After releasing a 2017 demo and a pair of 2018 splits on the Blood Harvest label (with Desekryptor and Ossuarium), the Los Angeles-based death metal trio Draghkar are now just one week away from the release of a new EP, appropriately named The Endless Howling Abyss. It’s a four-track effort that will be available digitally, with a CD release by Craneo Negro Records and a cassette tape release by Nameless Grave Records, but we’re giving you a chance to stream the EP today.
While Draghkar’s first release spawned references to old school, cavernous death metal in a kindred spirit to such modern practitioners as Grave Miasma and Tomb Mold, the new EP is a more violent and hard-charging affair that draws influence from early Greek black and death metal, as well as the likes of such other old-school progenitors as Molested and Mercyful Fate. The music on this outing displays a kind of wild, ecstatic savagery, with a feverishness that matches its cruelty.
The longest and most dynamic of the four tracks is the opener, “Traversing the Abyss”, which proves to be morbid and sadistic, blazing and boisterous, poisonous and predatory. Grim, monstrous chords and slow, explosive drum detonations segue into a hammering beat and a lurching cadence, and then the drums begin to clatter, the riff turning into a nasty, writhing, buzzing thing. And the song accelerates even further from there, the guitar work becoming more frenetic over a mix of d-beats and blasting, with guitarist BW’s voice venting inflamed, growling roars and savage howls.
The rhythmic dynamism of the song is fueled by frequently changing drum patterns and a bounding bass line, and a whirling, dervish-like lead gives it a feeling of demonic gleefulness.
From there, the EP stays in a high gear, although it continues to be marked by a changing mix of drum rhythms that include healthy doses of punk-like romping, hyper-fast blasting, and cold-blooded hammering. There’s a boiling, bacchanalian energy and an infernal atmosphere from start to finish in “Swallowed By the Dark“, while “Eternal Disintegration (Of The Body And Of The Mind)” includes guitar leads that are both cold and brooding, and fiery and exotic.
The final track, “Fading into Emptiness“, has a distinctly occult atmosphere. A twisted, darting lead segues into a feverish, rising and falling melody and doses of hook-laden, head-moving chords. The band surge into a frenzy of super-heated guitar and exuberantly destructive drumming, with bursts of crazed, whirring ecstasy that are made even more unhinged by the vocalist’s exclamations of zealous wailing cries.
As noted at the outset, the EP will be released on July 27th, digitally, as well as on CD format by Craneo Negro Records (500 copies) and on cassette through Nameless Grave Records (75 copies). It was mixed by TG and mastered by Resonance Sound Studios. The memorable cover art was created by Karmazid, and the band’s logo by Infernvz.
BW – Guitar, Vocals
Daniel Kelley – Bass
ES – Drums