ÆNIGMATUM play incredibly sophisticated death metal that covers many sub-genres yet never feels like a putrescent pastiche, more of a masterful, murderous melding. Deconsecrate, their 2021 release for tastemakers 20 Buck Spin, finds the label completing a bases loaded grand slam they started this year with Ghastly unto Witch Vomit and then Cerebral Rot. Like those aforementioned skull fuckers, ÆNIGMATUM know exactly what styles of death metal they are harvesting and have a deep respect for the genres foundations.
The record opens with “Forged From Bedlam” as jazzy sounding drums that could be Elvin Jones joining Mastodon before things are soon exploding into death metal intensity paired with moving passages of melodic and emotional movements. These latter type of passages are often accentuated by the secret weapon bassist/synth player Brian Rush and one cannot help but wonder how many hours he spent studying Death records like Individual Thought Patterns to perfect the art of perfect accentuation.
Other highlights include the post solo almost thrashy devastation of the 4 minute plus mark of “Undaunted Hereafter” which then drops to half time and really mines the riffing for every drop of blood. Fucking outstanding section which then evolves into the dissonant longing of the “Disenthralled” intro.
This band is simply intimidating in their range and skill level without becoming so tech that it is annoying, somehow keeping things feeling evil and old school influenced but nonetheless displaying the kind of chops that would even make dudes like Archspire or Inanimate Existence probably take notice and give them props.
My only gripe is that in some places the mixes feel uneven or some things are a little too loud or brittle, but overall this shit is pure fire. My favorite is the cinematic, monstrous “Fracturing Proclivity” which really allows Pierce Williams to fucking destroy on the drums and show ungodly levels of talent that will have drum nerds gleefully oozing body fluids over this release.
The Ivory Crux artwork is also super dope, like some sci-fi horror realm comic book nightmare-scape or how the interior of Mars should have looked on Invincible as the parasitic cephalopods’ bedroom.
“Despot Of Amorphic Dominions” is as Lovecraftian a song title as you are ever likely to discover, whether the band meant that or not. Awesome name, though I am now hearing the Beastie Boys say ,”She’s Lovecrafty, She’s Just My Type” and that means it is medicine time. This song will make Gorguts and Grogus fans weep with joy whilst also achieving hallucinatory states of intense prog around 3:40 that Enslaved fans will appreciate.
This band knows how to write super addictive and intricate passages that astound without overwhelming and the repeat listening factor is huge as there is always more to discover, but somehow they still feel like songs and not showboating. Perhaps because the overall emphasis remains on the FEEL of the WHOLE experience rather than the ‘ooh, lookey what I can do’ of each section…ironically allowing them to get away with more insane shit somehow in the process!
Many hails to this band. I can’t imagine how long it took to memorize or chart all this shit! Much respect for sure. Lots of heart and talent. And again… a monstrously impressive new record for fans of old school and technical skill with actual emotional moments as well.
Portland’s WITCH VOMIT return to fill the hungry, gaping death metal hole in our hearts. As metal fans we know it can never truly be filled and that we will always crave more, but this band comes pretty damn close to satiating our death needs! Abhorrent Rapture is out digitally via 20 Buck Spin! Some of the band’s best work yet, dirty and punishing death metal with an obligatory for the genre spooky intro.
Pre Order physical copies HERE from 20 Buck Spin.
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Finnish atmospheric death metal crypt delvers GHASTLY return this year with third brooding opus Mercurial Passages. As the album nears late May release through 20 Buck Spin, the ghoulish new movement “Out Of The Psychic Blue” is now playing as the label issues preorders and more.
New York is known for a ton of uncompromising bands unafraid to tell tales from the hard side over the years from Madball to Black Anvil to Crisis to of course Biohazard to Made Out Of Babies to Gridfailure to Krallice to Locked In A Vacancy to Indecision to Unsane, to name a few (haha). Add grime mongers GRAVESEND to the list. Methods Of Human Disposal is a very Sopranos sounding album title if I ever heard one (and yes, I know that is dirty Jersey).
20 Buck Spin has chosen the band as their first release of 2021 and it is fitting. While we all want to move forward like 2020 never happened, you can’t just ignore the horrors of any past period of history. New York’s blood curdling and tough as nails history is on display in these tracks, crucified and yet still alive. The drums sound like a blood soaked cardboard pillow (in a good way), the music churns like a haunted subway tunnel and the overall effect is terrifying as the band absolutely destroy on their new track “End Of The Line”. Guitar pounds like jackhammers at your sanity and the noxious vocals emit a foul haze of corruption and downtrodden malaise. Love it!
The record releases Feb. 19th but you can get a fix now.
Methods Of Human Disposal was recorded in September 2020 by Nolan Voss of Thirty Legion, mixed by Arthur Rizk (Power Trip, Tomb Mold, Xibalba), and mastered by Brad Boatright (Obituary, Vastum, Terminal Nation). That’s quite a team!
