Event Horizon December 2020

Christ, is this the end? What a fucking year it has been! Who would have though back in January that by the end of this godforsaken year, the last gig you saw would see was somewhere around February and you’d be isolated for months, driven stir crazy by the lack of social contact and need to explore beyond your own four walls. If there’s been ANY solace, we have at the very least, been blessed with a monstrous amount of new music to listen to as we traversed the monthly insanity of Metal releases. So finally, we reach December and while the flow does slow to a trickle as we get beyond December 18th, there are several titles that are worth considering if you’re looking for that extra whack to take into 2021. Here’s Seven that might inspire! Read on to find out more. As always, thanks to all for taking the time to read these lists every month – it’s been a pleasure, but I take zero responsibility for any bank balance recriminations that might have come your way! Ha! Ride the Sky! Onward we march…..

Depravity – Grand Malevolence
Released: 04 December
Style: Death Metal
Label: Transcending Obscurity Records
Link: Bandcamp

After releasing a groundbreaking album in ‘Evil Upheaval’, Australian death metal giants Depravity take things to the next level on their new album ‘Grand Malevolence’ which is one of the most devastating albums of this year. It’s technically evolved, with masterful songwriting meeting skull-smashing brutality, executed with blinding speed and power. Each song is a testament to the best expression this style holds, showcasing facets of the sub-genres without allowing it to dilute the overall intensity and momentum. There’s technical death, brutal death, even progressive parts designed around the same dark and pummelling death metal Depravity are known for. It’s a clear tour de force and it might take multiple listens for that realization to sink in, because the album is so meticulous and intense that it might be too much to grasp at one go. Depravity have created a masterpiece and set high standards with it not only for themselves but for the genre as a whole, eschewing concepts of stylistic differences, trends and schools, and imbibing it all to create the most lethal expression possible. Prepare to get blown away. (From Bio)

The Deviant – Rotting Dreams Of Carrion
Released: 04 December
Style: Black Metal
Label: Soulseller Records
Link: Bandcamp

After almost 3 years THE DEVIANT are back with a brand new studio album! With the razorsharp riffing and death-worshipping atmosphere-sound drenched by the signature vocals of DOLGAR (ex- Gehenna) this is a must for anyone into black and death metal and extreme metal in general. THE DEVIANT was formed by Violator in 2003 and later accompanied by former members from the cult death metal act 122 Stab Wounds as well as Gehenna, and has already received much praise for their merciless style of extreme blackened death metal. The new album continues the relentless onslaught that is THE DEVIANT. With a few more nods back to both death and doom metal of the early 90s, it carries their sound to the next level. Expect the riffs, the solos and the speed from previous releases, spiced with a few new elements as well. The vultures are rising! (From Bio)

Heads For The Dead – Into The Red
Released: 11 December
Style: Death Metal
Label: Transcending Obscurity Records
Link: Bandcamp

Death metal supergroup Heads For The Dead dropped a stunner of an album in ‘Serpent’s Curse’ which sent shockwaves through the underground. The band’s masterful blending of classic death metal with horror-inspired elements set them apart from the standard revivalist bands. The combination of Jonny Pettersson (Wombbath, Gods Forsaken, Henry Kane) behind the music and Ralf Hauber (Revel In Flesh) on vocals proved to be extremely effective and both of them put in their experience of decades to create something marvellous. ‘Into the Red’ sees them take things to a different level and also recruiting the services of the legendary drummer Ed Warbie, known for his work in bands like Gorefest and Hail of Bullets, renders their sound flawless. They’ve honed it to make it more cohesive, the horror influence now being an intrinsic part of the music, and there’s undeniable growth in the songwriting that makes them step out of the shadow of the old school death metal peers to carve an identity of their own. The artwork has once again been created by Branca Studio retaining the classic horror aesthetic and as expected there are guest appearances such as from members of Sentient Horror and Gods Forsaken. ‘Into the Red’ raises the bar for old school death metal circa 2020 and it’s ironic how their horror theme fits eerily well into the real life horrors this era is witnessing. It’s time to embrace it all the same. (From Bio)

Speedkiller – Midnight Vampire
Released: 11 December
Style: Speed Metal
Label: Edge Circle Productions
Link: Bandcamp

An otherwise entity, SPEEDKILLER hail from Brazil, arguably THE South American country with the richest history of extreme metal. A quartet, the band comprises vocalist/guitarist Spellcaster, fellow guitarist Summoned, bassist Evilspirit, and drummer Hellkrätus. A full-length album, Midnight Vampire is the SPEEDKILLER’s first public recording…but HOLY FUCK is it a first statement!

