Amor Fati Productions | 11-15 – 18
I feel that yesterday I didn’t even know what the ПРАВА Коллектив was and now I see it connected to a handful of really cool releases. The Prava Kollektivis a group of unknown musicians making spacey black metal in conjunction with Fallen Empire Records. Just this month there has been hot releases by Arkhtinn and HWWAUOCH which seems connected. Earlier this year, Fallen Empire released the debut by Mahr also known to be associated. This cloak and dagger aura surrounding the group of musicians only adds to the dramatic effect of the music which is serious, direct, and full of mystery. Additionally, all of the bands seem to be going for a visceral take on atmospheric black which has had a long history of being over saturated and formulaic. Taking their cues from bands like Paysage D’Hiver and Darkspace, these bands are out to explore the void and from what Voidsphere bandcamp pages urges, is to “INGEST THE VOID.” Well with an inviation like that I do not know if I could say no.
Self Released | 11-11-18
I actually have no idea what the genre is for this as the band’s Metal Archive page says black / thrash but all I hear is old school death. It doesn’t matter once you are inside a coffin and presumably suffering. Depraver is a relatively new band that has two EPs which are only serrated by 7 years of time. Suffering in a Coffin is the newest release which actually came out in January but is seeing a digital release since the original was cassette only. I enjoy we live in a world where grimy death / black / thrash is being made without my immediate knowledge. This means that when I finally do get to hear it, it is fist pounding on what I assume is the inside lid of the coffin.
Self Released | 11-7-18
Got it. No Metal Archives page as of yet. Debut demo with two songs and a running time of 17 ish minutes. Nothing else I can find except for the initials of the band members. They are from Germany and that is about it. Its a good thing VerdensAske plays decent mid range black metal which is engaging to the listener otherwise I would have nothing to go on. If you enjoy the third gear pace of bands like Mgla, then you will enjoy the dismal atmosphere offered by VerdensAske. Somewhere between catharsis and a desire for self immolation, like these two tracks which are filled with emotional turmoil and a possibility for spiritual conflagration. Not much information is needed when one’s soul is on fire.
Self Released | 11-6-18
Welcome to the horror show with two bands from Texas making music that sounds like the crawling chaos of mental collapse. Both bands, Haunter and Crawl have spent the bulk of the last few years releasing impressive collaborations and splits with LVTHN and Sovereign. This recent split is to commemorate the tour both bands are undertaking which will bring them around my area which will allow me to spend a Wednesday night in the depths of darkness. Haunter plays a style of black metal suitable for a labyrinth filled with monsters while Crawl sounds like drowning in a swamp while being pulled beneath the fetid water. Both are horrible and utterly fascinating. So just to be clear the songs available on this split are two songs (Gilded Medulla/Echo-Chambered Corroboration) credited to Haunter while the last (At The Forge of Hate) being from Crawl. I felt that I needed to make the distinction as splits on Bandcamp can be a toss up of what is featured. Also the music is swirling and inverted so it is easy to get lost.
Self Released | 11-5-18
I love not knowing what to make of things. It also helps when the band doesn’t have any information as of yet to guide my judgments. I guess we are going to have to evaluate the merits of Svabhavat on its own. What I can ascertain is a visceral yet refined approach to black metal which does not bog itself down in noise but in that clearing comes the opportunity for some dynamic attacks from what sounds like a swarm of ravens. While Black Mirror Reflection may not have the most unique approach to lyrics, being entirely devoted to necromancy and evil, they do have a novel path towards execution. Caught between the refined nature of production and an almost feral approach to music, this EP just might be a great introduction to a sound which is covered in soil and sticker bushes.
12 – 3 – 18 | Death Kvlt Production
Well, here it is. A band that yet again does not have any information aside from the baseline blurbs provided by Death Kvlt Productions. At some point I am relieved when I find bands without information since I can get to talking about the music and atmosphere rather than any local scenes. I know that Blosee is from Canada and that the previous demos (?) are available on the artists page. Solemne Tenebris is actually the combination of the two 2018 demos already self released by the artist put together by Death Kvlt in a lengthy compilation demo. I say lengthy since each of these songs averages around 10-15 minutes which makes the entire running time more like a full length rather than any EP or demo. I actually do not suppose anything with black metal demos since they can range from 3 minute to an hour. What is expected however is the free fall into swirling madness with a sound that is similar to acts like Paysage D’Hiver but less obscured by lofi noise and with interesting aspects like lost instruments (flute / violin) which wander in and out of the song drowned in unceasing ferocity. Death Kvlt has made it easier to discover artists and Blosee’s near obscurity makes this addition even more welcome as it is a wonderful way to say goodbye to 2018 — in the jaws of mental collapse.
