Bog Body, Cryonic Crevasse Cult (Profound Lore 2022)

Bog Body brings forth their first full-length album, Cryonic Crevasse Cult.

Not your typical death metal band, Bog Body is made up entirely of vocals, bass, and percussion generated from two musicians. Putting out a demo in 2018, Through the Burial Bog, and a split with Primitive Warfare in 2020, The Gate Of Grief, you might wonder if they have anything else to say. It turns out that’s a yes.

Think about it for a minute. Bass and drums and vocals. Is that enough? It is certainly a lane, and the limiting choice of instruments narrows the avenues for expression. Then again, it requires the composers to be especially creative if they are to achieve anything fans want to hear. I think they have done it.

The music is death metal, heavy on the sludge, and it leans toward black metal sentience, metered down a bit. The bass lines are doing some heavy lifting here, as you might expect. Speed comes from the percussion first in the absence of guitar, and the bass line keeps up. The vocals exist in a muted blackened doom metal realm.

There is a welcome variety in the music as we roll through. “Ice Stained Kurgan” has a deep, mysterious formulation to it, while songs like the title track are high velocity poundings. The set opens on “Paralytic Pit of Swallowed Graves” and closes with “The Graveyard Of Dead Cratons,” two songs that, musically, stand well apart. Indeed, while “Paralytic” is a mood-setter and serves to orient expectations for the rest of the album, “Graveyard” is my favorite track for its firm stance on its own identity. The commitment to heavy music is present throughout, and I can say no other band sounds quite like Bog Body. Recommended.

Cryonic Crevasse Cult is out on Friday, May 20th through Profound Lore Records in digital and on CD.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://bog-body.bandcamp.com/

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

Profound Lore Records, https://profoundlorerecords.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Bog Body, Cryonic Crevasse Cult (Profound Lore 2022)

Blasphematory, The Lower Catacombs (Nuclear Winter 2022)

New Jersey death metal band Blasphematory drive up the demons on their second album, The Lower Catacombs.

Blasphematory came together by happenstance, the story goes. After compiling a demo, they released the full-length Depths of the Obscurity as a duo in 2019. Expanding the line-up by fifty percent, the sound honed in to what we hear today on the new album. It is classic death metal with notable doom leanings and an ear for perpetuity. The band includes veteran musicians Joe Aversario (bass, guitar, vocals), Chris Warhead (drums), and Tom Deceiver (guitar).

Seven savage tracks make up the new set. “Cruciform Shadows” begins with what sounds like a warning – a creepy, warbling ramp that peels off to reveal the shaggy darkness behind the veil. “Unclean Eulogies” is transportative, welling up in deliberation and with purpose, and slow-stomping the black earth with massive musical paws. “Key to the Furnace” steps back a touch, lays in on the grind then ramps up the tempo. This opening triad shows clearly the world you have ventured into by dropping the needle.

There is much to admire in every corner of this record. “Perpetual Despair” is heavy doom, sounding very much like it indeed comes from the lower catacombs. It is my favorite track on the album, the crushing hopelessness is what appeals to me. “Flooded Graves” has a feeling of deep mystery to it in the melody and in the rumbling percussion. And then there is the title song. “The Lower Catacombs” is the longest track and the anchor to the set. You feel the weight of the world – and the underworld – descend upon you from the very beginning. New looks and perpetrations roll over you as the music continues, and you want it all to happen. The guitars are mournful and unrepentant. The vocals deep and unwelcoming. The music is murky dank darkness. Recommended.

The Lower Catacombs came out on Friday the 13th through Nuclear Winter Records on digital, CD, and vinyl. You can get it now.

Links.

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

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

Nuclear Winter Records, https://nuclearwinterrecords.com/shop/

© Wayne Edwards

Blasphematory, The Lower Catacombs (Nuclear Winter 2022)

Skaven, Flowers Of Flesh And Blood (Carbonized 2022)

The last recordings of famed Oakland crust band Skaven get a new release.

The new The Flowers of Flesh and Blood “commemorates the 25th anniversary of the final recordings of acclaimed Oakland Crust band, Skaven.” This music was originally released in two pieces, but here it is now altogether. Some remastering has been done on these tracks, setting them apart from previous releases and compilations. Skaven was Zebediah Gammack (vocals), Mike Matusio (bass), Shane O’Gallagher (bass), Geoff Evans (guitar), and Ross Vogelsong (drums).

