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March 2015:

31.03.15

RISE OF AVERNUS - DRAMATIS PERSONÆ (EP)

Rise of Avernus - Dramatis Personæ Approved

code666, 30.03.15
Australian Rise of Avernus only has four years of experience. They've still managed to release a self-titled EP in 2012 and the album L’appel du Vide in 2013. The band has passed by underneath my radar until now.
They call their music symphonic progressive doom metal, and that's true in a way, but the music also has elements that causes it to tend towards extreme metal.


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30.03.15

ARVAS - BLACK SATANIC MYSTICISM

Arvas - Black Satanic Mysticism Approved

Aeternitas Tenebrarum Musicae Fundamentum, 30.03.15
I've never tried to hide the fact that the type of black metal that was conceived in my home country about 25 years ago, is amongst my favoured kinds. That the promo-letter states that “the Norwegian black metal scene in the past has lost touch with its roots and its primeval spontaneity” is a statement with modifications at several points. I'm not going to let that kind provoke me. You've probably figured out what they're hinting at. Arvas are presented as the solution. The inverted messiah of black metal.


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30.03.15

TOME OF THE UNREPLENISHED - INNERSTANDING

Tome of the Unreplenished - Innerstanding Middling

I, Voidhanger Records, 30.03.15
Based on cover art (created by Brian Smith), band name and label, I expected insane death metal or other extremity. No matter how many times I fool myself, I never learn, for one knows that within metal, one often can judge a book by its cover.
The Cyprus one-man band Tome of the Unreplenished is an exception in this respect.


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30.03.15

SIGNS OF DARKNESS - THE AGE OF DECAY

Signs Of Darkness - The Age Of Decay Disapproved

Shiver Records, 27.03.15
Belgian Signs Of Darkness are here with their fourth album. I could have sworn that this was a debut. The band reportedly plays “epic black metal”, and this album is “inspired by incarnations of early black metal”. I'll leave that formulation without commenting on it.


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29.03.15

AWE / VACANTFIELD / END - MOERAE (Split)

Awe / Vacantfield / End - Moerae Approved

III Damnation Productions, 25.03.15
Three Greek black metal bands with varied years of experience each contribute to present one (approximately) 17-minute-long song. All of them offer rawness, intensity, and suggestion (hypnotic, that is), and the tracks suit each other surprisingly well, despite differences in production, which is something that is also fitting, as they are bonded together by a concept.
It feels natural to do this short review, song by song, band by band.


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28.03.15

FORTÍÐ - 9

Fortíð - 9 Approved

Schwarzdorn Production, 27.03.2015
Icelandic/Norwegian Fortð started as an Icelandic one man band. On the three first albums, the Völuspá trilogy, Eldur did most the work himself. After moving to Oslo in 2008 and completing the trilogy in 2010, the crew was expanded to a quartet.
This was intended as a full-fledged review, but things don't always go according to plan. I haven't been able to scribble down any draft or keywords. Nor have I heard the album quite as many times as desired in terms of rating it.


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28.03.15

TONY MILLS - OVER MY DEAD BODY

Tony Mills - Over My Dead Body Middling

Battlegod Productions, 23.02.15
Whether my taste buds have become more versatile with age or if I simply appreciate a challenge, I can't even ascertain myself. The fact is that I increasingly often plough my way through albums which normally falls somewhat outside my traditional comfort-zone.
The artist that's now out with his fourth solo album is in Norway probably best known for his membership in TNT from 2007 to 2013.


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28.03.15

TRIDENT - SHADOWS (EP)

Trident - Shadows Approved

War Anthem Records, 27.03.15
If anyone should be in doubt about my loyalty to black/death after my cold reception to Gouge and Perdition Temple, my far better relationship with Shadows can't correct that impression.
Swedish Trident, with members from amongst others Dissection and Death Tyrant, plays a completely different kind of black/death in this respect. And in my opinion, that's the right choice.


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26.03.15

SACRAL RAGE - ILLUSIONS IN INFINITE VOID

Sacral Rage - Illusions In Infinite Void Approved

Cruz Del Sur Music, 21.03.2015
Illusions In Infinite Void has ploughed through the thick porridge I have in and between my ears a number of times recently, without time having stood me by to carve as much as a keyword on my notebook. During this time the band has been American. When I'm finally able to scribble down a few words about the impression the Americans has left on me, it turns out that we are instead dealing with a group of Greeks! Not that it matters, but at least it does provide a minimal idea of musical direction.


