Thursday, December 27, 2012

Evergreen Refuge - Evergreen Refuge (2012)

Dense atmospheric post-metal that teeters on a palette of many qualities; Uplifting, somber, hypnotic, powerful, beautiful, warm, fuzzy, whirling, noisy, forlorn, neutral… It is all these things and more. It emits a textural warmth that hugs you while weaving in and out of beautiful chaos and lulling interludes.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Islands - ISLANDS (2012)

Get this. Have it. Listen to it. Enjoy it. Appreciate it… Appreciate it for this won't get the recognition it deserves (among with many other solid releases buried under the 'known'), not this year at least. Islands S/T is the result of incorporating a cornucopia of influences; post-metal, sludge, shoegaze, ambient, doom, hardcore, among whatever else they fucking drew influence. In the end we are left with a powerfully cohesive album that makes you want to stare out your window and watch the world end. I have the right mind to include this in my year end list, maybe I'll take out Converge, because fuck you and how good they are.

I'm 98% sure that write-up alone has you convinced, but if not. Listen to it, if you dislike its beauty, come back here and… I'm just kidding, don't ever come back here.

Bandcamp (name your price)

YOUWRETCH - Sympathy of Wolves (2012)

YOU fucking WRETCH. The musical equivalent to a pack of wolverines.

Bandcamp (name your price)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Crystal Viper - Crimen Excepta (2012)

Fucking right man, I've been so up my own ass posting filthy bestial blackened death metal that I've been missing out on some metal on the other end of the spectrum. The cheesy, dragon punching, gryphon riding end of power/heavy metal!

It's hard to take seriously, ergo those afraid of being lumped in along with the neck-beards abandon ship and adamantly defend their music collection from power metal, while continually hoarding basement black metal or death metal demo tapes to remain what? True? Real? I don't even fucking know, but I gladly forfeit the moniker of 'metalhead' any day. Metalhead, a connotation that would stereotypically imply long greasy hair, ill-fitting clothes, ugly girlfriends, black t-shirts and bullet belts with a disposition similar to a neanderthal? No thank you.

Crimen Excepta hearkens back to the golden days of power metal, when bands like Angra, Cellador, Helloween, Days of Yore, old White Skull, Warlock, Hammerfall, and especially early Elissa C. Martin Dark Moor days! I really haven't been stumbling on to much power/heavy metal these days that do anything for me, I must not be looking in the right places, because I'm sure they're out there. Pharaoh's Bury The Light rules pretty hard, anything else?

Crimen Excepta (320)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Best Metal Albums of 2012: Chosen By Musicians (Pt. 2)

Mitochondrion - Shawn Hache (In no particular order)

Degial - Death's Striking Wings
Mgla - With Hearts Towards None
Weapon - Embers and Revelations
LuxCaelis - Mysteria Mystica Maxima XXIII
Vomitor - The Escalation
Antediluvian/Adversarial - Initiated In Impiety as Mysteries (split)
Nile - At The Gates of Sethu
Svartidauði - Flesh Cathedral
Wrathprayer - The Sun of Moloch: The Sublimation of Sulphur's Essence Which Spawned Death and Life
Auroch - From Forgotten Worlds

TrollfesT - Mr. Seidel

01. Katatonia - Dead End Kings
02. Gojira - L'Enfant Sauvage
03. Wintersun - Time 1
04. Meshuggah - Koloss
05. Korpiklaani - Manala
06. Borknagar - Urd
07. Nidingr - Greatest Of Deceivers
08. Testament - Dark Roots of Earth
09. Aura Noir - Out to Die
10. Overthrow - Adjust To Darkness

Dragged Into Sunlight - 'T'

01. Pig Destroyer - Book Burner 
Who doesn't like pig destroyer and who didn't want to see a new pig destroyer album.

02. Tragedy - Darker Days Ahead
This record had mixed reviews.... because it wasn't fast. Does anyone care? It's Tragedy, masters of crust. Darker Days Ahead is relentlessly crusty effort.

03. Inverloch - Dusk/Subside
50% Disembowelment, 50% carnage. This pulverizes all hope for mankind.

04. Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind 
This record is the best effort from Converge since Petitioning the Empty Sky. Bannon sounds like he's coughing up blood.

