Posts Tagged ‘Black metal’

Abrasive Audio- Turbo Edition #1

abrasive audio turbo edition header

I can’t fathom why I didn’t think of this earlier. The onslaught of Extreme Audio much like a raging tsunami is unforgiving. There’s no keeping up. I doubt even if I made this an obsession (more than it already is) I would still be behind. With this in mind I must give thanks to the metal community on Twitter for their Reccs, suggestions and their ability to pluck from the past that which I never knew existed

(Emil, Jay and Demnuts I’m looking in your direction here). Obviously, I’d like to mention each and every person who continues to make me feel like I belong and those who continue to allow me to continue to bug them with random Reccs, suggestions and offers. There are others yet who continue to bedazzle me with their knowledge on the scene (I have a hard time remembering what I ate for dinner yesterday!) Void is slowly pulling me into the BM fold, against my initial judgement I find myself resisting less and less.

I would be remiss not to mention Kman. His dedication, knowledge and determination seriously know no bounds and his FFF each week leaves me unfathomably frustrated as I understand there’s no consuming every release he’s promoting. I can but try, but to no avail. In between striving to ensure my bills are paid, various family duties and other not so important adult stuff (don’t grow up kids, it sucks!) I just haven’t the time.

Without further ado I’d like to present a new approach; multiple albums, multiple genres, both new and not so much. Each gets a few important details, a single listen and a couple of words. For those needing a FFO I’m sorry, much like my introduction to most of the bands/albums here like myself you’re also be going in blind. Let’s call it exploration!

Simple. What say we put on our spelunking helmets and get started?

WVRM - Colony Collapse

WVRM (USA) – Colony Collapse

https://wvrmgrind.bandcamp.com/album/colony-collapse

Release- April 2020

Genre – Grindcore/Brutal Death/Crust/Hardcore/Sludge

A Grindcore album with a handful of tracks over two minutes in length? Yeppers, it’s rare but this is what we have on display here. Untraditional for sure, but WVRM manage somehow to pull it off. Ragin’ brutality, lyrical angst, mature arrangements, humorous soundbites, grinding rhythms, a little bit of “noise” and a varied style which thankfully exists this side of the “bree-bree-bree” vocal (silliness) spectrum. Shit, there’s even a violin passage. This is ‘Grindcore’ I can subscribe to! Slightly different (but nowhere near experimental to the realm where it’s unfamiliar), angst ridden, groove-laden and exhilarating. In short, a twenty-four-minute workout which will exercise muscles you never knew existed.

Final Score – 83

The Antichrist Imperium

The Antichrist Imperium (UK) – Volume II; Every Tongue Shall Praise Satan

https://apocalypticwitchcraft.bandcamp.com/album/volume-ii-every-tongue-shall-praise-satan

Release – June 2018

Genre – Black Metal/Thrash/Avant Garde/Progressive/Blackened Death/Post BM/Atmospheric BM

The similarities to Akercocke here cannot be ignored (the two bands share a member). Much like the aforementioned TAI (an abrv.) compose sans a genre framework in mind. Theirs is a style much like the movement of a rock in a maelstrom. It changes direction at the drop of a hat producing considerable damage as it does so. Unlike that rock its movement is surprisingly fluid oftentimes transporting the listener to realms one might not consider (unless of course they’d previously heard of Akercocke) see above for the variety of genre descriptions. A wide array of vocal styles fitting the mood amp up the album’s enjoyment. Blistering speed bursts are a huge part of the albums appeal (for me) it also provides passages akin to a Brutal Death assault with an Industrial edge (in a style fans of The Berserker will enjoy) more so than the aforementioned act. Between the two I cannot pick a favorite, I guess it depends on the mood. One could perhaps think of this as a logical progression for Akercocke if they had stuck to themes revolving around Satanism. I will state this is an album I will place in a constant rotation playlist. It has quite literally blown me away. This is far beyond impressive…and diverse. Have I previously mentioned that?

Final Score – 94

Devil to Pay

Devil to Pay (USA) – Forever, Never or Whenever

https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/album/forever-never-or-whenever

Release – November 2019

Genre – Doom/Stoner Rock/Southern Rock

I must be living under a rock. I can’t believe this slipped by unnoticed (it dropped late last year).

Occasionally you come across an album with a flow, a collection of tracks which place the listener in a certain place, far from everyday woes and concerns. An album which captivates and doesn’t try too hard to be that which it’s not. This is one such release. A wicked mix of Doom and Stoner Rock, boasting an aura which is strangely both vintage and fresh. With plentiful riffs to spare and a powerful vocal accompaniment which completes the package this results in a release, much like their 16′ effort, that’s undeniably a strong top of the year contender. It’s difficult not to fall under a spell as these caresses the senses.

Final Score – 91

Heiligen

Heiligen (Chile) – Shadows in the Church

https://heiligen.bandcamp.com/

Release – June 2020

Genre – Heavy/Epic/Speed Metal

Energetic rhythms, great pace and exciting arrangements result in a familiar aura fans of traditional HM (Iron Maiden and Helloween) will find difficult not to instantly appreciate. One of my only qualms is that the vocal department needs tidying/polishing up, otherwise a fantastic listen.

Final Score – 73

Solothus

Solothus (Finland) – Realm of Ash and Blood

https://listen.20buckspin.com/album/realm-of-ash-and-blood

Release – March 2020

Genre – Death/Doom/Sludge

Despair, misery, endurance and determination are four words which come to mind when this assumes eventual dominance of the aural cavities. Slow and deliberate this rolls like a tank in low gear; trudging riffs, formidable presence and ominous atmosphere evokes vivid flashes of crimson soaked quests, carnage, desperation and loss which, much h like the finest fiction tome, leave a lasting impression. “Realm of Ash and Blood” is slightly different than the run of the mill Doom/Death affair but nevertheless impactful in its grandiose, unhurried, approach. As a bonus the album is enveloped by fantasy/Conan inspired artwork which slays.

Final Score – 87

Monolith

Monolith (South Africa) – The Lord Conspirator

https://mmdrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-lord-conspirator

Release – April 2020

Genre – Death Metal/Tech Death/Thrash/Melodic Death

Surprisingly agile and diverse this offers a variety of pace and style over and above what one might have initially assumed based on the accompanying cover art. With an aura of ominous which is palpable whilst refraining from the traditional tropes of the genre Monolith have etched an album which is no less impactful. Part Tech in its approach, sporting evolving rhythms rather than mere chuggery, a well-executed narrative which nods towards concept and benefiting from sufficient, calculated, atmosphere this is an audio collective that puts South Africa on the Extreme Audio map. A fantastic debut worthy of discovering.

Final Score – 84

Runemagick

Runemagick (Sweden) – Into Desolate Realms

https://runemagick.bandcamp.com/album/into-desolate-realms

Release – October 2019

Genre – Death/Doom

A delicate balance and marriage of movement, melody, melancholy and groove exists here. Epic qualities abound, occasionally to the overkill point.  Think Candlemass qualities combined with dirge elements courtesy of Bolt Thrower and Unleashed vocal sensibilities with a splash of the almighty Black Sabbath and you might be close, although there’s another presence in the mix I can’t quite put my finger upon (for the record similar artist comparisons have been made to Hooded Menace and The Chasm). This is guaranteed to grow following several listens and their discography is dense, it appears I have a little homework to do.

Final Score – 83

Human Infection

Human Infection (USA) – Gravesight

https://hiband.bandcamp.com/album/gravesight

Release – December 2019

Genre – Brutal Death/Grindcore

Tight arrangements which often border on Technical Death territories. Plenty of complex and swift rhythms with enough wicked transformation to make fans of (earlier era) Cannibal Corpse salivate.

Final Score – 87

Arcane Dread

Arcane Dread (Greece)- Mist and Marshes

https://arcanedread.bandcamp.com/album/mist-and-marshes

Release – April 2019

Genre – Death Metal

A mid-paced, one-person outfit showcasing agility, atmosphere and movement. Small qualms include one dimensional vocals, a “manufactured” aura and instances which tend to drag on. However this remains quite listenable.

Final Score – 72

Deathsiege

Deathsiege (Israel) – Unworthy Adversary

https://deathsiege.bandcamp.com/album/unworthy-adversary

Release – April/2020

Genre- Death/Black/Bestial Metal/Grinding Death/OSDM

Pummeling, bludgeoning and unquestionably unapologetic. Blunt, to the point, tracks with an early Vader feel. The outstanding drums are the highlight of the production which still seethes with a fitting raw edge.

Eleven minutes of audio sure to scramble the braincells and get the torso a twitchin’.

Final Score- 89

Lucifungus

Lucifungus (Australia) – Derek

https://lucifungus.bandcamp.com/album/derek

Release – April 2020

Genre – Stoner Rock/Doom/Sludge

Huge riffs, enough groove to sidetrack a speeding train and an ungodly infectious vibe cavorting with just the right amount of sinister. All drenched in a viscose sludge which only makes for an amplified raunchy experience. Did I mention the album’s art? I want it… I need it! Seriously how can I resist an album named after my favorite character in a movie?

Final Score – 88

The Holy Flesh

The Holy Flesh (UK) – Emissary and Vessel

https://caligarirecords.bandcamp.com/album/emissary-vessel

Release – March 2020

Genre – Black Metal/Post Rock/Ambient/Doom/Progressive

With the above description one might avoid this like the plague. I’m here to suggest you do the opposite. Obviously, this sounds, and is, slightly off the beaten path but it delivers. Rhythms overlaid upon ambient soundscapes (occasionally creating a mixture of produced effects akin to rapidly fading dreams and underwater auras) ensure the listening experience to be one that’s unmistakably off-kilter, often alienesque, though nevertheless providing for an enjoyable listen for those with an open mind and penchants that exist far from instant gratification realms. With all this in mind this still provides nods to various influences from Blackened realms resulting in an album which might be easier to digest than first imagined.

Final Score – 82

Shards of Humanity

Shards of Humanity (USA) – Cold Logic

https://unspeakableaxerecords.bandcamp.com/album/cold-logic

Release – April 2020

Genre – Thrash/Death/Tech Death

Invigorating, energetic and yes… somewhat fresh. This is Death Metal with an emphasis on leads and solos throughout. In essence – Thrash infused Death with a smidgen of Tech Death thrown in to mix things up. Think South American Aggressive Thrash bordering on Death with a sprinkle of Grindcore tossed in. Ha! This review is a mess but this album kicks major arse. The vocal style isn’t what’s expected (a tad ‘Barney’ at times) but it seeps in toward albums end to feel less foreign. If you prefer your Extreme audio energetic and less plodding, moody or Doom inspired this is for you.

Jump on this stat. But stretch first!!

Final Score – 89

Northern Crown

Northern Crown (USA) -In a Pallid Shadow

https://music.northerncrownband.com/

Release – July 2020

Genre – Traditional Doom/Heavy Metal/Vintage Doom/Epic Doom

To be honest this was not what I expected based on the albums cover art. The inclusion of a keyboard/organ in the sound elevates this from mere run of the mill Doom into more a vintage realm. Another aspect which places it in the same territory is the lyric heavy approach also the hard rock emotional vocal style (all of which often putting me in mind of early Rainbow and Deep Purple). An epic aura throughout with plentiful progressive passages makes for a listening experience which the listener can easily sink into when the mood demands audio of a mellower stance. Don’t sleep on this, especially if the physical collection (vinyl most probably) bursts at the seams with a wide range of rock albums from the late seventies/early eighties.

Final Score – 89

Descend

Descend (Sweden) – The Deviant

https://descend.bandcamp.com/

Release – June 2020

Genre – Melodic Death/Progressive/Doom

From the very first note this propels the listener to another realm. A landscape in which beauty teases the beast and nature cavorts openly with technology. The influences here are neon bright obvious (Opeth, Devin Townsend, among others) however it’s how Descend chooses to handle and manipulate them which makes this so special. Instrumental bliss, melodies which will leave fans of Melodic Death salivating and a vocal range which fits the albums transforming moods perfectly. This manages to check all the boxes and then obliterate them completely; it doesn’t get much better than this! This has Album of the Year potential written all over it!

The art grabs the attention, the music keeps it in rapture. This admittedly came out of nowhere to knock me on my hind quarters (what? Do I identify as being a horse now?)

Final Score – 94

Infer

Infer (Slovakia) – Aeon of Deathless Blight

https://tryznaproduction.bandcamp.com/album/aeon-of-deathless-blight

Release – June 2020

Genre – Blackened Death/Black/Dirge/Death Metal

Grandiose and unrelenting boasting maniacal flourishes this packs an unholy whollop which will leave one grinning from ear to ear. Heavy Black and Death influences and tendencies (from past and present) give this a huge appeal, and I’m glad to report this delivers from start to finish!

Final Score – 88

...And Oceans

…And Oceans (Finland) – Cosmic World Mother

https://andoceans.bandcamp.com/album/cosmic-world-mother

Release – May 2020

Genre – Black Metal/Melodic BM/Symphonic BM

It’s been a while since this collective last released a full-length, eighteen years in fact. They’ve been through experimental stages and have traversed many an audio landscape in their time. This however, is a return to form to the more generally ‘accepted’ arena of BM; the blistering, melodic kind which instantly perks the attention (on a first listen basis, none of this slowly sinking it all it offers nonsense) and the bands talents and expertise shine. Majestic rhythms reign supreme accompanied by an often-icy ferociousness and grandiose atmosphere, an aura which rarely let’s up. Bolstered by hyper-precise lightspeed skin pounding (that might sound ‘naughty’ depending upon how far your mind descends into the gutter) and a vicious vocal attack – the result is stunning. A combination sure to alight many a fans passion and an album which I can’t believe I’m just now laying senses upon. This could well be the album to pull many into the BM fold. It really is that impressive!

