Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Skogsande / Darkeater split CD

SKOGSANDE / DARKEATER Split CD (Wolfspell Records CD 2016)
Not a long ago I had a pleasure to hear “Иней чёрного рассвета”, very good debut album from Russian black metal band Darkeater. Now they’re back coming with their new recording, which Wolfspell Records released as a split CD with Skogsande.
And about Skogsande I will write first. I had to dig a little, to find some information on this project, as it turns out Skogsande is not metal enough to be on Metal Archives haha. What I found out is that it’s another project of Nokken, who is also responsible for Is (which I already know from the split CD with Hermóðr). And Is was very good. Skogsande is OK, but honestly I don’t like it as much as Is. On this CD you’ll find three tracks (all are titled “Vintervindarnas tillhall”, but I don’t know why Nokken uses Swedish, instead of his native language), which can be described as ambient black metal. The dark ambient side is typical – melancholic, sorrowful passages of keyboards that some of you probably don’t tolerate and consider boring, and some others like a lot. I’m somewhere in between, sometimes I like to play such sort of music, but Skogsande’s ambient is just nothing special. It’s very much like Vinterriket for instance, it’s good in small doses, but in more extensive presentation I can die because of the boredom. Skogsande mixes that dark ambient with black metal. And black metal is usually very fast, furious, hateful… What I don’t like about this part of Skogsande music is the lack of ideas and general one dimensional, monotonous playing that doesn’t impress. And more so, it’s also the production, because the keyboards are definitely way too loud and they just sound out of place with the wall of buzzy guitars, unreadable riffs, furious screams and blasting drums. Don’t get me wrong, Skogsande isn’t bad, but surely not something I would be delighted with.
And now Darkeater. Their “Иней чёрного рассвета” CD was awesome, very good black metal album. Here they present their new EP “Янтарный погост”, which is another fine release from Darkeater. First there’s another ambient track that creates the cold, melancholic atmosphere for six minutes before the title song appears. This is raw sounding black metal with that characteristic cold, sorrowful and eerie aura. The pace is much slower than in Skogsande, but the production is better, so are the ideas, arrangements and diversity of this song. I really like it and again am quite impressed with the works of these two guys behind Darkeater.
Summing it all up then, I have to say that if I was going to describe the roster of Wolfspell Records, in what sort of music this label specializes in, then it would be with bands like Skogsande and  Darkeater. This sort of dark, melancholic and gloomy black / ambient metal appears on this label most often. Of course some releases are better (Hermóðr stuff, previous Darkeater CD), some worse (Dun, Paths). This particular split CD is not bad also, but not my favourite one. I’m glad though to have a copy and surely will come back to it sooner or later.

Final rate: 65/100

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Galvanizer interview

GALVANIZER interview

Well, it’s good to find new band, which sounds so fuckin nice! I have to say I was surprised that Galvanizer members are all so young, as it’s not something common to see youngsters not just interested in more underground, filthy and obscure music, but also able to perform it so impressively. I guess most of them would prefer to do commercial stuff, which would give them a deal with Nuclear Blast haha! So, tell me how old are you all and what makes you play this stuff? How did you end up forming Galvanizer?
Hails! I am Aleksi and recently I turned to 18 years, Vili is 19 yers old and Nico is the oldest and he's 21 years old. The thing behind this band is the passion for playing and performing!
Old school death metal is the music closest to my heart (and guts) and it's something so energetic to be on the stage and just tear peoples ears apart! Death metal scene over the world is rising again and older bands are re-uniting one by one. We just had a vision to be a part of this whole thing such as tapetrading. Galvanizer is formed by Vili back in 2013 and I joined in autumn 2014. At that time we were two piece band but gladly Nico joined in 2015 to play drums! I gotta say that this kind of popularity what we have couldn't be possible without all you guys supporting analog old school death metal! A special thanx to everybody!

I introduced your band to some friendly maniacs and they were all impressed, saying that your music may sound archaic and “Horrid Tales of Death...” EP sounds like an old 90’s demo tape, but
there’s feeling and kind of enthusiasm and passion that makes it more exceptional than many other old school death metal bands. How do you feel about such compliments?
I am really happy for that kind of words ofcourse! It's really satisfying when you hear from people that they really like our music and I have to say that I haven't heard much of negative comments. Good way to keep haha. I still respect those who don't like it and there are some things that I personally would change if I could go back in time. Quite often the band itself is the one always whining about their music haha. That's life... And about that "going back in time", one guy here in Finland said: "These young men will take you back in time faster than DeLorean"! Fucking love that line haha. That is something I've wanted to achieve for some years! We try to look old school and try to sound old school. It draws people's attention and I'm simply an old school worshipper (Only analog is real enough!).

Tell me something about the demo “Ground Above”, which you did prior the EP. I never heard it, I guess it wasn’t widely spread, so what is it like? How was the recording of both demo and EP like, since I guess you’re not experienced in studio sessions and stuff like that.
Well ,”Ground Above” was recorded in the end of 2014 and we actually spread it much more widely than we thought we could. Something like 160 copies were traded / sold and given away from us. Quite good amount could I say! It was really a DIY tape and we dubbed all of them on old tapes by ourselves. The recording of that shitty demo was simple... ONE FUCKING MICROPHONE AND A REHEARSAL ROOM! Haha! We composed those songs in our second rehearsal and I had some lyrics ready for few songs, so It took something like two fucking days and we got a demo ready! Not joking. We were super fast at that point but I wasn't so fast behind the drumkit haha. First of all we recorded guitar and drums simultaneously with that one microphone. Then it was time for bass and after that the vocals. All happened In our rehearsal room. ”Horrid Tales of Death...” EP recordings were quite different from the demo recordings: all the instruments were recorded separately, like it's normally done. This type of recording was new thing for me but luckily Vili had already much of experience on recording in a studio!

You recorded the demo as two piece band and now have Nico on drums as third member, so it’s classic three piece! I saw that you come from small towns, probably somewhere near the end of the world (haha!!), so I guess you should be happy to have been able to have complete line up? What did the addition of Nico to the line up change in Galvanizer? 
Yes. Nico joined Galvanizer like two months before recording of our EP. First off we thought that Nico could be the guitarist but I really weren't happy about my skills on drums so Nico joined to play drums and I grabbed my Jackson from the corner of my room and it went good like that. Without Nico on drums, Galvanizer would not be Galvanizer. We are faster now than in the beginning! I'm really satisfied with our line up!  I think that trio-bands look good on the stage and there's much more room to go crazy on the stage haha! And about our small towns... nothing to say about them... hahaha. Just wilderness, bears and quiet but dark woods. So something normal if we think about Finland.

