Gallery of Shame – Absolute Silence [Canada, Raw Black] (2018)

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Self Released | 09-31-18

There are few things in this world which get me interested like a one track demo that sounds like broken glass and looks like photocopied misery. Gallery of Shame barely exists with the only way of acquiring a cassette is to write and email to what I assume is the creator. I do not think Ill ever see this physically but at least int he digital realm, Absolute Silence is a harbinger of disease with a plague of lo fi misery following in its wake. I use the tag “raw black” only as a distinction between the other bedroom black metal that doesn’t reveal in the atmosphere of broken noise. Gallery of Shame not only reveals in it but seems to be empowered by antisocial guitar tones, trashcan drums, and razor shredded vocals. While these elements are at anyone’s disposal, it takes a certain project to turn mounds of debris into a kingdom of misery and rot.

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Dødknell – K.I.L.L [Australia, Black] (2018)

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Self Released | 11-16-18

YES. YES. YES. Few times does a sound make me want to whip a bottle across a crowded bar as a mating call for violence. Dødknell makes me forget about my inhibitions and also my threshold for pain as with these riffs I feel I can take on the world and everyone who has a fucking problem. Located somehwere between Australia and hell, Dødknell channels the aggression and styles of first wave black metal and mixes it with riffs, punk aesthetics, and kerosene and sets everything ablaze. In under 20 minutes, Dødknell makes and introduction and then makes sure that 5 things are broken before they leave. Rude and completely out of line, this is music for the drunk and disorderly and it is utterly fantastic.

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Voidsphere – To Await | To Expect [International, Black / Atmospheric] (2018)

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Amor Fati Productions | 11-15 – 18

I feel that yesterday I didn’t even know what the ПРАВА Коллектив was and now I see it connected to a handful of really cool releases. The Prava Kollektivis a group of unknown musicians making spacey black metal in conjunction with Fallen Empire Records. Just this month there has been hot releases by Arkhtinn and HWWAUOCH which seems connected. Earlier this year, Fallen Empire released the debut by Mahr also known to be associated. This cloak and dagger aura surrounding the group of musicians only adds to the dramatic effect of the music which is serious, direct, and full of mystery. Additionally, all of the bands seem to be going for a visceral take on atmospheric black which has had a long history of being over saturated and formulaic. Taking their cues from bands like Paysage D’Hiver and Darkspace, these bands are out to explore the void and from what Voidsphere bandcamp pages urges, is to “INGEST THE VOID.” Well with an inviation like that I do not know if I could say no.

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Warp Chamber – Abdication of the Mind [US, Death] (2018)

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Redefining Darkness Records | 11-3-18

Warp Chamber’s demo was actually released in the early part of 2018 much to the knowledge of no one. In fact social media pages got creative when linking soundclips leaving 12 hours of Warp Engine drone to stand in for the band. Only few knew about Warp Chamber until Redefining Darkness welcomed the band into the fold along other luminaries such as Skullcrush, Oxygen Destroyer, and Cist. True these names wont get you special seats for fine dining but it is a start. Much like other Redefining Darkness releases, Warp Chamber makes no apologies and breaks glass with old glass breaking techniques in the vein of Morbid Angel if the band read too many science fiction magazines. Come for absolution. Come for Obliteration.

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Templar – KNIGHTS OF NUCLEAR HELL DECIBEL FUCKING THE CHARRED REMAINS OF THE CHRIST [Finland, Black / Thrash / Punk] (2018)

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Self Released | 10-31-18

Trust me. I do not know either. I think I was taken by the absurd album cover and then forced to sit in some dingy basement that smelled like rubber and cigarette smoke. Templar is wild and they trade in a lot of things in exchange for fireworks. Some of those things include sound quality, song structure, and most of their clothes. The result, however, is an explosion of primal emotion which feels like being drunk on demonic spirits. If you are already onto the filthy slime ridden work of Shitfucker and those other midwest splatterpunks, then this might not be that far off. It is funny to say that even Shitfucker seems more put together than Templar which always shouts in conversation, is unpredictable, but always the spectacle.

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Depraver – Suffering in a Coffin [US, Black / Death / Thrash] (2018)

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Self Released | 11-11-18

I actually have no idea what the genre is for this as the band’s Metal Archive page says black / thrash but all I hear is old school death. It doesn’t matter once you are inside a coffin and presumably suffering. Depraver is a relatively new band that has two EPs which are only serrated by 7 years of time. Suffering in a Coffin is the newest release which actually came out in January but is seeing a digital release since the original was cassette only. I enjoy we live in a world where grimy death / black / thrash is being made without my immediate knowledge. This means that when I finally do get to hear it, it is fist pounding on what I assume is the inside lid of the coffin.

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Lathliss – Demo [US, Black] (2018)

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Self Released | 11-10-18

Now this is a demo. It is difficult to describe what makes one bedroom black metal demo different than another since to some it all sounds the same. I do not think it even has to do with the quality of the recording as there are some boring raw black demos as there are exciting ones. Lathliss is exciting and it is not just one aspect of this 5 track demo which makes it special rather a litany of aspects (such as the gong) which make it engaging and ultimately successful. From the album cover aesthetics, to ferocious energy, to the leadup in “IV,” Lathliss is a great start to what I assume is the start of a project. I have not found much information on this artist other than this Bandcamp page. With this being the only thing released, one can assume we are witnessing the birth of a bright horrible star which I hope burns in everlasting hatred.

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VerdensAske – To Abide in Ancient Abysses [Germany, Black] (2018)

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Self Released | 11-7-18

Got it. No Metal Archives page as of yet. Debut demo with two songs and a running time of 17 ish minutes. Nothing else I can find except for the initials of the band members. They are from Germany and that is about it. Its a good thing VerdensAske plays decent mid range black metal which is engaging to the listener otherwise I would have nothing to go on. If you enjoy the third gear pace of bands like Mgla, then you will enjoy the dismal atmosphere offered by VerdensAske. Somewhere between catharsis and a desire for self immolation, like these two tracks which are filled with emotional turmoil and a possibility for spiritual conflagration. Not much information is needed when one’s soul is on fire.

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Haunter / Crawl – Haunter / Crawl [US, Black / Sludge] (2018)

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Self Released | 11-6-18

Welcome to the horror show with two bands from Texas making music that sounds like the crawling chaos of mental collapse. Both bands, Haunter and Crawl have spent the bulk of the last few years releasing impressive collaborations and splits with LVTHN and Sovereign. This recent split is to commemorate the tour both bands are undertaking which will bring them around my area which will allow me to spend a Wednesday night in the depths of darkness. Haunter plays a style of black metal suitable for a labyrinth filled with monsters while Crawl sounds like drowning in a swamp while being pulled beneath the fetid water. Both are horrible and utterly fascinating. So just to be clear the songs available on this split are two songs (Gilded Medulla/Echo-Chambered Corroboration) credited to Haunter while the last (At The Forge of Hate) being from Crawl. I felt that I needed to make the distinction as splits on Bandcamp can be a toss up of what is featured. Also the music is swirling and inverted so it is easy to get lost.

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Psyche – Een pathologie van de geneesheer [Netherlands, Black / Death] (2018)

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Self Released | 11=6-18

From the very rough dutch translation the title reads something like Pathology from the Physician or Physician’s Pathology. Furthur translating Psyche’s songs titles reveals a litany of similar themed words such as “Insane,” “Bestial,” “Mercury (?)” and “Cranial.” I am not here to hack my way through Dutch translations rather put into context the debut full length from Psyche, a one metal black metal act that seems to use a variety of different projects for various voices. Psyche’s voice is also the one that sounds like hellish screams inside an abandoned asylum. Aside from the medical themes and metal health motifs which stalk around this record, Psyche’s segments the blistering black / death with moments of guitar solos, soundclips, and a general entertaining approach to something that is rather abysmal on paper. The vocals are something unique and almost entirely inhuman throughout its running time. Despite this however, Een pathologie van de geneesheer never becomes repellent as Pscyhe has found a way to make the collapse of mental structures under the chaos of bestial screams quit pleasing to listen to.

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