Tuesday, January 26, 2010

INFINITUM OBSCURE – Sub Atris Caelis CD review

Deathgasm Records

One of the many great things about Extreme Metal is how bands can come out of the most unique of places and create music that sounds cold, cruel and grim as if it were from a more traditional place which people refer to more often. This band hails from Mexifornia, (aka: Tijuana, Mexico & Baja, California) but after one listen I would’ve thought Sweden since they’ve got alot of DISSECTION influence going for them. Hey just look at the CD cover artwork by Timo Ketola of black hooded figure holding a scythe and ask yourself does it look familiar? You could also look to them having Bill Metoyer, who’s worked with SLAYER, MORBID ANGEL, etc, as the recording engineer as well as Necromorbus Studios genius Tore Stjerna behind the mastering work as in some way influential greatness or maybe just ironic. Either way INFINITUM OBSCURE have come riding out of a cold desert night to wreak fuckin havoc with their brand of Blackened Death.

This is my first time hearing INFINITUM OBSCURE although they’ve been around since 2000 and have released previous material including a full length Internal Dark Force in 2006 on the Utterly Somber Creations label. One thing that’s been a constant in their history is mainman Roberto Lizarraga. This guy goes through band members like I go through light bulbs. INFINITUM OBSCURE is his vision so he handles the vocals, lead & acoustic guitars, bass and piano. Yeah there are other musicians on this release and I believe he has others as part of his touring band. There’s another reference to the spirit of Jon Nodtveidt lurking in the background which just pushes this thing further into the uncanny and ironic department. I guess the only thing that’s not part of the “holy shit” arena when it comes to this release is that it’s on the uber cool underground label extraordinaire Deathgasm Records.

Sub Atris Caelis is an exceptional release since it pushes a decent balance between the melodic Death Metal atmosphere and the ferocious harsh pounding of Black Metal. It’s a beautiful atrocity put to music like being slashed with a sharp blade. Instead of worrying about the pain and eventual death you’re mesmerized by the way your blood runs out across your flesh. Brutality and melody are in a death like embrace as the music dances along a line of varied intensity as well as aggression. Roberto Lizarraga’s vocals are amazingly in the same vein of the music. You’ve got your death growls and harsh blackened vocals which for me is pure entertainment value. Notice that I’m not pushing individual songs because this release needs to be taken as a whole. Drop this into your stereo push play and wait as this thing takes you screaming into a vortex of pain, renewal, hatred, anguish, power and of course destruction of the so-called supreme.

I must admit my bias and that is when it comes to the genre of Death Metal I like the older bands as well as newer bands recreating that style. Follow that up with Blackened Death metal which I definitely lean more towards and it’s easy to see why I’d be an over the top fan of INFINITUM OBSCURE and what they’ve produced with Sub Atris Caelis. But obviously what’s on here is something which I will say could be this band’s The Somberlain. I know I’m guilty of intentional hyperbole once in a great while just to piss some people off. With that said here we have something worthy of greatness as well as my tendency for hyperbole. Roberto Lizarraga even includes two interludes, one acoustic and the other featuring a piano interlude, in order not to fill holes but to enhance what has preceded and prepare for the crushing blow. Yeah this is good.


SINISTER REALM – Self Titled CD review

Shadow Kingdom Records

“Hello Allentown, are you ready for some Heavy Fuckin Metal?” For those of you who don’t know me, I spent my teenage to adult years, age 13 to 20 (1976 to 1983) in good old Allentown, PA. I saw all the great Heavy Metal bands back then in their heyday, PRIEST three times, MAIDEN twice, SCORPIANS before they went Pop, SABBATH with Ozzy & Dio, RAINBOW with Dio & without, UFO, OZZY with Randy & without, ACDC with Bon Scott & without, etc. So it’s clear that I know my classic Heavy Fuckin Metal. It is also clear that SINISTER REALM also from Allentown, PA know their classic Heavy Fuckin Metal as well. Listening to this is like a trip down memory lane. I get the urge to hold up my lighter till my finger is burned or atleast walk over to a side wall and puke like I once did in Agricultural Hall (Ag or Fag Hall for short) at the Allentown Fairgrounds during a BLUE OYSTER CULT concert.