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26.03.15

PERDITION TEMPLE - THE TEMPTER'S VICTORIOUS

Perdition Temple - The Tempter's Victorious Middling

Hells Headbangers, 24.03.15
In their constant quest for the planet's most rabid black/death, this label drowns the world in angry and obscure acts who wants to level the world into a desolate desert. The intention is probably good, the thought of a refreshing swim in blood, entrails, bone-splinters, pieces of meat and crushed skulls, is always tempting.
The catch is that dozens of relatively identical bands reduces distinctiveness and idiosyncrasy. When these hordes of bands fills up all imaginable musical space between existing band, it eats away, etches and erodes at each individual band's intrinsic value, and undermines the genre.

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24.03.15

SATHANAS - WORSHIP THE DEVIL

Sathanas - Worship the Devil Approved

Doomentia Records, 20.03.15
The trio Sathanas have ravaged for 27 years without me having noticed too much of it. The album Nightrealm Apocalypse has (somewhat undeserved) collected dust for a long time, but otherwise the Americans has really passed me by unobserved.
The band has reportedly never cared about where the dividing lines between the various extreme genres are located. I buy that theory. Wrapped in spikes, the band pushes the pedal to the metal with any means the band feels like incorporating, and they seem to feel like executing crushing, deadly, black and reckless metal.

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24.03.15

GOUGE - BEYOND DEATH

Gouge - Beyond Death Middling

Hells Headbangers, 24.03.15
Does rotten, obscure, fairly rowdy and angry, death metal with grindcore structure and a bit woolly sound, sound tempting? 12 songs are fairly evenly distributed over half an hour, giving rather rapid 2.5 minutes on average. (The press letter claims that the album contains 10 songs. Well, I can count.)


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23.03.15

GLOSON - YEARWALKER

Gloson - Yearwalker Approved

Art of Propaganda and Catatonic State, 23.03.15
The four Swedes constituting Gloson released Yearwalker, their first album, on their own as free digital release in September last year. Now it's been made available from two labels on vinyl. The band plays a moderately sludgy kind of post-metal, which gives small associations to stoner-doom.


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23.03.15.

SOLIUM FATALIS - THE UNDYING SEASON

Solium Fatalis - The Undying Season Approved

Galy Records, 17.02.15
My very first review on Gorger's Metal was for the album Solium Fatalis, the self-titled debut from a young and promising American death metal band with not so young members. Since then, two men have left the quartet, and three new ones has joined in. Two of them even sojourn in Montreal's Cryptopsy
The band's powerful approach pleased me immensely, although I should perhaps have been stricter based on the compressed sound.


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23.03.15.

DYNFARI - VEGFERÐ TÍMANS

Dynfari - Vegferð Tímans Approved

code666, 16.03.15
The Reykjavik duo Dynfari debutet in eponymous manners in summer 2011 after a year's time in business. Late autumn the following year, they released Sem skugginn which hid multifaceted sinister black eeriness behind a rather simple cover photo. The band continues on the same track on Vegferð Tímans. If I were to put the band in some kind of pigeon-hole, I'd choose something like depressive atmospheric post-black. The band's expression is not stirred together like the ingredients of a stew, but rather spread around as the topping of a pizza.


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23.03.15

HEIDEVOLK - VELUA

Heidevolk - Velua Approved

Napalm Records, 20.03.15
Heidevolk is most likely a familiar name to many. Just how many there is who have good knowledge of the Dutch folk/viking metal is another matter. The band debuted a decade ago, and are now out with the fifth album, without me having bothered to examine their works in detail on previous occasions. Maybe I've been too hard with this band as well, for it doesn't sound quite as generic as I had feared.


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21.03.15

VANHELGA - HAPPINESS (EP)

Vanhelga - Happiness Approved

Total Metal Records, 12.03.15
This EP is like a mental garage sale. Jacob Ottosson, aka 145188, has namely cleaned out a few ideas from a creative top floor. Possibly to preventable a mess and total chaos in the attic. Linköping's most vile and bestial (and thus most honest and humane) musician has gotten a short half hour out of the system, to our delight or disgust. Whatever is applicable.


