Where in the World is Carmen Transcendiego?
Where in the World is Carmen Transcendiego?
A Shallow Response to Obscure Depths
A Guest post by all-around-swell being, Iron Goddess of Mercy
With the advent of another new year comes another new sampler platter from the international force Transcending Obscurity Records. For the 52 songs comprising this release, I’ve prepared 52 reviews that are the varying lengths of the factors of the number 52. Each is lightly researched, inadequately revised, and, of course, triple-hopped.
Pore over this sampler. Find something that grabs your attention. Devote your time and energy to it. We owe that much to the artists and ourselves.
Everything on Transcending Obscurity’s Bandcamp is NYP through the end of the month.
Whatever you buy, listen
1. Heads for the Dead – “At the Dead of Night”
The first of multiple entries from a certain Jonny Pettersson. This is (lab-grown) meat ‘n taters death metal. Fans of the 2018 full-length will surely approve.
2. Gods Forsaken – “Perpetual Darkness”
Jonny P’s back (he’s Caligari now!), and this time he’s brought his buzzed-out HM-2 pedal. The production is a little grimy, the lead guitar introduces a hint of melody throughout the track, while there’s something that feels just a tid bit –core about the whole thing. Overall, not an uninteresting second song.
3. Depravity – “Grand Malevolence”
Evil Upheaval was one of 2018’s best pieces of unhinged death metal, and fellow Toileteers will be happy to hear that ain’t shit changed for Depravity.
4. Abaddon Incarnate – “Yester Hara”
Classic blistering, hollowed-out grindcore.
5. Monument of Misanthropy – “Tales from the Vienna Woods”
This is accessible and enjoyable brutal death metal that doesn’t overstay its welcome.
6. Feral – “The Hangman’s Trade”
Look. I know that you don’t two-step at a metal show, but that’s all I can think about during this mid-paced Swedeath romp. Mosh don’t mush! (TovH Premiere)
7. Henry Kane – “Tidens Tand”
It’s Jonny P times three! As blackened as it is crusty, this slice of grinding death certainly doesn’t suck. The band name just bugs me, though. (TovH Premiere)
8. Rogga Johansson – “The Creepers are Coming”
After playing in every band that ever existed, Rogga Johansson finally ran out of words to name his bands and just called this one himself. Like Henry Kane, I’m sort of hung up on the band name here. I think Rogga should’ve named this band Jonny Pettersson. This is not a review.
9. Sadistik Forest – “Mandagore”
Like T.O. label mates Depravity, Sadistik Forest are following their 2018 ripper with more death metal mania. The final two minutes are an absolute riff fest.
10. Sepulchral Curse – “From Within the Bowels of the Earth”
Sepulchral Curse brings a heady, rich mix of thrash, black metal, and NOWBHM to their death metal party, and I’m glad I also caught an invite.
11. Fetid Zombie – “Conscious Rot”
The Chronicles of (Mark) Riddick are lengthy and still unfinished. This most recent entry starts as an unmitigated head banger before slowing down to a rueful, melodious dungeon ballad that eventually ends in the same neck-snapping territory where it began. Riddick is the busiest zombie since Venturestein led a full-scale mutant revolution!
12. Bone Marrow – “Entangled in Symbiosis”
Uh-oh! Redundant title alert! But also, Riff ov the Week alert at 1:06.
13. Pale King – “The Last Farewell”
14. To Descend – “Bleed Out”
15. Absolution – “Gas Mark 8”
U WOT M8? OSDM that sounds like it’s from the UK… and is!
16. Abscession – “War Machine”
This is Swedeath through and through, and I’m starting to suffer from a bad case of metal madness. Sixteen straight death metal tracks will do that.
17. Atræ Bilis – “Ectopian”
These Canadian newcomers deliver legitimately exciting death metal with a huge, fuzzy guitar tone, blown-out bass, and some surprising melody. The wrong ones to Canuck with! (Riff-Raff Podcast Feature)
18. Casket Feeder – “Mask of Sorrow”
When bands like Casket Feeder blend death metal and hardcore to this level of mosh, I think I know the difference between this sub-genre and deathcore.
19. Apophis – “Forgive Yourself”
Melodic death metal that shares stylistic qualities with old Amorphis and thematic interests with Nile. More importantly, the drummer of Apophis played in a thrash band called Yom Kippur. Okay, he was just the live drummer, but they have a song called “Mr. Jones” that simply must be a Counting Crows cover.
20. Verthebral – “Absymal Decay”
Go read Lacertilian’s premiere.
21. Summon – “R”
Doomy blackened death metal for fans of stuff like Ominous Circle. Is it subterranean or is it Martian? Be a(n iron) bonehead and decide for yourself.
22. Coffin Mulch – “Coffin Mulch”
Here’s the track “Coffin Mulch” from the demo Coffin Mulch by the band Coffin Mulch! I have no idea how Maggot Stomp didn’t sign them first.
23. Ernia – “The Limits of Purity”
Bandcamp reviews of Ernia’s 2018 self-titled rager—which features “The Limits of Purity”—include inside jokes from ToH’s very own Richter and Jimmy McNulty. Additionally, check out Hans’ premiere. Anything I’ll write about this righteous track is superfluous and a total waste of microscopic amounts of brain space. Stop reading this immediately!
24. Coexistence – “Metaphysical Essence”
Rolderathis premiered this and somebody wrote a funny comment that received a million updoots. Give Coexistence your updoots (and money!) for their proggy sci-fi death metal.
