Cirsium Kollektivet | 3-28-18
“”Gestank returns with even darker atmosphere and a thinner production than on the previous recordings.
Enjoy or don’t !” — I have been laughing about this for the past few weeks as it is clear this is not meant for enjoyment. I mean, I enjoy it but it is nice to know no one cares. Also from the Metal Archives, “Gestank” is the German word for stench. Fantastic.
The description of this EP is correct as the band’s previous demo “Hail Intoxication” was more involved in the production. Rathymns is closer to the band’s almost meta demo “Anti-Aesthetic Warfare,” though this current release is much more focused in a productive direction. There is so much to do when you point your gaze towards hate and destruction and explore the endless misery of human existence. We are going to go with the genre of black to start but really Gestank can be thought of a lumbering wretch of music which oscillates between lurching misery and rabid violence.
Gestank comes to us on the leathery wings of Cirsium Kollektivet, a Swedish tape label who already brought us things like Kwestia Kwasu and Vomit Kult. Gestank fits into the this weird collective which seems to be centered on unearthing some of the weirdest ways to cry out in anguish. I am sure that I will enjoy this and it is good to know no one cares if I do or don’t.
One of the more confusing things about this project is it sharing a name with a progressive sludge band from Denmark. Though this is not the first time two bands have shared the same name, the fact both of them are unsigned and relatively on equal levels in terms of popularity makes it confusing at first. Just make sure you are in a cathedral of sadness before listening. Check your surroundings. Are there bells tolling in the distance masked by rain?
Spellcraft Ceremony is a debut 30 minute album (?) from a one man project heavily influenced by the works of Ruins of Beverast. I only say that since the tape version of this comes with a Ruins of Beverast cover. Even outside of tribute songs, the general atmosphere of gloom and inescapable doom which permeates this record is palatable. The atmospheres created by one person never feels stretched or thin and works well as a declaration of sadness voiced by one lone soul.
Spellcraft Ceremony currently is up for tape preorder limited to 100 copies. This tape is being released in collaboration with Moriendi Music and Corde Raide Productions. The only familiar thing I found with Corde Raide is being the only label to release Labyrinthique’s Demo MMXVI. Even if you do not want the Ruins of Beverast cover, the digital version for Alkymist is priced at 2 CAD which will buy you a ticket to a land of perpetual dusk.
Caligari Records | 3-1-18
I feel at this point I could run quarterly feature going over all of the new Caligari material and still be pretty happy. I try not to hover too much on certain labels like Fallen Empire and Vrasubatlat as constant coverage would make me seem like a fanboy despite the fact thier output being above average. This is the case for Caligari records who have consistently gone above and beyond in finding gems from around the world which worship at the altar of death and disease.
Evil Priest is from Peru and two years ago this trio released a stellar demo of classic sounding death metal. Since we are past any era of a genre resurgence, the classic death sound for Evil Priest is a thematic celebration of death metal’s most famous competent which is riffs and darkness. Guitar solos, 5th gear snare drumming, looming intros, and guttural vocals all make their appearance in a demo which sounds between here and 1991. Aside from the sound, Evil Priest is young and virulent enough to be a force which will be around for much longer as Black Seeds...of Creation sounds like the band is halfway having fun and half way really serious about this whole death thing.
Self Released | 2-1-18
The fact I can’t listen to more than one song from this EP is hilarious as it is infuriating. The mail order distro which is attached to this band, Blud Auk also has its samples on Soundcloud. It seems to be my fate finding really awesome music that sails international waters in terms of formats and presentation. What is important however is that I have found some clues and leads to a cavern of death and rot whose location is only known by those already infected with spiritual sickness.
Despite Goring Christ only having one song, listening to the Final Laceration demo shows a band ready to smash windows and use the pieces to inflict harm on whoever is closest. This is the trenches of black / death / punk / war / bestial and whatever other avatar of horrid music that comes from the lose of goodness. It is fast, gross, and undeniably fun. Goring Christ and the greater Blood Auk label has found an aesthetic and a distribution method that seems to work for fanatics of slime and grime. I will make any addendum to this review if the rest of the EP turns out to be any different than what is present on the previous demo or preview track. If the band suddenly changes to symphonic progressive, Ill be sure to post a follow up. For now and until that point sit back and die a thousand times over.
There 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.