Hello freaks and geeks. It is I, The Obituarist; your favorite rain man hunter of all things underground! After a long and once indefinite hiatus, I am now ready to reclaim my space at Metal Injection as guest persuader, bringing you the best of what festers in the ever-exciting underground world of extreme metal.
I’ll be the first to admit that I got burned out on brutality for a while there. The amount of effort and time I was putting into the column became something of a burden to me. Imagine if every facet of social media you had only showed Death Metal bands and labels. No friends, no fuzzy kitties, no memes. Only release after release of bloody naked ladies in piles.
While I do truly love that sort of thing, my research for the column had me so laser-focused on the underground and solely listening to new release after new release day in and day out that I just couldn’t handle it anymore. I came to a breaking point and had to peace out for a while. I had overexposed myself to my favorite thing like a little kid handed a brand-new bottle of Heinz ketchup; I needed to step away not only to clear my head but to turn my focus to creating my own music with The Black Dahlia Murder. I ran the other way from most death metal for a while and just explored the annals of early thrash metal history and super butt rock dad music like 80s Chicago and Starship.
The further I let the column slip away into people’s distant memory, the harder it became to shake the anxiety of my failure and manifest my return. Thankfully, after what seemed like an eternity of crumpling up virtual balls of unfinished paper, I have re-emerged with a new column in the exact form as it was last seen, if not slightly less wordy. In an effort to keep this from feeling like homework I intend on rambling less on each entry. I think my long-winded hyperbole isn’t nearly as important as the Youtube link connected to it.
Ultimately my goal remains the same, to enlighten those hungry for heavy sounds to what is available the world over, bucking the trends seen in digital and paper magazine outlets alike. Death metal awareness for true death metal fans, like me. I apologize to any bands or labels that I left hanging with my disappearance, this fact only added to the pressures I was facing. I aim to do as much good as I can with this column, but please understand that I’m only one human being and a forgetful one at that. Also, I don’t listen to EVERYTHING that’s out there and frankly it’s simply not my responsibility to do so. I like what I like, and if I do, I am here to tell you about it. That’s the long and the short of it.
Thanks to everyone who has believed in me and been patient for this moment, I can’t tell you how happy and relieved I am to be here.
01101111011101100110111001101001 - S/2004S3 EP
In this latest effort to piss off Googlers, a band has taken upon themselves to be named 01101111011101100110111001101001. Yes, that’s right. The band is called 01101111011101100110111001101001. These kind of so-long-you-could-never-fucking-type-it band names are majorly off-putting to me. Thank the dark lord for the ability to cut and paste text. The “shock value” makes it seem like there’s going to be a gimmick at play here instead of actual quality music. Thankfully, that was not the case with this brief EP. I used a translation site to find out that 01101111011101100110111001101001 is binary for OVNI, which we all know is the French abbreviation for objet volant non identifié, or in the king’s good English, an unidentified flying object. Oh my, sci fi! This otherworldly outfit features members from Algeria, Germany, and Argentina… with ties to Argentinian greats Devast and Espermorragia. I dunno if its just the artwork getting in my head but I want to draw comparisons between 01101111011101100110111001101001 and old school Wormed. It’s definitely not as produced as the new-era Wormed, nor is it as complex. I’m talking 2003 Wormed… blasting, grinding, and aping Devourment’s churning chugs. Like mainstay mouthpiece Phlegeton, dude has some mean low gutturals. The approach… the rawness… I like everything about this little ep. My only gripe is that it isn’t a bit longer, the first track is just a sample. Grab the digital or a limited press CD (out of 500!) now at the Pathogically Explicit bandcamp and get to banging your head. Grab it here
Arrogant Destruktor – Commandments of War and Necromancy
Arrogant Destruktor are an old school-tinged black metal horde hailing from Birmingham, England. After a really solid compilation disc which compiled the band’s early demos and a split ep with Dutch underdogs Wrang, these wintery wolves have re-emerged in 2018 to unfurl a full-length statement of violent intent in the largely Nordic sounding Commandments of War and Necromancy. While there is nothing new here in this strictly orthodox affair, there is a classic anthemic quality to the material that will bring you back for more. With a blackened pride coursing through it’s very life’s blood harkening to that of the magnificent Blood Fire Death era of Bathory, these gents have summoned forth a fine album of combative black metal mastery sure to please fans of the second wave of black metal. Grab it here
Augury – Illusive Golden Age
Whoa! It’s my old TBDM tourmates, Augury! I had all but forgotten about these guys… things have been pretty quiet since 2009’s Fragmentary Evidence. I’m not sure if they’d gotten dropped by Nuclear Blast or what but 2018 thankfully finds them shacking up with up-and-coming tech death label The Artisan Era, headed by Inferi’s Malcolm Pugh. A spacey brand of mind bending progressive death metal is what these French-Canadian freaks purvey, and they do it very well. Dynamic, virtuosic… this is real thinking man’s shit for fans of Obscura, Cynic, Gorod, and Beyond Creation. Grab it here
