Death Metal

Castrator – Defiled in Oblivion Review

Castrator – Defiled in Oblivion Review

“It’s been a slow rollout for the sharp knives behind New York-based death metal act Castrator. The rare all-female death crew, they’ve been lurking since 2014, honing their cutting techniques. 2022 finally sees them drop a full-length platter of testicularly challenging material, and Defiled in Oblivion certainly demonstrates the chops you look for in a fledgling death upstart. Trafficking in the OSDM style of Cannibal Corpse and Morbid Angel, Castrator aren’t looking to rewrite the book of death or take things to strange new places. Instead, they’re content to play with establish sounds and put their own grisly stamp on well-traveled styles.” Throw a pair.

Wake – Thought Form Descent Review

Wake – Thought Form Descent Review

“I’ll let you in on a little secret. Sometimes, before I write a review, I read the ones already out there for the album in question. This is after I’ve heard the album a few times, and I do it for a few reasons, curiosity being one. Now, there are writers who solemnly proclaim, pearls fully clutched, that they would never taint their process with such unprofessionalism. I get that. But I also get that you inconstant, two-timing jilts will also read those other reviews, and I don’t like being redundant with mine. So, having read a couple reviews for Wake‘s fifth full-length Thought Form Descent, I’ve decided NOT to write an intro paragraph along the lines of “Boy howdy, these Wake bois sure do keep evolving, man alive.”” Thought form pieces.

Imperial Triumphant – Spirit of Ecstasy Review

Imperial Triumphant – Spirit of Ecstasy Review

“We already know what’s going to happen here: I review Imperial Triumphant‘s fifth album, Spirit of Ecstasy, and the comments section here will explode with remarks from the peanut gallery, explaining how much they can’t stand this type of music and how it’s “hipster drivel” of the highest magnitude. Ah, yes… the most divisive band we’ve ever reviewed that’s not named Impure WilhelminaFellowship, or Wilderun, New York’s guttural black-death-jazz miscreants have no less stirred up the masses here in such a tizzy that you’d half-expect them to have somehow personally violated your dog. But no, all they did was make music.” Opulence amid the decadence.

Antigama – Whiteout Review

Antigama – Whiteout Review

Antigama, at this point, is an institution of modern grind. The perennial contender, these Polish riff-junkies, ever solid in their strangeness, continue to litter the basin of the great grindpile in hopes to build a mound of filth worthy of the crown. As such, Antigama, in that traditional Polish underdog spirit, persists.” Embrace the grindpile.

Maul – Seraphic Punishment Review

Maul – Seraphic Punishment Review

“There’s a certain level of scummy purulence I crave in my death metal. I want it to sound filthy and vile, toxic and infectious. When the style is performed too cleanly, it feels almost like a PC version of death and it loses its dangerous edge. Fargo-based scuzz merchants Maul speak my offensive language, and on their Seraphic Punishment debut, they set out to dunk you in pus and coffin slime before applying a powder coat of poo-crust. This is the recipe for a bad skin rash and good music.” Enter the chopping Maul.

Inhuman Condition – Fearsick Review

Inhuman Condition – Fearsick Review

“Formed by members of Death, Massacre and Wombbath, Inhuman Condition hit the streets with a wet, disgusting thud via their 2021 Rat°God debut. It was a painfully retro throwback to late 80s death metal and no new stones were turned, but it was a ton of dumb, beefbrained fun packed with enough nostalgia to bring all the Steels to the boneyard. Now scarcely a year later Inhuman Condition is back with a whole new album. Talk about inhuman working conditions!” Condition critical.

In Slumber – While We Sleep Review

In Slumber – While We Sleep Review

While We Sleep’s cover art is creepy but striking. Even in its edited monochromatic form, this 1890s painting piqued my interest. Looking at the shadowy whispering figure with billowing hair and the wide-eyed woman, shrouded in darkness but with her face glowing, I expected While We Sleep to sound evocative and mysterious. This was largely wrong. Austria’s In Slumber plays “direct melodic death metal” (their words, not mine), the least mysterious of genres.” Blue clues.

Molder – Engrossed in Decay Review

Molder – Engrossed in Decay Review

“I cannot understate the futility of attempting to introduce this record more accurately than its album art does. For the learned among us, it leaves not a single note in question. But for those of us impaired in the fields of vision or death metal knowledge, I’m compelled to at least give it a shot. Engrossed in Decay, the debut record from Joliet, Illinois’ Molder, is a triumph of slime. Coughing up spores from mycetozoic muck, Molder exhume ten tracks from very recent, very shallow burials in a graveyard that’s been filled to the brim for thirty years.” Mold strategy.

Altars – Ascetic Reflection Review

Altars – Ascetic Reflection Review

“Beyond its cover’s deceptively pastoral mountain scene, Altars offers something lurking underneath. On paper, the trio deals in a collision of dissonant death metal name-drops we’ve come to expect, and it would be easy to stop there. But we won’t, because there’s something else. Ascetic Reflection‘s unique take settles in the negative spaces between lurching and punishing with clarity and nimbleness, allowing its meditative lurch to burrow into listeners’ skin. Holding mirrors of the self and the divine and the futility therein, the aptly named Ascetic Reflection deals in shredding pain.” Altars of radness.