Thursday, March 23, 2017 06:08

Archive for January, 2017

NAHTRUNAR – EXISTENZ LP (Altare Productions / Arcane Angels)

Monday, January 30th, 2017

Nahtrunar - ExistenzExistenz’ arrived from Portugal in a timely fashion and I removed it from the mailer, sniffed it and then reached for a knife to make the little hole at the centre slightly larger. It’s all part of the ritual. Gave it a spin or ten, knowing exactly what to expect as I’d checked out the tracks already on Bandcamp. It’s all part of the ritual.

Besides, there was enough quality evident on debut full-length, ‘Symbolismus’, to make it abundantly clear that purchasing the follow-up was a safe bet. Here, Nahtrunar delivers another 43 minutes or so of supreme, obscure, dizzying, calm-to-frenzied Black Metal meditations with oodles of somewhat unnerving melody and a graveyard of black soul.

This one is limited to 250 units and is worth hurting down for sure, despite the woefully dodgy bit of singing near the end.

Evilometer: 666/666

KRYPTS – REMNANTS OF EXPANSION LP (Dark Descent Records)

Sunday, January 29th, 2017

Krypts - Remnants Of ExpansionIt may be only 34 minutes long (five tracks) but Krypts’ second full-length sure packs one hell of a sledgehammer punch to the temple. ‘Remnants Of Expansion’ is one of the most punishing and addictive Death Metal albums of recent years and is worthy of multiple repeat listens.

For crushing, mid-paced Death Metal imbued with a subtle hint of crude melody, this cannot be topped.

Eleven-minute cenotaph ‘Arrow of Entropy’ sets the tone and Krypts’ mesmerising magic just keeps reeling you in all the way through to the aptly-named epitaph, ‘Transfixed’. A monumental release in every way and one that was born for the vinyl format.

Evilometer: 666/666

MOON – MELEK TAUS 2LP (Skjold)

Friday, January 27th, 2017

Moon - Melek TausMelek Taus’ collates a slew of demos and EPs recorded by antipodean wraiths Moon during the course of 2008. It was initially issued on cassette in 2012 but was given a painfully-limited vinyl makeover by buzz label of the moment Skjold towards the death rattle / last seeping fart of 2016 anno bastard.

There are more than 90 minutes of ambient, eerie, raw Black Metal to be trawled through here and most of it – apart from a really ropy start to Side C that possibly adds to the underground credo but nonetheless represents utter turtle shit – is superb. Long since s(kj)old out, alas, but there’s bound to be a second pressing.

Good stuff.

Evilometer: 666/666

LVTHN – ERADICATION OF NESCIENCE LP (Fallen Empire Records / Amor Fati Productions)

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

LVTHN - Eradication Of NescienceHere’s one of those unashamedly retrogressive Black Metal records that just delivers exactly what a Black Metal record should deliver. Malevolent music and fiendish utterances complemented by a visual feast of captivating artwork scattered throughout the delightful booklet and sumptuous gatefold jacket.

A treat for the eyes, ears and empty pit that languishes where a soul might be if there was any such thing.

The presentation is of massive significance when it comes to vinyl editions and all the stops have been pulled out for LVTHN’s full-length debut, ‘Eradication Of Nescience’, which looks every bit as terrific as it sounds.

Ultimately, of course, aesthetics aside, it’s all about the unsettling nature of the music pressed onto the black wax, and this is a department in which the Belgian trinity excel, spewing forth a cold slab of blazing, sinister, dissonant yet clearly audible bleakness, the addictive serpentine atmosphere embellished by bouncing bass lines and ancient, clandestine textures.

Welcome to the party.

Evilometer: 666/666

NAHTRUNAR – SYMBOLISMUS 2LP (Altare Productions / Arcane Angels)

Sunday, January 15th, 2017

Nahtrunar - SymbolismusOne of the many things I like about this release is that the fourth side of the records isn’t blank, nor does it contain an etching aimed at cretins with the mentality of twelve-year-olds. Instead, it houses Nahtrunar’s (three-track) 2014  demo, bringing the total running time to an unreasonably generous 76 minutes or thereabouts.

Of course, this wouldn’t mean much if the quality didn’t match the quantity but, in the case of ‘Symbolismus’, it’s accurate to report that we’re dealing with a unique and exceptional release from a wonderful, wonderful act.

Even though the entire album is superb, I particularly love Side B and could very easily listen to the depressive delight that is ‘Gestaltenwandler’ on a loop for the rest of my life if such an existence was viable.

Existenz’ is more than viable, however.

Evilometer: 666/666

NAÐRA – ALLIR VEGIR TIL GLÖTUNAR LP (Fallen Empire Records)

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

Naðra - Allir Vegir Til GlötunarIt’s been almost a year already since I acquired Naðra’s debut full-length, ‘Allir Vegir Til Glötunar’, but I’ve been listening to it quite a bit recently seeing as I’m going to be catching the band live next month.

Sharing members with Carpe Noctem, Mannveira, Martröð, Skáphe and Misþyrming, Naðra is a typically proficient and superb Icelandic Black Metal act, blazing through five odes here in just shy of 39 minutes.

This is certainly less obscure-sounding and more straightforward, traditional and grandiose than the above-mentioned bands but nonetheless represents a very solid dose of soaring, inflamed majesty from a young combo worthy of support. Masterful in so, so many respects.

Evilometer: 555/666

URFAUST – EMPTY SPACE MEDITATION LP (Ván Records)

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

urfaust-empty-space-meditationI’m finding that I have to be in the right mood to enjoy Urfaust these days. And I’m not sure what that mood is, exactly. I’ve given the much-heralded ‘Empty Space Meditation’ countless spins and have only enjoyed it once to date.

Today, it sounds bland, boring and uninspired again. An irritating record, with some redeeming features but not enough of them.

I’m at something of a loss considering how much I loved the band’s previous output – most notably ‘Der Freiwillige Bettler’ and ‘Apparitions’ – and how positive the general response to this release has been. Guess it’s that law of diminishing returns.

Evilometer: 111/666