Annihilate This Week 5/08/21: “Bending your bow to breaking-point you captured priceless glory.”

ANNIHILATE THIS WEEK hits every Weekend (Saturday or Sunday) covering 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 eighteenth week of 2021 is highlighted by some of the strongest ‘traditional underground’ black and death metal of the year thus far but, arguably nothing so magical or modern that it will break into mainstream appeal. Beyond that we have some noise rock/post-hardcore acts breaking through alongside a bevvy of progressive music across the spectrum, y’all probably don’t care about that but its there if you do. If you’re not into the selection this time around, 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 Czechia-borne old school death metal band SNĚŤ‘s debut album which outclassed a lot of the muddy hardcorish death metal coming out of the US/UK right now with a grinder of an album in ‘Mokvání V Okovech‘ and Finnish death metal act Cadaveric Incubator are not far behind with the clobber of ‘Nightmare Necropolis‘ serving brutal tradition straight from their own lacerated guts. Québecois label Sepulchral Productions can do no wrong and Oriflamme‘s ‘L’égide ardente‘ waves this banner quite hard within robust and thickly woven black metal pieces with an austere presence. Norwegian black metal trio Djevel have achieved their seventh album ‘Tanker Som Rir Natten‘ with a new ally, Kvitrim (Mare, Vermod, et al.) and it may be their most traditional, most soul-assaulting release to date. The heroic longform epics of Jakarta, Indonesia based black metal project Vallendusk now reach a grandeur fans of Windir and Havukruunu will love on ‘Heralds of Strife‘. I wasn’t expecting it to be a special record for my own taste but there is a certain level of attrition in their work that I appreciate. British blackened death metal group Grave Miasma return for their second full-length after a thoughtful amount of time and ‘Abyss of Wrathful Deities‘ is cerebral in accordance, not technical or progressive but symbolic and concerned with movement that is divergent from ‘Odori Sepulcrorum’. And finally folks who are into early 90’s noise rock, alt-rock, and post-hardcore influenced modern sludge rock will be very happy with the latest album from Turku, Finland based group Throat, ‘Smile Less‘ continues their tendency to evolve between full-length releases, taking on a notably different vibe and narrative voice. All fantastic releases which will receive review this coming week.

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:Stillborn in Ash [Remaster]
RELEASE DATE:May 10th, 2021
LABEL(S):Nuclear Winter Records
BUY/LISTEN:Nuclear Winter Shop [EU]

After a couple of logo changes, different artwork, and now a full remix/remaster this originally self-released 2019 demo from Seattle, Washington-based death/doom metal band Excarnated Entity finds its godhead status in this definitive version from the folks at Nuclear Winter Records. This is the version to get, the one that is altogether (aesthetically and production-wise) worthy of the music within. Though it is instantly recognizable as a genuine article, ‘Stillborn in Ash’ exists within the very fine grey area between the most elite old school pantheon of the mid-90’s, the Incantation-esque candor of the late 2000’s, and the ‘new old’ school death metal of today out of the pacific northwest a la Mortiferum, Ossuarium, Cavurn, and Foul. A sense of movement which leaves a trail of resonance is key to classic death/doom values and though Excarnated Entity rarely feature the stilted and jerking rhythmic collapse of the most classic outliers of their sub-genre (Ceremonium, Disembowelment, Rippikoulu, etc.) the drumming on this EP presents a sort of flawless interpretation of this sort of movement nonetheless, lending a familiar but self-owned sort of tempo map to the experience. ‘Stillborn in Ash’ is a rare instance where I would encase this stuff in glass and not touch a thing, not a single gripe or note to add to what they are doing because the study and interpretation of classic forms here is absolutely untouchable.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

TITLE:Nether Hollow of No Return
RELEASE DATE:May 15th, 2021
LABEL(S):Inhuman Assault Productions

