December 16, 2020

Trevor Proctor's Top 25 Singles, EPs, Splits and Demos of 2020.


Thankfully, despite the obvious hardships associated with 2020, our underground has continued to survive during the year. 
Although gigs and tours were cancelled one after the other we have still been spoilt for choice when it comes to underground music. Having said that, harder than usual times have affected labels and artists alike, so please feel free to follow any red links in this article where you will be able to support either the artist or label.  

In last year's listing I stated, "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." During 2020 this impact has continued to increase and to put this into perspective there are seven releases included on this list featuring Kolkata artists - NEVER before have I witnessed a more productive area, both in terms of quality & quantity and I hope Kolkata's dominance continues into 2021.

I hope you enjoy this list and like the Lair of Filth Facebook page to keep up to date with future articles, including my album listing for 2020 which will be posted next week. In addition to my album listing for 2020 please check back for guest year-end album listings, scheduled to feature PK from Iron Bonehead Productions, SS from Cyclopean Eye Productions and Alan Ripley, one of the underground's most dedicated supporters.   

As always, my total gratitude and thanks are with you the reader, every like, share and comment mean everything to me so thanks again, Trevor.

25. BanishSkkullfukkking KkkrucifixxxionNuclear Abominations Records.

A compilation release - Side A features the MMXVI demo, originally released in 2016 and Side B consists of live bonus tracks recorded at Kolkata Black Mass. 

24. BonesGate of NightBlood Harvest.

23. Vadhakarmadhikarin Anvastra Svara Sattaragra - War Vellum.

"Spawning out of Kolkata's Inner Order this first official Vadhakarmadhikarin cassette is a compilation of three demos and three untitled tracks equaling one hour of putrescent black metal punishment drenched in noise!!"

22. Dakini - Promo 2020Black Cum Productions.

Kolkata, yet again brings us another exemplary release.

21. Mourning Beloveth / The Ruins of Beverast Don't Walk on the Mass Graves Ván Records.

20. Chaos Cascade / Kapala Contamination Alliance Dunkelheit Produktionen.

Kolkata's Kapala combine with Germany's Chaos Cascade to bring us this lethal 7" split.

19. Adder MMXIX Goatprayer Records.

This is the debut release from Adder - originally released independently on digital formats on the 31st of December 2019 then on cassette by Goatprayer Records in April - selling out instantly. Adder is most definitely a U.K. band that I'll be looking forward to hearing more from in the future.

18. Antichrist / Goatsmegma Antichrist / Goatsmegma Split LP - Nuclear War Now! Productions.

Antichrist's first music since their 2011 debut, 'Sacrament of Blood.' Goatsmegma's follow up to last year's debut, 'Demonic Goat Smegma Eating Ritual.'

17. Moenen of Xezbeth / Оброк  - 7" Split - Medieval Prophecy Records.

16. Morbosatan - Versus Christvs  - Fallen Temple

Peru's Morbosatan are easily one of the underground's most prolific bands when we consider we've had no less than five releases from them in the past 2 years. Also released this year was their second full length album, 'Necro Perversion' but it will be next year's Top 25 album listing where it will feature as at the time of writing no copies were available.

15. Mesmeric Revelation -  Demo 2020 - Black Cum Productions.

Kolkata bands tend to be shrouded in a certain degree of secrecy and this is definitely the case with Mesmeric Revelation - yet another Kolkata debut that continues to impress.

14. Gravfraktal Unhallowed Death TriumphIron Bonehead Productions.

This is Gravfraktal's debut release, described by the press release as " arsenal of physicality that spits in the face of so much cut 'n' paste studio "death metal." Indeed, this is METAL OF DEATH writ large, draped in haunting hues of malevolent melody and bruising battery, grimy and regal in equal measure."

13. Invocation (Chile) - Attunement to Death - Iron Bonehead Productions.

Invocation's follow up to their 2018 EP, 'The Mastery of the Unseen' which also featured on my Top 25 EP listing for that year.  The press release for Attunement to Death featured here. (Also released on cassette by Hypnotic Darkness Records + CD by Chapel of Ghouls Records)

12. Necrogosto -  Ancestral BestialityNuclear War Now! Productions.

Ancestral Bestiality is Necrogosto's follow up to 2017's s/t demo. The press release for this stated, "these new tracks harken back to a particular time and place where the boundaries between the existing subgenres of metal were blurred, making clear distinctions between black and death metal difficult and somewhat futile to discern. Ancestral Bestiality succeeds in resurrecting this blend of styles that came to be known uniquely as Brazilian “deathcore,” which is not to be confused with the abomination to which the term is commonly applied today." (Also released on cassette by Resistência Underground Distro & Prod. and also on CD + digital formats by Black Hearts Records)

11. Cryptworm - Reeking Gunk of Abhorrence Me Saco un Ojo Records / Life After Death / Pulverised Records.

Cryptworm are, by far, one of the most consistent bands from the UK in many years. This is their fourth release, with all previous releases appearing on my year end listings. Cryptworm's debut demo appeared on my 2017 listingtheir Verminosis EP featured on my 2018 listing and their split with Archaic Tomb was included on my 2019 listing. NO other band has ever appeared on my listings for four consecutive years - follow the links above to hear some of the strongest Death Metal of recent years.

