Sunday, June 24, 2018 03:41

Posts Tagged ‘Debemur Morti Productions’

CULTUS PROFANO – SACRAMENTUM OBSCURUS LP (Debemur Morti Productions)

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

BEHEXEN – THE POISONOUS PATH 2LP (Debemur Morti Productions)

Monday, June 13th, 2016

Behexen - The Poisonous PathBehexen belongs in the pantheon of Black Metal greats. What a motley crew of cunts that would be! Consistently brilliant over the course of five full-lengths, they may have carried out some minor surgery on their core sound over the years, but sheer excellence has remained an uncanny constant.

I’m too shallow and lowest-common-denominator to have a preferred Behexen era – I enjoy each and every release and let others debate the bullshit. Fact: here is one of the finest Black Metal entities of all time unleashing another welcome tome of otherworldly blasphemy.

Ten unsacred hymns; 56 minutes, two vinyls; stunning gatefold cover with attached booklet; what’s not to recommend? Well, the etching on Side D, perhaps. Hate those but I can live with it.

Evilometer: 666/666

ARCHGOAT – THE APOCALYPTIC TRIUMPHATOR LP (Debemur Morti Productions)

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Archgoat - The Apocalyptic TriumphatorI was resigned to the likelihood that Archgoat would go through the motions for the rest of their recording careers. The Finns had clearly hit upon a winning formula with their first two LPs – ‘Whore Of Bethlehem’ and ‘The Light-Devouring Darkness’ – released in 2006 and 2009 respectively, and there was no reason to believe that these Mary-defiling veterans of the Satanic underground would – or could – take things to another level. I mean they were already nigh on perfect. Well, ‘The Apocalyptic Triumphator’ has surprised the shit out of me.

Vastly superior to Archgoat’s stunning previous albums in every conceivable way, this is the ultimate in blasphemous Black / Death Metal summoned from the very bottom of Beelzebub’s ballbag. Twenty-four years on from their inception, Archgoat are at the absolute pinnacle of their powers right now and they have just unleashed one of the dirtiest, evillest, nastiest albums in the history of extreme music.

The spectacular standard vinyl edition comes with a poster, a huge booklet and a code to allow the owner to download high-quality digital files of the entire album (or you can just slide it along the crack of your ass). Worth buying for the astonishingly-foul double whammy of ‘Nuns, Cunts And Darkness’ and ‘Grand Luciferian Theophany’ alone, this is a remarkable record that everybody needs to hear at least once before they die (and go to heaven, ha-fucking-ha).

Evilometer: 666/666

BLUT AUS NORD / P.H.O.B.O.S. – TRIUNITY LP (Debemur Morti Productions)

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Blut Aus Nord P.H.O.B.O.S.This all-French collaboration is hardly surprising seeing as P.H.O.B.O.S. released his debut album, ‘Tectonics’ on the now-defunct Appease Me Records imprint, which was operated by none other than Blut Aus Nord mastermind Vindsval. Nineteen years later, the duo unleash a new joint venture called ‘Triunity’, with the increasingly-eclectic Debemur Morti this time acting as broker to the masses.

This one comprises three tracks from each act and a combined running time of just over 40 minutes. The Blut Aus Nord offerings on Side A are typically intriguing cuts of restrained, stargazing, industrial Black Metal, while P.H.O.B.O.S.’s cosmic, celestial, industrial doom is equally (inter)stellar and serves as the ideal counterpoint / accompaniment.

In tone, vision and overall execution, the two bands complement each other beautifully, like a planet and a moon might; or life and death.

The record comes within a splendid gatefold jacket and the release as a whole is of the highest quality.

Evilometer: 666/666

BLUT AUS NORD – WHAT ONCE WAS … LIBER III EP (Debemur Morti Productions)

Friday, February 14th, 2014

Blut Aus Nord - What Once Was​.​.​. Liber IIII wasn’t going to bother my buttocks writing a review of this 45rpm MLP as the inherent quality of Blut Aus Nord’s releases goes without saying at this stage. A given. I mean, I doubt if there is anyone reading this who has yet to discover the irresistible force of this ground-breaking French act.

However, upon calm reflection and having given ‘What Once Was​.​.​. Liber III’ more than its fair share of spins on the deck of doom, I decided I should at least acknowledge its existence with a brief observation.

