Album Review – ThrOes / This Viper Womb (2016)

After a few years in the making, the Tasmanian devil Trent Griggs and his henchmen finally bring to life over one hour of unrelenting flesh-eating Dissident Metal not recommended for the faint-hearted.

Rating4

THROES_TVW_COVERWhat I’m about to say might sound a bit cliché, but based on the aggressive and defiant nature of the music found in This Viper Womb, the brand new album by Dissident Metal act ThrOes, I believe we should start calling this awesome band from Hobart, the capital and most populous city of of the Australian island state of Tasmania as the “Tasmanian Devils of Extreme Metal”. Tasmanian devils are not only hostile carnivores, but also extremely asocial and neither demonstrate nor respond to affection, behavioral attitudes that match perfectly with the vicious vocal attacks, savage guitar riffs, crushing drums and even the idiosyncratic sounds of an instrument called EBow found throughout the entire album. In other words, ThrOes are unleashing a wild beast upon humanity, and it seems they’re not worried at all about the noxious effects of their music on the human mind.

Conceived by multi-instrumentalist Trent Griggs in December 2003 and having released a four-song promotional demo titled The Drowning Rituals in 2005, this interesting Avant-garde Black Metal one-man project has been going through a slow and steady process of evolution and materialization, impacted by several factors such as Trent’s perfectionism (a good element in this case, by the way), the distance between Trent and the other musicians who helped him in This Viper Womb, and also his time off in 2015 to focus on the birth of his first son Dorian. Now in 2016 it’s time for Trent, together with Australian vocalist James Ludbrook (Damaged, Terrorust) and the bestial American drummer Kevin Talley (Chimaira, Suffocation, Dying Fetus, Six Feet Under, DevilDriver), to envenom the world with the uproar caused by the ten distinct compositions from This Viper Womb.

As soon as you hit play and the opening track Permanent Midnight starts, you’ll face the spoken words by Terence Mckenna taken from the lecture “Culture And Ideology Are Not Your Friends”, presented at the Whole Life Expo in Denver in April 1999, just to show you how unconventional ThrOes are. Thus, it doesn’t take long for the atmosphere to be filled by the sick screams by the unstoppable Trent, sounding like a heavier version of the iconic Mike Patton, with all instrumental pieces being obscure, violent and reverberating, not to mention the song’s lyrics depicting the torments of a disturbed mind (“Holes for filling / With drink and smoke and coke and dope / and crack and smack, xanax, prozac, / panic attacks, terror attacks / It’s a head shrinker’s racket but they’re kidding no-one, we are drowning in this”). This is one of the craziest types of music you’ll find anywhere thanks to our Tasmanian friends, and that madness goes on in Shock to the Guts, another perfect example of what Dissident Metal means. Kevin simply kicks ass with his precision in this innovative fusion of Black, Death, Industrial, Doom and Progressive Metal, piercing your ears while the guitar solos bring some serenity amidst sheer rebelliousness.

The sinister Dead Lights already starts with Trent growling like a demon, with the additional vocals by James Ludbrook increasing even more the pandemonium generated and the bass lines by Trent adding a lot of groove to the music. Now you better get ready for eight minutes of distorted passages and desperate harsh vocal lines in Conscience Makes Cowards (I couldn’t agree more with the name of the song), which sometimes gets to such a high level of progressiveness you might get lost in time and space until Trent calls you back to reality with his hellish screams; followed by Nothing Left for the Vultures, an explosion of sharp growls and metallic riffs by Trent accompanied by the beyond complex drumming by Kevin.

throesCutting guitars and the deranged vocal duo Trent and James are the main ingredients in the extremely heavy Nowhere Else, a unique composition that leans towards Progressive Black Metal, with its second half being a descend into the underworld so disturbing it is until it finally reaches its hopeless conclusion. The eccentric title-track This Viper Womb, which emanates progressiveness and obscurity, is a funereal ode to dementia with sluggish beats and bizarre sounds in the background while insanity keeps growing and filling the song’s atmosphere, and ThrOes bring forward more Extreme Metal to you in Lavish the Anguish, full of distortions and focusing more on instrumental pieces in the first half before Trent and James begin their vocal onrush, boosting the song’s ferocity.

If you survived ThrOes’ merciless strike of extreme music until this point of the album, their coup de grâce comes in the form of Feed It, a furious Black Metal-inspired chant showcasing harmony and despair mixed in the riffs and anguished vociferations by Trent. Moreover, I guess I don’t need to say how amazing the drums by Kevin sound once again in this boundless turmoil of Dissident Metal, right? And what better way to end such a distinguished amalgamation of crazy emotions and sounds than with an eerie instrumental outro that goes on for over five minutes? That’s what Trent offers us all in D.N.A. Corruption before returning to his obscure lair in Tasmania.

The exotic and blackened world of ThrOes can be better appreciated through their Facebook page, YouTube channel (where you can listen to the whole album with lyrics for every song), SoundCloud and official blog, and you can grab your copy of This Viper Womb at the Aesthetic Death Records’ webshop. In This Viper Womb, the Tasmanian devil Trent and his henchmen bring forth over one hour of unrelenting flesh-eating Extreme Metal not recommended for the faint-hearted, finally putting the vastly wild and mysterious Tasmania on the map of heavy music for the total delight of fans all over the world who are always searching for this type of fresh and innovative band.

