Monday, May 29, 2017 07:36

Archive for May, 2014

THRONE OF KATARSIS – THE THREE TRANSCENDENTAL KEYS LP (Blut & Eisen Productions)

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Throne Of Katarsis - The Three Transcendental KeysA bit of pointless review here but, fuck it, I’ll do it anyway. The sheer and abundant quality of Throne Of Katarsis knows no bounds and on their fourth full-length, ‘The Three Transcendental Keys’, the Norwegians once more deliver a monumental work of art. There are three (doh!) lengthy rituals on this record, the third an epic spell of malevolence running for over 20 minutes and taking up the entirety of Side B.

The record sleeve is unique, with a little peephole cut into it, and a 12-inch booklet is included with lyrics to two of the three offerings (no idea why there are none printed for the opening song). There’s an incredibly evil atmosphere permeating this album and it succeeds magnificently in keeping the true Black Metal flame burning with malice, even when venturing unexpectedly into Fell Voices territory at the beginning of the second key.

In short, this is another astonishing contribution from an awesome entity. If you consider yourself a Black Metal fan (if not, get the fuck off my website!), do not miss out on the wondrous, exquisite journey that is ‘The Three Transcendental Keys’. Get it on vinyl if you can – why support Candlelight?

Evilometer: 666/666

ENTARTUNG – PECCATA MORTALIA LP (World Terror Committee)

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Entartung - Peccata MortaliaI wasn’t exactly jumping out of my skin with excitement upon exposure to Entartung’s rather ordinary debut LP ‘Krypteia’, which I reviewed in a rather downbeat manner on this day last week, but ‘Peccata Mortalia’ has thankfully forged a much more favourable impression upon me. (I say ‘thankfully’ not out of any misguided sense of loyalty or sympathy towards the Germans but simply because when you invest in a band’s music then you automatically develop a vested interest in their ability to craft meaningful art.)

Tellingly, this record includes a nice A5 booklet which features lyrics and an insight into the meaning of those words as well as some choice quotes from historical figures, which offer a glimpse of Entartung’s philosophies. Suffice to say, you won’t be meeting these guys in a church any time soon. Unless they are spreading some gasoline…

I’m not sure exactly to what extent the music is actually better than the debut (feels like a lot) but the listening experience of the follow-up has certainly been enhanced greatly by the inclusion of this booklet and the opportunity to see where the band is coming from philosophically. Overall, this is a really good product and one that even tempts me to give its predecessor another spin.

Decent melodic Black Metal delivered by a deep-thinking and thereby interesting band.

Evilometer: 555/666

THANTIFAXATH – SACRED WHITE NOISE LP (Dark Descent Records)

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Thantifaxath - Sacred White NoiseGenerally speaking, the very idea of experimental has me running for cover. Be it experimental rules, experimental cuisine, experimental sex or – worst of all – experimental Black Metal, the word ‘experimental’ can usually be replaced by ‘impotent’, ‘halfbaked’, ‘bastardised’ or the more coarse option ‘shite’. As a rule, experimental Black Metal is shite Black Metal in disguise. Actually, not really in disguise, to be fair…  Thantifaxath is the exception that proves the rule.

Sacred White Noise’ is by no means conventional, but it is certainly still Black Metal at its core. Manic Black Metal with lots of curveballs, it manages to avoid oh so many potential pitfalls and has won itself a place in my heart. Unlike 99% of other bands who experiment and end up producing horrendous music – the much-lauded but thoroughly insipid Funereal Presence and Krallice take a bow here, please. Along with all the other clowns – these anonymous Ontarians are worthy of kudos.

Evilometer: 555/666

LIE IN RUINS – TOWARDS DIVINE DEATH 2LP (Dark Descent Records)

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

Lie In Ruins - Towards Divine DeathTowards Divine Death’ represents my first exposure to Lie In Ruins, who apparently have been knocking around the Death Metal block (in various guises, on and off) for as many as 21 years. This is the Finns’ second full-length and contains nine slabs of labyrinthine DM, clocking in at almost 72 minutes. Yes, a long album.

So it’s clearly well worthy of the double-vinyl treatment and this glorious edition features a fantastic gatefold jacket and a small booklet. Looks great. Even though bands like Antediluvian, Portal, Teitanblood, Abyssal, Vasaeleth and Ævangelist pull off this style of horror-steeped, cavernous, ugly new-school Death Metal better, Lie In Ruins are still a welcome late addition to the pack.

Evilometer: 555/666

ARIZMENDA – WITHIN THE VACUUM OF INFINITY… 2LP (Androgony Whore)

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Arizmenda - Within The Vacuum Of InfinityThanks to the utter inadequacy of Crepúsculo Negro, I thought I’d never get to hear Arizmenda. I purchased both the band’s full-lengths on cassette format from the deviant Mexican label but both were unlistenable and about as much use as a kick in the testicles. Actually, at least I’d feel a boot in the nuts…

Anyway, Androgony Whore Records reissued the debut on double-vinyl last Autumn and a copy has finally worked its way into my possession (with a lot of expense and anguish incurred along the way).

Sixty-six minutes long and originally released back in 2009, ‘Within The Vacuum Of Infinity…’ does not disappoint when it comes to producing insane, chaotic, crazed, out-of-control, recorded-in-a-cellar-with-bounded-abductees-looking-on-in-terror underground Black Metal. It hovers perilously close to the fine line that separates genius from madness. It is very, very close to being shit but somehow wins through as a near work of art.

