Brock’s 2 Cents JULY 2021


This year keeps marching forward and another month down, the fall is soon to be here and concerts are being booked left and right and I can finally get back to enjoying shows! So I made a statement earlier this year that this might be the year that Black Metal takes over but lately Progressive Metal has dropped some incredible albums this year… maybe it’s their turn to dominate a year? Probably not, we’ll see what Death Metal drops in the second half of the year or if Black Metal can maintain this run? 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}

PESTILENCEExitivm = 3.75/5 |Agonia |Death Metal
PESTILENCE has always been active even with a few lengthy pauses in their career and I’ve been a fan of it all but in 2018 PESTILENCE returned with a new album called Hadeon that really captured the spirit of old with the modern vibe of nowadays and it was one of the best albums they’ve released, it blew me away. Now, 3 years later, Exitivm is here and I was expecting a let down due to how good Hadeon was, but oh no. Exitivm is a force to be reckoned with. You really have to give Patrick Mameli a hand to create another killer album with a whole new band which is basically what he’s done with the last 5 albums now. Exitivm is getting a lot of love over Hadeon but in my book Exitivm is a runner up. I do here a strong Testimony of the Ancients vibe on here. Exitivm is essentially does what the last album did as bring forth return the older PESTILENCE with touches of prog/tech DM accents. Only gripe here is I get a little bit bored at a point since some songs sound a little too similar as the album moves along. The Hadeon album just kicked my ass from start to finish an Exitivm is still really damn good but didn’t hit me like previous album. Exitivm is definitely worth checking out and I’ll be damn happy to see PESTILENCE play this live! This will probably be in my top albums of 2021. 12 tracks, intro/outro, 5 are killer and 4 are good!

PHARAOHThe Powers That Be = 4/5 |Cruz del Sur Music |Progressive/Power Metal
Only reason I discovered and listen to this band is because Tim Aymar was in CONTROL DENIED and I loved that band. I really liked PHARAOH’s debut After the Fire in 2003 then they released a few so-so albums until their 4th album in 2012 Bury the Light was really good too. After a 9 year hiatus and a bunch of wild rumors of drug overdoses, deaths, etc…, they’re back with a new album. The Powers That Be is here and it’s more progressive then the PM predecessors. I’m kind of blown away how good this album is, I mean it’s light years better than anything they’ve done before. The Powers That Be is PHARAOH returning with their take on traditional metal but with a very strong prog vibe to let the metal world know this is how you write a great metal album! Basically, this puts PHARAOH in the top echelon of American Power Metal. This will be in my top albums of the year list! 9 tracks, 5 are killer and 3 are good.

AT THE GATESThe Nightmare of Being = 2.5/5 |Century Media |Melodic Death Metal
I read a lot of hype about this new album and it got me excited. Since their reformation AT THE GATES released two albums that have been average in my book. First thing I noticed is a strong progressive vibe as the band experimented a bit with this album. The album starts off incredible with the first few songs but then gets boring in the middle and comes back strong at the end. The Nightmare of Being is overall a gloomier and mid-paced approach with some different twists added along the way. There is a song or two on this album that could of been left off. Honestly, this album is about the same as the last two since their reformation, OK but nothing special. With that said, the songs that are good on this album are way better than the good songs on their last two albums. So take that how you will… 10 tracks, 3 are killer and 4 are OK.

NIGHT CROWNED Hadanfard = 4.25/5 |Noble Demon |Melodic Black Metal
A newer band from Sweden that has quickly become one of my favorite BM bands with their amazing debut album last year, Impius Viam, has taken melodic BM to the next level and made that best of year list. One year later, Hadanfard is here and NIGHT CROWNED hasn’t missed a beat! Yet again, the perfect culmination of everything melodic BM with fantastic song writing while more incorporating that epic-ness factor! Damn, this is just head-banging greatness and will easily have you hitting that play button over and over! Hadanfard is as good as the debut album and lets you know that the future of BM is very strong! NIGHT CROWNED is on f’n fire! I need to see this band live! 9 tracks, 1 instrumental, 5 are killer and 3 are good!

