Clot-Crops: Latest Releases From Blood Harvest

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Something (a few months) old, something new, something hallowed, something… fuck you. Releases from Xantam, Ectovoid and Cadaveric Fumes coming out through Blood Harvest Records.

Ectovoid

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First thing’s first, Ectovoid’s album Dark Abstraction from 2015 is deservedly getting a vinyl pressing through Blood Harvest on the 28th of March. Originally released through Hellthrasher Productions on CD, this beast of death made its way on to a few end of year lists including one of our much vaunted guest lists  (Ryan from Cemetery Filth). Looking around, it seems that the record somehow managed to escape both forms of review (mini & morbidly obese) and even eluded a This Toilet Tuesday write-up, so I’ll give it a brief summary now before getting into the other blood that hasn’t had time to coagulate just yet. How much OSDM is too much? Well, considering the Merck Index has not assigned it an LD50 value, I guess you could say scientifically that one can never have too much OSDM.

Dark Abstraction is a solid piece of early 90’s death-worship, full of staunch riffs and exactly 1.822m of dirt. The 8 tracks are all around the 4 – 5 minute range and offer a welcome blend of tempos; while mostly mid-paced, there are some punishing slower passages along with a couple of hastier moments. The vocals have that familiar throaty growl, and the drums pound you in all the right places, as does the bass. The riffs remain interesting without ever seeming like they’re supposed to be the focal point of the song, and there are a couple of leads throughout the album just to cap things off. Personally, I would have liked a few more solo spots to break things up a bit, but that’s just me. Knowing how some people feel about guitar solos it might be for the best, although these guys clearly have the chops so I think a few eerie leads wouldn’t go astray. FFO: Derkéta, Autopsy, Triumvir Foul.

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Xantam

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A mournful symphonic intro belies 3 tracks of lo-fi blackened death metal courtesy of California’s Xantam. Released independently in 2015, Xantam’s LifeDeathBeyond demo was picked up for a cassette release earlier this year by Blood Harvest Records. The three tracks have a run time of just over 25 minutes and will please fans of both black and death metal alike. Don’t let the raw production aesthetic fool you. The riffs on display are not sloppily composed by any means and are woven with memorable melodies and a dash of wretched harmony. The aforementioned grief-laden symphonic element returns to bookend each track and serves as an interesting segue, bridging the gaps between the controlled chaos. The guitar tones are unpolished and have a little twang to them in parts, bringing to mind those of Volahn (reviewed here) and new label mates VoidCeremony (featured here).

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There are traces of both the 1st and 2nd wave black metal scenes scattered throughout this release, along with the prevailing 90’s death metal influences. The combination isn’t jarring and feels pretty damn natural. By the time the third and final track “Realm of Vile Lamentations (Echoes from Within)” hits its strides, I’m sure you’ll be impressed by the skill of Xantam the Beholder, the sole-member. After 8 years of pounding the skins for previous band Abscission, he decided to embark on a lone journey to satiate a desire to create his own material. Following learning keyboard and guitar, he created the three tracks on display here. Recombining with former bandmates from Abscission to create a live lineup, along with Arturo from Morbid Gods on drums, Xantam plan to be more than a mere solo-studio project by playing more live shows in the future. Citing Zyklon, The Chasm, Morbid Angel and Limbonic Art (among others) as influences, this release has the potential for quite a wide appeal and has been relentlessly swirling around in my mind for the past few weeks. With a debut LP titled Astral Dominion scheduled to surface mid-way through 2016, this would be a good time to get in on ground level.

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 Cadaveric Fumes

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Last but not least is the upcoming EP titled Dimensions Obscure from French band Cadaveric Fumes. So far having just a demo (2011) and a split with Demonic Oath (2014), the band are set to release the 3 track/25 minute offering of unique death metal on the 2nd of May, 2016.

