I started writing this post last weekend, when the featured songs were fresh out of the blast furnace and had just appeared online, but every day since then has thrown distractions in the way of finishing it. Finally, it is done. I’m afraid there’s nothing in this collection that’s suitable for the faint of heart, but if you’ve become acclimated to ravaging sonic assaults I think you’ll find a lot to like.
I re-ordered the appearance of Temple Desecration since I began writing this post because what started as a feature about a single song is now a review of a two-song 12″ EP, the name of which is Communion Perished. It’s due for release by Germany’s Iron Bonehead Productions on June 27.
Temple Desecration are a blackened death metal band from Poland and their previous output consists of a 2012 demo named Abhorrent Rites, which I’ve not heard. The new release includes two songs — “Ghoul Prayer” and “Apotheosis”. Both of them intertwine passages of rapacious, storming riffs and merciless percussive fusillades with ghastly doom dirges, the guitars and bass drenched in distortion and the bestial vocals reverberating as if recorded in a catacombs.
Through their dissonant, dismal melodies, the band create a poisonous atmosphere of misery and malevolence. It’s turbulent, disorienting, and technically impressive. Definitely a worthy discovery for fans of blackened death metal.
Below, you can have a listen to “Apotheosis”.
Iron Bonehead happens to be the label releasing the source of our next offering, too. The band is Temple Nightside and they dwell in Australia. Last year they emitted a debut album entitled Condemnation, and they are now following that with a 12″ split named Call of the Maelstrom; their song is paired with one from the excellent New Zealand entity Vassafor.
Temple Nightside’s track is “Knell”. At almost nine minutes, it has enough time to cast a potent spell, one that drags your mind through a wall of thorns and down into a murky abyss. The vibrating tremolo riffs radiate illness, the lumbering distorted chords are blood-draining, the wordless echoing howls send chills down the spine. This is blackened death metal that relishes life (or anti-life) in the low and slow lane, but is convincingly bone-grinding and flesh-reaping when it turns warlike, too. A really excellent track.
Mortuus are a black metal band from Sweden whose last release was a 2007 debut album with a very long title: De contemplanda Morte; De Reverencie laboribus ac Adorationis. Their new album comes with the more user-friendly name of Grape of the Vine, and it’s due for release by The Ajna Offensive later this year.
The song I came across last weekend is one of the new tracks, named “Sulphur”. The dismal, doomed, distorted melody in the early moments sets the stage for the gloom that follows, but it’s a magisterial procession despite the shroud of dread and ruination that covers the music. No blast beats or racing guitars in this mid-paced piece, just attention-grabbing bass notes and riveting riffs that boom and claw. The vocals are also completely ravaging. Grape of the Vine goes on the must-listen list.
Last but not least, we come to a Swiss band named Vuyvr. They released a debut album last year named Eiskalt, but I discovered their name through the Elemental Nightmares project, which will include one of their songs on a 10″ split with Porta Nigra, Membaris, and Ashencult (their track from that split can be streamed here). In addition to that output, Vuyvr have also recorded a second album — Incinerated Gods — that will be released by Throatruiner Records on June 26.
What I’ve heard from the album so far is the opening track, “Spring of the Jordan”, which began streaming last weekend. As you listen to the song, it may be interesting to know that the band includes members of Impure Wilhelmina and Rorcal, and that it was recorded live. But you can appreciate the song even if that means nothing to you.
“Spring of the Jordan” becomes more and more interesting as the seconds pass. The blast-beat drumming is almost unrelenting, and the hardcore-style vocals are never less than caustic, but the guitar work grows increasingly inventive and technically impressive, and the corrosive dissonance of the melody even gives way to rippling shimmers of light.
I’m kind of at a loss in trying to summon up an appropriate genre label for the sound of this “Spring”, but I sure do like whatever it should be called.