Anyway SINISTER REALM have that classic Heavy Metal sound which reminds me a little of DIO but they beef it up with some epic Doom ala CANDLEMASS. They’re a five piece with the guitarists trading off melodic leads like the good old days. Their vocalist sounds as if he stepped out of a time machine from the year 1980. The guy’s very versatile in style kinda like a cross between Dio and Messiah. If this thing was mixed with the pops and cracks of playing vinyl I would’ve thought this was some long lost classic from that era. But then most of what Pittsburgh’s Shadow Kingdom Records sound that way. This is the band’s debut and hopefully this summer during festival season they’ll see how European audiences go crazy for their stuff because they need to be up on those stages. It’s has to be better than playing Lupo’s Beef & Ale on a Friday night in Allentown.


NATU SABVERATA – Existing to Ensure Your Destruction CD review

NATU SABVERATA – Existing to Ensure Your Destruction CD
Heaven and Hell Records

According to their bio this is technically a posthumous release with previously recorded material from their career. Yes I could be a little loose by using the word career but supposedly the band is making a comeback. Usually when bands plan to make one of those there’s a reason like maybe their music is now trendy or they have some unfinished business in the creative department. I’ve been working my ass off at work these past two weeks and must have dosed off. So is there a Death Grind revival going on or what? Yeah well there’s that which is decent to a point but the band adds some Groove to the music and Core elements to the vocals. In the end it sounds like a band trying to appeal to a wide audience in lieu of creating something all their own.

Some songs on here are perfect for that picking up change dance crowd. This band hails from Burlington, NC which was formerly a textile mill town before the sweatshops overseas killed em. I might’ve seen this band’s set at the 2007 NC Death Fest but then again there’s a reason I get drunk at those things. Guitarist Jacob Edwards plays like a machine but in a monotonous way plus his vocals are annoying. When he sticks with the cookie monster style he’s good but then there’s this higher pitch squeal coming through at times which is horrible. If you’re gonna use voice effects atleast make sure it doesn’t sound like someone is shoving a stick up your ass. I don’t see anyone else credited with backing vocals so I’m guessing the worst. If this is a career spanner I’d say they could toss 75% of it, keep the rest and build on the Death Grind for their future.


SEVENTH CALLING – Prelude to Madness CDEP review

SEVENTH CALLING – Prelude to Madness CDEP
Heaven and Hell Records

This Minnesota band’s three song dink has some cool sounding tunes but unfortunately they are marred by questionable vocals. That’s kinda ironic since Minnesota is a beautiful state with great people but they have that asshole Al Frankin as a senator, go figure. SEVENTH CALLING’s sound harkens back to that time when NWOBHM was giving way to Thrash. So expect some mid-tempo riffs with leads that will cut through steel. Alex Ritchey is a fine guitarist who reminds me of Michael Schenker and keeps this thing smoking with his fret work. He’s also responsible for the backing vocals which are good. With this kinda music you need a decent sounding rhythm section while your lead guitarist wails away and they’ve got one with Michael Poplees on bass and Shannon Frye on drums. Now with those three components in place the three cuts on here are memorable. But here comes my complaint and it’s with Steve Handel’s lead vocals. On the first cut, “Deliverance” he hits these high octaves which make me cringe in disgust. It’s almost a nasally whine. When he’s singing in a lower tone it’s bearable. Actually he’s best when he throws in a death growl or grunt. He’s somewhat better on “Blood for the Divine” and “Lost” but I’m really just being nice.


