Album Review – Pestilent Reign / Pyres (2018)

Get ready for a feast of modern Death Metal blasted by a hardworking German act with their debut full-length opus, singing about the constant anger borne from injustice, human stupidity and religious bigotry.

It’s time to be absolutely pulverized by the frantic, modern and very technical Death Metal played by a German four-piece act known as Pestilent Reign, who are releasing their debut full-length album this year, entitled Pyres. Formed in 2013 by guitarist Lars Hägele and vocalist Christoph Sauner in the city of Sttutgart, in Southern Germany, Pestilent Reign released two EP’s after their inception, those being Shivering Chaos, in 2015, and The Zealot, in 2016, leading the band to play from local to international shows at festivals like Monthly Assault in Switzerland and Nice To Eat You in the Czech Republic, and sharing the stage with well-known bands like Benighted, Wormed, Unfathomable Ruination, Implore, Pighead, Analepsy, Omophagia, Spasm, Gutalax, Serrabulho, Deserted Fear, Rottenness, Warfuck and Abysmal Torment.

Across 39 minutes split in eight fulminating tracks, Pyres draws strength from a multitude of influences such as Psycroptic, Dying Fetus, Aborted and Revocation in a multi-faceted manner that’s as rewarding to listen to as it is fun. On Pyres, Pestilent Reign strikes the perfect balance between straightforward modern Death Metal, sledgehammer-like brutality, thrashy hooks, technically adept flourishes, and monstrous grooves. Featuring an obscure cover artwork by Bahrull Marta (Abomination Imagery) from Indonesia, and with lyrical themes based on the constant anger borne from injustice, human stupidity and religious bigotry, Pyres is the result of the band’s dedication and hard work, powerfully representing their passion and devotion to extreme music.

A song that starts with a crazy voice barking the sentence “PEOPLE ARE CANCER!” has to be violent and austere, and Martyr is all that, igniting the intricate and piercing devastation by the quartet with Sebastian Unić showcasing all his skills behind his drum kit, before Christoph starts firing his Barney Grimway-inspired growls in an entertaining exhibit of modern and aggressive Progressive Death Metal. And their sonic demolition goes on in You Will Kneel in Piss and Blood, a Death Metal tune with some Black Metal nuances where Lars sounds pulverizing with his metallic riffs. Moreover, it’s impossible not to love the breaks and variations presented by the band throughout the song, while Christoph keeps blasting furious gnarls and screeches nonstop. And the band offers another explosion of their scorching Death Metal in Saviour, which also sounds melodic and extremely vile at the same time, showcasing a beastly Sebastian on drums while Lars and his flammable guitar add an extra touch of dementia to the musicality. And in Ouroboros, it’s impressive how they master the art of blending the aggressiveness and rage from Death Metal with the intricacy of Progressive Metal, with Christoph sounding like a vile creature on vocals while the rest of the band will inspire you to crush your head into the circle pit.

Cleanse the Flesh presents razor-edged riffs and nonstop annihilation flowing from start to finish, with bassist Matthias “Mick” Figura together with Sebastian creating a dense background perfect for the rabid screams by Christoph; whereas in Zealot a brutal and electrifying intro morphs into ass-kicking Progressive Death Metal, with Sebastian and his blast beats adding a touch of darkness to the music. In addition, pay good attention to the interesting narration about going to a Death Metal concert and its connection with Satan, as it brings a pinch of comedic relief to their crushing music. A demonic screech ignites another circle pit-catalyst titled I.M.T.R.M., a great tune by this demented German squad with both Lars and Matthias grinding their axes like there’s no tomorrow. And last but not least we have Gutter´s Filth, perhaps the most intricate and wicked of all songs in Pyres, where all four band members are smashing and pounding their instruments mercilessly. Moreover, the level of complexity flowing from the guitar lines by Lars is outstanding, not to mention the demented performance by Christoph on vocals.

The fury spawned by Pestilent Reign can be better appreciated by following them on Facebook, and if you want to carry all the rottenness of old school Death Metal fused with the complexity of progressive music from Pyres (which by the way is available for a full listen on YouTube) with you wherever you go, you can buy a copy of the album at the Rising Nemesis Records BandCamp or Big Cartel, at the Rebirth the Metal Productions BandCamp or Big Cartel, as well as on iTunes, Amazon or City Disc, and keep supporting the always fun and always exhilarating underground Extreme Metal scene.

Best moments of the album: You Will Kneel in Piss and Blood, Ouroboros and Gutter´s Filth.

Worst moments of the album: Saviour.

