Mark Z.

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Necrobode – Sob o Feitiço do Necrobode Review

Necrobode – Sob o Feitiço do Necrobode Review

“While I’ve certainly found many that have piqued my interest, few do it the way Archgoat does it. Fortunately, Portuguese trio Necrobode apparently heard my prayers and answered them with their Sob o Feitiço do Necrobode debut. Unfortunately, while this certainly scratched an itch, they still have a ways to go before they usurp their primary influence.” Goat with a bullet.

Dzö-nga – Thunder in the Mountains Review

Dzö-nga – Thunder in the Mountains Review

“We all have those times where we look back and say to ourselves ‘what was I thinking?’ That’s kind of how I feel about reviewing Dzö-nga‘s second album, The Sachem’s Tales, back in 2017. Today, a folky atmospheric black metal album with classical influences seems so far out of my wheelhouse that it’s not even in the same hemisphere. Yet, I did enjoy my share of Agalloch and Cascadian black metal back in the day, and as such, I was able to appreciate Tales as an inspired and engrossing piece of woodsy black metal with intriguing Native American themes. Led by vocalist and guitarist Cryvas, this Boston project has now returned with another opus, this time based on H.W. Longfellow’s epic poem ‘The Song of Hiawatha.'” Spirits of nature.

Satan Worship – Teufelssprache Review

Satan Worship – Teufelssprache Review

“A good blackened thrash album is like coming home to your favorite armchair. You’ve had it for years, the material is soft and has long ago conformed to the exact contours of your buttocks, ensuring maximum comfort when you sit your ass down after a hard day’s work to watch whatever bullshit you can find on Netflix. Yet occasionally, an album will feel more like a chair you’ve owned too long. There’s potato chip crumbles stuck in the crevices. Stuffing is coming out of the edges. The recliner no longer works. It’s still a good reliable chair, but it doesn’t quite warm the heart as much as it once did.” Sofa worship.

Jordablod – The Cabinet of Numinous Song Review

Jordablod – The Cabinet of Numinous Song Review

“I’m largely not interested in traditional black metal anymore, but Pyre was something different, an album that eschewed the typical ‘atmospheric’ or ‘melodic’ trappings to conjure something truly unique. The music was vast, haunting, psychedelic, and emotional, with an atmosphere that feels more enthralling the more I reflect on it. The Cabinet of Numinous Song is the band’s second album, and in addition to plunging listeners back in the otherworld created by Pyre, it also serves as a terrific continuation of that sound.” Beyond the black.

Impiety – Versus All Gods Review

Impiety – Versus All Gods Review

“When it comes to sheer force, nothing compares to Impiety. Formed in 1990, this Singaporean quartet originally played fairly traditional black metal before transforming into a blakkened fukkin death monstrosity with 1999’s iconic Skullfucking Armageddon. Amidst a salvo of blast beats, staccato riffing, and livid vocals, that album began a musical warpath which has now continued for over two decades.” God fight!

Oath of Cruelty – Summary Execution at Dawn Review

Oath of Cruelty – Summary Execution at Dawn Review

Oath of Cruelty are a name I’ve been familiar with for a while even if their output thus far has been extremely limited. Formed in 2010, this Texas trio play a combination of death and thrash metal that first came to my attention with 2014’s lean and mean Hellish Decimation EP. Consisting of just two tracks, Decimation seemed to show Cruelty had a mastery of their style, with the EP’s five minute runtime being filled with absolutely fierce riffing and crunchy rhythmic breaks that made it impossible not to bang your head.” Obsessed by cruelty.

Hellsodomy – Morbid Cult Review

Hellsodomy – Morbid Cult Review

“I’m willing to bet Voidhanger‘s Working Class Misanthropy is a legal means of execution in some countries and Goatwhore‘s live performance remains the only thing that has caused me to piss my pants in my adult life. Hellsodomy don’t sound too much like those bands, but the raging energy this Turkish quartet exudes with their whirlwind of blakk, thrash, and death is enough to make me consider shoving their second album Morbid Cult right into the flabby folds of my Year End List.” Are you cultish?

Avslut – Tyranni Review

Avslut – Tyranni Review

“I don’t like black metal. Not in its traditional form, anyway. Give some blakkened fukkin thrash or blakkened fukkin death and I’ll bang my head till my skull cracks open, but usually traditional black metal just leaves me shrugging. Often the riffs feel secondary to the atmosphere and it’s telling that a band like Mgla could get as big as they did with a shtick that was essentially “we play black metal, but with riffs you actually care about.” Of course, there are always exceptions. Swedish quintet Avslut earned some acclaim on forums I frequent with their 2018 debut Deceptis, which I enjoyed for its ability to work clever riffing into a traditional black metal template.” Riff tiff.

Casket Huffer – Filth Ouroboros Review

Casket Huffer – Filth Ouroboros Review

Casket Huffer. There’s a name that begs the question “because why the fuck not?” Given their moniker, I originally expected this Wyoming quartet to produce noxious fumes of the bestial blackened death metal variety. And while there’s always room in the house of Z. for the Conquerors and Caveman Cults of the world, what Huffer have produced on their second album Filth Ouroboros is actually quite a bit different.” Smell the casket.

Necronomicon – Unus Review

Necronomicon – Unus Review

Necronomicon are death metal underdogs. Formed in 1988, this Canadian trio have been toiling in the underground for decades yet have never achieved widespread popularity. Admittedly, that’s somewhat understandable given their sound hasn’t always been the most innovative. My first encounter with them was “The Time Is Now” from 2010’s Return of the Witch, which (while a decent song) made the band sound like they were trying to copy Behemoth‘s The Apostasy.” Into the Unus.