Daemon Worship Productions, 30.04.15
Should one judge a release solely on subjective taste? To what degree should one pay attention to (partly objective) musical
qualities? How much weight should be put on different values, such as whether the reviewer himself would spend time/money on
it, or other criteria, such as for example depth, variety, signature, innovation, sound, extremity, credibility and/or
aesthetic and esoteric appeal?
I wouldn't buy this, but I still choose to approve it. It may sound odd, but the opposite would have been weirder.
I would, personally, have saved money for the next full length album. I'm kind of an “album-person” you see. Spending meters
of perfectly good shelf space on physical editions of releases with less than 25 minutes of playing time is something I'd
rather not indulge in. But that's just me. And it wouldn't have been particularly fair judging music based on that kind of
One thing, however, I could have taken into consideration regarding duration is how it affects the overall impression. An
album is its own separate world, a separate universe. It's often thought of as a journey, but it could just as well be compared
to a movie, a book or a show or a play, for instance in the theatre. Less than 15 minutes is hardly enough time to get into
the mood, and linger and dwell in the magic dark landscape. A short film just isn't the same as a feature film.
It's starting to get crowded amongst black metal bands who play dark, dank, claustrophobic, compact and chaotic black metal.
As soon as someone comes up with something new, everyone seems to jump on the same train. I'm still not going to punish
Israthoum for the fact that uniqueness is a rather alien loanword. In that case, too many had deserved disciplinary
action. This former Portuguese band were also initiated as early as in '92, under the moniker Grendel, and I don't
know their background. For all I know, they may even have been considered original when they started doing their thing. Thus,
penalty becomes the wrong approach. The band changed its name in 1998, and moved to the Netherlands around that time. Since
than, amongst other two albums have seen the dreary light of day.
The aspect I judge on therefore becomes the three songs only. With lava, thunder, brimstone, fire and smoke, the band offers
barely fifteen minutes of eeriness. The production isn't “good”, but it has a becoming rotten and primitive feel and very
good dynamics. Mories from Gnaw Their Tongues have both assisted in recording and made the masterly cover
art, while Kark from Dødsengel has done a good job taking care of the mastering.
The vocals are obsessed, the drums pound in a thunderous manner and the guitars are diabolical. Variation and drive works
well, and I like what I hear, even if it eventually starts sounding very familiar.
Lack of distinctiveness and all too short playing time leads to a weak approval.
(I obviously need more indicators to rank various degrees of approved).
Give me a full length album to sink my teeth into instead.
Daemon Worship Productions, 30.04.15
I reviewed a new EP from secretive Swarth just a couple of months ago. The two songs on Veneficivm was pretty cool, but scarce 12 minutes
is not much to blow one's own horn over, and one has surely heard similar raging black metal a bit too often to encourage a
purchase. I decided to wait for the full length to drop.
Then I got this compilation thrown at me.
As mentioned the last time, Iron Bonehead released this collection of the band's first three releases, consisting
of two demos and an EP, on vinyl a mere year ago. Now the time is evidently ripe for the CD version. Remastered, even.
All three misc-releases have been released individually via Exitium Productions.
One can wonder just how necessary such a compilation from a relatively new band is, but when a band with Swarth's
untapped potential is being hyped up by enthusiastic labels with a solid name in the underground, I believe the band will be noticed.
The first two songs are from the demo Swarþ (January 2012). These is quite good.
The being a demo. The next three hail from the next demo, Þy Tayl is Deeþ Þurgh Þyn Envenymynge (January
2013). The sound is still thin, but the significantly improved song writing is beginning to take shape. That a 6-minute bonus
track from this demo is omitted is a bit unfortunate, as this could otherwise have been a complete documentary of the band
till now. The song would have pushed the CD's duration to 64.5 minutes, and it was included on last year's double vinyl, so
length is no excuse. Mors Rex Salvator Hominum is the title of the EP which came out in May 2013. It continues
in previous demo's good tracks, with very remarkable similarity. Then again, only a few months separated these releases.
Finally, the collection end with Sinful Fleshspear, a cover of Swedish Malign. All other songs is
(as previously mentioned) called Untitled.
This is a fine documentation of Swarþ's early career, where you definitely can hear the potential.
Demo compilations are nevertheless not something I can say that I'm thriving with. Therefore I rate this as “okay”.
It should be said that I look forward to a full album from this band.
Chicago, Illinois-based Kommandant (Commander) celebrates its tenth anniversary, and releases their third
album. With red cover and sledgehammer as part of the design, May 1st would perhaps have been more suitable as release date?
Well, the lyrics probably don't revolve around the conditions of social democracy or the movement of proletarian unions,
although one can easily get the sense of masses in steady march when the band's militant rhythms starts pounding away.
The Americans' black metal doesn't sound directly inspired by the Norwegian scene. It has a warmer, more furry character,
especially when the pace increases. The tempo don't give a distinct sense of speed, but rather a rumbling effect. In
mid-tempo, the production becomes somewhat airier, and the various components come more to “sight”. The drums occasionally
have a rather distinct feel. Drummer David Swanson (eks-Nachtmystium et al.) has a very varied
touch. The drums are partly phonetically placed in the mix. Some stroke drown a bit, whilst other firm and rhythmical
impacts are spearheading the soundscape, conjuring up images of marching hordes or
slave ship drummers of ancient galleys. The guitars
(Jim Bresnahan and Marcus) creates fairly twisted, slightly claustrophobic moods, while vocalist
Marcus Matthew Kolar (ex-Sarcophagus et al.) wring inhuman low frequency sounds from the throat. The
guy can at times remind of Attila.
The music's expression is dirty, futuristic and dystopian, somewhat in the style of the last two Mayhem albums. I
thrive very well with both the music and the adequate and good dynamic production, but I'm still not exceedingly
excited. The album suffers from some sameness throughout its duration of three quarters of an hour.
Out of curiosity, and for inspiration to understand and convey the essence better, I take a round on the InterWeb to see what
others gets out of this, and which references they might have come up with.
Several mention (like the press release) an “industrial” feel. The industrial band Godflesh, that which I've heard
about only, is also mentioned. The warlike rhythms, the metallic shriek and zinging guitars and droning/rumbling
vocals could perhaps give such associations. Said elements gives a vaguely mechanical feel, but that's not exactly
what I associate with industrial metal. Without industrial elements, that link simply becomes a bit diffuse in my ears.
I also take note of Encyclopaedia Metallum stating Blut aus Nord and P.H.O.B.O.S as bands with similarities
to said Godflesh. Precisely these two bands released a split barely a year ago. By comparing The Architects
Of Extermination to Triunity and Esoteric Warfare, it becomes clearer what
Kommandant is missing. Blut and P.H.O.B.O.S have a much broader expression, with
significant variation in every aspect, something this commander don't have a whole lot of, while Mayhem, being
closer in expression, has a darker, more eclectic, sinister and dissonant frenzy. Esoteric Warfare can be said
to have an industrial, dystopian feel, without applying sneering quotation marks.
Ergo, there are albums I rather favour, but The Architects Of Extermination is still a product I choose
to endorse. Individually, the album is certainly good, and its rumbling undertow is absolutely alright to listen to. If one
really wants to separate wheat from chaff, one can't ignore the fact that there are better and more diverse sonic dark powers
to sink into, but those who can't get enough of hypnotic dark maelstroms, might as well check out this album too. Although
it doesn't bring as chaotic and foaming a vortex as the Norwegian veterans.
If you decide to buy the album, I advise you to go for the digipak. It comes in a limited edition of 600 copies and includes
the song Killing Word, one of the better and more signature-strong tracks on the album.
The following out of context stanzas from The Internationale could actually have fitted well into this kind of music:
Reason thunders in its volcano
This is the final struggle
This is the eruption of the end
Iron Bonehead, 27.04.15
Stockholm-based Grá has five years of experience and one full-length amongst other behind them.
American Gnosis of the Witch have a few years of experience, and two EPs on their conscience.
Together they release a split that will possibly bring their music to new potential fans.
Both bands play black metal.
Grá offers the song Valitus ja kaipuu on the A side. The song lasts for about six
minutes and stems from their first EP, Helfärd, released in 2010. The original Swedish title was
Klagan och längtan, but we now find it as a live recording under Finnish moniker with the same meaning,
which roughly translates to “Moaning and longing”. The song has good drive, nice dark sound and a despondent mood.
On the B side, Gnosis of the Witch presents Fórn Dauðaorð (Victims Death-word,
directly translated). The Americans have used Icelandic titles on everything they've released so far. This song I
enjoy even more. It offers seven minutes of crestfallen and mournful but oh so hypnotic a lament.
Altogether, it only lasts for about 13 minutes, but I have a definitive taste for what I hear. When originally
writing this piece, I unfortunately didn't have no stream of Fórn Dauðaorð, but now I do.
