Postcards from Natalie Zed: Set #11

Our gal Natalie Zed is back with the eleventh installment of her Postcard reviews. Please find enclosed reviews of DEICIDE, ROTTEN SOUND, CAULDRON and more…

Deicide – To Hell With God (Century Media 2011)
Closing in on a quarter century, Deicide are still driven by an insatiable, brimstone-stinking rage. No amount of blood and froth and screaming has slaked their thirst for destruction. Their hatred is the purest thing about them, and here it is distilled again. The production quality is unusually high for a Deicide album, as well – which is a lot like saying the coat on this sacrificial goat is particularly glossy.

Bolero – Voyage From Vinland (Indie, 2011)
Toronto, Ontario blackened-deathy-folk metal warriors Bolero are often hailed as an excellent party band, a label that, while accurate, does not do them justice. These guys are also solid musicians, as their latest album, Voyage From Vinland, clearly demonstrates. The mix is a little wonky at times, especially on the drums, which sound tinny and thin when, in a live setting, they roar like Viking oars crashing into the ocean. Nonetheless, this is a fun, pleasureable album, even sporting a few poignant moments, and it gives the listener just a taste of what a force this band is to see live. They’ll be playing with Kalmah, Warcall, and Woods of Ypres at The Mod Club on March 13th. You should go; I promise they will not disappoint you.

Ufomammut – Eve (Supernatural Cat, 2010)
All three members of this band are part of the Malleus Art Rock Lab, a graphic design collective. Their design sense is showcased in Eve, which does not drone so much as throb. Urgent and insistent, strange and yielding, the sound is painted with broad brushstrokes that manage to be devastatingly precise. A monstrous, towering thing with delicacy.

Cauldron – Burning Fortune (Earache, 2011)
It’s so goddamn satisfying. The riffs play out and resolve exactly as you imagine they will. The wails go exactly as high and falsetto, warbling over the shred and bang, precisely as you expect. It’s a mouthful of your favourite meal, prepared exactly the way you want it, complete with feathered hair and high-tops.

Imbroglio – Sleep Deprivation (The Path Less Travelled Records, 2011)
I admire the order. With work this violent, this intense, it would be easy to descend into discord and noise. Imbroglio are never without melody or arrangement. Everything is carefully considered. I have never encountered a musical engine capable of this kind of rage that was at the same time so intellectual and controlled. It is terrifying.

Rotten Sound – Cursed (Relapse, 2011)
I close my eyes and I am a young male deer. My horns have just come into their own, still shedding velvet in bloody strips. I see my first opponent, another young buck, across a clearing. He is bigger than me, more densely muscled. I don’t care. I will rip him apart. I lower my beauty, my weapon, my tangled crown of knives, and charge.

Sean Palmerston

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.