GALLERY OF MITES belong to the supergroup category, as it is made up of members of other big names of the stoner scene. The ten-member line-up includes: John Kleiman, Tim Cronin, Phil Caivano, Joe Calandra and Ed Mundell (MONSTER MAGNET members), Stugollin (HALFWAY TO GONE), Tommy Southard (SOLACE), Jim Baligno and Mike Schweigert (LORD STERLING), now how is this for an all-star gathering of stoner souls?
All hell breaks loose especially since DAMNATION saw Resurrection of Azarath released, a compilation and celebration of the good old DAMNATION times. There are no new tracks here, only a selection of past hymns, as well as some rare and previously unreleased songs. The sources vary from previous demos to full-lengths, including two bonus cover versions of KING DIAMOND’s Mansion in Darkness and MORBID ANGEL’s Bleed for the Devil.
Once breathing under the moniker DE PROFUNDIS (I still wonder why it is that Symphonic BM and Goth bands seem to choose this name), AD INFERNA play a not very innovative variant of symphonic BM. Generally speaking, there are a number of obvious (DIMMU BORGIR, CRADLE OF FILTH, EMPEROR) and other not so obvious influences. The first time I heard the CD, I even thought there were some LIMBONIC ART touches to it, but fortunately or not, AD INFERNA never come close to what the Norwegian duo create.
Sometimes, the French scene presents the listener with quite some jewels. Alongside SUBLIME CADAVERIC DECOMPOSITION, French independent INHUMATE are like icons of the UG Grind scene. Never yielding to labels’ pressure and/or demands, the band created their own Grind Your Soul thing, a platform simultaneously used as label and distro, through which they have released most of their (extensive) discography. Independence does not leave quality out, for these blokes do not seem to lack professionalism. A situation which is further enhanced by the fact that he line-up has been stable for the past 10 years.
DEBODIFIED were formed by Jordan Varela (also in the ranks of LUST OF DECAY) in late 2000, alongside guitarist Chris Braunstein. The two musicians set high goals in trying to create the most intense manifestation of Death Metal possible. The debut full-length, Utopia in the Eyes of a Beast, was preceded by a successful 5-song demo which granted DEBODIFIED a deal with Comatose Music. This is the point where Jarrod Sternes joins the band to fulfill his function as a bassist.
Â«IntenseÂ» is a good word to describe the album (although not quite as intense as they would have it), characteristically American in nature (and for once I mean this in a positive sense): technical, brutal and grunted through and through. Drums are good, guitars are now and then hypnotizing, and the songs sound well thought-out. There are breaks, dragged rhythms of chaos, but mostly Death Metal violence. For fans of DISGORGE, IMMOLATION, DISAVOWED or DYING FETUS.
The name CROTCHDUSTER might surely trigger opposite reactions, depending on the musical inclination, the state of mind, amongst millions of other factors. For some, it might imply absolute grind â€“ when nothing could be further from the truth. CROTCHDUSTER is a gem that means humor, sarcasm, good musicianship, excellent concept and is also an excellent means to sum up in one CD virtually every musical style you can think of.
The fact that this band is composed by young men (nowadays at the age of 20 or so) has more or less hindered them from having a wider recognition in the past. Most people seemed not to take their efforts seriously. However, after the release of the Cemeterial GardensÂ demo in 1997, it became clear that the band were playing more than just standard, faithful-to-the-roots Death Metal. Decapitated‘s nowadays almost consecrated status slowly gained its firm roots with the release of yet another demo (The Eye Of Horus) in 1998 and their debut album Winds of Creation through Earacheâ€šWicked World in 2000.
Definitely not inexperienced as far as Black Metal is concerned, Polish Besatt, who have been brought to life in 1991, bring forth their fourth album, titled Sacrifice for Satan. Treading the old Bathory path, with a couple of influences from early German Thrash Metal, and capitalising from a strong (not at all unheard of) antichristian feature, Fulmineus, Beldaroth and Agonus unload all their hatred in eight hymns to Darkness, punctuated by the common places of the genre.