It turned out to be quite a mix at the month end list this time around. With equal parts big releases (Relapse, Prosthetic, Season of Mist etc) and independent outputs, there’s something here for everyone. Many of the releases highlighted here have a ‘name your price’ offer on their Bandcamps, so make sure to check out the music and buy the release if they please you. ~ Shrivatsan R
Abhorrent Decimation (UK) – The Pardoner (Death Metal, Prosthetic Records)
Can’t believe that half of this year is gone already. With an every increasing writing staff here at Transcending Obscurity, our tastes have become much more diverse as evidenced by this month end list here. As always, we have tried to keep things a bit obscure, so as to cover ground not often tread by metal blogs in general. Here’s what’s been keeping the TO scribes occupied over the past month. ~Shrivatsan R
Aether Realm (USA) – Tarot (Melodic Death / Folk Metal, Self Released)
Evolution is the key to the continued survival of a species. The same thing can be said about music. As the population of bands playing extreme music grows steadily, there is a need to branch out from the established paths to stand out from the throng. Many bands have realised this need for innovation and as a result, we see more thinning of boundaries between styles (both within metal and outside).
This series of articles has focused on such evolution within the grindcore spectrum, and here is #3 with a few more underground acts that are taking the style forward.
Music to me has always been a gateway away from reality. But these days I come to understand as to how this world’s reality shapes and influences music, while the music itself offers escapism to those that seek it during troubled times. The past few weeks have just added more reasons and examples as to why this world is turning into this terrible place. It’s good that we had some solid metal and punk releases to lean on this month. ~ Shrivatsan R
Amiensus (USA) – All Paths Lead to Death (Black / Death Metal, Apathia Records)
Every month when we put together this highlights list, I go through the entries and try to sense a discernible pattern. But so far it has always been the case that our scribes cover a wide range of sounds where no commonality can be traced. April 2017, is perhaps a first in our monthly highlights series, where the entries tend to eschew towards two particular styles — Tech death and Crust. Though we do have a smattering of other styles included, it’s hard to miss how every other entry in this list either has a crust or tech death connection here. A random coincidence? Or some deep conspiracy by the scribes of Transcending Obscurity? One thing is for sure – these are all excellent releases that you should pay attention to! ~ Shrivatsan R.
Abomnium (UK) – A Hollow Path (Death Metal, UKEM Records)
There have always been few labels peddling in doom metal dedicatedly and UK based Aesthetic Death label are one among them. In my early years, I used to refer to them as being Esoteric’s label (as they released majority of the band’s catalog) and in the last decade, have unearthed some absolute gems such as Eibon, Murkrat, Fatim Elisum, Wreck of the Hesperus and more. It made sense to throw more light on the overlooked but extremely high quality and seemingly passionate label and write about some of their newer, more relevant releases. Thanks to the contribution of the fine Transcending Obscurity webzine staff, we’re able to to put together a worthy feature highlighting this doom metal label. ~ Kunal Choksi (Editor-in-Chief)
If it is possible someday, I would make a clone of myself to just keep writing about the music I listen to, without having to pay heed to any of the real world responsibilities. But since that is not possible at the moment, real life does tend to get in the way of writing. This month I had to focus my attention on other things in the real world causing me to overlook most of the releases that came out in March. But looking at this huge list put together by my colleagues, one thing is clear. I have a lot of catching up to do. ~ Shrivatsan R.
Ascended Dead (USA) – Abhorrent Manifestation (Death Metal, Dark Descent Records)
When I put up the post for the February 2017 highlights in the staff group, I honestly did not expect these many entries. My tunnel vision and assumption that February’s tend to have few notable releases, led me to believe that there were only a handful of records worth noticing this month. Good thing I work with a bunch of talented scribes that always turn my attention towards the stuff I overlooked. Here are the albums that we believe you must check out this month ~ Shrivatsan R
Ancst (Germany) – Furnace (Black Metal / Crust Punk, Independent)
Continuing with our features on death metal scenes from around the world, we’ve delved into the underrated but powerful Greek death metal scene. Though not as active as the scene in some other European countries namely United Kingdom, Germany or Poland, the bands here reek of potential, are relatively diverse, and as you already know, some like Rotting Christ, SepticFlesh and Dead Congregation have already left an indelible mark with their music. However, unlike certain countries, the Greek bands don’t have a typical sound to boast of (akin to their contribution to the black metal genre) but I’m not sure whether that’s even needed in these times when it’s more about having an individualistic expression rather than forming a clique to further the objective. Admittedly, one of the bands on the list, Abyssus, have released an album under the label division of Transcending Obscurity, but that’s a compilation and they’ve released a full length on another label which has been documented over here for reasons of fairness. Thanks for reading and please post suggestions in the comments if you have any for this article or others that we should work upon. ~ Kunal Choksi (Editor-in-Chief)