Cyclone Empire, 26.02.16
German Mightiest has a long, but not particularly productive history. The band was born out of the
second black wave in 1994. The following year they released their first demo.
After just over 20 years, time is probably (over)ripe for SinisTerra, the German's (for some)
long-awaited debut. For most of us, Mightiest is likely still a new acquaintance.
The band mixes familiar elements, but it nevertheless sounds quite fresh and slightly unique compared to the majority
of what we're used to. It took me some time to arrive at some sort of conclusion on exactly what the band does differently,
but I think it's got something to do with the mixing ratio.
The band has indeed preserved some deranged brutality from their black past, but now emerges more like a cross between
orchestral black/death and a somewhat peculiar extreme doom expression. The band has on one side the majestic and
orchestral, where some subtle parallels can be drawn to Behemoth and Sear Bliss. Meanwhile, they
offer some offensive frontal attacks, so brutal and violent that the musical compass needle spins uncontrollably.
Especially the opening track rideth forth like a runaway semitrailer loaded with 2 650 cubic feet of explosives.
When the band calms down in the title track, and later in Oceanic Empires, we also get a sense of some
folk-tinged doom. Not just doom as in a “sluggish, doomy extreme metal” sense, but as in doom metal, with soaring
moods, dragons in distress and raging virgins on the horizon. Or vice versa.
At the first listen, this epic, atmospheric “interference”, with clean vocals just to top it of, just feels out of place
after the barbaric opening. After several spins however, even this quite pagan approach comes more into it's right.
I never get entirely wise to SinisTerra, even after quite a lot of rounds. Maybe I'm a bit astray in my
description as well. Yet I must admit that exactly that pleases me a bit. Music that stand slightly apart from
other art, and that ain't too easy wrapping your head around when you're used to uncomplicated pigeonholing (putting the
square blocks in the square holes, and ditto circular, triangular etc.), generally has a higher level of excitement and
a longer life span.
“Better turn up your stereo...”, the press release solicits, but that's definitely not necessary, for the volume is
already preset at eleven. The production itself is lovely massive, but the dynamics are ridiculously low, with only
DR4 to show for. We'll hold Iguana-Studios responsible. I agree that high volume suits SinisTerra,
but I have my own volume control, thank you very much. The almost shrill sound surely helps providing the album with
a somewhat special touch, for better or worse.
Despite the sound going through the roof, I thrive very well with SinisTerra. Feel free to add a point
to the ranking for the musical ingenuity, but remove one due to compression. Thus we land on Good.
Cyclone Empire released the band's (until then) collected works, approximately 2x50 minutes of music, under the
Bloodyssey in 2008.
Here you'll find shortened versions of Devour The Sun and Soular Eclipse,
as well as The Purifire in its entirety:
Sun & Moon Records, 12.12.15 Selbst from Venezuela started as a one-man band in 2010, but the protagonist N
has now engaged former guest vocalist, Spanish Frozen, as permanent member. The drums are handled
by Carl Anthony Rojas, on a lease. Selbst have released one demo and two splits
since 2011 and are planning a full length album during this year.
The EP should strictly speaking have been presented in the Necrology, but since I got a request directly from N
in February, I'll put it amongst the fresh meat. (Even if it's quite putrid.)
This day is rather suitable for a black spell. A leap day, that on almost occult manners resurface every four years,
and then go back into hibernation like Cthulhu the great, should be assigned dark, mysterious and magical properties.
The band plays black metal with moods of despair and contempt, which is reflected in the lyrics, which mirrors N
and his view of his surroundings. Aversion to dogma, religious submission and against swine that aims to
subdue and control others, characterizes this disapproving view of existence. N also offers some thoughts
on the inherent negative being of mankind, characterized by instinctive disposition to greed, corruption and selfishness.
The music is somewhat in between what we know as orthodox, depressive and kaleidoscopic black metal. Aggressive moods
ooze of hatred, but are also permeated by dissatisfaction and disgust. Meanwhile, the relatively melodic guitar works
are characterized by swirling winds, not unlike whirlpools. Technically speaking with some of the vital characteristics
as in the style of Windir et al., but much more subtly and without the same folk touch.
Three songs, all between 7 and 8 minutes, constitutes 22 minutes of sizzling metal from the bottom of the black cauldron.
The songs are well constructed, twisting and curling like a python coiled up around its prey.
The mixing is performed by Lúgubre and Simón Da Silva, while the latter has taken care of mastering in
The Empty Hall studio. The dynamics lies at decent DR7, and the sound is good and full in balance between the
clear and the murky.
Deranged vocals, rhythmic fury, fiery guitar works and rich pleasant bass all help to build this Venezuelan landmark.
I expect a monolith to rises during the year, that will put Venezuela on the map of misanthropy once and for all, and I
can't wait to witness it.
The digipak is limited to 500 copies, but the EP is also available digitally on Bandcamp.
Solitude Productions, 22.02.2016
Swedish When Nothing Remains was created by the gentlemen Peter Laustsen and
Jan Sallander in 2010. Both active in The Cold Existence and with a common past in wonderful Nox
Aurea. The band debuted with marvellous As All Torn Asunder in 2012, and released their third work,
In Memoriam a short week ago.
As the title suggests, there is still no cheerful tunes to detect. The title hopefully indicates only that, and nothing more.
Swedish musicians does nothing halfway. My neighbouring country have excelled greatly in two very different death metal
scenes, originating respectively in Stockholm and Gothenburg, and they almost touch upon our own black metal scene. Swedes
have also excelled in folk, viking, retro-heavy, and a plethora of other genres. With band such as October Tide,
Doom:VS, Draconian, In Mourning, Lake Of Tears, Soijl et al., the nation
gives gloomy Britons and depressive Finns good competition.
When Nothing Remains plays gothic infused death/doom with symphonic remedies. Their melancholic metal is
not so grieving that there is no room for hope in the end of the tunnel. The band is not quite as heavy, dark and gloomy
as Nox Aurea, and the vocals are definitely not as ominous. Said two gentlemen take care of clearly articulated
growling and delightful clean vocals. When these are growl-sung together, it creates a stylish guttural-melodic whole.
The band is in the gentle end of the death/doom scale, and beautiful melodies are central to the band's songs.
In Memoriam contains ten tracks, where the most typical song duration lasts from six to eight minutes. Altogether
transcending the hour. The songs vary through different passages, but always with a continuous leitmotif. It meanders
naturally as curving trails along the mountain side, shaped by nature's indifferent slopes. In Memoriam also completes a probably quite dramatic trilogy concept about life, death and love, with
the storyline place in early 19th century.
Fans of this melodic, quite mild form of deadly orchestral doomsday goth will probably enjoy this album as well. Whether
it offers anything new is a different question. The album is graceful and elegant, but I also feel that the Swedes have
only tinkered with an old recipe, and sort of reinvented the wheel. Personally, I'm a bit more inclined toward darker and
more sinister variants like Helrunar and said Nox Aurea, and more depressive breeds, as various obvious
British, Finnish and Swedish references.
Nevertheless, a beautiful, almost romantic album, which probably will strike your heart as cupids arrow if you're in the
Sliptrick records, 26.02.16 Raff Sangiorgio, guitarist of Italian prog/tech death metal group Gory Blister, now debuts
as solo artist.
The style is instrumental guitar music. Raff has drawn inspiration from classic guitar heroes, and mixes in many styles, but similar to for
example Marty Friedman, the focus is just as much on overall structured tunes as on virtuoso shredding.
The guitar phantom presents nine tracks in just over half an hour. The music is vitally landscaped, with a cheerful
twinkle to the eye. It's got good drift, and of course buckets of ripping guitar works. Typically on an instrumental
guitar-based album, it feels a bit like when you throw a 500-bit puzzle on the floor and put it all together in fairly
random order; Genre-inspirations comes helter-skelter, and you are somehow not very surprised to find traces of both
funk and death metal in the same song.
But don't misunderstand. It doesn't feel nearly as random as the tones from an improvisational jazz-jam session.
