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August 2015:

01.09.15

THE SPIRIT CABINET - HYSTERO EPILEPTIC POSSESSED

The Spirit Cabinet - Hystero Epileptic Possessed Middling

Ván Records, 28.08.2015
The Spirit Cabinet is a relatively newly created Dutch quartet with members from Urfaust, Cirith Gorgor, Grimm et al. That absolutely sounds both promising and exciting. Even band and album title, as well as cover art tickle my curiosity.
Musically however, this isn't particularly interesting.


barbed wire There's a new born month awaiting us, but in order to keep my system intact, I'll post two more Impressions, Wederganger & The Spirit Cabinet in the August section (as they were originally posted on August 31st in the Norwegian sector), before summoning a September edition.
Remember how I said last Friday that I was likely to finish the four Friday releases before next month? Well, guess what, that didn't happen. I've been preoccupied with hectic activities and active hectivities. What's kept me busy? Does this look like a fucking pink share-every-personal-detail-uncritically blog?
You probably hate me now for keeping you waiting. Well, hate is good. It spawns great art.
In fact, I just finished translating a review of Hate. Just for you!
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01.09.15

WEDERGANGER - HALFVERGAAN ONTWAAKT

Wederganger - Halfvergaan Ontwaakt Good

Ván Records, 28.08.2015
All right music at the intersection between okay and good comes out better in full-length format than in short format. In the longer context, the atmosphere has more time to seep into and poison the prey. It's quite possible that's the reason why I'm a little bit more sympathetic towards Wederganger now than when I wrote about the 7-inch Gekderse Drek last December, calling it a bit simple and repeated/insistent.
The two songs are brought along to the album, albeit in a slightly more rounded sound.


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28.08.15

ROOT - ZJEVENÍ (Re-utgivelse)

Root - Zjevení Middling

I Hate Records, 27.08.15
This was originally released 25 years ago and it's probably considered a cult classic by some. I have a moderate knowledge of some of their later releases, but I haven't heard the début before.
Czech, then Czechoslovakian, Root has its roots in black metal of the first wave, and Zjevení, now released on freshly pressed vinyl, is certainly on of a kind.


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28.08.15

ADVERSARIAL - DEATH, ENDLESS NOTHING AND THE BLACK KNIFE OF NIHILISM

Adversarial - Death, Endless Nothing and the Black Knife of Nihilism Middling

Dark Descent Records, 21.08.15
Time flies, and I can hardly keep up. Friday is the week's big release day, and this is the last album I review... from last Friday. I fortunately only have four releases on the schedule this Friday, so I might maybe just be able to get through with them before the end of the month.

Adversarial is a Canadian trio that is soon approaching their ten years anniversary. The début was launched five years ago, and this is their sophomore full-length.

One more thing. Don't let the ranking fool you. This is reasonably solid stuff.


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27.08.15

BONEHUNTER - EVIL TRIUMPHS AGAIN

Bonehunter - Evil Triumphs Again Weak

Hells Headbangers, 21.08.15
Behind one of the least appealing artworks I've witnessed in recent times, we find dirty and sordid thrash with a stench of punk that will surely find oodles of followers in the underground. I can, however, control my enthusiasm. Not because I'm completely apathetic, but rather because simplistic and careless music don't arouse any excitement.
Yet, even if Bonehunter doesn't have a single sensational chromosome, they still have enough positive attributes to avoid total slaughter at my hand.


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27.08.15

HATE ETERNAL - INFERNUS

Hate Eternal - Infernus Good

Season of Mist, 21.08.15
The trio Hate Eternal is out with its sixth dose of good old Florida-based death metal. The band, which has been going strong since 1997 now consists of original guitarist/vocalist Erik Rutan (ex-Morbid Angel) as well as J.J. Hrubovcak on bass and backing vocals and Chason Westmoreland behind the drums.


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26.08.15

WOLFHEART - SHADOW WORLD

Wolfheart - Shadow World Good

Spinefarm Records, 21.08.15
If you're not familiar with Wolfheart you might as well read the brief introduction i wrote regarding the début. At least if you like melodic, easy soaring, Finnish death metal.
«Finnish Tuomas Saukkonen has cancelled all his other bands, and now focus solely on Wolfheart. The music here is fairly quiet, melodic and mournful melo-death/doom. The guitar works is of a floating, dreamy sort. Not dissimilar from his previous projects, like Before the Dawn, Black Sun Aeon and Dawn of Solace. After a quick comparison, I find Black Sun Aeon to be the best reference. Aside from some guitar solos performed by Mika Lammassaari of Eternal Tears of Sorrow, everything is conducted by Tuomas. The album seems beautiful, with strong melodies.»


