Melodic death metal from Pakistan? The variety and spread of metal across the world will never fail to amaze me. Faceless Mother’s EP ‘The Thing That Lurks’ comes to us from Karachi, and is a three track rager available now through their bandcamp.

Ripping straight from the melodeath playbook, opener ‘Beholder’ has a nice gallop to it and some great guitar melodies to it, while the mournful ‘The Baying of Crows’ has some absolutely fantastic, melancholic riffs. This is definitely feels more like a dark death metal record than more traditional melodeath, but the nice guitar work keeps them hooked to the genre.

Closing with the driving title track, I think Faceless Mother’s debut has got a bit of potential to it. The production isn’t great, but the riffing and songwriting all shows promise and I think in particular the melancholic touches of ‘The Baying of Crows’ is definitely worth the price of admission. Keep an eye on these guys.

https://facelessmother.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/facelessmother

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The hounds of war have been unleashed in the form of The Black Sorcery, a Canadian black/death machine of destruction whose debut record ‘And the Beast Spake Death from Above’ is another barrage in the unending war for extremity. It is out now on Krucyator Productions.

The opener ‘Ancient Dialects of Wind’ is one of the densest, nastiest sounding tracks I’ve had the pleasure of listening to this year. The vocals are bowel rattling, the riffing is ragged and raw and the atmosphere is one of dread and darkness. Add a maddening solo and some brutal drumming and this is an instant watermark. Guttural, brutal death metal vocals continue to stalk the whole record, through the pulsing ‘Frost Veined’ and the sadistic ‘Incursion’. In fact, ‘And the Beast Spake Death from Above’ is definitely one of the most intense records you’ll come across in 2018.

The Black Sorcery have delved deep into the darkest recesses of black/death metal to mine this particular seam, but the results are visceral; ravening like some monstrous beast, this is a record of malicious ideas and sickening brutality. So, pretty fucking excellent!

https://www.facebook.com/The-Black-Sorcery-133516247446955/

http://krucyator.com/product/pre-order-the-black-sorcery-and-the-beast-spake-death-from-above-tape

https://krucyator.bandcamp.com/album/and-the-beast-spake-death-from-above

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If there’s one important thing Sweden has brought to the world of extremity, it is DEATH FUCKING METAL of the purest and most heavy persuasion. Enter Crawl, another cog in the endless turning wheel of death, and their full length debut ‘Rituals’, brought to us this August by the finder of endless treasures, Kunal at Transcending Obscurity.

It seems totally unfair to do this, but when Crawl come from a country with a whole litany of iconic death metal bands, you’ll forgive me for mentioning them frequently. But ‘Reject the Cross’ is pure Dismember worship, and it is fucking great. The titanic ‘Trail of Traitors’ also channels the heaviest moments of Grave. The riffs have that almost natural chainsaw tone, the pace is chugging and the vocals are dense. There is more than a dash of crust and hardcore punk about this too however; take the pacey ‘Black Rituals’ or the rampant ‘Cowards’ for example. I mean, the whole album is barely 25 minutes, which is a perfect excuse to slap it straight back on when it is done.

Equal parts chainsawing death metal, crust attitude and a love letter to the days of simpler, savager metal, ‘Rituals’ can stake Crawl’s claim to join the death metal luminaries of Sweden. From a label that has treated Ursinne, Paganizer and Henry Kane so well, they’ll be in good company at TO, and ‘Rituals’ fits straight in with that kind of quality.

https://www.facebook.com/CRAWLSWE

https://tometal.com/

https://crawldeath.bandcamp.com/

Ruach Raah - Under the Insignia of Baphomet

Unapologetically raw black metallers Ruach Raah have released their second full length, ‘Under the Insignia of Baphomet’ through War Art Productions, and it is a welcome dose of primal rage in a genre that has tended to spread towards the vast and more introspective of late. Ruach Raah have no such pretensions.

‘Hang Humanity Upside Down’ is probably the quintessential track in an album full of raw as fuck, black metal nastiness. The riffs are poisonous, venom is spat in throat shredding rasps, and the downright filthy production coats each track in a miasmic, toxic embrace. These Portuguese monsters tear your throat out on the savage ‘Funeral Fumes’, and refuse to stop this cacophonic battering until the last, maiming note of the awesome ‘Bodysnatchers’. An album that is really set all at one pace, and that pace is bloodthirsty and manic.

