Posts Tagged ‘Ov Lustra’

Abrasive Audio – The Year in Review

Part the Second
pissed easter day bunny

Boy, he looks pissed! There I was thinking Easter bunnies were jovial fluffy felllows

The first three months have run their course and the last vestiges of winter are hanging around like a horde of pesky flies. The Easter Bunny has been busy and so have those who chose to take part in Beltane festivities (there’s no cumbersome hiding any eggs here. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge). Summer is about to start. Did you remember where you stored the winter coats and shovels? Metal however, is in full swing, in fact much like the weather it seems as though it’s just “warming” up. I honestly don’t think it ever takes a rest. (My favorites are again marked with a *) Onward…

April

apoptosis-300x300

Allegaeon – Apoptosis

https://allegaeon.bandcamp.com/

It’s extremely hard to pick a favorite track here as this is akin to sinking the ‘8 Ball’ on the break again and again and again (for those not familiar with ‘pool’ analogies it’s highly satisfying, indeed!) Suffice it to say if tech death with a progressive nature in the vein of Blotted Science, Alkaloid, Hannes Grossmann’s other output, Inanimate Existence and Opeth is your thing then your ears need this within them, the pleasure of which your entire being will thank you for later.

Archaic Decapitator – The Apothecary

https://archaicdecapitator.bandcamp.com/

Tech death rhythms flaunt with symphonic additions and occasionally the merest hint of a black as well a folk influence resulting in a release which is varied in tone, laden with atmosphere, depth and melancholy. Keep an ear out for these guys as if this is any indication of what’s to follow this an applaudable omen indeed.

Belezebubs – Pantheon of the Nightside Gods*

https://www.deezer.com/us/album/87796612?autoplay=true

A damn sight better than one might think with the comic book imagery in mind. A first listen is all it took for me to become a fan! This offers a stunning mix of black metal, symphonic elements and an overall aura which brings to mind the finest the genre has to offer (insert your favorite band here). And their videos are worth looking into also; blending humor and exquisite animation there’s really nothing which doesn’t tickle the pleasure sensors. In short, if you have yet to look into this band you’re missing out!

black sites exile

Black Sites – Exile*

https://blacksites.bandcamp.com/album/exile

With a style that’s a hearty mixture of doom, ala Paradise Lost, Black Sabbath and even Old Man Wizard, alongside progressive elements which bring to mind Dream Theatre, the occasional nod to greats within the NWOBHM scene (Iron Maiden) and rhythms straddling the hard rock arena and occasionally alternative (think Therapy?)with a splash of blues which make this most certainly far beyond merely an intriguing release. However, it’s the delivery, composition, strong vocal style, invocative melodies and infectious nature which makes this album instantly worthy of attention.

Gruesome Stuff Relish /Choked by own Vomits SPLIT

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRhZ8_II2uY

Gruesome Stuff Relish – plentiful groove breakdowns amidst synth atmosphere, cult movie homage, soundbites, melodic grindcore, groove and a gutteriffic vocal accompaniment, what’s not to like?

Choked by Own Vomits – Brutal death with a slower tempo boasting infectious riffs bordering on grindcore and lots of groove and a vocal style which will carve a smirk on any fan of the scenes face.

A fantastic introduction to both bands involved for those even curious about the genre this is a great place to dive in!

Hath – Of Rot and Ruin

https://hathnj.bandcamp.com/album/of-rot-and-ruin

Technical, majestic black, bludgeoning rhythms, classical interludes and Amorphis esque progressive passages. This is overflowing with brilliance, take your pick of where and when to find them, this embodies everything a fan could wish for. Brutality and technicality in equal measures slathered in pitch values against a supremely effective atmosphere. And the occasional suffocating presence to add to the overall stunning epic audio experience.

black arts n alchemy

Hellripper – Black Arts and Alchemy

https://reapermetalproductions.bandcamp.com/album/black-arts-alchemy

Imagine if you will Bathory, Motorhead, Venom and vintage Metallica (‘Kill-em’ All’ era) waking from a month-long drinking, drug-fueled debauchery binge (complete with a NWOBHM soundtrack) only to find out they had an offspring. Hellripper is likely the result of such. This woefully short Ep is, in short, utter brilliance which is sure to leave a craterous indentation in the scene. And to think this is merely an appetizer for things to come.

Inculter – Fatal Visions

https://edgedcircleproductions.bandcamp.com/album/fatal-visions

So goddamn fast this’ll make your head spin, but in a good way. Exquisite pace variations (yes, this isn’t flesh-meltingly fast all the time!) and atmosphere combine to form an album that leaves a huge impact. An album that reeks of raw South American influence yet undeniably shines with a style all its own.

