Saturday, July 22, 2017 04:47

Archive for November, 2014

SEMPITERNAL DUSK – SEMPITERNAL DUSK LP (Dark Descent Records)

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

Sempiternal Dusk - Sempiternal DuskSempiternal Dusk’s self-titled debut album comprises 46 minutes of exceptional Death Metal – four epic songs and a short outro of horrific, creepy fare with a genuinely disturbing vibe. ‘Sempiternal Dusk’ is one of my favourite recent vinyl releases and the record is brilliantly presented by a label that can do little wrong right now (the aptly-named Horrendous aside).

If you are in the market for some fresh and crushing, mid-paced Death Metal with dollops of atmosphere, look no further. Now, bring on the long-awaited Swallowed LP…

Evilometer: 666/666

KHTHONIIK CERVIIKS – HEPTAEDRONE LP (Iron Bonehead Productions)

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

Khthoniik Cerviiks - HeptaedroneBecause it has been released on vinyl and costs actual, real money, Khthoniik Cerviiks’ (glorified) demo, ‘Heptaedrone’, must be judged on the same (stringent…) basis and criteria as a full-length proper. I don’t care if it’s an album, an MLP, a demo, a dead crab or a rehearsal; the only thing that counts is: is it any fucking use?

In the case of these uncouth and noisy, post-apocalyptic Germans, I’m glad to report that their music – even in so-called demo mode – stands favourably alongside the bounty of chaotic Black / Death being unleashed these days. This is caustic, noisy and uncompromising stuff, delivered with the subtlety of a sledge hammer to the pubis. Awesome.

At times, it sounds like Khthoniik Cerviiks are more concerned with making a god-awful racket – with neither structure, sense  nor logic – than anything else and the production is so naked that they might as well be thrashing my living room. Live. In the flesh. This is one demented, warped, surreptitious album (think Pestilence on LSD…) that gives not one fuck what you think. Cool artwork; check out those crazy lyrics.

Evilometer: 666/666

ISVIND – DAUMYRA LP (Kyrck Productions)

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

Isvind -DaumyraThe vinyl edition of Isvind’s third full-length is beautifully presented – nice record, great cover, classy booklet with lyrics in two languages. However, the clean vocals on the final track, ‘Klabautermann’ are hideous and ruin everything. I simply cannot get beyond them.

Their appearance is mercifully brief but the damage is done. I just don’t understand why a veritable proliferation of so-called Black Metal bands don’t realise just how camp clean vocals sound. It’s like being transported from the frozen vastlands to a gay sauna in the blink of an eye.

I’m adopting a zero tolerance approach from now on to this abomination and so should you.

Evilometer: 000/666

KULT – UNLEASHED FROM DISMAL LIGHT LP (Folter Records)

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Kult - Unleashed From Dismal LightThe Black Metal ship has sailed and Kult aren’t on board; it’s a real fucking shame. For one reason or another, the legend of Kult hasn’t spread as rabidly as it should have. In total contrast to so many of their peers, the Italians are a case of no hype, all substance.

Sophomore full-length ‘Unleashed From Dismal Light’ is an exceptional exhibit of slow-to-mid-paced Black Metal majesty that deserves to be compared favourably with the very best in the business. But won’t be.

Maybe it’s the truly crap name that’s hindering Kult? Or the lack of gimmickry / sensationalism / promotion? The momentum lost between albums? Country of origin? Who knows …

What a pity one of the members didn’t murder a gay person or burn down a church or cannibalise an entire village. What a shame their lyrics don’t shit all over every religion and moral and sexual persuasion and political ideal and worthless race on the face of this twisted planet. Maybe then we’d sit up and take notice.

Check this album out – you’ll be amazed by just how good it is!

Evilometer: 666/666

OWL’S BLOOD – COLD NIGHT OF MEDITATION LP (Altare Productions / Dead Section Records)

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Owl's Blood - Cold Night Of MeditationAs you can deduce from the smudges all over the cover (damn, they show up really clearly in that photograph), I’ve been listening to Owl’s Blood’s debut full-length a lot recently. And I have greasy fingers.

Six blasts of blizzard-y Basque Black Metal – with an average running time of just under seven minutes – howl forth from the Atlantic, threatening to take your breath away.

Seeing as there were two labels involved in bringing this record to fruition, I think it could have benefited from an inner sleeve and some printed lyrics. And, seeing as there are two small children quite literally swinging from my limbs as I type, I’m going to have to cut this review short.

Another cold night of meditation lies ahead; perhaps there’ll be peace tomorrow.

