Written by: Blackie Skulless
Much like with thrash metal, death metal from South America always seems to have a higher level of scorching energy from it, reflective of the climate. Fossilization is one of those words that just emulates decay and abrasion, especially when you picture it happening to a human. The band’s music certainly holds a candle to that! Hot off the press is their debut EP He Whose Name Was Long Forgotten, a force I absolutely reckon with.
Loading itself with five grueling tracks to nearly touch a full-length outing, Fossilization takes the death metal genre to crushing extremes. Guitar passages specialize in tremolos and explosive overlays of fuming leads that cast horrifying images of ash, decay, and shattering bone fractals. Though you’d expect cavernous vocals to go under this, they’re a bit more prominent than I expected. Naturally, things give way to hints of doom and black metal alike, depending where you fall on the disc.
Written by: The Administrator
Truth be told, I didn't really miss the allure of live music until I fired up ORYX's forthcoming full-length. I know, I know. Poser alert. Now, however, my organs beg to be ragdolled by the sheer sonic physicality of the five tracks contained within this beastly effort. I'm sure your all familiar with the feeling, but should you require a visual representation, the stellar cover artwork is a pretty accurate render of the bodily disintegration that can/will inevitably occur.
Needless to say, ORYX have been receiving a whole lot of airtime in the confines of our humble halls. This trio out of Denver (a city which, side note, is swiftly becoming quite the bastion of high-quality metal) delivers a particularly dense and blackened iteration of sludge, with emphasis on crushing atmosphere and oppressive feedback. The physicality of their approach is particularly notable, as is the songwriting itself, which leaves plenty of room for intrigue in the midst of slow-churning riffage and drawn-out distortion. No doubt about it: Lamenting a Dead World is a powerhouse, and that's before we even begin to consider the appearances from a wide bevy of talented individuals, including Ethan McCarthy (Primitive Man, Many Blessings), Paul Riedl (Blood Incantation, Spectral Voice), and Erika Osterhout (Scolex, Chthonic Deity). Quite the cast of characters.
On (regrettably infrequent) Fridays, a wagon arrives at the Sleeping Village’s crumbling gates, stuffed to the brim with our sustenance for the following week. Today is the day we must offload all this week's new and noteworthy music, and so, in the process, we thought it would be worthwhile to share some of our choice picks from this veritable mass of fresh meat. This is what we’ll be--and have been--listening to this week at the Village HQ. We hope you join us in doing so!
Note: All of today's releases are independently released, which is a direction we're increasingly trying to move with this column. Show 'em some support!
On the docket for today, March 12th, 2021:
Underking, Rise To The Sky, Necropanther, and WitchTit
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.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!