Witching Hour Productions, 04.12.15
Welcome to this 41 minute long anti-religious festival mass, where Lucifer's liturgy is paramount. Polish
Batushka allegedly consists of people from profiled bands, but here they choose to keep their identity shrouded.
Litourgiya is the band's first offering to the arch-antagonist, the light bearer, the guardian of knowledge
and distributor of wisdom.
Litourgia form of a sacred ceremony with chanting monks, and a form of hypnotic monotony that nevertheless
never become stagnant. The musical that accompanies this devotional and sacramental ritual is black, lingering and gloomy
in expression, performed in the veins of doom.
The pace alters masterfully between the slow, different degrees of mid tempo and raging speed. The drums makes each
velocity seem like a demonstration in vivid percussion.
Guitar and bass form an unwavering satanic wall. What could possibly be less natural than chanting vocals with echoes
reverberating of the cathedral stone walls? Strangely enough it works extremely well along with the raw and hardened riffs.
The satanic high priest's hypnotic mass suggestion keeps the congregation nailed to the bench until the very end.
When I come to myself, I know that I have witnessed a grand ceremony, and I just want to catch the next performance
immediately. I simply can't quite put my finger on where the black magic comes from, but it is hardly of this world.
I vote to fetch Batushka to play live in the Nidaros Cathedral. It's said to have amazing acoustics,
and it's never used for anything that make sense anyway!
The Ajna Offensive, 18.12.15
Without a hint of prior knowledge or expectations, I catch myself being pleasantly surprised when the first song
Chamalcan opens with western-inspired rhythms and tones. Ah, exciting and original. Thinking outside the box. So nice.
It doesn't last long before insipid monotony takes over, and pretty soon constitute the primary essence.
I should have recognized the name of this black circle of K'iche' people, indigenous folks in relation with the Mayans,
which I wrote about a mere year ago when I slaughtered Volahn.
This is a split, originally released five months ago via Crepúsculo Negro (Spanish for Black Twilight) led by
Volahn chief Eduardo Ramirez. Volahn is the first band out before Shataan, Arizmenda and
Kallathon present their contributions.
During just under three quarters, interesting and unconventional parts occasionally surface. The majority is however
distinguished by music without appreciable content, direction, shades or character. At times the music has plenty of
melody, but this consists of close to random tones, that on seemingly indifferent manner snails along without leaving
nothing but apathy.
The album consists of four tracks with an average of about 11 minutes. Despite slightly different expression, they could
have belonged to one and the same band.
Through Volahn's contributions, the drums throttles, while the guitar plays hushed tremolo that doesn't
make a lasting mark. The vocals are like an echo of the forest wildlife, and the music becomes a little post-metallic due
to the monotone touch. Shataan opens with flute and ritual rhythms which is basically very stylish, but that gets a bit too atonal
to deserve much praise. Along with chanting vocals this creates some suggestive Indian-moods, but that feeling eventually
give way to boredom, when it gradually becomes too tedious. After a quiet and calm part a bit over six minutes into the song,
the band thrusts a little bit extra when a minutes have passed. With harmonica this becomes quite cool.
The next two bands basically continues as a reprise of this lesson in fairly identical repetition.
With small changes the music could quickly have become quite a bit more interesting. Yet somehow every band manages to drag
their ideas out in perpetuity. Indigenous Music is also often monotonous, although there are tribes that have a tradition of
more lively rhythms. The album is better than the cassette Vohlan reeled off, but in the myriad of good albums,
I struggle to see the value in this. All in all I feel that this album is very insipid, and thus meaningless. Thus I'd rather
buy an album with panpipes from the Peruvian playback-Indians down at the public square. (Obviously, that was just a joke).
Iron Bonehead, 18.12.15
Death lurks in many shapes. It can strike with rubber gloves, hygienic face mask and a scent of sterile environment,
you can encounter it in slaughterhouses with an odour of coagulated blood, or you may be so unlucky as to come upon a
foul old stench of decay that seeps up to the surface from the past, and that never washes away. Ripping Death plays death metal and smells of vintage carcasses.
The trio consists of two Italians and a Spaniard. On this demo-tape we're served four cadaver leftovers as a quick
13-minute snack. They grunt and riff violently. Solos and fierce staccato drumming is thrown around.
Its tougher as a train, it rips, tears and slits, but it must unfortunately be allowed to call the musical generic. For the
fact is that we've heard this before. Better. Many times. Ripping Death simply don't stand out in the crowd.
This is only the first demo from a band that was started this very year(!), so I'm not going to dismiss them yet.
We'll probably meet again. Hopefully with signs of improvement. Also, the stylish cover will no doubt be noticed.
Non Serviam Records, 18.12.15
The Chicago based quintet Against The Plagues gave us a foretaste of forthcoming depravity in January,
and their new album is released today.
You may, if you like, read my short presentation of the EP Extermination Event.
Their first album was a brilliant display of delicious black/death with vital symphonic antics, and the Americans
don't disappoint this time either.
The Architecture of Oppression/Decoding the Mainframe mixed moods and groove à la Entombed,
with majestic punch à la Behemoth, spiced with the kind of thrilling symphonic goodies we know from
Limbonic Art and Obsidian Gate.
In 2012 the band released the EP The Quaternion, which seems to fit stylistically in between these albums.
In 2015 the band has laid aside the most typical Entombed vibes, and replaced the somewhat dirty and organic early
90's sound with a little more modern and “clinical” production. The symphonic plink plonk style has unfortunately given
way to a more conventional symphonic background.
The band sounds less analogue and old school, yet colder, more relentless, intense and slightly more technical. The “technicality”
is mainly located in the rhythmic parts, sometimes creating quite industrial moods à la Puritania of Dimmu Borgir.
I liked the band a lot as they were, but there is no doubt that the Americans succeed very well even after a moderate
change of course.
The band has kept the mighty “Polish” expression, whilst the death metal has shifted somewhat from old school to
“new school”. The band also appears a bit blacker in the edges, with uncompromisingly hostile and unforgiving
character, and intense drive. A serious whiff of megalomania rests over Against The Plagues in 2015.
The sound is not too clinical, although I prefer the sound of the first version of the début. The sound here
nevertheless fits the expression like hand in bandage, although the drum sound can be discussed and the dynamics are
low (DR5-DR6). Not every band comes away with changes in style with the respect intact, but Against The Plagues
still makes very good extreme metal. If you haven't heard about this band before… now you have.
Witching Hour productions, 14.12.15
New material from Vader is always nice. However, this is not new material in that sense.
When a death metal band (with thrash influences) release a cover album, I immediately think of Six Feet Under.
There is no reason for comparison however. The Polish veterans stick roughly to well-trodden paths.
As the title indicates, this is their second Future Of The Past disc. The first was released in
1996, and hailed well known bands like Sodom, Kreator, Possessed, Celtic Frost,
This time Vader pays homage to the past of their own region by covering some of the oldest bands from Poland
and surrounding areas. The main part of the purpose is to show the outside world that the scene in the east has a long and
fruitful history. We can probably assume that they also did it because it's great fun to plow through nostalgic material.
I have knowledge of nil and nada of these bands, and in this respect, it works as a gateway for those who want to dig
a bit deeper into the underground of the westernmost part of the eastern world. With these cover songs, Vader
moves in slightly different extreme-metallic directions.
