Review: Ritual Necromancy – Disinterred Horror

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Label: Dark Descent Records

Not to put too fine a point on it, but Disinterred Horror sounds exactly like you’d except and hope an album with artwork like this would. The second album from Ritual Necromancy is a bludgeoning, other-worldly piece of death metal that sits within the current black/death zeitgeist – with Incantation and Portal comparisons being warranted and deserved – whilst also sounding unconstrained by any restrictions of genre or style. This is extreme metal of dimensional horrors and light-devouring darkness; of the dead rising from their graves to tear down the living; of the end of everything, all set to a soundtrack of mind-melting metal.

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Album of the Day: Undergang – Misantropologi

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Label: Dark Descent Records (CD)Me Saco un Ojo Records (vinyl)

Do you like old-school death metal? Because Undergang love old-school death metal. Misantropologi is an exemplar of dirty, dirt-dwelling death metal, the kind where the guitars sound like they’re coated in layers of filth and tar; the drums sound like the oncoming tread of titans; and the vocals are so low and stomach-churningly disgusting as to be barely human. There’s nothing sophisticated here, just death metal torn from some ancient, demonic womb during the grip of winter, that’s so very crude, and so very impressive.

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Album of the Day: Gravehill – The Unchaste, the Wicked, and the Profane

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Label: Dark Descent Records

You can probably have a good guess at what The Unchaste, the Wicked, and the Profane by Gravehill sounds like just from the artwork. Black-thrash riffs and lightning-fast leads? Check. Pummeling drums that offer no respite? Check. Rough and raw vocals bellowed from ravaged throats? Check. It sounds just like an album with artwork featuring naked nuns, demons, and a conquering Baphomet should do. Ugly and violent, but also with undeniable appeal for those so inclined, The Unchaste… is a perfect example of how to combine death, black, and thrash metal into primal, demonic, and hugely enjoyable forms.

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Album of the Day: Ataraxy – Where All Hope Fades

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Label: Dark Descent Records

It is tempting to describe Where All Hope Fades by Ataraxy as death-doom, given that it features multiple slow, oppressive passages, filled with emotion and a sense of despair. Yet to do so wouldn’t be entirely accurate. For all its crushing sense of devastation and desolate atmospheres, Where All Hope Fades is too energetic to fit in neatly with death-doom, with as many moments of up-tempo, vigorous exertion as it has despairing movements. Yet more than this, what makes Where All Hope Fades avoid the academic discussion over genres is its simple quality. This is an album of excellent death metal, that switches mood and style with ease.

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Album of the Day: Blood Incantation – Starspawn

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Label: Dark Descent Records

Can I confess something? I didn’t really “get” Starspawn on first listen. The debut full-length from Blood Incantation was good, sure, but I didn’t quite understand the reverence some people held it in upon release. But on subsequent listens, some time and distance removed from the initial hype – yes! This record revealed itself to be one of the most death metal releases not just of 2016, but of the past decade. This album is phenomenal.

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Review: Thantifaxath – Void Masquerading as Matter

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Label: Dark Descent Records

Despite running for “only” 35 minutes, Void Masquerading as Matter, the third release from anonymous black/death trio Thantifaxath, feels much longer. Such is its all-consuming, dissonant darkness, this is the kind of record that feels as if it might never end, its nightmarish soundscapes stretching out in to eternity. This is, of course, a very good thing. Some records are designed to render the outside world meaningless, as if the only thing that exists is the bleak void at the heart of the music; Void Masquerading as Matter is one such record, and it is an absolute success.

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Sheidim – Shrines Of The Void

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Label: Dark Descent Records (CD) / Me Saco Un Ojo Records (vinyl)

There’s some comparisons you have to be careful when making, lest you give the wrong impression. So when I say that listening to Shrines Of The Void, the debut album by Spanish black metal act Sheidim, left me thinking of Watain, it’s a statement I should explain. After all, the last few Watain releases have left a lot of people – myself included – absolutely fucking bored. Instead, Shrines Of The Void brings to mind Watain when they were first making their unholy presence known, when Rabid Death’s Curse and Casus Luciferi lit a fire in the underground. Sheidim put across a similar feeling of conviction and demonic possession, channeling Satanic energies as much as they do Dissection-inspired orthodox black metal.

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