Jul 282017


Colorado-based Dark Descent Records must be very, very happy with 2017. (I’m talking about their slate of music releases, of course, because many other things about the year suck harder than a shop vac.) Here we are just past the halfway point, and Dark Descent has already served up new albums by the likes of Heresiarch, Undergang, Father Befouled, Bestia Arcana, Ascended Dead, Phrenelith, Ensnared, GorephiliaCraven Idol, Lantern, Excommunion, Sarcasm, and Diabolical Messiah, and a new EP by Devouring Star (and I might have overlooked something).

But with more than five months left in the year, the label has a lot more nastiness up its sleeve, and today we’re getting a big taste of what’s to come. Today Dark Descent has released via Bandcamp and YouTube a new sampler that consists of a whopping 11 track premieres all at once, and they all happen to be from releases we’ve been very eager to hear, or that come as very intriguing surprises. Many appear headed our way before year-end; some may not arrive until 2018.

Below you’ll find some info about those 11 offerings, plus impressions of the music (aided by a bit of a sneak peak we got in advance), and of course streams of each song. To begin, here’s the track list:

Apr 082014

(Austin Weber reviews the forthcoming debut album by Toronto’s Thantifaxath.)

In the last few years, the black metal scene has taken an even darker turn, with many new acts expanding upon the influence of Deathspell Omega and others who have been turning black metal upside down and reinventing the evil within it. This is where the (literally) cloaked-in-anonymity Canadian group Thantifaxath come in. They reside somewhere within the frenzied straightforward past of the genre, while joining this new class of frightening dissonant acts, whose main goal is to make your ears recoil in uncomfortable revulsion.

Thantifaxath are focused on making your skin crawl and confusing your ears. The focus of this record is not on steamrolling you with aggression, but abducting and torturing you, utilizing bizarre methods and engulfing you in a sense of creepy unease. They leave you alone in the fathomless shadows of their music to cringe, become crippled by, and subsequently caught in its ceaseless sickness. Their memorable draw lies in their eerie riffing submerged in darkness and pain, memorable riffs that stick surprisingly easily in the brain like an inviting descent into hell.

Mar 052014

I’m headed for the airport again this morning, and then winging my way back to sunny Southern California for my day job, returning to sodden Seattle on Sunday. This will again restrict my blog time. Before leaving, I wanted to share a few recent discoveries.


This Toronto band, whose three members prefer to remain anonymous, released a self-titled EP in 2011, and now they have a debut full-length on the way. Entitled Sacred White Noise, it’s coming out on April 15th via Dark Descent. Not long ago the band premiered an advance track named “The Bright White Nothing At the End of the Tunnel”.  I’ve been meaning to check it out, and finally did so last night — and I’m in love.

There’s a writhing, dissonant guitar lead that begins almost immediately and then intermittently continues to whip and squirm its way throughout the rest of the song, and once heard it’s hard to forget. But that’s only part of the music’s attraction. The song also includes hammering percussion, scalding riffs, bestial black metal vocals, and a load of other strange but magnetic repeating motifs.

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