Archive for March, 2015

Sed Auiis cover art

‘Sed Auiis’ is the newest split release from Sixsixsix Music, featuring one band I know very well (Chiral) and two I am less familiar with. I trust, knowing Steve at Sixsixsix, that the black metal will be of a high quality, so I’m looking forward to what this sounds like.

Nebel Uber Den Urnenfelder (Fog Over the Urnfield according to Google translate, please let me know if I’m wrong) open up this six track effort with the first of their two contributions, ‘Asche uber dem Leidensweg’. This is a menacingly raw slice of black metal, with a very depressive feel to it. It is all chainsaw riffs and naked fury, balanced by delicate acoustics which enhance that sense of mourning. ‘Ein Riss im ewigen Kreis’ exudes that similar atmosphere, foreboding but bare for us all to see. The bar is set high for Eternal Spell and Chiral to aim for.

Eternal Spell are Chilean and are a solo project spitting out raucous blackened thrash punk fury, ‘Black Mysticism’ being prime raw Venom worship. ‘Forces of Occult’ is the better track I think, with some cool Celtic Frost style grunts and a relentless assault. It’s dripping with classic proto-black metal moments, and the vibe it gives off is totally addictive!

Now to my good friend Chiral. I’ve yet to be disappointed with anything Teo has produced with Chiral, and his two contributions are more of the same high quality black metal. ‘Queste Voci Ch’Eclissano la Luce Part I’ is a pulsing slice of Emperor-esque savage beauty, from the slow melodies of the intro to the howling rage of the main riffs. The acoustic interlude leaves a final minute of ‘Nightside’ style frost, scything through your veins. ‘…Part 2’ has dashes of Dissection’s melodic flair, and has some wonderfully evocative guitar leads at the beginning and in fact throughout. A swaying tribute to the coldest of black metal’s kings, Chiral has once more proven that black metal burns bright.

In conclusion, I’d say this split is definitely worth getting a copy of. You’ve got atmospheric depressiveness, vintage blackened speed metal and soaring icy black metal greatness, all in the space of 6 tracks. What more could you want!?

https://sixsixsixmusic.bandcamp.com/album/sed-auiis

https://www.facebook.com/ChiralItaly

https://www.facebook.com/nebel.ueber.den.urnenfeldern?fref=ts

 

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The latest great idea from Sixsixsix Music is the Metal Legions digital single series, featuring 3 bands from 3 different continents on a free digital download. The idea behind this was to help bands make new fans in different countries, which is pretty laudable. Having spent a bit of time researching different scenes across the globe, I’ve come across a number of great bands that I never would have found otherwise. So, onto the singles.

Metal Legions 1 changed at the last moment, so instead of Angmaer we have Goatchrist’s raging ‘A Message Blows East on Sumerian Winds’, of which I’ve waxed lyrical enough about recently on my review of their new album, so onto Indonesia’s Maledikta. Their brand of black metal has some cool eerie moments, and a rasping croak. The riffs are thick, and are augmented nicely by some piano. It is midpaced with some nice Middle Eastern tremolo melodies, bringing to mind Melechesh’s raw work, and I like it. Starless Night, from the US, have supplied a twenty minute odyssey, ‘Time Heals Nothing When There’s No Good to See’, which isn’t the catchiest title in the book, but the song is all brooding nightmare. Slow synths build into thudding blasts and soaring riffs, with a contemplative heart at its core. This is very much atmospheric black metal majesty, with a great sense of openness and scope. It’s a magnificent piece of work, and compliments the other two tracks well, adding a welcome relaxation period during a long ambient section.

Metal Legions 2 consists of Canada’s Survival Instinct, the UK’s own Gods of War and Brazilians Corpsia. Opener ‘Hell’s Angels’ gives a nice summation of what Survival Instinct are all about. Namely, blackened thrash in the vein of classic Sodom. It’s tight, passionately done and catchy as hell. The UK fights their corner next with Gods of War, bringing ‘Fornost’ with another raw blackened thrash assault. Combining that with some clean vocal sections is brave though, and mostly works here. The solo is rampant, and the riffs are high quality. Corpsia finish off the second installment with a driving riff that is packed with heavy groove. Taking the thick chunky thrash route, Corpsia are a pleasant surprise. With the company they keep on this release, you’d be expecting something totally different, but the massive groove is fucking righteous man. I love it

If you don’t have these downloaded already, why the fuck not? 6 tracks over two releases with more to come, and all the bands are of high quality and variety. Bang your fucking head!

