Dodenbezweerder – Zwarte Sluiers [Netherlands, Black] (2019)

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Self Released | 7-28-19

While I do not think this will go away, I am always hesitant about reviewing things that do not have a Metal Archives page since they could be lost to the wind and everything I loved just lives in memories. It has happened before so I will be specific about what I like regarding this Dodenbezweerder record. Here we go. Zwarte Sluiers is a haunted parlor room where the ancient furniture is occupied by spectral visitors who maybe familiar but can’t recall due to the catatonic horror which grips my very soul. This is what is is and what is sounds like condensed in two songs of absolute spiritual ruin. there. Hopefully that preserves my records.

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o.T.s – Untitled [Switzerland, Black] (2019)

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Self Released | 7-23-19

Another day, another band that does not seem to exist outside fo this one page. All information I have regarding o.T.s is from the Bandcamp page which could be pulled down at any moment. For record keeping purposes I will say this demo is noisy, raw, and full of deadly venom as it rips across the wall much like a hunting knife. o.T.s’ aesthetic resides much in its un produced quality as it feels that this shouldn’t even be approached for another few weeks as it is still feral and chained with a wall. Perhaps the possibility of this disappearing leaving only a memory is adding to the excitement but this Untitled demo hits with mythical force probably because it feels temporal in its existence.

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Trest – Ordalium [Germany, Black] (2019)

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Caligari Records | 7-4-19

I drafted this review to remind myself to listen to the whole album when it was released. Caligari Records has always been reliable in finding music that is demanding existentially. In fact, if there was some sort of blind subscription service when I received tapes in the mail, I am sure I would never be disappointed. Trest is another testament to the strength of Caligari as this German black metal project is centered around the persecution of witches and sounds like a riot of emotions. Ordalium is centered around “the last people sentenced for magic & witchcraft in Europe,” and while this subject matter could lend itself to be celebratory and superficial, Trest’s somber attitude regarding the subject in multiple stages of “ordeal” and “pyre” makes for a record which was not only anticipated but something that is one of the best black metal albums of the year. With a combination of hypnotic rhythms and occasional soundclips, Ordalium is an emotional journey that was by and far worth waiting for.

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Gwoid – Gwoid VI – Aurora Borealis [Germany, Atmospheric / Raw Black] (2019)

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Self Released | 7-16-19

I wrote about Gwoid earlier int he year with the January release of Gwoid V. This release was tagged under “Raw Black” as the demo was filled with a spectral cloud. v took me by surprise as it is still rooted in the camp of bedroom black metal but the newest release travels towards the stars. Gwoid VI – Aurora Borealis takes its inspiration from bands like Darkspace which throws the template of atmospheric black into the vacuum of space allowing the terror and uncertainty of the void to become the centerpiece of music. there certainly is still the raw edge present as the vocals are still shredded and the music is akin to a ripped drapery. I realize that every time I talk about this project, I am just presented with haunted imagery which is perhaps the best way to describe this type of music.

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Himelvaruwe – Het ondenkbare [Netherlands, Black] (2019)

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Self Released, 6-3-2019

Do not let the cover fool you. This is not woozy new age though both have a penchant for mystical soundscapes. I reviewed Himelvaruwe in 2017 with the demo CCIII. I was pleased and surprised there was so much activity between that demo and this as the operator T.J seems to work the best in mania. Just the work in Himelvaruwe alone constitutes productivity let alone his other work in Kaffaljidhma, Ancient Morass, and Mirre.

I enjoy how people approach records and coming from a long background in dungeon synth, the serial release schedule is just something that some bands do. Het ondenkbare is the 7th release in a few short years and the 5th demo for the project. It continues, visually, a motif that shares a design with 2018’s Het onkenbare. Together the two demos translates roughly to “The Public / The Unthinkable” and at least as of now share the same surreal approach to raw black metal with a heavy use of dreamy synth. I found myself drawn to this release the more and more I listened to it and is something that will be pleasing for people with very narrow interests.

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Witches Hex – Rituals Under The Red Moon [Canada, Raw Black] (2019)

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Self Released | 5-3-19

I feel that the tag Raw Black is less a genre and more of a sign post for interested parties. Rituals Under the Red Moon is black metal just fed through a filter of noise and chaos. One can still hear the riffs and structure just now with rough edges which bleed like static. I do not know much about this band other than their desire to play into a genre. From their cover to names, Witches Hex embraces the thematic elements of underground black metal. What is interesting about the band however is their ability to make those thing still seem sinister and raw perhaps with the help of shredding noise.

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Sněť – Promo [Czech Republic, Death] (2019)

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Self Released | 4-8-19

It takes a certain cover for me to assume that everything, musically, inside will line up with my interests. While this is not a guarantee on quality, the craft of an aesthetic is a good indication on the care the band will have on the music. Sněť’s promo / demo pays close attention to crafting the look of vomit drenched death metal that sounds like it was recorded in a flooded warehouse than anywhere natural. This type of grimy concrete death metal, which comes with photocopied tape covers, is something that is specific to an audience who will love every second. There really is only one song on this demo as the first is a long introduction to the world of disease, sickness and endless riffs. If you are here then we do not need to say anything as we all have heard the call of wretched death.

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Tenebro – Demo [Italy, Death] (2019)

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Desert Wastelands Productions | 5-1-19

Allow the reverberations of instinct to take over. I think this is from Italy since the tag indicates it is “Horror Glorifying Death Metal from Fulci’s Land.” This demo comes by the way of Desert Wasteland which also released Astriferous’ demo. If that Costa Rican massacre was any indication then Tenebro is going to be of the same caliber. We will go with that. If the lack of information is offsetting, it is just apart of the luddite style death metal that I have come to love and worship. If any sound was akin to kunckledragging ogres then Tenebro is one of the grossest abominations to stalk the land. Heavy, inattentive, and only concerned with the lust for violence, this is death metal with a 10th grade reading level that dumps intelligence for strength.

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Rotted – Pestilent Tomb [US, Death] (2019)

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Maggot Stomp | 2-22-19

There is a joke among the ten people on the internet that listen to this music about caveman death and specifically heavy death metal with large riffs and a primal instinct and possibly a low reading level. The inspiration for these bands isn’t really clear though if you start at Rottrevore, Grave, and Obituary and make your way forward, you will have a good idea. This is not a genre nor even a style rather a direction some bands are flinging themselves into much like an oncoming bus. Maggot Stomp is a US label that seems to be the dealers in this killing floor style death metal with releases this year from Encoffinized and Frozen Soul. Whatever it is and if it differs from the other niche sounds of current death metal seems to be secondary to the monolithic riffs and and a drive for cosmic violence.

It is worth mentioning that this album was released in 2018 first on Headsplit Records and then in various states of pressing. I wont say that this Maggot Stomp Release is the most popular but it is the first time I have heard it so I am including this in the year 2019. If anyone has a problem with that they can find me by the greasy fire weilding a club.

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Torso – Demonic Vomiting [UK, Death / Black] (2019)

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Me Saco Un Ojo Records | 2-21-19

This is so fucking gross. I do not even know where this band is from or if they are from 2019 or if there is any black metal in this tornado of filth that is devastating everything in front of it. Demonic Vomiting may only interest the few who can stomach gross imagery but what separates Torso from the other depraved brutal death metal bands is a knack for filling their atmosphere with killer riffs and having a general attitude which is cool rather than twisted and edgy. It maybe a line that is not necessary for others but those who want that vile downpour but can stand the sound of brutal death, maybe interested more in this demo.

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