Iron Bonehead, 27.11.15
Considering the original title reads Kurvy, chlast, black metal, you can quickly conclude that Blackosh
don't originate from your neighbourhood. The two men come from the Czech Republic, and has only got two splits
to show for. Both with veterans Master's Hammer.
Behind the cover and title, characterized by a delightful lack of self-importance and middle fingers in the direction
of established bourgeoisie and conservative values, we (drum roll) find a form of black metal.
From there on, the fun unfortunately ends for this listener.
However, it seems as if Blackosh had some fun. Perhaps a little too much fun, it doesn't seem
as if the duo have taken the task of creating a thoughtful fuck you to common folks and upper class alike
particularly seriously. A somewhat varied expression notwithstanding, their reckless approach to black metal makes me
think of spoiled, story-less teens who play punk (or rap for that matter) just for fun. Without reflecting on, or
realizing that there's more to the concepts. Totally lacking spirit and commitment.
If you're going to play black metal with erect middle finger, it requires more than just throwing a few riffs and
phrases. Not that I understand what you sing. But I can still hear that you don't have the right FUCKING attitude.
This sounds terribly negative, doesn't it. This is the last impression in the current month, a month where I have
succeeded in being aptly strict. Let's hope I can continue this grumpy trend. In fact it's past midnight, Central-European
time, but hey, fuck it. It's still November all the way west to the date line, innit?
Anyway, Blackosh doesn't sound nearly as bad as it might seem based on my pouting. But is there really
any sensible middle ground? Whether you are creating satanic black scorched bread baking, or making epic cream cakes, do
it full-out. Blackosh has brewed a badge of beer in their garage. The content is highly drinkable, at
least if you rinse your throat with some original licker store goodies to get rid of that foul aftertaste. Is it
explosive? Not particularly. Does it make existence feel unsafe? Nope. Will it win any awards? Hell no!.
Besides, large parts of the drums are staccato. (Unbeatable argument).
Whores, Booze & Black Metal delivers all right or a okay, and that's not okay.
There are sequences, parts and hints to degenerated demoniacs like Den Saakaldte, Angst Skvadron ünd so
weiter, so the potential is definitely there. I feel that this release has become rather half-hearted in the making. That
is perhaps what annoy me the most. That they are on to something, but then they waste it all away in some kind of meaningless,
disorderly, fuck-all fashion. I almost get the urge to yell “Sharpen up. Pull yourself together. Do it properly, or don't
do it at all.” The album has songs where you can nod your head in agreement, but the next thing you know, it's followed by
some completely meaningless nonsense. The album is simply inconsistent.
Wake up and focus guys. You can kick back when you kick the bucket, but not now. If you want to get anywhere, than work
toward that goal. Than, perhaps you might succeed at getting it right until next time. My approval is awaiting.
(What do you mean I'm not the centre of the fucking world?)
Opening Track and title song Kurvy, Chlast a Black Metal below is actually among the better songs.
Naturmacht Productions, 28.11.15
Some stretches of road winds for miles through spruce and pine forests. You should be more than normally fond of trees
to appreciate tangled branches forming two eternally long brown-green walls parallel to a thin strip of asphalt for
miles and miles.
The “Lord” that Morbius and Vilhem worship and offer their devotion to, is the scenery
in Siberia, where the duo comes from.
The music they perform is atmospheric “black metal” with an essence of longing and tenderness for the forest.
As usual in this rather dreamy and floating style, characterized by post-metallic expression, the atmosphere is in focus, and
the atmosphere is the same as in all other constellations who worship Mother Nature with stars in their eyes and rosy cheeks.
It feels as driving through a said form of wood for about 32 minutes.
The first impression is that it sounds like generic “tree hugger” metal with no particular distinction. When I after four
rounds barely manage to recall or recognize something, it seems clear as a mountain stream that Grima lack
both the necessary uniqueness and the song-wise character required to gain approval.
On the positive side, the band offers pleasing melancholy in both melody and mood. But that alone just ain't enough.
It does not bother me at all to hear Devotion to Lord. Unfortunately, it gives me nothing either.
I think futile is an adequate word.
And for the record; the only forgiveable reason to call this atmospheric “black metal” is the absence of an aptly
genre-designation. Besides tremolo riffs (and harsh vocals) this gentle forest-loving romanticism does of course not
have anything to do with black metal at all! (I just had to get that off my tnbm chest).
Ván Records, 27.11.15
Spanish black patrons rarely thrash this site, but they're more than welcome to. It's nice to see that they represent
the motherland in an adequate fashion. Körgull the Exterminator is a new acquaintance to me, but fans of Deathhammer may have come across the Spaniards
via the split When the Hammer Strikes...... the Exterminator Arrives!!! from 2011.
The band was created by drummer Joe Bastard, as a side project to his one-man band Akerbeltz
in 2004. The mother-band sticks to black disharmony but Joe obviously had a growing need to reel off
some thrashed frenzies.
With more merry musicians on the team, and attention from Fenriz (band of the week) the ball started rolling,
and now the fourth full-length album has been released as an unsecured grenade.
In addition to the main man, we find his wife Lilith Necrobitch on vocals, Mark Wild
on guitar and owner of Moontower Studios and Hellspawn Magazine, Javi Bastard on bass.
The last two also takes care of backing vocals when needed.
After an intro, nine self-produced songs and a cover of Canadian Razor follows.
It smells of sulphur, sweat and scorched amplifier circuits of the Spaniards when they deliver furious and energetic
thrash. Lilith sounds like a hissing, seething Norwegian lemming just before it self-detonates.
Slightly lighter in voice than her male opposites, but with as much temper and dedication.
The first song offers gloomy moods and great drift from rapid guitars and ditto bass, backed by suitably frenetic rhythms.
The whole thing is topped off by cool guitar works. That the rest of the material doesn't quite live up to this
title track doesn't mean that the band burn the candle at both ends and use all their gunpowder straight away. They've just
set the bar wee bit high.
Even if everything that follows ain't equally killer, they nevertheless show off much reckless adrenaline, and many cool parts.
Absence of tracks with the same consistent dark mood on the rest of Reborn From The Ashes put a tiny damper
on the grade, but the Spaniards definitely deliver to approved, and thrash metal maniacs shall of course check this out.
Svarga Music, 27.11.15 Yaromisl hold high activity on releases. Totem is the man's fifth album under the
moniker Zgard in four years. Fortunately, there's no compromise on quality.
From Western Ukraine's border to the Carpathians, shamanistic pagan black/folk metal is served.
Albeit Zgard is theoretically a one-man band, Yaromisl fortunately doesn't insist on
doing everything himself. When artists do, the result is often characterized by a bedroom-expression, but Zgard
sounds as an entirely seasoned band.
The two guest musicians the Ukrainian has brought along is drummer Severoth, which has his own eponymous
project and that does a very honourable effort here, and singer Dusk, who attended Stryvigor's
good album Forgotten by Ages (2014). He's got a screaming hoarse high pitched approach to black vocal without
sounding strained or feigned. The vocals can take some time getting used to, but it still fits the music somehow. Both
guys come from the Ukrainian black metal band Endless Battle.
I've heard two of the band's previous releases, without having been completely enthralled. The impression has nonetheless
been well above average. Especially the début Spirit of Carpathian Sunset is remembered among other things
for some similarities with Drudkh.
Totem mixes black riffs with atmospheric folklore and certain ceremonial moods, where especially the
use of flute, specifically the woodwind instruments sopilka, puts its characteristics on the mood. Acoustic guitar, jaw
harp, synthesizer, masculine choir and a some feminine ritual spiritual necromancer vocals also colourize the music with
mysticism. Most people will probably pick up some similarities to Kroda and Russian Arkona, but that don't ruin
Zgard's delightful idiosyncrasy.
Totem has become an evocative stroll in the mystical Slavic forests, where magic and mythological
creatures reveal themselves to those with an open mind.
PS: all the details of the artwork that make up the cover earns a slightly larger version than what I normally use as
template. The art is created by Ukrainian Seeming Watcher, who has also made the cover of Hell:On's
Once Upon A Chaos.... Click and enjoy, both on the cover, the link to the teaser and on the play button bellow to hear
Land of Legends:
Iron Bonehead, 27.11.15
Ready for 11 minutes of primitive death metal which in no way neither brings something new to the table nor touch upon
the quality of existing corpse metal with black soot on its demonic wings? After being trapped in the claws of
Images at Twilight for almost a whole day, the devil knows that I don't come prepared for this kind of simplicity.
Resuscitation from Belgium perform rather simple, yet quite raw death metal. There's so
un-fucking-believably many other bands under the same umbrella that I can't even begin to comprehend why the hell anyone
bothers to release something that neither stand out at all nor has any form of quality that stretches above the mediocre.
If every releases more or less in the same vain as Eviscerated Divinity had been put in one big heap
right outside your front door, you would eventually get tired of filling bag after bag with more of the same vile depravity.
Lets be honest, Eviscerated Divinity would come short and be left out in the cold.
Why? Because if you're into this kind of extremity, you already know a whole shitload of bands that does both exactly
the same, and similarities, only better, tougher, rawer, more evil/brutal/perverted/whatnot, with more finesse et al.
These are two simple songs with decent enough sound and one solo towards the end that won't raise any eyebrows. What
the band exhibits of energy is drained of worth by repetitive riffs and staccato rhythms.
How the Belgians previous releases sounds I have no idea, and after this I don't even want to find out. This is an
unnecessary release that's also counter-productive, as it eliminates all possible appetite for more.
The cover art was tough, though.
Just to be crystal clear on this issue: I know a fuck-ton of worse releases. This is practically middling in that sense.
It's still utterly pointless. If all bands in general could just stop releasing stuff with low or no value, it would
probably make life easier for all of us.
Iron Bonehead, 27.11.15
In 2011 Australian Eucharist released two demo tapes, which are now gathered on polyvinyl chloride.
The first four songs, taken from the demo Tenebrous Summoning, is on this promo merged into one
barely fifteen minutes long rumbling track, where sound and mood outperforms the very moderate song wise content.
A deafening earthquake of low frequency resonance, with low-key, deep and monotonous growl from the earth/potato cellar,
drowned guitar without finesse, and repetitive drums. Between what should have been divided tracks; low-frequency feedback,
as in an attempt to hit the brown note.
The other side originates from Demise Rites, which initially consists of two tracks, but in my earphones
consists of a single almost fourteen minutes long greyish brown blot, to blow it out of proportion.
