Quick Jabs for August 2022

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.


Fallen Sanctuary – Terranova

June 24th, 2022 – AFM Records

Rating: 5.0 / 5.0

Reviewer: John Haseltine

“It’s rare that musicians from different bands are as much on the same musical wavelength as vocalist Georg Neuhauser of Austrian symphonic metal act Serenity and Marco Pastorino, guitarist with Italian melodic metal band Temperance. The two became friends in 2018 during a joint tour and soon realized that they pretty much share musical idols and tastes.” And with that little tidbit, one might say the rest is history. Yet, this is only the beginning. The debut album here is firing on all cylinders when it comes to fast-paced, multi-layered, and diverse melodic metal. The tracks are delivered with a sense of musical perfection that had left me in awe upon the first listen. No words can really do TERRANOVA justice. One must just check out their music and you too will be hooked!


The Atrophic – Coagulating Mirth

July 8, 2022 – Self Released

Rating [3.5/5]

Reviewer: Peter Atkinson

The pandemic might have royally fucked things up for many existing bands who couldn’t tour for two-some years, but it did provide an opportunity for a lot of new acts like North Carolina’s The Atrophic to form up, try stuff out and get things off the ground – often in a virtual-only environment. Working in their respective home studios, and with an assist from drummer Robin Stone, The Atrophic – a duo of vocalist Sean Irizarry and guitarist/bassist Kyle Kuffermann – knocked out this four-track debut EP in relatively short order and have laid a fairly solid foundation to build on as things get back to whatever normal is these days. Despite its odd title, Coagulating Mirth shows these guys certainly have their technical chops in order right out of the gate. Kuffermann offers a dizzying array of riffs over Stone’s fusillade of drums, with Irizarry’s gruff vocals bird-dogging them the whole way over a series of rollercoaster arrangements. But they do mix in slashing riffs and subtle melodic hues, especially on “Misery’s Grip” and “Vessels for the Oligarchs,” to give the songs some teeth, even if they eschew any sort of verse-chorus-verse structure. With the added benefit of ex-Obscura drummer Hannes Grossmann’s resonant yet just raw enough production, the EP makes for an accomplished sounding effort by a band that still really hasn’t become a “band” yet.


Berator – Elysian Inferno

June 10, 2022 – Dark Descent Records

Rating [4/5]

Reviewer: Peter Atkinson

After issuing a two-track demo in 2018 as a two piece, Chicago’s Berator seem to have solidified a full band’s worth of a lineup and deliver a pretty ferocious and relentless old school black/death metal clamor on their debut EP. Now a quartet with guitarist/vocalist Rich Olsen (also of Gravelust and ex of Profantica) being joined by ex-Nachtmystium/Gigan guitarist Pat Clancy, ex-The Chasm bassist Tim Pearson and drummer Dave Cieck, the band blast off with “Sultans of Incest” and charge through the six gnashing, gnarly tracks while rarely breaking stride. The sound here is rough and ragged, but it is also bold, loud and calamitous – channeling its raucous blackened death metal through the Midwestern sonic filter popularized by MC5, The Stooges, The Replacement, Husker Du, etc. I guess “assaultive” might best describe Elysian Inferno, as the band favors attack mode over nearly all of the 23 minutes here with the four-piece sounding more like a fucking army given the wall of sound they produce. Some tasty lead work provides all of the melodic flourishes, the rest is sheer raw power.


Deocculted – An Eye For The Occulted Sun (Remix)

May 13, 2022 – Self Released

Rating [3/5]

Reviewer: Peter Atkinson

Texas extremists Deocculted get ready to get back out there now that Covid is “over,” or whatever, by issuing an updated version of their 2019 EP An Eye For The Occulted Sun. While it’s billed as An Eye For The Occulted Sun (Remix), it sounds essentially the same, although the running order is different and the instrumental “Excommunicado” has been added at the expense of “Medusa.” Any other changes are mostly aesthetic – the cover’s color scheme has shifted from dark blue to a gold/sand motif, which adds a certain desolate creepiness, and the band have a new bass player in Zenn Angel Vazquez. Regardless, Occulted Sun offers a reasonably punishing death metal/tech death/deathcore melange topped by a tag-team growl-and-scream vocal attack that sounds part Black Dahlia Murder and part Amon Amarth. The tunes are technically adept, but also compact, with plenty of beefy riffs and rivet-gun tempos to balance out the finesse and keep things moving forward without too much bobbing and weaving. They don’t, however, offer much in the way of variety, so there is a sameness to the EP overall – the instrumental excepting, which may be why it ended up being included – that is tolerable over the 17 minutes here, but would be pretty tedious over a full album.