Skaven was only around for a couple years, really, but during that time they laid down some unforgettable music and haunted Bay Area venues in an aggressive circumlocution. Their music was a long drift away from radio-friendly intimations that were more popular at the time, and the band did not seem to care at all about that. They did what they wanted to do and that was the whole story.

There are three songs included in the new collection. “Severed” and “Flowers of Flesh and Blood” were originally released together on an EP with the same title as the one at hand. “The Swarm” comes from a latter day split with Stormcrow. The music is raw and howling, with a charging rhythm section, as you might expect. For all the urgency and vigor there is a noticeable confidence in the constructions – they are not hurried or slap-dash. They have a monumental presence, which explains why, twenty five years later, fans still want to hear it.

Conjure your memories or, if you are unfamiliar with Skaven, consume the history of this significant lane of music. When you hear it you will know why it is important. Recommended.

Flowers Of Flesh And Blood is out now through Carbonized Records. Check out the options at the links below.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://carbonizedrecords.bandcamp.com/album/flowers-of-flesh-and-blood

Carbonized Records, https://carbonized-records.myshopify.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Skaven, Flowers Of Flesh And Blood (Carbonized 2022)

Morgue Supplier, Inevitability (Transcending Obscurity 2022)

Grindcore vaporizers Morgue Supplier hit back hard on their new album, Inevitability.

Paul Gillis (guitar, vocals) founded Morgue Supplier more than twenty years ago. Joined by Stephen Reichelt (bass), the pair assemble brutal death metal and grindcore designed to disturb your sense of self. Both are also in Drug Honkey, but the music here is off in a different direction. Over the years, Morgue Supplier has issued two previous long-players and a host of EPs. It has been six years since their last full-length, the aptly titled Morgue Supplier, so we have been standing at the barricade for a while now. It was worth the wait.

The album begins in chaos with “Absurd Identity.” The opening bars are scrabbling madness. A beat and riff becomes discernable eventually, then it comes and goes. The vocals are the howls of a gored bull and the hiss of a diabolical serpent that is being crushed to death. The music is sorrow and suffering juxtaposed with active violent aggression and surrounded by confusion. “Closing In” comes next and is more linear, at least to begin with. It does its own share of twisting and curling amidst the screams, miasm, and turpitudes. “Empty Vacant Shell” completes the first triplet with a strangling odyssey of retribution.

An ominous transition piece brings us to the second triplet. “My Path to Hell” has a fairly clear narrative and “Existence Collapsed” lowers the doom on doleful listeners. The most impressive song on the record for me is “Thoughts of Only Darkness.” Clocking in at over eight minutes, the epic nature of the track allows for more development of musical ideas. It is a journey, but not a labyrinth – you begin to feel how it is going to unfold as you progress and you become part of the darkness. The title track is the cooldown piece at the end, offering closure but no hope. This album is loud and noisy metal that will leave you bruised. Recommended.

Inevitability is out on Friday, May 13th through the irrepressible Transcending Obscurity Records. Have a look at all the related merch and variants available for this release and I am sure you will be satisfied. Links below.

Links.

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

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

Transcending Obscurity Records, https://transcendingobscurity.aisamerch.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Morgue Supplier, Inevitability (Transcending Obscurity 2022)

Haunter, Discarnate Ails (Profound Lore 2022)

Texas death metal band Haunter pull out the stops on their new album, Discarnate Ails.

Centered in Austin, Haunter came together in 2013. The music they make is a fusion of black and death metal elevated by progressive percolations. Combining subgenres is not new, of course, but the level of success achieved depends on the way the mixing is done. Haunter always gets it right, and they are top-of-the-line experts if their last record, Sacramental Death Qualia (2019), is any measure. There is an arc to the band’s career that, given Discarnate Ails, appears to be heading upward. Listed musicians on the new album are Bradley Tiffin (vocals, guitar), Enrique Bonilla (guitar), and Cole Tucker (bass).

There are three long tracks on the album. “Overgrown With The Moss” opens the set with gentle discovery. It is as if you are wandering through a forest that slowly turns darkly magical as you pass through it. You notice a raised placed in the earth. You go over to investigate and, brushing aside the overgrowth, you unleash something unimaginable. The black metal is there, and the wonder of progressive ingenuity is too – that is what supports the ten-minute-plus running time and maintains your interest through all the valleys and crypts and plains.

