Reviews : Search Results for Relapse Records

113 reviews for Relapse Records:

Agoraphobic Nosebleed, "Frozen Corpse Stuffed with Dope" Agoraphobic Nosebleed
Frozen Corpse Stuffed with Dope
Relapse Records
2002

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Agoraphobic Nosebleed have come about their own particular sound due to the inabliity to find a good grind drummerin the Massachusettes area they hail from. So, they fired up a drum machine, and it has had a definite industrial effect on their sound. I do not wish to start any The Berzerker comparisons, as Agoraphobic Nosebleed have been around way...
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Alabama Thunderpussy, "Open Fire" Alabama Thunderpussy
Open Fire
Relapse Records
2007

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Alabama Thunderpussy lets loose with their sixth full length and eighth release overall, not counting compilations. Few bands could go through the line up changes they have and still release solid records. Open Fire is the debut for their third vocalist, Kyle Thomas, the legendary lead vocalist of Exhorder. Don’t let that fool you though. Kyle’s vocals are down home...
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Alabama Thunderpussy, "Fulton Hill" Alabama Thunderpussy
Fulton Hill
Relapse Records
2004

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Well good gawdamn - we've got ourselves quite a meltin' pot o' rawk and metal here, I do declare! The band lost their singer after the COC/Motorhead inspired "Staring at the Divine" and picked up a new cat from Ohio (I mention this because I'm also a cat from the farmlands of Ohio - so I'm down with what these...
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Alabama Thunderpussy, "Fulton Hill" Alabama Thunderpussy
Fulton Hill
Relapse Records
2004

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So I'm sitting in my cubicle at work and I pull out Alabama Thunderpussy's Fulton Hill to see just how southern and just how rocking this disc is...but before I do, I wonder what my coworkers will think if they know I'm listening to a band named Alabama Thunderpussy. I hit play and go about my business...
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Alchemist, "Austral Alien" Alchemist
Austral Alien
Relapse Records
2003

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Pioneers in the metal scene are far and few, and by far I mean they might be sitting in Australia. That is where Alchemist comes from and brings along their eclectic bag of hypnotic metal and alien droppings. I won't say they are pioneers quite as yet but they are definitely pushing the lines of metal into creating catchy universal...
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Alchemist, "Organasm" Alchemist
Organasm
Relapse Records
2002

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Brass tacks: Australia's most eclectic four-piece Alchemist is a truly unique band, and Organasm is an album you should own, no matter who you think you are. The ten songs are all awe-inspiring, well-structured and different from anything you've heard before...unless, of course you have any of the band's back catalog. These musical masterminds weave a vivid, flowing...
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Alchemist, "Organasm" Alchemist
Organasm
Relapse Records
2002

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Kudos to Relapse Records for exposing one of the best unknown (not for long) metal bands, Australia's Alchemist. The folks in Europe and down-under got to hear Organasm before the US audiences, as the record was originally released in 2000 on Holland's Displeased Records, but licensed to Relapse for a full US and European distribution. For those who are still not...
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Amorphis, "Am Universum" Amorphis
Am Universum
Relapse Records
2001

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Let me tell you a little story. Almost exactly one year ago, Finland's sons of rock, Amorphis, were touring the states in support of their last album Tuonela. The circuit had a stop at the Bluebird in Denver, so a buddy of mine and I decided to check them out. We got there early so that we...
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Amorphis, "Tales from the Thousand Lakes" Amorphis
Tales from the Thousand Lakes
Relapse Records
1993

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"Tales from the Thousand Lakes" was Amorphis' follow-up to their second "debut" (the aborted "Privilege of Evil" being their first album), "The Karelian Isthmus." Relapse must have know they had something special, because despite the debut's poor sales in the U.S., "Tales..." was given a huge push, and they were rewarded tenfold for their effort, as there were no second-record...
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Amorphis, "The Karelian Isthmus" Amorphis
The Karelian Isthmus
Relapse Records
1992

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Amorphis' first "official" release (the aborted "Privilege of Evil" being their actual debut) showed the glimpse of something special. Appearing right in heat of the American death explosion when everyone was pretty much either a Morbid Angel, Obituary or Suffocation clone, "The Karelian Isthmus" offered a slower, simpler and more melodic sound; very Eurpoean in it's maturity and restraint and...
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Anata, "Dreams of Death and Dismay" Anata
Dreams of Death and Dismay
Relapse Records
2001

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I was wondering when this Swedish four-piece was going to put out a second album. After The Infernal Depths of Hatred scorched my eardrums, I have been chomping at the bit for more of Anata's unique ultra brutal blast-beat-meets-melody style. And now, here it is, Dreams of Death and Dismay, and it is even...
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Baroness, "The Red Album" Baroness
The Red Album
Relapse Records
2007

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Of the debut LP’s the metal world has seen this year, few were as anticipated as Baroness’s ‘The Red Album’. Formed in 2003, this Savannah-based quartet has released a couple EP’s and one very well-regarded split with Unpersons—the primary source of the hype for their debut—all before signing to Relapse earlier this year. Even before the signing, though, Baroness had...
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Bongzilla, "Gateway" Bongzilla
Gateway
Relapse Records
2002

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Wisconsin must be known for more than just cheese, because it seems as if Madison-based Bongzilla can sing about nothing but marijuana. Yesss, reefer. In fact, on Gateway we receive eight full-length hits of pure aural THC delivered in the band's now patented style. Bongzilla pick things up right where they left off at the end of Stash, playing downtuned, sludgy...
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Breach, "Venom" Breach
Venom
Relapse Records
1999