Torture Killer – Dead Inside

June 7, 2022 – The Other Records

Rating [4/5]

Reviewer: Peter Atkinson

Finland’s Torture Killer offer up their first new music since 2013’s Phobia album with the Dead Inside EP that may be a bit chintzy when it comes to quantity, but delivers plenty of chunky, chugging death metal thrills in its 11-minute run time. Well for 9 minutes of it, anyway. Sandwiched between the riffy crunch of the title track and “Iniquity” is the sparse piano/synth/guitar instrumental “The Omen” – which if it doesn’t come directly from that movie’s haunting soundtrack it was certainly inspired by it. But while “The Omen” does provide atmosphere, it would have been much more fitting as an intro or segue on a full-blown album. Here, it just kinda takes up space that might have been better served by another actual song, especially since “Dead Inside” and “Iniquity” will leave you wanting more of where they came from. Simple, yet effective, with hooks galore and a mix of martial stomp and bracing gallop that will keep you head bobbing the whole way through, they make for a most welcome return. Hopefully, there is more to come – and sooner rather than later.


Torn Between Two Worlds – As If We Never Existed

June 3rd, 2022 – Self-Release

Rating: 5.0 / 5.0

Reviewer: John Haseltine

As a rose blooms in the aftermath of winter, TORN BETWEEN TWO WORLDS reanimates the enthralling pairing once known as ANGTORIA – Sarah Jezebel Deva and Chris Rehn. These are two that should not be unfamiliar at all. Both musicians hold strong legacies in the metal world. Sarah became a part of CRADLE OF FILTH at the age of 16, and took part in some of their biggest albums and tours until 2008. Additional past work of Deva’s includes HECATE ENTHRONED, THE KOVENANT, THERION, MORTIIS, and more. Chris has been a part of ABYSSOS, ANGTORIA, and EVERGREY. He currently plays with Sweden’s DREAMSTATE and TAKIDA. Not to be taken lightly, their debut EP has it all. Musically, it follows down the path of what is a storied history from both. It is as if the pair took the best of their previous works and influences when taking on this new project. The outcome is nothing short of stellar! While a bit more on the melodic side, the music, even at it’s most melodic moments produces an energy within that many metal bands cannot. Simply put, perfect!


Septekh – Greetings From The End

May 13th, 2022 – ViciSolum Productions

Rating: 5.0 / 5.0

Reviewer: John Haseltine

For myself, upon the first few moments of listening to GREETINGS FROM THE END, it was like, WTF? That and, HOLY SHIT! These guys fuckin’ kill! Being a fan of blackened thrash, this is one of those albums, er, EPs that you can just leave on repeat for days on end all the while never wanting to listen to anything else. “With work on the next full length already on the way Septekh once again turned to a proven side path. The plan this time was to do a quick EP and get a handful of eclectic songs out as a stopgap and palette cleanser for the next release. The pandemic turned that quick gap into a two year near complete hiatus. But there is always a silver lining. Having found a very good home for this and upcoming releases on ViciSolum Productions, vocalist Ldy GRZNLS comments about the forthcoming EP as follows: “Greetings from the End feels more solid and derived than ever. A lethal, rascal spirit-energy as well as the rawness and craftsmanship that comes with age. Personally this latest batch of songs became the canvas to observe my own trajectory. Suicide. Immortality. Biography.” With two EPs and two full-lengths already on the books, I find myself wanting to get the band’s back catalog. And I will. Many of you may already be aware of Septekh, I was not. To me on this EP, it sounds like a blend of the bands Midnight and Mobile Deathcamp merged into one. Only on a much higher level. Masterpiece would be an appropriate term for this body of work.