TEN FROM THE TOMB is a weekly feature in the form of a themed list devoted to grouping together albums of similar interest that I missed throughout the year. These albums were overlooked for review for any number of reasons with the most common reason being constraints of time. I have a policy of covering 99% of everything I receive in some form, be it mini-review or full-feature, so don’t hesitate to send anything and everything my way.
Here I present a ten album sampler that is different than usual entries: This time I am focusing on Chile’s underground metal scene pulling from a list of bands I hadn’t heard of (and others I know quite well) when getting some recommendations from Hellavenger (Deathwards, ex-Communion, ex-Sanctum Sathanas). Chile’s metal history is rich with violent and true extreme metal with a knack for powerful riffs and incredible atmospheric sounds. Consider this week’s list a tribute to the incredible and promising discoveries we can all make if we dig deeper towards the unknown and take detours from overly familiar faces. If you don’t like region specific extreme metal deep-dives, relax! Ten From the Tomb will be back every seven days with 10 more albums from different styles, genres, themes, etc.
Every two weeks I post a poll on Patreon where Patrons can pick between genre/concepts as I dig through hundreds of not-yet-reviewed releases. This isn’t meant to be a collection of dregs and flops but rather a selection meant to convey diversity within underground/independent metal music’s sphere of influence. In this week’s special case I hope to bring attention to a scene and a country that is rife with enthusiastic metal heads! Think my opinions are trash and that I suck? Want to totally tell me off, bro? Click away and let’s all live more sensible lives full of meaningful interactions. I’m too old and bored with people to care.
|Title [Type/Year]||Evil Power Attack [Full-length/2016]|
|Rating [3.5/5.0]||PREVIEW on YouTube! | BUY from Utterly Somber Creations|
Released a couple of years ago now, this second album from Santiago thrashers Enforcer is a brutal follow up to their 2007 album ‘Violent Speed Assault’ and it should be no surprise that they play violent blackened speed metal at full bore. Guitarist/vocalist Belzebuth (Rodrigo Huina) rips on both records and also plays in black metal band Sanctum Sathanas. These guys have been at it for almost two decades and ‘Evil Power Attack’ continues to stay true to their original dark speed metal ideology.
|Title [Type/Year]||Always Higher [EP/2017]|
|Rating [3.75/5.0]||BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!|
Oraculum hail from the Rancagua area and play an incredible cross between traditional death metal a la early Asphyx, Bolt Thrower, and Morgoth but this EP turns back the clock to the death/thrashing energy of 80’s death metal. The thrash attack on ‘Always Higher’ is just as obsessed with Pentagram and Slaughter Lord and this time around feels more like an early release from Pentacle than their previous ep ‘Sorcery of the Damned’ (2014). If you like bands like Obscure Burial or Superstition but you want something a bit more focused on classic death metal sounds you’ll find a lot to like with Oraculum. This band has incredible potential for a full-length and I hope one is in the works soon.
|Title [Type/Year]||Mortuary Remains [Full-length/2018]|
|Rating [4.0/5.0]||LISTEN on YouTube! | BUY from El Conjuro Records|
This Concepción based old school death metal band formed in 2013 from members/ex-members from Sadistic as well as black metal projects Perversion Flame and Necrolatría. Mortify‘s style is very straight forward as they focus entirely on cryptic old school death metal with great love for early Death, Morgoth, and Exmortis. Although the album kicks off with some typical sounding tracks around “Inner Torment” you start to see there is much more thought put into the guitar work than typical and the bass presence cuts through when they venture into more ‘thinking man’s death metal’ modes. I’d liken the appeal of ‘Mortuary Remains’ to that of records like Loudblast‘s ‘Sublime Dementia’ or Mercyless in terms of creating a unique mood with a rotten, brutal old school sound.
|Title [Type/Year]||Impuridad Excita, Oscuridad Proclama [Full-length/2017]|
|Rating [3.5/5.0]||LISTEN on YouTube! | BUY from Lapis Lazuli Productions|
Santiago war metal influenced black/death metal duo Bloody Sacrifice create a hypnotic surge of hellish, atmospheric horror on their debut full-length. This sort of highly corrosive Satanic stuff has a nice clear sound that doesn’t cause their frantic style to blur into mush. The album holds a great deal of variety, I believe thanks to the member’s past in black/thrash bands like Sepelio and Nocturnal Death.
