Blood Ouroboros – Demo MMXXII [USA, Black / Death] (2022)

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Self Released | 2-14-22

This is one of the coolest demos I’ve heard in the last few years – and that superlative isn’t for its own sake. Blood Ouroboros put out their first equally-awesome demo in 2020, which captured the attention of not a few extreme metallers who like their guitar leads at that curious superposition of melody. Two years later, and we have another – the appropriately titled Demo MMXXII. This leads from the very start with pseudo-punky black / death rhythms and chugs that show remarkable songcraft abilities within this two-piece. The production has that ever so slight guitar crunch to it, which only adds to the wrung-out growls. It’s all full and fire – and full of fire. On their Bandcamp page, the band implores “any label” who wants to release on tape to get in touch with them. I can only hope that this write-up into the aether will help them with that goal. Besides, I want one.

Demo MMXXII by Blood Ouroboros

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

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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.

Mharasiidr – En Uggles Blick [Denmark, Raw Black] (2022)

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Self Released | 1-22-22

i wonder if I could capture the essence of ugliness in a sound. Mharasiidr is from Denmark and for the debut EP, this project has decided to smear the world with black gashes. With a ferocious typhoon wall of raw black, En Uggles Blick embraces atonality, dissonance, and also the inclusion of two musicians who play traditional northern European folk instruments which are paraded in the EP’s last track like some condemned prisoner being drug through the streets. Mharasiidr presents a world where everything is horrid and there is little chance of redemption. What is left is a riot of chaos which takes its form as a debut EP from an intriguing band of misfits.

Faceless Entity – The Great Anguish of Rapture [Netherlands, Raw Black] (2022)

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Argento Records | 4-15-22

We do not have much to go on at this point. All we have from the Netherlands based Faceless entity is one track from their new full length, a previous release, and a bunch of images and thematics that seem really fucking cool. From just the sound profile of the preview track “Decaying Banners of Existence” when compared to the multipart segments for their 2017 full length In Via ad Nusquam, Facelsss Entity has made great strides in terms of sound. While both of them are still in the raw black universe, “Decaying Banners of Existence” cuts with a more robust sound while still sounding as menacing as recently freed banshees. Combine this is the spectral ectoplasm cover and and air of mystery which builds walls around this release and one could be excused from becoming excited. I will wait until April but everything for this new full length is a promising escape into the void.

Deadyellow / BOBAK – Unbound [US, Black] (2022)

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Self Released | 1-20-22

There is something rotten in the state of New Jersey. I do not know where Bobak calls home but I am going to assume it is near an overpass in the northeast section of the United States. Both bands Deadyellow and Bobak had under reviewed full length debuts in 2021 and this followup EP might be a way to call attention to both projects. Deadyellow brings accessibility to this EP in only so much as the sound inst ear shattering upon arrival. The two songs from the New Jersey project shows the remnants of a post black sound with hints of melody. this is of course dissolved in the second track “Aporia” which is more visceral and ultimately more interesting. The two tracks leads into three from raw black act Bobak. In the style of Bone Awl and other acts found on this site, Bobak screeches and claws violently through three tracks leaving nasty gashes and a lasting impression. This EP does its duty by highlighting two up and coming acts that may have been forgotten throughout the year. Unbound is a reminder that there are horrid things hiding in grisly places.

Smoke – Ralvurahvavuimago [Netherlands, Raw Black] (2022)

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The Throat | 1-5-22

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This is where we are going to have to clarify a few things. Ralvurahvavuimago by the Dutch black metal project Smoke was released on tape in 2012. You might have missed it. The Throat is a Dutch label that not only releases new works but unearths obscure releases from the past that you might have missed. I believe I would have remembered Ralvurahvavuimago as it has the capacity to make its lister physically ill. With a wall of noise and chaos which pull at the core of its audience, Smoke is the embodiment of of terror. Part of my excitement comes from discovering this label as one more resource into Dutch black metal as it continues to be a region of dark and never-ending misery. This is said in the highest regard as after listening to Ralvurahvavuimago, I need to lay down for a bit and rest.

