Sunday, 30 June 2013

Profundi - The Omega Rising (2006)

Profundi "The Omega Rising"
Autumn 2006, Profound Lore Records


The only release by this one-man project from Sweden. The fact is, that one man is Jens Ryden, more likely to be known for his contribution in Naglfar as a frontman. If you are into black metal you have definitely heard the cut-throat musical services of Naglfar, with melodic and heavy riffs, synths, keyboards and caterwauling vocals.

This album by Profundi is very close to the Naglfar sound, even though there is a personal touch to it at the same time. With an excellent production and compositional work, Jens claims the role of a blacksmith and creates a sharp blade made of fast and agressive swedish black metal. As in Naglfar, the result is overwhelming, whilst the listener stands in awe with a feeling of indulgence, since the music is over the top compared to the average level of other bands in the genre.

He has done a great job handling all the instruments and vocals as well. His voice varies at parts, as it did in the early Naglfar releases and his effort on the guitars and bass is remarkable, melodic riffs and bass leads/solos. An intriguing addition compared to Naglfar is a church/pipe organ added at various moments, certainly adds a dose of darkness.

In the middle of this 48 minute album lies an interlude, composed with a piano and some bizarre samples behind it. Im really into the silent components of such albums and this is truly amazing, very beautiful and atmospheric.

Jens did the songwritting, recording, mixing of all instruments by himself, plus he took care of the artwork by himself (designing and putting together). So, this is his creation alone, from scratch. What he has made is intense, furious and memorable.

Website

DAMAGE: [7.5/10]

Friday, 28 June 2013

Murder Made God - Irreverence (2013)

Murder Made God "Irreverence"
Summer 2013, Brutal Bands


Murder Made God are a greek death metal band and this is their debut full length, It is the continuation of Human Rejection, since they decided to change their style a bit. I had heard the promo they released in 2011, which was solid by all means but not enough for me to judge them, a new full album is great news for sure. The scene of modern death metal in Greece seems to be getting attention the last few years and several good bands have arised in that period. One example is Murder Made God that finally establishes a name with a complete work "Irreverence".

They play in the veins of bands like Job For A Cowboy or Dyscarnate, which means crystal clear production, fast and heavy riffs, powerful growls (almost touch the Brutal Death area) and, for fuck's sake, blast beats. Seriously, this album is just full of blast beats. Every song is covered 80% by them, which is neither positive or negative, just a matter of taste. I think they are necessary in a death metal band, even that much. Thank Satan they do not use any cleans, or high vocals, or shrieked vocals, common in melodic/modern death metal and almost always awful.

Another aspect that depicts their modernity is the concept and lyrical theme, since its not the old fashioned gore subject. No murders, rapes, tortures or other diversions are discussed here. As the cover might give a first impression, the lyrics are mostly about social issues and the manipulation of the masses. They definitely create some brutal music, and they are good musicians as well. After listening to the album though, i didn't recognize anything memorable or unique, i guess its a great album for the scene that will please the fans, but it is as great as 100 albums before it.

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DAMAGE: [5.0/10]

Youtube Sessions (II)

One every month? Ok.

Marduk - Panzer Division Marduk
1999, Osmose Productions

Intense and agressive album. It is the common war friendly side of Marduk, pumped with adrenaline all the way through its thirty minutes. It has some amazing songs like "Baptism by Fire" and "Blooddawn".

Graveworm - When Daylight's Gone
1997, Serenades Records

My favourite album by them. It is of some certain level of beauty, a nice combination of gothic & doom & symphonic black metal. Not much credit would be given to the drum work though.

A Canorous Quintet - Silence of the World Beyond
1996, No Fashion Records

I had listened to this album when i decided to check the whole No Fashion roster, it is one of my favourite labels. These guys play melodic death metal, with some black metal elements, the swedish way. Very nice riffs, neat vocals.

Draconian - The Burning Halo
2006, Napalm Records

This is not a full length album, it is just a compilation, there were not so many choices. I can't say i enjoy their music a lot, but it does not bother me either. Slow doom metal songs with growling vocals, some female clean ones, gothic aesthetic and lyrics.

