Brooklyn, New York’s Spü is a multi-headed beast; part molten sludge, part scuzzy black metal and part even scuzzier noise rock. The trio recently self-released Deluge, a genre-blending maelstrom of filth that’s one of the most intriguing debut albums I’ve heard in 2014. It’s rare that a young band emerges with their sound fully formed, but Spü appear to have done just that with this killer tape.
Los Angeles, CA’s Gore House Productions has one of the most insane release schedules of any of the independent labels I regularly work with. Seriously, they pump out such a constant stream of awesome slam, brutal death metal and goregrind that you’d think this shit grew on trees. The latest GHP onslaught comes in the form of Systematic Mutilation, the second album from Vegas-based one-man wrecking crew Phalloplasty. Taking bits and pieces of all the aforementioned subgenres and hammering them into a bloody slab of brutality, Phalloplasty in many ways sums up everything GHP is about.
I’ve always believed that there’s something to be said for staunch traditionalism, especially when it comes to black metal. I often tire of the progressive tendencies the genre has picked up in recent years, especially here in the US; sometimes I just want to scream “cut the shit and get to the ear-raping already!” Fortunately, Sacramento, CA’s Killgasm exists, and their second album A Stab in the Heart of Christ is the ultra-corrosive antidote to the overly pretentious, meandering mess that much of the current crop of USBM has degenerated into.
If you’re into brutality, Southern California’s Gore House Productions have been killing it in 2014, putting out a slew of excellent brutal death metal, slam and goregrind releases with no end in sight. Among their latest is Zombification of the Masses, a quickie EP from Florida’s Extremely Rotten, featuring two tracks of slamming brutal death metal. Clocking in at just five minutes, it is the very definition of all killer, no filler.
Just as I’ve started to settle into life on the West Coast, along comes a band from the Midwest to remind me that my home region can kick serious ass when it wants to. That band is Chicago’s Sons of Famine, who’s stock-in-trade is pummeling oldschool death metal with a blackened edge. Their debut demo, Alcohol and Razor Blades, is a musical battering ram of ungodly filth and fury that beats and bludgeons the living hell out of just about every other demo I’ve heard of late.
When my wife and I first started talking seriously about moving to Sacramento, one of the main draws for me was the opportunity to take in a lot of live music. Sure, metal shows do happen back home in Des Moines, but they are few and far between, seemingly getting more and more scarce by the year, so in this respect moving to the West Coast was a total no-brainer. I started looking for shows well in advance of coming out here, and the one that immediately caught my eye was the sole Northern California date on Finnish black metallers Sargeist’s current US tour, w/ support coming from Killgasm, Pandiscordian Necrogenesis and Valdur.
I’ve been covering quite a bit of brutal death metal of late, but Italy’s Across the Swarm stand out even among the standouts I’ve been touching on throughout 2014. What makes the band so special, you ask? First and foremost they write great songs, but what sealed the deal for me is the way in which they seamlessly integrate electronic elements into the brutal death metal framework.