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Swedish hardcore is not an easy musical style to describe, let alone critique. If you are familiar with cult legends Refused, you would know just how different this musical style is. Breach's album Venom is an exhaustive workout in minimalistic music. The band plays metal/hardcore with a style where everything sounds stripped down. The...
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Brian Posehn, "Live In : Nerd Rage" Brian Posehn
Live In : Nerd Rage
Relapse Records
2006

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You should all know Brian Posehn from his role on Adult Swim's "Mission Hill," and his occasional appearance on "Just Shoot Me," but those of you that haven't heard his stand-up are the ones that are really missing out. Starting off the set with an inverse-erection joke, Posehn's brand of nerdy hilarity consistently entertains, especially if you're a guy that isn't...
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Burnt by the Sun, "The Perfect is the Enemy of the Good" Burnt by the Sun
The Perfect is the Enemy of the Good
Relapse Records
2003

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Right off the bat, let's get one thing straight: in this reviewer's humble opinion, the genre of hardcore has, historically, done very little to validate its existence. I mean, come on ? how can anyone respect a musical style which includes a sub-category that goes by the name of "tough guy hardcore"? Of course, there are exceptions to every rule;...
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Burnt by the Sun, "Soundtrack to Personal Revolution" Burnt by the Sun
Soundtrack to Personal Revolution
Relapse Records
2002

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I like eating my words. On Burnt By the Sun's Soundtrack to the Personal Revolution, I'm forced to do it twice. The first time is because the band has very craftily come into it's own with this album, something I was very dubious of after hearing earlier work. The second is that concept albums can be good....
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Burnt by the Sun, "Soundtrack to Personal Revolution" Burnt by the Sun
Soundtrack to Personal Revolution
Relapse Records
2002

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Ever since the bludgeoning attack of their self-titled EP, I wanted to hear more of this New Jersey supergroup, consisting of ex-members of such notable bands like Discordance Axis, Human Remains, Endeavor, and Nora. For their first full-length, the band added a second guitarist and hired producer/engineer Matt Bayles, known for his studio work with the sludge juggernauts - ISIS...
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Burnt by the Sun, "Burnt by the Sun" Burnt by the Sun
Burnt by the Sun
Relapse Records
2001

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Much like other New Jersey acts, Burnt By the Sun is fucking noisy. The music borrows from violent hardcore influences melding them with heavy guitars and metal riffs. The band's self-titled, four song, eight and a half minute EP is reminiscent of label mates Dillinger Escape Plan and Luddite Clone, though Burnt By the Sun is all...
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Burnt by the Sun, "Burnt by the Sun" Burnt by the Sun
Burnt by the Sun
Relapse Records
2001

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Combining the sheer madness/brilliance formula of Dillinger Escape Plan and ferocious breakdowns of Coalesce, New Jersey's Burnt By the Sun [yes, yes, there is also an excellent Russian movie with that same name that won an Oscar for the best foreign film in 1995] have officially put themselves on the map of metal with this four song release on Relapse...
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Burst, "Origo" Burst
Origo
Relapse Records
2005

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Only one word could describe this album: dense. "Origo" is full of meandering guitar parts, rich in their mellifluousness, yet tempered with crunch and dissonance. The vocals can range from a commanding Neurosis-type growl, to layered lamenting sighs (though it's the growling that's most prevalent). And the rhythm section is calculating, yet endowed with an intuitive feel for taking...
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Burst, "Prey on Life" Burst
Prey on Life
Relapse Records
2003

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Burst was a band I had been looking forward to since hearing their advance track on the Contamination Tour compilation. It was an interesting song; not amazing but interesting. But the beauty of it only makes sense now that I have the complete 11 songs. This band is such an amalgam of styles that no description is really appropriate. Burst...
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Car Bomb, "Centralia" Car Bomb
Centralia
Relapse Records
2007

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New York's Car Bomb got together in 2002, more or less as the result of two bands, Neck and Spooge, sharing a practice space under a butcher shop. Bassist Jon Modell of Spooge recruited guitarist Greg Kubacki of Neck for a more progressive and technical act that would later become Car Bomb after they added Mike Dafferner (vocals, ex-Neck) and...
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Carnal Forge, "Who's Gonna Burn" Carnal Forge
Who's Gonna Burn
Relapse Records
1998

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With the ferocity of a pitbull, Carnal Forge's ultra (and I can't stress this enough) aggressive modern thrash flattens everything in its path. Yes, watch out, because Godzilla IS coming through, and if you are in the way, you'll end up nothing more than a bloody smudge on his oversized foot. Who's Gonna Burn is probably the most...
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Cephalic Carnage, "Xenosapien" Cephalic Carnage
Xenosapien
Relapse Records
2007

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Colorado’s Cephalic Carnage have always seemed like an alien entity to me. Everything of theirs that I’ve heard has been weird, off-kilter and unlike any other band out there…yet it’s always been engrossing and easy to listen to despite the fact that I know I lack the overall deep understanding of it. On their fifth album, Xenosapien, the group...
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Cephalic Carnage, "Xenosapien" Cephalic Carnage
Xenosapien
Relapse Records
2007

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Cephalic Carnage have evolved tremendously since their inception in the 90’s. The band’s literal style is very much the same—teeth-rattling grindcore and death metal spiced with a mish-mash of other extreme genres and jarring jazz interludes—but the creative chemistry of modern Cephalic is leagues beyond anything they displayed before (and including) 2002’s ‘Lucid Interval’. The transition came in 2005 when...
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Cephalic Carnage, "Anomalies" Cephalic Carnage
Anomalies
Relapse Records
2005

