CD REVIEW Massacre Records special, early 2012

Label: Massacre Records
Distribution: Suburban / Bertus
Date: early 2012

Why this Massacre-special? Actually, the Concreteweb-office did recently receive a handful of recordings that had been released the past months, and because it is never too late to express one’s passion for the extreme…
Please take notice of an excerpt…

[FYI: this special does not include all stuff we did receive; some material has been / or will be / reviewed by (some of) our beloved Concreteweb-colleagues and can be (will be) found on the site’s review section elsewhere]
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Band: Re-Armed
Title: Worldwide Hypnotize
Release date: January 27th 2012
Review: CD

The so-called international Gothenburg-scene, based on the initial roots from that very same Swedish city, and protagonising a heavy yet melodic kind of Metal Music, is rather popular in countries like Finland (amongst Czechia, Hungary, Italy and the Slovakia, for example). An act that was formed to pay tribute to this scene initially, from Finland as you might have guessed, is this one: Re-Armed, formed about ten years ago (in 2001, to be specifically correct). And even though they do exist for just over a decade, Worldwide Hypnotize isn’t but their (official) full length debut album (33:31 minutes).
The quintet (including Waltari’s Kärtsy Hatakka) joined Massacre’s roster a short while ago, and this first result indeed sort of pays tribute to the original Gothenburg-sound, yet without being a copycat-alike version of it. Worldwide Hypnotize indeed implements those initial elements that coloured Sweden’s Death / Thrash-scene during the nineties (Eucharist, The Crown, Dark Tranquillity, Decameron, Centinex, Dissection, Sacrilege, Arch Enemy and Hatesphere, it’s just a selection of (influential) bands that come to mind more than once), but the whole sounds (much) more modern and up-to-date, and with undeniable winks to both the Grind- and Groove-scene as well.
After a while, it starts getting thanks but no thanks-ish, because I do miss a few things: inspiration, originality, variation, and a decent sound. When it comes to the latter, I’m afraid the mix could have been done much, much better. The drums irritate after a while, not because of a bad performance, yet they simply do not sound correct. And like many bands from Suomi, the lack of variation in between the individual tracks starts getting boring too soon …unfortunately. However, the addition of some samples puts a specific stamp on the totality, drenching the whole into a mostly dehumanizing, post-mechanical atmosphere. It fits well to the lyrics (and artwork, by the way).
Conclusion: ???

73/100
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Band: Davidian
Title: Our Fear Is Their Force
Release date: February 2nd 2012
Review: CD

Our Fear Is Their Force is the third full length by Germany’s (more specifically, they hail from Stuttgart) Davidian, after Abuse Of Power (self-produced, 2003) and Hear Their Cries (Limited Access Records, 2008); the latter produced by notorious studio-master Andy Classen, by the way.
For their third full length, also the first official studio recording with new vocalist Tobi Brausch, Davidian entered the Antfarm Studio with another top-producer, Tue Madsen (think: Aborted, Moonspell, Ektomorf, Suicide Silence, Heaven Shall Burn and many, many more). The result lasts for forty four minutes and consists of eleven titles.

After a short atmospheric intro, Davidian come with a melodic and modern form of rhythmic Death / Thrash Metal, very European in sound and approach. The tempo varies a lot: from very slow, almost doomish, over energetically up-tempo to lightning fast. The melodies and structures as well are very diverse. Sometimes somewhat emotive, then again rather brutal, or even epic. Many parts are straight-forward, while others sound strongly tech-influenced. And the equilibrium between ‘present-day’ and ‘tributing-the-past’ is another contrast only to be considered as a surplus.
The album does not convince whole the time, yet in general the variation, the exceptional professional performance and the breath-taking atmosphere are above expectations (alongside the splendid sound, of course, yet I did mention Tue Madsen, didn’t I).

78/100
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Band: Seven Ends
Title: To The Worms
Release date: March 23rd 2012
Review: CD

Except for an (interesting) EP in 2008, I can’t remember having ‘met’ this Dutch act ‘musically’ in one way or another. And indeed, To The Worms is the band’s full length debut, available after signing a contract to Mazzakkre Rekkordzz. The stuff got mixed and mastered by nobody else but Mister Andy Classen (think: Belphegor, Varg, Graveworm, Davidian, Legion Of The Damned, Nagelfar, Suidakra and many more) and has duration of forty one minutes.

What Seven Ends bring is a somewhat necrotic and blackish form of Old School-inspired Deathrash Metal with a morbid atmosphere, bloody and murderous / monstrous, with inclusion of a mostly filthy yet still decent sound (Andy Classen, as mentioned before). It’s like some Post-War soundtrack for sadistic minds, a symbiosis of raw meat grotesquery and maggots feasting on it… Jummie!
In spite of a certain modernised approach (and then I am referring, especially, to the massive sound), this band must have been inspired enormously by acts from Germany, Belgium and, of course, the Netherlands from the era late eighties till mid-nineties. It does groove, it does crush, Seven Ends do combine brutality and speed with a modest form of geniality - making To The Worms a mostly interesting record for those who like some nasty fire in the arse…

83/100
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Band: Legion Of The Damned
Title: Malevolent Rapture - In Memory Of …
Release date: February 10th 2012
Review: CD

The main reason to re-release 2006’s Malevolent Rapture is to honour bass player Twan Fleuren, who decided to trade his Earthly life for Eternity on May 20th 2011. Twan was member since the start - as a matter of fact, he joined the crew at the end of 1998 when Legion Of The Damned were still called Occult.
He leaves a son and a daughter.

Possibilities: a rather ‘common’ re-release, including new artwork, and a limited edition with bonus-songs and a bonus-dvd (which does include a 32-page booklet with exclusive pictures as well).

A monumental recording for sure, differing from the Occult-days (yet without betraying the roots), and a classic for sure. Holland is one of those countries that gave this specific scene that certain ‘waw’-effect, and Legion Of The Damned are, for sure, one of those acts that etc…

No need to go on. You have the original issue, all right; if not, this is your chance!

--/100
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Ivan Tibos.