Busted Guts – Gore Induced Ejaculations
Blasting death metal mayhem from George Elizondo (ex-member of Texan titans Grotesque Formation) who here handles guitars, bass, and vocals… Busted Guts is essentially a solo project, save a session drummer. Wisely, he has hired on the talented Kevin Talley (ex-Dying Fetus, ex- Suffocation) to rip the kit to shreds! Boy, did I pre-Judge this one… shame on me! I thought for sure it would be from Indonesia or Ecuador or at least somewhere that spoke English as a second language… the juvenile nature of the name Busted Guts threw me and the Sidjimbe artwork didn’t help matters either. What is here is a lot cleaner and more well produced than I had imagined at the outset. If you are familiar with Grotesque Formation, you’ll know somewhat what to expect. Gore Induced Ejaculations is host to some Suffocation type old school slam as well as super catchy Mass Infection-esque tremolo stuff. Talley does a fine job as usual, grooving and blasting his way around the material with a great amount of ease and style and a pretty excellent sounding drumkit. He brings a real professional tip to the release that helps it stand out from the rest of the gory heap. For now I can only find this digital download from Bandcamp, but pictures on the Busted Guts facebook depicting a cd layout would suggest a physical is in the works. FFO: Prostitute Disfigurement, Severe Torture, Burst Bowel, Fetor. Grab it here
Contorted Mind – Tome of Atrocious Revelation
YES! So good to see New Standard Elite records back in full swing after a bit of a lull in releases. It appeared as though life was getting between Daniel Osborn and the label for a moment (and trust me, I can relate) but thankfully no longer. Contorted Mind are a Dutch brutal death metal band owing a lot to old school Brodequin. These dudes rip and do the legends punishing legacy proud, so much so that skinsman Jan Lugtenburg has been hired on as the new drummer for Brodequin’s revamped touring line up. Tome of Atrocious Revelation is relentless blasting neanderthalic savagery that pulls no punches and grinds from the first moment to the very last drop. Pre-order this from the indomitable New Standard Elite and join the ongoing festival of death! Grab it here
Dead Meat – Preachers Of Gore
Dead Meat hail from Portugal and purvey a timeless, splattery style of gore-soaked brutal death metal. I love how raw this new album is… the drum kit sounds like it was recorded with computer mics. They’ve managed to capture a great live energy here that can be quite addictive. Not much depth nor intelligence here, just sheer cut and dry brutality with endless gutturals and quick blasts. Good clean bloodsoaked fun! Fans of Prostitute Disfigurement, Grog, Meat Devourer, Mutilated, or Rotten Cadaveric Execration will have a grisly good time with this one. Grab it here
Disgusting Castigation – Perpetual Carve On Manifest Torture
Good ol’ Indonesia and it’s never-ending barrage of raw and primitive brutal death metal. Gotta love it! These bands are popping up quicker than blackheads after eating a whole haul of Halloween candy in one sitting. Every time I so much as blink there’s a new young band with a crazy name and colorful cover art, tempting me at every turn. Disgusting Castigation are pretty darn good addition to the pile, on the higher quality end of the spectrum. Nothing new at all, but easily to listen to in a good-sized dose, which is more than I can say for a lot of these generally samey bands. The vocal attack of Perpetual Carve On Manifest Torture varies a bit but are definitely inhaled, switching from gassy ree ree stuff (which I vastly prefer) to some seal-being-branded barks (the animal, not the crooner) that can become a bit taxing after a while. The way they are panned apart leads me to believe there are multiple vocalists at play. The album is host to a cool distinct raw production that is kinda murky but quite thick. I like how the guitars are inexplicably isolated… you can pretty easily follow the endless onslaught of twisted riffery that ranges from the Disgorge-esque muted style to more straight forward tremolo stuff. There are some surprisingly heavy slow grooves peppered throughout the release… the growling bass really shines and gives it a unique sound. Throw in some cool opened up moments with dissonant horror movie vibes, and you’ve got Disgusting Castigation. Overall, I am surprised this shows as atmospherically as it does… It its Indonesian brutal death metal after all. If you’re a fan of this kind of death metal, you’ll surely dig Disgusting Castigation. If this is going to be your first foray into the savagery that is Indonesia, these guys are as good a place to start as any! Grab one now from my favorite importer of underdog death metal madness, Carl over at Force Fed Merch. Grab it here
Dominant – The Summoning EP
Dominant are a new death metal clan based in Fredrikstad, Østfold Norway, touting members of some talented members of formidable outfits including Robin Larsen (ex-Hideous Deformity) and drummer extraordinaire Brynjar “Tapir” Helgetun (Crypticus, Axeslasher, Just Before Dawn, every Rogga Johansson-fronted band ever). Handling the brutal vocal department is none other than Columbus, Ohio based Necrotic Disgorgement vocalist Jimmy Javins, who does a fine job at delivering a forceful yet clearly understandable performance. Not sure how he hooked up with these guys all the way out in Norway… I guess the internet strikes again! Dominant play a top-notch brand of technical, groovy and catchy death metal that somewhere in the neighborhood of Swedes Aeon and Soreption. Great melodic touches and flavorful soloing help make The Summoning an easy listen. I really hate hearing the same movie samples on two different albums in the same genre… guess these guys didn’t check out the latest Cryptopsy album… whoops! At this point, I am not really sure where everyone stands with Lacerated Enemy records anymore. Last I remember there was a severe internet backlash over some signature forging and general customer service problems. I can only speak for the brief run ins I’ve had with label head Zdeněk Šimeček, which have been nothing but pleasant. I hope that he’s been able to rectify the animosity towards him with good practices… it’s fucking hard to regain people’s trust in the scene. Anyway, this EP rules and is definitely worth your time. Grab it here
