Archive for 2023

Young Scrolls – Zoom (2018)

Young Scrolls – Zoom (2018)

December 7, 2023

The beats are fantastic, the rhymes are really clever, and as I’ve stated on other YS releases the effort involved in pulling this off is massively commendable. Unfortunately, Sheogorath’s Zoom outstays its welcome very quickly, and I’ve never been able to make it to the end.

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Young Scrolls – Balmora Vice (2017)

Young Scrolls – Balmora Vice (2017)

Excellent idea in conception, perhaps not as excellent in execution. Love what Young Scrolls is doing however, but this isn’t as good as something like “Neon Vivec”, which sticks the landing much better.

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Young Scrolls – Saint (2019)

Young Scrolls – Saint (2019)

I have endless respect for the sheer effort involved in pulling this off, and the rhymes that have been written for the Juib character are outstanding. Unfortunately, objectively, the musical execution of it all is pretty poor (only so much chopped audio vocals you can listen to before your head starts to hurt).

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Esham – Bootleg: From the Lost Vault Vol. 1 (2000)

Esham – Bootleg: From the Lost Vault Vol. 1 (2000)

Not sure if this was supposed to be some sort of off-cuts compilation or a best-of? Either way it kinda fails at being both, and I 100% recognise tracks off Esham records but not so much some of the others here? Fuckin’ bizarre. Anyways, this is some good old school acid rap shit from the king of the genre. There’s just no need to come here until you’ve been to all the other albums first…

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Luniz – Operation Stackola (1995)

Luniz – Operation Stackola (1995)

Great, super entertaining old school west coast gangsta rap for the whole family to enjoy. Drugs, bitches and getting dat paper more or less totally envelopes the entire subject matter. but that’s OK. Expect smoooooooth but aged-tae-fuck gangsta rap synthesizers and boom bap beats (the beats have aged quite well, those synthesizer lines maybe not so much).

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Bizarre – He Got A Gun (2022)

Bizarre – He Got A Gun (2022)

December 6, 2023

Wanted to rate this higher because I haven’t listened to Bizarre for years and years and this fucker was supposed to be some sort of super serious return to form. “Uzi” and “Hecker” out the gate makes you think shit, they might be right about that. Unfortunately, an hour of this shit and the shine wears off. There’s some fucking awesome peaks on this album “Desert E with Dope D.O.D.)” and “25 with Nems and…

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Graveland – Creed Of Iron (2000)

Graveland – Creed Of Iron (2000)

December 4, 2023

The art is shite (developers of barely functional early 2000s photo editing software called, they want their crappy effects back), and at times this record reminds me of Mortician (never thought I’d be writing that on a Graveland review) what with it’s bizarre production. Despite these drawbacks (not that sounding like Mortician is always a drawback but for fucking Graveland it should be) Creed Of Iron is a very well made black metal record. What…

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Kaevum – Natur (2011)

Kaevum – Natur (2011)

Stunning black metal, that ticks all the boxes of what I look for from the genre (could take or leave the apparent NS element but there we go). On top of this, you’ve got the fucking trash can snare sound of goregrind! Surely not intentionally done, but the dustbin snare drum works very well here. But yeah, no fooling around, this shit is fucking fantastic. The riffs walk the line between sinister and majestic, and…

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Kaevum – Kosmos Erwache (2013)

Kaevum – Kosmos Erwache (2013)

First two Kaevum demos, compiled together for convenience. Production varies, of course. First demo is much rawer but is a really good listen. Second one is a bit more adventurous in terms of both song writing and also in production style. Fantastic black metal.

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Intrepid Corpse – Desolate (2020)

Intrepid Corpse – Desolate (2020)

What is this tuned to? Drop Z? Heavy as fuuuuuck tunes here from this elusive goregrind project. Is Intrepid Corpse no more? I’m not sure! Maybe we should find out. But when it was around and active, this project dropped some amazing records. This release reminds me of earlier Dead Infection, some Blood, perhaps Black Clouds Determinate era of Agathocles (but that might be the artwork talking).

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Devourment – Butcher The Weak (2005/2006)

Devourment – Butcher The Weak (2005/2006)

December 3, 2023

(Original:) Mmhhmmm de-fucking-licious brutal death metal with the mandatory slam passages that make you wanna beat your chest like a gorilla and throw some mad fucking shapes, dawg. The original mix of Butcher The Weak is much muddier than the remaster but it makes up for that in spades. Likewise the drums are lower in the mix here but I don’t know how it just somehow works far better. The guitars are walls of sludge….

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Hawkwind – Hall Of The Mountain Grill (1974)

Hawkwind – Hall Of The Mountain Grill (1974)

Rock music that sounds like it was recorded inside a wind tunnel. There we go, that’s my expert opinion. Nah, for real though, this is some chilled out shit. Beautiful old school production, well balanced and infinitely repeatable (just let the album play over and over!). A highlight for me is “You’d Better Believe It”. Great stuff.

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Cystgurgle – In Regard to Omnipresent Neurofibromatous Matters (2014)

Cystgurgle – In Regard to Omnipresent Neurofibromatous Matters (2014)

Ahhhh fucking hell blast blast blast blast! Cystgurgle gotta be one of the standard bearers for “gorenoise” right now, surely? This shit is absolutely fucking unstoppable. What a disgusting, impenetrable gory mess.

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Obsequial Sceptre – Utterance of Deathly Murmurs (2022)

Obsequial Sceptre – Utterance of Deathly Murmurs (2022)

Blasphemous, cavernous war metal from Cyprus. Expect intense flurries of chaotic energy in the form of blurs of unfathomable guitars, an impaling percussion barrage and a hydra-headed vocal approach akin to the violent and terrifying exorcism of multiple demonic spirits from a singular host. Also, how fucking sick is that logo?

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Suffocation – Human Waste (1990)

Suffocation – Human Waste (1990)

This is my shit right here. The cover art is just *chef’s kiss*, and the tunes ain’t too bad either, you dig? Back when old school death metal was the new school, Suffo was hitting it out of the park with releases like this. Dry, but organic production holds the framework for rigid but punishing cases of songwriting.

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Electric Wizard – Electric Wizard (1995)

Electric Wizard – Electric Wizard (1995)

Markedly different from pretty much every Electric Wizard release that would follow, the self-titled walks a different path to the fuzz-laden doped up dirge that the rest of the discography plods along to. Nevertheless, the band’s debut is still unmistakably Electric Wizard, with riffs heavier than all the matter in the universe and of course Jus’s immediately recognisable vocal style.  Don’t be fooled by the Dave Patchett cover art (as awesome as it is), this…

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Cock And Ball Torture / Last Days Of Humanity – Split 7” (2001)

Cock And Ball Torture / Last Days Of Humanity – Split 7” (2001)

Open the fukken toilet bowl, two gore legends are gonna crawl out, walk downstairs and play a set in your living dripping with piss and covered in shit. CBT got that porno groove that everyone knows and loves (your gran is a big fan) and LDOH’s music here is the aural equivalent of being turned into a meat crayon underneath an 18 wheeler truck. Fucking top dog split, this.

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Vexovoid – Call Of The Starforger (2017)

Vexovoid – Call Of The Starforger (2017)

The similarity in name to both Voivod and Vektor cannot be a coincidence. By the time you reach the third or forth track, all doubt is gone. Terrifically intricate, maddeningly technical, but drowning in compression and triggers and on top of that, incredibly unoriginal. Top musicianship, but not very interesting.

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Perverse Dependence – The Patterns Of Depravity (2013)

Perverse Dependence – The Patterns Of Depravity (2013)

Get your dicks out for some br00tal fukken slam, brutha! Bust out the pots and pans, run your guitar through your chainsaw (somehow) and get the Cookie Monster out of rehab for some vokills. Expect such ditties as “Maggot Swollen Titties” and “Concrete-Filled Rectum”. No frills, no experimentation, no compromise. Straight up brutal shit.

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Killing Joke – Pandemonium (1994)

Killing Joke – Pandemonium (1994)

Make no mistake here, Pandemonium is a punishing listen. Doubling down on the rejuvinated sound of Extremities…, Killing Joke fall further into the world of industrial metal. Their sound is always unmistakably theirs, wherever they take it, but the industrial influences are hard to ignore. Geordie’s riffs are still dissonant, angular and strange, but there’s a repetitive chug to them in leui of the abstract post-punk approach on older records. Pandemonium finds a band which…

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Frogtician – Froged Up For Barbeque (2020)

Frogtician – Froged Up For Barbeque (2020)

Thus today I spake ov thon deepest boggs ov Goremany, and of which creatures dwell therein! Oh, such hideous things! Oh, such ghastly sounds that are an affront to mine own ears! Ronseal as fuck goregrind / death metal here for sure. If you can stomach another frog project (frogject?) then this is really fun.

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The Kill – Speed Freak Killer (2015)

The Kill – Speed Freak Killer (2015)

The Kill play some fuckin’ meaty grindcore. All your desired grindcore traits are here, i.e. ferocious blasts, rabid vokills and harsh production, but daaaaamnnn The Kill also brings the riffs. Case in point being the end of “Digestion”, which breaks out a passage that fucking dares you to not throw down (if I had to do one of those cringe “try not to headbang challenge” videos to this song I’d headbutt my camera into a…

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Urine Festival – Piss Promo 2003 (2003/2022)

Urine Festival – Piss Promo 2003 (2003/2022)

Long overdue rerelease of earlier Urinefestival shits. Expect gurgling toilet water vocals with farting, spluttering burps over the top of it, against the background of the “usual” grinding bass noise and spasticated flurries of drumming. 12 minutes of per audible degeneracy.

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Vile Intent – Machine Into Flesh (2016)

Vile Intent – Machine Into Flesh (2016)

December 2, 2023

20 minutes of intense powerviolence carnage that is sure to blow your dick off. Expect the usual blasting juxtaposition of fast and slow, from tense passages to all-out blastfests, led with rabid, barked vocals. Production-wise this holds up really well too, with a drum sound so clear that most bands in this kinda genre can only dream on it. Great shit.

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Driller Killer – Total Fucking Hate (1995)

Driller Killer – Total Fucking Hate (1995)

Man that cover art is eye-catching as fuck. I’ve kinda become desensitised after years of listening to grindcore and death metal but there’s something about this one that just hits you right on the “disturb.exe” button (or is that “disturb.dmg”?). Anyway, this shit pares down the harsher elements of crust punk like Doom, Discharge etc and fills the void with the harsh, deep tones more associated with thrash and early death metal. The d-beat roots…

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Cannibal Corpse – Bloodthirst (1999)

Cannibal Corpse – Bloodthirst (1999)

Is it just me or does Cannibal’s art just get sillier and sillier as time goes on? Haha Either way, this album bounces back a bit, not that the previous albums were bad or anything, it’s just that the songs on Bloodthirst seem to be more enjoyable. Opening with one of Cannibal’s best tunes, fucking “Pounded Into Dust” (also the shortest song on the album) absolutely smokes 99% of the bands in this style, sick…

