Ten From the Tomb 3/25/19: The muse’d promise one unfading thing.

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 death metal and doom metal from early 2019. Consider it a mourning that seems infinite in the moment, the sort of grief that strikes you in the quiet of the night and becomes a roar of sadness and anxietous regret. 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 some non-metal releases. Thank you! 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.


Artist Prostitute Disfigurement
Title [Type/Year] Prostitute Disfigurement [Full-length/2019]
Rating [3.5/5.0] BUY & LISTEN on Bandcamp!

Though they kicked off as a drum machine dirtbag chug band in 2000 Veldhoven, Netherlands brutal death metal band Prostitute Disfigurement would hit it big, hard and bloody with their fourth record ‘Descendants of Depravity’ (2008) a slide towards the hyper-fluid brutality of Nox that has continued on the two intermittent albums since. This self-titled album essentially returns to that razor-sharp guitar sound and with fairly straight forward performances. This is where Dutch brutality is most effective, just pummeling and not fucking around with pig squeals or hardcore slams. It sits in great lineage with Netherlands groups that ruled the 2000’s like Supreme Pain, Sinister, Nox, Howitzer, and Severe Torture. A huge get for German brutal death label Rising Nemesis, and kind of revived my interest in this band as ‘From Crotch to Crown’ (2014) just didn’t click with me. If you have no reference for how brutal death metal would refine away from trendy ugliness around 2005 this is a nicely refurbished window backwards unto the competitive tumult of that era of brutality.


Artist 0n0
Title [Type/Year] Cloaked Climax Concealed [EP/2019]
 Rating [3.25/5.0] BUY & LISTEN on Bandcamp!

If you’re familiar with Valborg side-project Owl and their experimentation with industrial, sludge, and death/doom over the years then this EP from Slovakian project 0n0 should feel like an atmospheric extreme doom vision adjacent to that tonality. Consider Godflesh‘s mournful mid-90’s peak set to its utmost extreme and boiled over into an Autokrator level of murky ruin. The melodic parts are almost too veiled by atmospherics to be effective but with some closer listens this two track 7″ EP from this Bratislava based band does create some reasonable value with the dynamic they toy with. Effective as the lilt of it all is ‘Cloaked Climax Concealed’ isn’t the most repeatable experience and serves only as a bite of things to come rather than an object to cherish. If they brought those clean-sung melodious sections to the front of the mix I think it’d be a stunning piece.


Artist Wretched Fate
Title [Type/Year] Fleshletting [Full-length/2019]
 Rating [3.75/5.0] BUY & LISTEN on Bandcamp!

Hailing from small town lakeside Orsa, Sweden and with a classic Swedish death metal approach in mind, this hour long debut from quartet Wretched Fate probably won’t be a massive hit for most folks out of the gate. The guitar tone is that righteous buzzsaw you’d expect but tweaked somewhere between Demonical and recent Bloodbath releases where it isn’t so overblown that it becomes a caricature driving the riffs. Producer/guitarist Mats Andersson does a very fine job of balancing his craft while tuning the record away from roteness with flourish and avoidance of Svensk-punkish affect. They’re not as technical as say… Sectu or Anata but, there is a classy gloss to the performances here that show some great promising going forward. I do think that this band has potential to take the artform somewhere interesting a la Entrails and Feral but I get lost in a 58 minute album of it, as consistently good as their ideas are there is just too much of a good thing on this debut. Having to sit through a handful of just OK tracks to get to a song that sums many of them in an effective way (see: “Hived Mind”) takes a certain mood and more motivation than I usually have. The verdict is still out on who’ll be the best HM-2 buzzsaw death band this year and I’d say ‘Fleshletting’ is a solid contender.


Artist Othuum
Title [Type/Year] The Astral Horror [Full-length/2019]
 Rating [3.5/5.0] BUY & LISTEN on Bandcamp!

Mönchengladbach, Germany based doom metal band up the ante within the already ultra-dramatic vocal talent within the greater German doom metal space with a debut full-length that impresses with unique vocal arrangements with a wide range of expression employed. It is so rare that I don’t immediately focus on the riffs but the shift between moaning baritone, growling angst, and harmonized verses expresses in a different way than say My Dying Bride while still feeling related. I believe this is a fully independent undertaking so there are some edges that could be cleaned up in terms of guitar tone and volume on certain vocal layers but on a regular pair of headphones it’ll still sound great. It is a fantastic take on epic doom metal with a sort of burly ‘gothic’ feeling informing the vocals. I personally never grow sick of H.P. Lovecraft themed works as long as it doesn’t just amount to buzzwords but the fact that I would even consider what the lyrics are saying should at least attest to how interesting Othuum are as a new and curious entity.


Artist Putrefied Corpse
Title [Type/Year] Left to Rot [Full-length/2019]
 Rating [3.25/5.0] BUY & LISTEN on Bandcamp!

A collection of die-hard misfits from Netherlands death metal past and present Putrefied Corpse arrive as a buzzing swarm of flies in search of shit and gore to feast upon. ‘Left to Rot’ is a crunching slap back to the earliest days of Massacre, Broken Hope and Obituary full of menacing mid-paced brutality. The lineup features members of Rotten Casket, Pulmonary Abscess, the hugely underrated Burning Remains, and the long forgotten early 90’s demo-barons Adetar. Right, I’m sure you’ve not heard of most of those bands but if you have you’ll see a mix of brutal death and classic death metal influences running through all of their work which culminates on ‘Left to Rot’. It is a fine debut and it largely stands out due to a weird, fucked up vocal performance from Björn van Toorn (ex-Death Squad, Bloodsin). I don’t think it’ll land on many folks radar this year simply because the guitar work is inconsistent and a bit simple at times but none of this bothered me on the full listen.


