Blood Harvest, 09.06.17
One and a half weeks ago, we visited French Acedia Mundi. In that connection, I mentioned a Spaniard who calls himself W. who apparently lives in France. At least he also plays in French Atavisma, that I said we would probably return to some horrid day. I guess today is as good a horrid day as any.
This EP is the first release where bass player W. is involved. The band's two remaining members, L. (vocals) and G. (everything else) have been around since the inception approximately four years ago.
Until now, a demo and a split have been launched.
The band plays a dirty and aggressive form of diabolic death/doom. Without sounding remarkably occult, they still borrow a bit from the sepulchral tomb-infested part of often doomy death metal. There's not a whole lot of piety to be traced, even though the music is as stale as organized religion.
The guys offer two songs of around 7 minutes each. They succeed well with infernal moods and ominous eeriness, fronted by deeply guttural articulations, and topped with dark, resounding sound. Both songs wades in semi-hardened concrete, but also have more rapid sequences. On average, The Shapes of Great Nothing is the “fastest” while Amid the Ruins drowns even deeper.
The originality can be discussed. Well, not really. The music ain't innovative. On the Ruins of a Fallen Empire nevertheless creates an atmosphere of its own that justify its existence. With the aforementioned mood-creating aspects, Atavisma creates a short but ghastly seance. That G. delivers good percussion and comes up with some atypical, almost exotic rhythms toward the end of Amid the Ruins, doesn't hurt the impression either. Promising.
Xenokorp, 04.08.17 Putrid Offal is a French death/grindcore band that some years ago re-awoke after about 20 years in hibernation.
The band started up in 1991 and released two demos and three splits before they dissolved in 1994.
In 2013, the pathologists resumed their macabre autopsies, with EP, compilation and full-length dropped the following two years. The EP Anatomy consists of six songs, three of which are new, totalling 16 minutes.
Goregrind and that sorts obviously still doesn't give me anything. Thus, this will just be a purely objective presentation.
First off, two new tracks, Anatomy and Didactic Exploration are presented.
The first two with a drummer of meat and blood since the nineties, as far as I can see.
Then, re-recorded versions of Rotted Flesh and Gurgling Prey taken from the debut Mature Necropsy (2015), where they were originally recorded with a drum-machine. Stéphane Buriez (Loudblast) guests on vocals on these two tracks.
Finally, a live recording of two songs from Putrid Offal's first concert after being resurrected from the dead, recorded at Unideath Fest in Belgium in May 2015. Requiem for a Corpse is not previously released, while Purulent Cold is taken from the debut album.
Anatomy was released yesterday, strictly limited to 500 hand-numbered copies in DigiPak, and in addition digitally.
Annoyingly, I have to send you to SoundCloud to hear the song Anatomy.
Kharon, or Charon in English, is the ferryman who transports the soul of the dead over the rivers Acheron and Styx to Hades' underworld in Greek mythology. As a payment for this service, one would put a coin in the mouth of the deceased. If the dead had no coin to pay with, or wasn't properly buried, he was forced to walk restlessly along the river bank for one hundred years.
That the coin should be laid on the eyelids is a very widespread misunderstanding (that I've presumed true my selves). Something for example the cover of Au-Dessus' End Of Chapter testifies to.
Let's hope Charon also accepts that kind of sacrifice. Come to think of it, I haven't dignified any of the many bodies I've dug down in my backyard with as much as a penny or cent. I would be amazed, by the way, if they'd manage to obtain a coin for payment within the next possibility to cross the rivers - in a hundred years.
Tides of Kharon is a melodic death metal band from Edmonton, about 300 km north of the mecca of winter sports, Calgary in Canada. For some reason neither the band nor their very first release, this 22-minute EP, is added to metal-archives. I better present them than. The brothers Cam (bass), Ryan (guitar) and Justin Rehman (guitar) started the band in 2014, eventually being joined by Garrett Nelson on vocals and Gord Alexander (Tessitura) on drums.
The band is musically inspired by bands like Amon Amarth, At the Gates and early In Flames. Lyrically they are inspired by Greek mythology, and the four songs discuss and reflect around four different mythological stories. The title track Coins Upon Our Eyes, for instance, obviously refer to Charon's work. It must be allowed to ask how someone can worship obviously indifferent gods who passively watches a corrupt servant demanding bribes in the form of a simple coins to help lost souls, without intervening. From Medusa’s Throne, on the other hand, is about how this initially beautiful damsel was punished by having her appearance disfigured among other things, for the sin of having been raped by Poseidon. Long live the gods.
Then it's the music. This consists of rather straightforward melo-death with boring rhythms, rather pestering vocals and melodies that leaves me largely indifferent. The guitars offer hints of more thoughtful melodies, riffs and moods, but all in all, there's next to nothing - if anything - that stick in the mind. Drums and vocals, with a bit too “modern” and monotonous character, are largely damaging to the impression. To be a bit generous, I can say that the band's melody-makers have potential, but that they have to work with the song-writing, get a new vocalist and discipline the drummer to impress this guy.
The band has several songs already written, and a full length is apparently on the horizon. Is that a threat?
The studio work is nearing its completion, while the upcoming album, whose name is not yet made public, will most likely be released in early 2018.
Along with the news, and as an appetizer, Simulacrum is launched at an optional price. A song that bode very well for the next album from Astrophobos.
With barely five minutes to boost expectation, Simulacrum might not hover in duration, but it sure has enough substance to assert itself musically, and to create excitement for the album. Particularly the melodies shine, while the delightful instrumentation and sharp vocals gives life to the composition. As the song is short and you can hear it below, there's no point in describing it in depth.
As on the previous two releases, Fredrik Widigs of Marduk drums in a convincing manner, something I interpret as a positive sign that his session thudding, thumping and clattering will put its mark on the record in its entirety. Marduk's bassist Devo has also played a role here, as he has mixed and mastered, and brought forth clear and euphonious sound.
To start with the title: It is listed as Tome l on Bandcamp, where lower case L looks like capital I. Just as the person who's added the release to Encyclopaedia Metallum, I expect that it's Roman numeral I that Grave Circles intended to refer to.
Who are Grave Circles, than? Well, they are two Ukrainian guys with a few years of experience from other and equally unknown constellations, who play black and unholy metal.
The band was assembled last year, and the three-track EP Tome I is the first release, and a very promising start.
Transfixing Inward the Human Essence opens a bit creepy and somewhat ritual before enraged rhythms and tremolo, initially with sort of an unusual style, takes over. The vocal that soon comes in is rasping, a bit deep and seethingly psychotic. Not completely unlike a degenerate bishop who has finally broken down, lost it and gone completely insane.
Following Gallows as Antidote and Overthrow testifies to a band fond of profane tradition and who shun innovation, but that's got youthful creativity to keep this anti-religious heritage alive with new riffs, killer flow, haughty determination and irreverent zeal.
The band basically consists of guitarist virus and vocalist Baal, but the duo has received assistance from a few others of somewhat more familiar calibre. I'm not going to claim that I know of Eduard Litvyakov from Datura, but the guy has some years of experience behind the drum kit. Olgerd may not ring any bells either, but the guy has been a part of well-known Kroda since 2011. This time, Olgerd lets the keyboard rest in favour of the bass. He has also mixed and mastering Tome I.
With the devil's drive in the shift between hateful moods, pouring roughness and altering pace, the newcomers in Grave Circles delivers 18 minutes with promise of a black future. Click on the Bandcamp logo in the upper right corner of the player to pay an optional price for Tome I.
EDIT 04.08.17: Baal can confirm my suspicion concerning the title alluding to Roman numeral I.
Solitude Productions, 07.07.17 Fvneral Fvkk is a fairly new constellation. The German band was born in 2015, and the EPen The Lecherous Liturgies is the first dark sign of life from the Quartet.
Traditional doom is by no means my thing. Bigger fans of the genre can take my lack of enthusiasm with stoic calm and a few pinches of salt.
The reason for my curiosity on this ensemble is simply that members of Ophis and Crimson Swan (as well as Fäulnis) are said to reside in this orchestra.
The purpose of the band is supposedly to “bring the sacred and angelic atmosphere back to epic doom metal... and then rape it all over”. Personally, I don't think what the band is doing sounds much like violence, but rather like cuddling and caressing. The band of course has its share of melancholy, and some weight is also present, but it never becomes tear-dripping or leadenly heavy. It's also said that the band “combine the pastoral beauty and solemnity of a cathedral (musically) with the infidelity and vileness of a cemetery prostitute (semantically), with lyrics that deal exclusively with the debauchery of the clergy and/or necrophilia in the name of god”.
“His Holiness is a foul pervert”, says Fvneral Fvkk, “and this band serves as vessel of His demented will!” Pure poetry, I say.
The Lecherous Liturgies consists of three songs. Erection In The House Of God opens calmly and softly, with clean vocals and a somewhat restrained melodic touch that gives some grunge vibes. For me, this feels more like a sleeping pill. Underneath The Phelonion has a bit more of mournful melodies to show for. The song is pretty nice, but also a bit monotonous and rather toothless and boring. It's pretty much the same riffs and melody lines that appear and reappear. The last song, Fvkking At Fvnerals, is strangely enough labelled as a bonus track. This one is heavier, and sees the band take a small step towards death/doom. Riffs and rhythms occasionally follow a classical church-, or rather doomsday-bell style, and the gloomy guitar towards the end ain't bad, albeit its too short-lived. The song isn't particularly exciting all in all, but still appeal more. With a somewhat coarser vocal style I wouldn't mind revisiting it.
As the case is, this is not something I will come back to. If I'm looking for tristesse, I'd rather go back to for instance Crimson Swan, who are more sullenly sluggish, heavier and prettier. If I want something even heavier, I might choose to go with Ophis, who offers ominous, gloomy and at times more aggressive metal.
What you decide to do, however, is entirely up to you.