Blood Harvest Records

Coffin Rot – A Monument to the Dead Review

Coffin Rot – A Monument to the Dead Review

“This is death metal from Portland, Oregon. I could probably stop there and you would still know whether or not you’ll love this album. That city is absolutely dominating the genre this year, and we should probably just add a “Portland Metal” tag to Wordpress as that domination extends beyond the bounds of death metal. You’re probably getting tired of me blabbing about how great the Weird City’s output has been this year, but I could comfortably fill half of my year end list if forced to choose only from records released by Portland bands. And so, I will continue to drink from the fountain until it runs dry.” The weird travel on.

Noctambulist – Atmospheres of Desolation Review

Noctambulist – Atmospheres of Desolation Review

“No, Noctambulist do not sound like Blood Incantation, Sulphur Aeon, Immolation, or Gorguts. Or at least, they don’t sound more like Immolation or Gorguts than Ulcerate do. How the press kit missed Noctambulist’s most prominent and obvious influence—not to mention one of a much higher profile than either of the more modern bands mentioned—might never be known. Did Ulcerate become uncool? I doubt it on the grounds that (1) Noctambulist like them enough to try to sound almost exactly like them, and more importantly, (2) that I, as the sole arbiter of brutality both here and in the universe at large, am the only force with the power to decide if and when Ulcerate could ever become uncool.” Kronos knows.

Zealot Cult – Spiritual Sickness Review

Zealot Cult – Spiritual Sickness Review

“One major player in the field were my countrymen Pestilence, particularly with their sophomore album Consuming Impulse. Until they stopped doing what they did best anyway. Then-vocalist Martin Van Drunen, with his anguished, slavering cries put the band on the map, his style often imitated but never transcended. Now, another imitator has arisen from the fields of Ireland by the name of Zealot Cult. Can they do justice to their idols, or will idolatry lead to naught but broken effigies?” Join up.

Witch King – Voice of the Ossuary Review

Witch King – Voice of the Ossuary Review

I remember when the term “blackened death metal” meant your standard meat-and-potatoes death metal seasoned with just the right selection of herbs, spices, and daemonic ash rubbed in to give it that extra zing. “The term meant brutality in spades, blasts upon blasts bombarding you like an overzealous kid during dodgeball at a standard Phys. Ed. class, and growls that dragged you into the bowels of Hell, sucking your soul as you sit there and smile as life ebbs from your very pores. Nowadays, though? “Blackened death metal,” more often than not, encapsulates anything from the above scenario to bells, whistles, choirs, sweep-picked arpeggios, and a kitchen sink or two. Thankfully, Rhode Island’s Witch King brought it back to basics with their debut full-length, Voice of the Ossuary.” Blackened witchery.

Maligner – Attraction to Annihilation Review

Maligner – Attraction to Annihilation Review

“While the cliché has been beaten into the dust, came again, and was beaten further until it returned unto the dust, let me use it just one more time: death-thrash is like pizza – even when it’s not great, it’s still good. This little corner of the metalverse has given me the two things I crave when listening to metal – riffs and energy – in spades, clubs, hearts, and diamonds.” Comes with ER included!

Abythic – Beneath Ancient Portals Review

Abythic – Beneath Ancient Portals Review

“I will award no prizes for guessing what kind of music Abythic play. A name like that is tell-tale enough, and releasing their debut on Sweden’s Blood Harvest, a label perhaps best-known for their work with bands like Impetuous RitualTriumvir Foul, and Tomb Mold, doubles down on any preconceptions you might have. The order of the day is doomy, dirty death metal, an ever-welcome houseguest at the home of Kronos. Keep your coat on and track mud all over the place, I don’t give a shit so long as you brought riffs to the potluck and are prepared to serve them. Judgment comes after the meal.” Filth buffet.

Vahrzaw – Husk Review

Vahrzaw – Husk Review

“Being jaded sucks. What once brought you joy now feels like eating soggy bread, and life itself begins to feel like one big 2.5/5.0. Australian trio Vahrzaw seem well aware of this feeling. In their promo blurb for third full-length Husk, the group claims they ‘have really had enough of the bullshit associated with producing albums, and even EPs. Thus, Husk will likely be the band’s final recording.’ Having never made an album myself, I don’t know of what ‘bullshit’ they speak, but I do know it’s probably easy to be frustrated when you’ve been playing blasty, blackened death metal since 1992 and still barely have over a thousand likes on Facebook.” Blasty blackened death wins few popularity contests.

Inisans – Transition Review

Inisans – Transition Review

“They say good things comes to those who wait. I’m not sure who “they” are in this situation – You? The silent cabal of shadow and influence puppeting our every step? The burger people? – but “they” are certainly shooting too low. If my band devoted nine years of blood, spit, and shit to a debut release, good wouldn’t be good enough. Thusly, we enter Transition. Dissatisfaction courses through the ranks of AMG’s death metal connoisseurs; a recent dearth of quality old school death metal offers Inisans a chance to catch their eye. It’s up to the Swedes to snatch the brass ring.” The mob demands death.

Oculus – The Apostate of Light Review

Oculus – The Apostate of Light Review

“Everyone has a unique reviewing method when it comes to writing about an album. Sometimes, the words come to me almost immediately, whether in praise or in condemnation. Other times, finding the right words or comparisons takes a while. In other words, I went back-and-forth with where to go with this review of The Apostate of Light, the debut album by Euro-American black metal collective, Oculus.” Word-defying black metal.

Contaminated – Final Man Review

Contaminated – Final Man Review

“Glance at the cover art for this grotesque slab of stripped-back brutality and immediately you get an insight into the album’s grimy and barbaric death metal aesthetic, unleashed in all its fury in what is likely to be one of the most gruesome releases of 2017. Crafted by the hands of Aussie underground scene veterans, Contaminated live up to their chosen moniker with uncomfortable ease and while the album has some issues and certainly isn’t for the faint-hearted, it’s a hell of a punishing ride.” Clean the Toilet ov Death.