AGONIA RECORDS, 26.06.15
After a traumatic experience, we are fortunate (in the midst of a terrible tragedy) that Polish Blaze Of Perdition
is still among us, presenting new black metal. They also offer a fairly distinctive musical changes in a rather
After three years under the name Perdition, they changed it to Blaze Of Perdition in 2007.
There's been many mini releases, and two full lengths. The previous, The Hierophant is a juicy black metallic fist
inspired by Scandinavian spirit and vain.
During a tour an early November morning in 2013 however, things went disastrously wrong...
In a car accident, drummer Vizun was badly injured and vocalist S. ended up in a coma.
Bassist Ikaroz (aka 23) died.
The band's future was highly uncertain.
Fortunately, the surviving came away from it with dogged stubbornness. Near Death Revelations is, as
the title suggests, a reflection of having experienced death at first hand, and having lost a friend and partner.
Blaze Of Perdition still thrives in the dark. The guys haven't strayed an inch away from black metal,
but the approach is almost radically changed. One can still trace some Scandinavian influences but here the Poles have
cultivated a mixture that's got more in common with Deathspell Omega and Icelandic bands. Without reminding too
much about anyone in particular. I pick up some vibes of Greek black metal band as well as an aura of those best known for
practising black magic, too.
It never feels plagiarized in any way, as this band blends their breew in a fresh matter. It included quite a lot of
melody, and the monotony that some band show off ain't particularly visible here. Instead we find a rather hefty drift,
frequent transitions and structures without specific repetition. The album is thus more airy than intense in all its
It admittedly doesn't sound directly original either, as the basic ingredients have been used since the dawn of time, or
at least since the nineties. The album is still distinctive enough to sweep such pedantic nitpickings under the carpet.
If I am to quibble at something it must be that the songs could have been stronger. The songs may not have the typically
recognizable character that sticks to the mind, and thus no songs here will be remembered as classic. Unless one has
sniffed enough super glue to make every detail attach to the brain. (What? That's not how it works?) The songs is
as wiggling, introspective, exploring and moody rodents. The album is a journey through strong impressions that may not
adhere permanently, but that can (and should) be relived. The album needs time to show its full potential. It lasts almost
an entire hour, and it can take between five and ten laps before the penultimate details pushes the album from four to five
points. I have a strong feeling that the very last details lies dormant, waiting for further listening sessions.
Each round is like a dark experience that is sensed and enjoyed at the moment.
Just like a dubious form of drug intoxication, its murky universe doesn't exist while sober.
It's only there in the present.
So escape from everyday life and join us, the presence is here and now.
Stay self-restrained and self-denying, ...
or let go, and immerse yourself in utter vile and enigmatic opacity.
FOLTER RECORDS, 26.06.15
When Isvind now releases their fourth album the listener has every reason to be curious about the album
title Gud, or “God”. The sacral goes on in many of the song tittles, which can be translated to e.g. the “The Word”,
“Heaven”, “The Shepherd” and “The Spire”.
Anyone with knowledge of the band is nevertheless far from nervous it's an "un-black" metal band we are dealing with. Isvind began under the moniker Ice Wind (which means exactly the same) back in 1992
but changed their name the following year. The year after the début Dark Waters Stir (1996), the band
In 2002, two of the original members, Goblin (Orcrist) and Arak Draconiiz
(Tsjuder) reestablish the band. After a year Skævvtroll (ex-Sarkom (live) m.m.) and
Slääbrääch (Pantheon I etc.) was also added to the ranks. Intet Lever (Nothing
Lives) was released in 2011 and Daumyra (Death Mire) in 2013.
The latter, I honestly was not even aware off, but I can't even explain myself why I never have immersed in the first
two albums. It's a fucking annoying fact, and that comes from someone that doesn't regret much in life.
(Regrets of your choices (lest they affect others in a regrettable manner) is in most cases irrationally unfruitful,
leading to fuck all but stagnation).
The Oslo-band plays angry black metal, and is one of those who fronts the Norwegian scene in a superb way.
The drums are handled by Antichristian (Tsjuder) this time since Slääbrääch is put
out of action with a broken arm. (Only simplistic wimp music can be played with one arm (though I will not denigrate
Rick Allen's sporty and honourable efforts)).
