25 paź 2016

Psychonaut 4 'Neurasthenia'

CD'16
Talheim Records

Tracklist:
1. Prologue
2. Death Is a Form of Art
3. Sweet Decadance
4. Total Leaning to Madness
5. Bad t.RIP
6. Song Written in Paris
7. Sleeping Pills Suck
8. Hangover
9. Too Late to Call an Ambulance
10. Thoughts of Death

Coming from Georgia, this is the third album by this Depressive Rock / Post-Black Metal act. 'Neurasthenia' is quite unique work, especially I am not the biggest fan of such music beside few bands I do really respect. First we have to explain the title of the album which means nothing less than a medical term. Neurasthenia was a term used and later popularized by americna neurologist George Miller Beard. As a psychopathological term, neurasthenia was used by Beard in 1869 to denote a condition with symptoms of fatigue, anxiety, headache, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, neuralgia and depressed mood. The actual weakness of nerves to him was mainly caused by exhaustion due to the modern civilization. It was later developed by Freud who separated it from anxiety neurosis and claimed it is mainly caused by (auto-)intoxication. Since we have the short lesson behind us, let us skip to the music.
The introduction I wrote about the term neurasthenia wasn't done just to enrich a bit this review. In my opinion, the music by Psychonaut 4 is clearly dealing with the darkest sides of human existence. It is not like they, you or even me are sitting in dark rooms with crossed hands drained out of any motivation and slowly thinking how to end the life. More likely it is a journey, some term and states to discover and somehow to experience. As I said in the begining, I am not a big fan or even this genre is a bit unknown to me beside acts like Austere, Silencer, Make a Change and Kill Yourself, Thy Light, Nyktalgia, Nocturnal Depression, Leviathan or Xasthur. Quite a few, but I think there are many many more. Due to that, I was a bit affraid to approach this review, do I would even know what to write about or explain here? But it hits me since the begining... Just after the 'Prologue' the track 'Death is a Form of Art' I sinked into the created world of depression, fears, illusions, madness and narcotic visions of pure illness. Music offered by Psychonaut 4 is calm offer based on rockish guitars with some of Black Metal elements. Mostly playing slower parts with distortion, there are also parts with acoustics which I must admit are just tearing apart my psyche. Disquieting your peaceful mind, reminding that within next moment you may loose someone without whom your life can be empty. It is stressing, a lot. The fragments or call them regular patterns where the acoustic guitars playing slow sad melodies and the vocals by Graf von Baphomet are so fukking hysterical and authentic it is a huge challenge to continue to listen and stay sane. Simply, you have to listen to it to discover the atrocities of human psychology. All the fears and dreadful experiences are hidden here and are waiting for you.
Terrifying, anxious, frightful and what's most important restless... Too authentic, too real, way much than just music... 'What was the last thought about?'

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Psychonaut-4/130368643662027
https://webstore.talheim-records.at/


24 paź 2016

Ribspreader 'Suicide Gate - A Bridge to Death'

CD'16
Xtreem Music

Tracklist:
1. Descent of the Morbid
2. Centuries of Filth
3. Eligi
4. The Suffering Earth
5. A Worthless Breed
6. World Dismemberment
7. In Mankind's Rotting Grip
8. The Remains in the Wall
9. Under Ash-Filled Skies

The obsession of old school Death Metal has been brought from the depths of worse nightmares with a name of Ribspreader and its 6th album so far. It is one of many Rogga Johansson's bands which are systematically active and in which the genre of Death Metal is reopen again. Each of his projects deals with different side of this genre and with names like: Revolting, Putrevore, Paganizer, The Grotesquery or Necrogod you can easily tell the musical roots but with slight different approach to each one of them. Anyway, lets get started because it a fucking hell of an album!
Ribspreader could be defined as a homage to old school Swedish Death Metal scene in particular. If you take some old demos or even the debut albums by the major bands from early '90s you will see the resemblance. And it is nothing wrong that most of the riffs I heard probably around 1000 times before, who cares? It has a good flow, the dynamic of the songs is on a high level while I can't stop banging my head to these tracks. Which is a good thing, the old style is still alive and well! The riffs are mostly built around tremolo melodies which is switching to open strings riffs. It creates a nice catchy stuff, some songs are very easy to remember just like in old days. The arrangements are very dynamic and even in mid tempos you can feel the bane attacking you from speakers, spreading its poison of old evil in your system. Some of the riffs are so fucking amazing, I sincerly had to stop writing the review to headbang my head again hehe. Vocals by Rogga are vicious growls which are representative simply to the whole genre. Nothing to be dig out (apart from rotten corpse from grave) and called innovative. As I said, it is real tribiute to the Swedish Death Metal. I cought only two moments when I said to myself 'this is a bit too melodic' and it was in 'The Suffering Earth' and 'In Mankind's Rotting Grip'. Still, the final outcome is damn good, such things a quick to be forgotten within the final outcome of this Death Metal beast.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ribspreader/148182408532846
http://shop.xtreemmusic.com/english.main.index.php


