RITUAL MASS – Abhorred in the Eyes of God (Caligari Records)

Brutal death metal, old school way.

Yes kiddos, there was a time that being BRUTAL DEATH METAL didn’t mean having polish sounds, or any technicality for that sake. Imagine that death metal was a kind of competition, where the most disgraceful band won.

That’s the spirit here in this 4-track EP of Ritual Mass called Abhorred in the eyes of God which can be defined as Old Brutal School Death Metal!

All the songs are in segue and the first opvs called Grievous Sin is a macabre sequence of brutal and extreme guttural vocals that delivers pure deadly horror that resounds loathsome noises from the satanic abyss of death.

Seated at the Right Hand of the Lord is pure hateful assertion of brutality packed with noisy drumming, unintelligible bellows, guitars that are put at the high end of the mix, yet sickly explosive, deriding those who cross Ritual Mass path.

The mid-tempo song Servant is more of the same formula, but put more traction to the noisy guttural vocals that strangely are not a chagrin to those who seek this kind of music.

Last song aptly title Devoured comes back to the infernal depths of craziness and dementia, the riffs are so sick that headbanging may cause serious harm to one’s neck.  

This EP is the first offering after the demo Ritual Mass, and it’s a good presentation card.

Abhorred in the Eyes of God will be out on Caligari records next Friday, June, 19

Rating: 7.5/10


Roderick Totentanz

Valdrin – Effigy of Nightmares (Blood Harvest)

When USBM goes full Scandinavian mode.

Valdrin is a band from Cincinnati, Ohio, thus a USBM (United States Black Metal) that doesn’t resemble anything an American band. This is their third offer that rips all through European standards.

Plus, although not the most original album per se, this is a newborn classic of Black Metal that even being underground gives a run for the money to Swedish bands like Dark Funeral, Lord Belial and Naglfar, practicing what people call “melodic black metal” which methinks is a deceptive label.

A classic like Exsanguination Tunnels has all the serpentine tracts of an ultra-veteran band without being an imitation and without being progressive and that adds points to the Valdrin sound.

The finest adjustments in the sound of the tune Red Burning Candles of Hatred, has a perfect mix of rhythm guitar reverbs and drum fills from hell while repeating with intelligence the theme of the song without being an oversimplification of ANY black metal outfit out there.

The bona fide “melodic black metal” appears on the excellent track Basilisk of Light that showcases a REAL BAND without being irritatingly poser. No. These are great musician showing their art in a strangely professional manner.

The journey of Down the Oubliette of Maelstrom packs this first-rate album with epic parts like an album recap clocking in at 8:35min. The remarkable vocals are also a distinguishing ingredient in Effigy of Nightmares.

Valdrin is a band that was born in a wrong place. Not that I don’t dig USBM but they sound like they don’t belong to the North America.

Effigy of Nightmares are out now on CD/LP/TAPE on Blood Harvest.

Rating: 8/10


Roderick Totentanz

UFO’s guitarist dead on his 66th birthday.

Paul Chapman died yesterday in the afternoon. News broke out today.

During his 66th birthday, Paul Tonka Chapman, the former guitarist for UFO, Lone Star and Waysted has passed away according to his family on the very Chapman’s Facebook page.

Yesterday was his 66th birthday (born June 9th 1956).

With UFO he recorded No Place To RunThe Wild, The Willing And The InnocentMechanix and Making Contact.

Artists from across the music world paid their respects including Jonh Corabi (ex-Motley Crüe), Motorhead‘s Phil Campbel and his mates from UFO:

Said Mr. Corabi: ” [Paul Chapman was] lovely gentleman and a great guitar player, I had the great fortune of meeting him in Philadelphia, and Los Angeles, and he was nothing short of amazing to a young dreamer. 66 is much too young.”

On his personal Twitter page, Phil Campbell said: “Just woke up to sad news of Paul Chapman passing. He was my main influence on guitar for many years and a brilliant bloke. Thoughts are with his family. RIP Tonka”

UFO said: “We send our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Paul ‘Tonka’ Chapman, who died yesterday on his 66th birthday. Paul’s son broke the tragic news on Paul’s Facebook page yesterday evening. R.I.P. Tonka.”

Tributes are ensuing.

No cause of death was revealed.


Roderick Totentanz

SEPULTURA ALBUMS, RANKED FROM WORST TO BEST

The definitive list of Sepultura albums that will open a indefinitely bitter discussion.

