Sunday, April 22, 2018 02:36

Posts Tagged ‘Peaceville Records’

AKERCOCKE – RENAISSANCE IN EXTREMIS 2LP (Peaceville Records)

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

Akercocke – Renaissance In ExtremisAkercocke have some terrific albums but ‘Renaissance In Extremis’ isn’t one of them. Why any band wants to merge Death Metal with ‘80s pop music and progressive / regressive bumfluff is beyond me.

It sounds like they were in the same building as Soft Cell, Tears For Fears, Howard Jones, Heaven 17 and Rod, Jane and Freddy from Rainbow (the children’s TV show, not the band) all jamming at the same time in different rooms and the dubious resonances leaked through the ether and merged together into one gigantic, steaming dog shit.

The dog died dropping said abomination and the discombobulated owner put the dog into the poop bag instead of the turd. First on the scene and cognizant of my civic duty, I took the shit home and naively placed it on the platter of my turntable and gave it a spin. Yes, I can confirm that it’s definitely excrement from the expired ass of a deceased, once-loved animal.

Evilometer: 000/666

DARKTHRONE – ARCTIC THUNDER LP (Peaceville Records)

Sunday, March 18th, 2018

Darkthrone - Arctic ThunderIt’s staggering to think that ‘Arctic Thunder’ is Darkthrone’s 17th full-length. Even though by no means my favourite, this band has obviously had a bigger influence on my life than possibly any other as those seminal, legendary, stunning albums of the ‘nineties were not just incredible but also trailblazing and hugely influential.

I wonder how many of the acts I appreciate today would even exist were it not for Darkthrone leading the way. Even those not directly influenced by the revered triptych that is ‘A Blaze in the Northern Sky’, ‘Under A Funeral Moon’ and ‘Transilvanian Hunger’ arguably take their cue from another entity who was.

Anyway, I lost interest in the work of Fenriz and Nocturno Culto the further they careered down the drab crust / punk / epic / heavy metal path(s), so much so that I stopped taking them seriously. Then, in 2016, they dropped this one.

Obviously, Darkthrone will never return to their roots or fully rediscover the glories of yore, but I was surprised that they recorded another album that I really enjoy. ‘Arctic Thunder’ is a superb collection – at times coming across like a hybrid of Clandestine Blaze and Black Sabbath – but there’s just no getting away (ever) from how redundant and irrelevant the five LPs that preceded it are to me.

Evilometer: 555/666

AUTOPSY – TOURNIQUETS, HACKSAWS AND GRAVES LP (Peaceville Records)

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Autopsy - Tourniquets, Hacksaws and GravesThe Headless Ritual’ was so mediocre by Autopsy standards that I all but wrote off one of the greatest Death Metal bands of all time. But, undeterred, I decided to check out the new album (in fairness, only an imbecile wouldn’t at least take a peak…) and, lo and behold, ‘Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves’ represents a fantastic return to form for the gore-obsessed Californians.

This album features great music, entertaining lyrics, cool old-school artwork and some of the sickest vocals of the year. The record comes in a gatefold sleeve with printed lyrics on the inner fold and, Christ, there’s even a poster thrown in. Nothing makes me happier than a poster. Okay, I’m taking the piss now but trust me – and ignore the lukewarm reception Autopsy’s seventh full-length has received in some circles – this is brilliant stuff.

I am flabbergasted (but thrilled) that the decrepit 40-somethings have hit such impressive form in the winters of their recording careers. Greatness from the greatest.

Evilometer: 666/666

TAAKE – NATTESTID… LP (Peaceville Records)

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

Taake - Nattestid Ser Porten VidNot sure why the album title has been abbreviated from the original ‘Nattestid Ser Porten Vid’ nor am I sure why I am bothering to review another record released by this label. Let’s face it: Peaceville has become a complete parody of itself, a laughing stock. None of their new releases are worth bothering with and they just continue to live off former glories, re-releasing and re-hashing decent albums from their back catalogue (and others’) over and over and over again. Not quite as bad as Earache (what a joke they have become!) but flogging a dead horse is still flogging a dead horse.

Anyway, even though I acquired the CD editions on Wounded Love, I missed Taake’s first two full-lengths on vinyl first time around. Alas, for once, Peaceville’s reissues have worked in my favour as I made the most of the opportunity to acquire these two fantastic and historic LPs (‘Nattestid Ser Porten Vid’ and ‘Over Bjoergvin Graater Himmerik’ (now known as ‘…Bjoergvin…’ for whatever reason)) on glorious black wax.

If you don’t know how important and brilliant these albums are, just take my word for it – mandatory stuff! (No real point in writing a detailed review 15 years after the original release…) In fairness, both LPs are gloriously presented on 180g vinyl, with lovely artwork and a printed inner sleeve including lyrics and some brief notes. On this occasion, my hat goes off to Peaceville. Even if they are jumping on the bandwagon and if Taake is the real star of the show.

Not sure if this version appeared last year or in 2012 but it is still widely available.

Evilometer: 555/666

AUTOPSY – THE HEADLESS RITUAL (Peaceville Records)

Saturday, June 29th, 2013

Inevitably, the mighty Autopsy are starting to show their age. Twenty-four years since they exploded onto the Death Metal scene with the peerless ‘Severed Survival’, Chris Reifert and his cohorts spew out a sixth full-length and in truth – though it pains me to admit it – the magic is well and truly gone.

Autopsy is without doubt one of the greatest Death Metal bands of all time. Originators, innovators, trend-setters – they have inspired generations. But time waits for no man and it must be acknowledged with the arrival of ‘The Headless Ritual’ that they no longer sound fresh, inspired or dangerous.

The bottom line is that – no matter how hard they try – guys in their mid-40s won’t possess the energy, creativity and innocence they had in their early 20s. ‘Macabre Eternal’ defied the odds but this new one doesn’t.

While an Autopsy in decline is still way better than most other current bands in the subgenre (or any other) and there are certainly some enjoyable parts on this album, the reality is that it’s only vaguely interesting. After a couple of listens, I can take it or leave it. And I’m leaning towards the latter.

Evilometer: 333/666