Monday, June 25, 2018 07:37

Archive for the ‘Black’ Category


Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

Orgy Of Carrion - Blood Washed Away The Grave PurityNotwithstanding the frankly tiresome and dubious shenanigans of a label that seems hellbent on frustrating the fuck out of genuine punters in favour of speculators with no real interest in Black Metal, Orgy Of Carrion’s third full-length, ‘Blood Washed Away The Grave Purity’, is a superb slab of noisy BM chaos.

Probably not as great as the artificially-generated hype might suggest, nor as enjoyable as its predecessor (vinyl successor), ‘Obscured Ceremonies Under Hell Moon’, but still a very good album. Pity about the bullshit and brouhaha surrounding its limitation. A deal breaker, if ever there was one.

Evilometer: 444/666

ALTAR OF PERVERSION – INTRA NAOS 3LP (The Ajna Offensive / Norma Evangelium Diaboli)

Sunday, May 27th, 2018

Altar Of Perversion - Intra NaosThe average running time of the six tracks on Altar Of Perversion’s second full-length – and first in 17 years – is a whopping 19 minutes. At approximately 114 minutes long, ‘Intra Naos’ is Black Metal’s equivalent of the Grand National – mid-to-fast-paced and grueling, not for the m.eek.

Essentially three albums in one, it’s a demanding but immersive and deeply rewarding affair – the kind of treat that seems to be unique to this dark corner of the underground. Due to its length and my sadly limited spare time (get the cellos out), I’m finding it really difficult to find an opportunity to listen to this in one sitting or to garner sufficient insight to get my head around the album as a whole and thereby deliver any kind of in-depth, informed analysis. Not that I ever do that.

Suffice to say that – although a challenge to accommodate due to its enormous length and equally generous girth – ‘Intra Naos’ is a monstrously great triple record set and a thing of mysterious beauty that’ll I’ll be going back to for as long as I’m here.

Evilometer: 666/666


Monday, May 21st, 2018

Cultus Profano - Sacramentum ObscurusBefore the masses began jockeying injudiciously for acceptance and acclaim on social media and the realities of our existences became distorted beyond recognition, distilled into an endless succession of pics and updates and arrogant, self-serving, attention-seeking posts on Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or whatever the latest cyberfad is, true Black Metal seemed to emanate from subterranean realms, appearing to be more dangerous, mysterious and beguiling.

The shroud of mystique has been well and truly removed but at least bands still come along every now and then who somehow sound like they have been transported via time machine from that erstwhile era when we naively believed (or wanted to) that Black Metal musicians were demonic entities, possessed by some dark force (rather than just normal people like me and you who eat and shit and snore and bore their partners to death with talk of money and holidays and house fittings and shopping).

One such outfit is Cultus Profano, a Los Angeles duo, who have tapped into the mighty olden days on their rather evil and bewitched debut full-length, ‘Sacramentum Obscurus’. This is a great slab of nasty Black Metal, befitting this age of abhorrent people and their ignorant, stupid, ego-driven ways. Bring them to the sanctuary and slit their throats and let the naves run red.

Evilometer: 666/666


Monday, May 21st, 2018

Jassa - Incarnation Of The Higher GnosisDue to my ever-diminishing vocabulary and inadequate intellect, I have no idea whatsoever what an incarnation of the higher gnosis is – or could purport to be – but verbose, bordering-on-nonsensical album and song titles have always been a key part of the Black Metal and Death Metal experience for me.

Though its meaning eludes me, ‘Incarnation Of The Higher Gnosis’ is nevertheless a fitting title for Jassa’s rather wonderful third full-length, which is in essence a superb offering of mysterious Heathen Black / Death Metal (overlap between the two subgenres very evident) emanating from the top left corner of the Motherland, not far removed from Finland (geographically, not sound-wise).

Hate Forest is a reliable reference point but Jassa have their own distinct sound and the lack of hype around this entity in our sickening, race-to-the-bottom era of feverish online clambering, needy posturing and instagratification is frankly baffling.

Evilometer: 666/666

SUMMON – PARAZV IL ZILITTV LP (Iron Bonehead Productions)

Thursday, May 17th, 2018

Summon - Parazv Il Zilittv LPSummon’s debut album, ‘Parazv Il Zilittv’, is a pitch-black, disturbing ode to death and demise, a swirling, deranged cacophony of prime Black / Death Metal that is as captivating and uplifting as it is bleak and harrowing.