As ever with Debemur Morti, the artwork, presentation and attention to detail are second to none and the heavy duty gatefold cover is a joy to (be)hold. The music itself is prime Blut Aus Nord; twisting and swirling, semi-industrial-ish, concrete-scraping, urban Black Metal terror with an ominous, eerie vibe and just the right mix of melody and menace. Like Godflesh on LSD…

As the disconcerting closing strains of the portentous sixth and final track, ‘VI’, wash over your ears, you will no doubt concur that here resides yet another essential emission from the DMP / BAN partnership in grime.

Evilometer: 666/666

ÆVANGELIST – OMEN EX SIMULACRA 2LP (Debemur Morti Productions)

Saturday, February 8th, 2014

Ævangelist – Omen Ex SimulacraOn ‘Omen Ex Simulacra’, Ævangelist delivers a tsunami of nightmarish, otherworldly Death Metal that has to be experienced to be believed. Sinister, malevolent and downright deviant, this is one of the most twisted full-lengths to take up residency in my collection – a venomous torrent of sonic rage that will appeal to anyone who appreciates bands like Portal, Vasaeleth, Antediluvian, Welter In Thy Blood or Blut Aus Nord.

This offering seethes incessantly for approximately 80 minutes, with the untitled bonus track on the vinyl edition lending it true double-album status. The inclusion of lots of nasty noise elements ensures that Ævangelist’s second album is about as unsettling and uncomfortably a journey as you could wish for. All in all, this is a monumental piece of dark art.

Evilometer: 666/666

BEHEXEN – RITUALE SATANUM (Debemur Morti Productions)

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Behexen - Rituale SatanumDMP re-released ‘Rituale Satanum’ in digipak format a good few months back and, even though I really love Behexen’s work, the debut full-length was sadly conspicuous by its absence from my collection. Recorded as far back as 1999, this is easily as good as anything the band has put its name to during the intervening 14 years (which is saying something…) and is rightfully regarded as something of a Black Metal classic.

With a truly sinister sound, generous helpings of trademark Finnish malevolence, a suitably dark ambience, nightmarish vocals, buzzing strings and, true to form, granted a beautiful packaging makeover by the quality-driven French label (including tasteful booklet, printed lyrics etc.), this CD is a total no-brainer. Ideally, I’d have preferred a vinyl version but this will do just fine for now.

Evilometer: 555/666

BLUT AUS NORD – THE WORK WHICH TRANSFORMS GOD 2LP (Debemur Morti Productions)

Friday, September 6th, 2013

Blut Aus Nord - The Work Which Transforms GodIt’s been a decade since Blut Aus Nord’s fourth full-length redefined what Black Metal is and can be. When it arrived from slightly left of nowhere, ‘The Work Which Transforms God’ represented an innovative, refreshing and invigorating voice within a scene that was starting to stagnate alarmingly. Ten years on – and now available on sacred vinyl for the first time – these songs still sound absolutely monumental.

To my ears, this stunning album is undoubtedly Vindsval’s finest (and defining) hour, the crowning glory thus far in one of the most inspirational recording careers in Black Metal history (and unlikely to be matched). ‘TWWTG’ is an epiphany for BAN, a modern portrait of urban decay and human decadence, a recording which sent the irresistible French force off on a twisted new tangent that has been reaping rich dividends ever since. The template.

For this sumptuous double-vinyl edition, DMP has pulled out all the stops to deliver a beautiful set of records that adequately does justice to a peerless album that’s every bit as enjoyable as it was ambitious (nothing else sounded anything like this in 2003!). A rare feat that, as in most cases ambition is synonymous with bullshit.

Boasting new artwork, this anniversary edition looks and feels as awesome as it sounds and a great bonus track is thrown in for good measure. Damn, there’s even some sort of drawing inside(!) the fucking gatefold sleeves – where the records sleep. For digital fans, this reissue is also available on limited-edition CD. So everybody should be happy. Supreme!

Evilometer: 666/666

SLIDHR – DELUGE LP (Debemur Morti Productions)

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Slidhr - DelugeDon’t think I’ve ever heard a debut album that sounds so accomplished. ‘Deluge’ is an absolute tour de force of Black Metal brilliance from start to finish. Although he’s a veritable veteran of the dark arts, it took J. Deegan a long time to get around to recording a full-length; well, his patience and meticulous attention to detail have paid off in spades.

An astonishing release that is, in all honesty, nigh on perfect, ‘Deluge’ possesses everything I would look for in a stellar Black Metal album. It’s harsh, dark and raw but there is also loads of devilish melody in the songs; the production and sound are top notch; the musicianship is superb; the vocals caustic and painful.

