Oct 302023

All trve true metalheads have only one favorite holiday, and it’s not Valentine’s Day. It’s the one bearing down on us tomorrow night. Most of us already have our own personally curated playlists of heavy music for Halloween night, but we’ve got something for you today that should lead to a revision of your list.

What we’ve got is the full streaming premiere of Utterances From Below, a new album-length split by Virginia’s Night Hag and Italy’s Burial, which will be released on November 10th by Rotted Life Records. As the label proudly previews, it is indeed “a union of death, doom, and disgust”, one that “bridges the fertile gap between quotidian horrors and supernatural dread”.

Night Hag goes first with three tracks that will leave you gutted and feeling unclean for weeks. “Dead Person On You” leads the way with an assault of filthy, mangling riffage, piston-driven drums, gravel-chewing bass-lines, monstrous growls echoing from the crypt, and crazed screams.

It’s a maniacal high-speed barrage, but also downshifts into episodes of gruesome lurching doom, equally diseased and rotten, pulverizing and hopeless, and an eerily wailing solo underscores the agony that flowers in the midst of slow, crushing brutality and the listener’s slow slog forward, dragged down by the stench and the soul-sucking sonic degradation.

Foul Utterances From Below” begins in the slow lane, like a rotting golem staggering in your direction, leaking unspeakable fluids and heaving the ground as it comes. It’s a stinking death/doom monstrosity that this second of Night Hag‘s songs brings your way, replete with more of this hideous vocals, infected groaning chords, skull-fracturing drums, and macabre sizzling leads.

But of course, Night Hag also go nuts before the song’s end, blasting and swarming, bludgeoning and howling, giving free reign to the more berserk side of their proclivities.

You gotta love a song called “Moldy Slab of Human Meat“, especially when the song makes that slab move. Slowly it moves, heaving in both its momentum and in its vomiting of audio foulness. All that happens while the drummer viciously chops at your neck and the low frequencies pound like sledgehammers. Unlike the first two tracks, this final Night Hag offering offers no escape from the abyss, no violent seizures, only the gruesomeness of a body-filled morgue abandoned long ago.

Joe Ransom – drums/vocals
Samuel Fox – bass/vocals
Joe Arida – guitar



On the other side of Utterances From Below Burial buries and electrifies the listener with two long songs. They dynamically begin the first of them, “Called by the Tomb“, veering from evisceration mode into agony, and back again. The chainsawing guitars have a high, whining tone, contrasting with the abyssal gutturals in the vocal department, and the tremolo’d riffing is convulsive, like maggots on fire, while the drums provide the changing tempos.

After the initial whipsawing, a piercing melody surfaces, dreadful yet beckoning, supernaturally seductive yet unmistakably dangerous, and from there the band continue the song’s relentless twists and turns, pushing the insanity and pulling back into episodes of awful despair — but reprising that striking, chime-like melody from another world. The music also seems to wail like sirens of misery and feverishly quiver above bunker-busting rhythmic detonations.

The malignantly multi-faceted nature of Burial‘s songwriting is again on display in their second song, “Below the Crest of the Waves“. Listening to it, you might think that what lies below the waves is a Lovecraftian horror, beginning to rise. There’s something both momentous and nightmarish in the way the song opens, and then the mad convulsions begin as the guitars throw seizures, the drums clobber, and the echoing gutturals make their dreadful proclamations.

There’s really nothing about the song that’s sane. Pick slides and channel-separated skittering tones intermingle with manifestations of crazed churning and morbid misery. The drums erupt in high-speed spectacles, keeping pace with the fret-ruining riff-frenzies and the screaming leads. After that blood-congealing overture, this song is pure audio adrenaline.

Leonardo Bellavista – guitar
Enrico Fagni – bass/vocals
Samuele Scalise – drums
Morgan Bernardini – guitar

And with that wordy introduction we leave you to the full stream of Utterances From Below, and the hope that it will make your All Hallow’s Eve, and many nights beyond, even more wretched and horrifically thrilling.



Rotted Life will release Utterances From Below on noble black vinyl (limited to 500 copies), and marbled opaque magenta vinyl (limited to 200 copies), with CDs and cassette tapes coming later this year. Credit for the attention-seizing cover art goes to Samuele Scalise.


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