Monday, 23 October 2017

Sinmara / Misþyrming - Ivory Stone / Hof

All this attention, which Icelandic black metal has been getting in past couple of years is quite surprising, to be honest. However popular or trendy this scene has become though, it does matter that it introduced us to some great bands and some very good albums. Names like SvartidaudiZhrineNadraSinmara and Misþyrming are those, which I suppose are most worthy of your interest. And if you never had a chance to hear anything from them, then maybe you can start with the split "Ivory Stone / Hof", which brings the last two bands I mentioned. So far, I have to say that I liked Sinmara music more, their "Aphotic Womb" is a killer record. But Misþyrming's "Söngvar elds og óreiðu" is no less interesting. So, having these two bands on split 10" vinyl was a great idea and a must to have release. 
There's one song from each band and of these two, I have to say that I enjoyed Misþyrming's "Hof" more. It really is a splendid song. Great main melodic riff, truly vicious and sinister aura, great fast tempo and just great coldness that surrounds everything... It may even be better than anything this band has done on their debut album, so I am impressed. I need to say that the performance and production are also all top notch and damn, these guys did a great step forward. 
Sinmara's "Ivory Stone" is quite difficult to get into, especially that chaotic, dissonant opening part. After a while it gets a bit more putted together... but still, this song requires rather careful listen. Riffs sound like a wild blizzard, attacking with destructive, aggressive manner and has almost uncontrollable force. It's interesting to catch some eerie melodic patterns in this maelstrom and generally I started to like this song more and more, with every next spin of the record. I have just ordered their newest recording "Within the Weaves Of Infinity" and I just can't wait to hear it. 
So, over-hyped or not, there's something unique and truly interesting about Icelandic black metal. I am impressed and this split 10" is definitely another great release from this scene. Get it before it's too late! 
Final rate: 70/100 

Friday, 20 October 2017

Sulphurous - Abomination Temple

SULPHUROUS - Abomination Temple (NIGHT SHROUD Records 7"EP 2017)
Sulphurous is a band, which may need a small introduction, because they're not so well known, yet. But if I mention Phrenelith, whose two members are involved in Sulphurous, then it will ring a bell to many. All in all, Phrenelith unleashed one of the most crushing death metal albums of 2017. Sulphurous has no full length yet, they did a fantastic demo in 2012 titled "Demo XII", which sadly was released on very strictly limited cassette, so you can only listen to it on Bandcamp or YouTube. Later in 2016 another demo has been recorded and luckily this one got a proper 7" vinyl format. It would be a fuckin shame to keep it hidden in darkness, because the music slays and I personally like it just as much as Phrenelith, maybe even more. 
I'm not gonna compare both bands though. There's no point. It is worthy to mention only that both play vicious and obscure death metal, which stylistically is like a fine combination of the Finnish coldness and gloom and US heaviness. There's as much from Incantation or Morbid Angel as from Funebre or Disgrace. And fuck, these two songs, which are on this 7", are complete for me and they provide the finest possible death metal blood-feast. I truly worship such sound, with these brilliant morbid riffage (with great marriage of heaviness and a bit of melody) and ghastly voice of Mathias Friborg. The blasts that dominate on both songs are also killer to hear. Sulphurous truly knows how to compose some spectacular tracks and this is a proof. More so, the production for this demo is just perfect, so you can imagine how good it is to listen to this seven inch. It's almost a shame that there are only two songs, I have no idea if Sulphurous will continue and record an album or not... All in all, these guys are busy in much more recognised now Phrenelith, but also in some other projects. We'll see. Now I can just say that this EP blew my head off. 
Final rate: 80/100 

Godless - Sic Luceat Vacuum Nostrum

GODLESS - Sic Luceat Vacuum Nostrum (ME SACO UN OJO - MLP 2016)
No doubt, Chilean death metal commandos belong to my favourite bands and I'm always pleased to hear more and more of them. Here's another one, which strikes with some excellent sounds and bring restless, insane massacre. Godless aren't newcomers, I already had some of their releases: "Irreligiosus Nemine Discrepante" double 7" EP, "Ecce Homo: Post Lux TenebrasPulsio XIII Ultima Ratio" album and split 7"EP with Unaussprechlichen Kulten, so I knew their quality and that they're no bullshit. This new MLP, released by Me Saco Un Ojo, brings another dose of monstrous, brutal death metal and I have to say that this is the best effort from Godless so far. I can hear great improvement in basically everything, starting from songwriting, great technical skills of the band members and finishing with the best production they achieved so far. I liked "Irreligious..." and "Ecce...", but damn, "Sic Luceat Vacuum Nostrum" takes them to new level, I think, and now Godless can match the quality of my favourite Chilean beasts, Unaussprechlichen Kulten and Demonic Rage. 
It's interesting that many of these Chilean hordes play similar type of malicious, dark death metal, very much in the vein of Incantation, Funebrarum, Immolation, Dead Congregation or Morpheus Descends. They must really love this shit there. I have to say that all these Chilean bands sound really honest and passionate, there's a lot of dedication for death metal in them. Godless is very much alike and their music has this savage and uncompromising, underground feeling. It is also soaked with brutality and evilness, and it's also damn powerful and dynamic stuff that truly crushes the bones. For "Sic Luceat Vacuum Nostrum" they came up with excellent riffs, I love that massive and truly slaying sound of it, with merciless, vicious blasting parts and crushing, heavy slow bits, which will leave your flesh completely dismembered.  
Yeah, these are fuckin sweet 16 minutes of music. These three songs are bestial and I can guarantee the best quality from Godless. More so, this vinyl looks fantastic, the artwork is just killer and etching on side B is something truly extra. Very recommended release then, grab a copy before these 500 pieces are gone! 
Final rate: 80/100 

