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The Obituarist

Trevor From THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER Offers 20 Pieces of Delicious Razor-Laden Death Metal Halloween Candy For The Sweet Toothed Youth

Hello everyone! Happy Halloween! It’s been a while. I am back from a shallow grave and trying to play catch up on ton of great releases I’ve failed to mention in my leave of absence. I threw in some sick shit that is brand new, as well. In fact, I have so many entries right now that a second full column is almost complete and ready for launch. You won’t have to wait an eternity for the next entry this time. It’s good to be back here. I feel a weird kind of guilt when I don’t do this column. It feels as if I’ve let the scene down and it weighs on my shoulders tremendously. I have returned to do my civic duty of spreading the graveyard gospel of death metal awareness. It definitely fills a unique void in my life and I just can’t quite let it go.

As usual, there is no shortage of great underground tuneage coming out. I am here to help you sort through the bullshit and find that extreme metal gold. Please consider buying something from these bands, be it physical or merely digital. The survival of our very scene depends on it!

Abhorrence – Megalohydrothalassophobic EP

Reactivated Finnish OSDM legends Abhorrence have returned to the fold with a new EP in their plodding, trademark style of crawling death metal dirge. It is of course a lot cleaner than the pre-Amorphis demos we’ve known and loved them for. All of the trademarks of what makes the early Finnish scene great are here save the clumsiness. One simply can’t fake the youthful amateurishness these once young bands once possessed. By now, Abhorrence are all seasoned players with many years of experience under their collective belt. This aside, this EP is pretty huge. The grooves are deep and heavy and the songs quite catchy. Unlike a lot of lackluster comebacks from the old school scene in the last decade this EP warrants existence.
Grab it here

Abysmal Torment – The Misanthrope

The OTHER brutal band from Malta, Abysmal Torment, have returned to the fold in 2018 with another heavy as balls brutal death metal offering. This shit is absolutely bulldozing! Relentless and technical with a professional uber-slick production, The Misanthrope will wreck your neck with it’s subwoofing sound and razor-sharp riffing. The guitars have a very springy, low-stringed djenty type tone to them. These aren’t downtuned Stratocasters with the straps duct taped on by any means. The Misanthrope is muscular and modern. This is death metal for the 2018s. Somehow the unlikely subject of a withered old man face on the album cover is pretty cool and fresh. Kudos on that one, guys. Fans of the old school output by Hour of Penance will be all over this shit.
Grab it here

Anachronism – Orogeny

Superb technical and sometimes brutal death metal from this Swiss horde that is almost too good to be real. This is some seriously forward thinking, next level shit right here from this talented young trio. What a crushing guitar tone! I love the use of dissonance. These guys (and girl!) totally get it. Sick sideways grooves, artful skronk, beautiful soloing, surprising turnarounds… Orogeny has it all. I won’t be surprised when these murderers are signed to bigger and better label very soon. Some of the riffs are so heavy it feels like a giant, rust-covered, tank-treaded war machine is about to flatten you (and everyone else) on the way to inevitable global conquest. I’m talking black matter heavy here. Immense. Intense. Anachronism! Thanks to Kimi Hall for the hot tip on this one.
Grab it here

The Antichrist Imperium – Volume II Every Tongue Shall Praise Satan

Akercocke offshoot The Antichrist Imperium continue to dazzle with their second full length offering of genre bending black/death metal. If you like creative, forward thinking extremity and you haven’t heard these dudes or other sister band Voices, you are doing your ears a serious disservice.
Grab it here

Atka – Untitled Album 1

Furious, creative, forward thinking grindcore that incorporates all different kinds of extreme music together in one multi headed hydra of aural violence! The vorpal sharp grind of Discordance Axis is at the heart of Atka’s intense sound, but they’ve really expanded their creative cannon with this album including delicious shrapnelly bits from all walks of the underground into one deadly shapeshifting hellride. The clean vocals are fucking crazy. They kinda remind me of Jacob Bannon from Converge on bath salts. These guys should be the newest hottest thing on Relapse, in my opinion, rather than unsigned and unnoticed. Too good!
Grab it here

