Morbid Evils, Supernaturals (Transcending Obscurity 2022)

Morbid Evils unleash a quadrangle of doom on their third long-player, Supernaturals.

Doom trio Morbid Evils began in Finland in 2014, and released their first full-length album the very next year, In Hate with the Burning World. Next there was a split and a live album, record number two hit the streets in 2017, Deceases. After this massive flurry of recorded activity, the studio went quiet for a lustrum. The silence is now broken with what might be the band’s most accomplished work to date, Supernaturals. The musicians are Keijo Niinimaa (vocals, guitars, bass), Jarno Virkki (drums), and Tuomas Varila (guitar).

There are four huge tracks on the new album, averaging about ten minutes each. First up: “Fearless.” The song begins with loud, low drones, distortion, and funeral doom riffs. The vocals are titanic howls, and a guitar line follows along with them for added emphasis. Three minutes in, the pace snaps to a heavy groove and the vocals clarify slightly. A dangerous heaviness continues to abide. These movements trade off to the finish. With “Anxious,” there is a similar set-up, but it is not as dreary. Still brutally heavy, the beast has lifted its head and now sways it like a pained metronome. The slowest moments are deeply haunting; the lead work, revelatory.

“Tormented” opens side two. At less than nine minutes, it is the shortest song in the set, and it has a notably different vitality compared to the ones that have come before. More aggressively hopeless, the lead guitar line breaks into chaos alongside the vocals at midway, then the song resets for the long slope toward the finish. The final song is “Supernatural,” and it is oppressively bleak. With a segment of good death metal chops followed by dark tonal passages and a resolution in devolved hopelessness, this track is the one where the deal is sealed. Supernaturals is an exceptional doom album that will live in my queue for the foreseeable future. Recommended.

Supernaturals is out on August 19th through Transcending Obscurity Records. Look to Bandcamp or the label’s website for the usual wide variety of versions and merch – Transcending Obscurity really is one of the absolute best record labels for collectors in terms of the extensive variety of products they offer.

Links.

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

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

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

© Wayne Edwards

Morbid Evils, Supernaturals (Transcending Obscurity 2022)

Abaddon Incarnate, The Wretched Sermon (Transcending Obscurity 2022)

Irish grindcore band Abaddon Incarnate release their sixth album, The Wretched Sermon.

Abaddon Incarnate started out in the early nineties, and even before that under a different name. They broke ground with black metal and death metal, evolving over time toward the grindcore side of the field. It has been eight years since their last long-player, Pessimist, and fans are more than ready for new music. The band is Steve Maher (vocals, guitar), Bill Whelan (guitar), Irene Siragusa (bass), and Olan Parkinson (drums).

There are thirteen tracks on the new album, mostly in the short and savage territory. To wit, “Rising Of The Lights,” which opens the show. It is bewilderingly aggressive at the jump, with screeching vocals and positively pummeling percussion. “Veritas,” at seventy-seven seconds, is even more to the point. It is amazing how much the musicians can pack into to such a compact delivery vessel, from the squealing guitar instantiations to the insistent pulsing bass, the music is designed to disrupt.

With so many short, fast, loud songs, you might worry they’ll all run together, but they absolutely don’t. “Gateways,” one of my top picks from the album, has a killer lead break and a dire, eerie atmosphere unique to it – no other track on the album sounds like it at all. “Parasite” breaks sour and twists you up while “Into The Maelstrom” is a slight of hand behind a dark veil that raises a sense of terror throughout. Great song. “Resurrected From A Mass Grave” has a delightfully caustic groove.

The brevity works to advantage, overall – get in, do it, get out. “Isolation And Decay” is a long piece that stands apart because of its size and, more importantly, due to its unique construction. The song contains a few movements and pace shifts, although the intent itself never dissipates even when the sounds move from valley to mountain to sea. The last word is “Silent Indifference,” and it takes the set out on a howl. Killer track.

If you haven’t heard Abaddon Incarnate yet, it is time to get with it. Start here, because this album will shake you up. Recommended.

