Although a doom band took the number one spot once again, November was very strong for the thrashier side of death metal. There are several bands that are new to me in this months list.
On their debut full-length "Blood", Altareth serve their sludgy guitars low and slow, with a slab of fuzz and a side of doom in massive portions.
Relentless Death Metal with some Thrash thrown in for good measure.
GREEN DESERT WATER
Rest assured, you’re about to spend 38 minutes in the presence of masters. Roll with it and be glad you did.
FFO La Chinga, Captain Beyond, Lord Fowl, Black Elephant
Scandinavian thrash, death ’n heavy metal.
Ache is a Dutch sludge/doom duo from the Netherlands.
Doomed heavy metal.
Thrash Metal From Sweden
Poised and pure: guttural but clearly enunciated vocals, catchy blastbeat sections, multiple tempo changes without losing sight of classic songwriting, dark and morbid atmospheres, and speed-shredding riffs and solos that harken to the earliest days of Morbid Angel, Deicide, Malevolent Creation, and many other '90s Florida death metal masters.
Second album of the Finnish thrash metal butchers!
Opening with a charnel blend of doomy riffs and cavernous drum work, the band draw once more from the spectral vein of old school Death Metal with their own crushing blend of slower moving extremity.
Through solar skies three journey from the center of the earth to a time and space unknown........a place where the explosive sounds of heavy groove and psychedelic rock collide to create a home just above earth.
Existentialism and escapism. manifesting the personal horrors in tone.walking traditional doom paths, deeply rooted in sabbathian mud. sidekicks towards sludge and underground hardcore as played in radical D.I.Y. circles add to the mix.
Sludge from the UK mixed thick and nasty. What I love about 'Sludgefuck Blues' is the fact that somehow Dreadbeggar manages to move its bloated carcass into some kind of groove, it leaves a pretty loathsome stain on the floor though. The guitar tone is perfect for this type of music, tuned low with a slight dissonant, grainy sound pierced by alternating harsh and guttural vocals and backed up by a pummelling rhythm section.
'Sludgefuck Blues' isn't all slow 'n' sloppy. The track 'Misery Reciprocated' sounds almost jaunty in its anger and 'Torment Addiction' has a brief guitar solo that fights to make itself heard among the ensuing carnage but by and large, 'Sludgefuck Blues' is like a slap across the head by a large, heavy, slimy thing. Start up the EP and you're entering a House of Horrors, The further in you venture, the more frightening it gets. The damndest thing is though, you can't help but smile.
Gather round all ye sinners and behold the sermon delivered from the pulpit of doom by Detroit band Lady Luna And The Devil who's debut album Mother of All Sin will be released 10/12/21 on Bandcamp through The Swamp Records.
Bravely, Lady Luna and the Devil has released Mother of all Sin as a concept album, an opera subverting the Book of Genesis chronicling Eve's journey to liberate herself from Paradise via the Seven Deadly Sins and it works in a rather clever way because it also gives the impression of someone wrestling with their conscience. Listen to the album wearing headphones and you have the sweet, dulcet tones of vocalist Lady Luna on one shoulder and the sound of temptation with the minimalist, earliest Candlemass like riffing of guitarist The Devil on the other, goaded by warlike percussion from drummer, Hand of Doom.
Mother of All Sin is a no frills album. Its simplicity is explained by guitarist,The Devils' influences which includes the album 'Monotheist' and the band Triptykon. It sounds surprisingly grim, shoegaze in parts but is finely balanced by the clarity and range of Lady Luna's vocals.
The bands bio states that The Devil only started to really get into playing the guitar during Covid, so it will be really interesting to hear how the band progresses and further defines its sound but, until then, Mother of All Sin is a solid foundation and an interesting take on how to further embrace the bond between heavy doom and clean, feminine vocals.
20 years on and Ophis, the Greek word for snake,like a dark cloud drifting across a full moon,has lost none of its ability to bring forth gloom where there was once light.Six lamentations of morose doom death contagion shroud the new album Spew Forth Odium in a sallow, sickly pallor.Six Pallbearers hunched under a leaden casket
Ophis occupies the middle ground of funereal doom with leanings toward Evokenbut without the chilling misty layer of keyboards, and My Dying Bride minus the black lace veiled riffs of the band from West Yorks. Instead, Ophis delivers a more straightforward (viral) strain of doom, the tracks are lengthy and varied and the guitars are in the main full and heavy, matching a punishing rhythm section and, of course, carried along by the obligatory growling vocal delivery.
