VENOM PRISON – Pain of Oizys
Over the last few years Venom Prison remained a viable yet underrated addition to the metal world, charting new terrain for death metal's future. "Pain of Oizys" is a surprising left hook: solemn, deeply meditative and incredibly sad in its unfurling and vocalist Larissa's presentation, then switching channels seamlessly into chaotic explosion and ultimately settling back into piano-flanked meditation for its conclusion. A fascinating evolution for a continually challenging band and intrigued to see what their next moves are on 'Erebos' out February 2nd on Century Media.
WORM SHEPHERD – River Ov Knives
Achingly beautiful blackened deathcore from an ever-evolving Massachusetts combo. Technically addled, yet allowing space to sweep a listener throughout a well crafted cacophony of noise, symphonic swells, and unexpected colors. Their latest on Unique Leader release 'Ritual Hymns' hits on January 14th with an ensuing Gimme DJ special coming on the 19th. Tune in and join the live chat.
IMMOLATION – Apostle
Three decades down with their forthcoming 'Acts of God' out in February on Nuclear Blast, Immolation show zero signs of letting up with total face-pummel death and sublime waves of epic emotion emanating from the infinite tarpit from whence they dwell. And, breaking news, our own Danny Lilker will world premiere their next track "The Age of No Light" on his next Braindeath show coming up on Gimme Metal January 21st 7pm ET/4pm PT!
COMPPPUTT – Computer Generated Black Metal
Unlike the completely bonkers, AI-smeared Relentless Doppelganger releases of yore, Washington State's Comppputt may or may not have some 'human' hands in this, but regardless the title alone gives you a good inkling of what's going on here. Rather that chattering, cutup relentless insanity of RD, here it sounds like Robby the Robot has boiled the atmosphere of black metal down to its molten DNA form, wispy winds of some digital forest groan from afar with dim growls and an Aphex-like drum roll that never moves forward but just thumps you over and over into submission.
MALIGNANT ALTAR – Rite of Kraus
A highly awaited new addition to the Dark Descent release canon, death/grind so grisly it drips soot and grease from the getgo notes. Production both spacious and suffocating at the same time, rotted riffs plopping at your feet while some ghastly gnome huffs in your face. 'Realms Of Exquisite Morbidity' finds these Texans plodding six grueling tracks over the course of an LP, an apt way to welcome the new year.