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MetalBite's Top 10 Albums of the Month - October 2022

Welcome back to MetalBite's Top 10 Albums of the Month! We've got a huge list of ear-mutilating sonatas lined up as per usual, and as an added bonus, we've got a contribution from a new fourth writer. Lots to be excited about, so no need to waste my time rambling. Enjoy!

-Nate

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Catalyst - A Different Painting For A New World
Non Serviam Records

At times, this seems like it struggles to find an identity amidst all of the different influences and flavours, but that's also just a testament to the sheer range of motion these French folks are able to cover on their second full-length album. These songs rip through acrobatic, brisk sections with an Inferi/First Fragment feel spliced in with choppy grooves a la Gorod and Soreption. The clean vocals are an interesting choice, not necessarily my thing but they don't make me want to turn the song off completely, so they're better than most in that regard.
-Nate


 

Aenaon - Mnemosyne
Agonia Records

Can saxophone just replace symphonics/synths in black metal as to the go-to atmospheric backdrop? White Ward already proved how well it can work, and more bands are realizing its loud, gritty brass tone fills a space that is otherwise absent without detracting from the riffs. Aenaon is one such band, and perhaps the first I've heard that incorporates it into the triumphant exuberance of Greek black metal. The combination of sounds results in some winding, carnivalesque sections but backed up with a starkly serious and triumphant approach to the riffing - it has the feel of Hail Spirit Noir without sounding like them aesthetically, if that makes sense. It doesn't reach emotional heights I never thought possible or anything, but still, Mnemosyne is a consistently interesting and well-composed release, with a lot of artistry and subtleties in the blending of different influences.
-Nate


 

Abyssic - Brought Forth In Iniquity
Osmose Productions

Less is more is a good rule for life and metal criticism alike, and there's a lot to be said for bands that observe this maxim. However, all good contrarians will know that sometimes, more is more, and that is exactly what the listener gets from the opulent third full-length from Norwegian symphonic doom crew Abyssic. Across five lengthy songs, including a monumental eighteen minute closer, the quintet give free reign to their most extravagant impulses, layering the slow motion crawl of the guitars with lush and intricate orchestrations that deliver the kind of immersive cinematic expansiveness that fans of mid-period Dimmu Borgir, or more recently, Aquillus would find very comforting. Although Abyssic arguably lack the brutal emotional depths of Atramentus, or prime Evoken, both of whom are fairly good touchpoints for their brand of neo-classical doom, the delicacy and beauty of some of the cinematic arrangements ensure that wide-eyed wonder takes the place of the despondent anguish that those bands evoke. Brought Forth In Iniquity is an album to get lost in, a rabbit hole to plunge into that continues to reveal new branches with every listen, and given the current state of the real world, there is a persuasive argument for remaining within its warm embrace forever.
-Benjamin


 

Metalian - Beyond The Wall
Temple Of Mystery

Every now and then I get an itch for some wailing falsettos, Maiden-worshipping dual leads, and 80s-themed nostalgic adventure, and Metalian has consistently been one of the unsung heroes of new-age traditional heavy metal. The songs are so well written that it feels like every line is a hook - even if there are choruses, sometimes you like the verses even better. There's a constant sense of "balls to the wall" in the blistering guitars and galloping drums, never losing the pocket. The crown jewel of the whole thing might be the vocalist - although every other musician has some time to stand out, his idiosyncratic, exuberant wail with smartly crafted vocal lines is addictive and makes any track a delight to listen to.
-Nate


 

Deathsiege - Throne Of Heresy
Everlasting Spew Records

Very much in the same vein as Instigate, another recent Everlasting Spew release that was a torrential burst of fast drumming and lots of straightforward tremolo grooves, like the halfway point between the death/grind supremacy of Misery Index and the hellish edge of Imprecation (fuck I forgot they had a new album too and didn't write about it) or Black Witchery. There's a subtle flavor to this that feels novel, like there's more low-end and groove in a typically treble-dominated style, perhaps owing to regional influences - there's not a lot of death metal coming out of Israel, and the stuff that does (Sonne Adam, Venomous Skeleton) doesn't feel like it's just co-opting themes from popular extreme metal bands and strives to create its own atmosphere.