Recommended ~ Each song seamlessly blends funeral paced heavy with dark disconsolate melody.
Here are the top 12 albums released in October according to Deathrattle Podcast. Doom was particularly strong but there were a couple of thrash based albums that caught my eye (and ears). My top death metal album was the ferocious 'Majestic Dissolve' by Conjureth.
Raw, old school nihilistic Death/Doom Metal. No light, no destination, no compromise!
Foreverglade’ is suffocatingly heavy, filled with shimmering gloomy atmosphere and a reeking foul humidity that superbly embodies the mysteries and monstrosities of the murk. To that end Worm reach a new apex of creative sorcery while signaling it has only begun to unleash what lies beneath the mists.
First release of this Galician quartet of Stoner/Doom psychedelic and lysergic in the way of titans of the genre such as Electric Wizard, Acid King, Monolord, Reverend Bizarre, Black Sabbath or Cathedral.
DAMNED TO EARTH
Southern sludge from Savannah, GA
They venture into uncharted, psychodelic territory, under the heavy influence of scene giants like Truckfighters or Elder.
FC can be described as Death Metal with Thrash/Punk/D-Beat with shot a of melody
Dirty and corrosive Thrash Metal with Crossover hints.
Hellpie makes heavy music for people that eat pie. Specifically evil pies. Not like apple pie, but really tormented, sadistic pies...
I've always had a soft spot for Kentucky, it's a conveyor belt for awesome underground band after awesome underground band and I'm extremely happy to report that the band Crop continues that fine tradition with their new album simply entitled 'Crop'
The band has tagged itself as experimental on Bandcamp which is something that usually leaves me with a sense of trepidation but the term 'experimental' here means a mish mash of Southern style blues held together by a clag of sludge then held over a flame until charred and crispy. The vocal delivery works perfectly with this type of metal scarred blues, pained but not screaming as to drown out the slow moonshine saturated groove that abounds throughout this album. 'Crop' never really crawls above a snails pace, in fact the final track Na closes out the album in a wave of caustic doom. Pick away at the fuzz and delve among the various barbed riffs on this album and you will come across hints of drug addled melody with hints of anguish like a user desperate for a fix but unable to find a dealer.
Recommended ~ An original slant on a tried and tested sludge formula and the band has succeeded perfectly.
In 2018 the Italian band Aleph was put to rest, staked through the heart and buried in unconsecrated ground but now the band has risen, more terrifying than before.Whereas Aleph, as brutal as that band was concentrated on a more oppressive atmospheric form of death metal, Dark Redeemer is pure death metal coming across as the bastard child of Entombed and Skeletal Spectre so don't assume that 'Into The Deep Black' is just another HM2 clone because Dark Redeemer has reincarnated into a chainsaw wielding slayer, riffs shredding flesh and bone into bloody chunks.
Italian extreme metal is synonymous with a love of adding keyboards into the mix and Dark Redeemer carries on that tradition with unobtrusive organ moaning like a lost soul in the background giving this album an extra layer of gothic creepiness with a dank zombified atmosphere split between a '28 days later' frenzy and the catatonic shuffle of 'Night of the Living Dead'
RECOMMENDED ~ The creepy atmosphere adds an extra dimension to a tried and trusted death metal sound.
Death Metal ruled the roost in September with seven of the twelve spaces taken up by various denominations of death metal bands including a form of the genre that is finding increasing space in the Deathrattle Podcast, technical death metal. Another form of heavy that has found it's way into the show more and more recently is post- metal and the album Absence by Suneater is represented in this 'Best Of' selection for September. Last months surprise package is Coma by the band Lurcher,four tracks of excellent doomy grunge.
So take a bow ~
An album with 9 old-school sick, dark and violent tracks which will satisfy the fans of Obituary, Morbid Angel, Autopsy, Dismember, early Entombed and Celtic Frost.
A maelstrom of maniacal death metal
Dark and suffocating death metal sorcery from the innermost bowels of the European underground. “The Broken Seal” is a unique fusion of musical worlds, concocted to plague the reality of flesh.
Old School death metal
Encompassing four tracks of powerfully atmospheric, hook laden heaviness LURCHER’s mind-bending virtuosity is underpinned by riffs and rhythms that swell and crash. Effortlessly combining classic tones and song sensibilities with forward-thinking riff craft.
Low tone rockin’ blues and doomy mood hard hammering rock music from Oulu, Finland.
