Godz Ov War / Third Eye Temple, September 2015
This is the second album from Corpse Garden, a death squadron from Costa Rica. The album was originally
released on CD via Satanath Records and Rebirth the Metal Productions in mid-May. The album has since
been on my wish list. A long list of things I would like to hear, but that seems like a distant, unrealisable dream. When,
so I received a promo for this cassette release, I could erase one item from the list with a blissful glance.
Strangely enough, this is the third cassette release I write about in a short time. Cassettes are a prized sentimental
possession with many good memories attached to them, but it's also a completely useless medium these days. In my
eyes, of course. You can of course do whatever the hell you please. It's the music that counts anyway.
The band's death metal don't impress as strong as predicted at first listen, but then I also had some sky-high expectations.
There is also a lot to digest here. Entheogen consists of entirely 62 minutes of music spread over 13
tracks, which is rather much to digest, the genre taken into consideration. The Central Americans probably realize this
themselves, for they have added enough variety and breathing space along the way to help the listener avoid bored due to
The album starts to grow pretty quickly, but it takes time to assume full overview. When the brain's neurological
connections eventually begin to adjust to the new metallic impulses there are no longer any doubt that the guys delivers
the gods in a more than approved manner.
If songs were metal strips, these 13 hammered steel strings are pointing in the same general direction, although they bend
and stretch, kinks and breaks, twists and meanders in each their respective way.
We find many different moods and expressions on our journey. Raw death metal, lovely guitar portions, gloomy landscapes
and proggy lightheartedness woven well together despite seemingly random order, like playing cards from a thoroughly
shuffled deck. Transitions and proper diversity are keywords that preserves excitement and focus.
Deep growl, changing riffs and (hyper)active drumming is countered by tonal bass playing. Carlos Venegas
stand out from the rumbling mass with his organic act. Not that I have anything against low frequency resonating thunder,
but all cred to those choosing slightly less standardized procedures.
Surprising transitions and said bass provide vast proggy feeling and associations of technical death metal. I won't call
this progressive metal, nor technical calculator metal, but rather moody death metal with partly progressive structures
and some technical means.
The album is not flawless in each and every way. There are some less optimal passages that can be too repetitive, and at
certain sequences the music strikes me as clue sterile, but fear not, there's also much soul to be traced. The album is,
everything considered, very good. (That's a big, fat lie! I've probably heard the album about seven times, and I'm absolutely
positive there are a shit-load of details yet to be discovered, and so I could never have considered everything).
I'm struggling a bit to describe what the consciousness undergoes during this hour in the corpse's garden, but anyone who
enjoy music that stands out slightly should consider that to be an advantage. Enjoy.
Suspended Over The Abyss can be heard right here. The rest can be explored on
Hells Headbangers, 30.09.15
First some facts:
Japanese Abigail, who's been active in well over 20 years and which has more split releases behind
them than I care to count, and American Shitfucker with ten years experience, supply two exclusive
songs each on this split.
Together the madness lasts for less than a quarter. Well, at least that's something.
Abigail has never been my favourite, and that status wont change based on these two songs.
Filthy black/thrash mixed with careless heavy metal fronted by deplorable shrilling vocals gives me next to nothing.
Shitfuckers atonal sonic frenzy does little to rectify the impression. The trio mixes everything that
is aggressive and performs their sordid mud with punk's lack of finesse. This cornucopia of intensely diabolical disgust
on the contrary does more harm than good for tired eardrums.
Come joy and zest for life, here shall ye find resistance, obstruction, discourage and hardship.
For the records: Someone actually likes this form of rabid cacophony, and you just might
be among them. I need a headache pill and a sedative. I can't find no fucking stream. Eh, Fuck it!
Edged Circle Productions, 30.09.15
Those who dwell in the underground might have encountered the sturdy Norwegian youth from Fusa on their daily stroll
of the beaten path. Inculter, Reptilian and Cockroach Agenda made their names spread like wildfire even
before the former débuted full-length-wise earlier this year.
I caught Sepulcher live as opening act on Inculter's release party in June. I knew what I
had in store when it came to the headliners, but Sepulcher simply blew me away. Had I known then
that the band swear to a fairly anonymous profile, I'd taken pictures or notes. Regardless, he band consists of
young men and teenagers from the same circle.
It is easy to think that oldest is wisest, and that experienced musicians have the best precondition to compose
classical tunes. I admit to having thought (without reflecting) in such ways myself. But how old were the
guys in Metallica, Sepultura and Slayer (just to name a few examples) when they wrote
Kill 'Em All, Show No Mercy og Morbid Visions? (Hetfield & Ulrich was 20, Hanneman & King
was 19, and the guys in Sepultura ranged from 16 to 18 years old).
Mausoleum Tapestry is admittedly not quite on the same level, but the ability to write clever
songs while avoiding simple verse-chorus structure is nevertheless joyous.
Even Sepulcher have retrieved something from the youthful glow and rawness of thrash, but they have
rather chosen to build their fort on a foundation of death metal. They walk paths marked out by Autopsy and
kept in condition by Norwegian plow drivers Obliteration, amongst others. Sepulcher adds a
dash of diabolical home-made charm and a thrashing middle finger attitude (in veins of Nekromantheon) to
the recipe, while the vocals definitely stands out.
Through three quarters and 7 songs, Sepulcher chases the listener as the devil at your heels, breathing
down your neck, ready to strike. The pace is at times frenetic, but the expression is reckless regardless of speed. It
takes a few spins to get used to both sound and expression. It sounds rough, brutal, a bit crusty and very deranged.
Feedback, hiss, crackling, scratching or whatever noisy quibbles others would've polished away is kept in every detail.
It all sounds punkishly, ruthless and devil-may-care, and I keep wondering whether the whole thing is recorded live in
studio, or if that's just an illusion creates by these aspects. The record must be played loud, otherwise it might sound
a bit woolly.
Give Mausoleum Tapestry some time, and a wonderful world of obscure sonic rage will soon open its gates
and welcome you in. Killer! Speaking of obscure... The album is released in limited edition (150 ex.) on tape of all silly
I was a little in doubt whether I should really present this with the highest rank, but what the hell. The guys do have
some way to go to reach the top, but this is a very vital début from a hungry band that seems to possess lots of eagerness
and enthusiasm. Hell yeah!
Hear the two first songs, Delirious and Structural Death:
Iron Bonehead, 25.09.15
When after hearing Omniscient Veil a few times I read that this is the first demo from American
Veiled I became rather surprised, for this is solid stuff.
When I read further and learn that the duo have been active under another moniker, it explains the professional level.
The constellation Gnosis of the Witch felt genre-bound on hands and feet, as they freedom-deprived
was locked up in a pigeonhole. Having escaped in the dead of night, the two have acquired new identity. And voilà,
the duo is reborn as Veiled, with clean sheets and new opportunities.
I enjoyed my one meeting with Gnosis of the Witch, but I feel that
Omniscient Veil is a natural progression for a band that does not want to repeat themselves, so in my eyes
a re-branding was a bit redundant.
The four songs of the demo collectively clocks in at just over half an hour. Musically both sulphuric acid-dripping
volcanic eruptions and dreamy moods are presented. The men still lurk in black landscape. At its most savage, the
beastly vocals foams over seething maelstroms of malevolent guitars that obscures the moon like swarms of bloodthirsty
vampire bats. In the next minute it's the listener that soar high up under the pleasurable light of the full moon to
the sound of caressing post-black.
Veiled débuts with more professional sound than Gnosis of the Witch ended with, and a
slightly different expression, but the mournful feeling of bottomless grief and despair persists. Whatever the name, the
American duo's music definitely falls to my liking! But can is it really be necessary to release music on cassette in 2015?
Wicker Man Recordings, 28.09.15
This five-piece from London has gradually made a name for themselves in the scene during their decade-long existence.
I can remember having encounter the band in association with their début, but I had to resort to
Bandcamp to refresh my memory.
At the time, I guess the band played some kind of atmospheric doom/death with undertones of post-black. The band hasn't
thrown their past overboard, but has turned up the pace and evolved in a more proggy direction.
15 months ago the Brits released the digital EP Frequencies for free. The songs
A Strange Awakening and Illumination has found its way onward to Kingdom Of The
Blind. The band's most observant fan base thus knows approximate what they have in store.
