Monday, April 24, 2017 22:49

Archive for the ‘Vinyl’ Category

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

CLANDESTINE BLAZE – CITY OF SLAUGHTER LP (Northern Heritage)

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Clandestine Blaze - City Of SlaughterClandestine Blaze is one of the most enduring, essential and downright awesome entities in Black Metal and has consistently delivered music of the very highest calibre. Even though the back catalogue is immense and every album is laudable, Mikko’s one-man sledgehammer does appear to be gathering momentum with each release.

Ninth full-length, ‘City Of Slaughter’ is everything I hoped it would be – and then some. A historic release in that it’s the 100th to appear under the Northern Heritage banner, this monumental record is nigh on perfect from start to finish. The savage, gigantic nine-minute ‘Return Into The City Of Slaughter’ provides a suitably epic centrepiece to a dark, moody, atmospheric, angry and hate-filled album from an inspired artist who has perfected his crafty craft, honed his hateful hate and learned how to perfectly channel his disgusting disgust.

I always enjoy reading Clandestine Blaze’s lyrics and this record (most notably the aforementioned opus) certainly doesn’t disappoint in that regard, either. Wonderful.

Evilometer: 666/666

TEITANBLOOD – ACCURSED SKIN MLP (Norma Evangelium Diaboli / The Ajna Offensive)

Sunday, March 26th, 2017

Teitanblood - Accursed Skin MLPAccursed Skin’ is a 26-minute-long, 45rpm MLP featuring one new song – the title track – paired with ‘Sanctified Dysecdysis’, which served as foil to previously-vinyl-only-track, ‘Purging Tongues’, on the 2012 ‘Woven Black Arteries’ CD EP (and was never before available on vinyl). Confused? Me too.

Even though the cost of entry is the same as it would have been for a full-length and this release could be viewed by cynical minds as something of a cash grab, I sincerely do not believe this to be the case. All Teitanblood material is worth having and it was a customer-friendly move from both label and band to make this dual offering available on black wax.

A superb record to get your ears around while awaiting the third album from these superb Spanish chaos invokers.

Evilometer: 666/666

DIABOLI – WIKING DIVISION LP (Northern Heritage)

Sunday, March 26th, 2017

Diaboli - Wiking DivisionThis record is about a year old already but I’ve only just recently added it to my collection. I’d been on the look-out for a convenient opportunity to snag a copy but distribution was limited compared to other Northern Heritage releases.

Under the Diaboli banner, Petri Ilvespakka peddles a straightforward, no-frills brand of medium-paced, rocking Black Metal that’s impossible to dislike and – vaguely reminiscent of the mighty Clandestine Blaze – ‘Wiking Division’ is a really great listen.

Like, really great.

Evilometer: 666/666

UŠKUMGALLU – ROTTEN LIMBS IN DREAMS OF BLOOD LP (Vrasubatlat)

Friday, March 24th, 2017

Uškumgallu - Rotten Limbs In Dreams Of BloodUškumgallu’s debut full-length, ‘Rotten Limbs In Dreams Of Blood’, is a twisted, depraved slab of sinister, primitive Black / Death Metal for which all the usual negative-positive superlatives apply. From start to finish, it’s an unsettling, unnerving experience but one you will want to live through over and over again. Shedding your skin.

Nightmarish, psychotic and claustrophobic but with just enough subtle nuances, interludes and noise to keep things bearable, this album is a real breath of fresh air and a true lesson to others in how to deliver music that’s genuinely obscure and crushing yet nourishing. It will shatter your soul and replenish your spirit.

Just awesome. In fact, this is probably one of the best records in my collection.

Evilometer: 666/666

BLOOD TYRANT – NIGHT OF BLOOD MOON LP (Skjold)

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

Blood Tyrant - Night Of Blood MoonThis is Blood Tyrant’s eight-song 2016 demo reissued on vinyl (plus one bonus track). As is often the case with underground emissions, do not be deceived by the term ‘demo’. ‘Night Of Blood Moon’ sounds a little low (Easy fix: turn the volume up) but, generally, has a sound quality befitting an album proper within this subgenre.

