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All I Want for Christmas Is My New Grunt Leads

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I’ve always loved Origin. And I’ve always hated their vocalist. He, James Lee, just wasn’t right. He had the shrill frenzy to match the music but not the gravitas to overcome John Longstreth’s absurd vibrations and the general immensity on display. Antithesis, in particular, with it’s non-stop blasting, suffered mightily from Mr. Lee’s disappearance beneath the sonic mass; his shrieks were simply drowned out. The point was driven home on Entity when the two stringers and backing vocalists took over for him and were basically just as good. Still, there was a void in between Paul Ryan’s insane guitarslaughter and

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Pestilence Walketh into Darkness

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Though news posts are generally beyond the walls of this Garden, there are always those insistent outsiders that will dig their way in and today just such an intruder has found its way in – so I pass along the news of the demise of Pestilence, as reported by founding member, guitarist and vocalist Patrick Mameli. This news is not quite bittersweet, rather something more like bemusing. On the one hand we are witnessing the end of the second iteration of Pestilence, a version that ran from 2008 to 2014, an end about which I am nearly totally indifferent. I

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Origin – Entity

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Origin is not a complicated band. As hard to digest as their music may be, they’ve been doing pretty much the same thing for a decade now, pummeling our eardrums with a hailstorm of notes all building into massive breakdowns. And we love them for this. For me, at least, Origin is the “crazy” band, the group that best exemplifies the flurrious technicality, overwhelming brutality and manic energy that death metal has evolved in this century. Yes, there are technical bands that I prefer, and yes it is difficult to make it through 45 straight minutes of this, but Origin

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The Leprous Garden

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Why another metal review site? There are certainly enough of them already, from big encyclopaedic ones to basic, one man blogs. To create such a site in 2014 isn’t revolutionary – it’s hardly even keeping up with the times. So, why? We believe there is something missing, something more to be done when it comes to writing about metal. The journalists are out there – they’ve been writing in magazines for decades and those magazines continue to this day, bringing us news, interviews and reviews. The web is inundated with metal websites, a perfect medium for bringing esoteric information to

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About the Reviews

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These reviews are not meant to help fill in the pages of the proverbial metal encyclopaedia – such things already exist in numerous places, to the great benefit of the metal community. Our goal is neither to review as many albums as possible nor to offer concise summaries of the music or the place in the discography and metal history. The goal is to write about albums that offer an opportunity to say more, to have a thesis, be it aesthetic, historical or otherwise in nature. Of course, since we are metal listeners and metal lovers it is undeniable that

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Leprous Garden – Tonight at 7:00 p.m.

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Join us tonight for the latest installment of the Leprous Garden radio show on WGXC fm. Tonight’s show will feature music from Amon Amarth, Deicide, Cryptopsy and something long and proggy, yet to be decided, plus much more, as well as the latest episode of “Metallurgy: The Study of Metals” called “The Outer Limits” in which we’ll look at the work of Coroner, Confessor, Voivod and Watchtower, four bands that expanded upon the formula for thrash metal and expanded the genre in its last days. As always the show can be heard locally on 90.7fm or streaming at www.wgxc.org from

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Carcass – Surgical Steel

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Perhaps it’s nothing more than the curse of the great, but with each passing death metal reunion I find myself more and more reluctant. Carcass could well have been my most beloved of the recent slate of once defunct bands to release new material yet I was even more indifferent about Surgical Steel upon its release than any. The disappointment of Jupiter and Pestilence’s recent work along with my tepid (initial) response to Gorguts’ Colored Sands left me investing my time in other things. After all, I thought, it’s not going anywhere; if it’s worth it I’ll find out soon

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Lineup Aborted

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I’m always curious about a band’s ability to maintain a lineup. Of course it makes the most sense when a band has the same 5 guys and is always good – let’s go with Mastodon as our example. It just seems like, if the guys making the music are not the same, how is the band going to be the same? Countering this idea are bands who retain the songwriter only – of course, Death. That makes sense too. One guy, writes the music, finds people to populate said music. But such is an exceptional case; in general, when you’re

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Logical Negativism

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I’ve found it hard, though I’ve given myself ample opportunity, to come up with an opinion about Italian technicians Illogicist’s most recent album, The Unconsciousness of Living. It’s not that I don’t have opinions about it: it is absolutely, between it’s slaughterhouse guitar tone and acerbic vocals, one of the most vicious albums to come out in the past few years; it’s technicality is wonderful, at times overwhelmingly layered but generally not too random, not too flashy; it’s, overall, too self-similar and lacks the variation and album-wide dynamics that would make it a lot more enjoyable. All these thoughts and more

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Emphatic Blast Beats

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Blast beats are powerful. They are moments of power. I’ve often considered the dual relationships to death metal of blast beats and double bass; they’re related but not identical. Compared to thrash and other early extreme metal, the former is what defines death metal; compared to grind- and hardcore, it’s the latter. At least in terms of percussion. Ultimately, I’m forced to decide that it’s not one or the other, but both. Double bass rolls represent death metal’s consistent groove, its heavily rhythmic foundation as well as its crowd stirring might; blast beats represent its blistering aggression, pervasive loudness and

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