Going through the ol’ inbox in the mood for metal brought my attention to one by a band called Deth Kaktus. I decided to check it out and look more into the band themselves given the promo description spoke only about the band’s dedication to the music and their guitarist Matt Garvey having mastered it. Other than that I was met with an incomplete band line-up on their Facebook, coming soon pages on their website for over half its contents, and various broken links. Thankfully the ones in the press kit worked, but even then I have little idea who the band is and that their debut album Prick actually dropped July of 2022 through Spotify with Wormholedeath Records handling digital distribution September 9th of 2023. So, there’s your intro, but what about the effort itself?
UK death metal supergroup Ageless Summoning came to be back in 2016. Up to this point, they have only issued a demo tape (with seven-inch vinyl reissue later down the line) in 2018. Within its ranks are members of Abyssal, Haar, Of Spire & Throne, Scordatura, and Úir among others. Despite the lineage and the sound of said bands, the five-piece chose to take heavy cues from the USDM scene, largely the dark and oppressive side of Morbid Angel and Immolation according to vocalist Ali Lauder. After roughly five years of studio silence we now brace for impact of their debut full-length effort Corrupting the Entempled Plane.
When it comes to the underground world of black metal, there are many acts known to churn out multiple releases, if not be involved with other groups. Those familiar with that very world may well know of the musicians Wampyric Strigol and Lord Valtgryftåke. Both are active in numerous other outfits including (but in no way limited to) Wampyric Rites, Aurae Lunae and Winterstorm for the former, and 13th Temple, Old Castles and Evighetens for the latter, while both are active in Winterstorm They and a number of their ocontributions to the genre belong to the collectives Pure Raw Underground Black Metal Plague and Valdivian Black Circle [according to Metal-Archives]. So it should come as no surprise that they would forge together another outlet named Grymmstalt. The year of formation is unknown, but their initial demo Endlichkeit released earlier this year with cassette distribution handled through Mahamvantara Arts Records. The duo did not sptop writing, however, coinceiving enough for their debut full-length effort Anthems of Mournful Despondency to close out the year from Signal Rex. But does this new venture offer more quality raw black metal to the collectives, or does it end up just another cassette among the many uninspiring offerings littering the style?
Finland plays home to quite a number of innovating acts in the metal world, specifically in the doom metal realm. While groups like Church of Void, Shape of Despair, and many others have helped establish this style, becoming names forever linked to it, there’s one monicker hidden in the depths of modern-day obscurity primed to breakout and helm the frontlines: Arche. Formed in 2014 by ex-Worthless members Eppe Kuismin (guitarist/vocalist; ex-Crystalic ex-Lowmen), Ville Raittila (drummer; ex-Fleshkraft, ex-Razoreblend and Panu Raatikainen (bassist, ex-Razorblend) worked hard to unleash their debut EP Undercurrents in 2015 before vanishing. Re-emerging as a two-piece with Panu remaining in Worthless, the act has signed with Transcending Obscurity to release their long overdue debut full-length Transitions. But was the long wait worth it?
Vorgrum is a currently one-man folk/pagan metal act given many of the musicians involved departed earlier this year. Hailing from Buenos Aires, Argentina, the entity was forged together by Folter and issued a small handful of studio recordings. Among them is the debut EP The Awakening back in 2011, and full-lengths Last Domain (2015, Nocturna Records) and Party in the Deep (2018, Sound Age). The “Ancient Whisper” single dropped digitally amid the roster shake-up, soon followed by a brand new EP titled Nature Emerge to continue where that prior performance leaves off.