So, “Horrid Tales of Death...” was putted out by Equinox Discos. How did you end up on Eduardo’s label? Did you record these four new songs with aim to get them on vinyl or first it was supposed to be just another demo?
It was something like the beginning of 2015. Eduardo sent us an email and he said that he's interested in Galvanizer and he could release our music on tape, CD or vinyl. Well, that email got us really interested and in the same time we started to compose those four songs that ended up on our EP which Edu released! We will work with Equinox Discos on the coming releases too as long as Eduardo wants that! We have been happy about Equinox Discos and Edu is the man who works hard for the bands! Nothing bad to say.

How do you feel about the music of Galvanizer? I mean, does it take a lot of effort from you to come up with this sort of riffs and atmosphere? Or the whole composing process is pretty smooth?
Pretty smooth I guess. We have pretty big distance to each other, so that slows things a bit but we're fine with that. Making new songs comes really naturally and it re
ally is fun too. Lyrics are the bigger problem haha. I have made almost every lyrics and I simply just try to make something utterly horrifying. I have to say (and many of you maybe have heard it with your own ears) that we like to make different kinds of songs and the style sometimes goes from pure GrindGORE to Dismember kind of melodic death metal.

I was impressed with the opening / closing themes for your EP, as they show you have gift not just for creepy, morbid death metal, but also for melodic stuff. The ending part of “Cadaveric Lust” sound just stunning. I wonder if you have in plans more such ideas for harmonic riffs, which would bring maybe some Swedish death metal influences, but which would surely make the music more varied and interesting?
Those themes were quite a success, at least the outro on ”Cadaveric Lust”. It turned out to be pretty awesome and atmospheric. Somekind of a wedding tune for alive human and decomposed corpse. Of course we have space for something similar! We are strongly influenced by the Swedish scene too and the melodic stuff gives on us that versatile sound. It is our way to make different kind of songs so the listener can always stay more interested and doesn't know what's coming next. So not only fast blast beats and repetitive riffs on and on... And I have to say that I use the classic Swedish HM-2 sound so that's the one way of the Swedish influence haha. On the records the sound is more raw though but at our shows it sounds way more heavier! Maybe in the next release you can hear it better...

Ha, I was surprised to see that the artwork for “Horrid Tales of Death...” was made by the dude, who in the past did artwork for all classic Finnish bands like Abhorrence, Convulse, Demilich, Purtenance. Damn, it makes a nice connection of Galvanizer with the old Finnish cults, especially as style wise it seems like you’re very much inspired by your old scene, right? I mean, if “Horrid Tales of Death...” was released in 1991, then it would be cherished as much as “Crown Waits the Immortal” for example.
Yeah, I totally dropped my jaw when Luxi's answer was "Yes!" for drawing a cover art to us. But what can surprise you is that he actually drew it in the golden year of 1991! So it isn't a new drawing by him and he said for me that he haven't drew anything like that for 20 years and then he found that sketch. It was originally supposed to be a T-shirt design for some legendary 90's band but somehow they ever didn't use it... This kind of stuff makes for us even bigger connection to the old school scene. Maybe we could be a legendary and classic band from the 90's if we would be over 40 years old guys now.

So, tell me about your general impression on the old Finnish death metal scene. Which are your personal favourite demos, Eps, albums, etc? I always loved Finnish bands, but hated to see many of them changing their style after the first album haha. It sucked big balls, in my opinion. Just see what happened to Disgrace. Another bunch of great bands like Demilich or Funebre split up just after one album and that’s another sad fact.
Can't say any personal favorites! Too many super good records. But ofcourse I can say few of them: Demigod – ”Slumber of Sullen Eyes”, Xysma – ”Swarming of the Maggots”, Necrobiosis (all releases), Funebre – ”Children of the Scorn”, Abhorrence – ”Vulgar Necrolatry”, Lubricant – ”Swallow the Symmetric Swab”, Demilich – ”Nespithe”, Mortal Agony – ”The Cradle” and many many others. But there's some of my favorites and of course I forgot many of those when I try to put them here... I don't actually mind about those changes in those bands. I like all the Xysma material for example and I can say that some bands changed their style pretty good. But of course that is only my opinion haha. I understand your view on it too. It's kinda sad that many great DM bands split up or changed their style radically. I think it happened more with the bands here in Finland than with the bands in Sweden. But one sure thing is that Finnish and Swedish death metal is a big part of our music!

You played some gigs with Lubricant lately. How were they like? What
’s your impression on this band and their rather weird take on death metal? What do they sound like so many years after? And what was people’s feedback to Galvanizer performances like?
Great times, great times! That weekend was sick and so was I in somepoint haha. Too much alcohol... Lubricant is a special type of band! They have really unique sound, kinda grinding rock n roll. They're good friends of mine and I hope they feel the same way, haha! What surprised me after their comeback is that they sound exactly the same after all these fucking years! It is just amazing to witness that! Feedback has always been really positive on our gigs and these two shows didn't make an exception. We will demolish all the living matter  to the grave on our gigs and people seem to like that, haha!

So, “Horrid Tales of Death...” is out, some gigs are played… and what’s next in plans? I’m hoping to hear more such killer music, so tell me what you aim to do with Galvanizer!!! And tell me also, is it true what people say about the Finns drinking so much fuckin alcohol, vodka especially haha?
Well, there actually are some recording plans but at this point I can't reveal anything specific, sorry! But I sure can guarantee that some new sickness is coming to beat the shit out of your ears... We are also planning a Germany / Denmark tour for the summer! And the drinking thing, well, the stereotype isn't there without some truth behind it, you know. But even though we're quite heavy drinkers, there is still no competition when it comes to Russians: even a Finn thinks that's something unbelievable. 
Thanx for making this interview possible! Thank you for all you guys for reading this! We will be back soon with new material! Before that we will play gigs with some flaming passion! Here's some links considering Galvanizer: www.facebook.com/GalvanizerBand https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOwB6isIrMY Email: galvanizerband@gmail.com 
KEEP IT OLD SCHOOL!!!

