Archive for July, 2018

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Due out next week is the vinyl of the debut of New Jersey death metallers Siege Column. The CD edition came out early July, and ‘Inferno Deathpassion’ looks to be another rabid gem in the Nuclear War Now! Productions arsenal. Count me in for rage, crust and filthy, filthy death.

Opener ‘Agonized Corpse’ is low fi, crusty death metal with a nasty attitude and raw production to match, and that really is the modus operandi for the whole record. Maddening solos scream from tortured guitars, while rough and ready riffage spills forth from your speakers and necrotic vocals vomit forth blasphemies from beyond. The guitar tone is very Swedeath chainsaw in places, but the likes of ‘Blasting the Moongate’ has a dose of old school, deathly Finnish melancholy woven into it too.

‘Inferno Deathpassion’ is a record that, despite feeling a little one dimensional on the surface, gradually reveals subtleties over repeated listens. A murky mix adds to the intensity to the faster and aggressive parts, while some of the slower elements have this eerie, melodic quality that I really dig. Siege Column can play both ends of the spectrum, and this makes ‘Inferno Deathpassion’ a much more nuanced record than first impressions dictate. Fantastic stuff.

https://nuclearwarnowproductions.bandcamp.com/album/inferno-deathpassion

http://www.nwnprod.com/

https://www.facebook.com/nwnprod/

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Coltsblood - Ascending into Shimmering Darkness

The vinyl edition of Coltsblood’s superlative 2017 record ‘Ascending into Shimmering Darkness’ has been released just a few months ago through Black Bow Records, and it gives me an opportunity to revisit one of last year’s bleakest and harrowing doom records from these British purveyors of misery.

The opening title track builds with lumbering dread; striding forward towards gloom and destruction. Cold, bleak riffs belch under powerful roars, while glacial melodies hover above this miasmic chaos. The oppressive atmosphere is unbearable, each breath snatched under a suffocating sky. The production is massive, capturing fully the scope of what Coltsblood can do. The savagery of ‘Mortal Wound’ is sudden and awesome; crushing doom penetrated by galloping death metal riffing and teeth gnashing heaviness. ‘The Legend of Abhartach’ is sickeningly heavy, with tectonic Tom G Warrior riffs laying waste to shrouded lands of grey.

Closing with the twin hit of the monstrous ‘Ever Decreasing Circles’ and the smothering darkness of ‘The Final Winter’, Coltsblood remind me a lot of what Triptykon do, which is no mean feat. ‘Ascending into Shimmering Darkness’ is a monolithic record filled with death, doom and destruction. The guitar work is huge, the atmosphere is pure dread and the vocals breathe life into demons unholy and unbound. Coltsblood are fucking awesome, and this release is a timely reminder of just why.

https://blackbowrecords.bigcartel.com/

https://coltsblood.bandcamp.com/music

https://www.facebook.com/Coltsblood/

Another new release from La Caverna Records in Colombia is a pair of demos from Colombian black metallers Siete Lagunas, collected together on CD. ‘I&II’ is also available now.

Squalling feedback leads us into the raw ‘Llegando a la primera laguna/Carco’, a track soaked in primitive and raw black metal dread. This pervasive rawness infects every song on this release, from the terrifying ‘Madremonte’ with its maddening shrieks to ‘La reina de la moscas’, an ugly, manic and yet melancholic burst of raw, bleak emotion. Siete Lagunas aren’t for those of us who enjoy density or nuance in our black metal; they are for those who seek only primal, insanity inducing carnage. Distorted noise weaves in amongst the black metal riffs, increasing the tension and uncomfortableness.

Almost disappointingly short, you’ll be reaching for that replay button as soon as the final, necro notes of ‘Oscurece en la segunda laguna’ bring us to a close. Siete Lagunas could be the future of raw black metal, steeped in dark and terrible things. ‘I&II’ is only the beginning.

https://sietelagunas.bandcamp.com/

https://lacavernarecs.bandcamp.com/album/i-ii

https://www.facebook.com/La-Caverna-Records-1576145459327889/

 

‘Mental Turmoil’ is a long lost tape from defunct American death metallers Thrombus, released in 1993. This is being released on CD through a new underground metal label from Colombia, La Caverna Records, and it is out right now.

Opener ‘From Beyond’ is instantly ‘of the time’, with a creaky death metal riff summoning ancient creatures from the US death scene of the early 90s. Chunky riffs, blood spitting growls and a dense low end all collide in a frenzy of old school death metal. Or as it was known at the time, death metal. There’s shades of Immolation in the thick low end, the rabid frenzy of early Deicide and it all comes to a bloody head in the superlative ‘Structured’. The ugly closer ‘What a Waste’ has some of the coolest, low end Morbid Angel rumbles this side of ‘Covenant’.

