Band/Album – Ilemauzar/The Ascension

Country of Origin – Singapore

Genre – Black/Death Metal

Label/Release Date – Sepsis Records/September 1, 2016

I think the Asian scene is severely overlooked here in the Western world.  Ilemauzar gives us excellent reason to change that.  Filthy, dark, and just the right amount of raw, this band from Singapore expertly blends black and death metal over a thrash template.

Rating:  4/5

Band/Album – Insomnium/Winter’s Gate

Country of Origin – Finland

Genre – Melodic Death Metal

Label/Release Date – Century Media/September 23, 2016

One of the old school masters of the melo-death scene, Insomnium give us a single 40 minute slab of dark soaring majesty.  That is a long time to make one track stay interesting, but the band mostly succeeds on their 7th full length.

Rating:  3/5

Band/Album – Enslaved/Vikingligr Veldi Vinyl Remaster

Country of Origin – Norway

Genre – Extreme Metal

Label/Release Date – Norse Music/September 23, 2016

I love this band and this album a lot.  The first full length album by one of the original Scandinavian black metal bands (originally released in 1994) stands as one of the all time must-have albums of the genre.

Rating:  4.5/5

Band/Album – Doomed/Anna

Country of Origin – Germany

Genre – Death-Doom

Label/Release Date – Solitude Productions/September 26, 2016

Death-Doom that moves at a purposefully plodding pace giving a sense of relentlessness, not boredom.  Anna is full of dark, painful emotion, red hot and vicious, like the spurned lover who has moved straight past grief right into murderous intent.

Rating:  4/5

Band/Album – Deathcult/Beasts of Faith

Country of Origin – Switzerland

Genre – Death Metal

Label/Release Date – Invictus Productions/September 26, 2016

Vocals are a little thin for my tastes.  Otherwise, Deathcult brings a solidly raw and ominous death performance.  There is a lot to like about the composition and dangerous riffs.

Rating:  3/5

Band/Album – Oathbreaker/Rheia

Country of Origin – Belgium

Genre – Post-Black Metal

Label/Release Date – Deathwish Inc./September 30, 2016

This album starts off so strong that I thought the buzz surrounding it was completely justified.  Second Son of R. is an incredibly intense and well-wrought track, as are most of those on the first half.  Unfortunately, the second half of the album loses me.  It feels pointless and meandering.  The tension is gone.  There is enough there that I’m excited for whatever is next.

Rating:  3.5/5

Band/Album – Nordwitch/Mork Profeti

Country of Origin – Ukraine

Genre – Black/Death Metal

Label/Release Date – Satanath Records/September 30, 2016

Underground death metal with limited black metal influence.  Nordwitch retains its dangerous edge even during guitar solos.  Mork Profeti is an interesting mix.

Rating:  3.5/5

Band/Album – Halshug/Sort Sind

Country of Origin – Denmark

Genre – Hardcore Punk

Label/Release Date – Southern Lord/September 30, 2016

Halshug plays vicious hardcore punk that comes across as dark and menacing.  Quite enjoyable and never gets boring.

Rating:  3.5/5

Band/Album – Edensong/Years in the Garden of Years

Country of Origin – USA

Genre – Progressive Rock

Label/Release Date – Laser’s Edge/September 30, 2016

Well composed and well played, Edensong plays a brand of progressive rock that would be at home in the heyday of Haight-Ashbury.

Rating:  3.5/5

Band/Album – Death is Liberty/A Statement Darkness

Country of Origin – Finland

Genre – Progressive Rock

Label/Release Date – Concorde Music/September 30, 2016

Death is Liberty sounds like a nasally, poor man’s Tool.  Not bad, but…

Rating:  2.5/5

Band/Album – Asphyx/Incoming Death

Country of Origin – The Netherlands

Genre – Death Metal

Label/Release Date – Century Media/September 30, 2016

I meant to get to a full review of this one, but it just never happened.  In their 9th full length, these nearly 30 year veterans provide another solid example of why they have staying power.

Rating:  3.5/5

Band/Album – Gatecreeper/Sonoran Deprivation

Country of Origin – USA

Genre – Death Metal

Label/Release Date – Relapse Records/October 7, 2016

I don’t think you can call Gatecreeper metalcore, but you can see it from there.  Brutal and bludgeoning, without getting to the point of boredom, Sonoran Deprivation bashes its way into your skull with full impact earworms.

