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June 2016:

30.06.16

VANHELGD - TEMPLE OF PHOBOS

Vanhelgd - Temple Of Phobos Good!

Pulverised Records, 01.07.16
It's been two years since we last heard from these Swedish savages, then with their third album Relics of Sulphur.
It was a good album, but in my opinion, Vanhelgd has still gone ahead and outdone themselves this time.
Vanhelgd blends occult death metal with pitch black disgust and doomy hopelessness. The music is mighty, but full of grief and fury, as a lone regent who's eventually chased away everyone around him, and lost all his power. The bitterness and the mocking sight of that cursed disempowered throne escalates into a violent rage and aversion for everything and everyone.

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29.06.16

SHED THE SKIN - HARROWING FAITH

Shed The Skin - Harrowing Faith Good

Hells Headbangers, 24.06.16
The US Death Eaters are back after a teaser of forthcoming furore, some 18 months ago. The EP Rebirth Through Brimstone contained two good songs, but with a total playing time of about 8 minutes, I didn't consider it a great necessity.
The release was however a harbinger of a potentially lively clash of corpses.
When the guys now release their first album, they also meet the expectations to the fullest.


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28.06.16

ETERITUS - FOLLOWING THE ANCIENT PATH

Eteritus - Following The Ancient Path Good

Godz Ov War Productions, 26.06.16
If forced to guess, I would hesitatingly say Sweden, albeit the guitar sound doesn't really match.
Eteritus proves however to be a Polish quartet with one EP on their conscience.
Old school death metal is a genre that requires “the extra mile”; memorable riffs, exceptional guitar works, hypnotic groove or other barbed hooks.
Eteritus is almost there, showing very good promise with their debut.


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27.06.16

GJENDØD - GJENDØD (Demo)

Gjendød - Gjendød Quite Good

Hellthrasher, 24.06.16
Gjendød hails from Nidaros, and consists of two guys with relatively cryptic names. KK on drums and vocals, and K on all remaining instruments.

There's been a lot of killer releases from my birthplace in recent years, but I'm not entirely pleased with Gjendød quite yet. The potential, however, is present in full measure.

The band hereby presents four demo songs within a little over 20 minutes.

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26.06.16

VIOLENT SCUM - FESTERING IN ENDLESS DECAY (Demo)

Violent Scum - Festering in Endless Decay Good

Blood Harvest, 24.06.16
Chilean Violent Scum released this demo on 500 CDs in November, and it's now being released anew by Blood Harvest. In 150 copies.
On those passée strips of magnetic tape.
The demo proves to be very promising. The sound is more than approved, the format taken into consideration, and the men's demonic death metal is a joyful diabolic surprise.
The quintet have varying experience. (Including bassist SS from Uttertomb.)
In about 11 minutes, the vigorous men burns through three songs.


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26.06.16

HARROWER - REMEMBRANCE

Harrower - Remembrance Fairly Good

Harrower Music, 27.06.16
Harrower comes from New Paltz, a village in the Hudson Valley, about 80 miles (130 km) north of New York City and 70 miles (110 km) south of state capitol Albany. The band, named after the agricultural cultivator tool (think fine-calibre plow for even distribution of the soil), has been so kind to send over their debut album.
I feared from the outset that I wouldn't be able to be especially nice in return. The rating probably doesn't seem very uplifting, but never mind that. Read about what this is instead.

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26.06.16

LIGHT OF THE MORNING STAR - CEMETERY GLOW (EP)

Light of the Morning Star - Cemetery Glow Delightful

Iron Bonehead, 24.06.16
Based primarily on the name, I guessed nostalgia-fuelled doom. The cover art could hint at that sort too, although ominous tombstones in the nighttime eclipse could also indicated other musical directions.
Doomy eerie nonetheless, I was pretty damned wrong. There's no taste of 70s psychedelia nor any feeling of desert-dry stoner to be traced.
Based in London, rather unknown Light of the Morning Star brings three songs at about four minutes each. Songs that are easy to like, but a bit harder to define.

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25.06.16

FRONT - IRON OVERKILL

Front - Iron Overkill All right

Iron Bonehead, 24.06.16
Finnish Front, also known as FRΩNT, have only existed for a year, but the three members have decent experience.
Amongst other, everyone plays in exquisite Sacrilegious Impalement.
The style they literally reel of, is a garage version of black/death, with punkish reckless attitude and a home-made touch.
The music has its charm, but my level of excitement is a bit up and down.