I'm not be surprised to learn that everything is recorded on a defective analogue 4-track tape machine. Well, to be
honest, I do have a little taste for the thunderous rumbling. The sluggish music that lies buried in mud has a kind of
hypnotic touch, but all in all it's too simplistic. Depth and substance don't exist, and nuances are sparse. The band
tries to open the gateway to hell through an enormous maelstrom, but the only thing they open is the door to the basement
and the ventilation room. I see where they want to go with this, and I hear some potential. Maybe some other time.
Despite the fact that I have at times used Autopsy as a reference, I actually haven't heard many
of their releases. Not before, nor after the reunion. This unfortunate situation is largely due to coincidence, but
a higher focus on and prioritization of black metal through the years must surely also take its share of the blame.
The Death metal veterans released Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves in April last year. I've heard it
some times, and I was absolutely sure I had covered it, but apparently I haven't.
Fans might know exactly what to expect. For a more volatile and erratic listening, however, Autopsy
always delivers a bit of a (positive) surprise. Not that you have to be a zealot to predict the general direction, of
course. If anyone were to expect deadly downpour of acid rain in the traditional sense, however, they'd be surprised.
Autopsy has always stood apart from stereotypes and standards set by titans such as Cannibal
Corpse and Morbid Angel.
Some resemblance to Obituary can indeed be traced, but Autopsy has its own twist that has
inspired many others over the years, such as Obliteration, to promote some of my countrymen. To explain the
death metal of these Americans should really be unnecessary anyway. Anyone with a taste for death metal should know
these guys, and if not, they've got a lot of catching up to do.
If so, Skull Grinder comes as a small goodie bag, for both new and old fans.
The band shovel 7 tracks through the meat grinder, and gets the job done in less than half an hour.
The EP opens fast and brutal, but it does not take long before rolling rhythms and insane vocals come in, and head on
over into howling guitar and great drift. The title track than opens slow and ominous, but the thing about
Autopsy is that even if one is familiar with their expression, even if they're adhering faithfully to the
basic recipe, you can never say with certainty exactly what lies around the next corner. In this case; lots
of diversity. Transitions and variations are words that's hard to evade.
Even if I thought I knew approximately what I had coming, the latter half of this EP-vinyl still manages to sneak up on
me. That Sanity Bleeds is quiet, atmospheric and ethereal in ghostly and evil spirited manner is one
thing, but I never expected that subsequent The Withering Death in addition to this would be
that sluggish, swaying and moody. No one should accuse Autopsy of being predictable, although
the band has found its niche and never rush into complete experimental landscape. (As in the case of Morbid Angel).
The latter song is otherwise utterly delightful. With Waiting for the Screams the band again reinforce
for a new deadly attack. Not a frenetic piece, but with a powerful mark where one can easily envision brutal and
bloodthirsty orcs who are gearing up and marching to war after being called to arms.
Right at the end, more threatening moods are served, pouring liquid nitrogen in the bloodstream.
Yes, Autopsy delivers as usual, and Skull Grinder is as said candy for both established
diehards as well as recently recruit deathmongers. The sound is superb as expected, although the dynamics are just middling.
Also, this EP is released on vinyl only.
PS: I shall be volatile and erratic no more. From this day forth, I shall pay fucking attention!
Although these fresh faces mixes in a little early speed metal in their musical work, this Dutch heavy metal sounds
pretty gentle and harmless. Partly because it flirts a lot with rock'n'roll and a light punk orientated expression.
The last few days have been hectic. Much listening, but little writing. Thus it fits me fine that I have some short
EPs to squeeze in, to remedy the lack of quantity.
The four songs on Seavus Umbra ticks in at about 13 minutes, that is about as long as one single track
from the band below. Not that there's any harm to that.
The Dukes of Netherland has a touch of Motörhead, in a kind of young and naive way. The band plays slightly tough,
but quite soft heavy metal with all right melodies, rocking metal rhythms, decent solos and a singer with okay punk-metal
touch and ditto attitude.
It all reminds surprisingly much of classic metal around the transition between the 70s and 80s. The Dutch Duke pull through nicely. They deserve credit for authentic vintage feel, but I'm not really
sure how much value such a quality has in 2015. Personally I find it sufficiently enjoyable if I throw in a bit of goodwill,
for the band doesn't gives me much for the time being.
Dark Descent Records, 14.09.15
In 1986 four Swedish youths aged 14 to 16 started a band called Third Storm, inspired by the first wave
of black metal. If Uppsala was not ripe for Third Storm, or whether Third Storm wasn't
mature enough themselves, I don't know, but after a few years of hardship they reached the end of the ride.
Two demos that few has ever heard is the only testimony of this era.
Original members Heval and Jimmy (vocals and guitar) has now revived the band, and
taken it in a new musical direction. Three new soldiers are recruited on guitar bass and drums. The latter is
Doom:VS-dictator Johan Ericson.
This EP, consisting of two almost equally long songs, totals 26 minutes and is the first release to Third
Storm's second era.
The music is black and viscous as crude oil. With hopelessness sourced from doom and bitterness of black metal, the band
shows hatred, resentment and frustration as if they'd been buried alive, trapped in five black coffins under several tons
of moist black soil.
With thick distorted resonance as a basis for leaden riffs, gloomy melodies and grim moods, chances are fortunately very
large that Third Storm will be better received in today's metal scene than was the case almost 30 years ago. This is an EP
full of euphonious resounding gloom sprinkled with subtle details.
We'll have some more of this, please!
Hammer Of Damnation productions, 30.10.15
Welcome to Brazil. Welcome to the war zone. Ravendark's Monarchal Canticle (or Raven Dark monarchist Hymn,
if you will) are musically inspired by South American pioneers Mutilator, Sarcofago, Chakal,
Taurus etc. The lyrics is characterized by a passionate dedication to the themes of war, and the story of the
Brazilian revolution of 1930, followed by the Constitutionalist Revolution in 1932.
The music is not just a dirty foul and frenetic homage to 25 years old blasphemous pioneering work. It also contains other
sonic atrocities. With fairly maddening samples of war sounds, hysterical howls, brass music and old folk hymns that most
closely resemble old communist worker songs, Sobre as Cinzas... gets an unreal psychedelic touch that
inevitably drag my mind toward French frenzy.
Ravendark's Monarchal Canticle hail from São Paulo, and has two albums behind them. The balaclava and gas
mask-clad guys in addition has a carrier bag full of splits and other smaller releases.
The album has nine songs and 48 minutes, in which the metallic consists of rather primitive black/death/thrash with quite
thin sound. Despite quite frequent transitions, the individual passages emerge as rather straight forward without much
substance to talk about. Besides the injection of a little extra madness in the form of samples, Sobre as Cinzas...
never gets very exciting. The band should probably have picked up some inspirations from the townsmen in
Sepultura as well.
Redefining Darkness Records, 19.05.2015 Vintage Warlords come from the United States and consists of two man, vocalist Conor Byers
and Thomas G. Plaguehammer, former bassist in Abigail Williams on all instruments.
Besides from some guest guitars from former band colleague Michael Wilson in the title track, that is.
The Invisible Foe is the men's first outbreak.
The duo fortunately avoids short circuits in the amps as they stand knee-deep in mud and dirt and pound out heavy riffs
and roars of a ruttish beast. The pace is partly chasing, but playful use of hi-hat/cymbal and toms creates a suitibly
progressive rhythm that with its brighter sound almost stands a bit in contrast to the other dystopic turbidity.
The guys donate us three death metal songs characterized by the doom of forthcoming doomsday and filthy sludge. Sometimes
sluggish, sometimes boastful and smashing. At any given time apocalyptic. Mud and wet soil nonetheless, the variety is
good, and the sound allows every dirty detail in a varied 22-minute nightmare to be heard.
I love the first song, Exodus of Souls, and parts of the other songs pleases me as well, but the expression
is probably a bit too muddy in the long run for me to manage to stay completely enthusiastic.
Nevertheless, despite the slippery clay and mire, this is so much more than just sludge. Solid death metal and unpleasant
godforsaken atmospheres with heavy instrumentation and booming sound, where the slowest passages offers moods of coagulating
blood trickling through pulsating walls.
All in all, I am therefore very pleased, although The Invisible Foe is not quite there on the top.
Strong first release. And I, who hate to polish my shoes. After this mud-bath I have no bloody choice.
High Roller Records, 30.10.2015
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe... When I fail to choose which promo in the pile I should choose first, the choice this time
fall on some good old classic metal, suitable to lubricate nerves stressed by indecision. Ambush is far from an old band itself, but rather a young, promising and hungry quintet.
Ambush is part of tnwoshm, the new wave of Swedish heavy metal that is, led by bands such as RAM
and Enforcer. The band has recently released their second album. This is however not the Swedish band
who went by the name Ambush in the 80s.
These Swedes consider Judas Priest and Accept as their main sources of inspiration, which to some
extent shines through in their musical expression. The men's nine tracks have still not stolen neither riff or tone
rows, or if so, my investigation fails to reveal it.
Their heavy metal has a quite friendly touch, that also points in the direction of early Helloween. Slightly
more creepy moods, temper and attitude wouldn't have hurt, and the quietest songs could advantageously have been replaced
with more thrust, for the music leans dangerously close to heavy rock such as TNT. The songs are thus not of
the toughest kind, which for me is an objection to both Ambush and the two other Swedish bands. I don't
demand a Painkiller-onslaught but I would prefer a little more energy and drive.
If I sound a bit negative now, just cope with me. These guys have a whole lot of high quality to offer as well.
The aspect that milden Ambush's expression the most, and that also distinguishes them most from their
role models, is the clean vocals. Oskar Jacobsson is with his round, pleasant voice an excellent hard
rock and ballad singer. He is technically good, and he manages excellent high pitched Halford/Kiske-howls. He
does however lack the sharp metallic rawness that Rob and Udo otherwise shouts into the microphone.
If the song material doesn't have balls (to the wall) of steel, Desecrator nevertheless containing nine
very good songs. The band has come up with their own strong melodies of the memorable sort, both with identity of its
own and the synergy to work very well together. They also at times prove that they can be rougher around the edges if
they want to.
The instruments are treated as Harleys, rough but affectionate, and especially the guitar solos give goose bumps for
one that was introduced to metal through Priest, Maiden, Accept, Helloween, W.A.S.P. and the likes.
On hell of a talented bunch, but I would have liked to hear them a touch more passionate, rough and tough. There's a
bit too much Unisonic in here for my taste (Nice, but a bit too kind and calm).
But that's a matter of taste. The grade is subjective. If you're into gentle heavy metal verging on hard rock, you might
as well replacing the minus with a plus!
