Posts Tagged ‘Atmospheric Black metal’

Abrasive Audio…to Soothe the Senses Part 37

headbangin metalhead

As the year draws to a close, I must come to the realization that there’s a whole bunch of tunage warranting discovery that’ll I won’t get to. Perhaps next year when the cycle begins anew? But for now, in this installment, I’ll concentrate on releases which have been unleashed within these past twelve months.

intoxicate

Intoxicate – Cross Contamination
(Sweden)
Release – November/15/2019
Downfall Records
Against PR
https://downfallrecords.bandcamp.com/album/cross-contamination
ARTWORK – 66

At first glance I thought this image depicted a glowing sword plunged into the planet. I don’t believe it is, but rather a vial of some kind dispensing a dastardly vile concoction to pollute the planets air (am I close? I’m not sure but it sounds better than “a sword in the planet”) This is utterly 90’s in its overall vibe, nevertheless I remain intrigued.

Mattias (Intoxicate’s vocalist) commented, adding;

I just wanted to comment on your take on the “Cross Contamination” cover. You are close :). It actually is “a sword in a planet”, sort of. First, the album title should, of course, be interpreted as “the cross contaminates”, which then points to the green contaminant leaking into the planet. Second, Christianity, as a religion, has a history of war and violence to gather influence and power, hence the sword. Third, the “sword in a planet” should be interpreted as a globus cruciger, which is a part of many christian countries’ royal regalia and a general christian symbol of power. Last, I’m happy that the 90’s vibe shines through. That’s thrash for me, a bit obvious in it’s cultural expression and incorporating social commentary.

Now I feel silly, not in the slightest offended, but truly honored that the band actually took the time to read this, comment and appreciate my thoughts.

FIRST TRACK – 84

Not knowing what to expect though reading that Intoxicate were one of, if not, the first thrash bands in Sweden I’ll admit I had expectations. But I’m pleased to say they were met. This is old school energetic thrash which attains face melting pace in instances though gets there at a controlled rate rather than all-out speed instantly for gratification and speeds sake. A great opener that’ll perk the interest of the thrash aficionado and newcomer alike.

INITIAL LISTEN – 83

Sporting dynamic rhythms, clever, exciting, arrangements and a fluidity resulting from experience and a myriad of influence, originating from the roots of the scene, there’s no denying that these guys know exactly what they’re doing, although I find it puzzling that this is their first full-length in so many years. Stylistically this covers a wide swath of the thrash arena from earlier Anthrax output to mosh pit-inducing Exodus pace to the gruff, heavily accented, vocal approach and melody of Amon Amarth and a fair few in-between. This has the potential to appeal to a wide audience. A quality album which offers a great deal to grin about, an album I will revisit.

Favorite Tracks; Caravan of Hate, Cross Contamination, Eyes Unwilling, Posthumous Posthuman,

FFO; Exodus, Amon Amarth.

cattle decapitation.jpg

Cattle Decapitation – Death Atlas
(USA)
Release – November/29/2019
Metal Blade Records
https://cattledecapitation.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 92

Time is running out and Atlas, brandishing a scythe like our good ole friend the Grim Reaper, is about done. This screams a message which is more than clear to all and should come as no surprise to those accustomed to the message the band perpetrates, and have for years.

FIRST TRACK – 93

Like a scene plucked from Blade Runner or an alternate future reality scribbled upon in many a dystopian novel, the introduction encapsulates a myriad of (audio) news clippings portent the planets demise. Once it climaxes one is hit with unmitigated intensity courtesy of blast beats, hyper speed fretwork and Travis Ryan’s vicious throat issuances. This is quite unlike that which I have experienced before from under the bands stable, I’m left open-mouthed and in shock. To be Frank this is quite the opener and I’m dripping (yes, that kind of excited) with anticipation for the remainder of the album.

INITIAL LISTEN – 93

Prog/tech/grind/brutal death you can call this what you will but there’s no argument that this is inhumanely crafted with both precision and intelligence. A part of me believes the style has changed somewhat (although my experience with the bands output is inadequate to state such a thing) accommodating that which sounds more like Strapping Young Lad in the “City” album albeit with a speed which puts rocket powered devices (does Granma’s “Man toy” drill attachment count?) to shame. Regardless, the audio herein is akin to an injection of adrenaline to the system, this makes the listener want to move with the same excited intensity of a monkey who’s just learned he is about to inherit a banana plantation. Like an amorphous entity the music shifts from one stylistic element to another with an effortless fluidity which is stunning to behold. Progressive passages meld with technical prowess and a pace which varies dramatically throughout both the album and every track making for a listening experience to please those with discernible tastes and those with open minds. I’ll admit the band was rather hit and miss for me before now but with this between the ears my opinion upon them has flipped ass over tit and my appreciation for them has blossomed. No matter one’s opinion of what the band preaches, though it getting easier and easier to see their point of view, there’s no argument that this is a release which will carve a great many grins across the vast extreme audio landscape.