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24.06.16

WAXEN - WEIHUNG AUF SATAN

Waxen - Weihung Auf Satan Weak

Moribund Records, 24.06.16
Now that we have alternated between “unavailable necro” and “commercial show-off”, I think we'll simply continue with that. This time in the shape of a single release.
Weihung Auf Satan opens with fairly necrotic orthodox black metal from the basement floor of the underground. We don't need specific examples. Just think of all the generic black metal discs where you only got one album by each band in your collection, an album you never pick out of the shelf. After the bloody crisp vocals having bruised your hearing within a short time, however, something a bit out of the ordinary happens.

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24.06.16

BE'LAKOR - VESSELS

Be'lakor - Vessels Very Good

Napalm Records, 24.06.16
From music with narrow attraction, to music with wide metallic appeal.

Melodic death metal, melodeath, can take many forms in terms of qualitative ebb and flow, but when it comes to the Australians in Be'lakor, the quality at every stage of the process is once again painstakingly taken care of.

Sadly, I haven't listened to the three previous albums nearly as much as I ought to. Alas, have me excused for not attempting a comparison.

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24.06.16

NEIGE ET NOIRCEUR - LES TÉNÈBRES MODERNES

Neige et Noirceur - Les Ténèbres Modernes Good

Sepulchral Productions, 24.06.16
It's interesting to see how Forteresse and Neige et Noirceur in 2016 have evolved in different directions, or at least chosen very deviate approaches to their Canadian black metal. Where the former opted for a red-hot homage to devil and fatherland, Neige et Noirceur has chosen the anti-conformist's path of highest resistance.
The only similarity is a warlike disposition.
Where Forteresse seems to wish an armed revolution welcome, Neige et Noirceur focus on an elder conflict, namely the Great War.

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24.06.16

FORTERESSE - THÈMES POUR LA RÉBELLION

Forteresse - Thèmes pour la Rébellion Very Good

Sepulchral Productions, 24.06.16
With a relatively small scene as the hard core of Québécois Métal de Noir, you risk certain periods of high activity. It's just been four months since Sorcier des Glaces saw their sixth offspring, North, leave the nest, and now both Forteresse and Neige et Noirceur are ready with their fifth albums.
Forteresse is unfortunately one of the bands I've lent my ear least to. At least it feels all the better to ascertain that they make a clean sweep with Thèmes pour la Rébellion.


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22.06.16

BLACK FUCKING CANCER - BLACK FUCKING CANCER

Black Fucking Cancer - Black Fucking Cancer Good

Osmose Productions, 24.06.16
The band from Bay Area, San Francisco, reels of a kind of frantic and atonal black metal of witch I struggled to get the complete hang of for a rather long time.

At places it was working like hell, whilst the music elsewhere seemed to fall through thoroughly.

The trio, all with links to Sentenced to Burn and Necrite, will soon release their first album.


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21.06.16

TERRA TENEBROSA - THE REVERSES

Terra Tenebrosa - The Reverses Fairly Good

Debemur Morti Productions, 17.06.16
In a bright green grove somewhere in Sweden, the drizzle has given in and let the sun's life-giving rays take over.

Under a sky dominated by a beautiful rainbow and a cosy, mild and magical lighting, we encounter a jovial figure that hands out candied apples and tells warm, edifying stories to all the children.



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21.06.16

WAYFARER - OLD SOULS

Wayfarer - Old Souls Middling

Prosthetic Records, 17.06.16
“Life is too short to write music that already exists”, says vocalist Shane McCarthy of Denver, Colorado based Wayfarer. However, I feel that I have heard corresponding similarities ad nauseam.

The band plays atmospheric metal in tinted landscapes, and thus you probably know roughly what to expect.


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19.06.16

GRAVE DESECRATOR - DUST TO LUST

Grave Desecrator - Dust to Lust Good

Underground Activists, 17.06.16
When, after my initial spin of Dust to Lust, I discover that Grave Desecrator hails from Brazil, I must admit that the thought hadn't even crossed my mind. This is pure and evil death metal with a frantic whiff of thrash. Ergo, what country the band originates from, makes no big difference in my opinion.
The primitive, barbaric savagery otherwise agree with the music, and moderate similarities with a young Sepultura can be traced with a bit of goodwill.


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18.06.16

BLUT AUS NORD & ÆVANGELIST - CODEX OBSCURA NOMINA (Split)

Blut Aus Nord & Ævangelist - Codex Obscura Nomina Middling

Debemur Morti Productions, 17.06.16

Music is always a matter of taste. Some times more than others.

When Blut Aus Nord and Ævangelist releases a split, it will also split the fans.

Both bands are in the experimental, avant-garde mood this time around.


