Demo:listen: Accursed Womb

Since 2019, the predominantly Philly-based death/doom three-piece Accursed Womb have worked tirelessly to bring their idea of monstrous, ugly and pure evil death metal into the world. Their prolific and sickly deranged onslaught officially began last year with the release of their two-song promo tape. Then on Halloween of the first Pandemic year, the Accursed Womb released their demo proper. Dubbed Crushing the Larvae of Christ, Accursed Womb’s 6-track demo shows a young and dementedly eager band going all-in on a moody and gnarly doomed-out death metal sound.

Now with all copies of their mandatory compilation sold out and Crown of Piss, a new promo tape, looming in the immediate future, we caught up with Accursed Womb to get the scoop on one of the sickest acts currently tearing up the underground. 

“Accursed Womb was originally supposed to be a blackened grind project called AetherWind with just the drummer AC and Guitar Player PH,” the band explains. It all began, the say, when “PH hit [vocalist] AS up with some riffs, the time was right and we just wanted to make death metal sound evil again.”

While “PH and AC [the drummer] actually started talking over Instagram,” the band says,  “AS [the vocalist] and PH use to plays shows together back in 2006 in 2 previous bands.”

Promo 2020 by Accursed Womb They started Accursed Womb, they say, because they wanted to play “Evil Metal Of Death.” PH, their guitarist, says “Keeping the spirit of the ancient dealers of Death alive in an oversaturated market is not easy so I’m glad some people ‘get it.’ I know we aren’t really playing the knuckle dragging stuff for the kids… sorry… but not really.”

According to the band, “The recording [for their demo Crushing the Larvae of Christ] was all technically done by ourselves. AC recorded drums and since he is in a different state he sends us the drum tracks. PH records guitar, gass, and [AS’] vocals. [The demo] was recorded in secret at the MILMONT MAUSOLEUM in the basement of desolation!”

Crushing The Larvae Of Christ by Accursed Womb For their follow-up, the band says, “We had MSW mix and master Embryonic Catacombs. As a band MSW had a lot of influence on us all musically with his bands Hell/Mizmor.”

They admit, “Recording everything ourselves was a big learning curve. After getting our first demo down, [we were] able to quickly get our promo out after the demo because we learned much more about the recording process.”

Accursed Womb say they want nothing to do with modern trends. “Especially on the new material it’s pretty much a fuck you to trendy 14 year olds that just got into this last year and that’s awesome! I love seeing the scene grow… but sometimes I wish underground music was still DEAD AND ROTTING underground.”

Embryonic Catacombs Promo by Accursed Womb As for their recently released but nearly sold-out compilation Hymns of Misery and Death, PH says, “I always personally like when a band does a demo compilation and considering with the two non-demo tracks we just figured we’d give the MANIAXE listening to our tunes some extra filth from the charnel pits of the Philadelphian burbs! But Molten Face Records in Denmark first hit me up and through my connections with Foul led to Vermignosis Records doing the Western Version AKA the second tape press (9 left in existence through the label).”

Accursed Womb say they’re slaughtering toward: “A split, a goal to make Death Metal feel evil again, Not dressing like pro wrestlers and using buzzwords to get our tunes across.. if you call us an OSDM band you would be wrong but at the same time we do take influence from the ancestors of the genre. . .” 

CROWN OF PISS PROMO by Accursed Womb

Support the underground, buy some Accursed Womb merch!

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Demo:listen: Vaticinal Rites

Out this Friday from a triad of underground strongholds, Vaticinal Rites’ self-titled debut EP introduces a powerful new combination of mind-bending, eyeball-liquefying and skull-crushing death metal.

Vaticinal Rites by Vaticinal Rites

Vaticinal Rites formed last year, at the height of the pandemic. Bringing together, from the scattered sumps of the United Kingdom subterranean death metal scene, four members, the band was formed by lead guitarist and songwriter Andreas Yiasoumi.

