One of the great things about the sludge and doom genres is how much variation can be found. While there are plenty of bands out there beating the same old riffs to death, there are even more putting their own spin on the styles and adding in different influences. The TO staff has compiled a list of recent releases that stand out, and you’ll find that each one is able to bring something different to the table. ~Chris Dahlberg
Tommi Grönqvist has been responsible for quite a bit of quality Finnish death metal over the years, as he spent over a decade with Slugathor before forming Desecresy with vocalist Jarno Nurmi. Desecresy has put out albums at a steady pace, and even though this has amounted to four full-lengths over the span of five years each one has explored different elements of the death metal genre. This year’s ‘The Mortal Horizon’ represents the biggest change for the band, as Jarno Nurmi left the band and now Grönqvist has stepped up to do vocals in addition to continuing to write all of the instrumentation.
Follow flight through his recent experience at this trendy Portland theater with one of melodeath's most celebrated acts. What did they play? Have they still got the magic? Find out here. Supporting acts include Swallow The Sun, Enforcer, Starkill, Increate, and Von Doom.
There was never really a doubt in my mind regarding the number of releases in extreme music these days, but damn! The sheer number of kickass grindcore and other grind related projects lurking in the underground is something I did not anticipate. This second edition of the article kept getting delayed, not because I couldn’t find enough bands to write about. Quite the opposite really. Most of the delay was caused by me trying to figure out which bands to include and which ones to push for later editions.
So without further ado, here are 5 bands playing grind and other grind influenced styles of extreme music that I highly recommend you check out.
We’re always on the lookout for interesting bands across all genres and it is our good fortune to find such bands from all over. Altar of Betelgeuze happen to be our second band from Finland after Sepulchral Curse, and their style of music is extremely refreshing and engrossing.
Transcending Obscurity Records owner Kunal Choksi states, “Altar of Betelgeuze are a respected band and I’m a huge fan of their winding structures and death-laced stoner riffs reminiscent of bands like Korpse, Celestial Season, etc. They’re certainly on to something special here and on their latest album, they’re sounding even more doom metal and progressive. When the band approached me, I just couldn’t say no. They’re the epitome of doom with class that’s tempered with extra heaviness and a sound that’s rooted in death metal originally. I’m excited to work with their new album that’s on the verge of completion.”
Altar of Betelgeuze comment, “We are pleased to start working with Kunal and Transcending Obscurity Records, a label which really has upped the ante lately with its growing and solid roster. We have been working hard on the second album this year. On top of it being a good continuation to our debut CD ‘Darkness Sustains The Silence’, the new album manages to showcase new elements and defines what the band is about. Both vocal styles are well represented and the instrumental work is more refined. The songs are heavy, diverse and dynamic. We are really looking forward to get this one out!”
Altar of Betelgeuze join a label with substantial doom bands signed to it such as Officium Triste (Netherlands), Swampcult (Netherlands), Soothsayer (Ireland), Drug Honkey (US), Algoma (Canada) and The Whorehouse Massacre (Canada).
When you think of Finnish metal, death and black metal tends to be what comes to mind more frequently than some of the other sub-genres. But there are groups out there flying the old-school speed metal and thrash flags as high as possible. Excuse is a perfect example, as the band formed in 2009 and has released a demo and EP that put their own spin on aggressive, blistering thrash/speed metal. Three years after the ‘Path to Extinction’ EP Excuse is back with a new four-song EP titled ‘Goddess Injustice’, which will see a vinyl release from Hells Headbangers and Shadow Kingdom Records on September 30th. With the release date so close, we’re excited to have the opportunity to present you with a full stream of the EP alongside an interview with three of the members of the band.
Sepulchral Curse are the first band from Finland to get signed to Transcending Obscurity Records. Having released a very well-received debut, the band have changed their style to include more original and black metal-tinged influences in their music. ‘At the Onset of Extinction’, their latest MCD, will be released later this year. The T-shirt artwork will be done by none other than Mark Riddick.
Transcending Obscurity owner Kunal Choksi states, “I’ve known Sepulchral Curse since their first release and was thrilled to get a chance to put out their new one. The new material is blackened death metal and is a breath of fresh air in a genre treading water. I love how the essence is retained while the sound is being worked upon. It’s great to have a band from Finland on the label.”
Sepulchral Curse add, “I have been in touch with Kunal of Transcending Obscurity Records for some time. When he got first interested in Sepulchral Curse, it was really no brainer to join forces with him! Rarely you find people who share your enthusiasm and burning passion for music. One might say, this was a allegiance that was meant to be.
The material of Sepulchral Curse has really gone through an evolution and band is surely treading more twisted and darker pathways, when compared to earlier material. ‘At the Onset of Extinction’ is a good example of what our music is all about. Dark, ominous, heavy, chaotic, yet not forgiving the Stygian melodies that make what Sepulchral Curse is all about. The journey has just begun for us.”
Kari Kankaanpää – Vocals
Jaakko Riihimäki – Guitar
Tommi Ilmanen – Drums & Backing Vocals
Niilas Nissilä – Bass
Aleksi Luukka – Guitar
Mastered by Dan Lowndes at Resonance Studios (Cruciamentum, Grave Miasma, Absu, etc.)
Artwork by Luciana Nedelea.
The release is scheduled for a November-December release.
Sepulchral Curse Facebook | Transcending Obscurity Band Roster | Transcending Obscurity Facebook
Whoa! We have a third compilation of grindcore albums already? I guess the staff here at Transcending Obscurity take their grindcore really seriously. Or maybe the fact that grindcore albums are easier to consume compared to other styles, makes it easier to identify worthy grindcore albums at a faster rate. Whatever the case is, the way I see it, one can never have enough grindcore in one’s life. So we present to you, part 3 of the grindcore highlights list featuring albums that you should be streaming / buying right now if you’re a fan of this extreme style. ~ Shrivatsan R (Deputy Editor)
Asphalt Graves (USA) – The New Primitive (Vitriol Records)
Kimi Kärki (also known as Peter Vicar) is someone that has become an icon of sorts within the Finnish metal scene with involvement in multiple band across sub genres. Lord Vicar, which was born from the ashes of Reverend Bizarre is one of his more well known bands and this year they have come up with their third full length ‘Gates of Flesh’. A departure from their long drawn ruminations, the new album showcases the band’s punchier rock n roll side and the result is an album that is fun, engrossing and highly memorable.
We managed to talk to Kimi about the new album, the bands he’s involved in among other stuff, which is presented below for your reading pleasure.