Tuesday, June 11, 2013

New Music: King Carnage, Gukurahundi, Ancst

King Carnage- Ounce of Mercy, Pound of Flesh CD (Badgod Music)
Today I'm in a bit of a mood for some absolutely hideous death metal, and there are few better releases I've been checking out for review than King Carnage. This album, like pretty much every Badgod release, is downright filthy. Do you want to be strung up and tortured by your death metal? This is the album for you. The guitars are tuned so low they carve the very earth beneath them. The drumming is tight enough to be clearly well played but loose enough to add to the overall murky atmosphere. The vocals are in that lower realm between a primitive grunt and an ominous whisper often inhabited by bands like Beherit. Grab this album from the label's bandcamp (link above) while you still have the opportunity. It comes with a sticker and a poster in a limited edition of 250.

Gukurahundi- An Apparition in Nocturnal Splendor CD (Manicidic)
These guys sent me an email a couple of months back and I was so preoccupied with my studies that I didn't even shoot them a response back. Big mistake on my part (and kinda inconsiderate, sorry dudes). This album is noticeably cleaner than the aforementioned King Carnage CD, but it's no less punishing in its own way. Blistering melodic riffs circle around insanely paced drums while the vocalist throws seems to fill just about every space not occupied by the other instruments. The band does have enough empty space and change of pace to keep things fresh, so this isn't so much a criticism as it is an observation. Solos aren't as common as a general driving assault, but these guys definitely take the time to show off their chops and the vocalist is more than competent enough. The occasional groove-based breakdown may steer away some purists but I still recommend a listen. This album is currently available in an edition of 100 digipak CDs.

Ancst- The Humane Condition CS (Dark Omen Records)
This album's a brief two song cassette, but they make every second count. With two tracks averaging six minutes each, Ancst has created one of those tapes that just begs to be flipped and replayed countless times (each side has the same program, conveniently enough). Ancst's brand of black metalisn't necessarily reinventing a genre, but it's one of the most memorable and compelling things I've heard in this niche in quite some time. The band can switch from grind-influenced black metal that tears the ears like shrapnel to glacial sludge in a heartbeat, and it feels completely natural. There are even a few moments of pure bliss just to showcase the band's diversity and clear musicianship, which is what makes this band stand out from the pack. While fans of groups like BM&B favorites Terzij de Horde will enjoy this, there's also a good chance that fans of the more nebulous and ugly side of black metal will also dig Ancst's urgent fury. This tape was available in 100 copies, with the first 15 on an orange tape with patch while the remaining 85 are on purple tapes without a patch, but the orange is already sold out. Grab a purple copy while they last.

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