Act of Impalement – Perdition Cult [US, Death] (2018)

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Unspeakable Axe Records | 09 – 31 -18

Holy shit, this thing is not going to be released until late August. Why am I so excited for this record despite the fact there is only one song for preview. What is it about death metal riffs which makes me wait on the front steps until the doors open? I usually balk at the idea of albums no being available to me whenever I want. I am also wary about the prospect of preview tracks for albums that are months away from release. This all goes out the window when it is death metal, being released on Unspeakable Axe Records, and really fucking good.

Act of Impalement is from North Carolina and has been seen up and down the East Coast putting in work around local venues. Perdition Cult is to be the bands debut and by the sound of the first “single” Pax Romana, it is going to be a hellish hootenanny which will end with at least a few injuries. Fans of old school and grimy concrete floor death will appreciate the tone and structure of a song which waves the standards of music meant to immerse and suffocate. I still can not believe I have to wait here until August but I am sure once the leaves begin to die, it will be time for the world to rot.

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Evil Priest – Black Seeds​.​.​.​of Creation [Peru, Death] (2018)

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Caligari Records | 3-1-18

I feel at this point I could run quarterly feature going over all of the new Caligari material and still be pretty happy. I try not to hover too much on certain labels like Fallen Empire and Vrasubatlat as constant coverage would make me seem like a fanboy despite the fact thier output being above average. This is the case for Caligari records who have consistently gone above and beyond in finding gems from around the world which worship at the altar of death and disease.

Evil Priest is from Peru and two years ago this trio released a stellar demo of classic sounding death metal. Since we are past any era of a genre resurgence, the classic death sound for Evil Priest is a thematic celebration of death metal’s most famous competent which is riffs and darkness. Guitar solos, 5th gear snare drumming, looming intros, and guttural vocals all make their appearance in a demo which sounds between here and 1991. Aside from the sound, Evil Priest is young and virulent enough to be a force which will be around for much longer as Black Seeds​.​.​.​of Creation sounds like the band is halfway having fun and half way really serious about this whole death thing.

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Oksennus – Sokea Idiootti [Finland, Death / Avant] (2016)

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Caligari Records | 9-11-16

Caligari Records | 9-11-16

Well, this is it, the time when I finally lose my mind and go howling into the night surrounded by demons and trees. Now I know “Oksennus” is Finnish for “vomit”. I do not know if I wanted to know this but this record beckons one to face certain realities. I do not know if I would even have ran into this mental patient of a record had it not been for Caligari Records. The record label, as said many times in the past, has been an archaeologist of wonderfully horrid music for some years. Because of that however, Oksennus followed me home and now wont stop eating the garbage.

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Abjvration – The Unquenchable Pyre [France, Death / Doom] (2015)

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Caligari Records | 4-15-15

Caligari Records | 4-15-15

Of course. Another Caligari Records release. I will not go into how much I adore this label save for the mention that this cassette heavy label specializes in unearthing some of the more forward thinking and disturbed black/death/doom acts of recent memory. Imagine my lack of surprise when I heard yet another above average doom act with dripping tendrils of misery.

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Negative Vortex – Tomb Absolute [US, Death] (2015)

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Caligari Records | 3-18-15

Caligari Records | 3-18-15

Oh got it. This is what the end of reality looks like. Negative Vortex is an American / Brazilian death combo which has little information save for a few snippets on Caligari Records and a few other blogs like CVLT Nation. What is known about Tomb Absolute is that all of the light adjectives such as punishing, pulverizing, and chaotic are apt for this 25 minute demo which is really just a whirlwind of insanity.

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Alucarda – Raw Howls [Denmark, Doom / Punk] (2015)

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1-12-15

Caligari Records 1-12-15

For anyone not familiar, Alucarda is the name of a Mexican horror film which sees two Catholic orphans which unwittingly summon Satan by way of roving gypsies. The two girls become possessed who then wreak demonic havoc on the convent. The reason why this is important is because the cultish legacy of the film inspired the Dutch doom punk to mimic the general atmosphere of a convent overrun by the Satanically possessed. Alucarda comes by the way of Caligari Records who has already shown themselves as lovers and archivists of both underground heavy music as well as bands who adore horror imagery. Though Alucarda lies on the outside of conventional heavy metal covered on Tape Wyrm, the band’s dedication to the dark arts as well as wild imagery is more than enough to make their debut, Raw Howls, a drug induced motorcycle ride into the depths of psychedelic madnes

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The Hyle – Demo [Denmark, Doom] (2014)

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Caligari Records | 11-23-14

Caligari Records | 11-23-14

Occult doom is a niche style of music that got a lot of hype a few years back after the breakout success of bands like Ghost and Blood Ceremony, who threw back to other bands like Coven and Black Widow. Though the style is undoubtedly steeped in retro worship and heavy costumes, it is undeniable in its coolness. On the surface The Hyle is another occult acolyte offering a record that substitutes surprises for tried and true charm. While this is half true, the depth at which The Hyle travels is more subtle than other acts of the same style.

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Heavydeath – They Had No Names [Sweden, Death / Doom] (2104)

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Caligari Records | 11-21-14

Caligari Records | 11-21-14

I believe this is the deciding factor. My favorite demo from 2014 is going to be from Swedish band Heavydeath. I know this seems a little early to claim but Heavydeath has had so many good demos, all released in a year, that the competition is slowly being eradicated. I was ecstatic when I found not only Caligari Records but also Heavydeath’s first demo. It has now been a couple of months since and this band has not ceased to release a steady stream of demos. Heavydeath begs me to make sure I have all of my demos lined up and ready to listen to as this death/doom band is one of the better metal acts to come out of left field in 2014.

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Heavydeath – Demo II – III [Sweden, Death / Doom] (2014)

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Self Released | 5-9-14

Self Released | 5-9-14

I think I found Caligari Records as well as Heavydeath as the same time. It was a wonderful afternoon / early morning. Caligari Records is a spectacular label / distributor which specializes in lesser known cassettes of a particularly rotting variety. Heavydeath is a band made up of members of Runemagick and Necrocurse who specialize in a particularly rotting variety of death/doom. Though death/doom isn’t entirely novel, Heavydeath’s approach to the style is not only refreshing but it is a cause for feverish excitement as their 2014 trilogy of demos far surpasses most releases this year.

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Bland Vargar – Perpetual Return [Italy, Atmospheric Black] (2014)

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Razed Soul Productions | 4-11-14

Razed Soul Productions | 4-11-14

Woooosh. I love it. I love it all. Bland Vagar is an Italian black metal band who concerns themselves with wolves. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. The band is listed under a production company called Razed Soul productions but the tape comes to us from our good ol’ friends Caligari Records. I have already gushed about my fascination with the quality of Caligari releases and Bland Vargar is no different. Somewhere in the afterglow of woodsy black metal is still the spark of greenish darkness — one that clasps hard around the throat.

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