Since I unfortunately have lousy insight into former exploits I'll rather wisely keep my mouth shut about the band's
development. It's fierce and often swift black metal Isvind reels off. It's quite melodic, even if not
entirely on Windir level. Some sporadically and sparsely used opera like female choir'ish vocals suits the
expression well. While it gives a hint of uniqueness, it can also give vibes of Dismal Euphony. It's still
raw, and entirely in keeping with old Norse traditions. The sound is far from necrotic, but it is not polished either.
With suitably sharp features it absolutely steers clear off pompous overproduction. While avoiding the lavish, they have
ended up with a natural result that sounds real and alive.
Loads of tough and frantic playing, as well as a plethora of surprising elements and parts keeps the interest well alive.
Although not absolutely everything is as exciting, a lot of divergence can be traced. The band is solid, and has the ability
to create black metal with soul and as much character one dares hope for within a strictly defined and orthodox pigeonhole.
With head held high in satanic pride, these men fire of riffs, blast beats and grater-vocals to alternating moods. With
arrogant assertiveness they fluctuate effortlessly between smoldering dejected and melancholic bitterness, dreamy passages
with melodic majesty and bright, burning hateful resentment in boundless frenetic rage.
I was unsure what lay behind the title “God”. Was there a concept or some sort of leitmotif? I don't do interviews, but
curiosity forced me to fire off an inquisitive explanation. I got my clarification without having to resort to the favourite
methodology of the cleric: sadistic torture.
“The last three our records have just become concept albums. It started with Intet Lever in 2011, and
after that it has somehow just been a thing that has stuck to us. Working titles has become concepts. It is sometimes
easier towrite when you know approximately what to write about. Inspiration for this album came from the Old Testament,
and it's a lot of sick shit to deal with right there. I've kind of just written about things that sound harsh, but that
is ripped straight out of the book.”
I have vacillated widely between grade 4 and 5 the last few days, but a last round at blasting volume in sacral solitary
isolation in the early witching hour flicks this piece of damnation over in the elitist series.
In addition to killer metal there are numerous clever details around.
The blissfully start of Flommen (The Flooding), the delightful melodic foundation in Ordet
(The Word), and the cunning clean vocals with what in English means "find your salvation ..." hahaha... sick fucking bastards >:) Himmelen (Heaven) is uncompromisingly ruthless, but the reckless charm breaks slightly apart in exchange for
rough drift, profanely mocking them queer cherubs. Dåren (The fool) could quickly end up in the same sense,
but it includes both black'n'roll and sogna-metal (Windir, Vreid, Ulcus (Molle), Cor Scorpii etc.) and comes away with
coherent diversity. Tronen (The Throne) desecrates our heavenly great-great-great-great-great-great.....grandfather
with ominous frenzy and especially furious vocals, but also offers interesting guitar lines, rhythms and galloping earthquake from
four strings. The sacrilegious way the vocals spit out the words in Boken (The Book) bespeaks a deep inherent
contempt for the gospel of the outdated papyrus's, with all that its manipulative interpretations spread by egocentric,
demagogic agitator bastards has infected and poisoned our society.
With the term “speed kills” in mind, Giften (The Poison) steps the accelerator through the floor. A good,
typical aggressive black metal song that is very tough right there and then, but that probably won't be remembered significantly
in the long run. Hyrden (The Shepherd) offers melodies, fierce vocals, thunder-percussion, female vocals from
milkmaids with viking helmets and church bells in a good mix between frenetic pace and head rocking mid-tempo pace. Very exciting?
No, but very cool. Spiret (The Spire/Steeple) surpasses the majority with its initial dystopian mood. It ends off
melodic, but don't jump to erroneous conclusions; this is a cynical bastard. When the bells chimes for the last time, this
anti-religious service is over, and the coffin is carried to unholy soil by black-clad people with inverted crosses twinkling in
Many a contemporary release of Norwegian black metal is rather deplorable, but as long as bands like Isvind is
aware of their origin and responsibility, and keep the torches lit, I am proud to state that my sparsely populated land still
reigns dominantly on its throne, even if the competition is fierce (which is a good thing, by the way).
My fellow missionaries, spread The Word, or in Norwegian:
Prosthetic Records, 16.06.15
The instrumental Arizona duo with the Norwegian-sounding name is out with their second album. The listener's got 54
comfortable minutes awaiting. Free from standstill moments, and with a seemingly rich arsenal of inspirations. Each and
every songs is long. With five songs, that means an average of nearly 11 minutes per song.
Putting Temple in a single cubicle would be rather misleading, although post-[assorted]metal constitutes
a majority in the expression itself.
