Thursday, May 25, 2017 20:08

Posts Tagged ‘Osmose Productions’

LIBER NULL – I, THE SERPENT LP (Osmose Productions)

Sunday, May 7th, 2017

Liber Null - I, The SerpentEven though it is, to all intents and purposes, shamelessly derivative and at times comes across like a poor man’s Funeral Mist / Marduk, I have to confess to really enjoying Liber Null’s debut full-length, ‘I, The Serpent’.

Granted, there’s nothing ground-breaking, eclectic or particularly mesmerising going on over the course of the six fairly standard black hymns presented (and a distinct sense of having heard it all before, often done much better) – but, nevertheless, this record is not without charm. When you’re not listening to great Black Metal, why not settle for some good Black Metal every now and again?

Cutting straight to the chase, ‘I, The Serpent’ is a rather good if hardly mandatory effort, well worth investigating if you just can’t get enough solid-as Satan’s-hooves Black Metal in your worthless life.

Evilometer: 444/666

THE OMINOUS CIRCLE – APPALLING ASCENSION 2LP (Osmose Productions)

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

The Ominous Circle - Appalling AscensionAnother new band concealing their identities by covering their faces in Mgla-style masks (as if anybody actually cares who they are but, hey, the novelty has yet to wear off and it is still cool as fuck, to be fair), The Ominous Circle hail from Portugal and play dark, eerie, evil-as-fuck Death Metal along the lines of Altarage, Dead Congregation, Grave Upheaval, Irkallian Oracle and their increasing ilk (but slightly more melodic, with some solos and shit).

Debut album ‘Appalling Ascension’ is utterly excellent, with bundles of variety, dynamism and – most importantly – darkness. This is a really savage and moody slab of Death – two tracks on each side, 52 minutes’ running time – that should appeal to fans of the new breed of Death dealers as well as the old brigade like Immolation and Incantation.

Comes in a gatefold sleeve with printed inserts featuring lyrics and looks as nasty as it sounds. I’m amazed there’s not a bigger fuss being made about this band but I guess that all comes down to being on the right trendy label or something. Anyway, ‘Appalling Ascension’ is superb, although the last line in ‘Poison Fumes’ – “For I have tasted HIS worm” – would have done Finbarr Saunders himself proud.

Evilometer: 666/666

BESTIA ARCANA – TO ANABAINON EK TES ABYSSU 2LP (Osmose Productions)

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Bestia Arcana - To Anabainon Ek Tes AbyssuBestia Arcana features current and ex members of Nightbringer and it is by no means a sweeping generalisation to suggest that if you enjoy one band then you will more than likely also appreciate the other. It’s hard to know where exactly one project ends and the other begins and I have to confess that if ‘To Anabainon Ek Tes Abyssu’ was presented to me as a Nightbringer album it wouldn’t have raised my eyebrows. Not that much does, these days.

Bestia Arcana’s only full-length to date, ‘To Anabainon…’ was originally released on CD by the dependable Daemon Worship Productions in 2011 and has now been given the loving 180g double-vinyl treatment by Osmose. I have a minor objection concerning the practicality of releasing a 39-minute album in 2LP format when the five songs would easily have fitted onto one record.

As I’ve asked countless times before, who needs a redundant Side D with a dumb etching on it or a second record with just one song? Having said that (again, I know…), there is undoubtedly something more fulfilling about owning a double LP than a single one and, if it works for Antediluvian with ‘Through The Cervix Of Hawaah’ (36 minutes), then why not here?

Musically, Bestia Arcana offers forth a hypnotic but harsh helping of amazing dissonant, corrosive Black Metal which at times resembles nothing short of a fucking aural maelstrom. The lyrics have been printed on the inside of the sumptuous (smudgy fingerprint-enticing) gatefold jacket but it is nigh on impossible to follow them…  ‘The Pit Of Sheh-ohl’ provides a little respite from the ferocity but, for the most part, this is an unforgiving and exceptionally difficult listen.

Which is most welcome.

Evilometer: 555/666

ILDJARN / HATE FOREST – THOSE ONCE MIGHTY FALLEN 2LP (Osmose Productions)

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Those Once Mighty FallenThis split album comes as a welcome surprise. Both these acts have ceased to be, so the excavation of lost material from the vaults is the Black Metal equivalent of the resurrection. Except it’s real, of course… For anyone who enjoys what could loosely be described as ‘raw, forest BM’, “Those Once Mighty Fallen’ is an essential purchase.

The lost recordings are surprisingly great (the best way to capture the spirit of a bygone era is to be literally of that era!) and have been re-mastered to ensure a better production than what I’d normally associate with Ildjarn in particular. The vinyl edition (heavy gatefold sleeve; 180g discs) is especially substantial as each artist has a dedicated record of their own; also bear in mind that this could be as close as we’ll ever get to sampling new material from either.

