Monday, December 18, 2017 12:41

Posts Tagged ‘Terratur Possessions’

WHOREDOM RIFE – WHOREDOM RIFE MLP (Terratur Possessions)

Sunday, May 21st, 2017

Whoredom Rife - Whoredom RifeWhoredom Rife is the latest Black Metal buzzband coming out of the legendary Trondheim underground and they have found a fitting home on Terratur. The self-titled debut mini-album comprises four tracks, spanning 22 minutes, and is presented in a gatefold jacket with a big poster included. So, a lot of padding for a glorified EP… Looks fabulous but the presentation is something of an overkill when each side of the record ends so quickly.

Leaving aside the brevity of proceedings, musically ‘Whoredom Rife’ is a decent enough dose of reasonably-aggressive but predominantly-melodic and catchy Black Metal that’s somewhat enjoyable but a long way from the mandatory acquisition I was braced for when I chose to cough up the cash.

You could headbang to this all day long. Hell, you could even dance about the place to it if you are that way inclined, but that’s not really what I’m seeking in my music. I’m really hoping the full-length – which is due to be released literally any minute now, apparently – will be a considerable improvement because this is a run-of-the-mill, underwhelming record (albeit, a fantastic-looking one).

Evilometer: 222/666

DARVAZA – THE DOWNWARD DESCENT MLP (Terratur Possessions)

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

darvaza-the-downward-descentFeaturing the talents of Italian ace drummer Omega (Deathrow, Blut Aus Nord, Fides Inversa, Frostmoon Eclipse, Acherontas, Martröð) – here handling all instruments – and Norwegian voice of death Wraath (Behexen, Dark Sonority, Mare, Celestial Bloodshed, Kaosritual and One Tail, One Head), Darvaza’s is indeed an unholy alliance forged in decay.

This debut mini-album emerged on vinyl in April of this year and delivers four ghastly, profane rituals over the course of 31 minutes. ‘The Downward Descent’ has been spinning 45 times per minute fairly regularly on my deck of doom this week, as the band is scheduled to appear at Caledonian Darkness II on Saturday evening.

I have no idea why I didn’t review this previously as it’s truly a great record; dark and unhallowed as hell itself but with a lot of variety to be found in its inherent evilness, too.

Evilometer: 666/666

SLIDHR – SPIT OF THE APOSTATE MLP (Terratur Possessions)

Friday, April 29th, 2016

Slidhr - Spit Of The ApostateIt’s a real shame that ‘Spit Of The Apostate’ is a mini-album and not a full-length. The record is given the works, with a gatefold jacket and poster included, and it sounds fucking immense. But it’s bitterly brief at just over 23 minutes and – even though the release in its entirety represents a clear triumph for quality over quantity – it’s over before it gets started, really.

Brilliant, but we all want more Slidhr. Alas, but for a full album of this magick… Having said that, I suppose it fits in with a creative concept of some sort. I’m not a huge fan of the MLP format, anyway (they seem to be becoming increasingly prevalent, too, I’ve noticed). I know a lot of people are attracted to the shorter formats and, if EPs are your thing, then you are sure to enjoy this one.

Spellbinding but short; I’m just greedy for more.

Evilometer: 555/666

ASKEREGN – MONUMENTER LP (Terratur Possessions)

Friday, June 12th, 2015

Askeregn - MonumenterSide A on Askeregn’s debut full-length, ‘Monumenter’, is very much of the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it variety, with three songs combined barely making it past the ten-minute mark. It’s short for sure but it is nonetheless thoroughly immense Black Metal with a nice punky edge at times; of the aforementioned openers, the third track ‘Dømt Til Liv’ is particularly enjoyable.

The three significantly-more-substantial outbursts on the flipside take the total running time beyond half an hour and, all in all, though undoubtedly brief, this is an excellent piece of work from a previously-unknown-to-me horde. A definite triumph for quality over quantity, even if ‘Monumenter’ is ultimately shorter than some MLPs.

