Sunday, 31 July 2016

Krabathor - Rise of Brutality

KRABATHOR - Rise of Brutality (RAW SKULL REKORDZ CD 2016)
Really fine reissue came from Raw Skull Rekordz. I may not be the biggest fan of Krabathor, but I definitely like some of their albums a lot and actually I think that “Rise of Brutality” is along “Mortal Memories” my favourite material from this Czech legend of death metal. The original releases of “Rise of Brutality” are probably not so easy to find, but later this EP was added as a bonus to “Lies” album. I’m glad though that someone came with an idea to make a separate reissue of “Rise of Brutality” on CD (hope to see vinyl soon also!), as this is always much better than being a simple bonus material. Especially as I said that this is one of my favourite Krabathor recordings.
It is a short EP, originally it had only three tracks (plus intro), but this CD version has two more. Some of these songs are known also from “Lies” album, like killer “The Truth About Lies” and damn, these songs still shred like crazy. I like the sound Krabathor had during this time of their career, because it was raw, but so powerful and vicious, and the riffs were just crushing and aggressive as hell. It’s awesome that they sounded so brutal and quite fast, but had sort of catchiness in their music that made it sound more infectious than your average death metal. From the bonus tracks, “Pacifistic Death” is obviously the most favourite slab of mine, this is already an old Krabathor classic tune and will always be among their best songs.
Yeah, “Rise of Brutality” is a fun release, if I can say that. It’s pure old school feast and death metal maniacs will love it for sure. This CD is limited to 300 pieces, so be fast to get one!

Final rate: 80/100

Friday, 29 July 2016

Eteritus - Following the Ancient Path

ETERITUS - Following the Ancient Path (GODZ OV WAR - CD 2016)
I have to say that when the release date of this album was announced, I was really intrigued. Maybe Eteritus’ debut EP “Tales of Death” was nothing that special and I cannot say that I play it often anymore, but full length album from this band was more than promising. “Following the Ancient Path” finally came with Godz ov War Productions logo and I have to say this is a solid and… pleasant (haha) album. But seriously, this Polish band may not be the best thing you’ll ever hear, they’re not playing anything spectacular and I doubt if “Following the Ancient Path” will become one of those truly unforgettable and essential albums. Despite that, you will enjoy it a lot, if only you’re into melodic death metal, strongly infected with the Scandinavian sound. If you are, then this album is for you.
I guess the biggest problem many of you will have with Eteritus is the fact that there are so many similar bands these days – and quite many out there are just better than Eteritus. Even here in Poland, I had recently a chance to listen to new albums from The Dead Goats and Ulcer and I like them both more than “Following the Ancient Path”. But I guess Eteritus is somewhere on that stable, solid middle quality. I personally want to advise you to play this CD and simply enjoy some great death metal tunes, without giving a fuck that it’s too common or unoriginal. This album is very easily listenable, it will hit you from the first listen and its catchiness will infect you easily. It’s a good dose of melodic stuff with aggressive, old school type of death metal. Nasty, vicious riff is often accompanied with a nice harmonic stuff, what makes the music sound more interesting and diverse. The production is pretty clean, it obviously is very “Swedish”, with the characteristic guitar tone, etc. I like it, except maybe the drums sound.
And well… I don’t know what else can I write about this album. I suppose that you should have a clear picture of what “Following the Ancient Path” is like. I’ve been playing this CD quite many times in recent days and surely I’ve enjoyed it, although after so many spins I started to get tired with this album a bit. But surely it was a pleasant surprise, because Eteritus made a huge step forward with the quality of their music since “Tales of Death”. This album is much better than the previous release of this band for sure. Good work then.
Standout tracks: hmm, I really don’t know

Final rate: 70/100

Turbocharged / Ragehammer - Enlightenment by Bloodletting

TURBOCHARGED / RAGEHAMMER - Enlightenment by Bloodletting (GODZ OV WAR 7"EP 2016)
Split EPs are some of my favourite type of releases, I just like that feeling of playing 7” or 12” singles with some killer bands on it. And this is another such split, which was recently released and which I liked a lot. I bought it just for one band, to be honest – for Ragehammer – but it was a pleasant surprise to find out that the second band is also fuckin cool and it will now force me to get more shit from them.
That second band is Turbocharged and yes, they are Swedish, but if you think that I’m tired with all the Swedish death metal, then you’re wrong. “Bloodletting” is very cool song, in my opinion, I like this sort of blend of death metal with crust and punk, with the simplicity and straight forwardness of these styles and nastiness and aggression they provide. This kind of stuff is always damn catchy and I get into such songs like “Bloodletting” immediately. Next time you’ll see me, I will be screaming the chorus of this song when taking the shower haha (yes, metalheads also take shower sometimes, even though they should be ugly and smelly haha)! But seriously, Turbocharged is very promising, so definitely I will need to check some more shit from them.
Ragehammer song is called “PanzerFaustian Enlightenment” and it is just as good as any other tracks that were featured on recently released and so fuckin excellent album “The Hammer Doctrine”. I sincerely love this full length, it may even end up as my favourite Polish release of 2016!! I like a lot Ragehammer’s vicious and damn aggressive take on thrashing black metal (or however you’re gonna call it), I love the riffs they come up with and fantastic vocals of Heretik Hellstörm, who turns into one of the best vocalists on this unholy ground. You’re also gonna like Ragehammer music a lot, I am sure, because it is nasty and violent, but at the same time it is just freaking catchy and so fun to listen to. Bang your skulls!!!

