Posts Tagged ‘USA’

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Chalice of Suffering’s last record, ‘For You I Die’ was a monument to pure misery and doom, and their new record ‘Lost Eternally’ looks to build on that work and create something truly emotionally draining. It is out now through Transcending Obscurity and is here to sap you of your lifeforce.

When you go for walks in misted woodlands or on rugged fells as a metalhead, you immediately hear music like this in your brain. There is a primal, Gaian sweep to this record, creaking with the weight of a million generations of life on its shoulders. The opener ‘In the Mist of Once Was’ hits you in that same emotional way that My Dying Bride’s earliest pieces did. The haunting pipes echoing in the background speak of lost kingdoms, of shattered ancestry and of lost loves. You’d think that such a gut punch to start couldn’t be bettered, but the band have more ideas.

The groaning growls of ‘Emancipation of Pain’ echo over tectonic rumbles, while the hypnotic grooves of ‘Forever Winter’ wash over you like miserable waves. Every moent is laced with atmosphere, weaving a tapestry of depressive misery into which we can lose ourselves. Chalice of Suffering’s cup runneth over with moments of guttural death, but their subtler touches are the best. The tinkling keys under the title track’s mammoth sway is a mere  glimpse into their repetoire.

‘Lost Eternally’ is a suitable album title, as you will find yourself lost amongst the huge riffs and the heartrending pain summoned through every song. A titanic offering, that will inject your summer with a heathly dose of rain and sorrow. Buy it now!

https://www.facebook.com/ChaliceOfSuffering

https://transcendingobscurity.aisamerch.de/shop-en

https://chaliceofsuffering.bandcamp.com/

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Feral Light - Fear Rides a Shadow

A two man, ferociously black metal machine, Feral Light’s second album ‘Fear Rides a Shadow’ is out now through Pulverised Records, and is another example of the malevolent fury seeping through the USBM scene.

The cold riffs permeating the opener, ‘Wake’, feels like the precursor to oblivion; the oblivion that arrives with the cascading savagery of ‘Arrow/Beast’, that is possessed of a thrilling juxtaposition of almost black and roll still riffing while being infested with a toxic, black metal fury. The production lends the guitar work a rough edge, and the unholy screams and growls accompany this ‘feral’ attitude. It immediately makes songs like ‘Spirit Inanimate’ feel more memorable, and some of the more unusual melody lines, particularly in the introverted rage of ‘Psychic Dirt’ are immediately earworms.

If you don’t feel moved by the type of black metal thrust upon you in album highlight ‘Cold Monochrome’, then your lust for black metal is truly one dimensional. Feral Light bring us the evolution, where the blasting and shrieking ferocity of the past meets the shapeshifting progression of the future. ‘Fear Rides a Shadow’ is an album that shows no fear, and takes no prisoners.

https://www.facebook.com/ferallight/

https://ferallight.bandcamp.com/

https://www.pulverised.net/

Pig's Blood - A Flock Slaughtered

From Milwaukee, Wisconsin comes the second record from death metal destroyers Pig’s Blood. ‘A Flock Slaughtered’ is out now through Godz ov War Productions, and is a half hour assault to the head and neck area.

The rumbling savagery of opener ‘Gates Ripped Open’ lays the groundwork for the aural smackdown about to occur. This is brutally heavy, with a dense chainsawing guitar tone raping and pillaging your senses while a thunderous low end and battery of drums shakes the ground. What I really appreciate about this record is the thickness of the sound. It’s suffocatingly heavy, with barely any chinks of light poking through. Throat shredding growls howl over the churning Obituary worship of ‘Violent Spirit of Decadence’, while there’s a sludgey Autopsy-esque nightmare waiting those who listen to ‘Maniacal Triumph’s Embrace’.

‘A Flock Slaughtered’ is over before you’re really ready for it to be, and I itched to turn it straight back on. Primal evil soaks through each riff, blood gargles in every growl, and the maddening stabbing solos that punctuate the tracks combine to create a great record. Get this asap if you like your death to be a little dark and dense.

https://www.facebook.com/commandmoreblood/

https://godzovwarproductions.bandcamp.com/album/a-flock-slaughtered

Vale of Pnath - Accursed

Technical death shredders Vale of Pnath are releasing their new EP, ‘Accursed’, through the iconic Willowtip Records, and even though it is an EP it still manages to cram 27 minutes of serious mind melting music into it. It is due to come out in May.

Like the valley of Lovecraftian horror they are named for, Vale of Pnath’s intro, ‘Shadow and Agony’ is suitably dark and horrifying. It leads directly into the maelstorm of ‘The Darkest Gate’, which couples the maddening technical death metal for which the band are known, with an undeniably miasmic black metal atmosphere. There is so much collaboration between black and death metal now that it is sometimes difficult to see where each genre splits, but Vale of Pnath manage to keep their riffing deathly and their atmospherics blackened. There’s moments in ‘Skin Turned Soil’ that bring to mind ‘Deathcult’-era Dimmu, while ‘Audient Void’ sounds like an echo chamber for the vale of Pnath itself.

