Twisting black metal and death metal into something that is wholly terrifying is Tombstalker, and dragging behind them from the bowels of hell is their debut full length Black Crusades. Black Crusades is a devastating piece of work, one that is meant to rip your heart out and feast upon it and crush your soul into oblivion. Tombstalker live up to the menacing name and provide you with completely menacing and damning music. Each song is pure chaos and that is what Tombstalker seems to thrive off of. Black Crusades is a sinister bubbling cauldron of hate and Tombstalker make that very well known.
As filthy as Tombstalker could make this record they did and they never stopped at one single layer of filth as they kept piling it on thick until it is almost suffocating. Black Crusades is disgusting and completely barbaric and doesn’t stop until your carcass has been shredded and thrown into a ebullient pit of hell fire. From note one Tombstalker has their foot pressed against your throat and they never let up for one second.
One song after the next you get pummeled with the utmost intensity. Black Crusades barrels straight through you leaving you eviscerated and to be damned to the netherworld for eternity. When listening you can’t help but feel as though you are in some sort of nightmare, as though you are trapped within your own crypt and can’t seem to find a way out. Without being wholly atmospheric, Tombstalker shroud you in abyssal darkness and make you feel sordid and evil.
With a menagerie of genres at work all throughout this release including death metal, black metal and hardcore Tombstalker makes it all work. There isn’t a genre within this release that gets lost in the mix somehow. Each genre mixes incredibly well together to create the pure chaos that sits before you. And if they wanted to bludgeon and rip the guts of each listener Tombstalker could not have picked any better genres. All three (that are noted at least) are chaotic in their own right and add a little more intensity and bombast to the record.
Sharp riffs hit you like a hatchet as thunderous drums rain down upon you and thick bass lines lacerate you from all sides as hellish roars and screams bellow from the vocalist. As heavy as you dreamed of something being, you got it all right here with Tombstalker. They are ghoulish, heavy, sinister and purely evil. The entire album cuts you right in two and sends you to an early grave. However, with all of the heaviness that Tombstalker displays they are very melodic and each song is very memorable.
Black Crusades is monstrous album. It is unrelenting and incredibly vicious and packed with as much metal as you can handle. As far as debut albums go, you really can’t get much better than this.
Hailing from Dublin, Ireland we find Mount Soma and with them they bring along their debut EP titled Origins. Within Origins there are three tracks total; two that are heavier and more doom laden with the song sandwiched in the middle being an atmospheric acoustic piece. Mount Soma does their best to make your mind wander through the cosmos and among the stars and through three songs they do a pretty great job of that. Not only do they float your mind off into space with the low and slow buzzing doom, but they also add different sounds and synths to the music to create a heavy cosmic atmosphere. One of the elements that was added to the song Nebula is a sample of Neil Degrasse Tyson speaking of the cosmos. That sample of Neil Degrasse Tyson fits and it ties not only the song together well, but it ties the rest of the EP well together. Not only does Mount Soma do a great job using that sample to set a tone, but they also do a great job of using other sounds and synths to create an atmosphere that makes you feel as though you could be floating through the stars yourself. Mount Soma deploy not only fuzzed out doom, but stoner metal and some sludge as well. The two songs that open and close the EP are heavy buzzing and murky cosmic songs. Mount Soma switches tempos quite often and you never get the same sound twice. One minute you will be listening to brooding doom and the next they pick the tempo up to a sludgier harder rocking sound. What you get when listening to Origins is heavy fuzzed out riffs, thick bass lines, solid drumming and vocals that are gravel filled and yet smooth at the same time. This EP is just a sample of what is to come, and with this EP being a good starting point, you can only be excited about what is to come. Origins is out April 5, 2016 and to tide you over check out the song Lazarus.
With a name such as Ghost Witch, one would expect the music to be brooding and dismal and a little melancholic, and that is exactly what you get. This demo by these California natives packs only two songs, but within those two songs you get plenty of doom to curb your doom addiction. Both songs flow together to create one long spectral wall of buzzing doom noise. This demo really is nothing but straight forward doom and Ghost Witch doesn’t try to make you think otherwise by adding different genres in the mix. Ghost Witch establishes a dark and abyssal atmosphere early on as they shroud you in melancholic sounds and to lead you into each song you get odd sounds thrown your way. Each song is a buzzing dirge of doom noise that envelopes you in a dismal fog and puts you in a fragile state of mind. Through two songs you get smooth fuzz filled riffs paired with shredding guitar solos, pounding drums, thick bass lines and haunting otherworldly vocals. Overall, this demo is filled with solid undeniable doom. The musicianship is great and the atmosphere that Ghost Witch provides is thick and heavy and packed with melancholic emotion. Both songs are great and like demos are suppose to do they leave you wanting more so you end up hitting the play button numerous times. Until there is more, this demo will have to suffice so play it loud and play it often until more music comes from the netherworld.
