Posts Tagged ‘UK’

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

This blog started many years ago with a big focus on the Cumbrian black metal scene, as I had recently moved to the area and was enthralled by the bleak beauty of the fells and the bleak music they inspired. Nefarious Dusk’s ‘God is Dead’ single was an early gateway to it, and they are now releasing ‘The Wanderer of the Cold North’, another tribute to this cold northern realm.

The gloomy open to ‘Hodbarrow’ really ramps up the atmosphere immediately before the fiery ‘Millom’, and when the first of the four part ‘Helvellyn’ hits, the first thing you can feel is the improvements in production. A warm feeling of roundedness filters through the crisp, icy riffs and gives everything just a little more potency. The guitar work is still very much classic second wave black metal, scouring through your veins like a howling wind while a savage rasp conjures black magic from cold, dark places. What Nefarious Dusk has now is a much grander scope; despite the necrotic guitar tone and the bleak, wintry assault on the senses, ‘The Wanderer of the Cold North’ has a lot of huge spaces, reminding me of Wolves in the Throne Room.

Nefarious Dusk have really put together what you could describe as the quintessential black metal record for 2019. Holding true to the ancient evils that created this special style, ‘The Wanderer of the Cold North’ also feels fresh and new, with somewhat haunting melancholy seeping through the blizzard. Perfectly capturing the spirit of these old English places, where the land aches with primordial mystery. Superb

https://www.facebook.com/nduk666

https://shop.purity-through-fire.com/en/

The slow rise of UK death metallers Ashen Crown has come with support slots of some of death metal’s biggest legends (Obituary, Memoriam), and they are finally poised to release their debut full length ‘Obsolescence’. The record deals with the obsoletion of many things, but will it leave their hopes of breaking through the underground obsolete?

Fortunately, that is unlikely. The surgical precision of modern death metal is on show throughout opener ‘Unbroken Faith’; with huge amounts of Black Dahlia Murder riffing and a killer vocal performance, it’s clear that Ashen Crown are setting their sights on a bigger stage and a larger audience. The fretwork is frantic, riffs impatient to spill out and the brutality, oh the brutality is tremendous. The imperious march of ‘Right to Rise’ looms large with some nice melodic guitar work, and the moment when the operatic female vocal soars from the crushing ‘Blood Beneath Us’ is truly glorious.

‘Obsolescence’ is a triumph from start to finish. Ashen Crown have absorbed all the best nuances of modern death metal and avoided the pitfalls. Each song is distinguishable from its predecessor and whether moving at a fast pace or slowing it down with melodious passages, ‘Obsolescence’ never fails to hold your attention. By the time the brooding ‘Under the Leaves’ brings us to a close, you’ll be hooked. Great stuff!

https://www.facebook.com/ashencrown.uk/

https://ashencrown.bigcartel.com/

 

Gorebringer - A Craving for Flesh

British melodeath up-and-comers Gorebringer have just released their debut full length ‘A Craving for Flesh’ through Gate of the Silver Key Records, and it looks to add them to the pantheon of excellent bands to come shredding from these shores in recent years. Are you ready for riffs? ARE YOU?!

The galloping fury of ‘The Fog’ hits immediately after a creepy intro, with floods of blastbeats powering a score of awesome melodic leads. They are brutal and gory, but cannot help themselves injecting every song with a selection of absolutely killer melodies. It is probably the best album In Flames haven’t released since ‘Reroute to Remain’. There’s an overwhelming Black Dahlia Murder influence, as well as the more obvious At the Gates ones, and the writhing frenzy of ‘Bloodsoaked Chapel’ is superb. At a meaty 41 minutes too, nothing overstays its welcome or doesn’t have time to properly develop.

If there isn’t anything for you in ‘A Craving fro Flesh’, then you just don’t like metal. Gorebringer fall over themselves to hit you with every riff in the book, the musicianship is tight and excellent, the brutality is front and centre, and you don’t get any of those ‘clean vocals’ sections. Fuck, this rules. Pay them money immediately.

https://gateofthesilverkey.bandcamp.com/album/a-craving-for-flesh

https://gorebringer.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/Gorebringer

Consecration - Fragilium

British death/doom lords Consecration have recently released their 2nd record, ‘Fragilium’, through Solitude Records, and it looks to follow their 2014 debut ‘Ephemerality’ into the realms of classic darkness, misery and bruality. I was a big fan of that record, so let’s see what lurks beneath this glorious cover art.