Words can’t really do justice to how good this album is, so I will refrain from diluting its quality with needless superlatives and prose. Suffice to say that, eight years from its conception, Slidhr has come up trumps.

Evilometer: 666/666

THE EYE – SUPREMACY LP (Debemur Morti Productions)

Monday, May 6th, 2013

The very mention of the name Vindsval should be enough to pique your interest here. The Blut Aus Nord mainman conceived The Eye in the mid-90s and debut full-length ‘Supremacy’ was released in ‘97 (interestingly, the year after BAN’s second opus, ‘Memoria Vetusta I: Fathers Of The Icy Age’ and a full six years before the epiphanic ‘The Work Which Transforms God’).

I was going to say that, apart from the involvement of Vindsval, The Eye doesn’t really have anything to do with Blut Aus Nord … before realising that this would be a dumb statement. So I won’t say it. But I will stress that, musically, there are few comparisons between the two projects. ‘Supremacy’ delivers 40 minutes of almost-epic pagan Black Metal, very melodious and harmonic and bordering on exotic at times.

I found it fascinating to listen along to this alternate visage and I must admit the fact that the composer / executor was only 18 years old when he threw this together is mightily impressive. As ever, the album has been lovingly resurrected by DMP, with a sumptuous gatefold jacket and a fucking fucker of a poster, hehe. The vinyl edition does tremendous justice to the stunning artwork and reverently complements what constitutes a true musical curio as well as a slice of history.

Debemur Morti should have offered a money back guarantee with this record because it is extremely unlikely that anybody will purchase it and regret doing so. (Having said that, there are a lot of mongs in the world.) Worth acquiring; and I believe a follow-up album from The Eye is also imminent.

Evilometer: 555/666

BLUT AUS NORD – ULTIMA THULEE LP (Debemur Morti Productions)

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

Ultima Thulée’ is the debut full-length from Blut Aus Nord, dating back to 1995. At the time, this historic release barely caused a ripple of interest. Which is remarkable, considering how fantastic it is… I’d almost go so far as to say that I prefer this enchanting prototypical incarnation of BAN to the irresistible, innovative force that has emerged post-‘The Work Which Transforms God’. Trust me – that is some compliment!

Debemur Morti Productions has in recent years become a very natural home for Vindsval, not only releasing Blut Aus Nord’s last three albums (the ‘777’ trilogy, including this and this) and the ‘What Once Was…’ EPs but also reissuing the first three full-lengths on vinyl (including this), with the astounding, trailblazing ‘TWWTG’ in the pipeline, I’m led to believe.

Frankly, ‘Ultima Thulée’ is a remarkable 52+ minutes of stellar, icy, hypnotic, haunting, underground Black Metal with a keen sense of melody but also lashings of aggression and forlorn pathos. If you’re not already familiar with this majestic, cult classic – which sounds every bit as beguiling now as it did 18 years (fuck, really?) ago – then it would be a wise move to hunt it down.

Epic and priceless black art.

Evilometer: 666/666

BEHEXEN – NIGHTSIDE EMANATIONS LP (Debemur Morti Productions)

Sunday, November 11th, 2012

Arriving with neither hype nor fanfare, Behexen’s fourth full-length is one of those albums that could easily slip under the radar. It would be a shame if that were to happen, however, as ‘Nightside Emanations’ is as solid and competent a Black Metal record as you’re likely to hear in these days of banal and humdrum inoffensiveness. Behexen are masters of their craft and – even though this isn’t their best album – it’ still a hell of a lot better than most of their so-called peers.

The real clincher is the sheer quality of the vinyl edition, which (as is always the case with DMP) looks, feels and sounds magnificent. A 16-page booklet is attached to the gatefold cover and the whole unit is truly a thing of absolute beauty. (I bought the CD edition too and it also looks pretty stellar.) Aesthetically, this is one of those records that you will be proud to own. The artwork and presentation are of the most supreme calibre possible and they elevate the album to heights that it might otherwise have failed to reach.

Not that the music is bad, mind you. Far from it, in fact. There are 50 minutes of superior Finnish Black Metal on here, all of which has been cleverly conceived and delightfully executed. Mostly mid-paced and creepy as hell itself, ‘Nightside Emanations’ is a surefire winner from start to finish. I would particularly recommend this to anybody who appreciates Gorgoroth or Watain.  Masters paying homage to their master, this is one of the safest purchases you’ll make this winter.

