Ten From the Tomb 10/31/18: Decrowned by our sickness, Vomit forth bloody deceit.

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 of some horror synth, dark ambient, hump-worthy electro-pop, doom, slamdeath, and extreme metal releases I’ve so far overlooked this year. Consider it a soundtrack to your Halloween spent watching Gummo (1997) and wondering why Randall Poster never oversaw another metal-forward, mind melting creation as its soundtrack… and then being hopelessly shut down when you want to watch Spring Breakers (2012). Instead imagine your own Korine-esque music video as it all plays, where horrible affluent teens juice up on Boones Farm, Franzia, and drama(!) before an arsonist slasher/DJ wearing an ill-fitting Andy Warhol mask burns down the house, with rad tunes and a bucket of gasoline. Everyone dies, even the DJ. Most of these albums made it here to Ten From the Tomb because I couldn’t manage the time for a long-form review or because I really didn’t have more than a paragraph or two worth of insight beyond banal description. If you don’t like horror synth, dark ambient or black metal variations, relax! This’ll be back every seven days with 10 more albums from different styles, genres, themes, etc.

Hey! Don’t dive in thinking this will all be shit. I always have some quality control in mind and looked for expressive, meaningful or just damn heavy releases that hold value without gimmickry or bland plagiarism. This week’s inspiration came from listening to a bunch of old Goblin and Slasher Dave records along with and wanting to toss in some doom, synthwave, death and black metal to up the grind a bit. 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. NOTE: This is up early to fit with the stupid ass Halloween theme. Sorry, had to go with it once I got started.


Artist Accurst
Title [Type/Year] Messenger of Shadows [Full-length/2018]
Rating [3.0/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp! | BUY from Aesthetic Death

“We begin with a black screen with credits trailing along the slow edge of silver knife as “From the Charnel House” plays. The knife appears to be moving forward as the light glints across its angle until it lands with force, perhaps hitting bone. A gush of blood squirts like piss from a clever garden gnome; Our protagonist shoves the knife and the bloodied corpse from his truck, and drives towards a Southern California suburb.” || A dark ambient piece from Cyprus artist Accurst offers greatly effective introduction to a horror theme as it was written by Nicholas Triarchos with great inspiration from the writings of H.P. Lovecraft. Aesthetic Death issued this work in limited Digipak format this March but it was originally released digitally by Triarchos back in 2016. Though this release would complete an ideological trilogy that began back in 2003 the progression from album to album is fairly notable as his dark ambient works grew increasingly eerie and more minimal over time. If you like background and ambient music when reading consider Accurst the next time you try to sort out Kafka or Lovecraft.


Artist Slasher Dave
Title [Type/Year] Frights [Full-length/2018]
 Rating [3.5/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

“The truck is a ’76 Dodge Ramcharger, it is Halloween night 2018 and DJ War-a-holic is cranked out of his mind off the scent of freshly slashed hillbilly-hipster blood and cranking the hell out of “Neon Shadows” as he clutches his laptop, turntables, a pair of bolt cutters and his trademark Andy Warhol mask with two thick black angry-ass eyebrows drawn on with a giant Sharpie. He killed for a ride and now he’s headed to Malibu’s Carbon Mesa neighborhood to DJ the fuck out of a mansion full of insufferable California teenage dirtbags.” || In between “Stoned” and “Evil Sound Screamers” Acid Witch vocalist/keyboardist Slasher Dave released five full-length horror synth albums through Detroit based Bellyache Records each offering either soundtrack work or tributes to the trio of John Carpenter, Goblin, and Fabio Frizzi particularly the 80’s synth work, which today sounds a bit like an old Sega Genesis game soundtrack if taken far enough out of context. Slasher Dave‘s focus is more foreboding than usual with this selection of songs and there is a greater lushness to the compositions than some of his previous work. What sets this apart from his previous work largely amounts to the more mid-to-late 80’s Carpenter feeling of the synth work and the integration of more metal guitar/full band work on a handful of compositions (see: “Strobe Room”, “Frights”). It is the sort of thing I’d wished GosT would do more of on ‘Possessor’ rather than treating metal influences like gimmickry.


