Skrawl – Nil [US, Black / Punk] (2019)

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Knife Vision | 1-13-19

Hello again Knife vision. I see you are looking particularly grim and vile today. It was only a week ago I stumbled on the Arnor demo and a whole page of interesting looking things. Now it is time for Skrawl and but the opening crash of black punk, this is something I can sign up for and enlist in whatever army they are forming. The recent influx of new black / punk bands as some nightmarish manifestation of raw torment is something that has never stopped being fun and horrid sounding. Skrawl continues this journey into the groovy madness with a sound that is like kicking televisions and an aesthetic that I want to put on a patch right away. It is only the first month of 2019 and Knife Vision needs to stop being so cool otherwise I am going to look silly when I keep writing about these releases.

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Arnor – All Eyes to the Frontline [US, Black] (2019)

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Knife Vision | 1-12-19

I do not really know. I do not know about a lot of things. I do not know why I missed these Knife Vision releases seeing they have been out since 2014. I do not know where Arnor is from but I am going to guess the US. I do not know what the rest of this release sounds like as it comes out in a few days. I do not know a lot of things about Knife Vision but I wish I knew more. All Eyes to the Frontline is the perfect release to focus on as I unlock this grim mystery box.

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Męka – Ending My Life to Destroy Yours [US, Blackened Death] (2019)

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Redefining Darkness | 2-15-19

I actually am at a lose to what the genres are. I can usually either pick them out or go somewhere else to confirm. That is more difficult when the band has zero internet presence outside a few reviews and their music is a maelstrom of genres and chaos. Enter Męka whoese special character is going to push it into further obscurity. Perhaps this is where it belongs — in some basement corner of existence throwing up strange liquids. If that previous sentence sounded gross, you are halfway to the caustic tone of a band that sounds like it gives less of a shit what you did for half your life. This band is also going to push me to rethink blackened death as a sound as I never truly believed in it. I may still be confused about genres and Męka is at the root of this confusion. Eat glass. Smoke insects. Worship nothing.

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Warp Chamber – Abdication of the Mind [US, Death] (2018)

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Redefining Darkness Records | 11-3-18

Warp Chamber’s demo was actually released in the early part of 2018 much to the knowledge of no one. In fact social media pages got creative when linking soundclips leaving 12 hours of Warp Engine drone to stand in for the band. Only few knew about Warp Chamber until Redefining Darkness welcomed the band into the fold along other luminaries such as Skullcrush, Oxygen Destroyer, and Cist. True these names wont get you special seats for fine dining but it is a start. Much like other Redefining Darkness releases, Warp Chamber makes no apologies and breaks glass with old glass breaking techniques in the vein of Morbid Angel if the band read too many science fiction magazines. Come for absolution. Come for Obliteration.

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Lathliss – Demo [US, Black] (2018)

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Self Released | 11-10-18

Now this is a demo. It is difficult to describe what makes one bedroom black metal demo different than another since to some it all sounds the same. I do not think it even has to do with the quality of the recording as there are some boring raw black demos as there are exciting ones. Lathliss is exciting and it is not just one aspect of this 5 track demo which makes it special rather a litany of aspects (such as the gong) which make it engaging and ultimately successful. From the album cover aesthetics, to ferocious energy, to the leadup in “IV,” Lathliss is a great start to what I assume is the start of a project. I have not found much information on this artist other than this Bandcamp page. With this being the only thing released, one can assume we are witnessing the birth of a bright horrible star which I hope burns in everlasting hatred.

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Svabhavat – Black Mirror Reflection [US, Black] (2018)

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Self Released | 11-5-18

I love not knowing what to make of things. It also helps when the band doesn’t have any information as of yet to guide my judgments. I guess we are going to have to evaluate the merits of Svabhavat on its own. What I can ascertain is a visceral yet refined approach to black metal which does not bog itself down in noise but in that clearing comes the opportunity for some dynamic attacks from what sounds like a swarm of ravens. While Black Mirror Reflection may not have the most unique approach to lyrics, being entirely devoted to necromancy and evil, they do have a novel path towards execution. Caught between the refined nature of production and an almost feral approach to music, this EP just might be a great introduction to a sound which is covered in soil and sticker bushes.

