Sadistic Metal Reviews: Covert Dualism Propaganda Edition

One wonders why even try. It seems like everything in the world has gone into the abyss and is being sucked down by a human refusal to see the obvious. Left and Right, Christian and atheist, corporate stooge and basement NEET seem to agree. So why bother?

Humans think in linear binary terms, like light switches or what animal to kill, but nature works in grades, curves, clines, and spectra. Our wave went up, then a counterwave wiped it out, and now it is heading downward before it can bounce again.

With that in mind, it makes good sense to re-intensify our efforts to reveal most of the current music for what it is, namely entropy in sonic form, while praising and giving air time to the best of the underground to make a seed from which a new genre can grow.

After all, reality is often stranger than fiction:

To create the [wood transistor], the researchers required conductive wood (CW). This is made by removing the lignin from wood via a chemical solvent process. Subsequently the channels where lignin were present are replaced with a mixed electron-ion conducting polymer. In this project the chosen wood was Balsa (for its desirable inner channel structure) and conductive polymer PEDOT:PSS. To construct the WECT, three pieces of CW were used: one piece as the central transistor channel, and one each as top and bottom gate.

Maybe we can get it a thousand times faster and make a wood version of those great old Timex-Sinclair machines with the squishy keyboards. In the meantime, nihilism is in the news again albeit from a surprising source:

One of the key insights of quantum mechanics is that absolute nothingness, a concept already discussed by Greek philosophers, is nowhere to be found in reality. Quite to the contrary, quantum field theory has shown that seemingly empty space is filled by fluctuations of light and matter fields, leading to a continuous popping into existence and disappearance of photons as well as massive particles.

The chaos seems alive because our universe has one core principle, namely cause-effect logic, and this has no room for randomness; every bit of everything has a reason for where it is where it is and doing what it is doing, even if that is unrelated to anything but chance.

Worry not, even given a clear understanding of reality your species will screw it up because most humans only want the freedom to avoid changing, adapting, and otherwise dealing with natural selection. For this reason, we enter a new bright age of repression as they try to keep you from noticing the shitstate of everything:

Violent extremism, whether it is religiously, politically or ideologically motivated, continues to represent a significant threat to public safety. The persistent threats of extremist violence and terrorist violence must be taken seriously. It is important to understand that extremism can stem from a range of motivations and personal grievances, driven by hatred and fear, and includes a complex range of threat actors.

Extremists draw inspiration from a variety of sources including, books, music, and of course, online discussions, videos, propaganda and foreign conflicts. Those holding extremist views often attempt to create a culture of fear, hatred and mistrust by leveraging an online audience in an attempt to legitimize their beliefs and move from the fringes of society to the mainstream.

Do they consider it extremism to note that upwards of ninety percent of our species are untermenschen with the agency of yeast? Or that by culling the herd for the actual humans with real souls, we would produce a new age of sanity and invention, guided by purpose instead of endless bullying and careerism?

No matter. One side will blame the Devil and the other will blame capitalism. The people who know anything will flee and leave control to the insane, criminal, perverse, corrupt, and most of all, neurotic to the point of defensive solipsism and a mindless impulse to destroy.

Speaking of censorship, it seems that physical media is making a rebound thanks to the endless censorship and licensing games from the people who control the media you buy online but really are renting (the cloud is simply someone else’s computer):

Digital information is easy to change and subject to the whims of those controlling the technologies. Shelves of books aren’t only an integral part of the physical structure of a home; they are a bulwark against the vicissitudes of time.

When you hold it, you control it. When a large corporation is streaming it to you or downloading it to your device with DRM attached, you have zero control. If they lose they license, they delete your purchase. If they decide it is too risky for advertising or government support, same.

There may also be a sense of self ownership and agency that comes from having physical media:

Stressed out by fears of climate change, political strife and pandemic variants, a growing number of younger adults have been spending more time nesting and seeking refuge in their past. Many have fond childhood memories of parents playing vinyl albums in the 1980s and early 1990s, and they yearn to regain that feeling of security.

“For millennials who favor vinyl albums, the format may offer them control and stability,” said Dr. Becky Kennedy, a clinical psychologist in New York with many patients born between 1981 and 1996. “You can hold the vinyl, you’re responsible for making the music play, and perhaps it’s reminiscent of a more certain time in their lives. With vinyl, there are no decisions to make. You put on the record, you sit back and you listen.”

This fits with the theme of this decade, which was delayed for three years by the incompetent reaction of democracy to an aggressive flu. People have seen the modern system fail, and are realizing that they need to find meaning in existence outside of the herd as well as prepare for Regime Change.

In other words, people are looking for meaning in the link between the inner self and external reality instead of finding it in proxies like social popularity, commerce, and ideology. No one trusts the human-created ideologies anymore; we see they are corrupt as humanity is.

Consequently, people are looking for sources of meaning outside of stuff and the herd:

Popularized by a self-help book from 2017, Swedish Death Cleaning follows a simple philosophy: Who wants to burden family members with clutter left behind? Swedish artist Margareta Magnusson, the book’s author, wrote a how-to guide for döstädning—the practice of getting rid of material possessions at the end of your life. The English translation, published in 2018, became a bestseller in the United States. After the April premiere of the Peacock show, weekly sales for “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning” more than quadrupled in the U.S., according to Scribner, its American publisher.

Casey Clowes, a 31-year-old attorney in Tempe, Ariz., said the show empowered her to get rid of an unwanted kitchen accessory that was a gift from an aunt, as well as some dance memorabilia she held on to since she was a child.

“Sometimes you keep things out of obligation,” she said. “I’ve been asking myself, ‘Will anyone, including myself, be happy if I keep this?’”

We are asking the same thing about consumerism, organized internationalist religion, rent control, the war on drugs, welfare, immigration, diversity, ideology, jobs, cars, shopping malls, and red tape — all the varied ugly parts of Modernity.

We have filled our lives with obligatory garbage in an attempt to prevent tragedies, but it brought greater tragedy upon us all equally. As part of that escape, we throw out the trash and clone metal, and hail the strong.


Amethys – A New Dawn: what is this nonsense? if I wanted Tori Amos with Motley Crue riffs I would have just asked for that, but instead we get sensitive person music vocals over sparse songs where metal riffs are thrown in like an afterthought but the vocals basically guide the melodic development so if the guitarist gets shot nothing will really change, which is great for dinner theater music or maybe something to keep roofied teenagers occupied but it needs to find another genre to ass vomit into.

Demonized – Abyss Vanguard: fuck guise I would really like to like this one but the war metal moment has passed, since it turns out that beef jerky metal is as destructive as fruit metal like Dimmu Borgir (basically Marilyn Manson + Dream Theater + Satyricon) because it too is easy to make, and even with Gene Palubicki and Hacavitz staff this band ends up being the war metal formula of charging grind riffs with death metal percussion and then staggered chromatic fills which sound almost ad hoc giving it a frenetic feel but no need to listen more than once, even if this one is expertly played, well-produced, and has a cool name.

Panzerkrieg 666 – Wolfpack: inspired by Marduk and later Immortal, this band with a ludicrous name makes interesting song structures, but ultimately writes very linear riffs that depend too much on support from vocal melodies, since much of this is strobing muted strumming like a speed metal band might do, leading to music that is far from bad but also far from something you would want to listen to again despite having moments of greatness.

Winterhearth – Rape of Eden: some good riff ideas but mostly a crossover between melodic death metal and epic heavy metal that fills in the gaps with some punkish modern metal riffs, forming songs around the vocal rant as usual, with guitars therefore emphasizing rhythmic and harmonic position and missing out on what can be done with the guitar as a through-composed phrasal composition engine, making this a somewhat humdrum listen.

