Archive for August, 2017

Cosmic Void Ritual - The Excreted Remains of the Sabatier System
American death spouter Cosmic Void Ritual are here to drain you of your life energy with their new cassette ‘The Excreted Remains of the Sabatier System’. The work of one mysterious individual, Cosmic Void Ritual have got a very early 90s sound, combined with labyrinthine song structures and unusual timings, creating something dark and disturbing. It’s out 6th October via Blood Harvest Records.
The savage ‘Leaking Alien Sacrelige’ opens this tape with chainsawing riffs and an incomprehensible grunting roar. Death metal is heading more and more into this dark path, where odd atmospherics pervade the space behind riffs. Production values sound worse, but are actually better at conveying the nastiness in each song. A magma like flow of dissonant death riffs spill over through the relentless ‘The Fall…Relic Death Spells…’, and while the underpinning riffs bring to mind Autopsy, Dismember and the like, the strange notes lurking in the background are a little more Gorguts.
I’m not sure what the Sabatier System is, but if this tape is a record of a dying planetary system somewhere in the voids of the universe, then I can see that. Otherwordly, violent and manic, Cosmic Void Ritual sound cavernous, and their rituals are conjuring up something quite, quite mad. Excellent stuff, grab it when it comes out!

Don’t tell me Invictus Productions have found another stunning band lurking in the underground to unleash upon the world? I’ve enjoyed a lot from this label recently, and Antiversum’s cosmos destroying debut full length ‘Cosmos Comedenti’ looks to be another fine addition. You fancy some warped death metal that looms straight from the jaws of infinity? Come with me…

It almost makes sense that Antiversum are Swiss, as they come from a place where the works of the mighty Giger are possibly spawned, and the hellish riffworld of Tom G Warrior. Opener ‘Antinova’ is immense, vast, challenging you to observe its scale. A crushing monolith to death, infinite death, not just mere physical mortality. ‘Cosmos Comedenti’ is beyond what we can conceive as the end. Dissonant, disturbing, a shape shifting piece that suffocates under disjointed belchs of vocals, the almost ritualistic tribalism in the gloomy ‘Chao E Orta Est’ is terrifying.

Antiversum feel like they’re searching for a place in our space. In the same way bands like Portal or Mitochondrian are reaching beyond the ‘constraints’ of the genre into spaces unknown, Antiversum are reaching in from the outside, looking for death metal as an anchor to hold themselves steady in the currents of madness. The harrowing closer ‘Nihil Ad Probandum’ groans with black energy, writhing out into the empty void. ‘Cosmos Comedenti’ is a record that will drain you of everything inside. It’s worth every moment.

https://invictusproductions.net/shop/antiversum-cosmos-comedenti-cd-pre-order/

https://invictusproductions666.bandcamp.com/album/cosmos-comedenti

https://www.facebook.com/antiversum

From the home of rock and roll Memphis, Tennessee, comes Namazu, whose debut album ‘Works Cited’ is a blistering combination of hardcore and heavy metal, in the style of Black Tusk or Red Fang. Typhoon Killer Records is dropping the record at the end of September, and it definitely seems to be worth your hard earned cash.

Immediately infectious, Namazu come across as a hybrid of Mastodon and Clutch, with a soulful heavy metal riffing style encased in rough guitar tone. Songs like ‘Gunwhale’ drive onwards, like a melodic river under a sun scorched sky, and the chunky ‘Bright Boys’ kicks like old Torche. It is immensely satisfying when you read that a band sounds a bit like a lot of your favourite bands, and then not only does it turn out to be true but that they are more than just your average copycats. Namazu take bits and pieces from all their influences and carve their own sound from them. Tracks like spiralling, Kylesa-esque ‘The Sportswriter’, or the progressive leanings of ‘Waterwalkers’ are a little off kilter, and it just makes them all the better.

Namazu are a welcome addition to that subgenre of sludgey hardcore that is full of infectious melodies. They’re here to kick your head in and make you sing along at the same time. I can imagine their live shows are awesome, as ‘Works Cited’ possesses a thrilling energy about it.

https://www.facebook.com/NAMAZU666/

https://namazu666.bandcamp.com/releases

It feels like since the demise of the mighty Bolt Thrower that death metal has picked up the mantle and attempted to replace them with many similar sounding bands. UK death metallers Subservience are cut from that cloth, but throw bloodied chunks of Entombed and Deicide in there too to dispel any copycat ideas. Their new record, ‘Forest of the Impaled’ is out now on Black Bow Records.

The waspish, Floridian influence is immediately apparent on opener ‘In Depravity They Dwell’, while huge chunky riffs underpin the rumbling ‘Entity of Indifference’. Subservience have honed their assault into a carpet bombing machine of massive riffs and brutality, where an emphasis on heaviness but also memorable songs is key. The crushing ‘Beneath the Earth’ is an early highlight, but the raging ‘The Consummation’ and deathly majesty of ‘Descend into Despair’ maintain the quality of this release through until the end.