23 paź 2016

Zom 'Flesh Assimilation'

CD'14
Invictus Productions

Tracklist:
1. Tombs of the Void
2. Hordes from the Cursed Realms
3. Gates to Beyond
4. Conquest
5. Illbeings Unspeak
6. Dead Worlds
7. The Depths
8. Flesh Assimilation

After the EP 'Multiversial Holocaust' the Dublin's trio in 2014 returned with their debut full-lenght album. And yes, I know it is another not ''new'' release being reviewed here, but after 6 printed issues when I decided to go with online version, it is a lot to catch up. From the other hand, who fucking cares when it was released as long as it is a great record delivering high standards of Death / Black Metal genre? Anyway, the Irish did amazing work which embrace the traditional roots of both styles and on the top of it they added elements which can be subjected as the definition of recognition of their style.
Zom is creating with their Black / Death Metal fusion an atmosphere of of chaotic, horrorlike darkness. It seems that such effect is lasting throughout the whole album, even when they take big slow-downs with the pace of the tracks (example the 'Conquest' track). The sound is very primoridal and eerie like. Taking the mix of early Darkthrone or Mayhem 'Deathcrush' record, adding a bit of punkish elements in mid tempos, Zom managed to fullfil it all with sick electronics between tracks. Of course these are just seconds lasting, but the result is astonishing. It takes the hidden horror to the surface of cosmic state (I'm trying to avoid the word 'sci-fi', which suits here well). Guitar work is extracting the best of both genres, playing tremolo dark melodies or open strings disarray riffs. From time to time there is more rhythmical riffage like in 'Dead Worlds' track which reminds the demo times of the underground Death Metal scene in the beginings. Drums are recorded in a very 'live' manner and as much I can judge from the listening there weren't a lot of (if any) helping from the computer during the recording session. You know, sometimes you listen to the records and have this triggered shit all over your face and simply getting sick of it with lacking the authentical feeling. Zom did the opposite, the impact of noisy and dirty sounding drums with all in all great patterns being played is unblemished with its contribution to the whole chaotic outcome. And the last, the vocals. These are a bit hidden behind the blizzard of the instruments but I think it suppose to be this way. It has this edge, where you have a feeling that the unearthly vocals are coming like from other dimension or at least from an old, death stinking cave.
The follower of the beastlike EP 'Multiversial Holocaust' is maybe not that much immediate ripper, but certainly it is a violating music of its kind. I must admit, I didn't lack any of the bestiality as I could remember some reviews were focused on it. No, the chaotic barbarity is still here in a huge dose. You just have to extract it from the obscure bottomless pits of 'Flesh Assimilation'.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/ZOM/195971213790266
http://www.invictusproductions.net/


19 paź 2016

Nattsvargr 'Winds of Transilvania'

CD'16
Blackmoon Records

Tracklist:
1. Into Forbidden Crypts
2. An Ancient Bloodthirst
3. The Light of Funeral Torches
4. Winds of Transilvania
5. Night of the Undead
6. The Freezing Darkness
7. Pentagram of Blood
8. Svarta natten...
9. Ett lik utan en grav

