Abusement Park: Top 15 of 2016

This is one of my most favorite times of the year. It allows us to take a look at all the great releases that have come out this year, and this year there have certainly been a ton of them. What I look at the most in my end of the year list is albums that demanded repeat listens. The order is not the most important thing but I suppose they are ranked. I also think the best part about this list is, literally none of these bands created this music to make this list, or any list for that matter. However, these 15 albums made my list so lets see them.

starspawn15. Blood Incantation – Starspawn (Dark Descent Records)

Who doesn’t love some really weird sci-fi Death metal? From the buzz that this album created when it dropped, it would certainly seem like very few people do not. I think this is an excellent death metal album and garnered many repeat listens. It’s drenched in atmosphere and it will certainly leave you feeling like the stargate. Favorite Track: Virtrification of Blood (Part I)

sewercide14. Sewercide – Immortalized In Suffering (Unspeakable Axe Records)

It should be no surprise that early into this  list there is a release from Unspeakable Axe, they without a doubt were the best label this year. Sewercide are a disgusting Australian death metal band. I’m pretty sure the band members recorded this in the dankest of places. It’s filled to the brim with sweet riffage and the vocal delivery is just superb. Favorite Track: Megalithic Tomb

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13. Mizmor – Yodh (Gilead Media)

Yodh by Mizmor is like one part black metal and one part doom metal. It seeps emotion and bad feelings. It also literally screams feelings of catharsis. The one man behind Mizmor makes you feel with this one. There is so much to take in with this album.  It is so good instrumentally, but the vocals really steal the show. They bring so much to this album and it becomes apparent from that first scream in the first track. That scream quite literally put a smile on my face when I heard it. I just knew I was in for a treat with Yodh. Favorite Track: i – Woe Regains My Substance

ustalost12. Ustalost – The Spoor of Vipers (Sibir Records/Gilead Media)

Ustalost is a solo project for W. Skarstad of Yellow Eyes. I could probably leave it there and not have to explain how good of a black metal album this is, but I’ll elaborate a little bit. This is progressive black metal that goes all over the place. It has incredibly dark moments as well as some bright spots. It features the use of synths pretty heavily. The bass work on this also takes it to another level. Gilead Media will be releasing the vinyl next year as well so scoop that up when the time comes. Favorite Track: IV

21002 [Converted]11. CTHE’ILIST – Le Dernier Crepuscule (Profound Lore Records)

This is another one of those albums that made a buzz this year, and with good reason. It quite literally sounds like the source of all your fears got ahold of some instruments and created death metal that is not of this world. This album is incredibly unique and technically crafted. The vocals do not sound human at times. I’m still not certain that playing this album at the wrong time will not summon a Lovecraftian horror into your home that will drag you into the depths of the unknown to never see what you once loved ever again. You just have to hear it for yourself. Also the slap bass, I gotta mention that. Favorite Track: Voidspawn

chasms_150010. Lycus – Chasms (Relapse Records)

Alright! We’re in the top 10 and to start it off we have the most astounding funeral doom album of the year. Lycus really impressed me with their last album Tempest, and they have impressed me further with Chasms. This is slow dreadful doom at it’s finest. Chasms is surrounded in thick heavy atmosphere. If you aren’t careful this album could crush you under it’s weight. Favorite Track: Obsidian Eyes

khemmis9. Khemmis – Hunted (20 Buck Spin)

Hunted by Khemmis is what Decibel Magazine deemed to be their album of the year, and while it may not be our #1 it’s certainly one of our favorites. It has been a wonderful year for doom metal and this album is a big reason why. Khemmis released their debut Absolution last year and I personally think Hunted is an improvement. The vocals are more triumphant and the guitar melodies hit harder. Khemmis also added elements from funeral doom that I just love. They are present in tracks such as Candlelight. It’s hard not to feel victorious after listening to this one. Favorite Track: Hunted

gatecreeper-sonoran8. Gatecreeper – Sonoran Depravation (Relapse Records)

I have been following Gatecreeper since they dropped their four song demo tape back in 2014. After a handful of some great splits, the wait is finally over and we have the full length. I got exactly what I expected and exactly what I wanted out of this Gatecreeper full length. It’s filled to the brim with GED Riffs that get you hyped up. Honestly when I listen to this I want to punch holes in things. Gatecreeper play music that shouldn’t be trifled with. They wear their Swedish death metal influence on their sleeve proudly and they should. Favorite Track: Rotting As One

north light the way7. North – Light The Way (Prosthetic Records)

The first thing I want to say about this album is that it is beautiful. It has incredible atmosphere and it is just powerful. This album is completely immersive, and is a pleasant listening experience. It would be hard to find a more recent Post-metal album better than this one. I will also say this is one of my biggest surprises of the year. I had not even heard of North until I cam across Light the Way, but I’m glad I found it. This album has gotten many plays this year and I imagine I will keep returning to it. Favorite Track: Earthmind

nucleaus sentient6. Nucleus – Sentient (Unspeakable Axe Records)

