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)

Vorga, Striving Toward Oblivion (Transcending Obscurity 2022

The debut full-length album from Vorga arrives to smash the glistening bubble of astronomical mediocrity.

Vorga is a black metal band centered in Germany. Taking inspiration from the stars more than from the depths of the earth, the music they create is expansive and awe-striking. It is an atypical approach for black metal, and it really works. They previously released an EP titled Radiant Gloom in 2019, and a single, “Cataract Mind,” the following year. The band is Atlas (guitar), Jervas (drums), and Спейса (vocals, bass).

The eight tracks on Striving Toward Oblivion are absolutely all black metal, often grueling and pummeling. And yet there is welcome variety in the music throughout. “Starless Sky” is best described as relentless. It holds you down and screams at your for five minutes. “Comet,” on the other hand, has a great sense of adventure in its melody and rhythm. It is more engaging than punishing. “Disgust” is penance for past crimes, and “Stars My Destination” shines in its elevated self. I wonder what Alfred Bester would think of the song.

Black metal in space turns out to be a rich vein to mine. “Last Transmission” is an industrious song that has a potential for broad appeal. “Fool’s Paradise” is very catchy in the initial hooks – it could be a radio song, almost. It is one of my favorites on the album and it has stayed with me after the album was done. Indeed, the farther in you go with this album, the longer you stay with it, the deeper you understand it and the more you begin to inhabit the space it describes. Do not stop after the first song or two. You have to hear the entire thing. Recommended.

Striving Toward Oblivion is out tomorrow, February 4th, through Transcending Obscurity Records.

Links.

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

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

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

Vorga, Striving Toward Oblivion (Transcending Obscurity 2022

Abyssus, Death Revival (Transcending Obscurity 2022)

Greek death metal band Abyssus starts their tenth year with a full-length addition to their canon, Death Revival.

The new album might be only the second long-player from Athens-based Abyssus, but that statistic is misleading because they have released a great deal of music in the past decade. In fact, there are so many splits and EPs it is hard to keep track of them all. The band did release a compilation in 2016 called Once Entombed… that collects some of the earliest work they did, and that helps fans and collectors keep up. The best way to get started if you are new to Abyssus is to listen to their new album, Death Revival.

The music is a sort of thrash-inspired death metal. The new album hosts seven ravaging tracks that walk the line and, at times, crash right over it. Once you hear the album, you are going to want to go back and listen to more. The band is Konstantinos Analytis (vocals), Panos Gkourmpaliotis (guitar), Konstantinos Ragiadakos (bass), Jan Westermann (drums), and Chris Liakos (guitar).

“Metal Of Death” begins with a gentle rainstorm then comes crashing in hard and fast enough to give you a nose bleed. It is very much a thrash track with the riffs and lead breaks to match, and heavy vocals that turns it toward the world of death metal. Other songs are structured this way as well, but then you have divergences like “The Beast Within,” that strike a heavy groove and pair it with peppering blast beats.

I have a particular affection for “The Witch,” the shortest song of the set, for its sinister vibrancy, and for the closer, “When Wolves Are Out To Hunt,” which is the longest track. That final piece is dramatic, cinematic, and thoroughly rousing in every metal particular. Listening to it is an experience. Seek this album out – it is most excellent. Highly recommended.

Death Revival lurches to life today, Friday, January 21st, through Transcending Obscurity Records.

Links.

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

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/Abyssus666

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

Abyssus, Death Revival (Transcending Obscurity 2022)

Transcending Obscurity 2022 Label Sampler (2022)

Here it is, the official preview of the upcoming year in heavy music from Transcending Obscurity Records: the 2022 label sampler.

An independent record label headquartered in India, Transcending Obscurity has been quietly growing in catalogue and international reach since its inception in 2005. Now, albums from them routinely hit the top ten annual lists in every heavy music corner of the world. If you are a regular reader of this column then you know a lot about them already because I write about TO all the time as they have been one of my favorite records labels for many years. I reviewed twenty-five of their albums last year for Flying Fiddlesticks – more than any other, nudging out even Ripple Music in the stats.

Hit the links below to see the full contributor list. Bandcamp is the easiest route and that is the place to pick up the collection itself for free. To give you some idea of how it all breaks down, here is the categorization provided by the label for what is included in the sampler: Tracks 1-12 – death metal; Tracks 13-15 – black metal; Tracks 16-30 – dissonant/ brutal/ atmospheric/ experimental death metal; Tracks 30-33 – grindcore; Tracks 34-35 – doom/ sludge metal.

You can tell the music is tilted in the death metal direction, but whatever persuasion of heavy music fan you are, there is a metric ton of music here to enjoy. There are many familiar names on the roster – Wombbath, Lurk, Veilburner, Replicant, Imperlialist – and many more I know less about that I can’t wait to hear. The sampler is massive, and it is free.

