Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Metal Briefs: Death Metal 2012 (EP Edition)

A Quick Death

I didn't pay nearly as much attention to death metal as I should have in 2012. In an effort to rectify that, here are three death metal EP's from last year, all of which tickled my fancy.

Hammerdrone: A Demon Rising
4 out of 5 stars

All my information states that Hammerdrone is a recently-formed Canadian band, but I'm pretty sure they're from Sweden circa 1999. They play melodic death metal the way it was originally meant to be: uncompromising and ridiculously catchy. There's nothing especially original about their style--it can be summed up as a combination of The Chainheart Machine Soilwork and Versus the World Amon Amarth--but good luck getting these songs out of your head. Very good stuff.

Dire Omen: Severing Soul from Flesh
3.5 out of 5 stars

In the same Canadian province (Alberta), but playing a very different style, is Dire Omen. Severing Soul from Flesh is a slice of mid-paced blackened death metal that's pretty original, as death metal goes. It can't be easily summed up by a simple formula; the best I can do is "Portal playing it straight." Compared to Hammerdrone, it's not quite as immediately compelling, but it could be more promising for future releases.

Serpents Head Reprisal

Ancient Ascendant: Into the Dark
3.5 out of 5 stars

On the other side of the Atlantic, the UK has graced us with Ancient Ascendant's modern death metal. I know that sound when I hear it, but I couldn't name any bands off the top of my head. I typically delete them without ever listening again. This is above average, though, not overly technical and not polished to the extent that it's sickening. The biggest selling point to me is the audible bass, but the songwriting isn't bad either (especially check the last track). So, a modern death EP that I won't delete: That's unusual.

Buy Into the Dark


  1. Demon Rising get bonus points for a cool cover.

  2. Goddamn, Hammerdrone is catchy. This is going up on on Metal Bandcamp straight away!

    Dire Omen is also on Bandcamp btw, as a name your price download.