Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Denver label Crown and Throne deliver a split release between two intriguing one man bands. In their first new material since last year's eclectic The Ladder, Palace of Worms' contribution sees them narrowing their focus to deliver three outstanding tracks that draw from classic death metal without getting bogged down in the tedious orthodoxy of revivalism. Indiana-based Ecferus follow that up with their extremely dissonant and withering style of black metal. They may eschew playing with other people, but one man metal bands will always have each other. [$5]
Montreal-based duo Samskaras do what Canadian death metal bands do best - namely, melody and technicality. But beyond blistering speed or finger-cramping fretwork, what makes Asunder worth repeated listens is its emphasis on catchy riffs and thoughtful arrangements. With a few singles to their name, I'd say it's time they put their considerable talents to work on a full-length. The EP is available as a "name your price" download.
What I know about "slam" could fit on a postage stamp; even so, I can say that Germany's Acranius are one of the better bands in the style that I've heard recently. Their third album Reign of Terror is a bingo card of slam tics - gurgling vocals, squealing pinch harmonics, and pit bait chord progressions - but hits them with confidence and panache. Even a sub-genre agnostic like myself has to admit that this is some fun stuff. [$6.99]
Gone for most of the last decade and a half, Sweden's Theory In Practice return without losing a step in their blistering and unmistakably European style of technical death metal. Crescendo Dezign hits with mechanical precision, breaking up the shredding with some Meshuggah-esque math interludes (thankfully without getting too djent about it). It's good to have these guys back, but a new Mutant album would be boss... [35 SEK]