• Nihilistic Rustbelt Black Metal Reviews

    Welcome to Xenomorph Black Metal, a reviews site dedicated to proliferating only the deepest underground and purely nihilistic metal from around the world.

  • VOIDWITCH – As The Sun Falls Dark

    As The Sun Falls Dark

    The debut release of Kentucky-based solo black metal artist Voidwitch presents a captivating experience of diverse symphonic and raw metal influences. Deeply personal; creating a rich tapestry of depressive emotions balanced by elegant motifs and esoteric meandering, As the Sun Falls Dark is sure to entrance even the darkest of souls.

    As the Sun Falls Dark is sure to entrance even the darkest of souls.

    Todd Odinson, the creator behind this project, often cites a broad musical influence on his work, far ranging as classical music to ambient Nordic hymns and even blackened deathcore production styles. Melancholic synth / orchestral intros lead into aggressively raw but even-toned production tracks that are weighty and immersive. Drums are wild and almost ambient in their backing quality, the rich chord stumming, trem notes and beautifully executed solos truly wrap this release in a dark fog that nestles deep in the heart. Todd’s vocals are both menacing yet deeply mournful across the record, a strength that will take his craft far.

    A rare commitment to diversity in music absolutely translates to a unique but easily identifiable form of black metal on display here.

    While quite short, but truly a broad sampling of his musical abilities, this EP is described as a representation of the struggle we face in a world wrought with avarice and indoctrination. Lyrics range from musings on the nihilism of self awareness, anger at the lax morality of authority figures, and fantasy escapism of ancient times.

    As the Sun Falls Dark falls squarely in the best of underground black metal, with personal stake in the art form of the genre, future releases I hope will be longer with more concept unifying the release.

    Released January 1, 2023

  • DEVOURING FAMINE – Contract from Below (Demo)

    Devouring Famine​ has become a nearly ubiquitous presence in the underground black metal scene the past year. Hailing from California, the one-man solo project from the Eastern United States, has released a fourth Demo in November of 2022, following three unfinished demos in the months prior. Upon visiting these others, it would be safe to say this release represents a more fully conceptualized work worthy of re-listens.

    Contract from Below stands as one of the best underground Black Metal releases of 2022.

    The music on this demo has a clearly strong depressive black metal influence, but still energetic enough to be uplifting emotionally. The tracks begin with a short riff introduction that sets the mood of the track, before giving way to mid-paced tremolo riffs, which are layered with supporting blast beats and ghastly shrieks. The riffs are very melancholic and somber, but with a wide variety of variations every few measures.

    The layered guitar tones have somber distortion to it and are balanced to perfection in the context of the main riffs against the backing tracks.

    The vocals are high-pitched shrieks reminiscent of other depressive black metal projects, such as Deathspell Omega. They are not very loud in the overall mix except for during vocal parts where there is no supporting instrumentation. With the exception of these isolated passages, they blend well into the background of the music and serve to add texture rather than showcase any particular aspect of the performance.

    While there are brief moments where faster tempos emerge and blast beats can be heard below the surface of the music, this album is mostly slower paced and focuses on emphasizing atmosphere over speed or technicality. Static crackling serve to support this atmosphere, especially during intro tracks where they are layered into the background behind acoustic strumming, evoking emotive and pensive thoughts towards the end of the demo on the track Smother.

    This demo should be on the list of top underground releases of 2022. I am looking forward with great anticipation to more releases from this talented and dedicated artist.

  • VESKA – Unbound

    Veska - Unbound album art by Rotting Reign
    Veska – Unbound album art by Rotting Reign

    From the depths of the rustbelt regions of Pittsburg, comes Veska; a one man force of malice, hatred and highly innovative black metal. This year releasing a full length album entitled “Unbound” which adds to an already impressive discography of EPs, compilations, and singles.

    The choice of album art on this release by Rotting Reign places this release firmly at home in the post 2020’s US Black Metal scene. Upon diving into the tracks contained within, a mesmerizing experience of uniquely crafted metal cements this as a top release of the year, and certainly Veska’s best to date.

    A mesmerizing experience of uniquely crafted metal cements this as a top release of the year, and certainly Veska’s best to date.