Final rate: 80/100

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Dead Congregation - Purifying Consecrated Ground

DEAD CONGREGATION - Purifying Consecrated Ground (NECROCOSM - 10"MLP 2006)
Some years ago, when Dead Congregation released this EP, I was glad that Anastasis sent me a promo pack with his amazing music. I was really impressed, I even did a lengthy interview about his band, which was featured in fifth issue of Panzerfaust zine. I cannot believe that it’s been now eleven years since all that happened and “Purifying Consecrated Ground” was unleashed. But I can feel sort of satisfaction that I was among those, who really appreciated this amazing band first. I’m also totally happy that I bought the 10” vinyl version of “Purifying Consecrated Ground”, when it was released, because these days this stuff is not so easy to find. I mean, this EP was also released on 12” vinyl by Nuclear War Now!, I think there were like two or three versions of this 12”. But I still have the first press on 10” that was released by Necrocosm (limited to 666 copies!), which is more special I think.
And man, years go by, but “Purifying Consecrated Ground” still sounds so fuckin killer and it really blows away 99% of death metal that was released in the 2000’s. This EP has slightly rawer sound than the full length albums, but it didn’t grow old bad or whatever and the massive heaviness of this music crushes unbelievably and gives a lot of pleasure when I listen to it. Obviously Dead Congregation is a bit like Incantation, when speaking of their style of death metal. These two bands seem to have a lot in common. Another names that will pop up in your head can be Drawn and Quartered, Immolation, Morpheus Descends, Funebrarum, and many more classics. It’s natural that these bands have a lot of similarities. At the same time though “Purifying Consecrated Ground” has something original to offer. It’s the way Dead Congregation forms song structures, with good focus on instrumental parts and riffs, where you don’t even need to hear vocals, but stay focused on the crushing music and its hypnotizing atmosphere. It sounds really spectacular, in my opinion. I like when it is fast and blasts with relentless force, erupting with lethal energy. But I like even more, when their music slows down and becomes sooo heavyyy!!! Like it’s in “Lucid Curse” and “Auguring an Eternal War” – two my favourite songs from this EP. I simply love that type of death metal with its dark, sinister vibe. “Purifying Consecrated Ground” follows the ancient ways of this music, but certainly is not a simple copycat and more so, it is almost fascinating not just how well written these songs are, but how easily listenable this stuff is. It hits you right away and next thing you know is that you’re lying on a floor totally dismembered! Fuckin good stuff, I love it.
Standout tracks: “Lucid Curse”, “Auguring an Eternal War”

Final rate: 90/100

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

The Dead Goats / Demonbreed split EP

Testimony Records is new label for me, I don’t know any other releases they did except this split 7”EP which I just bought. But soon I will have try to find some more stuff that they released, and which are full length albums of both bands that are featured on this small piece of black wax. These bands are The Dead Goats and Demonbreed. Before I have a chance to listen to the albums, I can treat this split as an appetiser prior to the arrival of real main course.
I started with Demonbreed, because I didn’t know this band before. And right from the first riff they bought me. Right off I was like “oohhh yeah, this is the shit I’m gonna like a lot!!!”. And I do! It’s very cool old school death metal with that slight Swedish vibe and sound. Definitely these guys know how to please maniacs of this music. “Rupture the Coven” is a killer mix of melodic and aggressive riffage, with a lot of memorable, almost catchy playing. It is relatively fast and just blows the speakers with great energy. I like it a lot, really. I will definitely have to grab a copy of “Where Gods Come to Die”.
The Dead Goats… I think I have everything this band released so far and they have not disappointed me even once. And this new song “The Gloom That Came to Salem” is once again proving that they’re fantastic band. I feel like this is one of their best, most vicious and aggressive songs. And it’s fast and eerie! I liked it since the first riff and that killer opening theme, which will immediately evoke the dark, horror atmosphere in the music. But the best is the ending part, with that bloody brilliant and strongly infectious melody. I felt down astonished. It sounds simply excellent. You know what? When I listen to this “The Gloom That Came to Salem” I have strong reminiscence of old Entombed. And I wish Entombed were still doing such killer songs. Sadly, they haven’t done any since “Clandestine” album. The student surpassed the master!!!
Now I am sharpening my teeth for full length albums of both bands! Bring them on! I am ready!!

