Mashup Recomendations

April/May 2019

Irrita: Sequences of the Void

Hailing from Saint-Petersburg Russia, Irrita are a band all about challenging preconceived notions of sound design. With a love for low pitches and old-school analogue synths, ‘Sequences of the Void’ takes the traditions of the Djent movement and infuses a little analogue magic to create something truly devastating.

We know some may find the constant onslaught of polyphonic complexity somewhat tiresome, yet intermixing this album’s rhythmic complexity are passages of atmospheric synths creating robust passages that bring out the inner music nerd. Turning from the digital landscape that allows for pre-produced patches and virtual instruments, Irrita instead makes hard investments into analogue technologies, a fact that we are sure adds to the overall impact of the release.

Another strong draw of this album can be found in Irrita’s vocal performance. Aside from the usual gutturals that you would expect from an album of this genre lies something much more interesting to our ear. Draping the listener in a cloak made from the purest mid-90’s era nostalgia, this album’s cleans adopts a nu-metal vocal styling. Which to our mind, scratches an itch long forgotten by the changing fashions of modern metal.

Alpha Wolf: Fault

Short in length but devastating in its delivery, ‘Fault’ is an EP you cannot afford to miss. Coming at you with an amalgamation of metalcore, deathcore and even some metallic hardcore, Alpha Wolf’s ‘Fault’ EP is the band at its best. Releasing some of their most aggressive and unforgiving material to date, the band 360 spin-kick their way into our recommendations list with a cleverly designed output geared towards letting off steam in the pit.

Announcing their presence with titanic riffage the opening track aptly sets the scene for a dense journey of self-doubt and brutality that proves beyond a doubt that, despite the member changes and despite the hardships that almost saw the band call it, Alpha Wolf is back and stronger than ever. Taking all of the emotion from the last year’s trials and channelling them into five tracks of pure brutality (six if you include ‘Fault’), the band have managed to follow up the success of ‘Black Mamba’ with an EP that delivers exactly what the fans have been waiting for.

Attacking with the full force of a pissed off tsunami, the heavy as fuck guitars and the weighty breakdown callouts of Alpha Wolf’s ‘Fault’ EP are guaranteed to make you throw down whatever the setting, no matter the situation.

Mental Cruelty: Purgatorium

Injecting their death metal with a violent dose of brutal and crushing helping of slam, Mental Cruelty’s ‘Purgatorium’ will kick the living shit out of you while live streaming the entire affair to your friends on social media.

Consisting of eight visceral tracks that come together to form a 32-minute vertical drop into the bowls of devastation, this album contains no love, no selfless acts of kindness and no remorse. Instead, this album portrays a world of pure indifference. One in which the sinister becomes the norm and the darkest impulses of the human psyche go unchecked.

Following a brief intro that serves as the albums welcoming party, an arpeggiated sweep picked lead climbs slowly through the track before the band’s synchronised percussion announces our arrival at the gates of this monster of an album. Blistering from start to finish, in warping the stylistic tendencies of slam, brutal death and deathcore to the bands depraved design, ‘Purgatorium’ is disgustingly heavy, yet in many places also proves to be surprisingly technical.

Additionally, with a vocal assault just as devastating as the instrumentation that underlays it, Mental Cruelty combine a variety of ranges and styles to create an unstoppable vocal dynamic that will keep you coming back to the album time after time.

March 2019

Relics Of Humanity: Obscuration

Belarusian slam artists Relics of Humanity don’t disappoint with their 2019 follow-up to their 2018 compilation album entitled ‘Decade Ov Desacralization’. Working with some of the biggest names in the genre to get the most brutal recording possible, the six tracks of ‘Obscuration’ are not here to fuck around.

Opening with to an intro that injects some palpable tension into the listening experience, ‘Retson Retap’ leads the listener down a dark path of foreboding, all the while building the impending intensity with a procession of single note guitar riffs bedded against a backdrop of jarring drum beats that seem to will the listener further into a state of terror before a crescendo of cymbals finish the track announcing your arrival of your doom.

Dropping immediately into the first proper track of the album, ‘Ana Kihu Alamu’ is quick to display its ugly beginning with a caustic barrage of blasts atop a furious guitar run that displays some of the best that brutal death metal has to offer. Containing some of the most disgustingly satisfying grooves in death metal, the crippling intensity of ‘Obscuration’ is matched only by its unfettered brutality. Rarely pausing to allow the listener to recuperate, with ‘Obscuration’ you will find no mercy, no compromise and no reason to not listen on repeat.

Inferi: Revenant

Filled to the brim with neck warping string gymnastics, ‘Revenant’ is an album that rips itself from the infernal depths below to launch a blistering assault of mind breaking technicality upon your feeble sensibilities. Following up on their 2014 breakthrough of an album, 2018’s ‘Revenant’ is a clever mix of brutality and virtuosity that adheres to the founding tenets of melody with an intelligence not often found in modern metal.

