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 of the best ‘old school’ bestial/war metal and modern melodic death metal from early 2019. Consider it a clairvoyant moment into the near future, a coming of extreme polarity, a collision of high and low pressure systems for a magnetic storm that would render civilization a demolished poisonous swamp left to boil under sulphur clouds. 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 am not doing full reviews for these releases! 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 PATREON Patronage, who vote on a poll every two weeks and decide on the subject of this feature. Next week I will most likely focus on either non-metal or pure black metal, maybe both? Stay tuned! I am eternally grateful for the support of readers and appreciate the friendly and positive interactions I’ve had with all thus far. 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]||Outpregnate [EP/2019]|
|Rating [3.5/5.0]||BUY & LISTEN on Bandcamp!|
A neck-twisting spiral of carnage, sawed from the tumorous limbs of maggot spewing cadavers erupting blasts of gore and acid boiled maggot-drilled flesh ‘Outpregnate’ is a misanthropic, slippery mania sloshing like bone in sulfurous, murky bathtub. Reeking of disintegrating plastics and blood-rusted torturous device Eggs of Gomorrh realign with the natural world in 2019 in hopes of claiming new sinew to juice, and dry, and hang, and hammer, and fu… Well, they’re fast and vomitous in creating this abrupt and vile form of war metal, an appropriately intense spectacle with fine drumming and grindcore levels of furious angular black/death stew. Why am I trying so hard with the meaningless hyperbolic prose? Eh, I think this Archgoat style of war metal is fantastic though I didn’t realize how badly I wanted more distinct riffs until the Arkhon Infaustus cover kicks up at the end of this EP. ‘Outpregnate’ is very well produced and performed, the guitar tone is pure mania and the vocals are satisfyingly deep though I found myself really just focusing on that cover song above the rest of the tracks.
|Title [Type/Year]||Blessed by Fire [Full-length/2019]|
|Rating [3.75/5.0]||BUY & LISTEN on Bandcamp!|
If you haven’t heard of Concepción, Chile melodic death metal band Soulburner by now you’ve missed out on four fantastic death metal records that perfectly balance the brutality of old school death metal and the post-‘Slaughter of the Soul’ school of melodeath. ‘Blessed by Fire’ rips as if it were released back in 1997 and really sits well next to your favorite Sacrilege (Sweden) record or the heavier United States adaptations of melodic death metal in the late 90’s and early 2000’s (Soulless, Vehemence, Abominant etc.) but the main influence here is straight up At the Gates and they do a great job invoking the feeling of that band while providing equal parts brutality. Do they just sound like The Black Dahlia Murder? Hmm, I’d say that’ll depend on how analytical you’re feeling in terms of their melodeath riffs, ‘Slaughter of the Soul’ and ‘Whoracle’ are well represented here but there are some moshable, chuggy parts throughout and well… Honestly I don’t listen to TBDM often enough to really make that reference confidently. Anyhow, who gives a shit? This album is a great spin and the heavier take on melodeath within is damn good.
|Title [Type/Year]||Wolven Degrade [Full-length/2019]|
|Rating [3.5/5.0]||BUY & LISTEN on Bandcamp!|
‘Wolven Degrade’ is the second full-length from Edmonton, Canada war metal quintet The Black Sorcery in the space of two years and they’re nowhere near running out of the lycanthropic ichor that fuels their ultra-brutal form of bestial cruelty. The guttural inhaled vocals and occasionally slapping Adversarial style drumming do cross the line between the wildest brutal death of the early 2000’s and the raw blur of Canadian war metal. A brutal death Sacramentary Abolishment, I guess. But hey, beyond my reductive rambling there is an entertaining war metal record here. I do think it verges on resembling bedroom goregrind (the Dutch scene circa 2005) because of the vocals and raw drumming but the intended misanthropy and distinct delivery is not at all lost upon me.
|Title [Type/Year]||The Onset of Eternal Darkness [Full-length/2019]|
|Rating [3.0/5.0]||BUY & LISTEN on Bandcamp!|
The UK extreme metal scene has consistently moved towards hardcore hybridization in every sense and you can bet just about any band to generate even the slightest buzz across the pond is -core something. Climate of Fear is no different in that they are a deathcore band reinterpreting the sound of modern melodic death metal into moshable forms. This is not necessarily melodic metalcore in the sense that it isn’t rooted in that particular early 2000’s sound though the ethos is similar in that there are At the Gates styled riffs incorporated with pit riffs and some modern deathcore sounds. I won’t talk these guys down because this is a fine package overall with nice enough covert art, solid performances, intricate guitar work, and a great sense of moshable violence. Where I fall off the map comes with the the melodic death metal elements, which aren’t so much integrated as they are imitated and sometimes too loosely connected to the ‘breakdown’ moments. There are exceptions to my criticisms throughout and it is a fine record, just not my preference next to a band like Soulburner or Bleeding Utopia.
|Title [Type/Year]||Sulphurous Northern Bestiality [Full-length/2019]|
|Rating [4.0/5.0]||PREVIEW on Iron Bonehead’s SoundCloud!|
Demoed, signed, EP’d and now releasing their debut full-length just two years after forming Norwegian war metal cult Goatkraft are immediately satisfying in their roaring no-frills approach to the bestial arts. Thrashing like maniacs beneath the chaos moon of Black Witchery (and Morbosidad) Goatkraft build riffs in the most classic sense, a very stripped down and pure form of raw black metal at machine gun speed. I’d say the last war metal full-length I enjoyed this much was probably Hellfire Deathcult‘s record from 2018 and while ‘Black Death Terroristic Onslaught’ was packed with face-melting riffs ‘Sulphurous Norther Bestiality’ excels through sheer attack. Admittedly the satisfaction of a record like this is how traditional it is and this is even more important in the ultra-conservative expressive range a band can work with and still be considered war metal. “Spell of Black Pestilence” through “Deathblade of Plague and Torment” is the real core intensity of this album and I found myself anticipating these songs the most as I left the album on repeat. I’d recommend this most of all if you’re curious about any of the war metal on this list. Note: Will be on Iron Bonehead Productions’ Bandcamp March 22nd.
