VM-UNDERGROUND

Extreme Metal Fanzine est. 2012

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Vaticinal Rites signs deal with Everlasting Spew Records and announces line-up news: "London-based Vaticinal Rites offer a visceral manifestation of Death Metal, drawing inspiration from the pioneering Floridian and European scenes of the early '90s."

December 21, 2023

Everlasting Spew Records is glad to finally announce Vaticinal Rites have agreed with Everlasting Spew Records to release their upcoming debut album in all the formats!

Formed in 2020, London-based Vaticinal Rites offer a visceral manifestation of Death Metal, drawing inspiration from the pioneering Floridian and European scenes of the early ’90s. Their music stands as a testament to their passion for the genre, interweaving thrash-induced riffs, classic Death Metal grooves, and haunting, ethereal leads, creating an unparalleled listening experience.

Following the success of their self-titled debut EP in 2021, the band has remained steadfast in crafting and producing their inaugural full-length destined to captivate enthusiasts of Extreme music and classic Heavy Metal alike.

Expect it to land sometime during spring 2024!

In other news is Vactinal Rites excited to announce the addition of Max Southall on drums and Chris Cleovoulou on second guitar:

You might recognise Max from his work in Vacuous and Hellripper. His undeniable talent has brought a whole new dynamic to our band, which you’ll experience live and on our upcoming album set to release next year.

Chris is one of the tightest guitarists we’ve ever met. He not only strengthens our sound but also allows us to execute harmonies, layers, and leads that wouldn’t have been possible with just one guitarist. It’s also an added bonus to have a fellow Cypriot in the lineup, making it an all-Greek guitar onslaught.

More info: Vaticinal Rites; Everlasting Spew Records;

Season of Mist is proud to welcome Gravenoire: "Driven by an unwavering vision, Gravenoire seeks to reconnect with the raw and unrelenting spirit of 90s Black Metal."

December 19, 2023

We are thrilled to announce a momentous addition to the Season of Mist family – the enigmatic black metal entity, Gravenoire. Emerging from the depths of the abyss in early 2022, Gravenoire is a formidable alliance of seasoned musicians: Maximilien Brigliadori (BÂ’A, Diablation, former Hyrgal), Emmanuel Zuccaro (BÂ’A, Verfallen, former Hyrgal), Vicomte Vampyr Arkames (Diablation, former Seth/Ad-Inferna), and RMS Hreidmarr (Glaciation, BÂ’A, former Anorexia Nervosa/The CNK).

Driven by an unwavering vision, Gravenoire seeks to reconnect with the raw and unrelenting spirit of 90s Black Metal. Their inaugural EP, ‘Devant la porte des étoiles’, is a demonstration of this commitment, recorded live in the crucible of their rehearsals – no tracking, no triggers, no click track, no artifice. The result is an uncompromising project, a portal to otherworldly dimensions forged through the crucible of reality itself.

Gravenoire is not a mere nostalgic echo; it is a project deeply rooted in the ancestral soils, embracing the traditions of their native lands. Their essence is drawn from the sacred, the cosmic, and the primordial, and summons whispers of ancient forces. As they proclaim: “The cosmos is a revolving door”

More info: Gravenoire; Season of Mist;

Svart Records eager to release the new Petrification album: "With Petrification’s top tier sonic depravity this album is promised to be looked back at as the measuring stick of what an old school Death Metal album of this era should be."

December 18, 2023

Petrification is about to unleash their cosmic curses upon mankind via Svart Records on 9th February

From the cold dank fog of Portland, Oregon USA re-emerges Petrification with their highly anticipated sophomore album nearly 5 years in the making titled ‘Sever Sacred Light’! Conjuring all the dark powers of Death, Doom, Punk and The Occult, Petrification brings their most barbaric, heavy, and yet sophisticated release to date. This new full-length opus will be released on Svart Records 9th of February 2024.

