Cioran – Bestiale battito divino [Italy, Black / Punk] (2017)

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Caligari Records | 1-13-17

Oh fuck, this is goddamn gross. Already from the support from Caligari Records, I knew that Italian act Cioran would be horrid sounding. Named after the turn of the century Romanian philosopher who espoused pessimism and misery, Cioran has constructed an anthem of decay. With the tags of hardcore punk sitting next to black metal, imaginations run wild as Bestiale battito divino shapes up to be one of the more blistering releases of the year.

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East Sherman – Desertification [US, Black / Crust] (2016)

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Self Released | 12-8-16

Self Released | 12-8-16

The intersection between black metal and hardcore punk can be a visceral one. Since the two styles are intertwined at the roots, the exploration of the grey era between punk and metal is a minefield with large craters in the ground with festering water collecting near the bottom. East Sherman is a self proclaimed Vegan Blackened Hardcore outfit out of the Pacific Northwest and Desertification is the band’s loudest debut aside from all those other splits.

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Owls Woods Graves – Owls Woods Graves [Poland, Black / Punk] (2016)

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Malignant Voices | 9-30-16

Malignant Voices | 9-30-16

Perhaps one of my favorite styles of music is the bending of one until it shows the stress of another. Black metal and punk rock are not that far from each other in terms of residence though whenever hardcore is infused with the style, it comes across more as black metal with a hardcore punk exterior. Owls Woods Graves is different than what one would normally think of as crust or even black hardcore. The debut EP from this Polish outfit sees a punk band that lost their way in the wilderness and made shelters in empty tombs.

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Human Bodies – Demo MMXV [US, Black / Punk] (2015)

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Self Released | 7-14-15

Self Released | 7-14-15

Oh this is horrible — in the best way possible. From an area that isn’t super well known for caustic black metal infused with punk comes a demo which has been out for a few months lying in wait for unsuspecting passerbys. I am wondering how I missed this the first time around but the subsequent playing made me never forget the violent images and sounds. Human Bodies is terrifying from the fact their pictures have them in masks to the guttural deathcry on this short 12 minutes.

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Hexis – Abalam [Denmark, Black / Hardcore] (2014)

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Halo of Flies } 1-11-14

Halo of Flies | 1-11-14

This is how one meets their demise — through a concentrated burst of terror and deconstruction. Abalam, the full length debut from Danish death squad Hexis, has been out for a few months. In fact, Hexis released Abalam close to the beginning of the year. Since then, the band has released a split with Primitive Man and been spreading dark clouds of pestilence over parts of Europe. I did not want this year to go by without acknowledging a record which has the ability to make fields of crops spoil with disease.

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Plebeian Grandstand – Lowgazers [France, Black / Hardcore / Noise] (2014)

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Throatruiner Records | 3-31-14

Throatruiner Records | 3-31-14

Goddamn it, I love Throatruiner. Since finding this French label a few years ago, my appreciation for the bastard offspring between black, hardcore, sludge, and noise has grown exponentially. What I didn’t understand at the time has now transformed into an appreciation for genre-less heavy music and a recognition for the freedom it promotes. Plebeian Grandstand is a testament to the heights and depths a band can reach when throwing off the shackles of expectation. There is only one goal for Lowgazers, and that is pure annihilation.

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Daggers – It’s Not Jazz, It’s Blues [Belgium, Hardcore / Metal] (2014)

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Throatruiner Records | 3-31-14

Throatruiner Records | 3-31-14

I would like to point out that the album cover for It’s Not Jazz, It’s Blues by Belgium based Daggers ruins a nice black and white aesthetic which I have been trying to maintain. In fact, I dislike this cover immensely. It makes me uneasy, anxious and, quite frankly, ruins my day. I feel this is a great starting point to embrace Daggers.

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