Naturmacht Productions, 31.05.15 Mortis Mutilati is a French one-man black metal band that goes more in the direction of comfortless
dsbm than more traditional French course such as deranged and abhorrence. Macabre, as the man calls himself, plays and has played in a handful of black constellations. The
most acclaimed being Moonreich, where Macabre played bass on highly delightful
Terribilis Est Locus Iste witch I wrote about in 2013.
Macabre is ever so concerned about death. His love of cemeteries and graves has evolved into a form of topophilia, a
sometimes unhealthy attachment to a particular place, sometimes under the conviction that the place has strong
magical or religious properties/connections. This tombstone tourist or graveyard enthusiast is also said to have
composed this album under the “under the influence of death and eroticism; i.e. necrophilia”. I dare not assume
what that should indicate, but one can possibly interpret that if you are a musician and suffering of idea-droughts
and writer's block, you only have to find a shovel (and possibly a box Vaseline in case of rigor mortis).
Mortis Mutilati does not offer the most complicated sentimentality. In fact I would say that this
is one of the few albums that doesn't necessarily get much better from concentrated listening, as it easily uncovers
The vocals, for example, is extremely far behind in the sound, which is an advantage as it is rather horrible.
When you get the music on a distance (perhaps even somewhat in the background) the vocals contributes a rather
vague dissonant feel. Macabre has made music that makes a very good job of being sad and beautiful, but that do not have
other qualities or fill any other function. Thus it entirely depends on what you are looking for. The sound is
clear and good, but not cleaner than what Macabre has intended it to be. It's actually surprisingly
good to come from a rather unknown black metal one man band. The mastering has been done by Devo of
Marduk in Endarker Studio.
Mélopée Funèbre is three quarters of rather gentle and harmless, yet and tear dripping dsbm with
a melodic touch. It is a pleasant record to listen to, and it had a mild hypnotic soporific effect on me. As I
fortunately don't have anything to be gloomy and depressed over myself, I can surely enjoy myself others misery.
The cover art ain't much to brag about, though.
Shit, I could have sworn that there was someone there, but obviously I'm sitting here talking to myself again.
If I mention for example Moonspell as a reference, is there anyone who bother to listen to me then?
Jokes aside. This is a re-release of the Italians' fourth and apparently most acclaimed album. The music is not
quite easy to place in one particular cubicle. The album is melodic landscaped with symphonic elements and a mighty
feel. Elements of black metal ensures that it does not become too tame, although the overall picture should not
really be called black‑anything for that reason.
Stormlord's history stretches back to very early 90s. The line-up has seen many a replacement,
and only one original member remains. The début came at the end of the 90s, and consisted of little impressive
melodic extreme metal. The quality increased steadily, and exactly nine years later the fourth album Mare
Nostrum came out. The next (and most recent) album Hesperia came out in autumn 2013 and became
the second albums I wrote an Impression for.
We get a lot of good and varied melodic rooted music on Mare Nostrum. Partly catchy but still not
typically commercial. Very melodic, soft extreme-metallic, playfully epic, light-hearted folk/viking-influenced,
soaring orchestral, very varied and fairly advanced music, professionally conducted to the fingertips. Thus with
good endurance. Here they visit Amorphis in one moment and Lacuna Coil in the next, before tones
of viking metal or the Middle East, or perhaps more industrial character takes over.
These two bands are reasonably random. I could have mentioned a handful of others. Stormlord sails
by many ports and thus resembles many bands with melodic ingredients, but they are the not at all a copycat. I
mentioned Moonspell in the preamble, not because of profound similarities, but because both have some of
the same fearless urge to explore and both mixes many ingredients with good melodies in compositions characterized
by diversity and distinct song-signatures.
After nine melodious gems floating like pearls on a string for 47 minutes, comes the bonus material in the form of
four demo versions and a live recording in studio on one of Italy's most popular rock radio stations. Completely
unnecessary for anyone but larger fans and completists, naturally. Mare Nostrum is a wonderful and evocative record, a sea-voyage with a fairytale-like atmosphere
and fans of aforementioned styles that has not heard this one is hereby encouraged to check it out.
Folter Records, 29.05.15
It's not long since we last encountered Vanhelga. I had misgivings to this band, but the EP
proved to be an enjoyable affair.
This time we dealing with another EP, but of slightly older calibre. This was released in late 2011 by Art of
Propaganda, limited to hundred copies.
The only thing that is new with this edition, except for it actually being available, is the improved cover art. At
least they don't milk audience and fans for hard earned cash. Well, except from obsessive–compulsive collectors, that is.
Ångest kicks off well. The first two tracks doesn't offer the most deterrent music in neither
energy nor sound. Proper variety and some rawer segments notwithstanding, the wholeness of these songs is dreamy
with melancholic melodies and ditto moods.
When Sorg (Grief) comes as the third track, it traverses (to my great bewilderment) even calmer
landscapes. I've come to expects full distortion (something one in this song only finds in the vocals) but ends up
with poppy tones suspiciously reminiscent of what little I've heard of the protagonist's earlier work, Lifelover.
A boring and repetitive song.
When the fourth song starts, the fuzz pedal and other audio filters have latched/locked/stalled onto discordant settings.
It sounds extremely amateurish at both first and second listen. The sound suggests inexpensive home studio software
installed via floppy disks on a 386-based PC with Windows 95. Nevertheless, the perception of this and the subsequent
song becomes, as expected, better over time, and the dissonant distortion has its ailing charm.
After two songs the fuzz-filter-capacitor-relay-adapter-connector have become overheating because of arcing due to an
intermittent fault, so the postlude Ångest becomes a tremendously clean and smooth ending.
This EP is very little coherent. It may seem to be recorded at three to four different occasions and in just as many
moods. Some songs are reasonably good, and others are quite passable, while a few are pretty meaningless. The wholeness
becomes too fragmented for me to get a good impression of this 25 minutes schizophrenia.
Listen to the penultimate song
Suicide, and the last song, Ångest here. Note also how lamentably the original cover looked.
Cyclone Empire, 29.05.15
This is the day for Obituaryish worship. I'm barely done digested Cult Of Endtime, before the
next band in line, Swedish Feral, offers yet another homage to a bygone era.
As long as the music is so well-constructed, I don't have any reason to complain about lack of musical diversity.
After all, the two bands have completely unlike expressions as well.
After four years as a black/death metal band under the name Valmer & Hook the Swedes changed name to
Feral and went on with pure death metal. The men are located in Skellefteå, and must not be mixed
up with Feral from Karlstad, which in turn changed their name to Xul, which in turns must not be
confused with Xul from Uddevalla.
Compared to Cult Of Endtime, Feral has a pretty different approach. The Swedes have a
higher pace, ain't sounding nearly as deep and dark, and generally got a more airy and dirty Entombed-feel.
This is also reflected in the sound, which in both bands fit the music like hand in carrion. Tempo wise one might
say that the bands are located on either side of Autopsy.
In Charnel Lights and Where Dead Dreams Dwell are both very good death metal albums with
more respect for roots than new fruits. Beyond that there is little resemblance to be found.
Personally, I'd probably gone for the former if I were forced to choose, but that's neither certain, nor objectively
justified. Alas, unimportant. You might as well buy both, as you still need to visit your local album pusher tomorrow.
Svart Records, 29.05.15
Some covers reveals the musical direction without leaving much to the imagination, such as the drawing for
Ered's disc below. Others keep the cards closer to their chest.
It might not be so terribly difficult to deduce what this Finnish quintet hides behind their graphic art, though
it is probably not as obvious.
I just threw one quick and misleading glance at the cover before I pressed play. Thus almost anything could have
revealed itself. The death metal that bashed down on me as the music started was leaden and dark as the grave.
Three quarters from start to bitter end, this is obscene death metal knee-deep in blood-soaked mud. Oh so sluggish,
heavy and dark. The guitars offers atmospheric riffs and tones in constant change, the drums are in just as constant
motion and offers well played variation. The growling alternates exquisitely between cavernous dark depths and a
stabbingly sharp shape.
The five Finns who started Cult of Endtime in 2010 do have some years of experience. The whole
lot played in the death/thrash band Discard which was active from 2004. After one full-length the band
broke up. Last year the band replaced their drummer, but the four remaining are now experiencing their "second début".
The combination of what Finns do best, utter darkness, with that stench of decaying old death, really sits well
with me. Fans of well-composed, well played and rather slow death metal with roots in the early nineties, should
and must check out In Charnel Lights!
War Anthem Records, 29.05.15
These Spaniards have been active for almost 20 years. It took a small handful of demos and nearly ten years before
their début album was out in the stores ten years ago. Another five years passed before the sophomore album was
bestowed upon the world, and now another five years has passed. Meanwhile the conquistadors has kept the iron hot
with various splits.
Most songs are between five and seven minutes, which is pretty much considering that the quartet provides as much
as 11 songs on Night of Eternal Doom. A total playing time of over an hour can be considered an
overdose in a genre on the battlefield between death and black metal.
Fortunately it isn't a lack of self-awareness that has led to a megalomaniac overdose. Ered doesn't
only have an abundance of creativity, if I can use an expression like that for a band that releases albums quinquennial.
They also have a sense of quality, and they have apparently not waited four and a half years before they started on
a new compositional process.
That lengthy records rarely holds such a high level of quality in this genre. Nevertheless, more frequent album
releases wouldn't have have killed us with, and strictly speaking they could have been slightly shorter too.
Although the quality is strong enough to "carry" the duration, it starts to feel like more than enough as fifty
minutes is passed.
Musically dark and grim metal is mixed with some melodic lines that brings Dissection to mind.
