CVLT Nation’s Top 6 Death Metal Releases of 2014
SIX: KHTHONIIK CERVIIKS – Heptaedrone
Iron Bonehead Productions has time-warped into the not-so-distant post-apocalyptic future to find a band playing in a desolate wasteland of human entropy, Khthoniik Cerviiks, and their ugly, primitive, fitting Road Warrior soundtrack, Heptaedrone, on cassette. Minions, rejoice! Ravage humanity with pride and play this fucker at full volume as this mysterious cvlt outfit weaves bestial black, death, 80’s thrash ala Pleasure to Kill seamlessly in a barbaric assault on the senses.
Khthoniik Cerviiks Exhalement starts things off with some blasphemous murmurs that sound like a man possessed whispering sweet x-rated nothings to the horned one. The Grand Sidereal Swindle starts the holocaust with some blasts and hoarse vocals, and Colliding Spheres Bend Solar Years blend some primitive riffery with crashing snares and cymbals. Some good songwriting is on-hand on tracks like sing-along bloodbath staple Elektriik Redeemer and Magmatiik Moil. After that, an eerie lead accompanies the main riff of track no. 6, aptly-titled Black Hole Neurotransmission, funneling into a razor-tipped Mitochondrion style circular wall-of-noise. Closer, Moraines of Molten Light, slows down after a spitting spoken-word psalm, sounding like subliminal mind control, just before the pace gallops with riffery rooted at the higher registers.
FIVE: ENCOFFINATION – III – Hear Me, O’ Death
In this fucked up world we are living in, sometimes you just need an unhealthy dose of slow moving death/doom! ENCOFFINATION III – Hear Me, O’ Death delivers on all levels. Their morose dirge of a sound is a perfect backdrop to my grey winter days in Vancouver. What do I want now? I want ENCOFFINATION III – Hear Me, O’ Death on cassette so I can blast it loud as fuck and allow their depressing baselines to crush my skull! Stay tuned for a full review…
FOUR: DEAD CONGREGATION - Promulgation of the Fall
When was the last time a band made such an overwhelming impact with a debut full-length like Dead Congregation’s Graves of the Archangels? Seemingly, the 2008 album set the death metal world ablaze and for good reason, but was it just a fluke for the Greeks? Granted, a solid EP predecessor laid the groundwork, but a paltry offering with Hatespawn in late 2008 did little to convince us otherwise.
As the years rolled by and with no sign of a follow-up, one would be forgiven for giving up hope. At least Graves of the Archangels would live on in fabled death metal lore; it certainly kicked in a lot of doors for the barrage of quality death metal that has swarmed us in the last five years.
THREE: TEITANBLOOD – Death
Teitanblood kept it pretty simple when they were deciding on an album title – Death. Its simplicity is key to understanding the MO and approach of the Spanish death metal legion that ruptured the death metal world with Seven Chalices in 2009 and two EPs since then. Death and the horrors and fears it conjures is bountiful on this album in terms of theme and atmosphere and of course sound. Teitanblood play death metal. No one will mistake that.
To say that Death is hefty and enveloping is to do it disservice. At 70 minutes, this album is an overwhelming excursion into the most ghastly of DM, requiring a great deal of commitment and attention from the listener. This is made somewhat easier when compared to Seven Chalices though given that Death is “refined” (word used carefully here) with a slightly better production job that gives the album’s many riffs room to be actually heard.
TWO: ZOM - Flesh Assimilation
So, CVLT Nation aficionados, care for a killer review? Are you listening to too much Foreigner, playing, “I Want to Know What Cvlt Is?” Well, its October 2014, and another highly-anticipated album drops on Al Necro’s lap. ZOM is the name of the band, and their album Flesh Assimilation is a raging hybrid beast of blackened death metal fury. I headbang to all but a few of its tracks, wishing ZOM was as prolific as some of Mother Nature’s most promiscuous creatures (maybe A-Rod proportions). Oh well, we can’t have it all, metalheads. So read on, sample the stream and get a copy for yourselves…
ONE: IMPETUOUS RITUAL – Hypocritical Ambivalence
In recent years, Omenous Fugue and Ignis Fatuus have achieved a steadily growing reputation after joining Portal, one of the more unique Death Metal bands to ever emerge, and rightfully so; but perhaps lost in the mix is their more demented, cave-dwelling, bestial brainchild known as Impetuous Ritual. While they also toil away in pools of dissonant obscurity, their attack is much more straightforward and unrelenting, as I found their debut Relentless Execution of Ceremonial Excrescence to be quite an impressive slab of unsettling Death Metal might. Nearly five years later, their follow up Unholy Congregation of Hypocritical Ambivalence builds upon that foundation and then some.
To be rather blunt about it, my reaction throughout the entire course of this 48 minute long juggernaut was HOLY FUCK. Struck with shock and cryptic horror at these grandiose compositions, I found my eyes to be wide as golf balls from start to finish, absolutely stricken with the magnitude of blasphemous ferocity that takes place on this recording. Essentially, all Death Metal outfits strive to achieve an evil atmosphere in their own various ways, but Impetuous Ritual succeeds at doing so in ways I never imagined. Even being familiar with their prior work, Unholy Congregation blew me away and dozens of listens later is still doing just that – blowing me the fuck away.