After the break a review of their strong work together on this killer off label 7″.
Crusted, charred death metal mixes with the stench of doom, punctuated with mordant battle cries that scar the psyche. Ahna’s recent incarnation on their Perpetual Warfare EP is a ruthless slog through a massacre. Morbid accounts of a ceaselessly rotting humanity are animated by a vocal onslaught unlike any others who attempt this style.
As some of you no doubt already know Great Falls will be readying a new record for this year: The Fever Shed. They’ve also got a split with Thou where both cover some Shellac tunes. I’m quite excited about this and you should be as well.
In the mean time however there’s a few related recordings to explore.
I recently picked up several tapes curated by Demian Johnston’s label Dead Accents, where he continues proliferating related, often darker projects like Blsphm or obscure additions to past projects and the Great Falls discography.
Here I’ll focus on two of three recent Blsphm recordings, and one Great Falls live/experimental release titled Ossature, which might be geared towards the diehards and collectors out there.
Tapes of a Neon God once more assemble a cadre of sounds you won’t likely hear elsewhere, and much like the previous collections you’ll find that the selection on this split offers another distinctive probe into the lesser known corners of these genres.
Containing five tracks that approach the task both differently and successfully, this limited, aesthetically stunning tape should interest those who’ve been following TOANG’s releases especially if you match my great enthusiasm for them.
This is TOANG #1 so stream it, dig in, and read below.
By way of Canada a rising scourge and a notorious plague birthed from death coalesce on this split CD from Vault of Dried Bones, the resulting malady of Warpit of Coiling Atrocities is unquestionably savage.
Back in heydays of Equivoke I was fortunate enough to be contacted by Night Heir, when their debut Wind In My Dream Mist In My House got a limited release on tape. What became acutely obvious to me after digesting the record was that this group were clearing new paths between genres and made it interesting, honestly toiling in a dark corner among friends in a manner I and others should be aware of.
Since that time their clandestine progression around the edges of black metal has never left my radar. Their 2013 follow-up showed their well of potential was indeed deep, their sound unfurling comfortably for a longer, increasingly profuse experience.
However there was no physical press in the works upon A Maze Of Evenings’ release. In fact the last I heard from Sean Barry (late 2013) A Maze Of Evenings was being shopped for an analog release, following a remastering by James Plotkin who’s veteran touch has been felt on many records readers have encountered no doubt, one example being a recent favorite of mine Accidents Grotesque by Great Falls.
This reformation brought their ever inquisitive sound into a richer bloom than even the initial release. Patience held strong it seems because Night Heir now have copies of A Maze Of Evenings on tape pressed through Bough House. I strongly recommend that those who are interested in this get in contact with the band.
Follow after the break.
There’s an honorable mentions and missing in action section but this is largely about the releases I spent the most time with in 2014. Many of which I’ve written about in the course of the year.
It’ll be short so read on after the break.
A generous split created to both agitate and soothe through gnawing textures, visceral climaxes, and cruel, stimulating noise convulsions. Social Cancer collects impressive material from two haunting artists who grow more interesting with each release.
Savage and fatal, an act resurrecting iron-scoured bones from sunken death metal trenches. Deathwinds’ Endless Wastelands is a striking but brief glimpse into a new maelstrom seeping out of Vancouver.
With only three tracks on this EP curated by Vault of Dried Bones Endless Wastelands invades the minds of those who encounter it with a debilitating vision of war. Unbearably heavy, thoroughly satisfying and hideous. A caustic bestial scourge to beware of.
From the corpse of Obacha a new Squamish three piece has recorded a demo that somehow manages to match and potentially surpass the absurd spastic hostility that Obacha was known for. Throat Slitter is not fucking around.
Yeah this is flesh-stripping, paint cracking, organ rupturing powerviolence. A six minute mauling. I’m obsessed with it, jamming it all the time. No bullshit just raw grinding.
False Flag is six tracks of bulldozing mayhem showcasing the best of Boddicker’s meld of thrashing grind and neck-snapping hardcore so far. Each song sharpened to a deadly edge, with attitude and vocal attack that sears. In short it’s awesome.
Put this shit on and channel some of the excruciating tension Michael and Nick felt in that hut playing Russian roulette.
Here’s two new-ish splits in Ahna‘s camp that I’ve been slacking on talking about. The last record I reviewed of theirs was the Empire LP which continued the filthy powerviolence infused doom trampling they so uniquely inhabit, but stranger still.
Ahna actually just went on a Stench of Death tour so if they play near you, attend.
They’ve been busy evolving since Empire. On these splits specifically Ahna share space with two different hardcore groups while they themeslves venture towards the darkened trenches of old school death metal. They dig up the dust from the likes of Bolt Thrower or Dismember and Morbid Scream but with bursts of Anju’s vocals and their doom-violence past adding a fiercer bite to the battle.
As for their split mates? No slouches here. Cetascean has reputation in Canada as being on top and killer. After seeing them not long ago that’s definitely confirmed and this new stuff rips. Contorture hail from Sweden and grind through a bleak four minutes of d-beat destruction which compliments Ahna’s empire dismantling march.
Children are our Future has me excited enough to skip it ahead of a few other reviews.
I once saw Godstopper while living in Toronto. They were admittedly overshadowed by my excitement seeing Mare headline on a second night of reunion but I didn’t ignore their simultaneously crushing and gentle noisy doom-rock. It would be hard to do considering their curious, irregular patina.
That was the year they released What Matters, the show was actually a month before it, and the LP grew on me quickly quite well. It’s undeniable that you won’t hear much like it.
And now their draw to something deeper in the simpler territories of heavy and beautiful reveals Children are our Future, their new EP, and it’s genuinely stunning. This is a great step for this band.
Abhorrent Endings rips.
I’ve had mixed feelings about Boston’s hardcore quintet New Lows. When Harvest of the Carcass came out I gave it several chances but was eventually attracted to their first demo’s sound more than the LP. Just how loud and unfettered it was with four perfectly flattening songs, everything came together in simple animosity so well.
Of course I didn’t catch on that they released something new this year until a month post-release. I was curious as to what they’ve been up to.
Upon giving this a shot I was pleasantly surprised by Abhorrent Endings and I’ve been stuck on it nearly as much as their old demo. The songs are powerhouses of crushing riffs and spastic, livid vocals, inescapably potent loathing ringing across each one and clinging to my memory.
While living in Toronto in from 2011 onward Thantifaxath became a regular presence at black and death metal shows I had attended. And due to their distinct approach as well as stage presence those attending were always drawn to their performances.
I must have seen them at least five times not including Messe des Morts II in Montreal which was the last chance I had. I’m quite familiar with their self-titled EP as well. It’s burned into my brain: practically lustrous at times while simultaneously able to explore eccentric dark textures, verging on surreal atmospheres.
The promise was there to develop further in this fertile territory of their sound, it just took some time. I saw glimpses in each live appearance. Sacred White Noise delivers on that promise thoroughly as a record that expatiates in unexpected, breathtaking ways the meaning of uncanny black metal. This is an impressive album.