05. Lazarus Blackstar - Hymns for the Cursed
Everyone loves an underdog and Lazarus Blackstar are one of those bands consistently punching above their weight without anywhere near enough recognition. Former members of Doom and Acrimony stir doom, death, punk, crust into a cauldron of misery.

06. Swans - The Seer
The most intelligent interviews are always either Michael Gira.... or Sodom's Tom Angelripper. For the purposes of a 2012 top 10, Swans forever, the Seer is a genuinely great construct. Check it out.

07. Bossk - Pick Up Artist
This wasn't an album, but it was a release and it is welcome news to have Bossk ploughing the riff once more.

08. Slabdragger/Meadows - S/T (split)
Vinyl nerds will love this. Solid consistent riff. Slabdragger's side really stood out. It's not quite Sleep and it's not quite Iron Monkey, given that the combination of the latter form two of man's greatest creations, Slabdragger have good formula.

09. Be'Lakor - Of Breath and Bone
Australians outdoing Sweden at its own game. Well played. This record is a new flesh for Be'Lakor and really brings something new to the table. New listeners will get into the band and old listeners will probably like them more.

10. Vision of Disorder - The Cursed Remain Cursed 
This record didn't seem to get anywhere near enough recommendation in the end of year lists. It's VOD and it's good to have a band that we grew up listening to return from the grave and on top of their game.

Aldebaran / The Howling Wind - Tim Call (In no particular order)

Evoken - Atra Mors
Menace Ruine - Alight In The Ashes
Profetus - To Open The Passages In Dusk
Witchrist - Grand Tormentor
Vassafor - Obsidian Codex
Anhedonist - Netherwards
Godspeed! You Black Emperor - 'Allelujah. Don't bend! Ascend!
Mgla - With Heart Towards None
Horrendous - The Chills
Revenge - Scum.Collapse.Eradication.

Shai Hulud - Matt Fox

01. Propagandhi - Failed States
02. Testament - Dark Roots Of Earth
03. Accept - Stalingrad04. NOFX - Self Entitlement
05. Classics Of Love - Classics Of Love
06. Van Halen - A Different Kind Of Truth
07. Goatwhore - Blood For The Master
08. Napalm Death - Utilitarian

09. Tragedy - Darker Days Ahead
10. Further Seems Forever - Penny Black

Vattnet Viskar - Matt St. Jean

10. Narrows - Painted
With Painted, Narrows figured out how to take everything you liked about their other/prior bands while maintaining their artistic integrity and creating a wholly new and original sound for themselves. Not to knock New Distances, but this is the record that should have come after the S/T 7”

09. Sigur Rós - Valtari
While definitely nowhere near being metal, and in absolutely no way groundbreaking or progressive, this record was very nostalgic for me, hence its inclusion on this list. It hearkens to the “golden age” of Sigur Rós, namely Takk... and (), with dense string orchestration, ambiance, and their trademark snail’s pace, which the band has been getting away from in their last few efforts. Basically, I like laying down and listening to this record until I fall asleep, but what can you expect from a dude with Icelandic folk art tattooed on his body? (Yeah, it’s pretty hipster, fucking shoot me)

08. Yellow Eyes/Monument - (Split Cassette)
Technically, this isn't an album. Technically, this is two bands. Technically, who fucking cares. Yellow Eyes are what shine on this release. They’re some really amazing dudes, and I’m honored to have been on a label with them, but regardless, there's something to be said when you pop a cassette into the van(yeah, we have a cassette deck) and everyone stops what they’re doing to listen. The same can be said about the Monument side of this release. This is the most solid tape I’ve owned since, well, I don’t own any tapes. Regardless, listen to both of these bands, you wont regret it.

07. Meek is Murder - Into The Sun Where It Falls Off The Sky
The dudes in Meek is Murder know how to make you hate them for only releasing 7 minutes of music. I actually created a playlist with this EP 3-4 repeated and listen to it while I’m driving. Dense yet fun, thrashy yet technical, and pretty damn musical, I can’t wait to see them play this shit live.

06. Birds in Row - You, Me and the Violence
I really don’t listen to a lot of hardcore these days, and this record wasnt going to be an exception, until I heard the first single, Pilori. I figured I would give the rest a shot, and was subsequently treated to an incredible onslaught of raw emotion, dense arrangement, and the best non-breakdown breakdowns I’ve heard in years(if that makes any sense). This record is honest, and openly shows it.

