September 29, 2020

QAAC encoder has returned! (Please Read) (9/26/2020)

* Comments are currently disabled until the updates are completed.*

.Update, September 26, 2020: Thank you to all of the visitors who voted anonymously. Based on your votes, we will be returning to the QAAC encoder for all future AAC files. The current AAC updates completed today were all encoded using QAAC. The voting page has been taken offline.

September 15, 2020: Comments are still disabled due the on going updates but users can now request updates for dead links and, thanks to Lass, requests for AAC links. That's right, any post on this website that does not include an AAC link can now be requested. If you're looking an AAC link on a post that contains 2 FLAC links, request an AAC llink - it will be provided to you. Please understand that this process is on going and slow and it will remain that way until it is done. We want to have the website updated before the end of the year so please do help us out. The form below contains all of the information you need before submitting a request for an AAC or a request to update a dead link. Please read it carefully. Before anyone asks - this is not a form where you can request an album. This website does not accept requests for albums or other music - we never will so don't bother.


. September 11, 2020: Daily publications have resumed but comments are still disabled due to the ongoing updates. Buccaneer is contemplating a separate page and link where users can submit any entry that does not include AAC links so that they can be updated as well. I still have no confirmation as to whether this will be implemented or not. Further news and updates will be provided in this post when they become available.

. September 9, 2020: The staff are currently updating old entries with new FLAC links and AAC links. Many entries that did not have AAC links are being updated at the moment. Once this task has been completed, comments will be enabled and the website will be fully operational again. Until then, feel free to download and explore the rest of the website.

. List of Updated Entries .


- September 9, 2020

1.) Iced Earth (AAC is now available): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=iced+earth

2.) The Afghan Whigs (FLAC & AAC links updated): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=the+afghan+whigs

3.) Bullet (AAC is now available): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=Bullet

4.) Saliva (AAC is now available): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=saliva

- September 10, 2020

1.) AC/DC: (All FLAC links updated): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=ac%2Fdc

2.) King Diamond: (FLAC links updated; AAC is now available): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=King+diamond

3.) Foo Fighters: (FLAC & AAC links updated): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=foo+fighters

4.) Mercyful Fate: (FLAC links updated; AAC is now available): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=mercyful+fate

5.) Crazy Town: (FLAC & AAC links updated): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=crazy+town

- September 11, 2020

1.) Evanescence: (FLAC & AAC links updated): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=Evanescence

2.) Veruca Salt: (FLAC & AAC links updated): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=veruca+salt

- September 13, 2020

1.) * Linkin Park: (FLAC & AAC updated) https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=linkin+park

*Removed for constant take downs. Linkin Park will not be featured on this website again.

2.) Garbage: (FLAC links updated; AAC is now available): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=garbage

- September 14, 2020

1.) Alien Ant Farm: (FLAC links updated; AAC is now available): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=alien+ant+farm

- September 15, 2020

1.) Cathedral: (FLAC links updated; AAC is now available): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=cathedral

- September 16, 2020

 1.) Pantera: (FLAC links updated; AAC is now available): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=pantera  

- September 18, 2020

1.) Strapping Young Lad: (FLAC & AAC links updated): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=strapping+young+lad

- September 19, 2020

1.) Team Dresch: (FLAC & AAC links updated): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=Team+Dresch

2.) Eels: (FLAC & AAC links updated): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=eels

3.) L7: (FLAC & AAC links updated): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=l7

- September 23, 2020

1.) Sepultura: (FLAC links updated, AAC now available): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=sepultura

2.) Guns N' Roses: (FLAC & AAC links updated): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=guns+n+roses

3.) Firehouse: (FLAC & AAC links updated): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=firehouse

4.) Modest Mouse: (FLAC & AAC links updated): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=modest+mouse

5.) Chevelle: (FLAC & AAC links updated): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=chevelle

- September 26, 2020

1.) Candlemass: (FLAC links updated; AAC is now available): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=candlemass

2.) Tool: (FLAC links updated; AAC is now available): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=tool

- September 27, 2020

1.) Darkthrone: (FLAC & AAC links updated): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=darkthrone

- September 28, 2020

1.) Mr. Big: (FLAC links updated; AAC is now available): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=mr+big

2.) PJ Harvey: (FLAC links updated; AAC is now available): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=pj+harvey

 3.) Royal Trux (FLAC & AAC links updated): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=royal+trux

4.) Motion City Soundtrack: (FLAC & AAC links updated): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=motion+city+soundtrack

- September 29, 2020

1.) Megadeth - (FLAC & AAC links updated): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=megadeth 

- September 30, 2020

1. Dashboard Confessional: (FLAC & AAC links updated): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=dashboard+confessional

2.) Badlands: (FLAC & AAC links updated): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=badlands

3.) Bathory: (FLAC & AAC links updated): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=bathory

4.) Mastodon: (FLAC links updated; AAC is now available): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=mastodon

5.) Testament: (FLAC links updated; AAC is now available): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=testament

6.) Cavalera Conspiracy: (FLAC & AAC links updated): https://www.mediasurfer.ch/search?q=cavalera+conspiracy