Pandemonium - Bones Will Rise from the Ground Live

PANDEMONIUM - Bones Will Rise from the Ground Live (OLD TEMPLE CD 2015)
Pandemonium is one of the longest running Polish bands for sure. In their close to 30 years long history (formed in 1989!) they had their ups and downs, better and worse albums, they even had to change the name for Domain, when the original drummer Żuber registered the original moniker, and then as Domain recorded another three excellent albums. All in all, I think that if you don’t know Pandemonium and such classics like “The Ancient Catatonia” or “Devilri”, then it’s huge mistake. I do have an impression though that Pandemonium is hugely underrated, especially the stuff they recorded recently, like the phenomenal “Misanthropy” (2012) album, but even such “Hellspawn” (2007). So, please check these albums out, because Pandemonium deserves attention. Meanwhile, Old Temple released this compilation “Bones Will Rise from the Ground Live”, which may also interest you. I personally treat it like a collectors’ item, because the purpose of this compilation is doubtful. But I guess it’s always cool to listen to this band and here you’ll find some very nice songs indeed.
The best part of “Bones Will Rise from the Ground Live” is surely the first one, where you can find some different studio recordings, from various sessions. First, there’s excellent “In Lord We Trust”, which is sort of exclusive song here and which would fit the last full length perfectly, with quite disturbing, dark, eerie aura and slow, hypnotizing music. Then there’re couple of newly recorded songs that were featured also on “Misanthropy”. I don’t know what’s the point to re-record these songs again, since they’re still very fresh, but it’s always nice to hear such “Only the Dead Will See the End of War”, which is just epic piece, with strong almost ritualistic feeling and aura that reminds me such Septic Flesh. And I like song called “Misanthropy” even more! We’re also treated with cover of “Equimanthorn” and re-recorded song “Hellspawn”, which are fine.
Then there’s the second part of “Bones Will Rise from the Ground Live”, which is a 2005 live recording. And it’s pretty cool, I can say, even if the sound quality is quite raw, but who cares, right? The set list contains many Pandemonium classics like “Hagia Sophia”, “Unholy Existence” or “Memories”, so it’s surely a nice present for fans of the early Pandemonium recordings. I have to say that I like that they didn’t make “a fake live recording”, how I usually call them… you know, live recordings, which are polished in the studio or even have some additional parts recorded in the studio, with the screams from the audience extended or cut off. No, this live recording is harsh, but that’s why it’s also authentic. You can hear that it was done in small venue, with probably small number of maniacs under the scene, but they do scream the usual Polish “napierdalać!!” (haha) or the band name, so it’s all as it should be. It sounds like it must have been a good show.
And that’s it. “Bones Will Rise from the Ground Live” is not a must have release, it’s rather something for the fans of the band and collectors. Surely it will make the waiting for new album shorter.

Final rate: 65/100

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Hellspawn - There Has Never Been a Son of Me

HELLSPAWN - There Has Never Been a Son of Me (OLD TEMPLE - CD 2016)
It’s been a while since Hellspawn released their last album, excellent “The Great Red Dragon”. I don’t really know what was going on with this band since then, but at least their new album came out recently, which is “There Has Never Been a Son of Me”, putted out by Old Temple. In case you don’t know Hellspawn, they’re Polish death metal act with three albums and one demo in discography. I guess that for many fans out there Polish death metal is already something that equals to quality and distinctive brutal music. And believe me, Hellspawn is one of the most solid and enjoyable bands from here, in my opinion. I have all the stuff they recorded, I was happy to watch how they’re maturing, evolving in good direction, making better and better music. “There Has Never Been a Son of Me” is another step forward for this band for sure, another great release, another awesome quality death metal. Obviously it’s not a groundbreaking record, which would bring something exceptional and new to the genre. But are we even looking for something like this? I don’t. I just want to hear killer riffs, great songs, good arrangements and powerful death metal. “There Has Never Been a Son of Me” has all that for sure.
Hellspawn take on death metal is quite a diverse thing, because I think they equally dose the old school vibes, as well as the more modern death metal influence. Their music can be technical and blasting like crazy, but next there will be a slower, even kind of epic song. At few occasions Hellspawn decided to use keyboards, but I am not sure if I like the effect, to be honest. It immediately reminds me how Vader decided to incorporate keyboards into their music and I never really liked it, it sounds odd and almost inappropriate for this sort of bands, in my opinion at least. It’s like they wanted to get an extra point for bringing something new, doesn’t matter if it sounds good or not. Of course I am not gonna moan that there are keyboards on “There Has Never Been a Son of Me”, some of you may like this orchestral feeling keyboards add, some won’t, right? Sometimes it sounds worse (the final song), sometimes better, like for example in “Antitrinitarian”, which has such a small “God of Emptiness” vibe mixed with a bit of orchestral Septic Flesh-icism that you’re gonna love it anyway haha! “Heralded by Prophets” also has that killer feeling alike to Morbid Angel and damn, what a nice song it is, I simply love it.
Other than that, the album is filled with ferocious, brutal, often fast death metal that will blow your head off. Similarities to Morbid Angel, Vader, Deicide, Vital Remains and such is strong, and these names should give you an idea what can you expect from Hellspawn. But as said, this is quite diverse material and I like how the band combines different types of riffs or tempos, aggression with some melodic accents, even how the vocals vary. It just brings fantastic results. It’s almost easily listenable, because this album is so straight forward that you’ll get into it immediately.
Check it out then. And read the lyrics, which are filled with strong antichristian topics.
Standout tracks: “Do Not Be Among Idolaters”, “Antitrinitarian”, “Heralded by Prophets”

Final rate: 75/100

Friday, 25 March 2016

Hell United / Nuclear Holocaust / Cemetery Whore / Necrosodomistical Slaughter - Infected by Old School

CEMETERY WHORE / NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST / HELL UNITED / NECROSODOMISTICAL SLAUGHTER - Infected by Old School (DEFENSE Records split CD 2016)
“Infected by Old School” is split of four Polish metal bands... four very different bands, each with different style and sound, but with one shit in common: they all love old school, even if this old school may mean something different to each of them. How does it sound to you? Well, I can understand that usually it’s better to have a split release where bands have similar style, but maybe this time it’s gonna be something more interesting? We’ll see.
So, Cemetery Whore goes first. Damn, I like this band a lot and can only be sorry to find just three songs from them (where one is a Celtic Frost cover), all of which have been released as “Into the Cunt of Cemetery Whore” demo. They’re probably the rawest sounding and obscure death metal act from the whole four, with that really nasty and morbid music that caught my attention immediately. It stinks with the odour of very early Asphyx, ancient Death, Autopsy or Nihilist, so bands which I just adore. I like the raw sound of this demo, some cool riffs, good vocals, with such “The Walking Dead of Nazareth” being absolutely bashing track. It’s just makes me want to hear more.
Next up is Nuclear Holocaust. I already have their “Mutant Inferno” and listened to it several times and on this split they included this demo in its entirety. Do I like it? Well, honestly it’s nothing exceptional for me. They have this punkish, crusty grind style, with rather screaming than growled vocals and with very raw and aggressive manner that some of you may like, some don’t. It’s nothing truly incredible or memorable, especially since all songs tend to sound the same to me. Short songs (11 tracks in 15 minutes), very simple, straight forward playing… it’s often compared to Terrorizer, but I would not go that far with comparisons, to be honest.
Second to last is one of my favourites and surely the best band from the whole split – Hell fuckin United. Who doesn’t have their last album “Aura Damage” is gay. Anyways, what they show here are sadly just two songs of total death metal annihilation. It’s vicious, fast, aggressive and obscure, it’s dark and evil sounding... it’s just a killer stuff. I really like their riffs and this ghastly feeling their music has. I like that it’s so straight forward, chaotic, with no bullshit and the intensity and sheer aggression of their music reminds me such Angel Corpse or even bands like Revenge. And these two songs are supposed to be taken from rehearsal recording, but damn, they sound awesome in my opinion!
Finally we have Necrosodomistical Slaughter, who present twenty songs of a total grind madness! Surely it’s unfair; the best band Hell United has two songs and they have twenty haha, who cares if some of them are just few seconds short haha. I honestly am not a big fan of such music, I don’t listen to grind often. In the beginning it’s still OK, tracks like “Saw Blast Massacre” or “Let's Kill Again” are really cool, but after few songs I get bored and tired with it, especially as some of these tracks has absolutely no sense. Hmm, I guess you cannot even call them songs, as they’re what? Short noisy eruptions or other farts haha? It’s hard to treat bands like them seriously, it’s also hard to really listen to it, so if I can be honest, I usually skip most of their songs, because they don’t interest me. But the longer songs (1,5-2 minutes long), like those I mentioned above, are pretty cool.
So, “Infected by Old School” is weird split. Two great bands and two, which I don’t like so much. For Cemetery Whore and Hell United I would give at least 80/100, for the other two 60/100... So, the final verdict is…