Vaticinal Rites, Andreas tells us, “was formed […] with the intention of simply writing good solid death metal tunes and paying homage to the late ‘80s/early ‘90s extreme metal scenes. It all came about roughly around two years ago now prior to me recruiting the other members. Whilst struggling personally with anxiety and mental health issues, I needed an escape from all of that negativity. Luckily for me playing the guitar and working on this project provided it. After a while of writing riffs and putting together about 9 songs, I finally realised that I may have something worth showing.” Andreas continues: “I contacted my close friend and old touring buddy Jack Kenny, and asked if he wanted to lay down some live drum recordings to the songs I had. From there I made some enquiries and put the feelers out for a vocalist. I got put in touch with Marcus from my homie Chris, who plays in Inhuman Nature (killer crossover thrash from over here in London). Shoutout to Chris and the boys. I trusted his recommendation and got in touch with Marcus right away. We instantly hit it off. live in a London Suburb, so around here there aren’t really many people listening to obscure underground metal or metal in general for that matter, so to finally have a buddy who I could geek out with over this stuff was huge,” Andreas admits. “I knew instantly without even listening to his vocals that he was the guy. Marcus then put me in contact with Jake who now plays rhythm guitar.” 

Andreas explains, “Since we’re all currently scattered around the UK, we communicate through a plethora of different online spaces which allow us to make this all work. We talk on a daily basis, discuss ideas, concepts, share riffs etc. so yes it’s a collaborated effort however we’re not currently in a position to jam or rehearse live setting.”

Andreas says the name Vaticinal Rites is “based around the idea of a supernatural occult performing technologically advanced rituals and ancient philosophies, of which a future society live by and worship.” —More on that when you purchase the album! 

“The writing process done mainly by me to begin with,” Andreas reflects. “I record and arrange the riffs, lead and drums etc. into a song structure. Once I’m done, I’ll send it to the guys for their input. When we’re all happy with the arrangement, lyrics are then written by Marcus.”

Vaticinal Rites comes out this Friday from Caligari Records, Redefining Darkness Records and Dry Cough Records. Andreas breaks it down for us: “Originally, the EP was planned to come out on Caligari Records, but after RD showed interest, they came up with the idea of doing a collaborated release, which we were stoked about as we’re big admirers of both labels. Since then, we’ve all been working together as a team along with our good friend Andy at Dry Cough Records here in the UK, who is based up in Manchester and is putting out the UK/EU tape variant. They have all been incredible from day one. True pros at what they do and it’s an honour to be a part of their rostas.”

Regarding the deeply stirring painting for the cover art, Andreas tells us the cover “was painted by Fernando JFL (@giotefeli) and heavily inspired by some lost death and doom EP covers from the ‘90s such as Amorphis – Black Winter Day, As Serenity Fades – Earthborn, Crematory – Denial and Eulogy – The Essence. They all have a really unique look to them, with an interesting use of colour and texture.

“Originally we had planned for a black and white primitive like design, but we wanted to at least try and stand out from the current abyss of black and white demo tapes and eps coming out right now, which by the way we love and already own plenty of, but when the opportunity arose to get a painting done by Fernando, we could not pass it up. It pushed the release back quite a bit, but it was worth the wait. He created a stunning piece of work. 

“Personally I am a big fan of classic sci-fi and fantasy novels from the likes of Isaac Asimov, Michael Moorcock and Brian Aldiss, as well as movies such as Heavy Metal and Ken Russell’s Altered States. We referenced some of these too. 

“I think artwork and illustration is just as important as the songs when it comes to death metal. It requires the same amount of respect and attention, regardless what type of release it is. Other than a live performance, when you have tunes that sound like the artwork, it becomes a bit more of an added experience for the listener. I’d like to think we achieved this for those that pick up a copy of our EP. It’s meant for listeners to simply sit/meditate over the artwork and lyrical content for the entire duration.” 

Vaticinal Rites presents you with a heaping of extreme and challenging death metal punishment. But for those wondering, there’s already more coming. According to Andreas, “The EP was recorded over the spring/summer of 2021 and since then we’ve been in the process of writing our full-length record.” He says, “We also plan on setting up some rehearsal sessions, which might be recorded and released too, who knows. The main focus though right now is the album. Hoping to hit the studio again come spring.”

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Blast Worship: Mellow Harsher

Where they from?
Stoughton, WI. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has COVID-19 and said he consulted with Joe Rogan about it and he is now taking a horse dewormer to fight the virus. If I had said this sentence out loud a mere three years ago, I would have been committed to a mental institution. Get better, A-Rod — we need those State Farm commercials back ASAP!