Forgotten Tomb - Under Saturn Retrograde (2011) ☠

Country: Italy
Language: English
Genre: Black Metal
Style: Black-Doom
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☠: Selected by Buccaneer
© 2011 Agonia Records
Reviewed by Jim Brandon for Your Last Rites.com
File this one in the category of bands I should have heard about years ago, and somehow completely missed. Considering the fact that suicidal blackened doom is like sweet fruit of the vine for me and a few others around these parts, it’s surprising that more of us aren’t raving over Italy’s Forgotten Tomb, although their four-year absence might have a little something to do with it. After a thorough investigation of their back catalogue, Under Saturn Retrograde is the most easily digested chapter in their history, picking up where the palatable Negative Megalomania directly left off, and continuing to depart from the grittier, utterly despondent desperation contained in the Leviathan/Xasthur slant of their first three releases.
It’s immediately apparent that this particular disc is a smoother, suppler endeavor right from the start, with lighter shades of Lost To The Living and scant bits of Tonight’s Decision spreading across the surface of opener “Reject Resistance” like a translucent film. The rock-ish brighter death they now display almost exudes a strangely shimmering quality that is somewhat off-putting considering the content, and Herr Morbid (really?) enunciates with a clarified yet still harsh delivery that sounds almost cathartic. Almost. This is still far from the nearly jovial sounding strains of Lifelover, although coming from entirely different places, and yet this can certainly appeal to fans of both bands simply due to the mood alone. Retrograde is akin to the relief of facing impending oblivion, rather than slowly going mad seeking its grip and merciful release. It’s heavy, undoubtedly, but the heft somehow doesn’t permeate much further than its top layers.
“Shutter” rips through with a very energetic start that quickly shifts into cleaner guitars, and main riffs which consist of forceful power chords, beginning a back and forth habit of shifting between stronger, deeper rhythms that have a rock vibe and more weighty doom. Herr’s Danzig-esque bluesy drawl is something that roughly fits into the slower breakdowns that actually might work better with a strictly growled delivery, and it sounds peculiar when he grunts his Ooohs! and Owws! among the slippery grooves. The inclusion of The Stooges “I Wanna’ Be Your Dog” wasn’t entirely necessary either, even though they do a decent job with it, but “Under Saturn Retrograde Part I” explores both more rock elements and a refreshing black metal blast section that fits the livelier atmosphere effectively. They’re at their best when bursting at the seams with more adamant tempos, so this departure isn’t poorly conceived or executed, but it’s difficult to keep attention during songs like the uneventful “Under Saturn Retrograde Part II” and its lilting opening acoustics and somewhat nondescript harmonic section.
Forgotten Tomb hasn’t failed in creating a solid album, as “You Can’t Kill What Is Already Dead” is quite a nice standout that begins the conclusion of the record in sturdy form, and when taken as a whole this is not a hacked and slashed effort. But the profound sturm and drang of Songs To Leave and Springtime Depression was much more tense and dramatic than their current direction, resulting in a less captivating listen than their early/mid-aughties powerhouses. Worth a try, but not essential.

tags: buffalo tom, let me come over, 1992, flac,

Forgotten Tomb - ...And Don't Deliver Us From Evil (2012) ☠

Country: Italy
Language: English
Genre: Black Metal
Style: Black-Doom
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© 2012 Agonia Records
Reviewed by "Madam X" for Angry Metal Guy.com
I’m hazarding a guess here that when a black metal band gets to the point when they can no longer hit the machine gun fire attack of 180 bpm, but they still harbour a deep-seated hate for God and life, they make the graceful move toward blackened doom. Hailing from Italy, Forgotten Tomb are a quartet consisting of multi-instrumentalist Herr Morbid on guitars and vocals, Razor SK on guitars, Algol on bass and Asher on drums. And for whatever reason Forgotten Tomb went with this obscure form of Italian blackened, rock-infused doom metal, they have certainly proved themselves more than capable musicians, having five full length studio releases, a couple of EP’s, a live release and a tribute under their belts. Though they are a bit of an odd bird sound-wise, Forgotten Tomb have a musical style reminiscent of early Woods of Ypres (Pursuit of the Sun & Allure of the Earth era), Shining and Lifelover. 

Herr Morbid’s melancholy drenched vocals and lyrics were the very first thing that stood out for me. He uses a blend of blackened shrieks, screams and grunts (much like Shining’s Kvarforth) combined with beautifully seamless clean vocals, and while this can sometimes sound disjointed when not properly combined, that’s not the case with Forgotten Tomb’s …And Don’t Deliver Us From Evil. Herr Morbid’s clean vocals are clear and to the point, but not so clear that you won’t want to grab the booklet from time to time. In terms of lyrics, this album is most assuredly not for the faint hearted, they follow on with the nihilistic and negative themes introduced in Under Saturn Retrograde and as with the 2011 release, the lyrics are intensely depressing while still bringing out the hopeless romantic buried somewhere deep inside me – like this passage from “Cold Summer” – ‘Rotten blood drained straight from my arteries. Rust in my mouth, the foul stench of lovely perversion’, and this one from “Let’s Torture Each Other” – ‘You’ll slit my fucking throat. I’ll kick your chair so you can swing from your rope. Let’s burn together, let’s start our strife. Let’s dig our fucking graves, let’s waste our lives’ [Wow, that sure is romantic! – Steel Druhm].

The album opens up with “Deprived” and initially it’s all too easy to mistake the track for one-off a Shining album. The remaining tracks all follow comfortably from this point with all tracks contributing to the whole (no filler). Musically the album follows straight on from where Under Saturn Retrograde left off and much like Forgotten Tomb’s lyrics, their melodies take you on a roller coaster ride, going from haunting, weirdly festive, fast and catchy to hypnotic, crushing and soul-sucking all within an instant.

The biggest letdown with this album comes around full circle to my earlier comment – musically this album follows straight on from where Under Saturn Retrograde left off. While I love Under Saturn Retrograde, Forgotten Tomb’s 2007 release Negative Megalomania will always remain their magnum opus and I would like to have heard more of the black metal sludgy, abrasive, rawness of this earlier release carried through into …And Don’t Deliver Us From Evil. Seeing the bands listed on Finnvox Studio’s list of references, in particular their experience with black metalers Impaled Nazarene and Children Of Bodom, I can’t help but wonder why the production lacks the rawness I crave.