The Wretched Sermon is out on Friday, August 5th through Transcending Obscurity Records. Touch the links below.

Links.

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

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

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

© Wayne Edwards

Abaddon Incarnate, The Wretched Sermon (Transcending Obscurity 2022)

Ernia, How To Deal With Life And Fail (Transcending Obscurity 2022)

Spanish grindcore band Ernia release their second album, How To Deal With Life And Fail.

Formed initially from a couple of the members of Wormed, Ernia is a blasting grindcore band from Logroño, Spain that appears to value variegation, and perhaps chaos, in their musical compositions. Mainlining death metal into the grind framework and then cracking it in every direction has worked out for them. Following up on their self-titled debut (2016/18), How To Deal With Life And Fail might just be the ticket they are looking for because it is a major accomplishment. The band is Omar I. Sanchez (vocals), Gabrial Valcazar (drums, bass), Daniel Espinosa (guitar), and Daniel Valcazar (guitar).

There are thirteen tracks on the new album, all save one running under three minutes. “Farewell Sputnik” begins with a tinkle and a scream before moving on to flat out belligerence. “Q,” up next, has a very punk feel to it, and it goes out on a thrashing ravager ramp. Very nice. “Room Full Of Paper Cranes” is like a car that didn’t pass a state safety inspection going at a high velocity on a rough road until it breaks apart, with a nice little bass romp in the middle.

By now your senses are becoming a little frayed and you are only six minutes in. Suddenly, “Frustration Theory” brings the doom, and then “The Deer Chaser” pops it up for a while, making sure to slip in multiple chops and hacks. “Dharma” is a devastating deathpunk piece. “A Mute Florist” is a chainsaw in a beehive. It is one outlandish expression after another. The final song is the epic “Ikigai,” twice as long as any other on the album. It is surprisingly somber and sad in its first half, then otherwise after.

I am not sure what I expected from this album, but it definitely delivered – which makes little sense because I didn’t know what I was looking for. But there you have it. Recommended.

How To Deal With Life And Fail is out on Friday, July 22nd through Transcending Obscurity Records.

Links.

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

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

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

© Wayne Edwards

Ernia, How To Deal With Life And Fail (Transcending Obscurity 2022)

Defect Designer, Neanderthal (Transcending Obscurity 2022)

Free-form death metal band Defect Designer hoe their own row on Neanderthal.

Constructed in Norway and endorsed by Diskord, Defect Designer is a death metal band that does not closely monitor is sub-genre status. Elements of grind, punk, and hardcore exist and come and go as the musical river rages by filled with objects both blunt and sharp. The band has two previous long-players, Wax (2009) and Ageing Accelerator (2015), and the new one is a tight EP loaded with accelerant. The musicians are Eyvind W. Axelsen (bass), Simen Kandola (drums), Dmitry Sukhinin (vocals, guitar, bass), and Martin Storm-Olsen (vocals, guitar).

The album begins in chaos with the one-minute title track. Growling, howling, beating, and shoving – savage knuckle-dragging punk. Tasty.

“Wrinkles” is a little more linear, in a way. It maintains the ragged power of the opener but it is followable. There is a compelling guitar line walking alongside the vocals in the second stanza and a taunting bridge that is a pure delight. The warbling stays mostly near the rails, and there is a Misfits-like playfulness that surfaces in the second half. “Trolls” then is a beating taken stretched out on a rack. The tension is relaxed and increased in a cycle that is unpredictable.

“Luddites” goes toward the land of doom and the hollow of prog, but it doesn’t actually wander over those borders. The music at first seems straight-forward but soon it reveals itself not to be. It is my favorite track. “Vlad” and “Pigsty” have a comradery in excess. The former is a dead run of brutal badgering while the latter takes a break to go to a jazz lunge for a pop before heading out into the night at the end.

“Time, Forward” shuts the door with an embedded identity of contained plethora. The press release was right about the “maniacal fervour” of this music. It exists in loosely described borders where “rules” is not a concept that is entertained seriously. It is hard, loud, and fast. Recommended.

