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Athrenody - Crazed Development (625 Thrash)
In the early to mid 90’s Athrenody helped develop the burgeoning grindcore scene in California’s Bay Area. For several years the band spent time leveling venues with their take on grinding death metal. The band recorded this disc without vocals shortly before their break up. It wasn’t until several years later that Exhumed’s Matt Harvey stepped in to record some vocals for the tracks. The result of his involvement can be found on Crazed Development’s nine tracks.
Burial Year (Waving Wheat)
Comparable to entering a humid, rat infested basement crammed with a simmering stew of sociopaths and other societal dregs beating the bloody hell out of one another. Oddly enough, this maladjusted five-piece hails from one of the most serene bastions of pacifism in the world San Francisco. Featuring members of the annihilating hardcore outfits Takaru, Suicide Nation, and A Light in the Attic.
Caulfield - EP v2.0 (Hungry Ghost Collective)
Heavy hardcore / metal / crust from Sacramento. Distributed by the kultists in Woodsmoke and Eternal Warfare, so you know this is for real.
Cease Upon the Capital - Untitled 2006 (Forever Escaping Boredom)
Comparisons to La Quiete and Raein, and it's totally warranted. Screamy, intense and fitful bursts litter Cease Upon the Capitol from start to finish, with plenty of quieter parts and inventive guitar tones to give the listener some space.
Cease Upon the Capital - Untitled 2007 (Forever Escaping Boredom)
Combining the modern emo sound that bands like Sinaloa and to an extent Ampere are playing with the slight post rock attitude that bands like In First Person, Pyramids, and A Day in Black in White (to a much greater extent) employ. So yeah, they sort of sound like City of Caterpillar or Envy, but are still much more apt to stay rooted in a more “traditional” emo sound.
Conquest for Death – Beyond the Hidden Valley (Give & Take)
Featuring Devon, Craig and Robert of What Happens Next? and a member of Japan's Assfort, Conquest For Death play fast, thrashing hardcore that doesn't stray far from the WHN? formula. Their DIY attitude and spirit recently took them on a tour of Africa, where they played countries like Kenya, Botswana, South Africa and more.
Cryptic – Once Holy Realm (Dark Horizon)
Old-style speed metal mixed with black metal. Vocals sound like a demon-possessed witch being tortured. The massive double-kick drum pops right in at the start of “Ageless Winds of War” and doesn’t stop until the final seconds of “Requiem of Fate” wind down. That man must have colossal calves! The double guitars form an unbreakable union, shredding constantly with vicious solos and deafening riffs. And the bassist holds it all together with an insane fury that surely has worn all the skin from his fingers, leaving bloody, boney nubs.
Damaar – Triumph Through Spears of Sacrilege (Nuclear War Now!)
While most bands fantasize about war and glorify violence they have never witnessed, Damaar hail from Lebanon where war perpetually looms. Furthermore, Damaar’s devotion to metal can hardly be questioned. In order to protect themselves from retaliation by the government, they were forced to distribute their demo by mp3 rather than tape or CD. Thus in the face powerful religious zealots, Damaar persisted in pursuing its evil directives. After relocating to Australia, Damaar was able to finally send out a proper (non-mp3) master and collect artwork for the vinyl release of their demo on NWN! This assault is pure aural bestial blasphemy in the style of Black Witchery, Revenge and others. Conceptually, Damaar invoke anti-religious warfare towards all those weak and feeble-minded followers of all false gods. The band is currently inactive following its move to Australia and its future is uncertain. Nonetheless, this crushingly violent demo will ensure that Damaar is ranked prominently among the bestial legions.
Dead Congregation – Graves of the Archangels (Nuclear War Now!)
This is not a product of a passive creator; this is an act of judgment. Greece’s Dead Congregation deals in darkness, producing in Graves of the Archangels one of the most truly dark occult death metal albums in recent times, and perhaps of all time. The opening instrumental track acts as an initiation rite of passage, beginning with a barrage of drums accentuated with malevolently played guitar effects, before regenerating in the form of a dark and brooding dirge, building up the penetratingly sinister atmosphere that pervades the entirety of the album. This is the album that admirers of the dark depths of the genre have been waiting for for some time.
