Terra Deep / Hyperborean Skies – Mariposa [US, Black] (2014)

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Manicidic Black / Mysterious Stranger | 11-30-14

Manicidic Black / Mysterious Stranger | 11-30-14

I have stated before that one of the best ways to look for new bands is through splits. Usually splits will showcase two or even three bands you may or may not be aware of. Sometimes, splits will showcase a couple of bands as well as a new label. Mysterious Stranger lives up to its name as a new label that has one release to their name, which is this one. What Mysterious Stranger lacks in experience they make up for in potential. If future releases are as interesting as the Mariposa split, then I would be more than willing to start collecting libraries of their cassettes.

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Myopic / Torrid Husk – Crawling Mountain Apogee (2014)

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Grimoire Records | 10-7-14

Grimoire Records | 10-7-14

One of the more interesting records labels I discovered this year has been Baltimore based Grimoire Records. Already, this label has put out an impressive selection of unconventional black and doom metal. I have previously reviewed the Cavern EP, a wonderful album from Torrid Husk, and an EP from Dweller in the Valley, which is already making rounds on other blogs. Once again, Grimoire Records has impressed me, as Crawling Mountain Apogee, a split between Torrid Husk and Myopic, continues to fortify the foundation of a non traditional metal empire.

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Slaughtbbath / Hades Archer [Chile, Black] (2014)

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Iron Bonehead | 5-9-14

Iron Bonehead | 5-9-14

South American black and death metal is ferocious to the point of being scary. The continent had developments of black and death metal much like the same from the Europe and America but did it with a raw sensibility with less concern about genre distinction. Even this split between two Chilean black metal artists sounds like a cross between black, death, and some sort of exploding swine monster. There is no wispy atmosphere from here on out, only bowels of the underworld where flesh is consumed nightly.

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Falls of Rauros / Panopticon [US, Black] (2014)

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Bindrune Recordings |2-15-14

Bindrune Recordings |2-15-14

Splits are an amazing way to get acquainted with old bands as they work on new material or discover new bands. The very nature of their design is joint advertising and trying to get as much music to as many different people. Birdrune Recordings has decided to make it their lot in life by surrounding themselves with rustic based extreme metal from all over the United States and beyond. Birdrune only seems to be providing temporary housing for Panopticon and this arranged courtship with Falls of Rauros seems to be for a brief moment in time. Whatever is contained on here is a flirtation between two stellar black metal bands who will be in different places within the months time. Enjoy it while you can.

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Hell / Mizmor – Hell ::: Mizmor [US, Black/Doom](2014)

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Self Released | 1-13-14

Self Released | 1-13-14

Yikes! From Oregon comes a split which is sure to rip the head off of whatever stands in your way. Hell and Mizmor are two sludge doom acts who has chosen to combine effort in order to finally extinguish the sun for all eternity. The self titled split for the two is split evenly between 15 minute tracks which for doom based genres is almost expected. through 30 minutes the listener is given treat of doom, gloom, and merciless forlorn in a land now shrouded in eternal darkness.

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Aphonic Threnody / Ennui – Immortal in Death [International / Georgia, Funeral Doom] (2014)

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GS Productions | 3-24-14

GS Productions | 3-24-14

I mean, why would’t a funeral doom album have a cover with a casket and the lying dead? Seriously. This can’t be the first time this has been thought of. Splits are hard enough to categorize but it makes even more difficult when one band has three countries attached. Ennui is from Georgia, thankfully, while Aphonic Threnody is from the UK, Hungary, and Italy. You guys are going to make the heavy metal Olympics really hard to pick out uniforms.

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Nefaria / Sylvan Frost [US, Black Metal / Ambient] (2014)

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Self Released | 1-31-14

Self Released | 1-31-14

I feel my journey into lesser known metal is going to unearth some awesome and strange examples of artwork. Example — this fucking pencil drawing used on the cassette of the Nefaria / Sylvan Frost split. Perhaps the best part about this cover is the total disregard of any sort of graphic assistance. Nope, I am going to hand write the names. Fuck you guys and your use of “computers.” From a design perspective this is both insulting and completely charming. Who in the world is this meant for? The answer is everyone as this cassette has been famously xeroxed for anyone who got a chance to purchase it.

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