Ilium – Quantum Evolution Event

I would like to start this off by saying that I am not qualified to properly review this album. I would rate my knowledge of punk rock as strong to very strong, depending on the time period and geographical location. With the exception of late 80s/early 90s hip-hop, I am remarkably ignorant of any other type of music. This release is about as punk rock as Phantom of the Opera, so I will be winging it, or “bullshitting”.

Ilium are a heavy metal band. Now, as many of you know, there are essentially two types of metal. There’s the kind where you can read the font, and the kind where you can’t. Well, you can read Ilium’s. It’s written plain as day on a flying dagger with a gargoyle perched atop the handle. These guys go beyond just having a decipherable font though.

This is a special subgenre of metal for dudes who shop at that weird store at the mall where you can buy a sword. Their Bandcamp page describes them as “symphonic metal”, which sounds appropriate as it has all the drama and flamboyance of a highly choreographed Broadway production. To be clear, I’m not bagging on them. These guys are masters (or wizards) of their craft. I’m sure this isn’t what they (or any other metal band ever) were going for, but this EP is fun. It’s a lot more fun than the kind of metal with cookie monster vocals where you don’t even know what the band is called because their name is just a bunch of menacing scribbles.

One of their previous releases is called “Enviro Metal”, and appears to be comprised of songs about caring for planet Earth. The cover art depicts a peaceful intergalactic Serengeti plain. I think the genre could use more of that. You never see heavy metal artwork where the landscape is properly cared for. It’s always like, this used to be a city, but now it’s been destroyed and this corpse in the foreground is laughing at me.

I’m only guessing here, but my assumption is that this type of metal is not fashionable, and that Ilium are complete dorks. Great! They’re a lot cooler than some Burzum worshiping wannabe viking motherfucker with sketchy politics. This EP is ridiculous and crazy, and I love it.

The term ilium comes from the final segment of the small intestine, which is appropriate because these guys are really working on some new shit. Give it a listen, regardless of what you’re into. It’s fun, the way metal should be. 

–Zach Akenson

Split – Voidcrawler & Deconvolution

I was in the mood for something a little more brutal today, and well, I guess I’m in luck. I’m listening to the new split with Deconvolution and Voidcrawler; Four tracks of pure fucking onlsaught!

The EP opens with blistering metal as Deconvolution belts out “Sanctimonious”. A track lodged between some seriously dark metal, and later era Hardcore. Razor vocals, but not screamo, inserted into a crushing metal cacophony of bass, guitar, and drums.

Track two, “Guillotine” introduces itself at a slightly slower pace, only to accelerate into Slayer speeds. It owes as much to 80s Thrash as it does to 90s Death metal. 

Photo by Reikon Devore

Track three brings us into Voidcrawler territory. “Certain Fatality” offers further sonic assault. Relentless chugging riffs and an angry growl grip you straight by the throat. The song winds down with what I can only describe as death by weed wacker. 

The final track “Torment” bursts at the seams with unbridled anguish, the very torment the title invokes. Extreme metal solos lace the tracks and neatly sew up its bone crushing grind. 

A brief, yet brutal split from bands who, if they haven’t been, would be right at home at Wacken Open Air. (During some better year, when music festivals return) 


1 Deconvolution- Sanctimonious

2 Deconvolution- Guillotine

3 Voidcrawler- Certain Fatality

4 Voidcrawler- Torment

Press Release:

Blindsided Records’ 4th release is about to be unleashed into the world. A 7” vinyl record featuring Voidcrawler (NL) & Deconvolution (CH), each taking up one side of the wax. Having played together several times the combination was a slamdunk as the music from both outfits complement each other perfectly. The riff filled record will drop both digitally and physically on 7” vinyl on June 12th, 2020.

DECONVOLUTION will kick off the record with raw hardcore combined with juicy thrash metal riffs. The Swiss band, hailing from Solothurn, has been working hard since 2015 and released their first EP ‘Fool’s Path’ in 2017. Sharing the stage with major hardcore bands Terror, Broken Teeth, Hawser and Expire to name a few, they gained momentum in the European hardcore scene. A promo cassette was released in 2019 and Blindsided Records is more than proud to feature them on this record.

On ‘Sanctimonious’ the band talks about the annihilation of our world, two faced politicians and the destruction of the environment. ‘Guillotine’ is about a group of people suffering and rising up against their leader through violent means. It’s easy to draw parallels with certain US leaders as the symbolic monarch, especially in these trying times.

