Artifact of Skulls – III: Luciferian Blasphemy [US, Black / Death] (2016)

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a2224752056_16There are sometimes when great things just fall into one’s lap. There are other times when it descends from a tree, with the intent of killing, when you are least expecting. Artifact of Skulls is a black/death/war outfit from somewhere deep within the United States that has been on a 2016 tour of wanton destruction and satanic death. III: Lucerferian Blasphemy maybe the band’s first full length but it is just another chapter of basement/garage level black metal which substitutes all aspects of production for the sheer intensity of chaotic devotion.

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Triumvir Foul – Triumvir Foul [US, Death] (2015)

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Blood Harvest | 12-11-15

Blood Harvest | 12-11-15

There is no reason to wait until January to do a top 10, all of the ood albums come out before November. Ack! This is why I need to stave off best of the year lists until well after the year. I have been discussing the cabal of evil formulated by a few guys from Ash Borer. M and R both make up a slew of interesting black and death projects ranging from Serum Dreg, Urzeit, and Uškumgallu. Triumvir Foul was the most death related on the spectrum of noise created by the duo and the self titled debut is nothing short of a chaotic masterpiece.

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Turia – Dor [Netherlands, Black] (2015)

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Haeresis Noviomagi | 11-15-15

Haeresis Noviomagi | 11-15-15

I can say with certainty I have loved everything the Dutch label Haeresis Noviomagi has released. I can say this since it has only been two cassettes. they have been really good cassettes though. the last Haeresis Noviomagi cassette was Lubbert Das, a particularly mind melting black metal which seemed to be dedicated to an old Bosch painting. Turia follows Lubbert Das in continuing the undercurrent of harrowing Dutch black metal which sounds like the last bastion of sanity being razed to the ground.

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Luminous Vault – Communion [US, Death / Black] (2015)

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Self Released | 11-1-15

Graceless Recordings | 11-1-15

I find genres funny sometimes. Not in the sense that they are useless rather they can be a wonderful tool once people find the right way to speak. Luminous Vault is listed under death / black rather than black / death since this US based act shares more in common with slow plodding death than bands who owe more the black metal. This could be needless hair splitting but the fact remains that Luminous Vault is unique in their crypt walking variety of death / black.

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Horns Of Domination – Demo 2015 [Germany, Black / Death / Doom] (2015)

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Self Released | 8-4-15

Self Released | 8-4-15

Horns of Domination is a three piece combo from Germany who seems to have bucked that silly trend of having a bassist in their band. With two guitarists and a drummer, the band has appeared as an unsigned entity now with one self titled demo to their name. I have seen this before. Additionally, with a name like Horns of Domination, I was expecting something I have heard before. It was certainly not this. Sometimes the short format of a demo works in the band’s favor if the music can be so violent that the listener is left with a feeling of horror and surprise.

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Uškumgallu – Uškumgallu [US, Black] (2015)

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Vrasubatlat | 6-12-15

Vrasubatlat | 6-12-15

Just what in the Sam Hill is going on in Portland..specifically with two guys from Ash Borer running around making a bunch of noise and releasing cassette demos with abandon. These two gentleman have been responsible for the release of some really decent black, death, and black/death demos int he past couple of years. Urzeit, Triumvir Foul, Serum Dreg, and now the near unpronounceable Uškumgallu is added to the duo’s idiosyncratic list. The interesting part about all of this is that despite Ash Borer being somewhat of a high profile name in the atmospheric black metal crowd and having their last full length sponsored by Profound Lore, these demos come and go without much of any fanfare or even mention. To what end do these two weirdos from the midwest strive for? Whatever it is, I would like to know as I have completely fallen under the spell of un-publicized black metal.

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Vacivus – Rite of Ascension [United Kingdom, Death] (2015)

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Goatprayer Records | 7-3-15

Goatprayer Records | 7-3-15

UKDM! UKDM! UKDM! Alright, United Kingdom Death Metal isn’t really a thing. In fact, I tried to get a tag going on this site but there were just not enough bands to warrant it. There is death metal from the United Kingdom and a lot of it is really good. In the second age of death metal, there are a few truths and one of them is that good music can be almost anywhere and most likely fucking dangerous.

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Akitsa – Grands tyrans [Canada, Black] (2015)

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Hospital Productions | 6-2-15

Hospital Productions | 6-2-15

There is a certainly which comes with Akista. One knows before they get into the record that things will most likely come with little refinement and most likely sound like a brick being dropped down the middle of an empty stairwell. This is what Akitsa is and probably will ever be. With all of that said, Grans tyrans sounds nasty like previous records and never disappoints.

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Eternal Valley – Ascend To The Unknown [US, Black / Ambient] (2015)

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Self Released | 3-18-15

Self Released | 3-18-15

Sometimes one knows they are going to enjoy a record. A one man black metal project who self releases black metal records about cosmic themes and obliteration? Yep, this should be simple. Eternal Valley was already halfway in the door just by glancing at previous records and album artwork. The deal was sealed however at the oozing synth which washed over the album’s opener “Path To An Astral Existence.” Sometimes riding on convention allows like minded people to flock in droves to a star which just about to collapse and die.

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Seme Konj – The Promise of Coffins [Slovenia, Black / Noise] (2014)

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Self Released  | 2014

Self Released | 4-7-14

For the most part, I really enjoy reviewing new material specifically things that are in the current year. As I have found with lesser known and underground metal releases, dates are sort of flexible when it comes to when an audience will hear it. Take for example and their debut The Promise of Coffins. This release is unmistakably a 2014 record coming out in the early months of Spring. The Promise of Coffins went unheard by the majority of the world until this year seeing a tape / cd release by Glossolalia Records. Make no mistake, Seme Konj will probably be only heard by a few more people but suffice to say that many more people will reveal in chaos.

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