|Title [Type/Year]||The Unquiet Dead [EP/2019]|
|Rating [4.0/5.0]||BUY & LISTEN on Bandcamp!|
One man DIY death-thrasher Tom Reynolds‘ Foul Body Autopsy continues to develop at a thoughtful, intentional pace that has consistently showcased his superior sense of flow and compositional movement. ‘The Unquiet Dead’ hones in on melodic death/thrash ideas that come tightly wound but never create anxietous drudgery. It really does reflect what bands like Omnium Gatherum and Insomnium brought as In Flames phased out of making good music and progressive, performative dramatics warmed over the cold blandness of melodic metalcore in the mid-to-late 2000’s. Relative to ‘This Machine Kills Zombies’ this is a serious-faced moment, a set of three intricately thrashed melodeath songs that progress towards the big, oozing finale of “Searching for Sanctuary”. I dunno, when I reviewed his second album I was sure Reynolds just needed to hire a band and be the boss but, if he keeps cranking out this quality, I mean dude just keep going. The production from Russ Russel (recent ATG, Evile, Napalm Death, etc.) provides the perfect amount of gloss and punchiness that Reynolds’ influences require, it is a great fit and a solid short hit of melodic death metal.
|Title [Type/Year]||Void of Infinite Horror [Full-length/2019]|
|Rating [3.5/5.0]||BUY & LISTEN on Bandcamp!|
Oxfordshire based solo project Vessel of Iniquity finds musician S.P. White plunging the impossible depths and dying within the deleterious emptiness of space in the debut full-length for this experimental noise fueled war metal attack. ‘Void of Infinite Horror’ is more a goal than a simple titular description of the sound within the Sutekh Hexen meets Tetragrammacide-esque compositions which are all mercilessly brutal in terms of drum-lead pacing and unwavering noxious atmospherics. I would say this leans more towards the goal of avant-garde blackened death metal overall and it isn’t pure blasting in the sense of traditional war metal. I ultimately felt it was an appropriate release to include here because of the Jyotiṣavedāṅga-like feeling of the piece. Much of the album is dissonance and atmospherics, especially “Void of Infinite Sorrow” and “Once More Into the Abyss”, this is the absolute strength of the album and the reason to listen in the first place. The more brutal side of the project is stunning in its machinated heaviness but less captivating if you’re already neck deep in dissonant atmospheric death noise on a daily basis.
|Title [Type/Year]||Echoes of Dying Memories [Full-length/2019]|
|Rating [3.25/5.0]||BUY & LISTEN on Bandcamp!|
Roman melodic death metal musician Giuseppe Di Giorgio would hit the reset button on his Black Therapy project in 2017 after 18 years and two moderately overlooked modern melodeath full-lengths. The staff is entirely new for this third release, save Lorenzo Carlini (Invernoir) who has switched from guitar to bass in the shuffle. Every aspect of Black Therapy‘s sound is upgraded between a high-class production sound and vastly improved songwriting but the heavy influence from modern Finnish melodic death metal (Mors Principium Est, Insomnium, etc.) is par for the course. For my taste the high bar for this type of music is Insomnium‘s ‘Shadows of the Dying Sun’ and maybe Omnium Gatherum‘s ‘New World Shadows’ before it and the unfortunate reality is that it would take something truly fantastic to even reach for a standard that the bands themselves haven’t topped since. Who cares right? Right, if you’re a fan of modern progressive metal tinged melodic death metal this is ace stuff. For my own taste they’re not hitting big enough riffs and focusing too much on melodramatic atmosphere to make memorable statements (outside of guitar hooks). You can decide for yourself if you want more of this style of music, I’m nonplussed with most of the songwriting but still impressed with the fidelity and professionalism of this record.
|Title [Type/Year]||Меч миру [Full-length/2019]|
|Rating [3.75/5.0]||BUY & LISTEN on Bandcamp!|
Saint Petersburg, Russia ‘goatgrinders’ Morbital very quietly released their full-length debut a few days ago and it shouldn’t surprise anyone that it is fantastic. You can call this atmospheric deathgrind, goatgrind, or whatever but anyone following bands like Vermin Womb, Knelt Rote, and Infernal Coil will easily find the war metal blurred sound of Morbital just as satisfying. The riffs and style here slows down into pure death metal territory often so if you’re looking for a purist blast of bestial war maybe jump back to Goatkraft. I’ve been loving this raw, hard-hitting album so far and can’t recommend it enough.
|Title [Type/Year]||Hic Sunt Leones [Full-length/2019]|
|Rating [3.0/5.0]||LISTEN on Spotify!|
Terni, Italy based band S.R.L. (Società a Responsabilità Limitata, if you’re from the US this would be an LLC, more or less) bring a wide range of influences into their sound as an aggressive thrash band that have persisted since formation in the early 90’s. Their fourth album refines their combination of modern thrash metal and melodic death metal ideas into a sound made even more distinct by their steadfast use of the Italian language. Think of ‘Hic Sunt Leones’ as if ‘Enemy of God’ era Kreator and the earlier records from Carnal Forge. These guys have a good sense of the trash riff, a couple members are even in retro-thrashers Hyades, but the moshable melodeath trends of today aren’t really my thing. Although I found the mosh stuff and the hardcorish vocals grating there is a grip of decent riffs on this album that are worth checking out.
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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