    Opening with the eerie sound of chains, mournful synth tones, and bleak thunder before wasting no more time blasting the stillness with blast beats, riffs, and furious vocals. The full display of Veska’s destructive energy is unfiltered here: unforgiving in it’s tone and pacing, slightly discordant yet menacingly thematic. A welcome touch of accessible vocals in a more doomy style add a very human element to this work.

    The tracks find their way into more composed format than the initial impression, showcasing adroit riffs, and subtle picked melodies, the buzzsaw guitar leading with grizzled headbang worthy bridges in between the otherwise soaring refrains. As stated before, vocals are quite diverse for a release of this genre, one is never lacking in a fresh delivery style to shift the attention to.

    By my own hand my bonds are broken! I will save myself, I need not a redeemer. For I am my own savior, I need not seek forgiveness. For I am my own absolution. I am my own beginning, and my own end. For I am my own master. My own devil. My own God!

    – On earth We’ll reign

    Incredible self awareness is on display in the deeply philosophical lyrical themes here. Described as being born of a vision of a world truly free, this album offers a path to liberation from the shackles placed upon mankind from birth. From all aspects both spiritual or mundane, the delusions of the world can be felt enslaving our souls at every turn.

    “Unbound brings to the forefront that we have the power to break our chains and free ourselves. We need not seek any saving grace, for the strength to free ourselves lies within.”


    Veska is precious amalgamation of a few divergent genres, the influences of each can clearly be seen in the creative output on this album such as Uada, and Watain, with more doom metal weight of Amenra and Paradise Lost.

    Unbound will release worldwide on all major streaming platforms January 13, 2023.

    Writing and recording took place from May – October of 2022.

    Country: United States (Pennsylvania)
    Genre: American Black Metal
    Release Date: January 13, 2023
    Label: Independent
    All instruments – Veska

    Veska Instagram –

    Album Art by Rotting Reign

  • The Black Temple – Demo

    The Black Temple, a blackened-death metal band hailing from Grand Rapids Michigan, has released a blasphemously violent demo. The profane mind behind this work of all-out death metal assault, Erik Stroude, is truly a force to be reckoned with; crafting musical abominations tirelessly within the bowls of his underground lair in alliance with Jonathan Rikelme on guitar.

    The Black Temple features crushingly melancholic hymns wringing powerful emotion from the darkest reaches of the soul.

    Production and execution across this demo is professional in the extreme, well-balanced and highly accessible. Downtuned chainsaw-toned guitars balanced to perfection with rhythmic vocal delivery and unrelenting blast beat drums.

    “Altar of Rotting Flesh” is a pristine opening track, with a hypnotic refrain that lodges itself firmly in the soul, beckoning one to feel the very depths of pain & suffering.

    In the vein of such legendary death metal acts as Deicide, Kreator, and Dismember with hints of blackened acts Belphegor and Immolation, The Black Temple’s reign of Midwest terror has only just begun.

  • CHAIN WOLF – Dark Premonitions

    Dark Premonitions – the debut full length from Los Angeles blackened – crossover thrash band Chain Wolf is an animalistic and crushing work of genre-shattering extreme metal.

    “Though clearly punk in conception, the sheer weight of rusty chainsaw tones, cavalcades of murderous blast beats, skin shredding solos, and mercilessly aggressive vocal delivery is unmistakably pure metal in its execution”

    Bludgeoned by adroit guitar solos of 90s’ Priest level majesty, a dizzying array of Wylde-esque squeals and Pantera power riffs, Suidical Tendencies pacing and cross-over intensity, nearly every conceivable element of driving metal is in play to create a truly seamless full-length record.

    Not a single filler track to be found across the 12 tracks of blissful annihilation, each song composed neatly with little to be found in excess or falling short of the attention.

    “One finds it difficult to find a favorite track as each one delivers a punishing yet hypnotic listening experience”

    For fans of black metal and thrash, this record will not only satisfy a craving for absolute sonic punishment, but may even open the door to further punk and crossover appreciation.