The video for Possessed by Evil has disappeared from the interweb,
but here you can hear Desecrator og The Chain Reaction:
Lavadome Productions, 26.06.15
Three Americans and a German have no time for nonsense. Without unnecessary intro the band storms into a startling blaze
of sparkling speed metallic blackened death. At just over a quarter the band chases through five songs with minimal
respite beyond the short interval between the songs.
The band independently released this demo digitally back in February, and Lavadome launched it on CD this summer.
As the quartet hold a a furious pace, they manage to squeeze in a whole lot during short time. At times it feels as if five
minutes long tracks have been compressed down to three minutes. The riffs are located primarily at death's hunting ground,
but the topography is not quite right. With frantic velocity and howling thrash solos, my thoughts can't avoid a trip down
speed metal lane. In addition, sharpened vocals and reckless thrusting drift provides a scorched framework.
Three of the four men have been active musicians since the 90s. The drummer doesn't seem to have done a great big deal,
but he's definitely getting an ordeal here, and he passes with flying colours.
With Unfold Chaos Supreme, the guys has delivered one hell of a blistering demo, where 40 seconds
of concert band music at the end of Perfected Aggressor is the only significant breather. The press
release uses the description “malevolent onslaught of speed obsessed blasphemous Death”. A highly apt characterization.
I'm excited about the future of Cambion.
Signal Rex, 24.11.15
Pure black metal stand out from other genres in more than one way. One of the aspects that makes the genre unique is
how what is defined as quality differs from what is considered to be quality in other genres.
In black circles a mindset characterized by anti-christian attitudes and moods of coldness and hatred is prioritized
rather than conventional musical values as compositional ability, good sound and technical competence.
Hereby the fourth and final compilation of a series begun in Portugal in the early nineties is presented. The first
three were released from 1993 to 1996, and from 1998 to 1999 enthusiast Luis Neto received contribution to
Part 4. It was supposed to be released towards the end of the decade, but obstacles put the project on ice until
Signal Rex made contact in 2014, and took over the duties of completing the collection.
Part Four consists of nineteen black metal songs, from just as many bands, from home and abroad, amounting to one and
a half hours.
Here, one can safely say that every conceivable qualitative aspect varies violently. That the collection don't just
consists of, but is also in itself to be regarded as a curiosity, might possibly overcome other criteria. Of course,
it's released on tape to honour the original concept. If I had not had this digital promo, that would have excluded me
from the privileged circle as well.
With 19 tracks, a song-by-song run-through will be all too excessive.
Besides Krieg, opening the ceremony* with Coronation from the début album
Rise of the Imperial Hordes (1998), and Negură Bunget, who contributes
Negrii of their début Zîrnindu-să (1996), I only recognize the name
The quality of atmospheres and spirit, expression and execution, sound and instrumentation varies as said enormously. * It seems the track list order on my promo deviates from the one on Bandcamp.
Teach Your Soul With Fire - Vol. IV might have a somewhat limited musical value in 2015, but those
with a warm relationship to the chilling flair of the previous editions in the series might possibly meet this with a
touch of hellish nostalgia and ominous sentimentality. For all us others, it forms a rarity, for Satanically better or
Solitude Productions, 16.11.15
Georgia is a fairly small country between Russia, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan and the Black Sea. The country still has
approximately 4.6 million inhabitants, not far from Norway's 5.1 million. The country is not exactly renowned for metal.
Metal Archives only have 13 active bands registered, and none of these are big international names.
Probably with one notable exception. It's not impossible that you've heard of Ennui. At least
not if you like to immerse in syrup-slow grief and despair.
The duo, which has now grown into a trio, released their first two discs in 2012, the same year as the formation, and the
following year. In 2014 founders Serj Shengelia and David Unsaved released two splits;
Immortal in Death along with Aphonic Threnody and Escapism with Abstract
Spirit. Both covered on Gorger's Metal with approval on Ennui's behalf.
Genre devotees know very well where in the territory we find ourselves, except from in Georgia of course. Ennui
drowns its sorrows in funeral doom/death.
Unlike on previous occasions, the albums main theme ain't bottomless grief and despair. Falsvs Anno Domini,
which supposedly means something in the style of “The Liars Of Our Age”, is concept-wise a real spit in the face of
cowardly people with blinders that refuse to look reality in the eye, and cynical hypocrites and charlatans who abuse
others' fears, naivete and ignorance. Both these groups are helping to run the world and society by the wayside.
The music has elements of anger, but the music itself has not changed significantly. I could have used all the world's
clichés to tell you that this is syrupy music soaked in suffering and resentment, but the word funeral likely
reveals the most important aspects. Ennui as usual brings tearful melodies and thick, dark, embracing sound with bright guitars singing
wistfully into the night. Ennui as always offers powerful suggestion.
The name Daniel “Klepsy” Neagoe doesn't ring any bells with me, but I've never been good with names.
The man is perhaps famous without being well-known, he has in any case handled various instruments and vocals in
different constellations such as Clouds, Colosus, Eye of Solitude, Sidious and so
on. Here, he takes care of the drumsticks. The man in addition does design and layout, as well as working as a sound
That this jack of all trades does a superb job conducting the drums, should come as no surprise.
With guest vocals from Greg Chandler (Esoteric), keyboards signed Don Zaros (Evoken), lyrical
contributions from Sameli Köykkä (Colosseum) and AKiEzor (Comatose Vigil, Abstract Spirit),
there can be no doubt about genre affiliation, even for the most mistrustful amongst ye.
Besides from the band's début, I consider all other releases safe purchases for genre fans. I have admittedly not heard
their sophomore album, The Last Way in its entirety, but everything indicates that even that one's good. Falsvs Anno Domini is a time-consuming piece of music to absorb. The album lasts for almost 80 minutes.
The initial hours can only prepare you for for a comfortable plunge into wretched agony, tribulation and despair.
For genre fans that just means great “value for money”.
Cruz Del Sur Music, 20.11.15 Darkest Era has dabbled with harmless melodic metal with a Celtic flair for ten years now. Although
the band is close to heavy metal in expression, it doesn't have quite the same energetic and vital party factor.
One might say that the Irish have a bit darker and more melancholic undertones, although they keep a distance to
genres such as dark metal and pagan.
On this EP two new songs, totalling eight minutes, is served. Gods and Origins is basically a pretty
good gateway to Darkest Era's kingdom for those who haven't set foot there before.
Besides two EPs released in 2008 and 2010, the band has two albums behind them, and the two songs we here encounter
can, to a certain degree, represent each album.
An Dagda is the title of the first song. This has stylistically inherited a lot from the first album
The Last Caress of Light (2011). The galloping rhythms are the same as one might find on a
song like An Ancient Fire Burns. An Dagda has its head held high. Stout, proud and tall the soldier rides from low plains to the mountains
to man the cannons and defend the motherland.
The song is an adaptation of one of the first songs the band's founders Ade Mulgrew og Sarah
Wieghell wrote, previously unreleased “An Dagda Awakens”.
Elohim in turn reminds more of their second album Severance (2014). This is a quiet, acoustic
and melancholic song where the warrior stare across the ocean after leaving the battlefield. His gaze does not focus on
anything, he sees right through the magnificent view, he looks into himself, as he commemorate the fallen.
Besides a few sequences here and there on Severance, the album ain't equally calm, but the same melancholy
lays as a thick coating all over it.
Of these two good songs, which still can't be said to be mandatory in your vinyl collection, only
has been published thus far, but I suspect that the two songs will be appear on
SoundCloud and/or Bandcamp in due time.
Fans of black metal can't possibly have avoided coming into contact with Greek Wrath and his
Dodsferd. During nearly fifteen years, the band has managed to release eight earlier albums and a descent stack
of splits etc. Of these, I've heard four of the first five records.
I don't think I'm blowing it out of proportion if I claim that his black metal has a fairly strong element of “love or
hate”, and that this band thus easily might divide genre fans into two warring segments.
Personally I hear the quality in the coldness on the early albums, but the likes of unimaginative repetition one needs to search
far and wide to find, and don't fucking deny that Wrath's vocals were distorted as a pig dying in agony.
So despite cold moods and icy sharp guitars presented on trve necro manners, no, I've never been the band's biggest fan.
It's been six years since Suicide and the Rest of Your Kind Will Follow, and three albums has been released
in the meantime, so I nevertheless decided to give them yet another chance.
Among the albums I've heard, this is unarguably the most depressive, and I don't hesitate to classify Wastes of Life
as dsbm. Here we find sore lamentation, dismal, gloomy melodies and biting disgust, seasoned with unpleasant
samples. Those who have seen Metallica's first music video One a few dozen times surely recognized the
S.O.S. sequence in The Dead Have No Speech For....
It may be mentioned that Suicide..., as the title suggests, also had a stronger focus on pain than stout hatred.
Band boss Wrath has either realized that it's been a few decades since Darkthrone scratched
their listeners eardrum to blood with supercooled meat hooks, or the band has eventually gotten a proper budget to record in
a more professional way over the years, for the sound of the albums I've heard has more or less gradually improved. Though,
there will always be differing opinions on such an aspect. If it's any consolation, Dodsferd still has a
charming(?) home made touch to them.
Despite low dynamics in the sound, I think the sound fits the music excellent. At the same time I can actually understand
those who would argue precisely the same concerning for instance Fucking Your Creation.
Three of the albums five songs extends well over ten minutes. Altogether Wastes of Life lasts for fifty minutes.
The vocals are sharp and anguished. The rhythm guitar can be insistent, but the pace varies and the music often glides into long,
self-pitying sequences of atmospheric depression, where even orchestral strings are helping to reinforce the plaintive mood.
For all I care, whiny depressive rock can go to Hell. I have, however, always had a morbid fascination for unadulterated pain
and suffering, as well as thoroughbred aversion.
It is therefore with immense sadistic pleasure I can honestly say that Dodsferd has taken several steps
in the right direction during the six years we “have not been on speaking terms”.
A “short” six-minute opening track sets the mood with quiet and mournful harp and cello (I guess) and hysterical, sore
female crying, before jazzy rhythms and electric/acoustic finger picking leads into coal black spheres. The four longer
songs have similarities, but the structure leads the listener through a continuous natural progression through delightful
instrumentation and thoughtful variety.
I am more fond of Wastes of Life for every spin, and I'm beginning to regret that I haven't checked out
the three previous discs. This has been one hell of a negative surprise! (Positively meant).
Do you like black metal of the really discouraged and disdainful kind? do you prefer your black metal cleverly arranged?