Also, this has a fuckload of blastbeats. You like those, don't you?
-Nate


 

Human Corpse Abuse - Xenoviscerum
Caligari / Selfmadegod / Dark Descent

Goregrind supergroup? Goregrind supergroup. Not to say this is particularly star-studded, moreso featuring notable but underrated artists trying their hand at a less accessible style of music and nailing it. Guitarist Shelby Lerno plays in Vastum, who are well regarded but not necessarily "popular", and Adam Jarvis (Pig Destroyer, Misery Index, Lock Up) is the best drummer in extreme music that no one seems to rave about all that much.

Combined, they make a potent, riff-driven package that makes it apparent both of them have technical skill, but it still comes out caked in grime, screeches, and a haze of filthy noise. It comes at you fast and doesn't overstay its welcome, never ceasing to beat the listener into a pulp with a soup of d-beats, blasts, grind and powerviolence elements, thick, sludgy breaks and a groovy pit stomper of a closing track that features the frontman of Nails. This may have a bunch of death metal influences, but it never stops grinding. Seems like a bit of a fuck-around side project for a few buddies when they're not touring and have time to hang out, but actually ended up good enough that labels are taking notice and it could actually become A Thing. Shittier bands have blown up than this in the past few years, it could totally happen!
-Nate


 

Obsidious - Iconic
Season Of Mist

A power metal-type vocalist joins up with all the dudes who left Obscura a couple years back to make what they all probably wanted the next Obscura album to be (did they really have to go with another band name starting with "Ob"? Just wanted to stick it to Steffen?). It's got a lot more stuttery Soreption riffs (as those seem to be all the rage these days in tech death), and generally more of an expansive sound with a bigger sense of groove. Even though they're usually growers, A Valediction gave me one of the weakest first impressions I've ever got from an Obscura album, so in that sense, I think I might be personally moving over to these folks as my preferred band. This is a solid first volley, but it'll take some more expansion and definition of their sound before I'm a full-fledged fan.
-Nate


 

Riot City - Electric Elite
No Remorse Records

Hell yeah, bust out those Pit Viper sunglasses, Riot City are back in town! This time they dressed up their jaguar to bring destruction over the land. In comparison to the predecessor Burn The Night, which was an amazing premiere album, not too much has changed here. There is a slight line-up augmentation - Guitarist Cale Savy no longer handles vocals, with those being taken up by Jordan Jacobs to allow Savy to focus on his riffing. If I didn't know beforehand, though, I wouldn't have recognized that, because their styles are very similar.

This group brings forward the nostalgia with tons of references to the classic eras of Priest and Iron Maiden ('Beyond The Stars' and 'Lucky Diamond'). Though the style is the same, they've added some more speed and complexity in the riffing compared to the debut. . With 'Severed Ties' seems like it's a boring, closing ballad at first…I won't say more than that, just don't skip that track too early! 'Electric Elite' has some fantastic hooks that will bring you straight back into the 80s, adding to a strong Canadian heavy metal scene that includes bands like Striker, Skull Fist and Cauldron.
-Michael


 

Antropofagus - Origin
Agonia Records

I do not remember this band slapping so hard? To me, they were always that group that sounded like Hour of Penance and Hideous Divinity, without ever reaching quite the same level...until now, I guess. M.O.R.T.E. put them on the map, and this just cements their presence as one of the current torchbearers of thick, blasting brutality.

It definitely helps having BrutalDave himself on the skins - he hasn't been on anything in the last few years, and this shows he's still got it. There's a little more emphasis on the footwork and less on the snare the same way as, say, Putridity, but it's still tasty as hell all the same. The real power in this, though, comes from the guitars in the verses- they never hang on to one note, instead preferring subtle little chromatic runs that snake around the stream of kicks to create a kinetic energy that seems like it's tapped into the secrets of perpetual motion. Brutal ass perpetual motion.
-Nate


 

Exhumed - To The Dead
Relapse Records

I wrote this band off as forgettable and generic for years, but when I saw they had a new album out, I figured it was at least worth a refresher listen to remind me why I thought they sucked. Turns out Exhumed…actually fucks? Perhaps they have fucked this entire time and I was just being ignorant.

