Moribund, 24.07.15 PS: We have entered August with a few minutes, but hey, it's still July in UK, USA and Canada ;)
Italian Profezia has enlisted the Danish drummer Ynleborgaz (Angantyr,
Make a Change... Kill Yourself etc.), and has reportedly got a man from Hedmark, Norway in the ranks (except
I can't fathom who that should be). But we're going further back in time. The band started in 2000, and eight years
later they debuted with this album, as an Italian duo.
Besides former drummer Vidharr (ex-Beatrìk etc.), frontman Kvasir
(Abhor, Mourning Mist etc.) dealt with vocals and all instrumentation. The first six songs constitute
the Black Misanthropic Elite section, while the last two poses Moon Anthem.
Everyone must start somewhere, and so Profezia begun here. After a few demos, that is. Time has passed but
Black Misanthropic Elite - Moon Anthem has barely passed the test of it. I expected later releases to have
more to offer, but the subsequent album actually seems equally meagre.
This album represents a motley assembly of songs. Despite some varying degree, mediocre quality that I can do fine without is
too often to be found amongst them.
The music is gloomy, grim and cold, but the "negative" superlatives stops there. Well, the sound also holds properties
that fans of the genre can appreciate, but the three same adjectives constitute an adequate description for the primitive
basement sound as well.
The songs are not that bad, but they are not at all exciting, clever, especially moody or anywhere near
innovative. A few songs are good enough to almost pull the grade a notch up, but it's a disappointing amount of scrap metal
on the album that seems to consist of randomly assembled riffs.
Also, the vocals has to be mentioned, although I'd prefer to repress it. Kvasir may wish to appear as a
grief-stricken soul, an Italian Greifi Grishnackh. Haha ... I laugh my ass off and cry blood.
Poem for the... and Black Misanthropic Elite are the two songs featuring black unpleasant
atmosphere. The rest I couldn't give a fuck about. Unfortunately these two ain't streaming, so you'll have to settle with
Iron Bonehead, 24.07.15 The Second Ceremony is, as the name suggests, the second release from Doomentor. The
band, whose members are nameless, is of the mysterious kind. They are in any case German, and appears to be a trio.
Their previous release, a demo, was released last fall. This EP was released independently and digitally two months ago,
and now on 7" vinyl via Iron Bonehead.
Cover art and label can in this case be somewhat deceptive. I expected something infernal and noisy, but the band rather
plays low tempo death/doom with emphasis on doom. The two songs the band presents themselves with, shows a band with
some debris in the carburettor, but with much potential.
Maligne (05:34) opens with sore, melancholic tones of church organ before more typical doom tones take
over. The vocals are far less typical though. It is sharp and bitter. Even the drums work is a little harder than what
the music suggests. The track shifts smoothly between decent riffs and rhythms before it fades out with hushed acoustic
guitar. Nocturniae Monumentalis (07:55) opens with pretty polyphonic violin before they're cut brutally off as
fiery doom steals the show. Clean and unison (or only slightly echo-filled) vocal occurs occasionally and creates diversity,
but otherwise it is so-so with variety. The song has a tough vibe of grudge and good melody, but it lacks that little extra.
Acoustic guitar gets the honour of finishing this one off as well.
I like the two songs, but they offer no elements of surprise or other extras. Thus they dance nicely into one ear and out
the other. The sound is a matter of taste. That it is far from polished, and that the dynamic range is on respectively DR8
and DR7 for the two songs counts in their favour. That's not surprising as I bet the recording is home made. It's rich on
punch, but it's also a bit cloudy (if I can put it that way in English), which is particularly evident in the acoustic parts.
The Second Ceremony has a charming touch. I like what I hear, but would like to hear improvements in
assorted elements until next time. If the band manages to write songs with a little more finesse and depth that eliminates
predictability in the future, I'll be more than happy to hear from them again.
Prosthetic Records, 24.07.15
Four Germans hereby release their first album for Prosthetic Records. They have only been active for five years,
but is already out with their third full-length album.
With blades dripping of blood and a closet full of skeletons, Deathrite invites to graveyard-party.
The men allegedly comes from a punk/grindcore background. Something that mainly can be heard on the sound, as it doesn't
reflect much in their death'n'roll.
Imagine something dirty and old with cobwebs between the ribs. Something in between Obituary and
Entombed. Besides a fittingly rotten expression, howling feedback is mixed into the rough and unpolished sound.
Somewhat amateurish to begin with, but it doesn't take long before it fits well into their spirit and contributes to
a sadistic playful and mischievous expression. The music doesn't emerge as particularly original otherwise, but every
little bit helps.
I've heard better, but also far worse. My enthusiasm is limited, but it works well and is pretty cool and rather charming
with a reckless satanic smile. Revelation of Chaos is a far cry from classic, but fans of the
genre will probably dig this as well. Thumbs up because the term “Good” is more appropriate than the label
Info and status
As mentioned in connection with
X Years Of Doom & Solitude a few notches down on the page, it's vacation time. Updates is in this regard highly
sporadic. Still, I've gotten the time to listen to some releases. A few keywords are written down, but most
semi-formulated sentences are located behind the frontal lobe. I'll better squeeze out some of these thoughts before
they slip away, crumble and disintegrate.
In just over a week I should be back in normal vigour, if the transition doesn't kills me. I namely hang slightly
behind, thus i'll hardly have a resting heart rate before August bow out. Until I roll up the sleeves, there are plenty
of other pages
out there to quench your thirst for metal.