Part of the Thailand based Siamese Brutalism collective, Oldskull‘s name might be fairly typical at face value but ‘Nether Hollow of No Return’ itself is an exacting and most pure standard of old school death metal — In this sense they’ve -earned- that name easily with the quality of this album. For a general reference I would say the album kicks off with the spirit of an early Obituary album before motioning towards ‘Mindloss’-era Gorefest a bit when slowing down, eventually hitting upon some death/thrash riffing as the album leans into its second half. Folks who’ve tired of muddy tone dominating a lot of modern ‘new old school’ death metal guitar work these days should appreciate the classic overdriven Marshall stack sized guitar chunk here and the mid-to-fast paced style of these songs. The first half of ‘Nether Hollow of No Return’ uses the sustain of this sound to great advantage, pushing ominous movements in preamble of each song which’d really stroke a chord in the mid-90’s guitar brain that remembers when death metal filled stadiums beyond festivals. When Oldskull do tear into a mosh, such as on “Perpetual Void”, the riffs usually develop patiently and without any too-complicated movements. It is a fine album for folks who want riffs in classic form and a pre-1995 emphasis on groove that isn’t just straight moshcore. If the term straight forward death metal songwriting still indicates the late 80’s and early 90’s underground then we can consider this record a ‘grown up’ and complete example of that style, done the right way without gimmicks and cartoonish shit applied.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

TITLE:Phur G.Yang
RELEASE DATE:May 14th, 2021
LABEL(S):Solitude Productions

Abysskvlt are a Russian ritualistic funeral doom metal quartet whom present their third full-length album as a flight through the abyss of ancient Tibetan music and iron aged pre-Tibetan Buddhist mantras whilst utilizing ancient musical instruments of the Bon tradition. As much as we can emphasize the importance of the lyrics, musical accoutrement, and such the basis for their funeral doom metal style is particularly standard for a far north funeral doom project with heavily atmospheric instrumentation and some questionable points of fidelity along the way. As much as I would’ve liked to delve into the symbolism, ancient cultural resonance, and some of the similarities to Abstract Spirit, Ennui and even Comatose Vigil within ‘Phur G.Yang’ the screaming, rasped and blackened side of the vocals alongside some electronic/harsh noise hits on a few songs were such a counterintuitive presence within the theme and presentation of the album that it became a grating, occasionally messy experience. The deeper, guttural vocals are entirely classic and though they are verbose they fit quite well as they fill about half of the album’s length but the rasped sections of the full listen seem brutally out of place. So, with this in mind I was not able to acclimate with the full energy of the album which extends to a full 80 minutes. “Nga-Ri” is the piece I’d returned to most although “Mchod Rten’ is probably the ritual to impress most funeral doom metal listeners. I did manage to set aside expectations and enjoy the album on some level nonetheless a few of their performative choices pulled me away from immersion often enough that it didn’t “click” with me, or the theme, overall.

Rating: 6 out of 10.

RELEASE DATE:May 14th, 2021
LABEL(S):Listenable Records

Luna’s Call are a progressive death metal band out of the Lincolnshire, England area who’ve taken the general breaking point of ‘Watershed’-era Opeth and given it a glossy, smooth-edged hit of technical death guitar work. The combination of 70’s progressive rock song structures, prog-tech death guitar runs and sort of jaunty modern metal tunefulness makes for a notable enough adventure for folks who might’ve found Black Crown Initiate‘s latest too pained and self-serious. If this all sounds a bit commercial and dry for your own tastes as someone not in tune with modern progressive metal I’d say take a closer listen, as detailed and willing to sprawl into tedious rants as some of these pieces can be much of ‘Void’ is substantive and pieced together with an adept hand. Sure, I don’t think “In Bile They Bathe” or “Signs” will win over the average Anata fan but I’d say folks who cross over between progressive metal, modern melodic death metal, and throwback prog rock today will find a sharply arranged album that never feels insincere or concerned with falsely emotional alt-metal nonsense. The redeeming qualities of ‘Void’ increased in value concurrent with time spent, not a “grower” but an experience that didn’t disappoint when invested in.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10.

