Posts Tagged ‘Wolfbrigade’

Abrasive Audio – The Year in Review

Part the Fourth (the second, and final, installment; so much metal one part just isn’t enough!)

thank you end of year lkit 19

This is it. The final installment. Before I continue I’d like to say a huge thanks to all concerned, the PR companies, the people I’ve interacted with, those I’ve reconnected with, those I’ve started new friendships with, those who continue to support my scribbles (you the reader) but most of all the bands who continue to strive to entertain even though the road is fraught with difficulty and the fact that it isn’t paved with gold as many might think. Here’s to another year overflowing with audio brilliance.

Without further waffling, I present my final picks;

nocturnalia

Nocturnalia – III Winter

https://nocturnaliamusic.bandcamp.com/album/nocturnalia-iii-winter

This offers a collective of radio friendly tracks with mesmerizing qualities running the gauntlet of traditional rock, folk and a style perilously close to speed metal. Never boring, this delights throughout and serves as a stunning palette cleanser for those evening when one just wishes to unwind. Fluid from the first until the last note with its fluid though varied composition, unique nature and thoroughly stunning delivery and execution.

Novembers Doom – Nephilim Grove

Novembers Doom – Nephilim Grove

 https://novembersdoom1989.bandcamp.com/album/nephilim-grove

Shattering my preconceived notions Novembers Doom have utilized all the death/doom genre is known for then added their trademark thunderous rhythm approach, passionate vocal diversity and stupendous epic arrangements (which tug at even the most hardened of emotions) and have fashioned an album which delivers from start to finish. This is perhaps their finest work to date.

sentient horror

Sentient Horror -Morbid Realms*

https://sentienthorror.bandcamp.com/album/morbid-realms

Somehow Sentient Horror have utilized a familiar style and have added their own flair making it fresh and exciting again. All the ingredients a fan of the HM2 genre have come to expect. However, this band have imbued the formula with a certain something; be it maniacal solos, fluid lead moments or instances of ominous atmosphere which combine to levitate this to another level entirely. Lay your ears upon this and rekindle your love of the ‘Stockholm sound’.

Schammasch hearts-of-no-light
Schammasch – Hearts of No Light

https://schammasch.bandcamp.com/album/hearts-of-no-light

Atmospheric black metal with arrangements of astounding caliber the likes of which one will be surprised to discover here, this is so more than merely ‘black’ in any sense of the imagination. This takes the listener to realms which are quite unexpected though strangely don’t seem at all out of place. A release with both depth and cinematic opus qualities one needs to experience to fully appreciate, for my words cannot even come close. A fantastic introduction to the band and a style which is easily consumed for those like myself who are relative newcomers to this genre.

swampbeast void terror split

Swamp Beast/Void Terror SPLIT – Holocaust of Terrestrial Empires

 https://mesacounojo.bandcamp.com/album/holocaust-of-terrestrial-empires

Swamp Beast – Unrelenting death grind complemented by suffocating catacomb-esque atmosphere. A mesmerizing soundscape combining Napalm Death touches, passages of groove and a brutal whirlwind chaotic attack.
Void Terror – What Bolt Thrower “Realm of Chaos” might have sounded like if it had decidedly black metal undertones. Dirge laden and wickedly dark, yet chaotic and shot through with diabolical essence. A swirling maelstrom of audio madness one doesn’t wish to escape.

An excellent split with plenty on offer from two acts ripe for discovery. Keep an ear out for these guys they are both poised for greatness.

the deathtrip

The Deathtrip – Demon Solar Totem

https://the-deathtrip.bandcamp.com/album/demon-solar-totem

The Deathtrip have created an album which has the potential to garner appeal from across the BM landscape. Varied in both scope and approach raw audio (with an intensity to appeal to traditionalists and those acclimatizing themselves to the variety the scene offers; aka me) cavorts alongside melancholic atmosphere hypnotic, trance inducing, rhythms and surprisingly melody drenched under occult skies an effect which holds the attention from first to last. And the more one sinks into the experience the greater detail and intricacies it provides. This boasts an appeal which cannot be argued, begs to be repeated and often.

unfathomable ruinantion

Unfathomable Ruination – Enraged and Unbound

https://unfathomableruination.bandcamp.com/album/enraged-unbound

Track structures, although longer than most in the same genre, are infectiously contagious showcasing abrupt pace transformations, frenzied and maniacal moments and technicality the likes of which precariously straddles the fence between technical death and grindcore arenas. In short, this audio depicts an act who have no desire to fuck around. It’s straight down to business and these guys are bringing all the requisite ingredients to make a lasting impression, albeit one which will leave a mark whose after effects will require meds and most probably a trip to the ER.