I think I wasn't hooked before because this isn't the type of band that has garnish. Exhumed doesn't fuck around with samples, interludes, counterpoint, time signatures that aren't 4/4 - they just riff. And the riffs are about as straightforward death/grind as they come. So basically, if your brain doesn't latch on within the first couple of tracks (or you don't listen to Carcass and Impaled exclusively), you're probably not going to get it. 'Putrescine And Cadaverine' has one of those riffs that's already in your head the second I mention it, evoking wonder at the fact that Matt Harvey can somehow cook up something engaging in this very specific 'Gore Metal' niche time and time again. Not a single moment on this album is wasted - even the solos have enough tact to not drag, and the rest is pure groovy, driving riffs that would sound thrashy if the band didn't love early Carcass so damn much.

Even with all of the evolution this band has done in the 30 years it's been around, you can always trace a straight line back to their influences - when it comes to grimy, gory music, there's not really much to innovate. Even then, though, I can't tell you why To The Dead hit, and every other album from All Guts, No Glory onward passed through my ears without me taking much note - perhaps I'm just in the mood for a Halloween slasher flick? It's certainly a great album for the season.
-Nate


 

METALBITE'S TOP 10 ALBUMS OF THE MONTH

 

Hagetisse - De Verminkte Stilte Van Het Zijn

10: Hagetisse - De Verminkte Stilte Van Het Zijn
Babylon Doom Cult

This listener has never hidden his admiration for the many incarnations of Netherland's most prolific extreme music producer, Maurice De Jong. Such is the man's productivity, that one might posit that in fact De Jong doesn't exist at all, and we are simply the victims of a metal conspiracy, in which many Dutch musicians claim the same identity as some sort of situationist art installation / minor PR stunt. That would be a compelling narrative, were it not for the thread of pure quality that runs through all of his output, whether he is operating in the capacity of Gnaw Their Tongues, The Sombre, or in this instance, Hagetisse. While De Jong may have gained his initial prominence thanks to his output of painfully extreme black ambient, Hagetisse finds him operating in a more orthodox incarnation, indulging his much-vaunted love of black metal. The band's sixth album in five years takes its cues from the recent work of his own countrymen Fluisteraars and Laster, blending it with a healthy dose of triumphant Scandinavian melody, and wrapped up the kind of rough and ready production that characterised Weakling's Dead As Dreams. All in all, it is possible that Hagetisse are a little too in thrall to the heroes that they seek to emulate to ever truly transcend their influences, but realistically, this is probably the point. And when the result is this good, this listener will certainly not be ignoring it.
-Benjamin

MetalBite's Rating: 8.1/10


 

De Profundis - The Corruption Of Virtue

9: De Profundis - The Corruption Of Virtue
Transcending Obscurity Records

I feel like it's been a while since I gave some love to Transcending Obscurity, who as always continue to pump out a diverse, consistently interesting stream of varied releases within the extreme metal spectrum. For a reviewer like me, seeing their promo email in my mailbox brings the feelings of a kid in a candy store - it's Every Flavour Beans but the beans are tasty riffs!

This is the second TO album for De Profundis, who themselves have an unusual trajectory that makes them an oddly perfect fit for the label - they start out as a melodic death/doom outfit kinda like Swallow the Sun, added more speed, complexity and bass presence to create a somewhat Akercocke-esque proggy death/black sound, and this most recent album here seems to have settled into a slightly progressive, slightly melodic death metal band with disgusting bass lines. They aren't mind-bogglingly technical, but they're impressive enough and stupidly tasty. Even without the tasty low end, the themes are similar to something like Carcariass, later Death and early Cynic - I wouldn't call it tech-death, but these fellas are definitely no slouches.

