Winter Deluge – Devolution – Decay (Black Metal)

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I rarely review albums released in 2016 as they are simply not new enough but seeing as Winter Deluge’s sophomore album Devolution – Decay came out early November I am making an exception. Formed in 2005 as Desecrate this black metal act from New Zealand have started getting a following in the underground scene so I was interested to hear what they are all about.

The raw sound Winter Deluge oozes out screams second wave black metal with a touch of death. Think Immortal having a bastard with Archgoat and they spawned the great Winter. Devolution – Decay got a great flow to it and the songs transition well into the next. The crushing riffs, harsh growling and pummeling drums is something any black metal lover can appreciate and will be sure to get their fill with this album. How Winter Deluge creates the perfect passages between the tracks is what I love the most with the album, it’s so fluent and makes the whole experience that much better. It also leaves me in a bit of a peril, which song do I like the most? With each listen it changes but that just means Winter Deluge has done a great job with Devolution – Decay as it’s an black metal album I am glad I received although almost a year too late. Definitely one of the better albums I missed from 2016 and now you, as well as I, have a chance to get to know these black hearts from New Zealand.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WINTERDELUGE
Label: Frozen Blood Industries
For fans of: Immortal and Archgoat
Favorite song: Corrupt Prophets
Score: 3/5

Earth Rot – Renascentia (Death/Black Metal)

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Starting as a two-piece by Thomas Waterhouse and Jared Bridgeman who wanted to create some grindcore Earth Rot was formed in 2013, all songs were eventually discarded though and the band added three more members as well as changing genre to a mix of black and death metal. Now the band play their music to celebrate all that is dark and vile in music, taking influences from grim bands such as Gorgoroth, Anaal Nathrakh, Septicflesh, Svart Crown and Naglfar. All bands who got different takes in music style but also got that mist of darkness surrounding them. Since the start Earth Rot have been very active already released two EP’s and a full-length and now adding their sophomore full-length to the discography with Renascentia.

Active as the band may have been I’d actually not listened to any of their songs before grabbing a hold of Renascentia. Hence I did not know what to expect coming into this album. Now I know though, this is the same type of darkness that Naglfar ships out from when setting sail to conquer the world. Earth Rot is such a fitting for a band of this filthy caliber and at times I can even hear some of their early grindcore influences. Hell on The Bones That Lay Beneath the Earth they even got a freaking saxophone solo! When I read up on Earth Rot’s history, their influences and how they want to portrait sinister noise shaped by the world around you I had my hopes up that this was going to be good. I am glad to tell you guys that they deliver exactly what they promise.

This is one of those happy surprises that makes me want to dig into a bands whole discography. It’s not perfect but the world isn’t perfect, it’s sinister just as Renascentia. Take it from the band itself Earth Rot will rain down filth upon you. Earth Rot’s Renascentia is out now as an independent release.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EarthRotband
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/EarthRotAus
For fans of: Naglfar and Anaal Nathrakh
Favorite song: Funeral Pyre

Carpatus – Malus Ascendant (Black Metal)

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Hailing from Brazil we got a band that I personally hadn’t heard of before in Carpatus. The band was formed in 1999 and were active until 2010, same year their guitar and bass player Ravager (aka Lucas Mandelli) sadly died in a car accident. Five years later Dizruptor picked up the band again, this time as a solo project (Animus Atra didn’t rejoin and instead Carpatus used Morbus Deimos on session drums). Since the reformation Carpatus joined Black Lion Productions and have been getting ready to release Malus Ascendant upon the world. Malus Ascendant is the bands third full-length (notable that this is the band’s first worldwide release).

Straight away you notice the musical influences. Malus Ascendant got a lot in common with the more melodic side of black metal looking at bands such as Emperor and Satyricon. The album is full of great melodic riffs that’s easy to get sucked into, with badass vocals resembling some sort of hybrid between Infernus from Gorgoroth and Ravn from 1349. Take into account that Morbus Deimos does a great job on the drums and you got yourself a sleeper hit (to me it is since I’d never heard of the band nor this album before writing this). If you got a soft spot for tempo changing black metal with melodic touches that doesn’t sacrifice any of the aggression, then this is an album for you!