Destruction’s End / Bandanos – Thrash from the Dead (625 Thrash)
DESTRUCTION'S END hail from the Bay Area and play thrash similar to what you'd hear in the late-'80s. BANDANOS (from Brazil) play a similar style of thrash, but with a slightly sloppier feel. Both require you to get out your skateboard, though, and to grind some curbs.
Dip Leg – The Sympathy Without Love (I've Come for Your Children)
Okayama's legendary emotional hardcore band finally release their long awaited full-length. Together for over half a decade, Dip Leg has finely tuned their unique brand of emotional music. Intense instrumentals and desperate vocals create a spirit of revolution on plastic.
Disaster Strikes – Liberty Toast (Alternative Tentacles)Awesome one-two punch of political awareness and punk backbone from this incendiary Boston punk band! Punk and hardcore inspired by the likes of Econochrist, Aus Rotten, The Proletariat, Mission of Burma, and Crass. Band members have done time in other bands including Boston hardcore legends Tree. Singer J.R.'s life experience as a full-time union organizer lends his lyrics a truth and political edge that can't be bought at Hot Topic. Produced by Steve Austin (Today Is The Day, Unsane, Converge) and featuring guest spots by Jello Biafra and DJ Molotov.
Ensepulchred - The Night Our Rituals Blackened the Stars (Autopsy Kitchen)
Ensepulchred is a group of talented individuals making ground in a genre that has long since been stagnant. They are taking old ideas from black metal and reinventing them to sound unique to their individual style. The music found within is definitely worth the experience. It also doesn't get much more underground than a black metal act from fucking Indiana. There's a hundred reasons to buy this release. This is definitely an interesting, almost occult release for your collection.
Ensepulchred - Suicide in the Winter’s Moonlight (Autopsy Kitchen)
USA's best kept secret in the torrid underbelly of the black metal world rapidly return with a new release! Originally released in an extremely limited run of hand numbered cd-rs in slimline dvd cases in 2006, we here at Autopsy Kitchen are so into this album that we couldn't let it go unnoticed. This final and definitive version also includes a completely re-designed layout with a few newly recorded tracks not on the original version. "Suicide In Winter's Moonlight" is 16 miserable tracks of lugubrious, woebegone black fire.
Fanaticos Bastardos – Besa la Mano…de tu Verdugo (Shaman)
More than 10 years in the Mexican HC/Punk scene. In the vein of early Agathocles/Extreme Noise Terror/Doom from Mexico City. Spanish lyrics with English Translations.
Jiyuna - The Devil Is Waiting for Us in the Palace—Rush Courageously (IFB)
A mix of influences like classic Florida hardcore, Envy, Raein, old Cave In, some metal, and whatever else we’re listening to. Sometimes its heavy, sometimes melodic, with harsh screamed vocals and wandering basslines and odd time signatures.
Martire – Martire (Nuclear War Now!)
Few recordings ever committed to tape can rival the pure bestiality and violence of Martire's 1991 self titled EP. Hailing from the fiery depths of Australia, Martire deliver bestial death metal of the most extreme and sadistic form. Martireï¿½s songs on this EP are driven by evil thrash riffs played with demonic intensity and murderous accuracy, tormenting and depraved vocals, and a relentless drum performance that lays to ruin everything in its path. Furthermore, the pure analog recording of this EP is among the highest quality ever produced within this subgenre of metal. Every instrument is clearly audible and perfectly mixed. In short, there is nothing meek about this record; every riff, vocal snarl, and drum onslaught manifests strength and superiority in the true Australian tradition.
Natassievila – Iter Lethalis (Dark Horizon)
Natassievila sound like De Mysteriis...-era Mayhem attempting to blast out early Satyricon covers through Darkthrone's old 'low-fi' gear (that hurt to write but it had to be done). To be fair though, their execution of the style is almost as perfect as their immaculately applied corpse-paint. The buzzsaw guitars are either chugging out that distinctive Hellhammer-like chord work, or blasting out face-serrating Marduk like 'washing-machine-on-spin-cycle' carnage. Intersperse a few piano led sections, a couple of sound clips and that's pretty much your lot. This is as grim and frostbitten as the kingdom of Blashyrkh, with absolutely no frills, bells or whistles.
