Contagium launch themselves into the fray like a bull triceratops slamming into the gut of a rabid tyrannasaurus rex! Their charging pace keeps them limber while they deliver blistering metallic riffs and ghastly vocals. This shit's raw, now not intentionally 'raw' to the point of being unlistenable (like some bands that will not be named). This stuff really brings out that 'stenchcore' vibe and takes everything to the next level. You can hear all the influences; punk-era Neurosis, Amebix, Doom, Nausea and Stormcrow but you really get a nice treat when you dig deeper to hear that this band isn't about imitating the obvious (a trait that seems to be plaguing crust as of late). They definitely have their own vibe and deliver it in spectacular, scabby fashion.
Doomed bring it all to the table with some quality death/doom. Sauntering rhythms lead you across a menagerie of serpentine riffs that ebb and flow like a river of burning tar. I can't give this shit a higher honer. Did I mention that it's comprised of members of Autopsy, Funeral, Death and Abscess? Yeah, the pedigree should speak for itself. Chris fuckin' Reifert.
For Fans Of: Bolt Thrower, Deceased, Autopsy, Cianide, Incantation, Mammoth Grinder and Rottrevore
Fell Voices have a brand of black metal very much akin to the likes of Weakling and Wolves in The Throne Room but manage to avoid being a copycat band. They definitely evolve WITTR's earlier demo/Diadem-era sound into something a little darker and raw, bringing memories of Judas Iscariot to mind (for some unknown reason). There's a good bit of atmosphere on this record but the majority of it comes from the guitar work rather than anything employed outside of the upfront musical elements. The riffs are epic in nature and definitely draw the listener into their grasp with meditative pacing and the gradual rise and fall of tension making the two tracks on the album fly by; great songwriting. The audible bass is also a bonus. I greatly enjoy the fact that the bassist has some very defined moments on this record (which sadly, is rare among black metal bands)
Having only heard them since I picked up this record the other night I can say that I'm decently surprised and I can say I'm pretty glad that I picked this baby up. Hopefully you'll like it enough to go buy it from them because this act definitely deserves your cash.
Nightbringer's occult-focused brand of USBM whirls like a torrent of black energy; riffs intertwining and coming undone like a many-headed serpent writhing in its own coils. Raw production is great but Nightbringer doesn't let it ruin their sound; the mixing on this record definitely adds that old school, archaic vibe but at the same time it doesn't detract from the music. Nightbringer are doing black metal the way that it should be done in this day and age.
Wolves in the Throne Room's 'Celestial Lineage' is the final piece to the trilogy started by 'Two Hunters'. Their sound has now become an amalgamation of all the styles present on the records that preceded this release.
The expansive ambience plays out behind galloping drums and ethereal guitars with each piece slowly bleeding into the other. Slower doom-oriented passages juxtapose the staggering moments of near silence and grow into epic and triumphant crescendos of blackened glory, leaving the listener lost in the massive space created by the music.
Having listened to this record immediately after seeing them live brings a lot of perspective to the desired feeling at each part. I highly recommend seeing them while they're on tour with Thou where you can snag this gorgeous album before the release date.
Asunder summons forth a megalith of galaxy-sized doom and dread that feels steeped in the very darkness of the universe. The perfect pacing and spacing adds so much to the gloom-ridden atmosphere of this record. The sound of guitars plodding over some of the best doom drumming out there permeates the entire album and saturates the listeners soul with pure and utter darkness. The vocals drift between monk-like chanting to the raspy call of some crypt fiend. Absolutely, positively one of the best bands out there right now. 'A Clarion Call' is highly recommended.
For Fans Of: Catacombs, Ahab, Thergothon, Eagle Twin