Evilometer: 555/666

BLUT AUS NORD – WHAT ONCE WAS … LIBER II EP (Debemur Morti Productions)

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Fuck me, these guys are in a rich vein of form. With the astonishing ‘777’ trilogy of full-length albums just completed, they’ve also found time to produce the second part of the parallel-running ‘What Once Was’ trilogy of EPs (a series of separate but related releases…). And, true to form, ‘Liber II’ is an unmitigated success.

An astonishing half-hour of musick that sits beautifully on two sides of a noble record, ‘What Once Was … Liber II’ is right up there as surely one of Blut Aus Nord’s most chaotic, gnarly, unhinged and downright schizophrenic recordings to date. At times, it seems to be all over the place, yet with repeated listens it fits together perfectly, like a hammer and a face.

As demented, eerie and utterly bizarre as this EP is, it is also completely essential. So insane that it borders on genius, the haunting, spectral ‘Liber II’ is a logical progression from its predecessor and also a fabulous piece of art in its own right. To clinch the deal, DMP have housed the record in a fantastic heavy duty gatefold cover, which is right up there with the most awesome collectibles you are going to own.

To sum up: an amazing record; an incredible package; and a mandatory work of art. By the way, ‘Liber I’ –which was pretty damn good first time around but has already sold out its initial print – has been reissued in a similar housing and both records look as wondrous as they sound. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: neither this band nor this label can do any wrong at the moment.

Evilometer: 666/666

BLUT AUS NORD – MEMORIA VETUSTA I: FATHERS OF THE ICY AGE LP (Debemur Morti Productions)

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Are you inherently cynical, like me? Is it engrained in your DNA to be automatically suspicious of everything, especially musical recommendations? Have you ever laughed hysterically to yourself upon hearing the phrase ‘timeless classic’?

Are you sick of having substandard shit shoved down your throat by essentially dishonest, impartial reviewers who are interested only in masturbating their advertisers? Perhaps you need a blast of Blut Aus Nord’s peerless sophomore full-length to restore your faith in a subgenre that’s been prostituted, pimped and flogged to death by decades of media abuse…

Sixteen years on from its original release, ‘Memoria Vetusta I: Fathers Of The Icy Age’ has been lovingly given the vinyl treatment by maverick French label Debemur Morti. This is a colossal release in every respect.

With stunning new artwork and a 180g record available in either gold or grey vinyl, new life is breathed into a magnificent collection of songs that epitomises the first chapter of BAN’s uniquely stellar recording career. On this album, you will hear a band much different from the Blut Aus Nord we all know and love today – but equally brilliant.

As ever with this label and / or band, you cannot go wrong with this.

Evilometer: 666/666

BLUT AUS NORD – 777 – THE DESANCTIFICATION LP (Debemur Morti Records)

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

The Desanctification’ is the second part of Blut Aus Nord’s ongoing 777 trilogy of albums. It’s also their ninth full-length in total and the sixth since the French band reinvented itself and changed the face of Black Metal forever with 2003’s groundbreaking release ‘The Work Which Transforms God’. Since then, BAN has been a unique presence in Black Metal in that their sound is innovative, inimitable and utterly superb.

Vindsval’s vision is immense and I’m at a loss to understand why the scene isn’t cluttered with a host of second-rate Blut Aus Nord clones. Perhaps it’s because what BAN does is so unusual, it would be impossible to recreate or copy. Certainly, for whatever reason, Blut Aus Nord has been a trailblazing entity in BM for close to a decade now and ‘777- The Desanctification’ is a worthy addition to their extraordinary canon.

I’m not overly concerned with how this album fits within the overall context of the 777 concept or how it compares with this. I prefer to treat it as a separate record in its own right. As a stand-alone release, it is arguably slower and more atmospheric than a lot of what went before it but ‘777 – The Desanctification’ remains unmistakeably Blut Aus Nord – a chugging, swirling behemoth of urban filth and psychological decay.

As ever, not-so-subtle industrial elements are evident in a landscape that is both harsh and sumptuous. It’s easy to get lured into a false sense of security only to then have your ears blown out through your arse by an outbreak of violence. The conception and musicianship are second to none but what really seals this deal is the incredible presentation and attention to detail from the label, who have produced one of the finest-looking records (complete with colour on the inside of the sleeve!) you will ever see – or hear.

Obviously, this is mandatory in every way.

Evilometer: 666/666