‘Sever Sacred Light’ paints a mental landscape of a crumbling universe magnified through the hysterical mind of a deranged and rottenly eccentric undead enigma ‘Arach-Ned’. ‘Sever Sacred Light’ illustrates vast musical growth from the critically acclaimed 2017 demo ‘Summon Horrendous Destruction’ and the 2018 full length debut of ‘Hollow of the Void’. They continue to advance and evolve while honoring the traditions and influence of ungodly masters of Autopsy, Bolt Thrower, Coffins, and all the celebrated favorites of the early 90’s Finnish Death Metal scene such as Rippikoulu and Demigod. With Petrification’s top tier sonic depravity this album is promised to be looked back at as the measuring stick of what an old school Death Metal album of this era should be.

More info: Petrification; Svart Records;

Dead Earth inks deal with Chaos Records to re-issue 'Et Disperdam Illud': "...witness a new torchbearer of classic Swedish Melodic Black Metal..."

December 17, 2023

Chaos Records is proud to present the striking debut album of Sweden’s Dead Earth, ‘Et Disperdam Illud’, on CD format.

Dead Earth is the work of the incredibly prolific Mathias Kamijo. The Swede is most known for long-running Black Metallers Algaion, but the man also was a live member for Hypocrisy during the latter half of the ’90s and played on Nephenzy Chaos Order’s cult-classic Pure Black Disease among many other endeavors. While Algaion have mostly situated their style as a Swedish approximation of the classic Greek Black Metal sound, with Dead Earth does Kamijo drive deeper into the dark waters of classic melodic Black Metal, moving at many speeds but always with a burning-cold melodicism draped equally in devotion and atmosphere.

Originally released on vinyl in November 2022, ‘Et Disperdam Illud’ is Dead Earth’s debut album, composed and performed almost entirely by Kamijo. Alongside him here are a wealth of guest vocalists: Henke Forss of Sweden’s legendary Dawn, Björn Larsson of Mordbrand and God Macabre, Thomas Clifford of Abscession and Throne of Heresy, Witchery’s Angus Norder, and Kristin Starkey of Italy’s Temperance. Drums are performed by Kim Arnell (Morifade, Prime Creation), and some guest leads come from master shredder Toby Knapp and Dark Funeral’s Chaq Mol. Even with such an illustrious lineup of contributors, Kamijo’s songwriting shines through; with equal parts class, grace, grit, and gleam, the shimmering obsidian spires of sound Dead Earth create enflame the soul with a timeless sensation of emotional metallic might, cold and old. The production is suitably sharp and streamlined, imparting razor-sharp clarity to these eight tracks of snowdrifted beauty.

Now finally available on CD, witness a new torchbearer of classic Swedish melodic Black Metal with Dead Earth’s ‘Et Disperdam Illud’!

More info: Dead Earth; Chaos Records;

Osmose Productions announces Funeral Winds' eighth album: "Stylistically, this album is raw and cold Black Metal that throws the grit right in your face."

December 14, 2023

“This album is dedicated to He, whose name is three hundred and thirty three, and that thrice one.”

‘333’  is the title of Funeral Winds’ eighth studio album and will be released by Osmose Productions on the 26th of January 2024. It refers to the Dweller in the Abyss, the Demon of Dispersion, also known as Choronzon. Seen as the last great obstacle between the adept and enlightenment, Choronzon needs to be faced to be able to move beyond the Abyss.

Stylistically, this album is raw and cold Black Metal that throws the grit right in your face. Funeral Winds stay true to the original values of Black Metal, hateful and relentlessly contemptuous in sound and vision.

More info: Funeral Winds; Osmose Productions;

Seltsame Erden's debut album is set to emerge from Chaos Records: "Seltsame Erden prove with that 'Gedankentempeln' that Black Metal's "second reckoning" at the dawn of the new millennium was not lost upon newer generations."

December 13, 2023

Chaos Records is proud to present Seltsame Erden’s highly anticipated debut album, ‘Gedankentempeln’, on CD format.

