Hellthrasher Productions, 20.01.17 Ecferus hails from Indiana, USA, and consists of one man. Alp did not appear
on the radar of the metal-intelligence before 2015, when he released his first black metal album. Since then, his
reputation has gained several stains in the form of yet another album and half a dozen smaller releases. This one included.
His criminal record, however, only account for Ecferus. He lives an otherwise anonymous life what music
is concerned. Shamaniacal Essence was released independently in November, but now Hellthrasher Productions
have adopted the release.
Ecferus plays a kind of homemade black metal. Just as paranoid survival fanatics produces everything
themselves due to distrust in everyone else and hardly any confidence in the maintenance of a sustainable infrastructure,
Alp hatch his own black vice in the bunker while he drinks his aseptic home-distilled water. Maybe there
was a little mash involved in the process, for conspiracy theories intrudes the mind and delusions of persecution sets in.
The fear of it and them is no reason to sit still as a mouse without breathing. The only sane thing to
do is to dive right into it and create an infernal cacophony that's sure to scare the devil out of 'em.
All this is wild speculation, but it surely sounds as if I'm on to something in my baseless theories. In reality, this
three-dimensional location from which we vainly attempt to escape, Alp is concerned with anthropology,
the study of the human race, and ancient myths. He uses black metal as a primitive and unpredictable channel to induce
a kind of psychosis with the intent to bring about a mental reversed evolution to the primal and animalistic wolf in man.
He has reportedly constantly applied different approaches to the music, but this time, it's the primitive chaotic brutality
that's on the agenda. And what an insane brutality it has become! Talk about channelling the power of souls into a new, or
rather old being. Ecferus really must be said to succeed. The last time I saw Alp, he had transformed into a Homo
ergaster, but he works diligently to regress to Homo habilis. All in all, these 22 minutes can be said to burn as caustic
solutions in your ear canals.
PS: We reserve the right to ignore that any potential incoherent drivel and any similarities with unwarranted and unsavoury
fabrication may prove to be intentional. Gorger's Metal assumes no responsibility for extinct primates well-being or discretion.
Season of Mist, 20.01.17 Vipassi hail from Australia and consists of Ben Boyle, a guitarist with many irons in
the fire, and three members from Ne Obliviscaris. The band released this debut EP on their own a mere year ago,
after ten years of existence. Via Season of Mist it'll now get a wider distribution on circular formats.
With the exception of some sparsely used fair feminine vowels in wordless choirs, Vipassi plays instrumental
metal exclusively. Almost, for in the song Elpis a little dark masculine a cappella vocal without articulate
utterances namely show up too.
The band plays progressive metal, but I choose to call it technical as well, although the focus is not on virtuoso
ostentation. The band's stated goal is “to explore beauty and darkness in all its shades, through melodic and complex
compositions”. It there's one thing extreme metal fans know, it's that darkness has a gargantuan amount of aspects, and
even a triple CD wouldn't cope with accounting for all the nuances of dimness. Even a long EP of half an hour will only
scratch the surface of the tip of the ice berg, and I feel that the quartet do most of their exploration in daylight on
Śūnyatā. But than again, they've never said they intend to cover the entire spectrum in a single jiffy.
The men have succeeded in creating seeking and soaring moods, via a mindset based on song structures, and skilled
technical implementation. That the music ain't fronted by vocal is thus no disadvantage. I suppose the pleasurable and
prominent bass is fretless, although I'm not an expert. The music is not quite as aggressive as Obscura, but
is still partly related, like a gentle little brother.
This isn't entirely my kind of music, but the objective qualities are in safe hands here, so I'll let that determine the
grading. You also know quite well by now where in the terrain the Australians are located, well, in addition to the geographic
aspect, naturally. The music is admittedly not in any way mandatory, so subjectively, I'm a little gentle myself here.
Signal Rex, 20.01.17
Icelandic Endalok released their first demo Englaryk via Signal Rex three months
ago. As you can see, the enthusiasm was rather lacklustre on my part. The band's new EP lasts for almost 24 minutes, enough
time to sink a little deeper into the rabbit hole.
At the time, I wrote that I wasn't going to throw any final judgement on the band with the anonymous members before they
had released at least one album. They still have a way to go, and improvements to implement, if they are to earn
my full and complete recognition.
The band continues where they left off, with atonal and claustrophobic metal with ties to the kaleidoscopic area of black
territories. Parts of the music keeps a decent level, with some hint at a hypnotic effect, while too many sequences appear
more arbitrarily constructed. But what can you expect when the first song is called Formlaust (meaning
Shapeless)? At least, there's not to many sequences of pure, idle and desultory ambience.
The sound on this EP is unfortunately not at all any better than on the demo. On the contrary. The demo had a greater
contrasts between pitched and dark tones, ensuring the music a bit of lively dynamics. “Dim and rumbling” is obviously
the preferred method on Úr Draumheimi Viðurstyggðar. That the sound is dirty and ugly is obviously
okay, but it is also rough, raspy and scratchy, with resounding dissonant reverberation of vocals, drums guitar,
bass and bizarre sound effects that rises and falls in volume. This cacophonous melting pot have too much debris and too
many flaws to function optimally. Especially the track Eldhaf suffers from the sound moving in a jerky
manner, which is a pity, as the track is otherwise narcoticly mesmerizing. I would by the way like to endorse the ominous
moods of Ekkert varir að eilífu especially.
Endalok don't convince me quite yet, but they can with only moderate modification create something that
impresses far more, for they are actually not that far away from it. I'm still hoping for this potential to come through.
For those already sold, the vinyl version of Úr Draumheimi Viðurstyggðar will also feature the
Give Praise Records&Redefining Darkness, 12.01.17
The quintet from Ohio, US began in 2015, and reel of unvarnished death metal. The Infected Crypts is the band's first release. It contains as much as two track and 6.5 minutes,
and the band considers this release to be a demo.
It's just been released on cassette via Caco-Daemon Records and digitally via Give Praise and
Redefining Darkness, while it's scheduled for release on 7" via the two latter on March 17th.
Arise The Infected lasts for 3:33 and begins leaden and maliciously before the tempo is increased a
couple of notches. The music is aggressive and hostile, and adequately brutal, with vibes of Entombed and
Obituary, without similarities becoming annoyingly obvious. The variety is all right, and the guitar solo
equally so. The last half a minute is characterized by a brighter sound with tone colour that sound like the pitched
frequency in overtone singing. Neat. Halls Of The Rotten has a somewhat more mid-tempo Entombed-touch, that also exchange back
and forth between detours into slower eeriness.
All in all, I imagine I might possibly have heard something in this vein before at one time or another. From sarcasm
to seriousness, there's nothing new under the sun here. I nevertheless give the debutants a pat on the back. Isolated,
these are two demolishing songs, and the sound leaves everything in ruins. It's heavy, it's ass-kicking and it's one
hell of an overall expression for being a demo. The song material must however be strengthened on the long and winding
road towards the first album, if the positive attitude shall remain undiminished.
World Terror Committee, 13.01.17
The Italian duo Fides Inversa released their sophomore album Mysterium Tremendum et Fascinans
in 2014. It was awarded an approval, but not without a desire for even stronger material till next time. The
band plays black metal of a fairly intense and chaotic form.
The gentlemen Omega A.D. (Blut aus Nord, Frostmoon Eclipse, ex-Acherontas
and more) and Void A.D. are the generals who pulls the strings and give orders of ongoing acts of war
and hindering of any attempt at ceasefire or peace agreement. One man's death and the other's distress quickly becomes
another cynical ringleaders bread...
Especially when they get commissions on arms sales. The warlords have on this occasion expanded its staff with World
Terror Committee proprietor, Unhold (Absurd) on bass, and Wraath, aka Luctus
from Behexen, One Tail, One Head et al. on vocals. This frees up time and energy for Omega
A.D. and Void A.D. to concentrate on drums and guitar respectively.
The black metal is pummelling, with a balanced ratio between variety and monotony when malicious moods seep out and
embraces the listener. I still don't find the music to be very eventful, albeit not directly uneventful either.
The band's ominous stream of destructive lava is perhaps not particularly original these days, but the two tracks of
almost ten minutes each is still hard not to enjoy. Particularly in the sequences where the pace is most mid-tempo and
the drums resort to a more dynamic approach, Rite of Inverse Incarnation becomes both eerily evocative
and hypnotic. This, of course, don't make the more furious sections superfluous.
The music is a touch more frenetic, with a sharper sting to the sound than last time. A wee bit improvement, in my ears.
This may not be a super strong recommendation, after all, it's only a matter of 20 minutes of music, but it's an approval
nonetheless, and without any really doubt as such.