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21.08.15

TAKE OVER AND DESTROY - VACANT FACE

Take Over And Destroy - Vacant Face Good

Pulverised Records, 21.08.15
The quintet from Phoenix, Arizona (which has increased to a sextet in retrospect) defies all genre conventions, and the promo leaflet describing them as an “An American Rock & Roll band from the 1970's trapped inside of a Scandinavian Metal band from the early 1990's, scoring a John Carpenter film.”
Strangely enough that makes perfect sense.



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21.08.15

ROTTING CHRIST - LUCIFER OVER ATHENS (Live)

Rotting Christ - Lucifer Over Athens Good

Season of Mist, 21.08.15
The Greek giants have, after 28 years and 11 studio albums, found time to be ripe for their first live album, recorded - as its title suggests - in Athens.
Lucifer Over Athens has in many ways become a large-scale live document, but a few elements prevents it from being fully as monumental as I had hoped for.


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20.08.15

VAEE SOLIS - ADVERSARIAL LIGHT

Vaee Solis - Adversarial Light Good

Signal Rex & Mordgrimm, 21.08.15
From Portugal comes a debuting female-fronted black/doom/sludge quartet. All band members have other bands behind them, some more than others, and a couple of guys also got duties in a solid handful of parallel constellations.
Adversarial Light was released on cassette in March, but by the help of two labels, wider distribution and probably a higher number of prints, the plan might just be to conquer the world.

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19.08.15

SCYTHIAN - HUBRIS IN EXCELSIS

Scythian - Hubris in Excelsis Good

Hells Headbangers, 21.08.15
There's certainly enough frenetic extreme metal lurking in the underground, that with breathless tempo, aggressive expression, identical sounding songs and cheap productions ends up in a chaotic, noisy stir. This considered, it's an especially nice surprise when a band of this calibre comes knocking on the door completely unannounced.


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18.08.15

LYCHGATE - AN ANTIDOTE FOR THE GLASS PILL

Lychgate - An Antidote for the Glass Pill Superb

Blood Music, 18.08.15
Like the album beneath, this also roam on quirky, unmarked trails. This one, however wanders at night, in obscure, occult and terrifying landscapes, shunned by most people.

London-based Lychgate released their first works in 2013, the eponymous album highly deserved made itself noticed in the underground.


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18.08.15

ÖXXÖ XÖÖX - NÄMÏDÄË

Öxxö Xööx - Nämïdäë Middling

Blood Music, 01.08.15
The French band with the hopeless diction Öxxö Xööx, is out with their sophomore record. Their name is part of a fictive language they've made up. This is also used in the lyrics, along with some English.
The name means 69, something that's also reflected in the binary equivalent of the letters (0110 = 6, 1001 = 9).


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14.08.15

GLADIUS SKY - EX METALLO

Gladius Sky - Ex Metallo Good

Selvutgitt, 02.06.15
This is the début of a Canadian band consisting of two permanent members and two session members. The music, primarily melodic and symphonic black metal, has a plethora of well-known elements, and doesn't sound particularly original as such, although the combination and balance of the compositions mixes good ingredients in a fairly new way.
If a melting pot of stuff like Windir and Carach Angren, with hints of folk, viking and pagan sounds alluring, this might be just what you need.

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14.08.15

ELYSIAN FIELDS - ADELAIN (Re-utgivelse)

Elysian Fields - Adelain Middling

Nuclear War Now! Productions, 15.08.15
This is another re-release, and we're going to have to go all the way back to 1995 to find the origin of Elysian Fields' début Adelain. I nearly bypassed this album, as the first impression was rather feeble. What little I've read about the album praise and glorify it, and no promos in the pile is scheduled for release before next week, so I decided to bite the bullet and start looking for something positive.


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13.08.15

HAMMERHEAD - THE SIN EATER

Hammerhead - The Sin Eater Weak

High Roller Records, 14.08.2015
Among the many bands bearing the name Hammerhead, we find these NWOBHM Britons.
The guys have actually been going since 1978 and can therefore be regarded as veterans. Though... been going? During the more than 20 years that went by from the last demo in 1984 to the first album in 2005, only a compilation saw the light of day, and this was released as late as only a few years prior to their début album.


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12.08.15

ABYSSAL - ANTIKATASTASEIS

Abyssal -  Antikatastaseis Superb

Profound Lore Records, 23.06.15
From the darkest resounding pits, meet Abyssal, a British one man band. The productive G.D.C. recently released his third album since the inception just four years ago.

Along with him we find Timo Häkkinen from among others Sotajumala on drums.