Drottnar – Monolith II EP
Christian Norwegian Black Metal?! I remember thinking these dudes were the big man in the cloud’s answer to Chimera-era Mayhem when I heard them several years ago… choppy, mind bending, machinated white metal wizardry from goddamned Norway of all places, I can’t imagine being more ‘uncool’ nor ‘against the grain’ than being in a Christian metal band in the motherland of church burnings. Somehow, Drottnar not only exists but has gotten increasingly better and more stylish with age. This three song EP is densely packed with creative ideas and addictive songwriting that will get your blood pumping no matter what imaginary being you align yourself with. Grab it here
Fecundation – Decomposition of Existence
South Koreans Fecundation hail from Seoul, and I can easily say that they are my favorite South Korean outfit. In fact, they are the only extreme band I know of at all to come from South Korea, and I think they do a nice job of setting a pretty high bar with their scorching brand of technically laced brutal death metal. Similarities to esteemed acts Suffocation, Severed Savior and Cenotaph can be drawn as Decomposition Of Existence spirals and dazzles with its violent blend of twisted technicality and bone bruising beatdown. The songcraft and quality are what you’d expect from an early 2000s Unique Leader band… fairly nostalgic stuff for such a young-looking pair. These dudes harken back to great and more artful times in brutal death metal before z tuning and mindless slamming became so prevalent. The riffs are rife with pinch harmonics, fun to listen to and never illegible. There are even some cool and surprising guitar solos. The production is clean and heavy and real enough to do the trick, really the best of all worlds for this kind of music. The vocals at play are low and gory gutturals, just how daddy likes it. I do enjoy the gore heavy themes of the album, as many of you regular readers may have surmised by now. For my brutal dollar, Fecundation are an exciting band worth an investment. Grab it here
Genocide Pact – Order of Torment
Genocide Pact are a sick politically-charged young death metal band from Washington, D.C. with an explosive and fuzzed out old school death sound. Here they have graduated from the hardcore tinged roster of Baltimore’s A389 records to drop their sophomore full lengther on the legendary Relapse Records. These guys are a nice compliment to Gatecreeper and Mammoth Grinder (who I’ll get to a little later down this month’s alphabet), in a trifecta of HM-2 toting old school death metal with a slight hardcore edge. I enjoy the cavernous nature of the vocals… low and mean sounding. These dudes are a little more gritty and unpolished than yer Gatecreepers, they seem to cull more from the demo era of Swedish death metal than the streamlined Massive Killing Capacity worship of their Arizonan counterparts. The crusty stench of early Bolt Thrower is summoned here along with the dismal dirge of the earliest Incantation material. A truly menacing melting pot of filth, feces, and anarchistic fury. Grab this now and join Genocide Pact’s fight for the voiceless downtrodden. Onward! Grab it here
Gravestone – Sickening
These dudes just fucking RIP! HM-2 worshipping OSDM stalwarts Gravestone, hailing from none other than good old Sweden, have returned with their first full length offering after the tasty morsel that was last years Rotten Kill ep. Headed by young a Penki Samuelsson, who has been newly crowned as the frontman of OSDM stalwarts Entrails; Gravestone is as authentically graven and grisly as death metal can get. All three of the songs featured on the EP have been redone here, including my personal favorite “Fucking Your Corpse In Hell” and are sounding as good as ever. I love the energy here… right from the gallop of sing-along worthy opener “Tombthrashers”, Sickening goes straight for the jugular and maintains a certain palpable intensity throughout. There’s something seriously fun about this album, in the same tongue and cheek way that makes Repulsion and Impetigo so addictively charming. It spits in your face with both middle fingers blazing from the beginning to the very end. Crowned by a killer old school artwork by Patrik Tegnander of Chainsaw Design (and fellow Raw Skull Records youngsters Gravebomb), Sickening is a surefire win for crushing old school death this winter. Grab it here
Hellish God – The Evil Emanations
Hellish God come screaming out of Italy with a blasphemous outing sure to please fans of Azarath, Krisiun, or Centurian. They just don’t make ‘em like this anymore, folks! Steeped in early 2000s sounds The Evil Emanations is chock full of good ole’ blasting satanic-as-fuck death metal glory, bringing me back to delivering pizza whilst blasting Ageless Venomous on loop. I feel like there aren’t as many of this kind of bands anymore since the craze for Krisiun-type outfits died down in the mid-2000s. Truly a shame! Along with countrymen Daemusinem, these dudes carry the torch of hateful, aggressive death with a deep devotion to all things fiery and Satanic. Catch a wave of molten lava and join Hellish God’s crusade to rid the world of the feeble Jesus Christ now! Grab it here
More picks on the next page…