Every once in a while, a track comes along that is incredibly forceful, but it’s the combination of riffs and images that makes for that unbelievable sucker punch. Rarely since the release of Jobs For A Cowboy’s ‘Tarnished Glutttony’ in 2012 – with its themes of death and guilt – has a video made such an instant impact as Death On Fire’s ‘Architects’.
Alchemy formed in 2018 and quickly made their presence felt on the Aussie metal scene with regular live shows and a string of support slots. Their debut EP shares their love of traditional death metal sounds with the wider world, showing them to be more than capable of reviving the brutal sounds of Cannibal Corpse, Deicide and others with a genuine conviction.
With ‘Slaves To The Apocalypse’, Dead Soul Alliance pledge a firm allegiance with very old school death metal. Since its six songs have little interest in blending pure pneumatics and low end growls with anything too far away from a more palatable Slayer-ish riff or two, even in metal terms, you could even say they’ve become slaves to their own chosen genre. For those who enjoy a bit of straight death, though, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing since these six songs are so tautly arranged, it’s hard to find any real fault with DSA’s talents for the extreme.
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.