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Debut: Elemental Nightmares Vol. 4 (Vuyvr, Ashencult, Membaris, Porta Nigra)

One of the many vinyl-era music industry oddities that I missed because of my age is the record club. Also called ‘music clubs’ by some labels, these were package deals in which you could pay a lump sum to have a fresh album shipped to your house every month. Record clubs died out for market-related reasons that should be obvious, but I still find the idea appealing — it’s an interesting way to control the pace of your music consumption.

The upcoming Elemental Nightmares split series puts an interesting spin on the same idea. It basically works the same way: you pay a flat fee up front, and in return, you’ll receive a 10″ vinyl record every month for six months, with an extra bonus disc arriving during the last month. The chief difference here is that while the clubs of yore were effectively a cheap and convenient way to acquire standalone albums, the Elemental Nightmares series will be all fresh material — chiefly from up-and-coming death and black metal bands. (There are digital-only and single-record options too, if they’re more your vibe.)

We’re streaming the entire fourth installment of the series below, which features new music by Vuyvr, Ashencult, Porta Nigra, and Membaris. I’m especially excited about the first two. Vuyvr’s debut album Eiskalt (reviewed here) was one of my favorites of last year. They wallow in black’n’roll filth on their contribution, which somehow still manages to echo frontman Michäel Schindl’s other band Impure Wilhelmina. (Read about their new album here.) I’ve also been waiting on new material from Philly’s Ashencult since their promising debut album (reviewed here). Their song finds them in a more disciplined mood than Black Flame Gnosis did songwriting-wise, though the searing Swedish-style guitar work remains pleasingly intact. Porta Nigra and Membaris — two related German black metal bands — are nothing to sneeze at either.

Stream all four songs below, and check out the complete lineup of Elemental Nightmares participants while you’re at it — some other noteworthy participants include Wildernessking, Canopy, and Eternal Helcaraxe (not to be confused with New Jersey’s Helcaraxë). You can buy your way into the club here.

— Doug Moore

Elemental Nightmares splits:
1. Oak Pantheon / Wildernessking / Kess’khtak / Liber Necris
2. Terzij De Horde / Waning / Hyperial / Parasitized
3. Eternal Helcaraxe / Mondvolland / Septekh / Eventide
4. Porta Nigra / Membaris / Ashencult / Vuyv
5. Harasai / Canopy / Obitus / Kall
6. Feared / Montecharge / Satyros / Dead River Runs Dry
7. Will of the Ancients / Stortregn / TBA / TBA

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