Fullmåne – Lurking in the Dark: the folk-style of black metal returns, but they added the slowly intensifying background drone that was popular in horror movies a few years back, so that you get bouncy riffs played loosely as drums run away like a chump horse fleeing his pasture by running in circles around the fence while vocals rant 4chan greentexts and guitars clank onward like Bob Seger and Janice Joplin trying to play “Amazing Grace” on a ukelele after four hits of brown acid.

Swarming – Cacophony of Ripping Flesh: vocal-driven death metal with lots of punk riffs and circular format, as usual mostly based around the vocals and rhythmic focus rather than phrasal riffs, leading to the Pantera and Megadeth influence leaking through, at which point (speaking of leaking) you realize that you are holding a diaper containing the B-sides of all of the ideas that made someone rich last century and it is starting to spill post-digestive nutrition across your palm, staining your Bible and dildo.

Evil Damn – Necromonicon: combine slam, metalcore, and the type of Load-influenced late death metal that ate up Immolation and Incantation and you get this raging charge of looping explorations of very similar themes with very similar riffs and known tropes, making me wonder why anyone would choose to listen to this unless like Democrat voters and megachurch attendees their overriding concern was novelty above all else.

Eldfaerd – Skymningsland: of course our pagan folk black metal needs more power metal and alternative rock, since only that way will it be so open-minded that any pagan or black metal leanings are merely flavoring added to the underlying soy which is molded into different products, maybe candy, could be light beer, even bread, or possibly imitation meat to go into a hamburger of shattered dreams and forgotten hopes, sort of like this release that gets an A+ on its final exam but has nothing to recommend it for repeated listening.

Inhuman Depravation – Servants of Supremacy: intense percussive blasting death metal which throws in other textures and snatches of melody, this band nonetheless falls short in the rhythm department by insisting on too much full-ahead blast that then comes to an abrupt stop before varying, sort of like people who have to hit the brakes in the left lane in order to take a left turn from a busy road, and this breaks down the atmosphere they could be further developing instead of constant pound and bounce.

Sewercide – Immortalized in Suffering: combine older Kreator with Impetigo, and you might get this bouncy, chanty mess whose primary goal is working through a few death riffs to get to an old heavy metal standby for the chorus in songs that are essentially two-riff cycles with a few tangents, but no thematic development, therefore an intense sense of repetition sets in rapidly.

Condra – Aeonic Tempest from the Abyss: guys, this is not a rap album; the vocals do not come first. If you want vocals to come first in metal, you want to be playing rock music with melodic underpinnings like the Beatles, Jethro Tull, or CCR. Metal is about the riff and these riffs are basically chord chopping on the beat which makes this almost unlistenable like a cross between the Blue’s Clues theme song, a Liberty Mutual ad, and the Red Guards singing about donating their virginity to Mao, despite some fine guitar work and admiration for the past.

Liturgy – 93696: looking into the world of “mainstream underground” music provides a glimpse at the audience, probably the same people who used to listen to Rush and the Grateful Dead, with this obvious comedy of pop that builds dissonance into the guitars dancing around simple guitar progressions that break Opeth-style into tangential passages then return as if this was not random, mainly because normies do not understand reality, making for a pile of mentally random experience slickly tied together with aesthetic.

Serpent Corpse – Blood Sabbath: the generation that produced underground metal had nostalgia for a world it saw evaporating before its eyes, but now bands express backwardlooking sentiment toward that liminal and precarious time, studying the genre and its techniques like Nickelback and Buckcherry studied alternative pop, and then produce a compilation of riffs inspired by other things with no animating principle and rather basic structures devoid of harmony and melody except as an accent or decoration.

Distorted Force – Angelic Bloodshed: basically adept speed metal with progressive touches that adopts alternative rock style vocals, this band writes good melodic riffs and uses percussion well, but work with each other, not toward an impression, so the result feels like being taken along on a field trip to a vault of old Supuration and Watchtower records at which point the band plays a live set about the experience of listening to those, creating a sense of heat slipping away into an endless and pointless universe.

Lord Ashtaroth – Vita Aeterna: the almost disturbingly deep vocals give this a unique edge, but fundamentally this is late model black metal with lots of tropes of the past strung together into songs which capture the rough “feel” of black metal but never express the unsettling melancholic warlike creativity of the original, which makes this feel like one of those documentaries on the history of concrete screws that float around in the back of the Netflix catalogue.

Nan Elmoth – Hammer of the Moon: this very imaginative band attempted to merge medieval folk music and black metal, but almost seems as if it is too aware of tragedy to make music with true contrast in it, ending up being more like a prescription for a type of order than the churning tempestuous emotions that lead us to the point of wanting that order, despite having an epic sonic approach and carefully structured songs.

A Day in Venice – IV: we want to be a hybrid between Joy Division and REM so it gets called art-rock and post-doom but really these are pretty simple songs that you might find kids in high school playing if they understood the tactical power of repetition, and they sort of circle around a verse-chorus structure with obligatory key change and turnaround before repeating, aiming for an atmosphere, probably of a ’78 Dodge Ram van with floor-to-ceiling carpeting stained in bongwater and sugarpop dreams.

Gatecreeper – Sonoran Deprivation: a surprisingly well-executed Swedish death metal tribute, this band make songs that fit together, use melody at crucial points, and relate their riffs together in the development of theme, but the latter is rather mild and tends to be a different kind of circularity, since the band establishes a mood and then returns to it without having any real internal tension, which makes this album a collection of good riffs but not a transportive experience.

Excorcizphobia – Digitotality: do you miss Testament and wish they had Overkill vocals and more death metal influence on the riffs? This band is straight from the “wacky packages” school of speed metal that features deliberate provocation paired with music for beer swilling in sports bars in the suburbs at the edge of town before the 1990s made society expand like poured paint in every direction with exactly the same wallpaper of Taco Bell, Home Depot, Walmart, Best Buy, T-mobile, and Motel Six surrounded by dots of houses.

Shed the Skin – The Forbidden Arts: chug, blast, gurgle and then break into a chanty part with old speed metal riffs slowed to death-doom levels, then repeat, and you have roughly the formula for this album, which manages to be reasonably tuneful when it wants to but remains essentially boring because there is no tension in these songs, only a gradual lowering into a fast strobe and then slow strobe at which point the audience falls asleep and downloads something else in the morning.

Necralant – Temples of Ruin: when you write reviews, you either accept everything that is pretty good and simply describe it, or you ask yourself whether you would listen to this again, and the answer here to the latter is no: familiar patterns from black metal and early death metal, integrated into a mostly mid-paced format, present vocals that chant out some message of great importance, but this is not enough to hold the release together.

Lascowiec – Frostwinds of the Apocalypse: some releases try too hard, and in this case one gets a lot of sentimental minor key melodies that fail to capture the melancholic spirit of black metal, and instead sound like a first try at writing a high school musical where everyone dies of AIDS after missing out on the one great love in their lives while failing chemistry, and the result is miserable and candy-coated, leading to a profound sense of exhaustion and emptiness.

Siaskel – Haruwen Airen: crossover between blasting death metal and melodic metal that uses lots of rhythmic placeholder riffs instead of phrasal riff-writing, this band does a good job of quality control but drowns its own dynamics and seems to have trouble getting past the bouncy stop-start percussion of the speed metal days, making an album that is more a generalized mood than a musical adventure.

Belgrado – Obraz: imagine a Joy Division inspired industrial and punk crossover with gentler vocals from a lady with good vocal range and you have the general approach that this band likes to take although they mix in other influences as well, including some savage hardcore and metal riffs along with the reggae, jazz, rock, and something that sounds like deconstructed traffic safety video music.

