Mumakil – Flies Will Starve

Mohammad Kabeer reviews the new album from Mumakil titled Flies Will Starve, released via Relapse Records.


01 – Death From Below
02 – Dawn Of Slugs
03 – War Therapist
04 – Fucktards Parade
05 – Built Of Lies
06 – Shit Reminders
07 – Designed To Fail
08 – Get Exorcised
09 – Fresh Meat For The Grinder
10 – Repudiate
11 – Army Of Freaks
12 – Hailing Regression
13 – Cockroaches
14 – Wrong Turn
15 – Let The World Burn
16 – Piss Off (Part 2)
17 – Waste By Definition
18 – Unfair For Whom
19 – Bring Them To Ruin
20 – Begging For The Obvious
21 – Redline
22 – Blind Disciples
23 – Betrayer
24 – Behind The Mask

Mumakil are actually mythical creatures, from the ever so constantly cited Lord of the  Rings trilogy. Gigantic  elephant like creatures to be precise, and with that in mind you’d probably think Mumakil to be a folk or power metal  band,  but things are not always as they seem now are  they?

Mumakil are a four piece from Geneva, Switzerland consisting of the extremely talented Kevin Foley on drums who has also played with other renowned bands like Sepultura, Benighted and Nervecell. Then we have Jeje on Guitars, Thomas on bass and  Benjamin Droz on vocals. The style of music that these guys play pretty much falls within the periphery of deathgrind, although their sound is very reminiscent of modern deathgrind bands like Plague Widow or Murder Construct, they are still sound close to the roots of the genre. Mumakil have all the elements that a really sick, brutal deathgrind band should have. Blazing fast hyperblast beats (probably some of the fastest I have heard) that take the speed of the genre to the next level, thick, juicy guitar riffs that have that death metal punch that bring a smile to my face, and some pretty intense growls as well.

But then what really brings this band down (well for me at least) is the songwriting or the excess of it, I like my grind really tight , really fast and to move swiftly  from one part of the song to the next without any kind of warning , without smooth  transitions and that’s just something that thrills me every time I listen to it. It’s like an awesome roller coaster ride  that I want to get on again and again, and I am able to find this in most of the subgenres including the two bands I have mentioned above. With their latest “Flies will starve” Mumakil  have got the first two things laid down pretty well but it’s the third thing that’s  the problem,   everything just seems so calculated, so intricate  so well planned  that  much of the chaos  which  I look for in the genre seems lost.  It just feels as if there is just too much emphasis on structure, on deciding what will come next and that simply shoots down the raw emotion that can be associated with this style. Although there are the tracks Fucktards Parade and Repudiate that do manage to create that feeling but they are too few to count. In fact this band is so mechanically precise they make Noisear sound like Anal cunt.

Alas Mumakil this time does not prove to be the gigantic elephant it was meant to be, but I do hope they return next time with an album that will blast my face off .

Stream the entire album right here:

Preludium – Impending Hostility

Achintya Venkatesh reviews the new album from Preludium titled Impending Hostility, released via Transcending Obscurity.


Humanity’s fascination with war is nothing short of confounding – destructive and degenerating in actuality, but war has somehow wound up as one of the most prominent themes of the creative canvas of various art forms. This fascination is almost macabre, given the cadaverous nature of war, but it also seems to serve as a point of transcendence – the mindless slaughter and carrion that war is riddled also goes hand in hand with the bravado, glory, manhood and noble sacrifice associated with war – in effect, war is nothing short of paradoxical. Luridity and heroism are both romanticized in war, making it an all the more powerful subject. The genre of heavy metal, which has in modernity continued to serve as the bombastic bastion of alternative thinking served with a good dose of rebellion, hasn’t been too far behind as far as the thematic obsession with war is concerned. Bands like the pacifist-driven thrash veterans and extreme metal forefathers Sodom, to the British old school death metal legends Bolt Thrower and even more recent projects like Hail of Bullets have all incorporated war as the backdrop for their music. Preludium is Mielec-based band that continues this legacy in metal – this infatuation with war, a phenomenon that their homeland has been subject to through the ages. One would think upon first inspection of the band that being a blackened death metal seems to be a national cliché of sorts for Polish bands. So, does Preludium distinguish itself from a sea of stylistic clones? Read on.