You know you have some proper death/doom when you have 5 tracks that total over 50 minutes, and your intro is over 7 of those! Opener ‘In Darkened Slumber’ gently leads you forward, like the forest path in a light mist, before those darker sections in the distance. Is that a tolling bell? What is out there for us to find? The answer lies in the primal death of ‘A Sentinel for the Fragile’, which belches forth with guttural growls and nasty riffs. The sodden gloom of ‘In Somnus Ego Morrior (In My Sleep I Die) is almost suffocating at points, while the glorious contrast of clean guitar and then crushing vocals and walls of miserable riffing comes to its natural conclusion in titanic closer ‘To Welcome the Grey’.

‘Fragilium’ possesses all the hallmarks of a classic death/doom record; fragile emotional heft, flowing on the primordial ocean of massive riffs. Dense, mesmerising and utterly devastating, Consecration have struck gold once again. This is incredible.

https://www.facebook.com/Consecration666/

https://solitude-prod.com/?sl=en

https://solitudeproductions.bandcamp.com/

Tableau Mort - Veil of Stigma. Book I: Mark of Delusion

The debut full length from London’s Tableau Mort plays with the themes of Romanian Orthodox Christianity to create an album about the madness inducing pursuit of knowledge and perfection. ‘Veil of Stigma. Book I: Mark of Delusion’ is an unwieldy title, but the black metal within is anything but. It is out now through Loud Rage Music.

The warm thrust of opener ‘Impending Corruption’ is balanced with a raspy, cold vocal, and it is always good to have a black metal record that isn’t tin pot production. Some of the best black metal records have a thick sound, and Tableau Mort head in that direction. The ghostly choral backdrop and chanting bring those orthodox thematics to the fore. Imagine Marduk covering Deathspell Omega, and you’re kind of on the right path. ‘Fall of Man’ is a powerhouse track, while the gloomy incantations of the savage ‘Carpenter of Sorrow’ is glorious. My favourite track is the fire and brimstone laden ‘Tapestry Sewn’, which also contains just the right amount of wistful melancholy as well.

There is something paradoxically ‘right’ about black metal interpretations of Christian orthodoxy, and Tableau Mort really hammer that home with this record. This is a black metal record of heart, of substance, of ethereality filtered through savagery. A most potent mix, and I certainly will be after ‘Book II’ when we are graced with it.

https://www.facebook.com/tableaumort/

https://loudragemusic.com/

https://loudragemusic.bandcamp.com/album/tableau-mort-veil-of-stigma-book-i-mark-of-delusion

Blind Monarch - What Is Imposed Must Be Endured

The titanic sludge doom of British misery artists Blind Monarch has finally seen the light of day earlier this year through Black Bow Records, and ‘What is Imposed Must Be Endured’ is four tracks and almost an hour of crumbling, ruinous music.

Opener ‘Suffering Breathes My Name’ seeps, drips, crawls into view; a mesmerising magma flow of earth wrenching riffs and tar gargling roars. A funereal pace lurches the song forward, with huge Winter style riffs being accompanied by the kind of nihilistic scream you’d find in NOLA’s finest. The quiet moments of ‘My Mother, My Cradle, My Tomb’ are almost as terrifying as the rest, the band’s eponymous track drags us to the cold edge of cosmic oblivion where closer ‘Living Altar’, gently prepares us what is to be endured. Which happens around the four minute mark and your sacrificial casting into the void marks the beginning of the end of this mammoth paean to darkness.

Blind Monarch’s vast, crushing doom would be a fitting epitaph to the end of this world. ‘What is Imposed Must Be Endured’ is the kind of record that comes along rarely; one that plays with emotional heft as well as the weight of its riffs. Blind Monarch are superb, and if this world doesn’t collapse under its own self destruction, please may we have more of this?!

https://www.facebook.com/blindmonarchband/

https://blindmonarch.bandcamp.com/releases