Tag Archives: Black/Death Metal

Stockholm Giants Unanimated are Back From the Dead After 9 Years

On August 10, 2018 Stockholm legends, Unanimated released a new EP entitled “Annihilation.” When I discovered the mighty Unanimated were returning from their seemingly perpetual hibernation a wave of excitement poured over me.  Upon listening, it’s safe to say the Swedish blackened death metal foursome is reemerging from a nine year hiatus with a bludgeoning EP that was well worth the wait.

The release of “Annihilation” breaks the silence for this band in a huge way. Fortunately for fans of the band, Unanimated hasn’t deviated too much from the mid 90s tempo of “Ancient Gods of Evil.” In many ways, “Annihilation” is even heavier than their prior release, “In the Light of Darkness,” which was honestly nothing to sniff at either.

The EP opens with the barbarous intensity that’s beautifully tempered with complex melody. The speed of the blasts combined with the calculated dissonance of the riffs immediately draw in even the most jaded listeners. They don’t slow down from there either. The entire EP is a beautiful example of perfectly executed Swedish death metal.

Unanimated have taken to the newest movement in underground metal of not holding back or attempting to appeal to a larger audience by unleashing an onslaught of heaviness in true kvlt fashion upon their fans. They’ve held steadfast to the formula that worked for them in the 90s while continuing to remain relevant in the modern era. The riffs on this EP are simultaneously melodic and intense. “Annihilation”  is definitive of the sound Swedish metal fans are looking for in a release, and has enough momentum push Swedish death metal back into the underground spotlight with its hungry ferocity and technical prowess.

The main feeling I get from this EP is elation. If Unanimated can return after all these years with an EP of this caliber, what does the future hold for the band? It looks like good things are to come and, for that, Swedish death metal enthusiasts worldwide are eternally grateful.

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Five New Bands You Should Be Listening To This Year

5. Grotesque Ceremonium

Turkey isn’t exactly the first place you think of when it comes to extreme metal, but Grotesque Ceremonium is putting Turkey on the map.  A one man project out of Ankara, Grotesque Ceremonium play satanic old school death metal with a blackened edge and a listenable groove.  Think Abhoror but more easily palatable.  The band released their first full length album entitled Demonic Inquisition with the up and coming label Satanath Records last year and the album kicks ass beginning to end.  This is a band you need to familiarize yourself with immediately.

 

4.Limbsplitter

Anyone in the Cleveland area knows Limbsplitter isn’t exactly a new band. They’ve been touring and playing fests since 2013.  2017 is when they really started to take off though, releasing their first full length album, Chloroform Cocktail.  Aside from having the most brutal album cover in history and hilarious song titles (Drenched in Menstruation anyone) Limbsplitter brings in hard with their musicianship. This is brutal death metal with a grindy feel and even some thrash and technical elements.  They’ve been praised in Metal Injection and featured on a number of fests.  Sick shit here.

 

3. Contaminated

Slow doomy death metal anyone?  Seriously, Australia’s Contaminated blew me away with their debut album, Final Man.  I can’t stop listening. This is some of the heaviest shit I’ve ever heard.  Contaminated coalesces the suffocating thickness of doom metal with the intensity of old school death metal to create a dense and truly massive sound.  What really resonated with me was how convincingly 90’s their debut sounded.  Final Man may as well have come out alongside classics like Autopsy’s Severed Survival.  Truly old school and original; Contaminated’s sound is simply crushing.

2. Degotten

For the life of me I can’t figure out why there hasn’t more buzz in the underground metal community over Degotten’s debut Hexentrost.  This is indisputably masterful blackened thrash with a power metal edge. With a sound that’s both colossal and dark, Chili’s Degotten are proverbial thrash metal warriors heading off to battle, six string axe in hand.  This album is thrash metal perfection, complete with cool riffs and shredding solos, but what sets Degotten apart from others in the black/thrash genre is the nod to classic heavy metal and their melodic undertones.  Original as can be, Hexentrost is a must have for 2017.

 

1. Cemetery Winds

I find it fascinating that such a perfect debut has managed to remain shrouded in obscurity, virtually uncovered by popular extreme metal music media. Cemetery Winds is a Finnish one man black/death project (at least I believe they are a one man project because J. Lukka is the band’s only listed active member).  Their style is melodic on an enthralling level while remaining unequivocally Scandanavian death metal.  The band’s debut, Unholy Ascentions, was released in February of this year.  What sets Cemetery Winds’ sound apart is that instead of drawing on black metal’s rawer elements, as has been the most recent trend in BM of the 2010’s, they follow the old horde and draw on the more melodic elements of the genre.  They achieve this while maintaining their originality and not falling victim to At the Gates worship. Unholy Ascensions is every bit as intense as any gritty Australian death metal band with the ambience of the most memorable Swedish black metal. This is truly incredible stuff.

