Belphegor

Cambion – Conflagrate the Celestial Refugium Review

Cambion – Conflagrate the Celestial Refugium Review

“There’s a lot going on in death metal: there’s the swampy, smelly, drag-your-corpse through the mire old school sort; there’s the cosmic, existential, ponder-the-time-signatures-of-the-universe sort; there’s the thrown down, bro town, drag-your-grandma-through-the-pit sort; there’s the corpse riding, shriek gliding, casual-blasphemy-on-a-weekday kind. Then, there’s also death metal – the angry sort that starts angry and stays angry. Cambion’s gimmick is angriness and speed.” Spree-Cambion era.

Caedes Cruenta – Of Ritual Necrophagia and Mysterious Ghoul Cults Review

Caedes Cruenta – Of Ritual Necrophagia and Mysterious Ghoul Cults Review

“To be honest, I’m not entirely sure where the line between black metal and blackened death lies. There’re folks who are entirely justified for crying “DEATH” when you add some bass to the mix, but others will be completely in the right to scold them for hopping a little too hard. Since groups like Belphegor and Marduk have blurred the lines with their bottom-heavy yet grim AF aesthetics, it’s a horde of near or far-sighted folks blurring everything.” Ghouls night ovt.

Azarath – Saint Desecration Review

Azarath – Saint Desecration Review

“I want to do my best to respect the awe-inspiring Grymm. I inherited Azarath as he was too busy with other things to tackle it. I want to do him justice, to approach the Polish blackened death metal collective with the respect and professionalism due. I would mention that the act began as a side-project of Behemoth drummer Inferno and Armagedon guitarist Bart, currently featuring Embrional vocalist Skullripper and former Lost Soul guitarist Peter on bass. So, given the formidability of the members and the solid catalog ,b>Azarath has amassed, I want to treat 2020’s Saint Desecration with the privilege and honor it is owed.” Honor and desecration.

Theotoxin – Fragment: Erhabenheit Review

Theotoxin – Fragment: Erhabenheit Review

“There’s no question that the latest Cytotoxin absolutely destroys. Its powerful and vicious approach touches me right in my technical sweet spot, and as the year goes on, Nuklearth‘s bleak, post-apocalyptic world begins to seem more and more familiar as the coronavirus continues its assault upon our very cells. It’s getting easier everyday to believe Freddy’s old maxim, “God is dead.” But what has led to our having to walk alone down the open road of this godless endeavor? The answer escaped me until, during one of my daily swims through the promo sump, I happened upon an empty prescription bottle. “Theotoxin 5mg” the label read, and the patient’s name upon it? “God.” Prescription proscription.

Vassafor – To the Death Review

Vassafor – To the Death Review

“The band sport a Mitochondrion or Adversarial styled take on death/black metal with a thrashy assault-heavy relentlessness combined with eldritch melodies and passages of doomy ominousness. These New Zealanders laid it on thick with 2012’s double LP The Obsidian Codex, expertly balancing relentless blackened death with ritualistic atmosphere and dense doom to create an experience that felt far shorter than its immense hour-and-thirty-five-minute runtime suggested. Enter 2017’s Malediction, which wasn’t… that. While offering a “shorter” listen at fifty-four minutes, it never managed to truly escape the doomy drudgery and wallowed in uneventfulness for nearly an hour. Enter 2020’s To the Death.” Death be not quick.

Voltumna – Ciclope Review

Voltumna – Ciclope Review

“How convenient! An extreme metal record distributed by none other than Extreme Metal Music. Can’t get much more straightforward than that! The band is Voltumna, who I am sure every single person here has heard of before. The record is Ciclope. The time is now. The place is here. The reviewer is me. Time to crack open this cyclopic skull and see what lurks inside! Blackened death metal? Just what I wanted!” Extreme gifts.

Nihility – Thus Spoke the Antichrist Review

Nihility – Thus Spoke the Antichrist Review

“It’s been said that the scariest monsters are those which are vaguely familiar. From zombies to the shape-shifting alien in The Thing, it seems the best way to leave a sense of lasting fear in your audience is to take familiar traits and twist them into something grotesque and appalling. Metal (usually) isn’t designed to scare people, but the same basic principle applies. The new releases I enjoy the most are those which take recognizable features from other bands and morph them in their own unique way. Portuguese quintet Nihility are a great example of this. With their Thus Spoke the Antichrist debut, the group take the Behemoth and Belphegor influence promised in the promo blurb and mutate it with an injection of brutal death metal.” Familiar Hell.

Deiphago – I, the Devil Review

Deiphago – I, the Devil Review

“Pretense is a bitch. I’ve found myself being more and more cynical through the years about people who claim to be the best at what they do. From athletes and artists to people I interact with on a daily basis, I prefer action and art to speak for itself. Therefore, I found myself suspicious with Filipino blackened death metal three-piece Deiphago, who proclaim to be ‘arguably the most violent band on the planet, as well as one of the most envelope-pushing.'” Heavy is as heavy does.

Valkyrja – Throne Ablaze Review

Valkyrja – Throne Ablaze Review

Valkyrja is a Swedish black/death outfit intending to channel “violence, deprivation, and loathing through means of extraordinarily potent audio emissions.” There are a million different directions black/death can take, and fourth full-length Throne Ablaze revels in a groovy, thrashy style a la Vredehammer or Horizon Ablaze. While it is flawed, there’s a likable simplicity about these Swedes, as it feels that their music makes no pretense about being the most atmospheric, heavy, or “kvlt.” Shame of Thrones.