Motorhead - Inferno
2004, SPV GmbH

Im gonna comment on this album at all. Pure bliss and euphoria.

Black Label Society - The Blessed Hellride
2003, Spitfire

The only song i enjoyed here was Stillborn. I can't get into Zakk Wylde. It all sounds like heavy rock music for fat tattooed Harley Americans.

Mercyful Fate - Don't Break The Oath
1984, Roadrunner Records

If you combine a progressive metal version of Iron Maiden with the evil falsettos of King Diamond, this is what you get. Considered one of the best metal albums ever, i second that.

Nuclear Assault - Handle With Care
1989, In-Effect

These guys never disappoint, and this might be their best album. Thrash and thrash again.

Napalm Death - Harmony Corruption
1990, Earache Records

I don't like all Napalm Death stuff, but this album is amazing. It is very close to old school death metal with the right amount of grindcore in it, its not 100 tracks of short toilet noise. Im fond of the simplicity of the riffs too, overtechnical songs rarely get the job done. Not to mention the guest vocals of Glen Benton (Deicide) and John Tardy (Obituary) in "Unfit Earth".

Behemoth - Demigod
2004, Regain Records

They had fully shaped their own sound with this album. "Conquer All" and "Slaves Shall Serve" are two of my favourite songs by them and they are both here. I kind of dig this album a lot but the dark side of me praises the early era of obscure black metal.

Check:

Till next time

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Orchid - The Mouths of Madness (2013)

Orchid "The Mouths of Madness"
Spring 2013, Nuclear Blast


History repeats itself? Its a common proverb and probably true. Lots of bands that worship the 70s rock/metal sound have sprung (out of nowhere?) the last years, making the old school new school again. I don't know if its fashion or a natural reaction to the infinite amount of rubbish all over the mainstream music industry today. Whatever it is, the case lies on the fact that the old fans will find something fresh to enjoy and the new fans will be taught how it is done.

If you have listened to this band before, or read something about them, you surely have encountered the bands Black Sabbath, Saint Vitus, Pentagram etc... And that's about what Orchid are. I can say with certainty that they are the best progeny of Sabbath since 1970, with tons of bands trying to sound like them or being heavily influenced by them. If it isn't anything new, what should you listen to them? I don't know. It is the mishmash of all the classic doom metal/rock elements with a modern metal sound and production that make them succesful. And enjoyable to the bone.

Most of the riffs have been played a million times the last 40 years, but not as properly as Orchid use them. There are also heavy church bells and a some bits of flutes, which are also common in doom, i know right. The psychedelic and stoner elements are present everywhere on the album, as if you wouldn't not be expecting it, delivering some pretty amazing tunes. It feels as they would continue the early Black Sabbath way from 1975 and after. They fit perfectly, musically & aesthetically, they even perform almost like the good old stoned Sabbath. The vocalist is something between Sabbath and Trouble, which is like perfect for this music.

The Mouths of Madness is the second album after the mastepiece Capricorn in 2011, and the similarities are even more recognizable, in songs like "Silent One", "Loving Hand Of God", "See You On The Other Side". All nine tracks have the appropriate dose of doom, old school rock, melody and atmosphere. I love it because it sounds like Sabbath, a lot. Maybe even more than Sabbath.
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DAMAGE: [7.0/10]

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Chao - Spiritus Sankti (2012) [Ep]

Chao "Spiritus Sankti"
Spring 2012, Terratur Possessions


I got this as a gift, a neat red tape with a simple one side booklet. CDs, tapes and vinyls, when their package has been well taken care of, are like musical jewelery. You keep them at a safe place, you spend some minutes just looking at them now and then, it feels great when you use them. Instead of wearing them, you listen to them.

Chao originate from one of the steady and low profile countries when it comes to metal, Iceland. I don't know if you have ever listened to a band from there, be sure to do so though, seldom will one find a lame band from these distant cold lands. This is the debut EP and they are working on their first full length too, as we speak. I decided to check this because it was released on Terratur Possessions, which is a solid label to me, all the bands promoted from there are of quality and talent. I was looking for an obnoxious, inhumane band and i found it.

