Fuath – I [Scotland, Atmospheric Black] (2016)

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Fortriu Productions | 2-1-16

Fortriu Productions | 2-1-16

Andy Marshall is a busy person. In 2014, his project Saor broke out of the relative thicket of atmospheric black metal and gave a larger audience something to hope for in that style of music. Saor’s Aura was a wonderful record which did not do so much new things int he style rather just do them very well. Fuath is another project from Marshall and seems to be a repository for all of the music which doesn’t fit , thematically, with Saor. From the folk laced atmospheric black metal of Saor we dive into a pile of snow surrounded by ritualistic statues.

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Sacrocurse – Destroying Chapels [Mexicio, Black/Death] (2016)

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Iron Bonehead Productions | 1-16-16

Iron Bonehead Productions | 1-16-16

In my various years of reviewing heavy metal records, few times have I ever been unnerved like I was when hearing the opening recorded shrills of Sacrocurse’s Destroying Chapels. The shlocky prerecorded screams of victims quickly drops into a brief 13 minute EP of madness and despair. Sarcocurse is being sponsored by Iron Bonehead for this EP but seems to be supported by Hells Headbanger for others. With those two in their corner, there is nothing but profane blasphemy in their future.

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Triumvir Foul – Triumvir Foul [US, Death] (2015)

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Blood Harvest | 12-11-15

Blood Harvest | 12-11-15

There is no reason to wait until January to do a top 10, all of the ood albums come out before November. Ack! This is why I need to stave off best of the year lists until well after the year. I have been discussing the cabal of evil formulated by a few guys from Ash Borer. M and R both make up a slew of interesting black and death projects ranging from Serum Dreg, Urzeit, and UĆĄkumgallu. Triumvir Foul was the most death related on the spectrum of noise created by the duo and the self titled debut is nothing short of a chaotic masterpiece.

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Sunsunmoon – Pagans in Medieval Times [UK, Black / Ambient] (2015)

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Self Released | 10-31-15

Self Released | 10-31-15

Doing end of the year planning can be disheartening because I know quality releases do not care about months and schedules. Take Sunsunmoon, a British black metal band which oozes as much charm as it does synth. This demo came out in October and it just surfaced on a larger radar. We are entering into the cusp era where great 2015 releases are going to be buried until next year or even the year after. If bands could just stop releasing things now until January 1st, that would be wonderful.

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Turia – Dor [Netherlands, Black] (2015)

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Haeresis Noviomagi | 11-15-15

Haeresis Noviomagi | 11-15-15

I can say with certainty I have loved everything the Dutch label Haeresis Noviomagi has released. I can say this since it has only been two cassettes. they have been really good cassettes though. the last Haeresis Noviomagi cassette was Lubbert Das, a particularly mind melting black metal which seemed to be dedicated to an old Bosch painting. Turia follows Lubbert Das in continuing the undercurrent of harrowing Dutch black metal which sounds like the last bastion of sanity being razed to the ground.

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Awe – Providentia [Greece, Black] (2015)

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Pulverised Records | 11-13-15

Pulverised Records | 11-13-15

Look at all this room I have to stretch my legs. Oh goodness. Look at this space I have for intros, interludes, and outros. Holy shit. Whenever I see track lengths which range in the 10, 15, and 20 minute lengths I immediately look to see if it is stoner doom. If it is not then my interest is aroused since things like black and death metal make for engaging compositions given the longer format. I also make sure it is not atmospheric black metal before continuing further. Oh my, but when the track lengths are long and they contain some deeply rooted orthodox Grecian black metal, I must say that my heart skips a beat.

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Luminous Vault – Communion [US, Death / Black] (2015)

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Self Released | 11-1-15

Graceless Recordings | 11-1-15

I find genres funny sometimes. Not in the sense that they are useless rather they can be a wonderful tool once people find the right way to speak. Luminous Vault is listed under death / black rather than black / death since this US based act shares more in common with slow plodding death than bands who owe more the black metal. This could be needless hair splitting but the fact remains that Luminous Vault is unique in their crypt walking variety of death / black.

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Lubbert Das – Deluge [Netherlands, Black] (2015)

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Haeresis Noviomagi | 10-30-15

Haeresis Noviomagi | 10-30-15

“Meester snyt die keye ras / Myne name Is lubbert Das” is the inscription on a 1494 painting by by Hieronymus Bosch called “The Extraction of the Stone of Madness or The Cure of Folly.” Lubbert Das is a comical fool in Dutch literature and is depicted as a patient having the stone of madness cut away by drilling a hole inside one’s head. The Dutch inscription is the statement of the patient’s name and the want to have his stone removed. Wow, all of this off of just searching what the band’s name meant.

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Grave Ritual – Morbid Throne [US, Death] (2015)

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Dark Descent | 10-30-15

Dark Descent | 10-30-15

So in the the mid 90’s this band from Alabam was known as Metahole Infection and played a particulary splatteryly variety odf death metal. It should be noted that the music from MEtahole Infection and Grave Ritual is not that different aside from some new atmopshere, slower tempo and perhaps a new drummer. What is important to realize is that framing and presentation can make a world of difference as Grave Ritual’s dedication to less bloody and more forbodding themes puts their music on the right track for success.

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