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The Obituarist

Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder’s 21 Bands to Thaw Your Frozen Ass Out This Spring

Posted by on March 30, 2016 at 5:01 pm

Photo by Casey Carlton

Hello again hellions, Trevor, The Obituarist here… ready to yet again guide your sweaty little fingers to the pulse of the extreme metal underground. I am very much stoked on the spread of talent this month… there’s some really great stuff sure to please all of you bloodthirsty sickos.

As usual, I encourage you to spread the word about these bands and of course to buy some releases if you find something you like… your lone contribution to the scene is one that can be immediately felt by bands of this size. The artists and labels are counting on you to help out… if you, the fans won’t, who will?

Abnormality – Mechanisms of Omniscience

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Purveyors of relentless technical death metal brutality Abnormality hail from Marlborough, Massachusetts and feature alumni from all sorts of established New England death metal staples including Goratory, Parasitic Extirpation, Scaphism, and Sexcrement… you just can’t beat a pedigree like that and Abnormality is indeed greater than the sum of its parts. This shit is full throttle out of the gates and a prominent and welcome Cryptopsy element makes itself known early on… I’m loving that aspect… I hear a lot of stuff in Mechanisms of Omniscience that’s on par with Whisper Supremacy. The first song is called “Swarm” and boy is that an appropriate name, because immediately you are met with one of those panic riffs that makes you feel like bees are crawling all over you… take cover!!! Vocalist Mallika Sundaramurthy has a sick low /mid range register roar with a cool dryness to it… she puts on an impressive growling display with nice patterning to boot. I’m digging the raw snare sound… its nice and loud… it sounds really forceful on those scattered Flo Mounier type blasts. Fifth track “Vigilant Ignorance” has a big shout along worthy chorus… well done, I love hearing a prominent, proper chorus appearing in this kind of death metal… it truly makes it the total package. The recording is full and heavy but has a nice live feel… it’s really the best of all worlds. You just can’t go wrong with Abnormality right now. Grab one from the almighty Metal Blade Records here.

Aborted – Retrogore

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Aborted are back in 2016 with Retrogore and I have to say my excitement for them has once again come to a head after the stunning Termination Redux ep… I preordered from indiemerch with a sick album cover shirt and I just cannot wait for this to drop. The preview song is excellent… absolutely raging muscular and technical brutal death metal and I will reiterate that I believe Aborted to be in the best shape of Sven’s 20 year crusade… everyone holds them to the Goremageddon standard, but I think they have eclipsed even that in recent times. Click the play button, shit your pants, and order one now.

Cobalt – Slow Forever

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Finally! The return of Colorado based multi-instrumentalist Erik Wunder and his two-man ensemble known as Cobalt with a monolithic double album in Slow Forever. I had no idea until very recently that Chicago madman Charlie Fell was involved in the new incarnation of Cobalt… makes sense though, he’s one morose motherfucker… you can only follow a presence as misanthropic as the controversially ousted Phil McSorely with someone with an equally fucked up past, I guess. Charlie, as troubled as he may be, is one hell of an intense musician and I am glad for him to get some dues after basically having his own band Lord Mantis mutinized out from under him. His vocals here are absolutely vitriolic and downright harrowing… the pain his voice exudes comes from a real place within his distressed soul… he is the tormented character this band needed to move forward with the same honesty. I’m hoping that this change of the guard means a more prolific and active band and will see them on the touring circuit worldwide, as previous singer McSorely’s military related obligations had definitely put a dash on that in the past. Material wise this is everything you expect from Cobalt… cobweb covered Americana meets black metal as seen through a dusty sepia colored lens to the past. Sublime, psychedelic, emotive, lawless, dangerous… Slow Forever is all of these things and more. Pour yourself a gin, smoke a joint and watch the tumbleweeds blow by with one of the best albums your ears could be privy to this year. Grab it now.

Condition Critical – Extermination Plan

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Tight as balls outfit Condition Critical are back to punch you square in the face with some volcanic death laden thrash tuneage that will bang you head right the fuck off! These young New Jersey residents drop some seriously venomous thrash with a mean as fuck edge that takes cues from Demolition Hammer, Blood Feast, Devastation and Morbid Saint. I am totally loving the comic book style artwork here… it nicely marries the old with the new, sort of like Condition Critical’s sound. If you dug the first handful of Warbringer albums, don’t let these exciting young bucks pass you by.