The very first “From worst to best” was a test with the band Sarcófago (link here https://darksoulsunited.wordpress.com/2019/10/09/sarcofago-albums-ranked-from-worst-to-best/ which had released few albums along their career. Not coincidentally another Brazilian band will figure today on the second part of the series: SEPULTURA. Divisive as they are, the albums one loves or hates were all recorded under the same moniker. I won’t try and change one mind. What I will do is to show that the band have ludicrous moments and spectacular ones. You’ll find yourself baffling by discover(ing) that maybe one of the worst moments was with Max and one with the best is with Derrick. Anyway, let’s start the controversial content! (Rules: EP’s, singles, compilations except Bestial Devastation will be left aside)

A-lex (2009)

There’s no excuse for this one. I never really caught the message here. This is the album when Igor Cavalera goes away and Jean Dolabella enters. The album is based on the book/movie A Clockwork Orange and the name is a bad pun on the main character name Alex (A-lex in Latin would be

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without law). The production is subpar, the ideas sound thrown up in the air and the compositions are really mediocre. The 9th Symphony part is totally off the wall.  By far the worst album of Sepultura and that’s NOT because of Derrick Green. This is the album when people start to call Sepultura a COVER BAND.

Against (1998)

Okay let’s give some credit to this one. They were on the top of the game when in a sudden move Max Cavalera, the main compositor and

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charismatic singer just left the band over a dispute with the band and his wife. It’s important to remember that until A-lex the “non-Cavalera cover band” HAD Igor Cavalera but people tend to ignore this little piece of information. The sound is confusing, they were trying to desperately imitate the ideas from Roots to no avail. The album was a bomb and it’s regarded as the one of the worst moments in the extreme music. The fact is the album has some good songs but they really don’t work together.

Roots (1996)

No, you haven’t heard wrongly. The almighty Roots haven’t age well. From that point it looked like the most inventive album in the universe but by

hearing it today, the middle-to-snail pace rhythm of the album and the “Americanization” of the band did them no favor. No good solos, and almost nothing was presented in this boring “classic”. Stupid songs like Lokaway, the terrible Ratamahatta with the Brazilian Carlinhos Brown and the boring indigenous song Itsári is NOT metal. Nu metal maybe. Headbangers hated this one.  An important detail: Derrick Green didn’t sing in this one, so what’s your excuse? I’m dying to know.

Nation (2001)

This album is the second with Derrick so the excuse for being a new guy was a thing of the past. Looking in Retrospect it seems that even being a solid album this one is a conclusion to the triad Roots-Against-Nation. There are interesting songs here, but not metal enough and the ideas were really strange and very pacifist for an aggressive band called Sepultura. The lyrics that talk about a utopian Sepulnation were a really bad idea, and the notion that the best song in the album is Water, a non-metal song shows that they missed the point. Plus, Roadrunner didn’t invest too much money and the ideas of Andreas Kisser didn’t work. An album to listen to in a calm day of rain.

Roorback (2003)

Free from the shadow of Max Cavalera, they went full hardcore in this

album, which is the main influence of Derrick Green. The lyrics are interesting but there’s not so many food for thought musically speaking. Igor Cavalera and Andreas Kisser in a strange manner were lazy, although the compositions, simple as they were, worked. The problem was the band was kicked from Roadrunner and this lack of “Roots” budget reverberates in the album. This album took them far and far away from the metal classics of the past and for sure one could say they were not the same Sepultura anymore by this point. But Come Back Alive, Mind War and Activist makes the party of those who just wanted a mosh pit.

Dante XXI (2006)

In fact, this album is not so different from Roorback, but it’s a short album which is not common in Sepultura’s career. Conversely it has more good songs in less minute making this a modest classic of “hardcore” Sepultura: Convicted in Life, City of Dis and Nuclear Seven are really good songs. If you dislike the phase or Derrick Green voice is your problem, but this album is very solid and not full of strange ideas. They’d kept it simple and I don’t remember nobody complaining when this one was out. This was the last album with Igor Cavalera.

Kairos (2011)

Do you remember what I said about the worst album, A-Lex? This album

has an exact contrary modus operandi. It was when they signed with Nuclear Blast and the line-up was the same of the anterior album: Andreas, Paulo, Dolabella and Derrick. So what did happen then? I believe when they signed with NB they saw an opportunity to be a great band once again and they got it. Even the covers are strangely cool, like Ministry’s Just One Fix, and Prodigy’s Firestarter. The art is marvelous. Because the spectacular drummer Eloy Casagrande entered in the band in this very same year people tend to believe he recorded the album. He didn’t. Anyway, it was the beginning of Sepultura reconquering the throne in a series of excellent albums. YES, WITH DERRICK GREEN! But nobody noted that by that time.

