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Brutal death metal emphasizes brutality in music and lyrics. The guitar distortion often has a lot of bottom, and the players make use of pinched harmonics, heavy riffage and very fast palm-muted picking, while the drumming typically incorporates blastbeats and fast double bass drum work. In terms of composition and performance, brutal death metal is often complex and technical, as one tune typically contains several, often difficult-to-perform, sections. The vocals typically consist of low pitch growls, sometimes combined with screams and shrieks, and the lyrics typically deal with violence, mutilation, violation and murder, described in gory detail. Slam death metal is sometime considered a distinct subgenre of brutal death metal because of its focus on heavy breakdowns and moshpit-friendly midtempo brutal riffage at the expense of speed and intensity. Examples of brutal death metal bands are Suffocation, Cannibal Corpse, Hate Eternal, Severe Torture, Infernal Torment, Benighted, and early Illdisposed.

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SUFFOCATION ...Of The Dark Light Album Cover ...Of The Dark Light
4.39 | 5 ratings
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4.11 | 17 ratings
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NILE Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka Album Cover Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka
4.06 | 29 ratings
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DYING FETUS Descend Into Depravity Album Cover Descend Into Depravity
4.11 | 9 ratings
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DYING FETUS Reign Supreme Album Cover Reign Supreme
4.15 | 6 ratings
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HOUR OF PENANCE Sedition Album Cover Sedition
4.03 | 13 ratings
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SUFFOCATION Despise the Sun Album Cover Despise the Sun
4.12 | 4 ratings
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DYING FETUS Destroy the Opposition Album Cover Destroy the Opposition
3.97 | 10 ratings
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SUFFOCATION Effigy of the Forgotten Album Cover Effigy of the Forgotten
3.95 | 18 ratings
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SUFFOCATION Souls to Deny Album Cover Souls to Deny
3.96 | 9 ratings
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SEVERE TORTURE Misanthropic Carnage Album Cover Misanthropic Carnage
4.00 | 5 ratings
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DYING FETUS Wrong One to Fuck With Album Cover Wrong One to Fuck With
3.97 | 6 ratings
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Suffer, Seraphim
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Album · 2018 · Brutal Death Metal
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"Savagery" is the 6th full-length studio album by US, New York based death metal act Skinless. The album was released through Relapse Records in May 2018. Skinless have been active since 1992 but disbanded in 2011. They however reunited in 2013 (with a couple of lineup changes) and released their 5th full-length studio album "Only the Ruthless Remain" in 2015.

Stylistically "Savagery" is a combination of brutal technical death metal and more groove laden core influences. So it´s probably an album that old school death metal purists won´t be satisfied with, but those who enjoy brutal grooves in their death metal may find something of interest here (it actually says a lot about the influences on the original material here, that Skinless have opted to cover a Crowbar track as a bonus track). While the band occasionally play fast, most tracks are kept in groove laden mid-pace and occasionally slower paces. The vocals are a combination of deep unintelligible growling and higher pitched screams and the occasional use of an aggressive shouting vocal type.

"Savagery" features a raw sound production, which suits the music pretty well (although maybe slightly too murky in the end), and the musicianship is on a high level on all posts, so "Savagery" is a quality release on most parameters. It´s not an album I remember much from when it´s finished though, and it´s in the songwriting department Skinless could improve. It´s not that there aren´t tempo changes and generally good variation within tracks, but there aren´t that many hooks to hold on to and the effect laden brutal growling style becomes a bit one-dimensional after a while (it´s definitely a nice breather when they use the other vocal styles). A 3 to a 3.5 star (65%) rating is warranted.

ABORTED Slaughter & Apparatus: A Methodical Overture

Album · 2007 · Brutal Death Metal
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"Slaughter & Apparatus: A Methodical Overture" is the 5th full-length studio album by Belgian death metal act Aborted. The album was released through Century Media Records in February 2007. It´s the successor to "The Archaic Abattoir" from 2005. Since the predecessor the lineup has been completely revamped and the only remaining member from the lineup who recorded "The Archaic Abattoir (2005)" is frontman and founding member Sven de Caluwé. de Caluwé has among others recruited the quite prolific Australian drummer David Haley (Psycroptic, Pestilence, Ruins, The Amenta) to play on the album.

Lineup changes or not, "Slaughter & Apparatus: A Methodical Overture" pretty much contineus down the same gore drenced death metal path as its predecessor. The melodic elements (mostly in the form of guitar solos and themes) which were introduced on "The Archaic Abattoir (2005)" are also present here. The core style is still relatively brutal and technically well played death metal with de Caluwé´s aggressive and intelligible snarling vocals and deep and unintelligible growling vocals in front. Aborted have more or less played this style since day one, but the melodic elements are new, and bring a more sophisticated end result with them.

The musicianship is on a high level on all posts. The guitar solos are especially well played, but the many tempo changes are also handled with great skill by David Haley. The material on the 11 track, 42:43 minutes long album is generally well written although a bit more variation between tracks and more memorable moments could have lifted the music to an even higher level.

The sound production is a slight issue to my ears, as it´s not sharp enough and sounds a bit woolen. Sometimes rhythm guitar sections don´t reach the listener´s ear with all details, and often the music lacks punch. It´s too bad really as the other elements of the album are of a pretty high class. Still a 3.5 star (70%) rating isn´t all wrong.

