Oldd Wvrms – Codex Tenebris
Belgian instrumentalists Oldd Wvrms take listeners on a sprawling journey through overbearing darkness on their newest full-length effort, Codex Tenebris. Melding looming post-metal and sludge with blackened tendencies and haunting atmospherics, Oldd Wvrms‘ style of doom is towering, foreboding, and leaves little room to breathe. For nearly an hour, Codex Tenebris subjects the listeners to long-form compositions that balance between apocalyptic heaviness and unnerving soundscapes. The instrumentation is massive, lumbering, and delivers equal amounts of tension-filled space and claustrophobic gloom. The guitars churn out seismic riffs that stomp above equally earth-shattering drum work. The guitar riffs often sidestep the typical doom metal lurches in favor of disfigured grooves or writhing tremolo-picked assaults that echo death-doom instrumentation. Slow-burning, darkened psychedelia also plays a big role on the album, trading in outright heaviness for creeping malevolence (see “Fléau est son âme”). All in all, Codex Tenebris is a sinister sounding doom record that will reward patient listeners.
Release Date: February 15, 2019
Label: Cursed Monk Records/Fear of Gun
Favorite Tracks: “Ténèbres” and “Fléau est son âme”
For Fans Of: Lethvm, Amenra, Lycus and Inverloch
Sense Offender/Pupil Slicer – Split
The new split EP from UK acts Sense Offender and Pupil Slicer churns out 11 minutes of face-ripping hardcore chaos and grinding grotesqueness. Both bands deliver two tracks each that exemplifies their respective brands of off-kilter metallic hardcore. Sense Offender‘s two tracks, “God Complex” and “Godless Complex”, barrels into listeners with steamrolling brute force. Their drop-tuned, groove-heavy sound is rife with burly, dissonant riffs, blackened stampedes, and melodic gloom that echoes the likes of Cult Leader and Trap Them. Pupil Slicer‘s contributions, “Crusher” and “Spectral”, are raw, erratic, and aim to shred faces to bits. The band pepper their panic chord bursts with hyperviolent grindcore assaults, galloping hardcore, and squealing noise riffs that will bring Converge and Agoraphobic Nosebleed‘s The Poacher Diaries to mind. In short, this split release is quick, painful, and perfect for those who could stand to lose a few teeth.
Release Date: February 28, 2019
Favorite Tracks: “God Complex” and “Crusher”
For Fans Of: Cult Leader, Gaza, The Secret, Converge, Pig Destroyer and Agoraphobic Nosebleed
Charnel Altar – Demo 2019
Listening to the debut demo from Adelaide, Australia’s Charnel Altar is like being drug through a murky river of filth and decomposing corpses. The tape is filled to the brim with grotesque, writhing death-doom whose inherent griminess benefits from its raw production. The four songs featured on this record groan, churn, and sprawl like a beast from the darkest depths of Lovecraftian lore. The instrumentation transitions from slow, bestial sludge into blasting, gore-soaked riffs on the drop of the dime, all while the beefy rhythm section flexes its muscles below. The instrumentation crawls menacingly, fitted with the putrid stench of death, and builds into abysmal cacophonies spearheaded by gruff, cavernous vocals. Admittedly the tape is more or less your standard death-doom affair and the band isn’t pushing boundaries as far as the genre is concerned. But if listeners are looking for a new, gross band to get into, they can’t really go wrong with Charnel Altar.
Release Date: March 1, 2019
Label: Desert Wastelands Productions
Favorite Tracks: “Acephalic Worms”
For Fans Of: Inverloch, Ossuarium and Hooded Menace