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.
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.
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.
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.