NOMINON – Omen MCD review

Deathgasm Records

Some people might not care for the format idea of putting out a mini CD with teaser cuts from a forth coming release but then they probably don’t remember 7”ers. Bands/Labels would put out a 7”er with one or two new songs from an upcoming LP/CD on the A-side and then have something rare on the B-side. Alot of times the 7”ers were on colored vinyl to boot which made them perfect for collector scum. Of course sometimes it would just be two new cuts which was simply a waste of time as well as money. Seeing this practice continue today on a CD format is sort of strange with bands simply posting new cuts on Myspace or allowing a free MP3 download from their website. But then this is from Deathgasm Records whose founder Evan March is a dedicated Extreme Metal fan. He releases stuff for blood thirsty crazies who are into the physical aspect of the genre. Like a wild animal that gets its first taste of human blood. Once you get a handful of releases from Deathgasm Records you’re hooked, you are addicted and you just might take a few lives in the process of getting their stuff.

As far as NOMINON goes I got my first whiff of them with their Terra Necrosis release from 2007. The damm thing should’ve come with a warning label. Sweden’s NOMINON have been around since 1993 so it’s obvious they know their Death Metal. Here we have two new cuts which might be on their forth coming release Monumentomb plus a rerecording of “Invocations” plus one live cut, “Submit to Evil”. Now when I say “might be on their forth coming release” is because there’s a different vocalist on each track here which gives this a collector rating of ten. As far as the tracks go, the live one is ok since it has shit for a recording quality. The rerecorded “Invocations” has guitarist Juha Sulasalmi on vocals. But it’s the songs “Through Dead Dreams Door” and the title track with are true standouts. This precursor shows that their full length is going to be one brutal motherfucker.


ARSIS – Starve for the Devil CD review

ARSIS – Starve for the Devil CD
Nuclear Blast Records

This band is a winner in my book of “fuck you to traditionalism”. Throw the recently warm, moist and disemboweled innards of ARCH ENEMY and DRAGONFORCE against a filthy wall. You will need to collect the drippings, add water and bring to boil. Afterwards the broth will be ARSIS and you’ll want to share your recipe of discovery. Although I will not say that ARSIS are over the top. They just touch all the needed buttons that make them decent Extreme Metal. Starve for the Devil is the dink that CHILDREN OF BODOM should’ve put out but didn’t. Melodic Death Metal, Thrash and NWOBHM are all dumped into the soup pot here making it a pedestrian Metal classic. When was the last time you heard a Metal band with more hooks than your granny’s curtains? I doubt ARSIS will start climbing up the charts to overthrow the ruling Pop Metal favorites nor do I believe it was their aim. Releasing a fun sounding recording seems more to the point. Call the chiropractor because Starve for the Devil induces headbanging.

Guitarist/vocalist James Malone can turn out a great riff, cut a lead flawlessly and write catchy songs that’ll even have a suicidal Doom maven sing along. Check in on songs like “Beyond Forlorn”, “Half Corpse O’ Clock” or my favorite of all “Forced to Rock” in which Malone kicks off the song with a simple “let’s rock”. This is beer drinking music the kind of thing you play for a crowd who really don’t give a flying fuck as long as the music is cool. Once in a while you need a release like this to toss on in between the extremes of hate. Yeah it’s early in the year so after a few plays you’ll slip this into a stack and forget about it. I do it all the fuckin time. But months from now I’ll go back to looking for something different as well as playable and it’ll catch my eye. They’re on a US tour right now with ARCH ENEMY but not around we’re I live.


Monday, January 18, 2010

WICKED KING WICKER – God is Busy Save Yourself CD review

WICKED KING WICKER – God is Busy Save Yourself CD
Cold Spring Records

My first reaction to this was simply “Whatafuck”. SUNN O)))’s mentally disturbed brother now residing in a maximum security mental institution in upstate New York makes a CD. One listen to this and you’ll think MOSS is too melodic. Personally I’m not the right person to review let alone endure this one. What I need is an assistant, someone who I can lock up in a padded room and blast this too. After about a dozen plays I’d slip some sheets of paper and a few crayons through a slot in the door then scream, “So tell me what you think?” Maybe the US Military at Gitmo should consider using this CD in their interrogation techniques. Make sure the islamo-fascists know the CD title of course just for better effect and a bag of pork grinds wouldn’t hurt as well. After five minutes the bastards would beg to be water boarded.

