Chaos Cascade - Demonic Filth Ceremony (Demo 2015)
Black/death metal/grindcore from Germany
A guttural, rumbling cacophony with the gut-churning bass and grind of Repulsion mixed with a war metal roar of incomprehensible vocals and noise. The distorted bass which drives the music is certainly the best part of this, but unfortunately it is pretty much the only thing which drives the music as the rest of it is more noisy nonsense than most Conqueror wannabes. There is a lack of a death metal contrast between the grooves and grinds, there's nothing like the push/pull of Repulsion, just variance in the noise/abrasion levels of the gurgling. Sounds pretty cool at first, but it is tiring by the end of its short running time.
Soul Harvest - Black Metal Primitivo
Black metal Sorocaba, Sao Paulo, Brazil
As advertised. The influences seem to mostly be late-80s Cogumelo-scene Brazilian black/death/thrash mixed with Norway '92-94 sound. The guitar work relies on melodic tremolo riffs mixed with mid-paced thrash riffs, very much influenced by early Gorgoroth. The drumming is good, mixing blasts, double bass, and standard beats. The recording is relatively clean, though dark and dirty - it sounds like a band playing in a basement, but there are no flaws of anything being too loud/dominant in the mix. The music has some interesting moments, but it largely seems to derive momentary success from imitation. Not bad, yet hollow and unfulfilling.
Panzer - Torn Apart
Melodic death metal from Dekalb, Illinois, USA
A lot of melodies, a good amount of bite to the guitar tone, and a pretty good live-sounding recording without much room sound/reverb. It begins with a cold, weepy lead into a thrashy melodeath riff, and each emphasizes the character of the demo - practiced, but unpolished. A wonderful contrast in an era where every guitar track is doubled, drums are triggered, and melodeath is almost entirely sterile and devoid of any sort of death. This sounds like it comes from at least ten years earlier, in a good way. It's very much textbook melodeath, but it has dark tinges and grit. A very American take on the Swedish style, but with few of the overdone cliches that American melodeath came to be known for.
Bedroom black metal from bedrooms around the world
...and I thought their first demo was bad, this one is twice as long and twice as bad. Mostly the same bullshit as the first one, a bunch of noodling and awful bedroom BM with webcam mic vocals. The second track is the real gem. Raw depressive suicidal black metal tries to rip off Pantera's "Walk" and ends up halfway off the drum machine beat. The wretched windy microphone vocals punctuate the bare, sloppy riffing even more. The track is further stretched to over seven minutes by two minutes of literal wind noise, before jumping to static to start the next one. Every single thing here is a complete and utter failure at music.
Ambient from Killingly, Connecticut, USA
Seemingly some bedroom black metal-derived ambience. A lone synth track basks in its own sound for nearly the whole running time, crawling through new notes as a snail's pace. Nothing accompanies it. It lacks any semblence of composing or creating something - no neoclassical like Dead Can Dance, no neofolk nor folk, not even a tinge of black metal. Just a single synth track basking in its own tone with no semblence of composition. Minimalist new age, perhaps? It sounds like the least interesting third of a Yanni backing track, I guess.