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(Extreme Metal) DEMO/EP ROUNDUP - KrushHammer and Slagmark reviews

First up we have an EP from Brazil's KrushHammer that was released independently last year, but has now warranted a proper issuance via Hellprod given its high quality. Entitled Speed Blacking Hell, it's no surprise that what we have in our hands here is some blackened speed metal, complete with an underground gnarly guitar sound that rules. Opener "Under Spell" places you in a tranquil forest setting with its sultry acoustic guitar opening ... until all hell breaks loose, visions of being chased by some drooling fanged creature coming to mind. An enthusiastic eleven minutes in total here (via four tracks), necks straining to keep up with the assault, while Marcel Krusher oversees the demolition of senses with a lascivious growl at the mic, adding the odd Schmier (Destruction) yelp for good measure every once in a while. A ton of fun. (8)

We turn northward to Germany for things more frigid from melodic black metal unit Slagmark who follow up their recent debut full length (Purging Sacred Scrolls) with a new demo entitled Radical Malice (Purity Through Fire). Taking the 'don't fix-it-if-it-ain't-broke' approach, the unit stay close to the sound found on the debut, the guitar tone both slicing and melodic at the same time, while vocalist/guitarist Revenant spits blood on the mic with a shrill shriek perfectly suiting this type of hellacious racket. Speed, instrumental prowess and writing chops on display here on this four track, twenty minute demo. Professional in all respects, Slagmark is a name to look out for in melodic black metal circles. (8)


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