Ered are more aggressive and infernal, and thus never becomes particularly melodic. The material's without
argument got descent variation in riffs and rhythms. In that sense, the band comes off very well despite the overkill.
I have no idea where Night of Eternal Doom was recorded, but the sound is good and well-known
Necromorbus Studio has taken care of mastering (with mediocre DR6 as a result).
Killer black/death from one of not too many bands that make a real effort to put Spain on the metal map. And
extravagant “value for money” as a bonus.
Hear more of the Spaniards' discography on
Trollzorn, 29.05.15 Skiltron is a new acquaintance of mine. In 2013 they released their previous full length album
Into The Battle Ground. Before this the band had three albums out on the shelves. It's these three
discs we shall take a look at now that Trollzorn are re-releasing them, with a respectable amount of bonus
material on each disc, I might add.
As the draft to this preamble is being written, I have devoured the two first albums. Huge was the surprise when I
learned that the band behind this Celtic Braveheart-metal came from Argentina of all places.
After two years of existence as a band Skiltron debuted with this piece of work.
It kicks of lively with festive folk melodies, bagpipes, flute and fiddle. The metal is fast-paced, but far from
extreme, where drums gallops in nice flow and guitars play along very well. The vocals are clean and a bit light,
but just as rough, harsh and powerful as good heavy-metal vocals should be! It gives me small but pleasant vibes
of Walls of Jericho and is among the better clean vocals I've heard in the genre on this side of the 90's.
It can be used as an example of exactly what I miss in modish heavy metal.
The English pronunciation is good, but clearly there would have been more fun with Scottish accent in the style of
Groundskeeper Willie than pure American English.
Skiltron and Cruachan might traverse the same paths once in a while, but that doesn't matter,
for both bands have their own expression that is altogether fairly different.
The album may seem to languish a tiny bit in the middle section, where a few songs become slightly feeble when
compared with the others. The folk music moves slightly away from the party at the long-tables and barrels after
barrels of precious and golden drops, towards a more neatly medieval mood for a moment.
This middle section is however a grower that gradually becomes reasonably comfortable music, also the album gets
better again quite quickly. Although the five first tracks remains the albums strongest part the closing trio
certainly isn't far behind.
With good sound and rocking Celtic metal that swings well, Skiltron has delivered a very good
début. The Clans Have United comes with six bonus tracks:
A cover of Skyclad's Spinning Jenny, three demo versions and two instrumental versions.
Javier Yuchechen was the guest vocalist on this album. The album was released again in 2010 in a
remastered version with new vocal tracks, done by Diego Valdez who sings on the next two albums.
It was released as a free download
here, but I recommend the Javier version.
Feel free to see the live video for
Gathering the clans with the “wrong” singer.
Sophomore album from our Argentinians still blends folk tunes from the Scottish highlands with metal, yet with quite a
The metal is somewhat more mellow and softer around the edges. Where the predecessor metallic parts inherited
their properties from heavy metal this one has obtained its attributes from power metal. The new vocalist definitely
needs to take a lot of the blame for this, but the music will also have to take its share of responsibility. Where
the début was rocking this one's a bit more “saggy” heavy rock.
The folksy tones follow this trend. I mentioned "neatly medieval mood" in connection with the middle part of the
last record. Here we get more "noble folk-baroque" in this respect. Neatly, orderly and well-groomed.
It is by all means a nice album this one ass well, but it appears as a few notches tamer, and I prefer it wild,
as in the song with the expectancy creating name Fast and Wild. This and Signs, Symbols
and the Marks of Man is somewhat faster and wilder than the rest of the material, and points out positively.
During these one can safely dance arm in arm on the long-table while beer splashing over the edge of the tankards
and equipment dangling freely under the kilt. Despite this, the guitar sound is thinner and more careful than on
its predecessor, even in these songs.
Beheading the Liars is relatively good, but still somewhat tame. Approved under some doubt.
This one comes with seven bonus tracks:
A previously unreleased song entitled The Tartan Army (which is short and simple, but that rocks well), two demo
versions and four live versions.
This was originally released independently, and was released as free download
here. Feel free to watch the live video of Skiltron.
Skiltron's evolution went from heavy metal to power metal on the first two discs. Maybe it's a
natural progress if this album goes in an even softer direction? Possible, but the hard rock expression that I met
on The Highland Way was the exact opposite of what I had hoped for!
Yet again it is the vocals that lays in front and dominate the expression. Sometimes it feels as if this album is
pure heavy rock with some bagpipes and other Scottish elements thrown in for good measure.
It's not bad, and I certainly think fans of the genre can come to like this album.
The albums ain't so soft that I can't listen to it, thus it avoids slaughtering, but it's not a tankard swinging
party rocker either, and so it doesn't gives me very much either. The troubadours are tired, the party-goers are
exhausted, the beer has become flat, and the maidens have all gone home. The party is over.
Not utter shit, but very disappointing! The Highland Way, which originally was a self-release,
comes with five bonus tracks:
A cover of Running Wilds The Ballad of William Kidd and four live tracks, all taken from
The Clans Have United.
Ideologically should welcome people metal bands concentrate on their local cultural history and present folk elements from their own region, but when the choice is between Latino rhythms and Celtic tones ...
There are some nations without much heritage to boast of, and then we can forgive a little culture-loan, but if one goes back to the time before the Spaniards' entry can can always be an Indian heritage one can play on.
How Skil Tron is inspired to write one Scottish album after the other can be said wonder, but as long as they do it so thoroughly they will either be allowed to continue with it.
I like their debut well, the next quite well, and the third a little less. Argentineans fourth album, Into the Battle Ground was released in summer 2013 and had four main vocalists and five backing vocalists-.
How it manifests itself you almost find out for yourself.
Long march yer lum reek! - May you live long and thrive.
Rent ideologisk burde gjerne folkmetall-bands konsentrere seg om sin lokale kulturhistorie og presentere folkelementer
fra egen region, men når valget står mellom latino-rytmer og keltiske toner...
Det finnes enkelte nasjoner uten særlig kulturarv å skryte av, og da kan vi tilgi litt kultur-lån, men om man går tilbake
til tiden før spanjolenes inntog finner man jo alltids en indianer-arv man kan spille på.
Hvordan Skiltron lar seg inspirere til å skrive den ene skotske skiva etter den andre kan man sagtens
lure på, men så lenge de gjør det så gjennomført skal de heller få lov å fortsette med det.
Jeg liker førsteskiva godt, den neste ganske godt, og den tredje litt mindre. Argentinernes fjerde skive, Into
the Battleground ble gitt ut sommeren 2013, og hadde fire hovedvokalister og fem backing-vokalister.
Hvordan den arter seg må du nesten finne ut av selv. Lang may yer lum reek! – Måtte du leve lenge og ha det godt.
Brennus Music, 23.02.15
After barely ten years as a demo band, French Heavylution is probably eager to conquer the world.
Their heavy/power metal has admittedly some good features, but they can certainly do with some patience in my eyes.
Behind a moderately tough and violent (albeit tacky) cover that oozes of rough heavy metal we find slightly tamed
and restrained metal in the crossing between an ageing Iron Maiden and [Insert generic power metal band].
To start with the positives. The guitarists strikes with much some killer execution on Children of Hate.
The drummer's got skills and control and isn't afraid to push the pedals around the corners. If only it weren't for
the damn vocals...
...and it's not just the vocalist's fault. The other guys sing along, and it doesn't sound any better. The vocals
are of the epic power sort. You just don't sing words like “balls of steel” with an intonation as if it was a fuckings
The singer seems technically proficient, but I have a strong aversion to singers without... balls of steel.
The music follows up on these theatrical and pompous directions as well. The music works well enough, although I miss
a little more edge, rudeness and reckless attitude, but the band still has a little way to go on the song writing too.
At their best they are almost on level with Brave New World, and Iron Maidens tenth best album (as
well as the least good of their ten mandatory albums) is not much to brag about either.
Obtain a new MAN behind the microphone or release an instrumental next time.
As with Nibiru recently described here on the page, this is yet another one-hour release with only four
songs. It doesn't mean that it's funeral doom this time either. Although parts of the musical works leans slightly
in that direction. Amestigon has a long and intricate history from starting as a duo in 1995 via demos, splits and EPs,
break up, new start, line-up increase to quartet, and until the first full length album in 2010.
We skip the geeky details and go straight to the second full-length album. Amestigon plays an offspring in the outer edge of the blackened landscape. They mix in a bit sludgy
flair and a doomy touch. The pace fluctuates slightly, but lays mostly in the lower region of the mid tempo register.
The atmosphere is fairly discouraged, but not so far down that I would call it depressive.
The music is far from exciting, the riffs can hardly counteract apathy and the melody lines rarely creates mental
thrills. The album does however have a certain hypnotic effect and some parts are better than others. Especially
the title track is a little stronger on most points. Thier are still somewhat dragging and
occasionally repetitive. If the mood and hunger for a viscous musical caramel is not present it is easy to judge
Thier guilty of time theft. Albeit in the right moments it will work better.
The album is not bad, but there is still so much other and also better music to spend time with.
Watch the video for
358, og hear Demiurg below:
EDIT 01.06.15: Now you can stream the entire album over at
No Clean SingingL.
Osmose Productions, 30.01.15
Mexicans Ishtar released the fourth album with his Dødsfall four months ago. It's
been getting a few spins on occasion, and tonight I will process a number of discs I have neglected as promos are
As on the previous album Adramelech of Svarthaueg is spewing his curses and bile into the
microphone. The drum sticks are entrusted to Chilean Jocke Wallgren of Swedish Valkyrja that guests
on this album.
Dødsfall has always been an "almost-band" in my ears, as they have offered good, but never outstanding
black metal. My favourite is their second album Inn i mørkets kongedømme (“Into the Kingdom of
Darkness”, 2012), and Kaosmakt (“Chaos Might”) probably won't alter that.
