Inoculation – Celestial Putridity [USA]
Released: May 14th, 2021 via Blood Harvest
Cleveland’s Inoculation (apt name given the current climate) are as happy wallowing in the gutter, caked in shite as they are traversing the celestial gateways and their sophomore album, Celestial Putridity, was the perfect kind of “alien caveman shit” (their words, not ours) to merge such disparate styles.
As indicated, with a Glen Benton-esque vocal delivery (shrieks layered upon gutturals) the sound of the old-school was never too far away but there was also an otherworldly edge to Inoculation‘s rabid bludgeoning – positioning them somewhere between Deicide / Broken Hope and Blood Incantation.
With a little tech death and a whole load of old-school brutality, the likes of the feverish “I Am Where the Foregods Meet” were challenging yet memorable, resulting in an album of considerable appeal.
Cerebral Rot – Excretion Of Mortality [USA]
Released: June 25th, 2021 via 20 Buck Spin
A morbidly appropriate continuation of their deliciously dismal debut, Odious Descent Into Decay, Cerebral Rot‘s Excretion of Mortality was also soaked in gore and filled to the gills with memorable riffs.
There’s something unhealthily addictive and catchy about Cerebral Rot’s decrepit and murky extreme metal that bores its way into your brain like a decaying parasite. On Excretion of Mortality, the quartet fused their influences adroitly and steered clear of copying the masters (Bolt Thrower, Carcass and Autopsy). Even though there are clear influences, Cerebral Rot dismembered those grind corpses’ sounds and played their own brain-rotting brand of crusty gore metal.
Ghastly – Mercurial Passages [Finland]
Released: May 28th, 2021 via 20 Buck Spin
In the vein of Finnish death metal luminaries Demilich and Demigod, Ghastly had a knack for fashioning beautifully horrid and penetrating death metal….without having to constantly bludgeon you into oblivion.
With plenty of catchy riffs and time changes to keep the prog-death-heads interested – and with atmosphere and melodicism also playing a major part – Mercurial Passages proved that Ghastly are more concerned with working their insidious tunes into your (sub)consciousness than tearing holes in your psyche.
Cannibal Corpse – Violence Unimagined [USA]
Correct us if we’re wrong, but hadn’t Cannibal Corpse already imagined every act of violence imaginable?
So far, in the name of death metal (and all in the best possible taste), humans have been….
“Buried in the Backyard”
“Covered with Sores”
“Butchered At Birth”
“Fucked with a Knife”
“Stripped, Raped and “Strangled”
“Force Fed Broken Glass”
“Devoured by Vermin”
“Mummified in Barbed Wire”
“Eaten from Inside”
“Dismembered and Molested”
“Stabbed in the Throat”
“Pounded into Dust”
“Bent Backwards and Broken”
“Submerged in Boiling Flesh”
“Skewered from Ear to Eye”
“Encased in Concrete”
“Followed Home Then Killed”
“Destroyed Without a Trace”
For the love of gore, what could possibly be left?
Well, “Slowly Sawn” eviscerated, “Bound and Burned” left us breathless and rather sore and “Surround, Kill, Devour” rounded up the non-believers and reminded them that when it comes to barbarity, Cannibal Corpse are still delivering state of the art death metal played with passion and breathless precision. As if you expected anything less.
Oh, and before we forget, Violence Unimagined was the best Cannibal Corpse album since The Bleeding (1994). It’s that damn good. Imagine that!
Qrixkuor – Poison Palinopsia [UK]
Released: August 13th, 2021 via Dark Descent Records
To the casual and sane music listener Qrixkuor’s first full-length release, Poison Palinopsia, was the aural equivalent of a deranged nightmare. However, for those of us who actively seek out such extreme stimulation this album was a twisted and exhilarating excursion into outlandish musical terrain.
Sharing a similar avant-garde take on death metal as fellow Brits Grave Miasma and Abyssal, with Poison Palinopsia Qrixkuor unleashed one of the most complex, brutal and gripping albums in recent memory. Qrixkuor moved throughout their two tracks with varying shades of musical discordance, sonic violence and malignant melodies….and this trio of Londoners managed to meld them all into a true work of extreme art.
With plenty of discordant melodies reminiscent of bands like Morbid Angel and Suffocation, Qrixkuor also had a knack for injecting tuneful phrases and atmosphere in and amongst the insanity of Poison Palinopsia. With intros that would suit a deranged horror movie soundtrack and more than a few changes of pace – from doomy passages to full-on blast-beats – meant there was never a dull moment to be found.
Even though the global extreme music scene is oversaturated – and there are far too many trendy “cavernous” metal bands operating right now – unique and superlative death metal like Qrixkuor will continue to rise to the top of the bloody heap.
Also check out our 20 Greatest Thrash Metal Albums of 2021 feature