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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Burial Stone – Lost History [US, Death] (2018)

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Self Released | 2-27-18

Alright this is what I am fucking talking about. Death metal which has the sentiments of a caveman hunting on the unforgiving landscape where death and life are locked in an inseparable embrace. All of the information regarding Burial Stone indicate this is death metal from New Jersey without any serious mention of the doom aspect. Perhaps we have moved past the point where we are considering doom a genre and this is just death metal played out in agonizing slow motion.

the three tracks which make up the Lost History EP are of exceptional quality with the raw nature of the cover, production, and instrumentation only adding to the mystic surrounding this band. With song titles like “ATLANTEAN ASCENSION,” Burial Stone summons primordial sprits to help them weave their tale. When doing so however the world becomes turgid with the haze of sorcery. Lost History is the work of death magic and I am so pleased to be in its wake.

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Golgothan Remains – Perverse Offerings To The Void [Australia, Death] (2018)

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Self Released | 2-8-18

I usually enjoy finding Bandcamp pages with little to no discussion so I can be one of the first to write a review. This is my bizarre sense of accomplishment. While seeing the massive amount of discussion on still unsigned debut from Golgothan Remains was sort of a let down, the fact we have a strong contender for one of the best albums of the year being released in February sort of makes up for it.

Comparing the band’s debut to the demo shows leaps and bounds in terms of production. While the songwriting is still present, the immersion of sound is one of the strongest aspects of a record which desires to ensnare ones attention. With a few steps above the cavernous sound but a few feet down within grave, Perverse Offerings To The Void succeeds by all merits in being a full sounding death metal record which is near cinematic in its running time.

I find it wonderful when the aesthetics of a band coalesces into a successful record. The closing quote on this Bandcamp page declares “…we live in dust of these remains…” which is colorful and fun in the revel in darkness sort of way. People who enjoy realms of dust and decay will be in for a wonderful surprise come the passing of a thousand years.

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Sixes – Methistopheles [US, Sludge / Doom] (2018)

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Self Released | 3-1-18

It can certainly happen. I enjoy sludge / doom at times in between bought of raw death and black metal. It takes a certain record though to break the spell of things I usually enjoy. I have little reason to stop on Sixes in my daily search through new releases seeking out xeroxed black metal releases. Perhaps I did so due to the warm cover which featured a vintage demon. Perhaps I stopped today since this was doom that did not have a bong or demon smoking a bong anywhere in sight. Whatever the case, Mephistopheles was a welcome chance of pace which still retained the misery and discretion of other forms of music now just in monolithic riffs.

Perhaps one of the reasons I enjoyed Sixes compared to other sludge doom of recent memory is the ability to work within a space. Songs like “A Cross To Burn” doesn’t really start until 3 minutes into its 10 minute running time with the intro churning violently building up momentum to finally crash on some dark sand. The band deals in expected themes such as despondency, violence, drugs, and occultism but aside from the well treaded path of the lyrics lies an entertaining approach at the sound. Sixes channels the ghosts of southern sludge such as Grief, Eyehategod, and early Sleep into an hour running time of complete misery which is both entertaining and stunning.

I am sure Ill get back to my schedule of crypt dwelling black and death metal but for now I am certainly fine with sinking into the lightless waters of this record and not coming up for air until my lungs burn. Sixes offers conflicting emotions which range from excitement, apathy, and desire for indiscriminate annihilation.

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Superstition – Surging Throng of Evil’s Might [US, Death] (2018)

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Self Released | 1-9-18

there are sometimes inklings of things one is going to enjoy. Seeing the color used in Superstition’s logo and artwork wasn’t the reason for enjoying this demo rather an inkling that t was going to be intriguing. Perhaps it is because that warm sickly grey was a gateway into a certain aesthetic. Perhaps I am drawn to certain shades of off white. Whatever it is, Surging Throng of Evil’s Might is a triumph and offers sanctuary in the creepiest, most dilapidated cathedral this side of the afterlife.

Did I mention, I adore spooky organ music? If not, I would like that noted on the record. One of Superstition’s greatest assets it the sense of atmosphere which compliments their mastery on the music. Songs like “Outer Mutation” comes out of a gothic style organ interlude and have enough flair and flounce to make it a towering monstrosity in rotting velvet. This is weird fiction death metal and with songs like “Grave Portal,” it is a place which I want to stay forever.

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Cist – The Frozen Casket [Russia, Death / Thrash] (2018)

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Camo Pants Records | 3-16-18

I do not think I have so thoroughly entertained with music while being baffled by the name of the record label. Camo Pants Records is either a goofy name with no meaning or some hidden tongue and cheek reference to death metal fashion. I think I spend so much time discussing this aspect as Cist’ Frozen Casket is the inaugural release for the UK label and if subsequent records are going to be as good, then we need to get this name thing worked out.

