Album of the Day: Bacchae – Bacchae (self-titled)

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Label: Get Better Records

Sometimes, you hear a record and it’s clear that the band playing are having a total blast. Such is the case with the self-titled EP from Bacchae, with its summery post-punk and Riot Grrrl vibes. As enjoyable as the EP is on a surface level though, it’s the intelligence on display and catharsis offered that makes it truly notable – the five songs on the EP are the result of a life lived, with all the hurt and joy that such a statement implies. It’s a brilliant release, and one that I can’t get enough of.

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Album of the Day: Coffin Rot – Demo

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Label: Rotted Life

Malignant Records have, for a few years now, been one of the leading names in dark ambient, drone, and death industrial; so, it’s exciting to see them branching out in to death metal with new label Rotted Life. Their first offering on the label is the self-titled demo from Coffin Rot, a dirty, filth-encrusted four song onslaught of pure old-school filth. If you’re in to death metal that sounds like a horde of zombies eating the world alive, heavy with the stench of decay and rot, then you’ll want to be all over this like… well, like zombies over guts.

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Album of the Day: Nott – Nott (self-titled)

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Label: Ossian Records

You would expect a label involving one of the promoters of the North of the Wall festival to be discerning in its releases, picking out only the most worthwhile records for release. Judging by the first release from Ossian Records (who also have links with Camo Pants Records), that’s exactly the case, as the self-titled EP from Nott is a five-track whirlwind of black metal, moving with the raw elemental fury of a tempest, wedding the atmospheres of modern post-black metal to the rage and darkness at the very core of black metal. It’s an eclectic – yet never unfocused – release, and bodes very well both from the label and the band.

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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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Over The Voids – Over The Voids (self-titled)

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Label: Nordvis Produktion

Whilst most bands that seek to offer praise to certain musical time periods end up feeling like little more than tired copies of those that came before, there are some bands who manage to clearly hearken back to an earlier time without being a simple imitation. Over The Voids can be counted amongst that small number, with their self-titled album clearly recalling the dark, mysterious nature of mid-90’s black metal; but at the same time, the album never sounds as if it is ever content to simply repeat what others have done before it, adding aspects of atmospheric black metal in to the mix. As such, it is an individualistic take on a highly imitated style of black metal, conjuring a melancholic, captivating aura over its 37 minute duration.

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Sacred Son – Sacred Son (Self-titled)

Sacred Son - Sacred Son

Label: Self-released

I’m sure every blogger and writer approaches their reviews differently, but here’s the case for me: about half the time, I won’t even look at an album’s artwork until a few spins have gone by. We all know that presentation influences our perceptions of a record, and so getting the opportunity to listen to something without seeing the artwork can be a boon, helping ensure that judgments made on the music are based on the music itself, not the packaging.

Yet, there’s no denying the importance of artwork to a record, and it’s because of this that Second Son have been gathering some unwelcome attention recently in the underground metal press. Rather than some monochrome Transilvanian Hunger knock-off, or lurid depiction of Satan or the horrors of humanity, Sacred Son is presented with a photo of sole member Dane Cross on his holidays, looking pretty happy with life. Frankly, if people are taking issue with Sacred Son simply because of that, then it’s further proof of how concerned with image (rather than music) parts of the black metal underground are; and it’s their loss, because the music contained within is uncompromising, forceful, and in large parts, every bit as grim as the cover isn’t.

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