Then you should definitely check the tracks below. When you sit down and hear the album in its entirety, again and again,
they will grow into a fateful beast that devours both mood, vitality and determination to go on. You have been warned.
I just called Dodsferd clever, and I stand by that. This actually comes as a big fucking surprise to me.
Kernkraftritter Records, 20.11.15
These Germans have been doing their thing for five years, and they hereby presents their second album. Im Reich der Schatten wasn't easy to grasp, and to tell the truth, the music still feels as
dry fine sand between my fingers. Sekoria have their qualities, but the wholeness kind of falls through.
the band deals with melodic black metal with quite high pagan factor and orchestral instruments.
It's not hard to tag the music, or “find a peg to put it on” (to translate a Norwegian idiom). Even so, the
case of hooks is a different story. The music doesn't have nearly as strong barb hooks as almost 64 minutes
requires to be noticed, and that's not all easy to get past.
As in so many melo-black bands we find lots of passages with fantastic melodies. Beautiful guitar works, quite hefty
rhythms, motional orchestral strings. Much to feast on. Unfortunately, these elements feels assembled by chance, and
formed in songs that in turn just as easily could have been presented in random order.
Rather delightful instrumentation, good sound, and a lot of variety, along with good nose for magnificent melody lines,
unfortunately don't make up for compositions without a clear coherent and purposeful touch.
Im Reich der Schatten is nice to listen to, but the seconds the epic pagan tones stops pouring into the
ears, it will also have flown down the drain, better known as out the other ear. Not a single chord will remain.
Because it sounds fresh and nice right there and then, it doesn't deserve no standalone thumb down.
A bit more structure and signature in the songs by next time, and Sekoria might just begin to approach grandeur.
Art of Propaganda, 20.11.15
With a name like Anomalie, it must be allowed to hope for some anomalies, something besides the
ordinary? When these Austrians spend all their time in familiar waters, associated with post-metal territory,
I immediately become rather disappointed.
Anomalie is basically a one-man band, but Mr. Marrok bring along a couple of session
musicians in the rhythm section. His goal is to “combine his favorite elements of emotional black metal, post-metal,
and depressive rock”, and Refugium is his second album.
If this lays close to your heart, than make sure you check out the band for yourself. Graceful melodies, beautiful
parts, smooth transitions and a lot of music, makes up the musical sphere. The mood flows naturally back and forth
over the tipping point between grief and hope, while vocals mostly reek of despair.
For bigger fans of the genre(s) Refugium's over 50 minutes may very well catch the ear.
Personally, I find the genre more and more boring, unless a band stands out with tremendous quality and uniqueness.
Unfortunately, Anomalie emerges as rather monotone, whiny and generic to me.
What prevents me from giving them a lower ranking is the sequences with beautiful, mournful melodies, along with
overall good quality.
Genre fans should seek out Refugium and give it a chance. Other may as well move on without blinking an eye.
GreyveStorm Productions, 20.11.15
By combining death metal and thrash with elements of heavy metal, hard rock, hardcore and punk, as well as various vocal
approaches, these Frenchmen with roots in Algeria creates a somewhat schizophrenic expressions they call death thrash n'roll.
This wobbling expression, from sleazy groove to grind core approaches, could very well have become my biggest objection.
I don't demand a uniform and easily definable expression, but the natural flow can become slightly harmed when musical
coherency is crackled into a lot of different factions.
The French quartet however sews their quilt together as well as possible. If certain shades don't match exactly or if
the seams of Frankenstein's monster are showing at places, than so be it.
What I'm not too excited about are certain rhythms and vocal varieties that fall slightly outside of my preferred extreme
styles. Modern strains, a touch of core and a bit too gurgling death vocals, for example.
This lowers the overall impression a clue, but Corrosive Elements does a lot of good too, and they
have probably put more effort into merging Toxic Waste Blues than what some mono-genre band does.
As expected, both killer parts and less catchy sequences can be found. Parts of the album is located in the periphery
of my taste, but where the guys hit home, they hit the nail very well. The technicality is impeccable. The sound is also
good, and it can be mentioned that Dan Swanö has mastered the album.
Pretty good, after all, and I'm almost inclined to increase the album's rating by a notch.
trailer is unfortunately the only thing I can find on-line. It only provides a minimal insight into a motley musical expression.
GrindScene Records, 23.10.15
Irish The Crawling simply call their musical direction “slow death”, something that feels very adequate.
If we were to push the trio into a conforming pigeon hole it would be most natural to resort to death/doom.
The trio, formed last year, serves three tracks from 4.5 to 8.5 minutes, and ends up with a total of just over 19.
After some initial calm and discouraged seconds the band shows teeth. The atmosphere is not only mournful, the band also
clearly shows displeasure and aggressive aversion.
While grief-stricken guitar tones and deep bass mourns others obliteration and its own tribulation, hard, resounding
riffs, fierce drums and infernal vocals swear revenge.
The songs don't invent the wheel anew, but that doesn't matter as long as one creates such good main melody lines, eking
with secondary melodies, tempo changes, variety and everything that the available ingredients can offer. The three songs
are very good.
Each instrument can basically be highlighted. Much thanks to the delightful production. The guitar works is elaborate,
and the strings reverberate. The bass is a little bit in the background, but it's there, and the sound would have been
poorer without it. It doesn't rest even when everything else quiets down, and thus shines clearest in the calmest moments.
The drums are competently performed with good variation. The pace may be meek and sorrowful, but we're also served striking
blast beats. The vocalist is a find on his own. With just the right deepness in the growls to sparkle with furious hatred
and disgust. Not to mention those black screams, full of heartbreaking suffering.
If the Irishmen are able to repeat this feat on a full length album, I'll rather treat them to the highest grade.
Fans of British misery, and perhaps especially the compatriots in Mourning Beloveth, should take heed.
Metalmessage, 05.11.15 Metalmessage ain't no conventional label, but a PR bureau engaged in promoting bands and handling
promotion correspondence with metal media for unsigned bands and smaller labels.
I have reviewed albums for Metalmessage for nearly eighteen months, and when the company now offers
a compilation of a lot of good and highly varied metal for an optional coin (or bill/banknote), I would like to make
you aware of it.
The name of the intro, -- . - .- .-.. -- . ... ... .- --. ., didn't make sense to me until I heard the
Morse code behind whispering, sneering and chuckling imps. An on-line Morse-translator reveals that this string of short
and long pulses simply spells Metalmessage. Warfield enters with fairly gentle thrash, considering their Germans heritage, but there's nothing wrong
with pace and energy.
Danish Sylvatica, whose début full-length I rated to 4 of 6 points last year, follows up with their vital
folk/viking metal, before the Germans in Eisenhauer offers reasonably gentle and melodic metal. The cool
guitar works towards the end only get to reel off half a minute of solo, as the song ends there.
The Basques in Incursed think they can fool an experienced listener with initial opera on gramofon. The
way the melodic landscaped viking/pagan/folk metal continues in the same melody is pretty classy. Lively band.
After more German thrash from Running Death it's time for one of my favourites, Morthus. The Germans have only released one
EP, but they are already very steady inheritors of Dissection's throne.
German Skyconqueror plays heavy/power, while compatriots in Cyrence brings thrash with
modern undertones and a sweaty whiff of Megadeth. Halo Creation follows with female fronted
melodic death metal with an almost inescapable fume of Arch Enemy. Competent stuff. Back in Germany,
Mortal Peril don't think things go fast enough. Nah, the thrashers admittedly begins rather rapid, but surprisingly
enough they soon merges a melodic folk-sounding section into the music before a pretty cool solo passage. The guys return
to waving rhythms before compatriots in Toxic Waltz (another solid 4/6 début review) decides to show them
what thrash is.
Northland, however, can't understand what is wrong with folk-based metal. These Spaniards have a strong preference
for Celtic tones. Vengeful Ghoul comes all the way from Turkey to put their foot down and show all of these what metal
really is. Pure heavy metal from the time before thrash and power was divided as separate genres. At his best,
the vocalist screams impressive enough like Halford with a hint of Udo. We must endure
a little bit of power-related vocal as well, but when the Turks don't give in until they've squeezed two solos into the song,
I will forgive that. This I can like.
Finally, “my man”, Lars Jensen, representing the kingdom of fjords and mountains, are allowed to round
off this compilation with his Myrkgrav. He makes it clear to all folk metal novices, once and for all, how to paint a musical landscape,
complete with Hardanger fiddle and thorough compositions.
As said, a a compilation with a lot of high quality and immensely assorted metal for an
optional price. Enjoy!
Satanath Records, 21.09.15
Two Greeks play something they call epic black metal, with a concept based on Greek mythology and history.
Even without lyrics, it is possible to capture a vibe of Alexander the Great and Leonidas' fight against the Persians.
They might perhaps hit the nail with the thematic. The music however misses the targeted genre grossly.
I won't even go as far as calling Promachos melodic black metal. The music is more reminiscent of a
melodic and gentler Spartan edition of Viking metal, but there's rather wine-jars which are swung, and not mead horns.
The only tiny element of black here are the vocals.
Simple melodies with fairly uncomplicated structures are seasoned with warlike samples, acoustic passages and slightly
theatrical spoken vocals.
The fifty minutes these eleven songs make up is not bothersome, beyond a hint of boredom, but they are far from
exciting and gives me very little.
It is very possible that the music will provide more to those who can get thoroughly into the concept. It is also quite
possible that fans of softer metal than epic black metal, like Manowar will benefit more, for this is almost
like a musical clone between Rotting Christ and Sabaton.
Inverse Records, 31.10.15
Finnish death and depravity. Hautajaisyö has got some years behind them under the name Redeye,
but they eventually changed style from death/thrash with English lyrics to slower death metal with Finnish lyrics. One
year has passed, and Hautajaisyö is ready with a self-titled début.
Heavy syrup riffs with deep throated Finnish growls undoubtedly sounds tough. Moods of anger, hardship, despair and
resistance fits the style. Slightly melancholy notwithstanding, the music is more influenced by tenacious fighting
spirit than resignation.
There's nothing wrong with either execution nor sound. However, I'm not to impressed with the songs. The nine tracks
clocks in at not much more than half an hour, and doesn't hold the biggest amount of substance, unfortunately. While
delivering some solid riffs and moods, this lack of essence sees lots of the music move without leaving any lasting memories.
There is much potential in Hautajaisyö, which by the way has two members from earlier reviewed
and I do hope they manage to come up with some stronger material till next time, for there is nothing wrong with the expression.
This first album under new moniker is only released digitally.
From fierce to worse.
