Le berceau de Satan – Porteur de lumiere (2017)

Ahhh, Canada, America’s hat. And then there is Quebec, Canada’s ass-neck. Today’s band, Le berceau de Satan (Cradle of Satan) hails from the beautiful town of Sanguenay, Quebec. Looking at some pictures of the town and area, one would think that there is ample natural inspiration for an atmospheric black metal band. However, in the case of Porteur de lumiere (Bringer of Light), released this March, this is clearly not the case.

In honour of the confused, mish-mash presentation of the album, I will now present my review in the form of stream of consciousness.

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The Chasm – A Conscious Creation from the Isolated Domain – Phase I

Daniel Cochardo loves metal. It is no question- from his tenure fronting The Chasm, his work in Cenotaph and his contributions to the last above-average Incantation album Diabolical Conquest that the man is steadfast in his dedication to extreme metal.  Throughout his impressive library of work, we haven’t seen any indication of a wavering of passion or hints of selling out in any way.  What we however have seen is a middling assemblage of efforts that come close to sublime heights but ultimately fall short of the metal ideal. Therfore The Chasm has always flown a bit under the radar, consistently releasing material that has a unique voice commanding the charge but a lack of cohesion giving the music a timeless appeal.  With CCI, The Chasm ends their longest drought between records with an assertive gesture in the form of an instrumental concept album, and although that may hint at a rejuvenated band that is hungry to finally make the profound artistic statement they have always fallen short of, unfortunately The Chasm has given us a release more puzzling than declarative.

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Power Trip – Nightmare Logic (2017)

Every year we are treated to an endless amount of ridiculous lists.  It seems that any individual with the ability to express their opinions is obligated to share their Top 10 or top 20 metal releases that more often than not echo the same three websites.  The bands that enter such lists tend to come in two varieties: veterans rehashing the same ideas in a more streamlined fashion and those who trick their audience via the use of gimmicks and presenting a familiar product with slightly different aesthetics as the next big thing.  In these last two years, speed metal has conquered the number 1 spot of most of these lists.  Last year Vektor’s Terminal Redux ruled the metal lists by far with it’s melody derived from Voivod and the phrasings from Destruction’s Eternal Devastation all held together in long sloppily composed epics… ultimately resulting in an above average album but a strong move for the funderground.  This year, Texans Power Trip succeed in winning the “funderground 2017 award” with their second album Nightmare Logic.  The Speed metal revival movement has finally found its idols to guide it’s path of remaining in the past and offering the most faithful reproduction of late 80s speed/thrash.

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Abigor- Höllenzwang

Abigor are back with their 9th album, which is sadly a continuation of the ideas on Leytmotif Luzifer.  Hailing from Vienna in Austria, Abigor definitely have the style and look associated with their hometown but even in arguably their last bad work : Nacthymnen ( From the Twilight Kingdom) they have always lacked substance in comparison to the greats in the European black metal style.  Leytmotif Luzifer was Deathspell Omega worship with the remnants of what could be qualified as generic second wave black metal. Here they continue in that substanceless yet somewhat more refined method of songcraft….

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Ritual Chamber – Obscurations

Hidden in plain sight, there is some fine metal being released- even in recent years.  Nestled in the convoluted release schedule of one of the most popular indie rock labels (although in fairness, Profound Lore has gotten death metal right before) is a rare foray into dissonant death metal grandeur that is certainly worthy of praise.  The newest solo project by Numinas/Crom/Dario Denerio, whose well-ventured resume also includes Infestor, Khrom, and Evoken,  Ritual Chamber’s 2016 full length debut Obscurations (to Feast on the Seraphim) masterfully imports the lost wisdom of classic death metal spirit into a contemporary flesh of sound and production.  Suffering from poor marketing through mainstream channels and tired aesthetic trends that mask its originality, this cultured release flew well off the radar of the audience it was most suited for and was not digestible enough for the retro/rehash death metal crowd of hipster swine it mostly reached.  But although it initially evaded the underground’s most trustworthy mediums, Death Metal Underground’s undying commitment to unearthing the best in the genre now gives us a late opportunity to acknowledge a great work of elegance.
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Trendkillers #1- Death to List Culture!

Trendkillers #1- Death to List Culture!

 

In Trendkillers, we will engage the unseen and/or uncontested trends that have permeated metal culture.  Death to false idols! 

 

We begin the Trendkillers series with the most tired and meaningless year end tradition in metal culture- the top 10 list.  Or is it a top 20, top 40, top 100 list?  Do 100 death metal albums even get released in a year, or are some blogs trying to virtue-signal how many albums they are aware of? In any case, many metal bands and musicians consider this the crown jewel of their existence as it’s often the only chance they get to pad their narcissism and reaffirm their perceived importance in the grand scheme of things.

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Danzig Liberates Concertgoers

A growing trend among some metal and rock bands is the aggressively enforced ban of cell phones during live performances.  While their motivations are not unlike those of Metallica at the height of the Napster controversy (as these bands want their only live footage to be sold at dying retail stores in the form of $40 DVDs) they are actually doing their fans a great service by mitigating the amount of millennial vanity happening in the live concert environment.  Nobody likes the hipster douchebag belligerently sticking a phone in front everyone’s view to pad his YouTube stats, and young people are better off liberated from the soul consuming cell phone screen for awhile.

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Nortt- Endeligt (2017)

After a decade of nothingness and decay, Denmark’s Nortt re-emerges in the form of a third full length on pt. 2 of the Avantgarde Music canon (the rock n’ roll/new wave edition). Rising to prominence in the early days of the suicidal black metal wave but vanishing just as the Thy Lights and Nocturnal Depressions of those days brought the movement to self-parody black and white Myspace-metal, Nortt returns to a world that has mostly forgotten their existence. As fate has seen their fellow Total Holocaust Records peers of that time fall into the pits of post-rock (Hypothermia), drug addiction (Nachtmystium), or straight up oblivion (Blodulv), will Nortt’s funeral doom foundation lead to a more desirable outcome?
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