I'm probably repeat myself, so be it, but black metal is about more than speed, aggression and empty promises about
hate. (No, I don't accuse Dødsfall of being poseurs). Black metal should possess a genuine atmosphere.
I feel that Dødsfall only succeeds partially in that aspect. The old grandmother-clock on the wall
is about as creepy as the music, and that's not how it's supposed to be.
When I give Kaosmakt my approval, and not just a medium rating, It's because I
believe in Ishtar and his fellow patrons.
When the album doesn't give me goose bumps or makes me afraid of the dark as I sit alone in an old house partly
surrounded by woods, I nonetheless feel an authentic will. The technical effort of the three men also seems more
than respectable (from a non-musician standpoint). The songs are pretty cool, the atmosphere is decent enough, the
performance competent, and the album is highly listenable. The title track is my favourite, but the album also ends
strongly with ten minutes long Fitte av Kristus (Cunt of Christ).
The album was recorded in Sunlight Studio and mastered in Endarker Studio. The sound is raw and
thus adequate, albeit fairly tight around the waist (low dynamic range).
To put it this way: Set up against TNBM of '93/'94 this is pretty generic, but compared to the bulk of Norwegian
black metal releases in recent times this is actually well above average, scary enough. That actually scares me
more than Kaosmakt and that darned pendulum on the wall all together.
La Mesnie Herlequin, 28.04.15
Le Kommando Peste Noire is once again out with new insane stanzas and anthems for outcasts and underdogs.
After a year under the name Dor Daedeloth (2000-2001) Neige went on and started
Alcest, while Argoth and Famine renamed the band to Peste Noire
(K.P.N.). After a few years Argoth also disappeared out of the band.
With a few new members K.P.N. debuted strongly in 2006.
The first two albums mixed black metal with unstable psyche and disgust to an exciting brew. The third album was
in excess frantic, whilst the fourth album was... well... pretty sick as well, but schizophrenia nonetheless, it
at least contained a very apt amount of metal in the mix.
In 2013 our man Famine issued the previous, self-titled album Peste Noire. This was the
first album with the current line-up. Audrey, female singer, is now a part of her fourth K.P.N.
record, whereas this therefore becomes the second album for drummer and accordionist Ardraos.
We can round off the short history-bit by mentioning that La Mesnie Herlequin is Famine's
own label, publishing company and bookstore.
Considering the rather exaggerated madness the band has bestowed upon the world on the last three discs, I was
somewhat sceptical about this. On the other hand, no matter how senseless crazy the band have become, they always
had something that has prevented me from turning my back to them. Something fascinating, authentic and insane has
served as barbed hooks even when madness has been overflowing. Thus, I am once again digesting French black delirium.
To put it bluntly: This is in my ears the best Peste Noire album since Folkfuck folie.
It is mentally obscene, it is hateful and social distancing, it is charcoal black and uncomfortable. There are more
drunkenness than acid this time. We still find morbid antics and rebellious absurdities, but far from as far out and
psychedelic as in some cases. Deliriums, disgust, aggression, obscenity and discomfort reigns.
The songs fits together better than on the hallucinogenic trip the band has let us partake in in recent years, and
several parts gradually sticks firmly upstairs.
Existing fans of K.P.N. has now been given a hint about the band's current direction.
Possibly inquisitive and interested metal-heads should definitely check out La Chaise-Dyable.
All others should just listen or leave it be. La Chaise-Dyable gives the world the finger tells it to go fuck it self with a strong alcohol
breath, and I'm stand behind the man with the finger, throwing empty bottles on the fucking aristocracy and the
bloody officialdom in its entirety. Fuck off!
Purity Through Fire, 01.05.15
In connection with the review of Drudkh approximately a month ago, I mentioned the upcoming release of
the sixth album of the countrymen. Kroda, or Крода
as it is spelled in Ukrainian, started as a duo in 2003. Eisenslav and Yulian 'Viterzgir' Mytsyk released four albums together until 2009,
before the latter departed the band the following year.
It's been a few years since Eisenslav released previous record Schwarzpfad in 2011.
With less than 40 minutes of playing time GinnungaGap GinnungaGaldr GinnungaKaos is a short album
in Kroda context. The earlier albums have typically been around 50 minutes. More often over than
under that limit.
Kroda is located, for those who hasn't been initiated in their music, in sort of the same landscape
as Drudkh and partly Negură Bunget. The genre can be described as atmospheric pagan/black with
folk elements. As with post-black the flow is rather slow, but with a certain intensity. For some reason I associate
the band with the exotic and exciting instrumentation on their second album, but it's basically just the flute that
has survived as a very welcome odd additive. A few places the flute gives some associations to Indians with pan pipes.
Somewhere I also came to think of Saor which I recently publicized a review of.
The vocals are rough, with black edges and occasionally some desperation in the voice, but also with clear
articulation... for those who understand Ukrainian.
GinnungaGap GinnungaGaldr GinnungaKaos has a pleasant, slightly trollish mood, rhythm section
that creates good progress, nice melodies, great guitar playing, and as always, lovely flute.
It's not an album with strong characteristics or memorable melodies, but it is nonetheless a very nice record to
drift into a pleasant dreamy state with (and into) for a moment.
Nuclear War Now! Productions, 22.05.15
I thought I had relatively good control of the thriving black metal scene of Nidaros (Trondheim, Norway) when I
came across Katechon thanks to a tip on Scream Magazine's metal forum a mere year ago.
Man, God, Giant from 2013 tore my ears apart, and can really be recommended to those who like their black
metal frantic, chaotic and frenetic.
The new creation has a lot of the same evil satanic touch, but even though the senses is attacked with flaring
anger this time as well, I feel a stronger atmosphere of disturbing discomfort hovering over and flickering on
Another aspect which is more thorough on Coronation is song structure. Man, God, Giant
felt like a seething, blind rage. Not uncontrolled, but nevertheless quite deranged and savaged.
Coronation is more controlled, with (subjectively) better tunes all over.
Everyone might not appreciate that the primitive rage the band exhibited at the previous crossroads is tamed, but
I really doubts fans will leave them stranded as a consequence. I have greater confidence that they will gain even
higher numbers of enthusiastic listeners.
The band evokes claustrophobic and suffocatingly sweltering moods with an intensity worthy of purgatory. Anyone
who believes one must clone (or rather construct an anaemic, spiritless imitation of) Darkthrone to spawn
biting coldness or dystopian hatred, have a prim example in Katechon that dark emotions of than kin
can be expressed without following a specific template.
It must be mentioned that this band doesn't really give a fuck about genre limitations. This is not "pure black
metal" if anyone should still be pedantic orthodox followers.
With carnivorous possessed vocals, swift and fierce percussion, thundering and distinct bass and guitars that deliver
grievous and atrocious black tones and deadly killer riffs Katechon delivers one of the best albums
in recent times from bands associated with the Norwegian black metal scene.
And the cover art... Exquisite and disturbing at the same time. Apropos, this is now available on both CD and LP.
Coronation grows stronger for every spin in the same way Hells demons come closer for every minute when
the gates of hell has opened. Coronation does indeed sound as if the gates of Hell is already wide open.
My verdict: Excellent! (Feel free to use the vocal expression of Mr. Burns)
Edged Circle Productions, 27.03.15
Edged Circle Productions, 27/03/15
This should have been reviewed almost two months ago, but in a welcome dilemma with promos up to my ears, I decided
to take care of newer stuff before this and other releases in stead of lagging behind on a permanent basis.
What Inculter concerns this delay fitted quite well, because then I got to announced the albums
release party that I discovered this very today in the process. (Unfortunately i doubt this english version will see
the light of day in time, as I'm lagging permanently behind with translations). In addition, the vinyl version is
out by a good margin when this is finally published.
Inculter is a duo from Fusa, a sparsely populated municipality towards the Northern Sea, where they
along with Reptilian and Cockroach Agenda represents a small scene which has received great praise
over recent years. The men have only one quickly sold out EP (7 "250 copies and cassette in 50x) and a split in their
back catalogue. Both from 2013. To call them guys is lay it on thick. It is more accurate to call them youngsters.
They are now respectively 16 and 19 years. I had heard the album a few times before I read the promo leaflet and I
wouldn't have guessed their age now matter how much money was in the pot. The high they showcase is simply stunning .
The duo plays thrash with fervour and passion. They have a scent of black emotion, a reckless approach and a hellish
drive. The band and the sound also has the jagged and raw charm that often ensures that the best début albums persists,
endure and remains as rough and unpolished classics. Think charmers like Show No Mercy. The sound can
admittedly seem a bit rotten and simple at first “sight” but it quickly appears as most fitting.
The songs are extremely vital. The guitar unpredictable trail and the percussions ever changing course creates life
and dynamics. Where other attempts to sound retro, Inculter, consisting of people born around
Metallica's Load and S&M, created something that in a sense mirror an archaeological jackpot.
That they borrow slightly from Slayer in Traducers Attack is easily forgiven as the band's
got so much formidable material of their own.
If I manage to publish my English section of this site in time, and you should happen to be in Bergen at the time,
make sure to visit Garage on June 12th for the release party, with guests Sepulcher, a new band from the
same area, playing support .
Gates Of Hell Records, 10.04.2015
I've got a stack promos released next weekend. One on Thursday as well as five new albums and three re-releases
on Friday. Meanwhile I'll try to squeeze in some of the albums I have had to neglect in recent months.
I felt for some rapid brutality now, so the choice quickly fell on this Peruvian abomination.
Anal Vomit should be known to the congregation. Although I have, as far as I can remember, not
heard any of their many releases myself. The band was started in 1992 and spent the decade primarily on demos.
