Thursday, 30 April 2015

Slaughter Messiah - Putrid Invocation

SLAUGHTER MESSIAH - Putrid Invocation (GOAT KULT - 12"EP 2014)
This is the newest release from Belgian tormentors, Slaughter Messiah and it’s a 12”EP titled “Putrid Invocation”, released on Goat Kult Symphonies. Some may dispute a point of releasing 13 minutes of music on 12” as it would easily fit a 7” format, but who cares. I think that 12” size is the best, especially when we have such an awesome artwork as the one on “Putrid Invocation” (by killer artist Mark Riddick!). Besides, it reminds me some of my old 12” singles, like Entombed’s “Crawl”, not to mention dozens of Iron Maiden 12” singles. So, great decision for releasing this music as it is.
Now, as for the content of this EP, I already described my enthusiasm and support for Slaughter Messiah music few times. “Putrid Invocation” confirms that it’s a killer band and more so, this is actually their best recording so far, in my opinion. Side A begins with “Swamp of Torment” and fuckin hell, for me this is the best Slaughter Messiah song so far. It’s quite different to most of the other songs from this band, as it’s not as harsh and furiously aggressive as songs from “Black Speed Terror” EP for instance, although such riffs / fragments are here also… but this song is surprisingly melodic, for example the opening theme sounds a lot like classic Swedish death metal! Of corpse later on Slaughter Messiah brings their usual weapons, which are thrashing black metal riffs, violent and relentless, with the characteristic harsh vocals of Sabathan… Anyways, the song is quite memorable and definitely it is my favourite track from this band so far! And when listening to it, it’s also noticeable how much better is the production of “Putrid Invocation”, when compared to the previous EP especially. And I like that change. Don’t get me wrong, “Black Speed Terror” was fine and solid effort, but maybe sound wise it could have been better, more powerful and straight to the guts, less chaotic and obscure… and “Putrid Invocation” is exactly like I like it! The production is cleaner, but still very aggressive and powerful as hell, keeping the morbid aura intact. Awesome! And it’s also why all songs sound so just better.
Yeah, basically the whole content sounds killer. I mentioned “Swamp of Torment”, but “Hills County Witch Trial” (with its more old school, thrash / black metal riffing) and “Consecration” (which is more like a classic black metal song) have no bad moments, this is just brilliant, neckbreaking stuff. So, I recommend “Putrid Invocation” totally. Furious, merciless thrash / black / death metal, the old school way. Fantastic.
Standout track: “Swamp of Terror”

Final rate: 90/100

Disgorge - Necrholocaust

DISGORGE - Necrholocaust (XTREEM Music - CD 2003)
Mexicans from Disgorge definitely belong to my favourite brutal death / grind bands! Not that I am a big expert of these most brutal of sounds known to mankind, as I am not, but here I can say that not only I like them more than the US Disgorge, but also for sure their music speaks to me more than what I can usually hear from the majority of similar bands. And the reason is that I think too many brutal death bands play it with no ideas, sound the same and generally puts the brutality over a common sense of good riffing and decent production values. This music easily turns into some pointless silliness. Which is not the case with these Mexicans as they do blast like crazy and perform the torture of guts ripping and head splitting for all eight tracks in great way. And the sound is also damn awesome, so in the end Disgorge do create a proper sick, gory atmosphere with great results.
“Necrholocaust” is maybe nothing spectacular or original in the field of brutal death metal, but Disgorge do know how to shred. I like these songs, filled with some awesome riffs, which not necessarily are always fast, as there are also some killer, slower parts, which crush with the massive sound. But sure, the main weapon of Disgorge is the brutally blasting, merciless and violent death metal. What’s so awesome about it is that Disgorge have more diversity in their music than most of similar bands, not only tempo wise, but also the riffing, which in few places can even be called “melodic” (yes! Just listen to “Raise the Pestilence”, somewhere in the mid part), etc… Obviously this one melodic bit hides between ultra fast and brutal stuff. But I love also the ending part of this song, as it’s slow and heavy like classic Incantation!!! Take also such “Necrholocaust” song, which also has a strong Incantation similarity, in my opinion, and it’s for me the best song here!!! But most importantly, this is truly powerful and crushing, devastating and unstoppable death / grinding metal as a whole. And damn, isn’t Antimo a killer vocalist, who can even put early Chris Burns to shame? What a beast he is (or was, as he’s not in the band anymore… but he plays in many other projects also)! Anyways, take such songs as “Macabre Realms of Inhuman Bestiality”, “Raise the Pestilence” or “Necrholocaust” shall please all maniacs!
The band no more uses such unpronounceable and impossible to memorize song titles like “Stygmatodermuropyanephrosism on Impetiginose Urogenism” from the debut or “Urethrive Decortico-Xanthomatose Muco Gestated Scaffolds” from the second CD, but of course the albums still deals with gore, perversions, deviations and all other macabre things. So, you always must be ready to bath in blood and excrements, when dealing with bands like Disgorge. Fine stuff.
Standout tracks: “Macabre Realms of Inhuman Bestiality”, “Raise the Pestilence”, “Necrholocaust”

Final rate: 70/100

Monday, 27 April 2015

Hate - Daemon Qui Fecit Terram

HATE - Daemon Qui Fecit Terram (VOX MORTIS - MC 1996)
This album can surprise many Hate fans, who joined the legions of their supporters after some of the recent CDs like “Erebos” for instance. Why? Well, because Hate used to be quite decent, pure death metal band! Those were the days of no make ups, no black skirts and generally no “I-wanna-be-like-Behemoth” image. No keyboards, no black metal influence, but just straight up death metal. Yeah, and you know what? Even though I can’t say that the old Hate recordings are the best thing I’ve ever heard, I still prefer them way more than the new incarnation of this band… and surely prefer to listen to some of these early albums and demos than the mentioned “Erebos” CD.
“Daemon Qui Fecit Terram” is I think the most underrated Hate album. Maybe it’s because it never had its own CD version – originally it was released on cassette only, but you can find this album also as a joined release together with the second full length “Lord is Avenger”. Anyways, it’s weird that it never had its own, separate CD version – maybe something what should be fixed one day, as it’s really damn good and worthy album. Ha, I must even admit that I enjoy it nowadays more than I did back in the 90’s, maybe it’s due the sentiment I have for old Hate albums? Or maybe it’s because I also underrated this album a little back then? Don’t know, but I think it’s even better than “Lord is Avenger”, so…
Ha, those who remember Polish zines and magazines from the 90’s will remember that back then Hate was always struggling with the “Polish Deicide” sticker. This influence is also hearable on “Daemon Qui Fecit Terram”, but think of such albums as “Serpent of the Light” (which actually came up later than “Daemon Qui Fecit Terram”) or “Once Upon the Cross” rather than “Deicide” or “Legion” haha! There are surely some riffs, which are very much in the style of Hoffmann brothers, just listen to “Merry Christless” or “Lords of Sin” for instance. The latter is one of the best songs here and if only Adam had similarly demonic voice to Benton, then it would be almost on the verge of duplication. Luckily, he sounds different and his voice gives slightly different dimension to the whole music. But let’s be fair – it’s not that Hate sounds only like Deicide and is some sort of rip off band! No. And if someone says so, then he’s deaf and just stupid as fuck. Sure, Deicide did influence Hate a lot, but at the same time their music had also some original aspects and this is what makes it even more exciting. And first and foremost, this is killer brutal, aggressive satanic death metal, with many fast tempos, great drumming, some sick guitar solos and quite clean, but powerful production. And even the instrumental song “Cadentia” sounds nice… I am also glad that the albums contains no more than 30 minutes of music, as within this genre and brutal style it’s ideal timing I think… and even each song is rather short, hardly ever a song is longer than 3 minutes; most of them are around 2,5 minutes, what only gives even stronger impression of that aggressive, uncompromising and fierce, quick assault.
Yeah, for me it definitely sounds better than all past “Anaclasis” albums putted together. It’s a shame then that “Daemon Qui Fecit Terram” – and all early Hate recordings to be honest – are so damn difficult to find. I wish someone can take care of their re-releases, including their killer demos!
Standout tracks: “Animate the Blood”, “Heaven Like a Hole”, “Lords of Sin”, “Almost You Are Dead”

