Sunday, 27 November 2011

REPUGNANT - Epitome of Darkness


REPUGNANT - Epitome of Darkness (SOULSELLER Records - LP 2006)
I don't think there were that many new bands and albums, which came out in new millennium of 2000's that made such a big impact on the death metal scene as Repugnant's "Epitome of Darkness" did. Sincerely I think this band and album, together with Daniel Ekeroth's "Swedish death metal" book is responsible for influencing a bunch of youngsters to play this obscure style with passion and style, which haven't been seen since the early 90's! Repugnant and "Epitome of Darkness" probably also directed them to take the image of cult horror movie freaks, with all the empty tombs, zombies and stench of cadaver around it, by writing some cool, horror lyrics and using an adequate front covers (best are hand painted, not a photoshop shit and which include as many corpses and graveyard crosses as possible, as well as some guts and other disgusts). And let's not forget about dressing up in the old school death metal way, possibly with some corpse paint. Arghh, but I'm not going to complain on that - Repugnant did show how a real death metal should sound and look like and if it provoked many youngsters to form their own zombie crews, then why not? I think this band did something not many wanted to do at the time and this is why I praise them! And I they have some followers, then personally I can only be happy about it, as I love such style.

And "Epitome of Darkness"... Well, I absolutely loved "Hecatomb" EP, which to this day belongs to my favourite death metal releases of all time. But I've waited for a full length impatiently also, hoping to get smashed with a bigger dose of morbid death metal. The album has been recorded already back in 2002 and I have no idea why, but it took them four or five year to release it! What a blasphemy - which pisses me off even more because at the time of the actual release of the album Repugnant has already split up! Anyway, I managed to get the vinyl copy as soon as it was released, wonderfully released with two fuckin' huge posters and great layout!

Music wise this is old school and traditional to the bone death metal with a slight thrashing influence of the 80's / early 90's. If you exhume old albums such as "Seven Churches", "Hell Awaits", "Left Hand Path" (as well as Nihillist demos!), "The Awakening", "Endless Pain", "Horrified", "Scream Bloody Gore" or "Severed Survival" and mix them up, then you may get a picture of how does these morbid tunes sound like. I'm telling you, it's amazing. Already the 100% analogue production brings the chills, it's so raw, energetic, warm, but at times it's noisy and slightly chaotic, but it's not the usual death metal sound, especially if you listen to the guitar leads, as some of them almost sounds like they have been taken from the 70's rock albums (sound wise). And if you add some punk primitiveness to it, then you won't be mistaken, really! Here's one thought though - I actually like "Hecatomb" production more, I find it as more aggressive and vicious.

The songs that complete "Epitome of Darkness" will catch your attention straight away! If not due to great riffs or the whole morbid and obscure feeling, then maybe due to some fine, catchy choruses when - I bet - you'll scream from your lungs all those lyrics like "Nosferatu, inside of you", "voices of the dead, chanting inside your head" or "eating from the coffin, eating from the grave" or whichever else, as basically each song has some old school hooks! They're going to catch your attention and stay in your head, possessing your mind until you get mad and start to dismember some corpses. I love the riffs and some songs are true fuckin masterpieces, in my opinion. "Hungry Are the Damned", "Premature Burial", "Voices of the Dead", "From Beyond the Grave" or "Eating From a Coffin" are possibly the best tracks on the album – notice though that I actually listed half of the whole tracklist, but that doesn't mean the other half is much worse, no! There's also such slab as Morbid cover ("Another Vision") and "Spawn of Pure Malevolence" from the first demo... Probably "Mutilated Remains" is the least interesting song on the album, but that's maybe because I like the version of it from "Draped in Cerecloth" demo more.

