Archive for August, 2019

Disentomb - The Decaying Light

It has been 10 years since Disentomb first appeared from the dangerous and violent Australian underground, and ‘The Decaying Light’ is their third record of tight, brutal death metal. It is out now on Unique Leader Records, which will assure its quality at least!

Opener ‘Collapsing Skies’ sets the tone with guttural roars, dense guitar and blastbeats galore. You know what’s coming. Thirteen tracks of masterful, endless brutality, where caving heads in is a guarantee. It isn’t always easy to review brutal death, as it is a genre that tends not to experiment a lot with the sound. But Disentomb do throw in some nice dissonant sections, along with a little more melody than you’d expect. But then you’ve got the chugging earthquake of ‘The Droning Monolith’ that does everything you need death metal to do. Other highlights include the visceral annihilation of ‘Centuries of Deluge’ and the crushing ‘Invocations in the Cathedral of Dust’.

This record is the guttural death rattle of the end of time. Violent, vast and an assault on the senses that even I was not ready for. Disentomb are devastating, and ‘The Decaying Light’ is a display of brutal death metal like no other. Superb.

https://www.facebook.com/disentomb

https://uniqueleader.com/

https://uniqueleaderrecords.bandcamp.com/

Members of Rudra have come together again to create The Wandering Ascetic, Singaporean black thrash without the Indian spiritual aesthetics of their other project. Their debut full length ‘Crimson’ is out now through Transcending Obscurity, and if their work in Rudra bleeds over into this, we could be in for something very interesting.

The instant crunch of the guitar in opener ‘Eva Braun’ immediately fills you with confidence that The Wandering Ascetic aren’t going to be your usual tinpot black thrashers. The riffing is convuluted, dissonant and the songwriting is complex while still retaining a certain memorableness, such as in ‘The Gods Bleed!’. It’s an interesting dichotomy; it lacks the speed of more traditional black thrash but the attitude and guitar work is there. There’s also a tasty snarl that fits very well with the likes of the growling ‘The Exorcism of Mrs Doe’ and the chugging glory of ‘Beast of Burden’.

‘Crimson’ is an incredibly mature record, where the obvious songwriting influences of the more labyrinthine Rudra seep into the songs. This gives the Wandering Ascetic a complexity and a sense of pace that a lot of black thrash bands lack. ‘Crimson’ is a thunderous chugging beast that exhibits more than a little experimentation while remaining heavy as fuck!

https://www.facebook.com/wanderingascetic

https://thewanderingascetic.bandcamp.com/

https://transcendingobscurity.bandcamp.com/

Consecration - Fragilium

British death/doom lords Consecration have recently released their 2nd record, ‘Fragilium’, through Solitude Records, and it looks to follow their 2014 debut ‘Ephemerality’ into the realms of classic darkness, misery and bruality. I was a big fan of that record, so let’s see what lurks beneath this glorious cover art.

You know you have some proper death/doom when you have 5 tracks that total over 50 minutes, and your intro is over 7 of those! Opener ‘In Darkened Slumber’ gently leads you forward, like the forest path in a light mist, before those darker sections in the distance. Is that a tolling bell? What is out there for us to find? The answer lies in the primal death of ‘A Sentinel for the Fragile’, which belches forth with guttural growls and nasty riffs. The sodden gloom of ‘In Somnus Ego Morrior (In My Sleep I Die) is almost suffocating at points, while the glorious contrast of clean guitar and then crushing vocals and walls of miserable riffing comes to its natural conclusion in titanic closer ‘To Welcome the Grey’.

‘Fragilium’ possesses all the hallmarks of a classic death/doom record; fragile emotional heft, flowing on the primordial ocean of massive riffs. Dense, mesmerising and utterly devastating, Consecration have struck gold once again. This is incredible.

https://www.facebook.com/Consecration666/

https://solitude-prod.com/?sl=en

https://solitudeproductions.bandcamp.com/

Goregäng - Neon Graves

The debut record from American death metallers Goregӓng, ‘Neon Graves’ is out now through Transcending Obscurity, and the cover will immediately draw your attention to what lies beneath. Tributes to Entombed and Edge of Sanity give you an idea for what is coming…

Immediately the grinding, groaning thrust of prime old school death metal is upon you. Goregӓng don’t hang around either, cramming 12 songs into 34 minutes and there isn’t any wasted motions. There’s piles of awesome, chugging death riffs (particularly in the superlative ‘Plague of Hammers’), and while ‘Neon Graves’ might pay tribute to the legends, at no one point does it feel samey or a mere copycat album. Raise your fists for the crushing title track, bang your head at the thunder of ‘Feeble-Minded Rash’ and roar along with the guttural brutality of ‘Putrid Judgement’.

