Dead Void, Volatile Forms (Dark Descent 2022)

Danish doom band Dead Void bring their debut album to the surface, Volatile Forms.

Dead Void is a band of mystery. There is virtually nothing about the personnel in the press materials. The band appears to be a trio – guitar, bass, drums – who started off at some indeterminate time in the past. The Metal Archives does list three demos from them having been released in 2017, 2018, and 2021, respectively. And now we have the new one, a full-length album that is probably the band’s long-player debut. Let’s give it a blind listen.

There are five thunderous tracks on the new album. “Atrophy” takes off with a slow, ominous strum, matched in time by bass and percussion. It is a dark, heavy doom that turns into funeral doom, deepened by treacherous vocals. The song is a warning of an eventual, slow-moving catastrophe. The strum does pick up and the music turns fast and fierce, almost avant-garde at times. Then it winds down and fades out. Contrariwise, “The Entrails of Chaos” starts like a hail of missiles with savage intensity. The doom comes in later, and a kind of groove walks in and out.

“Sadistic Mind” plays like slowed-down Black Sabbath. Absolutely crushing. Death metal tags in toward the middle then bows out. Similarly, “The Reptilian Drive” has a familiar overall arc, but no guiderails at all. Again, the groove in the middle is killer, and it offers a look you almost never get in this manner of music. The final track is “Perpetually Circling the Void.” How’s that for a title? Oh, this eleven-minute opus delivers on its titular promise, have no fear.

This album is excellent. I am a doom fan, and so I appreciate how well those elements are executed in the music. The additional layers of death and groove are what raises the compositions to the next level. Recommended.

Volatile Forms hits the streets through Dark Descent Records on September 15th in CD form, with vinyl provided by Me Saco Un Ojo.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://deadvoid.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/TheDeadVoid/

Dark Descent Records, https://www.darkdescentrecords.com/shop/product/dead-void-volatile-forms-cd/

Me Saco Un Ojo Records, https://www.mesacounojo.com/shop/dead-void-volatile-forms-lp/

© Wayne Edwards

Dead Void, Volatile Forms (Dark Descent 2022)

Castrator, Defiled In Oblivion (Dark Descent 2022)

Castrator’s debut full-length album Defiled In Oblivion is a refreshing punch in the gut.

Castator is a death metal quartet from New York that came together in 2013. After releasing a roaring EP in 2015, No Victim, they have been building toward a long-player, and now we have it with Defiled In Oblivion. The band is Robin Mazen (bass), Carolina Perez (drums), Kimberly Orellana (guitars), and Clarissa Badini (vocals).

The ten-track album opens with all guns blazing on “Dawa of Yousafzai.” Grisly vocals and battering rhythm grinds at you and will not allow you catch your breath. The lead guitar break is a swarm of bees swinging chain saws. The next song slows the pace to a step below dizzying in the opening bars, but then “Tormented by Atrocities” hits the gas and doesn’t look back. The guitars introduce a sour perspective now and then, and sometimes tilt the ground to keep you on your toes. The punishment continues on “Befoul My Existence,” where there is a throwback homage if you listen for it. The percussion is killing it on this track, and Badini’s vocals are the menacing centerpiece.

Other tracks I especially like include “Voices of Evirato,” which has a great spacey guitar break in it amidst extremely heavy riffs, and “Sinister Mind” for its absolute relentlessness. I also really appreciate Castrator’s cover of the classic Venom song, “Countess Bathory.” The beats are there as is a fresh infusion of enthusiasm. It is such a good song and it is great to hear it resurrected. Let me add “Sinister Mind” to the list, too, while I am at it. That song flat out rips. I have got to see this band live. Recommended.

Defiled In Oblivion is out through Dark Descent Records on Friday, July 22nd. Hit the links below.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://darkdescentrecords.bandcamp.com/album/defiled-in-oblivion

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/CastratorBand

Dark Descent Records, https://www.darkdescentrecords.com/shop/

© Wayne Edwards

Castrator, Defiled In Oblivion (Dark Descent 2022)

Begrime Exemious, Rotting in the Aftermath (Dark Descent 2022)

Rotting in the Aftermath is the fourth full-length album from Edmonton’s Begrime Exemious.