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Killing Joke – Night Time (1985)

Killing Joke – Night Time (1985)

December 1, 2023

Killing Joke argueably hit their commercial peak with Night Time, an album that contains a lot of the dissonant sounds of their earlier works but also a much more accessible style of songwriting. Songs like “Eighties” and “Love Like Blood” put these guys into the mainstream, if only for a short while. It’s odd because, well, other than the softer side to Coleman’s voice (when he’s not using his gravelly growl), none of the music…

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Megadeth – Rust In Peace (1990)

Megadeth – Rust In Peace (1990)

I’m no Megadeth expert so what I can offer here is only going to be fraction of what other writers can and have already put down, so I’ll keep this brief. Thrash, innit. Rust In Peace is an extremely well produced album, to the point where you could time a watch to these songs. Even if Mustaine’s voice is an acquired taste, this thing fucking seriously rips. Production wise, the whole thing is in perfect…

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Coffin Mulch – Septic Funeral (2021)

Coffin Mulch – Septic Funeral (2021)

(Originally written September 2022) One of the sickest things I’ve heard in ages. Taking that Entombed-core guitar sound to new depths of cavernous old school death metal darkness. Out of all the death metal that’s about right now, this has gotta be one of the best bands from the UK (they hail from Scotland).

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Revenge – Scum.Collapse.Eradication (2012)

Revenge – Scum.Collapse.Eradication (2012)

As I’ve no doubt said before, it seems almost ridiculous to try and review all of the Revenge albums. They are so similar that it’s almost funny, but the saving grace is that every single fucking album is just absolutely fucking unstoppable. Seriously, this shit is just so fucking relentless. The sound is huge, and the music is savage as fuck. It is hard to criticise this level of consistency across all outputs.

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Libido Airbag / Cock And Ball Torture – Split CD (2000)

Libido Airbag / Cock And Ball Torture – Split CD (2000)

Libido Airbag has a dank fucking sound at the best of times, but the few minutes on offer here seem extra sleazy for some reason. Maybe it is the artwork and archaic format (the CD is super fucking easy to lose as its so thin – glad to see there’s a digipak version now available). CBT of course do what CBT does best, with their bludgeoning, dry-heaving gore clashing horribly (in the best possible way)…

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Blue Holocaust – Flesh For The Cannibal God (2019)

Blue Holocaust – Flesh For The Cannibal God (2019)

Now this is what I’m fucking talking about, lads! Ahhhh my life! This is how you do grindcore properly. Rooted firmily in the genus of Impetigo, Blue Holocaust takes the project’s already killer sound (2004’s Twitch of the Death Nerve is also great) and updates it 15 years later with another stupidly good album. If you like exploitation films, big riffs and toilet bowl vokills, then look no further. This shit is up there with…

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Satanic Warmaster / Clandestine Blaze – Split LP (2004)

Satanic Warmaster / Clandestine Blaze – Split LP (2004)

Starts off really strong with the collaberation tracks, but then peters out considerably towards the end. At first I thought perhaps I wasn’t paying attention, but subsequent relistens has indicated to me that this just kinda falls apart towards the end. The tracks don’t seem to go anywhere, and by the time you get to SW’s own “To The Legions”, this release has totally lost me. Production wise, this is fairly raw but everything is…

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Grausamkeit – Christenschmähung (2000)

Grausamkeit – Christenschmähung (2000)

Rawer than a cheesegrater to the balls, but more authentic for it. Don’t mistake autenticity for a seal of quality however; a lot is lost to the background hiss and flutter on this one. Whilst it does have its moments of genius, at other times it seems a bit listless. If you appreciate the art of music production, I’d avoid this one.

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Candlemass – King Of The Grey Islands (2007)

Candlemass – King Of The Grey Islands (2007)

If I had to sum up King Of The Grey Islands in three words it would be chunky, doomy and consistent. Robert Lowe takes a little time to adjust to after the departure once more of Messiah (bye bye). King Of The Grey Islands is also one of those albums that I really enjoy yet doesn’t actually pop off the page for me with its cover art nor particularly thrill me when it’s coming out…

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Judas Priest – Turbo (1986)

Judas Priest – Turbo (1986)

Prime rib pussy shit. Goddamn is this a let down compared to the other shit that came out in this era by these guys. How all of a sudden have we transitioned into this artificial boring-ass stadium rock? I mean, JP always has mainstream appeal, let’s not pretend otherwise, but this is like a fucking Kiss record. This is some cornball Alice Cooper shit. Objectively it is a well made album, in regards to production…

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Repulsion – Final Demo (1991)

Repulsion – Final Demo (1991)

November 29, 2023

The one outlier in the Repulsion / Genocide canon. Throughout the band’s history you can track the development of the sound from start to end. On the Final Demo however, things take a turn, perhaps in line with changing of the gaurd musically, in regards to the zeitgeist. Musically, things take a turn towards what can be compared to shit like Impetigo; that loose thrash sound with the heaviness of death metal. Scott is growling…

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Repulsion – Excruciation / Helga (Lost Her Head) (1991)

Repulsion – Excruciation / Helga (Lost Her Head) (1991)

Doesn’t hold a candle to the Horrified sessions but its cool to hear some longer tracks from Repulsion. Both of these appear on the 1991 demo too, so this is hardly essential. My one complaint is that the bass drum is a little “soft”, fluffing through the mix like a giant pillow. Otherwise, this old school sound fucking rules.

