APOKALYPTIC RAIDS - The Pentagram, Blood Harvest, Blood Harvest / Rotted Life, Byyrth - Cold Autumn Shadows, Cemetery Lights - The Underworld, Coffin Rot - A Monument to the Dead, DENIAL OF GOD - The Hallow Mass, Dysangelium - Death Leading, Evil (Japan) / Siege Column, Flagellant / Orcivus, hell's headbangers, Ignivomous - Hieroglossia, iron bonehead, Nuclear War Now! Productions, Nupta Cadavera, Osmose / Hells Headbangers, Osmose Productions, PATRONYMICON - Ushered Forth By Cloven Tongue, Phobophilic - Undimensioned Identities, Shrine of Insanabilis - Vast Vortex Litanies, third eye cinema podcast, Tyrant Goatgaldrakona - Marquis of Evil, Unaussprechlichen Kulten - Teufelsbücher, VENEREAL BAPTISM - Repugnant Coronation of the Beast, W.T.C. Productions
Surprise! Here’s another one, trying to catch up while we have the space and time to do so…dig in and enjoy!
VENEREAL BAPTISM – Repugnant Coronation of the Beast (Osmose Productions) (September 27)
It’s pretty sad when the best you have to offer is the nigh-“war metal” sludge meets grindcore by way of D-beat of “unfuckable pacifist gutterslut”. And I mean, by far.
The rest of this is all annoying (if often sped up to nigh blackthrash levels) black/death, to which we’d given an even lesser degree of appreciation on their prior Deviant Castigation Liturgy.
At least the blurring and speed (complete with shitty Kerry King-style whammy bar wank-offs in place of leads) lend ’em more ersatz vigor (and hence some low bar of listenability) over the usual Watain/Behemoth school of snooze inducing bullshit…
But yeah. Not much to recommend here, to say the least.
PATRONYMICON – Ushered Forth By Cloven Tongue (Osmose Productions) (September 27)
Well, I guess it’s more “exciting” (cough) than modern day Behemoth.
There’s some melodies floating around beneath the open mouthed snarl-howls and yawn eliciting riffs, but the sad fact is that they put their very best foot forward (“haissem”), and while that track holds definite promise, it’s all straight downhill from there.
Not unlistenable, far from the dregs of this sort of generic, mainstream black/death to au courant black metal…but nothing to set those inner churches alight to, metaphorically speaking.
DENIAL OF GOD – The Hallow Mass (Osmose / Hells Headbangers) (October 25)
Well, we’d covered their prior, similarly themed EP The Shapeless Mass, and while not overly excited about the endeavor as a whole, did walk away impressed that they decided to cover (of all things) Exuma’s “mama loi, papa loi”. Showed taste and a penchant for the obscure and outre…not the sort of reference you’d expect from such an insular and blinkered genre as black metal.
No covers this time around (inspired or otherwise), but they do opt for far lengthier tracks than you’d expect, allowing for a Burzumic trancelike feel (albeit with more of an early Mayhem with extra bombast in terms of both riff and approach, “hallowmas” providing a perfect example.)
There’s also a strangely catchy, almost trad metal thing that keeps turning up in tracks like “the shapeless mass”, the oddly early U2 vibe of “the lake in the woods”, the Kevin Hastings tribal drumming that turns up in “hour of the worm” and the oddly stiff church organ of “a thousand funerals”, all of which makes this a far more interesting affair all ’round than its EP predecessor…Exuma cover aside.
And all that falls right to the side when you get to the amazing album closer, “the transylvanian dream”…which blows everything else here right out of the water and off the putative stage.
A strange sort of black metal, indeed, however recognizable as such.
Perhaps surprisingly, perhaps not…but I kinda dug it.
I’m certainly up for another round.
APOKALYPTIC RAIDS – The Pentagram (CD, LP, TAPE) (Hells Headbangers) (October 11)
The last two covered reissues of their first and third albums, respectively, and we’d noted a huge improvement between the two (particularly in regards to the drumming). No improvement between albums #3 and 5 to report, but they remain consistent, right down to swiping Hellhammer riffs and melodies wholesale in tracks like “the story of pope joan” (which swipes “satanic rites” pretty directly at around the midway point).
But hey, with bands like this or Warhammer…isn’t that the entire point?
This old Frost fan is just happy to hear bands keeping the sound alive, all these years later…much less adhering to its tropes and trappings so particularly slavishly.
Unaussprechlichen Kulten – Teufelsbücher LP/CD (Iron Bonehead) (October 18)
…and not once did we walk away even mildly impressed by what they were throwing down.
Here they seem to have dropped the tech thing just a tad in favor of a strange experimentalism, but is that really saying anything?
(stifles huge yawn)
Ah, time for a toss into the eternally Flaming Pyre of Dead Bards, methinks…
DUCK AND COVER!!!!!
…whew, that one went off like an M-80!
Byyrth – Cold Autumn Shadows 12″ MLP/MCD (Iron Bonehead) (October 18)
well, we covered their Echoes from the Seven Caves of Blood, for better or worse.
Seriously. “Vampiric black metal”. Not early Mutiilation. Not Theatres des Vampires. Not even Ancient.
And then the production seems to change from track to track (seriously, where the hell did “parasitic twin” come from?) And the style shifts from sorta working the aforementioned variant(s) of black metal to…what is that, some cracked out take on punk on “infernal abomination” and “sanguitorium”? Two more tracks sound different from those or the last two…yeah, this is just a big pointless mess.