My Precious / Gauge Means Nothing - Missing Tom split (I've Come For Your Children)
Two forces of nature converge in this split CD. Singapore's My Precious blasts through their three tracks, effortlessly pushing passion and love through their instruments. Their earlier sound of dark screamo is complemented by much more dynamic transitions. Gauge Means Nothing returns to the studio and records their best three songs to date. Their sound is much more rocking, practically dropping any remnant of metal they once held in their music.
Nocturnal Graves – Satan’s Cross (Nuclear War Now!)
After releasing some exceptional demos and a picture 7” since they formed in 2004, Nocturnal Graves at last release their first full length LP. An appropriate and honorable addition to the NWN! roster, Nocturnal Graves play searing and aggressive metal in the true Australian barbarian tradition. These songs are far from generic, however. The trio of marauders known as Nocturnal Graves creates maniacal deathrash untainted by all non-metal influences. All of the members are well known in the Australian scene and their professionalism and devotion to their demonic craft is apparent in every riff they have written for this album. In addition to the attention to detail paid to their songwriting, the band spent many hours in the studio to achieve flawless production. The end result is something similar in style and artistry to Ares Kingdom’s Return to Dust yet retaining some of the inherent bestiality that pervades the Australian scene. Ultimately, this is how deathrash should be played and recorded.
Perth Express (Teenage Disco Bloodbath)
If you like your grind and fastcore grinding and fast with phlegm-y hard consonants chasing the sounds of Nasum, Converge, Tragedy and His Hero Is Gone, there’s no reason to not at least be intrigued by Perth Express. They play on the faster and noisier side of the fast ’n’ noisy continuum, with the occasional atmospheric, Melvins-like crawl. Their idea of mid-tempo is what most death metal heads would consider fast; they vomit forth super-abrasive, discordant guitar riffs and chord selections combined with a raw melodic sense that wouldn’t be out of place on No Heroes. As with most historical compilations, Perth Express’ early stuff was sloppier and more uncouth, but they’ve traveled along a pretty solid upward trajectory since day one, thanks in large part to their solid-as-a-fucking-rock drummer.
Procer Veneficus – Ghostvoices (God is Myth)
Chilly, foggy, earthy atmospheric music played solely on acoustic guitar with haunting waves of ambience in the background. A wet, eerie recording job makes this a must for fans of Ulver's 'Kveldssanger' album. Also reminds a bit of Naervaer's 'Skiftninger'. Contains a cover of Velvet Cacoon's "P.S. Nautical"
Proclamation – Messiah of Darkness and Impurity (Nuclear War Now!)
One of the most extreme and morbid acts from the pits of the satanic underground now returns with 10 apocalyptic anthems of Bestial Black Death following the path of Advent Of The Black Omen, Wicca, Down There, and Fallen Angel of Doom.... Recorded entirely using analog equipment, Messiah of Darkness and Impurity", Proclamation exceeds even the bestiality they attained on their last album. Few bands working within this subgenre have so successfully delivered such aggressive and violent onslaughts and few have remained so faithful to the blueprints established by Blasphemy, Beherit, Impurity, Sarcofago, etc. This is not a "retro" album, however. This release easily stands alongside the classics produced by those masters. Among the seemingly endless tide of Bestial Black Death bands released each month, few can be as favorably compared to the pregenitors of the genre. Proclamation is one of the few that can. Perhaps this is because Proclamation have studied the masters so thoroughly and refuse to be influenced by anything other than the unholiest of bestial black metal. You will hear no heavy metal influence. ..no norsecore...no funthrash...instead you will be thoroughly assaulted by chaotic riffs, morbid intros, searingly violent guitar solos, and blasphemous vocals from beyond that will rape and devour your soul.
Set Apart / Chalice split (Blank)
Classic metal hardcore. Christian, but still good. Intense.