I'm no expert on progressive death metal, but if I'm to take a chance on some references I think I'll go for
Atheist and Alkaloid rather than Metal Archives suggestions Opeth, Death
and Edge of Sanity.
Despite some speed, punch and growl, De Profundis' expression never appears brutal. With lots of melody,
rather gentle such, the band emerges as mild extreme metal. Nothing wrong with that, per se.
Twists are served as often as the songs permits. It is namely the songs, with their melody and structure, which
appears to be in focus. No “prog for progs sake” to put it that way. This gives the music a fairly natural feel.
Although the guitar works ain't entirely on Alkaloid level we find lots of enjoyable guitar work here as well.
The drummer's doing a good job, yet he needn't play technician at all times. The sharp growling, at places recorded
with dual layered and black vocals in the background, has a somewhat mechanical feel and stands as such in contrast to
the sometimes rather “organic” bass. Kingdom of the Blind shows a talented band with a flair for pretty good melodies and structures. Those
who are not primarily concerned about progressive extreme metal will most likely not regard the release as a must, but
fans of the genre have no choice but to listen through A Strange Awakening and Cult of the Orthodox:
Dark Essence Records, 25.09.15
It is apt to compare The 3rd Attempt with Carpathian Forest, for as those who dwell in black
landscape might know, this band was created by the two former Carpathians Tchort and Blood
Pervertor. Ødemark (ex-Midnattsvrede) was chosen as the lead singer on the basis of on-line auditions,
and drummer Tybalt (Fortíð, Den Saakaldte) volunteered for action. Thus the squad
was complete and ready to go to war.
The album kicks off in a familiar black'n'roll style, with three genre loyal tracks. These are absolutely all right,
whilst I at the same time experienced a little inner subjective sense of tiredness for the genre. Could I manage to
establish enthusiasm over yet another album in a genre I to some extent feel has lost its excitement?
That's when The 3rd Attempt departs from the beaten path. After the fourth song, We Defy,
which moves in a fierce melodic black/death-direction, the quartet break with all guidelines and go for a detour. Born in Thorns, the title track it selves, slows the pace and disposes of the rocking elements. Here
the deadly and creepy moods reigns, while parts of the vocals resort to clean vocabulary means, which really complement
the sly, agitating satanic black vocals. With head held high and certain Viking aesthetics, the band shows that they are
very comfortable in these cursed waters, feared and shunned by ordinary mortal souls.
Beast Within returns to rocked black metal, but not without a middle section with delightful arrogant
clean vocals in lower mid-tempo. This is practically the last we see to the black'n'roll. To the delight of yours truly
the band continues to mix their own experimental terrifying brew. Sons of the Winter is reminiscent of
Immortal, both in title and in parts of the song material, and the three subsequent tracks unashamedly blends
infernal drift in Nekrogrammaton, juicy creepy tones and the use of piano in Firestorm,
and a wonderful combination of recklessness and ghoulishness in Anti-Self.
With the help from producer Endre Kirkesola in Dub Studio in Oslo, the sound on this album have become
powerful and juicy. The two Carpathians has apparently found a new spark, and the remaining two members has seemingly
influenced the direction, for even if the music to some extent branch out a bit stylistically, it provides musical
width and variety. The 3rd Attempt is going to war with re-ignited energy, adrenaline and vitality.
Even the first three songs, which I initially was somewhat lukewarm to, holds delightful sequences which give them the
right of existence on an almost 50 minutes long album. Born in Thorns can therefore enthusiastically
be recommended to everyone who likes their extreme metal diverse.
Eisenwald Tonschmiede, 25.09.2015
The Dutch trio has chosen the moniker “Whisperers” in their mother tongue, and the phrase “windswept black metal” is
used to describe the music. Both can be said to be quite adequate for this band. Their music has a monotonous character
reminiscent of empty landscapes and ghost towns. Hushed and deserted. Dromers, the band's début from January last year, was rather likeable. So is this, more or less, but
the appearance still becomes somewhat mellow and placid.
The band has an expression that does not alter, but rather balance between melancholy and tranquillity. The
music feels like a kind of sad smile in despair over life's ironic tendency to bring hardship, trials and bad luck
just as things finally seemed about to take a turn for the better.
We are at the intersection between post-black and black metal, but the musics breed has an atmosphere that is far
away from traditional black metal. In a way, Fluisteraars has a touch of originality to them, but
the similarity with another melodic, calm and monotonous post-black bands can't be silenced either.
The album has pretty nice melodies, and its calm temperament is reasonably pleasant to listen to. At times luwte
is relatively nice and hypnotic.
However, I feel that a bit too much is repeated for unnecessarily long durations. The monotony can be too dreary, and
in longer sequences the drumming can be pretty unimaginative. As the cover art; a bit bleak and gray.
Despite some symptoms of genericness and some minor flaws this is an okay, even fairly good album.
Not much more, though.
(Perhaps you already guessed my verdict based on the sheer amount of synonym adverbs like quite,
rather, fairly, pretty, relatively and reasonably. In such a volume,
those are signs or indicators of middling properties).
Les Acteurs de l’Ombre Productions, 18.09.15
Their second album is my first encounter with this French quintet.
The band plays black metal, that with partly low slithering and coiled pace and stealthy monotone character acquires
a hint of post-black. The claim that they mix in elements of sludge is not something my antennas picks up. My sensors
might be untuned to such frequencies, and/or the band can of course have developed their expression since the début,
released two and a half years ago.
Although the pace in familiar ways alternates between the eerie slow and quiet, and the reasonably fast, there's never
any breakneck speed. That one can easily get a sense of frantic aggression is probably due to the sultry intensity the
band manifest. Said monotony makes itself felt in the stifling atmosphere the band conveys, but the music never gets
stagnant. With driving rhythms and riffs it wriggles and coils unrelentingly.
As a cold and damp granite wall of sound, the music surrounds the listener. One soon finds oneself in a relentless,
all-encompassing claustrophobic atmosphere that wont let go even when glimmers of hope temporarily chase the worst
But the wall can not possibly consist of pure granite, for movements creates unmistakable shadow plays in the dim light.
When eyes and ears becomes accustomed to the gloom, one perceive winding and wriggling motion. A wealth of vibrant
reflections from tiny eyes and bright shiny exoskeletons reveals that the walls are teeming and bursting with insects,
slithering worms and crawling bugs.
My first meeting with Regarde Les Hommes Tomber won't be the last.
I just have to scrape away all the vermin from my skin with this razor blade first.
World Terror Committee, 22.09.15
As a blinding flash and a deafening blast from a seemingly cloudless sky, a fresh band slams their début on the table.
The Germans join in on a growing brigade of black/death groups with a time typical touch.
I deliberately avoid the word trend. 99% of all metal bands follow existing expression on trend mannered
demeanours, but very little of this is trendy. Extreme metal is neither commercially or trendsetting in a
Shrine of Insanabilis plays black metal with deadly and occult undertones, a hint of Greek
flavorings and relatively much melody.
The band offers some moments in lower midtempo, where moods finds elbowroom and breathing space, but mostly the guys
creates an intense cacophonic inferno. At first listen, I felt that it wouldn't have hurt the band to tone down the
most infernal moments somewhat. Such weak thoughts fortunately disappear whence the album grows to settle. The most
chaotic moment reveals its underlying pattern when the album comes under the skin.
Shrine of Insanabilis follows in solid footprints placed by bands such as Abyssal,
Desolate Shrine, Nightbringer, Azavatar, Acherontas et cetera.
The latest addition to the family tree is of course not capable of pushing anyone down from the treetop, but the
masked débutantes has already begun to mount the trunk and crawl out on this branch, and I don't think they're going
to give up their climbing any time soon.
Pitch black vocals and occasional growls resounds in the halls of Hell. Sharp rays of melody radiates like plutonium.
The drums alter controlled between quiet, restless and frenetic beats. The bass sits somewhere inside the pandemonium.
All draped in a most suitable production.
Disciples of the Void is a very solid début from a band it'll be interesting to follow henceforth!
