EPISODE 1: RISE OF THE WINGDINGS
2015: Another year measured out in black spools. Oh, I grow old; I grow cold; I shall lock myself in my dungeon and jam manifold underground death metal demos! Occasionally I shall have to jump up and force my tape player to stop rewinding after every song, as is its wont to do. Blasted thing! Anyway, here's a surplus of reflections on another brutal and savage year in underground metal.
Watch out for hidden chances to win free tapes!
[Offer available to US readers only. Finding the hidden messages does not guarantee you a free cassette tape. Offer only good while supplies last. Contact your local Speaker for more details.]
DEADWEIGHT CHAMPIONS OF THE UNDERGROUND: SPECTRAL VOICE
What more can be said about Spectral Voice’s demo? Necrotic Doom is your omega. Except I get the feeling we ain’t seen nothing yet from these Rocky Mountain reanimators. Next year promises splits with Danish brutalists Phrenelith and French-Canadian aliens Chthe’ilist. The horizon is dark, the writing on the wall is in cerulean cursive.
GRACELESS RECORDINGS PRESENTS: Arche & EOS
Remember that package of social life-annihilating tapes that Graceless dropped on our heads back in August? So much for late summer and autumn, I spent those days in the cold penumbra of Ēōs & Undercurrents. Thanks, Graceless!
Jake from Graceless' Favorite Tapes of 2015
AUSTRALIAN DEATH METAL BRUTALITY: CONTAMINATED
Fuzzy with mold; heavy like the toppling of an ancient castle wall. Moss-covered stones annihilate and bury you and keep tumbling down upon your corpse. When was the last time a band took you some time to get into because they were so effectively brutalizing you? Zero connection to Portal, that I'm aware of.
JULLIAN RHEA'S (OF CORPSE, CAUTERIZED, CRYPTIC EXCISION) FAVORITE TAPES of 2015
ATAVISTIC ICELANDIC GORE ROMANCE: URÐUN
From the land of hyped black metal: a rotting carcass of a black sheep. Urðun play orthodox old school DM, but they're weird and twisted so the result is some disturbing, clobbering fun, but the camera stays on the bloody pulp mess a little too long. Email nachtmusick13[at]gmail[dot]com with your favorite tape of the year for your chance to win Skelethal's MC Interstellar Knowledge of the Purple Entity.
DANISH DEATH DOOM, EMPHASIS ON DEATH: PHRENELITH
Two demos in one year from this stitched-together Copenhagen abomination, featuring dudes from Undergang, Mold and Sulphurous, just to name a few. Don’t worry about who they sound like, Phrenelith are simply authentic death metal in the year 2015.
JOHN VON FROST'S FAVORITE TAPES of 2015
BAND VS. TANK: CONFRONTATION
Confrontation’s demo is no less heavy than Spectral Voice’s, but this Dutch duo took the martial route rather than the mystical one and that's why they've not garnered as much attention. This is simply too unyielding for some people, I guess. There’s nothing spiritual, superstitious or symbolic about Fieseler Fi 103. It's warfare-obsessed death doom played with Rippikuolu’s brawn and Godflesh’s audacity. And the full length is already out!
OTHER GREAT TAPES TO HUNT DOWN
- Ruin - Spread Plague Hell -- North Dakota Axe & Chainsaw Death Metal
- Vomit Breath - Confessions of a Necrophiliac Priest -- Uncomfortably close
- Cryptic Excision - Ufologore -- Dan Aykroyd’s #1
- Pneuma Hagion - Trinity I -- Wonders still revealing themselves . . .
- Teratogenesis - Deformed Sexuality -- Get radioactively wasted!
- Impure Consecration - Grave Maledict -- Further corrupted by The Throat’s dub job
- Qrixkuor - Rehearsal 09/15 -- Literally blood-soaked
- Patibulum - Ninurta's Call Heeded -- Promising & unique
That's it for this installment. Be sure to check back next week for episode 2, featuring more top picks from other influential shadows in the underground with a focus on the colder, darker side of the underground tape trade. Until then . . . Stay analog!