Nefast MCMLXXIX – Demo [Chile, Black] (2017)

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Self Released | 10-01-17

At this point, we can still consider this 2017 despite the fact the Bandcamp comes from a label rereleasing this demo in 2018. Rereleases are strange especially since you can already find this demo on the internet. Regardless, Oratorium is a label that seems to be gathering up Chilean acts for presentation and celebration. Nefast MCMLXXIX (It is 1979, I checked) is one of the newest addditions on the Oratorium roster and by hands of fire they seem to want to burn the world.

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Husk – Fangs [Italy, Black] (2018)

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Death Kvlt Productions | 2-5-18

within the deadzone of album releases, there are moments when future records are released almost in their entirety 2 months early. Welcome Husk, a one man black metal project probably from the UK but not entirely sure (Actually Italy). Fangs is limited to 15 copies and is scheduled to release in February of 2018. What you can hear now, however, is almost the entire demo. If it were not for Death Kvlt being a really cool up and coming label, I would have questions about why they were doing it this way.

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Eofor – Demo 15 [UK, Raw Black] (2017)

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Legion Blotan | 12-22-17

Good lord, I do not even know if I should be listening to this. No Metal Archives. No Facebook. IU am actually just guessing at the country as the only information seems to be repsresnation from a local faction called Legion Blotan which represents a slew of raw black and death acts. The things about anonymity is that there is an aesthetic adopted by bands by psudonymns and intentional erasure of information, then there are bands like Eofor who walk the line of existence.

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Vessel Of Iniquity – Vessel Of Iniquity [UK, Black / Noise] (2017)

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Xenoglossy Productions | 12-29-17

Something I always enjoyed about this time of the year was the complete lack of caring by labels and bands for end of the year lists. December is usually a dead zone for larger labels and bands as most of the year lists are being generated. there are some who do not care about frivolous cycles of release and there are others who will wait until the last hours of the year unleash terror.

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Erlkonig – Demo 2017 [US, Black] (2017)

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Self Released | 12-19-17

I saw Erlkonig this year at a local festival in the woods. The band is comprised of most of members of Genevieve plus a smattering of other local Baltimore metal musicians. I now feel weird since I not only know these guys but their music is really fantastic leading me to assure people Im not just talking up a band I know.

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Barshasketh / Outre – Sein / Zeit [New Zealand / Poland, Black] (2017)

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Third Eye Temple | 12-18-17

Before beginning, I want to acknowledge the cover art/layout for this split as being one of the coolest covers of the year. Though I am confused who did the cover since the Metal Archives has the personal sort of mixed up, the artwork looks similar to Fenomeno Design which did Barshasketh’s 2015 album. I know someone is responsible and it fits aesthetically with this split. Even if this is just a rearrangement of classical artwork, the colors and layout are phenomenal and is something I want on all covers of metal albums.

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Illuminated Manuscripts / Deathvoid [Switzerland / Estonia, Raw Black] (2017)

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Xenoglossy Productions | 11-3-17

This is a weird split. weird not in a grotesque or horrible way but more in a creeping sense of uncanny atmosphere. Xenoglossy Productions is a newish label from Italy representing a slew of underground European acts. One of their missions is to hammer out a visual style to unite all of these releases under one aesthetic banner. Until this happens, most of the releases on Xenoglossy range from the odd to the bizarre with the Illuminated Manuscripts / Deathvoid being a solemn photo of a canopied bed. Again nothing outright and shocking just a growing sensation that not everything is right.

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Skrik – I [Russia, Black / Hardcore] (2017)

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Self Released | 9-14-17

No Metal Archives Page. No Facebook page. No additional information about this project. Fuck it, I can call this whatever I want since no one seems to be correcting me. With the additional picture of two figures in non metal looking raincoats, the first (?) demo (?) from Skrik poses a lot of questions which are answered in counterattacks.

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Voces Magicae – Atavisms [UK, Black / Ambient] (2017)

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Self Released | 12-2-17

there is a lot of weird shit to discuss with this record. Just by the Bandcamp alone, we have a set of polyhedral dice, strong allusions to ancient magic, and an album cover that looks like a grind record which even has two purple strips on the edges. I do not know why these things are grabbing my attention other than it seems to add to the mystery of a project which seems to be casting spells via black metal.

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Katepheia – Tsalal I [Russia, Black] (2017)

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Self Released | 12-1-17

I have had a problem with a lot of depressive and atmospheric black only in that there is always a lot to choose from. With this comes the dulling of what is suppose to be the linchpin of the music which is emotional resonance. When you can 50 bands doing the same thing all releasing records at the same time, the impact can be muted. This of course is true for most genres of metal but sort of ruins the aesthetic for certain types. This is why it is interesting when an album art can grab your attention and the music can hold it in place.

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