Witchbones – Entropy Rite [US, Black] (2019)

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Self Released | 2-19-19

I am not 100% certain how this projects name is presented as the Metal Archives has a space between Witch and Bones. I will go with what Bandcamp says but what I am certain about it that this demo is ugly as fuck. I am also not certain where this project is headed as the Entropy Rite demo follows a January 2019 release which was more baffling than it was pleasing. Entropy Rite makes strides into being something substantial though the two songs are marked with odd choices for atmosphere and an almost untamed spirt which runs through its core. This is black metal but without any need to impress almost like fireworks set off in the woods to an audience of none. Its sole creator seems to be using this project to channel a vile spirit and to what end it will manifest is anyones guess. What we know right now is that Entropy Rite maybe perfect for someone looking for music that is unpredictable, violent, and above all else exciting.

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Astriferous – Raise High the Scepter of Indulgence [Costa Rica, Death] (2019)

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I make jokes about being married to a genre and upon seeing the cover for Raise High the Scepter of Indulgence and seeing the genre tags, I immediately sent it to 3 friends. I am fully aware that not all grimy death metal that emphasizes riffs and attitudes is going to be good rather grimy death metal that emphasizes riff and attitude even at its mediocrity is still enjoyable. Lucky for everyone involved Astriferous not only hits the topes of its genre and aesthetic but also makes for an enjoyable demo full of looming riffs and snarling attitude. I am not familiar with the current black and death metal scene in Costa Rica as compared to other places in South America but if anything else sounds like this and comes clad in leather jackets, then I am going to be marked down as incredibly interested.

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Thanamagus – Incorporeal Passage [US, Death] (2019)

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Self Released | 2-12-19

It is important to realize that demos were once demonstrations of talent that were circulated by record labels and eventually fans of unpolished heavy metal. the spectacle of talent despite production limitations and the promise of potential is what makes demos so exciting. Today, the idea of demo could just be a permanent state for people who never have any intention on making anything else. This is fine but initial demos from new bands still have excitement and zeal s they once did especially when the band plays colossal death metal.

Thanamagus still has yet to get a Metal Archives page and their Last.fm count is currently at 0. If one wanted a band cut from the side of a mountain before any refinery techniques, then this is the time to look. With looming riffs and a wild black and white cover this is the perfect place to start if you wanted raw and unfiltered death that may or maybe be greymarket and may or may not be anything beyond this demo. People who are into this type of stuff, however, are into these types of quirks and love the shit out of this type of stuff.

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CREMATORY STENCH – Grotesque Deformities [US, Death] (2019)

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Blood Harvest | 2-19-19

There will be a day when I am not immedtially drawn to a BW photocopied cover that is blown out with one color (most likely red). there will be a time when I am not ecstatic when a band embraces an aesthetic and goes for a name, album, and song titles that oscillates between Lovecraft, a cemetery, and the charnel house. There will be a day when I am more discerning about what death metal I enjoy as I cant keep making room for every band with a red and black cover and a gross name. Today is not that day.

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Sanity Control – Demo 2019 [Poland, Thrash] (2019)

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Self Released | 2-2-19

I believe I have made my opinions on thrash known and its troublesome history past 1990. I do not think this demo from Poland is going to change any grand designs for thrash and its current history nor is it going to be the linchpin in reestablishing the genre into the underground. What Sanity Control could be, however, is fun for the listener and a wild ride with a classic that sound that cares less about throwing back or establishing a contemporary identity and wants to drink cheap alcohol out of a paper bag in a place without central heat. Thrash works at its best when not concerned with their position in the overall metal cultural totem pole. Sanity Control is honest to goodness dirtballs who only care about playing fast and fun. Lets fucking do this.

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Vile Spirit – Promo 2019 [UK, Punk / Metal] (2019)

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Quality Control HQ | 1-21-19

I do not even know where to put this so Ill just throw it on the counter and let anyone pick it up if they want to. I have to say I love the color red as I feel it works really well for any album covers. The front of this promo is an example as it exemplifies the visceral qualities of music that is caught between hardcore punk and slow death. Perhaps one of the better examples is the longest track on this promo as “Bite Down” revels in the chaos of noise before lurching into a disjointed march across what I feel could be a wasteland strewn with corpses and nuclear waste. There are few genres this neatly fits into but it perfect music for the apocalypse.

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Gwoid – Gwoid V – Oiwei Fuat In d’Nacht [Germany, Raw Black / Noise] (2019)

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Self Released | 1-29-19

This is wild. This is also something I am starting to really enjoy despite all its attempts to repel listeners. Gwoid is one person raw black / power electronics outfit who has released 4 serialized self titled demos in 2018. Gwoid V is the first for 2019 which alludes to a year full of harrowing black noise. Structurally, Gwoid oscillates between distant black metal and the ever growing collapse of music under the pressure of noise and chaos. Gwoid V is more apart of the black metal family tree than power electronics which is important as one who enjoys raw black could potentially find enjoyment in 18 minute long tracks of chaos. If logos are any indication of the music contained within, Gwoid is erratic, confusing, harrowing, and capable of drawing blood.

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Sadomagickal Seducer – Testicular Torture [Canada, Black / Doom / Punk] (2019)

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Hellhammered Media | 01-31-19

Alright to be completely honest, this EP came out in 2018. It was released sometime in March of last year independently. This is a cassette rerelease by Hellhammered Media. By the looks of it, this band had some recognition upon their initial release but that doesn’t matter since I am writing about this again. Why? Because it is gorgeous in its vileness. Black / Punk is one of my weaknesses and Sadomagickal Seducer style of punk is hypnotic in its tone whose guitars sound menacing and slightly drunk. Add to this the liberal use of synth and we have something I can scare loved ones with. Though the cover is goofier than the original black / pink version and it is really a 2018 release, I am still going to rave about it and call it whatever I want.

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Defacement – Deviant [Netherlands, Death / Black] (2019)

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Self Released | 1-19-19

And so this break a nice running streak of black and white covers. It is okay. This is completely worth it. It is nice to get surprised and even knocked down by a sound. Defacement seems to be the new band created by members of a black metal outfit called Deathcrush. While I only listened to a few songs from Deathcrush, I feel the direction of this new outfit is much more appealing to a wider audience. Who is that audience? Well, people who like to hear nightmarish terror in musical form. From song titles, to the abstract cover, Defacement offers inexplicable unease which can not be described or discussed rather just embraced in swirling madness. This is a release which is both simple in its execution and cavernous in its success.

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Heinous – Demo [Belgium, Black] (2019)

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Medieval Prophecy Records | 1-10-18

another day, another black and white demo. Jokes aside, this shit rules and it took me a little bit to crack into the depths in which this Belgian act offers. We are also right at the beginning of a career which seems to offer swirling black metal which far from produced is still easily to discern and surprisingly enough easy to approach. With declarative vocals that are gruff and festering but not repellent, this demo might be one of the easier avenues into the grim world of lesser known black metal demos. I could also be wrong and way off course but Ill have a soundtrack to accompany my madness.

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