Favorite Tracks; stunning from start to finish, my digits refuse to mention one from an album which has left such an impact from the very first listen.

FFO: Strapping Young Lad, Dying Fetus, Aborted, Benighted, Strapping Young Lad.

chamber of torture.jpg

Chamber of Torture – Necrodomain
(Russia)
Release – November/ 15/2019
Eclectic Productions
Grand Sounds PR
https://chamberoftorture.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 64

I’m not even sure what I’m looking at to be honest, is this a dead body sprayed over with graffiti? Props however must be given to the band for taking the gamble to go against the traditional flow of posting a grotesque image be it comic imagery or realism upon their cover.

FIRST TRACK – 83

With zero introduction, other than vocals and a slow pace rather than a piano, classical silliness or synth created atmosphere, this track makes an impression. It picks up pace around the mid-way point and earns the key to the city of Groovesville.  Rhythms are dangerously addictive and accompanied by the Barnes (early Cannibal Corpse) esque vocal approach the combination is one which’ll make the limbs twitch without consent. A great start from an act I haven’t been introduced to until now.

INITIAL LISTEN – 83

Sludgy, mid-paced old school madness complete with occasional atmosphere and a slight injection of diabolical presence. Far from technical this is more akin to ‘meat and potatoes’ style, old school death, but it makes an impression, keeps the attention until the last note based on its blunt waste little time approach and makes the listener want to move with the undeniable groove it showcases throughout.

Favorite Tracks; Shriveled Stump, Necrocarnage Spree, Degenerated, Consecrated Ground, Human Fertilizer.

FFO; Cannibal Corpse, Jungle Rot.

Revel in Flesh

Revel in Flesh – The Hour of the Avenger
(Germany)
Release – December/6/2019
War Anthem Records
https://war-anthem-records.bandcamp.com/album/the-hour-of-the-avenger
ARTWORK – 85

There’s truly archaic about this image. Drenched in a crimson filter it depicts a cloaked skeleton of sorts overseeing a domain about to feel his wrath. He comes complete with a wicked looking scythe am I therefore to assume he is the Reaper?

FIRST TRACK – 92

There’s Swedish death and then there’s this (although they are from Germany). A wicked cross of MK2, the old trusted influences, and an undeniable injection of “Storm of the Lights Bane” Dissection and… something else which is quite undefinable yet blistering in its (instant jaw hitting the dirt) impact.

INITIAL LISTEN – 94

Boasting a collection of tracks with a slew of stylistic ambiance this album offers a great deal to enjoy. Comforting in its nostalgic familiarity yet seething with an air of superiority. One thinks fondly upon Swedish metal of decades past and this is that but reimagined, polished and slathered with playful menace, melancholy with a production which slays. It doesn’t get better than this folks. I don’t know where Revel in Flesh have been between albums. I only wonder if there’s a location someplace in a remote mountainous region whereupon enigmatic Monks strip one of everything they know only then reeducate one (in the most mysterious ways imaginable) in the true path of Godly extreme audio. For this really is that good!

Favorite Tracks; From start to finish this is orgasmic ear candy, nuff said!

FFO; Dissection, Sortregn, Dismember, Unleashed, Entombed, Nocturnal Hollow, Grave, LIK, Swallow the Sun, Be’lakor.

abeyance

Abeyance – Portraits of Mankind (EP)
(Italy)
Release – November/27/2019
Sliptrick Records
Grand Sounds PR
https://abeyance.bandcamp.com/releases
ARTWORK – 67

A serene landscape boasting a trio of alabaster faces in the foreground and a bird (?) drinking from a puddle. This is admittedly kind of strange, an image which begs for dissection. A dissertation which I’m thinking would include the use of the word ‘emotion’ ad nauseum.  And this really doesn’t give much away in relation to the audio within. Here goes nothing; hitting play.

FIRST TRACK – 81

Dynamic riffage and fluid arrangements which are constantly evolving. Part thrash, part melodic death and part progressive with a somewhat harsh vocal accompaniment. This is a fantastic start from an act with something to prove, and they’re going about it the right way based on the caliber of this track alone, on this their first recorded outing.

