Jun 132016

Phobocosm - Bringer of Drought


(In this post Todd Manning provides brief reviews of new releases by Dark Descent and Unspeakable Axe.)

Death might just be the overarching theme of 2016, but the tandem of Dark Descent Records and their sub-imprint Unspeakable Axe are certainly spinning this in their favor by releasing a continuous string of remarkable Death Metal albums. While I have already had the opportunity to talk about new albums from the likes of Ripper, Nucleus, and Hemotoxin, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to gush about a few more albums from the label.


First up is the new album from Montreal-based Phobocosm. Bringer of Drought is the follow-up to their impressive debut Deprived and is nothing short of astonishing. Despite the label’s reputation as being at the forefront of the New Wave of Old School Death Metal, none of these bands seems to be unoriginal or regressive in such a way that causes them to lack their own identity. This is perhaps best illustrated by Phobocosm, who seem to marry the epic feel of classic Neurosis to the Death Metal/Doom hybrid of Inverloch and Disembowelment. Continue reading »

Feb 102015


Talk about eye-catching cover art! What you’re looking at above is the creation of Tim Jacobus (Goosebumps) and it graces the new EP by Australia’s Sewercide, entitled Severing the Mortal Cord. This is the band’s sixth release overall, following a demo and four splits, and it delivers five full-throttle blasts of mayhem — one of which we’re about to premiere.

The song’s name is “Hypothermia”, but there’s nothing cold about it. It’s a gritty, brawling blast of high-voltage death/thrash loaded with a hornet swarm of vicious riffs, gut-punching bass, and rambunctious percussion — and highlighted by a fret-burning solo that will singe your eyebrows. In keeping with the balls-to-the-wall atmosphere of the music, the vocalist sounds like he’s on a straight liquid diet of lye and pure, concentrated ethanol. Continue reading »

Oct 162013

Delicious cover art by Kator.

In early November, Maryland-based Unholy Anarchy Records plans to release a 7″ split by two young bands who are new discoveries for me — Philadelphia-based Casket and Sewercide from Melbourne, Australia. Each band contributes one song to the split, and both of them are good.


Casket’s offering is “Armed To the Teeth”. It thrashes and lashes with a firm whiphand, raising welts with a blaze of head-snapping riffs before splitting the skin wide open with a an off-speed beatdown. There’s more than a little hardcore punk blood that courses through the thrash spine of the song, and a miasma of ghoulish death metal fouls the air in that breakdown. Good vocal foulness, too, in a mix of rancid, nails-on-the-chalkboard rants and guttural grunts. And finally, there’s just the right amount of gauziness to the production, because you need a wrapping of gauze to soak up the blood.


Sewercide’s track is “Vector of Disease”, and it’s a romping, wrecking, open-throttle thrasher. You can smell the exhaust from this well-tuned engine, along with a strong whiff of sulphur, because it’s plenty evil. Rippling lead guitar lines, an eye-watering solo, and turn-on-a-dime tempo changes help make the song one worth coming back, too. Standout drumwork and unhinged vocal vehemence, too. Continue reading »