Saturday, September 23, 2017 21:55

Archive for April, 2017

CHHINNAMASTA VAJRA-SARPA MLP (Iron Bonehead Productions)

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

Chhinnamasta - Vajra-SarpaChhinnamasta’s debut release, the one-sided MLP, “Vajra-Sarpa”, is quite a short shock – featuring just over 20 minutes of raw-ish / ambient Black Metal … from India of all places. There’s really just one actual song on here – ‘In Search Of A Primal Light’ – buttressed between two ambient pieces – ‘Nexion I – Ritual Of Illumination And Consumption’ and ‘Nexion II – Reawakening Primeval Spells From The Farthest Cosmic Night’.

It’s very good stuff and, to make up for the brevity of the record, I tend to listen to it more than once at a time (and no need to even turn it over). Obviously, I’d prefer a full-length but, alas, there’s a lot of quality material emerging on the mini-album format these days and I’m finding myself buying more and more of them. Insert included.

Evilometer: 555/666

TURIA – DEDE KONDRE LP (Altare Productions)

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

Turia - Dede KondreWith its jangling, uplifting, almost triumphant tones complemented by pained shrieks and forlorn lamentations, Turia’s second full-length, ‘Dede Kondre’, is every bit as captivating and refreshing as ‘Dor’ was. This is ambient, atmospheric, spirited Black Metal very much of the underground.

Reminiscent of those well-known Cascadian trailblazers but still quite unique and original to my battered ear. Great stuff again.

Evilometer: 666/666

DEATH WORSHIP – EXTERMINATION MASS MLP (Nuclear War Now!)

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

Death Worship - Extermination MassFeaturing seasoned, craggy, battle-hardened commanders from Revenge, Blasphemy and Conqueror, Death Worship unsurprisingly sounds a lot like Revenge, Conqueror and (to a lesser extent) Blasphemy. ‘Extermination Mass’ salvages from the trenches 20(-ish) minutes of precise, militaristic war Black / Death (with some cool effects) that does exactly as anticipated.

Poster and insert with lyrics included but not much bang for one’s buck in terms of the quantity of music (quality quotient very high, however). All in all, it’s a great record but very short.

Evilometer: 666/666

ASH BORER – THE IRREPASSABLE GATE 2LP (Profound Lore Records)

Monday, April 24th, 2017

Ash Borer - The Irrepassable GateI was fortunate enough to see Ash Borer play live in a small barroom in Dublin last night, with just a modest smattering of die-hards in attendance. They put on a truly mesmerising display that reminded me of the power and panache of recent performances I’ve witnessed from Svartidauði and Misþyrming. That good.

It’s both sad and cool at the same time that so few people appreciate such incredible talent but, for my money, Ash Borer are close to untouchable. They deliver in the live arena and they also deliver on record. Third full-length, ‘The Irrepassable Gate’, is easily as good as anything they’ve recorded previously and this 53-minute epic comes into its own in the double-vinyl format, with tasty gatefold sleeve and a download card thrown in for good measure.

Shame really that the flow is interrupted between ‘Lustration I’ and ‘Grey Marrow’ but I always seem to find something to moan about. In a world where you can trust nobody, you can at least depend on Ash Borer to release quality material.

Evilometer: 666/666

WHITE MEDAL – LYKE WAKE LP (Darker Than Black Records / Legion Blotan Records & Distribution)

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

White Medal - Lyke Wake LPWhite Medal’s second full-length, ‘Lyke Wake’, is really fantastic from start to finish. George Proctor has been responsible for some of the most compelling underground Black Metal to surface in the UK and this record shows just how irresistible a force this music can be when executed well and given an individual twist.

Slow-to-mid-paced, ugly, gnarly and genuinely unique, ‘Lyke Wake’ is an obscure gem that will ignored by most but deserves to be acknowledged by more. Nothing complicated happening here but the album is a triumph for simplicity and capturing the right mood – something so many others fail to achieve.

Check it out because it’s great.

Evilometer: 666/666

TOMB MOLD – PRIMORDIAL MALIGNITY LP (Blood Harvest)

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

Tomb Mold - Primordial MalignityCanadian duo Tomb Mold have crafted a seriously crushing and impressive debut full-length in ‘Primordial Malignity’. While the album is undeniably grisly, grim and grotesque, it possesses an organic, almost-catchy dimension as well as overt aggression, rendering it somewhat enigmatic and anomalous by Death Metal standards.