|Title [Type/Year]||Complete Abominable Shemhamforash [Demo/2017]|
|Rating [4.25/5.0]||BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!|
This fourth demo from Coronel black/heavy metal band Necrolatría is my total favorite release from the list this week. You will understand why when you hear those riffs! The style is influenced by both classic heavy/speed metal and I believe bands like Grand Belial’s Key. I bought it the second the preview track finished playing but must have misunderstood something on the Bandcamp page, as I ended up with only the one track. Either way, a very good demo from a band with a great sound. Features ex-members of Decapitación and Cancerbero as well as current drummer from Mortify.
|Title [Type/Year]||Invoker of the Past [Full-length/2018]|
|No Rating||BUY/LISTEN on YouTube!|
This death/thrash band from Concepción haven’t been around long but they are already on fire with two frantic thrashing demos and now this upcoming full-length. Sort of the typical 80’s death/thrash sound done up raw and brutal, with a lean towards the proto-death metal side of things. Deathrune Records stuff can be hard to follow as they are a ‘zero hype’ kind of place like Memento Mori; I don’t think I’m likely to get the full promo, so you can wait for their Bandcamp release to hear more or buy it when pre-orders go up. Their demos are pretty solid as well and are available on YouTube and the band’s personal Bandcamp. A great band to watch if you like old school death/thrash that keeps it’s music in the South American underground.
|Title [Type/Year]||Altered States Fermentation [EP/2017]|
|Rating [4.0/5.0]||BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!|
You could name any album on Veins Full of Wrath Productions‘ discography and I probably either own it or loved it; Puerto Montt based death metal band Horrifying is no exception. Their mix of Merciless style death/thrash and heavier atmospheric death metal riffs is incredible. I love that they can go from doom to thrash on a dime. I’d also recommend two members’ older thrash metal project Evil Knight.
|Title [Type/Year]||Wrath of Darkness [Split LP/2017]|
|Rating [4.0/5.0]||BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!|
Two of the most celebrated underground Chilean black metal oppressors collaborate on this album length split from 2017. Wrathprayer are a hybrid of war metal and what I’d call ‘cavern core’ to some degree and they do it exceedingly well; This time their guitar tone is not so buried and for my taste this is the Rancagua based band’s finest release yet. Santiago’s Force of Darkness are more firmly rooted in black metal’s oldest traditions that resembles blackened thrash metal. They have an incredible atmospheric production sound with relentless and furious riff attacks throughout. They’ve been around since 2001 and they’ve kept their core sound in tact since about 2006 where they really began to thrive within their style. This split also has one of my personal favorite album covers of 2017 from David Herrerias whose style should be recognizable if you follow Nightbringer or Irkallian Oracle.
|Title [Type/Year]||From Death [EP/2017]|
|Rating [3.25/5.0]||BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!|
Perpetual Holocaust are a death metal band from Valdivia and their style is a bit different than most of the black and thrash metal influence stuff that is pervasive in Chilean scenes. A more traditional style of death metal a la Bolt Thrower and Immolation drives this EP with what I’d consider pretty average material. It only gets interesting when they go slightly off the rails, and otherwise this could be a band from just about anywhere on the planet. Good death metal, though I wish they’d kept the more brutal sound of their 2016 demo here.
|Title [Type/Year]||Temple of the Impure [Full-length/2017]|
|Rating [3.75/5.0]||BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!|
Hades Archer began their black metal attack in Santiago around 2006 and they’ve since relocated to Valdivia. This is one of the more noted groups to come from Chile in recent memory and they’ve been kind of amazing to follow as each record carries the themes of black metal but the style can range from bestial black metal to blackened thrash and everything in between. My introduction to the band was ‘For the Diabolical Ages’ (2011) and while I don’t think they topped that record since ‘Temple of the Impure’ was one of the better records in it’s style of 2017 and notably the most professional recording of the band to date. Highly recommended.
Did I miss your favorite Chilean metal album? I’d like to know if there are any releases I should check out that you might’ve thought didn’t get enough recognition. Drop me a line to tell me! It is always worthwhile to speak up for the lesser known stuff. Please remember you can contribute to my Patreon @ only $1 USD per month ($12 a year) to help keep me in front of the computer writing about metal. Thanks.
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