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Genocide (Repulsion) – The Stench Of Burning Death (1986)

Genocide (Repulsion) – The Stench Of Burning Death (1986)

Like having fallen into an alternative dimension and this is their version of Repulsion’s Horrified. This is so similar yet so different to the version that we all know and love. The production is different, and there’s a few different songs here that didn’t make it to Horrified era, such as the excellently titled “Crypt Of Terror” (if there’s not a zine named after that then there needs to be). But yeah this shit is…

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Genocide (Repulsion) – Violent Death (1985)

Genocide (Repulsion) – Violent Death (1985)

Clearer and more precise than the earlier rehearsal demo, which a bit of a trainwreck despite its historical status. Here tracks are more fully formed, and we can see where the band are headed in regards to the formation of their sound. Well worth checking out.

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Genocide (Repulsion) – Toxic Metal (1984)

Genocide (Repulsion) – Toxic Metal (1984)

Does it sound like complete and utter ass? Yes. Are the instruments a bass guitar, a cheese grater and a cardboard box? Sure as fuck sounds like it. Is it an important rehearsal demo in the history / development of extreme music? You can bet your life it is, so it is worth checking out for that alone. Hearing the proto-version of “Stench Of Burning Death” in the form of “Cracks Of Doom” is so…

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Repulsion – Final Demo (1991)

Repulsion – Horrified (1989)

What can I say that hasn’t already been said before? Horrified (or is that HorRIFFied am I right?) is a turning point in the direction of underground and / or extreme metal. It marks the point where thrash broke of distinctly into what would become grindcore. Dave Grave’s blastbeats are one of the earliest examples of such a style, at least being played so prevalently throughout all of the songs. And speaking of songs, their…

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Brutally Deceased – Satanic Corpse (2016)

Brutally Deceased – Satanic Corpse (2016)

My guys, if you like compression, you will love Brutally Deceased! Take lightning fast death metal, give it melody and a few black metal riffs, run it through a HM2 and give it a huge, “modern” production and you’re basically right on the money. Brutal music with a lot going on for sure, but it’s kinda lost a bit behind the wall of noise. Don’t get me wrong when your ears adjust, it’s totally fine,…

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Haggus / Toxocariasis – Split Tape (2020)

Haggus / Toxocariasis – Split Tape (2020)

You’ve just done a great big fucking chungus of a shit in the toilet bowl. The toilet itself looks like it’s about to fall apart, the porcelain is cracked and stained, and the water pooling at the bottom had a greenish-yellow tint even before your pulsating brownish horror took a dive into it. Your stomach gurgles a deep subhuman roar, and you realise in horror that it’s not your stomach rumbling after dropping such an…

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Fuck… I’m Dead – Another Gory Mess (2012)

Fuck… I’m Dead – Another Gory Mess (2012)

Fucking drums on this fucking thing are faster than a fucking cheetah driving a fucking porsche across the outback, the sheer speed of it melting the fucking asphalt and tyres along with it. Any wildlife that wanders out into the road just gets fucking mowed down and reduced to a bloody smear on the burning road; guts and organs cooking up on the underside of the car. The cheetah likes this smell. On the stereo…

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Immortal – Blizzard Beasts (1997)

Immortal – Blizzard Beasts (1997)

The first real miss from the mostly excellent Immortal. Blizzard Beasts suffers from a sub par production, with what should be an unstoppable barrage of drums being barely audible and buried beneath the hollow muck of the guitar. The riffs are on point however, in the usual frenetic Immortal style. Expect blurs of cold hell in the way of exquisite fretboard wankery (at the lower end of course), but the sound is just a little…

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Virus – Forced Recon (1988)

Virus – Forced Recon (1988)

Feel like I’m about to come on here and throw down a J-Dawg style rant about the botched fucking digital release of this shit. Whichever asshat uploaded this to streaming services has ripped it straight from a tape or busted up vinyl copy by the sounds of it – it sounds like complete dogshit. I have the vinyl too and I’m fucking positive that it didn’t sound this bad. But hey, it’s been a minute……

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Death In June – Cathedral Of Tears (1993)

Death In June – Cathedral Of Tears (1993)

November 27, 2023

Beautiful little EP / single, but one that is over fairly quickly. The takes of Cathedral Of Tears are great, as are the live tracks from early albums performed live in a slightly different style. Really solid, but stops short of being great because the release on its own is fairly pointless. Would have been better as a split or a longer, more substantial issue.

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Droid – Terrestrial Mutations (2017)

Droid – Terrestrial Mutations (2017)

Yo dawg I heard you liked Voivod! So we sounded like Voivod! Haha! To be fair, its easy to compare anything with dissonant riffing and space / sci-fi themes to the legends that are Voivod. I could say Droid sound like Voivod (which I just have) as much as Vektor sounds like Voivod, but of course Vektor and Droid sound nothing alike. Hopefully you can see where I’m going with this? (Perhaps not, I’ve had…

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Jim Kirkwood  – Where Shadows Lie (1990/2007)

Jim Kirkwood – Where Shadows Lie (1990/2007)

November 26, 2023

Where Shadows Lie simply has to be one of my absolute favourite Jim Kirkwood works. Magnificant, triumphant, uplifitng, magical, spellbinding. These are all words that can accurately convey the musical message avialable to you by pressing play on a copy of this record. Combining Berlin School longform electronics with the Tolkien fantasy vibes in a way that only he can do so well, Kirkwood is absolutely on fire here. A highlight of the entire discography…

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Jim Kirkwood – Nightshade In Eden (1991/2007)

Jim Kirkwood – Nightshade In Eden (1991/2007)

Patches of Jim Kirkwood’s discography are almost entirely in the Berlin School style of music. Granted this kind of progressive, unfolding electronic tapestry-weaving is present in most of his work – let alone other more modern DS creators – but Nightshade is an example where the style truly and almost completely overtakes his wondrous medieval soundscapes.