The record consists of three tracks, timing from six to eight minutes each. They have been constructed to defend the once glorious but now almost humiliated ideals of black metal, aiming to keep the compositional part as innocent and pure as possible. Using the various riff patterns like pieces of a puzzle, they have pieced together an amazing body of guitar work, with lots of variations during each track. The immense production of the sound makes them sound even more unworldly, something that pleases the ear of an aware listener very much. Imagine this as a looming presence somewhere inside the modern urban nothingness. I can't find any source for the lyrics (neither the booklet has them) but the EP gives me a feeling of despair coming from the every day life's depletion (like Leviathan for example) and less from the inside or a desolate location.

There are some clean yells and samples used in the songs. Strictly and carefully placed, they add their bit of misery on the album. There is also a church bell in the second track, quite enjoyable moment, i have to say. Entitled with simplistic and direct titles, it gives away the attitude of the band right away. "Darkness Liberates", the last track of the EP, is the best part to me. With a somber title that incurs and is common among many blacksters' minds maybe, it is a wonderful song that makes a perfect ending. 

This release verges on the orthodox style, so if you enjoy bands like Ofermod, Ondskapt or similar, you will like this as well. It is a promising first offering and im definitely after new stuff by them.


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DAMAGE: [8.0/10]

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Taake - Noregs Vaapen (2011)

Taake "Noregs Vaapen"
Autumn 2011, Dark Essence Records


Despite the fact that the rise of Taake arrived a bit later than the rest of their countrymen, i consider them to be one of the best norwegian black metal bands, with a distinctive and powerful sound. They are at the top of their field, with majestic albums and live appearances. When Noregs Vaapen was close to be released, i was wondering if it would be as worthy as the rest of their albums, since they are all pretty much amazing.

There are awesome riffs coming one after the other on every song, masterfully crafted and well composed. It sort of keeps your mind busy trying to undertake all the hazy but still as clean as should be sound of the album, it lacks repetition and doesn't let you any margins of getting drifted off. From the beginning to the end, the instrumentation here is flawless and outstanding. The combination of heavy and black metal is common nowadays but rarely works, yet there has been a smart and triumphant melding of the two genres this time. All the different ideas of guitar work, strong shrieked vocals and fast drums created killer tracks that make the album a thrilling experience to listen to. 

They have been a band really close to the core of the norwegian black metal sound, changing and evolving with every album at the same time. This is strongly present here with more variations and additions, the most apparent here being the banjo. Yes, there is a banjo used in the song "Myr" and im telling you that it fits perfectly. They made a banjo sound heavy and its fascinating. There is a mellotron at the end of the first track, adding yet another musical diversity to the band. Such a record was bound to have awesome guest musicians as well, there is Attila granting a bit of his unholy talent on Nordbundet, as well as an Emperor cover at the double LP version. Nocturno Culto also appears.

Alongside the new experimentations that can be found in the album, there are traditional songs that could easily be a part of their other releases, something that helps the album satisfy any kind of fan of their music or the genre as a whole. They surprise us with every new album and that's a sign of constant improvement.

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DAMAGE: 8.5/10

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

From The Vastland - Kamarikan (2013)

From The Vastland "Kamarikan"
Spring 2013, Indie Recordings


Any act that comes from an eastern country is respected to me. The society of fanatic religious people over there doesn't leave any opportunity of artistic development, since all arts are evil and satanic, blah blah blah... And of course, they hunt down the wrongdoers. This band hails from Iran and its a one-man project, even though now the mastermind behind it has moved to Norway and hired three other musicians. According to MA, From The Vastland has played live in the Inferno Metal Festival this year, with members of Gorgoroth, 1349 and Morbid Angel. I hope you are turned on already.

Kamarikan is the second full length album in two years, and it was fully composed and recorded by Sina (the guy behind the project). It consists of seven songs that run forty three minutes of relentless black metal madness coming from a very talented musician, as it seems. The compositions contain legit heavy riffs with some moments of melody and others of Darkthrone-ish rawness. The mixing and production touches perfection and creates an amazing atmosphere, which is always welcome.

