Friday, May 17, 2013
The darker Aggressa gets, the better the results, but unfortunately the verse riffs to cuts like "Break Down the Walls" or "Torture and Pain" feel like your standard British fare circa Priest, Venom and Motörhead had already mastered well before this. Mid-paced stuff with some lighter palm muted picking that will then erupt into a more punkish chord anthem, but I can't say there was a single series of notes here that in any way surprised me or had me drooling to listen further. The leads are frivolous, noisy middle fingers that arrive unceremoniously where you'd expect them. There's a particular charm to the lewd and churning tone with its primitive distortion levels, and the singer's angry enough to pull off his own charisma, coming off with a bit of punk/crossover/splatter vibe. But you're just not getting the sort of memorable chorus patterns you'd expect from this period. Kind of a bar band atmosphere being created; sure, you'd look up from the bottom of your cup/misery, and perhaps even throw the blokes the horns, but it's not about to replace Kill 'Em All or Sign of the Hammer in your stereo, or even make it onto your stereo. The drums are ratty and crashy sounding, the bass lines rarely interesting even when bouncing along on their own (the intro to the "Phantom Stage Diver"), and both contribute to this sort of 'diamond in the rough, OF the rough' mentality popular in today's underground, where people are constantly trying to unearth more underground materials like this.
It's a bit meaner sounding than the average commercial/trending radio metal of the day, and has more in common with Canadian groups like Exciter or Piledriver musically than Quiet Riot or the Scorpions, but most of the guitars still seem pretty familiar even for '88. I also have to say, even if the bonus demo versions included with the Nuclear Death EP are even filthier and cruder in production, they benefit from a more vivacious, DIY atmosphere to the extent that I preferred them. "Religious Bloodshed", which is likely the most entertaining and smile-inducing tune on the release, with some whacky higher pitched vocals breaking out in the chorus and easily the best guitar riffs, also wasn't part of the EP, so I'm glad they threw that on here as a bonus. Ultimately, though, too many of the tracks suffered from stale riffing. There's certainly a core audience of rare metal connoisseurs and rabid Metalucifer/Abigail fanatics who will eat this shit alive, but aside from its attitude and obscurity, this just wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed musically, which might be why I'd never heard of it. I warmed up a few times to the rawness of the spectacle, but the songs themselves just didn't hook me.
Verdict: Indifference [5.5/10]
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Of course, just how 'death metal' this album is/was will vary by perspective. Treacherously little of the morbid tremolo-styled riffs or crushing palm-muted grooves one would expect. Personally I find it to be a more hyperactive mesh of speed and thrash metal with some more-aggressive-than-normal vocals had they been on an 80s record; almost as if you cranked up the celerity of Possessed, welded in some wild licks that wouldn't have been out of question for Dave Mustaine to perform in his prime, and perhaps a hint of other psycho blitzers like Whiplash, (early) Exodus and Dark Angel for good measure. Splatter speed. Morbid Saint and Ripping Corpse might also be decent reference points, but for my money, both of them had transitioned further over into the death spectrum. The drums of Bud Mills, though, could definitely be counted among the Hoglans and Lombardos in their impact on more extreme metal later. But regardless of its precise classification, Death After Death is the sort of invigorated, energizing affair that occasionally eschews rhyme and reason for a crash bang wallop of accelerated abuse that might damn well appeal to thrash/speed purists, proto-death mavens, or even those crossover fans who like a more metallic centrism to the material. It's not incredibly memorable, but it very much puts me back into that mid to late 80s mood (rather than the 90s in which it was dropped).
Calculated, spastic street riffing dominates pieces like "Attack of Archangels", "Morbid Lust", and "Blood for Blood" (coincidentally my favorites here), but the band sounds cruel and raw even when slowing to a mid-paced neck straining sequence. The leads are lunacy given flesh, flashy and spurious but not so gratingly atonal and caustic as, say, Slayer. The drums are definitely capable of sustaining a double bass rampage, and the kicks and snappy snares definitely distinguish themselves in the mix. Bass playing here is pretty busy too, but subjugated by the rhythm guitars, unfortunately pretty standard for thrash of the late 80s/early 90s. What I'm most impressed with are the surgical sounding lead/melody lines embedded into riffs like the one at the minute mark in "Possession", or leading off "Rotting Decay", which coincidentally also has some of the best bass guitar progressions on the record. Interestingly enough composed that I think Insanity lives up to their (rather generic) name, and might have had a more visible career in technical thrash ala later Nasty Savage had they only arrived with this full-length a few years earlier (they were still doing demos for much of the 80s).
