Tag Archives: Slam

7 H.Target – 0.00 Apocalypse

This is a guest post written by reviewer Akerfeldt_Fanboi, and is re-blogged from http://www.metal-archives.com/.

7 H. Target‘s 2012 full-length Fast-Slow Demolition was a refreshing breeze in the stagnate climate of slamming brutal death metal. Each track was an overwhelming chaos of modern Malignancy mixed with a healthy dose of groove and later drenched in Japanese body-horror references, leaving a disgusting record that backed up its slam with proper death metal.
0.00 Apocalypse 
,while still having an equally nonsensical title, pushes the band away from the sampling and body-horror from the debut into a hellish cyber post-apocalypse that seems to move with a thematic continuity between the records.

Likewise, the music evolves. The maelstrom of riffs and breakdowns are dismembered, cauterized, and sewn back together with mechanical precision here – though not to say the debut was incredibly sloppy or amateurish by any degree. Here, however, the performance is nearly robotic in its precision and power. Even with their technical prowess, one of the most impressive aspects of the band was that they reserved their slower moments and slams for special occasions, leaving them for the most climactic points of their career (i.e. “Hara-Kiri Torture Mechanism”) and letting the momentum of that apex propel the rest of the music into a blistering finale. Continuing in that trend, “Technofetishist” represents that same turning point of the album where the nearly nonstop ferocity of the previous tracks grinds to a halt for a grooving junction before turning the dial back up immediately. But this rendition is more intense, less organically disturbing with more imagery of mechanical halls of torture and cybernetic mayhem.

The songs themselves are just that: songs. Unlike many of their peers, this Russian trio writes tunes that have a cohesive feel and flow and stick to your brain for weeks on end and rarely leave without a lasting impression. I know I was desperately trying to play the opening riff of “Meatball Machine Story” for the first few days this album was in my hands. The squeal of harmonics and low-end rumbling all attributes to the inorganic material this album tries to fuse itself with, and in the process the listener is left scarred by the surgeries and attempts at grotesque combinations. These guys know how they want to sound, how pitch-perfect the placement of each groove is, and by God do they execute that idea with a pristine finish.

Every passage strikes the cold, lifeless tone in each slam and half-time before spitting out a stream of brutal death metal. Crunchy, roaring death metal abounds on this album with frequent dips into blasting insanity and endless tremolo that neatly wraps the musical package together into something special. As usual, the drumming of Mikhail is one of the highlights here, with each massive beat of the snare pulling the pieces of each song together into a cohesive whole. The tone of the album is phenomenal, with a clear production that suits the style of the music to the point where it mimics the progression of the band’s lyrical content and concept of a transhumanist future. This, to them, is a vile, detestable future for humanity – or at least the incredible (and sometimes incredibly indecipherable) situations in the songs point to this. For instance “S-94” is a tale of a wasteland of sex addicts preying on any and all women they come across, even ending in a horrible sampled audio at the end with somber music devolving into noise and ending with sadistic laughter.

With every song the band submits the listener to a barrage of hyper-demented slam with an unforgettable twist of production and song-writing quality. They have a keen eye on their direction, clearly, and somehow pull off this brand of metal without forgoing the structure, composition, and quality of their music. From paper to performance, this album is a definite must-buy for any fanatics of the genre and anyone looking to take the final step to total assimilation.

Suffocation – Effigy of the Forgotten

Effigy of the Forgotten” is such an interesting album to review, maybe since it contains zero elements of the melodic department, instead having this pure, insane focus on rhythm. The guitars chainsaw through every song with a buzzing, conquering speed that almost never stops, while in between, cymbal chokes hammer down on you like large-caliber bullets. While most metal, even in the DM subgenre, usually has a bit of “space” in the mix to resonate within, Suffocation leaves none, holding you cruelly in their claustrophobic chokehold, your mind attacked by their labyrinth-like collection of riffs; and the calculated repetitive nature of this insisting battering on some songs like the title track, quickly grows close to being an overkill; the constant violence rendering its structure partly unimportant, serving just to contain and organize.

The only relief comes from those slower grooves that gave much inspiration for today’s modern BDM\Slam; and there are also a few catchier numbers like “Jesus Wept” and “Reincremation“, with their ultra-memorable main riffs. Many times, the band sounds so immersed in their own created chaos that the listener becomes unsure – where is his place in all this estranging music? But there are also middle-of-the-road options where the guys stick together the catchy and the chaotic very well – like “Seeds of the Suffering” and “Infecting the crypts“. Those are the real classic tracks here, me thinks. Give one of’em a listen and you will either immediately love it – or regret it – depending on your taste in music. As I said, “Effigy…” is not a forgiving listen..