‘Forest of the Impaled’ is mesmerising in its execution of brutality. Subservience are a potential successor to the mantle of UK death metal, and this is a debut full length they can be proud of. Varied, crushing and cavernously heavy at times, I’d struggle to recommend it more.

http://www.subservience.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/subservience

https://bbowsubservience.bandcamp.com/album/forest-of-the-impaled

http://blackbowrecords.bigcartel.com/

What is it about Australia and black metal? It seems so strange that a place that seems the polar opposite of the traditional, northern icy home of the genre has become such a hotbed. But then, Australian black metal tends to be more aggressive and fiery so perhaps conditions in the dangerous and suffocating heat of the outback are perfect. Nocturnes Mist have been around for almost 20 years, yet ‘Diabolical Baptism’ marks only their third full length. It’s out on September 15th through Seance Records.

A raw, deeply traditional ode to the majesty of Satan himself, and inspired by the soundtrack to The Omen, ‘Diabolical Baptism’ is brutal in its simplicity. Opener ‘Hammers of Hatred’ is an unstoppable force of Marduk inspired bludgeoning, that invokes occult hails to the Dark Lord. Nocturnes Mist plough a pure, second wave worshipping furrow on this record, and while it may seem like just another black metal album, ‘Diabolical Baptism’ draws you in deeper with their orthodoxy and their execution. ‘Barbs of Sadism’ is a fire breather, while the more midpaced ‘Pale Face Cold Heart’ ramps up the atmosphere and even adds dashes of keyboard.

Like the esoteric Witches Sabbath drawings that grace the cover of ‘Diabolical Baptism’, this record is an embodiment of arcane ritual and Satanic fervour. Savage, relentless and dripping with menace, Nocturnes Mist are traditionalist but still stunningly relevant.

https://www.facebook.com/nocturnesmistAU/

http://www.seancerecords.com/

https://seancerecords.bandcamp.com/

The beautiful stark red of this cassette cover is instantly striking, and Atra Mors do the same with their music. A part of the blackened hordes of Cumbria, in Northern England, ‘Cloaked in Shadow’ marks their debut full length, and the cassette I have got from Carvetii Productions is simply awesome. I cannot say it enough times, this is a tape label that never fails to impress.

Opener ‘Fog of Ruin’ pulses with a dark energy, writhing in tremelo riffing and harsh screams. ‘Cloaked in Shadow’ is just that; layered with a shadowy atmosphere that enhances the gloomy chords within. The haunting ‘Spirits of the Darkwood’ and the menacing ‘Undead Lust’ conjure the spirits of Mayhem and Xasthur, while the shrieking ‘Vomit Black Blood’ is enough to run shivers though your body. Black metal feels alive and kicking when in the hands of this band. There’s hints of Satanic Warmaster lurking in here too, particularly in the ghostly ‘Snow Falls Upon a Wretched Tomb’, with the moody synths lurking in the background.

I sit listening to this album while rain beats against my window. This feels like a record enshrouded by miserable, cold rain that incessantly grasps you in its cold embrace. Personified by the bleak cold hatred of ‘Amidst Rotting Wood I Reach My End’, Atra Mors weave savage black magic throughout ‘Cloaked in Shadow’, drawing much inspiration from raw black metal legends but becoming something more. Something visceral, thrilling and inherently black.

https://www.facebook.com/legionsovdarkness/

https://legionsovdarkness.bandcamp.com/album/cloaked-in-shadow

http://carvetiiproductions.bigcartel.com/

https://carvetiiproductions.bandcamp.com/album/cloaked-in-shadow

Ah California. Home to Death Valley, which is where this ghastly duo must’ve have emerged from, as only a place with such ominous connotations could have birthed this rabid, slavering beast of a release. ‘No Sanctity in Death’ is a short, sharp shock to the system, as Ensepulcher pounce with sharpened blade towards the jugular. The cassette is due out on Blood Harvest Records in October.

Full disclosure, this review took more time to write than the length of this tape. At a speedy 7 and a half minutes, ‘No Sanctity in Death’ is just getting great when it’s over. Thankfully though, the repeat button is in constant use. The opening intro/title track is a chunky, ripping Swedeath worshipping beast, and the followup ‘Perishing in Morbidity’ is more of the same. The riffs summon prime Dismember, but with a rawer, rougher edge to them. Cavernous vocals emanate from the brutal ‘Death and Decay’, while the closing ‘Funeral Cessation’ careers towards hell with gleeful abandon.

Ensepulcher don’t give you much here, but it is more than enough to know that, come time for a full length release, ‘No Sanctity in Death’ was merely the gurgling appetiser. Assured in their blood spattered assault, Ensepulcher are going to be fucking great for a long time to come.

https://www.facebook.com/ensepulcher

https://bloodharvestrecords.bandcamp.com/album/no-sanctity-in-death-mc

http://www.bloodharvest.se/