Oct 31, 2015

Spit On Your Grave (2014) Existential Murderer

Band: Spit On Your Grave
Country of Origin: Mexico
Status: Active
Genre: Death metal
Type: Full Length
Format: CD
Length Approx.: 33:00 min.
Release Date: 07-10-2014
Current label: Asenath Records
Release label: Asenath Records

IR Classification: Good (3.5 / 5)

Listen our review! (English)

Vicious death metal and brutality meets beauty

Spit On Your Grave is a Mexican band formed around 2012 in the city of Monterrey located in the northeastern on the country, this is a four piece band  integrated by Zitlalic Gomez in vocals duties, Cecilia Amezcua in guitars, Elizabeth Castillo in bass and Johnattan Ramirez behind the drums, they play a solid Death metal, with corrosive guitars, relentless blast beat, a dense bass and brutal growl vocals, this band released their album debut, "Existential Murderer" more than year ago in July 2014 with ten rabid tracks filled of vile, the album last slightly under thirty three minutes, delivering a hellish album for a newcomer band.

Despite their short career they have earned a place in the Mexican local scene alongside bands like Nuclear Chaos, Rompe Craneos, Remains, Mind Suppressor, Diagnosis or Evilheart just to mention some, they also has been very active playing lots of gigs around the country and supporting bands as Archspire, being their most important show the controversial, Hell & Heaven Metal Fest 2014.

Moving on, here I have their debut album "Existential Murderer" which opens with an "Intro" orchestral type and last almost 2 minutes and goes direct to the second track "You Will be my Torture" corrosive guitar riff by Cecilia unleashes a brutal drumming by Johnattan and the dissonant bass by Elizabeth excel this track the vocals by Zitlalic falls a little bit into Metalcore style in fact the whole track owns several breakdowns, but they manage to remain with brutality "Defied Death '45" brings one of the most vicious tracks in the album, pummeling drum, while the guttural voice rumbled in your head, inspiring an unceasing headbanging, "Stench of Carnage" is just about to uncover the best of Spit On Your Grave with solid guitar riff, fast pace hellish vocals to tear apart your soul, "Bloods Flows Freely" began at semi fast pace with interesting riff, unrelenting drums, vocals distilling wrath and the self titled track "Existential Murderer" for some reason makes me recall Suffocation where the brutality blends with high level skills and a fabulous interlude to add some personality, the last track is "Perversion" here they sound determined to burn themselves in hell with you, explosive track that ends this album.

Without any doubt is a well defined debut album, vicious Death metal, with sick lyrics that explores insanity, gore, sodomy with no remorse is an album highly recommend for those who likes Cannibal Corpse, Cryptopsy, these girls has proven that the Mexican scene has their own cards.

Stay True… Stay Metal… Stay Brutal...

Track List:

1. Intro
2. You will be my Torture
3. Satan Spreads His Wings
4. Defied Death '45
5. Stench of Carnage
6. Sodomy
7. Bloods Flows Freely
8. Revenge
9. Existential Murderer
10. Perversions

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Oct 28, 2015

Berserker (2015) Dark Worlds Collide

Band: Berserker
Country of Origin: Lithuania
Status: Active
Genre: Melodic Death metal / Folk metal
Type: Full Length
Format: Digital
Length Approx.:  44:00 min.
Release Date: 01-18-2015
Current label: Independent
Release label: Independent

IR Classification: Good (4.3 / 5)

Listen our review! (English)

Melodic death metal with folk passages harmonized by strong and powerful female vocals

Berserker is a Lithuanian band formed in the capital city Vilnius in the beginning of 2009, they play a Melodic Death metal with some Folk passages, the band is currently integrated by vocalist Agnieška Volček, bassist Roman Semionov, guitarist and backing vocals Kšištof Jusel, keyboardist Kristina Herman, drummer Georgijus Kirilovas and guitarist Mažvydas Vrubliauskas, I have to mention that Agnė Petruškevičiūtė and Vera Bukina played the keybords and flute respectively, however, both departed from the band, after the recording.My first impression when I started to listen to Berserker was like somehow I was able to transport myself in one of those mythic battlefields where mankind has to fight for their own destiny, against themselves, against their own demons, where despair is ruthless, dejected by the darkness that haunts them, while gnawing their own fear and the battlefield is tinged with blood, but at the end mankind prevails, thanks to the courage of few ones who risk and expose their inner and give, a new beginning to mankind.