If you have been reading everything I have written so far you may remember that I said everybody loves  really weird sci-fi death metal. Nucleus have made some really good, really weird sci-fi death metal with Sentient. The science fiction theme really works for the album since it sounds like it was brought here from the future, but also brought from the past. Nucleus have a brand of death metal that is very much old school and technical, but still very modern. I love the sideways riffs and the sporadic soloing. The subject matter of the songs are great too with subjects like the film Cube and Dan Simmons Hyperion. Favorite Track: Swarm

take over self title5. Take Over And Destroy – Take Over And Destroy (Prosthetic Records)

Take Over And Destroy have always had a sound that is hard to pin down. This album makes it even harder to pin down. They have influences from all over the place and it shows in the music. The one thing I know for certain is this is the catchiest metal album released this year. Every single one of these songs has the ability to stay with you. Each song is pretty unique from one another as well, but the whole package works as an incredible listen. The heavy riffing John Carpenter soundtrack band have delivered once again. Favorite Track: changes day to day but lets go with Bring Me the Rope

scorched-echoes4. Scorched – Echoes of Dismemberment (Unspeakable Axe Records)

Oh yes Echoes of Dismemberment, the album that has as many riffs as a Hallmark store has greeting cards. I love this album, it’s my favorite death metal album of the year without a doubt. I just keep going back to it. Much like Gatecreeper I’ve been following Scorched from demo to splits and have been anxiously awaiting a proper full length. When the full length arrived I got what I wanted. This album features flawless drumming, and groovy riffs. Steve Fuchs and Nick Carucci assault the whammy bar like it wronged their families and I love it.  The horror movie theme is done so well with the album cover, the synth music, and lyrical content. Listen to Scorched. Favorite Track: Dealings of A Gruesome Kind

spirit adrift chained to ob3. Spirit Adrift – Chained to Oblivion (Prosthetic Records/War Crime Recordings)

Nate Garrett appears to have been the bringer of Riffs and Doom this year, having released an incredible EP as well as full length this year. Spirit Adrift bring top tier emotional doom that feels and sounds like a cathartic release. There are guitar melodies that sing, heavy riffs, and vocals that work with the music to perferction. The improvement from the EP Behind – Beyond  to Chained to Oblivion, make this album worthy of spot alone. The entire album creates a cohesive experience. There is not a single track that should go unheard, in fact its best to listen to it all in one go. The resurgence of doom metal lately has been incredible and Spirit Adrift have added to that with this one. I hope the bringer of doom and riffs brings more of both soon. Favorite Track: Chained to Oblivion

haunter2. Haunter – Thrinodia (Unsigned)

This is what I personally believe is the best black metal album released this year and if you have a label you need to listen to this album and sign Haunter. This album has incredible atmosphere. The production is polished at times but still incredibly raw. It’s hard to ask more out of black metal. Most U.S. Black metal is rooted somewhere in New York, but Haunter reside in San Antonio, Texas. They put a unique spin on their brand of black metal. There are plenty of riffs to go around, and very impressive bass lines that can be heard. It’s exceptional black metal and you just need to give it a listen. Favorite Track: Apnoeic (Polarized in Retrospective Contempt)

inter arma paradise1. Inter Arma – Paradise Gallows (Relapse Records)

Here it is the Abusement Park album of the year. Paradise Gallows was my most anticipated release of 2016 and it delivered. It not only delivered, it exceeded my expectations. Inter Arma have a spotless history of releases, and just when you think they couldn’t possibly get better they do just that. This album is about as heavy as holding onto a boulder while sinking into the ocean at times. Then at other it manages to be as beautiful as a cloudless night, sometimes both at the same time. There are amazing riffs at every turn. Inter Arma manage to bring a plethora of styles from doom, sludge, and post-metal. They then put their own progressive spin on it and have composed a modern day masterpiece and I really mean that. They try a lot of new things on this and they all worked. It’s almost unfair, but I’m thankful for this album. Favorite Track: An Archer in the Emptiness

I’ve had a great year running this blog for the first time, and have had some incredible guests on here as well as support. So as a bonus here are some #1 picks by people I interviewed, celebrities, Abusement Park season pass holders… whatever you want to call them!