INITIAL LISTEN – 82

This is not what I was expecting from the cover’s art. It is however a collection of tunes which keeps the listener interested, a certain familiarity becomes apparent as the album unfolds although it isn’t glaring and doesn’t put one in mind of the act taking from another in order to garner attention. The rhythms are unpredictable and energetic. Ranging from dreamy progressive interludes and classical introductions to faster paced all-out melodic thrash/death passages the album bears a certain diversity which isn’t at all overwhelming but rather fluid and easily acceptable on account of how well the music is pieced together. This is quite the feat admittedly from an act with little history behind them. A youthful vibrancy shines throughout, a pleasing, smirk inducing, ambience, a freshness with an aura which tips the hat to genre standouts of the past, which bodes well for the act’s future. And, if this is any indication of what’s on the horizon expect to hear a great deal more of their name in the near future.

Favorite Tracks; Portrait of Mankind, In Falsehood Dominion, Innerscape,

FFO; Dark Tranquility, Soilwork, In Flames, Paladin.

putrid coffin.jpg

Putrid Coffin -Desecrated Tombs (EP)
(Chile)
Release – March/14/2019
La Cripta Metal Shop
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKMtkRjyuAk
ARTWORK – 79

Something is afoot in the graveyard. Candles, romantic music and a fella with a hankering for sexy times with a beauty with no pulse.

FIRST TRACK – 89

A storm in the background, a shovel (in the foreground) a coyote howls to signal a spot of open grave mischief. Then an exquisite old school tone ala early Barney Napalm Death, more groove than one can count on both hands (no matter how big) and a rhythm which is ungodly infectious part grindcore, part brutal mid-tempo death madness. A stunning start to get those into vintage extreme audio schnanigans in the mood.

INITIAL LISTEN – 88

Part infernal menace, part grindcore, part blackened death with the entire mixture blanketed in rhythms which are unfathomably inciteful. Chaotic rumbling riffs, drum salvos which are hard to ignore and a vocal style which is instantly acceptable. It’s safe to say this crawled from the very depths (under cover of night) to bring me to my knees in appreciation (get that mind outta the gutter!) Here’s hoping others noticed this release’s ‘might’ also. This isn’t melodic in the traditional sense, it isn’t pretty, but it hits hard and leaves a mark!

Favorite Tracks; Hypnotic from start to finish.

FFO; Terrorizer, early Morbid Angel.

extinction.jpg

Extinction – The Apocalypse Mark
(Italy)
Release – October/18/2019
Revalue Records
https://extinction2.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 75

“Alright. Has everyone got the new iPhone? Let’s sync”… “Did I mention your soul is now owned by a huge conglomerate and…me?”

A darkly humorous take on the “Number of the Beast” from a Biblical “End of Times” standpoint.

FIRST TRACK – 81

The albums newsreel introduction is the gist of the album. An intriguing and scary insight into where technology is taking us and the similarities to that foretold in the Bible. The first track is crunchy, no fills thrash with a somewhat simplistic mid-tempo rhythm which is hard to ignore. Accompanied by growled vocals the product is one on the thrash/death fence and makes for a fantastic attention grabber to prime one for the audio to follow.

INITIAL LISTEN – 78

Energetic thrash rhythms and fantastic leads. A familiar sound but these guys make it their own with enough movement and excitement to keep the intrigue level elevated. Fans of thrash/death will want to lay ears upon this and those missing an act of similar ilk, Dethklok, will want to add this to their collection.

Favorite Tracks; The Apocalypse Mark, No Crime in Paradise, Staged Terror Attacks.

FFO; Malevolent Creation, Jungle Rot, Sodom, Six Feet Under, Dethklok.

crest of darkness.jpg

Crest of Darkness – The God of Flesh
(Norway)
Release – December/6/2019
My Kingdom Music
https://crestofdarkness.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 84

A corpse painted individual sacrificing a damsel against an alien skull backdrop and a crimson cloth which boasts apparently near endless dimensions. Gothic elements collide head on with blackened metal qualities, I am curious indeed!

FIRST TRACK – 91

Speed encrusted Blackened metal with ‘force of nature’ vocals and a delightful touch of crust. A damn impressive audio concoction to be sure! Be prepared for this will yank you from what you’re currently doing and toss you into a maelstrom of viciousness. An excellent start!