Nothing more to say: ‘Those Once Mighty Fallen’ is superb as well as poignant

Evilometer: 666/666

VOMITCHAPEL – THE HOUSE OF THE LORD DESPOILED (Osmose Productions)

Saturday, November 24th, 2012

Vomitchapel is Ghoat, the same person responsible for acts such as Hills of Sefiroth, Father Befouled and the rather magnificent Encoffination, to name just three. If you haven’t yet encountered the latter, check them out immediately, especially their debut full-length, ‘Ritual Ascension Beyond Flesh’, and the recently-released ‘Elegant Funerals For The Unknown Dead’ MLP – some of the most inspirational Death Metal you’re going to hear…

How and ever, returning to the matter at hand, Vomitchapel spews out bestial, blasphemous lo-fi fare that’s a 50/50 bastard hybrid of Death Metal and Black Metal. Guttural, depraved and perverse in equal measures, ‘The House Of The Lord Despoiled’ is ugly, perverse and irreverent, tipping its festered cap at legendary virgin-ruining acts such as Archgoat, Black Witchery, Havohej and Profanatica.

The album is brilliantly executed and I’m sure it achieves everything it sets out to achieve. But it’s also ridiculously short at 27 minutes and, no matter how good the music might be (and I find it quite uninspired, to be honest), this is a massive let-down. For that reason alone, I’m not going to recommend Vomitchapel’s debut. A nice tribute, but nothing more.

Evilometer: 333/666

ELYSIAN BLAZE – BLOOD GEOMETRY 3LP (Osmose Productions)

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

As I invariably adopt a wham-bam-thank-you-mam approach to writing reviews, an album of the sheer scope of ‘Blood Geometry’ presents obvious difficulties. Comprising eight tracks and some two-hours-plus of music spread out across three records, the third full-length from Australian one-man operator Mutatiis is a sprawling release and then some.

The 3LP edition looks sublime, encased in a triple gatefold jacket, with all the lyrics included and some lovely artwork and a nice layout to boot. Main problem for me is that my short attention span doesn’t allow me the luxury of listening to this collection in one sitting. There’s just too much of it. But I’m certainly not complaining about this – it’s commendable when any band or artist treats fans to such undeniable value for money.

Elysian Blaze performs music that’s generally considered to be a hybrid of Black Metal and funeral doom yet is somehow neither one nor the other. I’d describe ‘Blood Geometry’ as dark, spectral art that veers close to bands like Nortt and the more melodic side of classic Xasthur but maintains an identity of its own. It’s pretty enjoyable stuff and – as stated – there’s plenty of it but, unfortunately, the album still falls slightly short of being essential.

In summing up, this is a good album but by no means a great one. But the fact that you can purchase it in this fantastic format should probably encourage you to splash the cash and give it a go. Chances are you will enjoy it more than I do. And there are worse things you could do with €24!

Evilometer: 444/666

SEKTEMTUM – AUT CAESAR, AUT NIHIL (Osmose Productions)

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

Sektemtum is the new band of Meyhna’ch, who you may know from his work with Gestapo 666, the magnificent Hell Militia and – most notably – the now-defunct Mütiilation. A real dignitary of the French Black Metal scene, for sure, joined on this recording by three shadowy figures called Six, James Prick and PLCD. Debut album ‘Aut Caesar, Aut Nihil’ is obviously going to attract plenty of attention from those interested in the main man’s considerable library of work and I think it’s fair to say it won’t disappoint too many of you.

Ten tracks dispersed over 47-odd minutes, kicking off with the title track and pummelling (apart from serene instrumental ‘218’) the listener into submission with huge riffs and some ghastly, guttural Death Metal-like vocals, proving once more that the difference between BM and DM isn’t always as apparent or pronounced as one might believe. Of course, Sektemtum is a Black Metal band – and I’m not trying to insinuate otherwise – but I think fans of Death Metal (or even grindcore) will also find plenty here to enjoy.

The mood that comes across me when listening to this is of an axe sinking into a skull, or sailors lost at sea, surrendering to choppy waters, overcome by the elements but dragged by some spectral figure into another realm just before gasping their final breath. Just general unpleasantness, I suppose… In a way, there’s nothing spectacular or ground-breaking going on; yet at the same time the songs are strangely addictive and do appear to possess that special something that elevates music above the (boring, inadequate) norm.

Not a classic by any means, but still a fairly potent brew heading your way. If you want to try a BM version of Converge or Cephalic Carnage, look no further. And the sick vocals are nothing short of extraordinary.

Evilometer: 555/666