Morbific, Squirm Beyond The Mortal Realm (Memento Mori 2022)

Death metal menacers Morbific return with their second long-player, Squirm Beyond The Mortal Realm.

I hear it is dark and cold in Finland, and if that is true then this is the right music for the place. Morbific started only two years ago and is peopled by Jusa Janhonen (bass, vocals), Onni Väkeväinen (drums), and Olli Väkeväinen (guitar). The title of their first album, Ominous Seep of Putridity, is a hint into the sound they produce, but don’t rely on that clue too much. The new record is sludgy and peculiar, layered as it is with both groove and dissonance in musical constructions that seem to delight in their confrontational architecture.

The ten-track set opens on the title song, and it is a lesson in avoiding expectations because there is no way accurately to anticipate what you are about to hear when you drop the needle. The music cracks through hook and groove then into blistering speed and on to peppered crunches with little regard to the disequilibrium that the lack of transition instills. It happens fast, and there is no road map. “Bind, Torture, Snuff” does this too, but you are getting a little balance now having survived the opener. The sour lead break is no surprise when it lands and still it is a delight. The vocals are indecipherable growls. Each and all parts are essential.

The album does require some endurance from its listeners, it’s true, but it rewards them with its originality and verve. Consider “Suicide Sanctum,” which is a low-running rambler and the longest track on the record. Much of it beats at a slower tempo and it is a searching kind of song. It is not an exploration as much as it is a demand for answers, and attitude which foments urgency. Given its extra heaviness, it is one of my favorites. And then there is “Initiation into Oblivion,” the shortest song, which is patient and eerie in the extreme. It is quiet, sweet poison in your ears, leaving completely vulnerable for the next track, “Meth Mansion Murders.” This album is a house of horrors in an unstable dimension. Recommended.

Squirm Beyond The Mortal Realm is out now in digital, and it is on vinyl through Me Saco Un Ojo Records, there is a CD from Memento Mori, plus a cassette version is provided by Headsplit Records. You can have it any way you want it.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://morbific.bandcamp.com/album/squirm-beyond-the-mortal-realm

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

Me Saco Un Ojo Records, https://www.mesacounojo.com/

Headsplit Records, https://headsplitrecords.storenvy.com/

Memento Mori, http://memento-mori.es/store.php

© Wayne Edwards

Morbific, Squirm Beyond The Mortal Realm (Memento Mori 2022)

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)

Fleshrot, Unburied Corpse (Me Saco Un Ojo 2022)

Texas’ own Fleshrot present their inaugural album, Unburied Corpse.

The death metal scene in Texas is flourishing these days. Fleshrot is a relatively new band from Lubbock, having released a demo and a split (with Phantasmagore) in 2020. Out now with their first full-length album, they play an intense style of death metal that carries a monstrous weight with it.

There are seven songs on the new album. Let’s take a quick sniff at each one. The opener is “Wrapped In Entrails,” and the doom influences are writ large in this terra stomper. “Intricate Dissection” is short and to the point, with croaking, growling vocals and a persistent guitar thrust you have to dodge or else it’ll get you right in the face. “Draining The Liquified Remains” is the grimmest of doom in the opening bars. About a minute in, it takes off on a rampage of death metal. The lead guitar sounds like a warning siren, and the doom returns toward the end to consume whatever is left.

In the title track, Fleshrot hits the high speed button and scorches the earth ahead of a marching army of metal that tromps through land thereafter. “Post Burial Extractions” is a song that forms a coalition to raise the dead through the application of death metal toward a specific goal. This is my favorite on the album. It is the ideal combination of dark mystery, death metal, and doom.

“In Filth and Pain” is another short one, and it tips the velocity scales then it beats a wretched path toward the pit. “Haunted Visions of Sick Depravities” is the perfect bookend to the saga begun by the opening track. Fleshrot is only getting going but they are already on the road to the land of Texas legends. Listen to the album and see if you agree. Recommended.

Unburied Corpse is out on August 1st through Desert Wasteland Productions in the US and Me Saco Un Ojo Records in Europe.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://mesacounojo.bandcamp.com/album/unburied-corpse-2

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

Desert Wastelands Productions, https://desertwastelands.com/

Me Saco Un Ojo Records, https://www.mesacounojo.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Fleshrot, Unburied Corpse (Me Saco Un Ojo 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)

Mortiferum ~ Hyperdontia, Split 7 (Carbonized Records 2020)

The whole is greater than the sum of the parts with the new Doom split by Mortiferum and Hyperdontia.

This split release was meant to be a companion EP for a tour the two bands were going to do together in 2020. We all know what happened to every tour this year. Still, the split exists and is being released now at the end of the year as a sort of prelude to the tour that will happen as soon as live music rises from its temporary grave.

One side is Mortiferum, a Washington state Death Metal band that made big waves with their album Disgorged From Psychotic Depths last year. Playing to the Doom side of the field, they contribute “Abhorrent Genesis,” a lurker drenched in cemetery fog. The beautiful distortion and foreboding riffs slowly squeeze the life out of you for a minute and a half or so until the tempo lurches forward and escape is clearly no longer possible. The low register vocals are a surrounding force and the noticeable lead guitar work is a defining characteristic of the band.

Mortiferum

Another side is Hyperdontia, whose members come from Turkey and Denmark. Their first full-length appeared in 2018, Nexus Of Teeth, and they have issued a bevy of EPs and singles as well in the past few years. The Doom lives in the ever-present background of “Punctured Soul,” encircling the Black and Death Metal centerpieces in a dark cloak. The music is aggressive and understandable; the sentiments and intentions, joinable. Whirring guitar work and determined drumming are interspersing agents in the caustic dankness of the music. It is a whetstone for your imagination.

Hyperdontia

Available now at the links below, this seven inch will definitely get you into the appropriate headspace for the holidays. Recommended.

Mortiferum band photo by Carter Murdoch.

Links.

Mortiferum, http://mortiferum.bandcamp.com

Hyperdontia Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/hyperdontia

Hyperdontia Bandcamp, http://hyperdontiaofficial.bandcamp.com

Carbonized Bandcamp, http://www.carbonizedrecords.bandcamp.com

Me Saco Un Ojo, http://www.mesacounojo.com

Me Saco Un Ojo Bandcamp, http://www.mesacounojo.bandcamp.com

Mortiferum ~ Hyperdontia, Split 7 (Carbonized Records 2020)

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)