Saturday, February 24, 2018 02:20

Posts Tagged ‘Iron Bonehead Productions’

VASSAFOR – MALEDICTION LP (Iron Bonehead Productions)

Sunday, January 28th, 2018

Vassafor - MaledictionThis is one heavy record. Literally. It’s listed as 180g but feels more like 280 in my bony hands. Chunky as all fuck. Maybe it’s the oppressive, all-consuming chaos painstakingly pressed into the grooves of the deep black wax that weighs it down.

Either way, Vassafor’s aptly-titled second full-length, ‘Malediction’, is another monster from this stellar band, undoubtedly one of the finest dwelling in the decayed Black / Death underground. Considering that the New Zealand duo have been releasing high-quality music for more than two decades and have a sizeable canon of incredible material to their credit, it’s difficult to fathom that there are just two albums proper…

And even though there are only three new songs contained on here (‘Servitude’ and ‘Black Winds Victoryant’ are re-recorded versions of cuts that were included on the amazing ‘Elegy of the Archeonaut’ 2LP), ‘Malediction’ is nevertheless an outstanding exhibit of murky, cavernous, rumbling black doom that kicks off with the sensationally-disturbing 16-minute-plus ‘Devourer Of A Thousand Worlds’ and never lets up.

Everything about this album is magnificent, apart from the fact that I dropped my copy onto the platter (Although from no great height, it plummeted forcefully downwards, like an angry hippo’s stool) and etched a multitude of unwanted clicks into Side A. Too much weight for my feeble limbs.

Heavy gatefold jacket, inner sleeve and poster further bolster the gross weight, so you might want to visit the gym a few times before picking this substantial unit up.

Evilometer: 666/666


Tuesday, December 26th, 2017

Tetragrammacide - Primal Incinerators Of Moral MatrixThe vinyl edition of Tetragrammacide’s debut full-length is a thing of true pummeling beauty. Buttressed by a strong gatefold jacket including bountiful booklet and the obligatory poster, ‘Primal Incinerators Of Moral Matrix’ is certainly a record that merits a place in any self-disrespecting collection. It looks supreme and sounds even better.

As solid a hybrid of crushing, chaotic Black / Death Metal (complete with batshit lyrics and delightfully odd interludes) as you could wish to witness, this album is subtly more accessible than ‘Typhonian Wormholes: Indecipherable Anti-Structural Formulæ’; twice as long; and thrice as nice. Crushing.

Evilometer: 666/666


Monday, May 29th, 2017

Necroblood - Collapse Of The Human RaceIf you pitched Diocletian, Revenge, Antaeus, Archgoat, ZOM and Portal into a super-Satanic blender and pulverised the contents together to create a novel yet strangely familiar monster, then you might just end up with something like Necroblood.

Although there is nothing particularly new here and a lot of the influences shine through clearly, debut full-length ‘Collapse Of The Human Race’ manages to sound fresh, rather than lazily cloned. This is a very difficult album to describe or pigeonhole as it fuses so many subtly different styles of barbaric Black and Death Metal into its vicious, virulent, obnoxious and ominous attack. Suppose I can just describe it as killer?

Three-quarters of an hour of punishing, pummeling poison with a big, bass-friendly production to maximise impact. Devastating, really, and with a cool intro to boot. You won’t go wrong with this monstrosity.

Evilometer: 666/666

CHHINNAMASTA VAJRA-SARPA MLP (Iron Bonehead Productions)

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

Chhinnamasta - Vajra-SarpaChhinnamasta’s debut release, the one-sided MLP, “Vajra-Sarpa”, is quite a short shock – featuring just over 20 minutes of raw-ish / ambient Black Metal … from India of all places. There’s really just one actual song on here – ‘In Search Of A Primal Light’ – buttressed between two ambient pieces – ‘Nexion I – Ritual Of Illumination And Consumption’ and ‘Nexion II – Reawakening Primeval Spells From The Farthest Cosmic Night’.

It’s very good stuff and, to make up for the brevity of the record, I tend to listen to it more than once at a time (and no need to even turn it over). Obviously, I’d prefer a full-length but, alas, there’s a lot of quality material emerging on the mini-album format these days and I’m finding myself buying more and more of them. Insert included.

Evilometer: 555/666

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

SPIRE – ENTROPY LP (Iron Bonehead Productions)

Sunday, February 26th, 2017

Spire - EntropySpire’s debut album features six intriguing offerings of doomy, ambient Black Metal ranging in length from three to 14 minutes. Mostly slow-to-mid paced, it took a little time to work its charm on me. Eventually, however, I deduced that ‘Entropy’ is a terrific record that’s melodic yet genuinely foreboding and manages to collate its different influences into a very commendable (w)hole.

Give it a listen or three on Bandcamp and see what you think. Some nice guitar tones in there and the vinyl edition looks fantastic.