Why the hype?
I already wrote about Mellow Harsher back in the salad days of January 2019, when I was but a wee babe dipping my toes into the cesspool off grindcore journalism. What I said about this group back then still remains the same, in that they set a certain benchmark for chaos and insanity that very few other bands even come close to. Listening to them again now three years later, I can definitely pinpoint the influence of more chaotic metalcore bands like Ed Gein and December, but wrapped in the madcap insanity all those Midwest grindcore bands bring to the table. The result is, as per usual, electric.

Latest Release?
Split with Deterioration EP on 625 Thrash. One thing that sets this band apart is the diversity of the vocal attack. Vocals range from traditional mongo powerviolence style vocals to brutal death gurgles and black metal shrieks, all usually within a 30-second range. The highs, in particular, seem to punctuate rather well with the jarring, Dillinger-like guitar spasms. And as soon as you’re done with the five Mellow Harsher songs, you get to flip it over and listen to Deterioration! WIN-WIN, BABY!

Deterioration / Mellow Harsher Split EP (625#277) by Deterioration / Mellow Harsher

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Split Premiere: Vile Apparition & Miscreance

Released today under the Desert Wastelands banner, this split brings together the filth-ridden brutality of Australian Demo:listen alumni Vile Apparition and Italian technical death thrashers Miscreance. 

According to Vile Apparition, their side of the split “is the follow up to [their] 2019 LP Depravity Ordained.” The band writes, “We pumped this sucker out of our rehearsal space in between numerous lockdowns within our native Melbourne, Australia over a few self-produced sessions back in March 2021. It’s great to finally have this slab of brutality out on the table and we couldn’t be happier to share it with Italian brain metal lords, courtesy of the almighty Desert Wastelands Productions.”

For their part, Miscreance say, “This split sounds like flows of crystalized lava and winds of rotting stench. We found a home at Desert Wastelands. Coming from a demo tape and about to release our first album Convergence, we managed to make the planet collapse another time, with the help of the mighty Vile Apparition.”

With Vile Apparition occupying the brutal tech death side of death metal, and Miscreance sounding very similar to old school masters like Death and early Cynic, the split seems like an unlikely pairing, at least on paper. But both bands show up in absolute top form and the final results are simply too sick to deny. Not to mention the incredible artwork of Oscar Bonin that adorns the cover. Ignore at your own peril. 

Vile Apparition / Miscreance Split by Vile Apparition, Miscreance

Get this split today from Desert Wastelands Productions.

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Video Premiere: Lotus Thrones – “Ghost Forest”

Lotus Thrones sole creator, Heath Rave (ex-Wolvhammer), has seen a transformation in himself over the last few years, thanks entirely to the healing effects of sobriety and fatherhood, and through this has channeled the demons that led his life into a dark alleyway years ago into the post-punk beast that, earlier in the year, released the monolithic Lovers in Wartime. With that kind of album out of your system you’d think Rave would be content to sit back and rest for a spell, but you’d be wrong. In the short period after his debut full length was finished he’s conceived, birthed and nurtured four EPs into reality, each based on one of the four seasons. Today marks the release of the first of the four, Autumnal, for which we are happy to premiere the video for the song “Ghost Forest.”

“The song is about the suffocation of our coastlines.” says Rave. “As the sea levels rise from climate change and hurricanes and superstorms ravage the coastline, its trees are suffocated by saltwater, literally drowning and turning them white.”

The video, directed by Chariot of Black Moth, is a stark reminder of how fragile everything around us can be, and how deep of a part we play in shaping the future tragedy of the world. Aurally it shows growth from where Lovers in Wartime left off, wearing less of its obvious influences on its sleeves and going into murkier Scott Kelly-esque territory. Over seven minutes that ebbs and flows like the waves it sonically and visually represents, Lotus Thrones is moving into challenging territory. But, as with all quality challenging music, the rewards are great.

Autumnal releases today and can be ordered here. It will be followed by Hibernal, Vernal and Solaris as the seasons change.