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12.08.15

ISTENGOAT - ATLAS SHRUGGED

Istengoat - Atlas Shrugged Middling

Blood Harvest, 10.08.15
We shall remain in musical grottoes where darkness reigns, and mould and fungus thrives. We move, however, in a direction toward infected carcasses, as Chilean Istengoat (which roughly translates too God Goat) offers a more deadly sphere.
The divine goat worshippers dug up just in time to witness the release of last year's début on vinyl. I missed out on it then. Thus, this re-release suits me well.

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12.08.15

CREEPING - REVENANT

Creeping - Revenant Awesome

Daemon Worship (CD), 10.08.15 & Iron Bonehead (LP), 28.08.15
Followed by a syrupy, yet fast lava flow, you run barefoot down rocky ridges below the volcano. Shoes were lost in the panicking tumults when the disastrous eruption was a fact.
Nooks, corners and edges threatens with imminent danger of twisting an ankle or two. You have already stumbled badly once, and pain is now shooting up the leg for each step. Sprawling thorns scratch and claw you to blood, while sharp rocks and shells down on the rocky shores cuts deep burning and bleeding abrasions underfoot.

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10.08.15

MAJESTIC DOWNFALL - ...WHEN DEAD

Majestic Downfall - ...When Dead Middling

Pulverised Records, 07.08.15
The Mexican duo Majestic Downfall is once again out with a new album. I was not particularly pleased with Three (2013), and I'm not entirely impressed this time either. But still, they have an ability to convey a changing diversity through four long songs, seasoned with a variety of moods. Something that can't be explained away with anything but a certain quality in the compositions.


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10.08.15

ISTAPP - FROSTBITEN

Istapp - Frostbiten Good

Trollzorn, 07.08.2015
Ready for a dose of melodic black metal of the type that could easily have led to hate mail and death threats from real puritans 20 years ago?
The struggle to preserve black metal shining (or matte) black is long lost, but even if the so-called sub genre have no connection with true black metal, I have nothing against it musically.


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08.08.15

CIANIDE, SARITAP, BARBATOS, DEIPHAGO & SCARNIVAL

Cianide, Saritap, Barbatos, Deiphago & Scarnival

Ladies and Headbangers of the jury, dishonourable judge Gorger hereby summons you from the deepest pits of Hell to cast your votes and spells on Cianide, Saritap, Barbatos, Deiphago & Scarnival.
They are hereby charged with the following indictments:
Waging Raging War Upon Humankind (could have been a song title, right there, and there's more to follow, both fictive and real), or at least upon incidental listeners, attempts at Igniting Arson and Burning Earth 'Till But Scorch Skulls Remains, performing Rites of Death, performing Sorcery in Satan's Service, encouraging Calculated Sexual Bloodbath, the Ritual Lies of Genetic Biotechnology and other Viciously Violent Violations on Bleeding Ears.
Proposed punishment: Death, obviously. What the fuck did you think?


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08.08.15

WOMBBATH - DOWNFALL RISING

Wombbath - Downfall Rising Good

Pulverised Records and Dark Descent Records, 07.08.15
About 20 years ago I picked up a CD with a reasonably sick cover from one of them on-offer-boxes, and I bought it unheard. The album was Internal Caustic Torments, Wombbath's début from 1993. By the time I had bought it, the band was already dissolved.
When Wombbath (as in “Womb Bath”, not wombat) now return from the grave, it is with guitarist Håkan Stuvemark as only remaining original corpse. (The other three must have dissolved due to moisture).

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07.08.15

SHROUD OF THE HERETIC - UNORTHODOX EQUILIBRIUM

Shroud of the Heretic - Unorthodox Equilibrium Good

Iron Bonehead, 31.07.15
The trio Shroud of the Heretic released their first album Revelations in Alchemy last year and is now ready with their sophomore record.
The promo letter uses the term "sepulchral death metal" and I second that description.
With doom filled pace, moderate occult character, cobweb for beard, soil and dirt under the fingernails and vocal a tomb worthy, the naming couldn't even be more fitting. This is certainly death metal from the grave.

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06.08.15

THROAAT - BLACK SPEED (EP)

Throaat - Black Speed Middling

Invictus Productions, 03.08.15
I shouldn't really take time to write of so many compilations and re-releases. There's never a sufficient amount of time available to cover everything I wish to. But what the hell, one must indulge in a little bit of individual amusement at times.
I work on catching up, but it doesn't look good. Friday sees another 8 releases that I'm not fully prepared for. But before I get to that, I have a few other presentations on the docket.