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Rommel – Vol. 1 (1987)

Rommel – Vol. 1 (1987)

November 25, 2023

Suitably as nonsensical as the band’s promo photos, Rommel come across like a hair metal version of Venom. It’s all good, silly metal fun (which does not match the band name at all), with the charm that comes from old school metal demos that proliferated on the cassette format. Don’t go in expecting the world and you will no doubt have fun.

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Judas Priest – Defenders Of The Faith (1984)

Judas Priest – Defenders Of The Faith (1984)

It would probably be pretty obvious to say that Defenders Of The Faith is up there with the best of the Priest albums. Everyone knows this. What I will say however is that this one is loaded to the gills with unforgettable songs. There are very few troughs, instead the whole thing is like one giant peak of incredible songwriting. Couple that with the band firing on all cylinders and the production being perfectly balanced,…

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Winds Of The Black Mountains – Sing Thou Unholy Servants (1998)

Winds Of The Black Mountains – Sing Thou Unholy Servants (1998)

Beautiful artwork (always a good start). It took me a few listens to get into this. I enjoyed the core of the black metal sound, but found the other elements meandering, distracting even. I am glad however that I took the time to return to Unholy Servants multiple times over the last few months. The “White Rabbit” cover aside (here as “Black Goat”), this is a fantastic record. There is a lot of merit in…

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Dimmu Borgir – Spiritual Black Dimensions (1999)

Dimmu Borgir – Spiritual Black Dimensions (1999)

November 24, 2023

Oddly dense yet also fairly hollow and empty, Spiritual Black Dimensions has the unfortunate displeasure of having no stand-out tracks on an album that is sandwiched between two albums considered greats of their respective eras. This is a slight shame because those trademark early Dimmu riffs are to-die for, as is the general performance. Production-wise, this attempts to be an Enthrone… part 2, but musically it is just not as strong.

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Pharmacist / Fluids – Split Tape (2021)

Pharmacist / Fluids – Split Tape (2021)

November 23, 2023

Sad to say more of the same downtuned mush from Fluids, love ’em or hate ’em this split LP does nothing different. Pharmacist on the otherhand are dominating the grinding death metal (ie: Carcass Worship) world right now, and with good reason. The stuff here posesses a clarity that most bands in said style fail to capture, but Pharmacist push it to the next level.

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Coniferous Myst / Grollheim – Split Tape (2023)

Coniferous Myst / Grollheim – Split Tape (2023)

Very atmospheric, bolstered by genuine tape degradation and hiss – two things that are avoided by the analogue medium community but worshipped by the black metal and dungeon synth scene (lol). Either way, this is a mysterious, spooky listen. Highly recommended for fans of the genre.

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FesterDecay – FesterDecay Demo 2016 (2016)

FesterDecay – FesterDecay Demo 2016 (2016)

November 22, 2023

Nasty, dirty, disgusting, festering. Fuckin gore vocals on this are absurdly watery. The drums, despite low quality production, are nice and clear. Fucking subterranean guitar tone too, but with the right amount of crunch. Beautiful.

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Sedimentum – Suppuration Morphogénésiaque (2022)

Sedimentum – Suppuration Morphogénésiaque (2022)

Ugh my brothers this shit fucking slaps. Ultra down-tuned, sewer dwelling “modern old school” death metal is the order of the day, with beyond stunning cover artwork to boot. Like a horde of mutants rising from the radioactive waste deep below your homes and cities, Supporation Morphogenesiaque shuffles and shambles right up to your front door, dripping flesh and slime, before eating off your entire face.

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White Wolves Kommando – Dark Ages Return (2008)

White Wolves Kommando – Dark Ages Return (2008)

Cover art is sinister as fuck, and the brooding synth intro is promising but unfortunately this is (bad) demo quality stuff. Granted, (to my knowledge) it was made by (no doubt edgy) kids so I will cut them some slack. Generally though, not worth coming over to the dark side for.

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Wurdulak – Ceremony In Flames (2001)

Wurdulak – Ceremony In Flames (2001)

People seem to shit on this project but I’ve enjoyed both the full lengths I’ve heard. Ceremony In Flames gives black metal a bit of groove, and Maniac’s vocals (shared here with Killjoy from Necrophagia) are always a fucking pleasure to listen to. If you think Maniac is a shit vocalist you need to get your fucking head checked. Production is thick and chunky yet dynamic and organic – which works well with cold black…

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Emperor – Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk (1997)

Emperor – Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk (1997)

A million miles from Nightside. Like Dimmu Borgir on methamphetamines. Pompous yet also agile and pinpoint precise, with excellent guitar riffs and keyboard additions. Drumming is absurd, naturally. Production is brittle but soundstage is excellent and every little nuance can be heard and felt. Big budget black metal, for sure.

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Timeghoul – Tumultuous Travelings (1992)

Timeghoul – Tumultuous Travelings (1992)

Don’t be fooled by the shitty tape cover. This is legendary tier death metal. It sounds older than time itself but so many bands owe Timeghoul a fucking ton of dues. The riffs are complex and engaging but the overall production is grim as fuck and really brutal (an overused term, but fuck it).

