Monday, April 24, 2017 22:52

Archive for August, 2012

HATESWORN – TRANSCEND MORAL LIMITATIONS… (ZKP)

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

One thing’s for sure: I will never be able to remember the name of this album. Abbreviated above for the sake of tidiness on my homepage, the debut from one-man Swiss entity Hatesworn is in actual fact called “Transcend Moral Limitations To Evoke Pure Negativity Until All Is Dead”. Quite a mouthful and I’m not even going to try to get my head around it.

This album essentially collates three demos, which have been re-mastered with the addition of two more songs, resulting in a total of 72 minutes of gloomy, despondent, depressive Black Metal that possesses moments of genuine dementia and loathing as well as some soothing, harmonious parts. But, so dark is the fabric from which this material is woven, so heavy and suffocating the feel of the album, that it’s anything but easy going.

This kind of music is patently not meant to cheer you up or give you hope. To the contrary, it is overwhelming, spirit-crushing and at times close to soul-destroying. Quite melodic in parts, yet at its core raw and undeniably of the underground, “Transcend Moral Limitations To Evoke Pure Negativity Until All Is Dead” is a harrowing journey downwards that I wouldn’t recommend to the unstable or unhinged.

If you fancy some deranged, disturbing, bleak and joyless Black(ish) Metal then this should tick all the boxes as well as a few others. Unnerving and fascinating in equal measures but ultimately irreparably marred by the ill-advised inclusion of nauseating female vocals, which – let’s be frank – ruin an otherwise engaging album.

Evilometer: 333/666

DEFUNTOS – A NEGRA VASTIDAO DAS NOSSAS ALMAS LP (Bubonic Productions)

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Along with ‘Sangue Morto’, ‘A Negra Vastidão Das Nossas Almas’ has also been reissued by Bubonic in the vinyl format, which is ideally suited to the analogue sound conjured by Defuntos. I remember being slightly disappointed by this album when it originally appeared as it wasn’t quite on a par with the aforementioned debut. But it’s still better than most other releases doing the rounds and is certainly worthy of investigation.

Again, we have a nice limited release with a single-sheet folding sleeve / cover with lyrics etc. printed (in Portuguese, of course) on the inside of the fold. The music itself is truly of the underground – lo-fi, creepy black doom ‘metal’ that’s bass- and drum-heavy, complemented by eerie, sinister otherworldly chants and supplications.

Defuntos is a strange and wonderful band and this collection is as highly recommended as almost everything else they have put their name to thus far in their unheralded recording career(s). Dungeon music, cellar music, a demented journey. Blah whatever … just get it.

Evilometer: 555/666

DEFUNTOS – SANGUE MORTO LP (Bubonic Productions)

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

The Portuguese brotherhood of Defuntos first crossed my ears with the release of this very album on CD five years ago and they have since remained one of my all-time favourite bands. When I heard that Bubonic / Discipline was unleashing the first two albums – this and ‘A Negra Vastidão Das Nossas Almas’ in limited vinyl format I simply had to get in on the action…

For those of you who don’t already know, Defuntos play a unique breed of Black Metal that contains a strong dollop of doom contained within a fetid recipe of bass, drums and vocals. No lead guitars to be found on here and it’s all the gloomier for it. Despite the strangeness of their approach, these guys are anything but a gimmick or novelty act. They are truly superb and, for me, ‘Sangue Morto’ remains their crowning achievement. To date.

A thoroughly fantastic debut album, this is sorrowful, morose, eerie, spectral, depressing black doom that will make your blood freeze. The artwork etc. adds to the sense of despair and use of the native tongue has never been more effective. If you buy this, you will get a personalised copy complete with you name engraved on the sleeve and, trust me, you will not regret parting with your cash.

Lo-fi, rarely-produced and – frankly – shitty-sounding at times, this is surreal underground art and not to be missed.

Evilometer: 666/666

LUGUBRUM – FACE LION FACE OIGNON LP (Aphelion Productions)

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Strictly speaking, this isn’t really a new album. The ninth full-length from these Belgian oddballs came out late last year and I’ve only just got around to checking it out. I think this is the fourth or fifth Lugubrum album to make its way into my hands and I’m still not sure quite what to make of them, to be honest. All I’ll say with any degree of certainty is that they are strange fish, indeed.