The material is not particularly exciting in my ears. Stylish guitar in the Exorsister track, soaring moods in the
Ghost song, tough drift in the Krabathor cover… Sure, there's many all right passages, and it all
ends with cool mid-tempo and fast rhythms in the Kat cover, but overall, this doesn't really give me very much.
Considering the battering blend of speed/thrash, death, and undertones of punk and black, this actually reminds more of
Undisputed Attitude (Slayer) than Graveyard Classics (Six Feet Under).
Vader make no mistakes here, except from not presenting a new Vader album. After all,
it's been one and a half years since Tibi A Igni kicked ass in good Polish fashion. For big fans of both
these Poles and obscure Eastern European underground metal, this is perhaps the X-mas gift they've been waiting for.
I, and others like me, will rather wait for new material from the veterans.
The wait may, however, be shortened a bit with Future Of The Past II - Hell In The East.
Invictus Productions, 14.12.15
As I've said, new aspiring bands grows like weed from every crack on the planets surface. We venture far from proggish
landscapes in Kazakhstan, to brutal blasphemy in Sri Lanka.
Though, grows... It's rather a stench of putrefaction that comes seeping.
With the title Heralding Ceremonial Mass Obliteration even X-mas spirit comes along...
...if you associate X-mas with burned food, Christmas tree fires, booze binges, jealousy quarrels and bloody fights,
that is. With a song title like Ritual Vomiting you can just fucking forget about Serpents
Athirst celebrating the shitty holidays with any positive vibes.
This was released on CD in limited edition via Cyclopean Eye Prod. in March, and can now be found on limited
vinyl via Invictus Productions. Three songs and twelve minutes ain't much, but if you prefer beastly savage
brutality in small doses, that's just perfect. And if you crave for more, at least here's a nice taste of what
Serpents Athirst want to inflict upon mankind.
Just like two previous discs this month, this EP starts with a blissful touch of sacral tones and secretions. The latter
in the form of bombs, grenades and the likes. When the music starts, my mind is dragged to South American brutality and
Finnish necro-blasphemous bestiality, just to give some kind of indication.
I think you get the picture anyway. Besides, you have ears for yourself, and the whole mischievousness is out of the test tube they call
YouTube. Time to either enlist to the front, or to seek refuge in the bomb shelter!
Metal Scrap Records, 03.12.15
New bands pops up in all corners of the world like wild weeds. We're heading to Kazakhstan, where we find the progressive
metal duo Kadar. Ruslan Isayev (bass and vocals) and Zufar Sydykov (guitar and keyboards) formed the band
in 2009. In August 2014 they released their first mini-album, and here we are served another one. Though, Metal-Archives
defines the first one as EP and this as a full length album.
Essence almost reaches half an hour. With eight songs it also feels more like a bit short full length
than as an overgrown EP. Two releases of between 20 and 30 minutes at least gives the band a smooth start.
The band serves a wide range of styles that still flows natural and coherent via fairly hassle free joints
and with good melodies as binder. With good instrumentation and sound they reach their goal successfully.
Portions of the vocal and methodology can surely be seen as a bit too poppy for extreme metalheads, and similarly can
some elements, like growling, be a bit much to swallow for prog-rockers. Still, Kadar don't seek out
the extremes. Essence should definitely be of audible art for most. Personally I crave the soft solo
guitar over the irascible drum patterns in Spider Moves, where they make contrasts feel like the most
The band is not the type to pack every musical brand into one song, or to swear to the most abrupt transitions.
Natural flow has a higher priority. They leave nutty mood swings for others to take care of.
Essence is most likely hardly a must, even among larger progg-heads, but Kadar is
certainly a pleasant acquaintance, which anyone with a versatile music taste can check out.
Technical death metal is far from an everyday occurrence here in my realm. As you have already concluded, the genre
isn't really the one that fascinates me most. When it appeals even to me, that's a clear sign that the band must have
done something right. But seriously, I do enjoy some tech', as long as it holds high standards in a broader array of
conditions than just the technicality itself.
A diverse multitude of nutrimetal consumption is also supposedly healthy. Surely variation is the tabasco of life.
I've got nothing against the genre, but like very proggy prog-metal and extremely brutal brutality, there are technical
band who exaggerates just that aspect in their musical direction, and thus excels with so much technical brilliance
that they forget to include heart and spirit in the music.
Canadian Pronostics are among the better bands in the sub-genre. They are one of the bands that have
the integrity required to blend their intricate technicality with melodic finesse and refined structure, to use some
sophisticated superlatives. But I essentially think that these débutantes deserve some acclaim.
The quartet comes from Montreal, in the province of Quebec, a region I normally associate with considerably murkier
tones. Again, this just reflects my typical personal preferences.
Pronostic was started in 2010 and released the EP Deviated Inner Spectrum a couple of years
later. In early 2014 An Atomic Decision was recorded. I can only speculate on the reason why it wasn't
released until November this year. It's not impossible that they've spent time trying to land a deal with a label. The
band definitely deserves a contract, and with this demonstration it hopefully won't take long.
Besides the technical twists and turns, that the band master comprehensively, complete with some abrupt and odd transitions,
we find great, elongated and soaring guitar parts, and also good melodies in the foundation. Maybe it's just the melodic
approach, the wonderful guitar work and that the band doesn't exaggerate their technical whims, that makes me thrive in
the company of An Atomic Decision. With their début, Pronostics delivers a playful, light
hearted and easygoing piece of work with good signature. All done in a seemingly effortless manner.
Watch the lyric video for An Atomic Decision if you wish. It's one of the more technical songs. Try on one of the more dreamy songs
for size as well. I can recommend the guitar driven last song, Passing Towards the Afterlife.
Independent, 20.11.15 Battlecreek from Bavaria in Germany was formed in 2004. After their first demo, they reached the final
of Wacken Metal Battle in 2009.
The band plays thrash with a whiff of speed metal, without being as hard and angry as their teutonic countrymen.
Within your taste or not, you're not going anywhere until you've seen the video for Kill Or Be Killed!
They shred riffs violently and ride rapidly, the vocalist has the right thrash feel and solos are fired of like revolver
bullets from the hip. As with Western movies, Battlecreek has an American touch. I see now that the band
has conceived the ingenious and highly appropriate term “Bay(ern) Area Thrash Metal”. Witty.
The music is infectiously energetic and would certainly work very well live.
The drawback is that Hate Injection practically consists of 9 songs and 40 minutes with more of the
same. Pur “diajollycal” and strait forward thrash without big visions or really good and memorable tunes. I
can tolerate that the vocalist talks more than he sings, as long as he snarls.
The music's enjoyable, but the men could have benefited from picking up an old Megadeth album to remind
themselves of the fabric of which good songs with lifetime warranty is made.
The video mentioned in the preamble contains beer, blood, gore and... oh well, we don't need to reveal everything.
It's both witty and diajollycal®. So Kill Or Be Killed. They've also got an album Teaser to offer.
Metal Scrap Records, 14.12.15
What's with all the fucking blissful blessedness in the midst of the pre-Christmas stress? No sooner has Diavolo
(see seven notches down) served Ave Maria, before Italian X Pus opens with gruesome excerpts
from some damn church concert, which they eventually mangle and mutilate with various distortion and shit.
When the music eventually kicks in, it stands in stark contrast.
The two guys Mornak and Aren formed their first band in 1998, and together they created
X Pus almost a year ago. The band has grown into a trio with drummer "L".
