Cist – The Frozen Casket [Russia, Death / Thrash] (2018)

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Camo Pants Records | 3-16-18

I do not think I have so thoroughly entertained with music while being baffled by the name of the record label. Camo Pants Records is either a goofy name with no meaning or some hidden tongue and cheek reference to death metal fashion. I think I spend so much time discussing this aspect as Cist’ Frozen Casket is the inaugural release for the UK label and if subsequent records are going to be as good, then we need to get this name thing worked out.

Cist is a Russian outfit with an unabashed infatuation with 90’s US death metal and 80’s European thrash. I know this because their Bandcamp page states they are “high speed, manic, death thrash, forged through an uncompromising meld of eighties era Tampa death metal and aggressive European style thrash.” Cool, we know where to start. Pestilence, Death, Solstice, and Obituary are all ghosts which hang around this newcomer and by the sounds of their first EP, this band nails everything about the sound. Though I usually applaud bands for not becoming too absorbed in costume, my love for old school death eclipses everything else and songs like “Antisceptic” are sugary and sewery in its enjoyment.

I still have no idea what the record label name means but I am willing to waive them through as long as things like The Frozen Casket keep getting produced. Camo Pants and Cist make a strong declaration for the beginning of the year and provides a wonderful soundtrack for Valentines Day. This holiday, spend it in the arms of 90’s era death / thrash and die a thousand times.

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Human Agony – Goring Christ [Canada, Black / Death] (2018)

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Self Released | 2-1-18

The fact I can’t listen to more than one song from this EP is hilarious as it is infuriating. The mail order distro which is attached to this band, Blud Auk also has its samples on Soundcloud. It seems to be my fate finding really awesome music that sails international waters in terms of formats and presentation. What is important however is that I have found some clues and leads to a cavern of death and rot whose location is only known by those already infected with spiritual sickness.

Despite Goring Christ only having one song, listening to the Final Laceration demo shows a band ready to smash windows and use the pieces to inflict harm on whoever is closest. This is the trenches of black / death / punk / war / bestial and whatever other avatar of horrid music that comes from the lose of goodness. It is fast, gross, and undeniably fun. Goring Christ and the greater Blood Auk label has found an aesthetic and a distribution method that seems to work for fanatics of slime and grime. I will make any addendum to this review if the rest of the EP turns out to be any different than what is present on the previous demo or preview track. If the band suddenly changes to symphonic progressive, Ill be sure to post a follow up. For now and until that point sit back and die a thousand times over.

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Benthik Zone – Causa Modicum Temporis Spatium [Portugal, Atmospheric Black / Death] (2018)

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Self Released | 1-18-18

After a short rest following end of the year festivities, this is the first Tape Wyrm review of 2018. I thought it would be fitting to celebrate the passing of the new year with a record that sounds like the collapsing of worlds and the coming of an age of darkness.

From a very Latin background, the title for this EP translates to something like to cause a short space of time. While the track titles are rendered in cryptic aesthetics, the lyrics are still Portuguese which yield abstract and cosmisc themes. If the album titles and track lengths were not a giveaway, Benthik Zone reaches for the heavens and tries to pull down the blackness beyond the light.

I am just learning about this band and their records as Via Cosmicam ad Europam ab Gelid Inferis was released in September of 2017 and would have fit perfectly on this site for much of the same reasons as their 2018 did. It sometimes takes a band and their releases to reach certain places much in the same way light does across the galaxy. For now, Causa Modicum Temporis Spatium has arrived coming from somewhere beyond the heavens.

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Another Dead One – Tomb of a Thousand Sorrows [US, Death] (2017)

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Self Released | 12-29-17

This is perhaps my sixth review today trying to not only get up to a certain number but review all of the material that is being released at the end of the year. While most of the lists have been published and writers have gone home to celebrate another year of releases, the backwaters of the internet are still alive with festering releases. One of these is Tomb of a Thousand Sorrows, the very late introduction to Another Dead One.

I am not entirely sure about the band’s name nor the album title. For a year spent with the rotten warehouse death, Another Dead one seems to be on a separate plane with aesthetic. This is furthered by the fact their guitar solos and dynamic presentation is not only unorthodox but it is fun as hell. when was the last time you heard guitar squeals into double bass riffing? For that matter when was the last time you heard a chainsaw in a song with people screaming? For as much as I am uncertain about the name, Another Dead One has gone above and beyond the call for entertainment with an EP that would be fun for drinking embalming fluid with.