Side two is occupied by the most terrifying band in the Netherlands, VOIDCRAWLER. In just two years the Dutch band have already played shows all over Europe and released their acclaimed EP ‘Maddening Descent’ last year. The band produces an unique blend of extremely angry metal and hardcore. Lyrically frontman Lennart explores similar themes as DECONVOLUTION, for example he imagines the end of the world on ‘Certain Fatality’.

Blindsided Records

Verthebral – Regeneration

When I think of blistering Death Metal, naturally my thoughts turn, geographically, to the sleepy plains of South America. Of course I’m talking about Paraguay. It’s what is basically the Kansas of South America. Were else do you expect to find brutal, crushing, tormenting metal? As I’m sure you already know, I’m referring to Verthebral and their forthcoming release “Regeneration” on Satananth Records. 10 tracks of musical onslaught so intense that it’ll make your forgot about every other death metal band from Paraguay you’ve ever heard.

I’ve mentioned it in the past, but I think it bears repeating. Modern technology and the rapid sharing of information, when put to good use can be a powerful force for change. It can bring the underground to the surface and bring an audience to artists that may have previously gone unheard. Twenty years ago, I can nearly guarantee I never would have heard of music coming out of Paraguay. I’m very thankful that I have.

Seriously though, Regeneration is a powerful, driving album with all the metal bits in all the right places. It soars, it seethes, it chugs, and it growls just when you need it too. The riffs are breakneck, and the solos cut through your bones with the metal sound of the late 80s.

This is where the death/doom/dark metal world needs to be. Modern tunes that pay respect to the roots.

Fantastic stuff. Check it out.

Here’s a video to get you going:

Line up:
Cristhian Rojas – Bass, Vocals
Gabriel Galeano – Drums
Daniel Larroza – Guitars
Alberto Flores – Guitars

Track list:
1. Apocalyptic Seasons (Intro)
2. Place Of Death
3. Spirit In Solitude
4. Regeneration
5. Beyond The Garden Of Creation
6. Without Any God
7. Old Man’s Memories
8. The Plague Of Insomnia
9. Immaterial Essence Of Things
10. Inside Of Me

Threatpoint – RIP

[rating: 8/10]

Ominous, dark, ambient sounds slowly give way to high speed menacing in the form of distraught distorted guitar, pummeling drums, thundering bass, and brutal yet harrowing vocals. That’s what you get on the beginning of R.I.P. the new release by Scranton, PA (The Electric City) based, Threatpoint.

Fucky yeah! I say. Old school thrash metal style. Reminds me a bit of latter year M.O.D. vocally, but more metal musically. It’s funny, I suppose. I was way into metal and thrash when I was a kid. I don’t listen to it a bunch these days. Listening to this makes me feel a bit nostalgic, and it also makes me want to start a mosh pit in my office. (I’m writing this while on a coffee break, ‘cause outside my spare time, I’m a fucking office drone.)

Because I’ve been out of this genre for a while I don’t have anything to readily compare it to. Not that comparisons are all that important. Suffice it to say that it’s doomy thrash metal. The band bio indicates that they’re a “Groove Metal” band. I don’t know what that means. Sounds fucking like something a hippie that’s also into meth might say. Beyond my shallow categorization, R.I.P. is a freaking gut punch and just what I need on a Friday afternoon to get psyched for the weekend.

Lyrically the themes are dark, as I’m sure you can assume from the song titles. It’s different from the more “Fuck you, and fuck society too” type of mantra that you get from hardcore punk. Much more gothic, doom, you know, more metal.

What I liked most of all, was the Spotify commercial in the middle of the album. … ok I actually didn’t fucking like that at all.

At the end of the day, I’d say this is a damn solid, dark thrash metal release from a band to which I hadn’t been privileged to hear before today.

Check em out!

Jerry Actually

Deadend Machineland
Tombstone of My Enemies
Thy Will Be Done
Light Bleeds Through the Black
Bury the Wicked
Laugh Now… Cry Later
Writings on the Wall
One in the Chamber, One in the Chest
Face Your Fear
Angels with Broken Wings

Exalter – Obituary For The Living

© 2016 Transcending Obscurity



exalter-coverOk, so funny thing. I’ve been waxing nostalgic a bit lately and listening to a lot of the 80s Thrash Metal that I grew up on. I still love it, but it kind of went away when Metallica and Megadeth got so damn popular. Well outta nowhere and into my inbox comes some brand new Thrash that sounds like it’s from the days of old. Freaking awesome! Wilder still these cats are cranking the volume and firing metal missiles from Dhaka, Bangladesh! Crazy. Oh yeah, it happens that the new album drops today.

