Blood Incantation – Starspawn (2016)

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Author: T.K. White

Band: Blood Incantation

Album: Starspawn

Genre: Death Metal

Label: Dark Descent Records

 

Wow, what do I even say about this record? I mean, it’s so hard to describe, yet unquestionably good. No doubts, but that is something Blood Incantation is used to. With a handful of demos dating back from 2013, and EP and a split in 2015, this year we finally see what Blood Incantation at their largest. Or should I say most expansive? Either way, there is no question that the album is phenomenal.  Continue reading

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Vanhegld – Temple of Phobos (2016)

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Author: TK White

Band: Vanhegld

Album: Temple of Phobos

Genre: Death Metal

Label: Pulverised Records

(Ed: The fetid dead have arisen once more! We are back and resuming our hopefully regular posting schedule!)

I have had zero introduction to Vanhegld, but I figured these dudes are on Dark Descent so it has to be good and—spoilers—it is. These Swedes really know how to riff. They also know how to create some absolutely punishing atmospheres. Now, before we get too deep, I should reiterate that I had no idea who these guys were. I checked out their page on the Metal Archives and saw that two bands under “Similar Artist” were Asphyx and At the Gates. Not exactly two bands that you would often see coupled together, but it works. It actually describes the band pretty well. Truthfully, I think the best band to equate them to would be label-mates, Blood Incantation. That being said, the band definitely leans more towards the Asphyx sound, which is incredibly evident right out of the gate (no pun intended).  Continue reading

Horrendous – Anareta (2015)

Author: Jan Jakobsen

Artist: Horrendous

Album: Anareta

Label: Dark Descent Records

Trying to follow up from last year’s excellent LP, Ecdysis is far from an easy task. Many in the scene regarded it as one of the better death metal albums of 2014, and 2014 had a lot of great death metal releases. Ecdysis may not have reached the same height as Dead Congregations Promulgation of the Fall, Morbus Chrons Sweven or even Artificial Brains Labyrinth Constellation, but it was sure as hell a very solid album. Now, only a year later, Horrendous is releasing Anareta, the highly anticipated follow-up. This is their third album in only four years so it is clear they are hardworking people. Continue reading

Riff Theory #1 – Thantifaxath – The Bright White Nothing at the End of the Tunnel

Author: Bloodshot Grub

Title: Riff Theory #1 – Thantifaxath

Song: The Bright White Nothing at the End of the Tunnel

Album: Sacred White Noise

(Ed: A new feature we’re trialing, most likely paired with tues/thurs reviews. Feedback welcome!)

Listening to metal and playing music have always gone together in my life. It wasn’t long after I first heard Dream Theater’s Images and Words that I decided I wanted to be a drummer, and that was the beginning of a lifetime of musical study that resulted in, among other things, me becoming a huge music theory nerd. So here’s a place for me to pay tribute to and nerd out about metal’s great riffs, past and present. Welcome to Riff Theory. Continue reading

Tyranny – Aeons in Tectonic Interment (2015)

Author: Gay For Gary Oldman

Artist: Tyranny

Album: Aeons in Tectonic Interment

Label: Dark Descent Records

Funeral doom metal is a challenging beast to tame. Too often the slow, lumbering passages can wander aimlessly and leave the listener wondering where its gargantuan form is going, and with track after track of homogenous tones and paces, we can’t help but wonder when and if it will eventually lay its monstrous form down. Continue reading

Desolate Shrine – The Heart of the Netherworld (2015)

Artist: Desolate Shrine

Album: The Heart of the Netherworld

Label: Dark Descent Records

Reviewer: Gabriel

The latest release from Finland’s Desolate Shrine, titled The Heart of the Netherworld, is certainly an ambitious effort. Clocking in at over an hour, …Netherworld’s seven songs attempt to expand upon what one would expect from death metal through a heavy emphasis on atmosphere. More specifically, Desolate Shrine crafts a soundscape that reflects the band’s general negativity towards the human species and its obsession with the occult. What we have here isn’t exactly sunshine and rainbows – but what self-respecting metal enthusiast doesn’t appreciate a well-executed exploration of the dark side? Unfortunately, while the record occasionally reaches points where its thick atmosphere enhances the sense of dread, much of the time all it produces is tedium. Continue reading

Invincible Force – Satan Rebellion Metal (2015)

Invincible Force - Satan Rebillion Metal

Artist: Invincible Force

Album: Satan Rebellion Metal

Label: Dark Descent Records

Short, sweet, and grave desecrating aptly describes the debut full-length of these Chilean monsters of the underground, Invincible Force. Satan Rebellion Metal, out on Dark Descent Records, demonstrates a proper execution of metal evolution. They take inspiration from plenty of their forefathers without overly relying on old school standbys for their overall sound. It does not simply take surface level tropes of black, death and thrash metal—Invincible Force incorporates specific, nuanced approaches in order to concoct a much fresher feeling release, with a mixture of pleasant surprises and occasional letdowns.   Continue reading