Seltsame Erden hail from the medieval town of Marburg, Germany. The band was founded in 2019 by vocalist / guitarist L (concurrently of morbid Death Metallers Nekus), and soon the lineup was completed by fellow comrades G and J (Into Coffin, Putridarium). Their first release, the ‘Turmfall’ EP, followed in 2021 as well as a few hand-picked live performances. Sticking to the Teutonic Black Metal template of being steadfastly traditional and low-profile (or at least no-frills or unassuming), Seltsame Erden surely honored their native idiom with a stout, surging style of Black Metal that’s now fully blossomed on their debut album.

Titlted ‘Gedankentempeln’, Seltsame Erden’s first full-length was once again recorded in their remote bunker, deep in Hessian woods. As such, the austere and heavily hypnotic swarm of sound Seltsame Erden present here strikes against modernity and other prevailing trends in the “Black Metal” scene. While the authentically ’90s-rooted atmosphere touches upon the medieval, more so do the power-trio push their onrush of crush toward the minimal-is-maximal splendor of earliest Inquisition, Ondskapt, and even Maniac Butcher: movements of subtlety, detail, and plainly stated POWER. However, the production itself – all recorded, mixed, and mastered by (((CYPHX-AUDIO))) – elevates Seltsame Erden to their own plateau populated by few, so mysteriously ethereal yet palpably physical is ‘Gedankentempeln’. The cover artwork by Belial NecroArts vividly illustrates this unique dichotomy.

Perversely “progressive” in its red-eyed regression, Seltsame Erden prove with that ‘Gedankentempeln’ that Black Metal’s “second reckoning” at the dawn of the new millennium was not lost upon newer generations. The next thousand years are theirs!

More info: Seltsame Erden; Chaos Records;

Throat's debut EP is poised for release by Primitive Reaction: "the 'Blood Exaltation' collection stands as a terrifying testament to Throat's eldritch Black Metal horror..."

December 12, 2023

On February 9th, 2024 internationally, Primitive Reaction is proud to present a special collection from Poland’s Throat, ‘Blood Exaltation’, on CD format.

Hailing from the always-vibrant Polish Black Metal scene, Throat are miasmic morbidity personified. While so many of their domestic contemporaries honor the paradigmatic sounds of the Temple of the Fullmoon, Throat instead mine a wider, wilder style of Black Metal that looks both east and south. Theirs is a clanging, crunching sound that variously nods to Necromantia, Mortuary Drape, Hungary’s Tormentor, early Samael, and fellow Polish iconoclasts Cultes des Ghoules: catacombed, ancient, unsettling.

To date, Throat released the debut demo ‘New Flesh Nectar’ in 2020 on the esteemed Fallen Temple label, and now conspire with Primitive Reaction to add that portentous recording with a new EP titled ‘Blood Exaltation’. Totaling four tracks in 33 minutes, the ‘Blood Exaltation’ collection stands as a terrifying testament to Throat’s eldritch Black Metal horror: a bridge from the past to the present, scorched by fires unknown but reeking of delirium-inducing sulfur all the same. The potency of the two-song ‘Blood Exaltation’ EP presents the trio in their current sonic incarnation, more gutted and (s-l-o-w-l-y) grinding, a protracted spelunk among shapeshifting landscapes whereby throat, strings, and skin chafe together in a vulgar manner. The earlier ‘New Flesh Nectar’ demo displays Throat at their most atmospheric; partially due to the distant recording, partially due to more wide-open spaces they were sowing, the two songs on this introductory recording nevertheless retain a palpitating creepiness, particularly when they drop the tempo down to a tribal trudge – an element they’d explore further on this collection’s namesake recording. Shed thy skin for this Blood Exaltation!

More info: Throat; Primitive Reaction;

December 8, 2023

American Death Metal legends Massacre (established in 1984) have signed a record deal with Agonia Records for the release of the band’s 5th studio album, which is currently being worked on by frontman/vocalist Kam Lee (ex-Mantas, ex-Death, Bone Gnawer, The Grotesquery), original bassist Mike Borders, returning guitarists Rogga Johansson (Paganizer, Rib Spreader, Megascavanger) & Jonny Pettersson (Wombbath, Heads for The Dead) and new drummer Jon Rudin (Just Before Dawn, Heads for The Dead, Dehumanaut).