‘Neon Graves’ is the kind of death metal album you need in 2019. There’s no frills, there’s no gimmicks, there’s just loads of great songs that don’t outstay their welcome and yet probably wouldn’t if they were twice as long. Expertly crafted, with eyes towards the past but barrelling towards a bright, bloodstained future, Goregӓng are superb.

https://goregangband.bandcamp.com/

https://transcendingobscurity.aisamerch.de/shop-en

https://www.facebook.com/goregang

Tableau Mort - Veil of Stigma. Book I: Mark of Delusion

The debut full length from London’s Tableau Mort plays with the themes of Romanian Orthodox Christianity to create an album about the madness inducing pursuit of knowledge and perfection. ‘Veil of Stigma. Book I: Mark of Delusion’ is an unwieldy title, but the black metal within is anything but. It is out now through Loud Rage Music.

The warm thrust of opener ‘Impending Corruption’ is balanced with a raspy, cold vocal, and it is always good to have a black metal record that isn’t tin pot production. Some of the best black metal records have a thick sound, and Tableau Mort head in that direction. The ghostly choral backdrop and chanting bring those orthodox thematics to the fore. Imagine Marduk covering Deathspell Omega, and you’re kind of on the right path. ‘Fall of Man’ is a powerhouse track, while the gloomy incantations of the savage ‘Carpenter of Sorrow’ is glorious. My favourite track is the fire and brimstone laden ‘Tapestry Sewn’, which also contains just the right amount of wistful melancholy as well.

There is something paradoxically ‘right’ about black metal interpretations of Christian orthodoxy, and Tableau Mort really hammer that home with this record. This is a black metal record of heart, of substance, of ethereality filtered through savagery. A most potent mix, and I certainly will be after ‘Book II’ when we are graced with it.

https://www.facebook.com/tableaumort/

https://loudragemusic.com/

https://loudragemusic.bandcamp.com/album/tableau-mort-veil-of-stigma-book-i-mark-of-delusion

The vibrant pink cover of the debut self titled EP from Scotland’s Tyrannus belies the ferocity lurking underneath. Admittedly, the demonic Chthonic skull motif might have given us a clue… It is out now through the band’s Bandcamp.

Opener ‘Bad Spirit’ has a gnarly guitar tone, and brings to mind the earliest days of death metal when there was still a hefty thrash influence. You can feel the early Possessed and Death seeping through, while ‘Demon Under Clay’ has a couple of snarling Mustaine-isms in the vocals too. Megadeth is obviously an influence too, as my version includes a cover of ‘The Conjuring’ which is pretty ace. The production is a little rough, but in a debut EP you have to forgive that to an extent.

Closing with the almost black metal tones of the best track here, ‘Repeating Misery’, I’d call this a rough and ready debut performance, which can easily be tightened up with a little time. The potential is all there though, the guitar tone and fretwork is ace and the songwriting skills have definitely got a spark to them. The best debuts leave you waiting for the next step, and Tyrannus do that here. Great.

https://tyrannus.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/TyrannusEtImperium/

Blind Monarch - What Is Imposed Must Be Endured

The titanic sludge doom of British misery artists Blind Monarch has finally seen the light of day earlier this year through Black Bow Records, and ‘What is Imposed Must Be Endured’ is four tracks and almost an hour of crumbling, ruinous music.

Opener ‘Suffering Breathes My Name’ seeps, drips, crawls into view; a mesmerising magma flow of earth wrenching riffs and tar gargling roars. A funereal pace lurches the song forward, with huge Winter style riffs being accompanied by the kind of nihilistic scream you’d find in NOLA’s finest. The quiet moments of ‘My Mother, My Cradle, My Tomb’ are almost as terrifying as the rest, the band’s eponymous track drags us to the cold edge of cosmic oblivion where closer ‘Living Altar’, gently prepares us what is to be endured. Which happens around the four minute mark and your sacrificial casting into the void marks the beginning of the end of this mammoth paean to darkness.

Blind Monarch’s vast, crushing doom would be a fitting epitaph to the end of this world. ‘What is Imposed Must Be Endured’ is the kind of record that comes along rarely; one that plays with emotional heft as well as the weight of its riffs. Blind Monarch are superb, and if this world doesn’t collapse under its own self destruction, please may we have more of this?!

https://www.facebook.com/blindmonarchband/

https://blindmonarch.bandcamp.com/releases