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Inexorum – Moonlit Navigation

Moving and melodic, Inexorum provide a ray of hope through troubled times.

Umbra Vitae – Shadow of Life

Supergroup’s approach to contemporary death metal leaves a bitter taste.

Pyrrhon – Abscess Time

Abscess Time is exception and serves as another reminder of what makes Pyrrhon so special.

Vile Creature – Glory! Glory! Apathy Took Helm!

Vile Creature forge a new sound and showcase a bold, positive path for the future of doom metal.

Ulthar – Providence

Another incredible 2020 addition to contemporary death metal’s ongoing explosive revival.

Living Gate – Deathlust

Living Gate climb over the corpses of their peers.

-(16)- – Dream Squasher

Dream Squasher is yet another fantastic addition to the band’s already significant discography and further cements -(16)-’s pedigree as one of the best sludge bands on the planet right now.

Tarmak – Plow

Plow is a thrilling introduction and Tarmak are definitely a band to keep tabs on, once again proving Ghent to be fertile ground for all things heavy and fuzzy.

Swans – leaving meaning.

leaving meaning. is one of this year’s most essential listens.

Mizmor – Cairn

Mizmor really has created a perfect hybrid here, though, and Cairn should be applauded across the underground metal community. I have no doubt it will be. It’s astonishing. Truly astonishing. Required listening by all.

Pharmakon – Devour

Margaret Chardiet returns at her most terrifyingly visceral. Devour is a truly awesome piece of art – involving, entrancing, thrilling, thoughtful, and terribly uncomfortably human.

Darsombra – Transmission

Transmission is the most fulfilling Darsombra release in their impressive catalogue.

Starkweather / Concealment – Split

For those who like their heavy music genre-blind and forward thinking, this one’s for you.

Erdve – Vaitojimas

Erdve might just be my latest crush because ‘Vaitojimas’ is so utterly crushing.

Phantom Winter – Into Dark Science

Phantom Winter are an incredibly talented band, and ‘Into Black Science’ is a solid album, let me be clear. However, Phantom Winter’s third album doesn’t build on their previous promise.

Ilsa – Corpse Fortress

‘Corpse Fortress’ is an absolute triumph for Ilsa. It’s required listening in 2018 for anybody who claims to like sludge and doom. You’re not going to find too many better examples of it this year.

Wolves in the Throne Room • Aluk Todolo – Heaven, London

WITTR regain their crown as black metal visionaries.

Vampillia • VMO • Ruins Alone

Despite touring with incredible artists . . . and having had albums out on code666, Important and Candlelight Records, Vampillia continue to allude most ears, it seems. If this is you, finish this review and then get hunting some streams online. . . The band were simply staggeringly good.

LENMANIA

A reluctant icon returns.

CHRCH / Fister – Split

This is easily one of the best split releases of 2017, with two bands at the pinnacle of their abilities.

Perturbator • ]HYPNO5E[ • Sleep Token

The epitome of what a fun gig can be. . .

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