Audio Autopsy – December 2016

Audio Autopsy – December 2016

01/12/16  ||  Global Domination

Wormrot: Voiceswormrot-voices


Habakuk: Some of the utter savagery of earlier albums is gone, which I attribute to the drummer change, but still is this some pretty damn good grind. 8

Myrkrarfar: Why so angry? Did a baddie take your lolly? No matter, keep angsting. Sounds fucken good. 7

sincan: One thing I really don’t get with grindcore and whatnot is that there is a fucking rule that the tracks must be short as fuck, let go off the fucking rule book! I accept and understand that different genres have different attributes, but the length of tracks? Oh, boy “Yeah we play the shortest fucking tracks, you’re gonna love it!”. Well, I just had to say it, otherwise there are some enjoyable moments on this album, which can be seen as rather catchy party mood raising. 6

Cobal Caldera: A very catchy record in its own right. Forget the “for a grindcore record” part of this comment. 7

sly: Highly competent grindcore from Singapore. Intense and political, yet somehow unmemorable. 7

davedeath: What can we say about Wormrot?  More killer grindcore from them, exactly as expected.  This is vicious stuff in the style of Captain Cleanoff or Insect Warfare, but with extra Gridlink-style sriracha.  Be warned: this might appeal more to hardcore listeners than metalheads.  I can’t imagine Nile or Portal fans digging this (I might be wrong though).  Their new drummer Vijesh Ghariwala is a beast!!! They seem faster and more vicious than before, and guitarist Rasyid Juraimi has really kicked it up a notch.  I think I am going to have to go buy myself a copy of this on vinyl.  These guys are at the top of their game, back to the level of ‘Abuse’ after the slight dip in quality with ‘Dirge’ … fuck it, it’s 10

Ulcerate: Shrines of paralysisulcerate-shrines_of_paralysis


Habakuk: I can appreciate this, but it is becoming a bit too obvious that they found their formula a few albums ago. 7

Myrkrarfar: The darkness. The entropy. The mysteries. The Ballsack ov Doom. 8

sincan: Technical death with a rather darkened serpent twist that makes it rather interesting for us that seek more than just joy! 7

Cobal Caldera: Tech death of the slow, profound type. It made me think of Nile’s last record, and I detect a lovecraftian vibe to this musically, if you know what I mean. 6

sly: Very dense and almost structureless, it takes a few listens to understand Ulcerate’s abstract take on death metal. This is high death metal art that requires total concentration from the listener, something I will seldom be able to give. 8

davedeath: I saw this band live here in Australia, maybe six or seven years ago…I feel the same way about this record as I did about that live performance.  Lots of really good guitar and vocal stuff in here, some of that brooding intensity that I associate with Immolation, but the drumming just gets too fucking busy and kills the vibe a lot of the time.  If you can see past that and dig the more technical drummers on the scene this is very good music and well worth picking up. 8

Testament: The brotherhood of the snaketestament-brotherhood_of_the_snake


Habakuk: Pretty damn impressive. I’m just not a huge fan of this clean thrash sound. 7

Myrkrarfar: The best thrash band outside the Big 4 is currently clearly better than all of the ones inside. Awesome stuff. 8

sincan: I have not yet dared to take Metallica’s new album out for a musical journey but I would be surprised if it is better than this one. 7

Cobal Caldera: A follow up to their recent records… not bad, but I do not see myself ever coming back to any song here. 5

sly: As impressed as I was upon first listen, subsequent listens revealed that there’s really nothing new under the surface. It’s a solid Testament album but absolutely nothing more. 7

davedeath: Unlike Metallica, this old thrash band knows how to keep thrashing without sucking. Quality-wise I’d put this on a par with the recent Kreator stuff. 8

Serpentine Dominion: Serpentine dominionserpentine_dominion-serpentine_dominion


Habakuk: The good parts come straight from Cannibal Corpse. The bad parts are those where they don’t sound like that. Where’s the point again? 5

Myrkrarfar: Crushing the skulls of inferior beings with brutal riffing and melting their faces with amazingly raw vocals courtesy of Corpsegrinder, Serpentine Dominion excel in everything but clean vox. Impressive debut. 7

sincan: Some sort of “super group” or what the kids call such things nowadays. I would say it is some decent semi-melodic death metal with some emo vocals here and there. 6