Corprophemia – Abhorrogenesis

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Poop-breathed Canadians Corprophemia are back after a nine year stretch of absence with their sophomore slab of sick grinding brutal death metal… Abhorrogenesis! The sound of and approach to the raw drumming recall early Necrotic Disgorgment… it’s really live and trashy sounding in a cool way. When in full on death/grind mode, there is a frantic runaway train vibe to it, like it could derail at any moment with notice… it reminds me of Embalmer, and Morgue (Fra). On the other side of the coin, there are some really modern sounding breakdowns and grooving moments that harken to the current metalcore (and sometimes djent) scene… it may sound weird on paper to combine these elements but the results are pretty darn good and quite refreshing. The vocals are far less guttural than they were on Arrived In Pieces in favor of that inhaled approach that all the Indonesians across the world are crazy for… which is a slight bummer if you ask me… I’m all about gory sounding vocals they had on the debut. Overall, this is a cool band that deserves to be on a lot more people’s radars. Head over to CDN records and get a piece of the action!

Grim Feast – Masturbatory Afterlife


This is definitely one of my favorite entries this month, the twisted unholy sickness of Hamilton Ohio’s Grim Feast!!! Imagine if you will a nasty bubbling cauldron of cess which intermingles early Deicide , goregrind, and a sprinkle of Archgoat’s black/death blitz… the outcome is horrifying… I absolutely love this and you will too. The vocals are the best part… sick voices and sick layers… the layering and catchiness of the vocals particularly in the choruses is very Glenn Benton-esque. You can understand most of what the guy is saying and it’s not pretty… “I desecrate my coffin with crusted layers of cum!” I love the blatant shock value of the lyrics… it’s quite over the top. Definitely a drum machine here, but it sounds good and lends to it’s goregrind aspect, reminding me of Lymphatic Phlegm. I don’t know much about this two man band and not even Metal Archives is privy to any info on them, but I do know that Carter Hicks of Ohio’s melodic black metal masters Valdrin is one of the parties responsible. Grab this now from Bandcamp and hope and pray for more from these freaks in the distant future. I would buy some kind of physical manifestation of this racket in a heartbeat!

Interment – Scent Of The Buried

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Always pumped on some new output from legends Interment! It’s been a while since their last full length outing (2010’s superb Into the Crypts of Blasphemy) and I’m sure you’re just as ready for another long playing slab of classic HM-2 fueled swedeath sickness as I am. Fuck man, there are countless old Swedish and Finnish bands getting back together and trying to recapture their former glory but I’ll say it right now, Interment are more deadly in their present second incarnation than they were in the early 90s… they are in absolute murderous form and sounding vital as hell. Right out of the gates Scent Of The Buried takes off like a wild fire, igniting all in its path… these dudes rip without question. I like the minimal artwork here, a throwback to the tape trading days of yore, surely. If you want to hear retro done right in the way that only a band who was there in the heyday could provide, grab Scent Of The Buried now and get your headbang on… your time machine awaits!

KhthoniiK Cerviiks – SeroLogiikal Scars (Vertex of Dementiia)

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Holy weird! These German dudes are fantastically strange and are poised to be the next big thing in the dissonant dark death underground… masters of all that is bizarre; Kthoniik Cerviiks! Man, these krauts have combined the weirdness of thrash scientists Voivod with the pig-snouted death/black lawlessness of Sadistik Exekution… You can see it in their logo and choice of artwork as well as hear it in their sideways approach to extreme metal. It’s organic, alien, dischordant and challenging music for the thinking extremist. Fans of Gorguts, Baring Teeth, Artificial Brain, and Portal should be all about Khthoniik Cerviiks’ brand of rule breaking progressive death. Seize them shits on LP or digital now.

Krater – Urere

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Sweet! This is my first go at Krater, and I have to say I am very impressed with this German horde, playing a blasting, straight forward black metal that takes the listener screaming headlong into the lungs of the abyss. Definitely nothing new here but it’s executed quite convincingly. Urere has a hellacious vibe… I definitely think more of fire than I do sheets of falling snow… good on these guys. I dig the deeper style vocal that is most prevalent here… sounds nice and grimy. Sometimes melancholic, sometimes ritualistic… Krater rule at high speeds but they also excel at slower parts, allowing the song to breath and creating a nice emotive atmosphere. These dudes are the real deal and will blow your black metal skirt up…. Grab one now!