Listening to the tracks, i have to say that i admire Sina's vocal work. He definitely is eager to scream and then scream a little more, showing off a powerfull windpipe. His vocals do not crush down or faint anywhere, they are steady, as deep as they should be, an excellent example of of a solid black metal voice. There are a few growls here and there, but he wisely does not overdo it, spilling them all over the tracks. Another interesting aspect of the project is its concept. The lyrical theme revolves around persian mythology and zoroastrianism, both not very common subjects to talk about. I think all fans should check this, it is a dignified effort and it surely deserves a bit of attention. He participated in "Freedom of Speech - Music Builds Bridges" festival, which shows the supreme role of art in this world.

Homepage

DAMAGE: 7.5/10

Monday, 17 June 2013

Morbosidad - Muerte De Cristo En Golgota (2013)

Morbosidad "Muerte De Cristo En Golgota"
Spring 2013, Nuclear War Now! Productions


Morbosidad are an infamous band among the fans of this particular style of black / death metal. They've been around since the early 90s and they have not strayed from their path ever since. For the record, two drummers have died while being in the band. Useless but still interesting information. I believe that Blasphemy are the originators here, even though other similar bands existed at the time, for example Profanatica or Archgoat. I sense that is enough information for you to understand what these guys play, more or less.

In general, i dislike other languages in the titles of albums/artworks, apart from english, and this time is no exception. This genre focuses less on the talent and more on the anti-religious and blasphemic content, which i can not feel when i have no idea what they are talking about. Even though the lyrical theme is heavily predictable, i expect some kind of offensive title a la Havohej. Spanish is really not of this use, this just looks lame and funny. I have encountered such albums in the past and even when the music is good, im not in the mood of replaying after it finishes. Who knows, maybe they have their own, unique and strong fanbase in South America. I can't think it will spread across the borders though.

There are twelve songs that barely reach half an hour or a bit less, which is a typical nessecity for an album like this. Even though im not the biggest fan of this musical tribe, i think it a complete failure. Most of the songs sound exactly the same, composed and produced in a sloppy way, without anything to offer to the listener. I know it is supposed to be satanic and bestial, raw and agressive, but compared to black/death metal artists, it is a child that had its lollipop stolen. Ironically, the cover of Archgoat's Hammer of Satan is the best song on the album.

I would say skip this band, but i haven't checked their whole discography closely (i probably won't either) since there are other bands that i prefer spending my time listening to. Muerte de Cristo en Golgota, which apparently means The Death of Christ in Golgotha is nothing special. As the title suggests banality and boredom, the music gives you and a worse impression

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DAMAGE: [2.0/10]

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Witchburner - Bloodthirsty Eyes (2013)

Witchburner "Bloodthirsty Eyes"
Winter 2013, High Roller Records


I recently purchased "Demons" along with some other stuff, always fond of bands with delicate artworks. I will make a post about that album as well one day. Im sure.

Being one of the first metal bands i got into, i've been following their path of stench and old-school rottenness since Blood of Witches (im not that old), listening to the old albums and any kind of side releases from them at the same time. The german thrash metal front is huge of course, so any bands from there should be given a listen, especially this one, jamming around since 1992.

The album is a loyal servant of the old school black/thrash sound. It is a recipee that definitely works for old-school maniacs that have sticked back to the tape trading era and dirty thrash metal bands with ugly black metal vocals. The band has recruited a new vocalist on this album and the differences of him and the previous one are obvious, because his vocals sound more harsh and less high pitched.

The songs, as one would expect, are fast paced, full of riffs and solos with the feeling of the 80s-90s quite powerful. With their seventh album, Witchburner do what they do best, they are not demonstrating anything new, even though i like the music here more than other albums they've recorded.
 
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DAMAGE: [7.0/10]

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Paganizer - World Lobotomy (2013)

Paganizer "World Lobotomy"
Spring 2013, Cyclone Empire


When its cold..... And when its dark....... The freez.. Oh, sorry. Wrong post.

