Venefixion – Defixio [France, Death] (2015)

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Iron Bonehead | 10-18-15

Iron Bonehead | 10-18-15

Oh my goodness. either I am slowly becoming an Iron Bonehead fanboy raving about multiple demos just this year or there is a palatable stream of good material being unearthed by this label. Both may be true. I also maybe a sucker for hilarious blasphemy in artwork and Defixio, the debut from Venefixion has an oddly comedic spin to their artwork. Come towards the skeleton bearing a crucifix.

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葬尸湖 ( Zuriaake) – 孤雁 (Gu Yan) [China, Atmospheric Black] (2015)

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Pest Productions | 10-15-15

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.

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Havukruunu – Havulinnaan [Finland, Pagan Black] (2015)

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Naturmacht Productions | 10-18-15

Naturmacht Productions | 10-18-15

I will give you 10$ if you can spell both the name and album name without mixing up the letters. The band’s name translates or means coniferous crown which is an imagery which is fitting to a dense brand of nature conscious black metal. If you have ever been traveling through the wilderness of Finland you might have encountered a forest creature veiled in the regal outfits of the woodland which may or may not be last thing you see.

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Horns Of Domination – Demo 2015 [Germany, Black / Death / Doom] (2015)

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Self Released | 8-4-15

Self Released | 8-4-15

Horns of Domination is a three piece combo from Germany who seems to have bucked that silly trend of having a bassist in their band. With two guitarists and a drummer, the band has appeared as an unsigned entity now with one self titled demo to their name. I have seen this before. Additionally, with a name like Horns of Domination, I was expecting something I have heard before. It was certainly not this. Sometimes the short format of a demo works in the band’s favor if the music can be so violent that the listener is left with a feeling of horror and surprise.

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Dysylumn – Conceptarium [France, Progressive Black / Death] (2015)

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Self Released | 9-1-15

Self Released | 9-1-15

This is the power of advertising to different audiences. Conceptarium was self released at the beginning of September with a polished sci fi cover and a shining font choice. The original cover certainly fit the atmosphere for this cosmic black death outfit. The cassette cover produced by MITHRA! Infrastructure / Infrasound however is flatter and with only a black/white balance, the astral themes appear more occult. It is funny how the same music can have two different covers and sound somewhat different. I prefer the cassette occult.

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Veiled – Omniscient Veil [US, Black] (2015)

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Iron Bonehead | 9-13-15

Iron Bonehead | 9-13-15

I am going to take you back to a time when a band called Gnosis of the Witch tore up the universe with their second EP Dauðr Burðr Þrysvar. This was back in the halcyon days of mid 2014. I only bring this up because Veiled is Gnosis up the Witch just…well…shrouded in a different name. I have no idea why this duo decided to jump ship on a name which did not have that many roots in terms of recognition but we can all assume that Veiled is just going to be as terrifying as the previous entity.

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Blood Incantation – Interdimensional Extinction [US, Death] (2015)

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Dark Descent | 9-3-15

Dark Descent | 9-3-15

Oh cool, another space based black metal that fits along side of…wait….death metal? ARE THOSE FUCKING SKULLS FLOATING AROUND SATURN? Blood Incarnation comes via Dark Descent whose label and short history is more than enough to vouch for this Colorado three piece. Death metal has been exciting in the past 10 years and Interdimensional Extinction expands on the styles diversity at least in terms of atmosphere and thematics.

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Nechochwen – Heart of Akamon [US, Black / Folk] (2015)

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Bindrune Records | 9-4-15

Birdrune Records | 9-4-15

Nechochwen is interesting for many reasons. First of all it takes a little bit just to pronounce their name correctly. Secondly, they are a black metal band who have whole heatedly thrown themselves into the plights and history of Native American lore. Thirdly, they take a folk approach to their music with acoustic instrumentals, war sounds, and searing black metal thrown into a fire. American folk metal is a long time coming and details are still being hammered and tinkered with.

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Creeping – Revenant [New Zealand, Black/Doom] (2015)

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Iron Bonehead | 8-28-15

Iron Bonehead | 8-28-15

It was only after admiring the cover for Creeping that I soon stumbled into a weird and tangled web of New Zealand based extreme metal. Creeping’s cover was made by handyman Jamie Saint Merat who not only plays drums for Ulcerate but also did design/sound for a bunch of related bands including Abystic Ritual and The House of Capricorn. Those two bands are sort of the two parts which make up Creeping. If a voucher from Iron Bonehead is not assurance for this band’s third full length is not enough, then put your trust in New Zealand’s ability to make no nonsense darkness.

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Human Bodies – Demo MMXV [US, Black / Punk] (2015)

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Self Released | 7-14-15

Self Released | 7-14-15

Oh this is horrible — in the best way possible. From an area that isn’t super well known for caustic black metal infused with punk comes a demo which has been out for a few months lying in wait for unsuspecting passerbys. I am wondering how I missed this the first time around but the subsequent playing made me never forget the violent images and sounds. Human Bodies is terrifying from the fact their pictures have them in masks to the guttural deathcry on this short 12 minutes.

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