Archive for July, 2018

‘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/

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The dreaded ‘modern doom blues’ moniker hangs over this release from Canadians Pink Cocoon, which generally means subpar Pentagram and Sabbath riffs played with ‘genuine atmosphere’ etc. But not in this case. ‘Alienation’ is a record that hums with a vibe and a talent that belies the newness of the band. It is out now through the band themselves.

‘Help Me’ instantly hits with a swaggering, Electric Wizard vibe to it; the guitar coated with a fuzz while the vocals have a little of Lee Dorrian about them too. Fully absorbed into the world of squalling feedback solos and a psychedelic blues atmosphere, Pink Cocoon immediately step above the rest of the Witchcraft clones by being truly doom in their output. ‘No Control’ has a more early Sabbath RAWK to it, while the lazy drawl of ‘Old Lady at the Window’ is a tripped out gem. And the more said about the grimy doom and roll of closer ‘Child of Death’ the better, as Pink Cocoon save the best for last.

Pink Cocoon capture the essence of trippy doom laden blues perfectly, equal parts retro fuzz and swaying psychedelic weirdness. If you’re into Uncle Acid, Electric Wizard and Sabbath, then Pink Cocoon have plenty hidden underneath their amplifier stack to keep you hooked. ‘Alienation’ is the future of retro doom.

https://www.pinkcocoonband.com/music

https://www.facebook.com/PinkCocoonOfficial/

Hot on the heels of their 2017 release, ‘You Owe, You Pay’, the latest EP from Swiss slam crew Carnal Decay is another three tracks of brutal death metal designed to crush bones and smash brains. ‘When Push Comes to Shove’ is going to be released by Rising Nemesis Records on 7″ vinyl and digitally on the 20th July, as well as through a number of other records throughout the world, including the great UKEM Records.

The riff that opens the title track is absolutely fearsome, mammoth brutal death breakdowns bringing the world down one roar at a time. The earth shaking low end keeps the slam going, and the welcome lack of fucking pig squeals is an even bigger positive. Each track has its own identity, with ‘Food for Thought’ having a waspish, Hate Eternal quality to it, and ‘We All Bleed Red’ crushing with a more European death flavour, like Hour of Penance. Variation is the key for this kind of metal, and here we’ve got fast, slow, mega slam and shredding speed. It adds up to an EP of startling difference.

For me, brutal death is always best consumed in shorter formats and ‘When Push Comes to Shove’ never outstays its welcome. If anything, it only wets the whistle for more. I’ve spun this a number of times now, and each listen only reinforces the quality on show. Definitely worth seeking out.

http://risingnemesisrecords.bigcartel.com/

https://www.facebook.com/carnaldecayband/

https://carnaldecay.bigcartel.com/

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The sixth full length album from stalwarts of the Portuguese black metal scene Black Howling, ‘Return of Primordial Stillness’ takes the core elements of the band’s depressive suicidal black metal and plays around with it a little, creating a 40 minute epic of only four tracks. It is out at the end of July on the excellent Signal Rex Records.

The shimmering instrumental opener, ‘Iberia’, has a delicious, single-minded driving urge to it; dense sludgey riffs crawl beneath a thick darkness, before ‘Celestial Syntropy’ takes us on a winding, serpentine odyssey of twisting black metal that ripples with electricity. Helpless shrieks echo around the cavernous sections, while the space created here is vast and bleak. Crushing hopelessness seeps through this black curtain of night, waiting for an end. The sweeping notes raising ‘Celestial Entropy’ from the mist into the sky is something different; soaring majestically with an predatory eye, awaiting the savagery of the kill.

As ‘Cosmic Oblivion’ fades away into the stillness of the night, Black Howling transcend into becoming more than just another black metal release this year. Their evocative, roiling black metal is both bleak and yet fragile in places. ‘Return to Primordial Stillness’ is glorious, mesmerising darkness.

https://www.facebook.com/BlackHowlingOfficial/

https://blackhowlingofficial.bandcamp.com/album/return-of-primordial-stillness

https://signalrex.bandcamp.com/

https://signalrex.com/store/