I should also say that the vocals here are quite primal and abusive, occasionally with a little growl to the sustained notes, but otherwise like a mix of Don Doty, Nasty Ronnie and Jeff Becerra. Over the top and murderous barking which often sounds like a one-man gang shout. They really don't have much by way of a memorable chorus anywhere, but most of the tunes are at least as exhilarating as a night at the zoo when a predator becomes uncaged and starts mutilating the guests. Insanity also tries its hand at acoustic passages ("In Memory") and exhibit some classical picking/training; feels thinly produced, and a little out of place and disjointed with the metal intensity, but hinting at broader musical tastes. In the end, while I wasn't entirely in love with the album, there are at least 5-6 tunes on Death After Death which are pedal to the metal, balls out ballistic exercises worth pursuing. A marginal cult classic status is deserved, and with the vastly improved cover artwork for the new gatefold vinyl, it might be time for collectors or fanatics for any of the other bands I name-checked in this review to end their negligence and give Insanity a listen. Unless they/you already HAVE, in which case have another golden star.
Verdict: Win [7.5/10]
From the outset of Crystal Castles' third self-titled effort, you can tell not everything is right. Even before listening, the album art invokes some sense of discomfort. It features a hooded figure shrouded in black except for its maniacal grin--female?--embracing a naked male form.
The opening track immediately begins with a nightmarish siren of sorts, perhaps signaling some fel beast coming from planes where reality is unstable. Slowly synths stagger forward methodically, and we hear Alice Glass's voice for the first time. Here she is lulling, but it's not long before her distorted, airy, distant pseudo-punk vocals begin shouting, almost unintelligble, except for one line: "I AM PLAGUE!" Almost as if that is the only part of the song we are meant to understand.
Alice Glass is the unquestionable image of Crystal Castles, adorning most all of its merchandise in offbeat ways. A bloody, Madonna-esque drawing. As two pink, naked succubi with their tongues lolling. That image carries onto the stage, with her torn tights and punk boots, thrifted clothing hanging loosely off her gaunt figure. She drinks directly from a large bottle of vodka in one hand she carries with her frequently, the fiery cherry of her cigarette occasionally flaring up in the dark on stage.
Her performance is littered with her crowdsurfing, while she continues to sing. It's become a fetish of fans to do everything they can to touch her. When she leaps down, there's a sudden surge of bodies forward in the crowd and it's easy to find yourself completely flattened on all sides, like Kirby. There's other assorted hijinks that, perhaps, should stay with those who saw that individual show. Needless to say, Alice is a miscreant.
Ethan Kath, who represents half of Crystal Castles, is less prominent yet equally impressive. He was honored, along with Alice, together, as the #1 Icons of 20 Years at Lollapalooza. Live, he is found usually slumped over, tinkering with his keys and nobs and pedals and switches, typically quiet except to occasionally berate the crowd for not being loud enough.
Interestingly, though Kath and Glass both come from punk backgrounds, their contemporary music sounds decidedly electronic: specifically (III). Certain tracks would make instant dance club favorites, especially one track called "Sad Eyes," whereupon its beginning literally everyone in the crowd started jumping up and down rapidly. A personal favorite for obvious reasons.
Each song is beautifully cut from the same fabric, customized and woven back together into a beautiful quilt of dark, electronic goodness where dark lords command skeletal stormtroopers, as the landscape slowly fades into a pixellated, poisoned point in the distance. Faded black, shot through with purple, blue, pink and blinding white. Banners of false prophets streaming in the wind.
Perhaps the most charming thing to me about Crystal Castles is its refusal to take itself too seriously. Alice and Ethan make a true spectacle of a show, and played almost two sets when I saw them. They're a true treat, and to venture sounding like a fanboy, one of my favorite acts. I often pine to relive the show I saw, a bittersweet feeling.
Post-it note: Doldrums was impressive as the first act, featuring an odd looking frontman who spent most of his time singing using a custom-built suitcase with vocal effects built in it to make himself sound female or terrifying, and anything else he desired. The band is unique and worth investigating.