Mist of Misery – Unalterable

https://mistofmiseryblacklion.bandcamp.com/album/unalterable

Classic melodies wrapped in black metal shrieks and rhythms (which do so much more than merely make one want to tap their foot) encaptivate, putting one in a trance. The atmosphere is quite unlike what one might expect. The effect is majestic, brutal, uncompromising yet beautiful and undeniably powerful. The album continues to only deepen the effect of the trance like state pulling the listener into an enveloping menacing, melancholic, beauty complete with exquisite ominous atmosphere.

teleport

Teleport – The Expansion

https://teleport1.bandcamp.com/album/the-expansion

Technicality careens headlong into a death/doom shroud making for a release that’s highly pleasing with an appeal which spans a wide radius ranging from atmospheric chaotic black metal through death/doom and also brutal technical progressive death, often elements which are expertly weaved together in the space of a matter of moments. Highly recommended for those who have a penchant for audio spanning a wide radius in the extreme metal arena.

West of Hell – Blood of the Infidel*

https://westofhellmetal.bandcamp.com/album/blood-of-the-infidel-3

Melodic, aggressive, emotional, energetic and dripping with depth. I’m finding it hard to find the words – this is outstanding audio!! Power, epic, heavy, speed, melodic death metal? Take your pick. This has it all, mixed to perfection and vocals of a caliber akin to a force of nature.

wormwitch

Wormwitch – Heaven that Dwells Within

https://wormwitch.bandcamp.com/

A crushing, inciteful, drum tempo is the back bone of this release balanced by delicate folk elements, symphonic accompaniments, exquisite atmosphere and cresting majestic black metal rhythms the overall effect is a wonder to have betwix the ears. Admittedly my first experience of the band, and I’m left wanting more!

May

Body Harvest – Parasitic Slavery

https://comatosemusic.bandcamp.com/album/parasitic-slavery

Devoid of frilly bits, progressive interludes and moments of reflection this is primal death metal shrouded in technical prowess sporting an intensity which is palpable. Maniacal values, diabolical surges, pummeling salvos and moments of ear screeching (controlled) chaos as well apocalyptic heights. Body Harvest have somehow managed to create an album which is mesmerizing in its undeniable brutality bathed in delicious dirge qualities fellow countrymen Bolt Thrower would be jealous of.

evil angel

Evil Angel – Unholy Evil Metal*

https://evilangel.bandcamp.com/album/unholy-evil-metal

Blackened speed and a sense of humor. Sounding like true homage to the South American scene of yore but with an added energy surge only bathing in Red Bull could possibly induce, bestial metal on steroids, and riffs which’ll make you want to slap your Granma and drag a newborn into the pit. This deserves to be shared. And Evil Angel, in all their exemplified raw nature, warrant praise!

Funeral Storm – Arcane Mysteries

https://funeralstormgreece.bandcamp.com/album/arcane-mysteries

Somewhere between early Moonspell and Rotting Christ with applaudable ‘dungeon’ synth tossed in. Elements of folk, doom and synth interludes aided by a commendable production result in this overflowing with atmosphere far from the normal rawness that the typical black metal affair offers. This showcases a great deal for even a casual fan to the scene.

Haunt – If Icarus Could Fly

https://hauntthenation.bandcamp.com/album/if-icarus-could-fly

Blending 80’s and 70’s hard rock with speed and epic metal elements this showcases the power of Trevor William Churches’ (Beastmaker) voice combined with the melodious enchanting rhythms and eye-opening solo mastery which are hard to ignore the criminally infectious nature of. With this one must ponder; with the bar set so high, where does/or can Haunt go from here?

Idle hands mana

Idle Hands – Mana

https://idlehandspdx.bandcamp.com/album/mana

Every once in a while, there drops an album which only lands upon the radar because of a myriad of recommendations. A release which is far from the normal listening material. This is one such example. a perfect combination of rock and Gothic metal with the chops to toss me back to the golden age of the scene whilst still offering an identity which is fresh and oh so easy to hit repeat upon again and again. This is dangerously addictive from start to finish! You have been warned!!

Inanimate Existence – Clockwork

https://inanimateexistence.bandcamp.com/

Brutality which straddles a myriad of genre fences without entering into too ‘Brutalsville’ territory. Unbelievable production values boast instruments which are crisp and clear in the mix complementing rhythms which are inhumanely complex, tight and intricate alongside progressive interludes which don’t ‘break the spell’ in the slightest. Encaptivating on account of its awe-inspiring balance and brilliance. An ‘eargasm’ from first to last note. Nuff said!

krypts

Krypts – Cadaver Circulation

https://darkdescentrecords.bandcamp.com/album/cadaver-circulation

Malevolence, menace, grandiose atmosphere, an ominous nature and nuance. All that and a myriad of woven passages of rhythmic intricacy. Overall an album which is guaranteed to offer something new with each listen. Highly recommended for those who prefer atmosphere over outright brutality.

