The State of the Art
Metal of Lifeforce Records
METAL REISSUES GALORE XIV
Cerebral Fix, Tank,
Satan, Silver Mountain, Acid Drinkers & More.
TALES FROM THE CUTOUT BIN
Malevolent Creation, Fatal Embrace & More.
METAL REISSUES GALORE XIII
War Hammer, Blind
Fury, Destroyers, Subhumans & More.
RETRO METAL SQUARE OFF
Havok, White Wizzard,
Cauldron, Lazarus AD & More.
A JOLLY NIGHT WITH NAPALM
Monks, Hatesphere, Fairyland & More.
THE GOOD THE BAD THE
Ethereal Dirge, Old Timer & More.
METAL REISSUES GALORE XII
Brutality, Mortification, Diamond Head & More.
A JOYFUL NIGHT WITH
Dodsferd, I Shalt
Become, Horna, Azaghal, Necronoclast & More.
TALES FROM THE
The Hidden Hand,
Wurdulak, Gobblehoof, Insult II Injury, Master & More.
Mortification, Rigor Mortis, Chronical Diarrhoea & More.
Illapa, Necrosis, Mystifier & More.
RICH HOAK - TFD
Scene: Awesome Bands From
Leviathan, Defecation, Tusk, etc.
Unseen Force, Impulse Mansluaghter, Slaughter, etc.
Arizona: Desert Oasis or
An Ideological Autopsy
The State of the Art Metal of Lifeforce Records
roster of Lifeforce Records perfectly represents state
of the art metal as we know it in 2009. The variety of their bands goes from the
spastic grindcore sounds of Germany's War From a
Harlots Mouth to the flawlessly executed blackened death
metal of Destinity and the chugga friendly sounds of Left to
Vanish. Regardless of each band's metal sound, each Lifeforce
has a modern edge that was unthinkable and unachievable
only ten years ago. Read on and spread the word...
Swedenís Miseration donít exactly play super technical
death metal, but what it certainly is is milimetrical
and really fucking Swedish. Their debut Your Demons,
Their Angels brims with the kind of perfect
aggression and mechanical tone thatís come to represent
modern melodic death metal. On counted occasions,
especially when at high speeds, Your Demons, Their
Angels recalls Meshuggah. Yet Miserationís music is
less stiff and doesnít lack the soul of the heroes of
Umea. Miserationís hyper melodies require a pretty
spirited performance, one where the drums are set to
overdrive, and the guitars run you over with a fast and
blurry fatness that once you dissect it, reveals itself
as pretty basic. I was turned off by the clean vocals,
which usually come in to accentuate the melodies.
Elsewhere, a clear death metal growl reigns the
proceedings. Miseration is the project of Scar
Symmetryís Christian Alvestam and Essence of Sorrowís
Jani Stefanovic. I havenít heard the latterís band, but
my assumption is that this isnít a departure for either.
Solid, mechanical, unoriginal, driven and to a degree,
only need to listen to the dance intro (ďThe Moribund
Choir vs The Trumpets of ArmageddonĒ) that opens
Deadlockís fourth full-length, Manifesto, to get
an idea of whatís to come; overtly dynamic music, super
syrupy and upbeat melodies, generic riffs, female pop
vocals, a friendly growler and impeccable and polished
production. Listening to Manifesto is like
listening to a cheesy melodic pop death metal version of
The Gathering. Plus, a dude that growls quite a bit. I
got nothing against commercial music. I like my share of
it, but Deadlock sound like a band bent on breaking
ground, vying for FM airplay either via their clean
sound or other gimmicks, such as the soporific hip hop
half of ďDeathraceĒ. Metal has rarely sound so
Sometimes when I listen to death metal with cookie
monster vocals I miss clean voiced singers. Other times,
when I listen to death metal with a clean singer I yearn
for some brutality at the mike. Germanyís The Blackout
Argument arenít exactly a metal band, but their melodic
hardcore sound has been done and redone with growls for
vocals and it hasnít really bothered me. Remedies,
the bandís second full-length, features up front the
strained vocal chords of Raphael Schmid whose got one of
those everyday man tones thatís just a bit generic yet
powerful enough to appeal to all fans of this subgenre
and other branches like emo. Yes, emo. Because when
Schmid doesnít go for a rough sound it seems like he is
about to cry. Other, better times he sounds like Only
Living Witnessí Jonah Jenkins. Thatís a good thing. But
Schmidís delivery isnít the strength of The Blackout
Argument, that lies in the music which is melodic, yet
never loses that visceral feeling. These songs are very
well-written, concise, direct and very hook laden.
reviewed War From a Harlots Mouth Transmetropolitan
back when it came out and gave it only two and half
sparrows. I liked the cover artwork though. This time
around is the other way around. I donít like the artwork
but I like the music much better. Their extreme sound
has finally gelled and WFAHM is now an expert math core
grind band. The ten tunes included in this sophomore
album are not only complex but also coherent and,
despite all the meddling, to the point. Starting with
the deranged beat experimentation of ďJustice From the
Lips of the Highest BidderĒ all the way to the merciless
algorithmic castigation that is ďCopyriotĒ with its
silly finger tapping and sick blast beats, In Shoals
shows evolution in strides. The guitars have stopped
simply issuing chugga chugga bullshit riffs. Replacing
that is a new found addiction for hook-less angularity
and targeted brutality which has boasted this bandís
sound well beyond the dull soulless artificiality that
inhabits the sound of laureate peer bands like Oceano.
havenít had the pleasure of listening to any of
Destinityís previous five albums, but assuming that
The Inside represents the culmination of an
evolutionary period Iíd be very curious to find out how
those previous recordings sounded. About 85% of this
album is killer. What doesnít thrill me is the tightness
of their sound and the polish that seems to infect an
album that could have been all killer had it possessed
some dirt. Yeah, get rid of the clean vocals, do without
the occasional orchestration, take away some of the
modernity, maybe slow things down a notch, cut a tune or
two off and The Inside could have rivaled
Tribulationís stellar The Horror. At least as far
as killer guitars are concerned. The riffs here are
first class, the melodies are grand yet they avoid
cheesiness. Even the cookie monster vocals are great.
Itís all a matter of taste, I suppose, but to fans not
repelled by polished metal this should be a priority.
More people ought to start paying attention to the
French scene, thatís for sure.
could do without Hand to Hand. I could really do without
them. I canít deny the appeal some of these melodies
might have on some teenagers, but I pass because I feel
nothing. Iíve heard these songs so many times itís
gotten boring. And thatís considering I didnít like
these songs the first time I heard them played by about
two dozen other bands. I guess this is what they call
emo, or melodic screamo or... I donít know. Yeah, there
are a few nice riffs here and there, but this vocalist,
I guess his name is Robert Kellom, he must be a busy man
because Iíve heard his voice in about a hundred records
this year. They must be cloning this guy and he must be
rolling in green. Sweet, sweet life some of us have.
canít deny the brutality of Philadelphiaís Left to
Vanish. Even if those chugga chugga, and then more
chugga riffs, are like, so two years ago and really
stuff that should only be played by beginners, I canít
deny the fact that Versus the Throne, the bandís
second effort, is brutal and occasionally heavy. That
said, here brutal doesnít equate to anything but a
growling vocalist and the most tedious riffage this side
of the universe. Yeah, every once in a while the band
picks up a rhythm, if only to inform us that yeah, they
can spice it up like Julia Childs, but man, I am more of
a Rachel Ray guy. There is very little to hear here, and
there is nothing to enjoy. I can best summarize Left to
Vanish with one word; boring as fuck. On the upside
these guys have really colorful tattoos.