    Chain Wolf is:

    Chain: Bass/vocals
    Punx: Guitars
    Wolf: Drums

    released October 21, 2022

    PMM: Raul Cuellar @ Riff Audio
    Artwork: Dante @deathlikeslumber
    Layout: Jason Roberts @jasonvroberts

  • BLUETONGUE – BlveTongve

    Metal/Punk Assault from New Albany Indiana

    When I first encountered New Albany Indiana Metal/Punk band BlueTongue this past year, I struggled to place them into a specific genre initially. With the release of their full length self-titled album, BlveTongve, I found their maddening blender of savagely skillful heavy, melodic, black and death metal with a definitive punk flavor to be heinously infectious in it’s unhinged non-conformity.

    An American “Mayhem” if there ever was one, BlueTongue’s unmistakably raw, unfiltered take on oppressive existence in the decaying rural realms of the flyover states, is unflinching in it’s pure forceful aggression

    Demanding an acknowledgement of the decrepit conditions both social and economic, the young musicians behind this band are uncompromising in their approach.

    Deep bass lines the constant foundation for each song, muted mid-temp riffs to the vocalist’s anguished screams, yelps, spoken word diatribes are rounded out by intensely physical drumming. Truly adroit heavy metal solos occur often, adding a layer of firm creative choice to remain unpolished, despite the obvious talent to do otherwise if so desired.

    Mesmerizing lyrics and vocal delivery on songs such as “He Has my Throat” makes it one the most originally concepted I’ve heard in underground metal in recent years.

    Riffs on several tracks cross over firmly into “Misfits” inspired punk territory, and while it can be jarring at first, overall this addition only adds to hold the attention and still feel part of the overall package of music. Tracks “Dead End” and “What Happen” provide an emotional reprieve from the heavier hitting portions of the album and soaring solos on “Don’t Paint the Ceiling”

    I see much ahead for this ragged band of young people in Indiana, fighting for their corner of the world with tooth and nail, already performing live in local auditoriums, abandoned buildings, and turning up at inappropriate venues to frighten off scowling good folks of the town.

    This album plants a strong seed of chaos, mayhem and refusal to conform to social conditioning by very strong willed artists, who have produced something as infectious as the so named Bluetongue virus afflicting the wild creatures of their native Indiana.

  • XEGREN – Spectral Incantations

    Xegren’s Spectral Incantations

    Forged in ice yet brought into a realm of brimstone and hellfire, Portland Oregon one-woman solo act Xegren ‘s long awaited release “Spectral Incantations” wields uniquely mystic and fantasy-based Depressive Suicidal Black Metal like a frostbitten warhammer from the most bitter reaches of existence.

    Opening this unknowable portal of pain of agonizing experience, the album unveils melancholic synths that unnerve the listener before assaulting with cold, relentless, and chilling black metal.

    Heartless and primal, yet accessibly produced, the mournful tracks beat a familiar path of pure nihilistic terror in the heart of the listener.

    Down-tuned trem riffs, menacingly paced drums, and fiendishly delivered growls ensnare the subconscious mind with frightening efficiency.

    Xegren’s work here is the ultimate realization of her musical vision over the last few years, truly grasping the depth, weight and power of DSBM. Tireless efforts on her part have delivered a record in the finest traditions of Noctural Departure, Xasthur, and Leviathan.

    This is metal crafted to communicate absolute hatred for life itself, yet finding spiritual meaning and immense purpose in that very abyss.

    Mining this fragile thematic balance with authenticity as Xegren has done here is rare, and is ultimately the unspoken beauty and mystery of the Black Metal genre.

    Spectral Incantations was released August 14, 2022

    Mixed and mastered by T.J of Cleansheets Audio

    Written and forged into this realm by Mina M.

    Gear used:

    Schecter Omen Extreme 6 *modded*

    Neural DSP Nolly *custom presets*

    Audiobox by Presonus

    Roland studio headphones

    Bandlab audio for vocals

  • FOMALHAUT – Conjuring a Celestial Apparition

    New album from experimental blackwave artist FOMALHAUT featuring intensely melancholic and pulsating electronic work, backed by chilling amd ethereal vocals. Thematically science fiction horror, this work instills both dread and wonder associated with films and games of this beloved genre.

    Thematically science fiction horror, this work instills both dread and wonder associated with films and games of this beloved genre

    Polished with album art (one of @rotting_reign s best work to date) Fomalhaut continues to carve a truly unique path into this unknown frontier of dark music.