Having said all of the above, perhaps I am overly-fixated by the duration of records. After all, this is only slightly shorter than the recently-reviewed maiden ZOM assault, ‘Flesh Assimilation’, and I had no complaints there. Furthermore, there’s a real possibility that a generous helping of this style of oftentimes jagged, crusty BM could constitute overkill.

Conclusion: wonderfully catchy stuff, with some great ambient vibes on ‘Ild Til En Sol (Phosphorus)’ and the eight-minute-plus parting shot, ‘Himmelen Brenner (Under Solen)’. This record has an infectious spirit throughout – and you can experience it twice in an hour!

Evilometer: 666/666

MISÞYRMING – SÖNGVAR ELDS OG ÓREIÐU LP (Fallen Empire Records / Terratur Possessions)

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Misþyrming - Söngvar Elds Og ÓreiðuMisþyrming is from Iceland so comparisons with Svartidauði and Sinmara are as inevitable as they are exhausting. Somewhere along the way, people seem to forget that it doesn’t matter how ‘Söngvar Elds Og Óreiðu’ measures up against either ‘Flesh Cathedral’ or ‘Aphotic Womb’ or ‘Biophilia’ because this is a fucking different band.

The blinkered fixation of Black Metal fans with the geographical origins of an artist is surely unique to this genre and I have to admit I’m largely guilty of it myself (in that I’d be much more likely to check out a horde from, say, Portugal, than, let’s say for argument’s sake, Egypt) … but it can be taken to extreme lengths.

Why immediately compare Misþyrming to their compatriots instead of just listening to the music and judging it on its own merits? (Not that everybody does, of course. And not that there is anything necessarily wrong with doing so, either; it is just too obvious; Black Metal from Iceland needs / deserves to be compared with all Black Metal – from everywhere.)

For what it’s worth, ‘Söngvar Elds Og Óreiðu’ is a stunning debut full-length – 43 minutes of confident, powerful, raw and sinister abuse – by any standards, which compares favourably to just about any other Black Metal band from anywhere. Which probably goes to explain why the first press of 500 copies of the record have practically sold out already. To my ears, it sounds like a slightly more ambitious and experimental Mgla.

There’ll be a second run of these this summer, I’d willingly wager. Magnificent.

Evilometer: 666/666

HETROERTZEN – AIN SOPH AUR 2LP (Lamech Records / Terratur Possessions)

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Hetroertzen - Ain Soph AurThe double-vinyl edition of Hetroertzen’s expansive fifth full-length is massive in every way. Visually stunning, the records are contained within a sumptuous gatefold jacket that essentially doubles up as a hardback book. You see, a beautiful booklet is stapled inside with some great artwork, lyrics and insight from the band included.

Musically, ‘Ain Soph Aur’ is also huge. Big, brash and bold occult Black Metal, the album runs for over an hour and is blessed with magnificent musicianship and excellent compositions, all brought sharply into the foreground by a clean production job. Continuing on from the stellar collaboration that was ‘Capax Infiniti’, Kark from Dødsengel provides the voice on ‘Endless Light’.

The second record of the pair is particularly strong, especially the two eight-minute-plus hymns ‘The Luminous One’ and ‘Piercing The Veil’ that close Sides C and D, and overall it is impossible not to admire the dedication and discipline that has gone into creating an album (and product) of this scope.

And remember, this has been spawned from within the Black Metal underground. I wonder do mainstream artists or labels ever produce records or releases that look, feel and sound as impressive / professional as this one…

Considering what has been achieved here, it is arguably churlish of me to state that – from a personal perspective – a  large quota of overly-theatrical vocals mar what would otherwise be a near-perfect album. They’re not clean vocals, per se (I’m giving Hetroertzen the benefit of the doubt and sparing them the swinging axe…), but they are unreasonably operatic, outlandish and sung. And annoying.

Evilometer: 555/666

SINMARA – APHOTIC WOMB 2LP (Terratur Possessions)

Monday, December 1st, 2014

Sinmara - Aphotic WombMy first exposure to Sinmara came early in 2012 when they were operating under the Chao handle and delivered the excellent cassette EP, ‘Spiritus Sankti’. In the meantime, the band name may have changed but the stunning nature of their music most certainly has not.

