Interview with the band in question to follow shortly! Stay tuned, dear readers. -Ed.
Written by: The Voiceless Apparition
So here we are. Another year, another opportunity to spotlight up-and-coming bands. 2021 is going to be an extremely busy year for myself, and for all of the other villagers too, I presume. 2020 may have fucked everything up, but this year will be bringing A LOT of new music.
But we'll get to that another time. Today, I'm really happy to be able to review the debut album from Texas death metal heavyweights Frozen Soul. It's amazing how far they have come for literally only forming two years ago. They released their critically acclaimed debut demo Encased in Ice through the always stellar Maggot Stomp back in 2018. They toured the U.S. a few times in 2019, and while 2020 may have put a stop to their touring, they managed to sign to fucking Century Media Records! When I heard that they had signed with them I actually screamed. It makes me so happy to see the love and support that they have been receiving since they formed and that praise only continues to grow with the release of their debut album Crypt of Ice.
Written by: Blackie Skulless
Anthropophagy: (noun) the eating of human flesh by human beings. So in other words, I’m reviewing an album that’s just a fancy word for cannibalism. It should come as no surprise that Sadistic Drive are a death metal band that explore the gore and stench to extreme levels. Hailing from Finland, they’re quite fresh off the grid, taking formation in 2018, and dropping Anthropophagy last year.
Just from that and looking at the sleeve, you’ll get exactly what you’re thinking. Chaotic blasting with slamming features and guttural growls take a heavy precedence, filling the proverbial chalice with nothing but slime and grime. An obvious love of horror fills the cracks, as bodily sounds, screams, and samples ooze over to blend some songs together. But surprisingly, the riffing is pretty concise and doesn’t sound as sloppy as it could.
Let it be know: Sleeping Village stalwart Izzy doesn't skimp when it comes to year end lists. As such, we'll be publishing, over the course of the next few days, a series of genre-specific Top 20 lists proudly bearing the Izzy stamp of approval. As "death" in and of itself tends to be a broad descriptor the assorted sub-genres existing under the umbrella have been labeled for yer convenience.
Says Izzy in regards to this list: "A summary of 2020's death metal to me is "everyone else liked it but I don't get it", very few of the years most popular releases clicked with me, so while I don't think any of my picks here are controversial, I think there is more underground-ish releases. Enjoy!"
Here's a republication of an old guest post. Enjoy! - Ed.
Written by: The Administrator
How best to describe Wormhole? If you're familiar with 'em, you know what I'm talking about. If you aren't, here's my best attempt: The Weakest Among Us is like unto a janitors' big ol' ring of keys, wherein every jangly item represents a markedly distinct genre. Which is to say, there is a lot going on here. Wormhole don't have a denying characteristic of their own, except for the ability to chameleon their way through both slam and tech-death landscapes--which, frankly, don't have a whole lot in common. Whilst one is an intricately designed garden, the other is a pile of craggy boulders. Do they mesh? After listening to this thing like 10 times, I'm still not entirely convinced...but Wormhole certainly put in the work.
Written by: The Voiceless Apparition
Have you ever listened to an album so heavy and bludgeoning that you don't even finish it? And instead, you just say "Jesus Christ, this is so crushing?" 'Cuz that is what happened to me with The Entombment of Chaos.
This is the fourth album from the California death metal quartet, and like with Mortal from Necrot, this album was highly anticipated. Skeletal Remains have already made a big name for themselves for their groove-laden, highly catchy, and downright viscous brand of death metal, mixing in the catchiness of old-school death metal and the technical brutality of modern death metal. So with all of that said, do Skeletal Remains continue their ascent into modern death metal legends? We shall see...
Sometimes, this particular scribe finds it useful to glance backward and spend some quality time with an album defined by good memories, high spirits, and the sweet taste of familiarity. In that spirit, we post a lot of brief retrospective reviews over on our Instagram, but said pieces seldom make their way here to graze in greener pastures. Here are eight brief write-ups of death metal albums that we have revisited over the past few months--a veritable death metal menagerie. Enjoy! - Ed.
