Dosanjos – Heterogeneous Hieratic Areopagus [Brazil, Black / Death / Noise] (2021)

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Self Released | 1-13-21

Welcome the new year. Welcome horror and dismay. Dosanjos does not have a Metal Archives nor can I really find any information related to the band which leads me to beleive they are just demons from Brazil that vomit forth noise. I am fine with this. Heterogeneous Hieratic Areopagus is not an easy listen and for a fan of raw black, this album is one of the more soul scraping releases in recent memory. With a soundscape which evokes unease and an atmosphere riddled with anxiety, Dosanjos exists to promotes distress and Heterogeneous Hieratic Areopagus is a thesis in misery. I know for some this tone of music is everything they could possibly hope for as this type of weirdness is magnetic.

Gravkväde – Grav | Ruin [Sweden, Black / Funeral Doom] (2020)

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Self Released | 11-20-20

Going to be real honest in saying, it took me forever to spell this band’s name. Perhaps it was the crushing weight of emotion which comes with this release. The below link to the Bandcamp page goes to the Transylvanian Tapes site which is producing the 2021 tape run for this 2020 release. Funeral Doom is a very distinct genre yet its scene, outside of the founder and a few disparate releases, is not as fertile as lets say black or death metal. This could be due to many things but hearing Grav | Ruin was a dark joy as the band combines the ferocity of black metal into the monolithic template of funeral doom. This makes songs like “Begravningskör” at 18minutes not feel like an eternity spent in darkness. While the previous description sounds wonderful, it is the variation which Gravkväde shines. In the landscape of ruin and despair, Grav | Ruin offers both passive mourning as well as more active despair which manifests itself into an extended stay in purgatory with only mixed emotions for reflection.

Gorephilia – In the Eye of Nothing [Finland, Death] (2020)

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Me Saco un Ojo Records | 10-2-20

It is difficult not to get excited about this sort of thing. Death metal has been through its trails and tribulations for years with subtle niches and styles for any discerning listener. In fact, if one would like to hear a spectrum of death from the very bloody to the more abstract, they need not look far. Gorephilia, despite its name sake, resides in the middle of this spectrum with traditional death metal that is here for the sole purpose of playing riffs into the void. In the Eye of Nothing is the bands third release and despite some minor recognition at on end of year lists by internet users, the band has yet to break into the the larger public sphere. Perhaps this record, which is full of looming horror will do the trick. I am certain it has for me.

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Diabhal – M M X X [US, Death] (2020)

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Self Released | 8-1-20

All hail the bulldozer. When discussing death metal from the last few years, there is a certain strain of hip rough edge death metal that relies mostly on riffs and gross looking album covers. This is wonderful death metal but has become apart of an aesthetic that bands can easily subscribe. Diabhal eschews this tradition with a more vintage style of death metal which crushes its listener with a steamroller. Instead of an album cover with two colors and a JCard layout, M M X X appears as if it came from 1995 from a semi mainstream label. Being from NYC, I had a preconception this band was going to be older and possibly with one or two shaved heads. Much to my surprise, the group appears to be young and spry and just into covering songs by Baphomet. Let’s hang out and get crushed by heavy machinery together.

Deathvoid – Terrace [Switzerland, Noise / Black] (2020)

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Xenoglossy Productions | 9-4-20

There are often times when the noise tag for an record comes as a cosmetic aesthetic. the addition of noise in production can add a certain raw edge to music that is already feral in sound. There are often times when the noise tag is apart of a genre and has surrendered its sound the the formless void of a style I might not fully understand. Deathvoid’s is something I understand though it is a record which I only have the most basic of grasp on with the threat of it dispersing into the void. Deathvoid appeared on a fantastically frightening split with Illuminated Manuscripts. That particular release was my first foray into a haunted world where ghosts did not linger in shadows rather cause bodily harm from the ceiling. Terrace continues the band’s descent into artsy formlessness with a landscape of horror, unease, and feral spirits.

