Archive for January, 2017

Nova Scotia, Canada is one of the more remote parts of this world, and with the caveat of Canadian black metal firmly entrenched in the expectations of the new EP from Versifist, you cannot help but have high hopes for ‘Cypher’, brought to us by the unholy duo of Vault of Dried Bones and Iron Bonehead. A scathing pair of songs awaits us…

Swarms of riffage roar from first track ‘Bring Back the Dark’, while an uneasy atmosphere settles in. Punishing black metal blasting writhes within a deathly cocoon, showering your ears with molten fury. A cold, merciless attitude brings to mind Watain, while a decrepit aura shrouds each shriek. Second track ‘…In Tongues’ rises from its grave with insistent acoustic guitar; building the anticipation and the gloom. It morphes into this twisting, soaring slice of esoteric black metal that has this distorted, ugly beauty about it.

If you can find the time to drop the funds, get a hold of this 7” and support this band. Whatever is yet to come from them is going to be excellent if ‘Cypher’ is any indication. Raise thy horns.


Dutch death and roll squadron Entrapment dropped their third full length ‘Through Realms Unseen’ upon the world in November last year, and thanks to Pulverised Records we were treated to a slick combination of devastating groove and sickening death metal.

Opener ‘Omission’ sounds like Bolt Thrower churning out some blues in the practice room. An infectious groove powered by serious low end, and a vocal performance that conjures Martin Van Druren or Karl Willetts to a tee. ‘Through Realms Unseen’ is a lesson in how the simplest song structures can easily become the most effective. Nothing here is wildly technical, or even overly original. But what is here is heaviness, brutality and the kind of ear worming grooves and melodies that’ll keep bringing me back.

The powerful ‘Discordant Response’ is full on death metal strength, while a withering Swedeath guitar tone rips you apart in the savage ‘Ruination’. Entrapment’s wielding of classic British death metal riffs and an ugly, Scandinavian venom leaves you breathless at points. For a world that has been left bereft by the loss of Bolt Thrower, Entrapment attempt to fill that void. ‘Through Realms Unseen’ doesn’t quite match up, but few can and this is a record that flexes its mighty riff muscles more than once. I love it!

Desecrate the Faith - Unholy Infestation

Texan death metallers Desecrate the Faith are a brutal proposition. I mean, you’d expect death metal to be pretty brutal anyway, but these folks take it to new, unholy levels. Their second record, ‘Unholy Infestation’ is due out at the beginning of March on Comatose Music, and it sounds sure to be a weapon of mass destruction.

The unholy noises that belch from your speaker during opener ‘Daemones Nos Ave Satanas’ give you an idea of the punishing death metal within. The low end rumblings of Suffocation, the guttural emanations of Devourment and the uncompromising chug of Dying Fetus; all are adequate comparisons to what Desecrate the Faith bring to the table. The battered, cranial matter soaked table. This is one of those records where the whole thing flows like one endless sea of brutality.

You could try and focus on each particular song, such as the thunderous crush of ‘Shrine of Emnity’, or the bile spewing ‘Sacrilege Reborn’, but it is better as a murderous whole. Set it going and feel waves of brutality crash over you. The guitar work is savage, reminding me of some prime Cannibal Corpse riffing in parts. The vocals are hellish gurgles and the drumming is superhuman in parts. Desecrate the Faith do not do things by half. This fifty three minutes of death metal is precise vicious carnage. And its awesome

Brazilian thrash you say? Well, that’s a country with some pedigree when it comes to that genre and Blackened look to be the next big thing to come hell for leather from South America. They’ve been honing their craft since 2013, and have recently signed with great German label Witches Brew for their debut release, ‘Truth Behind Destruction’.

The sounds of war ripple from your speakers as opener ‘The Front Remains’ launches, a frantic nod to the likes of Slayer and Anthrax immediately. There’s a punkish vibe to it too, but through every song runs a deep Bay Area influence. The infectious ‘Chemical Terror’ writhes with vintage thrash energy, and that’s the most endearing part about Blackened; they FEEL like a 80s classic thrash band despite being so new! Everything from the awesome intro to ‘Into Lunacy’ to the galloping ‘Stay Wasted’, Blackened tick every box.