Verdict: Epic Win [9.314159.../10]
you can't disguise sad eyes
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
That's not to say that I love this album, but it's certainly one of those cases where I admire the consistency and craftsmanship on exhibition. The pacing and construction, for example, of how they build "Descended Lamentations" from a miasma of solemn ambiance and depressive, repetitive clean guitar plucking to a rush of dissonant, crud-encased chords and then even some slower, doom-spawned harmonies in its depths. Or "Convict All Flesh", the 18+ minute piece which opens with similar, sluggish doom guitars and a convocation of snarls and rising ethereal background swells to another fit of corrosive, moderately blasted mayhem. I was a bit letdown again that the quality of these epics played out in a very plane-like nature, where repetition and lack of climactic transitions led to an expanse of flat emotions that were so rarely exciting or anomalous. The architecture is quite predictable and typically shifts between two tempos. But there's enough atmosphere and fine tuning that I never feel groggy or completely uninterested in what's coming next. There are more riffs to experience throughout, and the quality has been tweaked so that about 50% of them are actually interesting, though often looped around a few measures too much for my liking.
Scandinavian-styled progressions, with a bit more Sweden than Norway in the melody department, are measured off against feeds of rougher discord, or majestic lamentation. Clearly there's a hint of the until recently trending 'blackgaze' or post-rock to some of the woozier guitar lines, but I was surprised at just how 'traditional' much of the writing felt, as if it wouldn't have been out of place in the second-third waves of the early through mid 90s. The drumming is efficient enough through the tunneling double bass patterns and the steady snares, but I didn't find a lot of character there, almost as if the beats were too subordinate to the whole idea of an existential meditation rather than the vicious intensity we so often find in the genre. The bass guitars are seeped in appropriate ooze, but yet often just wailing away in a tremolo pattern that sacrifices the possibility of further expanding the music's melodic dimensions for pure, anchored texture. Interestingly, the vocals are quite sparse in terms of syllabic delivery. Very often, they're used as just another instrument which grinds off against the nihilistic gray nebula Ash Borer inhabits, but then again, I cannot imagine another style being used here aside from the standard, gnarled rasp.
All told, even if there were a number of minutes where I would find myself checking the clock, I found that I was able to develop a stronger relationship to Cold of Ages than its predecessor. Just not to the extent that I'd flag it to friends as 'you've GOT to hear this', or that I'd reach for it over countless hundreds of other black metal efforts that are more entertaining, revelatory or abusive. The songs are quite long and some might argue 'pretentious' for the number of interesting twists and turns they actually deliver, but if you constantly find yourself with 60+ minutes to kill, you can get lost in its bleak cosmos for a spell; which I'm sure is the point of the thing. Decent US black metal which is likely to appeal to fans of other, like minded 'Cascadian' artists (Agalloch, WITTR). A little less dynamic, maybe, but it beats the hell out of the janky and disjointed diuretics of frustrating groups like Liturgy or Krallice, who only ever feel 'half on' at best.
Verdict: Win [7/10]
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Definitely conjured recollections of the first few Incantation records, only with a more muscular guitar tone, and vocals that are less abyssal, cavernous and unnerving. And when I say 'muscular', I mean that the amps sound like they're about to bust open under the strain of the chords. Most of the material is either molded into steady, mid-paced tremolo guitars that are either muted or writhing open, but they'll occasionally snap off into a solid blast beat, or a seriously weird and evil groove slightly reminiscent of Demilich. The vocals have a dense, bloody brutishness to them which is not exactly dynamic, but rings out like a pastiche of all your favorite death metal front men from the 90s (Benton, Reifert, Dolan, Vincent, Willetts, Pillard, etc). Drums are a bit poppy sounding, especially against the churning necrobulk of the rhythm guitars, but you can still distinguish them through the speakers. Same could be said for the bass, which blends in all too smoothly with the rhythm guitars to stand against them unless you can hear the fuzzy lines alone (like where they hit a few notes in "Aeons of Spectral Morbidity"). But hey, at least the rhythm guitars sound fat and festering, and the frightening, uncontrolled leads that rip off into the atmosphere add a nice ghoulish necrotouch to the proceedings.