Brain Damage – Indulging Cannibalistic For Mutilation

This is one of the finer brutal death metal albums to surface from Indonesia’s flooded scene in some time. This crushing debut hosts a nice organic recording that is decently full and beastly gutturals by Aditya Prakoso (Gerogot, Raw). There is something hellishly addictive about the apocalyptic vibe this album puts forth. It has a darker feel overall than most of their brutality purveying peers and a bit more personality in the riff department than your average Indo BDM export. Like the Immense album before it, these guys are brimming with a personality that will see them rise to the top of the heap this year. The pit inducing post-Suffocation breakdowns are crazily brutal. The dry guitar sound and speaker-woofing slams remind me of the first Inveracity album, which I personally love very much. I also like the crispy snare. Some of you will be glad to hear that it’s not really a part of that pingy trash can world everyone in brutal death has gone crazy for the last few years. Thanks to Jesse from Bloodscribe for turning me onto these guys a few years back when their 2015 promo was making the rounds. As promised by those two uncompromising tracks, Indulging Cannibalistic For Mutilation was worth the wait and is one of the most brutal outings I have heard the entire year over! Good ol’ Carl at Force Fed Merch has these stateside for $9. Act now!
Grab it here

Convulsing – Grievous

Brendan Sloan is back with a head turning album of dissonant death metal perfection in Grievous. It’s layered, dramatic, and heavier than a ton of bricks. This dude channels the same plane of obsidian colored misery as big guns Nightmarer or Abyssal. Toting a cool artwork by Jeff Whitehead of Leviathan fame, the professionality of this self released album defies it’s one-man stature with its immersive and mind altering scope. At times, I hear the same low string driven black/death grace that makes Our Place Of Worship Is Silence so powerful. Like OPOWIS, Convulsing conjure a complex sound that is at the same time slick and artful while retaining a bestially unhinged extremity. Dynamic, gripping and uniquely alien at heart, Convulsing will see some attention when the year end lists begin to surface, I’m sure of it.
Grab it here

Crawl – Rituals

Dayum! I got a real kick out of this one like I hadn’t in a while from the constant influx of HM-2 toting Dismember and Entombed clones that seem to endlessly come down the pipe. Crunch is the name of the game here folks… love that guitar tone! Its absolutely flesh-peeling! I appreciate the slight hardcore swagger, too. If you like Gatecreeper and/or Deathrite you’ll be all over this. Pull out the shovel… it’s time to get dirty with Crawl!
Grab it here

Crypticus – The Nightcomers

This is obviously long overdue as the album has been out for a while now, but I can’t not give a shout out to my man Patrick Bruss and his death metal horrorfest Crypticus. Patrick is a great dude and an asset to the underground. He can also write catchy-as-hell death metal songs with a righteous old school flavor and deliver some hellishly low vocals in a myriad of styles gruesome enough to rival those of Lord Gore’s Gurge. While Patrick handles all vocals and strings, joining him once again behind the drum kit is Brynjar Helgetun aka the Man With Too Many Bands (Dominant, Just Before Dawn, Megascavenger, etc) who does a stand up job of holding down the throne. Crypticus first made waves as part of the early 2000s Razorback Records take over alongside bands like Ghoul, Blood Freak, and Frightmare. It was a really exciting time for me as a young fan… anticipating each Razorback release like the coming of Christ. While Pat and Crypticus were a part of that whole thing, I don’t feel like the Carcass-goes-campy tag really applies to what he is doing. What he does bring to the table is a highly energized multi-headed hydra of metal sounds ranging from the Swedish old school of death metal to galloping thrash to the blood spatter of early Cannibal Corpse and I’m just getting started. There are many styles from all eras of extremity coming together here, at times even modern influences rear their putrid heads, if only for a moment. The guitar tone is very cool and necessitates both. A nice blend of HM-2 buzzsaw and something a bit more legible which helps it come across in the more technical/stop start bits. I like the inclusion of the halloweeny organ. It gives the material a nice b-movie style touch that could appeal to fans of Slasher Dave does in Acid Witch. Overall, this is a nicely varied outing that retains its grisly old school murderousness while dipping a toe into the modern. The best of both worlds. I found The Nightcomers to be an easy listen in one blood drenched gulp and you will too.
Grab it here

Drawn And Quartered – The One Who Lurks
Drawn And Quartered are a long running dark death metal band out of Seattle, Washington that have been casting an ominous shadow over the Pacific Northwest since 1993. For those of you not in the know, these dudes have ties to the mighty Infester, who old schoolers have come to jock in the last handful of years (and rightfully so) for their grisly as fuck To The Depths – In Degradation album. Somehow, Drawn And Quartered still seems to evade any kind of popularity. They have been tirelessly churning out pitch black death metal from the Incantation school of thought and The One Who Lurks is their most genuinely disturbing outing yet to date. I can smell the foul unmistakable stench of death wafting my nose as Drawn And Quartered defiantly ooze from my speakers. Get this now and awaken the darkness within you.
Grab it here

