Monday, December 10, 2018 14:02

Posts Tagged ‘Obscure Abhorrence Productions’

DROWNING THE LIGHT – FROM THE ABYSS 2LP (Obscure Abhorrence Productions)

Friday, August 19th, 2016

DTL - From The AbyssHaving bought all twelve previous Drowning The Light full-lengths – as well as quite a few of the countless splits, EPs and demos – I have been deeply disappointed by the so-called music on offer on ‘From The Abyss’. The Aussies have gone for a more melodic, epic, effeminate and accessible sound this time around and the records reek of grandeur and pomposity.

This is far removed from the Drowning The Light I fell in love with and, in the let-down stakes – ranks right up there with recent less-raw, sell-out departures from Satanic Warmaster, Watain and Nefandus. And Burzum and Graveland. It’s doubtful that there are many of you sitting on the fence at this stage regarding whether or not to purchase this album, seeing as it was released six months ago – but, for what it’s worth, ‘From The Abyss’ is a real shocker that should be avoided at all costs.

Might be good for listening to whilst looking at butterflies dancing around outside in the garden, but otherwise this album is just pure irritating. And the warbling on the liner notes along the lines of ‘we are Black Metal and fuck the unconverted non-believers in the pathetic world’ is pretty embarrassing when the music is this lush, camp and easy-listening. Candy floss.

Evilometer: 000/666

ORDO TEMPLI AETERNAE LUCIS / BLESSED IN SIN – TU FUI EGO ERIS LP (Obscure Abhorrence Productions)

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

Tu Fui Ego ErisUnfortunately, I was predisposed to not really like ‘Tu Fui Ego Eris’ very much before even giving it a spin. The reason? The front cover on the record is upside down. Well, it is on my copy anyway… I’m not sure whether this has happened by accident or design. Either way, it is pretty fucking dumb. There is a reason why things are done in a particular way. It makes sense for the front cover on a record to be right side up surely. Otherwise, the whole presentation is arseways … and irritating to boot.

Blessed in Sin and Ordo Templi Aeternae Lucis are two French Black Metal bands with an apparent overlap in membership and convictions. On this split, they provide between them four songs plus an intro, an outro and a medley of (two) Mortuary Drape covers. All in all, it’s reasonably enjoyable if sickeningly-melodic fare with a definite Slavonic bent.

Musically, the very, very melodic ‘Tu Fui Ego Eris’ should appeal to anybody who enjoys Eastern European Black Metal or Pagan Metal. While the actual album itself won’t live long in my memory, I can’t get past the stupid upside down cover. Compared to that fuck-up, the 48 minutes of fairly average and at times offensively-twee music pales into insignificance.

Evilometer: 111/666

DROWNING THE LIGHT – DIABOLICAL WINTER SPELLS 10″ EP (Obscure Abhorrence Productions)

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Drowning The Light - Diabolical Winter SpellsAnother 10” from Drowning The Light and another really great listen. Recorded over four winters, ‘Diabolical Winter Spells’ contains five songs and clocks in at around 22 minutes (including the time it takes to flip the record over…). Obviously, being just a demo or an EP or whatever you want to call it, this record isn’t going to change your life. But it’s still worth having.

Anybody who enjoys high-quality raw, atmospheric Black Metal should enjoy this (i.e. everybody reading this??? If you don’t, seriously, fuck off!). If not sure whether or not you should part with a few quid, check out the songs on YouTube or something.

I can’t think of a single reason why I should utter any more on the matter (apart, perhaps, from the observation that the last song, ‘Now With Hearts Of Frost We Chant, To Ignite The Flame Of The Old’ is right up there with DTL’s best).

Evilometer: 555/666

DROWNING THE LIGHT – LOST KINGDOMS OF A DARK AGE 10″ EP (Obscure Abhorrence Productions)

Saturday, February 15th, 2014

Drowning The Light - Lost Kingdoms Of A Dark AgeThis 10” EP surfaced a couple of months back and contains four tracks (three songs plus an instrumental intro) with a total running time of 21 minutes. I think it only set me back €9, so no complaints on that front. ‘Lost Kingdoms Of A Dark Age’ captures Drowning The Light at their brilliant best and will certainly entertain you and leave you yearning for more.

