Saturday, July 22, 2017 16:33

Archive for February, 2015

NEFANDUS – REALITY CLEAVER LP (Daemon Worship Productions)

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Nefandus - Reality CleaverThe true reality cleaver here is the embarrassing, despicable, abominable eighth and final track, ‘Scorn Of The All-Mind’, which renders everything else Nefandus have done on their third full-length – and probably throughout their entire career – redundant by association.

Any band that is willing to put its name to such a horrendous piece of Eurovision-quality shite is not worthy of a second of your time. In one fell, four-minute swoop, Nefandus are consigned to the same dung heap as Watain and Ofermod. ‘Reality Cleaver’ is a stain on my record collection.

Evilometer: 000/666

ARCHGOAT – THE APOCALYPTIC TRIUMPHATOR LP (Debemur Morti Productions)

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Archgoat - The Apocalyptic TriumphatorI was resigned to the likelihood that Archgoat would go through the motions for the rest of their recording careers. The Finns had clearly hit upon a winning formula with their first two LPs – ‘Whore Of Bethlehem’ and ‘The Light-Devouring Darkness’ – released in 2006 and 2009 respectively, and there was no reason to believe that these Mary-defiling veterans of the Satanic underground would – or could – take things to another level. I mean they were already nigh on perfect. Well, ‘The Apocalyptic Triumphator’ has surprised the shit out of me.

Vastly superior to Archgoat’s stunning previous albums in every conceivable way, this is the ultimate in blasphemous Black / Death Metal summoned from the very bottom of Beelzebub’s ballbag. Twenty-four years on from their inception, Archgoat are at the absolute pinnacle of their powers right now and they have just unleashed one of the dirtiest, evillest, nastiest albums in the history of extreme music.

The spectacular standard vinyl edition comes with a poster, a huge booklet and a code to allow the owner to download high-quality digital files of the entire album (or you can just slide it along the crack of your ass). Worth buying for the astonishingly-foul double whammy of ‘Nuns, Cunts And Darkness’ and ‘Grand Luciferian Theophany’ alone, this is a remarkable record that everybody needs to hear at least once before they die (and go to heaven, ha-fucking-ha).

Evilometer: 666/666

MISÞYRMING – SÖNGVAR ELDS OG ÓREIÐU LP (Fallen Empire Records / Terratur Possessions)

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Misþyrming - Söngvar Elds Og ÓreiðuMisþyrming is from Iceland so comparisons with Svartidauði and Sinmara are as inevitable as they are exhausting. Somewhere along the way, people seem to forget that it doesn’t matter how ‘Söngvar Elds Og Óreiðu’ measures up against either ‘Flesh Cathedral’ or ‘Aphotic Womb’ or ‘Biophilia’ because this is a fucking different band.

The blinkered fixation of Black Metal fans with the geographical origins of an artist is surely unique to this genre and I have to admit I’m largely guilty of it myself (in that I’d be much more likely to check out a horde from, say, Portugal, than, let’s say for argument’s sake, Egypt) … but it can be taken to extreme lengths.

Why immediately compare Misþyrming to their compatriots instead of just listening to the music and judging it on its own merits? (Not that everybody does, of course. And not that there is anything necessarily wrong with doing so, either; it is just too obvious; Black Metal from Iceland needs / deserves to be compared with all Black Metal – from everywhere.)

For what it’s worth, ‘Söngvar Elds Og Óreiðu’ is a stunning debut full-length – 43 minutes of confident, powerful, raw and sinister abuse – by any standards, which compares favourably to just about any other Black Metal band from anywhere. Which probably goes to explain why the first press of 500 copies of the record have practically sold out already. To my ears, it sounds like a slightly more ambitious and experimental Mgla.

There’ll be a second run of these this summer, I’d willingly wager. Magnificent.

Evilometer: 666/666

IMPETUOUS RITUAL – UNHOLY CONGREGATION OF HYPOCRITICAL AMBIVALENCE 2LP (Profound Lore Records)

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Impetuous Ritual - Unholy Congregation Of Hypocritical AmbivalenceI yearn to hear it even better. To get my ears beneath and beyond the impenetrable, dismal doom and gloom, to bypass the dull production and actually hear everything that’s going on. But ‘Unholy Congregation Of Hypocritical Ambivalence’ won’t afford me such a luxury. Evidently, it was recorded in a bunker by Antipodean cavemen.

Perhaps if I change the settings on my amplifier; switch off the Direct Sound or something… Maybe if I lower the bass a little, tweak the treble. I’ve tried earphones but still the sound remains leaden and frustratingly beyond me. I’m going to invest in one of those headphone amps and I’m also going to have my ears syringed. Worth a try, eh?

On their second full-length, Impetuous Ritual – who tellingly share members with Portal and Grave Upheaval – have delivered one of those albums that’s strangely yet deliriously inaccessible such is its cavernous, underground (literally, physically…) nature. In a way, it’s like the itch that just won’t scratch. In the end, you grow to love that itch just the way it is. Because you are genuinely disturbed. And it comforts you.

The murk is the sound.

Evilometer: 666/666

SWALLOWED – LUNARTERIAL 2LP (Me Saco Un Ojo Records)

Monday, February 16th, 2015

Swallowed - LunarterialClocking in at almost 54 minutes – including a whopping and utterly monstrous 25-minute sixth and final track, ‘Libations’ (which takes up all of Side C) – Swallowed’s debut full-length really does offer a lot to get one’s teeth into. I’ve had this album for the best part of two months now and have held off on writing a review because – truth be told – I’m not sure what I can say to best sum it up. A lot going on here.