Morphogenetic Malformation – Dominion of Primordial Chaos

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Do you even slam, bro? If you do, you may remember these German freaks from their excellent contribution to the Impregnated Through Pathogenic Agony four way compilation that came out last year on Rebirth the Metal Productions. Their contribution there was sick but 2016 finds Morphogenetic Malformation in even sharper form, back with a searing vengeance and an eagerness to slam your ass into oblivion. As opposed to some other metal subgenres, I actually really like slam in an EP form… 4-5 songs is about all I can take in one gulp… it’s not the most varied genre in the world… better to leave them wanting more than to slam them to sleep, I think! Germany’s Putrescence Records is a newer label, but they’ve assembled a nice roster (Rotten Vomit, Ideologies Embodied, Cerebral Abscess) if you are into the guttural slamming side of life. Give these guys a listen then head over to the Putrescence records bandcamp store to pick one up!

Necrot – The Labyrinth


Rotten death metal legions, assemble!!! Oakland’s sons of putrid down tuned death metal Necrot are poised to drop their excellent new full length album The Labyrinth through Tank Crimes records on April 15th and I for one can’t wait! Current and former members of cali greats Vastum, Acephalix, Saviours and Watch Them Die are all at play here, and like each of these fantastic underground units, Necrot is a bit crusty around the edges. The first handful of Bolt Thrower albums are obvious influences here… I hear some Grave as well. The vocal is dry and direct… somewhere between a Karl Willets of BT and a John Walker of Cancer… I guess you could say it’s an old school English approach. If you dig War Master, Steel Bearing Hand or the aforementioned Vastum or Acephalix, you’ll dig this for sure! Grab the vinyl or cd now from the incredibly fan centric label Tank Crimes… the cd is only $6.66!!!

Plebeian Grandstand – False Highs, True Lows

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France’s sons of blackened writhing audio damage Plebeian Grandstand have returned in more chaotic form than ever with False Highs True Lows and the result is perfectly abysmal. Dissonance has become such a prominent facet of modern black metal, and these guys certainly have taken the idea and ran with it to a definite extreme. Dark, artful, dread-inducing; 2016 sees Plebeian Grandstand in a vitriolic boil; not all that different from the sounds on Lowgazers… perhaps a touch less of the chaotic hardcore influence… think less One Eyed God Prophecy and Buried Inside, more Gorguts. If you can dig Deathspell Omega, Numinous, or Dodecahedron, this may be the headache you’re looking for. Grab it here.

Priapus – Depressant

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Along with fellow unsigned wunderkind Vengeful and Unhuman, Priapus are one of those utterly disgusting yet under-the-radar bands that has me wanting to start a label of my own… I just don’t understand why these guys aren’t on Relapse or Willowtip… this should be exactly what they are looking for in 2016 if you ask me. For those that didn’t pay attention in school, Priapus is a fertility god out of Greek mythology, notable for being depicted with a huge jealousy inducing perma-boner. You can’t blame the guy, If I were him and this very band were my namesake, my dick would be pretty hard too. As with their previous releases, the amount of anger that this Greensboro North Carolina trio has emoted here is just palpable; their fury is second to none; you really get the feeling that these guys have been disenfranchised by the human experience and are eager to tell you all about it. Priapus embody the bleak outlook of a world in decline and are waiting for the end time, in fact, they’re hard for it. The guitarist is amazingly technical… he has that pinch harmonic happy; stream of consciousness sounding style that Malignancy’s Ron Kachnic is so fond of… shit is outstanding. Rounded out by a nice and ragin’ Discordance Axis cover, Depressant is crucial modern day madness for any fan of tech grinders like Maruta, Kalibas, Defeatist, Gridlink or Mother Brain. Preorders should be up any second now here.