During the first decade after the millennium they released their first three albums. In the current decade only
one live EP has seen the burning sun of South America .
Peste Negra, Muerte Negra are nine tracks and 40 minutes of scorched, profane and striking
death/thrash. Milo Possessor's vocal rips, rasps and growler very good, but is also so clearly articulated that
I think Spanish speakers can pick up quite a lot of the lyrics. The same man also handles the bass.
Considering how extreme this metal is, the band still doesn't become too brutal. The songs have enough air to be
dynamic and they are bursting with transitions and variation. The drums are steadily governed by Joe
Hoyle, whether it is tougher controlled parties, full pace or virile transactions and rhythmic gymnastics. Roy Noize and Nihil Soldier riffs and shredder as if they had the Spanish Inquisition
on their heels and their life was at stake.
What will probably be perceived as infernal noise for outsiders, appear as juicy and blistering blackened
deadly and crushing metal for the initiated who know how to sacrifice time in exchange for insights on the alter
of the illuminated mentor of the path to wisdom.
Those with a generally good relationship towards such metal will probably not regret a purchase, even if life will
most likely proceed even without it. Others, with more rabid, megalomaniac and worshiping relationships towards jungle
roughness from South American cult acts, should definitely seize the opportunity.
This was first released in late January by Icarus Music, before Gates Of Hell, a sub-label of
Cruz Del Sur Music released it on CD in the beginning of April and on LP later that month. The vinyl has a
cover ofSarcófago's INRI as bonus.
Metal Scrap Records, 18.05.15
Metal Scrap Records, 05/18/15
Latvian Varang Nord began in 2004 under the name
Балагуры (Balagury). According to the promo pamphlet they
recorded two demos during '07 and '08. According to Metal-Archives the discography consists of one demo ('05) and a
full length album ('07). Anyway, the band was put on ice in 2008.
The band returned with some line-up changes last year. With two original members and two new faces they treated
themselves to a new name before the quartet recorded this album which was released independently in December, before
they snatched a deal with Metal Scrap.
Varang Nord here offers 21.5 minutes of pagan folk metal with a deadly stance, divided into 6
tracks of 3.5 minutes on average.
With resounding, fairly constant Amon Amarth-inspired guitar riffing one gets no oompah-feeling, even
though the band also mentions Finntroll as inspiration. The accordion is however in place and ensures
melodies with both joy and sorrow in tones and style. The mixing ratio gives a lively expression that doesn't
become a blueprint of either. Skyforger is mentioned as lyrically inspiration. I don't have a strong enough relationship with that
band to comment further on this, but Varang Nord has well formulated English translations of
their texts in the elaborated booklet, adorned with illustrations enough to depict five good front cover arts.
The lyrics have a lot of strife and Viking thematics, and is growled with powerful bear vocals. Some clean
singalong is also to be found.
Latvian is the most widely spoken language in Latvia, but the lyrics are written in the Russian/Cyrillic alphabet,
not the Latvian. Whether this is because the label is Russian or if the band sings in Russian is not for me to say.
I got bored with Finntroll years ago, and Amon Amarth has never really grown on me, but somewhere
in between there seems to be something that draw the best of both worlds and play on the right strings.
This was quite enjoyable stuff. Damn, now I became thirsty for mead, damn it.
Northern Silence Productions, 30.01.15
In 2013 a band named Àrsaidh (Scottish Gaelic for Antique/Prehistoric) debuted with an
album I intended to check out. Unfortunately I never got around to do so. As the album is now re-released under
a new moniker I finally get a chance to sink my teeth into this Scottish creation.
The re-release of Roots comes with a bonus track, in terms of Pictish Pride, a
cover of a Scottish black metal band named Ainshval.
Àrsaidh was started as a one man band in 2012. After the release of Roots
Andy Marshall changed the name to Saor (Scottish Gaelic for Free).
Glasgow-resident Andy were joined by a number of guest artists for the recording of the sequel
Aura, released last summer.
The style Andy has seized is atmospheric post-black with considerable amounts of folk elements. Despite blackish
ingredients the music is fairly airy and soaring. Such music alone is enough to visualize mountains and high peaks.
When than traditional Celtic instruments such as tin whistle, bagpipes and bodhrán (last heard through Macabre
Omen and Celtachor) is incorporated, the Scottish highlands quickly appeared between the clouds.
The lyrics follow up with appropriate topics about nature, history and heritage.
The genre is not particularly exciting in itself. There are just too many bands cast in the same mold. But I like
what Saor has done on their début. Delightful melodies and a relaxing sphere reigns. Sometimes the
main man has even been thinking a bit outside the box. Observe for instance how the percussion creates its own
momentum in the title track. The album also has an unmistakable flavour of Scotland.
I like this album, and damned if it didn't give me a desire to plunge into Aura as well, to check out the progress and
to see what Andy has managed to create with several guest artists teamed up.
Otherwise, Bryan Hamilton (Cnoc an Tursa) is hired as future drummer, and lesser known
Martyn Moffat and Reni McDonald is engaged on guitar duty.
Prosthetic Records, 18.05.15
Whether or not Swiss Schammasch had their absolute breakthrough with last year's Contradiction,
I'm not entirely certain of, but it seems like more than yours truly discovered the quartet with the double-album.
The début Sic Lvceat Lvx ("Let the Light Shine," "Such Glows the Light" or equivalent), released
four years earlier on Black Tower Productions, had slipped unnoticed past many a radar, and was for many
still an unread chapter in the saga of Schammasch. Prosthetic Records intents to do something about that.
Contradiction has a highly deserved place on my list of last year's musical highlights. Thus this
re-release fits me superbly.
Here it comes in new packaging and with remastered sound. Good sound, suitable to their ominous soundscapes. The
original cover looked like this:
The band's début lasts for about 43 minutes, about half of what the massive sequel offered. Musically the band did
not change their recipe profusely during these years, hence my one year old formulation in the review of
Contradiction can successfully be recycled for this occasion: “death metal and black metal in abominable
association, in crawling, dirty and rather dissonant wrapping”.
As the sequel of course sounds a bit more refined, one can surely say that the début sounds slightly more rough cut
Naturally that doesn't mean that this is poor. Where the sequel was exceptionally good, the début was
very good. Sic Lvceat Lvx's got seven tracks extending from just above two till well over ten
minutes. The songs are built up as a meandering snake. The songs twists and coils forward in altering terrains, on
and on, without ever looking back.
As with Nibiru below this has occult and ritual moods with fairly hypnotic conduct. However, Schammasch
don't break up good riffs and rhythms with pointless noises.
If you discovered Schammasch with Contradiction, you can (and should) check out its
If you've missed out on both than you might as well start with the beginning.
Argonauta Records, 18.05.15
Do you like noise? Do you find meaning in the seemingly meaningless? If so, welcome to the insane universe of
Nibiru. Nibiru is an Italian trio that explores oriental occultism via psychedelic ritual sludge.
The band has been around since 2012, and their two first albums consisted entirely of improvisations, without yours
truly having heard any of them. This time the trio have focused on song structure, but they have of course not chosen
a simple or easily accessible approach on their musical path.
On Padmalotus they serve us four songs. Four long songs. The first three clocks in at 12-13 minutes,
while the last one lasts more than 20 minutes, before a transcendental ghost track pushes the duration past 28. In
this latter part trance (state of mind) is being generated by trance (synthetic musical genre). All in all it almost
touches 66.6 minutes of sonic madness where all vocals are performed on «enochian language», a language created
by British John Dee, supposedly in occult interaction with angels.
There are certainly hypnotic riffs and appealing moods on Padmalotus, but there are certainly a lot
of incoherent nonsense, long sequences of feedback and futile sound collages too.
The band deserves cred for going their own way, but I keep falling off no matter how slow it goes. After two laps I
can't handle a third, and thus the disapproval is a fact.
Do you enjoy frenzied hypnotic sessions and musical experiences far off the beaten track? If so, a trip to the other
side is nevertheless recommended.
Relapse Records, 18.05.15
Time for a little sleazy and rocking metal with cautious use of synthetic elements, jagged clean vocals and light
Motörhead- and Dio-vibes?
Some variety in the audio-diet ensures the level of iron and covers the steel-fibre intake, your daily requirement
for metal proteins and ensures minerals and vitamins in major and minor keys.
Tau Cross is defined as a punk/metal super-group by the promo leaflet. I do not like the S-word.
There are loads of different constellations consist of profiled artists from well-established groups, without them
necessarily defining themselves as "super" or consequently exceed "normal" groups in quality. And how many so-called
"super groups" have not failed grossly. Well, I just had to get it out of my system. Obviously I shall not hold this
against Tau Cross.
The lads are fronted by Rob ‘The Baron’ Miller, lead singer and bassist of some British metallic
punk band named Amebix. On drums we find Michel ‘Away’ Langevin (Voivod),
on guitar Andy Lefton (War/Plague) and Jon Misery (Misery).
The music has some punk expressions, but punk vibes are limited in my ears. On the other hand, I don't have not
much of a relationship to punk. Besides an occasional friendship with Sex Pistols and a fairly modest
acquaintance with NOFX, my knowledge of the genre is very limited. This is also called crust punk
without that making me any wiser. That I don't care to any research just proves my lack of passion for mohawk (or
rooster comb) -muzak.
What I pick up here is metal, practically in crossover with rock'n'roll, with some mild fuck-all-attitude and a
slick and sly touch that gives some Alice Cooper associations.
The vocals are the most notable on Tau Cross. Rob Miller's got a mild
Abbath feel. Call it Abbath” light or “Abbath's clean vocal equivalence”. Pretty cool!
