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
4.34 | 12 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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DEEDS OF FLESH Path of the Weakening Album Cover Path of the Weakening
DEEDS OF FLESH
4.50 | 4 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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SUFFOCATION ...Of The Dark Light Album Cover ...Of The Dark Light
SUFFOCATION
4.22 | 10 ratings
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SUFFOCATION Despise the Sun Album Cover Despise the Sun
SUFFOCATION
4.21 | 9 ratings
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DYING FETUS Destroy the Opposition Album Cover Destroy the Opposition
DYING FETUS
4.14 | 16 ratings
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ABORTED Retrogore Album Cover Retrogore
ABORTED
4.23 | 7 ratings
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DYING FETUS Descend Into Depravity Album Cover Descend Into Depravity
DYING FETUS
4.14 | 14 ratings
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FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE Agony Album Cover Agony
FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE
4.08 | 24 ratings
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DYING FETUS Make Them Beg for Death Album Cover Make Them Beg for Death
DYING FETUS
4.18 | 7 ratings
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Ekbom
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BRODEQUIN
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Carnal Demise
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Vault Of Horrors
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brutal death metal Music Reviews

ABORTED Infinite Terror

Single · 2022 · Brutal Death Metal
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UMUR
"Infinite Terror" is a non-album single by Belgian death metal act Aborted, which was released as a stop gap release between the release of the band´s eleventh and twelfth full-length studio albums "Maniacult" (September 2021) and "Vault of Horrors" (March 2024). The single was released through Nuclear Blast in October 2022 and it´s the first Aborted release on Nuclear Blast after they signed to the label (after a long run with Century Media Records).

"Infinite Terror" is a one-track digital single and it features all the trademarks of Aborted. Relatively technical and brutal death metal performed by skilled musicians, featuring very well played guitar solos, and the combination of brutal growling vocals and snarling aggressive vocals which lead vocalist Sven de Caluwé have by now perfected and made his signature sound. "Infinite Terror" is a high quality song, but it´s nothing out of the ordinary for Aborted and packed in a sharp, clear, and powerful sounding production job, this is just another taste of what this great band can do. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

SUFFOCATION Hymns from the Apocrypha

Album · 2023 · Brutal Death Metal
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UMUR
"Hymns from the Apocrypha" is the ninth full-length studio album by US, New York based death metal act Suffocation. The album was released through Nuclear Blast in November 2023. It´s the successor to "...Of The Dark Light" (Nuclear Blast, June 2017), although the two full-length studio albums are bridged by the November 2021 "Live in North America" live album. "Live in North America" is a live album marking a significant change in the history of Suffocation, as it´s a recording of original lead vocalist Frank Mullen´s last show from October 2018 before he retired from Suffocation. He is replaced on "Hymns from the Apocrypha" by Ricky Myers. Myers who is also known as the drummer of Disgorge, had been touring with Suffocation in the periods 2014-2016, 2018-2019, as Mullen already at that point couldn´t dedicate enough time to Suffocation anymore. Myers for example did all European shows in those periods. So choosing Myers as the replacement for the legendary Mullen was of course a no-brainer.

Stylistically the material on "Hymns from the Apocrypha" is no surprise if you´re familiar with the preceding releases by Suffocation. If they´ve evolved since the last album it´s details, and Suffocation still sounds unmistakably like they´ve pretty much done since their inception in the early 90s. Brutal/technical death metal featuring multible breaks, changes of pace, brutal thrash oriented riffing, a high level of technical playing, and a brutality level way over the average for the genre. Myers does a good job replacing Mullen although the latter did have a more personal and distinct sounding growling style. The music is spiced up with the occasional lead guitar moment (which are nice for the variation and they are well done too), but as always it´s all about producing the most heavy and brutal music around.

Back when Suffocation first emerged there was pretty much no competition (at least not anyone able to match their level of brutality), but a lot of water has run under the bridge since then, and today brutal/technical death metal bands come a dime a dozen. So in that respect "Hymns from the Apocrypha" isn´t anymore brutal than a lot of other contemporary bands and releases, but Suffocation have the advantage of experience and writing this type of music for 30 years, and when you listen to the album those factors are audible. As on most Suffocation releases variation between tracks is a slight issue, but it´s to be expected with music as brutal as this.

As it´s almost become custom on Suffocation´s releases (starting already on "Pierced from Within" from 1995) they´ve also this time around re-recorded a song from their second album "Breeding the Spawn" (1993) and included it on the tracklist (with Mullen guesting on vocals). This time "Ignorant Deprivation". It may seem odd for a death metal band to re-record tracks from a particular album and include them on the tracklists on several of their subsequent releases (instead of just re-recording the full album and release it, if they feel so bad about the original sound production), but Suffocation have always been able to include the re-recorded tracks in a seamless way and make them fit perfectly with the new original material. It´s pretty much just another testimony to the fact that Suffocation have stayed true to their roots and their sound throughout their career.