The Corona Lantern hail from the Czech Republic and their newest slab of abysmal doom is titled Consuming The Tempest. Consuming The Tempest is a total of seven songs that take you on a very dark quest. Each song is encompassing and shrouds you in eternal darkness and torment. Not only does The Corona Lantern play abyssal doom, but they incorporate sludge into the mix as well. When you are not getting soul searing doom metal, you are getting hard rocking and heavy hitting sludge. The Corona Lantern does a great job of mixing both genres and keeping you on your toes as they never give you the same sounds. Minute to minute each song changes and you hear something that you previously haven’t heard before. Consuming The Tempest is an intriguing listen to say the least. It is mystifying and mysterious and hypnotic. This album pulls you in to the dark never to release you back into the light. Each of the seven songs are harsh and punishing and push you into a bleak world of isolation and damnation. Consuming The Tempest is a slithering and shape shifting release. It is highly poisonous and ready to kill at any moment as it wraps itself around your throat. Every song is filled with heavy suffocating riffs, pounding drumming, head caving bass lines and throat ripping purely demonic roars. When the dirge of doom isn’t playing, you get a heavier quicker romp every so often that makes sure your brains get bashed in. The Corona Lantern have created something that is incredibly hypnotic and yet it is also incredibly lethal. You come because of the smooth doom and stay because you get injected with a potent poison. This release is massive and not for the faint of heart what so ever. Consuming The Tempest was released last year and it was foolishly looked over by yours truly, but this is an album that commands your attention and demands you listen, and I suggest you do so.
There are instances when an album really does sound evil and sounds as though it has come up from the bowels of hell. As The World Rots Away is one of those albums that is completely sinister and devours all light. As The World Rots Away is hypnotic in a twisted kind of way. It draws you in and sinks you deeper into mental anguish and torment. Once you begin listening you are trapped and there is no way out of the cauldron of hatred in which you are stuck. This release is a brooding nightmare and honestly As The World Rots Away may be made completely of nightmares. Blackwood does a great job of altering your mind and corrupting your soul turning you into a sinister heathen. As The World Rots Away is daunting and intimidating and you really don’t know what you got yourself into when you begin listening. With each song that passes you plunge deeper and deeper into a blackened abyss. Blackwood has created something that sounds as though you are diving into the inner workings of a psychotic mind. Blackwood deploys thick buzzing riffs, flesh tearing bass lines, heavy drums and a molten toxic atmosphere. Blackwood doesn’t use vocals at least not in the conventional way. If there are vocals-and there are but they show up very seldom-they are samples from something entirely different. The atmosphere that is provided for you is comprised of the heavy musicianship as well as odd noises and sounds that you come across when listening. As The World Rots Away is a torturous slow dirge to the end. This album is a psychotic nightmare that gives you plenty of nightmarish soundscapes to explore and wander. This is the type of album that makes your skin crawl and your psyche break. Traverse this release with caution.
Sonic destruction is an appropriate tag for Autokrator as The Obedience to Authority is exactly that. The new album from these French mayhem makers is a wall of sharp noise that pierces you and leaves your ear drums bleeding for hours to come. The Obedience to Authority is disgustingly barbaric from beginning to end and is a purely blistering wall of sound that tears your skin from your flesh. There are moments of reprieve but those moments are brief and few and far between.
The third song titled Chapter III is what could be labeled as an interlude but acts more like an extra moment for Autokrator to prey on your delicate psyche. This song gives Autokrator nearly three minutes alone with you torturing you with harsh sounds and what seems to be a circle saw buzzing in the background. Chapter III is almost foreshadowing as to what is going to happen to you from that point forward.
For the majority of this lobotomizing effort the music is purely tumultuous and each song does its best to put you in a fragile state of mind. The Obedience to Authority is an aural assault and never allow you to have a moment of clarity. As you are listening images of death, despair and disease run through your mind.
The concept of The Obedience to Authority as well as the content of the album is as the title suggests and Autokrator will be damned if they don’t beat some sense into everyone for being slaves to the system. “Beating” is the effective key word because that is exactly what it feels like listening to this terrifying onslaught.