“Death smelling black metal” the booklet says. Besides hideous intro and ditto outro, we are left with eight tracks of
between 4 and 5 minutes, where the band drones out both doom-laden and frenetic extremity in a quite monotonous manner,
without particular individuality, finesse or any other extras.
The sound ain't the best either. Which is just as fucking well anyway, as it's really quite flattering in a charming way.
The content of what I tend to call “objective qualities” is rather lukewarm.
However, there are other qualities to Sanctus Dominus....
The band's steady, atonal, pulverizing, resounding thunder has a hypnotic, sleep-inducing effect. Some variation can be
found in the savagery, but all in all one has heard similar bestial brutality too many times for X Pus
to leave any lasting impression. Fair enough right there and then, but I'm not going to remember this tomorrow.
Hell, I heard the album once yesterday, and four times a few hours ago, before I listened a bit more to Critical
Solution while completing the writings (or rather translation) below, and now I had practically forgotten their
Tough enough at the moment. Unoriginal and forgettable in the long run.
Punishment 18 Records, 12.12.15 Critical Solution from south-western Norway, has just released their second full-length album, and once
again it's a concept album the guys have embarked upon.
The quartet has recently been out on the roads with W.A.S.P. In 2014 they warmed up for Diamond Head,
and at the end of the previous year they conducted a tour with Marduk and Grave. After Sleepwalker
had been sent to the media, the good news was publish about the guys finally, after two independent EPs and an
album, having signed a contract.
The quartet plays rather melodic thrash of the varied kind, and they call it horror thrash.
Besides Carach Angren, that obviously deserves the “prefix” horror due to their ghostly moods, I only
remember two bands who have actively used the term horror; The Vision Bleak and Gloomy Grim.
I can't remember having seen much defined as horror- this or that in recent times. Critical Solution
doesn't have the most ominous undertones, but their lyrical concept likely has a sinister essence.
It may also be useful to apply a slightly different denomination when one after all differ from most current bands in the genre.
The music has a dynamic diversity rarely seen any more. The variety is strong both within and between
each song, just like what one used to find on classic releases from bands like Metallica, Iron Maiden,
King Diamond and Anthrax.
Not entirely random samples, as Critical Solution has elements from all these.
Vocalist and lead guitarist Christer Slettebø has a vocal somewhat reminiscent of a certain Hetfield,
and the rhythm in the vocal parts of LT.Elliot gives associations to Leper Messiah.
Song eight, Dear Mother must be mentioned. This opens with bass and guitar picking, not unlike for example
Afraid to Shoot Strangers. After the drums and rhythm guitar has completed some initial warming up, it's
time for twin-guitar harmonies, before Hammond organ and Pink Floyd vibes makes itself felt. We also find vocal
harmonies later on, this time with a breath of Volbeat.
(With words like “puppet” in addition to the song title in the lyrics, you know what band this makes me think of). Critical Solution sews everything seamlessly together, and even though they preserve the legacy of the
classics, their music is never plagiarizing in any way.
Although 11 minutes long Dear Mother would make the perfect closing track, Critical Solution
doesn't surrender quite yet. A couple of songs follow. In closing Back From the Grave they
receive a little extra guitar from the Mercyful Fate guys Michael Denner and Hank Shermann
(which released the EP Satan's Tomb via Metal Blade a month and a half ago). On the track
LT.Elliot we also find contributions from Mika Lagrén, best known from Grave.
It must nevertheless be said that guitarists Christer and Bjørnar Grøsfjell does on
hell of an excellent job themselves. The rhythmic section is also very well attended by drummer Egil Mydland
and bass player Eimund Grøsfjell. When Christer sweep the board with his
voice, whether he sings rough or clean, these four lads constitute a solid and tight quartet.
That Eimund is so prominent in the sound is something that at least I appreciate. And that
leads us over to the sonic aspect in a natural transition.
The album has got the high-quality sound an elaborate concept deserves. I have admittedly not read up on the lyrical theme,
but when the music is so thoroughly written and performed, I allowed myself to speculate slightly. Andy LaRocque
(King Diamond) has produced the album in his Sonic Train Studios. I am actually surprised to see that the
album has as low dynamic range as DR5. I guess it's the dynamics of the song material that compensates. It's in any case very audible.
Both the spoken voice in the intro, the song structure and the way the vocals are done, reeks of concept.
That's something you would have picked up on without either lyrics nor any advance knowledge.
A father, unable to carry out his murderous actions himself, uses a serum to get his son, unknowingly, in his sleep,
to take revenge on the four men he thinks is behind the death of his first born son. (I'm a bit uncertain about the
details, but at least it's something along that line).
It should be said that everything on the album ain't equally solid, but that's also the catch with concept albums.
You can hardly trim away anything when you have a story to tell. Although all ain't working perfectly, it's still very much
that works extremely well.
All in all Critical Solution is something of a unique rarity in the current scene, and with
Sleepwalker they've served a feast that's not to be missed for fans of thrash with a little extra finesse.
See the band open for W.A.S.P. in Bergen, with the song LT.Elliot, and hear the two songs
Welcome To Your Nightmare and Back From The Grave here. The latter featuring
Denner & Shermann.
Lupus Lounge 04.12.15
I discovered the Germans and their somewhat unconventional dark metal approach to black metal with The
Exhibitions EP (2005). It was likely with the albums around this EP that the band began to make themselves
a name. The band had already been at it for ten years. Now, ten years later, the band has evolved in a new direction
that forces me to attempt to overlook what they have done in the meantime.
In spite of some hard aspects, the band now shows a more stripped-down version of themselves, where even the harsh
elements feel more resigned, more subdued. The band has cultivate its dark-metal elements, and serves them in a more
It's not so hard to repress earlier exploits, for when I listen to Sun, it's like hearing a new band.
Sure, there are clearly links back throughout the discography, but Sun stands on its own feet, on its
own, a bit away from the others. Thus, it's not that difficult to judge this individually.
After No More Colours, that alternates between intensity and tranquillity through multifarious landscapes,
in an almost progressive manner, follows Dirty Black, where I pick up vibes from Communion
(Septicflesh), albeit in more colourless and bleak shades. Sun's strength lies in strong songs, with ditto variety, melodies and structures. The songs have memorable
individuality and freedom to explore their own directions. Yet they end up with a common coherent emotion. A sad feeling
of emptiness. Just like seven phonetic tears down the cheek.
The band is not quite recognizable, and if they continue in this direction, I'll probably miss their fresh and distinctive
appearance built on a black foundation.
Still, forget expectations, set aside just over 50 minutes, dim the lights, pour something dark in the glass, sit back
and enjoy Sun for what it is.
A lyric video has been published for the song Hole.
Blood Harvest, 11.12.15
Behind a somewhat Koldbrann (gangrene) resembling logo, and a cover art marked by shadowy outline of nuances,
we find the American trio from Portland, Oregon, and their first full length album.
I've heard this several times during the weekend, without quite being able to make up my mind. Time to turn up the
volume and the concentration, and drag you along on this journey.
Triumvir Foul have created just under three quarters of maddening, decrepit, polluted and rambunctious
death metal with morbid, vile and corrupted lyrics about hedonism and depravity from an esoteric and occult standpoint.
The music has a lot in common with Teitanblood, both in expression and dissonant sound. Triumvir Foul
should appeal to fans of the abominable Spaniards, but the Americans are generally not quite as frenetic.
The pace is in upper mid-tempo, and the music has a semi-monotonous character that creates a kind of hypnotic groove.
