no class assassins_the no class e.p.

release: 2011
genre: metal
country: usa

website: www.facebook.com/NoClassAssassins
listen now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1lZttlrzMc

"no class assassins" brought me their second release "the no class e.p." wich was mixed and mastered by mike hasty (walls of jericho). hasty did a great job, alltogether a very punchy and professional sound that actually has some uniqueness, the 4-headed band (currently 3-headed and searching for a new drummer) did a great job as well.
the drums mostly change between double bass trampling and fast blast beats, very nice sounding, skilled drumming but unfortunately it gets a bit boring while listening to it several times. also the massive guitars create a forceful groove that is really enjoyable but definitely lacking in variety when it comes to the whole record. the vocal section is split into two, axeman dave kelsey and vocalist jay crimson got some mean throat-twisting gutturals going on, also the clean ones are interpreted well.
"stubborn play" represents an exception: a somber sounding intro, calm clean vocals and subdued bass lines that burst out into an angry screaming hurrican, highlighted with a dragging and moaning guitar solo. by contrast, "blacked out" exposed itself as straight "(head)bang-along" that must be a great live experience. in sum i heard powerful hardcore- and death-influenced metal that could use a bit more variety but "no class assassins" distinguish themselves with professionality and grooving song structures that can surely beat the crap out of your ass.


nothing left to give_built to last

release: 2013 
genre: metalcore
country: usa

listen now: https://www.facebook.com/nothinglefttogive860/app_2405167945

wow it's been a long time since i heard some real metalcore...fortunately "nothing left to give" remembered me of it with their upcoming ep "built to last". first of all i gotta mention the vocal performance, vocalist keith laws is screaming his fucking lungs out while guitarist mat trash is attaching some melodic clean parts coming straight from the heart. i was also very pleased about their chorus ideas, they are catchy as fuck, i couldn't stop singing along to them.
even the guitars make sure that you keep listening to the 5 songs, classic metalcore riffing with good melodies, not too pushy and not overdone. although the guitar work isn't what i call magnificent, i think that it sounds very charming and i have to say it is absouletly suitable to the whole sound on the record. the drums and the bass are very passive, a more aggressive sound would be nice but not necessary, altogether i heard some nice supportive beats, played skillfully and ambitious.
track 4 called "southern hospitality" was recorded with a special guest, kevin lacerda (it lives, it breathes) is sharing the mic with "nothing left to give" frontman keith laws. the two vocalists have made a good job together, they are creating a different sound that isn't my favourite one, but nevertheless it is another song that is just huge fun to hear.
"built to last" keeps growing the more you listen to it, trapping your ears with its catchiness, its entertaining melodies and the vocal arrangements that remembered me of  the old "from autumn to ashes" stuff. these guys know how to make one sing along, you gotta keep an eye on them!


wassermanns fiebertraum_brandung

 release: 2012
genre: post rock
country: germany/austria

even though it is not metal, i had to review this one, i found this band while looking for some worthy local underground concerts and it instantly got my attention. instrumental post-rock has never been my choice of music until i heard this one, this record called "brandung" is  played with such a great sense for emotion and highlights that i couldn't believe that any (underground) band can give you that exact same feeling in a live show but "wassermanns fiebertraum" kept their promise. those sweet and dreamy melodies carry you like soft waves on an endless ocean. it surely has its raging and stormy times too, but they never let you feel fear, its more like a departure to something new but familiar.
it might appear obvious that i speak of oceans, while looking on the great cover artwork showing a breaking wave, but listening to it truly gives you the feeling of standing right between the waves, catching a salty breeze of fresh sea air.
it also reminded me of being a child with all its playfullness and excitement displayed by the perfectly played instruments, listen to "du in meinem blut" or "kinderspiel" and you will know what i mean.
as i said before the instruments are played with great commitment -NO VOCALS NEEDED- although there are a few lines subtly whispered over the second track but they just complement the instrumental work that provides outstanding guitars,passionated solos, sensitive drumming and subliminal bass play.
the last track called "innere getriebenheit" is a bit different from the others, it gives you a feeling of restlessness that suddenly gets calmed down just to rise again at the end of this beautiful piece, it was surprising but not inappropriate.
this record gave me an intense shudder and an outburst of emotions, i've never heard such great feelings transfered on a record, but the best thing is that you'll get the same experience at one of their stunning live shows.