I was impressed by the note selection in the first tune here ("Dimensions of Necromancy"), which is also the strongest, since it played with familiar patterns by imbuing some interesting necrolines, but the further I went into the 4 cuts and 20 minutes, the less impressed I became. It's all very consistent in style, but perhaps too much so, and it becomes a bit difficult to pick out much individuality beyond those messy, cemetery necroleads. The last tune "The Equinox of Unburied Ones" had some cool, down shifted 'narrative' vocals that added a nice chill alongside the growling, but other than that this is all straight-to-the-face-with-a-graveyard-spade, wretched death metal that aesthetically, beyond the voluminous production values, tends to ignore any and all developments in the genre over the last 20 years. Which is exactly why some folks are going to love the shit out of it, but I came off thinking it decent yet unable to hold my attention for very long. At any rate, if an unholy union between Incantation, Bolt Thrower, Autopsy, Demilich and Blessed Are the Sick era Morbid Angel sounds necrodelicious, then give these guys a necrotasting. Their music, I mean.
Verdict: Win [7/10]
Aesthetically, the guitars remind me a lot of the Scandinavian camp, in particular some of Satyr's playing on the mid-era Satyricon releases. Or maybe a bit of Quorthon/Bathory's earlier Viking-era riffing, or later Immortal. However, Klein imbues a lot of gladiatorial atmosphere in his chord choices ("Anxiopath", etc), so you feel like you're witnessing the carnal festivities from the side street of a bullfight, or the bleachers of an arena soon to be slaked with blood. Lots of intricate, airy chords being slung around, he's not just interested in pure, unchecked savagery. That said, he also incorporates spurts of fairly technical, dextrous muted phrases that create a contrast against the more solemn, expressive black metal chords. The drums are simply fantastic throughout, whether he's laying out a full-on double bass barrage, blast or something rock-based. Bass lines are imbued with lots of melody that plays to the strength of the rhythm guitar without necessarily copying it, and this circles on back to what I was mentioning earlier about the sheer balance of the record. No one instrument really outshines the rest, which is a rarity for solo acts in this medium. As for the vocals, they're your typical deep retching snarls, but he'll occasionally use some understated, rustic cleans ("Rites of Contrition", "Pain of Purity") which remind me of other folk-influenced black metal acts like Enslaved.
In fact, 90s/00s Enslaved is a great comparison for Ave Noctem overall, even if this is less atmospheric, progressive or mind-blowing. Riffs are varied to prevent even the longest tracks from becoming boring, and melody and aggression are meticulously counter-weighted to keep the composition fresh. You definitely get an epic heavy metal undercurrent in some of the tunes that might remind you of I's Between Two Worlds or the last two Immortal discs. The writing is both glorious and hostile in equal measures, especially some of the faster runs in "The Prodigious Plight", and the album's got itself at least a good dozen riff patterns that stick in your thoughts well after listening. I'd like to hear some exciting, sticky leads in here, but the fact that he's already pulling quadruple duty sort of exempts their presence. There aren't a lot of heavily experimented touches that change styles, with the exception of the titular interlude "Ave Noctem", spacious but brief post-rock piece with drifting, cleaner guitars. Lyrics are actually a bit unusual for this genre, since they are deeply internal/personal and have a doom-like quality about them. But ultimately, to think that it's all just one person is pretty shocking, since you don't usually get such a complete package. We're not talking the intentionally under-polished, grimy atmospheric depressive BM like you'd expect out of Striborg or Xasthur. No, if someone told you this was a new four-piece from Norway, you'd be hard-pressed to disbelieve it. Klein is THAT seasoned, and this debut is an obvious labor of love, which I obviously liked.
Verdict: Win [7.75/10]
Monday, May 13, 2013
The title track ranges from ritual, dark intro ambiance, to a noisy, blasting epileptic seizure, to a morass of monolithic, dreary crushing doom over which a searing, depressive melody ranges, like watching cattle graze on some fiery plain of Hell. They even bust out a monstrous, roiling thrash passage near the close of the tune (and another in "Terror of the Cosmos"). Guitars have a tone the consistency leprous, festering flesh, while the bass lines are so corrosive that they could probably cleanse the nastier tile grout on your bathroom floor. Drums manifest a steady, crashing diatribe that functions beautifully alongside the genuine rawness of the riff progressions, and the vocals here are like a mixture of Martin van Drunen's coarse, grotesque guttural sustain with fits of unintelligible raving that reminded me of early filth-grind like Napalm Death's Scum, or some of the most suicidal post-Burzum black metal you can imagine. In fact, it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility to imagine the creators of this limiting their influences to that record, as well as the early works of Autopsy, Nihilist, Repulsion, Slayer, Possessed, Asphyx and Carcass. Nothing here sounds as if it was conceived past maybe 1991-2, with the exception of the vast, tumultous vocal mix with loads of reverb echoing out over the primal foundation.
