Karcist – Inner Sanctum Immolation [US, Blackened Death] (2017)

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Self Released | 12-21-17

Blackened death is a strange genre to play and even to seek out. While it sounds similar to the black/death style, there is a maddening difference between the two to the point that when seeking one out will lead to dissatisfaction with the other. This is what I find so interesting when bands like Karcist knowingly employ the less popular of the styles and ultimately succeed with the sound.

Inner Sanctum Immolation is the debut EP from a Los Angles based act that is not interested in the tomb of low fidelity. Though Karcist does not have the top tier of production on their debut, Inner Sanctum Immolation could work with high fidelity as much as medium. The fact that the band succeeds at a medium range and manages to make their sound interesting is a testament to a band that has their shit together. Though I think their black/red muddy aesthetic works well visually, the fact Karcist manages to travel outside what is expected for underground metal and still make entertaining music is a near surprise.

Ill be interested to see where this band goes and if they align with any popular trends. Songs like “Incursion of Christ” sounds like it is from a high profile metal band with different art and probably not on Bandcamp. the fact that this sound can be achieved by an unsigned act is exciting to hear if the sound will be explored in the future. Whatever the case, I am sure Karcist will land on their feet somewhere as it seems this band has competent members aboard their horrid ship.

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Erlkonig – Demo 2017 [US, Black] (2017)

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Self Released | 12-19-17

I saw Erlkonig this year at a local festival in the woods. The band is comprised of most of members of Genevieve plus a smattering of other local Baltimore metal musicians. I now feel weird since I not only know these guys but their music is really fantastic leading me to assure people Im not just talking up a band I know.

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Left Cross – Chaos Ascension [US, Death] (2017)

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Self Released

Oh my. I think I would have stumbled on this eventually due to the album cover but Left Cross is a name I have an eye on due to their addition to the Blood of the Wolf Fest in Spring of 2018. Blood of the Wolf has become a fast way of learning about new Midwest/east coast metal/punk/??? bands that drink from the same cup of slime. By the sounds of Left Cross’ debut, the covenant of grime is real.

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Wilt – Buried Amplification [US, Noise / Electronics] (2017)

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Self Released | 12-03-17

Before we begin, let us state for the record this release is technically 2010. From the Bandcamp: “Original cassette only available at the Heavy Focus festival in April 2010. Limited to 5 hand numbered copies.” The one video from Heavy Focus Festival is so bizarre and flabbergasting, the whole thing sort of makes sense. Buried Amplification is at this moment, a record that is for a small audience traveling to an intimate place miles below whatever graveyard we entered.

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Mammon – Luna de Sangre [US, Black] (2017)

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Self Released | 11-24-17

I need to ease up on my pre judgements surrounding atmospheric black metal. For a style that has a ton of directions, I feel I have been jaded to a legion of albums with trees on the cover and a fawning for post rock melodies. Mammon is tagged at atmospheric black on Bandcamp yet does not walk the line of nature reverence, philosophical transcendence, or emotional longing. Rather this Detroit based band feel cold as concrete, full of disease, and possibly undead rot.

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Luceran Lycan Haunt – Arcane Arts Bleach The Skulls Of Forbidden [US, Raw Black / Noise] (2017)

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Self Released | 10-13-17

Well, this it is. I think I have finally lost my mind as the first reaction to all of the tags was unbridled excitement at the possibility of diving into a pool of raw noise and black metal with overt occult themes. Over the course of 2017, I have gravitated towards more power electronics, and noise based projects in a search to keep scaring the shit out of myself. I think October maybe the high water mark or depending on how you want to cast it, the lowest depths of darkness.

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Antichrist Siege Machine – Morbid Triumph [US, Black / Death] (2017)

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Self Released | 08-17-17

It seems that I am late with this release as Decibel already picked up the stream for it as well as being out for a couple of months. I should have been more aware as I praised the shit out of their demo in 2016. I should have been more on top of this as this group of ruffians is local to my area and I should have heard them making noise. What began as an independent black / death explosion in the middle of Virginia has quickly wrapped into an underground sensation or at least deathcult centered around the immediate snuffing of life.

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Akatharsia – No Generation Without Corruption [US, Raw Black / Punk] (2017)

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Self Released | 7-7-17

I was hesitant on putting the raw black tag on this record since I wasn’t sure. Do not get me wrong or misunderstand, the world of Akatharsia is built from bricks of noise and discomfort as their debut record constructs a citadel of torment and unease. I was hesitant on putting the raw black tag on this record since the band also crafts a fine groove with all of these unpleasant elements.

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SunSpell / Suadade – From the Mist… We Are but Dust [US / Canada, Black] (2017)

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Iron Bonehead | 06 – 09 – 17

Reviewing an Iron Bonehead release feels like cheating since this label is legendary for being consistent with their output. Not only does this label find and support great acts, but their status only grows with each release. This is why a split from two up and coming artists isn’t much of a find but rather a sure bet in the gambling parlor of the underworld. Continue reading

BLK OPS / KRVSHR [US, Sludge / Doom / Hardcore] (2017)

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Self Released | 6-11-17

I think I have made mention of my aversion to doom. My hesitance for the genre doesn’t come from my disdain of the sound rather the glut of bands who play in the formula of the style. This isn’t an anomaly in metal as I gravitate towards anything black or death which plays in the genre. Doom and sludge do not interest me as much and aside from this personal preference, there are a few which break through my prejudice. If a band sounds like it was birthed in the bathroom of a shitty dive bar, I am there with outstretched hands.
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