Howling Nightwinds – Demo II [Austrilia, Raw Black] (2021)

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Self Released | 3-15-21

I absolutely love that most of these songs just start out with the listeners falling down a hill marred with jagged rocks. Howling Nightwinds is new and with two demos full of raw violence that doesn’t seem to care about proper etiquette. In the span of around 15 minutes, Howling Nightwinds makes a grand declaration of uncaring with a demo full of black metal mixed with punk and also dungeon synth for bookends. This is a demo which is crude and unpolished and perhaps will never be invited for a formal dinner. It is perfect for basements and graveyards and perhaps other haunted places of dismay.

Antikythaera – Untitled [?, Atmospheric Black] (2021)

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Self Released | 3-1-21

At this moment, I enjoy the aesthetic. Untitled release from a black metal act that has no country listed nor is there anything on the internet regarding this release. Anonymity does not substitute for quality but an already interesting release is certainly helped by a lack of information. It feels this release skirts the definition of existence and could disappear tomorrow (has happened before). Antikythaera is here, right now in this moment, making haunted music which is cast like shadows against bleak walls. This demo (?) is less of a release than it is a proof of concept that an entity making this music actually exists. I do not expect this release to be shrouded forever, but at this moment it adds to the enjoyment.

Sulmata – Jad, Otrov i Tuga [Croatia, Black] (2021)

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Self Released | 2-17-21

This has everything I could possibly love in a 20 minute offering. Self released raw black debut demo which has all of its tracks on one side. There is little I can offer in the way of translation for the bandname but the demo name translates, quite nicely, to “Misery, Poison and Sorrow.” It is under the auspices of disease and suffering that Sulmata makes its greatest case for being the perfect harbinger of pestilence. Through its 20 minutes, Jad, Otrov i Tuga looms as a storm of finality over an already bleak landscape at many points in its demo, the vocals and music blur into a hypnotic specter which takes the listener in a dizzying embrace. This is a wonderful demo and one I am proud to keep locked away in a closet for fear of it haunting the world.

Bestial Putrefaction – Gore Drenched Barbarism [Canada, Black / Death] (2021)

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Self Released | 2-3-21

HOLY SHIT. End of review. Most of my reviews are done in the morning with my morning coffee which is why I feel I gravitate to some of the more repellent sounds perhaps as a way to jumpstart my day. Bestial Putrefaction is a new entity with a 2021 demo and now another release which is 17 minutes of fluid leaking chaos. From artwork to sound to general presence, Bestial Putrefaction has found a way to be fucking disgusting without sacrificing on sound. For as much of an avalanche as this release is, Gore Drenched Barbarism is precise in its ability to grab the listener by the throat and never let go with its skeletal hands. Get wild. Get sick. Get your mind ripped open by malevolent ghosts.

Spear of Tetua – Scorn [Croatia, Black / Post Punk] (2021)

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Self Released | 1-18-20

Even though I have a problem with artists calling a two song 11 minute release an EP, it is their prerogative so I can not complain. Scorn, as a release, is fleshed out enough to be considered an EP despite a demo being a better fit. Also the act’s 2020 demo was 18 minutes. All of this audited of time is only superficial criticism on a sound that is widely exciting and is thrown in the wheelhouse of anyone who enjoys grim dark post punk and doesn’t mind the vocals with a little bit more gravel. Through two tracks, Spear of Tetua wrestles with darkness in both a aesthetic fashion but also in the raw shambles of visceral reaction.

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.