Posts Tagged ‘Self Released’

With a name like Denim Casket, it’s almost gotta be old school thrash, right? Wrong actually, as this mutated Idaho trio are some bass led, noise mongering chaoticians. Their self released demo is available now through their Bandcamp.

Nasty, grinding sludge/death metal murkiness is probably the best way to describe this demo. The short, sharp blast of ‘Reverse Egg’ leads us to the rabid ‘Ham is Hog Butt’ that spasms and crawls like that terrifying lassie out of the Grudge. ‘Permanent Marker’ is similar, evoking this feeling of dread that is enveloping. Maddeningly heavy, due to their double bass/no guitar assault, Denim Casket grind along at the low, low, low end of the spectrum. Feedback squeals evoke EyeHateGod in the raw, sneering ‘Wrinkled Shirt’.

It is almost difficult to do Denim Casket’s demo justice. It is nasty, brutal music that doesn’t really fit into any real genre. Sludgy, abrasive, scowling; it is the aural equivalent of watching someone get their head kicked in in a filthy alley. Unpleasant but you can’t really look away.

https://denimcasket.bandcamp.com/album/demo

https://www.facebook.com/Denim-Casket-1641474882547114/

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Khazaddum - Plagues upon Arda

Dwarven death metal eh? Well, being a massive Tolkien fan you could say that Khazaddum was always going to appeal to me but their latest release, ‘Plagues Upon Arda’ really strikes many of the chords I look for in a great death metal release. Out last year through self release, this is almost 40 minutes of axe swinging, orc shredding brutality.

After the grand opening ‘The Halls of Khazad-Dum’, ‘The Deathless Crown’ is ferociously single minded, barrelling forward with bloodstained intent. Combining the grinding low level heaviness of old school death metal with a firm grasp of the kind of speed and hyperactivity that makes Hypocrisy or Deicide so much fun, Khazaddum blast through these nine tracks with power and savagery. The addition of orchestral flourishes really helps to bring that Tolkien atmosphere to life. The books and films are basically beautiful symphonies of violence and majesty, and Khazaddum capture that perfectly when angelic voices soar in the background of the stunning ‘Lord of Isengard’.

From the fiery raging ‘The Fell Rider’s Scourge’ to the grandiose violence of ‘Shelob the Great’, ‘Plagues Upon Arda’ is a savage tribute to the beauty and brutality of Tolkien’s realm. Never boring and always devastating, Khazaddum are once again standing proud upon broken corpses, defending their dwarven kingdoms. Hail, kings under the mountain!

https://www.facebook.com/Khazaddumband/

https://khazaddumband.bandcamp.com/album/plagues-upon-arda

Pemphigoid are an old school death metal group from Nottinghamshire, UK, and their debut record ‘Where Compassion Comes to Die’ is the work of a hard touring band that takes its name from a rare autoimmune blistering skin disease. So you can kind of guess in what direction the lyrical content goes at least…

Very clearly influenced by early 90s death metal, particularly British luminaries Carcass, opener ‘Surgery’ gurgles with deadly intent immediately. Eschewing much of modern technicality, Pemphigoid instead go straight for a crunchy Obituary riff with a sickening vocal for devastating effect. The guitar tone is thick like clotting blood, and with various samples and creepy interludes ramping up the horror throughout, this does feel like a bloodied B-movie record. Reeking of fetid death, the groaning heft of ‘Bite Radius’ is a raw gem, as is the chugging misery of ‘Endophagia’.

‘Where Compassion Comes to Die’ is a solid reproduction of classic death metal values, and while the rough production hinders some of their songs from embracing their true greatness (the too murky ‘Necrolatry’ for example), Pemphigoid have definitely got something here to work on for future releases. Brutal, simple and utterly charming in its raw form, ‘Where Compassion Comes to Die’ is DIY death at its most viral.

https://pemphigoid.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/pemphigoid/

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Canada’s North Hammer are a one man project focusing on bringing us tales of mighty Vikings and northern battles through folk inspired melodic death metal. ‘Stormcaller’ is their debut record, and it is due out in just a few weeks on March 16th. If you like some epic, charging Amon Amarthisms, you’re going to have a field day with ‘Stormcaller’.

Opener ‘Avatar’ is exactly that; massive chugging riffs with killer melodies and throaty roars launch from their longboats, ready to cleanse the heathen lands in blood. North Hammer clearly know exactly which side their bread is buttered on, and make no apologies for the huge riffs that rain blows down upon us mere mortals. The anthemic ‘Magic Mead’ is reminiscient of Ensiferum at their most singalong, and the clattering swords of ‘Tip of the Spear’ makes for a fine battle hymn. The acoustic shades of the drizzly ‘Black Forest Rain’ is washed away by the glorious ‘Spellbinder’, weaving epic leads into a galloping brute of a track.