Kjedsomhet – Reh. MMXXII – Horrors Of The Dungeon [Italy, Raw Black] (2022)

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Self Released | 1-4-22

We are going to start the year off right with some exercise, better eating, and horrid sounds from the dungeon. Kjedsomhet is an Italian black metal project that might be one person or a group of musicians working at a very quick pace. Since November 2021, this project has released four full lengths, two EPs, and one Rehearsal/Demo we are reviewing here. The way Kjedsomhet uses releases is reactionary as the tracks tend to be quite lengthy resulting in a lot of material that might not even be distinguishable from each other. The world of Kjedsomhet is bleak and tracks like the 20 minute opener “Fangehullets Redsler” (Danish for Horrors Of The Dungeon) feel like magical invocations to some horrid creature from the void. It is noisy, repetitive, and ultimately devoid of compassion. Horrors of the Dungeon poses lots of questions with not all of them being answered. Perhaps 2022 will bring closure to these inquires but for now we have a very gross declaration of putridity.

Albionic Hermeticism – Brittonic Ways [France, Black] (2021)

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The Hermetic Order of Ytene | 10-15-21

The Hermetic Order of Ytene is a collective of black metal and experimental music bands based out of the UK and France. Naturally, their lyrical themes primarily explore esotericism with a distinctly UK volkisch bent. As far as can be told, the primary creator behind most of these projects goes by the pseudonym “O.W.G.A.” – of which Auld Ridge’s Consanguineous Tales of Bloodshed and Treachery has ended up being one of my favorites of the year with its blend of furiously riffy black metal and neofolk. Albionic Hermeticism is another (awesome) part of the Order – though this band plays more straightforward black metal with some minor death metal influences. Where Auld Ridge is sublime, Albionic Hermeticism is raucous; this release has far more discord and way less gorgeous melody compared to Auld Ridge, though still firmly within “classic” black metal aesthetics. Two stand-out tracks include “Ciele Uppan Fells” with its tupa-tupa beat and “Summon’d Orlaeg” in the brash 11 minutes of fire.

ꙂꙨѮŮӜŮѮꙨꙂ – ŶᾦϚӾѺᾦѺӾϚᾦŶ [Iceland, Experimental Black / Death] (2021)

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Self Released | 10-8-21

Alright, I’ll be frank: I hate the aesthetic here. Esoteric letter-dumps make me think of hard drive failures, not occultism. Anyone can use alt codes! But if this demo were judged on cover alone, then it would be a mistake; this is some serious experimental shit. When people hear the phrase “Icelandic black metal”, they’ll either think “oh you mean hollow, dissonant black metal with complex song structures” or “what’s a black metal, and what are you doing in my kitchen”. ꙂꙨѮŮӜŮѮꙨꙂ (please don’t crash my browser) hits different: instead, we have lo-fi black / death with significant drone influence. Imagine a Sunn O))) and Ride for Revenge crossover album (at the risk of entertaining Pitchfork-esque analogiers): you have the drone and hoarse vocal collaborations taken by the former and the Tartarean black metal of the latter. Bassy chomps serve as the analogue to guitars, with filtered protestations serving what can only be loosely described as a vocal mix. This demo is far up there for anyone even remotely interested in the “experimental” tag, and at 28 minutes it’s the perfect length for wanting more without having less. Tracks 3, 4, and 7 are the most awesomely unsettling; but that’s like asking “which episode of The Prisoner should we watch tonight”. It’s going to be weird no matter what.

ŶᾦϚӾѺᾦѺӾϚᾦŶ by ꙂꙨѮŮӜŮѮꙨꙂ

Weathered Crest – Blossoming Of The Paths [Austria, Raw Black] (2021)

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Self Released | 10-13-21

Somewhere in the dark forests (?) of Austria lies a hovel in which a creature stirs. This creature has bene apart of projects like Brånd and Kinga and is the work of Vritra. While also running the label that releases work from all of these projects, Vritra seems to be at the center of a dark and uncaring world. Blossoming Of The Paths is the first full length from the project Weathered Crest and similar to other entities, it is a sharp and crude extension of unprocessed emotions. With a wall of noise that the music barley breaks, Weathered Crest makes music in the same way objects fall downhill with the momentum of emotion and mood dictating the direction. Abrupt starts and stops are only respites from an avalanche of black poison which is at the center if this recording. I have already expressed my love for noisy black metal and the tone employed by Weathered Crest is so fitting to its atmosphere as Blossoming Of The Paths is the underside of a cinder block left out in some cold field for years. It is ugly, raw, and entirely cathartic.