 

https://sixsixsixmusic.bandcamp.com/album/metal-legions-1

https://sixsixsixmusic.bandcamp.com/album/metal-legions-2

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sixsixsixmusic/1405099836423721

This album cover is a perfect example of my major issue with brutal death records. The artwork is generally some combination of sadistic eroticism and splatter gore, which really doesn’t thrill me at all. You’ve seen one, you’ve seen pretty much all of them. Every so often one appears that isn’t as bad, but mostly they’re just fucked. Thankfully for Glutton for Punishment, their music appeals to me in so many more ways.

‘Lying in Torment’, the Minneapolis quintet’s debut full length, is nothing short of raging. Combining breakneck assault with a palpable sense of groove plays great from opening track ‘Unheard Screams’, and there’s a hefty chunk of Cannibal Corpse worship about ‘Under Ashes’ too. In fact, it is Buffalo’s deathiest sons that spring to mind immediately with Glutton for Punishment. The chunky riffage and relentless drumming are prime, and the menacing sludginess of ‘Severed Flesh’ has some seriously cool moments.

Sure, you’ve heard it all before if you’ve spent any of the past few years immersed in some brutal death metal. But, Glutton for Punishment are still worth checking out. Sometimes you need someone that can pick and stick when it comes to styles or genres. Glutton for Punishment have got their blueprint, and even though most of the 26 minute running time sounds similar, each individual song is recognisably different to the previous. The musicianship is stellar (check out that solo in ‘Feast for Maggots’) and the growls, while still brutal, have a great clarity about them. ‘Lying in Torment’ is probably up there with some of the highlights of 2015 for me so far. You can’t go wrong with honest, brutal, metal like this.

https://www.facebook.com/gforpunishment

Record Label:
Twin Town Tyrant Records
 
Live Sample:

Parasitic Cannibalistic Infestation

‘Parasitic Cannabalistic Infestation’, yet another catchily titled record from the depths of brutal death metal, is the newest EP from New Yorkers Slaughtered Remains. First off, the album art is way cooler than these things normally are; featuring zombie alien monsters attacking people rather than the more standard ‘more gore than art’ look. It’s a pretty sweet cover.

After the unsettling intro track, the title track kicks us off proper with a tar thick groove and a murky, swampy vocal growl. Another plus being the almost comprehensible nature of the vocals. There’s also some cool atonal guitar lines, and a wailing siren effect adds to the whole ‘biological emergency’ feel. ‘We Interrupt This Broadcast’ is another eerie collection of sound effects and samples that plays into the whole theme of alien invasion and infestation.

‘Mutation Mutilation’ is possessed of a sweet Immolation esque intro, that judders and crashes upon your ears. Brutal death metal with variety and musicianship on show? Be still my disease ravaged heart! Don’t get me wrong, this is still very brutal, but the spiralling solo madness of this track is much more interesting than a lot of brutal death out there, and the minute long stomp of ‘We’re Outnumbered’ is also great. Final track ‘No Escape’ is all quality leadwork, with intricate guitar lines over a solid groove and there’s even some honest to good rock in there too. Definitely my favourite track on this EP, which is way too short for my liking.

Slaughtered Remains has crafted a brilliant EP here. To create and maintain a definite theme through a fifteen minute release, while showcasing not only brutality but quality guitarwork and some great fucking songs, is just stunning. I can’t wait to hear more of this!

Band:
https://www.facebook.com/SlaughteredRemains

Label:
Twin Town Tyrant Records
https://www.facebook.com/twintowntyrantrecords

Youtube Sample:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A56ZVQCt-OY

Metal Nations Promotions
http://www.metal-nations.com
https://www.facebook.com/MetalNations

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goatchrist’s newest release, following on from last year’s ‘She Who Holds the Scrying Mirror’, follows a tale of Sumerian sorcerers tasked to find the Tablet of Destinies stolen from the god Enlil by the Anzu bird. Yeah. So, without knowing aNything about this story, (but totally going to go read it now) I decided to stick to evaluating the music. I’ll say one thing; its a lofty concept for a 17 year old…

The album opens with a moody intro, with some esoteric chanting and babbling while a haunting organ adds atmosphere. First track proper, ‘The Triumvirate’s Flight to Nippur’ is a raging slice of blackened death metal. There’s something very much of a rawer Melechesh about them, lacking the more overtly Eastern flourishes but the passion and the melodies are there. The guitar work is stellar, and everything from production to actual musicianship has improved greatly over their debut. ‘A Message Blows East on Sumerian Winds’ is built around a killer riff, and is soaked in easrtern melody. Slower than the previous, it brings a untold sense of groove and catchiness to the record. I love that riff, I seriously do. It’s been stuck in my head since I first heard it.

