Vendetta Records | 2-15-15
Abstracter is strange for many reasons. First of all, this California based plays a cross between sludge, drone, doom, black, and noise. Second of all, the lyrical and thematic position for this band seems to be between artsy experimentalism and more traditional head splitting heavy metal. This trait is exemplified by the band’s clean font logo as well as their scrawled enigma that looks like tangled roots and rusted barbed wire. This band seems to be able to go many places which is important especially when burrowing far beneath the earth.
Chaos Records | 3-16-15
Before traveling into The Slow Death’s third full length release, one has to note the band members and their billion projects. Because this is Australia, bands like Mournful Congregation, Temple Nightside, Murkrat, and Nazxul dot the resumes of the band members involved. Brett Campbell from Pallbearer slides in an the American guest who has been working with the band since 2012. This all seems really odd considering the Slow Death has never been a high profile band seeing their first two releases gone independent and their third being released under a Mexican extreme metal label Chaos Records. I am just going to sit here sitting on my hands and listening to time slowly unravel.
Self Released | 1-15-15
Sometimes one just needs the sound of pummeling death/doom to get them through the week. Spectral Voice represents a small piece in a yet to be recognized Colorado metal scene. Spectral Voice is connected to a series of death and doom bands including Abysmal Dimensions and Blood Incantation. While there are of course other bands from Colorado, this small blanket of misery is what is currently most interesting. Perhaps this is the first experience, for many, with Rocky Mountain Death.
Dark Descent Records | 2-24-15
This is perhaps the easiest review I have done in recently memory. This isn’t even due to Crypt Sermon being more than decent. The reason Crypt Sermon and their debut Out of the Garden is so easy to write about is due to not only its loyalty to a retro style but also the band’s dedication to Christian imagery. There is also the kick ass album cover. Let us not forget. Regardless of anything that can be said about the band, it is important to note how effective and decent their debut is. If you have forgotten what being embraced int he warm arms of traditional doom feels like let Crypt Sermon be your shepherd.
A.L.N. / Cloisterfolk Records | 2-1-15
In previous reviews I made mention that splits are a wonderful way to experience new acts, labels, and scenes that may be centered around a location. Last year, I came across a wonderfully horrid act מזמור (or Mizmor) on a split with fellow Oregon project Hell. Though מזמור means “psalm” in Hebrew, the meditation from this one man project is hinged on terror, dissonance, and the almighty worship of chaos. מזמור is the work of one member, A.L.N, who also plays in Urzeit with members of Ash Borer, and coincidentally provides live drums for Hell. Walking into מזמור is like hitting your head on a branch that is just one part of a larger tree of horrible black noise and doom. מזמור seems to have kept its music under a big blanket of obscurity for these past couple of years and is now teaming up with Dross, an Arizona based black metal group with only two rare cassette demos to their name. I adore these types of things.
Self Released | 1-26-15
Hardcore has always been something that is no stranger tot his blog. Though the flirtation between metal and hardcore has been done by others in the past, its variation and sound could range from the absolute terrible to the sublime. Amenaza is from Kansas and though its body is undoubtly hardcore, old traditional doom metal runs through its veins. Amenaza’s flagship demo sets sail attempting to bring slow motion devastation to what ever shore is breached.
Self Released | 2-20-15
Listen to the sounds of occult doom. Be smothered by the assurance that your body will eventually creep under slimy bog waters to serve food for horrible monsters. These are my thoughts regarding Swamp Witch, a west coast based doom act who have blown their minds on psychedelic sludge. Somewhere beyond stoner doom lies a more chilly place — a location where mausoleums lie submerged under inky black waters.
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
Self Released | 1-1-15
As the year comes to a close, so comes a slew of records scheduled for 2015 release but actually in full late 2014. This is going to be hellish for classifying. It wouldn’t really matter if these records were not worth noting. Instead of a really boring EP from a Greek traditional metal band, As Once Was has to be something of particular interest and thus really hard to discuss at the end of the year. Goddamn it.
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.