3rd album by this heavy, dark, rotting and gloomy Doom/ Death Metal band featuring Dave Rotten from AVULSED on vocals. For lovers of stuff like DISEMBOWELMENT, EVOKEN, RIPPIKOULU, MYTHIC, WINTER, OPHIS, INCANTATION...
Pure Detroit Chainsaw Metal from Detroit, Michigan
Shadecrown (founded in 2012) is a melodic death/doom metal band from the heart of Finland.
Debut album from Australian post-metal/sludge band
Formed in Aalborg, Denmark in 2018, Bogwife blends elements of doom, stoner rock and psychedelic to create their sound. The band is named after an old Scandinavian folktale about a mythical creature that lives in bogs and creates a thick mist that encapsulates the area around it.
CULT OF SCARECROW
CULT OF SCARECROW reveal their prophecy of doom : the destruction of our planet, the extermination of mankind and the takeoff into the cold blackness of space. Be forwarned by this experienced metal band with musicians from different bands and backgrounds.
Wardance is the 2nd album by Greek band Stheno. I stopped listening to it a minute or two ago and my heart has just about slowed to it's normal rate but my eyeballs are still rattling around my skull. You'll see many references to the band being under the banner of blackened grindcore but to my admittedly tinnitus affected ears, Wardance is essentially a manic, rabid, old school black metal album in which the band has deviated from the blasphemous anti Christian ravings of many of its peers in favour of war obsessed subject matter.
The album opener 'Bestial Batallion' begins with an air raid siren warning of approaching danger before the carpet bombing, aided by staccato, military style drumming begins the onslaught,shrapnel flying in all directions There's nothing technical about Wardance, Stheno's only objective is scorched earth policy with no prisoners taken, keeping things simple but remaining vicious all through the album.
The final track is called 'Bellum Internecinum' and this is what you've signed up to if you purchase this record.....a war of mutual extermination.
Paralleled Existence is the 4th album from Connecticut deathsters Xenosis and continues the tech death evolution of Devour and Birth ( 2018). Staccato riffs scuttle among frenzied passages of hugely complex yet intense song structures, often morphing into punishing brutality before being torn apart again and again.
So much is going on in this album. I've listened several times and I'm still coming to grips with how Xenosis has managed to combine technical death metal wizardry with mind expanding progressiveness and yet somehow keep those hooks leaden as bent and twisted as they sound. There are eight tracks on Paralleled Existence, each one sounding only vaguely familiar from the last, all eight a nexus of death metal styles creating an atmosphere of delirious mania from which there is no escape from the turmoil.
Paralleled Existence is Xenosis'musical version of 'Alice Through The Looking Glass,' a warped, illogical nightmare.
Deathrattle Podcast recommendsParalleled Existence ~ Highly technical, progressive death that doesn't detract from the overall brutality of the album.
I've always been interested in the First World War and make a point to watch any documentaries covering the subject that appear on tv. Recently I watched the movie 2017 and as it's fresh in my mind, I can't help but connect it to the debut album of Le Monde Par Le Feu. 'À NÉANT' invokes an image of No Mans Land. The landscape is bleak, barren and churned by numerous detonations of sludge accompanied by vocals sounding like the cries of the mortally wounded.
Le Monde Par Le Feu consists of Cho and Ben from doom/sludge/death metal band Oldd Wvrms and Thomas from the French black metal band Pénitence Onirique and some of the sounds from both bands has influenced the music of Le Monde Par Le Feu but this new unit isn't a clone by any means. For instance, the doom element of Oldd Wvrms has been diluted slightly in favour of a more post-metal sound, but fear not, the album still sounds really heavy due to the more aggressive sludge passages that follow the intricate melodic parts so typical of this type of music. I'm particularly pleased that this new band has added a vocal delivery, pained as it is, alongside synths, giving more depth to each track and an atmosphere of toxicity beyond anything Oldd Wvrms has released.
I tend to find that many post -metal bands fall into the trap of over experimentation, not so with Le Monde par le Feu. Most of the tracks are reasonably lengthy, but superbly structured, ebbing and flowing like a windswept, stagnant pool, the most surprising one, however, being 'Scolopendre' which is the least complex track on the album but the riff really does remind me of Gojira.
RECOMMENDED - Song structures, not too much experimentation, excellent production quality, blackened harmonies enhanced by charred sludge.
Damn Kal-El, damn their eyes! I really wanted to appear kvlt and not include their latest album 'Dark Majesty' in my top five album releases for August unlike so many of my peers, but however much I resisted (And I listened to a LOT of albums, my shortlist numbered just over 80), I had no option but to return to 'Dark Majesty' and place it at the pinnacle of August releases.
