The Swedish label Blood Harvest Records plans to release a series of 7″ EPs between now and year-end. Yesterday I reviewed the first two of those EPs to reach the label from the pressing plant (here). In this post I’ve collected thoughts about the next three that are planned for release, which are now at press.
Ascended Dead come our way from San Diego, and include current or former members of Ghoulgotha, whose Blood Harvest EP was one of the two covered in Part 1 of this series. Their release is a four-song collection entitled Arcane Malevolence, which follows the band’s four-song demo released in 2012.
The label pitches the band with references to the likes of Possessed, Necrovore, and the early sounds of Morbid Angel and Sarcofago, and that should give you an idea of what you’re in for. This is thick, murky, grinding death metal, the gears of the monstrous machine choked with grime and spewing noxious fumes as it barrels ahead at a murderous pace.
The songs feature absolutely stand-out drumwork, blistering guitar solos, and a big load of galvanizing riffs, in addition to the reverberating howls of a monstrous vocalist. The music moves so quickly and is so utterly decimating in its philosophy that even after only four songs you may feel like you’ve spent a week in a war zone. Highly recommended.
Void Spiritualism appears to be the debut release of this Swiss duo. The three songs it includes collectively fall shy of 13 minutes in duration, but they make a big impression. Behind a truly bestial collection of cavernous roars, howls, and shrieks, the churning riffs roil dark waters while the drums pummel and clatter inventively (and remorselessly). Every now and then, a slithering guitar lead or solo writhes through the thick fog of saturated malevolence.
Very much a kindred spirit to the Ascended Dead EP reviewed above, Void Spiritualism is fast-paced, very old-school death metal, the ugliness and occult atmosphere of which are enhanced by a dense, murky production. Genuinely horrifying and really good.
I haven’t found any official music stream, but did come across this YouTube clip of the first track, “Self Abortion Ritual”.
Cleveland’s Kurnugia are a new band — Tribulations of the Abyss is their debut release — but the band’s members are not newcomers. Their ranks currently include guitarist/vocalist Duane Morris and drummer Chris Dora (both from Terror), and it appears that all four band members were at one time in another Cleveland band named Decrepit, among other projects. (Note: Rick Nay was the drummer on Tribulations).
Tribulations includes two roughly five-minute tracks, “Plague Winds” and “Diseased Angels”. Completing a triumvirate begun by the first two EPs reviewed in this post, the music is another offering of malignant old-school death metal, filled with churning, turbid guitars and spine-snapping percussion. The drilling, tremolo-picked riffs exude an atmosphere of concentrated evil, and the vocalist’s raw, throaty brays add to the music’s thoroughly predatory ambience.
The band also do a nice job varying the pacing and the rhythms within both songs, occasionally slowing to a crawl, jumping with d-beats, or stomping with heavy boots, as well as threading them with bleak, grisly melodies. Yet another highly recommended EP from yet another band worth watching closely.