Monday, May 29, 2017 07:45

Archive for November, 2013

SVART CROWN – PROFANE LP (Listenable Records)

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Svart Crown - ProfaneAlthough the label has unquestionably unleashed some fantastic Death Metal – most notably from Immolation and Incantation – I wouldn’t be getting carried away about any of the so-called Black Metal bands signed up to Listenable Records. That said, Svart Crown’s third album was intriguing enough to entice me to splash some cash on the vinyl edition, so the French horde is possibly the exception to the rule(?).

Looking for some sort of reference point, I’ve flicked through a few reviews of ‘Profane’ (something I rarely do) and have noticed the names Blut Aus Nord and Deathspell Omega mentioned liberally in pretty much all of them. I find this quite amazing as – to my ears – Svart Crown sounds nothing like either of those bands. And I mean nothing like them (stylistically or in any other way)…

What we have here is good, but by no means outstanding French Black / Death Metal, elevated above the norm only by excellent instrumental ‘Venomous Ritual’, the simmering ‘Until The Last Breath’ and the pummelling ‘In Utero: A Place Of Hatred And Threat’.

All said, this is a reasonable enough record – and it is presented beautifully with all lyrics included on an A4 card – but at the same time there’s nothing here to be getting too excited about. Generally (and this album is in keeping with the trend), the quality of recent BM and DM releases has been far from inspiring, which is why I am not saying a lot these days.

Am I glad I bought this? Suffice to say, indifference consumes me. Endlessly, it seems.

Evilometer: 333/666

I SHALT BECOME – LOUISIANA VOODOO (Inspired Hate Records)

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

I Shalt Become - Louisiana VoodooWhile I (think I) enjoyed the first two or three full-lengths released by I Shalt Become (if memory serves me right, they were somehow dark and dangerous?), either they have changed or I have changed. Because I certainly do not appreciate the music on ‘Louisiana Voodoo’, which is way too close to Summoning for my liking. Did I ever tell you I despise Summoning?

ISB is one of those acts that drowns its work in pleasant keyboards, resulting in a mesh of classical music and – allegedly – Black Metal.

Except, there’s nothing black about this. It’s slow and grandiose and sugary and pompous and dull and shit. Nothing remotely sinister happening here. Reminds me of Mickey Mouse. Rubbish. Definitely one to avoid.

Evilometer: 000/666

SARKOM – DOOMSDAY ELITE (Dark Essence Records)

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Sarkom - Doomsday EliteSolid. That’s the word that best describes Sarkom’s third full-length venture, ‘Doomsday Elite’. Without ever being spectacular or mandatory, this eight-track album is nonetheless admirable and impressive. What it lacks in oomph, it more than delivers in terms of good old dependability. Bottom line: 40 minutes or so of strong, pounding, in-your-face-ish Black Metal with lots of melody (perhaps even too much) and enough variety to satisfy even the most forward-looking prick.

It veers close to black ‘n’ roll at times but, mercifully, never quite gets there. The production (and delivery and everything along those lines) is nigh on perfect, rendering ‘Doomsday Elite’ a very accessible example of modern, slightly ambitious, moderately progressive Black Metal that should appeal to just about all of you.

Though not especially grim or harsh or aggressive (but very melodious), this is still an enjoyable slab. I can’t really imagine anyone having a major problem with Sarkom’s latest incursion.

Evilometer: 444/666

NEKROKRIST SS – DER TODESKING LP (Primitive Reaction)

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Nekrokrist SS -  Der TodeskingThis is one of those albums that could be easily dismissed by persons who don’t truly love and appreciate Black Metal. On the face of it, there is nothing special about Nekrokrist SS’s second full-length. Certainly fuck all innovative, ground-breaking or exceptional happening on ‘Der Todesking’. However, rather ironically, therein lies it strength.

It’s hard to beat straight-forward Black Metal executed with feeling. These guys clearly eat, sleep and breathe the genre and this album is one of the best run-of-the-mill records you are likely to encounter. Loaded with genuine hatred, an icy atmosphere and some devilish melodies, all trapped inside an ancient (comforting) sound, ‘Der Todesking’ is both spectacularly unspectacular and unspectacularly spectacular.

A triumph for the ordinary. And a timely reminder of why I started listening to this kind of music in the first place.

Evilometer: 666/666

ETERNUM – VEIL OF ANCIENT DARKNESS LP (Dark Adversary Productions / Darker Than Black)

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Eternum - Veil Of Ancient DarknessThis is pretty much the only record I’ve been listening to for the past week or so. There are two reasons for this sad lack of variety in my life of late: I haven’t had much time (or energy) to check out anything else; and ‘Veil Of Ancient Darkness’ just happens to be utterly fantastic.

One word springs to mind when I consider this stunning debut album: majestic. Forty minutes of sublime, mid-paced, atmospheric Black Metal with the two members’ day job in Drowning The Light more than evident. If you fancy hearing some supreme underground blackness with just the right quantities of melody, grimness and emotion (and why wouldn’t you?), then check this one out.

Impossible to go wrong here and there’s simply fuck all else to say. Magnificent.

Evilometer: 666/666