Absorb – Vision Apart: quality basic death metal riffs get swallowed up by NYHC-style vocals in the “modern metal” style that drive out any growth in the riffs, resulting in entirely circular songs with blockhead rhythms to the vocals filling most of the space, making this album more of an excuse for acetaminophen and listening to doolies idle than convincing us to listen again.

Endless Recovery – Revel in Demise: fast speed metal with a melodic edge, this band hits every clicé and trope so that it can have rhythms in the right place for the nostalgia crowd and deliver enough speed thrills to keep the new hipster audience enthralled, however songs serve as a canvas for the ranting black metal styled vocals and therefore do not develop internally at all, making this a ticket to B-grade 1980s speed metal boredom.

SkullMaster – VoidWalker: this band uses a fairly unique technique of writing riffs that stay in constant motion with minimal harmonic spread, resulting in an undulating sound that shifts textures in place and creates a constant sense of disorientation, but even with this groove-oriented Pantera-derived approach, the band write songs that are circular and experience no real internal change, resulting in a feeling of flailing stasis.

Sepulcrum – Lamentation of Immolated Souls: there should be a word for this type of music that has its heart in the right place but does not understand melody or rhythm, so one ends up with a series of riffs that sort of fit together but have little to say to one another, so the songs focus on maintaining a mood and have no continuity of movement, such that every bar ends with an abrupt fill or double bounce, and the riffs themselves are based on visual patterns buttressed with the obvious next notes to throw in for a sense of symmetry and scalar completeness, resulting in a listen which is gratifying in its old school worship but empty of interest as far as musical, artistic, or even “fun” shared experience can experience. Throw this in with Krisiun and later Mortem.

Gevurahel – C.B.M.I.: this band attempts to fuse early Dimmu Borgir with modern metal and war metal pacing, making songs that emphasize a central melody but only as an accoutrement to the vocal rhythm, which creates a listening experience of dominance by a simple rhythm with lots of distractions, portraying a world of disorder in which thought must be utterly simplified in order to exist or at least to enjoy this uninspiring recording.

Leeches – A plague in the heart of light: oh no, the goddamn careerists are here; if O’Reilly published a book called Introductory Black Metal Programming: Melody, Drone, and Agile Engineering, they would feature this band on the cover disguised as some kind of small South African rodent because this shows us a studied approach to the black metal sound with varied songs, riff forms, and melodies, none of which develop past a basic conflict, expressing a Hot Topic “I hate my parents” toward life itself.

Slaughterday – Ancient Death Triumph: describing this as roadhouse music which uses Entombed and Death influenced riffing seems to accurately capture its appeal, which involves simple bounding rhythm and roaring death vocals, but songs tend to stay close to their foundational two riffs, and other than vocals and percussion, not much develops over the course of each song, so have a nice cold Natural Light and then move on.

Bekëth Nexëhmü – De Fördolda Klangorna: another album of basically technique in place of composition, this rambling work falls into the same trap as most postmodern novels: too much focus on aesthetics and cleverness subtracts from the center, forcing it to become simpler so that it can accommodate all the different inputs like a society under diversity or a corporation with mission creep, which results in songs about nothing with lots of details that are interesting in the moment but because they do not tie together, reduce the whole to a flood of disassociated sound like radio static or the open tap of a sink.

Extinction – Smouldering Enfoulment: brutal Cannibal Corpse style death metal with added self-conscious instrumental weirdness to break up the churning chromatic slam and chug riffs, this band would fit on Unique Leader and displays a great deal of creativity, but since its understanding of rhythm is stop-start not just in riffs but with phrases ending with hard fills, it is hard to claim I would want to listen to it again.

Snet – Mokvကn퀀 V Okovech: this band likes the style of composition where a bold riff slides into a melodic fill, and then the music trudges along as if the fill was its main beat, leading to a sense of riding a donkey over uneven terrain, and mixes death metal and heavy metal riffs together into an odd kind of sludge-like music that uses multiple riffs per song but fails to make them develop conflict or a direction.

Saiva – Inlandsvinter: pleasant and technically well-produced ambient using European folk-style musical themes nonetheless falls short by being essentially repetition of verse-chorus songs with layers used mostly as a background effect and little development, so if you want sonic wallpaper that sounds like a Finnish-Dutch school Christmas play with electronic instruments standing in for recorders and xylophones, this should perhaps set you up well but most listeners will find themselves slumped against a wall in the same stupor that comes after they accidentally eat a whole bag of Doritos while waiting for dinner to cook.

God’s Bastard – Last Standing Village: feels a lot like early metalcore, with riffs that undulate between points of syncopation while someone screams out emo-style vocals, and songs develop from the drums but are basically there to support the vocals, so you ride along with the wave pattern of the song but never arrive anywhere but in more moments of droning guitar while someone screams, very reminiscent of Man is the Bastard without the randomness.

Blot Mine – Porphyrogenesis: more sweeping melodic Swedish-style metal with alarmingly similar riffs that alternate with bouncy late speed metal hangovers to keep a constant pace that proves to wear down the listener more than cause them to rise out of their static state, pounded out without mercy but also without self-awareness, resulting in an epic journey deeper into the couch.

Abominant – Onward to Annihilation: some bands we avoid for years before finally sitting down to try to figure out why we hate them, and this band in the Australian style surges forward with high speed riffs and bold choruses but forgets that frenzied battering plus return to theme does not make a powerful release but a powerful sleep aid, exacerbated by the absence of dynamics or subtlety in any aspect of songwriting, leading to aggressive tedium like Zoom meetings on your phone whilst you are at the pub.

Extinctionist – Obsidian: brutal pig squeal and cyclonic chug deathcore, this band would be great if they compressed all of their work into a single song and played it on the piccolo, at which point it would become clear that it is merely a contexture of rhythms revealing the harmonic possibilities of the first five frets on the bottom two strings of a detuned guitar and, unlike you like guessing lock combinations, will bore you into stupefacted irritability.

Gotmoor – Zonderlingen: basic melodic black metal that adopts a death metal drumming style with lots of stops and starts, essentially squashing whatever mood it wanted to create behind chaotic pounding, and marred by a symmetrical approach to note choice that results in nearly tensionless songs advanced purely by rhythm, perhaps emulating the rise and fall of tides on some beach in a forgotten toxic waste dump somewhere unrecorded by maps.

At the Gates – The Nightmare of Being: like Sweden, this band started with a great warlike spirit that captured the melancholy loneliness of a life where truth is esoteric and experience is only shared through the vague gestures of tokens, but somehow it ended up becoming Abba with more guitars and fewer epic melodies, basically wheezing out the exhaustion of Western civilization through minor key melodies that sound soy estrogenized and self-pitying, then dropping in some very obvious simplified death metal riffs to pretend to have relevance, all in songs that are random like a variety show.

Lord Occultus – Maleficarum Sigilium Diaboli XXX A.S: for a long time, the underground was caught in cope; the conservatives wanted to unearth rare gems yet undiscovered from the past, and the liberals wanted to find new bands doing dsyfunction things and rationalize them as the new leaders, but in the end, bands like Lord Occultus come to us as a historical oddity with unbalanced songs that mix death metal, black metal, and ancient heavy metal in looping rediscoveries of the same mood.

Plague Bearer – Summoning Apocalyptic Devastation: lots of effort went into making this album stand out, but in the end the riffs are too obvious and symmetrical and the songs too circular with variations that do not comment on theme, so come across as random, resulting in the phenomenon of a death metal album that sounds like a broken air conditioner beating a pig anus to death with periodic cool wheedly-wheedly riffs.