Obituary For The Living busts it out old school correct with rampant riffs, shred solos, and guts and gristle vocals. The songs certainly run a bit longer than my more recent short attention span can contend with, but the intensity is so high that I’m not left feeling bored. I may be off base, but I can hear influences of Sacred Reich, Nuclear Assault, Exodus, Testament and the whole core sound of late 80’s Bay area (and beyond) Thrash scene.


Don’t think that this is just a rehash of yesteryear though. The songs are all legit in their own right and writhe and undulate with their own dark energy. If I weren’t sitting at a desk typing this right now, I’d be bouncing off the walls making my own circle pit with the house cats, for realz.

So if you’re a fan of the old school of thrash, do yourself (and the band) a big ol’ favor and checkout “Obituary For The Living” the brand new release from Exalter.

Jerry Actually

1. Tortured Innocents
2. Surrounded by Evil
3. Sacrificial Immolation
4. Nuclear Punishment
5. Throat Cutters
6. Thrash Resurgence
7. White Phosphorus Shell



© 2012 SoftieRockMusic

I’m rocking out to the new release by Wichita’s own Softie. The self-titled release jam packs 15 tracks of guitar/drum duo garage-core onto a single compact disc. The tracks are diverse in their individual manner of rocking, but all are heavy on the rock and roll and to that end, the sum becomes greater than the combined parts. And folks, you just don’t always get that kind of synergy in a duo.

At any rate, Softie has been an on again, off again band in the Wichita scene for around a decade now and while I don’t have a lot of knowledge of their earlier work, I’m digging into what they are dishing up nowadays. I also am fully aware that some of the newly recorded tracks are, in fact, old tracks.

If I had to categorize, which I often do, I’d go ahead and call the band and raw blend of metal rock with a bit of punk edge, some cattle-core and a smattering of comedy. Honestly, I could do without the latter. It feels like the comedy is thrown in as a compensation measure and frankly it is unnecessary. Don’t get me wrong, some of the songs have a comedic base and that is fine, it is the little end thought false settle that seem out of place.

Jaded perspective aside, the songs do still rock. I had the CD in my car for a few trips to work and back and I didn’t opt for another disc, nor did I switch it over to NPR, so that’s a good indicator of my true feeling. Though I may have a slight bias as I know half the band, I’d still listen to this and stop in for a live show or two if I didn’t. My arbitrary points scale may not reflect it though. I’m not a math guy though. You run the numbers.

Bottom line is a fun disc with a rocking core. Go support your local bands and buy a copy, see a show, get some merch. Hell, do it all.

–Jerry Actually

Hay Perro – Eastern Ideas of Death


© 2011 Hay Perro

More back than ever before, and better too even, Hay Perro resurges with a gauntlet of renaissance metal. Still from Chicago and rocking the four piece combo, Eastern Ideas of Death jams with a serious fury of doom tinged metalicious rock and roll.

The new release gives up nine tracks of Maiden/Sabbath-esque tracks that will damn near shred your face off. I think this latest effort reaps the benefit of time. The production is better and sound is much more coalesced. The trappings of Zeke are gone from this new effort replaced with a much more consistent foundation.

The funny thing is that while I re-read the review of 2008’s Summer of Destruction (EP), I am getting bits of deja vu. Their sound has definitely kept consistent over that last several year. Now in 2011, it is just that much more polished: The new razor edge of the sword lowered to impale your sniveling non-metal guts.

While the songs border on the too long side, for short attention span folks like me, they have enough musical diversity to keep things interesting. When it all boils down, the result is one strong ass rock record. I’d love to have this on vinyl, with the knobs on the stereo dimed, shaking the paint off the neighbors walls.

–Jerry Actually

1. The Isopod
2. Vicious Beast
3. No Visions
4. Ride the Laser
5. Homunculus
6. Blue Mother
7. Mammal Disaster
8. He’s From Norway
9. Eastern Ideas of Death

Rebuke – Wouldworks

(c) 2010 Kickass Records / Disconnect Records

Somewhere in Gothenburg, Sweden, there is a mad punk rock scientist toiling away in his punk rock lab. His creation? Rebuke.

The latest album from the Swedish quartet, Wouldworks, is an aggressive hybrid of the band’s varied influences. The melodic Gothenburg metal style is painted all over the California punk sound, so much so that at times it leaves you wondering if In Flames was jamming with Bad Religion with the occasional hardcore yell thrown in from time to time. With more tempo and time signature changes than Metallica’s …And Justice For All, Rebuke seems not unsure, but unwilling to settle on which direction they are heading in, with the short punk-rock-length songs (the majority of the album’s songs are under 2:30) resembling a teenager flipping between 6 different TV channels in 1 minute. Not one song of the 13 ever starts with a distinct sound and sticks to it.