Despite a rather strange title (Ash bounded/tied), the EP isn't directly bizarre. It is still special enough to stand
out in a positive sense.
After hearing this little stroke of genius nearly ten times it's time to do a little research. Besides the British
keyboardist Kobold (aka Mr. Fog and Jaldaboath) which also figures
in In the Woods..., Old Forest and formerly in The Meads of Asphodel, the band consists of
lesser known participants from Indre Arna - a semi urban area just separated from Bergen, Norway by some thousand
tonnes of mountain.
Doedsadmiral cuts through with razor sharp vocals. Maletoth is in control of every kind of barbed wire despite extensive diversity. AK-47 launch with violent force on an adrenaline-rushed charge on the battery.
It does not take long before one realizes that the band offers something out of the ordinary. Besides fulfilling the
requirements of traditional Norwegian black metal, they also incorporated non-traditional items that few would have
deemed suitably. It all creates much needed originality while the authentic nihilistic godlessness is well taken care of.
The more than ten minutes long title track hardly get started before intoxicating lustrous hammond organ occurs. Along
with black sober guitar tones, pitch black euphony is created. Good melodies doesn't encourage sofa snuggle to other than
black hearted souls. The track offers no peace of mind when calming down, as the notes that seeps out of the speakers are
biting dark and destructively grim. The pace varies violently before Bleeding Wounds takes over. Even
this alters slightly in speed, but the different degrees of mid-tempo doesn't change that much as they wash over
me like drifting arrogant waves of disgust. With its 6.5 minutes it represents the shortest portion of the EP before 7
minutes long Ingen Vet Jeg Var... (No One knows I Was ...). Again depression and contempt rages.
“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall”, or so they want you to believe. Those
who wants you piously tamed and oppressed. Quite contrary, arrogant pride is the admission to the black metal elite.
With very solid songs, pretty unique expression, grim vocals and instrumentation and sound with cascades of punch
(mixed and mastered in WSL Studios to DR7) (and a haughty spirit) Svartelder begins their
journey with stark raving force. This is definitely a band I look forward to follow into the future!
EDIT 25.07.15: There is talk here and there about members from Carpathian Forest, Den Saakaldte etc.
but as long as I can't confirm this, I didn't mention it. The music definitely suggests professional members, but
Svartelder stands solidly on its own feet no matter what.
Signal Rex, 21.07.15
From Iceland comes a trio not very reminiscent of Icelandic metal in general. Their dirty and mouldy death metal reminds more
of a bit too many other muddy band who cling on to an old school expression.
I've got nothing against keeping good old traditions alive, but does demos without distinct character deserve distribution through
Despite rather lacklustre innovation, the trio does a more than decent job. The three songs don't put the demo title to shame,
even if this isn't what we traditionally associate with “horror” (in front of 'metal').
It sounds good, as the sound is far better than what the format often implies. “Recorded in a barren Icelandic tomb”
Metal Archives declare. Romantic! The three tracks offer a rotten and creepy expression packed in adequate sound. The
songs moves with nice flow through good variety. Also the instrumental works well. The delightfully raw and necrotic
death rattle tops it all of exquisitely.
If you can't get enough of the style this should be pretty much on the button, but if you require a touch of originality
you might as well wait for the band to perhaps developing more identity. An okay release, but far from indispensable.
The release nevertheless deserves this kind of distribution just as much as the next al-right underground death metal EP
covered with soil, mould and worms.
Vocalist and guitarist Skaðvaldur has crafted cover art for CD and cassette, but the release via
Signal Rex is only issued on the latter format in limited editions. If you're perfectly happy with digital files
you can also
name your price, which should convince even sceptics to take a closer listen.
Selvfinansiert utgivelse, 30.09.14
I usually focus on current metal releases, but when a band asks politely and I like what I hear, it's hard to say no.
Despite the fact that Polish Moanaa engages in post-metal, a genre I'm basically rather fed up with,
they do it so successfully that they stand out as an exception.
After Alcest voluntarily gave up the title belt one a half years ago, the genre may be in need of a successor
that don't sound totally generic. Moanaa is one of (in my ears) few that deserves a candidacy.
A full hour might seem rather excessive, but the five Poles do pull through nicely. Earlier they only have a self-titled
EP from 2010 to their credit.
Part of the secret seems to be the combination of good melodies and variety. The versatility does not only pose rhythmic
and structural changes, but also great diversity in guitar sound. The genre quickly becomes dreary and dull when the same
threadbare guitar sound and the same monotonous riffs fills an entire disc. Moanaa alternates between a
far greater diversity of riffs, guitar wise sound and a full range of tempos. Also the vocals use some variation. Not quite
as plentiful, but then again, there's not an extravagant amount of vocal on the album either.
The expression is atmospheric, and extends from the subdued dreamy to rasping hostility with chips on their shoulders. The
mood alternates between gentle mournfulness, via slight nervousness and cautious in the face of the scary and unknown, to
bitter resentment. Again, diversity is the key word for which the band achieves victory.
Apart from a single two minute clip we find seven tracks in just over eight minutes on average. For impatient souls this can
probably be somewhat of a trial at times. Not everything works just as smoothly. At its best, however, Moanaa
tangent Alcest, and all in all I think their début is very comfortable with everything from beautiful to raw passages.
Metal Scrap Records, 25.06.15
Poland may not be known for exceptionally melodic strains of extreme metal. But it's just within that layer the quintet
named Psychophobia roam. Perhaps because of good elbow room? I must admit that my expectations weren't
really high, but I am glad that they are being put so emphatically to shame.
