"Ear Hunters" - September 28th, 2020 Edition

“In the dark of the night, they prowl... These creatures of the foul, black abyss who bear untapped vessels of chaos and unrest… They are seeking your ears, new listeners… Will YOU let them in??”

· Khors

Hometown: Kharkiv, Ukraine EUR

Release: Where the Word Acquires Eternity (September 15th, 2020)

Label: Ashen Dominion

Genre: Melodic/Post Black

For Fans of: Uada, Gaerea, Katavasia, Vindland, SVNTH

Kharkiv, Ukraine’s melodic black metal veterans Khors have returned with their seventh full-length album since forming back in 2004, Where the Word Acquires Eternity. Despite having pedaled their wares for over fifteen years now, Khors have heretofore remained regional; however, the release of Where the Word Acquires Eternity may finally bump this hitherto subaltern act into the spotlight of international recognition and top-of-the-bill status. Cerebral, melancholic, and bedecked with inflections of folk and symphonics, this latest effort from Khors should appeal nicely to a wide audience, as it just as easily understood as it is enjoyed. Good stuff. Rating: 93 / 100 (A-)

· The White Swan

Hometown: London, Ontario CAN

Release: Nocturnal Transmission EP (September 18th, 2020)

Label: Independent

Genre: Melodic Doom/Sludge

For Fans of: Loviatar, StoneBirds, Marrowfields, Goatess, Dirt Woman, Kittie

Canada’s The White Swan are a newer, sludgy, doomed out trio from the London, Ontario area who’s claim to fame is being fronted and founded by none other than former Kittie drummer, Mercedes Lander. In a stark departure from her past nu-metal ways, however, The White Swan is all about the doom: trudging, haunting, deep, and refreshingly devoid of any similarity to past acts.

As difficult as it can be for once-established artists to attempt new ideas and new sounds – especially if you were established in a time that was as cliched, and subsequently admonished, as “the nu-metal craze” – Lander nonetheless shows courage and creativity upon The White Swan’s latest EP, Nocturnal Transmission. She not only capably handles the drumming and lead vocal duties, but also records keyboards and additional guitar work, so The White Swan is obviously “her baby”, and it’s a good baby indeed. Nocturnal Transmission: an entrancing listen. Rating: 87 / 100 (B)

· Proscription

Hometown: Kuopio, Finland EUR

Release: Conduit (September 24th, 2020)

Label: Dark Descent Records

Genre: Blackened Death

For Fans of: Bloodbath, Excommunion, Sepulchral Curse, Lantern, Venomous Skeleton

From what has become fertile ground for the modern, blackened death sound, Finland’s Proscription may be new, but the wealth of experience they possess among their members is legion. With Excommunion’s vocalist, Christbutcher, and Lantern’s guitarist, Cruciatus, combining their formidable forces, Proscription were already a powerful, preordained force in the blackened death scene before they even put pen to paper or pick to string; and so it comes with no great surprise that Conduit – the debut LP to be offered up by Proscription – is laudably estimable. Containing nine apocalyptic hymns to the darkest of splendors, Conduit is a commendable collection of blackened death metal maliciousness. Get it in your earholes, people! Rating: 89 / 100 (B+)

· Hate Unbound

Hometown: Detroit, Michigan USA

Release: Darkness Becomes All (September 25th, 2020)

Label: Independent

Genre: Groove n’ Death

For Fans of: Lamb of God, DevilDriver, Exhorder, WoR, Repentance

Sharpening and honing their grooving, death-driven sound since 2013, Detroit’s Hate Unbound have made a solid name for themselves in the Midwest region of North America, and they’ve done it via the old fashioned way: getting out there, playing gigs, and spreading the word through action... oh, and lest we forget about dropping the occasional release, too, such as this past Friday’s Darkness Becomes All.

Representing the quintet’s second independent LP (and sporting a new bassist in Deanna Kaczala), Darkness Becomes All contains nine ripping cuts of groove metal grandeur. Seriously, to those of you out there who drooled all over the latest DevilDriver, you wasted your saliva on the wrong album. Darkness Becomes All from Hate Unbound is just as crushing as anything put out by the big names, if not more. Because they want it more. Having doubts? Well, the proof is in the pudding, as they say, so press play below, all ye skeptics and believers alike, and find out for yourselves! Rating: 95 / 100 (A)

Thanks for reading this edition of Hated One's "Ear Hunters"! Be sure to visit the bands and give them your support if you've enjoyed anything you've read or heard here! \m/


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