First of all, again, the cover art is amazing.. Paganizer are the main project of the person that holds on his back, like Atlas held the dome of the sky over the earth, maybe the whole swedish scene. Or a major part of it. Seriously, this guy plays in so many bands, you can't even know if there is something he has not been involved in over there. So many bands i've liked and then later realized that they are just projects of the swedish death metal multimachinegunner, Rogga Johansson. Zombified, Revolting, The Grotesquery, Putrevore, Ribspreader are a few to name. The guy is preparing an album collaboration with Speckman of Abomination / Master. Tell me he's not working.

I've always liked Paganizer, i stumbled upon them way before i started liking death metal or knew about him, they seemed and sounded nice, it just stayed like this. I enjoy some of their albums like "Carnage Junkie" and "Into The Catacombs" very much. When someone releases albums with so many different names at a short period of time, a sane man shall be dubious about the originality of all these records. Luckilly, Rogga generally doesn't disappoint on that section. So far, he has fetched the fans with a shitload of tasty albums, some released the same year, some under the same project or whatever. All in all, this is the Rogga metal everyone knows, only that its the original band that he first started from. Its not a side project. Its THE band.

The songs are swedishly in the deathrash territory, with a couple of cut-throat moments. The songs last around three minutes each and it is true that they have a well known amount of brutality, produced by the gnarly growling and the Entombed-ish riffology. He is not to be blamed, but sadly, it just didn't grow on me this time. Not just because it is something all of us have listened before or other common and similar excuses, i just couldn't really smash my desk while listening to it. I feel like thats me and only me, so i can objectively say that this is a legit Unleashed / Dismember worship, and the people that seek that particular sound, they have it. Among so many projects of his and other bands too, this album feels a bit vague and forgettable, soon to be forgotten. I admire Rogga for what he has offered, so i will stick to the albums that are worth it a bit more than average for me.

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DAMAGE: [6.0/10]

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Death Courier - Perimortem (2013)

Death Courier "Perimortem"
Spring 2013, Independent


Death Courier are one of the first death metal bands from Greece, formed back in 1987. After a bunch of demos and a full length in 1992, they split up, but one guy from the band brought them back together in 2009, adding two new members. So, this year, twenty one years later, we have a second album entitled "Perimortem", which means at the time of death, or near the time of death. It is a noticable comeback for the greek metal scene, since the band is of some importance in the history of extreme sound here.

The new album has clear production and it can be described as thrash / death metal. There is nothing extravagant about it, just plain and simple brutality with fast jamming tracks. There is a basis of a riff or two and every song is constructed around them, adding a typical drum line and solid growls. The production is pretty neat and there is a balance between the instruments, a major improvement compared to the noisy early recordings they did. Either way, its all a matter of taste on that aspect, some people prefer raw brutality with a noisy production, some other people like me, admire the clean sound new studio machinery can provide. The lyrics revolve around psychological sickness and serial killers (there is a song named "Rostov Ripper", look that guy up).

What i don't like about this album is its length. There are nine songs here lasting 1-2 minutes each, so we have a total of twenty minutes for a full length album. They could easily make a bit longer songs to add fifteen minutes more and it would not bother, because now, its clearly a short album to listen to. Its even shorter than the tradition of modern brutal death metal bands to make twenty five minute albums that are also considered consise for me. Apart from that, i enjoyed the songs and its nice to see these guys playing again.

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DAMAGE: [7.0/10]

Door to Door Promotion: Infectonator & Dungeon Beast & Ghost Tower


These releases were sent to me via email and they are posted by request.

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We have three releases by three newcomer bands worshipping the old school heavy/thrash metal sound. There are links provided with the permission of the guys so no problem. Check out:

Infectonator - Brainfuckers [EP]

Debut recording of Lansing, Michigan blackened thrash metal band with frontman of Sauron.


Dungeon Beast - Demo 2012

Underground thrash/heavy metal with Wastelander frontman.


Ghost Tower - Head of Night

Female-fronted heavy traditional/doom metal with some thrash elements also in the mix.  Soon to be released in cassette format on Germany's MetalPunxRex label.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Svart Crown - Profane (2013)

Svart Crown "Profane"
Spring 2013, Listenable Records


I've been meaning to write something about this but kept canceling it, until today. Svart Crown hail from the uprising and growing scene of France, formed in the middle 00's and this is their third full length album. From the first recordings i recognized immense talent all over them, i was curious to see if they would assimilate their ideas nicely in their music. I am a witness to this band's creative journey that has gave birth to three albums and who knows how many more, i can say it worths it. So, Profane.

