Acranius – Reign of Terror
Slam death metal is all about gore, disemboweling riffs, disgusting vocals and unhinged aural violence. German sonic torturers Acranius bring all of the above on their new half-hour of horror, Reign of Terror. Following 2014’s Dishonor, Reign of Terror presents 10 tracks of brutal auditory devastation. Right from the lurching, seismic upheaval of “Born a King”, listeners will know exactly what they are getting themselves into. The album is a relentless barrage of bestial guitars whose eyes are wild with bloodlust. Riffs range from earth-shattering, palm muted crawls, surgical drill-like tremolo-picked assaults and dissonant, decimating breakdowns. Beneath the guitars, the bass thunders menacingly while the drums deliver a propulsive rhythmic blitz full of double bass. The topping on the brutal death metal cake are the gross, guttural vocals that spray lyrical filth across all 30 minutes. Listeners looking for something unyielding in its scathing heaviness will be hard-pressed to find something else as qualified to fill that need than Reign of Terror. While the record is brutal beyond a doubt, it is nothing new from the Acranius camp. The record, just like their previous efforts, is vicious and heavy for the sake of being vicious and heavy. This is certainly not a bad thing, but the slightly one-dimensional song writing fails to craft really memorable moments, making the album feel like a blur of chunky riffs for the most part. Repetitive riff patterns and pretty predictable song structures run amok on this album. But fans of the band, and fans of slam in general, will be enamored with this release regardless.
Release Date: January 27, 2017
Label: Rising Nemesis Records
Favorite Tracks: “Return to Violence” and “Battle Scars”
For Fans Of: Devourment, Analepsy, Kraanium and Acrania
Oozepus – Your Limit
Members of legendary Japanese death/doom stalwarts Coffins and industrial artist Linekraft join forces in Oozepus; a gritty noise metal project that paints with shades of early Swans and Godflesh at their most aggressive. On the outfit’s debut EP, Your Limit, the trio deliver four tracks of barbaric, concussive sound. The band’s sound is comprised of leviathanic, repetitively pummeling guitar riffs, mechanical-sounding bass lines and earth-shattering percussion, all of which are soaked in layers of distortion. The release starts off with its title track; a four-minute onslaught of marching cyborg riffs and thunderous, primitive percussion. The track’s mind-numbing repetition of riffs, and occasional breaks of dissonant flurries, make for an unnerving introduction to the band’s sound. “Insult” follows shortly after with lumbering, antisocial riffs that sprawl across the track’s duration as corrosive bass lines throttle underneath. The third cut, “CYN”, switches things up by dealing out a trangressive amalgam of aberrated stoner grooves, dissonant parodies of melodies and suffocating atmospheres of malignant noise. The final track, “Farmers”, brings everything to a shuddering close with nine minutes of slow-burning industrial terror. The track builds from deconstructed, minimalist riffs into walls of drop-tuned malevolence, constantly pushing and pulling between the two extremes. This sonic tug-o-war eventually gives way into a climax of dissonant cacophonies and tumultuous drumming. Perhaps the one pervasive negative on the release are the vocals, which are filtered through a warbled, underwater effect that becomes rather trite after awhile. That aside, Your Limit is a cataclysmic project that will hopefully be the first of many from Oozepus.
Release Date: February 24, 2017
Label: Malignant Records
Favorite Tracks: “CYN” and “Farmers”
For Fans Of: Swans, Godflesh and Author & Punisher