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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Porcha – Demo [Russia, Raw Black] (2019)

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Self Released | 1-13-19

I am sometimes hesitant to put the “raw” in from of black metal when describing music as it often comes down to a subjective judgmental what is processed and what is not. I believe we can all agree which side this Porcha demo falls. If someone disagrees with me, I would love to see something else that is less structured, chaotic, and fucked up. Seriously, this isn’t a challenge, it is a request as I love this type of music which borders on the collapse of structure and nears being a concept rather than something to listen to. I do not even know if I enjoy this but it certainly is something to stop and gawk at like a horrific car accident.

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Skrawl – Nil [US, Black / Punk] (2019)

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Knife Vision | 1-13-19

Hello again Knife vision. I see you are looking particularly grim and vile today. It was only a week ago I stumbled on the Arnor demo and a whole page of interesting looking things. Now it is time for Skrawl and but the opening crash of black punk, this is something I can sign up for and enlist in whatever army they are forming. The recent influx of new black / punk bands as some nightmarish manifestation of raw torment is something that has never stopped being fun and horrid sounding. Skrawl continues this journey into the groovy madness with a sound that is like kicking televisions and an aesthetic that I want to put on a patch right away. It is only the first month of 2019 and Knife Vision needs to stop being so cool otherwise I am going to look silly when I keep writing about these releases.

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Arnor – All Eyes to the Frontline [US, Black] (2019)

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Knife Vision | 1-12-19

I do not really know. I do not know about a lot of things. I do not know why I missed these Knife Vision releases seeing they have been out since 2014. I do not know where Arnor is from but I am going to guess the US. I do not know what the rest of this release sounds like as it comes out in a few days. I do not know a lot of things about Knife Vision but I wish I knew more. All Eyes to the Frontline is the perfect release to focus on as I unlock this grim mystery box.

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Męka – Ending My Life to Destroy Yours [US, Blackened Death] (2019)

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Redefining Darkness | 2-15-19

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.

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Gallery of Shame – Absolute Silence [Canada, Raw Black] (2018)

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Self Released | 09-31-18

There are few things in this world which get me interested like a one track demo that sounds like broken glass and looks like photocopied misery. Gallery of Shame barely exists with the only way of acquiring a cassette is to write and email to what I assume is the creator. I do not think Ill ever see this physically but at least int he digital realm, Absolute Silence is a harbinger of disease with a plague of lo fi misery following in its wake. I use the tag “raw black” only as a distinction between the other bedroom black metal that doesn’t reveal in the atmosphere of broken noise. Gallery of Shame not only reveals in it but seems to be empowered by antisocial guitar tones, trashcan drums, and razor shredded vocals. While these elements are at anyone’s disposal, it takes a certain project to turn mounds of debris into a kingdom of misery and rot.

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Dødknell – K.I.L.L [Australia, Black] (2018)

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Self Released | 11-16-18

YES. YES. YES. Few times does a sound make me want to whip a bottle across a crowded bar as a mating call for violence. Dødknell makes me forget about my inhibitions and also my threshold for pain as with these riffs I feel I can take on the world and everyone who has a fucking problem. Located somehwere between Australia and hell, Dødknell channels the aggression and styles of first wave black metal and mixes it with riffs, punk aesthetics, and kerosene and sets everything ablaze. In under 20 minutes, Dødknell makes and introduction and then makes sure that 5 things are broken before they leave. Rude and completely out of line, this is music for the drunk and disorderly and it is utterly fantastic.

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Voidsphere – To Await | To Expect [International, Black / Atmospheric] (2018)

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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.

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