• + BEST IN HEAVY METAL - 2012 +

    2 apr 2014, 11:53 av Coffinwood_Mill



    Hi folks,

    The years have come and gone, and yet for some odd reason I still receive requests for my 'Best Of' journal entries in Heavy Metal, as well as several other genres. Why I still receive these requests I have no idea, but I've relented on being an e-seclusionist curmudgeon and eternally lazy long enough to post my Best in Heavy Metal of 2012 list. I hope whatever poor soul or bored last.fm troll that reads this dated meandering of metal finds something that they haven't otherwise heard or thought to listen to since '12. Unlike the previous journal entry, many if not most of the reviews here are sourced from other writers, webzines, and various publications as noted at the bottom of the review. Also, I encourage any suggestions for albums released in 2012 that I've omitted as it's painfully obvious from my list that I can't possibly listen to everything out there.

    Please check out my other Journals for Heavy Metal:

    Best In Heavy Metal 2011
    Best In Heavy Metal 2010

    Journal entry for 2013 is forthcoming. No, for real this time.
    Enjoy,

    - Coffinwood_Mill



    † Please support the artists listed here and purchase their music or merchandise †



    Upon the first few listens of Atra Mors, my impression towards this record gives off a very large amount of improvement and musical experimentation to leave listeners astounded and spellbinded into a state of sorrow and personal empowerment. Evoken have created a record that almost puts me beyond words, as it reminds me of the crushing, funeral doom endeavors of Mournful Congregation and also the somber, solo echoing guitar riffs stand out and tell stories of their own. Atra Mors, has successfully embedded a vivid distinction of human emotion into music, a very powerful doom metal record which immediately stands out and flows in a rhythmic pattern from one song unto another.

    It starts off with the first track which is titled same as the album and prepares you for a journey towards a personal apocalyptic dreamland. It is a somber starting point which guides listeners into various chambers of one’s own haven of dreams and nightmares alike. From this onward, song after song John Paradiso’s harsh vocals and somber guitar solos embark through various personal visions of times past those to be foretold, expressively as a personal ultimatum as well as the end of all things. All previous pessimistic parables channeled into these recordings and embedded into every structure of what Atra Mors, stands for.

    “Requies Aeterna” is an interlude track which appropriately separates the story of which is being told through waves and musical frequencies of melancholy and carries on with the next track “The Unechoing Dread” and falls into a powerful ending track “Into Aphotic Devastation”. This album is also remarkable being that it is the 100th release from Profound Lore and most definitely a memorable one from beginning to end. Death to false utopian entities and birth of a new musical accomplishment.

    -www.cvltnation.com

    For fans of: Skepticism, Mournful Congregation, Shape of Despair, Thergothon, Dolorian, The Howling Void.



    Great debut!

    Oppression has never felt so satisfying

    Crushing. That’s the one word that keeps springing to mind when I try to come up with an adjective to describe Seattle’s Anhedonist and their debut release, Netherwards. Theirs is a sound that merges the bleak and unrelentingly heavy death/doom of Disembowelment with the plodding, death metal sound of Incantation (though much more doom-oriented) and adds in yet another layer of sonic oppression though an occasional Evoken influence. In fact, I almost feel as though ‘crushing’ doesn’t do the album justice, but it’s the best I seem to be able to muster. In any event, the four tracks and 41 minutes of material the band has assembled on this disc is some of the best death/doom I have heard in quite a while.

    There are a number of factors that contribute to Netherwards’ success but the one that stands out for me the most is the way the band seamlessly shifts between tempos and styles while still maintaining the oppressive and all-encompassing atmosphere that pervades every waking moment of the album. The transition between opening cut, “Saturine”, with its lumbering crust-infused blasts, and second track, “Estrangement”, with its vast and sorrowful rung-out notes is demonstrative of the consistency of vision the band has and that they can channel and harness this vision seemingly irrespective of the approach they choose to take with their songs.

    Netherwards isn’t so much an album to revere for its overt originality as it is its masterful adherence to the assemblage of death/doom building blocks into the kind of strong structures that the blueprints of the original pioneers of the style designed. This isn’t to suggest in any way that there is any plagiarism on display but, rather, that Anhedonist have clearly taken their cues from bands like diSEMBOWELMENT and used that template as the basis from which to build something excellent.

    - www.themetalforge.com

    For fans of: Lycus, Vastum, Swallowed, Ilsa, Encoffination, Atriarch.



    Great debut!

    Når Sirkelen Brytes is the debut full-length from northern Norwegian quintet Taakeferd. The name translates as ‘a journey through fog’ or something along those lines and this is probably an apt description for the no-holds-barred, blazing black metal offered forth on this record.

    Both melodic and raw, the songs on this 53-minute album rip through the speakers with devilish intent, never compromising, delivering nine straight-to-the-point work-outs of shrill and shrieking Black Metal with little or no let-up. The music blasts along fiercely and ferociously and there is barely time to breathe. It’s somehow claustrophobic and suffocating as it pounds along and at times all too familiar but, for all it lacks in originality, Når Sirkelen Brytes deserves respect for the manner in which it sticks to the core principles of what made black metal great in the first place.

    Proficient and evil as fuck in saluting the scene’s brethren well - an album for those who appreciate black metal in the vein of the purveyors of the genre.

    -www.blackmetalreviews.com

    For fans of: Svikt, Framferd, Stridsmenn, Neetzach, Svartskogg, Vuohivasara.



    Great debut!

    Three & Seven is the debut release from enigmatic New York entity Occultation, and a fantastic example of the forward-thinking retro-tinged metal that has seen a surge of renewed interest in recent months. Placing a strong emphasis on crafting a palpably thick witching environment than other releases in the same eclectic category, the band skillfully crafts a black cathedral of sound that drips with Black Sabbath and Mercyful Fate flare. With near every track on the album, Occultation manages to capture perfectly that distinctive sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach upon realizing you’ve stumbled upon something you shouldn’t have – and the subsequently sudden dizzying flash of panic that stems from being unable to find a way out. A grotesque and withered hand greets you from beyond the void, bearing a cryptic invitation into a rich sonic catacomb of horror. You are beckoned.

    -www.cvltnation.com

    For fans of: Sabbath Assembly, Year of the Goat, Uzala, Pallbearer, Essenz, Inverloch.



    Trespass is an album drenched in the bleak and sorrow, resonating an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. The record still moves at an earth shattering pace for the most part but it’s in the atmosphere that it conjures where Trespass truly writhes in the austere.

    Opener “Usurpation” holds as merciless proof, with a sickening barrage of bile fuelled riffs and a remorseless hail of drums that are simply punishing. Most of the songs are succinct lessons in bestial death metal, like the ghastly assault of “Compress” but conversely, “Identical” is a seven minute dirge of rot. First starting with unabashedly doom passages until the halfway mark, Knelt Rote then fearlessly plunge us back into familiar breakneck punishing territory. This is an album that isn’t afraid to dip its toe into a few different sonic waters but the end result, that of ruin and wreckage, is always the same.

    Knelt Rote strike a near perfect balance between devastation and atmosphere. Usually one is sacrificed for the benefit of the other but this is not the case with Trespass. The cold hopeless vibe that runs through the album is altogether affecting but meanwhile, the vocals are utterly caustic and corrosive alongside the scorched earth riffing.

    This is a deeply layered album, with so much density to wrap your ears around. It, in fact, makes it difficult at times to comprehend just how heavy and vicious this record is until you’ve submerged yourself in it for several listens.

    -www.cvltnation.com

    For fans of: Antediluvian, Weregoat, Ritual Necromancy, Grave Upheaval, Temple Nightside, Muknal.



    Great debut!

    It really did not take much time for me to choose Chapel’s debut album for my next presentation so let me explain why by simply mentioning a couple of key points; the band comes from Canada and the album’s title implies mixing Rock ‘N Roll and Satan. That was it; I was sold since I know that a Canadian band cannot fail and the satanic/Rock ‘N Roll blend is destined to succeed. So, let’s see what happened after the play button had been pressed.

    “Rock N Roll From Hell” opens the album with church organ sound creating the required satanic and evil atmosphere and then the song explodes with Motörhead-esque rhythm section with driving drum work and dominating bass action. There is no fancy singing just in-your-face lyrics spitting paying the proper respect to the early Punk scene that blended so well during the early days of Black Metal. This description might sound funny or strange to some but to the Metal connoisseurs this should raise the Venom flag. I guess this presentation could stop right here since whenever a band sounds like Venom should get high rates just for trying… Seriously now, Chapel have managed to get that awesome sound added more Motörhead references and to top things off introduced underlying Sodom structures from their Better Off Dead days. Don’t rush to characterize Chapel as a copycat since the guitar work really makes a difference here presenting really Rock ‘N Roll chord progressions and driving riffs.

    Following the lineup trademark and old-school recipe the band features three members with upgraded bass role as the main ingredient of the rhythm section on the side of the simple yet driving drums. The sound production feels raw and almost sloppy (in a good sense) enhancing the loose atmosphere and supporting the most enjoyable lyrics under cult songtitles like “Alcoholocaust”, “Motorcult” and my personal pick “Satanist”. Especially the latter one has an awesome headbanging guitar groove that no one can resist hitting your ears hard with explosive drum work just for two minutes than are more than enough to wear you down until the next one!

    So, if you like the influences I mentioned above (shame if you don’t) and fancy bands like Midnight putting out ideal music to mosh, headbang and drink a couple of cold ones then Chapel is the perfect choice for you. This is why I trust whatever comes out from the Canadian Metal! Horns UP!

    -www.metalkaoz.com

    For fans of: Speedwolf, Hellbringer, Hot Graves, Bunker 66, Sacriphyx, Deathhammer.



    The following questions were excerpted from a black metal math test. Please choose the -best- response for each item.

    1. A dodecahedron is a geometric solid consisting of how many faces?
    a) a lot
    b) BLACK FUCKING METAL!!!
    c) 12
    d) sometimes a good burrito makes me feel like dropping a geometric solid

    2. Fill in the blank: The number of black metal records brimming with personality is ___ the number of black metal records you can describe without ever listening to them.
    a) greater than (>)
    b) BLACK FUCKING METAL!!!
    c) less than (<)
    d) first let me fill in this commode with my geometric solid

    The correct answers are both C. (Isn't it always?) If you answered A, thanks for at least trying. If you answered B or D, you will be removed from class and strangled with your own intestines shortly.

    Those of you who are left, listen up. The non-believers might have drawn the lines for 21st century black metal between the unrelenting lo-fi antics of facepaint enthusiasts’ hellspawned too late to be authentic second wave retirees and the progged-all-out-of-proportion black-inspired artgaze, but all of us who know better get to listen to idiosyncratic nasty-liciousness like Dodecahedron's Season of Mist debut. The Dutch quintet wallow in the same dreary, melted chords as Sweden's Bergraven and draw from the same poisoned well of electronic space as Snorre Ruch's unfuckwithable Thorns project. But far beyond easy comparisons, this recording spits fiery passion and soaks the audience in its own perfect eccentricities.

    "Allfather" broadcasts the band's intentions with a blitzkrieg of curdled arpeggios and bloodthirsty blasts, but hardly ninety seconds pass before the song cracks the serpents' den wide open and releases a stream of slithery percussion, bass lines, and vocal moaning. Follow-up "I, Chronocrator" uses modern advances in death tech to splice some jazz-prog base pairs into the album's rotted out DNA, then gives up a significant portion of its middle section to a dense feedback drone that devours itself before the black metal combat boot heel drops more mid-paced mindfuckery back onto your skull. "Vanitas" and "Descending Jacob's Ladder" deploy robo-vox from the underbelly of the known universe, the latter sounding as if Lustmord was performed by a dozen damaged T-1000s instead of one sound-sculpting Brit. The extraordinary three-part "View From Hverfell" traces a thematic path I don't understand and don't need to. The songs are long, but never the interminable blur that characterizes half of all extreme "epics" out there, nor the unconscionable bore that plagues the other half.

    Whatever. Ignore all of the bullshit above. All that matters is this:
    We metalheads have sacrificed our time, sanity, and cochlear integrity for a reason. Dodecahedron are that reason.

    -www.chroniclesofchaos.com

    For fans of: Waning, Hail Spirit Noir, Krallice, Sektemtum, Smohalla.



    Mutilation Rites’ discography is a bit confounding, traversing multiple line-ups, demos, splits, and EPs. The band’s rapid gestation has been very public, but every minute of their music to-date is worthwhile. Empyrean is the band’s first full-length, and the album’s breakneck plummet through black metal, thrash, death, and doom hits the spot with a vengeance. Mutilation Rites have arrived at their own birth fully grown and bristling with hatred.

    Empyrean is a breathless barrage of ideas. The album’s expeditious, organic metamorphoses will entrap your ears without presenting a single moment of tedium. Mutilation Rites appropriate the droning tonal tropes of atmospheric black metal but turn its churn towards kinetic violence. With little notice, you’ll be dropped into a monstrous groove of thrashing oblivion, recalling the primal essences of both early Exodus and Slayer. These sudden, explosive interludes connect directly to a listener’s headbanging neurotransmitters; Empyrean is a dangerous album.

    Mutilation Rites wield the sinister with swagger. Torrential, tremolo picked riffs often transmit enough melody to invoke Dissection, but this is not a constant. Some tracks take off with locomotive intensity, reminding me of [artistBlack Anvil’s jackhammer majesty. Doomy decelerations present entrancing melancholic detours but are always wrapped in thunderous cacophony. This band thrives on aural impact.

    Much of Empyrean’s immediacy is owed to the band’s preposterous rhythm section and the righteous manner in which it was recorded. Justin Ennis’ drumming is monstrously manic, throwing around swing with impunity and pumping punk life into every corner of this recording. Ryan Jones’ bass is high in the mix, displaying keen interstitial skills and reminding me repeatedly of Frank Bello on Persistence of Time. These sonic landscapes are filled with abject hatred, disgust and sorrow. George Paul’s stone cold crazy, unintelligible screams are your guide on this tour of acrimony. His deranged voice is an important cog in Empyrean’s success, tying it together with an air of utter loathing. We have no idea what the man is saying (there are no printed lyrics), but the intent is blindingly clear; Mutilation Rites are not pleased with existence.