Unapologetically, SPEEDKILLER hail the old gods of their homeland, both the massively influential cult scene of the ’80s – Vulcano, Sarcofago, Mutilator, Holocausto, and earliest (and best) Sepultura – but also Mystifier’s classic first album, Wicca. As such, Midnight Vampire is a work of both aggression and atmosphere. But unlike so many past and especially present who endlessly try to replicate the OTT violence of Sarcofago’s INRI, SPEEDKILLER possess a patience in their songwriting which allows bewitching atmosphere to play equal footing as belligerent aggression – the song to take precedence over style. In fact, much of Midnight Vampire charges forward at a brisk, enjoyably headbanging tempo, allowing their largely traditionalist constructions to breathe full, foul breaths: undeniably sulfurous, but firmly rooted in ancient values. Thus, here could one raise a gleaming sword as freely as drink black blood, and indeed do SPEEDKILLER’s primary inspirations run the gamut of street fights, vampirism, all-caps HEAVY METAL, perversion, and of course DEATH. (From Bio)

Horna – Kuoleman Kirjo
Released: 08 December
Style: Black Metal
Label: W.T.C. Productions / Blut & Eisen Prod.
Link: Bandcamp

By now, Horna should need no introduction. For over 25 years now, the Finnish black metal institution – founded by uber-prolific guitarist/songwriter Shatraug (Sargeist, Behexen, et al) – have built a vast, virulent body of work beyond compare. In fact, when one mentions “Finnish black metal” nowadays, the name Horna is immediately invoked…and for good reason. Simply put, their vision of unapologetic BLACK METAL is proud and pure, and played with an intensity and finesse that’s familiar yet unique.
While it’s been five long years between full-lengths, Horna have kept busy on the live front and, of course, hailing the ancient ways through splits, EPs, and even a live album and a Japanese-exclusive recording. In that interim, too, the lineup has shifted once again, with Shatraug and equally long-standing vocalist Spellgoth and guitarist Infection remaining, and the arrival of drummer LRH and bassist VnoM making their first recorded Horna album appearance with Kuoleman Kirjo. (From Bio)

Serpents Oath – Nihil
Released: 04 December
Style: Black Metal
Label: Soulseller Records
Link: Bandcamp

SERPENTS OATH is a new creature comprised of three adepts of Belgium’s extreme metal scene. As soon as they met up and started creating together, they realized they were establishing a very different entity. Hence they decided to leave the past behind and give birth to this new Beast.
Their rebellious debut album Nihil is set to take the world by storm with its relentless and unforgiving version of nihilistic black metal. Expect no remorse from this opus, only crushing riffs, pounding drums and terrorizing screams pushing the limits of a music genre already marked by chaos and death.
The black arts for the artwork of Nihil were performed by the hands of Néstor Avalos, known for his work for bands like DARK FUNERAL and BLOODBATH. The artwork shows the UR rebellion, that of Lucifer leading the War in Heaven. Only this time the outcome is different and the rebellion succeeds, visualized by Lucifer casting out the Arch Angel Michael and therefore establishing the ultimate victory of free will. (From Bio)

Demoniac (Chile) – So it Goes
Released: December 11th
Style: Blackened Thrash/Speed Metal
Label: Edge Circle Productions
Link: Bandcamp

Formed in 2011, Chile’s DEMONIAC was created with the intention of (literally!) executing fast ‘n’ ferocious thrash metal, as well as bringing back the aggressiveness of metal in their town of Limache. With the young lineup initially consisting of Javier Ortiz (lead vocals / rhythm guitar), Rodrigo Poblete (drums), Nicolas Young (lead guitar), and Vicente Pereira (bass guitar), DEMONIAC self-released their debut EP, Judgement of Death, in 2012.

Indeed, DEMONIAC up-end all the usual “evil thrash” cliches by creating a caustic yet intensely tuneful record that’s daring in scope and devilish in its sense of purpose. Of course, everything RIPS here – harder than ever, in fact – but so many crazy angles get thrown at the listener, it’s nearly overwhelming, until the quintet bring it all back into focus with strangely memorable hooks, swaggering execution, and the charismatic enunciation of frontman Javier Ortiz. All this is sealed together with absolutely 3D mastering courtesy of Claudio Salinas (Maestro3 Studio). (From Bio)

Carefully considered and selected by K-MaN

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