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Archive for December, 2015

TSJUDER – ANTILIV 2LP (Season Of Mist)

Monday, December 28th, 2015

Tsjuder - AntilivThis one comes in a gatefold sleeve with a nice booklet included and the records are pressed at 45rpm to maximise the sound quality. Two tracks on each side; 20 minutes on the first record, 26 on the second.

The label has done a decent job with the double LP but why they need to release a million different editions is beyond me. (Well, not really.)

Anyhow, Tsjuder does what Tsjuder does: straight-out, no-holds-barred, traditional Norwegian Black Metal done the old way and with abundant competence. It’s very hard to find any fault with this album, even though it doesn’t stick in my head or move me in any real way. When I lay awake at nights, it is not ‘Antiliv’ that I dwell upon.

At the end of the day, it’s just another quality Black Metal record and far be it from me to take issue with that. (Apologies for the crap pic.)

Evilometer: 555/666

NOCTURNAL BLOOD – ABNORMALITIES PREVAIL 2LP (Hells Headbangers Records)

Sunday, December 27th, 2015

Nocturnal Blood - Abnormalities PrevailAbnormalities Prevail’ gathers most of Nocturnal Blood’s recordings to date (outside of the 2010 full length, ‘Devastated Graves – The Morbid Celebration’) onto two slabs of black vinyl. That’s 17 songs in total (not 20 – brief intros and outros don’t count), recorded between ’07 and ’09.

The best material can be found on Side C – which is culled from the ‘Imperial Impurity’ split with Sanguis Imperem (sounding like Entombed in overdrive!) – but all in all this is an excellent collection of underground art committed to analogue by the sole entity known as Ghastly Apparition and presented here in a fetching gatefold jacket.

Wonderful one-man Death Metal, loaded with integrity and spirit.

Evilometer: 555/666

SIELUNVIHOLLINEN – HAUTARUHTINAS LP (Humanity’s Plague Productions)

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

Sielunvihollinen - HautaruhtinasSielunvihollinen’s debut full-length ‘Hautaruhtinas’ is one of the most upbeat, happy-go-lucky, chirpy and nauseating so-called Black Metal albums I’ve had the misfortune of hearing. I cannot stand this rubbish. Soaring, melodic leads lick all over everything and for the life of me I do not understand how this can be considered to be Black Metal.

There’s no sense of nihilism, dread, menace or darkness to be heard anywhere in the music and it’s so lush that I know it won’t be getting another spin on my deck. A total waste of hard-earned cash.

Fool me for not doing my homework properly prior to purchase. I’m not sure where I gleaned my ante-investment information from or why I grabbed this record with such confidence.

A massive, massive let down. Offends my ears in much the same manner as muck like Finntroll and Children of Bodom. Shocking.

Evilometer: 000/666

BLACK FEAST- LARENUF JUBILEUM LP (Iron Bonehead Productions / Nuclear War Now!)

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

Black Feast - Larenuf JubileumMy knowledge of Black Feast is non-existent. ‘Larenuf Jubileum’ collates demo, split, advance tape and promo material from this little-known (to me, at least) entity onto one record, which boasts the production values of a kick to the sac. I decided to take a chance on this on a hunch (due largely to the labels involved) and I got more or less what I was expecting.

For the most part, it sounds like an improvised live rehearsal; rabid, unstructured and uncouth. Therein lies the charm! ‘Larenuf Jubileum’ delivers authentic, unforced and unpretentious underground bestial black death madness where the disdainful, indifferent, outsider attitude is more important than the quality of the music and / or recording.

Once you transcend the clutter and clang, it is – either by accident or design – a rather great analogue seduction.

Evilometer: 555/666

POSSESSION – 1585-1646 MLP (Iron Bonehead Productions)

Saturday, December 19th, 2015

Possession - 1585-1646 MLPIt’s just 25 minutes long and features only four tracks (plus an intro), but damned if this MLP doesn’t indelibly highlight Possession as an exciting new act to keep a very close eye on. From start to finish, ‘1585-1646’ (which seems to be a concept mini-album of sorts, about a witch) brims with genuine underground malevolence, just the way Black Metal and Death Metal should.

This is a ripping piece of alchemy that not alone whets the appetite for the Belgians’ debut full-length but stands tall and brazen as a highly significant release in its own right. Makes me feel like I did when I first started listening to Black Metal more years, nay decades, ago than I care to fucking remember.

And anything that manages to make me feel younger is monumental…

Evilometer: 666/666

OSTOTS – HIL ARGI LP (Dead Section Records / Altare Productions)

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

Ostots - Hil ArgiHailing from the Basque Country, it’s almost inevitable that Ostots is going to be shit hot. Second full-length ‘Hil Argi’ delivers six cuts of soaring, epic, clean and crisp underground Black Metal with fevered, waspish vocals (plus the obligatory intro and outro).

