Aaaaaaand we’re back! Welcome to the June 1st Blast Radius column! We really appreciate you joining us for yet another round of smaller bands getting their dues. Now, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept behind Blast Radius, please allow me to explain. We take material from (not always) lesser known bands who think their hard work should be given a chance to be put out there in the press of the music industry. Maybe we can find a new ‘diamond in the rough’ that is destined for great things, but how would we know if we never give these smaller bands a chance? That is exactly why we started the Blast Radius column, to make sure musicians like that actually do have a voice and the opportunity to gain more of a following.
One of these days I would love to have more power, thrash, NWOBHM, and other sub-genres step into the Blast Radius cage, but I don’t see those types of bands releasing demos, EPs, or splits very often, so why not continue to look where the gold has been proven to be? Today there will be another heaping amount of brutal death metal and goregrind, and if any of my words inspire you to check out these bands, I will be linking to their respective Facebook profiles and (possibly) to where you can download their album if it is from a band sanctioned source.
Fun little factoid: This column is all about giving love to the East and West Coasts right now!
Artist: Iniquitous Deeds
Album: Iniquitous Deeds
Location: Walnut Creek, California
Label: New Standard Elite Records
I have been noticing that New Standard Elite Records has been vying to become one of the next premier underground brutal death metal labels in the United States. Having been able to pick up acts like Abhorrent Castigation, Abhorration, Secreted Entity and Lumpur, Iniquitous Deeds looks to make their names just as big in the depths of crushing death metal like their counterparts. With their debut self-titled EP being released back in March, is this band able to set themselves apart from the rest of the pack?
As the four snare hits brings you into ‘Blackened Despair’, the band doesn’t quite do that much to separate themselves from the rest of the brutal death metal bands out there, but that is okay, since they are playing a very enjoyable style of it. However, that ho-hum attitude of mine quickly changes when the vicious melodic leads came in for a brief moment. This was not just your average Deeds Of Flesh and Disgorge worship, no sir. Iniquitous Deeds bring forth their own blackened slant to the world of brutal death metal, and with passion.
There are four tracks on this EP, but it had to be ‘Disservement’ and ‘Tomb Of Divine Supremacy’ that completely sold me. There was just something that Iniquitous Deeds was doing to continuously bring forth that breakneck headbanging that we all know and love. The riffs were exciting and sharp with an intensity I have not heard from an unknown act since Carnivorous Voracity‘s “Debasement Incarnated“. The vocals were equally as guttural, making sure to fit every note perfectly. Even the drumming isn’t your standard “blast-grind-gotta-go-fast” brutal death metal style; they come with a flair that only enhances the brutality.
If you haven’t heard of Iniquitous Deeds by now then you should do what I did: construct a Rube Goldberg device that makes a bowling ball crush your testicles, because you are stupid for not searching these guys out sooner. This is the only material the band has put out thus far, and if it is this good already, then I can’t help but eagerly wait for whatever they think of next. This Californian quartet definitely deserves every ounce of attention they get, and then some.
Artist: Flesh Throne
Location: New York City, New York
Label: Pathologically Explicit Recordings
Flesh Throne is a band that I was completely unfamiliar with until I heard latest Kraanium album, “Post Mortal Coital Fixation“. “What does the new Kraanium album have to do with Flesh Throne,” you might ask me. Well, Lou Martinez (vocals; ex-Vomitous) was gracious enough to do guest vocals on ‘Sculptures of Perverse Suffering’ and he sounded incredible. It is because of that brief introduction of guttural decimation that I knew it was time for me to get acquainted with the group known as Flesh Throne, and now here I sit with their 2011 EP, “Onslaught“.
I’ll admit that when I first played ‘Unmerciful Remedies’, I was a little surprised by what I was hearing. Here I was expecting brutal death metal, when instead I am met with Satanic death metal with brutal slam and hardcore tendencies. You can definitely hear the east coast death metal influences like Pyrexia, older Dying Fetus, and Internal Bleeding mixed into their violent nature. While those aforementioned bands may have done this style before in their own ways, Flesh Throne is more than capable of taking those influences and spinning them in their own unique way.
To add to the identity of “Onslaught“, each track either starts or ends with a sound byte of Gaahl (God Seed, Wardruna, ex-Gorgoroth) in the now infamous interview he did for Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey. Not only that, but Livio Wellinger (Bodysnatch) and Hidenori Sato (Infernal Revulsion) do guest vocals on ‘Unmerciful Remedies’ and ‘Wounds Of Annihilation’. It is because of this fact that Flesh Throne had created not only a dark slab of death metal that was heavy, exciting, and memorable, but was able to appeal to such a wide array of fans in the world of extreme death metal.
While “Onslaught” may only have three tracks, they are amazing from beginning to end. There is just something about the way Flesh Throne presented their material that makes me want to keep on listening. If you are a fan of depressing death metal/hardcore, you would be a fool not to give Flesh Throne a chance.
