Rotten Tomb – Live for the Death [Chile, Death] (2018)

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Self Released | 12-15-18

It is sort of late for a great 2018 death metal record and it is never really a good time for a live album but here we are. This sort of lackadaisical approach to actually releasing a record seems to be the marching orders for Rotten Tomb who has the look, sound, and feel of a hip grimy death metal band and has yet to release a studio effort in 2018. Both the Live for Death release and the 2018 Promo are live recordings which further casts grime on a band that lives in the sewers. Perhaps 2019 will see new material from this band but for 2018, it is live recordings and cold flesh for the rest of the year.

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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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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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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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Svabhavat – Black Mirror Reflection [US, Black] (2018)

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Self Released | 11-5-18

I love not knowing what to make of things. It also helps when the band doesn’t have any information as of yet to guide my judgments. I guess we are going to have to evaluate the merits of Svabhavat on its own. What I can ascertain is a visceral yet refined approach to black metal which does not bog itself down in noise but in that clearing comes the opportunity for some dynamic attacks from what sounds like a swarm of ravens. While Black Mirror Reflection may not have the most unique approach to lyrics, being entirely devoted to necromancy and evil, they do have a novel path towards execution. Caught between the refined nature of production and an almost feral approach to music, this EP just might be a great introduction to a sound which is covered in soil and sticker bushes.

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Blosse – Solemne Tenebris [UK, Black] (2018)

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12 – 3 – 18 | Death Kvlt Production

Well, here it is. A band that yet again does not have any information aside from the baseline blurbs provided by Death Kvlt Productions. At some point I am relieved when I find bands without information since I can get to talking about the music and atmosphere rather than any local scenes. I know that Blosee is from Canada and that the previous demos (?) are available on the artists page. Solemne Tenebris is actually the combination of the two 2018 demos already self released by the artist put together by Death Kvlt in a lengthy compilation demo. I say lengthy since each of these songs averages around 10-15 minutes which makes the entire running time more like a full length rather than any EP or demo. I actually do not suppose anything with black metal demos since they can range from 3 minute to an hour. What is expected however is the free fall into swirling madness with a sound that is similar to acts like Paysage D’Hiver but less obscured by lofi noise and with interesting aspects like lost instruments (flute / violin) which wander in and out of the song drowned in unceasing ferocity. Death Kvlt has made it easier to discover artists and Blosee’s near obscurity makes this addition even more welcome as it is a wonderful way to say goodbye to 2018 — in the jaws of mental collapse.

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Azath – Demo 2018 [US, Death] (2018)

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Caligari Records | 9-9-18

Malazan themed death metal? I have to know these musicians in some fashion. Yep. The world is not that strange. Malazan Book of the Fallen is a popular fantasy series consisting of 10 main books and dozens of related novels. I am not here to geek about fantasy literature rather put into context that as a thematic focus, it works for the raw unrelenting sounds of bulldozer death. Though the series sports high magic, gods, and thousands of years of history to go along side its thousands of characters, fans of the series will nod their heads and agree that “yeah, this makes sense.”

Azath as a band is related to the various world of Ripped to Shreds, Draghkar, Grave Spirit, and Begrime Exemious. The coalescence of talent and worlds could only result in high nerdy combined with what sounds like tombs being imploded and the dust settling on writhing undead bodies. This demo fits into the idea of a demo meaning it is a horrid stretch of things to come but for the people who digest this sort of thing on a regular basis, this is going to be filling for quite sometimes.

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Constrained Ferocity – Dusk Of Humanity [Russia, Death / Grind] (2018)

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Self Released | 9-3-18

It looks like there is little information regarding this act so we are just going to start making things up about this act which seemed to come from nowhere. I believe it was the cover which got me in ensnaring my attention. The underground comic violence cast in blue shades was something that could only come from a band which the right mindset. This was shades of humor cast from a large imposing object of death / grind. Dusk Of Humanity is the band’s debut EP. I think. In the summer the band released a rehearsal demo which was poorly recorded even for fans of lo-fi extreme metal. Dusk of Humanity sounds full which allows the bleeding style of music to shine and even showcases the band’s biggest aspect; filthy death metal riffs in the worship of bands like Autopsy and Asphyx. The marching beat of the EP’s (?) title track is something that could only come with a cover of cartoonish violence and devotion to disaster.

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