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: DEATH REQUISITE – Second Death

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death requisite - second deathDEATH REQUISITE
Second Death
Independent
2013

Fourth EP from Florida’s Death Requisite, and fifth release overall, Second Death continues on with the deliciously tight and dark blend of melodic death metal, with symphonic doom and blackened touches. Again, I came across this on the band’s Bandcamp page, and I’m pretty sure they only released this and the previous EP — Prophets Of Doom — as digital downloads only.

Second Death opens with “Portenous Preludium”, which is, as you may have guessed by the title, is an instrumental intro of sorts, featuring mainly synths, stringed instruments, and a bit of drumming. This then brings us to the first proper song, the title track “Second Death”, which features some grand symphonic style melodic death metal, complete with synths, blistering rhythms and riffs, and some noodling on an acoustic guitar at the end. “Eternal Immortal” then hits you with a fast and furious riff, complete with a blistering solo. The final full length song, “Refuge Of Lies”, begins with some interesting industrial instrumentation, which leads in to a blistering melodic Death Metal attack that will sandblast your face while making you smile while it happens. The final track, “Foreboding Horizon”, is an outro instrumental with rain and thunder sound effects, an acoustic guitar and stringed instruments, keyboards, then an electric guitar solo and bongos. It’s interesting, yes.

Overall, Second Death is another rather good EP of symphonic blackened Death Metal that goes beyond the usual same-old of the genre. Again, like with Prophets Of Doom, I’m including the link to the Bandcamp site. Seems fitting. Fans of Dimmu Borgir style metal should check this out.

Death Requisite – Second Death on Bandcamp

Music Review: DARKNESS BEFORE DAWN – Kings To You

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darkness before dawn - kings to youDARKNESS BEFORE DAWN
Kings To You
Bombworks Records
2009

Darkness Before Dawn was a death metal band that existed between 2004 and apparently only split up in 2017. Which is interesting, as I seem to recall them being listed as “split-up” on the Metal Archives site years previous. Maybe I’m remembering wrong. Either way, they only managed to release an EP and this full-length, Kings To You. Obviously, I’ll be reviewing the full-length release. They don’t call me Captain Obvious for nothing. Actually, no one calls me that. *sigh* Anyway…

Kings To You was released in 2009 on the Bombworks Records label. If you would grasp for a good catch-all subgenre label for the band’s sound, you could go with your standard Death metal, but it’s not quite adept a descriptor. I would say that the music on Kings To You leans more toward melodic death metal with some roots in the deathcore style, utilizing both atmospheric keyboards while throwing in a heavy breakdown here and there. The songs vary between mid-paced and furiously heavy, showcasing some very heavy riffs and technical rhythms that will churn your insides while chilling your soul with the keyboards darkening the textures up, with something of a Folk Metal style on “Material Existence”.

Overall, Kings To You is a good, solid collection of melodic death metal hybrid that, for some reason I can’t really put my finger on, comes close to pushing over the edge, but not quite. It is, however, a satisfying bit of death metal brutality that does the trick in a pinch.

Music Review: A HILL TO DIE UPON – Via Artis Via Mortis

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a hill to die upon - via artis via mortisA HILL TO DIE UPON
Via Artis Via Mortis
Luxor Records
2017

A Hill To Die Upon has, over time since their first release Infinite Titanic Immortal, grown and matured as a band into something quite epic while still maintaining a high quality of extreme blackened death metal. As such, their most recent release, Via Artis Via Mortis, finds the band at another level with what could possibly be their masterpiece release to date.

Here, the sound of the music is very much still rooted in the melodic blackened Death Metal that is the hallmark of the band, on Via Artis Via Mortis there’s a focus on the songwriting that shines through the technical aspects while having a much darker atmosphere. There’s less on bombast, with the blastbeats used sparingly, but nevertheless maintains the brutality and heaviness. Songs like “The Garden” and “Artifice Intelligence” build slowly with intensity, with songs like “I Was There When You Went Under The Water” and “Great Is Artemis Of The Ephesians” showing a more progressive side to the band’s music, while “Jubal And Syrinx”, “Sorcery And Sudden Vengeance” and my favorite cut from the album, “Mosin Nagant”, show that they can still pummel you with brutal goodness. The lyrics of the songs also continue to be well-written, with a lot of thought and passion put into them, complementing the music.