Cist is a Russian outfit with an unabashed infatuation with 90’s US death metal and 80’s European thrash. I know this because their Bandcamp page states they are “high speed, manic, death thrash, forged through an uncompromising meld of eighties era Tampa death metal and aggressive European style thrash.” Cool, we know where to start. Pestilence, Death, Solstice, and Obituary are all ghosts which hang around this newcomer and by the sounds of their first EP, this band nails everything about the sound. Though I usually applaud bands for not becoming too absorbed in costume, my love for old school death eclipses everything else and songs like “Antisceptic” are sugary and sewery in its enjoyment.

I still have no idea what the record label name means but I am willing to waive them through as long as things like The Frozen Casket keep getting produced. Camo Pants and Cist make a strong declaration for the beginning of the year and provides a wonderful soundtrack for Valentines Day. This holiday, spend it in the arms of 90’s era death / thrash and die a thousand times.

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Kwestia Kwasu – Kwas Topi Czas [Poland, Black / Experimental] (2018)

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Cirsium Kollektivet | 2-8-17

I feel the best way to start this review is to reiterate the description from the label and their confusion and excitement is all I need “Here we are…, I don’t even know how to describe the music of these sociophobic polish junkies. Imagine a underproduced blend of blackened ’70’s Punk and dirty Ska with occasional sprinkling of noise or at least something which’s only purpose is to confuse your dull mind… ” If that short description didn’t capture your imagination, then you and I are on different life paths.

Kwestia Kwasu, for all their bizarre antics, is a competent and cohesive band. Their collective vision pushes the music into the realm where experimental music should always aim. Being weird for the sake of being weird does not guarantee success. Challenging oneself to make music which lies on the outside of orthodoxy which triggers confused emotions and even more troubled mental images and being successful is worthy of merit. Kwas Topi Czas excels as an exercise in depravity with its sonic landscape a blistering wasteland of shooting alleys, punk basements, and haunted polka bars.

I was struggling to actually fnd the “experimetnal” tag since I never really use it to describe heavy metal. Though the tag of “avant” is sometimes use, Kwestia Kwasu seems uncomfortable even with that description. There seems to be little quest for art in the realm of Kwas Topi Czas and more of a primal embrace of weirdness. Experimental seems more feral in its description at least that is what I hope to use to describe music that is near indescribable.

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Evil Priest – Black Seeds​.​.​.​of Creation [Peru, Death] (2018)

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Caligari Records | 3-1-18

I feel at this point I could run quarterly feature going over all of the new Caligari material and still be pretty happy. I try not to hover too much on certain labels like Fallen Empire and Vrasubatlat as constant coverage would make me seem like a fanboy despite the fact thier output being above average. This is the case for Caligari records who have consistently gone above and beyond in finding gems from around the world which worship at the altar of death and disease.

Evil Priest is from Peru and two years ago this trio released a stellar demo of classic sounding death metal. Since we are past any era of a genre resurgence, the classic death sound for Evil Priest is a thematic celebration of death metal’s most famous competent which is riffs and darkness. Guitar solos, 5th gear snare drumming, looming intros, and guttural vocals all make their appearance in a demo which sounds between here and 1991. Aside from the sound, Evil Priest is young and virulent enough to be a force which will be around for much longer as Black Seeds​.​.​.​of Creation sounds like the band is halfway having fun and half way really serious about this whole death thing.

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ABYSSAL VACUUM – MMXVII [France, Black / Death] (2018)

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Solar Asceticists Productions | 1-22-18

Well, that is it. Janaury is offficially over with perhaps the coolest looking release of the month. Add to this the forcoming coverage by No Clean Singing and the fact this band has no Metal Archives page, and yhou have the [potential for a hype explosion that will be celebrated by a small group of people on the internet. Whatever the future holds for the oddly named Abyssal Vacuum, it will be marked by an explosive demo that again has the coolest looking cover in recent memory.

Very much like their name, the sound for Abyssal Vacuum is cavernous and akin to falling backwards through chasms that never seem to end the suffering. Even though the cavernous death style has been mined excessively over the past few years, Abyssal Vacuum is not apart of that sound rather chooses deep arcane sorcery performed in a lightless void. The addition of the subtraction of information adds to the band’s mystic allowing a single track to act as a beacon for anyone seeking this type of aesthetic. Abyssal Vacuum knows its audience and delivers well.

Solar Asceticists Productions, by hook or by crook, has managed to release two demos with great success in a style that is only popular with a select group of people. The Cendres demo, released lat month, is swirling hypnotic black metal which again is super cool but also super niche. I have no idea who is hyping this label so early but the end result is decent demo releases with above average tape covers. I will not complain rather relish in the glow of arcane sorcery.

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