Geisterasche Organisation, 19.05.17
Within psychiatry in particular, the International Class-ification of Diseases (ICD) is used to catalogue various disorders. The code F41.0 represents panic disorder of the episodic paroxysmal anxiety type. I.e. recurrent but unpredictable and irregular panic-like anxiety attacks with symptoms such as palpitation, dizziness, a sensation of asphyxiation and surrealism, et al., which in turn often leads to fear of death or losing ones mind.
The Germans who's name is derived from this unpleasant diagnosis, plays, as is only naturally, an uncomfortable moody form of black metal.
The German behind F41.0 is called Hysteriis, and dwells in a number of little known bands in black landscapes. That this is a one-man band comes as a surprise, for after a good handful of spins, nothing reveals that this is not a pure-blooded ensemble. The guy has brought a number of guest artists along, but handles all the strings himself. Tentakel P. from Todtgelichter handles the drums, while the vocal is left to four of Hysteriis' band-mates from the band Kratein.
Those with a more than basic knowledge of German should likely be able to translate the album's title Bürde to burden. Bürde is the band's second album, released ten years after the band's creation. The negative spirit of the album is atmospheric, but far from spiritually high-flying. The album rather offers pessimistic moods of despondency. Bürde has a sensation of dsbm, but has a somewhat stronger fighting spirit for self-preservation than what the most unconsolably resigned bands offers. The German is depressed, but not so down and dispirited that a hint of light can't be traced at the end of the tunnel.
More morbid and anguished black metal exist, but if you are looking for something atmospheric that can give abundant uneasiness without sending you into a downward spirals of suicidal nightmares, Bürde should do the trick. F41.0 is a “professional” one-man band, unlike the many amateur projects deep down in the underground. The mood-full album consists of well-constructed songs, and it's skilfully performed and good sounding. The album lasts for three quarters of an hour, and you'll quickly discover if this is up your alley.
The album is certainly good, albeit not priceless or mandatory.
Les Acteurs De L'Ombre Productions, 19.05.17
The quartet from Lithuania released their first EP in early 2015, but self-titled Au-Dessus wasn't presented until a year later.
By then the drummer had already quit, and I reported that the band was reduced to a trio. The band has got a new skin-whipper and he may already have been in place back then.
In the world of metal, accurate information is not always the easiest to obtain, and the most convenient source of basic information, Encyclopaedia Metallum, is not to be trusted blindly. Details, schmetails.
End Of Chapter is the name of the three-quarter long debut album. This starts with the song VI, as it appears the album is a continuation of the EP. When the album ends with XII : End of Chapter, it probably indicates that no further continuation will follow. Is this the conclusion of a concept? Who knows. The information is, as ever so often in the world of metal, sparse.
The extreme metal the band perform is closer to kaleidoscopic black metal than traditional black metal, while it has a doomy atmosphere that gives a hint of post-black and a somewhat occult whiff. Some have nominated Polish Outre as a reference band, and that's not a dumb choice.
The music has intensity, flow and atmosphere, but best of all; constant variation. Small tonal riff-alterations are almost a chronic phenomenon, while larger transitions occur without expectation. Music of this kind has a touch of sonic chaos theory, and you can never predict exactly what hides behind the next corner.
I'm no longer comfortable writing the shortest reports, based on few listening sessions. With respect for creative artists, more stones should be turned, and albums should get proper time to uncover their growth potential. Nevertheless, it's a damn fact that such takes time and leads to fewer albums through the grinder, while doubling the number of spins don't necessarily double the insight. After only four rounds, I leave the next listening session to you. If you like dynamic black maelstroms, you take the challenge right off the bat. This namely sounds kick-ass, and I suspect that the plot thickens and propagates better in the veins over time.
Independent, 15.05.17 Highland is the name of the band, but no, they're by no means musically related to Skiltron or Saor.
The guys play sturdy black metal in accordance with the nineties and Scandinavia, and are so loyal to the second wave that guessing their origin based on the music would be a hopeless task.
The band consists of three Armenian-Americans living in Los Angeles, and was formed in 2008, a few years after they first tried on speed/thrash for size under the moniker Raze. Meanwhile, more specifically in 2013, they dropped a self-titled EP.
Among those American bands who play true black metal, quality is unfortunately far from granted. But exceptions exist, and perhaps the band's cultural background separates them from like-minded but less outstanding acts. It's pure speculation. Armenia, located between Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia has a turbulent but interesting history, and a rather dubious democratic system. The country is considered the world's oldest, but has been internationally recognized for not much more than 25 years.
The debut only lacks a couple of minutes to reach the hour, which is quite excessive. It would have been enough to give it all for 30-40 minutes, then leaving the listener wanting more. The music is good enough for the band to get away with it, though. When the band don't calm down to enhance its insidious and malignant moods, drummer Michael Semerdjian flooring it anyway. Both Narek Avetisian and Gevork Matevosyan are credited with guitar and vocal cords as weapons, but I suppose the latter is the one who snarl and hiss to the sharp riffs.
The material seen as one is not enormously impressive, but it's still solid stuff. There's a lot of mood and punch, and the best sequences smells rather burnt. As such, again, it's the length that prevents the band from reaching the top (or abyssal bottom), as the duration allows particles of less strong substance to join in. However, the quality is not particularly uneven, and I see no reason not to recommend the album. Loyal to the Nightsky is not only loyal to the nighttime welkin and the genre; it has more than enough rawness, diversity, ideas and proper implementation to earn a deserved nod of recognition.
I'll let the two short songs Abu Sindi and Set Aflame the Path to Zion stand as examples of atmosphere and brute force respectively, although delightfully viscous Nocturnal Deathstrike may quite possibly be a current favourite.
With a bit tighter script, the next release is gonna nail it completely.
I love the way each song below is equipped with its unique illustration, so I present the embedded player with a slightly larger picture than normally.