05. Krallice - Years Past Matter
This is my go to black metal album of the year. It’s a runaway freight train, but the conductor is actually in complete control. Everything on this record feels deliberate yet natural, with subtle changes in texture and form that come at exactly the right junctures. It may only have six tracks, clocking in at nearly an hour, but this seemingly daunting record is cover to cover listenable in ways that even the greats of the genre have difficulty creating consistently.

04. Kowloon Walled City - Container Ships
Barely weeks old relative to its release, once I picked this one up, I have not been able to stop listening to it. As grimy as it is crisp, this is how I would want to ride out the apocalypse that never was.

03. Old Man Gloom - No
Equal parts driving sludge and gouge your eyes out noise, this record became an instant classic the second it reached my ears. The fact that these dudes can come together and create No, which is fresh, original, and familiar all at the same time, is amazing. Hopefully we wont have to wait another 8+ years for more.

02. Bosse-de-Nage - lll
If one had to describe this record in a single word, it would have to be dynamics. On lll, Bosse de Nage have created one of the most cohesive and thoughtful records of the year. All too often, black metal bands, and great ones at that, rest on the laurels of the blast beats and tremolo picking that have made the genre since its inception, but this record breathes, has purpose, and evokes something form the listener. Listening to this record, I feel like I known them, and have known them for years, its that intimate. Also, this is hands down my favorite drumming of the year, just plain tasteful

01. Pallbearer - Sorrow and Extinction
Instead of rehashing the same things that you’ve probably already read a million times since the record came out, all I will say is this-YES, THIS RECORD IS THAT FUCKING GOOD AND IF YOU HAVEN'T LISTENED TO IT YOU'RE PROBABLY MISSING OUT.

Moloch - Henry (In no particular order)

Swans - The Seer
Raime - Quarter Turns Over A Living Line
Gog - In Our Architecture This Resounds
Wölfbait - S/T
Column of Heaven - Mission From God/Soldiers Field
Lanverraad - No Love For A Nation (demo)
Lich/Man Hands - (split 10”)
Moat - (demo)

Moloch - Chris (In no particular order)

Unsane - Wreck
Chris Spencer has more conviction than most. I believe this band.

Sex Prisoner - Sleep Eradication (7")
Absolutely ripping, no nonsense.

Seven Sisters of Sleep - S/T (EP 7")
Heavy as shit. Rocking without being JD drinking stoner bros, doomy without being uber kvlt grimmm. Can't wait to release their split 10" with Shaman's Owl early next year.

Horders - Fimbulvetr
Beautiful and bleak, amazing artwork, a pleasure to be involved with.

Lich / Man Hands - (split 10")
Lich hit the spot. Brutal mosh violence. This split should have been released in the late 90s. Good peoples. (Lich / Moloch split out early 2013.)

Meth Drinker - S/T Reissue (reissue was 2012)
Absolute filth. Proper sludge. Genuinely horrible. (Meth Drinker / Moloch split out early 2013.)

Kowloon Walled City - Container Ships
Great songs. Underrated band.

Thou / Hell - Resurrection Bay (7")
Amazing, heavy split with great packaging.

Column of Heaven - Mission from God
Continuing where the Endless Blockade left off and going further. (COH / Radioactive Vomit 7" out early 2013.)

Rot in Hell - Termini Terrae (7")
New singer, still savage!

The Great Old Ones - Jeff Grimal

01. Enslaved- RIITIIR
02. Deathspell Omega - Drought (EP)
03. Ulver - Childhood's End
04. Katatonia - Dead End Kings
05. Dodecahedron - S/T
06. Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind
07. Blut Aus Nord - 777 Cosmosophy
08. Evoken - Atra Mors
09. Wodensthrone - Curse
10. Incantation - Vanquish In Vengeance

Rise And Fall - Björn Dossche (In no particular order)

Amenra - Mass V
Dinosaur Jr - I Bet On Sky
Hot Water Music - Exister
The Secret - Agnus Dei
Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d city
The XX - Coexist
Neurosis - Honor Found In Decay
Cat Power - Sun
The Men - Open Your Heart
Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind

Dawnbringer - Scott Hoffman
01. Paradise Lost - Tragic Idol
02. Katatonia - Dead End Kings
03. OSI - Fire Make Thunder
04. Witchcraft - Legend
05. Borknagar - Urd
06. Enslaved - RITTIR
07. Pharaoh - Bury the Light
08. Graveyard - Lights Out
09. Zuul - To the Frontlines
10. Mars Volta - Noctourniquet

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Okkultokrati - Snakereigns (2012)

Norway's Okkultokrati rather shy away from all the black metal credit they are usually presented with, and they themselves are a bit beguiled with the automatic labeling they are commonly slapped with. Though whether or not they embrace it or reject it like a common whore, there is a familiarity in their sound. 