This is the epitome of Doom, Dirge and Distorted Sludge. The sheer fact that there’s an audience for this in the ranks of the Extreme is amazing enough. Now after a little digging for info I come to find out that this is the band’s sixth release and that they have a huge underground following. Well why not take an ice pick and plunge it into both of my eardrums then follow along. I kinda thought my tastes in Metal were on the extreme side but after listening to this I’m in need of an adjustment. For most people WICKED KING WICKER makes what they’re listening to seem like Pop music. The riffs on here drag more ass than an alligator. They are thick with over the top distortion. Oh yeah there are vocals on here as well. Actually vocals are not a correct term to use since they sound like disquieting screams from the mentally ill. I’m wondering how many reviewers in the past dropped one of the band’s promo dinks into their stereo, pushed play and when the noise blasted out thought, “Fuck I got a bum disc.”

As much as I consider this to be completely disturbing there is something magnetic about God is Busy Save Yourself. It reminds me of the time back in the late 70s when I first heard the SEX PISTOLS on the radio, a college radio station of course, and thought this is almost illegal. This New York band conjures up those same feelings. It also has a somewhat psychedelic quality as in a bad acid trip. Hallucinating that your body is covered with ants comes to mind. This release has three cuts, all over sixteen minutes in length and trust me that’s all you need. All I can say finally is that this is genius. I’m surprised I still have furniture left unbroken but then again I’ve been through SUNN O))) already, because God is Busy Save Yourself could easily drive a lesser person literally insane. Unless you are a huge Dirge Drone Doom Experimental music connoisseur then stay away stay very far away.


BLEEDING FIST – Bestial Krusifix666ion CD review

BLEEDING FIST – Bestial Krusifix666ion CD
Moribund Records

This Slovenian band takes raw First Wave Black Metal then runs it through a POISON IDEA Hardcore filter to create one sick twisted release. Lyrically and visually this four piece band pushes the satanic hate factor meter to the filth side but when those breakdowns kick in its 80’s Hardcore sneaking out. I find stuff like this totally enjoyable but wonder why it comes to us from a former Soviet Republic and not here in the US. I’m lucky to have grown up with Punk and Metal from the mid-seventies. Looking at how both genres have evolved and branched out it’s clear that Metal came out alot better giving fans so much to choose from. But with Punk, well there is Emo thank you very much. Metalcore and Deathcore are two genres I don’t care for at all and I’m being nice. Hell many of the bands that were part of the Punk genres ended up distancing themselves away from it because of the stupidity. As far as Hardcore goes the only bands that are worth a flying fuck are ones that lean more towards Metal as in Thrash or Sludge.

So for a band like this to take two raw influences and combine those into something that’ll burn off your funny haircut is to me cool as fuck. Last year I was getting into alot of Necro Black Metal and figured that it will be the next wave in 2010. I’m still holding out for that to happen with bestial lust. I also foretold that a new wave of bands would be going back to Black Metal’s early days and mixing it with Punk, Hardcore as well as its many offshoots. BLEEDING FIST is obviously one of em although their history goes back to 2005 with their first demo Suffocated Madness. Since then the band has released a few more demos, an EP in 2007, a split in 2008 with VINTERNATT as well as a self released full length. Bestial Krusifix666ion is like a flaming middle finger salute.


