Quick Jabs for October 2021

Spread the metal:

Welcome to another installment of “Quick Jabs.” This is the section where we post an assortment of shorter reviews for albums that we have checked out or may have missed out on in previous months. As you will see below, a few of these are from earlier this year. It has been a busy one and the review requests pile up quickly. We are rocking through these as best we can. I think we will continue on with the videos here as many have stated it was a cool addition to last months post. There is a couple of interesting albums this month, but I am sure there will be that one you cannot live without. 


Avtotheism – The Sleeper Awakens

June 25, 2021 – Life After Death

Rating [2.5/5]

Reviewer: Peter Atkinson

After an EP and a series of singles issued over the last four years, Italy’s Avtotheism deliver up their first full-length with The Sleeper Awakens. It is certainly an ambitious affair, a conceptual work built around John Carpenter’s 1987 cult film “Prince of Darkness” set to a dissonant, technical death metal soundtrack. The music is turbulent, complex and cinematic – more so, thanks to the addition of film dialogue snippets, effects and other narrative flourishes. But the gnashing, industrialized guitars often get buried by the rivet-gun drumming in an overly percussive mix, and frontman Paolo “P” Copeta’s hoarse, atonal growls tend to be more impenetrable than evocative – making the voice-overs all the more key as a point of reference, which in the end seems like cheating. So while the intent might look good on paper here, in practice it only works to a certain degree.



Bloody Clerks – Doldrums Combustion

April 30th, 2021 – Self-Release

Rating: 5.0 / 5.0

Reviewer: John Haseltine

Bloody Clerks formed in Alicante, Spain in 1996. DOLDRUMS COMBUSTION is their fourth full-length release. Bloody Clerks mix a multitude of influences, collecting sounds from various musical styles, creating a hybrid style which closely resembles Doom Metal and Progressive Metal in their latest album. Their music is in constant state of evolution, and with this release, they have gone for songs without vocals, thus allowing a greater development and expressiveness of the instrumental voices. While the music here is a bit more on the melancholy side of the metal spectrum, it is still a very enjoyable listen. There is some great tunes here. And throughout, you may be reminded of bands like Swallow The Sun, Insomnium, and In Mourning.



Killing For Christ – The Second Coming

January 1st, 2021 – Self-Release

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0

Reviewer: John Haseltine

I was a bit unsure about this one when it came across. The cover may offend some here, but not all of you. The members of the KILLING FOR CHRIST have worked together in heavy music since the 1990’s, playing in technical death and thrash bands in Texas. Disgusted with the hypocrisy and grotesque nature of modern religious extremists in the U.S., KILLING FOR CHRIST was born. While KILLING FOR CHRIST parodies religious people and their viewpoints, the purpose of the work is deadly serious. The band crafts each “hymn” with the purpose of shining a light on all that is wrong with modern conservative Christianity. Upon first listen, I will admit, I was surprised. While they sound very close to, say, Lamb Of God and Pantera, they have very well structure tracks that are pretty heavy and concise in nature. These guys are really good player as well. All of you groove/tech-death metal heads will really enjoy Killing For Christ.



Brodequin – Perpetuation of Suffering

Aug. 31, 2021 – Unmatched Brutality Records

Rating [4.5/5]

Reviewer: Peter Atkinson

Tennessee titans Brodequin present their first new music since 2004 with this EP. And while Perpetuation of Suffering is really more of a single – only two songs and just over 5 minutes in total – the band certainly make the most of it. “VII Nails” and “Tenaillement” deliver uber-brutal death metal in as punishing a one-two combo as you will hear, one that certainly lives up to the precedent set by the band’s namesake, a French torture device that squeezes the legs and shatters the bones until they ooze marrow – even after a long silence. With their surging riffs, blasting tempos and Jaime Bailey’s vomitous guttural rasps, the tracks are utterly relentless, yet undeniably compelling thanks to their omission of the usual brutal death metal tropes – pig squeals, breakdowns, ad nauseum. Let’s hope these nasty bits are just a taste of something more substantial to come.



One From The North – Through The Grey Stone To Ravage

April 24th, 2021 – Self-Release

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0

Reviewer: John Haseltine

One From The North is a metal synth-wave band from Finland. The band creates a haunting atmosphere which combines metal melodies, and heavy riffs with electronic soundscape. If you have ever wondered what it may sound like to mix up some black metal vibes with electronic music – look no further. According to the bands founder, McKeenan, “it is like Depeche Mode with a metal twist.” The music is a mixed combination of different influences from artists like Rammstein, Depeche Mode, and In Flames. This is a really good listen if you are not in for the ultra-heavy. It does tend to have a dark yet uplifting feel to it. Several tracks feature Tuomas Kuusinen as well.



Manfilth – Cocoon

April 27th, 2021 – Self-Release

Rating: 3.5 / 5.0

Reviewer: John Haseltine

Manfilth is a one-man metal project hailing from Germany. Marcel Welz, the genius behind Manfilth, creates either dark and dank environments, or shrilling brutality for his songs. The first listen to this album made me think I was listening to some Marilyn Manson demo tracks. Not that the production quality is bad because it is not, but it just gave off that vibe to me. COCOON is not an overly heavy set of tracks in regards to what we relate to as heavy metal in general. Heavy on the gothic-side may be a better description. Overall, I have enjoyed the couple of runs listening to Manfilth. COCOON may be one of those for me that really needs more time to sink in fully. I recommend it for those of you who do like an alternative ambient metal sound with some grit to it.



The Band Repent – War / Unbreachable

January 23rd, 2021 – Self-Release

Rating: 4.0 / 4.0

Reviewer: John Haseltine

The Band Repent is a “high energy” thrash metal band from Casper, Wyoming. The band was officially formed August 1, 2019 when guitarist/vocalist Jeremy Amack and drummer Shawn Hill held their first practice. I could not nail down actual release dates for either of these tracks. The band are now playing as many shows as possible as they write more singles and track their debut EP, WRITTEN IN BLOOD. While they claim to be a high energy thrash band, my definition of high energy thrash must be some distance from The Band Repents’. The two tracks here are more of a groove style thrash. They are heavy indeed, but the thrash metal speed and intensity which I relate more to thrash does not seem to be here with these two tracks. On the plus side, I really do like what I have heard. They have a sound that they can call their own so far as they do not sound “just like” any other band I can think of off the top of my head at the moment. You may feel otherwise, but these guys will be one to look out for in the near future. Well, check them out now. Good stuff!



Concrete – Ethereal Atrocities

Sept. 25, 2021 – Rebirth The Metal Productions

Rating [3.5/5]

Reviewer: Peter Atkinson

Bulgaria’s Concrete – not the be confused with the eight or so other “Concretes” from around the globe, according to Metal Archives – describe themselves as “Pure Death Metal.” And based on the band’s fourth full-length, Ethereal Atrocities, it’s hard to argue otherwise. The band’s chunky, gritty meat-and-potatoes rabble, powered by guitarist Kalin Kolev’s snarling, wolverine vocals, echoes old-schoolers like Death, Obituary or Massacre. But the band packages it all with a certain contemporary panache, incorporating plenty of punchy hooks, crafty riffs and galloping tempos to keep things moving along. Indeed, Concrete’s mode of delivery is often closer to speed/thrash metal in its efficiency, velocity and surprising fits of catchiness – which certainly helps set these guys apart from the other Concretes, be they death metal or otherwise.


 

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