Burial Remains – Spawn of Chaos: back in the day a young metalhead asked a Djinn for more Swedish death metal. “Are you sure?” said the Djinn, then granted the wish. The young man was back a few days later. “But I was hoping it would be good as the first Carnage, Therion, Unleashed, Nihilist, Dismember, and At the Gates albums!” he protested. “That’s two wishes,” said the Djinn. This band manages the Swedish style, picking up a lot of Amorphis and Therion, but keeps playing at full tempo without much song development or integration of melody, so it is basically random bits flowing at you at high speed, none of which are bad but together they do not add up to a hill of beans.

Luciferian Rites – When the Light Dies: paint by numbers melodic death metal played as if black metal, this band nails every trope and writes some good hookish riffs, but there the creativity stops, and so songs tend to further explore their four-note themes instead of going anywhere, which results in a strong sense of fungible metal, aided by the similarity in tempo and note choice in all of these songs, making this one a fun one-time listen.

Bog – “Demo 2010”: imaginative doom metal on the edge of stoner doom played as if by a grindcore band, using very simple riffs with rhythmic hooks that build songs around commentary on themselves, keeping the overall theme fairly linear with some varied touches, preserving both mood and integrity of each song; if they keep going in this direction they could write something to vie with Disembowelment or Morgion for morbid primitive moods.

Vomit – “Desecration (Demo I)”: some cool riff ideas fill this demo but they never get developed fully, following the Grand Belial’s Key model of an interesting intro then some verse-chorus stuff that periodically riffs on itself, but never goes further than that, so you get stranded in circularity. This is the late hardcore stage of any genre, where it becomes mostly a series of predictable sounds in roughly the same order, but this conveys nothing so there is never enough new material to scratch the itch.

Gralaghorr – The Divine Spectacle: more from the speed metal riffs with added randomness to give the work a “progressive” air in sprawling songs that fail to maintain any atmosphere except confusion, and develop it only through interruption, which simply affirms the nature of this band as more filling time with distractions than attempting to express any kind of vision except wanting to be in a ground-breaking band.

Bekhira – L’Elu du Mal: on the surface this release has everything you could want, including necrotic riffs and medieval folk music, but this one dies of boredom because the riffs, while strong, do not fit together into a particularly coherent narrative or, as is the nature of art, one evocative of some life experience or sensation that carries a greater meaning in the context of understanding ourselves and our world, resulting in a very sonic background wallpaper.

Verikyyneleet – Mitaton elama: an interesting release with its own atmosphere, but like most things in music recently, it appears to be conflict-averse and instead adopt a prolonged atmosphere sort of like Blair Witch Project or the Supreme Court hearing election cases, using Varathron-slow but Gorgoroth-inspired melodic minor key diminished melodies that give reality a tarnished, empty, and bittersweet feel.

Profanatica – Putrescence Of… / As Tears of Blood Stain the Altar of Christ: two short but familiar tracks that appeared on other Havohej and Profanatica releases nonetheless provide quite an insight into the origin of this band since these are played more according to death metal rhythms than the ambient black metal style to follow, sounding more like Demoncy, Revenant, and Incantation than the later black metal version of Havohej.

Grindpad – Poser Killer: if you wanted the ideal hybrid between Destruction, Tankard, and Exodus, complete with constant bouncing speed metal and ranted choruses, this band might fit the bill, but although their riffs are more shapeless than those of a death metal band, they keep the vocals as mostly a rhythm instrument, although the circular song construction and need for constant forward momentum both kill dynamics and limit the evolution of theme.

Imperishable – Deathspawn: really intense emulation of the Swedish sound but with bouncy riffs that bounce a few times at the end of each phrase, resulting in disjointed music that seems never to really change that much internally, so it essentially only interrupts a cycle like an engine turning over or fan rotating, which means that mostly we listen just for completion and this band delivers that in a mind-numbing form.

Pest Control – “Demo 2020”: an Exodus and Overkill styled speed metal band hidden within some thrash aesthetics, this band write complete songs and achieve a clear expression with each, which puts them ahead of nearly everything in the queue, but you have heard these patterns before and do not expect thrash except on the surface, because the core is pure speed metal.

Asidhara – Echoes of the Ancients: very much classic speed metal with emphasis divided between guitars and vocals, this band incorporates modern metal styled vocals and the MTV-style use of dynamic contrast to shift into extremely different tempi and moods, which makes for a decently complex listen built around fairly traditional and listenable songs, although the lack of riff shape makes this album fungible.

Winterwolf – Lycanthropic Metal of Death: this band never gets over their hump which is that they write songs around a central riff and reactions to it, which makes for a linear listening experience, although on this one they try to break it up with dynamics and seemingly unexpected structures, but the lack of melodic or structural development dooms this to the hard rock side of Swedish death metal where each part sounds good but they do not add up.

Pantheon – Empire in Ruin: hope you like speed metal from the pre-Pantera era when alternative rock influences were not prevalent, but here you get a band that pairs vocals and riff too closely, then adds a fill or tangential riff for balance, but ends up more like Destruction than Metallica in that they are trying to lure you into the rhythm of the verse with the chorus delivering a brief shot of melody.

Kolac – “Advance Promo 2023”: not a bad form of Darkthrone-inspired high speed droning black metal, but its patterns are predictable and stir no imaginative comparison to life or interest in themselves, so if this were in school they would get an “A” for having the right form but no one would want to revisit it because nothing here is relevant beyond form, therefore there is no ability to criticize this record but no reason to pick it up and put it on the stereo either.

Transcendence – Towards Obscurities Beyond: aiming for blackened death metal, which seems to mean death metal with black metal ambient composition, this band tie together riffs reminiscent of the best of Swedish death metal and Greek black metal, achieving mid-paced foot-tapping happy rhythm songs that mostly stand on their own and communicate a sensation of something unique to each song, even if these ultimately aim mostly for internal contrast leading to a final plunge into violence.

Ashlands – Ashlands II: you walk into the boutique hair salon and immediately the scent of orchids wafts around you as you hear the sprinkling of a fountain and settle into a lush chair to read Better Homes & Gardens while you wait for your isoceles Karen haircut and this is playing in the background, a small amount of “progressive” black metal with lots of atmospheric stuff that ends up being about as heavy as a butterfly fart and about as interesting quantum fecal transplants through teleportation.

Vociferous – God of Perversity: march-style speed metal with formless riffs, this two-song release mostly focuses on vocal hooks in choruses and catchy rhythms, which works for awhile and then falls short like most human attempts at safety, although it would be hard to argue that these are not solid 1980s style speed metal riffs with somewhat update percussion giving them a bit more weight.

Hornwood Fell – Cursed Thoughts: another band that kills itself by turning the music into a sandwich for vocals, this band approaches melodic metal with more aggression than most but ends up in the land of the formless riff, riding a chord so the vocals can dominate, which displaces the rest of the song into a few moments and so little evolves or develops here despite attempts at layering technique and interludes.

Graveland – Hour of Ragnarok: revisiting this album, it seemed as if the “Renaissance Faire” aspects would dwarf all else, but the use of melody and theme here exceeds all else in metal, and the ongoing attempt of its creators to work in keyboards and other instruments as actual voices gives it a density which BTFO the vapidity of most three-note droning metal, with the caveat that the band needs to slow down, spread out, and use dynamics more.

Treasonist – Treasonist: with percussion from the comedy days of speed metal and the early discoordinated speed and stop-start of perpetual local bands from the death metal genre, this band stitches together a number of influences that people like into what feels like a maze made of repetition since the parts relate very little to each other, meaning that the band is always heading in a different direction and arriving at the same place.

