Friday, November 24, 2017 07:12

Posts Tagged ‘Final Agony Records’

RHINOCERVS – RH-07 MLP (Final Agony Records)

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

Rhinocervs - RH-07This is the third of the much-coveted and hyped Rhinocervs tapes to get the vinyl treatment and I am pretty sure there are more to come. Unleashed at the start of the year, it is limited to a mere 333 units.

Are there 333 suckers out there who want to part with more than the price of most full-length albums for 24 minutes of lethargic, sleep-inducing, spacey, psychedelic Black Metal that’s neither one thing nor another nor another? No doubt. Alas, I am one such fool.

The seventh track is enjoyable but, generally speaking, ‘RH-07’ is a truly boring, painfully lacklustre, somewhat contrived, predominantly-instrumental record that sounds like wallpaper falling off a tree.

Evilometer: 111/666

RIDE FOR REVENGE / BELOW – RIDE FOR REVENGE / BELOW LP (Final Agony Records)

Sunday, September 11th, 2016

ride-for-revenge-belowAs we have by now come to expect, Ride For Revenge’s 20-minute contribution, ‘Lust Fuck For Torment’, is exceptional. These guys can simply do no wrong. On Side B, Below chips in with four tracks of suitably harrowing, unnerving madness to complete a superb split album that belongs in every collection.

Another triumph for the festered underground.

Evilometer: 666/666

RUHO – PATHWAYS THROUGH FLESH LP (Final Agony Records / Triumph Of Death)

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

Ruho - Pathways Through FleshSeven songs; 40 minutes of one-man Black Metal from Finland. Needless to say, I had high expectations for Ruho’s debut full-length and, even though it hasn’t quite met them, ‘Pathways Through Flesh’ is nevertheless a really good record, with some nice deviations and embellished by thought-provoking lyrics about life and death and the meaning(lessness) of it all.

I’m not sure why I don’t love this album. It just lacks a bit of raw, dirty, evil, nastiness or something. But it’s the sort of mild disappointment I can live with and Ruho is undoubtedly still worthy of support.

The closing six-and-a-half-minute instrumental, ‘Tus an Deireadh III’, is supreme and more similar-sounding stuff would be welcome. I will most definitely keep my eyes and ears on his future ventures.

Evilometer: 444/666

RHINOCERVS – RH-11 LP (Final Agony Records)

Monday, March 9th, 2015

Rhinocervs - RH-11While ‘RH-13’ didn’t quite grab me by the balls the way I’d hoped it would, I still went back into the abyss to grab a copy of this one on vinyl. I much prefer ‘RH-11’, as it happens, and not just because it presents a more-acceptable (lengthwise) 35 minutes (six tracks) of blazing, underground Black Metal.

Overall, I am thoroughly enjoying the music on this record, which features just the right balance of rawness, finesse, strangeness, twisted melody and a unique identity. A very solid LP, all told, with a more-than-adequate sound, to boot. Blah blah blah…

Evilometer: 555/666

RHINOCERVS – RH-13 LP (Final Agony Records)

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

Rhinocervs - RH-13There’s some impressive raucous and fierce Black Metal contained on ‘RH-13’ but I’m not sure it quite lives up to the hype that’s been generated (albeit within the tiniest of habitats, to be fair) by the obscure, underground, deliberately-hard-to-acquire series of Rhinocervs releases.

While I’m obviously pleased that this recording has been reissued on vinyl (and remastered to boot), it has to be said that the mere 25 minutes of music included does not justify the requisite substantial outlay of cold, hard cash that was needed to gain admission to the party from Europe. Of course, I knew this before purchasing and was still prepared to proceed, which suggests that either I am in a bad mood today and over-protesting or generally have more money than sense.

Bear in mind that only individuals who worship underground Black Metal and all things cult are ever likely to become exposed to Rhinocervs cassettes / records and, therefore, the ‘RH-’ series will as a consequence receive a very high percentage of fawning appraisals (from a small pool of people).

Pretty much everyone who hears this is going to hail it as supreme but the reality is that – apart from the fourth track – ‘RH-13’ (which, looks amazing, by the way) is somewhat underwhelming and certainly disappointing considering that the masterminds behind Odz Manouk and Tukaaria have collaborated to conceive and nurture it.