SKELETONWITCH – Breathing the Fire CD review

SKELETONWITCH – Breathing the Fire CD
Prosthetic Records

SKELETONWITCH bring so much to the table that it’s an insult to just tag them as another Thrash Revival band. Unfortunately back in 2007 with the release of their Beyond the Permafrost CD that’s what lackluster critics’ pigeon-holed em as. Chance Garnett’s vocal delivery alternates between harsh Black Metal screaming and Death Metal grumbling. Musically the band mixes NWOBHM, Black Metal, Death Metal and Thrash into this pummeling battle monster. So here we have their latest and SKELETONWITCH have obviously upped the ante by getting Jack Endino to twist the knobs. Endino’s technique, which goes back to when he was still producing records by 80s/90s Northwest Punk bands, is to go in and practically scrub each note with a toothbrush. The end result is a crisp and clean sounding recording that’s not pop crap. So Breathing the Fire is definitely a step up from their predecessor. The songs flow to a more memorable listening experience. Drop this in your stereo at a party and watch a pit start to form. The songs on here are catchy, volatile and mean. I’m listening to “Stand Fight and Die” now I wanna go next door and punch my asshole neighbor in the face for letting his dog crap in my front yard. It ain’t the dog’s fault. Now be that as it may I not saying Breathing the Fire is perfect from start to finish. I will say that their next release will be a force to reckon with since this Ohio band is on the path of breaking out big time.


KRALLICE – Dimensional Bleedthrough CD review

KRALLICE – Dimensional Bleedthrough CD
Profound Lore Records

I remember reading an article/blog about KRALLICE late last year in which the writer was stating that the band needs to prove with their next release that they are not a “Hipster Metal band”. First off this or any other band out there needs to prove nothing. All bands/artists need to do is create great music and perform it if possible. As far as the “Hipster” tagline goes well as I’ve said before, some bands gravitate towards it while others have it thrust upon them. In the case of KRALLICE the latter is the truth since their 2008 debut was a critic’s pick but the scene police dubbed them “hipster” because the band wasn’t Black Metal enough. Ok fine but is their music any good? You’re an asshole if you say no. Their 2008 debut reminded me of late 80s early 90s Noise Rock crossed with Black Metal. You had real guy vocals being screamed over all of that volume which was more instro jamming than song structure but pulled off very well.

So here’s their latest sophomore release and I’m still a fan of them. In fact I’d like to see them live now playing this material because I think it will have me watching them in fuckin awe and screaming every tempo change. There’s this image I get when listening to Dimensional Bleedthrough and it’s picturing the band recording this non stop while the recording studio is burning down around them. The music seems to lift the flames higher and no one is about to call the Fire Dept. After you listen to this you think that WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM is one dimensional. Although atleast they know when to call it quits. If I have one complaint about this release it will be the length. The thing is too damm long as in over an hour’s worth of overindulgence. Don’t shorten the songs but do think about shorting the amount of songs. With that said if you can get through the title track which opens this avant-garde Blackened Metal opus then you’ve got it licked. Technically the sound on here is brilliant with songs like the earlier mentioned title track along with “Aridity” and the monstrous closer “Monolith of Possession”.

I’ll say the laymen’s guide to Post Black Metal (or whatever the zealots wanna call it) is patience. I have to listen to this in spurts as in three songs here and stop, move onto something else. It’s because I’ll stop and replay the previous cuts. Guitarists Mick Barr, who also does vocals, and Colin Marston are worthy musicians who create memorable performances on here that to just blow by them would be an insult. Another insult would be to call this Progressive since it’s just enhancing Noise Rock with Black Metal ambience albeit with a wall of noise. By the way there’s a bass player included with this package. Hipsters and Post Rock music critics will never get that joke but Black Metal fans will. Nuff Said.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

