Monday, December 10, 2018 14:01

Archive for the ‘Black’ Category

DAKHMA – HAMKAR ATONEMENT 2LP (Iron Bonehead Productions)

Saturday, October 27th, 2018

Dakhma - Hamkar AtonementMore than 70 minutes long, ‘Hamkar Atonement’ is as close to a perfect journey as you could rightfully wish to make, a merging of madness and darkness, hypnotic with human-bone tribal drumming, chants and mantras, Dakhma’s delirious death rituals ushering forth an experience that is the very epitome of esoteric, occult Black / Death, an extraordinary double-LP that flies under the radar while so many others less worthy are hailed and acclaimed by sheepish individuals who know not their arses from their elbows.

Evilometer: 666/666


Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

One Tail, One Head - Worlds Open, Worlds CollideInfectiously-catchy, slitheringly-serpentine Black Metal with a revealing all-instruments-up-front production that ought not to scale any heights but does abounds in a bountiful bonanza of flashy, flamboyance on ‘Worlds Open, Worlds Collide’, the opening and parting full-length gambit from One Tail, One Head, the Trondheim troupe who have peaked hereon and hence voluntarily fallen upon their own swords in some profound and unexpected act of career seppuku.

Evilometer: 666/666


Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

Necros Christos - Domedon DoxomedonNecros Christos cracked open the crypt one last time in 2018 to unvault this vast parting package of their instantly-recognisable, blatantly contradictory, Christ-conscious Death (/Black?) Metal, ‘Domedon Doxomedon’ a fitting, near-two-hour closing chapter to a bizarre 16-year recording career, gates and temples orphaned at every crossroads, the stench of the impaled Nazarene gypsy omnipresent.

Evilometer: 666/666


Sunday, September 9th, 2018

Hunok - MegrendíthetetlenségIt was a long time coming but Hunok’s unpronounceable debut full-length got the vinyl treatment during the summer. Suffice to say, if you like early Graveland, then you should find plenty here to grab your attention.

Bookended by a keyboard intro and outro, ‘Megrendíthetetlenség’ delivers raw, shrill, mid-paced, old-style (pagany) Black Metal with triumphant melodies and an ominous atmosphere. It’s about as far from groundbreaking as you could get and that’s part of the appeal.

An enjoyable piece of Carpathian nostalgia housed within a gatefold jacket and adorned with one of my favourite cover photos of recent times.

Evilometer: 666/666


Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

Adzalaan - Into Vermilion MirrorsReleases from the Vrasubatlat stable are invariably excellent and Adzalaan’s debut full-length, ‘Into Vermilion Mirrors’, is yet another worthy addition to this fresh, unique and extremely impressive canon.

The record reminds me a lot of the outstanding ‘Rotten Limbs In Dreams Of Blood’ and that’s hardly a surprise considering that Ash Borer member Rory Flay is essentially the mastermind behind both acts (as well as many others).

Serpentine, buzzing, swirling, enchanting Black Metal with some Death Metal brawn is the order of the day, with enraged vocals and majestic interludes. Ferocious, fantastic and mightily accomplished. Shame there’s no lyrics included but I always seem to find at least one thing to moan about, even where perfection beckons.

Evilometer: 666/666


Sunday, September 2nd, 2018

Vilkacis TuriaBoth Turia full-lengths are fantastic, so it was exciting to learn that they had recorded a split with Vilkacis, the one-man entity fronted by Michael Rekevics of Fell Voices, Vanum, Vorde and Yellow Eyes.

The record is half an hour long and features two songs from each act – a triumph for quality over quantity. The in-form Dutch trio are up second with trademark skeletal, ethereal, raw, lo-fi, anaemic, howling, minimalistic Black Metal, setting the tone for a very enjoyable 30 minutes of underground art.

On Side A, which is slightly longer, the Vilkacis offerings are also great – harsh yet melodic, distant and sombre yet engaging and uplifting, swirling, swashbuckling almost. Rumbling and tinny. Soaring and triumphant. Lyrics are included on the insert and this is a splendid release all around, showcasing two murky subterranean denizens who complement one another superbly.