Sure, there were a couple of albums that contained exceptional tracks that were superior to anything on 'Dark Majesty' but the crux of the matter is, containing an exceptional song does not make a great album, especially when compared to one which can be described as stellar from the first track to the last.
Lets face it, stoner doom albums are ten a penny, it takes a special album for a band to rise above the others and be noticed. Kal-El has done it by adding an ingredient I haven't come across too often in the doom genre, a sense of elation. It's the harmonies that do it for me, it's really magical the way the soaring vocals hitch a ride on some of the smoothest yet heaviest stoner doom riffs ever laid before the Sabbathian altar. Elephant Tree touched on it with their track 'Bird,' but that's one track in a fantastic album in its own right, Dark Majesty is chock full of 'Bird's.'
Releasing such a fine album does, of course, present Kal-El with a problem, albeit a nice one.....how are they going to better this?
Doom once again dominated the upper regions of my 'best of' list of albums for August particularly the occult/stoner variety and thrash was more prominent this time. Although I usually have more than a few death metal albums bubbling away in my list with Fearancy and Headshrinker, the brutal side of the genre is conspicuous by its absence. Indeed, Headshrinker is August's surprise package. I've tagged them as a death metal band but their album 'Callous Indifference' is far from straightforward, incorporating elements of thrash, doom and even post - metal into a rather dark sound.
So, the following bands take a bow
Kal-El is the fuzzed-out step-child of hard rock and heavy metal, often with hints of pyschedelic and blues rock as well as doom metal. Songs typically feature a bass-heavy groove, detuned guitars and mind-expanding lyrics...
Stoner/doom from Finland, Hämeenlinna
Polish stoner rock trio. Influences? California, Fuzz, Tony Iommi, arcade games, prehistoric era and Prehistoric game.
Headshrinker is a metal band based out of Denver, CO. A symbol of the mental health issues we all struggle to deal with, Headshrinker is inspired by persevering through dark times, and the will / strength to battle through when the outlook is bleakest. Headshrinker embraces the pain and finds the expression born out of raw emotion. We all struggle and only death is real
Flat Earth Rider is Suncraft’s debut album, written and recorded during 2020. The album is a collection of six unique tracks that show off the band’s wide array of songwriting prowess. They draw from diverse rock n’ roll influences, from the classic rock-inspired riff of the titular track, to the doomy chorus of «Commie Cannibals», the spaced-out vocals on «Adaptation» and the blast beat-induced ten-minute closing track «Bridges to Nowhere», this album is filled to the brim with genre-breaking tricks-up-the-sleeve.
Lyrically, the album ponders on themes of greed, alienation, loneliness and spirituality, reflecting upon conundrums of contemporary life. One highlight in particular would be the song «Flat Earth Rider», which paints a tragicomic picture of an imagined flat earther’s search for truth and meaning.
“Their Gods Will Come For You” is a new conceptual album from Texas classic doom band Witchcryer, featuring songs about gods across various ages of civilization throughout time. Featuring thickly-woven epics such as a Faustian tale of a damned soul swallowed whole by an apocalyptic leviathan, an account of a Mesoamerican sun deity teaching its doomed warrior people to fly, and a Roman goddess seeking justice for crimes against women, vocalist/lyricist Suzy Bravo says, "this is the album I’ve been writing in my head my entire life." Ambitious and dynamic, this is anthemic old-school metal mixed with weighty modern doom!
With a sound that has been compared to early Testament, Dark Angel and Sacred Reich DESECRATOR’s twin guitar attack, punishing rhythm section and blood soaked vocals have won over the old guard of staunch metal fans as well as recruiting a new wave of young thrashers.
Another masterpiece by Without God crafted through hard work, as if one has plowed up black shriveled earth and sowed it with anger and aggression, fear and anxiety. The album is filled with yearning for magical worlds from where only a few can return. The work comes as "Siberian Tunes: The Green Light" EP featuring lightness, green tones and Russian lyrics for better perception.
With the immaculate songwriting skills and the perfect balance between harsh death metal fueled outbursts and exquisite melodic melancholy, HOODED MENACE unleash skeletal horror and somber despair onto their craving audience with 'The Tritonus Bell'!
The new style is still based on some of the original style elements, but taking a new and heavier direction to a modern form of melodic death metal.
TOXIC RUIN was formed in 2014 with a mission of blending classic thrash metal, old-school death metal and modern technicality and tones into a wicked headbanging brew.
Five guys from the north of Spain playing loud and intense heavy music with a lot of influences.