Final rate: 80/100

Monday, 25 July 2016

Ulcer - Heading Below

ULCER - Heading Below (ARACHNOPHOBIA Records - CD 2016)
If you know me well, then you know how much I fuckin love Swedish sounding old school death metal. I kneel before and worship old bands, old albums, but not only. A lot of newer stuff that is being released these days is crazy awesome. It seems like every European country wants to have their own Dismember / Entombed, so you can find one or two even in Russia haha. And Poland also has some, among them is Ulcer. But Ulcer is not a newcomer, since this is their third album already. Yeah, time FFF = fuckin flies fast.”Grant Us Death”, which was a second Ulcer album, was released back in 2013 by Pulverised Records and obviously I liked it also. But I feel like it didn’t get as much attention as it should, even here in Poland it seems that it didn’t reach enough maniacs. Yeah, Asian labels… “Heading Below” is now released on Polish label, so this is definitely a good step for Ulcer, as I can already see that the interest in their music is bigger. Good, because believe me, “Heading Below” is an album that needs your attention and support.
I know that you can feel fed up with all that Swedish sounding stuff. But I love “Heading Below”, it really blew much head off. From start and first listen, I felt like this album is a great step forward for Ulcer and kind of new quality for this band. Quality, which at the same time leaves 99% of similar bands and releases way in the back, as it’s just much, much better. And no, I’m not exaggerating, believe me, “Heading Below” fits my musical tastes just perfectly. What else do you want me to write if I hear one killer riff after another, and then I’m hit by some awesome melodies or harmonious guitar leads… and the whole album is filled with aggression and energy that makes the speakers crack. You can see smoke coming out of them, as clearly I’m listening to this hellish stuff way too loud again haha!
For me “Heading Below” is a complete album in the vein of Swedish death metal. There’s not a single bad song, nor a fragment of boredom. And it’s important, because this album is like 50 minutes long. It’s a lot, if we speak about the style of music, where 30-40 minutes seems like optimal time for an album. But if you have quality, time has secondary meaning. It’s important that the music is not one dimensional, that the band managed to come up with a lot of diversity within the genre, with tempo changes, different atmospheres and other such stuff. And more so, it feels like Ulcer wanted to add a bit of their own shit into the rotten traditional Swedish death metal. The result is obviously killer. I have to add also that I love the sound they achieved this time (oh this guitar tone… that dirt in it will remind you such “Indecent & Obscene” straight away), that the vocals (reminding me Sverker Widgren from Demonical a lot) are also great… I can only give positive comments. I have the “repeat” button pressed on, so I keep on playing “Heading Below”. This CD won’t leave my stereo that soon. My neck is broken, but I have not enough.
Standout tracks: “Down Below”, “Sights to See”, “The Phantom Heart”, “Enshrouded in Nothingness”

Final rate: 90/100

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Arma Christi - Egocentric Oblivion

ARMA CHRISTI - Egocentric Oblivion (WM PSYCHO CD 2016)
“Egocentric Oblivion” is a debut album from this one man project and I’m happy to say that this is surely the best thing, which Thorn came up with. It’s good to see progression in his song writing, with more ideas, better, more complex song structures, better performance and also with the improved production. Definitely he found a new quality with “Egocentric Oblivion” and I can only applause that.
And definitely I like this album, even if this is not my most favourite sort of black metal. To say it shortly, this is a chaotic, raw and usually totally fast aggressive attack, a stream of unstoppable, pissed off black metal. You can expect to hear many relentless, furious guitar parts, an insanely fast drum machine and distorted, maniacal screams of Thorn. And yeah, Arma Christi music is almost cacophonic, with not many slower parts or surely without much melody. Here and there you’ll hear a slight dose of keyboards, which really sound good and I almost wish to hear more of them, as they give something extra to the whole music. And it would surely make the whole album more diverse, as at the moment it is a bit too one dimensional, in my opinion, especially in those fast parts. You know, how many of these blasts you can listen to? But “Egocentric Oblivion” is a solid release and surely a good improvement in Arma Christi style. The whole album reminds me Mayhem a bit, with similar inhuman, furious attitude and hateful, malicious aura. There’s still some work to be done for Thorn, but damn, I can already say that he’s heading in good direction and comes with stuff that is not your typical, zillions times done before stuff. This album has some moments, which will simply crush you for sure.

Final rate: 69/10

Friday, 22 July 2016

Celebration - Dead Bodies Massacre

Ready for another part of Polish Metal Classics? Well, Thrashing Madness is always doing fantastic job with this series, and it’s no different this time. And this time they decided to bring Celebration back from the crypt! This was rather short lived band, which was formed in 1990 and split up only year later, but managed to record three demos in this time. This double CD set brings us two of these demos: “Beyond the Grave” (1990) and “Dead Bodies Massacre” (1991), the latter is presented in two versions, one of which was never released before. Additionally, you’ll find here some live and rehearsal recordings, as well as a short rehearsal recording from 1987 of band called Szafot, in which Kacper (Celebration’s vocalist and guitarist) was playing in late 80’s. If you happened to see previous releases of Polish Metal Classics, then I don’t need to say how great quality releases are they. The booklet is excellent, featuring a lot of archival photographs, lyrics and in depth interview with Kacper. It looks just killer and the whole presentation is perfect, in my opinion.
I have to say that I was never a big fan of Celebration demos, but despite that I felt a lot of pleasure to listen to this CD. Surprisingly I still like “Beyond the Grave” demo the most. I don’t even know why… but maybe it’s because it reminds me some Swedish bands so much? Like for example you can surely find some similarities to Toxaemia, Therion, Nihilist, Grave demos and so on… There are some killer songs like “Sanctuary”, which is probably the best song Celebration ever did, “Suicide” or the title track. Sure, this demo sounds terribly archaic and harsh these days, you can hear many fuck ups and bad instrumentation on it – for example I just can’t say enough how bad does that short clean guitar piece sounds in the title song… but despite all that, I just like it a lot. I like the vocals with that reverb they have, I like these raw sounding, heavy guitars and so on. Great stuff.
“Dead Bodies Massacre” is obviously also pretty cool, I have to say that I’m really happy to have it on CD with proper quality. It will not be your best demo of all time, but a solid archaic death metal recorded in the days when I was watching Italia 1990. Definitely this demo sounds much better on CD version than on my old cassette, so I have admit that I almost felt like I was rediscovering this demo again. Oh yeah, there are some really great riffs, some very nice songs like “Lobotomy”. “Dead Bodies Massacre” surely sounds more tight and faster than “Beyond the Grave”, it is really straight forward and aggressive stuff. I’m very glad to hear this demo in two versions, because the one which was unreleased before sounds also awesome, maybe even better? Hmm, I guess I like the vocals much more on this unreleased version, while the music itself sounds more savage and aggressive on the original mix. Great stuff anyway.