Subtle melodies, howling solo guitars, a resounding sound and some evocative sequences, such as the first minute of
Hedonistic Prayer... serves the album well.
I can, as I have said before, control my enthusiasm for the most brutal and gore-infested death metal and grindcore,
as well as the most discordant extreme metal. Triumvir Foul is a matter of taste. For my part, it
falls to my liking after X number of rounds of listening. I'll still stick a minus to the approval, for objectively
this is not very intricate and deep music. It's still tough as Hell. Are you, like me, a little bit tentative
and indecisive toward to the most atonal extremity, know that this is not at all hard to enjoy when it has been given
the chance to grown for a while.
The CD's out on the market now, whilst the vinyl version is released on January 15th.
Ván Records, 11.12.15
From my birthplace Trondheim (formerly known as Nidaros) comes Saligia, here with their sophomore
full-length collage, consisting of five merry psalms.
To what church circuit in the bishopric Nidaros Diocese these stalwart young men belongs, the press sheet
unfortunately don't inform us of.
Joke aside, in all satanicness. The guys off course plays black metal in a stout anti-religious stance. They still
stand slightly apart from the prevalent Nidrosian black metal band.
The name is by the way a mnemonic of the seven deadly sins in latin; superbia, avaritia, luxuria, invidia,
gula, ira & acedia.
The duo swear to a more doomy approach, that nor sounds like typical doom/black. The expression is almost as close to
stoner doom as to more typical dsbm approaches. Simultaneously, these fellows got a whiff of elder Norwegian necrotic
Satan worship hanging over them.
Try to imagine a sacrilegious, perverted clone of Black Sabbath and Darkthrone if your imagination
can cope with such a task.
The début Sïc Transit Glöria Mundï was apparently hailed in the underground. I enjoyed it, but I didn't
really see no reason to engage in the most ecstatic fan club. Portions of Sïc Transit... was also in
excess staccato in the rhythm section for this guy.
The EP Lvx Aeternae seemed more hypnotic with its slightly more atmospheric feel.
I thrive in the company of the bird Fønix (Phoenix, but you already guessed) as well, although it has
neither the melodies and riffs from Black Sabbath nor the subarctic temperatures and hostile hatred of
Darkthrone. Of course, it also lacks the originality of these. Hardly any band can be said to deliver ground
breaking material nowadays. It should be said, however, that Saligia actually offers about as much
distinct character as one can be allowed to hope for.
Founder Ahzari have parted with drummer Malach Adonai. Whether this is caused by musical
differences or if the latter wanted to focus on Dødsengel is not for me to say. V. have
taken over the drumstick relay baton.
One can without problems find staccato beats even this time, but on the current album the drumming is wonderfully varied.
The sound has an organic feel, rather reminiscent of live in studio recordings. Yet another link to the ancestors of
metal. This seems a bit out of place at first listen, but quickly help to build a genuine unique and distinct character.
I'm not joining in on singing collective praises this time either. Fønix is not an undisputed
masterpiece in my ears. It is, on the other hand, a grower with variety, hooks and some very good parts.
All in all, I'd call it a good and at times very enjoyable album!
Debemur Morti Productions, 11.12.15
As it was written in Gorger, Chapter 3-2014, Section 5, in The Holy Book of Reviews
(Norwegian only), band founder Sylvain Bégot sacrificed his only begotten
creation because the concept had reached its final goal and fulfilled its destiny.
We shall now read from Gorger, Chapter 12-2015, section 18, in The Sacred Book of Impressions, where Monolithe
resurrect from the mausoleum to walk the earth as a slow, living corps.
Thanks to their loathsome genetic zombification experiments, guitarist and keyboardist Sylvain can
celebrate the 15th anniversary along with his accomplice laboratory assistants, vocalist Richard Loudin,
guitarist Benoît Blin, bass player Olivier Defives and drummer Thibault
Faucher in about three weeks.
The French funeral-doom band has thus started a new chapter in their cosmic musical works. They have stepped away from
their hallmark, single track songs at about an hours duration, and brings three songs of “just” a quarter each this
time. Some would call even that long songs.
The music shall still be know as funeral, but the continual sublime changes in the synth, and a more vital spirit in
rhythm and riffs creates constant progression, and naturally flowing transitions. Orchestral strings induce monumental
moods, while the guitars alters between mournful and searching expressions. Like a shapeless mass, an abstract larva, a
massive, overgrown bean bag filled with a viscous fluid, Epsilon Aurigae achieves high inertia and
In between Monolithe 3 and Monolithe 4, Sylvain was approached by
someone who wanted a say what compressed audio concerns. It ended with Sylvain climbing up the steep
hills to master sensei Alex, guru and wise man of sound quality in metal on Metal-Fi, and outspoken advocator of the
importance of dynamic
range. In the stronghold of sound quality, he has attained enlightenment and wisdom.
It ended with Alex being involved in the mastering process, and Monolithe climbing
from DR6 to DR8. An interview can be read here.
This time the album was recorded in Red Reed Studio and mixed and mastered by Andrew Guillotin in
Hybreed Studio. Epsilon Aurigae lands on DR9. The sound is powerful and heavy, sometimes with
an entire wall of bass, but still with enough room for a little extra bang when the drumsticks hit their targets.
As you've probably noticed, I haven't strained myself noteworthy to explain the music's nature particularly detailed.
Monolithe has produced three soaring tracks, that with almost symphonic finesse moves gracefully in a
meandering manner, and together form a unified trinity, a journey through inner cosmos. Epsilon Aurigae
should be heard and enjoyed for full and complete insight and appreciation.
The album is quite close to their ancestors in music and mood. I believe I even recognize a theme from some earlier album
in TMA-0. Yet this one moves with lighter steps and more footworks than the big snails from the past.
I'm enjoying this a lot.
Gates Of Hell Records, 11.12.15
Primarily Swedish Instigator released a demo 5-6 years ago, and this weekend they launch this EP.
The band obviously don't care much for commercialism, authority, social media and other brainwashing elements in
our corrupted society.
The band consists of three Swedes and two Italians. It seems only guitarist D. Slaughter (
Portrait etc.) has any relevant experience to show for.
The music blends elements of heavy metal, speed metal, space rock and punk. The gang offers a few enjoyable elements
and some al right music, and thus I should perhaps have been a little kinder as this is their first EP. Yet Bad
Future becomes too silly for me to bothered approving it.
Futuristic, peculiar melodies, odd rhythms and heaps of horror and sci-fi B- and C-movie samples can be fun in small doses,
and this is after all a small dose. Four songs and a quarter however quickly grows to over an hour when I foolishly have
decided to write about it. Actually, I should blame myself.
Anyway, and seriously; this gives me just as much as punk and David Bowie. Very little indeed.
One of the worst parts is yet the vocals. I could have sworn this was a chick, but as it turns out, Hiroshima
is allegedly an Italian dude. Seriously, I just don't buy that!
If you're into bizarre curiosities, or the styles I turn up my nose to, go ahead and give Instigator a fair
chance. Check the teaser for Bad Future, with clips from Class Of Nuke 'Em High (1986), and hear the song Inseminoid:
Hells Headbangers, 11.12.15
At the first gaze, there's something familiar with the artwork accompanying the music of this greek band. That they've
chosen to go for a more contemporary version of Exciter's début Heavy Metal Maniac is most likely meant as
a tribute, even if Diavolos don't play speed metal. You Lived, Now Die is a début itself, and the death metal these veterans bring along has roots so far
far back in time that it's doomed to contain certain influences of thrash.
