In Darkest Dreams – The Vanishing

I’m actually really disappointed. Not that this is bad,  I knew from the start that this would be awful. A self labeled christian death metal band from Oklahoma with a glaring red and black bandcamp page, topped off with a 10$ price tag for an independently released debut? Nothing but wrong could come from that. What I’m disappointed with is that this wasn’t as hilarious as I thought it would be. I mean sure, the midis at the beginning were pretty jokes, and the insanely cringeworthy lyrics are gold, but that’s all there is to really laugh at here. Because as a whole, this is just really bad death metal. Bad, and very, very repetitive death metal. That guitar tone is so fucking annoying that I stopped listening 3 tracks from the end because I had a huge fucking headache and had to take an ibuprofen and lay down for a while.

God this is like 50 minutes of someone beating your skull in with a steel cross. Is this how demons feel when they get exorcised? Fuck no wonder they leave, I wouldn’t want to experience hell in two places at once either. Devil probably pays like shit anyway, with no benefits at that, I wouldn’t need any more shit from surface-goers. Probably move to haunt a Buddhist house, they’re supposed to not kill things.


2.75/10

Astral Path – Ashes Dancer

First off, Ashes Dancer would’ve made a much more interesting band name, and Astral Path would’ve been a cooler album name, for what it’s worth (especially considering another metal band named Astral Path already released an album this year). Other than that, this is just pretty good prog death. The melodies are good, but not amazing, following very predictable patterns and chord progressions, but being relatively pleasing nonetheless. The band can craft some mean solos though, especially on Drag Me Down, which is easily my favorite track on the album.

What really gets me though, is the deathcore-lite breakdowns and chugging that infects that whole album for no reason at all. I feel like there’s supposed to be a sort of spiritual element to this record (at least with indications in the band name, opening track, and prelude), going through sort of new agey/faux-indian classical elements that are brought up on certain tracks and then dropped completely. However everything about this is so god damn produced, clean, and corporate that it makes them feel like a gimmick rather than giving the album any serious conceptual weight.

Again, this album is good, but I wouldn’t quite give it the recommended tag. There are plenty of other prog death albums that are this level of quality, and plenty more than have the same level of high value production, but also offer something more than what you would typically expect.


6.75/10

Blood Incantation – Starspawn

A weird, yet pleasantly refreshing mixture of OSDM and tech death, while combining atmospheric and prog elements to create this otherworldly beauty. Echoes of Timeghoul and Mithras are apparent, albeit this record is much cleaner then either. I feel like the one thing I wasn’t really thrilled about was how directionless the tracks could be at times. It seems like there were moments where the music just sort of meandered, lazily arriving to it’s destination after much slacking off on tangents. In a way, this makes me feel like I’m having a space exploration, searching unknown worlds for what they hold. Starspawn and Meticulous Soul Devourment in particular give a much slower and calmer view of the album, whereas the other tracks are generally much more violent in nature. I really love how I can hear the environment of the planet in the music, like I’m going through and audio guided tour of some intergalactic hellhole.

While the 34 minute runtime isn’t really bad per say (think it’s actually around the perfect time for this kind of album), I think the first track is just overly long and lacks the necessary diversity for it’s length. It’s kind of funny how part two of Vitrification of Blood packs in twice the amount of imagination as it’s first part, while being half the length. This is especially concerning as that first track takes up a full third of the album. However it doesn’t take enough away from this album for me to not give it a fantastic score, as this easily one of the top death metal records this year.


8/10

Eritherium – If You Feel It’s Presence

This is absolutely a masterpiece that never was. The album itself is just fantastic early Opeth worship, done better than Opeth themselves. It’s not a riff cereal, every song is constructed beautifully, the length isn’t overbearing because of how enjoyable every song is, the math rocky guitars are a superb add on, everything about this is absolutely wonderful and in most circumstances would be an AOTY contender. The problem is the production is an absolutely disaster that is hard to overlook. It’s just a simple matter of the equipment used to record this was utter trash, so everything is muddled and the music has 1/3rd of the impact it should have. Prog death like this NEEDS to be clean in order to work, and these guys simply weren’t able to deliver on that front. This could be a fucking amazing band if they just get good equipment, because that is actually all they need to be one of the top notch prog death bands around. They have all the tools to be great, except the ones needed to record the music.


7.75/10

https://eritherium.bandcamp.com/track/if-you-feel-its-presence