Kryatjurr of Desert Ahd – Unbearable Nightmares of Heat and Desertification [Australia, Raw Atmospheric Black] (2022)

Standard

Self Released | 6-30-22

I have spent a considerable amount of time searching for the meaning of “Kryatjurr” and looking up any references to the name. What I have surmised is I know less about this Australian project than when I started. Obscurity seems to be a veil for Kryatjurr of Desert Ahd as this black ambient project comes with little information and is even supplemented by potentially misleading lyrics. “tauhn ruo eerufg” is a jumble of the title “Haunt our Refugee which is part of this EP’s closing track. If I am spending most of this review talking about the puzzle it presents, it is because the music for Kryatjurr of Desert Ahd is deeply immersive and leaves one in an abstract space after it is finished. Through lo fi black ambient, this EP presents a charred landscape that is constantly transformed by fire as if destroyed and then rebuilt once finished. The cover for this release presents a confusing picture of dark hands reaching out from a void which is fitting for music that is continually interesting and foreboding.

Dracoempericon – Dracoempericon [Australia, Death / Black] (2021)

Standard

Self Released | 11-14-21

Kap started off the year with reminding us that vegetables are a decent addition to one’s diet, and exercise will occasionally benefit your body and mind. I’m going to kick off my first post of the year with one of those albums that I’m pretty sure all 40 listeners on YouTube are people I know from the Discord network where it was shared. (Indeed, a Google search of this album brought up all of their Last.FM networks.) Dracompericon has no page on the Metal Archives, no member information, and no presence on social media outside of a lonesome Instagram account… and yet they are undeniably rooted in the fiery bowels of Australian black / death. Even the release date is suspect; the YouTube videos say November 2021, but that’s likely the date of upload and not the date of release. Even more so, one must wonder who is a part of Dracoempericon – this LP blasts out the gate with that ever-so-slightly reverbed production and exceedingly constructed extreme metal. To what other bands can I compare Dracompericon – and perhaps muse on potential membership? Well, I hear a bit of the frenetic spider-hand guitar playing that might point to Horror Illogium of Vomitor and Portal. There’s a bouncy bass aesthetic that doesn’t sound too out of place from StarGazer, though with such an emphasis on capital-A Atmospherics with hints of melody poking through the discord on the longer compositions such as “The Moon Is An Eye”. Whether a late addition to 2021 or an early favorite for 2022, Dracoempericon is an out-of-nowhere masterful addition to the Australian black / death canon.

Check out the LP on the band’s YouTube channel here.

Vorvadoss / Magic Find – Moondrawn, Foul​-​Crescent Rapture [US / Australia, Dungeon Synth / Dark Ambient] (2021)

Standard

Attic Shrines | 1-21-21

When I found Attic Shrines, I knew I wanted to highlight this tape label. Lucky for me, there was only one release this year which makes it easy to frame in terms of releases since this is the best Attic Shrines release in 2021. I have always had an interest in drone/noise/ritual ambient and find its relation to dungeon synth fascinating since this type of synth is always lying underneath other genres like some interconnected catacomb that anyone can enter if they get lost enough. Attic Shrines may release more infrequently to the average dungeon synth artist yet their tapes are from some of the more intriguing artists. This combined with a underground black metal aesthetic and one has dungeon synth that has been left in crypts for centuries. Moondrawn, Foul​-​Crescent Rapture is a split between Australian Vorvadoss and US Magic Find. both tracks which equal to around 30 minutes are a wonderful blend of depressive noise and dissonant memories which float through ruined cathedrals at dawn. I look forward to following this label even though they remain ghostly and elusive. Dungeon synth comes in many varieties and it is always wonderful to find more to be haunted by.

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

Standard

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.

Flesh Megalith – Flesh Megalith [Australia, Death / Doom] (2020)

Standard

Self Released | 8-6-14

Tags: metal, cavernousdeathmetal, doommetal, Australia. I feel everyone can remember a tie when cavern death was rampant and both good and generic releases were flooding bandcamp with labels devoting their roster to bands and albums with slimy sounding names. Flesh Megalith could have been apart of that wave and perhaps if it would have been releases in the mid 00’s, it would be glanced over. Luckily we are in 2020 and the sound of subterranean gloom can be appreciated. Flesh Megalith is here to remind us what the sound of glacial doom can sound like and give veryone a chance 100 years to dig our own graves. Flesh Megalith is the solo side project of the solo raw black metal act Burier. It is these two bands that wecan start tomap themindofits creator and abovr and below ground seem to be haunted with creatures of pure darkness and demise.

Moon – Saturn Exerzitium [Australia, Black] (2020)

Standard

Self released | 6-14-20

So this is an interesting place to start with Moon. While some would think this is a new hot demo from a fresh artist, the entity known as moon has been operating for .. more than 10 years. The Saturn Exerzitium demo is the first release in 5 years following a 2015 full length. The Saturn Exerzitium demo is also a change in pace for the artist as it presents two lengthy instrumental black tracks that despite the lack of vocals presents a world full of horror and cold. While instrumental black usually never retains my interest, the landscapes of misery and toil are vivid in the world on Moon with a complete picture painted by the artist. I do not know if I would approach the other material but for now this is incredibly entertaining.

Continue reading

Opium Grave – .​.​.​and the rest is silence [Australia, Black / Synth] (2020)

Standard

Self Released | 6-5-20

This is good. This is weird. This is not for everyone. I believe the perfection in this release is its unbalanced quality. Opium Grave is an Australian one member black metal project that surrounds themselves with a matter or weird artifacts. Coming into the short demo is like walking into a curio shop and being greeted by hanging skulls and strange bottles. There are a lot of things that do not make sense but the low synth and distorted vocal samples are enough to pique interest with the crashing harsh dissonance to cement that curiosity in place.

Continue reading

HECATOMB – Horrid Invocations [Austrailia, Death] (2020)

Standard

Self Released | 3-27-20

If you have not seen the band’s profile picture on Bandcamp, take a gander at a raw and grainy photo which completly fits the music. Somewhere out in the woods are two figures weilding rusty tools in your face. There are about a 12 Hecatombs so it is difficult to parse through all of the different bands but if you ever get lost travel towards the sound of ripping steel and animals going into a frenzy. In this short debut demo, the listener is given a glimpse of chaos which has perpetual motion and a force which tears through the countryside. Through blown out production and an air of raviging terror, Hecatomb has made a demo that is one of the most powerful statements this year. To what they are declaring, I do not know, but I am frightened and enthralled.

Continue reading

Miserable Creature – Miserable Creature [ Australia, Death] (2020)

Standard

Self Released | 1-19-20

It should be noted that all proceeds for this cassette release will be going to the Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) Bushfire Emergency Fund. Despite the monetary contributions from this new death metal act, I can appreciate the sentiment, especially given the band being from Australia. This cover is everything I love about finding tapes on the internet. Ripped from an old RPG manual and photocopied 10 times, the aesthetic of thick death over thin pages is something that has always drawn me. Miserable Creature has something here and I am excited to see this band progress over the next year in a crowding genre of lo-fi death. If anything this band possesses a party spirit which is sure to shake coffins and wake the dead.

Continue reading

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

Standard

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.

Continue reading