Cheap Thrills #10: Beyond the Sea

Published: March 28, 2024

We’re in the double digits now—a few months late, but who’s counting? Here are five more name-your-price releases that deserve your attention and perhaps a few of your hard earned [insert plural noun for your regional currency here]. We’ve got some chunky death metal goodness rising from the Land Down Ender, a whirlwind of powerviolence blowing in from the Windy City, and more globe-spanning, riff-tastic goodness. As always, support the artists by picking up some tunes and/or merch!

–Alex Chan

Cryptivore – Celestial Extinction

March 21, 2022

I recently stumbled across this ripper of an old-school death metal album by Aussie band Cryptivore, but it took me an embarrassingly long time before I found out that it was all the work of one man. Celestial Extinction pays loving homage to ‘90’s death metal legends with 10 tracks of good ‘ol fashioned chainsaw carnage. Tracks like “Vault of Obscurity” and “Clandestine Ruination” employ a whole blood-spattered arsenal of snarling guitars, guttural growls, and huge, bone-crunching tempo changes that are equally satisfying for newcomers to the genre or gorehounds who can’t get enough of that old-school sound.

Sea of Shit – Sea of Shit

March 3, 2023

Well, with a name like that, Sea of Shit certainly aren’t interested in playing nice, and their self-titled album revels in its own ugliness. As with any good powerviolence record, each short-but-sweet track is worth more than its weight in blood, sweat, and spittle. Crusty surges of d-beats and ragged shouts slam straight into walls of glacial, chugging doom laced with guitar feedback. Go fast, go slow, go to hell.

Choir – Songs for a Tarnished World

March 26, 2023 (originally released November 21, 2021)

Get lost in Choir’s tempestuous, roiling pandemonium with the rerelease of their debut album Songs for a Tarnished World. Out here, there is no hope to be found. Seas of swirling, down-tuned riffs churn beneath peals of percussive thunder, and ghastly howls of the drowned and the damned echo from the depths. Just when it seems like you’ve regained control, the waves–or what lurks beneath them–inevitably claim your ship, dragging you down to join the other cursed souls whose hubris sentenced them to a watery grave. 

Kaikkivaltias – Astu

June 29, 2023

Kaikkivaltias’ debut EP is a brief-yet-epic black metal adventure that transports listeners to medieval Finland, where they join a lone warrior in his battle against the forces of darkness. Rich imagery woven by the soaring leads and poignant lyrics depicts rolling hills of green, misty marshes, sunkissed shorelines, and frigid mountain fortresses while rapid palm muted riffs mimic the gallop of the hero’s steed and invoke the epic antiquity of 90s Hellenic black metal (Kaikkivaltias even covered “Non Serviam” and lovingly translated its lyrics into Finnish). From front to back, Astu is an exhilarating ride, and in hindsight, I regret not placing it among my top 20 releases of 2023.

The Night Eternal – Fatale

July 20, 2023

Big ups to my buddy Peter for sending this one my way! True to their name, The Night Eternal’s goth-infused heavy metal sets theatrical baritone vocals against fist-pumping riffs for a throwback sound that would feel just as home amidst arena pyrotechnics as it would in the backroom of a sweaty dive bar. Fatale is packed with dangerously catchy melodies that will leave you transfixed–That is, before they send you speeding off into the night, heart aflame with dark purpose.

Rock / Metal / Alternative
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