Saturday, September 23, 2017 20:04

Archive for February, 2016

VI – DE PRAESTIGIIS ANGELORUM LP (Agonia Records)

Friday, February 26th, 2016

VI - De Praestigiis AngelorumDe Praestigiis Angelorum’ is the debut full-length from Black Metal ensemble VI, veterans of the French scene with previous experience ripping off faces in bands like Antaeus and Aosoth, to name a couple. Unsurprisingly, they have hit the ground running.

This nice-looking record – which comes in a gatefold jacket with lyrics included (en Français) – is like a 200kmph car crash between Deathspell Omega and Fell Voices; blistering and dexterous as all fuck, but imbued with just enough nuance and melody to keep things interesting.

The first five or six times I listened to ‘De Praestigiis Angelorum’, I thought it was a good-to-decent effort, no more than that. Having persevered for a change, the rewards are bountiful. Superb stuff, despite my continued reservations about the befuddlingly-quizzical lyrical message of the orthodox movement.

Evilometer: 555/666

RITUAL CHAMBER – THE PITS OF TENTACLED SCREAMS MLP (Duplicate Records)

Sunday, February 21st, 2016

Ritual Chamber - The Pits Of Tentacled ScreamsRitual Chamber’s opening shot is just shy of half an hour long and is officially considered by Numinas to be a mere demo. Well, for a demo, ‘The Pits Of Tentacled Screams’ is nothing short of sensational.

Indeed, even considered as an actual pro release in its own right, it is also utterly superb and can stand toe to toe with anything.

Everything about this MLP is magnificent. A ghastly slab of dreamy, oftentimes doomy, ancient-spirited Death Metal and gnarl that singles RC out as an act to follow with intent going forward.

It’s quite astonishing when you think about it: regardless of what genre or subgenre that guides his muse at any particular moment in time (Funeral Doom, Black, Death…), this artistic chameleon just seems to nail it every time.

Debut full-length ‘Obscurations (To Feast On The Seraphim)’ has just been launched in 2LP format and I will undoubtedly offer my humble opinion on that one in due course. Unless I die first. Which might be no harm.

Evilometer: 666/666

EUCHARIST – DEMISE RITES MLP (Iron Bonehead Productions)

Friday, February 19th, 2016

Eucharist - Demise RitesFeaturing both of the band’s 2011 demos – ‘Tenebrous Summoning’ and ‘Demise Rites’ – in one place, this collection was initially released by Total Holocaust Records on a limited run of cassettes in 2012. It now gets a welcome 45rpm vinyl rebirth, whereupon we are treated to almost half an hour of cavernous, lo-fi, rumbling, underground Black / Death. (The title track is particularly beguiling.)

A nice introduction to a very enjoyable Australian entity. And IBP has just unleashed a brand-new MLP entitled ‘Endarkenment’ (two cuts; 27 minutes), which promises to be at least as good. My order is in…

Evilometer: 555/666

GORRCH – NERA ESTASI LP (Duplicate Records)

Monday, February 8th, 2016

Gorrch - Nera EstasiHaving loved the band’s self-titled EP from a few years ago, I was pretty chuffed to hear not only that Gorrch had got around to recording a full-length but also that it was getting a vinyl release.

Instinctively, I knew that ‘Nera Estasi’ was going to deliver some prime Black Metal of the highest calibre.

The really amazing thing about this record is that Gorrch commit the criminal act of including some overtly up-the-anus, clean-ish vocals on ‘Cinico Dominio’ and ‘Crudo Primordio’ yet they somehow manage not to sound all that gay, considering.

The latter and the sublime, rolling instrumental title track, which closes the album, are stand-out moments but, all in all, this 35-minute, six-song journey – more sophisticated and rounded that the previous offering – is absolutely superb from start to finish.

Lyric sheet included, but they are in Italian.

Evilometer: 666/666

OUTRE – GHOST CHANTS LP (Godz ov War Productions)

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

Outre - Ghost ChantsOn ‘Ghost Chants’, Outre sort of serve up a bit of everything but the kitchen sink. This includes some clean vocals (fuck me purple…); theatrical, avant-garde passages; and over-the-top, grandiose pomposity that distills any vague prevailing Black Metal elements to such an extent that they have essentially been negated.

It all ends up sounding like some pretentious, pathetic, homosexual variation of Deathspell Omega taking it up the ass from Arcturus and in the mouth from Dimmu Borgir. This one isn’t for me, at all. A truly terrible piece of shit, really.

Evilometer: 000/666

MEGIDDO – THE HOLOCAUST MESSIAH LP (Iron Pegasus Records)

Saturday, February 6th, 2016

Megiddo - The Holocaust MessiahThere’s certainly nothing remarkable about this album; nor does there purport to be. Megiddo is a one-man operation from Canada specialising in simplistic, old-school, distinctly straightforward Black Metal with no frills whatsoever and not much that’ll bury itself inside your memory banks, either.

For half an hour, ‘The Holocaust Messiah’ just plods along, doing what it says on the proverbial tin, neither annoying nor destroying. Ultimately, it’s harmless, inoffensive, by-the-numbers stuff that’s moderately entertaining (and well worth a listen if you have nothing better to do).

While underground Black Metal obviously doesn’t really have to justify its existence beyond that, alas, this record is disappointingly pedestrian and uninspiring (despite not being shite).

Evilometer: 222/666

VASTUM – HOLE BELOW LP (20 Buck Spin)

Saturday, February 6th, 2016

Vastum - Hole BelowHole Below’ is a really, really good – if not great – full-length. While it’s by no means one of the best Death Metal albums I’ve heard in recent times (too much soloing and melody for my liking, but nevertheless a tremendous amount of crush and crunch), it’s still a solid effort and one that commands respect.

I’ve listened to this record perhaps eight times in the past three days, moving my head a little and fisting the air (usually nothing move me); that little tit-bit of information probably speaks louder than any words could.

Evilometer: 555/666

PISSGRAVE – SUICIDE EUPHORIA LP (Profound Lore Records)

Monday, February 1st, 2016

Pissgrave - Suicide EuphoriaI’ve just listened to this record five times in one sitting (well, ten sittings…) and it’s a gloriously-punishing experience. The band name, song titles and artwork all suggest Death Metal of the gore-obsessed variety and that’s certainly the general tone of Pissgrave’s debut full-length, ‘Suicide Euphoria’.

Raw, corrosive, bludgeoning and uncompromising, it’s an engaging if somewhat difficult-to-digest album – clearly committed to tape / wax by unswerving devotees to their macabre art – which embraces you like sweet, cold, erotic death itself and strives to take you along for the ride, supplanting you into the narrative by ripping the skin from your face then smearing your ears in innards and ramming a jackhammer up your weeping, ravaged anus.

Yeah this sure is fine.

As well as being heavier than the glistening bones and spilled dung of a million hapless, expired humans, the mangled mayhem of ‘Suicide Euphoria’ also manages to sound unique in its pursuit of all-out savagery and dismemberment. Quite a feat.

In the same way that pain is fun, this is a monstrous record. Real shame no lyrics are included, though, cos it would be nice to read along and see just how depraved the whole affair is.

Evilometer: 666/666