So to pick up from my (last post). I’d like to share some sights and sounds from some radical shows that happened here in the Bay over the course of this Summer.
Review source Equivoke
Prepare for a grotesque and bestial assault from the darkest bowels of Chile. The Sun of Moloch has risen to cast its searing rays upon us all.
Wrathprayer engulfs listeners in the scorching fumes of ripping, gritty riffs and an ominous, archaic atmosphere. Beginning with a to-be-expected dark occult intro to set the atmosphere (paired with a similar outro) the cruel nature of this album is slowly revealed. It becomes sluggish and dissonant before tumbling into chaotic swelling riffs with distant, cavernous vocals and storming percussive barrages.
Its a smooth balance between death and black metal that revels in the old path, maintaining a depraved and sour tone one would expect and at the same time satisfyingly revitalizing it.
And this is generally how The Sun of Moloch feels throughout the 40 minutes you’ll be enduring. Baneful, filthy and swirling in it’s blasphemous tone. The record is spilling over with a ritualistic heat which incorporates the Incantation structure well with touches of Portal-esque writhing. Eerie sampling of discordant strings, screams, chants and moans with ambient rumbling accents some tracks like “The Darkest Fyre” and “From the Depths of the Phlegethon” sliding up the cult factor a few notches.
Once again the twisted minds behind Impetuous Ritual and Portal, through their heinous Death/Doom Metal project Grave Upheaval, unleash more crawling chaos in this split with Manticore; who also contribute to their own seasoned catalogue of filthy death metal.
Probably the only thing that bothers me about Grave Upheaval (other than not having recorded a full length yet) is the fact that all their tracks are “untitled” which can make things a little confusing. A minor and insignificant complaint considering whenever they raise from their earthen tomb to project cold doom-infused death metal upon the underground community it is uncompromisingly destructive.
They contribute two tracks to this record, both of which I saw performed at Rites of Darkness III not long ago and both are suffocating, crushing and dirty as a smoker’s lungs. The production is slightly clearer on this compared to their split with Encoffination which to some might take away from their murky atmosphere but to me the riffs and groaning vocals are no less oppressive and lurching with a little more clarity in the mix.
The first track is a little shorter but the severely low tuning and creeping pace is such that it feels just as torturous as any ten minute doom track, hammering the listener with drawn out tremolo riffs as the moans crawl forward — drums flickering ominously with the sudden appearance of a gong. The pacing is set slightly faster by the drums as the riffs continue to weigh down with a single set of notes which continues right to the finish, so low and dirty.
Hooded Menace’s third album, “Effigies of Evil”, sees the band make another label move for a full-length release, this time from Profound Lore over to Relapse Records. In many ways the label moves are indicative of the strides the band has made as entities to themselves in the doom scene. While second album “Never Cross The Dead” came out just over two years ago, the Finnish duo of Lasse Pyykkö and Pekka Koskelo have not, in any way, been reclusive, releasing four splits with bands from Ilsa to Asphyx.
Review Source Equivoke Written by Sanakan
This is a split I’ve been hearing about while it was being formed since late last year from a few friends “in the know”, and I’ve been quite excited to hear how it turned out. Needless to say it’s phenomenal.
A split record of churning chaos containing two of Canada’s most talented, ferocious and hard working death metal acts couldn’t be anything less than utterly destructive. Antediluvian and Adversarial on their own have both made big impacts in the last few years so I guess it was only natural they would combine their efforts. While both bands play distinctly different styles of death metal their pairing feels natural. And because essentially each release they’ve worked on independently has been gold (with growth in each careful step) you shouldn’t be surprised once you unleash this to find it is no different in that regard.
Adversarial commits three wicked songs to their side. Two of the songs here (“Swirling Chaos that Swallows Horizons” and “Spiraling Towards the Ultimate End”) they’ve been playing live since ROD III, and I’ve heard them each time they’ve played a set since. Hearing them live in their more raw form it was undeniable that they were no less crushing than their work on “All Idols Fall Before The Hammer”, but now having the chance to listen to them full worked through and a little cleaned up their impact has risen greatly.
For those of you who were bitching about the snare on “All Idols…” there’s good news: the snare is far more tame here. Every other aspect of the percussion remains the same: intense, blazing fast and intimidating. It really does the job of amping up the guitar in the faster sections very well, trampling like a stampede of elephants. Adversarial continues to hone their unique style of awe-inspiring and tasteful technicality with restraint allowing it to feel far more orthodox than you would expect. Carlos is still a fucking beast: his ability to craft high velocity, smart and dissonant riffs that remain catchy and memorable is something more musicians in the modern death metal arena should take note of.