It’s also excellent. And generous at over 30 minutes…

Not quite as stellar as ‘Aristocracy Of Twilight’, in my humble opinion, but nevertheless a pretty sensational presentation of prime, raw, organic Black Metal with that oft-elusive distant, ancient, eerie chill factor. Really nails down that authentic mood that so many others strive for but miss entirely.

Skjold out for now but guaranteed to be reissued sooner rather than later. Get it, then, if you haven’t already.

Evilometer: 666/666

BLACK CILICE – BANISHED FROM TIME LP (Iron Bonehead Productions)

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

Black Cilice - Banished From TimeEvery new Black Cilice record represents a truly seismic event in my living room and ‘Banished From Time’ is no different to its predecessors in this regard. Even though the previous three full-lengths were mandatory purchases and pretty much perfect in execution and tone, the Portuguese cellar-dweller does – rather remarkably – appear to be getting better with each passing emission.

It’s like he’s honing his craft, mastering the technique of hammering home his unique strain of depraved raw Black Metal pestilence and depravity in the most concise, potent and engaging manner possible. On ‘Banished From Time’, I hear an artist at the absolute peak of his creative power. While the music remains incredibly bleak, strained, nasty and deathly, the delivery is somehow more measured, more calculated, just better composed, constructed and (dare I say?) premeditated.

It still sounds essentially like a spontaneous outburst of violence and madness; and it remains patently of the underground, but the walls of the dank dungeon have been insulated a little better – perhaps with the bones of a thousand fools – and the unsettling chaos seeps through in a clearer and more accurate manner than ever before. A harrowing, repetitive, hypnotic mantra of death and surrender to the darkness, this album will take your pointless breath away.

Right now, Black Cilice is utterly lethal, more addictive than heroin, and catchier than the most contagious contagion.

Evilometer: 666/666

DEATHSPELL OMEGA – THE SYNARCHY OF MOLTEN BONES LP (Norma Evangelium Diaboli)

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

Deathspell Omega - The Synarchy Of Molten BonesI’m not sure exactly what criteria Deathspell Omega deploy to determine which of their releases qualify as full-lengths and which are mini albums (nor indeed is it any of my business) but the first thing I noticed about their sixth album proper, ‘The Synarchy Of Molten Bones’, is that it is by far and away their shortest LP, passing by considerably quicker than even the magnificent 2005 offering, ‘Kénôse’, which was apparently an EP.

This one was first mooted as a new MLP but somewhere along the way, ‘The Synarchy Of Molten Bones’ became a 29-minute, four-track full-length. Considering that the epic ‘Si Monvmentvm Reqvires, Circvmspice’ is almost 78 minutes long, this latest effort is disappointingly short, even if obviously quality rules over quantity. Why can’t we have both, though?

As ever with these theologian trailblazers, the quality is of course beyond dispute but the record – which plays at 45rpm – is over way too soon. Especially considering that it had been a full six years since its predecessor, ‘Paracletus’. Maybe the well of inspiration has dried up somewhat and they didn’t want to include any filler or flog a dead horse, who knows? As things are, we get a short but sweet reminder of the brilliance of Deathspell Omega.

Evilometer: 555/666

FATHERLAND – FATHERLAND LP (No Sign Of Life Records)

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

Fatherland - FatherlandTo an extent, I think that Fatherland might be better served by channeling a larger percentage of their red-hot hate and intolerance into some form of creativity – or better song-writing – to make their material stand out a little better from the crowd.

Because, with the monotonous assault found on their debut full-length and fairly insipid shouty vocals, there’s certainly nothing unique or memorable going on here. The record could easily fall into the patently unremarkable category … you know, the one you have heard a thousand times before, often done better?

Having said that, ‘Fatherland’ is nevertheless a competent and energetic slab of vitriolic punky NSBM, complete with glorious, melodic interludes. All in all, it is more good than boring, although the Finns aren’t quite in the league of a Nordvrede or Order Of The Death’s Head just yet.

Far from perfect but still worth your time.

Evilometer: 444/666