March proved to be yet another strong month for 2016 ending the first quarter on a high note. There were some excellent releases. Some larger releases that dropped included a new effort from Cobalt, an LP from brutal tech-death outfit Wormed, a sequel from K-X-P, multiple issues from Spazz courtesy of Tankcrimes, a single from Daemona, an LP from Xibalba, a discography for Phobia courtesy of Melotov Records and an LP from the completely redesigned Church of Misery. Below are nine albums, a bunch of EP’s this month, that deserve your attention which you might have missed. As a final note, if you’re into the stoner metal type stuff you might be interested in Blood Ceremony‘s Lord of Misrule.
Extermination Temple – Lifeless Forms
“The music generates an atmosphere of gruesome horror, but man, this song is filthy and twisted in the best way, and catchy as hell. Kind of like old-school Swedish death metal going through a psychotic break. Killer stuff — and there’s more where this came from on Lifeless Forms.” – Islander, No Clean Singing
Ifrinn – Ifrinn
“Ifrinn self-titled debut LP is a barely an LP, five tracks (and two of those interludes) spanning roughly thirty minutes. But for what it lacks in length it makes up for in girth and breadth. The work is rife with symbolism, atmosphere and poignancy. Ifrinn is a young band but is ab and with focus, drive and a vision. One that they attack with vigor.” – Manny-O-War
Veneficium – Veneficium
“Veneficium are nothing new in the metal scene. There are bands aplenty that make thick, burping tracks filled with layered, evil vocals. What they are, however, is a solid band portraying a blend of bestial and black metal that is tinged with death metal influences across the vocal performance. It’s a short march through the swamps of New Zealand and, being put out on cassette, provides just enough campy caché to make it feel unique and exotic.” – Manny-O-War
Rorcal – Creon
“Creon is fittingly bleak and nihilistic as its respective subjects, each of whom fits the mold of the classical Greek tragedy. Rorcal’s winding, monolithic mixture of sludge, post-metal, and blackened doom burrows deep into the psyche, and while Creon has a share of small problems, it’s a compelling, albeit draining listen. “ – Dustin Grooms
Castle Freak – Human Hive
“Like the best of death metal and grindcore EPs, Human Hive gets in, makes its point, and gets out. In its very brief running time of 13 minutes –– every moment of which is gore-soaked fun –– it’s definitely not earning points as highbrow art, but if that’s what you’re looking for, you’re barking up the wrong tree anyway.” – Dustin Grooms
Irkallian Oracle – Apollyon
“…Irkallian Oracle are not looking to clean up anyone’s depressive episode or lift their spirits. The music they produce weighs on the listeners soul like a Danforth anchor. Their nearly apocalyptic sound is only enhanced by the murky production and swampy mix flies in the face of Gothenburgheroes like Dark Tranquillity and At the Gates. Irkallian Oracle is out to destroy, depress and obliterate. They are not here to be your friends.” – Manny-O-War
Draugnim – Vulturine
“…it’s an album that doesn’t jump out of the gate attempting to win you over. It doesn’t compromise the sound that the band has spent nearly six years working to perfect. Rather, Vulturine builds slowly and gradually reveals a subtle evolution of in sound that allows the listener time to climb aboard and take the heart-wrenching journey directly alongside the band. There are rewards to be had here for those fans willing to take the time to get under the thick skin of this fruit, and it’s certainly a lot more fun that sitting around watching grass grow.” – Manny-O-War, Your Last Rites
Ripper – Experiment of Existence
“On Experiment of Existence, Ripper don’t have anything to prove yet still give two black eyes to any and all comers with aspirations of revisiting sacred ground while making us, the listeners, happy. Even though no new ground is tread, the album is a thrilling, enjoyable ride and has absolutely no weak points and no filler.” – Josh Stewart
Inverloch – Distance | Collapsed
I don’t normally write anything ‘new’ in here but I feel compelled to on this one. This release should be huge. It should be so big that I don’t even include it in the main body of this monthly review. Because you should all own it already. But, for some reason, there’s an upsetting amount of silence on these Aussie’s and their absolutely genius, beautiful, expansive and earth-shaking release. Thus, it’s the #1 release of March and probably a Top 10 (at least) of 2016 in general. Pull your head out of your ass and get on this people.
“Inverloch produce an absolutely timeless, beautifully woven funeral shrowd on Distance | Collapsed. It’s a work that can happily spin on an endless loop… It’s clear that Skarajew has not lost his throne as a king in the genre of doom. The Australian quintet ascends to the summit of funeral doom with ease. Alongside bands like Evoken, Inverloch will remain as influential as they come… Simply put, Mazziotta and Skarajew dial back the clock of time and produce some of their more brilliant, beautiful and well produced music to date. This album will not be leaving the rotation anytime soon so buckle up and enjoy the ride.” – Manny-O-War
That just about wraps up March 2016. Stay tuned for April 2016 which is, again, looking to be a pretty great month. Releases to keep an eye out for include new stuff from Ihsahn, a debut LP from Nucleus, an LP from Moonsorrow, an absolute fire-breathing ripper from Swedish D-Beat legends Victims, an EP from experimental black metallers Lord Mantis, some traditional heavy metal from Occult Burial, UK purveyors of doom Allfather, some exciting black metal from Greek band Kawir, an LP from tech death metal legends Aborted, some progressive black metal from Holws of Ebb, a super sludgy release from Boss Keloid and some super cerebral black metal from Goetic Equivalent. It’s going to be a really, really great year.