Released in 2018 Rising Nemesis Records/Rebirth the Metal Productions

Track listing
1. Martyr 4:20
2. You Will Kneel in Piss and Blood 3:34
3. Saviour 5:28
4. Ouroboros 4:02
5. Cleanse the Flesh 3:08
6. Zealot 6:59
7. I.M.T.R.M. 4:58
8. Gutter´s Filth 6:07

Band members
Christoph Sauner – vocals
Lars Hägele – guitar
Matthias “Mick” Figura – bass
Sebastian Unić – drums

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Album Review – Acranius / Reign of Terror (2017)

It’s time to crown this talented German unit as the new slamming kings of this putrid reign of terror we live in, and enjoy their demolishing music while we witness the brutal downfall of our society.

Rating5

acranius-album-artFormed in 2009 in Rostock, the largest city in the north German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brutal Slamming Death Metal wolf pack Acranius will tear you down with their third full-length installment, the unrelenting Reign of Terror, an album that will certainly leave some serious bruises and scars on your body and mind after you take a listen at each one of its ten rampant compositions. Besides, when you face a Death Metal album that contain songs named “Warpath” and “Return To Violence”, you already know there will be some good blood spilled before even listening to the music inside it, don’t you agree?

After releasing their debut EP The Echo of Her Cracking Chest in 2011, followed by the full-length albums When Mutation Becomes Homicidal, from 2013, and Dishonor, from 2014, and after a few lineup changes through the years, Acranius return with their most complete and professional work to date, featuring a killer artwork by Ukranian musician and illustrator Daemorph, who by the way also worked with the band in their previous album. As any good Death Metal release, get ready for putrid growls, flammable riffs and crushing drums, delivered by four German metallers that are building a beyond solid reputation among fans of the genre not only in their homeland, but also anywhere in the world where good Death Metal is appreciated.

After a short movie-inspired intro, Born A King brings forward a very metallic and aggressive explosion of blast beats and sheer fury, with the deep guttural by Kevin Petersen living up to the legacy of old school Death Metal, while Kingmaker, an amazing composition that will kick you in the face, continues the demolishing path of its predecessor with guitarist Björn Frommberger firing menacing neck-breaking riffs and drummer Robert Arndt smashing his drum set manically. As its name already states, Return To Violence is extreme violence in music where Kevin’s voice sounds more cavernous than before, while Björn keeps slashing his strings as a veteran in Death Metal, and the band doesn’t seem to get tired of being gory and brutal as we can witness in Outlaw, perhaps the most electrifying composition of the entire album. Kevin and Robert sound pulverizing, with Björn and bassist Lars Torlopp punching us in the head ferociously with their flammable strings.

acranius-band-photoBuilt On Tradition is another slamming gruesome tune by this talented quartet, displaying all the main elements from our good old Death Metal with highlights to its rhythmic beats and boisterous guitar lines, followed by The True Reign, where Robert sounds like a stone crusher on drums, blasting his beats and fills powerfully and providing the rest of the band all they need to sound extreme and bloodthirsty. After that bestial chant, we have the fantastic Warpath, a Death Metal hymn for metalheads who want to have a neck injury headbanging, showcasing an infernal rhythm with Kevin barking like a beast, but still melodic and quite progressive. I’m sure you’ll feel your brain moving inside your skull while banging your head to this song, no doubt about that.

Back to their more visceral mode, sounding like a war machine of Brutal Death Metal crushing everything and everyone, Acranius offer the listener Battle Scars, where Björn managed to sound even more menacing than in all previous songs. And the musicality crafted by Acranius will “execute” you ruthlessly in The Executioner, another heavy composition full of bestial drums and hellish growls where devastation never stops. If you can still feel your neck after this song is over, their deathblow comes in the form of more traditional Death Metal titled Died A Liar, bringing another shot of sharp riffs and beats by these German metallers.

You can stream Reign of Terror in its entirety and consequently put an end to all that calm and peace environment in your neighborhood by clicking HERE, follow Acranius on Facebook, check more of their music on YouTube and, as usual, show your passion for slamming Death Metal by purchasing the album at the Rising Nemesis Records’ BandCamp and Big Cartel, on iTunes or on Amazon. As this reign of terror we live in becomes more and more hideous day after day due to all the shit done by mankind, there’s nothing better than crowning Acranius as our new slamming kings of Death Metal and enjoy their demolishing music while we witness our world falling apart.

Best moments of the album: Kingmaker, Outlaw and Warpath.

Worst moments of the album: Died A Liar.

Released in 2017 Rising Nemesis Records

Track listing
1. Born A King 2:10
2. Kingmaker 3:12
3. Return To Violence 3:12
4. Outlaw 3:36
5. Built On Tradition 3:22
6. The True Reign 3:26
7. Warpath 3:09
8. Battle Scars 2:51
9. The Executioner 3:28
10. Died A Liar 3:05

Band members
Kevin Petersen – vocals
Björn Frommberger – guitar
Lars Torlopp – bass
Robert Arndt – drums