There's not much to tell about the band. Rich (drums) and Ryan (guitar, bass and
keyboards) comes from Phoenix, and started Tempel (or Temple as they called themselves
during the first ten years) in 2003. They released their début independently in autumn 2012. The band was picked up by
Prosthetic Records, and the album was re-released in January 2014. In connection with that, I wrote some
positively charged words about the band's début:
[...] Instrumental Metal with a foundation of doom, death and black metal with a progressive touch and a sprinkle of post/funeral.
It's slower than ordinary black metal, but faster than doom. The exceptions are segments of post-black as well as the fourth track,
which has a more funeral-istic touch. The whole thing is quite melodic, with good variation, and it's got good sound and descent
punch. The album seems killer!
You must pretty much need to hear this for yourself. Stream the entire album here..
Ps: The first track's got the most black metallic force.
On the Steps of the Temple was a very pleasant surprise, and thus I just had to write a review of the
Americans second piece of art.
The band claim they have succeeded in becoming both heavier and more melodic side that time. I somewhat agree to that,
but in my ears it is hardly necessary to attempt to outdo themselves, simply providing new and good songs will do. Tempel engages in instrumental music. For instrumental bands, it is almost imperative to strive for
variation and avoid repetition. There is no singer that changes his expression, requiring room to express the lyrics
or distract the listener's attention away from the musical aspect.
These two observant gentlemen is obviously aware of this. They feel they have succeeded in creating an album with
constant movement and progression, and I happily agree. The music is moving steadily ahead, but not with a clinically
schizophrenic and incomprehensible character. The men doesn't exaggerate, but rather dwell in suitably mannered doses
on the various passages. As in a rich flora, diversity just flows naturally.
For me and you The Moon Lit Our Path appears as rather quiet and soaring, the expression still has an
intensity that your grandmother wouldn't comprehend and appreciate.
The album opens playfully with the albums shortest song, “just” 8.5 minutes long Carvings in the Door.
This includes, amongst others, heavy rhythms and a tad sludgy chugga-chugga riffs in moderate manner, coupled with
progressive transitions. Then follows the title track, with soaring moods. Hard-hitting rhythms ensures that it keeps
both feet on the ground, rather than soaring into the skies in atmospheric exhilaration.
The albums longest song Descending into the Labyrinth open fairly dark and melancholic, but also a bit
sardonic and devilish. The song's early stages could have been a natural passage from a song by Shining. It
naturally shifts and changes many times during its 12:42. Insanely good drift and large amounts of marvellously wonderful
guitar playing are among the ingredients. Tomb of the Ancients starts with an initial maneuver of Spanish-influenced acoustic guitars and piano with
partly western-like associations, before even more amazing guitar work takes over, yet again. Many transitions later the
album is concluded by Dawn Breaks over the Ruins. This begins in ballad-like landscape before
Alcest-approaches take on the main lead. These are in turn replaced by long, delicious passages of delightful guitars.
This is of course only a very brief summary to give a microscopic impression of the musical landscape. The music can
however hardly be described. Its progressive labyrinths, its smooth transitions between introverted post-metallic shyness,
mesmerizing and hypnotic Pink Floyd moods, otherworldly guitar-based Somewhere In Time atmospheres or
darker, more sinister and aggressive parts must be heard and felt.
This requires some patience. The album might not occur as a great classic at first listen, but it grows tremendously.
This is music with the potential to appeal to many. If extreme metal is your (only) thing, you can probably steer clear,
but if you are fond of musical quality is generall, I recommended a deep dive into Tempel's pleasurable
world. Please, as I said, prepare to spend some time with it to let the music sink in. The Moon Lit Our Path shows a remarkable effort from a clearly enthusiastic band. The gift of composing
and performing five long, dreamy and instrumental compositions without the slightest sign of stagnation is not
granted upon just about anybody!
AMPUTATED VEIN RECORDS,09.06.15
Polish death metal has a good and highly deserved reputation. Disloyal stands out a bit in this assembly,
but not necessarily in a negative sense.
The band is new to me, but their history actually stretches all the way back to 1997. The bands accompanying bio is long,
but contains no surprises. After x number of line-up changes the quartet's got one original member, and the band is now
out with their fourth album.
The reason why Disloyal ain't directly comparable with their countrymen is that they differ somewhat
from the traditional recipe. I can't comment on their earlier material, but Godless blends death metal
with quite technical attributes.
