Happy International Workers’ Day! For those of you who have this day as a holiday, I hope you’ve enjoyed it. For those of us in the UK, we have the bank holiday coming. And here at TSNTW, I’m getting back into the swing of things with a series of short reviews. For this installment, we have world-ending black/death metal; speed-laced black-thrash; a furious feminist statement; a wonderful meeting of progressive technicality and black metal horror; and beautiful modern classical. Enjoy!
It’s incredible to think that it’s almost 30 years since Master first unleashed their self-titled debut album; and since then, the death metal veterans have barely put a foot wrong. They’ve never gone chasing trends, or caring about what is fashionable. Instead, they’re focused solely on doing what they want to do, releasing album after album of old-school death metal. It leaves them in an enviable position now, with latest album Vindictive Miscreant doing exactly what you’d want a Master album in 2018 to do. It’s an album filled with solid tunes, crushing riffs, and a brutal sense of energy. It’s also that most difficult of things to review – an album that does nothing wrong, but sticks so closely to the blueprint of what Master are that critically assessing it is all-but impossible.
Label: Dark Descent Records
It might seem absurd to say, given that their brand of death metal is steeped in ruin and decay, but Hyperdontia are the result of a happy accident. Chance meetings between members of the Turkish and Danish scenes – including Undergang vocalist D.M. and M.G. of Decaying Purity – eventually led to the international band taking shape. Following EP Abhorence Veil, the band now return with Nexus of Teeth, an album of such power and conviction that it can stand up to the best of the modern old-school death metal revival. It may not be especially original, but there’s no sense arguing agianst that when the results of this devastating. Dirty as the grave, cloaked in decay and stinking of the grave, this album is nasty in the best possible way.
The selections for Album of the Day for the past week have been some of my favourites thus far. I want to give particular attention to the self-titled album by No Anti, which is one of the most extreme things I’ve ever heard. Elsewhere, we’ve pummelling hardcore, atmospheric black metal, and all-consuming blackened death. Enjoy!
Label: Blood Harvest
The old school death metal revival is really in rude health, and I think it’s safe to declare it one of – if not the – biggest things happening in the metal underground in recent times. Alongside a considerable number of bands who owe considerable debts to Incantation, more and more bands are releasing records which celebrate the g(l)ory days of Autopsy. The latest EP from Transcendence, Hour of the Summoning, does just that. Grim, grisly, and packed full of flesh-tearing riffs, this EP delights in the old-school death metal filth it conjures, and what it may lack in originality, it more than makes up for with atmosphere, energy, and the sheer joy of hearing dirty death metal riffs played with such obvious passion.
Label: Camo Pants Records
Following the release of debut full-length Tormentium on Iron Bonehead Records, New York’s Mutilate are back with All Life Ends, a three-track, ten minute demo that sounds just as nasty and fetid as the cover art would have you hoping. As with that album, and their previous demo Fortress of Suffering, there is literally nothing new here – this is death metal as it was when the genre first clawed itself out of its shallow grave to inflict pain and suffering upon the world. This could well have been recorded in 1987 and only just now been unleashed upon the world; and that is exactly the point.
So, we’re a bit over halfway through 2018, and there’s been some excellent records released. Most notably, 2018 is shaping up to be an excellent year for death metal – bands such as Tomb Mold, Our Place of Worship is Silence, Memoriam, Slugdge, and practically everyone on the Dark Descent Records roster are killing it with top-tier death metal. Things aren’t quite so grand when it comes to black metal, but the new Immortal is pretty note-worthy, and there’s been a few other strong releases in the underground – including the final release by Cosmic Church.
Here, I’ll pick out ten of my favourite records released so far this year, in alphabetical order. Hopefully you’ll find something new here to enjoy, or be reminded of something you were in to earlier in the year. Enjoy!