Hybreed Chaos - Entombed in Dark Matter

Wonderfully weird death-sludge with a soul of grind. Vibrates on heavier, more original frequencies than the sordid hordes of Luc Lemay jock riders. A yawning dynamic range allows low-end grooves to lop off limbs while swanky squeak and skronk riffs ricochet around the soundscape. The heaving ease of these demented arrangements recalls Cephalic Carnage, and the gorgeously mechanized guitar tone brings Maruta to mind. Fuck-all vibes and a lack of sinister play-acting up the punk ante, even as slivers of doom seep into the atmosphere. The bass tone is to die for, the grooves flay flesh, and the diversity slakes multifarious thirsts. In the end, riffs, of course. Gimme some of that dark matter.

Buy the CD here.

Temple of Void - Lords of Death

A masterful death-doom hyphenation that swings mightily and wields a very large stick. The colon-quaking grooves and abyssal growls will certainly recall Hooded Menace, but the industrial slam-twitch on the mid-paced crunch also invokes disembowelment. The incinerating guitar tone smacks of Asphyx, and the march of massive riffs will certainly have you heaving blood. A phenomenon of compact, ponderous mass that deforms spacetime, impelled by a gargantuan rhythm section. Step inside the event horizon and be become void with one of the year's best.

Out on July 18th via Shadow Kingdom Records with vinyl from Hells Headbangers.

Suffering Hour - In Passing Ascension

A singular and staggering vision of extremity. Embodies the unbounded ambitions of The Chasm. Owns an utterly alien guitar sorcery akin to a Negative Plane or Howls of Ebb. Vibrato bar is abused in service of gelatinous and disquieting arpeggios. Much more than mere riffs, these spasms of speed, groove, and eccentricity form a pleasing, bestial whole beyond the ken of workaday brutality. Deranged vocals and rhythmn serve the savage raison d’être without stepping in the way. The last track lets the notes fall into tremolo picked contours, venturing as close to pedestrian black metal that the album will come. All told, a formula most fatal to the flesh.

Mind Mold - Mind Mold EP

From the mind of one of grind’s foremost thinkers comes a vision of brilliant, dissonant doom. Whereas Wake mold grindcore into masterfully twisted forms, Mind Mold exploit and transfigure the despondent arts. Squirms like a slab of melodic melancholy butchered by blasts of gorgeous discord. Psychotic diatribes plying hammer-smashed sludge, splashing searing black ichor into your soul. Lumbers and sprints in spasmodic bursts, sowing the desolate ways with hardcore irreverence and remarkable riffs. This short sharp burst of creativity is expressed with anxious immediacy, a feat no pure doom adherent could fathom. Behold, sharp blade sinks deep into dull minds.

Fuoco Fatuo - Backwater

Abyssal death-doom that's not content to fill the funereal mold. Most certainly satisfies the urge to dirge, possessing the solemn sonic aesthetic of a Mournful Congregation or early Ahab. Drops crushing doom ordnance in concert with its leaden rhythmic procession, but just as often churns in fathomless death-depths. These obsidian sermons differentiate Fuoco Fatuo's art, evoking filthier correlations to Incantation or Portal. Unlike the dichotomous slow/fast flips of Disembowelment, the harrowing haste of these riffs is contained within each song's dense shell. The drums never move faster than a shambling corpse, but the intricacy injected into every cadence will capture a listener's full attention. Ecstatic self-nullification.

Spectral Descent - Descending The Astral Plane

Raw, delectable death with killer instincts. An exceptional, encyclopedic emulsion of American death metal morphemes. Hammered on hemorrhages evoke quintessential Cannibal Corpse. Chugging convulsions convey the way of Obituary, Master, and Malevolent Creation. Celestial jaunts bespeak Death itself, reaching so far as Atheist oddity. Throw in a bit of death-doom excellence and you've got all the riffs your cadaverous soul could desire. Primitive but punchy production makes the result feel like a product of that bygone era. Coherent, convincing, murderous joy.

Sarcasm - Within the Sphere of Ethereal Minds

From a decades old footnote in Daniel Ekeroth’s Swedish Death Metal, Sarcasm ascend to sudden glory. Pitch-perfect, sinister, death-black melodies injected with a massive dose of Dissection. Nasty Necrophobic nuance and the dynamic compositional instincts of God Dethroned. Untouchable riffs thrash, gallop, and swarm under a storm of black-hearted leads. Vocals blessed with Jon Nödtveidt’s malignant, effective vocal invective. Ominous classical guitar segues because of course. Lean as fuck, without a minute of flab or fill. My favorite album of the year thus far; the meat is in the hooks.

Falls of Rauros - Vigilance Perennial

Manufactured Americana as black metal crutch gets my goat. Falls of Rauros, however, rolled out from under an Appalachian rock fully grown with guitars in hand and a mind to record the songs of their people. At least it sounds that way. The ease with which these riffs roll is the key, whatever their demeanor. When the rivers run red with blood and blastbeats, the blackish amalgam is effortless, comfortingly cocophonous, genuinely compelling. The clean guitars may appear civilized to a questioning ear, but they belie the bestial undertow. Harrowing, howling vocals emit a mien of madness and tap that vicious vein. Ultimately, this is a devastating explosion of somber, wistful, raging sentiment. I will lay down my bones among these rocks and roots.

Fen - Winter

Gathers the captivating threads of their monumental debut, reconnecting the sinews of magnificent oddity forged many moons ago. Channels Eld era Enslaved, transforming many a meager arpeggio into epic windswept vista. Black metal methodologies forge nefarious beauty without subverting their spirit. Melodious without being malodorous, wildly whimsical without ever careening towards catastrophe. Effortlessly engaging, atmospheric in the literal evocative sense, often heavy as fuck-all. In a crowded field you can identify this vision of Fen from a mile away. Shit’s vast; come get lost.

Epoch - Sacrosanct

Dials up a pleasing swath of the death spectrum. Decapitated tonality without the dry-heaving edge, Incantation diabolism without the drawl, crooked Immolation irruption with a need for speed, a touch of windswept Mitochondrion madness. Riffs swarm and sweep the legs with staccato pointillism. A superlative rhythm section supports each and every acrobatic attack while guttural orations approach charming psychosis. Worth more dimes than a dozen other fetid death metal outfits.

CD available via the Lavadome store.

Laster - Ons vrije fatum

Exceptional, idiosyncratic blackness. Adorns Agalloch-like opulence with bizarre bits of Bergraven oddity. Moving melodic overtures torched by excoriating vocals. Gorgeous soundscapes warped enough to allow visions of stranger aeons. Gang vocals and Enslaved-style clean chants dot the landscape, oft pushing the vibe towards psychedelia. Crystal clear, balanced production allows examination of many obtuse facets. So much going on, so much excellence, so many convoys to nothingness.

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.


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