Monday, August 17, 2009

Lurker of Chalice - Lurker of Chalice (2005)

Full-length, Total Holocaust Records
June 27th, 2005

Track List:

1. I 02:09
2. Piercing Where They Might 06:12
3. Spectre As Valkerie Is 06:43
4. Minions 09:32
5. Paramnesia 04:08
6. This Blood Falls As Mortal Part III 10:36
7. Granite 05:27
8. Vortex Chalice 06:34
9. Fastened To The Five Points 08:32

Total playing time 59:53

Eliminate society. Eliminate all your ideas, your dreams, your hope and replace them with what you fear the most. Replace light with darkness. Destroy humanity. Destroy all emotions. Destroy all beliefs. Replace rational thoughts and logic with insanity.

These are the range of emotions you experience on listening to ‘Lurker of Chalice’s’ self-titled debut. Lurker of Chalice is a side project of Wrest, the mastermind of ‘Leviathan’. And to be honest, the general soundscape of this release and the emotions explored bear a resemblance to leviathan’s ‘the tenth sub-level of suicide’. However, the sheer emotional outpouring in this album is overwhelming and proves to be more effective than leviathan’s works.

The main accomplishment of this album is that the moods depicted by wrest are genuine. From the first moment onwards, you enter a tortured mind. Wrest takes you through a journey filled with darkness and despair. You seem to drift aimlessly, lifelessly in a parallel grey world. A world in which all senses fade away, only leaving behind fear and cold depression. The atmosphere suffocates you after a point of time and you are left grasping for breath to convince yourself that you are still alive.

Now, onto the music. Most of the instrumentation is downbeat as compared to ‘leviathan’. The drums are nothing special. Nothing flashy. Their main purpose is to move the song along a definitive direction. The vocals are nothing more than spoken-words through some distortion effects and a lot of reverb. The vocals are amazing. If in the right state of mind, the listener will definitely lose himself in the folds of this music. The guitars are fantastic. They sound as if they are far away, and add some incredibly haunting ambience to the music. The riffs consist of blackened tremolo riffs and doomish passages as well. The guitar is mainly distorted although, there is some strumming and clean guitars thrown in as well. The bass seems to be heavily influenced by doom metal and play a big role in this album. They are slow and seem to ebb away at the listener while leading the music. The atmosphere is stunning and suffocating. And nothing I have heard can top the atmosphere that wrest produces in this album.

This is a fantastic release. It is something that has to be experienced. It is a journey through emptiness. A journey through desolation. A journey through the mind of a tortured individual who wishes nothing better than death.

This is one of the most original and captivating music I have heard for a long time. Listen to it and ‘enjoy’.

RATING – 10/10

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Morpheus Descends - Chronicles of the Shadowed Ones (

Full Length, 1994

Line up:

Vocals- Jeff Reimer
Bass- Andy Newton
Guitar- Bryan Johnston
Drums- Sam Inzerra
Guitar- Rob Yench

Track Listing:

1. The Cruciform Hills 06:17
2. Cairn of Dumitru 06:49
3. Autumn Bleed 04:56
4. Signs of Gehenna 05:02
5. Moupho Alde Ferenc Yaborov (In the Land of the Vampire Ferenczy) 09:00

Total Playing Time: 32:04

''Chronicles of The Shadowed Ones'' is the second release by NYDM stalwarts Morpheus Descends and In fact their best. The band flourished in the early 90's when the New York underground scene was gaining world wide recognition with bands like Incantation, Suffocation, Immolation and Mortician creating a benchmark for other bands all over the globe. But sadly, not many people credit Morpheus Descends' role in this process. They were highly significant in defining the whole NYDM sound and this album is a sheer exemplification of their musical prowess.

This album clocks at around 32 minutes and leaves a profound Impression of Impending doom and catastrophe on the listener. It contains a sinister atmosphere with heavy death/doom parts and brilliant riffing which reminds me of Incantation's Onward To Golgotha a lot. The guitars have played a pivotal role in defining the pessimistic and dark sound of this masterpiece. The dual guitar attack of Rob Yench and Bryan Johnston has been phenomenal throughout this testimony of diabolical art. There aren't any solos or guitar wankery here but a stellar, to the point performance. The pummeling riffs leave no stone unturned in tormenting the ears of the listener.