I remembered Kingdom Of The Blind, the band's 2015 release, being much warmer and quieter on the production front, with a lot more of the fry qualities coming out in the vocals on The Corruption Of Virtue - you almost think it's a different vocalist, but Craig Land has a way of enunciating that is immediately recognizable. Everything is more at the forefront, and I appreciate that I can hear more of the details - out of all the varying styles the band has dipped their toes into over the years, this feels the most at home. This band was never about raw aggression or musical virtuosity for its own sake, instead opting for intricate layers of diverse melody that keep a constant sense of progression while remaining interesting.
-Nate

MetalBite's Rating: 8.1/10


 

Vacuous - Dreams Of Dysphoria

8: Vacuous - Dreams Of Dysphoria
Me Saco Un Ojo / Dark Descent

The ever fertile partnership between Dark Descent and Me Saco Un Ojo has dug deep once more this month to unearth yet another gem from the death metal underground, in the shape of the UK's Vacuous, who offer up a meaty slab of filth displaying a maturity beyond their experience in the way in which it skilfully blends ugly, twisted riffing with an almost gothic gloom, balancing visceral thrills with memorable songwriting. Not unlike kindred spirits Undergang, Krypts and even Pissgrave, Vacuous clatter their way through a gleefully unpleasant noise that still brings enough caveman riffage to prevent the album from descending into repetitious monotony. The album reaches its apex on the fantastic 'Paranoia Rites', which plunges directly into cacophonous blasting, before slowing to an Autopsy-like dirge, disembodied voices buried in the mix cloaking the whole thing in a chilling atmosphere before a domineering D-Beat mosh section reminds us of the beautiful, but transformational simplicity of switching through a variety of rhythmic feels beneath unchanging guitar parts. According to 16th century philosopher Thomas Hobbes, the nature of life is "nasty, brutish and short". It is to Vacuous's credit that they remember that the nature of death metal should reflect the nature of life, and at a mere seven tracks (one of which is a creepy interlude that maintains the dank atmosphere appropriately), Dreams Of Dysphoria certainly doesn't overstay its welcome, instead revelling in delivering a vital blast of death metal supremacy.
-Benjamin

MetalBite's Rating: 8.2/10


 

Darkthrone - Astral Fortress

7: Darkthrone - Astral Fortress
Peaceville

It's been a big couple of months for Peaceville's roster of classic bands, with Autopsy putting out the brilliant Morbidity Triumphant in September, followed by Darkthone's twentieth(!) release this month. One imagines that their PR team have been racking up the overtime in recent weeks, although arguably, little promotion is required to drum up excitement for new material from such iconic acts. Of course, as with every Darkthrone album since The Cult Is Alive, the main question is exactly which iteration of the band will be presented with this time, the Norwegians having long left behind the death metal, necro black metal and metal-punk eras which occupy such a large chunk of the discography. Perhaps we have now reached the band's final form, however, as Astral Fortress is very much a continuation of the slightly doomy, intentionally esoteric, and vaguely trad metal sound which the band have been stuck on since Arctic Thunder. Once again, the most inspirational touches on yet another solid album come from the moments in which they catch the listener off-guard with something unexpected. Take, for example, the spacy synths that dominate album centrepiece 'The Sea Beneath The Seas Of The Sea', which echo the similarly startling sound of 'Lost Arcane City Of Uppakra' which closed Eternal Hails…, or the Iron Maiden twin guitars of 'Eon 2', which must surely have conjured a satisfied metal grimace in the band's rehearsal room during the track's recording. The extent to which you might enjoy Astral Fortress may well be a function of what you want from Darkthrone these days. If it's the bleak, monochrome hate of Transilvanian Hunger that you're looking for, then you're shit out of luck. If you're interested in a slightly ramshackle take on Omen, Manilla Road, and early Celtic Frost, however, (and why wouldn't you be?), then you should greet this album like the gruff and slightly safe, but reliable old friend that Darkthrone have now become.
-Benjamin

Ah, Darkthrone…you gotta love their album covers... But hey, we know what we're getting at this point - since the "punk trilogy" (and probably before that) they have never give a single fuck about the "conventions" of the metal scene, and instead just do what they want to do.