Granted, there are only two tracks here, being a 7", and a few folks might already have them from the extremely limited demo they handed out last year, but not a second goes past on this EP in which I don't feel genuinely terrified, or at least as shaken as this style is going to get me being that I'm no longer 12. I can't also claim that the individual components of the sound are also that original or perfect, whether being the choices in production or the riffing choices. Yet the way it all comes together like the mismatched limbs of a composite corpse in some Frankenstein lab definitely feels fresh and revitalized despite its hideous throwback stench. Few such younger bands are capable of such ugly songwriting that manages to retain itself in the listener's memory, even without the presence of novel melodies or terribly impressive riffs, but ZOM is so meticulously balanced on the precipice of revulsion and control that I just can't get enough of these songs. A win for Iron Bonehead Productions and for anyone who enjoys a whiff of a freshly opened tomb or unearthed grave. Death and puke forever.
Verdict: Win [8.75/10]
Sunday, May 12, 2013
This is not some lost suite from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It's a putrid excretion of murky, churning rhythm guitars whose riffing tropes are drawn from a plethora of archaic extreme metal and hardcore sources, driven by an often monotonous, moderately paced blasted drum kit, and then smothered in guttural vocal corruption which is little more than a primitive war-bark which varies only in how long the singer decides to sustain his wretched, gravelly intonation. Spurts of tremolo picking and an occasional, lurching sequence (like those in "Hobo of Nazareth" or the closer "It Is Done...") are about the intercessions the listener will receive from the constant battering, and this is not an album one should seek out for exquisite musicality or even a small dynamic range. The merest of variations is provided, but in general they're not beyond a one trick pony. Experienced in strings of two or three songs, I didn't sense much tedium setting in, but listening straight through the entirety of the play length does strain on the nerves. Then again, I'd argue that the audience for this strain of aggression is rarely interested in balanced musicality or rampant tempo shifting, and to be fair, there are brief moments of pure atmosphere (like the intro or the male chant opening "Hobo...") which seek to break up the all too-streamlined songwriting.
As hinted above, I didn't love a lot of the individual riffs. They're efficient and bruising enough, and changed up through even the shorter of tracks, but feel like a pastiche of familiar progressions culled from the black, death and grind precursors of the 80s ranging from Hellhammer to Repulsion, configured with aesthetic choices redolent of Canadian war/death of the 90s. The note positioning is rarely evil or menacing sounding of its own accord, that only comes into the picture through the sum nihilism of the rhythm section and vocals. I think some wailing, nasty melodies or more dissonant chords would have added texture and dimension, since the album is too earnestly dry and dirty. Also, the bass lines exude a turbulent presence but often just support the rhythm guitar to the music's detriment. Despite these setbacks, though, I was able to enjoy the record on a purely visceral level, where the revulsion is also the attraction, and there's something quite honest about its bare-flayed, hostile intentions which is sure to appeal to a lot of bands on the Nuclear War Now!, Hell's Headbangers and of course Iron Bonehead imprint.
Verdict: Win [7.25/10]
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Enormous, blocky, over-the-top rhythm guitars pummel along with dense patterns of tremolo picked notes and mystique, Eastern flavored chord progressions, while the drums thunder under as if they were triggered fault lines about to unleash cataclysms upon the surface world. Meanwhile, the vocals take on a more ghastly guttural intonation that occasionally is interspersed with an ominous, cleaner male choir effect that takes A Life Not Worth Living into the realm of unnerving ritual. Further texture is applied with faint backing organs that hover over the breadth of the riffs, and the result is as if you were trapped in some cathedral that had sunk below the Earth, in which twisted, deviant clergy conducted arcane rituals with no regards to morality. The drumming is potent and raw rather than seeking a brickwalled exhibition of technicality, but Corn is still just as capable of letting loose as he was on Elvenefris or Maniac Butcher's Masakr. He merely chooses not to overthink the structure of the riffing, and let the warlike fills and suffocating blasts beat in the listener's head like giant, ugly wooden hammers, which is rather effective when Vlad is pursuing a more punkish chord sequence as in "G.G. Funeral". And even more potent alongside an engrossing, simplistic tremolo repetition like that in the heart of "A Dead Oracle".
