Iron Bonehead Productions had a top-class year in 2015 with acclaimed releases from Nocternity, Death Karma, Possession, Creeping, Tetragrammicide, Onirik, Spite and many more. Seems that trend is going to continue into 2016 if these couple of upcoming releases are anything to go by. Draw closed the curtains, light a candle and invert all the fucking crucifixes.
British Columbia’s Hostium bring 7 tracks of satanic anarchy with their debut full-length The Bloodwine of Satan. After nearly 3 minutes of ominous build-up, where the malefic organ sounds in the background take you straight into the scene depicted in the killer cover art, the trio unleash 35 minutes of grim armageddon. The vocals for the most part are comprised of tortured howls interspersed with ritual-like bellowing reminiscent of the style employed by Acherontas, re-enforcing the imagery of the album art.
Infernal riffs rise from below and beckon you into the blackened hell hole. While the album may have been better served with a slightly more modern production, the murkiness does foster the archaic and often sinister atmopshere. Throughout the album the bass can be heard clomping along up-front in the mix, which adds to the overall rawness of the piece. The percussion recalls the fury of Athanatos during the hastier sections with punishing tom rolls, and crashes down on your battered torso when things slow down to a grinding halt. This album will fit in quite well on a playlist with the upcoming Invocation Spells release due to its thrashier moments, and something like Predatory Light for its miasmic torrent-like passages (see the eerie lead sounds on ‘Arcane Deathwomb’).
You can fill your chalice with The Bloodwine of Satan on January 11th.
Switzerland’s Dakhma already have released a full-length and joined forces with Ungfell to record a split during 2015 but are set to drop even more material before the year is out. The four-tracks titled Astiwihad-Zohr, are said to resemble a spiritual journey based upon the ancient monotheistic religion of Zoroastrianism. Now I know practically nothing about the rites and doctrines of this particular belief system but what I do know is that the sole member of Dakhma, Kerberos, crafts ritualistic blackened death metal.
From what I’m told, the four tracks are supposed to represent four distinct steps, aligning with spiritual ascent and descent. Whatever the case, this rather mysterious EP will appeal to those with a penchant for the esoteric. Ruinous and vile sounding vocals are bestowed upon chaotic instrumentation. The culmination of the sound is almost certainly a sign of an oncoming cataclysm. Turbulent riffing persists throughout, spare of the few short ambient sections, where gongs clash and echo over Arabic-style warbling vocal calls. There is a murky opacity to the production which is somewhat fitting for the obscure nature of the music’s inspiration.
Astiwihad-Zohr releases on CD from December 18th, while the LP is expected to be out on February 29th.