So with such an apocalyptic vision, I prepare myself to dive into Berserker recording, the first track is an "Intro" in the vein of a pure epic movie, that work really good for me, because set my mind for what's coming, a whole load of musicianship that achieve to move some sensitive cells, the second track is the self titled album "Dark Worlds Collide" here is where things turn up interesting a melody keyboard opens follow by thunderous drums and a galloping bass, while guitars sounds are present to hear a beautiful voice shining, the music is extraordinary, but Agnieška voice is strong and powerful, please don't expect the classic symphonic voice like Tarja or Simone, Agnieška she has her own attributes, the backing vocals are present only to give her deeper accent, "Warhell" start with a war soundtrack which allow the marching drums appear, while the flute added a subtle touch to keep the guitar galloping pace, mesmerizing vocals makes this cut very intense, growl vocals that lead to a subsequent guitar solo well executed, "Madness Machine" the folkish guitar riff in the album accompanied by the sweet flute, builded with simple but effective, musical structures to allow a perfect synchronization between clean vocals and guitar riff, next is "The Day Human Died" an explosive track from the beginning where dynamics change a little bit, creating a subtle battle between clean vocals and harsh vocals, where the listeners wins at the end, the guitars comes with sharp riff, aiming to perpetuate in the time, "Wolf" is a powerful ballad filled with emotions that puts you in a dimension where you are vulnerable, but proves their versatility, "Prelude" is a shores soundtrack, waves hitting the wall of rocks, the wind blowing while thunders lights the skies, only to make way for two of the best tracks from this album "Viking Ship" starts with a folk intro to move you to something easy to recognize in the vein of Amon Amarth riff and the folk passages of Finntroll with the furious vocals of the valkyrie Agnieška, the guitars plays at galloping pace faster, harder while the story is being told and it blends with a sweet flute.

The closing track is "Mūšis už Žemę" which means "(Battle for Earth)" completely sung in lithuanian and for that reason should not be underestimated, this track makes a clear statement, that metal may sound unrelenting even in their own language of origin, basically the last track falls in the same scheme, prolonging the ecstasy, created by Berserker; The album was recorded and mixed in Muzikos Laboratorija studio by Rimtautas Piskarskas.

To finish my review I want to emphasize the quality and level that show Berserker regarding their songwriting, producing a solid, strong debut album and will surely enter more than one list of the best albums of the year.

Stay True... Stay Metal... Stay Brutal...

Track List:

1. Intro
2. Dark Worlds Collide
3. Warhell
4. Madeness Machine
5. The Day Human Die
6. Wolf
7. Prelude
8. Viking Ship
9. Mūšis už Žemę

All rights reserved © Insanity Remains.

Oct 25, 2015

Avulsed (2015) Altar of Disembowelment [EP]

Band: Avulsed
Country of Origin: Spain
Status: Active
Genre: Death metal
Type: EP
Format: CD
Length Approx.:  23:00 min.
Release Date: 09-15-2015
Current label: Xtreem Music
Release label: Xtreem Music

IR Classification: Good (4.3 / 5)

Listen our review! (English)

Avulsed has enough effectiveness to drag you into hell

Actually if you want to talk about the Spanish Death metal scene you have to take as a referent, one of the pioneers and legends of the genre, Avulsed are hailing from Madrid, Spain. They have been around since 1991, always delivering such brutality, that make them essential to any collector or diehard metalhead, Avulsed has an impressive discography five demos, six full lengths becoming the most outstanding records in my opinion their album debut "Eminence in Putrescence" released in 1996 and "Yearning for the Grotesque" in 2003, also they have released several Splits and EP's, as usually happen to any band, the lineup changes has been part of them, but without a doubt they have been managed to remain active and creative during all this time, for our own good.