Range Of Mutilated – Post Traumatic Perish

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Indonesian brutal death sickos Range Of Mutilated have returned!!! I dig the hell out of these guys, I have their last album Beheaded Or Melted as well and I was stoked to see they had a new one in the pipes… this is pretty good, too! The guitar has a really grainy bizarre sound to it that is pretty atypical, its like something from early Napalm Death or Blood (DE)… I like it actually, it helps the material stand out and helps give some humanity to what would otherwise be a pretty machine like display. The drums have your typical protools sound… can’t tell if the guy actually played it or not because the sound is so sample heavy… gives it that mechanized feel of Perverted Dexterity. Surprisingly quick and cool little grooves pop out here and there that you might find on a Dying Fetus album. If you dig Indonesian bands like Bleeding Corpse and Digging Up, give these sick bastards a shot! Grab one now from WAAR Productions.

Rotting Obscene – Depths Of Decay

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Wow! This was a pleasant surprise. Screaming out of Blacksburg, Virginia comes Rotting Obscene, boasting a very catchy and well executed brand of technical/brutal death metal that harkens to the golden era of the genre (early 2000’s). Notably, they also share a member with Human Infection in bassist Andrew Mathews, who these guys somewhat remind me of along with Severed Savior and Odious Mortem. The technicality Rotting Obscene display here is pretty impressive, they know how and when to shred and when to open the song up and let it breathe… they also know how to kick your ass, borrowing from the Suffocation school of groove filled beatdown to gnarly effect; choosing to crush the listener with style rather than some mindless, single string doo-doo slam. The immensely talented, progressive (and sometimes melodic) guitar playing should appeal to fans of Texas wizards Abhorrent… there is a very professional flow and purpose to the madness of Depths Of Decay, not just a bunch of tacked together parts as so many technical brutal death bands tend to be. There is also some nice melodic soloing to break things up. If you long for Unique Leader’s early to mid 2000s heyday, these guys could scratch the golden era brutal death itch. Grab one here.

Rotting Repugnancy – Harbingers Of The Last Judgement

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These English blokes play old school mid paced death metal that’s equal parts Jungle Rot, Gutted (OH), and Bolt Thrower. This shit pummels the listener with a fist pumping sound straight out of the early 90s… I don’t think this will be for everyone but I certainly like it. The chops these fellas choose to exhibit on Harbingers Of The Last Judgement are very simplistic but also redonkulously catchy if you can get into this stripped down, bare bones style of yore. After about a song and a half I found myself really loving it. If you like These Are They, Torture Killer, Debauchery or Weak Aside, head over to CDN records and take the plunge!

Surgikill – Sanguinary Revelations

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Sometimes, you can judge a book by its cover… I was drawn in by the logo and artwork for this beast… I had a real hunch this was going to be sick! Surgikill fit right in alongside defining early Razorback records classics such as Bloodfreak, Lord Gore, and Frightmare… it’s fun, gory and campy blood soaked death/grind the way Impetigo intended it to be… what a surprise it was to see that Stevo Dobbins was actually a part of the four(!) pronged vocal festivities! Razorback heads Billy and Vanessa Nocera came to the party as well on guitar and vocals and joining them is yet another death metal underground power couple in bassist Zdenka Prado and guitarist/drummer Ash Thomas of Estuary and FaithXtractor fame. F.D.A. Rekotz was smart to snatch these dudes and dudettes up, this is yet another great addition to their awesome ever growing roster. Grab this now for a ghastly good time.

Syphilic – Indicted States Of America

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Basement dwelling introverted weirdo Brian Forgue is back with yet another slab of insanely brutal death metal sure to scare the pants off any pretenders out there… this shit will easily separate the men from the boys. As you’ve probably guessed, Brian does NOT like the police… this shit makes “Cop Killer” look like fucking candyland… I wonder if Charlton Heston is going to end up reading the lyrics to The Indicted States Of America aloud to the courtroom like he did Ice –T’s (haha). Inhuman butthole vocals, crazy technical riffing, nice bass counterpoint… this album is fucking mean! As far as minor complaints go, I find the guitars (and bass) to be a little loud, wouldn’t mind a bit more drum violence. I must commend Brian for hooking up with Luxor records and Victory Merch… the ease and price of the storefront has lowered the cost overall for the fans and saved Brian from his mud filled treks to the post office. I hear that the next Syphilic album is going to feature real drumming… that will definitely take things to the next level… an exciting prospect. In the meantime, grab this slab of pig punishing hatred http://www.victorymerch.com/store/syphilichere.