Adversarial- Death, Endless Nothing, and the Black Knife of Nihilism

adversaria;

I’ve taken an incredibly long time to comment on this, but Adversarial’s September release has integrated itself perfectly into 2016 without being forgotten, so better late than never. Death, Endless, Nothing, and the Black Knife of Nihilism not only qualifies for the longest of the epically long albums titles of 2015, it also has been revered on many top ten lists for 2015, and for good reason. Adversarial perfects that murky, North American sound with muddy production, muted, throaty growls, and blast beats at the forefront. Adversarial’s drummer, E. K. is really the stand out performer on the LP. The fact that the drums so pronounced in addition with the precision that they are played, only adds this album’s genius progression.

Death, Endless…begins with a fast paced, feature type track entitled “Dissenting the Waking Shell” and immediately hooks you with catchy, head bang inducing, technical slop. And yes, all the song titles are a tad pseudo-intellectual, but in an endearing way. Interestingly, the following track is the intro played like one with feedback buzz and tribal sounding drums. Strangely, despite how much I enjoyed the Dissenting the Waking Shell, the album started after this for me.

The album progresses with an amplifying, warring hum through Immersion Void Paragon, and Enoik Spiritual Warfare but reaches catharsis after the interlude with Cursed Blades Cast upon the Slavescum of Christ, which is an absolutely schizophrenic five-minute long expedition. Let’s also take note of how brilliantly anti-Christian that song title is. Ingeniously, the album slows down after that with the emotional, doom-y atmosphere on Old Ruins Slumber in a Crushing Hatred of Man. Of course, Adversarial doesn’t stay here for the remainder of the album. The title track slays as hard as the opening track. Adversarial is that band you can bring up next time you’re talking about how *insert underground band here’s* first album is classic with your uber kvlt friends. Thankfully, the celebration in the underground is well deserved.

9/10

https://darkdescentrecords.bandcamp.com/album/death-endless-nothing-and-the-black-knife-of-nihilism

Belphegor|Conjuring the Dead

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 It has been three long and cold years since Austria’s Belphegor has graced us with their legendary hateful sounds.  Lineup changes have interfered with Belphegore’s ability to record, but being ever resourceful, they’ve unleashed their ninth album to date on August 8th, 2014.  With Helmuth on vocals, “Conjuring the Dead”, takes on a more pronounced death metal feel than the band’s other releases.

Being a black metal elitist type, I found myself longing for the classic and frigid sounds of Blutsabbath or even the hate-filled screams of Bondage Goat Zombie, particularly in the beginning of the album.  That, however, could have been a personal preference.  “Conjuring the Dead” is solid, well produced, death metal release–a force to be reckoned with–bearing all of the ferocity of prior releases.

The album really starts to pick up around the fifth track–”Black Winged Torment”–with dissonant riffing and melodic undertones.  This trend continues to spread throughout the release like a malignant tumor, reaching a high point in the track “Lucifer, Take Her”, a particularly dramatic track, a prototypical Belphegor song, that accentuates all elements of the true Belphegor we’ve grown to love over the years. They end the album eerily, with the foreboding and slower track, “Pactum in Aeturnum”.

Overall, “Conjuring the Dead” is a solid release, even if it’s not truly representative of Belphegor’s career.  This release may get lost in the mix in comparison to the colder and more intense prior releases.  Even though “Conjuring the Dead” may not stand out as one of Belphegor’s more memorable albums, it will not disappoint fans. But listen for yourself.  Below is the official music video for Conjuring the Dead (some of the most evil shit I’ve seen in the past month).  Happy Listening.  Hails!

Blood Coven

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Since I started this blog, I have wanted to do a tribute to Cleveland metal. Being a Cleveland native myself, I am no stranger to the greatness that is Cleveland’s music scene, despite its being the home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The first Cleveland band I will pay homage to is the ruthless, Black/Death metal act Blood Coven.

Formed in 1993 by Dann Saladin, Blood Coven is a force to be reckoned with, terrorizing Cleveland with brutal live performances and intense new releases. Despite forming in ’93 the band only has three full length releases to date, Ashes of Autumn Burning, Battle Cult Empire and 2012’s Of Blood and Battle. The newest full length album seems to be re-mastered versions of earlier tracks compiled onto one merciless and beautifully crafted LP. The band maintains it’s distinctive sound, never watering down their unique blend of Black and Death metal for the mainstream masses. What sets Blood Coven apart form so many other Black/Death acts is their range in vocals (from shrieks to growls) and stunningly melodic, clean soloing.

While so many bands have forgotten the art of soloing, Blood Coven celebrates it, featuring a beautifully rendered solo on every track. The guitars range from melodic unmuted tones to heavy distortion and in true Black/Death adulation, the lyrics are heavily Anti-Christian. Tracks like Ashes of an Autumn Burning, An Angel’s Rage and Bloodwrath, grip the listener into a dark world of unadulterated pain, to no protestation.

The band has suffered a slew of lineup changes over the years and is currently looking for a rhythm guitarist. I am confident, however, that Blood Coven will find a guitarist soon. Until then, I welcome you into the bowels of Hell itself with Blood Coven. Happy Listening! Hails!

http://www.myspace.com/bloodcovenband