Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Review - Perpetual Scorn (2011) NECROVEN (Spain)

Band - Necroven
Demo- Perpetual Scorn
Country- Spain
Year - 2011

I have been getting pretty disillusioned with modern Death Metal lately. I prefer my Death Metal to be raw, primitive and filthy, but the increase in brutal slam, deathcore and other scenes sort of put me off death metal for a while. I have always wondered why so few people appreciate the art of old school death metal. This is fucking death metal! It is supposed to be cold, dirty, as devastating as getting stabbed by a goddamn sword 10 times over and most definitely not conforming to the trends. Thankfully, there has been a rise in the number of bands playing some old school filthy death metal, the way it is supposed to be played. One such band is Necroven from Spain.

Necroven's lineup consists of a single member, Jonathan Reina who plays all instruments and also does the artwork for the band. This band has been making some waves in the underground and have already been signed to 'Memento Mori Records' for the release of their debut demo, Perpetual Scorn. The moment I got news that this demo was up for streaming on the band's bandcamp account, I decided to give it a listen immediately, and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised at how good it really was. The first thing that hit me about the release was the atmosphere. Dark, evil and claustrophobic, the atmosphere could simply suck you in. The vocals sound like they are being regurgitated from the bottom of a dark, endless endless whirlpool. The riffs are hammered into your skull. They are memorable and flow together very well indeed. You will not find a million riffs in each songs. You have a few riffs, all of which together create a terrific atmosphere of horror. I cannot describe the individual instruments extensively. Suffice to say they are played very proficiently and are excellent at their purpose. Where this release really hits the nail on the head is its ability to mesh together the strong points from all of its influences and in turn, successfully creating a niche for itself. There have been plenty of bands that I have dismissed as being simple clones of their influences, but not here.

Necroven has created some music definitely worth your time and money. The band revisits the roots of true death metal and plays the music the way it is supposed to be played. It is crushing, yet not brutal. If you like music that conforms to the trends, then this is not for you. This is some filthy death metal. Definitely worth your while. I, for one cannot wait for the full-length release.

Line Up- Jonathan Reina ( Guitars, Bass, Drums and Vocals)
Artwork- Jonathan Reina

                                                                                     Jonathan Reina

Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Necroven/131959596914062
Band Camp Official - http://necroven.bandcamp.com/album/perpetual-scorn-demo

A review by
Gautam Shankar

Monday, December 26, 2011

Gruel (Swe) - Gruel (2005) : Review

Gruel are are Swedish Death Metal band formed in recent years. They have one demo titled Gruel. For an Old School Death Metal band from Sweden, they have gone unnoticed and not much information about them can be found around. I stumbled upon the demo on my favourite kvlt blog, Sempiternal Esoterica, and boy, does this demo have some massive balls.

Gruel play Swedish Death Metal, but not being complete Entombed rip-offs, they choose to follow the footsteps of Abhoth. The influence of that band is glowing out of Gruel's music. Mid-paced, and sometimes slow, rather groovy, chunky riffs played with pure aggression and thrash mentality are further brutalized by the Boss pedal guitar tone Swedish Death Metal is known for. Like most old school Swedeath, Gruel are a just-for-fun band that is more interested in spitting out amazing riffs than making money or putting forward their ideologies through the music. They do their job really good here, and that makes for a more than a single listen. The riffs are addictive and headbang-worthy, coupled with maniacal thrashy guitar solos. The vocals simple growls that go well along with the Death Metal madness exploding from the music. The drumming is excellent, but nothing that stands-out, but does the job in keeping things interesting extremely well. The same applies for the bass guitar, which can be heard fuzzing and thumping, further heaving the balls contained within this short demo. This demo is very likely my second-favourite Swedish Death Metal demo, only next to Eructation, as it proves with the sheer amount of good riffs and addictive songwriting.

Highly recommended for old school Death Metal fans. Particularly Swedish Death Metal fans. Download their demo from here: Download (link taken from Sempiternal-Esoretica. Credits to that blog for making me aware of this band in the first place)