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February 2016:

29.02.16

MIGHTIEST - SINISTERRA

Mightiest - SinisTerra Good

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.


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29.02.16

SELBST - AN OMINOUS LANDSCAPE (EP)

Selbst - An Ominous Landscape Very Good

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.)

piggtråd
28.02.16

WHEN NOTHING REMAINS - IN MEMORIAM

When Nothing Remains - In Memoriam Good

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.


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28.02.16

RAFF SANGIORGIO - REBIRTH

Raff Sangiorgio - Rebirth Good

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.


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27.02.16

FROZEN OCEAN – THE PROWESS OF DORMITION (EP)

Frozen Ocean – The Prowess of Dormition Good

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.


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27.02.16

COFFINS / ILSA - SPLIT

Coffins / Ilsa - Split Quite Good

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.


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27.02.16

ORANSSI PAZUZU - VÄRÄHTELIJÄ

Oranssi Pazuzu - Värähtelijä Good

Svart Records & 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.


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26.02.16

PROTECTOR - CURSED AND CORONATED

Protector - Cursed And Coronated Quite Good

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.


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26.02.16

ALTARAGE - NIHL

Altarage - NIHL Middling

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.


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26.02.16

TEMISTO - TEMISTO

Temisto - Temisto Superb

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.


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25.02.16

ROGASH - MALEVOLENCE

Rogash - Malevolence Weak

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.

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25.02.16

DESTRÖYER 666 - WILDFIRE

Deströyer 666 - Wildfire Good

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.

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24.02.16

MAZE OF TERROR - READY TO KILL

Maze Of Terror - Ready To Kill Good

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.


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24.02.16

NOCTURNAL GRAVES - LEAD US TO THE ENDLESS FIRE/SHARPEN THE KNIVES (EP)

Nocturnal Graves - Lead Us To The Endless Fire/Sharpen The Knives Superb

Independent, 02.02.16
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.

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23.02.16

DIVINE REALM - TECTUM ARGENTI

Divine Realm - Tectum Argenti Good

Independent, 23.02.16
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.


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23.02.16

GOATCRAFT - OLETHROS (EP)

Goatcraft - Olethros Above Middling

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 title Όλεθρος.
The guys play obscure and profane black/death of the slightly tumulting kind, which in turn alternates with short, ambient interludes.


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23.02.16

ASPHODELUS - DYING BEAUTY & THE SILENT SKY (EP)

Asphodelus - Dying Beauty & the Silent Sky Good

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.


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22.02.16

DIMLIGHT - THE LOST CHAPTER

Dimlight - The Lost Chapter Good

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.


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22.02.16

VARGAFROST - HONOUR, BLOOD, SPIRIT AND LOVE

Vargafrost - Honour, Blood, Spirit and Love Good

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.


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17.02.16

CHARM DESIGNER - EVERLASTING

Charm Designer - Everlasting Good

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 named Diego.


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16.02.16

HEMELBESTORMER - AETHER

Hemelbestormer - Aether Above Middling

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.


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16.02.16

MIND AFFLICTION - INTO THE VOID

Mind Affliction - Into The Void Quite Good

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.


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14.02.16

BARBARIC HORDE - GASMASK PERPETRATORS

Barbaric Horde - Gasmask Perpetrators Bad

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.


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13.02.16

THE BURNING DOGMA - NO SHORES OF HOPE

The Burning Dogma - No Shores Of Hope Very Good

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.


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09.02.16

CAMEL OF DOOM - TERRESTRIAL

Camel Of Doom - Terrestrial Quite Good

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.

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09.02.16

BARÚS - BARÚS (EP)

Barús - Barús Very Good

Emanations, 29.01.16
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.

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09.02.16

MY SILENT WAKE - AN UNBROKEN THRENODY (2005 - 2015) (Compilation)

My Silent Wake - An Unbroken Threnody Good

Stone Groove Records, 08.02.16
British My Silent Wake, whose newest album Damnatio Memoriae was presented about a month ago, marks ten years in the service of death/doom, by launching a compilation to summarize the story so far.

With your purchase, you'll get a bonus consisting of nearly two additional hours of music.


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07.02.16

SEPTAGON - DEADHEAD SYNDICATE

Septagon - Deadhead Syndicate Good

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.


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07.02.16

ALUK TODOLO - VOIX

Aluk Todolo - Voix Middling

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.


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05.02.16

OCERCO - A DESOLAÇÃO (EP)

Ocerco - A Desolação Middling

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.



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04.02.16

RAVENSIRE - THE CYCLE GOES ON

Ravensire - The Cycle Goes On Good

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.

piggtråd
04.02.16

PRIMEVAL MASS - TO EMPYREAN THRONES

Primeval Mass - To Empyrean Thrones Good

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.


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02.02.16

OSTOTS - HIL ARGI

Ostots - Hil Argi Weak

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, this IA.

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02.02.16

VANAD VARJUD - DISMAL GRANDEUR IN NOCTURNAL AURA

Vanad Varjud - Dismal Grandeur In Nocturnal Aura Very Good

Symbol Of Domination, 30.01.16
Vanad Varjud is a black metal trio from Estonia.

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.


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01.02.16

JUSTICE THEORY - NECESSARY EVIL (Single)

Justice Theory - Necessary Evil Good

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 in February?
Truth be told, I had actually forgotten about this release. Fortunately, I keep a list, just as he who sees you when you're sleeping.
There are many retro-thrash band out there, but when you hear Justice Theory, you realize that others often miss some vital ingredient.


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