Posts Tagged ‘Self Released’

Sathamel - Horror Vacui

The return of Sathamel is, for me, long awaited. Their self titled EP haunts my CD collection, armed with savagery and blasphemy aplenty. But there’s only so much Satanic hunger that particular disc can sate. ‘Horror Vacui’ is out now, and looks to fulfil that promise that Sathamel inspired a mere five years ago.

Opener ‘Libera Me’ swells with regal ambience before riffs of supremity come chugging from my speakers. You can feel the influence of latter-day Behemoth strongly on this, but it would be lazy to just assume this is a band that are not capable of holding their own in the face of such comparisons. Sure, Nergal’s songwriting skills loom large over the likes of ‘Swit’ or ‘A New Age of Lycanthropy’, but you have the Marduk-esque blasting of ‘Raise Flame from Ash’, or even the regal, Rotting Christ-like ‘There Where is No Time’. Sathamel draw deep from the well of many, but combine that with excellent songwriting skills of their own. It’ll be difficult to find a more memorable composition of darkness this year then ‘Of Spilled Wine and Broken Glass’.

‘Horror Vacui’ may mean fear of empty space, but you’ll barely find a crack in the glistening, blasphemic armour that has been clad upon this band. Sathamel have not reinvented the wheel on ‘Horror Vacui’, but they’ve anointed it with sacred oils and cast it as a sacrifice to the dark lord. And that lord has blessed our pathetic souls with an absolute belter. Make the sign of the inverted cross and give in to the fear of the void.

A new two man project of death from Richmond, Virginia, Priests of Prometheus released their debut EP on New Year’s Day 2020 so it seems like a good record to start the year with. ‘Lodestar’ is out through their Bandcamp.

Opening with the visceral ‘Omnigore’, it is clear that main songwriter Justin Wolz has really managed to put together a great collection of songs here. A dose of grandeur dissolves into an acidic Swedeath riff, but that sense of majestic space returns and the crunchy guitar tone really breathes well here. A genuinely different take on modern/old school death, punctuated with glorious soloing. The battering, Cannibal Corpse-esque assault of ‘Darkened’ is superb, as is the chugging Suffocation-like thunder that powers the indomitable ‘Lacuna of Forgetfulness’.

Closing with the sweeping, brutal and technical tour de force of ‘Enlightened’, ‘Lodestar’ pulses with potential for what a full length could do. Priests of Prometheus have made a stunning start to 2020, and this will remain in rotation throughout the year. Great stuff!

‘Epistēmē’ is the second record from Bulgarian black metallers Dimholt, and it came out at the backend of October this year, through the band’s Bandcamp page. If I was to say that you can tell immediately that this is Eastern European black metal, I think you can guess what it sound like?

‘Death Comes First’ roars from the gate, spraying the band’s obvious early Behemoth influences everywhere, but Dimholt do not just follow in the footsteps of the dark Polish gods. Full of interesting riff patterns, atonal melodies and a savage snarl, ‘Epistēmē’ is a glorious example of modern black metal. Each song is soaked in a blackened majesty, from the regal ‘Into Darker Serenity’ through the fire breathing ‘Nether’ to the eerie instant classic ‘The Hollow Men’. This is an album never content to rest on its laurels, instead always becoming something unexpected, something new and viral. Closer ‘Aletheia’ sounds like an animal, straining to be freed, begging to be unleashed upon the world, and I feel like that is a great metaphor for Dimholt themselves.

‘Epistēmē’ is making a very late play for my black metal album of the year; this is simply tremendous stuff. Potent, swirling in black magic and a righteous fury seeps through every barbed riff and rasped howl. Just listen to ‘The Martyr’s Congregation’ and prepare yourself for the sacrifice. Fucking awesome.


Irillion - Fatanyu

This is the second EP from Venezuelan atmospheric black metallers Irillion, and ‘Fatanyu’ looks to build from 2016’s debut, ‘Egledhron’, It is out now through the band’s Bandcamp.

The opening title track begins bleak and cold, and then descends into hellish growls and raspy guitarwork. Generally, you’ll expect ‘atmospheric’ to mean ghostly or ethereal, but Irillion conjure up choking atmospheres of brimstone and poisonous flames. The pummelling murk of ‘Belzoond’ is equally dark and miasmic, while closer ‘Meneltarma’ does have a little more breathing room but is essentially more of this dense, gurgling darkness. The South Americans have always excelled at new levels of rawness and evil when it comes to extreme music, so this fits in very well with continental greats.

A claggy, suffocating EP that has a lot of potential to put Irillion on the map. The riffs are venomous, the atmosphere is thick and dense and the vocals are like the belch of Satan himself. This is a killer EP and I look forward to more.

The Osedax - Meridians

The third album from Virginians The Osedax is an odyssey through the possibilities of sludge doom majesty. ‘Meridians’ is out in January next year, and plays with shades of heavy in ways that is refreshing and honest. Named for a bone burrowing deep sea worm, this is definitely something crafted at benthic depths.

Opener ‘Offen’ is a truly majestic piece; trawling the greatest moments of Isis and Neurosis and melding that to a sense of scale that is staggering. The ebb and flow of the primordial crush, sodden with glacial weight, is inspiring. Almost as inspiring is the eerie calm of ‘Beacon/Ox Eye’s opening few minutes, when the quiet ambient hum is only broken by an occasional note. As the riff begins to appear, shimmering like a mirage over a salt flat you are suddenly bombarded with dense, raging catharsis. It is almost black metal in places, with the shrieks echoing throughout, but nothing can outplay the crushing deepsea trench riffs that ooze from the cracks in the earth. ‘White Horse/Tempest’ has this same beautiful juxtaposition of haunting ambient noise, almost whale song-like, before thunderous guitar avalanches through, and closer ‘Ratlines’ is bleak and mesmerisingly peaceful.

There will be an almighty fight for this to be beaten as my album of 2020. It speaks to me in such a primordial way, that I pity what will follow. ‘Meridians’ is glorious, and The Osedax are the gods of these ancient, deep waters. Preorder this now

The hypnotising, psychedelic grooves flowing from the latest release from Der Blutharsch and the Infinite Church of the Healing Hand (just Der Blutharsch from now on), is another trippy slab of psychedelic, doomy stoner rock. A very hard collective to quantify, sometimes it is just easier to describe what we hear, and ‘Wish I Weren’t Here’ falls into that category.

The opening track, ‘Evil’ is pure distilled hallucination, dreamy and psychedelic with a rumbling guitar underneath, soaked in fuzz. The title track is laden with spoken word parts amid a driving gloom, and the soulful blues guitar of ‘Make Me See the Light’ is one of the more electrifying moments. Der Blutharsch are pretty strange at times, but when the freakouts and the groove connect, more often than not it is truly great stuff. The sinister squelch of bass in ‘Just Because I Can’, the soulful psychedelic soloing spiralling throughout the neofolk freakouts of ‘My Soul Rests Free’, the driving ‘Forgotten’; each track gives you something a little different but it all slots together into a mesmerising experience.

‘Wish I Weren’t Here’ is not the kind of record I usually review here on the Killchain, but it is a nice change of pace. If you need something to put on, space out and feel like you can commune with the cosmos at large, this is the record for you. Der Blutharsch will absorb you fully.