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Album Reviews Reviews Short Sharp Shock

Short Sharp Shock #48: Your Favourite Treats

Welcome to the latest edition of Short Sharp Shock, where we take a look at some of the shorter metal releases that are out there.

We’ve got a nice, varied selection of metallic treats for you today. Which one is your favourite?

Wormed - MetaportalBand(s): Wormed
Title: Metaportal
Style(s): Death Metal
Duration: 17 minutes
Release date: July 19, 2019

Returning from tragedy, Wormed’s new EP Metaportal is shockingly good. Here we have four tracks of sci-fi-themed brutality that just devastates everything else around it. Technical death metal can easily wander off the beaten track, but Wormed have an ability to keep things focused and the overall story that they want to tell doubtlessly helps them channel their complex aggression into actual songs, rather than just technical workouts for the sake of it. Increasingly using electronic/synth enhancements to add atmosphere, this side of the band’s sound is mostly achieved relatively subtly, but no less effective for this.

A truly great EP.

Phobia - Generation CowardBand(s): Phobia
Title: Generation Coward
Style(s): Grindcore
Duration: 17 minutes
Release date: August 9, 2019

This is the latest EP from Phobia, and this veteran grind band offer up a savage selection of vitriolic grindcore tracks. I like this sort of short and nasty grind, and Phobia have been around long enough to make this sort of music work for them effortlessly. The songs offer raw brutality underpinned by hardcore punk. It’s a simple and effective formula that allows the band to smash skulls with style. Phobia have an impressive discography that stretches out over three decades, and if you haven’t heard them before then this EP serves as an appropriate starting point.

Besvärjelsen - FrostBand(s): Besvärjelsen
Title: Frost
Style(s): Stoner Metal/Rock
Duration: 27 minutes
Release date: August 9, 2019

This hefty EP has a doom metal base that’s then ably mixed with heavy, stoner, and psychedelic rock. The end result is five well-written songs that are worth a half-hour of your time to get to know. The lead singer has a distinctive voice that melds power with grace, and her voice acts as a focal point throughout this release. She’s occasionally backed up by male vocals, with all vocals being performed well. The songs have a lot of character, as well as more individual quirkiness than I was expecting. Catchy and memorable, with plenty of hooks and quality vocal lines, Frost is definitely a release to check out.

The Contortionist - Our BonesBand(s): The Contortionist
Title: Our Bones
Style(s): Progressive Metal
Duration: 15 minutes
Release date: August 9, 2019

This EP offers three new tracks and a cover of ‘1979’ by Smashing Pumpkins. A tad more aggressive in places than their last full length from 2017 Clairvoyant, the melodic, atmospheric side of the band is still here though, and this is accessible modern metal that’s easily absorbed and enjoyed. The band’s approach to technical music uses djent and progressive metal to craft songs that are surprisingly moreish and substantial for something so polished and contemporary. I particularly enjoy these new songs as they incorporate a bit more of the band’s energetic, heavier side into the music without losing their melodic/atmospheric appeal, (although this is all relative, of course – Wormed and Phobia, for example, this is not). A solid EP.

The Last Martyr - CreatrixBand(s): The Last Martyr
Title: Creatrix
Style(s): Melodic Metal
Duration: 20 minutes
Release date: April 26, 2019

This is a well-written and professionally delivered release that lurks in the nebulous waters somewhere between stadium rock and metalcore. There’s a touch of nu-metal here too. While this mix of styles may not appeal to everyone, it’s damn good stuff if you’re in the mood for it. The Last Martyr are clearly onto a winner here, and I can easily imagine this band increasing in stature quite rapidly under the right circumstances. This EP gets an American release on August 9th, so you never know what may happen…

Regardless of what the future may hold, Creatrix is an enjoyable collection of tunes that becomes more and more infectious as you get to know it. Its charms are quite insidious in that way. This is easy to digest and is surprisingly satiating once you have done so. As audio meals go this is tasty and nutritious.

High quality. Don’t miss out on this one.

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1 comment

The Last Martyr
The Last Martyr August 9, 2019 at 2:21 am

@wormedband @phobiagrind @besvarjelsen @tcband Thank you!!! Legends!!


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