10. Deus Mortem The Fiery BloodMalignant Voices.

Released just in time to be included in this listing, The Fiery Blood is Deus Mortem's follow up to their 2019 album Kosmocide which I placed at number 2 on my Top 25 album listing.

9. Baxaxaxa Devoted to HIM - Iron Bonehead Productions.

The press release for Devoted to HIM appeared here and stated, "...these two songs are ghoulish apparitions lurking in the most rotten 'n' neglected graveyards. If you don't understand Mortuary Drape, Root, Hungary's Tormentor, early Samael, and very early Mayhem, then you don't understand Baxaxaxa, and you most certainly don't understand BLACK METAL."

8. Morbosidad / Ungod - Manifestación del Anticristo - Blasphemous Art Productions.

Featuring two of the underground's greatest bands and released on one of the underground's most dedicated labels this was without doubt one of the year's strongest split releases. 

7. Front Antichrist Militia - Iron Bonehead Productions.

Front's first new music since their debut album Iron Overkill was released in 2016 via Iron Bonehead Productions - Iron Overkill landed the number 11 spot in my top 25 album listing for 2016. (Antichrist Militia was also released on cassette by Funeral Hymns Records in October.)

6. Antichrist Siege MachineFilth of the World  - Stygian Black Hand.

Antichrist Siege Machine is a band I've supported since hearing their 'Morbid Triumph' EP which was also re-issued on CD by Krucyator Productions at the start of this year. This is the same label which released their debut album, 'Schism Perpetration' on CD last year - the album featured at number 9 on my 2019 Top 25 album listing. Their 2018 release 'Promo MMXVIII' also featured here on my 2018 top 25 EP list.

5. Nirriti -  অসূর্যস্পর্শা (Asuryasparsha) - Iron Bonehead Productions + Bestial Burst.

I was honoured when I was contacted by a member of the Kolkata underground at the end of January who sent me the Nirriti EP for an advance listen before it's release at the start of April. To say I was blown away is an understatement as once again Kolkata has been involved in another exemplary band - Nirriti also features Axaazaroth the Canadian drummer/vocalist with Nuclearhammer.

4. Almyrkvi / The Ruins of Beverast Ván Records.

As I've mentioned before one of the beauties with splits is hearing bands you're not overly familiar with. This was the case for me with Almyrkvi whose material on this split blends perfectly with that from The Ruins of Beverast.

3. Tsalal Tetragrammacide  Pact of Eschatological Islamic Spiritual Ordeal Iron Bonehead Productions

This is Tetragrammacide's first new material since the release of 2017's debut album, 'Primal Incinerators of Moral Matrix which was placed at number three on my Top 25 album listing for that year
I've no doubt whatsoever that Tetragrammacide is one of the underground's most lethal bands and are the bedrock of the thriving Kolkata underground which has produced some of the best bands and releases of recent years. Thanks to this split I got to hear Tsalal, who are one of Canada's hidden gems and a band worth checking out - especially their 2017 album 'צָלַל,' which you can access here.

2. Nexul - Scythed Wings of Poisonous Decay - Iron Bonehead Productions.

Scythed Wings of Poisonous Decay is Nexul's first release since their fantastic 2017 debut LP, 'Paradigm of Chaos.' The press release for this featured here and stated, "...Scythed Wings of Poisonous Decay is both rawer and more refined, more traditional and unorthodox in equal measure, stridently death metal by both definition and the band's own iteration of such. Where its predecessor deliberately walked along the threshold between all-consuming chaos and sheer insanity, Nexul's new EP finds a rich 'n' robust balance between hammering bestiality, vortextural surge, and ancient expressions of the Metal of Death."

1. Heresiarch / Antediluvian Defleshing the Serpent Infinity - Iron Bonehead Productions.

Heresiarch is a band that's had a steady output in terms of both quality and quantity since 2011. They were placed at number 2 on my top 25 EP listing last year for a four way split which they shared with Genocide Shrines, Serpents Athirst + Trepanation and they have also featured a number of times here at The Lair of Filth. When news broke of a split with Antediluvian I knew it had the potential to be one of the year's best releases especially when we consider this is Antediluvian's  first new music in over 5 years. The press release for this featured here and stated, "Heresiarch deliver two crushers of rusted-tank-tread horror, with an eerily quiet ambient track to close out....although comparatively quiet for the past five years, Antediluvian rupture the silence with an utterly demented maw of magickal chaos on one track and then an unsettling ambient track of their own, completing the Ouroboros of this unified split."

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