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  • Writer's pictureThe Metal Mayan

The Metal Mayan Mixtape - 29 March, 2024

Austere - Beneath the Threshold (Lupus Lounge)

"The sound of Saturday night and Sunday mourning."

With its wide open skies and scenic beaches, the Wollongong, Australia, suburb of East Corrimal is probably not the first place associated with depressive, atmospheric black metal. That said, perhaps it's the overwhelming pleasantry of the town that can also amplify feelings of intense loneliness and sorrow. Or perhaps the feeling of when last night's joy fades today as a memory lost in a grey reality.

It is here where Austere comes forth as a heavy mist over an otherwise sunny plain. Releasing their fourth album, Beneath the Threshold this April, the duo of Mitchell "Desolate" Keepin and Tim "Sorrow" Yatras present six ambient, melancholy tracks, each heavy with emotion and reflection.

Channeling the essence of Paradise Lost, Draconian, and Ghostbath, songs like "Thrall" and "The Sunset of Life" are walls of mournful sound. Sprinkling in a dose of gorgeous gothic melody in the guitar hook, "Cold Cerecloth" calls to mind the work of Funeral while the aura of desolation in nature found in "Faded Ghost" and "Of Severance" enter into Panopticon territory.

Though split between several other projects, the members of Austere have been a team for nearly two decades. It is no wonder then that with their individual experience and excellent collaborative efforts that Beneath the Threshold is a stellar effort that demands to be played on repeat.

Coffin Storm - Arcana Rising (Peaceville Records)

"Epic gloom and doom from the minds of Norwegian legends."

Though just two years old as its own group, the fellowship of Coffin Storm goes back well over thirty years. Comprised of Norwegian legends Fenriz (Darkthrone), Apollyon (Aura Noir, Lamented Souls, ex-Immortal) and Bestial Tormenter (Infernö, Lamented Souls), the trio are icons among the vast sea of influential black and thrash metal bands that rose from Scandinavia in the early 90s.

Brewing a potion of epic doom metal with a dash of thrash influences, Arcana Rising is exactly the stellar debut metal enthusiasts would expect from such a lineup. Demonstrating the inspiration from Candlemass and Cathedral, "Over Frozen Moors" laces textures of Exodus in between, with the title track adding even more.

At over ten minutes, "Open the Gallows" dials in mile high melodies akin to classic Metallica. All the while, Fenriz, known for his decade of haunting screams as the mouth of Darkthrone, shows a different side of himself with brassy tenor voice to carry each of the album's six songs.

Wristmeetrazor - Degenration (Prosthetic Records)

"Digital anarchy and sub-sonic avalanches - the perfect storm of the year."

Imagine for a moment a device built to wage war in the music realm. Its base plates heavy with the saturated tone of Mudvayne and Motograter, and many gears built to switch from immense breakdowns to infectious melodies ala Sinai Beach, Martyr A.D. and Scars of Tomorrow.

Enter the machine called Wristmeetrazor, who will throw down the gauntlet this March to challenge any band for the title of 'Album of the Year' with their third release, Degeneration.

If the title of opening track "Turn On, Tune In, Drop Dead" doesn't set the vibe, the grooving industrial/metalcore fury certainly will. Calling to mind the very best of the 2000s scene (As I Lay Dying, The Agony Scene, It Dies Today), "Static Reckoning" and "Xeroxed Reflection" are both new school and old school while also remaining timeless in their style.

For all the aggression, the album concludes with the more introspective "Greatest Love Offering in the History of the World". Noting their time spent in near total isolation when writing and recording Degeneration, the essence of solitude and reflection shine through with the closing track.

Kicking off a three week U.S. tour in April to celebrate the new album, the east coast and select cities in the Midwest should prepare themselves for the oncoming storm that is Wristmeetrazor.

Advance copies courtesy of Prosthetic Records and Secret Service PR and Prosthetic Records



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