While the music is majestic, emotive and impassioned, for me it’s those harsh, strangulated, raw shrieks that really serve to elevate this record above mundanity. But for them, this could have been a flaky enough affair because it’s very melodic for the most part.

As it is, ‘Hil Argi’ stands proud as a pretty sublime, near-flawless experience.

Evilometer: 555/666

FIDES INVERSA – MYSTERIUM TREMENDUM ET FASCINANS LP (World Terror Committee)

Saturday, December 12th, 2015

Fides Inversa - Mysterium Tremendum Et FascinansWith more mysterious nine-letter Latin words than you could shake a big stick at, Fides Inversa’s second full-length, ‘Mysterium Tremendum Et Fascinans’, has been given a majestic vinyl makeover by WTC, housed within a stunning gatefold jacket and featuring a beautiful inner sleeve with lyrics and symbolism confirming that we are once more in the realm of orthodoxy here.

I’m a bit confused by exactly what the obsession with religious themes in Black Metal and Death Metal represents when the bands are so informed on the subject. Why quote empty texts? Why does anybody delve so deeply into religion?

Of course, the purpose is to oppose and discredit it (I think) but … by giving it airtime and obsessing on it? What the fuck! There’s so much passion and insight in the lyrics, how can it be anti? Is it necessary to be an authority on something in order to dismiss it? As far as I’m concerned, there is obviously no man upstairs (anyone who is fully evolved should know this instinctively) so I am not going to waste time reading about him and his myths, and / or quoting or referencing books of lies.

Anyway, despite my suspicions about those who seemingly study these superstitious themes (did they once investigate to see if there might be a God, hahahahahaha?), I must profess to loving this album. ‘Mysterium Tremendum Et Fascinans’ is a great listen. Even if the spiritual aspect of it goes right over my head, there’s no denying that it works. Black Metal about the bogey man, folks, works better than it probably should.

Evilometer: 555/666

AKITSA – GRANDS TYRANS LP (Hospital Productions)

Friday, December 11th, 2015

Akitsa - Grands TyransGrands Tyrans’ constitutes Akitsa’s first full-length in five years so it was certainly an eagerly-awaited release. And then there was the by-now-all-too-familiar extra delay for the vinyl edition of the Québécois duo’s fifth album, which is handled by Hospital Productions and therefore a little bit pricier than most records…

This is the band’s most ambitious release to date in that there are multiple tracks that have precious little to do with Black Metal and, on a purely subjective level, some of these don’t appeal to me at all.

Still, many of the songs on here are stellar slices of cold, harsh Black Metal from the barren wastelands.

To my ears, the LP is let down by two irritating tracks – the silly, shout-y ‘Le Feu De L’abîme’ and ‘Chimères’ – while another one of the BM-free offerings, ‘Les Flots De L’enfer’ is absolutely spellbinding. So I guess it all comes down to acute personal taste and I could just as easily be fawning over the album in its entirety.

All in all, Akitsa have crafted a very interesting and rounded record that is worthy of acknowledgement, support, respect and full marks.

Evilometer: 666/666

BLACK CILICE – OLD OATHS LP (Dead Section Records)

Thursday, December 10th, 2015

Black Cilice - Old OathsOld Oaths’ gathers nine ceremonies from assorted Black Cilice 7” records – mostly splits – that surfaced over the past five years and it’s a collection that captures the rawest spirit of the Portuguese cellar-dweller.

There are times when the production is so non-existent and the whole thing so entirely unhinged, unbalanced and chaotic that I wonder am I insane for listening.

But the demented, devious charm of Black Cilice never fails to work its insidious spell on me and – even though it’s disjointed and almost unpalatable at first – this is ultimately a superb record that should be acquired not just by completists but by anyone with an appreciation of the deepest underground.

Difficult but rewarding. Nicely presented, too.

Evilometer: 666/666

REVENGE – BEHOLD.TOTAL.REJECTION LP (Season Of Mist)

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

Revenge - Behold.Total.RejectionRevenge return with a – dare I say it? – vengeance. Fifth full-length ‘Behold.Total.Rejection’ is their longest album to date, breaking from the tradition of offering eight songs and instead delivering ten, and it is also their most insane, by quite some distance.

Even by Revenge standards, this is fucking way out there. Like the soundtrack to a massacre in an abattoir, with the beasts themselves playing the music, ‘Behold.Total.Rejection’ ups the ante big time and takes things to a whole new level of extremity. I love when bands do that; it shows that they have really meant it all along.

The first time I listened to this record I couldn’t believe how totally mental it sounded. But by now I have become accustomed to the madness that abounds hereon and I would without hesitation herald ‘Behold.Total.Rejection’ as one of the most mandatory records I’ve ever had the pleasure of spinning.

It’s a relentless, challenging and even exhausting listen due to the utter savagery and speed of the songs. But fuck me sideways if it isn’t divine.

Behold total erection.

Evilometer: 666/666