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Splattered Platters

Slammey Stanley’s Splattered Platters – April 2018

As dedicated as the writers are here at the Vault, the metal scene is an infinite black hole of fantastic releases, with simply too many to take on.  This is certainly an excellent trait for the metal community, as it represents the strength of the metal genre as of now and how much influence and respect it has managed to garner over the years.  From our perspective though, there are so many quality records being released every week that only some are given the opportunity of a full review, most are sacrificed due to our constraints as mortal beings and our absence of time.  My reasoning for creating this series is to shed light on those obscure releases, at least the ones I value. In no way does this negate these musical offerings to an informal observation, however. They are still to be ripped to shreds in terms of quality or lack of such, but as this series is for great secluded releases, there aren’t too many negative aspects within any of these records/EPs.  This series shall also primarily be dedicated to Death Metal and all of its variants, hence the name. In addition, the format of this feature shall be split into two parts: the “Main Course” and the “Side Dishes.” The “Main Course” is the primary segment, the records of the best quality that you simply have to check out. On the other hand, the “Side Dishes” records that are still of quality, but just don’t compare to the quality of the “Main Course.”  With that being said, let’s dig in!

Main Course:

I Am Destruction
Violence Devours EP
Genre:  Slamming Brutal Death Metal  
Released March 15, 2018 via Bandcamp

Although this series shall be dedicated solely to un-noticed releases of the prior month, I simply couldn’t ignore this EP.  Sorry for breaking a primary rule right off the bat. I suppose I can use the excuse that I Am Destruction officially announced their addition to the Unique Leader records on April 17, which could justify the April “release.”  The record’s anatomy contains some of the greatest elements slam has to offer, while still carrying the traits of classic acts such as Dying Fetus. There is certainly room for improvement, mainly pertaining to that of the composition, which feels somewhat lacking in terms of direction.  There are fantastic segments of certain tracks, which are then undermined by yet another segment with no relation to the prior segment. This trait is typical in death metal of course; however, with this example it seems that the band transitions into a breakdown just to have a breakdown. It feels as if they subdued their songwriting freedoms in favor of fulfilling a checklist, rather than inputting certain songwriting transitions to evolve its musical state.  Yet this is only an EP, and with this in their catalogue I can’t express enough how excited I am to listen to their Unique Leader debut.

Final Grade: B

    

Chainsaw Castration
Doping in the Void
Genre: Slamming Brutal Death Metal
Released April 5, 2008 via Revival Records

To start, this record stands out from the typical Slam record on appearance alone.  While the name Chainsaw Castration is certainly a brutal name, the album title Doping In the Void and its corresponding cover art suggest a different tone.  Musically, though, it never submits to such a tone, instead opting for some quality slamming brutal death metal.  Although it would be an interesting concept to combine the likes of sludge and slam, I would much rather have a record such as this.  A fantastic listen, absolutely no time goes to waste (aside from the mandatory spoken-word song intro on the intro track). The musicality feels drastically experienced, with the overall tightness of the musicality showcasing pure rage.  Although I have just endorsed their apparent musical experience, Chainsaw Castration doesn’t even have a full-length record out yet! That should certainly say something regarding how promising Chainsaw Castration are as a slam three-piece  Every piece of the instrumentation sounds phenomenal, the crunchy production exemplifying it even more. The best part is that this is merely a promo for an upcoming full length, which will hopefully be out by the year’s end. Be sure to keep tabs on Chainsaw Castration, as they are going to dominate the slam scene very shortly.      

 FInal Grade: B+

Autokrator
Hammer of the Heretics
Gerne: Suffocating Death Metal
Released April 10, 2018 via Krucyator Productions

I believe that Clayton best described the music of Autokrator excellently during his interview Loïc.F in March.  During said interview, he stated “Their mix of industrial, black, death, drone, and other influences were musically harrowing enough. Add in lyrics addressing totalitarian governments, state-sponsored violence, and straight-the-fuck-up torture? That shit will harsh the mellow of even the most seasoned of metal fans.”  “Suffocating” death metal is such a perfect title to assign to the band, for the music feels physically constraining. Hammer of the Heretics is best described as terrifying, it’s honestly uncomfortable to listen to.  Never before have I witnessed a band who manage to convey the anxiety of such violent concepts so vividly, for, usually it comes off as a joke, no matter how heavy the music is or claims to be.  Everything from the instrumentation to the moldy production accomplish this tonality, this is a record deserving to be experienced for oneself.

Final Grade: B          

Sun Speaker
Ov Lustra
Genre: Blackened Death Metal
Released April 20, 2018 via Subliminal Groove Records

As I rack the depths of my mind, I can’t seem to recall a quantity of exceptional blackened death metal acts, or at least those in prevalence now.  Naturally, extreme metal has influenced each gerne with certain traits crossing between sub-genres, yet there doesn’t seem to be any quality pure cross-bred blackened death records coming out as of late.  Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Sun Speaker marks the beginning of their career with a debut record that has already proven itself to be an album of the year contender. Suffice to say, some true kvlt metalheads will detest Ov Lustra due to an actual quality production, the technicality of the instrumentals, and the lengths of experimentation.  The gutturals themselves are perhaps even deathcore influenced, yet they still retain the dry, hoarse, painful vocal styling Black Metal is known for.  The instrumentals are solid as well, the mixture of black and death musical traits being sharpened to the bone. The only problem lies within the unfortunately miniscule timespan.  The record is merely 32 minutes in length, which is quite unfortunate, for its atmosphere is all too easy to be immersed in.

