EP REVIEW: Worm – Bluenothing


 

The cutting room floor after a Worm brainstorming session must be quite the sight to see!

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ALBUM REVIEW: Daeva – Through Sheer Will and Black Magic


 

Through Sheer Will and Black Magic (20 Buck Spin) is the debut full-length release from Philadephia’s Daeva, a perhaps overdue followup to 2017’s Pulsing Dark Absorptions EP. The new record is a “fiery maelstrom of early demonic black metal and jagged edge thrash convulsions”, according to the press release, and the cover art is undeniably of the Hellish persuasion, depicting as it does in quasi-cartoon form a plethora of dragons, devil-beings and other assorted ghoulish creatures against a dramatic backdrop of moody skies and outlandish cliffs. It’s the type of album cover that could have been plucked straight out of the eighties and that could either be viewed as life-affirmingly nostalgic or snigger-inducingly ludicrous.

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REVIEWS ROUND-UP: Through The Cracks Of Death: Altars – Hissing – Dead Void – Maul – Ferum – Castrator


Richard Benton watches with horror as the wounds knit, the flesh reforms, and the thing pulls itself with a sickening tear from its premature tomb.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Strigoi – Viscera


 

In 2010 following the death of his father, Paradise Lost’s founding guitar player and principle songwriter Gregor Mackintosh formed Vallenfyre with Hamish Glencross (ex-My Dying Bride). The aim was to provide an outlet for his grief by recording the heavier black / death metal-influenced music he had been writing, with Gregor also on vocal duties, a role he had never performed in Paradise Lost. In 2018 after three albums Gregor announced the project had come to a close, but from the ashes rose Strigoi, formed with Vallenfyre bassist Chris Casket (Devilment, ex Extreme Noise Terror), which would continue in a similar vein with 2019’s debut album Abandon All Faith.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Tomb Of Finland – Across The Barren Fields


 

Without hampering the quality of the record, Tomb Of Finland pile layer upon layer and meticulously interspersed elements of doom, black metal and good ol’ death metal on the quartet’s third full-length, Across The Barren Fields (Uprising! Records). Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Enchantment – Cold Soul Embrace


 

The story of Enchantment is one filled with a whole lot of nothing followed by a blistering reminder that the four-piece U.K.-based death/doom act is still alive and kicking. Formed way back in 1991, the group signed a deal with Century Media for six records, but dissolved four years later after only one, the beloved cult release Dance The Marble Naked.Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Molder – Engrossed in Decay


 

Molder ticks off a lot of my sonic checkmarks, but something isn’t quite right here. If Engrossed in Decay (Prosthetic Records) were a dish in its ingredients section you’d read that it contains Autopsy, early Death, Slayer, and a hint of vintage Carcass. Seems like a pretty appetizing meal, right? And there are several moments to sink your teeth into, but overall, I was left unsatisfied. I’ll still recommend the eatery, no doubt, but here’s to hoping that the next entre hits the spot.

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REVIEWS ROUND-UP: Through The Cracks Of Death; Cosmic Putrefaction – Morgue Supplier – Tzompantli – Mutilatred – Encenathrakh


Richard Benton will be satisfied with nothing less than carnage unrelenting, the sun black, the land drowned beneath oceans of blood. Let the gates open wide and the horrors of the abyss engulf the earth, as new death metal albums were released in May.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Predatory Light – Death and the Twilight Hours


‘Death and the Twilight Hours’, our third cryptal offering here, crawls with a Blakkheim-esque ominous misty creep around the moonlit haunted castle ruins, before the candelabra bring themselves to light and a cascading guitar line that is part Dissection, part Andy LaRoque continues to layer scything atmospheres, hewn from the six-razor wires ripping flesh and liminal peals from the busy part-mortal fingers, encased skeletal conductors that dance upon the decaying fretboard, ushering us to the next section of L.S.’ raspy vocals… but our decomposing ring-leader isn’t master of ceremonies for long, as soon we are embraced by the cold winds of nowhere, and a wild tapping solo that leads a baroque segue into a minor key early-Katatonia descending guitar lead passage. It is breathlessly visual, musically telling a tale with an atmosphere Sheridan le Fanu would have been proud of.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Mournful Congregation – The Exuviae Of Gods – Part 1


It must be quite the task conjuring images and emotions tinged with despair and hopelessness for nearly thirty years. Mournful Congregation – where nearly all Funeral Doom Metal discussions must start – unleashed the first part of their opus The Exuviae Of Gods – Part 1 (20 Buck Spin). It represents the Aussies’ sixteenth effort, further emphasizing the band’s frenetic output.Continue reading