Auditory Reflections No. 3

Welcome back to another iteration of Auditory Reflections, where we write succinct (100 words or less) reviews for nine albums we enjoy and recommend you folks check out. There is no real method on how we select these records beyond our typical day-to-day sleuthing across Bandcamp’s new releases section. The genres covered can be relatively disparate and strange, though we hope there is at least one record in here that you find compelling.

In this iteration, we recommend a handful of sludge of records (one of which we discussed on episode 15 of our Voices podcast), some zombie-themed thrash, a brutally harsh (noise) grind outfit, an epic dark ambient record, and some Demilichian death metal.

Let us know if any of these records left an impact on you and please feel free to pass along your own recommendations in the comments below. Thank you for your continued support. On to the list…

Cyttorak – 4 Song Demo (Providence, RI)

Ogre sludge slayers, Cyttorak, trudge across muddy terrains with bass cables and war drums only. Each riff harbors the weight of a bloodied steel cudgel; each drum strike crushes bone matter underfoot. “Souvenir Of The Deep Sea” escalates sluggishly, blanketing ears in an airy bass embrace. The drums count in and the tons of sludge flood. Uptempo “Wake Up Number Thirty-Seven” roars as gravelly grunts disgorge. It swells to a head, then demolishes with a colossal, sloth-like groove. Though only four tracks and two instruments, Cyttorak obliterate. Maintain a keen eye on these destroyers. — Ryan

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Exit Smashed – Between Death and Death (Hamburg, Germany)

A concept album consisting of zombies, Nazi rednecks and superheroes? The German band Exit Smashed brings an old-school new age thrash album full of deranged theatrics. Between Death and Death is packed with humor, entertaining characters and ultimate thrash riffage. Embrace the hardcore rush of “The Runs”. Rapid heavy instrumentals crash down on the inbred hillbillies in “Scum”. What’s better than “Hobos With Shotguns” fighting off herds of rednecks and zombies? Not much as chunky guitar enveloped drums explode like lead against skulls. Head-bang like no other in the hard-hitting “Old Spice Scented Epoxy”. Overall, it’s a dramatic blast! — Connor

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Exlimitir – It Weighed Itself In Silver (Antarctica)

In pitch oceanic depths writhes the Demilichian horror Exlimitir. Unending its malefic mass coils in the hadal zone, perpetually disorienting with myriad atonal pangs. Guttural bass wires lurch from “Occulters of the Psylent Wayyy” to lambast your psyche while ghastly dissonance garrotes every splintering thread of sanity. Seldom does one of its dirges rest on a single riff; they sprawl into slithering grooves, but just for a blink. Alingual terrors ceaselessly gurgle from waterlogged tongues. Demoniac they beckon you to drown, submerse your lungs. Only downwards this subsonic tale pulls. It subsumes, induces psychosis, and converts you to its thrall. — Ryan

// Bandcamp //

False Mirror – Sigint (Baltimore, MD)

False Mirror of Malignant Records creates a dark ambient album of epic proportions. Textures of all sorts create immersive landscapes of a desolate world. Become isolated in the static eerie drone of “Perimeter”. “Fallout” trickles down with a melancholic whispering drone and pulsing harmonies. Deep in the abyss of contaminated seas lie the painful sinister moans of a “Leviathan”. Beauty is created in a barren land as calming tones mix with dark undercurrents within “Troposcatter” and “Aether”. These are a few of the many remarkable landscapes in Sigint. — Connor

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GRIZZLOR – 5 Wasted Years (New Haven, CT)

The Connecticut power trio Grizzlor revive their debut noise-rock release. 5 Wasted Years is a re-recorded EP that was never truly released in the first place. But five years later, it’s back with a lively vengeance. Crusty guitars finger away in all directions as erratic vocals bleach out in “Just Don’t Care”. The addicting head bobbing bass melody in “Head in the Clouds” pairs perfectly with rhythmic drumsDeep bass and sludgy instrumentals circulate in the spacey landscapes of “Shoot Me in the Head”. It’s one engaging, condensed listen. — Connor

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Hexendrone – Heavy Drugs Smashed Amps (Krasnodar, Russia)

From Russia comes an outlandish two-piece known as Hexendrone. Their new release Heavy Drugs Smashed Amps is infested with grainy drone-driven sludge crushing doom. Strange spacey noise orbits the slow pulverizing guitars in “Methastases”. Fuzzed out mammoth instrumentals grind over echoing vocals within “Demantaren”. In “Hexendrone”, amps are pushed to their limits as drums concuss the ground. Hexendrone creates a lasting earthquake of drone and feedback-matted sludge. — Connor

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KHESHIG – Holy Bereft (Tacoma, WA)

Sludgy despondent drone filled doom is one way to describe the Washington artist Kheshig. Holy Bereft is a three track EP full of conspiring dark ambient landscapes. These landscapes are crushed upon with sludgy doom instrumentals. A growing drone builds up in “Eruption of Mount Zion” that then explodes with molten doom at its peak. “Holy Bereft” is a drone-permeating track of trudging guitars and drums. “Rosary” opens up with a cathedral like atmosphere as monk-like chants cascade through the halls. The chants disperse as a swell of grainy sludge floods in. — Connor

// Bandcamp //

Melancholia – Misbegotten (Bellingham, WA)

Under the perpetually bleak canopy of grey resides Bellingham-based outfit, Melancholia. Details on this outfit are scant, but their three-track debut, Misbegotten, is an umbral quagmire of blackened malaise stained with infectious lurches of sludge. “Cold Tides of Malady” deluges misanthropy, pouring endless tremolo riffs as acidic vocals snarl; only at its end does it cleave with an unexpected groove. Down in “The Pit” Melancholia formulates palpable anticipation that thumps at the grisly rhythm of the drum’s beat. Once the snare cracks, the riff erupts a sludge fracturing chasm. A cerebral engulf, Misbegotten reigns in morosely satisfying catharsis. — Ryan

// Bandcamp //

Snitchgrinder – A Rich Tapestry of Suffering (New York, NY)

Undiluted is Snitchgrinder, a crust-rotten grindcore duo from New York City. Shrill squawks and guttural retches mash into a festering pile of butchered throats. The hollow ricochet of the snare being pulped by ruthless blasts, the frenetic, flesh melting riffs that jaggedly carve from punk to fetterless grind; it’s an incursion bereft of hooks—save the savage mosh respite on “Unbridled Force”—that’s mangled in lo-fi grit. And piercing this twelve-track tapestry too are corrosive harsh noise frequencies. “Starve”, the finale, is pure pandemonium. It cleanses the palette of the preceding crusty barrage and impels you to relive the suffering. — Ryan

// Bandcamp //

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Thank you so much for reading. Please feel free to leave us album suggestions in the comments below or discuss some of your favorite album discoveries you’ve made in the last couple months.

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