Posts Tagged ‘Black/Death Metal’

Lantern - Dimensions

Review by Geary of War

Finnish quartet Lantern have followed up 2017’s ‘II: Morphosis’ with a strong and engaging album in ‘Dimensions’ which is out on Dark Descent Records. Lantern are showing real evolution of their style which draws from black and death metal. Moving on from a much more straightforward style showcased in the previous record ‘Dimensions’ finds the band exploring melodic moments, various time changes and some good old headbanging.

Opening track and lead single ‘Strange Nebula’ hits you with dramatic opening bars, suspense, a powerful clean solo and a war like chant. Then we move past the first 90 seconds of the song! If all Lantern opted to do was release ‘Strange Nebula’ I would be simultaneously fine with it and raging as there is a lot of promise here. ‘Beings’ treads a similar path, which is to say excellent however where the evolution I mentioned earlier is put front and centre is with ‘Portraits’. At 2:07 it is very much the shortest track on offer but exposes a side of the band which flexes the boundaries of the genres Lantern occupies. Melodic tones and an almost clean vocal approach (Necrophilous on vocals has too much gravel in his voice to be truly clean) draw you in, you get a quick smack around the head as aggression hits before the softer side returns and now leads you to a sudden yet excellent conclusion.

‘Cauldron of Souls’ and ‘Shine of Revelation’ take the baton of violent intent forward with continued execution of the band’s brand of audio war. The sixth and final track on ‘Dimensions’ is the epic and exploratory ‘Monolith Abyssal Dimensions’. Having highlighted the shortest track previously here I must point out that this is the longest track at 14:17. Between the black metal riffs and blasts, solos reminding me of Death. The band that is, not the soul harvester. Moments of prog wandering like a really extreme Pink Floyd all surrounded by vocals which complete the image of horror depicted on the album cover. A cover, which reminds me of the evil castles and strongholds hosting necromancers as depicted in Robert E Howard’s Conan stories.

‘Monolith Abyssal Dimensions’ has meant that for the best track here it would be a toss of a coin between that and ‘Strange Nebula’. The press release says the band have been “illuminating death metal’s dark passages since 2007”. To quote Sterling Archer, ‘uh, phrasing?’ but I can safely say they have strode forth and now command a position of respect; they can stand tall and proud of the record they have put together.

https://www.facebook.com/lantern666/

https://darkdescentrecords.bandcamp.com/album/dimensions

Summon - Helios

The new EP from Portugal’s Summon is called ‘Helios’ and it is a three track odyssey through a journey of morbid black and death metal released through Godz ov War Productions.

Split into three parts, ‘Helios I’ is a clattering, yawning chasm of utter filth and raging depravity. The production is murky, screams echo from untold places of horror and the changes in pace from rampant ferocity to dismal, sludgy crawls is foul genius. ‘Helios II’ rises from fiery blasphemy into a bigger, more powerful adversary to the light. Waves of doom build from below, on which tortured roars rise towards a blackened sky. Powering all of this is a triumphant battery of drumming, a solid foundation for such a dark quest. ‘Helios III’ takes the black/death blueprint with which we’ve been working and slowly warps it into a maelstorm, before closing it with one of the most sinister sections of a song you’ll ever hear. Silence apart from eldritch moans, dissonant whispers and rumbling ambience really confirms that there is no souls left unsold in this band.

‘Helios’ is a record that is an epitome of darkness, of terror and subconscious fear. Summon have achieved here in twenty minutes that whcih many bands try for decades to do. This is superb.

https://www.facebook.com/Summondeath/

https://summon666.bandcamp.com/

 

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A fusion of blackened death metal extremity and an obsession with Indian spirituality has brought Germans Temple Koludra to their debut full length record, ‘Seven! Sirens! To a Lost Archetype’. Seven tracks totalling over an hour, this is a complex, massive work of esoteric art through brutal music, out now through Transcending Obscurity.

‘Trimurti’ blasts from the speakers with a ferocious roar, instantly bringing to mind the type of regal fury of Behemoth. A vast labyrinthine work of twisting riffs, Temple Koludra layer a lot of dense atmospherics over each track which builds up this ‘wall of sound’ effect. So when it drops away in places, the effect is even more jarring. Impenetrable cloaks of darkness shroud the goliath ritual of ‘Namarupa’, while the furious atonal rage of ‘Grey Apparition’ is a highlight. ‘Seven! Sirens! To a Lost Archetype’ is a record that is hard to quantify or categorise, but it is not hard to respect and be besotted by. Full of otherworldly weirdness and punishing, blackened chaos, Temple Koludra are a band like no other. The hypnotising, blasting drone of the close of ‘This Diadem Will Last’ is glorious.