Final rate: 75/100

Slaughter Messiah - Black Speed Terror

SLAUGHTER MESSIAH - Black Speed Terror (DEMONHOOD Productions - 7"EP 2014)
I already have praised Slaughter Messiah for their demo “Deathlike Invasion”, which they did in 2012 and which was a truly crushing piece of black thrashing assault. Later on I kept my eyes open for the activity of the band, there was also a killer interview, which I did with Sabathan and finally I was happy also when the drummer Spencer Elliot a’ka Sodomaniak contacted me… and that led to receiving two newest Slaughter Messiah releases. “Black Speed Terror” is the first of the two and it’s a 7”EP, released on Norwegian Demonhood Productions. There are three songs here and the quality I know from the demo is still here. Great!
The title for this single says everything about the music one can expect from the band. It is fuckin merciless and violent black / speed / thrash metal!! And the title track is also my favourite from the whole set. I really like that kind of riffing plus the uncompromising, aggressive attitude, not to mention also the memorable and killer chorus part, where we’ll all scream ”Black Speed Terror” of course!!! Yeah… it sounds very nice, indeed! “Cosmic Funeral (The Great Old Ones)” is also very vicious and totally recommendable song, it’s slightly chaotic here and there, due to the always fast tempo and harsh production, for sure Slaughter Messiah doesn’t even want to play harmonious parts or any weaker and softer riffs; it’s straight ahead and nasty, ferocious and sadistic black / thrash in the old school vein. I suppose that only the shortest song titled “Demon” is mediocre, but it’s solid anyways…
Maybe the production isn’t the best on this single, it surely could have been more powerful, but on the other hand such harsh and brutal recording quality fits such music very well, so why should one moan about it? No point. A nice 7”EP for sure, limited to 300 copies only, so sell your soul if you need, but grab a copy and support this awesome Belgian band!
Final rate: 70/100

Inexorable - Sea Of Dead Consciousness

INEXORABLE - Sea Of Dead Consciousness (UNHOLY PROPHECIES - EP 2015)
This is new band for me, but I am truly satisfied that I had a chance to hear their recent release, which is “Sea Of Dead Consciousness” EP, released on cassette by Unholy Prophecies (thanks a lot, Walter, for sending me a copy! You rule!). And the reason for this is simple; it’s just absolutely killer and mindblowing demonstration of obscurity and brutality. It’s actually the third official release from Inexorable – the two previous were also EPs, but they were released on CD format only, “Morte Sola” from 2013 was supposedly released on digipack in 1000 copies quantity, which is quite a lot… but damn, I just never heard of those Germans until I got some info from Unholy Prophecies about their newest release, which was “Sea Of Dead Consciousness”, also quite limited, but to barely 200 copies.
The whole EP can be split on two halves. The first one is on side A and consists of three songs, titled “I”, “II” and “III”. And it contains what I described above – great maelstrom of obscure, brutal, chaotic and morbid death metal riffs, played in the style, which one can even compare to such bands as Grave Miasma, Portal, Immolation, Mitochondrion, Teitanblood or Impetuous Ritual. It’s awesome. Obviously Inexorable creates utterly dark and sick atmosphere in their music, obviously the majority of these three songs have been played in fast tempos, what along with the thick and dense riffs creates a bulldozer of sound; a wall of sonic devastation, with some complex structures and arrangements, deep, ghoulish vocals and many truly impressive fragments, great harsh, massive production... Yeah, it almost creates this claustrophobic aura, when you think of being putted alive into the coffin and the lid was nailed to it… And you’re there in the small box, devoured by darkness, catching the last breath in panic and slowly suffocating, terrified and with no hope for survive. This is why I absolutely love bands like Inexorable and recordings like “Sea Of Dead Consciousness”; for the atmosphere of such music. Truly a spectacular release, I have no doubt.
And then there’s side B, which offers something different… as it contains three covers! First there’s truly killer “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas”, performed in brutal and sick way, with the vocals sounding not much different from the possessed performance of Attila in the original version. Absolutely love it!! The second choice for cover is more obvious, as it’s Immolation with “I Feel Nothing” from “Here In After”… yes, this one fits the usual style of Inexorable more and you can be sure that this technical and brutal track was performed in an impressive way. Finally the third cover is the most surprising one, I think; it’s Mysticum and “Black Magic Mushrooms”! Ha, I don’t even know this song in original version, as I never had a chance to hear “Lost Masters of the Universe”… but it’s typical Mysticum song, with that love it / hate it sound of drum machine… and Inexorable made it in very similar way, including that characteristic drum beat. Surely a nice cover again…
So, summing it all up… damn, do I need to, really? You can read only positive words on this EP and yes, I like it totally! Three absolutely awesome songs of Inexorable plus three killer covers, I don’t need more. I am totally crushed and I can say that I feel exactly the same as when I listened to the truly amazing tape EP from band called Peine – what a slaughter. Totally recommended, so get it ASAP! And I hope to see this release also on vinyl one day, as it truly deserves also this greatest of all formats.
Standout track: “II”

Final rate: 80/100

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Warmaster - Promo 2012

WARMASTER - Promo 2012 (Self released)
There are few bands known as Warmaster, the most interesting is surely the US War Master, I think… but here’s a Dutch band, which decided to name themselves after the classic Bolt Thrower album. I have here only a short Promo CD from 2012 and honestly, I have not heard of this band until I received this small gift from a friend… but after giving some listens to this promotional recording, I know that I need to keep my eyes open for those Dutch basterds!
I am not sure what was the number of copies, which Warmaster released of this Promo CD, I also am not sure whether these songs were recorded during the same session as their versions from the second album “The End of Humanity”. The band did try to find a label to release their second CD with this promo and they did succeed, although I am not sure whether the choice for Dead Beat Media was good at all, if I never heard of this album / band before and it’s rather difficult to find it. Anyways, this Promo CD offers three songs: “Deadly Artillery”, “Nuclear Warfare” and “Death Factory” and it’s really cool old school death metal, I tell ya! Sure, Warmaster doesn’t create anything new and unbelievably amazing; they’re just another solid and worthy death metal band. But I do enjoy these songs a lot. I like the riffs, the brutal atmosphere… it’s simply very well performed and composed death metal influenced by such bands as Bolt Thrower (of course!), Asphyx, Autopsy, Obituary, Grave and some newer bands like Paganizer. So, you can imagine that Warmaster prefers mid paced crunchy, heavy and brutal riffs, sick atmosphere and sometimes they even put more doomy passage, to nail the listener to the ground even more mercilessly. Yeah… This is well known recipe, but once more it works very well. And some of you can moan on lack of originality or that you heard it so many times before, I don’t care at all. Warmaster is really cool, so I am definitely gonna try to find their both albums.

