Season of Mist, 09.02.18
When the draft this review was built on was first written, about half an eternity ago, I had already visited Vaitojimas occasionally for over a month. This without actually finding a suitable approach to describing this musical work. Therefore, I'll settle for a relatively short presentation. Erdve hails from Lithuania, and is immersed in dark and unpleasant subjects that are not necessarily often portrayed in realistic terms in metal lyrics. A topic like domestic violence at times appear in the media, but more often occurs in police reports only.
The music has aesthetic similarities with black metal, but I hesitate to put this Balkan band in that pigeonhole. For that, the music is too sludgy. In a song like Prievarta in particular, elements from hardcore are also merged in a mixing ratio that I don't really appreciate. Everything core should ideally not occur at all in my far from modest opinion.
The lads' music, which contains elements of metal, while balancing on a razor edge on the outskirts of the metaliverse, is dark, claustrophobic, at times intense and uncomfortable, and as such fits lyrics of a fairly grotesque character quite well. Perhaps my taste for the music would have improved with another vocal approach. Yet it's also possible I wouldn't have enjoyed it any more for that reason. Sludge ain't exactly my thing either. And just to have mentioned it: Encyclopaedia Metallum is even more strict than me in this case, as Erdve deviate too much from their guidelines to be accepted as a contribution.
That said, I think Erdve gets away with it rather successfully. They create a thick, intense and uncomfortable atmosphere, while giving the different songs both affiliation and their own identity. Vaitojimas certainly creates its own universe with a suitable soundscape and a reasonable duration of 37 minutes. The fact that this only appeals so much to yours truly, shouldn't necessarily be something these guys would have to be punished for. Rating: 4-
Prophecy Productions, 23.02.18 Eïs, former Geïst, released the album Bannstein three years ago. I had a taste for it. But something, which I couldn't quite put my finger on, was missing. It's been gathering dust ever since.
At the time, I blamed the artificial synth , but now I suspect that unrefined structures are just as much to blame. Bannstein has a nice expression, but the music quickly becomes average, displaying no greater depth.
With Stillstand und Heimkehr, the band showcase a greater span of its repertoire, and suddenly all the pieces seem to fall into place.
With Stillstand und Heimkehr, the Germans utilize a far greater area of their emotional register. The band channels all its negative energy into the music; all frustration, anger, sadness and discouragement.
The first song, An den schwarz besandeten Gestaden, shows a (to me) new side of the band. Under the moniker Geïst, the band's music occasionally appeared as fairly depressive. A whiff of bleak, comfortless gloominess once again manifest. But there's also a sincere vulnerability present. Something which I can't remember having heard from them before. Throughout the songs 13 minutes long course, we encounter passages where the music exposes its soul, its intrinsic melancholy, its inner self - steeped in dark emotions.
When the valves open and Eïs give vent to their frustration, it's as if an internal atomic bomb detonates, and a powerful pressure wave flow over us. Sorrow and disgust unite in powerful, contrasting harmony. Almost 9 minutes long Stillstand und Heimkehr continues down this dark path. The Germans are not devastated, however. They look misery straight in the eye and rage against its weakness. With antagonistic fighting spirit, Eïs ride out the storm, to fight another day. (I best stop here, before this starts sounding like a Manowar lyric.)
Amor Fati Prod.&Fallen Empire Rec., 19.02.18
Already at the outset of the new year 2016, one of the best discs of the year was released. It's admittedly a truth with modifications, seeing as how Danish Serpents Lair actually album-debuted a couple of months earlier.
The magnificent album Circumambulating the Stillborn wasn't available on physical discs until just after the new year, though.
Two years later, the band is back. And then, another 8 months passed.
If you've missed out on Perpetual Hunger, it's time to open your eyes. Otherwise, suffer this reprise.
You might as well set aside the next 24 minutes to listen to this phonetic expression of claustrophobia's suffocating dystopia. Strictly speaking, you ain't got nothing more reasonable to spend your time on anyway.
Let wave after wave of disharmonious, oppressive kaleidoscopy wash over you like icy salt water, as you despairingly attempt to drag your frostbitten body up along the slippery, steep, bare coastal rocks. Away from freezing salty waters. To safety. To no avail. With frozen fingertips, too numb to notice the braking nails and bleeding fingertips, you're panically floundering in senseless chaotic anxiety. In vain. And even if you were to succeeded, the biting wind would do away with your dripping wet body before the hour was up. For nothing but desolate, windswept roche moutonnée is to be found. And in the unlikely event that you were to reach the wetlands beyond, moisture and frigid winds would surely put an end to your pitiful distress.
Without resorting to more synonym to phrases such as “threatening atonal dissonance,” I leave your delicate mind in the unsafe hands of these ruthless Danes. May you suffer on your fatal journey!
Inferna Profundus Records, 12.02.18
We're still dwelling in February when it comes to EPs. Thus I better put the pedal to the metal, if we're even suppose to close in on summer time before bloody Christmas is all over us. Living Altar is a band consisting of manic and morbid Lithuanians. At least if one should judge by the music.
The trio has a demo, a split and seven years of practise under the bullet belt.
On Scythes Towards Psyche, they burn through 6 perverted hymns in just under 22 minutes.
The music is an unbridled mixture of frenetic black/death. A barbaric frontal assault of rabid rhythms and riffs, fronted by a no less frothing vocalist, results in a frantic rush and ditto punch. That the guys don't reinvent the gunpowder, but rather stick faithfully to the recipe, will probably create a divide between those being tired of always having “heard it before” and those who doesn't give a fuck as long as it rocks when the gunpowder is ignited.
With reasonably nifty riffs, warped vocals and brutal sound, you have a pretty good idea of how the terrain looks. It's all up to you whether you throw your shirt and helicopter bang on the living-room table, or if you rather lean back in the shadows with a frown on your face. Purely isolated, at least, the music is undoubtedly approved.