Oregon based death metal four piece band Burials have teamed up with California based black / death entity Exhausted prayer to release a split album this January. Despite the bands sharing very little common ground in terms of stylistic choices, both these bands have one common aspect in that they both tend to add a chaotic and progressive spin to their respective styles of choice. This split release which is being handled jointly by Apes Who Looked Up and Rose Quarter Records is my introduction to both these bands. Once again this leads me to stress upon how splits are valuable in discovering new bands with relative ease.
Decomposed from Sweden is one of the most engaging bands I discovered by impulsively buying the CD of their 2014 release ‘Devouring’. Decomposed’s brand of meat and potatoes Swedish death metal is instantly alluring and I’ve been waiting for a follow up for quite some time now. Switch to 2016, and the band has now become a one man studio project with Jesper Ekstal handling everything with the help of drummer Emil Leijon. Their latest release, ‘Withering’ showcases how Decomposed has not suffered due to the exit of the other members and the band continues to deliver bludgeoning death metal, which is exactly what I’ve come to expect and love from this band.
Poland over the years has become the hub for quality death metal which often features influences from black metal. Heretique is no exception to that rule and with ‘De Non Existentia Dei’, the audience get blackened death metal that does not hesitate to show off a few frills. The take on the style is quite modern and the band manages to maintain a level of dark intensity throughout the record. This combination makes the album a highly enjoyable affair and one that does not compromise on any of the core black metal or death metal values to achieve that enjoyability.
What happens when the busiest man in metal decides that he wants to do something industrial? ‘As Dystopia Beckons’ happens. Rogga Johansson with drummer Brynjar Helgetun (Crypticus) has been releasing death metal albums under the Megascavenger moniker for about 4 years now and their releases usually feature guest appearances by the who’s who of death metal vocalists. ‘As Dystopia Beckons’ is the third full length release from Megascavenger and this time around, things get a turn towards the industrial soundscapes. This particular combination of death metal and industrial has been done quite a lot of times before, but hearing some of death metal’s best musicians tackle this is a whole new experience in itself.
Recent death metal releases from the likes of Horrendous, Tribulation and Morbus Chron (R.I.P) have done a solid ob of taking inspirations from the old school while adding their own unique and often progressive touches. Another band that follows a similar approach to their music is the UK based De Profundis. Starting out as a doom metal band, De Profundis have been shedding their doom influences over the course of their releases and on their latest release ‘Kingdom of the Blind’ the band comes off as a pure progressive death metal band that has influences stemming from the early days of the style.