Monday, May 29, 2017 07:30

Archive for April, 2016

SLIDHR – SPIT OF THE APOSTATE MLP (Terratur Possessions)

Friday, April 29th, 2016

Slidhr - Spit Of The ApostateIt’s a real shame that ‘Spit Of The Apostate’ is a mini-album and not a full-length. The record is given the works, with a gatefold jacket and poster included, and it sounds fucking immense. But it’s bitterly brief at just over 23 minutes and – even though the release in its entirety represents a clear triumph for quality over quantity – it’s over before it gets started, really.

Brilliant, but we all want more Slidhr. Alas, but for a full album of this magick… Having said that, I suppose it fits in with a creative concept of some sort. I’m not a huge fan of the MLP format, anyway (they seem to be becoming increasingly prevalent, too, I’ve noticed). I know a lot of people are attracted to the shorter formats and, if EPs are your thing, then you are sure to enjoy this one.

Spellbinding but short; I’m just greedy for more.

Evilometer: 555/666

SKÁPHE – SKÁPHE² (Fallen Empire Records)

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

Skáphe - Skáphe²Been listening to both Skáphe full-lengths on vinyl (released simultaneously…) around the clock these past few days and I’m having quite the trip. While ‘Skáphe’ is immense in its own right, ‘Skáphe²’ beat it hands down and is one of the most extraordinary ambient Black Metal records I’ve encountered since this (quite similar, too).

There’s some sort of scratch or glitch on my copy during ‘IV’ and a shitload of static too (and the record is rough; feels like it was cut from the pressing plant using an axe), but I guess that’s just rotten luck on my behalf. Personal annoyances aside – and they are considerable – suffice to say, this one should probably be on everybody’s list.

Evilometer: 666/666

IRKALLIAN ORACLE – APOLLYON 2LP (Nuclear War Now!)

Monday, April 25th, 2016

Irkallian Oracle - ApollyonGrave Ekstasis’ was a stunning debut and Irkallian Oracle’s follow-up, ‘Apollyon’, is utterly monumental. This time, we get 57 minutes of monolithic Black / Death(-Doom) that would serve as the ideal soundtrack to an all-consuming earthquake or slow-motion tsunami. It’s the sound of a natural disaster. Lovely.

The understated, cavernous production – which mostly lets the (hypnotic, persistent) drums and vocals dominate while everything else is consigned into a gloriously murky quagmire – gives rise to a somewhat different beast than that presented on the predecessor – the result is devastating.

Apart from the nonsensical etching on Side D (I hate those), this album is immense. Listening experiences do not get more intense, more unnerving or more exhilarating. Who’d have thought that music that makes you feel like both your eardrums are perforated could be so rewarding?

Evilometer: 666/666

RITUAL CHAMBER – OBSCURATIONS (TO FEAST ON THE SERAPHIM) 2LP (Profound Lore Records)

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

Ritual Chamber - Obscurations (To Feast On The Seraphim)There’s an hour’s worth of chilling one-man Death Metal on Ritual Chamber’s superb debut full-length, ‘Obscurations (To Feast On The Seraphim)’. To a large degree, this is Incantation worship but it also sounds fresh and vibrant and downright pretty fucking incredible.

To think that one man conceived and executed this monolith boggles my mind and, even when it veers into relatively disjointed terrain, I can still but nod my aging head in approval. The stunning double-vinyl edition includes a gatefold jacket and lyrics. Absolutely worthy of support.

Evilometer: 666/666

IGNIS HAERETICUM – LUCIFERIAN GNOSIS 2LP (Goathorned Productions)

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

Ignis Haereticum - Luciferian GnosisIf Ignis Haereticum’s debut album ‘Luciferian Gnosis’ had appeared on one of the premier labels such as Terratur Possessions, World Terror Committee, Iron Bonehead Productions, Daemon Worship Productions or Fallen Empire Records, I would not have batted an eyelid. That’s perhaps as much a compliment as I could pay these impressive Colombians.

This is great Black Metal that could hold its own in any company despite the tired orthodox slant and the vinyl edition is contained within a spectacular gatefold housing with beautiful 16-page booklet included. One to investigate, for sure.

Evilometer: 666/666

ALTARAGE – NIHL LP (Iron Bonehead Productions)

Saturday, April 16th, 2016

Altarage - NIHLI invest so much of my hard-earned cash in vinyl that, as the years progress, I’m becoming increasingly prudent and careful with what I actually buy. Improving quality control has given rise to the rather strange scenario where the greatness of each new record is a given, something I take completely for granted. A case of the more I get, the less I appreciate each of them.

It goes like this: I buy the record (nine times out of ten, I’m already familiar with the tracks), anxiously await its arrival, lovingly remove it from the packaging, peek at the poster if there is one while I give the glistening black wax a few spins, then file it away.

Nothing remarkable really happens anymore. Just one fantastic record after another. A procession of almost banal magic. I’m like a man who feasts upon lamb’s kidney and heart for dinner every day and washes them down with golden nectar, one who’s on the receiving end of exactly 35 enthusiastically-delivered blowjobs every week. So spoiled that I tend to neither appreciate nor recognise just how lucky I am, overlooking – almost dismissively – the true greatness that stands before and all around me.

Also, it gets harder to talk about them. I mean, how many different ways are there to say ‘this is a brilliant Black Metal album’?

Then along comes Basque bastards Altarage’s debut full-length ‘NIHL’ to leave my jaw permanently stuck to the fucking floor. I’ve had this monster on steady rotation at the expense of all else for three days now and it just keeps getting better. Certainly one of the best LPs I’ve acquired this year, ‘NIHL’ is mandatory for those who are enjoying the hybrid offerings of Portal, Teitanblood, Genocide Shrines, Mitochondrion, Antediluvian, Grave Upheaval, Irkallian Oracle, Impetuous Ritual, Adversarial, Mefitic and so on (the list is getting longer!) .

A truly astonishing album with some of the punchiest, most addictive drumming to ever adorn a Black / Death Metal recording and a lot, lot more besides. Searing guitars, anguished otherworldly hollers, soul-destroying bass. The crushing atmosphere lives and breathes, pouring from the speakers like a tsunami of terror. And we all love terror. Let it rain upon you.

Evilometer: 666/666