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I'm always interested to hear what these crazy hydrogrind greenies are up to, because if there's one band that over the past few years has given my ears the equivalent of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride While Ingesting Mass Quantities, it's Cephalic Carnage. "Greenies", by the way, are what Texans like to call Coloradans… because of their green mountain...
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Cephalic Carnage, "Lucid Interval" Cephalic Carnage
Lucid Interval
Relapse Records
2002

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Following up the barely controlled schizophrenia of "Exploiting Dysfunction" could not have been an enviable task, but I'll be damned if Cephalic Carnage haven't done it brilliantly with "Lucid Interval." More restrained and less cut-and-paste than their previous works, the new songs benefit from a world class production by Dave Otero as well as the more focused structures. Leonard and...
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Cephalic Carnage, "Exploiting Dysfunction" Cephalic Carnage
Exploiting Dysfunction
Relapse Records
2000

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If you have been following the metal scene in Colorado recently, and your tastes are at all like mine, you would be fairly disappointed with most of the bands. Aside from the killer demo I got from Serberus a while back, I haven't encountered anything interesting?until I got my hands on a Cephalic Carnage album. This...
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Convulse, "Reflections" Convulse
Reflections
Relapse Records
1994

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You want to talk about old-school, setting standards and being early on the scene? Well for Finnish metal, Convulse is definitely one of the bands to be included in your list. Playing rock-infused metal with an obvious Sunlight Studio's sound and at times a flair for the catchy groove, Reflections sheds a great deal of light...
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Daylight Dies, "No Reply" Daylight Dies
No Reply
Relapse Records
2002

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Ever since two of the more promising American doom metal bands, Mindrot and Morgion called it quits, Relapse Records became somewhat of an asylum for harsher, more unconventional metallic sounds. Besides, the recent departure of Amorphis signified that something had to be done to bring more mood, melody, and depression back into the mix. With the signing of North Carolina's...
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Death Breath, "Stinking Up the Night" Death Breath
Stinking Up the Night
Relapse Records
2006

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I'm a Nicke Andersson fan. Shucks -- the guy is prolific as hell, knows his shit inside and out whether he's on drums or guitar, and just seems like such a genuine kinda guy. It's pretty much a given that I'll like whatever he gets into. But reprising death metal? I had to wonder... does he still got his...
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Deceased, "Supernatural Addiction" Deceased
Supernatural Addiction
Relapse Records
2000

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As the first band signed by Relapse Records, Virginia's Deceased is a name that most metal fans will recognize. A good percentage of these people will also probably own at least one of their albums, and have something positive to say about the band. Deceased's style is energetic, unique and undisputedly metal. The band's influences...
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Dillinger Escape Plan, "Miss Machine" Dillinger Escape Plan
Miss Machine
Relapse Records
2004

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The Dillinger Escape Plan set themselves apart from the pack with their fantastically technical, discordant Calculating Infinity release. The band's mantra of "play it faster, play it heavier, induce seizures" made their material impossible to listen to, incredibly brutal and utterly brilliant. Since this masterpiece, many bands have tried to follow suit, with varying success…but the point is...
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Dillinger Escape Plan, "Calculating Infinity" Dillinger Escape Plan
Calculating Infinity
Relapse Records
2000

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When I received Calculating Infinity I was relatively unfamiliar with The Dillinger Escape Plan's work. I had heard one track from a Relapse Records compilation, and I had been told some stories about the band's violent stage antics, but neither one of these fully prepared me for the contents of their latest effort. This New Jersey quintet's technical...
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Disfear, "Live The Storm" Disfear
Live The Storm
Relapse Records
2008

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I have liked Disfear for quite some time now. I dug Misanthropic Generation, but I'd still take A Brutal Sight Of War over the rest of their catalog on any given day. At least, that's what I had thought until I picked up their tour 7" when they played Montreal last year and heard a rough, raw version...
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Disfear, "Misanthropic Generation" Disfear
Misanthropic Generation
Relapse Records
2003

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Another Tomas Lindberg band? No shit! Seriously I don't know if this guy is screaming his lungs out 24/7 but probably quite close. Whats interesting is that most bands he goes to seem to have different styles. Disfear is most certainly another distinct band on his catalogue. Absorbing all that is crust and deathrock Disfear builds their sound around an...
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Dying Fetus, "Stop at Nothing" Dying Fetus
Stop at Nothing
Relapse Records
2003

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Dying Fetus is one of those bands that just can't really seem to do anything wrong. They've changed lineups since their early days, they've matured lyrically, but their incredibly punishing music thankfully has not. On the band's 2003 outing, Stop At Nothing, we're served the now signature 8 tracks (in about 35 minutes) of utterly...
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Dying Fetus, "Stop at Nothing" Dying Fetus
Stop at Nothing
Relapse Records
2003

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One of the few death metal bands left on Relapse Records, Dying Fetus have let their fans wait anxiously for this, their first full-length album since 2000's "Destroy the Opposition". With die-hard founding member John Gallagher surrounded by new blood, one might expect big changes from these east coast bangers. Wrong. This is still mosh-heavy, noodling-flecked death metal with more...
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Dying Fetus, "Destroy the Opposition" Dying Fetus
Destroy the Opposition
Relapse Records
2000

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From the bits I heard on earlier albums, Killing on Adrenaline and Purification Through Violence I thought that Dying Fetus had to have been signed to a major record label. With their fat, grooving, speed-blasting, dirty and violent style of death metal, it would be something that any label could sell in copious amounts without a problem....
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Dysrhythmia, "Pretest" Dysrhythmia
Pretest
Relapse Records
2003