phidion_flesh of the forsaken

 release: 2012
genre: death/ trash metal
country: sweden

good old swedish death straight outta stockholm. the vocal arrangement consisting of growls and high shouts is raw, evil and uncompromising. the drums provide the characteristic bass/snare beats adorned with kinky blasts and some fast double bass action. unfortunately those double bass parts sound a bit computerized.  altogether i also think that the drums are bit too penetrating, but nevertheless the drumming takes you straight into headbang mode.
the bass sound is dirty and rough, perfectly fitting to the whole concept, also the guitar sound is taking you back to the early death metal days. speaking of the guitars i gotta mention the nice tapping that is performed on "anthropophagus" which is also my favourite track on this record. also "slaves to eternal insomnia" branded itself into my mind, with it's straight and brutal beat almost knocking my head off to this pile of skulls that is shown on the nice cover art.
although this sinister record is  played skillfully and passioned, i'd like to hear a special "phidion" note setting them apart from other bands like them, however "flesh of the forsaken" should be heard by all death metal fans who love to be remembered of bygone days, this one is a true old school pearl that shouldn't get lost in the depths. 


cult of apophis_murder house demos volume 1

release: 2013
genre: black metal/doom 
country: usa

listen now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0fJgE5Zs6M

"murder house demos vol.1" gives you mostly screamed vocals that make a good atmosphere while interacting with the instrumentalists, at some spots they get really high and keen, on others they are shouted deeper, creating some catchy hightlights. also some spoken vocals were added to the last track called "hills of eyes", constructing a darker, more somber sound.
unfortunately the guitars are a bit too subtle, which is very regrettable, i  heard good string action, even though they lack a little bit in precision. summed up it is well arranged (but typical) black metal riffing with a nice groove attached to it, the drums play by the same recipe.
"cult of apophis" is described as black metal/doom band, but i do miss some outstanding doom parts, i wouldn't say that they are straight black metal but they do need more severity and heavyness to get my "doom" seal.
"murder house demo vol.1" is a good debut, showing fine song writing that promises nice black metal sounding just as dirty as it should be. this record may be average, but it definitely made me looking forward to the next one with its raging and ambitious tracks.



release: 2012
genre: black metal/hardcore/grindcore
country: usa

listen now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hj66KsAHGhs

shadowheart shows great black metal influences perfectly mixed with hardcore and subtly seasoned with punk/noise rock elements. 4 of the 5 songs promise absolute aggression starting off with an ear-raping speed attack called "heart of gnarled roots".  high-pitched screams and violent shouts keep hunting you through the whole record with no chance to hide. the fast drums keep accelerating your heartbeat while the guitar play causes your blood to boil, they are keeping the whole thing very precise despite the fact that all this hate is displayed very powerful and raw. what i love the most about the instrumental work on this ep is the rumbling bass sound, it contributes a subliminal groove adding some additional spice to the record.  
just a few breaks give you the chance to take a small gasp within this raging storm, always resulting in even more anger, but the last song called "i curse those who ail me" is a gentle piano theme, with spoken text passages and expressive drumming dissolving all the straight hate that was created throughout the other tracks, this one gives you the last rites to finally to die in deep melancholy.
i have to make a little subtraction when it comes to catchiness, needless to say that traitor have made a rough but excellent sounding display of pure violence, that can easily live without that.