I find that all of DTL’s releases are of a consistently high standard and can’t remember – off the top of my head – having been disappointed by any of their previous work. Even though EPs are more appetisers than main courses and are therefore hardly essential, I would still recommend this record to anybody who likes the band or who appreciates quality Black Metal in general.

There you have it: short and sweet.

Evilometer: 555/666

NORDWIND – WALK TO THE WOODS / NORDWIND LP (Obscure Abhorrence Productions)

Saturday, September 7th, 2013

Nordwind - Walk To The Woods NordwindI wasn’t at all familiar with Nordwind until Obscure Abhorrence decided to give them a 2013 airing by releasing this compilation LP on (remastered) vinyl format (limited to less than 300 units). As so often happens with something utterly unknown, curiosity got the better of me and I decided to give it a try. Not a bad course of action as, all in all, this is a reasonably good release but by no means an essential one.

On opposite sides of the record we get the ‘Walk To The Woods’ demo from 1996 and the self-titled 1998 demo. Thirteen songs – including two intros and one outro – comprise just shy of 40 minutes of very melodic, inoffensive and pleasant Black Metal, with soaring keys flitting between the background and foreground, a great sound and an enchanting vibe.

I can see exactly why the label saw fit to resurrect this material as it is way too good to be consigned to history and lost forever. In summing up, I would conclude that ‘Walk To The Woods / Nordwind’ is possibly worth tracking down. This is arguably a hidden gem but, at the same time, the music shows its age a little (not necessarily a bad thing but nevertheless leaving me with the impression that perhaps you had to be there first time around to feel / appreciate the full impact of Nordwind’s mastery).

Evilometer: 444/666

TAAKEFERD – NÅR SIRKELEN BRYTES LP (Obscure Abhorrence Productions)

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Når Sirkelen Brytes’ is the debut full-length from northern Norwegian quintet Taakeferd, who may or may not have borrowed their name from an iconic piece of Darkthrone merchandise. Probably not, though. Anyway, the name translates as ‘a journey through fog’ or something along those lines and this is probably an apt description for the no-holds-barred, blazing Black Metal offered forth on this record.

Both melodic and raw, the songs on this 53-minute album rip through the speakers with devilish intent, never compromising, delivering nine straight-to-the-point work-outs of shrill and shrieky Black Metal with little or no let-up. The music blasts along fiercely and ferociously and there is barely time to breathe. It’s somehow claustrophobic and suffocating as it pounds along and at times all too familiar but, for all it lacks in originality, ‘Når Sirkelen Brytes’ deserves respect for the manner in which it sticks to the core principles of what made Black Metal great in the first place.

This isn’t an album that you’ll regard as a milestone in the history of BM, nor is it one you’ll want to play over and over again. But there’s no denying that it does what it does bloody damned well and for that reason alone Taakeferd should not be dismissed. Good, solid, face-ripping Black Metal that salutes the scene’s brethren well and – ironically – will probably draw criticism for being too Black Metal! An album for those who appreciate Black Metal the olden way.

Evilometer: 444/666

INSANE VESPER – ABOMINATION OF DEATH LP (Obscure Abhorrence Productions)

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

So Insane Vesper’s debut full-length gets the vinyl treatment from Obscure Abhorrence and it’s immediately apparent that label head honcho Andreas has done a superb job with this wax edition, more than doing justice to the wonderful songs contained withon. Good solid, sturdy cover (seems to be made of different cardboard than usual?); poster; lyric sheet; and a noble (as they say in the industry) record. Ten out of ten for the professionalism of the presentation.

As for the actual music – which, of course, is of primary importance – well, I am certainly a fan of this French four-piece, who have been plying their trade for a decade already, making sure they had honed their craft before delivering an album on the discerning populace at large. The result is suitably impressive – a collection of tunes that stands toe-to-toe and shoulder-to-shoulder with the best the genre has to offer.