Final rate: 65/100

Mordbrand - Hymns of the Rotten

MORDBRAND - Hymns of the Rotten (DEFENSE Records - CD 2016)
I have to say that Mordbrand is among my favourite new death metal bands and I try to get all the stuff they release; all splits, EPs, albums, etc. So, I already have quite a nice bunch of stuff with their logo, missing basically only one vinyl (their early split with Evoke). But you know how it is with seven inches for example. They’re great collectors’ items, but you don’t listen to them often, right? So, an idea to compile all songs from seven inches plus some other splits into one CD is surely a good one. This is exactly what “Hymns of the Rotten” is. This CD, released by Defense Records, brings you songs from split vinyl releases with Evoke and Bombs of Hades, songs from “Kolumbarium” and “Vastation” singles plus the stuff from 7” split with Rite and a song from a little known Official Mass vol. 2 compilation. Nice collection, oh yeah! Even if I have majority of these songs on vinyl, I listened to this CD with great pleasure, just because I hardly even remember most of them and besides, on CD these songs sound even stronger and more powerful, when you turn the volume closer to the maximum. Oh yeah. The walls break, ears are bleeding, but I enjoy some excellent old school Swedish death metal, no regrets for the damages! But let me say one thing: if you don’t like Swedish death metal, then just skip this review, go away and do something else. There won’t be anything that may interest you here. But if you’re a fan and don’t know Mordbrand yet, then open your eyes for this excellent band.
As said above, I like Mordbrand a lot. Fuckin cool band, with some of the best songs and riffs out there. And with fuckin Per Boder on vocals! Yes! You don’t know who Per Boder is? Fuck off then. This CD starts with absolutely fantastic tune “Order of the Formless”, from split with Rite, and this is one of my favourite Mordbrand tunes. It’s just perfect, spotless, aggressive but also a bit melodic tune, with just 100% awesomeness. But later this CD is also super delicious. Obviously since “Hymns of the Rotten” is a compilation of songs from various releases, from various years and sessions, there are some sound differences. But the songwriting is always good, there’s not even one single song, which would be bad or crap. The tracklist order is from the newest to the oldest songs, but you won’t feel it, only the production can get slightly harsher sometimes. You can probably also hear that the earliest stuff, which is the Evoke split part, is good, but quite as killer as the newest songs. You could hear that their style was not perfected yet, even the vocals were not quite as good as they’re now, but the songs were solid and enjoyable anyway.
The best songs are those from “Kolumbarium” EP and “Order of the Formless”, in my opinion. They’re the stuff, which I wish Entombed was doing since “Clandestine” album. But how can I moan that Entombed sucks balls, if we have such a fantastic replacements? No point. Bands like Mordbrand are good enough to carry on the fantastic Swedish death metal traditions and thanks to them this style won’t extinct and be forgotten.
Did you know this compilation was also released in nice box, with some flammable shit inside? Damn, I guess it’s sold out now, but you can… you MUST… get yourself “Hymns of the Rotten” anyway, because this is super cool CD from absolutely fantastic band. Am I exaggerating? I don’t care what you think, I just like them a lot. Try it out then, but remember; if you don’t like Swedish death metal, then just don’t bother.
Standout tracks: “Order of the Formless”, “Consume Them”, “Let Them Slumber”

Final rate: 90/100

Thursday, 24 March 2016

God Disease - Doom Howler / Abyss Cathedral

GOD DISEASE - Doom Howler / Abyss Cathedral (SOUTH FROM HERE Records - CD 2016)
God Disease is new band from Helsinki and they’re another killer death metal act that I really want to recommend you. They have done one demo “Crawling Out of the Coffin” in 2013 and then a couple of EPs, which both have now been released on CD under their common title “Doom Howler / Abyss Cathedral” (by new French label South from Here Records). Well, I can only applause such nice choices and admit with all my honesty that I truly enjoyed this CD. It’s one of those albums that fit your musical taste so perfectly that they’re almost easily listenable, even if we speak of death metal band. It surely is very enjoyable and solid stuff, once I started to play it, this CD didn’t come out of my CD player for few days and believe me, I played it loud haha! This is how you recognize great and solid albums from mediocrity. If you play something mediocre, you don’t remember about it next day, right?
Of course there’s nothing exceptional and sophisticated about God Disease. This is pure, old school death metal, you know? So, don’t expect fancy fireworks or fashionable hipster shit from it. But it’s damn well played and recorded, and more so, these songs crush! Most of the stuff on “Doom Howler / Abyss Cathedral”, doesn’t matter which part of it we speak of, is oriented on the doomy, heavy death metal, which combines that heaviness and brutality with some awesome melodic accents, which you can hear here and there. Obviously the comparisons to old Finnish scene comes quickly. I definitely can trace Funebre, Convulse and Demigod in God Disease, along with some Swedish stuff like Eternal Darkness. These comparisons are no shame though, as for sure God Disease are better than many other bands around these days.
Already the opening song “Doom Howler” proves that it’s gonna be a real old school death metal feast. I love how these riffs crawl slowly out of the dark, coming closer and closer, so that you start to feel horrified. Soon they start to suffocate you with sadistic pleasure and you realize there’s no turning back. Damn nice! “Maggots” is faster, more aggressive and straight forward, but “Necromancer” comes back to what I like the most: slow, sluggish, massive shit! Somewhere in the middle you’re treated with a nice Entombed cover and then the second EP “Abyss Cathedral” starts. It was recorded a year before “Doom Howler”, but you won’t feel much difference, when speaking of the great quality of songs. Only the production is a bit rawer, but I like it anyway. And again, the first song kicks ass. “Sepulchral Swamp” sounds incredible, with the best melodies here, reminding me even old Paradise Lost. Following tracks leave no doubt that this is just excellent stuff and the culmination and high peak comes with absolutely amazing “Abyss Cathedral”, the best song from the whole CD in my opinion.
Yeah, I just feel happy that I had a chance to get to know God Disease. And I just want to recommend them to you, trust me, if you like old school death metal, with nice doomy touch then you’ll love those Finnihs basterds. Yeah, hope to hear more from them soon.
Standout tracks: “Abyss Cathedral”, “Doom Howler”, “Sepulchral Swamp”, “Crush the Believer”

