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: The Voiceless Apparition
Here's an interesting question: why are we as human beings fascinated with serial killers? Is it the psychological aspect? Perhaps maybe the impulsive nature of said actions? This is something that we all differ on, but it's still a fascinating subject.
That brings us to Macabre. For 35 years, the masters known as Macabre have been serving up their "murder metal" to the masses--and excelling at it, I might add. Here's another interesting aside: Macabre were one of the first death metal/extreme metal bands I was fond of. I can't recall the first time I ever listened to them, but I do recall that the first album I ever bought from them was Dahmer. I believe I was either 12 or 13 years old, so as you can imagine, I have a soft spot in my heart for them. With regards to that, it's always a momentous occasion when the masters release a new album. And here we are with Carnival of Killers, their 6th full-length. Are you ready for the circus to come to town?
Written by: Izzy
So, for a little bit now I've been doing weekly retrospective reviews on older albums I enjoy a lot, with the main intent being for you as the reader to find new albums you may enjoy, and for me as the writer to get to talk about albums I may never have gotten to otherwise
But of course, as I am human and not a machine, sometimes I find it difficult deciding on what to review, twiddling my thumbs and trying out various rough draft ideas until eventually that fateful Friday creeps up on me and I’m left still unsure what to do. This was my response to my (admittedly self-created) new problem.
Peasantry’s Picks! This will be an occasional retrospective format I use for talking about a small, themed selection of EPs or short albums that would be nigh-impossible to review in the format of a full-length dissection, but when paired together offer a lovely little charcuterie of releases to sample and taste. And in the last minute spirit of this, I decided I wanted to talk about a handful of almost absurdly short grindcore EPs that, despite their unimposing runtime, I can’t resist coming back to. Like musical junk food, these EPs and albums are addicting, almost impossible to play just once. Each project presented is 10 minutes or less in length, and some as short as 5 minutes! So if you enjoy grindcore, I see absolutely no reason not to do yourself a favour and check them out.
Written by: Izzy
Ah, Anaal Nathrakh. You’re one of the oddest relationships I have with a band. You’re capable of making incredible music, but it only seems to happen by pure coincidence. I loved Codex Umbra and The Whole of The Law, I was bored by Vanitas and A New Kind of Horror, and the album of yours I most expected to love, In The Constellation of The Black Widow, was made utterly unlistenable but a mix so unrefined and muddy it gave me a migraine on my first listen.
There’s so much potential present within Anaal Nathrakh, but there’s no rhyme or reason for telling when they’ll make another album I love. When it’s straightforward and sticking to their palette of blackened grind, it might end up feeling like bland retreading of the same ground; when it’s more adventurous and innovative, adding elements of industrial or symphonic sung choruses, it can just as easily feel like they’re trying too hard. So all I can do is wait and listen to their new releases every couple years, hoping I get another unexpected gem.
Written by: Izzy
It’s a little known fact to those who don’t know me personally, but I LOVE MySpace. In general, the whole aesthetic of scene stuff is right up my alley, but I especially love the music that came out of MySpace. No, I don’t mean Soulja Boy or (and I am trying my best not to vomit as I type this) Jeffree Star, those two are just memeable novelties that never actually contributed any genuinely good music to society. What I’m talking about is the amazing mathcore/grindcore/deathcore scene!
There are so many weird forgotten bands birthed from that website that deserve wayyy more credit than they ever got. Expect me, in the future, to dive more into that mystical realm we call 2009, where Warped Tour was the best thing ever to happen to music, where everything was neon colours and everyone had the emo fringe. But right now it’s still 2020 and we’re talking about The Sound That Ends Creations, a MySpace-core revival band of sorts, with their oddly titled latest album Memes, Dreams, and Flying Machines. There’s a very clear and obvious inspiration both musically and aesthetically from that era, which does inform a lot of my opinions about this album, so I see no issue labeling them that, and I doubt they would mind.
Also in the event that Chris Dearing, the man behind The Sound That Ends Creations, is reading this:firstly, I’m sorry, secondly, don’t let a schmuck like me deter you from making music and following your passion, because from this point on I am going to mercilessly tear into this album, but I promise it’s nothing personal.