Definitely not for everyone; but for those of you who appreciate your music rough and ready and swirling and headache-inducing, this is certainly a release worth chasing down. Lyrics included but no gatefold cover, alas.

Evilometer: 555/666

ENTARTUNG – KRYPTEIA LP (World Terror Committee)

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Entartung - KrypteiaKrypteia’ is Entartung’s debut full-length from two years ago and it has just been granted a vinyl incarnation by WTC (last month, I think) to coincide with the release of their follow-up album ‘Peccata Mortalia’. On this record, the German duo delivers six invocations (46 minutes) of melodic and somehow sorrowful Black Metal that might qualify as raw were the LP not so pristinely produced.

All in all, this is immaculate, highly-charged, emotional BM no doubt summoning the ancient spirit of the subgenre. There are no frills (to either the music or the actual record itself ((no lyrics or inlay but nice artwork…)), but there are also very few thrills to be had here.

Ultimately, ‘Krypteia’ is worthy of a listen (not least because you surely have different taste to me!) but at the same time it is unremarkable, harmless and a little too crisp, clean and accessible for my personal liking. Check it out and see what you think yourself…

Evilometer: 222/666

TEITANBLOOD – DEATH 2LP (Norma Evangelium Diaboli)

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Teitanblood - DeathIt’s very easy to review this album. ‘Death’ is a savage, blistering, chaotic slab of Death Metal that will rip your fucking face. Off. Somehow, Teitanblood have managed to trump their immense debut ‘Seven Chalices’ with one of the most coruscating, crushing, monstrous collections of tunes to grace my stereo in a long, long time.

In the midst of the unforgiving aural maelstrom, there are just enough breathers to make the battering ram bearable. But, for the most part, ‘Death’ is a bludgeoning blitzkrieg of irresistible force, a full-length that will leave you stunned, shattered and yet yearning for more.

Took me a few listens to really get into this one, but the more I hear it now, the better it seems to get. In a word: immense. Seventy minutes of mayhem not to be missed, then, but I do feel that a double-vinyl merits a gatefold jacket (moan, bitch, wail et al).

Evilometer: 666/666

WORMLUST – THE FERAL WISDOM LP (Demonhood Productions)

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Wormlust - The Feral WisdomThe debut full-length from Wormlust really is something very special. There’s not much hype or fanfare surrounding this release but ‘The Feral Wisdom’ contains a great brew of ambience, horror, spacey-ness and Black Metal. The ambient parts appear mostly on Side B, while the more intense Black Metal passages largely dominate the first side of the record.

There’s a nice balance, a lovely mix of insanity and atmosphere and – even though the four lengthy songs don’t even reach the 40-minute mark – there’s more than enough brilliance here to get your teeth into. If you’d like to hear what a hybrid of Leviathan and Darkspace might sound like, give this unsung Icelandic gem a try.

Evilometer: 666/666

AUTOPSY – TOURNIQUETS, HACKSAWS AND GRAVES LP (Peaceville Records)

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Autopsy - Tourniquets, Hacksaws and GravesThe Headless Ritual’ was so mediocre by Autopsy standards that I all but wrote off one of the greatest Death Metal bands of all time. But, undeterred, I decided to check out the new album (in fairness, only an imbecile wouldn’t at least take a peak…) and, lo and behold, ‘Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves’ represents a fantastic return to form for the gore-obsessed Californians.

This album features great music, entertaining lyrics, cool old-school artwork and some of the sickest vocals of the year. The record comes in a gatefold sleeve with printed lyrics on the inner fold and, Christ, there’s even a poster thrown in. Nothing makes me happier than a poster. Okay, I’m taking the piss now but trust me – and ignore the lukewarm reception Autopsy’s seventh full-length has received in some circles – this is brilliant stuff.

I am flabbergasted (but thrilled) that the decrepit 40-somethings have hit such impressive form in the winters of their recording careers. Greatness from the greatest.

Evilometer: 666/666

I Am The Reviewer

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

I Am The ReviewerI am the reviewer. I am a self-appointed member of the taste police. I believe myself to be an authority. My opinions supersede all others. I am consumed by self-importance and my ego dictates that I should dictate to others. I am driven by that ego. I am oblivious to the fact that taste can be neither accounted for nor explained.

I am the reviewer. Sometimes I get free stuff and suggest that it is better than it actually is, just so I can get more free stuff, you know. My loyalties are to myself, and myself alone. I lie when it suits me. I am deceitful.

I am the reviewer. I am condescending, omniscient. My opinions are gospel. I openly mock and deride those with different tastes than my own. I criticise those whose views I do not share. I castigate. I strut and posture and speak down from my pulpit. But ultimately I serve no purpose. Technology has castrated me.

I am the reviewer. My motives will forever be suspect. Do not listen to me. Ever.

IRKALLIAN ORACLE – GRAVE EKSTASIS LP (Nuclear War Now!)

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Irkallian Oracle - Grave EkstasisAn apocalyptic raid erupting within walking distance of the intersection on the metal motorway where Death Metal and Black Metal converge, ‘Grave Ekstasis’ is a harsh and unforgiving dose of extremity. Fierce and vitriolic, it never lets up over the course of its 44-minute duration (five songs) and is certainly one of the most interesting debut albums I’ve encountered in a long time.

Originally recorded in 2012 but remastered for this latest incarnation, the vinyl edition comes with some fantastic artwork, a poster and a lovely booklet with lyrics. Great lyrics, by the way. Don’t take my word for it, though: check this monster out on Bandcamp or something and make your own mind up.

Evilometer: 555/666