On ‘Aphotic Womb’, the rechristened Icelanders present eight cuts of choice Black Metal (53 minutes), like a mammoth hybrid of Svartidauði and Blut Aus Nord (perhaps?), spread evenly across two records and containing enough magic to keep you coming back for more and more and more.

The records are cased inside a sumptuous gatefold jacket and have for company a glorious 12×12, twelve-page booklet, plus the obligatory poster (hurrah!).

Overflowing with awesomeness.

Evilometer: 666/666

SVARTIÐAUDI – FLESH CATHEDRAL 2LP (Terratur Possessions / Daemon Worship Productions)

Friday, September 20th, 2013

Svartidauði - Flesh CathedralSvartidauði’s ‘Flesh Cathedral’ ranks as one of my most eagerly-awaited vinyl releases of all time. It seemed to take an eternity to arrive in the vinyl format, but finally the grand double-record edition is upon us. And the postsnail has delivered my copy at last… Needless to say, this is an essential release and I would unconditionally advise Black Metal fans to go out and acquire same at the earliest possible opportunity.

It’s been a full nine months since this spectacular debut album was unleashed on CD and I’m going to take a bold leap of faith here and assume that most of you already know all about the Icelandic magic contained herein.

In other words: here comes a(nother) very short review! For the uninitiated, suffice to say that ‘Flesh Cathedral’ – ferocious, menacing, eerie, infectious, supreme, unapologetically heavy – is a monumental, suffocating, claustrophobic journey, with four epic, underground Black / Death Metal anthems spread out across 56 captivating minutes that represent one of the most wholesome extreme music listening experiences you are likely to encounter. Ever.

This truly awesome album is tailor-made for the 2LP format as one track sits uncontaminated on each side and, all in all, this is one of the most magical buys you will make this year or any other. One gripe, though: the records come in a sublime gatefold sleeve but for some reason the band / labels haven’t bothered to include any lyrics, which – seeing as they are already out there – would surely be more welcome than the really, really dumb poster?

Evilometer: 666/666

CELESTIAL BLOODSHED – Ω LP (Terratur Possessions)

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Celestial Bloodshed - ΩSteingrim Torson’s tragic, sudden death in 2009 came as a sobering jolt as I had been a big fan of pretty much everything he’d put his voice to, particularly the spectacular Kaosritual LP ‘Svøpt Morgenrød’, Selvhat’s little-known but monumental LP ‘Gjennom Mørket Famlende’ and the fantastic Celestial Bloodshed debut full-length record ‘Cursed, Scarred And Forever Possessed’. I was really looking forward to enjoying much more from this surprisingly-unheralded vocalist / musician (Selvhat is a one-man project) … but alas it simply wasn’t to be.

Posthumously, Terratur Possessions has unleashed what will be the final-ever Celestial Bloodshed release, featuring six new songs, which have been lovingly crafted and seamlessly put together against massive odds. For three of these, the vocal tracks were laid down by ST in 2009 with music added by the remainder of the band the following year; ‘Trosbekjennelse’ has been recovered from the vaults from a seven-year-old tape; while assorted friends helped out with vocal duties on the remaining two cuts, also recorded in 2010.

Unsurprisingly, the album – though difficult / expensive to acquire and understandably inconsistent – is brilliant and represents a fitting homage to Celestial Bloodshed’s departed frontman. The lyrics are printed on the inside of a sumptuous gatefold cover and a tasteful poster of the man himself is also included. Unfortunately, at just 34 minutes, the record is disappointingly short – although I note that CB’s debut was virtually the exact same length. Anyway, I suppose its abrupt nature is apt, poignant and fitting under the circumstances. Gone in a flash…

All in all, ‘Ω’ is a lethal parting shot and a worthy tribute to a criminally-underrated Black Metal personality.

