New(ish) Releases: The Amenta,Suffocation, Go Ahead and Die, Starving Millions, and Aeons Abyss. All are exceptionally fucking awesome, reviewed by Mark J.


New(ish) Releases: The Amenta, Suffocation, Go Ahead and Die, Starving Millions, and Aeons Abyss. All are exceptionally fucking awesome.

These are the dog bollocks, concise short reviews of shit you need to buy now. Got it, now read, buy and thank me later fuckface.

The Amenta-Plague of Locus.

If you haven't heard this band, rather than curse you I encourage you to listen to all their releases and see them live. The uncompromising, awesome band that mixes genres and makes its own unique sound. A case in point is this new release of cover songs and the choices are wise and perfect for this masterful band. 

I mean look at the listing:

"Sono l'Anticristo"(Diamanda Galas cover)
"Asteroid" (Killing Joke cover)
"Angry Chair" (Alice In Chains cover)
"Plague Of Locus"
"A Million Years" (Wolf Eyes cover)
"Crystal Lakes" (Lord Kaos cover)
"Rise" (Halo cover)
"Totem" (Nazxul cover)
"Black God" (My Dying Bride cover)

As expected their versions are very moody/crushing, based on a variety of extreme metal genres/subgenres; all in unexpected twists and turns. The local metal ones shine as much as the bigger artist tracks, but personally, I adored how they made a classic Killing Joke song sound like White Zombie and Angry Chair, as sacrilege as it may be is way better than the original. But the best track is the new title track which is a stunning original composition. You get the dramatic tone, the skin-ripping riffs, the mental synth work and brilliant vocals. Well recommended, like every one of their records tbh.

Suffocation – Hymns from the Apocrypha.

This classic Death Metal band recently dropped their 11th album, the first with newish vocalist Ricky (suss our recent interview with him-he has played with them for years, hardly the new guy, top bloke as well) and it's one of their best albums in ages. Yes, I just said that. Ricky is as great as Frank was at his peak, and obviously, the face-crushing riffs and drum tornados never ease. It is as tech as it needs to be without the boredom factor that most tech death metal bands fall into. No weak tracks are to be found and the songwriting is clever and purposeful. production is modern, but dynamic as fuck. The title track and Delusions of Mortality were the obvious highlights for this writer. Quite simply buy it and prepare for the brutality.

Go Ahead and Die-Unhealthy Mechanisms

Indeed, this is Max and Igor(his son) Cavalera band and I utterly worshipped the debut but this is even more intense and raging. The second album contains ten tracks of abrasive metal meets crust/hardcore. The core sound is old school thrash influenced death metal from obviously the utter peak of Max's previous works-particularly Beneath the Remains, Arise and Chaos A.D. with old crust punk and hardcore like Discharge, Doom etc. But the vitriol is insanely high on this the new drummer seems possessed, the riffs pure revolting and sickening tone and the dual vocals are spiteful and venomous. Max vocally even lifts the nasty, but Igor's vocals really are in the spotlight-he sounds malevolent and vengeful-hell yes. Every track is a fucking classic, there's headbanging and a vibe that makes you wanna destroy shit and start a riot. There is easily a top-three release of the year.
Aggressively brilliant and so epically harsh.

Starving Millions-VII

One of the Pacific's best (yes, we certainly want to claim them with some regional ownership) hardcore bands are back with yet another brilliant release. Starving Millions hail from Wellington, New Zealand and since 2013, this brilliant band has consistently added to their stellar catalogue. The deep appeal of this band is both lyrically and tone-wise they are very different to what is going on with most hardcore bands. there is a solid craft and effort in their songwriting which carries through on recorded and live fronts.

Tracks, as indicated here and on previous records are quite tangential in tempo and overall build-up and transition. The band unintentionally create almost chaotic anthems, but is well versed in wide influences; one minute the band is quite emo ( as in proper DC hardcore like Embrace, Rites of Spring and perhaps Cali's Jawbreaker) and at other times they can dip into slight Converge like craziness and also hard arsed straight edge meaty hardcore. Yes, many flavours on show and also some of the most fantastic blokes you could meet. Opener Burnt to the End utilises all their gripping skills, gnarly riffs, frenzied screaming and wild guest vocals that make for an epic ending, To Dwell Is to Lose dips into some DEP/Converge mathcore weirdness and vocal warfare and some wild duelling riffs/vocals meets emotional hardcore worship, two songs in and you realise it's yet another banger of a release. 
The Devil's Dance does the quiet vs loud style so perfectly, the tension and darkened mood is atmospheric in a moshy/breakdown way. The metalcore guest vocals work well plus some well-placed spoken words towards the end. Common Ground lifts the mood with its sharp dynamics and frenzied riffage (even a bit of Fugazi in the mix as well, and an ending that could be post-punk or even sludge metal). Aggression Unchecked is an instant classic with its thick Helmet-inspired guitarwork and belligerent tempo changes. Also some of the nastiest vocals I have heard from this band. False Negativity closes the release with its unhinged punkish hardcore style and it threatens to go off the rails or at the very least over the edge of the cliff. Lyrically the most scathing track and I absolutely worshipped the Converge vs Slayer guitar war in roughly the middle of this fine track. 
As expected this band blew me away and you need this now.