In addition to “Cold Summer” and “Let’s Torture Each Other” being standout tracks, “Love Me Like You Love The Death” has a haunting, simplistic guitar melody layered with shrieks and screams that sound as though Herr Morbid is attempting to rip his own bloody beating heart straight from its protective cavity. This left me wanting for more of the same. While I sincerely wish that this album had been less a follow-on of last year’s album and more a return to Forgotten Tomb‘s raw blackened doom roots, it’s still a welcome addition to my playlist.

tags: forgotten tomb, and dont deliver us from evil, 2012, flac,

September 28, 2020

Forgotten Tomb - Springtime Depression (2003)

Country: Italy
Language: English
Genre: Black Metal
Style: Black-Doom
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© 2003 Adipocere Records
Reviewed by Erik Thomas for Your Last Rites.com
I like doom metal. I like black metal. Then why am I not totally feeling this? A one-man project (red flag) by one Italian gentleman by the name of Herr Morbid, Forgotten Tomb is a stark album in all facets, from the artwork to the actual songs on display. But at least the self-promotion is accurate: “Depressive and Manipulating Dark metal”. Bingo. Forgotten Tomb is a barren sonic wasteland that treads doom metal’s depressive persona, but dresses it up in the foul cape of black metal’s harsh atmospherics; raw guitar tone and agonizing screamed vocals, just played slowly.
The pacing reminded me a lot of early Bloodthorn without the lush theatrics or fantasy vibe. Plodding, but at the same time darkly epic and morose. Still it didn’t make for an enjoyable long-term listen, although acceptable in one-song increments, mainly due to the doom natured repetitive stylings of the riffs contained in lengthy wandering songs. How I normally gauge this kind of emotion reliant music is how quickly it makes my eyelids heavy (Shape of Despair is the current champ at 24 seconds), in a good way though. The droning pace and lack of percussive aggression on this kind of music makes me sleepy, so the quicker I fall asleep the better.
The problem is the caustic black metal guitar tone and abrasive vocals make falling asleep hard despite the lethargic songs. Throw in a savage blast beat opens the third track “Daylight Obsession”, which puts a severe damper in my napping. After two forgettable droning tracks, Forgotten Tomb tries to be pure black metal? At least it changes up the pace a bit, but doesn’t really add much to the album. However the eyelids begin to get mighty heavy as the relaxing and contrasting acoustics of the title track waft into my ears showing if anything, Herr Morbid can change it up on a whim, and reach both ends of the musical spectrum with ease.
Normalcy returns for “Colorless Despondency”, that features an actual real riff amid its morose sonic shuffling, albeit the same riff for the full 7 minutes. Then, what’s a truly depressing album without a 10 plus minute opus to ensure REM is reached before the CD stops spinning? “Subway Apathy?” (?) acts as the deep sleep inducer of this album, as Herr Morbid wails through the album’s crowning moments. The stellar riff that surfaces at the 5-minute mark is far more suited to the down-tuned brethren of Doom’s true nature, and it also has some ever-so subtle but effective synth work that adds a measure of haunting to the proceedings rather effectively. This last track effectively makes the album worthwhile, but it’s a shame Herr morbid cant come up with this kind of material more consistently for a whole album, as essentially for me, the first 5 tracks are not nearly as effective, despite their despondence and somber mood.
This album is one of those rare dichotomies for me. Is it a good album? Sure. It does what’s advertised and delivers a bleak sonic journey into depression. Did I like it? Not particularly, and if it wasn’t for the ending opus I probably wouldn’t even give this any more listens. Basically, black metal’s raw grating tone is accentuated by the slower material, thereby making it not entirely enjoyable for me, as I prefer that tone to be rendered with a scathing hyper-blast approach, not solemn drawn out monotones that grate with me even more. Still, it’s an interesting concept that should appeal to those not quite ready to commit suicide-this should help.

tags: forgotten tomb, springtime depression, 2003, flac,

Forgotten Tomb - Love's Burial Ground (2004)

Country: Italy
Language: English
Genre: Black Metal
Style: Black-Doom
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© 2004 Adipocere Records
Reviewed by Pedro Azevedo for Chronicles of Chaos.com
This Italian outfit scored some decent points with 2003's _Springtime Depression_, its mix of black and doom metal showing promise but also requiring considerable refinement. Starting off in a much faster vein than anything on its predecessor, the first few minutes of _Love's Burial Ground_'s opener "Kill Life" instead bring to mind a more polished version of Darkthrone's "Transylvanian Hunger". Sullen string sections and slower passages soon carry the album firmly into black/doom territory however, with mostly black metal sound and vocals being used as a medium to communicate feelings more commonly associated with doom metal -- and therefore returning to what Forgotten Tomb are best known for. On some occasions the only shred of black metal left in their sound seems to be the agonizing vocals, with doomy guitar leads taking over the music; a good example can be found on "Alone". Forgotten Tomb successfully continue to incorporate various approaches into their decidedly and coherently negative sound throughout the record, including some simple but effective sombre piano on "House of Nostalgia", which grows from a Dolorian-like slow and atmospheric dirge into a blackened climax.

Well produced and musically interesting, _Love's Burial Ground_ also proves more varied and engaging than its predecessor, which tended to become somewhat more repetitive. With songs that usually approach the ten minute mark however, _Love's Burial Ground_ quickly adds up to over one hour of material; and although there is no real reason to start skipping tracks midway through, the album fails to retain quite the same level of interest after its excellent first half (up to the ambient intermezzo) -- enough to cost it half a mark. Nevertheless, Forgotten Tomb have done very well on this release: it sounds more mature and fully realized than their previous work, and places the band firmly amidst the leading pack in the blackened doom subgenre.

tags: forgotten tomb, loves burial ground, 2004, flac,

Forgotten Tomb - Negative Megalomania (2007)

Country: Italy
Language: English
Genre: Black Metal
Style: Black-Doom
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© 2007 Avantgarde Music
Reviewed by Allmusic.com
With their fourth release, NEGATIVE MEGALOMANIA, Italian dark/doom metal combo Forgotten Tomb continue on the twisted path they've been traveling, albeit with some new forks in the road. Like their previous releases, the music is oppressively bleak, with slow to mid-tempo dirges dominating. This time, however, the band's evolution includes surprisingly clear vocals from lead depressive Herr Morbid. His usual tormented growls are now paired with more traditional singing, only making the grim, suicidal, lyrical content all the more crystalline. While black metal is an obvious stylistic touchstone, Forgotten Tomb also looks to classic doom influences like Black Sabbath and Mercyful Fate. With atmospheric guitars creating a gloomy haze and coloring the aggression a moody, introspective shade, NEGATIVE MEGALOMANIA marks a comfortable fusion of metal crunch with funereal ambiance.

