Dark Descent Records

Qrixkuor – Poison Palinopsia

Qrixkuor – Poison Palinopsia

“I didn’t choose this. This album I had no intent to cover. But, thanks to a contract I signed under duress, swearing myself to temporary servitude under one green, be-grilled Kermit impersonator, I am here reviewing a random record of his choosing. Lo, here I be, with UK trio Qrixkuor (pronounced “Trix-are-for-kids,” I believe) and their debut opus Poison Palinopsia. Two tracks. Forty-eight minutes and change. This is going to be one weird, wild ride.” Death writ large.

Mannveira – Vitahringur Review

Mannveira – Vitahringur Review

“Let’s play a game. I write a word, you think of the first thing that comes to mind. Ready? Ok, good. First up: Holdeneye… Did you think, “4.0”? Well done. Next is a bit tougher: Anthrax… Did you think, “The worst of the Big Four”? You’re good at this! Last one: “Iceland.” If you didn’t immediately think “Cavernous, epic, dissonant black metal!” then you simply haven’t been coming to this site long enough. For a nation so tiny, Iceland consistently produces the best black metal in the world (although Norway and Poland are giving it a run for its money this year). More impressively, there is a distinct Icelandic “sound” that is immediately recognizable when you plug into it. So you can imagine my joy when a new Icelandic BM album dropped: Vitahringur (Lighthouse) by Mannveira.” Black ice melts slowly.

Anatomia – Corporeal Torment Review

Anatomia – Corporeal Torment Review

“I’ll spare you the history blurb masquerading as an intro paragraph: Anatomia is a Japanese death-doom band that’s been around for almost twenty years, you’ve probably heard them on a split with a band you like, and Corporeal Torment is their fourth full-length. Now that you’re all caught up, let’s admire the title’s accuracy for a moment. Corporeal Torment implies something physically oppressive, and that’s precisely what Anatomia seems to be going for here. That it can also be described as rancid and crushing would probably make these two Japanese dudes smile ear-to-ear, although smiling is not something their sound is whatsoever evocative of.” Pain is life.

Grave Miasma – Abyss of Wrathful Deities Review

Grave Miasma – Abyss of Wrathful Deities Review

“It scares me to say this but it’s been 5 entire years since the last Grave Miasma release. Almost everything in my life has changed since that point and I would like to think (perhaps naively) that I’m better now than I was then. I respected and enjoyed 2016’s Endless Pilgrimage which offered 30 minutes of brutal but atmospheric music across a mini-LP, but with only one prior full-length and a handful of EPs across nearly 20 years, does Abyss of Wrathful Deities find Grave Miasma able to make the same comment about themselves?” Malaise in the grave.

Undergang – Aldrig i livet Review

Undergang – Aldrig i livet Review

“Back in 2011 when Indhentet Af Døden dropped, Undergang got onto my radar because they were described as a mix of Obituary and Demilich, which is obviously a winning combination. I couldn’t wait to get my grubby mitts on that record, and when I did, they got even grubbier because Undergang plays filthy, sewer-dwelling death metal exclusively.” Septic mesh.

Invincible Force – Decomposed Sacramentum Review

Invincible Force – Decomposed Sacramentum Review

“What happens when an invincible force meets a purely lethal object? I’m not sure, but sit down, and I’ll tell you what happens when an Invincible Force meets a big, cuddly, soft-hearted metal reviewer who wouldn’t hurt a fly. Chile’s Invincible Force formed in 2007, and it should come as no surprise that, as a band that took their name from a Destruction track, they initially modeled their sound after the slightly blackened teutonic thrash sound of their heroes. After releasing a host of demos and splits, 2015’s debut full-length saw the band’s sound taking on a more violent approach that verged on death/thrash. Five years later, the promo materials for sophomore effort Decomposed Sacramentum reveal that the band is “leaving behind their early, more scholarly aspirations in favor of something far more sinister.” Force multiplier.

Gorephilia – In the Eye of Nothing Review

Gorephilia – In the Eye of Nothing Review

“In 2017 I covered Gorephilia‘s Severed Monolith and awarded the album a mixed score. While many disagreed, I couldn’t shake the notion that the gaps in the writing eclipsed the album’s better elements. Although I have found myself returning to Severed Monolith more than expected, I stand by my criticisms. Then, in 2018 vocalist Henri Emil Kuula sadly passed away. As is often the case, the band’s future seemed uncertain. Three years later and Gorephilia have returned with another platter of occult hemophagic horror.” Where the eyes live.

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!

Lantern – Dimensions Review

Lantern – Dimensions Review

“This review is obscenely late. Mostly because I’m trying to complete a PhD and not contract terminal stupidity from my Government. I’ve also been increasingly distracted by death metal’s performance this year. Without doubt, the genre’s legion of revenant revengers have clawed through the rot of 2020 and thrust a flayed face to the light. Lantern, who shone so pallid and putrid in 2017, are of particular note.” Late to the early grave.