Written by: Izzy
For those keen eyed followers of mine, who’ve stuck with me through my (many) tribulations, you may remember I was in love with Fawn Limbs’ output in 2019, their phenomenal debut Harm Remissions landing comfortably on my top 30 of that year, and their fantastic followup EP Their Holes Aroused... earning an honourable mention. While there have been some significant shifts and changes in that list since, I stand confidently by my inclusion of Harm Remissions as it’s still an album I listen to today.
So, as expected, when Sleeper Vessels was announced I was absolutely giddy with excitement. The band was on a roll after releasing both an amazing LP and EP the same year and I was happy to throw myself under their bus once more for another dose of their hideously brutal mathcore/grindcore, after eagerly waiting just over a year their sophomore LP is here, and I got some things to say.
Written by: Volt Thrower
Bootlickers beware: this album is not for you. But for anyone else who wants to see the institutions of systemic racism burnt to the ground, this is the revolutionary anthem for you. Rising from the red of Little Rock, Arkansas, Terminal Nation delivers a brutal sonic indictment of humanity with Holocene Extinction.
Right from the get-go, Terminal Nation establish a catchy death doom sound in "Cognitive Dissonance." Raspy howls devolve into a sickening “bleugh”, which sets things off in a beautiful direction. A crushing mosh call to close out the album opener is a damn fine start. "Arsenic 'Fucking' Death" kicks things up a notch with a tasty grind passage, also bringing in the first pit chant in “extinction of mankind!” If you can listen to this album without getting a single riff/line stuck in your head, I'll paypal you $100 (CDN, so not much). But seriously, this album is just littered with memorable hooks and quotable lines.
Written by: The Voiceless Apparition
It seems rather apparent that I don't review a lot of doom and sludge metal bands. It's not due a distaste for the genre, moresob just not looking hard enough. There are plenty of great albums/bands in the genre, but I find myself gravitating towards other sub-sects of the overarching metal genre. But here we have Of Wolves--a "newcomer" to the scene and already making a name for themselves due to the fact that they combine everything great with punk and metal. If you want crushing slow songs, you'll get them. If you want hardcore headbanging songs, you'll get them too.
Of Wolves have something to prove with their second album Balance. As for the quality of the songs... let's find out.
We covered this album during last week's edition of Fresh Meat Friday...but Pyrrhon is far too significant of a band to gloss over with such egregious brevity. As such, our very own gibbously non-euclidean amalgamation--aka Loveloth the Omniscient--took the reins. Hence: enjoy this expanded review! - Ed.
Written by: Loveloth
Three years ago, a more impressionable, less jaded Loveloth scoured the plains of the Interwebz in search of new, exciting music. One faithful day, I was doing the usual, which translated to me religiously reading Angry Metal Guy. Anyhow, here I am scrolling through and chillin' until I see this insane album cover. It features a mangled dog snarling, whose paw got stuck in a rusty iron trap. The beast has multiple wounds and is clearly malnourished. The surrounding area looks nice though as it's filled with leaves, but the dog and washed out color palette evokes a feeling of discomfort. Needless to say, my interest was piqued and one quick glance later I see the title. Pyrrhon, What Passes For Survival. The two r's in the band name were weird, sure, but I was not prepared what was to come.
You see, there is this guy named Kronos who writes for AMG, and he is known for his hot takes and penchant for the most extreme forms of metal. What I absolutely love about his style, apart from his vast vocabulary and superb phrasing, is how convincing his points always were. Sure, I would disagree with him, but his hot takes never felt cheap and that is pretty rare these days. But now: back to the epic, overlong intro.
Written by: Arzou
Undesiccated’s new release, צֶמַח (tseh'-makh), is...quite odd. The EP is like eating a $4 TV dinner. It’s pretty good, but there’s that inner feeling of guilt and shame knowing there are much more quality and healthy food options out there. Let me try to explain why.
First, to get the blatantly obvious out of the way before even listening to the EP: why do the songs have numbers in front of them? I’m not talking track listing numbers. I’m talking numbers like 29, 32, etc. etc., and in somewhat random order too? I was curious so I dug through their bandcamp and saw that every release was like this. The only reason I can think of this is that the band is numbering every song they made to keep count, but not changing the name of the song when uploading to bandcamp. This sort of lack of care and/or amateurism almost prevented me from listening to the EP all together, and yet I did out of blatant curiosity. Which leads to my next point.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!