tags: forgotten tomb, negative megalomania, 2007, flac,

September 27, 2020

Pure Soul - Pure Soul (1995)

*A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: R&B
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© 1995 StepSun/Interscope Records
*No professional reviews are available for this release.

tags: pure soul, pure soul album, 1995, flac,

Shack - …Here's Tom With The Weather (2003) ☠

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Alternative Rock, Folk Pop
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© 2003 North Country
AllMusic Review by Tim DiGravina
Here's Tom With the Weather reads the sleeve, and on Shack's fourth full-length album, the forecast calls for mostly delicate vocals, partly chiming guitars, and more-than-occasional ballads. With these twelve hushed songs, songwriter Michael Head has crafted the most relaxed album of his career. Song titles like the Lilac Time-esque "The Girl with the Long Brown Hair" and "Byrds Turn to Stone," which declares an obvious musical influence, are every bit indicative of the lilting, graceful songs they name. Head's tunes haven't felt this soft and bouncy since he fronted the the Pale Fountains, but that doesn't mean the album ever feels dull. Quite the contrary, Head's songwriting channels so many decades and genres, that all one can do is marvel at the subtle melodies, and hum along to his easy vibes. Tropical beats bounce in the air, harps reverberate romantically, and chiming, sometimes chugging guitars inspire easy moods. Spanish guitars paint texture, threatening to explode out of any given song, and finally do so on the album's most bombastic track, "Meant to Be," which throws in wonderful horns and strings to stir true passion. "Carousel" is, perhaps, the finest Nick Drake song that Drake didn't write, its stirring jazzy arrangement and yearning piano as bittersweet as can be. Here's Tom With the Weather feels like it could be the work of a super-group obsessed with the music of the Byrds and Love, made up of members of Aztec Camera, The Ocean Blue, Doves, Trembling Blue Stars, Echo and the Bunnymen, and the La's. That Head has been quietly creating music this strong in relative obscurity for so many years is remarkable. Maybe Shack just doesn't gel with the zeitgeist, and maybe that's part of what makes them a consistently compelling listen. No matter from which angle one approaches Here's Tom With the Weather, it's an excellent, timeless musical treat.

tags: shack, heres tom with the weather, 2003, flac,

September 26, 2020

Entropia - Ufonaut (2016)

Country: Poland
Language: English
Genre: Black Metal
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© 2016 Arachnophobia Records
Reviewed by Simon Handmaker for Heavy Blog Is Heavy.com
Although it’s certainly not an easy task, or one without its own idiosyncratic difficulties and various hurdles, reviewing an album is typically a fairly straightforward task: listen to the album several times, collect thoughts, put pen to paper (or, more accurately, fingers to computer keys), and push out a decent-length recollection of the experiences the album provides, as well as a somewhat-objective analysis. At the end of the day, an album review is a letter of recommendation, and it’s the job of the reviewer to elucidate whether or not it’s worthy of rotation, as well as how or why.
Albums like Ufonaut, the newest release from atmospheric-sludge-turned-death-metal band Entropia, really do their best to throw a wrench into this formula. Although on the surface, there’s nothing particularly extravagant to this album, besides the way it drips psychedelia in a genre where not many other bands skirt that territory, either sonically or visually, underneath it all lurks a decidedly bizarre nature that makes Ufonaut less of a solely auditory experience and more of an all-around voyage.
For starters, the production of this release is vivid and visceral: drums punch audibly and the bass rattles with a fury and intensity not much else can match. The guitars are searing, white-hot bolts of noise that flash intensely in front of the listener’s face before fading back into the mix only to strike again a moment later; the vocals, albeit rare, are huge and equal parts empowering and terrifying, shouts into the void that seem to simultaneously overcome it and be forever swallowed by it. Ufonaut is filled with an energy that seems immutable and forever-flowing in between graceful serenity and uncontrollable rage, at times bringing the two together in a way that feels perfectly right but strangely off-putting. The songwriting isn’t as atonal or rooted in fretboard wizardry as Gorguts or Ulcerate, nor is it as crazily heady and noisy as Gigan and Flourishing, but the album occupies a territory akin to all of these bands; its combination of sludge, black metal, and, primarily, death metal with sonic experiments like horns and synths placed far, far back in the mix feels as forward-focused and chaotically weird as these titans of avant-garde death metal.
However, the switch from sludge metal to death metal was not without a few snags along the way: the writing styles of the two genres are vastly different, and the room for repetition and introspection-forcing browbeating by way of suffocating riffs that is acceptable in sludge metal doesn’t translate particularly well into this new realm at times. These moments of drag aren’t common, and certainly don’t make up the bulk of the album, but when they come up, it can drag the music down to a glacial pace.
When Ufonaut is on, it’s fucking on. This is a forward-thinking, intelligent, speculative death metal album that still manages to knock out some pretty killer riffs on a regular basis, not sacrificing quality for the sake of psychedelic gimmickyness. Although it’s not quite the next Colored Sands in its atmospheric and heady nature, Entropia demonstrate here a knack for fantastic writing combined with a great sense of aesthetic, and, most importantly, how to combine the two into a properly enticing combination, and this is only one of the first of many conquerings in what we can only hope is a long and prosperous upward trajectory for this band. One of the best metal albums of the year? Maybe, maybe not. We have yet to see how the year plays out. But one of the most rewarding auditory experiences of 2016 for the way it masterfully blends artistic vision into the nitty-gritty of the writing process? Absolutely.

tags: entropia, ufonaut, 2016, flac,

Windbruch - Collision of The Worlds (2009)

Country: Russia
Language: Russian (Русский язык)
Genre: Black Metal
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© 2009 Sun & Moon Records
Reviewed by "Dark Emperor" for Infernal Masquerade.com
Crushing and disarming are the perfect words to describe a good Depressive Black Metal release, and these words can easily be expressed about Windbruch’s debut full-length release “Collision of the Worlds”. Being a one-man band, most of the instrumentation of this release is superbly done and perfectly arranged to create 8 tracks of pure Depressive Black Metal hatred with some hints of Post-Black Metal and even some Shoegaze elements.
With over 43 minutes of music, I.O (the mastermind behind the band) brings us seven very emotional pieces that sort of narrate the story of a person through seven days. Each of the tracks has its own soul and together they create a very cohesive album, the only one we didn’t quite like is the Akira Yamaoka cover of “Theme of Laura”, since it just sounds too happy for this kind of release.
Starting of with a short 2 minute opening track “Day I”, things start to pick up and the first distorted guitars are present on “Day II”. Here we finally get the traditional Depressive Black Metal stuff and hear some mournful shrieks of pain paired with mid-tempo drumming and crushing guitar riffs. Breaking into atmospheric sections of clean guitars, Windbruch nicely prepares the listener for the next onslaught of depressive sound waves. The only weird thing about this song is the part with the beating heart and some heaving breathing, some people might interpret it as something very disgusting.
The thing about “Collision of the Worlds” that we enjoyed the most is the fact that while the songs have a very traditional approach to the genre, they still manage to have an impact on the listener and keep him engaged. This is achieved by having different structures inside each song like on “Day II” and “Day III”, allowing the listener to enjoy the music and not be bored to death by ridiculous amounts of repetition like other bands in the genre.
Windbruch’s music can be easily compared to a lighter version of Dodsferd, a more ‘up tempo’ version of Lantlôs, and even a less ethereal version of Alcest. With this being said, you can understand that the band has a pretty solid sound, and the quality of their music is very evident with the tracks presented in this album. Moving from Depressive Black Metal, to Post-Black Metal, to Shoegaze is something that is very well done through the album and keeps things fresh.
Our favorite songs of this album have to be “Day VI” and “Day VII” since they both create a very bleak atmosphere, something that Windbruch excels at. In general, we have to say that “Collision of the Worlds” is a very solid Depressive Black Metal album and that if you like the genre, you will love this release. The atmosphere and the music are just right in these 40+ minutes of music, allowing us to highly recommend this release.

tags: windbruch, collision of the worlds, 2009, flac,

Windbruch - No Stars, Only Full Dark (2014)

Country: Russia
Language: Russian (Русский язык)
Genre: Black Metal
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© 2014 Hypnotic Dirge Records
Reviewed by Chaim Drishner for Chronicles of Chaos.com
Thanks to technology, a single person can become a band of musicians; one instrument, human or musical, can become an orchestra, especially if you're an aspiring musician residing in the remotest regions of the planet. Like Siberia, for instance.

Windbruch is a Russian one-man band hailing from the coldest, most desolate parts of Russia, namely Siberia, but the blessed technology has enabled the artist to produce a full album (his second, if anybody cares) that fits the intellectually-inclined musical vision of its label, the prolific Canadian Hypnotic Dirge Records.

Musically, _No Stars, Only Full Dark_ centers around gentle and highly contemplative soundscapes that can be either traditionally structured or abstract, harnessing electronica, sampled motifs and some spoken passages, while the metallic essence roams between shoegaze rock and synthpop, to standard, by-the-book black 'metal' that's mostly benign and pedestrian, but owning a dreamy, hazy character that matches the whole album's etiquette.

_No Stars, Only Full Dark_ pays its dues to the likes of Tiamat's _Wildhoney_ and even more-so to _A Deeper Kind of Slumber_, in that it uses the same formula of highly melodic, simple and linear arrangements and uninspired, steady-state, slow-to-mid-paced tempos playing over and over again the same euphonious riffs. It does not sound as organic as the aforementioned however, because of the objective limitation in manpower forcing the musician behind Windbruch to fill the gap by using synthetic sounds and instruments in addition to a warm, fuzzy and captivating guitar sound.

_No Stars, Only Full Dark_ is somewhat interesting because it is purely ear-friendly, and as such raises no obstacles or challenging factors in front of the listener, just those highly relate-able, sweet lullabies of mild melancholy, enabling an immediate assimilation and pleasure for the habitual listener. So if you're into the sole enjoyment, this album will cater just that for you, without making you break your head and without the need of multiple listening sessions in order to 'get' or 'understand' the music. On _No Stars, Only Full Dark_, what you hear is what you get.

As was the case with Windbruch's label mates Eptimia, this album is more of an excursion into the shoegaze realm and less of an all-out black metal album; some parts are totally Alcest or Klimt 1918-inspired, and even though the guitar owns a metallic edge, in the end what qualifies the album as being associated mildly with the black metal aesthetics are the vocals, which are, in essence, kept to a necessary minimum; and even those are more of a hybrid belonging to the dark metal school rather than to the pure, distinctive black metal screeches.

The alleged cold atmosphere described by the label (or the album's title, for that matter) can be misleading; to these very ears, the music on the disc sounds for the most part quite the opposite: sun-baked and life-affirming, and the rather jolly keyboard-generated tunes don't help either. It's all very basic and formulaic, yet a formula that works every time, because it establishes a dialogue with the most basic, common human needs and desires -- and in the end it all boils down to the pursuit of happiness and nirvana. Those aspirations are sonically overflowing from the album's parameters and keep on flowing copiously until the end. Colder and bleaker albums have been recorded, and you can take that to the bank.

The best moments on the album are the ones that flirt with funeral doom and death metal, and even though those are few and far between, they create a massive, dark atmosphere for a short while, reminiscent of Raventale's best slow moments. Not only that, but the mellower parts, where a complete tranquil sonic dusk descends upon the listener, are also not bad at all.

Distortion-free, darkwave / synthpop compositions adorn the better part of the recording, creating a highly contemplative experience and sublime bliss. When those are followed by long Russian spoken verses and explode into a bright and polychromatic emotional barrage of keyboards, guitars and a basic rock rhythm, the band is at its peak, showcasing the true art of emotion-inducing, emotion-generating and emotion-crushing music; a heightened sense of melody that has been fused with apt songwriting that is simple yet effective.