Everything is sewn together into cohesive songs, and as mentioned, the song-wise has been prioritized higher than
pure atonal guitar wack-off.
The sound is surprisingly low in the dynamic range, at only DR4. Certainly, at times it sounds as if everything is mixed
just as loud, but the basically clear and rich sound, and the music's airy feel, makes Rebirth not sound
particularly brickwalled. The only thing I wrinkle my nose a little bit to is a vague crackling sound sometimes. This
seems to coincide with the parts with most sound and thus quite a lot of clipping. This amateur won't jump to conclusions,
but my suspicion is clear.
If you have the taste for instrumental guitar masturbation built around a multitude of styles that still avoids being
labelled schizophrenic by being stitched into functioning melodic song, there is no way around hearing Back to
Glory and Quick Trigger below. Raff has done a very good job on composing and
performing. I don't know who he's been working with, or if he's done everything himself, but it's impressive enough in any
case. Until next time, I nevertheless hope he's a bit more conscious of the totality of the sound, for the music deserves that.
Apocalyptic Witchcraft, 26.02.16
Russian Vaarwel is absolute ruler of the land of Frozen Ocean, and he is an active
fellow. In 2011 he released five full-length albums. He has calmed down the frenzied release-rate somewhat, and the
last two years has “only” seen two new albums a year.
The man apparently don't care much for genre boundaries and limitations, but on this 25 minutes EP, at least it's
some kind of symphonic black metal he's dealing with.
Most of the Russian's antics have English titles but a few of the releases have names in some strange, unrecognisable
language, such as Likegyldig Raseri (2011) and Natt Over Meg (2013). On The
Prowess of Dormition we also find a song titled Det Siste Snøfallet.
Two slightly different artworks came with the promo, so I might as well present both. I believe the one above is the
main official version, and it's also the best version in my eyes.
I must be allowed to state that it doesn't kick off particularly good. The first song, of a total of four, opens with
flimsy synth. When the guitar cuts through after thirty seconds, it's an excessively dominant wall of synth that cling on
for another half a minute. After this, however, the synthetic elements finds their natural place in the back of the sound.
The music borrows from melodic black metal, but generally has little in common with ordinary black metal. The atmosphere
is more soaring than earthy. The music rises above trivial human emotions like anger or cheerfulness, and worldly everyday
factors such as joy or hate. When synthetic elements raise their voice in the middle of the song, it's with techno style,
and it actually works very well.
The music has an atmospheric approach, hints of symphonic orientation, and some pagan leanings. The melodies are at the
centre, and they are both good and varied. I was initially sceptical to The Prowess of Dormition, but
besides from the very first minute of the EP, there's a full wall of instrumentation, not exactly stereotypically one
man band, that greets the listener.
Frozen Ocean is probably not a band I would recommend to the hardest, most steadfast core of black
metal mongers, but those who have a slightly wider area of interest may very well check out the Russian's new EP.
Relapse Records, 26.02.16
Japanese Coffins and American Ilsa presents a split consisting of 12 crushing minutes
doing their best to pulverize every bone in your body.
Both band has four albums behind them, but the Japanese have quite a bit longer experience. Both plays death metal with
slow, slightly doomy flair and a touch of sludge and crust.
Coffins opens with barely five minutes long Tyrant, a song with heavy riffs, gloomy mood
and a bit varied pace, together with descent rhythmic variations. The song also has 15 seconds with something you might
call a solo if you apply a little goodwill. What the sound about 3:55 into the song is, I don't know. Perhaps the band
got a message via Skype?
The Japanese are often compared to Autopsy and Asphyx, but has never impressed me equally much. Nor this time.
Ilsa is a new acquaintance for me, even though they debuted seven years ago. The band comes from Washington,
D.C. and presents a small sludge-monster named Cult of the Throne of scarcely 7.5 minutes. The song opens
in a jogging pace, with guitars that sound more like bass. There is much groove in the music through the first half of the
track, but then it transforms, and its born again as a warped swamp-monster, which is quite cool and moody.
Coffins / Ilsa is not a split that can be said to be mandatory for anyone but their supporters, but that
is likely to appeal to those who like chewy, dark and somewhat droning doomsday death metal.
visit the bands on their respective Bandcamp-profiles here: Coffins og
20 Buck Spin, 26.02.16
Most conversations in wet social setting (aka parties) are characterized by digressions, which in turn is caused by
neuro-alcoholised associations. A pure association-game, perhaps based on cover-art, would possibly have been successful
among more or less like-minded, at least if someone constructed a set of rules and put a few dozen tequila-shots as
prize/penalty in the drinking game.
This cover (odd enough) takes my train of thought toward Abyssal, which in turn makes me think of Misþyrming.
Musically, however, we're going in completely different directions. Finnish Oranssi Pazuzu has three
albums behind them, and has become a “hot potato”. I'm not sure which album became their definitive breakthrough, though.
That the band has an easily recognizable name also helps on identity and “branding”. The music is also of a characteristic
and idiosyncratic variety, and the name is quite on the nose in that sense.
If you are well versed in Oranssi Pazuzu's whimsical realm and thrives there, I suggest you read another
review, or simply buy Värähtelijä. I've heard the band before, but I'm no big fan.
When a release are praised from all direction, there's usually a reason for that, but at the same time, albums are often
being reviewed by someone who are into the genre to begin with, and enthusiasts tend to be loudest, often shouting from
I acknowledge the band for their well conducted style and originality, but they have not been added to my (imaginary)
rotation-list. Again I am there, where I respect what the band does, without necessarily being blown away.
For those uninitiated. The band is difficult to categorize, but plays some kind of relatively avant-garde, ethereal,
atmospheric and progressive sludge-doom. The music is melodic, atmospheric, ambient, dreamy and soaring, while it has
strong inspirations from jazz and other more or less eclectic elements sewn into the sleeve.
Here you will find items from 70s prog-rock, with Hammond, psychedelia and Pink Floyd moods, mixed with sludgy/stoner riffs
and oriental instruments. You also risk exposure to horror passages with black vocals and ominous moods with occult undertones.
Oranssi Pazuzu does a superb job of stitching together a framework that with both time axis and layer-wise
construction appears as a three-dimensional organism. Meanwhile, Värähtelijä remains a work that requires
that the listener is in the right mood. Some are born ready to embrace rarities such as this, while I just find this alluring
when I'm in the zone.
I can't imagine that any fan will be disappointed by Värähtelijä. Sceptics to this cocktail of genres should
certainly make an attempt, but approach the music with an open mind, and tread carefully, for 69 minutes can be an ordeal.
I give this thumbs up, because this is very well done, and because it hypnotize me when I'm in the mood. If you get caught
in this bizarre universe, it's also difficult to escape.
High Roller Records, 26.02.16
The German thrashers in Protector started up as early as in 1986 without them surfacing on my radar
'till now. Albeit with a hiatus between 2003 and 2011. The band has seemingly moved to Sweden without it making no
difference. Even if the guys have traces of sulphur under their shoe soles, and the vocalist has some becoming soot
on the vocal cords, it's not exactly teutonic thrash of the black scorched variant the band leans toward.
We're offered both groovy, mid tempo - hell, even rather slow - thrash and more speedy songs. I don't think I would have
put my money on any specific geographic region.
The guys have plenty of drift in the fast songs. It may not smell burned, but we might be bordering on overheating.
Especially in the ears, for the sound invites to turning up the volume.
The production is fierce thrash worthy. It sounds of aggressive metal, and especially drums and vocals is very clear,
while the bass is rich in the sound. It simply sounds organic, or perhaps lifelike is a more accurate word.
The dynamic registry is measured to a steady DR9, which must be said to be very good in 2016. This album, as with the
previous one, was recorded in Sunlight Studios with Tomas Skogberg at the controls, while
Patrick W. Engel has mastered the record.
The only thing that prevents this album from being picked up each time the booze is on the table is a shortage of good
songs. The rapid critters are tough, the solos howling, and one finds delightful heavy songs like Cursed and
Coronated and delicious hypnotic sequences as the midsection of Crosses in Carelia. Much of
the material still goes on autopilot from ear to ear without hooks sharp enough to get a grip on slippery brain tissue.