The songs are superbly written and executed (pummeling, precise, potent) and they are afforded a magical production that allows everything to shine through (drums, vocals, guitars all prominent and pleasing). So this is strangulating rather than murky.

To an extent, it’s really just exeptional Canadian Death Metal with a distinctly Finnish vibe (yet jangly and chuggy – for want of better words (or real words, even) like compatriots Gorguts and Cryptopsy), managing to sound fresh and clean and pristine.

Sharp, glistening blades bring little or nothing new to the sacrificial table but they sure are effective for gutting people with.

Evilometer: 666/666

RIDE FOR REVENGE – THY HORRENDOUS YEARNING LP (Hells Headbangers Records)

Monday, April 10th, 2017

Ride For Revenge - Thy Horrendous YearningRide For Revenge’s uncanny and welcome ability to consistently conjure some the most demented, unique and twisted Black Metal known to man was underlined indelibly by sixth full-length, ‘Thy Horrendous Yearning’, which is yet another exhibition of their trademark noisy, mid-paced, utterly-off-the-wall, drum-and-bass-heavy psychedelic psychosis.

There is no other force quite like Ride For Revenge and all of their records are mandatory, including this one. Crushing, life-affirming madness again presented in a gatefold jacket with printed lyrics to read along with. You probably have this already?…

Evilometer: 666/666

THE OMINOUS CIRCLE – APPALLING ASCENSION 2LP (Osmose Productions)

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

The Ominous Circle - Appalling AscensionAnother new band concealing their identities by covering their faces in Mgla-style masks (as if anybody actually cares who they are but, hey, the novelty has yet to wear off and it is still cool as fuck, to be fair), The Ominous Circle hail from Portugal and play dark, eerie, evil-as-fuck Death Metal along the lines of Altarage, Dead Congregation, Grave Upheaval, Irkallian Oracle and their increasing ilk (but slightly more melodic, with some solos and shit).

Debut album ‘Appalling Ascension’ is utterly excellent, with bundles of variety, dynamism and – most importantly – darkness. This is a really savage and moody slab of Death – two tracks on each side, 52 minutes’ running time – that should appeal to fans of the new breed of Death dealers as well as the old brigade like Immolation and Incantation.

Comes in a gatefold sleeve with printed inserts featuring lyrics and looks as nasty as it sounds. I’m amazed there’s not a bigger fuss being made about this band but I guess that all comes down to being on the right trendy label or something. Anyway, ‘Appalling Ascension’ is superb, although the last line in ‘Poison Fumes’ – “For I have tasted HIS worm” – would have done Finbarr Saunders himself proud.

Evilometer: 666/666

THRONEUM – MORBID DEATH TALES LP (Hells Headbangers Records)

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

Throneum - Morbid Death TalesMorbid Death Tales’ is the seventh full-length from primitive Polish Death Metal duo Throneum and, even though it only emerged late in 2016, it has already been succeeded by an eighth. There are eleven fairly simple and straightforward raw, recorded-in-a-garage songs on the record and the running time is less than 33 minutes, so it’s a pretty easy one to digest.

Not least because compatriot Mark Of The Devil of Cultes Des Ghoules fame lends his voice to the last two hymns, which gives the LP a whole extra dimension … filthy Death Metal with a little sprinkling of Black Metal gold dust at the end. Not a gimmick, no, this is great stuff.

Evilometer: 666/666

KÊRES- BOOK OF DESIRE LP (Kuunpalvelus)

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

Kêres - Book of DesireEven by Black Metal standards, Kêres is anomalous and difficult to fathom. Great music but for whatever reason he’s reluctant to share it with the masses. I can understand the logic behind it from the perspective that clearly all people are cunts so why bother giving them any pleasure, but the counter argument is why the fuck not press more copies just for the hell of it?

I didn’t bother reviewing ‘Battle Secrets’ for the reason that there is no point really and the same applies to ‘Book Of Desire’, which is so limited that it sold out within hours. So this isn’t available anymore and that’s a shame because it’s fantastic. Interesting lyrics full of riddles, excellent music performed with passion and pathos and definitely an album that could shift at least 500 units on vinyl. Which just ain’t going to happen, alas.

I suppose ultimately you can only admire the refusal to follow convention and perceived norms. Or to cash in on his talents… Why? Why not?

Evilometer: 666/666