Unlike the aforementioned Holy Despair, I purchased Via Artis Via Mortis the weekend after it was released, effectively dominating my media player for a few weeks thereafter. As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, I do believe Via Artis Via Mortis is A Hill To Die Upon’s best release to date. Highly recommended.

Music Review: HOLY BLOOD – Day Of Vengeance

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holy blood day of vengeanceHOLY BLOOD
Day Of Vengeance
Bombworks Records
2015

For quite some time, my Holy Blood collection was incomplete. For, while all the other Holy Blood releases have been made available as a purchasable download — including the recent Glory To The Heroes EP — for whatever reason, their 2015 release, Day Of Vengeance, never was made available in that format. And there isn’t any information I can find to explain why, either. Not that the band owes me or anyone else an explanation, mind you. They can do whatever they want; release an 8-Track only, if they want. Actually, that does sound kind of cool. Maybe a reel-to-reel release. But, I digress. Point is, I finally broke down and purchased the physical CD through Amazon. My Holy Blood collection is now complete.

So, anyway, what’s the METAL like on Day Of Vengeance? Glad you asked.

Upon initial listening, I can understand why many were taken aback a bit with the style it went with. While early records had a more Black Metal-leaning style, and subsequent releases went with Folk Metal stylings, Day Of Vengeance is mainly a straight forward Melodic Death metal release, with a couple of flashes of the Folk Metal of past releases, mostly by way of the two instrumentals, the opener “Dawn Before Battle” and “In Paradise”. The overall quality of the album’s music is very good, featuring some good n’ heavy riffs and hooks, with most of the songs affecting a mid-paced yet brutal heaviness. The song “Holy Blood” also has a touch of the ol’ Folk Metal, and is a bit doomier in execution, and “Powerless Darkness” utilizes choral vocals for texture, but for the most part this is an album of heavy riffs, blastbeats and hooky rhythms with growl vocals. It’s not bad by any stretch, really.

So, overall, I found Day Of Vengeance to be a satisfying Death Metal release. It’s not a Folk Metal album, to be sure. But, if we can’t allow bands to deviate from the norm, they won’t be able to grow, right? Guys? Fellas? Eh, worth checking out.

Music Review: NECROBLATION – Ablation Of Death

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NECROBLATION - Ablation Of DeathNECROBLATION
Ablation Of Death
Suisa
2013

Ladies and gentlemen (and all points in-between), let me introduce you to my new favorite death metal find: Necroblation. Yeah, I was once again surfing about on the fetid waters of the interwebs one evening, and happened upon the Bandcamp page for these guys. I don’t even recall the path I took that had me end up on there, but lo and behold I found myself marveling at the audio clips and immediately keyed into information to purchase the downloads of their two release from the site. Sweet, sweet death metal goodness was mine.

Hailing from Switzerland and forming in 2010, Ablation Of Death is the band’s first full-length release, on the now-defunct Suisa label. The metal on this album leans toward the Euro-Melodo-Death style, keeping things heavy and brutal while incorporating elements of technical death and some black metal bits, without being afraid to let the thrash side of things happen when it needs to. The album opens with the title track, “Ablation Of Death”, which immediately goes for the jugular with its fast and furious death metal assault, complete with the standard death growls and lower registering shrieks, and on interesting jazzy riff; “Mind Mutilation” continues with the brutal goodness, with blast beats that will melt your face off and some nice technical riffing; “Prisoner Of The Past” has kind of a melododeath, mid-paced blackened pace going on. Good riff on that one; “Human Slave” is also mid-paced, heavy with a good crunchy groove going; “Rotten To The Core” is a good, thrashy death metal cut, with a fast and furious riff; “Struggle” starts off dark and doomy, then progresses into a faster thrashy bit; Sublime Cadaveric’s Resurrection” settles into a heavy groove after a blastbeat assault that will leave you with the warm tinglies; “Path Of Daggers” has a good, heavy and straight-forward thrashy death metal riff going; “Devil Slayer” has a friggin’ amazing METAL riff, melodic and thrashy; the album ender, “Child Of Illusion (Acoustic Version)” is essentially an instrumental version of a song that would end up on the following release, ths one done with acoustic guitars and bongos. Kind of a mellow way to end such an otherwise solid album of death metal goodness, but eh, whatever.

Overall, Ablation Of Death was a much-needed infusion of Death Metal goodness that came after a bit of a dry period. The production is a bit on the raw side, but that in no way distracts from the whiplash you’re going to gladly receive after popping this thing in. Highly recommended.

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