For those needing a FFO think a combination of Emperor, Dissection, Satyricon and Enthroned.

Final Score – 90

Tethra

Tethra (Italy) – Empire of the Void

https://tethrablacklion.bandcamp.com/album/empire-of-the-void

Release- March 2020

Genre – Death/Doom/Melodic Death/Avant Garde/Gothic Rock/Funeral Doom

Combining the melody and grandiose nature of Paradise Lost and the devastating emotion of Novembers Doom and My Dying Bride as well touching upon the diverse nature of the Doom spectrum Tethra have carved an album which demands several listens. The arrangements are transfixing, the vocals range outstanding (the combined talents within “A Light Years Breath” makes for a track which is unforgettable) and the cover of Bowie’s A Space Oddity a great addition. In short this is sure to be played till years end and praised again when all those damn lists start to appear.

Final Score- 92

Nekropsie

Nekropsie (Germany) – Prophecies of Decay

https://nekropsie.bandcamp.com/album/prophecies-of-decay

Release – March 2020

Genre – Black Metal/Melodic Black Metal/Atmospheric

Biting cold riffs, atmosphere and depth. Far from what some might call traditional however this kept me entertained and tapping my limbs for its entire length.

Final Score – 85

Cracked Machine

Cracked Machine (UK) – Gates of Keras

https://crackedmachine.bandcamp.com/

Release – June 2020

Genre – Doom/Stoner Rock/Psychedelia/Progressive/Instrumental

A hypnotic, calming, multi-layered blend of Stoner Rock sensibilities, fuzz adorned riffs and a cosmic soundscape which is easy to lose yourself within. And although this is instrumental it still checks all the boxes. Prepare to drift away to unfamiliar realms in a vehicle whose dimensions are obscured by smoke (if you catch my drift?)

Final Score – 90

Necrovault

Necrovault (Germany) – Totenzug; Festering Peregrination

https://nekrovault.bandcamp.com/album/totenzug-festering-peregrination

Release- March 2020

Genre – Cavernous Death Metal/OSDM/Doom

Enveloping audio with depth and epic scope. Plenty of atmosphere, movement and even occasional groove to keep the listener on their toes.

Final Score – 86

Valdrin

Valdrin (USA) – Effigy of Nightmares

https://bloodharvestrecords.bandcamp.com/album/effigy-of-nightmares

Release – June 2020

Genre – Melodic Black Metal/Symphonic BM/Raw BM

Atmosphere collides with ferocity. Melodic yet still primal this offers qualities both traditionalists and those with Atmospheric penchants can appreciate.

Final Score – 80

The Great Old Ones

The Great Old Ones (France) – Cosmicism

https://thegreatoldones.bandcamp.com/

Release – October 2019

Genre – Black Metal/Post Black/Avant Garde/Doom

I’m not even sure how to convey the adoration of tentacles and unfathomably ancient cosmic beings into audio form (obviously Lovecraft’s work is more than merely that). However, I’d state that TGoO (an abrv.) have done a bloody good job! The mix of palpable atmosphere, dizzying arrangements and raging chaos here evokes abrupt terrifying scenarios, unimaginable forces at work (‘behind the scenes’ as it were) and factors far beyond the understanding of a mere mortals grasp of/on reality. Admittedly, this is an album one will want to give repeated listens to fully appreciate. However, even on a first listen basis it leaves an incredible impression opening the gates of intrigue for everything Lovecraftian.

Final Score – 89

exhausted animal

 And that brings another installment to a close, it’s taken me longer than I’d like. I’d usually drop my excuses here but I shan’t not bore you with my life details this time around. Suffice it to say I’ve tried to keep this varied and as informative as I can without diving into diatribe lengths (obviously in some instances I got excited as you can probably tell). There are twenty – three releases here to whet the appetite, all of which I quite liked (thus the generous ratings). Feel free to drop me your thoughts, comments, suggestions or queries. Shit, if you wanna’ scribble a few words on a release which has caught your fancy drop me an email.

And, as is traditional…don’t fear discovery of that which is normally foreign to the senses.

Cult

Abrasive Audio 2020 – Part Thirteen

abrasive audio header gif

I’m at it again! Metal from all across the globe and from wide across the varied spectrum which makes up the extreme audio realm. In this installment you’ll find Doom, Black and Death and a few things in between. Hopefully I’ve found something to tickle those pleasure receptors. Feel free to drop me a note and tell me which one(s) “did it” for you. I’m intrigued.

March Releases

Dawn of Ouroboros album

Dawn of Ouroboros (USA) – The Art of Morphology

https://dawnofouroboros.bandcamp.com/album/the-art-of-morphology

Release – March/30/2020

Rain Without End Records

ARTWORK – 82

Classical with a splash of cosmic nature yet overlaid with ominous tones perhaps an indication of the music within? Hitting play…

FIRST TRACK – 88

Drenched (literally) in haunting atmosphere this track transforms the listen to a stormy day environment invoking the mood to match. Ambient tones, emotion and ferocious black metal. An excellent mixture guaranteed to leave any listener mouth agape eagerly awaiting what’s to follow.

INITIAL LISTEN – 90

Epic effective atmosphere encased in a variety of vocal approaches; spoken word (poetry), angelic singing and a ferocious assault makes for an intriguing listen that’s far from traditional. Progressive elements (including a hypnotic instrumental outro of sorts) and a whirlwind, blistering, percussion cavort playfully amidst the arrangements adding depth and the desire to dig deeper within future experiences. DoO (which is an obvious abbreviation) have managed to rein in a fluid approach here which others only attempt with unfruitful results. Transitions are masterful and the flow exquisite a testament to the bands vision, a stellar spin on the Beauty and Beast approach with a myriad of elements one might not expect resulting in an album which one can find themselves lost within. Major props go out to Chelsea Murphy who’s solely responsible for the stunning vocal range exhibited throughout.

Favorite Tracks; Hypnotic from beginning to end.

FFO; Gates of the Morning, Akercocke, Emperor.

April Releases

Caustic Wound

Another Void Recc
Caustic Wound (USA) – Death Posture

https://profoundlorerecords.bandcamp.com/album/death-posture

Release – April/10/2020

Profound Lore Records

ARTWORK – 78

A raw BnW image of a face stripped of flesh shattered like a mirror. Makes an impression and leaves little to Imagination as to what to expect from the audio.

FIRST TRACK – 78

Pulverizing OSDM with a deviant raunchy tone and gutteriffic vox.

INITIAL LISTEN – 83

Blast beats, chaotic dirge riffs, tumbling over each other, fighting for supremacy, enough diabolical groove to start a Goblin mosh pit in the catacombs, a gargling sewerage vocal approach and a nostalgic aura part Crust, part Brutal Death which tosses one gleefully back to the late 80’s/ very early 90’s extreme underground scene. There’s plenty to get excited about here!

Favorite Tracks; Cematary Planet, Black Bag Asphyxiation, Blast Casualty, Uranium Decay, Acid Attack, Guillotine, Catackysmic Gigaton.

FFO; Fetid, Repulsion, Terrorizer.

But wait for it…Void has a few words to share on this one

Spawned mostly from members of Mortiferum and Cerebral Rot / Fetid, Caustic Wound’s debut “Death Posture” is one hell of a throwback, nailing its claim that it sounds like it was recorded no later than 1992.  Worshipping at the altar of Nuclear Death, Defecation (a personal favorite), Terrorizer, Napalm Death, early Carcass and of course the mighty Repulsion, “Death Posture” blows by in a furious cyclone of grinding death metal that doesn’t hold back.  The sound on this thing is perfection, thick and moldering and so, so nasty.  The bass is just thundering, you can feel the twanging of those strings booming through your speakers in those slower, grinding doom parts between the frenetic blasts. Consisting mostly of songs that don’t breach the two-minute mark doesn’t hold “Death Posture” back from having catchy tracks without being ridiculously heavy.  Albums like this are what gets me out of bed in the morning.

90

Abduction

Abduction (France) – Jehanne

https://abductionfr.bandcamp.com/

Release -April/29/2020

Finisterean Dead End

ARTWORK – 78

A classic portrait of Joan of Arc, on whom, incidentally, this album is based.

FIRST TRACK – 83

A Baroque introduction ripped in Twain by the arrival of malicious blast beat laden Black metal. The vocal presence is unique, showcasing three distinct styles, and the track soon calms to offer rhythms of an undeniably addictive nature which are melodic, triumphant and powerful. A great start and introduction to an album which appears thus far in rather unique in its approach.

INITIAL LISTEN – 86

There’s over an hour of Atmospheric, (slightly Avant Garde in instances) and Melodic Black metal with a thin veil of melancholic Doom to get lost in here. Sweeping rhythms coupled with both fierce and majestic arrangements accompanied by a diverse, multi-faceted vocal lineup adds depth to the albums eye-opening allure. An epic thoroughly immersive audio journey with plentiful movement, epic sonic-scapes and even in instances passages which are oddly relaxing. This boasts the grandiosity, flow and diversity to appeal to a large audience across a wide radius within both the Black and extreme arenas.

Favorite Tracks; Top notch Black Metal dotted with fluid diversity flowing throughout!

FFO; Angellore, Schammasch, Sigh, Blut Aus Nord, Aodon.

May Releases

Naglfar Sweden - Cerecloth

Naglfar (Sweden) – Cerecloth

https://music.apple.com/us/album/cerecloth/1499904426?ign-gact=3&ls=1

Release- May/8/2020

Century Media Records

ARTWORK – 86

An exquisitely rendered ominous image. Is this a procession of the dead about to wreck vengeance? Or spirits merely out for a leisurely wander? Either way it’s a fantastic piece of art which has revved up the curious part of me to dangerous levels.

FIRST TRACK – 83

Blistering pace, majestic rhythms, venomous vocals and a familiar Blackened Death/Melodic Black vibe. Although this isn’t a new style it’s hard not to appreciate.

INITIAL LISTEN – 81

This is my introduction to the band. Many have commented this is the bands weakest effort to date, but not having heard them (yet) I will comment on this release alone (then most probably dig into the acts past work, depending on my appreciation of this).

Classically melodious and overflowing with swift rhythms and a sense of menace the style here is downright sinister and utterly recognizable. Overall, the album sports a great many arrangements to get excited about and is a pleasure to listen to throughout, though I can’t help but think it’s somewhat ‘safe’ with rhythms occasionally existing in the realm of strikingly predictable. The production is a little muddy and could be better but for as introduction to the band I’m left impressed and will definitely revisit again. I will also take a moment to discover their past work.

Favorite Tracks; Delivers throughout!

FFO; Dissection, Old Man’s Child, Sacramentum, Necrophobic.

barrenwomb

 Barren Womb (Norway/Finland) – Lizard Lounge

https://barrenwomb.bandcamp.com/

Release -May/22/2020

Loyal Blood Records

ARTWORK – 84

It might take a few glances and exploration of this image to work out what’s going on. To me it appears to be an image plucked from the mind of someone who contributes to AdultSwim on a regular basis. Teeth are flying everywhere and the person in the foreground appears to be holding a fork, or is a tiny hammer? (Is that an ear on the fork or a tongue?) This is strange indeed, perhaps an indication of the music on offer? Hitting play.

FIRST TRACK – 89

Not sure if this is Punk, Noise, Rowdy Rock and Roll or all of the above mashed together. It’s certainly interesting and I’m all ears.  What a curiously infectious start!

INITIAL LISTEN – 85

Once in a while I come across a collective of audio which is quite indescribable. Such is the case here. A few genres and styles come to mind while this tears its way through the senses but they soon dissipate as the unpredictability takes hold, moreover in some Tracks than others. This might be easier to describe if it wasn’t so addictive, infectious and humorous. It just grabs ahold and doesn’t let go. Frenetic is a good word to use here, distortion is rampant and the vocals are spat with punk attitude. However, there are calmer, slower moments to make for a breather. All in all, a diverse slab of surprising wrapped in odd, bizarre and enigmatic. As if the track titles don’t suggest such.

Favorite Tracks; Delights throughout!

FFO; Freighter, Wizard Rifle, Faith no More, Dog Fashion Disco, Polkadot Cadaver.

Red Mesa (USA) - The Path to the Deathless
June Releases
Red Mesa (USA) – The Path to the Deathless

https://redmesaband.bandcamp.com/album/the-path-to-the-deathless

Release – June/12/2020

Desert Records

ARTWORK – 92

Vibrant, vivid and striking.

Exquisite colors and details (courtesy of Joshua Mathus) make this image stand out and catch the eye. So much so that I honestly couldn’t resist a listen. Hitting play…

FIRST TRACK – 83

Palpable desert ambience leads into distortion-laden melodies with a violin accompaniment. Color me intrigued.

INITIAL LISTEN – 86

It would really be untoward for someone to call this merely “Stoner Rock”. For it’s so much more than merely that. This album sees a merging of many styles; namely Psychedelia, Blues tinged Rock, Heavy Metal (and even in instances Sludge). The resulting creation has a heavy Western sounding, passion fueled, slant which goes far beyond intriguing. “Chilling” is a word which works well in instances, “Ghostly” fits too. The band make the most of the injected Psych moments for atmosphere (of which there is plenty courtesy of violins and steel guitar guest players) while also adding momentum into their arrangements to keep unpredictability levels high and the listener on their toes. Overall, this is a fantastic album for anyone interested in the scene to take the plunge. This is neither this nor that, but a great many things interacting on many levels for a fully subversive listening experience one needs to explore over several listens.

Favorite Tracks; Delivers a hypnotic aura from start to finish.

FFO; The Sword, Baroness, High on Fire, Conan.

 Stygian Crown

 Stygian Crown (USA) – s/t

https://stygiancrown.bandcamp.com/album/stygian-crown

Release- June/26/2020

Cruz delivers Sur Music

ARTWORK – 79

A skull, snakes and swords embossed upon a leather clad volume or tome (of sorts) this leaves me intrigued as to what type of audio this album might contain. Pressing play.

FIRST TRACK – 82

An introduction dripping in presence offers the listener their first glimpse of the vocalist here although it’s more an angelic chorus. It’s not until the music actually kicks that her pipes are displayed in all their magnificence. The percussion oddly fits although it’s more distorted dirge (Bolt Thrower comes to mind) rather than the clean sweeping melodies one might expect (ala Candlemass; Snowy Shaw and Messiah Marcolin whom her voice is comparable to). Oddly, the combination works. A certain remarkable grandiose nature results from the combined mixture of styles and it’s surprisingly fitting for the term “Doom”.

INITIAL LISTEN – 84

This could well be called traditional Doom. All the ingredients are there; the exquisite, passionate vocals and the catchy af rhythms (guitar and drum based) though there’s one small difference. The fact I’ve mentioned before, and although this ‘presence’ does seem to wane somewhat towards albums end the aura is still there. The impression has been made and it’s a formidable mark. “CandleThrower” (as the band term the style) is one hell of a spin on the traditional take and it’s not so wildly inventive as to scare potential listeners away, traditional elements still exist, solid are invocative and plentiful. This feels right, comfortable even. And this is album is downright fire which only spreads out of control as it starts anew, again and again and…

Favorite Tracks; Devour the Dead, Up from the Depths, Flametongue, When Old Gods Die, Trampled into the Earth.

FFO; Bolt Thrower, Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus.

 Shed the Skin (USA) - The Forbidden Arts

 Shed the Skin (USA) – The Forbidden Arts

https://shed-the-skin.bandcamp.com/

Release – June/26/2020

Hell’s Headbangers Records

ARTWORK – 93

Courtesy of James Bullock this gloriously grotesque BnW image highlights the dire consequences of dabbling in “The Forbidden Arts”.

Brilliant inks but I’m left wondering how difficult it’s now going to be to get his (?) pants on.

FIRST TRACK – 82

Plenty of groove and diabolical nature in this track. Mid-paced madness with maniacal maelstrom tendencies and vicious throaty vocals.

INITIAL LISTEN – 84

With constantly shifting arrangements offering a myriad of styles ranging from Thrash laden Death, Melodic Death and Maniacal Death complete with groove passages, sinister solos/leadwork and palpable atmosphere this is an altogether accessible style. And honestly a few steps away from what I was imagining with term “Satanic DM” in my mind (which conjures the words raw, blistering paced, blackened chaos). However, this delivers throughout with its twisting somewhat unpredictable melodic approach to keep me intrigued and my whims pleasingly sated (with my limbs tapping of their own accord).

Favorite Tracks; Delivers throughout!

FFO; Deicide, Asphyx, Incantation, Grotesquery.

Dark Tranquility (Sweden) - Skydancer

Plucked from Metal Past
(In this case revisiting a classic to evaluate if it still leaves an impression)
Dark Tranquility (Sweden) – Skydancer

https://darktranquillity.bandcamp.com/

(Re)release – August/30/2013 (original release – August/30/1993)

Independent

ARTWORK – 78

An image depicting a moody sky. Rays of light break through the clouds to fall upon the forest below. Gives little away in regards to the music.

FIRST TRACK – 88

Highly infectious, exuberant and energetic structure. Rhythms incite movement and harsh, venom dripping, vocals add a vicious edge to propel this from a merely melodic (albeit swift and multifaceted) audio landscape into one that straddles both Technical and Aggressive Thrash and Death territories. A fantastic start!

INITIAL LISTEN – 89

Simply put… a stunning feat! One of the forerunners of the Stockholm melodic movement. A perfect balance of harmonies and melodies (draped in an array of invocative folk and classical auras) and swift paced rhythms (utilizing exciting riff combinations which are far from repetitive to the point of boredom) resulting in an unpredictable, often frenetic, though altogether fluid audio collection which is difficult not to appreciate. For Thrash and Melodic Death fans alike. This still makes an impression even close to some thirty years after its initial release. Fingers crossed a rerecording/reworking doesn’t appear to leave a stain upon long-time fans admiration of a classic.

Favorite Tracks; Inventive, energetic and enjoyable throughout.

FFO; At the Gates, (early) In Flames, Insomnium, Sabbat (UK), Eucharist, Omnium Gatherum, (early) Arch Enemy.

WTF Lightning Fire Reviews
A single listen of an album from a diverse selection complemented by a quick scribble.

Cursed be Thy Flesh - The Ritual

Cursed be Thy Flesh (USA/Slovenia) – The Ritual

https://cursedbethyflesh.bandcamp.com/album/the-ritual-album

Release – April/30/2020

Necrotic Records/Wrought Records/Anti // all forever

Artwork – 77

Ferocity – 76

Infectiousness – 78

Groove – 75

Originality – 64

Genre – Black Metal/Symphonic Black/Raw Black/Melodic Black/Blackened Death/Blackened Speed/Dungeon Synth

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 81

Covering a pleasingly diverse radius of the BM genre this offers audio newcomers and traditional fans of the genre can (and will) enjoy. Raw yet polished in its production with applaudable, plentiful, nods to familiar influences there’s a great deal here to entice the first footstep within an unfamiliar realm without suffocating the listener in an absolute and unforgiving nature many associate with the BM genre.

Cryptic Brood (Germany) - Outcome of Obnoxious Science

 Cryptic Brood (Germany) – Outcome of Obnoxious Science

https://rottedlife.bandcamp.com/album/outcome-of-obnoxious-science

Release – November/22/2019

War Anthem Records/Rotted Life

Artwork – 78

Ferocity – 77

Infectiousness – 68

Groove – 72

Originality – 65

Genre – Grinding Death/Death/Doom/OSDM/Crust

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 74

Varied pace displayed throughout each track (from plodding, sinister, Doom to blast beat-laden ferocity and stomping groove passages making for an unpredictable listen) slathered in putrescence and grime evokes a dismal, bleak surrounding where hope has long since faded replaced by inevitable dread and longing for a final release. Recc for those with preferences far from mere chuggery realms.

 Demonomancy (Italy) - Poisoned Atonement

 Demonomancy (Italy) – Poisoned Atonement

https://invictusproductions666.bandcamp.com/album/poisoned-atonement-2

Release – February/23/2018

Invictus Productions

Artwork – 76

Ferocity – 78

Infectiousness – 71

Groove – 72

Originality – 72

Genre – Blackened Death/Melodic Black Metal

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 71

A grandiose affair utilizing chants, choruses, tribal drums and a slightly different approach in the vocal department; a style which appears more spoken than sang. Percussion is akin to ‘light’ Grinding Death with a darker slant. The result is a sound boasting both depth/presence but an overall aura which might take a few listens to fully appreciate.

Excuse the Interruption… but Void has an album he wishes to share
Death Mask – Split the Atom

Release – July/1986

Killerwatt Records

Sometimes digging into the deep underbelly of metal you retrieve some unknown gems.  And other times… well you’re not as lucky.  Not to say that Death Mask is necessarily bad, but let’s just agree there’s room for improvement here.  Sounding like Motörhead b-sides got a low-dosage injection of thrash metal with a vocalist doing their best to sound like a cross between Tim Baker (Cirith Ungol) and John Stewart (Slauter Xstroyes), there’s nothing tremendously noteworthy here.  Sure, there are some cool tracks like “Lust for Fire” where the energy is palpable and all the ingredients come together properly, but you also have some half-baked duds like the cringey, mid-paced self-declaration of badassery in “Walk Alone.”  But hey you can’t win em’ all.  Death Mask isn’t a total waste, there’s a bit of a good time on here, but they’re definitely not in the upper echelons of any genre of metal they touch here.  An obscure curiosity to check out on a rainy day.

60

Drakonis (UK) - Blessed by Embers

Let us return to our normally scheduled programming
Drakonis (UK) – Blessed by Embers

https://hostilemedia.bandcamp.com/album/blessed-by-embers

Release – April/3/2020

Hostile Media

Artwork – 78

Ferocity – 79

Infectiousness – 82

Groove – 76

Originality – 65

Genre – Blackened Death/Symphonic Black/Industrial/Doom/Melodic Black/Viking Metal

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 80

Although the description (above) is varied the music here flows uninterrupted by transformation hiccup with varying degrees of menace, melody and ferocity to keep the listener entertained. And thankfully no over-indulgence in any one factor. Mood and majesty combine superbly with just the right amount of atmosphere alongside a vocal approach which has bite and should be instantly acceptable for most genre fans. For a debut full-length this bodes well for the bands future hinting at avenues which could well separate them from the herd. Keep tabs on these guys!

 Power Theory (USA) - Force of Will

 Power Theory (USA) – Force of Will

https://powertheory.bandcamp.com/album/force-of-will-2

Release – December/6/2019

Pure Steel Records

Artwork – 73

Ferocity – 64

Infectiousness – 83

Groove – 78

Originality – 64

Genre – Heavy Metal/Power Metal

Revisit- Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 86

I’m not usually a fan of the genre. However, for some reason this grabbed my attention and held it! Fluid melodies, epic arrangements, intriguing lyrical content and top- notch musicianship accompanied by an impressive vocalist sporting a range minus falsetto elements which usually keep me away from the genre. If like me you thought you were done with the genre, give this a shot, it might well reverse your opinion.

Apostasy (USA) - Accuser of Brethren (demo)

 Another Void Recc
Apostasy (USA) – Accuser of Brethren (demo)

https://pathologicallyexplicit.bandcamp.com/track/accusser-of-brethren

(Re)release – April/1/2020 (originally released in 93′)

Pathologically Explicit Recordings

Artwork – 71

Ferocity – 76

Infectiousness – 76

Groove – 73

Originality – 65

Genre – Brutal Death/Death/Grinding Death/OSDM/DeathDoom

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 80

Maniacal and diabolical flourishes abound as well arrangements which sport effective sinister atmosphere and rhythms to transport the listener to the edge of the abyss. Raw production fits the style perfectly. Tragically, this is all the band (or any of its members) released, perhaps it was released too soon and/or didn’t reach the circles it needed to. There’s no doubt this boasts an easy to appreciate level of quality. Who knows what the future may have manifested?

obedmarsh

 Obed Marsh (Australia) – Dunwich

https://obedmarsh.bandcamp.com/

Release – January/8/2019

Independent

Artwork – 78

Ferocity – 76

Infectiousness – 78

Groove – 74

Originality – 76

Genre – Funeral Doom/Atmospheric Black/Sludge/Ambient/Drone

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 83

Ethereal quality hypnotic audio suffocates the senses conjuring an as if being propelled by the body working of its own accord through a thick fog towards “something” sensation. Vocals bear a’far off’ element which somehow adds depth to the already remarkable palpable ominous vibe throughout. This is meticulously crafted Lovecraftian Doom which channels elements from a variety of genres to evoke an atmosphere rarely experienced. Sit back, give this the time it requires and let the mind wander into realms both enigmatic and fascinating though altogether unfathomable.

 Torture Tomb (USA) - Killing to See How it Feels

 Torture Tomb (USA) – Killing to See How it Feels

https://transylvaniantapes.bandcamp.com/album/torture-tomb-killing-to-see-how-it-feels

Release- June/6/2020

Transylvanian Tapes

Artwork – 75

Ferocity – 83

Infectiousness – 78

Groove – 81

Originality – 65

Genre – OSDM/Blackened Death/Crust/Brutal Death/Sludge

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 74

Cavernous, sick, OSDM with plenty of groove and a myriad of pleasing influence.

 Wartooth (Australia) - Programmed Dichotomy

A Recc from Demnuts3  (on Twitter)
 Wartooth (Australia) – Programmed Dichotomy

https://wartooth.bandcamp.com/album/programmed-dichotomy

Release – April/9/2020

Independent

Artwork – 81

Ferocity – 78

Infectiousness – 92

Groove – 89

Originality – 75

Genre – Thrash/Technical Thrash/Crossover/Aggressive Thrash

Revisit – It goes w.o saying.

Final Score/Remarks – 94

How is that only after three tracks Wartooth have managed to exhibit screamingly neon signed influence from more than a handful of ultra- recognizable acts and so brilliantly executed with such fluid precision? Also, in the vocal department, I’m not usually one for vocal gymnastics. But the effect works so remarkably here that it manages to widen the eyes in stunning appreciation rather than prompt pen to keyboard in complaint.

In fact, the album seethes with a level of enthusiasm, energy and exuberance that’s off the charts. I can only imagine what a spectacle the live show must present. In short, I can understand why so many are touting this as AoTY material (and so early on). This offering from Wartooth is undeniably a damn good reason to get excited about Thrash again! Be prepared to praise the genre again. This, moreso than anything else recently released, has given it the kick in the ass it so desperately warrants. And the bands “message” is refreshing also (that of waving the flag of individuality), yet another reason to jump on this and support the band (as if one needs another reason?)

Thrashin’ mad Koalas and Kangaroos. Are they a thing? (Did I just go there? You betcha’). Probably not, but with this in mind it’s now most certainly a possibility.

Altar of Rot (USA) - Altar of Rot

 Altar of Rot (USA) – Altar of Rot

https://altarofrot.bandcamp.com/album/altar-of-rot

Release – March/15/2020

Independent

Artwork – 85

Ferocity – 82

Infectiousness – 86

Groove – 84

Originality – 75

Genre – Blackened Death/Blackened Speed/Black Metal/Crust/Doom/Thrash.

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 86

Surprisingly versatile mixture of styles executed with flair. Raw production adds to the albums allure. Addictively infectious throughout!

With this quality on offer I’m sure labels will fight amongst themselves to pluck this act from obscurity.

Wretched Fate (Sweden) - Fleshletting

 Wretched Fate (Sweden) – Fleshletting

https://wretchedfate.bandcamp.com/album/wretched-fate-fleshletting

Release – February/22/2019

Redefining Darkness Records

Artwork – 86

Ferocity – 86

Infectiousness – 88

Groove – 85

Originality – 79

Genre – HM2 Death/Brutal Death/OSDM

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 87

Just when one begins to think the HM2 sound was exhausted along comes Wretched Fate. They give the familiar a twist, add their unique stamp, inject an atmosphere which showcsses their adoration for the horror genre then execute the whole with a reverance, precision and skillfull devastation a samurai swordmaster would be jealous of. In short, this is the arena I wished Dismember, Bloodbath or Entombed might have taken, as their styles  progressed, but never did. And to think I missed this ragin’ beast last year. Is there still time to add to the EoY lists?

Kryptograf (Norway)

Kryptograf (Norway) – s/t

https://kryptograf.bandcamp.com/album/kryptograf

Release – June/12/2020

Apollon Records

Artwork – 68

Ferocity – 53

Infectiousness – 69

Groove – 84

Originality – 72

Genre – Fuzz/Doom/Stoner Rock/Psychedelia/Vintage Rock/Progressive

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 72

Honestly, this is a lot mellower audio than I usually divulge my senses in but it boasts a certain something to keep the finger from the skip, and/or eject button. It bears definite flow, a dreamy fluidity, cosmic elements (which bring to mind Hawkwind), tons of “fuzz”, haunting atmospheres, melodies you can drift upon, but also an aura which recalls early Black Sabbath. This is probably not for everybody (admittedly I’m warming to the inner most circle of what the Doom genre offers) but it’s making an impression on me as somewhat of a pallet cleanser. A relaxing step away from that which usually brutalizes my senses.

Aeons Abyss (Australia) - Impenitent

 Aeons Abyss (Australia) – Impenitent

https://aeonsabyss.bandcamp.com/album/impenitent

Release – November/1/2019

Independent

Artwork – 79

Ferocity – 78

Infectiousness – 78

Groove – 82

Originality – 68

Genre – Death/OSDM/Brutal Death/Atmospheric/Melodic Death/Black Metal

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 78

Far from mere chuggery this is pleasingly diverse. Each track boasts a unique identity with a myriad of styles, auras and pace showcased within the album’s length. A superb vocal range, occasionally nodding at the theatric, adds to the intrigue as well unpredictable, often intricate, arrangements hinting at a wide range of influences.

 Sanctifying Death Ritual (Germany)

 Sanctifying Death Ritual (Germany) – s/t

https://ironboneheadproductions.bandcamp.com/album/sanctifying-ritual-s-t

Release- June/5/2020

Iron Bonehead Productions

Artwork – 81

Ferocity – 83

Groove – 78

Infectiousness – 91

Originality – 68

Genre – BlackThrash/Bestial Metal/Death/Speed/Black Metal

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 92

A jaw dropping audio cauldron of cavernous Death, Blackened Speed Metal and arrangements which will turn the ear of even the most casual genre fan. The albums raw production only bolsters its (masterfully controlled) chaotic approach and appeal which seethes with both nostalgic elements and present-day frenetic attitude. Expect to see this mentioned again come years end.

Heads for the Dead (International) – Serpent’s Curse

 Heads for the Dead (International) – Serpent’s Curse

https://headsforthedead.bandcamp.com/album/serpents-curse-death-metal

Release – September/24/2018

Transcending Obscurity Records

Artwork – 83

Ferocity – 77

Groove – 76

Infectiousness – 78

Originality – 72

Genre – Death Metal/DeathDoom

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 82

An unsettling audio landscapes smoky with the haze of dread and unquestionable sinister intent accompanied by an enveloping swath of amorphous percussion boasting varied degrees of ferocity invites the listener into its fold. Draped in a heavy pitch, all consuming, blanket of ill intent this is not the typical DM release but rather one relying on dense atmosphere than bludgeoning riff brutality. Aided by the echoed vocal attributes of (Revel in Flesh’s) Ralf Hauber and the mesmerizing drumming of Erik Bevenrud (Hail of Bullets) the spell is cast. And the audience is consumed by a delirious fog resulting from the masterful manipulation of the finest elements of Doom, Death and Crust.

Sangre de la Luna (USA) - Stirrings (demo)

Sangre de la Luna (USA) – Stirrings (demo)

https://bloodmoonproductions.bandcamp.com/album/stirrings

Release – November/5/2019

Blood moon Productions

Artwork – 72

Ferocity – 88

Groove – 71

Infectiousness – 65

Originality – 66

Genre – OSDM/Grind/Black Metal

Revisit – No

Final Score/Remarks – 64

Classical interludes break up a hyper-speed collision involving raw Black Metal and Grinding Death vehicles. Incomprehensible vocals and atmosphere adds to the mix making for a dismally, pitch, uncompromising brutal affair which, I’m assuming, only the extremists among us are likely to fully appreciate.

But wait for it, Void has a few words on this release also…

Black metal hailing from Portland, Oregon, I’ll admit this is not what I was expecting.  The acoustic intro led me astray in expecting an album with a heavier emphasis on an atmospheric approach.  Not quite, as the black metal contained herein is heavily distorted and blown out; the tone and drumming are very overbearing and give “Stirrings” a very mechanical feel, one that I don’t think does Sangre de la Luna justice.  The drums pummel out the guitars, who in turn drown out the vocals, and there’s simply too much going on at once, but not in the over-the-top chaos way that bands like perhaps Teitanblood have mastered.  There are good ideas lurking around in here and I can appreciate what they were aiming for, but the execution isn’t quite fully realized yet.

65

Woe Betide (UK) - Throne of Spines

 Woe Betide (UK) – Throne of Spines

https://woebetide.bandcamp.com/album/throne-of-spines

Release – May/24/2020

Independent

Artwork – 74

Ferocity – 82

Groove – 78

Infectiousness – 82

Originality – 72

Genre – Symphonic Death/Deathcore/Tech Death

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 81

Oozing with atmosphere and wicked, often intricate, riffs and rhythm transformations this one manages to capture the attention throughout warranting addition to a heavy rotation playlist.

 Henry Kane (Sweden) - Age of the Idiot

 Henry Kane (Sweden) – Age of the Idiot

https://henrykanecrust.bandcamp.com/album/age-of-the-idiot-death-metal-grind-crust

Release- May/22/2020

Transcending Obscurity Records

Artwork – 83

Ferocity – 78

Groove – 71

Infectiousness – 75

Originality – 74

Genre – HM2 Swedish Death/Brutal Death/Grinding Death/Industrial/Grindcore/Doom/Crust

Revisit – Yes

Final Score/Remarks – 79

Surprisingly diverse for a “Grindcore” release, this sports individual sounding tracks with varying lengths as well the traditional under-a-minute type. Levels of ferociousness are varied as well pace and rhythm arrangements. All in all, somewhat a mature, ‘out of bounds’ effort that’s well worth discovery and a few listens to fully appreciate.

tired zombie

Done. Now I’ll sleep like the dead!

And that’s about it for another monstrous entry in the Abrasive Audio series. Thanks for reading this far, hopefully I’ve introduced a few albums/acts which delight the senses.

I’ve tried to keep this installment diverse and have even added a few Recc’s I was most curious about. As always, I’m finish this by imparting the customary spot of sagely advice – don’t fear discovery of that which is normally foreign to the ears.

Cult

Whoops, nearly forgot. A huge thanks to Void for the Reccs and stepping in with his wisdom and insight at the last minute.

Abrasive Audio – An interview with Beltane

Beltane_Logo

Greetings and welcome to another installment in the Interview series. In this installment I find myself chatting with an act from out of New Zealand. Recently I covered a Slayer tribute compilation, within it were a few tracks which really caught my attention and amidst those one which grabbed me with such force I had to put digit to keyboard in order to learn more about the band behind the recording.  May I present Beltane in their own words…

Where/when did the idea of forming a band come about, when did Beltane come into existence?

darkthrone_a_blaze_in_the_northern_sky

Arguably one of the most important BM albums of 1992

I was introduced to Black Metal in 1991, got really into it in 1992. I was already playing in quite a successful NZ Death Metal band at the time, but started writing my own Black Metal material at the beginning of 1993 and decided upon the project name of ‘Beltane’.

Not too much came of this until the 28th of October 1994 when I recorded the first Beltane track – “Into the Night” – as a solo effort on a flatmate’s (room-mate) Amstrad four track stereo system. I played all the instruments myself, including the drums. I certainly am not a drummer but for the track I played it was OK. I distributed this song around the local Nelsonian scene by dubbing it on the end of Burzum and other bands that I traded with people.

St Vincent Street Hoard

It happened here.

By the end of that year it had evolved into an actual three-piece band and it was this lineup that recorded the “Rehearsal April 1995” demo in the hallway of the St Vincent Street Horde direct to cassette. 

The lineup dissolved in 1996 and Beltane became a project again and as such it has had a number of evolutions over the years, but has never returned to being a purely solo project.

Any reason in particular for the Beltane moniker?

Totally. I was (and still am) very much into the occult and paganism. I had one of those Lewellyn Press “Witchcraft” books and learned about the Celtic Cross Quarter days, and that Beltane or Beltaine was considered to be on April 30th, which is my Anniversary of Born’d Day. It is also known as Walpurgisnacht, and the day Anton LaVey officially formed the Church of Satan in 1966.

Later on, I learned that these Cross Quarter Days do not directly apply to the Southern Hemisphere as they relate to the Seasons and have to be reversed down here. I also then further learnt that these days that many consider as fixed are not fixed at all. So that actually puts the Day of Beltaine around November 6th in the Southern Hemisphere.

However, the more I learned about this the more it became integral to the project, just as it became more integral to my lifestyle. Which leads on nicely to the next question.

Is there anything which makes Beltane stand apart from other bands in much the same genre?  

Nelson in New Zealand

Many things I believe.

Although, to begin with maybe the only real point of difference is that we were from Nelson, New Zealand. And the beginning of what was for a time the largest and most committed Black Metal scene in NZ. Other centres had great metal scenes but they tended to be either Death Metal or Grindcore during this period. The Nelsonian scene was unique in that it fully embraced Black Metal. It also had a good supply of LSD as the EDM Trance scene was big in this region at the same time. That helped.

Later on though, when things started to evolve I didn’t see any limits to the kind of sounds I might explore with the project, which is something that the original Norwegian bands did, but then that fell away and now it’s all cookie cutter “raw” Black Metal etc.

After Dyrkyn, our original drummer, departed we never really had a permanent drummer on board again. Which opened up massive possibilities to work with sampled drums, loops and drum machines. Then with the advent of the internet, different drummers and drum programmers all around the world. The nost notable of these would be The Ineffable Mark Dubanowski, who we started working with in 2009, and still he does stuff for us on occasion.

Summer-Solstice-Live-'04

Also, location recording in forests, cemeteries etc became very important. At times becoming the main activity of the band rather than playing live and doing what “normal” bands do. By no means are we the only Black Metal project to have recorded in a forest etc. Yet, because of the frequent occasions that we indulge in this type of activity and the systematic way it is approached, I think sets it us apart in this regard.

In December 2004, on the Day of the Summer Solstice, Beltane began something we have done ever since. Recording on the Cardinal Seasonal & Cross Quarter Days. This is something that no other band or project in the world has achieved.

How would you describe your sound, are there any major influences you cite for your arrangements and/or style. Or themes which you feel are important within your work?

Mainly Black Metal, but with deviations into other styles and (mainly metal) genres, most notably Industrial. But always with a distinct Black Metal production style. The general idea here being to “capture a lo-fi sound in a hi-fi envelope” if you get what I am saying? So, production is a very deliberate part of the sound.

beltane in a slayer tribute comp

The track in question resides here.

I think that our cover of Angel of Death showcases that. I mean, we didn’t do anything massively different with how we played the song, pretty much kept close to Slayer. How it was produced gave it the “Beltane Sound”.

As for themes, the main thing is atmosphere, with a lot of pagan references. Not so much to particular belief systems, but to the overall essence of it all. And always in a search to find the magick-in-the-real. A secondary theme that has become more common over the past decade would be anti-globalist messages, which is something we feel strongly about. We made an entire album based on this called ‘Democide’, which essentially means death by government.

Do you currently have any favorite artists/albums you might wish to share?

Impaled Nazarene

The Nihil LP

Of all time, my favourite artists are Morbid Angel and Celtic Frost, and definitely much of the early Norwegian and Finnish Black Metal, such as Mayhem, Burzum from that side and Beherit and Impaled Nazarene from the other. And I must point out that I like all the experimental releases from Beherit and Morbid Angel too, including the much hated “I” album. Plus, I dig “Cold Lake” from ‘Frost, which Tom G Warrior would probably be upset about. Lol.

Naturally, I also like a lot of Thrash Metal, and certainly Traditional Heavy Metal & Hard Rock. Not so keen on Nu-Metal though, and (modern) Power Metal only in very small doses!

However, I enjoy many different genres of music including EDM, selected fem-pop, classical, selected rock’n’roll etc. And lately have even been tuning into the occasional country LPFM station when out and about! Some of this open-mindedness has come about more in recent times due to being the manager and main DJ of a community radio station. But I can tell you, metal is very well represented on there!

Maelific by Design “Definitive Indication of Supremacy”

In case you were curious, I know I am

As for a recommendation of something current. I rather enjoy the album from Finnish band Maelific by Design “Definitive Indication of Supremacy”. One of the guys from it, Ville the guitarist sent, me a CD copy of it. Which of course captured my attention much more, than it might have otherwise.

The thing is, with the way things are today with the internet so much awesome stuff comes down the pike it becomes a bit of a blur. I probably have dozens if not scores of great albums sitting around as ZIP files that I have been sent.  In the old days, obtaining new content was such a slow process you had the time to enjoy and really get to know what you obtained before something new came along.

I know some people try to do that now by taking a stance something like: “I only listen to pressed CDs or cassettes, vinyl etc”. However, I reckon that is not really an organic attitude in this day and age – it’s somewhat forced and maybe just a little poseury.

Nevertheless, I still feel there is something special about listening to music from analogue sources such as vinyl or cassette or even uncompressed 16bit 44.1 KHz digital audio that is converted by the electronics in a CD player, rather than an Mp3 that is decoded by a computer or smartphone.

How did your contribution to the Antichrist/Grand Sounds Slayer Tribute come about (did you get to choose the track)? I’ve heard rumor you had a ‘little help’ in the vocal department. Can you tell us a little more?

Well, I had been in contract with Olecks for some time and Beltane had actually taken part on two consecutive earlier tribute compilations (Death & W.A.S.P.) and weren’t sure if we should put our hand up for the next one…maybe it was feeling a little “piggy”? Lol But when he announced it was Slayer, we couldn’t really turn that down!

slayer angel of death single art

With the tracks on these compilations, it’s first come first served and we were in fairly promptly, but a lot of bands had already chosen. However, Angel of Death is the song we wanted to do and no one else had dared touch it. I think I know why, because it’s a cunt of a song! To explain: It’s rather fast so a little tricky to learn, and it IS one of those Slayer tracks that you had better get right or else! So in many ways it was a risk to choose it.

My 12-year-old son – Vikaroth (or Vikey) – did the vocals on the track. All of them. It’s not his debut on doing vocals with Beltane. He recorded a version of Countess Bathory a year or two ago amoungst other things. And has clearly shown he has talent at the vocals. I think he did a killer job and his part is a major contributor to the impact of our version I believe. It could well be that Beltane is turning into a Black Metal version of the Partridge Family. haha

Where else might inquiring minds be able to sample your work?

The largest body of work available for legit free download is on our Reverbnation Page www.reverbnation.com/beltane Hey, we got a decent URL for that one! In early! It’s still the place where I will first post new “net drop” single releases. But as far as supporting us and purchasing compleat albums etc, that would be from the label I run – Satanica.org – or directly from Beltane’s old-school Angelfire site http://www.angelfire.com/band2/beltane

(not such a convenient URL!) if you can dodge the barrage of pop-up advertisements that now exist there.

I feel I just ask, as I write for a gaming zine (of sorts), do you have any history of enjoying Tabletop RPGs (Dungeons and Dragons, Warhammer, Etc)?

christians warn DnD

Guess they have a problem with anything that’s “fun”

When I was young, I was very much into Dungeons & Dragons, mainly the basic game. I got into it again in my twenties with a group who mainly played Rune Quest. And would probably do it again if a group started around here. My friend Owen was considering starting a group a couple of years ago, but nothing became of it. I would like to investigate Varg Vikernes’ game at some stage.

The Christians always used to say that D&D leads people into the occult. Well, in my case it certainly did. Lol.

What might the members of Beltane be doing when they aren’t creating, composing or playing? 

Since the core lineup of the project currently consists of me and my partner Baphgirl, a lot of time is taken up with domestic stuff. And we live an off-grid lifestyle so there are chores to be done! But my main “gig” currently is running Radio Foxton, and DJ work on there and some live stuff. And of course, the label, but that’s really a little underground affair. Although it did keep me from answering this interview sooner as it does a small but fairly steady stream of business.

Are reading books or watching movies a part of the bands extra-curricular activities?

Baphy reads lots of books. Both physical ones and e-books on her tablet. I find I just haven’t had the time to really get into a decent book for quite a while. So, I read magazines, mainly vintage ones on electronics, which is another one of my interests. We don’t have network television at home, nor any sort of internet version of it such as Netflix. However, we do settle down of an evening to “watch the telly”. Often stuff from BitChute etc.

V gif

Poor lil fuzzy bugga

Lately we have been watching the 1980’s Sci-fi series “V”. It has some strange resonances to what is going on in the world right now, while still being a useful distraction from it.

What does the horizon hold for the band, are there any plans for future releases?

Well, after we started doing our Seasonal Recordings on the Summer Solstice of 2004 we also started a Seasonal Release Program. This was quite ambitious, releasing an EP every Season, so four per year. This later evolved into an EP per Season or a full-length album every two Seasons.

Eventually, this became grueling but it did push us to get a lot of material out there. We finished a decade of doing this with a “Best Ov”, which featured some new versions of older songs, which was recorded in the Spring of 2014, on the Vernal Equinox and the Day of Beltaine. It was then time to take a break from this. Ten years of a constant release schedule was a good enough achievement I reckon.

beltane pic

Beltane basking in the Sun

Since then, we haven’t released an album or EP, although the recording on the Seasonal Days continues as I mentioned earlier. So, an album is definitely due, but no really solid plans as to when this might be. However, there are a couple of tracks that are nearly finished that we really want to release on the internets soon, so look out for those.

http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/artist/beltane(new-zealand)

(The Beltane discography)

That’s about it. Huge thanks again for allowing me to send over a few (ha) Q’s your way. Is there anything you want to say in closing or anything you wish to promote?

Really, in regards to Beltane that main thing is check our Reverbnation Page out over the next couple of months, for those new tracks I was speaking about. And do consider supporting our work by purchasing a physical release. We don’t have Patreon nor sell “digital” material online – all that stuff is free.

satanica org

We are always looking for new deep-underground bands to release on Satanica.org and we have a very unique and rather decent deal there for any projects that wish to get involved. It’s not a label for those who think they are rockstars! Rather, it’s a way for small projects to have an outlet, that is more than merely posting a track to Mixcloud or something.

And of course, there is the radio thing too. I do live metal shows every fortnight on Radio Foxton 105.4FM on Friday Nights (20.00h NZ time), and replays of these can be heard every week night at 22.00h (NZ time).  The stream address is:

https://radiofoxton.radiostream321.com/

Bands are welcome to send tracks to be included in the show. Everything that is sent will get played. Mp3 submissions are fine, but it is an advantage to send me something physical such as any CD format or cassette etc, as this tends to result in ongoing coverage of a band. That’s mainly due to the way I select material for a show – it is more intuitive to rummage through a stack of physical releases than to hunt through files on a computer!

Cheers for the interview, and glad you enjoyed our Slayer cover!

Have a good one! Hailz, Xan.

 

Cult

Abrasive Audio – An Interview with afterperception

minions whaaaattttt

We live in unprecedented times. Many of us are still somewhat able to conform to a normal schedule while others have had their whole universe flipped on its ass. During these uncertain times I’ve found that my free time has been radically reduced. However, for some reason I’m still able to keep the ball rolling to some extent as I find it a great deal easier to compose (email based) interviews rather than spend a great deal of time (which I don’t have, courtesy of my baby staying home from daycare/preschool) listening to and laying thoughts upon the audio in question. In this installment I’ll be chatting with the newest act to join the Cult of Osiris stable with a debut release, “Blades Over Despondency” slated for June 1st upon all self-respecting digital/ streaming platforms.

afterperception band album

How about we start with an introduction…

Who is Afterperception, and how did “it” (the idea) come about?

– My name is Joe Rega.  Afterperception is a solo project, something I’ve wanted to pursue for a long time.  The name, “Afterperception” was the title of a song on the self-titled debut album, Perpetual Suffering (2004), of which I was co-founder and vocalist.  Perpetual Suffering was the “Perpetual Opener” for Death Metal acts travelling though the NYC area at the time.  The band was plagued with all the clichés, drug abuse, Yoko Onos and conflicting ideas etc.  After it fell apart, I bounced around always trying to find the right mix of musicians, until I just retreated inwards and decided to devote my time to creating my own vision. The “Blades Over Despondency” E.P. with Cult of Osiris is just the beginning.

mixing board

This is a mixing board, hardly a substitution for a complete act.

I’ve often wondered, how difficult is it transitioning from a traditional act to a “one-man outfit”? I can only imagine there are various obstacles involved.

– Yes, because you are only listening to yourself over and over, it can become a challenge not to hate everything you create.  On the other side of that, you don’t want to become over-indulgent or pretentious.  In a band setting, striking that balance can come due to the competing interests, but solo, you’re left with your own mania to deal with.  In the end, I try to create songs that mean something to me and either it comes together or it doesn’t.

I hear a few styles within the 5 tracks I’ve enjoyed (thus far), a few influences pop out at me. And the style is hardly what I would seem traditional black or even traditional anything. I could be miles off. Mind telling us a little about the varied influences involved?

Are there any specific acts or albums which drive your spark more than any others?

hypocrisy abum

– I’ve always been attracted to Black/Death Metal bands that combined the ferocity of the genre within a more “traditional” song structure, i.e. Old Man’s Child, Hypocrisy, Necrophobic to name a few.  In the non-death/black metal realm, I admire Mike Patton as a vocalist for the range of styles he can project.  Afterperception fluctuates between Black and Doomy Death Metal and hopefully succeeds as not “traditional anything” at times, as you said.  Thanks for that. For me, the contrast is important and heightens the impact of the individual parts.  Where the style lands is up to the listener.

I can only imagine that each listener will hear what influences they wish based on their listening history within the extreme audio realm and come to different conclusions as to where the inspirations for your work might originate. If you were to pick any artists (let’s pretend this is an ideal work in which everyone gets along and ideas flow like an uninterrupted stream) to join you in your endeavors who might you pick and why?

pete commando sandoval drums

-Oh man, with everything flowing I’d have to go with Galder, Peter Tagtgren on guitars and Pete Sandoval on drums.  That’d be something else, I wouldn’t know where the fuck to start!

Loves me some Pete “Commando” Sandoval action.

In the same arena, have you ever considered the possibility of having guest musicians? Another vocalist perhaps?

-That’s a possibility.  I’ve spoken to some musicians I’ve known over the years about teaming up on a song here and there.  Or maybe I’m destined to scream alone in my basement studio. We shall see.

Off topic, how’s the current state of affairs affecting things for AP?

– I’m not writing as much as I predicted with the added free time.  It’s hard to focus amidst the new concerns that confront all of us now.  I fear what America and the rest of the world will look like after this crisis.  We are at a major inflection point and things can go downhill fast.  All this doom and gloom is perfect fodder for Black Metal material and it’s there waiting to be vomited forth soon enough. Now however, reflection and solitude are in the cards.

And obviously no shows either. Will there be a possibility for shows in the future? I can foresee the problems arising with this and AP’s solitary “presence”.

afterperception older album

A vintage afterperception album

– Afterperception is one-man Black Metal.  It will remain on the fringes, a reflection of reclusive anger and misanthropy.  I have no desire to bring it on the road, so to speak.

Any future thoughts as to Split releases? Are there any artists you would nominate to join you in such an endeavor?

– No plans for anything yet. Perhaps one of the artists on Cult of Osiris would be interested in the future.

I’ve always wondered about Splits. Do both artists need to be on the same label?

-Unless the band has an exclusive contract with a label, the artist would be free to release splits on other labels.  In the underground there is a lot of flexibility.  For example, the Archgoat, Satanic Warmaster split was released under Hell’s Headbangers Records, while individually on other labels.

Archgoat, Satanic Warmaster split

The Archgoat, Satanic Warmaster split

Ah. So, what do you enjoy when you aren’t composing or creating music?

– During the fall and winter months I bowhunt.  I find meaning in getting out into the woods and perfecting such a difficult skill.  One that has been with mankind from the beginning.  Come to think of it, this hobby may come in handy given the current situation. (it might, though hopefully it doesn’t – Ed*)

 

I’m also a horror movie fan. I love the old Italian horror flicks i.e. Lucio Fulci, Dario Argento and Mario Bava.  To me these guys were like the Black Metal of horror cinema.  They turned gore into art that was over-the-top, repulsive and appealing at the same time. True renegades of the genre. I respect that.

I do believe you nailed that description and such a fantastic way to describe it.

I’m into the same kinda’ thing, adore me a chunk of unapologetic grindhouse every now and then. There’s a few newer films which have captured the attention. The Void is fantastic if you have yet to see it.

Is there any non-music related material which incites the creative spark?

Any favorite authors?

Patrick Rothfuss books

The Kingkiller Chronicle

– I loved “The Void”.  I do keep up with modern horror as well.  Occasionally you come across a gem like that.  As far as authors go, I’ve always been into reading philosophy, particularly concerning ideas of nihilism, existentialism and nothingness.  Through extreme music, I try to paint a picture of that nihilistic idea but ultimately, I don’t think that’s where one should land.  We as humans need meaning in our lives, even though at the end, an eternity of nothingness awaits.  So, I also enjoy inspiring stories of the hero’s journey; Tolkien and modern fantasy writers like, Patrick Rothfuss and Brandon Sanderson.

It appears I have a little discovering to do (my fantasy comes from the likes of Terry Brooks and Piers Anthony). Being that you are a one-man act this gives total freedom in where your musical direction turns. Might we see AP evolving in the future or yourself branching out into different styles under different monikers?

-There’s no question afterperception will evolve.  Right now, I prefer the idea of Afterperception being the main vehicle, no matter the musical direction.