Best moments of the album: Permanent Midnight, Dead Lights and Feed It.

Worst moments of the album: Conscience Makes Cowards.

Released in 2016 Aesthetic Death Records

Track listing
1. Permanent Midnight 4:54
2. Shock to the Guts 7:16
3. Dead Lights 6:41
4. Conscience Makes Cowards 8:29
5. Nothing Left for the Vultures 8:41
6. Nowhere Else 6:52
7. This Viper Womb 6:02
8. Lavish the Anguish 5:15
9. Feed It 6:31
10. D.N.A. Corruption 6:00

Band members
Trent Griggs – vocals, guitars, bass, ebow
James Ludbrook – additional vocals
Kevin Talley – drums (session)

Album Review – Omega Diatribe / Abstract Ritual EP (2015)

Open your mind to the groovy and heavy music by this Hungarian act and you might survive the transmission.

Rating4

cover_HDThere’s a secret ancient writing stem from an unknown alien civilization, a contract between Humans and Aliens about the use of the planet Earth that states Humans could only use the Earth in a limited time, and when our time is over they’ll come back and take us to a higher level planet. However, only the open-minded people could survive the transmission. The government calls it Omega Diatribe, which is also the name of an amazing Hungarian Extreme Groove Metal band formed in Budapest in 2008 by guitarist Gergő Hájer and bassist Ákos Szathmáry.

After the release of their first promo track Forty Minutes, in 2012, and their debut full-length album entitled IAPETVS, in 2013, those Hungarian metallers return stronger than ever with a brand new EP called Abstract Ritual, where they not only keep delivering groovy polyrhythmic metal music, but they also continue their persevering trek through the limitless potential of the human mind. In other words, it’s another auspicious case of elaborate Heavy Metal permeated by an enthralling concept, and if you are a habitual reader of The Headbanging Moose you know how much we value that type of work.

That futuristic view of the world, as well as the power of the human psyche, are already explicit in the modern Thrash/Groove Metal of the opening track Subsequent Phase, with the resonant bass lines by Ákos adding a lot of power to the music. In addition, lead singer Gergely Komáromi translates the message of the lyrics into sheer aggression with his growls, enhanced by the clean and professional production of the album. Right after that promising start, it’s time to get even more barbaric and bang your fuckin’ head to the dark throbbing tune Extrinsic, which offers the listener very thoughtful lyrics despite all the violence found in it (“Don’t push me / Let me decide the fate of body / Questions remain unanswered / Leave vigor for my time / That included doubts / And eternal uncertainty”). Moreover, guitarists Gergő Hájer and Attila Császár deliver those eerie riffs perfect for this type of contemporary metal music, building a much stronger atmosphere that ends up elevating the overall quality of the song.

In Hydrozoan Periods, the band continues the upbuilding of their high-end metal music, with progressiveness and heaviness walking hand in hand. The last part of the song showcases all the anger and skills of the musicians, with highlights to Ákos and drummer Kevin Talley for the cohesive sonority they put up together. The title-track Abstract Ritual is another groovy and heavy feast, showcasing once again the aptitude those guys have for delivering an interesting concept through their lyrics (“How could it be absorbed in the mind when I’d concealed my senses? / And it returns. / It’s me sitting around the sun with these beings / I’d sunk the key for my projections into a cube and swallowed / To attach the new molecules / To be the eye”), not to mention the great performance by Gergely, who puts his heart and soul into singing and screaming those beautiful lyrics.

omega diatribeAnd in order to provide the EP a fresh ending, Omega Diatribe present the instrumental track The Quantum, where the main ingredient is a very interesting speech by the illustrious American esoteric philosopher Terence McKenna, and an alternate version for Unshadowed Days, from their 2013 debut album IAPETVS, which sounds like a completely brand new song to my ears. I personally prefer this new version especially in terms of sound quality and the extra layers of complexity added to it, but you can listen to the original one HERE and take your own conclusions.

There are countless ways to know more about Omega Diatribe and keep in touch with the band, either through their Facebook page, YouTube channel, SoundCloud and, of course, by buying their music at their BandCamp page or at the 515 Studio website. Open your mind to the music in Abstract Ritual, listen and absorb, and you might become part of the selected ones who survive the transmission.

Best moments of the album: Extrinsic and Abstract Ritual.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2015 Independent

Track listing
1. Subsequent Phase 4:48
2. Extrinsic 4:16
3. Hydrozoan Periods 3:17
4. Abstract Ritual 4:46
5. The Quantum 3:27
6. Unshadowed Days (Perception Remix) 6:44

Band members
Gergely Komáromi – vocals
Gergő Hájer – lead guitar
Attila Császár – guitar
Ákos Szathmáry – bass
Tommy Kiss* – drums

Additional musician
Kevin Talley – drums (studio recording)

* Drummer Tommy Kiss joined Omega Diatribe at the beginning of 2015.