Posts Tagged ‘EP’

A Ceremony in Darkness cover art

The second release from Glaramara, Cumbria’s newest black metal band, is their EP ‘A Ceremony in Darkness’. Like their last one, this is more harsh and traditional black metal, wreathed in the blackness of Darkthrone and Mayhem,

‘Gathering of the Legions of Hades’ opens with a ghostly keyboard and a building percussion; setting the scene of a gloomy forest clearing, with snow falling around darkened figures. Torrents of black magic writhe in the mists of ‘Psychopathic Afterlife’, and snarling vocal bile coats the frozen assault of ‘Transylvanian Moon’, a track that could be a lost Darkthrone classic.

The blackened punk vibe that is shot through the veins of the rapid fire ‘Destroying the Realm of Light’ is fucking excellent, and it’s a shame almost that it’s over so soon. But the gloriously creepy acoustics and ambient hum of ‘A Weak and Frozen Sunrise’ leads into the nightmarish thrashing chaos of ‘Eden of Despair’, and finally the icy title track, which revels in its second wave worship.

‘A Ceremony in Darkness’ is the better of the two releases from Glaramara, as it shows a bit more of what they can do. ‘Blackest Apostasy’ is great but it stops just as its getting started. ‘A Ceremony in Darkness’ builds upon that quality, adding the gloomy melodies and some nice interlude touches to create something more rounded, and more impressive! Download both immediately!

Éohum - Ealdfaeder

Montreal, Canada’s Eohum have a gimmick, and when you play black metal, you’d maybe think that isn’t a good thing. They have a French horn player, whose additions compliment the raging anger that Eohum bring surprisingly well. Their new EP, ‘Ealdfaeder’ is out soon on Mycelium Netwroks, run by the band’s founder member Jeremy Perkins.

The pagan intro to ‘Eurocide’ becomes an eerie black metal blastfest, with a brooding ferocity entwined with brass instrumentation. It’s razor sharp in its delivery, and the flourishes of the French horn give it that little bit extra depth. The slower parts are most effective, and the moments of dusty woodwind reinforces the EP message of returning to nature. ‘Unmasking a Wolrd of Deceit’ is a furious, scythe of black metal that slices through anything in its path.

As I hoped, the ‘gimmicky’ nature of the French horn player is kept to a minimum, so that when it is sparingly used it can be very effective. You are feeling nasty, blackened violence from Eohum, like the rabid venom that courses through every poisonous riff in ‘The Apathetic Plague’. The grandeur of latter period Septicflesh is a reference point here, and ‘Ealdfaeder’ has some great moments of almost doom splendour. ‘Ode to a Martyr’ is a ferocious piece and the closing blackened fury of ‘Curative Undulations’ pushes it close for the fiercest track here.

‘Ealdfaeder’ is a high quality EP, showing Eohum to be a force to watch out for in the future. The song writing is great, the fury is real and the little additions make it all the more special. I love this record, and so should you.

Bangladesh is slowly beginning to approach its larger neighbour India in terms of quality underground metal. Burial Dust are a black metal horde who’ve been in existence since about 2013, and their debut EP ‘Oshubho Ahobaan’ (Ominous Call in English), is now available from Bandcamp.

Bestial black metal with overt Satanic and blasphemous imagery is the name of the game here. The opening title track crawls out with malevolent intent, with a lonely melody becoming a tribal drumbeat, and a nasty grinding riff rises from the gloom. There are moments in the savagery of ‘Where is Your Rahmaa?’ that channel the deepest, darkest moments of the second wave of black metal, entwined with Eastern melodies. The vocals are brutal, howling growls, and the tin dry production enhances that primitive rage.

Burial Dust  have crafted a piece of spellbinding black metal that almost pulses with malice, with evil intent and danger. ‘A Call from Home’ is a clattering piece of raw, rabid black metal traditionalism, with a killer melodic solo, while the lurking fear of ‘Sandshaded Mausoleum’ with its creepy intro, its blasting dums and proto doom riffs appearing in the middle becomes an incredibly varied piece. ‘Oshubho Ahobaan’ is an EP worth seeking out if you are a fan of how that Central Asian sound is progressing, or if you just love raw as fuck, skin flaying black metal that messes with the formula slightly. A melting pot of doom, death and black!

