Archive for May, 2018

These mysterious Italians do not hang about, with their new record ‘Göbekli Tepe’ coming out only a year after last year’s debut ‘The Discontinuity’s Interlude’. Order ov Riven Cathedral’s spiralling death metal is a creation of the stranger forces in our universe, and beyond. It is out now and available through the band’s Bandcamp.

Massive waves of blastbeats underpin a cacophonous assault of huge roars and technical death metal insanity. ‘Worship ov Abduction’ is like a howling gale of death metal, and like fellow countrymen Hour of Penance brings you to the very edge of death metal heaviness. It is relentless, battering extremity in the most crushing form. But Order ov Riven Cathedrals also take notes from the likes of Fleshgod Apocalypse and thread orchestral grandeur and atmospheric ambience throughout. The likes of ‘Glorification ov the Divine Fallout’ and the stunning ‘From Neptune to Assyria’ show how death metal can be both devastatingly brutal and soaring with majestic melodies.

This record is a revelation of where extreme music can take you, both to the depths of deathly abysses and the heights of wondrous grandiosity. ‘Göbekli Tepe’ is an album of staggering musicianship, guttural vocals and a powerful sense of drama. Order ov Riven Cathedrals are a band of stunning potential, and each release continues to prove this.

https://orderovrivencathedrals.bandcamp.com/album/g-bekli-tepe

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCe4mrVAUQFh5jvJSQHyLKvQ

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Runespell - Order of Vengeance

Australian black metallers Runespell don’t fuck around, with less than a year since their debut full length ‘Unhallowed Blood Oath’ came out we have a new full length, ‘Order of Vengeance’. It is out at the start of July through Iron Bonehead Productions, and it never fails to amaze that this is the work of one man.

‘Retribution in Iron’ builds slowly into a cacophonous, cavernous black metal landscape; vast and bleak. The production is dense and murky, adding a sense of morbid ferocity to the miasmic evil within. Ghostly acoustics plague the instrumental ‘Night’s Gate’, while the crawling monstrosity of ‘Wolf.Axis’ is pure, churning darkness. Runespell also layer their darkness with a smothering melancholy, embodying each track with a haunting misery. Their approach is mesmerising, the music is nuanced, layered expertly to build a multi faceted album.

This is black metal that burns with a oily, choking nastiness, and leaves you feeling emotionally drained. ‘Order of Vengeance’ is a record that enschews the more tinpot, icy clatter of many black metal records, and smears each riff with a filthy, murky atmosphere. The sickly yellow moon is in the sky, the claws of fate have us, and Runespell are only here to guide us to our abysmal end in the voids.

http://www.ironbonehead.de/

The remastered version of Arallu’s 2009 record ‘Desert Battles’ includes a remastered production, new vocals and new cover art, and it breathes a bit of new life into this sand blasted collection of Mesopotamian black metal. It is due out in June through Raven Music.

After ‘Al Macbara’ draws us in with its delicate, Middle Eastern strums, ‘Old Form of Evil’ creates a primeval, blasting carnage that is only enhanced by the ethnic instrumentation and tones. Like fellow countrymen Melechesh, Arallu weave their clattering black metal within Mesopotamian mythologies and eastern melodies. Each track adapts these elements in subtle ways, from the unusual scales of ‘Possessor of the Code’ to the sandstorm of the winding ‘The Demon Curse’. It is not unusual now in metal for musicians to conjure up inspiration from Middle Eastern cultures, particularly in the music, but to hear a band from the area do it gives Arallu this timeless authenticity that some lack.

‘Desert Battles’ is coming at a good time, while the memory of last year’s ‘Six’ is still fresh in our minds. Hopefully, Arallu can be exposed to a new legion of fans who missed this record the first time around. Black metal fans will appreciate the ferocity, others will slip away beneath the desert into a lost world of mythology and black magicks.

https://arallu.bandcamp.com/album/desert-battles-2018

https://www.facebook.com/ARALLU666/

flame acausal - cover.jpg

The rerelease of the 2016 debut demo ‘Contra Mundum in Aeternum’ by Swedish black/death/thrashers Flame Acausal is a thing to be celebreated. Originally out on a limited tape and then vinyl run, Blood Harvest Records are bringing us a CD version and it is out now!