Representing the convoluted nature of this album, the artwork does a good job. The place or world captured in this painting is really terrible, and was probably meant to reflect modern humanity’s demise and self-destruction with a glimpse into a possible, quite ugly future. The lyrics touch on that too if I remember correctly, though lately, I can less and less relate to this bleak perspective on humanity. It’s great as a creative expression of release – from conventions and from lies. Yes, extreme metal is maybe the greatest place and opportunity to unleash the angst and pent-up energy that life instills in you. But I wouldn’t wanna get lost in this dark chaos, and within the genre of DM prefer the less cold and more human perspective on life bands like ATG or (early) In Flames offer.

When speaking solely about rhythm though, of that “brutality” every metal site today likes to measure DM records with, then this here is the birth of it ! And with it Suffocation achieve a classic state, playing an important role in metal history, and inspiring some of my favorite bands to later come up with their own killer records. To sum it up, beyond enjoying the amazing drumming and guitar dexterity of “Effigy..”, this harsh and terrifying delivery of sound is hard to *love* in the deeper sense, but can and should be respected and hailed as the artistic monolith it is. A monolith of Death Metal !

8/10

Suntorn – The Will To Power

San Diego’s Suntorn play a brutal blend of Grind\Slam\DM with a gory guttural sound. It’s all about having a heavy, chunky rhythm section with this type of music, but what makes “The Will To Power” indeed powerful is the guys’ clear intention to refresh the formula with impressive flexibility. They achieve this purpose in a very organic, often surprising and even misleading ways, leaving you in brutal disarray. Oh man, I already wrote “brutal” twice (;

The album starts with intro “Dawn Of The Sons” and “3911”, providing us with riffs that aren’t just heavy, but reverberate & resonate with malevolence, feeling huge and encompassing. However, the title track “The Will To Power” is where Suntorn go all out, the rhythm section flexing and moving with determination like the muscles of a beast, as vocalist Peter Sliwinski roars & screams over the riffage with unbelievable range and force.

As you can hear, this violent effort owns much of its success to drummer T-Rex(yes you read that right). Rex changes tempo & style regularly and in quick succession, coming up with many varied patters that leave you damn impressed. His kit sounds punchy but alive, like the rest of the mix, with the snare resembling a huge dog’s bark at certain moments. Who is this talented guy, and could he really be a dinosaur?

Following a short break named “Equanimity“, the second half of this release returns in full filthy force, bellowing & thundering down on the listener. I won’t go over all the tracks but know that they are all solid and more importantly, a fun listen. Suntorn batter and pummel you with unending power, but also recognize when it’s time to change gears and avoid bland repetition. In short, these sons of the sun know how its done!

Suntorn’s Facebook page

Vomit The Soul – Apostles Of Inexpression

Reading discussions on metal music, I get the feeling that many people dislike the Slam\brutal sub-genre of DM, and I somewhat agree with them. Many new bands in this genre usually put all of their efforts into playing fast and “brutal”, but lack an understanding of the importance in good songwriting and interesting song structure, so..all these..”efforts”.. really amount to nothing.

But, some bands do remember that even extreme metal is a form of music ! You have to know how to keep things interesting, especially when you’re focusing on riffs with almost no melodic lines. Vomit The Soul know this. Their songs are fun & brutal, but also treat the listener intelligently in terms of technique, syncopation, and song structure. Building these elements together, they create a killing rhythm section which moves from breakneck speed to heavy slams in a blink of an eye, breaking the music apart and putting it back together in a different form each time, not unlike Dying Fetus or Suffocation.

Lyrics in “Apostles of Inexpression” are actually philosophical, no gore or pornographic bullshit, though the vocals do make them indecipherable. My guess is, if you’re a fan of the Sub-genre, you won’t care much for that, or expect this to be the most original album. There’ll never be another “Non So Vile” or “Killing On Adrenaline”(best brutal\slam albums IMO) – But this is a gem in its genre, containing lots of heavy & memorable riffs. The sound here is simply crushing!

Prototypes of values incarnation

I did mention “non so vile”!