Jeff Riemer(R.I.P)'s vocal work is amongst the best in the whole death metal history which remind me of Craig Pillard'. His undecipherable gutturals were like Cobras spewing venom upon their preys. Tracks like ''The Cruciform Hills'' and ''Cairn of Dumitru'' have stellar vocal performances which perfectly compliment the sinister guitar work and percussion. He has created an evil web of Blasphemy through his Guttural narratives which haunt the listeners throughout the album. Like the lyrics of the title track says ''In the cruciform hills
Something evil lies, undead ''.

The next big highlight of this gem is the precise drumming. It contains an excellent double bass and pedal work with frenetic blasts at times. The snares create an explosive sound which is perfectly in sync with the riffage. Its an amazing fact to see such a good sounding drum mix on an Independent release that too 15 years ago! Sam Inzerra may not have achieved anything path breaking but he was Instrumental In making this album a gem through his percussive skills.

Overall, This album is a timeless classic which stays pristine even after 100 listens and it's fiendish, majestic feel never ceases to erode. I highly recommend Morpheus Descends to all the old school death metal aficionados and i guarantee that this album would become the soundtrack to your horrific nightmares.

Enjoy the brutality!

Final Verdict:

Worship - Last CD Before Doomsday (1999)

Demo, Impaler of Trendies

Track List :

1.Whispering Gloom 11:53
2.Solicide and the Dawning of the Moonkult 10:59
3.Eclipse of Sorrow 08:18
4.Worship 15:23
5. Keep On Selling Cocaine to Angels 08:32

Total Playing Time - 53:55 minutes

Imagine the most painful moment in your life. Imagine pain. Imagine anguish. Imagine despair. Imagine this painful existence slowly coming to an end. This is what it feels like on listening to this masterpiece, which quite brilliantly portrays the raw emotions to those who know what it is to be depressed.

‘The last CD/Tape/Vinyl before doomsday’ is probably the finest funeral doom release ever. I would go as far as to call it the soundtrack to suicide. This is one of the albums that you have to sit down and listen to, in order to understand the music. The music is slow, as expected with funeral doom, and extremely heavy.

What immediately captured my attention were the vocals. Its almost as if Max knew this was the end and put in all that he had in this album. His vocals are sick and twisted. He doesn’t just do deep guttural vocals, but effectively uses some shrieks and some whispers. Max knows exactly what he is doing and what is needed to create such dismal music.

The guitars are brilliant and possibly are The Doommonger’s best work yet. They are distorted and heavy as fuck. Not all of the guitar work is distorted though. There are some clean guitar passages that maximize the oppressive atmosphere of these songs. The solo at the end of ‘whispering gloom’ gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it and sends me to a totally different state of mind. The riffs are excellent. Extremely slow, but crushing and suffocating. It sweeps over the listener like a tidal wave.

The drums are typical of funeral doom. They are played very slowly and are non-existent in parts. It would not matter even if the drums weren’t present in this release. Nothing special, but done well.

Overall, I consider this to be the benchmark against which I judge other funeral doom releases. After a while of listening, you find yourself staring at an endless void. You find yourself surrendering yourself to this void. You witness nothingness. You feel empty, hollow and devoid of all happiness. You almost feel dead. All hope abandoned; your spirit broken. But in spite of all this, you find yourself coming back to this again and again.

This is Funeral Doom. This is what it was meant to be. Absolute perfection

R.I.P max


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Insidious Decrepancy - Extirpating Omniscient Certitude (2009)

Full Length, Brutal Bands

July 31st, 2009

Track List:

1.Contemptuous Inception04:43
3.Slighting Salvation03:22
4.Once Revered03:47
5.Extirpating Omniscient Certitude03:36
6.Perpetual Equanimity04:09
7.Adorned In Agony03:32
8.Derided Reticence03:30

Total Playing Time - 29:37 Minutes

The one man ear gutting machine from Texas; Insidious Decrepancy has struck once again after a 4 year long hiatus with his latest offering called ‘’Extirpating Omniscient Certitude’’. Shawn Whitaker once again proves that he is the master of his style of Metal which is heavy, uncompromising and ugly. It always surprises me that how is he able to manage all the departments all by himself with such ease and precision. This compulsive ability makes him one of the most revered guys in today’s Brutal Death Metal scene. He has never failed to astonish the masses with his gruesome acts of butchery since his colossal outburst in the 90’s. The first profane progeny of this bespectacled genius was Viral Load which set foot on Texas’ soil way back in ’96.