The Portuguese trio duly deliver 41 minutes of oftentimes slow-to-mid-paced ultra death worship that sounds like it was recorded in an asylum, prison, torture chamber, crematorium or perhaps the train station at the end of the world.

The bleak messages are powerfully conveyed over the course of nine brilliantly-composed and –executed ritualistic homilies (two without words) and it’s all as professionally and perfectly presented as we have come to expect from a meticulous, trailblazing label. Incredibly, this sublime slice of subterranean suffering can be yours for just €15.

Evilometer: 666/666

TAAKE – KONG VINTER 2LP (Dark Essence Records / Svartekunst Produksjoner)

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

Taake - Kong VinterHoest has been creating great old-style Norwegian Black Metal under the Taake banner for more than two decades and last year saw the genesis of seventh full-length, ‘Kong Vinter’. The vinyl edition of the album is wonderful, with two sturdy records housed in a gatefold jacket.

The artwork is really nice and I particularly like the photo on the inside of the cover, which conjures a tremendous sense of solitude and detachment. As does the main image on the front, to be fair. The music is enjoyable, too, I daresay. Soaring, chugging epic ‘Maanebrent’ is probably the highlight but all eight tracks (including one vinyl-only bonus) are top notch.

The imagery is all about coldness, solitude and isolation. A loner. While musically it would be fair to say that Taake isn’t quite ploughing a lone furrow, there are fewer and fewer bands with this genuine, olden Black Metal vibe still intact – and the fact that there are no real surprises is almost a (welcome) surprise in itself these days.

Did I mention the poster? Hail Taake!

Evilometer: 666/666


Monday, May 14th, 2018

Almyrkvi - UmbraUmbra’ showcases the incredible talents of two of the most exceptional musicians in Black Metal right now – band mastermind Garðar S. Jónsson and his regular partner in crime Bjarni Einarsson, both also of Sinmara and Slidhr infamy.

The debut full-length is even more ambitious, experimental and downright awesome than the teaser that landed to whet out appetites in the guise of the superb ‘Pupil Of The Searing Maelstrom’ mini album a couple of years back.

Unashamed Blut Aus Nord worship remains very much to the fore but Almyrkvi has become a worthy and relevant unearthly Black Metal entity in its own right, here delivering six catchy, atmospheric, cosmic rituals that sound equally amazing blasting through the speakers or insulated in headphones

Superb sounds, great compositions, excellent execution and an organic production combine to make Almyrkvi’s first album a complete no-brainer.

Evilometer: 666/666


Friday, May 11th, 2018

Heresiarch - Death OrdinanceDo we really need another Diocletian? Another Witchrist? More chaotic, barbaric brutality from New Zealand? Is there room for such an excess of war-mongering mayhem in our wretched, lemming-like lives? Of fucking course there is.

Listening along to Heresiarch’s debut full-length, ‘Death Ordinance’, whilst reading the well-crafted, graphic lyrics, one is transported to the trenches to inhale the glorious stench of cordite, napalm, blood, smoke, entrails, sweat, tears, fear, shit and death.

Unfettered, violence erupts through the speakers into your ears and death is everywhere.

Evilometer: 666/666


Wednesday, May 9th, 2018

Nattfog - Mustan Auringon RiittiAlthough Nattfog’s debut full-length is more than six years old, it’s only in the past six months that ‘Mustan Auringon Riitti’ emerged on black wax. Finally, I managed to hunt down a copy.

Forty-three minutes long and comprising four actual songs / odes / elegies – two in English and two in Finnish (I’m hazarding an uneducated guess) – dovetailing majestically with three valiant, mournful instrumentals, this delightful album is a masterclass in mid-paced, emotional, ancient, heathen Black Metal; spiritual, patriotic and proud.

Deeply proud of the old times, the old ways, the old ones. Strange how these wistful, sentimental lamentations can be so uplifting. Superb.

Evilometer: 666/666


Tuesday, May 8th, 2018

Demonomantic – Grail Of Deformed EvilnessI find it almost remarkable that Swartadauþuz – he of Bekëth Nexëhmü, Mystik and Azelisassath – can not alone switch his focus from melodic, enchanting Black Metal to a much more barbaric form of Death Metal but do it with such distinction.