TITLE:Gastric Phantasm
RELEASE DATE:May 14th, 2021
LABEL(S):Blood Harvest Records

Gastric Phantasm is a very new project from members of Filtheater and Phthisis who’ve come together to try this Mortician-feelin’ raw death metal trend of today giving it a squirt of goregrind adjacent movement via simple riffs and a hollow rehearsal room sound. These are formative statements and probably shouldn’t be taken too seriously just yet but, the major takeaway from these four songs (which span about ten minutes total) is a quick set of brutal death songs chunked out for fun. If you spend a lot of time seated and ripping riffs in your garage the quality of the sound will be easy to key into via a single guitar channel. I don’t hear anything exciting in terms of riffs just yet, the whole thing could use a real blast of speed or some kind of fuckin’ freak out for my own taste. “Just ok” stuff.

Rating: 6 out of 10.

TITLE:Blazing in a Purging Fire
RELEASE DATE:May 10th, 2021
LABEL(S):Black Ritval Records

Sicilian black/death metal project Krigere Wolf might’ve released three full-lengths and now a couple of EPs in recent years but much of those records were under various configurations of artists/session musicians with folks cycling out after the first record released in 2012 and then new blood arriving beyond the second album in 2014. All configurations feature Rick Costantino and for my own taste the most recent work featuring vocalist/guitarist Salvatore Leonardi (Nerobove) has the most convincing attack via some classicist style. From the start it was clear that these guys love the raw and thrashing side of the first couple Marduk records and they’ve covered Dissection in the past so there is some love for Scandinavian classics in their blood but, applying this to a more structured death/thrash metal movement has really helped hone into a clearer identity for the band which has the bestial quality of early black/death but the thrust of extreme thrash metal to maintain the right unrepentant, violent feeling. All of this would not hit as sharp as it does without solid drumming, on some past releases they’ve had some issues with drum capture that’d been “necro” but obtuse when it came to feeling, here there is a finesse that just kills throughout and tightens all into solid form. For my own taste ‘Blazing in a Purging Fire’ is Krigere Wolf‘s best release to date so, here’s hoping they’ve got a full-length of this quality in the works soon enough.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10.

RELEASE DATE:May 14th, 2021
LABEL(S):Blood Harvest Records

At four songs and a full 32 minutes this latest four-way split record from Blood Harvest does a fantastic job keying folks into the bigger picture of North American death metal at present while selecting bands with the brains to push beyond the usual chunder. I dunno if I was all the way convinced that a Blood Spore full-length would rule based on their 2020 EP but now that I’ve heard the nine minute song they’ve kicked this split off with, I’m into the idea. Coagulate I was already convinced of and their releases with Rotted Life Records have been totally underrated compared to spicier Instagram goons of late, they’ve also included a 9+ minute song here and though it isn’t as complexly mapped as the Blood Spore tune it does convey their gig pretty well. Soul Devourment are kind of the odd man out on this one with a sub-5 minute song that hits pretty average, a bit like Cerebral Rot if with half the riffs cut. Not bad but also not standing out here in the murk. The big event for my own taste here is Gutvoid‘s track with its celestial Finnish lead dripping early verse, myriad change-ups and out of this world sense of progression as the song bleeds out. By the end of the piece you really can’t help but have absorbed the essence of what these guys are all about and it really does kinda blow these other tracks out of the gene pool. A solid showing overall but I’m 100% buying it for the Gutvoid cut.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

RELEASE DATE:May 14th, 2021
LABEL(S):Transcending Obscurity Records

With twenty years and ten albums under their belt (the tenth album included as bonus tracks on certain versions of this EP) Greek black metal artist Dødsferd has shifted from nigh comically plain Scandinavian influenced rawness towards an atmospheric and melodic style of black metal with a bit more quality control in mind. I am never entirely sure what to do in terms of reviewing a ten minute span of music that is both sub-genre typical in general and somewhat beige work for the artist in mind, as I’d like to avoid simply suggesting ‘Skotos‘ is solely for the die-hard fan of this group but, these two second wave black metal burners aren’t indicative of the elaborate movement found within 2018’s ‘Diseased Remnants of a Dying World’ and this will be obviate once playing them back to back. Energetic, dark, semi-melodic, texturally mild, and ruthlessly mid-paced these songs avoid any certain “hook” but manage a somewhat accessible and very straight forward ten minute blast of serviceable black metal. Standard work without any major flaws or points of interest.

Rating: 6 out of 10.

