Of Flesh and Worship

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Glacial Tomb – Cognitive Erosion 

I heard about this band quite awhile ago and anxiously awaited to hear it for a few reasons. One of those reasons being that this band features current/ex members of Khemmis, Abigail Williams, and Cult of the Lost Cause. The other reason being that the band is based out of Denver, Colorado which holds a heavy music scene that has been killing it lately all across the board with the various sub-genres of metal. Glacial Tomb  fit nicely into the Denver scene because they manage to pull from several sounds and mold them together seamlessly. The music holds influence from black metal, doom metal, sludge metal, and there is even a hint of grind in there. If I had to compare them to another band I would have to go with Inter Arma just on how well they pull from many sounds and make them work together.

I think the riffs hit with the force of a hammer on anvil. This is definitely the case in the track “Of  Flesh and Worship.” The vocals howl like a wounded animal. The music definitely reflects the panic I would have if I woke up within a Glacial Tomb. My personal favorite track on Cognitive Erosion, is the closing track “Burial Shroud.” This track features abusive riffs, punishing drums, and a doom section. Glacial Tomb  is another band that can go on the list of promising bands from Denver, Colorado.

I urge you to give them a listen here

-REH

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Of Flesh and Worship

Attalla – Glacial Rule

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Attalla – Glacial Rule (2017)

A glacier is a slow moving mass of ice. They are massive, dense, and move very slowly under their own weight. If that’s the case then Attalla have chosen the perfect name for their new full-length Glacial Rule.

The opening track is “Butte Des Morts” which is a lake in Wisconsin ,which is where Attalla are from. This translates to “the hill of the dead” it would appear that Attalla have found the best way to be inspired by their surrounding area, and that is by creating songs with massive riffs. “Butte Des Morts” is a fantastic opener. The first riffs are huge. The band has a lot of groove in this track where the drums work perfectly with the riff. It is guaranteed to get some people moving. My first impression of this band is they sound a bit like The Sword’s early work but perhaps a bit slower. The vocals are very stripped down and work great for this band. They have some grit in places and are very polished at other times. The more this album plays the more I like the vocals. The second track, “Ice Harvest” is the longest on the album and features some impressive lead work. Throughout the whole album there are just massive slow moving riffs that work well with the glacial theme. The album is full of groovy moments and shows a band that are on the same page. The band were once again clearly inspired by their homeland with “Devil’s Lake” which is another banger of a track as well as a shorter and faster one on this album. It is the perfect lead into the closing track. Which is the title track “Glacial Rule,” another massive track. These riffs have a “prehistoric might” and are the best on the album. The ones that come before just add to the journey of coming to the end of “Glacial Rule.” This album is a journey through an icy landscape that will be seen and felt. It is welcome to multiple listens. This album should call to fans of doom and massive riffs.

-REH

Glacial Rule releases on March 24th check it out on Bandcamp or at the Obelisk 

Check out Attalla on Facebook 

Attalla – Glacial Rule

Figures emerge: Interview with Jeff Owens of Goya

We have talked about Goya on Abusement Park a few times, but this time we invited Jeff Owens vocalist/guitarist of Goya into the inner sanctum for a chat about the new full length Harvester of Bongloads.

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How is it going Jeff? Thanks for doing this. Why don’t you just go ahead and tell us a little bit about Goya and how this band got started, as well as why you play this kind of music.

Jeff: It’s going alright. Just trucking along, dealing with the ups and downs life throws my way. I like to refer to Goya as a 3-piece metal band, though we tend to get pigeonholed as stoner metal or doom metal, which is fair, since we fit into those genres for the most part. I started Goya back in 2011 after a revelation that I had been playing in other people’s bands my whole life, and had never really done what I wanted to do. I was in a punk band and an Iron Maiden/Thin Lizzy-esque Nintendo cover band at the time. I enjoyed both of them, but didn’t feel like I was able to fully express myself, so I started writing riffs and lyrics for what would become Goya. I found a couple of guys who were on the same page, and we went from there. As far as why this kind of music, I suppose it’s just what comes naturally to me.

Alright so tell us about this new full length Harvester of Bongloads. Is this the Metallica reference we all think it is? You had a fairly busy year last year with the ep’s, how long have these songs been in the works? I believe you mentioned before that this is a concept album. Do you care to go into any details on that?

