Holokauston – Yersinia Pestis [India, Black] (2017)

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Self Released | 11-23-17

“Yersinia pestis (formerly Pasteurella pestis) is a Gram-negative, rod-shaped coccobacillus, non mobile with no spores. It is a facultative anaerobic organism that can infect humans via the oriental rat flea. It causes the disease plague, which takes three main forms: pneumonic, septicemic, and bubonic plagues. All three forms were responsible for a number of high-mortality epidemics throughout human history, including: the 6th century’s Plague of Justinian, the Black Death, which accounted for the death of at least one-third of the European population between 1347 and 1353, and the Third Pandemic, sometimes referred to as the Modern Plague, which began in the late 19th century in China and spread by rats on steamboats claiming close to 10 million lives.”

Aside from the name of this project and some of the original covers with the frontman looking gloomy, this project is pretty alright. I say this know that breaking into nihilistic black metal with a soft spot for bleak history as your theme can be tough given the flooded market. It is true that this project is from India and could possibly make itself distinct given the location. With that said, I feel the strengths of the Yersinia Pestis demo rests in the bands ability to make nihilistic black metal interesting and not stale.

One of the largest strengths for this demo is the mixing as the one man metal template sounds full given the harsh yet manageable DIY production. the vocals from 17 year old Arjun Somvanshimakes this whole project sort of exciting given the young age of its creator as well as the level of quality in its finished project. If one wanted to sttle in for the night with plague ridden black metal, this is a fantastic addition to your night. The extra sound effects and “oriental” flair of songs like “Harvest Of The Departed” makes this a demo that swims in waters with plague rats and laughs while doing it.

Vaabnet – Den ed du har svoret [Denmark, Black / Punk] (2017)

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Self Released | 10-14-17

I think it was the cover art for Den ed du har svoret which initially drew my eye with its runic and esoteric markings. It was most certainly the combination of depressive black metal and raw punk rock that kept me locked in the world of misery and strife. Vaabnet is one of of a few Danish black bands found in recent memory with the other being Fanebærer, Lesion, Gabestok, and Blot & Bod. In fact, all of these bands recently played a show together which is how I found the connection. Whatever the hell is happening over there is scary and wonderful.

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Luceran Lycan Haunt – Arcane Arts Bleach The Skulls Of Forbidden [US, Raw Black / Noise] (2017)

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Self Released | 10-13-17

Well, this it is. I think I have finally lost my mind as the first reaction to all of the tags was unbridled excitement at the possibility of diving into a pool of raw noise and black metal with overt occult themes. Over the course of 2017, I have gravitated towards more power electronics, and noise based projects in a search to keep scaring the shit out of myself. I think October maybe the high water mark or depending on how you want to cast it, the lowest depths of darkness.

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DSKNT – PhSPHR Entropy [Switzerland, Black] (2017)

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Self Released | 12-4-17

Alright. Fine. Im interested. when I can not find any information on the band or album and it comes steeped in mystery and occult sensibilities, I am embarrassingly in love with it. It certainly helps when the music is a swirling void of focused chaos and well planned ruin. This is where we are with DSKNT, a band that is running on spirits of ghosts and anticipation.

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Antichrist Siege Machine – Morbid Triumph [US, Black / Death] (2017)

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Self Released | 08-17-17

It seems that I am late with this release as Decibel already picked up the stream for it as well as being out for a couple of months. I should have been more aware as I praised the shit out of their demo in 2016. I should have been more on top of this as this group of ruffians is local to my area and I should have heard them making noise. What began as an independent black / death explosion in the middle of Virginia has quickly wrapped into an underground sensation or at least deathcult centered around the immediate snuffing of life.

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Cult of Extinction – Black Nuclear Magick Attack [Germany, Black / Death] (2017)

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Self Released | 9-23-17

I do not review a lot of war / bestial black for a few reasons. Firstly the pummeling sounds of Blasphemy worship can become overwhelming when not ready for the sound. Given that even high profile acts like Teitanblood and Revenge can become endless cascades of torment, bestial black or war metal is directed at a very niche audience. For this reason, it is a style of music that isn’t practiced much and when it is, the earth seems to open up and consume everyone around.

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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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