Who’s responsible for this release’s art? It bears an aged vintage feel, an aura of diabolical menace. Is this a commissioned piece or an existing piece?

– Cult of Osiris suggested I take a look at Jill Colbert’s work at http://Manfish.com She had several designs available.  I was immediately drawn to this piece.  It works great for the title of the EP, Blades Over Despondency and the creature looks like it has a plague mask on which is relevant for the timing of the release.  The fact that there are mushrooms in artwork is perfect as well.  Psychedelics play a part in much of Afterpeception’s content.  It was meant to be.

this is a mushroom

This is a mushroom!

It has a certain haziness to it I couldn’t quite place. Now you mention mushrooms I’m thinking of spores, mold and fungi which fits perfectly.

– You’re right, that works too.  It’s serendipity.

Are there any other artists whose talents you might have turned to if Cvlts suggestion wasn’t made?

– I reached out to the artist behind http://depravarts.wordpress.com concerning a piece of work he had done.  Unfortunately, it was already sold.  He offered to do commission work for me, which I will likely take him up on for future releases.  I like the hand drawn bestial look that he captures.

The style embodies the old school style, raw and primitive nature perfectly.

Let’s bring this to a close. Thanks again for your patience. Is there anything you’d wish to say, or do you have anything you wish to promote or anyone to thank to bring this to close?

– Thanks for an interesting interview.  Appreciate Cult of Osiris setting it up.  Check out their compilation “A Road Less Traveled” (releases May/4/2020) Pre-Orders are up now; some sick bands participated.

a road less traveled compilation cult of osiris

A spot of class, in promoting someone else’s material, to bring this to a close.

You can find the compilation here; https://cultofosiris.bandcamp.com/album/a-road-less-travelled

Afterperception older works here; https://afterperception.bandcamp.com/

And the newest Afterperception “Blades Over Despondency” release on CultofOsiris here; https://cultofosiris.bandcamp.com/album/blades-over-despondency

Thanks again to Joe for his patience (in having this a more conversational flow piece rather than the more traditional email-based interview) and honesty. And Cvlt for helping to set this up. A shorter version of this can be found in the newest issue of https://sixintheheadzione.com (huge Thanks to Paul for the additional coverage.) Blades of Despondency is slated for release June/1/2020 and promises a great deal to enjoy for both traditional/ non-traditional black metal and extreme music fans alike.

Cult

Abrasive Audio 2020 – Part Nine

black metal gif

It’s been a while, and for that I apologize. Between work, family and days off (where I haven’t much time in which to scribble) I’ve found it difficult to do much of anything. There are moments I wish I were in quarantine apart from the fact that the wife works from home. However, I’ve persisted and have managed to find a few albums which I deem worthy of attention. Obviously, there’s still so much more which demands respect and an immeasurable number of acts who warrant support in these unprecedented times. Admittedly, not only acts but others, individuals, the list is too long to mention here, who aren’t quite so fortunate. However rather than turn this into a diatribe I’d like to give thanks to those who toil, sweat and persist about their duties on the frontlines but also to those who continue to offer entertainment, invaluable distraction from that which burdens most everyone’s conversation. Seriously. Fuck Covid! This too shall pass, but until it does stay strong and metal.

A Few Plucked from 19′
Dissorted (Germany) – The Final Divide

https://www.facebook.com/BlackSunsetMusic/

Release- October/25/2019
Black Sunset

dissorted

ARTWORK- 77

Sonewhere between Lovecraftian lore and Biblical text this depicts definite sides. Whether Right or Left Twix has the advantage I’m not sure.

FIRST TRACK- 78

Thrash bordering on melodic Death with sufficient Hardcore in the vocal department to have one thinking of The Haunted, even in instances The Exploited. A great start to get one in the mood to keep the neighbors awake at an ungodly hour.

INITIAL LISTEN- 76

A wicked Thrash mixture which boasts infectious riffs, plenty of aggression, smattering of hardcore and crossover elements and varied, though quite obvious, influences. A varied vocal approach helps to keep the album exciting ranging from an Antheax Bush-esque approach to that heard upon the undeniable standout belter “Picasso Warhead” which sports closer to an Arraya vibe. Overall an album and an act wjo demand attention, especially for those whose genre interests are rooted in the more melodic Thrash arenas circa the late 80’s/early 90’s.

Favorite Tracks; Aggressor/Protector, The Plague, Leviathan, Bloodshed Divine, The Temple, Picasso Warhead.

FFO; The Haunted, (later) Anthrax, Exodus, (early) Flotsam and Jetsam, Annihilator, Armored Saint.

Dead Prophet

Dead Prophet (Poland) – Sounds of Enlightenment (EP)

https://deadprophet.bandcamp.com/

Release – December/12/2019
Independent
ARTWORK- 73

I’m honestly not sure what this is. Perhaps a machine of some sort which elicts a wide range of emotions. Perhaps the cogs of Government and the populace represented by the faces. None of them are happy, any surprises there?

FIRST TRACK- 86

With an introduction which sounds like a slow descent into the underworld this collection is off to a chilling start. However, what follows may be surprising. This isn’t audio of the Blackened Death variety but rather that of hellish fast paced and precise destruction. It’s rather difficult not to move to this. A great start to put one in the mood to get shit done. If “shit” includes destroying everything in sight.

INITIAL LISTEN- 85

Eerily similar to Origin in boasting the same hyper speed approach there’s no deny that these guys bear some skill. This is tight and precise whilst also punishing. Much like being stuck in a tornado of razor wire this will shred the senses and leave one disoriented although it does slow in moments in order for one to catch their breath before the next bludgeoning. I can’t understand why these guys arent talked about more.

Favorite Tracks; Stunningly devastating throughout.

FFO; Origin, Kataklysm, Obscura, Abysmal Dawn.

January Releases

acid mammoth

Acid Mammoth (Greece) – Under Acid Hoof

https://heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/acid-mammoth-under-acid-hoof

Release-January/24/2020
Heavy Psych Sounds
ARTWORK- 92

With only three colors on display, each in stark contrast to the other, this could be called simplistic. It may be but with the focus of the image on a large fluffy mammal and several robed figures, milling about, the theme of the album becomes more than obvious. Heaviness and the Occult, or am I wrong in my assumptions here?

FIRST TRACK- 84

The opening riffs of this album pounces upon the senses like the mating cry (?) of Mammoth (or so I would assume); thunderous, forlorn, yet laced with soul. The track continues to offer head noddin’ melodies draped in fuzz and lyrics basted in the occult.

INITIAL LISTEN- 92

I’m not usually into (what some might call) “traditional” Doom however this has somehow managed to ensnare me in its spell. The term “traditional” is somewhat loose here as this showcase’s stoner, psych, and bluesy elements all of which are delivered in such a way as to give this an undeniably fluid nature. Huge riffs cavort with an undercurrent of flowing melodies invoking ominous landscapes and scenarios drenched in dread, all of epic cinematic quality. The vocal accompaniment adds brilliant narrative flair slathered in emotion. Overall, this album boasts a vintage aura and tone more than likely to please those already into the scene and entice those who aren’t, who might have been curious before, towards the fold. Admittedly it’s been a long while since an album of this ilk has had such an impact on me as this has (even on a first listen basis). Outstanding doesn’t even come close! Suffice it to mention this is the bar for me which all others in the genre will be judged.

Favorite Tracks; Captivating throughout.

FFO; Electric Wizard, Monolord, Sleep, Black Sabbath, Trouble.

March Releases

graveripper

Graveripper (USA) – Complete Blinding Darkness (3 track EP)

https://graveripper.bandcamp.com/

Independent
Release- March/6/2020
ARTWORK- 76

A primitive black and white skull complete with tombstones, a crow, coins and a flower (wait, what?) This has a slight crossover/hardcore vibe going for it ala The Exploited. I’m intrigued.

FIRST TRACK- 82

Rip-roaring, head bobbing arrangements, a slight Punk vibe as well nods to vintage Thrash and traditional Heavy Metal by way of the rhythms and the production’s tone. The inclusion of melodic Death/Black with the inclusion of maniacal elements make this a curious listen, leaving me eager for what’s to follow.

INITIAL LISTEN- 80

A varied mixture of styles keeps this interesting. The second track is an about face from what the first hints at and adds a blackened tone (with slight Industrial leanings) with groove to the mix. The third is the most aggressive of the three and ramps up the blackened speed element. The style heard here opens up a whole new influence smorgasbord making for a listen which is deliciously diverse yet not so much as to fracture the potential fan base. If anything with deftly mixed myriad of styles on offer this collection will turn eager ears towards genres which would normally remain unexplored (which is quite the feat in and of itself). Dynamic and exciting this triad of tunes keeps the listener moving and looking to the future for more of the same. Keep up the great work guys!

Favorite Tracks; The One Reborn, A Swift Kick to the Teeth.

FFO; Forbidden, The Exploited, SkeletonWitch, Celtic Frost.

angerrot

Angerot (USA) – The Divine Apostate

https://angerot.bandcamp.com/album/the-divine-apostate

Release – March/27/2020
Redefining Darkness Records
ARTWORK- 76

I’m honestly not sure what this is. It appears to be a subterranean landscape depicting a form conversing with a crab. Perhaps sizing up the appropriately sized tank for such a creature, perhaps contemplating which butter would work best?

FIRST TRACK- 88

Biblical in its grandiose nature and fashioned with considerable presence this is one hell of an opener. An expert crafting of Doom and mid-tempo death which harkens to both the Old School and HM2 worship with delicate touches

Overall a track which reminds me of “Damnation and a Day” era Cradle of Filth cavorting with a Septic Flesh nature.

INITIAL LISTEN- 87

Somewhere between Hypocrisy, Septic Flesh, Abysmal Dawn and Cradle of Filth (circa “Damnation and a Day”) lies the style wherein. Hardly Technical yet delicate and full of depth, precariously close to brutal realms, though miles from that which might traditionally come to mind. This boasts a style which is doused in a sinister shroud, excellent arrangements and exquisitely crafted atmosphere Death/Doom throughout rather than brutality or chuggery often associated with run of the mill Death, an epic narrative which conjures both biblical landscapes and Lovecraftian arenas. Better yet it carves a grin on the chops each time it invades the senses.

Don’t sleep on this one!

Favorite Tracks; Below the Deep and Dreamless Sleep, Vestiments of Cancer, Coalesced with Wickedness, Counsel of the Unholy, Thy Kingdom Burned.

FFO; Hypocrisy, Entombed, Dismember, Abysmal Dawn, Septic Flesh.

April Releases

traveler termination shock

Traveler (Canada) – Termination Shock

https://travelermetal.bandcamp.com/album/termination-shock

Release- April/10/2020
Independent
ARTWORK- 88

The reoccurring space entity theme/World Eater is wicked. This bears larger than life cosmic cartoon qualities, also a slight tongue in cheek element which cannot be ignored. An 80’s vibe which screams to be put on a wall, shirt or a denim jacket.

FIRST TRACK- 82

Unapologetic NWOBHM vibes here in an indisputably similar vein to Di’Anno era Maiden. Guitar harmonies, sweeping melodies and vocals of the somewhat falsetto variety, I’m not entirely sold yet but I am intrigued.

INITIAL LISTEN- 77

Comprised largely of traditional Heavy Metal, part Power, part Epic with traditional Doom elements tossed in to add depth and flavor this encapsulates that which made the Rock and Heavy Metal arena so damn enjoyable and fresh in the late 70’s early 80’s. Foot tapping dynamics, rhythms which invoke epic narratives with an abundance of eye opening leads and solos which add to the allure. Bass lines to make Steve Harris foam at the mouth, unexpected atmosphere, even at times a sound which brings to mind a concept aura. This offers a great deal for fans of the early years of Heavy Metal to get excited about, though personally (in moments) it wades too far into Power and Epic realms for my tastes. I’m of the mind this will grow to consume me with repeated listens, but for now I’m merely sinking lazily into its enchantment.

Favorite Tracks; Shaded Mirror, Termination Shock, Foreverman, Diary of a Maiden, Deepspace.

FFO; early Iron Maiden, Omen, early Queensreich, Dio, Angel Witch.

noroth

Noroth (USA) – It Dwells Amongst Us

https://caligarirecords.bandcamp.com/album/it-dwells-amongst-us

Release- April/10/2020
Caligari Records
ARTWORK- 81

Primitive Black and White art with an over-abundance of skeletons, skulls and an undeniable archaic/mystical nature. What’s not to like?

FIRST TRACK- 82

Old school bludgeoning rhythms, lazy growls of the death/doom variety (which aren’t at all a bad thing) and an overall style harkening back to the 90’s. Add noodles of groove, a few riffs reminiscent of early Gorguts and you have an intriguing start to any album.

INITIAL LISTEN- 86

Mid-tempo old school, dirgey, diabolical madness. This has shades of Bolt Thrower, as well Celtic Frost, a smidgen of HM2 worship but a whole ton of selling the soul to the old school. If the quality of this doesn’t have you sifting through your early 90’s music collection, albums which deserve revisiting often, I don’t know what to say. This has nostalgia written all over it, packaged in groove. It’s an audio parcel you’ll want smashing into your senses again and again. Don’t ignore this stunning debut!

Favorite Tracks; Shadow, My Patriarch, Cerberus, Extinction, Prisoner ov Splendor, It Dwells Amongst Us.

FFO; early Gorguts, Cianide, early Unleashed, Morgoth.

myth of I

Myth of I (USA) – s/t

https://mythofi.bandcamp.com/album/myth-of-i

Release-April/10/2020
The Artisan Era
ARTWORK- 87

A clearing in the forest bathed in the sun’s brilliance. Be it dawn, or dusk I’m not sure. Regardless the image is stunning perhaps hinting at I can only image audio of atmospheric black tendencies?