Evilometer: 666/666

UNBEING – TRANSCENDENCE (Terratur Possessions)

Friday, May 24th, 2013

There’s so much to recommend about Unbeing’s third demo cassette that it’s difficult to know where to start. This is one of those releases that I quite simply had to buy because of its place in Norwegian Black Metal history. I’m glad I bought it but actually don’t think I’ll be revisiting it too often, to be honest.

The product of a genuine underground entity from Norway, ‘Transcendence’ comes as a pro-tape and will set you back just €6. It contains only one song, which clocks in at somewhere in excess of 20 minutes (I didn’t time it) and that same tune is featured on both sides. So, if you have a trendy tape recorder, you can listen to it twice in one sitting!

Unbeing once featured the talent of one Steingrim Torson (R.I.P.), but Sarath stood in to assist the eponymous mainman (i.e. Unbeing) on this third and final chapter in the band’s short but intriguing history. The song itself is droning and sludgey blackness rather than Black Metal and I suppose it is kind of transcendental and mystical in a way. But – as well as being inexpensive and poignant –  ultimately, ‘Transcendence’ is also boring.

Evilometer: 333/666

DARK SONORITY – KAOSREKVIEM EP (Terratur Possessions)

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Dark Sonority is ostensibly a continuation of Kaosritual post-Mehimoloth (A.K.A. Steingrim Torson), who is of course dead. While the band name has changed and unfortunately Steingrim no longer walks amongst us, the music is every bit as wondrous as anyone fortunate enough to have encountered the superb ‘Svøpt Morgenrød’ would expect. This is available on either 10” vinyl or CD; the digital version is a total waste of money.

I’m going to do a bit of name-dropping to give you an idea of what you’re dealing with here. Bassist W. (A.K.A. Luctus) is also a member of Behexen, Aptorian Demon, Mare and One Tail, One Head; drummer HBM .:.Ae.:. B.: (A.K.A. Azazil) perfotms in Black Majesty, Mare and Vemod; while both of them used to be in Celestial Bloodshed. As well as Kaosritual, of course.

The only problem with the vinyl edition of ‘Kaosrekviem’ is that it doesn’t represent great value for money as we only get 24 minutes of music, comprising just three originals plus a cover of Bathory’s ‘Call From The Grave’. Just three new songs, then, and this EP will set you back practically the same amount of cash as a full-length LP, so straight away there is a sense of being short-changed.

The label and the band will argue that, as this is a cult release, you are in fact getting a bargain and should consider yourself fortunate to have the opportunity of acquiring such a supreme piece of Black Metal art. And, to be fair, they would have a strong case in this regard. The music on this record is of truly stunning quality – sinister, emotional, authentic Norwegian(-ish; one Swede involved…) Black Metal of the very highest calibre.

Everything about the record is top notch – the lay-out, presentation, content, production, colours, design, art work, etc., etc., etc. With lyrics included on the inner sleeve, no stone has been left unturned to bump up the quality quotient perhaps to atone for the quantity shortfall. However,I’m not mad about the Bathory cover and it’s also a shame that we’re only getting an EP rather than a proper album. But we can await that one with bated breath…

In the meantime, ‘Kaosrekviem’ is highly interesting.

Evilometer: 555/666

CHAO – SPIRITUS SANKTI EP (Terratur Possessions)

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

This EP showcases three excellent offerings of orthodox Black Metal from the Icelandic capital. The fact that it appears on Terratur almost guarantees high quality straight away and, naturally, ‘Spiritus Sankti’ does not disappoint. It comes on a beautiful pro cassette, with high-quality cover and a top-notch sound, which more than does justice to the rather superb songs included.

The downside is that we only get 20 minutes of Chao’s fresh and exhilarating black blasts before it ends all too abruptly. But, in fairness, this is an EP … and it’s fairly-priced too. As far as I can recall, it only cost me around a fiver including postage from Norway. So no real qualms there.