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The whole mathcore/noisecore scene pretty much just confuses the hell out of me, so at first blush, I didn't exactly take a shine to Dysrhythmia's maiden effort, which was unfortunate enough to get shipped along with a copy of The End's Transfer Trachear Reverberations". I immediately lumped both albums in the same category, but luckily, I gave Pretest a few...
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Exhumed, "Anatomy is Destiny" Exhumed
Anatomy is Destiny
Relapse Records
2003

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Here is full-length outing number 3 from these California natives, replete with gore and horror histrionics. As advertised, there is an unabashed Carcass vibe on this album, taking shape in creepy breakdown riffs on both the title track and "Waxwork". Matt Harvey's screeching has developed well, allowing him to hold a tortured note for quite a few bars, while his...
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Exhumed, "Slaughtercult" Exhumed
Slaughtercult
Relapse Records
2000

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The cover artwork somehow tipped me off that this album was not going to be as good as Gore Metal. The picture is blood red and gory, but what you are looking at is not as decipherable. And that's exactly what happens to the music too. I am not saying that Slaughtercult is that bad, the music and lyrics haven't...
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Exhumed, "Gore Metal" Exhumed
Gore Metal
Relapse Records
1998

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This album is totally disgusting. The lyrics are all about killing people, dismembering, skull fucking, digging up corpses?and fucking them. Neat stuff, really. And the music follows suit, chunky, fast, thrashy and choppy but very fluent death metal with good solo work and vocals that jump from psychotic high end to guttural and indecipherable. And then there's the cover artwork...
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Fuck the Facts, "Stigmata High-Five" Fuck the Facts
Stigmata High-Five
Relapse Records
2006

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Holy Hell, this is a fierce son of a bitch! Taking cues from the sleek, modernized grindcore of Pig Destroyer, some slightly spazzy elements, and a sneaky sense of melody, Fuck the Facts have crafted a sound that comes off somewhat progressive and innovative and certainly one of the stronger grindcore releases of 2006. In general, you can expect several twists...
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Genocide SS, "We Are Born of Hate" Genocide SS
We Are Born of Hate
Relapse Records
2002

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"DON'T MESS..........WITH THE GENOCIDE....... SS!!!!!!" This is the repeated chant which closes this CD. You may be a bit perturbed by their name, but instead of being a full-on "Seig Heil" to Uncle Adolf, Genocide SS seem to be more concerned with bikes, bitches, beer and bullet belts; just what you want from a metal band! These Swedes have obviously...
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Godflesh, "Messiah" Godflesh
Messiah
Relapse Records
2003

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The last official Godflesh release, though not the last recording. I say this because for reasons unknown to me this sat on the shelf for almost ten years before finally getting released by the nice folks at Relapse. Random tangent: Is Virgin trying to break this record by not releasing Satyricon ? Volcano in the states even...
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High on Fire, "Death Is This Communion" High on Fire
Death Is This Communion
Relapse Records
2007

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There are a lot of bands on Relapse that I prefer to admire from afar. Cephalic Carnage, Dillinger Escape Plan, Mastodon and High on Fire are the first that come to mind. Something about each of them makes me never really yearn to listen to them, though aside from that feeling I get, there’s absolutely no reason to...
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High on Fire, "Blessed Black Wings" High on Fire
Blessed Black Wings
Relapse Records
2005

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Now I'm a fan of continuity and all but High on Fire took it to a new level on their newest album. It begins with a drum fill that sounds like the ending of Razor Hoof, the last song on their previous record but instead of fading it out like they did to end Surrounded by Thieves, they faded...
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High on Fire, "Surrounded By Thieves" High on Fire
Surrounded By Thieves
Relapse Records
2002

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Founded by Sleep's Matt Pike, High on Fire was meant to be a heavier, more aggressive musical outlet; a way of changing the pace established by the aforementioned stoner band. To be honest, with the slow, drawn out arrangements for which Sleep was famous, it doesn't seem tough to write songs that have more kick. To be a heavier band,...
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Incantation, "The Infernal Storm" Incantation
The Infernal Storm
Relapse Records
2000

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Sometime around '93, I bought Onward to Golgotha in a used tape store. Muddy production, blasphemous lyrics, indecipherable guitars, ultra deep vocals; essentially everything I was NOT interested in at the time. I took a few listens and let it rot [only to pick it up to review a few weeks ago and realizing how good it was]. Almost a...
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Incantation, "The Infernal Storm" Incantation
The Infernal Storm
Relapse Records
2000

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Fucking weak! I have always hated this band's music. Their previous material, production aside was no different than this, and I couldn't stand it before. Why do people love Incantation? Please tell me, because The Infernal Storm is both nothing new in death metal, and it is totally boring too! It would be...
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Incantation, "The Forsaken Mourning of Angelic Anguish" Incantation
The Forsaken Mourning of Angelic Anguish
Relapse Records
1997

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Carrying on the Incantation sound and tradition of abysmally low vocals, barely held together speed and sickening doom, Forsaken adds nothing new to the soup and feels pieced together and incomplete. For one, the band listing says a lot. Craig Pillard was back as a "session" vocalist, meaning that he wasn't in the band and they probably just wrote him a...
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Incantation, "Onward to Golgotha" Incantation
Onward to Golgotha
Relapse Records
1991

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Considered by many to a be a classic of early 90's death metal and one of a handful of albums that defined the New York Death Metal sound, Onward to Golgotha was a monstrous record that still merits respect and admiration. Recorded by the classic Incantation lineup of Craig Pillard, John McEntee, Ron Deo and Jim Roe, the sound created...
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Jucifer, "If Thine Enemy Hunger" Jucifer
If Thine Enemy Hunger
Relapse Records
2006