    Empyrean will catch you off guard, luring you in with howling riffs, windswept ferocity and an immersive rhythmic enfilade. Prepare for the unexpected.

    - www.metalinjection.net

    For fans of: Bosse-de-Nage, Ash Borer, Barghest, Obolus, Vattnet Viskar.



    There’s a certain irony to how Revenge can possess such a royal lineage yet still produce some of the rawest blackened death metal to be released in recent years; formed in 2000, the blood of Revenge is thick with remnants of great bands past, an intermingling of Canada’s great blackened death hierarchy that includes the likes of Angelcorpse and Conqueror amongst others. Debuting with the utterly savage Triumph.Genocide.Antichrist in 2003, there was no mistaking Revenge’s Blasphemy inspired racket, a style which borrowed the seminal war metal acts brutality but blasted it all the way to eleven. Scum.Collapse.Eradication much like its predecessors shows no variation upon this style but does offer a bit of insight; with just an ever so slight improvement in the production department Revenge’s newest album reveals just why this Canadian act has become one of the most renowned bands of its kind.

    Untamed as ever, Revenge’s newfound clarity in no way affects their burgeoning war metal mayhem but does make it a bit more listenable; where previous albums were cloaked in a cloud of excess noise and distortion Scum.Collapse.Eradication offers a smog-free view of the bands truly bestial nature, one that is carried out with in crude simplicity. Vermin’s guitar playing is muddy as ever, a juxtaposition of downtuned riffs that take the shape of black metal in their fastest moments and groove heavy death metal during the slower sections. Though some of the faster moments can blend together each of the slower paced segments on the album are excellent, a summoning of bestial thrashing that have you breaking neck in its indomitable groove.

    Aside from annihilating his kit in a hurricane of blast-beats and ridiculous fills, James Read’s horrid squawk also deserves mention; just as raw and primal as the music, his shriek as well as disgustingly low gutturals adds excellently to the albums raw nature. Though not hooks in the traditional sense, his delivery on tracks like the beginning of “Scorned Detractor (Trust No One)” perfectly accents the music, showcasing its deadly flow amongst waves of intelligible growls and grunts.

    From chaotic and spur of the moment shred solos to slow, doomy riffing, it’s in their nature to create the rawest music possible that Revenge excel; now well into their career the band is rightfully held as one of the best blackened death metal bands around and an overall classic within the genre. Scum.Collapse.Eradication sheds just enough light on Revenge’s sound to draw in newcomers while simultaneously keeping the same pitch black approach that has earned them such a cult status. In 2012 Revenge continue their reign as frostbitten warrior kings; the long-running conquerors of blasphemous and bestial blackened death metal.

    -www.sputnikmusic.com

    For fans of: Proclamation, Conquerer, Diocletian, Black Witchery, Teitanblood.



    Enslaved’s last few albums have been very well received by both fans and critics. The Norwegian black metal pioneers have become more and more progressive over the years, and their latest effort RIITIIR is no exception. The line between experimental and self-indulgent can be a fine one, but a band with Enslaved’s pedigree has earned the benefit of the doubt. The songs on RIITIIR are their longest collection ever, with five of the eight tracks clocking in at more than 8 minutes, the shortest being just over five minutes.

    “Thoughts Like Hammers” kicks off the proceedings, with solemn black metal guitars giving way to acoustic interludes. Harsh vocals from Grutle Kjellson give the song bite and edge, with the smooth melodic tones of Herbrand Larsen a stark contrast. Spoken word vocals are also incorporated into this song.

    RIITIIR is a very dynamic and dense album. The lengthy songs are constructed with layers of guitars and atmospheric keyboards that meander at times, but upon repeated listens burrow their way into the subconscious. It’s a daunting album, but ultimately a rewarding one. The ebbs and flows between progression and aggression keep things interesting, although the scale tilts toward the progressive side of the coin. There are still plenty of good old fashioned riffs, like on “Veilburner” along with more experimental sections.

    “Roots Of The Mountain” is a standout, with a frantic beginning laden with blast-beats and harsh vocals that transitions into a melodic section that is extremely catchy. The song intensifies and mellows several times, and there’s a nice guitar solo as well. The second half of RIITIIR is also strong, with “Storm Of Memories’ probably the best track on album’s latter half. Album closer “Forsaken” is also the longest on the record, at over 11 minutes long. It's an appropriately epic song to finish a very epic album.

    Axioma Ethica Odini was among my top metal albums of 2010, so RIITIIR had a lot of live up to. Upon first listen, it wasn’t even close. But after spending more time with RIITIIR, its strengths became more and more evident. It could definitely be shorter and more focused, but even with a little bloat and meandering, it’s still far superior to what almost anyone else is doing. RIITIIR is an ambitious and skilled effort that while not perfect, is still a really good and highly recommended release.

    For fans of: Emperor, Borknagar, Ihsahn, Arcturus, Primordial.



    If you are looking for a release that features the best of all realms of the extreme, Hellvetron’s Death Scroll of Seven Hells and It's Infernal is it. The flow of this album is amazing and the depths of despair reached by the Hell Paso underground act are as horrifying as they are satisfying. The unholy atmosphere is glaring to say the least, as Hellvetron continues this great year in the extreme underground.

    Hellvetron is effectively two-thirds of extreme black metallers Nyogthaeblisz. Between the two extreme acts, they have solidified a strong underground presence in El Paso, paving the way for many other acts to follow. Hellvetron has been around since 2005, and despite a lack of released material, remain popular among the underground faithful. I would encourage any fan of the unconventional extreme to check out both bands – you won’t be disappointed. Death Scroll of Seven Hells and It's Infernal is really a gift to those craving a Hellvetron release, and I can only hope there is more to come.

    Death Scroll of Seven Hells and It's Infernal is an atypical extreme metal release. There is much more of a doom tempo throughout the offering, which is laden with crawling rhythm. The guitars move seamlessly between harsh riffs to blackened bridges, almost as if conveying an inner struggle. Vocally, the deathly growls weave in and out of the crawling barrage of hellish instrumentation. I liken the sound that Hellvetron creates on ‘Death Scroll of Seven Hells and Its Infernal Majesties’ to that of Anhedonist on their newest release, Netherwards. This offering has a bit more black metal influence, especially in the guitar work, but the two bands pair up nicely. The grim brutality that Hellvetron brings is delivered in a very deliberate manner, and is definitely not overdone or lacking in depth.

    - www.axestogrind.com

    For fans of: Lurker Of Chalice, Xasthur, Crebain, Blut aus Nord, Krieg, Deathspell Omega, Craft, Krieg, Sapthuran.



    Rape your face.

    For fans of: Aderlating, De Magia Veterum, Menace Ruine, The Axis of Perdition, Cloak of Altering, NDE, Khanate, Grunt.



    Easily among the more obscure releases a listener will come across this year, Revulsion of Seraphic Grace is nonetheless an admirable piece of work. Sharing more than a few traits in common with Incantation (especially 1992’s Onward to Golgotha), there’s a very old school vibe sense here, only a decidedly American take on old school as opposed to the Swedish sounds so many are playing nowadays.

    Throughout the seven tracks on hand there’s a consistent theme throughout, the marriage of claustrophobic blasting sections and absolutely crushing funeral doom sections. If nothing else sets Father Befouled apart, it may be that – the absolutely cavernous sounding guitar and vocals during the doomier excursions that fill many of the songs (and make up the entirety of album closer “Triumvirate of Liturgical Desecration”). At times the mixing of tempos and the general ‘weirdness’ inherent within much of the music brought to mind Mitochondrion and even last year’s Sonne Adam release Transformation. The doomy moments absolutely seething with similarities to everything Evoken has done since 2001’s Quietus and going back further, Winter’s sole testament Into Darkness.

    At a brisk 36 minutes Revulsion of Seraphic Grace does not overstay its welcome or cause the burnout that can come with music of this style. The mood across the album is particularly suffocating, resonating with increasing intensity after multiple listens – a nigh requirement with how dense the music is. “Irreverent Ascendancy” offers a foremost tour on the oppositions inherent in the album bouncing from a snail-paced opening to an absolutely ravenous set of blast sections before an abrupt end. “Desacrament” absolutely grooves, a blackhole steamroller consuming everything in its path. Production is a bit murky but it’s understandable with the musical intentions and execution, it serves its purpose.

    A release from this deep in the abyss is going to be an acquired taste for whoever happens to come across it. That being said it has a lot going for outright and over time. A nice mix of old school death metal and modern funeral doom, there surely has to be some number of fans out there for this kind of sound (myself certainly among them). Pick it up, soak it in, and embrace the oppressive black that follows.

    -www.blistering.com

    For fans of: Doombringer, Sadomator, Antediluvian, Nuclear Desecration, Deiphago, Kerasphorus.



    French avant-garde (post) black metal formation Blut aus Nord are truly in a league of their own.The driving force behind this outfit is a man called Vindsval and the current cycle of albums under the 777 moniker is his most ambitious work to date. Last year saw the release of 777: Sect(s) and 777: The Desanctification, which are both stunning works in their own right. 777: Cosmosophy is the proverbial grand finale of the 777 sequence.

    This third installment of the 777 trilogy is the most ethereal and evocative one. The bleak Godflesh-styled industrial tones are still ominously present but they are pushed in the background by endless layers of dissonant guitar parts, vast keyboard driven themes and other effects that give the album an almost post core/metal feel. Musically it has more in common with the pioneering works of Isis and Jesu than anything remotely resembling black metal. The devil is in details on 777: Cosmosophy. Little elements like the spoken word parts in “Epitome XV,” the relentless plodding in “Epitome XVIII” and the clean vocal parts in “Epitome XVI” are all examples of what makes this album such an evocative listening experience.
    You can’t help being sucked into an endless vortex of musical layers and different moods and transcend to a higher form of consciousness. Only true visionaries can create such stunning and thought provoking art. Sound-wise the emphasis lays on the industrial and electronic effects, which gives 777: Cosmosophy almost a droning doom metal type feel to it. It also enhances the rather cold and eerie atmosphere that creeps through the entire album.

    It’s hard to tell if 777: Cosmosophy is better than 777: Sect(s) or 777: The Desanctification, because all three albums have their own distinct personality and place within the greater musical concept behind the trilogy. What I can say that this record is a worthy closer of Vindsval’s most ambitious work to date. I’m wondering where he and Blut aus Nord will go next...

    For fans of: Deathspell Omega, The Eye, Reverence, Darkspace, The Axis of Perdition.



    It’s taken them eight years, but in 2012 Pseudogod have finally released a much-anticipated package of bestial hate and sonic rampage. A culmination of everything expected after many splits and demos from the Russians, Deathwomb Catechesis is a blackened death metal album comfortable with callback after callback to monsters of yesteryear like Incantation and Immolation. Their debut is all the better for it, too. It’s clear that Pseudogod have not inserted overwhelming amounts of creativity or innovation on their own, but their brand of death metal is particularly inspired and reverential.

    Simplicity can be satisfying, and with this in mind there’s not much to a record like Deathwomb Catechesis. Much of its appeal is strictly in the focus of attitude and direction, as the album rarely deviates from the path of the aforementioned behemoths of death metal and bolstered by constant prayers to almighty Satan. With utter devastation in mind, Pseudogod mold a landscape of rumbling bass and little flair that works as a perfect complement to the vocals, which are absolutely insipid. The growls broil over the old-school-inspired riffs with an unrelenting vehemency, and are the centerpiece of Deathwomb Catechesis.

    The band’s debut is a familiar album that almost falls off the cliff into strictly “derivative” territory but with their precision and technicality -aspects that transcend the sheer scope of the album- do not succumb to this brand of failure. What does manage to set this apart is the modern production that augments the clarity to the maelstrom of riffs, adding another dimension to the already-fertile concoction of hatred. So while Deathwomb Catechesis does not usher in any new waves of innovation to the scene, Pseudogod’s solid album adds, along with labelmates Antediluvian, a much-needed dose of death metal to 2012.

    -www.sputnikmusic.com

    For fans of: TeitanFyre, Void Meditation Cult, Vasaeleth, Temple Nightside, Heresiarch.



    Despite the fact that Satan Alpha Omega is only the band's third full-length, this group has been playing together since 1989. Style-wise Deiphago could best be described as blackened death metal/grind, with a distinct emphasis on the blackened end of things.

    The album's 11 odes to Satan are a non-stop pummeling of the senses. Songs blur by with a ferocity that at times is simply insane - vocals are spewed forth like vomit and the guitars sound like fiery flames. Make no mistake, this album is not for the faint of heart.

    Casual metal-heads will probably find this album to be nothing but noise; however, those into the heavier end of the spectrum will love the release's "take you by the throat" approach. Highly recommended.

    -www.puregrainaudio.com

    For fans of: Sadomator, Nuclear Desecration, Abhorer, Weregoat, Weapon.



    Ash Borer formed several years ago and in just a short time was recognized as one of the most prominent black metal bands from California. With a style of raw black metal that is bleak and atmospheric as well as harsh and searing, the group is aligned with such elite artists as the (now defunct) Weakling, Xasthur and Leviathan, along with the Black Twlight Circle (Volhan, Arizmenda, Dolovotre, etc.) and the Rhinocervs cult (Odz Manouk and Tukaaria). Their first demo, released in 2009, was just a mere glimpse of the coming sonic storm unleashed over the following years: a split EP with Santa Cruz’s Fell Voices, an acclaimed self-titled debut album, and a series of decimating live shows. The band’s new album Cold of Ages finds Ash Borer at the height of their powers, one of the most important acts hailing from the American scene alongside the likes of Negative Plane, Avichi, Inquisition, and the aforementioned Black Twilight Circle and Rhinocervs horde. A darker and much more devastating work than the debut, Cold of Ages is a surging, twisted, primal and sprawling epic and will find its place among the most prominent black metal releases of the year.

    -www.midheaven.com

    For fans of: Fell Voices, Skagos, Bosse-de-Nage, Panopticon, Altar of Plagues.



    Genre mashing two opposing ends of music is where extreme metal really shines, providing everything from instrumental and symphonic heaviness to chorus-chanting pop metal. Another foray into the collision of two worlds, Blacklodge’s MachinatioN is an explosion of dark an unholy black metal delivered through an industrial filter of strobe lights and robotic overlords.

