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DEMO/EP ROUNDUP - Misanthropist Therapy, Woodland Tomb and Siculicidium

We continue with our roundup of new demo, EP, singles and mini-albums.

MISANTHROPIST THERAPY, a one-man band out of Montreal, up first with the three-track Battle Of The North Instrumentals EP (Bandcamp). Well produced, hard charging black metal, with melodic guitar elements, is the name of the game here. Absolutely love the heads down conviction of this thing, the headbanging riffage making this a physical listening experience. And stand back when the guy decides to let loose with some guitar soloing. Wow! Can't wait for the full length that is said to be one side instrumental and one side with vocals. Top notch blackness. [8]

Next up, some "searing death-punk/blackened crust straight from the fuckin' grave". Can't beat that description of New Jersey's WOODLAND TOMB, here with their self-titled debut EP (Bandcamp). A much less controlled take on black metal here, as compared to Misanthropist Therapy, applying a get-the-f***-out-of-the-way punk approach to their blackness. Gnarly to the core, this is some way cool, combative BM, with guttural death vocals adding to the genre overlapping confusion. Abrasive stuff, commanding the attention of those who track up-and-coming black metal units. [7.5]

Let's finish off with some Romanian black metal from SICULICIDIUM with their A halal es Az iranytu (Sun and Moon Records) two-track EP. Taking their band name from a mass murder committed against Székelys (ethnic subgroup of the Hungarian nation) by the Habsburg army in 1764, they've been in action since 2003 when they issued their Transylvanian Resistance demo. Sixteen years, and several EP and full lengths later, we now have their latest release. However, what comes out of the speakers isn't the expected Darkthrone worship, rather an off-the-wall, unique take on blackness. 'A halal' opens with soft acoustic guitars, before oscillating between an up-beat melodic riff, mid-paced chorus and a slow, twisted section. All the while, the moan and groan vocals of Bela Logosi (ha!) provide a sense of dread and despair. 'Az iranytu' is introduced with some discordant background trumpet blowing and a gnarly riff, before introducing a Rush-inspired mid-section that evokes the bass/drum interplay of the beginning of Cygnus X-1. Almost progressive in its delivery, Siculicidium have delivered a quirky and very interesting black artifact here. [7]

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