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'Enraptured By Suffering'
(Horror Pain Gore Death Productions)

jools green

Jools Green


If ever an extreme Metal album had something for everyone it would be 'Enraptured By Suffering', the second full length release, following 2011s brutal offering, 'Storms Of Genocide from Helmsplitter.

Formed by Ross Mallie and Nate Boyd in 2008, the quintet from Rock Island, Illinois blends a myriad of Metal genres seamlessly in a way that is unprecedented.

'Enraptured By Suffering' is a cocktail of black, sludge, doom and death Metal with elements of crust punk, thrash and even a hint of blues but in a way you would not expect to hear it. They encompass the intensity of Swedish black Metal in the vein of Marduk, with a raw dirty crust punk edge and give it a stoner groove resulting in an overall sound that is heavy and unpredictable, a fascinating listen and an assault on the senses.

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The concept seems unwieldy and messy but it's not, it flows naturally and organically resulting in a sound that is unforced yet intense and a highly compelling listen.

Lyrically they take you on a journey through a world of misanthropy, pain, frustration and despair and the lyrics are delivered with excellent clarity by Blakk (Angelkill, ex: Mortuary Oath, ex: Maskim) whose powerful vocals, which range between harsh roars and throaty deep screams, are superb.

The rest of the musicianship is equally as impressive, but it needs to be to pull this feat off, the way Nate Boyd on drums switches from blasts to D-beats and throws in all manner of patterns, subtle yet rich bass lines from Lyndon Ehlers and the myriad of complex riffs and depth of sound that adds a completely new dimension to the concept from such a broad spectrum of styles from the two guitarists, Ross Mallie and Jason Grevas.

The album consists of eleven tracks encompassing forty-three minutes, opening like a torrent with blasting drum work, it's blackened and intense from start of opening track 'Tyrants for Blood' but a minute in and you are plunged into a doom rich bleak-scape only to be faced with anther tempo shift a minute later and the whole album continues in this vein switching and surprising you at every turn.


I am not even going to begin to try and pick a favourite, each track having its own unique quality and stand out aspect; 'Panzram' which switches from black and thrash to a stoner groove while 'Aura Of Suicide' which is predominantly intense and blackened with a dirty edge, plunging regularly into dirty, groovy doom.

'Burden Of Our Existence' is plodding, distorted and doom laden to open, mixed with a stoner groove that sounds intriguing alongside the brutal vocals, whipping up briefly in to a thrash frenzy midway while 'Dance Of The Heretic' has a magnificently off kilter opener.

'World So Wicked', with its dirty stoner groove, 'Portrait of Scars', a blackened and intensely insane track while 'The Ground Bleeds Sorrow' has a fabulous mid tempo, sexy, dirty, stoner groove mixed with dirty, death/thrash.

'Forged In Fire' is a winding blend of dirty black, thrash and doom and 'Days Of Loathing' has a vast array of catchy and varied riffs and a sexy groove but the insane closing minute is something else completely.

The opener on final track 'Summon The Leeches' has an ominous and rather scary feel and the arrival of the vocal roar makes the hair stand on the back of your neck, by Helmsplitter's standard probably the most straightforward track and a superb blackened album ender. If the rest of the album wasn't so good this might have been my favourite.

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Scott Creekmore 'Enraptured By Suffering' is an album with something for everyone and would certainly appeal to fans of Morbid Angel, Darkthrone, Malevolent Creation, Goatwhore and Marduk, to name a few.

Listen or buy the MP3 at or a physical copy at

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Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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