Exit Fetish Tapes | 1-19-18
I am going to start tagging tape reissues rather than try to cram them into the current year. Acts like Khragkh are current working black metal bands who are having their demos released by DIY labels like Exit Fetish Tapes. This does not mean Šlach Anihilacyi can slide into 2018 as a release as the band already has their debut LP planted in 2017. For this and for future releases that transcend an actual year, I hope this makes more sense. I am only spending so much time to get this right as things like Šlach Anihilacyi are worthy of attention in both years.
Going through the band’s 2017 full length one can hear things that are slightly askew. Despite a jump in production and a step up in terms of album design, the core of Khragkh remains maniacal with black metal twisted by sorcery. From the vocals which sound as if from a boneclad shaman or the tendency to get lost in hypnotic instrumentals, Khragkh is a wonderful gem hidden under the blood of a sacrificial altar.
The Šlach Anihilacyi demo is going to offer one everything in terms of aesthetic looking for lesser known black metal that was heard by 20 people in its original run. This does not mean, however, later records on “bigger” labels are not worth ones time. Khragkh is probably the only belarusian band I can think of off the top of my head and with that distinction, they are the best Beleariusian band at the moment.
Iron Bonehead / Nuclear War Now | 09-01-16
As the story goes, Cold Meat Industry was a Swedish label founded in 1987 which specilized in some of the more obscure fringe genres of heavy metal including ambient, martial music, industrial, power electronics, and various iterations of noise. Cold Meat is interesting because this loose affiliation with heavy metal because while never being a true heavy metal label has had its memory carried on by metal bands and prominent metal labels. Enter Ancient Meta Revived, a compilation put together by Nuclear War Now and Iron Bonehead to celebrate the ruminating existence of this nihilistic flagship.
PolyWater Productions | 7-19-14
The Compilation/Reissue section of this site is important to lesser known heavy to the point that I feel bad for not reviewing more off year releases. This goes especially true for albums that saw a very limited release in their initial year and are now seeing another limited release by a marginally larger label. If you know this sites visual aesthetic by now, this album with bright reds and a cartoonish looking cover is not something that is normally seen. there has to be something special abut a 2014 brightly covered album to break the continuing set.
Pest Productions | 10-15-15
I know with Zuriaake there are few certainties. Throughout my explorations of East Asian heavy metal, that strange and wonderful things can be found at a moments notice. Finding Pest Productions was a treasure trove of mostly Chinese depressive and atmospheric black metal. Pest Productions got some undue notice last year as being the label which hosted Ghost Bath’s 2014 record Funeral. The fallout regarding Ghost Bath’s regional identiy sort of took away the spotlight to some other great bands that were from China and making black metal. Zuriaake was one of them and at the time, this 3 piece had not made a full length since 2007. Things are different now.
Shadow Kingdom | 7-1-14
History is a funny sort of thing. After decades of settlement, narratives usually make easy easy passages of understanding. Death metal, as a genre, is simple to start with American innovators such as Possessed and Death which took off the chaotic torment of thrash acts like Slayer, Kreator, and Venom. Starting death metal at these bands is easy but gets tricky when other things are unearthed. I am not going to say that Terminal Death, an American death metal band operating at the same time as Possessed and Death, are unrecognized innovators of the style rather they are just an artifact which was been long forgotten. Shadow Kingdom is a record label which specializes in newer traditional and doom act but also has made a name form themselves resurrecting long neglected gems. If there was an award for most surprising band that never made it to the upper echelon of remembered metal bands, Terminal Death has my vote for the next few years.
Gilead Media | 6-17-14
Jesus fuck. So the promotion pictures of Barghest proudly show the members pointing assault rifles at the viewer. This band, from the deepest parts of the Southern United States, seems to be bred for disdain and humid violence. It is funny that the band shares their name with a low level RPG monster as Barghest, the band, seem much more capable of inflicting long lasting harm than a puny demon dog.
Blood Harvest | 1-14-14
I feel that I sometimes overstate my adoration for the internet and its ability to uncover lost artifacts covered by the winds of time. False Prophet was a death/thrash act from the US who self released one record before being buried in the early 90’s. The Second Death lay untouched until a few years ago when Heaven and Hell records, archivists in forgotten heavy metal, re-released the debut along with the Sign of the Cross demo. Blood Harvest is heading up the vinyl reissue complete with enhanced and over the top artwork. This celebration for False Prophet seems fitting given the caliber of music which was almost entirely forgotten.
Tartarus Records | 2-28-14
I feel compilations are important as they could potential be an introduction to a little known band. Suma is a Swedish stoner doom act who spent the bulk of the 00’s making splits with other psych, doom, and sludge acts of similar fame. This is to say relativity obscure. For all of the time Suma spent in the shows, You’re Such a Disappointment is here to remind everyone compilations are important and potentially slap to the face that everyone needs to look harder for these types of bands. Prepare oneself for a trip in the ether where monsters are capable of materializing.