Brock’s 2 Cents MARCH 2022

I love listening to metal and constantly checking out new releases which this has become my hobby after hosting a college metal radio show for 6 years. So, here are my reviews of recently released albums that I think you should know about. Forget about these in-depth, long-winded reviews, I’m bringing you quick reviews on multiple releases to help you guide your way through the METAL world today!
Ratings: [0(sucks) to 5(awesome)]
{Format: Band – album title = rating |label |style of metal. review}

IMMOLATIONActs of God = 3.75/5 |Nuclear Blast |DEATH METAL
Wow… 5 years has passed that quick?!? Their last album Atonement was a phenomenal album, basically one of their best in the past decade. Depending on you who ask, IMMOLATION has never really put out a bad album, some not as strong as others but I was not expecting anything that would dominate the way the Atonement album did but Acts of Gods is an accessible display of brutal haunting DM that only IMMOLATION could deliver! It’s very rare, especially near the end of their career, for a band to put out back to back incredible albums. Only difference is Acts of God is a bit more mid-paced with the riffs adding to more of a heavy groove overall. Other than that this album didn’t need to be 15 tracks long as it gets to be too much near the end of the album. It’s sort of like watching a live band, I’d rather have them come out and kick my ass with a handful of songs than play a two hour set. Acts of God is killer but not as good as Atonement and you could make an argument that it’s somewhere as their 5th to 7th best album. A must for fans! Another album that might be in my top albums list depending on how the rest of the year plays out. 15 tracks, 1 instrumental, 6 are killer and 5 are good.

CROWBAR Zero and Below = 1.75/5 |MNRK Heavy |SLUDGE METAL
I’ve been a CROWBAR fan for a long time and they’re one of my favorite bands so kind of pains me to say this but Zero and Below is very mediocre and subpar for what I expected. This is just like the newest IRON MAIDEN album Senjutsu: #1 you’ve heard all this before, nothing special here, it’s a decent job but nothing new at all; #2 but on the other side just be glad you got this new album, Kirk is up there in age and might not be around much longer. So that’s the positive you get from Zero and Below: some new tunes. The negative, which I hate to do but I could shine this up to point out the little bit of shining light, but I won’t, this is the worst CROWBAR album. It pains me to say it, yes they’re are some good tracks on here but if your a die-hard fan, it’s nothing new/you’ve heard this before. I’m not saying its rehashed material but more like B-sides cuts that didn’t make it on another album. If I saw CROWBAR live and they didn’t play any of this live, I wouldn’t be mad at all. Kirk Windstein is in his mid-50s, if we get another album after this I really think they need a producer that can voice his opinion and put an outside view in there. Basically I want to hear CROWBAR get back to grooves (ala Equilibrium and Sonic Excess in its Purest Form) and bring that pissed off hate back (ala Broken Glass). 10 tracks, 2 are good and 6 are OK.

CORPSEGRINDERCorpsegrinder = 3.5/5 |Perseverance Media Group |DEATH METAL
I wasn’t sure what to expect from his solo album, but I got way more than I thought I would! This is surprisingly very good! Backed by the brothers Charlie and Nick Bellmore, who delivered some greatness on KINGDOM OF SORROW and DEE SNIDER albums recently, have delivered a well written solid heavy head-banging monstrosity of an album. Basically taking the groovier side of CANNIBAL CORPSE and mixing a hardcore vibe similar to KINGDOM OF SORROW/HATEBREED that gives you the DM you’d expect but offers a lot of punchy hardcore riffs that make you want to mosh! This solo album is not experimental, not pushing the boundaries, it’s basically nothing new but what it is – is cranking up the volume and break your neck head-banging to this! No reason to overthink, just enjoy the groovy brutality! A must to check out! 10 tracks, 5 are killer and 4 are OK.

VIO-LENCELet the World Burn = 3.5/5 |Metal Blade |THRASH METAL
WOW! Another band I’d never thought would reform did! VIO-LENCE from the golden age of TM is back with 3 original members to bring us a very solid comeback EP! Most of these reforming bands from back in the days return with a modern sound but Let the World Burn still has that old school thrash sound and delivers to today’s listeners! This is nothing but old school blistering thrash! The more I hit play on this EP, the more I really enjoy this EP! This is that type of new material than just demolishes multiple releases from other bands! Pay the proper respect to the masters but this has raised the bar to how thrash metal should be released nowadays! If you miss that old school bay area thrash, then this is a must for you! This EP will probably end up on my top albums/EPs of the year list! 5 tracks, 2 are killer and 3 are good!

GODLESS TRUTHGodless Truth = 3.25/5 |Transcending Obscurity |TECHNICAL DEATH METAL
GODLESS TRUTH is one of those really underground bands I discovered early on and been a fan since. Even though GODLESS TRUTH has always played DM, they’ve shifted their sound throughout their career but always maintained a self-identity that can be heard in all their albums. I found Burning Existence in 1999 and loved their take on mid-90s American DM as along with their first album The Desperation had vibes similar to DISINCARNATE and MORTAL SKULD. Just a few years later GODLESS TRUTH shifted their sound towards brutal DM with their albums SelfRealization and Arrogance of Supremacy similar to bands heard on the original line-up of Unique Leader Records. In 2010, a new EP called Too Late to Stop my Hate showed GODLESS TRUTH shifting gears again towards modern brutal tech DM and 12 years later GODLESS TRUTH return with that modern tech DM vibe similar to bands like DECREPIT BIRTH, MALIGNANCY and AUGURY. With Petr Svany (guitars) being the only original member left in the band I’m surprised he’s maintained that normal GODLESS TRUTH vibe that’s in all the albums on this new self titled album. If you like modern tech DM that’s a bit more on the brutal DM side other than the “core” side then definitely check out this album. I’ve loved all their albums and for the style they’re playing its top notch and damn good! Glad GODLESS TRUTH is back and hopefully one day I’ll be able to see this Czechian band live. 10 tracks, 2 instrumental, 3 are killer and 4 are good!

GLEICHMACHERKrankung Fall Verderben = 3.75/5 |Unsigned |BLACK METAL
A new German band with a changed name, as they used to go under, I AM but changed due to another band in the USA with the same name, GLEICHMACHER fires out the gates with an f’n bang! This debut album is incredible! Just Black f’n Metal, featuring energetic and catchy riffs very similar to BM bands of the 90s. Offering a raw but very clear production sound that adds to that back in the day feel. Krankung Fall Verderben is a well written album that mixes everything the genre has into a head-banging experience. No keyboards needed; the riffs create the atmosphere from frigid to haunting to that old school vibe. I was blown away by this and this might end up in my top albums of the year list! I highly recommend! 7 tracks, 4 are killer and 2 are good.

CRANIOTOMYRipped Out By Violence = 3.5/5 |Amputated Vein |DEATH METAL
This Slovakian band has been punishing us with Brutal Groove DM since early 2000s and really don’t get enough hype as they should. Ripped Out By Violence is ruthless, heavy slam grooves, intense blasting and tech riffs leave you beaten to a pulp while bleeding out on the cold concrete. This is a take no prisoners approach and utilizes all its assets to pummel you with brutal groove aggressiveness! This is the best thing they’ve done so far, it’s a must to check out brutal DM fans! This is an album that might end up on my top albums of the year list! 9 tracks, 4 are killer and 3 are good.

WOMBBATH The Weight of Reality = 3.25/5 |Unsigned |DEATH METAL
From their bandcamp page: “In the wake of Putins unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, we have decided to release an EP where 100% of the proceeds will go to UNHCR in aid of the Ukrainian people in these unprecedented times.” WOMBBATH have offered up four new tracks that shifted back towards their earlier sound as the last album Agma had changed their sound a bit. The Weight of Reality has more of that old school DM vibe and less of the melodic touch that Agma had. This EP is very good and fans should get if off their bandcamp to support Ukraine! 4 tracks, 2 are killer and 2 are good.

MALEFIC THRONE Malefic Throne = 2.25/5 |Hells Headbangers |DEATH METAL
New band featuring veterans from the scene (aka could be called a supergroup) featuring Steve Tucker, John Longstreth and Gene Palubicki. Like you’d probably expect there is a very heavy MORBID ANGEL sound similar to Formulas Fatal to the Flesh and beyond of their discography. The production is top notch that adds to the heaviness. The music is ferocious, and Tucker’s vocals range from high to low DM growls. This debut is very solid but I’d like to see them stray farther from the MORBID ANGEL sound. Definitely worth checking out! 3 tracks, 1 SODOM cover, 1 is killer and 2 are OK

WEREWOLVESDeath Metal = 2/5 |Unsigned |DEATH METAL
New EP from this Australian supergroup featuring members of PSYCROPTIC, ABRAMELIN, THE BERZERKER, THE AMENTA, etc… After two phenomenal albums, WEREWOLVES is back with a new EP with 2 brand new tracks. Normally WEREWOLVES deliver unforgiving and face pummeling brutality at lightning speed, but we get to hear a slower side of the band with the first track and parts of the second. Overall, a decent EP, I do like the second track way better than the slower first track. I’m definitely looking forward to their third album whenever it drops! A must if you’re a fan. 4 tracks, 2 covers of DEICIDE & MARDUK, 1 is killer and 1 is so-so.

DEVOURED ELYSIUMVoid Grave = 2.5/5 |Gore House Productions |SLAM/BRUTAL DEATH METAL
The sophomore album finally hits our ears two years later and over time DEVOURED ELYSIUM’s sound has shifted more straightforward brutal grooves and less technical compared to the first album while infusing some new elements that is found in the brutal deathcore genre. There are still crushing breakdowns and grooves to get the pit started, while still creating interesting song other than the cut & paste vibe a lot of newer slam bands deliver. DEVOURED ELYSIUM still brings enough technical riffs but seem to focus more on the groove for Void Grave. Their still ruthless, brutal and slam is a good way, so it’s definitely worth checking out for fans of the genre! It’s about equal to their debut album. 9 tracks, 1 intro, 3 are killer and 4 are OK.

NEAR DEATH CONDITIONAscent From The Mundane = 1/5 |Unique Leader |DEATH METAL
8 years later and only one original member left NEAR DEATH CONDITION is back with new members. Uh… WHAT HAPPENED? They used to be blasting technical brutal DM but that is long gone, I guess original member PATRICK has really been influence by the dissonant DM trend that’s been around for the last decade or so because this is a major shift compared to earlier albums. Personally, I don’t like this at all, I really loved their early material. Ascent From The Mundane offers up a more sludgy, thick riffs with haunting harmonies topped with blasting drums that swirl in a murky pit of IMMOLATION mixed with later GORGUTS. If you’re a huge fan of dissonant DM, its a must to check out, but it’s a no for me. 9 tracks, 3 instrumentals, 1 is killer and 4 are so-so.

Brock's 2 CentscorpsegrindercraniotomyCrowbarDevoured Elysiumgleichmachergodless truthImmolationmalefic thronenear death conditionvio-lencewerewolvesWOMBBATH
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