Evilometer: 666/666

RIDE FOR REVENGE – THE KING OF SNAKES LP (Ahdistuksen Aihio Productions)

Tuesday, August 28th, 2018

Ride For Revenge - The King Of SnakesFor over a decade, Ride For Revenge has been delivering filthy, primal Black Metal of the highest calibre upon the unworthy, ugly masses.

Over the course of six full lengths and a veritable slew of splits and compilations, the unique Finnish cult has been responsible for some of the most original, eerie-sounding and downright disgusting depravity to make its way into my ear canals.

Each release has been magnificent but I don’t think anything can compare to the jolt that accompanied the debut full-length, ‘The King Of Snakes’, which paved the way for the decay that would follow.

Tribal, ritualistic, occult and perverse, here was a terrifying newcomer of real note, hypnotic, repetitive drums taking centre stage as the noisy nightmare unfolded before disbelieving eyes and ears.

Evilometer: 666/666


Friday, August 24th, 2018

Drowning The Light Vampyric BloodWhile I’m not exactly fanatical about gothic, romantic, vampyric and / or melodic Black Metal, there are a few exceptional bands producing this kind of music, including these two and Black Funeral.

Drowning In The Vampyric Sacrament Of The Immortals’ is a wonderful split album, featuring over 40 minutes of mid-to-fast-paced melodic, sorrowful, raw-ish but accessible blood-sucking Black Metal.

My copy has a glitch at the end of ‘The Hunt (Sustenance)’ which prevents that track from finishing – a real frustrating experience which I’ve contacted the label in a desperate bid to hopefully resolve. I’m assuming I’ve just been unfortunate and that this problem isn’t applicable across all 300 copies (yes, another low-limitation release, which diminishes the chance of scoring a replacement…).

An insert would have been welcome, too, but the lack of one isn’t as disappointing as the aforementioned broken-record-repeating-itself-ad-nauseam issue. A great album, undoubtedly, and one I’d readily grant full marks to but, from a personal perspective, it’s impossible to look past the fact that my copy isn’t working.

ARFSYND – HESYCHIA LP (Daemon Worship Productions)

Thursday, August 23rd, 2018

Arfsynd - HesychiaArfsynd’s monstrous second full-length, ‘Hesychia’, was at the pressing plant waiting patiently to be born into the world in 2013 when the guy who ran Daemon Worship just disappeared.

Eventually, Perditor, the creative force behind this exceptional Swedish one-man entity, took up an offer from the plant – sensing an opportunity to negate their losses – to buy up all 300 copies of the record and distribute them himself.

Thus, despite nevertheless managing to fly well beneath the radar, these six magnificent tracks of exalted orthodox Black Metal are available through select distros and also directly from the Arfsynd Bandcamp page. Just as well because this record was far too great to slip through the net. It both sounds and looks fantastic, with great artwork and a printed inner sleeve including lyrics.

Not sure if it’s officially a DWP release or a self-released album but it hardly matters either way. And it’s cool that the revenue-generating self-interest of a commercial enterprise has resulted in a superb underground album becoming available to tramps like us.

Evilometer: 666/666

WODULF – WARGUS ESTO LP (Breath Of Pestilence)

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

Wodulf - Wargus EstoWodulf released the ‘Wargus Esto’ demo on tape in 2003 and its running time has been bolstered to 44 minutes from the initial 27 for this wonderful vinyl edition, with the addition of three suitably stirring bonus tracks (including the truly exceptional ‘Lykodaimonas – The Old Mound’s Wolfshape’).

The origins of many of the songs go back more than 20 years and, musically, this is like a nostalgic trip back in time to the era of classic Darkthrone and Graveland.

Classic, raw, underground Black Metal with intolerant, inciting themes to shock the masses and provoke gulps of self-righteous indignation. Painting by the man himself included on the insert.

