Sewermeister – Subterranean Ceremony [?, Raw Black Metal] (2021)

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Self Released | 1-25-21

Well, this is certainly wonderful with morning coffee. there are some releases which feel like they shouldn’t exist or at least try their very best to be repellent to the mind and ear. Subterranean Ceremony is one one of them and I hope it stays on Bandcamp throughout the year as these types of releases tend to disappear after I write about them. Sewermeister is steeped in ritual and this under ten minute offering is less a demo than it is a pastiche of noise and texture which resembles black metal. To some that feels like a negative but to others, it is exactly what they need. Through darkness the heat of chaos pours through this demo offering clarity or just wild abandon for all that seek its wisdom. This might sound grandiose yet this type of raw black metal is wonderful for anyone that is into its sound as the mystery and violence of it aligns with black metal’s history and ultimate mythos. That or it is just a cool sound that scares the locals. Your choice.

Nighthaunter – Phantasmal Journeys into the Morbid Past [UK, Raw Black] (2021)

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Self Released | 1-2-21

Welcome to 2021. As this site develops into a dungeon synth haven, I want to make sure I dig into the grave soil for some truly horrid black and death metal demos. Phantasmal Journeys into the Morbid Past is the first demo from a UK project that could be a solo venture or a group but since Nighthaunter is without a Metal Archives or social media page, we are just going to guess. With the lack of information comes a vacuum of space that fills with thrashing and boney kicks to the face from an obvious ghast that has tracked you through this cemetery. Raw and unkempt is the perfect way to enter into this year with fear and terror.

Vultures Ov Veles – Demo 2020 [US, Raw Black / Noise] (2020)

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Self Released | 12-3-20

All I want in life is to listen to ear shattering noises at 8:46 in the morning with a cup of black coffee and an overcast sky. I have no idea who Vultures Ov Veles is or why they decided to add anxious noise into their already caustic black metal but this declaration of ruin is everything I want right now. Demo 2020 perhaps will not reach many people as that initial welcome of noise is enough to send any sensible person in the other direction. For the weirdos that are still here however, Vultures Ov Veles is a sound that keeps people honest in their weirdness and allows everyone to revel in the pitch black.

Funerary Decent – Tombreach [US, Black / Doom] (2020)

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Self Released | 11-28-20

It has been a little bit since I reviewed something that was not dungeon synth but I feel the return to something heavier is fitting that it is so gloomy. Tombreach, the first demo since 2016, marks the return of the Maryland based two piece in a time of great uncertainty and dread. “Unprofessionally recorded, rife with mistakes and experimental notes straight from our malignant dwelling to yours. A small respite from the horrid plague-ridden reality that has veiled the globe. Mourn with us and enjoy.” I can not think of a better demo to break the quasi silence form this band than a demo full of lingering sadness and tolling grief. Through its 24 minutes, Funerary Descent showcases a mastery over negative emotions with a demo that is far above the quality purported in the Bandcamp description. Tombreach is a dazzling demo that has the ability to astound and drown in the murk and mire.

Morgued – Demo [US, Death] (2020)

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Self Released | 11-2-20

This demo is really only a little over 7 minutes though I feel it is just long enough to make its point. Morgued is dedicated to the splatter sounds of old death metal and while that isn’t new territory for a lot of bands, this Boston based two piece comes with the trajectory of a right cross and what the band lacks in length, they make up for in ferocity. This debut demo is dedicated to the scrawled sketches of violent sci fi which aside from being adorned with clips from Starship Troopers, oozes a reverence to gritty futurism that is most likely filled with aliens.

Hammer Crime – MMXX [Canada, Black / Thrash / Punk] (2020)

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Self Released | 10-16-20

Hammer Crime is strange and wonderful all at once. Resting at a confluence of black, thrash, punk, and groove metal, this Canadian band makes a demo that really just is an ugly brick thrown into your window. Now will I say all of this is refined and perfect? Absolutely not. Is it effective in its window smashing and ability to command attention? Yes. Look at all of this glass. From name, to sound, to just general vibe, Hammer Crime is delinquent in its behavior and probably shouldn’t be trusted around sharp objects or flammable materials.

Dust Drinker – Sky Burial [US, Ritual Ambient / Noise] (2020)

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Self Released | 10-7-20

This fits in both camps for this blog and possibly neither. I do not know if this album is correctly tagged as ritual ambient but the Bandcamp used the tag “ritual” and I am going to run with it. Ritual ambient has been an interest for me partially due to its nebulous nature. Caught between drone, noise, and dark ambient, the style has been noted for its spiritual undercroft combed with a pageantry for the bizarre and supernatural. I have no way of knowing if Dust Drinker’s Sky Burial possesses these qualities but its songs regarding death and passage is certainly in the correct unsettling ballpark. With a churning drones and a rattling cacophony, Sky Burial is less an album and more of a call from the ether. I do not know if this possesses the spiritual natural akin to most ritual ambient but it certainly is possessed.

NECROTUM – May The Dead Rise [Romania, Death] (2020)

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Unholy Domain Records | 9-21-20

I am writing about the cassette release of Necrotum’s May The Dead Rise. It is limited to 100 tapes and can be purchased for 6 Euro plus whatever shipping. If you are not interested in picking up this tape, then you can travel over to the band’s page to pick up the digital for 4 euro. I make mention of this as Nectorum has 4 releases this year, two demos, one single, and a full length. All of this momentum seems to be have done through the veil of Covid and unaffected by whatever safety measures are in order. Nectrotum is unconcerned with the living world and is instead focused on the rotting version which is scrawled into a notebook at the back of the class. May the Dead Rise is a great entry point for the band who have laid at the foot of the altar of old school death and want nothing more to play riffs inside a tomb.

Demon Goat – Messenger of Doom [US, Black] (2020)

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Self Released | 9-11-20

I want you to forget a few things. I want you to forget the tags on this Bandcamp page. I want you to forget the fact that this creator played in Khemmis for a spell. I want you to forget the fact that Demon Goat has a dizzying amount of releases since 2016. I want you to forget about the name Demon Goat. I urge you to forget all of these things and take Messenger of Doom for what it is minus everything that it is attached to. With that you are given an entry into a world of depressive black/doom which is a deluge of catharsis and maligned emotions. I do not want to discount past work or any connection with other bands rather I feel Demon Goat works the best when given a chance to speak and shriek its way into the fabric on your soul.

Deathevn – Deathevn [Poland, Black] (2020)

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Self Released | 9-20-20

This is a striking and exhilarating demo from a new Polish band that I most certainly shared to make a joke regarding the name. Deathevn is the work of Warped Blasphemer who also lends his talents to Dagorath, Nurt Ognia, and Xarzebaal. Detheven was said to be created in three days and the immediacy of it is apart of a network of standoffish atmosphere that makes me feel bad for mentioning their name and similarities to popular post black metal bands. Detheven doesn’t give a shit about my jokes and this 22 minute demo is a crawl against the fiery floors of damnation. It is unrelenting, without compromise, and above all else not in the mood for humor.