Vampyromorpha - Herzog

Vampyromorpha – Herzog

https://vampyromorpha.bandcamp.com/

Although this occasionally dips into ultra-melodic realms it remains intriguing throughout and is most likely to fit nicely in the ‘guilty pleasures’ folder of those whose daily audio is drenched in nature extreme. A Gothic nature, Southern groove and passion alongside hard rock sensibilities (including soaring solos), and rough vocal approach (which oddly fits) and a willingness to experiment makes this stand out but it’s the caliber which makes it stick, and instantly!

warsenal

Warsenal – Feast Your Eyes

 https://open.spotify.com/album/58SvjDQbXqTG2Ng5qHohme?autoplay=true&v=L

In moments one could well imagine this is what Destruction (Germany) might have sounded like if they’d have spent more time listening to NWOBHM. The music is often face-melting fast though imbued with undeniable traditional heavy metal elements and even on occasion a tone likened to crossover thrash. As a whole the album is neither “this” nor “that” but rather a stunning smorgasbord of styles combined with expert cohesion plucked with reverence from a myriad of genres. This only gets infinitely better after the initial listen.

wolfbrigade

WolfBrigade – The Enemy: Reality*

https://wolfbrigadesl.bandcamp.com/

This is unapologetically formulaic at times, even a tad simplistic, but it hits home and has an effect that borders on hypnotic. Ungodly infectious and especially potent following a workout or participation in an activity with similar “results”, short and to the point this is to be played loud, but probably not in rush hour traffic as it tends to incite uncontrollable movements and a shit eating grin hardly anyone is likely to understand. Suffice it to say Wolfbrigade strike again and much like their last this destroys most everything in its path.

December

bethledeign

Bethledeign – Iconography of Suffering

https://edgewoodarsenal.bandcamp.com/album/iconography-of-suffering

Maniacal leads, slower paced passages and breakdowns for sorts with familiarity aplenty, riffs to leave one salivating and a varied style to please a great many bar those who yearn for silly, overburdening, technicality and heaps of progressive nature within their extreme audio. For fans of Cannibal Corpse, this will leave an impression.

death wolf

Death Wolf (formerly Devils’ Whorehouse) – IV: Come the Dark

https://helterskelterproductions.bandcamp.com/album/iv-come-the-dark

This is slightly different, familiar but not for the reasons one might think and a little experimental. At times the times the album has a ‘if Ministry played black metal this is how it might sound’ vibe while in others epic triumphant qualities take center stage and rhythms take on more a simplistic groove approach ala more recent Satyricon. However, you slice it this is unexpected but cannot be written off. Be prepared though for it has the potential to grow to criminally infectious levels.

Hvile I Kaos

Hvile I Kaos – Black Morning, Winter Green

https://rednebula.bandcamp.com/album/black-morning-winter-green

Intricate melodies writhe and duel for dominance, a narrative is carefully constructed utilizing an assortment of details and depth forming a rich tapestry to enrapt the listener. This is an experience sans a vocal accompaniment, for it doesn’t need such. It speaks volumes and stands testament to the talent, passion and composition brilliance of Kakophonix; the single soul behind the manipulation of the strings involved. A rich texture of melodies invoking darkness and beauty and the many grey areas in between. More classical than anything remotely extreme metal in nature.

oath of cruelty

Oath of Cruelty – Summary Execution at Dawn

https://darkdescentrecords.bandcamp.com/album/summary-execution-at-dawn

Chaotic, tumbling melodies shot through with veins of maniacal madness and capillaries of diabolical finesse. This could well be Morbid Angel under the Kreator banner of old imbued with South American aggression. Unrelenting blackened thrash draped in a generous helping of sinister recommended for fans of the old school.

Revel in Flesh

Revel in Flesh – The Hour of the Avenger*

https://open.spotify.com/album/1vXNFib8ODt2uuRMIkzYbt?autoplay=true&v=L

Boasting a collection of tracks with a slew of stylistic ambiance this album offers a great deal to enjoy. Comforting in its nostalgic familiarity this seethes with an undeniable air of superiority.

I don’t know where Revel in Flesh have been between albums. I only wonder if there’s a location someplace in a remote mountainous region whereupon enigmatic Monks strip one of everything they know only then reeducate one (in the most mysterious ways imaginable) in the true path of Godly extreme audio. For this really is that good! Fans of Entombed, Nocturnal Hollow, LIK, Dismember and Entrails cannot afford to miss out on this!

exhausted animal

And that’s it. A whooping 153 releases spanning January through December 2019, only the tip of the proverbial iceberg if truth be told (there’s a whole ton of releases I didn’t have time to get to) Showcasing a total of 36 (absolute favorites) which looking back I could probably have shortened this list down to. A tip of the hat to those who have made it this far, hurdling the obvious obstacles which my horrid grammar produces. As always free to share and comment. I’m always up for suggestions, perhaps even a few people who wish to aid me in my quest to entertain (I’m talking unpaid contributors, I’ve yet to make a cent, I require someone else with the equal dedication). The comment link is at the bottom of this article. It’s been a pleasure, and even though I’m exhausted it’s been worth every keyboard stroke if only to preach the word of metal and support acts who bring me a modicum of pleasure in an otherwise dull, tedious existence.

Cult

Abrasive Audio – Part Thirty-Four

headbangin metalhead

Chugging ever onward, the deluge of new metal never stops. But fear not, for I am here to light the way (poop now where did I put those batteries?)

Onward stumbling around in the darkness

 

Esogenesi – s/t

esogenesi.jpg

(Italy)
Release – October/4/2019
Transcending Obscurity Records
https://esogenesidoom.bandcamp.com/album/self-titled-death-doom-metal
ARTWORK – 88

This image makes me ponder upon a Terry Pratchett and Terry Gilliam collaboration. Fantastical, detailed and wholly mind-bending. Seriously is that a creature with a city upon its ‘back’ and why does it appear to be u raveling? Imagery to set an author into creative overdrive for sure.

FIRST TRACK – 87

A fantastic introduction leads into epic, meandering death/doom drenched in a morose nature boasting surprising qualities (is that Italian or Latin which they speak?) which nod towards many an influence outside of the traditional. An overall grandiose vibe which is stunning and is sure to please those curious of new audio/acts. A great start.

INITIAL LISTEN – 88

“Esogenesi” is the concept that life started elsewhere in the universe and later spread to Earth. With that in mind it makes this audio that much more interesting, this is hardly traditional doom fodder but rather more do with cosmic concepts, philosophy and the like. The music itself is evocative and absorbing. Melodies are a number of things; sweeping, soaring and hardly repetitive in the traditional extreme metal sense, in fact they hardly traverse extreme territories at all but for a rare few instances. Distortion, an ominous presence and growling (relaxed) vocals usually takes the lead rather than driving pace. In part familiar, easily consumable yet different, the whole effect is hypnotic and has the potential to take the listener far from their daily woes. Naturally the lyrics are spoken in a tongue only a few of us can understand which only makes this that much more intriguing and well worth setting the senses upon.

Favorite Tracks; (here’s hoping my spell-checking device doesn’t wage war against me). Decademento Astrale, Esillio Nell’ Extramondo, Incarnazione Della Conoscenza.

FFO; Paradise Lost, Thy Mourning Beloveth, My Dying Bride, Swallow the Sun.

wolfbrigade

Wolf Brigade – The Enemy: Reality
(Sweden)
Release – November/8/2019
Southern Lord Recordings
https://wolfbrigadesl.bandcamp.com/
ARTWORK – 76

Yellows, reds, bold black outlines. Mermaids, crosses and skulls this is a little different, but it works and certainly grabs the attention!

FIRST TRACK – 92

Punk, hardcore, crust, D-beat. Call this what you will I’m sure they’re be an argument. However, there’s no argument that this drives to the core and does that which most other audio fails to. It’s rhythms and the accompanying voice make one want to do something, flail around, jump around, do housework… something. This yanks the attention away from whatever else one is doing and instantly. I’m all ears!

INITIAL LISTEN – 94

Imagine if Lemmy (RIP) decided to take on the Crust genre, add a healthy dose of melody, passages of mischievous pace and plenty of attitude (he’s famous for that, right?) The result might be something eerily close to what we have here (although an argument exists that the vocals on display sounds more like Tom G Warrior (Celtic Frost), I’ll have to agree to disagree especially when one hears the opening line to “The Wolfman”. Which even appears in part a homage to “The Wolf”?) This is unapologetically formulaic at times, even a tad simplistic but it hits home and has an effect that borders on hypnotic. Ungodly infectious and especially potent following a workout or participation in an activity with similar “results”, short and to the point this is to be played loud, but probably not in rush hour traffic as it tends to incite uncontrollable movements and a shit eating grin hardly anyone is likely to understand. Suffice it to say Wolfbrigade strike again and much like their last this destroys most everything in its path.