INITIAL LISTEN – 81

Following the initial couple of tracks the album takes a dive into diverse territories to showcase a variety of styles one probably wouldn’t expect, especially based on the first two tracks on offer. A fan of their previous work might have an idea of where the band might take the listener but as a virgin to their audio I’m rather taken aback. Doom sensibilities collide with speed metal, heavy metal and a touch of Avant Garde and sometimes all in a single track. Injected synth passages (in the track “Forgotten” which display cult celluloid influences and Fulci esque touches) elevate this into realms unquestionably unclassifiable. The mixture might put a few traditionalists off but for those willing to give this a few listens with an open mind it blossoms into an exciting, unpredictable, menacing audio experience enveloped in an undeniable Gothic presence which might often make you reminisce on vintage metal albeit with a sinister accompaniment. Keep an open mind, leave your assumptions at the door and this will be a listen you’ll want to discover again and again.

Favorite Tracks; The God of Flesh, The Child With no Head, Salvation in Hell.

FFO; Rebel Wizard, Emperor, Ancient.

abigail williams.jpg

Abigail Williams – Walk Beyond the Dark
(Finland/USA)
Release – November/15/2019
Blood Music
https://blood-music.bandcamp.com/album/walk-beyond-the-dark
ARTWORK – 92

Although I feel like I’ve seen this image before, many a time, this still fascinates me and serves as an outstanding doom-laden accompaniment to any album with atmospheric tendencies in the extreme audio spectrum.

FIRST TRACK – 91

Epic and somewhat experimental within what many perceive as the black metal style. But don’t let that put you off, this overflows with atmosphere and majesty with plenty of nods to that which is termed ‘traditional’, even though the genre is fractured into as many shards as a vintage vase falling from an unsteady grasp. A brilliant introduction to the album and the band itself (for me). This leaves me unfathomably eager for what’s to follow.

INITIAL LISTEN – 91

Hypnotizing from beginning to end this utilizes both traditional and non-traditional means to attain the heights which it transports its gob-stricken listeners. Violins as well numerous other classical instruments accompany guitars and a somewhat black/death vocal approach accompaniment as the album whisks its audience away to realms which one might expect under the guise and camouflage of “black metal”. Beauty cavorts with viciousness and black metal sensibilities frolic with folk, doom, progressive and even the occasional traditional heavy metal element to form an ocean of atmosphere which like the nature of water itself is harrowing, melancholic and ferocious. The whole is utterly palpable in its effectiveness. Prepare to have your pre conceived notions of the genre shattered. I honestly had no idea this is what the band offered in terms of audio lest I would have subscribed to their output many moons ago. Expect to see this upon many a #YearEndList.

Favorite Tracks; mesmerizing from start to finish, it would be unfair to mention merely a handful of tracks when the album plays at such an elevated level such as this.

FFO; Uada, Wayfarer, (newer) Dark Throne, Opeth, Amorphis, Swallow the Sun.

condemned to dream

Condemned to Dream – Black Emerald Cold
(USA)
Release – November/22/2019
Ancient Mythos Entertainment
https://condemnedtodream.bandcamp.com/releases
https://open.spotify.com/album/7N2t0jQluDzxKUW1phHvBk?autoplay=true&v=L
ARTWORK – 78

Something is in the water. Although what, exactly, is unclear. Something ancient.

FIRST TRACK – 73

Crashing death core riffs atop a bed of pummeling drums and a cavalcade of hooks sure to grab the attention. Sweeping melodic breaks are a great touch accompanied by vocals with considerable angst. A good start that’s not what I was expecting, this is a tad closer to death core than death based on the first track. However, it’s utterly listenable.

INITIAL LISTEN – 76

I’m pleased to see that these guys are from my old stomping ground; Tucson, Az. With that being said I’ll try to remain unbiased. These guys have been busy; this is their second full-length this year. With a style which includes forays into melodic waters, vocals with angst and passages akin to what most assume death core offers this sounds like another run of the mill, every day, release. I’m glad to state this isn’t. There’s a quality here which is undeniable, a flow and professionalism which sets this apart from the herd. It’s surprisingly infectious and sports rhythms which traverse both melodic and death core territories, and even on occasion touch upon a style akin to Slam. Although aggressive in overall feel the feel is that which many discovering the genre can easily appreciate and those already deep within its grasp will have no problems appreciating.

Keep an ear out for these folks, with a dedication and quality such as theirs I expect great things on the horizon.

Favorite Tracks; The Yawning Depths Inside, The World Offered, Lost, Before the Altar of Victims and Fools.

FFO; Black Dahlia Murder, Arsis, At the Gates.

fleshcrawl.jpg

Fleshcrawl – Into the Catacombs of Flesh
(Germany)
Release – November/29/2019
Apostasy Records
https://fleshcrawl.bandcamp.com/album/into-the-catacombs-of-flesh
ARTWORK – 72

Yea, I think I took a wrong turn. I was looking for the bathroom, which this definitely isn’t.