Disloyal's riffs, parts and expression is occasionally volatile in the sense that certain sequences
emerge and evaporate quickly. If you visualize the flow of songs from various bands as flexible time-lines, many will
advance in a single direction or in circles and loops with repetitions and recurrent segments. Disloyal's
fictional “song-thread” is like rusty steel wires that meanders and bends with an occasional kink, unevenly distributed
and in all kinds of different angles. Eclectic and unpredictable, but still coherent. Thus they keep a safe distance
from the extremes; a patchwork of arbitrary pieces from different puzzles put together with hammer and tape.
Disloyal's death metal appears at first listen as rather brutal. Upon closer inspection this death metal
isn't unusually brutal. It's probably the massive sound and the abrupt and quirky transitions that get the music to seem
that way. The primary basis is rather to be found somewhere in between Vader (speed and punch) and
Morbid Angel (groove and howling, psychedelic solos).
The technical aspect is competently executed, and fortunately far from exaggerated. Both controlled segments and frenetic
whims in the manner of Soreption (etcetera) spices up the songs in fittingly quantities. Even with a few strong
To summarize and conclude. Disloyal offers intro plus nine tracks, totalling 44 minutes. Although there are some sequences that
doesn't flow just as good through my ear canal, Godless mostly delivers rapid, vigorous, blazing and
killer death metal. Packed with meat hooks of technicality, industrialism, brutality and furious guitar playing.
Despite so many diverse musical inputs mixed together, the balance is nevertheless well taken care of and the progress
in the tunes flows with pretty good continuity.
The needle tilts for a while between strong 4 and weak 5 before the weighing scale stops at the latter.
The band has at least one thing in common with Poland's more famous death metal-acts; Quality!
SOULSELLER RECORDS, 08.06.15 Gorgoroth is finally back.
If one disregards the new recording of Under the Sign of Hell, barely 3.5 years ago there's more than
5.5 years since the last album release by Infernus & Co.
In the unlikely event, however, that one would see Under the Sign of Hell 2011 as a proper album,
this would become Gorgoroth s tenth full-length album since its inception in 1992.
The band's checkered past is a long and well known story to most people, but the current line-up may at least be presented.
Guitarist and main man Infernus is obvious. Bassist Bøddel (eks-Obituary) and
drummer Tomas Asklund (Dawn, ex-Dissection, ex-Dark Funeral) have both done
duties since Quantos Possunt... (2009). At the same album the band's second vocalist Pest returned.
However, he is out of the picture again. New man behind the microphone is Serbian Atterigner (Triumfall).
In addition, Typhos (ex-Dark Funeral, ex-Funeral Mist) has contributed lead guitar on the
song Rage, while Chris Cannella (Autumn's End) and Fabio Sperandio (ex-
Ophiolatry) has both added lead guitars to Burn in His Light.
8 songs in just over half an hour is a familiar formula in Gorgoroth's discography. A suitable time which
makes an additional round in the player tempting. Another aspect that makes it tempting to press play after
Awakening finishes the album is the quality on Instinctus Bestialis.
The album is in my ears both better and blacker than its predecessor Quantos.... Stylistically it has
more in common with Twilight... (2003) and Ad Majorem... (2006), but I'm not going to
exaggerate these comparisons. Instinctus Bestialis has as mentioned eight-tracks, and all are rock solid.
The album stands very well on its own feet, and construct a new chapter in this tnbm-saga.
Even the sound smells of sulphur. The dynamic range in the sound is unfortunately low, which becomes clear at very high
volume, but the sound is nevertheless very good, dark, thick and powerful. The album was recorded in Monolith Studio
with drummer Asklund as sound engineer, mixer and co-producer along with Infernus.
The album was mastered by these two together with Mats Lindfors in Cuttingroom Studios.
Even if the album isn't Gorgoroth's absolute strongest, it nevertheless consists of strong songs with
superb instrumentation. Each song is as profane earthquakes, sacrilegious lightnings and blasphemous volcanic eruptions.
Even though every member makes a respectable efforts, I must mention the newcomer Atterigner. He's got
excellent black vocals, and I hope he remains for a long time in Gorgoroth!
The rightful ruler, Satan, isn't mentioned fully as often as on Secht (Dirge Rep/Vrangsinn)'s
début, but there is no doubt that Gorgoroth still worship Satan.
It is simply brutal when lyrical lines such as Praise Satan/Hail Satan hammers out during
Ad Omnipotens Aeterna Diabolus. Naturally this gives some associations to the title track on
Incipit Satan (2000).
