Ukcheansalawit – Tekipuk [Canada, Atmospheric Black] (2020)

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Self Released | 1-20-20

From the cold gloomy lands of Canada comes a slightly atmospheric black metal release with…you guessed it….a black and white tree on the cover. Outside of this very obvious joke, Ukcheansalawit (ûkcheânsâlâwit) debut demo has everything going right to be a memorable exploration of black metal themed after indigenous cultures. While most of these summations could be wrong, the majority of Tekipuk is centered around words of the Mi’kmaq tribe which was one of the largest Native people centered around Canada’s Maritime Provinces (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island). Outside of some vague references to Canadian native people and the use of the language, most of the work of Ukcheansalawit remains a mystery aside from a 17 minute demo of synth heavy lo – fi black metal. Perhaps 2020 will see more releases but for now, this release is enough to spark interest in a relatively unexplored area of pan American culture.

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Spirit Possession – 2020 Demo [US, Black / Punk] (2020)

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Self Released | 1-21-20

Sometimes there is a release which comes along that affirms your dedication to an aesthetic. Spirit Possession has everything I could possibly hope for in a release — raw black / punk, blistering attitude, near zero internet presence. All of these combine into an 11 minute release which feels like clenched teeth and an image which makes you the coolest ghoul in the graveyard. If one is in the mood for a party where everyone has limbs falling off then you are in the right line.

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Miserable Creature – Miserable Creature [ Australia, Death] (2020)

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Self Released | 1-19-20

It should be noted that all proceeds for this cassette release will be going to the Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) Bushfire Emergency Fund. Despite the monetary contributions from this new death metal act, I can appreciate the sentiment, especially given the band being from Australia. This cover is everything I love about finding tapes on the internet. Ripped from an old RPG manual and photocopied 10 times, the aesthetic of thick death over thin pages is something that has always drawn me. Miserable Creature has something here and I am excited to see this band progress over the next year in a crowding genre of lo-fi death. If anything this band possesses a party spirit which is sure to shake coffins and wake the dead.

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Wormreign – Wormreign [Canada, Black] (2020)

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Self Released | 1-14-20

Good morning, it is time to wake up and run straight into that opposing wall. Wormreign comes to us from Canada and with an album cover that is to be expected but most certainly welcome. What is surprising about this debut EP is the tenacious nature of the music and also the energy in which the band uses to, perhaps literally, throw themselves at the listeners. “Ad Vermiis” is nearly bursting at its seams and feels like it is bouncing against the door in order to get out. This ads to the frantic chaos of this EP and promises to make participants anxious if not brimming with feverish mania.

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Empyreal Forest – Divinations [US, Dungeon Synth] (2020)

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Self Released | 1-4-20

I have had a long sordid history with dungeon synth which is both weird and amazing. I do not think I have covered any dungeon synth on this site since the first Erang record which sent me head first into the genre. At this moment I do not wish to cover the genre as extensively as I did but hearing Empyreal Forest ‘s 15 minute release not only dredges up foind memories but also aesthetically fits with some of the other records on this site also adorned in dismal black and white album covers. Dismal Ruin is a new label which specializes in dungeon synth, dark ambient, and second wave black metal which is varied across the label’s four releases. Empyreal Forest seems to be a new entity but is already entrenched in its worship of DS luminaries like Depressive Silence and Thangorodrim just cloaked in more atmospheric noise. The result is something that intimate but also cold in its wanderings through fog veiled forests. I do not think Ill ever get back into dungeon synth like I did but maybe perhaps there is room on this blog for more things like this.

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Mental Casket – Demo 2019 [Poland, Death] (2019)

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Self Released | 6-11-19

With a name like Mental Casket, one is going to except a certain level of grime that hopefully covers a coffin in a basement. This is it. It is all here. With a dedication to Florida style death and less of a concern for actually cropping their cover, the debut demo from Mental Casket comes just as you expected and always wanted. Though the production is lacking as per the style, the strength of Mental Casket rests in the bands ability to write riffs that stalk through the night and animate these corpses that are strewn upon the ground.

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Hexerei – Oath [?, Black] (2019)

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Self Released | 4-19-19

I am going to be honest in saying finding this demo was happenstance as I was saw the German translation for Sorcery was Hexerei. Hexerei actually is more akin to witchery / witchcraft but Sorcery is one of the easiest connections. I may have been searching for it when seeing a German Magic the Gathering card and seeing the word “Hexerei” and finding it cool. Whatever the case, I stumbled upon a 2019 that is full of grief and grime that has an attitude from here to the dark woods it probably crawled out of. This drips with aesthetic and the fact I found it randomly makes me wonder what other hellish treats are scattered in those woods.

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Rothadás – Rothadás [Hungary, Death / Doom] (2019)

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Self Released | 10-1-19

Unsurprising, Rothadás translates to “Rot” in the native tongue or maybe something like putrefaction or putrescence. whatever the case, it is gross and the sound of this new demo (?) is nothing but the warm smell of death. Rothadás is new to the point of not having any reliable points of information. I know there isnt going to be volumes written on this Hungarian death/doom outfit but it would be nice to see if they look as spooky as they sound. Here in the States, it is getting a little cooler and October is just around the corner. Rothadás is the sound of dying and for all intents and purposes is everything you need to get in the mood for death.

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Skravl – Fire Besværgelser mod Menneskeheden [Denmark, Black] (2019)

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Self Released | 8-26-19

The Danish translation for the album title is something to the akin of “Four Problems against Mankind.” This isn’t a reference to any book or literary work so it is a mystery until I learn Danish. This semi cryptic beginning is an overture to a black metal release that is wrought with tension and obscurity. Skravl is wound in emotion and uses its black metal structure as a sort of tension/release which is far from unique though works in every sense for this record. The 5 minute track is the only one available on the ultra dark Bandcamp page and I do not expect any more information from this project rather Skravl will be entirely shrouded in cathartic mystery.

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Void Wraith – I [US, Black] (2019)

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Self Released | 9-28-19

Cool Name. Cool Art. Cool Sound. This is a good start to a one song demo preview for an album releasing in a month. Usually I do not care too much about singles but Void Wraith’s first impression is immense and potential for a full album of haunted ice makes my soul shiver. Whether or not it is the razor sharp vocals or the near chaotic collapse of the percussion, “I” is an explosion of spectral fury which is both icy and boiling hot with emotion.

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