Skelethal: Interstellar Knowledge of the Purple Entity (2014)
4.5 out of 5 stars
Skelethal is an extra-heavy, extra-doomy kind of Swe-death band. It's a very satisfying listen, and goes out on a high-energy, faster-paced tune. It definitely leaves me wanting more of this brand of death. I notice they're French. What the hell is going on in France now? How can France be home to the most vital metal scene in Europe?
Encoffination: III - Hear Me, O' Death (????)
2 out of 5 stars
I have some impression that Encoffination is a well-regarded band. And normally I love sepulchral death/doom. But instead of offering paeans to the abyss here, it sounds like these guys are just bored with their instruments. For a good hour. At this slow pace there is an incredibly fine line between lumbering monstrosity and rote performance, and unfortunately this is more of the latter.
Garotting Deep / Fōr: Void Asceticism (2015)
3.5 out of 5 stars
Fōr is an excellent Swedish band. They play slightly Portal-esque death metal in an Incantation pit, in such a way that you can't really call what they play "riffs," but the dark, doomy atmosphere is complete. They'd be more at home in the underground Canadian scene along the likes of Vasaeleth and Antediluvian. So it makes sense that they did this split with Canadians Garotting Deep. Their death is similarly lo-fi, but with recognizable riffs. It doesn't especially stand out, but I bet a patch with their logo would look pretty sweet on your denim vest, eh?