Blackened Death Metal

Unflesh – Inhumation Review

Unflesh – Inhumation Review

“Unlike the New Hampshire trio’s debut Savior, which ranks among my earliest Bandcamp purchases, Inhumation flows like hot blood through open veins. Where the debut rode through a chaotic blizzard of technicality, Inhumation builds upon an ensemble of tight, catchy riffs, blackened leads and throbbing bass counterpoint. Drama drips from the walls of this cathedral of melodic tech-death. Excess has been excised from the exercise, exhibiting only that which enhances the experience.” All hail the Unflesh.

Stortregn – Impermanence Review

Stortregn – Impermanence Review

“Every year it seems that in the midst of all the doom, sludge and black metal clogging up my arteries, I find that one album of fast, technical, brutal sci-fi themed metal that I can’t stop listening to. Recent output by Xoth, Æpoch, Beast of Nod and the mighty Archspire have flayed my face meat and chilled my soul with surgical guitars and the unknowable horrors of the cosmos. In 2018 I discovered Swiss band Stortregn through their fantastic third full-length Emptiness Fills the Void. Despite its title, the album absolutely burst at the seams with blackened, thrashy tech death glory that never sacrificed melody for brutality. The cold, dark vacuum of space sounded thrilling in their capable hands. Three years later, Stortregn has moved from the diverse roster of Non Serviam Records to tech death specialists The Artisan Era for their fourth LP Impermanence.” In space no one can hear you fanboy.

Malice Divine – Malice Divine Review

Malice Divine – Malice Divine Review

Malice Divine is the brainchild of classically-trained Toronto musician Ric Galvez. The self-titled record finds Galvez handling the entire creative process and all of the performances with the exception of the drums. Known primarily as a lead guitarist in the Toronto scene, Galvez was excited about the opportunity to indulge in a solo project. But old habits die hard, and Malice Divine glistens like a guitar fan’s wet dream. Galvez combines the melodic blackened death sounds of Necrophobic and Dissection with the emotive soloing and progressive song structures of Death and the technical majesty of Wintersun.” Malice in Meloblackland.

Suffering Hour – The Cyclic Reckoning Review

Suffering Hour – The Cyclic Reckoning Review

“The dreaded sophomore slump is always a concern after a band bursts out of the blocks with a stellar debut. Expectation and pressure mounts, at least from a fan perspective. In the case of the mysterious Suffering Hour, 2017’s debut LP, In Passing Ascension, created a deserved underground buzz and well and truly placed Suffering Hour on the map as a band to keep a close eye on. With just the intervening Dwell EP in 2019, Suffering Hour took their time in fine tuning and honing their signature sound in preparation of unleashing The Cyclic Reckoning.” Vicious cyclic.

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.

Proscription – Conduit Review

Proscription – Conduit Review

“Terry “Christbutcher” Clark sports an impressive discography through a number of Finnish groups of all creeds: brutal blackened death explorers Excommunion, deathmongers Dethroned, OSDM purveyors Cryptborn, and most notably to me, black/death teeth-kickers Maveth. His first release since Excommunion‘s 2017 release Thronosis, he’s back in black under a new pharmaceutical-sounding project: Proscription.” Doctor’s command!

Idolatria – Tetrabestiarchy Review

Idolatria – Tetrabestiarchy Review

“Being a black metal fan entails crankiness. It seems there are more critics and black metal TSA waiting in the wings than any other metal subgenre, just lurking, waiting to hit each new album with a slap of humility – some of it deserved, some of it not. No one’s ever happy, as no release will be raw enough, noisy enough, unlistenable enough, “they have a Facebook and a Bandcamp and don’t exclusively sell cassettes, are you fucking kidding me.”” The fine line between hate and kvlt hate.

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.

Dkharmakhaoz – Proclamation ov the Black Suns Review

Dkharmakhaoz – Proclamation ov the Black Suns Review

“Industrial black metal has not boded well in 2020, with groups like American snoozers T.O.M.B. and Dutch painmongers Ulveblod earning some of the lowest ratings I’ve awarded during my tenure. Dkharmakhaoz‘s Proclamation ov the Black Suns, blessedly, is extremely well-written and densely punishing second-wave foray into atmospherics that never neglects its highlights.” Black sunshine.