Grail Of Deformed Evilness’ is a wonderful offering of demented, violent Black / Death that will bring a smile to the face of any masochist who manages to get his or her (or its) hands on it.

A delightful curveball from a prolific artist.

Evilometer: 666/666

KAPALA – INFEST CESSPOOL MLP (Dunkelheit Produktionen)

Thursday, April 19th, 2018

Kapala - Infest CesspoolI decided to display a picture of the etching on Side B because I have little or no time for etchings on Side B … or any other side for that matter. Give me music.

On Side A, Kapala venomously spews out 19 minutes of fierce, barbaric Black / Death Metal that grabs the listener by the balls (I guess we all have those now in the era of militaristic gender fluidity) and squeezes like a taxman.

Infest Cesspool’ is essentially a short sharp celebration of human filth, straight from the land of open defecation. Naturally, Kapala are as disgusted with life as their compatriots Tetragrammacide, raging with the same intent as genocide-mongering cohorts Nyogthaeblisz, Revenge, Diocletian et al.


Evilometer: 666/666


Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

Human Serpent - For I,The Misanthropist LPGreek duo Human Serpent’s second full-length, ‘For I, The Misanthropist’, delivers 36 minutes of thoroughly enjoyable Black Metal – nine slabs of fierce, nihilistic and raging venom … not really a sound you would readily associate with Hellenic BM.

Even though it’s not doing anything particularly fresh or trailblazing, this is one of those records that’s so commanding, accomplished and confident yet belligerent and aggressive at the same time that it cannot be faulted.

Certainly something of an obscure, flying-off-the-radar gem, the LP comes in a plush gatefold sleeve and is well worth investigating. Take a listen on Bandcamp and see if you can resist.

Evilometer: 555/666


Sunday, April 8th, 2018

Sarkrista - Summoners Of The Serpent's WrathAs well as being apostropheless, ‘Summoners Of The Serpents Wrath’ is a glorious and majestic 50-minute homily to the horned one that should bring one big, nasty, evil smile to the face of both the devout and those who just like menacing music.

Yet again Sarkrista deliver rasping, timeless Satanic Black Metal of the very highest calibre, perhaps best demonstrated by the captivating sixth sermon, ‘He, Who Liveth and Reigneth Forevermore’ … the undoubted highlight of a wondrous LP.

This time, the record comes with an insert and lyrics, which make for an entertaining read. Exceptional.

Evilometer: 666/666


Thursday, April 5th, 2018

Thantifaxath - Void Masquerading As MatterI think it would be accurate to suggest that Thantifaxath is not your everyday Black Metal band. The anonymous Canadian trio certainly go down the left hand path less trodden when it comes to constructing music and debut full-length ‘Sacred White Noise’ was a cacophonous slab of chaotic dissonance delivered to the ear canal with utter abandon.

Mesmeric follow-up ‘Void Masquerading As Matter’ emerged towards the death throes of 2017 and, although it’s listed as a mini-album, it’s quite substantial at 36 minutes. Four lengthy songs of intelligent, varied, ambitious and always interesting dark art. A fantastic listen and definitely worthy of the overused ‘eclectic’ adjective.

An innovative concoction of everything bar the cabin sink. Not mad about the fourth offering, though. It is a bit of a stinker.

Evilometer: 555/666

XAOS OBLIVION – RITUALS FROM THE COLD GRAVE LP (Lower Silesian Stronghold / Heidenwut Productions)

Monday, April 2nd, 2018

Xaos Oblivion - Rituals From The Cold GraveIn the true spirit of obscure underground Black Metal, Xaos Oblivion has operated for a decade under the cover of night, undetected, obfuscated.

Unheralded and unhyped, this Polish entity unleashed five relatively-unknown full-lengths to date and I believe ‘Rituals From The Cold Grave’ was the first to feature more than one member.

I’ve appreciated this album since it was released a few years back, so I was pleased to see it emerge on vinyl. Great ancient, mystical Black Metal that reminds me quite a lot of classic Mayhem.

The record includes an insert with most of the lyrics.  My copy also boasts a deep scratch at the start of Side A, but such is the risk inherent in purchasing this format.

The eponymous Xaos Oblivion (AKA Kamil) is also the vocalist in Aryman, another exceptional Polish horde worth investigating.

Evilometer: 666/666