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.
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.
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.
Self Released | 11-11-18
I actually have no idea what the genre is for this as the band’s Metal Archive page says black / thrash but all I hear is old school death. It doesn’t matter once you are inside a coffin and presumably suffering. Depraver is a relatively new band that has two EPs which are only serrated by 7 years of time. Suffering in a Coffin is the newest release which actually came out in January but is seeing a digital release since the original was cassette only. I enjoy we live in a world where grimy death / black / thrash is being made without my immediate knowledge. This means that when I finally do get to hear it, it is fist pounding on what I assume is the inside lid of the coffin.
Self Released | 11-10-18
Now this is a demo. It is difficult to describe what makes one bedroom black metal demo different than another since to some it all sounds the same. I do not think it even has to do with the quality of the recording as there are some boring raw black demos as there are exciting ones. Lathliss is exciting and it is not just one aspect of this 5 track demo which makes it special rather a litany of aspects (such as the gong) which make it engaging and ultimately successful. From the album cover aesthetics, to ferocious energy, to the leadup in “IV,” Lathliss is a great start to what I assume is the start of a project. I have not found much information on this artist other than this Bandcamp page. With this being the only thing released, one can assume we are witnessing the birth of a bright horrible star which I hope burns in everlasting hatred.
Self Released | 11-6-18
Welcome to the horror show with two bands from Texas making music that sounds like the crawling chaos of mental collapse. Both bands, Haunter and Crawl have spent the bulk of the last few years releasing impressive collaborations and splits with LVTHN and Sovereign. This recent split is to commemorate the tour both bands are undertaking which will bring them around my area which will allow me to spend a Wednesday night in the depths of darkness. Haunter plays a style of black metal suitable for a labyrinth filled with monsters while Crawl sounds like drowning in a swamp while being pulled beneath the fetid water. Both are horrible and utterly fascinating. So just to be clear the songs available on this split are two songs (Gilded Medulla/Echo-Chambered Corroboration) credited to Haunter while the last (At The Forge of Hate) being from Crawl. I felt that I needed to make the distinction as splits on Bandcamp can be a toss up of what is featured. Also the music is swirling and inverted so it is easy to get lost.
12 – 3 – 18 | Death Kvlt Production
Well, here it is. A band that yet again does not have any information aside from the baseline blurbs provided by Death Kvlt Productions. At some point I am relieved when I find bands without information since I can get to talking about the music and atmosphere rather than any local scenes. I know that Blosee is from Canada and that the previous demos (?) are available on the artists page. Solemne Tenebris is actually the combination of the two 2018 demos already self released by the artist put together by Death Kvlt in a lengthy compilation demo. I say lengthy since each of these songs averages around 10-15 minutes which makes the entire running time more like a full length rather than any EP or demo. I actually do not suppose anything with black metal demos since they can range from 3 minute to an hour. What is expected however is the free fall into swirling madness with a sound that is similar to acts like Paysage D’Hiver but less obscured by lofi noise and with interesting aspects like lost instruments (flute / violin) which wander in and out of the song drowned in unceasing ferocity. Death Kvlt has made it easier to discover artists and Blosee’s near obscurity makes this addition even more welcome as it is a wonderful way to say goodbye to 2018 — in the jaws of mental collapse.
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.
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.
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.