Instinctus Bestialis is somewhere between four and five on my dice, but leans more towards the latter.
I can not find any official stream. No unofficial either for that matter, but it's hardly long before such is released.
The album is just around the corner anyway.
EDIT 08.06.15: Ad Omnipotens Aeterne Diabolus can be streamed on
INDEPENDENT RELEASE, 17.03.15
It's disappointingly long since the last full-blooded review in my courtyard. The time I have had at my disposal during
the 17 days that have passed since last review have been spent writing 25 Impressions, and time flies by.
Those who observe the metaliverse closely has probably taken notice of this release. For everyone else, sharpen your ears. Alkaloid consists of five men whose merits are impeccable. I recently lashed out against the term “super-group”
in an Impression of an otherwise serviceable album from Tau Cross, thus I've hereby rendered that phrase useless
Whether The Malkuth Grimoire should be defined as "self-financed" or "crowd funded" others can discuss.
This début in any case became a reality due to a fund-raiser in the form of a successful crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo,
whose aim was € 12,000, and the final result was € 19,119.
Labels wants to label their band (isn't it in the very nature of the word Label?) but Alkaloid wanted
complete musical freedom with no restrictions or limits. They sought thereby to avoid pigeonholing from labels. I will
be careful with categorize myself, so that I don't appear as irreverent towards this desire.
In a negative review of
Lord Dying I actually used a link to the streaming of the opening track Carbon Phrases as an
example of “music that is difficult to define, yet very exciting.”
A little bit of genre-classification is hard to avoid in a tentative description of this work, but first, a presentation round.
Let's recite rapidly... Linus Klausenitzer (Obscura, Noneuclid etc.) on bass. Hannes Grossmann (Hannes Grossmann, Nader Sadek (live), ex-Necrophagist,
ex-Obscura m.m.) on drums. Christian Münzner (Christian Muenzner, Spawn of Possession, ex-Necrophagist,
ex-Obscura m.m.) on guitar. Danny Tunker (Aborted, ex-God Dethroned, ex-Prostitute Disfigurement,
ex-Spawn of Poss... (live)...) on guitar. Morean (Dark Fortress and Noneuclid and so forth) on vocals and guitar.
A bunch of fucking greenhorns right there. Hannes Grossmann has been responsible for the recording in Sound-of-Mordor Studio and V.Santura
has been in the kitchen running the mixmaster over at Woodshed Studio. The sound is superb despite disappointing
low dynamic range.
With all historical data and specification out of the way...
Let's take a tour of what really matters.
The Malkuth Grimoire kicks off extremely strong, with great progressive percussion. The song also has an
utterly brilliant progressive structure, where different instrumental styles comes as hailstorming pearls on a string. If
I would dare to put Alkaloid in some cubicle, only to better explain what we are facing of course, I would perhaps have said
something like progressive death metal with technical components and melodic finesse.
Whatever words I would use and no matter how I had formulated them, I would have had difficulty communicating the essence of
Alkaloid using only a sentence. Here at Gorger's Metal I can write as much as I want, but
still I can never give a good explanation of what you have in store if you for some reason haven't heard this album.
I like the opening best. After the first two pearls totalling nearly 19 minutes, the track appropriately named Cthulhu
emerges from the depths. So utterly heavy, so entirely dark, so extremely powerful.
After a quick and technical little track that I never get exceeding fond of, comes Orgonism which with its 8.5
minutes is a partly calm, but also frantic and pouring rascal full of contradictions.
It is time for tetralogy (aka quadrilogy), as the fourfold Dyson Sphere represents a psychedelic quarter just
over halfway through the album. Fans of qualitative oddity should be able to find the ear's fabled erogenous zone using this
one. (Okay, there's no secret G-clef spot).
After this the brain begins to overheat from absorbing impressions, and the next song feels pretty much like more of already
presented material. A short break in the form of the instrumental C-Value Enigma (2:47) than follows. Some
people will this this technical wild titbit, but I hate it. It destroys all flow, and it has given me countless nightmares
while sleeping on the couch with The Malkuth Grimoire playing on the stereo during the past two months!
Finally Funeral for a Continent wrap up this album. It's a short clip of just above 12 minutes.
If you're any good at mathematics you're likely to have reached the conclusion that this is no ordinary 40 minutes plus album. Alkaloid detonates with 73 minutes on their début, and although I think 82% (1 hour) of this is awesome,
it simply becomes too much to pull a sixer out of the hat.