Green Zone Music, 25.09.2015
Excellent rock songs, dressed in metallic sound and topped by biting vocals with verve... ain't that the recipe for
AC/DC? Well, it can also be the recipe for success. Something Motörhead and Twisted Sister
has proven as well.
It may evidently also fail, as Six Feet Under demonstrated with their Graveyard Classics.
I don't mind rock'n'roll as long as it the rocks, and if I am to put on some rock, Status Quo isn't
the worst choice. The band picked up the threads of one of the genre's somewhat overlooked pioneers, Chuck Berry,
and produced some of the 70's best boogie rock classics.
When the German thrashers in Godslave pays a little tribute to Status Quo, they have avoided
the most typical songs, although they probably did not select the most obscure stuff either. (I don't have that
much of a knowledge of their discography).
This is a 6-tracks and 23-minutes EP recorded solely for the fun and the hell of it. In addition, it might shorten the
wait until the next Godslave-album, due for release in 2016.
The Rock/Metal combination we are served here doesn't taste bad at all. In Norway we have a band that realised this
more than 30 years ago, and if you like the kind of semi-metallic boogie rock that
Backstreet Girls plays, you probably wont mind Whatever We Want! either.
Crack open a six pack of beer, replace the strings on your air guitar and crank up the volume, for songs like
Caroline, Little Lady, Down Down et al. wont let your foot-tapping feet rest.
W.T.C. Productions, 22.09.15 Horna painstakingly refuses to put the 90s behind them. The Finnish misanthropes admittedly has assembled
a bit more bass to the sound since my moderate enthusiasm over their last output, Askel lähempänä Saatanaa,
but it still sounds primitive.
Basement sound might fit the music well, for the songs are just as stereotypical as jars and ice boxes filled with
assorted worn threaded screws, bent nails, rusty nuts, loose hex keys, short stumps of wire and all sorts of gizmos
that is “useful” to store.
Horna is genuinely dissatisfied with one thing or another. The screaming and rage is albeit not nearly
as aggravating as cranky, irrational and uncontrollable kids having a tantrum, but it doesn't lead to much more either.
On the last record, the band was angry. The songs were not particularly memorable then either, but they
did burst with unvarnished aversion and hatred. Vocalist Spellgoth screamed till his veins burst.
On their ninth album, I feel that the singer almost holds a little back. Ten a bit more laid back tunes comes in a row
without any significant hooks, and performed without necessary commitment.
Some tracks offer all right moods, but all in all it's marginally. Well, it's pretty much tolerable and passable, quite
okay, but that just doesn't cut it. Not primarily because of a competitive market, but because black metal requires
compassion and soul.
These close to 50 minutes goes on and on in a relatively uninspired habit, and I wonder... does Hengen Tulet
taste of stagnation, or am I the only one being bored to asphyxiation?
Svart Records, 11.09.15
Finnish Speedtrap is out with their second disc. As the name suggests, they play speed metal.
Rocking, melodic and rather harmless speed metal.
Especially the vocals draws on rock more than metal. Besides a couple of songs where the tempo is calmed down, the guys
delivers energetic material with lots of drive and pretty tough guitar works. The speed limit, however, ain't so
exceedingly violated that guys risks more than a speeding ticket.
I can live with the songs being more uplifting and cheerful in good party-rock tradition, even if I prefer a more
reckless attitude. If a bands expression is friendly, it requires strong and memorable tunes, though, and I feel that
Speedtrap lacks some of that.
The songs are by all means fair, but unfortunately not much more. The sound has a stronger classical hint, as it's got
a sturdy reek of the early 80s.
Straight Shooter ends up as a slightly cool album that certainly will work out as hell in the background
when the guys meet to produce returnable bottles on a Friday night. As object for concentrated listening the album as a
whole is only pretty good, which is a notch better than okay. I prefer the most frenetic parts, willingly
without vocals. Gentler passages becomes a bit too innocent and close to rock in my ears.
Debemur Morti Productions, 21.08.15
For yours truly, this is a nice revisit. As I have always prioritized full lengths, Wallachia's demo
from 1996 was one of very few demos I bought in the nineties. With the bands unique style, I've never regretted the purchase.
All four tracks from the demo found its way to the first full length album, From Behind the Light
(1999), where they constitute about half the album. Two of these have now been given an overhaul. Again.
The EP starts with the new song Mother Tongue of Heresy. The band has always operated from a black
metallic foundation, but with a more symphonic and melodic approach. This is still the case, even if the band has
evolved considerably over the years. With its extensive use of synth, the song gives me associations that I unfortunately
don't quite manage to put my finger on.
Arges - The River of the Princess is a new version of Arges - Riul Doamnei.
The name Wallachia derives from a former principality in Romania, bordering to Transylvania, where the
most notorious prince was Vlad Țepeș (aka Vlad the Impaler or Dracula). The (river) Râul Argeș starts
in the Southern Carpathians, also known as The Transylvanian Alps.
The song has a certain synthetic character, but the sound is still greatly improved.
Munții Făgăraș are the highest mountains of the Southern Carpathians
In Fullmoon Above Fagaras (or Fullmåne over Fagaras as it was originally named) the
first sign of rearrangements is that the acoustic introductory finger playing is replaced by piano. There are many
changes in details and sound, but the song is still easily recognizable, albeit in a new garb.
I kind of miss the strange vocal effect that made the demo stand out so exceptionally in the crowd, but it is still
nice to hear these great songs in new versions.
Whether these three songs makes your mouth water or not, this is a release that offers much more for fans of music in
the outskirts of black landscapes. When purchasing this in digital format you also obtain the said demo and album, both
in newly re-mastered editions, as well as the album Ceremony Of Ascension (2009). For € 3.33 (approx.
3.7 $, 2.4 £ or 14.7 Romanian leu) that is a true bargain!
Les Acteurs de L’Ombre Productions, 18.09.15
I wrote short, but positively about Terribilis Est Locus Iste, the previous album from these
Frenchmen back in the early days of this site. I'm no fan of their début Loi Martiale, but they've
grown considerably since than.
The trio conveys black quality metal with as much Northern European touch as local flair and as much individuality
as traditional sense.
A glance at the cover art might raise expectations of chaos, cacophony and belligerent intensity. That is not the case. Moonreich delivers an eight-course meal with culinary inspiration from a broad range of Europe's
diverse variants and flavours. A well-composed meal with thoughtful order, interesting accessories, and carefully
selected wines and imported beers as supplements.
The album was recorded in Hybreed Studio, and Marduk's Devo was set to master the album at
Endarker Studio. It sounds indeed rough and sharp, as black metal should taste, but the sound is simultaneously
trimmed as beef and full-bodied as red wine, giving a becoming refined touch to black metal with a flair of finesse.
Yet, I shall not exaggerate. There are others on the same path, and there are meals with more depth. Pillars
Of Detest is not so sophisticated that Cognac and cigar is required and each course ain't equally exquisite,
but all in all it's nevertheless an excellent meal marked as much by versatility as a good and natural flow.
In short: Solid black metal.
Prosthetic Records, 11.09.15
To a grumpy wranglers joy there are still those who call dual track 7-inches with less than ten minutes of playtime a
single, and not an EP.
I became very fond of Slave To The Sword, and it's of course nice to hear new material from the Americans.
Exmortus is on the road in the US with Marty Friedman. In connection with this they have just released a first taste of their upcoming
full-length, along with a cover.
For The Horde is a rapid and fierce little devil crammed with guitar-candy, that swarms and stings like a wasp.
I have no relationship to Yngwie Malmsteen's As Above, So Below but in the claws of
Exmortus this melodic guitar-gem is probably presented considerably more aggressive than the original. Much
thanks to the sharp blackened bite of the vocals.
An enjoyable revisit with more cool fresh stuff from Exmortus.
For The Horde can be heard below, but you might as well check out the
Blut & Eisen Productions, 15.09.15
The début album by British Funeral Throne, Nihil Sine Diabolvs was released in 2007.
I've heard it, but also forgotten it. For a change, this says more about forgettable music than poor memory.
The quartet has done their homework properly, though, and have returned with a really strong album
The four guys have experience from some of the same band, and has kept together for ten years. Their new works
consist of vital black metal, both in sound and character.