Your very demise is at the hands of writhing riffs, brain blasting drums, a thick bass presence and destructive vocals. Each song is pure chaos and unrelenting in their assault. The Obedience to Authority is bludgeoning and less than half way through it leaves you begging for mercy. Are you shown any mercy? In short, no. Instead of letting up, Autokrator slits your throat and watches you writhe in agony.
Apart from the stomach churning madness that is the superb musicianship, Autokrator supplies you with a thick atmosphere that you could cut with a knife. That atmosphere is provided by industrial elements among other interesting noises and abrasive sounds. The atmosphere provided is suffocating and lung collapsing all on its own. If you don’t suffer at the hands of the gut ripping musicianship, you will perish under the weight of the atmosphere.
The Obedience to Authority is a lethal album and leaves nothing on the table. It is vicious and will rip your fucking head off without so much as a warning. The Obedience to Authority is skull grinding madness at in its purest form and is meant for anyone that needs some brutality and purely punishing death metal in their lives.
The Obedience to Authority will be out April 22, 2016 through Godz Ov War Productions!
Damning, sinister, brooding and even psychedelic are some words that can be used to describe Howls of Ebb and their new release Cursus Impasse: The Pendlomic Vows. Howls of Ebb take black metal and death metal and distort them to create something that is almost unrecognizable. You certainly hear both of the genres at work, but what you get out of it is something that you may or may not have heard before. Cursus Impasse: The Pendlomic Vows is a mysterious album that takes you through the darkened alleys of your mind and twists and turns in completely unexpected ways.
There is no possible way to pin point exactly what is going to happen next. This release contorts itself so much and slithers down several avenues that you just have to get use to expecting the unexpected. As diverse and unpredictable as Cursus Impasse: The Pendlomic Vows can be, it still is entirely memorable and sticks with you after you are done listening.
Cursus Impasse: The Pendlomic Vows is unique by all standards and push the boundaries of each of the genres that they sew in. Nothing within this release is straight forward and nothing is done by the book what so ever. And with that being said, the more chaotic and unpredictable releases are the most memorable. Like a leech this album latches on to your brain and never lets go, and for days you will be hearing the harrowing sounds of Howls of Ebb.
Howls of Ebb are brooding and menacing when need be and completely brutalizing and head caving when needed as well. They balance both elements very well keeping you on your toes. Throughout this record you never hear the same thing twice, and with all but one song clocking in over the five minute mark Howls of Ebb give you plenty to think about.
Cursus Impasse: The Pendlomic Vows does a great job submerging you in vivid nightmarish soundscapes as well. This release takes a hold of you and grips you tight with shadowy clawed hand and plunges you deeper into schizophrenia. Much like doom is psychedelic in a way that it takes your mind to trippy soundscapes, this album transports you to soundscapes that are teeming with ghoulish figures and rabid hell hounds.
Not only does Howls of Ebb shatter your psyche with paranoid riffs, tumultuous drumming, thick menacing bass lines and demonic vocals, they also supply a suffocating amount of atmosphere as well. They inject odd noises (including what sounds like cemetery bells to signal your doom) that further instill a feeling of dread and supplies you with an apocalyptic sound all together.
Cursus Impasse: The Pendlomic Vows is a maddening release that shape shifts all throughout giving you different looks and different sounds all the time. Even though the run times are long, Howls of Ebb keep your attention all throughout. Cursus Impasse: The Pendlomic Vows is monolithic and demands your full attention.
There’s nothing quite like feeling your brain squeeze through your ear holes, and Rotting Repugnancy does their best to make you feel that. Harbringers of the Last Judgement makes you feel as though you have been put through a meat grinder, minced up even more and fed to rabid wolves. Rotting Repugnancy’s new release is a powerful death metal onslaught to say the least, and with eight songs they brutalize you and dig you a shallow grave in which will be your final resting place.
There are plenty of things that stick out with this record, but one thing that really stuck out was the fact that it is terrifyingly brutal and yet it isn’t over done at all. Harbringers of the Last Judgement is gore filled, but it isn’t obscene and if it was it would ruin the record. The fact that Harbringers of the Last Judgement is brutalizing but not overly saturated in viscera makes for a better listen and makes the listener focus more on the music than trying to get the last bits of intestine out of their hair.
Through the entirety of this release there are no fillers which means that through eight songs you get tortured and relentlessly victimized by hate fueled death metal. Not only does Harbringers of the Last Judgement have no fillers, but there isn’t any over technicality either. What you get is bestial death metal that doesn’t back down until the marrow from your bones has been claimed.