ABORTED TerrorVision

Album · 2018 · Brutal Death Metal
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Kev Rowland
Formed more than 20 years ago, Belgian brutal death metal act Aborted are back with their tenth full-length release, following on from 2016’s ‘Retrogore’. One always knows what Aborted are about, and with this album they deliver, they really deliver. From the gentle introduction through the chaos and hellstorm they unleash, this is quite some album. It is easily the best album I have heard from them, and I have seen others also asking if it is better than their 2003 monster ‘Goremageddon: The Saw and the Carnage Done’, but everyone agrees it is the best album they have released in years.

The drums are being driven by a demented human octopus, the blast beats are everywhere, and there are many times when this album is moving into grind territory, such is its ferocity and unparalleled violence. The guitars crunch, the vocals come from the gut, but just when one thinks it can’t get any heavier they slow it down, or lighten it up, all so that when they come back and put the hammer down everyone gets punched with the change in pace and attack. They remind me somewhat of Cryptopsy in the way they understand dynamics and vary the pace, of Nile in the way they can bring the technical element to bear when they need to, and Carcass and Napalm Death in terms of unrelenting attack when it is required. Luckily, the production is up to the job, and the result is a brutal death metal album that any fan of the genre definitely needs to get.

DYING FETUS History Repeats...

EP · 2011 · Brutal Death Metal
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Vim Fuego
It can be a bit risky covering some of your influences, particularly when they are also your contemporaries. After all, some of these bands are still going, and it would be inevitable for the Dying Fetus crew to cross paths with them. What happens if you’ve covered one of your idol’s songs and fucked it up?

Fortunately, there’s no worries here. Brutal death metal doesn’t get much more brutal than Dying Fetus, and this is a nice indicator as to where some of that violence came from.

First track “Fade Into Obscurity” was originally recorded by Dehumanized. Most musicians have a local scene they grew up with and were a part of, and Dehumanized inhabited the same part of the world as Dying Fetus. It’s tight, deathly as fuck, and if you don’t know the original (I don’t) it could easily be a Dying Fetus song.

“Unchallenged Hate” might seem an unusual choice of song. The anti-racism song from Napalm Death’s legendary “From Enslavement To Obliteration” album is more grind oriented than the usual Dying Fetus fare. However, grindcore and brutal death metal are probably the two closest related major genres in extreme metal, and have often cannibalised each other. This version has more of a groove than the original, although the vocals retain a bit of Lee Dorrian’s screech and growl.

“Gorehog” is a cover from Broken Hope’s 1991 debut album “Swamped In Gore”, but is given a 21st century make-over here. It’s still just as guttural and gloriously gory, but the sound is fuller and Fetus-ized.

“Rohypnol” is a 43 second rape revenge original, not to be taken too seriously, although it has a seriously good blast beat at the end of the song.

Bolt Thrower is a band not often covered, or at least, not often enough. “Unleashed Upon Mankind” is a song with a relentless mid-pace riff, like a rumbling tank, and is punctuated with faster passages. Bolt Thrower didn’t use traditional blast beats, and it would have been tempting to add a few here, but no, this is a faithful cover. John Gallagher’s vocals use a different tone to Karl Willett’s electronically lowered voice, but it seems to suit the song.

“Twisted Truth”, originally by Pestilence, is another less obvious choice. Something from Pestilence’s more brutal Martin Van Drunen era would have seemed more likely, but this came from the more melodic Patrick Mameli-fronted “Testimony Of The Ancients” album. And ya know, Dying Fetus might be famous for brutality, but there’s nothing wrong with their ability to produce a melody either.

Final track “Born In A Casket” in a Cannibal Corpse classic, so of course, it sounds like a chorus of vomiting zombies wreaking havoc in a malfunctioning iron foundry, like it should.

Like most covers collections, there’s nothing stunningly surprising, although the injection of a bit of groove and melody here and there can raise an eyebrow. This was an appetizer while the band prepared a new album. It serves that purpose perfectly, leaving you looking forward to your next feed of ‘Fetus.

INGESTED The Level Above Human

Album · 2018 · Brutal Death Metal
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Things have been a bit quiet lately on the new release front from my death metal favourites. Whilst I’m always looking to check out bands I’ve never heard before this current dearth has encouraged me to look a bit wider. One such album I’ve recently come across in my search is The Level Above Human by Ingested. It’s the fourth from this brutal Manchester bunch but the first I’ve heard by them.

Whether there’s any musical growth from their earlier releases I couldn’t say and maybe I should have done my homework and found out. What I can say though is while it doesn’t offer anything original, something that’s not necessary anyway if you’ve got the songs to back it up, if brutal/slam death metal and deathcore is your thing then you probably will find much to enjoy here. The playing is tight and pretty complex at times with tempos ranging from the expected breakneck blasts to slower breakdowns and slam death parts. There are plenty of strong riffs throughout though the opening riff of Invidious sounds like a rip off of Iron Strengthens Iron from the last Dyscarnate album, With All Their Might. Individually each song sounds fine but nothing jumps out particularly to distinguish it from the rest despite the bands efforts to inject plenty of changes into individual tracks. After a while one song tends to blend into another and after the full 44 minutes I was feeling like I’d had enough. The more melodic instrumental Obsolescent offers some welcome respite from the overall bludgeon and alternating growl/shriek vocals making a good choice for closing the album.

Overall then, The Level Above Human whilst certainly no classic is a pretty good album. I’m sure plenty of people will love it but my own preference for my death metal being served straight up makes it more an album I admire rather than love. One that I’ll be happy to give a spin from time to time though for sure.

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