In addition of the musics ever-changing expression, definitely making song titles like Through Transforming Fire
and Hypnotic Coils live up to their names, the sound also display an energetic, vibrant and
dynamic flair. Both statements feels a bit plagiaristic, since the press release makes a point out of it too. It's
nevertheless a bloody truth.
The band has even taken a conscious stance where they have avoided “studio cheating” like triggering and re-amping, and
rather recorded it all as honest and unvarnished as possible. The result speaks for itself, and I think the sound has
become thoroughly ripping.
The men deliver three quarters, divided into seven tracks, filled with diversity, good melodies and driving rhythms.
If the album commute between groovy, reckless and evocative nature, it still retains a constant heretic spirit.
Funeral Throne has delivered a blasphemous beast that I'm just not getting tired of.
Anyone with an affection for well-made, daring and distinctive black metal would do well to focus their
concentration on Threshold.
Dark Descent Records, 18.09.15
Finnish Tyranny released their first album, filled with rumbling, viscous, sonic smog, ten years ago.
They debuted in EP format the year before. I remember that the album Tides of Awakening made it to my
shopping list, but for some reason it never landed in my shopping cart.
Funeral doom is an unhurried genre, and it has taken ten years to release the sequel.
Here we have five songs at about ten minutes on average. These are probably at least as thunderously surging as
Through its aural mass, levitating moods is created, flowing like a constant stream of energy from the underworld. Hovering
and dark, unpleasant and otherworldly.
There are towns and neighbourhoods, such as the Seattle Underground which is located below the current street level. Some
such places is said to be haunted. Tyranny's thunderous works seem made for catacombs, tunnels and underground
shafts where resounding echo and perhaps those supposedly ethereal souls prevails.
Parts with backing vocals, violin strings and piano doesn't brighten the expression. They instead contribute to the eerie
atmosphere. The sound is completely in sync with the duo's fairly original rumblings and thunder. Aeons In Tectonic Interment consists of a creepy atmosphere that deserves your attention. Fortunately,
you can listen to this work yourself, for I am simply not able to describe the resonating abyss the band has created.
Season of Mist, 18.09.15 Tsjuder was formed as early as in 1993. I wasn't actually aware of that. Probably because the band
didn't début in album format before year 2000. Admittedly they managed to launching a handful of demos and an EP during
the classic decade.
After three albums, the band was put on ice in 2006. The men returned in 2011, but they never managed to shake off the
ice. They hereby introduce their fifth album.
Dry facts aside. Tsjuder have again set their musical snow guns to blast razor-sharp shards of ice.
The trio Nag (vocals and bass), Draugluin (guitar) and Anti-Christian
(drums), who have largely constituted the band, turns down the thermostat, and conjures up the coming winter to their
The album kicks off in hundred and hell. The storm whips stinging crushed ice crystals at the skin. The tempo variation
barely moves under gale. The wind doesn't decrease until we are about halfway. Demonic Supremacy calms
down just enough so that we can lift our stooping heads and gaze out on the devastation.
The albums first half is like as an aggressive occupying powers ruthless advancement with superior strength. Effective
and cold-blooded as a whipping winter storm. When Krater than offers the sound of air raid sirens,
falling bombs and creaking tank tracks, it wouldn't surprise me if more people get some sensations of Panzer Division
(And there's nothing wrong in that).
The album's second half calms the pace somewhat. In the ruins, disgust and hatred grows stronger. We also find quick
parts here, but the frenetic black clouds glide slightly aside, and allows for yet colder moods to shine through. The
last tracks all offer delightfully dark and hypnotic passages.
Let me clarify that this album is not directly two-folded, although it can feel as such. Especially during the
first few spins.
I won't stubbornly insist that Antiliv is better than the public's favourite Desert Northern
Hell, but if Tsjuder haven't outdone themselves, at least I think that they border on former
achievements. Admittedly this album doesn't have any particular neck hair ticklers on par with Ghoul,
but the level is very good and possibly a bit more even.
This is solid Norwegian black metal!
Les Acteurs de L’Ombre Productions, 18.09.15
Temptation led me to write a few words about a promising compilation from Les Acteurs de L’Ombre not long ago,
and I found considerably dystopia that in its turn intrigued me to dive deeper into the dark pond. Déluge was one of those bands that conjured gloomy moods with magnetic properties.
Déluge consists of five French gentlemen, and this is their début.
The music is defined as post-hardcore/black metal. I would had hardly have thought of hardcore myself, since it's a
genre I have no relationship with. Or rather a strained relationship. Still, the elements derives therefrom works
absolutely perfectly here.
Especially the despair in the vocals some times contribute to a sweaty and clammy air of frustration.
As a melting pot of suppressed anger, melancholic black metal and post-whatnot, Æther works out to the
best of its intentions. With an underlying melodic aspect in frenetic parts that rises and blooms like roses in quiet
sequences, all nine tracks emerges as filled with contrasts, yet also with a dreamy coherent wholeness.
The sound is clear and hard-hitting, and becomingly intense. Despite occasionally intensity in music and sound, the
album feels soaring and pleasant, even if the atmosphere is based on key words like dystopia, despair, anger, grief and
disappointment. The result is far more exciting than the majority of pure post-metal.
Absolutely delightful, and thus surprisingly good for being a début.
Nuclear War Now! Productions, 15.09.15
The Greek band name practically means “the Holy Spirit”, though this Texas-based one man band doesn't have orthodox christian
doctrines in mind. The choice of moniker has an agnostic background, and can just as easily be translated to “spiritual
spark of human consciousness”. The man's death metal is trying to convey how the self is trapped in a physical and material
If the goal then is to express persistent claustrophobic discomfort and ditto dissatisfaction, he succeeds a bit too much.
This three-track EP, originally released independently as demo in January and now available on cassette, clocks
in at less than 8 minutes. It conveys a constant, continuously storm of roaring and thundering death metal with
blackened aesthetics in the atmosphere. Unfortunately, it becomes extremely monotonous.
The sound is home made, but tough. The drums are rapid, but the fused layers of guitar, bass and growls moves like
slow ash clouds. The one mood represented goes on and on, thus making Trinity I unexciting.
We don't receive hint of moods, in plural, before the third song.
I'm afraid I can't recommend this. The content is simply too thin. I still believe in the concept. With simple steps,
R (or Ryan, the man behind The Howling Void) could quickly raise my views on
Pneuma Hagion. Add some more moods and variety, than Trinity II may hopefully awaken
your spiritual potential to live.
20 Buck Spin, 11.09.2015
In February last year I had the pleasure of getting to know The Living Ever Mourn, the first album from
the Portland, Oregon band Nightfell.
However, I didn't get to know the band much, since the available information was sparse. It actually took
another three months before the band was added to the metal-archives.
The duo consists of singer, guitarist and bassist Todd Burdette, who's played in a variety of crust/hardcore
punk acts, and drummer/vocalist Tim Call, who's got a long record of merits, including Sempiternal
Dusk, Mournful Congregation and many more.
Darkness Evermore offers four tracks from 8 to 10 minutes, and two shorter cuts. Nightfell continues their diverse work under the dim shine of the partially clouded moon. The guys
creates a dark mixture of various extreme branches, and dresses everything in doomy robe and cut. The songs have diverse
and dynamic structures, where a profusion of variety gives good mood and becomingly tension through different passages
and different paces.
The sparsely usage of the violin must be mentioned in particular. Very flattering.
If I had to described the bands style simple and concise, I'd probably chose the path of least resistance and go with
the somewhat diffuse concept of dark metal, as black/death simply doesn't cover the full repertoire of this duo.
It is tempting to resort to the highest grading this time, for this album is simply very good, but I try to
restrain my enthusiasm, and rather reserve the top shelf for the uppermost supremacies. Darkness
Evermore ain't far away, though.
I will stop babbling now, so that you'll be able to listen in peace and quiet.
Out on CD and in digital form now. The vinyl version will be out October 23rd.
Solitude Productions, 07.09.15
Brazilian HellLight has been around for almost 20 years, but has practically just been active on the
release-front for the past ten years. They have come to album number five, but it doesn't seem like they have received
very much attention. Hopefully, that is about to change.