You cannot go wrong with Transcending Obscurity. I have been an avid follower of the label for a good long while and I never miss an album they put out because I know the quality is going to be there. Count on reading about many of the records as they come out this year and, meanwhile, grab the sampler and hear what you are in for. And if you like merch, you cannot do better than the product line Transcending Obscurity offers. Highly recommended.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://transcendingobscurity.bandcamp.com/album/label-sampler-2022

US Store, https://transcendingobscurity.aisamerch.com/

Main Website, https://tometal.com/

Transcending Obscurity 2022 Label Sampler (2022)

Necrophagous, In Chaos Ascend (Transcending Obscurity 2022)

The debut album from Swedish death metal band Necrophagous tells terrifying tales with blast beats, growls, and tsunamic guitar riffs.

The band is comprised of Visceral Bleeding and Entrails members Tommy Carlsson (vocals, guitar), Jocke Svensson (bass), and Martin Michaelsson (drums). The music they have created for In Chaos Ascend embraces the baseline assumptions of the accepted death metal canon and then bends and folds fresh new ideas into the primordial maavu. The result is consistently impressive and revealing.

There are ten tracks on the new album, plus an intro segment. The seal is broken by “Order Of The Lion,” and the hammers swing meaty on this one. A consistent pattern of heaving hitting, groovy riffs and rambunctious percussion continues as you traverse the shadows and shifting landscape, all the while serenaded by gruff, coarse singing.

The title track is a stand-out for its consciousness-clearing shifts and juts. The rambler steady-on riff is a faithful raft on a raging river. “Blood On The Stone Of Thee Monuments” also captured my imagination. The bass lines are a big part of all the songs on the album and the bass really eats your lunch here. And then there is “The Plague And The Arts” which is a shocking affair that will stand for no nonsense. It shakes your pockets empty.

The closer is “Wreaker Of Pain,” a clandestine apothecary of metal abundance. It bellows and howls in a magnificent statement that declares Necrophagous a band to be reckoned with in any discussion of heavy music in 2022. This album is a great way for death metal fans to kick off the new year. Recommended.

In Chaos Ascend is out through Transcending Obscurity Records on Friday, January 7th. Check out the label’s US on-line store or Bandcamp for the goods.

Links.

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

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/necrophagous.sweden/

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

Necrophagous, In Chaos Ascend (Transcending Obscurity 2022)

Wombbath, Agma (Transcending Obscurity 2021)

Thirty years in, Swedish death metal band Wombbath create an amazing new album that is one of the best they have ever released: Agma.

Wombbath started in 1990 and released the first EP of the band’s canon in 1992, Several Shapes. Having gained experience and popularity in the initial run through 1995, the musicians took a break for a couple of decades. Reforming in 2014, the band has been on a tear ever since, producing four long-players and five splits since, not including the new album. The writing is stronger and more inventive than ever, and Wombbath has positioned itself as a pivotal player in the international heavy music scene. The band includes founding member Håkan Stuvemark (guitar) with Jonny Pettersson (guitar and vocals), Thomas von Wachenfeldt (guitar and violin), Jon Rudin (drums), and Matt Davidson (bass).

Agma is a double album with sixteen tracks. The baseline is old school death metal, and you hear that in every track. In addition, most are augmented with surprising additions and twists that deepen the metal experience. For example, “At The Giant’s Feet” has unexpected high-pitch harmony vocals that drop from the sky and startle you. This song is followed by a string of punishing death metal songs, and then you hear “Blindly They Follow” with its soaring vocal pairing to go along with the blast beats and ravaging guitars. “Breathe In the Flames” rolls out at hyper-speed and also has a beautiful violin segment. The album is a sprawling forest of wonder.

Songs that stand out for me include “Misantropi Och Förakt” for its explosive moments and “The Age Of Death” for the sheer unlikeliness of its construction – elements work together that I would never have thought to join up. “In Decay They All Shall Fester” is another one that achieves unity by combining seemingly disparate constituents. The list of strand-outs could be a lot longer. Indeed, Agma might just be my favorite Wombbath album. Highly recommended.

Agma is out today through Transcending Obscurity Records. Check out the links below to see the stunning variety of merch, variants, and bundles that are available for this release. Transcending Obscurity is unmatched on this front – they always have incredible options for collectors.

Band painting by Benny Moberg.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://wombbathdeath.bandcamp.com/album/agma-death-metal

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

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

FFMB review of Tales Of Madness, https://flyingfiddlesticks.com/2020/12/18/wombbath-tales-of-madness-transcending-obscurity-2020/

Wombbath, Agma (Transcending Obscurity 2021)