Crom Dubh – Heimweh [UK, Atmospheric Black] (2015)

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Ván Records | 3-29-15

Ván Records | 3-29-15

Crom Dubh is interesting for a variety of reasons. First of all this 4 piece is interesting for their addition into the UK extreme metal scene whose both black and death production has been fantastic in the last couple of years. Second of all, Crom Dubh’s debut Heimweh is worthy of note specifically for the band’s employment of the atmospheric style which is smooth and well oiled. Heimweh comes on the wings of a few other silent demos and EP releases and is even now shining bright on a lonely hill waiting for more people to show up. Though audience is relative, Crom Dubh’s relative obscurity is surprising given the sound which could be appealing to a wide spectrum of listeners. Perhaps Heimweh will be the time which the sky cracks open and pours ink black water over this land.

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A Forest Of Stars – Beware the Sword You Cannot See [UK, Psychedelic Black] (2015)

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Lupus Lounge | 2-27-15

Lupus Lounge | 2-27-15

Would you look at that cover? I literally have zero idea what is happening between the dragons, beasts, and goddamn robots. A Forest of Stars comes with a mountain of expectations with their name, album title, and general style of “psychedelic” black metal. It would be easier if this band was just disciples of post rock and made long black metal landscapes which had crescendos and piano interludes. The fact that this British band has so much more weird shit in their album is cause for pause, praise, and possibly alarm.

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Ethereal Shroud – They Became the Falling Ash [UK, DSBM / Doom] (2015)

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Self Released | 2-21-15

Self Released | 2-21-15

Ethereal Shroud was one of Tape Wyrm’s first reviews back in the early years of 2014. The 2014 cassette release of 2013’s Absolution|Emptiness was a fantastic step into the worlds of sorrow and desolation from a relativity unknown artist. Despite me raving about this project to everyone I knew, Ethereal Shroud has been still hidden from the greater public. Perhaps this will be the year that a dark cloud blots out the sun.

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Space Witch – Space Witch [UK, Sludge / Doom] (2014)

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Self Released | 7-3-14

Self Released | 7-3-14

I mean, come on. Why not? Space Witch’s debut full length begins with a shlocky sci fi clip of a maniacal overlord wishing destruction on earth. Afterwards, a slow deluge of stoner doom floods the landscape while effects dance in the air. By looking at the tracklist, Space Witch’s self titled release has two songs both coming in at 30 minutes. It does not take a genius to figure out what the next hour will be and smell like. With all of that said, this British band manages to make the best of expectations and give its listeners a wild ride through mind melting cosmic space.

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Adversary – Adversary [UK, Black] (2014)

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Exitium Productions | 6-14-14

Exitium Productions | 6-14-14

I have made it once of my prime directives to find as much cool stuff from 2014 before the year closes out. I know I will still be finding really good black and death demos for the next few years but at least, for now, I am frantically searching for as much as I can find. These searches are made easier when one stumbles across an amazing label which is devoted to some very dark underground heavy metal. Exitium Productions, which is now closed, has been working for the past two years in putting out some of the most frightening black and death metal. The last remaining demos and full lengths sound the funeral bell for a label that just discovered. Adversary seems like a fitting place to start.

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Nolti Nan Gana Nan Nolta – Death by the Venomhammer [UK, Black / Thrash] (2014)

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Self Released | 8-1-14

Self Released | 8-1-14

Yes. Yes. Yes. This is another band I am going to sort of muffle when I try to say their whole name. Thank the gods the band sometimes go by their shorter acronym NNGNN which still sound like you are muddling words. Regardless of any pronunciation, Nolti Nan Gana Nan Nolta is a British black thrash whose dedication to the sound of Celtic Frost, Abigail, and Bathory, could come off as worship if the band was not so capable of making a solid debut EP. If one enjoys riffs, attitudes, and a release with the name “Venomhammer” in the title, then Nolti Nan Gana Nan Nolta will be the best thing you hear this week.

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Grey Widow – I [UK, Sludge / Doom] (2014)

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Self Released | 1-14-14

Self Released | 1-14-14

I am going to have to make a special note on which albums are being self released in 2014. The reason for this interest is that the divide between label representation and independent status could be in name only. While certain labels possess resources not available to every band, the possibility of reaching people is very real. I had no idea who Grey Widow was until their music came in by accident and smashed all of my front windows.

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