And you thought old school goth/fetish club vampires were insufferable…
Evil (Japan) / Siege Column – split 7″ EP/TAPE (Nuclear War Now! Productions) (August 15)
…well, yeah, it was just that one track, but even so.
So it’s a bit strange that this entire EP, three tracks from the former and two from the latter…falls so amazingly flat.
About the best you can say is that both bands deliver exactly one track that clearly attempt to pay homage to that early Slayer thing most if not all Teutonic and South American (blackened) thrash acts (and a few from elsewhere, like Canada’s Sacrifice) did back in the day: Evil on “paramount evil” and Siege Column on “mayhemic”.
But the production is terrible across the board, it’s noisy and thin and sounds so much like it was mixed for if not ripped from a cheap 45, you’d never believe it…and the material just doesn’t work, whether due to or in conjunction with that.
It’s just a split, don’t draw too many conclusions from this small stumble.
Cemetery Lights – The Underworld LP/CD/TAPE (Nuclear War Now! Productions) (September 7)
We really liked these guys’ Lemuralia and here they still seem fairly decent, if oddly mixed. Vocals, where present, are practically whispered, so low in the mix and calmly sprechtgesang are the growl/snarls. Drums are muffled and sound like they were recorded through a pillow…which can also be said of the bass.
Guitars fare a bit better mix wise, but are so blatantly mid-favoring as to sound simplistic, if not childish just from the tone on slower, single note riffs like “isles of the blessed”.
In fact, the whole thing seems overly mellow and slowed down, possibly due to whatever strictures tying this all into the Greek mythos caused. Either way, whatever we’d heard in these guys last time around appears to be strongly diminished here.
Is it still interestingly unusual? Sure, I’ll give ’em that.
But does it work like their earlier demo did?
…ah, now that is a far tougher nut to crack. Taken all in sum? I’d have to lean towards the negative.
Worth a quick listen to see if it grabs you or as is more likely, loses the script entirely.
Ignivomous – Hieroglossia LP/CD/TAPE (Nuclear War Now! Productions) (November 15)
Noisy, poorly produced, mids-heavy to trebly and very, very spastic buzzing bees riffed – need I mention blackened? Need I mention Aussie? – death metal.
Yeah, this is the sort of thing that drives the scene Down Under, for reasons incomprehensible to the rest of the civilized world.
It’s always nice to find a rare gem or two amid the ocean of dross being produced down that way…but this sure ain’t it.
Nupta Cadavera – S/T EP (Nuclear War Now! Productions) (September 15)
Danish act. First track drones on and on, which is at least somewhat hypnotic…second track goes nowhere.
Never was much of a Danish fan…much prefer a nice hot bagel or croissant, or a fruit Napoleon if you’re looking for breakfast sweets.
At least they gave us Mercyful Fate.
Dysangelium – Death Leading (W.T.C.Productions) (October 8)
Yeah, if you like this sound, just pull out one of the old Watain albums instead – you’ll hear it all and done better to boot.
Just not Wild Hunt. That album was a career flusher.
Flagellant / Orcivus – split (W.T.C.Productions) (September 11)
Two bands who haven’t been around since 2010 and 2013, reverse order respectively.
It’s more Watain Worship black/death, but Orcivus has one decent track in ’em, “tattered beliefs”.
If only they’d kept the other three tracks low and slow like that…
…if only Flagellant had half the promise Orcivus showed in that same track!
You know what? We’re falling behind, here. Here’s the entire Roundup, save Denial of God and Apokalyptic Raids. Give ‘er the ol’ shotput heave, right into the Pyre…
Damn, fireworks worthy of the fourth of July, there!
…yeah, it’s been a pretty rough one, eh? Maybe you want to check out the doom metal one posted earlier to cleanse the palate a tad?
Shrine of Insanabilis – Vast Vortex Litanies (W.T.C.Productions) (October 17)
Way back in 2015, we covered Disciples of the Void, and given some (very light and comparative) promise, let these guys off with a warning.
Well, maybe they lucked out again by coming amidst such a questionable batch of reviewables, but there are definitely a few tracks here that are at least listenable, namely “lusting after a burning star” and “mother and executioner”.
Are these any great shakes? Well, objectively speaking? Not in the least.
But do they earn a pass, at least from consignment to the Pile of Dead Bards to which most of this Roundup have just wound up delivered?
Yeah, guess I’m just feeling nice today or something.
Phobophilic – Undimensioned Identities TAPE (Blood Harvest / Rotted Life) (September 13)
Death metal demo out of North Dakota.
Definitely has some riffs and tone, the vox are appropriately sepulchral…but suffers a bit from a tendency to attempt a more technical approach.
Perhaps even more noticeable is the usual tonal problem that comes with overly detuned guitars, namely an insistent pedal tone throughout that leaves every song sounding exactly the same and in the same key throughout.
Best track: “synaptic vessel”
So anyway, it’s pretty obvious from the cover, tone, riffs and vocals that these guys really, really like Grave, to the point where they want to be them, particularly if you tag in their demo era as Corpse, Putrefaction and suchlike (where things weren’t always quite so low and slow).
Hey, nothing wrong with that, and unlike the Suffocation “brutal/tech death” thing, it hasn’t become its own genre yet…so more power to ’em.
Tyrant Goatgaldrakona – Marquis of Evil 7″ EP (Blood Harvest) (October 25)
Hungarian death metal. Low n’ slow, deep n’ nasty, has the sleazy, swampy feel of Autopsy and Anatomia.
Much preferred the slower “seventh throne” and breakdown sections on the ostensible title cut to when they sped things up too much…but yeah, I’m good with this, definitely.