Here’s the perfect storm of pre-release bait for me, it’s an Australian tech death release featuring the artwork of Mariousz Lewandowski (I know how we all feel but this one’s really good). Xenobitoic: ‘A xenobiotic is a chemical substance found within an organism that is not naturally produced or expected to be present within the organism“ are a tech deathcore band from Australia’s new metal mecca, Perth. Take a look at my Top 25 Australian Metal Releases article and drink every time I wrote Perth, then just drink recreationally. Mordrake releases on the 21st of February and features a couple of guests vocals that really make their tracks for me. Expect more of a scifi prog approach than a bunch of breakdowns, we’re telling a story here with an album of a higher brow.
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.
Well risen from their grave and way past their mid-and-late-2000’s nadir, the Italian power folk metal sextet is back with what seems to be the first in a series of several concept albums to come. Reader of the Runes – Divination is intended to follow its two preceding albums, Pagan Manifesto (2014) and Secrets of the Magick Grimoire (2017) which were able to redeem the band’s tarnished reputation; but is it the next step on the road to grandeur or is it just an album to announce they are still there and working?
Carcinoid are a fun band to me, there’s something inherently goofy about it without it actually being a joke. This is raw af sludgeoned black death doom metal that will do things you haven’t really heard before, like absurdly clean bass tones and unexpected lofi melody. It’s not very accessible though, perhaps only existing for the sake of the most nihilistic and misanthropic metalheads around. There’s just so much sludge and generally ominous shit, this isn’t supposed to be accessible or palatable. It will be a sure hit for those like myself who enjoy super abrasive death doom, which is a lot of the metal cassette community.
Do you like death metal? Do you like hardcore? The easy answer to both of these questions is fuck yes! And so you’ll quite enjoy this dark and gritty stomper of a release from Australia. We can’t make any kind of music without throwing a thick layer of sludge on it and that makes me really bloody happy. It’s the cheese of music, you can put it on almost anything. Considering there’s already the presence of hardcore and death metal stylings, this album is basically like locking a bunch of random neighbourhood dogs in a room that’s just got a grimed up tarp on the floor.
Fimbultýr is a dazzling lofi blend of stoner doom, hard core, death rock and a bunch of stuff. It’s an incredible work that hits just right.This is the right mixing levels for the genre, it’s an older more analogue sounding fuzz. It’s very much the Electric Wizard school of doom and it’s of the highest grade. There’s also grunge and post rock elements that are used effectively, making Fimbultyr an overall engrossing record that should not be overlooked by doomers looking for a harsher longer buzz.
A solid name combining the ideas of violent holy crusades and pure human sadism, Crusadist are a Chicago based death metal band with a helping of thrash influence. Their debut LP The Unholy Grail is generally a modern style of death metal but with the old school thrash metal hooks. It’s here that people may divide, depending on how they feel about thrash metal in general, personally I find it to be a stagnant genre that brings a lot of repetition to this album. Others may say it brings more groove to the album. In reality, it’s likely to be somewhere in between with the solid mixing and recording evening it all out. It’s an interesting album either way and a hearty independent release, check out the new lyric video for the track “For Blood And Conquest” below. The Unholy Grail drops on black friday 2019 (29th November).
2019 has been a very interesting and unique year for music and my taste in general. I won’t go fully into my thoughts on the year, but one thing I’ve noticed is all the amazing releases dropping at the very tale end of the year. For example, one of the best goddamn black metal records of the year dropped last Friday. The record I’m speaking of is the new Abigail Williams outing, it has absolutely blown me away.
Zyklus is an outstanding black metal record that not a lot of people have heard over here and I’m honestly surprised. The quality and creative direction are both high end and it’s presented eloquently. Wandar are a German band who have been around since 2006 putting out music independently. I received the cassette from indie tape bistro Repose Records earlier this year and it has since become one of my favorite tapes. It’s also out on Vinyl, very recently actually. I’d recommend this to any black metal fan, especially those I see on social media growing weary of post-black releases this year. Wandar encompass most forms of black metal and won’t bore you about it.
Is this Treebeards band? The vocals deadset sound like they’re coming for a colossal fucking tree. I shit you not. OAK are a death doom duo from Portugal and this is Lone, their debut LP featuring the artwork of Paolo Gerardi. There’s a strong presence with OAK that I think has carried over from their experience writing black metal songs in the band Gaerea. While it is certainly death doom, it is sometimes coated in black influence – particularly the song structure and vocal execution. Lone will be a memorable late year release many doom heads will take with them into 2020.