TITLE:V3: Vernedering – Connect the Goddamn Dots
RELEASE DATE:May 14th, 2021
LABEL(S):Human Detonator Records

I’ve been confusing Netherlands elektro-brutal atmo-death metal trio The Monolith Deathcult with Swedish elektro-death/doom etc. band The Project Hate MCMXCIX since roughly 2005, for no other reason than I’d discovered them both in the same magazine and their descriptions were similar alongside equally bad graphic design for their album covers — This will be the first part of my hundred page thesis on the permanence of propaganda framed within an examination of early 2000’s layout design for mass market compact disc manufacture where the main protagonist (a pirated, and thus sentient, version of Adobe Photoshop 6.0) will be characterized by the voice of whomever The Monolith Deathcult have gotten to do the Alex Jones impersonation for this third part of the “V trilogy” of albums spearheaded by ‘V1 – Versus: It Will Burn Us Without Leaving Ash’ (2017) which would more or less signal the project’s cut down to a trio from a quintet and a focus upon independent releases. Known for their fusion of electronic elements into a ruthless brutal death metal style apropos for the early 2000’s, these Kampen folks are most revered for their (technically third) album ‘III – Trivmvirate’ (2008) and its follow up ‘Tetragrammaton’ (2013) wherein their fanbase must’ve been a frustrating mix of “I think this sounds like Nile, but oontz-oontz?” and “If people stop mentioning Nile + EDM, the nostalgia center of my brain will fail and my personality will have entirely reset”.

The history of the band is littered with interest though I wouldn’t say their newer material is as riff intensive as their first album, a far more straight forward brutal death metal incarnation of band (as Monolith) along the lines of Zyklon which featured frequent poking at Islam as an under-opposed religious & political force of oppression the world over. The detail applied to their current pile of recent works contains a broader yet no less a compelling political statement alongside a sense of humor which is all the more visible and grounding. Still, an album named “Humilation” (more or less) could also be taken seriously with consideration for the full trilogy: “Opposition, vengeful cruelty, and humiliation” sums up the human experience for a reasonable number of folks these days. Ah well, the music itself hasn’t budged too drastically over the course of this trilogy and the strong trademarks of the band’s brutal 2000’s era still persist even if they are not filling all available space with blasting death metal any more.

Industrial and atmospheric death metal is a reasonable enough way to label the larger ‘Vernedering‘ experience, which begins with a bit of humor and slowly drops increasingly dark themes. The Alex Jones impersonator continues to show up ’til the very end and… I dunno how much I enjoyed this after the first couple times; There are entire YouTube musician meme albums and countless popular songs dedicated to his extremist lunacy and I’d found it all a lot less funny after January 6th this year. This doesn’t sour the album but hey, you’ll notice I haven’t really mentioned the riffs. The Monolith Deathcult have always done a pretty good job of balancing out rhythm guitar interest with strong use of “symphonic” or electronic music elements in their compositions, I’ve always considered this similar to what Ancient Rites did (via programmed drums, keyboards and strong narrative movement) but from an “industrial/cyber metal” perspective and you’ll feel it on songs like “Gone Sour, Doomed” and I guess “They Drew First Blood” yet there are just as many pieces that either aren’t going anywhere or function as extended interludes. The final piece “L’Ouverture de Morose” brings in a bit of doom and, though thematically fitting, I’d wanted it closer to the center of the album rather than leaving it as the point to hang on. Well hey, I’ve rambled on this long for the sake of this band’s career being of interest and worthy of picking through to see what bits you like best. They’re still over the top, not so self-serious, and put together a pretty entertaining hour of music here.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10.


  • HORE – Siostry Wiedzmy [May 14th, Witching Hour Productions]
  • SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE – Mountain Fever [May 14th, Sensory Records]
  • PER WILBURG – All Is Well in the Land of the Living, But for the Rest of Us… Lights Out [May 14th, Despotz Records]
  • TUNDRA – The Mirror of Elizabeth [May 14th, Corrupted Flesh Records]
  • AGAINST EVIL – End of the Line [May 14th, Doc Gator/Self-Released]
  • TERAMAZE – Sorella Minore [May 11th, Wells Music]
  • ÅSKOG – Varþnaþer [May 12th, Grind to Death]

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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