Of the handful of cassette-centric labels I’ve developed relationships with over the past few years, Sol y Nieve is surely one of the most exciting. While they aren’t the most prolific, they stress quality over quantity, and their passion is evident in every aspect of every release, from the music itself on down to the often elaborate packaging. The label was recently gracious enough to send me a parcel overflowing with releases including the debut demos from Kafirun and Essene.
Caligari Records has proven itself capable of releasing excellent recordings from just about any metallic subgenre they see fit, but some of their very best stuff of late has come from the realm of slow ‘n’ low. Whether it be the Pentagram-esque trad of Denmark’s Demon Head, or the uh, heavy death of Sweden’s Heavydeath, this is a label that knows its doom. But The Unquenchable Pyre, the debut recording from Abjvration, just might be Caligari’s most debilitatingly heavy offering to date.
If there’s one thing I hate doing, it’s writing intros to interviews. Fortunately, Paradise Lost is a band that needs no introduction. The death/doom/gothic metal pioneers have been releasing great music for nearly three decades now, and that enduring legacy continues with their latest full length, The Plague Within, which is out June 1st via Century Media. Legendary vocalist Nick Holmes graciously answered my questions about their stunning new album via e-mail.
I haven’t really heard much straight-up death metal that tickles my fancy in 2015, so it was a pleasant surprise to get a copy of Negative Vortex’s Tomb Absolute in the mail from the ever-reliable Caligari Records. Indeed, the Oakland, CA-based quartet kicks up quite the storm of burly ‘n’ bulldozing DM on their debut demo, which will surely appeal to fans who can’t get enough of the genre at its most crushingly traditional.
Gore House Productions is on a mission to brutalize the living hell out of 2015. First they pummeled us to a pulp with Bloodscribe’s Prologue to the Apocalypse, now they’re stomping the bloody remains into the ground with Completely Devoured, a short sharp shock of an EP from Riverside, CA’s Hideous Rebirth. It’s ten-and-a-half minutes of chainsaw guitars and gristle-gargling vocals that manages to leave a mark in spite of its brevity.
It’s been a quiet year so far on the slam/brutal death metal front here at THKD. I get a serious hankering for this shit every so often, and due to the lack of promos I have to admit I’ve been jonesing hardcore for the right band to come along and crush my skull with some ignorant slams. Just when I was about give up hope, my friends at Gore House Productions hit me upside the head with Prologue to the Apocalypse, the debut full length from Los Angeles’ Bloodscribe. Although the album clocks in at a mere twenty-six minutes, it has managed to more than satisfy my craving for a hefty dose of brutality.
How good is the new Napalm Death death album? Against all odds, this band continues to age like a fine wine, and Apex Predator – Easy Meat continues the unfuckwithable fifteen-years-and-counting roll they’ve been on since 2000’s Enemy of the Music Business. I pretty much said everything I have to say about the band’s late-career renaissance in my review of 2012’s Utilitarian, but it’d be downright shameful if I neglected to spill at least a little bit of digital ink on the stunning piece of work they’ve unleashed in 2015.