USBM Cornerstone Elegy Records Closes Its Doors

Elegy Records, the second oldest and longest running USBM record label, is closing its doors after 22 years due to social justice warriors lobbying to get them kicked off of credit card processors. The entire webstore is having a 60% off sale resulting in many classic and hard-to-find releases being available for around $4.



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Osculum Infame – Dor-Nu-Fauglith (1997)

Like many of us, I discovered black metal as a young teenager. Back then, this relatively new form of music still retained some of its initial mystique and one could sense a scope and magnitude that went beyond previous conceptions of what metal was or should be. What initially won me over was not so much the heavy distortion, Satan/sodomy or spectacular extra-musical activities of individual musicians, but the evocative potential of the music. Its ability to create mental gateways into places normally out of reach, or as Mr. Vikernes once put it: “to stimulate the fantasy of mortals.”



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Bal-Sagoth – A Black Moon Broods Over Lemuria

Floating between between Floridian Death metal and Black metal in the vein of Emperor with a large dose of the more percussive elements from the New York style. Bal-Sagoth do manage to fuse these elements in a combination that remains mainly in the aforementioned black metal style. An important element that would dominate later releases is the spoken word of Byron Roberts. Obsessed with reciting his long lyrics inspired by the fantasy books that he was devouring, Roberts will at times create a hostage situation where the music is on stand by and loses all the momentum built up, so that he can ramble on and the compositions can’t progress until he is done. Though his perfect diction and deep voice do keep in line with the aesthetics provided here, they add nothing to the music and kick the compositions back to the droning political punk where the music was just the backing track for the vocalist’s tirades.


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David Vincent Returns with VLTIMAS

Once the great frontman that led the charge through many great compositions, David Vincent continues to ridicule himself on a constant basis. Evil D seems to relish in the never ending humiliation his dominatrix wife makes him endure every night. So much so, that for the last few years, he seems intent on capturing that degrading feeling in the form of music. Enter his latest Death metal project, VLTIMAS. One song has been released and is played with the same passion as Azagthoth’s newest failed abortion. Combine the generic modern Death metal sound with the slower parts taken from Behemoth’s catalogue to attract that same crowd of frustrated sixteen year olds. The solo sounds like a drunk Jeff Loomis that dropped his guitar in a flight of stairs. The only thing somewhat relevant is Vincent’s deep chanted vocals that he should use more rather than his Anselmo like shout which relies far too much on studio trickery. Avoid this more than the plague, even more than the pathetic and idiotically titled Abhorrence that came out some time ago.


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Kshatriya – Il Viaggio dell’Eroe (2017)

Kshatriya comes to us from that odd category of bands whose material would be great if they would just stop screwing around with the presentation, which ends up creating padding that while not terrible, detracts from the listening experience as a whole. Anyone who has sat through the first Impaled Nazarene album knows the pain of too much gimmick.



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Smoking Bans Are Killing Public Life

All of humanity exists as a conspiracy against the obvious but not fully pleasant truth. In reality, few things are absolutely good or bad; most are a mixed bag, which means that there are trade-offs between things that we like and things that we dislike. This bothers individuals, who want guarantees of 100% safety, and fails to excite groups, who love illusions because those make everyone in the group feel warm and happy, which strengthens the group as a parasitic artificial entity.



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Grand Belial’s Key – Judeobeast Assassination (2001)

Grand Belial’s Key are the sister band of Arghoslent, sharing the same mastermind Gelal Necrosodomy alias Pogrom. GBK creates music in a similar vein to that of Arghoslent but through a Black metal lens to achieve very similar conclusions. Relying on the genre’s predisposition to incite Blasphemy, Gelal and co. assault both Christianity and Judaism with lyrics that show a deep understanding of both testaments. Musically there is a lot to be enjoyed as the band happily celebrate their crushing of Abrahamic faiths but cannot form the narratives to more aptly communicate such a message.


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Forgotten Silence – Thots (1996)

Most musicians view metal as a question of technique, as exemplified by their answers to the question of what defines metal, when in fact the real difficulty lies in finding something that can tie all of that technique together and have enough energy and space to express enough of relevance to achieve what we call meaning. Forgotten Silence nails the technique… only.



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Mortal Dread – “Rancid Disembowelment” (1990)

Death metal necromancy involves the process of looking through the forgotten items of the 1990s to find those rare overlooked classics which might deserve a place on our microSD cards. As part of that quest, old demos like “Rancid Disembowelment” from Mortal Dread re-appear, which provides a mixed blessing because this is good stuff but probably remains forever at local band status.



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