    The album lets the audience know what to expect right off the bat with immediate machine gun drumming mixed into an electronic beat. The result is something along the lines of Marduk or Gorgoroth taking an industrial/techno trip, without letting go of the Satanic themes, and with a hint of the utter darkness you’d expect from Deathspell Omega or Dodecahedron. Even the song titles play with the mash up of styles, with names like “Antichrist Ex Machina” and “Neutron Shiva.”

    MachinatioN is a definitely a different take on this burgeoning sub-genre than what can be heard from other entries in the field. Blacklodge offers a new metal experience, even for those who have already heard the electronic or techno focused material from Nachtmystium, Illidiance, or Nachtblut. The ending of each track tends to work into the beginning of the next song, creating a spectacular flow amidst all the chaos. Despite the introduction of “non-kvlt” elements, MachinatioN isn’t light on the black metal at all, as it’s still completely extreme. The vocals are as harsh and hateful as anything from a USBM band, and the tracks are based around the guitars as much as the industrial aspects.

    The album blends the two opposing worlds together well by effectively utilizing strong drum beats, which bridge the gap between the arms-crossed metal and the head bobbing electronica. Every song has a recognizable hook, but it’s always taken to a heavy (and evil!) place. As far as sub-genres go, industrial black metal doesn’t have a whole lot of flag bearers, and Blacklodge is a welcome and necessary addition to the roster. If black metal purists can get over their elitism long enough to give it a listen, and industrial or techno fans can learn to deal with harsh vocals and heavier songs, both camps could find a new favorite in MachinatioN.

    -www.metalunderground.com

    For fans of: Neo Inferno 262, Aborym, Gorgonea Prima, Diapsiquir, Mysticum, Hell Militia.



    Prepare for a grotesque and bestial assault from the darkest bowels of Chile. The Sun of Moloch has risen to cast its searing rays upon us all. Wrathprayer engulfs listeners in the scorching fumes of ripping, gritty riffs and an ominous, archaic atmosphere. Beginning with a to-be-expected dark occult intro to set the atmosphere (paired with a similar outro) the cruel nature of this album is slowly revealed. It becomes sluggish and dissonant before tumbling into chaotic swelling riffs with distant, cavernous vocals and storming percussive barrages.

    It’s a smooth balance between death and black metal that revels in the old path, maintaining a depraved and sour tone one would expect and at the same time satisfyingly revitalizing it. And this is generally how The Sun of Moloch feels throughout the 40 minutes you'll be enduring. Baneful, filthy and swirling in it's blasphemous tone. The record is spilling over with a ritualistic heat which incorporates the Incantation structure well with touches of Portal-esque writhing. Eerie sampling of discordant strings, screams, chants and moans with ambient rumbling accents some tracks like "The Darkest Fyre" and "From the Depths of the Phlegethon" sliding up the cult factor a few notches.

    Vocal duties (more varied than expected) feel a little subdued by all other elements — there are some great echoing howls and screes that snake their way through. It does sound as if the vocals are emanating from a lightless tomb and considering the nature of the subject and style here matter this distant, ancient quality is a positive.

    The bulk of the experience here surrounds the guitar work which doesn't meander from the traditional bestial template too much — not that I'm really complaining. It's all ugly, abrasive and tasty. The guitar tone is muddy in the most pleasurable way. A choice few spellbinding death grooves and pinched harmonics between the onslaught of blackened, labyrinthine tremolo sections but when these slabs enter it's a fucking blast as they carve out deep ridges in the darkened, ashy landscape. Good examples of these completely monstrous and punishing moments are found in "Devourers of Light", "Ritualization (Rev XIII)" and "In Visceribus Bestiæ".

    The Sun of Moloch does its job exceedingly well, paced so as to not overextend its welcome with some thick production. It's certainly not innovative but fucking terrific regardless. Definitely a record that slays. Highly recommended especially for fans of Witchrist, Mitochondrion, Antediluvian, Teitanblood, etc. For now this is only available on vinyl through Nuclear War Now! Productions but in the coming weeks they will be putting it up for a digital download on the label's bandcamp page.

    -www.equivoke-mdl.blogspot.com

    For fans of: Antediluvian, Diocletian, Proclamation, Pseudogod, Witchrist, Teitanblood.



    Great full-length debut!

    That release is Flesh Cathedral by Svartidauði, who hail from the far-flung frozen rock in the North Atlantic better known as Iceland. They’ve been contemplating their craft in obscurity for a while, spawning three demos between 2006 and 2010, but now this full-length monstrosity is set to propel them through the ranks. Like LURKER favourites Blut aus Nord,Deathspell Omega or Nightbringer, Svartidauði wield the ability to bend the will of black metal to their own horrific ends, giving rise to a thrillingly unique take on the genre.

    An unshakeable sense of narrative unfolds to the drones of opener ‘Sterile Seeds’. It’s as though the listener has entered the titular Flesh Cathedral itself, blood trickling down carrion walls, preparing to imbibe the psychoactive sacrament to Satan as a demonic choir goads them on. It’s terrifying – and that’s before the riffs take hold. Indeed, a persistent psychedelic nausea binds the record together, enforced by the abstract squealing of guitars and biomechanical lurch of the rhythms. Across four tracks, all well over ten minutes long, Flesh Cathedral becomes the soundtrack of one wretched soul completely losing their mind as the secrets of the universe are torn asunder.

    It’s the band’s stunning versatility that allows for these vivid hallucinations. Avoiding typical all-or-nothing aggression tactics, Svartidauði is a dynamic, shifting entity with a clear vision of how to project its particular grim atmospheres. In fact, everything on display is a small step away from the norm. Vocals lean towards a deep deranged death-rasp, as opposed to the regular eunuch shrieking. Then dense, down-tuned guitars seem to breathe and groan in the slower, more brooding sections, while groove-laden drums intricately build up the tension phrase by phrase before flying off into adept and flexible pummeling at whim. This is definitely HEAVY black metal – immense walls of power chords and a loud grumbling bass tone threaten to swallow the chaotic leads that often try to break free of the writhing mass around them.

    Each composition defies its length, traversing so many different emotions, textures and melodies (yes, they’re present too!) that it feels like Flesh Cathedral should be showcasing even more new material. Without a doubt this is up there among Mgła’s With Hearts Toward None and Dødsengel’s Imperator vying for “best orthodox black metal album of the year”. LURKER is incredibly anxious and excited for its release, although no firm date has been set due to the band being “slow as hell with the layout”. When Flesh Cathedral does finally arrive, if it isn’t one of the true breakthrough hits of the year, I will have lost all faith in the metal underground.

    -www.lurkerspath.com

    For fans of: Vemod, Cultes des Ghoules, Hetroetzen, Acrimonious, One Tail, One Head.



    Abominable Putridity - The Anomalies of Artificial Origin
    Aborted - Global Flatline
    Acephalix - Deathless Master
    Aeon - Aeon's Black
    Ævangelist – De Masticatione Mortuorum in Tumulis (I, Voidhanger)
    Agalloch - Faustian Echoes
    Alcest - Les Voyages de l'Âme
    Aldaaron - Suprême Silence
    Alkerdeel - Morinde
    All Pigs Must Die - Curse of Humanity EP
    Aluk Todolo - Occult Rock
    Anaal Nathrakh - Vanitas
    Angel Witch - As Above, So Below
    Antimatter - Fear of a Unique Identity
    Aptorian Demon - Libertus
    Aosoth - Our Crown Of Sins EP
    ARCANUM INFERI - Ars Hermetica
    Antediluvian & Adversarial - Initiated in Impiety as Mysteries - Split
    Antediluvian & Temple Nightside - Cogitating Vacuous
    Aphrenous - Ravaged By The Incessant Scourge Of Deception
    Aptorian Demon - Libertus (Demo)
    Árstíðir Lífsins - Vápna Lækjar Eldr
    Ash Pool - Cremation Is Irreversible EP
    Asphyx - Deathhammer
    Autopsy - All Tomorrow’s Funerals EP
    Aven - The Last Thought Of Judas
    Azaghal - Nemesis
    Azoic - Gateways
    Barghest / False - Split
    Beheaded - Never To Dawn
    Begrime Exemious - Visions of the Scourge
    Behexen - Nightside Emanations
    Bell Witch - Longing
    Bereft - Leichenhaus
    Bestial Holocaust - Into The Goat Vulva
    Birth of Depravity - The Coming Of The Ineffable
    Black Breath - Sentenced To Life
    Black Sheep Wall - No Matter Where it Ends
    Blood of the Black Owl - Light The Fires!
    Blood Mortized - The Key to a Black Heart
    Bologna Violenta - Utopie E Piccole Soddisfazioni
    Bonded By Blood - The Aftermath
    Bone Dance - Bone Dance
    Borgne - Royaume Des Ombres
    Borgne - Titania
    Borknagar – Urd
    Bosse-de-Nage - III
    Blut aus Nord - What Once Was... Liber II
    Candlemass - Psalms for the Dead
    Cannibal Corpse - Torture
    Cape of Bats - Transylvania
    Cattle Decapitation - Monolith of Inhumanity
    Cerebrate- Cerebrate (Demo)
    Chaos Inception - The Abrogation
    Chthe'ilist - Amechth'ntaas'm'rriachth EP
    Church Whip - Church Whip EP
    Coffin Texts - The Tomb Of Infinite Ritual
    Coldworker - The Doomsayer's Call
    Converge & Napalm Death - Split
    Cytotoxin - Radiophobia
    Dantalion - Return To Deep Lethargy
    Daylight Dies - Frail Becoming
    Deathspell Omega - Drought EP
    Demoncy - Enthroned Is the Night
    Denial of God - Death and Beyond
    Der Weg einer Freiheit - Unstille
    Desaster - The Arts of Destruction
    Dephosphorus - Night Sky Transform
    Dephosphorus & WAKE – Split
    Desolate Shrine - The Sanctum Of Human Darkness
    Destruction - Spiritual Genocide
    Dødsengel - Imperator
    Dopethrone - III
    Dordeduh - Dar De Duh
    Down - Down IV, Part 1: The Purple EP
    Draumar - Gebirge
    Drawn and Quartered - Feeding Hell's Furnace
    Drudkh - Eternal Turn Of The Wheel
    Dynfari - Sem Skugginn
    Early Graves - Red Horse
    Elizabeth - Where Vultures Land
    Embrace of Thorns - Praying for Absolution
    Enabler - All Hail the Void
    Encoffination - Elegant Funerals for the Unknown Dead EP
    Eschaton - Isolated Intelligence
    Exumer - Fire & Damnation
    Farsot - Insects
    Faustcoven - Hellfire and Funeral Bells
    Fhoi Myore - Fhoi Myore
    Fiends At Feast - Towards the Baphomet’s Throne
    Fvck Mountain - Fvck Mountain EP
    Gnaw Their Tongues & Corephallism - Split
    Goatwhore - Blood For The Master
    Genocide Shrines - Devanation Monumentemples
    Grand Magus - The Hunt
    Grave Endless Procession Of Souls
    Grave Upheaval & Manticore - Split
    Habitual Defilement - The Redemption of Past Supremacy
    Hades Archer - The Curse Over Mankind
    Hail Spirit Noir - Pneuma
    Hammers - Vardøgr
    Hel - Das Atmen Der Erde
    Hell – III
    HeXeN - Being and Nothingness
    Hideous Divinity - Obeisance Rising
    High on Fire - De Vermis Mysteriis
    Hooded Menace - Effigies Of Evil
    Hooded Menace - Necrotic Monuments EP
    Horrendous – The Chills
    Hour of Penance - Sedition
    Hypnosia - Horror Infernal
    JK Flesh - Posthuman
    I Compagni Di Baal - I Compagni di Baal
    Ihsahn - Eremita
    Impiety - Ravage & Conquer
    Impious Baptism - Path of the Inverted Trinity EP
    Impious Baptism - V.A.N.V.D.A. EP
    Incantation - Vanquish In Vengeance
    Intestinal - The Rottening
    Inverloch - Dusk… Subside
    Israthoum - Black Poison and Shared Wounds
    Kaevum - Natur
    Karg - Apathie
    Katatonia - Dead End Kings
    Kommandant - The Draconian Archetype
    Kreator - Phantom Antichrist
    Kuxan Suum - Kuxan Suum
    Les Discrets - Ariettes Oubliées...
    Les Fleurs Du Mal - Brunnen
    Little Sister - Little Sister
    Lunar Aurora – Hoagascht
    Lustration - Psymbolik
    Malignancy - Eugenics
    Manetheren - Time
    Manowar - Lord of Steel
    Maranatha - Incarnate
    Marduk - Serpent Sermon
    Martyrdöd - Paranoia
    Mass Burial - Of Carrion And Pestilence
    Master - The New Elite
    Master's Hammer - Vracejte Konve Na Místo
    Melvins - Freak Puke
    Menace Ruine - Alight In Ashes
    Menegroth - Das Rote Werk
    Merrimack - The Acausal Mass
    Mgla - With Hearts Toward None
    Mondstille - Seelenwund
    Mongrel's Cross - The Sins Of Aquarius
    Moss of Moonlight - Seed
    Municipal Waste - The Fatal Feast
    Municipal Waste & Toxic Holocaust - Toxic Waste (Split)
    Mutant Supremacy - Rotting Season EP
    My Dying Bride - A Map of All Our Failures
    Nachtmystium - Silencing Machine
    Nachtruf - Geistwerdung
    Napalm Death - Utilitarian
    Natassievila - Impermanence
    Nawaharjan - Into the Void
    Negative Standards – VI.VII.VIII.IX.X.XI
    Nekromantheon - Rise, Vulcan Spectre
    Neurosis - Honor Found In Decay
    Nigh - Nigh EP
    Nihill - Verdonkermaan
    Nile - At the Gate of Sethu
    Nine Covens - On the Dawning of Light
    Nordvrede - Legion Nordvrede
    Nox Illunis - Metepsychosis
    Obulus - Lament
    Odz Manouk - Odz Manouk
    Ofermod - Thaumiel
    Onirophagus - Defiler Of Hope
    Ophidian I - Selvot Saeclum
    Orange Goblin - A Eulogy For The Damned
    Ormgård - Ormblot
    Overkill - The Electric Age
    Pact - The Dragon Lineage of Satan
    Paradox - Tales of the Weird
    Pendulum - Les Fragments du Chaos
    P.H.O.B.O.S. - Atonal Hypermnesia
    Plague Widow - Plague Widow
    Proclamation - Nether Tombs of Armageddon
    Profezia - The Truth of Ages
    Prognan - Jama
    Psycroptic - The Inherited Repression
    Puteraeon - Cult Cthulhu
    Putrevore - Macabre Kindgom
    Putrified - Neurotic Necrotic
    Ram - Death
    Resurgency - False Enlightenment
    Revel In Flesh - Deathevokation
    Reverence - The Asthenic Ascension
    Revolting - Hymns Of Ghastly Horror
    Rhinocervs - RH 12
    Rituals - Rituals
    Royal Talons - Royal Talons
    Ruined Families - Ruined Families
    Saccage - Death Crust Satanique
    Saint Vitus - LILLIE: F-65
    Satanic Warmaster - In Eternal Fire - Ghost Wolves EP
    Savage Messiah - Plague of Conscience
    Severe - Severe
    shEver - Rituals
    Secrets of the Moon - Seven Bells
    Sektemtum Aut Caesar, Aut Nihil
    Septicopyemia - Supreme Art of Genital Carnage
    Serpent Noir - Seeing Through The Shadow Consciousness - Open Up The Shells
    Serpentine Path - Cerebus + Depravity
    Serpentine Path - Serpentine Path
    Shining - Redefining Darkness
    Sinister - The Carnage Ending
    Spawn of Possession - Incurso
    Struck by Lightning - True Predation
    Sutekh Hexen with Andrew Liles - Breed In Me The Darkness
    Sutekh Hexen - Behind The Throne
    Sutekh Hexen – Larvae
    Sutekh Hexen - Empyraisch
    Swallow the Sun - Emerald Forest And The Blackbird
    Szron - Death Camp Earth
    Tank - War Nation
    Tankard - A Girl Called Cerveza
    Terrorizer - Hordes of Zombies
    Testament - Dark Roots of Earth
    The Howling Wind - Of Babalon
    The End of Six Thousand Years - Perpetuum
    The Moon Mistress - Silent Voice Inside
    The Royal Arch Blaspheme - II
    The Secret - Agnus Dei
    Thy Darkened Shade - Eternvs Mos, Nex Ritvs
    Torch Runner - Committed To The Ground
    Ufomammut - Oro - Opus Alter
    Ufomammut - Oro - Opus Primum
    Umbra Noctis - Il Primo Volo
    Unholy Crucifix - Black Mass Metal
    Unsacred - Where the Light Dims
    Vassafor - The Obsidian Codex
    Velnias - RuneEater
    Vindicator - United We Fall
    Vorkreist - Sigil Whore Christ
    Weapon - Embers and Revelations
    Witch In Her Tomb - Witch In Her Tomb
    Witch Mountain - South Of Salem
    Witchrist - The Grand Tormentor
    Witchcraft - Legend
    Wodensthrone - Curse
    Woman is the Earth - This Place That Contains My Spirit
    Wreck and Reference - No Youth
    Year of the Goat - Angels' Necropolis