Andy Leemont (Take Over And Destroy): Grave Pleasures – Funeral Party 7″

Stoney Bass (Anvil Eater Records): Vermin Womb- Decline, and Blood Incantation –  Starspawn

Young Cubs/Night Rambler Records: Downfall of Gaia – Atrophy

Steve Fuchs & Matt Kapa (Scorched): Blood Incantation – Starspawn

Dave Muntean (Nucleus): CTHE’ILIST – Le Dernier Crepuscule

Slade Williams (Pavel Chekov/Celestial Corrosion): Death Fetishist – Clandestine Sacrament

Brandon Kellum (American Standards): The Dillinger Escape Plan – Dissociation, and Oathbreaker – Rheia

A.L.W. (our editor): Brujeria – Pocho Aztlan

Jeff Owens (Goya/Spirit Adrift): Leonard Cohen – You Want it Darker (as Jeff put it “heaviest album of the year, in one way, if not another”)

Nate Garrett (Spirit Adrift/Gatecreeper): Vektor – Terminal Redux, and Inter Arma – Paradise Gallows. (It also just occurred to me that Nate had something to do with 3 albums on our list. If we gave out awards he’d be our dude of the year or something what a year for that guy am I right?)

Now time to look forward to 2017

-REH

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Abusement Park: Top 15 of 2016

Pavel Chekov/Celestial Corrosion: An evening with Slade.

Slade Williams has been playing with Dallas, Texas power-violence/grind/Dallas warpcore band Pavel Chekov for a little while now. They have been gearing up for some new stuff as well as a December tour. Slade also has a little doom metal project called Celestial Corrosion, so let’s start out with that.

What inspired Celestial Corrosion?

Slade: My main musical influences for CC are Hooded Menace, Fuoco Fatuo, Evoken and Hell. But when it came to the mixing and stuff I really dig the production style of Temple Nightside, Abyssal and Irkallian Oracle. I’ve still got a bit of improving to do, but I’m really happy with how the demo came out.

How different is the approach to writing this slow stuff compared to the speed of the usual Pavel Chekov stuff?

The writing styles between the two are honestly pretty similar, just write cool riffs while not dragging them out to where they’re boring. The second song on the demo was originally going to be around 10 minutes but I listened back a couple times and edited it way down because I felt it dragged on way too long. The writing styles are similar, but way slower.

Is everything 100% you?

Yes and no. The logo was done by Parker Turney, he’s a crazy talented dude who actually was the original guitarist of Pavel Chekov, he has a new grind band called Vault Dweller that should be releasing a demo soon also! Then to finish it up, Stoney of Anvileater records helped me by putting together a layout for the tape that he’ll be releasing, give him all of your money, he deserves it for how cool of a dude he is to work with. The music is 100% me, this whole project has been a personal goal of mine, to write record and mix an entire demo by myself. For now CC will remain a solo operation while I sort my life out. I would like to be able to play shows and stuff, but we’ll see how it pans out.

celestial-c

I wholeheartedly agree with the Anvileater records statement. I like Stoney so much that I gave him a season pass to Abusement Park for life. Keep an eye on the Anvileater facebook for news regarding the Celestial Corrosion tape.

Anvileater bandcamp and store

 

Is this your first shot at this type of music, or have you been in other doom bands?

This is my first shot at doom, I’ve always wanted to play it, but I’ve never been in a band playing it.

Is this also your first attempt at mixing, recording etc?

Not really, I’ve been going to school for audio engineering so I’ve done all sorts of projects for class. Along with that, Alan and I usually tag team the tracking whenever we record for Pavel releases, so I’ve had a good amount of practice for the short time I’ve been doing it.

What are the meanings behind these two songs?

The first one is about the decay of the astral body after death, while denied ascent, the spirit seems to fade slowly with no hope of reach a higher sphere. The second is loosely based on the mythological idea that the universe was created through the sexual relations of the gods and how after creation, nature has the incredible driving force to spread and thrive all on its own.

Can we expect more Celestial Corrosion in the future?

I’m planning on trying to write more in the coming months, so you can definitely expect more music, but I’ve got a lot coming up with the new year so I’m not sure when it will happen. My plan is to at least have another release out by the coming summer.

Give the demo a listen/download here. It’s one of the best doom demos you’ll here this year!

pavel-1

Speaking of Pavel Chekov…. Is there anything new in the works for that band?

So we recently sent off three tracks for a comp coming out through Mind Ripper Collective, we’ve finished tracking instruments for three upcoming splits, and we have our west coast tour on Dec. 8th.

Also you heard it hear first people, Pavel Chekov will being doing splits with Concussive, Bandit, and TBA (Ft. Worth, TX). Be on the lookout for those! 

I’ve also always wanted to ask, why Pavel Chekov (of all people)?

Because he is the best Star Trek character! We all are big sci-fi fans, especially Alan, and we just we liked the name a lot.

I’m friends with you dudes on Facebook and it would appear that the drummer Alan is leaving the country. Will this be the end or a hiatus?

This will be a hiatus. Alan continually talks about how he’s going to try his best to come back so we can still do small tours over breaks and such. Todd and I are super stoked that he has the opportunity to go to school out there, but we don’t really have any plans to flat out call it quits.

