December 16, 2019

Trevor Proctor's Top 25 Singles, EPs, Splits and Demos of 2019.


Thankfully the underground continues to thrive and in 2019 we have yet again been treated to some lethal singles, EPs, splits and demos. 
As with 2018 we've been spoilt for choice with some fantastic underground releases from new and established bands alike bringing us a never ending torrent of first class music. 

Whilst it may have become a bit of tradition for me to tie the top spot on my year end album lists, for the first time ever I've also tied the number one spot on this listing. The reason behind tying the top two releases is that I just can't separate either in terms of simply how good they are - Temple Nightside is one of the best underground bands to ever exist and Death Worship is easily one of the best from recent years. Placing all of these releases in some sort of order has been an absolute nightmare as every title below is exemplary, as are many others which unfortunately had to be excluded.

As with all Lair of Filth articles the text in red is a live link to bring you straight to the artist or label and if something spikes your interest clicking on the title of the release will bring you straight to where you can purchase it - hopefully you'll find something you may have missed during the year. I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank every band, label and promoter who has supported my work at The Lair of Filth in any way during the past year.

I hope you enjoy this list and please like the Lair of Filth Facebook page to keep up to date with future articles, including my album listing for 2019 which will be posted in the coming weeks. 
In addition to my album listing for 2019 please also watch out for guest year-end album listings, scheduled to feature PK from Iron Bonehead Productions, Sandesh from Cyclopean Eye Productions and Alan Ripley, one of the underground's most ardent supporters.   

As always the biggest thanks belong to you, the reader, as without your support there wouldn't be a Lair of Filth - every read, like and share means everything to me so thanks again, Trevor.

The standard of music coming from Belgium in recent years has been exceptional and Dikasterion are another underground band from there that's definitely worthy of your support. Stavelot 1597 / Rome 897 follows last year's, ' Demo MMXVIII ' which also featured on my year end listing for 2018.

Krucyator Productions is a label that's went from strength to strength at a very productive pace over the past few years and 2019 was definitely one of their most significant years to date. 

Italy's Abhor have been releasing music since 1998 with their most recent release being the album, 'Occulta Religio' which was released via Iron Bonehead Productions last year and was also placed at number 13 on my year end album listing for 2018.

 Angel Of The Eastern Gate by Sijjin arrived with very little publicity on digital formats in September with a cassette version, officially distributed by Sepulchral Voice Records, following in November. Featuring two members from Necros Christos this is an EP not to be missed.

Baxaxaxa was reunited for the first since 1992 for America's finest underground festival, Destroying Texas Fest, in 2018, along with a further appearance at the inaugural edition of Never Surrender Festival in Germany later that year. This new demo was independently released by Baxaaxaxa in October and marks the first new music from the band since 1992 - streaming in full below this is easily one of the best "comeback" releases from any band in 2019.

Kolkata, West Bengal has brought some of the very best extreme underground music of recent times. With TetragrammacideAparthiva Raktadhara and Kapala all originating from the area there's no doubting the significant impact Kolkata continues to have on the underground. To further bolster the Black/Death output from Kolkata a new entity has emerged in the form of Brahmastrika, a band that seemingly appeared from nowhere in the latter part of this year with their debut demo, 'Excarnastrial Commencination.' 
The identity/identities of band members are currently unknown and other details regarding the band are very sparse. However, the main and most important detail is that Brahmastrika's music is as good, and as harsh as that of their previously mentioned peers. The cassette could well be sold out by now, but digital versions and CD are still available from Dunkelheit Produktionen.

The press release for this split EP was combined with Passio Christi Part II and featured hereSpite's last studio release was their debut album, 'Antimoshiach' which featured highly on my Top 25 Album Listing for 2018. Released at the same time as Passio Christi Part I there is very little separating these two superb splits.

The press release for this superb split EP featured here at The Lair of Filth in November and since receiving the digital promo I've gave it many listens. Possession are a band that's consistently improved with every release and this, along with Passio Christi Part I further accelerates their ascension. This is Venefixion's third release, yet only their first since December 2016. This limited discography is no reflection on their standard of music whatsoever and their three tracks are up to the challenge of sharing a split with a band as good as Possession

Make no mistake about it, India's Cyclopean Eye Productions, has brought us some of the best, and most significant underground releases over the past few years. Not content with being the first label to release music from  Jyotiṣavedāṅga and Genocide Shrines, the label has deservedly went from strength to strength and once again cements it's underground status by bringing us a split featuring four of the greatest underground bands. Split releases can often feature poorly matched bands and differing standards in music but this is thankfully not the case on Scorn Coalescence with all four bands bringing us some of their best music yet. 

Not only is this my favourite split release in 2019, it is also one of the best splits of the past few years.

1. Temple Nightside - Damnation - Self Released.

Temple Nightside is undoubtedly one of the greatest underground bands to ever emerge from Australia. Featured here at The Lair on a number of occasions their most recent release was 'Damnation,' a demo cassette released in the limited quantity of 150 at the second edition of Never Surrender Festival which took place on the 19th and 20th of October in Oakland, California. If you haven't yet got a copy there isn't much likelihood you'll get one but if you follow the Temple Nightside Bandcamp page  or Obsidian Reliquary page digital versions may be made available at some stage. 

Death Worship's debut release, 'Extermination Mass' was placed at number one on my Single + EP listing in 2017 and to me it's no suprise they've done so again this year with the unbeatable EP, 'End Times.' InCoffin Productions also released a tape version exclusively on license from Nuclear War Now! Productions which also came with a patch. We can only hope for an album at some stage from Death Worship who are undoubtedly one of the best bands of recent times and one capable of continuing the Ross Bay Cult Legacy. 

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