Monday, September 25, 2017 20:36

Archive for October, 2012

DEAD REPTILE SHRINE – THE JEWEL THRONE (Antihumanism)

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

The Jewel Throne’ was originally released a decade ago in between Dead Reptile Shrine’s second and third full-lengths. Ironically, it’s much longer than both of those combined! Comprising three generous albums’ worth of material (71 minutes; 79 minutes; and 68 minutes respectively), this collection contains a whopping 58 songs. Though songs is clearly the wrong word when describing DRS…

Antihumanism re-released the lost trilogy on three pro-tapes at the start of the current calendar year and I must say I’m delighted to have secured a copy. I think. While it’s difficult to tell the tapes apart by looking at them, I eventually learned how to differentiate between ‘The Gates Into The Underworld’, ‘Pohjantähden Lapset’ and ‘Helvetenskap’. (Take a bow Post-it®)

There are literally hours and hours of wondrous woodland fun to be had within the sanctuary of ‘The Jewel Throne’. The music veers between eccentricity and complete lunacy with gay abandon, kind of like Urfaust on acid. It’s exactly what you’d expect to hear from a horde of touched inmate let loose on a veritable orchestra of instruments in an asylum. Somewhere. This is improvised and spontaneous B-movie horror soundtrack stuff for the depraved only.

At times, I’m almost convinced that the tapes are retarded and that I’m retarded for listening to them. Which makes Dead Reptile Shrine’s relatively-unknown triple dose of dementia all the more compelling. Approach this one with caution and enter at your peril. And be grateful of the fact that there’s too much going on here to every fully get your head around.

Evilometer: 555/666

SALIGIA – SIC TRANSIT GLORIA MUNDI LP (Barghest)

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi’ is the debut full-length from Saligia, a two-piece from the very heartland of Black Metal itself – Trondheim in Norway. Released last year, it contains all three tracks from the 2010 demo of the same name plus four new-er tunes. The LP version has been remastered and, frankly, is fucking excellent.

Anyone with an appreciation of genuine, authentic underground Black Metal is sure to appreciate the efforts of Saligia, whose occult offerings are very much of a magical bygone era yet at the same time fresh and relevant to the here and now. ‘Sic Transit Gloria Mundi’ is a solid, no-frills slab of superbly-executed, simple yet devilishly addictive blackness with just the right amount of hooks and melody thrown in there with the chaotic rawness.

A 12×12 lyrics sheet is included with the vinyl edition and the only minor complaint I have is that I think the labels might be on the wrong sides of my copy of the record. That ridiculously-petty complaint aside, this is a fantastic demonstration of Black Metal exactly as it should be. Okay, it’s relatively straightforward, hardly perfect, and not necessarily doing anything new – but so what?

Evilometer: 555/666

OMITIR – COTARD (The Path Less Traveled Records)

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

The brain (I use the work lightly) behind Omitir, Joel Fausto, has really pushed the boat out on his second full-length, ‘Cotard’. Of course, the danger with going too far out to sea is that you might end up drowning. Or contracting rickets or something. In the case of this album, it has suffered a fate much worse than death … or disease.

Incorporating the liberal use of saxophone and thereby imbued with a sickening jazz / blues vibe, this is one of the worst albums – of any genre – I’ve ever heard. How anyone classifies this garbage as Black Metal is beyond me (like a lot of things seem to be these days.) Call me old-fashioned but, in all seriousness, ‘Cotard’ is simply too much … and then some.

This utter rubbish only set me back $5 from Nuclear War Now but still constitutes one of the biggest rip-offs in commercial history. My advice would be to avoid this like the plague it is.

Evilometer: 000/666

FHOI MYORE – FHOI MYORE (Ancestrale Production)

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

The colours and artwork may be far-removed from the beloved traditional Black Metal clichés, but Fhoi Myore thankfully don’t bother with any progressive or post-BM arty-fartiness on their debut full-length. Instead, we are treated to 51 minutes of blasting, raw blackness that deserves a front cover closer to ‘A Blaze In The Northern Sky’ than this flat-Fanta-coloured autumn leafiness!

Screeching lyrics, pummelling drums and rabid guitars with an abundance of wicked melody wrapped within a low-profile production are the order of the day on a self-titled album that could one day be hailed as something of a classic (by some). Refreshing in its directness, ‘Fhoi Myore’ rages insatiably from start to finish, with a modicum of respite provided by instrumentals ‘Drum & Horn’ and ‘The One-Eyed’.

A tour de force, an exhibition, a demonstration … call it what you will … but either way this album is a damn fine slab of Black Metal that puts most of the subgenre’s big names to shame. It’s not perfect but it still represents a pleasant surprise.

Evilometer: 444/666

ANU – OPUS FUNAERUM LP (Werewolf Records)

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Another full-length that barely makes it past the half-hour mark. I have to say, this trend is starting to get to me. Surely an ‘album’ should be at least 40 minutes’ long? Is the consumer not entitled to some sort of value for money? Thirty minutes is really just an EP. In the case of Anu, however, I already knew this was a brief journey as I purchased the  CD of ‘Opus Funaerum’ a couple of years back and was adequately impressed to splash out again for the vinyl edition.