This occasion I'm going to review their latest job the EP titled "Altar of Disembowelment" which was mixed at Overhead Studios by Raul Fournier and mastered at Unisound by Dan Swano and the album artwork by graphic artist Juanjo Castellano. The band lead by vocalist Dave Rotten, the guitarist Jose Cabra and Juan Carlos, the bassist Tana and the drummer Erik Raya delivers an unmeasurable, reliable and brutal death metal, the first track "To Sacrifice and Devour" is structured on heavy riff, rapidly embrace you with a hellish wave by Rotten's vocals, the slow parts are brutals to build a bridge perfect to the guitar solo, then comes "Red Viscera Serology" which remain at the same pace and intensity but adding some melodic and catchy riff while the drums are relentless, as vocalist display his full range of grunts without distortion is effective and killer, the next track "Ceremony of Impalement" with impious riff, pummeling double bass drum leads the song to another level, impeccable growl vocals, unleashes the hell for whatever is coming at you, "Tremble in the Darkness" incorporates some Deathcore elements, at the beginning some palm muted guitar riff but as the tracks evolve, they faded into their classic fast paced brutality, that has defined them always, the closing track is neither more nor less, "Neon Knights" a Black Sabbath a cover that impressively doesn't sound much as the original track, but sounds more as Avulsed repertoire, Rotten and company knew how exactly inject their essence and make of this classic a remorseless version of themself, excellent way to top off the nearly twenty three minutes length of this recording.

So! if you have a chance and you still have that instinct of yesteryear for real underground music, then definitely Avulsed is the right dose for you, this recording has no fillers just enough effectiveness to drag you into hell... and I bet you, at the end you will enjoy it.

Stay True… Stay Metal… Stay Brutal...

Track List:

1. To Sacrifice and Devour
2. Red Viscera Serology
3. Ceremony of Impalement
4. Tremble in the Darkness
5. Neon Knights (Black Sabbath)*


All rights reserved © Insanity Remains.

Oct 24, 2015

Battlecross (2015) Rise to Power

Band: Battlecross
Country of Origin: US
Status: Active
Genre: Thrash metal
Type: Full length
Format: CD
Length Approx.:  36:00 min.
Release Date: 08-21-2015
Current label: Metal Blade Records
Release label: Metal Blade Records

IR Classification: Excellent (4.6 / 5)

Listen our review! (English)

Rise to thrashing, rise to last, the new modern thrash metal

Battlecross the band originated from Detroit, Michigan comes this time, to throw at us their newest full length titled "Rise to Power" released under Metal Blade Records last August, being the third effort from the band and probably the most solid, in terms of songwriting and production and once and for all proving to be more than a simple Thrash metal band, in my opinion Battlecross alongside Exmortus, Revocation and Skeletonwitch they could clearly represent, the new wave of Thrash metal in America.

The album was produced by Jason Suecof, mixed and mastered by Mark Lewis at Audiohammer Studios, the cover artwork was designed by Péter Sallai, "Rise to Power" contains ten tracks averaging three minutes and a half per song, resulting in a real avalanche of Thrash metal by about thirty-six minutes, the current lineup is Tony Asta and Hiran Deraniyagala on guitar duties, Don Slater plays the bass, Kyle Gunther doing vocals and their newest member the drummer Alex Bent, personally, I hope that the excessive list of names behind the drum set, stop here.

While it is true Battlecross, they are not pioneers of this style, but undoubtedly they grew up listening to the golden years of thrash metal and the sound that they manage to print into their work creates a fresh feeling and  innovative style to play Thrash metal with riff that fuse naturally, from the opener "Scars" begin with a tremendous riff that drills your brain out and the crushing vocals by Kyle Gunther fast and aggressive, I have to tell you, the tracks were structured, with a pulverizing formula that engage you to listen incessantly, "Absence" proves my words, as the song evolves with a wide range of riff and a middle section rhythmic,  by Tony Asta and Hiran Deraniyagala playing a dynamic and intense role, "The Climb" delivers a blistering drumming mixed with some blast beat by Alex Bent to blend with a neat and extremely furious bass by Don Slater, "Blood & Lies" begin with an acoustic guitar intro that, explodes with anger, energy and versatility that characterizes Battlecross, "Despised" in my opinion is the best track in the whole album with meaty grooves throughout the cut, devastating vocals makes this cut one of the favorite to headbanging, the closing track "The Path" couldn't let you down with a grim acoustic passage as intro, which take you from a deepest feeling into a catharsis, persisting with aggressive and persuasive riff, Battlecross displays their full skills to play cohesively.