There’s no confusion as to what manner if audio is encapsulated here. Unless of course you were brought here by mistake. Then there’s little hope. Prepare to enter the catacombs of extreme audio.

FIRST TRACK – 84

Undeniably (Gothenburg) Swedish in tone and executed with passion with enough bounce to have one pinging from one side of the room to the other in absolute glee. The production thus far allows each instrument to breathe, there’s definite menace and presence here. The drums are at the forefront of the mix, like a sinister wizard with diabolical intent to enthrall the audience. I’m hooked already.

INITIAL LISTEN – 85

Fleshcrawl are back! Their last full length, “Structures of Death”, was released in 2007. Channeling “Massive Killing Capacity” era Dismember and a dirge which brings to mind the best of Bolt Thrower while boasting more pronounced D-beat, crust elements and less ‘clean’ melodies the band have carved an album sporting stellar production (heavy on the drums giving it that desired oomph) which is instantly welcomed with eager ears. Hardly classed as homage since they’ve been around since 87′ though under different monikers (which both had to be changed as they were both monikers of acts “Morgoth” and “Suffocation”, with renowned reputations) this is a reinvigorated upgrade. A Fleshcrawl for the coming decade offering up the classic Swedish MK2 sound with a freshness for the next generation to cherish as their parents did before them.

If you’ve yet to take the plunge into the Swedish side of death this is a great place to get the feet wet.

Favorite Tracks; Delivers throughout, it’s extremely hard to pick only a few to praise.

FFO; Dismember, Vomitory, Entombed, Nocturnal Hollow, LIK.

memoriam a requiem

Memoriam – Requiem for Mankind
(United Kingdom)
Release – June/21/2019
Nuclear Blast Records
https://willettsio.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 91

Dan Seagraves up to his old archaic mastery eye-widening antics. Nuff said!

FIRST TRACK – 88

Instantly recognizable as Karl Willetts and the sound he’s come to be associated with; an industrial steamroller devastation dirge which has influenced eager musicians the world over. My heads a noddin’ and I’m unceremoniously tossed back many a year to when I originally laid ears upon an album which changed my listening habits dramatically from that moment forth. I don’t honestly know why it’s taken this long to lay ears upon this!

INITIAL LISTEN – 92

The logical progression from “Those Once Loyal” for fans of the legendary Bolt Thrower. This shows Memoriam taking the style to another level, leaps and bounds from their last effort. Injecting the whole shebang with undeniable presence, interwoven veins of ominous melody and passages of groove that which will make the torso move of its own accord. But that’s not all, not by miles. The style itself has been upgraded (taken to a secret facility for a full body upgrade ‘comic book style’ bonus points if you can name the two characters which I’m thinking of) not merely (if it ever was merely just that!) a genius creation of dirge/crust/grindcore now, this is a beast of many facets, a creation to influence a whole new breed of musicians. The album only gets better as it progresses. With an album of a quality such as this the metal community is left stunned and probably pondering where do Karl and crew take us next? Bravo.

#BestofBritish I’m thankful to see my fellow countrymen leading the charge yet again (pun intended).

Favorite Tracks; Shell Shock, Never the Victim, Refuse to be Led, Requiem for Mankind,

FFO; Bolt Thrower, Benediction, Death Kommando, Origin.

Animal - music is meant for sharing

And you shouldn’t… great music is meant to be shared!

This concludes another entry in the ongoing Abrasive Audio series and I already have my sights set on a slew of releases which came out this year to be included in the next installment. But there’s still so many to explore, obviously I won’t get to them all but that’s what #BestofYear lists are for. And I’ve already started to post a few of those, in preparation for my own (if the “event” ever happens).

Until next our paths of audio interest meet, fear not discovery of that which would normally be foreign to the senses.

Cult

Abrasive Audio…to Soothe the Senses (part twenty-seven)

headbangin gif

Yet another “Vacation Edition”

It’s been six months since my last vacation and any length of time I would consider time enough to relax within (so stop the whining). I probably wouldn’t publish anything at this time but the temptation is too overpowering not to what with the release of… (I’m not going to ruin it you’ll have to read on)

orodruin
Orodruin – Ruins of Eternity
(USA)
Release -October/25/2019
Cruz Del Sur Music
Clawhammer PR

 

https://orodruin.bandcamp.com/album/ruins-of-eternity
ARTWORK – 82

This seethes with a Viking/folk aura, enigmatic mists surround a picturesque craggy mountain landscape but where are the wizards and dragons?

FIRST TRACK – 82

Huge riff, melody laden, doom laced with undeniable NWOBHM sensibilities, passion and an excellent vocal accompaniment.

