The crackled, faded fuzz of a cassette is a beautiful thing. A medium as ancient as it is lost in today’s age, shadowed by the colossus of FLAC and digitalised zeroes and ones. Audio rips aside, the demo’s I’ve been spinning (or rewinding and fast-forwarding endlessly) have yet to hit any other format, and I want to take a little bit of your time to hopefully rekindle some love for these things.
Ash Borer – S/T
First up, Ash Borer‘s self titled demo recently got a release by Surburban Mayhem Records. Two tracks both clocking in at over 10 minutes a piece playing a brand of cascadian black metal that delicately treads the borders between extreme sections of blasting metal and plaintive post rock echoes which manifest and fold into chaotic sections of pure catharsis. Following distinctly in the footsteps of bands like Skagos and Fell Voices, the sound never really gets stale or redundant in light of the numerous other Cascadian acts out there. A demo perfect in its conception, musicianship and production values remain at demo level throughout. You can hear the promise of a band with truely interesting ideas that haven’t been executed to their potential – very eager to see what future material has in store for us.
Morbus Chron – Splendour of Disease
Originally recommended to me by a fellow in the band mentioned below, Morbus Chron play old school death metal, think Autopsy, soundbytes from horror movies, thrashy alcohol fueled intoxication sessions. The cassette ‘sound’ matches the raw, putrid thrashy hell of the music, with some of the best riffs I’ve heard all year, great fucking vocals and awesome drumming. Their tongue in cheek approach to their music is what I find really appealing, just give this interview a read.
They sent me the demo tape with a piece of lined a5 paper that had drawings of penises, headlined MUTILATION with the following message….’The wait is over man! More rotten than ever. Won’t be heard on the radio…Write back once you have it. Until then, fuckin’ DEATH TO THE UNICORNS!!!‘, and then the delightful inclusion of a sausage legged beast with a horn on its head. Yes we can take our metal fucking seriously and paint ourselves up like its a drama play, or we can play thrash, drink alcohol, write great fucking riffs and bang your head – all the while maintaining a high sense of sarcasm and humour in the face of death, annihilation, and all other metal related paradigms. The tape is a pleasure to listen too, reveals a great ear for pleasurable death metal chainsaw riffing and gives me an unnaturally strong desire to want to support and make sure they get their full length album released on time. DEATH FUCKIN’ METAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Cruciamentum – Convocation of Crawling Chaos
Cruciamentum add a claustrophobic clause to the death metal contract, feature the drummer from Grave Miasma/Adorior and play some of the most punishing and suffocating music I have ever come across. Think of a bestial Incantation with a dangerously doom laden guitar tone put to the speed of a chainsaw drum beat, overlap that with the cavernous growls of some victim caught in an act of suffocation and we are getting somewhere. Hands down my favorite death metal demo release of 2009, the atmosphere is palpable and deliberately bestial. Never a dull moment. Showcasing some serious technical skill, the sound is pretty uncomparable as far as other bands playing this kind of bestial destruktion go – sure, they’re reminscent of older death metal without this kind of depth to the production, but I was a firm believer this style was dead and buried. Nothing as brutally convictive has come close in recent years. This is all about combining atmosphere with incredibly punishing riffs. Whether or not ‘Crawling Chaos’ refers to some Lovecraftian influence, the term exemplifies the music. An unstoppable torrent of pestilence and unrelenting death. 18 minutes of black eyes, bruised organs and broken bones.
As far as I am aware, this is now sold out from the band after a print run of 300 red cassettes, 150 black and then 150 purple. All I can say is keep your eyes peeled on the myspace page for further news on upcoming releases and live shows. They have an upcoming MLP sometimes in the future on Nuclear Winter Records, who have put out releases by the mighty Teitanblood, The Chasm and Drowned. DARKNESS…. PREVAILS!!!