Last thing I need to write about are all those live or rehearsal recordings. I’m always sceptical towards them, because usually they sound just very bad and for me are like a unnecessary addition. I just don’t need something what is unlistenable. In case of these Celebration recordings it’s not terrible. Two live songs (one of which is Venom cover) are very OK and give you a small idea what were the gigs like nearly 30 years ago. The 1990 reh sounds better than many official demos from that era, so it’s also cool. All in all, I think that this is one of the best Polish Metal Classics releases so far.

Memoriam - The Hellfire Demos

MEMORIAM - The Hellfire Demos 7"EP 2016
A new band formed by members of Benediction and Bolt Thrower?? That sounded way too intriguing, almost unreal to be true haha! But I had to check it, I had to have this seven inch vinyl! Memoriam comes with two songs set called “The Hellfire Demos” and musically delivers death metal that you could easily foresee. It’s a combination of both legendary bands, but with the strongest accent placed on the war machine that Bolt Thrower is, with their characteristic rhythm, heaviness, melody and even with the military concept. I honestly don’t know how did they start Memoriam and if both Benediction and Bolt Thrower are busy these days, or not? Maybe they’re not, so this is why some of these guys started new thing. Whatever… it’s just always nice to hear some new tunes from them!
But at the first listen my reactions was like “OK, it sounds good, but I expected more, to be honest”. I felt like these songs are not as good as the last albums from Benediction and Bolt Thrower and I was missing something there. Maybe my expectations were just too high? I don’t know. Anyway, after some spins I started to like this EP more. It’s very solid, well played old school death metal, with a lot of nice, heavy riffs, some melodic leads, I like the sound it has… everything is in the right place and “War Rages On” is the better of the two songs.
Obviously record labels had to sign Memoriam quickly, as this will be an easy sale for them. Nuclear Blast signed the band, so we can all wait for the debut album now. Good. I hope it will crush, but I will not tolerate mediocrity from these experienced musicians. By the way, Memoriam brings Andrew Whale back to the scene. You may remember this man, as he was drumming on all early Bolt Thrower records! You can hardly recognize him on the photo though haha!

Final rate: 75/100

Some words on Decaying - The Forgotten Conflict, again!

DECAYING - The Forgotten Conflict (RAW SKULL RECORDZ CD 2016)
Some months ago I has a pleasure to review Decaying’s fantastic EP titled “The Forgotten Conflict” – and you can still find my review on this link ( Back then I was playing this on cassette, as this is how this EP was originally released (via Let Them Fukkin Bleed Records). But in the meantime my good friend from Raw Skull Recordz released that stuff on CD, so I cannot waste this opportunity – I will write few words on this EP again, supporting it, so you know that there’s a CD version. And hopefully after reading this, hundreds of maniacs will want to place their orders on Raw Skull Recordz and buy this fuckin CD haha!

My general opinion on this EP can be found in the review. Let me remind you though that what “The Forgotten Conflict” is, are some old songs, from “New Order” demo (two tracks “The Aftermath” and “… to Decay”) and one from “Encirclement” album (“Conclusion”) all re-recorded for this EP and completed with some live recorded songs (cassette had two live tracks while CD has four). So, it’s not a new material and those, who have previous Decaying CDs will know it all very well. But damn, it’s awesome stuff and in case you never heard this Finnish commando yet, this is a great opportunity to check their music out. It’s classic, heavy death metal, a bit in the vein of Asphyx, Bolt Thrower, Hail of Bullets, Humiliation, Memoriam and all that kind of stuff. It’s aggressive and massive heavy, it has some crushing melodies and great dark aura. These guys have skills for writing killer riffs, like in the long monster song called “The Aftermath” or “Conclusion”. And the sound quality is just superb. Live tracks also sound good, especially the first two… so, even if these are not new songs, I listened to them with great pleasure. Because I’m big Decaying fan. Support this band, support Raw Skull Recordz. Buy this shit.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Rotten Casket - Consumed by Filth