Instrumental opener ‘Suscipiat Daemone …’ sets the tone in suitably-evil and –eerie Omen-esque fashion and the three subsequent killer ‘songs proper’ on Side A remain interesting for their full duration(s). Ditto Side B. Mid-paced, menacing Black Metal that just bounces along confidently and organically, ‘Abomination Of Death’ commands your full attention and rewards in abundance. Thoroughly enjoyable stuff.

Okay, this is clearly not the most-ambitious or ground-breaking music you’re going to encounter this side of the apocalypse (how many times have we said that?) but it is nonetheless reassuringly solid Black Metal performed with conviction, integrity and no-little-skill. With some nice touches of variation scattered sparsely throughout the mix, Insane Vesper’s debut is a thrilling dark voyage and an all-out winner on all fronts.

Evilometer: 555/666

DROWNING THE LIGHT – DROWNED (Obscure Abhorrence Productions)

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Upon first listen, I was disappointed by the bad sound that dogs this album. So much so that I was initially tempted to write a negative-ish review. That would have been an injustice. Drowning The Light has benefited from a much cleaner production on more-recent releases and I suppose I had become accustomed to the more-polished, easier-digested incarnation of the Aussie act. But this is just as good in its own way, if not better.

You have to bear in mind that ‘Drowned’ is an excavation of DTL’s self-released, debut album from eight years ago. As such, it marks a landmark moment in time. Certain allowances have to be made. If it was reworked or remastered, that simply wouldn’t cut it. You have to take the rough with the smooth. So what we have here is an even rawer, more lo-fi collection of tunes than usual, almost of demo quality.

The sound is kind of muddied and the mix is pretty much all over the place. But, at the end of the day, it’s underground Black Metal we’re talking about and I’m sure Azgorh put this together on a shoestring. Beneath the murky haze, there’s some very imaginative, inventive and inspirational BM to be found, depressive in a way – but not in a bad way. If you’re already a fan of the ‘band’ or if you appreciate kinda-shitty-sounding Black Metal, you will hardly regret acquiring ‘Drowned’.

If you’re not on familiar terms with DTL yet (as you should be), perhaps it would be more prudent to check out ‘To The End Of Time’ or ‘An Alignment Of Dead Stars’ first.

Evilometer: 444/666

WOODS OF INFINITY – FORLAT (Obscure Abhorrence Productions)

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

If Woods of Infinity serves any meaningful purpose any more, then I am at a loss to identify it. Sometimes when you listen to a really bad album, you just have to ask yourself a very obvious question: what was the point of that? Which is how I’m feeling after exposing myself to ‘Förlåt’ – one of the most pointless, irrelevant and downright annoying things I’ve ever had the misfortune of hearing.

You know that joke band in The Muppet Show? It sounds like them – only worse. One of the centrepieces of the album, the cover of ‘Walking In The Air’ is excruciatingly nauseating (who needs such infantile sarcasm?) and the feeling of utter cringe-worthiness lingers throughout the rest of the CD. Terrible music, dreadful vocals and a total lack of focus or inspiration culminate in the worst release by far from a band that’s long since passed its Best Before date.

Really, there’s no point beating about the bush or pulling any punches: this is shockingly bad and Woods Of Infinity should be ashamed of themselves for churning out such a ridiculous release. This has absolutely nothing to do with proper Black Metal and is downright annoying in every conceivable manner.

I know some might suggest that I just don’t get Woods Of Infinity, that perhaps their juvenile sense of fun and gay abandon goes over my head and that the joke is ultimately on me but, honestly, why would anyone want to get nonsense like this?

Evilometer: 000/666

CIRCLE OF OUROBORUS / DROWNING THE LIGHT – MOONFLARES LP (Obscure Abhorrence Productions)

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Don’t know what’s got into the water in New South Wales but Drowning The Light seem to have gone into some kind of crazy creative overdrive. This split album is their third release already in 2011 and their EIGHTEENTH since 2008. They released four full-lengths during the course of 2009 alone but, in fairness, have only unleashed one album since then, focusing more on splits and EPs. Still, I’d wager we’re due a new LP fairly shortly!