To resume then – here’s an album, which has great obscure, evil and dark feeling which is infectious. At some parts it's mercilessly fast and relentless, and sometimes it's slower, more mid paced, even with some melodic guitar leads... Those guys did compose some blasting songs and the vocals of Mary Goore are perfect, on the edge of black metal screams almost, but fitting the dirty style of Repugant just perfectly. I love it. I just have no idea why didn’t it get the proper recognition straight away on the day of its release and why did Repugnant have to split up? It’s just fuckin’ shame they didn’t go with the blast and didn’t do something more with it. The only positive aspect of it is that I can listen to the vinyl at any time… and if you didn’t get it at the time of its release, then you may easily buy the repress on the picture LP, although it hasn’t got the posters. Anyway, these zombies are fuckin’ cool.
Standout tracks: "Hungry Are the Damned", "Premature Burial", "Voices of the Dead", "From Beyond the Grave" or "Eating From a Coffin"
Final rate: 95 / 100

Sunday, 20 November 2011

GRAVEYARD - The Altar Of Sculpted Skull


GRAVEYARD - The Altar Of Sculpted Skull (DOOMENTIA - 12"MLP) 
Last month I've found out that Dismember, after 20 years of their death metal crusade, has split up. I'm not going to hide the fact that they're one of my favourite bands ever and that I worship every album they've done - whether we speak about "Like an Ever Flowing Stream", "Massive Killing Capacity", "Hate Campaign" or whatever. They’re all killer. So, these were some fuckin' sad news (at the same time I kind of expected it to happen since Fred Estby left). These news would be even more fucked up, if it wasn't for the fact that Dismember has inspired so many other bands and there's the new generation of old school death metal acts, some of which carry on the crusade in almost equally successful way. Of course a copy will never be as good and exciting as original, but they can always try and work hard to get some killer recordings. Graveyard belongs to the group of bands which are most promising, no doubt. Their debut CD, "One with the Dead" was pure Swedish inspired death metal insanity and I liked it a lot. And what we have here is "The Altar Of Sculpted Skull", 12"EP, with a collection of few songs and some older ones, re-recorded for this release. Doomentia Records as always did a great job with their release, the layout looks cool, but sadly there's no insert card with the lyrics, etc, which is a disappointment. Also I do hope "The Altar Of Sculpted Skull" will remain as the vinyl ONLY release, as it would make it more unique.
Anyway, the music kills. There are six songs of traditional death metal in the Swedish vein and that should be enough for the whole description of this EP. If you're a fan of "Like an Ever Flowing Stream", "Clandestine" and "Dark Recollections", then "The Altar Of Sculpted Skull" will speak to you in the language you understand. The music is damn vicious and obscure, 666% in the classic style, without any modern influences, so also the production is filthy and raw. The first song, title one, is probably my favourite one, it's relatively fast and energetic, with some cool melodic riffs and in overall it could easily been taken from "Indecent & Obscene", if you didn't know. But every song here is great, not just that one... "An Epitaph Written In Blood" is almost equally shredding and "Cult of the Shadows" is an instrumental, based on some cool guitar leads and slow, hypnotizing riffs. Re-recorded "Howl of the Black Death" (originally featured on "Into the Mausoleum" EP) is another standout track, which will crush your skull and make some serious damage. When "Deathcrowned" started I had a small objection about its sound, as it has changed from the previous two tracks (for worse I think); this song was recorded during different recording session, but you can quickly use to it. By the way, I'm quite amazed how well does Graveyard manage to imitate the Stockholm's sound. The guitars sound just like from the Sunlight, which is great if you like it. One may moan whether there's any point in copying other band's style and sound so much, and if there's any sign of originality in bands like Graveyard. Well, I don't care, they may not be original, but at least they play killer music, which I always liked and was my favourite and have some awesome riffs. And if they do it well, then there's no problem. And trust me, Graveyard is fuckin great band and "The Altar Of Sculpted Skull" is fuckin superb EP.
Standout tracks: "The Altar Of Sculpted Skull", "Howl of the Black Death"
Final rate: 90 / 100

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Gorephilia - In Death

Gorephilia - In Death (demo CDR 2010)
I bought this demo CDr without any knowledge about the band, simply due to the fact they're Finnish and supposedly play old school death metal. So I gave them a chance and can say now that I definitely don't regret paying for this demo and spending some time listening to it, as for sure it's one of the most solid and brutal bands I've heard recently. Good purchase it was and cool, limited item that joined my collection.

