Thursday, May 25, 2017 20:05

Archive for August, 2016

GEVURAH – HALLELUJAH! 2LP (Profound Lore Records)

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Gevurah - Hallelujah!If for nothing else, Gevurah deserve kudos for not sticking a dumb etching on Side D. Instead, we get a 20-minute, ambient bonus track, which brings the total running time of ‘Hallelujah!’ on black wax to an alarmingly generous 85 minutes.

Thus, there’s so much here to get one’s head and ears around that I’ve somewhat ironically found Gevurah’s debut full-length to be much more challenging than the vast majority of albums in my collection. Which takes a bit of doing…

This release demands a lot of time. After perhaps 15 listens, I feel like I’ve still barely skimmed the surface. It’s orthodox Black Metal, with studied and carefully-crafted lyrics – in both French and English – fixated on God and Satan and all that nonsense.

You also get a poster and gorgeous 16-page booklet so you can read (along? – that’s what I still like to do, even after all these years) over and over again what this Canadian duo wish to elucidate about the whole religious thing. I’d prefer not to think about it at all myself seeing as everything mentioned in the bible is about as real as tax-free income.

Evilometer: 666/666

BLACK DEVOTION – CEREMONIAL RITUALS OF DEMONIC CHAOS LP (Astral Nightmare Productions)

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

Black Devotion - Ceremonial Rituals Of Demonic Chaos

Black Devotion’s debut full-length, ‘Ceremonial Rituals Of Demonic Chaos’, is one that’s been flying well below the radar for about a year now but deserves a lot more attention than what it’s been afforded.

Without hype or the support of a clever, well-connected label, many great underground releases just disappear into obscurity and this is one such effort.

There’s half an hour’s worth of solid Death / Black Metal on here, featuring the eminent Nocturnus Dominus of Unhuman Disease infamy, and I believe it’s well worth checking out, especially if you can’t get enough of Archgoat and their ilk in your life.

Evilometer: 555/666

HOWLS OF EBB – CURSUS IMPASSE: THE PENDLOMIC VOWS LP (Nuclear War Now! Productions)

Saturday, August 20th, 2016

Howls of Ebb - Cursus Impasse The Pendlomic VowsSometimes the easiest reviews to write are also the most difficult ones. ‘Cursus Impasse: The Pendlomic Vows’ is a staggering album but it is so complex, ambitious and out there that I would struggle to come up with a description or analysis that would do it justice. So I’m not even going to try (all that much).

As a general rule, I abhor anything that’s even remotely technical or progressive, yet Howls Of Ebb undoubtedly fall into both of those categories. The seven tracks (42 minutes) on offer on their second full-length are anything but straightforward, coming across as a more challenging, supple and sinuous Portal; more angular, more disjointed but at the same time still more accessible due to the disinfected production, complete lack of murkiness and the (impressive, for a change) technical prowess of the musicians (something I usually run a mile from).

A wankfest admittedly but it’s all rather astonishing and there is so much going on that each repeat listen brings a whole new experience. The inclusion of a sumptuous booklet and poster seal the deal on an all-round winner that succeeds partly because it dares to be different – a dangerous road populated by the corpses of so many who have tried in vain to get the balance right but fallen on their own swords while I sneered contemptuously.

Evilometer: 666/666

ELLORSITH / MANNVEIRA – ELLORSITH / MANNVEIRA MLP (Dark Descent Records)

Saturday, August 20th, 2016

Ellorsith Mannveira - Ellorsith MannveiraFantastic stuff here courtesy of two proper underground acts – Ellorsith from Canada and Mannveira from Iceland. The former offer another conceptual piece of work, this time centred around the story of Jerome of Sandy Cove, while the Reykjavík-ians(?) also submit two stellar tracks.

In total, we get less than 27 minutes of music. But it’s great music and well worthy of your money.

Evilometer: 555/666

DROWNING THE LIGHT – FROM THE ABYSS 2LP (Obscure Abhorrence Productions)

Friday, August 19th, 2016

DTL - From The AbyssHaving bought all twelve previous Drowning The Light full-lengths – as well as quite a few of the countless splits, EPs and demos – I have been deeply disappointed by the so-called music on offer on ‘From The Abyss’. The Aussies have gone for a more melodic, epic, effeminate and accessible sound this time around and the records reek of grandeur and pomposity.

This is far removed from the Drowning The Light I fell in love with and, in the let-down stakes – ranks right up there with recent less-raw, sell-out departures from Satanic Warmaster, Watain and Nefandus. And Burzum and Graveland. It’s doubtful that there are many of you sitting on the fence at this stage regarding whether or not to purchase this album, seeing as it was released six months ago – but, for what it’s worth, ‘From The Abyss’ is a real shocker that should be avoided at all costs.

Might be good for listening to whilst looking at butterflies dancing around outside in the garden, but otherwise this album is just pure irritating. And the warbling on the liner notes along the lines of ‘we are Black Metal and fuck the unconverted non-believers in the pathetic world’ is pretty embarrassing when the music is this lush, camp and easy-listening. Candy floss.

Evilometer: 000/666

TEMPLE NIGHTSIDE – THE HECATOMB LP (Iron Bonehead Productions)

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

Temple Nightside - The HecatombThere’s a brilliant collective of Australian artists toiling away in the darkest depths of the underground making some of the most amazing music in the world right now. Between Ill Omen, Vassafor, Sinistrous Diabolus, Grave Upheaval and the tremendous Temple Nightside (to name just a handful of the more prominent parties in the cooperative), it’s a veritable Black / Death Motown down there. These bands are all utterly fantastic, so much so that one could almost survive on Australian occult metal alone.

Temple Nightside’s second full-length, ‘The Hecatomb’ ups the ante, if anything. Oppressive, ritualistic and decidedly despondent, it’s hard to fathom how an album like this can leave the listener feeling so elevated. This is a celebration of darkness that will drag you so low into the mire that you become stripped of all hope and reborn in your natural state – one of utter despair.

Once you accept the worthlessness of yourself and everything around you and embrace the absolute certainty of death, you are free. Free to enjoy what little time you have left. Much of which could be spent listening to this sublime record – embellished with a gatefold sleeve, eight-page A4 booklet and poster – over and over again.

Play it to death.

Evilometer: 666/666