OBSCURE TERROR: DOOM, BLACK, DEATH, DECAY
So back when I first started contributing regularly to this site, I promised Vince and Axl that I’d write at least two of these a month. I have (clearly) failed miserably as of late, and am now going to try to make up for lost time by spamming the shit out of you guys about bands that roughly fifteen of you will care about and everyone else will be mad isn’t a Devin Townsend side project. (Kidding! Sort of.) Seriously though, the following bands are absolutely killing it, and have awesome new releases that you’d do well to investigate if you’re into dirty, doomy, and/or crusty death & black metal. You know. Ugly shit.
Hellfire and Funeral Bells has been on constant rotation since Nuclear War Now! Productions brought it to life; the whole album is currently streaming on the label’s Bandcamp page, and the vinyl’s way affordable. This is one of the most addictive, atmospherically dense records of the year so far; it’s insane to think that something this massive-sounding and fully-realized is the work of just two individuals. Eerie, subterranean blackened doom with a death metal bent and unhealthy fixation on the occult, Faustcoven have delivered a fucking gem. Anyone who thinks the Norwegians have gone soft has to look only as far as these Trondheim brutes for ample proof that the same old evil lurks within.
Their latest album, Armageddon Will Come, has recently dropped via Drakkar Productions, and is the band’s best effort yet. After spending nearly ten years being plagued by the kind of lineup changes, studio mishaps, and assorted fuckuppery that only a band that drinks as much as these London-based bastards do could conjure up, NGT have finally released their first full-length, and it’s just as depraved and filthy as anyone who’s heard their earlier material or caught them live would expect. For the uninitiated, expect brutal black/death, at times thrashy and charmingly sloppy, topped off by a Polish madman screaming bloody murder. Think Belphegor after a few too many, or Destroyer 666 slurring and struggling their way through a set of Bolt Thrower covers.
Spain is by all accounts a lovely, laid-back place, but judging on its metallic exports, fucking hell has it got some absolute maniacs skulking around in the sunshine. The malignant likes of Teitanblood, Proclamation, and Morbid Yell all share a homeland and a heaping amount of similarities on top of it. Morbid Yell are one of those bands that are either too inept or too damn cult to release a proper full-length, so we’re left with almost a decade’s worth of demos, compilations, and splits (one of which features fellow Spaniards Korgull the Exterminator, which is admittedly pretty rad). Their most recent output, ‘Relics of the Morbid,’ is a festering slab of bestial black/death — dusty, raw, and mean. Heavily influenced by the usual suspects (Beherit, Sarcofago, Blasphemy, Demoncy, even a bit of Order From Chaos), this duo keeps it simple, but satisfying on a primal level. UGH.
Just as there are two side to Brooklyn — the gentrified hipster mushroom cloud that hovers above Williamsburg, and the rougher, grimier, more old-school heart of the borough — there is a duality to its metal scene. On one end, you have curated symposiums, post-rock crib sheets, genre tourists, and fucking Liturgy. On the other, you have shitty dive bars and warehouses, a disillusioned, pissed-off, broke as fuck existence, diehard metal scumbags, and Salö. This belly of the beast has given rise to twisted heshers like Villains, Syphilitic Lust, Mutilation Rites, Trenchgrinder, and Salö, who are one of the meanest new bands in town. Their new EP, Mangia Merda e Morte! was released on cassette in March and is already going into its second pressing. Their brand of black metal is doomy, bleak, and cold, like De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas beaten and left for dead on an abandoned factory floor. Live, they’ll rip your face off; vocalist Eston Browne (formerly of Animals Killing People/Humanity Falls) is absolutely terrifying, and hands down one of the best vocalists in the city. In a town that never stops screaming, that’s saying something. Download their EP for free here.
“Grim Kim” Kelly is an NYC-based writer and merch-slinger whose writing has appeared in Terrorizer, Metal Maniacs, Decibel, NPR, Invisible Oranges, Brooklyn Vegan, Pitchfork, and The Atlantic. Thanks to tour and the lure of overseas metal fests, she’s never actually in New York, but is stoked to live in the same city that Negative Plane and Carmine’s pizza call home. Keep up with her on-the-road exploits & numerous band recommendations on Twitter.