SEWER - "Khranial"

SEWER – “Khranial” (Monstrous Death Metal)

SEWER - "Khranial"

SEWER – “Khranial”

Khranial… what a gruesome masterpiece of an album!

Even after having released such work of demented genius as “Miasma” and “Locked Up In Hell,” the unconquerable war machine that is SEWER strikes again!

Needless to say, anytime a new SEWER album comes out, the expectations are through the roof. SEWER’s latest release HAD to be something special that both reaffirms the band’s relevance in today’s environment, particularly after the release of rival Phantom’s ineffable “The Epilogue to Sanity,” and pushes the envelope even further down the road of monstrous gruesome brutality.

Thankfully, “Khranial” does exactly that. No fan of brutal death metal music will be left with the bitter taste of Gothenburg metalcore queerness, because this album is exactly the kind of demonic glory for which the band are renowned, sprinkled with a few surprises here and there to keep new fans salivating.

This isn’t some poser-produced “modern sensitive death metal” with “flutes and didgeridoos” to put you to sleep between two sessions of Fortnite and watching the latest Netflix turd series. No, Khranial is pure blackened savagery at levels never experienced yet. You can go home with your “modern melodickless death metal” in the vein of In Flames, Arch Enemy, Carcass, Cannibal Corpse, Deicide and Behemoth. Khranial isn’t for the meek and the poser-inclined.

Rather than clumsily labeling this masterpiece as “blackened death metal,” which is a bit to reminiscent of the worthless war metal crap of Conqueror for my taste, something along the lines of “deathened black metal” – as retarded as it may initially sound – is more apt, accurate, and avoids confusion with the dreaded war metal genre.

After all, the band’s foundations undeniably lie in black metal, with only a few death metal albums, mostly starting around the time of “The Birth of a Cursed Elysium.”

Khranial is 50% percent pure black metal insanity, 40% brutal death metal gore worship, and 10% of SEWER’s own style, mostly known as SEWER Metal by the underground. Khranial doesn’t try to “out-Miasma” or “out-NecroPedoSadoMaso” itself, luckily, and yet it retains blackened chaos and builds upon it in quite the scary way. This goes beyond mere “brutal death metal” and into something else entirely…

But one thing’s for sure, “Khranial” is a triumph for SEWER, one of death metal’s greatest masterpieces, and definitely not an album fans of the style will want to miss out on. Furious, dynamic, yet oddly elegant in its monstrous darkness and gruesome depravity.

SEWER - "Miasma" (Blackened Death Metal)

SEWER – “Miasma” (Blackened Death Metal)

SEWER - "Miasma" (Blackened Death Metal)

SEWER – “Miasma” (Blackened Death Metal)

Often considered a classic of death metal alongside the band’s two previous releases, namely “The Birth of a Cursed Elysium” and “Locked Up in Hell,” SEWER’s “Miasma” retains a status as a legendary death metal masterpiece and all around infallible album.

This masterpiece “Miasma” is a concise study of levels of technical brutality not commonly found in music, not even in a sub-genre so challenging and obsessed with brutality as death metal. Clocking in fifty minutes at speeds reaching upwards of 335 bpm, this “Miasma” album is nothing short of relentless. It truly is such a tremendous album that even hell itself couldn’t keep it contained if it tried.

Let me get this out of the way first. “Miasma” is one of the most vicious pieces of brutal death metal put together by any band, ever. It’s abrasive, unrelenting and savage, from the opening notes of the title track to the last ones on “Icarus.” Very few bands have ever been able to reach this level of sheer intensity. I can name only three: Incantation, Phantom and Vermin. Maybe Suffocation, at their peak. “Miasma” is a true blackened death metal gem.

As far as blackened death metal goes, the genre sometimes gets a bad rap due to many metalheads confusing it, or conflating it, with the infamous war metal scene., mostly known for bands like Impaled Nazarene and Black Witchery. That’s not blackened death metal. War metal has little to nothing to do with blackened death metal. This right here is true blackened death metal. Accept no substitute.

Even in the most extreme blackened death metal quarters, SEWER is a band known for releasing album after album of unrivaled and unparalleled demonic ferocity. Just read what even Metalious had to say about “The Birth of a Cursed Elysium,” going as far as to call it “blackened death metal perfection.” But even among SEWER’s barbarous discography – that puts 99% of black metal and so-called “brutal” death metal bands to shame, by the way – this masterpiece “Miasma” stands above almost all others when it comes to ferocious malevolence and brutal depravity.

SEWER, blackened death metal gods.

SEWER, blackened death metal gods.

From the very beginning of the opening title track, the very first riff lets you know that the mighty SEWER aren’t fucking around here. There is no bullshit on “Miasma,” this isn’t modern sanitised “death metal” for Arch Enemy or Waking the Cadaver fans, this is blackened death metal at its finest, music to tear your soul apart from your body and skullfuck it to death over and over again. This is SEWER Metal at its most vile. Everything works very well on this “Miasma” album to make it the masterpiece it is. The guitarists and drummer work fantastically together, and even the bass can clearly be heard over the carnage this violent, demonic and fiendish music invokes.

