Decadent Poetry and The Anthropophagist join forces today to take us through a few tracks that the Metal Blade hordes have unleashed over at their website in support of their releases from the tail end of 2012…
Gloria Morti – Decadent Poetry
Gloria Morti‘s industrial tinged blackened death metal paints the perfect picture for a bleak, dystopian soundscape.
The Finnish death metallers are certainly no Johnny-come-latelys: Lateral Constraints, released in the dying days of 2012, would be the groups fourth studio album. Reflecting upon their past efforts, it’s safe to say from their track, “Sleep, Kill, Regress, Follow” that in terms of production and musicality, the elements have finally come together naturally to earn the band its rightful place in the Metal Blade family.
When an extreme metal band start with a melodic and delicate guitar passage it can only mean that either it’s a drastic career turn, or they intend to lull you into a false sense of security before juxtaposing it with an extremely heavy passage so that it hits as hard as possible. It’s most certainly the latter with “Sleep, Kill, Regress, Follow“.
The brief moment of clarity is broken like a combat boot to the teeth, and what follows beyond is a relentless, furious march. Militant drums switch nicely between machine gun blasts and streams of kick work that exist symbiotically with tight guitars laced with dissonant chords. Unimposing keys interplay with the track to give it that final coat of industrial sheen. Despite its apocalyptic intent, the production retains a large helping of organic elements that make the track feel instantly accessible.
With the provocative cover and theatrical cyberpunk look, Gloria Morti seem intent to really drive home the point – although it’s debatable whether that is necessary when the music has already done the job so well. The comparisons to bands like Behemoth are clear, but for fans of Crionics, The Bezerker, and The Amenta there’s a lot here for you to enjoy.
Shai Hulud – The Anthropophagist
Shai Hulud are one of those rarified metallic hardcore bands that have enjoyed longevity and relative success – both with critics and fans. They even embrace the term “metalcore” willingly, whilst distancing themselves from the cannibalistic fray of overproduced carrion-eaters that popular metalcore has become. Their latest offering is a video for the title track from their upcoming full-length Reach Beyond the Sun.
Reach Beyond the Sun marks the return of vocalist Chad Gilbert, who left the band in 1997 to focus on pop punk act New Found Glory. The vocal performance is solid, though perhaps on the monotonous side, which is a common characteristic of the band and the genre at large. Aside from the change behind the microphone, “Reach Beyond the Sun” is trademark Shai Hulud: impassioned hardcore punk, played with a sharp metallic edge. It’s a catchy song, with a fist-raising chorus and some enjoyable licks courtesy of the two Matthews, Fox and Fletcher. Nothing incredibly fresh here, but Shai Hulud gets by just fine doing what they’ve always done best. If you are a fan of their discography, it should be safe to assume that Reach Beyond the Sun will not disappoint.
Zombified – Decadent Poetry
Sweden’s Zombified are another new addition to the Metal Blade roster. At first glance I got quite excited about Zombified; the bridge between crust punk and death metal can really hit the spot sometimes when one needs a rest from a virtuosic bukkake-ing. The whole early nineties gross-out presentation has (for me) great nostalgic value and suits the grindcore facet perfectly.
Like a ripe cadaver, “Carnage, Slaughter and Death” has been exhumed from their second studio album titled with the same name. The track itself is a mid-tempo bludgeoner, similar to most crust – a standard albeit catchy melody is recurrent throughout. It isn’t exactly a fireworks display of musical dynamics, but it serves its purpose as a satisfying slab of dark and fun degradation.
My only scruple is that with the pace of the track, the death metal characteristics of the drumming utilised are left feeling somewhat slack. This is a shame as there is ultimately some interesting work occurring beneath the surface; betrayed by the middling speed of the song it’s present in. It never really lets the drummer off the leash, which as a drummer myself, is a little heartbreaking.
However, it’s not all sadness in the Zombified camp as the vocal work demanded my attention. Roberth Karlsson (of Tormented, Facebreaker and Scar Symmetry fame), while also performing bass duties, delivers a satisfying throat-full-of-gravel vocal style that suits the groups’ sound well.
Listeners with a penchant for Vomitory, Fukpig and fellow Swedes Bloodbath, can do no wrong giving Zombified a listen.