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Apocalyptic Blues

CVLT Nation’s Top Ten Albums of 2015

TEN – TETRAGRAMMACIDE  Typhonian Wormholes: Indecipherable Anti​-​Structural Formulæ

Forget music. Forget anything that resembles it. Now try to imagine the incomprehensible: the complete disintegration of all matter; unit by unit, piece by piece, cell by cell. Much like what takes place in the center of a black hole, the actual experience of listening to Typhonian Wormholes is essentially unrelatable. There are no words that can be formed that will allow you to actually imagine or even anticipate the endless eruption of anti-cosmic severity that comes through your speakers; all I can tell you is that it comes in the form of a relentless insistence upon all things unconventional and by way of wave after wave of chaotic sonic fury. In this context, it’s important to remember the subtitle of this release: Indecipherable Anti-Structural Formulæ. To an extent, this is anti music, and everything you think and feel should be informed by this concept.

Read the full review HERE




NINE – NIGHTFELL Darkness Evermore

Nightfell’s latest, Darkness Evermore, is an aural tapestry of isolation and nihilism. From the opening of the album to its close, the band displays a refreshingly wide range of attack. Consisting of Tim Call of Aldebaran on drums and vocals, and Todd Burdette of Tragedy and His Hero Is Gone on guitar and vocals, this Portland duo utilizes elements from its members’ past bands while also integrating funeral doom and old school death and black metal. In short: Darkness Evermore is an undeniably distinct monolith of chilling heaviness.

“At Last” opens the album with a dirge of clean guitar and accompanying violins. Nightfell then leaps into plodding doom, the ominousness of which is intensified by Call’s drag-beat drumming. The vocals in this section, as well as throughout much of the album, sound like those of Obituary’s John Tardy—a deep, rasping scream that’s likely as torturous to execute as it is to hear. Three-minutes in, Nightfell jumps into a hypothermic waltz, and Burdette enhances the chilling core of this section with tremolo guitar work. Unlike many metal bands, Nightfell allows their music to develop organically, rather than forcing changes for empty technical appeal. The remaining seven minutes of “At Last” are equally crushing.

Read the full review HERE




Litany is the second full-length from Dallas’ Dead to a Dying World, who continue to blend together their diverse influences into a unique hybrid sound. Blackened crust walks side by side with post rock, and topping it all is the towering doom/sludge-induced weight that they awaken. Their self-titled album was a great start in their career, but now they are capitalizing on that with a record that is more a inspired and in-depth exploration of their music, spanning over seventy minutes.

The band wastes no time, and they grab you by the throat very quickly with the riffology of “The Hunt Eternal,” signalling a move towards a black metal outlook, even though the overall appearance of the song has more of a crust vibe to it. That is the aspect of Dead To A Dying World that comes forth when they need more aggression and when they want to really dig the knife in, something that they do brilliantly later on in the opening song. A similar approach is undertaken at moments when that sort of outbreak is required, something that occurs multiple times in the closing track of the album, “Narcissus.” The way in which the band structures these blackened explosions is really something, and completely shattering, especially in the latter track. Then there are parts where a blackened attitude is mutated in parts that feature more of the prevalent crust sound with some mid-tempo moments in “Beneath The Loam,” even though it seems like an outbreak is always around the corner.

Read the full review HERE


SEVEN – BLACK BREATH Slaves Beyond Death

Behold, Black Breath have returned and are poised to unleash their third full length, entitled Slaves Beyond Death, which will exhumed from the grave for all you abhorrent animals on September 25th. Released by the ever consistent Southern Lord, Black Breath’s newest declaration of disgust for humanity finds them continuing down the same dark corridor as before. Buzz-saw guitars, snarling vocals and mid-tempo drums that crush their way over your friends and family. However, to say that this album is just a re-treading of previous material would be a fatal error on my part. Their newest album showcases more focus and attention to detail in terms of content and what’s being delivered when compared to their back catalog. Slaves Beyond Death is, above all else, a further maturing of this band’s overall texture and delivery. A style that has been linked to and influenced by such classic acts such as Entombed and Dismember – two names that are a sincere compliment when being used to describe this Seattle five-piece’s sound. So without further ado, let’s tear into this like a pack of frenzied, flesh-hungry ghouls, pull back the ligaments and tissue of this mouth-watering piece of Death Metal and see what’s at the core of Black Breath’s newest release.

Read the full review HERE


SIX – KEEPER The Space Between Your Teeth

In case you missed out on CVLT’s previous stream of the new material from California’s rising doom lords Keeper, rest assured that now is your chance to bask in their down tuned, hateful sound one more time while I dissect this offering. Entitled The Space Between Your Teeth, this two song EP is a resin-caked bowl, packed to the brim with the finest in Doom Metal. In all honestly, I had known that I would be doing this review before CVLT streamed it and purposefully didn’t listen to it at that point. After hearing such great things about this young project, I wanted to have some personal time with this band without having a predetermined concept of them. After I hit play on my laptop and sat back, I was immediately ushered into the sound of a collapsing universe. So like I said, if you missed your chance on this one, sit back, clench your asshole and bear witness to the darkened birth of Keeper.

Read the full review HERE


FIVE – KYLESA Exhausting Fire

There are bands out there that follow a musical path. Not that they imitate other acts or artists, but they follow a certain path. Then there are also bands that make their own path. They craft a more unique sound, constructing it with each release, always striving to perfect that vision. Savannah’s Kylesa obviously fall within the second category, no question about that. The road that they have paved is laid out with six monstrous albums already, numerous split and EP releases, as well as a compilation album, From The Vaults, Vol. 1.