After ten years of existence and a few demos, the band released their début full-length album in 2012. Three years later
they release their first EP, their first product without synth and symphonic influences, supposedly.
My first encounter with the band consists of three tracks clocking in at almost a quarter in total. Imagine melodic metal
more in the power/viking fairway, and then run it all through a death metal filter. It thrusts and swing well, while
building on good melodies that create song-wise identity.
The band would not have been the same without two guitars. Rough riffs and melodic gems are thrown out simultaneously,
while it also allows for some twin-guitar. The guitar play is impeccable, and forms the core of the band's quality. Yet
one should not forget the other three members. Steady and rather hefty drumming and ditto bass is flanked by coarse and
large calibre growling.
When the technical playing-skills works excellent, the songs have good identity and adequate characteristics, and the sound
is crystal clear with plenty of punch, I see no reason not to recommend this.
Hells Headbangers, 20.07.2015 Demona kind of makes me think of The Great Kat. Not that they sound directly alike but
female-fronted speed metal ain't really an everyday cuisine. Demona consist primarily of Chilean
Tanza, who started the band at age 17 in 2007.
From 2008 to 2012 she released a good handful of misc releases, in 2011 she moved to Canada, and in respectively
2012 and 2013 Demona dropped two full-lengths as a full band.
On this 7" EP, she received assistance from Desaster drummer Tormentor.
Two songs of respectively about 4 and 3.5 minutes is hurled of by rapid speed/thrash fashion. The melodies are good
enough, but the EP doesn't offer any big surprise in the form of exceptionally good songs or structure. Perfectly okay,
no more no less.
Purely subjective, I don't think fem-vocals fit this kind of music, although Tanza does a decent job.
Listen and judge for yourself:
Art of Propaganda, 29.06.15
It's almost a month since this was released. I heard it relatively many times then, but somehow never managed getting
anything scribbled down.
Mr. AZAVATAR (yes, it's supposed to be upper-case) from Saeculum Obscurum started the eponymous
band as a one-man band in 2013, but quickly got three other guys along for the ride. The main man takes care of guitar,
bass and additional vocals, while guys with bands like Gräfenstein, Infestus, Nebelkrähe
and Sycronomica on the resume takes care of vocals, keyboards and drums.
Together they brew mid tempo, dark and claustrophobic black metal.
Without even a demo, they get straight to the point with their over 50 minutes long début album, and if I should judge by
the music I would have guessed that the band had at least two albums behind them.
The instrumental works fits like a glove, packed in a dark and powerful sound. Recording and mixing took place at The
Source Studio, where Ascension's masterpiece The Dead of the World came into being, with
M. Zech behind levers and buttons. V. Santura (Triptykon, Dark Fortress) has been
responsible for mastering at Woodshed Studio. The man also had a hand in producing Kuolemanlaakso's
Tulijoutsen, Thy Darkened Shade's Liber Lvcifer I: Khem Sedjet and Alkaloid's
The Malkuth Grimoire. The man's name is indeed synonymous with quality.
The important thing, as always, is the song material. And there is not much to criticize. In fact, there's practically nothing.
Although AZAVATAR doesn't revolutionize the genre, they bombards the listener with five killer songs. The first
two are between 7 and 8, and the last three from barely 11 to just over 14 minutes. You know the recipe; alternating pace and
variety where constantly advancing movement creates a very good and coiling yet volatile song-wise progression. Although the
foundation is not new, the framework raised on top of it is both new and frightening. Not directly original, but no look-alike either.
The melodies are cold and deadly when they drift forth as a thick fog of poison smog.
Despite my inability to convey these demon spirits via the keyboard's conform keys, at least without resorting to too many
overtly used adjective phrases, I think you understand approximate where in the dead forest, the impoverished soil and the
unhealthy fog AZAVATAR's realm has manifested and fortified its position.
And believe me, they do a fabulous job of spreading negative vibes, which of course you can observe yourself.
Set reserve the next 51.5 minutes to explore AZAVATAR.
Solitude Productions, 16.07.15
Updates have been sporadic lately, and will probably be so for a while. There is never a shortage of exciting releases,
even if midsummer is somewhat calm compaired to the rest of the year. I take the liberty to put my feet up a bit myself,
as I set aside time for social behaviour, outdoor activities and corresponding strange conduct.
If your hunger for metal is never-ending, I will hereby tip you off to a solid stack of music.
So much in fact, that I haven't even heard 10% of it. I still don't hesitate at calling this compilation superb!
Like the versatile vodka - you can cool down with a drink or warm yourself on one - can strains of doom in all its many
facets freeze your blood and give a chill down the spine on a hot summer day, yet also the genres are perfect companions
for classic (at least Norwegian) summer weather: heavy rain.
I must be allowed to call this the ultimate compilation of doom/death and so on. Solitude Productions
celebrates 10 years, and has thus created a collection compiling one song from each release on the label, as well as the
three sub labels BadMoodMan, Slow Burn and Art Of Silence. In chronological order, no less.
220 songs! About 35 hours! ... and all this for free!
During this barely one and a half days long play-list, there is naturally some garbage, but the label has released a
surprising amount of goodies. I do not intend to start listing up a lot of stuff, even though it may be tempting, but if
I should mention just one, I choose track number 57, as I really like Nox Aurea.
The label has just issued two Norwegian releases that I shall return to. Funeral's sophomore album
In Fields Of Pestilent Grief (2001) has just been re-released, and Fallen has a self-titled compilation
Should you decide to purchase anything, make sure to order their
Anniversary Album at the same time.