Jeff: It is absolutely a Metallica reference. Credit where credit is due, a while back The Atlas Moth put out a record titled “Master Of Blunt Hits”. When I saw that, the title for this album just sort of popped into my head, and I knew it had to be the name of something. For a while, we were calling Omen by that name, but it soon became evident that it had to be the album title. These songs have been worked on in various stages for quite some time. I have early demos of Omen that date back to some time in 2012, and I believe the other tracks began to surface some time in 2015. Germination, Misanthropy, and Disease took concrete form much sooner than Omen. We have been performing the second half of the album for close to a year now. We were honestly still sort of writing Omen when we got into the studio. In fact, I recorded vocals for it, went home that night and rewrote the second verse, and then rerecorded some parts the next day. Harvester of Bongloads is, more or less, the second and third act of a story, with the first act being Rites of Hashage (From 777). The concept of the album may or may not be easily decipherable, but I do have a very clear story in mind that I feel is represented well once you know it. There is this dude who gets strange psychic powers when he smokes weed. He realizes that his powers can potentially have a positive effect on the earth. Coinciding with this revelation, Satanic aliens come down from outer space and give him the power to grow crops that can turn people into his followers. As planned before he had a weed cult, he tries to use these newfound powers to make the world a better place. Very quickly, he realizes that the powers that be and the majority of humankind in general not only make that difficult for him, but flat out don’t want the world to be a different or better place. As a result of this knowledge, he decides to use his army of weed demons to destroy the world, and that’s where the second half of the album comes in. The second half is mostly an expression of his hatred and the destruction caused as a result of it.

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I love it! So this is not your first attempt at a concept album?

Jeff: It’s not, no. 777 is not a concept album, despite the opening track tying in with Harvester, but Obelisk definitely is.

The story of Obelisk is not told in a linear fashion, as I felt that made sense with the material. It is a sort of twisted romance, and can be summed up relatively easily, though I’m a little more guarded about all of the details than I am with Harvester. A soul escapes from Hell, and three demons (one greater, two lesser) attempt to retrieve it by possessing the bodies of various murderers throughout history. Somewhere in there, the greater demon returns to Hell for an extended period and leaves the lesser demons to do the work, at which point they say fuck the job, and decide to do whatever they desire. When the greater demon returns, it sees what they have done, and absorbs them into it, ultimately finding the escaped soul and returning to Hell with it. There’s some more to the story, but I prefer to leave the rest to interpretation.

Okay so for Harvester, I have heard people say they think it’s a more stripped down approach, and I myself said it sounded like an extremely cohesive Goya album. What do you think about that and what was the approach to writing and recording this one?

Jeff: One big difference between this album and our first two is the length. When we were making this album, I was adamant that each side be right around 20 minutes. I looked at all of the albums I love from the seventies, and they were very much made for vinyl (particularly Sabbath records), so we followed that model. I really like that approach, and I think it’s the one we will be taking from here on out, though anything can happen, of course. Another difference is that we recorded our first two LPs in our rehearsal space, which was a medium-sized warehouse at the time. This album was recorded in the studio at Switchblade Sound, so things sound a little bit tighter, I think. Other than that, the recording approach was very similar. Joe has been working with us from day one whether it be as a member of the band, or recording us, so he knows what we’re going for. We tracked bass, drums, and one guitar live, then I doubled the guitar and added vocals. I will say that we didn’t add quite as much on top as we did on Obelisk. There are only one or two separate lead tracks on this album, I believe, and the weird noise stuff at the beginning and end of Omen. For the most part, we tried to be pretty faithful to how we play the songs live, which is what we have done in the past. I think the fact that it is a 40-minute album makes things a little more precise and refined, despite the fact that it is only 4 tracks. We were very conscious of how many times we repeated certain riffs, and even the speed at which we played them.

Speaking of recording I noticed you have credit as producer. Do you have a lot of experience with that type of thing? Also I thought your solos on this were outstanding especially the ones in Omen. What’s your approach to soloing?

Jeff: I only really have experience with producing when it comes to Goya records. Again, Joe knows what we’re after, so he and I tend to spend a lot of time working together and figuring out all of the little details of the album.

When I started Goya, a lot of my solos were just sort of by the seat of my pants type stuff. As it’s gone on, I prefer to specifically write out solos. What that process usually looks like is me recording a small section I solo over, and just playing that section on loop for hours, getting parts of the solo down here and there, until it finally all comes together. That gives me a foundation to work on from that time until we hit the studio. Sometimes, I still don’t have things hammered out when I hit the studio. I also will usually pick a single album I love to listen to a ton in the weeks before recording. With this session, it was Black Sabbath s/t, which is I feel is fairly evident in the solos on Omen.

Also speaking of vinyl I believe you’re releasing this one yourself through your label Opoponax Records. What made you start that? You also released the debut Toke album. Are you planning on putting out any other releases from bands that are not Goya?

