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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Condemner – Burning the Decadent (2018)

Death metal evades acceptance through its embrace of the primitive and threatening. When you take highly detail-oriented thinking and apply it to that basic approach, the result flowers into hidden complexity and covert beauty. Condemner attempts to make interesting music within the most primitive, grinding, and nihilistic death metal vocabulary and ends with a highly listenable album.

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Deceased – Ghostly White (2018)

Perhaps the best way to describe this album would be as traditional heavy metal crafted with a death metal approach. Monotone vocals accompany a changing tapestry of guitar riffs that relocate melody to the guitar and force the use of a compelling rhythm to unite each song, giving them an anthemic but unstable quality, creating an air of mystery to the album.

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Huoripukki – Voima & Barbaria (2018)


Huoripukki – Voima & Barbaria
Fallen Temple, 2018

This reissue of two EPs as one CD/LP demonstrates clearly why the “Incantoclone” bands are all the rage: they take metal backward to rock and carefully disguise this as a wave of noise. To make an Incantoclone band, you forget about all the cool extended riffs and structures of Onward to Golgotha and focus on the rushing riff, which consists of choosing a power chord — first five frets only please! — and then wiggling your fingers in a constant chromatic fill over that note.

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Kever – Primordial Offerings (2018)

Primordial Offerings follows up on the first Kever which focused more on an intelligent form of percussive death metal; the second EP from this promising band attempts to invent a new style of atmospheric death metal without losing any of the intensity, sounding like a mix of Florida, Buffalo, and selectively melodic European acts like Fleshcrawl and Demigod.

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The Chuck Schuldiner Syndrome


Chuck Schuldiner who once played crushing music that popularized Death metal before attempting to follow the mid 90s phase where every Underground band had to somehow rise to face the more rock influenced bands at their own game through whinier passages and trivial lyric matter. During that period his technical abilities increased but his inability to arrange worthwhile music become obvious rather as he relied exclusively on rock structures that culminated in a solo before repeating the whole process without any thoughts on progression, narration or momentum. This created the effect where some truly incredible melodies were juxtaposed next to some very mediocre sections derived from rock and other genres. This device was then taken by a large number of bands who have then used it to promote a singular idea over everything else and has contributed largely to the decline of metal in general. Let us look at a few moments where the Chuck Schuldiner syndrome was very apparent.

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Necromaniac – Subterranean Death Rising (2018)

Necromaniac hail from London UK which has become a wasteland full of terrible rock/metal hybrids catering towards young childern, and what was once the center for NWOBHM is now the home of mentally deficient hipster/indie music that seeks nothing more than to go viral before being replaced by the next thing. Necromaniac have avoided the toxicity of such a scene in the pursuit of something much more noble. The lost art of making the best music possible. The production is strong, retains the grit and the individuality of the performances while making every instrument listenable without castrating a single thing. Due to this EP only containing two tracks, each track will be analysed separately.

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Deserted Fear – Dead Shores Rising (2017)


Deserted Fear – Dead Shores Rising
Century Media, 2017

Living after the age of vitality of a genre, one becomes accustomed to the process of decay that happens as knowledge of why things are done becomes lost, and people instead fill in with the usual stuff that they do anyway. Humans are experts at dressing up the mundane as the exceptional.

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Monstrosity – The Passage Of Existence (2018)


Monstrosity – The Passage Of Existence
Metal Blade Records, 2015

Working within an establishment genre presents a challenge to the musician: the major patterns are known, and the audience has been inundated with an abundance of bands who can play the style of the classics note-perfectly, meaning that musicians have to either add new aesthetics to attract a lot of fans, or play a subtle take on the older for those with some knowledge.

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