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Jucifer’s If Thine Enemy Hunger starts off with a slow, droning stoner/sludge/doom track “She Tides the Deep,” though the one key difference is that this duo have a female singer with silky, sweet vocals that remind me quite a bit of Mazzy Star. The best part is that it seems to work pretty well. The second track “Centralia”...
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Kingdom of Sorrow, "Kingdom of Sorrow" Kingdom of Sorrow
Kingdom of Sorrow
Relapse Records
2008

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Seriously, who thought of putting the world's most recognizable hardcore frontman in the same room as one of sludge metal's renowned pioneers? I wouldn't have imagined putting Jamey Jasta and Kirk Weinstein together in the same state, much less give them the reins and the means to record an album together. Much to my surprise, someone brought the...
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Lost Soul, "Scream of the Mourning Star" Lost Soul
Scream of the Mourning Star
Relapse Records
2000

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In recent years, there has been a swell in the number of Polish death metal bands. A few years ago, the only one really established in the scene was Vader, an outfit that matched speed, precision and unbridled anger in a unique, unrelenting sort of manner. Today we see bands like Decapitated, Yattering, Behemoth and Lost Soul continuing...
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Luddite Clone, "The Arsonist and the Architect" Luddite Clone
The Arsonist and the Architect
Relapse Records
2000

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Luddite Clone's scary-as-fuck EP The Arsonist and the Architect is probably one of the most difficult listens in death metal. The band crams six blasting, grinding, grooving tracks of sheer insanity onto this very short disc. Each song contains wild tempo changes, blast beats galore and pound for pound, more violence than almost any other band around. ...
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Luddite Clone, "The Arsonist and the Architect" Luddite Clone
The Arsonist and the Architect
Relapse Records
2000

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More of the new-school death stuff that seems to be pouring out of Relapse lately. Luddite Clone have that weird jazz-vibe to them that seems so popular lately. Very aggressive, technical guitar playing blowing through change after change of disjointed, awkward songs which have as many tempo shifts as they have riffs and seem written more to confuse the listener...
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Mastodon, "Leviathan" Mastodon
Leviathan
Relapse Records
2004

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Mastodon have become a band very close to being everything I enjoy about heavy music. So there might be some clear-cut bias that filters itself into this review. Maybe its not bias; its probably just respect for the passion these 4 guys have for the music they create. Mastodon's debut Remission sent ripples through the underground metal and slowly made...
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Mastodon, "Remission" Mastodon
Remission
Relapse Records
2002

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The human mind constantly tries to simplify the ever-present web of confusion that revolves around life. What the mind comprehends, Mastodon deconstructs. There is no scope for thought, only flesh, blood and the raw emotions that drive them both; the unmatched power of feeling. Lifesblood, the MCD released last year, was shocking, experimental and explosive. This time around Mastodon's Remission...
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Mastodon, "Lifesblood" Mastodon
Lifesblood
Relapse Records
2001

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Mastadon's Lifesblood is the band's five-song debut EP. This disc, however short it may be, contains some seriously wacky music. I've been dumbfounded by these guys ever since my first listen. I found myself hanging on to memorable grooves and catchy choruses just long enough for the centrifugal force of the music to toss me off the...
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Mastodon, "Lifesblood" Mastodon
Lifesblood
Relapse Records
2001

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I first heard these guys when I was sampling out bands on Relapse's Contamination 4.0. Not only was Mastodon's sound equivalent to wooly mammoth proportions but they also stood heads and shoulders above the crowd. In the present line of extreme metal with bands trying to write the heaviest possible music, the problem lies in the purpose of it all,...
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Minsk, "The Ritual Fires of Abandonment" Minsk
The Ritual Fires of Abandonment
Relapse Records
2007

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This is the latest record from Minsk, even if they do come from Illinois and not Belarus. As with the last record they evoke the feel of the last few Neurosis records, but it comes off better than it does for Neurosis. I don't know if I'm simply punishing Neurosis for not living up to what they used...
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Misery Index, "Discordia" Misery Index
Discordia
Relapse Records
2006

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Discordia is Misery Index’s 2006 ten-song workout in super-dense, blast-heavy death metal. The half-hour of music is utterly unrelenting, totally commanding and straight-forward enough to get into right away. Sounding quite a bit like Napalm Death meets Dying Fetus, minus much of the technical guitar work, Misery Index know exactly when to throw in the time changes, switch...
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Mortician, "Darkest Day of Horror" Mortician
Darkest Day of Horror
Relapse Records
2003

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I have said this to friends before, and the ones familiar with Mortician think I am a lunatic: Mortician makes me happy. Yes, happy. I have a slight obsession with horror movies, as does Will Rahmer (vocals, bass, and one the scariest, but nicest dudes in metal), and Mortician creates the most horrific atmosphere through their music and use of...
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Nasum, "Helvete" Nasum
Helvete
Relapse Records
2003

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The fact that this Swedish band has been around for over a decade really makes me feel old. It seems like yesterday that they were being signed to Relapse, though this did happen almost 5 years into their existence, in the late 1990's. Little has changed in the Nasum camp over time; long-time members Anders Jakobson and Mieszko Talarczyk still...
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Neurosis, "A Sun that Never Sets" Neurosis
A Sun that Never Sets
Relapse Records
2001

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Bay Area's most enigmatic band, Neurosis has created with, A Sun that Never Sets, a disc that is quite possibly the best thing to listen to when high on narcotics. The only reason I know this is that when I returned from the hospital clutching forty doses of Percocet for post surgery pain, on the table...
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Neurosis, "Through Silver in Blood" Neurosis
Through Silver in Blood
Relapse Records
1996

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Aaaaaaah....Neurosis. This is a record that you won't put on every day, but when the day comes that you need it, you'll be forever grateful for this disturbed sextet of angst. ...
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Nile, "Annihilation of the Wicked" Nile
Annihilation of the Wicked
Relapse Records
2005