Final rate: 75/100

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Hades Almighty - Millenium Nocturne

HADES ALMIGHTY - Millenium Nocturne (HAMMERHEART - LP 1999)
Hades… Who from the third album became Hades Almighty… For me they were one of the best Norwegian bands, but I say so mainly as I love their first two records. I worship them and oh yeah, they are fantastic. I also really like album number four… but what about their third opus? Well, it’s also damn good, but surely not even half as exceptional and killer as the early stuff. Anyway, we can surely say that Hades were / or maybe still are, as new album will come soon, among the best and most excellent bands from Norge. One of those bands which had their own personality and sound. I have all their stuff on vinyl, also the album number three “Millenium Nocturne”. Which I remember to be hugely disappointed with, when it came out. I had it on tape first and felt like it’s so damn boring haha! I actually didn’t listen to it for quite many years, so after giving some justice and good reviews to the previous Hades albums, I decided it’s also time and good opportunity to remind myself about “Millenium…” record.
I guess that one of the things, which for me personally works against the album is that it feels like the majority of it, basically every song, sounds the same. Like for example the tempo is practically similar all the way through – and it is a slower pace, which accompany to those majestic, monumental riffs… But you know, the previous albums were also slow, but somehow they were better in every aspect, the riffs were better, the whole songs were more interesting, with some stunning, memorable fragments and truly cold, dark atmosphere. “Millenium Nocturne” continues doing that, but in less effective way I suppose. None of these songs can match the previous materials and even if there are still some fragments of pure brilliance, then they sort of disappear in the entire, long album (which is 60 minutes long… maybe a little too long, for this sort of slow paced, monotonous music). I guess I could pick up some awesome parts from every song, some ideas, which I love totally, some excellent riffs, great vocals of Janto… Each song has something spectacular, but it is still not enough to impress me, when taking the whole album as one. Or let me put it that way – it is good album, no doubt, it is enjoyable, sometimes brilliant, but it fades, when compared to previous efforts and as a whole it’s just too monotonous.
Obviously Hades Almighty will be always a special band. They play something unique, original and special on the Norwegian black metal scene. The previous albums are simply perfect, so maybe that burden was too much to handle and besides, you just can’t make three amazing albums in row. “Millenium Nocturne” is a natural evolution of the style from the previous records, but it failed to deliver something utterly exceptional. I feel always torn apart, when I listen to this LP, because as mentioned before, there are some brilliant parts, but the entire album drags on as fuck and all songs melt into one. More so, I feel like it would be just better if we cut off some fillers, songs like “Carnival Blaspheme” for example, which is basically based on one or two themes that are going for six minutes and is just boring! Sure, such song shows also that Hades was progressing, started to experiment, but I just prefer simpler, but more in the face stuff and darker, more obscure approach they presented on previous LPs. Another rather filling song on the album is I think “To Reach Devine Fullfillment”… again, rather simple, one dimensional riffing and drumming, slow pace … but it just goes for seven minutes without a special excitement. It’s not a terrible song, but I guess I could have lived without it one the album. “Nightmare Endurance” – the same. Long as hell, dragging on forever!
On the other had such songs as “Dream Traveller” really kick ass with some great riffage, thundering drums (ha, sounds cheesy, but find out what I mean when you hear the song!) and generally really monumental atmosphere. I also love that mix of harsh vocals with weird, eerie howling... that sounds just uncanny. Hades was always a very riff based band, they didn’t use much of the keyboards or other stuff, their songs were always concentrated on the power, the strength of good, heavy riff… Song like “Dream Traveller” reminds us that. As mentioned, basically every song has something spectacular to unveil, but I must also mention “Nemesis”, as this one belongs to the most powerful and energetic songs on the album, even though the riffing in it has also some more progressive touch in few parts… but in this case, it just worked fine. “Gardens of Chaos” has the best motif from the entire record, I just love how this song begins, with nice acoustics, etc. and it just sounds superb, very much like the good, old Bathory, but that calm, acoustic theme is suddenly interrupted by awesome, harsh and aggressive riff – and real hell breaks loose, what a good song that is! Very heavy, doomy, but also powerful and truly monumental. Yes! “A Ballad of Death ad Obsession” is again starting with a nice acoustic theme, which is a trademark for Hades, so known on the previous albums and I love it. Further on this song has some better and worse moments, but is a decent and worthy one for sure. It’s just maybe too long again… It again has some of these howling vocals from drummer Remi (I think), which sound just like he was a Viking possessed by demons. Or drunk hehe! He has very specific voice and I know that not everybody will like his vocals, but I do.
OK, to conclude… this is solid record, yes, but it contains some better and worse moments. As a whole, I think it is just too long and too monotonous and so even these truly splendid fragments can’t save the entire record. In my opinion, this is Hades (Almigty) weakest recording. But I can’t imagine not having it on LP. I need this band’s entire discography, as they’re worth of that praise I give them!
Standout tracks: “Gardens of Chaos”, “A Ballad of Death ad Obsession”, “Dream Traveller”

Final rate: 69/100

Depraved Literature part VI – Abyss Ritual 'zine, issue 5

Depraved Literature part VI – Abyss Ritual 'zine, issue 5
Authors: Tshoggua and Putrid
Origin: Colombia
Release date: winter 1996/1997
Interviews: Crimson Midwinter, Choronzon, Nordic Vision magazine, Sorhin, Herodez, Enkil / Undead Productions, Infinite Black, Mortiis, Nordlys, Strid, Full Moon Productions, Skogsposten, Sear Bliss, Golden Dawn, Into the Sunless Meridian / Shadowcaster / Night Conquers Day, Iadanamada, Iudicium
It’s been a longer while (almost two years now!!) since I did the Depraved Literature last time… but damn, I did read some zines, mainly newer ones, but simply did not have time to write about them, focusing on music releases so much. Hopefully though I will remember about this section and make some more updates of zine reviews also. Fingers crossed. Here I am presenting you a fanzine from Colombia, Ancient Ritual, released in 1997!!!
Hmm, I guess I never had a chance to read any Colombian fanzines, expect the killer Bells of Acheron, which is a newer title, with three real nice issues released in last few years. But other than that, I never saw one. So, it’s time to introduce another Colombian title from their history of zine editing; and so here is Abyss Ritual zine #5, released around 1997. Wow, an old title I know, but what a fine piece of reading it delivered! I honestly didn’t even expect high quality from it, don’t even know why, probably due to the whole primitiveness of the South American scene, but I am happy that Abyss Ritual delivered some really nice texts. I suppose the only thing, which I don’t really like about it is the poor layout, so typical for that time I know, but the editors of Abyss Ritual didn’t even try to make their zine look interesting. This is simple text machine, with typical for A5 size two columns page, with some bad quality photos thrown here and there… I guess you can compare it to some early Necroscope zine for instance. But the texts are a great advantage of Abyss Ritual #5. Just read such interview as the one with Crimson Midvinter. Woowwee, those Columbian guys have asked some truly interesting and not so usual questions and the member of the band was able to give some interesting answers also, so the result is very nice! Of course it’s always cool to read such interviews from the perspective of nearly 20 years, which have passed since they were conducted, especially as the reality and the scene has changed so much… Anyway, such chat as this one with Crimson Midvinter is a real highlight of the issue, even if the band is so little known (although they did release an album for Black Mark some time later). Check out also such chats like Choronzon, Nordic Vision magazine (also interesting from the historical point of view of the whole Norwegian black metal scene), Sorhin, Strid, Mortiis, Sear Bliss and so on… all are real cool and informative. As you can see, Abyss Ritual #5 is mainly focused on the European black metal and to some extent also on the US scene (Into the Sunless Meridian) and there’s not so much of the South American scene introduced, which can be a disappointment for some (but there’s Mexican Iadanamada interview and Colombian Mephiztophel presented in form of short bio / band article… plus also Colombian Nebiros talks very shortly about the split up)… But the quality of the writing will make it up for you, I think (it’s awesome that both editors also spoke a flawless English, something quite rare among the Latin American maniacs). Besides, there are several bands, which I’ve never heard of before (like Herodez, Into the Sunless Meridian, Nordlys, Infinite Black, etc) so this zine allowed me to find out their names as well.
I don’t know what was the future like for Abyss Ritual and if issue #5 was their last one or not… but damn, it was really cool to find scans of this old Colombian zine and read them. The scans are to be found on Asmodian Cover blog (http://ascoven.blogspot.com).
Quotations: “It is hard to describe why, but I have believed in vampires since I was young…” (Magnus Thorne / Undead Productions / Enkil)
“The most blaspheme thing I would like to do would be to knock the pope down to the ground, piss on him and laugh when he forgives me. And then I would impale the old bastard “Vlad Tepes” style!” (The Unnamed / Infinitum Black)