The second most notable on the self-titled debut is the synth usage. It may sound out of place on paper, but it
fits well and creates a more distinct character.
The sound is good and the bass is rich. I like the album, and would happily hear it again. The material is absolutely
alright, but it doesn't sparkle in any way. Moderately good but still I will do without this on the shelf. Therefore
I confine myself to a mid-range grade.
Fans of rocking expression and AOP (Adult Oriented Punk - because this is so calm and controlled) should check this out.
Solitude Productions, 18.05.15
German Doomed is a band I've been wanting to check out, but never found the time for. The band
was formed in 2011 and released as much as two albums the following year. The ext album was released a year ago.
A few of these discs are therefore listed in dusty registers of releases I'd love to hear. I remember this band
vividly thanks to the band's strong character due to their colour and design choices.
Luck (and time) ain't always on my side, but with the release of their fourth album our paths finally cross.
The band has embarked on a concept album this time. The lyrics address the problems humanity and the planet face
in these darned times. The album also sketch the pursuit for the solution, a solution that is pushed further away
for every day. Or to put it on the band's own way, giving a greater connection between cover and album title; "The
solution to all problems lies on top of the monolith, but the monolith is growing every day, and so it is impossible
to ever reach the top." (Reformulated a tiny bit by yours truly).
The unattainable answers we seek will thus forever remain beyond our reach. And so the band name could hardly suite the concept better.
The music still lays in a floating death/doom universe, although I have a feeling that the band has gone in a
slightly more eclectic direction. Further comparisons with yesteryear I unfortunately must refrain from providing.
Their death-infected doom has an esoteric twist. Six tracks of approximately 8.5 minutes in average curl and
fluctuates in a medium pace with a solid amount of sonic spice in its luggage. Eccentric melody lines, small
tortuous twists and occasional samples floats like a stream and prevents the more well-known foundation from
appearing as some habitual treadmill.
That Johan Ericson (Doom:VS, Draconian) and Ed Warby (The 11th Hour,
Hail of Bullets, Ayreon, eks-Gorefest and more) has guested on vocals, has off course not
altered the albums feel entirely, but these performances contribute to further variation. In fact I would go so far
as to say that the vocal contribution three minutes into Looking Back (whoever is responsible for it)
raise the song's character considerably.
I'm glad I finally had the opportunity to get a peek under the hood of this German hearse. The engine is maintained by
high German standards. This is probably not the most unforgettable death/doom album I've ever come across, but it is
steady and good, and it has enough technical finesse and peculiarities to make it a bit exciting too. In addition, it
seems to having a pretty good potential for growing.
Sepulchral Voice Records, 18.05.15
On the borderline between Approved and Middling I have to draw the line somewhere. And this seems
like an appropriate place right about here.
For continuity in this matter, please read the two previous impressions.
Unlike Antiversum and Maleficence, Vorum is established in the sense that they
have laid their début behind them. These Finns don't have much longer experience, they have only been in existence
for seven years, but they have come a step further in the career, and this is not a demo, but an EP.
This band delivers blistering and infernal tones as well, and as in the case of Maleficence there are
certain repetitive part I could have done without. The vocals have a slightly whimpering style as well as some
timbre that feels a little out of place, and when the band increases the speed, it all sounds a bit tumultuous
with little substance. I can live with the music being rather intense. The biggest obstacle is the atmosphere.
The guys raise their middle fingers, but I don't feel the darkness and the deep abyss. This is mostly
rapid and ostentatious for burly and boorish speeds sake, without that little extra.
During the five songs and 18 minutes the band occasionally delivers great sparks of hell-fire, especially with
the guitars and the music is not so bad that a disapproval is ever considered. Yet I do not feel that this EP
works optimally. If, on the other hand, you prefer your barbaric brutality a bit crude and rowdy you should check
out the EP with the hideous cover art. Fans of clever, melodic, clean and well structured metal is going to hate
this, something that is likely to be regarded as a compliment in the musics favour by fans of vulgarity.
Blood Harvest, 11.05.15
I respect and appreciate vicious, aggressive and destructive music for the aggression, destruction and misanthropies
sake. I still demand some quality in the brew. Anyone can make a cacophonous turmoil. Antiversum just below
succeeds one hundred percent in creating a sinister, black and devastating maelstrom. Maleficence
doesn't achieve the same level with their second demo. Yet these black/thrashers also has this certain "something"
Maleficence consists of five Belgians who now gets their second demo, originally released on
cassette a mere year ago, released by a label. On tape once again.
The sound is so-so, but it's far from crappy considering it originates from a fucking demo tape. This isn't the
finest output we are going to hear from this quintet. I reckon they will return with even more hellish material.
Some of these four songs are very repetitive, and the approval is hanging by a noose.
Still they serve up both thrilling riffs, fiery flow, fierce vocals, furious solos and reckless attitude.
A pretty tough release that shows potential more than anything else. Very good for being a demo. And a very elaborate
cover, by the way. I think and hope these guys can go far. Approved, but as stated; with their neck in the noose.
Invictus Productions, 20.04.15
The transition from Wilderun to Antiversum is like strolling around on the rainbow -
above the clouds - where the sun always shines, then suddenly slipping, falling, breaking the coccyx, crushing
the jaw, plunging to the ground and land “safe” and soft in quicksand. Antiversum is Leviathans set of teeth. Antiversum is a biblical flood. Deluge
and plagues from a self-centred, vindictive god. Antiversum is feverish nightmares and shell shock.
Antiversum is the elevator music, the muzak that will accompany paedophile Catholic priests to their
final quarter in Satan's claws the day that I become Lucifer's DJ.
Antiversum has five years' experience. They have no releases behind them. This is their first and only. A demo
with 4 tracks and 25 minutes black/death metal.
Whoever seeks the sense of frailty and owns hatred - Thou who prefers to see all light and life pulverized to
coal dust - will heed Total Vacuum.
Whoever seeks clean musical qualities will hate Total Vacuum.
Whoever hates Total Vacuum can not denigrate the music and call it bad.
Not even on a subjective basis.
It is an objective fact that the Swiss newcomers makes on hell of a mood.
No subjective opinion can unsettle this!
Antiversum is stone-mill that crushes the spirit and hope, leaving nothing but an eternal echo of
calamitous destruction throughout cosmos.
So go to hell, and enjoy the ride!
Do you have atiny forest elf hidden deep inside your thick, grim mountain troll-shell?
Is there a place for unicorns, goblins and fairies in your musical world?
Does calm and dreamy, progressively landscaped folk-metal with symphonic elements sound like something that can
appeal to you?
But hey, Wilderun ain't more pedants than that they've got room for an occasional goblin, ogre
or haunted entity in their fairytale world. Thus you can't be so petty that you can't meet them halfway, can you?
Evan Berry started the band in 2008 and got three men to join in in 2012. The lads debuted the
same year, with an independent release that one as well. The quartet from Boston, Massachusetts are now here with
their sophomore release.
The album consists largely of clean vocals, acoustic guitars and soaring orchestral backboard. But even if Tenhi
and Empyrium elements are precent, it also got more metallic portions garnished nice and neat here and there.
The alternations between different moods often happens in a progressively way, which brings both Hidden in the Fog
and Ayreon to mind. Partly because of the vocal use in combination with the melodies.
Music has very well-composed melodies, delightful and pleasant variety, and lovely structures.
It is very possible that I have a suppressed forest elf within me myself, because I'm sold.
Season of Mist, 18.05.15
The diffuse term solo album is often used when a famous musician from a larger band write an album on their own
and record it with lesser-known artists and "studio-whores" as temporary assistants.
If a more permanent band controlled totalitarian by a single prime mover who writes all the music and takes
dictatorial control over every aspect, the releases are still not called solo albums. Although it's much the same ...
George Kollias, the Greek better known as the drummer from Nile, has undoubtedly crafted
a solo album.
Though, if he had not been an acknowledged musician from an established and well-known band, it would probably have
been called a one-man band...
Peculiarities concerning overlying words and phrases aside. George has composed all the music
himself, and besides some guest contributions he's played all instruments and done the vocals himself.
There's absolutely no doubt that the man knows his way around the drum kit. That he also has full control over the
guitar and bass was definitely new to me. Invictus comes as a very welcome surprise all together.
As expected, death metal is on the menu, and that of the mighty and powerful kind. George growls in a more rasping than deep-throated way, and he does so with conviction. Fashionable
percussion is hardly necessary to mention, but highly functional guitar riffs and rapid solos must be mentioned.
Nor is it only on the purely technical matter George knows his business. He shows here that he is
fully capable of compositional virtue as well. Through 11 songs over a scarce hour (plus four bonus tracks if you go
for the right version) a powerful and majestic realm (of the dead) is created. A domain whence the legions will lay
our dreary and bleak dimension in gravel.
I do not know the technical details concerning the recording and guest artists. Info is to be found scattered around
the interweb, but I have the world's most useless internet these evenings, thus attempting research sucks.
Nevertheless, the sound is awesome, and the dynamics are airy and good (DR8). Exactly who is guests on the
album, and where is scarcity important to get the benefit from and take pleasure in the music, but the
guests comes from such acts as Nile, Rotting Christ and Firewind.
As said, a very positive surprise in the form of a juicy tidbit. Mr. Kollias says he's more excited
than ever for the future of this project, something that bodes well for us.
By the way, do you get associations towards The Sound of Perseverance (Death) by that cover as well?
Selvfinansiert Utgivelse, 18.05.15
Are you ready for a dose of Finnish heavy rock/metal?
Helsinki-based Adastra has previously resided on Finnish Violent Journey Records, a
company that has released discs steadily since 2007 but is now put on ice, or in worst case closed up for good. Adastra was founded in 2001 and is ready with their fourth album. The band is inspired by classic
heavy metal and melodic thrash, but have themselves even a more mellow and gentle expression.