I enjoyed their third album ...and Then, the Light of Consciousness Became Hell... (2010), but I'm afraid
it was forgotten before it was properly absorbed. I was certainly not prepared for what I had in store before I heard the
title song on the interweb a week and a half ago.
Here we find seven songs ranging from 8 to 13 minutes, plus a brief finishing track.
The title track is allowed to open this magnum opus. Dreary rain, caressing violins, deep, delicate organs, heavy strokes
at downtuned guitars, thumping bass, slow beats, gentle piano usage and superb sound. The guitar tones lingers and vibrates
in the air. Other instruments come and go. Heavy grieving melodies are galvanize with rich resounding quality sound and
basement growls. Majestically. Hypnotizing. For twelve full minutes.
Journey Through Endless Storm is not endless, but the album has much more to offer. There are still well
above an hour to go. This grand symphony lasts for almost 80 minutes.
Can HellLight really maintain their quality through such a duration?
Nothing beats the title track, but the subsequent tristesse follows just behind as a crestfallen funeral procession.
Funeral doom can be a cruelly drowsy genre where much time is spent on minimal progression. Riffs can be repeated until
the eleventh hour. HellLight however knows the importance of applying small adjustments along the way,
and in the most prolonged parts they make sure riffs and sound captivates the listener throughout the entire sections.
We come across mournfully clean vocals, enchanting guitars and even increasing pace on this journey. In the song
Time for instance, we encounter delicate blast beats.
Hell yes, HellLight verily delivers the goods with solid diversity and hefty sound. Journey
Through Endless Storm is a chapter of sorrow you don't want to miss out if funeral doom fits your taste.
Folter Records, 28.08.15
Cuban Dakkar continues unabated where he left off on his previous album, A Hatred Manifesto,
released early summer last year. Rather than describing Narbeleth anew, I will simply wind up a quick
translation of essential parts of my approved Impression from back than.
“This one-man band undertake cold and grim black metal. The man delivers chilled guitar tones and rapid,
bashing drums, as if it were 1994. The vocals of course follow said traditions. This is nostalgia for fans of
'90s black metal, although we have of course heard it better.”
In something that has almost evolved to become a tradition, many a one-man band with a penchant for Scandinavian black metal
has a home-made odour and a ditto unprofessional result in their work. Narbeleth have some of this too, but we may perhaps ascribe this to the Cuban economy, and the recording
possibilities one has access to in the country.
Through Blackness... is a natural continuation for better or worse. Puritans may very well get what they want,
whilst I would have preferred a little more development. One change is that the sound was a clue rawer, more primitive
last time. This development, however, has to a small degree gone wrong, as the sound on Hatred Manifesto was
actually slightly more flattering to Dakkar's inclination.
Otherwise, it's the same difference. Originality does of course not exist, and some of the material this time around borders
to the generic. The pitch black feeling is nonetheless present, and it took time to determine whether Through
Blackness... should be characterized as good, or whether it would have to accept the mark passable.
Fortunately it helps a bit to give the album more chances, because then it's easier to catch the essence of the subtle
melody lines lurking in the dismal fog, hungry for your blood. (Theft intended). Narbeleth still delivers rasping Scandinavian black metal with speed, punch and unholy mood, but I feel
that the man is running a little idle this time. There is an actual risk that Dakkar with time can get
stuck, and becomes a new victim to stagnation based on a rigid perception of genre limitations.
The guy still delivers considerably better than Vardan (which has released a couple of albums since I stopped
caring barely three months ago), though, and I still feel that Narbeleth rises slightly above the middling
sphere, albeit not quite as much as I had hoped. The album in that regard floats between Okay and Good.
Maybe I am a little bit strict with the upper right classification.
If I'm not completely mistaking, there are some Norwegian words uttered in the track Delivering the Very
Soul. These are actually stated with authentic sounding diction, and gave me a positive surprise. (If my ears
are fucking with me, it would be quite embarrassing). If you're up for some Cuban black metal, than fuck the US embargo.
Debemur Morti Productions, 01.09.15
When the Trondheim based band Manes radically changed their style after 3 demos and one album, from pure black
metal, to something experimental, eclectic and strange in direction of jazzed electronic muzak, vocalist and original
member Sargatanas left the band.
In 2013, together with the other original member, Cernunnus, he awoke the sleeping black beast from its
Manii debuted with Kollaps in 2013. It was a tacit, reticent or faint album with a
melancholic, weary and discouraged expression which was a bit monotonous, despite plenty of desperate and despicable
moods. Unfortunately I never got around to write about it.
When the duo now gives a new sign of bleak minded life, it is via two songs that old fans will come to recognize.
Especially Helvetes Haller (The Halls of Hell) from the 1995 demo Til Kongens Grav de Døde
Vandrer (To the Kings Grave the Dead Wander) has a very recognizable touch. Few bands benefits so much from a
re-recordings as Manes/Manii. The three demos that came out during the period 93-95 has got
rather feeble sound. The album Under ein Blodraud Maane (Under a Blood Red Moon) from 1999 admittedly
provided some new recordings, but the bulk of the old songs can only be enjoyed, if that's the right word, with puny
and rotten sound.
Both Helvetes Haller and Dansen Gjennom Skuggeheimen (The Dance Through the Shadow
Realm), from Ned i Stillheten (1994) (Down into the Silence) has come to their rightful position with
new and improved production. In other words; Now we just need an EP with new recordings of En Hymne til Ondskapens
Fyrste, Menn på Helveg Hastar, Ned i stillheten, Ravnens skygge
and Natt, and than we can use the tape from the old cassettes as floss with reasonable conscience.
Physically, this one's only released in 100 copies on 7" vinyl. Fortunately, there's no limit on the number of
digital versions, thus those who are too late won't be left completely out in the cold.
Folter Records, 28.08.2015
Whoa. Is the sound really supposed to be like this, or have I received 96 kbps mp3 files, for this sounds unusually
This three-headed troll comes from the Netherlands, and swear by fierce black metal with gloomy moods. The band has
only been active for one and a half years, but the members has experience from Sammath, Kjeld and
lesser known Noordelingen.
At its most extreme, the wall of distorted guitars and blasting drums emerges as directly monotonous, with some
spooky effects swaying in the background.
The sound is completely rotten. Considering the musics dynamic range of DR8, and the files keeping a constant 256 kbps,
it must be the primitive recording that spoils the end result. In any case, it's just exhausting.
I might as well recycle some of the words I used to describe Sammath's Godless Arrogance, that I
disapproved (or rather slaughtered) last year:
“This essentially runs at full speed, without a trace of substance. It doesn't help that the singer sounds like
an angry gnome. I abso-fucking-lutely don't give a rats ass about how true this is, when there are countless
recordings that is far superior.”
The sound of that album was considerably better, but Kaeck brings a bit more mood to the table.
Even if it's not possible to listen to this obscure clamour, the music is basically passable enough, although
the word generic keeps flashing as a warning sign between my ears. Ergo I don't want to bash Stormkult
completely. However, this release is so dangerous close to the ledge of the cliff that I find it
justified to resort to the lowest grade anyway!
Prosthetic Records, 04.09.15
When the five unruly gentlemen in Ramming Speed hits the streets with their third album, I actually
only find one mitigating aspect to recount, and that's the fiery guitar works that sometimes shines like a beacon.
Unfortunately, the ingredient isn't enough to make the release worthy of repeated rounds through my speakers.
11 songs are performed in approximately 36 minutes, which testifies to an average of just over three minutes.
The Americans speedy thrash/punk/grind is presented with fairly sharp and unpleasant sound, and rather annoying
vocals. The vocals are a form of halfway screaming, semi black/growls that sounds rather barking and monotonous.
Along with d-beat drums and more staccato rhythms, this makes for a most unwelcome whiff of core.
Besides the juicy solos, which really are killer, No Epitaphs simply appears as a big,
nagging grinder that just keeps on going.
For me, that kind of stuff is practically completely meaningless. But as always, you may of course be of
a different opinion, so by all means, listen to the stream below if speed/punk, or whatever the fuck you call this
sick, sordid and depraved stuff, is right up your back ally. ;)
Cruz Del Sur Music, 04.09.15
Metal-archives claim that this has been out for a short month, but I relate to the promo letter which says
that it has been out for a week.
