Written by Kyle Messick
Here’s what I’ve been jamming this week, descriptions below!
Open Casket – Annihilation Summoning (2022). This is the debut album from Mexico’s Open Casket. It’s a great, groovy death metal album with howled gutturals and great drumming. It probably won’t top any aoty lists, but it is a solid effort that I’ve enjoyed listening to again and again. It’s a band I look forward to hearing more from.
Regicide / Operating Table (手术台) / Demisor – Split Your Face (2003). This is a great split featuring bands from China and Singapore. The Regicide side is some fun slamming brutal death with some varied vocals that are borderline predator vocals in parts. The Demisor side is grind, and although it’s competent enough, if feels a little weird on a split with two brutal death metal bands. I initially bought this for the Operating Table side from China, which is brutal death metal with a ridiculously addictive guitar tone and some Corpsegrinder-esque screams alongside gutturals. It has such an absurd, thick tone that I feel like I could joyfully listen to anything the band would come up with.
Anal Pus – Insurmountable Exhaustion of Disentombed… (1995). Anal Pus were a Russian death metal band active in the early 90s that released a couple of EPs and then this full length before splitting. It is dark sounding, somewhat technical death metal with some great leadwork and subtle keyboards that add an epic atmosphere. The lyrics here are largely about criticizing the Christian faith, but without going too far into overly stereotypical satanic territory. The vocals are used somewhat sparingly on here, but when they are in there, they’re a Demilich-esque guttural.
Amputator – Torment of Sacrifice (1996). This demo was the only release that Russia’s Amputator put out. It is an absurdly filthy sounding demo. You practically need a shower after listening to it. It’s aggressive death metal with lead breaks, solos, competent drumming, and Rottrevore-esque gutturals. If you’re a sucker for grimy death metal demos, then add this to your list.
Undeath – It’s Time… To Rise from the Grave (2022). Undeath have been a quickly growing death metal band from New York, and with good reason. Their newest album is their most accomplished work yet, with a mix that is a lot thicker than their debut and a terrific drum performance by Matt Browning that makes each riff as impactful as possible. It’s certainly one of the best death metal albums so far this year.
Prejudice – Broken Promises (1998) / Reality (2001). Prejudice are listed as a ‘progressive brutal death metal’ band on metallum. That combination of ‘progressive’ and ‘brutal’ is certainly an uncommon one, but that’s a bit what is going on here. It isn’t just technical wizardry on downtuned guitars, there are strange compositions and riffs here that remind of bands like Wicked Innocence if they were more heavily influenced by techy, jazzy death metal bands. This band from Belgium still sound so original, with some clear evolution between the albums. Prejudice sounds like a more brutal Quo Vadis (Canada) to my ears.
Death Vomit – Eternally Deprecated (1999). This is a sick brutal death metal band from Indonesia that formed in 1995. This debut EP is crushing, raw stuff with plenty of tempo changes and alternations between fast, more technical riffs and crushing riffs. Fans of early Suffocation and Inveracity should find plenty to enjoy here.
Human Mastication – 13 Years of Masticating (2004-2013). This discography compilations spans plenty of fun, crushing brutal death metal from the Philippines. If you can get down with some slam, then there’s plenty of danceable, fun breakdowns on this that will help get you moving. The quality of the releases on this massive set varies somewhat, certainly in production quality, but there’s plenty of material well worth repeated spins here.
Tortharry – When the Memories are Free (1994). This was the debut full length by this Czech band that originally formed under another moniker in 1984, and have since released ten albums under the Tortharry name. Their 1994 album is death metal album that sounds distinguishably 90s in its sound and vocal approach, but it also feels a bit fresh in its fast, melodic sections and slower, almost doomy sections.
Arsebreed – Munching the Rotten (2005) / Butoh (2020). I’m honestly late to the boat with Arsebreed. Due to their moniker, I had assumed some pornogrind nonsense, but they’re actually an incredibly talented technical brutal death metal band. The musicianship on both albums is nuts, and the compositions seem to have so much thought put into them. It also isn’t too surprising that this band is as talented as they are, since the members also played in all-time greats like Pyaemia, Disavowed, and Necrophagist, among others.
Infestation – The Mystic Sorrow (1994). The third demo by Mexico’s Infestation is a genuinely crushing, raw death metal recording. Listening to it is like experiencing a live band at the top of their game. It is full of energy, and the guitar tone is ridiculous. It feels like the speakers will fail under the immensity of the guitar tone and bass drum at any moment, but in reality, it is only the listener that is being smashed into oblivion.
Desecration – Gore & Perversion (1995) / Mangled Remains (1993). Desecration are a death metal band from the United Kingdom that formed in 1993 and are still active today. This is crushing brutal death with some massive grooves, vocals that remind of early Chris Barnes, and plenty of blast beats. If you like the idea of early Cannibal Corpse having a slightly more New York sound, then check this out. The lineup here also played in Extreme Noise Terror, Amputated, and the UK Embalmer.
Pharmacist – Flourishing Extremities on Unspoiled Mental Grounds (2022). Japan’s Pharmacist continue to put out better Carcass albums than Carcass, but what makes this album especially stand out is the guest leadwork by Andrew Lee from Ripped to Shreds. Andrew sprinkled neoclassical solos throughout the album, which makes the album more dynamic than previous Pharmacist releases. At times the shred might be a little jarring in this context, but I always enjoy solos in death metal, and I like that it helps diversify this album from other Carcass-worship albums out there.