Possessed by the most sinister and violent of dark deities, Flame Acausal bring you chainsawing riffs in spades, as ‘Inwards Damnation’ spits forth vile blasphemic metal of death through some truly toxic riffing. The vocals are cavernous sermons of hatred, and the thin production emphasises the rawness of what you are feeling. This is a record that you feel, from the riffing of ‘Shunned Wolves’ like blades up your arms to the severe, hair raising fear instilled by the vicious ‘Thus I Invoke Thee’.

A writhing, thrashing beast of a record that contorts Swedish death and rabid black metal into twisted forms, ‘Contra Mundum in Aeternum’ is savage and unhinged. An atmosphere of morbid dread fill each track, stabbing at you like a rusted blade. Flame Acausal have brought a primal fear back to this genre, something that can be missing these days. This is terrifying music, for horrifying people.

https://bloodharvestrecords.bandcamp.com/album/contra-mundum-in-aeternum

http://www.bloodharvest.se/

New England death thrashers Rancorous have only recently dropped their ‘Into the Nuclear Fire’ debut on their Bandcamp page, but it is already becoming one of my more spun records this year. If you can’t spare a mere six minutes for these tracks, then frankly you’re doing too many things that aren’t important!

Holy shit does that title track rip? Rapid fire, raw as fuck blackened speed metal thrash chaos, ‘Into the Nuclear Fire’ is instant, blinding death in song form. Wild soloing punctures the rapid riffing, and ‘Death Incarnate’ continues this hellacious pace with dare I say a little dose of melody too. The rapacious speed of ‘Perverse Subvertor’ is a fitting close to a demo that is over far too quickly.

Frankly, this is a killer debut and only makes me salivate for more. Repeated spins will never lessen the enjoyment, and if anything you can notice even more. Actually, that’s not true as there is nothing subtle about Rancorous at all, and that’s probably what makes ‘Into the Nuclear Fire’ so fucking great!

https://rancorous.bandcamp.com/releases

 

Axegressor - Bannerless_Digital Cover.jpg

The rotting, deathly thrash of Finland’s Axegressor is another example of how there is always something a little darker and a little morbid about music from the land of a thousand lakes. ‘Bannerless’ is out now through Brutal Records, and it is the fourth record in a slowly building discography of quality.

The opening ‘In Safe Space No One Can Hear Your Scream’ is a statement of bloodied intent, with a gripping collection of riffs and some throat shredding vocals. ‘Bannerless’ is an album full of songs that you could describe like that, each threading Bay Area riffing through a nastier filter. That’s not to say that the music is boring or samey, the opposite is more factual. There’s a little Voivod weirdness in ‘Terminal Ignition’, some galloping Slayerisms in ‘Human Travesty’ and the particularly fearsome chug of ‘Barren Bloodline Worship’ is guaranteed to set pits alight.

‘Bannerless’ is a difficult album to review, because essentially each song has the same descriptor; killer riffs, insidious melodies and cool raw vocals. An album that is totally excellent, Axegressor are keeping the thrashy nature of proto death alive, and each poisonous riff is a blade to the bone. Get this and bang your head!

https://www.facebook.com/axegressor/

http://www.axegressor.net/

http://brutalrecords.us/

Greek prog metallers Mask of Prospero have just released their debut full length, ‘The Observatory’, through Symmetric Records and it is an assured slab of huge djent riffs and ghostly melodies. Equally atmospheric and headbanging, Mask of Prospero look to become the new powerhouse in European prog metal.

The soulful melancholy of ‘Dust in the Sky’ builds into a dense, chugging monster of a track, where delicate piano lurks behind massive riffs and choral voices. The progressive, almost djenty rhythms pervades the melodic powerhouse of ‘Drown in Grey’, and there is plenty of atmosphere lurking within the Nevermore-esque riffing of ‘Portrait’. Mask of Prospero balance huge heavy riffs with a real sense of melody and the grandiose, and while their songs aren’t overly long, they contain a huge amount of variety.

Be it in the glorious, soaring ‘The Way Back Home’, or the rumbling fragility of ‘Ignorance’, Mask of Prospero have created something rather special in ‘The Observatory’. Vast, heavy and thoroughly absorbing, this is atmospheric prog metal for the modern age, and it is a sound foundation for a bright future.

https://maskofprospero.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/maskofprosperoofficial

https://www.facebook.com/symmetricrecords/