Cryptworm – Verminosis [UK, Death] (2018)

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Self Released | 4-30-18

All hail Bulldozer Death! This is my personal tag for music that sounds like an unmanageable amount of gravesoil pushed onto a listener at once which slowly becomes their demise. This is what Cryptworm sounds like and it is as fun as it is intimidating. Following their well received 2017 demo, released on Goatpryaer, Cryptworm sets out by themselves to deliver ten tons of gravesoil on hapless victims.

From the beginning of this 11 minute EP to the very end, Cryptworm rarely takes time to rest. No intros, no ambiance, no space to breathe, Verminosis could be the definition of “straight and to the fucking point.” While this EP lacks the atmosphere of other rotting death bands of recent years, Cryptworm makes up for it with some wild and ascertaining riffs combined with the smack to the face with a tombstone attitude. Also the pick slide on “Cadaveric Flesh Engorgement” was one of the most fun experiences I had all day. All hail the sundering of life.

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Cist – The Frozen Casket [Russia, Death / Thrash] (2018)

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Camo Pants Records | 3-16-18

I do not think I have so thoroughly entertained with music while being baffled by the name of the record label. Camo Pants Records is either a goofy name with no meaning or some hidden tongue and cheek reference to death metal fashion. I think I spend so much time discussing this aspect as Cist’ Frozen Casket is the inaugural release for the UK label and if subsequent records are going to be as good, then we need to get this name thing worked out.

Cist is a Russian outfit with an unabashed infatuation with 90’s US death metal and 80’s European thrash. I know this because their Bandcamp page states they are “high speed, manic, death thrash, forged through an uncompromising meld of eighties era Tampa death metal and aggressive European style thrash.” Cool, we know where to start. Pestilence, Death, Solstice, and Obituary are all ghosts which hang around this newcomer and by the sounds of their first EP, this band nails everything about the sound. Though I usually applaud bands for not becoming too absorbed in costume, my love for old school death eclipses everything else and songs like “Antisceptic” are sugary and sewery in its enjoyment.

I still have no idea what the record label name means but I am willing to waive them through as long as things like The Frozen Casket keep getting produced. Camo Pants and Cist make a strong declaration for the beginning of the year and provides a wonderful soundtrack for Valentines Day. This holiday, spend it in the arms of 90’s era death / thrash and die a thousand times.

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Lord Rot / VHS – Split [Scotland / Canada, Death / Black] (2018)

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Self Released | 2-13-18

I do not know why this makes sense but it does. The split between Lord Rot and VHS allows one to experience two different types of horror. This is why I have constantly praised the ideas of split as you are allowed the opportunity to come into a release that is curated by more than one band. For the most part the aesthetic is aligned and in other cases, it is the synergy between two types of horrors which sets the tone.

Lord Rot is a Scottish based one man death metal band whose sound is bleeding into black / thrash metal with all of the flourishes indicative of a full pice outfit. The two songs belonging to this act are not only electrifying but sharp as a rusty knife that is being waved as a threat. This split acts as the first release in a few years following a successful EP all the way back in 2015. This is most likely due to the fact that James Mcbrain is also behind the more renown Hellripper whose 2017 release Coagulating Darkness was the toast of the underworld. The Lord Rot project is similar just with more pulp / slasher flair.

VHS stands for Violent Homicidal Slasher though I feel the band loves the nostalgic acronym as horror movies and Video tapes sort of go hand in severed hand. The VHS side of the split is dedicated to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre with 4 songs and about 5 minutes devoted to Leatherface and chainsaws. If one was looking for irreverence and the sound of tripping while watching horror movies then VHS just might be the insane time you need.

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Eofor – Demo 15 [UK, Raw Black] (2017)

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Legion Blotan | 12-22-17

Good lord, I do not even know if I should be listening to this. No Metal Archives. No Facebook. IU am actually just guessing at the country as the only information seems to be repsresnation from a local faction called Legion Blotan which represents a slew of raw black and death acts. The things about anonymity is that there is an aesthetic adopted by bands by psudonymns and intentional erasure of information, then there are bands like Eofor who walk the line of existence.

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Vessel Of Iniquity – Vessel Of Iniquity [UK, Black / Noise] (2017)

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Xenoglossy Productions | 12-29-17

Something I always enjoyed about this time of the year was the complete lack of caring by labels and bands for end of the year lists. December is usually a dead zone for larger labels and bands as most of the year lists are being generated. there are some who do not care about frivolous cycles of release and there are others who will wait until the last hours of the year unleash terror.

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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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Tome Of The Unreplenished – Cosmoprism [Cyprus, Ritual Ambient / Noise] (2017)

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I, Voidhanger Records | 2-3-17

Back in 2015, Tome Of The Unreplenished sounded different. It isn’t that much of a change but the Cypriot born now British band’s debut was much more geared towards atmospheric black metal that frayed at the edges of concrete. Cosmoprism: The Theurgy – Act I shatters all bonds with the material world and travels towards the celestial nothingness with an EP that attempts to fathom the unknowable and reign in the horror of the indescribable. This, of course, will not be done in 4/4 time or with any sort of musical structure.

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Inculcator – Void Abecedary [UK, Black / Thrash] (2016)

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Caligari Records | 5-23-16

Caligari Records | 5-23-16

Ohhhh goodness, my head. It is swirling with madness and chaos. Inculcator is a black / thrash project which looks like it falls in line with the Voivod / Vektor mission of space based thrash. Once you learn that Inculcator is a one man side project for the one man band Abyssal, things become clearer. Oh wait, did I say clearer? I mean more disconnected and crumbling to shambles. That is what I meant. If you ever want to know what it felt like to be hit by an asteroid in zero gravity, please take a step towards Void Abecedary.

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Sunsunmoon – Pagans in Medieval Times [UK, Black / Ambient] (2015)

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Self Released | 10-31-15

Self Released | 10-31-15

Doing end of the year planning can be disheartening because I know quality releases do not care about months and schedules. Take Sunsunmoon, a British black metal band which oozes as much charm as it does synth. This demo came out in October and it just surfaced on a larger radar. We are entering into the cusp era where great 2015 releases are going to be buried until next year or even the year after. If bands could just stop releasing things now until January 1st, that would be wonderful.

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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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