INITIAL LISTEN – 84

Huge riffs, passionate rhythms, a NWOBHM nature and tone weaved among traditional heavy metal and doom stylings accompanied and supported by a powerful lead voice. This will leave fans of late 70’s early 80’s mid paced rock/doom wanting more.

Favorite Tracks; Forsaken, Man of Peace, Grave Illusion, Hell Frozen Over, Ruins of Eternity.

FFO; Haunt, Beastmaker, Dio fronted Black Sabbath, vintage Judas Priest, vintage Rainbow.

arctos

Arctos – Beyond the Grasp of Mortal Hands
(Canada)
Release -September/20/2019
Northern Silence Productions
https://arctos-northernsilence.bandcamp.com/album/beyond-the-grasp-of-mortal-hands
ARTWORK – 76

Frigid, cold and typical of traditional black metal releases, mountains, snow and wilderness, but accompanied by a logo which is a little different. This makes me wonder about that which is about to grace my ears. I am intrigued.

FIRST TRACK – 95

An epic outing to start the release. Atmosphere, a folk nature and a significant presence bolstered by majestic rhythms and outstanding melodies. Overall an enchanting effect to certainly spark ones interest in a genre they might not look twice upon before now. Hold my calls I’m diving in!

INITIAL LISTEN – 97

Spanning a wide radius within the black metal arena the audio here encompasses atmospheric realms, though also sports traditional, majestic, cresting rhythms whilst even touching upon folk realms. Occasionally it even visits blackened death arenas and also includes passionate leads making for a release which is a tad untraditional, varied and executed with surprising excellence throughout. I’m not normally a fan of the Black Metal genre but this blows me away with its diversity and delivery in every way. Enthralling, hypnotic and stunning from start to finish, a must visit genre experience!!

Favorite Tracks; This delivers throughout at an extremely high standard, it’s hard to pick a clear ‘winner’.

FFO; Cradle of Filth, Emperor, Immortal, Dissection, vintage Katatonia.

the world without us incarnate album

The World Without Us – Incarnate
(USA)
Release – October/25/2019
Self-Released
https://www.facebook.com/theworldwithoutus/
Dewar PR
ARTWORK – 86

Vivid, colorful and eye catching though miles from traditional. I believe what we have here is going to be quite the audio journey.

FIRST TRACK – 86

Whoa-! The track commences with some of the finest harmonized vocals I’ve heard in a while. Gentle rhythms complemented by undeniable ominous qualities. But it all changes. I won’t ruin it, suffice it to mention it gets “growly”, the pace picks up considerably and the track attains a ferocious nature. A great start.

INITIAL LISTEN – 78

The briefest look at the track list gives one an idea that this is going to be a little different, and it is. Incorporating elements spanning far and wide including death, hardcore, djent, technical death, progressive and black this release offers a great deal to digest. As much as I personally enjoy the more extreme end of the spectrum, I believe their mellower audio leaves more of a lasting impression. Their harsher material however, works though with a little tightening up could well leave a huge

impact. As it is this seems at times a little disjointed though still enjoyable.

Favorite Tracks; Listen in Obsidian, I am the Mist.

FFO; Between the Buried and Me, Opeth, Rings of Saturn, Casket Robbery.

Totengeflüster

Totengeflüster – The Faceless Divine
(Germany)
Release -October/11/2019
Black Lion Records
Qabar PR
https://totengeflsterblacklion.bandcamp.com/album/the-faceless-divine
ARTWORK – 93

Ominous, menacing and stunningly medieval in its overall vibe. I want this image across my meager chest!

FIRST TRACK – 86

An excellent foreboding Introduction, majesty qualities, untraditional phrasing, evocative melodies and symphonic brilliance make this stand out from the pack. It’s traditional, yet not quite but utterly captivating!

INITIAL LISTEN – 89

Imagine black metal but often played with an “Industrial” tightness, rhythm and blistering pace ala Ministry (circa “The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste”/”Psalm 69”) add to it a classical/Gothic symphonic backdrop and an excellent blackened death aura and you have an album which balances on the black/death fence sporting vintage Kataklysm/Origin pace, an occasional splash of war metal, vicious vocals and a presence which is superb throughout. Keep the ears peeled for this one it has me by the short and curlies and I don’t mind one bit, with both this and Arctos in mind I believe I’m falling down the ‘untraditional black metal’ rabbit hole.

Favorite Tracks; The Hunt, Affliction, Vermin, The Hollow Wanderer (Satin version. Bonus Track)

FFO; Emperor, Cradle of Filth, Kull, Marduk.

