Friday, September 21, 2018 12:46

Archive for March, 2018

UNDERGANG – MISANTROPOLOGI LP (Me Saco Un Ojo Records)

Wednesday, March 28th, 2018

Undergang - MisantropologiMisantropologi’ is the fourth rancid full-length from spiteful Danish trio Undergang and it’s a monstrous full-length that’s received countless rotations on the deck of death. Though brief at just 29 minutes (counting the 30 seconds it requires me to flip the record over), this is a catchy, memorable slab of putrid Death Metal that certainly makes a lasting impression.

The lyrics are in a language that’s foreign to me so I’m at a loss as to the precise nature of the unpleasantness to hand, though it’s clearly not nice stuff. Great Death Metal here, performed with style and authority. As good as it gets.

Evilometer: 666/666

TCHORNOBOG – TCHORNOBOG 2LP (Fallen Empire Records)

Sunday, March 25th, 2018

Tchornobog - TchornobogTchornobog’s self-titled debut full-length is an extraordinary work of art that really comes to life in the glorious double-vinyl format. Having said that, I am sure this would sound great on CD, tape, MP3 or erupting from a volcano either as it is genuinely exceptional.

Comprising four epic offerings of stunning Black / Death Metal that refuses to be pigeon-holed, ‘Tchornobog’ is all the more astonishing a feat when one considers that the Ukrainian-born visionary behind this one-man operation, Markov Soroka, was still only in his 20th year when the album was recorded at Studio Emissary, Reykjavik, in 2015 (quite reminiscent of the equally-awesome, ‘Tabernaculum’, actually).

There’s so much to appreciate here that I don’t know where to start. The album is ambitious and eclectic; there’s saxophone, trumpet, grand piano and cello included; terrific artwork and a gatefold jacket; fascinating lyrics; a tremendous sound and production; wonderful compositions and execution; immense musicianship, including some magnificent drumming courtesy of Svartidauði’s very own human octopus Magnús.

Cutting to the chase, this splendid, jaw-dropping 65-minute album really is a wondrous accomplishment.

Evilometer: 666/666

KALMANKANTAJA – VIIMEINEN VIRSI LP (Purity Through Fire / Hammerbund)

Friday, March 23rd, 2018

Kalmankantaja - Viimeinen VirsiEpic, sad, melodic and full of longing, ‘Viimeinen Virsi’ is one of four full-lengths that were released by Kalmankantaja during a very productive 2014 calendar year.

These Finns have recorded and released a lot of music within a relatively short period of time and I’ve noticed quite a bit of it surfacing on vinyl of late.

Atmospheric, depressive, heartbroken, lush and uplifting / downcast, pitiful, poor-me Black Metal is very one-dimensional, though, and essentially dull, so I can’t imagine why anybody would want more than one or two records in this style.

Which makes me wonder why I jumped in, like a drunken blind man at a pool party. My money is gone and this is a fitting soundtrack to my ensuing sadness and self pity.

Evilometer: 111/666

AKERCOCKE – RENAISSANCE IN EXTREMIS 2LP (Peaceville Records)

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

Akercocke – Renaissance In ExtremisAkercocke have some terrific albums but ‘Renaissance In Extremis’ isn’t one of them. Why any band wants to merge Death Metal with ‘80s pop music and progressive / regressive bumfluff is beyond me.

It sounds like they were in the same building as Soft Cell, Tears For Fears, Howard Jones, Heaven 17 and Rod, Jane and Freddy from Rainbow (the children’s TV show, not the band) all jamming at the same time in different rooms and the dubious resonances leaked through the ether and merged together into one gigantic, steaming dog shit.

The dog died dropping said abomination and the discombobulated owner put the dog into the poop bag instead of the turd. First on the scene and cognizant of my civic duty, I took the shit home and naively placed it on the platter of my turntable and gave it a spin. Yes, I can confirm that it’s definitely excrement from the expired ass of a deceased, once-loved animal.

Evilometer: 000/666

DARKTHRONE – ARCTIC THUNDER LP (Peaceville Records)

Sunday, March 18th, 2018

Darkthrone - Arctic ThunderIt’s staggering to think that ‘Arctic Thunder’ is Darkthrone’s 17th full-length. Even though by no means my favourite, this band has obviously had a bigger influence on my life than possibly any other as those seminal, legendary, stunning albums of the ‘nineties were not just incredible but also trailblazing and hugely influential.