I would be taking liberties to refer to this music as Black Metal at all. It’s so leftfield and unusual that I’m not sure what category ‘Face Lion Face Oignon’ could be squeezed into. The vocals at times are reminiscent of BM and the music does enter that general terrain for fleeting moments, but then all manner of rural, agricultural, farmer-fuck shenanigans enter the equation and all logic seems to leave the building.

Interesting to a degree, perhaps, but the novelty factor wears thin very quickly, rendering repeat listens almost unbearable and leaving me with a deep suspicion that no matter what way you try to dress it up or interpret it, this album is either an unfunny joke or a pile of shite. When a band is so obviously taking the piss, surely the joke is on them. I prefer something that takes itself a bit more seriously. If I want comedy, I’ll watch a Rhod Gilbert DVD or cut the legs off a spider.

Eclectic for sure but, ultimately, only in an irritating way. This goes right over my head. But that’s fine because I don’t want to get it.

Evilometer: 000/666

WINTER DELUGE – AS THE EARTH FADES INTO OBSCURITY (self-released)

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

As The Earth Fades Into Obscurity’ is the debut full-length from New Zealand quintet Winter Deluge and, true to form, it’s self-released. Having listened to the nine offerings that comprise ‘ATEFIO’ I am quite astounded that a label hasn’t snapped these guys up yet, but there you go. What else would be expect in this fucked-up world?

Winter Deluge blast out an abrasive charge of caustic Black Metal with just enough melody and diversity to keep the whole thing interesting. But for the most part they are stomping along angrily, bitterly, forlornly, certainly appearing more intent on causing the listener pain than heralding any sort of comfort.

For a self-released / independent effort, this is a truly impressive slab of ire with a more-than-adequate production, great musicianship and a real sense of what good Black Metal energy is. While part of me would like to see Winter Deluge get the break they deserve, another more selfish me would be happy if they continued to struggle along just as they are.

Cos it’s hard to beat real, genuine underground Black Metal that comes from the heart and soul with no corporate money behind it and no hidden agenda.

Evilometer: 555/666

ATRA – UP-TURNING THE CURSE MLP (Art of Propaganda)

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

Originally unleashed in cassette format last year, this just-shy-of-30-minutes EP has been granted the vinyl treatment by Art of Propaganda this summer and it assumes a welcome place in my collection. Regular readers will know that I was mightily impressed by Atra’s latest LP ‘In Reverence Of Decay’, opting to give it full marks and, well, it’s hard to find fault with this mini-album too, in all honesty.

The music is superb – possibly more controlled and restrained than the aforementioned, chaotic full-lengther – eerie Black Metal that puts many bigger-name acts to shame. The only downside is that – as a 45rpm EP with essentially just four songs if we crudely discount the mandatory intro and outro – it is unfulfillingly short (obviously). But such is life. No point moaning about it. We can only play the cards we are dealt and all that…

If you want to hear some fantastic, lo-fi, unparticular yet strangely mesmerising underground blackness of the highest calibre, then look no further than ‘Up-turning The Cross’. If it’s something else you’re after, fuck off and stop reading my blog.

Evilometer: 666/666

CORNIGR – RELICS OF INNER WAR (Final Agony Records)

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

This album reminds me of a time when Black Metal was dangerous. It’s chaotic and raging and seethes through the groove in the record like a maelstrom of mania. ‘Relics Of Inner War’ perhaps belongs to a different era, for this debut full-length from one-man (Finnish, in case it matters) operator Vainaja sounds like it was cut directly from a matrix 20 years ago and transported into the modern world.

Mindless Black Metal performed like this is worth its weight in gold. There might be only 30 minutes on this record but it’s still way better than most other albums you’re likely to hear this year. I’m almost afraid to say anything more lest I start sounding like Cornigr’s PR manager or stand accused of working for the label but, trust me, this is an utterly sublime slice of cold, eerie, menacing Black Metal majesty.

And the vinyl version does the music complete justice, even if the front cover is hard to decipher (thus my decision to compromise and take a picture of the back cover). Comes with a cool inner sheet including lyrics and, frankly, constitutes the rarest of gems. August gets off to a flying start!

Evilometer: 666/666