Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Taranis - Moon Silver Mask

It's been ages since I've been listening to anything by Polish Taranis for the last time. This band, which was active in the early 90's (formed in 1991), was one of the most obscure and dark sounding bands in Poland at that time. Their music, strongly influenced by some Suiss acts like Samael, Hellhammer / Celtic Frost, Sadness, Misery and so on, had very eerie and kind of theatrical aura that was distinguishing Taranis from many other similar acts. Personally though I've never been huge fan of them. I preferred Pandemonium with their more aggressive and powerful sound. Taranis style was sometimes a bit too weird and sorrowful for me. If I was listening their music, then I liked to play "Obscurity" demo rather than "Faust" album. "Moon Silver Mask" is an EP originally released in 1993, between the mentioned demo and the album. In 2017 we can see it re-released on CD and 7" vinyl by Under the Sign of Garazel. Pretty cool idea, yes. Time to remind myself this band and also this old, long time unheard, material! 
And well, my general impression is that nowadays "Moon Silver Mask" sounds quite outdated and that it grew old pretty badlyBut at the same time there's something unique about it. When compared to "Obscurity", Taranis music on this EP started to sound more atmospheric and eerie, with more melancholic and sorrowful riffs. Jacques' vocals have changed also, he wasn't focusing on harsh black metal voice so much anymore, but also used some whispers or clean vocals. I don't like some of these vocals that much. Not only was he falsing a bit, but the Polish accent sounds pretty horrible. The music is doomy and quite original, but yet again I have to admit that I prefer the heavier sounding, harsh and raw black metal from "Obscurity" demo. Anyway, "Moon Silver Mask" has its charm, there's something about this EP that works almost in magic way, like it waabout to cast a spell on you. I really don't know how to explain this feeling, so you better give it a listen and find out yourself what I mean. It's nothing extraordinary nor the most fantastic piece of music, but it's interesting for sure. And "Moon Silver Mask" is a good preludium for "Faust" album. As well as it's an important piece of the history of Polish black metal (even though Taranis was a standing aside to the whole black metal scene of the early 90's, with all their extreme ideas and rules). This reissue is a good idea then and good opportunity to remind people about Taranis. I bet that "Faust" will get reissued also, in the meantime get "Moon Silver Mask". By the way, "Obscurity" was also reissued on CD few years ago by Under the Sign of Garazel. 
Final rate: 70/100 

Monday, 19 June 2017

Ritual Lair - Mother of Misery and All Repugnance (Diabolo Intervale)

RITUAL LAIR - Mother of Misery and All Repugnance (Diabolo Intervale) (GODZ OV WAR Productions MC 2017)
The previous Ritual Lair release, which I had a chance to hear and which was "Morbid Ritual of the Insane" EP was insane. I liked it a lot. Now I am spinning their newest cassette EP "Mother of Misery and All Repugnance (Diabolo Intervale)" and my impression is still the same - that it is damn awesome, throat cutting and ugly black metal, which you have to hear. This duo - consisting of LWN from Kingdom and SBCH from Freezing Blood - really knows how to slay with killer music and definitely they're doing a noteworthy job. 
Musically Ritual Lair is some sort of old school black metal, with riffs mainly influenced by the 80's black metal rather than the Norwegian second wave. So, there's plenty of Sodom, Bathory, Tormentor, even Sarcofago in it. Sure, there's a bit of Darkthrone in it as well, all in all Darkthrone was taking influences from the 80's black metal with full grasps. So was Aura Noir. All in all the music is obviously very archaic sounding, it has almost sort of speed / thrash metal vibe. It's primitive and vulgar in nature, it's insanely vicious and aggressive, nasty with obscure, filthy sound that fist this style very well. I especially like these sick, possessed vocals, sounding like they've been sang by someone who had too much vodka before the recordings started haha! But maybe that's the point! 
With no trace of melody or anything catchy it can be rather bitter in taste for some of you, but who cares... "Mother of Misery and All Repugnance (Diabolo Intervale)" is a strong release and all those, who like their metal to sound pure and old school, should like it a lot. A short release, with six short songs and 16 minutes on the clock, it ends a bit too soon for me. But it's damn enjoyable and I was playing it a lot lately. Best song? Hmm, maybe "I" and "IV", but all songs are pretty cool and similar to each other. Go then and get the cassette from Godz ov War. Limited to 100 copies only! 
Final rate: 75/100 