Ultimately, while not devoid of a more glorious surge of melody here or there ("DeathKaos"), the EP is best suited to when you just want a fast channel to the abyss. Like the cover artwork, you can envision yourself plummeting directly into some rocky, corpse-strewn cervix of damnation, and any attempt to spread your wings ends with their quick, atmospheric incineration. Death Karma does not skimp on the variation, and there are a lot of slower breaks that help round out the overall momentum of the 18 minutes, as well as a nice balance of death-based muted low-end riffing to help balance out the more brazen black metal explosions; but trust me, the burden here is quite claustrophobic and consistent across all four cuts. Definitely something that will impress those who enjoy calamitous, but layered productions, or something more forceful and vivid in its destruction than a lot of other throwback death/black metal hybrids. Imagine a mix of Marduk or Enthroned's more modern (21st century), unhinged atmospheric output with bands like Muknal or Incantation who use a lot of faster riffing in sync with their subterranean inclinations, and you may arrive at A Life Not Worth Living. Should prove interesting to see how the duo might fill out a full-length of material, but this is a suitable start which will no doubt win some buzz.
Verdict: Win [7.75/10]
Friday, May 10, 2013
Have to admit, from the cover artwork I was expecting some raw, primitive recording of black/death or black/thrash/war metal, so imagine my surprise when it was actually tightly executed old school death metal with a reasonable level of polish to the guitars. Probably the most uncouth and out of control element would be the vocals, which temper an ominous, deep guttural punctuation with loads of reverb and atmosphere, plus a more impish rasping edge that applies some variation and character. The guitars, though, have a very focused, low-end crunch to them that immediately recounts the more slamming sensation you felt from the earliest of 'brutal' death metal ("Beyond the Grave"), but then they'll intersperse all these diabolical Slayer school melodies, or some haunting and possessed tremolo rhythms that frighten me almost as much as the first time I heard the bridge to "Chapel of Ghouls". Despite the fact that much of the riffing integration would feel simplistic to today's death maven who has been exposed to far more technical material, nothing here is so debased or primitive that it feels thoughtlessly calculated. There's a lot of texture and pacing over the course of Backyard Mortuary's debut. Time was spent writing this: and thus, my time is not wasted in listening to it!
Lure of the Occult has everything. Slower, churning grooves in which you can really feel the breadth of the chords as you once could for a band like Obituary on Cause of Death. In a few places, it might even pass for a death/doom hybrid. But then there are the more clinical, taut, accelerated passages which seem like an unholy merger of Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse and Immolation near the dawn of the 90s, with these harrowing and dissonant fields of possibility that feel like a hundred tombs being cracked open at once. The bass guitar has a good, clean tone which ramps up the meat of the rhythm guitars, while the drums can easily spout out an interesting blast or fill or some great, cadence-like structuring to the palm muted grooves (like in "Mutation"). No two tunes sound quite the same, but the vocals really gel them all together, so ghastly and huge and grotesque whether they're mounting the slower, Cyclopean surges of "Deprivation" or the thrashing repulsion of "Macabre Butchery", which is hands down a great tune and one the best singular retro death pieces I've heard lately.
No, it's not all so insanely catchy, nor does it surpass the many albums it owes its own existence to, but it's a great example of how nostalgia doesn't necessarily need to take on the form of some horribly underproduced or cavernous atmosphere (though the vocals fit that bill) to feel appreciably archaic. Death metal bands of that era were generally striving towards better mixes and sounds themselves, and Backyard Mortuary does honor to the realities of the period rather than a skewed perception many younger fans might have. I loved that nothing on this record felt underdeveloped. The leads are well placed and exciting, the rhythms varied up and rarely ineffective, and even the longer numbers like "Mutation" and "Demons Blood" managed to fill out their britches without wearing out their welcome. Ultimately, Lure is quite a good album, and those of you who have enjoyed the quality roots death metal of acts like Nocturnal Torment, Necrovation, Skeletal Remains, Disma, Horrendous (among many others) would do well to sink your fangs into its articulate, engaging flesh.
Verdict: Win [8.25/10]