Gorephilia – In the Eye of Nothing [Finland, Death] (2020)

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Me Saco un Ojo Records | 10-2-20

It is difficult not to get excited about this sort of thing. Death metal has been through its trails and tribulations for years with subtle niches and styles for any discerning listener. In fact, if one would like to hear a spectrum of death from the very bloody to the more abstract, they need not look far. Gorephilia, despite its name sake, resides in the middle of this spectrum with traditional death metal that is here for the sole purpose of playing riffs into the void. In the Eye of Nothing is the bands third release and despite some minor recognition at on end of year lists by internet users, the band has yet to break into the the larger public sphere. Perhaps this record, which is full of looming horror will do the trick. I am certain it has for me.

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Diabhal – M M X X [US, Death] (2020)

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Self Released | 8-1-20

All hail the bulldozer. When discussing death metal from the last few years, there is a certain strain of hip rough edge death metal that relies mostly on riffs and gross looking album covers. This is wonderful death metal but has become apart of an aesthetic that bands can easily subscribe. Diabhal eschews this tradition with a more vintage style of death metal which crushes its listener with a steamroller. Instead of an album cover with two colors and a JCard layout, M M X X appears as if it came from 1995 from a semi mainstream label. Being from NYC, I had a preconception this band was going to be older and possibly with one or two shaved heads. Much to my surprise, the group appears to be young and spry and just into covering songs by Baphomet. Let’s hang out and get crushed by heavy machinery together.

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.

Töxik Death – Sepulchral Demons [Norway, Thrash / Death / Punk] (2020)

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Self Released | 8-22-20

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.

Disrupted – Pure Death [Sweden, Death] (2020)

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Self Released | 10-9-20

There is a long and detailed history of Swedish death as a sound as it has come to influence and sway the actions of many new bands. The atmosphere if ripping chainsaw guitars and the grinding d misery of mid tempo death is something that is retained in the hearts of devout followers. Disrupted loves Swedish death but also when it is mixed with d-beat which smells like kerosene. the result is something that can be heard, as the band puts it in the Bandcamp page, in the work of acts like Bastard Priest or Bombs of Hades. It is a specific variety of death metal which doesn’t like to wallow or loom rather to chase down its listener wielding power tools. Pure Death is the third record from the band who has yet to achieve sort of recognition their production is ready for. I wish them the best this year since this sound is gnarly.

Sulfure – Neurotisme [Canada, Black] (2020)

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Self Released | 8-15-20

I am excited beyond belief for this demo. Not only is it blistering black metal from Canada but it is also the debut demo from a elf released entity. These are all things which this site strives to showcase and Neurotisme could be the embodiment of this mission as it gallops on spectral horses to trample its listeners. Rather than let a sound run itsway through 3 or four tracks, Sulfure continues to confound its listeners with multiple tracks of snaking black metal that slithers its way through a dynamic landscapes of rot and ruin. This is a release that will live in memory if for nothing else than it is sure to haunt its listeners.

Ascended Master – What Was .​.​. And What Shall Be Again [US, Death /Thrash] (2020)

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Self Released | 8-14-20

Fuck yes. Even though it took me a few seconds to decide where to jump, once falling inside this record became an absolute joy. Ascended Master is an Ohio based death/thrash act that worships at the altar of the old masters while making a blistering demo that is nothing short of fun and excitement. It might be odd to describe a death/thrash demo like that but for as fierce as What Was .​.​. And What Shall Be Again is, at the core of its existence, a desire to astound the listener with riffs and musical prowess. Ascended Master is up for this task with 25 minutes of a raucous party in the underworld that is here to shred and slash their way through listeners.

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

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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.

STAGNATER – THE GUILLOTINE DEMO [US, Grind / Death] (2020)

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Transylvanian Tapes | 8-7-20

It has been a minute since I checked in on Transylvanian Tapes and much to my surprise and abject horror, this label has a slab of new releases that are certain to inspire terror. Stagnater is a Boston based grind act that follows the genre’s cure on song length but manages to condense fierce death/grind in under 2 minutes. Add to this the embrace of black / death visual aesthetics and one has a raucous time that is akin to a smashed bottle before a bar brawl. For fans of Pig Destroyer and just general mayhem.

Celestial Sanctuary – Mass Extinction [UK, Death] (2020)

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Redefining Darkness | 8-28-20

Right now I am going to be talking to the three of you that recognize that this demo was released late year year and is thus not apart of 2020. I know and you know but for the rest of us that missed this short slab of looming riff worship. Aside from having one of the best names in recent memory, Celestial Sanctuary nails the related tags of kneeling at the altar of Benediction and Cancer with a short demo of horror and laid back decay. This demo is seeing another round of promotion on Redefining Darkness with a chance to get their out of print tape that was limited to 25 copies.