Opening to an atmospheric blend of strings laced with light harp arpeggios, the opening moments of the first track does well to lure the listener in before enacting a wicked change of pace which rips the listener from any illusions of comfort before thrusting the listener into a desperate fight with a relentless torrent of unending technicality. Yet technicality is not all that is on offer here.

Beyond the impossible guitar work and the hypnotic drum patterns lies a desire to compose in way that regards technical ability as secondary to the overall enjoyment of the listener. Hard to regard this album as anything less than a modern-day master piece of the genre, at every turn this album delivers in spades. From the high rasp of the blackened vocals to the pleasing production and musical execution, ‘Revenant’ is sure to please all comers.

Obliteration: Cenotaph Obscure

Harkening back to the murky, brutal aesthetics of early 1990’s era death metal, Obliteration stand apart from the normalcies of their contemporaries to sit atop the old school revivalist movement. With a blackened sense of atmospheric freedom Obliteration’s efforts help divert much needed attentions away from Norwegian black metal toward the innovations of Norwegian death metal.

Opening with an almost militaristic drum beat that sits atop some discordant guitar jabs specifically composed to draw the listener willingly towards the caustic slaughter that it set to befall them, beyond these opening moments of respite this album is relentless. Devoid of melodic moments of reassurance, this album sets off with a punch to the throat and ends with a punch to the throat. Bringing waves of chaotic brutality across your speakers, everything about this album’s sound is desperate. Even during songs like ‘Eldritch Summoning’ that incorporates some classic doom, you can feel the panic permeating every nook and cranny of this release.

Bombarded by visceral tremolos and the album’s signature naked riffs, ‘Cenotaph Obscure’ is one of those rare albums that seem to get more rewarding the more you listen. A classic expression of modern metal, this album strikes the perfect balance between old-school brutality and blackened atmospherics all while walking a tightrope between hook and progression, aggression and ambiance.

February 2019

Swallow The Sun: When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light

Coming in at album number seven for the Finish death/doom veterans, ‘When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light’ comes packed with an elegant melancholy made even more profound under the shadow of raw and overwhelming loss. Displaying a more emotive blend of death/doom than that of their 2015 triple-album epic entitled ‘Songs From The North I, II, III’, ‘When A Shadow’ carries a gloom so heavy that even moments of hushed reflection become just as crushing as the deliberate slug of the guitars.

Fuelled and powered by Juha Raivio’s sheer will to continue following the tragic and untimely death of bandmate and life partner Aleah Stanbridge, music and death/doom in particular has become the conduit through which lead songwriter Raivio can filter and process his pain, as he struggles to come to terms with his loss. Informing his writing, Raivio’s everlasting dedication to Stanbridge feels much like ‘Lumina Aurea’ in that it is equal parts an invasion of a very personal journey to acceptance and a masterpiece of the genre.

Coming across as surprisingly soft and restrained given the sheer weight of the album’s conceptual perspective, ‘When A Shadow’ has a noticeably strong gothic flavour that permeates the album’s rich tapestry of crushing hooks and well-structured melancholic movements.

Signs Of The Swarm: The Disfigurement Of Existence

Unleashing a level of brutality that stands in stark contrast to the cookie-cutter deathcore that plagues the genre, ‘The Disfigurement of Existence’ sees the Pittsburgh five-piece dial up the technicality on their sonically devastating follow up to 2016’s doom-driven ‘Senceless Order’.

Beginning the onslaught with little time wasted, ‘The Disfigurement of Existence’ is absolute violence and murderous rage packaged into 47 minutes of pure aggression. Uncompromising in its delivery, ‘The Disfigurement of Existence’ is built upon a firm foundation of ludicrous blasts, devastating slams and some of the most disgusting vocals in metal yet puts a fresh spin on the genre with the inclusion of lines of vicious melody and slam brutality.

Another big draw of the album is the vocal work of frontman CJ McCreery. Demonstrating an absurd vocal capability, McCreedy’s in-human growls and earthshattering gutturals adds a monstrous texture that when blended with the albums vicious instrumentation culminates in furious carnage.

Demonstrating that they are capable of more than just sonic destruction, Signs Of A Swarm also take the time to step away from the promulgation of evil to deliver a progressive interlude of sorts with ‘Guided into Serenity’ placed in the middle of the maelstrom.

Altarage: The Approaching Roar

Before you check out this recommendation, please be sure to bring an extra pair of underwear along with you. With a sound so savage and so ready to remove all the light from your life, there is every chance that the infrasonic frequencies of Altarage’s sound may cause you to lose control of your bowls.

Following on from the ugly dissonance of 2017’s ‘Endinghent’ Spanish metallers Altarage emerge from the depths with forty-three minutes of their most violent and abrasive album to date. Comprising nine tracks of dark hate filled intensity, ‘The Approaching Roar’ contains death metal so dark that you will find that when spinning this album, Altarage’s caustic waves have every chance of staling the very light from your surrounding environment. Devoid of melody or beauty, this desert of an album gives no quarter in its onslaught of distortion.

