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Beneath the Vault Reviews

Beneath the Vault #17: Riffs of the Lost World

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.

Insanity Cult - All Shall Return to ChaosInsanity Cult
All Shall Return to Chaos
Released on May 19, 2019
Genre: Black Metal

This is raw, traditional, second wave-influenced black metal from Greece. I’ve been following this outfit’s progress for a few years now, and I have to say that I really like what they do. Not only that, but I would venture that All Shall Return to Chaos is their most accomplished album to date. The band operate with a professional selection of tools in the shape of throat-shredding screams, frozen riffs, and blackened atmospheres. This latter aspect of the band’s music has improved even further on this latest release, thanks to a choice selection of grim melodies and dark moods. If you’re in the market for sharp and aggressive black metal that knows how to create cold atmospheres with engaging songwriting, then look no further than Insanity Cult. – Nigel Holloway

Dead Acid Peoplee - Earth, Weed & FireDead Acid People 
Earth, Weed & Fire
Released on May 24, 2019
Genre: Stoner Rock

Kicking out the jams with engaging riffs and psychedelic fuzziness are France’s Dead Acid People. Playing mainly on the slower end of the spectrum, (with bursts of more upbeat energy to keep things interesting), this is a solid collection of tracks that also have the occasional hint of punk rock and even indie rock in them here and there. The band’s music sounds honest and authentic in a way that’s a very good indicator that the band really enjoy themselves with their tunes. With well-written songs that show an appreciation of both style and substance, Earth, Weed & Fire is 37 minutes of enjoyable and satisfying stoner rock. – Nigel Holloway

Insurrection - Circles of DespairInsurrection
Circles of Despair
Released on August 30, 2019
Genre: Death/Thrash Metal

Insurrection offer up a polished metal sound that combines harsh thrash metal with elements of death metal. The end result is an album that’s polished to a lethal cutting edge, both from its melodically-charged delivery and from a punchy, professional production. The songs are brutal and tight, and the band clearly know what they want to achieve with these songs. At a lean 42 minutes, the 10 tracks don’t outstay their welcome, and Circles of Despair provides an enjoyable, engaging listen for anyone into modern extreme metal. – Nigel Holloway

Dog Slayer
Sacred Eye
Released on May 5th, 2018
Genre: Heavy Metal

With a band name like “Dog Slayer,” it’s obviously going to catch my attention. Add the fact that they’re from China, an atypical platform for metal, and I’m basically sold on checking it out. Truly this is a very tough one to swallow despite being a traditional metal effort. It’s a twenty-minute EP composed of four songs, with shoddy production and weird transitions, mostly crafted to match the early ’80s outputs. The rhythms are solid and the drumming on “Rosebud” is incredible, but approach with caution. The vocalist has a very sharp style that’s fit only for a specific ear. For those that can dig that, this is worth at least checking out! – Nichalas Edward

Released on December 24th, 2018
Genre: Hardcore

(sp)Lit are a band based out of my area in Lancaster Pennsylvania, with very few releases to their name. One demo and this quick little EP is all you’ll find, but man oh man can they smash a lot in just five minutes. Twenty//Eighteen is only three tracks long, the first being a siren ridden intro titled “The Dark,” which leads into “Never, I.” This is a harsh smack-to-the-face of crushing rhythms followed by a breakdown and lots of throaty screams. The final blow “Half/Ghost” is crafted primarily of slamming chugs with loud drum kicks to back it all up. If you’re looking for something to last a while, look elsewhere. If you’re looking for a harsh kick to the nuts, get off here! – Nichalas Edward 

Rogue Deal - Demo - Indy Metal VaultRogue Deal
Released on May 31st, 2019
Genre: Heavy Metal

Seeing the cheesy “poser advisory” sticker on the plagiarized cover, along with the NWOTHM tagline in the band’s description, I knew exactly what to expect from these guys. Rogue Deal introduce themselves to metal traditionalists through their debut s/t demo and become one of the many bands that seek creativity in revisiting the ways of their ’80s metal idols. Within roughly fourteen minutes, the Italian quartet delivers three tracks in the true spirit of early Iron Maiden, Diamond Head, Raven, etc. with vocals and guitar solos being their strongest trait. It didn’t shake the ground, but it sounded promising enough for me to keep an eye on them. Favorite track: “I’ve Been to Hell.” – Giannis Tziligkakis

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