Sores – Demo I [Greece, Black] (2017)

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Self Released | 3-21-17

Since we are not keeping track, this recommendation was totally stolen from a friend who also scours the internet for cool black and death demos. I would have found this eventually but it is good to have more eyes lest we all miss something. I say this all now since the debut demo from Greek black metal act Sores is not only blistering buts its precision execution combined with what sounds like the band turning to ash and cinder is something remarkable.

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Sickdeer – The Wretched of the Earth [US, Black / Death] (2017)

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Self Released | 3-20-17

I am going to be completely honest and say my attraction to Sickdeer comes from they are local to my area and I am scheduled to see a few shows with them as a support. Finding local music is fantastic as you can both enjoy music, support music, and possibly drink beers with the creators in a parking lot outside the show. I am just joking, that would be illegal and that sort of thing never happens.

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Repulsive – The Flesh Domain [UK, Death] (2017)

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Self Released | 3-10-17

March comes in like a unholy desiccated lion and out like a thunderclap. I think I got that right. Repulsive is difficult to search for as they share a similar sounding name with a classic and pioneering death metal band. If you do manage to find this UK based Swede worship band, then you are in for a horrid creation. With everything in the right place, The Flesh Domain EP is one of the more entertaining death metal releases of the year if nothing else than for surgical precision.

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Ashen Chalice – Ritual Under The Blackened Moon [Croatia, Dark Ambient / Noise / Black] (2017)

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Self Released | 3-10-17

Ashen Chalice is more like a journey than a destination. Finding a Croatian black noise project that isn’t even listed on the Metal Archives is sometimes as exciting as listening to whatever was put to proverbial tape. The aesthetic of Ritual Under The Blackened Moon toes the line between dead serious and tongue in cheek humor. The tape design is there as well as the black metal tropes. If it was not for the effectiveness of the three songs, I would have moved on by now.

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Muka – Sveta Stoka [Croatia, Black / Death] (2017)

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Self Released | 03-07-17

Thanks to Muka for breaking a pretty nice streak of black and white album covers. It is okay, since the cover for Muka’s newest EP comes drenched in pale yellows and cold greys as it really frames a record that is both uninviting and entrancing. I do not know if my translation is correct but the internet tells me the name of the EP comes out to something like “Livestock Council.” This either makes all of the sense or none of it.

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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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Time Lurker – Time Lurker [France, Atmospheric Black] (2017)

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Les acteurs de l’ombre production | 06-02-17

This review takes some projection as this whole album will not be out until June but all of its material is already available as of late 2016. I have some sympathy for bands who put out material late in the year when the years are turning. I am pretty neutral on rereleases on wider distribution. I also have less sympathy for atmospheric black metal bands. Time Lurker pulls at many emotions for me and if it wasn’t for this French band being so enthralling, I probably would have moved on by now. The fact I am still here must mean something.

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Nornír – Urd [Germany, Black] (2017)

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Northern Silence Productions | 3-3-17

Hopefully you are ready to run becasue whatever is chasing you is getting closer. From the not so ice bitten lands of Germany comes a band that is less innovative as they are aged in experience. With a decent sized EP to follow their 2015 demo, Nornír steps onto the stage to offer entertaining black metal with the jaws of hades.

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Cioran – Bestiale battito divino [Italy, Black / Punk] (2017)

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Caligari Records | 1-13-17

Oh fuck, this is goddamn gross. Already from the support from Caligari Records, I knew that Italian act Cioran would be horrid sounding. Named after the turn of the century Romanian philosopher who espoused pessimism and misery, Cioran has constructed an anthem of decay. With the tags of hardcore punk sitting next to black metal, imaginations run wild as Bestiale battito divino shapes up to be one of the more blistering releases of the year.

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Angel Morgue – Angel Morgue [US, Death] (2017)

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Self Released | 2-16-17

Yes to everything about this. From the sound to the name to the album cover, Angel Morgue fills a very order for people seeking cavernous death metal which wouldn’t be welcomed in any places of worship. The aesthetic which drips from this band in trails of slime is notable as their self titled EP debut hammers away at the bells of hell.

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