4 min read

Back in the 80s, the only possibility for a band to release an album was to get signed by a record label or, (rarely) form their own label (and pray to find proper distribution). Rudimentarily recorded self-released demo tapes would find their way into the tape trading circles. Fast-forward to present. In 2018, the year (so far) at the peak of the underground metal revival, if I may, quality acts are able to find deserved recognition and build a fanbase, thanks to online platforms such as Bandcamp, where underground metal thrives, and self promoting via the social media, seems to do the trick, while providing instant access. The difficulty nowadays lays in digging out thru the vast pile of horseshit (on the negative flipside), hoping to find all of the hidden gems (properly written and recorded material). Yet, a large number still remain undiscovered, which is vastly the case among the (most) independently released ten albums or extended plays that follow. If discovering new, quality music is relatively simple, let’s say, these artists need all the support that us, the music fans worldwide, can provide to them! Please stream, buy an album or some merchandise, and attend their shows, if possible. Support the underground! Here, at Blessed Altar Zine we like to think that we are doing our part. Dig deep!

Helmond, Netherlands

Black tainted death metal with wide symphonic traits. Extended play with piano and orchestral, artsy versions of two of the tracks. Very well composed, arranged and executed – inspired from fine arts (paintings) and literature, making an intense artistic connection. New (growling) female vocalist debut.

NAHUM “Within Destruction”
Ostrava, Czech Republic

Third full-length release from the death/thrash metallers named after a prophet from the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. Miles of guitar riffs, persisting (frantic) drumming and effective vocals. Lyrics rooted in humanity, society, war, life/death and apocalypse. BoltThrower and Death fans will certainly appreciate.

ARTAS “Ora et Gomorrha”
Vienna, Austria

Melodic death/thrash with solid hardcore crossover and surprisingly great nu-metal elements, very modern sounding. Initially under the name Staub und Schatten (2006- 2007). Third full-length, “Ora et Gomorrha” contains songs in German, English, Spanish, and even Russian, lyrically focusing on darkness, terror and anger. Unforgettably instantaneous.

FABULOUS DESASTER “Off With Their Heads”
Bonn, Germany

Sophomore effort to their well received, 2016 debut “Hang ‘Em High”. Energetic thrash metal influenced by both, the American style (Exodus, Overkill), and the Teutonic scene (Destruction). Typical thrash attitude lyrics. Clear Zetro vocal worship. Total headbanger from start to finish: Fabulous Desaster delivers at full speed with bestial power!

SVÄLTFÖDD “King Of The Burial Mound”
Eskilstuna, Sweden

Svältfödd (“starved/starving” in English) delivers, with their five tracks debut EP, “King Of The Burial Mound”, a clever mix of black metal and melodic, at times, death metal. Effective song structures, incorporating well the array of guitar techniques and tones, early 90s style solos (Schuldiner/Murphy), and the marauding drumming. Delivered with gravity.

Vienna, Austria

Satanic black metal from Vienna, Misanthropic Might incorporates members of the death metal band Parental Advisory, and it is part of the Vienna Headfuck Crew. “Feindt”, the act’s third LP, is lyrically focused on misanthropy, war, death and vampires. Musically, raw and brutal, with melodic hyper picking, relentless blasts and demonic vocals.

HERESY “Blasphēmia”
San José, Costa Rica

Formed in 2011, and relentlessly touring the world since 2012, Heresy has shared the stage with: Sodom, Testament, Sinister, Benediction & Sepultura, among others. The Latin Americans thrashers opened for Metallica in November 2016, playing in front of a crowd of 30,000 at the National Stadium of Costa Rica. Currently touring Europe.

ALL CONSUMED “Birth of Ruin”
Preston, UK

Brutal, zero filler, old-school death metal at its very best! Formed in 2012, All Consumed offers a sincere mix of Euro and Floridian death metal with a touch of hardcore and even D-Beat, all in the primeval fashion (early 90s) of the genre. For the fans of: Bolt-Thrower, Obituary, Entombed, Benediction, (early) Six Feet Under, and all old-school death metal fans.

THE EMERALD GRAVE “The Emerald Grave”
Martinborough, New Zealand

Brainchild of Hunter Higginson (guitars/vocals), The Emerald Grave formed in 2017. The technical death/thrash, self-titled debut was recoded with help of session musicians. Higginson cites as primary influences: Gojira, Death, Necrophagist and Revocation. “Forged with savage guitar riffs, bass wizardry, blistering solos, drums from hell, and vocal passages inspired by the existential horrors of reality.”

TROLLWAR “ Oath of the Storm”
Alma, Québec, Canada

Formed in January 2011, the Canadian band Trollwar combine the best elements of folk, power, melodic death and black metal, into a very memorable listening experience. Musically, the sextet is largely influenced by the likes of Wintersun, Ensiferum, Amon Amarth and Finntroll. With Tolkien & Lovecraft books, and old European mythologies being their main lyrical influences.

Carefully selected by Emil/UHF

**Please support the underground! It’s vital to the future of our genre

Used by permission. © 2018 by Emil Chiru / UHF