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Reviews Week 19 - 2017



Apocalypse Orchestra – The End is Nigh Dice 5

Despotz Records, 12.05.17
From Finland we move to Sweden. The quintet Apocalypse Orchestra from Gävle has spent four years refining the details and perfecting their melodic metal. A form of metal whose distinctive character nevertheless can't be categorized in the blink of an eye. The band welds initially separate genres together into a signature-strong hybrid alloy.

Fans of folk, viking, doom, death/doom, funeral, symphonic, medieval and atmospheric metal will all find something to enjoy on The End is Nigh!

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Ajattara - Lupaus Dice 4

Svart Records, 12.05.17
We remain in Suomi Perkele's dark forests. Ajattara is another veteran of Finland's black metal scene, but has a slightly different expression that differs somewhat from the most orthodox. The band started early in the latter half of the nineties, and debuted a great deal later than Barathrum. The lovely dark and atmospheric debut Itse (2001) was also my first encounter with them.
The sequel Kuolema (2003) was about as good, while the third album ironically became rather boring simply because it gnawed on the same bone without any sign of development. After that I fell off the Ajattara-train.

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Barathrum - Fanatiko Dice 3

Saturnal Records, 28.04.17
After 12 years of hibernation, Finnish Barathrum is back with their bass-heavy black/doom'n'roll. Or something. The band was among Finnish black metal's pioneers, and became notable for their use of two bass guitars in the early nineties. Almost unheard of in a time where occasional Norwegians became renown for absolute absence of bass.
I don't know Barathrum profoundly. I picked up the album Okkult (2000) in a second hand store a few years after the release, but it was never played to death. Otherwise, I'm just left with a few impressions.

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Dodecahedron - kwintessens Dice 5

SOM - Underground Activists, 17.03.17
Dodecahedron returned with their sophomore album a couple of months ago, but the shitty inherent abhorrence of reality has a tendency of putting a spoke in the wheel, while the gears of time hastily crunches forward, pulverizing the present into memorabilia and vague memories.
Ulsect made me realize that time was overripe to brush the cobweb of this ticket to obscure portals.
The press letter refers to Dodecahedron's expression as extreme dark metal. Just as well, for the band moves in a spiritual level that transcends conventional black metal.



Ulsect - Ulsect Terningkast 5

SOM - Underground Activists, 12.05.17
Ulsect is a new ensemble from Tilburg in the Netherlands, the same city as Dodecahedron. Parts of the quintet also come from that non-euclidean entity, with both their drummer and guitarist on the team. Something that has largely rubbed off onto Ulsect.
The contagious effect makes the band's post-death become anything but monotonous. It is rather in constant dynamic and kaleidoscopic motion, with dissonant textures as basic expression.
The fabric the band's music is woven off is not earthly.
It seems to have come to them in their dreams.

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Assault - The Fallen Reich Dice 4

Transcending Obscurity Asia, 10.05.17
I rarely take the time to listen intensely to an album just after receiving the promo, but The Fallen Reich from rather obscure Assault was such an instant positive surprise that I immediately heard it three times in a row.
It seems that The Fallen Reich is released as a full-length, but with sparsely 22 minutes of music, the six songs could just as well have been presented as an EP.
The album ain't spotless, but it's still as damn fireworks of thrashing death with malicious attitude and heinous intentions.

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Hate - Tremendum Dice 5

Napalm Records, 05.05.17
When Polish Hate has now released their tenth disc, I can brag of having heard half of them. Where Anaclasis: A Haunting Gospel of Malice & Hatred (2005) and Erebos (2010) consisted of regular death metal in line with Krisiun and Belphegor, the band struck at the heart of my immune system with more juicy Behemoth-inspired dark, mighty and gloomy death metal on Solarflesh: A Gospel of Radiant Divinity (2013).
Crusade:Zero (2015), on the other hand, became a slight disappointment, although isolated, it was good enough to hoard four points.

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