2012 was the last year that I truly enjoyed many a release. There were quite a few interesting releases from a lot of new bands say Pallbearer’s debut, Indesinence, Black Cobra, Svartidaudi, Stoned Jesus, Threshold, Amenra and the like. It seemed as if every other genre had something to offer. And yet successive year, including this one, there seems to be a gradual reduction in decent to good releases. There were some brilliant and yet they were all riding atop vast oceans of mediocrity, which has made finding them all the more harder. I have no clue whether it’s the musical overload that has been eating away at my capacity to listen to albums. There’s just too many and too little worth taking notice of.
That is not to say 2015 hasn’t washed up any good releases. It most definitely has. But neither has it been quite large in number. Here are 3 of them which we (The Slumbering Ent) found to be imbued with a certain replayable quality. A quality that is as elusive as the Loch Ness monster, usually bloated up by wishful thinking and too many hype trains than anything worthwhile to fall back on, like all good music should be.
Artwork by Misanthropic Art
Ingraining influences only from Morbid Angel, Pestilence, Morgoth and Asphyx was not enough this time. The band tinkers around with doomy crawls and melodic passages similar what bands like Execration and Morbus Chron are doing at the moment. Its still very much an old school death metal album and it is slightly different from their brilliant debut ‘Summoning Black Gods’ as the band tries to expand their template with some experimentation. I hope they don’t go beyond this. A warning to green death metal fans – this is not progressive nor experimental which might be the flavour of the season, but some great death metal.
– Dipankar Mohanty
Artwork by Cloven Hoov
Fórn is a five-piece from Boston. They play a combination of funeral doom and sludge with spurts of black metal thrown in and a strong emphasis on melody. The Departure of Consciousness sounds accomplished, introspective, disconcerting in parts and yet above all, beautiful. The music here shows piercing intent, its poignancy especially is what is most striking. For me quite honestly, this is funeral doom done to perfection. The album came out sometime last year on Vendetta Records but is being re-released on CD by Gilead Media. Boy, are they having a good year!
Artwork by Andrei Bouzikov
A legitimate door crasher, Bio-cancer is a no-holds-barred frontal thrash assault that’ll leave you developing fine globs of aneurysm. Steeped in the melodic/frenetic finesse of latter day Teutonic thrash and the pace of crossover thrash, a la Municipal Waste, one might as well admit that catchiness is probably the defining factor here. Almost all of the riffs do stick with you well after the songs come to an end. And yet what sets them apart from the wilfully retrograde thrasher crowd are the vocals of Lefteris. It’s Dani Filth manning up for a thrash audition (check out Chance Garnette from Skeletonwitch) and contrary to what one might expect, it owns. Coupled with gang shouts this is the stuff that invigorates even the bedridden into spasms of intermittent headbanging. Tight!
– Deckard Cain