Album Thoughts | Skeletal Remains: Devouring Mortality

We’re only 5 months into 2018 and we’ve already been spoiled with several winners in the Death Metal department, particularly Old School Death Metal. Some dirty, raw and ruthless slabs of unrelenting, riffy underground goodness have been unleashed on this sick, dying world since January (and prior) and they’ve all delivered on all fronts. I haven’t gotten a chance to review many of them, at least not yet, some of them have only gotten mini-reviews thus far, but they’re fucking bangers nonetheless. Another new one that’s on the horizon that has people talking in the underground and beyond, is this piece of loud, unrelenting fury. Skeletal Remains have been on my radar since 2015’s Condemned to Misery, which was good, but was kind of overshadowed by Gruesome bursting onto the scene with their debut album, which had me occupied for a while before getting around to anything else. Well, Devouring Mortality is their third album and this time, no such travesty will take place! These guys will not be overshadowed this time and they’re making sure of it with this absolute head-smasher of an outing. If you capture the essence of early Death, Obituary and Pestilence, put it in a blender with steroids and a ton of dirt from the fowlest, filthiest place you can find it and mix it all together real nice, this is what you’ll get as a result. Top notch, no frills and riff-fuled Death Metal of the highest caliber. This was another one of my most anticipated releases of the year and it was far more than worth the wait. This album had me banging my big, ugly head damn near all the way throughout it’s running time and I still can’t get enough of it as I write this. It’s old school worship that you should also worship and it’s going to be a hard one to top. It’s just riffy, face-pounding goodness at it’s absolute finest.

The hyperagressive assault starts right from the push of play, as Ripperology rips right the fuck into you with it’s chugging, Obituary-esque fury and Death-like riffs that grabs you right by the throat from the first second on. Sounds like the offspring of something straight out of World Demise and something straight out of Leprosy. Then comes Seismic Abyss, which brings a bit of an early to mid-era Morbid Angel feel to the table in the intro with the Rapture-like opening riff, then dives down into more Leprosy worship. Christian Monroy’s growls are masterfully brutal and grimy and harken way the fuck back to the passionate and dismal throats of the glory days of the genre. The riffs are no different; i’m not going to mention the same goddamn names over and over again, you already know the names, but their influence shines through this entire 44-minute batch of tracks and it’s utilized to the fullest extent and the style is executed damn near perfectly. Cathastrophic Retribution is another absolute ripper that sounds like a blastier and more aggressive version of mid-era Death; a sweet little solo is also thrown in for kicks. Easily one of my favorite tracks. The assault of thick, massive riffs and chords over muddy, pounding drums continues through the title track, where the vocals get a little Martin van Drunen-like and the Pestilence/Asphyx vibes start to set in. Grotesque Creation is another stand-out for me with it’s hints of Groove mixed in with the continuing assault of riffs on top of riffs and blasts galore. We get a short instrumental with Lifeless Manifestation, which really just serves as filler. Easily the weakest track, which isn’t saying much, then Reanimating Pathogen and Internal Detestation finish the beating and end it just as brutally as it began, STILL leaving you wanting more.

The best way to describe this album is like being smashed in the head repeatedly by a cinder block while you lay face down on the pavement, helpless and with no other choice but to accept your fate as your skill caves in and your brain gets reduced to mush, and at the end, your remains are spat on and left to rot in a ditch… but you loved it! This is brutally unmerciful and well-crafted Old School Death Metal that pays homage to the names that molded the style into what many bands try to emulate still today (which some do successfully and other don’t). This one sure as fuck won’t be overshadowed like I feel like their last album was, even with all the other strong Death Metal releases yet to come in the remainder of the year and the ones that have come out already. It’s one of the strongest ones that I’ve heard so far in 2018 and a solid step up from their previous two. It’s loud, crushing, ruthless and dirty as fuck and I can’t praise it enough. It’s Old School Death of the strongest ilk and it gives me hope for the future of the genre for years to come. Total fucking support!

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Album Thoughts | Our Place of Worship is Silence: With Inexorable Suffering

Artwork by Jef Whitehead is a good way to get my attention and prompt me to give something a listen (much like Paolo Girardi’s works). Why? Well, have you heard the latest Chaos Moon album? The latest Nails album? Most of Leviathan’s work? Nuff said. Wrest clearly has an eye for talent and his visual works have yet to serve as artwork for an album who’s music doesn’t match up with it in quality. As you can see, we have the latest inductee into this class, and good lord, it’s not one to miss! With Inexorable Suffering is the second album by Our Place of Worship is Silence, a band-turned-duo from Los Angles who play a very grimy and gritty form of Blackened Death Metal that’s as hellishly disturbing as it is sonically punishing. It’s the kind of Blackened Death that reaches beyond the boundaries of the usual tropes and tricks that the genre is known for and is able to find it’s own footing and create a sound that will unsettle you just as much as it brutalizes you. I first came across this band late last year when I heard their first album, The Embodiment of Hate and instantly took a liking to them for the same reason i’m describing here, and this album only amplifies the weirdness and brutality by a good shit ton.

Starting off with Artificial Purgatory, opening this hellride with a long, droning riff that slowly builds into a barrage if rumbling drums and chugging chords accompanied by various horror audio clips (couldn’t quite make out what they were). Just a quick, tone-setting intro. Then Chronicles of Annihilation follows with an explosion of muddy blast-beats and thick, murky tremolos and chords, topped off by the dismal growls that are absolutely the main ingredient that makes this the killer that it is. The throats of both these guys deliver impeccably. I get a bit of an early Cryptopsy (Lord Worm era, aka the BEST era) feel from their overall sound, in vocals and their eccentric delivery. There’s also a good hint of the cavernous, cave-dweller Death Metal style a la Portal and Triumvir Foul peppered in. It’s basically a mix of Blackened, Technical and Old School Death Metal, soaked in grimy production and meshed into the ugliest form you can possibly get out of that combination. The Blind Chimera and it’s Death is a technical but precisely-executed track and another shining example of the eccentric style that this band exhibits. Same can be said for Defiance and Upheaval, which gives me more of those Cryptopsy vibes. It makes me want to jam out Blasphemy Made Flesh and None So Vile right after. These guys just know how to create something equally dirty and unsettling by thinking outside the box and using these different elements to their advantage, much like Of Feather and Bone does on their latest ripper.

This is modern Blackened Death Metal done right and in a very unique way and once again, Wrest has made a wise choice in what album bares his artwork. It’s ruthless and filthy in sound and disturbing in essence. Also, great band picture! Looking weird and possessed is also a plus. It’s surely another winner in the wave of Death Metal we’re getting this year and it’s a creative one too. It’s raw, filthy, unsettling and all around chaotic and reminds me of some of my favorite classics of it’s kind. So this one is highly recommended for anyone looking for something dirty, raw and different. Even as a duo, these guys have created quite a sound that you can sink your teeth into. I won’t ramble on it too much, so just give it a shot. As always with Wrest artwork, you can trust it by just the cover.

Album Thoughts | Of Feather and Bone: Bestial Hymns of Perversion

I love it when a Chaotic Hardcore band decides to try their hand at something more on the Extreme Metal spectrum. Whether it be Grind, Death or Black Metal, I always find it interesting when acts of that ilk go that route, because some of them have gotten real gems out of it. The likes of Full of Hell and Young and in the Way have done it with impeccable results, putting out two of my favorite albums in the last 4 years with When Life Comes to Death and Trumpeting Ecstasy, so i’m always willing to give it a fair shot whenever a Hardcore or Crust band decides to take things in a more extreme direction. We now have another ambitious bunch trying their hand at a heavier and more punishing sound and it’s another fine example of bands of this ilk. Of Feather and Bone is originally a Hardcore band from Denver, Colorado, who I first became familiar with upon hearing their last full-length, Embrace the Wretched Flesh and their False Healer EP, both solid Grindy Hardcore outings. Fast forward to late last year, hearing about them joining Profound Lore was interesting. I don’t recall PL releasing many Hardcore albums, so I knew we were getting something different from these guys, and holy fuck did we ever! Bestial Hymns of Perversion is the result and after hearing it for the first time, I was honestly floored. Not only has yet another Hardcore band reaped the benefits of taking a risk and trying a new sound, they’ve managed to create something not only devastatingly heavy and rotten sounding, but strangely unique too.

Not only is this dirty, ruthless Death Metal of the old school form, but it’s a subtle but noticeable mix of various other styles. I’ve seen a couple people say they were expecting War Metal upon seeing the cover art for the first time, and they aren’t totally wrong. In between the filthy, old school style riffs, there’s also a sense of Grindy, Blasphemy-esque fury peppered in, especially in the muddy, blasting drums. PW is an absolute beast behind the kit. Opener Repulsive Obscurity gave me that vibe straight away. You can hear a little Archgoat in there as well. Resounding from the Depths is another absolute ripper from the very beginning with ear-ripping chords and grimy tremolos over more pounding, nasty, blasting drums. This album is a non-stop blast-fest from start to finish, under very rotten and murky production, and you aren’t given a single, solitary second to breath in between tracks. No filler needed here. Lust for Torment is another beast of a track with some early Morbid Angel meets Incantation vibes to it, especially in the riffs. The vocals are also well delivered here, just cavernous, primal growls that are simple and effective. I get a bit of a Brutal Death Metal sense in parts too, Mockery of the Ascension and Hymn of Perversion remind me of Gorgasm and early Cattle Decapitation in some parts. Again, these different sects of Death Metal are blended into this in such a small but audible way that it makes their sound that much more distinctive in a very indistinct way. You can categorize it as any of these styles and you wouldn’t be wrong. That’s what makes a band interesting. This sort of creativity will go a long way with me.

I usually hate when people start uttering the words “album of the year” so early in the goddamn year, like some do, but I have to say that this is an early contender for me; at least as far as Death Metal goes. I’m already predicting a great fucking year for Death Metal with the new Skinless, Ritual Necromancy, Gruesome, Tomb Mold, Valgrind and others on the way, as well as the fucking rippers we’ve gotten already by Ectoplasma, Rotheads, Knelt Rote, Grave Upheaval, Ataraxy, etc, but this one is already a cake-taker, which is pretty shocking, coming from a now former Hardcore band. This is old school to the bone, rotten, filthy and unrelenting Death Metal of many different hats and all-around ruthless force. What Full of Hell and Young and in the Way did, these dudes live up to in spades, as far as i’m concerned. I can’t praise it enough and it’s already been a constant spin for me for a while now. There’s a little something for you here if you’re looking for Old School Death, Brutal Death, War Death and so on. It’ll please you either way. This is easily their magnum opus and I can’t recommend it enough. Listen and support!

Album Thoughts | Now Everything Fades: Suicide Theatre

It’s been a good while since I’ve gotten to review any Depressive Black Metal, aside from my last post. Well, thanks to this duo, that changes now! Now Everything Fades is a fresh addition to the Depressive Black Metal scene and have been making the rounds on social media lately with this very album, and rightfully so. It’s another masterful piece of searingly despondent art that came at the perfect time, as I was on quite the Depressive Black Metal kick when I gave it a listen. My last post talks about other stuff of this variety that I was jamming out during that week and a half and you can read it here… or just scroll down if you’re on the home page. Whichever, either way, a lot of highly recommended stuff is on that list, so check it out. Anyway, this particular album is the new one out of the bunch and it’s just as strong a production as the rest of them. This is genuine audio grief in the form of some of the most miserable sounding melodies, scathing riffs and tortured shrieks that you won’t hear projected from any lesser human being. This is Depressive Black Metal with a hint of Doom to it, that knows how to project the most negative of emotions with it’s sound and doesn’t come off as mere angst. It’s the kind of DSBM that I desire, just true nihilism that only exists to drive you to the point of ending it all and showing no remorse for it after the fact.

What I like about this album is the concept around it, the album and song titles kinda follow the pattern of a theatrical show that unfolds right in front of you, with each act depicting a different act of suicide or self-harm, and each track describes said act. At least that’s how I look at it and it makes this that much more enjoyable. After a quick, keyboard-laden intro in Somber Overture, the show begins with The Aesthetic Bullet, a brooding, doomy and manic track that’s full of continuous melodies and sharp, scathing chords that wreak of dejection. The band’s sound is as abrasive as it is melancholic. It kind of reminds me of Psychonaut 4, but with a Doom twist. Definitely a good thing. The next act is The Train Ensemble, the stand-out element on this one is the insanely intense vocal delivery. The psychotic, tortured shriek of Fernando Garcia almost reaches Silencer levels of potency. Easily one of my favorite tracks! Things get a little more atmospheric with The Slit-Wrist Gallery, another favorite. Peppered in between the chaos are some solid instrumentals like Aphonic Prologue and Self-Slaughter Scenery, that serve as both a quick breather and a calm before the storm type of deal. Both of which, plus the intro and outro are well done and serve their purpose just fine. This really isn’t where to look of you’re looking for bad bedroom Black Metal made by a dejected teenager, this is a driven and cohesive outing with a lot of effort bled into it. Part Doom, part Black and a ton of misanthropic sustenance to fuel it.

So i’m glad I took advantage of my little DSBM kick and finally got around to giving this a shot, because it’s well worth your time and has a great deal of substance to it. It’s intense, abrasive and potent to a fault and it reminds me a lot of bands that introduced me to the genre and got me into it to begin with, like Silencer, Forgotten Tomb and Bethlehem. I’ve always said Depressive Black Metal is one of those “needle in the haystack” genres where you have to sift through a lot of crap to get to the good shit. Well, this one is definitely a needle… or a razor. Whichever way you choose to end it. The blood-curdling shrieks, the slow, plodding riffs, hefty chords and patterned drums, plus the keyboards peppered in here and there and how well put together this is, is a prime example of how much better DSBM could be if it’s done outside of a bedroom. It’s intense and gripping, but scathingly disconsolate an only exists to make you feel the misery just as much as the faces behind it do. It’s quality and it’s highly recommended, so listen, support and spread the suicidal mentality!

Random Recs | Misery, Filth & Satan

Soooooooo, yeah. It’s been a while since I’ve done this. This feature has been used to promote up and coming bands who I feel deserve the spotlight, and that isn’t changing, but this is also to talk about some non-new jams that have been gracing my ear canals as of late. So for the first time since Satan knows when, that’s what i’m doing. I feel like this is a good time to do this because I’ve been on a couple kicks recently of specific stuff and that’s a great source of material for this. You may think that the title of this is some clever little pun thing or whatever, but you’re most certainly wrong. This is exactly that. Over the last couple months, I’ve been on some kicks of certain genres and have discovered some quality jams that I’m kicking myself for not knowing about sooner. It’s mostly one genre in particular, and i’m sure you can guess what it is by looking at my Instagram recently or just reading the title. Either way, here it goes.

So yeah, here are some recent jams of mine that should be yours too…

Glaare: To Deaf and Day

I started using Spotify a few weeks ago and came across this gem a few days later. This is a new, up and coming band in the Post-Punk scene and this is their debut full-length, and after hearing it for the first time, it took me a while to stop. This is very catchy, dreary and very different Post-Punk that can best be describes as a combination of the catchy vocal stylings of Chelsea Wolfe, the melancholic bleakness of Emma Ruth Rundle and the hard but dreary edge of Marriages. Really good Post-Punk/Gothic Rock that I wish I discovered last year, because it would be high up on my 2017 year-end list for sure. Definitely recommended.

Deadspace: The Liquid Sky

Depressive Black Metal has 2 different sides at this point. There’s either the raw, filthy and miserable side like Xasthur, Unjoy, Trist, Fornicatus, Photophobia, Make a Change… Kill Yourself and a majority of other bands on this list, which i’ll get to, and then there’s the more melodic, slightly cleaner, and also miserable side of the spectrum, like Lifelover, Shining, Psychonaut 4, Forgotten Tomb and Apati, which some scoff at. Unfortunately for those people, this goes into the latter category. Deadspace play a very melodic and Depressive Rock-infused style of Depressive Black Metal that includes dueling clean vocals and shrieks, which most bands of this nature fail at. These guys honestly do it better than most. The clean vocals fit so well with the overall sound and it creates this really melancholic but fun listen, even for what’s supposed to be miserable Black Metal. I just recently got up on these guys and i’m glad I did. Even for melodic Black Metal, which I’m usually not a fan of at all, I really enjoy this. It’s definitely not for everyone, but it is well done.

Zeal & Ardor: Devil is Fine

This is a band that I honestly don’t know if I really dig or not. I do like a lot of their songs, they’re very catchy and unique, plus I like the idea of satanic Gospel mixed with Black Metal, but on the other hand, this also strikes me as just another version of Ghost (which is NOT a good thing). I’m including this one because I’m in the middle with it, but I did for the most part find it enjoyable. Weird, catchy and pretty creepy in parts. Recommended nonetheless.

I Shalt Become: In the Falling Snow

Now lets delve into the real miserable stuff. I Shalt Become are a pretty prominent act in the underground and with good reason. This is Black Metal that’s as raw and misanthropic as it gets. Blown out guitars, muffled drums, echoey shrieks and an atmosphere as pitch black as smoke from a nuclear explosion. Just all-around excellent old school Black Metal done right. Nothing less.

Trifixion: The First and the Last Commandment

More old school Black Metal that’s much more obscure. This is Black Metal made by a couple from Austria back in 1995. It’s known by few, which kinda sucks because it is very good. A bit different for it’s time even. Still raw and filled with evil tremolo riffs, muddy drums and witchy, kinda shrieky vocals, but just different enough to stand out among the pack that ran rampant in the early to mid 90s during the second wave, or when it was staring to fizzle out, as some may suggest. Still very interesting and pretty good.

Sect Pig: Slave Destroyed

Jesus Christ forgave the bastards, but I can’t

You want to talk about some horrifyingly disgusting sounds made by what I can only assume is a band made up of inhuman creatures form the void? Well, here you go. This anonymous act from (not even) God knows where spews out a sound so vile and scathing that it’s hard to even make a distinction of what it exactly is. Call it Death Metal, Black Metal or anything else in between, whatever, the only thing certain about it is isn’t pretty and doesn’t want to give you any musical pleasure, but sonically eviscerate you for it’s own pleasure. It’s as ugly as Extreme Metal can possibly get and it’s more proof that you just can’t fuck with bands with the word “Sect” in their name. They’re all so good (see Sect Mark, Rope Sect and Unholy Vampyric Slaughter Sect). Highly recommended!

Ofdrykkja: A Life Worth Losing

Now on to my little Depressive kick of the last few days. The first album of wrist-slitting, alcohol-abusing, noose-tying misery (not made by bedroom-confined teenagers) is by one of Sweden’s more notable acts of this nature. Ofdrykkja is a Depressive BM band who keep things raw, messy and bleak. Between a sweet, early Katatonia-esque intro, some fluttering keyboards here and there, a drum machine and mostly spoken-word vocals, this makes for a somewhat scattered but interesting piece of sonic melancholic art, and it really doesn’t need to be much more. Messiness and lack of self-care is a hallmark of depression and that’s what the music is trying to represent. So why should it go for anything else? Fuck neatness. This isn’t exactly my go-to Depressive Black Metal album, but it’s good for what it needs to be.

Deadlife: No Help is Coming

The misery continues here. Also from Sweden, Deadlife offer up the same brand of cold and painful Depressive Black that also keeps things slow, atmospheric and stomach-churningly sorrowful. This is full of long, droning tremolos, tortured shrieks laced in reverb, hazy drums (not sure if drum machine or not) and just an overall chilling and feverish vibe that radiates through your headphones and into your brainwaves and makes you feel the misery just as effectively. Really fucking good stuff and perhaps the best outing by this act.

Kalmankantaja: Kuolonsäkeet

Now on to Finland. This is a band that has sorta morphed in the last few years, from scathingly raw and ear-shreddingly dissonant Depressive Black Metal, to a more nature-worshiping Atmospheric Black Metal style. I honestly dig this version of them more. This is loud, tortured and blood-soaked Black Metal from what I would actually consider one of my go-to’s for Depressive Black. This duo’s style is what underground Depressive Black Metal should sound like. Just all around self-destructive and destructive to anyone who comes into contact with it. I honestly prefer this stuff to their newer works. Less tree-worship and more death-worship. Just up my alley.

Astru: La Pionnier Aveugle

Last stop on this despondent hellride, we go to Russia. This is a one-man project that I just discovered and has me wondering why I hadn’t sooner. This is yet another slab of dissonant, unsettling Black Metal that I can actually describe as a mix of Depressive Black Metal and nasty Raw Black Metal. It has the slow, tortured style you’d expect from a quality Depressive Black Metal act, but it also has a hint of aggression and spite in it’s sound, especially in the vocals. It’s a really good combination of melancholic and scathing and it’s very well crafted. You can expect to see this name on this blog again very soon as he has a new album out that I plan on checking out. Astru is highly recommended for sure!

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That’s all for now. I’ll try to do more of these in the future. This is all quality DSBM (I guess i’ll use it once) that isn’t made in a bedroom or a parent’s basement. And Glaare I can’t praise enough to those looking for some good Post-Punk. I’m not going to ramble here, but check these out if you want to… or don’t, whatever, I don’t give orders (except to one person) ;).

That’s all for now, expect reviews in the coming week.

Album Thoughts | Grave Upheaval: Untitled

Cavernous Death Metal made by (in)human cave dwellers has been running rampant for the last year or so. I’ve mentioned their names thousands of times already, so you know who i’m referring to. One band of that ilk however, that I haven’t gotten to talk about yet, is probably one of the best at the style, who truly know how to craft something disgusting and utterly horrifying. Well, that changes now. Grave Upheaval have been around for approaching a decade now, arriving with a self-titled demo in 2010, a couple of splits after with Encoffination and Manticore and finally releasing their first album in 2013, which was untitled. In that time, they’ve proven to be one of the head-hanchos of the cavernous Death Metal style by doing it in the ugliest and most inhuman way imaginable. 5 years later, the mysterious duo have returned with their second, also untitled (because fuck titles, who needs them) full-length album, also on Nuclear War Now! and not much has changed. The literal soundtrack to a journey into the deepest, most forbidden pockets of hell that was the first album translates right into this one and continues the searing aural terror that was previously present with ease and creates an even more intense and unsettling composition than before. This is scathingly atmospheric Death Metal that makes you actually feel like you just dropped dead and are now at the entrance way to the kingdom of burning souls where the desolate one himself is welcoming you with open arms and the demons within are flooding out and ready to drag you into your new home. This is dirty, grimy and unrelenting and although a little upped in production, not disappointing in the least.

There weren’t too many formula changes in the last 5 years with these guys; anonymity and namelessness continues to be the theme in song titles and among the members and the music does all the talking. With the kind of sound this band is capable of, not much needs to be said. This is the kind of rotten, nightmarish Death Metal that fans of the equally hellish ways of Impetuous Ritual, Antediluvian, Portal, Spectral Voice and the likes will surely eat up in an instant. Sometimes slow and tension-building and other times fast and explosive, the grimy guitars, echoey, reverb-laced growls and pounding drums are utilized to the fullest and not a second is wasted in dishing out the beating that this album puts you through. Again, the production isn’t as muddy and the sound isn’t as freakishly unnatural as the previous outing, but it doesn’t really need to be. This album is more on the sonic spectrum of massive and Doomy, with a hint of old school Death peppered in. It’s still very atmospheric and trance-inducing, but the heaviness and aggression is definitely amped up for this one, and It’s really fucking well done. Tracks like II-I and II-II are slow, crawling and nasty piles of thick, drawn out chords and elongated tremolo riffs over slow, patterned drums and echoey, almost whispered vocals. These tracks start out slow and are meant to build tension while pummeling you at the same time, then an outburst of blast-beats and more vicious riffs follow. Then there are the more aggressive tracks like II-III, which immediately hits you with blasting drums and harsh aggressive riffs right from the jump. There are also moments of straight eeriness, especially when the vocals get weird and chanty in II-IV, kinda similar to what Attila Csihar does in Sunn O))). Those ritualistic, dramatic chants can really make things more unsettling than they already were.

II-VI and II-VII are also solid stand-outs. Both very drawn-out, Doomy hymns of madness that top off this hellride very well. Not much more else to say beyond that. This is the kind of Death Metal that doesn’t give a fuck about making you headbang, doesn’t give a fuck about your enjoyment or about you at all as a listener. It’s the type that forces your attention by luring you in with it’s haunting atmosphere and anxiety-ridden ambiance and then audibly slaughters you with it’s dissonance and otherworldly sonic ruthlessness. This is probably the best album of the cavernous Death Metal type that I’ve heard since the Spectral Voice debut last year, which are pretty big shoes to fill, so bravo to that! Whether or not it’ll be topped or end up high up on my year-end list remains to be seen, but this is a fucking ear-shredding beast of an album without a hint of a doubt and it was well worth the lengthy wait. So listen, support and let it drag you under!

Quick Album Thoughts | March & April 2018

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Another 2 months have come and gone, comrades, so it’s time for another batch of mini-reviews for albums that I didn’t get a chance to review in full (not now, at least). I’ve feasted my ears on some gems these last few weeks, specifically in the Death and Black departments, from some of the best labels going right now, Everlasting Spew, Iron Bonehead and Nuclear War Now!, to name a few. Can’t lie, it’s been a pretty good couple months that have given us some really decent to really good new jams. These are the latest 12 that stand out to me the most that i’ll talk about briefly for now. Without spouting off too much here, let’s just get right into it.

So, here we go…

Galvanizer: Sanguine Vigil

Starting off with one of the latest off of Everlasting Spew. Galvanizer are a relatively new Death Metal band that play the genre in a dirty and intense fashion. This is old school Death Metal with hints of grimy, somewhat lo-fi production but a good hint of loudness and density to it. Reminds me of Napalm Death in a few parts, mainly in the vocals, and there’s also some early Exhumed vibes in there too. Not bad overall. Just straight-for-the-throat, unfancy, unfriendly, riff-after-riff, part Old School, part Brutal Death Metal that borrows from one of the muddiest holes of the genre. Very enjoyable and worth it’s buzz as of late.

Byyrth: Echoes from the Seven Caves of Blood

Filthy, scathing and super abrasive Raw Black Metal from California. This is the second album by this up-and-coming duo of blasphemers who have been generating a pretty good deal of buzz in the underground in the last couple years. Expect nothing short of a filthfest here with grimy production, muffled, shrieks with hella reverb, muddy, blasty drums, tremolos and sharp, piercing riffs allover the place and just aural carnage all around. Excellent stuff and sure to be a pleaser for fans of only the ugliest of sounds.

Ectoplasma: Cavern of Foul Unbeings

Now we really turn our clocks back and dive into a deeper hole of rotten Death Metal goodness. Ectoplasma have been around for a bit now, although I just recently discovered them, and sweet merciless fuck, what a first impression! Very few bands now truly embody the Old School Death Metal sound, but these guys pull it off to a T. This is filthy, intense and bassy as all hell Death Metal that i’m convinced is possessed by the spirits of early Gorguts and Obituary. Good lord, this is heavy shit and bound to get a full review in the future! If you’re on the lookout for some killer riffs, pulverizing drums and vocals harsher than the fowlest of growls from the deadliest of beasts, then look no further than this.

Ataraxy: Where All Hope Fades

Next we have some crushing, Asphyx-esque Death Metal from Spain. Old school style Death Metal with hints of Doom, full of massive riffs, rumbling drums and insanely harsh growls, all paced into a very precise middle ground between the two styles. Very reminiscent of early Asphyx works. Not quite Hooded Menace or Mournful Congregation levels of slow, miserable Doom, but also not quite Gruesome or Contaminated levels of fast, ruthless Death. It’s somewhere between both and it works. Really fucking good stuff and highly recommended for fans any of those bands I just mentioned.

Demonomancy: Poisoned Atonement

The second album by Italy’s Demonomancy is finally here after a 5-year wait and it’s nothing short of a fucking ripper. Old School Death Metal with a good hint of Black Metal peppered in, full of sharp, scathingly good riffs, fast, ripping chords, hyperaggressive drumming and sleazy, snarly vocals to top it off. 2018 is going to be a Death Metal year and this album is another reason why. Great fucking stuff that’ll please old school fans alike.

Funerary Bell: Undead Revelations

The second album by one of the more obscure acts in the Finnish Black Metal scene, Funerary Bell are a rather underrated band who play a very old school and filthy style of Black Metal that would appease fans of Beherit, Sarcófago, Profanatica and the likes. Very witchy and swampy sounding Black Metal with tremolos allover the place, gnarly riffs and muddy drums under a grimy, ghastly atmosphere. Just think of a Black Metal version of Mortuary Drape. Really good stuff and well worth the wait.

Destroyer 666: Call of the Wild

The latest EP by the Australian masters of Blackened Thrash, D666 bring the fury yet again with a new collection of riffs on riffs on top of sick, nasty riffs and all around Black Metal-infused Thrashy goodness. Only 4 tracks and 19 minutes in length but still packing enough firepower to get the job done and tear your ear cells from asshole to appetite with little effort. Definitely a wind-up for their next album and I look forward to it whenever it does see the light of day. Good shit from one of the masters!

Crescent: The Order of Amenti

Egyptian-themed Death Metal NOT named Nile… and very similar. Oh boy. Crescent have been around for a bit now and this is their second album. Cutting right to the chase, if you’re expecting total Nile-worship, then congrats, you’re right. But you shouldn’t expect a complete clone either, because they differentiate themselves just enough to stand on their own merit. Their sound is very Nile-esque, but not as technical and blasty and it takes a more old school approach. You can expect a lot of tremolos, intense riffs, very aggressive but not overly technical drumming and monstrous growls that bare no resemblance to those of Karl Sanders. This is quality brutality centered around Egypt and the fascinating myths and legends it holds. Still recommended, even if you’ve had your fill of Nile. Again, their sound is different enough to present something fresh. Also, they’re actually FROM Egypt… so, there’s that too.

Slugdge: Esoteric Malacology

Nasty, sleazy Sludgy Death Metal about… slugs! This is the 4th album by these guys and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed everything they’ve put out so far. They take the Cannabis Corpse approach of being humor-based and most of their song titles being parodies, but still being insanely heavy and creative musically. It’s part Progressive Death Metal, part Brutal Death Metal, part Old School, Sludge and a bunch of other elements crammed into a blender to make one big cacophonous mess of chaos and madness. This is some top-notch stuff for a band so un-serious and mollusk-obsessed. Highly recommended and this may get a full review in the future!

Sacrificulus: Uada Magus

Capture

Muddy, foggy Black Metal from Poland. Probably the best stuff I’ve heard out of Poland in a while. Everything you would expect from a band of this nature is present; raw production, evil riffs, tremolo picking, foggy, mid-paced drums, and vocals that lie somewhere between bellowing growls and ghastly shrieks. A pretty simple but effective formula. Not much else to say, but check this out if you’re into early Darkthrone, Xasthur, Judas Iscariot and the likes.

Geld: Perfect Texture

Like I said, I’m doing my best to find some good Hardcore this year, and upon some digging, I’ve already found quite a good bit. Starting with this one. Geld is an up-and-coming Hardcore band of the dirtier and more underground variety. Just super nasty, vicious and head-smashing Hardcore Punk with a little bit of Black Metal sprinkled in that shows in the riffs and vocals. Quality stuff for fans of pure filth and fury that’s simple and only exists to tears your eardrums apart.

Sect Mark: Worship

Speaking of vicious, filthy Hardcore Punk, here’s another one to be fucking ravaged by. Sect Mark are a fairly new band from Italy that are already ruining people’s moods and thrashing their hearing abilities all across the map. This is raw, primal, unrelenting Hardcore Punk that takes no shortcuts in ripping you to shreds with it’s dissonant and hyperaggrassive (and I do mean HYPERaggressive) sound. Blown out, scathing guitars, grimy, ripping drums and nasty, shrieking vocals that would make most Black Metal bands blush. Just a quick 12 minutes long, but that’s all the fuck it needs to absolutely ruin you and it does just that without hesitation. Highly recommended.

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That’s all she wrote for now, folks. Again, not a bad few weeks. Things have been kinda shitty lately so I didn’t think i’d have enough drive to listen to too many new albums, but I did and i’m glad I did. Not a bad batch. Hopefully i’ll be in a better mood next time around. Until then, give these a shot and thank me later. I bid you an adieu for now!