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Archive for September, 2012

DARK SONORITY – KAOSREKVIEM EP (Terratur Possessions)

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Dark Sonority is ostensibly a continuation of Kaosritual post-Mehimoloth (A.K.A. Steingrim Torson), who is of course dead. While the band name has changed and unfortunately Steingrim no longer walks amongst us, the music is every bit as wondrous as anyone fortunate enough to have encountered the superb ‘Svøpt Morgenrød’ would expect. This is available on either 10” vinyl or CD; the digital version is a total waste of money.

I’m going to do a bit of name-dropping to give you an idea of what you’re dealing with here. Bassist W. (A.K.A. Luctus) is also a member of Behexen, Aptorian Demon, Mare and One Tail, One Head; drummer HBM .:.Ae.:. B.: (A.K.A. Azazil) perfotms in Black Majesty, Mare and Vemod; while both of them used to be in Celestial Bloodshed. As well as Kaosritual, of course.

The only problem with the vinyl edition of ‘Kaosrekviem’ is that it doesn’t represent great value for money as we only get 24 minutes of music, comprising just three originals plus a cover of Bathory’s ‘Call From The Grave’. Just three new songs, then, and this EP will set you back practically the same amount of cash as a full-length LP, so straight away there is a sense of being short-changed.

The label and the band will argue that, as this is a cult release, you are in fact getting a bargain and should consider yourself fortunate to have the opportunity of acquiring such a supreme piece of Black Metal art. And, to be fair, they would have a strong case in this regard. The music on this record is of truly stunning quality – sinister, emotional, authentic Norwegian(-ish; one Swede involved…) Black Metal of the very highest calibre.

Everything about the record is top notch – the lay-out, presentation, content, production, colours, design, art work, etc., etc., etc. With lyrics included on the inner sleeve, no stone has been left unturned to bump up the quality quotient perhaps to atone for the quantity shortfall. However,I’m not mad about the Bathory cover and it’s also a shame that we’re only getting an EP rather than a proper album. But we can await that one with bated breath…

In the meantime, ‘Kaosrekviem’ is highly interesting.

Evilometer: 555/666

SELBST – VERITAS FILIA TEMPORIS (Self Mutilation Services)

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

I know nothing about Venezuela. Geography was never a strong point of mine. If I was to attempt to generate a list of the nation’s virtues, I would go for things like sunny weather, sultry women, coffee or cocoa or drugs, sultry women, sunny weather, beaches, big breasts, bigger asses, stuff like that. Not Black Metal, anyway. But what do I know? (Nothing, clearly.)

One-man operator Selbst has surprised me with this cassette, which is limited to a mere 200 copies and delivers two lengthy tracks of pretty solid and impressive Black Metal of the sorrowful, anguished variety. This certainly isn’t depressive as such; the lyrics deal mainly with the “charade” of Christianity) and ‘Veritas Filia Temporis’ is described by its creator as Anti Dogmatic Black Metal. Cool.

For a demo cassette, the sound is decent, the production acceptable, and the music well above average. Good Black Metal doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel and this definitely doesn’t. Sometimes / often, the simplest ideas are the best. The further bands stray from the original template / ideas of BM, the more mundane / pointless they tend to become. So, kudos to Selbst for producing an unspectacular but charming and thoroughly enjoyable tape!

Evilometer: 444/666

VELORIO / IRAE – DECEIVER’S LIGHT (Necrogoat Heresy Productions)

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Got this one as part of a recent mail order from Bubonic as I had the opportunity to add a few CDs for just €7.50 each without incurring additional postage costs. I’m almost loathe to purchase CDs any more due to the undeniable superiority of vinyl, but I think this split album was worth making an exception for. It’s too good to miss out on and I’m confident there won’t be a vinyl version appearing any time soon…

Irae was the band I most wanted to check out , as they’ve released some great music down through the years, but – as often happens – it is the comparatively-unknown entity that steals the show. ‘Deceiver’s Light’ constitutes the debut studio offering from Velório, who weigh in with a surprisingly-competent 20-plus minutes of eerie underground Black Metal across four rituals.

A one-man Lusitanian ‘band’ fronted by an individual who opts to call himself Angel-O, Velório crams a lot of great ideas into his music, which in a way comes across as a rawer, more crude version of Leviathan. The ambient, atmospheric parts are more subtle but are there nonetheless, though a vicious, grim onslaught powers the likes of ‘Burying The Dead’ and ‘Logaeth’ forward. Inspirational stuff from a surprising source.

Meanwhile, Irae does what Irae has always done under the watch of Vulturius: churning out uncompromising, rabid BM mostly delivered at breakneck pace. The inclusion of a track called ‘Prime Evil Black Metal’ sums up Irae’s contribution to this split better than I ever could with words.