Plucked from Metal Past

God of Lies -Merciless Destiny

God of Lies -Merciless Destiny
(Columbia)
Release – July/17/2017
https://godofliesmetal.bandcamp.com/releases
ARTWORK – 72

The four Horsemen enjoying a spot of carnage beneath a claret soaked sky. I think we can all guess what audio we have here. Anyone up for switching the playlist in a stuck elevator?

FIRST TRACK – 74

A lengthy introduction (which could be shortened considerably or taken out completely with the same effect) brings about the first riff and one’s initial greeting to that which God of Lies stylistically offer.

INITIAL LISTEN – 77

Occasionally I’ll get something tossed in my path (accompanied by words of praise) which will make me curious enough to stop what I’m doing to take a listen. This was one such time. This is thrash bordering on death showcasing wicked heavily accented vocals. The audio here really isn’t anything new, it isn’t technical, it’s been done before, but with that being said it hits the spot and will please the vast majority of aggressive thrash fans looking for fresh headbanging fodder.

Favorite Tracks; He Controls the World, Final Attack,

FFO; Sodom, Toxic Holocaust, Nuclear Assault, Slayer, Whiplash.

So. Did you guess what got me so excited? Naturally all of these releases are worthy of spinning until the audio equipment goes on strike but there was one (two) in particular which really got my torso a spinnin’. Admittedly your choice might be worlds removed from my own and this is obviously what makes the world of extreme audio so exciting and diverse.

krusty the clown wtf was that diversity in metal gif

Until next our paths of audio interest cross, don’t be afraid to discover that which is foreign to the ears.

Cult

Abrasive Audio…to Soothe the Senses – Attack of the Compilation #8

Cult of Osiris DSBM Comp

Release date – April/1/2019

dsbm comp

Based out of Leeds, United Kingdom, Cult of Osiris is a relatively new label dedicated to the adoration of Black Metal in all of its many forms. Following up from the success of the labels first compilation entitled ‘One’ which comprised of thirteen tracks of varied styles within the same arena (released January/14/2019) and featured a number of ‘heavyweights’ within the realm. The mind behind the label only thought it prudent to release another compilation. A collection of tracks dedicated to the darker side of the black metal spectrum.

https://cultofosiris.bandcamp.com/album/one

‘DSBM’ (an abbreviation for Depressive, Suicidal, Black Metal) comprises, again of acts from around the globe, and of thirteen tracks;

https://cultofosiris.bandcamp.com/album/dsbm

Uten Håp (Svalbard) – Painful Memories 08:30

Le Délire des Négations (Brazil/Equador) – Nostalgie 04:40

Starving for Death (China) – Winter Wolves 06:03

Aversion to Mankind (Spain) – Anhedonia 12:55

Montosse (Brazil) – Prólogo a Angústia 03:04

Psychonaut 4 (Georgia) – Have A Nice Trip 09:00

Consider the Following; Suicide (United States) – Lie Down, and Die Alone 05:44

Hovert (Russia) – The Ascetic 07:15

V/H/S (Brazil) – Deltree 05:31

Potemtum And Solitude (Columbia) – Nightmare 05:52

Spleen (Canada) – Remember That This Life is Wind 07:53

Déception (France) – Lueur 10:18

Sadness (United States) – In the Distant Travels 08:27

Boasting striking cover art, from around the Victorian era, depicting the exodus of the soul (and subsequent collection by a trumpeting angel, of sorts) there’s little doubt what this collection of audio offers. The question remains, however, how varied is the audio and is this compilation one that deserves purchase and recognition.

Barring a few one can immediately tell that the tracks here run into epic lengths (this compilation is over ninety-five minutes in length), promising, one can only imagine, depth, emotion and quite the varied (extreme) experience for the senses.

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“Black”…huh? Wha-?

Scanning the acts on offer here I’ll openly admit that not a single one is familiar. So, this is in effect is going to be quite the audio discovery. Which is obviously the whole point of diving into the compilation/collection format. Rather than blindly purchase I’ve always thought it best to stumble into a wilderness which offers a vast array of fresh audio content. Before I continue, I’d like to thank Cult of Osiris for this opportunity.

Without further ado…

‘DSBM’ commences with a track by Uten Håp. A classical piano introduction of sorts opens the proceedings and stirs the emotions evoking melancholic reminiscence. Within no time a shrieking vocal assault crashes the renaissance aura and the tone of the track and (perhaps) the compilation itself is set.

As per usual I’m going to employ a ratings system I’ve designed especially for this exact purpose;

I skipped all the way to the end – I’d rather hear my significant other grunt behind a closed door which isn’t the bathroom.

Skipped a few tracks – spend your money on “Scratchers” tickets instead.