ROTTEN CASKET - Consumed by Filth (Self release MC 2015)
This is really awesome shit in my opinion. Rotten Casket are new Dutch death metal band and I just love this cassette they titled “Consumed by Filth”. It’s actually a second demo they did in 2015 (first one is called “Simply Rotten Death”) and I regret that I don’t have the first one alo, but at least I have “Consumed by Filth” and was able to discover this killer band. What they’re like? Well, both sound and style of music, which you can find on “Consumed by Filth” is simply Swedish old school death metal worship. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s exactly that, so… you should know by know whether Rotten Casket will interest you or not.
I can describe “Consumed by Filth” in one sentence – that it is simply a fantastic, killer demo. I know that it’s not gonna surprise you with anything new. When I listen to it, I feel like there are so many old bands that influenced Rotten Casket – Dismember, Entombed, Desultory, Goddefied, God Macabre, etc – but at the same time their style reminds me some newer bands even more, like Entrails, Revel In Flesh, Puteraeon, Pyre, Smothered, Blood Mortized, Departed Souls and such. But especially Entrails. And it’s fuckin awesome, as I’m great fan of all these bands also haha!
Rotten Casket managed to compose six extremely good songs here. I really love each one of them and not even a single moment of “Consumed by Filth” sounds dull to me. They have great riffs that are vicious and aggressive, but they also have a good sense for memorable, killer melodies that always create such total unforgettable death metal that I cannot ever resist it. Sometimes their music can be quite predictable, to be honest, as you just know when to expect a mournful melody to appear or whatever else. For example, a slow part always means that they will do another melodic bit. But I don’t care at all, because the music sounds absolutely superb in my opinion. Just as I wrote above, Rotten Casket came up with many crushing riffs, splendid melodies (like in “Unknown Graves”), I love the vocals, the production is also great (even if it’s also the type of sound you would expect exactly to hear from such band)… I can only speak in very, very positive words about “Consumed by Filth”. Songs like “In Search of the Perfect Skin” (Perfect tune!!!!!!!), “Unknown Graves” and “Culpable Homicide” are simply fuckin perfect anthems of old school death metal, I just like this stuff a lot, so... Please, support Rotten Casket then! Because this band fuckin slays!
Standout tracks: “In Search of the Perfect Skin”, “Unknown Graves”, “Culpable Homicide”

Final rate: 90/100

Ligfaerd / Grigorien - På Den Yderste Dag / Matthævs 13:42

LIGFAERD / GRIGORIEN - På Den Yderste Dag / Matthævs 13:42 (ANCIENT DARKNESS Productions split 7"EP 2016)
Always cool to get some new shit. And this time Ancient Darkness Productions sent me over a nice split 7”EP called “På Den Yderste Dag / Matthævs 13:42” with Ligfaerd, who are really awesome Danish black metal band and Grigorien, who I never heard about before, but who also are from Denmark (and share one member with Ligfaerd, bassist Benedictus).
Starting with side A, we have song called “På Den Yderste Dag”. I already knew it, because it is taken from that very limited promotional cassette “Promo MMXIV”, which I’m happy to have in my collection. It is a great track; Ligfaerd style is very vicious, dark and obscure sounding black metal. Their sound is harsh and raw, the music is far from being polished and polite, but I like the malicious atmosphere they create a lot and how fast this song is. So damn aggressive!!! It’s just very, very solid and promising stuff, personally I can’t wait for “Dagen for Os - Natten for Eder” album to be released later this year. Oh, play it 45 rpm instead of 33 rpm! And then change back to 33rpm for side B haha!
As said above, Grigorien is something totally new for me, I had no idea what music will that be… But it’s quite nice kind of raw, thrashing, very harsh and noisy black metal. Oh yeah, it sounds really nasty and aggressive, it’s just pure violence and hatred haha! The vocals are a bit like Donald Duck in fuckin amok, but I’m joking, don’t take this seriously haha. Grigorien really did good stuff here also and if you like your old school black metal to have that ultimate fuck off attitude, then this may also be your stuff. Personally I prefer Ligfaerd song more though, as it’s darker and more eerie sounding. Nice split anyway!

Final rate:70/100

Vestibule of Hell Compilation

VESTIBULE OF HELL Compilation (WOLFSBANE Records LP 2016)
It took me ages to do this review (due to some problems  I had with my turntable). Finally I got it fixed and can review “Vestibule of Hell”. This vinyl was released by Wolfsbane and it’s a compilation with some more or less known death metal bands. And well, I suppose that compilation releases have as many fans as opponents. Some people like them, some don’t. I guess I’m somewhere in between, as there are some fantastic compilations like “Projections of a Stained Mind” and "Ressurected in Festering Slime", but many other were just boring and waste of time. Definitely thing, which I always require if you wanna have successful, killer compilation is not only ability to gather only great bands. But these bands must also provide exclusive material, otherwise their participation is just pointless. Luckily, “Vestibule of Hell” meets all these conditions. There’s a very nice set of bands – most of them I know very well, only very few were unknown to time. And all of them came with rare or unreleased songs. And more so, Wolfsbane remembered to house the record in fantastic cover. The killer artwork was done by Matt Carr and I love it. But there’s also thick booklet, where each band has its own page with some more artwork, recording info or lyrics and stuff like that. This is how I like the work to be done; no cheap shit, but great presentation that makes the purchase of this record even more worthy. Obviously the musical content is also very nice.
On side A Hacavitz comes with the best song, in my opinion. It’s just fantastic blackened death metal, totally vicious and fast as hell. I’ve never heard much from this band, but definitely I need to change it and grab some of their albums, because it looks like those Mexicans have recorded some good shit and with “Nighte” they caught my attention fully. Side A also delivers a memorable tracks from Entrapment (another very good song from this band!!!) and Eternal Rot. The latter will crush you with ultra slow, downtuned and massively heavy sounds, which are a great follower of their debut 7”EP. I definitely wanna hear more from them. Good songs also come from Denial (Mexico) and newcomer Dead Will Walk (who still didn’t release anything but this one very short song). But side A also has couple of bands and songs, which didn’t impress me at all – Necrofilth, whose punkish thrash is completely not for my taste. And Icons of Brutality who’re a decent death metal but nothing else.
The list of bands on side B is damn impressive. It is starting with Lucifericon, whose debut “The Occult Waters” was fantastic!! And this new song is also just killer, it’s definitely my favourite part of the whole “Vestibule of Hell”. I just love their obscvre or viciovs dark death metal. They have new MLP releases, so it’s something I will surely grab. They’re followed by the old heroes from Pentacle. These masters of old school as always have an impressive song, this time it’s Necrovore cover tune! Rude also comes with fantastic track. Damn, I have to admit that I bought their LP loooonnngg time ago, but still didn’t give it enough listens, I kind of forgot about them. So, I have to wipe the dust off it and play it finally. Further on Bombs of Hades, Wound and Sonne Adam present some great tunes and only The Howling Wind didn’t manage to interest me so much.
-Hacavitz - Nighte                                             
–Entrapment - The Reaper                                
–Eternal Rot - Fatal Offering                            
–Icons Of Brutality - Region Of Flesh             
–Denial - Deprecatio De Profundis Tenebrae   
–Nekrofilth - Street Fight                                  
–Dead Will Walk - Prison Tomb                       
–Lucifericon - Omega Therion                          
–Pentacle - Divus De Mortuus                          
–Bombs Of Hades - When The Reaper Comes 
–Wound - Carrion                                             
–The Howling Wind - Pulsation Warfront        
–Sonne Adam - Halayala Shell Lucifer             
–Rude - Funeral Pyre