There are just three songs here, which may not be that much, but the amount of energy and aggression they bring is enough for me to fully enjoy "In Death". Each track is like a fuckin bulldozer, destroying everything it finds on its way, leaving only the ruins behind. I must say that I expected some sort of traditional Finnish death metal, inspired by this country's legendary acts like Disgrace, Demilich, Funebre or Demigod. And maybe there are some similarities to them - especially in the dark, eerie atmosphere, but the biggest similarity of Gorephilia's music is to Incantation I think and also Dead Congregation, with few resemblances to Immolation, Goreaphobia, early Vital Remains and Morbid Angel. And yes, Gorephilia is not the most groundbreaking band ever; their music is pretty much typical for this style of massive, mostly mid paced and damn brutal and dark death metal, with guttural vocals and slaughtering riffs. But the truth is that personally I think all three songs from "In Death" are more than just solid and far from being mediocre. Those Finns have picked up some killer riffs, composed them into solid structures and so in the end we get great demo, which puts a great foundation for the future. I like "Planet Size Mass Grave" especially, this song has everything, from fast riffings and almost doomy, heavy stuff to one melodic, almost Swedish sounding part. And the lyric: "All life has ceased to exist upon the earth. A planet-sized mass grave for the human race" is more than intriguing. Shit, this is why I like this demo a lot. Keep an eye on Gorephillia and make sure you get this demo straight away! Support!
Final rate: 85 / 100

Bastard Priest - Ghouls of the Eternal Night


Bastard Priest - Ghouls of the Eternal Night (Blood Harvest - LP 2011)
Finally!!!!!!!! Man, I've been waiting for this record to come for few months, probably since I saw its amazing front artwork for the first time. I must be honest with you and say that this is one of my favourite front covers EVER, one, which not only looks amazing (on vinyl especially!), but also which fits and kind of describes the music perfectly. Of course also the fact that I liked the previous LP "Under the Hammer of Destruction" so much was another reason for me to get this record as soon as I see it available... You should never judge the book by its cover, but here I was pretty much certain about what kind of music will this album deliver. And for the killer front artwork Bastards get an extra 20 points straight away, anyway.
Bastard Priest of course keeps exhuming the corpse of Swedish old school death metal, digging it out from the most filthy and forgotten tombs. Their passion for this style is undeniable and you can hear it in every sound of this record. It's influenced directly by Entombed, Nihilist, Grotesque, Merciless, Treblinka, as well as the American legends like Autopsy, Death and Repulsion. And all that is served with the huge dose of punk - in the end we get something very similar to some other currently shredding bands: Death Breath and Bombs of Hades. Don't be surprised to hear some of the filthiest, most obscure, morbid and possessed sounds ever! What I love about this music - and particular album - especially is that you can really make a connection of it with the zombie horror movies. While listening to it, you just see the hordes of the rotten bodies walking slowly in eternal hunger for human flesh! You just see the poisonous liquids running from their mouths and smell the pungent odour. You can feel the fear of living people, running away from the corpses. Songs are of course composed by very simple riffs, some structures are very basic and go back to the roots of not only death metal, but punk also, if you listen to such tracks as "Enter Eternal Nightmare"... This song is a classic example for Bastard Priest style and maybe it's not my favourite track by them, but it needs to be mentioned maybe for its great melodic guitar lead somewhere in the middle part. If I was about to mention my real favourites from the album, it would definitely be "Pestilent Force" - which is just like the title says, just a great dose of morbid energy, with some thrashing riffs and a cool, catchy chorus. Then there's "Poison" - I love this song for its doomy riffing, very slow and dark, almost like something horrid was crawling out from the pits of the grave. Just scream "POISSOOOONNN!!!!" and feel the passion! "Sacrilegious Ground" is much faster, with the drums pounding like the hammers of destruction and with some of the most killer riffs on the album - especially when the Bastards slow down a bit in this song! And if you like to get smashed by some rot'n'roll, then "Last Scream" will be perfect for you!
In the end there's nothing really wrong I could say about Bastard Priest. OK, this may not be the most innovative or aggressive death metal band ever, to some point this music may disappoint the fans of most brutal music, who will probably say it's just too filthy punk, nothing more. Yes, this music is deeply rooted in punk, it's also very simple in its structure and the riffs, but that's the charm of it. Personally I can say that there's something unique in Bastard Priest, something special that makes me like this band so much. It's the same feeling when I listen to other bands I've mentioned here, Death Breath and Bombs of Hades, who play very similar death metal to the Bastards. In the end I cannot even say if "Ghouls of the Eternal Night" is better album than "Under the Hammer of Destruction" or not, I think they may be just equally good. Find out yourself whether you like it or not. If not, then you can at least admire the front artwork. Also I must say that to listen to this music on mp3 would be fuckin sacrilege. No other format but vinyl fits such obscure music well.
Standout tracks: "Pestilent Force", "Poison"
Final rate: 85 / 100