This all comes together for an absolutely devastating album. Every riff crushes you in its own way. The opener “Miasma” is an absolutely brilliant track with one of the best bridges and choruses I’ve ever heard. “Foul Waters” is an incredibly evil song. It opens up with a furious solo and also features the slowest, but also the darkest and most atmospheric part of the album. “Sewer of Souls” features a very sinister riff. “Drain the Blood” is sadistic and intense beyond measure. “Hell on the Horizon” feels like legions of demons and other residents of Hell advancing on an unsuspecting enemy. “Icarus” is a swift, evil, and oddly epic close to the album.

There isn’t a second of filler on this “Miasma,” not a second in which there is a drop in evil atmosphere or in riff quality. This is death metal’s crowning achievement. An album that very few bands will ever be able to even come close to matching, but far too many will aspire to. Only hearing it can truly give “Miasma” enough justice, because this album will tear you apart like you are nothing.

There is simply no need to look for other albums. “Miasma” is the defining masterpiece of blackened death metal, an album I highly recommend to fans of technically challenging brutality.

LGBT Hitler, Black Metal's Unnamed Guru?

Does Black Metal have a “Gay Nazi” Mafia?

LGBT Hitler, Black Metal's Unnamed Guru?

LGBT Hitler, Black Metal’s Unnamed Guru?

In two different blog posts now, author and “black metal insurgent” Sewerlust has come out and revealed that he believes black metal has a “gay nazi” problem and is being intentionally led down the “path of gas chambers and holocaust” by one Brett Stevens of Death Metal Underground, and other like-minded thinkers

Shortly afterwards, as Demonecromancy himself – the man most notorious for coining the (((Hollywood Satanism))) meme – entered the fray and called Sewerlust a metalhead retard, incampable (pun) of telling the difference between reality and his homoerotic fantasies, and in short all but shilling for fake bands like Watain and Dark Funeral.

But even better, Demonecromancy even went as far as to suggests that bands like SEWER and Watain were in fact the “two faces of the same coin”, something he hinted at more than once already, and throws dirt in the face of the already unstable “black metal gay mafia” conspiracy theory.

Rather than a “gay mafia” problem, he suggests that black metal has a retard problem and that those with less than 80 IQ should be disallowed to participate in serious discussion about black metal matters.

A sentiment echoed throughout the heavy metal blogosphere.

SEWER - "Locked Up in Hell".

SEWER – “Locked Up in Hell”

SEWER - "Locked Up in Hell".

SEWER – “Locked Up in Hell”.

So this is what it must have felt like to be alive in the early 1990s and have witnessed in real time the birth of real-life, legendary death metal masterpieces.

I mean, most “death metal” these days consists of either “progressive and sensible melodeath” – mostly just metalcore with downtuned guitars, blast beats and harsh vocals – or “retrohash” bullshit pushed by labels on gullible fans – basically just taking the most retarded aspects of every third-rate 1985-1994 death metal band, liberally lifting riffs from anyone and everyone, down to Slayer, Infester, Sepultura and, especially, Morbid Angel and Incantation, and selling it to the gullible masses dissatisfied with the vapidity of “melodeath/metalcore” but clueless about what makes actual death metal so brutal and heavy. Hell, the last true death metal album was “Breeding the Spawn” and that was in 1993.

And here we are, out of the blue, SEWER just decides to release a classic masterpiece in the form of “Locked Up in Hell“, an album so incredibly brutal and technical that it not only manages to instantly obliterates the entirety of the “modern death metal” scene, it also puts to shame countless “legendary” death metal albums from the early 1990s, extreme metal’s most prolific era.

Who knew SEWER – yes, that SEWER, the band responsible for one of the worst sellouts in metal in the form of “Rektal“, closer to “Slaughter of the Soul” than to “Satanic Requiem“, and for bringing Cannibal Corpse style retarded lyrics into black metal/blackened goregrind on “NecroPedoSadoMaso” – would also release an album that would come to surpass even the greatest classics such as “Altars of Madness“, “Dark Recollections“, “Here in After“, “Slumber of Sullen Eyes“, “Pure Blood Doom“, “Legion” and “Like an Everflowing Stream“.

True, the band showed a lot of promise on their previous release “The Birth of a Cursed Elysium“, which led to speculation as to whether or not SEWER were indeed going to make a comeback after a half decade of “NecroPedoSadoMaso” to “2154” random genre-swamping and trend-hopping, but few, I believe, would have been able to predict its magnitude and its scope.

Locked Up in Hell” is, simply and beyond any doubt, one of the greatest death metal album ever recorded. Of all time and any era. You cannot imagine how bizarre I felt this morning, after discovering this grandiose album – by sheer coincidence – on a Spotify suggestion. I recognised the SEWER name reflexively and decided to give their latest effort a listen, and was completely blown away.