The essentially Greek band consists of five men with long experience. Finn and bassist Taneli Jarva
has a background from Impaled Nazarene and Sentenced, drummer K. Savvi have amongst
others Nightfall on his conscience, guitarists Nik Angelopoulos and Bill El
have been involved with different constellations, while vocalist Tas Danazoglou from Cyprus also take
shelter in Satan's Wrath.
Together they play an early form of death metal, from a time before blasting, brutality, rabid growl, as well as blood
and gore was the norm. The music is not meant as a tribute, directly, but rather marks a desire to go back in time and
create and play music which lays close to their heart. Maybe they will end up reconstructing a genre that continues to
evolve and form a new style that runs straight into an alternate reality. They'll risk to make a rift in the continuum,
the very fabric of which space and time are made. Such may occur when travelling back in time.
When Ave Maria flows from the speakers, I can't help but laughing while shaking my head. You sick, fucking
bastards. It fortunately don't take long before circular saw guitars fills the room. Without going into detail, we can
say that this is cool and tough music with elements of heavy, thrash and proto-death, which could have had its origin
in the 80s. Raw vocals, solos, rough riffs and force are ingredients in airy, dynamic and suitably varied tunes with
rich unpolished sound. Even the dynamic range of the production ain't too compressed, but with DR8 they have apparently
forgotten one important detail from the eighties. Said Exciter album had DR11 when it came out.
(Typically, the 2005 remastered only had DR8, however).
You Lived, Now Die is a very tough and amusing slice of ancient mania, which sticks out a bit in today's scene.
I, Voidhanger Records, 07.12.15 Nar Mattaru must have done something right, for I remember the name, even without any relation to the
début Enuma Elish (2011) except from having heard a few tracks. Either that, or I'm confusing the name
with another band. (Not the Russians under the same moniker, though). That's also quite possible.
The trio comes from Chile and deliver pure death metal.
The band's replaced their vocalist since the previous album, so let's begin with Bliol. His death-grunts
are deep, but slightly wheezing. The lethal hammering is done by Andrés Gonzáles, while Francisco
Bravo (is he by any chance related to Johnny Bravo?) takes care of all ten strings, divided between two instruments,
The death metal is dark, deep and heavy, both in sound and expression. It rumbles and thunders, it's raging and brutal.
A decent amount of dark and inhospitable melody is also served. The music is not directly occult sounding, but I choose
to mention a certain touch of the occult to give a small indication of the band's direction.
Although the music is basically tough, I'm left with a feeling that the metal just goes on and on so to speak. It just
passes by without fastening it's hooks. There are sequences where I enjoy myself a little extra, as in the evocative
passage in the latter half of Declaration of Supremacy, but through much of the material I'm practically
just awaiting the next delightful sequence.
Death metal like this require that little extra, and on Ancient Atomic Warfare I feel that it's a little
bit too long between each time such emerges. It's not a particular big grower either. The album is absolutely by no means
bad, but “okay” isn't enough to make sure the album gets picked up the next time I'm hungry for a lethal dose.
Others might swallow this with skin and hair, though. (Nordic “hook, line, and sinker” sounding expression, more in the
vein of “swallow up”). The cover art stands somewhat out in a positive sense, by the way. Very cool.
I, Voidhanger Records, 07.12.15
Nyx don't quite manage to convince with their female black metal, and Danish Myrkur just barely touches upon the genre
almost as if for the contrasts sake, Swedish Dagny Susanne must step in and defend the Valkyries honour.
The lady has been active since 2008, and the self-titled début (2013) allegedly wore the characteristics of moods as
isolation, loneliness and misanthropy. But there is a limit to how long you can sit and be depressed before flourishing
hatred and anger threatens to burst.
Sprouting disgust, which have long since taken root, now reach full bloom and full-fledged bloodthirsty fury. The
Female Of The Species is a cactus with hostile spines.
Martrum handles the drums solidly, while Dagny screams herself hoarse. In fact, she
had a grating voice even before the first note, but such is the ways of female black vocals. The vocals in addition have
a flattering touch of something deranged and rabid. It does constitute the part of the album that is hardest to swallow,
though. She doesn't put the weaker sex to shame in any case. That she has also composed all the material and handle the
remaining instruments in a very adequate style, is no less impressive.
The music has not left misanthropy completely behind, but swift and hostile riffs get as much attention as gloomy
moods. As when trapped aggression burst, Dagny doesn't hold back on her flaming antipathy. Without
keeping anything in no more, she spread curses and obscenity in a ruthless demeanour through eight coal-black songs.
This is not the coldest black metal on the market, but it is aggressive and relentless in atmosphere, and the music
has an infernal fire, a hellish passion. Even if changes develop gradually over time, the music is nevertheless diverse,
and especially the guitar tear around like dogs with spring fever and leaves no cavern or grotto unexplored.
The track Eve is the best example the music occasionally calming down in favour of the mighty moods.
The quietest tarns has the darkest depths.
What little one finds of melodies in dissonant atonal black hell fire shall evoke feelings of coldness, evil and hatred.
So it does with Nachtlied. Here is no need for female quotas to gain entry. We've all heard considerably
more embarrassing contributions, or rather attempts, to the genre from male colleagues.
There was a reason that grumpy old Yahweh refused Eve to eat of the tree of knowledge. With insight she saw another
possibility, an alternative path, and she took destiny into her own hands. The story of The Female Of The Species
and her liberation from a conformist existence, you can dive deeper into on your own. I confine myself to
draw the following conclusion; it's no wonder Eden's decaying when Eva is busy building castles in the air with Lucifer.
The album was produced by Tore Stjerna in Necromorbus Studio, thus I don't have to tell you that
Nachtlieder's second blasphemous crusade sounds diabolical. Even the dynamics is more than all right.
Very good black metal, pure and simple. The cover is not quite in style with the music. It probably goes with the lyrics.
That it makes me think of the evil queen who is out in the woods to poison Snow White is a silly digression. It is the
musical that matters, and The Female Of The Species grows a bit for each spin, into a very strong album.
Metal Scrap Records, 07.12.15
The Polish duo with the somewhat controversial name were located in Ireland and Norway respectively when the recording
of the début started last year.
The music is a solid hybrid, where death metal is flanked by elements from grind core, thrash and symphonic black metal
et al. Technical, melodic, progressive, aggressive, brutal and rapid ingredients are mixed in a near schizophrenic mixture.
Polish Piotr „Niemiec” Niemczewski, vocalist and guitarist residing in Dublin, formed Pedophile
Priests last year. He was joined by drummer Lucass (Sammat Naur, Mork etc.),
that at least at the time was living in Norway. After the recording of Dark Transgression Of The Soul,
Lucass is however replaced by Krystian „Kruszon” Mistarz (ex-Thy Worshiper).
Through 9 songs the experienced newcomers present 40 minutes of extreme metal with a lyrical journey “through dark corners
of the human mind pervading the universe”.
The guys haven't been entirely lucky with the sound. Unless an unrefined, somewhat murky sonic fist of brutality
has been a first priority, that is. How much is due to the recording and how much is due to later processing is not for me
to say, but the dynamics are extremely low, with only DR4 on the scale. Piotr has taken care of recording
of guitar, bass and vocals, along with mixing and mastering of the album.