Töxik Death – Sepulchral Demons [Norway, Thrash / Death / Punk] (2020)

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Self Released | 8-22-20

The tags for this record are black / thrash / death / punk and to what percentage is anyone’s guess. Töxik Death care little for being balanced or even correct as the band’s second full length does more for their thesis of destruction than any previous release. Reviewing a band with a larger history is unique on this site as most bands are new or have a few releases before the one being reviewed. Töxik Death is approaching nearly 20 years of being formed and Sepulchral Demons feels like a fiery debut that is setting the stage for a whole career of madness. Sepulchral Demons sharpness the band’s focus from their earlier work and presents a future of old school heavy underground metal worship in a sound that doesn’t feel costumed rather galvanized by the the decades old quest for disorder. Come on and come all for the festival of the ruined.

Affliction Vector – Death Comes Supreme [Netherlands, Black] (2020)

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ARGENTO RECORDS | 9-25-20

There is something about artwork depicting Jesus getting run through by demons. This description and accompanying artwork might be ostentatious but it is fitting to Death Comes Supreme, a grand declaration of bestial noise. The Bandcamp page sports names like Mayhem, Voivod, and Bolt Thrower which are three different styles but all fall under one focus of ruinous chaos. While the page only has one song, which cuts off at the end, Affliction Vector comes shambling to the forefront like some stuttering specter with claws and a terrifying presence. Affliction Vector reminds us of the dangerous quality of black metal only in the fact that its rough edges have a chance of carrying disease. This is a haunted releases and the fraying of ones minds under intense spiritual stress.

Evaporated Sores – Ulcerous Dimensions [US, Death / Noise] (2020)

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Sentient Ruin | 9-3-20

If I was going to guess where this act originates, It would be “different places” as the two members from the few bands listed on the Bandcamp profile hail from Mississippi as well as Oregon. We are going to assume Evaporated Sores is a digital project though I could be wrong as the sound is cohesive enough to be recorded live and by cohesive I mean a focused tornado of ruin. Ulcerous Dimensions is the debut (?) release from Evaporated Sores with vinyl and tape coming from Sentient Ruin. One may notice the noise tag in the headline with this release not being truly apart of the harsh noise genre but its sound is drenched enough in caustic chaos that it was worth noting. Evaporated Sores is a mystery in many things mostly for their existence and their ultimate plans on what they plan on doing here as their wake leaves scorched earth.

Disrupted – Pure Death [Sweden, Death] (2020)

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Self Released | 10-9-20

There is a long and detailed history of Swedish death as a sound as it has come to influence and sway the actions of many new bands. The atmosphere if ripping chainsaw guitars and the grinding d misery of mid tempo death is something that is retained in the hearts of devout followers. Disrupted loves Swedish death but also when it is mixed with d-beat which smells like kerosene. the result is something that can be heard, as the band puts it in the Bandcamp page, in the work of acts like Bastard Priest or Bombs of Hades. It is a specific variety of death metal which doesn’t like to wallow or loom rather to chase down its listener wielding power tools. Pure Death is the third record from the band who has yet to achieve sort of recognition their production is ready for. I wish them the best this year since this sound is gnarly.

Dysylumn – Cosmogonie [France, Progressive Black] (2020)

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Signal Rex | 10-3-20

O first want to pay special recognition to the artwork of Karmazid who graces the cover of this release. Karmazid has also done work for Andavald, Bewitcher, Chevalier, Draghkar, LVTHN, Malokarpatan, Urfaust, and a whole host of other acts with their distinct style occultist imagery. Perhaps this is what brought me into the page for Dysylumn’s third full length Cosmogonie. To be fair with the lyrical themes tagged as Psychology, Hallucination, Space and a sound which is akin to climbing on the ceiling of an abandoned castle, I would have made my way here eventually but having artwork that fits the mood is fantastic. Cosmogonie is being released by both Signal Rex and Egregor Records and for now you only get a song but I am sure all of this is enough to keep you in this unhallowed place until the fateful hour.