You guys are doing a tour to close out the year. Are there any dates you’re extra excited about, or bands you’re excited to play with?

I’m really just excited to see friends, we’ll be playing with our friends in Saintbreaker, Concussive, Ingrown, Woundvac, and we’ll hopefully get to see all the non-band friends we’ve made as well haha. One thing I’m super stoked for is our Oakland show, we’ll be playing a split set with Concussive and ending the night will be fucking Godstomper and I’m so excited, they’ve always been one of my favorite PV/grind bands.

Since 2016 is almost over, what’s your favorite album of the year?

I can’t pick a favorite but some of my favorites this year are Skáphe – Skáphe2, Lycus – Chasms, Temple Nightside – The Hecatomb, QRIXkUOR – Three Devils Night, Uškumgallu – Rotten Limbs in Dreams of Blood

You have been given 48 hours to kidnap the greatest actor of all time, Steve Buscemi. Who do you call, how do you catch him, and where do you take him?

To catch Steve Buscemi I call Maximillion Pegasus from YuGiOh to use his millennium eye to trap his soul into a playing card, then I take him to Caesars’ Palace, I then place the card with his soul and four decks of cards into a shuffling machine and leave him to be lost in the wasteland of greed and excess.

 steve

If you are located around the west coast, see if Pavel Chekov are playing a show around your area and go see them! They will have a tour tape, sick shirts, and a split 7” with Endless Swarm.

DATES:pavel-tour

Smash that like button on the Pavel Chekov Facebook for future updates

Give them a listen on their bandcamp as well for all the anti-fascist blastcore.

Also drop Abusement Park a like as well. We’re low-key doing a little giveaway at the end of the year.

-REH

 

Pavel Chekov/Celestial Corrosion: An evening with Slade.

The New American Standards

With us today we have something a little different than usual. We have Brandon Kellum the vocalist of American Standards a chaos driven noise punk band. I certainly welcome his company at Abusement Park. American Standards have been hard at work on new music so continue reading to find out a bit more…

bk-american

 

American Standards have been hard at work on a full length for a little while now, what details can you give us about that?

Ya, I’m actually responding to this email while on the road back home from the studio in California. At this point, tracking and mixing is done and we’ll be sending the album to get mastered with Brad Boatright at Audiosiege here in the next week or so. We did 8 tracks at Kingsize Soundlabs (Mars Volta, OFF, Bad Religion) then mixed with Andy Marshall of The Residency. Hoping to have the first single out in December 2016.

The last we heard from you was the 3 song EP Hungry Hands, how does the new material compare to that?

It feels like the new stuff is a bigger jump in the progression of the band then past releases. We’ve never been a band to compete with others to be the heaviest or most technical, rather just really focused on writing solid songs that resonate with us and that push our own dynamics. With these songs we explored a lot more of what I think makes us American Standards who we are as a band like the complex drum rhythms, prominent bass lines and attention to both Corey and my vocal hand offs. We also had the opportunity to put some time into the recording whereas in the past we were running up against recording hours and other deadlines. 

 

It seems like you have influences from all over, what major musical influences can be heard on the new material?

Ah, that’s always a tough question. I feel like some of the common comparisons we get are bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan, The Chariot, Refused and Every Time I Die. I’d like to think with the new material we took those but also blended in a more varied mix ranging from bands like Rage Against The Machine and System Of A Down to Cancer Bats and Deftones.

We talked about the inspirations to the sound of the album but what about lyrically? Are there any overall themes to this? 

It’s always interesting to me to hear about how other vocalists approach lyrics. For some, I think the first word isn’t written until the instruments are at close to 100%. For me, I’m constantly jotting down ideas daily as they come. By the time it comes to record, I’ll typically have a few notepads full of lines then I just get a feel for what song has a mood that correlates to what I’m trying to express. Makes it easier for me in a lot of ways but also sometimes paints me into a hole where I need to make what I’m trying to say fit the constraints of the song.

For this record we had a lot of time between Hungry Hands and now. Not to get too political but we’ve had one of the most insane presidential elections I think the US has ever seen. Adjacent to it; movements, protests, riots…. you name it. All of this magnified by this new world of social media that we live in. A world where simultaneously everyone has a voice but are lost in the noise. A world where algorithms dictate what the mass public accepts as fact and headlines are the only ideas that are shared. If there’s a theme of the record, it’s that the same things that bring us together, the same categories we create and tribes that we build- those also divide us. Make it easier to point the blame at someone with opposing views or paint a group of people with a broad stroke based on an arbitrary title we’ve assigned to them. So with the new record we really dive into that across multiple songs. 

There are also songs a little more personal to me. For example one about the loss of my father to cancer last year. He worked till the day of his diagnosis. Stage 4 and was given weeks to live but still wanted to go on with his life exactly as he was living it. He passed within the month. 