If you thought Awe sounded intense at first listen you should dread the totally deranged Chileans in
Austral & Cold as they go amok with frenzied and uncompromising black metal.
The bands contribute five songs and about 25 minutes each, amongst which are four original songs while also favouring
each other with a cover.
When my mobile phone decided to separate these two bands from each other, I found it safest not to argue with it.
It's supposedly a smart phone.
But seriously, I found out that I was going to try a new approach, by first hearing one band three times, and then
the other, and after that spinning the whole thing a round or two.
It is not necessarily the cascade of fierce metal that sinks the teeth into your leg when Austral
pulls off something they call black metal. The vocalists screams are namely so gnarly that it drills straight through
the ears and into the head.
The quintet has been around for almost ten years, but has not been very active with releases yet. Their black metal is
primitive, menacing and quite noisy. The production, or “production”, seems unfinished like poorly grilled and undercooked
meat. Charred on the outside but raw straight through. Drums and mad, roaring and varied vocals drown out the guitar.
The music thus gets a bit of a deafening alkaline character. The sound, however, varies a bit from track to track.
The band has not come up with the most rewarding material, and those who doesn't prefer their black metal
primitive and clamouring might as well steer away anyway.
Cold is a one-man band with just as many years and almost just as ravingly sound as
Austral, although Count Nechtath have a little more experience with releases. The music
comes out a bit more clearly, and it all feels more as traditional black metal. The songs have evil moods which
I prefer to the other rowdy live wires.
This black metal pretty much follows the European recipe from the nineties, and does not differ considerably from other
hopeful aspirants who do the same thing. It should however be said that Cold is capable of creating
occasional cold moods. Not all songs are on the same level, and I could do without the last, ambient track.
Still, its inevitable to become affected by the demo level of the “production”. Cold has the potential
to produce dark eerie matter, but his eminence Nechtath definitely needs a studio budget before such a
thing may happen.
So far, Cold is probably most interesting to demo-mongers.
Long before three rounds with each band is completed, I'm getting seriously sick and tired.
Tenaciously I kept ploughing through the material until everything was heard three times,
but then I put my foot down and ended this charade.
If you can't get enough of the mud at the bottom of the underground pool, The Exalted Shadows of Death are Dancing is a hot tip.
If not, you might as well give a fuck.
Pulverised Records, 13.11.15
Awe was one of three Greek bands on the split Moerae, reviewed earlier this year.
Like that one, Providentia also consists of three long tracks. Actus Primus,
Actus Secundus and Actus Purus lasts from 15 to 20 minutes each, and comes in total to 53 minutes.
The music is a rather dystopic downward spiral of despair and grief. This barbaric crucible of disgust, chaos
and fear works arguably best with headphones. At least until the atonal attack on the senses has won and seized your
The instrumentation is frantic and intense. The vocals are dark, deep and animalistic as a woodland troll.
We're talking juicy, seething growls with occult undertones.
The anonymous line-up prefer to keep their identity concealed in order to let the music gain all attention and speak
for itself. Apparently these are guys with long experience, and nothing in the execution suggests otherwise.
The songs are bending and twisting shapeshifters, coherent yet always altering. Circular walls of distorted guitar and
constant rumbling and droning echoes keeps bright guitars incarcerated. The higher frequencies are desperately trying to
find a way out, chased by dramatic rhythms. The music draws you into its undertow like a black hole. Hypnotic!
At first listen Providentia might easily emerges as a frightening, rattling and chaotic maelstrom.
Once drawn in and tossed around in Awe's infernal universe for a while, order will appear, and things
will be clear.
Those who appreciate furious madness has of course has “heard it before,” but not necessarily much better.
I believe you'll enjoy this!
Symbol of Domination Prod., 21.08.15
This is an EP that has passed me by until now. Gorge's Metal has followed Iranian Sina's
black voyage since his second album Kamarikan. I wasn't hugely excited about it, but it was good
enough to deserve an approval. His next album, Temple of Daevas were stronger, and I granted
it five of six points.
As before, our Norwegian resident from Tehran have obtained some Norwegian experience to bring his aspirations to life.
Not just Norwegian forces have been involved. Vyl still exercise complete authority behind the drums, but
the bass has been handled by Colombian Nul Blackthorn. We'll come back to the reason for this.
Just over a quarter gives us three tracks, two of which can be called real songs. Astoyhads quickly shows that the sound is well taken care of. The sound is even more clear than on the
last album. After a rapid opening with rhythmic machine guns, the pace calms down while dark moods seep as lethal gases
into the ether. The song has admittedly a melodic slant, but is more malignant than required.
Blackhearts follows with more trigger happy rhythms and sharp primal-screams.
Good variety, nice drive and a sneaky little twist just as the song seems to fade out, are among the ingredients.
Abakhtaran rounds of with three minutes of moody orchestral synth.
Not exactly a significant track, but I guess it's allowed to experiment a little on an EP.
The EP is recorded in connection with the documentary film Blackhearts, that in simple terms
concerns Sina, Nul Blackthorn and Greek Kaiadas (Naer Mataron),
and their problematic journey to Norway, the black metal Mecca.
Blackhearts can hardly be said to be an obligatory EP, hence a small minus, but it shows where in the
terrain From The Vastland is currently located, and that there is activity in the camp. The band keeps
its name warm and we are served good black metal. We might very well consider that a win-win situation.
Les Acteurs de L’Ombre Productions, 18.09.15
French Maïeutiste débuted with a monstrous and extensive album almost two months ago.
I have delayed this review for the longest time, the self-titled album provide a lot to digest in several ways.
The album's 11 songs not only last for an overwhelming 75 minutes, but they also consist of a numerous different expressions.
Excessive duration and almost schizophrenic diversity is indeed my only objections. With scissors, needle and thread,
the début could have emerged as a somewhat more compact manifest, for there are passages that could have been
Fortunately even this excess fat helps to create atmosphere and natural progression in a jumble of seemingly loose ends.
Bleak black landscapes establish the starting point for our turbulent journey.
We are introduced to this record via an atmospheric course before the storm breaks loose in the form of whipping and
ripping black metal that gradually abates and allows for quieter moods and two-part harmony vocals with a melancholic
Ever changing riffs and melodies, and rhythmic alternations, gives the music a slightly a progressive behaviour. Purgatorie calms the music down completely with chanting vocals in a ceremonial spectacle, before
acoustic guitars take over and eventually leads us over in pouring pitch black terrains, until Absolution
fades in to forest acoustics with jazz elements, before we're torn out of dormancy with hyperactive black
atonality. Finally it dumps the listener in a jazz cellar.
More frantic black metal, with or without melodic guideline. Beautiful weeping guitars accompany through huge parts
of Lifeless Visions. More striking, scenic, gorgeous and infernal metal follows, but after briefly
mentioning some orchestral overtones, I think I'll just put an end to this monograph run-through.
You get the picture. Although, Maïeutiste is surely impossible to understand fully without having
listened to it.
All music and lyrics are composed by Keithan (guitar and vocals) over a period of five years. Maybe
not so strange after all than that they've ended up with five quarters of music. Keithan also dwells
in the newcomer
Barús and Caïnan Dawn, who released a tremendous album named Thavmial last year.
Along on this roller coaster is yet two more guitarists and a vocalist, besides of a drummer and a bass player, of course.
The whole thing is very professional, tight and well played.
The album was recorded at different locations in order to give the great diversity and the various fractions its unique
and distinctive character. It sounds really good, and the quietest parts have very good dynamics. The dynamic range
extends from DR6 to DR10, and lands on DR7 on average.
Maïeutiste consists of so much mesmerizing metal in different black, urban and natural landscapes
that I quickly forgive both long duration and schizophrenic divergence. The album's got a profusion of detail, and with
about 1 hour, 16 minutes and 20 seconds you can be absolutely sure that new subtleties and nuances will emerge for each
spin. The album brings a taste for more. I would like to take another round, and yet another. That's definitely a good sign.
This album unquestionably touches on the very top-grade.
The videos for
Absolution and Lifeless Visions all got images from the movie Faust (1926).
I unfortunately have no idea whether this is in keeping with some conceptual theme or not.
Prosthetic Records, 13.11.15
You surely recognize the two band names, but this is no ordinary split. This is a collaboration across the English Channel,
between Dragged Into Sunlight and Gnaw Their Tongues from the UK and the Netherlands
The project started at the end of 2011 with one goal in mind - to “capture, digest and regurgitate Godflesh's
Streetcleaner (1989) into a conceptualised nightmare”.
I can't say whether this means that they have processed any of Godflesh's music, or if they have only used
Streetcleaner as an inspiration.
Dragged Into Sunlight partly seems as an exciting band, although I unfortunately haven't heard any
albums from the frenetic, blackened death/doom band. Gnaw Their Tongues on the other hand seems like an
eclectic, experimental and droning noise-influenced band, too eccentric for my taste.
The experimental and industrial band Godflesh released said album on Earache Records. For veterans
that probably says it all. The label was quite well known for grindcore, deathcore, industrial metal and all sorts of
quirky strains. I wouldn't touch Streetcleaner with a fire tongs, just to make it clear.
Thus, my expectations for this album weren't much to brag about.
N.V. is short for Negative Volume and negativity is one of several key words.
Troublesome is another.
The music is punctuated with samples that seems to be authentic recordings of interviews with and confessions from
cold-blooded murderers with almost total lack of both guilt and compassion. The unsettling atmosphere this gives,
blends in with the music.
The music is deranged, obscene and frenetic, and indecent in most contexts. In addition to said offensive samples, it
contains several layers of dreadful sounds and disturbing effects that creates an almost physical discomfort.
The bands doesn't go amok with avant-garde jazz-noise or other totally repulsive musical antics. They fortunately stick
to the recipe: ghastly, obscure, eerie, horrific and sadistic gore moods, wrapped in an extreme-metallic coffin.
Delightfully perverted and morally depraved!
PS: Nothing could be more appropriate than this being released on Friday 13th!
BadMoodMan Music, 05.10.15
The Ukrainian one man band Raventale has after ten years of existence come to album number eighth.
Main man Astaroth call the style “atmospheric blackened metal”. It's not a bad description, although it
only scratches the surface.
With Dark Substance Of Dharma a concept based on Indian and Tibetan mythology is served.
To bother you with my own description, though that might be why you're reading this, Raventale plays
quiet and evocative, yet quite heavy and melancholic metal with a nature-friendly touch and kinship to both black/doom
and pagan metal.
The man has always been good at treating us with beautiful melodies and moods. He has however not been as good at putting
together songs that stand out from his other material. Occasional memorable melodies is not necessarily synonymous with
memory friendly songs.