With mixing of various musical expression there's always a chance for musical chairs syndrome, where they risk falling
between different stools, or that the guests do not appreciating every chair.
I like the band's mixture, although I think it would have worked better with clearer sound. There's just too many good
details drowning a bit in mud, debris and brick dust when the Poles runs amok.
The vocals vary a great deal. The bellowing, moaning form of half-growl isn't to my liking, but lots of proper growling,
killer guitar work and striking frenetic drums is also found in the ruins. Pedophile Priests at least manages to stand out a bit, especially from other Polish bands, as they
bite of quite much in a hungry and ambitious, but also charmingly unpolished manner.
I do have a taste for their interesting mix ratio, but Dark Transgression Of The Soul can at times be
a bit schizophrenic and inelegant. Parts of the material is very good, while other parts fall between the stools. When
Pedophile Priests get to refining their brew properly, along with a professional producer, it can prove
to be very exciting. This time I shall content to call it “Pretty Good”.
I, Voidhanger Records, 07.12.15
I only have a sporadic relationship to Greek Ayloss and his rather eclectic one man band Spectral
Lore. Via the EP format he allows himself to experiment even beyond the ordinary, and as on the previous EP,
Voyager, he pursues a specific direction. That EP took of into space, but now Ayloss have
landed. In the Middle East.
The duration is entirely 50 minutes but to separate Gnosis from full-lengths,
and their more black approach, this is therefore defined as an EP.
Under the title Gnosis, the Greek word for insight et al., the man had a vision of uniting contrasts, both in the musical
sense - where East meets West, and in the spiritual philosophical implication - where consciousness and subconsciousness,
body and soul, the rational and the emotional/irrational, conflicting cultures and other extremes meet.
The musics way of uniting discordant distortion and harmonious oriental music at least meets quite well in the middle.
The two segments of different musical directions and different origins are intertwined together, and separately.
Three of the songs choose to attack the task by allowing various layers of electric guitars to play oriental-inspired
melodies and droning humming respectively, while synthesizer is helping to pack it all into a soaring atmospheric sphere,
that rumbles like strong winds and thunders as volcanoes around the flight on the flying carpet.
The two remaining songs angles it from a more acoustic perspective. The first of these in a very traditional way, while
the last one clads the music in a layer of uni-sonic synth. With the traditional instruments tamboura and darbuka, these
songs provide associations to both Melechesh and the live album No Quarter by Jimmy Page and
Robert Plant. Ayloss have intentionally refrained from listening to oriental music before recording, but rather to
let the subconscious and consciousness work without external interference. The result, particularly in the latter two
songs, sounds very authentic. To an ignorant Norwegian, that is.
The release is recorded and mixed in Stellar Auditorium, and mastered by Colin Marston. The sound of
the acoustic tracks have a very clear mark that contribute to the credible characteristics, whereas the rather droning
soundscape of the other tracks are a matter of taste. It depends on how much you enjoy buzzing resonance.
The music is basically both moody, atmospheric and hypnotic, while it all seems well carried out. Yet it feels far from
innovative and distinctive. Droning music is in my ears homogeneous by nature, and clean, non-metallic folk music from
the Middle East will do in tiny doses. Still, a combination of droning metal and Middle Eastern ethnic music is better
than the two separate. I would personally have saved my money for the next full length album, but that's just me.
Listen and decide for yourself.
Aeternitas Tenebrarum Musicae Fundamentum, 07.12.15
Five releases today, and five on Friday. If I could manage two a day, I should be able to complete them by Friday.
Whether I have time for other goodies I haven't had time to cover yet is a different matter.
This Australian trio released their first EP in January. The Wretched Ascetic was a pretty exciting thing that promised well.
Here follows a three quarter long hypnotic journey in volatile black landscapes.
Unlike the music, which smells of burned rugged landscapes, the guys have come up with a fairly lush and also ambitious
concept. This deals with the evolution of man towards civilization through agriculture, with reduction in nomadic
existence as a result, and the frightening resurgence of exercise of religious and political power that inevitably
have come with it. Extensive stuff that you can get into yourself.
The base is black, slightly dystopian metal with a progressive touch. The music glides and winds on partly soaring
manner, but with abrupt course changes, as if not to crash with treetops. Different musical approaches are combined
as the most natural thing. Whether components are old news or of recent date, is less important, as long as it works.
And it does. Intricate, swirling, sad, angry, dreamy... From the stripped down acoustic, via the quiet and atmospheric,
to intense lightning bolts. Ur Draugr blends fresh and vital.
Drummer Maelstrom (Wardaemonic et al.) makes a remarkable effort, either his legs are going like pistons or
his arms are doing acrobatic exercises in irregular patterns. Guitars and bass sounds very professional, and creates much
and varied moods. The vocal sounds anguished and angry in exquisite pitch black manners, while background chorus has a
more melancholic feel.
I don't know who's writing the songs and how these take shape, but the song-writing is performed with great flair.
And yes, the sound conveys the band's versatile lunacy in a very capable and fashionable demeanor.
In my opinion, two very exciting progressive extreme metal albums were released almost exactly ten years ago.
Ur Draugr is not nearly as progressive as, and can not be directly compared to, Hidden in the Fog's
Damocles and Ihsahn's The Adversary, but the album contains traces in that direction along
with amongst others darker frenetic furore. With a little more discreet progressive leaning I think this can be
recommended to both extreme-prog-fans and conventional satanic despisers.
How should I make time to hear other records when I'd rather spend the day listening to With Hunger Undying?
Inverse Records, 04.12.15
Finnish Vorna are out with their second album. The sextet counts the customary four plus keyboardist
and additional guitarist. Their style sounds Finnish in every aspect, while the Finns still adds elements from many
different genres into the witch's cauldron.
With doomy mournfulness, black vocal vehemence and a wind of bewitching folk elements from the thousand lakes, beautiful,
atmospheric and melancholic pagan metal are formed.
The six heathens have almost eight years of experience, but not the biggest name in the Finnish scene. With the quality
of the songs of Ei valo minua seuraa, it's likely that more suffering souls in solitude will open their
eyes, or rather ears and hearts, for the band.
Vorna has some harsh elements that keeps its feet planted in the Finnish forests soil. Rather heavy
riffs and grim vocals in particular. Nevertheless, the music is mostly melodic and soaring. Even elements of post-metal
finds its natural place in the myriad, and pleasant soft tones of violin strings gives an indication that the album is
primarily of mild and gentle character.
When the melodious is in focus, as it is here, that precisely aspect will often constitute alpha and omega of whether
the album is regarded as good or not. Many melodic band has gone into the trap of emphasizing all the other details,
and ended up with albums stuffed with sovereign peculiarities, but without the strong melodies to convey the content
and recruit new listeners. Vorna have taken care of the versatile characteristics in their metal. With a nice variety of
instrumental details, whether it's stylish bass or acoustic picking, the foundation is well looked after. Fortunately
the band also have devoted attention to the musics aesthetic façade, the melody lines. Other elements sneak under the
skin while beautiful melodies distracts the listener and keeps his (or her) attention.
There are other recordings, several of them also Finnish, that has even stronger melodies on their conscience. Ergo, I
won't rank this any higher. Still, Vorna is breathing established bands down the neck with their
When the band makes more passages with even stronger, more infectious and contagious hooks, such as the guitar melody lines
36 seconds into opener Harmaudesta, around 1 and 4 minutes into Sieluni varjossa and
the goosebump stuff at about 3.5 and repeated at about 6.5 minutes into the last song Hiljaiset rauniot,
to name a few, I'll rather consider top rating.