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Tormented / Bombs of Hades split


Tormented / Bombs of Hades - Split 10"MLP (WAR ANTHEM Records)
Well, I must say I really like the fact that the idea of split releases has really came back for good into the metal underground and so many split EPs, or MLPs, or tapes have been released recently and for sure there are plenty more to come. It's just cool to get two or more bands, which play some of your favourite sounds and deliver exclusive songs, maybe some cover tunes or anything... And this split of two Swedish hordes, Tormented and Bombs of Hades, surely belongs to the most destructive ones in my personal rankings. There are two great old school death metal bands and each delivers a cover plus an own track, so in the end these are some mothefucking killer 14 minutes of music, released as a 10"MLP, with the artwork looking like an old horror movie poster (similar to Blood Mortized's "Bestial" EP tape).
Of the two, Bombs of Hades is the band I like more. Their style and way of playing simple, slightly punked Swedish death metal meets Autopsy and Death is just excellent and the debut LP "Chambers Of Abominations" belongs to my favourite albums of the recent years. And here Bombs of Hades - which I must remind you includes Jonas Stalhammar in the ranks - offers one of their most killer songs, "Ice Cold Grave". Amazing track, very aggressive, but also catchy, with some classic riffs. Really, really cool thing. The cover Bombs of Hades did is Loud Pipes' "Clean Your Head" and it's just a 1:33 short punk track, only played in the death metal way. Sounds cool, but I have no idea about the original. Also, I must say I really like the production this side of the split has.
But Tormented is also a good band, their debut LP "Rotten Death" is worth your attention. This band features Roberth Karlsson from Facebreaker, another band I worship and Andreas "Dread" Axelsson, who used to play in some other cult acts, like Edge of Sanity, Incapacity and Marduk. "Repulsion Fix" is the first song Tormented offers and all I can say about this track is that it's nothing more, nothing less, but a pure Swedish death metal anthem, played in the classic way of Entombed and Dismember, with the haunting atmosphere, eerie melodies and with passionate, wonderful aggression. This is great song, really, even though it doesn't offer anything over the well known patterns, that were created long time ago and were played countless times by countless bands... But who gives a shit, if the music kicks ass? For the dessert we get Kreator's "Tormentor" cover and I'm more than happy to get tormented with those excellent tunes. Mind though that the production here is more filthy and isn’t as brutal as the one on the Bombs of Hades side, but it’s still good anyway.
Final rate: 85 / 100

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Nachzehrer interview

I'n not gonna bore you with a long introduction to this interview... Let me just remind you how much I liked the demo from NACHZEHRER - read the review on this blog somewhere - after which i quickly contacted the band to arrange this interview. Here's it is. About horror, black metal and few other things...

1.I would like to start this interview asking you about the band’s moniker… After some research, I’ve found out that nachzehrer is a word taken from German myths and according to the folklore in Bavaria (but also in Poland’s Kaszuby) it’s a vampiric creature, one which doesn’t suck blood though, but feeds on already dead bodies. Man, what a cool name for the band! How have you chosen it? If you looked for obscure meanings, then I think your choice if perfect! I was wondering once, if legends about such creatures have any relation to the actual events from the past… do you think that nachzehrer legend was based on some real stories?
Czarnobóg: Yeah, the "Nachzehrer" comes from Germanic folklore, but in New England, the region where we're from, there was also a belief in similar vampiric forms (in the 1700/1800's at times of disease outbreak). We thought the name was a good fit for us. It’s interesting that most cultures have some form of 'vampire' archetype in their legends and folklore, even going back to ancient times. Real or not it is a collective expression of the darker parts of human psyche that is as old as recorded history.