With the different releases he has indeed shown a willingness of development, but most albums have had a fairly
monotonous uniform consistency throughout.
I have not heard the two albums After (2010) and Bringer of Heartsore (2011). The
sonic difference from the third album, Mortal Aspiration (2009) to Transcendence (2012)
was thus like a different world. Dark Substance Of Dharma continues the trend with rich productions, whereas the earliest albums sounded
more thin and naked. It sounds good, and the songs are pleasant and rather mesmerizing.
The mythological theme dives into Dharma's cosmic order and explores principles behind existence and perception, something
you certainly can see in the profound lyrics to Red Laugh's Walking. (Okay, that was a joke).
This is a pretty great album to listen to, with high-quality sound, atmosphere and hypnotic abilities, but as before,
the weakness lies in the overall picture that becomes a little bit too homogeneous and anonymous in the long run. What
grade should then be used on a record that is really great and comfortable right there and then, but that is forgotten
about as soon as the last note has faded out?
Let me be the first to admit that many great frantic extreme metal albums also can have such a trait, but I have other
expectations of melodic metal.
I've only heard Dark Substance Of Dharma for about four times, and I'm almost enjoying myself more with
each time. It's indeed very possible that this album can grow even further, so I'll give the accused the benefit of doubt.
Besides, Astaroth does make good and highly listenable music, and in the end that's what counts!
Now its your time to try:
Total Metal Records, 09.11.15 (11.12.15 in America)
This Taiwanese quartet released their first* full length album in Taiwan, Japan and Korea three years ago.
With help from Total Metal Records the album's now being released worldwide. Diesear, composed of Latin “Dies Sear” (day of labelling/burn branding), play melodic death metal with
a little modern tendency that leaves me with a rather ambivalent impression.
*Just to make it clear, my papers say that The Inner Sear (2009) is a maxi-single,
not a full length album.
This album has both positive and negative aspects. The benefits must however be said to dominate. Albeit narrowly.
Initially it felt good to absorb some more extreme music than what the bands I've recently spent time with has provided,
although the style was very melodic. After a while, however, Ashes Of The Dawn begins to feel a bit
glistening or slick, if you catch my drift. Mediocre to a certain degree, perhaps, but not completely generic.
On the surface Diesear plays typically well known melo-death, with no hint of local flavour,
unfortunately, and the strained death vocals induces a modern approach I could do very well without.
Fortunately the band exhibit advantageous properties in the songs. The Taiwanese has crafted songs that isn't necessarily
inferior to those found in bands coming out of Europe and America (by the dozens). When these are performed with dedication,
punch, decent variety and capable instrumentation and sound, that gives plus points in my book.
What tips the scales in the bands favour however, is the guitars, tearing of good old solos and other melodic licks just
about whenever. These definitely makes this album on their own, if I can put it that way.
Whether Ashes Of The Dawn is for you, depends entirely on a) how much you love melodic death metal and b)
if you are willing to go through fire and water in order to hear some wonderful guitar works.
The album consists of 40 minutes including the bonus track Dig Your Lies included with this (re-)release.
The album is better than it is bad, but I've personally had enough of it.
Selvutgitt, 09.11.2015 Extinction Mundi, Latin for “end of humanity”, is Slovakian Khadaver's second album.
The band operates in a melodic landscape of semi-extreme metal with industrial and symphonic style and apocalyptic themes.
What happens when the alien breed Zeroborn invades Earth?
Will humanity be permanently exterminated? That's the story that unfolds through ten songs and a little over three quarters.
The music is allegedly characterized by cold synthesized sounds to provide a cyber-industrial feel, but it doesn't really
feel that cold and inhumane.
With orchestral elements and a lots of drama in the melodies, it feels more like a concept album in metal-opera style.
The melodies meander and change constantly, without making the strongest imprint. Most of the music seem initially to be
cast in the same mould. Lots of different melodies, samples, horn and orchestral strings are stirred together in a partly
progressive, but also a seemingly, fairly messy structures where its content and sequence feels a bit random. In time,
though, the pieces gradually falls into place. The music still makes for an interesting listen even before it creeps under
the skin. Obviously, it's also an advantage that it's not particularly predictable. I honestly don't know yet, however,
whether the music can be considered as memorable, even after at least six rounds.
The vocals are, like the music, pretty semi-extreme, with sort of “half done” growls and black vox. Fair enough for those
who ain't so fond of that sort, perhaps. The instrumentation is more than adequate. Solo guitars must be mentioned. Room
is made for a lot of fine guitar works. Also the orchestral and industrial samples gives a mighty feel.
The result is more than okay, but doesn't leave the strongest and most lasting impression. The compositions could have
been a wee bit little tighter in the directing, but the music is still good, and the whole thing is done in such
an accomplished way that I don't see any reason to go lower on the scale.
The trio from Phoenix, Arizona plays melodic, instrumental progressive metal. Mood music created through improvisation.
This is basically music in the outskirts of the core area of my taste-buds, so lower any irrational expectations of a
meticulous in depth analysis.
It's pleasant background music the trio has created. With clean and clear sound and descent dynamics, mellow guitar tones
flutter off in a leisurely manner. Acoustic guitar picking smells of woods while the sun's rays are fragmented between the
treetops and a dimmed by its leaves. Synthesizer creates ripples in musical waters while jazz-influenced drumming floats
lazily on the waves.
With expert instrumentation from three competent gentlemen, this sounds very good.
The downside is that this appears, as already mentioned, as background music. Even if I ain't got the biggest
interest for progressive music, I have no trouble enjoying some Pink Floyd or Rush. With these one
finds meticulously constructed songs with direction and depth. A good song is often presented as a story, it needs a
starting point, a plot, a little action and drama along the way before the ending collects these threads and leaves
the reader satisfied.
In DemiAura's case I feel the threads diverge, tangled and generally lack a strategic direction. It's
quite possible that I just do not “understand” this form of music. It may well be that the goal simply is to create
pleasurable and dramatic moods that could have served as a film score. I, however, prefer something that poses a greater
entity, a big picture, capable of standing on its own feet. Soundtracks without movies is like movies without background
music, rather tame.
That the creators of such music is able to distinguish their compositions apart impresses me a bit. For me, this emerges
as fairly random. At the same time, after quite a few hours in the company of DemiAura, I thrive
surprisingly well with their music in the background. It's like lying unwinding in a hammock between the trees on a nice
summer day while Cumulus clouds floats calmly over the blue canvas.
Gently and slowly, beautifully and leisurely, but not specifically purposeful beyond just that.
That the band is instrumental might be nothing but a temporary solution. The trio is on the lookouts for vocalist,
bassist, second guitarist and someone to handle violin/cello. Thus, the band, started under the moniker Organism
in the late nineties, might quickly develop in some way or the other.
The band's logo is an ambigram, which is a graphical representation of a word that is the same upside down.
See for yourself! (hover your mouse over the pictures). Stylish!
Prophecy Productions, 06.11.15
Two years (and five days) ago “Gorgers Metall” was silently launched without any fanfare. At that time albums were
categorized by one single criterion; would I spend time and money on this?
I was a ruthless judge and executioner.
But times changes, or rather, features develop over time.
Now I have more or less obliged myself to examine and analyse, to illuminate every conceivable factor and quality, and
then evaluate just how good they are and rank them on a home made scale.
At a time when “Yes” and “No” were practically the only options I would have said “No, I've already have Nihil
(début, 2006) in the collection, and I don't really need another one”. That is of course still the case.
Nucleus Torn is subjective located so far in the distance of my comfort zone that having one album is enough
for me. Nevertheless the Swiss band consists of eight talented musicians, and there are more to describe concerning both
Nucleus Torn and Neon Light Eternal.
For newcomer to this peculiar lot, this is an eccentric band that mixes acoustic music and metallic elements in an
avant-garde mixture of progressive, classic, folk musical and jazz-inspired influences, where similarities with
Empyrium, Agalloch and Tenhi may be traced.
The chief architect behind this schizophrenia is Fredy Schnyder, who's been handling such a divergent
class of instruments as bagpipes, bass, church organ, piano, guitars, hammered dulcimer (string instrument operated with
hammers), Irish bouzouki, mandolin and oud (the last three akin to lute). He now considers his goal with Nucleus
Torn as achieved, and thus, this is the final regular release from the band. An extraordinary collection,
covering the complete career in sound, image and video, titled Blowing Up The Entire World (Explosions 1997 - 2015) is also available, but only in 187 copies.
Neon Light Eternal is connected to last year's Street Lights Fail on a conceptual plan.
The album contains three songs that together last for 41 minutes.
23 minutes long A Declaration of Mistrust moves through moderately psychedelic, dreamy and melodic
passages with a jazz-proggy touch that's gradually changing its characteristics. After a little more than 11 minutes,
silence settles, before eclectic sounds with a touch of post-modern contemporary art takes over for a few minutes before
flutes and vocals come in and normalize the conditions somewhat for about a minute. Then it was quiet again. Near the
16-minute mark, calm and soft music takes over, before the music after 19 minutes is back roughly where it started.
Ten minutes long Nothing Between You and Death opens ferociously. Besides a meek and subdued central
section, this stands as the albums most intense track, where the riffs both barks and bites.
Slightly shorter Street Lights Fail is mostly quiet and gentle all the way.
The vocals on the album are female, and possibly a bit reminiscent of Björk. For me personally, that's the one
element I have the greatest difficulty to swallow.
The octet is highly skilled and diverse in their whimsical musical landscape, but personally I have thrown in the towel
many years ago.
If you want to hear more of this idiosyncratic ensemble, all albums and a compilation can be found on Prophecys
My influence over the metallic practitioners out there is insignificant, but Synkvervet from Sandefjord
has for the second time selected to favour me with the opportunity to review one of their releases, and they have also
made improvements on my biggest objections concerning the album Trollspeil, featured here eight months ago. It's probably a natural
evolution we are witnessing. I'm not conceited or naive enough to believe anything else, but it doesn't hurt to fantasize
that I may have synkvervet* the band in a modest amount.
*Go read the said review to find a explanation of the word synkvervet. While you're at it, read my
description of the bands musical style, so that I don't have to repeat myself. Musically the band namely continues where
they left off. “Neo-Folk Metal” is the band's own definition. Personally I put them a little closer to gothic metal.
