Archive for November, 2018

British black metallers Aklash approach their craft with a grandiose spirit and a lack of respect for the classic black and white aesthetic of the genre. Look at that album art, it’s a wonderful cavalcade of colour, that rather suits their broad palette of musical talent. ‘Where the Ocean Meets the Sky’ is out now through their Bandcamp.

‘Cascading Darkness’ pours from the speakers like a rush of icy water, riffs flowing between blastbeating rocks and overlaid with a misted haze of at once clean and then raw vocals. The deft switches between cleaner vocals and the more savage ones is well done, and feels natural. It gives the record a natural tinge of folk metal to it as well as black. There is a vast scope to the epic ‘All Noble Deeds Are Touched With Melancholy’, casting an ethereal mist upon a mid paced black metal odyssey that continues throughout the three part title track. There’s more than a dash of the psychedelic nature of The Meads of Asphodel in places that helps them stand out from the crowd too. That part three of the title track by the way; a defining take on the term tour de force.

‘Where the Ocean Meets the Sky’ is a wonderful record that has a really expansive take on black metal, and allows all facets of raw, atmospheric and sometimes a little weird come out to play. Harsh and uncompromising at times, delicate and introspective at others, Aklash are a complete package.

Druj - Chants to Irkalla

The debut full length from Anchorage, Alaska’s Druj is probably as dark and as miserable as you would expect from a band surrounded by the cold, ice and snow. ‘Chants to Irkalla’ is out now through Godz ov War Productions.

‘Ziggurats Ablaze’ is a monstrous opener, churning along with gloomy intent. This record sticks mainly to its death/doom style but there is a shimmering touch of black metal about it; the way the cold, lonely moments of tranquillity creep through the massive riffs is straight out of atmospheric black metal records. The grinding, unholy evil of ‘He Who Drinks of Nammu’ is thunderous, mesmerising doom with a real nasty edge to it, while the title track drags some ancient Autopsy riffs out of the abyss, particularly that crazed solo. The atonal bends of ‘Consort of Sin’ are unnatural, and really add to a lumbering behemoth of a track that delves deeper into a morass of darkness.

‘Chants to Irkalla’ is a record that envelopes you in its damp, heartless embrace. Bleak, crushing and undeniably morose, Druj have created an suffocatingly bleak and oppressive record that oozes with a certain dark charisma. Prepare your mind, and delve into a work of blackened doom art.



Twisted and experimental black/death metal outfit Veilburner have returned from beyond this world to bring us the superbly titled ‘A Sire to the Ghouls of Lunacy’, due out at the end of December through Transcending Obscurity. This is some dark and mysterious stuff.

The first thing you’ll notice about this record is the intense complexity of each song. Riffs stab off in multiple directions, the drums clatter, blast and roll into almost jazz like patterns at points, and the vocals contort and twist around this maelstrom. The maddening ‘Introvetrovoid’ is only the first example of how Veilburner collapse black, death, math and even some soulful soloing into one writhing whole. The solos are a handhold to grab onto while being swept away in the storms of tech death and black metal, a stability gloriously realised in ‘Panoramic Phantoms’. Also unique is the use of some super melodic moments, and some clean singing even in parts of ‘Upstream and Parallel’.

This is not an album that slows down intensity wise, even with the haunting midpaced ‘Abbatoir Noir’ curling around you with misty tendrils. It fills your mind with moments of fear, of exhiliration, of sheer anticipation of what is coming next. The howling, electronicy gloom of ‘Glory Glory Grotesque’ and the mind rending riffs of the title track live only to serve a greater master. A master of mysterious ichor and madness, that lives beyond this world. Veilburner raise this album as an offering, and with such quality he will surely take it. Fucking superb.


If you don’t know who Master is by now, get the fuck off my blog. Still here? Good, because the new FUCKING Master album is here, and ‘Vindictive Miscreant’ is, well, Master at their finest. I think the signing of a legendary band like this truly marked that step for Transcending Obscurity from just being a label that put out awesome stuff into being a label that no one in the scene can overlook now.