‘Legacy of Destinations’, the opening track of the album immediately establishes the atmosphere of the album, opening with a pacing drum beat similar to the war beats upon which soldiers march, after which the band soon descends into a frenzied orchestration of mayhem and wreckage. The riff-work here is certainly biased towards more death metal styled tremolo riffs, and one is immediately impressed by the intense precision of drummer Piotr Ungeheuer. ‘Realm of Void’ is an experience comprising of sheer speed and intensity through and through. ‘Desolation’ is a brief and to-the-point track with some excellent usage of groove-driven, engaging harmonic pinches. ‘Hostile Area’ brings to the fore the more blackened quality of their music in comparison to the tracks that precede it with some excellent soloing to boot.  The band seem to have mastered the art of track placement, given that ‘Bitter Cold’ is just the right break from the relentlessness of the rest of the album, with the plodding doom it presents the listener, alongside melancholic leads atop bludgeoning riffs and double-bass work that invoke some sort of bizarrely tight savageness.

‘Blessing of War’ is a solid slab of definitive audile decimation with some passages that are direct nods to the likes of Bolt Thrower and fellow countrymen Vader. ‘Death Campaign’ is in a similar vein with some impressive drum fills and appropriate doses of melody that project the hardships of war to the listener. ‘Execution’ is a bit of a filler track in comparison, but the excellent closing instrumental track ‘Warfare’ saves face after a rather generic preceding track. The track paints a picture of war-ravaged soldiers reliving the drudgeries and horrors that characterizes war in itself. The hints of melody at times remind one of Desultory, but the band’s uniqueness is not lost, courtesy of the heavy grooves and mid-tempo, marching percussive quality of the drums.

The production is crystal clear, and the sound samples chosen are tasteful and only serve to reinforce the atmosphere of war – such as the sounds of blowing wind in the beginning of the album, in effect creating a bleak atmosphere, or the hair-raising, fearsome sounds of explosion. Of course the highlight is the sheer carnage that is portrayed by the instrumentation, from the ferocious guitars to the blast beats, as well as a good measure of tempo changes. The vocals lean on the death metal side of things, although certain tracks certainly show case black-metal oriented shrieks and rasps. In light of the same, the well paced tracks dispel any notions of monotony, that the listener may well feel initially. Łukasz Dziamarski and his soldiers have created a solid slab of blackened death metal with this album that manages to distinguish itself a fair degree from legions of bands in its genre. Kudos to Transcending Obscurity for roping in the band, as well as invigorating the local Indian metal scene by serving as one of the premier extreme metal labels in the nation. The release doesn’t particularly bring anything new to the table in terms of stylistic growth or innovation, but its precision and tightness is nothing short of invigorating.

Extol – S/T

Extol’s self-titled was released via Indie Recordings / Facedown Records.


01 – Betrayal
02 – Open The Gates
03 – Wastelands
04 – A Gift Beyond Human Reach
05 – Faltering Moves
06 – Behold The Sun
07 – Dawn Of Redemption
08 – Ministers
09 – Extol
10 – Unveiling The Obscure
11 – Sting Of Death

It is hard for a band to leave their indelible mark on a listener’s psyche post-2000. Simply put, there are just too many bands at it. The mighty riff attack of the 80’s and early 90’s have stayed gold all long, beyond which there’s been a lot of, well, quite unremarkable releases. Either falling victim to creative stagnation or just being plain average at best. Unfortunately with the internet, more of these got fed into our systems, exasperating as it is. Yet there is a light at the end of every dark tunnel.

Extol seems to be a band that has remained relatively unscathed in the fray. For their brand of metal have always paid homage to progression and has never really played the same album twice. Something even the progenitors of the great genre find themselves doing.

Extol’s self titled and 5th full length, after a hiatus of 8 years, have already had the hype train running all over the interweb. As is the case, every hype train meets with partial to complete derailment. Well in this case, they just seemed to hint at derailment, while in reality never amounting to more than a wobble. Extol’s flag of progressive/melodic death metal still flies high. All the years of relative idleness, have not let their level of musicianship into a state of decline. The self-titled is still a case of hitting the stride like all their releases. Soulful and equally melodic leads, thrash technicality and above all, their signature abruptness runs the gamut through the album. The abruptness here, refers to the extremely unpredictable structural changes of their songs, changing the flow and dynamics within each song, effectively bolstering the overall replayability. This particular point has grown to be a bone of contention amongst most technical metal albums, as they can easily descend, and quite often at that, into senseless wankery. Extol on the other hand, use their technical wherewithal intelligently and follow it up with a sublime melodic lead or a groove. This befuddles the listener, as much as it invokes appreciation. And this alone warrants the record more reruns.

