Posts Tagged ‘HE11FIR3’

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…to Soothe the Senses – Year End List #2

heavy metal santa
Courtesy of He11fir3

It’s still that time of year, the trees are whispers of their former selves, white stuff is everywhere frustrating even the most seasoned of driver and the pets are indoors reminiscing upon simpler times when it was a damn sight easier to leave a steaming present on the neighbor’s lawn. Hats with bobbles on top are all the rage and yoga pants are packed away, at least until spring.  However, the climax of the year also means End of Year lists, a time when a large number of audiophiles stun their compadres with mention of releases which remain largely unheard though deserve praise from on high. Without further ado, a few words and a myriad of suggestions from an old pal.

The year’s top ten from the mind of He11fir3
(starting with the #1 then working down to #10)

Mirror - Pyramid of Terror

Mirror – Pyramid of Terror

The fact that my AOTY is Heavy Metal and not Black Metal should be enough to let you know that this must be an amazing album. It became an all-time fav, and I know I will be listening to it for the rest of my life.

http://stareatthemirrorandweep.bandcamp.com/album/pyramid-of-terror

Infernal Conjuration – Infernale Metallum Mortis

Everything we don’t have enough of. Evil Death Metal. Knew it was special from the first listen and it has not once caught me “not in the mood”

http://infernalconjuration.bandcamp.com/album/infernale-metallum-mortis

Elegiac – Thirst for Vengeance

Pagan Vicious Black Metal. I found this band this year and it became one of my all-time favorite projects. Bought almost everything he has put out.

http://elegiac.bandcamp.com/album/thirst-for-vengeance

Forgjord - Ilmestykset
Forgjord – Ilmestykset

Hauntingly beautiful and FuckUgly Grim Black Metal. Does everything right to build perfect atmospheres.

http://werewolfrecords.bandcamp.com/album/ilmestykset

Is – Another Side of Existence

Cold Frostbitten Winter Wandering Black Metal. I always hear something new to appreciate and love this album even more with each listen.

http://kareliannokken.bandcamp.com/album/another-side-of-existence

Devil Master – Satan Spits in Children of Light

Punk Attitude, Heavy Metal Influences Great Energy and Black Metal Spirit. I wish it was higher on the list but goddamn this year was like a piano landing on you over and over again.

http://devilmaster.bandcamp.com/album/satan-spits-on-children-of-light

Zeit - Drungsal
Zeit – Drungsal

Black Sludge. Evil Metal Covered in mud. Atmospheric, Dark, Clumpy, Heavy, Pretty, Earthly, Scratchy, Ugly, and very natural sounding.

http://rumsdiezeit.bandcamp.com/album/drangsal

Tanith – In Another Time

70s/80s inspired rock/prog with fantasy themes, like having a whole new world born just for your ears. Russ Tippins is the great Satan.

http://tanithnyc.bandcamp.com/album/in-another-time

Denial of God – The Hallow Mass

Melodic Horror themed black metal. Haunting and Spooky but Tragic and mystical too. Makes me want a fog machine.

http://denial-of-god.bandcamp.com/album/the-hallow-mass

Arnaut Pavle - Arnaut Pavle
Arnaut Pavle – Arnaut Pavle

Chaotic but focused black thrash. Does everything right. Every song has its own power, but the whole thing speeds through with unstoppable fury.

http://arnautpavle.bandcamp.com/album/arnaut-pavle-2

 

Editor’s Note; I believe I’ve heard only of a few of these, this just shows how unfathomably huge the world of extreme audio is and how little I actually get to even though my days are packed to overflowing with tunage.

foehammer metal podcast

Whoops -nearly forgot… He11fir3 is half of the Foehammer Metal Podcast found here

https://www.tumblr.com/search/foehammer

https://www.facebook.com/foehammerpodcast/

and on Instagram.