MERRIMACK – Grey Rigorism CD review

MERRIMACK – Grey Rigorism CD
Moribund Records/Osmose Records

This French Black Metal band had one of the best releases of 2006 with Of Entropy and Life Denial. That release, also on Moribund Records, was when I got into them and since then I figured it was going to be their dark masterpiece. Here we are three years later, they have just toured the states with MARDUK and this newer one is a step above from last we met. MERRIMACK has been on a road of progression but not in a bad way which is why they’re still on Moribund and not on Candlelight. Their cruel river of pain flows underneath the feet of their French Black Metal brethren and makes them jump in fear. Grey Rigorism breaks out into varied Extreme Metal tributaries but yet keeps the waters the most blackish as possible. I heard my fair share of bands last year trying to do similar things and failing miserably. MERRIMACK makes it sound easy by laying down some very melodic Black Metal and injecting aggressive changes whether it’s some Thrashy moments, Death Metal blasts or slow Doom strolls. Sound-wise this is pure filth with a guitar sound that will melt the corpse paint off the faces of many of their contemporaries. Terrorizt has also progressed as a vocalist although I liked his throaty screaming style before. This actually came out in late 2009 and it’s unfortunate that I’ve only gotten to it now. Grey Rigorism could easily been in the end of 09 favorites list for Black Metal.


SKADY – Eyn Raunen Im Tannicht CD review

SKADY – Eyn Raunen Im Tannicht CD
Asatru Klangwerke Records

This German three piece outfit might label themselves Black Metal but as far as their sound goes they throw everything at you including the Teutonic sink. Paganism and Folk are the basis behind this debut release although what makes me like this so much is the band’s way of carrying everything along with some melodic Thrash elements. Eyn Raunen Im Tannicht is eight tracks with a dead boar on the black & white cover bleeding red in the woods. It’s an artist’s rendering of course but it must carry meaning. Unfortunately everything is in German so I wouldn’t know exactly. The release opens with a brisk intro and immediately kicks into the Teutonic melodies. If this was from the states I’d say it was contrived in order to pave the way for a spot on Paganfest 2010. But these are Germans and dammit they do know how to get their trains to run on time. “Furor Teutonicus” is my favorite cut on here not only because it’s a great song but the opening sounds like a battle between warring parties with kitchen utensils. Hey look, SKADY are an underground band so real swords might cost too much so bring in the spatulas, ladles and have at it.


CRUCIFIST – Demon Haunted World CD review

CRUCIFIST – Demon Haunted World CD
Profound Lore/FETO Records

This is the side project/band of Danny Lilker better known as the bass player for BRUTAL TRUTH. I’m gonna piss off some of you Grindcore elitists by saying I like this alot more then last year’s comeback release by BRUTAL TRUTH. Yes that’s right I called you elitists and you’re jaded as well because you will hate this. Demon Haunted World is a throwback to the primordial days of first wave Black Metal, Proto Thrash and a generous helping of Punk Fuckin Rock. Along with Lilker, there’s guitarist John Gallo and drummer Mike Waske both of whom are also in the New York state Doom band, ORODRUIN. The vocals, and that’s definitely a stretch, are provided by Ron Blackwell. Not that anything is wrong with Blackwell’s singing in fact he’s perfect for this since he sounds drunk and doesn’t give a flying fuck. Well hell yeah, the new Black is not Post but Pre-Black Metal. Unless your coolness has frozen your brain then you have noticed what was once old is new again. Let’s review, Thrash Revival, Old School Death Metal and NWOBHM both making a comeback, etc. CRUCIFIST are simply presenting the world their brand of hate via late 80’s style Extreme Metal sounds. What’s really cool is how fresh songs like “Skull Smashing Face Ripping Death” or “Witchgrip” sound along with the ANGEL WITCH cover “Angel of Death”.