  • + BEST IN HEAVY METAL - 2011 +

    2 apr 2014, 07:08 av Coffinwood_Mill



    Hi folks,

    The years have come and gone, and yet for some odd reason I still receive requests for my 'Best Of' journal entries in Heavy Metal, as well as several other genres. Why I still receive these requests I have no idea, but I've relented on being an e-seclusionist curmudgeon and eternally lazy long enough to post my Best in Heavy Metal of 2011 list. I hope whatever poor soul or bored last.fm troll that reads this dated meandering of metal finds something that they haven't otherwise heard or thought to listen to since '11. Also, I encourage any suggestions for albums released in 2011 that I've omitted as it's painfully obvious from my list that I can't possibly listen to everything out there.

    Journal entries for 2012 and 2013 are forthcoming. No, for real this time.
    Enjoy,

    - Coffinwood_Mill



    † Please support the artists listed here and purchase their music or merchandise †



    Absu, after eight long years of recording silence have released their second album in three years, the chaotic and speed driven Abzu. The second hellish force in a malevolent planned trilogy dealing with the abyss, this is an album that could’ve placed higher on my list, but even so it shreds as hard as any of the aforementioned records. The record, as per the norm for Absu, is rife with thrashing blackened insanity, with “Circles of the Oath” and “Skyring in the Spirit Vision” delivering my favorite tracks on Abzu. Highly Recommended!

    For fans of: Melechesh, Deströyer 666, Desaster, Inquisition, Weapon, Nifelheim.



    Initially, I lacked the initiative and interest in hearing Beyond the Fall of Time due to a series of – what I now understand as – absolutely unfair and ultimately erroneous reviews on the release, pegging it as being nothing more than the masturbatory effort of technical proficiency and nothing more, basically reserved for those who want to merely wish to hear endless noodling. This couldn’t be further from the truth. With their sophomore effort, Exmortus’ brand of technical death meets thrash metal is dynamic success that showcases not only the amount of skill the provide in their lead guitar work, but how much face-melting riffs shred throughout Beyond the Fall of Time, especially on tracks like “Kneel Before the Steel” and “Destroy”. This is a killer release, and one that I return to often. If you’re into any of the below artists, you’d be doing yourself a disservice to not give it a listen.

    For fans of: Hellwitch, Warbringer, Horrendous, Excruciator, Deathhammer, Timeghoul.



    TRIUMPHANT RETURN!

    As the opening bars of “Hand of Darkness” release their putrid grasp on the grave and immediately reach for listeners throat, you quickly realize that the legendary gore-obsessed death metal cult Autopsy have lost none of their ghoulish proclivity for sadism, violence, and abject brutality. Macabre Eternal is precisely the true return that many fans thought not possible – a vicious foray into the uncompromisingly gore-obsessed death metal sound that they themselves helped to twist into the cruel and sick sepulchral form so revered many years ago. The morbid perfection of the record is that the entirety of the release is unquestionably within the confines of Autopsy’s distinctive sound, but freshly exhumed; tormented and sick vocals, frenzied solos, and the unrelentingly punk-infused percussive canters rot forth from each perverted track. Dare I say that with Macabre Eternal, Autopsy may have exceeded all of their previous material. Highly Recommended!

    For fans of: Abscess, Asphyx, Repulsion, Grave, Cianide, Cancer.



    Great debut!

    Without question, one of the best death metal records of 2011, Towards The Megalith is an exceptionally destructive foray into the realm of evil as fuck down-tuned and absolutely uncompromising death metal. Towards The Megalith storms out of the hellgate with tracks like the opener “Chaos Apparition” and “Chasm of Oceanus” only to ultimately drag you into the abyss of monolithic death metal sludge at the midpoint with “Vault of Membros”, my personal favorite on the record. With a stylistic approach that invokes the death doom of New York legends Winter before shifting suddenly to early-90’s Florida tech death, Disma have created a masterpiece of the genre that feels both tremendously familiar yet utterly new. Strongly recommended!

    For fans of: Funebrarum, Cruciamentum, Dead Congregation, Hooded Menace, Krypts, Convulse.



    For the uninitiated, Midnight play face-rapingly addictive beer soaked blackened heavy metal – imagine an unholy coalescing of Venom, Judas Priest, and Bathory snorting massive lines of punk rock energy off of Satan’s cock, and that basically sums up the sound on their latest release Satanic Royalty. Tracks like “Lust, Filth and Sleaze” and “Holocaustic Deafening” showcase the blackened heavy metal meets pure stomping punk wall of putrid albeit breakneck sound as the band pulls no punches and leaves no unmelted faces in their wake, courtesy of shredding solo’s and scathing heavy metal showmanship. An uncompromising, hedonistic, and ultraviolent release, there are carnal delights that any self-respecting metalhead could delight in on Satanic Royalty. Killer album!

    For fans of: Abigail, Nifelheim, Nunslaughter, Trench Hell, Gospel of the Horns, Bastard Priest.



    As part of the renowned French underground scene, the horde known as Haemoth have been summoning forth an abundance of orthodox black metal for the better part of a decade. While their malicious and aggressive musical approach is not something that is going to ever be deemed “progressive” within the genre, a record with a nostalgic familiarity like In Nomine Odium is exactly what I require from time to time. The seething onslaught of cavernous crescendos and dissonant motifs saturated in a raw hellish onslaught of blackened hate make this a positively addicting listen. For fans of the orthodox and classic black metal sounds of the past, this is an invigorating listen that I would strongly recommend.

    For fans of: Aosoth, Antaeus, Ondskapt, Krohm, Insane Vesper, Hell Militia.



    This is not black metal. There really is no viable genre distinction that can successfully describe the disharmonic orchestra of tortured noise that Gnaw Their Tongues have achieved on Per Flagellum Sanguemque, Tenebras Veneramus. While artistically they may produce albums at a respectable albeit predictable yearly rate, I am rarely disappointed in what they have to offer, and this 2011 release may be their finest offering yet. This turbulent cauldron of cacaphonious noise is brimming over with the barbarous sounds of blackened flagellation, a hopeless aura of lo-fi horror/snuff film atmospherics, and moreover the shrieking cries of the most tortured and tormented of doomed victims. Each track is littered with a horrifying abundance of instruments ranging from what you would normally expect from the band, but also including keyboards, live string and horn arrangements, and the eerily uncomfortable samples of death and realized despair. Give me more.

    For fans of: Aderlating, De Magia Veterum, Menace Ruine, The Axis of Perdition, Cloak of Altering, NDE, Khanate, Grunt.



    This 2-piece from Finland specializing in a bass-oriented dirge of blackened cacophony, the likes of which haven’t been heard since the glory days of Beherit and Archgoat are certainly an acquired taste – even for the most seasoned of contemporaries and fans of the legendary Finnish black metal scene. The songs that comprise Under The Eye are utterly bizarre, absolutely outlandish, and possibly as batshit crazy as you’d expect from a group that habitually features members on stage in the nude. Several of the instruments on the release are completely unidentifiable, yet retain the thick trudge of darkness and punishingly scathing textures throughout the release. As if the caustic inundation into Ride For Revenge’s malevolent tempest of noise isn’t mind-melting enough, the only temporary reprieve from the onslaught are the occasional spacey ambient passages spattered throughout Under The Eye. Not a release for everyone, but a positively killer album nonetheless.

    For fans of: Dead Reptile Shrine, Kadotus, Pseudogod, Antediluvian, Torturium, Saturnian Mist.



    Sincerely evocative in the most disseminated and repetitively bleak way, Ash Borer was a mammoth release from the wilds of the Pacific Northwest eco-friendly and naturalistic cabin-dwelling “Cascadian black metal scene,” which is habitually hit-or-miss at best. However, as convoluted and pretentious as many of their more “post” or “ambient” blackened peers sound, Ash Borer have seemingly steered clear of those Pitchfork-reading vegan pitfalls and after only two demos and a split release have become one of the region’s most preeminent and promising black metal acts. Existing fans will undoubtedly take note of a decidedly more balanced and effective prowess in the song-writing than on previous efforts. Yet, it’s quite clear that Ash Borer are yearning to capture a desolation and emptiness in their echoing dissonance that they will realize in time as they mature as a band, but for the moment their 2011 release is still in regular rotation per my listening habits.

    For fans of: Fell Voices, Bosse-de-Nage, Skagos, Alda, Panopticon.



    Revolting vocalist and guitarist Rogga Johansson is a busy guy, balancing time between Paganizer, Ribspreader, Bone Gnawer, The Grotesquery, and finally Bloodgut. Revolting is, as you’ve probably guessed, my favorite of the bunch and In Grisly Rapture is clearly his best work to date in any of the aforementioned bands. Death metal in the Swedish vein, the entire album a monstrous foray into the blood-drenched and limb-cutting world of horror, with fierce hyper-speed riffs, hook-laden melodies, mauling drums and Rogga’s gore-spewing vocals leading the way. Suffice to say, In Grisly Rapture was one of the most ghoulishly fun releases of 2011.

    For fans of: Demonical, Miasmal, Bone Gnawer, Bastard Priest, Undead Creep.



    Recall that in January of 2011, Wrest (real name Jef Whitehead) had been arrested and was being held on $350,000 bail for sexually assaulting his then-girlfriend. Whether or not the details of those specific charges are true, it did nothing to prevent Profound Lore from releasing True Traitor, True Whore – one of the most embittered and acrimonious heavy metal releases of last year. While the album title leaves little room for interpretation, the scathing, sickened, and entirely haunting content on the album was one of the more enthralling and shocking listens of 2011. There are arguably more layers on this release than any previous Leviathan record as Wrest delves into an unconventional black metal approach that coalesces dark ambient, industrial, and even rock nuances into the caustic maelstrom of True Traitor, True Whore – a release encapsulating the artists own personal Hell. This is a must hear release.

    For fans of: Lurker Of Chalice, Xasthur, Crebain, Blut aus Nord, Krieg, Deathspell Omega, Craft, Krieg, Sapthuran.



    Putrefied fingers and tortured primeval moans grip the listener by the throat and violently drag them deeper into the sarcophagi pandemonium that entombs the true malevolent essence of O' Hell, Shine In Thy Whited Sepulchres. Perhaps I’m a bit biased due to my love of lo-fi death metal similar to the legendary Incantation and newer projects like Impetuous Ritual, but with their sophomore release, Encoffination achieved a pestilential and reverberating death metal churn that is as barbarous as it is enigmatic. Each instrument on the release is implicit in its plodding menace, formulating the grim mucilage that provides the foundation for this Hellish and audible tomb of primitive despair. The subterranean percussion drives this crawling morass of a release along, while the muddy guitars pummel the listener until they are left to rot with the memory of having been grave-fucked by one of the best newcomers in the death metal scene. Highly Recommended!

    For fans of: Grave Upheaval, Grave Ritual, Venenum, Swallowed, Decrepitaph.