Fenriz's wool socks aside: 'Caravan Of Broken Ghosts' got my attention right from the beginning, stealing some acoustic guitar from Viking-era Bathory. The song morphs into trudging Celtic Frost riffing, and ends up progressing into even stranger realms. Darkthrone don't really play much black metal here (especially compared to their classic albums), with a lot more innate love for classic doom and heavy metal as later Darkthrone tends to have. The songs can be somewhat predictable, but it's much easier to get into than the somewhat haggard and inaccessible 'Eternal Hails'. You might love it, you might hate it, but you'll mainly have to see for yourself. I liked it quite a bit, anyway.

PS: Darkthrone wins my imaginary "best song title of the year" award: 'The Sea Beneath The Seas Of The Sea'. Amazing. It's one of the highlights of the album musically, too!
-Michael

MetalBite's Rating: 8.3/10


 

Goatwhore - Angels Hung From The Arches Of Heaven

6: Goatwhore - Angels Hung From The Arches Of Heaven
Metal Blade Records

If possible, I like to use these Top 10 lists as a platform to talk about the non-heavyweight bands in metal: the young up-and-comers, underrated artists that are amazing but no one seems to talk about much, independent and unsigned shit - you know, the hidden gems you find in the darkest recesses of the underground. I like to think anyone who reads these articles is probably already pretty into metal, so why spend my time saying a bunch of shit about Megadeth or Exodus that people already know already? They don't need any more free promotion/advertisement, they did their time in the 80s. They made it.

In addition, album number 10 from an established band is gonna be way less interesting than album number 2 from a band that formed in the last 5 years. I've been burned by enough "back to the glory days" type reunions in my reviewing career to know that the longer you continue as a band, the more challenging it is to have that genuine inspiration and write something that has more going on than the bare minimum it will take to get your fans to buy the album, listen to it twice and never touch it again. It takes a lot more for the veterans to win me over because my standards are inherently higher.

Basically, what I'm getting at with this: if a band like Goatwhore, who are on their 8th full length in 20 years, are making this list, there's a damn good reason.

This is even doubly so given the fact that Sammy Duet and Ben Falgoust have been putting out mediocre albums for about a decade now. I own at least two of their previous three releases - I can't remember which ones, because nothing from any of them has struck me in a way that warranted deeper listening. I love the slightly blackened groove of A Haunting Curse And Carving Out The Eyes Of God, but they got thrashier in the 2010s (perhaps trying to recapture the blistering intensity of Apocalyptic Havoc) and paradoxically nothing hit the same. I had pretty much given up on this band, and basically just gave this a courtesy listen because their '06 and '09 albums were pretty important to me when I was first getting into extreme music - which made it all the more stunning when this ripped my face off with the first track, and hadn't slowed down a few tracks later.

In essence, they kicked up the black metal overtones and that's probably why I'm fawning over this now, but I also hear much more rounded and cautious songwriting than I heard at any point during their stretch of mediocrity. They're not trying to write every single track with ball-twisting intensity, instead letting each song go where it needs to develop an identity of its own - and as a result, these songs are more effective. 'And I Was Delivered From the Wound of Perdition' almost has a Mgla/esque atmo-black feel, 'Voracious Blood Fixation', has that classic NOLA sludgy groove that never fully leaves this band, and an added bit of Watain-style tremolo fits so well with the whole package you actually forget they didn't have nearly as much of it before. The songs themselves sound focused and have fantastic push-and-pull between brisk, active sections that get your head nodding and geared up for the nasty drops and midpaced grooves that follow them.

The wheels on the Goatwhore bus were rusted and cracked, and it began to affect their ability to drive. Fortunately, the group has new life, but not because they reinvented the wheel - all it needed was some polish and a couple of bolts tightened. Sometimes you just need to restore what's already there.
-Nate

MetalBite's Rating: 8.4/10


 

Theotoxin - Fragment: Totenruhe

5: Theotoxin - Fragment: Totenruhe
Art Of Propaganda Records

Starting with a quite innocent and friendly doom-riff this little beautiful creature turns out into a poisonous beast after some seconds. Harsh black metal riffs with a Swedish touch burn down everything (lame pun for 'World, Burn For Us') and the hateful high-pitched vocals like the early Lord Belial albums do the rest to send you down into the abyss. Theotoxin doesn't know the meaning of "slow", but the songs don't devolve into pure chaos, maintaining comprehensible structures and very appealing melodies.