The French scene has been through what could be described as a renaissance period in recent years, though predominantly in the field of innovative and deeply compelling black metal, the progressive approach which challenges the prevailing paradigms may now be diffusing through the adjacent scenes. This can only be a good thing. While this album is most certainly deeply rooted in the dark abundant forest that is death metal, there is an element about the overall sound which is immediately noticeable and deserves to be mentioned, moreover, applauded. That aspect is guitarist Wencelslas Carrieu’s warm and natural guitar tone. Spare for a few isolated times here and there have I heard this type of organic sound applied in the context of a contemporary death metal release. A bunch of you are probably saying “Tone? Who cares, does it riff?” The answer is a resounding fuck and yes! Sure, there is little to no distortion, yet Carrieu manages to convey the same level of menace as those who stomp down the sunken path of high-gain and the infamous bane of over-compression. The resulting sound forms a thick and gnarled trunk from which the rest of the band can branch out, twisting and contorting the common conventions of modern death. The bass rumbles through the buttress, weaving itself fittingly around the maturely composed percussion while the vocals are mostly hoarsely barked assaults that take turns basking in the moonlight in alternation with the riffs. The leads are suitably distinct and have some off-the-wall moments which further maintain engagement with the listener.

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The final impression of this EP is of resounding success. Sadly, it’s all too often that a band will release what could have been a great record only for it to fall short on one key area; however, this is not the case with Dimensions Obscure. Cadaveric Fumes manage to carve out a niche through intelligently crafted compositions that balance intrigue alongside aggression, with production that, while being raw in nature, carries enough clarity to remain coherent. Dimensions Obscure will please those of you looking for a fresh scent to burn atop your standard weekend pyre. As I previously mentioned, this doesn’t drop until early May, but in the mean time you can check out their split with Demonic Oath from 2014 or their debut Macabre Exaltation from 2012 (here). Although those releases feature a more standard sound than the one I described above, they’re still a worthwhile listen to tide you over until the end of Spring.

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  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain
  • I knew it was the Lizard-bro. Ectovoid rips so far.

  • Boss the “Hoss” Ross

    Nice write up LizardKing!

  • Fuck! Cadaveric Fumes is tits!

    • Lacertilian

      I’m interested in hearing people’s opinion on the new one when it releases. The sound is much more stripped back.

      • Interesting, let me know when that shit drops. I’m sure I’ll forget about it. I’m following them on Bandcamp now though. Hopefully I’ll get an email about it.

        • Lacertilian

          I’ll probably need reminding too, to be honest. My brain is a sieve these days.

          • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

            Smoke less.

          • Dude, smoking is bad for your health.
            *vapes*

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls
          • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

            WRONG ANSWER

          • Lacertilian

            I blame alcohol just as much. Dumber every day.

          • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

            Don’t you dare blame my dearest Al.

          • Alcohol is a fucking bastard.

  • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

    Goatdayum, this Xantam stuff is raw as fuck!!!!!!

  • Timmy: “GOD DAMNIT MOM, JUST TAKING THE FLUCKIN PICTURE”
    Timmy’s Mom: “BUT TIMMY, YOU LOOK STUPID IN THE PINE TREES N’ SHIT. AND. YOU CANNOT EVEN SEE YOUR FACE”
    Timmy: “IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE HEAVY AND EVIL. WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT SATAN?”
    Timmy’s Mom: “EVIL, RIGHT. IN THE PINE TREES, LOL”

    http://i2.wp.com/www.toiletovhell.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Xantam_the_Beholder.png?resize=201%2C300

    • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

      Whole lotta purple stuff = must be tech death

      • Nothing about that image looks tech death. Also, I may be color blind, because I don’t see much purple there.

        • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

          I’m seeing a whole lotta buncha purple/violet tree limbs.

        • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

          if tech death starts branding themselves like black metal , shit could get interesting

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            Branding themselves like cows?

  • Love me some Ectovoid

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    Good stuff lLizzard-wWizzard, keep on stuffing.

