Brock’s 2 Cents November 2021

For my new followers I really enjoy spreading the message of how great Metal music is and it definitely became a hobby when I hosted college metal radio for 5 years as I listen to a lot of albums. So, I decided to review what I listen to but doing something different. So, I do these quick/straight to the point reviews. I listen to all the genres of Metal but I mostly enjoy the heavier side (Death Metal, Black Metal, Modern Extreme, etc…) and I try to review all the genres or at least the bands I like to listen to.
So, here are my reviews of recently released albums that I think you should know about. Forget about these in-depth 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}

FLOTSAM AND JETSAMBlood in the Water = 3.25/5 |AFM |Thrash/Power Metal
A very good friend told me how awesome the new album was so I had to check it out. I liked early FLOTSAM AND JETSAM up to their first 6 albums then basically forgot about the band. So, when I went to check out the new album, I was shocked to realized I had to back-track a past decade plus worth of material that they had put out! Which is why this June release is now getting reviewed in November, but honestly, from the album Unnatural Selection in 1999 to their self-titled album in 2016 it’s been mediocre at best. In 2019 the album The End of Chaos, FLOTSAM AND JETSAM was back and better than ever with a serious banger and it would’ve been in my top albums of that year if I’d known about it! The follow up, this year’s album, Blood in the Water is a solid album but not as good as the previous, but FLOTSAM AND JETSAM are continuing on the right track! Blood in the Water is still a banger album compared to what bands their age and genre are releasing nowadays. Fans of the old school thrash/speed/power crossover definitely need to check out these last 2 albums. My love for the band has been reborn with these last two albums! I seriously need to see them live! Everyone praising latest albums from EXODUS, TESTAMENT, HEATHEN, etc… need to check out the latest material from FLOTSAM AND JETSAM! 12 tracks, 4 are killer and 7 are good!

MASSACRE Resurgence = 3.25/5 |Nuclear Blast |Death Metal
This will probably be a shocker to a few of you but I’ve never been a big fan of MASSACRE, I like a few songs off From Beyond and the Inhuman Condition EP, that’s about it. I didn’t like the next two releases Promise and Back From Beyond. Now seven years later since the last album, Kam Lee has reforged MASSACRE with a whole new line-up that has two well-known underground guitarists in Johnny Petterson and Rogga Johansson of which both I enjoy mostly everything they’re involved in. So, will this be the album that I finally like? Well… YES! MASSACRE have “finally” returned and put of their best material since the first album and EP. This is straight up, no nonsense, filthy but with OSDM grooves. Definitely not recreating the wheel here just some solid OSDM songs. Yes, Johnny & Rogga could’ve have written more extreme and intense material but that’s not what MASSACRE is. They definitely captured the old spirit into a more modern sounding production and Kam Lee did the right thing with enlisting these two. Resurgence is just solid from start to finish and we have ya head-banging throughout! No doubt, the old school metal heads will find this a pleasant nostalgic type trip to back in the days, while the younger generation will find something powerful that will complete with the latest trend of newer OSDM bands. 10 tracks, 4 are killer and 4 are good.

EXODUSPersona Non Grata = 3.75/5 |Nuclear Blast |Thrash Metal
Ever since their reunion back in early 2000, EXODUS has been releasing some damn good albums. Their last album Blood In, Blood Out was f’n fantastic and made my top albums of 2014. Finally, seven years later, we get a new album Persona Non Grata and EXODUS came out firing on this one! This is proof that EXODUS is still at the top of their game and one of the best in thrash! EXODUS delivers their trademark sound of thrashing riffs upon riffs with crushing hooks that sink into your memory to agonize your brain after the album stopped. It’s satisfying to hear these dudes in their 50s still put out a high-energy, barely non-stop violent thrashing fun of an album that’s an hour long. Persona Non Grata starts off incredible then the middle of the album kind of loses interest but the last two tracks bring back the thrashing intensity to wrap up the album. That’s my only complaint about the album. Every member has turned in a top-notch performance here. This will be in my top albums of 2021! 12 tracks, 1 instrumental, 5 are killer and 4 are good.

VOMIT THE SOULCold = 3.5/5 |Unique Leader |Brutal/Slam Death Metal
YES! VOMIT THE SOUL is back! 12 years after their sophomore album, Apostle of Inexpression, which was insanely awesome mix of tech DM with grooves to a precision art, the third album Cold is here to bash your ear drums in! After the breakup of VOMIT THE SOUL, I checked out every band guitarist Max Santarelli was in and loved most of it but 100% excited that VOMIT THE SOUL has been resurrected! Like I stated before their last album is one of my favorites in brutal DM, so I wasn’t sure what Cold would bring. THIS DOES NOT DISAPPOINT!!! With a stronger focus on grooves and slams, VOMIT THE SOUL dishes out their most violent effort yet! Cold is nonstop chaotic riffs, blast beats and beastly grooves very similar to the slam subgenre but still maintaining a technical DM bludgeoning. VOMIT THE SOUL has fine-tuned their sound into something more lethal this time around. Cold is damn good but it’s not recreating the wheel in the genre so it’s not going to overtake Apostle of Inexpression in my opinion for their best album. This release fits in perfectly with what Unique Leader was releasing in their first decade as being a label. Brutal DM fans will go nuts over this! A must have! 9 tracks, 5 are killer and 3 are good.

UNLEASHEDNo Sign Of Life = 1/5 |Napalm |Death Metal
Long before AMON AMARTH was promoting Viking culture in DM, UNLEASHED is one of the originators in the genre. 14 albums in, No Sign of Life is here and right off the back, I noticed a shift in sound. It’s still DM but there’s a strong death’n’roll vibe ala ENTOMBED with Wolverine Blues and the following albums. When you get to a certain point with album after album you have to do something different and UNLEASHED has chosen to strip down and bring those early beginnings type vibe to No Sign of Life. Positive about the album is the excellent production and you can hear every instrument. The negative is it’s the same ole same ole from UNLEASHED and DM in general. It’s a well-executed, well performed album of no-nonsense, Viking-flavored Swedish DM that maybe outside of die-hard fans, it’s kind of a snooze fest. I didn’t expect much and it’s a fitting album title because there’s not much here.  11 tracks, 2 are good and 5 are OK.

EXHUMEDWorming = 3/5 |Relapse |Death/Grind Metal
A new digital EP release featuring 4 new songs. Worming is straight to the point of intense riffs, blasting, in your face death grind. EXHUMED‘s last album Horror was incredible and this new EP continues down the same path. Also, tons of praise to them for writing a DM version of DEAD KENNEDYS Nazi Punks fuck off with N.M.F.O (Nazi Metallers Fuck Off), it’s just sad that racism is still a major thing in this country and across the world. There’s not much more to say, this EP is 10 minutes of EXHUMED kicking ass! 4 tracks, 2 are killer and 2 are good!

HATERugia = 3/5 |Metal Blade |Blackened Death Metal
HATE started off their career by bringing us some top-notch blasting DM with their first five albums then kind of followed the path of what newer BEHEMOTH was doing then finally strayed back to playing kick-ass DM! I’ll take new HATE over new BEHEMOTH any day of the week. HATE‘s last album, Auric Gates of Veles, was in my top albums in 2019 and was just a monster of a record! Rugia is very good but doesn’t fully stack up to Auric Gates of Veles. I’m very happy HATE left the experimentation behind and it just back to blasting DM! Rugia is definitely worth checking out if you enjoyed their earlier albums or like Polish blasting DM! 9 tracks, 4 are killer and 3 are good.

ILLT Urhat = 3.5/5 |Indie |Black’n’Roll
One of my favorite metal drummers is Dirk Verbeuren and I check out everything he lays down drums for! Then add on Speed Strid for vocals and guest appearance from Karl Sanders on some guitar parts, I’m definitely all in. Urhat, a one-man project by Roy Westad, is 36 minutes of modern black’n’roll with a strong mix of DM, BM and a splash of doom. Basically, a good hodgepodge of extreme metal flying under the black’n’roll banner and it works perfectly! Urhat is a strong debut release. A fiery blackened offering of melodies, sharp riffs, and top-quality songwriting that delivers a listening experience that will have you hit the play button again and again! Now, this is by no means groundbreaking, but just a solid, one-of-a-kind great song writing debut album that will absolutely punch you in the gut! If you love darker aggressive metal genres then this is a must! This might land on my top albums list this year! 6 tracks, 4 are killer and 2 are good.

VIRIALTranshumanism = 3.5/5 |Vicious Instinct |Technical Death Metal
In 2015 VIRIAL dropped their debut album of above average tech DM! 6 years later we finally get their sophomore album Transhumanism and it’s definitely a tech album for tech fans. This one was a little bit difficult as Transhumanism will take multiple listens to fully grasp what’s going on here. Now, that’s not a negative, VIRIAL has definitely packed a lot in this with technical riffs, melodies galore and a moody atmosphere to help continue the flow through out this album. Only bad thing is this album is very long but if ya got the time, this is a journey! VIRIAL does a great job of not overwriting to uber technical and don’t overthink the idea of what a good sounding song is. All elements blend perfectly, which will take a bunch of spins, as Transhumanism leaves their debut album Organic Universe in the dust. If tech DM is your thing, then this is a must and an album that demands you to clear your schedule and enjoy the ride. 12 tracks, 2 instrumentals, 4 are killer and 4 are good.

DER WEG EINER FREIHEITNoktvrn = 2/5 |Season of Mist |Black Metal
One of my favorite BM bands from this past decade is DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT from Germany! A friend shared their debut album years ago and I was blown away by it, then I found out for their sophomore album in 2012 they were coming to tour the USA and play right here in my town so I was ultra-amped and wore that debut album out but just like you’d expect a US Gov’t department failed as the band couldn’t get VISAs to tour even though the band turned them in six months before. I was completely crushed but I found a new favorite BM band and I’ve loved/enjoyed all their albums. Yet I’ve noticed with their third album Stellar they’ve been pushing more and more into the progressive side of things and this album has gone full blown in that direction. I should’ve known by looking at their cover art. This new progressive just adds too much unnecessary nonsense and all I want is for them to just kick me in the face with what they’re good at! Overall, I’m disappointed by this release. I need less art house and more violent aggression! 7 tracks, 1 instrumental, 2 are killer and 2 are OK.

WAKING THE CADAVERAuthority Through Intimidation = 3/5 |Unique Leader |Slam/Brutal Death Metal
I really loved their debut album Perverse Recollections of a Necromangler as a new comer to the NYDM Slam tradition even though they’re from Jersey. AND YES, I’ll mention it, let’s push all the internet joking about the band to the side, I’m not going to hang them for that. Then their next two album kind of strayed from what I liked about the band and I lost interest in them. After their break-up in 2013, they reformed in 2018 and now their 4th album Authority Through Intimidation is here bringing a mix of slam, beatdown and goregrind. This is my second favorite album from them. They dropped the deathcore vibes and replaced them with the trendier beatdown sound and goregrind grooves. Whatever your view is about the band their first album and Authority Through Intimidation is the best things they’ve put out and worthy of note! 8 tracks, 3 are killer and 4 are good.

PISSING RAZORSEulogy Death March = 2/5 |Razor |Groove Metal
As a total shock seeing PISSING RAZORS is back and with a new album?!? It’s been 18 years since we last heard of them. Eulogy Death March is the newest offering and kicking out that old familiar sound which puts a smile on my face. Their albums Fields of Disbelief and Where We Come From were in regular rotation back in the day and still get pulled out every now and then. This new album has a similar feel to Evolution and Cast Down the Plague, a solid effort but just not enough. It doesn’t match the intensity and heaviness of Fields… or Where We… albums. There are a few bangers on this album but nothing that really blows me away. Hopefully I get a chance to see them live now that they’re back. If you’re a diehard fan, then check it out. 12 tracks, 1 cover of NAILBOMB‘s ‘Wasting Away’, 3 are killer and 5 are OK.

DODSDRIFTOdnis = 3.5/5 |Vendetta |Melodic Black Metal
A newer band from Germany, DODSDRIFT creates a cold, fast paced yet melodic BM that has more of a traditional sound. Very similar to many Swedish bands of matching blasting intensity with melodic catchiness to deliver a hell of a head-banging experience. This is a perfect blend of blasting, melodic, atmosphere, and grim emotions makes for a very entertaining listening. This German collective remain enigmatic and unknown leading to more mystery about the band. Their debut album, Weltenzission, was a solid offering but Odnis has pumped everything up to the next level. With a lean production, Odnis lets the instruments be free and each can be heard to provide a natural impact on the album. When it comes to BM, this is what I like and I highly recommend it. If you like blasting BM with melodic riffs, this is a band to check out! An album that might appear in my top albums of 2021. 10 tracks, 5 are killer and 4 are good.

POPPY SEED GRINDERFaceless Atrocities = 3/5 |Amputated Vein |Brutal Death Metal/Grind
Here is another band I discovered while DJing the College metal radio show, I got the split with DEFEATED SANITY and was blown away by both bands. POPPY SEED GRINDER is brutal DM but with a lot of grind elements in their song writing. With their previous three albums the band has been getting better with each release and 5 years after their last, the new album Faceless Atrocities is here. First off, a shift in direction as it’s less grind and more groove DM! I personally love the new sound and enjoy the hell out of this album as it’s right up on my alley! Faceless Atrocities is their best album to date! Fans of DM groove and music that makes you want to kill everyone in the pit, check this out!

