Self Released | 12-7-17
Let us be entirely honest and say this is not from 2017. Back in September of 2016, 100 tapes of Under the Mark of the Devil EP were released probably to a small group of people. In 2017, the band put out the Ep again with different art to the protest of no one. Actual release dates get murky when you deal on this level and for all intents and purposes, this death/thrash release can occupy two spaces.
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.
Self Released | 12-09-17
I do not know if I am seeing more electronic based dark music or whether or not I am drawn to it like opium smoke. Gaping Maw is a reconfiguration of an already obscure industrial black/sludge act called Witches Heart. By the look of the Bandcamp discography page, Witches Heart seems to have wrangled an aesthetic and is employing it like alchemy. Gaping Maw is a new project, one that attempts to ritualize the electronic aspect of Witches heart and present a demo (?) of artificial sound and simulated nightmares.
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.
Xenoglossy Productions | 11-3-17
This is a weird split. weird not in a grotesque or horrible way but more in a creeping sense of uncanny atmosphere. Xenoglossy Productions is a newish label from Italy representing a slew of underground European acts. One of their missions is to hammer out a visual style to unite all of these releases under one aesthetic banner. Until this happens, most of the releases on Xenoglossy range from the odd to the bizarre with the Illuminated Manuscripts / Deathvoid being a solemn photo of a canopied bed. Again nothing outright and shocking just a growing sensation that not everything is right.
Self Released | 9-14-17
No Metal Archives Page. No Facebook page. No additional information about this project. Fuck it, I can call this whatever I want since no one seems to be correcting me. With the additional picture of two figures in non metal looking raincoats, the first (?) demo (?) from Skrik poses a lot of questions which are answered in counterattacks.
Self Released | 12-2-17
there is a lot of weird shit to discuss with this record. Just by the Bandcamp alone, we have a set of polyhedral dice, strong allusions to ancient magic, and an album cover that looks like a grind record which even has two purple strips on the edges. I do not know why these things are grabbing my attention other than it seems to add to the mystery of a project which seems to be casting spells via black metal.
Self Released | 12-1-17
I have had a problem with a lot of depressive and atmospheric black only in that there is always a lot to choose from. With this comes the dulling of what is suppose to be the linchpin of the music which is emotional resonance. When you can 50 bands doing the same thing all releasing records at the same time, the impact can be muted. This of course is true for most genres of metal but sort of ruins the aesthetic for certain types. This is why it is interesting when an album art can grab your attention and the music can hold it in place.
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.
Self Released | 11-29-17
Album art is important not only as an initial invitation but also as a showcase for music. Though I can not find any information on the artist “P. Seliverstov” since the band itself has no information, it is going to remain a mystery. The cover for Glance however is entrancing and artfully skilled at pulling the listener into a world of gloomy mastery.