Machine Messiah (2017)

Machine Messiah is a magistral album produced by Jens Brogen in Sweden but I have an opinion why it didn’t explode as it was intended to be. Even though they made the things in a right manner it was clear that the track listing was wrong. C’mon it’s a Sepultura album, and the first song is a not even good, with Derrick singing with a clear voice. Why? If it was the LAST SONG… but no. Very strange. But the brilliance appears occasionally in songs like Alethea or the magnifico, (a work of art) instrumental Iceberg Dances. The conclusion is simple: once the shock of the first songs passes the rest of the album is pure fun!

Morbid Visions (1986)

The lack of musicianship worked in favor of the intense unheard

blasphemy of this album. Satanic and unapologetic in its noise, it opened a precedent for bands like Blasphemy, or Beherit to record their noises and still being called a classic. Where’s the playbook of metal? If there was one, Sepultura with Jairo Guedes on guitars threw it through the window. The album is a catch 22: while the sound and compositions were barbaric, it is exactly this MO that makes this album so charming. Here comes the first “hit” of Sepultura’s career: Troops of Doom.

The Mediator Between head and hands must be the Heart (2013)

Okay now this is the premiere of the master of drums Eloy Casagrande. This album abruptly changed the Sepultura game. Produce in US by Ross Robinson (Roots) this album is a helluva noise and Eloy almost steals the show here. His velocity is absurd, his drums fills are deafening and the production left the velocity run amok, the songs are complicated times seven, and there’s even a participation of no one less than Dave Lombardo. Maybe this “exaggeration” was the cause why Machine Messiah was less powerful. They abandoned the hardcore phase for good from now on… This was the newest and most powerful formation that Sepultura could amass. But of course, few were paying attention to the things to come.

Schizophrenia (1987)

One of these days Paulo Junior said that when Andreas Kisser entered in

the band it was like Eloy Casagrande: it changed the game. They went from a mediocre death/black acts (musically speaking of course) to a more complicated sound which is the beginning or the bridge if you will of the golden era of Max Cavalera. This album received a good amount of money for an underground band and complex structures were never heard in thrash metal until that point in the world! The bad thing here is the production that couldn’t capture the force that Sepultura was becoming and NOW it’s clear that everything was there and only with international fame they would become one of the best bands in the planet. Everyone saw that coming 33 years ago? Well, yes and no. The A&R of Roadrunner did. Songs like Escape to the Void, Septic Schizo and RIP (Rest in Pain) was too extreme for the average headbanger. No wonder this album is a cult nowadays and even back in the day Europeans made bootlegs of it, because the lack of supply!

Bestial Devastation (1985)

Even not being considered their first album (it was released in a split LP with Overdose), the importance of this record is beyond our comprehension. Originally featuring 4 tracks (five if one counts the intro) the lack of money hadn’t hindered the gusto for extreme: VERY SATANIC Death Metal which would influence a myriad of Satanic artists around the globe. How could a bunch of brats record such an insult to good music? This is not for the family, this is corrupting, deteriorating Black Metal, ahead of this time and the very first chapter of the improbable band of poor boys that came from the Brazilian 3rd world in the 1980’s.

Chaos AD (1993)

By 1993 Sepultura was one of the greatest bands in the world and if you’re

newer than that, just ask a rocker older than you. The Brazilian noise took the world by assault and nobody gave two fucks when Sepultura decreased velocity: every other extreme band was doing that: Deicide (Once Upon the Cross), Carcass (Heartwork), Cannibal Corpse (The Bleeding) and Morbid Angel (Covenant) are just few examples of what was happening. Even though the success of the band was huge this is the exact point when they invaded the US because Europe was already taken. They become headliners, they recorded the fixture Territory, there was a song written by Jello Biafra (Biotech is Godzilla), a super version of New Model Army called The Hunt and even a Brazilian pop rock turned into a hardcore inferno called Polícia, a success in the 80’s by the band Titãs. What more a band could ask?

Quadra (2020)

Yes, the third place IN THE HISTORY goes to an album recorded by Derrick Green and not Cavaleras. And if you don’t recognize that you are either deaf or a moron. Quadra was released this year to great acclaim: the most complex Sepultura album to date (and why not to say in the history of Metal to date) the lyrics are dystopian (remember what I said about Nation?) the sound is perfect, the work was humongous (it’s said that Eloy Casagrande recorded each song 16 times, I don’t know if it’s an exaggeration but the result is here). Now differently from the noise of The Mediator… this is a band that work in tandem.  Derrick voice is incredibly excellent in this album and all the experimentations of A-lex (the worst album) makes total sense here. This album has no interludes, pseudo crazy ideas, this is technicality mixed with dark emotion like never heard before in the history of the music. Even Mark Portinoy said during the COVID-19 lockdown: stay home and listen to new Sepultura album.

