Dark Descent Records, 24.11.17 Thantifaxath is a Canadian trio that plays a more or less kaleidoscopic form of black metal. The band debuted in 2014, and is now back with an EP consisting of four tracks.
If four songs only just ain't enough to satisfy your perverted needs, know that Void Masquerading as Matter lasts well over half an hour.
For me, however, it becomes a bit shorter, as there's nothing for me in the last track. Everything leading up till the finale, on the other hand, slays.
The first three songs alone clock in at almost half an hour. During these minutes, the listener is thrown down the shaft toward the abyss of hell, after suddenly and brutally having been torn away from the illusion of safety in his existence. A cacophonous chaos occurs, and threatening elements flow in your direction as poltergeists in a typhoon. This is a phonetic nightmare where you fall, and fall, and fall...
After an intense seance, you land bruised and battered. Is it natural to hear a blissful angelic choir at this point? The title track Void Masquerading as Matter is an avant-garde acid-trip on a bit less than eight minutes, which seems to me to be both out of place and worthless.
The first three songs on Void Masquerading as Matter are enough for a recommendation, though.
Odium Records, 30.11.17
Polish Black Altar was born during the profanities of the Witches' Sabbath on Walpurgis Night in 1996, summoned by High Priest Shadow.
One can't let such an occasion as the 21st anniversary pass unheeded, and so this jubilee needed to be celebrated.
Hence, Shadow - creator, driving force, autocrat and monarch in both Black Altar and Odium Records - has conjured up Beastcraft from the dead to celebrate these years devoted to necromantic witchcraft with fanfare.
Shadow operated the band with a series of replacements until 1999. Then the crew stabilized as a trio. After five years, however, Shadow decided to continue the journey alone.
On the song Tophet, following a brief introduction, he is far from lonely, though. He is joined by James Stewart from Vader, V. Priest from Acherontas, Acerbus of Ondskapt, Nihil from Furia and Soroth Northgrove of Beastcraft. The video was filmed in no less than five different countries, and Black Altar's part of the split, titled Winds Ov Decay, ends with an unrecognisable bonus version of the same song, in the form of a techno/electro-remix.
The original version is a resounding, intense and flowing occult ceremony followed by the title track and a cover of Beastcraft's Pentagram Sacrifice, before a short orchestral outro in resounding manners leads the listener on to said Tophet - PreEmptive Strike 0.1.
Black Altar delivers raging extreme alchemy from a sizzling witches' cauldron of profane ingredients, but it's nevertheless Occult Ceremonial Rites, Beastcraft's segment of the split, that appeal most to yours truly.
Traditional Norwegian black metal is never wrong. Beastcraft is history, but the archive doesn't seem to be entirely emptied quite yet. Here are six tracks of limited availability, also known as rarities, i.e. previously unreleased tracks,
live recordings and songs that originate from short releases, which only die-hard fans are likely to own.
After a previously unused intro, Deathcraft and Necromancy follows. This is a killer and atmospheric song with sound that flays the listener like a rusty razor blade. This has never been released and was originally recorded in 2007, before additional patching were done in 2016. Blackwinged Messiah of Blasphemy is another dim and satanic piece. This one is derived from Satanic Norwegian Black Metal (2007), a split with Urgehal. Burnt At His Altar, originally from the first demo, and brought on to the first album, here comes in a live-take from one of the concerts in memory of late Trondr Nefas under the tour title Death is Complete. Resurrection Through Desecration and Churchfires is from a 2007 split. This one together with album-expectant Orcrist, under the title Celebration of Christ's Death. The split ends with the song ...In Thy Glory from the EP by the same name, released in April this year.
Winds Ov Decay / Occult Ceremonial Rites offers 45 minutes of obscure cosiness for dark evenings.
You know if you belong to the target audience.
Independent, 05.11.17 Brotthogg from Trondheim, Norway largely differs from other bands in Nidaros' extreme metal scene. Nor does the band play either hostile black metal or violent death metal of traditional kind. Brotthogg have links to both, but their black/death is more melodic and progressively inclined. Not too much at the expense of aggressiveness, fortunately. Celtus from Subliritum is the masterpiece behind Brotthogg, playing all the instruments himself, while being joined by both Arcan of Subliritum, and Craig from Chton on vocals.
The band is reasonably newly established, though I don't know exactly when. The Last Traveler is their first release, a bit over 20 minutes long EP with four songs. The name has been taken from an old Norwegian word, largely unfamiliar these days, that refers to someone who has to take on the often unpleasant dirty work, but that may also mean an old, dull axe to chop peat and roots.
The style may remind a bit of the style Subliritum has acquired in the past decade, and nowhere more so than on Downfall (2014). The mother band becomes more technical/progressive, though, while Brotthogg is focusing on a slightly more magnificent, high paced, aggressive and straight-for-the-jugulars approach. The trio also has a bit in common with Keep of Kalessin, albeit stripped of the more smooth and clean parts thereof. In addition to the musical expression, that you may have formed a reasonable picture of, the pitched guitars and syntheses provides a slightly medieval, hell, even baroquesk flair, that fits the cover art well.
The music have a killer drive that rush off in full throttle. There are many details a lurking, and of course, these require several spins to come forth. Among these, multi-faceted vocals from two throats can be mentioned. The material in this swirling waltz is of consistent quality, but the propelling flow in The Final Chapter is probably what instinctively creates the strongest immersion.
Subliritum is working on new material on a hobby basis, and it's apparently developing in an even more technical and lethal direction. Brotthogg thus becomes a decent channel for a bit blacker ink on the note sheets. With a bit of luck, we'll hear from Subliritum next year, and hopefully it won't be too long before Brotthogg also returns. For as the rating clearly indicate; This is a more than honourable start.