Jan 042024

Last month we did doing something we almost never do — premiered brief excerpts from songs off a forthcoming release, just a teaser of the full thing to come. The release in question is a 7″ split called Divinations that will be released by Sentient Ruin Laboratories on January 5th.

The split includes one song each from the U.S. black/death metal bands Aberration and Diabolic Oath. It is a timely release, not only because it helps kick off 2024 in obliterating fashion but also because the spring of 2024 will bring us new full-length albums from both bands, Aberration’s Refracture and Diabolic Oath’s still secretive but completed second full-length, and so the split functions as a precursor and taste of horrific things to come.

If you heard the teaser, you’ll probably understand why we agreed to share it despite our usual reticence to premiere anything but complete songs or full releases. But if you caught that teaser premiere, you also know that we promised to stream this split in full when the time was right. And the time is right now.

If you’ve heard the music of these bands before, you’ll understand how much wickedly good sense it made to bring them together.

Hailing from Minneapolis, and boasting a lineup that includes members of Void Rot, Suffering Hour, Tvaer, and Nothingness, Aberration have so far brought forth a self-titled debut EP in 2021 and a cover of Beherit‘s “Salomon’s Gate” last summer. You can find those here. Their new song on the split is “Divinations of Flesh“.

In those previous releases Aberration have created music that’s grimy and gargantuan, blood-congealing and crazed, absolutely catastrophic in its low-end detonations and undulations and macabre in its bestial guttural horrors, but paired with seizures of violence and writhing, wailing, and warping guitar maneuvers in stratospheric reaches that become hideously hallucinatory in their atmospherics.

In “Divinations of FleshAberration immediately discharge an unmitigated barrage of intensity, drums furiously hammering, the riffage scathing and boiling, the voice roaring and howling in fury, and delirious notes spearing out of the maelstrom like lightning flashes.

But in this song Aberration also slow the pace and lean into the most abysmal and spirit-freezing aspects of their surreal audio abominations, interspersed with episodes when the drums begin brutally chopping like an ax and the guitars convulse in outbreaks of pestilence. At the end, madness reigns supreme, sonic bombs detonate, and the band do their level best to hammer every listener deep into the ground. (Listen far below.)


The nether-realms of Portland, Oregon are home to Diabolic Oath, the second band on this split. Their discography includes a pair of demos in 2018 and 2019, a 2020 debut album named Profane Death Exodus, and their 2022 EP Aischrolatreia (reviewed by Hope Gould here). You can find those at this location. Their contribution to the split is “Divinations of Wrath“.

Like Aberration, Diabolic Oath have proven through their previous releases a talent for amalgamating ruthless sonic devastation, outbursts of maniacal barbarity, and an overarching atmosphere of esoteric horror, accented by prominent fretless bass maneuvers and thrillingly weird guitar soloing, accompanied by tandems of voracious braying growls and blood-spraying shrieks.

Their work is evil to the core, as raw and filthy as week-old roadkill, and as oppressive and abyssal as it is berserk, but it’s technically accomplished as well as disturbing and disorienting. You’ll get a strong sense of that in “Divinations of Wrath“.

In this new song Diabolic Oath waste no time creating a cauldron of ruination, with a cacophony of cavernous roars and throat-splitting screams, gut-churning bass contortions, piston-pumping drums, and layers of blistering and squirming fretwork.

Even in the midst of such hideous derangement, the bass continually seizes attention, seeming to muse and meander while everything else around it is frenetically mauling, feverishly flickering, and generally just going nuts.

But like Aberration, Diabolic Oath also quell the insanity and pull the music into a black chasm of agony and hopelessness — although the moaning and wailing of the lead guitar still creates a striking impression during that descent into Hell.

And with that, here are both songs, both of them great, both of them guaranteed to cause salivation among the ranks of black/death fanatics:


Sentient Ruin characterizes the split as a “declaration of war upon human psyche”, and that’s no lie. As mentioned, they will release Divinations on January 5th, on limited-edition vinyl 7″ format and digital/streaming formats worldwide. For more info, check out the locations linked below.




  1. Hell yeah…sickkkkk… thanks for sharing!

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