Annihilate This Week 3/21/21: “Alt som reiser seg skal falle.”

ANNIHILATE THIS WEEK hits every Monday (or nearby) mentioning important new releases whilst grouping short reviews for albums, EPs and demos selected from the current week’s best. These albums were overlooked for a more detailed review for any number of reasons, I’m either low on time or the music itself doesn’t warrant depth of inquiry or require too-serious engagement. I do my best to cover as much of everything I receive in some form regardless of genre or representation so don’t hesitate to send anything and everything my way:

The twelfth week of 2021 is highlighted by punkish psycho-sexual black metal defiance, classic death metal tones, heavy metal worthy of an actual headbang or two, some devastating extreme doom metal moments and well, a ton of just average at best records without a point of view. This week we are starting early and showcasing releases through the end of the month, including releases from the rest of March. If you’re not into the selection this week, relax! This’ll be back every 7 days with five more new releases from different styles, genres, etc.

The Album of the Week for my own taste is probably Netherlands-based thrash metal band Cryptosis‘ (ex-Distillator) debut album ‘Bionic Swarm‘, their first album after changing their name and writing a science fiction concept album. The second release from Denmark’s IldskærPaa Dækket Kalder De Døde‘ has impressed me yet again with their fluid black metal style and historic theme. Finland’s Black Mass Pervertor are back and penetratin’… the mind with their second full-length ‘Sodomiittien Seura‘. Excellent punk influenced black metal delivered with severe conviction. Additionally keep an ear out for albums from Cambion, Monte Penumbra, La Morte Viene Dallo Spazio, and Můra. The real must-have record of the week is Dying Victims Productions CD issue of heavy metal band Natur‘s second album ‘Afternoon Nightmare‘ which had released on vinyl in late 2020, absolutely essential disc if you aren’t a vinyl person. Reviews for most of these are in the works or up already.

Thank you! I am eternally grateful for the support of readers and appreciate friendly and positive interactions. 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. Onto the reviews:

TITLE:Sworn to Profound Heresy
RELEASE DATE:March 21st, 2021
LABEL(S):Purity Through Fire

German black metal band Sarkrista are notable for their authentic modern Finnish black metal sound and well, I don’t know if that is a good thing. The style they’ve landed upon here on this third album sounds even more influenced by Sargeist‘s melodic riff language than ever yet this seems to be for the sake of reaching the right audience. The album opens up in remarkable fashion as it proceeds leaving its introductory moments to speak as a sort of ‘gatekeeer’ wherein only the most dedicated Finn-black witness would press on. It is standard stuff in that sense though the standards are fairly high, repetitive melodic structures with small directional variations and some thoughtful vocal patternation. Vocalist Revenant is slightly subdued here, at least compared to recent releases from his other projects (Order of Nosferat, Slagmark) and his performance seems hesitant to go over the top and set these pieces on fire. Although I find the guitar performances very effective the pieces that break from the sweetly decaying melodic threads were the most interesting, such as “Destroyer of the Sun” with its vortices of phrasal mid-paced riffing and piano clanging ending or the dark metal feeling kick into the final piece “A Whisper From Forgotten Coffins”. If you are looking for a balance between Finnish and German black metal styles there are certainly bands with a bit more gusto in their step yet Sarkrista show they’ve a mind of their own on the less predictably spun half of the running order.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

TITLE:The Beginning
RELEASE DATE:March 31st, 2021
LABEL(S):Brutal Mind Records

Québécois brutal/technical death metal project Obvurt is naturally infused with physical and emotional defiance, a breach beyond some considerable obstacles that makes for an inspiring story to start. Guitarist vocalist Philippe Drouin, who had been involved with bands like Unbreakable Hatred and Vitiated since the late 2000’s, was in a severe vehicular accident back in 2016 and the damage to his arm necessitated his learning to play the guitar left-handed. ‘The Beginning’ is impressive even without this context, a highly professional debut EP that holds up to the dizzying skill level inherent to the seemingly endless wells of progressive and technical death metal hailing from their region of space. Their balance of brutality, finesse, and somewhat catchy riffing is largely ideal though the riffs themselves aren’t anything wildly out of the ordinary, leaning into some precarious and emphatic neoclassical moments at their most energetic. “The First Light” is a fine example of masterful technique and unique lead voicing, though the piece does not necessarily push too far beyond high skill bar for modern technical death metal I’d suggest each song is self-contained, tending to thrill with elaborate musical statement rather than sewn together guitar exercises. The full band includes an impressive group of performers including bassist Olivier Pinard (Cattle Decapitation, Cryptopsy) and former Gorod drummer Samuel Santiago and thought they each have their shining moments the songs themselves are generally a showcase for Drouin‘s compositions. The Nile-esque roll of “Scars of War” is probably my favorite of the bunch for its percussive riffing and brutal transitions though the very deliberate launch of “Osteophyte” is just as vital here. ‘The Beginning’ is a fine debut EP and the songwriting sense here is quite good, a course of vibrant songcraft with a reasonable lexicon to work with that manages to be entertaining to a point that is just shy of overwhelming. I’d wanted a little bit more of the ‘Cabinet’ style of brutal force applied but overall a fine first work. Also this album cover is one of my favorites from Jon Zig in recent memory.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.

