Saturday, 31 May 2014

Disma & Winterwolf - Split (2011)

Origin: New Jersey, US | Finland
Genre: Old School Death Metal
Album: Disma / Winterwolf
Label: Doomentia Records

Seeing these two bands combined in one release was something to be excited about, since I really like them both and have material they have released. This split was released in 2011, making it the second official release of Disma after their successful demo "The Vault of Membros", and the last release of Winterwolf to date. Both bands are regular smashers in the rest of their major releases, but this was something of a hurting failure.

The one and only aspect of the split that absolutely crashes and burns everything around it, is the shitty production. This is some annoying, fuzzy sound that almost steals the bands from their music and leaving nothing but a horrible buzz behind it. The guitars loud and painful to listen to, hardly leaving the rest of the instruments their sound, like the squashed drums and no-bass. I wish it had better production, as the tracks themselves are not that fucked up.

Each band offers one track in the split, and Disma's side with has " Of a Past Forlorn" which was included in their record Towards the Megalith, so there is no need for you to damage yourself with this version. Winterwolf have a new song "Eaters of the Cross" which is hard to appreciate under such circumstances, even though I can definitely say Cycle of the Werewolf is what you need to hear if you want to know this band.

All in all, this is a rather worthless release that happened just for the sake of happening. My view of each band is not any lower than it was before listening, since I know they are both good bands, but hell this here is not at all good. Solid bands of retro death metal with great material on their backs, both of them, yet I suggest you turn otherway here. At least the cover is cool.

DAMAGE: [2.5/10]

Disma - The Vault of Membros (2009) [Demo]

Origin: New Jersey, US
Genre: Death Metal
Album: The Vault of Membros
Label: Independent

I found out about Disma from their full length in 2011 and it was the reason I decided to search more about this band, and the fact that it seemed like my ears enjoyed apocalyptic, unearthly death metal even more than it's straightforward form. The band's debut release is this demo and it was released in 2009, containing three tracks and seventeen minutes of music in total.

The band's sound is thick, heavy and agressive in a way that not many bands achieve, giving away the feeling of bands like Dead Congregation and Funebrarum. Despite being a demo, it has a fairly legit production and the sound is drilling into the ears, bleeding it's way to pleasure as the first riffs unfold in "Lost in the Burial Fog", all great signs for a newcomer band that it was back then.

Getting drawn in their atmosphere, each track has plenty of deep melodies, with the touches of doom / death present at times (i.e. in the second track "The Vault of Membros" which also has an awesome bass introduction) that of course remind a darker side of Autopsy, while the changes are accurate and the musicianship is quite solid, with breathing growls, blasting drums and powerful riffs, as well as a couple of solos.

Disma show their intentions right away it they're not to impress with technicality or win a fanbase of the modern sound. They play a kind of spotless old school death metal, which should have made the anticipation of their massive Towards the Megalith hard enough. All three tracks would be used in the full length and the band stated their place with confidence after this really good demo.

DAMAGE: [8.25/10]

Monday, 5 May 2014

Spectral Lore - III (2014)

Album | III
Country | Greece
Genre | Ambient / Atmospheric Black Metal
Label | I, Voidhanger Records

| In my dreamland, I am strong and unbending |

Spectral Lore is rightly of the best current projects in Greece, having a nearly decade-long, quiet and remote path with more than notable releases to date. This project of Ayloss is moving in strong atmospheric waves that inspires dreaming and thinking, making his music a fairytale, even spiritualistic. III is the fourth full album of Spectral Lore and approaching close to a half hour in length, divided into two chapters , making it as the longest album so far .

The skills and the talent of Ayloss can be appreciated if one has heard older material of the band, as well as if one is really in the style of bands like the Swiss Darkspace. With this new record, new principles are based in atmospheric black metal, coming from the combination of musical elements executed naturally and accurately, provoking all the feelings of the listener in it's duration. Where other bands tend to get tiring with one-hour releases, Spectral Lore show the comfort they have with their lengthy compositions and leave III to flow perfectly.

The disc begins with an intense riff in the introduction of "Omphalos", which transmits the necessary "blackness" from the first seconds. However, the songs here often change style, going into more epic or rejuvenating post-black lines, as in parts of "The Cold March To Eternal Bright" and "A Rider In The Lands Of An Infinite Dreamscape". The two instrumental tracks they also have their own personality, with the first "Drifting Through Moss and Ancient Stone", having classical acoustic guitar parts and even reminding of acoustic rock at the beginning, while the outro "Cosmic Significance" being a very beautiful piece of minimalistic ambient.

The variety in the vocals on each track , which draw influences from many different genres. There is a balance between screams, growling and measured clean vocals, offering the rest of the orchestration more strength and morale. The ambient and synth parts of the album play an important role in the atmosphere of the album, having a medieval connotation in some moments. The unique sound of Spectral Lore expands the horizons of the entire genre and the aural experience of III as a whole, is certainly worthy of praise . This album is innovative, interesting and staggering when it needs to be, undoubtedly the best offer so far.

| Bandcamp | Last.fm | MI |