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DEMO/EP ROUNDUP - Misanthropic Aggression and Sovereign

Let's delve together once more into the depths of the metal underground for some new EPs, singles, mini-albums and demos ...

First up we have the raw and brutal Alcoholic Polyneuropathic Freaks In Hell three-track EP from Atlanta's Misanthropic Aggression (Boris Records). If you like first wave black metal (think early Celtic Frost) and old school death metal, along with a dash of doom and d-beat, this one's gonna float your boat. It sounds like a bunch of seasoned players cranking out the music of their youth over beers in some dark, dank rehearsal room. Absolutely love the rasp vocals too, really adding to the overall murky vibe. Rhythmic intensity rules the day ... some fun black/death to be found here. Best track - "Blacklisted". (7.5)

Next up, out of Oslo, Norway we have Sovereign with their debut EP Neurotic (Redefining Darkness). Containing four tracks of death/thrash over its twenty-minute length, the band gives itself time to stretch out musically, each track containing nooks and crannies ... not just the one-dimensional assault that you often find from the underground in this sub-genre. Recording levels could've been amped up a little (I found myself needing to turn this up significantly after listening to other current demos), however, there's nothing wrong with the production, providing an old school charm, placing the drums and rhythm guitars centre stage. Kinda reminds me of a more polished debut-era Sacrifice in places. (7)

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