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18.06.16

HELLEBORUS - THE CARNAL SABBATH

Helleborus - The Carnal Sabbath Semi-Good

Satanth Records & Black Plague Records, 17.06.16
When the brutal death metal band Execration moved from Colorado to Texas last year, the brothers Wyatt (vocals) and Jerred Houseman (instruments) grabbed the chance to fulfil an old dream of a new and different project.
They started Helleborus, a somewhat odd, eccentric and schizophrenic black metal band. Still, it's not the lads' first project on their own. They already have the Middle East-inspired black/death band Akhenaten. (Which I hope to return to some day.)


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17.06.16

SVARTELDER - PYRES

Svartelder - Pyres Killer

Dusktone, 01.06.16
Svartelder challenged nerves and peace of mind with one of last year's strongest EPs, Askebundet, and now the debut is ready for consumption.
Meanwhile, the members identities has been revealed confirmed.
Through 45 minutes Svartelder gives nourishment to insecurity, while they erase the distinction between the accepted, established truths, and the painful discomfort of reality.


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16.06.16

GROTESQUE CEREMONIUM - DEMONIC INQUISITION

Grotesque Ceremonium - Demonic Inquisition Middling/Good

Satanath Records & More Hate Prod., 15.06.16
This one-man band from Turkey is surprisingly good, especially with its powerful, thunderous sound.

Something that could be explained by Batu Çetin having many years of experience, as well as two other one-man bands in various adjacent genres.

The music is infuriated death metal with enough details to create sufficient friction between the ears, but not enough to stand out in particular.

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16.06.16

VULTURE - VICTIM TO THE BLADE (EP)

Vulture - Victim To The Blade Good

High Roller Records, 17.06.16
From Mausoleum Gate and '70s proto-metal, we venture on to Vulture and '80s proto-thrash.
The quartet from Germany delivers a fiery display of passion for early heavy, speed and thrash metal, performed with infectious enthusiasm.
The band recorded four songs intended as a demo and warm-up for forthcoming material, and released them on cassette in limited edition, but High Roller Records for obvious reasons enjoyed it so much they launched it on both CD and vinyl with new artwork.

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16.06.16

MAUSOLEUM GATE - METAL AND THE MIGHT (Single)

Mausoleum Gate - Metal And The Might Middling

Cruz Del Sur Music, 18.06.16
We are moving to the metal's outermost borderland here. These Finns play a kind of proto-metal naturally belonging in the '70s. The band debuted with a full-length last year and Metal Archives recognizes the Finns as Metal, more specifically heavy metal. I guess I'll have to do the same, although the vibes of heavy rock has an almost rich texture, much like smog that could be cut with a knife.
This 7" single has got two songs at about 4 and 6 minutes each.

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15.06.16

DEISIDAEMONIA - KHTHONIAN HYMNS

Deisidaemonia - Khthonian Hymns Very Good

Old Temple & Metal Throne Productions, 09.05.16
After an increasing number of visits to Deisidaemonia's tangled undergrowth of carnivorous creepers, a veritable jungle of exotic plants and wild and vital sounds, I was still unsure as to where on earth this black metal band was spawned.
Khthonian Hymns feels like a melting pot of various black metal expressions and sub-genres.
In retrospect, I realize that I probably should have put my money on the Hellenic empire, for after all, there is a lot here that points in that direction.

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14.06.16

KVALVAAG - MALUM

Kvalvaag - Malum Good

Dusktone, 01.06.16
Kvalvaag is a self-titled band, started by a gentleman from Oslo four years ago. The debut Noema was released a few years ago, and somewhere out there in the capital's murky underworld, there reportedly lurks an unreleased album titled Fomalhaut from the band's beginnings that can't withstand the light of day.

Whether Kvalvaag counts as a one-man band, a solo project or a complete dictatorship is not known.
That sort of terminological concept only constitutes a theoretical definition anyway.

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12.06.16

BAT - WINGS OF CHAINS

Bat - Wings of Chains Fairly Good

Hells Headbangers, 10.06.16
American Bat exhibited progress from demo to EP last year, and since I presented both band and style in connection with those, I'll just go ahead with Wings of Chains.
Without recalling the exact details of my Impression from May last year, I just pressed play and spun this debut without any prejudice. It didn't take long before vibes of Venom hit me. Lots of it also sounded suspiciously familiar.