In conclusion; Battlecross has been able to create an album that defines the current flow of the modern Thrash metal, without compromise their integrity is an album that will attract and unify old, current and future generations of fans within the genre, certainly once you hear the album, you will not want to stop listening to it, so be prepare with all you got for the air drumming, air guitar and an unstoppable headbanging.  

Stay True… Stay Metal… Stay Brutal...

Track List:

1. Scars
2. Not your Slave
3. Absence
4. Spoiled
5. The Climb
6. Blood & Lies
7. Bound by Fear
8. Despised
9. Shackless
10. The Path

All rights reserved © Insanity Remains.

Oct 14, 2015

Dragonheart (2015) The Battle Sanctuary

Band: Dragonheart
Country of Origin: Brazil
Status: Active
Genre: Power metal
Type: Full length
Format: CD
Length Approx.:  58:00 min.
Release Date: 10-02-2015
Current label: Pitch Black Records
Release label: Pitch Black Records

IR Classification: Poor (2.4 / 5)

Listen our review! (English)

A tragedy in the battle sanctuary

Dragonheart is a band from Curitiba, Paraná in Brazil, they were formed around 1997, by the brothers Marco Caporasso doing guitars and vocals, Marcelo Caporasso behind the drums set, Mauricio Taborda in the bass and backing vocals, and Eduardo Marques as the second guitar and third vocals, they joined forces together and their influences which fall into the Heavy metal of the 80's, medieval and epic too, they began the songwriting process and by August, 1988 they released their first demo, titled "The Gods of Ice" with five tracks, and they keep on going; by November, 2000 they released their album debut "Underdark" for Megahard Records and almost two years later, "Throne of the Alliance" saw the light by September, 2002 under HTR and also the departure of guitarist Eduardo Marques, who was replaced by André Mendes, their third album "Vengeance in Black" hit the streets in 2005, for the German label Hellion Records, before they go in hiatus for a decade. 

"The Battle Sanctuary" is Dragonheart's fourth effort up to now, it was released the last October 2nd, 2015 supported by Pitch Black Records, this time; by the departure of Marcelo Caporaso, they brought on board a new drummer Thiago Mussi, let me tell you;  what you can expect is a full dose of Heavy metal with lots of generic Power metal, yes! unfortunately for you this is an album that tends to be boring due to its length, reaching almost an hour of musical tragedy, their sound is for the likes of Portuguese, Ironsword or even the Swedish, Sabaton but not compelling as they are, my first impression about this album, was to recognize that they remain true to their roots, playing what they know best and preserving its mark on their music using three voices, something that is presumptuous, because while one guy tries to do clean vocals, the others guys are overwhelming with harsh vocals and the clean vocals loses any significance, musically there you can hear a lot of classic Power metal riff with some Thrash cords fused, adding an aggressive and solid sense, the guitar solos are not memorable as I wished. So, there is not enough to keep you tied for you to listen their tones.

The album has few tracks that can be saved, Dragonheart decide to open with "Far from Heaven... Close to Hell", such of powerful and energetic, puts your expectations higher for what's coming, they throw some riffs to engage you, catchy choruses and unfold an unlimited energy, "Black Shadow" the second track is well structured from the beginning you can listen clear all the instruments, there is a bass line that plays amazing in the background, the clean vocals are outstanding, the guitar solo is one of the few memorable in the whole album, “Forged in Metal” there is some riff to remember, one of the most influential bands as Iron Maiden is, the drums by Thiago Mussi are great, while the choruses does what they meant to do, inflict an overdose of energy, I still have issues to conceive a clear idea of what they tried to do with the track number seven, "Marching Under the Stars"; the style and idea is clear some kind of Folk, Epic Power metal, but it totally breaks the flow, it is plagued in choruses that baffles me, the self titled track brings some groovy riff blended with plenty of thrash hooks, to engage you good enough, the battling vocals between clean and harsh, make a perfect contrast with the chorus, the last track is "Time Will Tell" is another of the few redeemable tracks, displaying lots of intensity and versatility  for a good guitar solo, the vocals are acceptable, but again it fades in the attempt.

