Beastmilk – ‘Climax’ (Magic Bullet)
Magic Bullet Records
Genre: Rock/Post Punk
Imagine the Misfits, Interpol and Nick Cave somehow gave birth to a post-punk baby. Encased in all the goo and the gunk would be a little band called Beastmilk. Now imagine that glorious band released a record called Climax. Well, they have, and it is easily one of the year’s best—and catchiest—albums to date.
From the beginning of “Death Reflects Us” to the final notes of “Strange Attractors,” the album is a 10-track voyage through reverb-drenched rock ‘n’ roll and punk rock. It took me back in time. Suddenly I was young and sitting on my bedroom floor just…listening. Nothing else mattered. Sublime.
Blood Mortized – ‘The Demon, The Angel..’ (Chaos)
Genre: Death Metal
The retro death metal craze seems to be showing no signs of abating, with most of the heavy hitters (Demonical, Tribulation, Entrails) having released albums this year, and good ones at that. Blood Mortized join the fray with The Demon, The Angel, the Disease, an album that doesn’t deviate from the script but gets the job done.
Ditching the overt filthiness of previous works in favor of a more melodic and doom-encrusted aesthetic, a lot of classic Bolt Thrower and early Katatonia influences are discernible here, with the melancholy vibes of “I Leave with Hate” providing effective counterpoint to the buzzing brutality of something like “In the Black Flames of Desolation.” Not a game-changer, but definitely one of the more measured retro DM albums out there.
Cult Of Fire – ‘????’ (Iron Bonehead)
Iron Bonehead Productions
Genre: Black Metal
At first glance, the album cover art and the album title ‘मृत्यु का तापसी अनुध्यान’, written in Sanskrit, would lead one to think that Cult Of Fire are from India. Not so; they are from the Czech Republic with members culled from Death Karma, Maniac Butcher, and a few other acts from the country. Cult Of Fire are light years beyond any of these bands, though, with a pleasing and sophisticated approach to mildly symphonic black metal.
Early Emperor and Dimmu Borgir seem to be influences, as Cult Of Fire employ lots of fast riffs, a high-pitched production, and plenty of bombast into their songwriting. South Asian influences do appear in the form of ritualistic chanting and a sitar in the final track, a woefully underused instrument in metal. Cult Of Fire establish a name for themselves with this release.
Eat the Gun – ‘Stripped to the Bone’ (SPV)
Genre: Hard Rock/Alternative Rock
Aside from the obvious double-entendres, Germany’s Eat the Gun play a very unambiguous brand of alternative rock on their fourth long-player,Stripped to the Bone. The trio have found success on the international stage in the past, and the entirely accessible and radio-friendly rock found on this release should guarantee them even more. Playing hooky anthems and bobbing grooves seem to be their forte.
With that said, stringent metal fans will need to seek elsewhere for their daily dose. This particular rock is pebble smooth, and while its toe-tapping qualities should cater to angsty teenage girls, Stripped to the Bone is more guilty pleasure than metal ass-kicking. With that said, “Apocalyptic Blues” and the single “Loner” are pretty catchy.