Posts Tagged ‘Belgium’

Atmospheric black metallers Wiegedood return with the follow-up to their debut ‘De Doden Hebben het Goed’ with the cunningly titled ‘De Doden Hebben het Goed II’. These Belgians are crafting some of the most exciting black metal within the atmospheric lexicon, and ‘…II’ looks to continue that reputation. It is out already on Consouling Sounds.

Opener ‘Ontzielling’ tears from the speakers, with an intense fury that hides a deft melodic touch within. It soon opens up into a bleak, vast landscape, with the howling riffs a scything wind, cutting through the air. The haunting guitar work at the start of ‘Cataract’ begins what is my highlight of the entire album; a monstrous ghostly beast that builds from a shimmering height to blast down upon us like icy hail. The dynamic shifts are phenomenal, when gloomy tones are blown away by flames of black metal proper.

The winding, labyrinthine title track leads onto raging closer ‘Smeerkble’ that takes the album to it’s logical conclusion. Spacious, yet playing suitable tributes to the blackness of old, Wiegedood have hit upon a perfect formula for modern black metal. Savage, yet measured, bleak yet uplifting. Cold yet blazing with glory. ‘De Doden Hebben het Goed II’ is a triumph of black metal!

https://wiegedood.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/wiegedood

http://consouling.be/

Lebenssucht, which means ‘squeeze life out’, are depressive black metal with bit of dark ambience thrown in there too, and are made up of members from such bands as Humanitas Error Est, Absolutus and Clouds. ‘Fucking My Knife’ is a three track EP, out last summer on Abstruse Eerie Radiance, and captures the band squeezing negativity into a glorious rush of misery and darkness.

Opener ‘Beloved Depression’ contains all facets of the depressive black metal sounds; melancholic ambience, howling black metal riffing underpinned with a thunderous drumming performance, and a mixture of hopeless shrieks and guttural roars. A smothering, grey fog of a track that leads into the rabid ‘Until We Die’, a torrent of gloom and fury. Surprisingly energetic for a depressive black metal record, but refreshingly so.

The final, harrowing title track closes what is an impressive three track set Dark, terrifying and abrasive, ‘Fucking My Knife’ is the horrorendous full stop on this black metal story. Remarkably lively and vibrant for a depressive black metal outfit, Lebenssucht are visceral, haunting and furious in equal amounts, and ‘Fucking My Knife’ blends each element well to create something worth searching out. Thumbs up!

https://www.facebook.com/lebenssucht/

 

Macabra is a study in old school Scandinavian death metal. Not just the more famous Stockholm or Gothenburg ‘sounds’, but of classic fetid Finnish death as well, like the early days of Amorphis and Demelich. Before the sound became bastardised, watered down or copied so much it almost lost what made it special in the first place. Death metal artist icon Dan Seagrave has created the perfect cover painting for an album that creaks with primordial fear. The man behind the music, Mark Riddick, designed what Seagrave painted, and he has also designed a cracking record of death metal!

Opener ‘Death Speculation’ has that ancient, murky melody lurking in amongst the most vintage of death metal riffs. Macabra is one of the most authemtic ‘old school’ death metal acts I’ve come across; ‘…to the Bone’ genuinely reeks of that early 90s influence to the point where I had to check to ensure I wasn’t actually just listening to a lost gem from 25 years ago. I’m not. ‘Sadocrat’ has this excellent, almost wailing melody that incessantly burrows into your mind and won’t leave.

Primal brutality aside (killer vocals from Adrien Weber by the way), Macabra’s main strength lies in the dark and atonal leads that puncture each song and add that sense of the uneasy, of insidious evil. I love the wailing thunder of ‘Royalties on Murder’, and the rampant ‘Cannibal Black Market’ but you’d struggle to find a bad song here. This is excellent, authentic worship of death metal’s finest era, and taking influence of one of the most unsung areas.

https://www.facebook.com/macabradeathmetal/

http://riddickart.bigcartel.com/

http://vonfrostrecords.storenvy.com/

Belgian black metallers Absolutus have returned after a long absence with their long awaited second record, the catchily titled ‘Pugnare In Iis Quae Obtinere Non Possis’. Occupying the same kind of experimental, otherworldly sphere as Deathspell Omega or Blut Aus Nord, Absolutus leave nothing in their blackened, spacey wake.

After the brooding, hypnotic ambience of opening track ‘Abyssus Abyssum Invocat’, we are treated to an almost traditional black metal assault, with howling rasps, thrashing riffs and a cold, bleak atmosphere. There’s a distinct feeling of uneasiness, a threatening presence that doesn’t ever quite reveal itself however, that impregnates each savage riff or vocal incantation. From the mysterious album art cover to the impenetrable Latin song titles, Absolutus conjure up images of forgotten, unspeakable cults working in darkness.

