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Album Reviews Beneath the Vault Reviews

Beneath the Vault #11: Riffs That Will Melt Your Face Off

Welcome to Beneath the Vault, a column in which we take a brief look at the many review requests we get from bands that aren’t always fortunate enough to afford a promotional campaign or the backing of a big record label. Whether you like your music like you like your coffee or prefer listening to groovy tunes with headphones and some smoke, we’ve got you covered with these underground treasures. If you’re a band and would like a review or a spot in this column, click here to put in a request.

Истина - Откровение Неизвестности (Revelation of Unknown)Истина (Istina)
Откровение Неизвестности (Revelation of Unknown)
Released on November 6th, 2018
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal

Recalling Xasthur in that project’s most atmospherically accomplished period, Истина (Istina) is a clear continuation of that particular brand of underground black metal. This is a long album (70 minutes), but if you’re a fan of Xasthur’s type of atmospheric music then you should easily manage to make it all of the way through the playing time unscathed. The thing is, despite its obvious influences, this album is pretty damn good. It may not be doing anything radically new, but that’s not the point; this is all about crafting a certain blackened mood, and these Russians do what they do very well. Macabre, sinister, and sometimes downright eerie, Откровение Неизвестности (Revelation of Unknown) is very effective at creating dark atmospheres with blackened bite. – Nigel

The Blank Standard - The Blank StandardThe Blank Standard
The Blank Standard
Released on November 2nd, 2018
Genre: Death Metal

This US band plays brutal music that takes mainly from the death metal genre, but also boasts heavier elements from the metalcore/groove metal ones too. That’s musically, at least. Vocally, the singer sounds akin to Glen Benton from Deicide, which is just swell, to be honest. Actually, some of the chunky rhythms and thick riffs recall Deicide too, so maybe think of The Blank Standard as a mix of Deicide, Lamb of God, and a miscellaneous mix of parts of bands such as Decapitated, Dying Fetus, Within Destruction, and Whitechapel. I really like this album when I’m in the mood for something thoughtlessly brutal. The band state that “The Blank Standard exists to create BRUTAL BONE-CRUSHING METAL.” Well, I’m glad they do, and their debut album is absolutely crushing. Bone-crushing, in fact. Listen to this at full volume and get ready to flatten everything you own. – Nigel

Stonecutters - Carved in TimeStonecutters
Carved in Time
Released on November 2nd, 2018
Genre: Sludge/Heavy Metal

Stonecutter’s are back with their new ripper Carved in Time! We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, the Louisville metal outfit puts on one hell of a live performance, and Carved in Time does a great job of putting that it to tape. The songs are tight and fast with dozens of memorable riffs that I guaranteed will stick in your head for days. Highlights include the title-track “Carved in Time, ” “Reduced to Nothing,” and well…just about every song on here. Highly recommended if you like the heavy metal. Side effects may include neck pain from excessive headbanging and having your face removed from constant shredding. – Bryan

Kill Shelter - Damage - Indy Metal VaultKill Shelter
Released on November 26th, 2018
Genre: Post-Punk/Darkwave/Gothic Rock

When I go through our review requests, I usually listen to one or two songs and either move on, if it’s not doing anything for me, or I flag it for further listening. With Kill Shelter’s Damage, I was doing some work at home and forgot to do either. I’m glad I happened because I ended up really digging this one and bought it immediately after listening to the whole thing. It’s a stunningly consistent post-punk album full of dark mood and melody. The songs are full of hooks with many memorable moments. If you’re an old fart like me (or Clayton) that grew up in the 80s listening to The Cure, Joy Division or Siouxsie and the Banshees, do yourself a favor and pick this one up. – Bryan

Grey Czar - Boondoggle - Indy Metal VaultGrey Czar
Released On October 31st, 2018
Genre: Progressive Rock

My Beneath the Vault writing partner Nigel covered this on his blog Wonderbox Metal, so I hope I can do it as much justice as he did. It’s rare for me to find a progressive rock album that’s so easy to crack into on the first listen. It usually takes a few spins before I start connecting with the music, but with Grey Czar’s Boondoggle, it happened almost instantly. Thanks to the Roland Hickmann’s thick baritone voice and big choruses from the rest of the band, this is a remarkably accessible album, and I wish I had picked up on it sooner. It’s a dense listen with multi-layered instrumentation and grandiose compositions, well worth multiple listens and a purchase. – Bryan

Withered Fist - This is my Mountain - Indy Metal VaultWithered Fist
This is my Mountain
Released on January 1st, 2019
Genre: Doom/Stoner

Alright, so sometimes I’ll scan through our list of review requests and pick out one with a band or album name that I think is cool. It often doesn’t yield the best results, but this time it did! The band name Withered Fist is actually a pretty good representation of their music. The Irish group’s songs are hard-hitting like a fist, but the vocal harmonies soften the blow. See what I did there? No? Right, it’s probably based on St. Istvan, Hungary’s first Christian King who the withered fist supposedly belonged to. At least, that’s what this ignorant fool found on a Trip Advisor comment. But anyway, if you like a good tale woven around some heavy doom with a dash of classic rock and sludge, then this EP is for you.  Go buy it…NOW! – Bryan

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1 comment

The Blank Standard
The Blank Standard January 11, 2019 at 4:26 pm

Thanks for the review!


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