Purely subjective, I think they could have saved Alter Magnitudes, The Malkuth Grimoire
and C-Value Enigma for a Japanese release, as bonus tracks.
Yet. This quartet consists of immensely talented people that have composed about an hour of superb music with hefty diversity.
I can easily live with the extra quarter of excessive “fillers”.
PS 07.12.17: Re-released on vinyl through Season of Mist February 09th 2018.
PROPHECY PRODUCTIONS, 08.05.15
I have an ambivalent relationship with eccentric music. Some of it becomes too farfetched for my discerning (or
picky) taste, but sometimes it's good to escape from all generic, genre-tied mediocrity. A stay in a world where
genres and limitations do not exist may sometimes be purely therapeutic.
Nearly ten years after Sideshow Symphonies we can finally rejoice over new material from my home
country's most psychedelic assembly, in the form of five sovereign artists with collective astral visions.
We wish Norway's court jester Arcturus welcome back to the circus manège.
When the album opens in a peppy way, one can quickly conclude with both very good sound and ingenious musical diversity.
When it comes to sound, there can be some intense passages, like when the shrieks at its most intence in Angst
and Pale, where the soundscape may seem a bit tiring. The sound is still clear and strong,
with good dynamics and very little clipping. The album was recorded in Mølla over several years (2010-2014),
which has been possible since Møllarn himself is the band's guitarist. He and the rest of the band has
thus been able to take their time and take care of the entire production line themselves. This has also resulted in a
highly refined product.
The album begins as a rave party. Techno/trance tones is virtually led by lasers, strobes and people with strange clothes
handing out fluoride tablets without taste. (Why do I feel so strange?). But it will not be long before the music changes
character. Arcturus is always on the move in a new direction, like a puppy that ever gets the scent of
something new and exciting. During the first three songs the listener is pulled in different directions, but the band
suits a moderately schizophrenic expressions. Their music is primarily intended for those with open minds.
Warp offers more techno, which also Demon and others are doing. The former has a little
touch of Borknagars most experimental side at the intersection with Covenant. The latter song also offers
depressed moods. As self-appointed hobby psychologist I give Arcturian the diagnosis manic depressive.
It exchanges frequently between bubbly and playful carnival-festivities and sorrowful despair and emptiness. But don't
misunderstand, this is a vital and avant-garde emotional roller coaster.
I imagine that the lyrics could have provided a little deeper insight into their twisted universe, but I don't have them,
and even if I'm Norwegian I can only pick up fragments of words and sentences.
A couple of songs are of the calm sort. The Journey brings quiet atmosphere and a bit poppy touch with
long and slow bow gestures on the violins. It has some vibes I'm simply unable to place. Subsequent Archer
continues this dreamy atmosphere. There is no denying that this gives a certain Pink Floyd associations.
The mentioned violins are fairly frequently used on the album, and fits nicely into its expression.
Barely a few minutes into the final track Bane it's easy to envision the entry of jesters, much like on
Shipwrecked in Oslo (DVD 2006). Simen's accompanying vocals has a rater strange rhythm
and style that's got a moderate resemblance to melodic rap. Stylish as long as it is not overdone, and it isn't. A real
classy part where the gypsy fiddle really create flow and liveliness. My feet insist on taking a dance. Fortunately my
head's got the wits to stop the foolishness before things get out of hand.
The song also changes direction quite quickly. In fact it changes tracks both often and plentifully.
Arcturus is undoubtedly a star-studded team. Aforementioned ICS Vortex (Solo Band, Borknagar
and former Dimmu Borgir) has a completely formidable character. Clean vocals rarely comes any closer to yodelling
than the articulated waves this man discharges. The man's intonation can alternate between the strangest styles in bare seconds.
Genius. Few vocalists leave as much signature on the songs they put vocals on as he does. He also takes care of keyboards on
Guitarist Møllarn have allegedly been involved in Arcturus for 20 years (if we overlook the
years from 2007-2011 where the band was hibernating) but is strangely enough not listed on Aspera Hiems Symfonia
(1996). Moreover, he had a supporting role on Ulvers Themes from William Blake's .... On Arcturian
he has also been given responsibility for tuba horn in the first track The Arcturian Sign, as well as keyboards
and backing vocals on this and some other songs.
Main keyboardist however is Steinar Sverd Johnsen, primarily known from Covenant/The Kovenant, but also
from a number of live/guest appearances including Emperor and Satyricon. He also takes his share of guitar-responsibility
on the album.
The bass is handled by Skoll, with experience from Ulver and Ved Buens Ende.
The drumsticks have found an unsafe haven where they probably wear out like toothpicks in Hellhammer's grasp.
On The Journey a triple vocals is bobbing somewhere in the sound. This "choir" consists of Vortex,
Skoll and Hellhammer.
Each song has a multitude of passages. Some glide imperceptibly and gradually, partly via overlap, while others have more
abrupt but smart and suitably transitions. One can definitely call it seamless. The songs are good, with melodies that
gradually digs its claw into the listener. I have not mentioned all the songs, nor chronological. I will not go into detail
regarding all the antics that emerge either. It would not have been possible. As expected, there's high standard in every aspect. Arcturus probably became a big name as much despite of as because of their dissolute eclectic mixture. Although
I personally haven't followed the band since the beginning, I consider it very likely that the bands profiled members have
contributed to the band's reputation and esteem. When people have been following the band through four, now five albums, it is
nevertheless because folks acknowledges qualitative variation, and appreciates a psychedelic escapism occasionally.
Arcturus sounds unmistakably Arcturus. Here are elements of the back-catalogue, but the album
appears in no way plagiarized or dated. The band offers madness set into system. Not too surreal, but rather lively, playful,
proggy and spaced. A remarkable band with a cool album to match the discography.
It's Friday and Circus Arcturus is in town, so what are you waiting for?
NATURMACHT PRODUCTIONS, 22.03.15
The Bergen-based one-man band Svadilfare is out with his third album. Ildsint Svartmunin
(Gandreid, Blodstaur) is the man at the helm. He started his project ten years ago,
but left the project on hold for a while. Five years ago he took the leap, so to speak, and the world was soon
taking part in his works. on Krig i Kunst (War in/at Art) he's performed black metal
with elements from the folk/viking camp. Or is atmospheric pagan metal? Ildsint doesn't tread on
beaten tracks, but rather create their own paths in the forests, fields and other lands of rugged terrain.
The guitar doesn't have that sharp cold sound that you'd associate with good old fierce Norwegian black metal. The
fact that Ildsint doesn't offer clean guitar tones to enhance the folk-characteristics either, but
rather resort to guitar with a slightly rounded distortion, placing Svadilfare in the outskirts of
the side of the map.
The vocals ain't as sharp, powerful or rasping either. It's got a more hoarser approach. more introverted and partly
discouraged in a sense. The vocal style vary somewhat on the album, and song with the sensation of chanting choir is
scattered out across the record.
A familiar voice appears on Den Er Slaktet, Men Ei Foraktet (It Is Slaughtered, But Not
Despised). Here Ildsint's accomplice from his two other bands, Dáublódir contributed
with his distinctive frantic vocals.
The lyrics follow a breadcrumb trail (or leitmotif), about how nature will do away with us if we continue to
destroy the planet. The sound also mostly works as a common thread (or sack), where words like floating
and dreamy feels appropriate to use, while words like discouragement and loss can be
used to describe the mood.
The songs stand fairly well apart. Most tracks have parts sticking out, but songs like Naar Det Indre
Svartner (As The Inner Blackens - with its good and clear, yet somewhat repetitive melody),
Total Hjernevask (Total Brainwash - with its belligerent temperament), Den Er
Slaktet... (fierce and varied) and Soga (The Saga - With a feel of hymn/anthem
and a stylish, original ending) sticks out and appeals the most. Incorporating various styles may even give a
slight sense of the album going in to many directions.
Nevertheless, the expression on War in Art appear to a greater extent as rather homogeneous. This
may be explained by a rather modest melodic touch. The melodies are there, albeit with a minimalistic feel. They
appear over time, but never becomes particularly prominent.
The album lasts for 65 minutes, which is more than the material manages to live up to. Songs like Fordoemt
Av Den Svake Normal (Condemned By The Weak Normal) and Evig Motstand I Eit Dyrerike
(Eternal Resistance In An Animal Kingdom) is a bit too anonymous and identical, and might as well have been weeded
away. Also Despair, Depression And Contempt has a rather mediocre touch. Liket i Svartediket
(The Body in Svartediket (a lake in Bergen, and a source of urban legends)) work best in the first half,
while Foedt I Feil Tid (Born In the Wrong Era) have good ideas in the second half. Both are otherwise
Songs like Alt Vinden Stryker (everything the wind stroke/caress), and All Religion Must Die
has good elements, but appears rather unredeemed, as they have room for improvement in both sound and structure.
