Blood Harvest Records


Death metal is at its strongest nowadays and besides Dark Descent in the US, I can’t think of any other label that has fought for its cause as much as Sweden’s Blood Harvest. The label has been at it since around 2006 but it is during the past couple of years that their slew of vinyl releases has captured the imagination and the right ears. Below, we give you a brief insight into what the label has in store for 2013. And oh yeah, they have released the long sold out Cadaveric Fumes demo on vinyl, a fucking must for all death metal lovers. Read on and spread the word….


blood2Here is what I know; Verminous hail from Sweden and here is what I don’t know; where was I when their 2003 debut Impious Sacrilege debut was released. Get to it boy, pronto!. Shit, as I see it may be a bit difficult and pricey to get a hold of it now. Anyway, Swedes are getting busy, as after a ten year absence this quartet has not one but to releases in the year.  Their full-length The Unholy Communion was just released by Spain’s Xtreem Music label and this seven inch titled The Curse of the Antichrist comes right behind it. It’s a bit goofy once you hear it, though Nuclear Assault fans won’t agree. Anyway, things come to an auspicious start with the title track and its initial sci-fi vibes. Not otherworldly just odd 50’s shit turns into a speedy and rather blistering track. Speed is of the essence here but so is a fluent sense of melody. Catchy death metal that may turn off a couple of people. The other two tracks are covers, “Hang the Pope” by Nuclear Assault and “Revel in Flesh” by Nihilist. The first one is just goofy but entertaining with a grind feel to it and over the top vocals and the second one shows how easy killer death metal can be stripped off its grime. Can we say mixed results?  Score: 3 / 5  Offical Facebook


blood3This is what I know about Istengoat; they hail from Chile which means that in part they are getting attention because of the fine brews that are emerging from that part of the world. Santiago is nowadays one of the hotbeds of quality death metal in the world, plain and that simple. Don’t get me wrong though, if this quartet is getting the Blood Harvest treatment is for one reason only and not just procedence; they can play and they can craft killer death metal. Istengoat doesn’t have that putrid sound that is so in vogue these days, instead they are rather technical, in a hurry and sound like Morbid Angel should were they not into techno these days. The vocal approach is much cavernous though and WLTS has a more humid and diabolical delivery. What that also implies is that the music is well-thought out and constantly shifts into new creepy shapes. Killer.  Score: 4 / 5  Official Site


blood4Euphoric Existence is the first seven inch of Chile’s Horrifying and it follows a 2012 demo that in little more than eight minutes showed how death metal can be done the old school way without evoking images of ponytail people in dank offices making copies in a Xerox machine. First things first; as I listen to the title track the disgusting vocals of Johan M remind me in parts of Chuck Shuldiner’s approach. Then, I think of early death metal and how primitive of a genre it was prior to the European scene exploding. That’s what these guys capture perfectly to me; an archaic sound that within its morbid tonalities perfectly captures the ambience of the times. The riffs are there, they definitely are, you just have to pay close attention.  Hails Chile and hails to South American metal done the North American way.  Score: 4 / 5  Official Bandcamp


blood5I have known Australia’s Altars for a long time. In fact, their 2008 demo was reviewed in these virtual pages way back then and received quite the praise. That’s why I was a suprised when the band sort of vanished for a few years only to emerge a few months ago via a couple of split tapes with Heaving Earth. So Paramnesia is long overdue in our ears and it sounds, dare we say, rather Australian. Think not bestial not sex-crazed but of a less convoluted Portal, perhaps? Still Australian and quite crafty in the guitar department where textures and moods are explored with foam in the mouth and tempos which are shattered in maniac constance provide that jagged dissonance. There are parts that will make you think of Morbid Angel, shit, “Terse” is Floridian on that Vicent-Azagthoth way we have come to miss so much and the vocals of Cale Schmidt are a David Vincent dead ringer. That may work to detriment of the band as it takes of the overall identity of the band. Still, these songs are undeniable.    Score: 3.5 / 5  Official Facebook


blood6Maybe Vasteras’ Bombs of Hades will conquer all the death metal hordes by their simple work ethic. These guys have surely kept busy with a string of splits between 2011 and 2013 and the trend doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. Amongst all the recordings we now have their longest offering since 2010, The Serpent’s Redemption is their second full-length and is as straight forward as it gets. And by that we mean, Bombs of Hades clubber a tempo to death and that’s the famous D beat which they abuse to increased effect in the beginning and to death towards the end when you notice that death metal has rarely been in such fit shape.  In some respects Bombs of Hades remind me of the late 90’s, when quality death metal was in the low, these guys can play, they just come off as lightweight and void of mood and disgust. Sure, that’s not their intention but that’s where death metal shines the most.  Score: 3 / 5  Official Facebook


blood7Have we mentioned the fact that the Chilean scene is brewing and that some of the most impressive sounds in the underground are coming from there? Maybe not enough, so here is Praise the Flame, another band from Santiago that’s out to teach other nations how it’s done. Profane Cult is a four song and one intro Ep that will take you right back to the death thrash sounds of the early 90’s. For some reason as I listen to Praise the Flame I think of bands like Massacra and Thanatos; uber fast riffing, impressive drumming and throaty vocals for lack of a better term. And then I also think of Angelcorpse. Matter of taste I guess, as I dig thicker sounds and to me some of the juice gets lost in the hyperventilating performances. Still, an impressive showing and clear showing that in Chile quality death metal is manufactured in all its flavors.  Score: 3.5 / 5  Official Bandcamp