Harbringers of the Last Judgement is barbaric and not only executes you with death metal but they had a tinge of thrash as well to really instill a whiplash feeling. The combination between old school death metal and thrash metal gives you an apocalyptic atmosphere and you feel as though the world is crumbling around you. Each song is thunderous and played at a pace that is wholly blistering and ear popping.
Filled with skull grinding riffs, powerful drumming, lacerating bass lines and vocals that sound as though the vocalist is drinking the blood of his enemies at the time of recording, Harbringers of the Last Judgement is a force to be reckoned with. This is a behemoth of an album and does more damage than you know, and after you are done listening don’t be shocked if you have some internal bleeding.
Harbringers of the Last Judgement is chaotic and leaves destruction in its wake no matter where it roams. From beginning to end you get a massive surge of gut ripping power and Rotting Repugnancy doesn’t quit until you have been completely decimated.
With an incredibly menacing presence, Curse the Son comes out with their third full length titled Isolator. Curse the Son plays low and slow buzzing doom that not only haunts you but gives you plenty of hard and heavy hitting riffs to rock out to. Curse the Son captivates your mind and holds it prisoner for the entirety of this release. Once you begin listening your mind takes off and explores previously unexplored soundscapes and gets lost in all of the wondrous fuzz filled doom sounds that are projected at you.
From beginning to end you find yourself on a smooth ride through a land where doom rules all and is as psychedelic as you would like it to be. There’s something about this record that drags you down with it. It tugs at you and pulls you under the massive rolling riffs and the psychedelic atmosphere.
To say that Isolator is heavy would be an understatement. At points it feels as though an anvil has been dropped on you and your bones crumble beneath it. There isn’t anything on this release to state that it isn’t heavy or that it is anything but striking mind altering doom. As soon as you enter the realm of Curse the Son you get lost in psychedelic and hallucinogenic madness.
Isolator is a sonic mass of that has the power to level you and your city. This release works its way into your mind like rabid doom worms and never leaves. Curse the Son have created a piece that is wholly unforgettable. It encompasses you in soothing clouds of smoke and takes your mind on a ride that it has never been on before.
With smooth and yet intense riffs, thick and silky bass lines, solid drumming and powerful vocals, Curse the Son in no time put you under their spell. Sooner rather than later you feel as though you are under a trance and when the album ends all you remember is that your brain was buzzing in your skull and then everything going blank.
Isolator is massive and there are no punches pulled here. This is an album that you can put on and enjoy over and over and over again without getting bored or wanting to change songs half way through. Each song is powerful and memorable and keeps you rocking out long after the album is finished. Isolator isn’t an album that should be taken lightly or be looked over as it will stay in your rotation for aeons.
At times it feels as though Obscure Evil pumps pure darkness and raw evil straight into their new release Midnight Forces. Everything about this four track release is raw and entirely unforgiving and provides you with massive amounts of twisting first wave black metal infused with punishing thrash. “Midnight Forces” is a writhing and poisonous ball of searing darkness and grime which brings a certain lurking evil along with it.
The more sordid and blasphemous the better, and Obscure Evil packs plenty of both with this straight shot of corrosive acid. Midnight Forces steamrolls you into an early grave and laughs as it summons its horde to feast upon your rotting carcass. Obscure Evil hits you quick and they hit you hard not giving you any time to prepare yourself for the demonic punishment that ensues upon pressing play.
These filthy demon summoners play a disgusting brand of metal that is reminiscent of bands of old and yet they make it their own and harness that brooding blackened power for evil. Sooner or later while listening you feel yourself falling into a burning pit whose walls are scorched with the ever burning flame of hell.
With molten riffs, drums that are out to let all of your blood from your system, and with the echoing vocals that are barked at you with a forked tongue rip you to shreds and leave you for the vultures. Once the first note begins, this release summons hellhounds and utterly disgusting demons to do its sordid bidding.
After just one full listen is over you feel as though you have been lashed hundreds of times by a demon overlord. Midnight Forces is a harsh and grueling four songs that don’t stop your punishment long after your soul has escaped your mortal body. This release is raw and visceral and has enough power to grind your skull into oblivion. Midnight Forces is utter mayhem and will stop at nothing until it quenches its thirst for blood.
Playing in the vein of post black metal is Ocerco and their new EP off of Signal Rex is A Desolação. Split between three tracks is twenty minutes of raw and incredibly atmospheric black metal. Each song flows together very well and without so much as a break, Ocerco hits you with cold and blasphemous black metal through the release. Through this EP you get a brooding nightmare that consumes you with the horrors of nature. A Desolação is of a raw breed of black metal and Ocerco makes that well known.