Rating:  3/5

Band/Album – Cruz/Culto Abismal

Country of Origin – Spain

Genre – Death/Thrash Metal

Label/Release Date – Sentient Ruin/October 7, 2016

Culto Abismal is a soundtrack for goofy murderous intent.  The members of the band Cruz are probably fun to drink beer and then go serial killing with.  And those riffs!

Rating:  3.5/5

Band/Album – Die Choking/III

Country of Origin – USA

Genre – Grindcore

Label/Release Date – The Compund Recs/October 8, 2016

I love grindcore when it is done well and this absolutely fits the bill.  Grindcore shouldn’t be just about speed (though this is FAST!). For me, grind also has to be dynamic and emotional.  Die Choking has provided another must-have of grind!

Rating:  4.5/5

Band/Album – VVORSE/Näkyjä Helvetistä

Country of Origin – Finland

Genre – Crust

Label/Release Date – Inverse Records/October 11, 2016

Midpaced crust that delves into slower ground from time to time.  Solid, but it didn’t really grab my attention.

Rating:  3/5

Band/Album – Throneum/Morbid Death Tales

Country of Origin – Poland

Genre – Black/Death Metal

Label/Release Date – Hells Headbangers/October 14, 2016

Throneum infects your brain pan like a virus with a lo-fi blend of death and black metal.  They heavier on the death side of the equation.  Morbid Death Tales is compelling in its raw sewage destruction.

Rating:  3.5/5

Band/Album – Super Unison/Auto

Country of Origin – USA

Genre – Punk

Label/Release Date – Deathwish Inc./October 14, 2016

Angry female-fronted punk rock? Yes, please!  Give me all this to listen to.

Rating:  3.5/5

Band/Album – Red Fang/Only Ghosts

Country of Origin – USA

Genre – Stoner Metal

Label/Release Date – Relapse Records/October 14, 2016

Red Fang has always struck me as “tough guy metal” (not meant as a compliment), but they have also always done it so well.  Only Ghosts is another solid offering.

Rating:  3/5

Band/Album – Our Place of Worship is Silence/The Embodiment of Hate Country of Origin – USA Genre – Death Metal Label/Release Date – Broken Limbs/October 14, 2016

Crawling forth from the depths of despair, the many limber creature that is OPOWIS has been awakened.  Unsuspecting listeners must feel the wrath of this death beast which inches inevitably closer to war metal with each vicious riff.

Rating:  3.5/5

Band/Album – Captain Crimson/Remind

Country of Origin – Sweden

Genre – Hard Rock

Label/Release Date – Small Stone/October 14, 2016

Rock and roll, man!  Captain Crimson channels the fuzzed out, bluesy ghosts of the old kings and queens of rock from the 70’s.

Rating:  3.5/5

Band/Album – Ars Moriendi/Sepelitur Alleluia

Country of Origin – France

Genre – Atmospheric Black Metal

Label/Release Date – Archaic Sound/October 15, 2016

Black metal from France with an atmosphere more ominous than frightening.  The composition is solid, but the emotion is somewhat lacking.

Rating:  3/5

Band/Album – Versifist/Cipher

Country of Origin – Canada

Genre – Black/Death Metal

Label/Release Date – Vault of Dried Bones/October 21, 2016

Raw and grimy, this brief 7″ from the Canadian trio Versifist brings the hatred.  A worthwhile listen.

Rating:  3/5

Band/Album – Thought Eater/Iron Jawed Guru//Vortex 6

Country of Origin – USA

Genre – Instrumental Rock/Metal

Label/Release Date – Grimoire Records/October 21, 2016

Talented musicians playing heavy rock.  Like with most instrumental rock and metal, it gets boring for me after awhile.  I personally like the Iron Jawed Guru contribution better.

Rating:  2.5/5

Band/Album – Theologian/Lament Cityscape

Country of Origin – USA

Genre – Industrial

Label/Release Date – Battleground Records/October 21, 2016

Disturbing and disturbed, this collaborative project between Theologian and Lament Cityscape is a dark brooding soundtrack for an apocalyptic nightmare, very fitting for our current societal state of being.

Rating:  3.5/5

Band/Album – Seputus/Man Does Not Give

Country of Origin – USA

Genre – Death Metal

Label/Release Date – PRC Music/October 21, 2016

Like speed dating, Seputus does dark and brooding at high velocity.  The band doesn’t quite get into deathgrind territory, but it has a similar chaotic aesthetic.

Rating:  3.5/5