2. Vampires are subject of new Hollywood trend, one which I must say I hate a lot. All this teenage shit that movies like “Twilight” made popular is just fuckin’ crap and personally I can’t stand it and it only makes me vomit. What do you think about this or even better, about people who – after watching such movies – start to behave and dress like their movie heroes? Which vampiric characters in the literature or movies, you find as most influential and interesting? Don’t you think there won’t be more creepy character than Murnau’s Nosferatu?
Hräsvelgr:  Nosferatu is the quintessential vampire movie. Where do you go from there? Max Schreck’s character, Count Orlok, is amazing. To be honest, outside of this one movie, I’ve never been much into vampires. So, while I agree that movies and books like “Twilight” may be annoying it really doesn’t bother me that much I never really cared about it in the first place.

3. A. Sz. La Vey wrote (in his Bible) about the psychic vampire, which is a person or being who claims to feed off the "life force" of other living creatures. What do you think about such theory? I personally think this is truly interesting concept.
Czarnobóg: I watched a documentary awhile back where they did supposedly find a change in heat patterns and electromagnetic fields generated by the human body in response to so-called 'psychic vampirism' so who knows, maybe there is something to it? It is an interesting concept but I personally think that most people are just really fucking draining to be around in general, nothing supernatural about it.

4. Boston as a city has nice connection to the classic horrors, this is where Edgar Allan Poe was born, but also the action of many of Lovecraft’s and Stephen King’s books are taking place in Boston. Tell me, are you horror fans and which do you prefer – books or movies? Which are your favorites?
Hräsvelgr: Boston has a great history when it comes to horror, but New England as a whole is much more interesting. We are lucky enough to live in an area that was once ripe with superstition and strange happenings. There is an excellent blog that is constantly updated with tons of interesting folklore from the area. I highly suggest that anybody interested checks it out: http://newenglandfolklore.blogspot.com As an avid horror fan, I take about as much as I can get, books, comics (the CREEPY and EERIE comics are a personal favorite of mine). I have an extensive library of DVD and VHS horror flicks (over 1,200 in all, and I’m constantly adding to the collection).  I’m really big into exploitation and revenge films. If you haven’t seen Christina Lindberg in “Thriller: A Cruel Motion Picture”, I suggest you do so now.  I also love the Italian giallo films from the 1970’s, “Don’t Torture a Duckling”, “Black Belly of the Tarantula” and “Twitch of the Death Nerve”.

5. OK, let’s talk about NACHZEHRER finally. The band was formed only recently in 2009, but you already have two materials recorded. Tell me, is “Black Thrash Ritual” demo equally good and extreme as “Pestilence Hungers in the Shadows”? Because I’ve never heard about your band earlier, tell me how have you promoted the first demo?
Czarnobóg: When we recorded "Black Thrash Ritual" we were barely even a full band. We just recorded the four songs we had at that point. As far as demos go it’s ok, but we've definitely evolved since then: more black, less thrash. A small local label (Reaper's Grave) put it out as a limited cassette release and we've sold copies at shows and sent a few out to friends and contacts. A few of blogs reviewed it or posted the download link, but other than that not much promotion. [Reaper’s Grave has just re-released the “Black Thrash Ritual” tape again, copies are available through the band].

