Transcending Obscurity Records

Noltem – Illusions in the Wake Review

Noltem – Illusions in the Wake Review

“It’s an uncomfortable moment in a reviewer’s life when you stumble across some promo blurb from a band’s label or PR company that is actually right on the money. While I recognize it must be no easy life if your day job is relentlessly writing promo for bands, these mini-essays are normally so pumped full of hyperbole, so riddled with awkward phraseology and so glowing with praise that this band is the second coming of [insert relevant genre titan], that the write-ups are effectively useless as a guide to the band one is about to sonically ingest. Every now and again, however, the promo hits the nail on the head. Such was the case for Connecticut-based atmospheric black metal trio Noltem and its debut, Illusions in the Wake.” Good PR.

Replicant – Malignant Reality Review

Replicant – Malignant Reality Review

“Three years have passed since their Negative Life debut, and by the sound of it, Replicant spent not a moment of them fucking around. With a sound newly honed to scalpel precision, the New Jersey trio radiate a septic valor, the fearsome pride of the canny skid row pugilist whose sweat-slicked wounds repel as many challengers as their calloused knuckles. They dominate each bout and dedicate the win to those who taught them: Steve Hurdle and John Gallagher.” Replicating nasty realities.

The Slow Death – Siege Review

The Slow Death – Siege Review

“Transcending Obscurity always makes a concerted effort to deliver quality releases throughout each year of operation. I’d think most labels, especially ones focused on metal music, share the same ethic. However, what sets Transcending Obscurity apart for me is the sheer variety of extreme metal artists they recruit. Sure, there’s plenty of brutality on board, not to mention about seven thousand active Rogga projects. But then you get things like The Slow Death, a funeral death doom outfit from Australia who stand poised to deliver their fourth LP, Siege.” Siege perilous.

Diskord – Degenerations Review

Diskord – Degenerations Review

“Lovable Norwegian oddballs Diskord make their long awaited return with Degenerations, their third LP and first recorded output since 2014’s mind-bending Oscillations EP. Easily one of my most anticipated albums of 2021, long ago I fell hard for Diskord‘s strange amalgam of old school death metal, experimental flair, and ability to crank out killer death tunes, chopped up with psychedelic and prog experiments. My first exposure was on their monumental 2012 LP Dystopics, an incredible album I consider a modern classic. However, as the years passed I began to wonder whether we would hear more from the band. Well the moment has arrived, Diskord fittingly popping up on the Transcending Obscurity roster to land another mindboggling clusterfuck of weird arse death.” Degenerate to evolve.

Felled – The Intimate Earth Review

Felled – The Intimate Earth Review

Felled approach black metal differently than many. There’s a lot of mournful folk imbued within these sonic landscapes, thanks to a lead violin which takes center stage as often as, if not more often than, the lead guitars. Dour atmosphere grips with a cold, unforgiving hand and drags you across snowy tundra, no thought given to your ability to weather the journey. All that matters is that the melodies and moods cut through your thin flesh-wrapper and find a home deep inside your marrow.” Intimate despair.

Eye of Purgatory – The Lighthouse Review

Eye of Purgatory – The Lighthouse Review

“What more can be said about the indefatigable Rogga Johansson that hasn’t already been said by my esteemed colleagues overlords here at AMG? From his “main” band Paganizer to his self-titled work, from the duo Johansson & Speckmann to the war-themed Just Before Dawn, we’ve reviewed our fair share of this prolific Swedish death metaler’s output. And that only scratches the surface. As we’ve previously pointed out, the man has over a hundred credits to his name, with no hint of slowing down, taking a break or staying hydrated. With that in mind, today we’re taking a look at yet another Johansson side quest: Swedish Death Metal band Eye of Purgatory and their second album The Lighthouse.” Rogga! Rogga! Rogga!

Eremit – Bearer of Many Names Review

Eremit – Bearer of Many Names Review

“Two years ago, German then-duo Eremit trudged onto the scene with a 68-minute, three-song mammoth, Carrier of Weight, an album that contained a foreboding atmosphere, a production that could crush an elephant like it was an empty aluminum can, and about six or seven total riffs between all three gargantuan-length songs. It was a bit much for me, but even then, I could sense the potential for these sludge-bearers to smother the masses and climb to the top of the heap where witches with bells sit upon oaken (Lewandowski-painted) thrones, surveying the wastelands forevermore. If there was something that the shitstorm that was 2020 and parts of 2021 taught me, it’s that patience is most certainly a welcome virtue, and time can soften an old fuddy-duddy like yours truly. As such, the now-trio-again have seen fit to unleash their newest beast, Bearer of Many Names, with a sleeker, heavier disposition.” Names with weight.

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.

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.

Sepulcros – Vazio Review

Sepulcros – Vazio Review

“Over the last almost-eight years of writing reviews here, I’ve become quite aware of the challenge of selling bands and albums to most readers. Try as I might, though, I’ll admit that funeral doom as a whole is an especially tough sell. Those who know… well, know. But the genre’s nigh-impenetrable lack of speed, lack of riff variety, and gargantuan lengths make it difficult for most people to break into such a sullen, powerful sub-genre. Being a new act makes it even more so, as you’re also competing against the greats of the genre. So what does Portugal’s Sepulcros do to try to separate themselves from the pack with their debut, Vazio?” Selling graves in bulk.