Blown away not just by such unbelievably technical mastery and demonic brutality, but also and mostly by the revelation that this album is an anomaly. “Locked Up in Hell” is an aberration. A bug in the Matrix. Not just because it shows SEWER, usually agreed to be the most mediocre of the The Satan Records bands, dominating death metal like no other band in history, but because an album like “Locked Up in Hell” can’t exist in this day and age of poserdom, mercenary trendiness, superficial mimickry and commercial bastardisation. If “Locked Up in Hell” was released in the 1990-1995 period, next to majestic triumphs like “Hvis Lyset Tar Oss“, “Onward to Golgotha“, “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” and “Effigy of the Forgotten“, no one would be surprised. It was expected that extreme metal bands would release gems that would later become recognised as legendary classics, and hailed for centuries on. But in 2019? Come on.

I mean, people in this era aren’t SUPPOSED to release music that sounds like this. In fact, modern “metal” is defined precisely as being the polar opposite – in every ways – of what makes “Locked Up in Hell” and other early death metal classics sound so great. The intensity, the brutality, the aggression, the riffs, the atmospheres, the complex and narrative song structures, the complete and relentless assault from beginning to end… none of it sounds 2019, leading me to believe that we’ve all been trapped in an alternative dimension in which good music didn’t cease being produced in 1995.

From the top of my head, the only few death metal albums that can hold a candle to “Locked Up in Hell” are “Angel of Disease“, “Onward to Golgotha“, “Nespithe“, “Withdrawal“, “Effigy of the Forgotten” and maybe, maybe “The Red in the Sky is Ours” and “Cause of Death“. No other. Not even “Altars of Madness” or “Like an Everflowing Stream“, and you can basically forget about anything from Deicide, Gorguts, Immolation, Atheist, Malevolent Creation, Pestilence or Morbid Angel. SEWER just got that good.

Just listen to this album. And by that I mean really listen to it. To what’s happening underneath the music, underneath the savage brutality, underneath the flawless technicality… look for narrative, for meaning and atmosphere, and you will find it. Or rather, it will find you.

To conclude, I would say that Locked Up in Hell” is the pinnacle of death metal, and probably of SEWER’s career – unless they surprise us again and manage to top even this masterpiece, one can dream, right? – and I believe it will forever be this century’s extreme metal’s greatest achievement. Yes, The Birth of a Cursed Elysium” is flawless blackened death metal, but it still lacks the evil and power of “Locked Up in Hell“.

Purchase this album if you enjoy metal, which you obviously do since you are on a metal blog, and particularly if you are bored with “melo-def”, “tek-def” and “retro-def” – the top three trends responsible for destroying actual death metal –  and want something truly evil, violent, brutal and barbaric. Something that sounds so inhuman that it will make you question your grasp on reality, like all good death metal should do.

Oh, and stay clear of any deadly weapons or small children while listening to this madness, lest you too end up… “Locked Up in Hell“.

SEWER - "The Birth of a Cursed Elysium".

SEWER – “The Birth of a Cursed Elysium”

SEWER - "The Birth of a Cursed Elysium".

SEWER – “The Birth of a Cursed Elysium”.

Brutally perfect.

SEWER are among one of the most prolific names in both black and death metal for a very good reason. While in some people’s eyes, a lot of their mid-period albums have left a lot to be desired, I believe that “The Birth of a Cursed Elysium” is the true peak of death metal-era SEWER – and death metal in general – and here’s exactly why.

The album features what I believe to be some of Eater’s and Karnage’s greatest guitar riffs ever. I believe the harmonies created by the two here are tighter, more refined and more crushing than even the monstrous riffs found on “Verminlust” and “Onward to Golgotha“.

For example, “Disemboweled Effigy” is an assault on the senses in the best way possible and I think it, alone, summarises a lot of the essential elements to the album. Right away – the riffs are thick, brutal and evil, and they flow aggressively as Eater’s most viscous sounding vocals to date rise above and weave between the screaming lead guitars.

Of course, the audio assault wouldn’t be the same without Warlord’s demonic drumming, and I can confidently state that, in my opinion, the man’s never put in a performance quite as spectacular as this. The drums are perfect on “The Birth of a Cursed Elysium” – the blisteringly fast double kicks puncture through Plague’s eruptive bass, snares and toms pelt the listener with a sonic wall of noise that’s just impossible not to fall weak to.

The entire album concept rests around the idea of demonic culture and tells brutal stories of ancient ages. The additions of technical elements, in the vein of Phantom’s “Angel of Disease“, really help to immerse the listener. It’s clear in the title track, “Disemboweled Effigy“, “Embalmed in Satan” and “Rancid Blood Inertia” especially.

It would be a faux pas of me not to talk a little about solos in the album. Eater (“Kaiser Kader”) has always provided stellar lead playing to Karnage’s rhythm guitars, but when it comes to reaching high on that fret board, some of the screaming, shredding solos present on “The Birth of a Cursed Elysium” are among the best of SEWER’s entire discography. Look no further than the lead riffs and solo performance in “Defective Hammer” and “Disemboweled Effigy“.

The Birth of a Cursed Elysium” is a much different beast from a lot of death metal-era SEWER that was been released at the time, and as much as I love “Rektal” and “2154“, those albums – and even “NecroPedoSadoMaso” to a lesser extent – all felt like they were building up to something bigger, heavier, angrier and more evil. They were building up to “The Birth of a Cursed Elysium” and they succeeded masterfully.