Encroaching upon your web browser to ruin your sunny days trapped inside your earthly dwellings is this pungent new series delivering all sorts of unearthly delights! Hellbound Sounds is dedicated to shovelling through the quagmire of underground releases to exhibit the most lethal perversions unto your senses. Each volume will showcase a handful of releases you should either sell your soul for or cast back into the fiery domains from whence they came. Regardless of whether these albums will triumph over mankind or ought to be sealed in a vault to never again set foot on this plane of existence, they are worth excavating to receive your judgement as well as ours. Dare you take the first steps towards the hellish realms?
In this edition, the pungent aromas of death seep unto the world as we christen our ears with releases from the fiendish likes of Desekryptor, In Reverence, Jordablod, Khashm, Paroxsihzem, and Suffering Hour. On the final Friday of May MMXVII, the stench will reclaim its throne…
In Reverence – The Selected Breed
The first step towards extinction is ignorance so it makes sense for Swedish death metallers In Reverence to be the first to seep through the cracks. Released via Non Serviam Records, The Selected Breed is a body-shattering journey through the demise of our species by carving through the best elements the genre has to offer. Rich in atmosphere with a super-polished production, the album cleaves through the streets with blackened blast beats and mouth-watering yet forlorn leads whilst Filip Danielsson spews forth profound monologues with the upmost contempt. Whilst their modern-yet-ravenous sound is far from breaking new ground their battering onslaught will overpower you, washing away the scourge of human flesh that lay the foundations of our ironically ignorant system. The times we live in are as savage as the riffs laid out on this record, like those heard on ‘Gods of Dehumanisation’ and ‘Anthropogeny’, and these guys will ensure that by the end of this blistering effort you will be fully aware of this.
Suffering Hour – In Passing Ascension
Whilst modern-day death metal can pack devastating punches it has nothing on the spectre of the old ways, and Minneapolis-based Suffering Hour channel the cacophonous horrors of the pungent crypts on their buzzsaw-laden debut, In Passing Ascension. This Blood Harvest release reeks of the classic Swedish sound whilst wreaking havoc on tolerance levels all around; the sounds are nailed firmly on the cross but are scattered all over this holy instrument. The blackened hypnotic dirges on ‘Empty Avowls’ and ‘Procession to Obscure Infinity’ plunge to magnificent depths, and whilst the rest of the album unleashes all the rotting goodness of pummelling death metal – of which ‘For the Putridity of Man’ and ‘Through Vessels of Arcane Power’ are most exceptional – it’s occasional lack of direction and loose arrangements leads the stench astray, causing it to go haywire. Still, there is plenty of suffering for everyone, so don’t hold back on hearing this!
Desekryptor – Chasm of Rot
There are two tapes included here, the first of which hails from the trenches of Indiana. Desekryptor shatter skulls in a way their aforementioned countrymen slightly missed the mark on; also on Blood Harvest, the Chasm of Rot demo is exactly what the title sets out to be – a shredding force of rot from the murkiest of old-school chasms! For seventeen minutes this trio unleashes a barrage of abominable blasts, spine-chillingly heavy riffs, and demonically evil vokills, and their entire execution is barbaric to say the least. Unrelenting in their delivery, Desekryptor follow up their equally torturous Demo 2016 with more of the same underground-dwelling torment only more cavernous, more expansive, and more inhuman. Once their sound is unearthed from these hellish depths, there’s no telling what chaos will be released…this is not one to miss on its limited physical run.
Paroxsihzem – Abyss of Excruciating Vexes
This, however, is nothing compared to the nastiness found decaying within our second tape. Receiving the re-release treatment on Krucyator Productions, Canadian dealers of terror Paroxsihzem once again submit their followers with the Abyss of Excruciating Vexes EP: yes this is excruciating; yes, it will vex the weak and the insignificant. The pitch-black insanity and blood-curdling primitivism of the Canadian sound reigns supreme on this short stop-gap; blistering through the ghastly abhorrence of ‘Dillanties Torture’ through to the physically painful mental anguish resulting from the monstrous ‘BZ Experiment’, Abyss… is a staggering improvement on their eponymous debut long-player, successfully dragging the listener by the teeth towards all kinds of sonic torture. They also make mincemeat out of their cover of Arkhon Infaustus’ ‘Dead Cunt Maniac’, slicing through its perversion and stuffing themselves in until its blood oozes from the seams. Definitely not for the faint of heart…
Khashm – Asmodeus Rising
Sadly, the same cannot be said for Khashm’s fourth album (or any Khashm release for that matter). Out on Iron Bonehead, Asmodeus Rising is a snooze-fest of the dullest black metal riffs with a production as flat as the music is repetitive. What makes this album worse is that, nestled in amongst these uninspired slabs of evil (at least they get this part right) are two black-ambient pieces with no real purpose to serve: ‘Spiritum Sanctum’ is admittedly a dark and oppressive piece but the seventeen minutes of ‘Asmodeus Rising’ struggles to build on this, playing out like some cosmic death ritual which finishes on a whimper. The bonus seven-inch is nastier in its sound and is miles ahead of the main body, but if you’ve managed to reach this point it is too late to be consumed by it. Boring is an understatement and underwhelming is far too polite.
Jordablod – Upon My Cremation Pyre
Iron Bonehead do have an ace up their sleeve though, one which will light the subterranean voids with a smouldering fire for aeons to come. Upon My Cremation Pyre, the debut from Sweden’s Jordablod, is the definition of magnificence. A vibrant astral tapestry of black metal, doom, post-rock, and classic prog, Upon My Cremation Pyre bursts through the colossal dark with an ethereal and enigmatic beauty beyond comprehension. The dark-yet-uplifting odes ‘Liberator of Eden’ and the title track open up the blood vessels heightening every sensation and allowing the soul to pass through the mortal shell; whilst the doomy aesthetics of the epic ‘Of Fiery Passion’ cleanses those underground dwellings with super-heavy and grandiose leads, obliterating all with its own brand of chaos straight from the end of time. Everything here penetrates with dense sceptres of sound riding on wings made of the blackest of feathers, taking us on an intense and mystical journey until the dark is no more. A stunning release deserving of immense praise!
The vault opened, the miasma claiming victims left right and centre, and the heaviest of music can be heard for miles around. The end of May is definitely an end to look forward to with plenty more time to be consumed by the hellish stench roaming the land. Will you give in to these sounds, or will you stubbornly resist? Surely you know resistance against the underground is futile…