The fact that I was prepared to spend €15 plus postage on the vinyl version of a 30-minute album that I already owned in digital format speaks for itself. This is superior Black Metal that is very much at home on the label that brings elite bands like Kadotus and, of course, Satanic Warmaster into our living rooms. There’s a real evil vibe going on throughout and some of the eeriest / nastiest sounds you’ll hear on a record anywhere, any time.

In short (pun intended – let’s keep with the theme, eh?), this is a fantastic example of raw yet atmospheric, cavern-dwelling BM that even contains that rarest of treats – female vocals that won’t make you puke. Despite its unfortunate brevity, ‘Opus Funaerum’ is well worthy of a place in your collection. Wonderful, non-commercial, genuinely-underground stuff.

Evilometer: 555/666

OSCULUM INFAME – CONSUMING THE METATRON (Battlesk’rs Productions)

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

Generally, this is quite an enjoyable collection of music but there are a couple of drawbacks. The most obvious of these is the length of the album – a mere 30 minutes. Hardly adequate, in total fairness. Why a band is happy to release a full-length that’s almost over before it starts is beyond me (unless it’s the ultimate two-fingers gesture?). But there you go…

So, is it a quality over quantity triumph? Possibly. Then again, possibly not. Because the second song on the album ‘The Whisper Of The Witch’ has a dreadful pseudo-symphonic beginning that almost had me reaching for the Eject button. But I persevered and the tune improved as it progressed. The rest of the album is decent but, even allowing for the commendable Arkhon Infaustus connection, there’s simply not enough of it to warrant any further comment.

Evilometer: 333/666

NEMESIS SOPOR – WURZELLOSER GEIST (Der Neue Weg Productions)

Friday, October 5th, 2012

I’m not sure how (or when) this CD ended up in my possession but it’s been lurking for a long time in a high tower of barely-listened-to-music that renders my collection much more untidy than I’m comfortable with. Earlier tonight, I decided to give it a proper listen and I’m pleasantly surprised by what was waiting patiently for my attention all this time.

I had no intention of writing a review – just wanted to give it a quick whirl before filing ‘Wurzelloser Geist’ away in a more orderly manner – but the fare is so impressive I just had to let you know (whoever the fuck you are). Nemesis Sopor is a German collective that knocks out great traditional Black Metal with lots of ambient / atmospheric passages and their debut full-length (and sole release to date) will appeal to anyone who appreciates genuine dark art with a strong dose of honesty and integrity.

We get six songs, averaging around eight or nine minutes each, and classic-Immortal-like fifth track ‘Schwingen der Leere’ is particularly special. But all the music on this album is superb and I’m confident you’ll enjoy ‘Wurzelloser Geist’ thoroughly if you manage to get your hands on a copy (even under mysterious circumstances).

Evilometer: 555/666

ELYSIAN BLAZE – BLOOD GEOMETRY 3LP (Osmose Productions)

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

As I invariably adopt a wham-bam-thank-you-mam approach to writing reviews, an album of the sheer scope of ‘Blood Geometry’ presents obvious difficulties. Comprising eight tracks and some two-hours-plus of music spread out across three records, the third full-length from Australian one-man operator Mutatiis is a sprawling release and then some.

The 3LP edition looks sublime, encased in a triple gatefold jacket, with all the lyrics included and some lovely artwork and a nice layout to boot. Main problem for me is that my short attention span doesn’t allow me the luxury of listening to this collection in one sitting. There’s just too much of it. But I’m certainly not complaining about this – it’s commendable when any band or artist treats fans to such undeniable value for money.

Elysian Blaze performs music that’s generally considered to be a hybrid of Black Metal and funeral doom yet is somehow neither one nor the other. I’d describe ‘Blood Geometry’ as dark, spectral art that veers close to bands like Nortt and the more melodic side of classic Xasthur but maintains an identity of its own. It’s pretty enjoyable stuff and – as stated – there’s plenty of it but, unfortunately, the album still falls slightly short of being essential.

In summing up, this is a good album but by no means a great one. But the fact that you can purchase it in this fantastic format should probably encourage you to splash the cash and give it a go. Chances are you will enjoy it more than I do. And there are worse things you could do with €24!

Evilometer: 444/666

ARIZMENDA – WITHOUT CIRCUMFERENCE NOR CENTRE (Crepúsculo Negro)

Monday, October 1st, 2012

I ordered this cassette – along with five others – from the label on August 2nd. In the meantime, Crepúsculo Negro closed down. However, the people who ran this label have clearly decided not to honour their prior commitments and have sent me nothing in return for my hard-earned cash.

Even though I have written positive things about their previous releases (which is irrelevant, I admit) and even though I have paid them a total of $65, they won’t answer my emails or afford me the tiniest modicum of respect. This sort of behaviour is scandalous. It flies in the face of decency and common courtesy. How difficult would it be to send on the cassettes that are paid for? I mean, it’s not like they have huge intrinsic value.

I’m not sure what the future plans of the individuals behind this label are but I will certainly in turn be affording them the respect they deserve and avoiding them like the plague. Even if, by some miracle, the tapes were to arrive eventually (highly unlikely), the behaviour of the label has been truly pathetic.