Final rate: 80/100

Monday, 21 March 2016

Cień - Time of Anti-Humanity

CIEŃ - Time of Anti-Humanity (OLD TEMPLE CD 2015)
I was quite curious about this CD. I know Cień from their very good “Time of Desolation” demo, as well as from “Ecce Homo” album. But I never had a chance to hear their debut release “Anti Humanity” from 2010, which I was quite interested to hear since I was told it is quite raw and harsh sounding black metal. This CD called “Time of Anti-Humanity” and released on Old Temple, brings both Cień demos, so you can now see how this band evolved since their first release through the second demo and then compare it with “Ecce Homo”. Why not, right?
So, about “Time of Desolation” I don’t wanna write much, since I had already reviewed this demo twice before. But let me just say it’s damn good stuff, in my opinion, with some truly excellent, but also varied, interesting compositions. Cień sounds here like a band which knows the origins of the genre, but combines them with something more original and uncommon, mainly fusing it with some depressive, atmospheric parts. The result is splendid, with such songs like “Where Is Your God?”, “The Clock”. Yeah, definitely it’s great demo and I tend to come back to it quite often.
As for “Anti Humanity”, one thing is true; this demo sounds harsher and more primitive than the later stuff. But to be honest, I don’t like it so much. Sure, there are some decent moments, like the first and second song, with some fast and slow paced raw black metal. But there are some other parts of this demo, which annoy me with those sort of melancholic, not so good riffs, with some insanely weak clean vocals or other such stuff. There’s just nothing on this demo, what I would really enjoy. Obviously I realize every band has to start somewhere and to some point I can also admit that Cień already on their debut wanted to sound a bit different than majority of other black metal bands. But it doesn’t work for me and I prefer their later recordings much more.
I still recommend this CD, so you can listen to “Time of Desolation” demo. This one gets 80/100 easily, while “Anti Humanity” no more than 50/100.

Final rate: 65/100

Friday, 18 March 2016

Dira Mortis - Psalms of Morbid Existence

DIRA MORTIS - Psalms of Morbid Existence (DEFENSE Records CD 2016)
It’s been a while since the last Dira Mortis album was released and I have to say that “Psalms of Morbid Existence” was among the most anticipated Polish releases of the last months for me personally. I knew I will have to grab a copy and will need one rather sooner than later. Finally I bought a killer set of great quality t-shirt and CD. Wow, I have to say that from the first look I love the artwork. But I hoped that Dira Mortis will continue playing their crushing death metal style from the previous album “Euphoric Convulsions”. They do! More so, “Psalms of Morbid Existence” is even better. Oh yeah, I was playing this album quite many times in last couple of weeks and I am fully pleased with it. And you also will, if you like brutal, fast death metal in its very traditional form. This band didn’t change much, when speaking of their style. They did matured though, came up with even better songs and heavier, crunchier production. Oh, I really like how this album sounds, with very good guitar tone, drums’ sound and generally with clean but at the same time a bit harsh and aggressive sound.
And these songs have some of the best riffs and arrangements Dira Mortis came up so far. Whether you prefer blasting, shattering stuff or slower, sometimes even slightly melodic death metal (guitar leads here are all very melodic, adding some more feeling to the dominating brutality), “Psalms of Morbid Existence” will always have something for you. And it’s all fully impressive, even if I can have one small comment on the length of all songs, as all are extensive as hell, “Self - Destructive Salvation” reaching almost 12 minutes, what surely is not usual for this sort of death metal. I personally would prefer shorter, but more straight forward and fierce tracks, because such extended songs are more difficult to memorize and listen to, even if the band does everything to keep the listener interested. But I don’t wanna take away Dira Mortis their great potential. The undisputable fact is they again recorded killer album. These guys turned into great musicians, who know how to compose some crushing riffs, arrange everything in proper and varied way and come up with death metal that would not sound stagnant, repetitive or poor. Each of these four songs, like “Humanity Enforcement Proceedings” or “Dawn of Psychotropic Ages” has splendid, killer moments, fantastic guitar solos and balanced fast and slower tempos. And did I mention sick, dark atmosphere of this music? Yeah, it’s all there, so this is why I am sure that “Psalms of Morbid Existence” is one of those albums, which will be loved by death metal maniacs. This is no bullshit album, no time waste, but hard ass kicking, aggressive stuff. And it ends with Krabathor cover, which is one of those names that really comes to my mind, if I had to compare Dira Mortis to anything.
Standout tracks: too hard to decide, all are very similar when speaking of their quality

Final rate: 80/100

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Apotheosis Omega - Vama Marga

APOTHEOSIS OMEGA - Vama Marga (GODEATER Records CD 2016)
Here’s another release from Godeater, and another black metal band in this label. It kind of happened that all black metal stuff that Godeater has released so far was German, with killer releases from Black Horizonz, Notorius and Nordafrost… and it ain’t different with Apotheosis Omega, who are from Aachen. “Vama Marga” is their debut release, they have no demos or other stuff recorded, but this album sounds already mature enough to know that sometimes demos can just be a waste of time for some bands.
I have to be honest, I have some problems with clear qualification of Apotheosis Omega music. For example I can hear some Greek black metal influences in it, but there’s more to it than just that (for example, I can additionally bring “Reinkaos” similarities) and as a result, the music of Apotheosis Omega sounds way more original than most of the other black metal releases these days, and they do that without infecting the style with other genres like post blablabla or whatever. At the same time they’re not like all those orthodox black metal acts there, even if Apotheosis Omega surely used a lot of traditional means, but managed to come up with something intriguing without eating genres’ own tail. And there are many really fantastic riffs or arrangements and ideas here, I like how Apotheosis Omega combines harsh and dark black metal with melodic and epic, slow paced stuff. It works well enough to keep me interested, even if I’m far praising the band for creating the best black metal of the year. And that’s not only because the quality bar has been risen incredibly high lately, but also because I feel like I miss something on “Vama Marga”. The music becomes a little bit dull after several listens, maybe because it gets a bit too melodic after a while and I start to miss the obscure and really cold, aggressive black metal sound. It wouldn’t harm also if the music was a bit faster. Finally, I’m afraid that I’m also a bit annoyed with the vocals’ manner of Dorn.
So, when reading this you may think that I’m not really so much into “Vama Marga”. Well, that would not be truth. I won’t be praising Apotheosis Omega, but I’m also far from calling it crap. It’s just one of those solid and interesting bands that you enjoy from time to time, even if you know that their music didn’t break your neck and it’s not one of those jaw dropping releases that you wanna hear every fuckin day.
Standout track: “Belial”

