Hello folks, and welcome, to this very first edition of #KassetteKvlt! In this new little feature, I’ll take a deep dive into the underground tape scene and give you all some tasty recommendations to quench your trve kvlt thirst for the trvest underground format, the cassette. This time, I dove straight into bandcamp and found some very good releases that got the tape treatment recently or will get it very soon, enjoy!
Label: Rising Beast Recordings
Release date: 30 September 2019
Louisville, Kentucky one-man Black Metal band MOONKNIGHT is back, releasing his new EP titled “Discernment”. Offering some melancholic and very atmospheric riffs, some with a Rock n’ Roll edge to them, as well as utilizing synth heavily, this latest release turned out quite strong! Split into two tracks, both longer than 10 minutes and simply titled “Part I” & “Part II”, Horus set out to create an EP where the usually quite prominent guitars step back and take a supporting role in favour of prevalent keyboard and synth. These really complement the atmosphere of the record and build up a feeling of ice-cold melancholy. At points, the keyboard takes over completely, making some passages appear more like a Dark Ambient or Dungeon Synth track. Overall, this EP surprised me in a really positive way! The notable keyboard use and recognizable atmosphere make “Discernment” undoubtedly worth your time.
The tape for this record is presented as a simple black pro-tape, which stands in stark contrast to the colourful and very beautiful album-art by William David Pollard. The raw production of the album fits the cassette-format extremely well in my opinion. “Discernment” is currently limited to 100 physical copies, only on tape, so you should definitely grab one quick at Horus’ very own label “Rising Beast Recordings” if you’re interested.
Label: Vigor Deconstruct
Release date: 05 January 2020
Eastern Europe has brought us some very solid Metal bands. From Polish bands like BATUSHKA, to the Ukrainian underground with projects like DRUDKH or HATE FOREST, Black Metal from these regions is certainly well made while also being pretty unique. From this underground scene, another promising project emerged in 2015: SVRM from Khrakiv, Ukraine is another one-man band which since its inception constantly delivered solid Atmospheric Black Metal, most prominently with 2018s “Згарище” (“The Hearth”). Now S.’ project will kick of 2020 strong with another release, his second full-length, titled “Позбавлення” (“Deprivation”). Up until now, only one song, the title track “Позбавлення” has been released, but it already gives a glimpse into what I believe will be a very strong album. Bringing in acoustic elements, this preview opens like a beautiful Neofolk song, before turning into an atmospheric behemoth of a track, infused with heart-wrenching melancholy and melodic Black Metal riffs, the themes deeply rooted in Ukrainian lore.
The tape version of “Позбавлення” is limited to 100 copies, and as the cover-art suggests, is the true form that this album is made for, as the artwork is clearly formatted in a way that fits a cassette case. So, get your copy now and start your “Black Metal 2020” off in a strong way with SVRM!
Title: White-Eyed Trance
Label: Memento Mori & Caligari Records
Release Date: 31 October 2019
Now something for all you Death Metal fans out there: Greek Death Metal band ECTOPLASMA keep on delivering! After 2018s extraordinarily strong “Cavern of Foul Beings”, which garnered a 10/10 here at BAZ, the band returned strong as ever when they released “White-Eyed Trance” in late October of this year, again to critical praise here at BAZ! Count Vlad put it best in his review: “The album contains heavy growling true death metal vocals, double-bass drumming, great bass lines, awesome riffs and some awesome haunting hallucinatory solos to underline the nightmarish experience.”
After being released by Memento Mori originally, Caligari Records took over responsibility for the tape release of the album. Limited to just 150 copies, the pro-tape comes in a deep, nocturnal shade of blue, fitting the cloaked figure depicted on the album-cover. Get this or else you will miss out on one of the best underground Death Metal albums of 2019!
Band: MASTER BOOT RECORD
Title: INTERRUPT REQUEST
Release Date: 20 September 2017
Now for something very different: NWOSHM, the “New Wave Of Synthesized Heavy Metal”, spearheaded by none other than MASTER BOOT RECORD! This unique project has been active since 2016, creating some of the most innovative music of the recent years. Under the guise of a sentient computer entity, the band mixes the electronic sounds of Chiptune & Synthwave with heavy Metal riffs, borrowing from subgenres like Deathcore and Black Metal, but also sounding like some sort of computerized orchestra more often than not.
“I am a 486DX-33MHz-64MB processing avant-garde chiptune, synthesized heavy metal & classical symphonic music. 100% Synthesized, 100% Dehumanized.” This is the mantra and description of MBR.
While multiple releases of this project have been given the tape treatment, I chose what is not only one of the strongest releases yet, “INTERRUPT REQUEST”, but also got one of the most stunning and cool cassette-designs I’ve seen in a while: The tape has full body printed cassette depicting the MBR logo, the inner J-card also featuring spot-UV details. Needless to say, the retro-computer vibe of the record fits the tape-format extremely well. Absolutely stunning design and an amazing album overall, give it a go and support the band!
That’s it for this first edition of #KassetteKvlt, I hope you enjoyed reading it. Don’t forget to support the bands presented in this article!
See you next time!
the trve Medvson
**Please support the underground! It’s vital to the future of our genre.