Denial - 11°22​.​4'N 142°35​.​5'E

It has been 6 long years since we got anything from morbid Mexicans Denial, with their staggering paeon to the undead ‘Catacombs of the Grotesque’. About two or three years early for the return of primitive, hell scraping death metal, Denial have finally returned to show everyone how its done with their new EP, ’11°22​.​4’N 142°35​.​5’E’, named after the deepest point on earth, far below reality in the Mariana Trench.

Opener ‘The Involution of Kings’ is instantly gratifying; a churning riff drags from the rift and knocks you out, then your bloodied corpse is dragged into the woods and dismembered. The riffs are heavy, but there is a wailing, atonal solo that punctures the gloom. There’s a clammyness to this reocrd, the atmosphere clings to you with dreaful intentions. A rabidity inhabits the spaces as well, and the switches from the churning maelstorm to the flailing chaos are disorientating and chilling.

‘The Elder Race’ rumbles with equal menace, channelling this massive groove through an otherworldly portal in Hell. Dream Death would be proud of what these guys have done with their song. it’s the musical equivalent of the album cover; an undescribable terror coming from under the sea, coming to send us all mad. You’d also be mad not to pick up this 7″ and delve deep into death metal insanity. Awesome

Impavidus cover art

Manchester newbies Impavidus (fearless in Latin) are another band coming up in the fertile city scene. Their debut EP is available on their Bandcamp page, and it is four tracks of solid deaththrash, influenced by the likes of The Haunted, Carcass and Machine Head.

Opener ‘Heaven’s Gate’ has more than a dash of Arch Enemy about it, probably due to the scathing vocals of Michelle Adamson. When she breaks out the clean vocals though, it becomes something else entirely. Backed up with growling male vocals, the duelling voices work well, and her clean vocal has this subtle oddity about it. They sound unique, which is a major thing for me these days. The guitar work is pure Gothenburg worship, but it’s full of headbangable moments, such as the spiralling lead work of ‘Exculpate’, which brings me fond memories of ‘Heartwork’-era Carcass.

Blending the groove of thrash and the breakdown destruction of modern death metal, adding some awesome guitar heroics and some stellar songwriting, Impavidus have got themselves a great start. There’s something for everyone here, from the galloping deaththrash of ‘Black Mirror’ to the twisting evolution of ‘Scourge’ from furious melodeath into an almost Mastodonian voyage into progressive territories. This is a band worth keeping an eye on for the future, not just because they do something different, but because they do it well.

Sacrocurse - Destroying Chapels

Mexican/Turkish blackened death trio Sacrocurse follow up their debut full length ‘Unholier Master’ with a 7″ EP with three new tracks and a Bathory cover. It’s due out on Iron Bonehead Productions now!

Opening with ear piercing shrieks, and then a brutal relentless assault on the senses ‘Total Devastation’ is a razorblade whirlwind, with howling dark vocals and a raging black/death maelstorm of vicious guitars. It’s seriously intense, and even the slower sections have this malevolence about them, this barely chained rage struggling to be free. ‘Sacrocurse Temple’ is more of the same; bestial black metal atmosphere drowning a rabid, raw death metal riff. Sacrocurse have got some serious darkness flailing around under their cloak of murk. The savagery of the title track is the highlight here.

Closing with a suitably raw approach to the Bathory classic ‘Total Destruction’, Sacrocurse have made ‘Destroying Chapels’ into a great example of what can be done with with four songs, a shitload of hatred and some excellent riffs. If you can get this, get this!

Australia’s Armoured Angel are something of a Southern Hemisphere legend. Australia’s first extreme metal band, and for a long time the only one, Armoured Angel’s four track third demo ‘Communion’ from 1990 is being rereleased by Hell’s Headbangers on vinyl, and it still stands as a true cult favourite.

Opener ‘Castration’ is an instant favourite, building with a chugging riff into a propulsive headbanging anthem. A cross between early death metal favourites like Bolt Thrower with the energy of thrash, the groove is righteous in its power. You can feel that early 90s style straight through the proto death/thrash mix, where early Death meets Exodus. ‘Tergiversator’ thrashes like the finest chunk of Bay Area material, while the roaring vocals hail to the molten death metal thunder of Asphyx.