The label defines this as heavy metal, but as the quibbler I am, I must say that Magister Templi is just
as close to doom. Let's meet halfway. It tastes a bit of heavy metal too, and perhaps with more than an aroma of NWOBHM.
These lads ain't British, though, so we're more likely talking about something like RNWOOSNDHM, or Relatively New Wave
of Occult Sounding Norwegian Doomed Heavy Metal.
Duat is the realm of the Egyptian god Osiris, and after having studied Aleister Crowley's philosophy, it's time to
explore the darker side of Egyptian mythology.
The band's music has a touch of very distinct clarity, putting emphasis on every aspect. The sound is far from chaotic
and crammed. Still the sound is not over-produced and sterile. While all instruments shine very bright, the vocals stand
on top of the instrumental pyramid as a rather hysterical high priest. His distinct articulate commands can surely be
heard across the Nile, it might even traverse all the way until the promised land.
The guitars don't even have as much as a sarcophagus to hide behind, but that's in no way necessary either. Thoughtful
melodies are propelled through the air so controlled that even the sphinx reawaken and prick up his ears.
Before I spin and wrap myself further into the mummy bandages...
Not all songs and passages have the strongest melody lines, but the glass clear communication is nevertheless very
pleasing for a change, to one who often listens to infernal intensity, but who appreciate musical diversity. Most of
the song material also holds a steady and good level.
I wouldn't have turned down a little more firepower. The guys supposedly comes from a past soaked in deeper
doom, and personally, I happily wish them welcome to a harder direction.
With tangible manoeuvring, our explorers avoids the mummy's curse, and for well performed tasks they are hereby
awarded a well-deserved thumbs up.
Hear Slaying Apophis here, and stop by SoundCloud to hear the rest of
Inti Records, 04.09.2015
Meet a débutante from Lima. I guess I have just visited Peru once on these pages. That was in conjunction with
Based on the cover, I didn't really await primitive black'n'roll with roots firmly planted in the 80's. The trio has in
addition to their South American approach a whiff of both old Venom and (not so old) Khold and Aura Noir.
The vocals are highly special. It borrows from the second wave, but is performed with a hoarse, reptilian approach.
This snake man bears the adequate name of Envenom, and also plays guitar. Ripping Corpse
takes care of the less distinctive, yet audible bass, while Necrophiliac Sodomizer takes care of...
guitar as well. What about the drums then? It turns out that the man with the sticks is a hired gun.
If you enjoy primitive savagery, I see no reason to rule out A Filty Orgy Of Horror And Death. The band
doesn't create innovative music, but they have succeeded well in creating something that actually stands firmly on its own
feet. I could have been stricter due to the first premise, but I don't bother. Morbid Slaughter has
something distinctive about them. Perhaps especially because of the vocals, the juicy sound (mastered by Tore Stjerna
at Necromorbus) and integration of rather good melodies and tough solos in their bestial act.
If I should have been a little stricter, it would have been because of the many straight-ahead parts with ditto lack of
variety. Thus the album stands as reasonably cool, but at occasions a bit monotonous. The grade thus hangs in a thin thread.
The two songs below, Chainsaw Blade and Torture Without Anesthesia testify to the mentioned
repetition, while the song Slay with Steel show more vital strokes. The latter can be heard 4:44 into the
sixth 2015 edition of Fenris Nagell's Radio Fenriz.
Prosthetic Records, 04.09.15
I wrote about this release when it was released in the end of May last year. Now that the legendary guitarist
Marty Friedman has just kicked off his first
North American tour in more than a decade,
the album is re-released in a deluxe, digital-only release with two bonus tracks.
The following is a translation of what I wrote back than, followed by a swift presentation of the two bonus tracks.
The guitar genius Marty Friedman is out with his eleventh studio album. I can't declare myself as a
specialist, however. For me Friedman is best known from Megadeth. This is nevertheless, a solid
album, and as I have understood from others; one of his hardest. Inferno has a heap of guest artists, and very good variety from song to song. We even stop by hectic jazz
Meat Hook, which otherwise has a lovely part where it all calmed down round 1:14. Norwegian Jørgen Munkeby
(from Jaga Jazzist) handles the saxophone on this one. Lots of the material goes in a solid, rocking pace and it's
got far more emphasis on the musical bit than the vocal parts. Not exactly uncommon when it comes to “guitar masturbators”,
of course. Only three of the twelve tracks have vocals (well, Jørgen shouts a bit in Meat Hook),
and the vocal is contributed by Danko Jones, David Davidson (Revocation) and Alexi Laiho
(Children of Bodom). There is otherwise too many guests to mention them all.
Towards the end of the album we drop by both classic tones and flamenco. The last song,
Inferno (Reprise) picks up the theme from the opening track, Inferno, and allows sensitive, delicate notes
to finish the album. The guitar work is of course formidable throughout the album, and the sound has been well taken care
of by Jens Bogren in Fascination Street Studios. Not everything is equally good, and I get a bit stuffed
after several spins, but all in all the albums is rather delicate and lively.
Prosthetic Records has got more videos on YouTube.
And now for the two new songs. Like the rest of the album, they show pretty schizophrenic diversity.
Jasmine Cyanide has vocals by the Canadian rocker Danko Jones and Daniel Tompkins
from TesseracT. The vocals alternate between rap flavoured speech and smooth clean vocals. The song is
unfortunately rather crappy through the first half. The second half, however, is primarily dedicated to amazing and
moody guitar playing.
The short Ballad of the Barbie Bandits is a pure guitar tune with lovely, somewhat classical-inspired
melodies, and of course goosebumps-inducing guitars.
If you already own the album, you don't need the extra barely 7 minutes that the deluxe version offers. If you don't
have the record, despite your broad taste in quality music and fascination for divine guitar works, than Inferno
is absolutely recommended.
See the lyric video for
Jasmine Cyanide, and hear the first song from the album right here:
Hells Headbangers, 04.09.15
I received no less than 11 promos with release date last Friday. In addition, my plead for one more were met. Four of
these has been presented, and the remains have been heard a few times. Also, there's three other albums released the
same date that I intend to present.
If I am to complete most of these, I must try to be brief.
Cemetery Lust is one of many acts in the underground that takes inspiration from them olden days, and
that plays an unholy mixture of black/death/speed metal.
There are too many rabid old-school worshippers to make me able to build up enormous enthusiasm, but fans of this type
of bestial retro-rudeness should definitely not miss Screams of the Violated.
The most passionate underground delvers might know about this début album already. It was released via Head Split Records
in 2012, but has again risen from the tomb via Hells Headbangers.
The quintet from Portland, Oregon has meanwhile gotten around to releasing their sophomore album Orgies of Abomination
The band's ability to blend eerie moods, frenetic guitar work as well as varied and fast drumming, creates rough and cool
songs in a partly overcrowded sub-genre. Not on par with old Slayer, Sepultura and Entombed,
but considerably closer than many (most?) others.
I, Voidhanger Records, 07.09.15
Where the fuck should I start?
The American trio Howls of Ebb delivers some of the most psychedelic stuff I've heard in a long time.
I haven't checked out the general opinions about them online, but I'm guessing this is a love/hate band. The band will
guaranteed find their pack of followers, but the music really seems to have a niche marked appeal.
Besides a 2.5 minutes long interlude of a song, we find a 20 minutes long opening track and an approximately 12 minutes
The two songs occasionally contain instrumental and vocal components which together reminds pretty much of actual music,
albeit in a pretty bizarre appearance. Avant-garde extreme metal with very airy expression between touches of guitar and
bass with reasonable far-out sound.
The songs also includes longer sequences reminiscent of occult ceremonies, fragments of rambling dreams, and a palpable,
yet still intangible acid trip, out of control.
There was no doubt in my mind that this sonic madness would meet a cruel fate in the face of my slaughter knives.
The bands claims, that their music would grow if we let it matures like good wine, just couldn't be correct. My
sceptical instincts ain't easily misled by such promotional bullshit.
However, my first conviction turned out to be nothing but a premature first impression. While I patiently and tolerant
let the madness creep as alkaline regurgitation from the speakers, something unexpected happened inside my head.
A mesmerizing suggestion embraced me and pulled me into their hallucinogenic dimension.