Carathis & Sulfure – Split: Carathis introduces fairly typical melodic mid-paced death metal that is altogether too candied for the end result, lapsing into a kind of everyday boredom with the soundtrack to a motorcycle commercial behind it, with familiar patterns that go nowhere simply making nostalgia sad, and Sulfure attempts a classic black metal sound but with the type of tantrum vocals that made Hate Eternal and later Nile unlistenable, in this case producing a community theatre take on Beckett approach toward shadow play of the classics.

What the Five Fingers Said to the Face – Endless: we should just accept that “progressive” metal is more alternative rock and Pantera mixed in with jazz fusion from pretentious post-emo hardcore bands and has little relationship to metal, just like Meshuggah took the metal riff backwards by sixty years with their technical rhythm power chord versions of ideas that were old when Chuck Berry was young, and with this, adding a few Voivod-style inverted chords to mournful indie and angsty jump metal does not improve it and in fact just makes it more all-inclusive therefore directionless therefore uninteresting.

Ars Magna Umbrae – Apotheosis: do we need another blackgaze, emo-influenced, quasi-progressive band that attempts long wandering structures like later Mayhem albums and Deathspell Omega, giving us an in-depth wallow in strong atmosphere that like flatulence in an elevator, never seems to go anywhere despite zooming between floors, and reveals nothing about the human condition except a vague unease and pretense? NEIN.

Grave Desecrator – Immundissime Spiritus: there needs to be a word for these old school bands which focus on basic note relationships in droning riffs without much shape but keep the vocals and drums in the old school style, since they are initially pleasing to the ear but then over time it becomes clear that with a lack of evolving internal themes there is no contrast or tension, so all details are unassociated and one is left merely with the droning celebration and lamentation of the emptiness of modernity.

Asphyx – Incoming Death: this band at least has some balls but ended up in the same place Immolation did, namely writing speed metal at death metal pace with riffs that are formless because they are taco shells for the meaty contents of the vocals, which despite being well-executed cannot carry the songs on their own, so you end up with fungible stuff sounding like a faster version of later Kreator without the melody or dynamic contrast that could make this album great, substituting a kind of bounce-beat with very similar riffs instead. Not a bad album but not worth buying.

Tsatthoggua – Hallejuah Messiah: properly understood as a slightly slower version of Impaled Nazarene, this band makes gently rising and falling melodic patterns in the midst of punk-influenced, violent little songs that go nowhere but are pleasant to listen to in the meantime because all the parts fit together in a meaningful order, in dramatic contrast to the usual “write riffs until we have four minutes” approach by funderground bands, but it does not hold up to repeated listens.

Hideous Death – Remnants of Archaic Evil: this band sounds like Master done faster, with basic verse-chorus songs with punk style riffs i.e. less phrasal development that give way to breakdowns and transitions which introduce some elegant heaviness, providing an energetic fast listen even if nothing here is that distinctive or outside what is obvious at a basic level of musical literacy.

Toarn – Lament: seems to be backward influence of nü-metal into emo and late hardcore, which shows just how much it is out of ideas since these guys are doing the same stupid tropes that high school rebel bands did in the late 1980s, trying hard to be contrarian but needing to cram all of it into a pop song based around catchy vocal rhythms instead of vocal melodies, ending up with a pile of distractions and graffiti like the rest of the rotting city and suburbs.

Redouane Aouameur – “Fury Flight”: when they standardized black metal, they turned it into a form of indie rock based on minor key droning instead of riff shape or evolution of theme, which was shifted into the vocals like hardcore or industrial, ending up producing something that while not unpleasant has almost nothing to offer it unless you really like the rhythm of the vocals and drums set against a snippet of a dirge repeated in endless loop.

Uncreation – Divinity: the divine hath forsaken this release of chugging stop-start death metal emo-style choruses and riff order built entirely on pounding us flat with large-browed caveman riffs, but unlike the good caveman death metal, this type of edgy metalcore aims not to show us a world within the primitive but to use the primitive to bully us into listening to their emo vocals and random guitar practice.

Casket Grinder – Fall into Dementia: more Swedish death metal trying really hard to charge ahead at all times, resulting in an inseparable mass of very similar riffs, rhythms, and vocals that is not bad in the moment but you would not want to listen to it repeatedly, despite a grasp of the sound of post-LAEFS Dismember that rivals any of the other Sweclones out there.

Ascète – Calamites & les Calamités: another from the Deathspell Omega worship camp, this band hopes to make ordinary rock music “deep” with some oddball technique but ultimately fails to make songs that lead anywhere, causing audience boredom that the bewilderment of consciously curated quirks and progressive touches cannot dispel, changing an atmosphere of the mysterious into simple repetition.

Heresiarch / Antediluvian – Defleshing the Serpent Infinity: the problem with war metal, just like with grindcore and hardcore, is that rhythmic requirements pretty much dictate a range of riff shapes that one can plausibly use, and this ends up with an entropic convergence on every song being a variant of the same five basic forms, just like the blues is five licks spread out over many styles, and with Heresiarch we see strong chromatic strip riffing that suffers from too many double strokes to keep its momentum, turning war metal into a form of slam, although there are moments of greatness recalling earlier works from this band, and with Antediluvian we hear more of a Halloween noise project based on chanted vocals and guitar noise with periodic two-chord slamming riffs that may have been on a Chuck Berry record back in the day.

Cirith Gorgor – Visions of Exalted Lucifer: V.S. Naipaul wrote in The Mimic Men that the post-colonial mindset involved a kind of play-acting as the conquerors, appearing to gain the upper hand but abolishing what was unique about those populations, and in the same way black metal has abased itself through imitation and emulation of the originals without any idea of what they were trying to express, such as this hybrid Swedish-French style that uses obvious symmetrical riffs and ancient tropes to hide its emptiness.

Inlandsys – Carthago: be wary of the open mind because if it were a recipe, it would combine so many random ingredients that there would be no flavor, which is the case of this later black metal band that mixes in post-metal, “progressive” metal, and modern metal touches to make something that has great moments of potential but never capitalizes on them by taking them somewhere but another rhythmic turnaround, hook, or “unexpected” transition, resulting in a truly postmodern muddle.

Devotion – The Harrowing: really basic death metal mixed with bouncy speed metal in the Kreator/Destruction style, this band almost entirely avoids melody and keeps structure minimal in order to convey the throbbing rhythm that its fans need in order to guzzle beer while not contemplating the failure of Western Civilization or the abyss of their own lives, so that they can go back tomorrow to be investment bankers or dish washers and think the simplified world perceived by their newly-stupefied brains is almost logical.

Hexecutor – Beyond Any Human Conception of Knowledge…: despite the ambitious title, this band fuses uptempo power metal with melodic death metal in the style of the mid-1980s that emphasized chanty choruses over all else, and ends up making a very listenable album with few surprises but a pleasant use of musicality in songs that vary the verse-chorus format just enough to keep intensity high, but really this is only relevant for heavy metal fans.

Arrogant Destruktor – Written in Blood from the Blade: black metal grew great on its asymmetrical melodies that developed a mystery hidden in the simplest of patterns and then turned it into a voice of experience, trading collision between natural forces for inner knowledge as adventures and poetry tend to do to us, but then along comes this band writing punk-paced heavy metal with obvious three-point-turn riffs that cycle around through underground tropes but deliver none of the power and function like the drone music of a dishwasher loaded with beer glasses, so every now and then you hear a hint of melody but then it gets plowed under into repetition.

Insision – Terminal Reckoning: brutal death metal, speed metal, and modern metal mix for a type of music where the vocals lead, guitars are mostly lots of strobing strumming, and songs move in verse-chorus plus transition and repeat format, meaning that while much of this album is well executed, the whole does not hold up to repeated listens, sort of like Centurian, Hate Eternal, and Christ Agony.

