Celestial Grave – Burial Ground Trance [Finland, Black] (2016)

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Iron Bonehead | 7-7-11

Iron Bonehead | 7-7-11

Cool name. Check. Cool album title. Check. Iron Bonehead check. Finland. Check. Demo. Check. Cryptic artwork. Check. Well it looks like we got everything we need ladies and gentleman. Sometimes a release already comes with so much to like about it, it is amazing how much it grows beyond expectations. Celestial Grave already has at least 50 fans just on paper but this Finnish duo’s demo is so impressive that it may have the ability to capture the tortured imaginations of so much more.

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Kalmankantaja – Waldeinsamkeit [Finland, Black] (2016)

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Even though it is has only been a year since the release of Muinainen, it still feels like ages since Kalmankantaja put out a release. This feeling is due to the fact that in 2014, the Finnish one piece released four full lengths which were all pretty decent and racked with horror. Let us not forget the five splits and one EP also released in 2015. Perhaps 2016 is the year for ten demos from a a band that does not seem to be running out of grief to spill onto a record.

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Khanus – Rites of Fire [Finland, Death / Avant] (2016)

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Self Released | 2-11-16

Self Released | 2-11-16

I maybe way off base but this is fucking weird. Wait, that is not way off base. This is fucking weird. I hesitate stepping into this because this is so weird that it is bordering on exhilarating and terrifying. Khanus is from Finland and that is about the extent of my own knowledge as all searching on the internet brings people to the Bandcamp page. As of writing this review, there is only a Facebook and Bandcamp associated with the band. Sure this lack of inforamtion is not a stretch in terms of underground metal but by just listening to this short EP, it sounds like the band and has the world to say.

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Kalmankantaja – Muinainen [Finland, DSBM] (2015)

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War Against Yourself Records | 5-13-15

War Against Yourself Records | 5-13-15

I mentioned my frustration at just discovering Kalmankantaja this year despite the fact this Finish depressive black metal band put out 4 records in 2014 with all of them being released from August to November of the same year. Here was a prolific heavy metal act, whose name means “Death Bringer,” that was releasing a billion records without my knowledge. I was furious. Perhaps it is more telling that he band does all their music in their native tongue and has album names which battle with the band name as to be which can more more confusing when spelled out. This was everything I desired in a black metal band.

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Arche – Undercurrents [Finland, Funeral Doom] (2015)

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Self Released | 7-11-15

Self Released | 7-11-15

Hooray. A band that is not on the Metal Archives so I have no idea what this is or how it is related to anything. It also appears that this Finnish funeral doom band has either just started or is hiding in the thick of obscurity. Undercurrents is probably the first EP from the Finnish three piece which makes the most use from the lack of members. All that is needed is a fresh view on doom and the weight of eternity at your side.

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Devouring Star – Through Lung and Heart [Finland, Black / Death] (2015)

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Daemon Worship Productions | 2-1-15

Daemon Worship Productions | 2-1-15

Devouring Star’s 2014 demo was one of the first releases for Tape Wyrm. It was also one of the first releases which strengthened my interest in lesser known metal. Here was a cassette demo pressed about 200 times and released through two underground labels. Somewhere and somehow this Finish band raked in praise for the demo and anticipation for their first release by Daemon Worship. In a world where black/death can get hyped by its fans, Devouring Star is an act in which you can safely shake with excitement. This shaking can also lead to convulsions.

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Kalmankantaja – Metsänkulkija [Finland, DSBM] (2015)

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Self Released | 1-13-15

Self Released | 1-13-15

I wish I could express the level of frustration which came after learning that Kalmankantaja had four albums released in 2014. Here was a haunting depressive black metal band, whose name means “death bearer,” that released all this great material without anyone telling me. While I am slightly joking, the fact that Kalmankantaja has gone this long with out proper attention is a near tragedy since there has been an audience for atmospheric dread for decades.

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Obscure Burial – Epiphany [Finland, Black/Death] (2014)

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Self Released | 9-15-14

Self Released | 9-15-14

Okay before we begin there is a hurdle to this demo. Not surprisingly the hurdle is the sound production. It is right there. I am making mention of it right away. You are going to have to get over the fact that the demo sounds like a really good live show recording off of a VHS tape. I only make mention of this because the music which is behind this uneven mix is absolutely ground shaking.

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Devouring Star – Demo [Finland, Black / Death] (2014)

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Sarlacc Productions | 3-2-14

Sarlacc Productions | 3-2-14

Again, I feel that “dates” are sort of up in the air when it comes to demos. Finish black/death act technically self released their demo in December of 2013 but the 2014 pressing by Sarlacc productions feels like an official date. In demo-land, things are hazy and ambiguous but I have a feeling I want Devouring Star’s first demo included in discussions with 2014.

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Cemetery Fog – Shadows from the Cemetery [Finland, Black / Death / Doom] (2013)

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Iron Bonehead | 3-31-14

Iron Bonehead | 3-31-14

I usually like to focus on music from the current calendar year but then again, cassette demos are usually timeless. Back in the early days of 2013, there was this Finnish band, who couldn’t decide on whether or not they wanted to be death metal, or doom metal, or black metal. So this Finnish band, whose name is Cemetery Fog, decided to be all three. Back in 2013, the band released their third demo Shadows from the Cemetery which probably stayed in the hands of friends, family, and websites who stumbled on it by accident. Today in 2014, Iron Bonehead re releases this treasured gem for a greater audience. Who knew that while we slept, the sounds of death and doom where being played with gloomy grandeur.

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