Another about our late guitarist who took his life earlier in the year. Someone we spent several years with writing, recording and touring. Depression got the best of him and everyone he’s touched has been forever changed.

It’s great to see you guys continue on and must be seriously awesome to have an outlet like this band to get past the darker sides of life.

Does any of this translate to future cover art?

Good question. We’re just about at the point. We’ve been lucky to have someone like Corey in our band with a real knack for stuff like that. He’s design all our past albums and merch. I’m excited to see what he’ll come up with for this.

american-4

 

This new one was recorded in California, why go out of state? 

Yeah, we really bit off a little more then I think we realized at the time by choosing to do a full length out of town. It’s been a great experience and there are definitely some benefits to it outside of the obvious caliber of the studio itself. One being it forces the entire band to be present and interact in the entire process from beginning to end. When you record in town, it’s too easy for the guys to show up for their parts and leave for the others. Downside of it all though is the timeline. Every time we have a new idea that we want to track, it’s a 6 hour drive back to Los Angeles. In total, I believe we’ve done 5 trips over the course of 3 months. 

 

Tell us about the recording process. It sounds like you tried some new things with Hungry Hands is there any more of that?

We definitely kept the experimentation going on this one. It’s always been important for us to have a more natural recording though, so a lot of the production tricks people maybe use to from other bands in our genre just isn’t our thing. No triggered drums, all real equipment going through mic’d cabs. Nothing that we can’t recreate live for the most part. The only exception to that are the very minor things we did to add texture to the songs. Some grand piano, harmonica, minimal strings and strangely enough- crunching of potato chips into a mic. That’s the fun stuff that I think listeners may not catch all of on the first few listens but it’ll keep it interesting to discover.  

 

You were said to be too DIY for your own good, what does that mean to you?

When we decided to leave the label back in 2012, we were already doing the bulk of the work that any independent band would be doing. We were planning and funding our own recording, merch, touring and being 100% present on any social media or press outlet that we could find. Over the years as the band has continued to grow, so has the time invested into maintaining all that. Becomes almost another full time job responding to everything, making trips to the post office to mail out merch, promoting and just doing what’s needed to be as engaged as we need and want to be.

 

You mentioned that you guys straddle the line of being hardcore/metal so you get put on a weird mix of shows. Who are your favorite bands to have played with? 

It seems that way. We’ve been asked to do shows with bands ranging from GWAR and Danzig to Atreyu and Emery. Some of our favorite that come to mind from this year were definitely Every Time I Die, Norma Jean and Stray From The Path. All bands that we’ve done multiple shows with in the past but are always stand up dudes that bring a great crowd.

 american-3

Also how was the album release show for the Ned Flanders inspired band Okilly Dokilly?

It was awesome. Okilly Dokilly are truly some of the nicest guys and really talented musicians. I think they know what they’re doing when it comes to the gimmick and they pull it off well. Above everything, they have this cool opportunity to play for a unique crowd of people both in and out of the punk or metal community. That warrants an environment where the crowd is in on the joke and even though it’s heavy music, everyone’s there to have fun. Kind of strips out the attitudes and tough guy mentalities when you’re watching a band screaming Ned Flanders quotes.

 

I also saw you played with Glitterbomb recently. I loved their split with Woundvac, who are your current favorite bands from Arizona?

Yeah, Glitterbomb are definitely the homies and Woundvac are gnarly. Brennen from Glitterbomb was actually our original guitarist and their drummer (Mike Cook), recorded drums for our Hungry Hands EP. Outside of them, highly recommend the AZ locals; Coma Prevail, Prize Fight, Spoiled, Strelitza and Lifelink. So many good things coming out of Arizona.

I love Spoiled!

How would you describe American Standards in the live setting? The pictures you sent me look like it gets pretty intense!

The live show is everything for us. If it were up to me, that’d be the first way that someone discovers American Standards because it really is something we put a lot of passion into. When you come to our show, we know your spending your time and money and we want to make it worth it.

What formats are you guys planning to release this on?

For formats, we did CD, vinyl, cassette and digital on the Hungry Hands EP. For the new one, it’s still up in the air but we’re hoping to do something similar. 

 

If American Standards were offered a chance to have an extravagant WWE entrance before a show, how crazy would it get, what all would go down, and what would the entrance music be?

Ah man, that’s tough. I’ve personally always been a fan of guys like The Undertaker, Mankind and Sting. I’m not sure a band of 4 dudes coming down from the rafters makes sense though. It may be more fun to go the route of DX. Get Rage Against The Machine to write a theme song for us and just be belligerent and cause havoc.