There's a shortage when it comes to good and strong songs, which is a damn shame, when all other aspects, such as killer
sound, nice pace no matter how diverse, and more than enough instrumental experience, is present in full measure. Cursed And Coronated contains 40 minutes of thrash in highly varied speed, as well as three bonus tracks,
recorded live on Skullcrusher Festival in Dresden, Germany, October 2013. The entire thing end up as quite good.
Iron Bonehead, 26.02.16
This day sees 11 releases for my part. Four of whom I've already covered, and some I'll most likely have to discard due
to lack of time. I have ten more albums that should have been discussed in February. Also, I have listed five other
albums released today, that I'm drooling for. So allow me to save some time in this Impression.
Music is certainly not fast-food, but I'm only saving time on writing, not on listening.
When these frenzied Spaniards released the EP MMXV almost six months ago, I promised to get
back to their upcoming album. The time has come to fulfil this promise self-fulfilling prophecy.
As demanding as I am, I must first ask that you read a little about MMXV, as the band has in fact not
evolved quite as much as I had wished for.
Altarage succeed a little bit better at conveying their sinister sonic eeriness this time, but the
music still suffers from lack of finesse. Sometimes, as in occasionally delightful Altars (which
also appeared on the EP), I feel like climbing a few notches up the grading-scale, but around the next corner, I'm
always drawn back down by excessive repetition.
The sound is a step up, sharper, less woolly, but with dynamics at DR4 is still sounds like a wall of bricks.
NIHL has its moments that shows the band's potential, but overall the music unfortunately becomes
far too intense and monotonous, while the dense compression of the sound can be a bit tiring.
PS: NIHL is normally an abbreviation for noise-induced hearing loss. A sign of introspection?
Pulverised Records, 26.02.16 Temisto hails from Sweden, bringing deadly black magic of another world. The band takes a long detour
to avoid the classic Swedish Entombed metal and blends their abominable enigmatic labyrinth of belligerent
riffs with shady black alchemy.
The result leaves me perplexed and dumbfounded.
The band alternates between the bewitching and moments of berserk rage. Not unusual, but the Swedes doesn't sound like
the majority in either quick or meek passages, while the structure has an eclectic touch of the progressive.
Temisto's frenetic format ain't as chaotic as Imperial Triumphant but moves in slightly similar
crazed dissonant landscapes, where natural musical rules ceases to exist. Their seething disgust and completely demented
appearance can leave you with dyspnea.
When they calm down, it's with ominous, sometimes dystopian visions, but also with beautiful and evocative segments of magical
and ethereal nature. Sometimes I pick up vibes of the calmest, most jazzy parts from the compatriots in Shining.
Temisto is an outstanding debut that admittedly can be perceived as fairly cacophonous at first listen,
but that gradually uncovers everything from the forest magic, that bountiful of life can take your breath away figuratively,
to cursed woodland, haunted and infertile, that will take your breath away forever, quite literally.
The album is a 40 minutes nightmare in ten acts, and the sound fits this bizarre expression.
Earlier Morbus Chron front-man Robert Andersson, and Elias Scharmer (ex-Abduction,
ex-Mutilate), has produced this curse, while Tore Stjerna has mastered the inflamed ulcer in
A macabre and enchanting morbid plunge into graceful eerie and hypnotic disgust!
War Anthem Records, 26.02.15 Rogash is a German death metal band, which plays reasonably straightforward metal, faithful to the
genre, and where the pace is steady at upper mid-tempo. The sound is thunderous and rumbling, though not as deafening
and roaring as on the new album by Argentinian Infernal Curse (which I've given up completely
after two strenuously attempts).
The press release speaks of a quintet, and lists four men. Equally precise is the description that Rogash
have become far more sophisticated since their debut. If that's true, it must have been awful.
Alright sequences do exist on Malevolence, but when the band make an impression with killer riffs and
moods, it still sounds rather worn. That's not the biggest problem, though. A band can pour in unoriginal kick-ass riffs
and get away with it, if sound and technique is in place and they pour in enough goodies. Passing the candy bag once
every three minutes, and filling the time between with mediocre, almost monotonous riffs, just ain't enough.
Rogash doesn't offer anything sensational, and I can prove it. The albums best song is called
Refuse/Resist, and originates from the end of Sepultura's heydays. Rogash's version is
of course far from the original version in quality. The Germans actually even makes this classic into a rather woolly
and unexciting experience where the solo is close to catastrophic. (Both Apocalyptica and Krisiun
have done this song better.)
When this version is less than half as good as the original, and the rest of the material is less than half as
interesting as the mediocre cover, it goes without saying that Malevolence in sum is well below par.
When the band contains two members from recently reviewed Humanitas Error Est this is hardly understandable.
I still add a plus to the disapproval. After all, for the record ain't insufferable.
EDIT: Proofread four hours after publishing. A few small corrections and minor changes applied.
Season of Mist, 26.02.16
In a land populated by convicts and their descendants, it's not surprising that utterly brutal extreme metal reigns.
Yet there are those who have paid attention at school, for I do presume that AC/DC is part of the obligatory
curriculum in Australia.
Surely, it's been 15 years since Deströyer 666 relocated to Europe. They hardly need any introduction.
The band started as the solo project of Bestial Warlust guitarist K.K. Warslut in 1994, but
quickly became renown. Before Wildfire, the band's got 4 albums to show for. Not much in over 20 years,
but they've also got a decent handful of smaller releases.
The album starts off with hefty thrash with both heavy and black metal influences. The mixing ratio varies. We're
occasionally served heavy/thrash, sometimes black/thrash, while parts of the song material on Traitor
and Live And Burn is closer to black'n'roll than I can remember the band being earlier.
My first impulse is a hint of disappointment. Not because it's bad, but because I had expected a somewhat more blackened
and blasphemous expression. When expectations are subdued, and I start taking the music for what it is, there's no more
reason to wrinkle my nose.
After the first two songs we get a little stylistic shift, as the pace calms down and moods comes seeping. The Australians
slide naturally between different expressions, from Painkiller era Priest to Viking era Bathory,
just to imply the musical span, while providing a vague clue of musical direction.
Artiglio Del Diavolo and Hounds At Ya Back basically contains all the different
ingredients, from lively heavy metal to moods of atmospheric hymns. Hymn two Dionysus starts as the previous one ended, with magnificent walls of guitar, that glows like
the sun. Dark clouds gradually and almost unnoticed glide into place, and before you know it, evil hordes have seizes
the palace using their black magic ninja-fog trick. The song stands out as a favourite, and I eventually realize that
it's fairly reminiscent of Watain.
After this demonstration of power, it's almost a bit disappointing to return to black'n'roll with Wildfire
and White Line Fever, two songs that doesn't appeal very much. In my ears, their location on the album
might not be entirely ideal. Die You Fucking Pig! brings black powder in good hybrid with thrash. Perhaps
one of the most typical Deströyer 666 songs on the album, before Tamam Shud concludes
with mighty moods that again smells the sea spray from the railing of a longboat in ancient Nordic waters.
Wildfire is in truth a varied work, yet with good continuity and flowing transition between different
stylistic expressions from start to finish. Well, maybe except for the transitions between Hymn two Dionysus
and the title track. The overall expression can be said to be slightly splayed, without it being too schizophrenic.
One of the things that makes the veteran band Deströyer 666 so cool is precisely that they write songs
in the true sense of the word. In a sub-genre often characterized by sonic detonations, evocative walls of dissonant riffs
and songs that practically becomes one, there are some who write songs. You know, that kind of singular musical
compositions consisting of coherent phonetic development, that stands rock solid on its own if they are taken out of the
Sure, there are many bands who write good, individually recognizable songs, but it's hardly the norm any more. It doesn't
take many spins before songs can be told apart, not just being possible to separate from the crowd, but often with
memorable aspects to them as well.