DARK FUNERAL – Angelus Exuro pro Eternus CD review

DARK FUNERAL – Angelus Exuro pro Eternus CD
Regain Records

Yeah it’s been a few years since we last heard from this Swedish Black Metal institution. Their debut full length, The Secrets of the Black Arts, from 1996 is a Scumfeast Metal 666 Essential but since then their musical output has gone from good to predictable. When last we heard from Emperor Magus Caligula and the boys it was 2005 with their Attera Totus Sanctus release. Yeah it was decent but I haven’t taken it out for a spin in over a year. So as far as this new one goes, yeah it’s decent. If their aim last year in the studio was to kick out a patented DARK FUNERAL sounding release then that goal has been achieved. The problem is that we’ve heard this all before. I’m not trying to be an upside down crucifix in the mud here people. While listening to Angelus Exuro pro Eternus I’m also hearing bits and pieces of songs from their past peeking through. Soundwise this is perfect, play it loud to offend your neighbors. Seriously put your speakers in your open windows and turn this fucker up as loud as your stereo will go. I don’t care if it’s cold out just do it because this will frighten the people next door but that’s about it. As for me well I’ve had scarier mornings waking up from all night drinking excursions. You know the ones when you wake up and ask yourself, I’m not bleeding so where did all of this blood come from? OK maybe that’s just me but as far as this release goes it’s not that evil, dark or threatening. There are a handful of cuts that’ll hold your interest for a few minutes but if you want something guaranteed to invoke your inner beastie look somewhere else. MARDUK?


SUFFOCATION – Close of a Chapter – Live in Quebec City CD review

SUFFOCATION – Close of a Chapter – Live in Quebec City CD
Relapse Records

We have a contractual obligation to review atleast one live release per year. In 2009 it was DEATH ANGEL and now we have SUFFOCATION. Strangely enough this too is a live show from the past. Recorded in 2005 during their Souls to Deny tour, this was originally self released by the band but not alot of copies got around to the filthy Death Metal hordes. Since SUFFOCATION is on Nuclear Blast nowadays I’m guessing Relapse had this one in the vault and figured well all that Grindcore crap ain’t selling so lets put this one out. Besides, those Long Island motherfuckers owe us. Well I’m sure you’ll get your money back because this live release is a must have for any SUFFOCATION fan. Especially since it’s from 2005 which I think was when the band was still at the top of their game. The sound on here is superb, great set of songs and plenty of inbetween song bullshit/banter. This is actually better then the last two times I saw them.


Saturday, January 2, 2010


RUMPELSTILTSKIN GRINDER- Living for Death Destroying the Rest CD
Relapse Records


GENERAL SURGERY – Corpus In Extremis: Analysing Necrocriticism CD
Listenable Records