Neanderthal is out on Friday, July 8th through Transcending Obscurity Records. Examine the options at the links below.

Links.

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

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/defectdesigner1

Defect Designer website, https://www.defect-designer.com/

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

© Wayne Edwards

Defect Designer, Neanderthal (Transcending Obscurity 2022)

Paganizer, Beyond The Macabre (Transcending Obscurity 2022)

Beyond The Macabre is the twelfth studio album from the death metal menace that is Paganizer.

From its earliest days, Paganizer has been a welcome presence in the death metal world. The music is always filled with hooks and crushing riffs, dizzying pace and unstoppable percussion. Every new album is an event, and the latest is no exception. Founder Rogga Johansson (vocals, guitar) and long-time regular Matte Fiebig (drums) are joined by Kjetil Lynghaug (guitar) and Martin Klasén (bass) who have played on the last couple of albums.

Beyond The Macabre takes its cues from the band’s history and wraps itself in classic forms of Swedish death metal. As with recent albums, there are many melodic elements but no one would call this music melodic death metal. It is heavy and charging throughout, and the hooks and melodies that are in play make the music memorable while never taking away from its power. The guitar work is exemplary and Rogga sounds great, as always.

There are no low patches to be found on this album, and it gets off to a vigorous start by focusing on the band’s strengths with “Down The Path Of Decay.” Other tracks that stood out for me are “Raving Rhymes Of Rot” for laying on the extra heavy and “You Are What You Devour” for its plain speaking declarations.

I have been a Paganizer fan all along. For me the new album maintains the accessibility of recent work by the band and holds the death metal line fast. I will be spinning this one a lot in the coming weeks. Recommended.

Beyond The Macabre is out on Friday, June 24th through Transcending Obscurity Records. As always, there is a great collection of variants and merch available to go along with the music.

Links.

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

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

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

© Wayne Edwards

Paganizer, Beyond The Macabre (Transcending Obscurity 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)

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)

As The World Dies, Agonist (Transcending Obscurity 2022)

UK death metallers release their debut album, Agonist.

As The World Dies came together very recently, formed by members of the bands Memoriam and Pemphigoid. They play a brand of heavy metal that will smash you senseless with its integration of classic elements and contemporaneous existentialism. This new album is riveting. The musicians are Jay Price (vocals), Ash Cotterill (guitars, vocals), Bill Richmond (bass), Chris McGrath (drums), and Scott Fairfax (guitar).

“Annulment” cracks the egg with a splendid swelling approach that warms the engines for the first full-on assault. Second is “Desolate,” and it is a paint peeler that strips your selfness away. The death metal cataclysm pulls back now and then to give you a minute to assess the damage but not long enough to really do anything about it. I don’t know if “Dawn Of Terror” is meant to strike fear in your heart with its opening bars, but it certainly is ominous. The vocals are similar to the previous track but – you can hear the similarity – somehow here they are eerier.

“Red Death” allows an understanding wall of doom explain to you from the start what the situation is going. Melodic in a way, it is also as heavy as the boulders of the Titans and it works an effective tempo shift into the set. Bringing forth “The Tempest” at this juncture is the perfect selection because the groundwork has been laid for fear and drama. This one could be my favorite track, but it does have strong competition.

With this record, you never can fully anticipate what will be next. You get into a place where you are ready for it based on the music you have already heard, but each new track has a critical menace you didn’t know you would hear. The bitter end is the band’s namesake, “As The World Dies.” If you are going to name a song after yourself, you need to step it up a notch. Think about the bands that have done that successfully – it is a harrowing list. This time it definitely works. The growling vocals and crushing guitars on display here will easily stand the test of time.

The debut album from As The World Dies is an exceptional introduction for a band with a promising future. It is death metal with a doom influence and a confident, steady attitude. This album is an early 2022 winner. Highly recommended.

Agonist appears on Friday, March 25th from Transcending Obscurity Records. Check out the label’s US store website or Bandcamp at the links below to see all the variants and merch available.