Evilometer: 555/666

BLOOD OF KINGU – DARK STAR ON THE RIGHT HORN OF THE CRESCENT MOON LP (Ván Records)

Monday, November 17th, 2014

Blood Of Kingu - Dark Star On The Right Horn Of The Crescent MoonDark Star On The Right Horn Of The Crescent Moon’ rides my stereo like a storm from the east. Drums like ominous claps of thunder; guitars like torrential rain at the end of days; vocals like a fucking tornado.

Horns as portents of doom, death and demise. Sheets of lightning fill my mind and in the flickers of visibility I see the shredded bodies of fallen fools.

Blood Of Kingu have outdone themselves with this murderous rampage. A visual and aural feast.

Evilometer: 666/666

VASSAFOR / SINISTROUS DIABOLUS – SPLIT LP (Iron Bonehead Productions)

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

Vassafor Sinistrous DiabolusThis is a really great split featuring two New Zealand hordes, both of whom are pretty much at the height of their powers right now. Vassafor delivers two lumbering instalments of dull underground Black Metal on Side A, while Sinistrous Diabolus adopts a more doomy / cosmic black approach across three offerings segued into one on the flipside. In total, we get 44 minutes of magnificent dark and disturbing musick.

The link between the two bands is hyper-active dual member VK, also of course of Temple Nightside and Irkallian Oracle infamy. Vassafor’s sound is particularly low – in keeping with the analogue production ethos, one assumes – so I’ve had to crank the volume up even higher than usual.

Buried in the murkiness is a multitude of barely-concealed delights. That applies to both artists on view. Classy gatefold cover; no lyrics proffered. Watch out, too, for the imminent Vassafor / Temple Nightside split. Exciting times.

Evilometer: 555/666

1349 – MASSIVE CAULDRON OF CHAOS LP (Indie Recordings)

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

1349 - Massive Cauldron Of ChaosEven though 1349 is by no means one of my favourite Black Metal bands, I still appreciate them enough to have purchased all bar one (‘Liberation’) of their full-lengths on vinyl. I didn’t even realise this until today, whilst listening along to their sixth album, ‘Massive Cauldron Of Chaos’. The fact that I’ve never lost interest speaks for itself.

1349 can always be relied upon to deliver a solid slab of music and their newest effort falls into that category. Eight blasts of mainstream Black Metal with a big production and no frills. Gatefold jacket with lyrics included. A nice acquisition but far from mandatory.

Evilometer: 444/666

SATANIC WARMASTER – STRENGTH AND HONOUR LP (Northern Heritage)

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Satanic Warmaster - Strength & HonourNorthern Heritage is in the process of reissuing some of the harder-to-get albums from its back catalogue. Amongst these is Satanic Warmaster’s legendary debut full-length, which was initially unleashed in 1991 and is now available to purchase on vinyl again.

One of the greatest Black Metal LPs ever recorded, available once more on glorious black wax: what the fuck are you waiting for? (By the way, I am reliably informed that some long-overdue Clandestine Blaze reissues are imminent…)

Evilometer: 666/666

ORDINANCE – RELINQUISHMENT 2LP (Ahdistuksen Aihio Productions)

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Ordinance - RelinquishmentIt would be fair to say that Ordinance is not your everyday Black Metal duo (whatever that might be). When the ten-minute ‘Yielding Servitude’ deviates into all-out ‘Hotel California’-worship towards the end of Side A, it would be easy to lose all patience and smash both the record and the stereo into tiny pieces and find a new hobby.

Normally, I would be puking on the floor and screaming sacrilege and blue murder and, well, tears. However, I persevered with the album, got into it, and found that, despite the disturbing echoes of The Eagles on that particular song and again on penultimate track ‘Waning Light’, complete with Slash-like wank(er)y solo, Ordinance are in fact (or should I say in spite of this?) an entity worth checking out.

For the most part, the music on ‘Relinquishment’ is fairly melodic and restrained and catchy (the stomping ‘Sword Of Division’ definitely ain’t and the tempo discernibly gathers towards the end of proceedings before tipping a hat to Led Zeppelin as a fitting finale), but it’s genuinely sinister and eerie in a way that I haven’t much encountered before.

Furthermore, the lyrics included on the accompanying booklet make for an absorbing read. I am merely a weed waiting to be plucked, you know…

Brilliant unorthodox Black Metal in a gatefold jacket. Sixty-five minutes; nothing on Side D.

Evilometer: 666/666

MORTUUS – GRAPE OF THE VINE LP (The Ajna Offensive)

Monday, November 10th, 2014

Mortuus - Grape Of The VineAbandon all hope ye who enter here. Not that Black Metal fanatics have much hope to begin with. If you do, however, ‘Grape Of The Vine’ will crush it. This is a bleak, despondent, harrowing journey into the psyche of death and existence; a monologue of despair; an ode to emptiness.

