Finland’s Hagalas are often promoted as a death metal band, but as with so many Scandinavian acts, their music has far more depth, and more of an interest in actual melodies than your average death-based act. Yes, the four songs on their ‘As A Unit’ EP come weighted down by some very aggressive vocals, but most of the time, frontman Kailie Kohonen’s approach doesn’t even venture into the old school growls and grunts associated with the genre. In fact, it’s fair to say that plugging them as a death band is to sell them short. Very short.
On April 30th, death metal duo Goregäng will release their new EP ‘Long Live The Grime’. Ahead of that release, they have a treat for you.
Their current single ‘Electric Head Part 1 (The Agony)’ is a cover of the White Zombie classic, treated faithfully but injected with a Goregäng twist via a death metal inflected vocal. Perhaps what’s most impressive about their choice of cover is the guitar sound; they’ve absolutely nailed the bottom end sound from J. Yuenger’s guitar that helped make the original cut so distinctive. What’s more, they’ve given the new recording a send off with the kind of trashy (and vaguely NSFW) video clip that Rob Zombie would surely approve.
Taking their name from the classic Entombed album from 1990, Romanian metallers Left Hand Path are the kind of band you’ll only have to hear once to realise they mean business. Their self-tited release from 2019 is a monstrous, riff-heavy disc that will gain an instant love from fans of the heaviest end of groove metal, as well as from those listeners whom aren’t about to let an obtuse vocal stand in their way of riff-based enjoyment.
Humanity Delete’s second album, the retail-unfriendly titled ‘Fuck Forever Off’, was a great piece of death metal. For those able to make it past the terrible name and even worse sleeve art, the album showed how it was possible to take classic death metal tropes, shake them up a little and come up with something that felt traditional and yet still new and relevant. Often sounding like a death metal infused Lamb of God, these Swedes definitely showed an ability with a riff.
The members of Across The Burning Sky had been individually active on the death metal scene for some two decades at the time of this album’s release, but have only been a working unit for a very short time. It took just two years from forming to have settled upon a semi-accessible brand of death metal with which they figured would best represent them on their debut LP, ‘The End Is Near’. Although billed as “melodic death metal”, to be honest, this isn’t much more melodic than a lot of twenty first century death metal. The genre has come along leaps and bounds since 1988, so dropping clean lead guitars in between the huge growls and a barrage of pneumatics doesn’t make too much difference, especially if you’re not of an extreme listening persuasion. However, there are times when the appeal of the band’s angry and brutal stylings come across very well – especially when slowing down – so maybe, just maybe, this album will appeal to a certain listening demographic…“melodic” or otherwise.