The title track opens with what only be described as REAL old school death metal. It takes you right back to early Sepultura, Death and Obituary, as well of course as Master themselves. They still play like it is 1991, full of energy and gritty old school charm. Nothing overly technical or shiny, just thrashy dirty death metal. The gurgling, swamp chug of ”Actions Speak Louder Than Words’ is excellent, while the rabid ‘The Book’ has a nasty, punkish edge running through its veins.

With the shortest track running at 4:13, you’d almost be forgiven for thinking some of these tracks are a little longer than necessary, but you never feel it. The rampant ‘Engulfed by Paranoia’ is a highlight for me, although I am a little partial to the speed fuelled violence of ‘Stand Up and Be Counted’ as well. Consistently heavy, with little needed in the way of variety but nothing in the way of mediocre, you can tell this is the work of a band who found their groove and sound a long time ago, and have been honing that razer edge for a while now.

With a lot of ‘legend’ bands, all you can normally hope for is that any new material does not scar their legacy, but ‘Vindictive Miscreant’ stands tall as probably Master’s finest work since ‘On the Seventh Day…’. A legitimate old school death metal album that lives its gimmick, combining thrashy riffing with bile drenched vocals, Master don’t need to write material this good any more; they could just live off their legacy but thank fuck that doesn’t seem to be part of the plan! This is tremendous.

A two man brutal death and slam machine, Foaming at the Mouth bring their merciless debut album, ‘Writhing’, straight from upstate New York, and this is 30 minutes of crushing death metal. It is out now through their Bandcamp.

‘Reanimation of a Corpse’ is a relatively straight forward opener to bring you straight into the world of ‘Writhing’; coupling big chunky riffs with guttural roars is par for the course, but at least there’s a little holding off on the uber slam to start with. Slam death is great and everything, but sometimes it can be overdone and Foaming at the Mouth don’t make that mistake. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of it peppered across the album as a whole, but it isn’t all that the band brings to the table. The title track has some awesome technical riffing coursing through its veins, while ‘The Siren’ bounces around chugging and technical riffing like it’s going out of fashion. The variety shown here is a welcome change from the usual ‘slam, weedle, scree, repeat’ monotony that you sometimes have to deal with.

‘Writhing’ doesn’t overstay its welcome, blasting through a half hour of violence briskly and keeps everything well paced and interesting. The music is well written, musically tight and totally brutal. Foaming at the Mouth are worth keeping an eye on.


Yeah I’m going to come straight and tell you that I don’t know how to pronounce either the band or the album title, but I am sure intrigued. Aztec, Mayan, Incan; these are not elements of world culture that appears often in metal, so that when I found Tezcatlipoca’s new record I was definitely interested. ‘Tlayohualtlapelani’ is out now through Iron Bonehead Records.

You feel like this record is going to be pretty standard black metal, particularly at the start of opener ‘Notlacahcahualiz Ica Yetztli, Cipactli’, but strange little background elements begin to play a role. Eerie noises weave into between the fiery, cavernous black metal tremolo. The sinister ‘Huey Tlatoani’ is a perfect example of that, conjuring images of darkened rituals done in dark caves. Searing guitar tones wail over blasting rage, while the vocals spout fearsome rasps and growls.

The unnerving incantations of ‘Macuil Xochitl Icic’ is just one example of where those ancient cultures lay scorched fingers upon this record, sitting nicely in the middle of a record that continues to burn with a raging passion. The molten fury of ‘Tlacatl Tlein In Mimiqueh Icah Tlahtoa’, the howling ‘Chichimeca, Yaotecatl Ayamictlan’ and particularly the imperious ‘In Tzinacan Itlayohualpatlaniliz’ lay Tezcatlipoca’s claim to be the kings of Mexican black metal, and a mighty claim it is. I’ve never heard anything that sounds like this.

‘Tlayohualtlpelani’ is a record replete with moments of terrifying black metal, stuff that goes beyond the usual necrotic fetishism. Tezcatlipoca draw deep from ancient and untouched evils, and their take on the genre is fresh, authentic and truly indicative of the fact that this world is full of olden evils we are not aware. Excellent.