COGNITIVEMalevolent Thoughts of A Hastened Existence = 3.75/5 |Unique Leader |Death Metal/Tech-core
Me and a good friend Scott (RIP) discovered this band going to a local show as COGNITIVE was touring for their debut EP The Horrid Swarm and we were both impressed. A few years later, COGNITIVE came through the area again touring on their debut self titled album and we became friends with guitarist Rob Wharton. Ever since I’ve kept in touch and enjoyed their albums. Even though I’m not a huge fan of the ‘modern Tech-DM/core’ genre that is out there nowadays, COGNITIVE has been doing things right and held my interests. This album seems to be a bit more groove/punches you in the face than the more technical last album Matricide but that’s not a negative. Actually, this is their best album yet! The thing that sets Malevolent Thoughts of a Hastened Extinction apart of the rest of their genre is good musicians that are good songwriters. No boring copy and paste stuff here. COGNITIVE is a rare band that every album seems to get better and better! They are my favorite ‘modern techcore DM’ band out there and if you like what Unique Leader label has been putting out for the last decade or so, this is a must! 10 tracks, 4 are killer and 4 are good.

HANNES GROSSMANTo Where the Light Retreats = 2.25/5 |Unsigned |Progressive Death Metal
I never know what to expect from these solo albums but Hannes Grossmann has brought us some killer technical/progressive DM! His debut The Radical Covenant was an OK debut, his sophomore release The Crypts of Sleep was fantastic along with his third album Apophenia  too but in a more expanding of the progressive side of things. Now, his fourth album To Where the Light Retreats, Hannes Grossmann has shifted things again and now headed down more of a melodic and thrashier path with his tech DM. Incorporating a lot of elements you’d hear from Euro melodic DM bands and a touch of CYNIC too, he shows us a different side of what his creation can be. I did enjoy this album but I’d personally wouldn’t want anymore of this style from him, it’s a little bit too far down the melodic path. To Where the Light Retreats definitely mixes both his technical prowess and Euro melodic-ness but I’d like The Crypts of Sleep and Apophenia a 100 times better than this. 8 tracks, 2 are killer and 4 are OK.

DIABOLIZERKhalkedonian Death = 3.5/5 |Everlasting Spew |Death Metal
A newer band from Turkey featuring members of two bands I really like; DECAYING PURITY and BURIAL INVOCATION so I’m all in on this one! I immediately backtracked and listened to their debut EP, Apokalypse, which was damn good. Which got me excited for the debut album Khalkedoian Death and it did not disappoint!  DIABOLIZER delivers what you want from DM, great, well written tracks that just pummel you in the face with a take no prisoners attitude. 46+ minutes of DM reminiscent to the late 90s/early 00s that makes you head-bang throughout and want to start a pit! I really enjoy listening to this band, its not recreating the wheel, but still fresh to hear during this copy and paste era that’s going on nowadays! Khalkedonian Death is an album that you can say, this… this is DM! I highly recommend that all DM-heads check this album out! 8 tracks, 3 are killer and 4 are good!

HIRAESSolitary = 3/5 |Napalm |Melodic Death Metal
I’m not a 100% sure what happened but DAWN OF DISEASE was a melodic DM band that was getting better and better and their last release, their fifth, Procession of Ghosts was their best one and was right there with any other band in the genre. Well, out of the ashes of DAWN OF DISEASE, all the members except the vocalist forms this new melodic DM band with a female front woman. Basically it’s still DAWN OF DISEASE with a different vocalist, maybe not as consistently heavy throughout the whole album and that’s my only gripe. About half the album is good and stacks up with what DAWN OF DISEASE put out the other half is a little too laid back and (if you’re a big fan of Euro melodic DM) that ‘I’ve heard this before’ riffs/song writing. I understand you don’t want to go to overboard in one direction and lose the average metal fan but maybe a little too board for some songs. If you’re a fan of DAWN OF DISEASE or any Euro melodic DM as listed before, give this a listen, you’ll probably dig it. 9 tracks, 3 are killer and 4 are good.