Kull (formerly Bal Sagoth) – Exile

https://kullblacklion.bandcamp.com/album/exile

Grandiose in tone and scope Exile offers that which many have tried, in vain, to capture. Exquisite rhythms, thundering riffs as well passages of beauty complement a symphonic backdrop, epic in scale. Hardly traditional of any one genre this overflows with menace, majesty and at times a certain viciousness, even a narration of sorts, a fantastical concept unfolds if you will. This might at first make heads spin. As it progresses, however, confusion is sure to translate into admiration and appreciation.

Misþyrming – Algleymi

https://misthyrming.bandcamp.com/album/algleymi

This sports exquisite atmosphere, rhythms which incite movement and an edge which is decidedly arcane in nature though far from the raw production which, again, many might expect. Melodious yet majestic, triumphant yet atmospheric, and epic in tone, think doom laden black metal, think black metal with production values which doesn’t sacrifice what the genre stands for, think a release you shouldn’t ignore… seriously.

monasterium

Monasterium – Church of Bones

https://monasterium.bandcamp.com/

Channeling traditional doom in a similar style to Dio fronted Black Sabbath, Candlemass and (strangely, ha!) Dio’s solo output and complemented by grandiose vocals, laden with melodies, exquisite lead work and epic rhythms there’s a lot here to be excited about.

Nihility – Thus Spoke the Antichrist

https://nihilityblacklion.bandcamp.com/

Listening to this makes me wonder if this might have been Bolt Thrower if they’d developed a darkened edge, as this is dirge laden and often laced with black majesty.

Paladin – Ascender

https://paladinatl.bandcamp.com/album/ascension

This picked me up, jaw agape, and threw me back a few years to the sensation I had when first experiencing Wolfsbane (their first) and Black Guard. Similarly styled this assaults the senses like a ravenous beast and even sports occasional growling vox to please those who demand throat emission diversity. The production gives it the required punch and the rhythms are encaptivating, energetic and then some. Suffice it to say this delivers from start to finish is and is an absolute stunning debut full length.

Possessed_Revelations-of-Oblivion.jpg

Possessed – Revelations of Oblivion*

https://open.spotify.com/album/0gNBSnkiibRqyFzCJJ5fka

How is it that I haven’t jumped on the Possessed ‘train’ before now? This shreds! Blazing riffs, impressive drums, vocals which are hardly traditional but fit just the same and high-energy rhythms which bear malicious intent. With the brilliance of this in mind it’s well worth diggin into the bands discography in order to discover the earlier works of one of the pioneers of the thrash/death style itself. An amazing ‘comeback’ album which is worthy of the praise its garnering.

Sathamel – Horror Vacui*

https://sathamel.bandcamp.com/

An infernal majesty permeates the albums rhythms, a cresting riff assault combined with a blackened death formula and a homage that’s sure to carve a crescent upon the face of blackened death and old school fans alike. But it hardly stops there, spoken word passages add a certain indescribable something to the album

Vale of Pnath – Accursed

https://valeofpnath.bandcamp.com/

Marrying the finer aspects of the tech and blackened death realms Vale of Pnath have somehow managed to create a slab of audio balanced with perfection. A composition that’s delicate yet seething with fury, might and a presence that’s undeniable.

varaha

Varaha – A Passage for Lost Years

https://varaha.bandcamp.com/album/a-passage-for-lost-years

A crushing evocative mix of haunting doom and DSBM with drone elements (a smidgen of Avant Garde) and the expert utilization of orchestral instruments makes this an album one consumes in a single sitting, not in parts. Be prepared to run the gamut of emotions with this multi-headed beast.

War Curse – Eradication

https://open.spotify.com/album/1skwO7PHb2Jx3oSM1mkwAL

This burns with a tone which screams instant acceptance for fans of aggressive, high energy thrash. A fantastic introduction to the band and their brand of top notch, dynamic, riff heavy, thrash.

Widower – Cataclysmic Sorcery

https://widoweratx.bandcamp.com/

Widower have injected this with enough of their own uniqueness and rhythmic technicality to separate it from the amassed hordes. a fantastic example of aggressive thrash that borders on blackened death realms. Riffs are fast and furious and delivered with exquisite precision. The production is spot on, every instrument can be appreciated for its addition to the sound and the vocal style fits like a tailor-made glove which both complements and adds to the overall appeal.

witch ritual.jpg

Witch Ritual – Death: Beyond

https://witchritual.bandcamp.com/album/death-beyond

Mid-tempo and often lazy paced, mesmerizing, invocative, traditional, occult doom (far from death and funeral realms) with just the right amount of “fuzz”. Excellent vocals with a range that includes smoldering, sultry and a little something close to frustrated howling make this a fantastic palette cleanser.

