Dark and despairingly disturbing springs to mind when hearing Local I's third sensational opus 'Ecorces', delivering a full-on blast of Black Metal-cross-Death Metal production of which ignites the furious frenzy developed by the Russian duo. 'Ecorces' deploys a raw-tinged sound to the music whilst essentially capturing a slight slant on ambiance in that it devours any clear-cut sound and envelopes it with a sound that rivals only the screams made by burning witches. Local I are one truly remarkable underground Russian band of who will continue purging the scene with darkened discrepancy and unruly unrest.
 RHYS STEVENSON
'A Child Was Born Of The Underworld'
Back in 2010 the only release by Swedish Black Metal duo Equinox was ever made, in 66 copies essentially, but the key part in all of this is that they formed in 1986 but split in 1987 - perhaps one of Sweden's long forgotten underground Black Metal bands. None the less, the album itself is very raw, heavily distorted guitars make way for a chime-twinkling drum pattern. Whilst conventionally the vocals are shrieked and echoed so to speak, the lyrics cannot be deciphered - all for more making it even darker. 'A Child Was Born Of The Underworld' is a testament to the True Swedish Black Metal scene and a harmonious reminder that Salute Records founder Satanic Tony knows Metal music inside and out. Equinox is one of a kind, a rarity and so whomever hears the band's music has a right gem in their hands.
 RHYS STEVENSON
Wallowing in the sewers of both the USA and Canada is the two-man band Ultra Nova with their slick-stance on raw Black / Death Metal. Whilst the production need be not great, this adds to the raw ambiance of it. 'Into Pain....' is their debut 2011 EP and by far does it engrave a darkened signal of ravishing intent in respect of mass destruction of hearing. Although it cannot be essentially called an EP with two tracks - more so a demo, none the less this is one release that proves a promising sign for the duo.
'The Wild Ride'
American / Canadian Doom Metal duo Moribond flick the amp to bring their premier demo 'The Wild Ride' to light, unleashing the thickened sound of sludge-style Doom Metal in a three track attack, Moribond devour the bleakest atmosphere imaginable and erode any corresponding despair surrounding the listener. Whilst the vocals are not truly impressive, being near-inaudible - the music itself offers its own services and alleviates any misconceptions right from the first track. A cult release from a soon-to-be cult band, Moribond are due to turn heads.
[6.5] RHYS STEVENSON
'The Return Of Baal'
Depressingly sorrowful and mentally disturbing is Wintercold's sophomore album 'The Return Of Baal', the Swedish one-man project pioneered by Salute Record's owner Satanic Tony brings a cold and bitter feel to the atmosphere by introducing a new style of Gothic Doom Metal by making it sound depressing and Pagan-like. Without a doubt this is a well produced album that has hidden qualities all over it, just waiting to take the listener to a different place each time. Wintercold is one project for those who love Pagan and Doom Metal and with this release, there is clearly more to come.
 RHYS STEVENSON