NH Metal Memorandum, Part I (2021 Releases)

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Stepping away from traditional reviews (due to the fact that I haven’t felt strongly enough about a release in the past week to warrant writing about it), I’ve decided to do something a little bit different. Taking a tour of our ninth state of the Union, I’m going to share some NH metal bands that need recognition. In this series, which there will be multiple instances of, we will dive into mostly underground metal music that has recently released from groups within our state! This week, we will begin with music released (and releasing) in 2021, but we will eventually jump back to cover a lot of music that came out last year as well. But for now, let’s jump in with some new music!

Image courtesy of Bandcamp.

Aetheric Existence – H O R R I F I C A (Symphonic Blackened Death Metal)

While lacking a distinct location on the New Hampshire map, the duo bring to the table a surprisingly stellar blend of black and death metal with heavy, and fairly accurate, Carach Angren worship. Note, the similarity to those veterans is not a bad one; while that Dutch group may be beloved, this group’s second full-length is leaps and bounds stronger than recent music by their major influence. Aside from being a pretty hefty release at 74 minutes, each cut is well written, produced and performed. Additionally, the programmed drums work really well against the natural synthesizers, whose textures provide a wonderful gothic backdrop for the metal on top of it, and guitars, whose intense tremolos and gritty riffs horrify and brutalize alike. This style is nowhere near my favorite under the genre umbrella, but Aetheric Existence pull of an extremely mature release for an independent group, and is definitely a release to watch this year.

Image courtesy of Bandcamp

Hollow Colossus – “Wielding A Tyrant’s Sceptre” (Progressive Metal/Metalcore)

Hailing from upstate in Lebanon, progressive metalcore four piece Hollow Colossus have yet to release a full-length. “Wielding A Tyrant’s Sceptre” is the most recent single from the group, and hopefully it isn’t the last. I would probably not listen to this style in my free time, but for the most part, the performances are emotive, sound great and are well constructed. The cut begins with a great thundering deathcore section, and this translates into a chugging modern progressive metalcore section, before breaking into the catchy hook that the track has to offer, which is guaranteed to make you groove. The clean vocal performances can sometimes get too James LaBrie or Claudio Sanchez for my liking, but the guitars soar through simple but effective riffs and solos throughout the song. The fake drums also sound good here and fit the niche that the band is trying to fill.

Image courtesy of Bandcamp

Tomb of Anubis – Overshadowed By A False Deity EP (Brutal Death Metal)

My favorite brutal death metal doesn’t take itself too seriously, and Tomb of Anubis is certainly one of those groups. When a song on your release is called “I wanna mosh but I have T-Rex arms” and is still an awesome brutal death metal cut, that speaks volumes for the rest of the project. Overshadowed By A False Deity is another solid ‘bree’ and ‘blegh’-filled death metal record, with machine gun tempos and monstrous riffs. Throughout the 12-minutes of brutal one-man death metal, you might find yourself chuckling as you bang your head along to the very well put together riffs and cavernous drum grooves. With influences from hardcore, black metal, and every extreme metal genre in between, this now project out of Rochester is one to watch going for, as this is their first formal release. This is also the only release among these who appears on a record label’s releases, and is out now on Clostridium Difficile Recordings.
Image courtesy of Bandcamp

Unflesh – Inhumation (Technical Death Metal)

The most veteran group of this lot, Unflesh is releasing their second album Inhumation on April 2nd. The Portsmouth-based tech death group is wonderful amalgamation of dissonance, melody and technicality. Picture The Black Dahlia Murder with a little more variability. This three-piece includes remnants of prolific Newmarket death metal band Solium Fatalis, and their maturity certainly translates into their songwriting and performances. The two singles that have been released up to this point, “To Renounce Flesh and Blood” and “Amongst Horrors I Must Dwell,” are very dynamic and captivating tracks, the first of which follows a more sporadic vein, while the latter finds its place as a melodic and climactic banger. I’m eagerly awaiting the release of this record, and I would highly recommend checking this one out when it comes out.
This is all the music that is at this point released (and releasing) in 2021, but we will be returning soon with a lot of music released by New Hampshire bands last year. You may not be a fan of this music, but supporting your local artists is also extremely important, particularly in the times of COVID-19, as there are a severe lack of live performances (where bands make most of their money). Listening to the music is helping them out too, so don’t hesitate to check out these artists!
Check out these releases below!