We riding this OSDM train to the last fuckin’ station, fam. I’ve been listening to death metal for the past 48 hours straight it seems, so much so that Spotify is offering me up a Dinner With Friends playlist like it knows I’ve lied catatonic engulfed in a maelstrom of blastbeats and growling and that it really hopes I’m doing okay.
Obliteration is a Norwegian death metal band that’s been around for a hot minute, forming in 2001 and having four full lengths to their name. Cenotaph Obscure, their fourth album is the first I’ve heard of them since it seemed to climb the ranks of many peoples’ lists of the top albums of 2018. Now, we’ve already established that playing good, old fashioned death metal is fine as long as you’re ahead of the curve in some way. Necrot brought the riffs like nobody else, and Depravity were gut bustingly heavy enough to release albums that stood out among the enormous swathes of average, boring, and played out death metal albums that have been cropping up for literal decades now. Obliteration seems to have garnered praise for their fusing of traditional OSDM and the niche skronks and atmosphere of sci-fi leaning bands like Timeghoul (maybe the best band name ever) and Demilich (still awful, fight me), as well as their incorporation of black metal speed and tremolo picked riffs. Sounds like quite a cocktail, but I cannot stress how much of a dummy I am, so let’s see how these Norwegians stack up to these ears.
On this new musical journey this blog is going on we’ve been to to darkest reaches of space, to the underbelly of New York City, and straight into the bowels of Hell itself, so strange and unusual destinations aren’t outside of our options when exploring this vast new world of writing too many words describing things nobody cares about. Now let’s enter the dark fantasy realm of Hyboria!
Conan, for the uninitiated, is a crushingly heavy doom band from Liverpool, England. What does “crushingly heavy” mean, exactly? Well, for starters, they tune their instruments to drop F, which means the guitars come in just a hair higher pitched than a standard tuned bass, and Conan‘s bass sits nearly a whole octave below normal. Old interviews reveal that they tirelessly obsess over the gear they play and maintain it as thoroughly as possible to retain every last ounce of volume and bass response as possible to create the heaviest, biggest sound possible. As someone who dabbles in amplifier worship, I gotta respect that hustle.
New year, same old shit. The world’s all jacked up, go listen to death metal.
Depravity (no, not that Depravity) are an Australian brutal death metal band who have been gestating down under until they hit the international underground scene this year with their debut full length Evil Upheaval. While having kind of a dopey name for their first album, Depravity do make the statement that “this is what Morbid Angel should have sounded like today”. Bold claim. I ain’t gonna defend Morbid Angel‘s subpar output as of late, but implying you’re going to be putting out a sequel to Covenant twenty-five years later is one hell of a flex. Could it be possible?
Imperial Triumphant are a New York based experimental black metal trio who have been making waves this year in the heavy music circuit with their third full length album, Vile Luxury. It’s a testament to their home city, a statement about New York’s dichotomy between lavish wealth and opulence and disgusting underbelly co-existing together. Get it? Vile Luxury? I thought it was pretty clever.
I’ve mentioned before on this blog how I feel about albums with long run times. Sometimes they’re great, and sometimes they begin to push their luck. Usually the first thing you see when you fire up an album is how long it’s runtime is, how many songs there are, and how long each of the songs are. I don’t have the greatest attention span, so albums over 45 minutes are usually a struggle with me to complete in one sitting. I’m also big on trying to get into the mood or atmosphere of an album, so I try my best to listen to albums all the way through, front-to-back on the first time I take a crack at them. It’s a weird issue, but it’s how my brain works, for better or worse. Vile Luxury clocks in at just under an hour, and is bookended by a couple quick tunes dancing around the six minute mark. Yes, you read that right. The head and tail of this beast are dwarfed by a monolithic block of eight and nine minute songs in the middle. I’m not even a big black metal fan. What the hell have I gotten myself in to?
Apparently, this is just a death metal blog now. It isn’t, I’m just on a roll listening to music and have been falling further and further behind in my movie watching. Oops.
Necrot is a relatively new death metal band, having formed in 2011 with a handful of demos brought together into a compilation released in 2016. Last year, they finally released their first, bloody slab of a full length titled Blood Offerings on Tankcrimes Records. While they seemed to bubble under the surface of death metal for so many years, with Blood Offerings, they’ve emerged from the primitive swamp to lay one foot firmly into the headbanging public’s eyes.