  • RJA

    Your last Blood Harvest roundup was pretty killer – this one seems pretty good so far. Nice work lizard man.

  • JWEG

    Ectovoid is a sweet name.

    Though imagining space being gooey and paranormal reminds me of that one Star Trek: Voyager arc…

    Very little worth remembering came from Voyager other than Jeri Ryan’s catsuit and more Borg Queen.

  • Desolate Shrine in the studio ya’ll!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dg1jp3MuMOA

    • OOOOOHHHHHHHHHH

      • Yeah, no shit man! This band is seriously one of the best Death Metal bands out there currently. Super excited for new shit!

        • If we can just get some Dead Congregation too I would be so stoked!

          • we have Cruciamentum to hold us over ’til that happens

          • Meh

          • Rob M

            Full length was underwhelming…really didnt follow through on all the potential they showed with the demo’s and the EP

          • guess i’ll have to listen to the demo’s and the EP… cause that full-length tore me to shreds!!!

          • Rob M

            Can definitely recommend the demo’s/EP

  • Dubs

    Good stuff, Lizardbro. Xantam is pretty cool. It kind of reminds me of Blunt Ass Nord in some ways.

    • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

      Not really hearing the BAN in there. If anything, it reminds me of Hacavitz.

      • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

        agreed, wasnt sure if W was having a stroke

        • Dubs

          It’s entirely possible. I was referring more to the cold mechanical-esque atmosphere of the 777 trilogy.

          • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

            mmm maybe i could see, but BAN goes deeeep in industrial territory, and its so minimalistic, especially in 777. perhaps back towards TWWTG or Odinist

          • Yeah, that industrial is what turns be away from BAN.

          • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

            see, i usually am with you, but BAN does it so well. thats why Sects/Desanctification are two of my fav BAN albums. their straight BM albums are less compelling, but still good

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            I’ve never heard any industrial in their stuff, but then again I’m not all too familiar with their catalog overall. The industrial parts might get me hooked, depending on what kind of industrial.

          • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

            About half their albums almost pure industrial

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            Electro-industrial, though, or old school industrial a la Throbbing Gristle?

          • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

            industrial black metal

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            Hmmmmm I’ll give them more of a look-see then.

          • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

            they start gettin more industrial around The Work Which Transforms God. the Memoria Vetustas are all pretty straight BM

          • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

            or i guess Ultima Thulee rly

          • I have no idea what is happening in this comment. Plz advise.

          • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

            *inhale deep*
            *vape*
            *inhale deep*
            Better?

          • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

            MUST PUNCH

          • I officially died when I read “New England Vapers”.

          • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

            new england punching bags

          • I cannot wait for someone to break the beans that the “vaping liquid” is a gasoline derivative or some shit.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            Vaping liquid is pppppppppeeeeeeeeeeeeooooooopppppple!!!!!

            http://img.lukedubber.com//2014-05-29-soylent/soylent.jpg

          • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

            or a distilled poser liquid

          • Nice ear gauges fuck face.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Bro, do you even gauge?

          • One of the dumbest things ever.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Yeah, it’s pretty fucking lame.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            A nice set of live jumper cables would go nicely with those.

          • Maddox the Hammmer

            My older brother who’s in college said he was going to get me that shirt.

          • Hopefully he is not just blowing smoke, dude. lolz

          • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

            did you punch him?

          • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

            go listen to Blut Aus Nord, i reckon

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            I’m not sure if we want GL in this train.

          • UNCLE BLACKBEARD

            point taken. itll take him 5 years to like it, anyway

          • HAHAAAA so true!

      • Newest Hacavitz album is so good. I need to listen to that one more.

        • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

          Shit, I didn’t know they have a new one out! Definitely gonna check that out a little later tonight!

          • It’s not new new I guess. But it was released last year. Much more black metal sounding.

  • Waynecro

    Thanks for the killer jams, man.

  • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls
  • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls