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Archive for September, 2014

HÄDANFÄRD – AVOGHETENS BESVÄRTADE ÅKALLELSER LP (Mysticism Productions)

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

Hädanfärd - Avoghetens Besvärtade ÅkallelserHädanfärd’s ‘Avoghetens Besvärtade Åkallelser’ is the third of the trio of records released simultaneously by Mysticism Productions recently and it is also by far and away the worst of the batch. This is a compilation, featuring both songs from the ‘Destruktiva Reflektioner’ 7” EP unleashed by Darker Than Black earlier this year plus six other tracks culled from fuck knows where. Possibly from up someone’s arsehole, by the sound of things.

I know I quite enjoyed ‘Smutsiga Sinnen’ around this time last year (I’m almost afraid to listen to it again…), but I find this latest effort to be pretty awful. Irritating jangly guitars, repetitive Indie-orientated vibes, annoying atmosphere, dumb melodies and just plain shit to be blunt. Some of the cleaner, sung Vikings-swordfighting-in-a-steamroom vocals on Side B are truly horrendous and I’d have to say that, apart from an outstanding resale value, this record has no other redeeming feature.

That’s the problem with Ancient Records / Mysticism Productions: the releases are very hit and miss, veering wildly between brilliant and dung, with no way of checking out the tunes in advance … so you have to purchase blindly. Alas, this one is a real howler. How in fuck’s name could anybody enjoy listening to such rubbish?

Evilometer: 000/666

FUNEREUS – ……RETURN OF THE OLD GOAT (Forever Plagued Records)

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

Funereus - Return Of The Old GoatNot sure what the six dots are all about, but ‘……Return Of The Old Goat’ comprises seven cuts of blazing, hexing, mostly fast-paced Black Metal that roars through the speakers in little over half an hour. It’s all done in the glorious old spirit of the subgenre and – depending on your level of exposure to (or tolerance of) this sort of straightforward ancient evil worship – you will either love it or feel totally indifferent towards it.

It would be easy for me to sit here in my crow’s nest and decree that ‘I’ve heard this all a thousand times before, often done better, blah, blah, blah, puke, fart, masturbate, waffle, patronise, blah, blah’, but only an ass would dismiss a patently true Black Metal album recorded and delivered with such infectious and tireless conviction.

Top marks to the Mexicans and fuck you (especially if your name is God (and ergo you do not exist (so how are you reading this?))).

Evilometer: 666/666

MOLOCH / KRIEG – SPLIT LP (Aphelion Productions)

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Krieg MolochThis vinyl-only (I know, they always say this…) release is an interesting proposition as it features exclusive, brand-new material from both acts. Between them, Moloch and Krieg have produced some essential full-lengths so I simply had to investigate. Ultimately, the record is pretty good but at the same time somewhat underwhelming and sort of instantly forgettable.

Three songs each plus an intro and outro apiece all add up to some 35 minutes of energetic, in-your-face underground Black Metal.

Certainly, the Moloch contribution is much different than I was expecting. I don’t recall Sergiy ever thrashing out like this before (not that I am familiar with all his work…), almost in USBM fashion, perhaps as a nod towards his partners in crime hereon? Who knows?

Anyway – closing instrumental excepted – it’s not the usual ambient, atmospheric fare that one would automatically associate with the Ukrainian. More thrashing and manic than hitherto … so much so that I wasn’t convinced I was listening to the correct side of the record, until I flipped over (the record; not me)…

Krieg’s contributions are also fairly decent offerings of quality (harsh, ferocious and pummelling) Black Metal but, uncompromising and all as these are, there is nothing particularly inspired or magnificent about Side B – or this split in general. Having said that, it still represents a welcome addition to my collection. Over to you…

Evilometer: 444/666

GRUDOM – FJØLKYNGI LP (Mysticism Productions)

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Grudom – FjølkyngiGrudom is a very obscure and low-key (even by Black Metal standards) entity from Denmark and I’m not sure whether ‘Fjølkyngi’ is their / his / its first or 20th album or somewhere in between. But who gives a fuck either way? The record contains 40-odd minutes of weird, demented, psychotic, off-the-wall Black Metal mania, all of which is transfused at a hypnotic slow-to-mid pace.

It’s creepy, strange, eclectic and thoroughly enjoyable. There’s so much shit floating about masquerading as Black Metal these days that it is almost a shock to hear something so genuinely disturbing, underground and unique. Great stuff.

Evilometer: 666/666

ILL OMEN – ENTHRONING THE BONDS OF ABHORRENCE 2LP (Nuclear War Now!)

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Ill Omen - Enthroning The Bonds Of AbhorrenceEnthroning The Bonds Of Abhorrence’ is a crushing experience. Haunting, ethereal Black Metal imbued with the desperate pathos and hopeless despair of funeral doom, Ill Omen’s second full-length constitutes a bleak and harrowing journey. Destination: darkness, death, dejection. If the void had a sound, this would be it.

The follow-up to the exceptional debut, ‘Divinity Through Un-creation’, was one of my most anticipated releases of the year and it has not disappointed. A full hour of dementia with no track listing, no respite and no remorse…

The real beauty is that, despite repeated listening binges over the past fortnight or so, I know I haven’t fully absorbed the true scope of this album yet; for certain, there is so much more here to explore and enjoy. To cut to the chase, this is probably as good as it gets.

Evilometer: 666/666

MYSTRUIN – GÅNGET ÄRO LJUSET LP (Amor Fati Productions)

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

Mystruin - Gånget Äro LjuseThe vinyl edition of Mystruin’s debut full-length ‘Gånget Äro Ljuset’ looks resplendent and the enclosed booklet with artwork and lyrics is a joy to behold. Aesthetically and visually, this was a top-class purchase. Musically, the record is really good but only briefly borders on excellent. Essentially, we get some decent underground Swedish Black Metal with shouted vocals.

Side A really is over in a flash: three songs, less than 15 minutes. The remainder of the LP comprises two better, longer tracks that clock in at nine and eleven minutes respectively. At times, it reminds me of compatriots Woods Of Infinity, which is no good thing; in general, this is a release that looks amazing and sounds better than okay.

Evilometer: 444/666

BEKËTH NEXËHMÜ – DE SVARTA RITERNA LP (Mysticism Productions)

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

Bekëth Nexëhmü - De Svarta RiternaOn the back of the record sleeve it is stressed that Bekëth Nexëhmü’s 2013 demo ‘De Svarta Riterna’ is not a new album. Yet it looks, feels and sounds just like a new album. It this is a mere demo, as claimed, I’ll be damned! Written and recorded in a handful of days, the four epic, emotive songs on offer pass the 47-minute mark (which brings the record into full-length territory, ahem…) and it is one thoroughly enjoyable trip.

There are a lot of dreamy, expansive, spacey, cosmic passages included – which would normally have me running for cover – but somehow Swartadauþuz is a master of mixing vicious, menacing parts with warmer, more atmospheric breaks. The keen sense of melody at play here does not vex me in the slightest.

Somewhere along the way the classification of the equally-stunning ‘De Dunkla Herrarna’ changed from demo to full-length; the same could easily happen here. Because this marvellous and obscure recording is worthy of being considered as an album.

All in all, what we have is another exceptional offering from Bekëth Nexëhmü and the enigmatic Ancient Records / Mysticism Productions stable (really cool labels on the vinyl, by the way…).

Evilometer: 666/666

BALMOG – TESTIMONY OF THE ABOMINABLE LP (Bloody Productions)

Friday, September 5th, 2014

Balmog - Testimony Of The AbominableOn their stellar debut full-length, ‘Testimony Of The Abominable’, which first saw the light of day on CD two summers ago, Balmog churns out an exhibition of Norwegian, occult Black Metal. Death, darkness and tombstones abound on this little-known masterpiece of Norwegian BM brilliance, the curveball being that Balmog are in fact Galician, hailing from the north west of Spain (above Portugal).

Of course, the geographical origins of this album should be of little consequence but it is interesting the different perspectives people tend to foster of various Black Metal acts depending on the creators’ homeland. I’m convinced that – though inevitably remaining firmly ensconced in the underground – Balmog would be somewhat more heralded if they hailed from Trondheim.

As it is, fuck-all know about them but this is a stunning record and it comes complete with a tasty black-and-white A5 booklet containing lyrics and some artwork. A hidden gem.

Evilometer: 666/666

HÅLVÄG – HÅLVÄG (Darker Than Black)

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Hålväg - HålvägHålväg’s self-titled debut full-length arrived amid neither fanfare nor hype last summer and I decided that I was going to purchase it as soon as it was released on vinyl. However, nothing has been doing at DTB on that front as of yet so I opted to acquire the rather fantastic ‘Hålväg’ on CD while continuing my patient wait.

(If you look around hard enough, you can pick up CDs for practically nothing in some webstores.)

Anyhow, this is an album that deserves to be better known. Hailing from Vinland (i.e. North America; Seattle to be precise), Hålväg delivers five tracks of stunning, subtly atmospheric Black Metal in around 40 minutes. Normally, when there is any melody involved whatsoever it tends to put me off, but there is nothing normal about ‘Hålväg’ – what we are dealing with here really is magnificent stuff. Check it out.

Evilometer: 666/666

BLACK CILICE – OLD CURSES 2LP (Dead Section Records)

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Black Cilice - Old CursesCollating all of Black Cilice’s painfully-limited demo releases onto two slabs of black wax, ‘Old Curses’ delivers a staggering 21 tracks of incredibly difficult-to-absorb underground Black Metal. From start to finish, an almighty racket pervades this double-vinyl offering, which showcases the Portuguese entity in an even rawer and more Satanic state than the already-fuck-off full-lengths ‘A Corpse, A Temple’ and ‘Summoning The Night’.

At the end of the day, these are essentially only demo cuts (which were limited for a reason in the first instance) and, as such, they are rougher than an Armenian scrotum. Noisy fucks. So the question is: are you a hopeless vinyl addict like me who has to have everything limited and unconventional? Are you consumed by the dread of not owning certain records?

Sometimes I believe the fear of missing out motivates me more than the joy of joining in. I needed this and am quite happy to own a copy but I am all too aware that it is probably nothing particularly special as a stand-alone item. However, for indiscriminate, obsessive completists, ‘Old Curses’ is magical gold dust. Could be one of those instances where owning a record is more important than listening to it…

Evilometer: 444/666