“I know nothing about Nazi holocaust; in every war people must die” (Torsten / Nordlys)

Ad Noctum - Excellence of Supremacy

AD NOCTUM - Excellence of Supremacy (ANCIENT DARKNESS - CD 2004)
Another discovery from the Denmark’s death and black metal scene. Here’s band called Ad Noctum. And this CD is actually sort of a compilation, which includes two Ad Noctum demos: “Jus primae noctis” from 1999 and “Excellence of Supremacy” from 2000. It’s interesting that the band was quite active in those times, but later it took them eight years to release their first full length album “Arrogance” (2008). Anyways, I never heard of Ad Noctum before, so it’s all my introduction to their music. And I definitely must say that I prefer the 2000 demo over the 1999 one and the reason is simple: it just sounds better and stronger and it seems like Ad Noctum had just better ideas for the music. And more so, the execution is more precise and effective. It’s nice, fast and relentless black metal, which is not avoiding some melodic parts, but in majority it is based on harsh and destructive playing. It kind of reminds me some Finnish bands like Unhola, Flauros or Nighside and vocal wise I have also a resemblance to such Odium. And I like it quite much, except just two fragments, when the band decided to use some odd sounding and surely out of place clean male vocals (title track) and female vocals (“Satans Son”). They sound shit in my opinion and definitely do not fit that sheer aggression and violent aura of Ad Noctum music.
I mentioned that I like “Excellence of Supremacy” demo more, but it doesn’t mean that “Jus primae noctis” is bad. Oh no! It’s also very solid and worthy piece of obscure, fast and violent black metal. The production is much rawer and abrasive, so the attitude on this demo is also even more aggressive and vicious. Nice! And this approach is the main strength of Ad Noctum, who don’t play anything exceptional or original, but are solid followers. This demo contains also couple of covers (Bathory and Mayhem), so you can be sure it’s as traditional as it’s possible – and with no clean male or female vocals, which would ruin the effort.

Final rate: 65/100

Torchure - The Essence

TORCHURE - The Essence (VIC Records - CD 2015)
Quite many old death metal classics have been reissued in the recent months and years, and even more are yet to come… and it’s great, as it sometimes shows me what albums I am still missing in my collection. VIC Records also is quite active in the field of re-releases, they recently reminded us old recordings of bands like Carbonized, Pentacle, Dead End, Eternal Solstice, Expulsion, Furbowl, Judgement Day, God Dethroned, Phlebotomized, Burial, Darkified, Mangled… So, many really awesome bands, which were mainly active in the 90’s. And here’s another one – and it’s actually among my favourite bands from that re-release stream; this is German Torchure. I’ve been familiar with them already since the early 90’s, already back then I had a Polish boot tape of “Beyond the Veil” (which nowadays I have on LP, ha!). It’s funny though that for many years I thought this was the only Torchure album, until when about ten years ago I found and bought the second CD “The Essence”. Nowadays both Torchure albums are rare as hell, so I am not surprised that VIC organized their re-editions. And I am also happy about it, as it can introduce this excellent, but so underrated German band to the new generation of fans of the old school death metal. I even bought “The Essence”, as it comes with two extra songs, which were originally featured on a rare compilation “This Stuff's 2 Loud 4 U”… And well, I must say that this is another well done VIC re-release. So far I was the most impressed by the work they did with Pentacle’s “The Fifth Moon” CD, but “The Essence” is also great. It comes with nice booklet, with some liner notes, lyrics, photos… Cool.
But most importantly, the music shreds. I don’t know if it’s a better album to its predecessor, maybe it is? I mean, I love both, but it’s so damn hard to pick up which is my favourite haha. Anyways, for sure Torchure has changed slightly. On one hand they maintained the trademark harsh, aggressive, thrashing death metal untouched; the band had quite characteristic sound, as well as their style of arrangements, riffing, even vocals of Martin Matzak could have been quite recognizable. The band sounded like early Morgoth meets Mercyless, Messiah (mid), early Fleshcrawl, early Asphyx… but had enough guts to create their own, individual sound. But then on the other hand “The Essence” develops the style from the debut CD and brings some changes. There are more slow, doomy songs here and what’s more, the band brought a keyboard player to the line up. And obviously Patrick Felsner was not there just to stand on the photos, but he did play in many fragments of the albums. Obviously he mainly appears when the music slows down, gets heavier, when the it becomes quite atmospheric and dark, gloomy sounding – what, by the way, brilliantly correspondences with some other, way more aggressive and faster tracks.
So, “The Essence” is exceptionally varied, brutal and sick death metal album. And it’s also one of the reasons why I love it so much. The songwriting here is just excellent, there are some songs, which are truly phenomenal… I am actually surprised that this time I prefer those slower and more atmospheric tracks, but they do sound so fuckin great! Sweet! Anyways, there are songs like “Invisible Truth”, “No Rest in Peace” and “Sinister Seduction”, which are all aggressive and brutal, fast, thrashing death metal, very much in the vein of the first album. The album even features “The Traces”, which originally appeared on the 1991 demo. Then there’s such “Cry of Madness”, which is a fantastic mix of fast and slow death metal, where doomy, melancholic part is followed by utterly merciless, violent riffing and fast drumming… and there’s also such “The Essence” or “Voice of Power”, which are all doomy and gloomy, where the keyboards fill the playing in more extensive way and generally can remind you such LPs as “Astral Sleep” for instance. I must also mention “Lost Souls”, which is an acoustic guitar based song with Martin reciting some lyrics about death, dedicated to Reissdorf brothers, who died in car accident not long before the recording session of “The Essence” took place. Actually both tracks from “This Stuff's 2 Loud 4 U” are their last recordings ever. These songs have much rawer and unpolished production, when compared to the album, it also says in the booklet that Andreas Reissdorf was searching for more atmospheric and visionary music at that time, maybe even less death metal than what we could find on “The Essence”. So, it is almost grotesquery, that if the brothers didn’t die, then this album for sure wouldn’t sound so brutal and most probably it would just be different. But that’s history now.
Anyways, please read the interesting liner notes, as they say a lot about Torchure, the work on this album, car accident, missing of good friends and the sudden split up. It also asks why such essential for German death metal album didn’t get more recognition back then. Of course one can blame the label, but who cares now, really… Anyways, now with this re-release in hand, many can finally give justice to this awesome album. I truly recommend it. It is fantastic and surely among my favourite European albums of all time.
Standout tracks: “The Essence”, “Voice of Power”, “Cry of Madness”, “Invisible Truth”

Final rate: 90/100

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Soulrot - Horrors From Beyond

