This Decay’s weekly Picks occasionally dips into the more accessible, riffier end of death metal. But it’s never been the main thrust of the week’s recommendations… until now. Fortunately we’ve got three absolute ragers to talk about this week and two of them are very much part of that world. One old. One new. Let’s go.
We begin with the recently released self-titled record by three-piece death metal project Serpentine Dominion, featuring Adam D of Killswitch Engage, George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher of Cannibal Corpse and former The Black Dahlia Murder drummer Shannon Lucas. With Dutkiewicz writing for Corpsegrinder, Serpentine Dominion was bound to offer a few melodic parts against a hyper-aggressive background, and it does just that. Killswitch’s Jesse Leach contributed the lyrics but this isn’t really ‘lyric’ music, if you know what we mean. A perfect place to dip one’s unacclimatised toe into death metal.
Nuclear Blast Records
The Empire is the twelfth album from Vader, the legendary Polish death metal crew who put out their first as far back as 1992. Nothing about Vader’s sound is dated; this record slides right into a stellar 2016 for heavy music. It has all the balls of death metal but is also beautifully refined. There are thumping riffs and mid-paced sections all over the place and The Empire has plenty that will appeal to thrash metal fans, modern or vintage. ‘Iron Reign’ is a flat-out banger but it doesn’t particularly stand out on an album that tears through its frugal 33 minutes like there’s no tomorrow.
From the very first notes of opener ‘Lift’, the new release from Ben and Zach Guzman – San Diego’s No Trust, to you – is a breeze block to the face. Billed in various places as progressive sludge metal, Heavy Hand is just as neatly described by the band’s own promise of menacing riffs and pummeling grooves. The aggressive attitude is ever-present but there’s a pensiveness to the composition, demonstrated especially well in the reined-in verses of ‘Torchbearer’. These five tracks have pace, power and poison in abundance, and ‘Pushing Through’ packs them all together. ‘Build’ is downright unhinged.
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