Death Metal

The Plague – Within Death Review

The Plague – Within Death Review

“I’m not exactly sure why, but I’ve been spinning Black Breath‘s Sentenced to Life a lot recently. Maybe it was the epic face-kicking that I received from the recent Enforced release, but something made me seek out even more crossover bludgeonry by which to flagellate myself. Sentenced to Life saw the Seattle band blending crossover thrash with the rumbling HM-2 Swedish death metal of Entombed and Dismember, and the results were pretty glorious, earning the coveted 5.0 from my predecessor in unbridled optimism, Happy Metal Guy himself. Well, between this preparation and my recent Entombed kick following the passing of L.G. Petrov, I was primed to reach for the next buzzsaw promo I found. It sounds distasteful to say at a time like this, but bring on The Plague!” Get down with it.

Becerus – Homo Homini Brutus Review

Becerus – Homo Homini Brutus Review

“Cavemen have become popular again, and this time they’re not trying to sell you insurance. No, a wave of bands are doing something I appreciate and embracing the simpler elements of death metal. Bands like Frozen Soul, Sanguisugabogg, Celestial Sanctuary, and Gutless are associated with our cave-dwelling ancestors and they have one important thing in common: big, dumb riffs. What type of big dumb riffs? Mortician ones.” Welcome to Club Dead.

Helslave – From the Sulphur Depths Review

Helslave – From the Sulphur Depths Review

“When life is kicking you in the arse, death is a comforting antidote. Death metal of course, I’m not that fucking morbid. My prior experience with Italy’s Helslave is minimal, however, I’ve caught up on the Italian worshippers of Swedish death in whetting my appetite for their latest platter of old school splatter. After compiling an impressive slab of ’90s inspired melodic death on debut LP, An Endless Path, Helslave channeled some old timey Stockholm goodness on 2017’s Divination EP. Returning after an extended recording gap, Helslave continue channeling the classic, buzzsawing Swedeath brand on From the Sulphur Depths.” Tastes like burning.

Plasmodium – Towers of Silence Review

Plasmodium – Towers of Silence Review

Plasmodium is described by Metal Archives as “psychedelic black/death metal,” and that is definitely appropriate. Formed in 2016, the Melbourne, Australia, sextet features veteran blood, particularly drummer Matt “Skitz” Sanders of Damaged fame, and Aretstikapha of Mazikeen. Releasing Entheognosis in 2016 to underground interest, it introduced this highly atmospheric breed that doesn’t quite land in death metal or black metal, but somehow fills the dead air between. Featuring blackened vocals and drumming, sophomore effort Towers of Silence features some of the strangest soundscapes of 2021 thanks to its deranged string attack and cosmic ambiance.” Enjoy for silence.

Malformity – Monumental Ruin Review

Malformity – Monumental Ruin Review

Malformity have been lurking around the American death metal scene since 1991, dropping their first demo in 95. It took them until now however to finally get their debut full-length out of the dark and into the light. Generally such a low wattage release schedule speaks to a band’s overall quality and a 30 year inability to produce is a big fat red flag. Though the band’s been prodigiously unproductive up until now, I noticed Glenn Sykes of General Surgery and Regurgitate fame was on board, so I took a risky flyer and grabbed the promo.” Cautionary titles.

Obsolete – Animate//Isolate Review

Obsolete – Animate//Isolate Review

“I’ve spent much of this year listening to Obituary and Mortician. Both are death metal, but death metal is a wide field and you can’t mistake either band’s sound for the other’s. To address this, we put bands into subgenres within a subgenre – Floridian death metal, for instance. This is nice because I don’t want to sift through a bunch of Entombed clones to find something like Monstrosity. What about when our subgenres within subgenres cease to be useful to describe a sound? Then we get stuff like slam, which is brutal death metal played a specific way –  a subgenre of a subgenre within a subgenre. If you’re thinking that Obsolete‘s debut Animate//Isolate will lead me down a sub-sub-sub-genre rabbit hole, go ahead and give yourself an executive producer credit.” Old tech.

Betrayal – Disorder Remains Review

Betrayal – Disorder Remains Review

“You might not necessarily think it based on how often I laud cheese-wielding power metal enthusiasts, but every once in a while, I enjoy diving into the catalogue of bands whose primary function seems to be inducing catastrophic rage into the listener, taking them down an inescapable path of unfathomable destruction. It was in hope of this particular catharsis that I began listening to Disorder Remains, the sophomore release from German death metal band Betrayal. Betray the remains.

Crypts of Despair – All Light Swallowed Review

Crypts of Despair – All Light Swallowed Review

“The album title, the artwork, the music—it all fits the image of a virulent black cloud looming over an entire world, extinguishing the sun and stars only to then extinguish the life of all that is flesh and bone. Catastrophic riffs swirl through murky depths spattered with trem-picked abrasions, retched guttural emanations gurgle alongside bloodcurdling shrieks, and the world around them disintegrates amongst the falling ash as is their will. Lithuania quartet Crypts of Despair deals in the kind of metal that is not to be survived.” Grave new world.

Endseeker – Mount Carcass Review

Endseeker – Mount Carcass Review

“When I pluck a festering slab of death metal from the fetid pit that is our promo sump – a rare enough occurrence for me – the last thing I expect to be presented with is a political message. No doubt those more learned in the ways of death, will point me in the direction of many a OSDM band that deals in heavy politics but my brain does not connect the genre with current affairs. Hamburg, Germany’s Endseeker, however, do just that on their third record, Mount Carcass.” Death in the news.