Elegant melodically based songs with a magical fairytale touch where the fair princess and the handsome farm boy
Askeladden (aka the Ash Lad) sings duet, can be said to make up the recipe. As long as trolls and goblins leave
them alone, but obviously they don't. The princess ends up locked up in the mountains, and Askeladden must again find
his field uniform, camouflage paint, Rambo knife and backpack with grenades to kick some ogre ass.
The most significant change since the last time is the sound. It is markedly improved. Where Trollspeil
sounded fairly sharp, this has a far more rounded sound with more organic feel. The bass, amongst others, is more
resounding than harsh. Whether the usage of synthetic instruments is toned down, I can not really be sure of. Programming
is still used, but the passages that require virtual assistance in these three songs songs is luckily not as synthetic
as the corresponding parts of the full length.
Forgotten Memories is an EP consisting of three tracks that all in all clocks in at barely 12 minutes.
You can stream the opener Dark Waters below, while closure Glemselens Toner is out on the 'tube.
If this is you kind of precious metal, the EP can be obtained through on-line services like iTunes, Wimp, Tidal, Spotify
Northern Silence Productions, 06.11.15
This German trio reminds me again of how much I want to write some words about My Dying Bride's new album,
as the music has its share of similarities.
The band takes its name from cross vaults, that can be found where two bow-shaped vaults intersect at right angles (90°).
Just what lies behind the name choice isn't for me to say, but the connection to Gothic architecture ain't so stupid.
The name can easily give associations to Cathedral, but Cross Vault's doom has more in common
with death/doom than stoner doom.
If compared with My Dying Bride, the Brits have a quite harder edges and at their most melancholic they are also
a bit more sorrowful. The All-Consuming is melancholicly landscaped, but alternates between discouragement
and hope. The lyrics are characterized by classic themes concerning “revocable and irrevocable loss, the magnitude of
heart and the depth of crippling sorrow.”
The band boasts fine and good melodies, where acoustic guitars meets sad, elongated guitar tones and heavy riffs, conducted
by M.. Nerrath, or N. as he calls himself here, contribute sore clean
vocals full of emotion, pain, grief, misery and moaning, but also a straw of hope and dreams. At times even black vocals
marked by resentment and grudges appears. B. (aka Skullsplitter) has taken over the
drumsticks after N. since the début. The drums are quieter than what a name like Skullsplitter
would suggests, but even though they are very well adapted to the calm nature of the music, they offer good
technique and variety. Nerrath is by the way also the man behind Horn, reviewed four notches down on this page. I have
obviously overlooked or forgotten that it's actually a one-man band. In addition, he's got the band Latitude
Egress (which I quite relentlessly disapproved last year) to him selves.
The album grows slowly to a mournful but warm-hearted companion as autumn closes in on winter. It takes a little time
to fully appreciate The All-Consuming, but fans of music at the intersection of doom and death/doom
can safely spend this time in the junction between two Gothic arcades with intersecting circular ceilings.
The album is limited to 900 fold-out digipaks, while 500 vinyl copies
will be released in February.
Cyclone Empire, 06.11.15
I will not deny that a mixture of death metal and crust punk can be pretty tough. With Dennis Blomberg
(Paganizer) on guitar, Dave Ingram (ex-Benediction) on vocals and well known
Rogga Johansson on guitar and bass, we're dealing with an experienced trio.
As on the début, which was released a few years ago, the drums are handled by hired gun Erik Bevenrud.
There's still no denying that crust, punk and other groovy approaches rarely are able to exhibit particularly refined
subtleties. If you crave everything with D-beat, you can simply give a damn what I have to say and rather place an
order straight away, for you will surely dig this.
If you are more concerned with proper quality and depth, you can sit down and keep reading. Not that there's much more
to say, anyway.
During 40 minutes the guys rush through 14 songs that can be quite raw and cool right there and then. But what is one
left with whence the album is finished? Nil. I feel emptiness come creeping already during the playback, but the men
adds such an amount of energy that I don't want to go any lower on the thermometer.
The vocals are deep as the grave, guitars riffs okay, but offers too little extravagance, the bass have voting rights,
it is heard and are allowed to play with the big boys and the drums make a whole lot of al right rhythms at high pace
when they avoid the never-ending D-beats.
The music makes short shrift. Instant, blustering and short-lived. “Pang, Pang, you're dead”.
Svarga Music, 06.11.15
Ukrainian Khors celebrates the ten year anniversary of their début, and marks this occasion by
releasing the album in remastered edition with new cover art.
My two previous meetings with the band, their fourth and fifth albums Return to Abandoned (2010) and
Wisdom of Centuries (2012), left me with a decent impression, but not much more. I haven't
forgotten the albums though. At least that's a good sign.
Something has apparently been lost along the way, for my impressions of The Flame Of Eternity's
Decline is a good deal better. The music here eagerly grabs me and drag me along from the very beginning.
A couple of items that this have, that the newer lacks are partly blacker and spookier mood and mighty expression.
Another important aspect is the monotone characteristics on the two other discs. This one is far more virile and
dynamic in design.
The music is a distant relative of black metal that also contains a massive melodic touch, synth-created orchestral
flair and a monumental character. The raw and pagan angle the début drones out appeals far more than the moderately
atmospheric and natural-romantic aspects of the other two. Good melodies, punch and drive also helps.
The melodic and symphonic pagan/black/death metal the band started its career with actually possesses strong melodies
with juicy riffing with influences from both black and death metal. With stout posture the music bulldoze its way
fearlessly through the primeval forest with bold spirit and fierce atmosphere.
Youtube is no good source for comparing sound quality, but if the videos with music from the début have approximately
similar sound to the original release, this is greatly improved. All instruments have apparently gained new life, and
now thunders in thick and rich euphony.
I didn't think I was that captivated by Khors, but The Flame Of Eternity's Decline
wants it differently. This album actually went straight to the heart.
20 Buck Spin, 06.11.2015
Patricidal Lust, the San Francisco quintets second disc was released a few years ago I noted that the band
got some attention. Unfortunately I did not get as far as to checking out their raging demonic death metal for myself.
It's time to get to know Vastum.
Hole Below consists of about 37 minutes obscure death metal distributed over 6 tracks. The music is
dark, evil, gloomy and bestial. As a tens of tons heavy death machine, it runs slowly and crushes everything in its
path. Vastum is so rumblingly downtuned that the music automatically adopts elements of black/doom.
Beastly vocals and brutal instruments are handled and recorded in Earhammer Studios in Oakland and mastered
by Brad Boatright in Audio Siege. The sound resounds as in a huge Hole Below, also known as
the infernal regions, or Hell.
I have a taste for Vastum's brutally crushing spirit and detestable moods. Sound, vocals and
instrumentation in every way convince me that all hell has already broken loose.
On the other hand, I've heard some frantic and deranged metal with more vital diversity. The band has admittedly good
variation all in all, but a little more frequent changes wouldn't have hurt. It's not that Vastum
grinds too long at every single riff, but a little more unpredictable savagery in the form of frantic shifting range
might have lifted the music to an even higher level.
Also, the ripping howling guitars that is served a few places simply ain't served enough. Tell the waiter to get his
ass back in here. I want to hear more of that for dessert.
Altogether this is very fiery death metal that's just missing the last meagre finishing touch, or a thin layer of icing
on the cake, in order to shift up and devour everyone in their death-grinder.
Northern Silence Productions, 06.11.15
I have not expressed the most loving relationship with Horn in the past.
Admittedly I haven't heard everything the guys have in their luggage, but three of the previous six discs hasn't left a
very good and lasting impression.
With Feldpost however, “zee Germans” exhibit very potent progress in several areas.
The first thing that reveals itself, in advance of the songs managing to get a foothold in the cerebral cortex, is clean
and neat sound. Feldpost is actually the first of all the band's albums that has been entirely recorded
in a professional studio. The sound has a little atmospheric touch, and could strictly spoken have been a tiny bit richer.
The contrast from previous meetings is nevertheless very significant, as this sounds far better.
It's probably not cheap, but I recommend any young and hopeful band with enough resources to go for a proper production.
Half done soon becomes mediocre.
Without lyrics or German skills I can't apprehend the leitmotif in the lyrics, or should I say “follow the thread”, but the
trenches of the World Wars is a recurring theme on the album.
The songs gradually grows. They admittedly don't take my breath away, but they offer better form and direction than what
I'm used to from Horn.
For the uninitiated, the band operates in a black landscape marked by recapitulation. There is anger and aversion in the
music, but moods are more characterized by crushing defeats and hanging heads rather than victory and proud attitude. The
music is otherwise pretty melodic, with a whiff of atmosphere. In that sense, the sound fits perfectly to the expression.
The songs are quite good, but I can't get Feldpostcompletely under the skin. It may have
something to do with said expression. I prefer my black tones accompanied by resolute stand tall postures with head
held high in a stout-hearted and arrogant manner.
The band concludes their brand new output with two newly recorded tracks from Distanz (2010). Sonically
they slide right in, while the song material leans a little more toward folk/viking.
I could easily have settled with ranking Feldpost a notch lower on the grade scale, but after all,
Horna offer fairly good music this time.
Several of the melodies are reasonably admirable, and the mournful melancholy characterized by black scorched gloom is pleasant
to listen to. The band has also come a long way, and indeed they deserve a pat on the back for achieving such progress.
Apocalyptic Witchcraft Recordings, 21.09.15 Gian Spalluto is the Italian behind the band with the somewhat peculiar name. The reason for the choice
of this name is unknown, but the word Notturno is used to describe instrumental compositions characterized
by pensive and dreamy moods, often written for piano. The word is also synonymous with “nocturne”, that can even be used
for photographs and paintings of nocturnal sceneries.
Besides guest vocals on one song, Notturno is an instrumental album that suits its title perfectly.
With calm and atmospheric guitar tones, relaxed rhythms and comfortable and flattering use of synthesizer, the Italian
performs evocative post-rock/metal of a dreamy nature. The border between the melancholic and the joyful is almost erased
underneath a veil of an intoxicating dreamy fog. As a cherished memory that both warms and aches a little as one reminisces
The music has strong melodies that are constantly in motion. As curious children running around with flash lights in the
summer night run it apparently throws its beams of light arbitrarily around in grove and garden. A veil of mystery and magic
descends when the sun takes its light along and leave, handing over the sky vault to the Big Dipper and the man in the moon.
Mina Carlucci (Vostok) makes a good figure with her warm vocal summer breeze in
Invisibile. Except from a few samples of monologues and dialogues from movies, mr. Spalluto
impressively enough does everything else.
