Moribund Records, 10.08.18
Except from the ten-year-old debut album Black Misanthropic Elite, I'm not very familiar with Profezia.
Said album was of the mediocre kind that didn't make a revisit all that appealing.
Meanwhile, the band has released two more albums.
The band was conceived in 2000 and consists primarily of members from Italy, although Scandinavia is also represented.
I can't seem to figure out who allegedly hails from Norway, as Encyclopaedia Metallum claims, though.
Kvasir (Abhor, Mourning Mist) plays all the instruments, besides for drums handled by Danish Ynleborgaz (Angantyr, Make a Change... Kill Yourself). The lyrics, written by Domine Saevum Graven (Abhor), are performed by M. (Opera IX), who sings his swansong on this here album, as he died of illness in November last year. In addition, Abhor's organist Leonardo Lonnerbach handles keyboard on the album that was later mastered by Marduk's Devo in Endarker Studios.
Despite a rather generic start with the debut, the band has taken something of a giant leap in the right direction since then. I can't comment on the progression from album to album, but in 2018 the expression is sharpened, the content is matured, and the jagged sound honed. The guitars cut like a saw blade while the jolt of the drums strike like hammers and the cymbals stabs like knives. The vocal rasp like sandpaper, and the stand-out-element - the fiddle - rubs and screeches like rusty hinges, at times as manic in its dissonant tones as a Slayer solo. The instrument is quite a bit behind in the mix and doesn't dominate too much. The fiddle instead season the expression tastefully, with bizarre tones, as if borrowed from The Sins of Thy Beloved. Even a backdrop of synthetic brass occasionally adds flavour to the black metal's misanthropic moods, while mournful tones from a grief-tuned piano, or a mystic monk choir, are incorporated when appropriate.
Dodekaprofeton doesn't really invade symphonic black metal's territory. The music feels genuinely black, but adopts a suiting melancholic gothic touch that makes the expression less streamlined. With good songs, the album becomes a listenable seance. The songs admittedly don't contain the most memorable melodies, but the hostile atmosphere that is created, and the refined diversity offered, easilly keeps the listener's attention.
The albums finishes off with 18-minute long Zephaniah, which after a calm ominous start, explode into fierce drive and harsh temper. The hypnotic composition also has a sickening atmosphere, and the almost an hour-long album as such ends with a poisonous sting. Tongue twisting title or not, Dodekaprofeton is definitely recommendable. Rating: 5-
Keep an eye on Bandcamp in coming times. Till then, the song Obadiah is streaming on SoundCloud:
Iron Bonehead, 06.07.18
Last summer, Slovakian Tujarot released their debut album Existencialista in triple-CD format with handmade triangular wrapping in extremely limited edition of only 39 copies.
Each CD contained one lengthy song. Iron Bonehead have now collected these songs of fairly even duration on a single 36-minutes vinyl release.
The songs fit well together, and the material deserves more than just 39 listeners.
And if you don't have a record player, the Slovakians offer the digital version for an optional price.
The 11 minutes long song Uranos opens the trio's first full length with a bit of stoner/grunge flair before more droning elements come along. But that's just the start. Soon enough, black elements appear, with faster rhythms and inhuman screams from the depths of the forest.
The music overall, might be labelled sluggish, droning and doomy black metal, or maybe black/doom. It alternates between different tempos, and conveys feelings of downfall and disgust. Despite a bit of low pace, Tujarot doesn't play dsbm.
The next song, equally long Hesperidské Nymfy, has a bit more melody, and effects that provide astral associations. The sequence where black tones replace the semi-ambient undertones, is also more atmospheric. Although the similarities is far from striking, certain techniques (especially from 7 minutes on) give a sense of inspiration from Burzum. A feeling further amplified by the vocal.
Dryáda lasts a few minutes longer than the previous two tracks. Minutes that could have been trimmed away. The song ends up somewhat in the shadow of the previous song, but is still more than alright. From the five-minute mark, a silence falls. For more than four minutes, we have to listen to hushed whizzing before the music returns.
In spite of some needlessness, Existencialista is a good release that can easily be recommended for those who want their black metal with a tiny twist. Rating: 4
Blood Music, 30.03.18
London-based Lychgate have once again blessed the congregation with an occult liturgy.
I was profoundly pleased with the previous album, An Antidote for the Glass Pill (2015), but sceptical as to whether The Contagion in Nine Steps would be able to maintain the same eminent level of quality.
Not much indicated that at first listen, as the album simply sounded a bit messy. But the most ingenious music often keeps the cards close to the chest. The brilliancy of the hidden details are rarely revealed immediately.
The structures of 42 minutes long The Contagion in Nine Steps has a persistent texture of disorder. A chaotic façade hiding intricate patterns. Not only does the music have a painstakingly planned structure that still feels oh-so randomly arranged with its abstract irregularities of strange melodies and extravagant rhythmic schemes. It also has a secret weapon, that which I (with all lack of respect) intend to reveal: A mad-as-a-hatter megalomaniac scientist plays a powerful pipe organ while the choir tries to keep up with rhythm and tone. We can only hope that we'll never learn what utter insane thoughts of annihilation and world domination flutter through the delirious mind of this manic organist.
Connoisseurs will admittedly already be aware of this “secret weapon”. And the role as “mad scientist” is this time being portrayed by Lithuanian-born Russian Vladimir Antonov-Charsky. We also find guest contributions from Alexandros of Macabre Omen on vocals, along with the band's own vocalist Greg Chandler, as well as some vocal from Chris Hawkins (Endeavour). It must also be mentioned that the album has been mixed and mastered by Jaime Gómez Arellano in his Orgone studios. The sound is loud and clear, rich, resounding and very dynamic (DR9).
The music on The Contagion... emit a sense of contemporary art, jazz and improvisational profane church concert, but when all the pieces fall into place, it testifies to the necessary underlying painstaking planning. No matter how cliché it sounds, the music becomes a hypnotic seance where words simply fall short. Each of the six songs finds its natural place on a work that twists and distort conventional musical recipes out of proportions. A creation that mangles those familiar concepts, till only psychedelic occult idolatry remains. This makes The Contagion in Nine Steps come across as a thoroughly unique and idiosyncratic experience. Lychgate once again delivers genuinely brilliant madness.
For the nerds out there, it can also be said that the album's concept, inspired by the book The Invincible by Polish Stanisław Lems, is based on crowd psychology and collective behaviour from a philosophical point of view through various historically cultural stages of the shifting forms of European societies.
Lychgate's three albums can be explored on the band's own Bandcamp site, while their label Blood Music offers the digital version for an optional price. An offer you shouldn't miss out on. Rating: 5+
Dark Descent Records, 06.07.18 Burial Invocation had the honour of becoming the first artist released on Dark Descent Records with their debut EP Rituals of the Grotesque.
That's more than eight years ago now.
After a split in 2011, it's been fairly quiet from the band, which is something as non-trivial as a blistering death metal band from Turkey. Abiogenesis contains no more than five tracks, the latter of which is a short acoustic outro, but the album still lasts for about 43 minutes.
The band's death metal has a whiff of decay, and a healthy portion of doomy atmosphere, but also abundant aggressive brutality. While many cling to the same riff ad nauseam, Burial Invocation realizes the value and importance in variation. Various moody guitar melodies and chronic rhythmic diversity, breathe re-animated life into long tunes, built on disintegration from the grave and a certain progressive touch.
The Turks maintain a gripping dramatic curve throughout with their acrobatic instrumental flow alone, but naturally also offers vocals from a guttural throat suffering from putrefaction. Even for (or especially for) one who may sometimes grow tired of the genre, and consider large parts of death metal of the old school as generic, Abiogenesis appears as a fresh air of fetid rot. Rating: 4+
The Serbian black metal band All My Sins was started in 2000, and quickly released two demos.
Than, 13 years of silence followed, before the two remaining members broke the silence with the exquisite EPen Lunar / Solar in January 2017.
This not only marked their return to the stage, but also a transition to much more refined material. Zov iz Magle, released on 7" vinyl in 200 copies early in this year, is a good old-fashioned single for the upcoming album Pra sila - Vukov totem, to be released on September 23rd.
The single opens with the song Zov iz Magle, which means something along with a call from the mist in Serbian. The song begins with fierce rhythmic drift, persisting the song throughout. When the song gets going, guitars with evocative melodic atmosphere, and a rasping blasphemous voice joins in. Moody cleans and choir also find their natural place in the inhospitable storm. The almost eight minutes long song has a real kick to it, and promises very well for the debut album.
The song Sa Dna stands out by adopting a more soaring and doomy design. Bass and guitars with echo meets clean vocals with reverberation and ethereal background sounds that enhance the transcendental character. Raging percussion and sharp vocals during the last few minutes, creates contrasts that still complement the melancholy in a becoming manner.
We'll get back to the album Pra Sila - Vukov Totem, with more info regarding the entity All My Sins, circa week 38.