It comes in limited edition, and is sold for just 1 Russian Ruble(!)
If you like doom metal, death/doom and funeral doom, with drops of dark metal, black ambient, post-rock etc., you'll
barely find a better collection of songs from familiar and unknown albums.
X Years Of Doom & Solitude is a golden opportunity to get acquainted with new exciting bands.
Hells Headbangers, 20.07.15 Blasphemic Cruelty consists of members from Ares Kingdom, Angelcorpse and
Perdition Temple, and unleashed their début 6.5 years ago. Since then, it has been silent as the grave.
The silence is broken by a deafening roar as the Tampa, Florida based trio slams three new songs and a Sodom
cover on the table, chasing through 'em all in just over 20 minutes.
The cover of
The Crippler glides practically unnoticeable inn amongst the tree remaining songs. Thus, you will get a
sense of where in the landscape they are located. Blasphemic Cruelty makes a good figure with frantic
death/thrash, high speed, low morale and breakneck solos. The music is absolutely cool enough to deserve a stronger
hieroglyphic indication in the upper right corner, but I've got too much of an issue with originality contra format.
You know where this landscape is located. You've been there many times before. You have tasted all the local dishes,
drunken the local beer and ... Well, what you've done with the local women I won't interfere in. The point is that it
tastes a bit of well known fast food of this dish. 21 minutes going strait for the throat, and that's it.
Initially, I love this music, it's certainly well played and I can't complain about the sound. Nevertheless, I can't
really exhibit much enthusiasm over this, unfortunately. It's just as much me as the music there's something the matter
with. I'm not a big fan of singles and EPs as long as there's nothing new or otherwise exciting about them. 21 minutes
of heard-it-before is kind of pointless in my eyes. Give me 40 minutes, and at least I can delve into it.
Hellthrasher Productions, 17.07.15
Three of four members from Alabama, USA thrash band Condukator, and the entire inventory of the abandoned
death-thrash squadron Bloated Carcass, started a new and by all appearances darker chapter in their metallic
career five years ago. Fractured in the Timeless Abyss, the début, were apparently well received three years ago, and I
have a suspicion that the sequel will receive a similar reception.
The band's death metal is dirty, thunderous and eerie in an evocative way. As a raven black tanks without registration
marks, decorated with occult symbols, the beast comes rolling out of a nearby grove while trees creaks and yields. With
roaring engine it barges forwards in an unstoppable manner. Does it break new ground? No, it certainly isn't planning to
start off any construction project. This tank only break as in destroy.
In other words, it is well known terrain that shall be laid in ruins once again. Fortunately, the trio bear enough
ammunition in all compatible calibres, to get away with it.
The vocals rumbles in delightful occult ways while guitar and bass dance like macabre shadows cast by torches in the woods.
Or should I say by the tanks flickering headlights. Along with an unyielding man behind the battery, a thundering
and roaring inferno is formed. Stun grenades and a barrage of gunfire scares all living things away before all their earthly
sanctuary is laid violently in ruins.
Ectovoid admittedly hasn't got enough ammo up their sleeves lay all earth waste, but they're certainly
packing enough hefty brutality to cause great harm. Dark Abstraction is a tough album that in a sense got that little extra, but still lacks some of the
necessary individuality. If you give it a chance, it is quite possible it will shoot its way into the your heart,
although it does not exactly consist of unimpeachably classic material.
Nuclear War Now! Productions, 10.07.15
From the Netherlands comes two new faces to introduce their brand new spiritual black metal.
It's a demo, and the band's very first product in that respect, which is hereby published via Nuclear War Now!.
Not that I completely understand the point of that. The music is admittedly not miserable, but it's not praiseworthy
either. Not musically nor soundvice.
The demo consists fittingly enough of three songs in just over a quarter.
It starts with Nergal, The Raging King, which opens with mournful piano and liturgical monologue praising
Nergal. As more metal arrives, the expression stays airy and staccato. A ceremonial atmosphere rests above the product,
and the melody-lines ain't bad at all. It's obvious that these guys are on to something. The executed is still far from flawless,
The short Conjuration of the Fire God is just an interlude with church organ, bombastic battle rhythms and beastly
monologue before The Dark Young of Shub Niggurath continues where the first song left off.
As a demo Spirit of the Entrance Unto Death isn't bad, but demos are as the name suggests only demonstrations.
I'll rather wait for a more refined product.
I don't doubt that the duo Xarangorth and Ghûllzaraën is going to surprise positively
in due time, but for the time being, their music just doesn't impressive me remarkably. If this had been a regular EP, the
grade would have been set a notch lower. I will however call this a promising demo.
Pulverised Records, 10.07.15
Well-known Rogga Johansson (bass) is out of the picture, but his name alone is enough to point out the musical direction.
With Kam Lee (
The Grotesquery et al.) on vocals, Ronnie Björnström (ex-Aeon, ex-Ribspreader et al.)
on guitar and Morgan Lie (eks-Naglfar et al.) on drums, the band still has the crew needed to destroy
In addition, a whole wealth of guest-vocalists, too many to enumerate, appears.
And destroy they shall! The two Swedes and Florida-inhabitant Kam crushes almost everything on their way.