From the raw, self-titled debut released back in 2002, it was quite obvious that this band was onto something. The more direct and powerful incarnation of Kylesa reappeared in To Walk A Middle Course and Time Will Fuse Its Worth, both excellent in their aggressive attitude and destructive approach. However, the true switch in the dynamics of the band would be brought three years after the release of Time Will Fuse Its Worth, with the follow-up album,Static Tensions. Kylesa really begun founding themselves in that album. Even though the band always had a psychedelic leaning, that was further examined and severely expanded in their 2009 full-length. From there on, the band seriously took off, with one great release following another, as they went from Static Tensions to Spiral Shadow and Ultraviolet, in order to reach today’s Exhausting Fire.

Read the full review HERE


FOUR – THE BLACK HEART REBELLION People, when you see the smoke, do not think it is fields they’re burning

Looking at the discography of The Black Heart Rebellion (TBHR), it would appear that this is a relatively new band. With just three full-lengths and three split releases under their belt, the band from Belgium has quite an interesting story. Their inception actually occurred back in 2004, making this band more than a decade old, at which point their roots were solidly embedded within the hardcore domain. However, TBHR were quite adventurous with their sound. In 2008, the band released their debut album, Monologue, following down a dark post-rock path while paying tribute to their hardcore history. The album was solid, but I would not call it something extraordinary. It did, though, reveal the potential of TBHR.

Har Nevo came in 2012, the reason being a hiatus that the band decided to go through. That break seemed to have really worked for them, giving them time to reflect on their music and plan their next steps. The album did carry the dark vibe found in the heart of this band, but this time around the post-rock quality gave way to something much more interesting. The music itself does once again find its origins in the hardcore realm, however, the focal point in Har Nevo was the tribal, ritualistic, dark folkish tone. That is the point of origin forPeople, when you see the smoke, do not think it is the fields they’re burning.

Read the full review HERE


THREE – DEATH KARMA The History of Death & Burial Rituals Part I

Death – the callous inevitability that hangs over us all, loitering patiently as seven billion clocks tick away their simultaneous countdown towards one of the few true certainties that life has to offer. As the natural world embraces our inescapable journey into the realms of the exsanguinous unknown, one thing that we can all be sure of is that our lingering shell will be dealt with, one way or another.

The depths of the metal underground are a regular depository for such grisly infatuations, often revelling in gruesome morbidity and feeding off the darkness with vampiric lust and lurid intent. Slovakia’s Death Karma have taken an altogether more fascinating approach to the subject of our mortal cessation, choosing to explore – as the album title suggests – historical rituals that the human race have partaken in over the course of its eventful and provocative existence.

“…the corpses are delicately pulled from the tomb or crypt…family members dance with the bodies…”

Read the full review HERE




TWO – WIEGEDOOD De Doden Hebben het Goed

When Gilles Demolder (Oathbreaker), Wim (Rise and Fall) and Levy Seynaeve (Amenra, Hessian) decided to collaborate on a new project, the product of their union was never going to sit quietly at the back of the room; the common denominator here being the undulating, blighted aural landscapes fashioned by these already-established acts, each carving their unique perspective upon the scorched earth with harsh and unforgiving hands. Wiegedood (Dutch for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is a name that evokes incredibly powerful imagery, yet the unmitigated powerlessness implied by such a word becomes the foundation of the band’s sound; a broiling mass of hopelessness and disconsolation that is incredibly naturalistic and equally austere, creating an immersive wave of cold, atmospheric black metal that is more frequently associated with the Pacific Northwest and yet fundamentally rooted within Europe’s finest.

They may be an entity devoid of the intrinsic characteristics of their other projects, yet the black sun of Amenra casts its baleful shadow tenuously over De Doden Hebben het Goed; the downtrodden fury of opener ‘Svanesang’ as thick and impenetrable as much as it is breathtakingly paced, and even when the landscape becomes a place of near silence – a lonesome, mournful guitar note the only thing to break the uneasy silence – the atmosphere still speaks of desolation and futility that is as provocative as it is crippling.

Read the full review HERE




ONE – LEVIATHAN Scar Sighted

Onward with what is most important here: the music, which is something that is the only and invincible protagonist of this album, and the only thing that really matters in this smoldering pile of bile-drenched sonic wretchedness. As previously mentioned, with Scar Sighted Wrest is back at what he does best and at what we have all fallen in love with him for over the years: creating deformities in our minds that are so out there and so fucked, that you wonder how on earth your ears are even hearing such a barrage of disfigured and mutilating hatred. Many staple elements of Leviathan’s sound remain, but also, much has changed. Wrest’s demonic and robotic vocal meanderings remain, and they are the shit of the most horrifying horror movies. Vocals so out there and ruined and drenched in torment that you can’t even decipher what orifice of his body they came out of, possibly a gaping wound in his throat with a mic in it, shoved all the way down his windpipe. The guitar work is immense, and reminds us once again, who, along with Deathspell Omega, invented this wretched and disembodied way of being so awesomely anti-musical, and was one of the first people to use dissonance, atonality and completely anti-musical notes to sculpt riffs and solos that wind and twist like a daunting hallucination.

Read the full review HERE…& Pre-order Scar Sighted vinyl box set HERE!





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