Death Kvlt Productions | 10-1-19
This is not new as this split was released in June and is seeing a 12″ release from Death Kvlt Productions. Gravkväde wouldn’t be considered obscure nor I would guess no one would consider them mainstream as their 2018 full length was supported by Avantgarde Music but if that means nothing to you then here we are. Gravkväde’s melodramatic black doom has finally found a prom date by the likes of Deadlife, a depressive black metal act whoese rain wall guitar tone is a fitting contrast to the glacial pace of Gravkväde. Its a party on this split and Im glad no one else is here.
Self Released | 8-6-19
I feel that this is an artifact that may get reworked into something else. Perhaps the raw aesthetic is a destination rather than a product. Despite having the name raw in the title and also one track of a supposedly cassette rip, the music for Civerous’ demo is pretty well produced in terms of clarity. This is important as the band excels as making dirty sounding music with rhythm and energy. I do not think they need to explore the raw side of death metal as it is scary and infectious. This is fine for now.
Self Released | 7-28-19
While I do not think this will go away, I am always hesitant about reviewing things that do not have a Metal Archives page since they could be lost to the wind and everything I loved just lives in memories. It has happened before so I will be specific about what I like regarding this Dodenbezweerder record. Here we go. Zwarte Sluiers is a haunted parlor room where the ancient furniture is occupied by spectral visitors who maybe familiar but can’t recall due to the catatonic horror which grips my very soul. This is what is is and what is sounds like condensed in two songs of absolute spiritual ruin. there. Hopefully that preserves my records.
Self Released | 7-23-19
Another day, another band that does not seem to exist outside fo this one page. All information I have regarding o.T.s is from the Bandcamp page which could be pulled down at any moment. For record keeping purposes I will say this demo is noisy, raw, and full of deadly venom as it rips across the wall much like a hunting knife. o.T.s’ aesthetic resides much in its un produced quality as it feels that this shouldn’t even be approached for another few weeks as it is still feral and chained with a wall. Perhaps the possibility of this disappearing leaving only a memory is adding to the excitement but this Untitled demo hits with mythical force probably because it feels temporal in its existence.
Caligari Records | 7-4-19
I drafted this review to remind myself to listen to the whole album when it was released. Caligari Records has always been reliable in finding music that is demanding existentially. In fact, if there was some sort of blind subscription service when I received tapes in the mail, I am sure I would never be disappointed. Trest is another testament to the strength of Caligari as this German black metal project is centered around the persecution of witches and sounds like a riot of emotions. Ordalium is centered around “the last people sentenced for magic & witchcraft in Europe,” and while this subject matter could lend itself to be celebratory and superficial, Trest’s somber attitude regarding the subject in multiple stages of “ordeal” and “pyre” makes for a record which was not only anticipated but something that is one of the best black metal albums of the year. With a combination of hypnotic rhythms and occasional soundclips, Ordalium is an emotional journey that was by and far worth waiting for.
Self Released | 7-16-19
I wrote about Gwoid earlier int he year with the January release of Gwoid V. This release was tagged under “Raw Black” as the demo was filled with a spectral cloud. v took me by surprise as it is still rooted in the camp of bedroom black metal but the newest release travels towards the stars. Gwoid VI – Aurora Borealis takes its inspiration from bands like Darkspace which throws the template of atmospheric black into the vacuum of space allowing the terror and uncertainty of the void to become the centerpiece of music. there certainly is still the raw edge present as the vocals are still shredded and the music is akin to a ripped drapery. I realize that every time I talk about this project, I am just presented with haunted imagery which is perhaps the best way to describe this type of music.
Self Released | 6-18-19
If anyone has reads this site for any amount of time, the inclusion of atmospheric black usually comes with some degrees of lofi production. White Death, compared to other raw atmospheric black is relatively clean yet the slime and grime of whatever dirt from outside still lingers on its production. White Death is a bedroom production whose name is unfortunately running up against the Finnish White Death on Werewolf Records. This White Death is from Iowa and its bleak location serves as a setting for a brilliant demo that is full of raw emotion and noise.
Self Released, 6-3-2019
Do not let the cover fool you. This is not woozy new age though both have a penchant for mystical soundscapes. I reviewed Himelvaruwe in 2017 with the demo CCIII. I was pleased and surprised there was so much activity between that demo and this as the operator T.J seems to work the best in mania. Just the work in Himelvaruwe alone constitutes productivity let alone his other work in Kaffaljidhma, Ancient Morass, and Mirre.
I enjoy how people approach records and coming from a long background in dungeon synth, the serial release schedule is just something that some bands do. Het ondenkbare is the 7th release in a few short years and the 5th demo for the project. It continues, visually, a motif that shares a design with 2018’s Het onkenbare. Together the two demos translates roughly to “The Public / The Unthinkable” and at least as of now share the same surreal approach to raw black metal with a heavy use of dreamy synth. I found myself drawn to this release the more and more I listened to it and is something that will be pleasing for people with very narrow interests.
F H E D, 6-04-19
Worship bleak existence. This is the second EP from a UK outfit that has taken their time between releases but in reality doesn’t give a shit what you think. The realm of hardcore punk and death metal have a weird little scene when forced in the same jail cell. Grim Existence seems to be coasting on the thin line between both embracing the swirling riffs of death metal with a glacial approach to hardcore’s structure. The result is a mind bending journey into the psyche that is devoid of the morbid themes as well as the interpersonal drama of both styles. While this EP is only two real songs, the presence of both is more than enough to warrant interest if not guarded awareness.
Self Released | 5-3-19
I feel that the tag Raw Black is less a genre and more of a sign post for interested parties. Rituals Under the Red Moon is black metal just fed through a filter of noise and chaos. One can still hear the riffs and structure just now with rough edges which bleed like static. I do not know much about this band other than their desire to play into a genre. From their cover to names, Witches Hex embraces the thematic elements of underground black metal. What is interesting about the band however is their ability to make those thing still seem sinister and raw perhaps with the help of shredding noise.