So the way I found this record was first finding the band’s 2019 demo and being upset that such a great sound went missed int he year it was released. I was then shown a dark light which led me to the band’s 2020 full length from Sentient Ruin which is now allowing me to drown in a sea of ghosts. Diabolic Oath is the extension of Shroud of the Heretic, an Oregon based death metal act that has their noses in grimoires. Diabolic Path continues that obsession with a sound that is both polished but ragged with rough edges. Black, death, and doom swirl around this release much like its cover in a declaration of spectral malice.
One of the reasons I am so hesitant about Russian based releases is there sometimes cryptic existence which is buried in their insular social media. Add to this the already cryptic nature of occult based black death and you have a hilarious investigation trying to figure out even the band name. I THINK the band’s name is Toss and this is the second 2020 from ХРАМ БОЛЬНОГО ЗВУКА (Temple of Morbid Sound) with the first being from НЕЖИВОЙ. Toss, as of this moment, isnt anywhere on social media I can find so the two songs are going to have to speak for the band. With that said and aside from all of this nonsense piecing information together, Toss’ debut(?) is a hellish ride through the gates of damnation with stopping points at torment and oblivion. Somewhere between obscurity and clarity rests this release and it gets more interesting by the moment.
I do not think i have reviewed a DWP release in a while. Fleshrot at the beginning of the year was an exciting way to begin the year but now looking at the catalog of material which has been released these past months, it seems like I have much more to digest. If you are familar with DWP material, this digestion is going to be like chewing concrete as this New Mexican label specializes in horrid radioactive death that has little rhyme or reason to exist other than pure destruction. Ataudes is an Argentina duo that brings the force of black/death powered by crude oil in what sounds like a machine of torment. Black smoke pours from this machine and it is all wonderful.
Another day, another Caligari demo that is mind boggling and soul shredding. I wont bore people about my infatuation and uneasy crush on Caligari records save this label has been consistent in its dealings of death and dismemberment for years. Today we have a genre bending trip into the cold and unforgiving Czech wilderness which sounds like frozen earth and fires that billow black smoke. This is a sort of primal aggression which is distilled into a demo with one song for preview. By now, I trust Caligari enough that this whole demo is going to be something I will discuss later in the year.
LEt us all go through this together. If you release a demo late into the year and/or it was so limited that it never made a mark on the internet, then you get to release it again and I get to include it in the current year for end of the year lists. Now that we have that out of the way, welcome ruin and rot. Much like what the Bandcamp page said, this demo is for fans of Grave and Morbid Angel but I am going to go a step further and say it is for fans of Grave and Morbid Angel and haunted unfinished basements. Drycholaeth (Old Welsh? for Spectral?) is a imposing presence which emanates weirdness and ferocity at a lo fi length. I am glad I didn’t catch this late last year since I would be frantically calling everyone I knew.
There is something about the palette of grey, black and blue that makes a cover so enticing. Even before listening to the newest demo from Ænigmatum, one knows what they are in for. Rather than a blistering black-white-red palette of black/death, one is treated to the twisting catacombs of an alien landscapes where walls breathe and the floors arrest your movement. Adorned in Wrath manages to build a non euclidean temple on the border between accessibility and harshness with melody, hooks that dance in macabre circles with dissonant elements and angular songwriting.
Even though the Bandcamp page is sort of a mess, these two releases constitute the 2020 output from Spain’s Antiquary. Both of them are short demos with a total running time of no more than 20 minutes. Within those 20 minutes however, the listener is treated to a whirlwind experience of black / death leaning towards melody and structure just with a hanging veil of raw production. I feel this band could exist in another production sphere and be even more striking as their ability to stretch their legs musically collides with a catastrophic production. Still, both demos (?) are well worth your time if you have nothing else but gravedigging to do.
“Black Metal combining the first and second waves with some primitive thrash influence. Destroy your fucking mind.”
I love the description for this album since it is most certainly not what is advertised. Yes, the Altar of Rot debut has black, death, and thrash influences somewhere close to the second wave but it is nowhere near a primitive nature. This is okay however as what Altar of Rot really is is a party in a debut record which feels like a chair being smashed against your back. From solid riffs to decent production to an atmosphere which grants permission for costumes, Altar of Rot is less a basement band than it is a club show that would be fitting the scent of decaying meat. Ew gross.
I actually am at a lose to what the genres are. I can usually either pick them out or go somewhere else to confirm. That is more difficult when the band has zero internet presence outside a few reviews and their music is a maelstrom of genres and chaos. Enter Męka whoese special character is going to push it into further obscurity. Perhaps this is where it belongs — in some basement corner of existence throwing up strange liquids. If that previous sentence sounded gross, you are halfway to the caustic tone of a band that sounds like it gives less of a shit what you did for half your life. This band is also going to push me to rethink blackened death as a sound as I never truly believed in it. I may still be confused about genres and Męka is at the root of this confusion. Eat glass. Smoke insects. Worship nothing.
From the very rough dutch translation the title reads something like Pathology from the Physician or Physician’s Pathology. Furthur translating Psyche’s songs titles reveals a litany of similar themed words such as “Insane,” “Bestial,” “Mercury (?)” and “Cranial.” I am not here to hack my way through Dutch translations rather put into context the debut full length from Psyche, a one metal black metal act that seems to use a variety of different projects for various voices. Psyche’s voice is also the one that sounds like hellish screams inside an abandoned asylum. Aside from the medical themes and metal health motifs which stalk around this record, Psyche’s segments the blistering black / death with moments of guitar solos, soundclips, and a general entertaining approach to something that is rather abysmal on paper. The vocals are something unique and almost entirely inhuman throughout its running time. Despite this however, Een pathologie van de geneesheer never becomes repellent as Pscyhe has found a way to make the collapse of mental structures under the chaos of bestial screams quit pleasing to listen to.