Invictus comes to us from Germany, and is a brand new power metal act composed of some experienced musicians in the underground. Three come from the band Avator (who recently saw a revival with two new albums issued last year) as well as vocalist Nicolas Peter of Beerhammer. Guitarist Fabio Winter is the only member with no prior band experience credited to his name. Despite that, one can look at the line-up and assume this to be a strong new entity within the metal world. But does their debut EP establish them as an act to watch, or does it show a group that needs more time honing their sound and direction?
Lunaar has joined the ranks of the mysterious underground black metal arts. An entity hailing from New Castle, England, the faceless project’s date of birth is as unknown as anything else about it outside the label the project has signed with. Handled by Death Kvlt Productions, home to a small collective of unknown groups within the style including Blodpest and Ühtceare. They handled the debut two-song offering Among the Dead Stars as a digital only release until later in January of 2019 with a strictly limited to fifty hand-numbered copies on cassette. But is either version worth sinking the time and money into, or is it nothing but another over glorification of all things analog?
In the realm of the underground black metal scene, finding secretive acts is becoming increasingly common place in a world where mysterious auras and personas are often outed quicker than you could imagine. Of course, happening upon a nameless group or solo act without a member list is just as easy as hitting up the metal directory of Bandcamp utilizing the cassette sorting option, a favorite past time of mine. This is where we find the debut demo from NyreDolk, a two-man operation from Denmark with a visual representation similar to that of Brujeria or Ghoul. This black and punk metal duo have unleashed their first-ever release digitally, as well as in a very short run on cassette through Caligary Records, an independent label that continues to find some of the best the trenches of metal have to offer. But does this first impression four song recording boast anything worthwhile, or is this more a dud in the sea of lesser known entities?
While browsing through Bandcamp on a boring Saturday morning, one band’s logo in particular caught my interest: Chainsaw Castration. A UK-based four-piece (though only three members are credited as of late) composed of musicians from Gorehead formed in 2014, and have since issued a number of smaller releases ranging from singles to EPs to one full compilation. Their latest is a three-song EP titled Doping in the Void, which was released in April of this year independently with the intent of being an example of what their forthcoming full-length album is going to sound like. But was this something truly enjoyable, or does it fail to leave you wanting that future offering?
Upon unleashing their second full-length effort Existence is Futile through Relapse Records back in late 2009, Revocation captured the attention of metal heads everywhere. Their brand of technical death metal crossed with thrash oozed a great deal of aggression and enthusiasm, standing as a young act with plenty of promise in the years to come. As they evolved, so did their fan base whether they liked it or not. Their sound was reaching a more progressive tone to their music that led to 2016’s Great is Our Sin, an effort you either loved or hated due to how dynamically different it was. Fast-forward two years and the band return with what their vocalist/guitarist Dave Davidson calls “[..] our most death metal album to date.” But does The Outer Ones live up to the hype, or is it something more than just a death metal heavy outing?