The grand point of convergence, where the band, the album and the song are all share the same title, is probably the catchiest track from Extol’s entire discography. The massive yet infectious melody permeating throughout the entire track will leave you in awe at Ole Borud’s uncanny ability, to pen down some of the finest melodious riffs there is, a la Undeceived.  Espovell’s clean vocals, dexterous in execution, add an air of lightness to each song. Wasteland and Faltering Motives are other fine examples of Extol’s craft. On the contrary, opener Betrayal, Behold the Sun and Ministers are decent tracks in their own right, but does lack the mysterious charm beheld in the rest. Things come to a happy ending with the eloquently crafted ‘Unveiling the Obscure’.

In all, the self titled is equal parts a progression and a throwback. Although not quite the next ‘Undeceived’, it does come a close second. And that is no small feat indeed.

Devourment – Conceived in Sewage

The Old Disgruntled Bastard reviews the new album from Devourment titled Conceived in Sewage, released via Relapse Records.



01. Legalize Homicide
02. Fifty Ton War Machine
03. Conceived In Sewage
04. Fucked With Rats
05. March to Megiddo
06. Today We Die, Tomorrow We Kill
07. Heaving Acid
08. Carved Into Ecstasy
09. Parasitic Eruption

Notorious Devourment, harbingers of an entire sub genre frowned upon by death metal purists, return to bash skulls in with their first full length in four years. Brutality is a much-touted byword in this particular scene, and while I can occasionally enjoy simplistic chugathons, to me oppressive, violent death metal has always been more synonymous with bands predating the style in question; when it comes down to it, few, in my estimation, can rival the sheer bloody-nosed irreverence of titles like ‘Lunatic Of God’s Creation’, ”Your Rotting Face’, Coronation Of Our Domain’, ‘Slowly We Rot’, ‘Liege Of Inveracity’, ‘Benedictine Convulsions’, etc, songs you wouldn’t necessarily associate with the term “brutal death metal” (other than Suffocation, of course). Bands like Infester and Embalmer, still grimier offshoots, exhibited far more backwoods brutality and an innate sense of perversion, intimately woven into the fabric of the overall sound, never faked, than what has come to be called slam/brutal death; a vibe achieved through a general tone of malice fostered by the arrangements, and not just overt use of gruesome, politically incorrect audio samples or uniformly dumbed down riffing.


Stream the entire album below:


To their credit, though, Devourment switch things up on Conceived In Sewage. While they aren’t about to be mistaken for Pavor anytime soon, the progenitors of slam choose, for the most part, to give wide berth to the gratuituous breakdown. Now I don’t mean to suggest that there is nothing of the sort on display here; the band still chug away to glory for more than equitable portions of the album but Devourment have certainly upped the tempo on these sections, almost to the extent of dissuading pit ninjas and assorted martial artists from honing their chops to the nuisance of all gathered. It’s a funny thing; played just a touch slowly, these parts would yet resemble the archetypal slam, but as they stand, they resemble a slam band hurrying through their set to meet the closing call. And it works better than it has ever worked, or has worked, at least since Molesting The Decapitated.

I mean, I could make out Mike Majewski growling ‘I watch them die.  Their dying eyes burned in my mind’ on opener ‘Legalize Homicide’ without referring the lyric sheet. Surely that has to be a first for this band? The piglet-gargling-down-the-toilet burps, once Ruben Rosas’ specialty, are somewhat held back in favour of a more traditional lower register; of course, this being Devourment, “traditional” is somewhat of an event parallax.

But it is the little things done differently that will ultimately bear favourable testimony to Conceived In Sewage. The title song begins with a doomy intro that lapses into one of the most infectious breakdowns the band has penned; good luck staying still when this is played live. An instrumental, ‘March To Megiddo’, with its staggered, stabbing chords and the martial beat underneath, is something you’d expect on a Hail Of Bullets record, but it is startlingly effective respite before plunging headlong into the remainder of the album’s groove-obsessed charnel grounds. Elsewhere, Devourment channel Cannibal Corpse, and old death metal, in general, more than they ever have, giving it their distinct, neanderthal slant; I just wonder how much more exotic the whole thing would’ve been with a solo or three thrown into the mix.

Some may call Devourment low-brow entertainment but, much like Mortician, there is a niche, and a need, for bands like them. That is not to condone  the hordes of imitators, but Devourment are genuine originators and Conceived In Sewage shows a veteran band caring enough to diversify their basic template.