You wouldn't believe how efficient and potent the simplicity displayed on _No Stars, Only Full Dark_ is. It's not the most original album out there, nor the darkest or the most complex, to say the very least. However, Windbruch does own what it takes in order to tickle any music lover's fancy, creating a personal, intimate, gentle and thoughtful album (but never bombastic, despite the potential, nor sentimentally saccharine-sweet) with the potential of making every single human being out there tick with religious appreciation.



tags: windbruch, no stars only full dark, 2014, flac,

September 25, 2020

MoKenStef - Azz Izz (1995) ☠

*A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: R&B
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☠: Selected by Sentinel
© 1995 Outburst/Def Jam
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
On their debut album Azz Izz, Mokenstef follow in the footsteps of TLC, turning in a poor man's version of CrazySexyCool. That doesn't mean the record is without its pleasure -- the trio are good vocalists and given the right material, like the hit single "He's Mine," they can come close to the funky sensuality of TLC. However, Mokenstef simply doesn't have the charisma or personality of TLC, which means they can't make mediocre material convincing. And unfortunately, too much of Azz Izz is comprised of mediocre material.

tags: mokenstef, azz izz, as is, 1995, flac,

September 24, 2020

Nuttin' Nyce - Down 4 Whateva... (1993) ☠


*A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: R&B
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☠: Selected by Sentinel
© 1993 Jive Records
*No professional reviews are available for this release.

tags: nuttin nyce, nothing nice, down 4 whateva, for whatever, 1995, flac,

September 23, 2020

Benediction - Organised Chaos (2001)

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Death Metal
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© 2001 Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by "Krys" for Metal Bite.com
For over ten years Benediction has delivered a steady dose of quality death metal albums, and while some of them were not up to their full potential, with the biggest pleasure I’d like to announce “Organized Chaos” as a return to their glory days and that it solidifies their position as one of the top old-school Euro-death metal bands.
The biggest alteration on this album is caused by the shift in the vocalist position; unknown Dave Hunt takes over current Bolt Thrower leader Dave Ingram’s spot. While Hunt’s overall sound is very similar to Ingram’s growls, Hunt has a wider range and on tracks like ‘Diary of a Killer’ his singing (not growling) even reminds me of Zak Tell from Clawfinger. I’m not sure if it’s caused by new blood in the band but it seems like our UK quintet got injected with a fresh shot of energy and youthful vigor. ‘Suicide Rebellion’, ‘Suffering Feed Me’ or ‘The Temple of Set’ just emanate enthusiasm and there is no way that those vital sounds won’t make you bang your head and shake your body in uncontrolled convulsions.
Musically and lyrically, “Organized Chaos” doesn’t redefine death metal but on the other hand it stays away from everything that’s so typical in today’s scene. This album was not built around blast beats (which are non-existent here) or masochist riffs and ‘animal vocals’ but rather on a tight as hell rhythm section and well thought-out mid to fast paced thunderous riffs that defined this genre in early 90’s.
Last but not least worth mentioning is the production. Thanks to Andy Sneap (Nevermore, Kreator, Arch Enemy, Testament, etc.) the sound quality is simply excellent. Each instrument is perfectly balanced and no matter is if it’s a ripping ‘Charon’ riff or classic guitar on ‘Easy Way to Die’ your ears will not have enough of the clean notes coming out your speakers.

Bottom Line: A must have for everyone who doesn’t have his brain melted by the blasting generations of newer death metalers. Benediction’s “Organized Chaos” is a perfect example of quality old school songwriting where slow and thought-through compositions (read: organized chaos) take over speed and unorganized chaos.

Categorical Rating Breakdown

Musicianship: 9
Atmosphere: 8
Production: 10
Originality: 7
Overall: 9

Rating: 8.6 of 10
tags: benediction, organised chaos, 2001, flac,

Benediction - Killing Music (Limited Edition) (2008)

*Contains bonus tracks and released with a bonus DVD (not included) 
Contains 16 tracks total.
Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Death Metal
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© 2008 Nuclear Blast
AllMusic Review by Tom Forget
Sort of being on the Suffocation roll I thought reviewing Internal Bleeding next would be very appropriate. Similarities abound. Both bands originated in the underground NY death metal scene. Both started their careers in the early 90s and issued some very influential cult demos/albums. Both had long layoffs away from the field. Both maintain an underground cult status trying to regroup and come back these days. For me personally, however, the difference lies in the fact I have never heard Internal Bleeding before, unlike Suffocation, whose old albums represent the classic of the genre for me. Well, having listened to Souls to Deny vs. Onward to Mecca, I would have to say those paths have diverged in more ways than one. And, no, I am not trying to compare and say that one album is better than the other. It is just Internal Bleeding is not even pure death metal anymore. Hardcore influences permeate the essence of the album through and through. Deathcore label is very suitable and might be even welcomed by the band’s fans.
One thing about a large number of tracks on Onward to Mecca – the approach is quite formulaic. What starts out with a kick, fast and brutal, very much along the lines of NY death metal school, tends to break down a minute or two into the song to become very rhythmic, but way slower, riff chugging. Siege in the Clouds, Far Above You, Contamination are all prime examples of the former. Just when you settle in with the fast and the furious and expect a further kick in the pants on Contamination, the band pulls the throttle back and the chug begins. Internal Bleeding, for better or worse, has mastered the hardcore breakdown art. For better, as this stuff really goes over well for moshing crowds, for worse, as I am wondering why this does not appeal to me as much. Further dichotomy lies in the fact the band can be outstanding technicians and make the listener dizzy with supertechnical, very Suffocation like, guitar runs and solos (Far Above You, Arm Our Youth). Yet rhythmic simpler pounding seems to be very much what the band prefers. At times, the tempo is slowed down to a crawl (Hateful). One thing Internal Bleeding has on many hardcore bands is their slow music sounds much darker and more ominous, just like the end of Intolerance. This is not some adolescent angst, but manly anger. The only track, and you could have guessed it is my favorite, where groove is kept without sacrificing the technicality or the speed is Infidel. Another cool, but very non-typical part, is the acoustic outro on This Day I Fight.
Jerry Lowe’s vocals are an image of the direction the band chose. He vocalizes mostly over the slower parts letting the instrumentalists in Internal Bleeding to take the center stage in the faster portions and dazzle us with their abilities. Jerry’s vocals are equal part death grunt and hardcore screams. The grunts aren’t very low, and the screams are not very high pitch, so both styles tend to blend. Bill Tolley’s drums sometimes sound hollow on the snare (Bleed by Example), but the juiciest bass by Andrew Hogan offsets that.
I don’t have the lyrics in front of me, but just looking at the song’s titles and the cover art my guess is the concept is a little less than politically correct. Kudos to that, you say what is on your mind.
In the end, Onward to Mecca panders a little too much to the younger crowd, much more hardcore inclined NYC population. Certainly the precalculated direction, this may keep the old fans on board and get new converts. Truthfully, I wasn’t a fan due to the lack of knowledge, and I am not going to become one here as the style just veers in the ‘core direction way too much. Trying to restrain myself from the Suffo comparisons, inevitably I can’t, so if I only gave 71 to Souls to Deny, this can’t be more than …