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T.S. Eliot once said that "in using myth," art could become "a way... of giving a shape and a significance to the immense panorama of futility and anarchy," and though he wrote those words over half a century ago in an essay about James Joyce's Ulysses, they are just as fitting when applied today to Nile's latest masterpiece, Annihilation of...
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Nile, "In Their Darkened Shrines" Nile
In Their Darkened Shrines
Relapse Records
2002

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In under a half decade's time, Nile went from an underrated, unknown death metal band from South Carolina to one of the most recognized, revered, and respected acts in the history of extreme music. Their first two full length albums are among the very best of their style, but, though this may be difficult to believe considering the quality of...
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Nile, "In Their Darkened Shrines" Nile
In Their Darkened Shrines
Relapse Records
2002

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As far as death metal goes, few would argue the fact that Nile has been the driving force behind it all in the past 5 years or so, raising the bar in every department of music with ineffable Egyptian bombast. Based on the South Carolina quartet's portentous works of the past, I expected nothing less than a zenith of extreme...
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Nile, "Black Seeds of Vengeance" Nile
Black Seeds of Vengeance
Relapse Records
2000

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In a style similar to their previous effort, "Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka," Nile blast their way through nearly 43 minutes of insanely fast and violent death metal on "Black Seeds of Vengeance." This record is similar to its predecessor in many ways; the group is, of course, still incorporating ancient Egyptian instruments and lyrical themes into their death metal...
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Origin, "Antithesis" Origin
Antithesis
Relapse Records
2008

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Origin is best known for their hybrid of ultra-fast death metal and grindcore, epitomized in their sophomore effort, 'Informis Infinitas Inhumanitas.' That isn't to discredit their last, 'Echoes of Decimation,' by any means, because that album is a mighty powerful tempest of spacial mind-mashery and technical ability; but 'Informis...' is where Origin got their stride, and for many is...
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Origin, "Echoes of Decimation" Origin
Echoes of Decimation
Relapse Records
2005

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Origin are still evolving both as musicians and as a band. Where chugging riffs once dominated, endless sweeps and blistering leads now reign. The sound is still of the style you'd expect after their first two albums, but has been augmented slightly in the intensity, often racing along at a pace where there is no separation between the notes and...
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Origin, "Informis Infinitas Inhumanitas" Origin
Informis Infinitas Inhumanitas
Relapse Records
2002

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Pure crushing mayhem encased in the plastic of a compact disc for your listening pleasure. Nothing more, nothing less; it's just as simple as that. Origin's deathgrind outfit bring the biggest serving of deafening chaos to the table. Not only do you get a systematic destruction of the instruments but vocals in three different ranges of extremity. The blisteringly fast...
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Origin, "Informis Infinitas Inhumanitas" Origin
Informis Infinitas Inhumanitas
Relapse Records
2002

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After a strong self-titled debut a couple of years ago, Kansas band Origin is back with another raging outing of extreme death metal. Their ranks have changed somewhat, as they now have James Lee on lead vocals and Mike Florez on bass, and their sound has a little bit more to offer this time around. Drummer John Longstreth still owns...
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Origin, "Origin" Origin
Origin
Relapse Records
2000

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This is grind, 100% technical grind. The drums are all over the place, the vocals vomited, low and incessant, and the guitars are down-tuned and almost following what the drums are doing. Origin, on their self-titled debut does everything in its power to kill the listener with their music. Beyond the amazing drum performance, though,...
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Pentagram, "First Daze Here : The Vintage Collection" Pentagram
First Daze Here : The Vintage Collection
Relapse Records
2002

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So I get a promo from Relapse, and I'm expecting a run-of-the-mill death/grind/noise outfit. But what do I get? A 70s hard rock band that not many people have heard about. Yes, hard rock, not even metal. So what's so great about this eh? The simple answer is that this is just fun. It's not the kind of music I've grown...
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Pig Destroyer, "Phantom Limb" Pig Destroyer
Phantom Limb
Relapse Records
2007

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Just buy the damn CD. You're somewhat interested because you clicked the link to the review, so just buy it. You can thank me later. Pig Destroyer are hands down, the best grindcore band of the (still) new millenium. Napalm Death has had an excellent post-2000 run as well, but they simply crumble before what Pig Destroyer has been responsible for...
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Pig Destroyer, "Phantom Limb" Pig Destroyer
Phantom Limb
Relapse Records
2007

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Quite possibly, Pig Destroyer is the most relevant grind band of the past decade. Through the grace of their past three albums, they have risen from the bilge in the gutter (meant in the best way possible) of Northern Virginia to the crème de la crème of the entire continent’s metal consciousness. That is, if grind can be creamy, which...
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Pig Destroyer, "Terrifyer" Pig Destroyer
Terrifyer
Relapse Records
2004

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Immediately upon hitting "play" with a Pig Destroyer album in your stereo, it becomes clear just how effective grindcore can be, when played with skill and conviction. Unfortunately, that's such a rare occurrence that the entire genre is easily dismissed as juvenile, characterized by a wild flailing of the drummer's limbs, simplistic guitar work, and infantile attempts to emulate J....
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Pig Destroyer, "Prowler in the Yard" Pig Destroyer
Prowler in the Yard
Relapse Records
2001

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Hold on to your asses, because Virginia's Pig Destroyer is going to take you on one hell of a sick and scary ride. The band's second release through Relapse Records, innocuously titled Prowler in the Yard is a 22-track masterpiece of the most brutal, violent and disturbing grind/thrash I've ever heard. Made up of three members [Pig Destroyer has no...
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Red Harvest, "Cold Dark Matter" Red Harvest
Cold Dark Matter
Relapse Records
2001