Presenting brutal soundscape after brutal soundscape, Altarage combing the punishing uninviting qualities of death metal with the abrasive sounds to black metal to create a suffocating atmosphere of chaotic aggression. Through the teaming of a disgusting amount of unholy distortion with the guttural resonant murk of the bass against a backdrop of cold precise drum blasts all topped off with a uniquely necrotic vocal nihilism, Altarage have created something truly frightening.

January 2019

Panopticon: The Scars Of Man On The Once Nameless Wilderness Part 1 & 2

‘The Scars of Man on the Once Nameless Wilderness’ is an extraordinary album. Centered around a deep and unforgiving love of nature, ‘Scars’ is a black metal album with a difference. Emphasising the importance of the natural environment to our quality of life and mental wellbeing, this immense double disk offering explores the very fire of the human spirt and the need to find a place that we can truly call home.

Presenting a spiritual-like immersion with every song, Lunn’s unique ability to blend blistering black metal with American folk and bluegrass culminates in an album that has the power to truly capture the senses of the listener. Combining some of the most frostbitten black metal this side of Scandinavia with the gentle almost ethereal strings that overlay most of the album creates an atmosphere so dense that you can almost feel the wind biting at your cheeks as you progress through the tracks. Alongside the blackened drums you can also expect Lunn’s vocals to add further flavour by adding an almost ghostly feel to the work. And if you’re at all worried that the bluegrass elements may put you off, just know that they are worked in with such mastery that in many places you will not even notice the transitions.

Unfathomable Ruination: Finitude

Straight out of the gate, Unfathomable Ruination’s ‘Finitude’ punches the listener so hard in the throat that they can expect to be speechless for the entirety of their first run through. And whilst there are moments on the album that may make you believe that it’s safe to get up, just don’t, as the next riff is sure to flatten you once again.

As one of the best rising stars of brutal technical death metal, Unfathomable Ruination’s ‘Finitude’ is understandably filled to the absolute brim with all the sweeps, tremolos and slams that you would expect, yet the album is composed in such a way that the arrangements still manage to provide thought provoking diversity as well as the ability to evoke strong emotional reactions.

And even if technical death metal isn’t your thing, I would still urge you to give this album a listen simply due to incredible level of musicianship that is on display. If bassist Federico Benini doesn’t blow you away, then drummer Doug Anderson surely will.

1914: The Blind Leading The Blind

Released on the eleventh hour of the eleventh month on the eleventh day of 2018 on the hundredth anniversary of the armistice, 1914 take dedication to their subject matter to another level. Far from gimmickry, and complete with eerie period accurate recruitment jingles, ‘The Blind Leading The Blind’ offers emotional immersion into The Great War.

With a strong lyrical focus upon the dirt, blood and despair of the conflict, ‘Blind Leading The Blind’ is not about the glory of battle, but instead shines a necrotic light upon the human cost of the war. Expertly executed with seamless transitions and serious skill, this album combines grinding death metal riffs with deep and meaningful death/doom passages and a generous helping of black metal, to create an effective atmosphere of horror. The vocals on this album are also worthy of note. By layering fearsome death growls with piercing black metal shrieks, vocalist Kumar, gives incredible weight to the already heavy subject matter.

Coming at The Great War from multiple angles, 1914 ultimately conclude that no matter their country of birth, death was the unifying factor of the conflict and death did not discriminate.

Additional Articles

Mashup’s top four releases out this week

Featuring Amon Amarth, Origin, Ringworm and Kampfar check out the releases that we are most excited about this week.

4 May 2019

Tech Death titans Vale of Pnath release ‘The Darkest Gate’

Tech death extremists Vale of Pnath return with a new single entitled ‘The Darkest Gate’ taken from their upcoming EP ‘Accursed’.

3 May 2019

Slaming death metal giants Ingested release ‘Mouth of the Abyss’

Undisputed titans of the heavy Ingested reveal the coming release of a brand new EP entitled ‘Call of the Void’ with the dropping of their first single ‘Mouth of the Abyss’.

3 May 2019

Mashup Recomendations for the month of May are now live

By way of an apology for missing April’s recommendations, this month we bring you the massive sounds of Alpha Wolf, Mental Cruelty and Irrita.

2 May 2019

Thy Art Is Murder release the title track from ‘Human Target’

Australian titans of the heavy Thy Art Is Murder have released the title track from their upcoming album entitled ‘Human Target’ set for release on the 26th of July.

30 April 2019

Non Metal Monday: Sum 41 return with a new single

Announced last Thursday with the dropping of a surprise single, punk rock heroes Sum 41 return with their first single in 3 years entitled ‘Out For Blood’.

29 April 2019