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Torsofuck – Postpartum Exstasy (2023)

Torsofuck – Postpartum Exstasy (2023)

Not gonna lie to you, this is pretty good. I went into it with low expectations and ended up really enjoying this comeback record. Granted, the start is a little shaky (track one just doens’t have the “fuck yeah, Torsofuck is fucking back, fuckwads” feeling that you’d expect after such a huge gap, but the record soon finds its feet and away we go. The drum machine is a bit hollow-sounding, and some of the…

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Cradle Of Filth – Orgiastic Pleasures Foul (1992)

Cradle Of Filth – Orgiastic Pleasures Foul (1992)

Cradle’s first (second?) demo – with a raw, warm sound. Keyboards by Ben Ryan playing a small part still. No Paul Allender yet either, just Paul Ryan (Gate Master!) on guitar. Much more in the death metal style than what would ever come from Cradle, with the last vestiges of that sound dying out on Principle Of Evil Made Flesh.

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Impaled Nazarene – Motörpenis (1996)

Impaled Nazarene – Motörpenis (1996)

Very silly, but also very, very entertaining. If you like your black metal rude and well, with obvious Motorhead / dirty rock and roll influences, look no further. The cover of Gang Green’s “Alcohol” at the end is the icing on the cake. Brillaint EP.

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Impaled Nazarene – Ugra-Karma (1993)

Impaled Nazarene – Ugra-Karma (1993)

One of the most perfect extreme metal records of all time. Why? Well 1.) the drums are not drowned out by all the other shit. 2.) this fucker mixes grindcore and black metal / war metal in the best possible way, on top of which subtle melodies also play on some tracks (“Horny And The Horned” being the best example). Besides, the super inoffensive cover art pissed a lot of religious folk off, which is…

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Vothana – Biệt động quân / Commando (2020)

Vothana – Biệt động quân / Commando (2020)

November 21, 2023

There is a tangible undercurrent to Vothana’s work that at first I didn’t quite understand. I mean, that sounds pretty silly I guess because this is just very noisy, lo-fi black metal with a lot of melody hidden in it. But it is the way in which said melodies are composed. All the songs sound immediately like Vothana in their uniqueness away from other artists in the field, yet also rather somewhat all sound similar…

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Necromantia – Ancient Pride (1997)

Necromantia – Ancient Pride (1997)

I have a love / hate relationship with Necromantia. I can only imagine it’s due to how they use a bass guitar (or two), which is far from usual. Sometimes it works, other times it’s just absolute carnage (and not in a good way). This early EP is fantastic however, with a fair and balanced production and a brilliant set of songs.

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Nortt – Galgenfrist (2007)

Nortt – Galgenfrist (2007)

Interesting compositions, but none that actively capture my imagination. There is a lifelessness to proceedings, and due to the genre and deliberate style that may indeed be intentional, but Galgenfrist is a record where I’m counting the minutes going by and that is never a good thing.

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Depression – Ära Der Finsternis (2020)

Depression – Ära Der Finsternis (2020)

I really love what Darkthrone have come back around to doing. This is some sort of very organic mix of black and doom metal, which works with a confident ease you could only attain no doubt after several decades in the game. It’s odd, because there’s not all that many people playing in this style, but it sounds like such an obvious blend of metal subgenres. Tracks like “Impeccable Caverns Of Satan” and “Stalagmite Necklace”…

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Darkthrone – Astral Fortress (2022)

Darkthrone – Astral Fortress (2022)

I really love what Darkthrone have come back around to doing. This is some sort of very organic mix of black and doom metal, which works with a confident ease you could only attain no doubt after several decades in the game. It’s odd, because there’s not all that many people playing in this style, but it sounds like such an obvious blend of metal subgenres. Tracks like “Impeccable Caverns Of Satan” and “Stalagmite Necklace”…

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Dead Infection – Surgical Disembowelment (1993)

Dead Infection – Surgical Disembowelment (1993)

Earlier Dead Infection is a turbid bowl of rancid mush – and I’m not talking about the lyrical content here. Surgical Disembowelment may be a tad onto the wrong side of “bad production”, where the audio infidelity instead starts to chew at the experience of listening, rather than contributing to it. The grinding of the guitar sounds like a tumble dryer filled with human remains sloshing around at half speed. Nevertheless, if you like dusty…

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Current 93 – Black Ships Ate The Sky Tour Single (2006)

Current 93 – Black Ships Ate The Sky Tour Single (2006)

Walks a fine line between kitsch and being one of those mysterious pieces of work dripping with indecipherable artistic merit. Black Ships… is a great example of Tibet’s neofolk that has its song structures more or less falling off the bone.

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Eternal Fear – Pagan Souls of Ryczyn… Zvantevith (1995/2017)

Eternal Fear – Pagan Souls of Ryczyn… Zvantevith (1995/2017)

November 20, 2023

Much more low key and uninvolved than Ancient Woods. Kinda sounds like background music from a DOS game like Daggerfall during its best moments, and like pointless ambient effects in its worst. Considering the total run time is just over 15 minutes, it is a shame that the level of quality here is but a fraction of what I expected to find. This is not a gem that’s worth unearthing.

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CxMxP – Transforming Into A Grinding Beast (2003)

CxMxP – Transforming Into A Grinding Beast (2003)

Not as good as the split with DHIBAC but still a solid fucking goregrind album nonetheless. When I think of goregrind, I never see anyone talking about these guys, ever. It seems like they truly slipped through the cracks. Anyway, I guess they are atypical of the style. I guess this is closer to regular grindcore but with some pitchshifter vocals thrown in. Good shit either way.

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Angstloch – The Shades of Pale Night (2023)

Angstloch – The Shades of Pale Night (2023)

Love the art so got myself a digital copy – vocals let this thing down, to be honest. They are halfway between a croak and a shout, giving off a frog gargling rocks effect, which I’m sure they were not going for. Underneath all of that however, there is a wall of fuzz punctuated with some nice dreamy synths. The tracks are fairly meandering – I just wish this hit a little tiny bit better….