SOULROT - Horrors From Beyond (UNHOLY PROPHECIES - MC 2014)
You know what? For me Chile and death metal is a perfect match. It’s almost like for example good beef and cabernet… or Sasha Grey and cum in her mouth… It’s something what you cannot imagine to go separate ways. And Chile has definitely one of the best scenes, when speaking of the obscure, brutal and sick death metal, played in the old vein. Brilliant. Soulrot is among newer names from that country, “Horrors From Beyond” is actually their first demo, but the guys behind this band are no newcomers, as all of them have played also in other usually unknown bands (actually none of their names is familiar to me)… But damn, I like Soulrot a lot. What’s worth to mention is that “Horrors From Beyond” was released on cassette by Unholy Prophecies. Maybe demo tapes (or tape albums) are not so rare as they were five / ten years ago, as they surely came back to the scene for good, but still, it’s just not so common for every label and every band to release their music on this format. And I just love to see demos on cassette!
Speaking of “Horrors From Beyond”, I must say that when I played the tape for the first time, in the beginning I wasn’t so impressed. I guess it’s due to quite harsh and raw production of this demo (but could it be any other, to be honest? Traditionally the demos were always sounding harsh!), so it took me couple of minutes to get used to this almost rehearsal quality recording. After a while I got used to it and now I have no problem at all with this production; more so, I think it fits to such music perfectly and gives it an extra rotten, horror atmosphere, which is damn cool.
Chile is known that the band from there are in 99% sounding old school, obscure and savage. So does Soulrot. Their old school death metal is reminding me not one particular band or scene, but it’s more like a deadly mixture of all what’s best in the classic death metal; as there are similarities to bands such as Merciless, Nihilist, Massacra, (very early) Asphyx, Autopsy, (very vintage demo era) Vader, Demigod and more! The music is really vicious, brutal, has killer riffs and generates a killer dark, horror aura (Lovecraft inspired another band haha!). It’s really nice stuff, I seriously like what Soulrot did her. More so, they do sound authentic, I don’t find anything what would disturb me… It’s just killer death metal demo, reminding me some other classic demos. Very recommended!
Final rate: 80/100

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Erebus Enthroned / Blaze of Perdition - Accession of Fire

EREBUS ENTHRONED / BLAZE OF PERDITION - Accession of Fire (PAGAN Records - 10"MLP 2013)
Holy fuckin shit, I am absolutely crushed with the content of this 10”MLP, with two truly killer bands. “Accession of Fire” is a split, which joins the unholy forces of Australian Erebus Enthroned and Polish Blaze of Perdition. I do admit that I bought it just for the Polish band, whose music is constantly impressive, so I basically collect everything they release… At the time of release of “Accession of Fire” I did not know Erebus Enthroned, so it was the first time I had a chance to hear their music, but they turned out to be as great, if not even better, than Blaze of Perdition. So, the result is simply a killer and recommendable 10” vinyl!
Each band delivers only one song, but the whole MLP is 17 minutes long, so don’t worry, it will be enough music to satisfy your hunger for quality black metal. Erebus Enthroned brings their song first and “Deathless Sin” is simply perfect. I don’t really care if people will moan that the Australians copy some Swedish black metal bands and that they’re just following the religious BM trend – whatever that term “religious” means. Opinions are many, I don’t care about any of them. I only know the difference between killer and shit black metal and Erebus Enthroned is definitely the first. Their song has everything; great, vicious and furiously fast riffs, but it also embraces the dark, obscure atmosphere with great, melodic parts and almost epic bits, vide the opening theme of the song (which includes a nice choral chanting to increase the atmosphere). I know it’s nothing new, and surely you can compare Erebus Enthroned to such Marduk, Funeral Mist, Ascension, Valkyrja or Ofermod. But for fuck face, who cares when the song is so fuckin killer? The climax comes when Erebus Enthroned speeds up into a ferocious, Funeral Mist-like section and damn, I just love it. This song is almost nine minutes long, but it surely doesn’t feel like, as so much is going on here.
Meanwhile Blaze of Perdition brings us “Night of the Nights” and damn, if they wanted to get rid of the staple of Watain / Dissection followers with this track, then they surely succeeded. I think it is one of their most aggressive and vicious, if not THE MOST merciless songs so far, so bloody violent and pissed off attitude it has. This is just agressive with no remorse, as it is basically derived of the melody, which you could hear on some other songs of Blaze of Perdition and so it simply focuses on destructive black metal. And it works, of course! The vocals sound just sick and possessed (at that time there were still two vocalists in the band), the riffs are great, tempo is mainly fast, but this lengthy song is balanced between fast and slower pace, so… well, I have nothing more to add. And nothing more to desire. Both bands did exceptional work here, so this split is seriously a recommendable piece!

Final rate: 90/100

Day of Doom - The Gates of Hell

DAY OF DOOM - The Gates of Hell (LAVADOME Productions - CD 2014)
Another CD, which I received from Lavadome Productions… but this time it isn’t band from Czech Republic, but from the US soil!! They’re called Day of Doom, and damn… “The Gates of Hell” is already their third album, but I never heard of them before. Well, it doesn’t matter. I must say that the two previous Lavadome releases I listened to (which were Heaving Earth and Destroying Divinity) crushed me instantly and delivered death metal, whose high quality is undisputable. But with Day of Doom it took me some more time to figure out what’s this music is all about. It’s one of those albums, which is based on rather classic death metal means, but the band surely doesn’t want everything to be so easy and incorporate into their songs some more unusual, sometimes just weird, ideas or riffs… I definitely don’t like everything what I have heard on this CD, but at the same time some stuff here is truly great. So, not an easy album, but more challenging for sure.
As mentioned, the foundation of the music on “The Gates of Hell” is death metal. It’s obscure, rather heavy and brutal death metal, which maybe sometimes can give you some small similarity to such classics as Baphomet, Immolation or even such Blaspherian. Having in mind that the production of the album is very raw, heavy and far from polished, you can imagine that the result is just brutal and ruthless, crushing with no hesitation. And as such I think this album isn’t that bad. There are several really good moments, maybe far from being remarkable and timeless classics quality, but solid and worthy for sure. But the thing is the whole “The Gates of Hell” is very varied and so it’s also very inconsistent, to the point when Day of Doom plays some stuff, which I am not even sure if it sounds good or if it fits the whole death metal skeleton. You know… There are many fast and brutal death metal parts, but with a lot of sudden tempo changes, as well as weird and unsuspected variety of the atmosphere, switching between the aggressive and brutal death metal into some weird stuff (take the title song as an example!)… One minute the band blasts like crazy with extreme stuff and suddenly breaks the tempo and switches into something completely different and almost progressive. Hmm, I am just not sure if that works well. Sure, it puts Day of Doom into the category of more original and untypical death metal bands, but does it have to mean it’s better? I guess it just depends on everyone’s preferences.
I prefer the straight up brutal death metal, I don’t require sophisticated music from it… and surely some stuff, which Day of Doom performs sounds like it is just not necessary. The whole music is quite complex and technical, just listen to the bass arrangements on every song! Also some really nice guitar leads. Anyways, in songs like “The Gates of Hell” I feel like it’s gone step too far in that bad direction. Not always the ideas of Day of Doom are that good, I mentioned one song, but I can also point out such “An Evil Demoncy”… I’m not trying to say it’s worthless crap, but surely also not something what I would really like. But even in more straight forward and brutal songs like “Father’s Lies” I feel like for example the vocal arrangements are dull. Luckily, there’re also enough good and interesting parts / ideas, so the album is listenable haha! Besides, there are such really awesome tunes as “Circle of Eternal Aftermath”, which is basically an instrumental track, but it stands above the rest of the material as it’s doomy, melodic and epic (with quite Eastern music influence maybe in the melody??)… surely it’s a nice pause between the brutal death metal content. Then there’s such “Feasting on the Flesh of the Godly Ones”, which has quite strong Morbid Angel-style riffing here and there and it’s maybe a reason why I like it so much haha!
 Standout tracks: “Circle of Eternal Aftermath”, “Feasting on the Flesh of the Godly Ones”