After an uncomfortable intro with sounds that only fit together in one context, torture, all hell brakes loose for
approximately 40 minutes. A length that has almost become an unwritten standard within the genre. The sound is hard as
granite, thick as cement and massive as Osmium (22.59 times denser/heavier than water). Ronnie has himself taken care
of the sound. Through various mid-tempo paces, deadly riff are produced en masse. These are only friendly in one context;
From the first listen-through, Cannibal Crematorium appeared as one of the most ruthlessly bone-crushing
and anvil-hard death metal albums I've heard in a long time. The whole album is simply a display of fierce and brutal, though
not excessively brutal, death metal. The album is so killer that it's balancing on the verge onto the topmost verdict.
The most negative aspect about the whole album is the meaningless two-minute interlude Il Sesso Bizzarro di Cannibali
that just seems foolishly misplaced in the middle of the album. Otherwise it's just great.
When this still doesn't reach top-rating it's because few songs really stands out. If I skould point out a track
that is qiute suitable at providing goosebumps, it must be the penultimate song, Untold Story: Human Pork Bun,
where the guitar pull some insane and awesomely evocative solos and other moody, floating tones.
Death metal fans shall and must check out Bone Gnawer!
Go Fuck Yourself Productions, 09.07.15
What happens if you mix Violentor (below) with old Swedish death metal in the vain of Entombed?
This would provide a fatal punk-thrash attack, like an extreme and unholy offspring of Motörhead.
One would get Turbocharged and their Militant, a somewhat more interesting experience.
“When I stare down that path, I see blood, I see tears, I see darkness.
It's not my blood, it's not my tears, but it is my darkness”.
Thus begins Militant.
The sound is thick and powerful as Old Nick's juicy riffs fill the air. Headphones still reveals a
rather special abrasive crooning in the guitar sound. As the emulated roar of an engine in a 25-year-old
racing game. Special, yet stylish. Drums pound away thanks to Freddie Fister,
the bass is smooth and nice and vocalist/bassist Ronnie "Ripper" Olson (ex-Vomitory et al.)
growls tough with semi-clear distinctness.
The music is robust, strait to the face, with solid force, but even if tough sound and gloomy, aggressive atmosphere is
in place, the extra mile to stand out among the masses is lacking. It is by all means absolutely all-right, but it still
goes on and on without significant hooks.
After a great number of spins, nothing have stuck to me, and the songs are still not really easy to tell apart. It sounds
killer (although it is palpable how the sound of the rhythm guitar evaporate in solo sections, due to one guitarist), and
it can thus be characterized as “good” but the 40 minutes unfortunately emerges as mediocre in its entirety.
Conclusion: It sounds hard and tough, but as the band has grown to become fifteen years as living dead, I expect a little
more depth and structure in the song-writing. Ergo, middle-of-the-road.
Feel free to view the
teaser, and hear the title track:
Go Fuck Yourself Productions, 09.07.15
It's always easier to separate the wheat from the chaff by direct comparison. Among the three albums I've had time to
get into over the recent days, Maniacs definitely appears as the weakest.
That I give it my thumb down doesn't mean that this is bad per se, but rather that it is quite disappointing. If, however,
reckless thrash with a habit of excessive fuck finger usage is right up your alley, there is no reason not to continue reading.
The Italian trio with two members from Hobbs' Angel of Death are back with their third full-length album since
its founding in 2009. Their thrash contains strong traces of crust punk. It's probably one of the reasons why I'm not
turned on by their music. A very subjective justification that bigger fans of the genre doesn't need to take to heart.
Another reason for my disappointment is the compositions. When the song structure is generic and repetitive, I consider
that “this is as exciting as vacuum cleaning” an objective argument.
With that said, this is perfectly all-right to listen to. It sounds fittingly home crafted, loud-mouthed and disrespecting.
I tend to be (far) too kind. I'll compensate by punishing Violentor. (How's that for objectivity?)
I am in excess strict here, but the decision is based largely on personal taste.
Supporters of jump-around-and-bump-into-each-other genres should check out Maniacs.
The album is out on CD now, and will be out on MC & LP in early August if my understanding is correct.
Who they wish to defame (enlish for svärta), only the devil know, but they do it with black frenetic chaos and spirit
conjuring passages in an eclectic mix. I don't get entirely wise about neither quality or style.
Through six songs and a little over forty minutes we are drawn onto a frantic roller coaster. At its most frenetic
it's a state of pandemonium with swaggering aggressiveness and indomitable speeds on a runaway frenzy. It goes a little
bit overboard with a rather noisy sound, but the guys still lands on their feet. Mostly.
Abrupt and unexpectedly they turn into very slow, calm, melancholic and enchanted moods.
The entire début has a rapid and rabid home-made touch that still fits the expression a bit. Home-made is well-made,
and an authentic unpolished spirit of genuine and honest satanic metal rests on the product. While it may at the same
time become somewhat clattering and messy. The dynamic range varies primarily from DR5 to DR7.
Both the reckless atmosphere and a lot of the music smells of freshly burned church and appeals on a spiritual level,
but in the same way that the music is chronically manic depressive, I'm two-folded in my view.
The vocals alone are enough to give a faltering impression. At its best it reminds of old Count Grishnackh, but
otherwise it's often howling, roaring and crackly. The music suffers much the same. Despite sections with good drifting
black metal, sequences with rather funeralistick stripped down eeriness, thrilling incorporation of harmonica and church
organ and an overall genuine mood, Sepultus also appears as a schizophrenic rickety, ram-shackling orchestra.
Ambivalent nonetheless, I choose to emphasize the positive factors, but this album is in the lower part of the gradation.