Final rate: 75/100

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Diabolizer - Apokalypse

Turkey is not a country, where you usually look at if you wanna find some killer metal bands. I’ve tried to come up with some names that would be worth being mentioning here, but the result is poor and there are just two bands that I have in my mind: Engulfed and Burial Invocation. These two are killer death metal bands that I really wanna recommend. But hold on, here’s another one, called Diabolizer from Istanbul!!! And guess what… Their line up consists of some Engulfed and Burial Invocation members haha, so it’s no surprise that these fuckers managed to form another killer project. They started in 2012 and quickly released “Shadows of Impending Decimation” demo. And now time came for the apocalypse!! “Apokalypse” is the title of their new CD from Third Eye Temple, with five new tracks and a bonus of both songs from the demo.
And man, I have to sincerely admit that from the very first minute this music blew my fuckin head off. I just love such death metal – which is so bloody intense, so vicious and aggressive, so powerful and fast that it can really rip your guts out and you can risk some nasty injures when this wall of sound (play it loud!!!) will hit you and you’ll start a maniacal headbanging! Yeah, I know, what a unimaginative description haha, but this is exactly what I felt when I started to listen to “Apokalypse”. When their first sounds hit me, I was like “ooohh yeah, this is gonna be good shit” – and damn, it is awesome stuff. Diabolizer music is so perfectly played and recorded, it has such a great dose of power that it just makes amazing impression on me. This unstoppable, furious beast sounds like a bastard son of Vomitory and Vital Remains, with some cum shots from Deicide right in the face. It also has that diabolic, evil atmosphere, their riffs are sharp and brutal, precise and so bloody fast…! While Engulfed is a slow bulldozer and Burial Invocation (who didn’t record anything since years, when their killer split with Anatomia was unleashed – what a shame!) is a proper old school death metal in the most traditional ways, then Diabolizer is again a bit different and surely it’s the most violent, brutal and fastest of all these acts. And probably also my favourite. Definitely you need to check them out now!

Final rate: 85/100

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Centurian - Choronzonic Chaos Gods

CENTURIAN - Choronzonic Chaos Gods (FULL MOON Productions CD 1999)
There was a time in the late 90’s when Holland started to come up with great bunch of fuckin brutal death metal bands. Pyaemia, Severe Torture, Disavowed, Prostitute Disfigurement and few more were crushing with some of the most intense, technical and extreme shit that you could imagine. Centurian was also there and they were also my favourite Dutch band from that era, simply because their music was also more like old school stuff, influenced by some of the old US death metal heroes. And yes, it was intense and brutal. And this album, “Choronzonic Chaos Gods”, is the best Dutch death metal motherfucker that was released at that time. This album is simply fantastic.
The sheer intensity and extreme, powerful character of music are the main strengths of “Choronzonic Chaos Gods”. Wow, this album blows away the speakers into damn cosmos and your ears will bleed, because you’ll play it too loud. Trust me, you will. You cannot listen to it quietly. I just love how it sounds, how fast Centurian music is on this album and that even if it’s technical and brutal death metal, it is still easy to listen to. And they even have some memorable parts in slower fragments, etc. I like the riffage and many ideas for arrangements or whatever, I like the vocals also a lot, because Seth has this kind of Glen Benton alike voice, which is just super cool. Basically Deicide along such Vital Remains or Morbid Angel were surely the bands that you could compare Centurian the most to. But also Aeon, Angel Corpse, Brazilian commando Krisiun and obviously Sinister as well. All these bands share passion for something totally blasphemous, evil sounding and malicious; intense, brutal and insanely ferocious. “Choronzonic Chaos Gods” is exactly like that, with a bunch of killer, standing out tracks like “Hail Caligula!!!”, “The Law of Burning”, “Misanthropic Luciferian Onslaught”
Yeah, this music will tear you up and its power will surely infect you in positive way, providing a lot of adrenaline and energy. It’s a pure slaughtering death metal, nothing more, nothing less.
The musicianship of every Centurian member is obviously top notch, they’re like beasts that were locked in a studio to unleashed all their fury and aggression and transform them into music. The production is also great, way better than it was on the demo “Of Purest Fire”… and that artwork, all covered in blood of band’s guitarist!! Can it be any better? Nope. Killer stuff!!!!
Standout tracks: “Hail Caligula!!!”, “The Law of Burning”, “Misanthropic Luciferian Onslaught”

