Straight Outta Catacombs
Updated: Jan 15, 2019
EMIL'S DEEP UNDERGROUND RECOS (part IV)
All releases on this edition of Straight Outta Catacombs, saw the dim light of the winter days at the end of 2018 and beginning of 2019. Most were overlooked and some might require an eclectic taste. The underground metal scene was flooded with new releases last year. A huge chunk of material that came out was oriented towards the darkest realms of black metal, with loads of other offerings that were blackened, to various extents. The practice of crossing over genres has been around for awhile now, exponentially increasing with the number of releases of the last few years. To the point where, generally speaking, the listener would be hard pressed to find a record true and pure to a specific genre (or sub-genre). Conclusively, we, the fans, grew to appreciate a lot more, stylistically, not being afraid to step outside comfort zones, to try and prize something new, constantly expending our horizons. With said influx of great offerings, where a vast majority were independent or released with help from obscure labels, the amount of garbage, for lack of a better word, that one has to filter thru in order to find the jewels in the crown, is also at the all time high. So, I dug deep and this is what I came up with:
"Road To Infinity"
The Glasgow natives, Syth, formed in 1999, oscillate from traditional heavy and power metal, with a slight hint of thrash, on this release. Staying true to their early roots: Iron Maiden, Diamond Head, Saxon, Metallica, Anthrax, Dio, Black Sabbath, UFO, Iced Earth. Outstanding dual guitar work, big solos. For all fans of heavy metal.
Third album from the Greek symphonic/progressive metallers, formed in 1997. Beautifully composed and recorded. Clean vocals duo (male & female) Carmina Burana like choruses, ethnic elements. Mike LePond from Symphony X and Panagiotis Konstandinidis from Crush, make guest appearances. FFO: Nightwish, Epica.
"Tales of the Backwoods"
Another great release is the debut album from Blood Region. Formed in 2002, after an array of demos, EPs and singles, the Finns teamed up with Italian female (bad ass) vocalist Ira Green, in 2018, before this album was recorded. Duo vocals: clean and growl. Modern sounding, ranges from traditional heavy metal to melodic death metal. Atmospheric and ethnic elements.
Sophomore release from the Brazilian doom metal outfit. Beautifully melancholic with atmospheric and blackened trance elements, melodic guitar solos and licks, tasteful synth sound effects. Great tempo changes. Fluid bass work. English and Portuguese lyrics. Over 70 minutes of music!
Formed in 2000, Bucovina was named after the historical region on the northern slopes of the northeastern Carpathian Mountains and the adjoining plains. A blackened heavy metal infused with neo-folk journey into the magic realms of Bucovina’s mountains and woods, filled with old lore and mysterious vibes. Intoned in Romanian with lyrics rooted in the Romanian folklore. Unique. Currently, one of Romania's most prominent metal band.
"Divine Golden Blood"
Heredia, Costa Rica
Ten years in the making, the debut full-length effort from Costa Rica's death metallers Humanizer, formed in 2008. Fast and aggressive death metal perfectly balanced within concept, atmosphere and technique. Take no prisoners!
Debut album by the Australian band formed in 2012. Brutally groovy melodic death metal with a stoner drenched doom edge. Band cites: Gojira, Pantera, Decapitated, Acid Bath, Queens Of The Stone Age, Red Fang, Meshuggah, Amon Amarth, as their main influences.
CLEAR SKY NAILSTORM
"The Inner Abyss"
Delmenhorst, Bremen, Germany
Sophomore effort from the German melodic thrash metallers, formed in 2008. Modern sounding, groovy compositions, crunchy riffs, well recorded. Qualified by the band as: "Good friendly violent fun... auf die norddeutsche Art!"
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US
Aphotica has arrived! The Pittsburgh's duo of Brandon Rugh (guitar/vocals) & Nicole Murry (bass/vocals) - melodic pagan metal debut offering! Beautifully fluid blackened edge, Growl (but distinguishable lyrics) male vocals w/ clean female vocals. Very nice guitar tone, plethora of riffs and solos. Great potential!
Watertown, New York, US
Stoner sludge doom metal born from the frozen north of Watertown, New York. Brought here to make gnarly riffs and summon dark wizards. Deep, fuzzy and slow ... debut album by the New York state doom trio.
© 2019 by Emil Chiru