The EP, Split, and Single Post Part II [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

This is Part II of the EP, Split, and Single Post, which began here.

Time. Mighty time. It devours everything; destroys hard metals; dispassionately slaughters civilizations; levels mountains1. And yet we always want more of it. In this age of constant connectivity, we crave it. You know what robs it from us? Albums. Full-fat, full-length releases which extend ever-closer to an average length of 60 minutes. And you know what that is? TOO FUCKING LONG. In lieu of some 80-minute progressive monster by some emergent neckbeard2 solely subsisting on Milton, Alighieri and Ghibli, invest your precious time and money into these shorter releases which will save you both.

Fuck albums, all my homies hate albums. – El Cuervo

Veile // The Ghost Sonata – When this EP was suddenly unVeiled back in August, the only reason I initially checked it out was because of the artwork. Costin Chioreanu is one of my favorite artists in the metalverse, and anything inked by him catches my eye right away. The Ghost Sonata turned out to be one scary entertaining slab of short form extravagance, though, and it didn’t take long before I was shilling this every chance I could. Between the chilling, virtuoso vocal performance to the brilliant combination of campy haunted-house horror with operatic black metal, The Ghost Sonata possessed me, and you’d do well to welcome this ghastly presence into your spirit, too. – TheKenWord

Sleep Terror // Above Snakes Three albums in a row, Sleep Terror impressed me with their bonkers take on tech-death, imbuing funk, surf, and this time wild-west western influences into their blistering instrumentals. As before, Sleep Terror’s half-hour trek swings from style to style without a care given to transition, a technique with a double-edge. One one hand, the piece is consistently exciting and unpredictable, but at the same time it can also be disjointed. Nevertheless, nobody on the planet even dares to play instrumental tech-death like this duo, and if they learn to blend their disparate source materials better, it won’t take long before you see Sleep Terror on my Top 10. – TheKenWord

Perilaxe Occlusion // Raytraces of Death – I got my Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Arts and Sciences, Concentrated in 3D Graphics and Animation. In short, I’m an animation nerd and my skills in Autodesk Maya and related software packages are pretty advanced. Needless to say, I completely nerded out when someone in AMG’s Discord let me know that Perilaxe Occlusion existed, churning out filthy cavernous death-doom about pixels, particle systems, and progressive rendering. These cats know their way around a phat riff, too, so if you’re rooting around for extreme metal artists that know their way around a NURBS curve, then Perilaxe Occlusion is the death metal engine for you! – TheKenWord

Sickrecy // First World Anxiety – I didn’t consume anywhere near as much grind as I would have liked in 2021, however, there were certainly a few gems that captured my interest. Sweden’s Sickrecy is an experienced trio, featuring members of Birdflesh, General Surgery, World in Ruins, and Damned to Downfall. While the punchy, yet nicely dirtied production values lend a modern edge, these dudes play old school, classic grindcore in its purest form. First World Anxiety is a blazing, violent eruption of pissed-off attitude, gnarled, infectious riffs, and wily song-writing smarts. In this respect, Sickrecy nails some key points to successful grind. The songs are relentlessly pummeling, featuring scorching speed explosions, yet the tough as nails grooves, nifty tempo change-ups and slivers of melody create an intense, but infectiously palatable ride. Overall, First World Anxiety is a wonderfully fun 16-minute hellride, presenting a classy, first-rate example of old-school grind, constructing a robust platform for greater things to come. – Saunders

Turris Eburnea // Turris EburneaGabriel Grimaglia has had a good year. While offering one of the most promising dissonant death/atmospheric black metal albums of the year in Vertebra Atlantis, we were also graced with conundrum Turris Eburnea, a duo with bassist Nicholas McMaster of Krallice and Geryon fame. Challenging the Everlasting Spew template of solid but traditional death metal with a blend of scathing dissonance, cavernous brooding, warped rhythms, and a warm jazzy bass tone to boot, four tracks of insanity greet the ears. With blasting cuts “Unified Fields” and “Cotard Delusion” balanced by the patiently twisty instrumental “Syncretism Incarnate” and best-of-all-worlds closer “Malachite Mountains,” it’s an appetizer of experimental death ridiculousness that promises tantalizing bafflement for the future. – Dear Hollow

Calling of Phasmic Presence / Μνήμα / Koreltsak / Upir // Conspiring in Blood-Drenched MoonlightA four-way raw black metal split appearing on an Angry Metal Guy feature? That’s right, motherfuckers, we’ve got kvlt kred. But seriously, this split rocks. Featuring fresh voices in a scene too overrun with Darkthrone worshipers, these four mostly Canadian (Μνήμα is Greek) offer their own take on the blackened arts. Featuring Upir’s scathingly raw melodies at the split climax, Calling of Phasmic Presence’s aptly ghostly tendrils, Koreltsak’s meat-and-potatoes second-wave shenanigans, and Μνήμα’s noise-drenched and guitar-less droning, it’s a gift with multiple facets to offer. With the constant melancholia pervading every fiber, Conspiring in Blood-Drenched Moonlight is a surprisingly sound self-released split from four acts we’ll be watching with bated breath. – Dear Hollow

Thecodontion / Vessel of Iniquity // The Permian-Triassic Extinction EventA split from two completely opposite ends of black/death spectrum. Bass-only Italian duo Thecodontion offers two tracks of low-and-slow primeval pummelling, while Brit Vessel of Iniquity devastates with ghostly and industrial shrillness in epic “The Great Dying.” The split’s bipolar quality is its greatest asset, a portrayal of extinction and the memory of the dying. Exceedingly dark in the ways each act adheres to its creed while balanced in its display of each skill set, The Permian-Triassic Extinction Event never overstays its welcome and fleshes out this trek through time in a primeval, visceral, and harrowing way from two underrated acts with their best days ahead. – Dear Hollow

Mitochondrial Sun // Bodies and Gold – After a disappointing second album, Niklas Sundin’s modern classical/electronic project is back on top form. Baleful, beautiful piano and cello swirl over electronic atmospherics and trade off with dark, dancy synth leads. Fortunately, the first album‘s sense of flow and movement is back as well. Songs grow, develop, and build on their ideas. Each maintains its own identity, from the treble piano lead of “Sic Transit Anima Mundi” through the alternating dance beat and lush cello of album highlight “Beams of Light Through Glass” to the threatening “pirate sector in Freelancer” beat of “Velocities.” Bodies and Gold is more consistently ominous than Mitochondrial Sun due to omnipresent looming electronic ambience, without so many moments of more hopeful melodies to provide breathing room. But on a 25-minute EP, that works, and Bodies and Gold is a satisfyingly unsettling listen. Sentynel

Witch Vomit // Abhorrent Rapture – Nasty death metal is slowly but surely becoming something that I really enjoy. When Portland’s Witch Vomit released Buried Deep in a Bottomless Grave in 2019, the band’s thrashy approach immediately won me over. Seeing the band live that same year was a trip, and I couldn’t help but fall in love with vocalist Tempter’s bizarre stage presence. Abhorrent Rapture sees the band veering onto a slower, groovier, more cavernous death metal path, one traveled by the likes of their fellow Pacific Northwesterners Mortiferum. The necrometamorphosis is a welcome change, and this 18-minute appetizer has increased my anticipation for the band’s next full-length to dangerous levels. Holdeneye

Show 2 footnotes

  1. J.R.R. rolls in his grave.
  2. Coincidentally, the name of my grind band.
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