So monotonous and dreary the delivery of the seven sermons hereon that I genuinely feel like ending it all as I listen along. Which, of course, is a great thing because life is pointless and futile, right? Damn, Sweden must be even more depressing than Ireland…

Slow- to mid-paced and deliberately – like life itself – lacking any kind of notable variation on the omnipresent drone (save perhaps the uttered lines at the start of ‘Disobedience’), Mortuus’s second full-length is a resounding success in everything it aims to achieve. The soundtrack to a shattered existence, it could perhaps be interpreted as Shining without the theatrics.

The record itself is almost 50-minutes long and a splendid 7” booklet with abject lyrics presented to the mundane masses seals a truly despairing deal.

Evilometer: 666/666

NASHEIM – SOLENS VEMOD LP (Northern Silence Productions)

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

Nasheim - Solens VemodNasheim’s take on Black Metal is sorrowful, majestic, clean, polished, and über-melodic. If you’re seeking raw and grim, lo-fi aggression, best to look elsewhere. The four epic tracks hereon rarely move past mid-pace and it’s all a bit camp, if truth be told.

With a production befitting Eric Clapton, the gloriously-atmospheric debut full-length arrives over a decade after Nasheim became active and – even though ‘Solens Vemod’ is quite impressive – it doesn’t really inspire me to think or say very much.

I suppose I could point out that it’s like an orgy of the most melodic passages of Kampfar, Taake and Drowning The Light (but less interesting and more pleasant than such a concept) and that it comes in a gatefold cover. And is green.

A thing of beauty; but where is the fucking beast?

Evilometer: 333/666

WULKANAZ – KAOSNÅJD LP (Altare Productions)

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

Wulkanaz - KaosnåjdThe initial twang of disappointment encountered upon learning that ‘Kaosnåjd’ wasn’t in fact a new full-length proper dissipated as soon as I unpacked the record and gave it its first spin. For all intents and purposes, it’s as good as a new album – and as essential as the other great 12” vinyls in Wulkanaz’s dazzling discography.

This release collates material culled largely from two cassette EPs and one 7” recorded in and around the same time as the excellent ‘HaglaNaudizEisaz’ and ‘Paúrpura Fræovíbôkôs’ full-lengths, so we are not talking about odds and ends here. It’s a little inconsistent for obvious reasons but, overall, ‘Kaosnåjd’ represents another stellar release from an artist who should not be ignored.

Personally, I have pretty much lost all interest in the cassette format due to its frustratingly-erratic quality, so this was a great way of gathering some superb material that I’d otherwise have missed. For the time being at least, Wulcanaz can do no wrong.

Evilometer: 666/666

A.M.S.G. – ANTI-COSMIC TYRANNY LP (Graceless Recordings)

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

A.M.S.G. - Anti-Cosmic TyrannyThis is the ultimate edition of A.M.S.G.’s debut full-length, packaged within not one but two covers and boasting a fabulous twelve-page booklet to boot, with lyrics to their exceedingly devious odes included alongside some nice artwork and photos. I must say these Canadians can conjure some of the most genuinely evil- and depraved-sounding Black Metal known to (this) man.

However, to my unrefined ear, a saxophone sounds like wet shit seeping into a drunkard’s shoes after negotiating a treacherous journey from the crack of his arse downwards via the inner thighs (in some dark, smoky bar full of tramps, of course). The deployment of said instrument on ‘Black Rites Of Black Shadows’ and ‘Gnosis Granted From The Bloodline Of Fire’ is diabolical in the worst possible sense and detracts substantially from what would otherwise have been an astonishing LP.

Evilometer: 444/666

MALSAINT – ANTI ISLAMIST PROSELYTISM LP (Hass Weg Productions)

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Malsaint - Anti Islamist ProselytismOn one hand, ‘Anti Islamist Proselytism’ is just another Black Metal record; solid but unremarkable in many ways. It’s largely (if not entirely!) by-the-numbers, old school BM that sounds like hundreds (if not thousands!) of other nondescript acts. But, on the other hand – and here’s the rub – what is wrong with ordinary Black Metal?

Isn’t that what we’re here for at the end of the day? Shouldn’t it be celebrated? Okay, this is certainly not the most spectacular or memorable LP you’re going to hear in 2014; but it’s arguably churlish of me to even make such an observation, yet alone utter it. Or maybe I’m just in a generous mood today.

Bottom line: the eight songs on here are all of a decent standard, culminating in a creditable album that they can be proud of and, even if Malsaint’s debut full-length is far from essential, the world can never have too much good-to-decent Black Metal. How and ever, religious and anti-religious convictions bore me equally at this point in my life. What’s the point of being anti-anything any more? Fuck it all to ruin, surely?

Evilometer: 555/666