Vile Spirit – Promo 2019 [UK, Punk / Metal] (2019)

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Quality Control HQ | 1-21-19

I do not even know where to put this so Ill just throw it on the counter and let anyone pick it up if they want to. I have to say I love the color red as I feel it works really well for any album covers. The front of this promo is an example as it exemplifies the visceral qualities of music that is caught between hardcore punk and slow death. Perhaps one of the better examples is the longest track on this promo as “Bite Down” revels in the chaos of noise before lurching into a disjointed march across what I feel could be a wasteland strewn with corpses and nuclear waste. There are few genres this neatly fits into but it perfect music for the apocalypse.

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Defacement – Deviant [Netherlands, Death / Black] (2019)

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Self Released | 1-19-19

And so this break a nice running streak of black and white covers. It is okay. This is completely worth it. It is nice to get surprised and even knocked down by a sound. Defacement seems to be the new band created by members of a black metal outfit called Deathcrush. While I only listened to a few songs from Deathcrush, I feel the direction of this new outfit is much more appealing to a wider audience. Who is that audience? Well, people who like to hear nightmarish terror in musical form. From song titles, to the abstract cover, Defacement offers inexplicable unease which can not be described or discussed rather just embraced in swirling madness. This is a release which is both simple in its execution and cavernous in its success.

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Heinous – Demo [Belgium, Black] (2019)

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Medieval Prophecy Records | 1-10-18

another day, another black and white demo. Jokes aside, this shit rules and it took me a little bit to crack into the depths in which this Belgian act offers. We are also right at the beginning of a career which seems to offer swirling black metal which far from produced is still easily to discern and surprisingly enough easy to approach. With declarative vocals that are gruff and festering but not repellent, this demo might be one of the easier avenues into the grim world of lesser known black metal demos. I could also be wrong and way off course but Ill have a soundtrack to accompany my madness.

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Skrawl – Nil [US, Black / Punk] (2019)

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Knife Vision | 1-13-19

Hello again Knife vision. I see you are looking particularly grim and vile today. It was only a week ago I stumbled on the Arnor demo and a whole page of interesting looking things. Now it is time for Skrawl and but the opening crash of black punk, this is something I can sign up for and enlist in whatever army they are forming. The recent influx of new black / punk bands as some nightmarish manifestation of raw torment is something that has never stopped being fun and horrid sounding. Skrawl continues this journey into the groovy madness with a sound that is like kicking televisions and an aesthetic that I want to put on a patch right away. It is only the first month of 2019 and Knife Vision needs to stop being so cool otherwise I am going to look silly when I keep writing about these releases.

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Vomit Spell – Demo [Germany, Death / Grindcore] (2019)

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Self Released | 1-2-19

What a name. I love everything about it. I love the artwork and the fact it is a bandcamp demo that will later have a cassette release. I love the energy and the fact that I was clued into the release by the creator via email. Vomit Spell is a newish act from Germany that combines both the ferocity and irreverence of grindcore and the raw approach of death metal. The result is everything you have wanted combined with an aesthetic that is less innovative than it is tested and true. According to the Discogs page the demo was “recorded in the band’s rehearsal room between September and December of 2018.” We are just going back to all basics with this one. This is the staring point for all things festering. There are hazy boundaries when something is decomposing and giving off an awful stench. Come for death. Come for speed. Come for the decay of offal from an unidentified source.

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Grave Infestation – Infesticide [Canada, Death] (2018)

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Self Released | 12-31-18

In 2019, I want to amass a collection of gross sounding death metal. Thank you 2019 for giving me my first of this year’s collection. If you ever want to hear what blood stained concrete sounds and tastes like, allow Grave Infestation to overtake your beating heart. Wild guitar solos, ridiculous soundclips, and a band photo which looks like it has been run through a copier 100 times, this Canadian act is here to be antisocial and make jokes at funerals. I am just joking, they wouldn’t be invited anyway but are here to tip the casket. This is everything I love and am so glad I keep finding this stuff.

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Favorite Releases of 2018

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Demos / EPs / Splits / ETC

Full Lengths

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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Voidsphere – To Await | To Expect [International, Black / Atmospheric] (2018)

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Amor Fati Productions | 11-15 – 18

I feel that yesterday I didn’t even know what the ПРАВА Коллектив was and now I see it connected to a handful of really cool releases. The Prava Kollektivis a group of unknown musicians making spacey black metal in conjunction with Fallen Empire Records. Just this month there has been hot releases by Arkhtinn and HWWAUOCH which seems connected. Earlier this year, Fallen Empire released the debut by Mahr also known to be associated. This cloak and dagger aura surrounding the group of musicians only adds to the dramatic effect of the music which is serious, direct, and full of mystery. Additionally, all of the bands seem to be going for a visceral take on atmospheric black which has had a long history of being over saturated and formulaic. Taking their cues from bands like Paysage D’Hiver and Darkspace, these bands are out to explore the void and from what Voidsphere bandcamp pages urges, is to “INGEST THE VOID.” Well with an inviation like that I do not know if I could say no.

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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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