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Album Reviews

SAHON: Blood Shall Be Paid: 4

South Korean thrash veterans SAHON, will be released their seventh LP Blood Shall Be Paid via the American label Brutal Records on March 8th, 2024. SAHON's upcoming album, "Blood Shall Be Paid" is a nine-track blitzkrieg of thrash metal that hits like a sonic avalanche. This album doesn't just start strong; it explodes with an unrelenting ferocity and a speed that feels like a sonic assault from start to finish. It's a relentless onslaught that showcases SAHON's mastery honed over decades. 

The scorching, swarm-like riffs, reminiscent of classic thrash metal, trade blows with pneumatic force, evoking an unhinged intensity that surges through the veins like wildfire. And as if that wasn't enough, brace yourself for the solo—an unexpected delight that slithers and shrieks with demonic fervor, infused with hints of the band's Korean heritage. ‘Blood Shall Be Paid’ is not just a album—it's a declaration of war, a testament to the unyielding power of thrash metal in its most extreme form. This is an early favorite album!

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At the Plates: Omnivore: 3

Need a little humor in your life. Even the darkest metal head laughs every now and then. If you like death metal and humor, enter At the Plates! Death metal’s culinary conjurers AT THE PLATES recently completed their sophomore full-length album and it's ready to launch from your plates to your ears! Omnivore is the follow up to 2020’s Starch Enemy. Take a generous helping of Gothenburg’s 1990’s death metal, add two cups of Floridian death metal, one and a half tablespoons of New York death metal, and finally a teaspoon or two of dissonant black metal popularized by DEATHSPELL OMEGA. Stir together, set in the oven at 666 degrees for 20 minutes, and voila! You’ve got yourself an idea of what to expect when listening to AT THE PLATES. The upcoming full length Omnivore takes a slightly more serious approach from the band's previous releases. The central theme of the album is ‘you are what you eat’ while still retaining their brutal sound and delivering light-hearted lyrics. Omnivore is a tasty treat. The album's opener "With Their Cutlets" is about a maniac killing his neighbors and turning them into dinner. This song highlights that you never really know where your food is coming from! "Terminal Filet Disease" directly ties into the central theme of the album. It’s meant to serve as a warning and also a beacon of hope that if you’re unhappy with yourself, it’s not too late to change. This track sees Danica Amore (ex-CAB RIDE HOME) belt out her fiery vocals on the 7+ minute epic. Taking an out of this world turn, "Roastwell 47" is about a group of drunk college students try to break into Roswell and are kidnapped and forced to eat extra-terrestrial cooking. "Open Buffet Surgery" follows a guy with an insatiable appetite who visits his local buffet and wreaks havoc. It’s about food addiction, and features crushing gutturals from Ryan Wolanski (SLAMADEUS). 

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Xoth: Exogalactic:3

Seattle’s Xoth has evoked fan and critical acclaim for their innovative approach to extreme metal. Exogalactic, is an ambitious leap forward. It’s as if they've excavated musical relics from Earth's core and melded them with sounds from the far reaches of the universe. Each song is an event horizon, stirring subgenres into a timewarp of past and future sonic chaos. Amidst the vortex of sound, the mixing sorcery of Joe Cincotta at Full Force Studio (Obituary, Suffocation) manifests an auditory odyssey and the artwork of Shindy Reehal at Shindy Design sets the tone for the voyage. Xoth is not just music; it's a journey across the celestial landscape led by interstellar luminaries. This is an album that will need multiple spins.

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Aborted: Vault of Horrors: 3

ABORTED have been one of the pioneers of death metal and have annihilated friend and foe with relentless intensity and an uncompromising mix of flawless technicality and raw emotion.  On March 15th, they return with their 12th album, "Vault of Horrors." The 10 tracks pay tribute to a horror cult classic and ranges from obligatory cuts such as ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ (to be found on 'Death Cult’) or ‘Halloween’ (‘The Shape Of Hate’) to the more recent ‘The Mist’ to be discovered on ‘Malevolent Haze’. True to themselves, it wouldn’t be an ABORTED reference without an odious homage to none other than shit daemon ‘The Golgothan.’ With this deadly alliance, Vault of Horrors is an epic journey where listeners are thrust into a world of intense brutality, characterized by lightning-fast guitar riffs, intricate, pummeling drum patterns and monstrous vocals that leave no room for respite. With this new release, ABORTED have not only once again proven their dominance in the world of death metal but leaped to new heights.

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No Terror in the Bang: Heal: 4

No Terror in the Bag return with another phenomenal album. The band's name refers to a phrase by Alfred Hitchcock, evoking the calm before the storm and the tension of his films: "There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it." Crammed with unusual musical twists and turns, the band's second album "Heal" shows a different level of balance and composure than their previous album "Eclosion", which surprised fans with its dichotomy between heavy rhythms and triumphant cinematic orchestrations. 

Featuring ten new tracks, "Heal" is a more brutal effort where vocalist Sofia Bortoluzzi uses her full vocal range, shifting between passionate, melodic cleans and some brutal growls. This album is the first of 2024 that must be picked up!

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Fuming Mouth: Last Day of Sun: 2

A fiery, resurrected rage barrels its way out of hell’s erupting chasms with blistering fury; Fuming Mouth has returned. Lead singer, guitarist, and founder Mark Whelan emerges triumphant after a life-threatening battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, rekindling the inferno of their music with Fuming Mouth's second full-length album, Last Day of Sun. Last Day of Sun roars to life with the opening track, “Out of Time”, setting the stage for a city on the brink of impending darkness. “I'll Find You” delivers a powerful and heavy love song, capturing the essence of knowing you have just one day left to live. Try as they might though, there’s something missing from Last Day of Sun. The opening track is the longest on the album. With that being said, Fuming Mouth still has a sound that is dark and heavy. Only one way to go after this release. Up!

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Ratings:
1. Not so Good
2. Solid
3. Good
4. Excellent
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