CVLT Nation’s Top Six DEATH ROCK / DARK PUNK Releases of 2015 - CVLT Nation
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CVLT Nation’s Top Six DEATH ROCK / DARK PUNK Releases of 2015

SIX – SAVAGE BLIND GOD Demo

Okay, so this demo floored me. It’s so evil and filthy, so twisted and disturbed. I went into it being told it was blackened punk, but honestly this is way more deathrock than blackened punk. The main influence is very obvious: Rudimentary Peni. However, what sets them apart from the endless seas of Peni wannabes is the fact that, not only do they have a hyper-aggressive edge, but that rather than trying to copy Farce and Death Church, Savage Blind God draws specifically from Rudimentary Peni’s material released from 1997-2008, which I find is overlooked by a lot of people (obviously not trying to claim it’s obscure by any means, rather that people usually talk about 1982 Peni rather than 2004 Peni).

Read the full review HERE

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FIVE – BLANK SPELL 7 inch

Equal parts spastic and ghostly, BLANK SPELL exists somewhere between what people like to call dark punk, post punk and everyone’s favorite misnomer, death rock. This is, plain and simple, punk music. Accentuated by concise guitar movements, I can’t help but stand in awe of the musicianship of the guitar player/singer Cassidy. This is not to downplay the pinpoint drumming, which refuses to sit still even for a moment, and the ever-driving bass that stands, perhaps, most prominently as the backbone of the entire record. Upon each listen, I am drawn ever further into what is already one of my favorite records of the year by what is easily one of Philadelphia’s finest bands (no easy feat in a city of 100 truly great bands).

Read the full review HERE

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FOUR – HALDOL s/t 45 LP

Post punk goth trio HALDOL come on strong with their most poignant piece to date. Band leader Geoff Smith lays forth a masterfully vehement clamor that sits satiated in it’s own twisted self portrait. Each song is a deranged soundscape that grows more eerie and intriguing as they unfurl, and are chaotic in the best imaginable way.

The opening track, “Hasbara,” is introduced by reverb-drenched feeback that is surely some indication of the noise about to be laid before the listener. As the drums come pounding in, a demented-sounding bass joins and a groove not far from tortured pushes the song with a momentum that will come to be unstoppable for the duration of the record. Enter guitar; noisy without being undefined, its simple melodies carry with the vocals a story all their own. Lyrically, “Hasbara” challenges America’s state-sponsored terror in the Middle East, especially pertaining to Israel. The music and words dance together to form an almost hypnotic feel, and it is at this point it is realized that the lyrics are just as important as the music in these recordings.

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Read the full review HERE

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THREE – ZOTZ Amargura

RUNSTATE Tapes out of Montreal has their finger on the underground pulse when it comes to music. They have another winner on their  hands in the form of ZOTZ and their new tape entitled Amargura. Over the course of 9 tracks, this band drives home why they are one of the best Dark Punk/Post Punk bands coming out of Mexico right now!

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TWO – CEMETERY Wind and Shadows

The stand out song on Wind and Shadows is, fittingly, the title track. It’s an unholy monster of a track, basically a two-parter, with the first half comprised of a better-than-average, rumbling, mid tempo classic Cemetery deathrocker. The full song is over seven and a half minutes long, though. I generally dislike songs that are that long; my rule of thumb is that if a song is over 4 or 5 minutes it ought to have a damn good reason. Well, there’s a damn good reason here: The second half of the title song – everything from about the 4 minute mark onward – is an instrumental funeral march of sorts, carried along at a stately gait by Ian’s slow, trudging, dirge-y drumming. Definitely a great, spellbinding moment on the album, the apex of the listening experience.

Read the full review HERE

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ONE – Anasazi Nasty Witch Rock

This is not the band tricking or treating as Christian Death, instead they have stirred up a chaotic cauldron of halloweenish punk recalling The Birthday Party. The lo-fi production causes things like backing vocals to become buried. It sounds like the band has successfully captured their live sound. Anasazi have really grown, not only as songwriters, but as wielders of their sonic craftsmanship. They have polished their unpolished guitar tone as the wildly struck chords ring out with a more new found Cramps-like warmth.

 Read the full review HERE

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