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Black Metal

CVLT Nation’s Top Six Bay Area Releases Of 2016

SIX – HOWLS OF EBB Cursus Impasse: The Pendlomic Vows

This recluse but extremely prolific San Francisco progressive black/death duo has returned once again with what is their third full-length album in three years: a mind-fucking downward spiral into the most surreal pits of musical madness. Blending the thechnicality and brutal artistry of bands Demilich, Timeghoul, Morbid Angel, and Gorguts with the hateful sonic slime of the most deranged black metal, HOWLS OF EBB have once again defied any categorization and assaulted the listener with authentic rampage to the senses that will leave no synapse intact as their stunning craft tunnels through the brain. Released by I Voidhanger.

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Oakland’s LYCUS are possibly the most potent and regal funeral doom manifestation that one can witness today within North America, and their last opus and Relapse Records debut titled Chasms is a real sigil to this new legacy of theirs. Harnessing the dismal atmospheres of bands like Mournful Congregation and Asunder, LYCUS have created a transfiguration of light and color within those hellish depths by bringing in a shimmering pletora of shoegaze and black metal influences erected upon a blazing pyre of ancient and sacrilegious death-doom.




The sound of societal implosion and of the crumbling safety and security of a lying western civilization all distilled into ten tracks of blistering and unforgiving crust punk, where deep and thought-provoking lyrical content, suffocating atmospheres, and punishing rhythms coalesce into a smoldering detonation of extremely embittered punk-metal terror. Blending doom, crust, black metal and industrial/noise striations do devastating effects, Negative Standards have once again proven they are a force that simply can not be fucked with at any level. Released by the band and Vendetta Records (EU).

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THREE – ALARIC End of Mirrors

The second coming of the unchallenged masters of total musical gloom majesty has yielded a record of unparalleled beauty and of suffocating pathos. Alaric have once again woven a thick and shimmering arabesque of goth, post-punk, crust punk and doom that stands like a monolith amongst a wasteland of shattered human emotions, and in which haunting melodies, austere guitar patterns and pulsing rhythms gracefully design the demise of all light within one’s soul. Released on Neurot Recordings and Sentient Ruin.

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TWO – RITUAL CHAMBER Obscurations (To Feast on the Seraphim)

While RITUAL CHAMBER sole mastermind Dario Derna now resides in NYC, his debut album Obscurations (To Feast on the Seraphim) was conceived, written, recorded, and released while Dario was still a long time San Francisco Resident. RITUAL CHAMBER’s debut album shall stand as one of the most towering achievements amongst the ranks of 2016’s most obscure and alienating death metal manifestations. Obscurations (To Feast on the Seraphim) is a record torn up by a harrowing duality. While the influence of old school hard hitters like Bolt Thrower, Incantaion, Immolation, and Morbid Angel are intact both incumbent and apparent, within RITUAL CHAMBER’s wretched womb also nests a lurid and unclean spectre of dissonance and malignancy that brings to mind acts like Pissgrave, Vastum, Dead Congregation, Cruciamentum, Desolate Shrine, and Demoncy. Out now on Profound Lore Records.

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These three war-instigators from San Jose, CA have done it again. They have rammed a bitter, caustic, acidic and rancid cauldron of total black metal hatred straight down our throats and clamped our jaws shut to make sure we swallow and choke in horror on their hateful craft. There are no fucking gimmicks here. There is no self-righteous or pompous atmospheric bullshit or any other artsy bullshit in their music, just hateful and bludgeoning black metal made and slayed the old fashioned way and crafted to crush bone and punish the soul. Interestingly by worshipping the old, BLACK FUCKING CANCER have brought a breath of fresh air to black metal and reinfected the genre with an invigorating and scorching flame that now blazes on with the force and might of a thousand plagues and cataclysms. Fans of Marduk, Watain, 1349, Gorgoroth, Behexen, Antaeus etc – drink from the blood chalice that BLACK FUCKING CANCER has offered you and infect your soul with the serum of total evil! Released by Osmose and Graceless Recordings.

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