Evilometer: 666/666

HYRGAL – SERPENTINE LP (Les Acteurs de l’Ombre Productions)

Monday, August 20th, 2018

Hyrgal - SerpentineHyrgal’s debut full-length, ‘Serpentine’, storms through the speakers impressively, for the most part, like an autumnal deluge, but is badly let down by the ill-advised, posturing, eight-minute closing track, ‘Etrusca Disciplina’, which opens with an unbearable segment of vomit-inducing post-rock wankery.

All in all, this was a decent enough dose of atmospheric, clean, desolate Black Metal until that late deal-breaking revelation, elevated by two superb instrumentals. Accomplished for sure but I’m not particularly moved by it and that last song is utter shite.

Evilometer: 222/666

BEHEXEN – RITUALE SATANUM LP (Debemur Morti Productions)

Saturday, August 18th, 2018

Behexen - Rituale SatanumConsidering the sheer volume of benign, inoffensive, non-belligerent and downright good-natured and / or commercially-orientated Black Metal floating around the sewers of existence these days, it’s remarkable to listen back in hindsight and remember how tremendously pugnacious and glorious Behexen’s debut full-length, ‘Rituale Satanum’, was / is.

The songs are outstanding, the lyrics divine, and the album still reeks of pure degenerated evil all these years later. Whether you are revisiting it or discovering it for the first time, this edition does worthy justice to an execrable collection of blasphemous invocations from a cursed ensemble that has consistently delivered Satanic Black Metal of the very highest calibre.

Evilometer: 666/666


Thursday, August 16th, 2018

Shambles - Primitive Death TranceAlthough Shambles from Thailand of all places have been making music for 20 years, ‘Primitive Death Trance’ is the first time they’ve registered on my radar, the long-overdue discovery down to the fact that Blood Harvest decided to release this excellent 25-minute, four-track EP on vinyl.

Apparently the band used to play Gore and Brutal Death Metal and some Black Metal and Grind too but the sound on ‘Primitive Death Trance’ is purely Death / Doom, similar in many respects to Anatomia and Coffins. How’s that for a lazy bit of pigeon-holing?

The record spins best at 33rpm (even though it’s erroneously marked as 45rpm on the centre label) and comes with an insert, including lyrics. Super stuff musically, especially the title track. There is an annoying glitch on my copy evident in irritating detail at the start of both sides, but I suppose it doesn’t diminish my enjoyment of the music thereon (too much). Okay, it drives me nuts.

Evilometer: 666/666

AKITSA – GOÉTIE 2LP (Hospital Productions)

Sunday, August 12th, 2018

Akitsa - GoétieNews that a new Akitsa full-length is imminent prompted me to dust off the previous releases and give them a long-overdue spin. Of the five existing albums, ‘Goétie’, the debut, presents Akitsa in its rawest, purest and most essential form.

The definitive double-LP version under consideration here was unleashed in 2016 to mark the album’s 15th anniversary.

There’s about an hour’s worth of unique, trailblazing Black Metal to be found on ‘Goétie’ – 13 songs in total, including a trio of bonus tracks – and this is one of those that truly stands the test of time. While there were elements of ‘Grands Tyrans’ that disaffected me and concerns remain about what path ‘Credo’ might take, there should never be any disputing the sheer, unhinged greatness of Akitsa’s stellar debut.

Evilometer: 666/666


Thursday, August 9th, 2018

Adversarial Paroxsihzem - Warpit of Coiling AtrocitiesIn a pitiful era of fad-following, hype-deepthroating dickheads there is simply no accounting for taste. Iron Bonehead released this short but spectacular split on vinyl format in January (the CD having emerged via Vault Of Dried Bones four years ago) and it is still widely available for a mere pittance while the lemmings get their needy knickers all twisted and stained over the latest strictly limited record that virtually everybody missed and probably isn’t that good anyhow and even if it is we will never fucking know.

Between them, Canadian cousins Adversarial and Paroxsihzem deliver 30 minutes or so of utterly stupendous Black / Death Metal on ‘Warpit Of Coiling Atrocities’ and it’s a release that I cannot recommend highly enough. If the usual suspects blighting the underground with their dubious presence were limiting and toying with access to music of this quality, then we really would have something to be crying about.

Evilometer: 666/666