FIRST TRACK- 90

A tranquil introduction complete with pristine production and a nature soundscape is reminiscent of Tiamat’s “Wildhoney” album but more immersive. Its soon replaced by progressive chords, a tech death aura, albeit relaxed, and virtuosic fretboard manipulations slathered in a cosmic vibe. Technical but hardly brutal this is strangely relaxing and highly mesmeric.

INITIAL LISTEN- 89

Traversing a smorgasbord of arenas this take the listener across a vast audio landscape. Dipping into a myriad of stylistic territories the sound here ranges from as far afield as Djent and “angry jazz” (love that term) there’s even synth elements to break up the album some. But don’t let the word ‘Jazz’ fool you, as this is far from what you might assume it to be. Naturally, it’s intricate, technical, often dreamy but altogether enthralling in its brilliance. Far from brutal but encroaching upon the same grounds which many Tech Death bands reside this shows a musical collective in top form. Call this slightly different, call it a palette cleanser, label it with whatever moniker you wish there’s several thing’s which can’t be denied; it’s hardly Atmospheric Black, it shines with a absurd excellence and cannot (and should not) be ignored. Itd rare an slbumnif this ilk grabs me as ferociously as this, I’m hardly an instrumental fan, but this is something altogether different. The Artisan Era have done it again! Get this in the ears pronto but be prepared for it will whisk you away to realms both disorienting and sublime, and often in the track.

Favorite Tracks; The whole album delivers, strangely entertaining even without a vocal accompaniment.

FFO; Blotted Science, Athiest, Hannes Grossmann, Howling Sycamore, The Devon Townsend Project.

RECC by Demnuts (via Twitter)

nightshock

Nightshock (Italy) – Battlefield Necromancer (EP)

https://nightshock.bandcamp.com/album/battlefield-necromancer

Release -April/10/202
Unsigned/Independent
ARTWORK- 60

Raw and primitive. This gives little away in relation to what’s in store for the listener with a simplicity which harkens to the tape trading days of the 80’s. The bands logo and font is a tad ‘odd’ putting me in mind of audio releases with Synth values. I’m not sure what to expect but I’m stramgely intrigued.

FIRST TRACK- 88

An introduction of a Dungeon Synth ilk opens this audio collection and much like the cover gives little away in relation to what’s to follow. It soon comes to an end, replaced by jugular tearing riffage of a type which nods towards both blackened speed realms and Crust territories. Wicked accented vocals add to the tracks blunt appeal. This is a tad primitive, in a Venom type way, and seethes with a DIY primal nature an overall approach which is difficult not to appreciate, especially for those who prefer their tunes with little preamble, at maximum volume.

INITIAL LISTEN- 87

Overall a listen which is sure to get the pump pumping and the limbs twitchin. A release which explores both Blackened Speed sensibilities though also tinkers with melodic majesty ala Storm era Dissection. Crust and D-beat elements add to the fun making this a collection of tracks which although quite simple, occasionally veers towards repetitive, in their arrangement are hard to ignore. Just try not to move with this in the ears.

I’m eager for more, this is just too damn short.

Favorite Tracks; The whole damn thing!

FFO; Witchery, WolfBrigade, Hell Ripper, Whiplash, Whipstriker.

archaic vanity

Archaic Vanity (Turkey) – Deformed and Disfigured (EP)

https://archaicvanity.bandcamp.com/album/deformed-and-disfigured

Release- April/13/2020
Independent
ARTWORK- 92

I’m a sucker for black and white art. But this is ridiculous! Fractured mind, internal turmoil, cosmic entity in disguise caught off guard, or is this a bonus scene from “The Void”, alternatively John Carpenter’s “The Thing”? If the audio is anywhere near as impressive one is in for a sinew shredding workout. If the band is reading this, I want this image on a shirt (where might one be able to sate the desire for such?)

FIRST TRACK- 91

Merciless multi-faceted rhythms, technical leads, harsh vocals and melodies. I’m quite taken aback. This is my first experience of the band and I’m in shock. This is damn good audio.

INITIAL LISTEN- 93

Vicious, fast paced, intricate and dynamic showcasing technical florishes and rhythms likely to send a corpse into convulsions. Brutal and tight but miles from merely sensorial devastating noise pollution this overflows with an exemplary sinister nature and palpable menace and yet tetters on the delicate balance of both atmosphere and maelstrom force of pissed off nature assault. I’m astounded that this is the first I’m hearing of these guys. Set the ears upon this and prepare to have the jaw hit the floor. Seriously this Fn’ rules!!

Expect to hear me rave about this again as year-end approaches.

Favorite Tracks; Blistering audio throughout and I have zero qualms.

FFO; Pestilence, Atheist, Hath, (mid era) Death.

cemetery filth

Cemetery Filth (USA) Dominion

https://unspeakableaxerecords.bandcamp.com/album/dominion

Release-April/13/2020
Boris Records/Unspeakable Axe Records
ARTWORK- 88

Masterful Dan Seagrave art, scratch that, it has that vibe but is actually penned by the multi-talented Jaunjo Castellano. Vivid, mesmerizing, sinister. Lovecraftian otherworldly with archaic secret society undertones. I could use a bunch of words here but I wouldn’t even come close to describing the undeniably brilliant aura. Just awesome!

FIRST TRACK- 82

Much like a persistent alarm (and sleep function) the beginning of this track warns the listener to get ready for that which is about to unfold. In this case the audio on offer, not the day ahead. And bot does it unfold! Tumbling chaotic rhythms, an enveloping sinister audio blanket, maniacal flourishes and cavernous vox. Overall a vibe ripped from the old school ala Suffocation wrestling Terrorizer for arrangement superiority. Suffice it to mention…I’m awake and paying attention.

INITIAL LISTEN- 87

Old school in temperament boasting superb production and clarity with every instrument clear in the mix. This is an undeniable nod to the forebears of the scene but with an added certain something which brings the past barreling to meet fans of the current. A touch of Grindcore and a dash of Crust aid the albums allure but it’s the drums and groove backbone which have me bouncing around like a maniac. The arrangements harken to influence from across the extreme board and Cemetery Filth aren’t afraid to prod the maliciousness of Death towards the harrowing nature of Doom add to that diabolical sprinkles and maniacal passages and you have a release which only gets better with each spin. This is likely to appear on a plethora of lists come years end, for good reason.

Favorite Tracks; Exhumed Visions, Aeons in Dis, Devoured by Dread, Dominion.

FFO; Terrorizer, Suffocation, Misery Index, Disincarnate.

Werewolves

Werewolves (Australia, UK) – The Dead are Screaming

https://werewolvesdeathmetal.bandcamp.com/

Release- April/24/2020
Prosthetic Records
ARTWORK- 82

This has a vibrant medieval vibe. However, I’m not sure if this giant fellow is the leader of a merry troupe or if he is being attacked by them. Alternatively, whether he/she is forming from the amassed crowd. Regardless, an intriguing image which demands closer inspection.

FIRST TRACK- 79

An intriguing Hammer-esque introduction leads into Hyper-speed drumming accompanied by straight for the throat no nonsense brutal riffs and zero BS. Groove as well a driving dirge approach aided by blunt, hammering, rhythms. If this isn’t the soundtrack to incite carnage in a mosh pit I’m not sure what is.

INITIAL LISTEN- 90

It’s as if this release is a melting pot, a boiling receptacle, a container of sorts which combines Grindcore, Brutal, traditional and Blackened Death into a concoction somehow without any of the elements losing their stylistic identities. The varied maelstrom of probable influences assaults the listener in an intensity which is nearly as forceful as the audio itself. Churning, evolving, transforming and hardly static this gains momentum as the album progresses, and only widens the eyes as it inexorably reaches its conclusion. Blistering, yet technical and pleasingly diverse this is one hell of a way to introduce the labors of many a mind from across the extreme audio spectrum, with the same varied arenas of interest showcased exquisitely throughout. Be prepared for the audio here will spark frenetic, spastic, movements without apology or permission. This will drop on the senses like a ton of bricks followed by the wayward impact point of an aircraft carrier. Grab that wallet!

May Favorite Tracks; I honestly started to list tracks only to realize I was listing the whole damn album. Fk this is godly!

FFO; Vital Remains, Dying Fetus, The Berserker, Cannibal Corpse, Terrorizer.

May Releases

resent crosshairs image

Resent (Canada) – Crosshairs

https://resent1.bandcamp.com/

https://nervealtar.bandcamp.com/album/crosshairs

Release – May/1/2020
Dry Cough Records/Nerve Altar/Rope or Guillotine
ARTWORK- 73

This image is fuzzy, raw and I can hardly make it out. But there’s obviously something going on. As if this is something which shouldn’t be seen, a forbidden ritual perhaps or an atrocity which should probably never been photographed in the first place. Suffice it to say, I’m just a little curious.

FIRST TRACK- 82

Tell me how much it hurts…

It hurts alot!

I can’t feel it!

It hurts…A LOT!

And then it begins. Distortion, huge riffs and industrial grade groove. However, this is raw, universes from clean and it has undeniable bite. A ferocious abrupt snapping of, the foaming at the mouth, jaws from a rabid animal which one might approach as it appears at first dead. A laziness which is all enveloping. Quicksand qualities to the Nth degree.

INITIAL LISTEN- 81

Prepare to enter a world of anguish. This is heavy duty sludge, grindhouse sludge in fact. Naturally, it helps this description that introductory soundbites are also yanked from the same unapologetic arena. Add elements of Crust, an unmerciful raw bludgeoning harsh nature, riffs akin to scratching nails down a chalkboard, snarled vokills and sufficient groove and you have a collection of tracks which is sure to get the speakers shaking and the neighbors pulling their hair out in appreciation. Recommended more for those who prefer unbridled chaos and unhinged angst and brutality rather than traditional rock arrangements and melodic compositions this leaves a mark and in fact fits the moniker of this article as if it were designed specifically for such.

Favorite Tracks; Miserable, Crosshairs, Victimized.

FFO; EyeHateGod, Acid Bath, Meth Drinker, Fetish 69.

ara

Ara (USA) – Jurisprudence

https://arawi.bandcamp.com/album/jurisprudence

Release- May/15/2020
Independent
ARTWORK- 76

A collection of skulls affixed to a table (?) by their tongues there’s definitely something archaic and barbaric going on here.

FIRST TRACK- 74

Brutality and bludgeoning chaos beats out melody and groove here. This is an all- encompassing introduction sure to leave the listener in disarray.

INITIAL LISTEN- 76

Hardly traditional but undoubtedly brutal this album strays from what one might expect and keeps groove and melodies at a minimum. Choosing instead to concentrate on overlapping riffs and constantly evolving rhythms it showcases a chaotic, unpredictable and unmerciful approach aided by vocals with considerable angst in a similar vein to EyeHateGod. Not recommended for the casual listener, the weak or those with a penchant for epic introductions often bathed in symphonic qualities this is blunt, harsh and uncompromising with an atmosphere which screams sensorial punishment.

Favorite Tracks; Mythos, Excursus Praestinguo, Pounded into the Multiverse.

FFO; Anata, Gorguts, Atheist, Morbid Angel, Hate Eternal.

godless truth

Recommended by Drew

This release comes courtesy of my globe-trotting friend. He found this in a street market in Hungary and, apparently, immediately thought of me. What say we give it a spin?

Godless Truth (Czechia) – Arrogance of Supreme Power

https://laceratedenemyrecords.bandcamp.com/album/godless-truth-arrogance-of-supreme-power

Release – October/15/2004 (remastered in 05′ w. an added bonus track)
Lacerated Enemy Records
ARTWORK (based on the remastered 05′ edition) – 71

Moody crimson splattered across a landscape littered with the impaled dead with a horned fellow front and center (most probably itching to ask “What you looking at?”) It’s rather obvious what’s on offer here, this certainly isn’t a Top 40 release.

FIRST TRACK- 73

The introduction sounds like a hybrid consisting of a narrated introduction to a low budget horror/fantasy dystopian epic (chunk of celluloid) and a horror themed shoot-em-up platform game. It gets one in the mood leaving little question as to what’s about to assault the senses. And there’s little surprise when Brutal Death starts to blare from the speakers. However, it isn’t only that, there’s several other elements tossed in to mix up the listening experience. A smidgen of Slam, flourishes of Technical with plenty of passages showcasing the drumming skill and bass manipulation. All in all, an intriguing start.

INITIAL LISTEN- 74

I’ve yet to hear an album in which Vin Diesel stars as the introduction. This is a first. More surprisingly yet is that the track in question is rather impressive, in fact the album as a whole isn’t at all shabby. Close to what Dying Fetus albums offer the listener this adds Slam, Grindcore elements and a little experimentation. Guttural as well tradition Brutal Death utterances are prevalent accompanied by the percussions unmerciful brutality resulting in an experience which delivers, in fact, gets better as the album progresses. Minor qualms include naff translation and the fact this isn’t as melodic as I would like. But it’s minor and I understand that tastes vary. With that in mind is guaranteed to please a great many into the more chaotic, Brutal arenas.

Favorite Tracks; Mission: Fuck You, Reprobate Intention, Instructed to Degrate, Embraced to Void.

FFO; Dying Fetus, Benighted, Suffocation, Job for a Cowboy, Malignancy, Crytopsy.

And that brings this gargantuan installment to a close. Hopefully I’ve introduced an album or two you might not otherwise have heard of and are currently enjoying. As always feel free to suggest that which I might have missed or something you have an especial fondness for. Feel free to comment and please share in order that others might discover that which might normally be foreign to the senses.