Hate Eternal – Upon Desolate Sands

Wow! That’s all I can say! This is the most diverse and catchy thing Eric Rutan has ever conjured forth under the Hate Eternal banner. I love what ex-Obscura/ex-Necrophagist drum wizard Hannes Grossmann adds to the material. It’s quite colorful. I feel like there is a lot more dimension and dynamics to this album that what we’ve come to expect from years of constant high-speed barrage. Riff wise it’s by far less atonal, too, which is a change for the better. It’s completely legible all the way around and has immense staying power. Now this is the perfect follow up to the once untouchable debut album I loved so much. I feel like Erik is recalling the groove filled past of his Ripping Corpse project and marrying it with the fury of Hate Eternal with wonderful effect. It’s memorable. It’s purposeful. It just might be the best death metal album of the year!
Grab it here

Humiliation – Karnaval Genosida

Wow! Humiliation are back in a major way! I’ve been following these dudes since their first record and they have definitely evolved for the better over the course of their releases. This has to be the best sounding Indonesian death metal album I’ve yet heard. Brilliant move by the band to choose Mark Lewis for mixing and kudos to Mark for working with the underdog. The end result is a slick and professional product, still with some wicked rawness to the guitars. You can hear every nuance of Humiliation’s highly technical death metal attack and boy is it an impressive one. If you’re into the sounds of Carnophage, old Decapitated, Soreption, or Psycroptic, these talented Indonesians will surely dice your eardrums to shreds. I’m not really privy to any kind of online store for their label, but you can certainly harass them at their facebook.
Get some answers

Injurious – Abominable Extermination Through Uncanny Passages

A puzzling, mind bending brutal death metal assault of the sickest and most schizophrenic kind! Injurious is a one-man audial siege by the multitalented sicko Joseph Lusciano. Joe has had his hand in a number of killer brutal acts including Abolishing the Ignominious, Andromorphus Rexalia, Disgruntled Anthropophagi, Manipulated Calamity, and Animals Killing People, just to name a few. Drums, Guitars, bass, insane gutturals… throughout the punishing duration of Abominable Extermination Through Uncanny Passages Joe proves once and for all that he is just plain sick at everything! Imagine heavyweights Disgorge, Malignancy, and Enmity all falling down an endless MC Escher stairwell on 40 hits of acid with an open box of tools. This album is a flying wrench to the head if there ever was one! An unsolvable maze of psychotic riff damage riddled with guttural savagery and a million of those lovely pinch harmonics. It’s painful, grinding, jarringly jagged extremity of the highest order. In so many words: you’re going to get fucked up!
Grab it here

Lividity – Perverserverance
Wow! This is actually really good! I have to admit that I somewhat lost track of these guys over the years… I didn’t even realize they had followed up Used, Abused, and Left for Dead, which I thought to be a pretty decent offering back in 2006. Perverserverance (an excellent name in tribute to their whopping 25 year existence) continues their legacy of grinding and slamming old school brutal death metal misogyny and memorably at that. Sound-wise these guys are indeed brutal, but a world away from anything you’d find on New Standard Elite records… their sound is more staked in the straight-forward gore fueled approaches of early Cannibal Corpse and fellow statesmen Broken Hope and Fleshgrind than the warped and twisted world of bands worshipping at the altar of Disgorge. Nothing here is really thought provoking or challenging (as you might expect from a band that released a live album called Show Us Your Tits) but still a fun listen of good old brutal death metal nonetheless.
Grab it here

Monstrosity – The Passage of Existence

YESSSSSSS!!!! Floridian death metal titans Monstrosity are finally back to the fold with an immense album in The Passage of Existence. While I felt like while the last album was cool in its own right, this one immediately sounds like Monstrosity we know and love. The In Dark Purity album in particular is often channeled here and I love every second of it. Sheer classic death metal power. It’s never the fastest, that’s just not their style. These dudes cruise along with a professional and confident stride that only the most seasoned players can possess. The songs are well written, fairly catchy and have mammoth sized riffs for days. Speaking of mammoth riffs, enlisting Matt Barnes of the incredibly underrated Chaos Inception on guitar was a wise move. Mike Hrubovcak (Vile, Rumplestiltskin Grinder), maintains his God-tier vocal throne here… only the best death metal singers can come through the ranks of mighty Monstrosity and he is no exception to the that rule. His deep roaring bellows and powerful, sweeping high screams honor the legacy of George Fischer and Jason Avery before him. I really dig the cover art by my old pal Bvllmetalart. It’s classic yet has a fresh, modern color scheme. It’s definitely better than those two album artworks they used that were straight up plucked from the Dire Straits “Money For Nothing” music video. Sheesh! Anyway, get this now and support one of the greatest and most overlooked bands in Death Metal history!
Grab it here