The cascading death metal riffing of ‘Obsidian Realm’, that begins to drown in the blackened waters is a perfect example of why ‘Accursed’ is a record that is a joy to write about. The overall atmosphere is menacing, horrendous filth that seethes with untold terror, while the musicianship is equally jaw dropping. Vale of Pnath’s work is carved from molten rock, and burnished into an alien hue, both unknown and mesmerising.

https://willowtip.bandcamp.com/

https://valeofpnath.bandcamp.com/album/accursed

https://www.facebook.com/ValeOfPnathCO/

Usurper - Lords of the Permafrost

Last seen on 2005’s ‘Cryptobeast’, Chicago legends Usurper have returned from a 14 year hiatus to drop ‘Lords of the Permafrost’, a snarling blackened thrash beast ready to take back their crown as defenders of the faith. It is out on the 22nd of March through Soulseller Records.

Opener ‘Skull Splitter’ is a chugging, ferocious track layered with a classic thrash gallop, coated in a slimy blackened tar that adds a nice dose of savagery. Usurper’s main focus appears to be designed to thrash live pits to death, and their grasp of chunky riffing is unmatched. Imagine Unearth crossed with the rough edge of Skeletonwitch and you’ve about got it. The clattering title track definitely has a touch of Sodom about it, while the weird soloing howls spiralling through ‘Gargoyle’ keeps things interesting.

‘Lords of the Permafrost’ is an album made for those of us who still like to bang our heads with ease and not worry about esoteric concepts or overwrought atmospherics. This is thrashy heavy metal with the appropriate flourishes of darkness and carnage welded in, and it slays hard. Recommended.

https://www.facebook.com/usurper.chicago/

https://soulsellerrecords.bandcamp.com/album/lords-of-the-permafrost

Funereal Presence - Achatius

The forever changing and labyrinthine world of black metal is a wondrous locale to spend time. Wallowing in the strictest of genre staples or left adrift above worlds of experimentation, sometimes you don’t know what you’ll get when you start a record. Such is ‘Achatius’, the follow up to Funereal Presence’s 2014 debut, ‘The Archer Takes Aim’. This is a record that plows its own furrow, and it is out February 15th through Sepulchral Voice Records and The Ajna Offensive.

As opener ‘Wherein Achatius is Awakened and Called Upon’ builds glacially, you start to feel something is different here. Ok, torrents of fiery black metal do proceed to cascade from your speakers after a bit, but there is an underlying almost psychedelic nature to it. Traditional black metal tropes wrestle with a sound that you just don’t hear anymore. Imagine Funereal Presence’s riffing to be like a solar flare, burning unfathomably hot in its core but grasping outwards into realms unknown before being sucked back. ‘Wherein a Messenger of the Devil Appears’ is full of these moments, and in fact ‘Achatius’ feels like a record not afraid to put in anything deemed essential to create the right sound. Hell there’s even a goddamn cowbell!

I love this record for its unorthodox style, the exhilarating freedom it has to do anything, yet the dedication to grounding it in a traditional black metal form. Intense, full of variety and moments that’ll blow your mind, Funereal Presence have created probably the most unique record you’ll come across this year in the genre. Stunning.

https://funerealpresence.bandcamp.com/releases

 

Northern Crown - Northern Crown

The thunderous doom and smoky atmospheres of Northern Crown’s debut record has returned on their newest, self titled record. ‘Northern Crown’ is out now through their Bandcamp, and it oozes with the early Deep Purple and Black Sabbath influences that pervaded their first record, but engages you on a more visceral level.

Opener ‘I Am Your Slave’ reeks of classic Candlemass; vast thrusting riffs laden with organ and a commanding vocal performance. Vocalist Frank Serafine has a similar voice to Rob Lowe of Solitude Aeternus, and there is a subtle power and magic to it that gives this album a feeling of grandeur. The stomping ‘Merciless, They Let You Suffer’ is a killer track, ripe for any ‘hit songs of 2018’ playlist, with a galloping nature that reminds you of classic rockers like Rainbow. But Northern Crown approach all facets of heavy music with the same magnanimity, paying tributes to prog (‘The Desert and the Wind’), as well as miserable Yorkshire doom (the My Dying Bride cover ‘Your River’) and gloomy, occult and organ laden proto doom (‘Forged from Nothing’)

‘Northern Crown’ is a statement. Northern Crown are a band that are almost chameleonic in their worship and execution of classic doom, when the differences between that, classic rock and classic heavy metal were blurred. Sometimes an album comes along where you struggle to pick the best song. Few albums this year have achieved this so well, and Northern Crown’s journey has only just begun.

https://music.northerncrownband.com/album/northern-crown

https://www.facebook.com/NorthernCrownDoom/