Artiglio Del Diavolo, along with the three longest songs, Hounds At Ya Back,
Hymn to Dionysus and Tamam Shud is the most atmospheric songs, and those who appeals most to me.
These makes out just over half the duration of the album. The other four are ain't bad either, although they're not as
delightful. Wildfire's probably not my favourite among the band's releases, but bar is already set at towering heights,
and it's nevertheless a strong album that slips right into the discography.
Empire Records, 26.02.2016
The name Maze of Terror might ring a bell among some of the thrash-mongers out there. The quartet from Lima
hasn't got many years to show for, but when they released the EP Skullcrusher in 2012, a year after the band's
inception, it quickly led to the band-name being spread in the underground.
The thrashers are now ready to spread their new genetically engineered virus, the first full length album,
Ready To Kill.
Skullcrusher was a sturdy display of raw speed-thrash, with frantic intensity, and quality through out.
Ready To Kill ain't very impressive at first listen. Without the EP as reference, however, it would've
been difficult to put my finger on what's not working optimally for Ready To Kill. Verily, this is a
vital and raw, well played and euphonious example of the evil side of thrash; black/thrash.
The music ain't as fast, and even when it is, the drums doesn't have the same breathless momentum. The EP exhibited an
intense fucking force, while the rhythm is now almost staccato in comparison. The vocals are more crisp and black this
time. I think it worked perfectly on Skullcrusher, with a little more old school approach, and as the
only fairly mild and rounded aspect in an otherwise breakneck rat race. The rhythm guitar, which acted as chainsaw on
the EP, is now behind the drums and vocals, and are not as striking. The bass is more prominent this time, but the sound
of the strings self-resonance is almost as audible as the bass itself, and can provide occasional and vague associations
to something inappropriate, such as grunge.
This was both more nitpicking than desirable and more than the debut really deserves, but every band with a killer
release just behind them probably experience some grumpy attitude from the audience when it's not living up to those
Maze Of Terror still delivers the goods. Ready To Kill may not convey the same reckless
expression, but the song material is slightly stronger than on Skullcrusher. The EP must be said to have
somewhat monotonous songs. That's not the case this time, although we're still not talking excessive ingenuity and depth.
This is not music where the progressive and sophisticated substances are the focus, but rather satanic moods and
The slight disappointment I feel, wouldn't even have been there if it weren't for the band setting the bar so damn high
to begin with. The Peruvians still convey an inferno of black scorched thrash. Viewed isolated it goes off like a bomb
in a hellish pace, with aggressive riffing, screaming shredding solos and maniacal vocals this time too.
The band themselves proves that everything can be improved with small adjustments, but despite some debris,
Ready To Kill is a kick ass piece of of raw thrash.
Watch the video for Lycanthropes, and stream it along with Violent Mind of Hate here.
The rest of the album will hopefully be available when the album is released in a few days.
Australian Nocturnal Graves, with over ten years of experience, is a coal-black thrash band that oozes
of death. Only remaining original member, Nuclear Exterminator, is an active man, that has amongst others
been involved in topical Deströyer 666.
A few days ago the band, along with Hells Headbangers, announced a short mini-tour in the US. The band will visit
Los Angeles and Philadelphia, before rounding off with an appearance at Maryland Deathfest in Baltimore. This 7" EP will
be sold exclusively at these concerts in prints limited to 200 copies.
Fortunately, the two new songs are already available digitally, for this is ripping stuff. While Hells Headbangers
deals with the physical format, Nocturnal Graves distribute the digital version.
Perhaps the definition of a single is that it has to contain a single track from an album. Maybe I am conservative when I
consider two-song releases as singles, while an EP preferably should have about five songs and clock in at approximately
20-25 minutes? An insignificant digression, of course.
Despite some years in existence, I have no real relationship with the Australians. I should really do something about that.
These two songs brings fierce, angry hellfire. Striking aggression with infernal atmosphere, hefty instrumentation, sharp
rasping vocals and fitting euphony.
I heard the two songs on Bandcamp after reading the newsletter, without expectations of any kind. And I was blown away by
one hell of a display of a self-confident profane foray via a mutation of black/death/thrash. The only negative aspect I
have to address is the duration, of just 10:40.
Here are the dates for the mini-tour. Catch them if you can!
May 24th - Los Angeles, The Five Star Bar (+3 more bands TBA)
May 25th - Philadelphia, Millcreek Tavern (along with Mitochondrian, Phobocosm, Auroch)
May 29th - Baltimore, Maryland Deathfest
Hyper technical instrumental music with industrial whims is not what I hear most frequently, but the genre can be reasonably
impressive when a band knows their stuff, and Divine Realm sure do. And then some.
Canadian Leo Diensthuber started this band for himself in 2010 and released his first EP
Mor[t]ality in 2013. Later that year Divine Realm
expanded to a full band, before the EP Abyssal Light was released in 2014.
Tectum Argenti is the band's first studio album, consisting of 7 tracks and just over half an hour with
staggering vital technical prog. It is an imaginative roller coaster of fiery guitar and intricate rhythms that meets the
listener. The playful progressive feel is everywhere, and frequent costume changes takes but milliseconds. Transitions
follows continuously, bound together by whatever the band has at their fingertips, be it glue, tape, screws or cable ties.
It can be the rhythm that creates continuity, or maybe the untiring finger picking melodic doodling on the guitars. Hell,
at times its even eclectic sounds of abstract machines running on soap bubbles, dandelions and loving maintenance that
ties things together.
All in all, it's impressive instrumentation, as well as structures that one might wonder if is compositionally or impulsively
generated, that makes up Tectum Argenti. The sound has the perfectionistic crystal clear character you know
from the genre. Fans of guitar virtuous instrumental prog can add a plus and order this blindly! The music contains so much
liveliness and momentum that even sceptics should take a listen.
Iron Bonehead, 22.02.16
With 13 tracks and 25 minutes, this EP is verging on full-length format. The trio comes from Slovakia and has one demo
on their conscience. This EP was released two months ago on CD via Hexencave Productions, but then under the
The guys play obscure and profane black/death of the slightly tumulting kind, which in turn alternates with short,
Goatcraft combines sepulchral death metal from the bottom of the tomb with black metal from the deepest
dungeons. The result is occult, unholy and ominous. Everything ain't pleasurable discomfort, though.
The sound is dirty and muddy, making it difficult to claim that the sound is good. But it doesn't matter, as
it suits the music well. Several of the ambient tracks, however, are reminiscent of the reverberating echoes in tunnels.
Together with other short interludes, and a postlude (in the true sense of the word), they occupy about ⅓ of the
playing time. Most of this serve no purpose whatsoever for me as a listener.
The metal segments on their side, are cool enough, but if a band doesn't come up with strong melodies and/or moods,
this is stuff we've heard countless times before.
When I heard through Olethros several times yesterday, I eventually got a bit cranky, and wrote that
Goatcraft don't come up with anything new, exciting or gripping, but rather recycle the recycled.
This still didn't feel quite right, because I basically like the form of malicious and uncomfortable metal I find on
Olethros. Today, when trying again, I have removed the seven shortest tracks, and I'm left with 18
minutes, of which the organ outro just barely were allowed to remain. Without loads of crap in between, I must say I
enjoy coexistence with this music considerably more.
Here are darkness, mysticism and cloaked characters with sinister intentions in the fog. Yesterday I could have sworn
that mystique loses much of its magic when you know what the hood-clad are named, where they work and live, and which
series their fiancée favours on Netflix. The feeling that “the music is too well known for me to manage to work up
any particular enthusiasm, although I can't say that I am bored or dislike what I hear either” is not as acute when
the music get to do its thing uninterrupted.
With meaningless interludes that constantly fragment the listening experience and split up my concentration, this
becomes an unoriginal, middle-of-the-road EP. Eliminate the 7 or 8 shortest tracks, and it will soon grow considerably.
Ergo, I can't recommend this on other than digital format this time.
Goatcraft is a rather new constellation, but it may certainly be a name to remember in the future.