If you enjoy bands like Deathspell Omega, Ondskapt, Funeral Mist and Ofermod, then you should appreciate the work of Chao. Not only does ‘Spiritus Sankti’ hint at great things to come from this impressive new force but it is also a substantial and significant opening gambit in its own right. I’m sure Chao’s debut full-length is going to be something very special indeed but, for now, this EP is most definitely worth acquiring, possessing and cherishing.

Evilometer: 555/666

DØDSENGEL – IMPERATOR (Terratur Possessions / Barghest)

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

It’s a great honour for this website to exclusively reveal that Dødsengel are about to release an astonishing new double album entitled ‘Imperator’. Comprising a staggering 22 songs stretched out over two-and-a-half hours, this has to be one of the best surprises I’ve ever had. My love of this band is no secret but I feel foolish now for criticising them for releasing a mere EP last time out – little did I know that something as substantial as the utterly incredible ‘Imperator’ was in the works!

From the opening strains of ‘XXV’ it is clear that this double-helping represents the inimitable Norwegians at their magnificent best – easily on a par with this – and the journey is a true joy to behold as we are escorted through astonishing works of Black Metal madness such as ‘Sun On Earth’, ‘Σειρῆνες’ ‘No Beginning, No End’, ‘Momentum: On The Devil And Death’ and the captivating, mesmeric ‘Holy Metamorphosis’ – an unhallowed anthem that showcases the immense dynamic and class of Dødsengel, who remain compelling no matter what pace they play at.

And that’s just a quarter of the album! There is no let-up as an avalanche of ugly, beautiful, harsh, melodic, eerie, mellow, intense, multifaceted art gushes forth like so much blood from an open vein.

I’m not overly keen on the female vocals that accompany Kark’s on ‘Apoph-Ra’ (and again later in the album) but even I must admit that they do fit the bizarre, twisted, swirling chords extremely well. It would be churlish of me to slam a moment that’s more Jarboe than WITTR, especially considering the sheer depth and magnitude of this release, which needs to be consumed and appreciated as a whole. Within the overall context of the music, ‘Apoph-Ra’ remains essential and vital. Indeed, there is no dud track to be found anywhere here – although I do prefer some to others.

As the album continues to reveal itself, exposing a myriad of faces and personæ, visiting multiple moods and mindsets, ebbing and flowing like a schizophrenic behemoth, from the orchestra brilliance of ‘Pneuma’ to the dark chaos of the raven-like ‘Hymn To Pan’, the insanity of ‘Upon The Beast She Rideth’ and the psychological pandemonium of ‘The Supreme Ritual’, it is all-too-apparent that we are in the company of greatness.

In terms of scope, vision and ambition, ‘Imperator’ possesses all the ingredients required to become one of the great Black Metal releases. Dødsengel have outdone themselves here. Hopefully this double album will receive the credit and attention it richly deserves. If not, it will still bring copious amounts of satisfaction to those lucky enough to stumble upon it. Mark this one down on your Things To Do list immediately.

Evilometer: 666/666

DØDSENGEL – DØDSENGEL EP (Terratur Possessions / Ván Records / Barghest)

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

The music on this release is superb but the value for money quotient is minimal. As Dødsengel is arguably the most essential Black Metal band in the universe right now, there was never any doubting how good these songs would be. They are – true to form – absolutely superb. But, seriously, what is the point of mini-albums?

I’ve never quite been able to get my head around the concept of releasing MCDs and MLPs – this is available in both formats – and the only conclusion I can draw is that they are a quick cash-grab. There has to be an economic reason behind these decisions. In fairness, at 28+ minutes, ‘Dødsengel’ is far from the worst offender. But it’s still only half an album and it’s not half price.

I assume that most people, like me, can’t nip into their nearest corner store and buy Black Metal CDs or records. Therefore, we are restricted to purchasing via mail order. Thus, mini-albums are prohibitively expensive – you still pay the same postage and packaging charge as for a full-length and the actual selling price is only a couple of Euro less, so overall we’re talking about a bad return on the listener’s investment. In these global recessionary times, this is unacceptable.