The song writing is strong, and there’s hints of dark majesty about ‘Ego Sum Qui Sum’, which matches perfectly with the creepy ‘Damnat Quod Non Intelligunt’. There’s an expert melding of traditional icy black metal and almost industrial or dark ambient soundscapes, and it just enhances the quality of this record. ‘Pugnare In Iis Quae Obtinere Non Possis’ is an album that rewards both instantly and over time. Your initial reactions will be cowering from the savagery, and soon that will build into fear of what lurks within Absolutus and their dark shadows. Excellent.

https://absolutus.bandcamp.com/album/pugnare-in-iis-quae-obtinere-non-possis

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Absolutus/730983940379023

http://www.heidenshart.nl/

Belgian doomsters A Thousand Sufferings have got their new album, ‘Burden’, out now on Satanath Records. This is a label that keeps producing high quality material, and this is no different.

Opening with the creepy ‘Once in a Blue Moon’, fading in with a menacing spoken word and an ominous hum, you are left unprepared for the hefty riff that crashes upon you in ‘Bloodletting’. Something of a Triptykon-esque vibe rumbles throughout this monolith of doom. The vocals are even remiscient of Tom G Warrior, and the lumbering, tectonic riffs are a thing of granite beauty. When an almost psychedelic solo breaks through, you can sense a stoner influence briefly, before a nihilistic hammer blow returns.

‘Lamentation’ has got a serious Frostian groove to it, and the heaviness is drenched in this tar thick guitar tone which is simply brutal. There’s a mournful section in the middle that shows that A Thousand Sufferings have got a talent for both the loud and abrasive, and the emotive quiet sections. But it’s in the heavy that they are at their best. ‘Burden’ is a huge record, in both scope and in pure weighty riffs. There’s an overt, shimmering atmospheric black metal influence too, where doom riffs rumble under a glacial sky.

Closing with the gloomy finale, ‘Remembering Treasures’, with its odd vocal phrasing and Lovecraftian weirdness, ‘Burden’ is an impressive start to the doom records of 2016. Summoning Frostian nightmares to the surface of a blackened world, A Thousand Sufferings have laid down the gauntlet to this year’s doom legions. ‘Burden’ will be tough to beat this year.

https://www.facebook.com/a.thousand.sufferings?_rdr=p

http://satanath.com/releases/item/sat138

https://satanath.bandcamp.com/album/sat138-a-thousand-sufferings-burden-2015

Resuscitation - Eviscerated Divinity

Resuscitation are a Belgian trio who have been going for almost twenty years, yet have a very sparse discography. Only three demos and a single full length have come before ‘Eviscerated Divinity’, but what they don’t have in productivity, they certainly make up for behind the blackened wall of death conjured up on this 7″ vinyl from Iron Bonehead.

This is heavy stuff, oppressive death metal that has this choking atmosphere, this unholy murk that pervades each riff, each gurgling vocal emanation. There’s a dense Swedish influence here, with a guitar tone that brings to mind early Dismember or Grave. The title track has some properly brutal vocals, and ‘Putrescent Summoning’ is more of the same; a bleak pounding of your skull into ash and dust. There’s a definite black metal feel about the primal hatred that oozes from each riff.

‘Eviscerated Divinity’ comes from a place where the chainsaw violence of Swedish death metal combines with the filthy black metal rawness of Gorgoroth or early Satyricon. Resuscitation may not produce much music, but if it is all as good as this 7″, they are worth waiting for. Murky blackened death awaits you….

http://www.ironbonehead.de/

https://ironboneheadproductions.bandcamp.com/album/resuscitation-eviscerated-divinity

http://users.telenet.be/noc/resuscitation.htm

A one man death/doom project from Belgium you say? Well then, colour me intrigued. ‘Gateway’ is the debut full length from Robin Van Oyen, and it is forty odd minutes of punishing dirges, dragging murky influences from the greats like Winter or Evoken.

After a short intro, we are hit by the rumbling behemoth of ‘Vox Occultus’, where a grinding guitar tone is met with a guttural belch from Satan’s darkest pits. Gateway has decided that slow and steady doesn’t win the race but it leaves plenty of bodies left in its wake. Check out that earth cracking riff at the start of ‘Khalaam’ to see exactly what I mean or the opening to ‘Impaled.’ This is torturously slow and horribly dense, with an inhuman vocal performance.

‘Impaled’ combines the guttural density of brutal death metal with the slow motion devastation of doom, coating everything in a sludgy atmosphere. Any respite sought from the sheer weight of this album is never to be found. Each song is an exercise in utter bleakness and an exploration of heaviness. Even the almost catchy ‘Vile Temptress’ descends into hellish rumbling madness.

‘Gateway’ is the sound of the Earth’s crust cracking under the weight of humanity’s filth and decaying away, letting us all fall into the void. Winter would be proud that there are bands like Gateway to carry on their tectonic legacy. ‘Gateway’ is this year’s apocalyptic collapse album; it sounds like heavy riffs and planet smashing to me!

https://www.facebook.com/gatewaydeathdoom?fref=ts

http://gatewaydeathdoom.bandcamp.com/

http://www.hellthrasher.com/