I wonder how many of the acts I appreciate today would even exist were it not for Darkthrone leading the way. Even those not directly influenced by the revered triptych that is ‘A Blaze in the Northern Sky’, ‘Under A Funeral Moon’ and ‘Transilvanian Hunger’ arguably take their cue from another entity who was.

Anyway, I lost interest in the work of Fenriz and Nocturno Culto the further they careered down the drab crust / punk / epic / heavy metal path(s), so much so that I stopped taking them seriously. Then, in 2016, they dropped this one.

Obviously, Darkthrone will never return to their roots or fully rediscover the glories of yore, but I was surprised that they recorded another album that I really enjoy. ‘Arctic Thunder’ is a superb collection – at times coming across like a hybrid of Clandestine Blaze and Black Sabbath – but there’s just no getting away (ever) from how redundant and irrelevant the five LPs that preceded it are to me.

Evilometer: 555/666

AOSOTH – V: THE INSIDE SCRIPTURES LP (Agonia Records)

Friday, March 16th, 2018

Aosoth - V The Inside Scriptures LPAosoth’s fifth and final strike is a monstrous slab of murky Black Metal disdainfully forced through a decidedly Death Metal funnel – or dare I say portal? – to create an uncompromising boot to the spatial solar plexus.

The audacious auditory assault that is ‘V: The Inside Scriptures’ is a manifestation of disgust, despair and indignation that gives me hope. Hope that the planet will be cleansed of the filth of humanity. Soon.

Evilometer: 666/666

HORNA – ENVAATNAGS EFLOS SOLF ESGANTAAVNE 2LP (Blut & Eisen Productions)

Sunday, March 11th, 2018

Horna - Envaatnags Eflos Solf EsgantaavneHorna’s 2004 full-length, ‘Envaatnags Eflos Solf Esgantaavne’, truly epitomises everything that’s so exceptional about these Finnish stalwarts, encapsulating the bleak horde’s uncanny knack for perfectly combining rawness with just the right amount of melody to deliver stellar Black Metal worthy of adulation.

I’m delighted this double-vinyl edition has been given a long-overdue reissue as this is without doubt the definitive version of arguably Horna’s finest release – their fourth of nine LPs to date – featuring 13 tracks in total, six of which are not included on the CD (although ‘Kuilunhenki’ is omitted, to balance things up a little bit).

These records contain 81 minutes of prime northern darkness that never let up, from that instantly-recognisable, insidious riff of majestic opening ode ‘Vihan tie’ right through to the bitter end, cementing Horna’s place in Black Metal’s Hall of Infamy. One of the great albums of our time.

Evilometer: 666/666

DEIQUISITOR – DOWNFALL OF THE APOSTATES LP (Night Shroud Records)

Monday, March 5th, 2018

Deiquisitor - Downfall Of The ApostatesBoasting ties with Blodfest and Ogdru Jahad – two acts I passed comment on in what seems like a previous lifetime – dastardly Danes Deiquisitor churn out nine choice slabs of thought-provoking, unearthly and uncompromising Death Metal on their sophomore full-length, ‘Downfall Of The Apostates’.

The sound is heavily indebted to one of my all-time favourite DM hordes, namely the legendary Immolation (and Incantation, too), the lyrical themes dealing with conspiracy theories, occult science and extra-terrestrial existences … topics that would not feel out of place on an Immolation record, either.

Having missed the self-titled debut full-length (something I’m in the process of rectifying), I opted to buy this record due to the current buzz around Danish Death Metal and my partiality towards a blast of Undergang every now and again.

All in all, though on many accounts ‘Downfall Of The Apostates’ could be hastily dismissed as just another albeit solid Death Metal album (and how many of those does anyone truly need?), the simple fact is that this is an outstanding record in its own right. And it sounds fucking fantastic through headphones, perhaps the litmus test.

Completing the package, complementing the terrific music on offer, the label has pulled out all the stops in terms of presentation: the cover and artwork reek of class, with full lyrics (which make for a very enjoyable read … the truth is out there) included on the insert and a poster thrown in for good measure.

Evilometer: 666/666

BLATTARIA – BLATTARIA LP (Fallen Empire Records)

Sunday, March 4th, 2018

Blattaria - BlattariaBlattaria is the scientific name for cockroach and a routine perusal of the lyrics included on the insert of this delightful LP quickly reveals the appropriate nature of both band name and album title.

