent listens go. It’s pretty solid with the metal on here, but really the big selling point is the first appearance of Virgin Black outside of Australia.

Sadly, this was to be the last in the rather solid series of Australian metal compilations from Rowe Productions. It may have been due to Steve Rowe getting diagnosed with cancer around this time. While there have been other contenental-centric compilation releases also on the label, they too have dried up. Either way, if you can find this, pick it up and enjoy some rare exports.

Music Review: VARIOUS ARTISTS – The Extreme Truth

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the extreme truthVARIOUS ARTISTS
Australian Metal Compilation III: The Extreme Truth
Rowe Productions
1995

Third entry in the Australian Metal Compilation series from Rowe Productions. When I first picked this one up with the others back in 1997, I didn’t think too much of it at the time. Not as much as the first two, at least. Over time, though, like a lot of other releases that I didn’t like when I was younger and much more stupid, The Extreme Truth‘s roster has grown on me.

The disc starts off with four cuts from hardcore punk band Callous (“Why”, “Hate”, “Stop”, and “The Mind That Rots”, no info on if they came from a specific demo, but the band went on to be called Three Times Fire), moves on to three cuts from the death metal band Sanhedrin (“Not Worth”, “Creation” and “Gates Of Death”, from their self-titled demo from 1994), only one Screams Of Chaos track, which is evidently titled “Screams Of Chaos”, and is nothing like what I expected, three tracks from the doom metal band Desolate Eternity (“Without Time”, “Graveyard In The Snow”, and “Wastelands”), and the entirety of the Karrionic Hacktician album from old school grindcore band Vomitorial Corpulence. I’m not going to type out the entire track list here. You can find it on the Metal Archives site if you’re wondering about that.

Again, like the others in the Australian Metal Compilation releases, The Extreme Truth serves its purpose well by exposing Midwest Americans like myself to various talents that otherwise would have never been heard from before the internet became much more accessible. Even now, it’s hard to get information on some of the bands listed, outside of either the aforementioned Metal Archives site, or the Firestream Music Vault site. Of the bands listed on here, I gravitate more towards the cuts from Sanhedrin, Desolate Eternity and Vomitorial Corpulence (this being my first ever exposure to old-school grindcore, I found myself saying “Wait…that’s it? That’s the entire song?” more often than not). Callous is serviceable, and the Screams Of Chaos track is…well, I tend to skip over that one, mainly because of how it doesn’t seem to fit with their output previous and since then.

Really more of a split CD than a compilation, if you really want to be pedantic about this (and I normally do), The Extreme Truth is worth a look, if you come across this sometime.

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