    Well worth the four-year wait, Prime Evil Damnation rewards the patient blasphemer with a filthy Archgoat-worship cacophony of relentless chainsaw-buzz riffs and punishingly heavy drums for a raw, straight-forward and positively brutal listen. While the majority of the record is a scathing barrage to the senses, Bestial Raids does succeed in imbuing a destructive and militant mood on tracks like “Ceremonial Bloodshed” by including martial samples of troops confidently marching to war. The only negative, however, is perhaps that the black/death desecration bellowing from the putrid bowels of Hell doesn’t last very long and Prime Evil Damnation blasts by very quickly – which only leads to repeat listens.

    For fans of: Doombringer, Sadomator, Antediluvian, Nuclear Desecration, Deiphago, Kerasphorus.



    Great full-length debut!

    The Australian black metal scene continues to impress by birthing forth the yet another nefarious doctrine into the unholy annals and psalms of obscure down-under darkness. Predominately influenced by the crepuscule purveyors of the Scandinavian scene, Ill Omen’s Divinity Through Un-Creation invokes an audible portal to the desolate and unhallowed foundations of the true black metal sound, honoring the Norwegian roots of the genre while permeating their ritualistic psalmody with a contemporary distinction of haunting depth and cimmerian ambiance. While Ill Omen’s homage to the old gods may not be a paradigm for the unorthodox or innovative, they truly make up for it by delivering one of the best black metal releases of 2011. Get it.

    For fans of: Temple Nightside, Impious Baptism, Atra, Hellvetron, Hic Iacet, Erebus Enthroned.



    Clearly another victory for the French black metal scene, Aosoth are without a doubt one of my most listened-to black metal bands at the moment. Their pitch-black aesthetic of crushing rotten blackness, all while capturing an esoteric and theological penchant for eerie, droning ambiance all imbues their motif of malevolence with what can only be described as an unspeakably evil sound. With III, Aosoth truly upped the ante, infusing blackened sludge as a nuance to their already impenetrable sound of vicious hook-laden riffs and pummeling barrage of percussion, mercilessly forging the swirling hate-filled compositions of ungodly grime found on III. Excellent release.

    For fans of: Antaeus, Hell Militia, Ascension, Katharsis, Ondskapt.



    Great full-length debut!

    I eventually heard Nocturne of Eyes and Teeth early in 2012, because when it was released in March of 2011 by High Roller Records the limited-edition LP was sold out within only a few days. That said, the wait was definitely worth it. Reveal’s sound is a diabolic coalescing of blackened thrash that is injected with a myriad of rollicking rock influences providing for an almost malevolently psychedelic and violent audible vibe. While the band isn’t going to collect accolades for being the most original or progressive in the genre, the collective nuances on Nocturne of Eyes and Teeth are the kind of furious and unforgiving offensive on the listeners senses that will keep you favorably occupied until their next eagerly awaited release.

    For fans of: In Solitude, Necrovation, Teitanblood, Nifelheim.



    Great full-length debut!

    Alongside Mitochondrion’s Parasignosis, this may have been the most impressive death metal release of 2011. With their full-length debut in Through The Cervix Of Hawwah, Antediluvian created a cacophonic and twisted dissonance of excruciatingly violent music that is positively bestial in the impassioned darkness that it delivers. The album is a heinous collection of face-melting riffs, primal drum blasts, audible bass riffs (that will destroy your stereo @ 11), and some of the most throat-rippingly pestilential vocal assaults you’ll hear in the genre. Essentially, this and the rest of their discography is a must-hear for fans of extreme metal.

    For fans of: Cruciamentum, Vasaeleth, Heresiarch, Encoffination, Impetuous Ritual.



    Some things never seem to change. A. A. Nemtheanga & co. are undisputedly the most consistent band in the entire heavy metal genre. Since their seminal debut in 1995 with Imrama, Primordial have thoughtfully refrained from releasing anything even remotely sub-par throughout the duration of their admirable recording history. Redemption At The Puritans Hand is yet another landmark album (a predictable outcome at this point), replete with the epic grandeur and desolate bitterness that embodies the inherent spirit of the band and their dynamic archetypal sound. Yet another victory for the Irish, and if you haven’t heard Redemption At The Puritans Hand yet, waste no time in doing so.

    For fans of: Mael Mórdha, Negură Bunget, Sólstafir, Moonsorrow, Enslaved, Helrunar.



    Great full-length debut!

    Unrelenting and uncompromisingly harsh, Luciform confronts bold listeners with an unholy and scathing coalescing of raw orthodox black metal complete with layer upon layer of desolate razor-thin walls of ubiquitous cruel noise. Virtually every aspect of this brilliant release is rife with shrill and unhinged demonic wails, salacious riffs and hypersonic drumming ferociously intertwined with a maelstrom of blackened noise. If that wasn’t enough, Sutekh Hexen’s debut is also replete with a disquieting and caustic static ambience that rivals virtually all of their irreverential contemporaries. Luciform was truly the most concentrated and chaotic onslaught of unnerving noise that the metal genre had to offer in 2011, and a release that I’ve perpetually returned to for the last year and half. Highly recommended!

    For fans of: NDE, Odz Manouk, Obolus, Katharsis, Tukaaria, Grunt, Clinic Of Torture.



    Already a definitive classic in the death metal genre, Mitochondrion's Parasignosis was truly one of the most challenging, intricately formulated multitude of dark and sinister layers of sonic turmoil that has ever been vomited forth from the death metal genre. The inexorable and cyclical séance of brutal textures and thick almost overbearing metallic chaos provide for a unique and all-encompassing listening experience that few albums from 2011 or any other year can equally match. While their debut Archaeaeon was an absolute success, Parasignosis is a quintessential and genre-defining epic that demands repeat listens. While I suspect that most discerning death metal fans have heard this tumultuous masterpiece by now, if somehow it has slipped through the cracks waste no time in inundating yourself in the complex dissonance and occult ambiance that Parasignosis has to offer.

    For fans of: Impetuous Ritual, Adversarial, Antediluvian, Vasaeleth, Ulcerate.



    Ad Hominem - Dictator - A Monument of Glory
    Aluk Todolo - Finsternis
    Amorphis - "Skyforger"
    Aosoth - Ashes Of Angels
    Archgoat - The Light Devouring Darkness
    Arckanum - ÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞ
    Ashen Light - Кровь Апокалипсиса
    Aves - Aves
    Avulsed - Nullo (The Pleasure of Self-Mutilation)
    Behemoth - Evangelion
    Bloodline - Hate Procession
    Blut aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue With the Stars
    Candlemass - Death Magic Doom
    Cannibal Corpse - Evisceration Plague
    Den Saakaldte - All Hail Pessimism
    Deströyer 666 - Defiance
    Devourment - Unleash The Carnivore
    Diocletian - Doom Cult
    Doomraiser - Erasing the Remembrance
    Drudkh - Microcosmos
    Ea - Ea II
    Echoes of Yul - Echoes of Yul
    Evile - Infected Nations
    Foscor - Groans To The Guilty
    Fukpig - Spewings from a Selfish Nation
    Funeral Mist – Maranatha
    Furia - Grudzien za Grudniem
    Furia - Płoń
    Glorior Belli - Meet Us At The Southern Sign
    Goatwhore - Carving Out The Eyes Of God
    God Dethroned - Passiondale
    Gorgoroth - Quantos Possunt Ad Satanitatem Trahunt
    Havohej - Kembatinan Premaster
    Havok - Time Is Up
    Hellveto - Kry
    Hjarnidaudi - Psyko:Stare:Void
    Horna - Musta Kaipuu
    Huata - Atavist Of Mann
    Hypocrisy - A Taste Of Extreme Divinity
    Immortal - All Shall Fall
    Impiety - Terroreign (Apocalyptic Armageddon Command)
    Isis - Wavering Radiant
    Kreator - Hordes of Chaos
    Kylesa – Static Tensions
    LAHO - Escape From the Dying Star
    Les Discrets / Alcest - Les Discrets / Alcest
    Lvpvs Infestvs - Post Fata Resurgo
    Malfeitor (Ita) - Incubus
    Månegarm - Nattväsen
    Marduk - Wormwood
    Metalucifer - Heavy Metal Bulldozer
    My Dying Bride - For Lies I Sire
    Necrodeath - Phylogenesis
    Nile - Those Whom The Gods Detest
    Onslaught - Killing Peace
    Oranssi Pazuzu - Muukalainen puhuu
    Paroxysmal Descent - Paradigm of Decay
    Process Of Guilt - Erosion
    Psoriasis - Lethal Treatment
    Reaktor 4 - Reaktor 4
    Rev 16:8 - Grand Tidal Rave
    Sacrifice - The Ones I Condemn
    Samael - Above
    Siena Root - Different Realities
    Sjenovik - Zephaniah
    Skeletonwitch - Breathing the Fire
    Slayer - World Painted Blood
    Solar Wisdom - The Temple of Honour
    Speedwolf - Ride With Death
    Spiritus Mortis - "The God Behind The God"
    Suffocation - Blood Oath
    Sui Caedere - Thrène
    Sun of the Blind - Skullreader
    Svart - Vanara, Vanmakt Och Avsmak
    Svarte Greiner - Kappe
    Teitanblood - Seven Chalices
    The Black League - Ghost Brothel
    Thrall - Vermin to The Earth
    1349 - Revelations of the Black Flame
    Trist - Willenskraft
    Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats - Blood Lust
    Urgehal - Ikonoklast
    Vader - Necropolis
    Vektor - Black Future
    Vorkreist - Sickness Sovereign
    W.A.S.P. - Babylon
    Witchrist - Curses of Annihilation
    Wodensthrone - Loss
    Wolves in the Throne Room - Black Cascade
    Wolvserpent - Gathering Strengths
    Wyrd - Kalivägi
    Xasthur - All Reflections Drained
    YOB - The Great Cessation


  • 2013 Sucked Cocks In Hell

    30 dec 2013, 20:11 av DarkRadu



    I'm just gonna come out and say it: 2013 saw a lot of "good" releases, but hardly any classics that will stand the test of time. For that reason, I won't number my top 10, instead, I'll list it alphabetically. Sorry, 2013, better luck next year.

    Anyway, here we go:

    TOP 10 LPs:

    BONE SICKNESS - Alone In The Grave

    Now these fellas here make themselves known like a kick in the gut. Within the album's short play time (under 20 minutes), Bone Sickness rock your liver with a grinding, no-frills punk-ish death metal assault that harkens back to Repulsion, Nihilist and Napalm Death while managing to feel as fresh as the first time the casket cracked open back in the '80s. Don't listen to this album while driving or breast-feeding.

    GRAVE MIASMA - Odori Sepulcrorum

    Grave Miasma need no further introduction. They've been peddling their particular brand of sulfur-worshiping death metal since 2009, becoming underground sweethearts in the meanwhile. A lot of hype surrounded the release of their first full-length, and I'm glad to report that they've managed to live up to it: caustic riffs play over oppressive drumming to provide an album that's equal parts obscure and diverse - yup, they've managed to expand on their demo/EP sound with new songwriting ideas that proves they have something to say in the genre instead of recycling riffs every third song.

    GRAVE UPHEAVAL - Untitled

    "The songwriting and performance on the album is primal and severe, while the exquisitely disorienting haze in which the songs are drenched produces a hallucinatory effect. Forms emerge and retreat into the sonic miasma producing a textural richness rarely achieved in Death Metal." - from the label's Bandcamp site.
    I love going the easy route, and NWN just provided it for me. Ever since their inception Grave Upheaval have been on the atavistic, feces-throwing primal Metal-Of-Death side of things, but not by bashing your skull in with blazing riffs and d-beat drums. No, they've tried to conjure up the grimy bang-a-seashell-against-the-cave-wall noise atmosphere - they're almost a death metal answer to Throbbing Gristle or Nurse With Wound.

    IRON DOGS - Free And Wild

    Last year's "Cold Bitch" was a cool surprise, and news of a follow-up had me giggling like an innocent Tokyo schoolgirl-like giggle. I'm glad to report that these Canadians haven't changed their style in a radical manner, but rather fine-tuned it. Yes, this is their most Brocas-Helm-meets-Cirith-Ungol work yet, with fretboard acrobatics meeting soaring vocals barking catchy choruses over mostly mid-paced beats; it's metal as fuck, but I kinda miss the balls to the wall insanity and speed of their first album.

    LANTERN - Below

    What's that? Finnish Death Metal that sounds original? In 2013? It's not that the formula is being completely re-written, it's just that's it's so excellently executed, you cannot turn a blind eye to it. "Virgin Taste Of Damnation" put Lantern on this blasphemous path, yet now they've come forth with a full-length that acknowledges US screeching guitars circa "Screams of Anguish" alongside Finnish eerie atmospherics such as Disgrace or Depravity which is sure to make you hide under your bed from the Demons In Your Room.

    MION'S HILL - Black Death

    Probably the most unique choice of this top 10. Mion's Hill throw forth such a simplistic cocktail, you'd wonder why no other bands follow suit. Having a Hellhammer bass line with an early Dream Death riff style, some Mefisto riffs and occasional doom-death part (early demo-era Autopsy comes to mind during the slower parts), these guys really don't give a shit about blast beating you to death. Catching the Black Plague was never this fun!

    NEKROFILTH - Devil’s Breath

    This. This fucking album right here. This is probably the most vicious shit to come out this year, and it's catchy as fuck, to boot! If you're familiar with Nekrofilth, it's no departure from their usual sound, but if you're not, I hope you like Abscess. Punk-ish death metal with catchy choruses galore, this is the type of shit to make you crack your windows open and scream "I'M A DEGENERATE!" Best lyrics by far. Needs to be played around family gatherings and church baptisms.

    SHITFUCKER - Suck Cocks In Hell

    A band with little pretense, it does exactly what it says on the tin. To quote their bandcamp page, "Bow before apocalyptic witching metal of the highest order/odor : this is SHITFUCKER's Suck Cocks in Hell! Recommended for diehards of GISM, early SODOM, ABIGAIL, and early BATHORY.".
    It literally is GISM as a combination of US punk rhytms and European over-the-top vocals and riffing. Fun as fuck, to be played over and over in your Sex Dungeon.