‘Plaguewood’ is another example of how mindblowing the fact that this is a one man outfit is. Whether its the brooding menace of the opening riff, the swelling keyboard effects or the juddering chug, Goatchrist’s biggest strength is the variety they bring to the UK scene. With a gurgling vocal growl, they’re playing straight into my highlights of 2015 thus far list. Overlaying blasting with creepy organ and ethereal voices works so well.

From the howling fury of ‘The Great Battle at Ninurta’s Temple’, a stunning example of blackened death, to the epic two part closer ‘Enki’ and the epilogue, Goatchrist have outdone themselves. One of the most mature releases by such a new outfit I have heard in a long time, and now they’ve risen to be one of my top acts in the underground. Wonder what’s next…

Band Website
https://www.facebook.com/goatchristband
Sixsixsix Music
Email: steve@sixsixsixmusic.com
http://www.sixsixsixmusic.com
http://sixsixsixmusic.bigcartel.com/

Image of Heaven Abhorred - Opening The Gates CD

Pennsylvania’s Heaven Abhorred have unleashed their debut EP on Sixsixsix Music this year, anticipating the release of a full length this summer. Specialising in a particularly mournful form of black metal, ‘Opening the Gates’ is exactly the kind of statement bands should make on their first proper release.

‘Full Moon Ritual’ begins with a sombre, building riff that encapsulates the mood. This is dark, brooding stuff and made menacing with the haunting rasp of the vocals. The pace rarely moves above funereal, but it’s actually a pleasant change from raw black metal bands that tend to go full hammer and tongs more often than not. The title track however is exactly that; full throttle raw black metal fury. Heaven Abhorred almost had me!

‘Father of Lies’ has a bit more vintage death metal feel about it in parts, with a more guttural vocal and a chuggier opening riff. The atmosphere of it is still very much black, suffocatingly so. ‘ Children of the Night’ brings the EP to a close with the best track here. At nine minutes, all of Heaven Abhorred’s good points shine through. The crescendoing opening riffs, the buzzing Darkthrone influence, the unholy fury and moments of calm woven within blasting drums and chainsaw guitars.

I like this release, but hopefully Heaven Abhorred can do something a bit more impressive with more time. The final track was the highlight for me, and the moments that weren’t totally cliche raw black metal worked as well. Something for them to think about on their new record perhaps.

http://sixsixsixmusic.bigcartel.com/product/heaven-abhorred-opening-the-gates-ep

https://www.facebook.com/NordicOath6

 

Iron Scorn cover art

Well, it’s time for Legion of Andromeda to prove me wrong! When I reviewed their demo at the end of 2013 for Sleeping Shaman (second review I did for them ever!), I commented that it might be difficult to listen to their particularly fucked up brand of noise for a full length album. Well, their debut, ‘Iron Scorn’ is out now and I snapped up a vinyl copy as soon as I could. Look how beautiful this vinyl artwork is by the way; a stunningly stark illustration that is truly unsettling. Kinda like the band themselves….

‘Transuranic Ejaculation’ begins our 42 minute descent into the most unnerving parts of the human condition with a dense, dark wall of riffs. There’s a horrible hynoptic effect here, like being forced to watch your friends and family being sucked into the void over and over. Vocally, the opener is on par with some of the more disturbing things I’ve heard in a long time. It is the perfect encapsulation of what Legion of Andromeda are all about.

‘Iron Scorn’ features three of their four demo tracks from their first release, and is good for those who missed them the first time around. Steve Albini’s production has added a bit of density to them, but has sucked none of the nihilistic sludge from their core. ‘Overlord of Thunder’ is still death/doom filtered through sewage, ‘Cosmo Hammer’ is still the sound of brain death through repeat bludgeoning and ‘Sociopathic Infestation’ is all about the menace. But it’s the new tracks that do it for me here.

Be it the droning, other dimensional chug of hatred laid down by the howling ‘Scourge of Pestilence’, the desperate shriek of ‘Aim at the Starless Sky’ or the straining, guttural beast that is ‘Fist of Hammurabi, Legion of Andromeda sound like the death of galaxies. ‘Iron Scorn’ is as bleak as the cold dead corners of space, and riddled with suffocating density. Simply put, this is what falling into a black hole probably sounds like.

https://www.facebook.com/legionofandromedaofficial

https://legionofandromeda.bandcamp.com/