The Goatmancer, 06.07.15
The first release on recent established label The Goatmancer comes in the form of a re-release of Finnish
Evemaster's fourth album, inadequately titled III.
In simple terms the duo plays a blackish variant of more Swedish-sounding melodic death metal.
The metal is semi-extreme with strong melodic qualities and doesn't remind much about neither death nor black metal.
It's mainly the vocals that draws in black directions. The overbearing, rather monotone vocals don't compliment the music
too much in my ears. Dan Swanö's clean guest vocals only contributes to fuel further up under my sense of where
this music belongs. It is melodic, reasonably smooth, modern and quite commercial. Common people would not use words like
polished or accessible, but their respect for artistic finesse is skin deep. Everything should be consumed with a straw,
without any chewing resistance. Evemaster ain't that slick and simplistic.
I've never had a taste for Dark Tranquillity, In Flames or Soilwork, and it is in that direction
I feel I'm being dragged with III.
It should be said that the two guys have crafted many good melodies, and they also perform good on their instruments.
Sometimes they offer good moods as well, as in rather melancholic Humanimals, fairly creepy The
Great Unrest or the dreamy tones of Absolution.
Evemaster's five years old, but still last album, offer up all right muzak in a genre on the outside of my
comfort zone. I sneak off quietly, while those with a tendency toward such music may linger longer in its bosom.
Svart Records, 03.07.15 Jose Rossi and Antti Varis are two psychonautic Finns with a distinctive expression.
According to the press release, the members got experience from rather eclectic Dark Buddha Rising and
Oranssi Pazuzu. Black-ish metal of partly atmospheric art are spiced up with psychedelic sci-fi elements. I'll give
'em credits for originality, even though everything doesn't works just as well.
The duo has almost kept going for ten years, but they've taken pretty good time. They released their first record two years ago.
The black aspect consists of a bit slow mid-tempo black(ish) metal with minimal use of tremolo, a touch of black'n'roll
and soaring guitars. This, together with melody and atmosphere offer an atmospheric, partly post-metallic mark. When
cosmic sound effects are swirling like comets, meteors, asteroids and satellites around the ears, it becomes clear that
these two lads barely have their feet on the ground. The whole thing is quite hypnotic, with pleasurable moods and
Unfortunately, the good mood is broken up by some meaningless sequences of tactless feedback and punk orientated attitude
which gives the music a recklessly garage feel.
The rough Finnish speech-vocals goes a tad in the direction of Ajattara, but it becomes a bit too shouting.
Luonnon harmonia ja vihreä liekki, which means something like “Harmony of Nature and The Green Flame”,
was recorded in Wastement and mastered by Jack Control in Enormous Door, Texas, USA. The dynamics
ain't spacious but the sound fits the music.
Appart from the meaningless, tacky ingredients I find the psychedelic dark metal rather refreshing and enjoyable.
All in all a pretty good album.
Goatprayer Records, 04.07.15and later via
There's about a hundred years since the British Empire ruled over ¼ of the world population and ⅓ of the
planets lands masses. Perhaps it's time for a new conquest?
Does Vacivus has what it takes to lay the world under their soles using occultism via demolishing
The five guys from Sunderland does in any case have what is required to get far in a genre that in my ears is led by
Vacivus was previously named Dawn of Chaos, and on the metal-archives it's an absurd mess,
where the bands only full length is listed under both band names. I stick to the promo leaflet which insists this is
In this respect, the band's beginnings in the battle for world domination appears in the form of five songs on a 25 minutes EP.
Vacivus hew their path in a brusquely and violent manner in both mid-tempo and higher speeds. Ian
Finley's (Wodensthrone etc.) drums pounds and crashes, while Dan Rochester's (Spartan
Warrior etc.) and Ross Oliver's (Haar etc.) guitars and Dan Jones' bass
buzz and shriek in bestial tones. As an obsessive circular saw out of control, eerie moods is on the loose. Nick Craggs twist his vocal cords as a wet rag after scraping it with coarse sandpaper. We are speaking
rude and crude, simply demonic growling. Unless the vocalist shoots razor blades of black screams into the night.
The black vocal casts ice cold and thorny echoes in underground concrete corridors that above all is associated with foreign
armed forces, and their fearsome war machines. Tough as nails. This can be perceived amongst others at 3:13 into
But of course, the songs are completely imperative. It doesn't matter if you play the living shit out of of everyone else
if the song material don't measure up. These songs are fortunately surprisingly good. Thrust, mood, furious instrumentation,
progression, excitement... everything fits like a cement/concrete glove. Even the sound is killer. The recording took place
in The Garage in October and Chipy has mixed the EP. The sound is dark, obscure and mysterious as the band
hammers out their satanic death manifest (with passable DR7).
The EP was issued yesterday on 100 cassettes via Goatprayer Records. At the moment they have only one copy
left. Fortunately it will be released on CD later this year via Hellthrasher Productions.
Sideburn Records, 03.07.2015
These Belgian thrashers I've encountered on a few previous occasions. No wonder since the band has subsisted far longer than
I was aware of. It's as much as 20 years since their début, and the band had already been around for 7 years at that time.
This is a ten-inch foretaste of the band's ninth full-length album, which comes out later this year. Two new tracks from this,
as well as a new version of the song Land Of Sin from Cult of Sin (2009) is what the band offers.