Regarding the front cover art, its magnificent. A simple black and white drawing provoking a sinister aura that moves your attention even more about what's going to follow. The look on the woman's face is amazing, definitely gives you the chills.

What we have here is a splendid combination of black and death metal, covering areas of several styles like Behemoth, Deathspell Omega, Blut Aus Nord, Mitochondrion, Aosoth etc... They have some parts clearly influenced by the thick sound of their country's black metal scene, having added death metal elements with dissonant black/death metal riffs and screaming vocals. One can hear growls, shouts, shrieked yellings, even some deep cleans. With the proper attention, one can also admire the part of each instrument performed here, cooperating perfectly together. A load of magic tricks are performed by the insane drummer they have, certainly boosts the album's beauty with his fills and bass drum beats. There is an introduction lasting around 90 seconds opening the album, which consists of both fast and slow songs. I listened to the whole thing again and again, its not at all boring and i can't make any complaints about the compositions whatsoever.

Profane is a demonstration of the musical maturity and intelligence of the band, granting the listener with an approach of blackened death metal that is not outworn or overplayed. Compared to their previous releases, it depicts the progress of the band in the songwritting section, since the new songs have all kinds of interesting passages, avoiding repetition or mononoty. I personally enjoy the work done in the studio, the result of the production is extremely pleasing to me, not to mention the quality of the musicians here, just remarkable.

I can't imagine a fan of the above mentioned bands to be disappointed with this album. It has been on my playlist since its release and its here to stay.

Official Website

DAMAGE: 8.5/10

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Monarque - Lys Noir (2013)

Monarque "Lys Noir"
Spring 2013, Sepulchral Productions

Listening Needs

I was looking forward to this new release by the Canadian Monarque, since i first listened to them from the split with Mortualia. It started off as a one-man project by Monarque himself, then in 2008 there was a drummer hired, and now there is a third person as well.

The music of Monarque would be described as deep atmospheric black metal. Please don't imagine soft and sad post-black bands that tend to have an atmosphere in their music, it is not the case here. The fast paced drums with harsh vocals and riffs, enhanced by disctinctive synths placed meticulously all over the tracks, gives you the feeling this band expresses. A cold snow-white mountain peak exposed to the wrath of nature. The cover artwork intrigued me so i searched for the artist to find more information about it. The title of the work is "Novissimis Temporibus" created by Maxime Taccardi, who also used his own blood to paint it. The art symbolises the end of the world. It is a a painting of great artistic merit and it is a fine choice for a great music synthesis.

The album starts off with a narration in french (i have no idea what it is about). Then begins the music, which is a relentless black metal piece, powerful and agressive. It brings out sorrow and despair not only with intense black metal, but also with the ambient or acoustic parts in the songs. There is also a bit more narratting in the album and solos. You heard me, and solos. One would not expect this in that particular music style, but Monarque has done it before and it gives a certain taste to every album they have released. Lys Noir is third album of them in 10 years and the preparations had begun since 2011 with a demo called La Mort, which contains the first recordings of the songs included in here. There is a serious amount of effort put in every Monarque album to achieve the best result possible, and that is clearer than ever in this album. To me, its the finest and most complete album they have released so far. There is also an instrumental composition entitled "Solitude", along with a cover of a Frozen Shadows track.

This band has been offering outstanding music to us since they first started and this new album is yet another step ahead, an improvement. A sophisticated, beautiful and influential record that should be not overlooked. Might make a list for me this new year's eve, who knows.

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DAMAGE: 9.0/10

Friday, 7 June 2013

Dethklok - The Dethalbum (2007)

Dethklok "The Dethalbum"
Autumn 2007, Williams Street


Dethklok is a fictional band that was created for the series "Metalocalypse", starting back in 2006. This show is animated and its about a killer death metal band that rules the world. Their fans die in shows, they destroy nations with their gigs, they live in a moving fortress called Mordhaus with a bunch of executioner servants, they are being watched by an Illuminati group because their actions affect global economy, and a lot of other crazy stuff for you to watch. If you wonder who is behing all this, more information can be found here.