‘Seven! Sirens! To a Lost Archetype’ is currently my album of 2019. Nothing has come close to touching its brutality, the songwriting or the pure evil darkness of the atmosphere. A vast and mesmerising work, surprising at every turn and demanding repeated listens to unlock its true meanings. A true masterpiece.

https://tometal.com/store/

https://www.facebook.com/templekoludra/

https://templekoludra.bandcamp.com/

Eggs of Gomorrh - Outpregnate

The follow up to the terrifying ‘Rot Prophet’, Eggs of Gomorrh are releasing their new EP ‘Outpregnate’ this month through Krucyator Productions and, like the hellish cover art, something ugly and disturbed lies within.

The ominous ‘Gnaruris DCCXIV’ introduction leads straight into a bestial display of savage black metal rawness, as ‘Deathinjekt’ stabs you directly in the throat with a rusted knife. Blastbeats thunder in the background, as churning belches of vocals fight with vicious riffing for supremacy. ‘Prophetyphus’ is a barrage of war metal, baring bloodied teeth and screaming black vengeance against life itself. The vocal switch from an impassioned rasping shriek to a gurgling growl with barely a thought, as if all the voices of Hell combined. A mere seventeen minutes of violence is completed with a suitably anarchic and blasphemic cover of Arkhon Infaustus’ ‘Domination Xtasy’.

Eggs of Gomorrh’s work is uncompromising, unyielding and laced with Satanic strychnine. ‘Outpregnate’ is a virulent, infected piece, wrought in Christraping black metal and forged within the fires of annihilation. Superb.

https://krucyator.bandcamp.com/album/outpregnate

EGGS OF GOMORRH – Outpregnate

https://www.facebook.com/eggsofgomorrh

Forged in unholy fires ablaze in the Singaporean underground, and featuring members of Impiety, Infernal Execrator, Demisor and Deus Ex Machina, you know that Devouror’s pedigree in the arts of vicious blackened death is truly earned. Their EP, ‘Slay for Satan’ is out in January on Metal Zone Records.

Opener ‘The Decapitator’ is designed for maximum carnage, chunky riffage wrapped in barbed wire and infested with a heretical evil. The production on this is superb, giving everything a nice thick feeling, leaving aside the rattly tinpot ‘trveness’ to create something tangibly heavy and fearsome. ‘Ritualized Debauchery’ continues this superb sound, and while Devouror pull no surprises in their bestial assault, they also pull no punches either. The choice of Sarcofago cover (‘INRI’) is unsurprising, but Devouror make this kind of music sound better than even their peers.

Steeped in the sounds of Blasphemy, Sodom and Possessed, Devouror’s level of sonic purity is superior to most other black/death you’ve heard recently. This is birthed writhing in blackened energy, clawed and waiting for blood. Awesome stuff.

https://devouror.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/Devouror666/

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Twisted and experimental black/death metal outfit Veilburner have returned from beyond this world to bring us the superbly titled ‘A Sire to the Ghouls of Lunacy’, due out at the end of December through Transcending Obscurity. This is some dark and mysterious stuff.

The first thing you’ll notice about this record is the intense complexity of each song. Riffs stab off in multiple directions, the drums clatter, blast and roll into almost jazz like patterns at points, and the vocals contort and twist around this maelstrom. The maddening ‘Introvetrovoid’ is only the first example of how Veilburner collapse black, death, math and even some soulful soloing into one writhing whole. The solos are a handhold to grab onto while being swept away in the storms of tech death and black metal, a stability gloriously realised in ‘Panoramic Phantoms’. Also unique is the use of some super melodic moments, and some clean singing even in parts of ‘Upstream and Parallel’.

This is not an album that slows down intensity wise, even with the haunting midpaced ‘Abbatoir Noir’ curling around you with misty tendrils. It fills your mind with moments of fear, of exhiliration, of sheer anticipation of what is coming next. The howling, electronicy gloom of ‘Glory Glory Grotesque’ and the mind rending riffs of the title track live only to serve a greater master. A master of mysterious ichor and madness, that lives beyond this world. Veilburner raise this album as an offering, and with such quality he will surely take it. Fucking superb.

https://www.facebook.com/veilburner

https://transcendingobscurity.bandcamp.com/

https://tometal.com/

The ultra cult flag bearer of Chilean Black/death, Invocation Spells are back with their fourth collection of unholy hymns of hatred and filth, ‘Spread Cruelty in the Abyss’, which is out now through Hells Headbangers. Following their superb ‘The Flame of Hate’ record, released last year on HH too, this has a legacy to live up to.

