Review by Chop
For those unfamiliar with UKEM Records a quick read through of Jason’s interview with general manager Chris Newby may well be a useful starting point, here. Assuming you want to know more, reviews of three recent releases follow…
Cryostorm – Destroyer Of Ardor
Fans of melodic death metal and metalcore may well find this to their liking. If At The Gates, Heartwork-era Carcass, and In Flames sound like your sort of reference points then you could certainly do a lot worse. It’s executed more than proficiently, the vocalist – thankfully – doesn’t go into clean vocals mode in the chorus, and the lead guitar work showcases their technical abilities well (especially the sweep picking). It runs for forty two minutes and consists of a six track EP, with the same six tracks repeated (albeit in a different sequence) recorded live. This, unfortunately, is where the start of my problems lies. The studio versions suffer from being way too quiet with an overall mix that is somewhat treble heavy; by contrast, the live versions are much bass heavier so that the guitars sound painfully thin. Unless you’re their most ardent fan I really can’t see the point in offering up the same tracks twice. At least the live tracks show that the vocalist introduces the songs clearly which is always a bonus though.
In summary, if you like this sort of thing then you’ll probably like this. It doesn’t help that metalcore, deathcore, and melodic death metal do tantamount to nothing for me, apart from a handful of noteworthy exceptions. Heard a lot of it over the years and it just gets painfully predictable – my score reflects this indifference, not the band’s abilities. Pick of the bunch for me is ‘Beyond Victory’ but this could be down to the inclusion of a proggy/semi polyrhythmic section.
6 out of 10
- Destroyer Of Ardor
- Beyond Victory
- I Am Anomaly
- Funacing (I Defrost)
- Intro(verted) & I Am Anomaly (live)
- Solacing (live)
- Destroyer Of Ardor (live)
- Beyond Victory (live)
- Cryostorm (live)
- Furnacing (I Defrost) (live)
Laceration – Tortured Inauguration
A quick peek at the tracklisting should tell you all you need to know! If brutal death metal in the style of Cannibal Corpse, Ingested, or Cerebral Bore is your style of grot then track this one down.
Five studio tracks pummel away as you’d expect, all cookie monster vocals, scarily fast machine gun blast led sections, and even more scarily slow, crushingly heavy sections, by way of contrast. Quality. Then, for some bizarre reason, three live tracks follow which sound like they’ve been recorded by holding a tape deck over a well whilst the band flay away at the bottom. Treat them as bonus tracks and stick to the first five and you’ll be fine. Laceration show considerable promise; keep your eyes peeled for them touring – I suspect that live they will really come to life. Or should that be death?
7 out of 10
- Check Laceration on Facebook here
- Traumatic Insemination
- Gorging On Putrid Orifices
- Human Tikka Masala
- Force Fed Fecal Matter
- Condemned To Torture
- Flesh Sculpted Atrocity (live)
- Enlightenment Through Introspection (live)
- Human Tikka Masala (live)
Masochist – The Extent Of Human Error
A four track, thirteen minute EP concludes this round up. More death metal, this time from the thrash/death metal boundary frequented by Slayer and Flayed Disciple to name but two. Vocals come predominantly from the cookie monster school, with occasional forays into pig squealing. Musically they’re solid enough, although the lack of bass oomph diminishes their impact somewhat. The songs are all structured well enough though, so get the sound right next time and who knows? At the moment the band sound a little over-deliberate and controlled, with the EP lacking a certain degree of flow and aggression, and the promise of the song titles never being truly delivered. There’s again clear promise here, it remains to be seen if this potential can be fulfilled over the duration of a full length release.
6 out of 10
- Check Masochist out on Facebook here
- Born Fucked
- Crucify The Whore
- Iron Reign
- Mass Murder Operative