Thus, you don't need to take my word for it.
Art of Propaganda, 27.04.15
After 16 approved releases in a row, luck has shifted abruptly and brutally.
The band with the whimsical name offers occasionally alright, sometimes futile, but often a wee bit irritating and pointless
music with extremely annoying whiny vocals in the style of screamo (the retarded mother of all provocative vocal-styles).
Seagrave is a solo project from Austrian J.J. (Harakiri for the Sky,
The music is said to be a fusion of shoegaze black metal, melodic post-hardcore, and D-beat death metal, and I can on my own
expense add a drop of grunge. When the tempo increases, I glimpse a hint of alright French-sounding black metal, but mostly,
this appear as rather monotonous and indifferent post-metal.
The aforementioned vocal do work a little bit better in intense moments, as in okay Harvest in June and the
more depressive notes of closer Bonjour Tristesse. Otherwise, it's just tiresome and damn nagging.
The sound is most peculiar. Despite the same intensity, there's a volume difference on as much as 70% from the loudest to the
quietest song. In addition, some songs sounds badly compressed. Manifest XII is so bloody ill that the drum
sound is often reduced to a swishing sounds that crackles. Gruesome.
And what the hell is the deal with crappy impassive albums almost always having to last for a fucking eternity?
My theory: Missing introspection and flair for quality gives lack of self-criticism.
A bit of a tantrum there... The album “only” lasts for three quarters of an houre, which feels far too long.
Stabwound is basically barely “acceptable”, but it's bloated with too much nonsense on top of that.
I consider it a waste of time. Judge for yourself:
Naturmacht Productions, 26.04.15
Behind a stylish cover we find an American living in Ireland. Robert W. Cook is a visual/graphic
artist and a musician. Since 2008 he has released six singles and a demo before this first full-length.
It kicks off well in the short intro, but it doesn't set the tone for what we have in store. With Norot,
Robert creates ambient black metal. Apparently. Black Metal is more than just music and controversial
historical events, though.
Black metal is something deeper, something opposing, something spiritual. As with art in general, black metal should
have a naturally inherent ability to arouse emotions. Be it disgust or sadistic pleasure.
The only emotions Norot leaves me with is meaninglessness and apathy.
Art may very well cause you to despise something, but if you despise nothing but the art itself, it has failed grossly.
Nathrach offers very little black metal. This becomes mostly delicate, atmospheric sensitivity.
... for almost a full hour to the end.
Rain Without End Productions, 26.04.15 Throes is a debuting British duo constituted in 2011. The band got into trouble when D.G.
was arrested for participating in riots in England the same year, and was placed under house arrest.
Eventually, his partner A.C. began putting together demos that he recorded in Darksound
Studios, and distributed to D.G. via e-mail.
The result is furious death metal with black elements and a whiff of technical nature, as well as a somewhat discordant
touch of Deathspell Omega, a bit of rawness à la Anaal Nathrakh, and a moderate touch of core. Everything
done in a brutally and unpleasant manner. Uncomfortable sampler pop up at times and contribute to the misery. Throes is not for everyone!
The guys got an intense drive, and their product feels thorough. The album does not have the same diversity as the
aforementioned groups, but the more monotonous and dissonant character creates a pressing mood. The album lasts for
barely 35 minutes, which is a suitable dose, their striking delirium considering. Whether this is your thing or not,
you must find out for yourself.
Name Music & Publishing, 27.04.15
At the last crossroad, Glittertind appeared in a new and weird suit, and I was very excited about where
the road ahead would lead for Torbjørn and crew. Djevelsvart (Devil-Black) has, its artistic direction notwithstanding, some very strong musical properties
where it mixed for me unknown branches of folk romanticism with metallic landscapes.
Now that the band's new direction is unveiled, I must say that I'm very disappointed! I could perhaps go as far as
vx, as the guys after all emerges as skilled
in their work, but it would erroneously suggest that the album was all right and that I could even very well come to
pick it up once and again. That's not going to happen.
I have a very good, hell indeed outright nostalgic relation to Glittertind's Evige Asatro
(2003). I'm not entirely sure of how the album was received by foreigner, though. Torbjørn
performed folk metal in a partly milder and more tender, and partly more rocking fashion than other bands revelling
in Scandinavian folklore. The music contained less of the typical black/pagan/viking-approach. Folk-songs were rather
mixed with cleaner “classic” metal, a slightly rocked feel and the occasional ballad. Performed with somewhat naive
character, but also with authentic enthusiasm and soul! The album hit a spot deep within my steel-heart where it tugged
at my heartstrings.
When Geirmund Simonsen came into the picture, the music changed its character towards a more professional
direction. Landkjenning (2009) were excellently executed with great songs and loads of perfected structures.
With Djevelsvart (2013) Glittertind had become a full band. My thoughts on the album are
already briefly mentioned, but I can also mention a few words from my review back in early December 2013:
Djevelsvart is more alternatively in expression than its predecessors. We're fortunately not talking about
contemporary art music, but rather a progressively touch and a pinch of jazz, perhaps. Gone are the cheerful drinking ballads.
This is more melancholic, and a bit focused on prospects of art.
Blåne for blåne
(Blåne is kind of a summit in the blue yonder, as the peak of a distant mountain behind other mountains,
because that's a typical
I smelt a rat when I saw the cover art. I steeled myself for the worst when the album opened with a form of hushed,
tame and strophic folk-song style that's not easy to explain. I've dreaded translating this piece due to the unavoidable
Norwegian references, but bare with me, I've got videoes to prove my points.
To a Norwegian, I would compare this album to Odd Nordstoga, but you'd be left at a loss if it weren't for the video, and you sure as
hell haven't missed out on anything. When the album continues in this trail, my worst misgivings are confirmed. Høyr Min Song gives associations to a children's television series called Linus i svingen, written by no other
than the same fucking Odd Nordstoga, while Enno Nær reminds me of an annoying song named
Tir n'a Noir
by another banal folk-slowrock band called Vamp. Both are unfortunately highly representative for
Blåne for blåne. There's not a single shred of metal to be traced on the entire album!
I won't yell at Torbjørn for having moved ahead and developed in a direction I'm not comfortable with.
Glittertind takes a new path, on roads I don't have the right footwear to walk on. I can't accuse him of
not warning me either. Already on Landkjenning he sang about going his own way.
We've had a jolly good time and a lot of fun together, Glittertind and I, but now our paths have separated.
I'll turn around right here and stroll back to the back-catalogue. Blåne for blåne marks my farewell to Glittertind and it's a deeply saddened moment!
Cyclone Empire, 24.04.15
Where most albums grows stronger, there are some that reveal weaknesses over time. Maybe I was a bit strict when I gave
the Swedes' last album, Fire Meets Ice three points at the end of 2013. It might also be that Ereb
Altor's music should preferably be enjoyed in moderate doses, and not be play as often and repeatedly as I did back
then. Their new work, Nattramn, have been given a respectable amount of spins for being an Impression.
I'm probably listening to the record for the seventh or eighth time while these words are being scribbled down, but some
of these spins have been somewhat in the background, so I refrain from rating with a cocksure numeric grade this time.
The Isole-members Ragnar and Mats established Ereb Altor
in 2003 to give vent to other and different musical and creative sides of theirs. Sides they at first explored through the
band Forlorn, not to be confused with the Norwegian band by the same name. Along with drummer Tord
and new bassist Mikael, their fifth album offers on more epic viking/doom with black metal influences.
As always, the music has an abundance of nice melodies. For you and me, Nattramn for the most part appear
as a rather quiet piece of music, but like the raven adorning the cover, the band also gnash their teeth at times. This ain't
likely to become your grandmother's favourite music. The band has toned down their time commitment somewhat, with the album
lasting only a bit over 42 minutes, which is a more adequate dose than the 55 that the previous album clocked in at.
The album has lyrics based on Swedish and Norse folklore and traditions. After three slow songs, the longest song of the albums,
Dark Waters, follows. This tells the story of Strömkarlen, a creature out of Germanic and Scandinavian
folklore that tends to lures people into streams where he make sure they never resurface. This is a very good song with everything from
aggressive parts with rasping black vocals to the completely stripped down sequence after about 6 minutes, which has the same kind
of primeval sadness and resignation found four minutes into the My Dying Bride's The Whore, the Cook and the Mother.
I like the album pretty well, but as mentioned, I think it's an album that works better on occasional visits than frequent spins.
It's recorded and mixed by Jonas Lindström in Studio Apocalypse, and mastered by Jens Bogren at
Fascination Street Studios. Ereb Altor can be said to be one of the better viking metal bands, but at the same time, they offer little
development and surprise. Approved, but far from mandatory.
