One of Austria’s most recognizable metal exports, Belphegor have returned to unleash their specific brand of hell with Totenritual. As it stands, Nuclear Blast Record has issued a few lyric videos for this release, all of which seem to showcase a slightly different, more calculated rendition of the act. With hints at leaving behind the madness of their most recent efforts in favor of a traditional black/death metal recording. But are these glimpses evidence of another shift in creativity, or will it be business as we have become accustomed to as of late?
Incantation, death metal’s most prolific proveyors of profane punishment, have built their name around unrelentingly brutal material one release after another. Including 1992’s debut outing Onward to Golgotha, they have issued ten full-length efforts among a myriad of miscellaneous recordings, and have seen a number of line-up changes as well including the fairly recent departure of Immolation guitarist Alex Bouks in 2014, the very same year of the group’s last studio offering titled Dirges of Elysium. However, it’s now 2017, and we find the entity moving from Listenable Records to Relapse Records for the release of Profane Nexus, their eleventh opus of nightmare fuel. But have the past three years and aforementioned line-up alteration further refined their beloved sound, or has all of this only crippled an otherwise crippling experience?
Death is better than Hell (as the name appears on the store page and not a typo in this review) is the first game to hit Steam from developer/publisher Polina Alekseevna. It’s a top-down dungeon crawler-esque action title that pits you against NekroSkeletus and its underground minions. At first glance it looks like a simple non-isometric rpg title from the four-eighty-six era of PCs kind of in the vein of Dungeons & Dragons, albeit a very basic one. In this case, however, those looks are incredibly deceiving.
Iced Earth: A band whose name brings up a great deal of praise and nostalgia within the metal community. The group’s signature sound has led to the release of a number of classic albums since storming on the scene in 1990 with their self-titled debut and renowned follow-up Night of the Stormrider a year later. They have gone through a number of vital line-up changes since then, but have always come out strong until recent years. Despite mixed reception to the prior two albums featuring new vocalist Stu Block, the group continues to carry on, evident with their latest offering Incorruptible, their thirteenth studio full-length. But is it a return to the aggressive early days as the lead single “Seven Headed Whore” alludes to, or is that tease simply a mask on the face of the deceiver?