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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes. Yes. Yes. The stars align and we are given a rough black metal record from a band that has yet to have a Metal Archives page or a second supporter on Bandcamp. These are the moments where I feel I have found something that will be of interest to a lot of people and I am excited to see its journey. Veriluola is a Finnish black metal act which worships the noisy and chaotic beginnings of its genre with a demo that is spilling with attitude and atmosphere with a demo that sounds like Possessed, Celtic Frost, and Venom all are locked inside of a closet and told to punch their way out. I will be the first to admit the band has a lot of things to work out of their sound as Demo feels like a scouting mission to survey the terrain of first wave worship. I have a strong feeling they will find their way and set up a new town on the edge of the frontier between life and death.