North Hammer hit all the right notes with ‘Stormcaller’, a strong and swift record full of great tracks and it leaves you invigorating and ready for anything. A record for axe swinging, mead swilling and blood spilling, ‘Stormcaller’ is one of the most fun and fist pumping records you’ll hear this year.

https://www.facebook.com/NorthHammerOfficial/

https://andrewjames928.wixsite.com/northhammer

https://northhammer.bandcamp.com/releases

A black metal duo from both Shanghai and Prague, Kosmogyr spans both continents and worlds with their enthralling debut record ‘Eviternity’. A self released record, their take on black metal’s shape shifting form is both interesting and exciting. It is due out on March 9th and can be preordered through their Bandcamp page.

The first thing I noticed on the torrential ‘The Wane’ was the quality of the production. This is no tin thin, rattly black metal album. These are songs that are thick, dense with power and crisp with evil intentions. Soaring melodies weave in amongst harsh vocals and blistering drums. This is an album full of stark, bleak beauty, where waves of riffing flow past you like icy rivers but you are tethered in the maelstrom by a superhuman bottom line. Vocals tear at you like a ragged wind, but you are mesmerised into staying put. Feeling the storm of ‘Frailty’ is invigorating, powerful even. ‘Eviternity’ demands little but your attention, but it will take much more from you.

Relentless, remorseless and yet almost fragile in its position. Like an ancient, cracked obelisk, timeless and strong but ready to fall at any moment. Weakened by cold melody but held firm by pure black metal fury. ‘Eviternity’ is a staggering piece of work as a debut record, and Kosmogyr should be proud. It is my new benchmark for black metal this year.

https://www.facebook.com/kosmogyr

https://kosmogyr.bandcamp.com/album/eviternity

Boethiah worship at the bloodstained altars of Dismember, Asphyx and Grave, and their new record ‘Invocation of the Xenolith’ is testament to the dedication to that sound that they have. An entirely self produced and self released record, these Californians have created something very nasty and rampant. It is out now!

The opening title track contains all the hallmarks of Swedish death that we all love; chainsawing riffs, throat shredding roars and chaotic drumming. Stabbed by some wild soloing, it is instantly appealing. Grinding death metal continues to assault the senses throughout the battering ‘Creation’ and the crushing carnage of ‘Impending Dread’. Boethiah are keeping the spirit of savage Swedeath alive, with riffs and particularly vocals soaking in that classic swampy filth of the early 90s. Combining that with the relentless surge of ‘Voices Beyond’ which feels soooo Bolt Thrower-y, this is a record that will flatten you.

‘Invocation of the Xenolith’ is a beast of a record; keeping the flames of classic death metal burning while taking a firm grasp on their own destiny and their own sound. Yeah, you could argue that you’ve heard everything that Boethiah do before, but you haven’t probably heard it executed this well in years. ‘Invocation of the Xenolith’ is killer, and well worth the listen.

https://boethiah.bandcamp.com/album/invocation-of-the-xenolith

https://www.facebook.com/BoethiahBand/

To put it out there that you are influenced by the likes of Mayhem, Joy Division, Pink Floyd and Morbid Angel is to invite a curious glance or two. But Morvigor are approaching their black/death metal a little differently obviously, and that should be applauded. Their new record, ‘Tyrant’ isn’t your average extreme metal record. Come with me on a journey through time and space…

First track proper ‘No Repentance’ kicks us off after a gloomy intro with building clean guitar then a crusty black metal riff kicks in hard. It is instantly catchy, and loses nothing of its necro charm in the process. Massive melody aches to burst through the blackened exterior, while ‘The Martyr’s Ascension’ builds to this crescendo where dashes of post metal appear too. Morvigor seem to be capturing extremity in its modern form, where the old fashioned ‘rawness’ of black metal competes with more progressive influences to create something invigorating.

Pushing through the doors opened by the likes of Enslaved, Morvigor take the traditions of black metal, beef it up with the power of death metal but then take it into uncharted territory, where the melody and the space is as important as the heaviness or the savagery. The delicate strums of ‘Interlude’ lead us to the magnificent, galaxial movements of ‘Blood of the Pelican’, which ascends beyond our comprehension through glacial melody, galloping black metal grandiosity and soaring atmospheric black metal space.

This record is huge. Vast swathes of black space are combed in search of that elusive quality that Morvigor possess in spades. By the time the Primordial worship of the title track comes to its piano laden end, you’ll have witnessed some of the finest music put to tape in the past year. ‘Tyrant’ is wondrous.

http://morvigor.nl/

https://morvigor.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Morvigor/