Final rate: 70/100

Monday, 14 March 2016

Demonic Rage - Omen of Doom

DEMONIC RAGE - Omen of Doom (OLD TEMPLE - CD 2016)
Demonic Rage really fuckin blew my head off last year, when I’ve listened to their so expected “Venomous Wine from Putrid Bodies” album. This band is insane and together with Unaussprechlichen Kulten, Godless and Diabolical Messiah is now my favourite death metal commando from the mighty Chile. Sad thing about Demonic Rage is that they released quite many demos, splits, etc, but it’s impossible to find most of them. But Old Temple comes with help and decided to unleash killer compilation called “Omen of Doom”, which would bring together songs from quite few hard to find older Demonic Rage releases. I can only praise them for such decision. So, this CD has songs from such releases as "The Occult Formula to Desecrate Souls" EP 2011, "Sulphuric Congregation Towards the Holocaust of All Sacred and Holy" demo 2010, "The Anguish's Doomaelstrom" demo 2008, "Demo # 2" 2006 and some more mainly rehearsal recordings. All together, we have 20 tracks with 73 minutes of utterly massive, gloomy death metal.
Obviously there is huge difference in sound quality between all these releases. Some of them sound absolutely killer, some lack that massive, crushing, obscure sound, but have a decent production to say least. But you couldn’t expect it to be different, if we have some great studio stuff next to rehearsals recordings, all done within ten years or more. Luckily most of the stuff, which is on “Omen of Doom” sounds killer, so I never had a huge problem with it. And definitely Demonic Rage music should be a perfect offer for all those, who praise bands such as Incantation, Funebrarum, Disma, Demilich, Disgrace, Morpheus Descends, Drawn and Quartered and so on. So, we speak of rather slow paced (but with many fast parts), insanely heavy and evil sounding death metal, with very low, demonic vocals and not even a single moment of melodic, softer music. No, from start to finish this is totally brutal shit. And since I like Demonic Rage a lot, this compilation is a great feast for me, especially as I only own one release from all those, which are included here – I’m talking about excellent "The Occult Formula to Desecrate Souls" cassette EP.
Actually "The Occult Formula…” songs are surely the best, including killer Profanatica cover or fantastic songs from studio rehearsal session, especially total mindblowing “Ascending Heresies in Blasphemy”. It’s so fast, so fuckin vicious and brutal and you gonna low it. It’s also very short song, but later you have a real monster called “Desecrating the False Divinity”, which is almost nine minutes long crusher. Yes, definitely all five songs from "The Occult Formula…” tape are the best stuff on this CD, also because the production of it is killer. “Sulphuric Congregation…” is also really damn good, even if it contains just two songs. But the same I can say about “The Anguish's Doomaelstrom” demo or “Demo #2” from 2006. The sound quality goes lower with demo recordings from 2004 and 2003, but it surely doesn’t spoil the listen anyway. I only don’t like one live song from this CD, but that one ends the album, so I can always skip it.
So, very good compilation from Demonic Rage here. “Omen of Doom” is huge portion of monstrous, sepulchral death metal, with various quality, but mainly with the great stuff. So I strongly recommend them. Get their full length album (which actually contains many of these songs, obviously recorded again with even stronger sound), if you don’t have it yet and get this compilation also. And support them!

Final rate: 70/100

Humiliation / Savage Deity - Devastation / War Crime

HUMILIATION / SAVAGE DEITY - Devastation / War Crime (BRUTAL ART Records 7"EP split 2015)
Brutal Art Records owner must like Humiliation a lot, because this band appeared on almost every release from his label… on five, to be exact. Here’s one of them, this time we have split with two Asian bands: Humiliation (Malaysia) and Savage Deity (Thailand). Yes, we have two Asian death metal bands released on European label, something what doesn’t happen I think so often!
After hearing two other split seven inches, I already know what can I expect from Humiliation and these two new songs doesn’t bring any surprises. This is still the same Bolt Thrower, Hail of Bullets, old Gorefest kind of old school death metal, with heavy as fuck sound and riffage that brings utter devastation. Hmm, even if I feel like the songs from other splits that I’ve listened to were a bit better (especially on Obscure Infinity split), these tracks are still solid and worthy, especially the second one called “Tank”. The tempo is constantly slow, the overall sound is just massive crushing beast, with some melodic accents here and there… but it just sounds great. I don’t know if it works on full length albums (but will find out soon, as I’m waiting for two albums now, which I ordered after hearing Humiliation music for the first time few days ago), but on shorter releases it’s great and you don’t feel any need for some faster parts, etc. Just very good, severe stuff.
And now Savage Deity. I’ve never heard of this Thai band, but they surprised me also, with quite good quality of death metal. They’re maybe not as good as Humiliation, but damn, if you like bands like Grave, old Death, Hail of Bullets, even a bit of newer Deicide and such, then this stuff is for you. Their music doesn’t excite me fully, but it’s solid for sure and I cannot say anything bad about them. “Unit 731” is my favourite of the two songs, it’s very good indeed. It was nice to hear some faster parts in it, together with the slow stuff with quite melodic leads. Definitely Savage Deity is another band from Asia to check for you. They also have one full length album.

Final rate: 70/100

Revel in Flesh / Humiliation - Death Campaign / The Ending In Fire

REVEL IN FLESH / HUMILLIATION - Death Campaign / The Ending In Fire (BRUTAL ART Split 7"EP 2015)
So, as said in my Obscure Infinity / Humiliation review, there will be more Brutal Art Records reviews coming… and this is one of them, with one of my current favourites Revel in Flesh on side A and Humiliation (again haha) on side B. It’s cool that both bands live many kilometres away from each other, but they share the worship for old school death metal and in case of this EP decided to release their passion for one of the best classic death metal acts, called Bolt Thrower! This impression is obvious and comes not only from the music, which is so heavily influenced by the British combo, but even from the artwork, which is war based.
So, Revel in Flesh comes first. They’re usually more Swedish sounding band, but here they crush with damn nice, heavy and massive slow song that screams “Bolt Thrower” with all the power in the lungs. It has some great melodic accents, but mainly it’s just groovy and crushing piece that all death metal freaks should love with all heart, as it doesn’t lack anything… unless you only like fast shit, then it’s not for you. Great riffs, which are as heavy as memorable, great vocals, very good sound quality. Yes, Revel in Flesh proves why they belong to my favourite new death metal bands.
This is my second meeting with Humiliation music, after the splendid split they did with Obscure Infinity. And again this Malaysian band comes with very good song. Oh, I love it, what a nice feeling and great riffage that makes you bang your skull like crazy fucker. Obviously Humiliation doesn’t come up with anything you wouldn’t know, but their old school death metal sounds just killer and crushing. I wish more Asian bands had the same quality, but that’s very rare to hear from this continent. I personally can say that my favourites are Anatomia and Coffins and now also Humiliation. And let’s not forget Pathogen and Deathevoker. Anyway, Humiliation comes with one song here, “Meet the Challenge” and I just want to hear more such awesome stuff from them. Very good performance, solid and spotless old school monster.
Yeah, normally I would recommend this split 7”EP to all… but not this time, as it’s been sold out even before the release date haha! There were three colour versions, all together with just 250 copies (mine, which is green, was limited to 110 copies), so you had to be fast. So, too late fuckers now. Check Ebay or Discogs for vultures, who will re-sell it for triple price.