Favorite Tracks; The Wolfman, Hammer to the Skull, Doomsday Dominion, Human Beast.

FFO; Agnostic Front, Motorhead, Disrupt.

midnight prey

Midnight Prey – Uncertain Times
(Germany)
Release – November/8/2019
Dying Victims Productions
https://dyingvictimsproductions.bandcamp.com/album/midnight-prey-uncertain-times
ARTWORK – n/a

Rare is that we see merely a picture of the band as the ‘artwork accompaniment’. Perhaps the music too will reflect upon a time when everything was that much more relaxed? (But was it, seriously?)

FIRST TRACK – 75

Nailed it! This is definite hard rock/heavy metal/NWOBHM in tone. A little of a gamble having the initial track to hit the senses in a foreign language (but that’s my “take”). However, there’s definite talent on display here. The melodies are infectious, part metal part ominous doom in vibe, and the overall feel is that of audio from a few decades ago. For those with late 70’s/early 80’s hard rock/heavy metal penchants this should tickle the curiosity.

INITIAL LISTEN – 74

Combining vintage heavy metal, speed metal, Gothic elements and a splash of punk Midnight Prey have created an album drenched in retro qualities which doesn’t sound too over-bearing in the slightest. The production is crisp and harkens to a time before the introduction of CD’s (a format touted as you can eat your dinner off atop it and it will still play. Huh, what-!?) The vocal style, when in English, bears emotional qualities putting me in mind of Goth rock outfits from back in the day. Admittedly it’s a love it or hate it factor of the music, but it’s growing on me. The music itself, far from what I normally lay digit to keyboard in appreciation of, is riff-centric, intricate at times but always interesting and infectiously melodic without running face-first into predictable realms. I suggest if you’re a fan of the roots of metal to lay ears upon this. It’s growing on me.

Favorite Tracks; Black Forest, We Lose, The Fall (into the atmosphere).

FFO; (vintage) Iron Maiden, Thin Lizzy, Helloween.

oath of cruelty.jpg

Oath of Cruelty – Summary Execution at Dawn
(USA)
Release -December/13/2019
Dark Descent Records
Clawhammer PR
https://darkdescentrecords.bandcamp.com/album/summary-execution-at-dawn
ARTWORK – 86

An ornery wizard riding a sinister-looking steed forging his way ahead with fire and carnage. A black and white image drenched in detail, dripping magick and medieval values. If I’m to guess the music is going to be Wicked indeed based on this art. Pressing play.

FIRST TRACK – 80

These guys waste no time with zero introduction which might lower the listener in gently the music here attacks like a rabid entity.  Diabolical, fast paced, frenzied and seething with old school attitude. Blackened thrash with a rawness which hints at Altars of Madness worship.

INITIAL LISTEN – 81

Chaotic, tumbling melodies shot through with veins of maniacal madness and capillaries of diabolical finesse. This could well be Morbid Angel under the Kreator banner of old imbued with South American aggression. Ballads here there most certainly are not; this is unrelenting blackened thrash recommended for fans of the old school draped in a generous helping of sinister. Hankering for “Pleasure to Kill” tunage or something similar with an aggressive edge complemented by rasped vokills. You’ve found what you’re looking for and this is likely where your ears will spend a great deal of their future.

Favorite Tracks; Pounding Hooves of Shrapnel, Pathogenic Winds of Swarm, At the Tyrant’s Behest.

FFO; Kreator, Slayer, Hellish (vintage) Death, Goatwhore, Morbid Angel.

sentient horror.jpg

Sentient Horror -Morbid Realms
(USA)
Release – November/29/2019
Testimony Records/Redefining Darkness Records
https://sentienthorror.bandcamp.com/album/morbid-realms
ARTWORK – 85

Well. Shit, Dorothy we aren’t in Kansas anymore. What does your phone say?

Dorothy…

Dorothy?

*bark…bark

Fuck. Toto. Did you just eat Dorothy?

*burp!

FIRST TRACK – 90

Seething with a HM2 buzz saw dirge nature this takes the listener far from realms they might expect by introducing sinister passages, solos oozing with presence and just the right amount of ‘chuggery’ to smother the familiarity receptors without drowning the listener in a sense of I’ve heard this all before. Wholly European in vibe but hailing from the US. A stunning introduction to the band and a style which many believe has turned stagnant.