The Marrow Veil quickly grew to a metaphysical spiritual portal to a surreal universe. For my part,
admittedly. For I still believe that this is a love/hate object, and that a review should not try to persuade anyone in
one direction or the other. You should try for yourself, if you wish. Only individual tastes can determine your judgement.
De Tenebrarum Principio, 07.09.15
Italian Kaiserreich is promoted as a black metal band, but that's just partially correct. Admittedly
they played black metal on the two previous records, but they have calmed down both pace and their arrogant expression,
and they are now considerably closer to post-black with depressive, atmospheric moods.
Cuore Nero is, with its 58 minutes, a rather large portion. Parts of their musical work is appealing,
while there are elements that lower the level. I end with a somewhat ambivalent relation towards the album, and what
would fit better to describe that than one thumb up and one down?
I guess we'll start with the “bad news”.
Such a long duration isn't benefited much by a monotonous expression. Not that the music is directly monotonous, but the
vocals are. The rather dreamy, contemplating and longing expression of the music doesn't have the widest registers to play
on, but than again, mournful music don't need to be enormously vital, and the music holds some variety. The vocals
however doesn't alter much. It is sharp, almost screaming, and horribly repetitive in design. That's probably the biggest
objection I have.
That the music does not possess originality hardly comes as a bombshell. Whether the songs have enough strength to bear
the weight of almost an hour depends on the ears that hears. A few utterly boring parts puts it on a balance point in
On the positive side, the album also has many good sequences. Even if the structure isn't impressive, it's not
“headshakingly” miserable either. As the album has quite a few nice melodies and melancholic moods, I would say that parts
of the album is very pleasant. At its best, like for example Vuoto Assoluto and Zero Negativo,
the band definitely reaches for higher grading.
Variation and sound is elseways acceptable. The guys makes no mistakes instrumentally, and doesn't end up further down the
ranking ladder than a great many other relatively unknown bands in the genre.
Also, Kaiserreich can tempt with a raw version of Pink Floyd's High Hopes.
If you're in a slightly depressive temper and find comfort in a common wretched fate, than Cuore Nero
will probably fit right in. It is quite all right, but doesn't contribute with anything new in any way. Ergo I will
neither recommend nor dissuade anyone investing in this.
Iron Bonehead, 04.09.15
Slovenian Dalkhu was formed in 2003 and released a demo as a quartet three years later. Their début
Imperator was launched in 2010, with new members on vocals and bass. Now, five years later, only
guitarist (now also bassist), Sorrow (aka J.G.) remains. He's brought along a new
vocalist, P.Ž. as well as session drummer Spawn of the void.
I'm not familiar with the début, but what is performed here is melodic, but far from jolly black/death.
With powerful and rather dynamic sound, recorded in Nightside Studio and mastered at Necromorbus Studio
by Tore Stjerna, Dalkhu delivers three quarters of hard-hitting extremity. The duo has used a relatively
considerable amount of melody as the basis for the seven tracks, but these are seasoned with plentiful hostile and
warmongering temper, and the music is thus never becomes directly upbeat. That's particularly ensures by
P.Ž.'s beastly growling vocals. That Dalkhu is combative is reflected not only in aggressive
battle lust, but also in a massive character which doesn't provide a too epic expression, but rather some Viking-ish
associations thanks to the melodic touch. Sorg delivers solid string-works in spades, that heightens entertainment value. He might as well employ
the hired drummer. Spawn of the void puts the soul in both foot- and handy-work in a rock solid fashion.
It's always swell with percussionists playing with both arms and legs, and with their heart.
If you have a taste for stuff ranging from Dissection to Rotting Christ, just to name two of the bands
I feel some vibes of, than I reckon Descend... into Nothingness should please you too. Personally I put
the album in the upper layers of the gradient “good”. It lacks a bit on reaching the status of a classic record, but it
certainly got what is required to earn a place in the eternal rotation of goodies that are bestowed playtime.
Descend... into Nothingness was released digitally by Dalkhu and on CD by Satanath
Records in collaboration with Darzamadicus Records about a month ago. Iron Bonehead has just
released the album on vinyl, and Godz ov War/ Third Eye Temple will release it on tape in about a month. Thus,
everyone should be pleased.
Cruz Del Sur Music, 04.09.15
This Chilean outfit was created by former Procession-founder Daniel Pérez Saa and Hooded
Priest's singer Luther Veldmark in 2009. After a short time they were joined by guitarist
Matias Aguirre and drummer Miguel Canessa, both with experience from Mourners Lament
and Noctus. The band released their first EP last year.
After a few shapeless releases, marked by chaos, brutality and sulfur vapor, it doesn't hurt to rest my ears a bit on
more structured and easily digestible metal.
I have a limited relation to pure doom metal, but King Heavy still appeals to me. Perhaps because they
don't sound like stereotype doom?
The band is, as the name implies, heavy. I will not try to define the borderline between heavy metal and doom,
or doom and death/doom, but King Heavy isn't located far from the border. They occasionally place a foot
on different territories, but the nearby genres presumably got good diplomatic relations.
With heavy riff- and melody based metal with massive distortion in lower mid-tempo, the vocals becomes the aspect that
carries the most concise doom-influence. It is clean, with a flattering theatrical/semi-operatic expression. Maybe not
my favourite, but Luther, who by the way has certain similarities with
Santa Claus, or his evil twin brother, is skilled and fits the
music well. He also varies adequately and even adds some drops of of extreme vocals at times.
The album's got got diversity and offers musical landscapes I'm not particularly versed in. Thus, I can't comment on
originality, though it doesn't remind particularly about anything else I've experienced before. Hardly an obligatory
album, but a pretty good one nevertheless.
Icelandic Abominor launched this self-financed EP digitally almost half a year ago. I decided
right there and then to write a few words about it, but time wanted it differently. The more time that comes between a
release date and the cursed presence I'm trapped in, the lesser the chance for it to gain its place in the solar eclipse on
this damned site. Such is the cruel reality.
When Invictus now has picked up the unholy bastard, born of a mangy hyena, it doesn't just provide Opus:
Decay a new opportunity to defile increasing number of souls, but it also provides me a second chance to finally
take the time necessary to put on a gas masks and dive into this mustard gas chamber.
Abominor only offers two songs, but these clocks in at well above 20 minutes.
The Icelanders offer deranged, intense and chaos ridden black metal. The listener will still find intricate, labyrinthic
structures, as well as some calm mood that seeps like nerve gas from a leaky bunker.
That I let this one follow the EP from Altarage isn't completely coincidental. Abominor
taint and corrupt all omnipresence with a more intricate mix of perilous brutality, hypnotic moods, fiendish strategic
structuring surrounding its enemy and dizzying guitar which would have triggered epileptic seizures if musical frequencies
were visually perceivable.
There might be tiny differences separating diamonds from rubble in the universe of the chaotic maelstroms, but
Abominor's finesse tip the scales in their favour.
Iron Bonehead, 04.09.15
Brace yourself for a hostile encounter with a new Spanish band that delivers uncompromising infernal black death. With
two songs in just over 5 minutes each, Altarage provide a foretaste of the first full-length, sett for
release later this year.
Where quieter, more civilized metal genres offers clearly dictated lines and structures, the music of the songs
Altars and Vortex Pyramid is cataclysmically unleashed in at least as a chaotic and destructive
way as rapidly flowing magma. When they calm down the flood somewhat, as near the end of the first song, they succeed in
creating far greater moods. otherwise, these primitive rawheads supply brutal, bestial and inhuman aggression without
particular focus on finesse. Thus I keep searching for something to grasp a hold on in the cascade of deafening brutality.
This doesn't gives me much at present time, but the guys seem competent and has the potential to create more meat on the
bones, so I'll give them a second chance when the album arrives. Hopefully they'll trade some of the arduous staccato
rhythms as well. Fans of full frontal blitzkrieg will probably dig this, but I'm slightly tepid thus far.
This Slovenian one man band, managed by mr. Shimon, has just released his third album. A record whose
concept is based on the movie “City of the Dead” (1960).
The band plays horror-inspired sludge/drone doom, where the only elements with frequency above bass level is the
frequent samples from the film.
The band offers rather creepy melodies, wrapped in a monotonous and droning expression, thundering out of the speakers.