TITLE:Soul Diminished
RELEASE DATE:March 26th, 2021
LABEL(S):Redefining Darkness Records,
Church Road Records

Cambridge, England death metal quartet Celestial Sanctuary have stirred up solid hype for their debut full-length after releasing a popular demo tape in 2019 and I was on-board immediately after discovering ’em via a fairly empty Instagram profile around that time, eventually buying their “Koalemos” single in 2020. I suppose after almost thirty years of listening to death metal I’ve lost my ability to soften my opinions on riffs, so this might sound overtly negative when it really isn’t. A lot of what their guitarists are serving here is “generic” or, by-the-numbers death metal riffcraft that is functional but not particularly stylish, serving movements that dull the melodic edge of bands like Bolt Thrower and the weirdness of Morta Skuld for the sake of hitting upon readable, hardcorish brutality. Structurally speaking, the bones feel a bit like a ‘reunion’ legacy band’s “keep it simple” take on 90’s death metal where the tempo map is quite polished and the sound is bombastic (see: Asphyx) yet the riffs themselves are just fine, totally effective in telling a story and creating atmosphere but there isn’t much of a fiery, thrashing component to most pieces. Such a great sounding record just begs for more of a point of view. That said, there are a lot of modern ‘old school’ influenced death metal bands that play in this style today and these guys do serve a very clean and well-rounded face here, some nice slower parts, and quality use of groove/hardcore influenced guitar techniques. As was the case with Frozen Soul, I feel like the torturous, weird and affected spirit of death metal is missing here and the performances are very stiff-shouldered without any major standout/signature touches. I definitely get why ‘Soul Diminished’ fills the void right now in terms of aesthetics and needing some comfortable ‘old school’ crunch in ear but it hasn’t stuck with me as exceptional. At the very least I’d recommend checking out “Mass Extinction” and “Relentless Savagery” and see if those stick.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

RELEASE DATE:March 26th, 2021
LABEL(S):Electric Valley Records

Riding some serious momentum from their well-received debut full-length, ‘Aphasia’, from last year Cypriot stoner rock quartet Stonus crank out three solid ear worms on ‘Séance’ starting with lead single “Evil Women“, a linkage between the hyper buzzed movement of Fu Manchu and the post-desert rock psychedelic bumble of the last ten years. If you’ll recall their debut released just a week or so before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out across the world, and it seems they’ve taken this adversity as a chance to really “go for it” in terms of deeper experimentation and bigger, bolder songwriting which frankly reminds me of early peaking Monster Magnet (or, Nebula) at times. Might just be my own nostalgia driving those namedrops but man, the feeling is there even on these short but stomping catchy heavy blues-shocked stoner rock numbers. The full listen is over in a matter of ~20 minutes but I appreciated how “El Rata” levels things out, “Evil Woman” picks it all up, and “Messianism” bridges that energy without sounding too much like either piece. Here’s hoping they keep this up because it is pretty damned inspired.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.

