REVIEWS ROUND-UP: Label Focus – Everlasting Spew: Assumption – Ritual Necromancy – Fossilization – Burial – Occulsed – Serocs – Void Rot – Becarus


A rapidly growing name in the death metal underground, Italian label Everlasting Spew focus on old school, brutal, dissonant and doom death – placing them so firmly within Richard Benton’s circle of interest that he wonders if they escaped from his head. What shines through their roster and gives them a higher than average hit-rate is their obvious love of and devotion to death metal, with social media posts revealing the label’s owners as excitable fans of the genre themselves. In addition, with Assumption’s long awaited second full length due out this month, he couldn’t resist the temptation to explore some personal favourites from the label’s roster.

Assumption – Hadean Tides

Seemlessly blending vast open spaces with moments of crushing claustrophobia, Hadean Tides is one Assumption that doesn’t make an ass out of u and me. They take an often surprisingly broad approach to Death Doom, with passages of brutal assault flowing into grooves and stark melodies, with dark ambient interlude ‘Breath Of The Dedalus’ and the acoustic, almost dark country sections of ‘Triptych’ providing further variety – but the tone throughout is consistently bleak and crushing. Composed of seven long tracks ending with fifteen minute closer ‘Black Trees Waving’, Haden Tides demands a lot of the listener, but clearly signifies early on that it’s going to be worth it.


Assumption’s Hadean Tides is out on 20 May via Everlasting Spew. You can order it here: https://everlastingspewrecords.bandcamp.com/album/hadean-tides

 

Ritual Necromancy / Fossilization – Split EP

Demonstrating their commitment to both established death metal bands and new names, this recent split combines two of ES’s most exciting recent signings. Their first new material since 2018, Ritual Necromancy’s half consists solely of ‘Enter The Depths’, a fifteen minute odyssey of hellish riffs and ferocious blasting that demonstrates a strong grasp of dynamics. Fossilization’s two tracks are shorter, but filled with crushing pressure and abyssal gloom.


You can order Ritual Necromancy / Fossilization’s split EP here: https://everlastingspewrecords.bandcamp.com/album/split-2

 

Classic Spew!

 

Burial – Inner Gateways To The Slumbering Equilibrium At The Center Of Cosmos

Displaying one of Paulo Girardi’s finest pieces on the cover, Burial’s debut full length matches his twisted genius with some of the most nightmarish death doom ever recorded. Leaning hard into the psychedelic nightmare model of the genre, Burial blend twisted riffing with sinister atmospherics and a strong use of space to create sprawling edifices of twisted horror. Acoustic sections provide a respite from the violence, only to raise anxiety for what will come next. Though Inner Gateways… is very much the kind of album that needs to be taken as a whole, standout track ‘Halls Of The Formless Unraveller’ is ten of the best minutes the subgenre has ever seen.

<iframe style=”border: 0; width: 100%; height: 120px;” src=”https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=3215206269/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/transparent=true/” seamless><a href=”https://everlastingspewrecords.bandcamp.com/album/inner-gateways-to-the-slumbering-equilibrium-at-the-center-of-cosmos”>Inner Gateways To The Slumbering Equilibrium At The Center Of Cosmos by Burial</a></iframe>

You can buy Inner Gateways To The Slumbering Equilibrium At The Center of Cosmos by Burial here: https://everlastingspewrecords.bandcamp.com/album/inner-gateways-to-the-slumbering-equilibrium-at-the-center-of-cosmos

 

Occulsed – Crepitation Of Phlegethon

If I was fifteen when Crepitation Of Phlegethon came out, I’d have put a giant poster of the artwork on my wall and spent way longer than is healthy staring at it – sadly, as a responsible adult, all you can do is spend hours listening to it on headphones. Containing members of other bands – notably labelmates and heavy-hitters Father BefouledOcculsed play a nightmarish blend of classic US death metal influences that honours the legacy of Incantation, Immolation and Cannibal Corpse while still sounding entirely themselves. A standout gem not only of the label’s roster but of modern death metal in general, Crepitation is that rare gem – an album that sounds as nightmarish and twisted as the cover looks.

 

You can buy Occulsed’s Crepitation of Phlegethon here: https://everlastingspewrecords.bandcamp.com/album/crepitation-of-phlegethon

 

Serocs – The Phobos/Deimos Suite

A dip into the label’s more tech death side, the dense and crushing atmosphere of The Phobos/Deimos Suite will reassure anyone worried about the subgenre’s flightier side. Reminiscent at times of diSalvo-era Cryptopsy, but with more traditionally death metal vocals, Serocs don’t allow their proficiency to get in the way of kicking your fucking face off. Despite ending with an eleven minute track, the showiness that mars tech death to many listeners is absent, partly because of the thick bottom end that roots the sound, and partly because the song-writing favours cohesion over flashy chops. As a fun bonus, the digital release comes with guitar tab for every song, in case you want to get yourself signed off work with tendonitis.

<iframe style=”border: 0; width: 100%; height: 120px;” src=”https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=1135948358/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/transparent=true/” seamless><a href=”https://everlastingspewrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-phobos-deimos-suite”>The Phobos/Deimos Suite by Serocs</a></iframe>

You can buy Seroc’s The Phobos / Deimos Suite here: https://everlastingspewrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-phobos-deimos-suite

 

Void Rot – Descending Pillars

Though for practicality listed as a doom death band, Void Rot walk their own path, exploring death metal as slow motion, ambient violence that sounds like being beaten up underwater. Though not without riffs, Descending Pillars is more concerned with atmosphere – waves of shimmering feedback layered over pulsing drums and offset by cavernous roars, the effect is sometimes comparable to Ulcerate if they’d have come from doom rather than tech death roots. There’s a kind of trippy psychedelia to Descending Pillars that’s hard to pin down but comes across in the sheer vastness of the riffs and songwriting, a sense of space in which perception is distorted and stretched out until the mundane elements of death metal become unfamiliar. A masterclass in how far death metal can be taken without external elements.

You can buy Void Rot’s Descending Pillars here: https://everlastingspewrecords.bandcamp.com/album/descending-pillars

 

Becerus – Homo Homini Brutus

Why does death metal have to be so clever now, ask Becerus? Why bother with tech, dissonant or prog when you can smash the listener’s skull in with a relentless assault of dirty riffs and wordless growls? And goats, for some reason. But it’s probably best not to ask about that. With touches of Morta Skuld, old Obituary and early Gorguts, Homo Homini Brutus has absolutely no ambitions beyond being utterly disgusting and stupid – and pull off both with perfection.

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You can buy Becerus’ Homo Homini Brutus here: https://everlastingspewrecords.bandcamp.com/album/homo-homini-brutus

 

RICHARD BENTON