tags: benediction, killing music, limited edition, 2008, flac,

September 21, 2020

Benediction - Grind Bastard (1998)

*First pressing. 
Contains 14 tracks total.
Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Death Metal
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© 1998 Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Lior “Steinmetal” Stein for Metal-Temple.com
And here I found myself checking out another Death Metal titan, which sent me back to my teenage years as a young Metalhead exploring the veils of Metal music. BENEDICTION, one of the top British Death Metal bands, gave me the chills back in the day with their forceful identity. Such a massive infusion between brutal Thrash and Death Metal, incensed by fumes of American Death Metal al’a OBITUARY and others of the Floridian construct. Heading back to 1998, to recollect shards of memory of their fifth album, “Grind Bastard”, originally set ablaze by Nuclear Blast Records only now to be reissued by Metal Mind Productions. Did you wish for a proof that Death Metal began changing after the mid 90’s? I assume that would find one of the many verifications right here on this album.

Though not far from their wilder days of the classic early 90’s Death Metal years, where the Brits also slayed and poured blood like the very best that rose back then, BENEDICTION showed that a modernized version of Death music was right there around the corner with a sharp look, and even went on to consume them enough to be evident. “Grind Bastard” still sounds heavy as hell, riff infested digestion of the utter simplification along with the severely driven grooves that carved a change in old school Death Metal. Generally, BENEDICTION, sounding like a reminiscent of MACHINE HEAD and ACCUSER, which also turned the other cheek to Thrash Metal and became a much groovier reigned band, appeared to have augmented a few changes in their style.

Furthermore, the band uplifted their slight Punkish valor like on “Magnifica” also following their chosen cover for the Punk clan of ANTI-NOWHERE LEAGUE with the song “We Are The League” and lest I forget the goony “We The Freed” that is not far for an old Hardcore expanse. On the other hand, BENEDICTION also exposed signs of exploring, abundantly to be reckoned as minor special with “Carcinoma Angel”, which asserted the band’s true Death Metal platter sniffing a dazed American vibe with stints of DEATH like harmonies and riffs. “Agonized” was actually the single track from this release that represented the band’s mixture of chuggy groove nature and Death Metal waft better than others. Like meat and potatoes, it served the band’s basic along with a promising directed yet to be fully induced and paid out.

Unlike the band’s majestic past, BENEDICTION on “Grind Bastard” are more urban, concrete absorbed and less darkened ritualistic. There are sections of a repetitive and monotonic origin, less inspired segments stuffed with filler riffery on vacant spaces that a solo would have done wonders to. You might noticed the less to be desired covers for JUDAS PRIEST and TWISTED SISTER. Nevertheless, it is still a release to bang your head to and feel the groove. The sound is updated and breaking, right there for your consummation.
 
tags: benediction, grind bastard, 1998, flac,

Benediction - The Dreams You Dread

*U.S. first pressing. 
Contains 11 tracks total.
Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Death Metal
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© 1995 Nuclear Blast America
Reviewed Gino Filicetti for Chronicles of Chaos.com
Another release from one of England's founding fathers of brutal music, Benediction, this is the band's sixth full length outing. Unfortunately, the guys are starting to show their age and lack of creativity. The addition of 18 year-old drummer Neil Hutton was probably an attempt to infuse some fresh blood into the group, but they have still fallen into the realm of stagnation. The CD opens with an interesting semi-acoustic guitar solo/riff, which carefully gives way to some good ol' mid-paced generic death metal. From the first grunt to the last scream on this album, Dave Ingram has :still: failed to kick the monkey called Barney Greenway off his back, and find a vocal sound all his own. All in all, the vocals completely failed to enthuse me. This album is full of variations with regards to speed, which is all the better for the band. The last two tracks show the extent of the contrast. 'Saneless Theory' is the classic drag-on whining song, while 'The Dreams You Dread' is a breakneck, blast beat ridden cacophony. I even see some Obituary influence in songs like 'Answer Me'. If you are a fan of Benediction, I would definitely recommend this album to you, seeing as the band have managed to keep up with their previous efforts. But for those of you that are looking for progression and innovation, you definitely need to find greener pastures.

tags: benediction, the dreams you dread, 1995, flac,

Benediction - Transcend The Rubicon (1993)

*U.S. first pressing. 
Contains 11 tracks total.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Death Metal
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© 1993 Nuclear Blast America
*No professional reviews are available for this release.

tags: benediction, transcend the rubicon, 1993, flac,

Benediction - Subconscious Terror (1990) ☠

*First pressing.
Contains 10 tracks total.
Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Death Metal
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☠: Selected by Buccaneer
© 1990 Nuclear Blast Records
by Lior “Steinmetal” Stein for Metal-Temple.com
As I shrivel back into the old days of Death Metal, right in the peek moment where it raised to power both in US and Europe, there it was, an volcanic eruption filled with vigorous bands fighting to elevate the genre even further in the hearts of Metalheads. One of the prominent names of that Death Metal era, which I have to admit that is showing sights of a comeback nowadays, were, and still are gladly, the British BENEDICTION. With the grand campaign of Metal Mind Productions to reissue the band’s discography until their latest release “Killing Music” of the late 00’s, I now unveil my point of view for the band’s thick and meaty early old school releases, starting with the band’s debut album of 1990, “Subconscious Terror”.

