ALBUM REVIEW: Luminous Vault – Animate the Emptiness


 

Luminous Vault consists of guitarist/vocalist Mario Diaz de Leon (Oneirogen, Bloodmist) and bassist/vocalist Samuel Smith (Artificial Brain, Aeviterne), and, as is a current common theme recorded, this pre-pandemic, with the fascinating results only now seeing a release.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Casket Feeder – Servants of Violence


Within deepest, darkest Buckinghamshire, in the mighty English town of Milton Keynes, something has awoken. For six years the warning signs have been there. Dark, viscous rumblings emanating from rehearsal rooms, recording studios and the most blackened corners of the internet. In 2017 there was the Venomous Tongues EP. The following year there was second EP Scalps (Hibernacula). And then, silence.Continue reading


REVIEW: Maryland Deathfest 2019


Maryland Deathfest held their annual festival in the venerable city of Baltimore a few weeks back. The four-day is one of the best-run independent underground metal festivals in the world. As usual Ghost Cult was on hand for the festivities, with Hillarie Jason bringing you her spectacular eye on bands through photos. Continue reading


Quebec Deathfest – Live At Various Venues


The first ever Quebec Deathfest took place last month, from the folks that brought you Maryland Deathfest, Netherlands Deathfest, and more. Taking place across several venues in the metal capital of Canada, Quebec, the fest had many of the highlights of other festivals (multiple stages, vendors, lots of beer) that make this a worthy inclusion of your annual concert calendar. Bands on the bill included death metal greats like Autopsy, Demolition Hammer, Exhorder, Uada, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Malignancy, Unleashed, Skinless, Skeletal Remains, Outre-Tombe, Bell Witch, Dehumanized, Tomb Mold, and many more. Check out these EXCLUSIVE photos by Hillarie Jason Photography and we’ll see you next year! Saluer et tuer! Continue reading


Final Bands Announced For Quebec Deathfest 2018


Quebec Deathfest has announced their final bands to complete their lineup. Grave, Pestilence, Necros Christos, Bell Witch, Massgrave, Pessimist, Goolagoon, Profane Order and more. Weekend passes are available at the link below. Continue reading


Pestilence Debut New Song – “Non Physical Existent”


Reactivated tech-death pioneers Pestilence recently confirmed that their new album, Hadeon, will be released on March 9th via Hammerheart. Along with that confirmation came the ‘Multi Dimensional’ single, and today another new track has made its way online. Continue reading


Pestilence Releases New Single – Hypnotic Terror


Reactivated tech-death pioneers Pestilence have relases another new single, ‘Hypnotic Terror’. This track is an exclusive to Decibel Magazine for their flexi-disc series, and not from their forthcoming new Pestilence album, Hadeon, due out this March via Hammerheart Records. Continue reading


The Lurking Fear – Out Of The Voiceless Grave


From the cover art of their Winged Death (Century Media) 7” EP released back in May, to its 1970s style typeface and the name of the band itself, you don’t have to be a genius to work out that Swedish act The Lurking Fear are about all things old school Death Metal, and Lovecraftian themed horror. Continue reading


Howls of Ebb – Cursus Impasse: The Pendlomic Vows


Howls of Ebb - Cursus Impasse The Pendlomic Vows cover ghostcultmag

Howls of Ebb’s latest album Cursus Impasse: The Pendlomic Vows (I, Voidhanger/Nuclear War Now) is monster of an album. Starting off with track ‘The 6th Octopul’th Grin’ which shows a menacing display of low-end power and ferocity: gurgling death growls and blackened guitar. There’s a real textural vibe to it, reminiscent of Portal, with a mix of blackened death metal and discordant jazz.

The confident predatory swagger of the drumming provides a framework for sheer sonic madness. The atmosphere is permeated with unique riffs appearing relentlessly as snarling vocals swirl around. This gives the song a chaotic soundscape which bristles with dark energy and an undulating yet majestic thumping beat.

The bridge on ‘Cabals of Molder’ is out of this world, a shuffling beat, but with a real organic feel to the production. A soundscape rich with decay punctuated by the wail of screaming guitars; demonic vocals whispering hypnotically throughout like an ill wind and the bass line slithers around the piece rattling with menace. The soundscapes seem to alternate between telling a story and summoning some Lovecraftian nightmare. It really feels like a living entity, pulsating, slithering, crawling and Howls of Ebb have to be congratulated on bringing it to life.

The album takes a slower, more doom laden turn at ‘Maat Mons’ Fume’, jangley soundscapes with a raw underlying power reminiscent of Ahab give the sense of being toyed with by an unknown predator. Howls of Ebb’s world is a dark and scary place and this album is the musical equivalent of psychological horror, and instills the listener with a sense of panic.

The next few tracks take a more traditional approach unlike their other releases, after a few listens this can be a little disappointing given the brilliance so far. It’s still good however and throughout there’s a nice rhythm and pace; varied drumming and some really nice percussion and particularly on track 4 more than a passing nod to Pestilence’s spheres album.

Subliminal Lock_ A Precursor to V’ is the most obvious Black Metal infused track with hissy malevolent guitar work and vocals almost providing the rhythm at times whilst the drums go on a free-form whirlwind around the song. But the middle of it is somewhat tame compared to the wild inventiveness of the rest of the album.

Last track ‘The Apocryphalic Wick’ starts of slowly with a feeling of rebirth, reminding me a lot of the atmospheric doom of Botanist before kicking in halfway through with some frenetic drum work, and a flat-out Slayer inspired guitar solo taking the album out on a bit of a high before terminating the journey with an abrupt stop.

8.5/10

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