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Morbid Messiah - In the Name of True Death Metal

MORBID MESSIAH - In the Name of True Death Metal (GODZ OV WAR Productions MC 2017)
Truly a filthy and nasty, primitive and raw is death metal from young Mexican horde called Morbid Messiah, who just debuted with their first demo "In the Name of True Death Metal". What a nice title! Although I have no idea what "true" would mean. Anyway, I have to say that when I listen to their music, it feels like I was playing an old demo or EP from very, very early 90's. Everything about it is done the old school way; harsh production, heavy and brutal music with no slightest sign of more modern influence... and riffs, which fit some early Incantation or other NY based 90's bands. 
Certainly Morbid Messiah shows a solid performance on "In the Name of True Death Metal". I cannot say that this is the best and most thrilling demo I've ever heard, but some of these riffs are really fantastic (like the whole opening piece of "Sacrificed for Worship". I like the dark and evil atmosphere of the music and its sheer violent, heavy nature. Especially the slower parts sound great, while when played fast their death metal can sound slightly chaotic. Really Morbid Messiah came up with some shredding parts ("Condemned to Hell Sores"!) and José Rivas' vocals sound bestial. It's far from perfection and I suppose that such harsh take on old school death metal will be a pain in ears of the listeners, who rather prefer plastic and lifeless modern death metal. But as a debut release definitely "In the Name of True Death Metal" fulfilled its task and I am interested to hear more from Morbid Messiah. With a bit more powerful production this could kill mercilessly. As for now, if you dig Sadistic Intent, old Incantation, Dead Congregation, Imprecation and so forth, then it's a putrid piece of meat for you. 
Standout tracks: "Sacrificed for Worship", "Condemned to Hell Shores" 
Final rate: 70/100 

Time Lurker - Time Lurker

TIME LURKER - Time Lurker (LADLO Productions CD 2017)
Les Acteurs de L'Ombre Productions released couple of new CDs recently and yet again I'm happy to have a chance to check them out. First there's Time Lurker, French one man project, coming up with the first full length album. I usually have small anticipation for such newcomers. Blame my scepticism for thatbut it always has to prevail in cases like this. But I have to admit that Time Lurker music is not bad at all and it gave me a pleasant time, when I was playing the album. And I did play it a lot, I have to say. Time Lurker is not a revolutionary or exceptional band, the music is nowhere even close to become a timeless classic (at least it doesn't feel like to happen for me), but it's enjoyable and a good listen for sure. Style wise it's sort of atmospheric black metal, with that strong modern / post BM influence, which puts Time Lurker in certain box immediately. It sounds good though, I can hear some splendid moments here and that guy behind Time Lurker surely has a talent for this sort of music. 
I suppose that some listeners may feel disturbed by small monotony, which appears in this album. These songs may sometimes sound one dimensional a bit, but on the other hand Time Lurker has these fantastic moments and songs, which let you forget about any faults. Instrumental passages – as so often in that post (black) metal genre – sound almost hypnotizing and I have great weakness for them. The atmosphere, which bands like Time Lurker create in the instrumental parts, especially when the music is calmer and more melancholic, is the best for sure. Here I can for example distinguish "Reborn", with its very emotional and quiet sound that later is going to be suddenly broke with the sheer violence and ferocity of "No Way Out From Mankind". This would also be my exact description for the whole record: a mixture of mesmerizing, dissonant riffage, melancholic and atmospheric patterns, with a bit of sick harmonies here and there and with insanely fast, vicious black metal, spiced with almost possessed, maniacal screams.  And as such, TIme Lurker definitely fits label like LADLO perfectly, as they share a lot of similarities with other bands from this label like Paramnesia, Deluge or Regarde les Hommes Tomber. 
My favourite part is "Rupture" - very lengthy, close to 12 minutes, track, which is also a perfect representative for the whole album, as it has everything what characterize Time Lurker. It's almost like a great sonic voyage, where that post metal feeling and instrumentation is the strongest and the riffs in it are especially fascinating. It's very memorable and catchy song somehow, even with its black metal aesthetics like these panic screams. But with careful listen I can spot that basically every song sounds fantastic, "Judgement" or "Reborn" are another good songs… The whole album is about 50 minutes long, but when specific conditions are set, this can be truly fascinating listen.  
Standout tracks: "Reborn", "Rupture" 
Final rate: 70/100