Having said all of that, if I didn’t have it, I’d buy it again, so perhaps certain things in life are just mandatory by their very nature…

Evilometer: 333/666

ORLOK – BLACK FUNERAL HOLOCAUST LP (Final Agony Records)

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Orlok - Black Funeral HolocaustSomewhere along the way, the true meaning of Black Metal has been lost. It was never about who can sell the most records, who can get signed to a bigger label or who is the most technically proficient at playing their instrument(s). Black Metal is supposed to be an expression of hatred, contempt and defiance. It is music for outsiders and it should therefore be performed by outsiders.

Orlok gets this. Werwolf doesn’t give one flying fuck whether you like his music or not. In fact, he would probably prefer if you hated it. Because he hates you. That is clear in everything he does and says. ‘Black Funeral Holocaust’ is proper Black Metal – raw, misanthropic, Satanic and full of negative energy.

It has become increasingly difficult to find genuine, sincere Black Metal that is imbued with non-commercial sentiment, that shies away from the mainstream and carries the torch of hate (thus the dearth of posts here recently). Let’s be clear, people are scum. The world is teeming with worthless, pitiful beings who are deserving only of death. Death and pain and suffering should be celebrated. Because we are all cunts.

At a time when dumb fucks like Satyricon, Watain, Burzum, Abigor, Mayhem, Wolves In The Throne Room, Nachtmystium (I could go on and on and on with that list…) are doing everything in their power to completely misrepresent Black Metal and bastardise it beyond recognition, Orlok is a welcome dose of reality.

Evilometer: 666/666

THE TRUE WERWOLF – ENDLESS JOURNEYS 2LP (Final Agony Records / Astral Temple)

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

The True Werwolf - Endless JourneysThere are 15 songs on this double-vinyl, taken from assorted demos from 2003-2005 and allegedly remastered. I have to say this is about as close to Special Needs Black Metal as you’re ever going to get. I would be ashamed of my life if my boss or friends or even my wife caught me listening to ‘Endless Journeys’; I prefer to listen along in solitude.

Because, regardless of how retarded and ridiculous the so-called slaughters and curses on these records sound, I fucking love them and have been known to pogo around the living room in the dark like a spastic whilst listening along. No gatefold jacket but a neat booklet-cum-tome is included and this was worth every red cent of the €30 plus postage invested.

Black Metal made by a freak and aimed at mongs like me. Can’t believe they spelt Journeys correctly…

Evilometer: 666/666

GRAUSAMKEIT – CHRISTENSCHMÄHUNG LP (Darker Than Black / Final Agony Records)

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Grausamkeit  - ChristenschmähungOn so many levels, ‘Christenschmähung’ is one of the worst records I’ve ever bought. The music on this album is unbelievably sloppy. Amateurism seeps from every note. The playing is second rate at best; the vocals are terrible (it sounds like the singer is too close to the microphone – if indeed it is a microphone); the production is ropey; the constant hiss confirms that no money went to waste on that fateful day this was recorded 14 years ago.

It all sounds like it was thrown together in a couple of hours using the worst equipment and recording techniques (un)known to man, making for one of the most authentically underground Black Metal records you are likely to hear. In spite of their limitations – in fact, because of them – Grausamkeit come highly recommended.

Certainly not for everyone, ‘Christenschmähung’ (which is Grausamkeit’s only full-length) can be a challenging and frustrating listen as well as an invigorating one. Dreadful and brilliant at the same time, this LP possesses the true spirit of Black Metal the way it was supposed to be.

Evilometer: 666/666

ODZ MANOUK / TUKAARIA – SPLIT LP (Final Agony Records)

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

Odz Manouk TukaariaHow do you quantify value for money? There are only 31 minutes of music on this split ‘album’, but it must be noted that said 31 minutes deliver some sensational underground Black Metal. Both Odz Manouk and Tukaaria produce incredibly uncompromising, raw, intense, in-your-face-blackness that swirls and cascades and teeters on the brink of (in)audibility and, as such, at times could barely be categorised as music, per fucking se.

The dense layers do reveal themselves – albeit rather reluctantly – upon repeated listening and myriad devious melodies are buried beneath the harsh cavern of immovable dissonance and stubborn lo-fidelity. This is analogue Black Metal at its finest and is as devastating as it is acute. Short it may well be, but ‘Odz Manouk / Tukaaria’ packs a powerful punch that comes all the way from the metaphorical calves.