The corrupt(ed) vision of one enlightened (disillusioned would definitely be the wrong word!) and therefore suitably despondent individual from Oklahoma City, USA, Blattaria’s bleak and delirious debut full-length spews out six depraved decompositions of filthy, noisy, chaotic, dissonant, jarring Black Metal of the highest / lowest calibre.

Of course, the real cockroach here is the human – the most despicable, self-centred, deluded, poisonous, pathetic creature that has ever slithered around this planet, espousing its own importance, championing itself. As a species or race or whatever the fuck it is, humankind is a blight on all things, an unhinged and deranged abomination constantly craving attention.

There’s no getting away from this. The sooner we realise it the better. Sicknesses of the mind and spirit can be neither cured nor eased by a forlorn search for happiness but rather by an acceptance of how worthless and pitiful we truly are, deserving of and destined for nothing but demise. The first step is to embrace the cockroach; then, try somehow to stomach the creature that’s much lower, an evolutionary error: yourself.

Die with me, indeed…

Evilometer: 666/666

ARCKANUM – DEN FÖRSTFÖDDE LP (Folter Records)

Saturday, March 3rd, 2018

Arckanum - Den FörstföddeArckanum is dead. After delivering truly unique, visionary, chaos-gnostic Black Metal of the very highest calibre over a mere quarter of a century, Shamaatae has announced that ninth full-length, ‘Den Förstfödde’, will also be the last one. It’s sad news, indeed, as I love this record.

Even though it’s relatively simple and mid-paced and by no means progressive, there’s something extraordinary about ‘Den Förstfödde’. Showing the benefit of decades of experience, there is so much to admire here in the guitar sound, the production (although perhaps a little too ssss-y), the overall atmosphere and sense of menace. One hell of a parting shot.

There’s more crackles and pops on my copy than I’d ideally like but I guess that’s just down to bad luck. A true master of his darkened craft bowing out on the highest of highs. Long live Arckanum.

Evilometer: 666/666

ORDER OF DARKNESS – UNTITLED LP (Iron Bonehead Productions)

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

Order Of Darkness - UntitledThis first surfaced in 2016 on a cassette limited to just 50 units and was disinterred in December by IBP and given the vinyl treatment. Instead of acting the cunt, the label opted to make the record widely available – with a generous limitation of 300, crystal clear vinyl – and, for good measure, a self-titled demo LP (including the tracks from the sold-out ‘Cosmic Tyranny’ tape on Side B), was released at the same time, in conjunction with Amor Fati.

Thus, two utterly fantastic Order Of Darkness LPs emerged at the same time and both are still available to buy for just €15 each. Grabbing one or both of these records makes sense for anybody who wants to own some exceptional raw BM on vinyl without having to chase their tail, jump through hoops, blow their father, engage a page monitor, blow themselves or whatever it is the kids of today are doing to get their hands on the blink-and-you’ll-miss-’em treasures being half-bestowed upon us.

Yes, I’ve got a bee in my hoodie. I’m fucking sick of it. You have to commend a label like Iron Bonehead, which releases records and keeps them released. Look what he did with the fourth Black Cilice album, for example, to satisfy demand … I lost count of the represses, three or four anyway, delivered with a minimum of fuss, catering to consumers. Other labels should take note. Release the fucking thing properly or fuck off.

Evilometer: 666/666

CHAMBRE FROIDE – ROUGES CHAPELLES LP (Fallen Empire Records)

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

Chambre Froide - Rouges ChapellesAmid the clamour for the latest and rarest releases from Skjold and Final Agony and GoatowaRex and Ancient Records and New Era and Kuunpalvelus allied to a trickle of new underground boutique labels who seem hellbent on making it as damn difficult as possible for people to actually buy their records – Temple Of Wounds, take a fucking bow, with the Willie-Wonka-golden-ticket Lampir record! – it’s refreshing to see that Fallen Empire has continued to not alone release Black Metal of the highest calibre but also to keep the records readily available, within reason. Rage manifests itself in longer sentences.

There was no brouhaha around Chambre Froide’s ‘Rouges Chapelles’ when it appeared humbly and unhyped on vinyl last year. But there should have been. You can still snag this amazing release, too, surprisingly, rather than annoying the fuck out of yourself chasing something of higher limitation and – in all likelihood – lower quality.

Evilometer: 666/666