Graveflowers – The Hyacinth Garden [US, Raw Black] (2017)

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Self Released | 09-17-17

This release first came to me via Path of Silence who is heading up the limited physical release. Path of Silence is well known in my other life as a dungeon synth label who cryptically releases weirdo and outsider music to a handful of fanatics. The label has released black metal before with Bruid’s Cogadh but this type of music is not common for the label. Despite my surprise, the whole thing makes sense as Graveflowers, while not dungeon synth, possesses a charm for people at the very end of their mental rope.

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Putrid Evocation – Live Exhumations [Chile, Death] (2017)

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Self Released | 9-10-17

Add this to the growing scene of Chilean bands that seem to be coming out of nowhere. Even though I am tagging this as a demo, Live Exhumations is technically a live album and the fact that I do not have a “Live” tag means that live albums are not really a popular medium for extreme metal. What this really is however are two tracks from a disgusting band that were recorded somewhere in Chile and now are being released to the public.

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Pestivomous – The Last Wound [Chile, Black] (2017)

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Self Released | 8-25-17

Pestivomous’ The Last Wound is technically a demo and a rehearsal which is odd because it sounds like a complete studio production. I am certainly not doubting this a rehearsal rather it is surprising to get such a full sound out of something as off of the cuff as a practice tape. what this project has in its favor is the primal emotion of what sounds like 10 projects which is married with a design aesthetic thats sounds like eating grave soil.

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Vorus – Chamber of Laments [Romania, Death] (2017)

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Self Released | 09-15-17

I do not think I have reviewed many releases from Romania. This does not mean the Country does not have an active metal community and even if it isn’t as flourishing as let’s say the UK or US, I am still open for rotten things to come out of a country known for its vampires. What I wasn’t expecting however is a demo which steps right in line with some of the better death metal of the year. Fantastic job.

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BLK OPS / KRVSHR [US, Sludge / Doom / Hardcore] (2017)

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Self Released | 6-11-17

I think I have made mention of my aversion to doom. My hesitance for the genre doesn’t come from my disdain of the sound rather the glut of bands who play in the formula of the style. This isn’t an anomaly in metal as I gravitate towards anything black or death which plays in the genre. Doom and sludge do not interest me as much and aside from this personal preference, there are a few which break through my prejudice. If a band sounds like it was birthed in the bathroom of a shitty dive bar, I am there with outstretched hands.
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Mouthgate – Fungal [US, Black / Experimental] (2017)

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Self Released | 2-28-17

Enter the vaults of the odd with a band and album title that is way beyond any metal aesthetic you are used to. Coming from New York City comes a band that is experimental but is too weird to have any sort of pretension about their work. Caught somewhere between a hangover migraine and a lost Lovecraft story comes Mouthgate and they are here to ruin your fucking day.

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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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