Final Grade: A-

Side Dishes:

Human Barbecue 
Cannibalistic Flesh Harvest
Genre:  Slamming Brutal Death Metal
Released April 6, 2018 via Amputated Vein Records

Cannibalistic Flesh Harvest serves as an excellent example of how death metal doesn’t have to be taken in a purely serious manner, yet still come across with a brutal record. Track titles such as “Cannibalistic Gluttons” and “Fetus Recycling” speak for themselves; it’s a brutal record with brutal concepts and brutal instrumentation.  It’s BRUTAL. My only major complaint lies within the vocal production, which sounds cloudy and bland, very much like that of a hardcore element. That’s not something I like in my death metal, man.

Final Grade: C      

MDMA
Chemical Obliteration
Gerne: Brutal Death Metal
Released April 10, 2018 via Reality Fade Records

I’m not sure if I can accurately describe this record.  Typically, a product beyond description would equate to being a true piece of art, sonic beauty beyond compare; this record is essentially the opposite of that.  While the usual instrumentals of face-melting riffs and furious blast-beats still prevail, the gutturals are…unique. As much as I despise said word for its incompetent description, the gutturals are easily the most defining and different aspect of the record, as they both make and break it at the same time.  Just a heads up, it’s best to not take them seriously.

Final Grade: B-  

Abolishment of Flesh
The Inhuman Condition
Genre: Death Metal
Released April 13, 2018 via Unholy Anarchy Records

Within the first few seconds of play, The Inhuman Condition seemingly establishes itself to be a basic meat and potatoes death metal record.  As time moves forth, however, the record seemingly gains more and more respect via its ability to keep the standard death metal sound interesting.  There’s quite a bit of melo-death influence within some of the riffs, as well as Dethklok-esque gutturals, which are always a plus. Its a brutal bundle of surprises, a fantastic extreme offering.  

Final Grade: B-

Skeletal Remains
Devouring Mortality
Genre: Classic Death Metal
Released April 13, 2018 via Dark Descent Records

What’s not to like here?  The kick-ass riffs? The Scream Bloody Gore-esque high gutturals?  The Jeff Hanneman reminiscent leads?  The classic Death guitar harmonies, soaked in nostalgia?  I think not. Does it do anything new? No. Should anybody care?  No. It’s a fantastic death metal record, the best of old-school death metal with a new-school production.

Final Grade:  B  

Human Worms
Limbless At Birth EP
Genre: Slamming Beatdown
Released April 16, 2018 via Bandcamp

If you’re a sensible human being, the term “Slamming Beatdown” is a rather disgusting sounding turn-off, to say the least.  For what’s worse than a sub-genre dedicated to the over-used tool of the weaker deathcore acts of the 2000’s? Although I originally detested the idea of embracing this record sonically in a fair manner, a listen proved its worth.  It’s heavy, even if it is just a breakdown compilation record for the most part. If you’re that one dick in the pit, throwing punches and knocking the freshly poured brew out of some innocent bystander’s hand, then this record is for you.  

Final Grade: C

Vow of Volition
Djentriffication
Genre: Djent (who would’ve thought?)
Released April 19, 2018 via Bandcamp

Can you imagine Periphery actually being heavy?  No? Me neither, so luckily we have this record to substitute for such a glorious fantasy.  Combining the influences of essentially every band the “how to write like” series (on the band’s YouTube channel) has covered, Djentriffication gives forth the sound Djent should associate with, rather than the ultra-melodic and bland fluff usually produced via the genre’s associates.  Although, I do recall hearing this record before, not sure where though (*cough cough* Krosis).

Final Grade: C+  

Vasculitis
A Monument To Violence EP
Genre: Slamming Beatdown
Released April 28, 2018 via Bandcamp

Another slamming beatdown offering, just as brutally tedious as the last.  As compared to such a brutally abstract concept, such as that of Human Worms, it feels lackluster in terms of creativity, however.  There’s also a bit of a vocal downgrade, opting for perhaps a more raw, uncleaned sound. It sounds uneven with the clean instrumental production, yet that was probably the intention of Vasculitis, a disgusting tone for an equally disgusting record (in the best of ways, of course).

Final Grade:  C                 

Depravity
Evil Upheaval
Genre: Death Metal
Released April 30, 2018 via Transcending Obscurity Records

It’s best to finish with some classic death metal material.  Evil Upheaval is recommended for “fans of – Immolation, Morbid Angel, The Furor, Hour of Penance, Suffocation, Ingurgitating Oblivion, Drawn and Quartered, Incantation” according to Transcending Obscurity, and I couldn’t agree more.  The record utilizes the most pristine songwriting elements of said death metal legends and delicately bashes them together. It’s quite a mature for merely a second full-length, so Depravity have certainly proven themselves with this record.

Final Grade: B

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