 

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Catch American Standards live at these upcoming shows:

Nov. 19th – Frogees – Apple Valley, CA

Nov. 20th – The Aging Room – Long Beach, CA

Dec. 3rd – Metro Bar – Salt Lake City, UT

Dec. 4th – TBA – Henderson, NV

Dec. 9th – The Rebel Lounge – Phoenix, AZ

Treat yourself to some pay what you want music at the American Standards bandcamp!

To keep up with the progress of the new LP and future shows like them on Facebook

 

The New American Standards

Unspeakable Axe Records Showcase

Unspeakable Axe Records have been without a doubt my favorite label of 2016. They have put out excellent releases such as Ripper – Experiment of Existence, Nucleus – Sentient, Scorched – Echoes of Dismemberment, 4 Doors to Death, Sewercide – Immortalized in Suffering, And Voidspawn – Pyrrhic. Those are all just from this year Unspeakable Axe Records have been putting out great releases since 2013 and their releases just keep getting better.

hemotoxin

Hemotoxin – Biological Enslavement

Biological Enslavement is one of those great releases from earlier this year that I haven’t been able to get until now. Hemotoxin have a brand of technical Death/Thrash metal that tends to teeter back and forth between the two genres. I think I hear just a bit more Death metal in the music at times but that may just be me. Either way this album can be and should be enjoyed by both. The riffs pack a punch and when I mentioned the band being technical earlier, I do not mean senseless guitar wankery. The musicians in Hemotoxin are incredibly talented especially the two guitarist, Michael Chavez and Michael Rohwer share the lead work and create some very impressive solos on this album. I really enjoy the third track “Minus Human”, it has a very interesting jazzy intro that totally caught me off guard after the aggressiveness of the first two tracks. There is  sweet fretless bass in that one as well. I would have to recommend this band to fans of Atheist and the Spiritual Healing/Human era of Death. The vocal delivery of Chavez really reminds me of Chuck Schuldiner. I think this is a very solid release. If you are a human or just a recreation I think you should Hemotoxin’s Biological Enslavement.

Give it a listen here

 mortal-scepter

Mortal Scepter – As Time Sharpens the Sentence

This Mortal Scepter EP takes us back a bit further into the Unspeakable Axe catalogue. As Time Sharpens the Sentence came out in 2015, and is a French thrash release that I definitely missed out on last year. I think I would go ahead and include this one in the blackened thrash category. The vocal delivery is very raw in the production which just gives me that vibe. The production itself is pretty raw to begin with but the guitars sound great and the riffs are relentless right from the starting gates with “As Time Sharpens the Sentence” it even has one of those crazy old school Megadeth sounding guitar solos. I think I would compare Mortal Scepter overall with early Kreator though. I will say that people who really like their production might have issues with the drum sound on this release at times, but I think the sound fits the vibe of the EP very well. It’s an incredibly raw and relentless blackened thrash metal EP that might be a bit different than what people are used to currently, even though it takes plenty of influence from the old school.

Give it a listen here

omnivore

Omnivore – Omnivore

To cap off this Unspeakable Axe Records showcase we go back just a little bit further to 2014 with the Self-titled album by Omnivore. This album goes fast and does it well. It sounds like it’s heavily inspired by Sepultura. After an intro track we hear the voice of everybody’s favorite vigilante Rorschach and then blistering riffs of “Dead” straight to the point song title. Omnivore really do have the Ricky Bobby mentality of “I wanna go fast” for most of this release which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. They slow down a little bit on two occasions, “I hope the war comes” has one of the head nodding mid-tempo riffs before going back to tearing things up. The second occasion is in the track “Nothing More than Dust” which is the longest song on the album the slower section is towards the end with an interesting acoustic section. The Sepultura comparison must be a good one because the album closes with a true to form cover of “Arise”.    This album is a very solid debut that thrashes from start to finish with some real percussive riffs.

check it out here

I hope this inspires you guys to check out Unspeakable Axe Records. They have had an amazing year of releases and have an amazing back catalogue. I look forward to 2017 from them. (Hint: the Maligner is going to be really good)

-REH

Unspeakable Axe Records:

Bandcamp: https://unspeakableaxerecords.bandcamp.com/

Store: http://www.unspeakableaxerecords.com/purchase/

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Unspeakable Axe Records Showcase

Doomed Planet

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Goya – Doomed Planet

Goya are a band that I have been quietly admiring from afar for a while now. I have been a big fan of the incredible Arizona heavy music scene that they are a part of, and Goya bring their own sound to that scene. They are hot off of two EP’s from earlier this year, The Enemy and another one featuring Nirvana covers. This new EP Doomed Planet goes back to the forlorn doom metal sound. It could be closely compared to my favorite Goya release Satan’s Fire.

Doomed Planet is four songs two long, loud, slow, and heavy songs. An ambient instrumental track and a cover of Marilyn Manson’s “Dogma”. The first track is the title track of the EP “Doomed Planet” which seems to be a very fitting title for current events. It’s a track with a sweet droning riff full of fuzz. It clocks in at nine minutes long and it’s a riff worthy of being heard for nine minutes. The vocals add a nice compliment to the punch of the riff as well.

