Yith - dread


That feeling when you settle into a tremolated haze, surrendering yourself to the blackness of a blastbeaten storm. Here walk riffs of ponderous weight and majestic mien. Fielding more artillary than your average arpeggiated assault, Yith speak from a position of legitimate potency. Guitar tone rules the day; doom and malevolent melody wield equal power in this maelstrom. Intrigue pervades every minute of these massive tunes.  Care was taken, passion was transmitted, elation was received.  Hear that bass line?  Shit yeah I do. Fuck me this rules.

Convulsing - Errata


Much like Sonne Adam or Altars, Convusing carve a coherent niche from roiling, downtuned, deathly weirdness. Turning these amorphous, pitch black materials into ingenious and engaging compositions is no mean feat.  Gorgeous riffs roll and heave in tectonic waves, raining dissonant blows upon your battered soul. The more precise abscissions do recall Ulcerate’s oeuvre, but Convulsing have so much more to offer. Herein lie deep space transmissions, doomed intermissions, and clean-sung laments. This is the kind of fuck-all jam I live for.

Temple of Abandonment - From Outer Spheres​.​.​. Death


A deft and deathly trip to the funeral parlor. Demonstrates the elusive doom mojo that turns a tragic trudge transcendent. Slow motion serenades entwine melodies most satisfying. As majestic as the finest Mournful Congregation, as gripping as old Ahab. If you prefer your plight plodding, seek these shores. Hang yourself on these masterful hymns. Prepare yourself, though, for when the pace picks up; neck injury is imminent.

15 Favorite Albums of 2016


Without fanfare or commentary. Alphabetically:

Setentia - Darkness Transcend


A skillful incursion into the trampled, muddy wasteland where death metal meets tremolated dissonance and ragged sludge. Withered squandered their opportunity in 2016, but Setentia boldly step into that earth-churned breach. Wields wondrous, weighty riffs, malignant melody, and mincemeat grooves in service of a true Pyrrhic victory. A beautiful battery shapes each track, maintaining a precarious balance and blasting circles around surging chaos. Nuance and intricacy survive these tectonic blood-battles unscathed, but your soul may not. Just the right amount of harsh for the here and now.

Invertia - The Bidding of Tyrants


Mechanized, industrial black/death that owns all the riffs. Diverse rhythms, both synthetic and organic, drive cogent compositions. A parade of fascinating, malevolent riffs ride roughshod over each cybernetic cadence. Less bizarre than Emptiness, but possesses the same peculiar panache. Diligently prods socio-polical beehives with a direct, punk mentality and coarse, inhuman vocals. An addictive dissection of motifs most dear. So many riffs.

Out on December 9th.

Siberian Hell Sounds - Svengali


Grinds gloriously in an unfathomable, crusty black abyss. Riffs oscillate relentlessly in both atonal and malevolently dark arcs. Unexplored depths are filled with resounding rhythmic fusillades and insensate howls. Rages with the unfettered spirit of bands like Dephosphorus, or Imbroglio. Utterly unique, nourishing and essential noise.

Mithras - On Strange Loops


Sarpanitum whet the palate last year for new mystical Mithras space-death. That promise has been fulfilled, delivering all the goddamned guitar sorcery your feeble mortal mind can fathom. A barely veiled victorious ethos propels these extraordinarily massive missives. On Strange Loops' compositional qualities are often reminiscent of space-whale era Gojira, making for a memorable and accessible experience. Above the mesmerizing melee, of course, streaming leads siphon celestial acrobatics straight from Trey Azagthoth's soul. With its thoughtful philosophical arc, ferocious originality, and irresistible riffs, On Strange Loops is certainly one of the year's best.

Qrixkuor - Three Devils Dance


A work of tenebrous density, unsettling derangement, and surprising nuance. Possesses some of Mitochondrion's windswept, abyssal storm-force, but also writhes with the tentacled screams of Portal. The ability to push mind-stinging riffs to the surface of this roiling cyclone marks Qrixkuor as a breed apart. The album’s compact dynamic range is quite purposeful, holding these heaving tones, demonic leads, and magisterial flourishes close to the vest. Break out your finest electroacoustic transducers, find a padded cell, and commune with some of the years’s finest death metal.
 

Krypts - Remnants of Expansion


Red-hot, gurgling mid-paced death-doom with a guitar tone to bathe in. Krypts once heaved mud at your ears, but they’ve since learned to hit the listener full-on with the shovel. Removal of slap-happy Autopsy vibes makes for a sharper experience and allows sinister sensations to shine. A pleasing evolution; perhaps marking Krypts as a spiritual successor to the dearly departed Anhedonist. Malevolent and morose riffs congregate in labyrinthine assemblies, trapping your ears and demanding repeated attention. Immersive and rife with rhythmic dynamics, cleanses your bowels like a meathook colonoscopy. An addictive evisceration.
 
Out October 28th via Dark Descent.

Nucleus - Sentient


Nucleus tilt at the Demilich windmill, subsuming Finnish death and wrapping it in a uniquely fetid package. Sentient succeeds mightily, trapping weird death metal’s lightning in a bottle of succinct hooks and digestible dynamics. Bass-bright production highlights the requisite rhythmic spasms. Screaming, acrobatic solos are conjured at will. Incantation ooze is wiped all over wriggling riffs. The amalgam is moulded into stellar songs, served up with putrid panache. Sentient has survived the summer’s sweaty ear-hole gauntlet, reigning atop the year’s death-pile. Supreme.
 

Disrotted - Divination


Death-doom not for a funeral, but for a ripe, putrescent self-exhumation. Like Thou stripped of pretension or any shred of hope. Like a Funeral Moth bereft of wings and dignity. Tendrils of boiling distortion ooze from every lumbering note and ire vomits from goddamn demonic vocals. The soundtrack to being buried alive, slowly, wretchedly, eternally. You'll feel every nail as its driven into your coffin. Devastating nourishment for a vegetative state. Pure joy.

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