‘Ruins of Cemetery’ begins with a cruel, chugging riff that has the most killer necro guitar tone, before speeding off towards Hades itself. Guttural bellows accompany riffs that start at early Kreator then vanish deep into the depths of earth. Molten Slayerisms spiral from the brutal ‘Victims of Doom’, while the speed metal energy of ‘Spread Cruelty’ is a sight of the evolution of Invocation Spells. No longer content to just be thrashy, blackened necro bastards, their song writing is becoming more nuanced and more memorable with every release.

The vocals are unhinged growls and screams that sound as if they are separated from you by a layer of murk; indistinct in lyric but clear in intention. These are two guys who aim to slash and maim with their instruments, with the serrated slice of ‘Old Rites’ and the rusting blade of ‘From the Graves’, they’re going to achieve that quite readily. Blasting forth in a mere 26 minutes, ‘Spread Cruelty in the Abyss’ is a record that is both a perfect length and over too soon. Invocation Spells are a standout of the Chilean scene, but their musical record speaks for itself and plants them firmly at the top. This is another killer weapon in their arsenal for upcoming tours and releases.

https://www.facebook.com/InvocationSpells/

https://invocationspells.bandcamp.com/album/spread-cruelty-in-the-abyss

http://www.hellsheadbangers.com/

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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/

To put it out there that you are influenced by the likes of Mayhem, Joy Division, Pink Floyd and Morbid Angel is to invite a curious glance or two. But Morvigor are approaching their black/death metal a little differently obviously, and that should be applauded. Their new record, ‘Tyrant’ isn’t your average extreme metal record. Come with me on a journey through time and space…

First track proper ‘No Repentance’ kicks us off after a gloomy intro with building clean guitar then a crusty black metal riff kicks in hard. It is instantly catchy, and loses nothing of its necro charm in the process. Massive melody aches to burst through the blackened exterior, while ‘The Martyr’s Ascension’ builds to this crescendo where dashes of post metal appear too. Morvigor seem to be capturing extremity in its modern form, where the old fashioned ‘rawness’ of black metal competes with more progressive influences to create something invigorating.

Pushing through the doors opened by the likes of Enslaved, Morvigor take the traditions of black metal, beef it up with the power of death metal but then take it into uncharted territory, where the melody and the space is as important as the heaviness or the savagery. The delicate strums of ‘Interlude’ lead us to the magnificent, galaxial movements of ‘Blood of the Pelican’, which ascends beyond our comprehension through glacial melody, galloping black metal grandiosity and soaring atmospheric black metal space.

This record is huge. Vast swathes of black space are combed in search of that elusive quality that Morvigor possess in spades. By the time the Primordial worship of the title track comes to its piano laden end, you’ll have witnessed some of the finest music put to tape in the past year. ‘Tyrant’ is wondrous.

http://morvigor.nl/

https://morvigor.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Morvigor/

Sacrilegious Rite - Summoned from Beyond

Germany black/death metal group Sacrilegious Rite formed from the ashes of black metallers Capitis Damnare, and their debut full length ‘Summoned from Beyond’ comes on the heels of a couple of splits and an EP. Dunkelheit Productions handled this one, and it is a record that rekindles ancient black magicks within raw and heaving darkness.

‘Missa Nigra’ sets the scene with a crackling fire, ritualistic chants and segues sleekly into ‘Sacrilegious Rite’, a blazing torrent of fiery black metal coated in choking smoke and fog. There are ominous pealing church bells, haunting slow sections that ramp up the creepy aspects while not taking away from the faster sections. Like some maddening ritual to coax dark beasts into our world, Sacrilegious Rite command both fury and tempting, cold melody as their weapons. Sure, the foggy layer draped over each song allows a certain mystical quality but underneath beats a cold heart of icy black/death. The fire breathing ‘In Absence of Light’ is my highlight, as it builds to a grand dark offering to the gods of evil.

Sacrilegious Rite bring together the best parts of black and death metal, wreathe it in ritualistic smoke and fog then add incredible songwriting talents to create a record that will be lurking around the ‘best of records we missed last year’ lists. ‘Summoned from Beyond’ is a ravager, and a must hear.

https://www.facebook.com/SacrilgiousRite

http://www.dunkelheit-produktionen.de/

https://dunkelheitprod.bandcamp.com/album/summoned-from-beyond