The skull rattling title track oozes with Teutonic thrash power, and is probably my favourite track here. If you’ve never heard of Armoured Angel, you’d be forgiven for thinking this was some lost B-side from somebody like Kreator or Forbidden. The material is so well written, with battering thrash blending seamlessly into chugging death metal. Closing with the pounding ‘My Fist Your Face’, this release shows you that Armoured Angel seem to be a sadly forgotten band in the rest of the world. With material this strong, they should have been huge. Hopefully this release will garner them new fans and new interest. I’d hate for this release to be missed, because it is fucking superb!

Visceral Throne - Those Who Have Fallen Beyond the Grace of God

Indiana’s Visceral Throne bring the brutality on their new EP, ‘Those Who Have Fallen Beyond the Grace of God’, following up from 2012’s debut record ‘Omnipotent Asperity’. First off, I love this artwork, with incredibly intricate depictions of a hellish landscape. It pretty much sums up the kind of aural violence you are about to receive…

After the ominous Morbid Angel rumble of the title track introduction, the ravaging chaos of ‘Father’ hits with the force of a nuclear bomb. Blasting double kicks and brutal death riffs collide with guttural vocals, with devastating effect. There’s traces of jagged, Gorguts-esque riffing, but a crushing Suffocation influence looms largest. The battering laid down by ‘The True Sin’ turns into an epic groove, replete with brutal death breakdowns and a clatteringly hollow snare sound that is slightly offputting to be honest. Fortunately, it’s a minor complaint on an EP where the quality of death metal is high.

I love the relentless groove of ‘Indulgences’, and it’s probably my favourite track on here. Closing with the blistering Internal Suffering cover ‘Colossal Vortex’, Visceral Throne do enough here to merit repeated listens. ‘Those Who Have Fallen Beyond the Grace of God’ is a fine EP, and while the drums may feela little underproduced, the riff based carange underneath more than makes up for it. Crush. Kill.Destroy!

Carnal Garden are a Greek death metal project put together by members of Pigskinner and Abyssus. Their debut EP, ‘On the Final Day’ was released digitally just before Christmas, and they are currently looking for a label to release it physically. Somebody snap this up!

‘Through Darkness and Dust’ has the kind of slow burn intro that doesn’t quite prepare you for what is coming. The dense guitar tone that kicks in, with a malevolent thickness to it, has an almost eastern tone to it. The metal is raw, unpolished, but you can feel the filthy sludgey undercurrent to it that reeks of untapped potential. There’s a dash of Coffins, a bit of Autopsy, even the chainsaw riffing of the finest Swedish death. While Abyssus plys a more Obituary-esque brand of death, Carnal Garden is more sludgey than that. Not that there isn’t more than a hint of ‘Cause of Death’ about the grinding ‘World Infected’.

‘The Smell of Sulphur’ brings together those two main influences in a jaw droppingly brutal groove. It’s pure Florida death, wrapped in darkness. I feel like I’ve discovered some ancient Obituary demo that no one knew about. Closing with the equalling crushing ‘From the Catacombs’, Carnal Garden need to be snapped up asap to get this out on disc! Highly fucking recommended

Theurgist's Spell 7"EP cover art

Bristling with South American fury, Chilean black thrashers Hellish have released an exclusive 7″ through Blood Harvest Records, tearing flesh from bone with four searing tracks of raging fury. Recalling early Kreator or Sodom at their savage best, Hellish are inspiring all sorts of headbanging here.

Opener ‘Total Darkness’ leads you into a furious maelstrom of proto thrash, complete with snarling vocals and relentless chaos. ‘Silent Night’ is more of the same, blackened thrashing in the vein of Sarcofago, Archgoat or the finest offerings from Hell’s Headbangers. ‘Theurgist’s Spell’ positively pulses with dark energy; each blackened chainsaw riff gleams with a kind of rusty malevolence. The drumming is a battery from Hell, and when the EP comes to an abrupt end with the flailing evil of ‘Assassin Mind’, it’s over too soon.

Hellish have got that traditional South American fury melded into classic German thrash, and it makes ‘Theurgist’s Spell’ a treat for your bloodstained ears.