Dark Descent Records

Ensnared – Inimicus Generis Humani Review

Ensnared – Inimicus Generis Humani Review

“When I can’t write I fix bikes. I’ll drag some junker back from the salvage store and a month later somebody else is riding it to work. Sure, there are material benefits to this hobby; I make some beer money, I have some parts lying around for when my own commuters break down. But Craigslist ads and old man Metal Guy aren’t footing my rent bill. I do these things so that I can create something. I can see something through from start to finish, where I decide and care for and understand of every part of the final product.” Death is the finisher.

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.

Blood Incantation – Hidden History of the Human Race Review

Blood Incantation – Hidden History of the Human Race Review

“Blood Incantation‘s 2016 debut, Starspawn, catapulted the sci-fi loving Denver crew into underground stardom. The album’s ambitious fusion of progressive and psychedelic elements into a beefy old school death core was incredibly well executed, smartly written, and addictive to boot, marking Blood Incantation as kindred spirits with legends Morbid Angel and Demilich, along with modern trailblazers like Horrendous. Some three years later Blood Incantation‘s sophomore LP comes with a magnitude of hype and anticipation. Bottom line, Blood Incantation are considered a big fucking deal.” Mars needs metal.

Sempiternal Dusk – Cenotaph of Defectuous Creation Review

Sempiternal Dusk – Cenotaph of Defectuous Creation Review

“Two weeks ago, I drooled words all over Nightfell‘s latest release and hinted in a footnote that drummer Tim Call might soon be making another appearance. Well, I’m not a liar (how do you know that I’m not lying when I say that I’m not a liar, hmm?) so today we’ll be dealing with another of Call’s Portland based projects, Sempiternal Dusk.” Lies, death and videotape.

Crypt Sermon – The Ruins of Fading Light Review

Crypt Sermon – The Ruins of Fading Light Review

Crypt Sermon came out of nowhere with their 2015 Out of the Garden debut, stunning metaldom with an unusually mature take on doom in the Candlemass vein. The high level of songwriting and top-notch performances earned them a lot of attention in a hurry, and before the band knew it, they were an overnight doom sensation, getting asked to play numerous festivals and having their name mentioned in the same breath as more established doom acts. 2019 brings them to the crucible of the dreaded sophomore release, which has made and unmade many a band over the years.” Ominous omens.

Imprecation – Damnatio Ad Bestias Review

Imprecation – Damnatio Ad Bestias Review

“Join me, dear reader, as I travel back through the mists of time to that forgotten era known as the early 90s, when all you needed to form a death metal band was a healthy love of Satan and the letters A-T-I-O-N. Yes, back when Bart Simpson’s puckish irreverence first caused prudish parents to clutch their pearls. Back before some of the writers on this site were yet saddled with existence, but well after Steel Druhm had received his first pension check. While Tampa Bay and New York became hotbeds for the burgeoning death metal scene, Imprecation coalesced in the relative obscurity of Missouri City, TX.” Olde as death.

Solstice – White Horse Hill [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

Solstice – White Horse Hill [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

“I love to hear music from bands that faded away decades ago, only to come back with renewed fury. Satan, anyone? Sorcerer? The list goes on, and now we can add Solstice to it. Stylistically similar to Sorcerer and Khemmis, these venerable Brits put out a couple of albums in the 1990s before disappearing from the scene, only to reappear in 2013 with a comeback EP, Death’s Crown Is Victory. Immaculately recorded and arranged, the four songs presented were top-notch epic doom. And now, five years after that—and a full twenty after their last full-length—Solstice present us with White Horse Hill, and it is glorious.” Won’t you ride their White Horse?

Third Storm – The Grand Manifestation Review

Third Storm – The Grand Manifestation Review

“Despite originally forming in 1986, The Grand Manifestation is the first full-length offering from Swedish five-piece Third Storm. After just two years and a handful of shows, Third Storm’s original line-up disbanded. It was not until 2014 that founding member, Heval Bozarslan, gathered a new band around him, releasing the Taritiya Me EP a year later. “Despite its Mayhem-inspired cover and the howling winds and distant siren that open the EP, it is not a black metal offering. Some promising-sounding death groove is short-lived and gives way to medium-paced, funeral doom, which dominates most of the 25-minute runtime. Which Third Stormwould be on display on The Grand Manifestation—the anticipated black metal, the groove-laden death that made a brief cameo or the sludgy doom that predominated?” Precious metals sampler.

Devouring Star – The Arteries of Heresy Review

Devouring Star – The Arteries of Heresy Review

“Weight or atmosphere; it’s black metal’s proxy war for form vs. function. Atmosphere is paramount for Finland’s Devouring Star, but the weight inherent in The Arteries of Heresy may be more important. Debut Through Heart and Lung caught my eye in 2015 with heavy-handed dissonance and the makings of something great but in need of a refined approach to the jolly cooperation between atmospheric ethos and riff-mongering showmanship. The Arteries of Heresy steps out of the darkness to fulfill that promise.” Heavy feelz.

Vanhelgd – Deimos Sanktuarium Review

Vanhelgd – Deimos Sanktuarium Review

“October is here! In one all-too-short month, we receive Halloween, fall colors, pumpkin spice everything, and a veritable smorgasbord of quality metal releases. My first October release comes courtesy of Vanhelgd with their fifth LP, Deimos Sanktuarium. To get a good baseline for the band, I decided to take a stroll down Vanhelgd‘s back catalog. What I beheld was doom-laden but familiar Swedish death metal á la At the Gates. I am a fan of Swedeath, but Vanheldg‘s more established contemporaries haven’t won me over as of late.” Pumpkins, goblins and Swedeath.