Jera – Jera [US, Black] (2017)

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Self Released | 3-26-17

I think at one point, I will do an article or feature of local Baltimore / DC metal bands that I inadvertently have contacts through or at least see at multiple shows. Jera was something that I have see really early in their career with even a live show without a singer. This first demo (?) represents the start for a band who is trying super hard not to wipe their shoes before entering the house.

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Sores – Demo I [Greece, Black] (2017)

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Self Released | 3-21-17

Since we are not keeping track, this recommendation was totally stolen from a friend who also scours the internet for cool black and death demos. I would have found this eventually but it is good to have more eyes lest we all miss something. I say this all now since the debut demo from Greek black metal act Sores is not only blistering buts its precision execution combined with what sounds like the band turning to ash and cinder is something remarkable.

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Ashen Chalice – Ritual Under The Blackened Moon [Croatia, Dark Ambient / Noise / Black] (2017)

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Self Released | 3-10-17

Ashen Chalice is more like a journey than a destination. Finding a Croatian black noise project that isn’t even listed on the Metal Archives is sometimes as exciting as listening to whatever was put to proverbial tape. The aesthetic of Ritual Under The Blackened Moon toes the line between dead serious and tongue in cheek humor. The tape design is there as well as the black metal tropes. If it was not for the effectiveness of the three songs, I would have moved on by now.

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Cold Fell – Irwell [UK, Atmospheric Black] (2017)

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Self Released | 03-02-17

This is the second “atmospheric black metal” record I have reviewed this week and it is only Tuesday. I would like to say I am not opposed to the style whatsoever rather I find that atmospheric black metal is very easy to imitate but very difficult to make interesting. Uk based band Cold Fell doesn’t really sound like your typical atmospheric black metal act with most of their drama coming from raw emotion. Still there are blurred crescendos, long songs, and a general lean towards the narrative. With that said, Irwell, the band’s debut is far beyond any tree laden album covers and comes with a heavy claw to the face.

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Mort aux Gueux – Beuverie, Musique du Diable et Misère Crasse [Canada, Black] (2017)

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Self Released | 2-3-17

I feel I am going to have a good handle on some of the darker works in various languages. From what I can surmise, Mort aux Gueux means “Death to the Beggers (?)” and the album title starts out with “Music of the Devil” and then gets really patchy from there. It could have something to do with misery or mother Earth. Whether or not I would actually do well in France or the French Canadian territories is one thing, the tone and theme of Mort aux Gueux is quite another.

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Funeral Chant – Funeral Chant (US, Black / Death) (2017)

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Self Released | 2-3-17

Funeral Chant is already experiencing a small queue of interest from the internet and this can be directly related to the feature from Cvlt Nation. Aside from that however, the interest for Funeral Chant and the growing popularity for this bay area black death act seems to be catching like fire die to other reason. Perhaps this is an example of a quality record that is gaining popularity through its own merit. I am still skeptical.

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Imperceptum – The Eternal Path to Nothingness [Germany, Black / Funeral Doom] (2017)

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Self Released | 2-1-17

I believe that it is in the interest of most metal to capture a theme or feeling. whether simple or complex abstract or concrete, most heavy metal intends to fill the listener with a focus. The second album from German black / doom outfit Imperceptum does an admirable job at wrapping in the various emotions of existential obliteration. While this sounds like a very niche focus, the sound of stars collapsing and ceasing to be apart of the material world seems to be a destination for this particular band.

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Vomit Kult – Demonic Art [Unknown, Raw Black] (2017)

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Self Released | 1-29-17

Well, fucking fantastic guys, I literally have nothing to go on regarding where you are from since there is no trace of you anywhere on the internet. It is funny that people lament the death of research in the internet age and yet there are still bands that toe the line of known. Perhaps that is where they want to be, right on the cusp of existence.

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Myotis Occultus – Of Weeping Spells & Wounded Shrines [US, Raw Black] (2017)

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Self Released | 1-27-17

In the world of underground and lesser known heavy metal, newness is a relative term. To some the Arizona based one man act Myotis Occultus could be new with the weight of raw black metal making its first introductions. To others, the songs on the Of Weeping Spells & Wounded Shrines demo are just a recollection of past works that have been spread out on singles and demos released in 2016. If it sounds like I am complaining, I am not as Myotis Occultus was a mystery to me until today. Perhaps every once in awhile one needs new introductions as there will be more people coming in at various times.

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Ose – Rituum [US, Black] (2017)

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Self Released | 1-30-17

I love the tag of NCBM as if I am missing some big North Carolina black metal scene. Ha. Wait. I am not am I? Please tell me if I am and I will be down there in less than 10 hours. Rituum just came out and by the looks of it, I am the one of the few that showed up super early to this party. With no Metal Archives and a Facebook page that hasn’t been updated in years, I can safely wonder if Ose actually exists. If they do not then I have this near amazing demo to show for my efforts.

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