Blood Harvest

Cryptic Shift – Visitations from Enceladus Review

Cryptic Shift – Visitations from Enceladus Review

“While I’ve traditionally identified as a basic black metal bitch, my listening habits of late have hovered firmly above death metal territory. The art of the Big Dumb Riff has held absolute command of my Spotify search bar, and it’s all thanks to the diversity the genre pool has spawned in over three decades of evolution. Just as I finish my most recent round of dick flattening at the hands of something as unflinchingly savage as Black Curse, I know I can hop to the opposite end of the technical axis to enjoy similarly aggressive highs in a fresh context. Cryptic Shift‘s debut is about as far from something like Black Curse as you can imagine on the caveman riff spectrum, but those same thrills are all here.” Up Shift’s creek.

Transcendence – Towards Obscurities Beyond Review

Transcendence – Towards Obscurities Beyond Review

“Riffs are really fucking important. It’s my job around here to write an additional seven hundred-ish words on top of “riffs good” or “riffs bad,” but when it comes to metal music, riffcraft is always my priority. It’s only when the riffs fail to stand out that first impressions require a deeper dig; if the “what” of the music fails to satisfy, perhaps the “why” can provide some solace. And that’s where California’s Transcendence vexes me.” Vex Arcana.

Zealot Cult – Spiritual Sickness Review

Zealot Cult – Spiritual Sickness Review

“One major player in the field were my countrymen Pestilence, particularly with their sophomore album Consuming Impulse. Until they stopped doing what they did best anyway. Then-vocalist Martin Van Drunen, with his anguished, slavering cries put the band on the map, his style often imitated but never transcended. Now, another imitator has arisen from the fields of Ireland by the name of Zealot Cult. Can they do justice to their idols, or will idolatry lead to naught but broken effigies?” Join up.

Abythic – Beneath Ancient Portals Review

Abythic – Beneath Ancient Portals Review

“I will award no prizes for guessing what kind of music Abythic play. A name like that is tell-tale enough, and releasing their debut on Sweden’s Blood Harvest, a label perhaps best-known for their work with bands like Impetuous RitualTriumvir Foul, and Tomb Mold, doubles down on any preconceptions you might have. The order of the day is doomy, dirty death metal, an ever-welcome houseguest at the home of Kronos. Keep your coat on and track mud all over the place, I don’t give a shit so long as you brought riffs to the potluck and are prepared to serve them. Judgment comes after the meal.” Filth buffet.

Tehom – The Merciless Light Review

Tehom – The Merciless Light Review

“According to a totally legit Wikipedia search, the word ‘tehom”‘ refers to the deep ocean which once existed and from which Biblical Creation began. The dark but somewhat aquatic artwork adorning the front of Tehom‘s The Merciless Light fits this story and these Swedes attempt to document these primordial times through the medium of blackened death metal.” Dead on the Dead Sea.

Shroud of the Heretic – Revelations in Alchemy Review

Shroud of the Heretic – Revelations in Alchemy Review

“”This band would absolutely crush live.” That’s pretty much what was running through my head constantly throughout the entirety of Revelations in Alchemy, the debut full-length from Portland, Oregon’s Shroud of the Heretic. Those scenic, picturesque sounds brought forth by fellow Portlandians Agalloch and Wolves in the Throne Room are nowhere to be found here. Instead of beauty and introspection, you get a sludgy, slimy atmosphere that will prove hard to wash off, even after repeated listens. The problem is, will you return for those repeated splashings?” Slimy sludge splashings are always hard to refuse. But should you pass on this particular muck?