replacire_the human burden

release: 2012
genre: progressive metal 
country: usa

website: http://www.reverbnation.com/replacire
listen now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rfKuv5OdYQ

while digging myself through the internet i was suddenly stoned and stunned, listening to the first song of this 8-track monsterpiece called "the human burden". from start to finish i was trapped by the intense instrumental work, pulling me right off this planet, like a near-death experience getting you to some sort of higher state just to punch you back down to the insidous reality with barbaric vocal madness crowned by evil low/high combinations and pure severity. Don't you dare thinking that you are save now, being soothed by the hypnotic clean  passages, they are cradling you on a constant stream leading to the next sudden cataclysm.
also the job that is done by the instrumentalists is outstanding. the technical and calm guitar and bass passages perfectly flow from groove lines into fast persecutions brought to you in any possible order, while the intensive drumming accompanies each upcoming vibe expressive and precisely without getting subdued.
all these things give birth to a unique sound sphere that forces you on a trip, never knowing what's coming next, caught between paranoia and a womb-like perception.
another asset has been captured on the artwork which is amazing work absolutely describing the record and it's intoxicating characteristics.
"the human burden" isn't like anything i've ever heard or smoked before, it is the recorded rush of a hellish rollercoaster ride that legally gets you high.


nekrodeus_demo 2013

release: 2013
genre: death metal
country: austria

website: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nekrodeus/125798007591136
listen now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvs4KNk2jds

this demo is death metal reduced to the maximum of roughness. such straight brutality finding it's climax in a sound as nasty as in this self-recorded "foul-smelling-grave" atmosphere is not meant for everybody, but these 2 songs consisting of great driving guitar/ bass riffing ,clean drum lines and groaning guttural vocals were really appealing to my flavor.
i can also see that some good skilled hands were working on their cover-art, although it isn't very creative, it is a well done selfmade one.
in conclusion this demo is like eating a raw piece of rotting meat, it's an experience that might make you feel sick afterwards, but if you are one of those bloodthirsty hyenas looking exactly for that, go on and feast.


uproot chaos_time to question

release: 2012
genre: death/trash metal
country: ireland

website: http://www.facebook.com/UprootChaos?ref=ts&fref=ts
listen now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFT3gyO_fmI

uproot chaos has made something that i would describe as difficult, their vocal concept it's a mixture of strange grunting gutturals, shallow clean vocals with female backings and some gang shouts, i would not say that they are untrained but somehow they are sounding very clumsy, which might be referable to the whole vocal arrangement.
the guitars are moaning and blurred, exept for the clean parts which aren't outstanding but pretty nice. altogether they demonstrate good solo and rythm ideas that leave room for improvement. 
unfortunately also the drums lack in severity and expression, the bass drum and the cymbals are dull or to be precise they are sounding kind of shabby.
hearing their cover version of sepultura's "slave new world" was confirming my theory about the vocal arrangements, actually they aren't that awkard on this track, also the instruments seem to be played better than on the other tracks. to make it short i would say that the cover art of "time to question" isn't bad, it just looks a bit loveless.
BUT: in defiance of all this criticism i have to say that i heard ambition and the will to make something different, especially the song "distillation (of our fears)" hides a great potential to be a real anthem. if uproot chaos work on their skills and structures, upholding their style they could absolutely obtain some better results.

throne of entrails_2012

release: 2012
genre: deathcore
country: usa

website: www.facebook.com/throneofentrailsnj
listen now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnBE7u_mdNw
2012 is a massive sounding deathcore trip that is caressing you with its nice guitar melodies while beating the shit out of your lazy neck muscles with some serious drum insanity. Usually i don't like this computerised drum sound but on this one it truly makes sense, even tough it's a bit too dominant at some points, the drumming is totally bringing the whole thing to a higher level, also the cover version of "neoclassical deathcore jam" (the faceless) was an excellent choice to get this record further, it somehow works decelerating,  building up a good atmosphere to prepare for the final power trip. 
one thing that i was very surprised about is the fact that there are actually two vocalists regurgitating their beastly vokills over the slamming guitar groove, these guys have builded up a great harmony that is second to none.
However, after listening to this record several times i recognised that i was missing something, a characteristic feature, a special earmark that makes me say "this is throne of entrails", also the cover art hasn't knocked my socks off, but nevertheless 2012 provides constant trampling deathcore, this band made a well arrangend compositon of  groove, melody and tension that is definitely worth a try.