Evilometer: 666/666


Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

Blood Tyrant - Aristocracy Of TwilightI’m not sure how twilight can qualify as being aristocratic but anyhow Blood Tyrant’s debut full-length is worthy of close investigation. Delivered are 30 minutes of venomous, raw razorblade Black Metal, blistering and ravenous enough to leave you breathless but still imbued with a delightful authentic charm that is no doubt indebted in part to the accompanying artwork and packaging plus the beguiling intro and outro as well as the main body of mesmerising music itself.

Twilight Of Aristocracy’ is a really good record and there’s no need to say any more.

Evilometer: 666/666


Saturday, December 10th, 2016

black-funeral-ankou-and-the-death-fireCeltic mythology / folklore doesn’t interest me much and I don’t generally appreciate (m)any bands that dwell upon it (or even visit it), so I’d have been pretty wary of Black Funeral’s latest full-length offering, ‘Ankou And The Death Fire’, had I been aware of the prevailing theme – something along the lines of opening the gates to the Celtic netherworld – prior to purchase. Indeed, I might even have given it a wide berth altogether.

However, I invested blindly on the strength of my searing admiration for BF’s previous work, not realising either that Drowning The Light mastermind Azgorh was now on board. Anyhow, I’ve lucked out, to an extent, as this doesn’t sound Celticy, pagany, epicy or Primordialy in any way, shape or form.

Rather, what we get is a thoroughly enjoyable 46 minutes of atmospheric, spooky, occult Black Metal with insidious melodies and a haunting aura. It’s also an album that undeniably gets better as it progresses, building to a fantastic climax which leaves the listener yearning for more.

Decent lyrics to read through on the insert along with some liner notes, a gatefold jacket (nice cover art) and a download card so you can also grab some MP3s if that’s your thing. And a poster, too.

Evilometer: 555/666

SHATAAN – WEIGH OF THE WOLF LP (Iron Bonehead Productions)

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

shataan-weigh-of-the-wolfIt would be fair to say that Shataan channel a unique and distinct sound all of their own. As soon as I started listening to their rather outrageous debut LP, ‘Weigh Of The Wolf’, the music sounded familiar to me straight away.

Probably because I’d previously encountered a few of their songs on the excellent ‘Desert Dances And Serpent Sermons’ compilation album and another one on the equally-sensational ‘Tlilitic Tlapoyauak’ 3LP.

To be fair, it’s the exact same formula again. It’s a winning formula, however, so I’m not complaining. Featuring the duo behind more-infamous Black Twilight Circle hordes Volahn and Arizmenda, this sounds nothing like Black Metal, really.

It’s more trippy, shamanic, occult, ritualistic cleansing. With flute included. And spaghetti western whistling. And a closing track that is uncannily like Social Distortion. Bad, bad Mexican medicine.

Evilometer: 666/666


Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

aum-om-ah-hum-vajra-guru-padma-siddhi-humI’d never heard tell of AUM until a few weeks ago but checked out a few songs on the IBP Bandcamp page as soon as the record appeared in their webstore as real live inventory and quickly deduced that ‘Om Ah Hum Vajra Guru Padma Siddhi Hum’ was a mandatory purchase.

Kind of like a mutated offspring of Necros Christos and Altarage, this exceptional album delivers 41 minutes of stellar, atmospheric Death Metal, performed with militaristic precision and imbued with an ominous, dark spirit that’s embellished greatly by the seamless gear changes and mood transitions, including some fleeting exotic ambient moments.

All in all, this is utterly superb and the presentation is as professional and appealing as we’ve come to expect from IBP.

Evilometer: 666/666

TEMPLE NIGHTSIDE – THE HECATOMB LP (Iron Bonehead Productions)

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

Temple Nightside - The HecatombThere’s a brilliant collective of Australian artists toiling away in the darkest depths of the underground making some of the most amazing music in the world right now. Between Ill Omen, Vassafor, Sinistrous Diabolus, Grave Upheaval and the tremendous Temple Nightside (to name just a handful of the more prominent parties in the cooperative), it’s a veritable Black / Death Motown down there. These bands are all utterly fantastic, so much so that one could almost survive on Australian occult metal alone.

Temple Nightside’s second full-length, ‘The Hecatomb’ ups the ante, if anything. Oppressive, ritualistic and decidedly despondent, it’s hard to fathom how an album like this can leave the listener feeling so elevated. This is a celebration of darkness that will drag you so low into the mire that you become stripped of all hope and reborn in your natural state – one of utter despair.

Once you accept the worthlessness of yourself and everything around you and embrace the absolute certainty of death, you are free. Free to enjoy what little time you have left. Much of which could be spent listening to this sublime record – embellished with a gatefold sleeve, eight-page A4 booklet and poster – over and over again.

Play it to death.