To say we merely ‘approve’ of the new Spirit Adrift artwork would be a gross understatement! Look at those loyal metal pitties! Yes, we have not heard any of the record yet. I have to run out the door in a minute and was listening to Deftones’ Diamond Eyes, haha. It doesn’t matter. It is highly unlikely that Spirit Adrift just suddenly fell off and decided to suck all of a sudden after being one of the best newer modern bands in metal with each release. Even if this was somehow terrible (which it won’t be), we would have to stan. The art looks really good on the longsleeve t merch fyi.
Pre Order HERE , you fun loving bastards! And check out “Harmony Of The Spheres” and tell me how it is cuz I have to wait a few more hours until I can hear it! \m/
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TERMINAL NATION pretty much took the crown for my favorite newer hardcore band with ease ever since I first heard them and that has yet to change. 20 Buck Spin made a damn correct choice in scooping these dudes up. Stan is a total beast of a performer and the whole band just nail what they do. This is the perfect combo of ready to go deadly, meteor crater sized mosh pit aftermath riffing and social commentary. Can’t go wrong with this band. Earth Crisis, Xibalba, Dismember mosh/whatever you are looking for, they got ya trampled.
Holocene Extinction is on the way very soon!
TERMINAL NATION’s Holocene Extinction was engineered by Jason Tedford, recorded at Wolfman Studios in Little Rock, Arkansas. The album was mixed by Ryan Bram of Homewrecker Studios, mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege (From Ashes Rise, Integrity, Noisem), and completed with cover art by Adam Burke, additional art by Valentine Duran, and photography by Kurt Lunsford.
20 Buck Spin will issue Holocene Extinction on CD, LP, and digital formats on August 7th. Watch for preorders and additional audio previews to post over the ominous weeks ahead.
Pre-order TERMINAL NATION’s Holocene Extinction now .
Holocene Extinction Track Listing:
1. Cognitive Dissonance
2. Arsenic Earth
3. Holocene Extinction
4. Master Plan
6. Thirst To Burn
7. Orange Bottle Prison
8. Leather Envy
9. Expired Utopia
10. Death For Profit
11. Caskets Of The Poor
12. Disciple Of Deceit
13. Age Of Turmoil
Stan Liszewski – vocals
Tommy Robinson – guitar, vocals
Dalton Rail – guitar, vocals
Chase Davis – drums
Chase Turner – bass, vocals
Maryland’s Shadow Frost Music & Arts Festival have announced their lineup.
The festival, which will take place on February 21 and 22 will feature Vastum, including a set from their guitarist Leila Abdul-Rauf. The lineup also includes Deceased, Barishi, Magic Circle, Doomstress, Alms, Darsombra, Fell Ruin, and Eastern Shore, and Yatra.
“There is so much great music being created that totally flies under the radar in the music scene, even among people who seem to know a lot about music trends,” said Shadow Frost producer M A Spiro. “I am not trying to host bands that you can see at a lot of other festivals, but I want to showcase a few of the best that that underground music has to offer. That has been my philosophy with every event I have done, and I don’t plan to change that.”
Check out the full lineup and a YouTube playlist here.Add to My Radar
Initial Migration Fest line up announcement for next year! One of the best festivals to support. Always amazing bands and good ethics. You can’t go wrong with the bands announced thus far. Let me especially recommend the new Falls Of Rauros album, if you for some reason haven’t heard it yet.Add to My Radar
Big news today on the murky death metal front as VASTUM‘s new set of deranged arrangements is announced! The first single ‘Reveries in Autophagia’ marches in boldly with not a moment’s hesitation from the get go, lots of Morbid Angel-drenched riffery on this one. Even by the two minute mark on first listen this shit makes a lot of other metal songs this year sound quaint and frankly mouse-like in contrast.
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VASTUM ‘Orificial Purge’, the fourth full length album, will be releasing October 25th via 20 Buck Spin. ?⚫️?
— 20 BUCK SPIN (@20buckspinlabel) August 26, 2019
Ahead of that release the band, earlier this week, released “Dripping Tombs.”
Buried Deep In A Bottomless Grave was recorded and mixed by Evan Mersky (Mournful Congregation, Hellshock, Nightfell) and mastered by Dan Randall (Meatwound, Necrot, Ghoul, Vivasick), with artwork by Matt Stikker (Outer Heaven, Power Trip).
Witch Vomit will appear at a handful of fests in the coming weeks including Stardust VII in Brooklyn, New York alongside labelmates Fetid, Daeva and more.
