Ten From the Tomb 1/28/19: Sovereignty amongst the deranged.

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 2019. 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 requests for coverage directly from independent bands, mostly releases from last year. Consider it a soundtrack to catching up with music from bands who probably don’t read the site! 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’re not into the selection this week, relax! This’ll be back every 7 days with 10 more albums from different styles, genres, themes, etc.

Hey! Don’t dive in thinking this will all be shit just because I missed them! 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 weeks picks come from my e-mail inbox piling up with indie releases I’d had requests for, the choice of theme this week was voted on by Patrons over at the Patreon for Grizzly Butts, thanks guys! 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.


Artist Social Apathy
Title [Type/Year] Procreation [Full-length/2018]
Rating [3.0/5.0] BUY & LISTEN on Bandcamp!

Social Apathy is a blackened hardcore band from Athens, Greece who impress with their mix of lo fi black n’ roll and hardcore punk. While many blackened hardcore acts appear as black metal bands struggling to make d-beat interesting, Social Apathy uses the brooding sound of European hardcore to create black metal songs. Mid-paced black metal structures prove a bit too much for the one-dimensional hardcore style of the vocalist, who quickly becomes an irritant, but this doesn’t necessarily kill the Hellhammer-ish groove of the record. I’d definitely recommend checking out the song “Under Command” and digging deeper if that sparks any interest.


Artist Chaos Over Cosmos
Title [Type/Year] The Unknown Voyage [Full-length/2018]
 Rating [3.25/5.0] BUY & LISTEN on Bandcamp!

Chaos Over Cosmos is a sci-fi themed progressive power metal collaboration between Polish musician Rafał Bowman and Spanish vocalist Javier Calderón. Though the brief intro track didn’t snag my attention the enormity of Chaos Over Cosmos‘ fourteen minute tribute to Xenogears with “Armour of the Stars” was an effective spin upon the epic climb that prog-power best creates. The mix is clear but perhaps too bassy for my own setup, both the guitars and vocals are given the front of the proverbial stage as the album plays but ‘The Unknown Voyage’ flails under the weight of expectation that comes with such a powerful opener. I found myself leaving the striking spectacle of “Armour of the Stars” on repeat while wishing the rest of the project focused on such anthemic pieces. Themes of crumbling societies, a love of nature, all kind of come full circle alongside the ode to Xenogears a video game with so much of a message that it began to trip over itself with verbosity and cerebral paradox. You might have to be a progressive metal kind of guy to really soak up the full album, but I definitely recommend the second track.


Artist Craneium
Title [Type/Year] The Narrow Line [Full-length/2018]
 Rating [4.0/5.0] BUY & LISTEN on Bandcamp!

The slinking, electric groove of Turku, Finland stoner/doom metal band Craneium compares favorably to the now stagnant lilt of Windhand. If you really have it cranked, you’re doing ‘The Narrow Line’ right. With the usual ingrained sorrow of the Finnish people included, Craneium cross the more sour and impassioned side of pre-millennium Scandinavian stoner metal into modern doomed thrust a la Dead Quiet or Sundrifter. I loved the dark opening riffs of “Manifest”, which had me thinking this would be a Pale Divine sort of band, that eventually gave way to a very memorable blend of stoner metal’s most-high camp and dooms plodding footprint. A strong record, effective in both high and low moods.


Artist Templar
Title [Type/Year] Knights of Nuclear Hell Decibelfucking the Charred Remains of Christ [Demo/2018]
 Rating [3.0/5.0] BUY & LISTEN on Bandcamp!

Summoned by a mushroom cloud these Knights of the Nuke ride hard upon great steeds conjured from the ashes of humanity with spiked boot, collar, pauldron and codpiece aflame. Crooked in their attack as Evil and rabidly hoarse as Abigail, Templar recite their hymns of witching metal and infernal rage and uh, at this point their style is pretty rote but the sound of this demo is just impossible to ignore. Templar insist upon being heard and they make an ugly blackened speed metal racket to do so. I enjoyed this though it does little to stand out beyond their influences.


Artist The Mountain King
Title [Type/Year] Hitting Stellar Pipes [Full-length/2018]
 Rating [3.25/5.0] BUY & LISTEN on Bandcamp!