Modern Darkthrone influence would seem like the appropriate culprit, but to give these guys the credit they deserve, they do come up with a sound to call their own. Ugly crusty basement punk with a black n' roll, metal-punk aesthetic. Call me a fuckhead, but I can hear similarities to crusty scummy bands like Ed Gein's Car, GG Allin, Black Flag, Poison Idea and what about Funerot?

Released later this year, missed by most, though Brian of Trap Them included them in his top 2012 releases. Make thy own judgement.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Best Metal Albums of 2012: Chosen By Musicians (Pt. 1)

(Elizabeth, where vultures land)

Are you completely fucking hassled and bored of year end lists already? Well too bad, as the ancient Mayans used to say, "Life is short, and then you fucking die man". So this year I got in touch with some bands to do a "best of" list for metal albums in 2012. Now, don't mistake this for the abysmal MetalSucks version they do over there… their metal sucks. That was puerile. But really, the majority of those lists turn out to be a "best of rock and generic metal choices" thing, and that's cool if you're not really looking to broaden your musical horizons a little bit, or strengthen thy metal.

Here is part one, from fucking radical musicians in radical bands choosing those in the realms of thy own ilk to stand among thee top. Some of them break the rules, some of them went above and beyond and even wrote blurbs, some of them couldn't seem to pick an order, and most of them have some awesome choices! Here's who did it best this year according to…

 •  •  •

Cobalt - Phil McSorley

01. Revenge - Scum.Collapse.Eradication
02. Bestial Warlust - Satan's Fist  
03. Pseudogod - Deathwomb Catechesis
04. Dagger of Sacrifice - Demo
05. Vomitor - The Escalation
06. Warfire - Of power and steel
07. Goatpenis/Nyogthaeblisz - (split 7")
08. Niantiel - Cavern of the Skeletal Spirits
09. Intolitarian - Berserker Savagery
10. Sickrites/Nuclear Hammer - Abomination To The Lord (split)

Witch Mountain - Nathan Carson

01. Rush - Clockwork Angels
02. Agalloch - Faustian Echoes (EP)
03. Wizard Rifle - Speak Loud Say Nothing
04. Ides of Gemini - Constantinople
05. Chelsea Wolfe - Apokalypsis
06. Show of Bedlam - Roont
07. Occultation - Three & Seven
08. Pinkish Black - S/T
09. Atriarch - Ritual of Passing
10. Menace Ruine - Alight in Ashes

Black Sheep Wall - Scott Turner

10. Deftones - Koi No Yokan
Deftones come in at number 10 with an album that proves why they remain one of the most important heavy bands in “mainstream media.” Lush soundscapes take precedent on this one making it easy to channel that 15-year old in me that used to dream to “White Pony.”

09. Hot Water Music - Exister
When I heard Hot Water Music was getting back together I lost my shit. Maybe a bit more tame than most fans remember Hot Water Music being on their previous albums, but they don’t miss a step and it feels just as relevant as anything in their stellar catalogue of albums.

08. Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind
Not my favorite Converge record by any means, and I still find myself confounded by some of the riffage on their, but there is no denying that in the short time “All We Love We Leave Behind” has been out that it has been in constant rotation for me.

07. Old Man Gloom - NO
The super group that can do no wrong returns with an album that see's their brand of noise driven extreme music finding a perfect balance between terrifying soundscapes and some awe inspiring song writing. Definitely my favorite release from OMG so far, let's hope we don't have to wait another thousand years for the next one!

06. Propagahndi - Failed States
Unexplainably catchy, and it gives you the feeling that you’re listening to something that matters. Like a fine wine, Propagandhi only gets better with age, all while managing to outdo almost of their peers at the same time.