Having its roots in the New Your from USA, now spreading the darkness from the capitol of Sweden, Nattsvargr had just released their second album so far. I didn't have any chances to check any of the previous material, simply this horde was unknown to me. I came across this material by accident, and yet it is still very often played in my hi-fi system. 
Let me start with such words 'if you are searching for underground Black Metal'... Nattsvargr is a huge recommendation for you. There are no nice digital aspects, there is no keyboards, no occult side, no intensification or pretending to create atmospheric or sophisticated stuff... Fuck off! It is Raw Black Metal as it should be! Nothing original, based on the best patterns by Darkthrone mixed with some punkish or a bit thrash elements (check the song 'Night of the Undead') from the 'Transilvanian Hunder' & 'Panzerfaust' era. The sound is done in a basement recording way, simply authentical. Crackling, rusty guitars playing the most of traditional Black Metal riffs which you may heard before somewhere else. But who cares? It is not about being the most innovative but about creating the ugly, loathsome, ghastly aura of death. Death, that is praised by the rites in the hidden obscene places. Pulsating violently bass lines with furious drums are underlining the vile guitars work. On the top of everything, the vocals - so evil and calamitous!! The final outcome of recording session gives the vocals some dominance over the rest of instruments, this is so well done! The foul atmosphere is even more enhanced by shredding vocals (it is so reminding me of 'Panzerfaust' album!!!).
'Winds of Transilvania' is a very solid album kept in a real Raw Black Metal. I didn't noticed any fragments that could be considered as 'bad'. Of course, it is not music from people who need avangarde approach in this genre. Done as a homage to old days, to the times when everything started and the scene was just crawling outside the pit and when tape-trading was an activity done by any respectful fan.

https://www.facebook.com/Nattsvargr/?fref=ts
no label link


17 paź 2016

Djevel 'Saa raa og kald'

CD'15
Aftermath Music

Tracklist:
1. Skritt for skritt mot mareritt
2. Vaar forbannede jord
3. Hode og hals i doedsvals
4. Om prest og pest
5. Norges land og rike
6. I en iskald grav
7. De som hadde onde oeyne
8. Salmesang og knokkelklang
9. Saa raa og kald
10. I vaar herres navn...

What can possibly go wrong when in your lines you've got such long-time experienced members from hordes like Ljå, NettleCarrier, Gehenna, Koldbrann, Orcustus or Enslaved? Well... it could be everything because everyone can fucked something up from time to time. But not in this case, not this time. Now, just a reminder that their fourth album is due to be out (a bit postponded till Novemeber) and I do hope it will be kept in at least the way as 'Saa raa og kald' is.
Djevel's third album is something that for me is a very memorable thing in Black Metal genre, especially the Norwegian one. Of course, the previous works were as good as this one. But the style did expand a bit, developed to something you simply can't go pass by without noticing. And what you'll notice is a journey through early '90s Black Metal from Norway. It is like combining all the faces of this genre exactly in these times and this place. You'll notice the coldness and rawness of Darkthrone, folkish melodies from 'Frost' era by Enslaved with clean vocals in some chours. The best in it is, there is this feeling of basment recording even the whole sound is done in modern and selective way. What I mean is, that the dirt created by distorted guitars is making the atmosphere just like in the early times of the second wave of Black Metal. Even the sound is way more dynamic, it is still like a tribiute to the old gone days. And, if you like it or not, there is a lot of elements reminding me of early Taake from their early times between the Ep 'Koldbrann i Jesu marg' till second album 'Over Bjoergvin graater himmerik' and even thrid as well. Anyway, the whole album is sung in Norwegian language and those, who like me, doesn't understand that language would have difficulties to notice the lyrics are flowing by well. Without any affected pose, it is understanable it comes so naturally. At the end I am going to add, the difference from the '90s era this album has - it is differential, not done only with blasting part or only epic patterns. And still, even each track stands by its own, its individualism is what binds it together into one compound and integrated album. Now, I just wait impatiently when the 'Norske ritualer' will be out. Support them!



16 paź 2016

Dodsferd 'Wastes of Life'

CD'15
Moribund Records

Tracklist:
1. Wastes of Life
2. Sterile Death, Without Mourning
3. The Dead Have No Speech For
4. To the Fall of Man
5. Graves of Your Creator