Artist Moloch
Title [Type/Year] The Other Side [EP/2018]
 Rating [3.5/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

“Flying up the hills of Malibu in a truck that would be lucky to get ten miles per gallon with a muscled arm slapping to the beat of “Escape From a Nameless City” a splatter of blood continues to dribble down the driver’s side window. The DJ has arrived, and he is pumped like a Mattress salesman at a San Fernando Valley flea market. His bloodstained biceps tense, like a starfruit getting stomped under a pleather boot, as the angry Andy Warhol mask is strapped on. Laptop: Engaged, Turn-tables: Wireless, Arson: On his mind.” || It’d be exaggerating to say that all previous Moloch releases leaned towards the sleepier side of horror synth but there is some inspired energy in the darksynth/synthwave beats of ‘The Other Side’. This Polish artist has worked with some of the best over the last handful of years and seems particularly inspired in terms of themes and fidelity with two more impressive works already in the works or released since ‘The Other Side’. I appreciate the John Carpenter influence on this work in particular, as I think ‘The Lost Tapes’ ended up really inspiring a lot of horror synth and synthwave artists alike, at least turning them away from the typical Perturbator wannabe sort of thing.


Artist Night Club
Title [Type/Year] Scary World [Full-length/2018]
 Rating [3.0/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

“Masked, backpack strapped and wearing a jeweled pair of heart-shaped Swarovski cans our DJ arrives at the front door of the unsupervised palatial event. He’s a flirt with his eyes but the stench of cheap wine, vomit and expensive perfume grip his throat too hard not to frown. Burn them all, bring the house down. “Blood on Your Blade” shakes the room, the dried blood on his arm flaking off onto the marble floors.” || Los Angeles, California electroclash-ish synthpop duo Night Club never waste a moment shying away from a darker message and a catchy beat, in fact they bank on these two things as effective vehicle for danceable electro-industrial synth work. You’re definitely getting a strong hit of that ironic, spurned ‘Light & Magic’ era Ladytron vibe with ‘Scary World’ but the 90’s industrial influences shine through a bit deeper upon closer listen.


Artist Night Machine
Title [Type/Year] Themes of the Dead [Full-length/2018]
 Rating [3.5/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

“The stage is a converted bar and the living room is the size of a goddamn double-wide trailer stuffed with a lazy rich housewive’s bounty in trashed white furniture. Our DJ sets up, unzipping his hoodie to reveal the main event: A neon green tank-top with DJ War-a-holic airbrushed above a dropping nuke. The pre-set ritual begins set to the impending thump of “Dead Party”. He cracks his knuckles, pumps his fists in the air, and hands out pre-event Xanax (fresh from the UK) to all takers.” || A newer project with shared interest between horror synth and synthwave this time from Nashville, Tennessee of all places. Night Machine offer a nice balance of mid-90’s video game appropriate retro synth and a health hit of the 80’s horror synth sounds relevant to the rest of the first half of this list. The synth is often more pronounced and important than the beat in terms of memorability and I’d hope they warm up the beats a bit more beyond ‘Themes of the Dead’. It isn’t as captivating or exceptional as the most popular dark synthwave artists around but there is a nice balance of spectacle and substance that is rarely achieved in the substance void that is modern synthwave.


Artist Lustrum
Title [Type/Year] Lustrum Plays with Madness [Live Album/2018]
 Rating [3.5/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

“Before the mansion turns into a wine-chugging, pill-popping orgy of teenage debauchery the live band in the backyard has one last song to play. They’re Lustrum, they’re drunk, and they’re in charge. “Temple of Lust” grinds out of the speakers while sweater-vest wearing teens collapse on the lawn puking out Franzia and spitting up bongwater from their first hits of weed! A circle pit forms, bras go flying, and the band finish their set urinating into the pool, in unison.” || Connecticut based first wave black metal mutants Lustrum aim for the glory days of Venom, Bathory and early Slayer with their muddy Satanic speed metal attack. This live album serves to introduce folks to their ham-fisted, garage-shaking, drunken fury with an extended collection of songs from their demo and two split releases since forming in 2011. Use once then destroy.