05. Code Orange Kids - Love is Love // Return to Dust
Sometimes I find myself in intermittent periods of introspection as I find myself listening to less and less heavy music as I get older. A couple years back it was Trash Talk that kept my head in the game, but this time it’s these kids from Pittsburgh. This shit is furious, full of emotion, and it makes me feel like The Incredible Hulk. Saw them live recently too, that really kicked all kinds of ass. 

04. The Twilight Sad - No One Can Ever Know
The Twilight Sad is known for their dark, almost industrial like take on indie rock. Well on “No One Can Ever Know,” dark is an understatement. Sometimes I close my eyes and think about committing suicide when I listen to this album. Did I mention it’s super catchy? Don’t worry, I’m not brave enough to kill myself!

03. Pig Destroyer - Book Burner
Scott Hull and his band of grind warriors return with their followup to their 2007 nihilistic sonic assault “Phantom Limb.” “Book Burner” shows a slight return to form, digging up some of the tricks that made them the grind powerhouse that they are today. The whole album just sounds scary really, something I look forward to from every Pig Destroyer album.

02. Frank Ocean - Channel Orange
I was thrown for a loop when I first put this album on. I really didn’t expect to like it as much as I do now. Smooth tunes that are reminiscent of some of the gems that Motown used to pump out back in the day. The lyrics are clever, and you can feel the “bigger picture” Frank Ocean was going for with “Channel Orange.”

01. Summer Vacation - Condition
This album actually came out in December of 2011 with like two weeks left before the new year so I’m going to take a small liberty here, and just include it in my list. These SoCal punks have crafted an album that evokes the same emotion I got when I first heard “All” by the Descendents. It’s an album that I often find myself repeating as soon as it’s over. Summer Vacation are melodic, honest, and one of the catchier bands I have heard in a very long time. I’m calling it now, these guys are going to be huge.

Panopticon - Austin Lunn *In no particular order*

Borknagar - Urd
Wodensthrone - Curse
Swans - The Seer
Winterfylleth - The Threnody of Triumph
Blood of The Black Owl - Light the fires
Nechochwen - Oto
Drudkh - Eternal Turn of The Wheel
Neurosis - Honor Found In Decay 
Blut Aus Nord - 777 Cosmosophy 
Xanthrocroid - Blessed He With Boils

Cormorant - Matt Solis

10. Samothrace Reverence to Stone

Fucking crushing. The sound of being trampled by your saddest memories.

09. Worm OuroborosCome The Thaw

Simultaneously beautiful and heartbreaking. The soundtrack to doing heroin on a deserted beach with the ghost of your dead lover.

08. ConvergeAll We Love We Leave Behind

Goddamn furious. I think that main riff in “Sadness Comes Home” might be my favorite of the year.

07. WitchcraftLegend

Still don’t understand all the butt hurt. This album rocks hard. Great guitar work.

06. Hooded MenaceEffigies of Evil

One of the best old-school death metal albums I’ve heard in recent years. Sounds like being chased through a mausoleum by a rotting mummy. Also, DEM RIFFS.

05. PallbearerSorrow and Extinction
Doom done right. Amazing arrangements, sick vocal performances, all around crushing greatness.

04. GraveyardLights Out

Fuck yeah, Graveyard. Another stellar release full of songs that make me want to stop washing my hair and mainline barrels of whiskey.

03. EnslavedRIITIIR

Metal’s most dependable band comes through yet again. Progressive, thoughtful, brutal and beautiful all at once. If you don’t like modern Enslaved I want to fight you.

02. AstraThe Black Chord

They moved from Pink Floyd worship to King Crimson and Yes worship. Sounds like a jaunt through an inter-dimensional wormhole. Sounds like drugs. Sounds fucking awesome.

01. AhabThe Giant

One of the best doom albums I’ve ever heard. Sounds like being crushed under the foot of a Goliath sea monster in the murkiest depths of the deepest oceans. Amazing work.

