Here are some 2016 releases that are too unpopular (AKA cool) to have made any year end lists, but which deserve every ounce of attention and love they can get. This is criminally overlooked stuff that everyone should get into right now. Read this as a best of 2016 list for outcasts and derelicts.
ONE – SHAMBLES Realm of Darkness Shrine
SEE?! This is what I’m fucking talking about. Aren’t Shambles the fucking shit?? Yes, they are. Their only “fault” for going almost completely unnoticed? That they are from fucking Thailand… Good luck on getting your voice heard if your band comes from such an unpopular place for metal. But don’t be fooled – this shit’s INSANE. Grade A, top notch slow and doomy sepulchral old school death metal that should be up there on the altar feasting upon the seraphim with heavy weights like Grave Miasma, Undergang, Dead Congregation etc. Simply astonishing stuff that everyone needs to bow down to and worship right now.
TWO – VERBOTEN …Even When Alive We Longed For Death
Absolutely fantastic dark and morbid post-punk entwined with demented cold wave and rotting raw/minimalist black metal. Imagine New Order and Prurient having a violent orgy fuck with Ildjarn, Thirst and Silencer – this would be the amazing bastard child they’d fucking conceive: a crippled and outcast marvel of deformed magnificence. There is simply nothing like it.
THREE – MONOCHROMACY Live Isolated
San Diego isn’t exaclty known for its noise and drone scene and that’s where Monochromacy steps in to become something truly special and unique in southern californian harsh and experimental sounds. Wall upon wall of pedal abuse, endless guitar drones and shards of fried amplifier feedback compressed and stacked miles high. Pulverizing echoing chaos, and waves upon waves of black hole static is what Esteban Flores brings you through this DIY flesh-disintegrating solo project of his.
FOUR – DISINHIBITION Demo 2012
Timeless in its savagery, and classic in its crazed recklessness, Dishinibition‘s long lost (in 2012 and finally found in 2016) demo is like a rotting and hellish time capsule that devours you alive, chews you up in a maelstrom of swarming and putrid proto-grind chaos, and spits you out in 1987 right when Napalm Death was releasing Scum, and Terrorizer and Repulsion were first starting to envision World Downfall and Horrified respectively. If you like punishing and dirty as fuck early grind then this is for you. Just fucking timeless and classic as fuck.
FIVE – CELL ROT Demo
From the ashes of Oakland’s Exhaaust (RIP, their amazing debut demo is here) come Cell Rot, another manifestation of the most cruel and traumatic realms of hardcore punk out there. Shaped through a concrete-thick production, punishing rhythms, abrasive and ear-splitting sounds, and vocals that sound like screams from a knifed out throat, Cell Rot bring forth an onslaught of violence that at times seems suffocating in its raw aggression, and almost impossible to withstand in its oppressive intensity.
SIX – DISGUSTED GEIST Demo
Monstrous, mummified, and crypt-eaten sludge-doom is what San Luis Obispo CA-based Disgusted Geist bring you. These four THC guzzling freaks bring you a timeless, classic as fuck, and suffocating barrage of humongous, smoked out, and intoxicating riffs that serve as an altar of worship to the holy green and to legends like Eyehategod, Corrupted, Grief, and Noothgrush. Drop out of your fucking miserable life with bong in hand.
SEVEN – DAKHMA Suna Kulto
Vast and tenebrous black metal/crust that will disintegrate your flesh and impale your soul. Michigan’s Dakhma have come out with a new record which is epic beyond proportions and magnificent beyond words. Two massive twenty-minute songs that take the listener on a voyage into the darkest realms of existence from which there will be no return. An unforgettable listening experience aimed at all fans of Wolves In The Throne Room, Fall of Efrafa, Rorcal, Iskra, Agrimonia, and Celeste. Vinyl out now on Halo of Flies Records.
EIGHT – WILDSPEAKER & CARA NEIR Guilt and His Reflection
A staggering and conceptually majestic work brought to you by Broken Limbs Recordings, that brings together two of today’s best blackened grind/crust bands in America: Dallas, Texas-based Wildspeaker and Cara Neir. Wildspeaker open the hostilities by kicking off the split with their own brand of desolate and embittered hardcore punk which fully comes to life emerging through an obsidian black tapestry of swelling black metal chaos. Cara Neir on the other hand keep dwelling in their iconic and personal strain of bizarre and surreal darkened craft, bringing us six tracks of shapeshifting and chaotic dark grind that sound like the bastard child of Nomeansno, Discordance Axis and Bone Awl.
NINE – ARTIFACT OF SKULLS Heretic Wargoat Legion & Brutalization of the Christ
No newcomer to these pages, Artifact of Skulls is back with its usual virulent strain of lo-fi and plague-eaten blackened death metal. So emaciated, raw, and anti-musical that it sounds like starvation and disease incarnated. This time a double-dose – only for the most morbid freaks out there.