6. “Pestilence Hungers in the Shadows” is an uncompromising and devastating piece of thrashing black metal. These few songs that you’ve recorded have strength of napalm and I’m sure that many maniacs will like them. How’s the feedback on it so far? You’ve released it on tape in cooperation with two labels, what your next steps will be considering promotion and release of “Pestilence Hungers in the Shadows”?
Czarnobóg: Thanks. We try to bring together the best parts of first and second wave black metal with an overall aggressive thrash approach. Cold, raw and filthy. The respons
e has been good so far (we're actually surprised how good it has been because we're all pretty sick of playing some of those songs, haha). Demons Gate Records contacted us about putting it out as a limited cassette release (along with Tombs in the Valley Productions, another UK label), and it has been selling well for them. They might even be sold out at this point? A CD version is also available for anyone who is interested.
Hräsvelgr: We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback which is great, but, as Czarnobóg said, we’ve gotten a little tired of playing the songs. When we made “Pestilence Hungers in the Shadows” we had re-recorded what we thought were the two strongest songs from our “Black Thrash Ritual” demo and then recorded four more. We have been very busy writing for our next recording, which is slated for recording sometime this winter. Expect it to be more of the charging black force you got with this latest release.

7. You’ve released it on tape first, which I think is the least popular format for the music nowadays. Personally even though I started with cassettes almost 20 years ago, I haven’t got many left because I never really liked this format that much, mainly because it’s difficult to keep them fresh and they’re easy to break… also the sound is not as good as on vinyl or CD. What’s your opinion on the tape traditions, especially if we talk about the demo tapes? Why have you chosen cassette for the format for “Pestilence Hungers in the Shadows”?
Hräsvelgr: I personally enjoy the sound of a crackling tape over the crisp quality a CD has to offer. Something about listening to metal on a cassette just feels right, low-fi and distant... it’s like listening to a record in a cave, only you’re in your car or apartment. Also, a tape is generally more personal, the “Black Thrash Ritual” demo was dubbed by hand by some dude in his apartment, no fancy pressing plant or anything like that. There is also the fact that I know a lot of people that just lose and/or break CDs all the time, myself included. I feel that with cassette somebody (as clumsy or forgetful as myself) may be able to hold onto the release for a bit longer. Hell, I’ve got a copy of Destruction’s “Sentence of Death” on cassette that gets constant rotation in my deck that plays better than some of the CDs I bought last year.

8. Your EP is available for a free download in the internet, which I think may have sense, if you released it only as limited tape, but I think it’ll also be released as CD one day, so I’m just curious don’t you think that no one will be interested in buying the CD, if they have the album downloaded? Besides, downloading is very controversial nowadays, some see it as kind of modern tape trading, only on large scale… I think I would agree with it, if it didn’t get out of control and the number of downloads some people do – without buying any original CD/LP – is scary… What’s your opinion on this matter?
Czarnobóg: I like knowing that anyone with access to a computer, anywhere in the world, can give our band (or any metal band) a listen. Obviously it’s a different dynamic than the old tape trading days, where you really had to be dedicated to find out about new underground bands. But it has its advantages too. Scenes are less isolated, and you're able to have more of an appreciation of the international scope of black metal music. If anyone really supports what we're doing they'll hopefully buy a tape or t-shirt or whatever on top of just downloading our music, but we're not too worried about it. No one expects to ever make any money off this band.