I have been following the Dodsferd since the begining. The journey and theirdirection they took in Black Metal is something that could be described as traditional Black Metal with some punkish patterns they mixed through their compositions. The example of it could be the previous album from 2013 'The Parasitic Survival of the Human Race'. Anyway, in 2009 there was one album 'Suicide and the Rest of Your Kind Will Follow' which was done in the same vein as their last opus from last year. Of course, with some differences.
The ninth album by Dodsferd is kept in Depressive Black Metal genre, as much as it comes for music itself. The lyrics are here the bigest difference from we are used to hear in this genre. There is no place for lame stuff like crying over how shit life is, how someone lost his love of life or how melancholic and depressing Autumn is with its falling down the trees colorful leaves. No, Wrath still is bursting with hate and total disgust towards everyone else. Showing how miserable life is, but not his, the rest of the human parasites blinded and hidden behind their religions. As for music, as I said it is kept as a mixture of Black Metal with Depressive style. But instead of playing one riff over and over again in slow pace and try to bore listener to death with it, Dodsferd is offering you a combination of harsh raw Black Metal with a really good production with some acoustic parts. These for example reminds me the best moments Silencer has to offer! Others, with clean or without vocals are like italian Frostmoon Eclipse and their album 'Dead and Forever Gone' (be sure to to check the last track of the album!!). The song 'To the Fall of Man' is a perfect example of combinating both mentioned above elements. And when you add violin to it so damn overwhelming... The vocals are so fucking shattering, agonizing and burdensome it is hard to describe these. The drumming is quite good, while sometimes in such albums the atmosphere is devastated with non stop blasting. Here, the flow of drums is very simple while most of time it is slow beat that fit exactly well and is dragging the music with the gently, moody flow.
Maybe it is to much to say if I call this album, a work full of reflection. But it makes you think about the world you really don't want to exist in. With its stupid regular people blinded by everything what mass-media and mass-religion is filling their heads with. Fukc them all!



15 paź 2016

Chaos Moon 'Resurrection Extract'

CD'14
I, Voidhanger Records

Tracklist:
1. Seeing Through One I
2. Bloodfall
3. Altar
4. Barrow
5. Dreams Scattered over an Infinite Mirror
6. Asemic Weakness
7. Empty Fissure
8. Exordium of Exile
9. Hymn to Iniquity II, Exsequiae

This is the thrid album of Chaos Moon but first if you count since Esoterica, the one mastermind of it decided to split it up and than reactive it in 2013. Also if you are following this decorous project, you must seen that while split-up process, there was another band formed and named after the nickname of the man himslef - Esoterica. In 2015, Polish Hellthrasher label released the Ep called 'Amissum', but I didn't have the opportunity to check it content yet.
It gets me really amazed with the fact how much you can combine Black Metal, the atmosphere and Ambient parts into one worthy a lot release. 'Resurrection Extract' is an album which will first hit you with coldness of emotions, the feeling of emptiness and lifelessness. With the pace, which is not only slower or mid one, the edge is the same - the cruelty of forced solitude, of searching for something else than regular and everyday life basis, maybe even mental illness caused by such state. And I am far away from talking about depression. More likely it is as always the truth that hurts here, the everlasting suffering of existence and shattered dreams which you'll all feel during the listening of this album. The foggy riffage, almost like liquid spilling, flowing in the shallow stream... I think it doesn't write a new standards for Atmospheric Black Metal but the whole concept is working here very well. Some acoustic parts, gently solo guitars when on top the dismal screechting voice is screaming... The feeling of the music's chemistry is like a bliss here, and I must say - very few bands in this genre can do it. Also, what can be considered as a full surprise is the sound which is powerful. Of course it is not the pouding Black/Death Metal style, but it is miles away from being called garage or basement sound. The Ambient parts are just absorbing and dreadful. Take for example the ending of the song 'Dreams Scattered over an Infinite Mirror' where minimalistic sound creating background is gently trembling creating the soundscape of forgotten place and you here some spoken words, almost like whisppers. And last but not least... The vocals, deep screams from the abyss where sadness, despair, desolation, disgust and many more vaules are only real. But you won't find any comfort zone here...
Almost one hour of a journey that will let you realize how pity and miserable life is. And in my opinion, these words do not reflect what you are going to hear and experince. Everyone has to take this step and enter the sonic world where anything possitive is covered with mould and fungus. You have been warned.



