Monday, September 25, 2017 20:38

Posts Tagged ‘Clandestine Blaze’

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

CLANDESTINE BLAZE – NEW GOLGOTHA RISING LP (Northern Heritage)

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

Clandestine Blaze - New Golgotha RisingClandestine Blaze has unleashed another belter with eighth full-length, ‘New Golgotha Rising’ – 39 more minutes of superb Finnish dark art courtesy of Black Metal legend Mikko Aspa. He probably won’t thank me for using that term but Mikko is a pure fucking legend and his work under the CB banner is arguably his best.

The seven odes to annihilation on this record are of the very highest calibre, reaffirming Clandestine Blaze’s status as one of the most consistently-brilliant one-man BM acts in the universe. It’s hard to imagine anyone with even a passing interest in Black Metal not appreciating this album for what it is – a straightforward blast of eradication laced with hatred and indifference.

The white vinyl sucks but everything else about this is monstrous.

Evilometer: 666/666

CLANDESTINE BLAZE – HARMONY OF STRUGGLE LP (Northern Heritage)

Monday, June 10th, 2013

Clandestine Blaze - Harmony Of StruggleFuck me – has it really been three years since ‘Falling Monuments’? My life must be accelerating past at a ludicrous pace because I thought that album only came out about a year ago… Fuck it! Clandestine Blaze’s seventh full-length, ‘Harmony Of Struggle’ is again released on Mikko’s own label and – as with everything he has delivered under this handle – it is typically excellent.

Listening along to this album, I am struck by the sheer enormity of what an artist like Mikko Aspa manages to achieve with little or no help from anybody. His work is inspirational, unique, life-affirming and truly marvellous. As well as being immense and fierce, ‘Harmony Of Struggle’ is a very emotional album at times and the sound is often more ‘epic’ (for want of a better word) than what I’ve become accustomed to from Clandestine Blaze.

Very simply, you will not be disappointed if you decide to purchase this record. Composed and executed by an inspired individual who clearly knows what he’s doing – and who puts his experience and wherewithal to maximum use – ‘Harmony Of Struggle’ is a veritable tour de force, an exhibition of Black Metal mastery. A monument. I was going to say there were some truly magical moments to be found along the way but, to be fair, this is a magical journey from start to finish.

High calibre, flawless, grim, raw, astonishing Black Metal that oozes nastiness, filth and class and shits all over its peers (with interesting artwork; lyric sheet included, for those who care). Nothing more to say … this is an easy review to write and I am not one for throwing in superfluous superlatives or rambling prose just for the hell of it. If you want to be impressed, then open a new tab right now and buy this fucker.

Evilometer: 666/666

CLANDESTINE BLAZE – FALLING MONUMENTS (Northern Heritage)

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Black Metal by the people for the people and of the people. All the way from Lahti, Finland, Clandestine Blaze is Mikko Aspa’s day job, when he’s not moonlighting in the much-more-popular Deathspell Omega. The head of Northern Heritage has been toiling diligently with this harsh, raw one-man project for 13 years, and ‘Falling Monuments’ is his sixth full-length release under the CB moniker. It’s also one of the best.

Though I probably prefer the exceptional predecessor, ‘Church of Atrocity’, it has to be said that ‘Falling Monuments’ is a pretty fantastic piece of black art. It’s got that essential underground vibe seeping through every pore, thanks to an organic production that allows everything to bathe in dank squalor. The music itself is predominantly (but by no means always) mid-paced and grim, plodding along ominously with passionate fervour and dangerous intent.

I suppose you could classify CB as traditional BM in many respects, but I think that’s unfair. His music stands head and shoulders above most of the established acts within the subgenre and is criminally under-rated. Aspa may have made a name for himself beyond his native shores mainly as the vocalist in DsO but this release proves yet again that there is a lot more substance and essence to him; he is a man of many dimensions.

Clandestine Blaze is an amazing entity in its own right: ‘Call of the Warrior’ more than matches what Deathspell Omega bring to the table, so ferocious and frenzied it is, yet all the time sustained by an infectious (albeit bleak) harmony; the stunning ‘Melancholy of the Falling Monuments’ is even more brooding, a harbinger of the end of all times, a call to the ancient past; ‘Horizon of Ego Annihilation’ sends glorious chills down the spine; the more aggressive ‘Endurance of Supernatural Ritual’ is merely standard fare; but ‘Discordant Howls of Tormented’ signs off in majestic fashion, a cascading, multi-linear pit of decadence.

This album never gets boring. To the contrary, the more I listen, the more I discover its hidden intricacies. It’s the real deal, dripping with authenticity and know-how, a perfectly-executed Black Metal masterclass. One that deserves a place in even the most discerning fan’s collection.

Evilometer: 555/666