The album is produced by notable Brazilian underground producer Marcos Cerutti, and was later mastered in Sweden by the legendary Dan Swano. That in itself states the band doesn’t hold back and is a stamp of approval that this is great black metal in my book. Malus Ascendant is out now through Black Lion Records.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/carpatus
For fans of: Emperor and Satyricon
Favorite song: The Cold Autumn Sunrise

Author – Lopun Alku (Black Metal)

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Author is a name many of you might not have heard. I personally didn’t know about the band until I saw the name on last years Mörkaste Småland (black metal festival in Sweden) lineup. Back then the solo project of J.V. had one EP on it’s name, Kuolevaisen kirous, which did receive a lot of praise for it’s old school black metal sound in the veins of Finnish legends like Horna, Sargeist, Horna and Beherit. Now the time is upon us to hear the sacrifice to hells forces, Lopun Alku.

When listening to Lopun Alku it takes me back to the 90’s. This is an homage to the lo-fi dirty sound that became black metal. It’s raw, hellish sound is something I sometimes miss and for many is a forgotten craft. You got the shrieks, blast beats and straight up black metal the way us old timers (if I can call myself that, not turned 30 just yet) remembers it. The songs build up, changing tempo when needed and makes the songs feel alive all the way through without losing it’s deadly edge. J.V. does have a knack for creating an atmosphere clouded in darkness and death I rarely see in new acts these days since most bands aren’t after that old school sound. I am sure the guys from Horna will be proud as this is a new Finnish wave continuing their legacy.

If you missed Author’s first EP Kuolevaisen kirous then make no mistake and get Lopun Alku. Good old school black metal is becoming a rarity these days so when it actually comes you make sure to support it. Lopun Alku is out now through Naturmacht Productions.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorOfficial
For fans of: Sargeist and Horna
Favorite song: Lopun Alku

Kyy – Beyond Flesh – Beyond Matter – Beyond Death (Black Metal)

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Kyy, the Finnish word for viper, and as you can probably guess are from Finland as well. Kyy is a rather new band from the land of thousand lakes having formed in 2013 and releasing an EP prior this album. Beyond Flesh – Beyond Matter – Beyond Death is the bands full-length debut.

Kyy is the definition of black metal lyrical wise, having satanism as their main topic. That said they do differ and stand out from, what I think, is the general black metal bands you might think of like Tsjuder, Gorgoroth and Mayhem. Instead Kyy plays a more wickedly black n roll type of black metal, a concept I generally like within black metal but not too many seem to do. The album is well produced but not over-produced as it keeps the “dirty” sound you expect in a black metal album without sounding too unpolished or shining like a sparkling diamond (black metal should not do that). I think production within black metal is tough to hit the right level on, as I personally am quite picky with how dirty or refined it should sound. Kyy has hit the right level I want though which instantly makes it easier for me to headbang to right from the start.

I was close to going to Mörkaste Småland earlier this year, which is also where I first heard of the band Kyy as they were on the lineup. I was not completely sold on their EP Travesty of Light but I thought the band had a lot of potential. With Beyond Flesh – Beyond Matter – Beyond Death I think Kyy has came a lot closer to fully unlock that potential and they are definitely a band you should have on your radar from now on.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kyyofficial
For fans of: Baptism and Korgonthurus
Favorite song: Bloodline of Edom

Behexen – The Poisonous Path (Black Metal)

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Behexen is one of the bands that started the black metal wave coming from Finland and really put the country on the map for the genre. Behexen does take its sweet time between releases as The Poisonous Path is only the bands 5th full-lenght album since they formed in 1996 (or well 1994 as Lords of the Left Hand). Once Behexen does get a release out though it is always very demonical and satanic, some of the rawest black metal out there. You can tell they live in the dark and cold place called Finland. The Poisonous Path is no exception as it makes you experience the occult and feel like your in some black magic ritual. Just the way you want to feel after listening to some real old school black metal.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/behexen.official
For fans of: Gorgoroth and Sargeist
Favorite song: Umbra Luciferi