Cobal Caldera: A modern death metal album with clean vocals here and there. It doesn’t sound very promising on the paper, but Corpsegrinder’s vocals really give the music a special strength and energy, and the guitar work is excellent. I struggled choosing the best tracks for the playlist. 7

sly: Not sure about the clear vocal passages but otherwise this a pretty intense and incisive record. George “Corpsegrinder” is a massive vocalist and the driving force behind this short but enjoyable release. 7

davedeath: If someone asked me to describe this based on the start of the album I would say ‘power metal influenced thrash’, or something like that…but then the vocals kick in and it suddenly sounds more death metal, I guess because Corpsegrinder is the vocalist…drummer Shannon Lucas sounds a lot like a drum machine.  Either extremely tight drummer (possible) or these are quantized to hell, possibly a bit of both.  Not keen on those clean vocals that pop up now and then.  I don’t know who is doing those on here, but they don’t fit well.  I actually like the slower sections better; the drums can be unrelenting at higher speeds. I’m trying to ignore those clean vocals.  7

Crowbar: The serpent only liescrowbar-the_serpent_only_lies


Habakuk: Heavay. 8

Myrkrarfar: A step in a better, punkier, direction. Was never a fan, but this ain’t too shabby. 6

sincan: Pretty decent but a bit repetitive, I guess the riffing could have been a little better to make this great. 6

Cobal Caldera: I enjoy the riffs, and the songs are actually well written, but there’s something about the vocals I find almost annoying. 5

sly: A sludgier, grimier Crowbar harking back to their olden days. There’s some catchy stuff. 6

davedeath: Thank fuck!!  Something genuinely enjoyable in this month’s AA.  I guess I’ve just sat through a streak of shitty ones but this seems pretty damn good. My favourite track on this is ‘Surviving The Abyss’ … that some good heavy stuff. There’s some stuff on here that doesn’t work so well, such as that harmonized guitar at the start of ‘On Holy Ground’, but if you like other Crowbar it’s a safe purchase.  7

Meshuggah: The violent sleep of reasonmeshuggah-the_violent_sleep_of_reason


Habakuk: I was gonna complain about another Meshuggah ripoff, but then I read the band name. 6

Myrkrarfar: The grip around mah balls tightens. Juices flow, as from peeled grapes. Life’s good. 8

sincan: I can’t say that I’m the biggest Meshuggah fan, but they can sure play their instruments, the tracks don’t speak so much to me though. 6

Cobal Caldera: Much has been said about this being “yet another Meshuggah’s record,” and yet, there’s more than awesome songs here. Besides, I particularly recommend the tracks on the playlist, the guitar solos are amazing. 7

sly: Polyrhythms and breakdowns. Breakdowns and polyrhythms. An entire album of precise monomaniacal music that puts me to sleep. 5

davedeath: Well, I will say that this is a shit-ton heavier than most of that djent crap out there that claims to be inspired by them (for example, the awful Periphery).  Some of the guitar solos are really nice.  Sounds better than other stuff I’ve heard from them.  I’m sure other people will score this higher than me. 5

Anaal Nathrakh: The whole of the lawanaal_nathrakh-the_whole_of_the_law


Habakuk: Intense as ever. And that “Powerslave” cover has to be witnessed. 8

Myrkrarfar: The barrage is fucken relentless. In fact, too relentless for its own good. Some dynamic variation would greatly increase the amount of listening time one is able to give the Anaal. Other things, like my anaal, I’ll gladly give ’em any day or night. 6

sincan: I am not all that fond of their wall of sound thing with distorted vocals but crystal clear guitars. It is not garbage, but it doesn’t fully speak to me. 6

Cobal Caldera: This is definitely an improvement since their last record. Their black/industrial hybrid is growing on me, and even the metalcorish moments are way more listenable than before. Do I perceive some Danny Filth vibes here and there? 7

sly: Underwhelming industrial-black-grind nonsense. 4

davedeath: I really liked the droning intro and the initial riffs that open this album…very heavy…then something shit happened before a really fast blast comes in, which did help. The vocals though, not really feeling those.  Same with a lot of the weird stuff overlaid over the music as samples or whatever.  There is the occasional annoying djenty sounding bit here and there, some horrible gabber type of percussion, drum machine or something.  To be honest, even though this is a lot heavier than the Alter Bridge record I would probably choose to listen to that again before I would come back to this. I do think this would tend to appeal more to most of our readers though so I will give it the same score.  There are some death metal passages on this that are quite decent, and I know some of you will love it, but I’m giving it a tepid 4