Evilcult – The Devil is Always Looking for Souls: from that weird crossover genre where heavy metal bands use death metal vocals, Evilcult really tries to be Iron Maiden and Angel Witch, with simple but distinctive riffs and songs that fit together in a verse-chorus pattern that expands itself with structural variation and lead guitars that expand on melodic themes to intensify a mood, making a listenable album that for what it aims to be, achieves a distinctive voice that provides both an artistic and entertainment experience, even if deliberately geared toward a little bit of 1980s nostalgia and the desire for jam room drinking anthems.

Darkened – Kingdom of Decay: this starts out strong with some interesting-sounding death metal riffs but then without even noticing we are in speed metal territory with two chord formless bounce riffs, bluesy leads, and songs organized around the chanting vocals, at which point it becomes clear that other than repeating three riffs in a cycle rather than two, despite an aesthetic transformation, we are back at mediocre late 1980s speed metal.

Hexenbrett – Intermezzo dei quattro coltelli nudi: nice energetic melodic speed metal over hardcore beats, with random interludes from other genres and periodic attempts at progressive weirdness, this album represents a try for what Pan.Thy.Monium did back in the day but like that, fails to integrate itself aesthetically or unite its parts with a compelling theme, so it sounds more like tuning a radio while trying to drive down the 405 as bandits shoot at you from Buicks with hyperchargers and chrome rims.

Pandemic – Crooked Mirror: it is possible to fail through success like this band which makes note-perfect 1980s speed metal on the edge of melodic heavy metal and gets in every trope, plays in key, has semi-distinctive riffs, and reasonably develops songs, but because it is imitating a past which exists in fragmentary form today and wants simply to uphold that feeling, creates music which is directionless outside of a musical and genre level, therefore gives the listener absolutely no incentive to pursue it.

Toxic Ruin – Nightmare Eclipse: this seems to be a crossover between thrash and early death metal, making very anthemic but circular songs that rely on you being fascinated by the vocals, which are monotonic and thus mostly rhythm-based, to give you enough hooks to keep listening to this collection of 1980s riffs done ultra-proficiently in what is apparently the wrong or random order.

Into Oblivion – Paragon: the problem of the internet is in part that people will hold it against you if you do not like the bands their friends are in, so all we should say here is that this is at its heart a post-metal band, it tries for variety in what defines metal but still goes back to some solid riffs, but ultimately songs are tangential and not discursive, which creates a vast emptiness upon listening.

Conjuring – Universus: for all the people during the 1990s and 2000s who told us that the underground was not dead and we just were not looking hard enough comes a typical example of why no one is bothering to look; this album 100% nails the perfect form for black metal but lacks content so ends up with evenly-divided riffs that go nowhere and lots of riding riffs to carry the vocals, creating perhaps the most boring album since the dawn of time.

Dreaded Void – The Abyssal Plane of Suffering: trends are the ultimate means-over-ends thinking that replaces the ends-over-means of bands having something to express and finding the form for it; instead, one simply emulates the form, since now the trend is established and you have a step-by-step procedure that allows you to imitate the past without having any idea what it was about. Yes, you too can participate, but it has no endurance since it has no relevance to the whole.

Vomit Spell – Vomit Spell: grindcore with strong death metal and war metal influences, this band produces clusters of related ideas that charge ahead with a compelling rhythmic theme specific to each song, and even if the edges are taped together a bit, manage to express something even if ambiguously in each of these songs tunneling beneath the gatekeepers of consciousness to invigorate memories of a primal past.

Inyquyte – “Chthonic Rehearsal”: experiments are there to be analyzed later, and this metal seems to be entirely experimental, built around layers of basic riffs that change in somewhat eclectic ways while staying within the metal vocabulary, emphasizing the pacing of the vocals more as an instrument than an expression, sort of like a textural experiment derived from industrial music crossed with tribal music and the hermetic chants of the O9A; it should be interesting to hear more eventually.

Trail of Blood – Closer to God Testament on the verses, modern metal on the choruses, this band makes what is nearly pure rhythmic music without melody except as an effect in vocals and guitar fills, leading to disorganized songs which express nothing more than speed metal which takes drumming inspiration from Animal on The Muppet Show with its happy offbeat whacking as everything else drones on and depends on speed and sonic intensity to make you forget how bored you are by track five.

Hellion – The Magic Within: if Hell exists this is what they will play on repeat, energetic 1980s speed metal that emphasizes the metal equivalent of a d-beat with lots of curlicue riffs that go nowhere because they are there to support the chanty ranting vocals, a choice that crimps song expansion to minimal levels so that what you hear in the first loop plus one turnaround or breakdown is what you get for the whole of the song, and unless you really like the lyrics you will find yourself looking for an even older evil god to pray to in order to be delivered from thumping wailing speed metal hell.

Vulnificus – Innomination: this band deserves credit for doing what Mortician and Napalm Death attempted, which was to pare music down to nearly pure rhythm and then see if a poetry could be made from that, using the techniques of brutal death metal at mid-paced speed with a doom metal atmosphere, and songs that are mostly entirely repetitive but grow over time with riffs that play against the dominant theme.

Horgkomostropus – Apocalipsis XX:VI: high speed death metal where riffs and vocals are nearly in unison, this band descends into a series of heavy riffs that go nowhere because songs are circular and incorporate bits of other metal genres which stand out like a crucified prize-winning zucchini in a Catholic church and feature overuse of the downstroke without enough melody of structure to lift this up to the point of making a point.

Darkthrone – Eternal Hails: generally I avoid listening to classic bands after the gravestone goes up, and the last Darkthrone album that I found tolerable was Total Death, so that has been almost thirty years of avoiding this band, but hearing this reminds me just how much Darkthrone should have rebranded for their cross between 1970s guitar rock, 1980s punk like the Dayglo Abortions, and classic heavy metal since this has nothing in common with the old band and, while better executed that all but a few items in this queue, has little listening appeal except nostalgia; the magic is gone.

Tormentium – Bound to the Depths: art guides our emotions from disorderly impulse-response to a perception of something of importance, whether true or not, but we rely on artists to perform this channeling through evocative or ludic structures, and yet so few do it, preferring instead this kind of self-expression with the assumption of equal validity, leading to this mixture of post-metal and boring trudge-chant black metal.

Altari – Kr怀flueldar: the more influences from regular rock that you pack into metal, and the less it becomes metal and the more it becomes rock, as we can see in this band that ties together goth, black metal, and modern doom metal into a vocal-driven series of songs that attempt to achieve ritual rhythm through the vocals but end up simply sounding like a Sisters of Mercy cover band working its way through a hybrid between Bryan Adams, Spyrogyra, and Watchtower with minimal focus on riffs or the dynamic contrast that gives metal its power.

Imposition – Dark Mysticism: this artist really enjoys Demoncy and uses the same style of cloudfront riffing to create a stormy atmosphere that then, stranded in vocals and highlighted by keyboards, fails to mature past its initial loop, leaving us stuck in a moment in time when we are still listening to this but reaching for the Joined in Darkness LP we keep hidden behind the toilet in case of emergencies.

Death Epoch – Abysmal Invocation: two-mode bands like this either drone or blast, and this band alternates between the two with minimally-related riffs, resulting in a prevailing sense of boredom especially during the mid-paced drone parts, but made worse during the blasting because its riffs and intensity are directionless and therefore dissipate quickly.

Majesties – Vast Reaches Unclaimed: an Iron Maiden tribute band decided to pour on the distortion and aim for more of a late model Metallica or stoner doom metal sound in the choruses which do their best to dress up ancient hard rock and heavy metal tropes as some kind At the Gates meets Mayhem style of undulating minor key metal which if you tab it out looks a lot closer to the stuff Soundgarden or Mudhoney were doing than either Iron Maiden or black metal.

