March of 2019 was a month of quality. A vast amount of great music floated through the collective known as The Metal Wanderlust and let me assure you, there was much rejoicing. One thing we all noticed last month was the sheer brilliance of the Death Metal demo scene in the world right now. There’s a whole bloody mountain of unsigned greatness travelling the globe in the form of digital releases and re-animated tapes. As proof of that, quite many demos ended up on our March list simply due the fact they ruled, so don’t miss them, folks. Check out the future classics now, if you haven’t done that already. Besides the gory tapes, there’s a lot of Black Metal, Death Metal and Doom in our list as well. So, dig in!
Get ready for….
THE METAL WANDERLIST MARCH 2019:
20 – Misery Index – “Rituals of Power”
Some of the most thought provoking lyrics in Death/Grind environment are right here. Misery Index are back with a neck breaking mosh frenzy, which is maybe more Death than Grind this time around. Certainly more straightforward than their previous outing “The Killing Gods“, “Rituals of Power” is as relentless as it is effective. Some of the most mind blowing drumming in the genre, with all those nail gun riffs topped by seriously pissed off vocals is a recipe that makes “Rituals of Power” a definite must for all fans of aggressive music. Detailed leads and the aforementioned lyrics are all underlining the fact that extreme music can actually be pretty smart and in depth too, against the usual preconceptions.
19 – Undeath – “Demo ’19”
Underground Death Metal alert! Undeath are underlining the great quality of the Death Metal demo scene in 2019 to such a degree that we could all now stop raving about tapes that came out thirty years ago and focus on the sheer brilliance bubbling in the underground in the current day and age. Here we have angular, riff-oriented and absolutely fantastic lo-fi Death Metal for all you devotees of coffins, darkness and graveyards by night. Tremendous song writing carries the torch throughout and the sheer superior craftsmanship of Demo ´19 speaks volumes. Oh, and did we mention the Mortiis-esque keyboard interlude already? Sweet!!
18 – Pestilent Death -“Chapters of Depravity”
Another dose of underground Death Metal as it is meant to be! Pure sledgehammer through the forehead material, with heavy enough bass tones to shatter your eardrums, and your neighbour’s eardrums as well. If into early Undergang, you really should check this band out. Tight, no-nonsense drumming drives this beast forward from start to finish, giving “Chapters of Depravity” a lot of character. Effective brutality. No mercy asked or given.
17 – Frozen Soul – “Encased in Ice”
Total old school moshfest!! Maggot Stomp seems to be in an unstoppable groove right now, releasing one underground gem after another. The greatness of this particular weapon of mass destruction cannot really be explained enough. Like super heavy Celtic Frost on steroids coming at you with a tank and missiles. Needs to be heard to be understood!
16 – Baroness – “Gold & Grey”
Even though the new Baroness album is not coming out until June, it is causing a buzz in TMW headquarters already. Yes, we know it is not everybody’s cup of tea in an underground Extreme Metal perspective, but this is not stopping us getting stoked about the upcoming release. Go crazy on the new track “Borderlines” right here…
15 – Sickle of Dust – “In the Wake of the Night”
Atmospheric black metal band Sickle of Dust are taking the Summoning thing forward, by using real drums and giving more emphasis on melancholy guitar passages, rather than the endless layers of keyboards alone. This is something genuinely well done, composed and performed, never stepping on the toes of the atmospherics. Highly recommended!
14 – Sinmara – “Hvísl Stjarnanna”
Here we have one of the absolute hit albums of the underground Extreme Metal scene in 2019. An ethereal journey through those epic, yet a bit unsettling soundscapes familiar with Icelandic Black Metal. They have a sound of their own in there, and Sinmara are leading the charge right now. This is a thorough experience of sound, song, and atmosphere, and will be talked about quite a lot this year without a shred of doubt.
13 – Usurper – “Lords of Permafrost”
The album definitely sounds like they did not take a fourteen year break! No way. Chicago’s Usurper return with their first album since “Cryptobeast” (2005) and they do it with full force. Re-energized, they rummage through a timeless forty minutes of Old School Metal that fans of Celtic Frost and early Sepultura for example should not, or cannot miss. The brilliant cover art from Juha Vuorma only enhances the effect and feel of the return to form for Usurper. Just say ugh!!
12 – Oozing Wound – “High Anxiety”
Thrashy, Punk infused Sludgy goodness may sound a bit odd, but these people have actually made their thing work. Another Chicago represent, Oozing Wound come across as a total Crossover band making it hard to tell where the Thrash Metal ends and the Hardcore begins, and we don’t mean that crappy Hardcore shit these days, we mean the real stuff from days gone by. There’s still enough self identity in High Anxiety to prevent them becoming the Suicidal Tendencies, S.O.D. rip-off one might suspect. Those dirty nods towards Sludge are surely keeping things interesting here. And heavy too. Did we say heavy already? HEAVY!!
11 – Chaotian – “Festering Carcinolith”
The Kill-Town Death Metal scene is going on strong and Chaotian are bringing their own flavour to the gory mix. One of the heaviest and most straightforward bands to crawl up from sewers of Copenhagen, Chaotian are helping to make the percentage of demos in this month’s list rise to a new record. The demo scene in Death Metal is surely doing well right now!
10 -Leather Glove – “Perpetual Animation”
Now listen, here’s a record you need to hear. If into heavier kind of music, you need to listen to Leather Glove. Simple as that. Greg Wilkinson’s first audio assault under the monicker of Leather Glove takes the best sides of his peers (Acephalix, Autopsy, Necrot, Undergang and Vastum, that is) and marries their otherworldly brutality and blunt heaviness to an experimental side of Post-Punk. The mix is a step up to everything before mentioned, and a beast like no other. What a fucking monster of a record!!
