Embracing the Descent: March 10 – 16, 2019

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So, with this being our third Embracing the Descent you should be up to speed but as a reminder: we briefly discuss a handful of the current week’s new releases that stood out for whatever reason. We say handful since going all in for 40 – 60 albums just ain’t happening. Now that you’re back up to speed, again, let’s jump into a few from this week and don’t forget to check out the full listing from Monday’s Initial Descent. And by all means, leave us a comment if you have thoughts on this particular piece.

Ungrun - Demo 2019

As far as themes go, Ûngrûn’s Demo 2019 is epic; a recounting of legends surrounding the formation of Frisia and told in its intertwined language. Its run-time however, is not epic. Meaning that this group comprised of members and ex members from  DOOL, Kjeld, Lugubre, and Verwoed have to pack as tight a punch as possible. And that’s exactly what they do; “It Hiele Brânoffer” undulates from atmospheric black metal to melancholy and back again with ease and “De Oanstit Ta Hjar Ûngerjuchtichheit” is a blazing fury of blast beats and cutting vocals. Ûngrûn get right to the point and pack that solid death blow needed seeing as this thing’s over before you could learn how to pronounce the song titles. With any luck, we’ll be hearing a full length soon and honestly, I cannot wait.

Asthma Castle - Mount Crushmore

It’s been awhile since a debut album from a new band succeeded in pulling off the whole ‘southern metal’ thing but Mount Crushmore from Asthma Castle has done it. Whether intentional or not, shades of COC, Beaten Back to Pure and Weedeater come to mind in the sludgy, whiskey soaked riffs and slower tempos – this thing has some serious swagger. But, this ain’t no one-trick pony; caustic vocals abound and extreme metal permeates the bruising tones and blasting percussion. And to top it off, the band doesn’t take themselves too seriously with song titles like “The Incline of Western Civilization” and personal favorite “The Book of Duderonomy” – it’s the neighbor you never knew who shows up one Friday night half in the bag with a bottle of Ezra Brooks and fully prepared for you both to finish the handle, sans glasses. Which is a roundabout way of saying, your mileage may vary but I have thoroughly enjoyed Mount Crushmore.

Body Void - You Will Know the Fear You Forced Upon Us

Melding the confrontational approach of punk and the downtuned sonic barrage of doom metal, Body Void create music that aims to carve out a space for the marginalized voices in metal with a physicality that is rarely matched in the world of  extreme music.  Nowhere is this approach more blunt and more effective than on their newest EP You Will Know the Fear You Have Forced Upon UsMusically expanding and improving on the elements from 2018’s I Live Inside a Burning House and lyrically taking aim at metal’s fascist infestation, the two twenty minute songs here, “Die Off” and “Fascist Cancer,” cover everything from noisy, rumbling sludge to explosions of d-beat hardcore and blast beats.  It takes a lot of creative songwriting to make a twenty minute piece of music that holds my attention for its entirety, but Body Void succeed time and time again.  I’ve been a fan since 2016’s Ruins and I can confidently say this is the best I have ever heard them, particularly after having the pleasure of seeing these two songs performed live.

Their Throats are Open Tombs - Of Psalms and Snakes

While first categorized as blackened crust, this genre-catching attempt doesn’t even remotely do justice to the weird and ever-changing dynamics of Their Throats Are Open Tombs.  Of Psalms and Snakes certainly contains elements of both ‘black’ and ‘crust’ but incorporates droning noise interludes, moments of industrial programmed drums and synths, grindcore levels of fury, and wraps it all up in the fervor of liturgy (the act, not the band).  While the first couple of tracks were a bit of a jarring of the senses, give this album the time and attention it deserves and it will draw you in to its world of fiery, hallucinatory worship.

enisum - moth's illusion

Someone on Bandcamp described Moth’s Illusion, the latest from Enisum as “comfortable” black metal.  I get it: there’s a mid-paced, languid quality to the melodies, almost a DSBM approach wrapped in the folds of neo-folk.  This is most definitely a melancholic record, and tracks like “Where Souls Divide” hang on the precipice of what we might define as black.  Which is a good thing, because it’s out there where the more interesting things are happening as dozens of lo-fi necro bands try to cling to an out-dated definition of what the genre is ‘supposed to be.’ Let them rant and rave on their forums; I’ll be here in the back, in the cold and dark, feeding off the sorrowful energy Enisum is pumping into the ether.

Getting up a head of steam with thing here. Like it? Love it? Hate it? Can’t get enough? Let us know in the comments or on the socials.

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