Written by: Beaston Lane
The term “gothic metal” has been loosely applied to uniquely dramatic and dark bands over the past few decades, but its existence as a genre has always remained unclear. In 2021, however, there’s one band that immediately comes to mind when gothic metal is mentioned: Tribulation.
Drawing from anthemic, melodic hard rock as well as melodeath, black metal, and doom, the band has charted an intoxicating course during the 2010's, seemingly improving with each release. The questions that have surrounded Where the Gloom Becomes Sound since its announcement weren’t regarding its quality, rather whether or not it would meet the astronomical bar set by its beloved predecessors. Hot streaks are bound to end, but as WTGBS proves, Tribulation’s is far from over.
Written by: Blackie Skulless
For a while, I had a hard time grasping Carcinoid and their bone-crunching style of doom/death. Released on my birthday in 2019, we’re about a year and a half past Metastatic Declination’s release, and it has since grown on me. Here, the Aussies boast a brooding and freezing brand of the style meant to hold you underground as long as it can, giving the sensation of a cold, desolate wasteland covering endless decay. Seeing that that’s how the current weather in the Northeast has me feeling, there’s no better time to talk about this.
The selling point is the brutally intense layering of the bass against the guitars, allowing both of them to act as the leads. Explosive outbursts from the latter act like a massive gust of wind meant to blow over the listener, bringing the sheer heaviness to peak levels. On the other hand, the guitar parts are so raw and abrasive that they sand away some of the thickness and give off small hints of rhythmic consistency. Together, they’re pretty unstoppable, and while not atypical of this style, I have yet to encounter a band that does it better.
Written by: The Voiceless Apparition
Chaos reigns within the heart of man. It always has. Ever since the dawn of time, humans have been at war with each other. For whatever reasons, I don't know. There is constant turmoil and savagery afoot, which brings us to our review.
Swampbeast are a new band within the underground extreme metal scene. They blend a highly potent mixture of death metal, black metal, grindcore and a tinge of hardcore, satiating the beast within us all. On their debut album Swampbeast have a lot to prove. Do they deliver...or do they not?
The first thing you'll notice about this album is the atmosphere. No, it's not atmosphere in the sense of calming and beautiful; quite the opposite. Opening track "Orcs Anvil" is a barrage of savage and unhinged vocals, buzzing and noisy guitars, and unrelenting blast beats. What an absolute face-fucking of a beginning song. Completely unrelenting all the way through. The album is split into two different styles. The main style being an absolutely chaotic and visceral attack of grinding blackened death metal, and the second being a hardcore-leaning death doom style.
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!"
WORMPHLEGM - In an Excruciating Way Infested With Vermin and Violated by Executioners Who Practise Incendiarism and Desanctifying the Pious (Retrospective)
Village stalwart Izzy is delivering a fresh retrospective review every Friday! Make sure to check in weekly for a dose of nostalgia. - Ed.
Written by: Izzy
Get out your rubber spiders, fake blood, and dollar store fog machine--it’s October 30th and tomorrow is Halloween! It’s my favourite holiday, probably unsurprisingly if you know me, and so I wanted to make a special review for you all this Hallow’s Eve. I thought about it for a bit, and decided I would review the scariest album I’ve ever heard, now for most people that might take some thinking, but for me I immediately knew the one and only album deserving of that title for me.
Wormphlegm’s debut project… *ahem*, In an Excruciating Way Infested With Vermin and Violated by Executioners Who Practise Incendiarism and Desanctifying the Pious, a 32 minute single track demo which for the sake of brevity I will refer to shortened as In an Excruciating Way.
Written by: The Administrator
Before the music journalism Inquisition rakes my haggard frame over hot coals, let me make something clear: I don't make it a practice to read reviews of music I plan to write about. I like my thoughts to be my own, uninfluenced--willingly or no--by what others have said. But some rules are made to be broken, especially when the band's first EP cites, on bandcamp, a god-awful review in lieu of a typical about-us section. Seems like required reading in my book.