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Beherit – Electric Doom Synthesis (1996)

Beherit – Electric Doom Synthesis (1996)

Pardon me for being tride in offering the plain fact that this is just more or less H418ov21.C Part II. There are slight differences, for example Holocaust’s production skill has come along a little bit and it therefore isn’t as spare perhaps as it’s predecessor, but for the most part, if you like sparse, ambient electronics with a slightly spooky cyber feel, you’ll be right at home here.

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Beherit – H418ov21.C (1994)

Beherit – H418ov21.C (1994)

What the ever-loving fuck is this? Hahaha To be fair, after the initial adjustment of coming from “war metal” Beherit, this thing starts off pretty good. It eventually devolves into a series of silly noises but when it hits (which is about half of the time to be honest) then this record comes at you like some sort of cult 90s PC game OST (think Doom 64 crossed with Syndicate Wars).

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Absurd – Werwolfthron (2001)

Absurd – Werwolfthron (2001)

An atmospheric, excellent offering from the controversial Absurd. The instrumentals (which are short but very effective) set the pace for the rabid black metal attack to follow. As always with this era of Absurd, the vocals are the high point in my opinion. Really great, evil and terrifying vocals lead the way. The riffs are simple, based around more traditional folk melodies perhaps, but they do the trick. Only downside for me is the drumming…

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Desecration – Cemetery Sickness (2014)

Desecration – Cemetery Sickness (2014)

November 18, 2023

Cut up and fed to the dog! The difference between Desecration and many other death metal bands riding on the cheeky / fun / silly / gross subject matter train is that Desecration are actually really fucking great, and Cemetery Sickness is no exception. Everything here is razor sharp and on-point; riffs, vocals and drums (man, the drums!) Speaking of the vocals, there’s a bit more of a range here than usual, which is always…

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Cradle Of Filth – Invoking The Unclean (1992)

Cradle Of Filth – Invoking The Unclean (1992)

November 17, 2023

Shaky beginnings for everyone’s shrieking banshee led symphonic black metal band (yes, I categorised them as such, fucking deal with it). Expect instead of fragile, glittering hymns of erotic vampirism a hammer to the face in the bluntest fuzzy analogue way. If you love tape trading and early death metal demos then you’ll love this, otherwise you probably won’t find any value in this unless you are perhaps a crazed CoF superfan frothing at the…

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Operation Volkstod – Anti-Fascist Black Metal (2019)

Operation Volkstod – Anti-Fascist Black Metal (2019)

This seems to get a lot of shit online, but I’ve got to say that the whole operation (lol) is very well made, IMO. I do understand the (perhaps ironic) constant nods to Burzum in the guitar deparment (not that Burzum is a NSBM band but that’s another story for another day), but hey, this shit fucking rules. What it does lose points for however is the fairly bland and mechanical drum programming. As a…

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Vampirska – Torturous Omens of Blood and Candlewax (2020)

Vampirska – Torturous Omens of Blood and Candlewax (2020)

I love everything about this. The cover is perhaps a little bit on the nose, but I can live with that. The sound is warm, yet cacophonous and necro as fuck (or is that fukk?). These songs are no jokes, and epics like “A Pale Face Eclipsed by Shadows” and the oddly-titled closer “Feasting on the Dried Blood of Majesties” have cemented Vampirska as a project for me to explore further. Beautiful stuff.

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Judas Priest – Screaming For Vengeance (1982)

Judas Priest – Screaming For Vengeance (1982)

Bold, magnificant, triumphant – these are just some of the words you could use to describe Judas Priest in this particular era of thier career. “Riding On The Wind” is all of these things, but coupled with a radio-friendly sensibility that no doubt effortlessly added to the band’s interstellar levels of success. My three year old son loves chanting along to the chorus of “Bloodstone” (he thinks the words are “let’s go!” but hey, that’s…

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Grausamkeit – Der Alles Vernichtende Blitz (2001/2019)

Grausamkeit – Der Alles Vernichtende Blitz (2001/2019)

Probably up there with the rawest of the raw, this profilic project has some interesting gems. Unfortunately, Der alles vernichtende Blitz isn’t really one of them. It is a good lo-fi BM recording, but nothing really elevates it into the sphere of gods except for the final track, “V”, which sounds like it’s from a different session altogether. Honestly, if all the tracks were as good as this one, this one would be there with…

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Etzhasatan – Moon Shining Through The Window (2022)

Etzhasatan – Moon Shining Through The Window (2022)

One of the best black metal releases that I have come across in recent weeks! Raw, lo-fi black metal is of course the order of the day, but there is this amazing touch of sorrowful melody laid over the top of the fuzzy, dusty instruments. I guess it is another guitar, but damn, the way it cuts through all the songs, it gives them a whole new meaning and life. Couple this with the raw…

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Forgotten Ruin – Incantation Of Lust (2022)

Forgotten Ruin – Incantation Of Lust (2022)

November 16, 2023

Well then, this is all kinds of awful lmao – there is an underlying charm to proceedings but the shakiness is really hard to ignore, particularly when it comes to the percussion. The drums are all over the place and really distract you from the songs. I can get behind lo-fi production, bad guitar and bad vocals, but as soon as the drums can’t keep time you might as well just start over.