    TRIBULATION - The Formulas of Death

    Yeah, yeah, Sweden's a gay swamp, hurr dee durr. It's a bit too long for its own good, and it draws on a lot of hate from death metal purists, but it's just so fucking good, I couldn't ignore it. For me, 2009's "The Horror" was album of the year, and I seriously expected a "Part II" with this album - I've never been so glad to be wrong. It may be The-Doors-meets-Swedish-death-metal, but it's also a music enthusiast's buffet, with long build-ups, tasty leads and more vicious riffs than you can shake a stick at. They've moved away from the formula that made them famous (was The Horror famous? I liked it), but they've evolved *cough* into something quite extraordinary. Listen while sipping fine brandy and ignoring minority crimes in your region.

    VILLAINS - Never Abandon The Slut Train

    Motherfucking Villains fucking street fucking metal night knifing lunatic drinking motherfucking yeah! I may be repeating myself by quoting Bandcamp pages, but, y'know, if it ain't broke, don't fix it:"Every riff on this album is drenched in disdain for the sobriety of day and a reverence for the Dionysian decadence and unbridled destruction heralded by night’s call. Villains’ music dwells in that span of hours devoid of memory during which ambition manifests itself in the handing out of unrestrained chin-checks and the indiscriminate hunt for feminine submission until the haze of morning reveals the broken remnants of the night’s revelry."
    This is the scumfuck's metal album. Sleaze drips out the walls while you're trying to pour yourself another double whiskey and hit on your highschool sweetheart in grimy hallways during your 20-year reunion. It ain't pretty, but, mate, life ain't pretty. All you can do is down another shot, headbutt a paper towel dispenser and pledge allegiance to the Slut Train.

    TOP 10 DEMOS/EPs:

    BLACK MAGICK SS - Symbols of Great Power/Panzerwitch

    Yeah, I can't choose between these two releases, so fuck it, they're both in. It's a tough sound to describe, almost as if they're a giallo psych rock band (think "Four Flies On Grey Velvet"), combined with a no-budget Abysmal Grief, but with a seriously uplifting feeling that will kick you out of your chair and make you jump around the room praising Sat-- aw shit, they're a black metal version of a gospel group, aren't they?

    BÖLZER - Aura

    Furious and chunky blackened death metal provides the canvas on which lavish, almost symphonic riffs are laid out in what is one of the year's most original releases. It's hard to believe that only two guys manage to hit this hard, but go see them live if you ever get the chance, they're even more rabid.

    BONES - Demo 2013

    These Belgians waste no time in getting down to business. Scandinavian death metal riffs give way to American mid-paced morbidity with just a hint of fellow countrymen Chemical Breath in the vocal department to create a Cyclopean demo that's sure to inflict maddening visions and fever dreams.

    MABUSE - Nekromagic

    I've featured Mabuse last year too, but they're just so fucking good. Get this if you're into early Deceased.

    MOLD - Cremated Alive

    Filthy as fuck death metal from Denmark with an excellent low-end "our-rehearsal-space-is-near-an-active-volcano" production. Could have easily been some early '90s Pestigore side-project.

    OCCULT BURIAL - Demo MMXIII

    I love old-school Bathory, they love old-school Bathory, why don't we hang out? Seriously, if Quorthon would have amped up his rock'n'roll factor slightly and released "Bathory" again and again, this is what it would probably sound like eventually.

    PLAGUESTORM - Bestial Exekution

    Old school death metal demo production, vicious vocals and some speed metal riffs make this a very enjoyable experience that channels a Treblinka or Morbid feeling at times.

    POSSESSION - His Best Deceit

    Most savage demo of the year, that's for sure. Over-the-top black/death that hints towards South American greats such as Holocausto or Sepultura (they even covered "Necromancer"!) and has enough energy to level an entire city block. Stop reading, start thrashing!

    RANGER - Knights of Darkness

    Doc Brown was wrong, you don't need a DeLorean to travel back in time. From what I'm hearing here, all you need is a guitar. Fast and deadly speed metal that sounds like they've opened for Agent Steel back in the day.

    ZOM - Multiversal Holocaust

    Two more songs from these Horrors From Beyond, just enough to whet our appetite until they finally hit us with a full-length next year. Death Metal from the coldest, most abject regions of the Multiverse.

    HONORABLE MENTIONS:

    Abysmal Grief - Feretri

    Their darkest and most mature album yet.

    Act of Impalement - Hyperborean Altar

    Doom metal with liberal doses of crust, but not quite into stenchcore territory.

    Autopsy - The Headless Ritual

    Say what you will about nu-Autopsy, but they can still crank out the occasional killer tune, and this album has probably the best guitar work yet.

    Enforcer - Death By Fire

    Flamboyant speed metal. Catchy riffs, blazing solos and a singer that just oozes charisma. You can't not have a good time with this.

    Machetazo - Ruin

    They've toned down the grind aspect a bit in favor of a dark and cavernous death metal assault. A grimy, harrowing, plodding masterpiece that is "the real fucking deal".

    Manifesting - Descension Through The Seven Forbidden Seals

    Macabre death metal that brings label-mates ZOM to mind, but with an added crusty influence.

    Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Push The Sky Away

    Way better than the last full-length, this one seems a bit more intimate and low-key. It's not a classic Nick Cave album by any stretch, but it's the best in quite a while.

    Obliteration - Black Death Horizon

    Death Metal from Norway with quite a hard-on for Autopsy. This one has a more laid-back and atmospheric feeling than Nekropsalms, but don't be fooled into thinking they went soft: from atop the throne of bones, the view is bleaker than ever.

    Rotten - Cryptic Catacombs

    Solo death metal side-project of Dave Rotten from Avulsed. Cavernous and grimy, really good stuff, he should focus on this more instead of Avulsed.

    Slutvomit - Swarming Darkness

    Blazing-fast black/thrash that evokes early Sodom, Nifelheim and Possessed in an insane over-the-top concoction. Also has some of the best song titles this year, with tracks like "Poservore" or "Incendiary Rape".

    SPECIAL AWARDS:

    "Comeback of the year" award: SATAN - Life Sentence

    "Coffins album of the year" award: NIGHTSLUG - Dismal Fucker

    "These guys really love Venom" award: BAT - Primitive Age

    "Are you sure these leads aren't from a Mercyful Fate record?" award: SATAN'S WRATH - Aeons of Satan's Reign

    "Someone finally fucking used the Sovereign speech from Mass Effect 1 as a sample in a death metal record" award: ZEALOTRY - The Charnel Expanse

    "Most haunting vocal performance" award: CAUCHEMAR - Tenebrario

    "Greek metal that isn't from Greece album of the year" award: SACRIPHYX - The Western Front

    "I can't wait for 2013 to be over so I won't have to hear about this shit ever again in my life" award: DEAFHEAVEN - Sunbather

    NON-METAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR: BEASTMILK - Climax

    Expectations were high following their demo/EP, but they've managed to deliver in spades. Finnish post-punk with excellent drumming, catchy choruses and a somewhat bleak atmosphere, you'll want to hit "Play" again and again once "Strange Attractors" hits its last haunting note.

    STUFF I DIDN'T LIKE VERY MUCH:

    Necrowretch - Putrid Death Sorcery

    Excellent guitar work here, but can't they go back to the demo production? This one's a bit too shiny.

    Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats - Mind Control

    Has some good songs here and there, but overall it just felt too soft and forgettable. The video for Mind Crawler is the best thing to come out of it.

    Darkthrone - The Underground Resistance

    I really like the new Darkthrone direction, but this album had like two good songs at best. Come on, guys, you're not touring, you're not pressured into putting out an album a year, get your shit together and try harder for the next one.

    Torture Chain - Mutilating Astral Entities

    I've been keeping an eye on Torture Chain for quite some time now, but their debut full-length just feels... bloated? I guess they're better in bite-sized chunks.

    Necrocurse - Grip Of The Dead

    Not particularly bad, but not memorable either. Crank out a new Nifelheim album already.

    Witchgrave - Witchgrave

    "Occult" Swedish heavy metal from the members of Antichrist. Compared to their EP, the album's a bit flat and light on catchy riffs. Still worth a listen, though.

    MOVIES OF THE YEAR:

    ONLY GOD FORGIVES (Nicolas Winding Refn)

    The plot is simplistic, but the soundtrack and the cinematography are hair-raising. Yeah, it draws a bit from Santa Sangre, but it's an entirely different beast. Wanna fight?

    UPSTREAM COLOR (Shane Carruth)

    A movie that flows unlike any others this year. Even if you were to disregard the plot (which is, admittedly, a bit of a mind-bender), you could enjoy it as an exercise in pure cinema; make sure you turn up your speakers when viewing.

    A FIELD IN ENGLAND (Ben Wheatley)

    A shroomed-out, beautifully shot, fantastically scored fever-dream quest through purgatory.

    LA GRANDE BELLEZZA (Paolo Sorrentino)

    Sorrentino sure loves Fellini, huh? Despite its title, the movie had more than a healthy dose of ugliness - ugly people constantly attend ugly parties with ugly music, but when all is said and done, La Grande Bellezza is quite an interesting character piece.

    FUCKING DONE!

    So there you have it. 2013 was simply good. Not bad, and definitely not excellent, it's merely a transitional year. See you in 12 months where we rave about Dead Congregation, ZOM, Deceased and whatever other surprises pop up.

    Bone SicknessGrave MiasmaGrave UpheavalIron DogsLanternMion's HillNekrofilthShitfuckerTribulationVillainsBlack Magick SSBölzerBonesMabuseMoldOccult BurialPlaguestormPossessionRangerZomAbysmal GriefAct of ImpalementAutopsyEnforcerMachetazoManifestingNick Cave & The Bad SeedsObliterationRottenSlutvomitSatanNightslugBatSatan's WrathZealotryCauchemarSacriphyxBeastmilkNecrowretchDeafheavenUncle Acid and the DeadbeatsDarkthroneTorture ChainNecrocurseWitchgrave
  • TO THE DEPTHS OF 2012, IN DEGRADATION

    30 dec 2012, 16:27 av DarkRadu



    I don't know where you guys like to hang out online, but I've come across quite a few meatheads complaining this year was terrible for music. Sorry if Experimental US Black Metal Act #4123 failed to release anything, or if Metal Supergroup Reunion #524 didn't live up to your expectations, but 2012 saw some fucking excellent releases, quite a few of them being from first-timers! Tune in, drink up and read on!

    10. Revenge - Scum.Collapse.Eradication

    No way you can just say "Oh, Revenge have released a new album, guess they're going through the motions" about this one. What we have here is one of the most violent, pummeling albums of 2012 - they didn't change their direction or anything, they've merely fine-tuned it. Everything has improved, from the production, to the bass, to the out-of-control leads, this album shows these sickos at the top of their game. Also, they put on quite a devastating live set!

    9. Swans - The Seer

    I remember reading an interview with Michael Gira back when they released their previous album, and he was a bit disappointed with himself. He said he should have had the guts to make longer songs, to carry across the intended emotional load or something. Well, this magnificent bastard managed to outdo himself on this one! Clocking in at about two hours, "The Seers" is nothing short of a droning, multi-layered, abrasive masterpiece - pack a lunch and grab some drinking water, because by the time the tribal drumming of the last track "The Apostate" grinds to a halt, you'll be positively drained.

    8. Vassafor - Obsidian Codex

    Next up on the list, we've got another long offering, this time from New Zealand! After a few excellent demos and EPs, Vassafor have unleashed their beastly cave-dwelling atavic black metal debut LP upon us in two-disc form, with a play time of about an hour and a half! To lump this in the same category with bands such as Diocletian or Witchrist would be idiotic, as Vassafor concoct a ghastly brew that is truly their own, throwing in liberal amounts of doom filth and death grime. If cave men had access to studio equipment, this is a pretty close approximation of what they would summon out of the aether for their rituals!

    7. Om - Advaitic Songs

    YES YES YES! This is what they've been hinting at with their past couple of albums! They were timidly trying to weave new musical threads into their original droning doom formula, but now the oriental music flourishes take center-stage. To the stoners that want to hear "Conference of the Birds" over and over again, fuck off!

    6. Horrendous - The Chills

    When I've first heard The Chills in January or February, I thought to myself "Hm, this is album of the year material!" - almost a year later and I'm still sticking by it! A US death metal album with riffs galore and liberal amounts of Swedish melody, once the 9-minute epic album closer "The Eye of Madness" spills it final blasphemous riff, you'll be wanting to press "Play" again!

    5. Vomitor - The Escalation

    "Done bleeding the priest, after drinking the devil's poison, VOMITOR increase the nuclear heat with The Escalation! Legends in the diehard metal underground, these Aussie hooligans return with their barbaric, ancient Metal of Death: thermonuclear riffing, divebombing solos, vocal vomit, and chaotic crunch that's quintessentially and uniquely VOMITOR!" - from the bandcamp page. I honestly don't think anyone can add anything to this, all that I can say is DEATH METAL OR DIE BY POWER!

    4. Desecresy - The Doom Skeptron

    I have no idea what a Skeptron is, but if this is any indication, I will consent that it is, indeed, doom. Look at the album cover. LOOK AT IT! I love judging books by their covers, and you can just feel the ominous energies oozing out from this one. These Finns hit us with a slab of Yog-Sothoth worshiping doom-death that is equal parts hypnotizing and horrifying. As squirming riffs slither out of your speakers, you have but moments to say your prayers before being cast into a life of servitude for the pleasure of the Beyond-One! AAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGHH!!

    3. Iron Dogs - Cold Bitch

    Oh, while we're on the topic of album covers, feast your eyes on THIS! Hailing from Canada, I was expecting to hear some sort of Inepsy-like nuklear metal-punk, but Iron Dogs managed to melt my face off with something else than radioactive fallout! Iron Dogs serve us with a slab of high-energy NWOBHM worship on a fucking silver platter! I dare you to go through this album without fist pumping! You've got speed, excellent solos, more riffs than you can shake a stick at, and best of all, you can tell there are some times where the singer is attempting something out of his range - but who fucking cares?? We're here to bang our fucking heads! One of the most genuine works of passion this year!

    2. Anatomia - Decaying in Obscurity

    Anatomia have never shied away from displaying their love for Autopsy and all things death/doom, but on "Decaying in Obscurity" they've considerably upped their game. You've still got plenty of downtuned, disgusting, churning and grinding Metal-of-Death, but where this album truly shines is the keyboards department. Creepy keyboard intros or passages have always gone hand in hand with old school death metal, but Anatomia have managed to, at times, give them equal air-time in a song with the rest of the instruments. This gives the album that extra nudge it requires to make it truly disturbing, horrific, and downright vile. Once this beast of an LP is over, you'll feel the need to take a shower!