‘Under the Insignia of Baphomet’ is an album of uncompromising, nasty black metal that will appeal to the Darkthrone/Blasphemy fans in all of us. There does not need to be another dimension to it, only more hatred, more bile vomited at the state of the world, and more sickness at humanity’s wretched spirit. Ruach Raah are here to remind you of the blackness running through metal’s veins.

https://www.facebook.com/Ruach-Raah-776783862403149/

http://war-arts-productions.com/

https://war-arts-productions.bandcamp.com/album/under-the-insignia-of-baphomet

These mysterious Italians do not hang about, with their new record ‘Göbekli Tepe’ coming out only a year after last year’s debut ‘The Discontinuity’s Interlude’. Order ov Riven Cathedral’s spiralling death metal is a creation of the stranger forces in our universe, and beyond. It is out now and available through the band’s Bandcamp.

Massive waves of blastbeats underpin a cacophonous assault of huge roars and technical death metal insanity. ‘Worship ov Abduction’ is like a howling gale of death metal, and like fellow countrymen Hour of Penance brings you to the very edge of death metal heaviness. It is relentless, battering extremity in the most crushing form. But Order ov Riven Cathedrals also take notes from the likes of Fleshgod Apocalypse and thread orchestral grandeur and atmospheric ambience throughout. The likes of ‘Glorification ov the Divine Fallout’ and the stunning ‘From Neptune to Assyria’ show how death metal can be both devastatingly brutal and soaring with majestic melodies.

This record is a revelation of where extreme music can take you, both to the depths of deathly abysses and the heights of wondrous grandiosity. ‘Göbekli Tepe’ is an album of staggering musicianship, guttural vocals and a powerful sense of drama. Order ov Riven Cathedrals are a band of stunning potential, and each release continues to prove this.

https://orderovrivencathedrals.bandcamp.com/album/g-bekli-tepe

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCe4mrVAUQFh5jvJSQHyLKvQ

Runespell - Order of Vengeance

Australian black metallers Runespell don’t fuck around, with less than a year since their debut full length ‘Unhallowed Blood Oath’ came out we have a new full length, ‘Order of Vengeance’. It is out at the start of July through Iron Bonehead Productions, and it never fails to amaze that this is the work of one man.

‘Retribution in Iron’ builds slowly into a cacophonous, cavernous black metal landscape; vast and bleak. The production is dense and murky, adding a sense of morbid ferocity to the miasmic evil within. Ghostly acoustics plague the instrumental ‘Night’s Gate’, while the crawling monstrosity of ‘Wolf.Axis’ is pure, churning darkness. Runespell also layer their darkness with a smothering melancholy, embodying each track with a haunting misery. Their approach is mesmerising, the music is nuanced, layered expertly to build a multi faceted album.

This is black metal that burns with a oily, choking nastiness, and leaves you feeling emotionally drained. ‘Order of Vengeance’ is a record that enschews the more tinpot, icy clatter of many black metal records, and smears each riff with a filthy, murky atmosphere. The sickly yellow moon is in the sky, the claws of fate have us, and Runespell are only here to guide us to our abysmal end in the voids.

http://www.ironbonehead.de/

The remastered version of Arallu’s 2009 record ‘Desert Battles’ includes a remastered production, new vocals and new cover art, and it breathes a bit of new life into this sand blasted collection of Mesopotamian black metal. It is due out in June through Raven Music.

After ‘Al Macbara’ draws us in with its delicate, Middle Eastern strums, ‘Old Form of Evil’ creates a primeval, blasting carnage that is only enhanced by the ethnic instrumentation and tones. Like fellow countrymen Melechesh, Arallu weave their clattering black metal within Mesopotamian mythologies and eastern melodies. Each track adapts these elements in subtle ways, from the unusual scales of ‘Possessor of the Code’ to the sandstorm of the winding ‘The Demon Curse’. It is not unusual now in metal for musicians to conjure up inspiration from Middle Eastern cultures, particularly in the music, but to hear a band from the area do it gives Arallu this timeless authenticity that some lack.

‘Desert Battles’ is coming at a good time, while the memory of last year’s ‘Six’ is still fresh in our minds. Hopefully, Arallu can be exposed to a new legion of fans who missed this record the first time around. Black metal fans will appreciate the ferocity, others will slip away beneath the desert into a lost world of mythology and black magicks.

https://arallu.bandcamp.com/album/desert-battles-2018

https://www.facebook.com/ARALLU666/