Posts Tagged ‘Transcending Obscurity’

Paganizer-Bandcamp.jpg

If there was a band that, in 2019, defines Swedish death metal better than Paganizer, I’d love to hear about them. The hardest working dude in death metal, Rogga Johansson, is back with more riffs and more savagery with ‘The Tower of the Morbid’, released late last year through Transcending Obscurity.

Cloaked in some awesome Dan Seagrave artwork, this is a record that goes for the jugular straight away with the galloping ‘Flesh Tornado’ and barely lets up from there. The guitar work is thick; chunky riffing with that trademark Swedeath buzz, ripping solos and chugging brutality. Can you avoid banging your head to the thunderous stomp of ‘Cannibal Remains’? No, that is impossible. But this is no one dimensional hack and slash death metal record. The melancholic ‘Redemptionless’ is a melodic tour de force, the gloomy ‘They Came to Die’ is gloriously Amon Amarth-like in its sword swinging power and the title track throbs with an ancient darkness.

A stunning microcosm of just why Swedish death metal is so highly regarded as a style, ‘The Tower of the Morbid’ is as close as you’ll come to a modern classic of the genre. The guitarwork is top notch, the songwriting is creative and yet very streamlined, and the overall atmosphere is laden with death. Rogga does it again, and Paganizer are a joy to behold in full flight.

https://www.facebook.com/paganizersweden/

https://paganizer.bandcamp.com/

https://transcendingobscurity.bandcamp.com/

Chaos Motion - Psychological Spasms Cacophony

The twisting carnage of French death metal scientists Chaos Motion’s newest record ‘Psychological Spasms Cacophony’ must, frankly, be written by some kind of laboratory born mutant. That is the only way to explain how the genre is pulled in the strangest of directions by this band. It is out now through Transcending Obscurity.

The jerky, spasming ‘Intro’ will immediately let you know that something is afoot here. ‘The Sound of Specter’ ramps up the Gorguts and Atheist influences, but with a lot of added weirdness. This is an album that truly lives up to its title, with random jerking riffing interspersing the almost mathcore rage that infests ‘Perturbation of a Spin’. I’ve never heard anything that resembles this before, and throughout the forty minute runtime that feeling becomes more and more apparent. Just when you think you’re going to have a bit of a headbang it stops on a dime, spins and careers off in another direction.

The brain melting ‘Vital Vision Void’ sits astride the middle of this record, and its maddening structure is possibly the ideal summation of everything this record brings. There are times when I’m not even sure it still counts as death metal; where the abstraction of sound takes precedence over what we would think of as ‘typical’ death metal. ‘Inner Chaos’ is a great example of this. Don’t get me wrong though, when the heavy comes it is dense and devastating and a respite almost from the aural tyranny wrought upon us.

‘Psychological Spasms Cacophony’ is the logical conclusion of Psyopus, Meshuggah and Gorguts all fighting on a space station orbiting a black hole. An album that is not catchy, has no specifically memorable riffs or melodies but is yet utterly mesmerising. A staggering achievement, Chaos Motion have created something terrifyingly addictive with this; a genuinely unique sound.

https://www.facebook.com/chaosmotionband

https://chaosmotionband.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/transcendingobscurityrecords

The Drowning - The Radiant Dark

If there is one nation suited to bringing us mighty slabs of misery this year, it is Britain. Lords of death/doom The Drowning release their fifth full length record, ‘The Radiant Dark’, on the 5th of November through Transcending Obscurity and it looks to provide us another reason to be miserable during a wet and cold winter. But in a good way!

After the emotional swell of ‘Alpha Orionis’, ‘The Triumph of the Wolf in Death’ crashes upon us like waves in a storm. True great death/doom hits you not only with weight but with an emotional fragility that The Drowning really understand. ‘The Radiant Dark’ oozes with a glimmering bleakness, a towering crush of brutality and melancholy that is staggering. This is a beautiful record, from the sweeping rainy misery of ‘I Carve the Heart from the Universe’ to the glacial gloom of ‘In Cold Earth’ and the majestic ache of ‘Blood Marks My Grave’. The Drowning have honed their craft into something that transcends mere genre classifications. There is true moments of thunderous death metal here as well, not just the slow, inexorable crawl of sadness, best shown in the crushing rage of ‘Harrowed Path’.

‘The Radiant Dark’ looms large in my records of the year, as there is few releases this year that combine both the heaviness I look for as well as the emotional connection. It is a record that, when I hear it, it makes me feel alive. That is a rarity these days, and it counts for a lot.

https://www.facebook.com/DrowningWales/

https://drowningwales.bandcamp.com/album/the-radiant-dark-death-doom-metal

https://transcendingobscurity.bandcamp.com/music

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Members of the sadly lost Affliction Gate and the legendary Catacomb have joined together to create the latest monster raiding the French death metal underground, Nox Irae. Their newest release ‘Here the Dead Live’ is out in November through Transcending Obscurity and is pretty much everything you’d expect it to be.

The blistering ‘Phantom Parasite Trauma’ blows me away to start with, with a instant ‘big hit’ of killer riffing and snarling vocals. This is how you want to start a record; not with a moody intro or some kind of swelling orchestral nonsense. The initial hit is so refreshing and when it settles into an old school grinding death metal chug it just feels so right. You can tell immediately that this is a band of scene veterans, as they’re never afraid to slip in a little classic heavy metal influence too. The soloing in ‘All is Over’ is proof of that, as is the thrashy nature of ‘Knife Under Throat’. This is a record that is not afraid to remember how good Possessed, Death and Bolt Thrower used to be; when death metal had a little more thrash about it.

A thrillingly straightforward record that, in only 26 minutes, proves that old fashioned death metal will never die when it is this good. ‘Here the Dead Live’ is short but sweet, satisfied with conjuring that feeling of when you first came across death metal rather than trying to reinvent it. All hail!

https://noxiraedeath.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/noxiraefrance

https://tometal.com/store/

0N0 - Cloaked Climax Concealed

This strange, hybrid of noisy industrial and crushing death/doom comes to us from the enigmatically named 0N0, and ‘Cloaked Climax Concealed’ is yet another release from Transcending Obscurity that looks to challenge your perceptions of ‘heavy’. It is out now.

Opener ‘The Crown Unknown’ builds to a clattering Godfleshian nightmare, where groaning guitars thunder into uncomfortable noise atmospherics beyond. There’s deep growls and also a haunting female vocal hidden in here too, and it becomes this mesmerising wall of sound. ‘Hidden in the Trees (Sail This Wrecked Ship)’ is possessed with a ravaging dissonance, and really the two tracks run together into one, gloriously hypnotic whole. The subtle moments of soaring melody behind the layers of sound also really adds a nice wrinkle to what seems like a brutal experience.

‘Cloaked Climax Concealed’ is a short release, but these two tracks will give you an idea of what 0N0 are all about, and what that is appears to be the slow inexorable slide into industrial armageddon. An essential listen.

https://www.facebook.com/0n0band

https://www.facebook.com/transcendingobscurityrecords

https://ono0110.bandcamp.com/

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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/

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