You know what happens when a bunch of bunnies get together? They multiply. Denver’s Nauseating Whiff Records has become a bunch of metal musicians bred a lineup of bands from a small handful of people. They multiply alright, but more along the lines of Gremlins.

My point being, I’m here to tell you about a Thomas Horror blackened doom production, Iceaxe and the debut album, El Diente. Horror plays in Rasha’im, Skeið, Iceaxe, and like 10 other projects, he is the DIY label, top to bottom. So where does Iceaxe fall into this picture?

Taking parts from Ulver, Moonsorrow, Drudkh, Horror’s newest project fills in the gap between the barbarian black metal Skeið and a strictly instrumental act like Fourth Seal. This is mountain metal, stuff that was also inspired by the Lizardhead summit in southwest Colorado. “No poser faux mountain shit,” Horror said. This is real because he actually climbs mountains and riffs in his head on the rocks. The first two cuts here are fairly straight forward blackened doom, but they both kick ass. The title track and “Dolores,” both droning drums, mid-paced guitar, but those two and the next have the harsher vocals and they are the most aggressive.

“Lizardhead” marks the mid-point and the album switches gear a bit from the first two songs.

Hypnotic drumming, if you haven’t picked up on it already, is the speed here. Just go with it. “Vermilion” hits that stride hard, and the vocals clean up. This track stands out the most from what is heard here. You’ll understand when you get to it because while you’re shaking off the more epic sound of “Vermilion” you’ll have 15 minutes of being blasted away by “Talus/Rubble/Scree” that incorporates, of all things, a piano interlude. And the piano doesn’t sound dark or droning, it’s light and airy. Wrap your head around that for a change of pace.

That last track is a proper send off on this adventure. There were plenty of good things going on here that made El Diente a solid album if you’re into the crossover of black metal and doom.

Iceaxe’s debut album, El Diente, is available now from Bandcamp, digital or CD.

If you’re hanging around South Dakota next week go see Nauseating Whiff Records Skeið, Rasha’im, Morgue Whore, Fourth Seal, A Light Among Many and Vulgarian as they play Stygian Rites June 23-25 in Rapid City, SD.

 

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