To conclude, Dragonheart delivers an inconsistent album, marked pretty much, for a standard songwriting, few eloquent and memorable riff and the abuse of three vocals, sometimes turning annoying or forgettable and last but not least the length, eleven tracks! almost an hour! I truly believe is too much for a comeback album after a long hiatus, this album is recommended only for diehard fans of  Power metal.

Stay True… Stay Metal… Stay Brutal...

Track List:

1. Far from Heaven... Close to Hell
2. Black Shadow
3. The Arcane's Palace
4. Inside the Enemy's Mind
5. Forged into Metal
6. Battle Lines
7. Marching Under the Stars
8. Circle of One
9. Kill the Leader
10. The Battle Sanctuary
11. Time Will Tell

Pitch Black Records

All rights reserved © Insanity Remains.

Oct 10, 2015

Black Breath (2015) Slaves Beyond Death

Band: Black Breath
Country of Origin: US
Status: Active
Genre: Death metal / Thrash metal
Type: Full length
Format: CD
Length Approx.:  49:00 min.
Release Date: 09-25-2015
Current label: Southern Lord Recordings
Release label: Southern Lord Recordings

IR Classification: Excellent (4.7 / 5)

Listen our review! (English)

There are genuine riff, torrents full of brutality and harsh vocals that sound evil

Black Breath they were formed in 2006 in Seattle, Washington US, for many of us they are a prominent band for their blend of genres going from Death metal and Thrash metal Crossover spicing up with some Crust, so far they have released a Demo in 2006, an EP "Razor to Oblivion" in 2008, their album debut "Heavy Breathing" in 2010, their second and most acclaimed released "Sentenced to Life" in 2012, the band's current lineup is Neil McAdams (vocals), Jamie Byrum (drums), Elijah Nelson (bass), Eric Wallace and Mark Palm (guitars), it took them three years to release their third album titled "Slaves Beyond Death", this is an eight track album, slightly under the fifty minutes length, like its predecessor, this album was recorded by Producer Kurt Ballou (High on Fire, Nails, Baptists, Converge) at God City studio in Salem, Massachusetts. It was mastered by Brad Boatright with the Artwork by Paolo Girardi.

I honestly believe that Black Breath have surprised us with their new album entering itself a little more into the melodic death metal, with harmonies, some d-beat drumming and more solo parts, moving away from those flashes of good Hardcore, Crust Punk, and those vibrant moments in their second album "Sentenced to Life", but exposing an evil and sicker side than ever before. So! if you were expecting for another dose of their previous recording, I'm afraid you might feel disappointed, but is not bad as you could think, the grooves still present, the relentless aggression remains untouchable, there are more elaborated riff with genuine intensity while the drums delivers torrents of full brutality and the harsh sounding vocals brings back the feeling of their old recordings.

The first track is "Pleasure, Pain, Disease" starting with smooth guitar riff to build up an atmosphere, to scourge you suddenly, with raspy vocals by Neil and the drums are battered by Byrum, "Slaves Beyond Death" is the second track structured in a doomy death riffs and double bass drums heading into a more aggressive and fast pace, a guitar solo that reach the highest point, then comes "Reaping Flesh" I will consider this track as the most representative of the new Black Breath sound, while the groovy riff remain there, the musical structure is more compelling, signs of maturity in the songwriting process, "Seed of Cain" exceptional instrumental intro that drives you through a Swedish tone, with melody and guitar solos, make this cut memorable, I have no question about how good is this album, I could keep on going track by track, but honestly with such level of composition, is hard to do it, I can tell you most of the tracks may fall into the same structure from a simple tone that tends to builds up, but the texture and pace are the keys for each one, “Arc of Violence”, “A Place of Insane Cruelty” fits perfectly to my description, while “Burning Hate” offers some of the most vile riff, sick vocals and pummeling drums with some Old School Death metal vibe, the closing track is "Chains of the Afterlife" an instrumental track reaching almost the eight minutes mark, decadent guitars that evolve with some kind of nuance that create an epic eerie ambience.

