Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Metal Bounty Hunter: Volume 9

Brought to you by the Hound

Unru - Als Tier Ist Der Mensch Nichts (2016) / 80%

Oppressive incestuous post black

This German quartet's debut album (that we can translate to "As an animal, man is nothing") is a brief voyage into the oppressive minds of their songwriters. Rooted in both black metal and hardcore (crust, post hardcore...), the four songs managed to incorporate the pure hatred and violent conviction of all their influences. The drums are buried under the loud and atmospheric guitars but I liked the way they were recorded, it seems to be natural and fits the aggressive yet pensive identity of Unru.

I guess we could say that they're a post black metal band but there's nothing fancy, comforting or joyful about their music. The vocals are deep howls and combined with the instrumentation, it's like walking in an old post World War II disaffected military complex, it's cold and suffocating in the best way possible. If you like the numerous incestuous explorations of black metal and hardcore, this is a band to check out. The lengthy songs made this an exhausting but rewarding experience.

Dautha - Den förste (2016) / 83%

Sweden's new trad doom titan
I do think that Griftegård only managing to release one full-length is a tragedy in itself but if we ignore this first world problem, I’m quite happy that Ola Blomkvist (guitars, lyrics, direction) is back with a new traditional doom project and it’s well worth the time for everyone who likes the style. While not reinventing the classic wheel of doom, the integration of some beautiful violins is refreshing in something else than melodic doom/death or goth metal à la My Dying Bride. After a brief intro (translated to “Adulterers should be killed”), we’re served two excellent mid-paced numbers with epic soaring clean vocals and terrific riffs. Definitely influenced by the medieval period and religions, Dautha’s music is classy, engaging and played by talented Swedish veterans. Let us rejoice when darkness thrive / Oh, this is Hell but we shall laugh This is a demo but the quality of the songs and the production made me wish it wasn’t. Unfortunately the handmade packaging limited to 78 copies is sold out but I’m sure we won’t have to wait too long before we get more material from these guys. Well, I hope so.

Nails – You Will Never Be One of Us (2016) / 97%
Nine Inch Cocks

Signing to Nuclear Blast definitely made Nails sellouts, right? Oh fuck no it didn’t. The Californian trio unleashed their longest album ever (still only 21 minutes) and it’s one of the perfect outlet for aggression and violence I’ve ever heard.
The band got added to the Metal Archives due to this record and rightfully so, I could compare it to the movie Alien, a cinema classic classified as both horror and science fiction… Well, YWNBOOU borrows as much from hardcore as it does from metal. Nails puts classic grindcore, old Swedish death metal, powerviolence, crust, Slayer-ish thrash in a dirty blender and crush the mixture till it’s just perfectly bloody.

Just like “Unsilent Death” or Abandon All Life, most of the tracks are short motherfuckers who will slam your head and make you jump everywhere. They never forget to write compelling and truly awesome riffs such as in “Into Quietus” and end the album with a monstrous eight minutes track containing everything they ever been known for. Slow pummeling riffs, spiteful vocals and fast destruction. I was really happy when they played “They Come Crawling Back” live as it’s one hell of a track. The best extreme album of 2016.


Pillars – Pyres and Gallows (2016) / 70%

The Baguette Doom Series pt. XVII: Nice

The quartet from Nice (not pronounced like you think) plays heavy as hell doom metal without turning into a stoner band. The vocals of Clément Flandrois are rough, sort of harsh and would fit a southern metal band. The dude has a lot of range though and shows how good he is on the 10 minutes title track.

Many French bands actually sound like they’re from the American south and I’m not totally sure why (check out Glorior Belli and their southern black metal sound) and Pillars are definitely one of them. I mean, it’s subtle, don’t expect to hear some classless Hellyeah worship here, it’s still trad doom with obese riffs and a sad lyrical approach. This debut extended play has no obvious problems, it’s honest, well written and even has this blackened feel not usually present in this style of metal. Nevertheless, they could streamline their compositions a little and there’s a certain lack of memorability on there.

Deathbringer - From Silence Was Born The Sound of Death (2016) / 75%
Unsilent death/black

Montréal’s Deathbringer plays a savage and natural sort of death/black metal. Their debut full length, a short
affair sounds like a demented Immolation at times. There’s an obvious focus on riffs and the album is full of great catchy ones. The production job was kept willingly raw and when I first heard a track from the album, I wasn’t quite sure it was the right decision but now that I’ve heard the full thing, I do think it fits the atmosphere they were going for.

Vocal wise, there’s a mix of cavernous growls, high pitched screams (both apparent on the last track “Bone Weaver”) and also some cleans (“By the Will of God”). The singer is one of the best aspects of Deathbringer, it adds to the dual identity of the band and their fluid back and forth between death and black metal. Even if they’re Canadian, they’re not really war metal, their core is death metal and there’s even doomy influences at times. War metal for me must be black metal with additional elements coming from death and grind.

All in all, it’s a strong debut for Deathbringer, they understood that riffs are the primordial element to make your band worthwhile and even though they kept the mastering and mixing lo-fi and raw, it makes the songs shine in the darkness.

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