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Azath – Demo 2018 [US, Death] (2018)

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Caligari Records | 9-9-18

Malazan themed death metal? I have to know these musicians in some fashion. Yep. The world is not that strange. Malazan Book of the Fallen is a popular fantasy series consisting of 10 main books and dozens of related novels. I am not here to geek about fantasy literature rather put into context that as a thematic focus, it works for the raw unrelenting sounds of bulldozer death. Though the series sports high magic, gods, and thousands of years of history to go along side its thousands of characters, fans of the series will nod their heads and agree that “yeah, this makes sense.”

Azath as a band is related to the various world of Ripped to Shreds, Draghkar, Grave Spirit, and Begrime Exemious. The coalescence of talent and worlds could only result in high nerdy combined with what sounds like tombs being imploded and the dust settling on writhing undead bodies. This demo fits into the idea of a demo meaning it is a horrid stretch of things to come but for the people who digest this sort of thing on a regular basis, this is going to be filling for quite sometimes.

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Temple Ash – I [US, Raw Black / Noise] (2018)

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Self Released | 8-23-18

Who is ready for the abyss? I hope you are serious because we are going into the depths of madness. Temple Ash is a new band with, unsurprisingly, little information regarding members, location, and day to day functions. What we are given instead is a short deceleration of warfare on our philosophies, a bitchin cover, and a hellish 10 minute demo which raps apart the subconscious with a rogue bulldozer. Throughout my travels with extreme metal, I always find it refreshing when I find something that makes me wide eyed in horror and disgust and the death industrial black noise detonation of Temple Ash is something that I will most likely never forget.

Noise and noise related metal can be hard to do as its obscuring qualities can easily overrun the music. Temple Ash’s invocation of noise is much like a call for a plague which swarms its immediate area. Through the haze of blown out vocals and distant percussion is a discordant structure as well as harrowing soundclips. Through all of this chaos is an exhilarating push towards aggression as all of these replacement parts allow the first demo from Temple Ash to truly become a declaration of war on things once held true. Even if this demo does not achieve its philosophical goal, then once still has a demo which is shocking still in 2018.

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Oxygen Destroyer – Bestial Manifestations of Malevolence and Death [US, Death / Thrash] (2018)

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Self Released | 4-5-18

We are going to be honest and say that from the surface and on paper, Oxygen Destroyer looks goofy. With a gimmick surrounding kaiju films and some beer drinking promo pictures on their Metal Archives page, this band looks to be funny if not disposable. Lucky for everyone involved, Oxygen Destroyer has thrown themselves onto the altar of old school death / thrash and made an album that is wild and eviscerating first with fun coming close second.

It is difficult to be picky when it comes to aesthetics surrounding metal. Most of heavy metal’s imagery is goofy with part of it being heralded as classic while all others being gimmicky. Nuclear abominations are not a far reach for thrash and monsters born of radiation seem to be in the wheelhouse for death / thrash. While Oxygen Destroyer probably lost a large audience not being over the top parodies dressing in Godzilla or Mothra costumes, the main draw for Bestial Manifestations of Malevolence and Death is the complete worship for bands like Morbid Saint, Sadistic Intent, and Demolition Hammer. What Oxygen Destroyer lacks in marketable gizmos, they make up for with an absolutely crushing record that would be perfect for drinking beer and chewing concrete.

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Act of Impalement – Perdition Cult [US, Death] (2018)

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Unspeakable Axe Records | 09 – 31 -18

Holy shit, this thing is not going to be released until late August. Why am I so excited for this record despite the fact there is only one song for preview. What is it about death metal riffs which makes me wait on the front steps until the doors open? I usually balk at the idea of albums no being available to me whenever I want. I am also wary about the prospect of preview tracks for albums that are months away from release. This all goes out the window when it is death metal, being released on Unspeakable Axe Records, and really fucking good.

Act of Impalement is from North Carolina and has been seen up and down the East Coast putting in work around local venues. Perdition Cult is to be the bands debut and by the sound of the first “single” Pax Romana, it is going to be a hellish hootenanny which will end with at least a few injuries. Fans of old school and grimy concrete floor death will appreciate the tone and structure of a song which waves the standards of music meant to immerse and suffocate. I still can not believe I have to wait here until August but I am sure once the leaves begin to die, it will be time for the world to rot.

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