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11.06.16

TOMBSTALKER - BLACK CRUSADES

Tombstalker - Black Crusades Fair enough

Shadow Kingdom, 03.06.16
Kentucky is probably best known for fried chicken, but there are of course also metal there. Both iron, copper, steel and aluminium, I'd reckon. Now there is also Tombstalker, a death metal band that debuts with Black Crusades.
The band has admittedly been around since 2008, and their debut was, it appears, first released last year.
With down-tuned vocals, abrasive grinder-guitars, jackhammer-bass and nail-gun as percussion, the guys are ready to build their own mausoleum.

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11.06.16

ARCHAIC DECAPITATOR - LIGHT OF A DIFFERENT SUN (EP)

Archaic Decapitator - Light of a Different Sun Alright

Independent, 07.06.16
Recently, two versions of wonderful cover art has ornamented rather lamentable content. The illustration that gives Light of a Different Sun a visual identity, doesn't arouse curiosity in the same way, but the music that reveals itself has some appealing qualities.
The band comes from Connecticut, USA, and has recently undergone some changes in the line-up, without us getting in to the details here.
The band has been around since 2007 and have demo, album and EP behind them. One of each.

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09.06.16

ADX - NON SERVIAM

ADX - Non Serviam generic

Independent, 10.06.16
French ADX have a long history, but also a turbulent past. The band started in 1982, but gave up after ten years. A brief reunion came at the end of the nineties, before the band was again put on ice. Finally, ten years ago, the guys had their renaissance, and the activity has been on top since.
Non Serviam is the tenth album from ADX, short for acier doux, or mild steel in English. An iron alloy with low amount of carbon that as far as I've understood has largely replaced wrought iron.

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08.06.16

MIST OF MISERY - TEMPLE OF STILLED VOICES (EP)

Mist Of Misery - Temple Of Stilled Voices under par

Black Lion Productions, 25.04.16
Where riff-based band within some traditional genres sometimes requires solid songs to stand out, there are those who have an extra weapon to turn to; atmospheres.
Meet Mist Of Misery, a band from Stockholm who commit gene splicing of symphonic and depressive black metal.
The EP Temple Of Stilled Voices was originally released in 2014, but has now been offered improved distribution via Black Lion Productions.

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08.06.16

PRISONER OF WAR - ROT (EP)

Prisoner of War - Rot Okay

Iron Bonehead Productions, 02.05.16
After Nervosa's razor sharp thrash riffs, the dirty death-thrashers from New Zealand occur as soaked in mud.
Hefty and good drumming shines clearly through the tangled vines and the thick mud that drapes the dirty strings, while the vocal bobs and gurgles in the surface.
This trio is in the starting blocks, and it's by no means a bad start we're exposed to.


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07.06.16

NERVOSA - AGONY

Nervosa - Agony Quite Good

Napalm Records, 03.06.16
Nervosa, Portuguese for nervous women, is a female thrash trio from São Paulo, Brazil.
The ladies are out with their sophomore album these days.
When Brazilian thrash is on the menu, especially from said city, it's hard to avoid comparison to Sepultura, but those shoes are difficult to fill, something other bands in the same genre and country shouldn't have to be punished for.


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06.06.16

HEXHORN - WAKING OF DEATH

HexHorn - Waking of Death Fairly Good

Via Nocturna, 07.06.16
HexHorn has existed as an idea for a long time, but these thoughts weren't concretized until 2014.

The band members to a great degree comes from the band Hegeroth, who plays a melodic, semi-symphonic form of black metal. Here they vent their need for crushing and destruction through gruelling angry death/thrash.


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06.06.16

THE DROWNING - SENESCENT SIGNS

The Drowning - Senescent Signs Quite Good

Casket Music, 03.06.16
I've been checking out most of what British The Drowning has released, but I could ask myself why. The band has been plagued with a slightly amateurish feel since its inception in 2003.
Behind often simple covers, which may have prevented some curiosity, death/doom of varying quality has hid, with fairly flat, lifeless and under-produced sound. Putting a damper on the eagerness to absorb and explore hidden details.
After a five-year hiatus, steadfast The Drowning are back with their perhaps strongest album to date.

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05.06.16

MORTHUS - OVER THE DYING STARS

Morthus - Over the Dying Stars Fairly Good

Witching Hour Productions, 03.06.16
Fuck, Satan, bloody hell, fuck! I've crafted my entire draft based on Morthus being the same band that released the EP Into Oblivion in 2014, but then it turns out that the EP was released by German Morthus, while this is the debut of Polish Morthus, who also released an EP in 2014.
That's what I get for listening, making up my mind and writing a my script before doing any research. The hell if I bother to rewrite absolutely everything. The Poles must therefore tolerate being compared to the Germans.