Album: Outbound: End of Phase One
Location: Los Angeles, California
It amazes me how much great death metal comes from California. Seriously, it is uncanny. Much like how Texas seems to have a stranglehold on incredible slam, I like to think that California is that way with brutal death metal. I could go on for hours naming off one band after another that has changed the way we look at brutal death metal from California, but instead I will continue to focus on the newer talents that wish to continue that stellar legacy, such as Unbound. A three-piece that hails from Los Angeles, they come to give us a taste of their take on slamming brutal death metal.
After repeated listening sessions it seems that these four tracks were written and recorded at different times. The first two, ‘Seance’ and ‘Philosophical Matter’, are your run-of-the-mill slamming brutal death metal since there really isn’t a whole lot of their own identity within the music. However, once you hit ‘Event Horizon’ and ‘Eternal Oblivion’ things seem to change for the better. There is some semblance of taking chances in their song-writing, and not just doing the usual “plodding passages segues into energetic riffing”. There is even a progressive section in the middle of ‘Eternal Oblivion’ that really set the tone. That is the kind of Unbound I want to hear more of.
The vocals are done in the usual guttural fashion and could stand to be a little more “out there”, but they seem to do the job well enough. While the first two tracks may be stale, the drumming has consistently been on point throughout the record, so kudos to not just keeping the beat and helping to further the music into other territories.
While I’m not entirely sure which style the band is going with now, there is definitely hope in their future if it is anything like the last two songs. I still think Unbound needs a little more work, they are still a new band and hopefully finding their footing. The music itself may not be the most original material out there, but I will be keeping my eyes on Unbound for their future plans.
In 2008 Animals Killing People released one of the most brutal albums I had ever heard: “Kentucky Fried Killing“. That album was so barbaric and murderous that it has been a constant staple in my listening sessions since the day I got it (how can you not want to commit indiscriminate murder whilst listening to ‘Cruelty Free Interlude’ or ‘Bear Cut Open, Full Of People’?). I had heard the name Andromorphus Rexalia before, but I never got around to listening to them. After finding out they shared members with Animals Killing People, this split album between the two was something I very much wanted. If you take a look at that cover art you can pretty much assume which parts represents the two bands. What I am wondering is if Andromorphus Rexalia‘s material can hold a candle to the brutality that Animals Killing People is known for?
As it turns out I had absolutely nothing to worry about in terms of quality between both bands. The reason I say this is because it the same core group from Animals Killing People are in Andromorphus Rexalia! In what universe would that be a bad thing? Animals Killing People start out the split with four songs, and each one is as devastating as the last. The thick and monstrous riffs contrast so well with the spastic drumming of Wilson Rairan, so I am absolutely not disappointed in the slightest. Andromorphus Rexalia is essentially the same, but their schtick revolves around aliens, science fiction, physics, and conspiracy theories, so in a way they are a less-controlled Wormed, and I am so happy with the results.
There are small differences between both bands, but you need to be paying very close attention. Animals Killing People goes straight for the jugular, not waiting one second to give you concussive brutal death metal. Andromorphus Rexalia does the exact same thing, but there seems to be a little more technical riffing on their end of the spectrum. Both bands have different vocalists using both natural and pitch-shifted vocals, and those effects are used in their own unique ways.
Despite there being an extreme overlap in material between the two bands, that does not mean there is a lack of good material. All eight songs are as strong as the last, and as long as you are looking for unrelenting and guttural brutality, then you will be very happy with this split.
Some of you may remember me mentioning a one DeAnna DeHaas, the most brutal gal in SoCal and owner of Lobotomy Productions, pointing me to great goregrind bands such as Machete Dildo and Menstrual Muff Diver. She also told me to add the three-piece goregrind act known as Apoplexy to my list, and I happily did so. With this being the third band from California to be featured in this column, I am hoping that they will be able to keep up the high standard that has been set for them.
Exhumed is one of my all-time favorite death metal/goregrind bands, so it is with great pleasure that Apoplexy is able to bring back the glory of their “Gore Metal” days. All that you are left with is groovy death metal/goregrind that will get your feet tappin’ and head boppin’. Each one of these guys did a fantastic job on being able to execute that feeling perfectly; at times it even seems like Matt Harvey himself is doing the high vocals.
While the guitar tone may not be as thick as “Gore Metal“‘s was, these tracks would feel right at home on the album. There really isn’t a whole lot to say about the material here other than it is perfect Exhumed worship from beginning to end. Do you want to know what’s even better? You can contact the band on their Facebook profile and they will send you the EP for free! If you are a fan of old-school gore-infused death metal, then you would be a fool to not take up that offer.
Another Blast Radius column successfully put in the books. Let’s wrap it up, I am exhausted and want to go to bed.
Thanks for tuning in and reading about these awesome bands! We would like to say thank you to Iniquitous Deeds, Flesh Throne, Unbound, Animals Killing People, Andromorphus Rexalia, and Apoplexy for putting their music out there for us to give our thoughts on.
In these coming weeks we will be revealing who is going to be put underneath the Blast Radius microscope on our Facebook page, so go ‘Like’ and subscribe to us to get the latest news!
If you have or know of any bands who would like to have a demo, EP, or split album reviewed in this segment, then please contact Jon Burkan via e-mail at jonburkan [at] metalblast.net with their band name, album name, location, and label it is released under.