Thrombus definitely feel like a band that are due a bit of a revival. There’s plenty of ‘old school death metal’ bands out there peddling music that isn’t as good as this and doing well. ‘Mental Turmoil’ is an awesome snapshot in time, where death was real and the scene was thriving. Hopefully this rerelease will inspire enough interest to get another recording….?

https://lacavernarecs.bandcamp.com/album/mental-turmoil

https://www.facebook.com/La-Caverna-Records-1576145459327889/

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Finland’s Lurk are due to release their new record, ‘Fringe’, at the start of August and it is a multifaceted, layered sludge doom record that incorporates elements of death metal and black metal into a churning whole. Transcending Obscurity is dropping yet another modern classic here, as Lurk take us to strange and alluring vistas of pain.

The baleful opening tones of ‘Ostrakismos’ feel very black metal; cold and gloomy. It has a perfect balance of innate heaviness and a glacial bleakness about it, with whispered growls lurking underneath. Dense and murky, ‘Tale Blade’ lurches forward with tar thick groove and a deathly roar powering it. Imagine coating this powerful beast in the gleaming blackness of Panopticon, or Wolves in the Throne Room and witnessing the soaring black metal presence. The grinding fury of ‘Offshoot’ is brutal, and the unsettling notes at the start of the stunning ‘Elan’ mixes well with the an almost soulful vocal. Both of those, of course, disappear into a void of trudging, suffocating nihilistic rage, crawling from a black filth. ‘Fringe’ is a record that encapsulates much of mankind’s darkest moments, but leaves enough spaces for the odd ray of ethereal hope to shine through.

Mysterious, ghostly but very much rooted in the soul of our blackened earth, Lurk’s magnificent carvings into the walls of sludge doom are a sight to behold. Cavernous yet fragile, visceral and yet soaring, ‘Fringe’ is an album unlike many others. It is capable of touching you in ways you didn’t expect, never losing that primal heft. A unique addition to 2018’s canon of excellent records.

https://tometal.com/

https://www.facebook.com/lurkdoom/

https://lurkdoom.bandcamp.com/

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South Korean thrashers Sahon are onto their sixth full length record since their inception in the late nineties, and play a ripping form of death and black influenced thrash. ‘Chanting for the Fallen’ is their call to arms against the stereotyping of their music as well as a celebration of their Korean heritage. It is out in a couple of weeks through Transcending Obscurity. Having friends living there and being a fan of the culture myself, I am looking forward to seeing what the peninsula can do in terms of metal.

Instantly their artwork stands out as being totally different from most in the genre, and opener ‘Faith in Savagery’ has a razor edge to its galloping riffing. All the tropes of thrash are here, cool as fuck soloing, thrashy vocals and speedy riffing. What makes a great thrash album is not necessarily doing anything new, but it is doing the old stuff well. ‘At the Edge of Cliff’ is a rampant slab of early Kreator worship, with some absolutely awesome riffing patterns throughout, while the frantic ‘Survive’ is seriously speedy. ‘Chanting for the Fallen’ is not overly polished, and that rough edge really gives their songs that killer instinct, particularly in the driving Motorhead-esque beauty of ‘Born to Lose, Live to Win’ and the chaotic closer ‘You Shall Pay’

Sahon don’t need to hit you over the head with any ‘Asian’ stereotypes or instrumentation in their music, instead they hit you with pure enthusiasm and talent instead. ‘Chanting for the Fallen’ combines the best parts of Teutonic and Bay Area thrash, adds a little bit of grime and dirt and asks only that you thrash your ass off while listening. Just what any great thrash record should do, ‘daedanhi gamsahamnida‘ lads!

https://tometal.com/

https://sahon.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/thrashsahon/

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‘Phlogiston Cartharsis’ is the much anticipated new full length from imperious French individual P.H.O.B.O.S, ready to unleash their suffocating blackened industrial doom upon the world after their much acclaimed split with fellow Gallic black metal gods Blut Aus Nord and 2015’s ‘श्मशान काली’ EP. Transcending Obscurity will be dropping this bomb in September.

‘Biomorphorror’ begins with clashing industrial sounds before a hellish riffs drags us to deep recesses of our earth. Submerging us in a Godfleshian nightmare, P.H.O.B.O.S. pour blackened tar over each riff and the almost whispered rasps are deeply unsettling. Imagine Godflesh, Aborym and Sunn0))) all fighting in a tarpit, and you’re approaching the sonic dread reached on tracks like ‘Igneous Tephrapotheosis’. Even the song titles are impenetrable; unknown horrors writhing in galaxial abysses.

‘Phlogiston Cartharsis’ is probably one of, if not THE, most terrifying pieces of music you’ll hear this year. You think you are ready for heavy, or dread but the subtle industrial tinges adds even more to the sonic terrorism on show. P.H.O.B.O.S. are the Mariana Trench of metal; deep, dark, suffocating and unexplored. Join them, they have such sights to show you.

https://www.facebook.com/P-H-O-B-O-S–997291130295639/

https://tometal.com/

https://megatonmassproducts.bandcamp.com/