The sound may create distinctiveness, but the undefined production has a cheap feel, and I bet the only studio this
product has seen is in the form of software.
It is easy to become blinded by one's own work, and thus a neutral (and perhaps critical) producer can do wonders.
Krig i Kunst offers many good ideas, and to some extent a welcome unique character, but unfortunately
it falls short. I can live with the slightly direction-less juncture, but the song spirits could favourably have had a
more distinct character. It lacks a bit in content, but more on sound quality. The album is packed into a sound-scape
that I personally don't consider neither fish nor fowl. The sound is not clear and pleasant, nor icy or raw. By putting
the best ideas from the weakest tracks into the strongest song, one could for example end up with 40 minutes of a more
solid and mature nature.
Not (half) bad, not half-hearted, but still rather halfway.
We all have different tastes (although my taste is infallible, flawless and impeccable), so press play below,
delve in it's meditative landscape for an hour, interpret, evaluate and decide for yourself.
THIRD EYE TEMPLE(CD),
ESSENTIAL PURIFICATION RECORD(MC) og
GODZ OV WAR PRODUCTIONS(LP), 14.04.15
Débuting Outre is yet again a band that follows the legacy of Deathspell Omega, and
performs their black tones with an infernal, perverted, claustrophobic and thunderous twist.
So unimaginably many follow on trampled paths that one might as well pave the trail and put up a bloody mall where
it ends. Good bands become mediocre in the crowd. But as a Luciferian lodestar these five Poles clearly shows that
original and exceptional quality is still a possibility.
Outre's short story stretches back to 2012, and they gave signs of life death the very
next year in the form an EP and a split with Thaw.
The four permanent members, drummer, bassist and two guitarists, have versatile experience from a wide range of
genres. We're talking brutal, melodic, industrial, avant-garde and progressive black- and death metal, grindcore,
goth, folk and sludge/doom/drone. The vocals on the album is arranged and handled by Stawrogin
(from Polish Massemord etc.), which isn't a permanent member, but is part of the live crew.
I've probably written about similar forms of frantic and chaotic black eruptions dozens of times. Dozens of good
releases has seen the light of the crescent moon in recent years, but very few stand out. Outre
succeed at first attempt where others drown in the turmoil of hundreds of equally mediocre band.
The Poles music is characterized by its members diverse backgrounds, as Outre has a multi-faceted
touch themselves. The rhythms go from gallop to full stop, before proceeding with unabated vigour in different
degrees of vital rhythms and paces. The guitar and bass has a number of swirling melodies that grabs and spins the
listener like a tornado before spitting you out, dizzy, baffled and beaten after endt séance. The vocals lends
animalistic grunts and low frequencies from the greats old ones, such as
as Attila og Tom G. Warrior, but also displays cleaner parts. I was convinced that the album had
two singers until the contrary was proved. The vocals are a mosaic of barbed wire, broken glass, fists, detached
molars and traumatic memories. The music is a turbulent puzzle of demonic anger and evil manifested spirits.
Both musicians and vocalist has delivered performance at a level of rank on Ghost Chants. Solid
variety, strong melodies, brutality and ravishing strokes. It just reeks of musical integrity. With just below 37
minutes of playtime these guys seems to have understood the importance of weeding out the chaff. Here only the
wheat tenderloin remains.
The album was recorded in No Solace and Impressive Arts Studios. As with the new album from
Infernal War, M. (Mgła and Kriegsmaschine) is responsible for mixing and
mastering. The sound blends perfectly with the music and just feel on target, while also retaining good dynamic
The music is composed by guitarist Damian Igielski. Initially he handled all instrumentation,
while the other original members dealt with vocals. The vocalist left the band last year. Other than that, the
only replacement has been one bass-player. New man of four strings, Marcin Lth Radecki has
actually written all the lyrics. Fear, despair, loneliness, anxiety, depression and pessimism are among the cosy
themes he touches upon.
Ghost Chants is one of the best albums within this dystopian branch of black metal in recent time.
Some minor debris prevents it from reaching all the way to the top, yet the album is on the brink of superiority!
My primary criteria for restraint is that parts and portions of some tracks (especially Shadow
and The Fall) can be somewhat repetitive and drawn-out. But let there be no doubt; Ghost
Chants is an awesome dive into the maelstrom, and a superb début!