Mortuary Drape – Spiritual Independence (Iron Tyrant, 2014)

CDDG4T1-004.pdfOf all the legendary bands making comebacks in the last few years, Mortuary Drape is surely among the most welcome around here at THKD.  It’s been ten long years since the Italians last released a full length, and given the fact that there’s not another black metal band on Earth (or beyond) that sounds quite like them, that’s far, far too long.  Of course, some misgivings are understandable considering the band that now surrounds drummer/vocalist/mainman Wildness Perversion consists of more recent initiates into the Mortuary Drape uh, fold, but rest assured fiends, Herr Perversion’s still got it on Spiritual Independence; in fact he’s still got it to the point that the album stacks up damn impressively next to stone classics such as All the Witches Dance and Tolling 13 Knell.

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Bunker 66 – Inferno Interceptors + split tracks and Out of the Bunker / Alive & Melting (Caligari Records, 2014)

a2614767694_10Caligari Records strikes again!  This time around the cassette label has unleashed a metric fuck-ton of black thrash from Sicilian sensation Bunker 66.  These two tapes encompass the bulk of the band’s discography (with the exception of their 2014 full length, Screaming Rock Believers) and they’re likely the most fun you’ll have all year, giving recent releases from the likes of Children of Technology and Midnight a run for their money with some gnarly-as-all-get-out Motorhead/Venom/Celtic Frost worship.

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Khold – Til Endes (Peaceville Records, 2014)

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Since releasing debut album Masterpiss of Pain back in 2001, Norway’s Khold have been constantly refining their patented brand of groove-laden, willfully primitive black metal.  While some have criticized the band for their simplicity, I’ve long been a fan of their stripped down approach; their sound is not only instantly recognizable but also infectious as all get out, the riffs slowly boring their way into your brain and taking up residence therein for days or weeks on end.  Til Endes is Khold’s sixth full-length release and it’s quite possibly the purest distillation of the band’s aesthetic to date.

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Emptiness – Nothing but the Whole (Dark Descent, 2014)

a0173805231_10Underground metal is a land of extremes.  Bands playing so fast that a human drummer can’t keep up, bands playing so slow they make a glacier look speedy, bands trying to play the heaviest, the most technical, the most brutal, the most… ah, fuck it, you get the idea.  What I’m attempting to get at is, there’s typically no such thing as subtlety in the circles we travel in.  This is what makes Emptiness’ Nothing but the Whole such a refreshing album.  Where other bands seek to crush your soul in the first thirty seconds, Emptiness would rather watch it slowly wither and die.

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Compelling Natural Force: A Caligari Records round-up (Heavydeath, Act of Impalement, Ellorsith).

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As Caligari Records continues to pick up steam, it’s becoming more and more difficult to keep up with the avalanche of quality cassettes.  Fifteen releases deep and not a single dud in the bunch is a hell of a track record, and you can pretty much rest assured at this point that anything Caligari puts its name to is going to be excellent.  Case in point: the label’s three latest releases are all very different from one another, but all well worth your time.  So without further ado, let us investigate the latest from Caligari’s cabinet…

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Dispirit and the art of total immersion.

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As a heavy metal fan, I’ve seen dozens of amazing shows.  But I can probably count on one hand the number of shows that fully immersed me, the ones that made real life and all the horrific mundanity that goes with it melt away completely, the ones that made me feel like I was alone in the universe with nothing but the band and the music.  Dispirit’s headlining set at the Starlite Lounge last Sunday night was one of them.

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