KING OF ASGARD Svartrvida = 3/5 |Trollmusic |Viking/Death Metal
I’m a big fan of MITHOTYN, which was a mix of BM and Viking metal and after their break up it lead me to be a fan of both guitarists new bands FALCONER and KING OF ASGARD. KING OF ASGARD came out of the nowhere much later and released two great albums with their debut Fi’mbulvintr and sophomore album …to North, then they started to fade from my interests with the next two albums. Now with their fifth album, Svartrvidr, KING OF ASGARD put forth a perfect balance between the grime and the epic-ness of what the genre can be. This is more of a stripped down and crushingly slower take than previous releases. It seems that there’s a new strong wind blown into the sails of KING OF ASGARD’s Viking ship as this is a strong comeback album in my book as this completely destroys their last two albums. I honestly would love a bit more speed but this album is very good even with its mid-pace momentum. The album ends weirdly as the last two tracks are instrumental and basically should’ve been left off the album. If you like Viking metal that’s not a AMON AMARTH clone then check this band out. 8 tracks, 2 instrumentals, 3 are killer and 2 are OK.

MYRONATHDjevelkraft = 3.5/5 |Hellstain |Black Metal
Another newer band from Sweden, MYRONATH delivered their debut album Into the Qliphoth 3 years ago and it was a solid debut. MYRONATH needed to find more of an identity/their own sound and it seems now they’ve locked in. Djevelkraft has shifted away from the melodic into more of the straight forward blasting blasphemy! There’s still a melodic vibe to the tracks that keeps you head-banging but I majorly approve of this new direction. Djevelkraft is a combination of vicious flowing riffs, ominous atmosphere and blasting savagery that you’d expect from Swedish bands. Adding to the brutality is a solid production sound that’s polished but has a bit of natural vibes to it. Djevelkraft completely blows the debut album out of the water! This is a solid, fast, aggressive BM album, that still proves the genre is alive and well! 11 tracks, 1 instrumental, 4 are killer and 4 are good.

INSISTENT Disease = 3.5/5 |L’Inphantile Collective |Grindcore
Hell Yeah…straight up Grind! Grind riffs, grind grooves, grind blasts, if you love grind, this is it. No bullshit, just grind! How many times can I say, this is great grind, not recreating the wheel or anything but fast, intense and smacking a groove in your face every now and then. Their sophomore album Disease, is about 22 minutes of high-energy, crushing, pissed-off grindcore that sounds like it came out of the worst, scumy part of Prague. This is what I like from grindcore, blasting intensity with some groove and not even a chance to ponder any thought into because the next song here is pummeling you into the dirt! If this doesn’t get you head-banging and want to throw down in the pit then you need to recheck your metal values! This is definitely a band I need to see live! Grind fans, check this out now! 13 tracks, 7 are killer and 4 are good.

WORMVEILProfane Excellence = 3/5 |Hecatombe |Death Metal
So there’s a few musician out there no matter what, I’m definitely checking out everything they do! Jonny Petterson is one them. Dude seems to be the second most busiest musician out there behind Rogga Johannson, as in he’s involved in about 20 active bands! Now, he’s in another band with a fellow member he has worked with before Jon Rudin (WOMBBATH, PALE KING, etc). This is right along track with what you’d expect from Jonny Petterson. WORMVEIL is old school DM at heart but modern DM song writing. Profane Excellence starts off incredible then kind of falls little flat on the back half. This is a must for fans of OSDM or if you like what Jonny Peterson does! 10 tracks, 4 are killer and 4 are OK.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.