The format is now exploring stuff in my submission queue and catching up on albums I missed in 2019. 4 to a page, short reviews with images and links. Investigate music!
Four great albums, four small reviews. This week there’s two Australian entries that are currently name your own price thanks to the Transcending Obscurity bandcamp sale. Two kinds of black and two kinds of death.
Four good albums, four mini reviews. A bit of everything. This week it’s a bit more of a drastic variety with a combination of raw black metal, death metal and fucking Scissorfight. The 2019 ones were released as recently as December so dig in.
Four albums, four small reviews, four great sounds.
A collection of short reviews, often EPs. This time around there’s some noise punk from russia, a couple of solid death metal bands and Brazilian death/black metal band Darktower.
Catching up on the year. Not be confused with the popular December format of “You might have missed”, these are mostly releases only I have missed, I being Carcassbomb.
I am spending December catching up on 2019 releases I’ve missed, or as every metal reviewer has said at some point – I’ve been sleeping on. Also I’m on meds that makes a full review a bit much for the first couple of weeks so this is a good way to give my thoughts without having to be methodical and academic about it. Expect this format a lot.
En Route Vers Le Grand Vide is a really tight post metal EP from Qeubec, Canada. As I often do with releases that complex me in some way, I’ve gotten some insight from the bands drummer Dieter who shed some light on the meanings starting with their name, “À l’Ombre d’Héméra means in the shadow of, so it literally means in the shadow of daylight.” says the drummer, “We think it fits well with the music because we try to play with contrasts, hard and heavy, but also fragile and breakable.”
Xeno Ooze are a unique new force in the grind underground. They formed in 2018 – making this their very first LP, but you couldn’t guess that just from listening. I love the level of vocal commitment on this album, it’s a hardcore style that sounds super throaty. It plays well the trebelled out mix of lofi grind and sludge riffage. It’s also a lot of fun, something important for any grindcore album no matter how bad ass the covers get.
Earth Eater are a pretty eclectic deathcore group, they tackle several styles, but it all comes together very well. That is probably pulled off due to the overall talent of all the members here, everyone is obviously extremely proficient with their instruments. There are parts of this that sound like slamming deathcore, and technical deathcore, and even metalcore, the track “Longclaw” even brought in some classical instrumentation. It’s produced very well, it sounds immaculate.
Brisbane has been coming out with some pretty awesome metal lately and Eternal Rest are no exception to this. Their third album The Picture Of Hatred has a lot to boast about for a band from such a humble part of the world (arse end of Australia, I’m here too so I can admit it) such as having this release on the American label Gore House Productions, album art from french artist Remy Cooper and being mixed by the iconic Dan Swano (what?!). With this in mind you might be imagining something quite fancy or even melodic… Yeah nah, this album is filthy, often finding itself on the grind side of death. There’s a sense of nihilism and discomfort, so naturally I enjoy it.
Well that was unsettling. Ploughshare play a fucked kind of black/death/sludge metal that will make you feel physically unsafe even in the comfort of your own home. Tellurian Insurgency is their brand new EP through Aussie label Brilliant Emperor and it releases on the 29th of November. Not an album for the easily scared, if this is you, then turn your radio back on and continue listening to Kyle and Jackie-O, you clicked the wrong social media link. Happens to the best of us.
I don’t know what it is about violins in metal that I love so much, but It’s amazing. Here we have a violin lead folk metal band called The Night Watch. This is their third LP, and it’s set for release this Friday, you don’t wanna miss it!
Now these are tremolos I can get behind. Third Chamber are basically a death metal supergroup and that’s a fair enough status considering the calibre of this EP. They’re somewhere between pure Cannibal Corpse and Knocked Loose, which as you can imagine is very intense and diverse. Harvesting Out Decay is pretty much the kinder surprise egg of death metal. Keep an eye out for this one on the 22nd of November and get in on that cassette pre-order, it looks incredible.
There’s been some solid instrumental albums released in 2019 and that’s going to continue right to the end of the year with the third album from American doomers Canyon Of The Skull titled Sins Of The Past. It contains a compelling and long two tracks, the first track titled “The Ghost Dance” (Basically half of the album) is streaming on bandcamp right now. It should speak to the hearts of Bongripper fans and anyone living that doom life. Who needs vocals? There’s nothing you can’t articulate with guitar and bass, especially when wielded so proficiently. Members of Canyon Of The Skull have also played in Powermad, 1349, Broken Hope and The Atlas Moth.
Munt sit in an extremely niche style of extreme metal, I niche I enjoy quite a lot. That is blackened deathgrind. The most easily recognizable example of this genre is probably Full Of Hell. It combines the raw intensity and speed of grind with the overbearing evil murky atmosphere of black metal.
The vocals here sound fucking ungodly dude. It’s these evil high pitched black metal screams that are just as sporadic and intense as the blasting drums. In true grind fashion this is ruthlessly heavy, not once does it let up. Definitely good stuff.
Blackwater Burial have released a solid tech death record with crazy good musicianship. The guitar and bass work here is incredibly technical, but it never feels unnecessary or wanky, everything fits incredibly well. It’s mixed nicely so all the individual layers stand out nicely. The vocals are these low growls with a nice bit of clarity to them. They are brutal and very well performed, but i can make out a lot of the lyrics which is always appreciated.
So to end off the week, we have a band I never really saw myself talking about. Yeah, Vulvodynia just put out a really fucking good record. They’re one of the biggest, if not THE biggest name in slamming deathcore. They are super genuine guys, but for some reason the tunes never connected for me, but that has definitely changed with this new album.
ACKOD is a very unique project that somehow exists between the void of minimalism and the bravado of extreme metal – not so surprisingly, out of California (partly), recorded at . It’s complex and brooding. It’s also likely to challenge a lot of people whose idea of music is more neatly packaged and familiar. Personally I find it quite exciting because it’s a part of a sound that doesn’t belong to a time in music but rather one that pops up here and there throughout it’s history like a rare breed. Stuff like Maudlin Of The Well if anyone can remember an underrated project from so long ago. ACKOD have come to 2019 with two releases and two more on the way. All of these releases are following the same story thread started with their first release in 2015, Vol. I: Enculturation and then Vol. II: Organic Emotions in 2016.
These two 2019 albums in particular are quite special, not only as a return for the project but also their collaboration with artist ma-ko (@drivemeawaytroubledheart) on both album covers, really elevating the presentation of the project. ma-ko’s art has been on my feed for some time, I completely adore their style which to me seems very inspired by video game fantasy, I have a feeling these covers had some inspiration from Hyper Light Drifter but their other work on IG speaks to older JRPG’s with a beautiful and traditional aesthetic. The lyrics seem to come from the same place as the art, perhaps there was synergy there. The stories resemble the volatile societies, history and politics of such fictional places. So let’s get into these two albums and keep an eye out for the third.