25. Hateful – “Oxygen Catastrophe”
Members of Voids of Vomit and Valgrind play some delightfully techy death metal that doesn’t yammer on about it. This is the band’s first release since 2013, and it will… leave you breathless. Get it? ‘Cause of the song title? That’s right, a serious review and a pun. I’m the total package.
26. The Scalar Process – “Beyond the Veil of Consciousness”
27. Jupiterian – “Mere Humans”
Admittedly, Terraforming didn’t land with me in 2017, but I’m diggin’ this. Puns!
28. Eremit – “Beheading the Innumerous”
Eremit’s Carrier of Weight was in my 2019 Top Five, and, cascade of glowing reviews on their Bandcamp notwithstanding, an overlooked gem from last year. With all the grandiosity of doom and the ugliness of sludge, Eremit capture so succinctly the spirit of an age defined by loss, losing, and being lost.
29. Soothsayer – “Cities of Smoke”
You can feel Rwake’s grotesque, beautiful influence on Soothsayer’s sooty atmospheric post-doom gloom.
30. Subterraen – “For a Fistful of Silver”
Aptly named blackened sludge.
31. 71TonMan – “Peace is Slavery”
Looks like somebody’s been reading Orwell! 71TonMan’s album covers and ridiculous band name harken back to the rotten salad days of sludge yore, all while they spice things up with a big fat dollop of death metal. Mixed food metaphors aside, this track had me wishlisting their past albums with the quickness.
32. DØDSFERD – “Cursed to Die at First Light”
It’s either crusted-over black metal or blackened crust punk, and I certainly can’t tell the difference. Everything is in its right place on this sick track.
33. Seedna – “Chalice”
Though long and, at times, meandering, Seedna’s morose “Chalice” will reward patient listeners.
34. Wardaemonic – “Act II – Admission”
We are solidly in the black metal porkins portion of this audacious sampler platter. This is heavy, brutal black metal with some fine death metal filigree.
35. Incendium Moon – “Let Them Come”
Atmospheric BM? What atmosphere! With those crackling flames, arctic riffs, and sneering vocals, Incendium Moon’s two minutes of second-wave lunar dementia are simultaneously familiar and enthralling.
36. Gutter Instinct – “Open the Bloodgates”
Gutter Instinct is Swedeath gone black metal. Let’s call it BM-2, shall we? (TovH Feature)
37. Vorga – “Taken”
Is 2020 the year I get (back) into black metal? Vorga’s 2019 debut EP Radiant Gloom is Name Your Price and, as of this moment, wishlisted.
38. Ashen Horde – “Torture Cycle”
Prog-hoggery, tech-as-heckery, death-metally black metal from LA. Their Bandcamp has a recent song for sale benefiting the World Wildlife Fund Australia, who obviously need your support.
39. Black Mass Pervertor – Clean Your Master’s Boot
I’d say the cover of their 2019 album sums this up pretty well.
40. Abhoria – “Mountebank”
Ashen Horde strikes again! “No politics” BM with a predilection for the 90s.
41. Ghostly Aerie Coven – “Inner Spirit Unchained”
“Aerie” is one of those words you really only see in crosswords. Or if you’re an ornithologist. Some sketchy bands in that For Fans Of section…
42. Officium Triste – “World in Flames”
Everything from this album got relegated to third string in The Monday Press, so I never bothered to take a listen. The goth in me, however, loves the somber, mournful crawl of this beautiful dirge. While the track’s heaviness and emotionality feel restrained, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed by it all.
43. The Slow Death – “Famine”
Stuart Prickett’s keys and Mandy Andresen’s vocals are a soothing salve spreading over Brett Campbell’s sultry leads. We’re in the death/doom section, if you hadn’t noticed!
44. Towards Atlantis Lights – “The Bull and the Serpent”
There’s some very welcome aggression in Towards Atlantis Lights’ brand of funereal death/doom.
45. Et Moreimur – “Otsuki”
The shortest track in this section, “Otsuki” does not suffer for its abridged length. Rather, Et Moreiumur conjure up a demonic balance of crunching black-death riffage with slow, evocative piano and strings that makes more sense narratively than you might think. Also, check out that scrambling nightmare solo at 2:04. That’s wild!
46. Sepulcros – “Vazio”
2:31 starts the apocalypse.
47. Onirophagus – “Book of the Half Men”
I appreciate Onirophagus’ knack for song-writing, particularly how they layer all three guitars.
48. Promethean Misery – “Shadow Fell and Followed”
From their 2019 split with fellow Aussies Illimitable Dolor, Promethean Misery offer up a penetrating, arresting track that moans and mourns. While listening, I read in Lucky Per the line “a sluggish sentiment of melancholy,” which seems delightfully fitted to enjoying “Shadow Fell and Followed.” Undoubtedly something to get hung up on.
49. Norse – “Afsvide”
Industrial black metal / avant garde / experimental / etc. That bass! Those vocals! 4:31! This is utter madness, and I’m not equipped to handle it. (TovH Premiere)
50. Veilburner – “Nocturnal Gold”
One time, Black Metal Porkins called Veilburner a “graduate course seminar in Advanced Concepts in Black Metal.” My end-of-term research paper is going to be inscrutable. (TovH Premiere/Review)
51. Plasmodium – “Churning”
Churn it certainly does!
52. Pollution Chamber – “Elements; Pollution II”
This track feels more like “traditional” psychedelic black metal, as you can see clearly the ramparts of the genre underneath the lysergic haze of it all.