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20.03.15

URFAUST - APPARITIONS (EP)

Urfaust - Apparitions Middling

Ván Records, 06.03.15
In addition to two albums, the Dutch duo Urfaust has a bunch of splits, EPs and so forth on their conscience. After more than ten years of existence, they still have an air of underground to them. Some bands just fits better into dark caves than on the high peaks. I've tasted the band's brew at a number of occasions, without having been noticeably impressed. This appeals somewhat more.


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19.03.15

STRYNN - ALIENATION

Strynn - Alienation Disapproved

Mortis Humanae Productions, 15.03.15
The French label Mortis Humanae is the only one I know of that ships physical promos exclusively. If this had been a digital promo invitation, I would have heard a few songs before headshaking and dismayed refraining from the promo. As this has manifested itself in the three dimensional mailbox and taken physical property on the shelf, I felt almost obligated to give it a try. Something I regret. But still, there's a lesson to be learned. The moral is; physical promos do get attention!


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17.03.15

BAT - PRIMITIVE AGE (12" MLP) & CRUEL DISCIPLINE (7" EP)

Bat - Primitive Age Middling

Hells Headbangers, 17.02.15 & 17.03.15
From the US comes Bat, with Felix Griffin (ex-DRI) on drums, Nick Poulos (Volture) on guitar and Ryan Waste (Municipal Waste) on vocals and bass.
Together they play fierce and sleazy speed metal.
These are two short releases, recently released a month apart in anticipation of the band's first full length.


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17.03.15

LAGO - TYRANNY (LP)

Lago - Tyranny Approved

Blood Harvest, 16.03.15
If there's one thing Americans know how to do, it's how to make leaden, crushing death metal. Thus, we set course for Phoenix, Arizona. Lago was founded in January 2010 and released an EP in November the same year. After a demo in December 2012, with two songs intended for the upcoming disc, the quartet released their first full length Tyranny on CD in limited edition last September. It is now run through the vinyl pressing and is most likely favoured with a far better distribution.


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15.03.15

DEVATHORN - VRITRA

Devathorn - Vritra Approved

W.T.C. Productions, 27.02.15
Greece is not done infecting us with black tones yet.

The unholy trinity Devathorn sacrificed their first born to master Lucifer in 2007 and has subsequently mixed blood with Enshadowed, Burial Hordes and Angstridden on one split, and later with Blaze of Perdition on another.
Their second album is my first encounter with them.


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14.03.15

CRIMSON SWAN - UNLIT

Crimson Swan - Unlit Approved

Quality Steel Records, 13.03.15
Newcomers keep flooding the market these days, but as long as we're served quality à la Crimson Swan, that must be said to be a first world problem.
The band comes from Hamburg, and was started by three friends five years ago. (That's six by the time of this translation.) After the EP Icon from the end of 2012 the band has grown to five men.
The quintet plays grief-stricken melodic death/doom.


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14.03.15

MACABRE OMEN - GODS OF WAR - AT WAR

Macabre Omen - Gods of War - At War Approved

Ván Records, 13.03.15
We shall once again venture on a trip to The Hellenic Republic. No, wait, we shall not. Multi-instrumentalist Alexandros has left Rhodes behind and moved to London, but the music is most likely still the same. Macabre Omen has been at it for 21 years, with front and back door wide open so to speak. There's been a considerable turnover in the line-up in other words, and only Alexandros remains from the original crew.
He's accompanied by drummer T. J. F. Vallely, who has been involved for a few years.

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13.03.15

CROM DUBH - HEIMWEH

Crom Dubh - Heimweh Approved

Ván Records, 13.03.15
When the British quartet Crom Dubh release their début after more than ten years of existence, that is something we can take delight in. For these lads deliver rapturous grimness and a poignant fresh take on “melodic” extremity.
Someone have put the band in the black cubicle on Encyclopaedia Metallum. I can only acknowledge this as long as we add that the band has torn down the decayed walls to some adjoining cubicles.


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13.03.15

MY FUNERAL - VIOLENCE ACADEMY

My Funeral - Violence Academy Approved

Independent, 13.03.15
These Suomi perkele Finlandians has ten years of experience and two full-length albums behind them, and plays thrash with a foul stench of death.
Behind a reasonable killer cover art, we find 34 minutes of fast paced and headbanger-friendly rhythm and string works.
The vocals are not quite down my alley, but I can pretty much condone that aspect.


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12.03.15

ÁRSTÍÐIR LÍFSINS - ALDAFOÐR OK MUNKA DRÓTTINN

Árstíðir lífsins - Aldafoðr ok munka dróttinn Approved

Ván Records, 06.03.2015
German/Icelandic Árstíðir lífsins, meaning seasons of life, has received much well-deserved attention for its two previous albums. This time they're generous enough to bring a double album to the table.
If you already have a good relationship with the band, you can safely buy Aldafoðr ok munka dróttinn (Odin and the monk's lord).
If, however, you haven't discovered or checked out the band, I recommend you continue reading.


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11.03.15

WARDENCLYFFE - CONTROL ALL DELETE

Wardenclyffe - Control All Delete Approved

Ván Records, 06.03.2015
From Norrköping, Sweden comes a band with technical and scientific topics as themes in their lyrics. Exciting! Cybernetics, science history, transhumanism, multiplexing perpendicular sine waves with thyristor steered solid state relays in vacuum and the sort. (Okay, the last one was my contrivance). And some occultism. The name Wardenclyffe is taken from Nikola Tesla's attempted tower for wireless energy transmission.


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09.03.15

ENDLESSHADE - WOLF WILL SWALLOW THE SUN

Endlesshade - Wolf Will Swallow the Sun Middling

Rain Without End Records, 22.02.15
The only information I can find in the press release is that this is a bunch of newcomers from Kiev in Ukraine who released a single last year, and that the singer is female. The latter I already had guessed based on listening. Although the hissing growl/black vocals could have been done by a poor male vocalist, it's not hard to hear that we're dealing with a lady.


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08.03.15

TRUPPENSTURM / THORYBOS - APPROACHING CONFLICT

Truppensturm / Thorybos - Approaching Conflict Middling

Ván Records, 06.03.15
Another split. This time between two German extreme metal bands with somewhat longer experience. Both gets to express themselves in about 18 minutes, with five songs each.
First to go is the one-man-band Truppensturm that started out under the name Sturmtruppen in 1996. Over the course of ten years, the guy dropped one demo. The last scarce decade, the activity has picked up rather well. After an EP and two albums under new moniker, the band now participates on this split with its fairly blackened death metal.


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08.03.15

GOATBLOOD/NUCLEAR PERVERSIONS - REX JUDAEORUM/WOLVES OF APOCALYPSE (Split)

Goatblood - Rex Judaeorum Disapproved

Iron Bonehead, 06.03.15
What we got here is a 7" split EP between two rather frantic underground black/death mongers. Let's start with Goatblood, as that's what the split does. This German duo has been at it since 2011. Three demos has been recorded prior to this one, and the band is ready to launch their first album in the midst of May.


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05.03.15

MORBID EVILS - IN HATE WITH THE BURNING WORLD

Morbid Evils - In Hate With The Burning World Middling

Svart Records, 06.03.15
When throwing a quick glance at the cover I imagined a thrash album, but the music that knocked me like a fist was sluggish and extremely thunderous death metal.
Last year, four corpses and carcasses crawled out from one of the thousand lakes to spread sinister eeriness with mud under their nails, algae in the hair, freshwater in the lungs and crustaceans between the teeth.


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05.03.15

LAST MINUTE TO JAFFNA - VOLUME II

Last minute to Jaffna - Volume II Middling

Argonauta Records, 02.03.15
The band with the odd name hails from Italy and released a self-titled EP as the first signs of life in 2006. The debut full length Volume I was released in 2008. In 2011 they began to record a CD with new and old songs with acoustic guitars and assorted unconventional instruments. This collecting album came out under the title Volume III last year, and the band is now here with Volume II. Confused? Just wait till you see the song tittles.


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05.03.15

ONE STEP BEYOND - THE MUSIC OF CHANCE

One Step Beyond - The Music Of Chance Middling

Metal Scrap, 02.03.15
Three Australians are back with their third album. The band is unknown to me, but I would think that those who take the time and listen will likely not forget them very soon. The music namely holds a myriad of styles and elements welded and glued together in kaleidoscopic patterns.
The band was born in 1997 and the discography consists of albums in 2002 and 2007, and an EP in 2010.


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05.03.15

NIGHT - SOLDIERS OF TIME

Night - Soldiers Of Time Approved

Gaphals, 02.03.15
Since we're in the '80s mood, we might as well swing by Night, a Swedish band that's got both feet planted firmly in 1980. The cover art, created by Mattias Frisk (Vanhelgd), reveals nothing, but it's pure heavy metal the band has to offer, and of a somewhat gentle kind.
The vocals are pitched, but with volume and distinctiveness. Similarity to Kai Hansen on Walls of Jericho is a clue striking, but I would never imagine this being an attempt a plagiarism. This is a kind of voice you either have, or you can probably just forget about trying. I'd think.


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05.03.15

EVIL INVADERS - PULSES OF PLEASURE

Evil Invaders - Pulses Of Pleasure Approved

Napalm Records, 02.03.15
That I'm addressing this precise album right after DeadlySins is basically completely random, but it's actually very fitting, because Belgian Evil Invaders attack roughly the same genre with a totally different approach, and ends with a completely different result.
EDIT 22.03.16: This day also marks the date of another hideous and cowardly terror attack from detestable brainwashed islamic extremists in Belgium. May you find an ounce of strength in Pulses Of Pleasure.


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04.03.15

DEADLYSINS - ANTICLOCKWISE

DeadlySins - Anticlockwise Middling

Independent, November 2014
French DeadlySins released their second album independently some 3-4 months before these words. The quintet comes from Lyon and has been operating for 15 years. After releasing demo and EP, their first album came out in 2012. The men are now excited to spread their name and get out on the roads to thrash Europe.

My first impressions of the band's thrash wasn't much to brag about. The feeling that it just keeps going straight forward is quite dominant.


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04.03.15

CRUENTA LACRYMIS - SWEETNESS & BLASPHEMY

Cruenta Lacrymis - Sweetness & Blasphemy Disapproved

Metal Scrap Records, 02.02.15
From Italy comes a fresh band consisting of three women and two men. One of these ladies came aboard after the recording of this album. They've been at it for two and a half years, and have an EP behind them. The Press letter describes their music as a fusion of symphonic black metal and melodic death metal with gothic influences. I buy that.
The album is divided into two parts, Sweetness and Blasphemy. The former consists of the more melodic songs the band has written. The latter comes first, funnily enough, and they contain more crude and blasphemous songs. The difference is however marginal.


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04.03.15

NEOLITH - IZI.IM.KURNU-KI

Neolith - Izi.Im.Kurnu-Ki Approved

Non Serviam Records, 02.03.15
This Polish band has quite a long history. They started in 1991 and has released three albums and lots of other bits and pieces. Yet they are a new acquaintance to me. The somewhat strange title Izi.Im.Kurnu-Ki apparently means something like Fire.Wind.Hell.
They supposedly started out as a death/doom act, but has risen through the ranks toward black/death.


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03.03.15

CRYPT SERMON - OUT OF THE GARDEN

Crypt Sermon - Out Of The Garden Middling

Dark Descent Records, 03.03.15
From Philadelphia, USA comes this fresh five piece orchestra called Crypt Sermon. The members all have some experience, without me having much knowledge of their previous work. It may have to do with the genre. This constellation namely plays pure doom, a genre I haven't spent too much time with.
The band released a demo a couple of years ago, and are ready to debut. I don't know much more about them, besides from a handful of (for me) unknown artists and band names.

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01.03.15

IMPERIAL TRIUMPHANT - ABYSSAL GODS

Imperial Triumphant - Abyssal Gods Approved

code666, 27.02.15
I have an impression that last year's EP Goliath gave a united metal press corps collective orgasm. It was a fairly natural progression from the debut Abominamentvm. The recipe is this: Take something intense and utterly psyched out and squeeze the motherfucker in an even more demented direction.
I thought the band had reached the top (or bottom) of madness, but the insane cover art should have made my mental yellow triangular warning signs flash in reflection from my cognitive red warning lights.
This sick shit should have been equipped with red and white barrier tape, for fuck sake.


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