Monday, June 25, 2018 07:46

Posts Tagged ‘Dark Descent Records’

HERESIARCH – DEATH ORDINANCE LP (Dark Descent Records)

Friday, May 11th, 2018

Heresiarch - Death OrdinanceDo we really need another Diocletian? Another Witchrist? More chaotic, barbaric brutality from New Zealand? Is there room for such an excess of war-mongering mayhem in our wretched, lemming-like lives? Of fucking course there is.

Listening along to Heresiarch’s debut full-length, ‘Death Ordinance’, whilst reading the well-crafted, graphic lyrics, one is transported to the trenches to inhale the glorious stench of cordite, napalm, blood, smoke, entrails, sweat, tears, fear, shit and death.

Unfettered, violence erupts through the speakers into your ears and death is everywhere.

Evilometer: 666/666

THANTIFAXATH – VOID MASQUERADING AS MATTER MLP (Dark Descent Records)

Thursday, April 5th, 2018

Thantifaxath - Void Masquerading As MatterI think it would be accurate to suggest that Thantifaxath is not your everyday Black Metal band. The anonymous Canadian trio certainly go down the left hand path less trodden when it comes to constructing music and debut full-length ‘Sacred White Noise’ was a cacophonous slab of chaotic dissonance delivered to the ear canal with utter abandon.

Mesmeric follow-up ‘Void Masquerading As Matter’ emerged towards the death throes of 2017 and, although it’s listed as a mini-album, it’s quite substantial at 36 minutes. Four lengthy songs of intelligent, varied, ambitious and always interesting dark art. A fantastic listen and definitely worthy of the overused ‘eclectic’ adjective.

An innovative concoction of everything bar the cabin sink. Not mad about the fourth offering, though. It is a bit of a stinker.

Evilometer: 555/666

KRYPTS – REMNANTS OF EXPANSION LP (Dark Descent Records)

Sunday, January 29th, 2017

Krypts - Remnants Of ExpansionIt may be only 34 minutes long (five tracks) but Krypts’ second full-length sure packs one hell of a sledgehammer punch to the temple. ‘Remnants Of Expansion’ is one of the most punishing and addictive Death Metal albums of recent years and is worthy of multiple repeat listens.

For crushing, mid-paced Death Metal imbued with a subtle hint of crude melody, this cannot be topped.

Eleven-minute cenotaph ‘Arrow of Entropy’ sets the tone and Krypts’ mesmerising magic just keeps reeling you in all the way through to the aptly-named epitaph, ‘Transfixed’. A monumental release in every way and one that was born for the vinyl format.

Evilometer: 666/666

PHOBOCOSM – BRINGER OF DROUGHT LP (Dark Descent Records)

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

phobocosm-bringer-of-droughtPhobocosm’s second full-length, ‘Bringer Of Drought’, sees them drop gear somewhat to emit four harrowing, ominous slabs totaling 35 minutes. Slow, doomy passages add to the sense of crushing haplessness as the earth swallows us whole, venting its fury through quakes and floods, turning all to dust.

Twelve inches of black wax inside a gatefold sleeve somehow survive to tell the tale of nature’s retribution.

Evilometer: 555/666

ELLORSITH / MANNVEIRA – ELLORSITH / MANNVEIRA MLP (Dark Descent Records)

Saturday, August 20th, 2016

Ellorsith Mannveira - Ellorsith MannveiraFantastic stuff here courtesy of two proper underground acts – Ellorsith from Canada and Mannveira from Iceland. The former offer another conceptual piece of work, this time centred around the story of Jerome of Sandy Cove, while the Reykjavík-ians(?) also submit two stellar tracks.

In total, we get less than 27 minutes of music. But it’s great music and well worthy of your money.

Evilometer: 555/666

LVCIFYRE – SVN EATER LP (Dark Descent Records)

Sunday, January 10th, 2016

Lvcifyre - Svn EaterLvcifyre’s ‘Svn Eater’ isn’t a new record but it’s one I missed first time around somehow and only got around to purchasing in the middle of last year. I’m giving it a quick mention here because I’ve been bingeing on it tonight – along with Adversarial, Osculum Infame (which I grabbed on vinyl and enjoy immensely), Revenge and Grave Miasma (despite my misgivings, eh?) – and it’s a really great LP.

