Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Death Metal Briefs: 2014

Death: There's Enough to Go Around

Death metal came back in 2013, and it's still going strong in 2014. But I've been favoring the Profound Lore releases so far, and it's time to spread some love around.

Unaussprechlichen Kulten: Baphoment Pan Shub-Niggurath
4 out of 5 stars

The expansively-named Unaussprechlichen Kulten (Chilean, not German) play exactly the kind of death metal that generates underground buzz. It's got Incantation atmosphere, but with actual riffs that you can pick out with ease, and everything's twisted just a little bit off-kilter in the way of many Lovecraft-obsessed death metal bands. But more importantly, they are doing this shit at a very high level, and with a whole lot of dynamic shifts. It's absolutely worth your money--so much that I'm going to forgive the fact the promo is in two files ("Side A" and "Side B") instead of a separate track for each song.

Unfortunately, I can't find a sample of the new record to share, so this older tune will have to do until you can pick it up through Iron Bonehead.

Monumentomb: Ritual Exhumation
3.5 out of 5 stars

With an album cover like this, you might be surprised to find Monumentomb's Ritual Exhumation has some melodic death metal in it, and even a little bit of clean singing. But don't let that dissuade you, because it's just part of a kitchen-sink approach to death metal that blends primitive, thrashy death with Swe-death and blackened tremolo riffs like they've been rotting in the same coffin these past twenty-some-odd years. It's also really well-performed, with very solid death growls and a sense of enthusiasm that's infectious.

Souldrainer: Architect
3.5 out of 5 stars

Sweden's Souldrainer is a guilty pleasure of mine. With Architect, they've pretty much nailed down the early 2000's melo-death sound--closest to Soilwork, in fact, complete with melodic shouting in the choruses. Also, "Nightmare Abduction" has Gojira written all over it. It's a little simpler than that, but that might just be a strength rather than a weakness, considering the ideal audience isn't quite as deep in the underground as you might be. It's not original, not demanding, but easy to get into, with plenty of cheesy drama (choral synths) to make you feel like something important is going on.


  1. Souldrainer is pretty much 100% Hypocrisy to me. Didn't think of Soilwork at all when listening to that album.

    1. I've only heard the first Hypocrisy album, so I would miss that.

    2. You should really work yourself backwards in the Hypocrisy discography then. ;-)