Final rate: 80/100

Hooded Menace - Fulfill the Curse

HOODED MENACE - Fulfill the Curse (DOOMENTIA Records CD 2008)
Great things always come out of nowhere and unexpected. It was mid 2000’s and not many people around the extreme metal underground were thinking about playing fuckin doomy and classic to the bone death metal. And this guy, Lasse Pyykkö, formed his new band Hooded Menace and it immediately became a lantern for what will happen in the death metal scene in years to come – a total resurgence of traditional sound of death metal, including a fantastic evolvement and explosion of doom / death metal. Yeah, I love it. And surely Hooded Menace is one of my favourite acts from this sort of music that were ever formed. I love Lasse’s music. “Fulfill the Curse” was his first full length he ever did, even though Pyykkö was / and still is / involved in many bands. Fans of Finnish death metal will know him mostly from Phlegethon obviously! This band did some great recordings in the old days, “Fresco Lungs” being probably the most memorable. Years after Phlegethon’s decease in the 90’s Lasse Pyykkö not only reformed his own band in the mid 00’s, but also formed the greatest of all his bands, Hooded Menace. And “Fulfill the Curse” is a debut of this band, released in 2008.
I like everything about Hooded Menace. Not only the music, which is so super heavy and dark, but also how this band brings horror themes into their concept. The lyrics and artwork, and the music as well, are influenced by some of these old movies like “Return of the Blind Dead”, “Tombs of the Blind Dead” and other such obscure films from the 70’s. I have to say that I’m not necessarily big fan of this old cinema, but for example I just love the graphics, posters and atmosphere of these films. And damn, Hooded Menace is like a perfect tribute. The lyrics have deep connection to them and the artwork by Putrid Mat is simply exceptional and stunning. It looks very much like those killer posters from old movies and the result is killer. You can even see those evil Knights Templar there! Super awesome!
And the music surely evokes the malicious and eerie aura immediately, with the very first riff of “Rotting Rampage (Menace of the Skeletal Dead)”. Slow pace, creepy, sinister riffs, ghastly vocals and heaviness!!! Fuckin heaviness! Each song on this album walks one path and never really steps away from that formula of doom / death metal, except maybe the final track, which is a death metal version of theme from “Manhattan Baby” movie – and which by the way sounds super fantastic and belongs to the real highlights of the whole album (not the first time when a horror movie theme turns into super awesome riffs!! You all remember what Entombed did with “Phantasm” theme, right?). Hooded Menace has some riffs, which sound like a heavier, death metal Candlemass, with some harmonious parts here and there also… It all just sounds super creepy and massive, really dark and the aura fits the horror themed lyrics just perfectly. Some of you may find this music a bit too monotonous, but that’s only matter of taste, I guess. I enjoyed this album a lot, even though it isn’t my favourite Hooded Menace full length.
The vocals have very typical for old Finnish death metal sound, so common among bands like Funebre, Disgrace, not to forget about Demilich and obviously also Phlegethon! So, they’re very brutal, really deep and guttural growling that sound like some creepy monstrous gurgle echoing in the catacombs. And I think it’s fantastic. Not only because such vocals are not that common among death metal bands these days, but also because in the past they were unique just for a small number of classic Finnish death metal acts and this way it makes connection between Hooded Menace and the old scene from Suomi. The vocal approach is very simple, they have not even a single moment where Lasse would sound more melodic or cleaner, they’re quite one dimensional growl right from the guts from start to finish.
And you know what? This album could easily have been recorded in the early or mid 90’s. That should be enough for great recommendation. Check “Fulfill the Curse” and some other Hooded Menace stuff now!!!
Standout tracks: “Rotting Rampage (Menace of the Skeletal Dead)”, “Laboratory of Nightmares”, “The Love Song of Gotho, Hunchback of the Morgue”, “Theme from Manhattan Baby”