Iron Bonehead, 22.02.16
Finnish Cemetery Fog went from a rough, raw and primitive form of death/doom, to a somewhat more occult
and spiritual approach to the genre, before they now have gone through moulting. They have changed their name, and
simultaneously changed the course of the musical direction slightly.
The path mapped out is angled a bit more towards traditional death/doom, melancholic and evocative. The band has added
a touch of atmosphere, and a few gothic vibes.
They still utilize their previous ingredients, though.
The vocals sounds as a wounded yeti, they have parts with rawness between the quieter parts, and it still sounds somewhat
primitive. I have to agree when the promo letter mentions links to both Bathory and early Greek black metal in
the aggressive sequences, while the overall picture is still closer to early Anathema.
The band remains on a demo level, with short releases and unpolished sound. The sound ain't bad, but still rather unfinished.
The guitar sound sort of reminiscent of the genre's earliest releases. Dying Beauty & the Silent Sky consists
of intro, two songs of around eight minutes each, and a 4.5 minute interlude with atmospheric instrumental music, softened
guitars and subtle elf song. Altogether about 23 minutes.
The two primary songs offers both soaring mood, animalistic instincts and good variety, as they move through different
The first release under the moniker Asphodelus may not be obligatory, but I've grown rather fond of it.
Time is ripe for a full-length now, lads!
Sliptrick records, 10.02.16
Epically inclined, melodic and partly female fronted metal sprinkled with progressive structures, more akin to
Orphanage or Lacuna Coil than Within Temptation, meets powerful and symphonic death metal.
Greek Dimlight offers the best of two worlds. Unless they fall between two stools, that is. Perhaps
this is something for fans of Mayan?
The band consists of one lady and four men, has been operating for ten years and have two albums behind them.
If you've got well-developed allergies to Nightwish and the likes, it may be that the Epica vocals
induce aversion, and likewise, if bombastic death metal and growling causes your skin to crawl in discomfort, it's
also possible you have to pass on this one. The vocals are admittedly a little more edgy than stereotypical innocent
young maiden with gothic cloths. Do I sense a faint touch of raucous/hoarse Bonnie Tyler style here and there? If you
can withstand both forms of music, at least in moderate doses, it may be that The Lost Chapter pleases
you. If both of the two styles tickle your sweet spots, it's very possible that Dimlight will devour you.
The Lost Chapter is a concept album about the Egyptian goddess Hathor, in this tale a ruthless beauty created by Osiris
to punish heretics, when he with age gradually lost his respect among the mortals.
The music blends majestic death metal with gothic, epic and dark-metallic elements and grand symphonic ingredients, to
a melodic and dramatic work. The music sounds well composed, with good melodies and a moderate progressive slant. Slightly
smoother and less intricate than a band like Septicflesh, naturally enough, but still very enjoyable. I despise
pure feminine-epic metal, but this heavier approach overall falls to my liking.
I haven't read the lyrics, but the music fits this kind of thematics excellent.
The sound is, appropriate enough, well-produced and grandiose. Producer John Mcris has been responsible for
production, mixing and mastering in Sound Flakes Studios. The sound is thus crystal-clear, clean and powerful,
but the dynamics are as usual not particularly spacious. It alters between DR6 and DR7.
The music is however powerful and theatrical, and the Greeks succeeded very well in this respect.
Naturmacht Productions, 20.02.16
From the Tasman district in the northernmost part of New Zealand's southern island, probably crawling out of swamps and
old-growth forests, comes a bunch of “Tasman-devils”.
The band was formed in 2012 and released their debut Warriors of the Dawn independently as a trio a few
years later. I am however not sure whether or not the band's guest bassist and fourth man aboard has been hired permanently. “Tasman-devils” should not be mistaken for Tasmanian devils,
only found on the island south of Australia, and in Looney Tunes. Any resemblance between these “Tasman-devils” and the
critter is purely coincidental. The resemblance with the cartoon character is rather striking, though.
The Kiwis delivers black, aggressive metal with a heathen touch of pagan metal.
The first thing that catches my attention in the sound. Besides from a sequence with acoustic evening moods around the
fire place in the title track, fierce riffing, thunderous drums and rasping, snarling vocals prevails. The music has
drift and momentum as a torpedo, and as much explosive force on impact.
The guitar sound is rich and biting as a buzzing circular saw. The drums are punchy and powerful as shock grenades. The
bass is pounding like bombshells striking targets not far away. The sound is generally massive and deafening, whilst
details are to a degree distinct, particularly in the percussion. One of the cymbals, for instance, seems to be mounted
right next to my left ear, especially in Odin's Sacrifice and Thursmegin. Surely,
some clamoring uproar is bound to happen when four ferocious forest trolls try to drown each other, but for
this style, that's highly flattering. The sound of each instrument ain't tuned up into the ceiling either. The
dynamics here are DR9! It should be stated that I don't know if trolls, goblins or
ogres (or perhaps orcs left behind after the LotR filmatization) or other creatures are New Zealand's biggest challenges.
With 11 songs and 55 minutes, they could certainly have cut down on something, the song material is actually what leaves
the smallest impression on Honour, Blood, Spirit and Love. It is the reckless downpour, with fierce and
rapid parts, and sequences with groovy touch and moderate folk-moods, performed with hefty drive and juicy sound, that
gives me a satanic grin when Vargafrost kicks off. I have such a taste for this that it's tempting to
add a plus, but I hold back slightly as the song doesn't contain no huge surprises. Anyway, this is vehement and diabolical
metal with thrust that hits me like a ton of bricks.
Honour, Blood, Spirit and Love can be downloaded in exchange for a a voluntary financial
sacrifice on Bandcamp.
Inverse Records, 19.02.16 Charm Designer stands out in a South American sense. At least from the more or less brutal bands I have
knowledge of. The quartet from Colombia plays melodic doom with a slightly gothic touch and occasional elements of a
cautious approach to extreme metal.
Likewise, vocalist and guitarist Andrés Herrera stands out, as he is the only one in the band who ain't
Andrés y los tres Diegos (of which one Diego admittedly is their live
guitarist) has written nine varied songs with their own different identities, without no sense of schizophrenia tagging
along. The songs are based on good melodies. You'll come across tranquil moods that can take your mind toward things like
Forest Stream, gothic vibes à la Paradise Lost, strong melodies, as those from Moonspell, and
a combination in keeping with The Vision Bleak. We can certainly add a pinch of Type O Negative and
Agathodaimon into the equation, as long as one is not led to believe that Charm Designer sounds
distinctively similar to any of the mentioned bands.
There's a lot of clean vocals on Everlasting, but also a mild form of growling of the decipherable kind.
Some female vocals occasionally swing by as well. The alteration between comfortable and suitably deep clean vocals and
rawer vocals, as in for example By The Unmasked, works very well.
The melodic metal is pleasant and nice, but generally not too gentle, although some will certainly call this
polished. The scariest part from my perspective, are elements of pop that occur occasionally. The only band I can compare
this to, due to rational incompetence, is Semargl, the fruitcake Ukrainians who went from blistering black
Satyricon worship to dance-pop metal. Thus, that's not an entirely relevant reference.
The poppy inputs luckily works as spices, and the band manages to avoid an over-dosage.
The bands efforts are properly carried out. The guys can obviously play. The album includes some al right melodic guitar
playing, varied rhythms and violin strings in the background. The band has a consistent style despite variety, and releases
a debut album with melodically strong songs. The song-structure is admittedly less daring. The dynamics of the sonic
expression can also be nitpicked at, as it's trampled flat and canned. The production, signed producer Waldemar
Sorychta, is otherwise rich and clear, however.
I think this can strike home with fans of fairly harmless and melodic, doomy and gothic dark metal. With music that ain't
dime a dozen, at least not in my collection, not to mention songs with memorable character, the Colombians qualify for an
early breakthrough. So long as they hit their target audience, that is.
Personally, I would have dropped the last song, Policy of Truth, as it gives a somewhat weak last
impression, but other than that, I can vouch for the rest, at least to those who has gained a certain appetite by now.
The lyric video for
Everlasting was made by Costin Chioreanu, who also designed the cover art.