A Desolação never stays consistent and is an ever changing twisting mass of harrowing black metal. Ocerco takes you through twists and turns all throughout as they never keep the same tempo for very long. You can’t pin point what this band will do next as they transition from a brooding slower tempo to a quicker blistering one in a heartbeat.
A Desolação is an encompassing EP that shrouds you in bleakness and a bone splintering cold. Piled into these three songs is a ton of atmosphere as well that takes you through shivering forests and dismal fog. If the metal alone doesn’t make you feel isolated and alone, the atmosphere certainly will.
All through this EP you get harsh riffs, solid and pounding drumming, rumbling and thick bass lines and a vocal performance that sears itself into your ear drum for quite some time. There isn’t any way that you can wriggle your way from the accosting nature of this release as Ocerco make their brand of black metal and the soundscapes as uninhabitable as possible.
Though A Desolação seems short, there are twenty minutes spread between a short supply of songs. Within these songs you get plenty of everything that you look for in a black metal album. It is a solid release and a teaser of what is to come, and now we wait before a full length appears from these Portuguese sinners.
One cannot physically weigh the heaviness of music, but if you could Alma by Lobo would probably be up there with some of the heaviest. I don’t mean heavy as in blast beats and how hard and heavy you can headbang; I mean heavy in the sense that it bogs you down. Listening to Alma is almost like taking a trek through the cavernous pits of your soul. None of the four songs lacks in creativity and density as each song invades your mind and burrows themselves deep inside.
Alma is brooding and never breaks the down tempo style as every song is played at a glacial speed. Lobo is a slow moving star through the cosmos and instead of making you feel bleak and unwanted and instead of crushing your very spirit with an inferno of buzzing riffs, Lobo makes you think and pushes your wandering mind through space and time itself.
What Lobo does so well is create atmospheres that are both dark and light at the same time. They can crush your spirit if they want to and do in certain sections, but they always pair their damaging attributes with ones that lead you away from the dark and abysmal torment.
Lobo combine two elements in electronic music and doom to create wondrous soundscapes and thick and heavy atmospheres. An electronic and doom pairing may or may not seem appealing and may or may not seem like it would work, but whatever the majority stance is on the combination Lobo really knows how to make it work.
They sew both elements together seamlessly that at points you don’t really realize that there are electronic elements in the music. Both the doom and the odd sounds provided give the listener more room to explore and plenty more to chew on. In only four songs Alma is gigantic in size and gives you a massive amount of atmosphere and sooner or later you feel as though you are swimming in your own mind.
Overall Alma has an interesting feel to it. It is incredibly heavy and at the same time it isn’t. It sinks your soul into a frigid abyss and pulls it back out over and over again taking you through emotional instability. With everything that is slowly thrown at you with this release, it is a good one and one that doom fans shouldn’t look over.
Chicago based gut rippers Morgue Supplier does exactly what their name suggests; they supply morgues with your corpse and the corpses of those who dared to cross their path. Morgue Supplier plays a sickening cross between death metal and grind, and all throughout their self titled release they mix the two very well incorporating both styles into just about every song. This self titled release is a massive one as it sports fourteen songs and stands menacingly above you ready to slit your throat and drain the crimson from your veins.
There are moments in this record that you don’t know what the hell you are going to get next. For the most part each song is a blistering nightmare that tears your skin from your flesh and your flesh from your bone, but there are instances where Morgue Supplier introduces a more brooding and down tempo style that immediately makes paste out of your bones. With that being said, Morgue Supplier doesn’t just have one weapon, they have multiple at their disposal to make you feel as uncomfortable as possible.
There is just nothing flashy about this release at all which grind shouldn’t be. What you get with this self titled release is pure filth and utter devastation. You can’t pack any more grime in here even if you wanted to and you couldn’t make this record any more chaotic if you wanted to. This is purely disgusting and Morgue Supplier revels in the stench of the cadavers that they have stacked up inside of their walls from this.
Morgue Supplier steamrolls you and minces you until you are no more. You can run and you can try to hide all you want, but the behemoth that is Morgue Supplier will find you and dish you into their ever burning furnace. These masterminds of destruction have created a cacophony of sickness and with the passing of each song your mental state deteriorates.
These Chicago decapitators eviscerate you with schizophrenic riffs, destructive bass lines, brain scrambling drums and unearthly roaring vocals. Morgue Supplier doesn’t hold back on this release and they hit you with everything that they have. Once they have the soldering iron to your temple they just keep pressing it into your flesh. This self titled is skull grinding and flesh carving grind that cannot be ignored.