Massacre mastermind Kam Lee commented: “I have to say it’s pretty cool to be signing with Agonia Records. The same label that bands like Pestilence, Rebaelliun, Demonical, Pathology, plus so many other killer Death and Black Metal bands call home. Looking at their roster you can see this is a label that’s dedicated to keeping to the core of pure underground metal bands and acts. In my opinion this is a refreshing reminder that you can remain true to the spirit of underground metal music and not rely on catering to trends in be relevant. This opinion is one that also resonates in my own philosophy about Massacre, one that keeps me on point at keeping the band focused on remaining true to the style and sound that is pure old school Death Metal, and I personally think that Agonia Records is the perfect choice of a label that shall allow Massacre a place to maintain that status. I look forward to the future together, and I am excited for the fans to be able to look forwards to the upcoming new album to be released by the label.”

Formed in 1984, Massacre started out as a heavy/power metal band, but changed its style to Death Metal with the joining of Allen West and Kam Lee; the latter is often credited for inventing the ‘death growl’ – first heard on the band’s 1986 demo ‘Aggressive Tyrant’ – and is considered an influential pioneer as far as the Death Metal genre is concerned. The group went through several personnel shifts and disbandments over the years, with its early line-up toggling between Massacre, Mantas (early Death) and Death. Their 1991 debut album ‘From Beyond’ was recorded at the famed Morrisound Studio and featured amongst ‘The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time’ by Rock Hard Magazine in 2005.

Massacre recorded three more albums to date, including 1996’s ‘Promise’, 2014’s ‘Back From Beyond’ and – most recently – their 2021’s triumphant return album, aptly named ‘Resurgence’. They were released on Earache, Century Media and Nuclear Blast records, respectively. The band continued their comeback with the follow-up ‘Mythos’ EP, their self released collection album ‘Corpus Umbra’ (consisting of previously self released single tracks), and the unavoidable digital-only release of live tracks called ‘Submergence: Live Beyond 2019’.

The present-day line-up features original starting members Kam Lee and Mike Borders, alongside previously mentioned Rogga Johansson, Jonny Pettersson and Jon Rudin; jointly considered by Kam as the recording line-up, who is directly creating and writing new material. The band also features a separate session line-up (for live performances only), which consists of Carlos Gonzalez (Grim Reality) on guitars, Elden Santos (Druid Lord) on drums and, until recently, Tony Blakk (Druid Lord) on bass. ‘I refuse to be pigeon holed into what some people may perceive a band to be. As long as the members are productive musicians willing to do their part and perform their duties then I am fine with having revolving door line ups.’ – Kam has been noted saying.

Kam is once again working together with his writing partners to bring new Massacre material to the forefront of the band for an all new album and new releases to come.

More info: Massacre; Agonia Records;

Merrimack and Season of Mist to unite again to unleash new album: "...an aural journey where grotesque assemblies of roosters and goats languish at the foot of heavens"

December 7, 2023

Merrimack are back with their new release, “Of Grace of Gravity”. The 3rd release on Season of Mist, after the re-print of their long sold-out debut “Ashes of Purification” and the sizeable impact that “Omegaphilia” left of the Black Metal scene.

Merrimack can be categorized as extreme traditionalists that are driven by a burning desire to hone their skills and striving to bring their art to perfection. The band was founded by guitarist Perversifier a.k.a. Amfortas in 1994 with a clear vision to keep the Black Metal flame burning as an act of aesthetic terrorism – as adamantly based in the underground as opposed to any attempts to co-opt, commercialize or turn the style into a self-parody. Introduced by a number of demo recordings (‘Prologue’ – 1995, ‘Act 1’ – 1995, ‘Horns Defeat Thorns’ – 2001) and split releases (with Hirilorn in 1998 and Sargeist in 2002), the French gained respect in the scene by remaining true to their words.