Final rate: 80/100

Monday, 11 July 2016

Dalkhu - Descend... into Nothingness

DALKHU - Descend... into Nothingness (GODZ OV WAR / THIRD EYE TEMPLE MC 2016)
Slovenian band this time. Well, I can’t remember any other band from this country that I would know… so, it’s something new and it can be either very interesting or very bad, I said to myself. Luckily it was the first and the experience of listening Dalkhu music was very good. "Descend... into Nothingness" is actually their second album, but I never heard about “Imperium” or Dalkhu before I got this tape (released by Godz ov War / Third Eye Temple and sold out already). But who cares… let’s go.
This album is quite weird, because it's not a straight up death metal, which you would normally expect. The whole "Descend... into Nothingness" music is a surprising effort to put up more unconventional death metal and even if this music has some influences from other acts (both old and new), the band managed to transform it into their own sound. And the result is something really intriguing and original, I think. I won't even bother to make some usual comparisons to this or another band, as I don't even know what would be fair for Dalkhu and what would make any sense. And well, I won't do this also because I am not sure, if I know any bands, which would really sound similar to Dalkhu. And please, take this as a compliment, especially as nowadays we're flooded with zillions of same sounding acts and only few dare to do something different and individual.
What’s so unique about Dalkhu then? Well, it’s just the way they combine specific type of melodies (which are a lot here) with some brutal, quite complex and often fast death metal what makes their music sound so original. And almost weird sometimes. It’s definitely hard to foresee what will be next and definitely the whole “Descend... into Nothingness” is one of those albums, which need time and several listens before you will get into it and actually figure out what’s it about. It’s not straight forward, easily listenable effort, there may be some memorable tunes but all are surrounded by some chaotic parts or melodic, almost mesmerizing bits with complexity of song structures, etc. So, don’t give Dalkhu opinion after the first spin of “Descend... into Nothingness”.
I’ve mentioned the melodic side of the album. Well, definitely there are many harmonious parts on “Descend... into Nothingness”, but it’s fascinating how different are these melodies, which the Slovenian band came with. They’re just not kind of melodies you would know and usually hear. They have almost black metallish atmosphere, Dalkhu sometimes comes up with them in the most unexpected ways and moments, so this is another reason why this album is not that easy to get into. And definitely it’s awesome how Dalkhu managed to combine that side of their music with harsh and brutal death metal. It often gets really fast, blasting with a killer wall of massive, heavy riffage and then again it abruptly slows down… Just take the opening anthem “Pitch Black Cave”, as it’s not only the best song from the album in my opinion (and one of  the fastest also!), but a great example for diversity of Dalkhu music. Oh, I need also to mention that I love the vocals, I really like this sort of deep, but quite understandable growling. Fuckin awesome. I don’t need to say anything about the instrumentation as it should be pretty obvious that the whole performance of both Dalkhu members is spot on. The production of “Descend... into Nothingness” is also great. And I love the artwork and band logo. Yeah, very nice, surprising band from Slovenia.
Standout tracks: “Pitch Black Cave”, “In the Woods”

Final rate: 70/100

Friday, 8 July 2016

Mhonos - Miserere Nostri

MHONOS - Miserere Nostri (NECROCOSM - CD 2016)
This is some weird stuff that I received from French label called Necrocosm and which offers sounds that I'm usually so much into and hardly ever play anything like this. And it was intentional to describe this CD with word "sounds" as this is not really music, which we would understand as something that has typical song structures, harmonies, rhythms, vocals, etc. Mhonos is more like a combination of dark ambient, noise, drone and fuck knows what else. Sounds like something you may like? Then read it on. But if you’re not into experimental stuff then I wouldn’t recommend it to you.
The whole album "Miserere Nostri" feels like one 40 minutes long track - divided into four chapters, but they’re all are connected, so it feels like you hear just one long track. As I mentioned, there are no specific rhythms or drums or usual musical patterns and melodies, but just bass, some keyboards, noise sounds and the vocals, which are like choirs or ghastly voices. And the feeling of the "music" is like a journey into some dark, obscure abyss, into disturbing, unknown and frightening depths. They bring almost painful feelings like something was drilling holes in your skull, slowly and sadistically, taking you into madness. And more so, everything has a strong ritualistic atmosphere. Everything about "Miserere Nostri" has minimalistic approach - and the simplicity of the artwork also, so it fits perfectly.
It's weird, but even though I'm usually not so much into such music - with probably few exceptions - I find "Miserere Nostri" as fascinating. There's something about this album that doesn't let you forget about it and it’s just ideal to be played in the darkness of your home; on headphones most preferably, so you will close yourself within it, cutting off from the surroundings. There are some fragments that really stack in my mind, like a piece from track called “Communio”, where I loved that haunting and sinister atmosphere, with vocals that sound like sort of mantra. Meanwhile the keyboards from the third part "Offertorium" bring a nice dark ambient piece, which is almost like a light in the surrounding utter darkness; very different in its aura to the rest of the album.
My knowledge on Mhonos, as a project, is basically close to zero though, I have no idea if they have more albums or not. But surely I’m going to investigate it and find out more about them, because "Miserere Nostri" is really intriguing. By the way , this is a third version of this album already (first one was released in 2010).

Final rate: 75/100

Humiliation / Taste - Bullet Storm / The Blood of the Disaster Dead

HUMILIATION / TASTE - Bullet Storm / The Blood of the Disaster Dead (BLOODBATH Records CD 2016)
I’m still relatively new into Humiliation, whose vast discography is yet to be fully discovered by me. So far I’m only familiar with few split 7”EPs and two albums, but I’m already really impressed with the music of this one of the best Asian death metal commandos. Here’s one of their recent releases, which I was really lucky to grab and which is another split, this time it’s a CD split with Japan based Taste.
Humiliation brings two songs of their ultra heavy and groovy old school death metal, which has that strong influence from bands such as Six Feet Under, Bolt Thrower or Obituary. I am sure that all fans of this sort of music will agree with my comparison, because it cannot be mistaken with anything else. And I’m sure that they will love this music, because Humiliation kicks ass. These Malaysians have great gift for writing memorable, killer riffs and they come with fantastic songs. I’m also glad that the production is always crushing and powerful, so I can listen to their stuff with pure pleasure. “An Absence of Peace” is especially killer song, so I’m really glad that I had a chance to hear another piece of their discography and I’m looking forward for more.
The second band is called Taste and they’re Japanese. I’ve never heard of them before and to be honest, I’m not so much impressed with their two songs. It’s quite brutal and technical sounding death metal, but not really one, which I would like a lot, especially for songs like “The Blood of the Disaster Dead”, where the vocals almost annoyed me (also because they’re so high in the mix), but the riffs were also nothing special. And the noisy production is definitely not helping. There’s the final fragment of “Extinction Force”, which I quite liked as it reminds me Immolation a bit, but other than that Taste didn’t manage to satisfy my hunger for killer death metal.

Final rate: 70 / 100