The band's thrash is on one side fairly swift and energetic. On the other side, the five musicians is fronted by a fairly
gentle vocalist. Sammy Peleman is among the latest addition to the band, and based on my meagre knowledge
of the band he screams more and better than his predecessor. The two new songs have fairly conventional thrash vocals, but
in a harmless form. It's somewhat in the direction of old Anthrax, in lack of a better reference. Sammy
also takes an occasional jump high into the frequency register. With high pitch that can compete with dog whistles,
he makes the shot glasses tremble with fright in the glass cabinet. He doesn't scares, though. An occasional, and minimal
sequence of black-growls isn't nearly enough to prevent me from missing a bit more aggressive vocals.
The aforesaid Land Of Sin has a different vocal style, more reminiscent of previous vocalist. Here we
get laid-back and a bit sleazy, yet harmless clean vocals. The song includes a guest appearance by Andy LaRocque
(King Diamond). I'm not going to speculate on whether or not this is the exact same contribution as on the
That there's no innovation in the music I choose to ignore, as that's not to be expected.
The music kicks very well at high volume. It's a most crafty bunch that has rolled up their sleeves and step into action
on their respective instruments.
The sound is also competent. Dan Swanö has handled mixing and mastering. The result is high quality sound,
despite disappointingly low DR5.
The cover sleeve oozes undoubtedly of thrash, and is designed by famous Ed Repka. Well, at least his cover art is
well-known. The 10-inch is printed on green vinyl and is limited to 300 hand-numbered copies, distributed through
The EP is essentially perfectly okay. The two new songs rips, whilst the remake doesn't quite hit bulls eye. I prefer my thrash
a bit more fierce, evil and/or well-structured. It is quite possible that this will work better in full-length format, however.
Nuclear War Now! Productions, 01.07.15
The duration of this double-LP is a full 83 minutes, which almost seems a thought deterrent. When after three rounds of
“blind testing” I finally takes a look at the promo leaflet, I realize why.
I also realize that I could have split my listening session into two pieces. This turns out to be a re-release of
Ysengrin's début album along with the demo Alchimete from 2010.
We might as well begin by presenting Ysengrin, because I'm hardly the only one who's never encountered
this band before.
The French band was founded ten years ago by Guido Saint Roch. Others with membership has changed a bit.
To date, the band is a trio. A couple of demos and three splits was released before the 2011 début. It's mostly been limited
editions, independently or via various small labels. The two releases here present originally came out on De Profundis
Éditions. In 2012 another full-length album (To Endotaton) was released, by I, Voidhanger Records
this time, and last year the band released the EP Palimpseste on their own.
When the first album Tragedies - Liber Hermetis now gets printed in a greater edition along with wider distribution,
there's a good chance that more people will discover them.
It is a rough mixture of death and depraved minds the Frenchmen presents for the listeners. Genre-wise it incorporates
doomsday prophecies of doom, decay of death and an indifferent, cynical, blasphemous attitude that originates in dark,
colourless shadows. Everything draped in the admonishing moods of occultism. Ysengrin take their time to let the rot and decay sink in and infect existence. Without falling completely
into syrup, the pace is still tightly reined during much of this diabolical ritual.
The début it selves lasts for 57 minutes and has a slightly unfinished feel. This is nevertheless extremely charming.
Raw riffs, rumbling and jarring bass, and occasionally hectic drumming is joined by long guitar tones, finger play,
playful bass, acoustic guitars, pump organ (I think) and various forms of extreme vocals, all raving mad. Including
lovely black growling relating to that of Necros Christos.
The demo's got a rougher, more necro/occult death/doom-touch that smells of Greek brutality and early nineties, despite
the fact that it came out 20 years later. Among the 25 minutes, it's the long-standing Mystères de L'Artifex
that emerges as a dystopian opus. Evidence indicates that it is extended from just above 12 to almost 18 minutes.
The sound on both releases is dripping with soil as if something ancient, stinking and unholy has penetrated the ground
and ascended from its abnormally deep grave.
Both releases are mixed and mastered (to DR7) by Fureiss in Rosenkrantz Studio.
I've really got a fondness for the French deranged black/death/doom universe. It stinks of French frenzy whilst a bitter
after-taste of Greek godless furore in evidence.
Some tracks could indeed have been a clue stronger, for example by combining ideas from several songs to a higher unity,
and the album could advantageously have been slightly more coherently structured.
There are nevertheless nitpicks, as this release with its obscure coal black moods are only a hair's breadth from ranking
of the highest order. After three further playthroughs, I conclude that Ysengrin is certainly is a band
to my taste!
Hellthrasher Productions, 30.06.15
Are you ready for a dose of aural abominations? If sound had colour, taste and thereto-appropriate nutrients or abilities,
these barely 21 minutes would reek of an ominous dark red and tasted like burnt bat excrements seasoned with what's stuck
inside the pipes and tubes, clogging the drains. Ingestion of even a single song would have been risky. More than 20 minutes
would have been just as deadly as plague, cholera and other viral outbreaks high on WHO contingency list.
The duo comes from the Midlands, UK and consists of Al-Xul on grunting low-frequency vowel and
Áhéheste (or A.H.S., ex-שְׁאוֹל (She'ol)
et al.) on all instruments. This three-track EP is their first sonic attack. It was first released on cassette in April
last year via Exitium Productions, and is now released on CD.
If staggering brutality with eclectic features is your thing you are perhaps a fan of bands like Portal and
Ævangelist. Personally, I like Vorage's approach better. The three songs are somewhat closer
to Deathspell Omega in expression. The guitar work creates a mood of dizzying heights and disturbing views of
desolated worlds appearing as distorted and out of place, as in Lovecraft's apocalyptic and grotesque dream world of
abandoned cities studded with bizarre buildings in hideous colours and illegitimate angles.