9 – Vircolac – “Masque”
The Irish metal scene might be small, but it is loaded with passion, sheer dedication and talent. Being a Metal Head in Catholic Ireland is surely not going to be making you the coolest cat on the block, so it is a life style to be chosen, rather than a quick fling on the thing for the Metalheads there. Primordial, Mourning Beloveth, Abaddon Incarnate, Malthusian, Morphosis, Slidhr and Soothsayer all come across with better than average lyrical content, a huge amount of barbaric and raw emotion, all bundled up with killer riffs. And now we can add Vircolac to the list too. Even their EP a couple of years back was something one could not deny, but nothing prepared us for the assault that is their first full length, “Masque“. Loaded with exceptional riff work, dynamics and harsh, yet intelligent hostility this is not one to be missed by any means.
8 -Woe – “A Violent Dread” EP
A sign of life from Brooklyn’s Woe kept popping up in The Metal Wanderlust staff talks through the whole previous month. Venomous as ever, Woe give the listener a good twenty minutes of sheer excellence with their EP, and leave us waiting for a new album eagerly. Their 2017 album “Hope Attrition” was extremely well received, and if this EP is giving us any hints, so shall be the next one.
7 – Wormwitch – “Heaven that Dwells Within”
Extremely catchy Black Metal from Vancouver, with Folky and Crusty undertones keeping things interesting, the “Heaven that Dwells Within” promo became a very much listened to and praised work in the TMW headquarters. Hell, even occasional AOTY shouts were heard in regular basis. And the more there was a buzz, the more Wormwitch kept getting new fans in the ranks. Heck, even The Great Mackintosh was gushing about it and we all know what a Death/Doom barnacle he is! This record here is easy to access and easy to like, giving North American Black Metal another hefty boost this year.
6 – Warmoon Lord – “Burning Banners of the Funereal War”
The debut album of this Finnish one man band took the underground by a storm last month, and TMW was no exception. Here we have an album that successfully takes the spirit of the early nineties Black Metal scene, and brings it to the present day. Yes, the early works of Emperor and Immortal are there to be heard, but “Burning Banners of the Funereal War” is more than an album to please the nostalgia hungry old geezers. No, this is new music done in appreciation of the old. Not copying, rather starting a saga of its own. Even being a bit Necro, the melodies and riffs are memorable, and everything is nicely song oriented. Black Metal heads, do not miss this!
5 – Unurnment – “Spiritual Penury” EP
This brilliant EP by California’s Unurnment has found us totally unprepared for it’s savagery. Tons of Old School Suffocation/Deeds of Flesh – vibes present, “Spiritual Penury” simply rules and is as addictive as anything on this side of black, freshly brewed coffee. If into Technical, but undergroundish Death Metal here’s something you should dig your rotten teeth into. Bass heavy and a vile Old School recording, that is not afraid to be well performed. Line us in for the debut album already!
4 – Vargrav – “Reign in Supreme Darkness”
Another one man Black Metal band from Finland. They don’t seem to get along with other people in Finland, do they? Not in the light of the recent Black Metal gems at least they are not. Well, if the quality is this good, isolation is only serving a purpose it seems. If the debut album of Vargrav was a notable Black Metal record already, “Reign in Supreme Darkness” takes everything up a notch. Songs are even more carefully crafted, melodies more memorable, and above all – majestic. It may sound pretty lo-fi at first, but after a few listens it becomes clear that every sound and tone of an instrument has been carefully planned to set the tone and paint a picture. A record that sounds like a starlit sky in very cold weather looks like. File under the very best of Black Metal in 2019.
3 – Illimitable Dolor – “Leaden Light”
Brilliant, brilliant funeral doom from Australia, Illimitable Dolor seem to have hit the bulls-eye with their sophomore album. The passion, the melancholy, the melodies, the fragility and the utter heaviness – it is all there and in a perfect balance. This record takes us back to the days when UK Doom was in it’s prime, reminding us of how great bands like Anathema and My Dying Bride were in their heyday, and doing this all on their own terms as well. A stupefyingly great record that is heading to many album of the year charts, and that’s a fucking fact!
2 -Witchers Creed – “Awakened from the Tomb”
The debut album by these young Swedes dropped like a bomb in our headquarters. Such a great thing to see young people bringing their own touch to the classic Doom sound of Black Sabbath, Pentagram and Witchfinder General. What makes “Awakened from the Tomb” so good is Witchers Creed’s ability to add a refreshing rock riff or two to the mix. After all, none of the classic Doom bands were only extremely slow crawling, but they could kick up a jam anytime they wanted to and this is what these guy’s do too. Witchers Creed seem also to be a band that understands the essence of the primary source of Sabbath – the Blues, they grasp this concept quite well, and this might be the biggest reason why “Awakened from the Tomb” comes across as fresh and not a even a least bit fake, like some of their Doom peers tend to be.
1 – Noisem – “Cease to Exist”
Holy giant flocks of carrion Batman!! The number one record of this month is nothing short of a monster. Yes, it has a lot in common with the Grindy early years of certain group from Liverpool, but to make it clear – there’s Carcass worship and then there’s Carcass worship. “Cease to Exist“, the third full album from Baltimore’s Noisem, is not a result of boneheaded cloning, rather the furthest thing from it. It takes the unstoppable drive of “Symphonies of Sickness“, and mutates it further to be a device of it’s own. One team member even pointed out similarities to older Kreator in the vocal delivery, and the sheer aggression on display. It’s nasty, it’s a bit Punky, but above all, it’s sharp like the crack of a whip. A very rotten whip, that is. Gory. Covered partly in old vomit, but damn it serves the purpose it was made for well. Hail the new masters!
Like that shit hey! Well, there will be more net month!! Fark yeah! Cheers from all of us!!