Arise (1991)

Of course, I’m not going to be stupid to the point of saying that Arise wasn’t

an absolute classic. Plus, this is the first album I bought in my life. I could tell MY history, how it changed it forever, but you don’t want to know. Let’s attain to the album: Sepultura was an international attraction inside the extreme circles and Arise transformed them in the best for that era. There was no band like Sepultura. Tracks like Dead Embryonic Cells, Murder, and the cover of Motörhead Orgasmatron took something that was only a dream of a putrid band from Brazil to reality. They were making the best music around. Max Cavalera was on the top of his game, as a frontman and lyricist. Igor was playing drums like never before, tribal to the bone, primitive as fuck. The solos of Andreas Kisser pointed to a very metal thing like Judas Priest, brutal version… the eardrums ached. No groove, no nu, no bullshit. This was the band that had recorded Bestial Devastation merely 6 years before but on steroids. This album was a game-changer. Period.

Beneath the Remains (1989)

The best of all. Calm down: let’s return two years in time and see the context: the band who had recorded Schizophrenia now had an international contract. But they had no money to go to Florida to record. So, the producer Scott Burns went to Brazil, they went to Rio de Janeiro and recorded what was to be the most acclaimed album of that year: the best thrash metal album of all times, best than Slayer’s Reign in Blood. Today we know that this was an exaggeration but Slayer’s album appeared only three years prior to Beneath the Remains. I dare you: find a more primitive, non-rhymed, full of change of tempos like Beneath the Remains. Bands like Death and Atheist (curiously Kelly Shaefer along with John Tardy from Obituary sing in Stronger than Hate) were NOT doing that ultra tech sound they are now known today. Sepultura was on the top of the noise showing their once idols how to record. Songs like Mass Hypnosis or Primitive Future still figure as the most headbangers I’ve heard in my entire life. The rest is history.


Roderick Totentanz

TERRESTRIAL HOSPICE – Indian Summer Brought Mushroom Clouds (Shadow Records / Regain Records)

Demented Black/Death Metal from Poland.

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Featuring Skyggen (A Polish musician who plays in Norwegian bands such as Tortorum and play live for Gorgoroth) and Infernus (Behemoth, Azarath and Witchmaster), this band is epitome of dementia.

A bona-fide Blackened Death Metal band which gathers the sound of Belphegor with Revenge and a penchant for war, with strident noisy guitars, castigating drums and a dexterity to not sound cheap, Terrestrial Hospice is extremely ferocious.

Indian Summer Brought Mushroom Clouds may sound like a fun and crazy title but don’t expect anything fun here. This is disgraceful, aggressive, gruff and impolite.

Songs like The Sump Where The Universe’s Filth And Epheme and the tongue-in-cheek Please Accept My Most Sincere Condolences, are harsh to the bone, pummeling the listener with astringent dark energy and fastness the reverberates in room and may cause malady for those who are unaware what brutal metal really means.

Pyromaniac is a little, just a little bit non-ultra-fast than the other tracks, but is non-melodic and infernal the same way.

But Crucifixion Of Anthropocentrism is a helluva bestial track with drumming there is really primitive. Wicked Black/Death, unapologetic and tyrannous, the persistent drumming is one of the main features together with the hate emanated in the vocals.

Terrestrial Hospice is great surprise in this miserable year, with a delicious sound for maniacs, yet totally abstruse to those who dare to venture in such perilous waters.

Indian Summer Brought Mushroom Clouds is out now in a joint venture between Shadow Records and Regain Records.

Rating: 8.5/10


Roderick Totentanz

DEATH COURIER – Necrotic Verses (Transcending Obscurity Records)

The demigods of Hellas Death metal are back!

For those who don’t know, Death Courier doesn’t make old school death metal, they ARE the old school death metal.

The band was formed in the distant year of 1987, released an EP and an album besides some demos and they folded by 1993, just to return in 2019. This is the second offering since their comeback.

The sound here oozes Morbid Angel but the difference is that they seem to use the band as influence and the sound is faster.

The track Remnants for example has a simple structure, (although good musicianship) of old school death metal in which each phrase and tempo has its own space to give its place to another one. Something very classic inside the style as the bands of today are so fast that there is no time to fathom what is happening.

Title track is very honest death metal, the vocals are very guttural and the drumming is fast. A must-hear for old-schoolers.

Mourning Ecstasy is the crème de la crème of fastness in a 90’s way. Man, this album would have ripped in the times of yore. What a sound! Concise and abrupt!

