Posts Tagged ‘Fistful of Doom’

Abrasive Audio 2020 – Special Edition; Part the First

(A collaborative effort with a few friends)

Abrasive Audio Special ed 2020 prt 1

January is crawling to its finale with the protest of a spoiled infant. The temperatures are frigid and the ground is dusted with what many call “fuck, not again!” February is nearly upon us which means a groundhog will search frantically for his own shadow in hopes for an early Spring and a chubby little winged fellow will soon spread his surely-too-small-for-his- weight feather ensemble to start bringing in the big bucks for the huge card and flower conglomerates. Screw flowers, if she/he loves you they’ll understand. Instead buy them a varied, collection of extreme audio.

This installment took a while (my apologies) but it I believe it’s worth it. This installment sees a collaborative effort with friends (whose opinions I respect) from as far afield as the releases featured within. As per usual, the grammar isn’t up to par and I may use the same few words more often than I perhaps should. But the Bandcamp links are there, so hopefully that takes away albeit slightly from the pain of submitting the retinas to the torture that is my prose. Enjoy.

Onward to this installment’s selections dedicated to a few which apparently…

Slipped Through the Cracks
(Releases of 19′ which I have somehow missed)

Obviously, this isn’t all or even close to those I’ve failed to cover before but rather a handful which have fallen under most radars though still deserve attention.

vofa st

Vofa (Iceland) – s/t

https://funere.bandcamp.com/album/vofa

Release – November/18/2019

Funere/Exhumed Records/Satanath Records

ARTWORK – 85

What I can only assume is a maiden (if sorts) stands defiant against the oncoming storm, her robes billow about her as the winds draw ever nearer. A fantastic image which depicts an amazing interaction between the forces of light and darkness and beauty and fury. I’m of the mind therefore that this encapsulates audio of the doom variety, but I’ve been wrong before now.

FIRST TRACK – 87

Huge riffs, growling vox and a varied pace (often surprisingly spry for a track of this ilk) which tells of both funeral doom and death/doom influences. Commencing with a somber acoustic melody which builds and gains atmosphere as it plays out this gradually attains a plateau fueled by distortion, relaxed/melancholic riffs and passionate growls. Both hypnotic and gloom laden this is powerful audio indeed which holds the attention the entirety of its epic length with varied twists, turns, rhythm and tempo shifts and only beguiles the more it’s allowed to invade the senses.

INITIAL LISTEN – 88

I believe I’ve only ever pondered upon one other release from Iceland, suffice to say my curiosity is burning like a well stoked fire. Made up of three tracks this album depicts an act who are both comfortable and proficient wielding a variety of styles say might deem traditional and others might call ‘mutt mixed’ within the doom genre. A variety of emotions come to the surface as this rolls towards its climax and they differ track by track. The second track bears more a haunting aura, effective and strange but spellbinding in its delivery, utilizing a unique vocal approach alongside a growl delivery which runs the albums length. The third is the most diverse of the bunch infrequently wallowing in psychedelic waters, stoner realms, progressive arenas as too traditional doom territories coupled with also the aforementioned styles and the growl typical of the albums vocal approach cavorting with yet another slight variation on the tone the track sports a vibe which is again unique, intricate, deep but no less addictive and impactful to the senses than the two which have gone before. A fitting end to an album which may not grab you from the first spin but given time will transform into something entirely ungodly addictive. You have been warned!

Favorite Tracks; As the cliché states and the radio stations like to say “no filler, all killer!”

FFO; My Dying Bride, Mourning Beloveth, Paradise Lost, October Tide, Katatonia, Novembers Doom.

Need a Second Opinion?

fistful pof doom logo

Here are a few words from the host of the Fistful of Doom show and a chap always up for discussing doom and extreme audio “Fistful of Doom” can be caught up with on Twitter as @flatulentfuzz

For more information and links to be able to listen to listen to his bi-weekly show click this link; https://www.facebook.com/fistfulofdoom66/

Artwork- 92

The two thoughts that come to mind when I look at the cover art are desolation and isolation.  The figure in this piece appears to have reached the zenith or perhaps what looks like the zenith is actually the edge of the abyss.  Ultimately, I don’t think it matters much.  I believe that an effective argument can be made for the fact that desolation and isolation go hand-in-hand with either destination.  The majesty in this is that the artist has rendered the perfect companion piece for this listening experience.

First Track- 93

The first track opens with some atmospheric sounds that begin to wrap the listener in a dark and haunting cocoon.  Just before you are consumed by the darkness lightly crashing cymbals bleed into the mix.  Followed closely by a shimmering guitar tone that combines with a plodding bass and drum to create a somber, hypnotic melancholy that reverberates throughout.  And that is only the first three or four minutes of the track.  What follows burns low and slow and spews forth with all the venom of a volcanic eruption.

Initial Listen- 94

Vofa’s self-titled debut is three tracks (clocking in at 37 minutes and 24 seconds) of death doom that follows a consistent, but insanely effective formula.  Caustic vocal growls that are punctuated by powerful drumming, sinister bass lines, searing guitar work and dark atmosphere.  The end result of which is a slow descent into an emotionally barren abyss.

Closing Thoughts

Crystal clear production and top-shelf musicianship is what elevates this release to another level.

(And, look-ie here, F.o.D has even chosen to somewhat utilize the same format as my scribbles – Ed*)

Imipolex

Imipolex (USA) – Order of the Epimethean Flame

https://imipolex.bandcamp.com/album/order-of-the-epimethean-flame

Release – October/26/19

Independent

ARTWORK- 65

“Uncle Frank! Did you take out the trash?”

“Yea, but it appears to have blown across the yard. And dammit! I forgot to put on pants!”

“Has “dinner” stopped screaming yet?”

“It would appear so. Put on the spuds, dear. I’m famished.”

FIRST TRACK- 68

This is likely how a mashup of black metal, grindcore, sludge and cavernous death metal would sound. Raw chaotic rhythms, with majestic leanings, drenched in dirge against an atmosphere which screams subterranean rituals lost to the passage of time. Coupled with a vocal delivery of one seeped in angst the overall combination is one which might not at first grab the attention, but soon digs its way into the curious part of the brain which often overpowers common sense. An intriguing opener which dares to steer its listeners away from predictable, familiar, well-worn territories but yet still incorporates all of these very same elements.

INITIAL LISTEN- 72

An epic nature is something which cannot be ignored, as too are frequent nods to masters of several genres which this traipses across as it makes it merry way towards its climax. Leaving an easy to read roadmap of the extreme spectrum Imipolex have covered most of that which makes up the bleakest corners of the extreme metal universe with only a few notable exceptions. A primitive tone aids in the enjoyment as a crystal-clear approach would obviously only sound silly given the music’s feel. Angst ridden vocals accompany rhythms of undeniable blackened origin, blast beats aplenty, which often transform to incorporate slight progressive leanings all of which drenched in a dirge nature. Brutality displaying a myriad of pace, chaotic rhythms, cavernous qualities and a touch a groove, this probably isn’t for one just touching base with extreme metal but for those with a yearning for audio which pays no heed to genre definition this is a great place to rest the ears for a while.

Favorite Tracks; Auspices, Battleslain, Epitapheum.

FFO; (vintage) Morbid Angel, Tomb Mold, Celtic Frost, Nuerosis.

Need a Second Opinion?

foehammer metal podcast

Here’s a few words from Derek C otherwise known as @He11fir3 on Twitter but best known for his knowledge droppin’, wicked tune wielding podcast Foehammer, which can be heard here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuP2tkAg3ABtFQUZFP5j3HQ

Hails all, He11fir3 here thankfully joining in on this collaborative Abrasive Audio installment to tell you my thoughts on Portland’s Blackened Death Sludge group IMIPOLEX!

First off, I am very glad that Cult considered me to write for this album because there is a good chance this never would have made it into my queue. mostly because the cover isn’t some over xeroxed copy of a dude with a sword clutching a fist of hatred to… nothing, there’s nothing else to see in the picture so he’s just angry for no reason, That and a generic shot of some lonely wooded area are how you make it onto my radar. Instead we have a whole mess of things going on that you are just going to have to see for yourself because I don’t think explaining it would do it justice.

“Sirens”, the first track of the album opens up similar to a traditional second wave back metal build but once you move past the intro itself you begin to pick up that this isn’t going to be just a black metal album. it’s something thicker. There is more meat to the tone in general than standard black metal that typically ranges in the sharper piercing tones.

The track takes off into the first break of the song and really picks up from its somber, dismal beginnings to something sporadic, thrashy, aggressive, and it doesn’t stop there. The whole track and safely said each track that follows has similar crafted switch-ups that make no song boring. The bass is also turned up loud enough to co-exist with the guitar instead of being buried behind a wall of distortion, which is good cause the bass plays a very important role in each song.

“Auspices” and “Battleslain” (tracks 2 and 3) waste no time. Both tracks open severely heavy and chaotic. This is where the album begins to move evolve from “Black Metal with Sludge influence” to a little bit of a genre mutt, which is fine by me cause I’m a bit of a genre slut. (AY, OH!) These tracks flex the riff skills by introducing a bit more a death metal feel, and the black metal elements become more obscure and experimental, and it even drops a little war metal d-beat into the mix. It has officially proved itself as a vagabond of extreme metal mastery. I am ready to roll up my sleeves and kegstand atop this bitch and indulge in its glory

Then we move to the final 2 tracks, both ranging over 10 minutes a piece, both starting like slow atmospheric doom tracks.

We know very well by now this is not the final form of these songs as they build and unfold into unrelenting epics. After some harsh crushing openings full of despair, you are rewarded with some melodic beautiful guitar work and engaging riff work. I don’t want to spoil these songs by going into too much detail, but the things these songs accomplish are the reason artist write them long. The end to the album even leaves you feeling a possible notion of what the cover may be suggesting. what does one do after bringing so much chaos into the world around them?

Give it a few jams before you decide how you feel about it. I did, again and again and now I have to get my hands on a copy. 7.5 out of 10 and growing with each listen. Now everybody, go bother CultMetalFlix until he asks me to do this again.

Infinitas

Infinitas (Switzerland) – Infernum

https://infinitasmetal.bandcamp.com/album/infernum

Release- December/6/19

Independent

ARTWORK- 71

This seethes with a somber fantastical edge, also with a rare perspective. It’s as if the listener is part of the journey also. An interesting image. But why have a castle that close to a volcano? Unless of course the residents are harnessing its fury for diabolical means.

FIRST TRACK- 71

An intriguing mixture; folk melodies intertwine with tradition heavy metal, progressive and thrash rhythms. Haunting melodies alongside galloping and passionate rhythms. The vocal approach is surprising, not at all expected, and isn’t for everyone. But it somehow works; supplying a story type narrative as it flows leaving me curious (and nodding my head, if truth be told) for what’s to follow.

INITIAL LISTEN- 69

As this album unfolds the concept element blossoms. Soundbites are plentiful, though in boasting a language (Norwegian, Swiss?) I can’t quite place they lose their meaning somewhat in the context. Varied styles coexist better than what many might think supplying depth, atmosphere and emotion and often an outright irresistible infectious nature. The vocal style is surprisingly diverse throughout. Ranging from tradition, feral, spoken and classical leaving the listener on their toes as the album unfolds. Probably not for those who demand a constant, unbroken, stream of extreme audio this would, I believe, appeal more to those whose audio interests are scattered. Rare is it that this moves above a galloping pace (though it boasts sufficient sinister and ominous passages to perk the doom crowds’ interest). However, it does display epic qualities with enough diversity to sate those who yearn for something to break up the same old, same old. Not for everyone, this might take a little time to ease into, after which it offers something new with every listen. Keep the mind open for this is undeniably mellower than audio I usually lay a few words upon, a ‘heads up’ if you will.

Favorite Tracks; Afranc, Lillith, Tiamat, Vadatajas.

FFO; Eluveitie, Skyclad, Apocalyptica, Epica.

exhausted animal

Rather than bog the listener down in words, for this endeavor went to greater lengths than I imagined, I’ve decided to cut it up into three pieces. This concludes the first. A huge thanks to all involved.

As always, feel free to share, comment and guffaw at my horrid grammar. But most of all support the contributors and artists included herein.

Cult

Abrasive Audio (Part Sixteen)

black metal burgers

Could these be considered Black metal sandwiches?

Introducing the sites first “Black Metal Split” sandwich

(Aka; sandwiching my usual diverse content between two split releases I should have gotten to much earlier (my apologies to those concerned)

Nihtwintre/Albanach ar Dheis (split)
Cassette/Digital format
Release – May/14/2019
Epicurus Records

nihtwintre split

https://nihtwintre.bandcamp.com/

(Note – this is the running order of the cassette, the digital order is reversed)

ARTWORK – 7

Strangely this image reminds me of the movie Trollhunter. Is this an ice giant or merely a perturbed mature gent awoken from a night’s rest to realize someone has trodden all over his freshly planted vegetable garden?

Side A; Albanach ar Dheis (Canada)
(Tracks 1,2)

Epic values drench the first track (as if its length didn’t give it away?) alongside a narrative lyrical approach, dualistic male and female vocals, keyboard atmosphere and undeniable melodic qualities, the effect makes for an overall pleasing introduction. The second track is longer still (coming in at close to eleven minutes) and boasts atmosphere aplenty, a synth folk vibe as well a slew of somewhat traditional (genre) majestic riffs. Managing to hold the attention throughout with its undeniable fluid and mesmerizing qualities it has the attention of a fan who usually doesn’t dwell in black metal (realms) enrapt.

Symphonic black metal which invokes images of epic battles, forests and melancholy, all in all, audio I can subscribe to without reservation or regret. A quite brilliant slice of audio which could well provoke abrupt exploration into audio realms enigmatic and undiscovered.

9
Side B; Nihtwintre (USA)
(Tracks 3,4 and 5)

Stabbing riffs, with an ice-cold aura, accent a drumming salvo to incite vivid imagery of an unforgiving realm draped in antiquity and menace. Narrated by a snarling vocal accompaniment the overall effect is a promising introduction. The second track is the highlight of Nihtwintre’s trio. Complete with groove (yes, groove) and majestic qualities its rhythms strangely invoke chilling atmosphere, a stunning combination. The trio climaxes in much the same manner, an undisputable frigid aura complemented by underlying groove (though not as pronounced as the track before) and riffs that tell of both medieval ancestry and eternal conflict (the harsh element of nature as well the nature of man).  A stunning trio which rounds out a mesmerizing split, showcasing how diverse the genre of atmospheric black metal is, which is deserved of much attention.

8.5

pathetic

OVERALL INITIAL LISTEN – 9
Pathetic – Rat King
(Canada)
Release – July/12/2019
Independent
Qabar PR
https://pathetic666.bandcamp.com/
 ARTWORK – 8

An intriguing image (a creature of sorts compiled of those it’s ‘consumed’, some albeit partially) which offers a myriad of intricate details and grotesqueries. Warranting closer inspection this image hints at brutality, menace and activities of similar ilk therefore I imagine audio of the same variety. Color me intrigued!

FIRST TRACK – 8.5

A distortion laden introduction recalls Acid Bath while the music itself, once it gets started, is accompanied by a soundbite, reeks of the old school with a touch of southern melody, and mid-tempo groove

INITIAL LISTEN – 9

A glorious mixture of influences keeps this album rolling. D-beat rhythms cavort with old school values and plodding riffs akin to that of the earliest Grave material. The word even comes to mind from time to time. Lyrics often reek of a deliciously jaded Pungent Stench vibe, add this to an occasionally wicked soundbite, a dirge-laden tone ripped straight from the basement of the underground 90’s (think Bolt Thrower, Terrorizer) and a pace which often picks up frequently offering groove one cannot sit still to and you have all the right ingredients for an album which feels like it might have been released twenty-something years too late though manages to offer an aura that’s instantly enjoyable and so damn easy to appreciate it borders on criminal. A sublime combination in short which pleases the senses and demands constant attention.

Highly recommended and sure to please those with a penchant for the extreme and values deeply rooted in the old school death/grind department.

Favorite Tracks; The Fatal Charade, Going Postal, Shetani, Defecating Upon the Grave of the Grand Wizard, Empty Threat.

WizardRifle

Wizard Rifle – s/t
(USA)
Release – August/30/2019
Svart Records
Dewar PR
https://wizardrifle.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 7.5

Newsflash; Reports claim that a bright bold logo is seen rising from the earth at an alarming rate alert the authorities, call the National Guard but most of all prepare thyself…

FIRST TRACK – 9.5

Its been awhile but I do believe I’ve found an act who can finally compare to the overall indescribable nature of Brutal Juice. For those who aren’t in the know they boast a sound that’s a wicked mixture of others styles much like what Wizard Rifle offer. A fantastic track I could scribble upon at length though shall refrain from doing so until the release has reached its climax.

INITIAL LISTEN – 9.5

Every once in a while, a promo lands in the email with a description so wild that it demands attention, as promos tend to do. This is another such instance. And being the ever-curious type I pounced. And was not disappointed in the slightest. The sound is altogether mesmerizing, even from the albums first notes, while wholly unclassifiable. The exuberance and energy are undeniable and infectious whilst the rhythms and tempo are ever evolving, shifting like an amorphous beast the likes of which you’d kindly invite in from the cold for a spot by the fire. Brutality and menace are far from what’s on offer here. Doom values meld with punk attitude while the word alternate is bounced around like a circular blur in a championship hockey finale (you were expecting a nod to a certain team? Not here, mate!) Dense riffs collide with sacrificial drum salvos and plodding rhythms transform into galloping frenzied moments all accented by a diverse vocal tirade which incorporates melody, shouting and angst in equal measures. An epic feel underscores the whole shebang though its hardly given much heed as the music whisks the listener away to undiscovered realms, vistas and valleys frequented by constructs which are non-sensical yet accepted as easily as a birthday check, in the mailbox, from a long lost relative.  An atmosphere permeates this same location, a thick smoke hazy with indistinct, fleeting, influence which is familiar yet hard to pinpoint as another replaces its spot within seconds. The album does however have its share of trance/drone moments, instances in which the style doesn’t flutter like the wings of a butterfly, the conclusion to “Funeral of the Sun” is a fantastic example. Fitting is the final tracks moniker, the fifth track known as “V”. The tempo within this is decidedly upbeat bringing to mind Slayer in the first few bars but then late dwindling to a tempo which could best be described as adrenaline infused stoner rock which later changes again to bring to mind Jesus Lizard albeit with a pace that’s not associated with them in the slightest.

Album of the year contender right here, folks. And this is purely based on a first listen basis, I’m of the mind that this will only get better with age.  My only gripe is that this has a street date of late-August, sure I can enjoy it courtesy of the promo package which came my way but I want others to be able to also. The wait is killing me. In the meantime, I’ll let this parade its way through my senses again and do my best to let the smile which is contorting my features not take total control of my faculties.

As an added bonus a few thoughts on this release from my sometimes ‘partner in crime’ Drew
When I wade into the waters of any act unfamiliar to me, the first thing I tend to think of is who they remind me of. And at first listen, Wizard Rifle immediately remind me of Brutal Juice. In fact, I’m blown away be the some of the similarities. From the loud – yet clean – vocals, Wizard Rifle breathes psychedelic rock and breathe it well. They do tend to veer off into other thrashy sounds, but somehow it all seems to circle back to that familiar psychedelic feel. Wizard Rifle is a two-piece act proving that sometimes, less is more.
With all the tempo and fury of a four-piece act, this collage of trippy guitar solos and vacillating drum blasts is one I can fully get behind.

 

katechon

Katechon – Sanger Fra Auschwitz
(Norway)
Release – March/1/2019
Saturnal Records
Qabar PR
https://katechon.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 6

Dark, depressive and dreary. Is this an indication of that which I’m about to hear, I can but only wonder?

FIRST TRACK – 7

I’m getting (mid-era) Satyricon vibes again (and this appears to be a constant throughout this piece) this track plods along complete with an ominous tone, unmistakable menace and a familiar traditional vocal style which isn’t at all out of place within its surroundings.

INITIAL LISTEN – 7.5

From early on I deciphered that I wouldn’t be able to understand a bloody word and I was correct, regardless this is intriguing audio indeed, given more an enigmatic/archaic feel based on the fact (that again) I can’t understand the lyrics and their context ( I seriously need to find time to do some research). Furious paced yet moody. Traditional black yet doom laden. Melodic yet vicious. This typifies the variety within the genre which most people still continue to shun. Much like the genre this has a great deal to offer, over and above what those with closed minds, who continue to spawn ignorance, assume. Rhythms are varied as too are the moods and atmosphere making for a release which most fans of the scene will be able to appreciate and easily consume, perhaps even a few who have little knowledge of the scene but who are steadily becoming more accustomed to it, like myself.

Favorite Tracks; Eloi, Ankomst, Davids Skjold.

overt enemy possession

Overt Enemy – Possession
(USA)
Release – August/9/2019
Confused Records
Dewar PR
https://overtenemy.bandcamp.com/
 ARTWORK – 7

Lady, lady. Hey lady. I wouldn’t swallow that if I were you.

We’ll I guess it’s too late, I’m outta’ here before this broad starts to spray the town in split pea soup, a vomitous odor and utilize a crucifix in an unsettling, though deviantly erotic, manner.

FIRST TRACK – 9

Aggressive thrash in a style that’s criminally addictive, infectious, movement inducing but most of all eerily recognizable. This tosses me back to when I first laid ears upon ‘Hell Awaits’ and it’s that far off of the same caliber.

INITIAL LISTEN – 9

Slayer worship through and through (there’s even a ripping cover of ‘At Dawn They Sleep’ and the bassists name even has a decidedly “Slayer” slant to it) of that there’s no doubt but Overt Enemy execute the style so damn well that odds are they’ll take the vacated throne without a qualm and little complaint. My only issue with this is that’s it’s too damn short, I want more!! I guess I’ll be forced to spin this again, again and again (or even ‘piece by piece’).

This is the type of thrash which I can subscribe to, it’s vicious, fluid, fast but most of all wicked Fn’ great!

I’m eager for a full length!

portada

Concilivm – The Veiled Enigma (EP)
(Chile)
Release – January/18/2018 (limited edition cassette)
Von Frost Records
(reissue on CD; May/31/2019 via Dawning Septic Productions)
https://concilivm.bandcamp.com/album/the-veiled-enigma
ARTWORK – 7

Classical in tone; St George and the Dragon shenanigans I’m thinking, though it could be anything, a preying mantis lighting a torch perhaps, or is he/she balancing a spear on their nose? Do they even have a nose…? I give up!

FIRST TRACK – 8

An effective introduction leads into a bout of old school riffing ala vintage Gorguts tinged by diabolical melody and vocals of the death doom variety. This is tight and executed with flair. So why is it that I haven’t heard of this until now?

INITIAL LISTEN – 8.5

I honestly have no idea how it is that I haven’t heard this until now (I seem to have stated that before) this is impressive audio showcasing a mid-pace with death doom sensibilities, groove and enough menace to incite nightmares for an entire kindergarten class, including the teacher. Influence is varied from the above mentioned to Gorefest, Divine Eve, Bolt Thrower and a slew of other European acts around the explosion of the death scene circa the early 90’s. Dirge cavorts with a diabolical nature with often intriguing rhythms, the vocals fit like a tailor made suit for the icing on the cake.

Give this a moment of your time and I believe you’ll be impressed also.

Favorite Tracks; Dark Zenith, Breaking of the Return, Epistemology of Darkness (bonus track).

goregang

Goregäng – Neon Graves
(USA)
Release – May/20/2019
Transcending Obscurity Records
https://goregangband.bandcamp.com/album/neon-graves-death-metal-crust
ARTWORK – 8

Vivid and eye opening, much as the title suggests. I’m left to wonder what’s leaking from the grave and will the resulting malformation find itself walking down main street in search of a signed copy of the first season of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”. Yuck, stay away, keep back! Stay away!

FIRST TRACK – 7

The introduction has a definite ominous edge boding towards one would imagine (based on the law of averages) audio of brutal death/atmospheric nature. The first track however has undeniable hardcore leanings, gang vocals and a stabbing approach bordering at times on a style Fear Factory are known for. A diverse mixture for sure which although I’m not totally falling ‘ass over tit’ for, still makes me curious as to what’s to follow.

INITIAL LISTEN – 7.5

Considerable oomph and surprising production values give this release eye-opening appeal. The style herein is varied, though familiar throughout, spanning a wide radius of the extreme metal arena tipping its hat from one track to the next to a slew of ground-breaking acts including Entombed, Grave and Bolt Thrower. A thick style Dirge frolics hand in hand with the “buzzsaw” HM2 sound and groove often jumps into the fold to join in on the fun to play a huge part in the overall mix. Rhythms are predominantly mid-paced and occasional atmosphere is used effectively (especially in the case of “Neon Graves”) keeping the predictability level at a minimum. Overall this is a release which will have listeners reminiscing on a slew of albums (the type everyone should revisit on a regular basis) albeit injected with the production values and exuberant tone which sets this apart from the hordes of others also vying for attention in much the same manner.

Favorite Tracks; Silence is Consent, Neon Graves, Plague of Hammers, The Era of Human.

vokonis

Vokonis – Grasping Time
(Sweden)
Release – September/6/2019
The Sign Records
Dewar PR
https://vokonis.bandcamp.com/album/grasping-time
 ARTWORK – 7

Nice kitchen. But, oh dear. I believe you got shafted on the vaulted ceiling request.

FIRST TRACK – 8

There’s zero introduction with this track, the listener is immediately whisked away to epic doomsville. An unscheduled stop on the outskirts brings them to a dusty location where sludge and melodic rock values converse over coffee, edibles and a raspberry filled ‘Danish’.

A great start which effectively introduces Vokonis and their specific brand of non- traditional down tuned audio.

INITIAL LISTEN – 8.5

Amazingly enough Vokonis have created audio which bridges the gap between Kyuss and Mastodon, liberal sprinklings of psychedelia and a myriad of progressive passages are gleefully companions along for the ride. Featuring riffs with enough distort to shake the Great Wall to dust and an epic nature boasting melodic yet always heavy undertones, the album makes for quite the multi layered audio journey which many might be initially skeptical about. However, somehow, Vokonis manage to pull this mammoth feat off without a hitch. In a seamless manner that’s both entertaining and enthralling (often hypnotic) the band utilize an assortment of brilliantly executed moods aided by shifting rhythms and several vocal styles to keep the senses alight with intrigue. The result is an album which garners the attention instantly though somehow still demands several listens to fully appreciate.

Favorite Tracks; Sunless Hymnal, I Hear the Siren, Embers, Fading Lights.

Darkhorse_OldStar

Dark Throne – Old Star
(Norway)
Release – May/31/2019
Peaceville Records
http://peaceville.com/bands/darkthrone/
ARTWORK – 9.5

Intricate black and white imagery with a definite medieval style. The more one looks closer the more details become apparent. Demons cavorting with nature or an orgy of grotesqueries? Whatever it is this is mesmerizing!

FIRST TRACK – 8.5

Please note that this Is my first full album experience with Dark Throne. Admittedly black metal was never my thing but now I’m finding myself warming up to all it has to offer due in most part to continued prods and “Reccs” from Void (whom I continue to curse and thank continuously, and often at the same time).

Whoa, this Is not entirely what I was expecting. This is melodic, mid -tempo and it has rhythm to spare. I’ve heard dissent among long-time fans that this isn’t what they were expecting and reviews are split down the middle, but I’m finding myself liking this…a lot! The production isn’t what I as expecting either based on I guess my own assumptions, this is clean, far from primitive. The instruments are distinct and the sound, if truth be told, reminds me in part of Sartyricon (newer material not the older, faster audio) mixed with groove tinged Celtic Frost. A fantastic start which leaves me intrigued for what surprises and the remainder of the album will bring to my ears.  

INITIAL LISTEN – 8.5

This continues to enthrall me from track to track. From the first to the epic and traditional heavy metal riff polluted (though not in a horrid sense) and doom laden second through to its final track; a groove infested doom opus “The Key is Inside the Wall”. This isn’t in the slightest what I was expecting (think I’ve mentioned that before) it’s slower, moody and powerful. But this is something I will definitely spin again, and often if given the chance. I’d suggest keeping the mind open, and the preconceived notions at bay before you spin this especially if you’re at all familiar with their past discography.

Favorite Tracks; I Muffle Your Inner Choir, The Hardship of The Scots, The Key is Inside the Wall.

detherous

Detherous – Hacked to Death
(Canada)
Release – August/16/2019
Redefining Darkness Records
https://redefiningdarknessrecords.bandcamp.com/album/detherous-hacked-to-death
ARTWORK – 9

I’m a little bias here, I’ll admit. As a ‘gorehound’ this image hits all the right notes, recalls VHS covers from the “Video Nasty” era (even puts me in mind of Cancer’s ‘The Gory End’) but is likely an image plucked from the Hatchet franchise. Admittedly I’m more than a little excited, and the music hasn’t even started yet!

FIRST TRACK – 8.5

If the immediate influence which comes to mind isn’t the obvious (and the first word in the genre in which this resides) then I’m honestly not sure what to say. A fantastic track that grabs the attention and gets the adrenaline spiking. I have a sneaking suspicion this is going to be a ‘banger’ (whatever that means!)

INITIAL LISTEN – 9

Channeling Malevolent Creation, Death and Asphyx, Detherous have managed to create a style that’s exuberant, furious (boasting exquisite time changes and abrupt mosh frenzy changes in pace) and technical. Familiar, with nods to the fury of early Kreator and the rhythm transformations of Slayer, easily appreciated and nostalgic yet a breath of fresh air to a scene that’s recently become overcrowded with atmosphere. This is audio which unceremoniously pulls one back to the old school (both European and American) and does a great job of doing so. Call it homage, call it what you will but there’s no doubt this is executed with passion, flair and precision. This is an album which will be in heavy rotation, mark my words!

Keep an eye out for these folks for if this is any indication, they’re going places!

Favorite Tracks; Smoldering Ashes, Ridden, Monstrosity, Brain Death.

vault dweller

Vault Dweller – Existence at a Distance (EP)
(USA)
Release – June/7/2019
Horror Pain Gore Death Productions
https://hpgd.bandcamp.com/album/existence-at-a-distance
ARTWORK – 8.5

A vicious knife assault from all corners, who’s the assailant? A Poltergeist, and for what reason? This is obviously up for discussion but there’s no doubt that this is a wicked image.

FIRST TRACK – 7.5

An ‘old timey’ soundbite as an introduction, it works brilliantly to set the scene telling of spilling blood for all manner of things, however trivial. The audio soon transforms into grinding whirlwind riffage with distinct punk leanings added to by howling vocals.

A decent introduction to the band and their version of the grind style.

INITIAL LISTEN – 7.5

An Ep which lasts barely more ten minutes, one would immediately think of audio in a grind realm and they wouldn’t be far wrong for have no doubts this is what this is.

Brutal, to the point salvos (though running epic lengths for tracks under the grindcore moniker) completed by surprising melody and gale-force vocals make for a foray that’s a tad different than most in the same genre. Add to that a variety of 60’s movie sci-fi synth explorations and you have a release that’s a refreshing step (albeit a small one!) away from the norm.

Favorite Tracks; Ego Beast, Somebody Blow me Up, Bad Gateway.

ov lustra

Ov Lustra – Tempestas
(USA)
Release – June/7/2019
Black Lion Records
Qabar PR
https://ovlustrablacklion.bandcamp.com/album/tempestas
ARTWORK – 8

A definite fantasy edge is prevalent here. With the lone figure in the center one could also imagine a quest of sorts, which leads one to believe this might be a concept album.

FIRST TRACK – 9

Symphonic, though not overly so, with an undeniable blackened death aura of the technical/melodic variety. An overall concoction/effect which works brilliantly, aided to by way of top-notch production values, adding depth and a cinematic aura.

INITIAL LISTEN – 8.5

A concept album (which hardly feels like such) based on fantastical narrative aided by orchestral brilliance originating from Francesco Ferrini (Fleshgod Apocalypse) and technical leanings with melodic undertones sounds like an intriguing premise, right? In this case the premise is so much more than merely that… the idea has paid off. Showcasing exquisite musicianship, a powerful symphonic backdrop, rhythms which constantly shift and a vocal accompaniment which fits the style Ov Lustra have managed to capture the delicate balance needed to keep the listener intrigued and the audio far from being overwhelming in its intensity. The overall audio is fluid, seamless in its approach and bears unmistakable cinematic scope which only aids in its appeal and invokes vivid imagery along with the sinuous fantastical narrative.

The inclusion of orchestral editions of the first four tracks lends an edge which is not typically seen, a fantastic touch and nod, appreciation, to fan support. The reissue of four tracks (‘I’, ‘Felle’, ‘Ov Lustra’ and ‘Arrival’) serves to spark interest in the bands past work and shows maturity, precision and development from past to present material.

Favorite Tracks; Tempestas, Ov Delicate Rage, Felle, Ov Lustra.

Highly recommended for fans of Inferis, Vale of Pnath, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Septic Flesh and Cradle of Filth.

Recc from Fistful of Doom (@flatulentfuzz on Twitter)

fistful of doom

Archaic Tomb – Persecution Paraphenalia/ / Cryptworm – Putrefactive Regurgitation (7” split EP/Tape)
Release – April/19/2019
Cassette/Digital
Blood Harvest Records
https://bloodharvestrecords.bandcamp.com/album/persecution-paraphrenalia-putrefactive-regurgitation

 

ARTWORK – 8.5

blood harvest split

Gnashing teeth, a demon, wings and sublime archaic black and white imagery, nuff said!

Archaic Tomb (Portugal)

Cavernous, dense and sporting intricate rhythm nuance. Hardly melodious and yet there is definite rhythm to be found amidst the dirt-laden brutality and a certain diabolical nature, the smoldering, sizzling finale is a great touch. Overall, an intriguing track which has me salivating for a more definite illustration of what the band can spawn.