Now, that band also plays music in the episodes, which are later released as albums by the band. There are four seasons and three albums so far. The series is mainly comical, even though it has plenty of bloodshed, dead people, torturing and other delightful activities. Which are still funny, so yeah, the series is comical. If metalheads ought to have their own series, this is it. Quoting the band's frontman Nathan Explosion, who suspiciously looks like Peter Steele or Corpsegrinder:

"We're here to make coffee metal. To make everything metal. Blacker than the blackest black, times infinity."

This is the first album by the band. It can be described as death metal with some melodeath elements. I think the album is nothing special if you listen to it without being familiar with the show or the story behind the songs, and that is the reason i enjoy it very much. I love the first season and every song reminds me of the bloodied and hilarious times Dethklok have in there, its entertaing and made me dig the songs very much. I strongly suggest you see the season and then listen to the album. A birthday song, a song that brings up an ancient troll, a song made for underworld sea creatures, a song about how much they hate their fans, an orchestral song, a song about coffee, songs about vikings and goes on. The reason im enjoying this stuff so much is because the show is exrtaordinary.

It is a joke band. You can't be a strict critic when it comes to something like this, they are not trying to prove themselves as great musicians, even though they are. If you compare it with actual death metal bands, it is a bit simple and generic, softer at some times. The drum and vocal work sound simplistic and weak in some parts. The awesomeness lies in the connection with Metalocalypse itself, and that's why the records sell that much and they are so popular. This proves how death metal or extreme metal in general can have good sales, its all a matter of promotion and labels should think about it. It seems like all the comments i did on the album are negative. However, i love it. Parody death metal animated, with songs to be packed in albums, its a good idea and it works.

DAMAGE: [6.5/10]

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Entrails - Raging Death (2013)

Entrails "Raging Death"
Spring 2013, Metal Blade Records


This band has come back for good and they are hard workers after all. This is the third album by the Swedes in four years and since i have talked about their other albums here, i could not possibly skip this one. For those that have missed the past posts or this band generally, they were formed back in the early 90s but they disbanded with zero releases because apparently they "were never satisfied with their demo recordings". Metal Blade has taken care of the album's distribution in a bunch of different formats, colored vinyls and digipacks, and they include a bonus track, which is a cover of Marduk's Dark Endless. Now that is an interesting idea and i am going to check it as soon as i get my hands on it.

This album is closer to "The Tomb Awaits" than "Tales From The Morgue", following the same steps and formulas they used for the previous effort, no exceptions made at all. The subject of originality in situations like this is overanalyzed and it depends on the listener, so i'll tell you what i think. When it comes to old school death metal, especially from the lands of Sweden, if someone wants so listen to something different, he's looking for it in the wrong place. That's why it's called old school, because it is played that way, and it can be played good, here is the proof.

Entrails are the bastard son of Dismember and Entombed but they do not fall into the trap of becoming copycats, its not original but its amazing. I was skeptic when i saw they moved from FDA Rekotz (a label that has my full support and respect) to Metal Blade, since, yes they would have more money for promotion and recordings, but these big labels tend to soften the edges of the angrier bands. Im more against Nuclear Blast on this, Metal Blade is relatively decent, but still. Not only this didn't happen here, but also they used their goods so that they improve both the production and the composition structure. The tracks are groovy with hammering swedish riffs and drum beats, the growls are deep and painful, the speed of the album is at the correct level, so in general, it rocks.

I believe the amount of love a fan can show this band depends on how much that fan misses the 90s death metal scene. The reason even fans of the modern sound might enjoy it is that it does have a crystal clean production and that makes it more attractive, if you ask me. While you are waiting for your favourite swedish death metal bands to release an album, if they ever do again, you can try these dudes.