In the unlikely event of you not already being familiar with this potent cocktail of chamber-dwelling Black Metal and Death Metal, complete with guest vocals from Mark of the Devil (Cultes Des Ghoules), then you ought to check it out. Poster and booklet with lyrics included.

Evilometer: 555/666

ADVERSARIAL – DEATH, ENDLESS NOTHING AND THE BLACK KNIFE OF NIHILISM LP (Dark Descent Records)

Saturday, September 12th, 2015

Adversarial - Death, Endless Nothing And The Black Knife Of NihilismIf there’s a better record released this year than Adversarial’s crushing sophomore, ‘Death, Endless Nothing And The Black Knife Of Nihilism’, then it will be a welcome surprise. Last week, I received shipment of a fine batch of new records but the rest of them have remained in their sleeves thus far as I’ve been devoting all my listening time to this monster.

An absorbing, pummelling journey into the murk, ‘DENATBKON’ is the latest stellar release in a burgeoning Death / Black hybrid world crafted by the likes of Portal, Antediluvian and Mitochondrion but growing in population. Many of these bands are finding their way onto Dark Descent, which makes things easy for us consumers.

The record comes with a booklet, including lyrics, which are also very good.

Evilometer: 666/666

PHOBOCOSM – DEPRIVED LP (Dark Descent Records)

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

Phobocosm - DeprivedEerie and ominous instrumental opener ‘Sleep Deprivation’ sets the tone for yet another dark and disturbing helping of suffocating, asymmetrical Death Metal conceived in Canada. Without bringing anything particularly unique or original to the table, Phobocosm manage to impress and are one of those bands that just click, in that they are somehow much more than the sum of their individual parts.

Deprived’ all comes together into a refreshing and harrowing cocktail of dark death that makes me think of Gorguts meets Pestilence at a Deathspell Omega (!) gig, for obvious want of a better explanation… (sleep deprivation, indeed)

The record is presented in a fantastic gatefold jacket, with lyrics included. A good ‘un, all in all.

Evilometer: 555/666

 

VASSAFOR – ELEGY OF THE ARCHEONAUT 2LP (Dark Descent Records)

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

Vassafor - Elegy of the ArcheonautTo be fair, ‘Elegy of The Archeonaut’ is a double album in every sense as it goes on forever and ever. I’m not sure what the exact running time is but it must be close to an-hour-and-a-half. This anthology collates most of Vassafor’s pre-‘Obsidian Codex’ material from the 1997-2007 era and it all makes for very interesting listening.

The downsides are obvious: as it wasn’t recorded as a whole, there is little in the way of coherency or consistency going on here and the flow of the records is further let down by the fact that the long songs are mostly frontloaded onto Sides A, B and C leading to a lack of balance. (By the way, Vassafor are at their best when delivering longer tracks.)

However, on the whole, ‘Elegy of The Archeonaut’ offers a priceless insight into the background of this great New Zealand band, spitting out a heady mix of Black, Death and Doom. Oppressive and crushing yet totally uplifting. Comes in a gatefold jacket with insert (included selected lyrics) and poster (yippee). Really great stuff.

Evilometer: 666/666

SEMPITERNAL DUSK – SEMPITERNAL DUSK LP (Dark Descent Records)

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

Sempiternal Dusk - Sempiternal DuskSempiternal Dusk’s self-titled debut album comprises 46 minutes of exceptional Death Metal – four epic songs and a short outro of horrific, creepy fare with a genuinely disturbing vibe. ‘Sempiternal Dusk’ is one of my favourite recent vinyl releases and the record is brilliantly presented by a label that can do little wrong right now (the aptly-named Horrendous aside).

If you are in the market for some fresh and crushing, mid-paced Death Metal with dollops of atmosphere, look no further. Now, bring on the long-awaited Swallowed LP…

Evilometer: 666/666

THANTIFAXATH – SACRED WHITE NOISE LP (Dark Descent Records)

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Thantifaxath - Sacred White NoiseGenerally speaking, the very idea of experimental has me running for cover. Be it experimental rules, experimental cuisine, experimental sex or – worst of all – experimental Black Metal, the word ‘experimental’ can usually be replaced by ‘impotent’, ‘halfbaked’, ‘bastardised’ or the more coarse option ‘shite’. As a rule, experimental Black Metal is shite Black Metal in disguise. Actually, not really in disguise, to be fair…  Thantifaxath is the exception that proves the rule.

