Mefitis – Emberdawn (2019)

DMU song contest #3 winners Mefitis return with their glorious debut album Emberdawn. “Kolossos Pt II” which was featured in the song contest gave us a glimpse into some of the incredible ideas that this band has shown. Mefitis has existed for over twelve years and had been plagued by various problems before being put on hiatus for a few years until remaining members Vatha and Pendath who had always been the core duo behind the band managed to reform and eventually release the excellent Widdrim Hymn. A powerful bond marked by shared philosophy has allowed this duo to craft what can easily be referred to as this decade’s greatest metal album. Combining the twin guitar approach of early At the Gates with the melodic sense of Demigod and then layered in the Norwegian Black metal style. Where these approaches have produced a dead end and hordes of imitators, for Mefitis they have opened up new methods for their brand of Dark metal.

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Polemicist – Zarathustrian Impressions (Fólkvangr, 2019)

In the past, metal journalism used to function mainly as a filtering device; weeding out the bad so that the good stuff would rise to the top. Nowadays, it’s more likely the other way around. We’re now searching for potential in a seemingly endless flow of “interesting” or pleasant-sounding junk. This task often requires time and patience, because those rare and far between releases will often sound similar to their lesser peers on a surface level. One illuminating example would be the Pennsylvanian epic death/black metal act Polemicist and their debut album Zarathustrian Impressions. Their music may not appear spectacular on casual listen, but repeated and concentrated exposure reveal unexpected qualities.

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Sammath – Across the Rhine is only death (2019)

Sammath returns to the days of its second and third album with a shredding assault that emphasizes tight, technical riffing that keeps to a simple theme and develops it with precision strumming integrated with exacting percussion. This takes the war metal idea into the technical death metal realm while preserving the black metal sense of melody and epic architectures to unite these alienated and reductive riffs.

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Phantom – The Epilogue to Sanity

Phantom are a mysterious band with no information on them apart from various claims that range from their music being called Terror or Phantom metal and that they are there to completely innovate the genre and to create acoustic terrorism. While such claims have been spurted by many artists in easy marketing attempts or to stir controversy before an almost identical band makes the same claim and receives their mandatory fifteen seconds. Phantom unlike other bands, seem sincere in their objectives and genuinely try to live up to these claims.

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Riff Analysis: Unleashed – “To Asgaard We Fly”

Unleashed had at this point released two good records that saw the band create Heavy metal songs with limited Death metal stylings and were known for possessing a particularly small set of tools which almost made their previous very repetitive. On Across the Open Sea, the band’s Magnum Opus, the band re-contextualized their previous influences to create rousing and anthemic works while seeking to expand further into Death metal technique and arrangement. “To Asgaard we fly” shows this subtle marriage between the two and how the band were able to combine such styles without to saturate the listener with stolen Iron Maiden leads.

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Accidental Suicide – Deceased

Accidental Suicide hail from Wisconsin and were formed at the end of the eighties and managed to release one full length in ’92 at a time where Death metal, despite its explosion still remained an underground genre as the band were quickly forgotten before finding a cult following and releasing a compilation in 2017. Accidental Suicide play a Death/Doom style that is firmly entrenched in many schools of Death metal and have managed to produce a minor gem that deserves an occasional spot on any Hessian’s playlist.

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DMU Song Contest #3: King of the Serfs Edition Part 2

By the Hammer of the Gods, the time has come to round up those contestants who dared to volunteer themselves as subjects to the perennially stern yet perspicacious judgement of the DMU Lords! Let us see who shall emerge from this round victorious, rising unchained while their compatriots be left to live among the ruins!

With all that said, let the judgement commence!

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Mangled Torsos – Drawings of the Dead

Article by Svennerick

Not shortly after its inception, Death metal saw not only a stagnation in popularity, but also in creativity and artistic spirit. A genre that peaked and that had already developed most of its subgenres before even being given a concrete name showed the metal scene something new in the mid 80s and early 90s. But that magic eventually faded and now Death metal has only seen a small amount of innovation or peaks in the last two decades, since we mostly end up listening to band worshipping Gorguts‘ Obscura, yet missing its ferocity, or a band creating an entire album consisting out of blast beats and overly technical riffs, which feel more like filler than forwards moving music. Bands lost the connection to what made Death metal special in the first place and would rather waste their impressive talent and devotion trying to rehash what Necrophagist or Spawn Of Possession did in the early 2000s with great success.

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