Begrime Exemious is a Canadian heavy metal band that formed in 2005. They have had a rich recording career, counting three long-players, four EPs, a couple of splits, a demo, and even more than that. They have been a bit quiet on the recording front recently, with their previous full-length album, The Enslavement Conquest, coming out in 2016. The music is a kind of death metal ~ black metal crossover with plenty of catchy entreaties to draw your gaze. The band is Derek Orthner (vocals, guitar), Franky Thibaudeau (guitar, vocals), Alasdair Rintoul (bass), and Lee Norland (drums).

“Cruel Mistress” rolls out a serious presentation to get the set going. Determined, driving riffs swing the hook first to lay the groundwork for the growling vocals that follow. The lead guitar argument is convincing, then we are back onto the metal-forging framework. “Breach The Stronghold” follows, and the pace picks up a tick, as does the urgency. The rhythm inveigles and before you know it, you’re cooked. This is an excellent start and a good introduction to the band if you haven’t heard them before.

“Infected Mind” offers an extremely dreary view of the world gazing into the abyss (or the other way around, maybe). Doom tones cloak the sullen atmosphere while the guitars do their dastardly work. “As Bodies Collapse” has a more of dark theater to it, painting the edges with flourishes and sinister nods and creating an intricate design.

No matter the track, there is a nudging stroke in every song, propelling it forward and taking you along for the ride. You can count on a feast for your senses – both aural and mental – in every chapter of this book. Recommended.

Rotting in the Aftermath is out on Friday, July 8th through Dark Descent Records. Have a look at their on-line shop at the link below.

Links.

Begrime Exemious website, http://begrimeexemious.com/

Bandcamp, https://begrimeexemious.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/begrimeexemious

Dark Decent Records, https://www.darkdescentrecords.com/shop/

© Wayne Edwards

Begrime Exemious, Rotting in the Aftermath (Dark Descent 2022)

Chaotian, Effigies Of Obsolescence (Dark Descent 2022)

Death metal trio Chaotian renders their first full-length album from the depths, Effigies Of Obsolescence.

From Denmark, Chaotian is a fairly new band having come together in 2017. They released a couple of demos in the ensuing years, and fans have been on edge for a long-player as time has passed along. And now here it is: Effigies Of Obsolescence. This is death metal music turned up past ten. Prepare yourself before dropping the needle because this band leaves nothing on the stage. Chaotian is Søren Willatzen (guitar, vocals), Jonas Grønborg (bass), and Andreas Nordgreen (drums, vocals).

There are seven tracks on the album, each one a new revelation. A sense of suffering and hopelessness is established immediately with “Gangrene Dream.” The feeling of chaos hits hard on “Into Megatopheth” with the unpredictable guitar injections ripping into the status quo. The title track seals the tomb with its irrepressible growling vocals and crushing guitar riffs, its pulverizing percussion. If you are a death metal fan and you hear this song you know you have reached a pinnacle. It is stunning.

“Adipocere Feast” inveigles you with its speed and misdirection, its stabbing guitars. “Etched Shadows” plays a longer game in a deadly slow pace at the front that gets paired with breakneck speed that sends you over the edge of the abyss. “Fustuarium” and “Festering Carcinolith” are the final two turns on this wheel of devastation. The presentation and combination of elements are delivered with expert hands, ultimately leaving you without breath.

I have not enjoyed an album this much since the last Tomb Mold record. Chaotian has changed my expectations for death metal, ratcheting the bar up. Highly recommended.

Effigies Of Obsolescence is out on Friday, June 24th through Dark Descent Records and Me Saco Un Ojo Records.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://darkdescentrecords.bandcamp.com/album/effigies-of-obsolescence

Chaotian store, https://chaotian.storenvy.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/ChaotianOfficial

Dark Descent Records, https://www.darkdescentrecords.com/shop/

© Wayne Edwards

Chaotian, Effigies Of Obsolescence (Dark Descent 2022)

Corpsessed, Succumb To Rot (Dark Descent 2022)

For their fifteenth anniversary, Finland’s Corpsessed release their fourth full-length album, Succumb To Rot.

Back in 2007, Corpsessed came together in Finland. The Metal Archives tells us that the current lineup is Jussi-Pekka Manner (drums), Jyri Lustig (guitar), Matti Mäkelä (guitar), Niko Matilainen (vocals), and Tuomas Kulmala (bass). Creating death metal along a traditional path in the context of their own interests, the band’s early music had a growling quality to it, as on their EP The Dagger & the Chalice (2011). Later releases like Impetus of Death (2018) are more polished and exploratory, while maintaining the signature sound Corpsessed has been developing all along. There is an apparent trajectory and the new album continues the arc.

There are eight tracks on Succumb To Rot, beginning with the titular song, which serves as a short introduction to the set. “Relentless Entropy” in many ways captures the essence of the album, and, really, the cycle of music that has been in motion for the last few years – an endless, relentless destruction and emergence of something else in its place. You can hear this in the music and you can see it in life and the universe.

There are cavernous passages throughout sponsored by the fabulously dark vocals. Rattling percussion and battering rhythm always return at pace to give you skull a good solid crack. Songs like “Spiritual Malevolence” are sinister in their brooding darkness, measured out carefully and then dispensed with aggression. Tracks like “Sublime Indignation,” on the other hand, have a more upfront ferocity with periodic easing and even the occasional groove in there for a bit.

Closing on “Pneuma Akathartos,” creates a powerful anchor for the album. All the music is heavy, of course, but this track has the most finality to it in my ears. It is grievously dreary, dark and treacherous. Make sure you hear this album now because it is going to be talked about for a long time to come. Recommended.

Succumb To Rot is out on Friday, April 22nd through Dark Descent Records.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://corpsessed.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/Corpsessed

Dark Descent Records, https://www.darkdescentrecords.com/shop/

© Wayne Edwards.

Corpsessed, Succumb To Rot (Dark Descent 2022)

Lvcifyer, The Broken Seal (Dark Descent Records 2021)

Let the darkness surround you with the new album from Lvcifyre, The Broken Seal.

You might be able to guess from the name of the band that their musical leaning is in the Black and Death Metal direction. Lvcifyer released their first EP in 2009 and two long-players after that, The Calling Depths (2011) and Svn Eater (2014). Another EP, Sacrament, staved off fan cravings in 2019 until The Broken Seal entered the cosmos. Of course the music is heavy and fast and ravaging, and the themes of chaos, darkness, and woe are ever-present. Naturally.

The opening bars of the first track are a dark ramp of emergent noise and growls and then a punishing attack on your senses. This is what I expected. Speed and ferocity in the opening salvo. But in the second song, “Tribes of Khem,” the perspective deepens and branches out in measured and fascinating ways. The tempo moderates and the vocals exude dark power. The riffs are not desensitizing and the blast beats become judicious.

“Black Beneath the Sun” is even weightier in its musical expression, displaying eruptions along with a discernable linearity. Indeed, the music becomes positively theatrical at points. These compositional choices give the album balance and make the tracks individually more memorable and the set overall more powerful.

Other stand-out songs are “The First Archon” with its pushing, enlivening insistence and the closer, “Black Mass,” with its gorgeous Blackened Doom palette. This album is my first serious listen to Lvcifyre but it will not be my last – it has made a big impression on me. Recommended.

The Broken Seal is out today, Friday, September 10th from Dark Descent Records in the US and Norma Evangelium Diaboli in Europe.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://lvcifyre.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/Lvcifyre

Dark Descent Records, http://www.darkdescentrecords.com/store/

Lvcifyer, The Broken Seal (Dark Descent Records 2021)

Faceless Burial, Speciation review (Dark Descent Records / Me Saco Un Ojo Records 2020)

With Speciation, Faceless Burial reconciles the storied past with the calamitous contemporaneous world to show that, while the level of suffering is bad now, it is not new.