“Spiritual Illness” clangs out brusquely, and has the feeling of an attack. “Chained At The Helm Of The Eschaton,” on the other hand, is filled with mystery and wonder in its opening melody and has a resonating cooldown that is beautiful to hear. All three tracks have their own unique postures and progressions, and they all are mesmerizing. Recommended.

Discarnate Ails is out on Friday, May 6th through Profound Lore Records. Take note also that Haunter is scheduled to perform at Fire In The Mountains this year, a unique music festival held at the Heart Six Ranch in the Tetons. If you can get there, definitely do it because it will be an experience like no other. Links to the record and the festival appear below.

Band photo by Oscar Moreno.

Links.

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

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

Profound Lore Records, https://profoundlorerecords.com/

Fire In The Mountains Festival, https://fitmfest.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Haunter, Discarnate Ails (Profound Lore 2022)

Cognitive and Hath at the E Street Pub, April 26th

There was a Midwest metalfest this week at the E Street Pub when Cognitive and Hath showed up.

Cognitive

Hath and Cognitive, both death metal bands from New Jersey, are on tour for a few weeks, hitting venues from New York to Chicago to Atlanta. On Tuesday night, they rattled the brick walls of the E Street Pub in Richmond, Indiana.

Hath went up first. They released a new album in March, All That Was Promised (Willowtip Records), and they are on the road carrying those new songs to the waiting world.

Hath
Hath
Hath

Cognitive has been laying down the metal for more than a decade. Their catalogue boasts four fierce long-players, including the newest, 2021’s Malevolent Thoughts of a Hastened Extinction (Unique Leader Records). In the past few months, Cognitive announced they have signed with Metal Blade Records, and I bet that means a new album is not far off.

Cognitive
Cognitive
Cognitive

Check out the links below for music and merchandise. Cognitive is on the road right now with Hath and Inoculation through May 8th. See the tour poster for cities and dates.

Photos by Wayne Edwards.

Links.

Cognitive, https://www.indiemerchstore.com/collections/cognitive

Hath, https://hathnj.bandcamp.com/album/all-that-was-promised

E Street Pub, https://www.facebook.com/estreetpub

Unique Leader Records, https://uniqueleader.indiemerch.com//collections/cognitive

Metal Blade Records, https://www.metalblade.com/us/news/metal-blade-records-welcomes-cognitive/

Willowtip Records, https://willowtip.bandcamp.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Cognitive and Hath at the E Street Pub, April 26th

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)

Bodysnatcher, Bleed-Abide (MNRK Heavy 2022)

The third album from Florida deathcore band Bodysnatcher is out this week, Bleed-Abide.

Bodysnatcher came together in 2014. They put an EP out in 2015, and their first long-player, Death Of Me, followed in 2017. It was probably their second album, This Heavy Void, that brought them the most attention, and their fan base has been on the uptick all along. The band is Kyle Medina (vocals), Kyle Carter (guitar), Kyle Shope (bass), and Chris Whited (drums).

Talking about the album, Kyle Medina tells us, “Bleed-Abide is the ultimate culmination of what the band has been building for years, and I believe the best material to date. The instrumentals have matured and become heavier hitting and the lyrics dig deeper personally and more relatable than even This Heavy Void. There is something for everyone in this album: slam riffs, breakdowns, two steps, choruses that stick…”

There are thirteen mostly short, hard-hitting tracks on the new album. After the intro piece “Bleed,” the clubbing begins with “Abide.” Savage aggression ensues. Growling, bristling vocals descend to croaks now and then, and the percussion beats your senses senseless. The intentionality is ever-present, pushing the musical ideas forward.

There is plentiful speed here, but acceleration is not the whole story. “Smashed Perceptions” disturbs perceptions of pace, and you hear this on many tracks. “Flatline,” for example, does it in a different way. Instead of relying entirely on speed and volume, the change ups and hanging moments add tension and drama, maybe also anxiety, to the music.

The last four songs taken together are a menace to reason and sanity. “Wired For Destruction,” “Hollow Shell,” “Behind The Crowd,” and “The Question” work together in my head even if they weren’t meant to – they are a suite of destruction at the end that brings it all together. Recommended.

Bleed-Abide is out on Friday, April 22nd through MNRK Heavy. There are lots of formats to choose from at the links below.

Links.

Website, https://bodysnatcherofficial.com/

Bandcamp, https://bodysnatcherfl.bandcamp.com/album/bleed-abide

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

MNRK Heavy, https://mnrkheavy.com/collections/bodysnatcher

© Wayne Edwards.

Bodysnatcher, Bleed-Abide (MNRK Heavy 2022)

Epitaphe, II (Aesthetic Death 2022)

French progressive doom band Epitaphe head off into new territory with their sophomore long-player, II.

Epitaphe began as far back as 2009. They released a demo in 2018, and their debut full-length album the following year, appropriately titled I. The musical style has elements of progressive death metal and funeral doom, usually rolled out in long movements. The first album had more of the latter, while this new one relies less on funeral doom. There is no mistaking that it is the same band, however, and the fans they have gathered so far will be grandly fulfilled by the new music.

There are three tracks that hover around the nineteen minute mark, plus an introductory movement and an outro. “Sycomore” begins the session sweetly, leaving you completely unprepared for the full-on assault that is “Celestial.” The ravaging brutality of this blistering metal affront is complicated by melodic vocals that materialize only to be devour by course growls. There are reinforced shocks throughout and, eventually, you can sense that disruptions are in the offing but they always still startle you when they hit.

“Melancholia” dives in with percussive creations that are tectonic, elemental. The compositional structure flattens out at times, allowing familiarity to lull you toward the ordinary, but it never stays that way long enough to give a firm footing. You only think you know what is next. This middle portion is my favorite of the set, and I especially appreciate the lead guitar work and, later, the funeral doom.

“Insignificant” recalls the intro piece with its initial gentleness, like a minstrel who has wandered into a dark, sinister forest and only slowly begins to realize what has happened. The metal here has a theatrical feel to it, and a sense of story is strong throughout. “Merging Within Nothingness” is a short cooldown. How you feel about it will depend on how you experienced the rest of the album. For me, I had a moment to realize, at least partially, the significance of what I had just listened to.

There is an arc here. Listening from beginning to end is more important with this album than with many. The full procession is the way to go. Highly recommended.

II is out on April 11th in digital, on CD through Aesthetic Death, and Gurgling Gore has the cassette.

Links.

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

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

Aesthetic Death, https://www.aestheticdeath.com/

Gurgling Gore, https://www.gurglinggore.com/

© Wayne Edwards.

Epitaphe, II (Aesthetic Death 2022)

Viande, L’abîme dévore les âmes (Transcending Obscurity 2022)

The debut full-length album from Viande is a contentious black metal rendering, L’abîme dévore les âmes.

Viande began in France nearly ten years ago. They have released a demo and an EP in the interval, so the recorded material is not large – making the new long-player an important event for fans. Membership in the band is something of a mystery with the musicians preferring to get by on an initial rather than a full disclosure, preserving a sense of the uncanny. The musical style is, generally speaking, black metal. This category is known for brutal renderings and you can put Viande on the rough side of the room as far as that goes. The songs are savage and loud, fierce and tearing.

L’abîme dévore les âmes (in English, “the abyss devours souls”) holds eight tracks. The first song of an album is usually either a signal or a warning. “Les Dents Du Gouffre” is both. It is a red flag of terror showing clearly that devastation lies ahead. This is monstrous, eerie black metal that lays a blade against your throat while it brings an iron hammer down on your skull.

If, like me, you don’t speak French, pass some of these titles through an on-line translator and you’ll get a quick idea of the themes: “La Tombe Avide,” “Traitre A La Vie,” and “Le Souffle Des Os.” True enough, these notions are not exclusive to Vainde and they are regularly deployed by black metal bands, and other purveyors of extreme music. Here, however, the essence is treated differently, with greater attention to otherworldliness, to eldritch lore, at least in the feeling of the composition. Dramatic ambient and doom-heavy passages allow dread to soak through to your bones and siphon off your breath steadily, deliberately, completely. Each songs is a new terror.

If you like dark metal with a poisonous attitude and no regard for the stability of your state of mind, then this album is for you. Recommended.

L’abîme dévore les âmes is out on Friday, April 15th through Transcending Obscurity Records. Have a look at the possibilities at the links below.

Links.

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

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/viande666/

Transcending Obscurity Records, https://transcendingobscurity.aisamerch.com/

© Wayne Edwards.

Viande, L’abîme dévore les âmes (Transcending Obscurity 2022)