Final rate: 60/100

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Rotten Music releases review

ROTTEN MUSIC - releases, reviews
Rotten Music is a small label based in London, UK, specializing in brutal forms of death metal and grind core. And I just received several CDs from Chris, the owner of Rotten Music. Let me then introduce you to them all. I am not doing separate reviews for each release, as it would take too much time and besides, I am honestly not a big expert on the music, which some of these bands play, so maybe it’s just better for me to keep the things short and present them in such one, joined article. OK? Let’s go then!
So, I started with the release number one, nicely titled “Gangrenous Mass from Axe & Hook Ejaculation”. Killer title haha! It’s a split release of two Greek death / grind crews, The Anal Treatment XXXperience and Aceptic Goitre. Yes, one of those bands is called The Anal Treatment XXXperience haha! Seriously! Sick bastards haha! I actually expected some ultra fuckin gory and brutal grind core from them, but it turns out it’s more like death / grind… hmm, if there’s any difference haha! The vocals are quite weird, as it’s not the usual deep growl or pig squeal, but more like noisy screaming, ridiculously distorted, almost high pitched. It just drills into your brain (or anus haha), giving an instant headache haha. Anyways, the music is not bad at all… Sure, Anals don’t sound like anything what I usually listen to and to be honest, their music is far from being superb and
memorable, but it’s decent. Some good riffs, the sound is also not so bad…So, I can live with it. And then Aceptic Goitre is more like a neanderthal brutal death / grind sort of band; very simple riffs, very simple song structures, extreme, deep growl, a lot of slamming, fast tempos or mid paced, grinding groove… I used the word “neanderthal”, as this is how such music sounds to me. It’s so damn simple and narrow… you know, for me these songs sound like composed in five minutes, each basically is built on similar riffs and ideas and sounds the same. At the same time the whole sounds simply hilarious sometimes. It’s almost like brainless entertainment, so switch yourself off, grab a cup of piss and listen to it haha! But I like their music more than XXXperience, as it’s just more brutal and heavier. To conclude then: I can’t say I like “Gangrenous Mass from Axe & Hook Ejaculation’”. I can’t also say that I don’t like it. It’s just one of many releases, which you listen to and probably you’ll forget about it in few months, but it’s a decent stuff and some fun for sure. Neither of these two bands deliver something special, they fail to impress me, but I guess that if you like brutal death metal and simply such funny and sick stuff, then you may grab a copy of this split. (55) OK, next up is Polish Vomit Your Brain with a compilation CD that includes their demos “Slaughtered” (2011) and “From Morgue With Love” (2010). I must admit that “Beauty of Morgue” is not bad at all. Yes, it’s brutal death metal, gory and extreme, with meaty, crunchy riffs, soaked in blood and some disgusting body liquids, with deep growls, occasionally turned into piggy squeals. I quite like it, the newer demo, with songs like "Underworld Carnivores", especially sounds nice I think (good production!). It’s really powerful and brutal stuff. Damn, good one, but very short as it’s less that 20 minutes of music! (68) But let’s go further and here’s Aceptic Goitre. Again haha! Here’s their full length album “The Graduation Frenzy” (2014). It doesn’t take much imagination to guess that these are another 30 minutes of brutal, grinding death fuckin extreme gory metal stuff! And my impression is just exactly the same as on the split with Anal XXXperience band… It’s very simple, rough as hell, brutal gory death metal, with a lot of fast, slumming stuff, deep, guttural vocals and standard B class gory horror movies concept. Actually each song is based on a different movie, like “Prom Night” (1980), “Bay of Blood” (1971), “Sleepaway Camp” (1983) or “Pieces” (1982)… And of course also “Graduation Day” from 1981. The whole list of movies is listed in the booklet and connected to each song. Cool idea, if you ask me. My impression on the music is rather positive, I mean it’s not stuff, which I listen to often, but sure… if bands like Disgorge, Cerebral Effusion, Gorgasm or Putridity are your soundtrack when you shave with a razor or eat spaghetti with blood sauce and eye balls, then you’ll like Aceptic Goitre also I think. Personally I quickly get tired with such music, but I do admit that “The Graduation Frenzy” is
quite good, some cool songs are here like “Profondo Rosso”. I definitely like that gory, creepy, brutal atmosphere in their music also. So, slay the prom queen and fuck her cold dead body! (69) And next band is beautifully names Facefuck. Wow, I’ll never get surprised with the names for brutal death metal bands anymore haha. They’re just ridiculous! Just as ridiculous is the music, really. Anyways, Facefuck is from Australia and “Domain of Perverted Pleasures” is their debut CD, played in honour of Mortician and other such bands. Programmed drums, sick vocals, a lot of blasting parts, gory atmosphere and obviously a lot of samples from horror (or porn) movies. Can it get any more repetitive? I don’t know. The music is OK, but at the same time it’s so predictable… How many times we’ve heard it before? And many times in better quality. Luckily, this is just 11 minutes of music, so it’s too short to annoy me totally. Oh, awesome artwork! (55) Demon Vomit is next and it’s another Polish band. I have actually not heard of them before I got this CD titled “Brutal Blasphemy”, but it’s cool to listen to it, as I think it’s one of the best, if not the best release from Rotten Music. And the title of this album says everything about the content: it’s brutal death metal with a strong blasphemous, antichristian lyrical concept (song titles like “Mother of God Broken by Dick”, “Jesus the Shit-Eater Christ” or “Anal Nun” do speak for themselves, even though the lyrics seem to be slightly infantile); so, it’s something quite different from the rest of Rotten Music releases. The music is totally straight forward, relentless death metal, imagine some Deicide, some early Cannibal Corpse and speeded up Incantation for example, brutal, raw, crushing fast and blasphemous to the core. Some awesome songs here, some truly splendid riffs… Maybe the album is slightly too long, so some songs feel quite repetitive, but what the hell… it’s still a nice album and I definitely like it. It’s great that I had a chance to discover this band as before I never even heard their name, so I wonder if they ever even promoted their demos here in Poland? Oh, they also did a video for song titled “Hanging Priest”, check it out! (75) Next up is a split CD with five bands on it… and none of their names tell me anything. No, hold one, they do say one thing: that obviously it’s gonna be the brutal, slumming, grinding death metal extremity again, as all those bands have that weird, unpronounceable names, unreadable logos… and all love gore and other such shit haha! Hold on; here are their monikers: Incineration / Paroxysmal Butchering / Abdicate / Catatonic Rigidity / Goemagot – and the title of the
CD is "Horrendous Forms of Human Ruination". I’m actually too lazy to check some more details on every band, sorry, but to be honest with you, I doubt I will quickly come back to any of these bands. We have here 12 songs in total… starting with Incineration, who have four tracks of brutal death metal. Very predictable, very typical, fast and slamming dose of brutality, with quite raw production and pigsty vocals. Ehhh, nothing what would stick in my mind, just mediocre stuff, which goes in one ear and out the other. Paroxysmal Butchering also brings four tracks… they seem to be even more brutal, at least the production is way better here. And also musically it’s better band, I think, even though stylistically it’s very close. Quite impressive drumming, some nice riffs… Four fast, short slabs of massive, atrocious, vile sounding technical death metal. Abdicate has two songs… This band actually has some albums released for Sevared Records (which is quite respectable label on the field of brutal death metal). And what else can I write? It’s again butchering death metal, with quite old school sound, something alike to early Suffocation albums for example. Damn, I like their music the most from the whole CD; classic take on brutal death metal, but without crossing that edge of silliness, with some great, powerful riffs and nice, raw but powerful production. Yes, this band really shall be remembered and damn, I may even try to find some of their albums, as it’s really cool stuff. Finally we have last two bands, with one song from each of them… but neither Catatonic Rigidity nor Goemagot really impressed me, I am afraid, so I quickly erased them from my memory. “Horrendous Forms of Human Ruination" is another solid release from Rotten Music, I’m sure that fans of brutal death metal will love it. Personally I am very happy to hear about Abdicate. (65) And the final CD from Rotten Music… this is Italian band called Horrendous Rebirth with “Devouring Chaos” album. And damn, it’s surely among my two favourite releases from this label, as I like this band’s old styled, brutal death metal a lot!! It’s old styled, and when I listen to this album I feel the same as when I was shredding some brutal death metal records in the early 90’s, from bands like Suffocation, Cannibal Corpse, Malevolent Creation and some mid / late 90’s bands, like Vile, Deeds of Flesh, Avulsed, Dying Fetus. Definitely Horrendous Rebirth learnt their lesson in extreme death metal, they have the right attitude, good ideas and skills to play this quite technical, but not too complex, old school death metal… They came up with some really nice songs, also the sound quality on “Devouring Chaos” is awesome, so I must admit that I was listening to this album with great pleasure and of all Rotten Music releases, this one was shredding my guts the most and longest. And I don’t even mind some pig squeals that appear here and there. Very good album. (80)