You’ll get a wide array of stylistic ventures and art in approaching Germany based artist The Mountain King from 8-bit soundtracks to indie pop all the way up to ‘Hitting Stellar Pipes’, a drone/doom record released in the middle of 2018. The 34+ minute title track headily invokes the huge waves of distortion of Earth at thier most distorted but it is “Call of Mothra” that caught my attention thanks to a heavy dose of more traditional stoner doom metal composition. Sure there are strings and a hard growling bass guitar tone as well, but these really don’t kick into high gear until about 20 minutes into the track. It might take about an hour to get to the ‘riffs’ for the purist doom fan, but for the drone/doom head this is a nice set of heavy and atmospheric pieces.


Artist Through the Canopy
Title [Type/Year] Descension [EP/2019]
 Rating [3.25/5.0] BUY & LISTEN on Bandcamp!

A couple of 10+ minute psychedelic doom tracks serve as decent introduction to prog-sludge and post-metal influenced Norwegians Through the Canopy. I don’t think they’ve nailed every aspect of their sound yet, the first track trails off into space in its middle but doesn’t create any compelling shapes with the drift. The second track “Illusions Lost” has a slightly darker tone, and I think this is the strength of Through the Canopy‘s sound when they weave their proggish doom qualities with a sort of menacing feeling. A very promising debut. I’d love to see what this band could do with vocal harmonies and a slightly more pronounced bass tone.


Artist Eversin
Title [Type/Year] Armageddon Genesi [Full-length/2018]
 Rating [3.0/5.0] BUY & LISTEN on Bandcamp!

Hailing from Agrigento, Italy Eversin is a post-thrash band with some light death metal influences. They’d originally formed as a sort of power-thrash metal project that would eventually begin to lean towards a sound more evocative of post-millennium records from legacy thrash bands like Slayer, Testament and post-thrash boon oldies like Grip Inc. This fourth album (fifth if you count their 2006 record as Fuoco Fatuo) has some death metal influenced parts that keep things interesting but for the most part ‘Armageddon Genesi’ is a stop-start heavy groove metal record that is just a little bit too far from my own interests in heavy music. Eversin are talented and professional nonetheless and the album features guests from the late Ralph Santolla as well as current Malevolent Creation vocalist/guitarist Lee Wollenschlaeger.


Artist Cabaret Aberrante
Title [Type/Year] Extirpando la Miseria [Full-length/2018]
 Rating [3.0/5.0] BUY & LISTEN on Bandcamp!

Though their imagery is pure shock value and gore metal excess, this fourth album from Barcelona, Spain deathgrinders Cabaret Aberrante isn’t entirely typical. I definitely get The Grotesquery sort of vibes from the mix of light melodic death and deathgrind elements, at least I hear more later Death at certain points than I do Exhumed or whatever similar Carcass-esque death metal. I didn’t go wild for this material at first, but once I’d sat down with the bands full discography and saw the progression of their music over the years I appreciated the trip towards ‘Extirpando la Miseria’. Bondage and gore aren’t really my thing but there are solid riffs all over this bands discography, well worth flipping through their stuff if you get excited about gory deathgrind that plays with melodic elements.


Artist Sumptus Ignis
Title [Type/Year] Ambition [Full-length/2018]
 Rating [3.75/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

Sumptus Ignis are a progressive metal duo out of Key Largo, Florida who are heavily influenced by the generally melodic and dour output from greater western Europe in the last three decades. I appreciate the DIY affect of ‘Ambition’ as they begin to stretch themselves unto the quality of their influences. This is not at all my ‘thing’ personally, though at no point did I shut ‘Ambition’ off in disgust. The skills are there with this duo I think I personally just need a reason to remember the listening experience, not necessarily a gimmick but a hook or catchy moment that will speak to the wider audience of their influences.


Artist Dantalion
Title [Type/Year] The Seventh Wandering Soul [Full-length/2018]
 Rating [3.25/5.0] BUY & LISTEN on Bandcamp!

Formed as a depressive black metal band by ex-members of Mydgard well over a decade ago Dantalion have released seven full-lengths since 2004 as their sound has shifted towards blackened melodic death/doom style. You’ll hear a bit of old Forgotten Tomb mixed with modern melodic ‘depressive’ black metal style perhaps the sort of sound that you get a few times a year from labels like Osmose or Solitude. I really enjoy their more aggressive, ‘blackened’ take on that melody driven style of ‘halfway-doom’ and this is a nice balance of old and new ideas from the project. Some members of this band used to be in Witchfyre, and through researching this band I found that Witchfyre had split up. Maybe it was fitting to have this frustrated-but-depressed dark metal playing as I mourned for the beloved dead.

Did I miss your favorite 2019 album? Send me an e-mail and tell me about it. 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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