Evilometer: 666/666

AYTNACHR – HATEFUL BLACK BEING LP (Final Agony Records)

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

Aytnachr – Black Hateful BeingHarrowing, intense, tortured, tormented and strained are adjectives I would use to describe Aytnachr’s debut full-length, the aptly-christened ‘Hateful Black Being’. I could pad this observation out with lots of superfluous words to make it sound grand, but what’s the point? In a nutshell, this is supreme, raw, underground Black Metal that’s about as compromising as genocide.

The record comes in a DIY cover with Xeroxed pictures glued onto a plain black sleeve. This adds to its charm. Impossible to go wrong with this anguished slice of headache-inducing hatred and despair. Acquire and admire.

Evilometer: 666/666

ODZ MANOUK – ODZ MANOUK LP (Final Agony Records)

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Originally released two years ago on cassette by Crepúsculo Negro, this magnificent demo has been made available in the mandatory vinyl format by Final Agony. We are treated to six tracks of majestic underground Black Metal from California spread out over a beguiling 36-odd minutes and this is definitely a record that is difficult to set aside.

Odz Manouk instil a bit of everything into their dark art – aggression, anguish, melody, rawness all within a harsh template but with soaring atmospheres and uplifting moments that render the music thoroughly addictive. Even though it’s not the longest recording you’re going to hear, ‘Odz Manouk’ is nonetheless fulfilling in a way that an ‘album’ of this length has no right to be.

Obviously, I’d prefer if it was longer but you can’t have everything in life and, to be honest, I’m just glad I bought this after a couple of duds worked their way deceivingly into my collection lately. Odz Manouk is definitely a band to keep an eye on, though I doubt they will ever surpass the quality of their debut release, which also happens to be excellently produced.

Evilometer: 666/666

CORNIGR – RELICS OF INNER WAR (Final Agony Records)

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

This album reminds me of a time when Black Metal was dangerous. It’s chaotic and raging and seethes through the groove in the record like a maelstrom of mania. ‘Relics Of Inner War’ perhaps belongs to a different era, for this debut full-length from one-man (Finnish, in case it matters) operator Vainaja sounds like it was cut directly from a matrix 20 years ago and transported into the modern world.

Mindless Black Metal performed like this is worth its weight in gold. There might be only 30 minutes on this record but it’s still way better than most other albums you’re likely to hear this year. I’m almost afraid to say anything more lest I start sounding like Cornigr’s PR manager or stand accused of working for the label but, trust me, this is an utterly sublime slice of cold, eerie, menacing Black Metal majesty.

And the vinyl version does the music complete justice, even if the front cover is hard to decipher (thus my decision to compromise and take a picture of the back cover). Comes with a cool inner sheet including lyrics and, frankly, constitutes the rarest of gems. August gets off to a flying start!

Evilometer: 666/666

ATRA – IN REVERENCE OF DECAY LP (Final Agony Records)

Friday, November 25th, 2011

Atra is a one-man vehicle steered by aptly-named former Drowning The Light ghoul Blackheart, whose second thoroughly-underground full-length has been immortalised on wax by a small but commendable label that I otherwise know little about. Limited to just a hundred copies and boasting the most non-commercial feel, sound and vibe imaginable, ‘In Reverence Of Decay’ is right up my street / sewer.

It’s quite a short album, with just seven tracks plus the requisite intro and outro to fatten things up a bit but you won’t really notice because somehow the songs seem to last longer than they actually are. That’s because there’s a lot going on beneath the murky surface, so much darkness seeping through the speakers, so much ugly, twisted, raw Black Metal malevolence; you’ll be too busy wallowing in the smouldering filth to detect the passing of time or otherwise.

The songs are executed in a lo-fi manner, with the sound wibbling around all over the place at times, everything on the cusp of chaos but remaining just about under control. While the vocals are far from spectacular, they are sort of buried in the mix in a very cool way. In fact, everything’s buried in the mix. Thus, when it all breaks through in a bleak cacophony, it sounds like the early ‘90s all over again. Like when Black Metal was dangerous. Ish. This record brings me down memory lane but it also serves up music that’s bizarrely refreshing, new and different.

In a word, this is brilliant. Not that I really need to recommend it at all because the sort of people who seek out and purchase a release like this know exactly what they want and nobody who buys the decrepit, sludgy blackfest that is ‘In Reverence Of Decay’ will regret doing so. Still, thought I’d let you know anyway…

Evilometer: 666/666