Impure Sounds Mini Label Spotlight: Ploughshare and Dødknell

“Impure Sounds is an Australian label & promoter established to honour misanthropy and darkness through musical and artistic rituals.”

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It’s an undeniable fact that underground labels rule, and Impure Sounds definitely rules harder than most. Silently brewing horrifying creatures in the humid Australian gloom before setting them free on whichever format is most fitting to inflict maximum havok upon the world, it’s co-owned by the twin demons of Richard McMaster and Brock George. But releasing top notch black/death annihilation is not all these tireless men get up to – the label is also a recording studio, they make frequent forays into the red glow of night by putting on killer shows like the recent Malign Rites Festival (that featured obliterating sets from Aura Noir, Heresiarch, Grave Upheaval, Denouncement Pyre, Ruins, Graveir, Mar Mortuum and more)… and if that isn’t enough they both play in several bands and Brock somehow also finds time to ply his trade as a skilled luthier, building ultimate quality custom guitars (check out Brock Guitars here).

They put a lot into the Australian extreme music realm and I’m a huge fan of what they do, so given that they have a couple of great new releases out about now I’ve compiled them into a long overdue (albeit mini) label spotlight. Check these out and then dig back over their roster; if you’re a connosieur of the subterranean, you’ll seldom find better. Total support.

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Alright. Want to know a delicious recipe for sonic destruction? Take one part black metal, one part death, a handful of tasty dissonance and a few grams of pure loathing. Add a pinch of orthodoxy then chop it all up, mince it through a meat grinder. Bake with a blowtorch for as long as you see fit, garnish with some bodily fluids and voilà – you now have the depraved new album from lovely Australian lads Ploughshare.

Following on from the impressive/oppressive filth of debut record Literature Of Piss, fresh expulsion In Offal, Salvation vaguely continues their themes of the sacred and perversely profane. They portray carnal filth in a spiritual sense; evocative track names like Flesh Cleft Upon Writhing Altars, The Urinary Chalice Held Aloft or Nature’s Divinity Through Defilement not only aptly illustrate these themes but also provide wonderfully grotesque mental imagery to accompany the music.

And, the music. The fucking music. Opener Carnal Revelation Unfolding sets the unsettling tone with tortured, disembodied screams and noise swells… and then you’re off. Off on an oddly unique trip through religious fervour and filth; punishing compositions creating tense and unusual structures whilst the vox shriek and bellow, each member taking a turn proselytizing the word of the indomitable Ploughshare. Yes, all four members lend their throat to proceedings which imbues an even more harrowing feel to the tracks – coupled with some seriously fucked-out effects, they quite literally sound like inhuman beasts on occasion. Brutal death riffs offset unnerving tremolo leads and a triptych of noise sections scattered throughout adds another layer of disturbing bleakness. One of which works as a perfect segue betwixt two foul movements, another with dialogue samples adding to the albums disconcerting narrative and vibe… a vibe that’s unlike much you’ll have heard before.

Self recorded and mixed, the whole thing sounds incredible and will no doubt come up even better on the vinyl that was recently unleashed – and as the icing on the cake, Impure Sounds has also seen fit to release their wretched debut on LP too (check it here), so take the plunge and dive headlong into some some Piss and Offal while you can. I promise you won’t regret it.

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Next up: holy fuck. I’ve no idea who is behind one man Australian wrecking machine Dødknell but he’s probably smart to keep his identity secret when he vomits forth black encrusted carnage like his latest EP K.I.L.L. His debut album (aptly entitled Hatred Absolute) was a savage beast that not nearly enough people paid attention to – I’m quietly hoping that will change this time around, as this malignant little cancer in the heart of black metal is nothing short of utterly fucking lethal.

Absolutely no time is pissed away on the wind as Hammer Of Hate proves itself to be exactly that, the track (available for streaming below) bursting to life in an aggressive squeal as the drums/everything proceeds to bash your skull in repeatedly before then flipping on a dime and switching seamlessly into a galloping glory ride through the pungent miasma of hell. Incendiary vocals tear through the cacophony, spitting venom and bile on us pitiful human worms that writhe underneath, making us feel like we deserve it. Hostile, primitive riffage hacks and slashes making devastating use of a rancorous and violent tone (and killer solo to boot – always enjoyable).

As old school as your 28 year old pair of gig boots, it’s high energy, physical stuff that doesn’t slow down one iota as grimy centrepiece ANTIFVCK is not only insane, but is also hands down my pick of the three. Opening with a tasteful “C’mon!” and “Ugh!” before the shit really hits the fan, the vocals somehow reach all new levels of torment and roaring hatred as the dynamics of the track hook you in like black claws in your flesh; you can almost see the blood flying everywhere in thick crimson spurts as the music reaches diabolical crescendo. Raped Silent Chanting then closes proceedings with a venomous punkish attack on all things living, reveling in a complete disgust of life. “I can’t take this anymore” he howls, and you fucking believe him.

I remember reading a write up for Mayhem‘s Ordo Ad Chao that said if you played the album next to a plant, the plant would die. Well, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if that phenomenon occurred here – the sheer malevolence inherent in this virulent stab at humanity could make any living thing wither away into a charred husk. If you like your black metal visceral and aggressive with no pussy shit to be seen, you can get your twitching hands on a digital/super limited tape on 16th November; so climb over the growing pile of corpses and fucking K.I.L.L.

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