Oh dear – it really is a dark, brooding, unforgiving bunch of releases that has found its way into my ears today, so let’s just plunge into the darkness, shall we…

Gridfailure – Ensuring The Bloodline Ends Here (The Compound)

In a series of ambient noise experiments, Gridfailure manages to conjure up an album of dark, unwelcoming sound that keeps echoing through my mind, like the screams of tortured victims of a demented society run amok. (Hmm – sounds familiar…)

If there is a light amidst this darkness it is extremely well-hidden, and we’re more likely to have entered the tunnel at the end of the light. Salvation is long gone, and you can either surrender or you can die.

So yes, an extremely apt title for this grand vision of extreme darkness.


Phobocosm – Bringer Of Drought (Dark Descent)

Phobocosm is the sound of depression washing over you, extinguishing light, bringing only a grey weary existence.

Their funeral-like doom fuel such exquisite musical pain it left me quite speechless, and both the slow, gruelling sections and the faster, more excruciating ones are heavy and scary as hell.

Listen with care.


Fister / Dopethrone – Split 7″

Fister are extremely busy doing splits right now, and a good thing that is!

Fister‘s side of this one is a droning dirge of rotten, screeching mayhem that is sure to get the kids out of bed in the morning. Deep, dark, and ominous.

Dopethrone‘s side of the bargain is a piece of delightfully bluesy sludge that grooves quite well.

And a bargain it is – get it on Bandcamp at Name-your-price.


Coffin Lust – Manifestation Of Inner Darkness (Hells Headbangers)

Turning the melodic sensibilities of black metal and the riffs and rhythms of thrashy death into a mostly slow, grinding lament on life (although the faster tracks tend to be in a more regular deaththrash vein), Coffin Lust succeeds in making an album that sounds just like trudging through life one 9 to 5 day after the other.

Add to that some truly scary growls from vocalist P.W., and you’ve got an album with the explicit intent of dragging you into the abyss, kicking and screaming to no end.

Have a nice trip down.


Sylvaine – Wistful (Season Of Mist)

Occupying the same emotive foundation as a lot of atmospheric black metal, Sylvaine could be seen as somewhat kinder, gentler, given that the musical output is perhaps dreamier, less abrassive, less confrontational and in-your-face.

But make no mistake of it – the emotions laid bare by Sylvaine is just as intense and haunting, simply packaged in a Twin Peaks meet rock setting instead.

It’s also one of the most cinematic albums I’ve heard for a while – not in the way most people would use the expression: as in ‘would fit as music for a film’, but in the way the music conjures up images on its own, becomes its own film.