While it’s always a positive thing when such a worthy ‘band’ (Azgorh is the only permanent member) is so productive, the inevitable downside is that fans can become frustrated as they struggle to keep pace. Especially collectors like myself. I am royally pissed that I missed ‘The Serpents Reign’ and ‘The Masters Empire’ on vinyl and I’m still waiting patiently for the magnificent ‘An Alignment Of Dead Stars’ to emerge on black wax format. Collecting those frequent 10” EPs is a costly exercise, too … but, fuck it, I shouldn’t be complaining. It’s all about the music at the end of the day and DTL have no weakness in that regard.

To my ear, the four tracks on here are comparable to the material on ‘A Pact With Madness’. It’s typical Drowning The Light really – emotional, depressing, uplifting, spiritual, sombre, sorrowful Black Metal. Joined on these tunes by Blackheart and Wraith, Azgorh pays homage to the majesty of the moon, the woodlands, his mortality. He embraces death. He spills his heart out onto the record. There’s a deep romance evident in his work but it’s by no means cringe-worthy.

The highlight of four excellent songs on Side Two is the heartbreaking ‘Silver So Cold On My Eyelids’ – a BM epitaph that showcases DTL at their most powerful. If you’re not familiar with Drowning The Light and you fancy some mid-paced, sorrowful Black Metal that sounds like it was recorded in the darkest forest with rivers rushing by, reflecting the pale glare of a naked moon, then you should check them out. They’re a consistently impressive act.

Three offerings from Circle Of Ouroborus comprise Side One of this record and – honestly – I have no idea what to make of them. Suffice to say, it’s as far removed from standard Black Metal as you’re ever going to get on an Obscure Abhorrence release. For me, the jury’s out on these experimental Finns. The music ticks a lot of boxes; it’s unusual, daring, thought-provoking and oh-so-different. I would dismiss them instantly but for the fact that one of the two members (the guy who performs all the music) is also in Prevalent Resistance and Vordr. This has me thinking the restraint, panache and general strangeness on show here is very, very deliberate. Perhaps I’m just not getting it…

Ultimately, I don’t particularly like the Circle Of Ouroborus contributions but I am reluctant to write them off. ‘Walk Through Me’ is more goth than BM and ‘The Frozen Flare’ reminds me more of The Damned than Darkthrone, while ‘Trial Of Collision’ – the pick of the three – had me thinking of Into The Woods and Solefald and even Joy Division. Despite my muted reservations, it serves as an interesting counterpoint / companion piece to Drowning The Light on the flipside and – all it all – ‘Moonflares’ is a record that’s worth having in your collection. An inlay with band photos and an insert containing all the lyrics complete a nice package.

Evilometer: 444/666

THE RUINS OF BEVERAST / DEATHGATE ARKANUM / NIHIL NOCTURNE / ANTI – GOTT IN UNS LP (Obscure Abhorrence Productions)

Friday, March 11th, 2011

I’m going to be frank: this is probably the best record I own. What a stunning release it is! Limited to just 500 copies and available on vinyl only, ‘Gott In Uns‘ surfaced in 2008, gathering new and 100% exclusive work from four of Germany’s finest Black Metal hordes. The music on here – which will never appear anywhere else – is all of a brilliant standard and the artwork and packaging are equally exemplary. You couldn’t ask for more.

The Ruins of Beverast’s 17-minute offering is worthy of the entry fee alone and is easily as good as anything from either of their three astonishing full-length albums, while Deathgate Arkanum took me by surprise with a ridiculously good track that had me scampering to hear their album, ‘Stillhallen‘. Weird Nihil Nocturne knock out two conceptually-related songs in just shy of ten minutes and Anti sign off with 15 minutes of depressive bliss.

This is sold out, but it’s the kind of LP that makes our underground so unique. Where else will you find such rare, un-commercial and unheralded brilliance? Nowhere. Hunt this down even if you don’t have a deck to play it on. It’s a pure masterpiece.

Evilometer: 666/666