20 Buck Spin

Hulder – Verses in Oath Review

Hulder – Verses in Oath Review

“Originally from Belgium but now firmly ensconced in the Pacific Northwest of the US, one-woman black metal project Hulder caused some ripples with debut LP, Godslastering: Hymns of a Forlorn Peasantry, in 2021. Steeped in dark medieval themes and even darker folklore, it channeled both an almost second wave black metal harshness and a folk edge to create a unique sound. Although a little rough around the edges, it promised much for the future.” The future is NOW!

Vastum – Inward to Gethsemane Review

Vastum – Inward to Gethsemane Review

“San Francisco’s Vastum have been an interesting act to follow since they hit the scene in 2011. Employing an especially moist, slimy cavern-core sound owing much to Incantation, Autopsy, and Funebrarum, their savage attack was hard to resist on ace offerings like Patricidal Lust and Hole Below. With current and former members of Hammers of Misfortune, Acephalix, and Ulthar involved, they crafted some unsettling, evil-sounding shit and their writing felt more interesting than the average death output. 2019s Orificial Purge felt like a comedown in quality and inventiveness, though it was still an enjoyable platter of mostly mid-paced death. Now comes Inward to Gethsemane and with it, a hope for a rebound to the vile magic of their earlier days.” Is ugly enough?

Gravesend – Gowanus Death Stomp Review

Gravesend – Gowanus Death Stomp Review

Gravesend’s 2021 full-length debut, Method of Human Disposal, hit me like an unexpected brick between the eyes. So shocking was that concussive impact, in fact, that I was a bit dazed and later had to revisit the album to adjust the score. Upwards. To a 4.0. The New York City trio’s brand of blackened grind exuded such an aura of debauched filth that it almost matched the tales of decay and depravity woven by the lyrics. While grind is not my natural go-to genre, this, apparently, is what I want from it. Whether that says more about me or Gravesend, I don’t know but the latter certainly have issues that they may want to explore with a professional. Now back with that tricky sophomore record, has two years away helped these NYC denizens?” Dirty water death dawgs.

VoidCeremony – Threads of Unknowing Review

VoidCeremony – Threads of Unknowing Review

“The ghost of Kronos past summarized on the previous word count abusing outing Entropic Reflections Continuum: Dimensional Unravel that “the parts are all there, but they’re not strung together in a sensible way.” So the real question for VoidCeremony is what’s changed? Certainly, it’s not the adherence to the progressive death metal laid out by our forefathers of late Death, Domination-era Morbid Angel, or Pestilence—though the production here is spacious yet modern, but the sound is as dusty and indulgent as you would assume.” When you noodle into the void…

Kommand – Death Age Review

Kommand – Death Age Review

“Los Angeles band Kommand is the aural equivalent of a steak knife to the neck; when so many death metal bands are trying to become more and more complex, these guys are doing more with less. Death Age is the band’s sophomore full-length, and by clocking in at a trim 26 minutes, it’s meant to be enjoyed like a swift stab wound.” Death Kommands you.

Majesties – Vast Reaches Unclaimed Review

Majesties – Vast Reaches Unclaimed Review

“Tanner Anderson, Carl Skildum and Matthew Kirkwood unofficially formed Majesties in 2016 with melodic death metal in mind and Gothenburg, Sweden in their hearts. It wasn’t until 2022, however, that their debut album, Vast Reaches Unclaimed, coalesced to present a classic conundrum for conscientious music reviewers: how do we talk about a really good pastiche?” Majesty and decay.

Ulthar – Helionomicon Review

Ulthar – Helionomicon Review

“I’ve written already about Ulthar and their ambitious attempt to overturn norms by releasing 2 separate but related albums concurrently. Anthronomicon offers a death metal tour de force, bending surprisingly sophisticated songwriting and exemplary riffs into an oppressive but imaginative album. Helionomicon, however, goes even further. It’s described on its one sheet as a “psycho-cerebral spectacle,” indicating its grand designs and contemplative approach. And all of this across just two 20-minute tracks.” A-lotonomicom.

Ulthar – Anthronomicon Review

Ulthar – Anthronomicon Review

Ulthar represent one of the strongest ascents in death metal that I can think of. Their debut was a sloppy and unrefined affair but their sophomore was a precise, punishing powerhouse. Many modern metal bands operate on a 3-year album cycle with Ulthar’s announcement of a new record in 2023 not being particularly surprising. What was surprising, however, was that they announced two albums. Not a double album; rather, two concurrent releases following an apparent overflow of creativity during the last couple of years. While this sounds like a recipe for an uninspired disaster, their immense quality on the last record meant I withheld pre-judgment. First, Anthronomicon.” Double the pressure.