Although Merrimack decided to reach out to a larger audience with the release of their first full-length ‘Ashes of Purification’, the Parisians did not sever their roots with the underground at any time. With the following albums, ‘Of Entropy and Life Denial’ (2006) and ‘Grey Rigorism’ (2009), Merrimack closed ranks with the most influential, active, and authentic acts of the French Black Metal scene. Their classic combination of harsh sound with epic structures appealed to critics and fans alike and put the band on their celebrated first US tour with Marduk and Nachtmystium in 2009.

After recording ‘The Acausal Mass’ (2012) in the legendary Necromorbus Studio (Watain, Deströyer 666) again, Merrimack embarked on a European tour with Norwegian icons Mayhem and accepted invitations to prestigious festivals such as Hellfest in their native France, Germany’s Party-San Open Air and Summer Breeze as well as Montreal’s Messe des Morts in Canada. With their latest album, ‘Omegaphilia’, Merrimack were breathing fresh life into an exhausted genre. While ignoring epithets such as progressive, post-, and avant-garde, the French focused on razor-sharp songwriting, captivating melodies, and close to perfect arrangements.

The ensemble now presents their latest album ‘Of Grace and Gravity’, an aural journey where grotesque assemblies of roosters and goats languish at the foot of heavens. Wallowing guitars and hypnotized passages of blasting drums collide with gravity-bound atoms in oblivious occlusion. Merrimack, in their enigmatic mastery, expose the futility of belief in occult ministries and slashes at the mask of the sky. The listener, questioned in their faith of the shadows and occult idols. Dare believe in the sulfurous whispers echoing through this blackened masterpiece.

More info: Merrimack; Season of Mist Underground Activists;

Kvlt is primed to unveil Nocturnal Sorcery's second album: "'Captive in the Breath of Life' is about as authentically mid '90s Black Metal as you'll currently find in that clogged underground."

December 4, 2023

On February 9th, 2024 internationally, Kvlt is proud to present Nocturnal Sorcery’s highly anticipated second album, ‘Captive in the Breath of Life’, on CD format.

Despite forming in 2011, it wasn’t until August 2022 when Nocturnal Sorcery made their full-length debut. Fittingly titled ‘The Holy Law in Total Ruin’, Nocturnal Sorcery’s debut album in no uncertain terms laid forth a fiery-yet-freezing path for these Finns: paradigmatic Finnish BLACK METAL, but harkening to the ancient fires of the ’90s rather than more millennial expressions of such. Granted, the band by then were hardly “new” – prior, they’d done two demos and a split – but ‘The Holy Law in Total Ruin’ scorched Nocturnal Sorcery’s name into the Black Metal underground.

Now, a year and a half later, Nocturnal Sorcery return to torch that path once again with ‘Captive in the Breath of Life’. As doubtlessly presaged by its throwback cover artwork, ‘Captive in the Breath of Life’ is about as authentically mid ’90s Black Metal as you’ll currently find in that clogged underground. The rudiments are largely the same – because, after all, Black Metal doesn’t need to “be” anything other than what it already is – but here do Nocturnal Sorcery dial back the melodicism for a quicker-hitting blast of ice-cold, hateful hypnosis. As such, the song lengths aren’t as epic as its predecessor and the ripped-raw execution is even more palpitating, but the sum effect is utterly stultifying: arguably more so than ‘The Holy Law in Total Ruin’, ‘Captive in the Breath of Life’ fully sounds like some unearthed gem from 1995, cryogenic and rotting but boundlessly potent.

Nostalgic ears will paradoxically be warmed by ‘Captive in the Breath of Life’, while all others will cower when faced with these filthier spells of Nocturnal Sorcery. The line in the snow has been drawn, deeper than ever! To celebrate this reckoning, the band will perform an album-release show on February 10th in Vantaa, Finland with Poland’s Arkona and fellow Finns Black Beast and White Death.

More info: Nocturnal Sorcery; Kvlt;