    1. Satan's Satyrs - Wild Beyond Belief!

    "Hey Satan! HEEEY LUCIFER! WE'RE HERE BABY!"

    YES YOU FUCKING ARE! I've been clamoring for a Satan's Satyrs full-length ever since hearing their 2009 demo, and they do not fucking disappoint one bit! With the production values of a '69 psychedelic rock demo and the attitude of a coked-out werewolf biker gang, Satan's Satyrs spew forth fuzzed-out ROCK AND FUCKING ROLL classic after classic! An album with a recognizable sound which you can put on and crush beer cans with your forehead to whenever you want, "Wild Beyond Belief!" is the numero fucking uno release of 2012! Now, ON YOUR KNEES FOR THE ELECTRIC WITHCWHIPPER!

    TOP Demos/Splits/EPs:

    Monomakh - MMXII (Demo)

    Absolutely massive-sounding horrific Metal-ov-Death with a Grave Miasma influence from Australia.

    Into Darkness - s/t (Demo)

    The name alone should tip you off that these guys are really into Winter, but they're more than capable of standing on their own two feet. Hailing out of Italy, of all places, they've put out one of the best death/doom materials this year. Not bad for a bunch of newcomers!

    Grave Upheaval/Manticore(Split)

    Ignore the Manticore side, Grave Upheaval is where it's at! Feces-throwing satanic caveman ritual death metal!

    Chthe'ilist - Amechth'ntaas'm'rriachth (Demo)

    Noodly, otherworldly riffs galore in this Timeghoul/Demilich worship band. Looking forward to a full-length!

    Innsmouth/Mongrel's Cross (Split)

    Yeah, don't really care about Mongrel's Cross, even though their side isn't bad, but every time INNSMOUTH put out some new material saliva starts running down my chin as I'm drawn into their Lovecraftian summoning ritual. Yeah, it's just one song, but it's better than that "She-Goat" EP they put out a couple of years ago and I'm beginning to get really impatient with them! FULL LENGTH PLEASE!

    Mabuse - Stench of Death (Demo)

    Norwegian Death/Thrash that sounds like a lost early Deceased tape.

    Gouge - Doomed to Death (EP)

    Norway strikes again with this scorching thrashy death excellence! Short and blistering!

    Torture Chain - Time is But a Doorway to the Incinerator (Demo)

    USBM's best kept secret.

    Muknal - s/t (Demo)

    Cavernous&horrendous death metal made by members of the Black Twilight Circle.

    Crypticus - Insieme Verso Terrore (EP)

    Dammit, Patrick, stop teasing, it's time for another full-length!

    Morbid Wizard - Necrosis of the Eyeball (EP)

    Sickening doom metal with a great repulsive atmosphere.

    OTHER MENTIONS/AWARDS

    "The Quiet Earth(1985) ending scene" award:

    Ectovoid – Fractured In The Timeless Abyss

    "I can't believe it wasn't on tour with Pestilence, Death and Hellwitch around '91" award:

    Skeletal Remains - Beyond the Flesh

    "Asphyx album of the year" award:

    Grand Supreme Blood Court - Bow Down Before the Blood Court

    "Fuck off, you cunts!" award:

    Blizzard - Fuck the Universe

    "Most misspelled album title" award:

    Pseudogod - Deathwomb Catfish

    HONORABLE MENTIONS (IF IT WERE A TOP 28, THESE BANDS WOULD BE THERE):

    ATARAXY - Revelations of the Ethereal
    Necroven - Worship of Humiliation
    Incantation - Vanquish in Vengeance
    Derkéta - In Death We Meet
    Degial - Death's Striking Wings
    Indesinence - Vessels of Light and Decay
    Necrovation - Necrovation
    Faustcoven - Hellfire and Funeral Bells
    Saint Vitus - Lillie: F-65
    Natur - Head of Death
    Christian Mistress - Possession
    Lunar Aurora - Hoagascht
    Wrathprayer - The Sun of Moloch
    Denial of God - Death and the Beyond
    Bunker 66 - Infernö Interceptörs
    Occultation - Three and Seven
    Chromatics - Kill for Love
    The Soft Moon - Zeros
  • A quick review of my 2012 pick-ups

    30 dec 2012, 15:00 av Abroxas

    In this journal entry I will quickly comment on all 2012-released albums I've listened to. There will be no particular order. I find it very hard to rank a lot of albums I more or less relish equally; people ranking ther favourite albums strictly always baffle me. For the sake of clarity I will order the albums in alphabetical order (artist - album title). There won't be ratings as well because numerical ratings without proper context explaining the numbers (like music magazines tend to have) plainly suck. There won't be pictures either because I don't feel like it.
    Time to mention what WILL actually be there: Quick, subjective comments. I'm no music expert and I don't expect readers to be excited about my opinion anyway, so I won't even try to discuss the albums or to write screeds. If people would feel inspired to check something out, I'd be more than glad and I think quick comments are enough to provoke such reactions. I'd be also rather grateful for recommendations based on my personal 2012.




    alyosha's dream - dream sequence & machine dreams

    This is something neat found on bandcamp. Alyosha's Dream creates an ambient soundscape with hip hop-like downtempo beats. Though Dream Sequence, which is a lot longer than Machine Dreams, tends to be a bit drawn out, this music does serve well in creating a hypnotizing, soothig atmosphere. I do like to play it when I'm studying.
    Both albums are available as a digital download for free on the artist's bandcamp site: http://alyoshasdream.bandcamp.com/album/machine-dreams


    Between the Buried and Me - The Parallax II: Future Sequence

    This one is a very great one. Basically, it's what you could have expected from BTBAM after their last two full length albums and the preceding EP The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues: „Epic“ songs full of hairebrained and almost wanky metal. BTBAM manages it to walk on the thin line between astonishing technical, sometimes wanky virtuosity and somewhat remarkable, to some extent even catchy song writing. After some extensive listening, I started to favour The Great Misdirect over Colors. I'm still not sure how well The Parallax II will stand the time test, but I'm pretty sure that it will come close to Colors and The Great Misdirect. At least.


    BorknagarUrd

    This album title calls for a trilogy. However, it wouldn't be a shame. Though I'm still in favour of the two first albums (the ones with Rygg), this album is still very good on it's own and in my opinion far more accessible than the other Borknagar prog albums. More importantly, Frostrite goes easily for the rank „favourite song 2012“. Damn it, is this song catchy.


    Kantelian - Avoid & Wrong Half

    I'm putting these two albums together because they're mostly the same. Kantelian is one of my „They're-on-bandcamp-and-for-free“ finds of this year and I'm pretty impressed by it. What we can hear is glitchy breakcore/drill'n'bass with some minimal ambient pieces thrown in. As generic as the description does sound, as much does this artist leave me in awe. This is high quality breakcore with teeth breaking bass lines and ludicrous power. Someone wrote in the Kantelian's last.fm shoutbox: „As much as it pains me to admit, I think this guy is putting out way stronger material than Venetian Snares at this point.“ This pretty much sums it up.
    Stuff is alongside with Kantelian's 2011 debut Obelisks available as a digital download for free on the artist's bandcamp site: http://kantelian.bandcamp.com/


    Loscil - Sketches from New Brighton

    Okay, I promised no rankings, but this case is a bit different: This is easily my most favourite album this year, hands down. This does surprise me as well. Though I've gotten quite addicted to ambient/ambient-like soundscapes recently, I didn't expect an ambient album to astonish me that much. This album isn't extraordinarily outstanding in any sense, it's greatness appears to be neat, a very subtle and inconspicuous form of quality. Yet I simply fell in love with the overall sound and the images they suggest to me. This is also my favourite work by Loscil so far.
    Accompanying this album is the EP New Brighton Field Study, which is available as a free digital download via Loscil's bandcamp site: http://loscil.bandcamp.com/album/new-brighton-field-study. It contains miscellaneous field recordings taken in New Brighton. Not as exciting as the actual album, but still smoothing. I still need to try to combine those with the Sketches from New Brighton.


    Neurosis - Honor Found in Decay

    Well, this is a let down for me. :( First I want to make clear that this is a rather good album; it's solid modern sludge and it sounds pretty much like Given to the Rising, which I digged a lot. And there are some fine songs on it, like At the Well or Raise the Dawn. But overall it just didn't stuck with me and I don't think that this will change significantly in the future. Might be that I will get surprised, but I can't see it coming. On the other hand, I can't really say that this is a bad album, technically speaking.
    Oh, and I think that Neurosis should have done more in the manner of the last 30 seconds. A Neurosis-solid sludge album with some asian folkloristic instruments? Sounds exciting. I think it would have been worth a try.


    Párvulos - Multum In Parvo

    Another bandcamp find. This does not excite me as much as most of the other bandcamp finds, but it does have it's appeal. I can't really say, what it actually is, some experimental IDM stuff with occasional glitch sounds. I think it serves better to everyone to listen to this in order to grasp the direction of this album's music.
    Multum in Parvo is available as a digital download for free on the artist's bandcamp site: http://parvulos.bandcamp.com/


    Saltillo - Monocyte

    Oh how much did I anticipate this. There is a little story behind this. Saltillo is the solo project of Menton J. Matthews III (Sunday Munich), which was only known for the 2006 album Ganglion, an extraordinaire mixture of partial classical instrumentation, fresh trip hop song writing and spoken samples of poetry and Shakespeare plays. This album, though only marginally distributed, constituted a relative high amount of fame for only one release. For years there was nothing heard form Saltillo, except the rumor that there would be no second album. But in 2011 it was announced that Ganglion would be re-relased and Monocyte was going to follow Ganglion's footsteps. A hype was born and I eagerly participated in it. But surprisingly, the album pretty much lived up to the hype. In my humble opinion it even surpasses the formidable Ganglion since I think it to be more consistent. In any way everyone who digged Ganglion surely should give Monocyte a try, as well as everyone who is interested in unorthodox trip hop.
    In other good news, it has been already confirmed that a third Saltillo album is under work. Source: http://playdead-nation.blogspot.de/2012/03/interview-menton-j-matthews-iii.html


    Sigh - In Somniphobia

    As a comitted listener of Sigh I was kinda struggeling with the last two releases of this band. Both of them grew a lot on me, but they took their time, that's for sure. I was expecting a similar experience with their new album and I was right. Kinda. It grew a lot faster on me, in fact I think to be pretty good compared to the last two albums. It has a slight hint of a feeling reminiscent of Imaginary Sonicscape, but maintaining the sound of Sigh 2012. Only the lyrics are... well, nevermind. As if I would care about Sigh's lyrics. Oh, and The Transfiguration Fear is an excellent song which stands out on this album. It's incredibly catchy and could have appeared on Gallows Gallery as well. It's one of my favourites of this year.


    T.G. Olson - Various

    Okay, this is something unusual. I had not the opportunity to give proper attention to this, but for the sake of completeness I'm listing it here. T.G. Olson is member of the stoner rock band Across Tundras and 2012 has been a very productive year for him. He released a lot of miscellaneous solo stuff and as far as I can see, most of it seems to be some bluesy alt-country with a lot of wild west aesthetic, but I'm not absolutely sure about it. Exception to this are his „Blood Meridan for Electric Drone Guitar“ EPs which follow the simple rule of „nomen est omen“. It's all for free on the bandcamp site of Across Tundras, along with some older stuff, Across Tundras albums (very fine stoner rock I recommend as well), another project with T.G. Olson called BrightStar and some albums of funeral electrical. I have no idea how Funeral Electrical is related to Olson or Across Tundras and I haven't listenend to Brightstar or Funeral Electrical yet, but you might give a try to it. You can order most of their stuff (if not all) via bandcamp as well.

    http://acrosstundras.bandcamp.com/music


    The Mount Fuji Doomjazz CorporationEgor

    Haunting beauty; This is a live recording of a live show in Moscow, offering a live impro of TMDC more or less in the fashion of Succubus. Walking on a thin line between free jazz and dark-mooded ambient, this album easily satisfies the demands of the older album's fans. For anyone unfamiliar with TMDC I'd still recommend Succubus for beginning, though.


    Undergang - Til døden os skiller

    Haven't had the chance to give much attention to this album, but from what I've heard: It slays. It's good, solid death metal, combining old school vibes with some fresh ideas. Surprisingly, this is another bandcamp find with free digital downloads accessible via the bandcamp site: http://undergang.bandcamp.com/


    world's end girlfriendStory Telling Again And Again

    For the sake of completeness. This is a short EP containing a new song and two miscellaneous remixes. This release on it's own is nothing outstanding, but all tracks are nice and everyone interested in WEG might be delighted by the fact that Maeda released this EP for free as well. The download links for the mp3s (stored at Virgin Babylon records) can be found in the video info of the youtube videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-dzywc7m6E&feature=channel&list=UL


    Wreck and Reference - No Youth

    Another hidden diamond found on bandcamp. This band is playing a mesmerizing style of somewhat drony/noisy doom metal accompanied by bloodcurdling vocals and an overall depressive attitude. It's definitely an insider to look out for.
    No Youth, together with the 2011 debut Black Cassette, is available as a digital download for free on the band's bandcamp site: http://wreckandreference.bandcamp.com/. There is a also a link directing to the website of Flenser Records, where you can order Wreck and Reference LPs.



    Still-missing-out-list:
    Boris / Asobi Seksu Split
    Enslaved - Riitiir
    Godspeed You! Black Emperor - 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!
    Magma - Félicité Thösz
    Nile - At the Gate of Sethu
    Ufomammut - Oro: Opus Primum
    Yakuza – Beyul

    I was under the impression that I was looking for more albums, but I can't think of any and I've lost my „released in 2012“-list. Oh my...
  • This is My 2012 atm

    2 aug 2012, 04:55 av Pseudomancer

    Joyce Manor is post-pop-punk. Ew, did I just type that? If you ever listened to blink-182 or Greenday, you should listen to this.

    Big Baby Gandhi & Chippy Nonstop have put out the two most interesting rap albums, outside of Lil B. BBG has a bit of Heem, but it's all good. Chippy is just perfect over five tight songs.

