Summerslam weekend is nearly upon us, and with WWE’s so-called “new era” growing more and more stale by the month, the company’s only saving grace is NXT. How does NXT get everything so right while the main roster continues to get everything so wrong? I can only assume it has something to do with the fact that people with actual wrestling knowledge are booking the shows, as opposed to a bunch of jabronis that wrote for those godawful daytime soap operas your grandma used to watch. Whatever the case, let’s break down the show that’s guaranteed to wipe the floor with Summerslam.
I had been looking forward to writing about Internal Bleeding’s new single “Final Justice,” but given recent events, I now find myself doing so with a heavy heart. On April 20, 2017, IB’s drummer and founding member William Tolley died while serving his community, battling a two alarm blaze as a fourteen year veteran of the Fire Department of New York, who had previously assisted with the September 11, 2001 rescue efforts as a volunteer fire fighter. “Final Justice” is to my knowledge his last recorded work with the band.
I discovered Long Island, NY’s Heisenberg recently while trawling Bandcamp for new bands. I was immediately drawn to them because they took two of my favorite things, Breaking Bad and ignorant slamming death metal and mashed them up to great effect. Although I’m not entirely sure if Walter White would approve of their guttural brutality, here at Doomsday Device I can safely say that their latest EP The Empire Business is one of the most engaging pure slam releases I’ve heard in a long time.
“Mature” probably isn’t the first word that comes to mind when one thinks of brutal death metal, hell it probably isn’t the five-hundredth word one thinks of. But I’ll be damned if Parables of Umbral Transcendence, the debut full-length from NY/FL-based project Swine Overlord isn’t a shockingly mature slab of BDM. The band has largely shed the slam leanings and cartoonish visual imagery of their earlier recordings in favor of a more pure brutal death metal sound accompanied by science fiction-influenced artwork, and as a result have released one of the genre’s best albums of 2014.
It’s been quite a while since I did one of these (over a year, to be slightly more precise), but frankly there hasn’t been a whole lot of new stuff on the brutality front that’s really tripped my trigger of late. In fact, it’s only been within the past month or so that enough gory goodies have piled up to make it worth doing. The initial two installments of Oodles of Brutals were all about slam and brutal death metal, but this time around we’ll mostly be focusing on tech death. I’m pretty darn picky about this stuff, as there is an extremely fine line between mind-bending technicality and “Hey, look what we can do!” fret-wankery, so it’s a bit of a surprise that so much of this stuff has been able to grab me, but it’s a neck-snappingly pleasant one. Let’s dive in…
Geryon is a duo consisting of bassist/vocalist Nicholas McMaster and drummer Lev Weinstein, whom you may recognize as the rhythm section behind USBM heavyweights Krallice. But while their main gig sees them creating the backbone for guitarists Colin Marston and Mick Barr’s crystalline caverns of black metal riffage, Geryon is crushing death metal of a most mind-bending variety with nary a guitar in sight. With only a bare-bones setup of bass, drums and vocals, McMaster and Weinstein craft oldschool DM so compelling that you won’t miss the ol’ six-string in the slightest.
Since 1995, Shai Hulud has been one of the leading lights of metalcore. I’m not talking about metalcore as in: “Hey! Let’s rip off Slaughter of the Soul and throw in some breakdowns!” I’m talking metalcore as in the metallic hardcore that evolved out of crossover; a true fusion of the heartfelt aggression of hardcore and the compositional complexity of heavy metal (ok, I know that description sounds like it came straight from a PR e-mail blast, but it’s the fucking truth).