Trollzorn Records, 24.04.15
Irish Celtachor plays Celtic folk/black/doom. The band started in 2007 and released a demo the following
year. In 2010 the line-up was finally complete and the band released a new demo. Two years later they released a
self-financed album, before being picked up by Trollzorn Records and releasing a new album via them last year. Celtachor is a new acquaintance for me. Their “Celtic Black Metal” sports melodic folk elements, heavy
mid-tempo doom-strokes, quicker parts and rasping black vocals.
It may seem natural to compare them with other Celtic-inspired bands like Cruachan and Primordial,
but the expression is too dissimilar to defend a comparison, despite some common folk elements.
Celtachor have an expression where one can trace many different inspirations, or random similarities.
Some folk-musical passages have something in common with those bands, but also partly similarities with Bathory's
Viking period. The stylish phrase “Celtic Black Metal” is taken from the bottom of the press release, which otherwise
describes the music well. It may to some extent be misinterpreted somewhat. The blacker element does not stem directly
from the typical second-generation black metal, but has more in common with atypical interpretations of it, as well as
various refined strains of the first wave.
Think quieter sequences from diverse and perhaps a bit occult black metal bands. Personally, I'm thinking of Southern-
and Eastern European approaches to the black landscapes. Some post-metallic aspects can be traced too.
Vocalist Stephen Roche (newly appointed in Mael Mórdha) at times makes me think a bit of
Abbath. Vocals and instrumentation maintain high standards, and I particularly take note of Anaïs
Chareyre' drumming. She has a virile and diverse style, and also make use of Bodhrán, an Irish frame drum
(like the Sami shaman drum). Irish flute is also frequently used in this quintet.
The band offers good melodies and nice variety, where great folk-elements and heavy metal blended seamlessly and the
various songs gets their individual touch while the album still sounds coherent. The sound is is very comfortable and
allows all ingredients to come forth clearly. The lyrics, that I (with one exception) unfortunately haven't read, is
built on Irish mythology. Exciting.
I most certainly have a taste for Nuada Of The Silver Arm!
This is obviously a day for EPs here at Gorger's Metal.
We're heading over to Germany to get acquainted with a young and promising melodic black/death metal band.
The men started up in 2011, but it wasn't until 2014 that outward activity started to develop in the camp.
The band's first three concerts, and recording and publishing of this EP, their first physical signs of life.
The quartet has been in Nautilus Studio and recorded four tracks totalling just over 18 minutes.
Low dynamic range notwithstanding, the sound is good, fittingly dark and forceful.
The band's music has elements of both black and death metal, and pretty much melody mixed in. A high amount of melodic
extreme metal bands could be used as a reference, but it's enough to mention the proto-source, Dissection.
The melodies the band has woven into the music holds a high standard, and moods have traces of both deadly and black
ancestry. The men also hold good and varied pace. The black vocals may be somewhat unnatural, but that's
just nitpicking, for it's never a problem, and otherwise this is high quality at all levels.
Into Oblivion is a very solid starting point for a young band with lots of potential for
a successful future!
Agonia Records, 24.04.15
From Stockholm comes a trio of grotesque men to use your brain as artillery ranges for stridsvagn 104
(Centurion tanks). The men have spread their aggressive brutality in almost ten years.
If you're already familiar with the band's works, you strictly speaking just need to know that they they're
releasing a new EP in the morrow, and that they still crush, shatter and pulverize.
Demonical was started by former Centinex members in 2006, in the wake of the band's dissolution
in the spring of that year. Centinex was by the way revitalized in January last year, and they released the album
Redeeming Filth in November.
To complement the technical & factual before we get to the music:
The drums are recorded in Amplified Studio and the rest of the EP is recorded in Wing Studio, and the four
track EP is produced and mastered by their vocalist, Sverker Widgren (Centinex, Diabolical),
who was co-owner of Necromorbus Studio before starting Wing Studio in 2013. The sound is suitably brutal
Their Swedish death metal is performed with massive punch, a discreet melodic touch and a becoming whiff of sulphur.
They have always had something black and unholy resting over their moods, which is reflected in their cover art.
The songs won't offer no surprises, but what strong>Demonical do, they do very good. In the last track,
Two Become the Weapon, they've woven in some tones from Chopin's Marche Funebre,
which Bathory also did in Call From the Grave. These grim funeral tones are probably used by
several others as well.
If you're not familiar with these Swedes, it's about time you check them out, and for that purpose, this EP is a decent
dose to get a taste of their frenetic gunfire. Although this only lasts for just over 17 minutes you can expect the
brain porridge to feel like a battlefield after listening.
Recommended for fans of everything from Entombed to Bloodbath.
Daemon Worship Productionsog
Terratur Possessions, 01.04.15
This EP was originally released on cassette(!) Via Terratur Possessions a year ago, and it's finally
out on circular physical entities with different diameter and perimeter. I received the promo an eternity ago,
but the date was not set, and I finally went tired of checking the status on-line. Now it has come to my ear
that the EP was released barely a month ago, and so it's time to scribble down some words.
The original version had three tracks, but this version has carved away
The Deconstruction of Whore and Beast, a sort of noise-remix of the two Svartidauði-tracks,
made by electronics/noise artist AMFJ.
We are left with two tracks and just over a quarter of Icelandic black metal, produced by Stephen Lockhart in
I will not stubbornly assert that Svartidauði is the rightful ones to be deemed as originators of the
somewhat dreamy, yet oh so nightmarish Icelandic psychosis-embossed black metal, but personally, I don't know of any
other band with similar a expressions that holds longer experience and seniority from the volcanic island.
Anyone who knows the band knows what to expect; claustrophobic and eclectic black metal with vital variety.
To be brief (for once); anyone who appreciates exactly this kind of black metal kind will probably enjoy
The Synthesis of Whore and Beast as well.
Relapse Records, 21.04.15
Do you miss old Death, that band that is, or do you miss old death metal in general? Then this can easily
be your thing.
After Chuck Schuldiner's death in 2001 former colleagues from Death decided to organize
a charity tour named Death To All tours. This grew to several tours, and a number of guest artists. a
From a never realized plan for a new round of concerts focusing on material from the first two Death
albums, the idea of creating a project writing death metal in line with those records specifically formed.
Gruesome apparently shares name with a 10-15 year lod Norwegian “demo-band” with amongst others two
members of Kampfar. what does one not come across on the internet.
I was probably about 10 years old when Death made furore, thus it took yet another far-too-many years before
I “jumped the bandwagon”. I've got holes in my collection concerning both Scream Bloody Gore and Leprosy,
but according to
Angry Metal Guy the resemblance Gruesome performs is palpable.
Rugged riffs, tough pre-growl vocals, howling solos and abrupt transitions en masse characterizes the 35 minutes
Savage Land offers. The Death I became familiar with had a somewhat more progressive
approach, but one recognizes the really old school expression from early Obituary etc. There's a genuine
risk of some individuals experiencing some moisture in the eyelet due to pure nostalgia here.
With Daniel Gonzalez (Possessed) on guitar, Matt Harvey (Exhumed,
Dekapitator) on guitar and vocals, Robin Mazen (Derekta) on bass and Gus
Rios (Ex-Malevolent Creation) on drums, one also has a team with experience and expertise to see
this project trough with style.
The songs are tougher that the train, and damn those guys pulls off some sick solos here and there. No less than
three of the members contribute with lead guitars!
If this song material should have been seen as classic, however, the album would have had to come out at the end
of the 80s / early 90s. The songs have both variety and deadly expression, but not enormous amounts of identity and
mental hooks. The album is good and grim while playing, but doesn't stick as easily to an old teflon-brain as it would
on a young minds hearing death metal for the first time.
Metal Scrap Records, 16.04.15
This Ukrainian band was started the summer of 1998, but things did not go quite as planned. Internal disagreements
laid obstacles in their path, no music was released, and in 2006 it came to complete stop. It took another four
years before the band was started up again, and this time around things went more smoothly. 2011 saw the band's
first products, one single and an album. With as much as eight members and thus many different inspirations and
perceptions, they have still managed to unite forces towards a common product.
The band plays gothic death/doom with all the components thereof, and the result is rather versatile, pretty
enjoyable and a touch familiar.
Now I'm not one to complain about how gothic metal is exhausted and has outlived its usefulness. With 10 identical
goth metal releases, hundreds of identical death metal albums and even more identical black metal records on the
shelves or in the CD-rack, I consider it a lack of perspective to complain about the overflowing quantities or lack
of originality among the romantically equipped minority.
Anyway. Transcendental Trip, with a rather misleading album title, consisting of quite equal parts
of death/doom and Gothic melancholy. Forced to choose whether the zebra is white with black stripes or opposite, I'd
prefer to say that the former forms the basics.