Simply put, remember when you used to take a cup at the soda fountain and put some of each different flavor in it? Yeah, it’s sorta like that (and it tastes worse than you remember).

In the end, Wouldworks could have been a decent metal-tinged punk album, but just gets too mired in its own ADHD to come together.

Werewolfs – So Yeah, We’re Werewolves

(c) 2010

Werewolfs ...So Yeah, We're Werewolves...…So Yeah, Were Werewolves. Just from the band name you can tell that they’re one of them overly confident metalcore band that are oh so popular right about now. From Colorado, there’s not much to know other than they had a bit of a break, then reformed late 2010. Werewolfs was released in December, and is a re-release of their Cadavers EP and also features demos from 2008.

The album opens with an intro track full of noises straight out of a horror movie sound effect library. Then the screams, on ‘Majesticadaver’, scare you out of your skin as soon as they’re registered in your brain. By screams I mean vocals, if that’s what you wanna call them. The instrumental side of it is chaotic, with pretty much no structure whatsoever. There’s a slight hint of Every Time I Die to them, only slight. Don’t get too excited.

‘Jenny From The Blockadaver (Undead Version)’ starts with the typical chugging Hardcore guitar riff, joined by electro/keyboard sounds, think Enter Shikari. There’s a very long intro- 1 minute, as opposed to none at all on the first track, but not much difference from the track before it. It’s clear now that it’s going to be hard to tell one song from the other.

Straight into the screams again on ‘Anachronisticadaver’. The feral instrumentals continue onto this one, making it hard to tell where one track ends and the next begins. ‘Sunshine Friends/ Dr. Jurassic Park (demo)’ kicks off with a deeper scream- kinda like Candace from Walls Of Jericho. Then the insane, screechy yelps re-emerge. Damn. Gang vocals are added to the mix of out of tune wailing on the chorus of, this, the first of 2008’s demo tracks on this record.

‘Majesticadaver (demo)’ sounds the same as the mastered version, just not as polished. What you’d expect from a demo. Oh, and it’s 4 seconds longer. One demo track that’s better than the mastered version (and most of the other songs for that matter), is ‘Anachronisticadaver (demo)’. It actually has some structure to it. Again with the pointless empty 1 minute intro on ‘J- Dahm’s Bromance (demo), which is a shame because it is one of the best songs on the CD. There’s a pause in the middle of it, then it starts back up again, who knows if it’s two tracks in one. ‘Scott Beowolf (demo)’, the final track, is an epic electro instrumental piece. Well, until 2 minutes in when the yells kick in. That’s all it is, yells. No words, just yelling for over a minute. And this still counts as music how exactly?

…So Yeah, to sum it up, this compilation of an EP and demo tracks is essentially 25 minutes of deranged, unsettling noise. Which is pretty much the definition of math-core. So enjoy! I suppose.


The Enders

© 2010 The Enders

Here’s a five track demo by Lafayette Indiana’s The Enders; a blend of Punk and Metal and a smattering of Rock. The disc’s tracks are performed admirably by the power-trio. The band is comprised of Ben Hagood on guitar and vox, Sam Kock on bass and backing vox and Kyle Martin pulling percussion duties.

The songs, in general, are fast paced. However, the center tracks of the demo: Track 2 Martyr, Track 3 Split Decision and especially Track 4 What If I are considerably shorter and more raw sounding than the intro and outro tracks. I have it on reasonable authority that the shorter punkier sound is the more current direction of the band. I certainly approve of that. While I’m not gonna bag on the more metallic tracks, they are seriously over my three minute attention span mark.

Musically speaking the vocals remind me of a strange mix of Nuclear Assault and Sacred Reich, which is odd, but works with compact, punchy riffs and the minimalist drums. Guitar solos in some of the tracks are a bit much, but that is the anti-epic metal in me talking again. If you’re down with solos, so be it. That’s your problem.

The bottom line here is that The Enders have busted out a solid demo, but I knocked of a few points for the excesses of the first and last track in both duration and unnecessary filler. With that, the middle three tracks are like the delicious center of the tootsie-pop. So support your local Midwest punk-metal-thrash-rock bands and go see The Enders, buy this demo so they can make more music like tracks 3, 4 and 5.

A couple notes: if you have cross-fade turned on, you might want to turn it off. The tracks end and start rather abruptly. Oh, and make sure you listen all the way to the end of the final track to get the wicked sweet thrash breakdown.

–Jerry Actually

Track Listing:

1 Role Model
2 Martyr
3 Split Decision
4 What If I
5 Inkblot