Brutal Death Metal

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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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DYING FETUS Reign Supreme Album Cover Reign Supreme
DYING FETUS
4.33 | 11 ratings
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DEEDS OF FLESH Path of the Weakening Album Cover Path of the Weakening
DEEDS OF FLESH
4.50 | 4 ratings
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DEEDS OF FLESH Portals to Canaan Album Cover Portals to Canaan
DEEDS OF FLESH
4.50 | 4 ratings
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SUFFOCATION ...Of The Dark Light Album Cover ...Of The Dark Light
SUFFOCATION
4.29 | 9 ratings
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AFTERBIRTH Four Dimensional Flesh Album Cover Four Dimensional Flesh
AFTERBIRTH
4.40 | 5 ratings
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HATE ETERNAL Upon Desolate Sands Album Cover Upon Desolate Sands
HATE ETERNAL
4.39 | 5 ratings
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DYING FETUS Descend Into Depravity Album Cover Descend Into Depravity
DYING FETUS
4.21 | 13 ratings
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ABORTED Retrogore Album Cover Retrogore
ABORTED
4.28 | 5 ratings
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DYING FETUS Destroy the Opposition Album Cover Destroy the Opposition
DYING FETUS
4.12 | 15 ratings
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SUFFOCATION Despise the Sun Album Cover Despise the Sun
SUFFOCATION
4.19 | 8 ratings
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FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE Agony Album Cover Agony
FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE
4.08 | 24 ratings
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DEEDS OF FLESH Of What's to Come Album Cover Of What's to Come
DEEDS OF FLESH
4.25 | 4 ratings
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brutal death metal Music Reviews

PATHOLOGY The Everlasting Plague

Album · 2021 · Brutal Death Metal
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Kev Rowland
Death metal merchants Pathology are back with their second album since their rebirth in 2018 when drummer and founder Dave Astor brought back singer Obie Flett who had previously been in the band back in 2010, along with new members guitarist Dan Richardson and bassist Ricky Jackson. Now back as a full touring unit, this is their eleventh album overall and they are showing little in ways of slowing down as while they do introduce plenty of contrast here we have a band who are still ripping it up as they have been since 2006’s ‘Surgically Hacked’. Astor may have been the only constant throughout their existence, but unlike some other bands with the genre they have not lost their way but instead are still firmly in the thrall of Florida-style death metal as if it were 30 years earlier.

It does seem somewhat strange to have them as a four-piece as the twin guitar interaction is an important part of their overall sound and there is no way that Dan can do all that on his own in concert, but given they were originally a trio this is something fans have become used to. The vocals are brutal, the guitars solid, but while there is a lot going on in the drums the production means they have not come through as solidly as I would have liked, which is a real shame as it does mean that at times the sound is a little lopsided, something I am sure would be quite different when being played live. Overall this is a nice album which fans of death metal would do well to discover.

DYING FETUS Compulsion for Cruelty

Single · 2022 · Brutal Death Metal
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UMUR
"Compulsion for Cruelty" is a digital single release by US death metal act Dying Fetus. The single was released through Relapse Records in September 2022. "Compulsion for Cruelty" is the first new song in 5 years from Dying Fetus (the first new music by the band since "Wrong One to Fuck With" (2017), and it´s released in conjunction with their September 2022 North American east coast tour.

"Compulsion for Cruelty" is a one-track single and it´s a track featuring all the trademarks of Dying Fetus. Brutality, aggression, and high level musical performances. Fast blasting parts, ultra heavy breakdowns, the two growling vocalists complimenting each other, and the arpeggio sweeps. This is Dying Fetus to the bone. It´s a nicely varied track with a lot of emphasis on heavy rhythms and the impact of brutality.

The single features a well sounding production job. It´s clear, detailed, and brutal, suiting the material perfectly. Dying Fetus have no yet made any comments if "Compulsion for Cruelty" will be included on their upcoming ninth full-length studio album, but if this track is any indication of the quality and style of that album, the fans will be in for a treat. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

SUFFOCATION Live in North America

Live album · 2021 · Brutal Death Metal
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UMUR
"Live in North America" is a live album release by US death metal act Suffocation. The album was released through Nuclear Blast in November 2021 and features the full Suffocation live show recorded during the Death Chopping North American 2018 Tour at Middle East Down in Cambridge, Massachusetts on October 22, 2018. It´s the band´s last performance with original lead vocalist Frank Mullen, who retired from recording and touring with Suffocation after the show.

The tracklist is exactly what you´d expect from a Suffocation show, featuring classics like "Thrones of Blood", "Pierced from Within", "Liege of Inveracity", "Catatonia", and of course "Infecting the Crypts". So it´s pretty much a legacy show, and you won´t find many tracks from the band´s post-2000 albums here. "Dismal Dream", "Surgery of Impalement", "Souls to Deny", and "As Grace Descends" are the exceptions here, but even a couple of those tracks have become mandatory on the band´s setlist in the last 20 years and should by now be considered classics in the band´s discography.

"Live in North America" opens with Mullen telling the audience that it´s his last show with Suffocation and how much he loves them followed by this: "Let´s fuckin´ do this thing...this is all about killing people, cause that´s what I like to do...this one is "Thrones of Blood"... Mullen was always a blue collar no bullshit type of vocalist and an icon in the death metal genre, and what better way to open his last show with Suffocation than this.