Vocalist Ville in particular helps to create a mild flavour. His clean vocals ain't really clean to
the limit of exaggerated hygienics, but I sometimes feel they are. Some murkiness and sharp edges can be traced in the
vocals, but I for one could easily wish for a little more edge, attitude and punch. The
Uvula's supposed to flicker like a pennant in near gale winds when the vocalist roars into the mic so loud and powerful
that he's lung is on the verge of total collapse, but hey, that's just my opinion.
He's singing is nevertheless approved, and it counts in his favour that he doesn't sound like a man with his balls in
a vice-grip, singing high pitch falsetto/castrato.
The rest of the band ain't very hard in comp and tunes either. The music is melodic with good instrumentation. The
tracks don't have the most exciting structure, but it's not boring old verse-chorus-repeat either. The songs have good
melodies and decent momentum, and they are peppered with good guitar solos. The lads certainly proves that all the guitar
solos wasn't spent on the 80s.
Lyrically the band touches many themes, such as the practice of lobotomy and method by which this was done, and the
pathetic concept of reality TV. The guys are highly versatile in their texts. They're working on a video for the song
Forgotten Heroes that deal with and pay tribute to the ordinary man in the street who volunteered to
help in the ruins of the World Trade Center after 9/11. The only thanks many of these heroic individuals received were
often health problems.
Deadlock becomes sort of soft in my ears. It's reasonably reminiscent of Maidens Dickinson
comeback, Brave New World, and there's a slight possibly for a trace of Accept at times. Bigger
fans of NWOBHM will probably dig this more than me.
The band's forte, strong melodies, tunes with identity, solid instrumentation and solo-snacks, all packaged in good sound,
gives me no choice but to give this album the green light.
The playing time of approximately 64 minutes (plus four minutes bonus in the form of the Mercyful Fate cover
Nuns Have No Fun) isn't exactly too much, although it could have been carved down somewhat.
See the lyric video for
The Day I Die or hear this and Forever Yours below.
Full stream is available in Finnish
Kaaoszine. I've spent more time on the albums entirety than focusing on single track, but Reality-TV Whore
and Remember His Name possibly stick out of in my ears. Still, each song has its unique
identities while still fitting together as a whole, and the quality is rather even, thus this is probably an album where every
listener will find their own favourite tracks.
Quality Steel Records, 15.05.15
This German quintet had exactly ten years of experience under their belt when they recorded Dunkle Klänge
in their own studio last year.
I would not exactly brand the music as original, but these guys mix black- and death-metal with a slightly different
approach than what most providers of this blend normally does.
The melodies and moods has got a lot of black metal in it, but the performance is closer to mid-tempo and slightly
groovy death metal. At its slowest it borders brilliantly on death/doom. Occasionally, Finnish-sounding folk metal
can also be traced. In summary this creates a pagan expression with grim and dreary melodies that still isn't
Hard German glossaries comes in a rasping manner, sometimes articulated deeper in the throat and manifested as
bewitching grunts, before sharp, hellish blaxk-vox again cuts through.
The vocals are superb and the instrumentation seems highly qualified. All instruments are clearly and explicitly
in the sound, even the bass. The album has as mentioned been recorded and produced by themselves. This is the band's
second album, and the members don't have much experience elsewhere, so what studio experience they've got is (for
me) an unanswered question. The result is nevertheless good, with heavy and nice sound, and when Dan Swanö
has mastered the album at Unisound, that piece of the puzzle has been in safe hands.
The hasn't re-invented the gunpowder, and through an hour much can sound fairly similar, still Dunkle Klänge
offers plenty of variety, rather swell tracks and a tough punch. Not a home run, but I like this album very much!
High Roller Records, 15.05.15 Alcoholator is a young band based in Montreal. The lads started up in 2010 and is now out with their
sophomore album. Although the official release date is not until 15th of May, it seems the company started shipping
already a week ago.
One look at the cover should suffice to reveal that we are hereby exposed to a dose of thrash.
I'm not very versed in the straight-forward thrash scene, where this band nests. The songs do not have a plethora of
structure, and appears to be fairly generic. There are all right riffs, solos and parts on the album, but none of the
songs stand out as exceptional. When the vocals, just to top it of, has virtually zero register, the material appears
a bit flat.
Like a watered out drink, the essence of Alcoholator is thined out.
On the positive side it seems the band knows how to play, and it sounds like they are genuinely excited about their band,
even though I've ever heard far more energetic bands. Lyrically they have something in common with Tankard.
Musically too, to a certain degree, but Alcoholator offers slightly less party-thrash and a bit more
violence and aggression. Similarities with a band such as Razor can be mentioned.
The last two tracks offer some more spices that increases the enjoyment. Fuck Your Skull starts off with
an enjoyable sample from Full Metal Jacket. In this sonmg they've used fretless bass, 12-string guitar and guest bass solo
signed Dominic "Forest" Lapointe (until recently in Beyond Creation). Follow-up Cursed by My
Thirst offers a variety of great transitions with interesting rhythms. Escape From Reality is not bad, just rather simple and mediocre. The band shows that they have plenty of
potential, and I hope they manage to getting it out at the third attempt. Promising, but not quite there.
Season of Mist, 23.03.15
The Dutch death death-cult summons up demons from both mighty as well as brutal regions, end even some from more
strange corners of the universe. Sometimes successfully, occasionally not.
I was (and am) very fond of the track Gods Amongst Insects from previous
album Tetragrammaton (2013), but the album in its entirety added too many weird elements and
ended up disappointing me with its rather schizophrenic style.
I started rating music in small scale some years before starting this site. When I launched the page autumn 2013,
I added a short summary of the albums I had rated earlier that year. This is what it stated:
The ball starts off with mighty Gods Amongst Insects and one easily gets the impression that the
Dutchmen have released their magnum opus. Unfortunately they stumble and go completely astray on the rest of the
album. Strong three of six points, though.
This is “only” an EP, but the playing time is at massive 40 minutes. Seems rather impressive when compared to
various 10-15 minute EPs I have previously written about.
The music is aggressive, evocative and coherent compared to the previous album, albeit some peculiarities are
supplemented. These comes in moderate amounts and are tastefully integrated. The band's furious death metal and
deep growls never becomes too brutal or dreary when spiced up with touches of symphonic elements, rave-bass,
sirens, Russian monologue and patriotic communist-like song and so on interwoven.
First when the two last songs come along, the urge for experimentation seem to initiate. These are not new songs,
though. Die Waffe Mensch RMX is a techno remix of Todesnacht von Stammheim from
Tetragrammaton. Den Ensomme Nordens Dronning (The Lonely Nordic Queen) is a title that is easy a Norwegian to
recall. Fans might remember it from Trivmvirate (2008). It has shrunk from 14 to 7 minutes and
now appear in an acoustic form with some flamenco inspirations.
Both songs are pretty unrecognisable, and feels like bonus tracks amongst the rest of the material.
A must have? No. Good, then? Absolutely. Personally, I like this one better than Tetragrammaton.
With as much as 40 minutes it feels like an album. An album with consistency, yet with good diversity. With the
exception of the two remix-“bonus tracks”.
This has been out for a while, but it has passed underneath your radar, you can hear the whole thing beneath.
In addition, you can see the lyric video for Reign Of Hell.
Moribund Records, 12.05.15
Latin American black metal can't be said to be entirely predictable. Quality and genre approach from that area
comes in every conceivable nuance.
Mexican Luciferian Rites is going for the more orthodox European 90s style, and makes a
The trio, or quartet depending on how you look at it, will have ten years of experience toward the end of next year.
They released their first album in 2011 and has been struck by some delays during the creation of their second album.
My biggest complaint is the vocals. I never really did appreciate Hat's vocals on the first Gorgoroth
record. Count Shadow occasionally have an even higher pitch, with hoots and howls to top of the
madness. If Mickey Mouse had been hypnotized by the Phantom Blot to worship Satan and take on vocal duties in a
black metal band ...
The vocal is of course a matter of taste, and getting used to. When he occasionally goes a bit lower in frequency
is does sound better.
Their black metal ain't half bad. The sound is quite raw and appealing. The music has both speed and punch with a
daring and reckless character. The metal's got an excessive amount of melody incorporated, and the melody lines goes
in a more melancholic direction rather than a cold and bleak direction. Thus, I am left with a somewhat ambivalence
towards When the Light Dies. By placing themselves somewhere in between hateful and depressive black
metal Luciferian Rites fall a bit between two stools.
I miss a taste of evil spirit, something that would have fitted well with the technical approach.
Thus, in the end I characterize the music as pretty good. As than the album lasts more than 50 minutes
and the vocals are kind of shrill, it all becomes a bit overkill.
The guys still do have a lot of potential, and the album is by all means not bad, so I hope our paths cross again
some another time.
De Tenebrarum Principio, 30.03.15 Ergot hails from Italy and is made up of Lord Ergot solely. The One-man band is
portrayed as a black metal band, which is reinforced by the impression the cover, logo and fonts provides. Indeed,
this is black metal, but I was still taken a bit by surprise. Ergot is trying to find a different angel than the herd does for his approach. What if some of the
early Norwegian black metal had evolved in a different direction Lord Ergot philosophize.
“What if the atmospheric, dark and mysterious character of the Emperor/Enslaved split or Dark Medieval
Times was refined in a different evolutionary direction” says the press statement (freely formulated).
An interesting thought, and an exciting concept that could be applied to other bands, styles and eras.
Lord Ergot doesn't walk into his own trap trying to copycat any of the aforementioned releases.
On the contrary, he seems to appreciate precisely that all the Norwegian black metal bands in the first half of
the nineties had their unique feel. Thus, that it is just what he has set out to do. Creating something completely
distinctive is considerable trickier today than it was twenty years ago. Nevertheless, I think he has succeeded at that.
Victims of Our Same Dreams has becomingly hints of a home-made feel, without the sound being bad
because of that. The music has diverse elements without biting off more than he can chew. Here, speed, rampage and
hatred is not at the centre. Rather moods in general dictates this reign of black metal. The metal is partly
melodic, partly reckless and partly melancholic. Some violins and brass elements occasionally provides a breakup.
Generally I get the perception of listening to something a bit old. Something with soul.
I can't say that the album hits bulls eye in relation to the concept's basic idea, but sometimes you get vibes of
the right calibre. The songs are good, variety is pronounced and the band has a touch of originality not experienced
too often these days. In addition, I feel that the songs grow stronger for every spin. Whether Ergot
succeed or not in relation to the thoughtful approach, I call Victims of Our Same Dreams a success.
Napalm Records, 11.05.15
That The Seventh Life Path is not approved by yours truly is entirely due to a subjective decision.
Morten Veland isn't old(er than me), but he's been in the game for quite some time. He was one of
the founding member of Tristania, and wrote much of the classic and well-composed material from the band's
first four years.
With Sirenia he has never reached the same level, even if the debut At Sixes and Sevens
(2002) had its qualities. It was still noticeably already at that point that this band could easily decide to go in
a more poppy direction.
I never checked out An Elixir for Existence (2004) but Nine Destinies And A Downfall
(2007) was a disappointing affair. Gothic metal with elements of death/doom was diluted to epic pop metal.
I have not cared about any of the following albums and would not have bothered hearing this one either if I had
not received a promo. As I feared, but also expected, we find here pompous gothic pop even here.
Of course this is powerful and mighty, great-sounding, very well implemented and also well played. Objectively
speaking, this is still far, far better than traditional radio-pop.
For most metal-heads this synth-metal will probably appear as rather smooth and polished.
Some black vocals and dark drama notwithstanding, it is often sorrow-free, lofty and pompous. Simply pretty
frivolous. The song Sons of the North has some evocative segments that lifts that very song a
notch and the cover art is stylish and very elaborate.
It doesn't help, however that The Seventh Life Path has got some positive features.
This is simply not something I can stand to listen to.
Feel free to view the video to
Once My Light if you have a better relationship with recent Sirenia and other epic female-fronted
"metal", and check the
preview if you do not share my prejudice.
20 Buck Spin, 11.05.15
From Minnesota comes a trio that stands out a bit and are difficult to pinpoint. Obsequiae was
born in 2007 and is a continuation of the band Autumnal Winds that were active between 1997 and
2004 and released a number of demos.
The début was issued under the new moniker in 2011, and this is their sophomore full length release.
Melodic, atmospheric and medieval heavy metal with harp and elements of black metal is a description that would
not have made me any wiser.
Guitarist, bassist and vocalist Tanner Anderson and drummer Andrew Della Cagna
are joined by Spanish Vicente La Camera Marino on the harp.
Remember how symphonic black metal albums from the 90s were often structured? Two minutes of symphonic intro and
four minutes of relatively melodic black metal with semi-symphonic touch. Just as these ingredients seldom were
seamlessly blended into each other back then, metal-songs with a medieval flair and harp sections comes separately
here. That's a pity, as a complete blend would have created an even more original expression.
The metal part is not innovative, but still a bit difficult to place and explain. The music has a post-black touch,
presented with a charming nineties expressions. The music also has a lot of melody. And these melodies got a fairly
The moods lean towards the middle ages, but not the dark parts with poverty, hunger, war, epidemics, persecution and
reigning tyrants, as one might expect. Here the royal nobility, the court and the knights are gathered in polite
company while the jester's successful doing his best to take the sting out of the formal façade with his coarse and
vulgar jokes. In the village, the people are out in the streets where they are entertained by visiting jugglers and
troubadours on a sunny market day.
Unlike Harptallica that plays metal covers on the harp, which becomes boring very fast, this is
reasonably alright music. Not awesome, but highly audibly and... well... cozy in fact. I joggle slightly between
approved before I decide to premier an original expression.
Released on CD and in digital format right over the weekend. Those who want the vinyl will have to wait until June 8th.
Misantrof ANTIRecords, 08.03.15
I begun wondering when I saw the promo letter date this release back to 8th of March 2014. Had I really mistaken
that much, and was it really that much time since I last visited Vrangsinn(Carpathian Forest)'s
A bands origins isn't exactly a proper argument for a recommendation, but a little curiosity is allowed to when a
blasphemous Persian black metal band takes the stage.
The quartet is (in other word) allegedly from Iran. I've been deceived before (anyone who remembers Janaza?)
So now I take no chances, and I maintain sceptical. To promote anti-Christian, anti-Jewish and anti-Islamic ideas
through extreme metal in the Middle East requires balls big as sea urchins. Or equally small brains.
In any case, the band's got my moral support.
The band's black offspring is reasonable melodic with moderate symphonic attributes. It consists largely of heavy
mid-tempo black metal with a rather grand touch. The sound is remarkably good coming from the Orient, which add fuel
to my fiery doubt and distrust.
But does it really matter where Helzgloriam reside? Of course not!
Off course, it's just silly when bands (in general) take on a false identity to increase attention, and a genuine
An oppositional/adversarial band in a totalitarian Islamic state naturally deserve extra respect for their courage.
Purely musically, whether the band is based in the Amazon or Äteritsiputeritsipuolilautatsijänkä (Finland),
means fuck all. This sounds awesome in my ears!
Anyone with knowledge of Misantrof ANTIRecords knows that all music thereof is free, and so is this one.
Relapse Records, 04.05.15
The first thrash I heard was Slayer and Sepulturas frenetic frenzied thrash and Metallica
and Megadeths melodic, varied thrash. Spoiled from the very start I was not easily impress by the more
typical (dare I say generic?) thrash metal bands. I have a compilation with Razor (
Exhumed, 1994) that somewhat unjust has gathered a lot of dust in the shelves.
This is a very quick revision of the re-releases of three of the Canadians eight albums.
Razor was active from 1983 to 1992. The band made a comeback in 1997, but thenceforth it's been
quiet the front. Dave Carlo, steadfast pioneer from the dawn of time, appears to have gotten cancer.
Unfortunately I don't know any more about his or the band's status.
All these albums has been sold out, but they now comes with super deluxe packaging (sounds rather fancy, the genre
taken into account) with complete remastered material and bonus tracks. I have become a bit sceptical towards
remastering, as the sound isn't always improved through such a process. My suspicion
are rightly confirmed. The new sound is powerful, but so was the original. The new version is brickwalled, I don't
believe the old versions was. All comparison here is to the aforementioned compilation, where the dynamic difference
ranged from DR12 to DR14. With new mastering we are down to DR5 to DR6. This results in clipping, which can be clearly
viewed in the
spectrogram for the song Shotgun Justice. A fairly unnecessary change in my eyes
I don't to say about each album. They sound fairly similar, although with slightly different sound and despite
replacement of vocalist between the first two of them.
If I say that the band plays a les melodic form of speed/thrash (than Anthrax etc.) and that the band has
similarities with bands like Whiplash, Sacrifice and Nocturnal Breed, most devotee
probably know roughly where to place them.
I have an impression that Razor seem to have gone in a speedier and rougher direction on these three
records than on the four previous ones, without me wanting to be too cocksure.
Violent Restitution (1988) comes with three bonus tracks in the form of live tracks. Shotgun Justice (1990) comes with six bonus tracks, whereof two live tracks, one rehearsal,
an original mix and two alternative versions. Open Hostility (1991) comes with eight bonus tracks; three formerly unreleased songs and five
I would not call any of these disks mandatory and immortal classics although it's been a fun revisit with
speed/thrash from the genuine era. Razor is authentic stuff with apt hysterical pace, solos and
gnarly vocals. And the lyrics is a chapter by itself. Here are no hidden messages or metaphors that's open to
interpretation. Razor don't mince their words. Violence and villainy comes straight from the
liver, and a spade is mentioned by no other name.
The lyrics force a smile upon my lips (although some are excessively foolish and naive). Ahh... classic metal.
Fans with holes in their collection can now seal these. Other (genre) fans with black holes in knowledge or
conscience also has a golden opportunity to check out the Canadians. You'll probably have be a reasonably huge
fan in order to get enthusiastic about the bonus material, though.
This is decent thrash, but personally I'd rather dust off the double disk I already have if my thrash needs
should become urgent. There no one has compressed the audio in an attempt to make it to sound "bigger".
Metal Scrap Records, 04.05.15
If I had been a conspiracy theorist who did not believe in coincidences, I would perhaps been certain that Gothic
metal was having a new dawn. During the past month I have written about band with strong elements of the genre in
form of Dead Summer Society, Crimson Sky and In Miss my Death, and now even
Mizantropia. And as if that weren't enough, Sirenia also releases a new album in just over a week.
Take cover! Women in corsets, gloves and purple dresses with drawstrings are about to take over the Earth!
Forget reflexes and life-jackets. Hearing protection and tin foil hats is the only functional protection.
Naah, it's probably a coincidence, and hardly a renaissance we are exposed to. Or has the style possibly been
revitalized in Ukraine, where both Crimson Sky, I Miss my Death and Mizantropia
The music is and floating in between melo-death and goth with flute, piano, classical/soprano vocals and semi-extreme
female vocals. Try to imagine something between Arch Enemy and Epica. (If you experience confusion
and overheating in the brain convolutions it is a normal side effect of increased mental activity). Through nine
ordinary songs and two bonus tracks, a total of 50 minutes, I feel the point saturation being reached before the
end of the CD. Insomnia is a cover of Alla Pugacheva, some Russian pop diva, and
One for the Road is a less self-important, non-pompous and “twofolde” (hidden track) ending tune with
acoustic guitar, accordion and high blood alcohol level.
The band's got experience since 2003 and one previous full length (as well as some quibbles) has seen the light of day.
Five members are listed on the cover, but only four on Metal Archives. An extra woman seems to have appeared during
the conceiving of the album or the recording period.
The songs are varied, with good structure and many nice parts. Instrumentation and sound (from Light Side Studio)
is good. They sound highly capable (by all means), and Oblivion (or
Забвение as it is entitled in their mother tongue) will
certainly appeal to some, but for me personally some of this becomes a bit sweet, powerful and satiating.
Watch the video for the song
I'm after you, which contains many of the bands components, and judge for yourself.
Napalm Records, 04.05.15
Eventually they found a sensible application for the discoloured marble building in Oslo.
There are too few video recordings of concerts with the greatest bands of what once was the most unique and diabolical
black metal scene in the world, and of course Satyricon can't create pitch black magic now, 20 years
later. That is neither something they attempt or anything we would expect. Especially considering that 93% of the songs
on Live At The Opera is taken from the last four albums.
But... Even song material mostly from the last ten to fifteen years, lack of corpse paint, and audience in collage
sweaters of every conceivable garish colour manage to destroy a good concert from old legends. Sigurd, Frost and their sidekicks are still able to create spirit, energy and liveliness.
Live At The Opera is recorded 8th of September 2013, the day before the release of their
self-titled album, in front of a sold out the Norwegian Opera & Ballet, along with an opera-choir
consisting of 55 singers as powerful musical back drop.
They present one song from Volcano, four tracks from Now, Diabolical, two from
The Age of Nero and six tracks from Satyricon.
The choir does their duty, and benefit the production by adding an extra dimension to Satyricon's
material. Especially Die by my Hand and To the Mountains is enormously enhanced
by this aspect. That it pulls the band a few inches in the direction of Dimmu Borgir doesn't bother me.
Their contributions creates an occult atmosphere resembling the final breakthrough in some anti-theistic alchemistic
(sic!) process. In the concert's only old song it created a pure ceremonial Satanic mood.
Frost has always been a devil behind the drums. Seeing this animal in action is always an impressive
sight! Satyr has generally preserved his magnificent voice, although he talks more than he sings
nowadays, and thus he's got a more staccato feel than in the band's heydays. He's got an almost satanic, dark gleam
in his eye, which sometimes darkens, as if by a solar eclipse. An expression that shows a man who believes in what he
does, something that creates an aura of respectable credibility. The lead vocalist also had begun to become long haired
again when this concert was shot, something that always looks better than washed up short haired fools (like me).
Sivert Høyem guests on Phoenix, the least typical Satyricon song ever.
It nevertheless has a dark, melancholic appeal. Here the chorus shines well, led by male and female soloist in the
On stage we also find Gildas Le Pape (Morbid Rites) and Steinar Gundersen
(Sarke etc.) on guitar, Anders Odden (Cadaver etc.) on bass and Anders
Hunstad (Sarke) on keyboards.
As mentioned there's a lot of new material. In my ageing view everything after Rebel Extravaganza
is new. After a series of songs from the last two albums Den Siste creates powerful, diabolical
moods. It would be wrong to say that it creates nostalgia, as the track only hails from The Age of Nero
, but it has a blacker feel to it than most material of recent date.
After a 75 minutes main set, that feels all too short, we get approximately 20 minutes more, consisting of
The Pentagram Burns, timeless Mother North and K.I.N.G..
If they had taken a pause, where the choir were "playing solo" and then come back in with coal black clothes,
corpse paint, blood and torches to Mother North, and then continued with for instance
The Dark Castle In The Deep Forest, Hvite Krists død and The Scorn Torrent,
executed with the same conviction as the newer material, the career would have been covered and it would have saved
my night. Such a surprise would have been worthy of an inevitable full score from me. Of course that doesn't happen.
I like the DVD very good. Although I have mixed emotions towards the newer albums and I miss some older songs,
this is still a solid DVD. Where Roadkill Extravaganza was a somewhat disappointing video, as one
got few whole songs covered by an animated logo, Live at the Opera is a proper live document from
a tenacious, persistent and legendary band, determined to control their own musical (and artistic) fate.
Die By My Hand. The music video for Phoenix employs album audio (without choir)
and other camera angles, but you can of course watch it anyway.
Metal Scrap Records, 06.04.15
Gothic metal on DVD is not an everyday occurrence. The Sins of thy Beloved's Perpetual Desolation
Live might just be the only concert recording with pure genre-performance I've ever seen. Albeit Paradise
Lost, My Dying Bride and Type O Negative have their DVDs, they are still in the outer border
I was planing some sort of combined Impression for this DVD and the CD below, but although the music consists of nine
of the débuts twelve songs, these are two products in two formats, with different expressions thereof.
Releasing a video this early in their career is somewhat unusual, but it testifies to an enthusiastic and hungry band.
One can almost assume that a compressed mpg file will not have as good quality as the final DVD/Blu-ray release,
but as of today, such files have remarkably good quality. However, whether the promo file is 100% representative
of the physical product or not, I can of course not give any guarantee for.
Technically, this is a multi-camera production which far exceeds your classic VHSes, although the aspect ratio
is the same. We're talking 4:3 image with black borders. At least on the promo video.
(For the youngest audience: before today's wide-screen, both televisions and computer monitors had a 25% narrower
width compared to its height.) The image quality is not supreme. It's blurred, which may be due to the format,
but it has an authentic charm.
As entertainment the DVD has limited value, but it's beautiful and melancholic music that gets a visual presentation,
complete with some gothic/aristocratic clothes and two violin players, from a persistent band that apparently means
business. Helen Kryvoyaz has a number of theatrical gestures. It fits well with the music, but can
also become a bit unintentionally comical. The concert is otherwise rather stagnant – thus, those with interested
in the music exclusively is recommended to go with the album.
Mozart's Lacrimosa comes as the penultimate song. This fits perfectly into the end of the set, but
should strictly speaking been placed at the very end, as on the album, to give fresh fans in the audience an uplifting
sense of recognition as their last impression.
How many full production concert videos have you seen where the audience is limited to a maximum of a few hundred
men (and women)? For me it speaks to the band's advantage, as it just shows exactly how ravenous eager this band is,
hell-bent on going somewhere. Also, the audience looks seems to immerse themselves in the music and enjoy the concert.
A few morons even forms their own moshpit out on the outskirts. Ha-ha... talk about inept behaviour.
In today's jungle I'm not going to predict these good folks a luminous career, but remember where you read about
I Miss my Death first.
Good music and a decent visual presentation even though this is a kind of mood concert with little show and motion.
An alright DVD in other words. I could easily have given this on approved, but I choose to be a little strict
as the CD should cover most needs.
Nevertheless, I have seen this video twice over two weekends, and I'll gladly watch it again.
Metal Scrap Records, 05.05.14
This album came out a year ago, but in association with a recently released DVD, it was time to give the album
some attention. I Miss my Death is a Ukrainian gothic doom metal band with strong symphonic flank. The bands
front woman is one of the operatic sort, but her expected male counterpart stays more in the background. The
Ukrainians is slightly rounder in the edges than classic gothic metal has traditionally been.
The hard death/doom passages one is acquainted to in classic beauty/beast-goth is replaced by gentler classic
metal. The music has a symphonic structure where keys and strings takes the lead at the expense of the metal
elements. Even though guitar and bass has its place on the album one gets the feeling that the metallic footprint
in the sand is half washed away by the waves. The album has a quiet, dreamy expression with some progressive
structures and some playful Covenant/The Kovenant sounding antics. Good drums follow the music naturally
all the way, as if metallic percussion in classical music was an obvious matter of course.
We do get some male vocals, but it is more blackish. Qualitative this offers greater contrast than desirable, as
it simply seems a bit simple and sordid. Then it's just as well that Helen Kryvoyaz is running
the show. I'd like like to know which musical education she has, for she's got a highly professional and crystal
clear classical soprano with operatic vibrato and a large vocal range. She also sings accurately in tune/on key.
Baroque-passages, organs, beautiful melodies, violins, bird trills, piano and a monologue. The Ukrainians hold
nothing back on their début. On the contrary, the album can be a bit long with its 75 minutes. Especially as the
expression is so calm and graceful as much of this is. A bit too much perhaps, but the Ukrainians pretty much has
material to defend this duration.
The band's history stretches back to 2007, and this is their first full length album. Thus one might expect some
exuberant enthusiasm and a whole lot of material that they want to present.
As a conclusion we are served Lacrimosa, taken from Mozart's Requiem Mass in D minor
(K. 626) from 1791, the last piece of music Wolfgang Amadeus was working on, right up until his death
that very year. (It is marked as a bonus track, but the record only comes in one version. Something I personally
applaud). Whether or not this titled sounds familiar, the listener will definitely recognize the melody. Some
recognizable tunes at the end of an album, and especially such a long one, always serves a purpose. Here
Helen really get to shown her vivid vocal range. A great version of a truly classic piece, that you can
hear at the very bottom of this page.
It blends naturally with the the band's own material, and testify once again to how closely related metal often
is with classical music.
If references from the metal world is demanded, I would say that “Haggard meets early Theatre of
Tragedy, with a dash of Fjoergyn” should serve as a suitably accurate explanation. In Memories is a very good début if you like classical/opera, where serene and placid, yet grand
and epic music is presented relatively skilfully and with appropriate sound.