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Apparently this Norwegian band has been around for quite some time, making bizarre industrial black metal. On Cold Dark Matter Red Harvest lives up to their album title ? they have made some seriously cold, dark metal. Unfortunately, the disc is as unpalatable as it is sinister. Every song seems too disengaged and electronic for...
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Regurgitate, "Sickening Bliss" Regurgitate
Sickening Bliss
Relapse Records
2006

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Sickening Bliss is yet another of Regurgitate’s foul emanations. The cover artwork is perfect (once again) for the material, and their brand of ultra-simple, toilet-gargling grind is not without humor and eloquence. These guys even take the time to slow things down a bit and groove from time to time on the 26 tracks here. Unfortunately, just...
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Regurgitate, "Deviant" Regurgitate
Deviant
Relapse Records
2003

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First of all I should have me head examined for trying to review this album, let me share why. I always like to do a song by song dissection of an album before I type the actual review, which is impossible with grind. By the time you get everything sorted out in your head the song is over...
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Regurgitate, "Carnivorous Erection" Regurgitate
Carnivorous Erection
Relapse Records
2000

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Yep, that's a penis on the cover. Yep, there's a person's face on it. And finally, yep, the penis is biting someone's tongue. What can I say to explain why I listen to death metal? In light of Regurgitate's cover artwork on Carnivorous Erection I am a bit at a loss for words. This...
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Rwake, "Voices of Omen" Rwake
Voices of Omen
Relapse Records
2007

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I hope you don't have clean speakers when you put this one, because this might be the dirtiest record of the year. Of course I mean this as the highest of compliments, because this is what sludge is supposed to, nay, meant to be. Everything is so horribly distorted that this album could qualify as black metal even...
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Shape of Despair, "Angels of Distress" Shape of Despair
Angels of Distress
Relapse Records
2001

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Angels of Distress is 5 tracks, over 54 minutes, of dirgy, depressing doom metal from Finland. This album is not meant to be listened to on the individual song basis, but rather played in its entirety, while doing some chores, be it writing a paper, driving, or just sitting in the chair, late at night, although that might bring some...
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Skinless, "Skinflick" Skinflick
Relapse Records
2004

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Besides being a brutal death metal machine, Skinless are a bunch of berserk, fun lovin’, crazed individuals, as evidenced on this video. It’s one of those composite things, songs broken up by bits of road humor, candid interviews, and some outright stupid but hellfuckinglarious antics by the band, their friends, and assorted random crack heads, homeless people, and...
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Skinless, "From Sacrifice to Survival" Skinless
From Sacrifice to Survival
Relapse Records
2003

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Skinless have been a deathmetal powerhouse since their inception but also regarded as very generic by most. Now after acquiring Origin's premier drummer John Longstreth they have found the opportunity to rise above their generic label. From Sacrifice To Survival is just a massive effort that utilizes probably some of the hugest riffs and breakdowns I've ever heard. After his...
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Skinless, "Foreshadowing Our Demise" Skinless
Foreshadowing Our Demise
Relapse Records
2001

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Plain and simple, Skinless plays average, heavy death metal. The vocals are guttural, the guitars, down tuned, the drums are working overtime, and the bass is audible and independent of the rest of the music sometimes. Though the music on Foreshadowing Our Demise is not at all ground breaking, the band does have some...
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Soilent Green, "A Deleted Symphony for the Beaten Down" Soilent Green
A Deleted Symphony for the Beaten Down
Relapse Records
2001

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Louisiana's Soilent Green has made quite a name for itself in the underground after only two full-lengths and a three song EP. On the band's third album A Deleted Symphony for the Beaten Down, these swamp rockers don't really impress me much. The songs are a confusing mix of sludge in the vein of Eyehategod and off-kilter blasting...
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Soilent Green, "A Deleted Symphony for the Beaten Down" Soilent Green
A Deleted Symphony for the Beaten Down
Relapse Records
2001

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New Orleans' Soilent Green is back with another offering of their swampcore death sludge. Hailed by Rolling Stone as one of the ten most important hard and heavy bands, A Deleted Symphony For The Beaten Down is supposed to represent the new and exciting chapter in the band's career. While I was excited to hear the new record, my expectations...
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Suffocation, "Suffocation" Suffocation
Suffocation
Relapse Records
2006

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Upon catching wind that Suffocation considered 2004's Souls to Deny somewhat of a warm-up before they would truly make their triumphant return, I was more than a little skeptical. It just doesn't make sense. If you know something isn't the best you have to offer, why put it out? Why not spend some extra time tweaking the songs or maybe...
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Suffocation, "Souls to Deny" Suffocation
Souls to Deny
Relapse Records
2004

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From all the press, and all the people at shows I've heard saying shit like, "damn, I wish Suffocation would get back together!" I take it that the band's reunification on Souls to Deny is a big deal. Having never been a fan of them in the past, however, it's kind of hard for me to see exactly what...
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Suffocation, "Souls to Deny" Suffocation
Souls to Deny
Relapse Records
2004

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And so the prodigal returns to the carved gash, intent on destroying the infestation of poseurs and imitators. Suffocation have come clawing back from beyond the wall of sleep and are feeding on the brains of those crushed beneath their hobnailed boots. Well, something like that. No denying that Suffocation is...
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Sulaco, "Sulaco" Sulaco
Sulaco
Relapse Records
2003

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There is one simple formula in most of extreme metal - *blast* *blast* *blast* repeat. Sulaco are not really a part of the formula. In fact I'm not sure if they are part of any formula whatsoever. While not a weird band, the atmosphere and influences in Sulaco range into all sorts of territories. Harsh metalcore, droning sludge and just...
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The End, "Elementary" The End
Elementary
Relapse Records
2007