The album was mixed by Tuomas Kokko in Electric Fox Studios and mastered by Jaakko Viitalähde
over at Virtalähde Mastering. Delightful, detailed sound makes Ei valo minua seuraa
a highly audible experience.
The official single
Jälkemme and the music video for Yksin can be checked out on YouTube, or streamed here.
Blood Harvest, 04.12.15
From the first second, it seems clear that this is a demo released as an EP. The sound is wrapped in cotton wool.
The men come from California, and released another demo last year. Sorry, EP.
Their death metal is fast and fierce, but not without a rather progressive touch.
“...blackened death metal sprawling with labyrinthine technicality and endless corridors of unexplored realms” says the
press sheet. I won't quibble, but I don't agree entirely either.
I hear death metal with a hint of melodic features, a maze of technical acrobatics and well-worn corridors which
admittedly ain't among of the very most frequented hallways.
It is the melodic finesse along with frequent and abrupt transitions that prevents VoidCeremony from
having to penetrate the crowd of this corridor. It might not be innovative, but it's not overcrowded either.
The four members don't do anything wrong song and execution wise, even if Cyclical Descent of Causality
sounds like it was recorded live in the rehearsal space. Besides, so is the album underneath, and with the technical
aspect that VoidCeremony shows of, that just makes it all the more impressive. The sound has good dynamics,
but is still well below par. For being an EP. For a demo on the other hand, it's more than good enough.
A very good demo will often make for a rather mediocre EP.
The four Americans have been active musicians in various constellations for about five years on average. I look forward
to they have a little bit more experience, and not least, a proper recording budget. VoidCeremony's gonna
kick ass one day. Mark my words!
Svart Records, 04.12.15
We make a genres jumps back to the time when one was the norm, whether we're talking about number of TV-sets,
cars of wives. What, one's still the norm? Darned. Anyway, we also had only one genre to relate to. Now you can guess.
The somewhat home-drawn, yet stylish cover reveals nothing, though.
It should come as no bomb that a new band in the genre are based in Sweden. However, I must admit that I was thinking
England, Germany or the US. Don't ask why.
The music is mostly quite rapid with good drift, yet not totally speedy. It's melodic, but not mushy. The songs have
their own unique character both in terms of melody and rhythmic approach, without varying to much in nature.
For example, some odd beats and tempo changes in a few songs provides a little modern touch that pulls my impression a
clue in proggy direction. To claim that their heavy metal is progressive however, would be to exaggerate. At times a
weak sense of doom can also be glimpsed. Such things are, however, just spice and variety in Night Viper's
pure heavy metal.
The band was formed by singer Sofie Lee Johansson and guitarist Tom Sutton. Sofie's got a crystal clear voice, and is technically proficient, but her relatively gentle vocals
give more vibes of... something I fail to place. She sings well, but maybe a bit proper. It might not sound directly
meticulous, but it lacks a little rocking riotous and reckless feel. Even if she at times allows the vocal cords to
undergo some strains, I still can't help but thinking that the music would appear as rougher with some powerful,
The music is tough, but gains a rather gentle touch partly due to the vocals. I'll just put that on my gender discrimination
quota. All we conservatives male chauvinists have received an annual quota, and the year is almost over...
When it comes to riffing and solos, I think we'll let Tom explain, as his formulation says it all.
The differences in style and influences between the two guitarists, Emil and I, give the album a lot
of texture, I think. If there's a solo that sounds like a cat with its tail on fire, that's me, and if there's something
with a beautiful twirling melody to it, that's probably Emil.
Let me add that such diverse fraternal twin guitars works excellent, and the album has a lot of exquisite guitars.
With Ruben on bass and Jonna on drums, both with a solid effort, the entire band has
The sound is very good and alive, and some suitable effects, like the delightful 70s 3D-effect on the drums 2:35 into
Dagger in Hand, makes for amusing details. The songs are largely recorded live in the studio as far as
possible to capture the vital energy. I feel they have succeeded on this.
Despite a somewhat gentle touch, the Swedes of Night Viper present quite pleasing and lively heavy metal
with all the necessary ingredients from the 70s-80s incorporated. Good sounding, well executed and successful.
I might not get along entirely well with the vocals, but I assert higher significance to the music.
Chaos records, 30.11.15
The quite new Swedish war machine Just Before Dawn is again situated behind enemy lines.
The members are no newcomers, however. Anders Biazzi (Blood Mortized, ex-Amon Amarth), Brynjar Helgetun
The Grotesquery) and Jonny Pettersson (Syn:drom, Wombbath) constitute the hard boiled core,
but as on their two albums, we also find a decent list of guest artists here. Among other well-known Rogga
Johansson on vocals.
Believe it or not, but this is actually the very first Impression with a band that starts with that letter J.
One more band can be found under the Reviews tab, though.
Right before daybreak, just seconds ahead of sunrise. Still dark, yet light seeps in. Mist lies tick over moist soil.
Calmness lies across the landscape as if all sound were physical entities wrapped in morning frost now before the sun
made its entrance and conjured up enough lukewarm rays to thaw stiff joints.
Birds, keeping low profile in the rough terrain, heads under their wings, hardly noticed at all - takes to the wings
one and all as the silence is broken when the first shot of the rapid fire goes off.
With just over 27 minutes it's verging on a fully acceptable full length, but with five songs, EP still feels as an
adequate format. With this all-star team an elaborate description should be redundant, but it can be mentioned that
this death metal is mid-tempo, leaden and lovely, with quite ample melody between the grooves and rifle shots. The
sound is powerful, with decent dynamics (DR7) and it thrusts like the recoil from a firing tank.
Blood Harvest, 04.12.15 Blood Harvest is swarming on the release-front these days, with short obscure EPs. It doesn't bother me as
long as the quality is good. Necrosemen is, as the name suggests, not music your mother would appreciate. If everything else should
fail, at least that's a good sign.
The name Vglns however tells me nothing, but the EP offers four thunderous martial hymns at just over
20 minutes. More value for cold capital assets than the EPs on the bottom of this page.
The band is of newer casting, and hails from Switzerland. The style is rabid, frantic and raging death metal with black
undertones. The sound consists largely of subsonic frequencies, reminiscent of humming engines aboard a warship of
One can certainly ask critical questions about the originality of this brutal bombardment, but the guys have created
a sonic carnage that fans of this metal sub-sub-genre probably will appreciate. I like what I hear, but I hop for a
little bit more substance in the song-material when the band's scheduled to release their first album in 2016.
As the band name suggests this is black metal for the cultivated cultists among you, so dig the shit out of your ears,
ye culprit scum.
The brain behind Kvltist carries the pseudonym MZI, and has worked with song writing
and recording of Catechesis since December two years ago. The recording was completed six months ago.
Don't let a somewhat unrefined cover art fool you, behind this coarse perdition we find thorough black misanthropy.
MZI has in addition to playing all instruments himself done some background vocals.
Several singers have visited and contributed everything from witches wails to epidemic death rattling, but
Amon Xul is the antagonist that take a stand and oppose the “Lord” on a regular basis. Kvltist
acknowledge only Lucifer as the rightful supreme ruler.
The black metal the German duo performs has some Greek vibes and Icelandic undertones and generally a touch of maelstrom.