Check out “Dripping Tombs” and Witch Vomit show dates here.Add to My Radar
Holy smokes, this is just what I needed to get out of the doldrums today. One of the most intense and brightest lights of the underground are back. Immortal Bird have released some initial music from their anticipated Thrive On Neglect sophomore release (and 20 Buck Spin debut) and it gets like twenty extra gold star stickers for gnarly pit-worthiness. While the band’s earlier stuff is excellent, this feels like growth in many ways. The mean but more crisp production, even harsher vocals and a tightening of musical devastation all around feels like a huge win. I love it when a band I already liked and was rooting for goes ahead and hits a fucking giant grand slam. Feast your ears on ‘Anger Breeds Contempt’ below. \m/
1. Anger Breeds Contempt
2. House Of Anhedonia
3. Vestigial Warnings
5. Solace In Dead Structures
6. Quisquilian Company
7. Stumbling Toward Catharsis
20 Buck Spin presents the long-awaited deluxe vinyl edition of The Book Of Kings, the sprawling, lauded, 2011-released album by Australian funeral doom purveyors, MOURNFUL CONGREGATION, this week issuing details and preorders for the new pressing.
Early in 2018 MOURNFUL CONGREGATION dropped their first album in more than six years, The Incubus Of Karma. The widely acclaimed album was heralded as another landmark for the extreme/funeral doom genre, adding perhaps the brightest jewel to the band’s crown. The band travelled to both the US and Europe once again to administer last rites to the faithful.
Back in 2011 the band released another monument to melancholy, the stunningly grandiose The Book Of Kings. Landing in Decibel’s Top 40 albums that year, the album was the pinnacle of their progressively-minded dirge to that point and includes what may be the most epic track in a catalog that defines the word, the thirty-plus-minute title track that weaves a tale of regality through the life, death, crowning, and dethronement of nameless kings.
Having begun the year with MOURNFUL CONGREGATION, 20 Buck Spin now sees fit to bookend the 2018 campaign with this gorgeous vinyl edition of The Book Of Kings. Having been requested by fans for several years, this version of the album is now presented on two slabs of vinyl housed in a gatefold cover featuring the original artwork and accented with metallic bronze print, along with a beautiful, full-sized, twelve-page booklet.
More BELOW.Add to My Radar
The new Spirit Adrift tour begins July 25th in Saint Louis, followed by gigs in Indianapolis and Columbus before hitting Pittsburgh for Migration fest where they perform with Zombi, Mournful Congregation, Pelican, Bongripper, Krallice, Deadbird, Khemmis, The Ominous Circle, and many others.
From there, SPIRIT ADRIFT plays Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, Portsmouth, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Detroit, Chicago, Rock Island, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Denver, and Salt Lake City before reaching Vegas. There, they share the Psycho Las Vegas stage with over seventy artists including Danzig, Dimmu Borgir, The Hellacopters, Witchcraft, Sunn O))), Godflesh, Enslaved, Goblin, Eyehategod, Today Is The Day, and dozens more, then head to San Diego for the final show of the tour on August 21st. Post-tour they’ll play HOCO Fest in Tucson on September 2nd with more tour dates to be announced.
Happy Friday. Well, as happy as it can be when journalists were just murdered and where a very likely criminal President under investigation should ABSOLUTELY not be allowed to appoint a new SCOTUS judge. Free bird, give the bird and free freedom fries for everyone except fascists, yo. Here’s the low down on the dirge and the binge and the purge you all need before the real Purge gives you the urge to flee to Canada.
20 Buck Spin is preparing to release Extremity‘s full length debut, one of my favorite bands in metal right now big time. The West Coast death metal band features veterans from fucking Vastum, Ludicra, Agalloch, Repulsion, Cretin, hello!??! What else do you need to know?! God, I miss Ludicra.
Anyway, Extremity made our year end list with the Extremely Fucking Dead mini-release and aren’t slowing down.A new song is out called “Like Father Like Son”. Coffin Birth comes out in July and today vocalist/bassists/guitarists Shelby Lermo dishes on the new single, “Coffin Birth was my fourth time recording with Greg at Earhammer Studios in the last three years, and fourth or fifth time for Aesop as well. That level of familiarity with an engineer really allows for a free exchange of ideas, and a chance to get a little weirder with things. ‘Like Father Like Son’ is the seventh of eight songs on the album and serves as a closing chapter in a story about death, family, immortality, and fate.”
There are some bands more adept at riding the chaos than others in the storied history of underground music. From noise and hardcore pioneers like Steel Pole Bathtub to Man Is The Bastard to synth/indie/post-core bands like Six Finger Satellite to numerous grindcore bands like Fuck The Facts, etc.- some groups just embody the concept of "fuck it/let's really go for it" more than others. NY's Black Mesa sits proudly in that same spirit of frenzy and ferocious inventiveness, as evidenced by their recent compilation of insanely manic live performances. Whatever sub genre they throw in the emotional blender, you are bound to enjoy a deliciously nutritious smoothie of muddy sonic punk purée.