Links.

As The World Dies website, https://www.astheworlddies.co.uk/

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

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

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

© Wayne Edwards. All rights reserved.

As The World Dies, Agonist (Transcending Obscurity 2022)

Godless Truth, Godless Truth (Transcending Obscurity 2022)

Godless Truth hits back hard after an extended hiatus with a new, self-titled album.

The five-piece death metal band from Czechia is the latest incarnation of a group that has a long history. With roots in the mid-nineties, and through schisms and a pause here and there, the band has produced four previous albums, an EP, and several splits. The music is a stunning form of death metal that stands well apart from the pack. The band is Petr Švancara (guitar), Ondřej Černobila (guitar), Jakub Grunt (bass), Petr Mikeš (drums), and Adam B. Sychrow (vocals). There are many notable guest musicians as well, including Rafael Trujillo, Joe Haley, Petr Angelo Čuka, Peter Gábor, and Matt Delirious.

The record contains two short, connective tissue pieces and eight primary tracks. “The Decision” is surrounded on both sides by the short tracks, and it is bestial. The signs do point toward technical death metal, but, more specifically, the guitar work in the second half is a crushing sort of prog. It is the kind of thing you might expect from, say, Vai, if he were to write death metal music. It zips you right up.

“Scissors” continues the slanted view and the ground does indeed tilt beneath you while you listen. Alternating vocal styles swirl depth into the landscape and menace your understanding of the reality that surrounds you. The speed of the percussion is difficult to comprehend. This song gets all over you, and so does the next one, “Breathe Fire,” and the one after that, and so on. Don’t expect to have any adrenaline left in the tank when the music stops.

“Bred In Greed” is one of my favorite tracks – the opening rhythm kills. And the closer, too, “Wake Up To Obey,” has staying power. I could listen to these guitars all day, and the songwriting keeps fresh images rolling over your ears for the duration. High marks all around. Recommended.

Godless Truth comes out on Friday, March 4th through Transcending Obscurity Records.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://godlesstruth.bandcamp.com/album/godless-truth

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

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

Godless Truth, Godless Truth (Transcending Obscurity 2022)

The Last Of Lucy, Moksha (Transcending Obscurity 2022)

California Death Metal band The Last Of Lucy focus on the core of their music with the new album, Moksha.

The Last Of Lucy has been around for about fifteen years. Centered in Southern California, the band first released two EPs, Euphoric Obsession in 2010 and Exalted Compositions in 2014. Ashvattha came out in 2017, and it was the band’s inaugural full-length record. The earliest music the band produced is reported as mathcore, and more recently it is said to have transitioned toward technical death metal. On Moksha, the sound is even more stripped down and raw, showing off the fundamental inclinations of The Last Of Lucy. The musicians are Josh De La Sol (vocals), Brandon Ian Millan (drums), Gad Gidon (guitar, bass), and Christian Mansfield (guitar).

There are ten songs on the new album, and they are generally on the short side, notably briefer than you often see in death metal music – half the tracks are less than three minutes long. The brevity does not diminish the impact of the music and might even make it more powerful.

The title track gets things started with an excess of the raging aggression of merciless technical death metal in the instantiation of attacking guitar, vocals, and rhythm. The respite in “Agni” lasts mere seconds, and the dual vocals are back with growls and hisses; the guitars stab again. Mild intros and outros become regular throughout the set, bookending sinister emanations.

This music gets all over you fast, and you just have to let it rampage because there is no real respite. “Covenant” had particular resonance with me and I played that track several times. “Parasomnia,” too – but it was the oppressive heaviness of it that appealed to me so much more than the technical acumen. Whatever aspect you might fixate on, you cannot miss the excellence of this metal. Recommended.

Moksha is out on Friday, February 18th through Transcending Obscurity Records.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://thelastoflucyband.bandcamp.com/album/moksha-technical-death-metal

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

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

The Last Of Lucy, Moksha (Transcending Obscurity 2022)