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DAMAGE: [7.25/10]

Monday, 3 June 2013

Deathhammer - Onward To The Pits (2012)

Deathhammer "Onward To The Pits"
Spring 2012, Hells Headbangers Records


When you see a band logo patched in a Darkthrone cover, you can't help but look for more information about it. Judging from the fact that Darkthrone are slaves of the old school themselves, it is obvious that their suggestions would point to bands that worship that particular sound. Either its old school heavy, or thrash, or black, or anything. Deathhammer are a thrash/black metal band from, surprise surprise, Norway. Active since 2005, they have released some demos, splits, compilations and two full length albums. Under the aegis of Hells Headbangers and Darkthrone recommendations, we are not dealing with a modern melodeath album with too much mediocre cleans.

First of all, i really like the cover art. A concept of a demon dwelling in the flaming depths of hell is appropriate, its not a perfect drawing but it serves its purpose. It somehow describes the music in its own way, it is known that an album is more than the songs themselves. Here's the proof.

Right from the start, skipping any unecessary introductions or preludes, the album takes off like an assault. A fast paced song with vaulting drums indicates the level of raw violence the band is all about, hammering down riffs and screams with no remorse. The album could easily be a major part of the 80s thrash/early black metal scene if it had been released back then. The guitar work reminds a lot of the early black/speed metal Bathory style, influenced by bands like Kreator and early Sodom. Deathhammer is not yet another band that puts some overplayed riffs with repeating drums to create their songs, as many new black/thrash bands do. They are precise and punctilious with their compositions and the flow of the album, not overtrying to put the correct sounds together, mastering the craft of solos perfectly and exactly as it is needed here.

They have a good grip of the certain music style and their songwriting skills help them to prove the point. Vicious and straightforward old school thrash metal rooting almost 30 years ago, with a balanced approach to black metal of the same period. Now, the vocalist of the band is remarkable. Mainly a thrash voice, it has that rough black metal sound at some points (again close to early Bathory) and he does not hesitate to throw some really high pitched falsetto words around. One can listen to some clean screams here and there, reaching an ear drilling octave. Lyrically, the poetry stinks of cemeteries, death, evil, hell, sorcery and all of the above combined. Standout tracks for me are "Lead Us In Hell", "Deathrashing Sacrifice", "Fullmoon Sorcery", "Arms of Death". All i can say is that this album is pure 80s metal madness that could be used to kill posers and nu-metal kids.

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DAMAGE: [7.5/10]

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Darkspace - Dark Space III (2008)

Darkspace "Dark Space III"
Avantgarde Music, Spring 2008


Darkspace come from Switzerland and they've been active in the underground for the past decade, with one demo and three full length albums, this being the latest. Obviously, "space black metal" doesn't exist and it sounds stupid, the bands that deal with space and cosmic mysticism in their lyrics rarely go further into the music with it. However, here... Hmmm.

If you have listened or heard about Darkspace before, you probably have nothing but positive comments about them and how they are one of the finest black metal bands out there. Yes, they are. What the listener experiences while listening to their albums is unique and not easily described. They play atmospheric black metal with lots of ambient elements, samples and dark synths, the result is deep and cold drone that could be actually compared and come close to the emptiness of the universe. As dark it is out there, as "empty" and unknown space is, the same goes on with this album. As monotonous it may sound to the ignorant listener, after several repeats i can feel the buildups and the variety of sounds it has, and that's why i suggest you spend time on it. Hard albums are always the best in black metal.

Whoever the keyboardist is, he's done a magnificent work and the album would not be the same without him. As much lyrics or drums are not important in this style, the keys seem to be the key, an essential characteristic not to be left out. Pay attention to what's written and you'll understand. The composition and synthesis is just stunning. It has not changed very much from their last two albums, but it is the pinnacle of their path so far. A truly haunting album that's difficult to swallow, if you can handle one hour and twenty minutes of celestial depression, you have them. There are references of movies in the songs, and there are some amazing quotes in them, be sure to look for them and read the, because you'll not understand a thing from the vocals.

To all the bands i've listened so far in the space black metal scene, none can cultivate a sound so bleak and negative, so close to the term of the genre. It is the punishing feeling of claustrophobia and despair inside the vast borders of our cosmos.

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DAMAGE: 8.5/10