INITIAL LISTEN – 88

Somehow Sentient Horror have utilized a familiar style and have added their own flair making it fresh and exciting again. The driving riffs are there, the dirgey aura, and the mid-paced madness with forays into swifter paced menace. In fact, all the ingredients a fan of the bands mentioned below have come to expect. However, this band have imbued the formula with a certain something; be it maniacal solos, fluid lead moments or instances of ominous atmosphere which combine to levitate this to another level entirely. Top- notch production also gives it an edge. Nocturnal Hollow released one of my favorites (“A Whisper of an Horrendous Soul”) in this style earlier this year. This is another which stands out. And it managed, barely, to just sneak in ‘under the wire’, not to mention it’s from an area/country not normally known for the style. Lay your ears upon this and rekindle your love of the ‘Stockholm sound’.

Favorite Tracks; Call of Ancient Gods, Bound to Madness, Ripped from Hell, Loss of Existence, Morbid Realms.

FFO; Grave, Entombed, Nocturnal Hollow, Morgoth, Vomitory, Entrails, Hypocrisy.

Time for an old Favorite; Reccd’ By

fistful of doom

Reccd’ by Fistful of Doom @Flatulent Fuzz on Twitter
Grond (Russia)/Graceless (The Netherlands) split – Endless Spiral of Terror
Release – October/30/2019
Raw Skull Recordz
https://rawskullrecordz.bandcamp.com/album/grond-graceless-endless-spiral-of-terror-rsr-036
Thoughts –

grond graceless split

As is traditional I’ll ponder/lend a hilarious note first upon the accompanying art then muse upon the music itself.

The art here depicts an unsuspecting individual going about his merry ways when lo and behold behind him the earth erupts with a cavalcade of tentacles, archaic looking tanks and a skeleton warrior who appears to be banging a drum of one sort or another. Alternatively, this fellow could be merely leading his pet to the nearest veterinarians for an annual check-up with an entourage in tow.

Grond (first four tracks with a cover of “Darkness” by Cianide) –

Pulverizing, Lovecraftian themed, death from Russia often with a mid- pace, diabolical and doom edge. “Of Boreal Flame” opens the proceedings with chaotic evolving rhythms, heavy drums, a dirgey tone and definite groove infused melodies. This audio keeps the listener on their toes with rhythms which are steamroller in their assault; both infectious and atmosphere laden, with occasional nods to a slew of influence. Hardly technical neither repetitive in its riff approach the audio here nestles someplace in between with definite appeal for a wide audience across the board.

I can’t admit that I know of the Cianide track (or even the band themselves, I should really do some homework) but I will mention that this “Darkness” seems awfully (later) Morgoth in nature and seethes with an almost palpable ominous aura. Pleasing, easily appreciated and familiar enough (in the sense that it isn’t wildly inventive/ambitious or experimental) to respond to positively on a first listen basis the tracks here are a great example and a fantastic introduction to what Grond offer, an act who, in my opinion, deserve more coverage.

Graceless (last four tracks) –

Damn! The opening to the first track about knocked me on my arse. Old school groove with oomph and a vocal style which will bring a face-splitting grin to any fans face. Infectious is a term which doesn’t quite suffice in this instance. The following track, “King ov Pain”, tells of obvious influence, bordering on grindcore, a mid-paced militaristic vibe with narrative lyrical content reminiscent of the timeless classic “Orgasmatron” but with an unmistakable Bolt Thrower vibe. It’s epic nature, however, allows the style to somewhat wander into doomier territories pulling it from mere worship status into a track which hoists the standard for this split.

Later tracks tell of the same undeniable influence though embellishes upon atmosphere. “In Thy Honor” brings the split to a close in grandiose fashion and is sure will leave fans of the aforementioned act eager for future audio as they ready themselves for an exploration, a dive into foreign territories, a discography which might sate until fresh audio is unleashed.

Overall, fans of OSDM will likely scramble over themselves for the quality this offers, suffice it to mention that this would make an excellent accompaniment to an already outstanding collection boasting the finest the genre has to boast. Did I mention that I liked it? As if you couldn’t already tell.

Animal - music is meant for sharing

Good, because great music is meant for sharing!

Well that concludes another installment. This one’s a little shorter than normal, for that I blame chores, but it’s still packed full of audio which deserves attention.

Until our paths of interest in audio cross again, don’t fear discovery of that which is normally foreign to the ears,

Cult