Vaabnet – Den ed du har svoret [Denmark, Black / Punk] (2017)

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Self Released | 10-14-17

I think it was the cover art for Den ed du har svoret which initially drew my eye with its runic and esoteric markings. It was most certainly the combination of depressive black metal and raw punk rock that kept me locked in the world of misery and strife. Vaabnet is one of of a few Danish black bands found in recent memory with the other being Fanebærer, Lesion, Gabestok, and Blot & Bod. In fact, all of these bands recently played a show together which is how I found the connection. Whatever the hell is happening over there is scary and wonderful.

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Antichrist Siege Machine – Morbid Triumph [US, Black / Death] (2017)

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Self Released | 08-17-17

It seems that I am late with this release as Decibel already picked up the stream for it as well as being out for a couple of months. I should have been more aware as I praised the shit out of their demo in 2016. I should have been more on top of this as this group of ruffians is local to my area and I should have heard them making noise. What began as an independent black / death explosion in the middle of Virginia has quickly wrapped into an underground sensation or at least deathcult centered around the immediate snuffing of life.

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Atavisma – On the Ruins of a Fallen Empire [ France, Death] (2017)

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Blood Harvest | 6-9-17

Well, it seems like this band has all of the boxes ticked. From album art to album name, the debut EP from this French death/doom oufit shows a band willing to mold themselves in the eyes of the listeners. This is not to say Atavisma conforms to any trends rather their brand of music is perfect for anyone seeking an extended stay in the catacombs of the dammed.

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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

Rotten Tomb – Necropolis [Chile, Death] (2017)

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Self Released | 5-3-17

I must have made mention of Chile at one point. For the last year or so, the influx of great death and black metal from Chile and also surrounding South American countries has been staggering. Already this year we had a fantastic demo from Hypnosinosis with Putrid Coffin a close memory in 2016. While metal exists in many countries without pause, the type of metal and the bands that nail the aesthetic and sound is the most important. With the tone and timbre of Rotten Tomb’s first EP, these guys are ready for something perhaps anything.

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Repulsive – The Flesh Domain [UK, Death] (2017)

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Self Released | 3-10-17

March comes in like a unholy desiccated lion and out like a thunderclap. I think I got that right. Repulsive is difficult to search for as they share a similar sounding name with a classic and pioneering death metal band. If you do manage to find this UK based Swede worship band, then you are in for a horrid creation. With everything in the right place, The Flesh Domain EP is one of the more entertaining death metal releases of the year if nothing else than for surgical precision.

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Muka – Sveta Stoka [Croatia, Black / Death] (2017)

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Self Released | 03-07-17

Thanks to Muka for breaking a pretty nice streak of black and white album covers. It is okay, since the cover for Muka’s newest EP comes drenched in pale yellows and cold greys as it really frames a record that is both uninviting and entrancing. I do not know if my translation is correct but the internet tells me the name of the EP comes out to something like “Livestock Council.” This either makes all of the sense or none of it.

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Nornír – Urd [Germany, Black] (2017)

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Northern Silence Productions | 3-3-17

Hopefully you are ready to run becasue whatever is chasing you is getting closer. From the not so ice bitten lands of Germany comes a band that is less innovative as they are aged in experience. With a decent sized EP to follow their 2015 demo, Nornír steps onto the stage to offer entertaining black metal with the jaws of hades.

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Cioran – Bestiale battito divino [Italy, Black / Punk] (2017)

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Caligari Records | 1-13-17

Oh fuck, this is goddamn gross. Already from the support from Caligari Records, I knew that Italian act Cioran would be horrid sounding. Named after the turn of the century Romanian philosopher who espoused pessimism and misery, Cioran has constructed an anthem of decay. With the tags of hardcore punk sitting next to black metal, imaginations run wild as Bestiale battito divino shapes up to be one of the more blistering releases of the year.

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Angel Morgue – Angel Morgue [US, Death] (2017)

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Self Released | 2-16-17

Yes to everything about this. From the sound to the name to the album cover, Angel Morgue fills a very order for people seeking cavernous death metal which wouldn’t be welcomed in any places of worship. The aesthetic which drips from this band in trails of slime is notable as their self titled EP debut hammers away at the bells of hell.

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