Honestly, after listening to plenty of Death Metal bands of the late 80’s and mostly early 90’s, there is no such a big difference between them, only if you count out pioneers in the evolution of early Death Metal such as DEATH, ATHEIST, CYNIC or CARCASS. When it comes to BENEDICTION’s music, their routine at the beginning was adamant to the primitive and grinding type of Death Metal, which appeared to me to be rather tied with a strong associative to the US Death Metal scene that already began devouring in the mid 80’s with POSSESSED, DEATH and the Floridian butchery. Furthermore, and it shows on “Subconscious Terror”, there is that nebulous Punkish flavor hoarding through the material, seething its rudimentary and repetitive sense yet not in a way that it would deter the Metalhead from feasting upon the flesh of the tunes. On the other hand, I found several reminders of BLACK SABBATH within the riffs of the release.

In general, “Subconscious Terror” introduces Death Metal as a rhythm based experience, simple arrangements, most of the time letting go of the manic lead guitar inducements of Thrash or American Death, yet still nurtures the need for chug robustness in Metal. Gladly that the band’s rhythm guitar riffery, though immensely simple, became quite favored by yours truly, and you might add the high class gruesome grinding guttural vocals of NAPALM DEATH’s Mark "Barney" Greenway, which fronted the band in its first years right until permanently leaving after this album. Going through the tracks, I was actually captivated by the band’s primitiveness and utmost direct approach, attacking mercilessly, battering tune after tune. There isn’t too much to distinct between the songs, and I believe that it might instigate a wrongful reaction from the nowadays Metal fan due to the solid direction of music. However, I argue that tracks like “Experimental Stage”, which also appears as a bonus demo, “Spit Forth the Dead”, “Grizzled Finale”, instrumental “Suspended Animation” and “Confess All Goodness” might shake things up a bit, unfolding the band’s strong attribution of the old US Death Metal sense. Moreover, the bonus demo versions of “Jumping At Shadows”, “Foetus Noose” and “Forged In Fire“ are true crushers and maintain the brutal image of this band’s career point that seemed to be only up.

I consider “Subconscious Terror” as a noticeable starting point for BENEDICTION; it has a wholesome of meat and potatoes of the genre, not reaching far at being intelligent but offering a massive dose of heavy and foreboding attitude allover. In comparison to the late 90’s offerings, I regard this album as one of the band’s darkest ventures. Be sure to check this one out soon through Metal Mind Productions.
tags: benediction, subconscious terror, 1990, flac,

Benediction - The Grand Leveller (1991) ☠

*U.S. first pressing.
Contains 10 tracks total.
Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Death Metal
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☠: Selected by Buccaneer
© 1991 Nuclear Blast America
Review by Lior “Steinmetal” Stein for Metal-Temple.com
Subsequent to my previous review of the band’s debut, I continue to follow the British BENEDICTION’s early career in order to recapture that magic of the old Death Metal scene. A kind of mystic that I think that might be reshaping its malignant form once again in the past several years. With NAPALM DEATH’s Mark Greenway focusing on his main band only, BENEDICTION recruited Dave Ingram, a sort of similar vocal pattern to the young Karl Willets (BOLT THROWER). Funny fact that after Ingram’s departure from BENEDICTION eight years later, he replaced Karl Willets in BOLT THROWER for several years and participated in the 2001’s “Honor-Valor-Pride” album. Anyway, back to the past, the addition of Ingram’s strong vocals, which I believe to be mightier than Greenway’s cookie monster yelps, and BENEDICTION’s continuance upon pushing in their gloomy defiled Death Metal, let to the utmost successful outcome of “The Grand Leveller”. Metal Mind Productions, in a single package with the previous “Subconscious Terror”, reissued this golden gem.

Ascertaining a rather niftier production for this release, “The Grand Leveller” is deemed to be reckoned as a classic among the band’s discography. Under the direction of Paul Johnson, “The Grand Leveller” sounded golden with that appetizing old school sound with guitar reverberation of what appeared to be archetypal Marshall. Therefore, it was even more seducing than “Subconscious Terror” with this particular aspect. Material wise, “The Grand Leveller” is less Punkish, throbbing into the despondency of Death Metal, afflicting a few extreme Doom / Gothic characteristics, yet straightforward as they come.

The song arrangements, in comparison to the former release, sounded somewhat intelligent, yet still in a kind of form that attested a sort of smoothness. I really enjoyed the guitar work, though still rhythm based, but with a crunchier dosage of lead guitar work, attributing some great moments of soloing and depressive petite melodies that amplified divinity. Generally, BENEDICTION upgraded their basic traits from the debut, inhaled the true Death Metal experience and went on with it to become an intensified crushing monster of speed, thickness and brutality. I felt empowered with legendary tunes such as “Jumping at Shadows”, which is far superior than the demo presented on the debut release and with Karl Willets (BOLT THROWER) as backing vocals, “Graveworm”, “Child of Sin”, “Opulence of the Absolute” that creased with a serious of lead guitar enthusiasm and bashing speed determination. The next in line, serving as bonus, “Return To The Eve”, “Ashen Epitaph” and “The Grotesque” shall leave you with a taste of things to come in the band’s future, stating the fact that the class of this release remained also afterwards. On the other hand, the self-titled track, as taken from a scene of a horror B-Movie detonated right in my face, assimilating cracks of SLAYERish type Thrash with the band’s brutal propensity, resulting in one of the band’s assorted tracks, the nastily crossing vibes and cinematic chill will leave you emblazoned.

Surely this is one of BENEDICTION’s best of works as I scour through their albums. Still in the era where Death Metal puked classic pieces one by one, “The Grand Leveller” is a club member. Be sure to grab this one fast.

tags: benediction, the grand leveller, 1991, flac,