14 paź 2016

Weird Fate / Membaris 'Conspiracy'

CD'08
ARTicaz

Tracklist:
1. Weird Fate - The Call
2. Weird Fate - Shadows
3. Weird Fate - Beyond the Fetters of Life
4. Weird Fate - Forlorn
5. Membaris - Mein Schwarzer Augenblick
6. Membaris - Only Ruins Remain
7. Membaris - Dreams Written in Blood

The split called 'Conspiracy' was commited some time ago, but I think it is worth to mention while describing it. Not quite sure what has happened to the label that released it in 2008 but still the copies should be avaiable around the web somewhere. Both hordes are from Germany and the offering can be pictured as Atmospheric Black Metal.
The split begins with three tracks by Weird Fate plus an intro. The intro lasts only around 30 seconds and it sounds like some electronics madly pulsating. After this the real instruments enter with a big impact to create the fury. The first time I did listen to it I was thinking the it will be just blasting, venomous Black Metal at only fast pace. But then the whole atmosphere, the mysticism starts to grow up. And it lasts until their part was over. Do not underestimate the word 'atmosphere' and don't put it blidly into a bag with only keyboards instrumentations. Hell no! Whe whole concept is mixed and they do both great! First, the melodic & might riffage brings nostalgic moments or simply creats fury with hatred. And second while the aura is risen up high with the keyboards that stands far away from being immature, boring or dominant. The metioned before pace on their part is varied from mid tempos to very fast ones and also to be closed with the final song which is slower to burst later on into a furious sadness (if there is something like that). Also the vocals here are very compexed and N.W. knows exactly how to use his voice strings.
Let us move now to the Membaris songs. After the short introduction which is a part of the opening track 'Mein Schwarzer Augenblick' Germans takes no prisoners and strike with furious blasting part! I almost felt like being crushed into my arm-chair! And it also changed in few moments into more atmospherical music when the keyboards enter. For sure you can feel & hear the difference between these two hordes, while Membaris is more rotted into traditions in Metal music and they do not take their vision of Black Metal into innovative level as Weird Fate approached in few occasions. The intensity of the music is very high and when it comes to the parts with the primary Metal instruments, it is cruel and violent picture with a slight dose of melodics. The fast pace is dominant here and there are not too many moments when it gets nostalgic, even the moments when the acoustic guitar with thrilling soundscape done by keyboards is heard - it is dire and eerie. The guitar's riffage is creating interesting background and harmonizes very well with the pounding drums. Somehow their part reminds me a bit of Aaskereia, especially as it comes to vocals and they way of Obscurus screams.
To sum it up, this split is one amazing work by both bands. Of course, their approach towards the Black Metal is different but in my opinion this is what it is as it comes to Black Metal (and not only this genre). I know I'll not stop playing this split for a while. This atmosphere fits exactly well to Autumn we have outside. And btw. exepct the reviews of their latest albums soon.



6 paź 2016

Profanatica 'The Curling Flame of Blasphemy'

vinyl'16
Hell's Headbangers

Tracklist:
1. Ordained in Bile
2. March to Golgotha
3. Magic & Muhr
4. Black Hymna
5. Host over Cup
6. Rotten Scriptures
7. Yahweh Rejected
8. Bleed Heavenly Kingdom
9. Vile Blessing
10. Curling Flame

The fourth album by the Black / Death Metal icon came out this year. After the last album the expectations were high as for the follower and what we get in first listen may sound a bit weird or at least politely. Of course the term politely with Profanatica doesn't combine at all but wait, I'll explain what has happened here.
As many probably know, Americans are considered as a vile and unmerciful trio lead by Paul Ledney through all the years. They were formed in 1990 and lasted only till 1992 when Profanatica split-up. But Mr. Ledney decided to bring this foul creation back to life in 2001 and it is still alive causing cancer worldwide. Anyway new offering is slightly different as I mentioned in the begining. Why? Well in first I thought that all the bestiality, all the chaotic power is lost. There is also a lot of melodic riffage which was confusing me a lot in the begining. The pace of the album is also a bit slower, I would even risk to say that some parts deliver old school Doom Metal, especially as it comes for the drumming. While the guitars bring fast tremolo picking building blasphemous background, the drums are with some delay I recon. It just sounds different. Anyway, what is certain here the vocals which did not change and Paul offers serious poison with his voice; sharp, harsh and sullen growls sounding like from the abyss are all over the 'The Curling Flame of Blasphemy'.
And now lets move to what gets me to be taken-aback. It happened after many listenings to the album. I started to discover that 'missing' chaos while the affability of the sounds disappeard. And I must say, this hidden and not heard from the first listening inhumanity, barbarity hit me with even more power and intense than ever before! Could we call such vortex or chaos controlled one? I think this is the fact now. Anyway, get you copy on any format and support them!


