Dysylumn – Cosmogonie [France, Progressive Black] (2020)

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Signal Rex | 10-3-20

O first want to pay special recognition to the artwork of Karmazid who graces the cover of this release. Karmazid has also done work for Andavald, Bewitcher, Chevalier, Draghkar, LVTHN, Malokarpatan, Urfaust, and a whole host of other acts with their distinct style occultist imagery. Perhaps this is what brought me into the page for Dysylumn’s third full length Cosmogonie. To be fair with the lyrical themes tagged as Psychology, Hallucination, Space and a sound which is akin to climbing on the ceiling of an abandoned castle, I would have made my way here eventually but having artwork that fits the mood is fantastic. Cosmogonie is being released by both Signal Rex and Egregor Records and for now you only get a song but I am sure all of this is enough to keep you in this unhallowed place until the fateful hour.

OTDHR – REHEARSAL II [France, Black] (2020)

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Self Released | 9-13-20

I am not usually down with unfinished products. I understand raw black metal (and to some extent other genres) has an aesthetic that embraces unfinished work as it simultaneously showcases potential while celebrating unpolished atmospheres. OTDHR’s sound was enough to grab interest and this 9 minute rehearsal showed enough talent that I start to wonder what a full length would sound like. Some bands never move out of the demo and rehearsal realm content to keep exploring unrefined landscapes. OTDHR is different in the fact their angular approach to black / doom could be exquisite with the right framing. Rehearsal II (Previous one was a year ago) projects a band that is brimming with angst and airs a sense of mystery through 9 minutes of near sonic misery. Perhaps this will be a story of a band that climbs out of rehearsals and makes a demo (or full length) that amazes everyone. Even without that future, OTDHR is a rare find of a band that warrants putting up their practice recordings as they are interesting enough to sit and listen.

Meurtrières – Meurtrières [France, Heavy] (2020)

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Self Released | 6-5-20

If you take a look at the whole of the records offered on this site it is half gross black/death and half dorky ass dungeon synth. Heavy/trad does not really fit into the scheme of this site. This is not for any other reason than there are more qualified people to discuss the recent trad revival. I say trad revival as a catch all term for anything that followed the boom of heavy metal that was tagged under the obnoxious “New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal” label. Since the mid 10’s however, heavy metal has fallen into a comfortable rhythm offering decent and exhilarating records as a digestible pace. Meurtrières continues this tradition with a stellar debut sing in the most romantic of tongues. For being a first offering, Meurtrières makes a bold declaration that is worth taking note and even staying put for a while.

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Rivière de Corps – Tout est chaos [France, Industrial / Dungeon Synth] (2020)

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Self Released | 6-4-20

Add this to the weird pile. This is not dungeon synth though I found it while searching for dungeon synth. I blame this label for opening there door and like a lost child I wander in and am now fascinated by the sounds of bedroom industrial / darkwave with some surreal covers. Though this stretches the idea of what dungeon synth / dungeon noise can be, the idea of personal landscapes and escapism through sound remains the same though this is a hellish nightmare with retro paperback covers and instances of mindbending terror.

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Candlekeep – The Death of the Gatekeeper [France, Dungeon Synth] (2020)

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Self Released | 5-7-20

I am not going to say that it is perfect, but I am beginning to hone the craft of picking out records based on their cover. Not in terms of quality but sound as a noisy record can be distinguished from a more melodic one. I knew what Candelkeep was going to sound like before I opened the page. I was surprised, however, at how much I enjoyed the sound of Candlekeep as it whisked me away to a magical, lo-fi kingdom where its gold sparkled with worn flare. At the moment, Candlekeep has no supports on their page and this debut just came out yesterday. Finding things like this make me enjoy what I do as I feel like someone who just stumbled upon a cozy cottage far into the woods.

Amnutseba – Emanatism [France, Black] (2020)

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Iron Bonehead Productions | 3-27-20

Welcome Oblivion. One of my colleagues gave this full length to me and asked if I remembered this band from a few years back. I have to be honest in saying that my recollection of Amnutseba is relegated to foggy fragments of angular and ruinous black/death. I do not remember much and looking at old demos I am even more confused since I partially remember the cover for Demo II. This could be a phantom band which is a specter sent to haunt me. In any case, Emanatism is certainly able to make an imprint on the psyche as the far out surreal qualities of this record are terrifying and will live in nightmares for many years to come.

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Atavisma – On the Ruins of a Fallen Empire [ France, Death] (2017)

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Blood Harvest | 6-9-17

Well, it seems like this band has all of the boxes ticked. From album art to album name, the debut EP from this French death/doom oufit shows a band willing to mold themselves in the eyes of the listeners. This is not to say Atavisma conforms to any trends rather their brand of music is perfect for anyone seeking an extended stay in the catacombs of the dammed.

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Merdam Boten – Jeux de Morts [France, Raw Black] (2016)

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Self Released } 9-29-16

Self Released } 9-29-16

I have a running joke with some of my friends on which of us can find the most inaccessible band with little information available on the internet. I think I win at least for today. I do not know a lot about this band but what I can tell you about this release is that it is from France, made by two people, and is frightening as hell.

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Venefixion – Defixio [France, Death] (2015)

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Iron Bonehead | 10-18-15

Iron Bonehead | 10-18-15

Oh my goodness. either I am slowly becoming an Iron Bonehead fanboy raving about multiple demos just this year or there is a palatable stream of good material being unearthed by this label. Both may be true. I also maybe a sucker for hilarious blasphemy in artwork and Defixio, the debut from Venefixion has an oddly comedic spin to their artwork. Come towards the skeleton bearing a crucifix.

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Fhoi Myore / Wyrms – Les Limbes Pourpres / Mehxôhorr – Les IV Dimensions Cosmogoniques [France, Black] (2015)

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Self Released | 3-1-15

Ossuaire Records | 3-1-15

If the album cover and even title for the Fhoi Myore / Wyrms split, this experience is going to be intense. As said previous times, splits are a great way to experience new bands and even new experiences. Les Limbes Pourpres / Mehxôhorr – Les IV Dimensions Cosmogoniques sees two French underground black metal bands joining forces to present some of the most emotionally bare and rotting black metal in recent times. If the cover is any indication it will consist of ghoulish nude orcs and horrid looking bats.

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