Also recommended (but long story short- I stupidly injured my hand after trying to be young with my son and attempting to ride a fucking E Scooter and flipped the thing and almost destroyed my hand and ankle-so I couldn't review everything I wanted to and certainly not in the depth I wanted to, life eh!):
-Fuming Mouth-Last Day of Sun
-Green Lung- This Heathen Land
-Watain- Die in Fire - Live in Hell

But the highlight of my reviews pile and head-to-head with huge internationals and also one of the best Australian releases I have probably heard in 15 years is:

Aeons Abyss-Insidious Truth

Now this bunch of utter metal artisans have been destroying eardrums since 2019 and they have yet to release anything that is not crushing, intelligent and laser-focused. While the aggression pours out of every track, it is purposeful and every band member excels at their craft like a floodlight in your face, but on every release the balance between being technically brilliant and raw is exceptional. How this band doesn't get the biggest shows and even overseas festival requests is beyond me. But this new release is their finest hour and their superb mix of death metal and old-school thrash is exceptional. 

Before we move on to this release, I need to state my dismay at the robotic dullness of most current death metal bands here and abroad, how so many shite bands can get gigs and press coverage whilst being so generic and boring simply astounds me, even the latest hardcore bands who mix death metal to be so hard and hectic, you ain't fooling anyone with your lame cliched bullshit.

Anyway, back to the kings of the game, Aeons Abyss and this stellar release. Insidious Truth is a five-track EP( with two bonus tracks from the last killer release the two-track Face of Death/Tortured Genius which was excellent) with bold production as usual from Sir Fuller of the Goatsound Empire. The dazzling title track is the opener and a sample makes you wonder what exactly is going to happen, but a monstrous riff onslaught soon leads you to a hellish start that you crave. The tension across this track and the whole EP is intense and unsettling. Hell yes, and if you haven't revisited this band for a while; you quickly will be reminded how integrated the gifted vocals are with both rhythm and guitar sections. This track seems to be a great mix of Kreator and Carcass-style abuse and I am so invested in that. Crawl or Liquefy is one of my favourite tracks by this epic band, Paul propels his voice like no other and the creepy and grim tone of this track is pure psychosis, and the tempo changes floored me from the first listen. But very clearly we hear why Steve and Brett are some of the best extreme music guitarists in this country with their technique and tone they get is razor sharp and so damn pummelling. Backed up by an army regiment-style bass and drum legion of the highest order you are overwhelmed by the sheer heavy and oppressive nature, but they don't overdo it or outstay their welcome. 

The Lost Song
is as huge as any peak Carcass or classic Earache release; with its dirty, horrific dirge-like domineering style. I mean listen to this track (or any of the tracks on here) and you will hear the top-level songwriting skills present. The thought and process involved in writing such classic gems is not your typical band level and hence this band's releases are so replayable as they are breathtaking. They utilise the best of influences as you can hear head nods to Obituary, Morbid Angel, Death, Pestilence etc as well as black metal, grindcore, hardcore and even the blues. But the appeal of this band apart from how exceptionally skilled they are; is they don't fall into the trap of idol worship as they craft their own sound that has evolved massively with each release. The beauty of this song is also they can absolutely slow the track to a downright plodding pace and then build up a punishing tempo change(plus an electrifying solo that is killer). 

is another classic and features some of the best riffs you have heard in ages, as well as cool vocal variations with almost a raw black metal influence mixed with Kreator's Extreme Aggression style. Yes, this band is masterful as hell. This particular song is quite dramatic, not in a silly progressive metal way, but balls out riffage and gripping song transitions. Backyard Facelift is the deranged closing track and oh boy are you in for a rollercoaster ride on this gem. The death thrash is as massive as the phenomenal gore grind vibe (think early Carcass albums, but also a cool Sodom vibe as well) and the maniacal riffs are imbedded into your skull like a hook from the Hellraiser movies. It's one of the shorter tracks, but again everything this band does is well thought out and the track order is superb, and before you replay the whole EP this banger possesses you by slaying you with crisp vocal brilliance and guitar magic that will have you rehashing this song in your sleep.

This release needs to be in any metal fan's catalogue and is up there with the best in the world, also support this band by seeing them live, they always have killer merch and are one of the best live acts in the country.

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Buy this and every other release/merch: