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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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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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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Cruor Vexillum – Cruor Vexillum [New Zealand, Black] (2018)

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Self Released | 10-21-18

So from rumors, conjecture, and pure speculation, the work of Cruor Vexillum is from “VK” who also may be the spirit behind bands like Diocletian, Temple Nightside, Vassafor, and maybe Irkallian Oracle. I do not know and maybe other people don’t as well. Actually knowing is sort of second to music which is grim and fills a void with more void. Cruor Vexillum is a relatively short release with 4 songs flanked by a procession and benediction. Despite its running time, however, Cruor Vexillum wastes little time in constructing a desecrated temple in which foul offerings are to be made. Through its 4 tracks, the music for Cruor Vexillum weaves and wraps its way around the listener with its guitar work as one of its leading roles. While the vocals are grim and dripping with attitude, the clear guitar and its solos are one of the most interesting parts. Cruor Vexillum may also not be the work of VK which I mentioned before and if its not, that is alright since in the absence of another New Zealand connection we are left with a record which exudes filth and reckless determination.

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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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Dauþuz – Des Zwerges Fluch [Germany, Black] (2018)

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Naturmacht Productions | 09-15-18

Alright we have to talk about it. Lyrical themes: Historical mining. In all of my years spent in heavy meta, this is perhaps the first mining centered metal band I have come across. In fact, looking through the Metal Archives for other bands which share the aesthetic, Dauþuz is one of five and the second German band to explore this topic. Germany’s Die Knappen did a similar dive into the traditions of mining in 2010 and Spain’s Astigarraga Thrower delved into mining and extractive metallurgy with their 2015 release Aiako Harria. With something so specific and off the beaten path for heavy metal, it is almost arresting in its use since most listeners are wondering what mining has to do with anything.

Des Zwerges Fluch is the band’s third release following a short string of full releases that no one really paid attention to. This is surprising as the preview track from Des Zwerges Fluch is chilling black metal probably played at the bottom of a cave. While the cave jokes could write themselves, the combination of crips black metal combined with an odd lyrical approach makes for engaging listening which urges listeners to revalature the aesthetic traditions of lower class occupations. Dauþuz seems more connected with the primal qualities or unrefined earth with music that feels arcane and chaotic in its slumber. Since the lyrics are in German, I will never know the true answer but there is sometimes a feeling which transcends languages.

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Enscelados – The Devouring God [International, Black / Ambient] (2018)

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Self Released | 4-30-18

Souls are drowned in the ever-rotating continuum / Alas, for they knew not of the end… / Tears are shed for whom the devouring god awaits / Ululating for eons, those who went… / Rites will be held for him once again / Never will they know, for all will remain unraveled…

I do not know why I enjoy the lyrics for The Devouring God so much. Perhaps they are written in such away as to convey dread and wonder all with a sense of timeless drama. Perhaps it is because it sounds like the beginning of a chapter from Malazan Book of the Fallen. Perhaps it is because it feels perfect for 23 minutes of swirling chaos. Whatever the case, Enscelados, named after the Enceladus the 6th largest moon, flies in the same trajectory as Darkspace and tries to depict the vastness of space and the possibilities of horrors lying beyond.

I enjoy albums, EPs, and Demos consisting of one song as I feel the release is centered around a theme. Enscelados’ theme is obvious as it portrays a Lovecraftian notion of a sleeping god whose power is divine and terrible. IT is these types of themes that make a blend of atmospheric black and hypnotic ambient work specially when combined with blown out production with feel ritualistic in its design.

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Cryptworm – Verminosis [UK, Death] (2018)

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Self Released | 4-30-18

All hail Bulldozer Death! This is my personal tag for music that sounds like an unmanageable amount of gravesoil pushed onto a listener at once which slowly becomes their demise. This is what Cryptworm sounds like and it is as fun as it is intimidating. Following their well received 2017 demo, released on Goatpryaer, Cryptworm sets out by themselves to deliver ten tons of gravesoil on hapless victims.

From the beginning of this 11 minute EP to the very end, Cryptworm rarely takes time to rest. No intros, no ambiance, no space to breathe, Verminosis could be the definition of “straight and to the fucking point.” While this EP lacks the atmosphere of other rotting death bands of recent years, Cryptworm makes up for it with some wild and ascertaining riffs combined with the smack to the face with a tombstone attitude. Also the pick slide on “Cadaveric Flesh Engorgement” was one of the most fun experiences I had all day. All hail the sundering of life.

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Gestank – Rathymns [Sweden, Black] (2018)

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Cirsium Kollektivet | 3-28-18

“”Gestank returns with even darker atmosphere and a thinner production than on the previous recordings.
Enjoy or don’t !” — I have been laughing about this for the past few weeks as it is clear this is not meant for enjoyment. I mean, I enjoy it but it is nice to know no one cares. Also from the Metal Archives, “Gestank” is the German word for stench. Fantastic.

The description of this EP is correct as the band’s previous demo “Hail Intoxication” was more involved in the production. Rathymns is closer to the band’s almost meta demo “Anti​-​Aesthetic Warfare,” though this current release is much more focused in a productive direction. There is so much to do when you point your gaze towards hate and destruction and explore the endless misery of human existence. We are going to go with the genre of black to start but really Gestank can be thought of a lumbering wretch of music which oscillates between lurching misery and rabid violence.

Gestank comes to us on the leathery wings of Cirsium Kollektivet, a Swedish tape label who already brought us things like Kwestia Kwasu and Vomit Kult. Gestank fits into the this weird collective which seems to be centered on unearthing some of the weirdest ways to cry out in anguish. I am sure that I will enjoy this and it is good to know no one cares if I do or don’t.

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Burial Stone – Lost History [US, Death] (2018)

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Self Released | 2-27-18

Alright this is what I am fucking talking about. Death metal which has the sentiments of a caveman hunting on the unforgiving landscape where death and life are locked in an inseparable embrace. All of the information regarding Burial Stone indicate this is death metal from New Jersey without any serious mention of the doom aspect. Perhaps we have moved past the point where we are considering doom a genre and this is just death metal played out in agonizing slow motion.

the three tracks which make up the Lost History EP are of exceptional quality with the raw nature of the cover, production, and instrumentation only adding to the mystic surrounding this band. With song titles like “ATLANTEAN ASCENSION,” Burial Stone summons primordial sprits to help them weave their tale. When doing so however the world becomes turgid with the haze of sorcery. Lost History is the work of death magic and I am so pleased to be in its wake.

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