 

5 paź 2016

Grá 'Ending'

CD'15
Unexploded Records

Tracklist:
1. Väntan
2. Þar til eldurinn mig gleypir
3. He Who Comes
4. Där skuggor dröjer kvar
5. Ruiner
6. Helfärd pt. III (Den gamle)
7. I döden
8. Fri
9. Ending

Second album by swedish Black Metal Grá brings what I thought it will deliver in both, music and the atmosphere. Apart from the circle of the bands created by Sir N. and few others gathered around Ancient Records, Grá is important band for me which steps on underground Black Metal scene I've been following for a while now. I was a bit disappointed (in gently words hehe) with the decision of their vocalist joining Dark Funeral, but fuck it - not here to judge such moves and its real causes.
Begining with acoustic intro song, album kicks off with the funeral aura which is continued though the whole 'Ending'. Somehow, even with the parts with blasts this atmosphere is easily to be felt and it is a very strong point of their work. The sound gets a bit better than on debut record but still it is sharp, not polished and especially in guitar work you can hear the harshness. The riffage is outstanding, the creativeness but also compositions in their strustures are so well premeditated. And as you will dig into their lyrics which are deeply in the dark spiritualism, you will get the whole picture of their music. This atmosphere is for a reason, it shows and acquaints you with the lyrical subjects. This way the understanding and perception of their music is more advanced. There is a lot of parts where you hear distorted guitars playing parts that could be acoustic, but this involve you more into this vortx of funeral, dismal atmosphere. The pace of 'Ending' compositions is veried and from blasts you can expect slower parts too, but mostly the album is adapted with mid tempos. And of course the vocals, which for me since the begining were foundations of their music. Heljarmadr is doing amazing work with his voice, the scale of his screams is amazing and the level of dark emotions he inludes with his singing is very packed.
Last album by Grá is a mature work, complexed as possible. I can't find any weak points for this release. 'Ending' combines traditional Swedish Black Metal elements with something Grá started with their first release. This element can be desribed as repetiveness of certain patterns which intensify and deliver metioned before funeral, gloomy aura. The extra impression is the authenticity of it - this is my opinion is the biggest aspect that should underlined thousand times.



3 paź 2016

Draugnim 'Vulturine'

CD'16
Debemur Morti Productions

Tracklist:
1. That Name Is Hate   
2. As in Hunger, So in Demise   
3. A Passage in Fire   
4. Grief Unsung   
5. Drums of Black Death   
6. Serpent Stone

Fins have just unleashed their third album and to be honest with you this is the first time I have a chence to hear their music. And I'm not suprised that it is my first time while this is not my cup of blood. Draugnim is something like a connection between Pagan Metal with Black Metal influences, which sounds a bit confusing just in the meaning of terms. Anyway, these six songs last for about 45 minutes and I must admit that after second one I was bored a bit. Music is way too much nostaligic, kind of even romantic in the sound of riffs and it is just not for me. Each one of you know the feeling of excitement when you got a new music in your hands, something you can add to your collection - well, I got it but after the listening it disappeared. Not a lot going on in the structures of the songs either, it is kind of repetitive... Same ideas with slowish mid tempo patterns. Even some blasting fast parts can't repair the whole outcome. And it is not the way I despite such music, no - simply, here the most important element is missing. I cannot feel the passion, something authentic and because of that it is dragging me down, almost putting me to sleep. Unless it supposed to be an album with relaxation music, than ok, my misteake. Just to quickly compare, check their Fin brothers from Wyrd and you will know what I mean. Check even Drudkh or Ygg, they praise the Nature as well but in a very exciting, even energetic way and they do it so naturally.
Just to sum it up - well produced, but it doesn't mean it is enough to be good enough to listen to. For sure they can play and the problem is not that the music is just a shitty collection of veird or badly recorded sounds, no! As I said it is not exactly my cup of blood. Maybe it is me, but I really do not feel the emotions, the Nature touch in Draugnim music. But I guess, it is just my opinion and you should check it by yourself.