Final rate: 80/100

Friday, 11 March 2016

Scarecrow / Indulgence - Deo Optimo Maximo

SCARECROW / INDULGENCE - Deo Optimo Maximo (THRASHING MADNESS CD 2016)
Thrashing Madness comes back with their another piece of Polish Metal Classics, introducing us to Scarecrow and Indulgence. The story of these bands goes back to 1987, when Scarecrow was formed in Bydgoszcz. In their short history they basically recorded just one official demo “Deo Optimo Maximo” in 1989 and soon split up. A while later, in 1992, some Scarecrow members formed Indulgence and again did one demo “Embodiment of Evil” and split up. Now these relics of the ancient metal scene from Poland are available on great quality CD (with additional DVD!). And as usual, Thrashing Madness did excellent job, when preparing their release. The booklet for this CD is so fat that it can barely fit the jewel case and brings a lot of information about these two bands, with interview, scans of photos and old zines interviews and other stuff plus some comments on Scarecrow and Indulgence from few old Polish metalheads. So, the presentation is as usual, very, very good. As for the music, I cannot say that I’m big follower of these two bands, because I’m not, but they recorded some decent demos, so I won’t say a bad thing about them.
Scarecrow’s “Deo Optimo Maximo” strikes with killer, furious and vicious… hmm, some call it black, some death, some other people call it obscure thrash metal. It’s not easy to label this music. It’s just like with Sodom’s debut EP. You can call it black metal or thrash… One thing is certain: it sounds very archaic these days. Scarecrow music has similar evil, nasty feeling and mostly is very, very fast, sick and morbid, what I like a lot. Their songs are short, never crossing two minutes, so they’re like short outbursts of maniacal aggression. I especially like their first three tracks, they’re surely the best, especially “Ostatni Sakrament”. Later, in such “Kurwa matka” or “Jestem w tobie” Scarecrow tried to come up with a bit different arrangements, used some spoken vocals, but I don’t like the result so much, these vocals suck badly. I do like the production though. It’s very rough, but I love their guitar tone.
As a bonus for Scarecrow part, we get here also three rehearsal recordings, but they’re not so interesting to be honest, just fillers in my opinion. No vocals there, not the best sound quality (luckily, it’s not tragic also), just three short tracks that can be easily skipped.
And then we have Indulgence. I remember that some tracks from their “Embodiment of Evil” demo were played in local radio metal show back in the early 90’s and I had it taped back then. But that was long long time ago and I don’t remember it at all now. So, it’s cool to come back to this band after so many years. Indulgence has something in common with Scarecrow, as their music is also often very fast, but stylistically it seems to be more traditional, rather simple and archaic thrash / death metal, with quite raw production (which definitely could have been better, with heavier guitars, etc) and quite harsh vocals. I like some of these songs, especially “Darkness” (killer idea to use funeral march in one of the slower riffs) or “First was the Wind”. Some other songs are much more mediocre, but it’s OK. And they end up with killer Exodus cover, so…
…so what else can I write? These two bands are not among my favourite 90’s Polish metal bands, they’re not even in my top 20, but they surely had been an important part of the Polish metal hell. As a proof, Vader recently did Scarecrow’s cover for their “Future of the Past II – Hell in the East” compilation of covers.
PS. Sorry, but I had no time to watch the DVD yet, so I cannot write anything about it, other than it features old VHS recordings of 1992 gigs.

Final rate: ----

Praesepe - As Above So Below / The 6th Extinction

PRAESEPE - As Above So Below / The 6th Extinction (Self released / DAMNED PAGES Distro CD 2015)
Damn, this CD was lying around, waiting to be listened, for more than half a year. First I ignored it and had some better stuff to play. Later I completely forgot about it… but when one day I decided to play it, it didn’t come out from the CD player for whole week. It turned out to be a very good album! Yeah, I love such surprises, especially from bands I was never so much into. I only knew Praesepe a little, I had some of their early stuff, but haven’t played it in years. But this new material really impressed me. But there’s a funny thing about this CD, which I have. It’s titled “As Above So Below” and it’s not really an official release, even though it’s on nice digipak and is even handnumbered (my copy has number 053). Only recently some parts of this material were released on CD by Damned Pages Distro, with the same artwork, but without two songs. So, my copy titled “As Above So Below” has seven tracks, while the official release of this album titled “The 6th Extinction” has just five tracks. And it’s a shame they left these extra songs behind, because especially one of them is just super fuckin awesome and for me it’s the best part of the whole “As Above So Below” CD haha!
So, let me start briefly about those two extra songs (which I think will end up on a split or something??). First one is called “Shining” and it’s obviously a main musical theme from the Kubrick’s classic horror movie. And this is my favourite part of the whole “As Above So Below”. It sounds just exceptionally amazing and was played in that utterly doomy, monumental, super dark way that gives me chills every time I hear it. Do you remember this excellent theme with almost funeral like aura?! What a fantastic piece and Praesepe played it perfectly. Another extra song is called “Grawitacja” and it’s a black metal version of song from quite famous, but totally annoying (for me at least) Polish singer. I always hated her voice, so I don’t even remember this song from its original version, I just don’t care. Here it’s been played in very much harsh, fast black metal way, luckily without annoying female vocals. It’s just decent version, unrecognizable probably and that’s it. I could live without it.
And now the main part of “As Above So Below”, which also ended up as official release called “The 6th Extinction”. Well, I must say that Praesepe sounds very mature here and like a band, which surely has a lot of potential and great stuff to show, with many fantastic ideas and skills. From the first song I was listening to this CD with a great interest and Praesepe caught my attention fully. Most of their songs are quite long, even up to ten minutes, but they never sound tiresome or boring, all due to the fact that the band was able to bring something interesting to the table, mixing death, black and even doom metal in very cool style. The way Praesepe builds songs, keeping the tension and diversity through them, is just absolutely top notch, in my opinion, and I like it. And the diversity is the key here. Majority of this album is very melodic, but you’ll find here also aggressive stuff, even blasting parts. Take “Universe 25”, one of my favourite songs from the album. It just has everything, starting with acoustic guitar passages, great melodic pieces, some doom riffs, some blackish blasts with very harsh vocals, etc. So, it’s very diverse and you won’t be able to put this music into just one box, as it has so much more to offer. And that’s something I can say about every song, like the brilliant opener “Rzeki niebiesko-krwawe” or “Something”. The final song “Rzeki niebiesko-krwawe (Reprise)” is very acoustic based, so it is even more different. There may be some parts, which I don’t like so much, like the opening riff for “Dźwięki absurdu”, which sounds just too melodic for me, almost reminding me bands like Arch Enemy. It  sounds odd especially as the following part is so harsh and black metallish. This is probably my least favourable track on the whole album, but it doesn’t mean it’s bad or something. It’s still very good, I think, just less than such “Rzeki niebiesko-krwawe”.
All in all “As Above So Below” / “The 6th Extinction” is very easily listenable, catchy and memorable album, with some absolutely brilliant fragments and I can definitely recommend it. You can get a copy from Damned Pages Distro and I know that the band also self released a vinyl version, limited to 100 copies, so be hurry.
Standout tracks: “Shining”, “Rzeki niebiesko-krwawe”, “Universe 25”