Debemur Morti Productions, 19.02.16
In October, a dual-track EP called Portals arrived from Sick Man Getting Sick Records. It's
duration was no less than 34 minutes and showed an atmospherically landscaped Belgian band.
I didn't get around to write about it then, and I'm not going to do it now. One of the files nevertheless had glitches
in the sound, making it unbearable to listen to. Besides, one release is enough this time around.
Debemur Morti has embraced the stormer of the heavens, and are about to release their first full
length. The band's name is Dutch and is used about people with great visions and revolutionary ideas, especially
How much benefit each person will get out of Aether depends on their expectations and demands. With the
band's name as a backdrop, and Debemur Morti as publisher, there's a real danger of overtly high expectations.
The band mixes post-metal with sludge, and adds a tiny dash of black metal, for the sake of the atmosphere. The result
is nothing less than an hour of atmospheric metal. Not as slow as funeral doom, admittedly, but with four songs clocking
in between 12 and 19 minutes, you get certain associations.
The music has a moderately jazzy touch to its rhythms, and transitions do exist, but the overall feeling is very
laid-back and dreamy. The heaviest aspect the album has to offer is the reverberating sound of sludge tuned strings, and
there is no denying that it can feel fairly uneventful. Few things come to him who waits. Ergo, those buying the album on
the wrong premises could easily end up disappointed.
If an hour of relaxing mood-music is exactly what you're looking for, the chance of being a satisfied customer changes
entirely. Aether is admittedly not the mildest breeze of sheer reveries. Moods and resounding riffs
testify to more cloudy conditions, increasing wind and ripples on the water surface. Especially Starless
offers same heaving dystopia. A full storm is never realized, though. The feeling of quivering excitement in anticipation
of the violent wind gusts persist, but than, the storm centre shifts direction, and the storm forecast is cancelled as
the wind washes out.
Personally, I'm a bit disappointed, as the grade reflects, but the band has still created four long tracks that don't
come out as boring. Although I feel that one hour is too much. the music is nonetheless well constructed, with
layers of instrumentation and moderate eeriness. In addition, the sound is surprisingly good, despite the complete lack
of phonetic dynamics (DR4).
It all feels very professionally executed, but whether it will appeal depends completely on your musical preferences.
The final judgement is up to each and every one. My verdict: pretty good, but not particularly exciting.
Metal Scrap Records, 15.02.16
Polish Mind Affliction was formed in 2009, but didn't really get going until the following year,
when the line-up was stabilized with a permanent second guitarist. It seems, however, as if the band has returned
to the trio format*.
The guys now presents their second album, consisting of 42 minutes of death metal with injections of black moods
and dark lyrical fiction from Cthulhu's territory.
The trio's* death metal, verging on black/death, is often mid tempo, with a hint of progressive architecture.
Both the guitarist and the bassist takes care of vocals. One with coarse, but clearly articulate vocals, on the border
of growl, and the other with more screaming black vocals, even that one quite comprehensible. The latter becomes a little
too high-pitched to emerge as anything other than comical witches shrieks.
The songs ain't quite top notch, on par with classics, as the band has a slightly unfinished touch, but they
incorporate good, dark and atmospheric melodies and nice variety. I get some sensations of early incarnations, especially
of death metal bands from the early 90s, which later grew renown.
When the band is at its most heavy and slow, emitting grim atmospheric melodies, I even pick up vibes of bands like My Dying
Bride and Paradise Lost, just before they ventured of into uncharted gloomy marshlands and formed a new genre.
I am enjoying these seven songs, though I feel that they have something that is not yet fully developed. Into
The Void is a fairly good album in itself, but the scent of potential tells me that Mind Affliction
can (and hopefully will) evolve themselves, and reach quite a bit further.
*EDIT 18.02.16: It turns out that Mind Affliction is indeed a quartet,
and worked as such during the majority of the recording of Into The Void.
War Arts Productions, 15.02.16
The name speaks for itself, ensuring expectancy of raw savagery when these Portuguese comes to town.
It still doesn't go without saying that every ounce of finesse needs to be neglected. Unfortunately, no one has told
Barbaric Horde that.
Here is yet another example of an utterly rotten demo, against better judgement printed and released by a label.
The demo includes five all too similar songs that fortunately lasts no more than barely 19 minutes. Nevertheless, the
Portuguese's painfully simplistic black/death is so primitive that it probably deserves a fate worse than death on the
dreadful format cassette, limited to 100 copies.
What really drives me from sanity with Gasmask Perpetrators is the damn snare drum. At least I believe
that's the one that sounds like a tin drum. This is hit with about 3.4 beats/second through large parts of the last
three songs, producing a rather gruesome and deafening effect which makes Gasmask Perpetrators an ordeal.
Another thing that provokes me is the following: Some bands use extreme amounts of time, money, blood, sweat and/or
tears to compose and record proper songs. In some cases, a collection of cool, tough and killer songs, in other cases
songs aggregating a musical work of art. Not everyone gets their breakthrough even after years of hard work. Then, along
comes Barbaric Horde with their shitty three grip riffs, and a drummer that should have been tortured,
and they're signed by a label, that prints and releases their miserable shitty demo. I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
This is a pile of crap from start to finish. Steer clear!
If I'm to loose cred amongst underground fanatics now... I really couldn't give a fuck!
Sliptrick records, 12.02.16
Behind a marvellous cover art, and a to me unknown band name, I find exciting music that won't keep quiet within a
single musical pigeonhole. Something moves even beyond my preference, but still manages to impress, for the music is
as elaborate as the artwork.
The Metal archives defines the band as death/doom. Despite strong influence of the style in parts of for example
Dawn Yet To Come pt.2, it hadn't even crossed my mind to take that classification into consideration.
After ten years of existence, the Italian sextet The Burning Dogma are ready to launch their first full length.
The album's got 13 tracks and close to 50 minutes of diverse music. The intro is soaring and quite ethereal, but these
high-flying moods disappear like dew before the sun when The Breach kicks off with juicy riffs and
intense drums, along with the combination of deep growls and high-pitched, sharp black-vocals. The music has aggression
taken from brutal death metal, melodies adapted to a melodic approach, a technical aspect that borrowed from tech.death
and some more industrial and electronic elements. A moderate flirtation with symphonic structures, a bit like Cradle
of Filth, albeit without orchestral instruments, and a hint of modern core/djent riffs & rhythms, also sneaks aboard.
The band may become rather candy-coated when female vocals and synth reminds somewhat of Nightwish, as in
Skies of Grey, but mostly they focus on good and heavy melodies with fairly dark moods. Transitions and style
changes are frequent, but natural. Take said The Breach for example. From the three-minute mark we find
fast rhythm toward the edge of the cliff. When the gallop stops, a sequence of free-fall take over, before wings are
unfold, and a soaring flight into the electric skies is launched. The techno-elements that come into play are used far
from exaggeratedly, but rather provides a stylish effect.
What really elevates the band, along with the expertise related to the actual composing, are the guitars. The two
guitarists are technically competent, and delivers oodles of wonderful guitar works between different musical frolics.
The other members of course also delivers competently, but the guitars are those who excels most.
The album is recorded in Domination Studio, with good sound as a result. The dynamic range however vary a lot,
from DR4 to DR11, but if you disregard all the shorter interludes, DR6 is the typical value. Thus, the sound is pleasant,
but rather brickwalled.
The Burning Dogma delivers varied and vital “dark metal”, where tempo, intensity and integration of
various inspirations varies vigorously. Technically, all of the incorporated stuff shouldn't appeal to me,
but I think the Italians have executed it all superbly and qualitatively. The result of such a distinct mixture is
also a rather original mixture. Bold and mesmerizing.
Forget genre conventions and musical biases! Clear your mind and meet No Shores Of Hope with an open
mind, and you will discover a somewhat different, but quite beautiful world.
Solitude Productions, 08.02.16
The Englishmen with the peculiar moniker plays eclectic extreme doom with ethereal vibes. I choose to use such a
description because the guys don't have a very typical death/doom sound, although that's the most obvious pigeonhole
to shove them into.