Obviously, this album will bring many divided opinions, the old fans are likely to strongly criticized Black Breath, however; we as human beings must understand that change or evolution will always be part of us, so, while you try to understand this, I will enjoy this great album, which certainly has no fillers.

Stay True… Stay Metal… Stay Brutal...

Track List:

1. Pleasure, Pain, Disease
2. Slaves Beyond Death
3. Reaping Flesh
4. Seed of Cain
5. Arc of Violence
6. A Place of Insane Cruelty
7. Burning Hate
8. Chains of the afterlife

Southern Lord Recordings

All rights reserved © Insanity Remains.

Oct 6, 2015

1349 (2014) Massive Cauldron of Chaos

Band: 1349
Country of Origin: Norway
Status: Active
Genre: Black Metal
Type: Full Length
Format: CD (Ltd Digipak)
Length Approx.: 42:00 min.
Release Date: 09-29-2014
Current Label: Indie Recordings
Release Label: Season of Mist

IR Classification: Good (3.9 / 5)

Listen our review! (English)

A massive chaotic sound!!!

1349 is a well known Black metal band that was raised in Oslo, Norway around 1997 by Ravn (vocals & drums), Tjalve (guitars), Seidemann (bass) and adding Archaon (guitars) in 1999, later on Frost of Satyricon was asked to lay down the drum tracks and finally he become a permanent member of the band around 2001, Tjalve leave the band in 2006 after a successful year, in order to focus his musical efforts on his band Pantheon I, while 1349 remained the same core lineup since Tjalve's departure. During eighteen years of career, they have released two Ep's and six full length, today I will focus in their latest album the sixth, titled "Massive Cauldron of Chaos" which in my opinion, that's how they always had sound, I believe this album is a step forward and not only the continuation of their previous record "Demonior" in 2010, where predominate an old vibe from the first wave of Black metal.

"Massive Cauldron of Chaos" comes after four years of absence in the studio; I thought is a long time but at the end the result passed my expectations. So; why expect less? when you have such talent together, there is no reason to do that, since the moment they uncover the album artwork, some kind of devilish and eerie entity on white background, that definitely told me something good will come out of this, "Massive Cauldron of Chaos" it is an album title very suggestive that defines what exactly lies in there, with a modern production, delivers a hell of a sound.

The album opens with "Cauldron" built in an eerie intro, explodes within seconds in your speakers, I know; anyone who loves Marduk, Gorgoroth will enjoy this, fast clean riff by Archaon blends with the blistering drums of Frost and Ravn brings his raspy and guttural vocals that quickly connects with "Slaves" with thrash nuances but with the heaviness and speed of Black metal, incorporates chorus and the spoken parts that make this one of the most outstanding cuts, "Exorcism" it extends the dose with some riff influenced by Watain, a terrific guitar solo by Archaon at the 3:20 mark, then comes "Postmortem" where you can appreciate clearly the early thrash influence in the guitar, crushing riff and a exciting double bass drum, "Mengele's" musically explores a wide range of riff and even include some ambient passages, "Chained" it was structured with catchy riff, while Frost behind the drums blends the pace and Seidenman with his bass add some textures in the background, the CD digipak Limited Edition released for US include an unlisted instrumental track, which last slightly over one minute and work as intro for "Godslayer" here 1349 unleashes all their fury and wrath with killer riff, devastating drums and aggressive vocals that shred your guts, in an offering to the black cult, the very last track in this version of the album is "The Heretic" is a Possessed cover song from their album "Beyond the Gates" released back in 1986, here they are coming up with a sound that is more Thrash and heavier, merciless vocals, this is a must hear track and believe me they don't disappoint at all, what an exciting and ruthless album end.

It's definitely an album with a solid black metal, taking many influences from contemporaneous bands as well as the early Thrash and Black metal age, arguably this represents the 1349 sound and their legacy, however if you are highly strict with your Black metal dose, this album will not be essential for you to listen to.

Stay True… Stay Metal… Stay Brutal...

Track List:

1. Cauldron
2. Slaves
3. Exorcism
4. Postmortem
5. Mangele's
6. Golem
7. Chained
8. Untitled
9. Godslayer
10. The Heretic (Possessed cover)*

Official Website
Season of Mist

All rights reserved © Insanity Remains.