There is something foul afoot in the Iberian Peninsula. Some Portuguese  and Spanish acts like The Ominous Circle, Morbid Flesh, Aversio Humanitas, Goldenpyre, have delivered some truly nasty black and death metal of late, and with their second effort Spain’s Altarage look to be the apex of the onslaught.

I never heard the band’s debut, and prior effort Nihil, so I’m coming in fresh to these mysterious, hooded Spaniards. But as soon as I saw a song called “Incessant Magma” and heard it’s opening throes,  I was in for something profound  and terrible. And I was right.

Cut squarely from the  same wretched cloth as The Netherlands’ Dodecahedron,  Canada’s Mitochondrion, Australia’s Portal, Portugal’s The Ominous Circle and the UKs Abyssal, these guys play a discordant, churning form of filthy black/death metal that is a suffocating, catastrophically brilliant listen, that oozes regal, putrid majesty. It’s not catchy, it’s not immediate and it’s not pleasant. It’s a sulfuric miasma that lasts for 36 cavernous, nauseating minutes.

Altarage is able to deliver both discordant landslides of filthy tumbling blast beats like aforementioned opener, “Fold Eksis” and “Orb Terrax” and truly vile, slower moments like the back end of “Spearahedron”, “Weighteer”  and closer “Barrier”. And occasionally, they just want  you to know what it feels like to pour fire ants into your ear canal as heard on the cacophonous “Rift”, which might actually be the gateway to another dimension.

All of it is delivered with a disgusting, murky, but powerful guitar tone and other worldly distant roars. And the songs never drag on or mire in too much build or fade out as the filth is doled out in succinct 3-6 minute slabs of pure, unadulterated chaos resulting in one of the more disturbing and vile death metal albums of recent memory.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
December 15th, 2017


  1. Commented by: Nick K

    Abrasively Awesome

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