NAPALM DEATH – Time Waits For No Slave CD
Century Media

Relapse Records

BRUTAL TRUTH - Evolution Through Revolution CD
Relapse Records

Anstalt Records


ARGUS – Self Titled CD
Shadow Kingdom Records

ADAGIO – Archangels in Black CD
Listenable Records

3 INCHES OF BLOOD – Here Waits Thy Doom CD
Century Media Records

WOLF – Ravenous CD
Century Media Records

Massacre Records


SONS OF SEASONS – Gods of Vermin CD
Napalm Records


SUNN O))) – Monoliths and Dimensions CD
Southern Lord Records


ARKONA – Goi, Rode,Goi CD
Napalm Records

CRIMFALL – As the Path Unfolds CD
Napalm Records

TYR – By the Light of the Northern Star CD
Napalm Records

WARDRUNA – Runaljod – ‘Gap Var Ginnunga’ CD
Indie Recordings

Christhunt Productions

WOLFCHANT – Determined Damnation CD
Massacre Records

Nuclear Blast Records

EX DEO – Romulus CD
Nuclear Blast Records

HAMMER HORDE – Under the Mighty Oath CD
Storm Surge Records

VAJRAH – Paganus Doctrina CD
Manitu Records

Best Doom Metal releases for 2009


CULTED – Below the Thunders of the Upper Deep CD
Relapse Records

CANDLEMASS – Death Magic Doom CD
Candlelight Records

CHURCH OF MISERY – Houses of the Unholy CD
Rise Above Records

YOB – The Great Cessation CD
Profound Lore Records

PARADISE LOST – Faith Divides Us Death Unites Us CD
Century Media Records

BLACK COBRA – Chronomega CD
Southern Lord Records

AMORPHIS – Skyforger CD
Nuclear Blast Records

DARK CASTLE – Spirited Migration CD
At A Loss Records

16 – Bridges to Burn CD
Relapse Records

SPIRITUS MORTIS – The God Behind the God CD
Firebox Records

Best Thrash Releases of 2009


MUNICIPAL WASTE – Massive Aggressive CD
Earache Records

WARBRINGER – Waking Into Nightmares CD
Century Media Records

Roadrunner Records

MINOTAUR – God May Show You Mercy....We Will Not CD
I Hate Records

SWASHBUCKLE – Back to the Noose CD
Nuclear Blast Records

BLOOD TSUNAMI – Grand Feast for Vultures CD
Candlelight Records

AT WAR – Infidel CD
Heavy Artillery Records

SAVAGE MESSIAH – Insurrection Rising CD
Candlelight Records

TYRANN – Shadows of Leng CD
Dark Essence Records

CAULDRON – Chained to the Night CD
Earache Records

Best Death Metal Releases of 2009


ASPHYX – Death the Brutal Way CD
Ibex Moon Records

GOD DETHRONED - Passiondale CD
Metal Blade Records

AZARATH – Praise the Beast CD
Deathgasm Records

TEITANBLOOD – Seven Chalices CD
NED/Anja Offensive

GOATWHORE – Carving Out the Eyes of God CD
Metal Blade Records

NILE – Those Whom the Gods Detest CD
Nuclear Blast Records

Pulverised Records

VOMITORY – Carnage Euphoria CD
Metal Blade Records

FUNEBRARUM The Sleep of Morbid Dreams CD
Cyclone Empire Records

Regain Records

INSOMNIUM – Across the Dark CD
Candlelight Records

BELPHEGOR – Walpurgis Rites – Hexenwahn CD
Nuclear Blast Records

IMPIETY – Terroreign (Apocalyptic Armageddon Command) CD
Agonia Records

HYPOCRISY – A Taste of Extreme Divinity CD
Nuclear Blast Records

UNANIMATED – In the Light of Darkness CD
Regain Records

SUCCESS WILL WRITE APOCALYPSE ACROSS THE SKY – The Grand Partition and the Abrogation of Idolatry CD
Nuclear Blast Records

OBITUARY – Darkest Day CD
Candlelight Records

VADER – Necropolis CD
Nuclear Blast Records

PESTILENCE – Resurrection Macabre CD
Mascot Records

TORTURE DIVISION - With Endless Wrath We Bring Upon Thee Our Infernal Torture CD
Abyss Records



MARDUK – Wormwood CD
Regain Records

Ajna Offensive Records

GLORIOR BELLI – Meet Us at the Southern Sign CD
Candlelight Records

Moribund/Debemur-Morti Records

ORCUSTUS – Self Titled CD
Southern Lord Records

Southern Lord Records

ARCHGOAT – The Light Devouring Darkness CD
Moribund Records (USA)
Blasphemous Underground (Euro)

ISRATHOUM – Monument of Brimstone CD
Spinefarm Records

FEN- The Malediction Fields CD
Code 666 Records

GORGOROTH – Quantos Possunt Ad Satanitatem Trahunt CD
Regain Records

ANAEL - From Arcane Fires CD
Paragon Records

IMMORTAL – All Shall Fall CD
Nuclear Blast Records

Napalm Records

VREID – Milorg CD
Indie Recordings

ABSU – Absu CD
Candlelight Records

VANMAKT – Ad Luciferi Regnum CD
Pulverized Records

ENDSTILLE – Verfuhrer CD
Regain Records

RUINS – Cauldron CD
Moribund Records

MYRKR – Black Illuminations CD
Debemur-Morti Records

BLUT AUS NORD – Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue with the Stars CD
Candlelight Records