SUPREME CONCEPTIONEmpires of the Mind = 3.25/5 |Unsigned |Technical Brutal Death Metal
Newer tech DM coming out the Czechia that has a bright future ahead of them. Their debut EP, Liturgy of Spiritual Disturbance, was solid tech DM but really nothing amazing. Now, 12 years later, their sophomore EP, Empires of the Mind, has raised the bar with this blistering 20-minute ride of catchy and progressive tech death! The tracks sound clean and are well balanced between shred tech riffs and catchy melodies while throwing in some grooves here and there. Empires of the Mind delivers everything you’d want from tech DM but also gives those memorable songs that get stuff in your head days later. This sub-genre, like most sub-genres, has been flooded with new comers that are just copy and paste of bands before them but SUPREME CONCEPTION has that ‘it’ factor and I’m expecting some good stuff from them in the future. 5 tracks, 2 are killer and 2 are good.

PUTREVOREMiasmal Monstrosity = 2.5/5 |Xtreem |Death Metal
BACK AGAIN! Rogga Johansson has put out another release this year, I think it’s around 15 albums this year?!? Featuring Dave Rotten (AVUSLED) and Rogga Johansson (PAGANIZER, MASSACRE, etc.) have been putting out solid DM albums since 2008. Miasmal Monstrosity is the 4th album of that filthy raw production sounding DM similar to what INCANTATION has been doing for years. Another offering of blasting beats with unrelenting raw riffs and packing in tons of doomy grooves that creates this monstrosity. It’s very much in the vein of past albums old school death doom albums. It’s not recreating the wheel but offers that nostalgia feel for it what is. 9 tracks, 4 are damn good and 2 are OK.

UTTER SCORNParoxysmal Endemia = 2.25/5 |Pathologically Explicit |Brutal Death Metal
The debut album for this one-man band, Paroxysmal Endemia, is a slam album for slam fans! The sound reminds me of a lot of bands that were on the United Guttural label way back in the day. To me, it seems like Michael Jones wrote a brutal slam album that’s groovy, technicality proficient and fun/not trying to be too serious with Paroxysmal Endemia. This album is catchy and will have you head-banging/ready to start a pit. A very strong debut album, there’s a few things that need to be worked on depending on what direction he wants to take but definitely worth a listen. It sounds like that first wave of brutal DM from the mid-90s playing slam DM! It’s got my curiosity and I’m looking forward to the next album. 10 tracks, 2 are killer and 4 are good.

STYGIAN DARKGorelords of War = 2/5 |Old Shadows |Old School Death Metal
Yet again! Another band by Rogga Johansson (he’s seriously in 30+ active bands) featuring Dave Ingram (BENEDICTION) on vocals. This is just another solid mid-paced piece of OSDM from riffmaster Rogga. If you haven’t been keeping up with these all year long, Rogga took full advantage of last years’ lockdown and wrote album after album after album. I tried to figure out the exact number that’s been released in 2021 but its somewhere near 15 new albums this year (under different band names). Throughout this year, I’ve reviewed 12 (I think) so far. I’m thoroughly amazed how many good and/or decent albums Rogga has put out this year, but with delivering so many, a few are not going to be up to snuff. Case in point; Gorelords of War, it’s not a bad album, it’s just nothing special, you’ve heard this many times before. If you’re a super fan of Rogga or an Uber-OSDM head than this will be up your alley, but for the average fan, it’s just so-so. 10 tracks, 2 are good and 5 are OK.

ROTTEN A World of Torment = 2.25/5 |Unsigned |Death/Thrash Metal
Local act from my part of the world. Their debut album Rotting to Death was a solid, straight to the point Death Thrash. Now five years later, their sophomore album pushing things more into the Old School DM direction. A World of Torment gets filthier with its brutality and still has that raw thrash aggression. It’s always good hear a sophomore album that’s better than the debut and heading in the right direction! This is definitely an album for people obsessed with the old school DM/Death thrash of the late 80s to early 90s or if you have that itch to listen to something similar to that era. Also, a solid cover of DEATH‘s ‘Crystal Mountain’. 6 tracks, 1 cover, 2 are killer and 2 are good.

Brock's 2 CentsDER WEG EINER FREIHEITDodsdriftExhumedExodusFlotsam and JetsamHateIlltMassacrePissing Razorspoppy seed grinderputrevoreRottenStygian Darksupreme conceptionUnleashedutter scornVirialWaking The Cadaver
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