December 9, 2015

Label Spotlight: I, Voidhanger Records

By Kevin Page.

Italy's I, Voidhanger Records, founded in 2008, are one of the handful of labels where quality reigns supreme. Not one to simply sign a slew of bands and push product out the door, each artist is carefully picked, and more times than not, something that you should take notice of. Here are three of their most recent releases definitely worth your time.

Cover art by Sergio Gonzales

Santiago, Chile's Nar Mattaru unleash their sophomore full length effort, Ancient Atomic Warfare, 4 years after their debut (which I have not had the pleasure of hearing yet). Joined by new vocalist, Bliol, who sounds just like Dr. Claw from the old Inspector Gadget cartoon (I kid you not and I mean this in the nicest way possible), the band pummel you through 45 minutes of mid paced death metal. Unlike lots of Chilean and South American bands this isn't noisy chaotic war metal. Yet this is far from polished or pristine sounding though and reminds me of an early Immolation without the backwards sounding riffs. Favorite track: "The Great Serpent of Knowledge".

Artwork by Francesco Gemelli

If you didn't get a chance or simply missed my interview with Spectral Lore, there's no better time than now to give it a read/listen (links to 3 current releases included).

Once you are finished with that, Ayloss has even more new material for you to check out in Gnosis, a 49 minute experimental EP. But don't fear the experimental tag as there's plenty of metal to go along with the ambiance, acoustics and oriental instrumentation. If you are a fan of the band, this one might require a little more of your time than usual (at least it did for me). And be sure to check out the mindset behind the release (on their Bandcamp page), which is written in a far more eloquent manner than I could ever hope to.

Cover art by Wiley Trieff

I'm guessing that most people would never peg Howls of Ebb as an American band, I sure didn't. They seem too quirky and unique with their twisted take on the death metal genre. 2014's debut album, Vigils of the 3rd Eye, was literally an eye opener and fresh take on extreme metal. And like most things original, it was glossed over fairly easily. They have now returned with a new 34 minute EP that's even more 'out there', but not in a spacey, wanky, self indulgent way. My initial reaction was to question if this was the same band, as by comparison the debut sounded fairly easy to grasp. This took me repeated spins to finally warm up to it, but once it did, I was treated to a hypnotic black/death soundscape. From riffs, to production and song structure, everything just screams DIFFERENT and that's a good thing. Another home run for I, Voidhanger Records.

  1. Hell yeah. Nar Mattaru is the new, modern day Bolt Thrower.

    1. Thanks for reading, and yeah I agree, they have the Bolt Thrower spirit.