Posts Tagged ‘black metal’

Prostitution - Egyptian Blue

By looking at the cover, you’d expect Prostitution’s ‘Egyptian Blue’ to be a prog rock opus of epic proportions. But no, these New Yorkers are some vicious black metallers and this is their latest EP, coming on the heels of 2013’s ‘Listless’. Their sound spreads from Darkthrone to Pink Floyd, and their psychedelic aesthetic jars with standard black metal themes, but damn it if it doesn’t work out pretty well.

Opening track ‘Hypergiant’ is a sprawling, raging monster of a track; all shrieking tremolo and bloodcurdling screams at the start before it begins to evolve, slowly and deliberately into something grander. While always retaining their metal heart (blastbeats reign supreme over much of this EP), the expansive nature of their riffing brings to mind latter period Enslaved, particularly ‘Ruun’, and the soaring ‘The Boat’ melds spiralling fretwork into spacious waves of black metal fury.

Closing with the tour de force of ‘Elevated Droves’, where blastbeats disappear into dense voids of chugging riffing, and atonal melodies haunt plains of progressive metal, ‘Egyptian Blue’ is a thrilling and adventurous piece of extreme metal. Black metal is the core, but like bands like Ihsahn or Ved Buens Ende it isn’t the cage. Prostitution are a stunning proposition.

https://www.facebook.com/Prostitution666/

https://prostitution.bandcamp.com/

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Normally I don’t review splits very often, as their juxtaposition of bands can sometimes be a bit jarring for someone that mostly listens to complete records, but I’ve come to enjoy the Chilean contribution to South America’s metal scene recently, and ‘Wrath of Darkness’ is a split between two forces in this underground mecca, Wrathprayer and Force of Darkness. Both draw from a black metal wellspring, but in different yet collaborative ways. This split is coming out on Nuclear War Now! Productions in a mere 2 weeks!

This split is an entirely collaborative effort, from artwork to musical direction and so has a lot more cohesion than a lot of splits do. Wrathprayer take first stab with the creepy intro and the suffocating, oppressive ‘Tria Serpentis’. Howling roars from deepest abyssal plains, belching horrors untold as chasms are torn asunder by dense, rippling riffs of the darkest, deathly black metal. ‘De Profundis’ is even bleaker, led in by tortured screaming and howling winds of blackened death. They leave a huge challenge for Force of Darkness to meet on their part.

Fortunately ‘Wall of Fire’ proves to be more than up to the challenge, with fire breathing ferocity powering us along at breakneck speed. A surprisingly melodic solo punctuates a song that is more waspish, traditional black metal than Wrathprayer’s contributions. ‘Nunc Scio Tenebris Lux’ is another scorcher that, despite its fuzzy guitar tone and screaming vocal, does nothing to stop being the most memorable song here. The powerful ‘The Order’ finishes their contribution as Force of Darkness sail off on black waters through their outro.

‘Wrath of Darkness’ is an excellent release that really showcases two starring lights in the Chilean extreme metal scene. Wrathprayer keeps everything dense and dark, while Force of Darkness has a bit more melody and some furiously catchy songs. Make a note of its release folks!

https://nuclearwarnowproductions.bandcamp.com/album/wrath-of-darkness

http://www.nwnprod.com/

https://www.facebook.com/WRATHPRAYER-184968604887127/

This striking French black metal debut from Infernal Blast isĀ  a torrent of violent, dark war metal. ‘Wolves Elitism Speech’ has no agenda other than to tear you apart from the ears down, and is another example of how far one man bands have come from badly produced bedroom acts. The cassette is out on 17th November through War Arts Productions.

Opener ‘Destruction Process’ is a vicious, barrelling nightmare of a track, with an eruption of blastbeats peppering a murky and dense guitar attack. This style continues undaunted throughout, from the carnage of the short ‘No Redemption No Remorse’ to the unremitted barbarism of ‘Wolf Hunting’. There isn’t a lot of room for variation but in a seventeen minute release you don’t need it. The creepy samples provide respite enough between the kind of metal that personifies how life is going; bleak, barbaric and dehumanising. ‘Wolves Elitism Speech’ has no care for you, it merely provides a dirty window into our future.

Infernal Blast have a bright future. Well, bright like a nuclear holocaust bright, as their music is apocalyptic, visceral and comes from the primal instincts of man for violence and savagery. ‘Wolves Elitism Speech’ claws and slavers at you, and it is ready to be unleashed on the wider world.

http://war-arts-productions.com/

https://war-arts-productions.bandcamp.com/album/infernal-blast-wolves-elitism-speech

https://www.facebook.com/Infernal-Blast-1719640488330494/

Polish black metallers Ohtar come from a world where black metal is a particularly fearsome beast, and genre standard bearers stride tall amongst the underground of the world. ‘Euthanasia of Existence’ is the fourth record from these guys, and it was released early last year on Deathrune Records. I’ve only recently come across it, and like a lot of these kind of records, I’m sad that I missed it first time round!