The three ambassadors who make up this band from Australia round out their first lustrum with a stabbing assault of inescapable musical kismet. If you had been looking and listening you would have known it was coming because the earlier work, Grotesque Miscreation (2017) and Multiversal Abattoir (2018) both, shook the elements and rattled the environment in a new creative space that maintained a distinct and obvious homage.

The average song length has ticked up a bit with Speciation, clocking in at around six minutes, and that is all for the better. The writing on the new album demonstrates increased depth of process compared to the earlier work. While the songs here certainly maintain the aggression and crack heard before, the arc of the expression is clearer and stronger over the length of each piece.

This set opens with a blast of energy and does not have an intro bit like the earlier albums did. “Worship” is a battering ram at the front with all elements aligning in a show of force. The melody and thread of the song appears just before the one minute mark, and the drama unfolds from there – a story shown in music and told in narrative. There is a driving force, there are external smashes that periodically disrupt the flow, and a then there is a recurring current (or two) in guitars and percussion that weaves in and out. This basic structure plays well in the rest of the album, and it is a stylistic element practically unique to Faceless Burial. You can certainly recognize them by it. There are six entries and my mind processed them in order, in pairs. The titled track does stand out (to me) because of its doom elements and clever riffs arrangements, plus the lead work in the fourth minute is inspired. This album is one to keep in regular rotation. Recommended.

Out this Friday, August 7, you can get one track now on Spotify to tide you over (the earlier albums are there, too). All of the physical versions can be discovered through the links below.

Links.

https://www.facebook.com/facelessburial/

https://facelessburial.bandcamp.com/

https://darkdescentrecords.bandcamp.com/

http://www.darkdescentrecords.com/store/

https://www.mesacounojo.com/

https://mesacounojo.bandcamp.com/

Faceless Burial, Speciation review (Dark Descent Records / Me Saco Un Ojo Records 2020)

Lantern, Dimensions review (Dark Descent 2020)

The new release from death metal purveyors Lantern is a twist on a tale and voyage into inner space.

A veteran band from Kuopio, Finland – the interior – Lantern (using their stage names) is Cruciatus on guitars and bass, Necrophilos singing, J. Poussu on percussion, and St. Belial playing guitar. Formed in 2007 after the earlier band Cacodaemon ended its existence, the death metal regulars are now into their third full-length release.

The album starts off surprisingly melodic and even a little hooky with the opening pleadings of “Strange Nebula.” It is a eerie vibe with a Savatage montage feel at first, then the vocals begin – they are coarse but decipherable and are carefully cocooned by the swirling hornets of guitars. Slightly past the middle, there is a Venomesque change followed by a crunchy riff and an ethereal guitar transition. There is a lot going on in this song and it keeps you off balance. It also keeps you listening.

There are epic moments of soaring themes juxtaposed with nasty punk bursts and generously spaced blistering guitar peels. The arc of the album is to plant a stake at the beginning, accelerate toward the center and then launch into the epic closer. “Monolithic Abyssal Dimensions” is a fourteen minute journey into darkness for the purpose of excavating the darkened terrain of schizophrenic psyche. It chips away at your brain like a madman with a rock hammer attacking an ancient cliff searching for meaning. There is a sustained insistence and at the same time an active musical ratcheting and clutch-pop shifts that make you spin. The song is unsettling in every way, and when it is over you want to listen again because Lantern has clawed its way under your skin. Recommended.

You can get Dimensions right now directly from Dark Decent Records (Shop tab) or through Bandcamp (links below).

Links.

www.facebook.com/lantern666

darkdescentrecords.com

facebook.com/DarkDescentRecords

darkdescentrecords.bandcamp.com

Lantern, Dimensions review (Dark Descent 2020)