The Great Old Ones - Sébastien Lalanne

01. Dodecahedron - S/T
02. Enslaved - RIITIIR
03. Der Weg einer Freiheit - Unstille
04. Gorod - A Perfect Absolution
05. Hooded Menace - Effigies of Evil
06. Krallice - Years Past Matter
07. Monarch! - Omen
08. Wildernessking - The Writing of Gods In The Sand
09. Winterfylleth - The Threnody of Triumph
10. Asphyx - Deathhammer

 Winterfylleth - Chris Naughton

01. My Dying BrideA Map of All Our Failures

02. EnslavedRIITIIR
03. WodensthroneCurse

04. A Forest Of StarsA Shadowplay For Yesterdays

05. RattenfängerEpistolae Obscurorum Virorum
6. DrudkhEternal Turn Of the Wheel

07. Alcest - Les Voyages De L'âme
8. Grand MagusThe Hunt

09. PallbearerSorrow & Extinction

10. IndesinenceVessels of Light & Decay

Trap Them - Brian Vincent Izzi *Brian is a cheater, he submitted 12* (I'll allow it because Okkultokrati rules)

Asphyx - Deathhammer
Aura Noir - Out to Die
Burzum - Umskiptar
Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind
Enslaved - RIITIIR
God Seed - I Begin
Grand Magus - The Hunt
Nettlecarrier - Nettlecarrier
Neurosis - Honor Found In Decay
Nidingr - Greatest of Deceivers
Okkultokrati - Snakereigns
Tulus - Olm Og Bitter

The Howling Wind - Ryan Lipynsky *In no particular order*

Tragedy - Darker Days Ahead
Virus -
Oblivion Clock 
Haarp - Husks
Drudkh -
Eternal Turn of The Wheel
Old Man Gloom -
Mgła -
With Hearts Toward None
Deathspell Omega –
Drought (EP)
Nekromantheon -
Rise, Vulcan Spectre
Saint Vitus -
Lillie: F-65
Column Of Heaven -
Mission From God

Profound Lore Records - Chris Bruni *bonus round*
(omitted my own releases to keep things objective)

01. Swans - The Seer
02. Twin Shadow - Confess
03. Knelt Rote - Trespass
04. Scott Walker - Bish Bosch
05. Krallice - Years Past Matter
06. Weapon - Embers and Revelations
07. Godspeed! You Black Emperor - 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!
08. Death Grips - No Love Deep Web
09. Vatican Shadow - September Cell
10. (Tie); Pseudogod - Deathwomb Catechesis / Vomitor - The Escalation

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Demos / EPs / Splits: Best of 2012 (pt. 1)


This year, I decided I was going to do a separate post for the best Demos/Eps/Splits out this year. I am splitting these up into parts, so there is no reason to become overwhelmed and not give these a chance.

Vattnet Viskar - S/T

This is it, this is the one. If I had to pick one EP, demo or split that did it the most for me it would have to be Vattnet Viskar. The high warlord among them all, I pondered sneaking this into my 2012 year end list… Though the crop this year is rich and bountiful, so it's place is here, among all the other great demos, EPs and splits this year. (Download) + (Support)

Tempest - Solace

I have none other than Haxan over at Forever Cursed to thank for this shrewd beast. Two songs spanning 10 minutes of dark and crusty hardcore weaving in an out of other influences at an incredibly furious pace. It's emotionally charges and handled with an undeniable sense of genuine ferocity and passion. I wouldn't overlook this one douchebag. (Free Download)

Yellow Eyes / Monument (Split)

Yellow Eyes coast through warm and fuzzy black metal with a sound that is bleak yet homely. A fell distant searching shriek accompanies dizzying and ominous soundscapes that will lure you in. // Monument is an appropriate counterpart for this split as they to go about their own blend of whirring black metal caked in a warm fuzzy haze, arguably with a bit more of that 'nekro sound' than Yellow Eyes. This is one of my favorite splits this year, don't even scroll down until you get it. (Bandcamp/name your price)

Muknal - S/T

A cavernous offering on the sacrificial altar of 2012, archaic occult death metal that bears that hollow recorded in a chasm sound, echoing its decaying insanity, sounding like being chased through a dank corridor by a hulking beast. (Mediafire)

 Adversarial / Antediluvian - Initiated In Impiety As Mysteries (Split)

Two Canadian death/black juggernauts get together to meld a concept into a single syncretic expression, something almost entirely lost on split albums. The concept is a complex one, synthesizing and contrasting the symbol of Leviathan with that of Lucifer. Hard to wrap the skull around it without further rote, but musically expect to hear swirling and crumbling archaic death metal, some of the heaviest and burliest of the year. (Zippyshare) + (Purchase 25% off)

