Negativa – 03 [Spain, Black] (2018)

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Sentient Ruin Laboratories | 10-19-18

I probably will not get to hear this. Maybe. The idea of physical exclusive music is appealing in an age where one can hear anything they please for free. when I said appealing, I also mean frustrating for people who enjoy reviewing records. Still though the exclusive album from Negativa, which comes on 100 tapes, fits into the idea of intimate black metal and provides objects for collectors to seek. If one misses out on the album, it will not be the end of the world and for those who do find themselves in possession of this new record, well then I am sure it will be harrowing.

Negativa at least has given a preview track which is something that marks distinction from other bands pulling the same thing with zero preview tracks. The music is advertised as depressive black but has few characteristics from the DSBM sound which haunts Bandcamp. Rather than shrill basement black metal, the sound from Negativa is full with the weight of remorse and emotion providing the heaviest burden. The vocals from H.V (Wormlust/Mystískaos) offers shards of rust and violence which tear holes through the sound. This is depressive black but not out of style of pageantry rather depressive as lineage or birthright.

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Temple Ash – I [US, Raw Black / Noise] (2018)

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Self Released | 8-23-18

Who is ready for the abyss? I hope you are serious because we are going into the depths of madness. Temple Ash is a new band with, unsurprisingly, little information regarding members, location, and day to day functions. What we are given instead is a short deceleration of warfare on our philosophies, a bitchin cover, and a hellish 10 minute demo which raps apart the subconscious with a rogue bulldozer. Throughout my travels with extreme metal, I always find it refreshing when I find something that makes me wide eyed in horror and disgust and the death industrial black noise detonation of Temple Ash is something that I will most likely never forget.

Noise and noise related metal can be hard to do as its obscuring qualities can easily overrun the music. Temple Ash’s invocation of noise is much like a call for a plague which swarms its immediate area. Through the haze of blown out vocals and distant percussion is a discordant structure as well as harrowing soundclips. Through all of this chaos is an exhilarating push towards aggression as all of these replacement parts allow the first demo from Temple Ash to truly become a declaration of war on things once held true. Even if this demo does not achieve its philosophical goal, then once still has a demo which is shocking still in 2018.

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Slidhr – The Futile Fires of Man [Ireland, Black] (2018)

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Ván Records | 6-26-18

I wrote about this band way back in 2015 with their 2015 EP which turns out was not their first nor their last record. I remember being impressed with the ferocity and sound this Irish band brought to their recording. In 2018 I have learned new things, mainly this band shares many past and current members with the Icelandic black metal band Sinmara. While Slidhr is itself a separate entity, the grounding in the Icelandic sound makes sense as the band’s second full length winds down the rivers of hell into complete oblivion.

One of the more interesting aspects about Slidhr and the thing which really allows The Futile Fires of Man to make a connection are the lengthy tracks which fill this 46 minute record. Each song unpacks a lot of material which twists and winds its way through corridors of sound. Even some of the shorter tracks at 5 minutes, takes its time to craft mood and elaborately set the stage for presentations devoted to metaphysical darkness. While the band’s sound is obviously heavy given the nature, the lyrical and vocal content matches the weight of its subject matter. This is not fleeting occult references rather a reverence to forces unseen and potentially unknowable.

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Mylingar – Döda Drömmar [Sweden, Death / Black] (2018)

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Self Released | 06-09-18

Sure, the entire album could be terrible. It is a possibility. Döda Drömmar actually releases in a few days and all we are hearing from this debut full length is one horrid sounding track. While it is entirely possible that the rest of the album could be boring and uninspired the raw filth which exudes from the preview track is enough to cover a couple of album’s worth of releases. If I were going to put my money on anything it would be on the music that has mucus hacking and throat choking as ambience.

” ‘Mylingar’ is the plural of ‘myling’. In Scandinavian folklore the word “myling” indicates a wandering ghost of an unbaptized child.” This is the factoid on the band’s Metal Archives page and it is mildly humorous in how far it goes into its own aesthetic. Little is known from this band outside of a 2016 EP so the band’s first full length, being self released, does not come with much attention of hype. Perhaps this is what underscores the raw sound which makes up the first track. From a style which sounds like OSDM drug through sewage to the raspy witch like vocals which actually make up the song, the release of Döda Drömmar is going to be interesting even if only to figure out just what the hell is going on inside of this world. Sure, this entire album could be terrible but I am a good judge of character and right now I am scared for my safety.

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Act of Impalement – Perdition Cult [US, Death] (2018)

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Unspeakable Axe Records | 09 – 31 -18

Holy shit, this thing is not going to be released until late August. Why am I so excited for this record despite the fact there is only one song for preview. What is it about death metal riffs which makes me wait on the front steps until the doors open? I usually balk at the idea of albums no being available to me whenever I want. I am also wary about the prospect of preview tracks for albums that are months away from release. This all goes out the window when it is death metal, being released on Unspeakable Axe Records, and really fucking good.

Act of Impalement is from North Carolina and has been seen up and down the East Coast putting in work around local venues. Perdition Cult is to be the bands debut and by the sound of the first “single” Pax Romana, it is going to be a hellish hootenanny which will end with at least a few injuries. Fans of old school and grimy concrete floor death will appreciate the tone and structure of a song which waves the standards of music meant to immerse and suffocate. I still can not believe I have to wait here until August but I am sure once the leaves begin to die, it will be time for the world to rot.

