Written by Kyle Messick
Another week of sickness!
Static Abyss – Labyrinth of Veins (2022). The debut by Static Abyss should be a comfortable listen for any fan of Autopsy, as the band is made up of two members of the aforementioned and Chris Reifert’s distinctive guttural is immediately recognizable. Musically it’s a great mix of upbeat death metal and doomier passages. It is a bit different from the Autopsy sound since the music is by Greg Wilkinson, who only recently joined Autopsy, but the mix of old school death and doom still makes this feel similar to Autopsy, although I’d say the compositions on Labyrinth of Veins are more adventurous than many recent Autopsy songs.
Mutilatred – Determined to Rot (2022). The sophomore full length from Ohio’s Mutilatred continues to bring a smorgasbord of nasty death metal riffage, with the vocals dipping a little more in brutal death territory here than on its predecessors. Similarly, the music seems to take more inspiration from 90s New York brutal death, including with the raw production. It all makes for an incredibly heavy new album that is as brutal as anything you’ll hear this year.
Internal Decay – A Forgotten Dream (1993). The only album by Internal Decay from Sweden is one of the rarest albums in my collection. This album is often listed amongst obscure 90s death metal gems, however, I think that description is very misleading. It’s death metal in the way that Unanimated is death metal. There’s some old school riffs in there, but the howled vocals are a lot more black metal, and musically the album often sounds like atmospheric black or melodic black mixed with elements that sound out of the Gothenburg scene. Regardless of labels, it’s a great and often beautiful album that many adore, and for good reason.
Cinerary – Rituals of Desecration (2001). The only release by Cinerary from Chicago is an incredible brutal death metal EP. It’s what death metal sounds like to people that don’t listen to death metal. The lineup on this is also ridiculous. You have main vocals from Matti Way of Liturgy, Abominable Putridity, Pathology, and Disgorge. You have drums and backing vocals from Ricky from Suffocation and Disgorge, and additional backing vocals from Jamie Bailey from Brodequin and Liturgy. All of that over top guitars by Cinerary songwriter Dan Louise makes for an incredible brutal death EP.
Amenorrhea – Realms of Desolation (2019). Serial killer worshipping bands are hardly a new thing in death metal, as popularized by bands like Macabre, but this is a pretty fun take on that approach. It has the expected audio clips from killers, but it sounds pretty fresh musically. It isn’t as down-tuned as many bands, it’s often pretty upbeat, it has plenty of fun grooves, and the vocals are more of a proto-death thrash shout.
Posthuman Abomination – Mankind Recall (2022). The next few are sick new releases from Comatose Music. Posthuman Abomination are an Italian band that formed in 2014 that includes members of Vulvectomy and Septycal Gorge, among others. This is their sophomore album, which is brutal and often technical death metal with a pretty tight drum performance. It’s a relentless album with plenty of intense transitions.
Sijjeel – Salvation Within Insanity (2022). This is the debut from a band that initially started in Saudi Arabia and has since become a more international collaboration. It’s another intense new brutal death release, but with a lot of movements and thought going into each track. I especially love the prominence of the bass in the mix. It really cuts through and it’s so refreshing.
Between the Killings – Reflection of Murder (2022). It’s a promising little EP from members of Severed Headshop, Sarcophagy, Rupture Christ, and more. The physical version of this is well worth getting as the comic-book style booklet is pretty awesome with individual art pieces for each song. The first song is basically an instrumental piece with samples over top, but after that it kicks into some full brutal death. ‘Invoked’ is a lot of fun with plenty of tempo changes and a varied vocal approach. ‘From Interest to Obsession’ speeds things up a bit before ‘Contrivance’ gets more into mid-paced grooving. It’s a promising and fun EP from a new band.
Leprophiliac – Slimebath (2022). Leprophiliac from Spain are a band I continually praise. They play no-nonsense mid-tempo death metal with duel vocalists. That’s exactly the sound they continue with on their new EP, and although it doesn’t feel as fresh or inspired as their debut, there’s still plenty of charm in what they do. It’s just ugly, genuine death metal.
Exhumed – Severely Rotted Dead + Unreleased Demo 1993 (1992-1993). Not to be confused with the well-known goregrind band that formed in California in 1990, this Exhumed formed in 1991, and also came from California, but they are stylistically different. That might be a source of some confusion, but this Exhumed played an ugly style of thrashy death metal closer to Cannibal Corpse and Baphomet in sound than grindcore. It’s awesome, fierce, and raw stuff.
Obscene – …from Dead Horizon to Dead Horizon (2022). The sophomore album by Obscene from Indianapolis shows a band growing with more refined songwriting, more leads and solos, but while still being a fun “ough”-worshipping time. The Asphyx-style vocals polarized many listeners on their first album, but I think the sound, mix, and implementation of them is much stronger here, so even if you couldn’t get down with the debut, give this one a shot.
Veiyadra – Gehenna . This band is basically into riff salad song structures, but I genuinely enjoy that type of songwriting. The varied riffs and tempo changes here combined with the riff salad structures make for a continually enthralling brutal death metal album. The riffs are all quality too, often finding a good mix of caveman brutality and technical flair.
Disgorged – Complete Discography. I feel like it was a missed opportunity not calling this the “Complete Disgorgraphy”, but it’s still an essential collection of one of the most underrated brutal death metal bands. This is masterful New York style brutal death featuring Dave Culross on drums before he played in Suffocation, Pyrexia, and Malevolent Creation. It’s absolutely essential if you’re a fan of New York brutal death and don’t already own their stuff.
Victims of Internal Decay – Victims of Internal Decay (1993). Here’s another rare death metal album, but with a sound somewhere in-between Obituary and Accidental Suicide. It’s a pretty sick album and gets slept on too often. If you love mid-paced 90s death metal, this is another one worth adding to your playlist. In addition to a ‘thanks’ section, the album also includes a ‘no thanks whatsoever’ section for ‘loose gravel, careless horse owners, routers, cops, and all who abuse animals and humans’, among others. Still timely!
White Ward – False Light (2022). The new album from White Ward out of Ukraine might be my black metal album of the year. It’s epic avant-garde black metal with brilliant saxophone and masterful use of tension and release songwriting. The story is rooted in a Ukrainian piece of literature a hundred years ago. This album moves me in ways similar to what I experienced from the masterful Mirrorthrone albums. It’s a powerful album from inhabitants of a country facing real hardship, and even through that turmoil, they’ve provided this exquisite and moving journey of an album for the rest of the world to experience.