If the band had been American, and not British, I would have chosen to speculate in the band-name's desert-references.
For the hell of it, I think I'll let my mind spin around the camel's natural habitat anyway.
Wherever laws and regulations are enforced by the principle that personal freedom is overrated, some people at times
choose to escape civilization to enjoy complete freedom in our own natural habitat, nature. Take the United States as
an example; in “the land of the free” (which allegedly
houses ¼ of the planet's prisoners), many who don't consider rigid rules as compatible with freedom,
but rather as intellectual straitjacket (be it hippies, bikers, occultists or acid-heads), have used the desert as
sanctuary. The wilderness is a favoured area for those who like to put pentagram-shaped green fodder in their pipe,
and Camel Of Doom's got a whiff of them stoner vibes, as well as a distinct touch of psychedelia to
their work. Not that I'm insinuating that the guys makes use of unjustifiably illicit crop residues, of course.
The band's death/doom leans heavily toward doom, with an ominous whiff of sludge. With this as foundation, the camels
launch into cosmos with an atmospheric backdrop of 1001 nights. The album is called Terrestrial, but
I guess that's because they orbit Tellus, because they're in search of other terrestrial planets, or because these
hunchbacked astronauts are themselves terrestrial.
Looking for music suitable to drift dreamingly into? Welcome to 64 minutes in the interplanetary sphere.
Cover, format and duration gives associations to Bölzer, but the most apparent similarities stops there. Some
kinship can however be traced in virile arrangements and filthy-frantic expression. The fresh quartet Barús,
which seems to have grown into a quintet after recording this EP, plays death metal with their own twist.
The band has a somewhat technical approach, and even adds a dash of Meshuggah-like rhythms at times. I'd rather
not suggest overtly essential bonds between Barús and technical sub-genres, though. This is much more
dirty and rabid.
They don't utilize the distinctive form of technical guitar works to the same degree or all the way either.
That one can trace some Slagmaur in the beginning of Chalice, without further similarities,
makes for just as good a reference in this respect. Barús crawled out of the ashes of the experimental
death metal band Project Jim, and has also got members from Caïnan Dawn and Maïeutiste. The expression is not quite
recognizable from the latter, but the playful approach to musical composition and execution is a common denominator.
The band varies rhythmic patterns and other musical structuring greatly in a progressive manner, while they stylistically
maintain a unified whole.
The Greek term βαρύς implies the perception of weight, and can be used metaphorically of a
heavy burden to bear. Besides from my difficulty describing the essence of the band's 23-minute session, I enjoy the
massive pressure. Barús tightens the straps on my straightjacket and rides a steamroller up and down
my cerebral cortex with heavy, sludgy and pleasing sound. I find this quite exciting and mesmerizing.
Emanations, which released Barús digitally almost a year ago and now on CD and cassette,
is by the way a sub-label of Les Acteurs de L’Ombre Productions.
With your purchase, you'll get a bonus consisting of nearly two additional hours of music.
The band has chosen among their own preferred material as well as fan-favourites. They've added rarities, live recordings
and a new song. The CD is filled to the brim with 13 songs and almost 80 minutes of music.
Even someone that feels that My Silent Wake has dwelled in the shadow of the genre's more famous acts,
are doomed to find candy in a best-of collection like this.
An Unbroken Threnody shows a flexible band that doesn't have a very narrow view on, and approach to
the genre, but that has rather moved freely between hard doom and slow death. Not surprisingly, the most beefy and
leadensongs appeals most to yours truly. There's anyway much goodies to choose from here.
The song with the suitable name Oblivion is doomy death metal all the way, and could have snuck
unnoticed in to Obituary's universe. The preceding song Journeys End, is a good example
of the other end of the scale.
An Unbroken Threnody may admittedly not be spectacular, but the music is certainly good.
As a bonus, the buyer receives a download-code, giving access to nearly two hours picked from a rather vast catalogue.
Now in completely remastered versions. If this is your thing, than that is definitely value for money.
Cruz Del Sur Music, 05.02.16
Definitively no prize for guessing which genre Septagon belongs to, even if the Germans offers a
different sonic approach than the toxic mutation the artwork more or less suggests.
The brain behind this is Markus “Ulle” Ullrich from Lanfear, that in 2013 joined forces with
Atlantean Kodex vocalist Markus Becker.
The aim was to create a mixture of aggressive (Exodus, Slayer, Testament et al.) and
technical/melodic (Forbidden, Heathen, Realm, Watchtower et al.) thrash of the old
school. The examples are stolen directly from the press release.
the biggest surprise, if judging the booklet by its cover, is how placid this sounds.
Deadhead Syndicate sounds more like a fusion of Megadeths technical aspects and guitar based
melodies, Anthrax' song structures and melody lines, and the mild, melodic touch of Poltergeist.
I don't think there is a whole lot of old (or new, for that matter) Slayer to be traced here. Have
Septagon than failed their mission? No, of course not. Albeit, they might not hit spot on regarding what their
aim led me to suspect.
If you nod in recognition to several of the (technical/melodic) references, mine or the press letter's, with a nostalgic
smile on your lips, chances are you'll appreciate this release. The gentle and unexpectedly clean vocals, along with good
melodies, reminds me most of all of old Anthrax.
The two founders are joined by enough competent musicians to make a quartet, and they've written a number of melodies
with the capacity to attach even in a memory centre coated with Teflon. In addition to these melodies, the music's got
a moderate progressive/technical structure, a steady rhythm section, and two guitars eager to explore their new
I more or less gave up on Anthrax after 1990's Persistance of Time. (The song Got the Time
was some fun, though.) The band releases their new album For All Kings toward the end of the month. I haven't
heard it, but I'm willing to bet good money that Septagon sounds better.
The Ajna Offensive&Norma Evangelium Diaboli, 05.02.16
Ain't it peculiar how different taste in metal people have? I seemingly never stop being astonished at the diversity and the
differences within the so-called scene. Aluk Todolo is likely one of the bands that rests in between
the extremes, love and hate, with their peculiar, discordant and spiritual music.
Aluk Todolo is a trio from France that's been going for at least ten years. This is their fifth full length.
The band plays what I would simply call jazz-metal. The band's expression is as free jazz; unbridled, ethereal,
unpredictable and psychedelic. With metallic instrumentation, an ominous feel takes shape, but the listener is a
helpless victim in this respect. The listener is hypnotized, paralysed and can only witness the madness unfolding.
Just what it is that unfolds, ain't to easy figuring out either
As in a dream one falls, and falls, and continue to fall. The visions that come and go makes no sense. Are we located
on some metaphysical plane? Is our individual emotional thoughts just metaphors for cosmos infinite perpendicular
circular motion? Could a butterfly's wings affect the astral projection of my physical body in another dimension? Have
I lost my vital psychoanalytic abilities, also referred to as my wits, and should I have avoided not refraining from
eating those mushrooms?
Voix is an instrumental spiritual journey in abstract landscapes. I fully understand that there might
those that finds this to be rather over the top, but for some reason it works. It might demand the proper mood, or just
good old lack of sanity. Whatever fits best with your reality. Your perception on reality will nevertheless tell you
that you are the reference, the template, that everyone else in this misguided society should be measured up and
Enough quasi-philosophical humbug. It should be said that Aluk Todolo is located in the periphery
of my narrow-minded taste, and that the album therefore hasn't been played as many times as grading really requires.
The grade is thus highly subjective, for although I find Voix quite fascinating, it's probably not
going to see very frequent rotations on my stereo.
Signal Rex, 05.02.16
Portugal is on the warpath, something that I appreciate, but Europe's southern spearhead towards the open sea don't
offers success stories alone.
I see what direction Ocerco has set the course toward, and they haven't gone astray, yet they have
some way to go to reach the finish line.
The Portuguese plays intense and somewhat monotonous black metal at a leisurely pace, like a cross between frenetic
black metal and post-black. The guys have a hint of the American expression known as Cascadian black metal, and they
make attempts at a somewhat kaleidoscopic maze of seething lava.