The album was immortalized in Download Floor Studio before mixing and mastering took place in Raptor Recording
Studio, both in Italy. The sound is clear as the mountain air, soft as silk and warm as a cosy little bonfire. The
sound is not the only thing on Notturno that reminds of Alcest, but in the universe of
Australasia there's no hard edges or heavy metallic elements.
This form of soft and relaxing shoegaze with elements of electronica and similarities with film score is not usually my
thing, but occasionally I should be allowed to may well also indulge in a rest on a pink cloud while crickets sing, wind
tousling the treetops and the waterfalls gentle and regular sound lulling me to sleep.
Subjectively I could do fine without both Australasia and Notturno, although I do enjoy
a break from everyday life in its benevolently embracing company.
Relatively objectively, to put it that way, the album consists of good and pleasurable melodies that soar along in good
drift with the swirling tepid breeze.
I'll primarily let the grade reflect the latter.
De Tenebrarum Principio, 25.10.15
The band behind formidable Good Was Created is also out with a new album, but this is not the Americans.
Related by name only, this is a French débutante that execute melodic black metal with a trace of medieval aura.
I have no idea whether this is a one-man band or not, but I have a feeling that it might be.
Véhémence has, thus far, a whiff of lack of experience. A slightly moderate amateur touch, and some
harshness in the sound is one of the aspects that lowers the enthusiasm a clue.
The music has a little bit in common with Peste Noire amongst others, especially in the deranged vocals,
while the title track heftily calls Windir to mind and Par sombres forêts et vastes plaines
and further acoustic sections in other places smells of Empyrium et al. Véhémence has a seeking, contemplative and lightly melancholic expression that lies somewhere between
these. The songs are quite good, with capable instrumentation and rather flattering sound, despite a home made touch and
I like the way the songs are built up naturally with various ingredients, but even though the album is quite pleasant
to listen to, there's little that sticks to mind or stands out. The Frenchman/men need stronger cards on their hand in
order to be heard. With that said, Assiégé is certainly likeable, so do check it out yourself.
Cyclone Empire, 06.11.15
We travel to the Netherlands, where Bodyfarm - after a bombastic symphonic intro, orchestrated by none
other than Ardek of Carach Angren - pound away with equally bombastic death metal with long roots.
With the help of Ronnie Björnström in Enhanced Audio Productions, the quartet has obtained juicy and
rich sound on their third album.
Guitars and bass resounds in delightfully distorted resonance, drums crackles like hail on tin roof and the vocalist
gradually grinds his uvula with atonal, harsh roaring. Sound and instrumentation definitely don't suffers from no lack
of manly brutality.
Their fierce, groovy, mid tempo death metal holds much melody while the music has settled on a raw and masculine level.
Ten songs and forty minutes packed with rough melodies, aggressive rudeness, juicy solos and delightful moods, lest you
go for digipak or LP, both limited, and receives a remake of Slaves Of War from the début EP as a bonus.
All these songs have got individual character while also working perfectly together.
The music can hardly be said to be original. Nevertheless, the distinct songs together forms something that stands out.
Perfect for us with alzheimers light, of course. Crushing death metal with distinctive character, moods and killer sound.
My conclusion is simple, Battle Breed deliver the deadly gods with panache and bravura.
The two songs below is also up on YouTube. The lyric video for The Dark Age featuring Martin Van Drunen
(Asphyx et al.) as guest vocalist, and a live video of Storming Revolution.
Tyrannus Records, 02.10.15
The press release is long and winding as a shopping tour at IKEA. I'm not going to spend nearly as many lines.
Misticismo Regrisivo simply ain't worth it. I've heard the album too many times, and now I'm never going to
hear it again.
This becomes the second Chilean band that gets treated brutally in only two days, but that's of course just a coincidence.
Black Grail hails from Santiago, and attempts a mixture of brutal and spiritual, ritualistic and
atmospheric black metal.
The sound volume is low, but that's okay, because I've got a volume control. (Ain't I the lucky one). That's often a
sign of good dynamic characteristics as well, but in this case it doesn't do much good that the dynamic reaches DR9,
for volume levels keeps a steady low, and the sound is practically muddy as smog.
The music is really assorted, I'll give 'em that, and I think I hear some descent instrumentation inside the fog.
Unfortunately the songs appear as chaotic, with random sequences and passages screwed blindfolded together. Random
ceremonial segments with mumbling vocals and dazed rhythms meets frenetic and staccato intensity without planned
guidelines. One is also exposed to unruly, turbulent and aimless guitar solos that splay in all directions.
Elevación Frustrada is an orchestral interlude where the loudness take to the air. After adjusting
the volume, I have to turne it up anew whence the racket again assumes its rightful position.
In barely a month (December 1st), Nuclear War Now! will release a split between Black Grail and
Expectations for the former is close to rock-bottom now, but on the other hand, I did enjoy the latter very much. That
one might turn out to be an ambivalent experience. Alas, this is to be continued...
(Or should I say “This ain't over yet, Black Grail”.
Dead Center Productions, 30.10.15 Aggravator from San Antonio, Texas was started in 2008, released a demo in 2010, then their first
album in 2012, and eventually the follow up Populace Destructor in 2014. I won't speculate in whether
it was printed in too few copies, or if distribution didn't met the demand.
The important thing is that it's now being re-released, just a few months before their third album will hit the streets.
It feels good to hear some speedy thrash again. The band mostly plays reasonably rapid metal with a reckless
attitude. Their thrash is fairly light-footed, but tough, and it smells a bit burned.
The riffing, pace and rhythm works well and the vocalist has plenty of sandpaper in his throat. To be a little picky,
the songs ain't really cut out to be classics. The most ripping feature on the album is the guitar works, which
really evokes a classic era.
Populace Destructor sounds rough, well played and raw enough to prevent me from going below good old
“Approved”. It must still be said that the album is not exceptionally memorable. The four Americans could have benefited
from listening to some 80s Metallica and late 80s early 90s Sepultura and Slayer among others
for inspiration and examples of how timeless killer songs should be constructed.
Aggravator has uploaded all ten tracks to
YouTube. The album lasts for almost half an hour, and all tracks are cast in the same mould. Therefore it doesn't
really matter which song(s) you choose to check out.
Chilean Count Czar Yang (Ammit) has created his own musical playpen inspired by stuff like
Abruptum, Goatlord, Popol Vuh (German krautrock), and atonal contemporary classical music.
The disadvantage of being alone is that no one tells you when you're completely off the wall... or that you've lost your marbles.
The strange thing is that no one has bothered to tell Czar Yang, even in the aftermath, that he should
cut down on the peyote consumption. That the man's meaningless sound-collages has in fact been pressed to physical formats
and then released is an utter fucking mystery in its own right.
After a noisy intro comes something that sounds like an improvised Venom rehearsal tape. Track four offers
ridiculous monotone effects, and the next “song” offers mundane organ improvisations.
Through ten short songs characterized by complete lack of purpose and meaning, this just goes on and on.
This is complete and utter nonsense from beginning to end!
Agonia Records, 30.10.15
The most original about the first, but definitely not last débutantes of the month, is that this black/extreme metal
duo consists of women. Fortunately not all originality stops there. Although they don't reinventing the gun powder,
they charger their blunderbuss in a slightly unconventional way, thus avoiding being labelled as generic.
Something that can become a clue generic however is black female vocals. Genetic, not prejudiced, conditions
often leads to black female throats sounding somewhat similar. My thoughts normally goes to Opera IX, since that
was my first encounter with an, at that time, quite unheard of phenomenon. The funny thing is that I no longer even remember
how they sound, as my only CD with the band has collected dust for nearly two decades. A peculiar coincidence is that
after writing these words I find that the Italian female fronted black metal band is launching a compilation these days.
I have two arguments against the objection about generic feminine vocals. Firstly Blitz (drums) and
Vinterbarn (guitar), both singing/screaming, mixes a wide spectre of vocal styles that adds a different twist and
which alone give Nyx a form of individuality. Or do I mix originality with peculiarity now? Secondly they
manage the black hissing quite adequately. Though, the vocals feels a wee bit imitated at times.
The music contains a lot of strange items. Spoken and whispered clean vocals with or without echo, strange sounds,
unexpected, and not always appropriate transitions etc. A sort of progressive approach that creates a kind of avant-garde
touch. That might not be the most unusual flair when conceptual albums are on the menu. The ladies have set out to
“explore the endless metastases of the aspiring soul within a musical dimension”.
The blackest parts sounds all right, even if nothing really stick out. The weirder passages stand out more, but sounds
thinner and may also appear as a bit accidentally ludicrously. The album is produced by Enthroned bassist
Phorgath in Blackout Studio and sounds audio-wise okay with more than all right dynamics (DR8). Certainly,
the music itself sometimes sounds somewhat skinny with just two artists, and parts of the screaming can be a bit grating.
Well, the girls show potential, and occasionally there are sequences that works very well. The songs as a whole doesn't
work quite as optimal, though. The songs has a somewhat haphazard expression, where melody and arrangements don't have the
most tangible structure. The right pitch black moods are also a little absent, but that problem can be solved by defining
the band as “experimental prog-black” or something. That should lower the expectations and requirements for a satanic black
atmosphere. The best thing would be if people stopped referring to all music with elements from the genre as pure black metal.
The femme fatale duo still deserves cred for daring to do things a little different. So far Nyx doesn't
rock my world, except from in small and scattered portions, but the ladies seems talented, and Home is
indeed quite good. Thus I hope for stronger compositions for our next encounter.
trailer, with its dark and atmospheric collage.
Witching Hour productions, 01.11.15
I hope you've enjoyed and survived Halloween. Now that the dead has returned to their graves, it's time to enter November.
To make the transition we receive assistance from Polish veterans. The band has kept going for 25 years and has eight
full-length albums behind them. A wealth of artists have been involved with the band throughout the years, but now three
remain. Three is also the number of songs we can find on this barely 20 minutes long EP that works as a harbingers of a
new album that will hit the streets some time during 2016.
With quick, galloping rhythms, melodic riffs and rough vocals with stout attitude, songs with elements of both black
and deadly spheres are performed. The music is melodic but hard-hitting, and a whiff of Viking metal can be traced in
its mighty conduct. Especially in the rather epic choirs. The music ain't exactly ground-breaking in 2015, but that could
easily be considered a relatively invalid argument, as the band are veterans and helped construct this genre from scratch.
The music hit hard and offers moods and thrusting drift. It gallops in fine tempo, but the pace at least fades a bit
near the centre of the EP, to give room for a bit exotic moods. I like Black Blood, but it brings
little new to the table, and the amount of variation could have been somewhat stronger. Nevertheless, it's a cool EP
despite some minor debris to poke at.