Hetzer - Lets Bow Abaddon... Before the Battle Against God...

HETZER - Lets Bow Abaddon... Before the Battle Against God... (Demo 2006)
It's always a shame to see some promising bands split up too early. Polish Hetzer did manage to unleash two albums, "The Rise of Abaddon" (2007) and "Fall of the Holy Cult" (2009), but they ended their activity way too soon, in my opinion. They delivered some crushing obscure death metal, had a lot of potential, but I am not sure then why did it all end up so soon. Anyway, I come back to their music quite often and today I was giving a spin to Hetzer's 2006 "Lets Bow Abaddon... Before the Battle Against God..." demo. And damn, what a nice stuff it is. 
Hetzer played brutal and truly violent and vicious death metal, where there was no room for melodies, keyboards or freaking technical patterns. From start to finish this demo brings total devastation in the old school, obscure way. Personally, I think that Hetzer was really influenced by early Belphegor, you can hear some similar riffs, but even the vocals of Ulcer sounded very alike to Helmuth's harsh growl. Anyway, I like a lot how fast and aggressive, how intense and merciless this demo is. At the same time there are few more catchy fragments, especially in "Butchery & Torment", which definitely is the best song on the demo. I can sincerely say that this song could really match the quality of many Belphegor blasphemous anthems. And that is not an exaggeration! Songs are short, but they burst with energy and ferocity, "The End of Christian Hope" or "Butchery & Torment" are just fantastic, so I really enjoyed to listen to this demo. And it only confirms how good band Hetzer was. In case you would ask, yes, both albums are even better! So, if you will ever find them, grab both, especially if you dig Belphegor, Angel Corpse or Marduk. 
Standout tracks: "Butchery & Torment", "The End of Christian Hope" 
Final rate: 70/100 

Persecutor / Poisoned - Raw Torments of War

This fine split CD arrived to me couple of years ago and I have to say that I enjoyed this music a lot. Both bands are Polish and are rather little known, I doubt that many people, especially abroad, have heard about them. Which is a shame, because they released some great shit. So, even though I doubt if bands like Poisoned care for attention and appreciation of the current metal scene, I decided to introduce this split to you, hoping that this review will interest some of the readers in this music. 
So, let's play "Raw Torments of War" again and again... Persecutor begins this sonic torment with four tracks of cool thrashing death / black metal, done in very old school, obscure way. Their music is filthy, nasty and simple, but ass kicking. They don't care for fancy arrangements or fashionable images, but bring pure, harsh metal feeling and tribute to the old cults. Their music can remind you quite few bands, but when I listen to song called "Armageddon Warhead" personally I can't think of another record, but Absu's "The Third Storm of Cythraul". And how well it fuckin sounds! It's been a while since Persecutor released their last full-length album, I am not sure if they still exist or not... but if they do, I hope to hear more shit from them soon! 
And then there's Poisoned, whose debut CD "Beyond the Gates of Fire" from 2016 was really damn nice. For "Raw Torments of War" they prepared three songs plus Massacra cover - and I like them even more than the album. What their music brings is total primeval and archaic death metal. When I hear it, I really feel like I was listening to some old songs from the late 80's / early 90's, but with slightly better production. Just check these vocals and tell me how often do you hear such raw, vicious voice in death metal nowadays? Hardly ever (I suppose only Throneum can be named as similar type of band)! It's like old Vader or Massacra demos rather than any fashionable old school stuff. And damn, I love to listen to their part of "Raw Torments of War". Total morbid metal of death with small hinfor raw thrash metal. Song "Torment of War" is a great proof of their worth. Very recommended band, in my opinion! 
Standout tracks: "Armageddon Warhead", "Torment of War" 
Final rate: 70/100