They succeeded, however, only partially. Individually speaking, A Desolação ain't bad, but they can't
quite reaches the upper echelon.
They lacks some idea-richness, and the sound is a bit thin. I particularly miss a little more suitably bouldering in
the lower frequency range.
It should however be said that the band hasn't even debuted with an album yet. This is the band's second EP, containing
three songs and twenty minutes, and there's enough potential here to keep the door open for Ocerco in
You'll find one song here, but the Portuguese website Ponto Alternativo offers a full stream.
Cruz Del Sur Music, 05.02.16
Unlike what you might expect based on a quick glance at the cover, Ravensire plays epic heavy metal, closer
related to hard rock than viking metal, even though vikings do find their natural spot in parts of the lyrics.
The name of the label more or less speaks for itself, though.
The Portuguese quartet plays “battle metal” with swords held high.
The swordsman might just as well be some random dragon slayer or Conan the barbarian, as Earl Blood-Blade the Hairy
(Yes, vikings often had ridiculous nicknames based on personal attributes). In other words, this smells a bit more of
power-metallic Manowar aesthetics than viking metal.
Their heavy metal, containing a whiff of doom, has riches of melodies and six-string axes, and the sound is as muscular
as the sword bearers biceps. The quartet hasn't written any kind of concept album, but the three last songs form a small
trilogy, called White Pillars.
In the city of Sintra, near Lisbon in Portugal, archaeologists have excavated the ruins of a watchtower raised in the
Part 1, Eternal Sun tells of uncovered manuscripts, that in turns mentions ancient inscriptions
found in rocks a long time ago.
Part 2, Blood and Gold, deals with a settlement of Moors found underneath the ruins. They were once
subjugated by King Sigurd (Norwegian tourist, or perhaps dragon slayer on a business trip) in the early 12th century.
Part 3 evolves around findings of Roman alters and other rock requisites, belonging to an ancient cult, worshipping
the two most significant celestial bodies, along with our biggest earthly object, the ocean.
Enjoyable? A matter of taste, but I find wellbeing.
“For the glory of Ravensire, raise your sword and ride for battle!” feels like an adequate ending.
Katoptron IX Records, 20.01.16
Greek Primeval Mass has previously released two albums, but the black metal outfit is a new acquaintance
on my part. From the first second, it is clear that the band's swirling tones shows a vital approach which is on the other
side of the spectrum compared to all kinds of monotonous black metal. But is there a danger that it becomes over zealous
and overtly brave, adding more than what is digestible? It does seem rather disorienting at first listen.
Something was remarkable about To Empyrean Thrones, and the closer I got the core, the more time I
wanted to set aside to explore the depths even deeper. This is an album that grows to a furiously rabid, but very
The music's layered and frenetic nuclear weapons test does to the ears what welding does to the the eyes. This is a
sonic bomb, a chaotic melodic such, which requires time to gain a foothold and settle. With that much sound I would
never have guessed that Primeval Mass is actually a one-man band. Mr. Orth certainly
knows how to make a racket.
The guitars are everywhere, and constantly provide intricate metallic and howling antics. Like unpredictable flames up
the church walls, guitars licks as flickering torches. warm-blooded as demons, fiery as witches on Walpurgisnacht, cold
as cynical traffickers and dangerously maddening as unsecured grenades.
Thee Greek have their own ability to blend cold with heat in balanced coexistence, without the flames dying out or
the ice melting.
This is cool molten metal, a glowing black magma with ice crystals, frozen flames, with a furious expression, built
around a skeleton of unreal proportions and progressive structures.
The sound could have been more gentle, letting the madness get an easier grip, but Primeval Mass don't
make it easy on the listener in that aspect either. The dynamics are acceptable (DR7), but the sound has an infernal
and cacophonic touch. The album might initially seem a little challenging, but it grows relatively quickly, and the
effort is truly rewarding.
This be some mean, blistering, guitar based frenzy, and I fucking dig it!
Altare Productions&Darker Than Black, 01.02.16 IA he calls himself, the Basque behind the one man band Ostots. Not surprisingly,
it's black metal we're dealing with.
The guy has reportedly developed a poignant and prolific identity during the past decade. The latter presumably only
means that this is yet another over-productive one-man band. What he may have had of unique identity, he must have left
behind, for Hil Argi lacks any originality.
The album was released in 250 copies last fall, but that was obviously not enough. He must have a lot of friends,
Imagine a bit angry, yet rather atmospheric black metal of the primitive kind. Garnish with completely random melody
lines, and add monotone drums with staccato rhythms, before a hissing, but rather hushed vocals is added.
Is it even possible to think that this is good if you've heard Armagedda - Ond Spiritism,
Celestial Bloodshed - Cursed, Scarred And Forever Possessed, Blodsrit - Helveteshymner, Elite -
Bifrost, Leviathan (Swe) - Far Beyond The Light or Murk - Unholy Presences? Not to mention
Ondskapt, Darkthrone, Krieg, Sinmara, Peste Noire, Misþyrming, Mayhem, Immortal, Valkyrja, Sorcier Des Glaces,
Craft, Gorgoroth, Gehenna, Taake, Kampfar, Mgla, Emperor, Marduk, Watain and a hell of a lot of other more or
less known acts.
Even generic copies of the genre's most mediocre constellations have more character than these trashy leftovers.
I rest my case!
The idea behind the band, to exploring the human mind and different philosophies, and to wander the dark and twisted
paths, despite easier options, has remained latent in guitarist and bassist Sorts Apostate since the
millennium shift. He's joined by Thon on drums and Ott on vocals.
Vanad Varjud ultimately became a reality in 2009, and the album Apooriad was released
a few years later.
The band plays doomy black metal without restrictions on their assorted influences from ambience, drone, funeral, etc.
Fortunately without all kinds of eccentric whims dominating. The result of the trio's second release is four tracks
that in total clocks in at nearly 50 minutes. The sombre music is seeking, as if exploring the dark corners of haunted
mansions, enchanted forests, troubled minds and the netherworld. It is hard and raw, but not without touches of sadness
The music's got a somewhat ambient frame of samples. It's primarily here we find the experimental influences. These
actually works quite appropriate as evocative remedies.
The music is gloomy, obscure and sorrowful. The expression is primitive in a natural way, without any feigned necrotics.
Gradual, almost subtle variation, creates flowing progression. The execution is simple but effective, and it has a very
appealing effect on me.
Inverse Records, 18.01.16
I incorporated a single consisting of one song in early January, and what's more fitting than doing the same
Truth be told, I had actually forgotten about this release. Fortunately, I keep a list, just as he who sees you when
There are many retro-thrash band out there, but when you hear Justice Theory, you realize that others
often miss some vital ingredient.
These four Finns have found the “secret” ingredient; nitroglycerin into the bloodstream. The adrenaline levels are high
from the first thrash riff. The song lasts less than four minutes, but it's boiling all the way. The song has a juicy
tempo and a vivid thrusting drive. Necessary Evil has good variations in the rhythm. Much more can't
be expected or required from a such a short song.
Towards the end they seal the deal with the Prince of Darkness with a short but succinct solo.
There is a widespread misconception* that politics don't belong in metal, but all opinions concerning
society are political views by definition; in support or opposition to religion, guns, immigration, drugs, taxes...
All of this are politics, even the social criticism that rightfully belong in metal.
The band venture out onto the ice with lyrics concerning political issues as bureaucracy, patronizing society,
social exclusion, war and terrorism, and the changes the modern world is going through.
A slaying little single with youthful zeal that brings an appetite for more!
Very cool thrash, but oh so short. Therefore I hold back a bit on the grade.
Check the video for Necessary Evil.
*EDIT: Most grown-up metalheads of course knows that bands that specifies that they are not a political
band simply don't want to take a political sides collectively, as a band, although they probably do agree on some issues.
Many don't have any particular interest, and/or respect for politics either. In some cases, the aim is to distance
oneself from extreme political groups or directions in particular, or from dandy tie clad know-it-alls in general.
The intention was definitely not to come across as preachy.