The first quarter of 2021 is behind us, which means it’s high time we rounded up some of the finer releases of January to March for your dutiful delectation…..
Here are the 10 DEATH METAL albums – presented in no particular order – released between January 1st and March 31st 2021 that we found the most satisfying!
We’ve focused on straight up death metal here, not technical death metal or deathcore or even brutal death metal per se. No one reads these intros anyway but hope that’s cleared things up.
Creeping Fear – Hategod Triumph [France]
Released: March 26th, 2021 via Dolorem Records
A dense, dank and disturbing descent into death metal hell awaits those who dive into Creeping Fear‘s second album, Hategod Triumph.
With a title like that you know the score, right? Brutally blasphemous death metal in the manner of Deicide and Immolation?
Yep, pretty much.
Straddling that fine line between old-school attitude and modern brutality, Creeping Fear pummel the living shit out of you with no remorse and no let-up. Which, if that sounds appealing, makes Hategod Triumph the death metal album for you! 7/10
Altered Dead – Returned To Life [Canada]
Released: January 15th 2021 via Memento Mori
With a sound sludgier than Domination-era Morbid Angel and Autopsy wrestling in tar (in Sweden, surrounded by chainsaws), Altered Dead‘s Returned to Life is as mucky, doomy and as downright dank as that description infers.
Ripe with crushing, crawling, crusty death/doom riffs and crunchy as fuck chainsaw guitars, this relatively straightforward album punishes with its direct approach. A muddier, murkier, more superior combination of old school death (in the style of Swedish legends Grave) and doom you’d be hard pressed to find 8/10
Celestial Sanctuary – Soul Diminished [UK]
Released: March 26th, 2021 via Redefining Darkness Records
From headless torso to severed toe, Celestial Sanctuary‘s debut album, Soul Diminished, delivered….and delivered BIG! Big riffs. A big vocal performance. Big fuckin’ balls wrapped in big fuckin’ big-boy death metal under-fuckin’-pants! That BIG enough for ya?!
With the aural sting of prime Bolt Thrower, Carcass & Benediction ringing in our ears, it’s clear that Celestial Sanctuary have embraced a 90’s groove and mid-tempo stomp that means this is the heaviest thing you’ll hear this side of an obese elephant using your ear-drum as a trampoline.
With more than a little of Obituary‘s nastiness also informing much of their work, this really is a 90s nostalgia-fest performed by a band who have managed to make this recognisable sound, still sound like their own. 7/10
If it pleases you, why not read our full review of Celestial Sanctuary‘s Soul Diminished. But only if it pleases you.
Asphyx – Necroceros [Netherlands]
Released: January 22nd 2021 via Century Media Records
Dutch death metal nobility Asphyx returned in January with album number 10 and Necroceros was a sure-fire reminder that OSDM will never, ever die!
Worshippers of Asphyx‘s superlative back catalogue will delight in full-throttle ragers such as opening track “The Sole Cure is Death” – with time seemingly standing still as the band unleash early 90’s death metal riffs backed by Martin van Drunen’s instantly recognisable rasp – but it’s the Bolt Thrower meets Candlemass nature of much of Necroceros which appealed the most; with Asphyx ably dishing out a masterclass in death/doom as if the last 30 years never happened.
Nostalgic, neanderthal and as nasty as fuck! 8/10