Urfaust: Empty space meditationurfaust-empty_space_meditation


Habakuk: Oh it’s that “depressive” black metal stuff again. It’s cool, then someone goes into “whuuhuhhuaaarghhhllll wuuuahuhuuhh” and everyone leaves. 4

Myrkrarfar: This album deserves more time than I have, much like my anus deserves more dick than your mom has. Many potentials, much atmosphere, decent feels. 6

sincan: I guess the title of this album kinds of describes the music rather well, expect experimental slow-paced black metal with loads of clean vocals, a rather good album, but a bit too repetitive. 7

Cobal Caldera: Too abstract, lo-fi black that pretends to be genius, but that’s actually boring as fuck. 4

sly: Epic atmospheric black metal with a healthy dose of Gothic undertones, mostly due to the vocals which sound like a cross between Fenriz and Peter Murphy. These vocals, which are at times majestic and other times downright annoying, certainly seem to be an acquired taste. 7

davedeath: I don’t know what these guys are singing about.  Probably it’s something from Goethe.  But I do know that this is some of the most interesting music in this month’s AA.  They call this stuff atmospheric black metal and that seems pretty apt.  Atmosphere like a dark, foggy, winter night and then a wave of black metal riffage crashes over you.  It has a lot of weird moments and I am guessing this won’t be for everybody – some of the stuff even sounds like the experimental end of German hardcore – but I think it is a record I will listen to again.  6

Red Fang: Only ghostsred_fang-only_ghosts


Habakuk: I will always put them in the Mastodon box, but that need not be a bad thing at all. 7

Myrkrarfar: My beard just grew about an inch. 6

sincan: Not heavy enough nor do the melodies make me want to shake that butt. 5

Cobal Caldera: Let’s put it this way: sounds like Crowbar, but better. 6

sly: Hipster radio-friendly stoner rock that feels so meticulously contrived. Pass! 4

davedeath: Maybe I’m a grumpy old metalhead but I’ve never gotten the hype around this band and this one isn’t doing anything to change my opinion.  Some people tell me this stoner rock or whatever.  It sounds like a dad rock version of stoner rock to me.  Like Kyuss meets Foo Fighters.  Edgy it is not.  4

Alter Bridge: The last heroalter_bridge-the_last_hero


Habakuk: For fans of … what I don’t like. 5

Myrkrarfar: Competent yet mundane. Have another Boreo. 5

sincan: The life metal blue jeans party is on and everyone is invited, but I’m not attending. 4

Cobal Caldera: Myles Kennedy is one gifted motherfucker, and while this is not my favorite kind of… err… metal (?), their slower, darker songs are actually pretty good. 6

sly: Not much to say here. It’s heavier than I thought it would be, and the vocalist has some decent pipes. That’s about it… 4

davedeath: This is kind of like a post-rock take on grunge. I like the intro riffs more than the actual songs most of the time.  Features Creed guitarist Mark Tremonti.  All of the people on this can play and/or sing well.  Guitar solos are very tasteful, but I got bored.  Not really something I will feel compelled to revisit.  4

The Dillinger Escape Plan: Dissociationthe_dillinger_escape_plan-dissociation


Habakuk: I get the appeal somehow, but have to focus a lot to do so. At the same time they are trying insanely hard to annoy me. 5

Myrkrarfar: Off you go, back to Never Neverland. 3

sincan: No, go away with all your disco music sampling and core life business. 1

Cobal Caldera: Back to their old, schizo sound. 6

sly: Personally, I’m pleased to hear that this is their last album. At last! Now if only Korn and Avenged Sevenfold would follow suit. 3

davedeath: DEP is one of those bands that have always struck me as being too talented and technical for their own good.  There are bits of this album that draw me in but they then switch gears pretty quickly to play something that cuts across that at an angle.  Good band if you like that kind of thing.  They went a bit more melodic on this one.  It’s very jazzy at times, which I don’t mind (in small doses). At least it’s not fucking djent and the vocals don’t sound pitch-corrected…  5