Final rate: 80/100

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Obscure Infinity / Humiliation split EP

OBSCURE INFINITY / HUMILIATION Split 7"EP (BRUTAL ART Records 2013)
Brutal Art is quite new Germany based label, which I discovered when they started to release whole lot of awesome split 7”EPs with some of my favourite death metal bands. Their first release was Obscure Infinity / Humiliation split, which I really wanted to grab, as Obscure Infinity is just super cool band and I managed to collect all the stuff they released, except this one split. But finally I got it in my hands! It wasn’t easy, because all Brutal Art releases are very limited (this one with 333 copies only!), but I don’t care now.
Obviously I started to listen to this seven inch with Obscure Infinity side and damn, it sounds just super fuckin awesome. “Joyless Flesh” is extremely brutal and fast song, which just blows everything out into the moon, with great blasting old school death metal that is so powerful that this moon will soon explode and all its remains will hit the earth and destroy it also, bringing total annihilation to all living forms hahahaha. Fuck, I suppose this may be my favourite song from this band, really. And later they also offer a live recording of “Morbid Ways of God” from their debut album and it also sounds amazing, with really great live production, which makes me wish to hear the entire live set with such fantastic sound quality. “Morbid Ways…” is also quite fast and damn aggressive, so after hearing these two songs played loud as fuck I can only pick up mu teeth from the floor and get money for the dentist. Excellent work.
Side B has Humiliation from Malaysia, a band that seems to be very appreciated by Brutal Art Records owner, because they appeared on almost every fuckin split EP he released haha. For me this was a first opportunity to hear their music, I only knew them by name and I’m glad I can finally get to know them, because their music sounds also great. It sounds very old school, if you think of UK bands such as Bolt Thrower and Benediction, with a bit of Asphyx, Hail of Bullets and Gorefest from their early days. All in all, it’s super awesome old school death metal, heavy as fuck, well played, well recorded, with nothing else to wish other than MORE!!! I have two more split EPs with them waiting to be listened, plus I just decided to order two CDs, so damn it, this was a nice introduction to this Malaysian band haha (who, by the way, have already six (!!!) full length albums releases, damn it! I ordered two, so four to go haha!).
More Brutal Art reviews soon!

Final rate: 85/100

Monday, 7 March 2016

Atrabilis / Negativa - MMXV

ATRABILIS / NEGATIVA - MMXV (EQUINOX DISCOS - Split 7"EP)
This is another 7”EP from Equinox Discos (released in collaboration with two other labels Nebular Carcoma Records & La Esfinge De La Calavera) and I have to say that it’s also one I like least from all three new releases of this excellent label. Well, maybe it’s also due to the fact that it gave some problems at the start, when I got it. I first looked at the cover and had no idea what band it is. Then it turned out that it’s a split EP, with two Spanish bands Atrabilis and Negativa, both of which share the same member D. But then the sides of the vinyl are not signed, so I have no idea which band is on which side! And more so, both sound so close to each other that they can be almost treated as one unity. They even have this manner of titling their releases with Roman numerals.
So, without recognizing who is who, I can say that we deal here with very cacophonic take on black metal. The music of both bands is very harsh and dirty, cold and minimalistic, with a lot of distortion, chaos, dissonance and obscurity in the sound and some of the most hateful and harsh vocals you’ve ever heard. And the whole gives the antihuman, bleak aura. There’s nothing pleasant or entertaining about this music and one has to seriously be in a proper mood to get into it and catch the feeling of it properly. Honestly I had not liked it as much as for example Suspiral excellent outburst of chaos, but there’s surely something mesmerizing about the music of Atrabilis and Negativa. Of course, as I said before, I cannot recognize which band is which, but they sound very alike, so I don’t understand the point of having two similar projects running, instead of focusing on one, but that’s not my headache. One song is very fast and raw, other is much slower and it’s also the one I like more. All in all, this is a solid release, even if far from being my favourite split 7”EP.

Final rate: 65/100 

Pathogen / Deathevoker - Consecrated in Morbidity

PATHOGEN / DEATHEVOKER - Consecrated in Morbidity (OLD TEMPLE - CD2015)
If someone asked me about some Asian death metal that I really think are good and worth of our support then Deathevoker and Pathogen would mentioned for sure. I know both; I reviewed some of their stuff in the past like Deathevoker’s “Towards Nothingness” and Pathogen’s “Forged in the Crucible of Death”. The Philippine band is especially cool, I like their music a lot and can only be saddened that I had no chance to get some more of their releases (and they do have quite vast discography, while I only have three CDs, shit!). Hopefully I will be able to fix this mistake. Not many Asian bands were able to impress me, these two surely did. So, to find a split CD with both was surely a nice thing. It’s released on Polish Old Temple, so it’s easy to find and cheap and I did not hesitate to add it when I was putting my order in this label’s shop. First, I must say that I am impressed how this CD is released. Killer artwork by Irwan (also in Deathevoker on guitars) looks superb, so does the golden disc. And I can only moan about the tiny font; it’s hard to read anything with my tired eyes haha!
But let’s check the music. And this is really nice, yes. Pathogen is first and comes with three songs plus Bathory cover. The first song, “Mortuphagia”, I can say I like it a lot. It starts fast and then have the usual old school slow and mid paced tempo, it’s very vicious song and has a nice Swedish death metal vibe, in the vein of less melodic Dismember, with a bit of Possessed or Sadistic Intent. “Dominion” follows in the same style and would be nice, but why is it just one minute long?? Then we have a decent Bathory cover with very harsh production and even rawer live recording of one song. Well, to be honest the Pathogen releases I’ve heard before were better than this stuff, “Mortuphagia” being the only real good piece of their part of the split, but it’s surely a solid slab for my ears.
Deathevoker on the other hand delivers songs, which shows that these Malaysians developed and their music got better since the demos. They bring four songs and I can say that I like them a lot. The production is surely better than on the Pathogen part of the split, the songs, even if far from being perfect, are solid and come with some excellent riffs. This is just harsh and morbid death metal, again very much in the European (mainly Swedish like “Indecent and Obscene”) vein, with total old school style worship. These songs are really cool, like “Hatefull Quest”, “The Silence...Death” for example and I cannot think of anything what would make Deathevoker not worth of your support. They added “Troops of Doom” as an extra song and I’m just really pleased with the whole result. Definitely need to check their split with Fetid Zombie now.

Final rate: 65/100