"Live in North America" is the second live album released by Suffocation, as they released "The Close of a Chapter" in 2006. It´s two very different sounding releases though. The tracklists are pretty similar but while "The Close of a Chapter" (2006) features a raw, unpolished, warts and all type of production, "Live in North America" is a professional, clear sounding, and overall accessible sounding live death metal album. I´ll go as far as to say that it would actually make a very good starting point for the uninitiated, as you not only get the "hits", but also a flawless and technically skilled performance from all involved, and to top it off a sound production which brings out the best in the material. Some may find the sound production a bit too sterile and not savage and brutal enough, but to my ears this is a perfect sounding production for Suffocation´s music and I´ve experienced a lot of nuances and details the original studio productions don´t reveal. If I have to make one complaint about the album it would be that there are fadeouts between some of the tracks, which takes away from the live experince. I´m not sure why they opted for that, but it is a minor issue as it disrupts the flow of the show.

Minor issue aside, "Live in North America" is still the perfect release to honor Mullen´s career and his vast contributions to the death metal genre. It´s a live release well worth your time and money and although it probably is a definitive goodbye to Mullen, one can always hope for a few guest appearences here and there. A 4 star (80%) rating is fully deserved.

ABORTED Maniacult

Album · 2021 · Brutal Death Metal
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UMUR
"Maniacult" is the 11th full-length studio album by Belgian death metal act Aborted. The album was released through Century Media Records in September 2021, almost 3 years to the day from the release of "Terrorvision (2018)". The two full-length albums are however bridged by the 2020 "La grande mascarade" EP. There´s been one lineup change since the release of "Terrorvision (2018)" as guitarist Mendel bij de Leijhas has left, and as the band have opted not to recruit a new second guitarist the quartet lineup who recorded "La grande mascarade" is intact on "Maniacult" with Ian Jekelis handling all guitars on the album.

"Maniacult" is a concept album release telling the story of horror author H.P. Lovecraft's fictional character Francis Wayland Thurston, who attempts to summon demons (the Lovecraftian types) to bring upon the end of the world. A classic H.P. Lovecraft theme. Thurston appeared in the 1928 Lovecraft short story "The Call of Cthulhu".

Stylistically the material on "Maniacult" is unmistakably the sound of Aborted. Brutal and technically well played death metal with Sven de Caluwé´s deep growling and high pitched aggressive snarling vocals in front. Aborted have always been an incredibly well playing act despite the multible lineup changes throughout the band´s history, but listening to "Maniacult" it quickly becomes apparent that it´s one of the band´s more sophisticated and memorable releases. de Caluwé´s vocals have always been one of the greatest assets of the band´s sound, but Aborted also excel in tempo changes and in different death- and thrash metal riffing- and drumming styles (including some ultra heavy breakdowns and even a few black metal oriented sections). The Carcass influence has always been strong in Aborted´s music, and that´s also true on "Maniacult". Just listen to the opening section of "Dementophobia", which sounds like something culled from "Heartwork (1993)".

The icing on the cake is the lead guitar work though...Jekelis deserves a special mention for his playing on "Maniacult" and for having such great impact on how memorable the tracks are. He brings a melodic touch to Aborted´s music, but still manages not to dillute the brutality and aggression of the music. It´s always a delicate balance to strike, bringing melodic elements to music this brutal, as fans of the genre often feel that melody dillutes the brutality of the music, but when it´s done right (like it´s done here), a melodic element can actually provide a brutal death metal release with something it seldom features...catchiness and memorability beyond its playing time. One other thing that needs to be mentioned about "Maniacult" is how darkly atmospheric it often is. Something which is only enhanced by the intro track "Verderf" and the eerie instrumental track "Verbolgen", which is a short breather track in the middle of the album.

"Maniacult" features a meaty, clear, and brutal sounding production job, which suits the material perfectly. Definitely one of the better productions on an Aborted album so far. Paired with the high level musicianship and the effectful and memorable songwriting, the sound production is just another piece in the puzzle to make "Maniacult" the high quality death metal release it is. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

DISFIGURING THE GODDESS Blood Animal

Album · 2021 · Brutal Death Metal
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LightningRider
Disfiguring the Goddess is my favorite slam band. This one man act might be underground, but he's known for including weird and creepy electronic in most of his albums. After a six-year hiatus, however, he went for more straight-up, typical slam. And since slam death is such a repetitive and monotonous genre, one could say he sold himself out.

Blood Animal acts as a follow-up to the 2020 EP Sooth, which is a return to form featuring electronic elements with a stronger ambient touch. The album was engaging and short, and I expected something similar from Blood Animal. However, the ambient and electronic was a bit weakened, as if DTG was attempting to reach a middle point between his style and the more typical brand of slam death. As a result, the album carries only a little progression and isn't very engaging. Thanks to its small amount of variety, it's still a better album than the boring hiatus-breaker, Katapillar. But most of the songs have the same basic goal in mind and follow the same tempo, which can get monotonous quickly. Add the fact that this is the longest album in DTG's catalog, and one realizes that this could have been so much better and done so easily.

Has DTG really run out of ideas? Or is he just trying to increase his status as a "real" brutal death metal act by steering more into the typical side? Either way, this album, while fairly enjoyable for anyone who likes brutal death metal, is still weak in comparison to the weird outings of Disfiguring the Goddess, and I wouldn't necessarily recommend it for any reason.

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