TITLE:Find the Others
RELEASE DATE:March 26th, 2021
LABEL(S):Robustfellow Productions

Ukrainian heavy psychedelic/progressive rock group Shiva The Destructor have clearly put plenty of work and personal touches into the five spaced and spacious pieces that make up ‘Find the Others’ and it shows in how joyous and idealistic its message ultimately lands. The concept is generally fearless in positing a reincarnation of Shiva traveling the history of psychedelia but the point is not only about exploring the self through the community music has to offer but ultimately belonging to and acknowledging that self. My take anyhow, the themes are quite positive and the lyrics affirming as the music treads an interesting line between heaviness and meandering brightness. I’d compare it to the most recent Dvne album, and concur the similarity to Earthless that others have pointed out elsewhere. What does this suggest? Extended atmospheric passages where the clash between two threads of guitar work create a kaleidoscopic, conflicted feeling that works when the suggested intent is psychedelic yet progressive. Interestingly enough one guitar tunes standard while the other downtunes, each serving their own unique tone while threading their ideas together carefully. “Nirvana Beach” is an obvious single for its ease of readability but most of the album is not as chill; In fact the first few pieces are a bit more lost at space, inheriting more of a jammed, free-associated feeling as they progress. Even if you’re not necessarily up for a sunny-minded, modern psychedelic rock record on paper it has really served me well as background and mood music, just enough of an interruption to not get much done but aloof enough within long instrumental sections that the mind can run loose.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10.

  • CAMBION – Conflagrate the Celestial Refugium [March 26th, Lavadome Productions]
  • MONTE PENUMBRA – As Blades in the Firmament [March 26th, End All Life Productions/Oration Records]
  • SARKRISTA – Sworn to Profound Heresy [March 21st, Purity Through Fire]
  • LA MORTE VIENE DALLO SPAZIO – Trivial Visions [March 26th, Svart Records]
  • NATUR – Afternoon Nightmare [March 26th, Dying Victims] ! CD issue
  • MARASMUS – Necrotic Overlord [March 26th, Transcending Obscurity Records]
  • OBVURT – The Beginning [March 31st, Brutal Mind]
  • SOLBRUD – Levende I Brønshøj Vandtårn [March 26th, Eisenwald]
  • MURA – Doom Invocations and Narcotic Rituals [March 30th, Caligari Records]
  • GHOSTS OF ATLANTIS – [March 26th, Black Lion Records]
  • NECRONOMICON – The Final Chapter [March 26th, El Puerto Records]
  • BLACK MASS PERVERTOR – Sodomiittien Seura [March 26th, Self-Released]
  • CELESTIAL SANCTUARY – Soul Diminished [March 26th, Redefining Darkness/Church Road] #
  • STONUS – Seance [March 26th, Electric Valley Records]
  • MOURNING DAWN – Dead End Euphoria [March 26th, Aesthetic Death]
  • XIFICURK – 1410 [March 31st, Void Wanderer Productions]
  • SANGUISUGABOGG – Tortured Whole [March 26th, Century Media Records]
  • BAALBERITH – Manhunt [March 25th, Godz ov War Productions]
  • FUNERAL STORM / SYNTELEIA – The Ancient Calling [March 31st, Hell’s Headbangers Records]
  • VALOSTA VARJOON – Das Flammenmeer [March 21st, Purity Through Fire]
  • ABJECTION – Malignant Deviation [March 25th, Godz ov War Productions]
  • WITCHFUCK – Black Blood Baptism [March 25th, Godz ov War Productions]
  • NORDICWINTER – Sorrow [March 26th, Hypnotic Dirge Records]
  • GRAND CELESTIAL NIGHTMARE – Forbidden Knowledge and Ancient Wisdom [March 20th, New Era Productions]
  • NACHTIG – Der Stille Wald [March 21, Purity Through Fire]
  • AUSSICHTSLOS – Völlig Aussichtslos [March 21st, Purity Through Fire]
  • REVENANT MARQUIS – Below the Landsker Line [March 21st, Inferna Profundus Records]
  • THE MOBILE HOMES – Trigger [March 26th, Wild Kingdom]
  • DECLINE OF THE I – Johannes [March 26th, Agonia Records]
  • AZIOLA CRY – The Ironic Divide [March 26th, Sensory Records]
  • DIRGE – Vanishing Point [March 26th, Self-Released] Compilation
  • BLINDFOLDED AND LED TO THE WOODS – Nightmare Withdrawals [March 26th, Self-Released]
  • BYRON – The Omega Evangelion [March 26th, Goatmancer Records]
  • THERMOHALINE – Maelström [March 26th, Onism Productions]
  • NEKKROFUKK – Mysterious Rituals in the Abyss of Sabbath & Eternal Celebration of the Blakk Goat [March 30th, Putrid Cult]

If I missed your favorite album from 2020, whoa too late! If you’ve got 2021 digs to whip out E-mail me or hit me up on Instagram if you want me to review it, I’ll consider it.

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