    I'm sure BBNG have released some shit this year. And it was pretty good, too.

    Free music time!

    My favourite mc to ever come out of Canada is Shad. He just released a little ep called melancholy and the infinite shadness. For fans of clever wordplay and a chill flow.

    Purity Ring's Shrines is kind of like the Silent Shout of 2012. Watch this space.

    Muknal, both on the split with The Haunting Presence and on their self-titled, is such a wonderful band. It's apparently death metal, but to me it's some of the very best lo-fi metal I've ever heard.

    The split between Adversarial and Antediluvian is probably my favourite death metal of 2012. If you've heard it, you know how heavy it is.

    Sharpz called Plague Widow blackened grindcore. Totally apt tag. Very, very good album.

    I think I like Huntress the way other people like Iron Maiden or Judas Priest.

    AOTY so far: none yet
  • Genres are not important,

    14 mar 2012, 14:51 av aethernaut

    only misanthropy is.
  • Mythos: The Myths and Tales of H.P. Lovecraft & Robert E. Howard

    11 jan 2012, 15:55 av Conservationist



    The new anthology publication from Numen Books: 'Mythos: The Myths and Tales of H.P. Lovecraft & Robert E. Howard'

    Mythos contains the key stories which make up the mythical world established by H.P. Lovecraft, and also contains works by Robert E. Howard written in this mythological framework. Contents also include Lovecraft's essay on the the nature of the horror tale, and a new analysis written... on the nature of myth and the occult in Lovecraft's work by M Alan Kazlev. In addition to this, Mythos also contains new tales of terror written in the same vein as Lovecraft by Gwendolyn Toynton, Bernardo Sena, and Michael Kleen.

    To order a copy:

    1. Numen Books
    2. Amazon
  • THE GREAT METAL INQUISITION OF 2011

    1 jan 2012, 15:02 av DarkRadu

    Late to the party, as always. This year was excellent, worthy of a place in the Metal Hall of Fame, and I'm saying that without having listened to some big names like Manilla Road, Blut Aus Nord or Sabbat. So let's take a few minutes, read what I had to say about my limited sampling of the year's delights and then completely agree with me:



    10. The Wounded Kings - In The Chapel of the Black Hand

    Last year's "The Shadow over Atlantis" was probably the doom metal album of the year, and now they've returned with a new singer, one with teats! The album feels way too short, but for the duration, you've got the works: heavy riffs, haunting vocals, occult atmosphere... as Patrick Bruss from Crypticus said, they're "the band who unseated ELECTRIC WIZARD from the Dopethrone". Remember to light up the candles in 13 before pressing "Play".



    9. Ride For Revenge - Under the Eye

    Now, this is how you pull off atavistic caveman fucking darkness, folks! Finnish dementia ain't nothin' to fuck with, and these cro-mags throw some extremely filthy, rudimentary and downtuned blackened doom with the occasional fast part and blazing solo. It's not quite Necro Schizma levels, but you'd be hard pressed to find something else so raw and unpolished to have come out this year. Put on your helmet, it's feces-throwing time.



    8. Circle of Ouroborus - Eleven Fingers

    To me, their first album still rules supreme. The production (or lack thereof) is perfect, the sinewy guitars manage to weave rich tapestries, the drumming is crisp clear and the vocals puke black vomit everywhere. I can understand not wanting to re-tread old ground as an artist, always searching for new ways to express yourself, but pretty much every album since has been somewhat disappointing to me. "Unituli" picked things up a bit, but "Eleven Fingers" is more of a step in an enjoyable direction. Nope, they're never going to return to the sound of the first album, but at least they're starting to polish and refine their current aesthetic.



    7. Midnight - Satanic Royalty

    These maniacs have finally managed to put out a full-length! The improved production values kind of strip away from the blackened feel, but pull my nostrils up and fuck me like a pig if these aren't some quality SPEED FUCKING METAL riffs right here! Not really a lot to say here, it's the perfect record for you and your friends to break bottles over each others' heads, so let the alkoholik rituals begin!



    6. Necros Christos - Doom of the Occult

    These Germans are known for being quite anal about the organization of their rituals, and "Doom of the Occult" is no exception. Necros Christos invite us once again to pass through their Temples and their Gates to reach their sites of ancient blasphemy, and you wouldn't want to pass up on this invitation! I dare say they've perfected their recipe; the musicianship is top-notch, the production is crystal clear, the songwriting manages to enthrall you and conjure up visions of biblical plagues... if the Apocalypse would indeed take place in 2012, well, we're fucked for not listening, since Necros Christos have already heralded this disaster!



    5. In Solitude - The World. The Flesh. The Devil

    Know what I love? Mercyful Fate. Know who else loves them? The swedes from In Solitude. Channeling the same occult atmosphere as King & co. this album here is the heavy metal riff bonanza of the year. It has more hooks than a pirate convention. It shreds more than a wolverine in an orphanage. If there's one album this year that'll make you put on leather pants and power slide in your living room while air guitaring and screaming "SERPENTS ARE RIIISIIIIIIING!!!" then this is it.



    4. Negative Plane - Stained Glass Revelations

    It took them 5 years to release a new album since the bestial abomination that was "Et In Saecula Saeculorum", but with this one, they've turned a new page in their book of sermons. If their debut album cracked open their crypt of horrors to find an eerie, echoing Void, "Stained Glass Revelations" dedicates its time to filling said Void, decorating the cavern, setting up the candles for the coming satanik magik ritual. These guys are some of the best musicians in black metal at the moment, psychedelic leads weaving in and out of songs like spectral tendrils, echoing drums providing the distant thunder and skeletal basswork plucking away into the ether, invoking entities from beyond the Gate of the Silver Key. A truly spectacular work of art, but it leaves me anxious to see what unholy ground they will tread with the next album.



    3. Autopsy - Macabre Eternal

    "The Tomb Within" saw Autopsy return in full force with a slightly more polished sound for the new generation, but losing nothing of their sickening skill or voracious vigor. They promised a full-length to follow, and booooy did they deliver! Starting off in full force with "Hand of Darkness", Autopsy take you on an hour-long journey of death and decay that will have you screaming "DELIVER MEEE FROM SANITAAAAAAAAAY! MY EYES HAVE SEEN TOO FUCKING MUUUUCH!" before long. They thrash, maul, shred and even doom throughout the entire record like it's nobody's business, showing off that they still do it better than most bands in the genre and are still a force to be reckoned with in today's world. The icing on the cake here is the epic "Sadistic Gratification", clocking in at an impressive 11:33, the longest Autopsy song yet. It veers off into straight-up doom territory, we're talking about some Count Raven-ish shit right here, and they manage to pull it off masterfully. Can't wait to hear more like this!



    2. Morbus Chron - Sleepers in the Rift

    I fucking love judging books by their covers, or in this case, albums by their covers. Just one look at the (vividly colored) shoggothian abomination on display here and you know what you're going to get. Old school slimy, writhing, revolting Lovecraftian death metal, and you're going to love every second of it! This is probably the best death metal album of the year, Morbus Chron managing to inject a slight dose of their own personality into this macabre offering, making it feel different that just a re-hash of old bands. Make no mistake, you still get ear-piercing screams, twisting riffs and thrashy breaks, but this album here is one for the books, folks. It's the type of thing we'll talk about even 10 years from now.



    ***



    **



    *



    AND THE ALBUM OF THE YEAR AWARD GOES TO...



    ***



    **



    *



    Morbid Angel - ILLUD DIVINUM SOMETHING SOMETHING

    Worldwide, 2011 has been a year of riots. Something happened in Libya and Egypt and some other place, I think, but the biggest riot took place in the metal world when death metal legends Morbid Angel decided they could drop their pants and unleash a steaming turd on their fanbase. Debating further on it is kind of pointless, but we will always look back on 2011 with tears of laughter in our eyes. After all, the album at least spawned hilarious clips such as this one or this one.

    Oh, you wanted to see a real, worthwhile metal album on the #1 spot? Well, read on.













    ***



    **



    *



    *



    **



    ***













    1. Deceased - Surreal Overdose

    Coming on the heels of "As The Weird Travel On", the new Deceased album is a bit more of a return to the "Fearless Undead Machines" sound (my favorite album of theirs). And what a sonic boot to the face this is! Deceased are a metal band for Metal Enthusiasts - you couldn't really pigeonhole them anymore in a "strictly thrash/death/speed/etc" category, they just bring everything awesome about Metal to the table. Powerful vocals, energetic drumming, great solos and, best of all, ass-kicking riffs; and this album delivers in spades! There is not one weak song here, there are some excellent riffs that only get used two or three times in a song, as an afterthought, that some bands would have based albums off of, every song stands on its own, and when the guys start chaining up the riffs (as in the album closer "Dying in Analog"), you're in for a treat! If the "best album of the year" is the one which you can put on at any time and have a blast, without it getting boring after a few spins, then this is it, ladies and gentlemen. Deceased should get a Nobel Prize for Metalology!



    Top EPs/Demos:



    1. Venenum - Venenum

    Shared members with the now-defunct Excoriate? Excoriate, that managed to produce one of the best metal albums of 2008? What's that, this demo rips extreme amounts of shit, just like Excoriate did, but manages to infuse everything with an even bigger occult atmosphere, complete with mellow, creepy interludes just like on Tribulation's "The Horror" aka "The best metal album of 2009"? This demo is almost 30 minutes long, and if I had pitted it against this year's LPs, this would have been top 3 material. Absolutely essential.



    2. Ruminations - Rehearsal demo

    Ever thought about how death metal played by shoggoths would sound like? This extra-planar offering of swampy, down-tuned and twisted metal of death is the closest thing you're gonna get. Perfect production, killer riffs and one of the best death metal drum performances of the year make me really anticipate a full-length from these bad boys (and girl).



    3. Cruciamentum - Engulfed in Desolation

    Their "Convocation of Crawling Chaos" demo set the bar pretty high for them to follow up on, but this EP has no trouble in summoning okkult nekromansy forward from the filthy netherworld, just so you can gorge yourself on a beefy platter of death metal with the occasion doom sections. Bon apetit, filth hounds.



    4. Masada - Suffer Mental Decay

    Ex-Immolation, Incantation, Grand Belial's Key, Hearse members group up to deliver a granite-like slab of dark death metal with some really impressive technical chops. My only complaint is that it lasts 6 minutes :(



    5. Circle of Ouroborus - Armon keitaalla

    Kinda more of the same in the vein of "Eleven Fingers", excellent stuff here and a must-have for any CoO fan.



    "Through the Cracks of Death" awards:

    Vanhelgd - Church of Death

    Disma - Towards the Megalith

    Cianide - Gods of Death

    Bestial Raids - Prime Evil Damnation

    Maim - Deceased to Exist

    Necrovorous - Funeral for the Sane

    Mitochondrion - Parasignosis

    Acephalix - Interminable Night



    "Oath of Nuclear Armageddon" award:

    Blasphemophagher - The III Command of the Absolute Chaos



    "Doomsowers" awards:

    Pentagram - Last Rites

    Ramesses - Possessed by the Rise of Magik

    Saturnalia Temple - Aion of Drakon

    Corrupted - Garten der Unbewusstheit



    "GG Allin's corpse date raping the Swedish Death Metal scene" award:

    Repuked - Pervertopia



    "Vaudevillian metal/best vocal performance" award:

    Hell - Human Remains



    "Time machine" award:

    Graveyard - Hisingen Blues



    Other special mentions:

    Villains - Road to Ruin

    Demented piece of sleaze, as always, but not quite as good as "Lifecode of Decadence"

    Speedwolf - Ride with Death

    Damn fine speed metal, with the vocalist trying to pull off quite a decent Lemmy-ish impersonation.

    Virus - The Agent That Shapes the Desert

    These guys are in a league of their own, producing top-notch avant-garde angular jazzy weirdness. It's a great album, but not quite as catchy or memorable as "The Black Flux"

    Portrait - Crimen Laesae Majestatis Divinae

    They went head to head with In Solitude for the Swedish metal crown of the year, but lost by just a hair.

    Hot Graves - Knights in White Phosphorus

    New logo, same old abrasive punk-ish speed-ish metal-ish bastards thrashing the night away. Good times!



    Non-metal:

    La Fete Triste - 7 Hits In Grau

    Let me get it out of the way right now and say that this is not even proper original material. The album's bandcamp page writes: "La Fete Triste covers classic German Punk masterpieces in Cold Wave style." and follow it with a list of the Punk bands they've covered. Now, I'm not big on German Punk and I'm not ashamed to admit I've never listened to any of said bands, but that didn't stop me from enjoying the fuck out of this material here. The echoed vocals were probably the biggest draw for me. If Urfaust decided to do a cold wave EP, this is probably how it would sound like - barren, cavernous, beautiful.



    Stuff I really wanted to like:

    Antediluvian - Through the Cervix of Hawaah

    Gee, thanks Profound Lore! I really liked the "Watchers Reign" compilation, it showed some really murky and atavistic metal of death, but now something's changed. I don't know if it's the production, the songwriting, the new members or what, but I'm not getting the same feeling of archaic subconscious terror, I just feel like they're supposed to be Portal 2.0 or something. As I said, I really don't know who to blame, so I'm going to blame Profound Lore records. Because fuck you, that's why!



    Sonne Adam - Transformation

    Their "Armed with Hammers" EP was excellent, but the full-length just feels tedious and repetitive. Such a shame.



    So, that was it. Could have spent my Saturday afternoon playing RAGE or Postal 3, but I took the time to share this with the world. Any comments?
  • NOMINON: Deathgasm Records announces their upcoming EP (Pre-order now).

    14 nov 2011, 22:23 av blackenedmmedia

    INFERNAL HAILS, METALHEADZ!

    You guys already can being doing a pre-order for the wicked upcoming release of the Swedish death bangers of Nominon, “Manifestation of Black”(Deathgasm Records) is their new EP, containing two new unholy tracks, to spread morbidity for all weak minds.

    This release are available in 7inch and also you can get a t-shirt. Then, go ahead and take your pre-order in the official website of DEATHGASM RECORDS:
    http://www.deathgasm.com

    BESTial Regards,
    BLACKENED MASS MEDIA.