Himelvaruwe – CCIII [Netherlands, Raw Black / Ambient] (2017)

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Self Released | 5-25-17

Yes. this is the weird shit I come to the internet for. From the very fitting grainy cover to the fact that since its release back in May, I have heard very little of this project proves that this is a great find. to be honest, I started this review months ago and let it go to draft only to find it sitting waiting for me. What I realized is this sound is still pleasing and still exciting even after these many months.

The ambient side of this project is important as the swirling atmosphere is completed by the distant and fading memory of black metal. Similar to things like Paysage D’hiver, these types of releases rely on the support of people who want to hear music that is closest to white noise as possible. When discussing fidelity and choices in sound production, Himelvaruwe succeeds at brining the sound perhaps to the edge of music/noise while still retaining its emotional components. I am glad I found this after so many months.

there are a lot of releases in 2017, and sometimes releases just sit on shelves without he attention it deserves. This band has not done anything outside of this demo but still has some updates regarding physical copies of this demo. I am going to strive to make it a point to follow this act and make sure I listen and report the same month as their next release. No promises though.

Taphos – Premonition Promo MMXVII [Denmark, Death] (2017)

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Self Released | 11-3-17

Taphos almost feels well known and well liked among friends I probably do not have. Perhaps it is the sound of grimy death metal with a tone that looms in empty warrens and caves. Perhaps it is the fact their logo looks similar to bands like Grave Miasma. Perhaps it is because there is so much good metal coming from Denmark within the last few years. What ever the case, the third release from this group does more to cement their place in the underworld.

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Malakhim – Demo I [Sweden, Black] (2017)

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Self Released | 10-18-17

At thius moment, it appears everything is working in this band’s favor. Not only does this Swedish act have a bit of a following for a debut demo but everything from the aesthetic, to sound, to just general presence seems to be working together. This is probably why this demo is making its rounds in small internet circles as Malakhim doesn’t ask for patience rather throws a chair at its listener within the first few seconds.

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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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Luceran Lycan Haunt – Arcane Arts Bleach The Skulls Of Forbidden [US, Raw Black / Noise] (2017)

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Self Released | 10-13-17

Well, this it is. I think I have finally lost my mind as the first reaction to all of the tags was unbridled excitement at the possibility of diving into a pool of raw noise and black metal with overt occult themes. Over the course of 2017, I have gravitated towards more power electronics, and noise based projects in a search to keep scaring the shit out of myself. I think October maybe the high water mark or depending on how you want to cast it, the lowest depths of darkness.

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DSKNT – PhSPHR Entropy [Switzerland, Black] (2017)

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Self Released | 12-4-17

Alright. Fine. Im interested. when I can not find any information on the band or album and it comes steeped in mystery and occult sensibilities, I am embarrassingly in love with it. It certainly helps when the music is a swirling void of focused chaos and well planned ruin. This is where we are with DSKNT, a band that is running on spirits of ghosts and anticipation.

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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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Ignis Umbrae – La Sombra del Fuego [Chile, Black] (2017)

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Vestigia Flamæ | 06-23-17

Vestigia Flamæ is a newish label that actually has a few other releases which are extremely current including Theurgia’s Genómasis and Saturnus’ Impetum Chaos. I only mention the label since those other two releases were not only of interest but also have been released within the last few months. This time period seems to be the high water mark for a label that has four albums to its name. With all of that said, La Sombra del Fuego and related material on Vestigia Flamæ has kicked up enough dirt for everyone to be aware of their presence.

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Graveflowers – The Hyacinth Garden [US, Raw Black] (2017)

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Self Released | 09-17-17

This release first came to me via Path of Silence who is heading up the limited physical release. Path of Silence is well known in my other life as a dungeon synth label who cryptically releases weirdo and outsider music to a handful of fanatics. The label has released black metal before with Bruid’s Cogadh but this type of music is not common for the label. Despite my surprise, the whole thing makes sense as Graveflowers, while not dungeon synth, possesses a charm for people at the very end of their mental rope.

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Void Terror – Soul Harvest [US, Death] (2017)

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Self Released | 09-01-17

Just the fact I cant find a Metal Archives link to this band tells me that Soul Harvest is most likely self releases and not under the umbrella of a label. This is okay as recent years have shown us that self released and independently supported albums can be just as blistering and paint peeling as their label supported siblings. Soul Harvest is a testament to that as this short demo / EP / whatever vomits a hole in the fabric of the universe.

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