Artist Amber Tears (Янтарные Слезы)
Title [Type/Year] When No Trails (Когда Нет Троп) [Full-length/2019]
 Rating [3.5/5.0] BUY & LISTEN on Bandcamp!

Some fantastic pagan themed melodic death/doom metal from Russian band Amber Tears aka Янтарные Слезы who’d split up and reformed around their second album ‘Ключ к декабрю’ (2010) and fell silent in the years since. Their sound is comparable to Saturnus and especially Draconian but the folkish elements of their previous albums isn’t as present on this third album. It feels a bit removed from their previous form as if they’d worshiped nature before but with ‘Когда Нет Троп’ they mourn her ruins. My score for this release is a bit high only because I’ve been in the mood for this type of release and “Under the Stars Light” really had me hooked on the album for a few days.


Artist Public Grave
Title [Type/Year] Cadaverous Resurrection [Full-length/2019]
 Rating [3.0/5.0] BUY & LISTEN on Bandcamp!

As I’ve gotten older I don’t pay mosh metal much mind as mentally stimulating as it can be in a live setting very little innovation really translates onto record without a lot of hilarious sound design choices. A lot of slam and brutal death producers have begun to essentially create breakdowns that sound like a Michael Bay Transformers movie fight scene and as thrilling as that probably is, it wears off when you’re spinning a CD more than once. Munich, Germany based death metal band Public Grave have all of the modern bounce you could ask for but, they never go so overboard to the point that their debut ‘Cadaverous Resurrection’ becomes absurd. Citing Kataklysm and Six Feet Under as early influences does set a certain tone for the riffs, and I guess if you can huck your mind back towards 2001, sure. There are dog-growl scree vocals and slam riffs, all the funny things that have upped the ante over the last 20 years of brutal death, so don’t jump into this pit thinking they’re in it for anything more than pure fun.


Artist Tel
Title [Type/Year] Lowlife [Full-length/2019]
 Rating [4.0/5.0] BUY & LISTEN on Bandcamp!

You might not figure ‘Lowlife’ would be anything special at a glance but the debut full-length from Richmond, Virginia sludge/doom heads Tel is a righteously dark psychedelic experience showing incredible distinction in their approach of well-tilled soil. What builds up from the aethyr of post-Sleep stoner-doom pulses become life threatening snarl as “Ouroboros” incorporates death growls and an impressively organic sludge-heavy stoner metal guitar tone. Guitarist Mike Potts (Desert Altar, ex-Tond) is a revelation here with his whistful psychedelia and oceanic rhythm tone, when combined with vocalist Dante DuVall (ex-Lair) the two create a dynamic that reminds me of both Seer and Yob in the best way possible and because of this I see great potential for this band already. I love when a stoner band go ‘dark’ in a personal, bluesy way rather than the typical rasping and forced nuclear psychosis; I’d say Tel appear in good taste in this sense. This rant kinda clues you into why I didn’t do a full review, I found myself fawning and getting lost in my thoughts but I do give this a very high recommendation.


Artist Bleeding Utopia
Title [Type/Year] Where the Light Comes to Die [Full-length/2019]
 Rating [4.0/5.0] BUY & LISTEN on Bandcamp!

I’d really gone all in on this record and had a full draft of a review for it done and, as I typically sit on a draft for a day to think, I happily spun through this Swedish modern melodic death metal bands discography. So, why did I scrap the whole thing? I realized that I had absolutely nothing to say about a record like this and to compare it to some of the old greats, such as the second Eucharist record ‘Mirrorworlds’, that weird shreddy second Sins of Omission record, as well as modern Insomnium didn’t hold up when I went down a Black Dahlia Murder-core rabbit hole afterwards. ‘Where Light Comes to Die’ is a great record and easily the best work from Bleeding Utopia to date as they’ve kicked up the taste level in terms of artwork and some old school influences. It is a rich and propulsive melodic death record that captures that feeling when ‘Terminal Spirit Disease’ first hit; This sentiment is only valuable to folks with that specific nostalgia and that’d be where my own review went haywire. So, I value this record quite a bit — I think it is a real hard kick in the chest with sharp-ass guitar work throughout but, I found I really didn’t have anything worth a damn to say about it otherwise.


Artist Illimitable Dolor
Title [Type/Year] Leaden Light [Full-length/2019]
 Rating [4.0/5.0] BUY & LISTEN on Bandcamp!

New South Wales, Australian extreme doom metal band Illimitable Dolor were often described as funeral doom-lite, or a reduction of the extremity of traditional forms of funeral doom with their 2017 debut but I felt like that description always came from folks who’d no real history or sense of the sub-genre. Funeral doom metal is not impenetrable and never truly rested upon one defined type of song structure so, to see Illimitable Dolor as anything more than a solid example of atmospheric death/doom leaning funeral doom only shines a light upon inexperience. With membership from key members of Horrisonous, The Slow Death, as well as former members of Elysium no doubt these folks have a handle upon death metal, melodic death/doom metal and those sensibilities inform their work in Illimitable Dolor. ‘Leaden Light’ is warmed by keyboards and kept out of stagnation with a mid-paced sense of constant churning movement though there is little violence in this breathy, oozing death/doom record. Fans of early Pantheist, Monads, and Ea should find great solace in those melodic sensibilities and a less sluggish sense of movement. The rhythm guitar work isn’t as functional as I typically like, and I found myself focusing more on the post-metal/atmospheric guitar work but, I generally enjoyed the celestial quality that the keyboard layers provided.

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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