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Sunday, 5 April 2015

Archives of the Dead part XVII: MORPHEUS - In the Arms of…

Archives of the Dead part XVII: MORPHEUS - In the Arms of… (OPINIONATE! - EP 1991)
Line up: Janne Rudberg Björkenfjäll (guitars (rhythm)), Markus Rüdén (drums), Sebastian Ramstedt (guitars (lead)), Johan Bergebäck (bass), David Brink (vocals)
Recorded at Sunlight Studio by Thomas Skogsberg in July 1991.
12", 500 copies pressed on yellow vinyl, and 500 on black vinyl.
MORPHEUS – after the killer EXHUMED demo – returns with their first official release. “In the Arms of…” is not, to be honest, as great as the demo, but it still has some good moments, where the band just crushes my head! But first of all I have to admit something. As I haven’t got (yet) the original copy of “In the Arms of…” I had to use audio copy I’ve found somewhere in the net. And so I was shocked that MORPHEUS music sounded so damn slow and heavy on it! Even David Brink’s voice seemed to be very low, almost like the band used some effect on his vocals to make them sound heavier. And then I realised that it can’t be true. As a vinyl maniac I know that sometimes it may be difficult to guess what RPM speed you should use for the LP; sometimes both speeds sound fine! And here somebody played this LP on his turntable with slower speed, making “In the Arms of…” sound very slow and low. Haha, very nice try! Luckily I managed to get a proper copy soon after and here everything is as it should be; I even got the SUNLIGHT sound back! And finally the opening song - “No Man’s Land” - is 6, not 8 minutes long ha, ha! OK, but I have to say I’m really relieved I’ve noticed this, as now MORPHEUS sounds 666 times better. I really couldn’t listen to that slow version with honest pleasure ha, ha. And so I can give it a second chance. 
The opening song I already mentioned sounds just fantastic. It was the best track on “slowed down EP” anyway, but now it is just perfect. Starts with relatively mid paced riff, but then the tempo fastens, brings the proper death metal’s rotten energy. And then that fantastic melody came in the middle of the song, which I just love. For such melodies I love Swedish death metal. “Among Others” meanwhile attacks with some furious aggression and neck-braking playing, very similar to EXCRUCIATE for instance. I guess Swedish death metal hardly could have been any faster in these early days, really! “The Third Reich 3797 A.C.” is the most epic track here (with some spoken and sang vocal parts). It has a bit thrashing riffage here and there, but generally is little monotonous, as the riffs are simple and there aren’t any catchy parts in there, so I think it’s the most mediocre track on this EP. But the lyric about an Antichrist rising and starting his Third Reich, which destroys the world surely needs an attention he, he. Finally the final song, “Thoughts of Distrust” doesn’t really allow me to take a break as it invades my head with a cacophony of stabbing riffs. This track is similar to “Among Others” as it is equally fast and intense, you can be sure it won’t disappoint the fans of aggressive music. Finally that cannonade of riffs stops suddenly, so it almost seems like the world is also about to stop to exist (this is what MORPHEUS wrote about in their pessimistic lyrics anyway)… 
I have to resume this review recommending MORPHEUS and “In the Arms of…” to every fan of Swedish death metal. This band can be easily putted together with the likes of EXCRUCIATE, EPITAPH or even CARNAGE. Sure, it may not be the most brilliant and catchy of all Swedish bands, but it has much to offer anyway. I won’t hesitate if I ever get a chance to buy an original copy of this 12 inch. Luckily there's also a CD and LP reissue from Temple of Darkness, which I am actually getting now! Awesome stuff!
Final rate: 75/100

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Wound / Obscure Infinity - Souls of Eternal Damnation

WOUND / OBSCURE INFINITY - Souls of Eternal Damnation (FDA Rekotz - split 7"EP)
I buy quite a lot of 7” vinyl singles nowadays, probably more than I ever did before, as I like this format a lot and many newer bands and labels have rediscovered it and sort of brought it back to life in the extreme metal scene, after some time, when it – and vinyl in general – was not so “trendy”. But this is a problem – that the quantity not always comes in hand with quality and I feel like some of these seven inches contained second quality material of particular bands, that the songs they sometimes release on the singles are just not as good as those from the full length albums, so it feels like they just release some outtakes from recording session, just for the sake of having a 7”single in discography. I am not going to give you some examples, as everyone will have his own opinion… but I want to say that this feeling of second quality songs is not what I feel when I listen to this split 7” that I am gonna review now. This is a split between two German death metal bands: Obscure Infinity and Wound. I know both quite well, have their previous recordings in the collection… and you know what? When I listen to this split I feel like both bands delivered actually some of their best, if not THE BEST songs so far! Yes, that good it sounds, in my opinion.
Of course people who feel bored with the whole old school death metal movement will not be convinced and they will always moan and cry that this is not 1991 anymore. But I don’t care. Here are two relatively young bands and both have recorded a killer song each and that’s why I like about it.
I am especially satisfied with “Kingdom of Deceit” by Wound. This band, on their debut album “Inhale the Void”, sounded nice and I liked it, but at the same time I had to admit that it wasn’t as good as some other FDA releases or stuff from other labels. But this song sounds truly great. It obviously has that strong Swedish death metal influence, so some of the riffs are quite melodic, but the whole song is brilliantly aggressive, harsh and just straight forward, as it’s also quite fast and simply powerful as fuck. I think that stylistically Wound maybe changed a little bit, into more abrasive beast, but I like it this way. Just annihilating death metal, with some great riffs and really obscure atmosphere; oh, just listen to the ending part of this track!!! And then Obscure Infinity also delivered a nice song! Oh, it’s so lovely fast and uncompromising, almost like death / black metal, as it really has this obscure and evil feeling. Just as Wound, it also has some more melodic riffs thrown here and there, but generally the whole “Perdition Destiny” is an old school death metal annihilation and when it speeds up you can’t stop it or resist to this fantastic powerful eruption. Yes, definitely both bands delivered two of their best songs ever in my opinion! Killer split 7”EP!