The music on ‘Dødsengel’ is magnificent and easily surpasses most other current releases in terms of quality if not quantity. Comparable to the stellar material on the band’s exceptional sophomore LP ‘Mirium Occultum’, these four songs are harsh, menacing, disturbing, eerie, epic and altogether inebriating examples of prime BM excellence, but I really think fans deserve to be presented with a full album’s worth of material rather than a succession of EPs. This is the band’s fourth EP in a year and I’ve purchased them all but it’s a fucking expensive hobby. The guts of twenty quid for four songs? Seriously, give me a break!

Great and all as Dødsengel is, the novelty factor of collecting a flurry of expensive underground releases soon wears off. I think they should stop messing around and release proper albums – a format that  would do justice to the Norwegians’ brilliance.

[Unfortunately, the absolute maximum rating I can give this is 333. Mini-albums are a joke and labels (there are three involved here for some reason) should stop releasing them.]

Evilometer: 333/666

DØDSENGEL – MIRIUM OCCULTUM 2LP (Terratur Possessions)

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

MANDATORY PURCHASE ALERT! This is one of the only reviews I wrote for Metal Archives during my ‘disillusioned period’. The reason why I penned it was simple: I had bought an album that deserved to be heard by as many people as possible. Dødsengel is one of the most amazing bands to come out of Norway in the past 20 years and ‘Mirium Occultum‘ is their best work so far, though the ‘Arkaik‘ MC and ‘Alongside Choronzon‘ MLP are also exceptional in their own rights…

Every now and then an album comes along that literally knocks me out. Despite all the nostalgic shite that’s written about the good old days, Black Metal is stronger than it has ever been, with more diversity and more quality than ever before. Admittedly, some of the sub-subgenres are suspect to say the least, but overall Black Metal is in a wonderfully healthy state.

But you won’t find the true quality on big labels or in your local record store. Remember, this is underground music and – no matter how much certain individuals try to cash in on it – BM will always blossom in the nether regions of the UG. Those prepared to dig deepest will get the richest rewards. Bear in mind that if you read a review in Terrorizer or Zero Tolerance, chances are you are being mis-led. Pretty much every printed magazine has a reciprocal relationship with certain labels – “they take ads in our mag, we give their releases good reviews.” It’s dishonest, actually (and one of the reasons why I hardly write anymore myself). Same applies to webzines – ‘they send us free promos so we’ll say they are fucking fantastic’. The hype machine is in full swing and it’s all PR drivel designed to shove the latest mainstream concoction down your throat. Well I say – shove it back up their asses!

The ONLY way you’ll ever find truly great Black Metal is to trawl the underground for yourself. That way you’ll come across bands like Onirik, Lunar Aurora, The Ruins of Beverast, Ride For Revenge and Dødsengel. Quality releases that are not advertised; music that speaks for itself; released on small labels with honest intent and integrity.

I have listened to thousands of albums over the past 20 years and I can honestly say I’ve never heard a better one than ‘Mirium Occultum‘. Take it from me: this is an absolute classic. It comes from nowhere and epitomises everything that’s so special about this strain of extreme music. It’s harsh, shrill, evil, nasty, creepy, menacing and perfectly executed. The production is absolutely perfect as it allows everything to breathe without being overly-polished and the songs themselves are masterpieces, each and every one.

This is Black Metal the way it should be and it is surely no coincidence that this foul entity rears its ugly head in Norway. Raw yet accessible, ‘Mirium Occultum‘ is as emotional and atmospheric as it is unnerving and downright filthy. The use of melody is genius as everything is washed away in a sea of dissonance and anger. This is an album that has everything; a band that has topped Deathspell Omega, Funeral Mist and Clandestine Blaze in one fell swoop. And, believe me, I do not pen these words lightly.

I almost feel guilty for exposing this hidden gem as the work of art it is. It’s so good it deserves to remain lost in the underground forever. Probably the best album I own. If you only buy one more CD before topping yourself, make sure it’s ‘Mirium Occultum’. Nobody could regret owning this.

Evilometer: 666/666