Virulency – The Anthropodermic Manuscript of Retribution

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Two words bro, EVIL fucking LIBRARY!!! The artwork by Russian bad ass Daemorph is just a knock out… has me wondering what death metal artwork is going to look like 10 years from now… dudes like him are always pushing the boundaries. As far as the excellent tuneage held inside, Virulency purvey grinding brutal death metal with the best of ‘em. For me personally this is the best release New Standard Elite has put forth in a while; overshadowing Injury Deepen in terms of professionality and variety. I love the snarly vocals and the subtle layering thereof, dude sounds like an inhuman pig snouted frog-freak, similar to Tom Bradfield of Repulsive Dissection/Twitch Of The Death Nerve… I go nuts for that sickening croak!!! I’ve noticed the country of Spain is host to a lot of these snarling types, probably a trickle down of influence from Dave Rotten of Avulsed fame. The bass guitar throughout The Anthropodermic Manuscript of Retribution is quite distinct and does some adventurous fret frolicking; sometimes it has that elastic-y “stick” type sound that recalls tech nerds Sadus and Spheres era Pestilence… a nice change of pace for brutal death that helps set Virulency apart from the faceless millions. Overall, this is another top notch quality brutal release from New Standard Elite… head over to their site and grab one now.

The Wakedead Gathering – Fuscus: Strings of the Black Lyre

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Very cool band from Ohio here… The Wakedead Gathering are a one man black/death metal project manned by one Andrew Lampe who handles all instruments. Slow, dark abyssal death metal is what Andrew does best, bringing a twisted update to the dark plodding sound popularized by Incantation. The sawing, gassy sounding guitars and overcompressed snare have a throwback quality that reminds me of Goreaphobia at their height, particularly their horribly frightening three song demo Morbidious Pathology… that kind of scary isn’t an easy one to recreate… I can really dig this. These are the kind of deep hateful vocals I imagine being sung through the zippered mouth of a leather daddy mask donning psychopath… they are truly daunting to these ears. I haven’t kept on Wakedead since his first album to be honest but I don’t recall it being this black metal friendly… there are a lot of dissonant ringing chords sprinkled around the songs that help is stand out in a way that his older album failed to… there’s a twisted originality here in the way it straddles styles. The cover is just awesome, it looks like some of Wrest from Leviathan’s artwork or something you’d see on a Rhinocervs records release. Overall this is really something worth your while if you’re into Necros Christos, Dead Congregation, or Sonne Adam… grab one now, you won’t regret it!

Zealotry – Last Witness

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Zealotry, the excellent international progressive/old school death metal project headed by Massachusetts based songwriter Roman Temin have once again reared their strange alien heads for us lucky listeners in 2016 and offer forth an incredibly diverse and challenging album in The Last Witness. While 2013’s The Charnel Expanse was surely a progressively tinged affair, Temin and friends (including Chthe'ilist prodigy Philip “Pat” Tougas) have really expanded their sound vastly since their last outing, upping the experimentation factor to mindboggling new heights. Traces of Finnish forefathers Demilich and Adramelech as well as the underappreciated American weirdos Timeghoul can still be heard at the core of Zealotry; but this multifaceted mutant has grown into something so strange and out there that is just plain hard to verbalize and I’m sure main man (mad man?) Temin wouldn’t want it any other way. The music is dark as hell and very dense sounding and moves with an elegant fluidity that you just don’t see in many outfits. It’s perverted, complex, suffocating, even paranoia inducing at times; this shit will ooze from your speakers right into your ears like some kind of primordial slime and have you headed over to Lavadome to snag one up.

Well there you have folks… that should keep you busy for a while. Thanks to the bands who allowed me a sneak peak at their albums… that was very titties of you. To any of you readers out there who have any hot tips for me, be sure to leave them in the comment section below… I’ll be sure to take a gander. Until next time, stay psycho.

Read Trevor's previous recommendation columns here and catch The Black Dahlia Murder on tour all spring.

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COMMENTS

  • Ryan Jeffers

    Infant Annihilator – The Elysian Grandeval Galèriarch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SERIOUSLY LISTEN TO THIS! IT IS A MAD TITAN OF METAL! Youtube this shit and then buy!