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U​.​N​.​C​.​U​.​L​.​T – אוּסִיפְרְטְנְסְמַאֶל קַנְטְבְס אַדְרַמַלַס אוֹסְטִיבְם [Brazil, Black / Death / Avant] (2018)

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Berserk Ritual Productions | 05-04-18

Technically, the full name for this release is “Uma Nulificação Catalizadora Ultrapassa os Limites Transcedentais – Ucifrtnsmael Cantvs Adramalas Ostivm : Anti​-​estrutual Formulas Da Genesis Do Anti​-​Mundo” just in case it is easier to do an internet search. Actually searching “אוּסִיפְרְטְנְסְמַאֶל קַנְטְבְס אַדְרַמַלַס אוֹסְטִיבְם” will most certainly bring you to this album as it stands among no others in the vast space of information. This is a weird one and I hope you are ready for some ritual magic.

U​.​N​.​C​.​U​.​L​.​T is theatric and the space of אוּסִיפְרְטְנְסְמַאֶל קַנְטְבְס אַדְרַמַלַס אוֹסְטִיבְם is filled with drama. Aside from the obvious incantations with soundclips of babies crying, the music is constructed in what feels like an impossible space. Strange angles and bizarre structures are hallmarks of a strange album that is made even more strange by ceremonial garb. The fact I can find little information about this band and a South Korean label is the only point of contact only fires my imagination. This could be an instance of dimensional sorcery.

Selling me on something strange is not difficult though U​.​N​.​C​.​U​.​L​.​T has a knack for its own presentation. Being weird does not translate to making a good record. When it does and the oddities and alien qualities of the music work in congress with the uncanny themes, then it is pure magic. I ad no idea what to expect from אוּסִיפְרְטְנְסְמַאֶל קַנְטְבְס אַדְרַמַלַס אוֹסְטִיבְם and looking back I do not know how I felt before opening up this strange portal.

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Enscelados – The Devouring God [International, Black / Ambient] (2018)

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Self Released | 4-30-18

Souls are drowned in the ever-rotating continuum / Alas, for they knew not of the end… / Tears are shed for whom the devouring god awaits / Ululating for eons, those who went… / Rites will be held for him once again / Never will they know, for all will remain unraveled…

I do not know why I enjoy the lyrics for The Devouring God so much. Perhaps they are written in such away as to convey dread and wonder all with a sense of timeless drama. Perhaps it is because it sounds like the beginning of a chapter from Malazan Book of the Fallen. Perhaps it is because it feels perfect for 23 minutes of swirling chaos. Whatever the case, Enscelados, named after the Enceladus the 6th largest moon, flies in the same trajectory as Darkspace and tries to depict the vastness of space and the possibilities of horrors lying beyond.

I enjoy albums, EPs, and Demos consisting of one song as I feel the release is centered around a theme. Enscelados’ theme is obvious as it portrays a Lovecraftian notion of a sleeping god whose power is divine and terrible. IT is these types of themes that make a blend of atmospheric black and hypnotic ambient work specially when combined with blown out production with feel ritualistic in its design.

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Aseroe – Aseroe [Unknown, Black] (2018)

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Self Released | 4-24-18

Well, here it is. Perhaps the weirdest thing I have heard all month. This band also comes with the distinction of be indistinct since their origin is up in the air with only the information that their band consists of Hungarian and Greek members. Whether or not they reside in Europe or the Us or in the depths of Perdition is still up for debate as Aseroe comes on the wings of disgust and demise.

Aseroe adds to its mystic by presenting two lengthy tracks that exude a certain madness which hides under floorboards. Similar to bands like Cultes Des Ghoules, Aseroe works because it leaves all sense of moral reservation at home, which I assume is a hovel, and goes running in the streets nude and covered in scratches. These two songs revel in darkness and have no qualms about being weird without going over the top in terms of theatrics. It is gross, unrefined, and utterly successful.

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Olm – Ruin of Scepter – Chasm [US, Black] (2018)

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Self Released | 3-19-18

I am always on the lookout for cool black metal despite falling had over heels for recent rotting death. Finding Olm was special as it allowed me to embrace the hatred and anger associated with black metal without any pretense. Finding Olm was fantastic as it seems to be the prototypical subject matter for black metal just done in a way which feels fresh and genuine.

Ruin of Scepter – Chasm is a demo comprising of two songs that are surprisingly named “Ruin of Scepter” and “Chasm.” This sort of unceremonious naming sequence fits the band’s quest for earnest and simple delivery as the music is black metal presented without any bells, whistles, or plates. The dips and dives of “Ruin of Scepter” has enough riffs and atmosphere to make it harsh but with hooks as well as entertaining while still grating against skin.

“Chasm” is a good example of the direction and potential by this band. What seems like a routine black metal demo soon turns into turbines of ferocity but a drumming section that sounds hazardous. The lengthy tracks make this demo into a destination for anyone wanting to bath in self hatred and damnation. It takes a special band to make a raw demo about darkness feel like something new and by the raw feeling after listening to this demo is any indication, Olm did a fantastic job.

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Altar of Gore – Demo [US, Death] (2018)

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Self Released | 3-15-18

Aww yeah here it is. Demo name – Check. Release type – check. Tone – Check. Band name – triple check. I have to admit that I am reviewing this based on the preview track as the actual demo comes out in 6 days from writting this article. There is a possibility that the rest of Altar of Gore’s demo could be lackluster and boring. From the sounds of the preview track “Foul Dwellers in the Sacrificial Pit,” this demo is going to be nothing less that the drowning of the world in ripped flesh and fouled blood.

Though I would be perfectly happy with this songs beginning tone which is grindy and has the vocals of a cave demon but it is really the downshifting of pace around the 1:50 mark where the riffs drape over the song and the full extent of atmosphere is revealed. This demo makes the sound seem so effortless and from at least this preview, seems like Altar of Gore are winning without even trying.

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