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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As We Draw – Mirages [France, Sludge / Hardcore]

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Throatruiner Records | 10-4-14

Throatruiner Records | 10-4-14

Before we begin, it is important to note that As We Draw is not like many things on this site. Sure, this French band has elements of atmospheric sludge and could draw their lineage to bands like Neurosis but other than that things get blurry. As We Draw fits into the disputed territories which lie in the middle of metal, hardcore, and heavy experimental music. In these borderlands are things which sort of resemble traditional genres but have long gone feral. Mirages may have been a sweet record at one point but is now rabid and out for blood.

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Fange – Poisse [France, Sludge / Noise] (2014)

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Self Released | 4-14-14

Zugzwang Productions | 4-14-14

Yes. Yes. Yes. This is what I like to hear. Fange is a three piece French act who plays impossibly loud sludge to the point of becoming a noisy act of violence. Sludge has always been very confrontational by design though Fange has decided take the angst and misanthropy which nurtured the style and make it monstrous. What is contained within Poisse are looming spires of hate and misery which rain down on listeners like crumbling hell rain. That is right — hell rain.

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