Didn’t skip any tracks, but the thought was there – I may or may not revisit again, anytime soon.

Skip, what skip? – this shows definite promise.

Perk my interest much? – (obviously, a little sarcasm here) this had me searching for a reliable internet connection, so I could do some invaluable research on where to spend my pennies next.

Dammit, I can’t concentrate – break out the lube. Does this come in a format I can insert myself into?

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(These rating are rather self-explanatory; I hope you’ll agree.)

 

 

I’m glad to report that I give this collection a “Perk my Interest Much” rating. Admittedly this audio arena is not an area I usually frequent, although I have happened upon a few tracks which have succeeded in gravitating my curiosities, intriguing me to the point of tackling an article such as this. Of the tracks on offer here several grasped my interest more so than others. In no particular order;

 Uten Håp – Painful Memories

uten hap

The amazing, quite mesmeric, introduction is a brilliant touch to open this compilation. While the majestic, riffing crescendo, audio assault is a great way to introduce the listener to this genre in not such an abrupt fashion. An applaud-able opener.

Aversion to Mankind – Anhedonia

The longest track featured here; Anhedonia occasionally runs into drone realms while also offering rhythms traditional to the black arena. Chaotic audio landscapes as well rainy-day atmospherics, the beeping of a life support machine, swatches of conversation leading to breakdown and progressive elements add to the tracks unfathomable depth and evoke a mixture of emotions. An epic experience which I’m likely to repeat again and again.  

Montosse – Prologo a Augustina

The initial and oft-repeated metronome-like beat of this track is enthralling. A ‘fading’ vocal approach complements the feel and lends the track an otherworldly/ghostly aura. Although this is the shortest track, nestled amidst others of epic proportions, it still manages to hold the attention throughout and immediately.

Potemtum and S

Potemtum and Solitude – Nightmare

Several styles and rhythmic transformations make this intriguing. There’s a slightly detectable punkish vibe making the occasional appearance as too the introduction of frenzied riffing with a decidedly Latino descent reminiscent of an early Robert Rodriguez film (Desperado).’ Nightmare’ about describes this track to a tee based on its frequent transitions from a state of blissful calm to nerve shattering, anxiety-laden, chaos.  

Déception – Lueur

A haunting aura surrounds this track. Whispered wails and howls make up the vocal approach with a rhythm suggestive of funeral doom/death. Also noticeable is a synth tone and atmosphere which suggests worship of the grindhouse cinematic era, just me, Perhaps…? But this remains another example of how enthralling tracks in this genre can be.

The compilation, however, had several tracks which resulted in my picking my jaw from the dirt, in essence “Show Stealers” (in my opinion, need I still state this?) In no particular order;

psychonuat 4

Psyconaut 4 – Have a Nice Trip

A diverse vocal attack featuring howling and wails aids an unexpected up-beat tempo. A beat which veers toward at times, dare I say, towards realms decidedly un-black in tone but rather similar to an approach ‘Moonspell’ have utilized to great effect. Audio of the type which demands that one move, whether it be of their own volition or not. ‘Have a Nice Trip’ sports an instant effect, a brilliance, the likes of which is rare, especially in an audio arena that’s unfamiliar at best.      

Hovert – The Ascetic

Epic acoustic brilliance opens this track before it transpires into doom-esque realms accompanied by folksey rhythms. This combination is curiously stunning and to be honest quite unexpected. The whole affair is shrouded by shrieking vocals and black sensibilities making for an experience that at first might seem odd though has an undeniable transfixing quality and demands repeating in order that it be appreciated to the fullest.

sadness bandcamp

Sadness – In the Distant Travels

Boasting an audio landscape akin to drifting through the tempestuous cosmos this track bursts with atmosphere, strangely bearing a somewhat relaxing nature (depending, of course, on your ‘poison’ of choice). A varied vocal approach (male and female, I believe) adds to the tracks weight and nature. A stunning example of how varied, contrary to popular belief, the genre can be, and is.

And, what a way to end a compilation. A collection of tracks which has successfully drawn me inexorably more towards the “Dark side”.

Bravo Sir, bravo.

cult of osiris logo

In the words of Cult of Osiris’ “Please download this (from Bandcamp) and give generously. The bands are all paid for their work. Tell all your friends and fans of this misunderstood genre.

…Thanks for supporting REAL underground Black Metal”.

Please do so, for I could not agree more. Keep an eye on this label for, if this is any indication of what’s to come, I predict mind-numbing greatness in the near future.

Until next time our paths of audio interest meet, I have a great deal research and fresh audio to submerge myself into.

Cult