Self Released | 10-14-17
If one hasn’t noticed by now, the last few reviews for this year are things that I initially missed. These things are still under the radar for the greater scope of heavy metal but still fit into the strange idea of Tape Wyrm material. Cavurn is an unsigned/independent death doom band from Washington whose demo/rehearsal is one of the top tier releases of the year and for that they need revisiting.
Death / Doom is a strange genre since each time it is employed, it is unique among the practitioner. Some bands lean more on the side of doom with harsh vocals while other played a rotted form of death. Cavurn is in the middle as they employ both aspects of the genre and seem to glean the most interesting aspects of both. From the monolithic atmosphere of doom married with the classic riffs of death, this demo shows a band that already has everything figured out and is ready for the next challenge.
There is little way, anyone can kep up with everything released in the year. Other well known releases like Witch Vomit, Vanum, and Cult of Eibon are still excellent just out of the range for what I hoped for this blog. Cavurn seems to fit well inside the other releases with a demo that is worth anyones attention despite their attraction to lesser known metal.
Self Released | 12-29-17
This is perhaps my sixth review today trying to not only get up to a certain number but review all of the material that is being released at the end of the year. While most of the lists have been published and writers have gone home to celebrate another year of releases, the backwaters of the internet are still alive with festering releases. One of these is Tomb of a Thousand Sorrows, the very late introduction to Another Dead One.
I am not entirely sure about the band’s name nor the album title. For a year spent with the rotten warehouse death, Another Dead one seems to be on a separate plane with aesthetic. This is furthered by the fact their guitar solos and dynamic presentation is not only unorthodox but it is fun as hell. when was the last time you heard guitar squeals into double bass riffing? For that matter when was the last time you heard a chainsaw in a song with people screaming? For as much as I am uncertain about the name, Another Dead One has gone above and beyond the call for entertainment with an EP that would be fun for drinking embalming fluid with.
Living Temple Records | 12-21-17
The landscape of death metal is being changed or at least has always been changing. What once was old school went into cavernous and now is moving into slimy grime. Tagging this as death is sometimes confusing for anyone following the developments of the genre so saying the phrase Swedish old school maybe a little it more telling.
The debut demo from Hexagon is perhaps as it should be — a demonstration of potential. In the release, one can hear a band unhappy with the the production with music that sounds bigger than what is being presented. This is not muddy death metal which drips grease rather a dynamic sound which could excel given a boost. It is not like this demo isn’t fun as songs like “Chambers of Torment” are so nostalgic in their riffs and energy that one could imagine a second, third or fourth renaissance in the direction of death metal. At this point I am still undecided on Hexagon and their direction. For a demo that is being released at the end of the year, I think it is safe to say this is the first step to something else. Be it a more fleshed out EP / Full Length or maybe even a continuation of old school Swedish death on bare bones production is something we will see in 2018. For now I will be cautiously entertained.
Self Released | 12-7-17
Let us be entirely honest and say this is not from 2017. Back in September of 2016, 100 tapes of Under the Mark of the Devil EP were released probably to a small group of people. In 2017, the band put out the Ep again with different art to the protest of no one. Actual release dates get murky when you deal on this level and for all intents and purposes, this death/thrash release can occupy two spaces.
Oh my. I think I would have stumbled on this eventually due to the album cover but Left Cross is a name I have an eye on due to their addition to the Blood of the Wolf Fest in Spring of 2018. Blood of the Wolf has become a fast way of learning about new Midwest/east coast metal/punk/??? bands that drink from the same cup of slime. By the sounds of Left Cross’ debut, the covenant of grime is real.
Self Released | 11-3-17
Taphos almost feels well known and well liked among friends I probably do not have. Perhaps it is the sound of grimy death metal with a tone that looms in empty warrens and caves. Perhaps it is the fact their logo looks similar to bands like Grave Miasma. Perhaps it is because there is so much good metal coming from Denmark within the last few years. What ever the case, the third release from this group does more to cement their place in the underworld.
Self Released | 9-23-17
I do not review a lot of war / bestial black for a few reasons. Firstly the pummeling sounds of Blasphemy worship can become overwhelming when not ready for the sound. Given that even high profile acts like Teitanblood and Revenge can become endless cascades of torment, bestial black or war metal is directed at a very niche audience. For this reason, it is a style of music that isn’t practiced much and when it is, the earth seems to open up and consume everyone around.
Self Released | 9-10-17
Add this to the growing scene of Chilean bands that seem to be coming out of nowhere. Even though I am tagging this as a demo, Live Exhumations is technically a live album and the fact that I do not have a “Live” tag means that live albums are not really a popular medium for extreme metal. What this really is however are two tracks from a disgusting band that were recorded somewhere in Chile and now are being released to the public.
Self Released | 09-01-17
Just the fact I cant find a Metal Archives link to this band tells me that Soul Harvest is most likely self releases and not under the umbrella of a label. This is okay as recent years have shown us that self released and independently supported albums can be just as blistering and paint peeling as their label supported siblings. Soul Harvest is a testament to that as this short demo / EP / whatever vomits a hole in the fabric of the universe.
Self Released | 09-15-17
I do not think I have reviewed many releases from Romania. This does not mean the Country does not have an active metal community and even if it isn’t as flourishing as let’s say the UK or US, I am still open for rotten things to come out of a country known for its vampires. What I wasn’t expecting however is a demo which steps right in line with some of the better death metal of the year. Fantastic job.