    Fomalhaut is the brightest star in the southern constellation of Piscis Austrinus, which appropriately describes this truly avant-garde electronic music project, shining a very bright light in the utter void of its genre. This latest album continues to prove aggressive yet introspective, balancing harsh opposites in near perfect harmony.

    This record tells the story of Horror, Fear, and Death in the stars above. My own story concocted of my love for all things Ghastly and Galactic. I hope you enjoy.

    – Astral Shroud
  • HELLMOON -Harrowing Domains

    Conjured in Lunar Catharsis

    Harrowing Domains, the long awaited second Hellmoon full-length from unholy Canadian one-man raw black metal entity PLÄÄG, has been violently set loose to destroy the very fabric of this mortal realm. It is a call for the end, a requiem for our realm headed towards absolute annihilation and certain doom.

    The strikingly blasphemous artwork, conjured in lunar catharsis, in complete disbelief, disgust, nihilism and rejection for the clear and repulsive “human” agenda, sets a scornful and murderous spiritual tone for this work, opening with “Calignous Mysticism”

    Howls of unadulterated hatred and menace, yet with a nearly undetectable layer of abject sorrow, carry the full weight of emotional despair and destitution on this record.

    One’s very soul is immediately raped with brazen and hellish screeches overlaid like putrid spirits rotting on the icily thin riffs and muffled drums. Howls of unrestrained hatred and menace, yet with a nearly undetectable layer of abject sorrow, carry the full weight of emotional despair and destitution.

    “Nightmare Spiral” continues this vision of reborn evil in the very finest traditions of Emperor ‘s “Wrath of the Tyrant” in it’s audacity to celebrate unfiltered madness.

    Muddy and oppressive riffs throughout titular track “Harrowing Domains”, dig into very depths of the soul to mine only the darkest thoughts, regrets, and uplift them into their rightful place of pure experience. The unrelenting maniacal drums crush any and all obstacles of goodness into fine ash, to then be scattered to the four winds and beyond.

    The final track concludes this monstrous release, with disconsolate tremolo riffs and vocals reminiscent of Mayhem‘s Attila, rounding out a fully expansive black metal experience on this record.

    Hellmoon continues to be a devasting force in the North American Black Metal scene, not straying a single ioata from the core principles upon which Black Metal was founded, pure evil, darkness, despair, and celebration of the doom of mankind.

    To all the slime and rats in this world, Fuck Off and Die!!!! (You know who you are…)


    Hellmoon Bandcamp:
    Hellmoon – Instagram: @hellmoon.official

    Rotting Reign – Hellmoon Logo Design/Album Art Frame Designer
    Instagram: @rotting_reign

    Eye And Ear Control Records: Digital Logo/Frame Design Edits/”Harrowing Domains” Photo Session Location

    Chimera Photography – All Photo Credits/”Harrowing Domains” Photo Sessions

    Jems Label
    Harrowing Domains Release Cassette/CD
    Jems Label – Big Cartel:

    The Call Of The Night
    Initial Album Premier
    The Call Of The Night – Instagram: @thecallofthenight
    The Call Of The Night – LinkTree:

  • Skrelle

    Skrelle – Album art by Wrest

    A  menacing sojourn into the bitter chasm of absolute void, Skrelle is a nightmarish yet vividly textured work of experimental symphonic black metal. The debut EP by the group hailing from the majestic Pacific Northwest, this sound is a bold vision of utter chaos and hopelessness. With daring artwork by none other than @wrestplague , the 3 songs enclosed within this work, are deceptive in their deeply concepted structure and depth. One gets the sense of a much larger scale within the nearly 20 minutes of music.

    A bold vision of utter chaos and hopelessness: A down-tuned, polished yet grinding production is balanced with wonderfully complimenting higher range symphonic elements

    A heinously down-tuned, polished yet grinding production is balanced with wonderfully complimenting higher range symphonic elements. A truly impressive range of vocals adds yet another layer of awe to this genre bending work of black metal. 

    The latter half this work is filled with wholesomely nostalgic chip tune versions of the previous songs, worthy of the most harrowing of hellishly themed corridor shooters of old.

    Skrelle brings a much needed freshness to the traditional black metal, blending many modern deathcore and blackened death metal elements into what is still unequivocally, true black metal.