GOJIRA - From Mars to Sirius (2007)
There are few albums that remain so influential in my indoctrination into the chrvch of riff-centric music. Mastodon's essential Remission, perhaps, tops the heap, but Gojira's multiple efforts cycle through rotation on a remarkably consistent basis. From Mars to Sirius is a monstrosity of an album, demonstrating the heaviest of riffs within the confines of a striped-bare (yet progressive) mentality. Here, Gojira's trademark conceptual and thematic underpinnings are on full display--not preachy, but immediate. And never have whale sounds sounded so utterly massive. In short? If you've missed this album in favor of their more popular releases...you should probably get on that.
HOODED MENACE - Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed (2018)
Although this was released early on, no other album impressed me in 2018 with such a finely-tuned ability to straddle the line between death’s crushing riffage and funeral doom’s dismal gloom. Harrowing and heavy, the layers of grotesque yet melodically lofty leads form a near-tangible environment for these Hooded Menaces to dwell. Despite these leanings,“cavernous" remains an apt description for the atmosphere. I mean, just look at that album cover. Precision and restraint in the percussive department-- and a killer vocal tone--further delineate Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed as a masterful album, easily their best (and most ominous) to date.
Written by: Izzy
For those who aren’t familiar with the deathcore and tech death scenes, Beneath the Massacre are pretty well known and recognized amongst both communities, and dare I say even beloved, certainly at least by some. They first popped up in 2007 around the second wave of deathcore when it really became popularized. As such, most of their notoriety came from the deathcore scene despite “true” fans swearing they were technical brutal death metal; granted, their first two records were more like deathcore flavoured tech-death so that was somewhat valid at the time, but nowadays this and their last record are very much...tech-death flavoured deathcore. I’d never actually listened to this band before because of my phobia of bad tech-death and bad late 2000's deathcore joining forces, but figured since this is their first album in 8 years it’d be worth checking out for posterity, especially given all the praise I’d seen for it amongst both reviewers and my friends.
I’ve spent, in retrospect, perhaps a little bit too much time in my life waxing poetic about Aborted. I’ve rambled about their latest full length, TerrorVision, at pretty much every opportunity afforded. It’s safe to say I have a deep love for this band--but yet, there is no single album in their discography that I consider a god-tier achievement. Rather, each subsequent effort they release stands as an accomplishment as a piece in a larger puzzle: Aborted’s nigh-untouchable legacy. They have, as far as I’m concerned, never released a dud, despite a stupidly complex rotating cast of characters. Marked consistency is the name of the game, and on La Grande Mascarade, their latest three-track EP, these revered pros deliver another satisfying slab of desecrated death metal meat.
Given the wide display of personal taste we've curated amongst our cabal of scribes, it's not often that the Sleeping Village as an entity is collectively all a-buzz about the same album. But Ulcerate's high-quality track record is, in many ways, a great unifier. Thusfar, their career has been a remarkably blemish-free endeavor. Moreover, their continued reinvention of extreme metal motifs has led to some of the best examples of genre-melding madness the metal community has had the joy of witnessing. It seems, frankly, that they can do no wrong, and--spoiler alert--Stare Into Death And Be Still only further cements their status as legends. Equal parts technically adept and emotionally bombastic, this album is going to be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel on quite a few year end lists. Mark my words.
To assess Ulcerate's latest offering, two Village-dwellers--Izzy and Loveloth-- took up the pen to express their views, making for a rare double review 'round these parts. Without further ado, I'll let them do the talking.
Given the multitude of new releases that, on a daily basis, traipse through the eel-infested waters of the Sleeping Village’s moat, only to hurtle themselves headlong into the unfathomable depths of the promo pit, my views on listening for enjoyment have changed significantly over the past few years. I used to meticulously hunt down albums that would, through mass repetition, become lifelong favorites. That was the ultimate goal: find music that neared perfection, in my narrow and subjective gaze. However, I am now quite content to spend time in the enjoyment of music that I know will satiate me for a few days before it is time, once more, to move on. If I happen to return to it later on? Great. If not? That’s fine too--sometimes music can be good without providing significant staying power.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!