Shape Of Despair – Monotony Fields (2015)

Artist: Shape of Despair

Album: Monotony Fields

Label: Season of Mist

Reviewer: Bloodshot Grub

Shape of Despair is, along with Skepticism, one of the bands that introduced me to funeral doom. They’ve remained one of my favorites, and as there’s very little variation in both quality and style within their prior three albums, and as they’ve released almost no new music in the ten years that I’ve been listening to them, I’ve come to see them as being not only consistent but actually static. Whenever grey skies roll in and I find myself in the mood for some lush, melancholy funeral doom, I select from their albums and songs almost at random, and the experience is largely the same regardless of what I land on. A consistently rich experience, but always predictable. Continue reading

Leprous – The Congregation (2015)

Artist: Leprous

Album: The Congregation

Label: InsideOut Music

Reviewer: Crono

Depending on how much you pay attention to certain things, Leprous might be familiar to you. They’ve been around for quite some time, The Congregation being their fifth album. They received a bit of buzz a few years back due to the fact that they were basically Ihsahn’s live band. That’s actually how I heard of them, so there you go. Continue reading

Genocide Shrines – Manipura Imperial Deathevokovil: Scriptures of Reversed Puraana Dharmurder (2015)

Genocide Shrines - 2015 release

Artist: Genocide Shrines

Album: Manipura Imperial Deathevokovil: Scriptures of Reversed Puraana Dharmurder

Label: Vault Of Dried Bones

“Ritual” has become something of a buzzword in black and death metal these days. It’s difficult to imbue a real sense of metaphysical connection into music that often uses offerings (whether to Satan, or some Lovecraftian entity). Enter Genocide Shrines. In the realm of abyssic, cavernous death metal, Genocide Shrines invoke and subvert scripture to create a truly blasphemic offering of sonic force. This record owes a great debt to the Incantation school of death metal, and it checks all of the requisite boxes – a smattering of blastbeats, downtuned guitars, and vocals that scrape the bottom of the deepest trenches. Continue reading

Elder – Lore (2015)

Artist: Elder

Album: Lore

Label: MeteorCity Records

Faces change/thought returns to dust/Ashen countenance, holy rust/I am compendium

Pack a bowl and rip your bong, you’re in for one hell of a journey. I was immediately immersed by Elder’s Lore because of the hypnotising quality of its riffs combined with the sheer scale of its songs and the sense of awe they invoke. Lore presents the band’s psychedelic brand of doom beautifully and is bound to be on numerous “album of the year” lists, including my own.

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Devouring Star – Through Lung And Heart (2015)

Devouring Star - Through Lung And Heart

Artist: Devouring Star

Album: Through Lung and Heart

Label: Daemon Worship Productions

 

It has been five years since the last Deathspell Omega full-length and we haven’t heard from them since 2012 when they released the EP Drought. Iceland and their black metal scene is blooming like never before with extremely competent bands like Svartidauði, Misþyrming and Sinmara. What do you get if you combine the dissonant riffing and intricate basslines of Deathspell Omega with the atmosphere and feel of Svartidauði? You get Devouring Star, a Finnish four-piece black metal band. Continue reading

Hammer King – Kingdom Of The Hammer (2015)

Hammer King - Kingdom Of The Hammer

Artist: Hammer King

Album: Kingdom of the Hammer King

Label: Cruz del Sur Music

Hammer King. Hammer. King. King of the Hammer. How does it sound? Does it sound like Manowar? Good. Because you don’t even need to listen to one of Hammer King’s tracks to know what’s up. Manowar is up. Steel is up. And glory is up. Do you think you’ve seen it all? It actually doesn’t matter because Hammer King are by no means a revolutionary band who try to reinvent the wheel. Their goal, however, is “to play the truest Heavy Metal in this and all other worlds”. Continue reading

Gruesome – Savage Land (2015)

Artist: Gruesome

Album: Savage Land

Label: Relapse Records

It’s interesting that for a band as well regarded and well known within the early death metal scene as Death is, that there are very little straight up Death worship and imitator bands, especially considering the number of bands hitting that early thrashy death metal that Death and Possessed were spewing out in the late 80’s. However, Gruesome, a project fronted by Exhumed’s Matt Harvey, aims to monopolise on this hole with Savage Land, a set of 8 tracks (over 35 minutes) mimicking Death’s Scream Bloody Gore and, mostly, Leprosy albums. Continue reading