Isvind, Sammath, and Standvast Playing Diabolical Echoes PT2

Sammath and Standvast have been booked to play the Diabolical Echoes PT 2 mini-festival with Norwegian black metal band Isvind in Groesbeek in the Netherlands on February 24th, 2018. Sammath is one of Death Metal Underground’s most highly praised modern bands while Standvast is an Ildjarn-like project from Nortfalke from Tarnkappe, Kjeld, and Kaeck. Sammath has long been a mainstay of our staff’s list of the The Best Underground Metal of the year so live shows from them should be a furious storm of riffs and whiplash.

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Ancient – Trolltaar Reissue

Ancient‘s last hurrah, the Trolltaar EP, has been reissued by Sleaszy Rider Records with three bonus live tracks from 1993 according to the band’s Facebook page. Trolltaar saw Ancient develop cyclical simple Enslaved style riffs into extended black metal epics inspired by the virtuosity of longer 1970s popular progressive rock songs from Yes, Pink Floyd, Camel, and Led Zeppelin. Ancient were one of the few death or black metal bands inspired by popular rock music where the mass-market inspirations did not render them impotent as a metal band at least at first. Ancient, lacking a truly distinct riffing style of their own, eventually ran out of ideas and decided to play Hot Topic rock after Svartalvheim and Trolltaar but that is a topic for another time.

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Kaeck – Stormkult Coming to Vinyl

Kaeck‘s Stormkult, The Best Underground Metal Album of 2015, is coming to vinyl courtesy of Heathen Tribes. The vinyl LP will feature remastered sound with a little less mud and a tad more room overhead. The LP will come in gatefold packaging befitting the lyrical and compositional themes. It will be strictly limited to 200 copies. If you are a black metal analog fanatic and miss out, you will be sorry for sure.

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Profanatica Playing Maryland Show Next Week

Profanatica are playing a one off show in suburban Silver Spring, Maryland, next week right outside of the politician-infested swamp that is Washington, D.C. This will be a good chance for capital area fanatics to see Profanatica live if they missed them at the Maryland Deathfest pre-show last year. Hopefully Profanatica will change up their set list and play songs not from from Sickened by the Holy Host / The Grand Masters Session EPs and the not so good The Curling Flame of Blasphemy. Recent shows have been very heavy on compositions from those three recordings.

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Onward to Golgotha: The Deepest Death Metal

Incantation‘s debut and best work, Onward to Golgotha, remains the deepest death metal album I have ever experienced a quarter century after its release as of today. With material (“Unholy Massacre” and “Profanation”) dating back to the initial founding of Incantation by guitarist John McEntee and drummer Paul Ledney, Onward to Golgotha was a record influenced as much by Bathory and Beherit as it was Morbid Angel and Autopsy.

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Demoncy & Profanatica Headlining Mass Destruction Metal Fest

The Mass Destruction Metal Fest to be held in Atlanta, Georgia on November 3rd and 4th announced a great lineup this year with Demoncy and Profanatica among the headliners. Also playing are Acheron, Macabre, Nocturnus AD, Deceased, and Brutality. The festival should be a great chance for headbangers in the southeastern United States to experience two of the best American black metal bands live.

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Infester – To the Depths, In Degradation Reissue Review

Martyrdoom Productions, run by Dead Congregation frontman A.V., reissued Infester‘s long out of print classic To the Depths, In Degradation on CD and vinyl LP earlier this year. I purchased a copy of the CD version myself to review for our readers benefit. The record was never originally released on vinyl and being over fifty minutes long, the LP reissue will have compromised sound quality due to narrower groove spacing and all the limitations of the vinyl format such as the compression of the cutting lathe, high and low pass filtering, and mono bass.

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Elfsgedroch – Op de beenderen van onze voorvaderen (2016)

Op de beenderen van onze voorvaderen is yet another another Dutch black metal record heavily influenced by Gorgoroth and Zyklon-B like Tarnkappe. Elfsgedroch however structures riffs as hyper-extended, arpeggiated tremolo-picked chords in incredibly long to the point of droning phrases in the manner of French Canadian band Sorcier des Glaces, who are indeed the band’s primary influence. Clever but occasionally too sappy harmonies similar to Master’s Hammer‘s Bartok and folk influenced heavy metal ones on Ritual but way more annoying pervade the record.

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Dawning – Mount Um + 1997 Demo (2016)


Another previously unreviewed record judged some of The Best Underground Metal of 2016.

Mount Um + 1997 Demo is a digital anthology collecting what Steve Cefala judged to be Dawning‘s strongest material. Half the run-time (“Side A”) is one new, extended track entitled Mount Um in three parts: “Pilgrimage to Umunhum”, “The Albino Bridge Sacrement”, and a melodic bass outro. Mount Um sounds like Summoning worshiping Emperor‘s In the Nightside Eclipse in a lengthy composition reminiscent of Celtic Frost‘s album work. Ambient fantasy keyboards are perverted into pandemonium as if on an arduous journey of great hardship and loss culminating in a bittersweet victory over the uncaring, vicious forces of nature. Mount Um‘s composition is progressive and profound.

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