Mental Casket – Demo 2019 [Poland, Death] (2019)

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Self Released | 6-11-19

With a name like Mental Casket, one is going to except a certain level of grime that hopefully covers a coffin in a basement. This is it. It is all here. With a dedication to Florida style death and less of a concern for actually cropping their cover, the debut demo from Mental Casket comes just as you expected and always wanted. Though the production is lacking as per the style, the strength of Mental Casket rests in the bands ability to write riffs that stalk through the night and animate these corpses that are strewn upon the ground.

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CIVEROUS – Raw Demo [US, Death] (2019)

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Self Released | 8-6-19

I feel that this is an artifact that may get reworked into something else. Perhaps the raw aesthetic is a destination rather than a product. Despite having the name raw in the title and also one track of a supposedly cassette rip, the music for Civerous’ demo is pretty well produced in terms of clarity. This is important as the band excels as making dirty sounding music with rhythm and energy. I do not think they need to explore the raw side of death metal as it is scary and infectious. This is fine for now.

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Sněť – Promo [Czech Republic, Death] (2019)

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Self Released | 4-8-19

It takes a certain cover for me to assume that everything, musically, inside will line up with my interests. While this is not a guarantee on quality, the craft of an aesthetic is a good indication on the care the band will have on the music. Sněť’s promo / demo pays close attention to crafting the look of vomit drenched death metal that sounds like it was recorded in a flooded warehouse than anywhere natural. This type of grimy concrete death metal, which comes with photocopied tape covers, is something that is specific to an audience who will love every second. There really is only one song on this demo as the first is a long introduction to the world of disease, sickness and endless riffs. If you are here then we do not need to say anything as we all have heard the call of wretched death.

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Tenebro – Demo [Italy, Death] (2019)

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Desert Wastelands Productions | 5-1-19

Allow the reverberations of instinct to take over. I think this is from Italy since the tag indicates it is “Horror Glorifying Death Metal from Fulci’s Land.” This demo comes by the way of Desert Wasteland which also released Astriferous’ demo. If that Costa Rican massacre was any indication then Tenebro is going to be of the same caliber. We will go with that. If the lack of information is offsetting, it is just apart of the luddite style death metal that I have come to love and worship. If any sound was akin to kunckledragging ogres then Tenebro is one of the grossest abominations to stalk the land. Heavy, inattentive, and only concerned with the lust for violence, this is death metal with a 10th grade reading level that dumps intelligence for strength.

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Rotted – Pestilent Tomb [US, Death] (2019)

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Maggot Stomp | 2-22-19

There is a joke among the ten people on the internet that listen to this music about caveman death and specifically heavy death metal with large riffs and a primal instinct and possibly a low reading level. The inspiration for these bands isn’t really clear though if you start at Rottrevore, Grave, and Obituary and make your way forward, you will have a good idea. This is not a genre nor even a style rather a direction some bands are flinging themselves into much like an oncoming bus. Maggot Stomp is a US label that seems to be the dealers in this killing floor style death metal with releases this year from Encoffinized and Frozen Soul. Whatever it is and if it differs from the other niche sounds of current death metal seems to be secondary to the monolithic riffs and and a drive for cosmic violence.

It is worth mentioning that this album was released in 2018 first on Headsplit Records and then in various states of pressing. I wont say that this Maggot Stomp Release is the most popular but it is the first time I have heard it so I am including this in the year 2019. If anyone has a problem with that they can find me by the greasy fire weilding a club.

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Astriferous – Raise High the Scepter of Indulgence [Costa Rica, Death] (2019)

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I make jokes about being married to a genre and upon seeing the cover for Raise High the Scepter of Indulgence and seeing the genre tags, I immediately sent it to 3 friends. I am fully aware that not all grimy death metal that emphasizes riffs and attitudes is going to be good rather grimy death metal that emphasizes riff and attitude even at its mediocrity is still enjoyable. Lucky for everyone involved Astriferous not only hits the topes of its genre and aesthetic but also makes for an enjoyable demo full of looming riffs and snarling attitude. I am not familiar with the current black and death metal scene in Costa Rica as compared to other places in South America but if anything else sounds like this and comes clad in leather jackets, then I am going to be marked down as incredibly interested.

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Thanamagus – Incorporeal Passage [US, Death] (2019)

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Self Released | 2-12-19

It is important to realize that demos were once demonstrations of talent that were circulated by record labels and eventually fans of unpolished heavy metal. the spectacle of talent despite production limitations and the promise of potential is what makes demos so exciting. Today, the idea of demo could just be a permanent state for people who never have any intention on making anything else. This is fine but initial demos from new bands still have excitement and zeal s they once did especially when the band plays colossal death metal.

Thanamagus still has yet to get a Metal Archives page and their Last.fm count is currently at 0. If one wanted a band cut from the side of a mountain before any refinery techniques, then this is the time to look. With looming riffs and a wild black and white cover this is the perfect place to start if you wanted raw and unfiltered death that may or maybe be greymarket and may or may not be anything beyond this demo. People who are into this type of stuff, however, are into these types of quirks and love the shit out of this type of stuff.

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CREMATORY STENCH – Grotesque Deformities [US, Death] (2019)

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Blood Harvest | 2-19-19

There will be a day when I am not immedtially drawn to a BW photocopied cover that is blown out with one color (most likely red). there will be a time when I am not ecstatic when a band embraces an aesthetic and goes for a name, album, and song titles that oscillates between Lovecraft, a cemetery, and the charnel house. There will be a day when I am more discerning about what death metal I enjoy as I cant keep making room for every band with a red and black cover and a gross name. Today is not that day.

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Vile Spirit – Promo 2019 [UK, Punk / Metal] (2019)

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Quality Control HQ | 1-21-19

I do not even know where to put this so Ill just throw it on the counter and let anyone pick it up if they want to. I have to say I love the color red as I feel it works really well for any album covers. The front of this promo is an example as it exemplifies the visceral qualities of music that is caught between hardcore punk and slow death. Perhaps one of the better examples is the longest track on this promo as “Bite Down” revels in the chaos of noise before lurching into a disjointed march across what I feel could be a wasteland strewn with corpses and nuclear waste. There are few genres this neatly fits into but it perfect music for the apocalypse.

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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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