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Anal Massaker / Musical Arse Decomposition – Split 7” (1996)

Anal Massaker / Musical Arse Decomposition – Split 7” (1996)

Nonsense of the highest order, which is why you are here, right? I haven’t heard Anal Massaker since their split with 2 Minuta Dreka so it’s really cool to come back to these guys. It’s just total noisecore fuckery, of course. Musical Arse Decomposition is new for me (lol) and here on the flip side is just more variations on the current theme, to be honest. All good with me though, carry on grinding! This…

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V.G.F. / Warhorness – Split Tape (2001)

V.G.F. / Warhorness – Split Tape (2001)

VGF is an interesting project. Blurring the lines between black metal and noisecore, the side farts and rattles through some disgusting lo fi material. Speaking of lo fi, the Warhorness side isn’t exactly “mastered at half speed over at Abbey Road” quality, but it’s a damn sight clearer than VGF. Songs from Warhorness are in the dirty noisy grind style; short, sharp bursts with callbacks to 80s proto-black/death. Think Nunslaughter but even more perverted and…

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Godflesh – Streetcleaner: Live At Roadburn 2011 (2013)

Godflesh – Streetcleaner: Live At Roadburn 2011 (2013)

I was in attendance for this momentous event; it was not one that I would have missed for the world, having travelled to France the year before for Godflesh’s reformation show (hideously cut short to half hour). Roadburn of course, pulled all their tricks (or is that cash?) out of the bag and thus began a series of performances of Godflesh albums at the 013 in Tilburg. I was not present for the others, but…

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Vangelis – See You Later (1980)

Vangelis – See You Later (1980)

An interesting effort from the legendary Vangelis, with the trademark dreamy atmosphere. Here the tones are a lot lighter and airy, giving the whole record a nonchalant feel. I couldn’t resist the album at only £3 for the 12″ vinyl, but after owning this for about a decade I have only played it a handful of times. The end of side A and the side B track “Suffocation” are probably my favourite. Unfortunately, my copy…

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Cephalotripsy – Uterovaginal Insertion Of Extirpated Anomalies (2007)

Cephalotripsy – Uterovaginal Insertion Of Extirpated Anomalies (2007)

As far as slam goes, then this should tick all of your boxes. Unreadable logo? Check. Late 2000s Visual Darkness album sleeve? Check. Absurd song titles? Check. We’re off to the races, guv’nor! I’ve got this fucker on vinyl and I gotta be honest it packs a hell of a punch. I’ve often had the complaint that the drums on this thing (whilst performed incredibly well) have a cardboard kind of sound to them, rather…

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Isengard – Vinterskugge (1995)

Isengard – Vinterskugge (1995)

Whilst this is a collection of various different sessions, things are surprisingly coherent (that is until we get to Chapter Three perhaps). I’m happy to just sit and listen to Fenriz do his thing for a solid hour, I’ll be honest. The man is a talented songwriter, what can I say. Musically, Vinterskugge is a collection of black and proto-black metal with Fenriz’s own personal touch and interesting flourishes, especially on the drums, although the…

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Pissmoon – The Cryptic Winds Of Black Divinity (2019)

Pissmoon – The Cryptic Winds Of Black Divinity (2019)

Enjoyable lo-fi black metal with dungeon synth “moments”. Through the inpenetrable fuzz of the production, little moments of clarity can be snatched if one is paying attention. There is an underlying melody to the dust-caked, mouldy proceedings. A perfect example of this would be the variations on the key melody in “Enthroning of the Immortal Majesty”. I really enjoyed this. The name is pretty funny too.

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Concrete Winds – Primitive Force (2019)

Concrete Winds – Primitive Force (2019)

Primitive Force comes at you with quite a regimented and organised sound, which is refreshing for a genre that is usually wallowing in unhinged, boundless carnage. That is not to say, of course, that a fair share of carnage is not present on this record. The Josefsson’s batter you into the ground with their military-grade precision and fathomless brutality. It is perhaps not as unforgiving as some music in the war metal style, but where…

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Dark Funeral – Secrets Of The Black Arts (1996)

Dark Funeral – Secrets Of The Black Arts (1996)

Disappointingly bland on both accounts, whether you are addressing the original “demos” / studio version or the Tagtgren-led second attempt. There is nothing “wrong” per se with any of the elements that come together to compose Secrets Of The Black Arts, its just everything comes together in such a way to leave you with the most uninspired and “safe” intepretation of the black metal sound. It is crazy to me that this came out in…

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Marijannah – Till Marijannah (2018)

Marijannah – Till Marijannah (2018)

Would it be wrong of me to say that a stoner / doom metal album is derivative? Surely the whole genre itself now has “derivative” as a trope? Either way, Till Marijannah quickly falls into a comfortable pattern where the dizzying distortion of the guitars leads the way, followed by intense melodic vocals. If I had to compare this to anything, I would say that Marijannah was like a less-miserable Kroh; a fun listen no…

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The Death’s Head Quartet – The Death’s Head Quartet (2001)

The Death’s Head Quartet – The Death’s Head Quartet (2001)

You can take one look at the staffing for this record and know immediately what kind of aural carnage you can expect. That being said, DHQ does have some sense of experimental maturity to it that I would not expect from something involving Seth Putnam. Anyway, if low, rumbling, post-apocalyptic sounds are your thing, then check out this improvised record.

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Immortal – Battles In The North (1995)

Immortal – Battles In The North (1995)

November 13, 2023

One of the most perfect sonic cauldrons of sound ever created, Battles In The North is absolute and total blastbeat annihilation from start to finish. If your tolerance for such drumming doth not extend past the length of your average grindcore track length, then perhaps Battles In The North is not for you. Otherwise, carry on my blackened vessel of hatred, carry on! The one downside that I will bring to attention is the fact…

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