I, Voidhanger Records, CD: 08.12.17 - LP: 05.02.18 Tongues is a relatively new extreme metal entity from Denmark. The trio released its first EP in 2014, and debuted in full-length format in December.
Now Hreilia is also available on vinyl, and in connection with this, Tongues has earned a short presentation.
As a manifestation of negativity, Tongue paint a black picture. Your life, your reality, is their canvas. With a vibrant, almost physical presence, the music becomes a personification of your inner pessimism.
The Danes play a somewhat peculiar form of black/death with doomy moods of despondency. The eclectic atonality of the riffs, the nervous presence of the drums, and the crass bitterness of the vocals, are influenced by an eccentric soundscape with supplementary resonating timbre. Something that nevertheless feels highly adequate. The trio from Aarhus has a more airy and psychotic expression than their countrymen from Sjælland in Serpents Lair*. The music has some of the same vital dissonance, yet is not directly comparable.
Much more could, and should have been said, but I choose to voice my opinion briefly. Hreilia must nevertheless be heard, and preferably at least a couple of times in its entirety. Your full comprehensive insight into the deranged nature of this music, requires more than just my febrile penning.
It can be mentioned that the cover art is painted by vocalist A. Lovmand, who also plays guitar, keyboard and sarangi, and who has also produced Hreilia. The sound has a warped feel, with reasonably airy dynamics, which as mentioned suits the lively music. The album is good enough to lean toward a higher grade. Rating: 4+
Independent, 11.11.17 Morvigor comes from the outskirts of Amsterdam in the Netherlands and has been active since 2011.
The quintet basically consisted of new faces. Even vocalist Jesse Peetoom, who has since become part of a small handful of bands, did not have many irons in the fire at the time.
Just after releasing the debut album A Tale of Suffering in 2014, the band experienced its first, and so far only member change.
You can roughly say that the band plays black/death, but the Dutch stands out significantly.
The band's music ain't easy to place in a predefined pigeonhole. A condition that can be both beneficial and liberating. No matter how much good music you come across within any well-defined genre, you'll also inevitably come over oodles of generic clones. How refreshing is it not then to encounter music that doesn't remind noteworthily of other specific ensembles?
After the opener No Repentance, where punk and doomy black'n'roll is alternatingly joined by clean vocals - The Martyr's Ascension arrives. And that's a song of a wholly different calibre. Searching through a fading mental register for references, gradually becomes more difficult, but the nine-minute song basically gives vibes of idiosyncratic melodic, blackened death metal. Throughout the first few minutes, it feels as if the guitar lead on with a lantern, escorting the music through twisted, dark shrublands. Different sequences follow, through floating, somewhat proggy transitions, and both proficient percussion and peculiar yet comfortable bass lines are evident.
Out of eight tracks, only half are proper songs. The remaining are short snippets of less than two minutes on average. Besides intro and outro, we find a couple of interludes. These consist mostly of samples and sound collages. The exception is the short piano piece Outro. The interludes contribute to the mood, thus providing something more than just pauses. With good length on the substantial material, Tyrant still reach a total of 47 minutes. A considerable part of this duration is occupied by Blood of the Pelican, a composition clocking in at a quarter of an hour.
The music can't simply be described. It needs to be heard. It alternates between melodic sequences, raw black metal, dreamy progressive parts, and other influences in this experimental multi-faceted cocktail. Something that's clarified beyond doubt in the “schizophrenic” title track Tyrant. Morvigor of course makes use of existing musical expressions in this well-composed pot-pourri, but must be said to be as innovative as these loose confines and premises allows for.
Although not all sections appeals equally much, and although some sequences may feel slightly stretched, Tyrant appear as one of the more unique musical experiences out of the contemporary metal scene. That the music is of high quality in every aspect, and that all the ingredients also appeal, makes me consider this as a modern classic. Thus I stretch myself to the top of the grading scale. Rating: 6
Woodcut Records, 31.01.18
I thought it likely that Lord Of Pagathorn was a new addition to the Finnish black metal scene, but not this time.
The band had a short-term engagement in the nineties, between 92 and 95. During these years, they left a single demo and a rehearsal tape behind as testimony.
After 25 years on ice, the band again picked up the threads in late 2010. After demo and EP, the time was finally ripe for the first full-length in 2014.
Just 21 years after the first demo.
I missed out on the debut album Nekros Philia. Which leads us to the present.
As soon as the band has trawled through a quick and alright acoustic intro, drums and distorted guitars slams in. Although “slams” might be exaggerating slightly. The music might be both black and evil, but it is also rather airy, moody and sore. The drums offers speed, but ends up a bit behind the guitars in the mix. The guitars, in turn, ain't the very sharpest I've heard. They conjure up an adequate sensations of a kind of proto-, or at least retro-approach. The guitars, in turn, are drowned in shrieks of spiritual pain of the soul, gushing out of the bewitched primeval forest.
We almost have to return to ye olde Burzum, or Abruptum's psychotic De Profundis Mors Vas Cousumet, to find a similarly cutting vocal form. With a plentiful amount of echo, the vocal sounds extra devilish. This excels, whilst still fitting well with the instrumentation, creating something larger than the sum of its individual ingredients.
It must be emphasized that the song material contributes to this. At first listen, my scepticism concerning the compositional value of the riffs was a bit tepid, but Lord Of Pagathorn gradually arose, like a bristling cat. The music came alive. The opener Evil To Destroy Evil must be mentioned. This wicked hymn to Satan is full of dim atmosphere. Ending Throne Of Lucifer sounds very different. Yet, the same words are still applicable. Even if every single song don't stands out significantly, or offer other moods than pure adversarial, devilish and antagonistic disgust, most songs have their own identity, and the general level of quality is high.
Nine minutes long Rise Of The Celestial Scythe is in the middle of 9 songs and 44 minutes long Daimono Philia. Here, the synthesizer gain entry, and the moods are really allowed to romp. The album is recorded and mixed by L.L. of marvellous Desolate Shrine, and mastered in Virtalahde Mastering. The sound is fiery as red hot glowing razor blades. Vinyl enthusiasts has to wait until February 28th. Everyone else can cultivate their passion right away. Rating: 5
As before, we're served four songs of approximately ten minutes each.
Among the previous releases, I have the greatest taste for the self-titled EP. And I can say with complacency that Chiliad Rite follows in its' resounding footsteps. Each tone hits as a massive sound wave. Each resounding surge is transmitted as futuristic sonar pulses, which monitors and registers our movement, and is used as sonic weapons to keep us at bay and prevent revolts.
Chiliad Rite gives a feeling of involuntarily bowing down to the sovereignty. This reigning regime is composed of an elitist collection of mysterious, unreachable and untouchable rich swine presiding from the shades and shadows. This obscure league rule with an iron hand, but they are impossible to track down. Impossible to reach, to resist or to overthrow.
This feeling of dystopic cyberpunk, or steampunk, is not representative of the actual lyrics. This mood of disempowering, characterized by indifferent arrogance from above, and unforgivable bitterness from below, is purely subjective. A weighty sense of hopelessness and tied hands will nevertheless rest on your shoulders and hold you down if you should be so unfortunate as to open the gates to Chiliad Rite.
As mentioned above, the sound is resounding, but the resonance can unfortunately be excessively thunderous. The dynamics are low, and clipping occurs. The speakers in particular struggle to avoid distortion in Obliterating the Extinguished. A song that also has an atmospheric touch of Asia, that I kind of recognize from the song Chime, from the first EP. A delightful song, yet with exaggerated compressed dynamics on just DR5. The sound in Ars Magna ain't quite as intense. Just devilishly dark. When the rasping guttural vocal compete with the bass on resonating deepest, there's not a whole lot of jolly moods throwing its roaring echoes in the catacombs. Rating: 4
Anesthetize Productions has printed CDs, while Jani's own Death Shrine Offerings has pressed handmade vinyl in a limited edition. Do visit the good old fashion proper homepage of Horizon Of The Mute, as well.