8  
Cryptworm (UK)

Gargling, guttural, vocals accompany a sickening tone which has me tumbling back to the brutality I first encountered when discovering the scene many moons ago (around the early 90’s in fact) within a Peaceville, “Deaf Metal”, sampler (which if one is unfamiliar with should check into immediately).

Groove-laden madness slathered in vintage death values, the influence is easy to see (for those paying attention) and tracks title about says it all in regards to what tom expect though doesn’t describe how infectious this is if one’s past is checkered with much the same audio. I’m grinning from ear to ear, though I understand I‘m of the minority who remember music stores, vinyl, compilations rather than YouTube for discovering new tunage and Tipper Gore’s attempts at censoring music.

8
Overall Initial Listen – 8

If brutality and down tuned sickness with melody, rather than noise, is your thing wrap your ears around this!

Plucked from Metal Past

witchburner

Witchburner – Bloodthirsty Eyes
(Germany)
Release – February/22/2013
High Roller Records
https://www.discogs.com/Witchburner-Bloodthirsty-Eyes/release/5349624
Thoughts –

Occasionally I’ll dip into metals past. Often, I’ll reflect upon an album I have fond memories upon, in this instance I’m going to drop a few thoughts upon an album and a release I stumbled upon quite by accident. Recently I went to a show (the first in a few years) and happened to set eyes on a band entitled WitchRipper. For some reason however, I referred to them as Witchburner and this ladies and gents is where my quest began. Is there a band with such a name, indeed there is, and what do they have to offer? Here are my thoughts…

‘Bloodthirsty Eyes’ is the bands seventh full-length, and their most recent, in over a twenty-year span, if the album art (a collective of undead types clamoring for attention from a hooded mysterious type seated upon a throne) doesn’t make you want to spin it you’re obviously not into everything undead in theme as much as yours truly. The album is quick to make an impression with both its wicked pace and venom-fueled vocal attack. The beats are incendiary in nature and often quick to get to the point. If you’re not moving when “Possession” caresses the senses odds are you have little, to zero, appreciation for frantic head bangin’ mayhem and the finest the genre has to offer. Naturally it’s a high point in the album alongside the albums stunning acoustic introduction and opener, “Sermon of Profanity” which sports somewhat of an Exodus vibe albeit ‘Tempo of the Damned’ era in feel. Other standouts come fast, furious and often and include the frantic paced “The Path of the Sinner”, “Apocalyptic Visions” which boasts a Master and Slayer vibe, “Never Surrender” with an undeniable foot tapping vibe, “Bloody Countess” (bonus track) after all who can’t appreciate a track about a blood thirsty, pasty faced, beauty stuck in a castle sans the glory of the internet to waste away those rainy days (*wot another? I don’t care!) and a classic from their first LP “Possessed by Hellfire”.

Stick some ears on this and discover what you’ve been missing. Unless you already have, in which case why didn’t you tell me about it?

cult of osiris split

Daemonibus Inita Vigilia (3-way split)
Release – June/10/2019
Digital
Cult of Osiris
https://cultofosiris.bandcamp.com/album/daemonibus-inita-vigilia
ARTWORK – 8

I’m intrigued by this primitive wicked imagery. Naturally black and white art is one my weaknesses and this immediately puts me in mind of underground old school values.

Apothecary (USA) – Insect Vigil

A swift, spiraling, descent into madness. An experimental outing which combines elements of grindcore, black metal, ambient and avant Garde’ for an overall dizzying experience. Chaotic, archaic, primal, often confusing but always disorienting there appears to be no semblance of order. Non-traditional in its construct and absolutely non-conforming this is recommended for the brave, for those who can see past what is often perceived as normalcy, and what’s easily accepted by the senses.

6
Crossburner (Spain) – Guland I

Unforgiving and primal, this track strangely sports a smidgen of punk influence within its pitch sensibilities. Assaulting the senses with a whirlwind of industrial grade riffage it bears more a traditional black metal approach albeit one that’s basted in archaic production values. A wickedness, a menace that’s melodic though malicious in intent heralded by rasped vocals which only adds to the effect.

7
Uten Håp (Svalbard) – Inner Demons

Cacophonous and blasting in intensity, the rhythm herein is unrelenting and soon builds to a hypnotic state. Snarled vocals add to an effect akin to being in the eye of a storm. A furious slab of pitch darkness delivered on a bed of menacing pace sure to alight the intrigue of the more traditional black metal community. A fitting finale to split which shows Cult of Osiris sticking to his guns and the label showcasing talent which depicts the genre as it was always meant to be, extreme, far from popular with only the darkest of audio intentions, not monetary reward, in mind. Musical expression which cares not for cultural constructs or borders but rather freedom of expression through audio tainted by pitch values and an often DIY primitive nature.

7.5
OVERALL INITIAL LISTEN – 7

 Well there you have it, the sites first ‘sandwich review’ piece!

As always feel free to tell me your thoughts, comment, recommend and please share. Let’s keep the word of metal, in all of its various disguises, alive and thriving for the next generation to enjoy no matter its ‘form’ at that point in time.

Cult