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Album Premiere: Threshing Spirit – The Crucible

Like any good underground black metal band worth their salt, it’s hard to tell exactly how many demos and splits the otherwise burgeoning USBM solo artist Threshing Spirit has so far released. I could say four demos and three splits, but by the time this premieres on Tuesday afternoon, Threshing Spirit may release another tape or two and prove me wrong. Rampant prolificacy aside, Threshing Spirit are not like most other black metal bands. For one thing, they’re a little bit country. 

The Crucible, Threshing Spirit’s first full-length comes out on 12″ vinyl this Thursday from American Decline Records. Jordan Reyes, the solo musician behind Threshing Spirit, and the owner of American Decline Records, maintains his tradition of approaching the composition of black metal with unlikely and highly unorthodox influences to compose The Crucible. American literature, informs much of Threshing Spirit’s themes—as their new album title suggests—, but so do several genres of contemporary music completely disparate to black metal. 

Threshing Spirit choose originality over tradition and the results speak for themselves. Recorded by Reyes and mastered by Andrew Weathers, The Crucible is Threshing Spirit’s most ambitious and most fully realized work yet,  much needed breath of fresh air moving breezily through the black metal underground.

The Crucible 

The Crucible by Threshing Spirit

Get The Crucible Thursday from American Decline Records.

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Album Premiere: Mortal Vision – Mind Manipulation

Mortal Vision are an up-and-coming band hailing from Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Ukraine who play hard, fast and mean like they’ve got something to prove. Namely that thrash isn’t dead. 

On Mind Manipulation, Mortal Vision’s debut full-length, out this Friday on Redefining Darkness Records, the young Ukranian thrashers excavate the thrash of old and bring it roaring back to life with compulsively headbangable songs, atom-splitting solos and an unwavering commitment to supreme riffage. Combining Sodom’s muscle with early Sepultura’s ferocity and the pugilistic pulse of mid-‘80s West Coast thrash, Mortal Vision come out of nowhere with an undeniable sound. 

Across its eight tracks, Mind Manipulation upholds the traditions of several nations’ styles of thrash par excellence, doing them all justice all while letting us know who Mortal Vision are and what they stand for. Non-stop thrash, for one thing. Catchy and heavy thrash that stops just short of Floridian death thrash. Suffice to say, Mind Manipulation leaves a massive crater in the middle of quite a few sweet spots.

Get Mind Manipulation this Friday from Redefining Darkness Records.

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Split Premiere: Noxis & Cavern Womb – Communion of Corrupted Minds

The latest in a series of splits from Maryland slaughterhouse Rotted Life, Communion of Corrupted Minds brings together emerging Cleveland scorchers Noxis and the latest cosmic miscarriage to crash-land in Philly, a quartet known as Cavern Womb. Three songs from each crew, Communion… is one of the season’s nastiest double features.

Noxis may have already proven themselves with last year’s Expanse of Hellish Black Mire EP, but there’s no preparing for the solar assault of their laser-sharp ultra skills. Noxis are the terminators to Cavern Womb’s tentacular alien-brain death metal. While the Cleveland trio annihilate absolutely with precision and cleanliness, Cavern Womb strike horror in the listener’s heart through ominous leads, chthonic atmospheres and unpredictable brutality.

According to SB, guitarist/vocalist of Cavern Womb, “After almost a year and a half of stewing in the inner machinations of the Cavern Womb, we’re super excited to finally have this out in collaboration with Noxis and Rotted Life Records. Three tracks of ‘90s influenced murky death/doom with one foot firmly planted in Finland and the other on the East Coast, all while aiming towards the cosmos. Sic Itur Ad Astra.”

Communion of Corrupted Minds comes out December 3rd on CD, pro-tape and digital from Rotted Life, LP out next year.

Communion of Corrupted Minds

Communion of Corrupted Minds by Noxis/Cavern Womb

Preorder Communion of Corrupted Minds

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Demo:listen: Infested

Most bands write and record demos, but the California trio Infested designed and constructed a deep space torture chamber. At three tracks, plus an intro and outro, clocking it at 12-and-a-half minutes, the intergalactic aural sadism that is Grotesque Remains may not last for long, but, like wounds and trauma suffered during a brutal alien abduction, they will stay with you forever. 