Relapse Records made a good decision when they decided to pick up on Serpentine Path, the death/doom outfit featuring current and former members of Electric Wizard, Unearthly Trance, Ramesses and The Howling Wind. Swiftly following up their EP from earlier in the year with this self-titled full-length, the band, as it turns out, are quite the gem. Despite only forming last year, the careers of their respective components mean that Serpentine Path have the excellence and precision of seasoned veterans. It’s all made clear by the diligent execution of this record.
This is wretched death doom done by the book. The coarse melancholy and despondency breed to create a harrowing tale of eventual misanthropy. The vocals of Ryan Lipynsky (The Howling Wind, Unearthly Trance) are dripping with vehement nihilism; it’s the sound of hopelessness, and coupled with the deathly trudge of the guitars, the cacophony constantly grows in intensity, and intense despair. While the riffs are generally slow and methodical in their pace, the drums keep things a little busier with punishing beats crashing in, all complemented by interesting and purposeful fills.
Written by Metaloath
I’m no good with catchy titles, so I’ll just cut straight to the chase: Plaguewidow is the best stuff I’ve heard for a very long time.
Plaguewidow’s self-titled EP released on Buriedinhell Records in February 2012 is available through plaguewidow.bandcamp.com. It offers death metal brutality beyond belief, and represents, in my opinion, one of the most sincere and hell-bent takes on extreme death metal I have heard in a long fucking time. Hal Rotter (Guitar), Danny Hynes (drums), and Marc Dickson (vocals) are, judged by the music they make, probably spawned by Satan, and sent to this earth in the sole purpose to lay all to waste, eardrum by eardrum, venue by venue.
If this band doesn’t make you seriously considering quit your job to worship death metal 24-7, you’re either unemployed or out of your goddamn mind. Or even worse: Not into metal.
The EP contains five songs and some intermezzo/ambience tracks. It’s all over in just over 15 minutes. By then, your pants are soiled and your mind is long ready to pitifully surrender due to constant death metal siege.
The tracks were recorded late 2011 at Mayhemeness Recording Studio, Sacramento, CA, US, and produced by the band themselves together with Robert Swanson who also did mixing and mastering. The result is a shock and awe experience that death metal potentially holds the power to create at its best.
I had the privilege of catching the tour here in Oakland and it was an incredible lineup. San Francisco local buzz band Apocryphon opened up the show, followed by the killer Mortuous, and Vastum rounded out the opening bands. This show could easily be the best death metal show to happen in the bay area this year. I was able to grab some videos for those who didn’t get a chance to check out the tour. I didn’t get a chance to catch Apocryphon this evening, but I exhumed some footage that I shot of them a few months back when my grindcore band played with them in SF. Here’s a collection of sounds and sights that I gathered.
This tour package and specifically this lineup: READ MORE…
They grow a lot of enjoyable things in Holland, but recently they started “growing metal”. Responsible for the harvest is Garden of Exile records, a mail order (or grow shop?) that imports metal, hardcore and grindcore vinyl from all over the world and sells it at reasonable prices. They’ve also released albums from Cobalt, Burst, Botch, Misery Index, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Cave in, Anaal Nathrakh, … on vinyl. We happen to like those bands and we happen to like small, underground labels and distros, so it’s time to get to know some of them! The Garden is up first!
Hey Tjeerd, could you tell us how Garden of Exile came to life?
That’s quite a long story actually. It started out when we were kids visiting hardcore and metal shows every weekend. First only inHolland, but later on throughoutEurope. We bought a lot of records ourselves at those shows. We started listening to music that was hard to get over here inEurope. So we started ordering directly from theUS. To make this affordable, we ordered some more copies for friends to save on postage and get wholesale rates. One thing led to the other and before we knew it, we had a couple of cases with CDs and some vinyl. We started attending shows to sell our stuff and that’s the moment it became a bit more serious. We both started writing reviews, doing interviews for several zines and got to know more and more people. We decided to spend the money we made with our distro on releasing music by bands we liked personally and music wise. At first we released 3 or 4 CDs but soon after we focused more and more on vinyl, since we both prefer vinyl and are collecting this since we were like 16 or so. It all started as a hobby, but it grew out of hand pretty fast! It’s not always easy, since we do this besides our normal daytime jobs. Besides some problems with shipping and all, things went pretty smooth and we are still trying the best we can.
If you don’t know, now you know: Brazil is full of gnarly bands, and one of them is named The Black Coffins. Last year, we reviewed their record entitled Burial Breed – peep the review HERE. Now The Black Coffins are at work on a full length called Dead Sky Sepulchre; we can’t give you a release date yet, but it will be out soon. In the meantime, we want to share with you a banging video produced, directed and edited by Bode Filmes and Beé Audiovisual , for their new song “Hate ’96 ” which you can peep after the jump! Also, we are streaming another sick tune off of Dead Sky Sepulchre called “Transition:Compulsory” below. We salute The Black Coffins for enlisting our homies Viral Graphics to illustrate the cover of their new album. Stay tuned for more details about this bone-breaking release in the near future!