White Death – White Death: far more complete than most of the review queue, this band knows how to structure songs and bring them from introduction to establishment to contrast to conclusion, but still rely too much on repetition of narrative in order to hammer home a point, and songs do not point toward anything transcendence, making this mostly form and no awareness of the why or goal despite being more listenable than most of this stuff.

Infernal Curse – Awakening of the Damned: old school speed metal in structure, but using death metal styled riffs with great precision and energy, this band nonetheless commits the old sin of viewing each verse-chorus loop as a discrete entity designed for presentation of the vocals, which it then piles on top, leading to a situation where at the end they are simply throwing random riffs at the wall to keep the rhythm intense despite having the listener effect of a stampede of buffalo through a minefield.

Anamnesi – Caurus: this combination of hard rock riffs, emo/gospel post-metal, and speed metal bounce riffs with furious drum whacking in the background adds modern metal post-Meshuggah pause riffs to the mix for absolutely nothing going nowhere despite the clear talent of the musicians. The good artists in hard times spent their young years figuring out what to express and later worried about how to express it.

The Mist – Phantasmagoria: originally from 1989, this album of speed metal with death metal vocals picked up on the newer pace of faster Slayer bands but missed the internal variation necessary to drive songs, sticking it alongside Incubus/Opprobrium and Destruction in terms of blowhard hammering of a catchy chorus with absolute placeholder verses that lead back to painful repetition, but you can see how this may have influenced bands like Pestilence in vocal delivery and Sepultura in rhythm.

Construct of Lethe – The Grand Machination: modern metal has no idea how to be metal, therefore ends up throwing in everything and the kitchen sink but ends up back at the same Pantera bounce-riffs as everyone else, since most of humanity cannot think past speed metal with a few progressive touches or blues riffs, and end up making a listening experience that makes me long for the days when Meshuggah was the most boring thing in the CD player.

Incarnated – Wool-Gathering: despite the cool title, most of what you get here is basic death metal somewhere between Entombed and Malevolent Creation, in simplified songs that attempt to differentiate themselves with use of technique to double up riffs, but although a great deal of effort goes into this creation, it stays somewhere at the level of bands that never develop their songs, personality, or whatever they are expressing despite a lot of focus on ornamenting it.

White Nights – Solanaceae: an attempt to make black metal psychedelic by mixing in stoner doom and 1980s Gothic then backgrounding the muffled vocals, this band achieves a unique atmosphere with its aesthetics but then fails to build on it, resulting in what sounds like it should be a sideshow exhibit in a haunted house, mainly because with all of this merging, the simplest wins and so you end up with normie rock in some Reddit and 4chan aesthetics.

Dark Psychosis – The Edge of Nowhere: way too much study of classic Gorgoroth and Mayhem went into this release, which like many faithful bands is trying to relive the past in a new form, but because its target is static, has no internal dialogue and therefore is boring unless you know the originals, at which point this sounds increasingly like a cover band attempting to slide something evil past the censors.

Terranaut / Chaosophy – Split: look at a Bell Curve and you see that most things are mediocre, with only the rightmost standard deviation having any hope, which explains why the review queue this week is mostly fermented fish innards in a savory sauce of rancid whale semen and nectar from Chernobyl flowers, but the sin of Terranaut is simply being boring; there is no musical dimension to these riffs, only technique applied to boring riffs; Chaosophy weighs in with what are basically vocal tracks with Dimmu Borgir influenced keyboard black metal of shapeless riffs in the background and Pirates of the Carribbean style bouncing shanty rhythms.

Lamp of Murmuur – Saturnian Bloodstorm: this type of training pants black metal requires that the audience have no need for songs to do anything but loop through repetition, at which point the consumers can consider it like products, since it has its own aesthetic, despite being at its core similar to the late stage speed metal which came out in the 1990s, just with interrupted rhythms and more emphasis on drone in songs that do not evolve or express anything but an aesthetic of mystery and a fascination with themselves.

Infesticide – Envenoming Wounds: this release is a tragedy because it seems to represent the random contributions of band members each of whom listen to different styles, so we move through chugging speed metal to Swedish melodic death metal to some kind of roots black metal and then something that sounds like music for abandoned capybara to die to, resulting in a bunch of stuff that is never presented well enough to hit hard and sounds like a chaotic, egotistic guitar practice.

Galvanizer – Prying Sight of Imperception: high energy riffing with decent creativity marks this release but its reliance on rhythm riffing exclusively means that these are chromatic bounding riffs which alternate between meaningless notes, and then thanks to a verse-chorus structure with a few deviations, never expand the theme, so notes remain meaningless and the rhythms which inventive become too similar to tell apart, resulting in a gurgling drone of brutal pounding.

Wasteland Coven / Nothing is Real – Turmoil: tune in to Wasteland Coven for some strong Candlemass-style doom with a lady singing who puts energy into it like a honky-tonk singer, and per the norm, this follows mostly the riff-chorus model, but Nothing is Real deliver more of a gritty side of doom with sludge and death metal influences, although it ends up being hook-driven and not reaching much of a conclusion to any song. People prefer to focus on the moment not the duration.

Turanis – “Dance in the Mist”: it does not take record labels and careerist musicians long to hammer any genre into the same crap they are shilling on the big labels, and this Gothic metal fused with pop punk, glam, and inspirational self-pity rock like Coldplay and Smashing Pumpkins dives right into the worst of the saccharine mainstream goop as soon as it gets through a token flirtation with dark aesthetic, making this about as metal as a Big Mac covered in pink sparkle glitter.

Ulthar – Anthronomicon: take your average speed metal band and change the rhythm entirely so it falls into Dimmu Borgir territory of cruising verse riffs and extended fills for choruses, and you can fool normies into thinking you have written something deep, when really this rehashes the music of the past in a simpler form that adds randomness whenever possible to disguise its inner emptiness, much like normies do in everyday life.

Teitan – In Oculus Abyss: please save us from this type of vocal-dominated black metal where the guitars end up having a role like keyboards in movie music, floating around in the background with pleasant patterns while we listen to the acrobatic vocals and industrial-like rhythms, but nothing ever develops and in the true post-metal fashion, you end up descending into a simple atmosphere and floating around in it until sanity prevails and you switch off the speakers to go touch grass somewhere.

Temple Nightside – The Hecatomb: when you start out as a musician, you aim to be able to do stuff as well as your cool heroes and you get giddy when you can pull it off and sound just like them, but over time you start wanting your own style, then start thinking about what that means, and art or even quality entertainment (distraction for doomed citizens of dying democracy empire) begins there but not before, and here this sludge/doom crossover sounds like Winter with more Alcest mixed in.

Demsfightinwords – “Vexation”: at least they do not pretend this is anything but a nu-metal and deathcore hybrid, mixing in hip-hop vocals done in the most Panterrik style possible with breakdown-oriented trudging and churning deathcore, one might suppose thinking that combining two dead simplistic genres into a new one constitutes innovation, when in fact this song is just Idiocracy made into a brainwashing surge of stupefying sonic repetition.

Metallica – 72 Seasons: perhaps the most hyped album of the year so far, this latest Metallica comes to us from the latest sad industry trend, which is bands revisiting their formative years with their new knowledge about how to make normie-friendly music, and this one is basically like the last four Metallica albums of alt-country and hard rock hybrid music, but now with more muted E5 strumming to make it feel like old Metallica. I can’t listen to this drivel.

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50 thoughts on “Sadistic Metal Reviews: Covert Dualism Propaganda Edition”

  1. first says:

    Did you actually listen to all that shit music neatly til the end? That is about 40-60 minutes of torture per album. Your job must be worse than AVGN (forced to dig up and play shitty games) ala Office Space.