9. Would you mind telling me something about the lyrics, in songs like “Howling and the Imminent Stench of Decay”, “Bärsärkar-gång” and “Incestual Demoncy”?
Hräsvelgr:  The lyrics I write are often based on works of horror fiction or local folklore. These particular songs are no exception. “Howling” is based on the novel “The Wolf Leader”. Written in 1857, the plot involves a peasant shoe-maker, Thibault, who encounters a wolf walking on two legs like a man. The wolf offers Thibault a chance for vengeance on those who have harmed him. The wolf offers to grant Thibault any vindictive wish he desires. In addition, Thibault gains the ability to communicate with wolves and is casted as a werewolf by the local townsfolk. Eventually, through various twists, this backfires on him until the end. I’d rather not give everything away, but suggest you read it if you ever have the chance.
“Bärsärkar-gång” is somewhat based on Grettir’s poem “Saga”, but is more of a forward account of the Norse warriors commonly known as berserks. It’s the account of a Norse warrior that has consumed psylocybin mushrooms (a common belief that these warriors ate drugged food before battle) going into battle and the frenzied charge that ensues.
“Incestual Demoncy” is based off the account of the Exeter, RI vampire legend of Mercy Brown. Tuberculosis was a wipe spread epidemic for last part of the 19th century. Mary Brown, the mother of the family was the first to die of the disease, then followed their eldest daughter, their son Edwin became sick and finally one last daughter, Mercy, contracted the disease and had died in January of 1982. All of the family members who contracted the disease had died. Locals suspected that somebody in the family was a vampire. They exhumed the two corpses and had found nothing wrong. When the time came to exhume Mercy they found something, that at the time, was undisputable evidence of a vampire. Mercy’s body had suffered little to no decomposition and there was still blood in her heart. Rather than rationalize that placing somebody in an above ground crypt in the middle of winter would halt the rotting process, they believed this was evidence of a vampire. They removed Mercy’s heart, burned it and mixed the ashes with water to give to her sick brother Edwin, who proceeded to die two months later.
10. Cool! Don’t know about you, but personally I just love such stories. I need to ask you about two of the pseudonyms NACHZEHRER members have. First one is Czarnobóg – which in Polish means “black god” and the second one is Hräsvelgr ("Corpse Swallower"), which in Norse mythology is a giant who takes eagle form. Why have you chosen them?
Czarnobóg: My family background is Polish-American and I am interested in old slavic paganism. I figured if I was going to play bass in a black metal band, why not pay homage to the god of darkness, storms and death?
Hräsvelgr: I chose the name that I thought best suited the style I was going for with my vocals; screeching, dark and harsh. Other than the fact that the tale of a giant eagle who is the Norse god of winter, feeds on corpses left to rot and “sits on the edge of the world and causes the wind to blow when he beats his wings in flight” is pretty fucking cool, I think the name is pretty suiting.

11. Two of the NACHZEHRER members have played in UNHOLY GOATFUCKER earlier. I’m not going to ask about the band’s extreme moniker, but I’d like to know if they’re still around and what kind of obscure noise have they been playing?
Czarnobóg: This was me and Draak's old band. Originally it was mostly just an excuse for us to make some drunken noise, nothing we took very serious. Eventually we started writing some proper songs and put out a demo and a split EP (w/ HELLHUNTER from San Francisco, CA... on Buriedinhell Records) and then it fell apart in 2009, right before NACHZERHER started. Our old singer Ansgar lives in Philadelphia, PA now and she has a new project called HEXER (www.facebook.com/HexerCult).

12. I’ve seen a flyer advertising your gig with the mighty ABSU. I must say that I worship this band already since about 1995, when I’ve heard “Barathrum” masterpiece for the first time and always considered them to be the best US black metal band. How this gig was for you and what do you think about ABSU and their specific style? Which of their albums is your favorite?
Czarnobóg: We're all huge ABSU fans and definitely looking forward to sharing a stage with them. By far one of the best USBM bands, and one that doesn't just stick to one particular formula or strict style with their music. "Tara" probably still gets the most play for me, but I like pretty much everything they've put out over the years. The newest album is worth checking out if you haven't given it a listen yet.

13. Not yet, I’m waiting for some spare cash to get the vinyl, as I have all the previous ABSU works on L
P format. OK, I think it’s about time to finish this short conversation, but I hope to see something more from NACHZEHRER in the future, maybe with the next recordings! Any blasphemies to finish this interview?
Hräsvelgr: Stay tuned for any details our next aural assault. In the meantime, make sure to pick up a copy of “Pestilence Hungers in the Shadow”.
Czarnobóg: Thanks for the interview. We're working on some new stuff now, and have plans to record again in the winter. Hopefully for a full-length this time around (labels, get in touch!). Also some potential splits in the works. Keep an eye out. If anyone wants to contact us about tapes, cds or t-shirts:
nachzehrerbm@yahoo.com