"Hymns from the Apocrypha" features a powerful, sharp, and detailed sound production, and although my ears don´t always agree with the clicky metallic bass sound, that´s a subjective observation, and objectively this is a good quality sound production. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

BREEDING IGNORANCE Image and Likeness

Album · 2019 · Brutal Death Metal
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siLLy puPPy
A power trio from Barysaw, Belarus, BLEEDING IGNORANCE was formed in 2013 and features Vitaliy Kitov (bass), Dmitry Orlov (vocals) and Pavel Kovalyov (guitar). These musicians are part of many other bands that extend into Russia but all focus on the most extreme limits of death metal, in this case brutal death metal.

The band has only released this one album IMAGE AND LIKENESS which came out in 2019. The album features eight tracks and is fairly short at 33 minutes. The band claims its music is for fans of Pyaemia, Suffocation and Cannibal Corpse and this album includes the Cannibal Corpse cover “Hammer Smashed Face” as the closing track.

Not much to say about this one as this is basically the text book case of generic brutal death metal with extremely fast tempos, blastbeats, brutal guitar riffing frenzies and extreme guttural growls that break into piggy squeals. There are no breaks on this one as it’s balls to the wall super speed all the way through. Unfortunately the album lacks any variations and any distinguishing uniqueness to set it apart from the gazillions of other bands that sound just like it.

Brutal death metal has to be the most difficult section of the death metal world to find a creative outlet since the style offers little room for variation but it does seem to attract those who attracted to speed above all else. I’m all on board with speed and incessant brutality but creative compositions go a long way. This one is just brutal death metal by numbers and has really nothing to offer anyone looking for something different. Average and mediocre at best.

VENOM SYMBIOTE Ishimura's Dead Flesh Shelter

Album · 2023 · Brutal Death Metal
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siLLy puPPy
Something about the nation of Belarus killing it in recent years on the death metal circuit. This nation was reduced in population by approximately 2/3 courtesy of the Nazis in WW2 and ever since has had a fierce warrior mentality and that spirit shows in the large number of excellent death metal bands emerging not just from the capital city Minsk but from all corners of this landlocked nation situated between Poland and Russia.

VENOM SYMBIOTE comes from Hantsavichy in the Brest Region of Belarus and formed in 2016 by Sergey Minko (vocals, guitars) who is the only member to have stuck with it to the present. The remaining members, Serhey Zhdan (vocals) joined in 2020 and Vitaly Kitov (bass) and Alexandr Novitski (drums) joined in 2022 just in time for the band’s second album ISHIMURA’S DEAD FLESH SHELTER.

What a title and one that will go over your head unless you’re aware of the horror video game Dead Space and the scariest part of the game, the Ishimura. The game is set in the USG Ishimura spaceship in the 26th century and features mutated undead horrors and all kinds of cult religion stuff. It’s the perfect subject matter for a death metal band and VENOM SYMBIOTE was more than happy to pick up the baton and run with it! The themes this band tackles regard everything from space and aliens to xenomophs and genetic diseases.

Stylistically VENOM SYMBIOTE delivers a brutal death metal style called slam death metal which focuses on slow and mid-tempo sections rather than the frenetic fast as you can play shtick. The album features 11 tracks and runs barely over 37 minutes. The band is quite competent in that as it chugs along it changes things up enough to sustain interest as slam or brutal styles of death metal come become monotonous quite quickly if not spiced up for the attention span. ISHIMIRA’S DEAD FLESH SHELTER primarily chugs along at mid-tempo furor but does break into faster tempos and chaotic frenzies where guitars, bass and drums do their own thing.

While the instruments change things up a bit, the vocal style is more of a one trick pony or should i say piggy that squeals its way through the entire set. Mostly set to low guttural pig squeals, occasional Serhey Zhdan lets a high pitched squeal out that is effectively blood curdling! Overall this is a pretty no nonsense but effective slice of slam death metal with incessant chugging, plenty of guitar slides and squeals (to play off the vocals) and the drummer has a keen sense of knowing when to change things up.

In fact all these guys have their hands on the pulse of the musical creativity and add a stellar production job that allows eerie cosmic atmospheres to seep in before, after and occasionally during the tracks themselves and ISHIMURA’S DEAD FLESH SHELTER ends up being a pretty cool album. What’s not to like? Friggin’ cool themes, smokin’ hot musical mojo and zero compromise in the death metal department with plenty of changes, awesome guitar tones and a production job that suits the album to a T. Much better than i was expecting and i dig it.

CINERARY Rituals of Desecration

EP · 2001 · Brutal Death Metal
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"Rituals of Desecration" is an EP release by US, Chicago based death metal act Cinerary. The EP was released through Deepsend Records in October 2001. Although Cinerary has never officially disbanded "Rituals of Desecration" is their only release since forming in 2000. The band features several known names from the US death metal underground, but perhaps the most prolific is drummer Ricky Myers (Disgorge, Suffocation...etc.).

Stylistically this is brutal death metal played with great technical skill. There is no arguing that these guys can play and everything is delivered with both passion and conviction. The music isn´t exactly unique though and other than the odd sounding processed growling vocals, which make this stand out just a tiny bit (but honestly sound pretty awful) there´s nothing here to set Cinerary´s music apart from the thousands of other brutal and technically well playing US death metal bands from that time.

The sound production is a bit thin and lacks bottom, which doesn´t help my impression that this isn´t the most interesting or impactful death metal release. It´s not a bad quality release overall, but it´s not really great either. A 2.5 - 3 star (55%) rating is warranted.

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