A solid name combining the ideas of violent holy crusades and pure human sadism, Crusadist are a Chicago based death metal band with a helping of thrash influence. Their debut LP The Unholy Grail is generally a modern style of death metal but with the old school thrash metal hooks. It’s here that people may divide, depending on how they feel about thrash metal in general, personally I find it to be a stagnant genre that brings a lot of repetition to this album. Others may say it brings more groove to the album. In reality, it’s likely to be somewhere in between with the solid mixing and recording evening it all out. It’s an interesting album either way and a hearty independent release, check out the new lyric video for the track “For Blood And Conquest” below. The Unholy Grail drops on black friday 2019 (29th November).
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve covered a straight up rager on this site, so when I heard “The Tether’s End” by Remission, i knew I had to talk about it. Remission are a death metal band with some thrash influences and melodic death metal textures. This is their debut album and it’s set for release on November 15th. This is one you aren’t going to want to miss!
Vahrzaw are one of Australia’s longest running black metal acts having played under various names in the early 90s. While many bands have come and gone, Vahrzaw have marched on unable to be stopped by neither politics nor circumstance, leaving a long trail of releases featuring interesting artwork. Metalheads in need of an audio pummelling look no further. Their sound hasn’t been compromised in the face of an ever changing scene over the decades and after Husk, their ripper of a 2018 album, they are returning with a brand new album slated for 2020. I spoke to Vahrzaw guitarist Scott about it and the bands origin.
Dawn Of Domination is the bands second LP and it fits very nicely into the collection of Aussie thrashers. It sold me with it’s solid opening track – I’ve always a big fan of instrumental openers and less interested in samples or ambience to start off a metal records – especially not a blackened speed metal record. You have to bring the energy up front and the guitars always feel alive here which helps a lot.
The bass is very present, it has a distinct metallic twang that litters the tracks, a kind of constant that keeps everything anchored. You generally know if you’re a fan of this specific sound or not – it’s a tried and true framework. At least now you can get a taste for Australian metal in the mix and I recommend sussing out similar bands and projects from around the world. There’s only so much you can do with blackened speed metal so it all kind of sounds the same on some level, but that basically translates to “they are all awesome” too.
I have always been familiar with Bolt Thrower but never so intimately as to know their albums and history. I’ve enjoyed their compilations and that’s about it. Fortunately my interview with Luke Oram motivated me to listen to one of their LP’s in full. I was not disappointed – this a killer death album with that classic old school feel. There’s also the dual appeal here for me because it’s a work that is inspired equally by metal and general nerd hobbies and interests. I don’t personally have any investment in Warhammer 40k but I can absolutely appreciate it’s art direction and extensive lore. Nerd-dom pairs so well with metal – the mix of passion, heavy themes and craftsmanship always make for something truly solid.
This album is so pure, being both a product of the time and ahead of it’s time simultaneously. It’s everlasting metal that’s difficult to switch off once it starts spinning. I’d describe the vocals and guitars as doing mostly mid range work – this doesn’t feel crazy downtuned or gargled, but rather an organic work of measured brutality. The drums seem to prevent everyone from going astray and occasionally teams up for an onslaught of double kicks. Everything sits comfortably in the mix – I don’t think there’s anything I’d change.