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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Vomit Spell – Demo [Germany, Death / Grindcore] (2019)

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Self Released | 1-2-19

What a name. I love everything about it. I love the artwork and the fact it is a bandcamp demo that will later have a cassette release. I love the energy and the fact that I was clued into the release by the creator via email. Vomit Spell is a newish act from Germany that combines both the ferocity and irreverence of grindcore and the raw approach of death metal. The result is everything you have wanted combined with an aesthetic that is less innovative than it is tested and true. According to the Discogs page the demo was “recorded in the band’s rehearsal room between September and December of 2018.” We are just going back to all basics with this one. This is the staring point for all things festering. There are hazy boundaries when something is decomposing and giving off an awful stench. Come for death. Come for speed. Come for the decay of offal from an unidentified source.

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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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Miscarriage – Imminent Horror [International, Sludge / Doom] (2018)

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Self Released | 12-31-18

I was initially repulsed by the email i got titled “Miscarriage” but later still repulsed when I finally listened to this record. This email I got from the creators stands as the only evidence this band exists outside of a Facebook page, Bandcamp, and perhaps some awful hovel in the middle of Hell. If you are here for the sludge doom tag, you are in the right place but pretend those things you love now chase you through a landscape of nightmares and nausea. Now take those feelings and extend it over an hour and you will be close to understanding the terror of this record. This is not for the faint at heart or even the fully stable in mind. This is perdition in musical form and I can’t help but love every second.

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Grave Infestation – Infesticide [Canada, Death] (2018)

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Self Released | 12-31-18

In 2019, I want to amass a collection of gross sounding death metal. Thank you 2019 for giving me my first of this year’s collection. If you ever want to hear what blood stained concrete sounds and tastes like, allow Grave Infestation to overtake your beating heart. Wild guitar solos, ridiculous soundclips, and a band photo which looks like it has been run through a copier 100 times, this Canadian act is here to be antisocial and make jokes at funerals. I am just joking, they wouldn’t be invited anyway but are here to tip the casket. This is everything I love and am so glad I keep finding this stuff.

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Favorite Releases of 2018

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Demos / EPs / Splits / ETC

Full Lengths

Rotten Tomb – Live for the Death [Chile, Death] (2018)

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Self Released | 12-15-18

It is sort of late for a great 2018 death metal record and it is never really a good time for a live album but here we are. This sort of lackadaisical approach to actually releasing a record seems to be the marching orders for Rotten Tomb who has the look, sound, and feel of a hip grimy death metal band and has yet to release a studio effort in 2018. Both the Live for Death release and the 2018 Promo are live recordings which further casts grime on a band that lives in the sewers. Perhaps 2019 will see new material from this band but for 2018, it is live recordings and cold flesh for the rest of the year.

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Gallery of Shame – Absolute Silence [Canada, Raw Black] (2018)

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Self Released | 09-31-18

There are few things in this world which get me interested like a one track demo that sounds like broken glass and looks like photocopied misery. Gallery of Shame barely exists with the only way of acquiring a cassette is to write and email to what I assume is the creator. I do not think Ill ever see this physically but at least int he digital realm, Absolute Silence is a harbinger of disease with a plague of lo fi misery following in its wake. I use the tag “raw black” only as a distinction between the other bedroom black metal that doesn’t reveal in the atmosphere of broken noise. Gallery of Shame not only reveals in it but seems to be empowered by antisocial guitar tones, trashcan drums, and razor shredded vocals. While these elements are at anyone’s disposal, it takes a certain project to turn mounds of debris into a kingdom of misery and rot.

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Dødknell – K.I.L.L [Australia, Black] (2018)

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Self Released | 11-16-18

YES. YES. YES. Few times does a sound make me want to whip a bottle across a crowded bar as a mating call for violence. Dødknell makes me forget about my inhibitions and also my threshold for pain as with these riffs I feel I can take on the world and everyone who has a fucking problem. Located somehwere between Australia and hell, Dødknell channels the aggression and styles of first wave black metal and mixes it with riffs, punk aesthetics, and kerosene and sets everything ablaze. In under 20 minutes, Dødknell makes and introduction and then makes sure that 5 things are broken before they leave. Rude and completely out of line, this is music for the drunk and disorderly and it is utterly fantastic.

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