Evilometer: 666/666

INFERNAL CURSE – APOCALIPSIS LP (Iron Bonehead Productions)

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

Infernal Curse - ApocalipsisInfernal Curse’s second full-length, ‘Apocalipsis’, surfaced on vinyl earlier this year and it’s a heady brew indeed, laden with pummeling, primitive, bestial Death Metal and a dark, oppressive Black Metal vibe that places it somewhere between Revenge and Portal without necessarily sounding like either or.

The Argentinians have forged their own brand of suffocating, dense, smothering but somewhat exotic Black / Death and it’s utterly devastating. Not quite as harsh as Genocide Shrines perhaps but suitably headfucking nevertheless.

I needed to remove some varnish from a window board and I blasted this beast out at high volume for a couple of hours and it did the trick. Unfortunately it also removed most of the skin from my children’s faces.

The consolation for them is that there’s a lovely booklet and inner jacket included and they can maybe play with those if they want when their wounds heal.

Evilometer: 666/666

ALTARAGE – NIHL LP (Iron Bonehead Productions)

Saturday, April 16th, 2016

Altarage - NIHLI invest so much of my hard-earned cash in vinyl that, as the years progress, I’m becoming increasingly prudent and careful with what I actually buy. Improving quality control has given rise to the rather strange scenario where the greatness of each new record is a given, something I take completely for granted. A case of the more I get, the less I appreciate each of them.

It goes like this: I buy the record (nine times out of ten, I’m already familiar with the tracks), anxiously await its arrival, lovingly remove it from the packaging, peek at the poster if there is one while I give the glistening black wax a few spins, then file it away.

Nothing remarkable really happens anymore. Just one fantastic record after another. A procession of almost banal magic. I’m like a man who feasts upon lamb’s kidney and heart for dinner every day and washes them down with golden nectar, one who’s on the receiving end of exactly 35 enthusiastically-delivered blowjobs every week. So spoiled that I tend to neither appreciate nor recognise just how lucky I am, overlooking – almost dismissively – the true greatness that stands before and all around me.

Also, it gets harder to talk about them. I mean, how many different ways are there to say ‘this is a brilliant Black Metal album’?

Then along comes Basque bastards Altarage’s debut full-length ‘NIHL’ to leave my jaw permanently stuck to the fucking floor. I’ve had this monster on steady rotation at the expense of all else for three days now and it just keeps getting better. Certainly one of the best LPs I’ve acquired this year, ‘NIHL’ is mandatory for those who are enjoying the hybrid offerings of Portal, Teitanblood, Genocide Shrines, Mitochondrion, Antediluvian, Grave Upheaval, Irkallian Oracle, Impetuous Ritual, Adversarial, Mefitic and so on (the list is getting longer!) .

A truly astonishing album with some of the punchiest, most addictive drumming to ever adorn a Black / Death Metal recording and a lot, lot more besides. Searing guitars, anguished otherworldly hollers, soul-destroying bass. The crushing atmosphere lives and breathes, pouring from the speakers like a tsunami of terror. And we all love terror. Let it rain upon you.

Evilometer: 666/666

EUCHARIST – DEMISE RITES MLP (Iron Bonehead Productions)

Friday, February 19th, 2016

Eucharist - Demise RitesFeaturing both of the band’s 2011 demos – ‘Tenebrous Summoning’ and ‘Demise Rites’ – in one place, this collection was initially released by Total Holocaust Records on a limited run of cassettes in 2012. It now gets a welcome 45rpm vinyl rebirth, whereupon we are treated to almost half an hour of cavernous, lo-fi, rumbling, underground Black / Death. (The title track is particularly beguiling.)

A nice introduction to a very enjoyable Australian entity. And IBP has just unleashed a brand-new MLP entitled ‘Endarkenment’ (two cuts; 27 minutes), which promises to be at least as good. My order is in…

Evilometer: 555/666


Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

Volahn  Shataan  Arizmenda  Kallathon - Desert Dances & Serpent SermonsContinuing where the astonishing ‘Tlilitic Tlapoyauak’ left off, ‘Desert Dances & Serpent Sermons’ is another collaborative effort from Eduardo “Volahn” Ramirez and his Black Twilight Circle horde of acolytes, who evoke from the arid, tumbleweed-strewn earth of Southern California a unique strain of esoteric, tribal, truly transcendental Black Metal of magical Mexican ancestry.

This time around, there are four acts involved – inimitable BTC daddies Volahn and Arizmenda back-to-back with lesser-sung scene heroes Shataan and Kallathon. Even though Shataan isn’t to my own personal liking, the record as a whole is rather amazing, with terrific ebb and flow, wondrous pacing, delivering three-quarters-of-an-hour of intriguing and genuinely different music.

Throw in a beautiful jacket, nice splatter record, booklet with lyrics plus poster and you just know ‘Desert Dances & Serpent Sermons’ is another sure-fire winner. Both visually and aurally, this split LP is a fucking feast, a conjuration to be celebrated and devoured.

Evilometer: 666/666