I never been a fan of either sludge nor drone, except from enjoying the usage of such accessories as additional
ingredients in a musical dish.
To me this is a bit too monotonous over time. I still have no trouble hearing that Shimon knows what
he's doing, and that Devil's Village offers dim, murky and bestial moods with formidable use of the
lower frequency register.
This isn't a release I'll be returning to a lot, but I hear the qualities, and I really recommend bigger
fans of aforementioned styles to check this out.
Nuclear War Now! Productions, 01.09.15
The very first thing I notice when the first tones of this release warp out of the headphones is that there is something
amiss. I can't remember the last time I heard horrible sound comparable to this distortion. I looked up the promo
letter at once, and got my suspicion more or less confirmed. Admittedly, this is not (as I guessed) a re-released demo,
but rather a release of a formerly unreleased recording.
The Greek scene was probably not particularly known for sound quality at the time, so I choose to ignore the deplorable
sound and instead focus on the content.
It must nevertheless be said that this is a release that doubtlessly has a greater historical (and sentimental) value
than musical value. Kind of like a missing link in Greek black metal mythology, recently discovered by archaeologists.
The story starts under the moniker R.O.T. (Reek of Terror), in 1986. In addition to the name change, the
course was also traded. This is one of many European death metal bands who converted to black tones as soon as the second
wave of black metal prevailed. Morbid, better known as Magus Wampyr Daoloth was part of the quartet at the time, but
he departed and formed Necromantia in 1990. In contrast to the consensus, which also metal-archives confirms,
however, Necromantia is not a continuation of Necromancy. Necromancy
continued to write songs as a trio even after Morbid's defection.
The bands course was unfortunately cut short. Besides from a rehearsal recording, the Visions of Lunacy
demo released in 1989 was the only sign of life from the band before guitarist and vocalist Living Dead
died of a heart attack during military service in the winter of 1992 at the mere age of 20. Guitarist Hades
(who replaced Morbid's bass duties) and drummer Unblessed decided to dissolve the band.
Ancient Wrath had been recorded the previous year, but was later marooned in a dusty drawer. Until now.
Musically, this is an early approach to evil, sinister and mysterious landscapes. Whispering, rasping vocals, sharp guitars,
midtempo “Burzum-rhythms”, synths loaded with mood and copious eerie melody lines with associations of vampires,
ghosts and nocturnal visits with dubious intentions to the cemetery. The performance is rather amateurish, but the song
material holds plenty of potential. Potential which unfortunately remained unfulfilled, as the band shortly thereafter was
a thing of the past.
Ván Records, 28.08.2015 Ahab ain't the only ones who is lost at sea. Kalmen can be said to thrive in the wet element
as well. If one shouldn't draw parallels to eclectic otherworldly realms, than. The quartet from Germany namely venture
into chanting and extraterrestrial black psychedelic doom on their first release.
Kalmen is yet a débutante. There are many of them in these times. The metal legion seems to recruit new
participants constantly. We should soon be ready to send our troops to war against religion, the system or whoever we
appoint as scapegoats and enemy. Mohaha...
To begin with, the music seems quite intriguing. Turbulent and suitably discordant sludgy black/doom swirls down waterfalls and
rapids. Eventually, though, I realize that the dinghy never reaches the bottom, but rather just continue to plunge downwards.
The sound is decent. The production is done by Tobias Engl in Englsound, and a finishing touch has been provided
by Matias Ahonen in Adiamond. The ongoing sharp, echo-filled sound may nevertheless be somewhat intense and
intrusive over its 44 minutes duration.
Course Hex is a fine document from a fresh band. The songs move like said water flows, and thus never
stagnates, and I have no quarrels with the band's capacity of performance.
Yet the musical width is reasonably narrow. Besides, the song material, sound and also the rather gnarled vocals, becomes
reasonable tiring in the long run. Summa summarum, I see the end result as somewhat mediocre, unfortunately.
The Ukrainian death-monger cossacks in Hell:On is a new acquaintance for me. They started under the moniker
Hellion, but changed the name after a few years to avoid being mixed up with other bands of the same name.
The quintet can celebrate ten years of existence this year, without seemingly turbulence in line-up. A single replacement
of a guitarist is the only change during this decade. The band celebrates the event with both compilation and the release
of full-length number five.
It's time to do my mite to promote Hell:On to a wider audience, as I don't think they've met their full
potential acclamation in the scene just yet. At least Once Upon A Chaos... is a highly captivating and
pleasing find to me.
The band mixes potent death metal with some violently fevered thrash passages. If I were to choose, I'd say I prefer the
deadly factor. As far as I've understood, that's also the brand the band is rooted in. The thrash elements might be a bit
overshadowed, partly due to the mixing ratio, but also because the deadly kill is so overwhelmingly striking.
Naturally, there's no competition, and one doesn't have to choose. That the mighty, grandiose and versatile death metal
includes trickles of frantic thrash just helps create further variation. It all varies frequently between different
moods and metallic strategies.
Without going into too much detail, for this is a disc I think you should rather hear for yourself, it is the epic moods
that appeals most. Here, the band sits on its throne of knuckles and bones as a powerful evil authoritarian. All other
sub-genre ingredients form the foundation and macabre ornament around this dark cardinal.
On this album, the band for the first time introduces exotic instruments like sitar, jaw-harp, Shehnai (oboe-like instrument
from northern India etc.) and goat-pipe (What? Can I have a hit?). Let's hope it's given the band a taste for more as well,
for it has worked out great.
The quintet is no stranger to prominent visitors. Well-known axe choppers as Jeff Waters (Annihilator),
Andy LaRocque (King Diamond) and Marek “Spider” Pajak (Vader) has previously performed
on the band records. This time the guys got some solo contributions from Andreas Kisser (Sepultura).
Ukraine is a country with a lot of wonderful quality metal, and Hell:On certainly matches those ranks.
Once Upon A Chaos... will clearly be played more in my house. I am perhaps in excess generous with the
grade, but that just attracts attention, and the band definitely deserves that!
Two and a half months ago, the band released the Decade of Hell compilation, with two songs
from each album. It is out digitally for “Name your price”. I have not had time to check it out, but if the former material
maintains the same high level, that must be a small gold mine that allows one to become better acquainted with these Ukrainians.
Napalm Records, 28.08.15
The four Germans in Ahab is out on yet a wet literary journey, on the seven salty seas. This time they've
chosen the book The Boats of The Glen Carrig (1907) by William Hope Hodgson.
Their first offering, The Call of the Wretched Sea (2006) really hit the spot, but the two subsequent
works have by mysterious ways never reached my ear canals.
The Boats... is a more delightful or rather cheerful experience than what ...Wretched
Sea was. In musical sense that is. Especially parts with clean vocals, melancholic but full of hope, helps to
dissolve the dark clouds, but even pace and quiet parts makes rays of sunshine shine through. The most mellow parts have
a hint of shoegaze, and some similarities to Hamferð. (Yes, unimaginatively I use the same reference as I did in
an Impression yesterday).
Tempo wise, Like Red Foam (The Great Storm) in particular has to be mentioned. This sees the band move
from funeral doom to death/doom. But fear not, fans of syrup slow funeral. The subsequent The Weedmen
allows the sluggish sea turtles to compensate by going slower than retired bureaucrats with walkers during rush hour.
Ahab has naturally not gone away from heavy as hell parts with ditto growl either.
The colourful cover and the first serene, almost post-metallic tones of the opening track The Isle made
me a bit nervous, but The Boats... shows good variety, beautiful melodies and grim riffs on its way across
the turbulent sea.
The album has been made as a semi live-in-studio recording in Rama Studio in Mannheim, Germany, with both guitars
recorded simultaneously, and the rhythm section (drums and bass) likewise. The production was then mixed on an analogous desk,
to achieve warmth and richness. How much honour this aspect should gain, I'm not sure of, but it sounds very good, even with
very low dynamic range.
In addition to the five songs that clocks in at nearly an hour, there are versions with two bonus tracks. One song with clean
vocals only, and one cover song. Both being the first of its kind on the respective ways. The latter is originally by
The Alan Parsons Project, and features Olav Iversen from Sahg on vocals.