Your slave to audio extreme,

Cult

Attack of the Compilation – Fckn’ Slayer!

a tribute to Slayer Antichrist mag
Antichrist Magazine and Ground Sounds Promotion presents A Tribute to Slayer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCBierffU-4

Well, Well. Cult has apparently left his laptop open again. But this time rather than setting eyes upon all manner of naked flesh writhing in ecstasy the main screen displays a Bandcamp address with the words “Slayer” front and center. Suffice to say I can’t ignore such a sight. Apparently, he’s been struggling getting this off the ground. Family, work and assorted other things are warranting his attention at present. In actuality he struggles with a bunch of things. But that’s another story. And my penchant for chasing four-legged delicacies will have to wait. So, what is it exactly that we have here? In short; Twenty -six bands from around the world giving their audio tribute to tracks which have undoubtably formed the extreme world of audio as we know it today. Fair enough. I’m curious. What say we dive in?

Slayer-Original-Logo

Expect to see this word more than a few times in the near future

What grabs the attention first is the fact that there are twenty-six acts (and tracks) on offer here. That’s huge and so is this. This runs close to a whopping two hours in length. If it weren’t for the fact that Slayer is what’s on offer here, and there’s somewhat of a supposed Pandeamonic (yea, I know I spelt it wrong but it sounds infinitely better this way) spreading across the globe I‘d say sod this and go back to the mischievous activities I so love to take part in. But fck it, I’m curious and always up for a bit of Slayer. Perusing the track listing (which again “is huge”. Imagine a nubile youth saying that on her knees. Sorry, I got distracted) it appears that the material on offer is somewhat in chronological order, that is to say in the same order as the originals were released (I could be mistaken so don’t quote me). But enough of such details I’m imagining you’re as curious as I to get this thing started. However, Before I impart my thoughts, I’d like to drop the track listing along with the countries each act is from (this is truly a global affair much like the current Black Plague sweeping its way past Kanye West in Google searches. Notice how the majority of the acts are relatively unknown (is this just me? Do I have to swat up on my knowledge of the scene some before I continue?) With this in mind I’m considering this an ‘underground compilation’ a fact which only makes me more curious still.

tankist logo

1 – Tankist (Estonia) Evil Has no Boundaries

2 – Aeons Abyss (Australia) Die by the Sword

3 – Hateful Agony (Germany) Black Magic

4 – Serpents Kiss (United Kingdom) Tormentor

5 – Lone Hunter (Brazil) Crionics

Intrepid logo

6 – Intrepid (Estonia) Chemical Warfare

7 – Myrholt – (Norway) Kill Again

8 – Hamvak (Germany) At Dawn They Sleep

9 – Beltane (New Zealand) Angel of Death

10 – EigenstateZero (Sweden) Piece by Piece

11 – Grand Demise of Civilization (USA) Raining Blood

12 – Mindwars (International) Criminally Insane

Frijgard

13 – Frijgard (Switzerland) South of Heaven

14 – Unto the Wolves (USA) Silent Scream

15 – Hellming (Brazil) Mandatory Suicide

16 – Day 40 (United Kingdom) Ghosts of War

17 – Zvijer (Bosnia and Herzegovina) Cleanse the Soul

18 – SavageZ (Brazil) War Ensemble

19 – Macabre Decay (Sweden) Expendable Youth

20 – Hicsos (Brazil) Dead Skin Mask

Imminent Reaper

21 – Imminent Reaper (Mexico) Skeletons of Society

22 – Killrape (Brazil) Born of Fire

23 – Injector (Spain) Dittohead

24 – Domination Inc. (Greece) Disciple

25 – Jumpscare (Italy) Bloodline

26 – Outis (Ireland) Jihad

(Damn, it’s a long list, my digits are tired!)

Hitting play, it’s easy to decipher that each act has their own spin on the track they’ve chosen to ‘tackle’, some more so and often times even a little experimental in tone than others. Styles are diverse and range across the metal spectrum obviously Black, Death and Thrash take the lead (is this even a race?) whilst Power, Epic, Symphonic, Atmospheric and Speed are tossed in to show the transition in another genre (sometimes using a few in one track) can actually be pulled off to good effect. And boy can it, in some instances I’m literally bouncing off the walls with excitement. As is customary in times like these I have a ratings system designed for such this purpose (note that it’s a tad spicier than Cult’s attempt at the same);

confued Orc

Abysmal.

Not in the good way. Toss this in the ocean and punch the nearest passerby to let out the frustration of spending money on schiite such as this. Jesus might like this. But I still believe it has the potential to do naught but line the birds cage. Jesus loves everything, which in my opinion is rather silly. Jesus you’re a prat!

Hrrrrrhhhhh-!

Better, this shows potential. Much like, I’d imagine, your mother on a first date. But it still leaves me wanting. And she needs more training; those French fries weren’t free dammit!

The Goblin are going crazy!

Admittedly the annoying green bastid’ like most things and get excited at the drop of a turd but occasionally they have a suggestion which turns heads. And if the whole collective, much like an obnoxious stench-ridden green tide, agrees there must be something worth giving, at least, a cursory glance towards.

Time for a Crimson Splattered Moshpit!

Now this is worth sharing, break out the goblets, the fiery liquid, the unwilling, let’s break some limbs and party till the Dark Lord yells at us to get back to work!

All Mine!

I’m a selfish bastid’. And this is too fkn’ good to share. It’s all mine. Just try to take it!!

Slayer - Show No Mercy

Where it all began

To sate the curious types, those who have zero patience, I’d give this a “Time for a Crimson Splattered Moshpit“ rating. This collection shines with blistering pace, boils over with talent and offers a myriad of alternate visions of tracks which should already be ingrained upon the senses for those willing to open the mind. But for those who have yet to set ears upon the almighty Slayer (I can’t for the life of me wonder why this is the case) I seriously have no words. Before you continue please set your ears upon the classics, then if you wish to return please do so in order to discover a slew of acts with a great deal of passion on offer. Within such a compilation such as this they are naturally a number of tracks and acts (and styles) which garnered my attention to a dangerous degree, there are some which I could do without (but taking into account differing tastes… Nope not doing it! I’m not pandering to the easily offended, fuck this. This is my article and I won’t apologize for my preferences) and others which had such an effect on me that makes me wish I could bottle their very essence. Without further preamble and in order of appearance (as sometimes I’m OCD like that!)…

here are a few which especially perked my interests
tankist
Tankist – Evil Has no Boundaries

https://tankist.bandcamp.com/

A fantastic start. Raw, blunt and thrashy. Slayer I believe would approve! This is Just what one needs to get into the mood. Surprisingly good production aids this in spiking the adrenaline levels.

Aeons Abyss – Die by the Sword

https://aeonsabyss.bandcamp.com/

This track lends an early brutal edge to this compilation. Although the sound is a tad off (turn this track up for full effect) this still manages to deliver. Rasping vocals accompany a sludgy blackened feel bursting with subterranean groove elements. Heavy drums accentuate the allure of this one although it might take a few listens to fully appreciate.

EigenstateZero

EigenstateZero – Piece by Piece

https://eigenstatezero.com/

This is one of those experimental tracks of which I was talking. A tad industrial, a little progressive and a whole lot different but it all somehow comes together and works. There’s enough atmosphere in here to make a fanatic of the fantasy realm sit up and take note. Buried in the mix it takes a little while to decipher but it there’s and adds another layer to a track which is beyond intriguing. Did I mention this was silly fast? Nope. Well it is. An odd track for sure with its fair fare of unique brutal but it grows on you like the most lovable of enigmatic fungi.

Grand Demise of Civilization- Raining Blood

https://granddemiseofcivilization.bandcamp.com/

A fantastic twist on a true classic. Adding significant Gothic elements, pitch darkness and varied tempo transformations works wonders. There’s just enough uniqueness here for it to become memorable though not an abundance as to make the track far from instantly recognizable as homage. The maniacal elements are top notch as well the atmospheric into and outro.

mindwars

Mindwars – Criminally Insane

https://dissonanceproductions.bandcamp.com/album/do-unto-others

It’s hard to ignore this track. It isn’t far off the tone and feel of the original but with the added emphasis on the drums and a tad more oomph in the percussion its infectious to dangerous levels. I’m keeping an eye out for these guys in the future.

Day 40 – Ghosts of War

https://www.facebook.com/dayforty/

This is an excellent rendition of admittedly one of my fave Slayer tracks. An intriguing introduction, very Thrash metal circa late 80’s, leads into heavily accented vocals, head nodding Thrash with hints of Hardcore. Nuff said but simply put this is a banger!

zvijer

Zvijer – Cleanse the Soul

https://zvijer.bandcamp.com/

Blistering, precise and often raw with a gravelly vocal approach which fits perfectly. This track seethes with a remarkable quality and gets to the point quick.

Savagez – War Ensemble

https://savagez.bandcamp.com/releases

I’m a sucker for feral female vox (it appears Cult is too, which explains his recent obsession with Asarhaddon). Although this track takes liberties with the original’s arrangement, and wavers from brutal Thrash to more a more relaxed tone, it still manages to hit the spot. Admittedly not on its first try but it gets closer each time it’s played.

Imminent Reaper – Skeletons of Society

https://www.facebook.com/ImminentReaperGDL/

Another heavily accented Thrash attack. Not sure what it is about accents, they often add another level of viciousness to the accompanied percussion, in this case that’s the case (did I say “case” enough here?) There’s a little more passion here than in the original but it works. Another great addition to a collection which is fast becoming damn impressive!

Domination Inc.

Domination Inc. – Disciple

https://dominationinc.bandcamp.com/

I’m not sure what it is about this track. At first it didn’t do a damn thing for me. Somehow that changed. This isn’t traditional Thrash, this isn’t traditional Hardcore, it isn’t truly Crossover but a mix of all three topped off with East Coast angst (which is strange as this isn’t from New York, rather Greece better known for its Black and Thrash).

And the following are those which had me twitching spastically, like one possessed.
Intrepid – Chemical Warfare

https://intrepidest.bandcamp.com/

Old school groove, old school brutality, growls of the variety to entice a smirk to alight across the chops and a production tone to match. Clear the floor, if this doesn’t make you want to bounce from one wall to the next there’s something certainly amiss. I could play this all day and not get bored of it, reminds me of the good ole days I used to attend concerts in dank cavernous dive bars.

Myrholt

Myrholt – Kill Again

https://www.facebook.com/olealexandermyrholt/

Vocals with venomous spite, an archaic rawness, but also effective atmosphere tossed in to mess with how one might assume this will play out. The aura fits, what more can I say this has me nodding my head and thinking of all manner of glorious diabolical acts.

Hamvak – At Dawn They Sleep

https://hamvak.bandcamp.com/releases

This has a Speckmann/Master vibe thing going for it. A primitive nature combined with a thick dirge quality which is highly effective. Huge bass adds a tribal feel of sorts and it works!

Beltane

Beltane – Angel of Death

https://beltane.bandcamp.com/

What can I say about this track? It’s another example of if it wasn’t executed to a certain degree, I would have tossed this whole comp no matter the remainder of the quality on offer admittedly. Seriously, Slayer’s most infamous track. It has to be treated with respect and given justice. In this case. Fuck! Be prepared. The percussion is tight, on point. The tracks maniacal nature is added to with a wicked somewhat psychedelic twist. But it’s the vocals which tear the flesh from the bone. Feral female vox are my weakness (I’ve said that before) but this is ridiculous! It’s as if the owner of the throat in this instance is possessed. Like openly urinating whilst explaining the virtues of good parenting at church type behavior. I’m adding seeing a rendition of this in a live setting to my bucket list. Who am I kidding, making it to the land of Peter Jackson (New Zealand) is high up there too. One day, one day. I only wonder if they’d mind if I took along a four-legged friend as a travelling companion?  I hate peanuts and pretzels only make me wish I had mustard.

Frijgard – South of Heaven

https://frijgard.bandcamp.com/

There’s a strangeness to this track. Much like the original it has an undeniable sinister tone, though in this case the percussion has an added eeriness and the vocals an edge as if a Viking is in cahoots with a band tinkering with Post properties. This is a little different and I’m of the belief this is a controversial take but I’m loving the shit outta it. It could well perhaps be my choice for the ‘pallet cleanser’ of this collection.

untothewolves

Unto the Wolves – Silent Scream

https://www.facebook.com/untothewolves/

Define industrial vibes on display here. Machine gun riffs coupled with inhumanely tight drums. But it has a wickedness which is hard to pinpoint and I’m liking the chaos which abruptly breaks the precise nature. Turn this up and introduce the neighbors to the pleasures of Slayer!

Killrape – Born of Fire

https://www.facebook.com/killrapeband/

Raw and blistering. This is straight for the jugular, no nonsense, Thrash with production values which add to its malicious intent. Need I say more? Nope, this is a winner, crank it!

injector

Injector – Dittohead

https://injector.bandcamp.com/

I’m incredibly thankful that someone did this track justice. Admittedly, it’s a riot starter and I would’ve left pissed if it was included and not up to standards. Thankfully it is and it appears I have to complain elsewhere. Kudos Injector for pulling this off!

And this is cut and pasted from the article which accompanies the audio on YouTube, it seems appropriate.

Prepared and released by Antichrist magazine.

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Antichrist mag tribute to Slayer

And that’s it. This is a fantastic slab of worship which demands ears upon it (though I can’t say I’m not disappointed that “Necrophiliac” wasn’t covered). Perhaps one day this collection will appear on Bandcamp? Until then flood the YouTube channel in which it appears and be sure to thank the minds and talent behind it.

Support the artists, support the genre and hell, why not support me? I’m always up for spending money on crap.

Your loyal misshapen acolyte of most things extreme,

B