Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Perfect Pyrogenic Pack of PULVERISED Products, Vol. III

Y’know, I sure hope that the U.S. Federal Government gives our postman, Sal, hazard pay. There’s no question whatsoever that he qualifies for it. I walked up the steps to the Ripple offices the other day just as Sal was walking out with his hand submerged in a plastic bag of ice. I knew before he told me that Pulverised Records had just sent another installment of brutal and bristling heavy metal for me to kick back and torment Racer with. I’m sure Racer will forgive me, I’m just not so certain about Sal.

Séance – Awakening of the Gods

After releasing a couple of albums in the early to mid-90’s, Séance splintered as band members took advantage of gigs in up and coming Swedish death metal acts such Arch Enemy, Opeth, and The Haunted. All of this coming and going left the band unfocused and ultimately going on hiatus until 2008 when the band got back together and hashed out eleven scorching tracks of metal in its deathliest fashion. Awakening of the Gods isn’t an album that’s really blazing a new trail across metaldom, but it offers up some fine and high quality DM enjoyment. Crisp production helps make the songs sound tight through the thrashy time changes and phlegm eradicating vocals and the top notch musicianship adds a sense of professionalism to the whole package.

The opening track, “Wasted” blazes away in classic death metal fashion, but what I found most enjoyable was the breakdown in the middle of the tune where we get to hear the guitarists break away from the standard chugga-chugga riffs. The guitars drop into some clean tones before a wah soaked solo grabs the listener’s attention. But before you get lost in the flurry of notes being squealed out of the six string, listen to the rhythm guitars in the background as they lay down a subtle foundation of sustained chords. That, my friends, is the quality that I love! Nothing technically astounding, but a nice, simple change of pace that creates a fantastic element of tension.

“Flight of the Wicked” is an amped up variation on the classic “Flight of the Bumblebee”, but rather than feeling like a bumblebee was fluttering around my head, I felt more like I was being besieged by a hoard of flying monkeys with the intent of returning me to the Wicked Witches lair. And, just as the last note of the instrumental chaos dies down, the band kicks in with the follow up deathly thrash master, “Murder.” It’s a tune filled with some great breaks and wall to wall tension just bubbling with hatred. It’s also another tune where you’ll want to pay close attention to the guitar solos. The first portion bursts from the speakers like the boogie man from behind the closet door, while the second portion is a bit more technically savvy. Other tracks to pay special attention to are “Invocation,” “Revel in Death” and “Burn Me.”

buy here: Awakening Of The Gods

Tribulation – The Horror

Again, a metal band out of Sweden . . . you know, let’s just assume that anytime I write about a metal band that they’re out of Sweden. I’ll let you know if they’re from another country if necessary. So . . . right, Tribulation are a metal band that has that death metal thing going on, but what I found most compelling was the washes of black metal ambiance that they rinsed their brand of DM with. Pretty cool stuff, if you ask me. Initially, I heard a sheer wall of destruction and doom madness crashing all around me. But, on subsequent listens I began to hear the little nuances that Tribulation brought to the table. I began to hear the dismal tones of disparity akin to early Celtic Frost, a little bit of the clockwise mosh pit twisting groove of mid era Testament, and an eerie nod to the godfathers of the death metal movement, Possessed.

The sixteen second opening ambient instrumental melds in seamless fashion into the thrashing madness of “Crypt of Thanatophilia.” As attention getting songs go, this one does the job perfectly. Heavy groovin’ thrash riffs that work overtime to keep up with the up tempo barrage of drum work. The vocals sound as if they’re being belched out by a soulless demon straining against the captive clutches of the Dark One himself. Awe inspiring double bass work mixed with the rumble and tumble of the guitars create a mover of a tune, with the vocalized grunts and groans placed at the perfect times for greatest impact. Again, Tribulation isn’t breaking any new ground, but fuck! They attack their craft like a band that’s been around from the dawn of time.

“Beyond the Horror” is another well done death / black metal masterpiece. On top of the song being a masterful example of how tight and technically proficient extreme music can be, the band adds a little flavor that I generally hear in the more laid back genres such as stoner metal or jazz. Predominantly, what I heard was the drummers attack on the ride cymbal. Rather than hammering away at the body of the ride and letting the sound shimmer along with the beat, he takes careful aim and pummels the hell out of the bell of the cymbal, creating this chiming effect that I can’t help but be drawn to. The outro of the song is great as well, as the band kill the distortion and ride the tune out with clean tones before launching in to the next song, “The Vampyre.” All said, this is a beast of a metal album. Listen out for “The Vampyre,” “Curse of Resurrection,” and the retch evoking “Seduced by the Smell of Rotten Flesh.”

Buy here:

Deceiver – Thrashing Heavy Metal

From what I’ve uncovered in my quest to find out more about these guys, it would appear that Deceiver had been broken and re-united for the sole purpose of writing and recording Thrashing Heavy Metal. And it’s definitely a thrashing album . . . and a heavy one . . . and it’s metal. The title pretty much says it all. Comprised of ten tunes that are all feature gritty, mid paced riff-erific tunes, this album has an overall feel of the early days of the thrash movement mixed with some moments of NWOBHM. Vocally, I can’t help but be reminded of some demonic hybrid of Tom G. Warrior, Mille from Kreator, and Lemmy.

To get a greater understanding of the mixtures of influences on this one, take a gander at “Graveyard Lover.” Opening with the strained tones of distorted guitars and a bubbling bass line, bursting into full gallop a few seconds later, and littering the riff with quasi-Maiden sounding runs, this tune is a complete amalgam of different sounds colliding at hyper speed. At times, the music has a near power metal feel until the vocals pierce the elegance of the music and hurl the whole thing into a swirling mass of fury. Other songs to keep an ear out for are the heavy riffing ”Coma of Death Toxication,” the galloping and grinding “Blood of the Soul,” and the speed feast of “Dead to the World.” - Pope JTE

buy here: Thrashing Heavy Metal


Metal Mark said...

I liked all of these well enough. Nothing great or new, but all were good. You probably got the latest from them week as well. More death metal stuff this time around.

The RIpple Effect said...

MM - I agree that none of the bands brought anything all that new or original to the table, but I thought that what they did, they did extremely well. In cases like this, I try to imagine what kind of emotion I would have had back in the 80's if this music had come out along with say . . . Celtic Frost's To Megatherion or Possessed's Seven Churches. In all, I just try to write what I feel about the music.

I'm looking forward to the next batch from Pulverised, I'm just not sure Sal can take too much more punishment.


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