Best black metal out of Austria this year, and may be my favorite BM album of the year in general. The production is very balanced, saturated, powerful and is the final piece putting together a very good piece of extreme metal which will find its way into my stereo very often.
-Michael

MetalBite's Rating: 8.5/10


 

Ripped To Shreds - Jubian

4: Ripped To Shreds - Jubian
Relapse Records

Whoa, this don't take no prisoners . With a fine mixture of Swedish death metal sounds, Bolt Thrower and Florideath, Ripped To Shreds have created a groovy double bass monster. Vocalist Andrew Lee gasps through the eight songs like he's fighting for his last breath (in a good way). Though the instrumentals are written to serve the song, it's very apparent there's a ton of skill behind these four folks. Buzzing, bone-sawing guitar riffs go together with some brutal and powerful drumming frame the compositions which hover on the edge of grindcore-themed chaos at times… only to wander back into ripping old-school death.

Sometimes things even become a little bit doomy or progressive (best example is 'In Solitude - Sun Moon Holy Cult Pt.3'). Jubian is nasty and it definitely takes more than one listen to fully comprehend what Ripped To Shreds created with this.
-Michael

The race for "dankest guitar tone of 2022" is over and the only reason it was even close was because Ares Kingdom put out an album earlier this year. This has that classic early Entombed prickle remastered for the current day. The riffwork does well to back it up: thick, slightly punky but mostly metal in that way Relapse loves, lotta beefy chords traded off with tremolo passages, and a lot more of a "full band" feel than the previous full-length, as good as that was. The previous drummer felt more like a session guy, but Brian Do sounds like he's been able to jam things out with Andrew Lee in an actual room together and they have a lot more of a feel for each other's playing.

The structuring is more nuanced and elaborate on Jubian, which is sometimes detrimental - I could have done without the long song myself, as this band generally works best when they're ripping you to shreds (I just had to) with more concise, focused riffing - there's still enough soloing and tempo shifts in them to keep things fresh, and you can dial in more on the good stuff. The blasting and d-beat combination is hella tasty with that guitar tone, and Andrew is able to channel this rabid, screechy tone in his vocals that perfectly complements the crunch of the guitars. It's an excellent mix of caveman riffs that make you go UNNNNG and enough nuance and sensibility to make the UNNNNNG riffs have qualities that grow in repeated listens.

It's just unfortunate that Relapse picked up this band and not Lee's other one - Ripped To Shreds are CLEARLY the side endeavor to the creative force that is Houkago Grind Time, who you are almost certainly going to see on next month's list unless I am suddenly killed for not-completely-unrelated reasons. Unfortunately, I will die when I am killed.
-Nate

MetalBite's Rating: 8.5/10


 

Hiss From The Moat - The Way Out Of Hell

3: Hiss From The Moat - The Way Out Of Hell
Distortion Music Group

When it comes to ranking and rating these lists, it's hard to rely on anything other than gut feeling - the only sort of data I have to back up my choices would be the play count on my iTunes. By that measurement, Hiss From The Moat rocketed up this list over the course of the month, because this is damn addicting. (Yes, I still use iTunes to listen to CDs and promo mp3s. Don't hate.)

The Way Out Of Hell isn't the "most" anything. It isn't the heaviest, the shreddiest, or even the angriest album you've heard, but nonetheless these songs are constructed in such a way that makes you want to punch holes in drywall. They took a few hints from their early days as a deathcore band, and the fact that the punishing breakdowns are woven in a way that serves the song first makes them all the more enjoyable. Over time, I imagine this band started to veer more towards a pure death metal sound, and probably stepped up their game with the addition of Max Cirelli as well. I first became familiar with Cirelli's work through Helion, his shreddy tech-death band, which seems to be more his baby while he's more of a hired gun here. He adds a nuance that you can feel occasionally, although mostly seems to be taking a backseat to the other guitarist's compositions, which feel like Hour of Penance during the fast parts and Decapitated during the slow parts, with a blackened melodic edge lining the whole mix.