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05.06.16

LUCIFER'S HAMMER - BEYOND THE OMENS

Lucifer's Hammer - Beyond the Omens Somewhat Good

Shadow Kingdom, 03.06.16
At first glance, I thought the cover depicted a vampiric slut who attempted some necromantic hanky panky, but upon closer inspection it most likely turns out to be a newly widow who haven't yet come to terms with her valiant warrior having passed on.
That's how wrong a first impression can be.
After being formed and recording a demo in 2013, Beyond the Omens is the first album from the Chilean quartet Lucifer's Hammer. The men swear by heavy metal as the genre appeared during the first half of the eighties.

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05.06.16

EYESTRAL - BEWARE THE RAT KING (EP)

Eyestral - Beware The Rat King Bra

Independent, 15.02.16
Who would have thought that I would end up hearing Beware The Rat King so many times after initially having gained an aversion for singer Ant Majora, who sing just so warped that it sounds as if the rat on the cover has manifested and taken over the microphone.
The music of these French prog-thrashers still had something that needed a more thorough investigation.
Hell knows why they choose to call an album with seven tracks and over 40 minutes of playing-time EP.


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04.06.16

CANDLEMASS - DEATH THY LOVER (EP)

Candlemass - Death Thy Lover Fairly Good

Napalm Records, 03.06.16
It's been 30 years since one of doom metal's real classics, Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, saw the ill-fated light of day. This is being marked by the EP Death Thy Lover and the advertisement of Mats Levén as a full-time singer.
Regular readers will know that doom ain't my favoured cup of viscous fluid, as reflected by my rather lukewarm grade, but it should be said that I at least believe that a quality bands like Candlemass deserves respect.

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03.06.16

DRUDKH / HADES ALMIGHTY - ONE WHO TALKS WITH THE FOG / PYRE ERA, BLACK!

Drudkh - One who Talks With The Fog Good

Dark Essence Rec. & Underground Activists, 03.06.16
Norwegian Hades Almighty released the EP Pyre Era, Black! last year, the first sign of life since 2001.

It's not quite that long since Drudkh last released new material. The album A Furrow Cut Short was duly covered by yours truly a year ago.
Drudkh has decided to release new material in the form of a series of split-releases, and now they share the first two songs with their surroundings. Both lasts for about on nine minutes each.

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02.06.16

MURDRYCK - ANTOLOGI MMXV

Murdryck - Antologi MMXV Good

Black Lion Productions, 16.04.16
The title almost suggests that this is a form of compilation released in 2015, but most albums are collections of various shorter works with a musical leitmotif, and as such; anthologies. Antologi MMXV is the band's second album, released digitally in mid-February, and released on CD a few months later.
The band's first album came out in 1999(!), the same year as the band started up. At that time blackened dark ambient was supposedly on the agenda.
Gradually, the band disappeared from the radar all together...

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02.06.16 We interrupt this program to bring a brief message that a preview of Harm's new album October Fire is finally available. Recommended for thrash-sodomites all over.
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02.06.16

SEEMING EMPTINESS - HEAVY RAIN

Seeming Emptiness - Heavy Rain Fairly Good

Rain Without End Records, 28.05.16
When I discover or buy albums from two bands at the same time, especially when similarities exist, my mental associations sometimes intersect slightly. I'm probably not the only one with a somewhat bungling mind, ending up mistaking one band or album with another.
A few days ago, we discussed Heaven Grey, located in a completely different musical landscapes, but every time the name has appeared, it's the cover of Heavy Rain that has popped up on my mental canvas...

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01.06.16

ENLIGHTEN - ILLVMANTITHESIS (EP)

Enlighten - Illvmantithesis Weak

Signal Rex, 03.06.16
Portuguese Enlighten's first EP (practically a demo) didn't get a good reception at this site.
Phösphorvs Paramovnt was a jarring hubbub, where only the outro passed (almost) unharmed through my needle's eye.
The duo is back with a new EP, and we'll give 'em a second chance.
Illvmantithesis offers a stylish cover, fronting two tracks totalling 11 minutes.


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01.06.16

BEHEXEN - THE POISONOUS PATH

Behexen - The Poisonous Path Very Good

Debemur Morti Productions, 27.05.16
Finnish Behexen was founded under the name Lords of the Left Hand in 1994, but has now ravaged under their current moniker for 20 years. Vocalist Hoath Torog and drummer Horns has been the band's steadfast backbone, while guitarists (and partly bassists) has come and gone since co-founder Reaper withdrew in 2009.
The band has, until now, consisted of roughly the same line-up as Sargeist, but earlier this year, both Torog and Horns (and the bassist) pulled out, but that's another story.


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