Korn: The serenity of sufferingkorn-the_serenity_of_suffering


Habakuk: I would love to call this a Soulfly clone, but hah – I know better! 5

Myrkrarfar: There’s no serenity to my suffering, not with this shit playing. 2

sincan: I guess that the Korn fans, if there are any left, will enjoy this little fucker which actually succeeds in the terms of getting back to the roots of their music. 5

Cobal Caldera: Sounds like Korn. The more intense moments are almost good, I suppose. 4

sly: The kings of mall metal and bad taste are back. Time to dread your hair and put on your baggies. Will this nightmare never end? 2

davedeath: This is some old school nu-metal.  Nu-metal.  Nu-metal’s not so new any more.  And I still hate it just as much as I did when the first Korn album came out. Scratching, that horrible bass sound, the whiny vocals.  Just.Fucking.Stop. 1

Avenged Sevenfold: The stageavenged_sevenfold-the_stage


Habakuk: Take everything that’s boring about metal, stir mildly and pour. 3

Myrkrarfar: What is the point. Seriously, what is the point with this kind of music? At least the solos are above meh. 3

sincan: When I want to feel extra wild and crazy, I dye my short hair into black, use some hair wax and wear extra cool bleached jeans and listen to ultra extreme Avenged Sevenfold. 3

Cobal Caldera: Fuck this. No. Matter. What. 0

sly: Whoa, Avenged Sevenfold have gone intellectual on us. Not sure the fans will follow. 5

davedeath: You know, I expected this to be a lot more obnoxious than it actually is, based on the band’s image and the fact that they are hyped by a whole bunch of dickheads.  Maybe they have changed?  I don’t know.  This is one of those ‘talented guys, but I just don’t seem to be able to really dig it’ reviews.  Didn’t their drummer die or something?  The guy on this one is pretty damned good.  I don’t mind this band at their thrashier sounding moments but then along comes some horrible nu-metal or power metal sounding bit and ruins it for me. The more I listen, the more I cringe. I think they heard some Metallica ballads and thought those were a good idea.  They weren’t.  That’s when Metallica became a suckfest. 4

Sonata Arctica: The ninth hoursonata_arctica-the_ninth_hour


Habakuk: What IS this shit? 1

Myrkrarfar: Oh mah gaahd stahp preachin’ yer pretentious fucken bullshit you fucks. 2

sincan: Eeeeeeeh, nope. 3

Cobal Caldera: How or why I ever thought Sonata Arctica was a great band is beyond me. Tony’s bawling is embarrassing. 3

sly: These guys fail to amaze me more and more with every new release. Some power metal at least makes for a fun listen for a few tracks, but not this bunch. 2

davedeath: They seem to like this kind of stuff in Finland.  Maybe I need to sit in the freezer at my local supermarket for an hour and then give it another listen?  I dunno.  Maybe this is what they have for pop music in Finland?  Wimpy metal? 2

Amaranthe: Maximalismamaranthe-maximalism


Habakuk: Rabid Casio on the loose. “Like a boomerang, like a boomerang”… 3

Myrkrarfar: Adapting to the life of an Amaranthe fan – which includes drinking copious amounts of Monster Energy and generally being a douche – didn’t help one bit, this still sucks goat ass. Warm, fuzzy goat ass. 2

sincan: “You can always bring me down but I come around Like a boomerang, like a boomerang ’round” WOW rectal eruption guaranteed. 1

Cobal Caldera: I thought giving this a grade would be easy, and then it hit me: Why not opening the door for minus grades? Track “Limitless” made it to this month’s playlist only so you have an idea, and without putting up with these morons pretending to play “metal”. 0

sly: Europopmetal of the shittiest ilk. Dismal stuff. The pits. 1

davedeath: For some reason within a few bars of this album starting I had the image of that YouTube video of the German cyber-goths dancing to the Thomas the Tank Engine theme in a storm drain in my head … not a good sign. I hate this shit. 1

Click here for the monthly playlist compiled by Cobal Caldera.


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