THE BEST OF US BLEED
As a fan of both death metal and Cryptopsy, I have to question why this band, or any other death metal band for that matter, would even bother with a greatest hits release that is fleshed out with live tracks and demos. Especially a band with years on them like Cryptopsy. I wonder specifically about the demo inclusion for any band like this. Let's face it, as a fan of death metal over the last 20 years, we've all learned to accept some pretty demo sounding music in these types of band's actual releases. To say the least, so many great death metal albums had terrible sound to begin with, so hearing songs even more poorly recorded or before they were fleshed out really has no appeal to me. Additionally, Cryptopsy is one such band that's had some dodgy sounding material in the past, so hearing this music contrasted against a few new recordings really points that out as well.
BLACK THRONE OF ALL CREATION
Holy Suffocation, is this a tribute band? Actually, it's not. Dehuman is a Belgian death metal band that claims themselves to be an "old school death metal" band, and they are certainly right on the mark with that. BLACK THRONE OF ALL CREATION certainly could have done well in 1996 or so...long before this genre was uprooted and bastardized by all the influence of Metalcore to ruin future generations of sonic death.
While I appreciate the old school sound that Dehuman has, they unfortunately sound like they might have recorded with gear that hasn't been updated since the '90s as well.
Job For A Cowboy
For many years now, Job For A Cowboy has been somewhat of a whipping post for me. From their start, they were a metalcore band that wanted to be a death metal band, but were seemingly afraid to take it all the way over the edge and become just that. Their album GENESIS was kind of laughable to be honest; a collection of songs from a band that wasn't sure if they wanted to hop on the trend or have integrity. Their followup, RUINATION was a step in the right direction, but still featured a bit too much of that deathcore spirit for my taste. Somewhere along the way though, Job For A Cowboy must have heard from guys like me that wanted them to become a full fledged death metal band and stop messing around with trendy gimmicks. DEMONOCRACY is just what the doctor always ordered from them - full on brilliant death metal.
Six Feet Under
Six Feet Chimaira arrives with their first effort featuring more than half of at least one of the Chimaira touring lineups (drummer Kevin Talley and guitarist Rob Arnold). In all seriousness, this is definitely still Six Feet Under, but with the biggest single upgrade in musicianship any band of this ilk has ever seen. Personally, I couldn't be more happy for Arnold. Having spent time just hanging out and talking death metal with Arnold on several occasions, I know first hand how much he respected Six Feet Under and Chris Barnes, so joining this band to him had to be the equivalent of winning the lottery.
7 Horns 7 Eyes
THROES OF ABSOLUTION
If there was a new age of Death Metal on the horizon, this would be it. 7 Horns 7 Eyes have created a hybrid death metal album that is a stylistic masterpiece of various genre and band influences. Many are calling this a Progressive Death Metal sound, and I guess I see that. To me though, they take some of the various soundscapes of heavy progressive metal, mix in some odd ball timings that would make Meshuggah proud, and layer death metal vocals over top of it to round out the sound. People are always looking for something different...well, here it is.