Blackened Death

Goatwhore – Angels Hung from the Arches of Heaven Review

Goatwhore – Angels Hung from the Arches of Heaven Review

Goatwhore is an institution, and in 2022 celebrate their 25th anniversary, fittingly capping the occasion with their first album since 2017’s solid, if safe, Vengeful Ascension. During a recent binge-to-end-all-Goatwhore-binges, alongside several of my esteemed colleagues, I gained a renewed appreciation of what a consistently kick-arse and reliable outfit the NOLA legends have been over the years. Despite honing a well-worn thrash/black/death formula, each Goatwhore album possesses skillful tweaks, creating distinctive album-to-album character.” Rocking the Goat.

An Abstract Illusion – Woe Review

An Abstract Illusion – Woe Review

“As the title might suggest, Woe is a record packed with bleak soundscapes and drenched in misery. Sprawled across almost an hour of beautiful depression, An Abstract Illusion’s latest work feels like a single flowing composition, rather than the seven tracks it’s presented as. Heavier and channeling a more blackened and atmospheric edge into the progressive death metal of its predecessor, there is a swirling sense of barely controlled chaos that lies just beneath the surface of Woe.” Woe to we.

Into the Obscure: Sacriphyx – The Western Front

Into the Obscure: Sacriphyx – The Western Front

“We all have our dirty metal secrets that we selfishly keep to ourselves, only sharing with a select few close to us. Or alternatively, we incessantly talk up underground gems and spread the gospel to anyone that will listen, as we cherish our slice of underground cred. Into the Obscure aims to right the wrongs and unearth the artists/albums that for whatever unjust reason didn’t get the exposure, appreciation or credit they sorely deserved the first time round.” War is Hell.

Sarpa – Solivagus Review

Sarpa – Solivagus Review

“The promo blurb had promised me that Sarpa, although rooted in the black metal aesthetic, incorporates a lot of other elements, including some Afro/Latin rhythms! Have I got a blackened Sepultura on my hands or a misguided attempt to make world-music black metal?” Kitchen sink-core.

Unmerciful – Wrath Encompassed Review

Unmerciful – Wrath Encompassed Review

“It’s evident from the outset that Unmerciful pull no punches. Wrath Encompassed is a ferociously brutal affair, featuring top notch musicianship, relentless pacing and raw boned aggression. Traces of Origin and Suffocation infiltrate the band’s hardened exterior, while occasional beams of blackened energy ripple through the maelstrom. Purely on execution and commitment to the cause, Unmerciful succeed in their mission of bludgeoning the listener with tightly performed, endlessly aggressive brutal death, featuring an impressive technical bent.” No mercy.

Maeskyyrn – Interlude Review

Maeskyyrn – Interlude Review

“I normally dislike interludes intensely – the recent, very good Tool album, for example, I recreated as a playlist minus the four interludes because they annoyed the crap out of me. So an album called Interlude, with three tracks actually titled “Interlude,” plus an “Introduction” and final track “The End,” put me somewhat on edge. Despite having really liked the advance tracks for Maeskyyrn’s Interlude, I was expecting to have to report that here is yet another really promising album ruined by bloat and plinky … well, interludes.” Interludes, man.

Corrosive – Nourished by Blood Review

Corrosive – Nourished by Blood Review

“The wider death metal scene has been on a roll, particularly with 2018’s remarkably chockablock selection of superb albums. With the stakes raised and the scene heavily crowded, jostling for attention from the often time poor but insatiably hungry hordes of death metal fans, is no doubt going to prove increasingly difficult. Corrosive aren’t in the least bit interested in reinventing the wheel.” Drowning in death.

Obliteration – Cenotaph Obscure Review

Obliteration – Cenotaph Obscure Review

Obliteration hail from Norway and boast an esteemed pedigree, garnering loads of underground cred and respect. Unfortunately I hadn’t heard of the band until recently and still have much catching up to do. But after listening to 2013’s Black Death Horizon I was impressed with their style. And with a name like Obliteration I expect some goddamn punishing, murky, blood and pus filled death. And in this regard, Obliteration certainly don’t disappoint.” Blood and pus for all.

Suffering Hour – In Passing Ascension Review

Suffering Hour – In Passing Ascension Review

“Certain labels are championing the exciting and ugly new breed of death metal bands, led by Dark Descent and Blood Harvest Records, taking the dense and claustrophobic bent of classic Incantation and the Florida death metal scene, while adding blackened, experimental or progressive elements. The latter label is handling the anticipated debut LP from rising Minneapolis crew Suffering Hour, entitled In Passing Ascension.” Good labels find good bands.

Verment – Death’s Domain EP Review

Verment – Death’s Domain EP Review

“Despite the general misconception from non-metal folk that our beloved art form is a one-dimensional game, in reality metal in 2016 is as wide-ranging as it’s ever been, offering a bevy of stylistic riches and impressive diversity in both the cultural and genre stakes. Death metal itself has morphed and mutated from its rank beginnings into a myriad of sub-genre offshoots to appease extreme tastes of all kinds.” At the metal buffet, would you find room for Verment on your plate?