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.
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!"
Written by: Blackie Skulless
I’m not really sure how I missed this one, as Dark Descent Records is a label that really doesn’t get much past my radar. But here we have a striking discovery of mine by a striking new band from Denmark called HAD, translating to “hate” in English. Not too many other words could fit any better for the way they sound. Simply titled Debut EP, this is a horrendous and chaotic ride through a death metal roller coaster.
Underneath a muck-filled ocean of marshy atmosphere lies an extremely solid mass of death riffs that work as more of an experience than anything. Because of this production, nothing jumps above the surface save for the constant blasting of the drums and the occasional wail on the guitar. Repetition is the key ingredient to keep everything stable here, looping horrendous rhythm patterns with cavernous vocals that invoke the feeling of being stranded in such a place.
Written by: Blackie Skulless
I can almost always count on Blood Harvest to deliver some of the nastiest, filthiest, and most unlovable music that’s ever been unearthed. Nekus are a German act that cooks up horrific soundscapes that fit this description perfectly. Their debut album Death Nova Upon The Barren Harvest casts some striking imagery based from the black and death metal voids. The dirtiness of the former crossed with the filthiness of the latter is why this takes such monstrous form.
There are only four tracks, none being overly long besides the ten-minute closer “Dagger Of The Corrupter,” so it’s actually a fairly swift listen. But truthfully, it all feels like one massive song. The common core of droning riffs that feel like a constant swarm of hornets clouding up small hints of comprehensive rhythm saturates every track with ungodly amounts of weight. If it weren’t for the rather steady drum patterns, you’d have a hard time finding the direction of where things are headed.
Written by: Loveloth
George Carlin was a genius. A philosopher in comedian's cloth, an astute social commentator and a dude who was way ahead of his time. His ability to confront people with difficult-to-stomach facts in a hilarious way remains to be topped. Among all his numerous (and brilliant) bits, a few stuck with me, so today I will showcase a quote from his “Saving the planet” bit--which, like most Carlin routines, is even more relevant today:
“We’re so self-important, so self-important. Everybody’s gonna save something now: “Save the trees! Save the bees! Save the whales! Save those snails!” and the greatest arrogance of all: “Save the planet!” What?! Are these fucking people kidding me?! Save the planet?! We don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet! We haven’t learned how to care for one another and we’re gonna save the fucking planet?!”
Keep in mind he said this in 1992, in a time where grunge was becoming a serious deal, and way before Al Gore, Kyoto's convention and the whole “Save the Earth” hype that is cool today. Now, as a the filthy palaeontology nerd that I am, and to have as smooth of a transition as possible, it is my duty to showcase you any band that decides to tackle such matters. The Ocean do it, Endolith does it, and now Thecodontion do it on their debut Supercontinent.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!