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No Funeral – Mankind is Carrion, Fit for Nothing [US, Sludge / Doom] (2017)

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Self Released | 12-30-17

Genre: Sludge/Doom Metal. Lyrical themes: Drug addiction, Nihilism, Depression, Death, Misanthropy. You already know what you are getting into just by the summary of this release. Even looking at the band photos, one can assume most things about this sound. I have been more than honest about my stance on sludge and doom as a whole and while I have an aversion to most of the genre, hearing well done sludge doom about Drug addiction, Nihilism, Depression, Death, and Misanthropy is more than welcome.

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Karcist – Inner Sanctum Immolation [US, Blackened Death] (2017)

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Self Released | 12-21-17

Blackened death is a strange genre to play and even to seek out. While it sounds similar to the black/death style, there is a maddening difference between the two to the point that when seeking one out will lead to dissatisfaction with the other. This is what I find so interesting when bands like Karcist knowingly employ the less popular of the styles and ultimately succeed with the sound.

Inner Sanctum Immolation is the debut EP from a Los Angles based act that is not interested in the tomb of low fidelity. Though Karcist does not have the top tier of production on their debut, Inner Sanctum Immolation could work with high fidelity as much as medium. The fact that the band succeeds at a medium range and manages to make their sound interesting is a testament to a band that has their shit together. Though I think their black/red muddy aesthetic works well visually, the fact Karcist manages to travel outside what is expected for underground metal and still make entertaining music is a near surprise.

Ill be interested to see where this band goes and if they align with any popular trends. Songs like “Incursion of Christ” sounds like it is from a high profile metal band with different art and probably not on Bandcamp. the fact that this sound can be achieved by an unsigned act is exciting to hear if the sound will be explored in the future. Whatever the case, I am sure Karcist will land on their feet somewhere as it seems this band has competent members aboard their horrid ship.

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Sørgelig – Forever Lost [Greece, Black] (2017)

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Self Released | 6-1-17

There are sometimes a great record comes out at the very end of the year and other a great record comes out in June and I just completely missed it. There will never be a time when I can be certain I heard most or even half of the lesser known metal this year even in the styles I enjoy. Sørgelig fits everything I enjoy about black metal with a kickass cover and I still missed it. This is what is hilarious about new music as something that is destined to be enjoyed is sometimes impossible to keep track of. For me I am glad I got the opportunity to catch this miserable record of despair.

Forever Lost is the debut EP by a greek depressive black metal act that leans on the side of raw production. The only member connection I can see is a shred member with Isolert. It does not really matter as Sørgelig is unique in the fact it plays depressive black metal that does not stale under its common narratives. Songs like “The Hill Where I’ve Buried my Casket” are unashamedly purple in its description but the energy and emotion within the track never becomes silly and out of place. With the addition of the non-DSBM aesthetic of “Alcoholic Invasion,” Sørgelig does a fine job in a style that is overrun by mediocrity. Even though two of the four songs sound similar to the point of being twins, Forever Lost is a fine EP for a new band to start the new year. I am sure I will be seeing their name again as long as I do not wait until the last day of the year to finally pick up their release. While writting this review, I am sure I managed to miss three great releases from other bands.

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Agonic Death – Under the Mark of the Devil [Chile, Death / Thrash] (2017)

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Self Released | 12-7-17

Let us be entirely honest and say this is not from 2017. Back in September of 2016, 100 tapes of Under the Mark of the Devil EP were released probably to a small group of people. In 2017, the band put out the Ep again with different art to the protest of no one. Actual release dates get murky when you deal on this level and for all intents and purposes, this death/thrash release can occupy two spaces.

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Faruln – Faruln [Sweden, Black] (2017)

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Self Released | 11-23-17

I find it amusing and comforting that the Banedcamp header is the famous still from The Seventh Seal which is a movie that has become known for its vintage depiction o death and mortal pondering. This maybe a perfect place to start for black metal and in fact, is probably one of the more honest framings of the sound as beyond costuming lies the dance of life and death.

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Apologoethia – Pillars [Spain, Black] (2017)

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Self Released | 11-24-17

Listening to records is important .. obviously. I base my initial searches based on album art so I find the visual compenet to be just as important. Though the artwork for Pillars initially grabbed my attention, it wasn’t until after diving into this Spanish act’s music that I found my judgement wrong. Here I thought I was in store for some raw lo-fi black or death metal and what I got was decent production that holds court in the backwaters of black and death metal and doesn’t swear allegiance to anyone in particular.

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