Alkerdeel – Lede (2016)

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Author: Crono

Artist: Alkerdeel

Album: Lede

Label: ConSouling Sounds

Genre: Raw Sludge/Black Metal

Lede is the latest release from Belgian nightmare-masters Alkerdeel. This is their third full length album and it continues to tread the same sound of previous albums. Describing exactly what that sound is can be rather difficult. Alkerdeel plays a raw black metal that incorporates some elements of sludge, notably a heavy focus on bass-leads and extremely crunchy sections. Their songs almost always range on the lengthy side, Lede being a trio of songs, the shortest just under seven minutes, the longest 18 minutes. I was drawn to Alkerdeel for their unique mix of apocalyptic vocals and crushing instrumentals on their previous release, Morinde, and they’ve definitely kept it up on this new release.   Continue reading

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Lord Mantis – NTW EP (2016)

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Author: Gay For Gary Oldman

Artist: Lord Mantis

Album: NTW EP (2016)

Genre: Black/Sludge Metal

 

Label: New Density

 

 

 

After dominating so many end of year lists with Death Mask in 2014, one of the last remaining titans of blackened sludge Lord Mantis return with a phenomenal EP, after kinsmen Indian and Coffinworm head to the blacker pastures of the defunct-band realm in the sky. In case you don’t recall the cover art of Death Mask, you should revisit it before learning that this EP is named for the track Nice Teeth Whore. And yes, yes. That is a fucking uterus on the album cover, in all its fallopian fortitude, with the umbilical swarm and all.  Continue reading

Black Cobra – Imperium Simulacra (2016)

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Author: Bloodshot Grub

Artist: Black Cobra

Album: Imperium Simulacra

Label: Season of Mist

Genre: Sludge/Doom Metal

 

Black Cobra is one of those bands with a consistent, distinct, and immediately identifiable vision for their music, and they deliver on it every single time, without fail. If you like your sludge fast, aggressive, and filled to the brim with outstanding riffs, you can select any one of the San Francisco duo’s five albums and find great satisfaction.  Continue reading

Love Sex Machine – Asexual Anger (2016)

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Author: Gay For Gary Oldman

Artist: Love Sex Machine

Album: Asexual Anger (2016)

Label: Throatruiner Records

 

Caution: may cause severe neck pain and syphilis in young people.

 

The dirtiest love. The most hate-filled sex. The most punishing machine. France’s Love Sex Machine first caught my attention a few years ago when I stumbled upon their self-titled debut. Combining the unrelenting sludge groove of Primitive Man and Mammoth Grinder with the mindless rage of Plebeian Grandstand and Gaza, could you really expect to find this band anywhere else but on Throatruiner Records? This label’s small but impressive roster is the pus-filled, diseased epicenter where grind, crust, sludge and extreme metal meet. Continue reading

Agoraphobic Nosebleed – Arc (2016)

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Author: Bloodshot Grub

Artist: Agoraphobic Nosebleed

Album: Arc

Label: Relapse Records

 

 

The first time I heard Salome’s landmark album Terminal, I was working a graveyard shift for a security company, driving around the city in the biting cold of January listening to metal on the company car’s shitty sound system. I was still fairly new to sludge and what I had heard focused a great deal on the thickness of the sound, guitars downtuned and multitracked and sent through fuzz and distortion pedals, delays and reverbs, and probably several simultaneous tube amps and cabinets. Terminal, in contrast, was bone dry. One guitar, minimal effects, no bass, drums, and Katherine Katz, whom I had heard before on Agoraphobic Nosebleed’s Agorapocalypse. The sparseness of the production combined with the relentlessly punishing and nihilistic music was unlike anything I had heard before, and over the years it became one of my favorite albums. Having only a few years prior come out of the bleakest period in my life, one characterized by addiction and severe mental illness, the album’s emotional tenor, however bleak, was very comforting. Continue reading

The Lion’s Daughter – Existence is Horror (2016)

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Author: Bloodshot Grub

Artist: The Lion’s Daughter

Album: Existence Is Horror

Label: Season of Mist

 

 

And here it is, my first new release of 2016, the sophomore full-length from Missouri’s The Lion’s Daughter. I’m not superstitious, but some ancient part of my brain seems to worry that my selection might prove prophetic with regards to the year ahead. If that were the case, the title alone would indicate that this would make an especially ominous note on which to start the year. There are some significant similarities to one of the last releases I caught in 2015, and the subject of my last review, The Tomb of All Things by Un. It’s slow, it’s bleak, it’s violent and unwholesome, and it doesn’t quite hit the mark. Continue reading

Un – The Tomb of All Things (2015)

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Author: Bloodshot Grub

Artist: Un

Album: The Tomb of All Things

Label: Black Bow Records

 

I’m glad that funeral doom hasn’t yet reached the same level of prolificity as, say, atmospheric black metal. Even more so than 2015’s most abundant genre, funeral doom requires the right moods, the right atmosphere, and plenty of time to listen to the lengthy songs and absorb the weight and despair. The year now gone has given us some enjoyable funeral doom releases: Bell Witch, Ahab (though they’re a little less purely funereal anymore), Shape of Despair, Tyranny. Plenty to enjoy, but there’s still room in the 2015 roster for more. Continue reading