Mutilation Rites – Chasm

New York’s Mutilation Rites are back and on an even more punked-out and creative tinge than ever before. They’ve also married in a lot of death metal into the sound of Chasm. I like how raw and in your face this is. It’s actually really mean and menacing sounding right out of the fucking gate. Complimentary to the combative, razor wire wrapped music on display, George Paul’s vocals are vitriolic, scathing, and genuinely frightening to behold. He sounds like a snaked headed villain with a deep hatred for humankind. The lower register vocal mode he enters is equally indecipherable and has a gasmask-wearing type war metal vibe. Think Proclamation or Black Witchery. Just sheer hate and darkness! Mutilation Rites stitch together many different feels in a really interesting way that always manages to keep the listener guessing. I hear a lot of different corners of extreme metal coming together in one firey Molotov that defies simple categorization. Chasm transcends the boring old label of black metal to an exciting plane all its own. While it does contain some classic Norwegian motifs, largely Mutilation Rites conjure a harrowing sound that is firmly American, even quite urban in nature. This is a product of filthy New York City, and nowhere else. Just listen to the beginning of “Post Mortem Obsession” for example. Fucking mental! This is fresh, new, and challenging music for extremists with a brain between their ears. Absolutely sick!
Grab it here

Ossification – From the Suppurate Bowels of Inner Most Earth

Good ol’ Cali brutal death metal! Relentless, guttural brutality of the churning Disgorge style that I love so much. An endless maze of kick ass post-Suffocation riffs and old school slammage that is just skull crushing in every way. I can’t help but imagine a totally slamming pit full of death metal heads having a great time to this album in a live scenario. I feel like this is one of the strongest New Standard Elite albums in a while. It’s not as facelessly brutal as some of the third world bands Dan has been putting out. It’s got a good variety and some fairly memorable riffing compared to a lot of bands in this style. I love the low, dry, gassy sounding gutturals. I find this to be on the same tier of quality as the masters Disgorge themselves. The highest compliment in utter brutality! Get this now or regret your entire life!
Grab it here

Scorched – Ecliptic Butchery

Scorched are no strangers to my column, I am a huge fan of what these Delawarian denizens are doing. As I’ve mentioned before I’ve noticed a bit of change away from a more polished latter-era Bolt Thrower style and towards a more grisly and raw Finnish death territory and this LP is the furthest in that direction yet. This is truly the most stanky, rotten, and murderous outing so far from the band. The tremolo riffs feel yanked right from an old horror movie soundtrack and are abound at every bone-chilling turn. The undeniable feeling of terror that permeates Ecliptic Butchery is quite palpable and worth the price of admission alone. These guys really put the Death in Death Metal. Man, Matt Kapa’s vocals are huge. I love their deep, bassy, bellowing nature. He always has the perfect effects dialed in to make himself sound even more cavernous. Overall, this one of my favorite offerings of the year thus far and comes highly recommended. Get Scorched now!
Grab it here

Sodomized – Gutbucket EP

Midwest does it best! Old school style brutal deathsters Sodomized are back and better than ever with their goresoaked new ep, Gutbucket! This recording is raw yet fucking tough sounding. I love how the bass sits right in there, making a wall of sound effect with the guitars. Heavy! Ohio’s Sodomized excrete good ol’ post Tomb of the Mutilated-era Cannibal Corpse influenced brutal death metal ala Mutilated, early Vile, Burial (US), and Prostitute Disfigurement. It’s catchy. It’s old school. Yes, it slams, but only a little and in a charming Suffocation-esque churning-breakdown-from-hell manner that I personally will never get sick of. The vocals are sheerly guttural with a grisly dried out poop-man approach not unlike old school Chris Barnes. Decent solos too, unexpected. I must also say that I dig the sloppy, painterly cover art. From the songs, to production to presentation, pretty much everything about this awesome release reeks of the year 2002 back when I was thumbing through distros for the latest on Forever Underground or United Guttural records. Retro brutal death perfection!
Grab it here

Unanimated – Annihilation EP

This is really freakin’ good. Almost ten years (!) after their last successful comeback outing, we are finally greeted with a very nice EP in Annihilation. If you dig what Necrophobic has been up to in recent years, you’ll surely feel this searing slice of classic Swedish melodic black/death metal from these seasoned veterans.
Grab it here

That’s all she wrote for this month, boys and ghouls! Thanks for reading and please, spread the word about these bands and this column. Word of mouth remains the best tool for these kinds of bands to get exposure. Every ‘head counts! Meanwhile I hope you enjoy the Halloween time festivities. Save me some 100 Grands and Whatchamacallits, and be safe out there. Thanks again to the labels that work with me, I really appreciate the help doing what I’m doing. Also a shout out to my informants out there helping me keep my ear to the ground. Your passion is greatly appreciated.

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