I don't intend to enumerate a few dozen reference bands, though.
The songs have a ritualistic occult feel where light guitar tones creates eerie moods in semi-melodic manner, above
thunderous roar from the infernal regions.
With bass and drums, the chasm to purgatory opens wide, and the vortex therein is difficult to resist. With bright guitar
tones, swirling around like deceitful demon-charlatans in enticing and seductive female disguise, the victim is allured.
With reduced means to oppose, one is hypnotized to no longer resist. You're done for. Spiralling downwards you go.
After the recording of these 7 songs, Alexander Schiborr has handled mixing, before Patrick W. Engel
mastered the 44 minutes in Temple Of Disharmony. The sound covers the entire frequency spectrum sharp and clear,
without unnecessary hiss and noise, but also without a smooth and polished expression. A good and powerful production
for a ditto musical character. In addition to the music being dynamic in itself, the sound is also fitted with good
dynamic range (DR8). Catechesis can't exactly be said to be very original, but so be it. Kvltist has
delivered a début packed with delightful grim, diabolic and malicious moods, superb instrumentation, rich variety,
thoughtful transitions, juicy morbid vocals and powerful sound. Straight out of the curriculum, all the superlatives
in the book “how to write a completely generic reviews” is applied.
So dig up your blood money, your penny-pinching troglodyte, and buy the best x-mas gift you'll receive this year for yourself.
Nuclear War Now! Productions&
I, Voidhanger Records, 01.12.15
As promised in connection with Black Grail a month ago, we shall now have a look at the split between these quirky Chileans
and French Ysengrin, that I enjoyed more on my first encounter with them five months ago. You see? Sometimes I can
Both bands have approximately fifteen minutes to present their creative antics, and oddity is a general cue.
Ysengrin is the band in the front seat here, and it's not because they go first.
The French call their style “hermetic dark metal”, which they base on the occult teachings of
hermeticism, a religious/philosophical/esoteric tradition that includes elements such as astrology, alchemy
In accordance with the four stages and the four elements of alchemy, this is the first
in a series of four splits from Ysengrin. This one focuses on earth, while three forthcoming splits
with Sartegos, Stargazer and Inconcessus Lux Lucis will focus on water, air and fire.
First up is Ysengrin, in a highly eclectic and avant-garde demeanour. It's probably meant to sound
ritualistic, but rather appear as psychedelic prog/jazz. With peculiar transitions, bizarre sound effects, atmospheric
moods from the madhouse and musical similarities with everything from 16-bit video games via B movies to Faith no
More, I struggle with wrapping my mind around their experimental oddball. Just getting through this short
duration a few times is a challenge and a burden. I think I would have had to approach mother mushroom / padre
psilocybe in order to open the door to the correct perceptions regarding Ysengrin this time around.
Black Grail still don't give me very much, but this time it sounds better the than last time,
and far better than their split partner. The one 15 minutes long track they contribute has a cohesive feel, even
though it offers variety as it constantly wiggles and slithers. Sometimes they stagger around in the night in a heavy
pill intoxication, other times it's stressful in a hectic fashion.
As a night where one lays writhing and turning in an endless confused state between consciousness and dream,
Black Grail deliver a sonic attack on your senses, suitable to create awkward nervous moods.
Just as on the previous occasion, the sound is turned ridiculously low without using the dynamic headroom for anything sensible.
The protagonist becomes too eccentric this time, but Black Grail surprises relatively positive with rather
turbulent anxiety neurosis. Maybe some good will become of these rabid maniacs one day as well(?)
Thus, the ambivalent roles are reversed.
If and which of the pending splits I'll check out, only time can tell for sure, but I sure as hell aim to catch
On upcoming releases, Ysengrin will be replacing rhythm guitar with bass guitar. Exciting or ludicrous?
Chaos Records, 30.11.15
This Dutch duo released their first EP last year and they're now out with their album début.
The guys, both active in Funeral Whore amongst others, plays dirty death metal, drenched in doom. The
result is intense, churning death/doom that stands apart from the typical genre-creations that mourns the dead.
The lyric was inspired by WWII, and especially the clammy grip of terror the most fearsome weapons created.
Both riff and rhythm, and to an even greater extent vocals, is considerably angrier than what you'd associate with
common death/doom. This is death metal with imminent danger of doomsday.
Dank moods, gravel-vocals, droning bass and distorted barbed wires are served with dark, rich and fiery sound. The
expression is utterly delightful. The song material hangs a little bit behind, though. The song structure becomes
a bit monotonous and uneventful. The compositions have mood and hypnotic ability, but not much content and excitement.
Hence a small minus. I still enjoy Aggregat 4 very much!
With slightly stronger song writing the next time around, this new constellation may become totally killer!
Blood Harvest, 30.11.15
Scottish Caecus consists of three men with the intention of creating uncompromising furious black/death
metal, supplemented with lyrics about human beings weak, vulnerable and frail condition.
This three-track EP is their declaration of war.
The guitar resounds like industrial drilling machines in action on a major construction site where the sound is
transported within the supporting walls, and echoes are thrown between bare concrete surfaces. The vocals are deep as
growls, regurgitated from the colon, but jarring as the drill when it hits solid armour reinforcements. The drums, if
indeed they are drums, sounds more like a jackhammer on a tin roof or a solid concrete vibrator in an empty oil tank.
(And yes, there's even more bizarre examples of
milk churn abuse out there).
During these nine and a half minutes the trio makes quite a lot of uproar, but they also manage to squeeze in both
aggression and gloomy moods with a whiff of disgust.
It took some time to penetrate the noise and get used to the percussion, but this bodes well for, or rather it's an
ominous omen of, a future in ruins.
Blood Harvest, 30.11.15
As soon as I've washed away all the blood after the massacre of Chilean bands last month, more Chileans comes knocking
on the door. This quartet, however, has something to offer. That we avoid more bloodshed is good in several ways.
Nothing is better than the music being enjoyable, and rabid Chilean metal heads are of course delightful people.
The quartet from Santiago is out with their first studio recording. A concise but effective EP that runs amok with machetes.
Theurgist's Spell consists of four songs which unfortunately is finished almost before they're started.
The duration of only 13:20 may be an argument to refrain from purchase, but for hardcore black/thrashers, the
joy of supporting a band with strong potential, as well as access to a tough EP which marks the start of a Hellish
raid in the underground, might just weigh heavier.
The band offers fierce and speedy South-American black/thrash with sound and expression that dates from the late 80s/early
90s. Instead of soaking the sound in rich bass and clog all vent to create a compact wall of sound that just sounds annoyingly
intense, they leave the airspace over the primary instruments alone. The dynamics is, in other words, very good, and allows
for thunderous drums and bass, or screaming guitar and vocals that go that little extra mile and creates even louder sound
when it's called for. With a dynamic range of DR9 there's enough room for good sound.
When the beastly frantic vocals also echoes between the walls, I catch myself smiling. Satanically, of course. This is
rabid Chilean extreme metal to my liking.
Drums and bass pounding away, guitars riffs heavily, screaming solos are added. Hell, they even deliver some quite eerie
moods. The songs probably ain't got the most memorable character, and thus it's not on a classic level, but the band is
reckless and energetic to the max. Thus the result is killer. Hellish has what it takes to reach the top... in the underground, and there they will probably thrive.
PS: The song Silent Night has neither silence nor Christmas feel, thankfully.