But his quench for brutality didn’t cease with Viral Load as he decided to make another band to bludgeon the masses with his tools of the trade. That lead to the emergence of the mighty Insidious Decrepancy. He became a household name in the Brutal Death Metal legion soon after his eponymous debut named ‘’Decadent Orgy of Atrocious Suffering’’ which unleashed a highly exasperated incursion unto the minds of the listeners.

The follow up to that cult classic called ‘’The Inerrancy of Profanation’’ took 3 years to disgorge its wrath unto the imprudent apostles but it satisfied the quench of his fans who were desperate for yet another gore dripping holocaust. I can never stop lauding the illustriousness of these two classics and it made me yearn for more.

And after a prolonged wait, he is back on the track once again with his third magnum opus to pillage the scene kids with his torturous cacophonies. The album clocks around 30 minutes consisting of 8 vehement tracks which rupture one’s cerebral vessels and torments the auditory senses. It’s what I define as ‘In your face brutality’ which comes punching straight onto your eardrums and they begin to plead mercy from the unholy desecrator. The first track Contemptuous Inception gives a perfect idea of how the rest of the album is going to treat you. An absolute monstrous riff marks the opening of the song and hell breaks loose. His signature riffs are worth worshiping and that’s what maintains the high amount of originality exuded by the master of Texas Death Metal. The lead sections are terrific as usual but he is hasn’t employed them in full glory in his latest offering though. The title song ‘Extirpating Omniscient Certitude’ begins with a melodic lead and soon fades into his enormous gutturals just like the calm before a storm. He possesses a bewitching ability to change from leads to the rhythm sections which is awe-inspiring! His mighty Jackson axe almost resembles a medieval spear craving to taste the blood of ludicrous mortals.

Another great highlight on this album is the flawless drumming. It’s highly noteworthy to see that how someone can manage such intricate drum patterns through programming. I am not a huge fan of programmed drums but this dude totally makes an exception. Anyone checking out Insidious for the first time through the new album wouldn’t be even able to make out that it’s not a human drummer doing those machine gun blasts! A lot of people say that he should better employ a ‘real’ drummer made of flesh and blood to make his music more spot on but I don’t agree with that opinion. He is always able to do it better all by himself rather than being dependent on other musicians.

The insalubrious cover art by Par Olofsson also stands out and works out perfectly to showcase the pernicious attitude of this album. It depicts an angel whose wings have been amputated and she begs mercy from the iniquitous ghouls of hell to spare her seraphic soul from eternal damnation. It perfectly justifies the antichristian lyrical theme of Shawn’s music.

Another big reason of my immense admiration for this guy is his exquisite vocal delivery.

His style of singing (actually growling) is one of the most unique I ever heard. The amount of barbarity exuded by his gutturals is undeniably prodigious.

What is really special is the way how he abruptly transforms to malignant shrieks from his trademark gutturals and he has lived up to my expectation in this record too.

Songs like ‘Once Revered’, ‘Tribulation’ and ‘Adorned in Agony’ are great examples of his proficiency. The production on this album has also improved from his earlier efforts which make it sound even more colossal! Every instrument is clearly audible and distinguishable in the mix. Although some guys would complain about the absence of that sick ‘raw’ sound of the earlier releases but it hardly makes any difference for me until and unless the music is nicely executed. And Shawn hardly disappoints in that case.

His perfectionist attitude makes him a legend in today’s Brutal Death Metal scene.

I can easily say that this is his best performance since his path breaking debut album which caused a severe annihilation almost 7 years ago. There is not even a single moment of monotony where you would feel like switching over to some other record. That’s the hypnotic effect which Shawn possesses. His fiercely captivating and putrid hymns keep the listeners to the edge of their seats from the very beginning of an album and till its monstrous end.

Overall, this is a highly malicious dosage of evil Death Metal which is certainly going to create waves in the coming days and going to cement a rock solid position in the list of the most classic Brutal Death Metal albums ever created.

I wish him all the best with this release and also for the future and hope that he keeps on exterminating the masses with his slab of Texas Brutal Death Metal.

Final Verdict: