Ashen Chalice – Spells Of Eternal Sleep Guide Us Towards The Casket [Croatia, Raw Black] (2017)

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Self Released | 08-01-17

Ashen Chalice perhaps has the trifecta of cool titles which hover around the newest release. First off all the project name is super cool. Second of all the album title is entrancing in its wording. Third and perhaps most important is the Bandcamp tagline of “May Nature Guide You On Your Path Towards Self Destruction.” With all of these in place, Ashen Chalice dives into the sometimes uneven world of raw bedroom black metal.

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Vesicant – Shadows of Cleansing Iron [New Zealand, Black / Death] (2017)

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Iron Bonehead Productions | 7-14-17

I swear to Christ, I found these guys before I noticed they were on Iron Bonehead. Despite my best intentions in digging out disgusting black / death, Iron Bonehead seems to be doing the same with more attuned ears to filth and grime. Whatever the case or whoever first stumbled on this band s irrelevant since there isn’t much left of the world after they are done playing.

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Akatharsia – No Generation Without Corruption [US, Raw Black / Punk] (2017)

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Self Released | 7-7-17

I was hesitant on putting the raw black tag on this record since I wasn’t sure. Do not get me wrong or misunderstand, the world of Akatharsia is built from bricks of noise and discomfort as their debut record constructs a citadel of torment and unease. I was hesitant on putting the raw black tag on this record since the band also crafts a fine groove with all of these unpleasant elements.

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Animo Aeger – Ab​-​Fakt [Germany, Black] (2017)

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Cirsium Kollektivet | 6-25-17

By any means necessary. The German outfit known as Amino Aeger may not be a household name but it only takes a few minutes into their work for it to make an impression. Sure this all falls under the realm of black metal but by the first minute of the Ab​-​Fakt EP, the listener realizes that this is not really a release but the ravings of a wild animal and all of the doors are now locked. Continue reading

Totalitarian – De Arte Tragoediae Divinae [Italy, Black / Death] (2017)

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All hail the gloom of tomorrow! It seems odd for an underground band to begin their career with a full length. In a genre full of demos, splits, and EPs, starting with a 56 minute record feels novel in a style where most do not reach that length with their longest releases. Totalitarian is different in the fact they want nothing else than to slowly step on the necks of their listener.

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Ockultist – Present Day Neglect [Sweden, Black / Sludge] (2017)

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Self Released | 4-15-17

That is quite a sound. I have not been shy regarding my opinion on stoner doom and sludge as I feel the field is flooded with similar sounding bands and ideas. This is not unlike other styles such as black and death metal though stoner doom feels tired and worn unless completely onboard for the sound. This is why a band like Ockultist is intriguing as the shackeling between stoner sludge and black vocals works so well I am wondering why this hasn’t been more of a thing.

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Mouthgate – Fungal [US, Black / Experimental] (2017)

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Self Released | 2-28-17

Enter the vaults of the odd with a band and album title that is way beyond any metal aesthetic you are used to. Coming from New York City comes a band that is experimental but is too weird to have any sort of pretension about their work. Caught somewhere between a hangover migraine and a lost Lovecraft story comes Mouthgate and they are here to ruin your fucking day.

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Blood of Sokar – Blood of Sokar [US, Black/Doom] (2017)

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Self Released | 4-2-17

I get pretty enthusiastic about black/doom as it is a style which sounds transcendental when done right but whose chemistry is tough to master. Add to this the fact that there really isn’t a defined recipe for black doom as black/death or even black/thrash rather when combined it could sound as melodic or as harrowing as intended. Enter Blood of Sokar whose debut (?) is nothing short that a getting lost in a cursed forest with creatures of the night occasionally stealing parts of flesh from the listener.

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Sickdeer – The Wretched of the Earth [US, Black / Death] (2017)

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Self Released | 3-20-17

I am going to be completely honest and say my attraction to Sickdeer comes from they are local to my area and I am scheduled to see a few shows with them as a support. Finding local music is fantastic as you can both enjoy music, support music, and possibly drink beers with the creators in a parking lot outside the show. I am just joking, that would be illegal and that sort of thing never happens.

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