Chuck Schuldiner Project

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Havens - On The Verge Of Collapse

I love the concept of one man black metal. In an era where more and more of the people who might have been making this type of music in yesteryear turn towards hip hop and related genres, one man black metal actually somehow becomes more poignant. This Philadelphia based project seems to embrace both a love of nature but also an awareness of the blight upon the earth that Philthy Philly is rapidly becoming. The tracks on On The Verge Of Collapse have a beautiful power, but also reflect upon drug addiction, poverty and violence.

I enjoy the deeply introspective approach brought to the table by Havens on this record. There is something to be said for a song like 'Detachment' which kind of gets into the head of mastermind Daniel Donahue. In an era where so much of our lives seem to be suffering and global warming threatens our species very existence, On The Verge Of Collapse is a threnody for a struggling race. That being said - the execution here is not always what it needs to be. The mix and production is frequently lacking, as is the guitar tone. Their are also songwriting choices, like the use of screams over clean guitars on album closer 'The Storm Within' that feel a little questionable.

All in all though Havens is a compelling listen. On The Verge Of Collapse takes on some very heavy themes and reflects upon them with aplomb. This is a record that hints at a lot more to come because when it shines, it truly shines. The mix of influences is well thought out and the approach is interesting. I am very curious to see what happens as we delve deeper into the work of Havens and Donahue continues to refine his craft. As is this is a strong modern black metal release that leaves me interested to continue this sonic odyssey.

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Saturday, July 13, 2019

Devourment - Obscene Majesty

Obscene Majesty was easily one of my most anticipated records of 2019. Devourment are unquestionably gods of slam, and every time they unleash another collection of bile it's something of an event in the world of extreme music. This is one of the most wonderfully blasphemous records I have heard in a good long while and the dedication to gore, madness and all manner of insanity makes Obscene Majesty not just a fascinating listen, but the kind of record you want to go back too and revel in, inch by bloody inch.

There is some serious insanity going on with Devourment here. The appeal is similar to that of early Carcass. I don't understand what 'Narcissistic Paraphilia' is but it soudns fucking cool when Devourment write music about it. The devilish might of a track like 'Truculent Apathy' shows the band at their finest, conjuring brutal slam riffs that can turn on a dime. So yes there music remains mired in Suffocation worship, but that's kind of the point. There is something truly fucked up about the bands approach on Obscene Majesty and it makes for a listening experience that sets it apart from many peers.

A clear step ahead of 2013's already masterful Conceived In Sewage this record simply remains proof that Devourment are still among the best to ever do it. Sure there are no real surprises here but I don't listen to Devourment because I want to be surprised, I listen to Devourment because I want to hear a guy from Texas sing about torturing people with nails. It's not complicated. So yes - this record isn't going to go up there as a 'thought provoking statement.' Instead it's ten tracks of brutality that will turn you into a fucking meat crayon. You got a problem with that?

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Friday, July 12, 2019

Hope Drone - Void Lustre

Hope Drone has been one of my favorite bands to come out of the Australian underground in a good long while. Void Lustre, their latest offering, is a real scorcher come fresh from Sludgelord Records in collaboration with Moment of Collapse. This is a record that perfectly encapsulates the state of modern post black metal, building on the legacy of acts like Downfall of Gaia or Der Weg Einer Freheit but unleashing it in a distinctly Australian way, bringing in their own vibrant elements all across the album.

I think what I dig about this record is the sheer bombast that it brings. Hope Drone is a band who understand the inherent magic of this genre. Void Lustre routinely shines well above many of the bands peers. Though it may have been four long years since 2015's thrilling debut, Cloak Of Ash it feels like this is in some ways a more authentic look at what the band has been seeking to create. A masterful release through and through, Void Lustre not only speaks to the transcendent power of the genre but also Hope Dron'es skill as songwriters. On this record they pull of multiple ten minute plus tracks with aplomb.

Void Lustre is a stunner. It's a record that transcends and continually points to new heights for a band who seem destined to conquer. Historically Australia hasn't exactly been known for their forward thinking metal. However here we see a group who have the capability to act as a world apart, a group who are destined to inspire with songs that pull at the heart and which seem to push the band ever higher. Well worth the wait, Void Lustre is an exciting offering from Hope Drone and a hint at much more to come.

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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Mylingar - Döda Själar

Blackened death metal from Sweden with bloodlust on the mind? Sign me up! Mylingar are preparing to unleash Döda Själar their third release since 2016 and it is a scorcher. This is a record that preys on all that makes humans uncomfortable and tormented. Döda Själar is a routinely twisted record, an album that seems to continually scrape new depths and go for the throat even as you careen from song to song. A group with a passion for the heavy and demented chaos of truly oppressive death metal, Mylingar have done it again.

Döda Själar is impressive simply because of how intimidating the balls out sonic assault is here. Mylingar routinely crack skulls with Döda Själar just because of their ability to drag you to hell. While yes, this is certainly a record that focuses on intensity, it's also an album that seems to have a deeper psychological effect. The blasphemous gargling of a track like 'Nedstigningen' only goes to show just how bleak Mylingar can get. Döda Själar shines because of its dedication to conjuring up a very specific underground metal vibe. They drag you into a bleak reality of the sort from which there is rarely any real escape.

So yes, 20 Buck Spin have knocked it out of the park with this release, and yes, Mylingar are not a band for someone new to the genre. However for those of us looking for some of the most extreme and claustrophobic music released in recent years, then Döda Själar is certainly the record for you. Mylingar have grown in leaps and bounds, even from last years impressive full length, Döda drömmar. The more time I spend with this band the more impressed I am -and I have a feeling if you are trve, then it will be for you too.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Crimson Moon - Mors Vincit Omnia

It's crazy to me to think that Crimson Moon has been blaspheming for 25 years. Their potent sound and demented soundscapes have always impressed, yet here with their fourth album, Mors Vincit Omnia the group takes it to a whole new level entirely. This American by way of Germany black metal project has always been known for its expansion on second wave black metal principles. In a year where we are seeing a lot of bands build on the sonic myths of yore Mors Vincit Omnia seems surprisingly appropriate.

Mors Vincit Omnia frequently runs the gamut of what makes second wave black metal great. There are moments of ambient horror and others that are simply blasting madness. This is what I'm looking for in a black metal record, a range of emotions that spits in the face of subtlety and instead embraces how over the top this music inherently is. Crimson Moon have taken a massive step forward here and its delectable. The way they fuse black metal basement vibes with transcendent and somber clean vocals is truly exciting. While they have always been a band apart, this record certainly makes sense as another gem in the crown of Debemur Morti - the best black metal label in the world today.

This is an exciting listen. The break between this record and 2016's Oneironaut was far and away the shortest the band has ever taken. Mors Vincit Omnia hints at so much more great music to come from these black metallers and the forward momentum they show here seems like it has no stopping it. Crimson Moon reach some truly transcendent levels on this record and it's exciting to see that these old heads are still going for the throat. A potent listen through and through, this will stand as one of the years premier black metal offerings.

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