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Obliteration - Nekropsalms


Obliteration - Nekropsalms (DUPLICATE Records - LP 2010)
Norway and death metal hardly ever have been a pair. Funnily, all the best Norwegian death metal records were recorded by black metal bands - Darkthrone's "Soulside Journey", Gehenna's "Adimiron Black" and "Murder", Thou Shalt Suffer - "Into the Woods of Belial"... And of course Old Funeral, which will always be my favourite death metal crew from Norway. But now the youth attacks and Obliteration is their name. Discovered by Darkthrone's members who putted the debut "Perpetual Decay" on their Tyrant Syndicate Records, Obliteration quickly got recognized. Personally I don't think their debut was anything special, but this, "Nekropsalms", the second LP, is something I can definitely be more than happy with.
First it's the smell of putrid and cadaver that surrounds this record, which caught my attention. Well, the music is damn raw, dirty, fuckin sick and rotten death metal I expected and those lads have showed their worship for Darkthrone, Autopsy and Mantas / Death in a great way. Already the first track, "Ingesting Death", with this great opening riff, show that there won't be any mercy and is a pure devastation, which quickly fastens and the chaos overwhelms everything. "Catacombs of Horror" is nothing more or less, but a great tribute to Autopsy, raw and slow, but so heavy and brutal that it's beautiful. I especially like the slow riffs and some bass parts, as well as morbid vokills, which really are awfully sick and are like vomits. Sindre Solem putted some great vocals and in "The Spawn of a Dying Kind" he really putted great effort, this is also one of the best tracks here. Starting with sinister melody it crawls slowly like the dead walking out of its tomb. These are eight minutes of slow torture, without a second of faster playing, it's just doomy death metal and surely Autopsy would be proud hearing this shit. In many parts of this album think also about Asphyx’ “Embrace the Death” LP!
Usually it happens that when there's a slow song, then the next one should be faster and "Nekropsalms Evoke the Frozen Age" is exactly like that. Of course it's not fast in the Krisiun way, but in the old school way, so it's energetic, at parts it sounds almost like punk, but again with some hints of doom here and there. And well, it would be a disgrace if I didn't mention the name Darkthrone anywhere here. Believe me or not, but many riffs from "Nekropsalms" do have many similarities to some old Darkthrone riffs from the "A Blaze In the Northern Sky" or "Goatlord" LPs, not only in this song I just mentioned. The opening part of "Ingesting Death" or the main riff and vocals from "Catacombs of Horror" (with some Celtic Frost vibe, what reminds me the "Panzerfaust" album) are nothing more or less, but purely Darkthrone influenced pieces.
The vinyl version also includes a bonus 7"EP, with two extra songs on it - what a killer idea, one similar to Massacre's "From Beyond"! It was necessary to buy vinyl anyway, as such music sounds best in this format, but an extra 7" with exclusive songs only makes it more worthy. First is “Dawn of the Deluge” and it’s one of the best tracks of this band! It’s of course demonically slow, old school to the bone, maybe slightly more melodic, but so fuckin great that I wonder why this song hasn’t been putted also on a CD. Anyway, I don’t care, I’ve got LP and can listen to it and trust me, this is great song. And side B of the EP has Dr Shrinker’s “Dead by Dawn” cover, hmm I don’t remember the original now, but it really sounds great, fast and with killer, morbid riffs!
So, I definitely recommend getting vinyl for those, who're interested in Obliteration. The only fault of this album is the awfully colorful cover - I have no idea what's going on in that picture - which is a big contrast to the rest of the layout, which is a basic black / white, simple design, with only the gothic letters' text of song titles, all the info about the recording, thanx list and a band photo. Sadly there are no lyrics, but only short descriptions for each track, like "Catacombs of Horror" (Resurrected, they rise from their tombs. Graves of the forgotten dead) or "Ingesting Death" (Morbid thoughts of human meat. Find some whore, eat her raw). How nice, but I wish to read them all.
Well, I do realize that "Nekropsalms" won't be liked by everyone. Definitely this is an album, which will only catch the attention of die hard death metal maniacs. It's just too filthy and obscure to the average metal fan, the production is too raw and the riffs not technical (sick!) enough... But if you look for a great companion to "Macabre Eternal", then I cannot think of any better albums that this one. For me actually this is even better than the post reunion Autopsy, so... Die, but die hard!
Best tracks: “Dawn of the Deluge”, "The Spawn of a Dying Kind", "Ingesting Death"
Final rate: 85 / 100