Monday, January 21, 2019 12:50

Posts Tagged ‘Altare Productions’


Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Vetala - The Lord Of EternitySickeningly, there is an increasing number of so-called Black Metal bands who seem to place more emphasis on being the next big thing than being dark and black. Black Metal is not a place for Yngwie Malmsteen wannabe motherfuckers. Thankfully, there are still a select few artists who just don’t give a shit about melodies, production or technicality. Or anything.

As one of the hordes that comprise Portugal’s seething Black Circle movement, Vetala is as coarse and rough and raw and ready-made as they come. Cavernous, dungeon Black Metal that was vomited forth onto tape by a bunch of crazed fuckers who are interested in only one thing: filth. Plague and pestilence and piss abound in a pitiful racket on the unbelievably-inaccessible ‘The Lord Of Eternity’.

This album is an uncompromising, crude shitfest that follows no rules but Vetala’s. It’s a pure, demented, chaotic mess from start to finish, to be honest, and I’m really not sure why I enjoy listening to such insanity. Glorious crap.

Evilometer: 666/666


Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Satanize - Black Rotten WitchcraftSatanize from Portugal is all about unrefined, raw, bestial Black Metal  … very much in the tradition of Nuclear War Now! bands, perhaps. This is their third full-length and it has been released on clear vinyl, limited to 200 units. If you are at all familiar with the group, then you already know exactly what you are going to get here…

By no means a departure from ‘Demonic Conquest In Jerusalem’ or ‘Holy Destruction Ritual’ (perhaps more restrained in the most subtle of manners), ‘Black Rotten Witchcraft’ is essentially more of the same from the Satanic ones – pummelling, pounding, irreverent, chaotic Black Metal in honour of all things dark and evil and nasty and corrupt and all that stuff. Depraved and sordid, this is about as unsophisticated an album as you could possibly hope to hear.

Not brilliant, by any means, but if you want to stick on a record while you thrash the place, then this would be ideal. Great for when you are in a bad mood; perfect for those times when you just want to show two fingers to the world (i.e. every day?). And to yourself. Looks really good, as well, and all the lyrics are included on a printed inlay.

Evilometer: 444/666


Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Tomhet -Samblade SotkvædenTruth be known, I’m not the world’s biggest fan of the cassette format but tapes are a staple diet of the underground and you have to be prepared to deal with them unless you want to miss out on some gems. Tomhet’s spectacular 31-song compilation, ‘Samblade Sotkvæden’ is a case in point. This is a sprawling and high-quality underground Black Metal release that none of us should do without.

The main inspiration behind Tomhet, Kumulonimbus, is the very same man who gives life to the rather brilliant Wulkanaz. The two acts are rather similar in ambition and approach but subtly different (I suppose); both are equally appealing. The only negative thing I can say about ‘Samblade Sotkvæden’ is that it is almost too generous. Seems to go on forever. Not much of a complaint, is it?

There’s some fantastic music to be found on this nicely-packaged double tape and the sound is pretty good for a tape; it just goes to prove once more that the deepest underground has all the best tunes. Great stuff that won’t cost you an arm or a leg, provided you can get your hands on a copy (limitation: 300).

Evilometer: 666/666


Monday, September 9th, 2013

Ravenmoon Sanctuary - Winter Desolation Of DeathGerman label Darker Than Black took care of the CD version of Ravenmoon Sanctuary’s debut full-length and the vinyl edition as featured here has subsequently been realised by Altare Productions in Portugal (and is limited to a mere 111 units for some bizarre reason). On ‘Winter Desolation Of Death’, the Poles perform eight tracks of melancholic, depressive, atmospheric Black Metal with soaring keys that threaten at times to hijack the entire album.

Needless to say, the prominent keyboards (courtesy of GrimSpirit from Evilfeast) add a hugely superfluous quotient of melody to the mix. This is an essential component of Ravenmoon Sanctuary’s sound, I can only assume, but, while it’s not necessarily terrible, I find the lashings of keys to be utterly unnecessary and wholly invasive. (For example, ‘Eternity In Ice’ reminds me of ‘Hide And Seek’-era Howard Jones!)

This is still a decent album, with lots of good ideas, interesting tempo changes, enjoyable vocals and a decidedly forlorn atmosphere, but I just wish they’d toned down the keys a lot or maybe even omitted them altogether (there’s a reason why I don’t care much for Evilfeast). Pity.

Evilometer: 333/666


Monday, August 26th, 2013

Wulkanaz - HaglaNaudizEisazWulkanaz’s debut album was originally released on cassette – limited to 147 units – last November and ‘HaglaNaudizEisaz’ now re-emerges on vinyl, this edition with a more generous limitation of 300. Altare is likely to have no difficulty shifting these for a number of reasons, not least of which is the quality of the music contained hereon. Short it may be – at just over 31 minutes – but ‘HaglaNaudizEisaz’ is still a fascinating volume of work with some splendid, adventurous, unpredictable analogue Black Metal magic on display.

To be overly-critical, I find that the eclecticism and eccentricity drops off towards the end of Side B as inspiration levels seem to wane (there is also a really shitty bad-sound episode in the middle of the second side) and, as a consequence, things almost threaten to become monotonous and / or tedious … but not quite!

By and large, disappointing finale notwithstanding, this is a thoroughly-commendable effort from one of the most obscure acts operating in the underground right now. Mid- to fast-paced, off-the-wall and refreshingly different, Wulcanaz is an individual deserving of attention.

He appears to be quite prolific, too, so I’m looking forward to hearing more from him soon! The record looks stunning, with a sumptuous gatefold card cover and a twelve-page booklet included. Although probably not as mandatory as its successor, ‘Paúrpura Fræovíbôkôs’, ‘HaglaNaudizEisaz’ is still a record that should be hunted down at all costs.

Evilometer: 666/666


Saturday, August 17th, 2013

Black Cilice - Summoning The NightBlack Cilice’s debut full-length ‘A Corpse, A Temple’ was really fantastic, so I bought the follow-up with total confidence. An almost-identical front cover re-assured me that I was in for more of the same – which is precisely what I was looking for! (This clearly isn’t a band that’s suddenly going to change its approach and go all mature / mainstream…)

Once more, we have six songs – comprising a running time of 35 minutes. From start to finish, it’s fuzzing, violent, distorted underground Black Metal … with melody essentially conspicuous by its absence. The inclusion of a lyric sheet serves to highlight just how unorthodox and out there the howls and bellows are. Impossible to follow, but it’s interesting to have a read through the lyrics in any case as they provide an insight into the mindset and conceptual content involved.

Everything I wrote in my review of ‘A Corpse, A Temple’ applies again here (how’s that for a short cut?). Released on a sister label of the ever-dependable Discipline / Bubonic, ‘Summoning The Night’ is a worthy follow-up to Black Cilice’s magnificent debut and yet another example of supreme Portuguese decadence.

Evilometer: 555/666