All this and I haven't even mentioned James Payne, who might be the star of the entire show. He doesn't have the most impressive resume you've seen, but at the same time, it includes Hour of Penance and Kataklysm, which is far from the worst…and while he isn't necessarily the fastest or most mind-bogglingly complex you've ever heard, something about his beats are just …punishing. They beat you. His snare feels like it's cracking your skull, and a lot of his beats use "bomb blasts" - basically doubling every snare hit up with a kick hit - it would be ignorant if it wasn't delivered like a jackhammer.

With this new album, this group has created a really distinct identity within the Italian death metal scene that I think deserves a lot more attention. Just listen to that glorious melodic chug that bookends the closing track - it's like Rotting Christ, but then it shifts into a monolithic tremolo break. Something about it feels so…Hiss From The Moat. Fuck these guys are cool. Random ass, relatively unknown bands like this that kick tons of ass are exactly why I do this shit.
-Nate

MetalBite's Rating: 8.6/10


 

Faceless Burial - At The Foothills Of Deliration

2: Faceless Burial - At The Foothills Of Deliration
Me Saco un Ojo / Dark Descent / Desiccated Productions

I wasn't super high on Speciation - it was okay, but nothing special - so when I got slapped with at least four nut-busting riffs in 'Equipoise Recast' before the track was even halfway done, I knew right away this Aussie group came to play. The debut was promising but unextraordinary, and At the Foothills Of Deliration capitalizes on every inch of potential the band displayed. Did you find yourself wishing for a bit more melody and delicacy in the fretwork, without losing the crunching heaviness and clear OSDM overtones? Perhaps some more shifty song structuring that keeps you on your toes and has you constantly unprepared for the next riff? Yup, this has you covered. Even the cover art is sicker. This, to me, is Faceless Burial's true breakout.

This year I've been very partial to slightly progressive (but mostly riffy AF) death metal: Inanna, Heaving Earth and Aeviterne have been some of my favorite stuff to come out of this year, and it fits in really nicely with those releases. It's clearly showing tribute to the greats like Immolation, Morbid Angel, Suffocation etc, without feeling like an imitation or third-tier rehashing. It sounds fresh, but pushes no boundaries in doing so and doesn't have to resort to ham-fisted multi-genre mashups. I liken it to Tomb Mold's Manor of Infinite Forms - it didn't reinvent the band's style, it was just clearly their best work and exposed them to a much wider audience. Sonically, the bands are similar, too - the same kind of crunchy, but flowing riffwork owing a lot to the early Finnish scene. Faceless Burial just throws even more sudden twists in.

I know it's super rare for folks from Down Under to come up here unless they're a massive band but I'm still going to put it out there: Faceless Burial North American tour needs to happen!
-Nate

MetalBite's Rating: 8.9/10


 

Exordium Mors - As Legends Fade And Gods Die

1: Exordium Mors - As Legends Fade And Gods Die
Praetorian Sword Records

New Zealand death-thrashers Exordium Mors returned with their relentless sophomore record and managed to obliterate my already high expectations, as the band doubled down on everything that made their debut and early releases so good while also expanding and refining their music to deadly effect. Easily one of the best albums of the year and without a doubt my personal favorite record of October. Exordium Mors is a band I highly recommend to anyone and everyone into the most extreme depths of metal, as they embody that rebellious and unapologetic extremity to a tee. Full review
-Fernando

MetalBite's Rating: 9.8/10


Thanks for coming out! Support the bands if you like em, follow them on the socials, let them raid your fridge and bang your wife if they come through on tour. Also, make sure to check out the past lists for more cool stuff!

September 2022

August 2022

July 2022

June 2022

May 2022

April 2022

March 2022

February 2022

January 2022

And, of course, Follow MetalBite on Facebook and Instagram so you can be there right when the next Top 10 list drops!

Entered: 11/3/2022 6:29:40 PM
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