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06.08.15

DESIGNS OF CHAOS - THE DARKEST STORM (EP)

Designs Of Chaos - The Darkest Storm Middling

Independent, 28.06.15
This young quintet from England has been around since 2007, but didn't manage to complete their second EP before tragedy struck, and the band's drummer died in an accident last year.
With help from another rhythmic mate, the guys have now continue where they left off, and the result is three songs on a 14-minute EP.


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05.08.15

BARSHASKETH - OPHIDIAN HENOSIS

Barshasketh - Ophidian Henosis Superb

Blut & Eisen Productions, 30.07.15
Barshasketh is a new acquaintance for me, but they have been going since 2007 and is now back with their third album. The first years as a one-man band, though.

This is an album that sets the right moods for these dark autumn evenings.
Is it still summer you say? The Norwegian summer is obviously cancelled this year.


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05.08.15

AVANTGARDE MUSIC - IN DECAY WE TRUST VOL.II (Compilation)

Avantgarde Music - In Decay We Trust Vol.II Good

Avantgarde Music, 17.07.2015
Feel free to read the preamble for the compilation below before proceeding.
The main disadvantage of compilations is that they almost never have the overall feeling as an artistic work of art, a full length, possesses. Thus, they often end up as dust collectors having filled their purpose of introducing you to assorted bands.
In Decay We Trust Vol.1 came out as far back as 1998, but I've actually picked it up on an irregular basis since that time. Volume II doesn't cover the years that have passed. In fact, it's only found room for excerpts from albums released so far this year, with one exception.


piggtråd
04.08.15

LES ACTEURS DE L'OMBRE PRODUCTIONS - SAMPLER MMXV (Compilation)

Les Acteurs de L'Ombre Productions - Sampler MMXV Good

Les Acteurs de L'Ombre Productions, 26.07.2015
Compilations are an excellent tool for record companies to show off their roster and for you and me to discover new items of expenditure. Another thing that is undeniable is that if the songs are selected with care, a compilation could emerge as a cavalcade of golden grains, a parade of pearls on a string.
The worst thing is that you discover how much you miss out on. In past, presence and future.
I always hear an album a handful of times before I praise or piss on it. I will now do, not one, but three two exceptions. I content myself with one spin before the sentencing. For this and two other one more label sampler.


piggtråd
03.08.15

PERVERSOR - ANTICOSMOCRATOR

Perversor - Anticosmocrator Disappointing

Hells Headbangers, 27.07.15
South America's got three different Perversors to offer up. We're going to Chile, and probably the most prolific of these.
Expectations is a bitch. Take a good look at the cover (by clicking it). I had expected something dark, winding, intricate and evocative, and why not in the form of a raging, hellish maelstrom. Black, death or occult metal in the style of for example Execration, Bölzer, Hetroertzen, Antiversum or Misþyrming.


piggtråd
03.08.15

FALLEN - FALLEN (Compilation)

Fallen - Fallen Pretty Good

Solitude Productions, 16.07.15
I could have re-used the very same prologue as on the Impression below, but I'm not quite that lazy.
When I wrote “the similarities ends there” I might have been a bit hasty jumping to that conclusion. There are several musical similarities, though the two bands expression differs slightly.
This is released as a compilation, but Fallen may just as easily be regarded as a re-release of the band's début, and only album, A Tragedy's Bitter End, released in limited edition on Aftermath Music in 2004, now including two bonus tracks.


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02.08.15

FUNERAL - IN FIELDS OF PESTILENT GRIEF (re-release)

Funeral - In Fields Of Pestilent Grief Middling

Solitude Productions, 16.07.15
As mentioned in connection with the massive compilation from Solitude, early albums from Funeral and Fallen was re-released half a months ago. And they have more in common than being re-releases on the same date, by the same label, with material from the early years of the millennium, and the letter F. Both are in addition from Drammen, Norway, where three members' been involved with both bands, while also moving about in the same musical territory.


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01.08.15

Disfago - Disfago (Double 7")

Disfago - Disfago Bad

Witch Ghetto Productions, 08.06.15
Disfago consists of three rebels from London that “don’t give a fuck about anyone’s scene and they care even less for genre rules and regulations”. Sounds great, but hopefully they don't give a fuck about me not giving a fuck about them either.

I know fuck all about the gang, but they play a form of drunk punk metal with thrash elements.


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01.08.15

DESTRUKTOR - OPPROBRIUM

Destruktor - Opprobrium Good

Hells Headbangers, 24.07.15
My first encounter with these destructive Australians was the A Prophecy of Nihilism split which was released almost a year ago. With two songs I didn't see it as remarkably valuable. The men's second full-length on the other hand provides more meat on the bones in more than one way. One of these is in terms of quantity.
Where the band contributed one four-minute song on the split, they now present seven songs, totalling 33 minutes.

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