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When I first caught wind of The End back in the Transfer Trachea days, I immediately fell in love with their unique brand of spazzy technical metal. They gained a ton of Dillinger Escape Plan comparisons, but their sound was much darker and brooding with a lot of emphasis on dissonance and weird chord phrasings. Their low-end bass presence and...
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The End, "Transfer Trachea Reverberations from Point : False Omniscient" The End
Transfer Trachea Reverberations from Point : False Omniscient
Relapse Records
2003

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The End, play a mind-warping 21 minutes of technical hardcore/metal noise on their Relapse Records release of Transfer Trachea Reverberations from Point: False Omniscient. The songs have a certain connection with bands like All Else Failed and Dillinger Escape Plan, though the band isn't as talented, fast or crazy as the latter. ...
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Today is the Day, "Kiss the Pig" Today is the Day
Kiss the Pig
Relapse Records
2004

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Someone ought to start passing a collection plate to help the dudes from Today is the Day afford their antidepressants, because if Kiss the Pig is any indication, they're going to be fucking large doses and extremely expensive! This CD is a bizarre mess, full of blast beats, muffled two-toned screams and purposefully shitty production. The songs are...
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Today is the Day, "Sadness Will Prevail" Today is the Day
Sadness Will Prevail
Relapse Records
2002

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My first taste of Today is the Day came in the summer of 1998, when two of my high school buddies and I took a five-hour driving trip from the East Coast to the West Coast of Florida to see a Converge / Today is the Day / Dragbody / Morning Again tour. After the first two bands finished the...
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Today is the Day, "Live 'til You Die" Today is the Day
Live 'til You Die
Relapse Records
2000

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I can only imagine that Today is the Day would be wild to see live. Live Till you Die, though not the best recording of a show, definitely illuminates just how crazy this band could be in concert. It also doesn't help that I am not very familiar with their previous works, so the novelty...
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Today is the Day, "Live 'til You Die" Today is the Day
Live 'til You Die
Relapse Records
2000

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You know you're in for a tough review when the best song on your disc is a Bad Company cover. For fans [and I use that term tightly] only. ...
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Today is the Day, "In the Eyes of God" Today is the Day
In the Eyes of God
Relapse Records
1999

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Steve Austin must be one intense mother fucker. I mean, damn... Okay, so this is not death metal, it's not black metal and it's not grind. There's elements of each, but It's really...
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Various Artists, "Japanese Assault" Various Artists
Japanese Assault
Relapse Records
2003

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First let me give a little intro. There are four bands on this compilation, Senseless Apocalypse, Muga, Realized and Swarrrm. Yes I spelled Swarrrm right. Naturally all of them are from Japan, giving me a chance to see how they do metal in the land of the rising sun. Enough bullshit, let's get on with it. Read More »
Various Artists, "Contaminated 5.0" Various Artists
Contaminated 5.0
Relapse Records
2002

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Props to Relapse for knowing exactly what they want to accomplish when they release a compilation. Contamination 5.0 is a two-disc, 45-song sampler featuring everything the label's got from Amber Asylum to Gorerotted. If you've ever been curious about bands on Relapse Records, this is the album to get?and it's cheap (less than $8,...
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Various Artists, "Contaminated 5.0" Various Artists
Contaminated 5.0
Relapse Records
2002

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OK, I have figured out how to properly review a compilation album. Quite simply, I am going to list here the bands on the compilation that have a full review elsewhere on the site. I think it's more fair that you read a review of a whole album rather than get an incomplete...
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Various Artists, "Brazilian Assault" Various Artists
Brazilian Assault
Relapse Records
2000

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This Relapse Records compilation follows the theme of their Polish Assault album, but this time the geography is South America, Brazil specifically. Since there are four bands contributing mostly demo material, it may be easiest describe the music band by band. The first contribution comes from Abhorrence. Their music is extremely fast, thrashy death...
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Various Artists, "War Dance" Various Artists
War Dance
Relapse Records
1998

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Usually I am not the biggest fan of compilation discs, but War Dance is one massive exception. Containing contributions from In Flames, Arch Enemy, Carnal Forge, Darkane, Naglfar, Armageddon, In Thy Dreams, Dimension Zero, Cryptopsy, and Eucharist, there isn't a single song that even starts to suck. Many of the tracks are rare, some are...
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Warpig, "Warpig [reissue]" Warpig
Warpig [reissue]
Relapse Records
2006

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Along the same lines as their acclaimed Pentagram reissues, Relapse has graced us once again with another slab of heavy music history. Although the name Warpig probably gives the impression of a simple Black Sabbath clone, this band actually has more in common with Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, and Blue Oyster Cult. The main reason you're not hearing Warpig played...
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Yattering, "Murder's Concept" Yattering
Murder's Concept
Relapse Records
2000

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Poland's Yattering, on their Relapse Records debut, Murder's Concept wastes no time with cutesy intros or spoken passages. They just shred. Blast beats galore, massive guitars and super-guttural vocals abound, and through the 10 songs on the album they don't let up. No song slows down, none manage a friendly bridge, Yattering just rips, destroys and conquers. But that's to...
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Zeke, "'Til the Livin' End" Zeke
'Til the Livin' End
Relapse Records
2004

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Zeke take a simple approach to their music. Three band members, short songs, almost certainly a bottle of whiskey and the result is simple, stripped-down rock n' roll. Zeke kicks out the jams like a hard-charging, Motorhead-worshipping garage band with too much money for production. The meat of the album hits right around track six with...
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