Ratings are on a 5 star scale.
Cleanteeth – ‘Pushing Rope’ (Dullest)
Genre: Doom Metal
Pushing Rope is the debut album from the Brooklyn band Cleanteeth, but the lineup has been around the block a few times. It includes current and former members of Hull, Goes Cube, White Widows Pact and more.
Crushing doom is the rule of the day, with brief respites in the form of interludes and mellower intros. Thick riffs drive the songs, with fierce vocals slicing through the cacophony. They vary the tempos from rollicking stoner metal to glacial doom. There are some great song titles as well, such as “French Kissing Alexander Hamilton” and “Sexual Mustache.”
Craven Idol – ‘Towards Eschaton’ (Dark Descent)
Dark Descent Records
Genre: Blackened Thrash
Attention Skeletonwitch and Goatwhore fans! I may have just found your new favorite band in Craven Idol. Their debut full length Towards Eschaton is 33 minutes of raging blackened thrash with plenty of death metal touches.
With members named Vrath, Scourger, Suspirial and Volgard you know you’re getting darkness personified. Throat searing vocals call forth high-tempo galloping rhythms and an unwavering percussive attack. Craven Idol do slow down at times and add enough atmosphere to give the album depth. But Towards Eschaton is all about the speed. Ripping and shredded, Craven Idol are blasting towards blackened thrash’s upper echelon. Crave these idols.
Domovoyd – ‘Oh Sensibility’ (Svart)
Genre: Doom/Sludge Metal
The fuzzed out bliss of Domovoyd sounds like it could be from the ’70s, but the Finnish band’s debut Oh Sensibility is circa 2013.
Thick riffs cut through a cacophony of swirling noise and a muddy low end. Groovy sludge gives way to glacial doom, and the album provides ample doses of both styles. The vocals are buried deep in the mix, and become secondary to the power of the riff. Even on tracks like the 13 minute behemoth “Effluvial Condenser” they manage to hold the listener’s interest for most of it. Things do go on a bit too long sometimes, but overall Domovoyd impresses with their first full-length.
Ereb Altor – ‘Fire Meets Ice’ (Metal Blade)
Metal Blade Records
Genre: Viking Metal
Releasing their fourth album in just six years, Sweden’s Ereb Altorworship at the altar of early Bathory. Their latest release Fire Meets Iceis an epic platter that is equally mature and brutal. Sweeping melodies are supplemented with raspy vocals and furious blast beats. They also incorporate clean vocals that take the listener on a landscape journey of grand proportions.
A side project of the doom metal band Isole, all members are involved in both bands. “Nifelheim” creates a whirlwind of influences from the folk inspired verses, the melodic Paradise Lost chorus and the complex majestic breakdown. The band brings the extreme to the forefront on the bombastic “Post Ragnarok.” Fire Meets Ice creates a nice hybrid of Bathory, Moonsorrow and Primordial.
Exhumer – ‘Degraded by Sepsis’ (Comatose)
Italy’s Exhumer are back after a five year break between releases. Their sophomore release Degraded by Sepsis is a grindcore bludgeoning that is non-stop brutality. Extreme guttural vocals, blast beats and fast picked tremolo guitar riffs fill up every second of the recording. The vocals are beyond harsh and are indecipherable, as one would expect with brutal death metal.
The songwriting is one-dimensional, as Exhumer plays aggressive while letting no outside influences in. The skill level of the musicians is precise as the technicality is extreme. The song lengths are kept short and it helps digest the assault. For die-hard grindcore fans only, as this is a non stop vicious onslaught.