The second track is one of pummeling heaviness. The riffs pack a punch that’s almost akin to doom metal act Conan. “Hoof and Bone” is Goya at their best in my opinion. The song was meant to be used for a film but didn’t quite make the cut. I think that’s a shame because such an epic song would fit well in a film, especially a scene calling for music that speaks and sounds of desolation.  At the very least the song is still being released for all of our enjoyment, and I definitely enjoy this one.

The Manson cover shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise. Goya have just released two Nirvana covers for the anniversary of Nevermind earlier this year. Goya kept with the 90’s theme and covered “Dogma” from Portrait of an American Family. When listening to this I can tell they had fun recording this one, and it’s a really good cover. Doomed Planet is a well done EP by Goya that fans of slow Sabbath styled doom metal should check out.

-REH

Listen to Doomed Planet here

Limited CD’s will be available through Opoponax Records  

Doomed Planet

Scorched Park Policy: an interview with Scorched

scorched-logo

Scorched of Delaware have been making head way for a while now in the death metal underground. They have released of a Demo in 2015, a split with Putrisect, and a 4-way split with Gatecreeper, Homewrecker, and Outer Heaven. They have even garnered the approval of Trevor Strnad of the Black Dahlia Murder. With the new full length Echoes of Dismemberment coming out on November 25th, we knew we had to invite them to the Abusement Park. With us today we have guitarist Steve Fuchs and vocalist Matt Kapa.

 

What are your backgrounds in heavy music and what lead to the creation of Scorched?

Steve: I’ve loved playing heavy music for as long as I can remember. The creation of Scorched was a long time coming me and Kapa had wanted to start a death metal band for forever. What finally got me going with making a death metal band was one year’s Festivus at Kapa’s. He got to me and said “Steve when are you gonna write some riffs you poser?” and I was like “man, he’s right.”

 

What are the major influences on the sound of Scorched? Your music sounds and feels like a horror movie that we’re all okay with being a part of.

Steve: Morbid Angel and Suffocation. Matt can better explain the horror side of the band.

Matt: I honestly heard death metal on a local college radio station on a late Saturday show when I was about 12 haha

So many influences… all the classics of course as steve said like morbid angel, cannibal corpse…but also bands like Burial, Incantation, first few Unleashed albums, Autopsy…and some newer bands like Disma and Funebrarum.

Yes, we love horror and horror soundtracks. Goblin, Fabio Frizzi, John Carpenter, all great. We love all the classic series like Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th…but tons of other like The Burning, Driller Killer, the Toolbox Murders…we could go on and on haha (This also doubles as a recommendation list).

You guys single handedly got me into Unspeakable Axe Records, who I think we can all agree are killing it this year. How did you guys get hooked up with them?

Matt: Yeah Eric [Musall] kills it! All amazing bands. A good buddy of mine heard us and was super impressed and put in a good word for us. He got us in contact and here we are.

Steve: We owe a lot to Eric and Unspeakable Axe that dude has been very good to us

Okay so you guys are based out of Delaware, how did you end up with drummer Matt Izzi who is (if I’m not mistaken) from Ohio?

Matt: We had seen Homewrecker a ton of times and hung out with him and just hit it off. He was staying in PA for a while, only about a half hour from us and we had already been talking about forming the band and needed a drummer. He was all about it!

Steve: I met Izzi back in 2012 in Ohio playing with a hardcore band and we chilled and talked death metal a bit, after that I wanted to start a band with him. Here in Delaware, there’s really not too many drummers. Matt presented Scorched and Izzi was about to move to Philly, so I was like let’s get him on this shit. He used to love scrapple.

My friend and I secretly eat scrapple in Arkansas. It’s pretty good I’m not gonna lie.

Steve: It tastes really good the ingredients are pretty fucked though haha. We gotta include Mary’s country kitchen and that amazing scrapple sandwich in this interview. That’s good stuff.

There was some noticeable progression from the demo to the two splits, can we expect a continuation of that to the full length? Is there anything new that was tried on Echoes of Dismemberment?

Steve: I’d have to only say that every band changes over time hopefully for the good with all the new stuff we have a ton of room to do whatever we want because we do what we want to do.

That’s what’s cool about unspeakable axe.

Matt: So with Echoes we definitely kept the demo in mind while trying to push our creative boundaries. We try never to get stuck in some specific mold, but we also want to always stay true to who we are. Each track I feel we tried something we hadn’t before.

Steve: Plus just life in general as well. We all naturally pull music from what’s going on in life. But hell yeah to what Matt said we are always trying to do something we’ve never done before.

I absolutely agree that progression is important. I think you guys are heading in a great direction so far. I definitely see that the demo was kept in mind with the re-recording of “Scorched” from the Demo as well as “Autopsy Incomplete” from the 4-way split. What called for those two songs in particular to be re-recorded?

Steve: We have changed our guitar tunings a lot over the course of our recordings. The first stuff was in D whereas now we tune to B. The two songs we re-recorded just seemed to be the best with the new low tuning. We also added stuff to them. I have always thought a re-recording should have different things about it compared to the first recording

 

Since this is your first full length, how was the preparation and recording process different for this one when compared to the demo and the splits?

 Also the album cover looks like a movie poster. Could it be considered a concept album of sorts?

Steve: For the full length it went different than every other time because Izzi wasn’t in Delaware until like the last week before recording. We demoed our riffs and sent them to him. Izzi is a machine.

That’s the cover of the album, movie poster is what we were gonna for. It’s fitting for us.

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You guys have had some notable guest stars in the past such as Tyler Carnes from Noisem. This time around it’s Matt Kilpatrick of Cemetery Filth and a familiar name from the demo Bethany Short. What did they contribute to the album?

And what is it with people named Matt being good making heavy music? Haha (there are Matt’s in Homewrecker, Scorched, Cemetery Filth, Gatecreeper, and etc.)

Matt: They did guest vocal spots

Haha that’s flattering!

Steve: I have a cousin named Matt, he can’t play any instruments

Are we keeping which songs they’re featured on a secret?

Matt: Sure, that’s more fun

Steve: Yeah like a movie, people ask questions about what’s gonna happen but all you have to do is pay attention to figure it out on your own.

What about after album release plans? Are there any plans for shows or cool merch?

Matt: No shows planned as of now. There will be at least one shirt released with the full length.

What’s your favorite Halloween candy? Also what will Scorched be handing out for tricks and/or treats?

Steve: I don’t really eat sweets man. I’ll dress up as Buckethead or braveheart or some shit, and hand out candy at my place though. Beer for the adults (AKA Steveweisers).

 

The new Scorched LP Echoes of Dismemberment will be out on Unspeakable Axe Records November 25th. All fans of death metal need to have this release on their want list.

-REH

Order the Echoes of Dismemberment here from Unspeakable Axe Records, vinyl out on Dark Descent Records early 2017.

Give the new song “Rot in Confinement” a listen here  Digital pre-orders also available at that link.

Stream “Dealings of a Gruesome Kind” here

All the cool kids https://www.facebook.com/scorchedde/?fref=ts&ref=br_tf&qsefr=1

 

 

Scorched Park Policy: an interview with Scorched

Night Work Begins

take over self titleTake Over And Destroy – Self titled (Prosthetic Records 2016)

I guess first thing to say about this album is if you think all heavy music should fit perfectly into a little box, then stop right here and use your time for something better. Take Over And Destroy draw influences from all over the spectrum. I have heard them referred to as sludge and “black n roll”.  The point is with this new self-titled full length, it’s hard to pin down one easy way to describe it. I for one find this to be a good thing. It is always great to see bands pushing boundaries, as well as themselves musically. For those familiar with Take Over And Destroy this is undeniably them.

The album starts out with “By Knife” which is also the first single released for this album. It was a good choice for first song as well as single. For a band with such diverse sound this is a track that has a bit of it all. It has the heavy riffs and vocals as well as some softer diabolical crooning vocals by vocalist Andrew Leemont. There is also an excellent guitar solo shared by both guitarist on this album Alex Bank Rollins and Nate Garrett. The next song we want to talk about is “Let Me Grieve” which also happens to be my personal favorite. It just has the catchiest opening guitar licks I have heard in a long time. The vocal performance in this is fantastic. This album is without a doubt the best vocal performance on any TOAD album in my opinion. The harsh vocals are excellent as well as the cleaner ones. I find there to be a perfect balance between the two. The one thing I can guarantee on this album is you have not heard an album like this, this year, or most likely ever. Take Over And Destroy isn’t without its hooks songs like “Separate from the Shadows”, “Job Coffins”, and “Bring me the Rope” will demand repeat listens as well as work their way inside of your brain. The song “Out of Frame” is also quite interesting with keyboard parts that sound like they were taken straight out of John Carpenters Christine. The last two tracks have incredible instrumental sections. The track “Love Among The Ruins” has some riff worship with nods to doom metal. Then of course one thing that can always be expected out of TOAD is a good album closer. The final track “Night Work Begins” continues this trend.

This is heavy music with hooks, riffs, guitar harmonies, and catchy choruses. The bands intentions were to release an album that was a collection of singles and I think they achieved it. Fans of this release are bound to have differing favorite songs that may change like the weather. Take Over And Destroy are one of a kind and I hope they continue to stay that way.

-REH

Give it a listen here

Order here

Night Work Begins