For me, it could do with a slightly crisper production, but I suppose the rougher mix adds to the charm. ‘Truth Behind Destruction’ is a record that enschews all modernity in thrash, channelling everything that was great about 80s thrash bands and inducing much headbanging. This is a band who’ll send a pit crazy in an instant, and on a label that brought us Toxic Holocaust and Gama Bomb, Blackened are right at home!

Image result for vomit angel

This Danish duo have managed to cleave a great band name from the great metal name quarry, unique as well as evocative. Having their debut EP out on Iron Bonehead also tells you what to expect, as well as the quality underneath. Founding members of Sadogoat, and part of the equally ugly Sadomator, these guys have been spewing unholy black/death into the ether for a long time.

Opener ‘Sadomator’ is a thudding, rough and ready slab of retching death metal with dense, blackened overtones. That’s what you can expect here; some of the most primal death metal stuff there is. This is like an archaic discovery, hidden amongst brutality and technical sheen where the death spirit lives. The relentless ‘Voices in the Wind’ moves with primitive fury; lacking grace and subtlety but making up for it with purity of spirit. This is an eighteen minute assault on anything new and shiny. This is the death metal dragged from mossy crevices; from swamps of cloying tar, from darkness itself. Only that can explain the truly awesome rumble from ‘Female Goat Perversion’.

Vomit Angel are for those of us that can shy away from clean, sharp brutality and embrace the rawness, the murky fetid belch of the likes of ‘Host of Darkness’. The doomy blasting of ‘Time of the Moon’ is my highlight on an EP that should start the wheels turning on a full length. Awesome, nasty shit.



How kvlt are you? You’ll never be this cult; a demo by an unnamed band of Portuguese black metal, possibly recorded between 2012 and 2013. That’s it, all that is known. I was sent this pomo and immediately intrigued. It’s going to be released as part of a three way project from Signal Rex, Óreiða and Harvest of Death, releasing obscure cassette discoveries. So, that’s where we are…

‘Ónefnt I’ is barebones, raw as fuck black metal with an insatiable buzz. A lonely vocal hides in the background, a mourning plainitive voice. Bleak and miserable, yet strangely alluring, ‘Ónefnt II’ is more of the same, except a shade more propulsive, more hypnotising. This demo casts blackened magic upon you, drawing you into its web, leaving you lost and alone. It exudes a feeling of being lost, of being afraid of something intangible, without form or substance. ‘Ónefnt III’ raises the intensity, seemingly building towards something just out of reach.

Well, I don’t know if we’ll ever find out who made this, but this demo is brimming with potential. Black metal at its bleakest and rawest is always a cathartic experience, and the Ónefnt demo is both. Grim as fuck.

When I get personally recommended a record by Transcending Obscurity head honcho Kunal, then I perk up and listen. Ireland’s Soothsayer’s debut record was one I missed, but after absorbing the stuff on show here I need to look out for it. ‘At This Great Depth’ was released just before the new year, so I’m not too far behind!

Two monolithic tracks of atmospheric, sludgy doom are on hand to greet you as you unlock and open the door to Soothsayer’s warm layers of darkness. A gloomy melody peeks from the murk, while a shroud of heaviness slowly descends. This is the black majesty of ‘Umpire’; a collaboration of lurking heaviness just outwith reach and the ghostly, single guitar line that weaves within. Soothsayer’s canvas is a vast, desolate space populated with broken monoliths, a howling vocal wind and bleak loneliness.

‘Of Locust and Moths’ takes on the grinding mantle of ‘Umpire’s finale, and cranks up the uneasiness. The eldritch atmosphere is disturbed by a blasting savagery and unconventional songwriting moments. Accepting the sludgier, more visceral end of doom’s spectrum, ‘Of Locust and Moths’ adds tension, ferocity and variety to a record that shifts form like thick fog.

Emotive, powerful and miserable as hell, ‘At This Great Depth’ allows you brief flashes of hope, before sinking you back into the black, oily tide. Soothsayer hit a crescendo and never look back, and this record is almost too late to be one of last year’s great doom records. So I’m adding it to this year; first great doom record of 2017. Singularly affecting.