Sentient Ruin Laboratories | 10-19-18
I probably will not get to hear this. Maybe. The idea of physical exclusive music is appealing in an age where one can hear anything they please for free. when I said appealing, I also mean frustrating for people who enjoy reviewing records. Still though the exclusive album from Negativa, which comes on 100 tapes, fits into the idea of intimate black metal and provides objects for collectors to seek. If one misses out on the album, it will not be the end of the world and for those who do find themselves in possession of this new record, well then I am sure it will be harrowing.
Negativa at least has given a preview track which is something that marks distinction from other bands pulling the same thing with zero preview tracks. The music is advertised as depressive black but has few characteristics from the DSBM sound which haunts Bandcamp. Rather than shrill basement black metal, the sound from Negativa is full with the weight of remorse and emotion providing the heaviest burden. The vocals from H.V (Wormlust/Mystískaos) offers shards of rust and violence which tear holes through the sound. This is depressive black but not out of style of pageantry rather depressive as lineage or birthright.
Self Released | 8-23-18
Who is ready for the abyss? I hope you are serious because we are going into the depths of madness. Temple Ash is a new band with, unsurprisingly, little information regarding members, location, and day to day functions. What we are given instead is a short deceleration of warfare on our philosophies, a bitchin cover, and a hellish 10 minute demo which raps apart the subconscious with a rogue bulldozer. Throughout my travels with extreme metal, I always find it refreshing when I find something that makes me wide eyed in horror and disgust and the death industrial black noise detonation of Temple Ash is something that I will most likely never forget.
Noise and noise related metal can be hard to do as its obscuring qualities can easily overrun the music. Temple Ash’s invocation of noise is much like a call for a plague which swarms its immediate area. Through the haze of blown out vocals and distant percussion is a discordant structure as well as harrowing soundclips. Through all of this chaos is an exhilarating push towards aggression as all of these replacement parts allow the first demo from Temple Ash to truly become a declaration of war on things once held true. Even if this demo does not achieve its philosophical goal, then once still has a demo which is shocking still in 2018.
Naturmacht Productions | 09-15-18
Alright we have to talk about it. Lyrical themes: Historical mining. In all of my years spent in heavy meta, this is perhaps the first mining centered metal band I have come across. In fact, looking through the Metal Archives for other bands which share the aesthetic, Dauþuz is one of five and the second German band to explore this topic. Germany’s Die Knappen did a similar dive into the traditions of mining in 2010 and Spain’s Astigarraga Thrower delved into mining and extractive metallurgy with their 2015 release Aiako Harria. With something so specific and off the beaten path for heavy metal, it is almost arresting in its use since most listeners are wondering what mining has to do with anything.
Des Zwerges Fluch is the band’s third release following a short string of full releases that no one really paid attention to. This is surprising as the preview track from Des Zwerges Fluch is chilling black metal probably played at the bottom of a cave. While the cave jokes could write themselves, the combination of crips black metal combined with an odd lyrical approach makes for engaging listening which urges listeners to revalature the aesthetic traditions of lower class occupations. Dauþuz seems more connected with the primal qualities or unrefined earth with music that feels arcane and chaotic in its slumber. Since the lyrics are in German, I will never know the true answer but there is sometimes a feeling which transcends languages.
Ván Records | 6-26-18
I wrote about this band way back in 2015 with their 2015 EP which turns out was not their first nor their last record. I remember being impressed with the ferocity and sound this Irish band brought to their recording. In 2018 I have learned new things, mainly this band shares many past and current members with the Icelandic black metal band Sinmara. While Slidhr is itself a separate entity, the grounding in the Icelandic sound makes sense as the band’s second full length winds down the rivers of hell into complete oblivion.
One of the more interesting aspects about Slidhr and the thing which really allows The Futile Fires of Man to make a connection are the lengthy tracks which fill this 46 minute record. Each song unpacks a lot of material which twists and winds its way through corridors of sound. Even some of the shorter tracks at 5 minutes, takes its time to craft mood and elaborately set the stage for presentations devoted to metaphysical darkness. While the band’s sound is obviously heavy given the nature, the lyrical and vocal content matches the weight of its subject matter. This is not fleeting occult references rather a reverence to forces unseen and potentially unknowable.