Released last month by Sewer Rot Records, which is owned and helmed by Chris Johnson, Infested’s frontman, Grotesque Remains finds the infected, purulent head between the festering likes of Torture Rack and Impetigo and smashes it brutally with a cruel spiked hammer. There’s much to celebrate about the arrival of a band like Infested and it’s all encapsulated in this sickly, tentacled and gore-purging quarter-hour-long demo. 

We caught up with Infested guitarist/vocalist Chris Johnson AKA Father Mullet, bassist Sasha Gallant and drummer Ethan Ayala to discuss their universally repugnant debut Grotesque Remains. According to frontman Chris Johnson, “I was in Ecoffinized at the time and wanted to do something a little different so I originally started Infested on the side.

Sasha Gallant tells us, “Chris definitely started Infested, I was brought on early on in the band for bass. Chris and I knew each other mostly from like seeing each other at shows and a couple parties. Chris knew Ethan (Ayala) through Sewer Rot bands and we brought him on pretty much right before we recorded the demo.”

Besides sounding like a monster-operated killing machine, Infested set themselves by focusing their themes and resulting sound on one specific, awesome movie series. According to Chris, Infested call themselves ‘Xenodeath,’ because “Xenodeath is a shortening of Xenomorph Death Metal, inspired by the Aliens franchise.” 

Grotesque Remains

Grotesque Remains by Infested

Grotesque Remains sounds at once everywhere and right on top of you, smothering you with its repulsive mass and oozing mouths. Its production makes it seem like it was recorded deep in the refinery cargo of the USCSS Nostromo. Actually, according to the band, Grotesque Remains was recorded “at Soul Chamber studios over in Whittier.” They says, “We had a few setbacks during the process, we had to switch drummers and Ethan pretty much had to jump right into it, so he’s a real one for that for sure! We decided to go to Earhammer for the mastering, and Greg did a great job.”

Infested want our readers to know: “We play super raw, sloppy, and fast. Our songs are far from technical, we have very meat and potatoes and straight to the point riffing. The point is more for fans just to feel the kinetic energy of the music and ignorant style of playing and go hard, there’s other bands that will leave you awe-struck with technical playing for sure, but we’re just more like revving a rusty Pontiac Firebird all the way and hoping it doesn’t fall apart!”

Not to mention the artwork for Grotesque Remains will make your brain bleed. According to Chris, “Nightmare Imagery did the cover art for the demo. I first came to him to ask him to do it because he’s done work with me before for Encoffinized. I had two visions mostly for it, originally the inspiration was drawn from The Thing. But later I wanted to throw in more of a hive type setting and then I drew further inspiration from Aliens and just kinda threw it all together. Kyle Messick from Maimed and Sewer Rot did a lot of the Xenomorph art as well for our inserts on the CD, as well as the art for the shirt that Gruesome Graphics put out.

“We have the demo out on Sewer Rot records on Tape/CD/Digital formats, we’re working on getting more copies of the tape put out, and also to make sure our release is available through European channels as well so it’s easier for our overseas fans to get a hold of it.” Chris says. 

Looking ahead, Infested say, “We’re writing right now for a full-length release. We’ve been playing in the LA area, and San Diego later this month. We have a small international tour cooking up with some great bands that’s pending confirmation/announcement. We also have some plans for Texas and other states as well.”

Support Infested to ensure a primitive future for death metal.

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Demo Premiere: Concrete Icon – Rebirth

For over a dozen years now, Turku, Finland-based quartet Concrete Icon have been crushing Scandinavian skulls. With two full-lengths behind them, not to mention several demos, a split and a compilation, it’s truly a wonder that the death metal stylings of Concrete Icon aren’t more widely known across the global metal scene. But something tells me that’s about to change . . . 

Now, with the return of o.g. lead guitarist Juho (who left the band following their 2008 demo, Flood of Darkened Thoughts), Concrete Icon have left their slower, doomier songs behind and have dialed in to a more powerful sound than ever. Locked-tight and built exclusively for destruction, Concrete Icon’s two-song demo Rebirth comes out this Friday, the first of October, from US-based tyrannical tycoon Redefining Darkness Records. According to the band and their label, Rebirth demonstrates the future of Concrete Icon and the band’s third full-length is completely written and will soon be recorded. 

In the meantime, acquaint yourself with some brutalist beauty from the newly rejuvenated Concrete Icon.



Preorder Rebirth today. 

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