    With that being said, I’ve noticed Asphyx made an unfortunate appearance on the list, so I wonder aside from The Rack and Last one on earth, what other albums are worth keeping by the band?

    1. The first three Asphyx albums — The Rack, Last One on Earth, and Asphyx — are usually mentioned, with early album Embrace the Death which was re-issued later clustering in there too. To my ears, Asphyx may be their highest point, but it is hard to argue with the grinding abuse of their early works except to say that song structures became limited at some point. Some of our early reviews might be relevant here too.

      1. second says:

        And what about Sinister, they too made a load of reasonably consistent albums, but which are the actual keepers?

        1. Everything up through Hate is worth owning, but later albums from Sinister were pretty good for the period when death metal decayed into modern metal and deathcore. Great band.

    2. embrace the goat says:

      Asphyx did a similar thing to Morbid Angel with the first album not getting released at the time of recording and most of those tracks getting reworked across the next three albums but it’s all worth owning as it’s such strong material.

      1. Also in some ways the lack of self-consciousness makes it more compelling.

    3. Metal Pete says:

      Listening to Death… The Brutal Way is perfect for when you need to prepare for… well, for anything, really. It’s determination music.

      Alas, the album released immediately after that one was completely uninspired.

      1. They went back to the first album but made a more energetic, positive version. It was sort of their moment of getting it together, and since then things have tapered off. Old story, very sad.

  2. Sewersuck says:

    Why is that profanatica on this list, u don’t even say anything negative about it

    1. SMRs do not necessarily have to be negative. In this case, it was two previously released tracks, just an older demo, and the only worthwhile point was to talk about how the band transitioned (heh heh) from death metal.

      1. sewersuck says:

        thx for the tip cuz ive only fucked with a few of ledneys standout releases and its really cool to hear profanatica like this

  3. Instigator666 says:

    Maybe you should go back to the 90’s when Christianity was still relevant to burn churches and rebel against its media influence in tandem with Nirvana of how oppressive it is, because what would crybabies like Brattz do without it? You need Christ to stay in business, because you can’t stop talking about it.

    But you’re nevertheless too late, the horse is already dead before you got to be the hero that slayed it. Today 9/10 westies are atheists, agnostics or neo-pagan and could care less about monotheism.

    Meanwhile you might wanna focus on something more Sinister than the Irish – because the muslims have now surpassed Catholicism, they’re still growing, organizing and ready to inseminate more white women with their dirty arab cock… but I suppose someone has to fill the void where no testosterone dwells (pun very much intended)

    Either that or the Chinese will unleash their “secret weapon”, whichever cums first…

    1. I think it is time to ignore Christ and wage general war against dualism.

      I mention a number of pitfalls to show how wide the spectrum — spanning organized internationalist religion, egalitarianism, diversity, patriotism, and environmentalism — of false symbolic binaries and categorical boundaries is.

      The Muslims will wage war against us, but the Irish subvert us from within by “passing” as White.

    2. For the subtlety impaired, my anti-Mick riff is:

      • 75% a parody of anti-Semitism and racism
      • 25% practical opposition to diversity in a WASP America which cannot have trace admixture cases like Southern, Eastern, Irish, and Mediterranean Europeans

      It requires some complexity and takes patience to understand. But the Irish are [redacted] and we need to [redacted] because [redacted] compost [redacted] fucking [redacted].

      1. This is not a comment says:

        Maybe Instigator666 was 75 % sarcastic.

        1. I think he just wanted to write inbred goat-fucking mulatto Muslim rape porn, from the looks of things. And I, I will be the last to try to stop him there. Chase your destiny, I say. Find the truth within. Live, laugh, love. And sodomize the Nazarene, of course.

    3. tourettes the tranny says:

      brett might be a nerd but ur a choad

      1. ^^^ This is the correct spelling in my view.

    4. Jewhovah Negrotichrist says:

      Why strive for anything? Turn on television, relax, and listen to some shitty Deathspell Omega clone that recently have become devout fans of Incantation and Blasphemy. It’s all good bro.

      1. dickworld says:

        wow youre so cool and different

        1. Jewhovah Negrotichrist says:

          Suck it up bitch. There are many lies in the world, and the church is just one of them. God is a lie, but there is something out there, just not the way puny humans and their controlling words describe it. Maybe read a few pages of Intro To Buddhism For Faggots and you could come out on the other side.

          1. dickworld says:

            What does any of that have to do with your fake pissy nerd bullshit

            1. Jewhovah Trans-Negrotichrist says:

              You either live in the illusion or not, you silly nullo.

              1. sickworld says:

                Wow a disillusioned person being pompous on the internet, now I’m interested

                1. ️‍Jesus Was Liberal ️‍ says:

                  Did life piss in your cereal bro? It’s okay, we have a pill for that.

                  1. I'm a dream says:

                    Yeah Bru

                    1. Pantera Fan says:

                      Joey, have you ever been in a… in a Turkish prison?

                    2. Nirvana Fan says:

                      that gray matter backlot perform us down, i take TCBin man

  4. I Rape The Irish says:


    1. Jewhovah Trans-Negrotichrist says:

      Do we even think they are human?

      1. Warkvlt is High IQ Music says:

        Do *they* …?

  5. Gluteus Maximus says:

    So, what did Nietzsche get wrong? Asking for a friend.

    1. sewersuck says:

      he never started a band

    2. In my view, he was too influenced by Schopenhauer’s pessimism and materialism. He also saw Christianity as a cause, when it was really an effect. He was too egalitarian in his assessment of others. But, he rediscovered the Greeks and made their ideas come alive to a brainwashed audience, so that’s something.

      1. Gluteus Maximus says:

        Wait… Schopenhauer was a materialist?

        Never thought I’d hear Nietzsche described as too egalitarian. :o What philosophers are better, less egalitarian alternatives do you think?

  6. IRA-trained Leprechaun says:

    Metal is dead so I only listen to the great songs of The Pogues and Shaun McGowan while I’m drinking Guinness in my cave. Hail Joe Biden and destroy the Eternal Anglo.

    1. Jewhovah Negrotichrist says:


    2. Nonwhite Detector says:

      Rating: 4/5 round mud huts surrounded by flies

  7. Byawrn Bawrg says:

    At the Gates turning into ABBA isn’t too nasty of a criticism. Some of those old pop melodies are genius! Oh, and happy 500 years as a nation, Sweden (June 6th). May the boredom of your society produce its opposite in music once more.

    1. Cynical says:

      Sweden’s birthday is on the National Day of Slayer? Huh, neat. I hope they celebrate the day in an appropriate manner — by blasting Hell Awaits at ear-damaging volumes, of course!

      1. We will have to contact Swedish national radio.

  8. Warkvlt is High IQ Music says:

    “Sewercide – Immortalized in Suffering: combine older Kreator with Impetigo, and you might get this bouncy, chanty mess whose primary goal is working through a few death riffs to get to an old heavy metal standby for the chorus in songs that are essentially two-riff cycles with a few tangents, but no thematic development, therefore an intense sense of repetition sets in rapidly.”

    Another band named after SEWER huh… must be #104231 on the list. Funny thing is, the original band isn’t even that good (except that one song on Rektal or Uruktena I can’t even remember) :/

  9. NOT SARCASM says:

    this comments section makes me think there might be hope for humanity after all

    1. We are collecting the people who will make the next iteration of humanity once all the normies manage to autosnuff from incompetence.




          1. Doug says:

            Why does everything always have to be about dialup?? One-track mind!

            1. It’s the only way to get in the back door in WarGames.

  10. Metalheim says:

    Load-influenced late death metal?

    1. …essentially, for a lot of this drivel. Load and Pantera.

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