Dissonant Death Metal

Veilburner – VLBRNR Review

Veilburner – VLBRNR Review

Lurkers in the Capsule of Skull was my 2021 Album o’ the Year. It should’ve been Ferrous Beuller‘s as well, though I suppose it’s easier to forgive him his transgressions since he did award Imperative Imperceptible Impulse his crown. In any case, Lurkers was another installment in an almost unfuckwithable string of killer material from Pennsylvania mind-flayers Veilburner. Their sixth record in a mere eight years of existence, the too-poor-for-vowels VLBRNR, has big shoes to fill to live up to the standard set by Lurkers.” Veils yet unburned.

Devenial Verdict – Ash Blind Review

Devenial Verdict – Ash Blind Review

“Atmospheric and dissonant death metal was my gateway into death more broadly. I missed entirely the blood-and-guts-strewn pathway of Cannibal Corpse, and instead fell head-over-heels for Ulcerate. If I’d come across Finland’s Devenial Verdict in my younger years, I might have passed over them, for their former output has been primarily in the brutal death metal vein. Although they’ve been lurking around since 2009, Ash Blind is their first full-length, representing thirteen years of evolution. A transformation from bludgeoning brutality into darkly melodic, eerily atmospheric dissonance that hasn’t forgotten how to be horrically heavy.” Death in development.

Vacuous – Dreams of Dysphoria Review

Vacuous – Dreams of Dysphoria Review

Dreams of Dysphoria certainly has its atmospheric moments—and those are the best bits by the way—but it feels closest to a more sprawling disso-death, if we had to pigeonhole. Melody is almost entirely absent, along with comprehensible vocals, traditional song structures, and reason.” Death dreams, waking nightmares.

Acausal Intrusion – Seeping Evocation Review

Acausal Intrusion – Seeping Evocation Review

Nulitas was one of the most promising debuts of 2021, its otherworldly atmosphere and outrageous replay value adding up to a lurching and lumbering beast with spines of searing dissonance cutting through the thick slogs of slimy riffs. While this soundscape is certainly not uncommon among the melody-hating hordes of masochists and self-flagellants, Acausal Intrusion injected a meditative quality that contrasted lethally with its hell-scraping gutturals and slam-esque pong snare. As such, upon its announcement, followup Seeping Evocation is easily one of my most anticipated releases of the year.” Seeping expectations.

Warforged – The Grove | Sundial Review

Warforged – The Grove | Sundial Review

“It took an unprecedented length of time for me to appreciate Warforged’s debut I: Voice back in 2019. In fact, I was so moved by the record once it finally clicked that I awarded it an enthusiastic 1.5-point upgrade. Naturally, that puts a lot of pressure on the follow-up, entitled The Grove | Sundial. Upon learning that Adrian Perez—who was in charge of lead vocals, keyboards, sampling, piano, and lyrics on I: Voice—separated from the project, I balked.” Forging a new weapon.

Hissing – Hypervirulence Architecture Review

Hissing – Hypervirulence Architecture Review

“To non-metal listeners, all metal sounds hostile. Stray far to the edges of the dissonant and avant-garde in the genre, and you’ll find a breed that even experienced acolytes can struggle with. One’s first Portal experience is a conceptual case in point. From out of this dark corner of disturbing and unfriendly sounds, Hissing has emerged.” Crawling dread and slithering heads.

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.

Heaving Earth – Darkness of God Review

Heaving Earth – Darkness of God Review

“While I usually avoid harming animals, I had to chase a certain Abbathian cat up a tree to get my hands on this promo. My feline colleague gushed about Czechia’s Heaving Earth in 2015, calling Denouncing the Holy Throne a shamelessly uncreative but satisfying slab of vintage death metal. The band is back with its third record Darkness of God, but the seven intervening years have seen its sound evolve. Much like the latest Golgothan Remains, Heaving Earth’s newest offering adorns old-school death metal with speckles of dissonance and malice, and influences from across the death metal universe.” Darkness before divinity.