VEHEMENTOR – Dungeons Of Grotesque Symmetry

Although on the surface Vehementor’s debut ‘Dungeons of Grotesque Symmetary’ looks like the kind of record aimed squarely at the dyed in the wool death metal fan and pretty much no-one else, the reality is somewhat different. On this album, the Macedonian band mix all manner of extreme metal influences. Huge amounts of melodic death and classic thrash metal meet elements of groove metal and occasional industrial-ish rhythms, resulting in one of the most enjoyable – and filler free – extreme metal discs you could hope to find.

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ASTROSAUR – Obscuroscope

With a name like Astrosaur, you’d half expect this Norwegian trio to be a full on doom metal band. Appearances can deceive, of course, and their 2019 release ‘Obscuroscope’ is nothing of the sort. Its six pieces of music are lengthy and complex; there are elements of trippy space rock and a few stoner-ish tropes, but in the main, the release delves deep into a world of complex post rock and post/progressive metal sounds that should appeal to prog fans who like things at the heavier end of the scale.

The public perceives metal and academia as rivals” reads the Astrosaur website, somewhat pompously. Whether that’s true of not, at least half of their second album would’ve benefit from far less musical academia and far more actual tunes. With Astrosaur’s brand of prog, it really is all about the flashy self-indulgence…and for anyone whom isn’t actually a musician, this works hugely towards the album’s detriment.

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LEFT HAND PATH – Left Hand Path EP

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.

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ALCHEMY – Infinite Forms Of Torture EP

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.

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TIDES OF IRE – Betrayal EP

Formed in 2015, Tides of Ire gradually began to make a name for themselves through intensive gigging on the grassroots metal scene. Over the course of the following three years had picked up a loyal following due to their solid presence at intimate venues. Their first two EP releases (2017’s ‘The Burning Sea’ and 2018’s ‘Deadline’) quickly established their tough but melodic sound and while 2019’s ‘Betrayal’ offers plenty of similar sounding material, a couple of tracks easily represent an even bigger step forward.

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