Vales - Clarity

Vales, formerly "Veils" (went through a name change shortly after this EP) play a melodically charged blend of hardcore with a strong nod to early screamo that basks in a poignant infectious zeal! I'll say it now, this has to be one of my most played out EP's of the year, I still can't get enough of it's genuine emotion and power. This is what music sounds like when you leave everything else behind, emotionally charged and brimming with genuine energy. (Zippyshare) + (Support)

Unsacred - Where The Light Dims

Found this over on Equivoke some time ago, and I seem to have gone back to it time and time again throughout the year. Chaotically wrapped up crusty blackened hardcore. It is caustic, speedy and wears proudly the temperament of a fenced in wild boar, fucking pissed. It doesn't offer much fresh air per se, but it will kick your head in senseless for the better part of 15 minutes. (Mediafire) + (Support)

•  •  •

A big thanks to those that contributed suggestions (Valis and Orcus especially), I will gladly take more recommendations for the upcoming Part II. If this blog were a machine, it would be a mechanism run by my free-time and the activity of its viewers. I pay attention to those that take part in this metal/hardcore circle-jerk, if you are a presence around SHOM, chime in every now and then.

There is a similar post to this one over at "Celebutards, Dystopian Landscapes and Pseudo-Scientifi... Morons....", give it a look, some very good things going on over there!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Death metal: An inside look of 2012 (part I)

Death metal as a genre can be scorned for becoming stale over the years, but in reality if you know where to look, you'll discover bands that are pushing the genre further than death growls, bullet belts, and wonted song structures. Look at what Chris Bruni of Profound Lore Records has unearthed and released under PFL; Last year alone the label delivered albums from Mitochondrion, Antediluvian, Disma and Loss – without a doubt amongst the most talked about and appreciated albums within the genre that year!

You can't bring up forward thinking death metal without mentioning the likes of Portal (who are expected to unleash their latest album "Vexovoid" this February, 2013), whom will likely continue to breathe fresh air into the genre with their horrific and abstract dirge.

BUT who this year has been among the ranks in further developing death metal? A question that demands a lengthy answer I'm glad to say, and not one I'll fully cover in this postBut let's delve into a few of the bands who positively contributed to death metal this year:

Revenge - Scum.Collapse.Eradication

Oh Canada, are home and untamed land! True putrid death in all thy scum command. With feral hearts we see thee fall… Canada is no stranger to abyssal death metal, conjuring up the likes of Mitochondrion, Auroch, Antediluvian, Blood Revolt, Weapon, Begrime Exemious, Blasphemy and of course Revenge! Besides all playing a similar blend of chasmal black/death metal and living in the same country, there is one other thing that unifies them – They all come out of the west region of Canada! How can that be? Why the West? A good question, and one I'd like to further pontificate upon, but not here nor now. Fucking Revenge though, they are one of the foulest of them all, sounding akin to a pack of ravenous wolves snarling over a fresh kill. Nay, feasting on a fresh kill, raw and fetid.
Bestial Holocaust - Into The Goat Vulva

Call it blackened thrash, call it barbaric blackened death, call it bestial and filthy, whatever. Just don't throw around the words tame or "familiar ground", because it isn't. By now we're all pretty accustomed to hearing females in all forms of extreme music, we get it, chicks can belch out some growls too. Though Sonia really does help add a welcomed dynamic to this, her gurgles and shrieks carry on a higher note, sounding possessed and putrid. Like with Teitanblood, the Spanish lyrics give it a rather hoary quality parallel to babbling incantations .

Ignivomous - Contragenesis

Aptly named after the archaic meaning for "vomiting fire", Ignivomous spew a cavernous blend of death metal with its hands dipped deep in the old-school. New grounds aren't being paved here on Contragenesis, rather it delivers exactly what you would expect in the form of stalwart tenacity crusted in sewer scum.

 Putrevore - Macabre Kingdom

Besides the vocals sounding like they are being fleshed out by a hulking lich overlord, Macabre Kingdom down to the instrumentation and production sound stout and primordial. It is straight forward in its approach but not to the extent of lulling into familiarity, it crawls through murky waters and treads on familiar soils but it does so very well.

