CREMATORY STENCH – Grotesque Deformities [US, Death] (2019)

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Blood Harvest | 2-19-19

There will be a day when I am not immedtially drawn to a BW photocopied cover that is blown out with one color (most likely red). there will be a time when I am not ecstatic when a band embraces an aesthetic and goes for a name, album, and song titles that oscillates between Lovecraft, a cemetery, and the charnel house. There will be a day when I am more discerning about what death metal I enjoy as I cant keep making room for every band with a red and black cover and a gross name. Today is not that day.

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Sadomagickal Seducer – Testicular Torture [Canada, Black / Doom / Punk] (2019)

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Hellhammered Media | 01-31-19

Alright to be completely honest, this EP came out in 2018. It was released sometime in March of last year independently. This is a cassette rerelease by Hellhammered Media. By the looks of it, this band had some recognition upon their initial release but that doesn’t matter since I am writing about this again. Why? Because it is gorgeous in its vileness. Black / Punk is one of my weaknesses and Sadomagickal Seducer style of punk is hypnotic in its tone whose guitars sound menacing and slightly drunk. Add to this the liberal use of synth and we have something I can scare loved ones with. Though the cover is goofier than the original black / pink version and it is really a 2018 release, I am still going to rave about it and call it whatever I want.

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Father Moon – 2 [Canada, Doom] (2019)

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Self Released | 1-13-19

This is not usually the type of music featured on this site. I do not think this type of music is really featured anywhere. I do not know what this is. It is weird and I love it. Father Moon is a Canadian act which seems to take its cues from Nightfall era Candlemass but the drug fueled days of Sabbath. The result is something that more difficult to explain but easy to enjoy. Additionally the near DIY production and presentation is something which makes this EP feel like a flea market discovery of the year since it is difficult to understand what is exactly happening. Come confused, leave delighted.

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Męka – Ending My Life to Destroy Yours [US, Blackened Death] (2019)

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Redefining Darkness | 2-15-19

I actually am at a lose to what the genres are. I can usually either pick them out or go somewhere else to confirm. That is more difficult when the band has zero internet presence outside a few reviews and their music is a maelstrom of genres and chaos. Enter Męka whoese special character is going to push it into further obscurity. Perhaps this is where it belongs — in some basement corner of existence throwing up strange liquids. If that previous sentence sounded gross, you are halfway to the caustic tone of a band that sounds like it gives less of a shit what you did for half your life. This band is also going to push me to rethink blackened death as a sound as I never truly believed in it. I may still be confused about genres and Męka is at the root of this confusion. Eat glass. Smoke insects. Worship nothing.

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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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