June

Atlas Entity – Beneath the Cosmic Silence*

https://atlasentity.bandcamp.com/

A fluid, precise and intricate marriage of progressive elements, technical rhythms and death metal. Think the beauty and classic nature of Opeth entangled with the often, flowing like a river, mesmerizing rhythmic brutality of Inanimate Existence, Add solos which are blistering, a nature which has more facets than my infants personality and elements which are often associated with atmospheric blackened affairs and you have a release which is unpredictable, surprisingly agile and altogether fathomless in its depth.

Beheaded – Only Death can Save You

https://agoniarecords.bandcamp.com/album/only-death-can-save-you

This is guarantees to send fans of Misery Index into a frenzy. Grinding, unrelenting, rhythms with inhuman drums topped off with top notch production values and a style that’s perilously close to grindcore yet has whispers of death/doom. Did I mention the drums?

portada

Concilivm– The Veiled Enigma (EP)

https://concilivm.bandcamp.com/album/the-veiled-enigma

Showcasing a mid-pace with death doom sensibilities, groove and enough menace to incite nightmares for an entire kindergarten class (including the unsuspecting teacher) coupled with dirge and a diabolical nature with often intriguing rhythms. Give this a moment of your time and I believe you’ll be impressed also.

Consecration – Fragilium

https://consecration666.bandcamp.com/album/fragilium-album-2019

Funeral doom cavorts with rhythms that nod to 90’s Gothic rock and the earliest incarnation of doom with heavy metal undertones, even at times showcasing an aura which hints at experimental black metal realms. This seethes with a myriad of styles one might not initially expect whilst still holding firm to doom foundations one would. Go into this with an open mind and no assumptions and you’ll find yourself sinking into the unhurried epic nature on offer.

Gravefields – Embrace the Void

https://redefiningdarknessrecords.bandcamp.com/album/gravefields-embrace-the-void

For a debut this shows stellar promise, offering a vibe which brings to mind Abysmal Dawn mixed with Nile and Black Dahlia Murder toss in a sprinkle of hardcore and the mix is complete. A phenomenal talent appearing as if from nowhere, play this loud and level the neighborhood!

memoriam a requiem

Memoriam – A Requiem for Mankind *

https://willettsio.bandcamp.com/

A genius creation of dirge/crust/grindcore now, this is a beast of many facets, a creation to influence a whole new breed of musicians. The logical progression from “Those Once Loyal” for fans of the legendary Bolt Thrower. This shows Memoriam taking the style to another level, leaps and bounds from their last effort. An upgrade (as if the style and band members have been whisked away to a secret facility for a full body advancement ‘comic book style’) which leaves a definite impression. With an album of a quality such as this the metal community is left stunned and probably pondering where do Karl and crew take us next?

Ov Lustra – Tempestas

https://ovlustrablacklion.bandcamp.com/album/tempestas

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.

pestis inferos

Pestis Inferos – Beyond the Veil of Light

https://pestisinferos.bandcamp.com/album/beyond-the-veil-of-light

Chock full of majesty, fury and an overall style which borders on black metal meets punk meets death meets speed metal (what a mouthful) with oodles of atmosphere tossed in for effect this is sure to drum up some attention. On a personal note it’s the drum sound and style in the mix which makes me a salivating fool who hits the repeat button like a hopeless addict. Don’t miss out on this!

Superstition – The Anatomy of Unholy Transformation *

https://listen.20buckspin.com/album/the-anatomy-of-unholy-transformation

It’s the arrangements, the aura, the supreme coalescing of maniacal, diabolical, old school and cavernous elements which makes the (“no time to slow down, this is gonna hurt”) impact. Riffs are furious, fierce and tumble over each other. Relentless, often harrowing and part nostalgic with undeniable and unmistakable homage to celluloid boasting invocative synth accompaniment from decades previous. This crosses all the right boxes without veering too far into over the top realms, in short, a delicious combination of filthy tone, unholy rhythms, sinister riffs which combined superimpose Underworld menace over that which is everyday familiar.

the odious

The Odious – Vesica Piscis

https://theodious.bandcamp.com/album/vesica-piscis

Impulsive and unpredictable is the name of the arena in which this release resides and it has a great deal to offer those who are willing to step outside of traditional audio realms. Borrowing heavily from the most impressive elements from a slew of genres The Odious have somehow managed to expertly fuse audio in a way which brings forth a myriad of emotion as it passes through the senses, incorporating rock and extreme metal elements, brutal face-crushing riffs, melodic passages and a slew of rhythms which have the listener pondering in which direction they should turn next.

mix tape action

Time for me to start compiling Part the Third, until then feel free to comment, share and laugh at the horrid grammar

There’s a little something more to dig your teeth and ravenous senses into until I drop get around to compiling, sorting and posting Part the Third, which promises to be even more epic yet. My apologies again for dropping this well into the New Year, life got in the way as it often does. I’m determined, however, to journey to quests end. In short there’s a great deal more on the way.

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