Sacred White Noise’ is by no means conventional, but it is certainly still Black Metal at its core. Manic Black Metal with lots of curveballs, it manages to avoid oh so many potential pitfalls and has won itself a place in my heart. Unlike 99% of other bands who experiment and end up producing horrendous music – the much-lauded but thoroughly insipid Funereal Presence and Krallice take a bow here, please, along with all the other clowns – these anonymous Ontarians are worthy of kudos.

Evilometer: 555/666

LIE IN RUINS – TOWARDS DIVINE DEATH 2LP (Dark Descent Records)

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

Lie In Ruins - Towards Divine DeathTowards Divine Death’ represents my first exposure to Lie In Ruins, who apparently have been knocking around the Death Metal block (in various guises, on and off) for as many as 21 years. This is the Finns’ second full-length and contains nine slabs of labyrinthine DM, clocking in at almost 72 minutes. Yes, a long album.

So it’s clearly well worthy of the double-vinyl treatment and this glorious edition features a fantastic gatefold jacket and a small booklet. Looks great. Even though bands like Antediluvian, Portal, Teitanblood, Abyssal, Vasaeleth and Ævangelist pull off this style of horror-steeped, cavernous, ugly new-school Death Metal better, Lie In Ruins are still a welcome late addition to the pack.

Evilometer: 555/666

TEMPLE NIGHTSIDE – CONDEMNATION LP (Nuclear Winter Records / Dark Descent Records)

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Temple Nightside - CondemnationConsidering that Temple Nightside mastermind IV is the self-same entity behind such stellar BlackMetalReviews-endorsed forces as Ill Omen and Perdition Oracle, it was no surprise to me whatsoever to discover immediately upon receipt that ‘Condemnation’ is a fucking killer debut full-length of twisted, distorted harrowing Antipodean Black / Death Metal laced with more than a hint of dark dread / ambience.

With a little help from their colleagues in Vassafor and Grave Upheaval, IV and his Temple Nightside acolyte Basilysk (drums) have crafted eight cavernous, underground offerings that straddle the lesser-travelled ground between lo-fi black death, occult doom and infernal hell itself. The truly ritualistic music is driven by an undeniably evil energy and this is one of those records that holds up brilliantly to repeated listens. In fact, it seems to magically improve each time I give it a spin.

To seal the deal, the final is enclosed within a gatefold sleeve with an inlay sheet, all graced with some nice, minimal black and red artwork. My only complaint (and there’s invariably one, I know…) is that there’s no hint given as to which side of the record is which (unless I haven’t spotted the clues). No need for riddles; a simple ‘A’ printed on Side A would suffice.

Regardless, ‘Condemnation’ is a monstrous conjuration that should appeal to fans of any of the above-mentioned bands or of quality Black Metal in general. Not quite like anything else you will have heard, yet imbued with a comforting familiarity, the album is reassuringly cold and nihilistic, almost like a drugged, slowed-down version of Portal meets Blut Aus Nord. Barbaric; transcendental; tribal; different. Treat yourself to this mystical vision of spectral squalor.

Evilometer: 666/666

DESOLATE SHRINE – THE SANCTUM OF HUMAN DARKNESS 2LP (Dark Descent Records)

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

I’ve been really enjoying my Death Metal recently so I decided to give this sophomore album from Finnish band Desolate Shrine a go (once I discovered that it was available in glorious double-vinyl format). As I had a good feeling about this full-length, I purchased it blind / deaf, without listening to any of the music first, trusting my gut instinct. My faith has not been rewarded.

First off, let me say that the presentation from Dark Descent is exceptional – gatefold cover with superb artwork and lyrics, two fine records (though not 180g) which revolve at 45rpm rather than the conventional 33 (not sure why), and a poster (yippee!).

The eight songs spread evenly across the LPs simply aren’t reeling me in the way I hoped they would. I’ve given ‘The Sanctum Of Human Darkness’ plenty of listens at this stage – and even took a break from it to revisit with a fresh outlook, convinced that I was missing something – but I don’t think this album’s particularly great, or even good at all.

I was expecting something dark and sinister but really – though perhaps unconventional in a minute way – Desolate Shrine’s second album is just slow, melodic Death Metal that’s never invigorating and ultimately as dull as Swallow The Sun. Disappointing.

Evilometer: 222/666