Artist Saint Karloff
Title [Type/Year] All Heed the Black God [Full-length/2018]
 Rating [3.0/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

“Smoke plumes in the air and the first few bars of “Space Junkies” rips through the crowded, ‘luded, half-drunk and struck-dumb spawn of California’s richest human waste. Shaking their heads to the beat like epileptic zombies at a biker bar, the jog of doom rock creates a frenzy. The DJ isn’t going to let this party die until he’s done killing it. ” || Oslo, Norway based stoner metal/retro-doom trio Saint Karloff look to the world of today for doom and the world of yesterday for their heavy psych and doom metal influenced stoner metal sound. You’ll hear a bit of the same ethos that bands like Graveyard and Witchcraft employ but with some Orange Goblin and Nebula-esque heaviness thrown in for good measure. There is so much energy driving this record that it becomes striking how ballsy their performances sound, they’re really frying the air waves with their analog sounding heft. Gives me a headache in a good way.


Artist Eye of the Destroyer
Title [Type/Year] Violent by Design [EP/2018]
 Rating [3.0/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

“Bolt cutters in hand and laptop set to KILL our heroic DJ begins his killing spree as he walks to the cocaine room and proceeds to clamp shut the necks of an entire squad cheerleaders getting pepped off the Devil’s snort. Too faded to react fast enough and quickly muffled by their garroting by clenching steel. Thousands of dollars of cocaine flings into the air as the blood flies to the tune of “Postmortem Mutilation”, making a slurry of deliciously red numbness, our hero becomes frenzied from gooey blow raining down amongst the cheer team gnarl.” || New Jersey slam fiends Eye of the Destroyer have amped up their sound and struck upon an even more direct, hard hitting slice of brutal deathcore on their latest EP. Two songs, seven minutes, and nothing but pure and phenomenally brutal mosh music from start to finish.


Artist Tatanhammer
Title [Type/Year] The Art of Human Sacrifice [Full-length/2018]
 Rating [3.75/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

“Clipping off the door handle as he leaves, tossing the bloody cheerleader clippers about, our hero sets his mind upon containment then arson. His now hypnotized and Xanax deflated crowd stare at the ceiling while the laptop playlist rips on. The muffled patter and screaming plow of “Faces” drives home their impending doom. A few light candles, some raise cupped hands full of vomit and pour wine as if bequeathing offerings to Dionysus. Windows are nailed shut, door handles are snapped off, panicking ‘designated drivers’ are sledged and piled in the kitchen. They will all burn, and the rest of Carbon Mesa will burn with them.” || Finnish black/death metal horror artists Tatanhammer appear as a menacing, sludge-dripping beast on their full-length debut ‘The Art of Human Sacrifice’ representative of the doom at the heart of every Hellhammer riff but with the nihilistic anti-human destruction of war metal informing the sound and aesthetic. Writhing, bloated, groaning worms and gore from every hole and creating ruinous black metal atop it all is a messy feat but a compelling blast nonetheless. It is a hard sort of thing to liken to other bands, something like Hellvetron meets Throneum with a coat of clotted blood slapped across the tapes.


Artist Ill Bill / Ghoul
Title [Type/Year] Ill Bill / Ghoul Split [EP/2018]
 Rating [4.0/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

“The credits roll as the house burns. Melting faces slap their oozing flesh against expensive (hard to shatter) bay windows. Helpless to their choking rancid death, drugged and stammering as their face tattoos become stickers fit for their parent’s fridge, the Malibu hills bloodline is suffocated and incinerated. The fire retardant roof explodes downward with spewing flames gifting flashes of light upon our still very angry Andy Warhol masked man. Ghoul and Ill Bill play us out.” || The great thing about bumping into a band like Ghoul again after so many years is not only remembering how badass the Razorback Records catalog was at the time, but how most all of those bands are still going and still quality. Anyhow, I want another Impaled record at some point. Not qualified to say shit about rap but the synth on the Ill Bill track is spooky hot.

Did I miss your favorite 2018 horror synth, dark ambient, synthwave, black metal, splatterthrash, or experimental album? I’d like to know if there are any 2018 releases you loved that 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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