Lunarterial’ is a big and bold album, full of predominantly slow-to-mid-paced, ominous, oppressive, suffocating Death Metal with some hints of doom. At times bordering on drone-y and dreamy-dreary a la Khanate, it doesn’t quite live up to my unreasonably-high expectations, but the Finnish duo have nonetheless delivered a fantastic piece of work that deserves to be heard.

The double-vinyl edition comes in a gatefold jacket, with generous eight-page booklet including basic artwork and some scrawled lyrics as well as the by-now-customary blank Side D (which in this case was obviously preferable to splitting the last song in half…). All in all, this is a fine record that you should listen to rather than read about.

Evilometer: 555/666

OMINOUS RESURRECTION – OMNISCIENT LP (Funeral Industries)

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

Ominous Resurrection - OmniscientI’m not sure ‘Omniscient’ is anywhere near as mystical or mysterious as the label would have us all believe, but it is certainly a very good record. Ominous Resurrection is another Negative Plane spin-off (although obviously a separate, self-sustaining entity), fronted by NP bassist DG, who hammers down guitars, vocals and drums here but – in a confusing twist – not bass.

Anyway, he certainly does a better job than Negative Plane drummer Bestial Devotion did with the astoundingly-hideous yet critically-acclaimed Funereal Presence debut album. Without being in any way great, this is nevertheless a thoroughly solid and enjoyable offering of dark and thoughtful, often mid-paced, brooding, anti-art.

Seven songs; 43 minutes; interesting lyrics; a nice deathly mantra.

Evilometer: 444/666

ANAL BLASPHEMY – PERVERSIONS OF SATAN LP (Iron Bonehead Productions)

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Anal Blasphemy - Perversions Of SatanUnsurprisingly, ‘Perversions Of Satan’ is a sick and twisted ride. But, thankfully, there’s more to Anal Blasphemy’s third (and final, evidently) full-length than naked deviancy and sexual perversion. Any sense of gimmickry was left at the studio door and the self-confessed Molestor instead crafted an album of solid, straight-up Black Metal, obviously with a perverted bent.

The song-writing is excellent, the music is much more substantial than one might expect from an act deploying this moniker, and there are some unexpected curveballs (such as ‘Lust for Satan (Sexual Worship)’, the last track on Side A, complete with orgasmic-and-ghastly female vocals).

Perversions of Satan’ first surfaced in 2012 and the vinyl edition (including gatefold sleeve, lyrics, liner notes, poster and bonus track) was issued three months ago by the tireless IBP. If, like me, you keep your vinyl in alphabetical order, this one should find an appropriate home somewhere between Abscess and Archgoat and within reach of Carpathian Forest.

Evilometer: 555/666

DEATH FORTRESS – AMONG THE RANKS OF THE UNCONQUERABLE LP (Fallen Empire Records)

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Death Fortress - Among The Ranks Of The UnconquerableI find it impossible to listen to Death Fortress’s debut full-length without thinking of Hate Forest. ‘Among The Ranks Of The Unconquerable’ is unashamed Ukrainian BM worship from start to finish, the only truly discernible difference being that the New Jersey horde supplement the trademark HF death growl with occasional more conventional Black Metal shrieks.

I don’t have any problem with a band sounding very similar to another. As long as it’s good, who cares? And, for the most part, ‘Among The Ranks Of The Unconquerable’ is truly impressive. The downside for me is that – after an invigorating start and middle – the record seems to peter out towards the end, losing my interest during the course of the final two tracks, ‘Pride Of The Enslaver’ and ‘Ancestor’s Call’, for some reason that I can’t quite put my finger on.

Possibly, I just dont like those songs or perhaps it’s a pacing issue. Either way, all momentum and energy are lost as the final strains seep impotently through the speakers.

Evilometer: 333/666

MALÉFICES – POVR LE SANGS / RITES CRVELS 2LP (Deathangle Absolution Records)

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Maléfices - Povr Le Sangs Rites CruelsWhere Maléfices is concerned, there is plenty of substance to back up the hype. ‘Povr Le Sangs / Rites Crvels’ is Serpenoire’s first venture into vinyl territory, collating the first two demos named either side of the slash. My legion of long-time readers might remember that I was mightily impressed by the previously-reviewed ‘Povr Le Sangs’ cassette; naturally, it sounds way better on 12” wax.

Rites Crvels’ is every bit as amazing and together – clocking in at north of 62 minutes – both demos make for a really fabulous double LP. While the flimsy, one-sheet front cover is bland, each record has its own sub-sleeve and, all in all, this is a great release.

Unfortunately – here comes the rub! – as far as I’m aware, this was painfully limited when issued late last year and could prove extremely difficult to track down unless you want to pay way over the odds to some complete cunt.

Evilometer: 666/666

NECROS CHRISTOS – NINE GRAVES LP (Sepulchral Voice Records / Ván Records)

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

Necros Christos - Nine GravesAmazingly, Necros Christos only consider ‘Nine Graves’ to be an EP. Yet, at 40 minutes, it is longer than most full-lengths coming out of the increasingly-stingy Black / Death Metal underground these days. I’m fucking sick of being short-changed so it’s refreshing to come across a release that offers value for money (which, in fairness, should be a requisite).

Considering that their two actual full-length albums, ‘Triune Impurity Rites’ and ‘Doom Of The Occult’ clock in at an hour and 73 minutes respectively, Necros Christos’ generosity on here should surprise nobody.

There are only four songs proper on the record (lyric sheet and poster included) and the rest of the release comprises NC’s trademark ‘Temples’ and ‘Gates’. Altogether, it flows as another great piece of work from one of my all-time favourite acts.

A stunning triumph for both quality and quantity.

Evilometer: 666/666