Opener ‘Cyanosis of Senility’ is a harrowing, monstrous creature, a gaping wound in reality where darkness is spilling through. Cold and bleak, Ohtar’s dense atmospheres seep through every track, dousing everything in a grey miasma. The misery of ‘Portrayal of Damage’ is enticing, while the gleaming ‘The End is Not Coming, Not Yet’ is a soaring black metal classic, icy and vast. Delicate keyboard moments in th ebackground create a ghostly echo, on which scowling vocals croak their deathly intonations.

Ohtar’s black metal is cold, heartless and full of the infinite darkness you’d hope to find in Polish black metal. ‘Euthanasia of Existence’ holds no hope for us, but once we are become dust and ash it will live on, an icy monument to what is left behind. A hidden gem from las year, and one worth seeking out.

https://deathrunerecords.bandcamp.com/album/ohtar-euthanasia-of-existence

Australia’s Runespell are dropping their eagerly anticipated debut full length record ‘Unhallowed Blood Oath’ through Iron Bonehead Productions this year, and if you are looking for something that is deeply submerged in 90s black metal classicism then this is likely to be for you. A one man project, Runespell is the work of Nightwolf who also features in Eternum and Blood Stronghold, more profilic members of the fiery Australian black metal world.

‘Oblivion Winds’ builds into a crashing, blastbeat marathon with rasped vocals and murky production values that enhance the mystical connection between music and listener. While violent and abrasive, there is a certain black magic lurking within this slice of vintage black metal. Whether it is the cavernous ‘Heaven in Blood’, the pastoral acoustics of ‘And Wolves Guide Me Home’ or the spellbinding ‘All Thrones Perish’, Runespell really channel the feel of Norwegian black metal circa 1992.

When olden rituals are performed, spells cast and black magicks released, albums like ‘Unhallowed Blood Oath’ are the result. A gloriously dark record that pulses with a vintage menace, capturing not only the sound of old school black metal but the FEEL of it too. Runespell feel like a lost legend, resurfacing once more from depths unknown. The majestic ‘White Death’s Wings’ is a centrepiece of an album with no bad tracks. Get it!

http://www.ironbonehead.de/

A cold and melancholic black metal band from Finland, Aegrus are a two man project that really embody the spirit of true Finnish black metal; cold and raw but with a miserable coating that is almost suffocating in places. ‘Thy Numinous Darkness’ is the second full length from these guys with Saturnal Records releasing this on the 20th of October.

Opener ‘Embodiment of Chaos’ is savage, cold and bleak but later in the song an almost soaring solo appears out of nowhere, elevating this beyond your standard black metal cliches. There’s a grandiose spirit lurking amongst each heartless riff, with an infectious something hidden in the waves of screams in ‘Call of Lucifer’. Aegrus are full of these moments, where the music transcends beyond one dimensional black metal into the ethereal realms of the greats. ‘Psalms of Satan’ is a driving blizzard with ghostly vocals and eerie melodies conjuring up images of the occult.

The harrowing title track, possessed of some cool dissonant riffing in the closing stretch; the majesty of ‘The Black Streams of Death’ or the soaring glory of ‘Transcendence’, ‘Thy Numinous Darkness’ is a record that has everything you could look for in a modern black metal record. Melancholic, yet raw and savage. Cold of heart, but fiery in delivery. Aegrus are one to look out for.

https://www.facebook.com/Aegrusofficial/

http://www.saturnalrecords.com/web/

One of the very first American black metal bands, Summon’s classic debut ‘Dark Descent of Fallen Souls’ is being released on vinyl for the first time by Werewolf Records in collaboration with Hells Headbangers. Originally released in 1997 into a world sodden in American death metal, Summon’s stride towards the blacker world was brave yet done with foresight. Due out at the start of September, it is time to be reacquainted with an old friend…

After the suitably medieval synth intro, the savagery and primal 90s feeling is immediately in place with the title track. You can feel the influence of the likes of Mayhem, Marduk and the like on the fuzzy, burning riffs and the manic rasping screams. ‘Eve of Anti-Creation’ is a beautifully blasphemous ode to the black metal of old, of the frozen North, and it feels like a welcoming embrace. An embrace of studded leather and inverted crosses, but you get my meaning. A feeling of cold familiarity smothers you during the harsh ‘Under the Midnight Shadows’, and the olden black magicks arise once more in the haunting ‘Beyond the Gates of Storm’.

Summon are a band I’ve been familiar with but never had a chance to fully embrace. The rerelease of this allows me, and more like me to really reconnect with a USBM legend, whose legacy should never be forgotten. ‘Dark Descent of Fallen Souls’ is a ghostly, traditional masterpiece of purest black fucking metal, and it is glorious to behold.

https://werewolfrecords.bandcamp.com/album/dark-descent-of-fallen-souls

https://www.facebook.com/SUMMON-115792518441039/

http://neuntoter.org/