Hard meets soft with classic beauty-and-the-beast -vocals. Distorted guitars and deep bass meets velvet-soft violin
and piano. Good and varied melodies creates atmosphere and drama. In the closure Quinta Essentia
we even get some jazzy moods with trumpet.
Some similarities to the Norwegian goth-scene at the end of the 90s, along with Thalarion, Therion,
My Dying Bride and Haggard can be traced. The sound is good, and the mix has a charming aroma of the
slightly rough and unpolished sting that one easily gets when six instruments and two vocals is to be combined without
unlimited funds. The sound as well as the mentioned references provide a sense of the 90s.
Crimson Sky have composed a flavourful dish with considerably accessories and accompanying dessert.
If you are open-minded than check this one out. It's a good album within its style of nature, with lots of good and
Solitude Productions, 21.04.15
“When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions”, Shakespeare wrote in his Hamlet (1602).
I don't know if this is a paraphrase of the idiom known by many shapes all around the world, or vice versa.
“It never rains but it pours” (or “when It Rains It Pours”, bot really apply to the monsoon), “troubles come in
packages”, “an accident rarely comes alone”, “a misfortune does not come alone”... take your pick. This is used
to describe all hell breaking loose... all at once, and can often have a natural explanation in the domino effect.
(Gorger's Metal, your source of phraseological and linguistic philosophy).
Occasionally a shitload, or even a fuckton of shit goes down simultaneously, even in positive terms. Sometimes first
world problems (or luxury problems as we say in Scandinavia) also occurs when it comes to releases. The fact that a
whole bunch of good albums that I'd like to hear ten times and then present a soporific lecture on rarely come alone,
seemingly has no logical explanation.
Mare Infinitum overwhelmed me with their rock solid début in 2011, and I would realy like to take
the time to spin their sophomore album at least ten times, but four or five times is going to have to be sufficient
The Russian duo consists of Homer (ex- Who Dies in Siberian Slush) on guitar, bass and
programming and A.K. iEzor (Abstract Spirit) on vocals and drums. The two seem very
competent, and succeed in making it all sound like a full band. Sea Of Infinity blew me away. Not in a Reign in Blood/A Blaze in the Northern Sky/Altars of
Madness kind of way, this is not user-your-speakers-as-hair-dryer -music. Mare Infinitum
is slow and lead-with-extra-isotopes -heavy*. The début consisted of atmospheric, melodic and partly
symphonic death/doom with links to funeral doom. *(That atoms with extra isotopes has a higher unladen weight is an
assertion not necessarily with any hold in reality. I'm no fucking chemist).
Funeral is in itself a love-or-hate -genre. Mare Infinitum has the width to embrace both
groupings in this respect. With 55 minutes divided into 5 songs, just the same as on the début, it is clear that
Alien Monolith Good has long songs, and yes, they have mud up to their ankles when it comes to pace,
but where most funeral bands shamble around like overly tired zombies, Mare Infinitum rise their
feet as oversized wading-raptors. Here are (amongst more) melodies, symphonic fragments, soaring parts and various
vocal forms enough to create tremendous divergence.
On the first track we get rather epic tones with a light middle eastern touch, and hints of Orphaned Land.
Still, The Nightmare Corpse-City Of R'lyeh is as the title suggests far from polished or poppy.
Heavy riffs and tough, powerful cannon salutes from the percussion doesn't become very rough either, as soaring
violins and guitar strings together with well performed pure and clean vocals also push the overall feel a bit in
the direction of newer Septicflesh.
In a song like the title track we are drawn out into the galaxy clusters. The song gives a hint of a Below the
Sun, bringing some strange effects (where thoughts glide more towards Ayreon), but also the rather
earthy and always pleasant jaw harp.
The sound is generally very good. Guitar and bass hums violently, while the drums have plenty of punch and the
vocals are clear and distinct. The musical quality is thorough and professional.
It's not difficult to hear, even at first glimpse, that this is monumental stuff, and that variety and a magnitude
of ingredients are likely to reveal lots of details and contribute to a higher “life expectancy”. My experience with
Sea Of Infinity also implies that the band's work is not something one gets bored with too soon.
The music is powerful as marzipan, and is probably best enjoyed in adequate doses (of one round at the time).
As Mare Infinitum embraces genres, I embrace their music.
Those with versatile metallic taste is therefore advised to check out this band.
No Regrets Records, 01.04.2015
It's not like me to give such slippery and poppy grunge-embossed albums a shot. I surely have enough releases to
write about. There is nonetheless something slightly fascinating in these songs that is in some ways appealing.
This Greek (yes, that country again) band has absolutely no things in common with other Greek bands I've
written frequently about recently (to my great joy). These guys reside in the realm of prog-rock/metal.
SiXforNinE consisted of three musicians, guitarist, drummer and bassist, as they went into
DevasoundZ Studios to record their début. It ended with the sound engineer, Fotis Benardo
taking the role of lead singer. Does the name sound familiar? I'm hopeless with names myself, but I'm sure (Hells)
bells are ringing in a few minds, as this is the former percussionist in Septicflesh, now in Necromantia
amongst others. And he can certainly sing!
The band has a varied expression bordering on the schizophrenic. With items from Pearl Jam, Tool,
Pink Floyd, Paradise Lost, Mr. Big, Dum Dum Boys, Aerosmith and
guaranteed other pop/rock groups, you realize that these guys incorporate a little of everything. The thing is that
they do it darned well. I do not get any impression that they wobbles too much or bits over too much at once. The
various tracks does however deviate or stray a btad onto different paths, but not in an unnatural fashion.
The sound is clear with nice deep bass, and it is certainly too polished for the most extreme metalheads. That doesn't
matter at all. This is music for less extreme, and perhaps more open-minded souls.
The album is well composed and instrumentally/vocally the level seems to be very high. I like some of the songs
and moments very well, but there are also quite a few part that don't get their hooks in me. The assessment
increased from mid-range to
approved at the very last minute.
This is absolutely recommended to the target audience, as well as those with prog/pop/rock friends visiting occasionally.
Watch the music video for
Save Me, and check out Sound Of Perfection, All My Heroes Dead,
Save Me and 649 here:
Solitude Productions, 06.04.15
“From the ashes into the fire” is a Norwegian counterpart to the English idiom “from the frying pan into the fire”.
As an expression it would sound wrong to turn it the other way around, although chronologically speaking “from the
fire into the ashes” would be a more logical order.
This inverted expression also fits well when moving from Infernal War's breathless and infernal
punch, and over to Russian Дрём and their meek nature. The heaviness remains,
but the pace and intensity changes profoundly.
There is no information about the band that we henceforth refer to as Dryom, beyond their nationality
and year of formation, 2012.
Their first sign of life, a demo, got the title 1, and their second release, a full length album,
thus carries the name 2. Some make it easier for musical “completists” than others. Four songs
from barely 11 to about 17 minutes totalling 55 minutes makes up 2. As this probably tells you,
this is funeral doom.
“From the fire and into the ashes” can also be used to describe the band's mood-charged appearance. A burned-out
world unfolds on the inner canvas. The flames ravaging carnage is finally over, but the fire's wrath has eradicated
everything, and laid it all in ruins. No food, no shelter, no hope. A struggle to live, without funds, without
opportunities. Acknowledgement of hopelessness, of fatality. The sensation of waiting for death. Waiting with time,
and time alone, as the only resource.
The metal is genre-faithful with dark, depressed sound and heavy, slow progress with short, shuffling steps. The
vocalist gurgles as if he was close to drowning. Synth forms the backdrop, as if a pink sky at sunset is a consolation
when glimpsed through a blackish grey carpet of drifting ashes. The men spices with the most monotonous conceivable
use of harmonica. Neat! Equally monotonous flute is also provided. Distinctive. Eccentric. Eclectic.
Some small associations to Ukrainian Kroda is ignited by these parts.
Dryom has provided a very competent, albeit far from innovative début that fans of the genera is
likely to appreciate. At least I sure do.
Agonia Records, 17.04.15
The Polish extreme metal band was formed as early as 1997. I call it early as (a) the first album did not appear
until 2005 and (b) I missed out on both the début and its sequel in 2007.
Then there was silence. Quiet as the grave.
One of the first thing that struck me when the music attacked me was that here was something completely wrong with
the sound. The band offers a brutal sonic attacks against the sense of hearing, and the ears demanded a few minutes
to adapt and steel themselves. There is definitely silence no more now that the Poles again offers the opportunity
to bang our heads and form moshpits.
There is nothing wrong with the sound. Indeed there is low dynamic range and unfortunate
clipping, but we've experienced worse. It was primarily the shock as the loud volume in combination with
the raw and rough soundscape, hit me. Recording, mixing and mastering is done in Solace Studio with M.
(Mgła og Kriegsmaschine) behind the leavers and as a guest vocalist on the title track.
Some so-called brutal death metal band undermines its own expression by pouring cascades of sound so violently that
one ends up with a constant soggy wall of sound. Constant is monotonous. Monotonous is not brutal. This album
is brutal! Infernal War deliver full throttle, but still permit some space between drum beats and
occasionally some room between guitar strokes. They use different melodies and riffs and beastly vocals that takes the
time it needs to communicate roar their rhythmically landscaped messages. All this creates variation that
make it possible to sense the speed and the powerful expression.
When the vocalist – with protruding veins, fierce red hot and tight skin, and eyes rolled so far up in the skull
that he can look for dust on the frontal lobe – empty his lungs with Polish phrases in Paradygma,
he seems obsessed and cursed as never before. And the band shows equally lack of mercy and sympathy. Someone should
arrest these sick people for assault and battery against the senses.
Throw 1349's Hellfire, Marduk's Panzer Division..., Slayer's Altar Of
Sacrifice and Sepultura's Arise in the blender along with some acclaimed vintage Deicide,
Morbid Angel and Cannibal Corpse, leave the mush in room temperate for a few months
and dub the life form born out of this unholy mass the name Axiom. This is admittedly black/death metal,
but the energy and aggression the band present and bestow requires references from a broader extreme metal spectrum.
So sing along, you sick bastards; “Nail Them, Nail Them To The Cross!”. (From No Forgiveness).
Iron Bonehead, 17.04.15
I have experienced being so cocksure of musical direction even before I heard a tone that it has been difficult to
readjust the mind to accepting that what comes out of the speakers is something else entirely. Much like when the
subconscious has decided in what direction the ballerina is spinning, and your
consciousness frantically tries to twist her in the opposite direction.
guidelines might be helpful).
A Greek band with closeup of a man dressed in shining Roman gladiator arena helmet and armour in front of a courtyard
as cover art, can provide some expectations, but also leave enough to the imagination so that one can not say with
certainty what to expect.
Perhaps that is why my brains managed to adapt so smoothly, even though I was taken by surprise at first.
Nocternity's history stretches back to 1997, but the years have flown by between the last album
and this one. There's been some Splits, EPs and other shortish stuff, though. I'm not really acquainted with this
band, even if I have heard their last album, Onyx from 2003. (When first writing this, I had
actually forgotten that I'd heard that one). K.D. is the undisputed band-leader of Nocternity, and along with him he's got a
drummer and a vocalist.
The music is allegedly stripped down since Onyx. I dare not comment on this as my recollection of
that one is too weak. On Harps of the Ancient Temples calm, often slow, atmospheric, monotonic and
hypnotic black metal with occasional soaring guitar passages is delivered. Dark, bitter and hostile in some sequences,
yet more grandiose, dangerously or soaring in others. The Black Gates, which kicks off on the album
both tangent and bypasses current Shining and Forgotten Tomb as far as raw dystopian depression and
disgust concerns. An overall sense of antiquity, where elongated deserted areas dominated the landscape, rests upon
this works. Or perhaps it is an equally barren future. Laid in ashes, desolated and destroyed.
The sound is good, and the dynamic range holds an average of DR9, which is strong in these days.
This summarizes the barely 50 minutes these eight tracks lasts.
And then, the crucial question... is this anything to spend your time on?
There are dreary moments and tedious moments with almost exaggerated monotony, but mostly it is pleasurable,
melancholic and hypnotic tones that reign. Even the seemingly least gripping parts have a tendency to grow. Whether
you want to invest in the album will probably also depends on the originality, and it is of course so-so. At
present-day the innovation is virtually zero, but you might taking into account that the work of Harps of
the Ancient Temples started just after the release of Onyx. If the album had been
released more than ten years ago it might not have been considered groundbreaking, but at least more
creative than today. I enjoy this album better and better for each and every spin, and would have gladly have
stopped time to dwell longer in its dark universe. If this style appeals to you, I believe you will come to
appreciate its miserable character as well.
Nuclear War Now! Productions, 13.04.15
The divergence (in between band) in the musical landscape can be marginal, with little nuances that make up much
in terms of the overall mood and feeling of thoroughness, credibility and quality. Embrace of Thorns
has got something in common with such different acts as Akrotheism, Necromantia,
Archgoat and Execration. If we also add some (vague) similarities with Dødsengel,
Bölzer, Teitanblod, Árstíðir lífsins and Ævangelist, my first sentence is further
emphasized. Embrace of Thorns player suitably rabid and occult sounding death/doom with classic toggles between
down-tempo and brutal parts. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
In the wake of Autopsy's career, the rings in the water has spread far outwards. The outermost ring has
an enormous circumference, and has hit countries on several continents as well as numerous peripheral corners.
We shall once again visit Greece, where Embrace of Thorns was formed at the end of the nineties.
The quartet is out with their fourth full-length album. If you know Grave Miasma and/or Dead Congregation,
which in its turn has its similarities with Incantation (and so on), you also know roughly where in the
maelstrom we are headed. Of course (or fortunately) Embrace of Thorns doesn't hold to significant
similarities with any of the aforementioned bands. Shades, gradations and nuances.
Darkness Impenetrable isn't really mandatory, but the quality is top notch, and the album is
swell. If several of your favourite bands are already mentioned, this is a safe purchase. Bon appétit!
High Roller Records, 17.04.15
Meet Blizzen, one of the freshest additions to the oldest art forms within our favored heritage,
The band has been active since February last year and released a demo almost exactly a year ago. all three songs
there-from have found their way onto this five-track EP.
On this EP these four Germans presents just over 20 minutes of lively metal of the frisky and rather energetic sort.
The music has a good mood, and it can be tempting to characterize it as happy-metal, but it would easily lead to
misconceptions. The songs have decent speed and punch, and are not too merry. Think party rock in a metal clothing,
think AC/DC, cheerful Sabbath/Ozzy songs (like Evil Woman), very early
Helloween, Metallica's version of Helpless and so on. There you have the atmosphere and some
of the band's musical inspirations. (I also get some sensations of the lesser-known Swiss band Poltergeist
and their Behind My Mask without similarities being especially significant).
The vocals are lighter and less biting than what I normally prefer, but it is fits the bands upbeat 70-80's nostalgia.
The songs unfortunately lacks what it takes to qualify for future classic material, but even so, the five tracks all
have their own identity, and the good melodies and ditto drum and guitar playing gets me in a good mood. It feels as
an increasing mantra, but again we are talking approved, but not mandatory.
The guys have lots of potential, so perhaps the début strikes like as lightning when the time comes.
Werewolf Records, 07.04.15
From the mighty forests of Suomi Finland Perkele, Satanic Warmaster has jet again awoken.
Although, the band has in fact been very active concerning “misc” short releases. The band was started by
Satanic Tyrant Werwolf back in 1998 and worked as a duo from 2000 to 2007, when Lord War Torech
was a part of the band. Later Satanic Warmaster has been operated as man band as far as I know,
but this time a full band has teamed up, in terms of both guitarist/keyboardist, bassist and drummer. Fimbulwinter was originally released on Werewolf Records, Werwolf's own
label, in November. This is the fifth album, and it's a bit more than four years since the last album came out.
Fimbulwinter is now out on vinyl in cooperation with Hells Headbangers.
The first thing a connoisseur (or knower) will take note of is the production on Fimbulwinter
. Those of you who nourish an explicit satanic delight in Satanic Warmaster's tendency
to insist on simple and necrotic productions and who do not want it any other way, please take a seat.
I'm sorry, but your Satanic Warmaster seems to have kicked the bucket. It is admittedly not an
over produced edition of the band we encounter here, but the sound on the album is considerably richer and deeper
than we are used to from that part. The album was recorded in Satanic Metal Temple and produced by
Werwolf himself. Sound engineer at the recording, a man with the rather anonymous pseudonym Audioholic
, is also responsible for the mix. The sound is still raw and brutal, but far from as lo-fi as on previous occasions.
The music is partly in the style of compatriots Horna, Sargeist and Behexen, with some
ooze of early Norwegian black metal. The variety on the album is good, with both atmospheric and raw parts. All in
all Fimbulwinter isn't as primitive and hateful as previously outputs, but it has a more powerful
and diverse expressions. Different, but not inferior.
But sigh, what ever will the puritans say when the Finnish warmongers have taken use of the enemies plank, the synth?
They have even incorporated some Dimmu tones from Broderskapets Ring into the first part of
Nuin-Gaer-Faun. But to be perfectly honest, very few are so incredibly puritanical that they have anything to
fear in this respect. The album is very good, and should be highly consumable for most black metal fans.
The original album ends atmospheric in the ambient track Silent Call of Moon's Temples possessing musical
shred of Burzum's em>Han Som Reiste. The vinyl, however, doesn't have this more than eight minutes long
synthetic composition. With this song the album would last well over 50 minutes in its entirety, which would be pushing
the LP format to its limits.
Cyclone Empire, 10.04.15
Behind a rather crummy cover-art we find the third album, and the completion of the conceptual trilogy
Coffin Born Trilogy (although the story on this album chronologically fits in between the two previous
albums) from The Grotesquery. Those who do not know the band can draw a conclusions from the
The band consists of Rogga Johansson (Paganizer etc.) on guitar, Johan Berglund
(eks-Demiurg etc.) on bass, Brynjar Helgetun (Liklukt etc.) behind
the drum-kit and Kam Lee (eks-Death etc.) behind the microphone.
Then you probably have concluded that this is no ragtime polka, but rather death metal strait from the tomb.
The crew, consisting of one American, one Norwegian and two Swedes, have been stable throughout the six years the
band has existed. The début Tales of the Coffin Born impressed a lot, but the sequel disappointed
me a little, as some of the raging and foaming brutality that made their début so formidable had vanished. It may as
well be said straight away, Curse Of The Skinless Bride follows in the path of its predecessor.
The guys have once again made a good death metal album, hence the approval, but I must still say that I'm a tad
disappointed and I readily admits that I at one point thought of confining myself to VX. To begin with the album appeared good but rather undistinguished,
which is hardly good enough, especially considering the sovereign guardsmen who's constituting this infernal
vanguard. That considered, the album is not extremely easy to recommend to those of you who's already got their
shelves full of death metal. They have of course they have heard similarities before. Nor is it too easy to advocate
purchase towards those who have many gaps in the collection, and that should rather concentrate on filling these.
Still, The Grotesquery provides molten iron, clay and dust, and full throttle, and all in all
they rises well above the average mediocrity.
These three quarters got five short track where a deep voiced narrator with distracting echo summarizes the albums
Lovecraft/Poe-based story. The mood I pick up here actually gives more associations toward
Max Payne. The story probably sits best with the lyrics available, something I don't have.
As suspected there's a very descent thrust here. Instrumentation and vocals are overall at top-notch level, and the
band creates solid tunes with just the right amount of variety to satisfy old genre fans. Although I had a bit too
high expectations they commit absolutely no critical errors, and even if you've heard it all before, the band uses
most of the tricks in the book this time. Different rhythms, speeds and riff techniques can occasionally carry my
mind towards Sweden, across the the pond th the US and for a trip to the Netherlands. Curse Of The Skinless Bride is mixed and mastered by Ronnie Björnström in Enhanced Audio
Prod. The sound is the way we want it, and the dynamic rates is okey. (DR7 in the main songs).
When the album has been allowed to grow for a while, VX
is no longer a real alternative, and if I had a booklet with lyrics I would probably appreciated the album even higher.
Alas, not a must, but not an album fans will regret having purchased. Good, but not in any way abnormal!
Sepulchral Productions, 07.04.15
The label Sepulchral Productions was formed by Myrkhaal from Frozen Shadows to release
their début album in 1999, but has (after a pause) grown to become the leading label for French-Canadian black metal.
The label has released lots of superb Québécois Black Metal, but Hymns of Failure is not amongst
them. Unfortunately this double album lives up to its name.
Scythrawl is the man behind the one-man band Ether, which allegedly plays
depressive black metal. However, he has misunderstood the concept a bit. Depressive music should please the listener,
not make him depressed. This is Ether's sophomore album.
The music lies in the aforementioned landscape, but has a touch of post-metal. Semi-aggressive parts is broken up by
too many lengthy atmospheric and meaningless passages. The black vocals becomes too screaming and the clean vocal that
sometimes appears is just puny in an extreme-metallic context.
It all sounds rather amateurish, lacking the brutality and aggression one expects from this scene. The sound is thin,
fairly flat and a bit “pointy”, and the songs don't have the ideas required to be appreciated. There are traces of
black pearls hidden amongst the six songs, but far from enough for a holistic piece of pleasure. The melody lines sometimes
works, but thet are just as often quite boring. The structure is so-so, some French frenzy can fortunately be tracked.
The rhythms is what works best, as the drums make a strenuous effort of playing prober black fucking metal.
The encompassing atmosphere is Scythrawl's Achilles' heel. Although the majority of the music is black
metal, technically spoken, I get absolutely no black metal feeling from the music. The guitar sound is completely wrong
and the vocals tend more toward screamo in my book. One man bands armies like Sombre Forêts and
Neige et Noirceur eats one man projects like this for lunch. (Breakfast is for early bird).
And also, this is a double CD. That the guy doesn't have the common sense to reject something amongst these more than
90 minutes this miserable piece lasts suggests low developed self-criticism. This represents the very last nail in the
coffin, but still there's enough of arguments to choose from. Farewell, Ether.
Rain Without End Productions, 22.03.15
Time for a musical breather and a break from the harsh left hand path, I thought. Exactly what I committed myself
to, I did not know. Dead Summer Society is a young Italian one-man band in a gothic direction of
the doom landscape. Fine by me, for a diversion, but I had some higher hopes of more solid performance.
Mist created the band in 2010 and collaborated with singer Trismegistus on material for
the first album, released in 2012. During the writing of this sequel, he has worked with other people. Unfortunately
I haven't got any details to share on this matter.
To start with the positives. Mist's got a good flair for melancholic melodies. The variety on the
album is good, indeed slightly in excess. Everything indicates that the man is skilled with instruments/programming.
In addition, the sound is clear and the bass distinct. The rough vocals (which are not used often enough) is also good.
On the negative side, parts of the sound is excessively synthetic. Even the piano sounds flatt and lacks timbre. The
divergence in song to song expression sometimes appear as overly variable. As the song State of Waiting
follow Shatters the music also moves from comfortable death/doom to poppish post-metal which later
shift toward quiet gothic metal with classical opera-related female vocals (without the contrasting male growl).
With well over an hour the album also becomes a bit too calm and too much.
Mist presents lots of fine melodies and great parts with his Dead Summer Society, but
he should have tighten up a few things on ...So Many Years of Longing... Also it would have been
advantageously for him to be a bit more self-critical and cut away some unnecessary filler parts and some of the nearly
schizophrenic diversity. (Allow me to specify that what we call "schizo" in metal terms is really something
completely different in mental terms. Therefore, just in case some absentmindedly psychoanalyst is led astray
and has landed here: What I really mean is “metal with multiplicity and divergence suggesting similarity to that of
dissociative identity disorder, formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder”).
Lots of great ingredients, but the stew's composition makes it taste a bit bitter. It's almost there 'though. Work a little
harder on the recipe and perhaps next time... Third time's the charm, they say.
Sepulchral Productions, 07.04.15
In the province of Quebec, Canada, we find one of those black metal scenes that has a local characteristic that
both fascinates and pleases me. The scenes of the two cities Québec and Montréal have evolved into solid distinct
and idiosyncratic black metal. We shall visit Québec (the twin town or “Ville Jumelée” in French of Bergen, Norway,
where I dwell) this time. It is slightly odd that two bands from the same country, the same city and within the
same genre uses exactly the same name, spelled identically as well. There are indications that this duo took the
name first. Délétère's got two demos from respectively 2012 and 2013 on their guilty conscience.
They have just been released on one compilation. The very same day, the same bands début was released via the same
company. We summon up both in one and the same process.
It's extremely nice to see that the this killer scene of the French part of Canada is in motion again, for it is pretty
much exactly one year since I last wrote about an album of Québécois Black Metal.
This duo consists of Atheos(Monarque (live)) and Thorleïf (Valknacht).
We start with the compilation album De Ritibus Morbiferis – Demo Compendium.
This one opens violently with the demo Inopia a Morbo, where 24 minutes cold, crisp and satanic
black metal unfolds freely and recklessly. Discreet use of church organs from hells cathedrals (ironically) create
a profound unholy mood. Necrotic, evil black metal for better or worse. In my ears a fantastic sovereign demo! It
requires some volume to shine with its highest potential. On low volume the evil feel is lost on one, so crank
it up. After a somewhat pointless and not very appropriate outro the next demo's at the door.
Sacrificium Necrothytum sounds lunatic and Canadian, but these four songs don't have the same
sense of icepick in the neck. The songs are not as freezing and diabolical, and they generally have a smoother,
more mundane character. Not bad, but not much to brag about either. Two of the songs are 7.5 minutes, without
having enough ideas to constitute more than one normal track and the last track consists of entirely 8.5 minutes
ambient cacophony. I change my mind. This demo is actually quite poor.
We move on to the band's brand new début, Les Heures de la Peste.
The album is closer to their second demo in expression, but the songs are better. We also get a recurrence of the
blasphemous organ, though it is used moderately and is a bit behind in the unfortunately untidy sound. The record
is impaired by a lo-fi production with the characterization of a demo. Some metal-heads will appreciate the crazed
sound, but I'd rather have sick music that float pleasant down my ear canal. The material ain't to bad, if deranged
Canadian black metal tempts thee. Some tracks got the appropriate morbid mood, while others fall a bit short.
Approximately eight minutes long Sextet - Une charogne couronnée de fumier is a track that really
succeed in pleasing me.
The band still has some way to go to get to the same level as Neige et Noirceur, Sombre Forêts and
Sorcier des Glaces. I wish them the best of luck on their path, and I guess I'll meet them again down the road.
Art of Propaganda, 30.03.15
The German black metal scene doesn't have the same uniform identity as some other countries can refer to, but
divergent direction among the country constellations of harmful outcasts has given Germany a rich and diverse black
flora. These débutantes travel along lonely, abandoned and desolated roads with their melancholic and sorrowful mind.
The band was founded by guitarist Tobias in 2007. With four members a self-titled demo consisting of
black/death metal was released in 2011. After a few years and some changes in line-up and musical direction,
Infesting Swarm débuts as a quintet with a version of black/doom reminiscent of blackened death/doom.
The Germans slow and mournful metal is of a melodic type. The similarity with dsbm is evident, but these guys are
technically closer to a mix of mournful, melo-black and post-black drenched in the wearied pace of doom. Compared to
dsbm the music is equally depressive, but less reproachful towards everyone and everything, and it doesn't carry the
same hatred. Desolation Road doesn't have the same latent death-wish either.
The débutantes brings good melodies to the table, alternating skilful between naked and raw passages and between slow
and mid-tempo parts. All in all not a mandatory, but nevertheless a very good début. Infesting Swarm marvel at its best as they show their teeth and bite a bit accompanied by somewhat
colder riffs during the closing title track.
Invictus Productions, 06.04.15
Gorger's Metal doesn't visit Ireland too often. When we first stop by the British island, it's rather nice to
bee able to give some positive feedback. Fortunately that's not a big problem when four relatively experienced
Irishmen have put their heads together and formed a new black/death metal band that focus just as much on
disturbing and claustrophobic moods as a grotesque expression.
None of the four members of Malthusian is newcomers, although their experience varies. A couple
of the guys come from well-established groups like Mourning Beloveth and Altar of Plagues, which
basically is promising for somewhat quality-conscious and critical souls.
The band was founded just three years ago and released a demo in November 2013. This is their second release, a
three-track EP with 25 minutes duration.
At the bottom of this page Bölzer was cited as reference in connection with a split from Akrotheism
& Septuagint. Malthusian is actually a little closer to the band in expressions. Frantic
and anguished vocals full of hate meets deep guttural rumble. The songs do not follow typical melodic lines, but
move in twitches and jerks by patterns and rules of some other and infernal world, shuns by most, with blinders if
necessary. The band's thick, discordant and dissonant sphere crawling like ants on your half-devoured carcass and
feels as lurid as the waiting time before answers on those tests you do not want positive feedback on.
'Nuff said! Out on CD, vinyl and cassette.
Ván Records(vinyl) &
Imperium Productions(CD, Digital), 03.04.15
The German death machine Sulphur Aeon has no more than five years of experience, and they have
only reached their sophomore full-lengt release, yet they compensate with a violent drive and strong songs, and
they've grown fast to a strong name in the metal scene.
Their début album Swallowed by the Ocean's Tide was issued in December 2012 or January 2013,
depending on the source of information and can safely be called acclaimed. Unfortunately I never got around to
Both albums are adorned by mighty illustrations of Leviathanic themes made by Swedish graphic artist Ola
Larsson. (To let the details come out and shine, I have attached an extra large cover sheet. Click on the
Gateway to the Antisphere is not quite as dark as its predecessor. The sound is somewhat brighter
and airier, despite Simon Werner being the producer for both albums. (Simon was incidentally also
studio technician for Andsolis début). T. paints soaring moods on the album with melodic guitar playing of good technical caliber. His riffs
are also ruthlessly raw. The same man takes care of the bass, which is not as significant as on the début. M.
roars into the microphone while D. provides rapid force behind the drum kits with furious
The powerful death metal is as energetic as the one Immolation offers, but the style isn't particularly
similar. The music has a grand and majestic feel to it, along with a hypnotic groove.
I hardly competent of giving a more detailed explanation of the Gateway to the Antisphere at the
moment. I can however say that death metal fans who have not discovered Sulphur Aeon yet should get
their finger out. The album lasts more than 50 minutes, but the band masters fully to fill those minutes with forceful,
meaty, succulent and omnipotent death metal. If death is what you want, than mighty annihilation is what you get!
Blood Harvest, 30.03.15
The two guys who make up the Polish duo Pregierz had long been wanting to start a band together
when they in the summer of 2013 made their dream become reality. Blood Sanctions is their first recording, original released as a demo on cassette last summer.
The intro above may perhaps not provide the highest expectations of uniqueness and quality. The label that has
picked up this band are among those who point out of that they are “Always on the hunt for the most savage sounds
in the metal underground”. To sound as blatant and cacophonous as possible should never be the primary goal of
music. One would quickly end up with underdeveloped, barbaric piles of similar sounding crap on Impaled
Northern Moonforests low level. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying metal should be all sophisticated, but
savagery alone is not enough to sink a ship, only enough to plague a saint.
Fortunately Pregierz doesn't sound savage alone. It does have more to offer, and for a demo
released one year after the band's dawning it actually sounds pretty good.
The band plays fast and aggressive death/black with rabid Polish vocals and some movie samples. The sound is gritty
and unpolished, and fits the crazed and frenzied style very good. The first two songs are a little bit too straight
forward. Simple extremity alone is as I've already pointed out no valid argument for me to buy an album, I've heard
a gazillion similar berserk releases, and they are all monotonous and boring, and they grey out the contours between
them. Now luckily that's more of a digress when it comes to Pregierz.
The two first songs offers me nothing new. The last two songs however brings architectural arrangements that shows
promising divergence for their structural future. These songs alter and twist considerably more, and shows the bands
inhumane nature from a far better and wider side. Even if this is not even remotely distinctive, it is still good,
and it is what saves them from the coup de grâce.
Some will take Blood Sanctions into their metal-hearts, despite better offerings in the mass grave
of profane releases within the genera. Personally I wonder whether a demo of this caliber justifies printing on vinyl.
Solitude Productions, 03.03.15 Two Faces of Autumn is simply a joint re-release of Ukrainian Autumnia's two
first albums, In Loneliness of Two Souls (2004) and By the Candles Obsequial
This makes up ⅔ of the band's discography, as the third album O'Funeralia (2009) is their
latest contribution to date.
The band plays classic death/doom of melodic, slow and mournfull sort. In the style of bands such as Swallow
the Sun, Doom:VS, Mourning Beloveth, Shape of Despair..... Autumnia is amongst the more calm and quiet bands of this brand. Some death/doom bands blends
higher pace and more fury into the mix. Mourning Dawn for example's got more anger, and
Draconian more variety and some more velocity.
Autumnia has only sorrow.
Especially In Loneliness of Two Souls, which last for one hour, is of the funeralistic, sluggish
variety. The vocals alternate between gloomy clean and growl. The album is heavy, dark and avoids excessive motion.
It wants to grieve and mourn, and I want to listen, for it is beautiful.
Although the music is only about ten years old, it has an elder touch to it that drag my thoughts slightly towards
early Anathema, which is neither a direct musical equivalent.
Autumnia doesn't integrate large and powerful parts like My Dying Bride into their
compositions, either but when By the Candles Obsequial comes along, the expression shift slightly.
Grief turns to despair and scorn. Other elements gain entry as well. Light clean vocals, synth and some piano and
female vocals come along. The music moves more around and assume a more gothic form. This album doesn't feel quite
as good as the first one, and it is a bit little more schizophrenically constructed, but still it seems pretty good,
this one too.
This is truly just an impression as it has only got a single round in its entirety. The first part has been given one
extra listen in later on. Thus I absolutely do not doubt that Two Faces of Autumn could grow further on me.
My impression is still good, so at least I'm not unreasonable. Two Faces of Autumn is two good autumnal albums in one package.
I prefer the first part, but think that fans of the genre should check out the whole package below.
Stramonium is a plant that, like some other hallucinogenic plants, has been tried or used (with debatable success)
in a medical context. This plant has a wide number of rather metal nicknames, including “Devil's snare”,
“hell's bells”, “devil’s trumpet”, “devil’s weed” and “devil’s cucumber”. The stuff is supposedly a potent mental
Italian Abhor offers Transylvanian moods with organ play reminiscent of a mad scientist, possessed
by the spirit of both the Phantom of the Opera and Dracula.
I've always dug the organ part in Helloween's Dr. Stein. There is something diabolical about
this instrument that has led to countless movies and cartoons beeing equipped with ancient castles and ditto
madmen who play their infernal preludes before or after their evil actions, whether it involves devouring their
victims or wiping out the earth. The organ's infamous tones have been heard several times in metal-related
contexts, but hardly to the extent that Abhor presents.
This is my first encounter with Abhor, despite the fact that they they are celebrating 20 years
of existence this year. They have used the organ for 15 years now, but how extensively the use of the instrument
has been on previous albums I can not tell. Last year their regular organist, Errans Inferorum
died (R.I.P.). Their new man with black robe and big hair (at least that's what I imagine vividly) is a mysterious
gentleman named Leonardo Lonnerbach.
On Rituale Stramonium the organ is very frequently used, something that creates a horror-sounding
atmosphere. Add Ulfhedhnir's demonic vocals to the picture. The man is clearly possessed by
Besides the prominent use of church organ, the manic vocals and also a rather significant bass, the music is not
directly original in itself. We're talk mid-tempo to fast Italian black metal of a rather regular kind. Thus
exceeding 50 minutes becomes a bit to much. Nevertheless, organ and vocals gives the music a somewhat distinct
touch that creates horrible and unholy moods. Not a must, but an unpleasant encounter with dark forces in a large,
draughty castle in inhospitable parts of the Italian Alps. Approved under moderate doubt.
I noticed by the way that the letters that adorn the cover art reminds suspiciously of those used on Danish
Denial of Gods debut full length The Horrors of Satan, without me being
able to identify the typeface or font.
Pesanta Urfolk, 30.03.15
Behind a rather home-made cover art we find four Americans. The band started in 2011 and released two demos last
year. This is the first of them, original released February 20th 2014. Which also explains the name MMXIV
(ie 2014 for those who are not strong with Roman numerals). The band plays doomy black metal and
MMXIV consists of two songs of respectively 7 and 10.5 minutes.
It starts out calmly. Some tens of seconds with atmospheric guitars leads on to dark and heavy doom-landscapes before
the pace increases. It alters between frenetic tempo and musical moorlands, with a clammy hand of threatening insane
dissatisfaction constantly resting over it. The mind wander toward Iceland, but Predatory Light
doesn't blends in quite as much uttering madness as say Misþyrming does. The Americans got a bit more ordinary
nature, and although my memory is to insufficient to come up with examples, I have heard similar stuff before.
Still, I did not have high expectations, but the quartet gives a positive surprise. This demo dressed as an EP holds a
pretty high quality, and deliver malicious windswept moods. I especially need to point out the vocals. L.S.
delivers guttural grunts that rumble in the back of the mix in an underworldly fashion. MMXIV
is a solid product in itself, which bears witness of a promising career to come.
This one is available for pay what thou wilt on
Bandcamp, and if it appeals, Pesanta Urfolk's got a stack of 10" vinyl
just waiting for you.
Blood Music, 31.03.15
I've said it before and I'll say it again... The level on lots of releases coming from some of the earlier republics
of the Soviet Union holds a very high quality level. We're going to Belarus to meet a duo that sound like an entire
orchestra. Their death metal's got both symphonic, technical and progressive elements.
After an intro of the orchestral and epic kind, complete with a-chorus, guest-drummer Lyle Cooper totally
hauls ass. He's occasionally got a hellish pace, and he vary decently. Guitarist Vladislav Nekrash
has a typical technical style, but also plays some properly vital tunes. Vocalist and bassist Yaroslav
Korotkin growl with a deep, otherworldly feel, and his bass fits well in the mix productionwise. The music's
got certain similarities with the last album from Allegaeon.
The promo letter declare that Irreversible Mechanism challenges Beyond Creation and
Obscura. Well, this one is better than Beyond Creation's last album, but the expression is a little
less "technical" and a bit more orchestral with the Belarusians.
Necrophagist guitarist Sami Raatikainen has produced the album. I like the sound and the mix, but
somewhere in the mixing/mastering process one has fallen into the Fleshgod Apocalypse-trap. The dynamic
elbowroom is so low that one must crouch and walk stooped within these narrow frames. Disappointingly low DR4 is just
as bad a dynamic range as Labyrinth had. Infinite Fields is a bit airier musically, and thus
their record is not as tiresome as Fleshgod's latest album to listen to.
The two musicians behind Irreversible Mechanism is as fresh as their début album, and the music is
surprisingly awesome to come from such newcomers. I choose to look the other way when it comes to the lack of dynamics,
and I give this one two horns up!
Sleaszy Rider Records, 31.03.15
There's only two and a half months since Thurisaz released Live & Acoustic, received with moderate
enthusiasm by yours truly. When they now return with an album consisting of metal, it's natural that I hold
a different tone. Still, emphasizing the word metal is a bit wrong for such a calm, melodic and harmless album like this.
Thurisaz has always been melodic, but this must be one of the most gentle releases from the Belgian
act. Only the first few minutes of ...for a Change, the albums shortest song* and the start
of One Final Step has the capability to show some teeth on the album. (*If I overlook the
interlude Enslaved Dreams).
If the band hadn't used a little heated drummed patterns and some growl and black vocals, than altruism would have
taken over and any reason for comparison with extreme metal would vanish in thin air. The similarity with black and
death is as weak and vague as it can get already. The only reason to mention these styles is in fact to clarify that
“no, The Pulse of Mourning has got nothing to do with extreme metal”
Nevertheless, that is of course not a valid argument against the band.
Melodies soft as velvet, bright tones, light strings and extensive use of clean vocals constitute the majority of
The Pulse of Mourning. But is that negative? No, not as long as one likes a clear blue musical sky.
The music has its share of melancholy, so at least it's not to jolly. Thus it's really a matter of taste, and of
course it all comes down to wetter or not the melodies are up to par.
I've let these three quarters this album lasts grow to three hours and I'm still somewhat uncertain. The album is
by all means not bad. Far from it. However I have a suspicion that at least a few tracks are easy to go tired of.
There seems also to be some good songs with ditto melodies that have the potential to grow larger. Subjectively
The Pulse of Mourning is not an album that is is extremely interesting to listen to repeatedly.
However, it probably would had worked better for me if I had settled for playing it once in a while. I have no doubt
that fans of frictionless melodic metal will have a soft spot for this. The most obvious band to compare this with
is probably Saturnus from Copenhagen. I choose to give the album the benefit of doubt.
The sound is round and warm, the bass comfortable and the dynamic range is proper. Soft and instrumental intro, two
interludes and outro that occupy barely a quarter of the album, takes the average of the dynamic range up to DR9,
but the regular songs are approximately DR7.
Forever Plagued Records, 30.03.15
These days anything that can crawl amongst Greek black metal bands seems to strike while the iron is hot. And the
quality is generally at a high level on one or more levels. Some have originality (at least as much as one can expect),
some are highly professional, and still others constructs moods that penetrates the psyche as malicious parasites.
Meet and greet Akrotheism and Septuagint, two parasites that causes discomfort and
We start of with a quick presentation. Akrotheism commenced their journey in 2012 and participated on a split year. The quintet released the
Behold the Son of Plagues not much more than a year ago. They've altered a bit on their expression since then.
Septuagint is new to me. The duo went by the name Declaration:Holocaust from 2006 till 2011,
without more than a demo being released. After appearing under a new moniker it took yet another few years before they
released the EP
Negative Void Trinity about a year ago.
Akrotheism has become much creepier and crawlier in a more sluggish paste, as well as more ceremonial
than on said album. I noticed some similarities with Triptykon last year and they've taken a step closer towards
that style this time around. It is generally slow, heavy and occult. This is music that conjures up thoughts of anonymous
cut-clad servants of his master's will, coming to capture their victim on his behalf by force. The band presents two songs
of eight minutes and barely a quarter respectively . The variety is good as different pastes and shades of brutality slides
seamlessly while simultaneously coiling and wiggling like a serpent. I might add that encyclopaedia metallum has Aosoth,
Funeral Mist and Thy Flesh appointed as similar bands. There are common elements within the music, but
overall the similarity is not remarkable. Some resemblance can be found with the likes of The Ruins of Beverast,
but the expression reminds more of Bölzer.
Septuagint's contribution is a song clocking in at over 14 minutes. It fits so nicely into this dystopic
ritual that I don't have much more to add. Sphinx: The Great Enigma Of Times consists of 37 hypnotic minutes
that shall be allowed to invade, occupy and enthrall my senses on several occasions to come. The press release (for once) hit
the nail on the head with the statement “... take sepulchral black metal even deeper into the tombs”.