Abysmal Torment – ‘Cultivate The Apostate’ (Willowtip)
Genre: Brutal Death Metal
Malta’s Abysmal Torment have taken huge strides over their last few albums with increasing technicality, crisp production, and spot on musicianship. Cultivate The Apostate sees Abysmal Torment fully realizing their potential with a top notch brutal death metal album.
Coming across as a collision between Cannibal Corpse and, say, Aborted, Abysmal Torment play fast, technical brutal death metal with tempo changes, songwriting variation, and the occasional breakdown. Unlike Aborted, however, Abysmal Torment deliver deep seated vocals and wisely avoid any flirtations with deathcore.
Anti-Mortem – ‘New Southern’ (Nuclear Blast)
Nuclear Blast Records
Genre: Hard Rock/Heavy Metal
Hailing from the prairies of Oklahoma, Anti-Mortem bring elements of hard rock, heavy metal and southern groove to their debut album New Southern.
The songs are heavy, yet catchy with giant riffs and memorable choruses. Vocalist Larado Reno has a rasp in his voice and a swagger in his style. The band sounds like they are influenced by everybody from Pantera to Lynyrd Skynyrd to their fellow Oklahomans Hinder. They blend modern and classic sounds into a concoction that should appeal to a wide range of heavy metal and hard rock fans.
Archspire – ‘The Lucid Collective’ (Season of Mist)
Season Of Mist
Genre: Technical Death Metal
I hope you’ve got a bib handy because The Lucid Collective is a face-melter. The second full-length from these Vancouver extreme-ophiles is jam packed with the kind of technicality dreams are made of. Sometimes technicality can run away with a band, but Archspire doesn’t sacrifice songwriting in the slightest.
Archspire control the chaos and craft tunes for the everyman, not just mega-musicians. There’s brutality and slam elements forced through sickeningly salacious shred and machine gun percussion. The vocals keep up the pace with a union of Nathan Explosion, Corpsegrinder and Travis Ryan. It’ll knock you off your chair, not bore you into walking away from it. The production is outstanding, capturing and cultivating every razor sharp detail.
At Radogost’s Gates – ‘Reflection of a Lunar Eclipse…’ (HPGD)
Horror Pain Gore Death Productions
Genre: Black/Death Metal
They have been around for more than a decade, but Reflection of a Lunar Eclipse in the Stained Mirror of Time is the Serbian band At Radogost’s Gates’ first album.
It’s a diverse blackened death metal album. Some tracks are blast beat driven and fast, emphasizing the black metal side of their sound. Other songs are slower and more grandiose with death metal elements at the forefront. ‘In Hourglass Shaped Hands” is a standout track, mellow and ballad-like at times, intense and extreme at others. The songwriting is excellent throughout, and they do a nice job of mixing styles and tempos.