Stalaagh – Projekt Misanthropia (Autopsy Kitchen)
Stalaggh's Projekt Misanthropia is by no means a conventional album, and as such, there is no way I can possibly analyze it in any conventional fashion. I've heard nervous whispers and frightened conversations about this act for some time now, and having heard it myself, the one conclusion I've made is that never before this album has fear been properly conveyed in an album. The thirty-five minutes of recording featured on this disc are nothing short of aural torture. There is not even another phrase for it! Never before have I heard such exquisite agony, such hopeless despair! Projekt Misanthropia as a disc almost writes its own press release; the number of sick and perverted methods used to require a sound this soul-crushingly harsh are many indeed. First and foremost, the members of Stalaggh (long rumored to be a cabal of the Dutch/Belgian BM scene's finest) are sworn to absolute secrecy. This complete masking allows the various "members" to engage in acts so unwholesome, foul, and outright wrong no music has ever been made like it before. Such horrors are best manifested in the band's legitimate take on misanthropy---describing their sound as the only true representation of the depravity, hatred, and sickness of Earth, the band have stooped to unfathomable lows in crafting their music. Extreme music lore has it that Stalaggh manipulate the vocals of the mentally-ill and convicted murderers in an effort to add realism to their chaotic hatred and despair. Something so violently counter-culture in my first opinion could be naught but shocking hype; after hearing the finished work, there is no doubt in my mind concerning the truth in the band's various media outputs.
Stroszek – Songs of Remorse (God is Myth)
The debut from this Italian act is a stunning work of dark and emotional acoustic music. Containing members of respected black metal band Frostmoon Eclipse, Stroszek should be looked upon as an entirely separate entity and not a mere side-project. 'Songs Of Remorse' is built upon carefully strummed minor-key acoustic guitars, deliberate yet restrained piano lines, bursts of textured heaviness and deep, lush, cleanly-sung vocals that relay a sense of dread beneath the surface.
Torch of War - The Principle of Cosmic Instability (Autopsy Kitchen)
Furious German black metal sitting atop the throne of scathing, uncaring & unabashedly cold records of this genre. Every single track a gem on it's own and every riff completing the circle started by Darkthrone with Transilvanian Hunger. A record made by Torch Of War for Torch Of War...this beast left in tow for your ritual worship.
Trinakrius – Inquisantism (PsycheDOOMelic)
Ancient flame of obscure epic doomy heavy metal lives with these cats. Huge and elaborate songs with plenty a' nod to the heavier doom laden metal sounds of Candlemass and Solitude Aeturnus. The band also brings in a huge dose of epic heavy metal as well. Think Manowar, Cirith Ungol and Manilla Road and you are near the mark.
Wall of Sleep – Sun Faded Apostles (PsycheDOOMelic)
Classic doom metal, with huge riffs and an old school Maryland doom vibe.
Wicked King Wicker (Noiseville)
This WKW's self titled debut, and is in some ways even heavier and more blown out than Flydust (reviewed elsewhere on this list). The root sound is similar, a heaving morass of crumbling superdistorted guitars, but where as Flydust is murky and muddy and washed out, the sound here is prickly and cacophonous, abrasive and sort of sharp. The sound is also more propulsive, more distinct riffs, dripping with in-the-red distortion and twisted FX. The opening track is one single ascending riff, looped over and over and over and over, pounding its way through a dense cloud of impossibly thick buzz, the drums a buried plod, the vocals, barely audible through the churning mass of unfurling riffs and a constantly expanding wall of sound. The strange thing is, there is a definite groove lurking underneath, loping and lurching, but groovy nonetheless. Think Godflesh or Pitchshifter mixed with Ramleh and Wolf Eyes, but super charged and revved up, and dipped in a psychedelic concoction of tripped out prismatic psychrock filigree and blown out amp destroying drone drenched doom.
Wolfpack – Allday Hell (Crimes Against Humanity)
A domestic release of the extremely brutal album from these Swedish hardcore hell-makers. Includes all the tracks from the original European release, along with two bonus cuts-the band's song from their split with Audio Kollaps, and an unreleased destroyer. Recommended for those who like Skit System, Anti Cimex, and Victims.
World Below – Maelstrom (PsycheDOOMelic)
Second full length by World Below (Sweden) playing DOOM metal. This is just what you expect from a heavy doom metal band and even more. Of course the typical slow and heavy riffs with also typical scandinivian guitarsound but also changing tempo at times to keep songs interesting. Songs also tend to vary in tempo and there's also some more up-tempo (sludge)rocking songs. Vocals are mostly clean, depressed, emotional and also carry the music into a different and kind of epical direction. Quality disc with just enough changes in tempo, riffing and atmosphere but sticking to the classical style of DOOM.