Despite what said review will have you think, the duo that constitutes Revered and Reviled Above All Others is not mediocre. Neither is their output boring, nor (my personal favorite) "listless music." While this release's six brand new tracks and accompanying Napalm Death cover admittedly bear a vague mark of maturity in contrast to their previous effort (which are repackaged on the cassette version of Toppling the Rotten Pillar), I am here to wholeheartedly assert that none of those prior adjectives apply. Y'know, in this scribe's humble assessment.
Written by: Blackie Skulless
Skeleton are another one of those bands we get a couple of per year that blow up seemingly overnight. Hailing from Austin, Texas, they bring forth a common but solid brand of death/thrash/black metal that touches many a fanbase. Pairing this with the fact that they’re (apparently) big in their local scene, they’ve caused a lot of hype. More often than not, this leads me to disappointment, but thankfully that isn’t the case with their debut record Skeleton.
Getting it out on the table now, this band is all over the place. Certain things can be picked out to observe each style. The riffing aesthetic is from a thrashier standpoint, the drumming and rhythmic integrity comes from the death metal ideals, and the vocals cast blackened mold that seeps into the foundation everywhere else in small doses. But even with that rather stable construct, the songwriting jumps all across the spectrum, running into hell and back. Admittedly, this is Skeleton’s only flaw, seeing how often the mood jumps around. The lack of flow forces the blackened feel to act as the only adhesive.
Written by: Lord Hsrah
This year has brought us doom metal in bunches and numbers so far, and there's much more to come. Different people feel things in different ways, and this impacts their way of translating it into art--music, more specifically. We associate doom metal with a variety of feelings and emotions, which are invoked by the myriad of different forms they are offered by different bands. But with Poema Arcanvs, it's a different ball game altogether, as they bring forth a slamming, crushing and heavy slab of doom that's an abstraction of its own. Ladies and gents, I present to you: Stardust Solitude!
Long standing flagbearers of Chilean doom metal, Poema Arcanvs (pronounced 'arcanus') have acquired a legendary status over the years, having churned out impressive albums, one after the other since their inception in the early 90s. Their sixth offering, Stardust Solitude, is the next in line to be branded with the Poema Arcanvs stamp, and let me tell you, it's an absolute juggernaut! Drawing inspiration from the early works of the famous Peaceville Three (that's My Dying Bride, Anathema, and Paradise Lost for those who don't know) among others, and blending in their own style to create a monstrous fusion of exquisite doom, Stardust Solitude is tailor-made to be this sonic powerhouse whose sole purpose is to beat down on your ears as your brain ejaculates litres of serotonin and adrenaline in your body!
Written by: The Voiceless Apparition
Barbarity, menace, misanthropy. These three words alone could very well describe the sound of Primitive Man, a noisy and fucking terrifying 3-piece band from Denver, Colorado--but you probably already know who they are. These guys are really rising in the underground, and for good reason. They make excruciatingly slow, noisy, and painful death/sludge. So with Immersion being their third album, and second with Relapse Records, do they finally give in and start making more accessible songs? The answer is absolutely fucking not: they increased the barbarity ten-fold and created an even noisier, more punishing, and twisted album, and it's great!
Immediately you are greeted to feedback in opening track "The Lifer." Just like that, Primitive Man begin this journey. First I have to point out the unhinged, tortured, and agonizing vocals of Ethan McCarthy. His vocals are so fucking visceral and hateful. He really sounds like he is using all of the energy he has to do these vocals. A vicious way to begin this new opus.
Written by: Lord Hsrah
Imagine a heavy/power metal band formed by Piet Sielck (Iron Savior) and Michael Ehre (Gamma Ray, Primal Fear)--two of the German power metal scene's most seasoned, experienced and well known musicians, coming together to create their own brand of some of the most scintillating fusion of Teutonic heavy metal and Euro power metal. Something, in other words, over which millions of power metal fans all over the globe would jizz themselves. If you're a power metal fan, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. Now imagine the same, but for two colossal doom forces merging together as one to create some of the most iciest low frequencies, out of an already frigid country like Finland, and you get the funeral doom behemoth that is Convocation. It's a grim ride of ruin, and of sorrow, into their sophomore album, Ashes Coalesce, and I'm going to show you around. Come, take my hand, and let us walk.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!