If a psychedelic occult berserker onslaught sound like something for you, Vorage is hereby recommended.
Work on material for a split is reportedly in progress, so hopefully we'll hear from the band again sometime soon.
Prosthetic Records, 30.06.15 Dew-Scented is like a familiar face in the crowd that is a bit hard to place. The Germans have been
active for almost 25 years and this is their tenth album. I know I've heard them before, but I can't really remember
much. Unfortunately I'm afraid that's a trend Intermination won't alter.
The band gives full throttle with their melodic death/thrash. The drummer is accomplished. The guitars are working
diligently. The sound is thick and juicy. I can't think of any bands they sound distinctly alike, but a gruel of
Arch Enemy, Hypocrisy, The Crown and Amon Amarth might perhaps provides an approximate
indication. (I can't do a proper comparison at the moment, so this is only a gut feeling). The vocals have a slightly
unattractive core-touch, but I can live with that.
Then there's the objections. Well, I've only got one nit to pick. The songs lack that little extra. It bats
around in a more than listenable fashion of frenzy, but there's really not much that sticks.
Expression and style is by no means polished, but as long as nothing stands out or sinks in, I get a sense of
Polytetrafluoroethylene (Teflon). The music is nevertheless well played and rather tough and hard.
The veterans do a more than honourable effort, although all hooks are missing and the result becomes fairly anonymous.
Generic song-writing despite - punch, fiery guitars and rhythms played tightly raises the album above common mediocrity.
The album was mixed in Unisound Studio with Dan Swanö, and so the sound is of course also more than acceptable.
It may be noted that the dynamics is on (not much more than) tolerable DR7.
Therefore, I would really like to put this in the (lower part of) the “good”-booth. After five rounds Intermination
still feels like a rather “gray mass”. The band plays it safe, and takes no chances that could have made their
tenth full length a little more exciting.
If you like the style and/or the band, you should still absolutely check out this album. The energetic discharge of
this five-piece might just raise your roof, even if my roof is still in one piece after this.
Hells Headbangers, 30.06.15
No less than 400 kilometres (250 US miles) separates the duo based in Hamar and Grimstad (Norway) respectively. Yet they
have now prepared a new frenetic thrash metal attack. Evil Power is the third album in the row, but the band has a bunch of splits and various minis in their
backpack. Congratulations on the ten-year anniversary, by the way!
Fans know what they'll get thrown in their face. Everyone else may receive the following warning. Death Hammer
is an untamed speed/thrash abomination that hurl cascades of fast riffs around to the cutting tones of an
This disorderly savagery has a good reputation in the underground, and Evil Power will surely be well
received. The sound is clearer and more powerful than its predecessor, but fear not, followers of the cult and members
of the congregation, this is still unpolished and reckless as Hell. It is released on the unholy physical trinity, CD,
LP and MC, and I have a small suspicion that the sonic difference between CD and cassette will not be extremely dissimilar.
The album is good, with serious amounts of crushing guitar works, but if I'm going to criticize something, it' that it
doesn't have much depth. Someone will presumably throw beer glasses at me and point out that Death Hammer
shouldn't even be allowed to play sophisticated show-off-shait. Yes, I agree, but there are plenty of examples of more
memorable classics within extreme thrash. Let it be stressed that these are small nitpicks, but I do not get as good a
relationship with this as from Inculter's début. It might have something to do with structuring and variety. That sort could namely have been
a clue more thoroughly processed on Evil Power.
But now I sound too damn cranky, and that's not the intention. I just want to put my finger on why I'm not giving this
album full score when it gives full throttle, rasps like a grater, shatters like a bulldozer and is unstoppable as a
Personally I believe this will kick fucking ass live, but on disc, it soon becomes something that fits best when I
am drunk and disorderly, and then I'd probably go for the CD version. My cassette player has eaten its last tape salad
and it was was adopted by a recycling station before it came to domestic violence and it got to taste the wrath of my hammer,
and the pickup cartridge's stylus on the vinyl player is bloody difficult to operate with 0.25% blood alcohol content.
Kudos for the Norwegian lyric on Total Metal. It took me by surprise and provides an original twist.
Even if you might not agree, I think it's damned cool, although I don't quite get a hold of the text myself either.
Relapse Records, 29.06.15
I don't know the first thing about progressive rock. Consider this as an impression in an enlightening purpose, and don't
let my subjective taste affect your investment decisions.
Goblin Rebirth is one of many reincarnations of the band Goblin. I've given up trying
to obtain some sort of overview. You can rather try yourself.
The self-titled début is a quiet affair with a strong soundtrack/score feel. Had this been taken from a film it would
either been a pretty psychedelic sci-fi from space or just a damn peculiar and absurd rock opera. Jazzy beats, odd
transitions and whimsical sounds hangs strangely together. It sometimes feels as if some cosmic law on context is
Another aspect that clings on to the music is the interplanetary and extraterrestrial. I did at one point pick up a
little too strong associations to
Pigs in Space.
There are more creative use of all sorts of synthesizers than guitars with fuzz here, so pure metal heads might not
find a whole lot of interest. For me, this is a subtle curiosity that is unlikely to be played again.
For proggers amongst you, however, I think the abstract sound collages, the soaring guitars, the pleasurable and good
melodies and the relaxing, psychedelic mood will find their listeners. There's no quibbles to be voiced on the quality
as far as I can judge, but than again, what do I know?