“At One With None”: Portrait’s Powerful Heavy Metal Remains Peerless (Interview with Guitarist Christian Lindell)

One of the best and most consistent bands in heavy metal, Sweden’s Portrait started more than fifteen years ago and immediately established themselves as titans of the genre. Youth and a lack of interest in sticking to established waters could not hold the band back, and by their second album they had signed to the legendary Metal Blade Records label. Since then, each album has further refined their personal approach to heavy metal—and now Portrait, though noticeably still the same band they were with their debut in 2008, have arrived at a place where their sound cannot be mistaken for anyone else.

Read the full article at Invisible Oranges:

Entering the Underground #15: Decrepisy Rises In The Pacific Northwest

Geographic change can be hard for musicians. After moving to a new country or state, some people never really recover from losing the support network and creative compatibility from their oldest, closest friends and musical compatriots. Unlike so many other people, Kyle House, formerly of Vastum and Acephalix (among other bands), made the big move from the Bay Area in California to Portland and didn’t miss a beat; his new band Decrepisy is simultaneously extremely reminiscent of his former bands, due to his extremely recognizable style of riffing, while also representing the evolution that comes from years of experience and new collaborators.

Read the full interview at Invisible Oranges:

Ænigmatum “Deconsecrate” Death Metal Through Sublime Strangeness (Early Album Stream + Interview)

Deeply personal, genre-defying releases that completely disregard any and all trends are a big favorite of mine, as I’ve talked about here and there during my time with Invisible Oranges. Who are better at weaving strange and surprising influences than Portland’s Ænigmatum? I’ll tell you who—damn near nobody. Their new album Deconsecrate drops in just a few days on 20 Buck Spin and has been drumming up some well deserved hype via the early singles; technical without being soulless, melodic without being saccharine, and at nearly all times incredibly fast and aggressive, the album is a true wonder of what talented and inspired musicians can do even playing in a genre that’s been well established for some 30-odd years.

Read the full article at Invisible Oranges:

Entering the Underground #14: Starlight Ritual’s Classic Metal Is “Sealed in Starlight”

As popular and influential as the old Dio and Rainbow stuff are and given the strength of the modern heavy metal scene, you’d think that more bands would follow in the footsteps of Holy Diver and Long Live Rock and Roll. Of course there are a handful of bands doing it—Mirror in particular comes to mind as the shining pinnacle of that sound for me from the current scene- but all around, there just isn’t much competent material like that out there right now.

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Timelessly Foul: “World Without God” Demonstrated Convulse’s Death Metal Mastery

From the killer Western-sounding instrumental opener that sounds like a prototype for the Westworld soundtrack, it’s immediately obvious that Convulse‘s 1991 debut album World Without God is something special. Time has cemented its place as an undeniable classic of the legendary Finnish death metal scene, and today Convulse honor that legacy by largely ignoring their other albums when they tour to exclusively do full World Without God sets in accordance with rabid fan demand. It has been some 30 years since the album came out (releasing initially in July 1991), and it holds up particularly well in today’s sewage- and heaviness- obsessed death metal climate as an essential building block towards the ultra-disgusting sounds that are so popular.

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Entering the Underground #13: Hexorcist Summons “Evil Reaping Death”

Florida has a long history with death metal of all sorts. Both the most primordial sounds and more musically developed ones thrived through the ‘80s and ‘90s, particularly in Tampa but to some extent across the whole state. Unfortunately, that largely stopped after the ‘90s, but even if the scene is a shadow of what once was, Florida still has cool bands.

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“The Appearing”: Karloff’s Bloody, Blackened Punk is Here to Haunt (Early Album Stream)

One of the most satisfying and simple sounds in the realm of punk and metal is the intersection of black metal, speed metal, and punk. Venom did it first and best all the way back with Welcome to Hell in 1981, but a variety of sonic territories still remain to be explored without straying too far from those earliest British roots. Midnight takes the same sound as Venom and throws in even more sleaze and heavy metal melodies, Barbatos do it with a heavy influx of dirty thrash, Nekrofilth add in death metal, and Karloff take it all the way back to the hardcore side of the mix, drawing on easy to play but hard to master punk chords to the point that, as of now, they aren’t even on the Metal Archives.

Read the full article on Invisible Oranges: https://www.invisibleoranges.com/karloff-the-appearing/

Entering the Underground #12: Obsolete’s High Speed Death/Thrash Will Never Die Out

As with many of the bands I cover in this column, Obsolete play a sort of music that’s both regressive with roots in the ‘80s and ‘90s but that’s very much out of fashion. In this case, they play a rarified sort of technical death/thrash that calls back to the old greats – Atheist, Cynic, Death, and their ilk – without unnecessarily repeating what any of those bands already accomplished. Obsolete’s debut album, Animate//Isolate, is immediately ear-catching from the first riff because the onslaught of technical, big-bass songwriting is just so damn unusual these days; most genuinely accomplished death metal musicians that want to play something in that direction lean more towards the Necrophagist school of death, and guys that are worshipping an earlier time are largely playing much simpler music.

Read the full article at Invisible Oranges: