Desolate Shrine - The Sanctum of Human Darkness

The Sanctum of Human Darkness is, simply put, one of the best death metal albums I've ever heard. I really can't get enough of it. The first Desolate Shrine album, Tenebrous Towers, was a solid effort, but never really stuck with me or called me back to it. This album is an absolute beast, embodying darkness in sound and aesthetic. It embraces that thick, full-bodied sound that even some of the best death metal bands have left behind. The guitars work so well with the rhythm section and vocals to create an impenetrable wall of blackness. More than once, I am reminded of the best moments of Nightbringer's impressive discography (which are many, as they are on my favorite bands). This is available for pre-order now on CD and an outstanding gatefold 2xLP (in two different colors) from the great Dark Descent.

And while this album is about as good as it gets, it's just the tip of the iceberg considering all the other fine material available from Dark Descent. Maveth's full-length debut album, Coils of the Black Earth, is also up for preorder now, and is a terrific death metal album in its own right. You can also pick up great new releases from Vassafor and Paroxsihzem, and the excellent Diocletian/Weregoat split.

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