“Tags: black metal, depressive, black metal, depressive blackmetal.” The previous line is not something I initially seek out though I feel atmospheric black is getting back to normal in terms of its output. For a little bit there was a glut of wood themed black metal that was almost indistinguishable from the next. Depressive black can be the same way which is why Afsky is intriguing for its cover depicting the social realist artist H. A. Brendekilde and his most famous painting Udslidt or Worn Out or The Martyr(1889). The use of fine art on covers is nothing new but not only does this painting circumvent the typical artists pillaged for covers but it also transcends the thematic trappings of depressive black with not a noose or suicidal imagery in sight. This is all talking about the visual components to a record that is stunning in its approach and is something that has the potential to be a crossover success among black metal fans and people interested but turned off by its pageantry.
I enjoy how death metal is continuing to be ill and rude even after its slight bump in popularity a few years back. the fact that people are still making gross sounding sewer sludge that has run off from outer world is warm and endearing to my soul. Festering Excarnation is a compilation of two demos that were released in 2018 and 2019. I do not think either of these saw a tape release nor a wide audience. Festering Excarnation comes with the benefit of awesome art fitting of the sound and also a tape release from Extremely Rotten Productions. We will consider this the start for this band and open our arms to welcome the filth.
The Danish translation for the album title is something to the akin of “Four Problems against Mankind.” This isn’t a reference to any book or literary work so it is a mystery until I learn Danish. This semi cryptic beginning is an overture to a black metal release that is wrought with tension and obscurity. Skravl is wound in emotion and uses its black metal structure as a sort of tension/release which is far from unique though works in every sense for this record. The 5 minute track is the only one available on the ultra dark Bandcamp page and I do not expect any more information from this project rather Skravl will be entirely shrouded in cathartic mystery.
Holy shit, how in the world did I miss this. Not only is the album cover fantastic and everything I dreamed of but the sound is swirling black metal madness. Add to this the fact I am completely in the dark to what the name and album title means which means this is my new favorite record. It takes a special album to meet the aesthetic requirements of intriguing and an even greater one to slip by detection.
Mûspellzheimr is not new, rather this is the second full length along with a handful of demos. The lack of band members is to be expected as well as their absence on social media. Nidhöggr (the dragon/serpent who gnaws at a root of the world tree, Yggdrasil) follows the similar under the radar release Hyldest til trolddommens flamme in 2015. Nidhöggr is very apparent in its presentation that the madness which is flung at the listener at the beginning is going to be a theme throughout the record. From wailing to music that feels like it is about to fall apart, Mûspellzheimr redefines the idea of mental erosion with a record that is frayed sanity and composure. Nidhöggr is for a select audience. There really isn’t a single or unique track which would encompass the thesis of this record. Mûspellzheimr , despite a lack of information regarding themes and even the erasure of album tracks for roman numerals, one can surmise the summary of the band’s intent. Through some easy guesswork, Mûspellzheimr ‘s intentions are nothing less than malefic as well as hellbent on being ghastly.
Taphos almost feels well known and well liked among friends I probably do not have. Perhaps it is the sound of grimy death metal with a tone that looms in empty warrens and caves. Perhaps it is the fact their logo looks similar to bands like Grave Miasma. Perhaps it is because there is so much good metal coming from Denmark within the last few years. What ever the case, the third release from this group does more to cement their place in the underworld.
I think it was the cover art for Den ed du har svoret which initially drew my eye with its runic and esoteric markings. It was most certainly the combination of depressive black metal and raw punk rock that kept me locked in the world of misery and strife. Vaabnet is one of of a few Danish black bands found in recent memory with the other being Fanebærer, Lesion, Gabestok, and Blot & Bod. In fact, all of these bands recently played a show together which is how I found the connection. Whatever the hell is happening over there is scary and wonderful.
Yes. Yes. Yes. Sulphurous has been around for a few years but this is another example of a band who is taking their time. With their third demo released in September of this year, the Denmark based death metal band has three releases to their name with a 7 inch reprint of their most recent demo. It is alright. I can wait. We can all be patient for this type of music. I know you can wait.
For anyone not familiar, Alucarda is the name of a Mexican horror film which sees two Catholic orphans which unwittingly summon Satan by way of roving gypsies. The two girls become possessed who then wreak demonic havoc on the convent. The reason why this is important is because the cultish legacy of the film inspired the Dutch doom punk to mimic the general atmosphere of a convent overrun by the Satanically possessed. Alucarda comes by the way of Caligari Records who has already shown themselves as lovers and archivists of both underground heavy music as well as bands who adore horror imagery. Though Alucarda lies on the outside of conventional heavy metal covered on Tape Wyrm, the band’s dedication to the dark arts as well as wild imagery is more than enough to make their debut, Raw Howls, a drug induced motorcycle ride into the depths of psychedelic madnes
Occult doom is a niche style of music that got a lot of hype a few years back after the breakout success of bands like Ghost and Blood Ceremony, who threw back to other bands like Coven and Black Widow. Though the style is undoubtedly steeped in retro worship and heavy costumes, it is undeniable in its coolness. On the surface The Hyle is another occult acolyte offering a record that substitutes surprises for tried and true charm. While this is half true, the depth at which The Hyle travels is more subtle than other acts of the same style.
This is how one meets their demise — through a concentrated burst of terror and deconstruction. Abalam, the full length debut from Danish death squad Hexis, has been out for a few months. In fact, Hexis released Abalam close to the beginning of the year. Since then, the band has released a split with Primitive Man and been spreading dark clouds of pestilence over parts of Europe. I did not want this year to go by without acknowledging a record which has the ability to make fields of crops spoil with disease.