Part II will find its way out soon, until then, please do throw in suggestions for the next one in the comments. Bonus points to those that show me something I have yet to discover, that would be rad!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Helta Skelta - S/T (2012)

A scum-punk/crust release from Helta Skelta of Australia, filled with a back-alley production soaked in vomit, urine and blood. Shit, imagine GG Allin's carpet in music form. Featuring dudes in the hardcore/power-grind band Extortion, one might expect a flurry of furious blasts under a barrage of anger, but really it takes the form of a different beast. Imagine a rabid possum, scouring day and night, rummaging through garbage and grime, engaging in raucous sexual acts with its nocturnal counterparts… And then bam, fucking hit by a car, guts everywhere strewn across the pavement in a morbid display. That's my visual representation for Helta Skelta's Self Titled debut. Bite at it you scum!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Töxik Death - Demo 2012

UPDATE: It seems as though Norway's Töxik Death have heeded my call to make their demo purchasable on their bandcamp page at a 'name your price' option. A member of the band got in touch with me via the comments below, so now we do what little we can to keep the blood flowing through the underbelly of underground music. I chipped them a measly 4$.

Holy fuck, I haven't been this stoked for a demo since I heard Antichrist Blasphemies (which is actually an EP but fuck you) by Morbid Insulter of Sweden. Right off the get go Töxik Death stomps your skull with Thrashforces of Evil, raw crossover thrash that seems to have no interest in being pigeon holed as they weave in and out with some sweet influences. When your sound shares resemblance to Noia, Morbid Insulter, Barbarian, or Volcanic Slut you're doing every fucking thing right. With that being said, make sure you click those links.

As far as my scavenger prowess goes, this demo doesn't actually exist on the internet, only on the bands bandcamp with no option of a 'Name your price' download either, which I'm a big fan of. It's even sold out on cassette! I'm going to have to contact the band to see if they're willing to send a link or put up a 'Name your price' download. If I yield positive results, it will surely be put on SHOM.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Bestial Warlust - Satan's Fist (Halifax Collect review)

I scribbled some words (but really mainly talked about crusty semen and dicks) for Halifax Collect pertaining to the reissue of the legendary Satan's Fist '96 Demo that is now being sold through Hells Headbangers!

•  •  •

Bestial Warlust were the smegma caked under the foreskin of bestial blackened death metal, they were the musical equivalent to infanticide… Albeit with more bullet belts. If Corpsemolester, Bloodstorm, and Warslut were around Satan's Fist would have been titled "Satan's Cock", though only Skullfucker and Hellcunt were around and they had become more docile in their old age. None of this is of course true, except the part about Skullfucker and Hellcunt being the only remaining members on the demo. Such lovely names…

"I want to keep reading about cum and Satan..."
"I want to buy this rare cum encrusted vinyl!"
"I want to Download the piece of shit Wintersun album."

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Elysian Blaze - Blood Geometry (2012)

I've been a fan of Elysian Blaze ever since I bought Levitating The Carnal back in 2009 (it came out in 2006), I bought it on a whim thinking it was going to be a colossal heap of black metal from the land down under. Turns out I was right…

Elysian Blaze is a one man band from Australia that set out to display a hollow churning void of black metal with halting funeral doom pace and a lightly ambient overtone. It stands firmly between a minimalist approach with a very dreary vibe, its bleak energy belongs echoing in empty halls. It seems that all that is good is meant to be purged from the listener, an easy listen it is not. If you hearken its entirety, thy blackness is strong.

2012 sees Blood Geometry on a lot of year end list I presume. I almost forgot to mention, it's in two parts, spanning for over 2 hours… Of emotionally draining black metal. Good luck.

Blood Geometry (part I)
Blood Geometry (part II)

Charon - Sulphur Seraph: The Archon Principle (2012)

I have my work cut out for me on here, soon I'll be posting a part of my top metal albums of 2012. I'm more into showing you guys the more overlooked shit of 2012 until then, rather than post Pig Destroyers Book Burner I give you guys Charon of Germany with their first full-length since being a band for fifteen years.

This wretched spew is titled Sulphur Seraph: The Archon Principle and it is festering in its own filth of bestial death metal, a concoction of cavernous riffing, marching drums, bellowed growls and tortured shrieks all wrapped up in a dank atmosphere.

Grab if you like: Mitochondrion, Teitanblood, Witchrist

Sulphur Seraph: The Archon Principle (mediafire)