Review: Voidthrone – Kur

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Label: Self-released

Don’ t let the cover fool you; Kur, the second album from Seattle-based five-piece Voidthrone, is dark. Though its fairly short, being only 24 minutes long, the unconventional black/death metal onslaught contained within the EP is more than enough to conjure visions of worlds falling to oblivion, swept away under a cataclysmic tide of blackness. Though the band may recall a host of influences – including, but not limited to, Deathspell Omega, Batushka, Gorguts, and Morbid Angel – at no point do they ever sound like anyone other than themselves, making Kur an incredibly potent and impressive EP, that doesn’t so much cross over genres as it does defy them completely.

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Album of the Day: Slaves BC – Lo, and I Am Burning

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Label: The Fear and The Void Recordings

Released last week, Lo, and I Am Burning by Slaves BC sounds just as impressive now as when I first reviewed it in January. Full of disconcerting, unstable black metal, it possesses a raw emotional catharsis that is usually absent with such music, giving it a personal feel that helps it to stand out. Situated somewhere between the heaviest, most punishing strands of hardcore and genre-defying black metal band Plebian Grandstand, Lo, and I Am Burning is the sound of a band not so much coming in to their own, but demonstrating why anyone who hadn’t previously been paying attention to them had been missing out.

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Review: Vessel of Iniquity – Self-titled

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Label: Sentient Ruin Laboratories / Xenoglossy Productions

Despite only lasting for fifteen minutes, the self-titled EP from Vessel of Iniquity feels as if it packs a lifetime of pain and suffering in to its duration. The latest offering from the reclusive A. White is a roiling, monstrous mix of black, death, and noise, delivering an onslaught that truly does justice to the term “extreme”. Finding the threads that connect acts such as Teitanblood, Gnaw Their Tongues, and Impetuous Ritual, Vessel of Iniquity is a difficult listen, but one that offers many rewards for those who can brave its depths.

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Album of the Day: Plebeian Grandstand – False Highs, True Lows

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Label: Throatruiner Records

I’m convinced that the main reason Plebeian Grandstand aren’t talked about as one of the best black metal bands of recent years by more people in the underground is simply because of their image. Whilst the likes of Portal present themselves as unknowable Lovecraftian demons, and Deathspell Omega seek to revel in obscurity, and stage names are taken as standard in black metal, the members of Plebeian Grandstand go by the still uncommon practice of listing their birth names. I hope I’m wrong, but if the (lack of) image is what causes most metalheads to pass over Plebeian Grandstand then it’s their loss, and their records – especially most recent album False Highs, True Lows – are excellent.

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Review: Slaves BC – Lo, and I am Burning

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Label: The Fear and The Void Recordings

The previous Slaves BC album, All id Dust and I am Nothing, contained a few hints of where the band might go in the future, with its mixture of sludge, black metal, and hardcore having a personal, cathartic quality; but nothing could have prepared for the devastating of Lo, and I am Burning. The unstable, disconcerting black metal elements have been pushed to the fore, propelled along by an even more furious energy than has been seen previously.

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