All things considered, this is a wonderful CD, cased in a neat digipack including lyrics and with the respective contributors helping each other out as guests on selected songs. ‘Deceiver’s Light’ provides an enjoyable glimpse of the far-beyond-nascent Portuguese underground and is definitely worth investigating.

Evilometer: 555/666

ODZ MANOUK – ODZ MANOUK LP (Final Agony Records)

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Originally released two years ago on cassette by Crepúsculo Negro, this magnificent demo has been made available in the mandatory vinyl format by Final Agony. We are treated to six tracks of majestic underground Black Metal from California spread out over a beguiling 36-odd minutes and this is definitely a record that is difficult to set aside.

Odz Manouk instil a bit of everything into their dark art – aggression, anguish, melody, rawness all within a harsh template but with soaring atmospheres and uplifting moments that render the music thoroughly addictive. Even though it’s not the longest recording you’re going to hear, ‘Odz Manouk’ is nonetheless fulfilling in a way that an ‘album’ of this length has no right to be.

Obviously, I’d prefer if it was longer but you can’t have everything in life and, to be honest, I’m just glad I bought this after a couple of duds worked their way deceivingly into my collection lately. Odz Manouk is definitely a band to keep an eye on, though I doubt they will ever surpass the quality of their debut release, which also happens to be excellently produced.

Evilometer: 666/666

INSALUBRE – ASSIM NASCEU O ODIO PELO TEMPO QUE VIVEMOS… (Titan Woods)

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Herein lies the problem with delving too deep into the underground – the lower you go the more likely you are to get shit on your boots. Insalubre seemed like a sure-fire winner to me: an unsigned misanthropic Portuguese Black Metal band releasing a demo on cassette with the music recorded in 2007 and vocals added this year – surely this was going to rock? Wrong.

To say that this is dogged with bad sound would be the understatement of the aeons. “Assim nasceu o ódio pelo tempo que vivemos…” appears to have some decent ideas hidden in the murk but it’s hard to say with any degree of confidence when the production is non-existent and the music sounds like I’m listening to it through perforated eardrums. Now, I like my Black Metal raw and grim but I also like to hear it and, in that regard, this tape is a total joke.

I know this is a demo. But it has also been released. And I paid money for the bloody thing. Real money. In 2012. Aye, there’s the rub! There is absolutely no point in making music as poorly-recorded as this available to the public. It has no value and is a total insult to people who hand over their hard-earned cash for it. What a fucking waste of time and €uros. More cunt than cult.

Evilometer: 000/666

SENTIMEN BELTZA – ERIO / HEGAN EGITEN 12” EP (Titan Woods / Discipline)

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

If you’ve seen this or this, then you’ll know I’m an admirer of Sentimen Beltza. I try to get my hands on as much material as possible from this Basque one-man affair but sometimes being a completist has its drawbacks in the value-for-money department. In short, this is hardly worth owning.

While the music of Oindurth SaVinitta is as mesmerising as ever, the problem with “Erio / Hegan Egiten” is that there’s simply not enough of it. Two songs, as the title confirms – and they’re not particularly long ones either. Of course, I knew all this before purchase but it’s only when you have the record spinning on your turntable that you realise just how lousy a deal you’ve got.

Basically, this is a 7” EP / single that has been etched onto a 12” record for some reason. I cannot for the life of me see the value or practicality of owning two short songs on a 12” – no matter how great they are. Especially considering that it costs almost the same as a full-length LP. I paid around €15 for this plus postage. At most, it is worth €5. And that’s stretching it. I feel like an idiot. Because I am clearly an idiot, with more money than sense.

Releases like this are of no benefit to hard-pushed consumers.

Evilometer: 111/666

MERRIMACK – THE ACAUSAL MASS LP (AFM Records)

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

This new Merrimack record comes in a nice gatefold jacket with (interesting) lyrics included and, by all accounts, it certainly looks the part. But does it sound the part? That’s the main question. And I don’t have the answer, not definitively at least. I find that ‘The Acausal Mass’ is a really good album but not necessarily a great one.

Merrimack first caught my attention with the excellent ‘Of Entropy And Life Denial’ six years ago. Follow-up ‘Grey Rigorism’, though decent, didn’t reach the same highs and the latest offering falls somewhere in between. Some of the songs and ideas on this record are superb but it doesn’t quite hold my attention throughout. Instead, it seems to drift and lose focus.

Which is a great pity. Because when ‘The Acausal Mass’ is good, it’s really, really good. More and more, Merrimack seems to be morphing into pretenders to Deathspell Omega’s crown. At times the similarity between the two French bands is uncanny and the connection can be traced back to a 1998 split with Hirilorn, so clearly this is no coincidence.

Not as immediate as Deathspell Omega, but still an enjoyably – if slightly inconsistent – harsh and dissonant album.

Evilometer: 444/666