Vampire – Vampire (2014)

“AT MIDNIGHT I’LL POSSESS YOUR COOORPSE!” Vampire, another entrant in the revival of thrashy death metal from Swedeland, finally released their debut LP.

Take the raw aggression from the all the classic 90’s Swedeath bands home, throw in a bit of thrash, add some filth. Baby, you’ve got a Vampire stew going!

As mentioned, Vampire reminds me a lot of the more current Swedeath bands like, Repugnant, Tribulation, Degial, Necrovation, Verminous, and so forth. Lyrically, Vampire is the B-grade horror movie of the bunch; they focus on the typical death, gore but if the name wasn’t any indication,  also horror and zambies!

I think what sets Vampire apart, is that they’ve got a bit more bite to them. It certainly isn’t the rawest out there, but there’s still a lot of grit on this record: reverberant, barked vocals, bouncy guitar riffs, powerful drums, and  muddy bass (hey, it works!). A lot of those bands focus on atmosphere as well, but Vampire would fit right in as the soundtrack for the night of the living dead.

You can find CDs, vinyl, and t-shirts here!

Favorite tracks: At Midnight I’ll Possess Your Corpse, The Bestial Abyss, Jaws of the Unknown

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The Oath – The Oath (2014)

Doomy, girly newcomers, The Oath, have finally released their long awaited, self-titled debut on  everyone’s favorite doom, stoner label, Rise Above Records.

Contrary to what the album cover would have you believe, it’s not an all female band! The two females of the group handle the vocals and guitars, and actually, this record features Simon Bouteloup from Kadavar on bass.

I should probably stop talking about how they’re girls and get to the actually music at some point. Anyhow, The Oath plays a lot like a concoction of Pagan Altar meets Mercyful Fate, whom both smoked too many cigarettes together in a grimy bar. Is that descriptive enough? I think so.  (For you genre sticklers: heavy/doom metal/hard rock)

You can find a stream of the album on their bandcamp.

Favorite tracks: Night Child, Black Rainbow, Psalm 7

Teitanblood – Death (2014)

That’s right, they’re baaaaaack. Spanish blackened death metal demolitionists, TEITANBLOOD, finally release their second, long-awaited LP, aptly titled Death.

If you’re not familiar with Teitanblood, they play a style of not-quite-black metal but not-quite-death metal, instead meeting at the dark, seedy place where the two genres hooked up after they got a little too fucked on Devil Juice. That’s Teitanblood.

Death is their second full-length record, after 2009’s Seven Chalices. Personally, I wasn’t a huge fan of them before; enjoyable, but not really grabbing my attention. It had all the promise: extremes, the atmosphere, OCCULT!, but I just never got it. However, I think they’ve perfected their, admittedly, already great formula. If the death metal influence wasn’t apparent at first, it definitely is on this album. “Anteinfierno” gets straight to kicking you in the chest and crushing your ribs. The production on this album suits their music perfectly: an oddly clear, but still extremely cacophonous, hurricane of metal, heading straight for your earholes.

Favorite tracks: Sleeping Throats of the Antichrist, Burning in Damnation Fires

 

Hail Spirit Noir – Oi Magoi (2014)

Do you love the 60’s psychedelic rock? 70’s prog rock? How about black metal? Any of the above? Well then this band is for you! Hail Spirit Noir, originating from Greece, released their second full-length outing, Oi Magoi (that’s fun to say), on January 20th.

This is the first time I’ve heard of these guys, and I’ll tell you, the first time I saw the genre tags I was thinking, “ha! There’s no way this is any good.” These madmen proved me wrong. Seriously. Take Satan and throat wrenching screams, throw in a bit of mushrooms, and bam! Hail Spirit Noir. I’m almost at a loss for words on how to describe it, but you have to listen to it to understand it. I know it’s still early, but I think this will be making an appearance on at least my year end lists, if not many more.

Favorite tracks: Demon For a Day, Satan Is Time, The Mermaid, Hunters

You can find more info on their facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hail-Spirit-Noir/260062670728238 and stream a few tracks on their myspace, https://myspace.com/hailspiritnoir.

Symptom – Caverns of Katabasis (2014)

 

Symptom is a one man band project of JT Gilmore, based out of Portland, Oregon, formed in 2010. Two EPs (and a compilation with those EPs) were released before Opulent Atrocity dropped last year. Symptom makes it perfectly clear their influences: Incantation, Immolation, and Autopsy, albeit fairly more doom-y. Still soul destroying death metal.

Picking up right off where the last album ended, Caverns of Katabasis lives up to the name. A quick lesson: katabasis is (usually) a hero’s trip to the underworld. This album is as much of a journey as that. A murky, wavering atmosphere drenches this album. The album kicks off with “Risen from Shadow,” which is actually a fairly straightforward doom track. However, as each of the 6 tracks progresses, the sounds become much more twisted and demented; the death influence slowly creeps in, track by track. Kind of like a trip further down into the abyss, eh? The album closes in a very somber, piano tune that fades off eventually; what would be a stark contrast to the rest of the album, if it weren’t so depressing.

Favorite tracks: Risen From Shadow, Saturnine, L’appel du Vide

I highly recommend you check this band out.

Conan – Blood Eagle (2014)

The British, barbarian metal trio, Conan, have returned with their second full-length album: Bloo(ooooooooooooooo)d Eagle. 

Saying they’re pretty well known within the more underground metal community, Conan’s EP Horseback Battle Hammer and subsequent debut LP, Monnos, are held in pretty high regard. I’d say this record is no different.

Getting straight to business as usual: ridiculously downtuned guitars (how many necks were snapped during recording?) and plodding, in a good way, tempos. Also vikings and battles and shit. What more could you even ask for? Aformentioned neck snapping is plentiful. Of human necks. This another one of those bands where I can give all the descriptors and tags in the world, but you have to listen to it yourself to “get” it, as pretentious as that sounds. I’ll go tighten my scarf.

Favorite tracks: Crown of Talons, Foehammer, Horns For Teeth

You can purchase CDs and vinyl at http://shop.napalmrecords.com/catalogsearch/result/index/?musikstil=42&q=conan.