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.
Self Released | 11-21-14
This maybe one of the strangest and unconventional releases of the year. I only say that since Saðr (Sathr) is borderline heavy metal with more devotion to experimental electronic and avant garde music. If it were not for the tortured cries fo what sounds like wood ghouls deep within an overgrown forest, I would reconsider Unascended Master‘s place on a metal blog. While the album lacks any heavy distortion, the looming death makes up for any absence of traditional sound.
Blood Music | 12-21-14
The difference between symphonic black and atmospheric black maybe small to some but large to others. For the most part, atmospheric black metal has been the preferred style for musicians as it can work with varying levels of production. Symphonic or neoclassical black metal has had less of recent history only becasue it weighs down a band into a certain sound. I only make mention of this history as it seems symphonic/ neoclassical black is the more antiqued style. This is important because when returning to the sound, a well crafted record could bring back all of these warm and strange emotions.
Duplicate Records | 10-9-14
While I am sure experimental death has existed outside of 2014, this year in general seems more fertile with music that not only evokes horror but is capable of twisting tentacles in odd directions. Though any band deserves to be evaluated on their own merits, Execration’s slides in nicely alongside similar trouble makers Morbus Chron, Horrendous, and Tribulation. Morbid Dimensions may not know which style to run with but the frantic indecisiveness is something which gives the album a charming appeal.
Self Released | 1-1-14
I believe, more than anything, it was the aesthetic which drove me into the rotting arms of this Danish black metal band. Though this band’s demo only comes in two songs, the combination of decent black metal, low baritone crooning, and shrill banshee vocals was enough to sit down and listen to whatever they were saying. Add to this the absolute devotion to Germanic folklore and undeath and they could say anything they wanted and I would be enthralled. Gelderse Drek was released earlier this year but is now seeing release by a small company called Daemon Worship. Thank the floating crypt ghasts this release did not go unnoticed.
Self Released | 10-6-14
There will be no fucks given from this point on. In fact, I may even cut this review short so I can dropkick my computer monitor. If Nekrofilth had a banner waving of them, it would undoubtedly have some sort of vulgar phrase and maybe a crudely drawn penis. Maybe it would be on fire and flinging shit all over you and your date. Maybe it will set your car on fire. Who gives a fuck? Stop crying.
Self Released | 7-3-14
I mean, come on. Why not? Space Witch’s debut full length begins with a shlocky sci fi clip of a maniacal overlord wishing destruction on earth. Afterwards, a slow deluge of stoner doom floods the landscape while effects dance in the air. By looking at the tracklist, Space Witch’s self titled release has two songs both coming in at 30 minutes. It does not take a genius to figure out what the next hour will be and smell like. With all of that said, this British band manages to make the best of expectations and give its listeners a wild ride through mind melting cosmic space.
Nigrum Serpentis | 3-21-14
Here comes the atmosphere — it rains down in torrents of dark water. Finding 13th Moon was part of my concentrated effort to try and gather all of the stray releases of this year before the end. I had heard rumors of an evil entity emanating from Spain, but I never believed it to be true. As the year draws into its autumn season, the looming shape of despair hangs heavy over the band’s debut full length..
Exitium Productions | 6-14-14
I have made it once of my prime directives to find as much cool stuff from 2014 before the year closes out. I know I will still be finding really good black and death demos for the next few years but at least, for now, I am frantically searching for as much as I can find. These searches are made easier when one stumbles across an amazing label which is devoted to some very dark underground heavy metal. Exitium Productions, which is now closed, has been working for the past two years in putting out some of the most frightening black and death metal. The last remaining demos and full lengths sound the funeral bell for a label that just discovered. Adversary seems like a fitting place to start.
Fallen Empire Records | 9-29-14
I count my blessings each day that I stumble across a label like Fallen Empire. Here is a label that has consistently been proven to put out, if at the very least, interesting black metal. Additionally, the releases from Fallen Empire are usually either lesser known or completely new talent. Take for example Markov Soroka, who goes by the name M.S. in the project Aureole. Here is a very young newcomer who has taken the past couple of years to seclude himself in a castle of solitude. If the brilliant cover was not enough indication, the album Alunar is an institution dedicated to loneliness in the reaches of mystical space.