When Death Fits To Skin is the track that blatantly sounds like Morbid Angel mainly from Blessed are The sick. It seems that Trey Azagthot got the guitar himself.

Of course, Death Courier is not some pastiche of Morbid Angel, and they put in some personality in the difficult song Pillar, a tour de force inside the genre.

Death Courier got into the party, the only problem here is that they are late by some decades.

Necrotic Verses is out TODAY via Transcending Obscurity Records

Rating 7.5/10


Roderick Totentanz

Steve Priest, dead at 72.

Co-founder of Sweet has been confirmed dead by Sweet team

Maybe the name doesn’t resonate on younger ears. But Steve Priest was the bassist and co-founder of the proto-heavy metal English band Sweet.

The news was given by BBC this morning, according to the Sweet team. reads the message:

“It is with a heavy heart that we announce at 8:25am PT today, Steve Priest, founding member of The Sweet, passed away. He is survived by his wife, Maureen, three daughters, Lisa, Danielle & Maggie and 3 grandchildren, Jordan, Jade & Hazel.

Following the passing of Steve Priest, Andy Scott is the sole surviving member of Sweet’s classic line-up.

Although the band is being recognized the top of the British Glam Rock (along with T. Rex and David Bowie), they helped craft, maybe on the sidelines what was becoming to be Heavy Metal with such heavy hits sch as Hellraiser, and the bona-fide heavy metal Burning. But the band had been primarily know for the song Ballroom Blitz where Steve sang the famous part: “there’s a girl in the corner that no-one ignores, ‘cos she thinks she’s the passionate one,”. The band have a resurgence when this song was the final theme of the movie Wayne’s World.

Roderick Totentanz

https://www.facebook.com/darksoulsunited/

Front / FRΩNT – Antichrist Militia (Iron Bonehead)

Unapologetic Warlike Black Metal.

Front from Finland (stylized FRΩNT) is a war back metal act but a kinda different one. They are both a mix of Blasphemy, Revenge and the likes of Marduk and Endstille with a touch of Blackened Thrash Metal (two guys played in the blackened thrash metal Urn…)

The sound is highly toxic and rock n roll hell, with the title track sounding like a battle field, scorched earth style with a great chorus that is unhinged black metal destruction.

The warp and woof are very Bathory for that sake and the second track Iron Front won’t let the fans of some military rock n roll down. All right motherfuckers!

Venom & Salt is not the hook here, but who cares when one has the most destructive approach in the brutal style of this kind of noncompliance black metal?

The doubt in this EP is the filler Mouths of War where they put even Churchill in the blender. The verdict is: alone this song means nothing but in the context of the EP sounds like an interlude.

Last track Machinegun Blasphemy is the heaviest, disturbing, noise, a pure act of non-diplomatic conversations. This is “panzer metal” (this style doesn’t even exist hehehe) in the best form!

Front is a band that will get better and better by the time. I can’t wait to hear a new offer very soon!

Antichrist Militia will be out TOMORROW via Iron Bonehead.

Rating: 8/10


Roderick Totentanz

We must stick apart or Cinematic Summer Tour 2020

Virtual tour and dates!

Enslaved has just announced their Virtual Cinematic Tour 2020 which comprises 3 Festivals: Roadburn Festival, Beyond the Gates and  Summer Breeze.

Festival number one: Roadburn, date: July 30th.

This festival will be themed “Chronicles Of The Northbound”, where the fans will be invited to choose the songs in a pool to create a comprehensive spanning career set.

Festival number two: Beyond The Gates: August 20th

This one is where Below the Lights will be played on its entirety

Festival number three: Summer Breeze: date September 30th.

The theme will be Utgard – The Journey Within, which I infer they will play the new album on its entirety?

All of them will be transmitted on Nuclear Blast Youtube channel and mostly important, free of charge for everyone (to) watch:

http://nblast.de/EnslavedYouTube

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Roderick Totentanz

Is the 15th cumming? Will O’Brien be there?

Cannibal Corpse just announced a new album.

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The veteran band Cannibal Corpse just have apparently announced the new album there is supposed to be released by the end of the year or the beginning of 2021. Apparently because George Corpsegrinder has shared a photo on Instagram in what appears to be what seems to be the band recording.

According to information the following to the album Red Before Black will be produced by Erik Rutan who had produced the band in the past (all albums since Kill, except A Skeletal Domain from 2014). Rutan also took the live role of Pat O’Brien who was imprisoned in 2018 on accounts of assaulting a police officer while his house was on fire. The great question posed is: Will Rutan play the parts of O’Brien in studio or will O’Brien be back?


Roderick Totentanz

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