Retrospective: Dead Congregation – “Graves of the Archangels”

Retrospective sections give me an opportunity to talk about and highlight older albums that I think are worthy of discussion and, usually, praise.

Dead Congregation’s debut full-length album Graves of the Archangels was released back in 2008 in collaboration with Nuclear War Now! Productions. Delivering on the promise of 2005’s universally acclaimed EP Purifying Consecrated Ground, Graves of the Archangels is an absolute triumph of execution over innovation. Vocalist/guitarist A.V. has frequently said that he’s not interested in being technical for the sake of it – he once said he probably couldn’t even cover a Slayer song – the whole point of Dead Congregation is to bring feeling back to death metal. Atmosphere, feel is paramount.

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Wormrot – “Voices”

This is Wormrot doing what Wormrot do best, better than they’ve ever done it before. Loud, fast, relentlessly heavy, pissed off grindcore of the finest quality.┬áTaking cues from thrash, death, crust, and hardcore punk, this album pulverises. Not only does vocalist Arif Rot sound more ferocious than ever, screaming and growling with real passion, guitarist Rasyid consistently churns out some of the best riffs in the genre. And new drummer Vijesh brings his own unique style to Wormrot’s sound, bringing a more natural sound to the band.

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Alcest – “Kodama”

French blackgaze pioneers Alcest return with their fifth full-length album Kodama, a dark, ethereal, emotionally resonant concept album about the conflict between man and nature. Kodama channels shoegaze, post-punk, and black metal to incredible effect on one of the best albums this year.

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