Jeff: Opoponax was initially started out of necessity. I wanted 777 to be out on vinyl and I didn’t have any connections, so I looked into pressing records and that was that. At the beginning of 2016, I decided to take it a little more seriously and took out a loan and started an LLC. I always wanted to run a record label as a kid, so it’s been great bringing that dream to life. No regrets, so far!  I do have another non-Goya release coming out. Gray Gallows‘ “Underlord” will be out by the summer. Other than that, no current plans for any non-Goya releases. I get a lot of bands messaging and emailing me, of course, but the only bands I put out aside from my own are my friends’ bands, bands I’ve seen live and thought were amazing, or both. Maybe next year I’ll have more money to throw at releases, but at the moment, 2017 is pretty much booked for Opoponax.

One thing I have to ask about is the album art for Harvester of Bongloads. Especially since there is such an obvious tie to art with the band name which I assume is a reference to Francisco Goya and not the food company. I think it looks amazing. How did you end up having Hunter Hancock do it and how close did you work with him on it?

Jeff:  Hunter worked with us back on 777, and he did a killer job on that, so it only made sense to have him do another album cover for us. I’ve been friends with Hunter for a years, and he’s always been a really gifted artist. With this release, I honestly didn’t give him much direction. I just gave him demos and lyrics as they became available, told him the concept, and asked him to do whatever he thought made sense. I’m a huge fan of Aubrey Beardsley, and I think Hunter really channeled some of his style with this artwork, so I couldn’t be happier.

You guys covered Nirvana and Marilyn Manson. How big is 90’s music an influence for you guys?

Jeff: I don’t know whether or not it comes across in the music, but the answer is: huge. Kurt Cobain is the sole reason I was interested in playing guitar. I turned 12 in 1990, so my teenage years were mostly filled with 90s music. Nirvana, Soundgarden, NIN, Alice In Chains, Marilyn Manson, and Pearl Jam were found in my Discman throughout the majority of my high school years, and I still like all of those bands. My tastes have continued to grow and evolve over the couple of decades since high school, but that stuff still resonates very strongly with me.

And for the final question: Goya stars in a sitcom where you live next to grumpy old man who is played by Willem Dafoe. What do you do to drive him crazy? Bonus points if you come up with a title for the show.

Jeff: Plot twist! The grumpy old man Dafoe plays is HIMSELF! We taunt him by acting like various characters he has played, dressing up like Green Goblin or Nosferatu (the deadliest foe!), throwing pumpkin bombs at him and sucking his daughters’ blood. He has catchphrases such as, “You blasted scalawags,” and, “How many times do I have to tell you lousy scamps? Stop eating all of my mayonnaise!” In the last episode, we all take scissors to our genitals and he has to clean up the blood we get all over his carpet. It ends like every episode does: the four of us have a good smile and laugh about our antics together.

The show is called “Dafoe and Dafriends”.

Upcoming Tour dates with Aneurysm

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 Harvester of Bongloads drops March 3rd. Pre-order the digital album and Stream new Track “Disease” here

 Pick up some rad merch at Opoponax as well.

 

Figures emerge: Interview with Jeff Owens of Goya

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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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

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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

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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/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UnspeakableAxeRecords/?fref=ts

 

 

 

 

 

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

Cruz – Culto Abismol

cruz_culto_abismal_cover_1500x1500Cruz – Culto Abismol (Sentient Ruin Laboratories 2016)

Cruz are a Barcelonan death metal band with a style that urges for the attention  of old school death metal fans. Culto Abismol starts out with “Mundos Disformes” which if I’m correct roughly translates to “Shapeless Worlds”.  This may be important to those who speak the language, but I am personally focused on the riffs. “Mundo Disformes” just takes off, which is something Cruz does well. This entire album goes at a fast pace and doesn’t let up much at all. The second track “A Cops De Destral” continues this trend of aggressive death metal.

As much as Cruz  like to go at a severe pace, the album isn’t lacking its moments of groove. I find the tracks later on in the album showcase this best. Tracks such as “La Caza”, “La Pitjor De Les Plagues“, and “Pesanta.” The latter of those is one of the few moments where Cruz  slow down for just a bit on Culto Abismol, however don’t let that fool you, they will pick things up again shortly. These three track all in a row are absolute bangers. For those who are looking to fill the gaping hole left by the retirement of Bolt Thrower, these tracks might help ease the pain. The final track “Tumbas Ciclopeas” is a very fitting end to such an aggressive album. It is full of groove as well as blistering riffs and abrasive drumming. This final track is also one of more groove with a middle section that might have some inspiration from Entombed.

Cruz deliver a ripper of an album, consisting of 8 tracks,  that is capable of breaking your neck. This is an album perfect for blowing off steam after a rough day. There might be a language barrier to some people with this band, but there will be no riff barrier. If crust punk influenced death metal is your thing than look no further. Give Cruz – Culto Abismol a listen on October 7th.

Give a track a listen here as well as pre-order the tape or vinyl. This will be a co-release through Sentient Ruin Laborartories, and To The Death Records (Sweden).

-REH

Keep up with us here

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Cruz – Culto Abismol