Final rate: 85/100

Avitum - MMXIV

AVITUM - MMXIV (ATAVISM Records - MC 2014)
I already introduced you Atavism Records and their releases several times (with bands like Helegion, Nefastt, Rein, Dumno)… This is quite special label, I think, as it releases black metal bands from one certain region of France, Bourgogne. So, now you know that this region is not only about pinot noirs, but also about black metal haha! Oh, another very characteristic thing about Atavism is that it only releases tapes! Anyways, here’s another cassette, from band called Avitum. This is I think newly formed project, but I think it summarizes the idea behind Atavism perfectly, not only from the musical point of view, but also ideologically, as it’s a lot into the local patriotism and… well, let’s not be afraid to use this word, but also into nationalism (which doesn’t always have to mean something negative). “MMXIV” is the debut cassette, with three songs.
Hmm, I must say that when I listen to Avitum, their music reminds me some Canadian black metal bands from Quebec, who also have this strong bond to the region they’re from, also sing in French and basically perform similar harsh, primeval black metal. I’m talking about bands like Forteresse, Csejthe or Monarque, which I am sure many of you know. And I guess it should be enough to describe the music from “MMXIV”… Harsh, cold, mostly fast paced black metal, with raw obscure production and grim, hateful atmosphere. Avitum is not bad at all, I like this tape, I like the atmosphere the band creates, some riffs here or arrangements are simply awesome, especially “La Race du Grand Remplacement” stayed in my memory. Such music is very traditional, this is how black metal was really sounding back in the early 90’s, on some classic demos or albums, so I am glad that there are still bands, which play such music without the useless modern sound or other crap. So, another really fine release from Atavism. Again it is strictly limited to 100 copies, but I recommend it strongly.

Final rate: 75/100

Friday, 3 April 2015

Avulsed - Revenant Wars

AVULSED - Revenant Wars (UNHOLY PROPHECIES - 7"EP 2013)
Somewhere in Germany exists a small underground label, called Unholy Prophecies. I have most of their releases (I think there’s only one, which I am missing) and I must say that so far I was never disappointed with what they released. This particular 7”EP, which I am listening to now and trying to review is one of the biggest surprises from their release list, as it’s from the band, which I hugely underrate. I admit that Avulsed is one of those bands, which I constantly ignore. Back in the 90’s I may have had one CD of theirs (which was their most popular album I think, “Stabwound Orgasm”), which I actually quite liked, but later I also had one or two releases, including a truly crappy compilation “Reanimations”, which were not so good anymore, so I lost interest and started to ignore Avulsed a lot. For example they released “Ritual Zombi” album in 2013, but I didn’t even bother to check it out… I know that ignoring and such attitude is wrong, but damn… we live in times, when we have so many killer bands, so many killer releases you simply may have not enough time and not enough cash to get everything. So, if some bands disappointed me in the past or I did not like them so much then it’s obvious that I will not be interested.
Anyways, I would probably still not care about Avulsed, if Unholy Prophecies didn’t send me their newest release, which is “Revenant Wars” 7” single. And I am so glad they did, as it turns out that the music on this EP is simply awesome and it would be such a shame, if I never heard it! Yes! I do admit that Avulsed anno 2014 sounds insanely killer and much better than I expected. There are two songs on the EP and the one on side A, “Revenant Wars”, is simply awesome piece of old school death metal. The riffing in it is very strong; it’s great, aggressive stuff, with creepy, horror atmosphere, harsh vocals of Dave Rotten and powerful sound… kind of a mixture between Finnish, Swedish and maybe Dutch classic death metal, if that makes sense… But it sounds so damn good. It’s even slightly melodic here and there (so, this is why I mention also some Swedish influences), but generally the whole song sounds extremely pleasant and I am very positively surprised. Side B contains Nihilist’s cover, which is rather obvious and not so surprising choice, but it’s solid performance, maybe only the production is slightly too modern for such old demo songs like “Sentenced to Death” haha! You know, I’m used to hear this song with harsh, primitive sound! Haha, I’m joking of course, it’s nice cover, so … All in all, Avulsed turned out to be a great surprise for me and this song from side A is a real killer. So, now I have no choice, but to get “Ritual Zombi”, right? And you can bet that I will soon! I’ m very intrigued.

Final rate: 80/100

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Destroying Divinity - Hollow Dominion

DESTROYING DIVINITY - Hollow Dominion (LAVADOME Productions - CD 2014)
Here’s another new release from Lavadome Productions and another brutal death metal force from the Czech Republic! This one is called Destroying Divinity and certainly they’re a band, which fits Heaving Earth perfectly. I mean both bands play similar type of death metal, both are Czech and both present similar high quality and impressive, pure musical slaughter on their albums. But I must say that this is the first time when I hear about Destroying Divinity. And it is surprising, as it turns out that “Hollow Dominion” is already their fourth (!) full length album, the previous one was titled “Dark Future” and was released on different label in 2010. The band is rather slow working, as first two CDs were released in 2002 and 2004, then they had a long break of six years and now another four years later Destroying Divinity releases “Hollow Dominion”. But I suppose it’s the matter of quality over quantity. And quality death metal is what you’ll hear on the new album… and personally I will surely try to find all previous albums also, as I am very curious about them, and besides, I like to collect all albums from bands I like.
Anyway, let’s talk about “Hollow Dominion”. I mentioned that Destroying Divinity fits well to such Heaving Earth… surely both bands take a lot of influence from the US death metal scene, and such bands as Hate Eternal, Vital Remains, Morbid Angel, Immolation, Cannibal Corpse. I would also mention some European brutal acts, such as Sinister (definitely!), Severe Torture, some Polish acts like Lost Soul, (early) Decapitated or Trauma… It’s brutal, quite technical, dense and powerful death metal, maybe not overwhelmingly original or sophisticated, but damn, Destroying Divinity do know how to compose quality music. I mean, there are so many truly fantastic riffs, the songs are really well built and arranged. Some slower parts are especially impressive in my opinion, as they have almost slightly melodic and dark feeling, which maybe sounds similar to some early Immolation LPs, but the result is truly great. Obviously “Hollow Dominion” also has quite few neckbreaking, crushing and fast fragments, but I am actually glad that Destroying Divinity often tried to vary their music, flawlessly switching the paces and intensity of the riffs / drumming. There’re many textures I think, many really impressive fragments and great ideas, you simply must listen to the album carefully to pick them up from the annihilating wall of death metal slaughter.
One of the finest demonstrations of brutality is definitely the opening track “The Eternity Guardians”, which is just pure violence, fast and massive, but with an amazing slower piece near the end. It smoothly passes into “Burning Divine Domination”, which probably is my favourite song here, as I like the most when Destroying Divinity plays slower pieces; this one sounds like a killer mixture of Immolation and Morbid Angel and damn, what a bloody fantastic track! Also such “The Suffering Redemption” or “Inner Slavery” really stick in my memory, with some seriously amazing riffs. But really, the whole “Hollow Dominion” is that great mixture of fast and mid paced death metal, very well balanced, dynamic, powerful and deadly effective. Yes, it’s nothing superbly original, just traditional brutal death metal, classic to the core… but do we require anything else from bands like this? No, as long as it’s superbly played, arranged and composed… “Hollow Dominion” delivers all that.
Standout tracks: “Burning Divine Domination”, “Empire of Emptiness”, “The Suffering Redemption”, “Sinful Omens”

Final rate: 80/100