Cloud Rat – Qliphoth
Cloud Rat‘s 2013 album, Moksha, showed the grinders really coming into their own. The 30-minute powerhouse of a record featured some of the most hellacious grind to be heard that year. But what made it more special was its willingness to experiment with a variety of melodies and styles including sludge, post-rock and ambient music. The record succeeded in separating Cloud Rat from the majority of their contemporaries with its eclectic mix. The Michigan quartet return this year with the loyal follow-up to that solid album, Qliphoth. Much like Moksha, Qliphoth also features an affinity for experimentation. But, the genre-bending is dialed back a bit this time around for more of a direct approach. While Moksha‘s nuanced sound will be missed, Qliphoth makes up for it by being absolutely vicious. Grumbling noise and swelling ambiance open up the record on “Seken”, before the track explodes into a flurry of grimy grinding insanity. This high octane whirlwind of dissonant guitars is fueled by propulsive drumming and the snarling rasp of vocalist Madison Marshall. These short bursts of unapologetic heaviness make up the majority of the album and range from the most primal of grind assaults, d-beat mosh anthems, melodic stormers (ex: “Bloated Goat”) and black metal-tinged hardcore (“Udder Dust”). These heart-stopping tunes would make for a brutal grind album alone, but Cloud Rat aren’t one-trick-ponies as previously mentioned. The band break the mold a bit with grumpy sludge on tracks like “Raccoon” and “Bolt Gun”, as well as peppering clean melodic interludes throughout the record. The band experiment with wavering ambiance on the instrumental drone number “The Killing Horizon”, and with multi-layered, effect-laden alternative bummer rock on “Thin Vein”. It may not be as nuanced as its predecessor, but Qliphoth is much more focused and brutal in comparison. The record strikes the perfect balance between Cloud Rat‘s eccentricities and their more bestial nature. It’s a definitely a must-listen for sure.
Label: Halo of Flies
Release Date: May 29, 2015
Favorite Tracks: “Seken”, “Bloated Goat”, “Udder Dust”, “Thin Vein”, “The Boar’s Snout” and “Friend of the Court”
For Fans Of: Transient, Fuck the Facts, PLF, Gridlink and Pig Destroyer
Pissgrave – Suicide Euphoria
It’s nauseating, it’s gruesome, it’s Pissgrave‘s debut full-length album Suicide Euphoria. One look at the liquefying corpse on the cover would lead listeners to assume they are in for some extremely heavy, vile stuff. And they would be right. These Philadelphians craft some of the most bludgeoning death metal to be heard this year. Suicide Euphoria is a 30-minute straightforward assault that is uncompromising and depraved in the best way possible. The guitars conjure bestial, dissonant assaults that plummet the listener into the deepest pit of Hell. The one-two punch of “Perpetual War” and “Impaled Vibration” are enough to cause heart failure in even the most well-versed death metal patron with their sheer maliciousness alone. Thunderous blast beats rattle the senses while Hell-spawned guitars deal deadly blows of noisy dissonance, grimy serpentine riffs, menacing melodies and psuedo-slam beatdowns. Elements of toxic thrash (“The Second Sorrowful Mystery”) and technical death metal adjacent nuances (“Pain Enchantment”) can also be heard in the rotten mix. Layered, guttural vocals walk hand-in-hand with the metallic onslaughts and make the music sound, well, even more gross. Pissgrave‘s approach does not waver and continues to provide gut-wrenching death metal goodness through nine devilish tracks. These guys are definitely an act to watch out for.
Label: Profound Lore Records
Release Date: August 7, 2015
Favorite Tracks: “Perpetual War”, “Impaled Vibration” and “Fields of Scattered Bones”
For Fans Of: Cannibal Corpse, Cattle Decapitation and Theories