Posts Tagged ‘black metal’

scumripper - all veins cover.jpg

A band called Scumripper. On Hells Headbangers. With an album entitled ‘All Veins Blazing’. A happy romp through a land of wizards and unicorns is unlikely. This nasty, deathpunkcrust blast of violence is out now, and promises to be 20 minutes of nothing but hate.

Opener ‘Colonel Gator’ is just that, crusty black/death metal that sounds like a rabid animal chewing through your flesh. There’s an innate catchiness to it all, a rawkish call to arms to invade your local sewer and batter out some rancid tunes. Every song sounds like there’s been a hefty dose of venom secreted into the riffs, and the insertion of random samples adds to the menace. The grinding bass that opens ‘Eight Rapes a Week’ is fantastic, and it then spirals out into pure Discharge worship. My only gripe is that the songs do all sound very similar, and a little experimentation wouldn’t go amiss. Not too much though, because they don’t want to lose that tone.

‘All Veins Blazing’ doesn’t stick around for long, which means you need to slap that repeat button a few times to really scratch that itch, but the nasty punkish attack gives you plenty to think about. Scumripper need to work on their range a little bit, but they’ve totally nailed the sound.

https://www.facebook.com/scumripper/

http://www.hellsheadbangers.com/

https://scumripper-finland.bandcamp.com/album/all-veins-blazing

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Vordr - Vordr

Vordr (‘warden’ in Old Norse) are a band difficult to pin down. This is one of many, many releases to be self titled, so keeping a track is a little tough. This ‘Vordr’ is the full length just released this August by Terratur Possessions, and is a collection of riff heavy, minimalist Finnish black metal!

‘Erianoisiv’ opens us up with a meaty, tremolo riff that has a good gallop to it, and that is actually an apt descriptor for most of this record. It is a collection of great, black metal songs that feels like latter day Darkthrone but retaining a more traditional black metal atmosphere. The crusty rasp of ‘Goretusk’, the howling ‘Driftwood’ or the savage ‘Enchanting Fires of Pain’ all blend together into a wonderful, rampant whole of first wave darkness. Vordr have one gear, and that gear is fully engaged throughout.

The minimalist approach to black metal certainly works when executed like this, and while ‘Vordr’ isn’t overflowing with original ideas, it is a record of appealing simplicity; here is how Bathory made early black metal, now go and practice it until you can do it every time flawlessly. Nailed it.

https://terraturpossessions.bandcamp.com/album/vordr-vordr

Chiral - The Twilight Songs - part I

Chiral were a band I followed very closely for a number of years, until I fell off a little a few years ago. Their glorious, almost spiritual brand of atmospheric black metal was one of my favourite sounds for a long time, and I just discovered ‘The Twilight Songs (Part 1)’ lurking in my emails from a long time ago. It came out through Heathen Tribes around a year ago, and is one mammoth track.

‘Monumetal’ is thirty minutes of almost everything Chiral do well. The ghostly, haunting acoustics of prime Opeth, the epic sweep of Godspeed You Black Emperor, but lacking the thrilling Cascadian black metal of Wolves in the Throne Room, . We build with acoustic guitar, a touching and soulful rendition that really highlights what Chiral is becoming; a fragile emotional project that hits all the key points to make it genuinely affecting. Sure, there is a distinct lack of the epic, sweeping black metal that drew me in at first, but this is a beautiful, stirring release.

‘The Twilight Songs (Part 1)’ has yet to receive a ‘Part 2’, which I hope comes one day as I yearn to see where Chiral is taking this. A glorious showcase of acoustic emotion and songwriting, this is a project that never fails to impress or affect.

https://chiral27.bandcamp.com/album/the-twilight-songs-part-i

https://www.facebook.com/ChiralItaly

https://chiralitaly.wordpress.com/

Tableau Mort - Veil of Stigma. Book I: Mark of Delusion

The debut full length from London’s Tableau Mort plays with the themes of Romanian Orthodox Christianity to create an album about the madness inducing pursuit of knowledge and perfection. ‘Veil of Stigma. Book I: Mark of Delusion’ is an unwieldy title, but the black metal within is anything but. It is out now through Loud Rage Music.

The warm thrust of opener ‘Impending Corruption’ is balanced with a raspy, cold vocal, and it is always good to have a black metal record that isn’t tin pot production. Some of the best black metal records have a thick sound, and Tableau Mort head in that direction. The ghostly choral backdrop and chanting bring those orthodox thematics to the fore. Imagine Marduk covering Deathspell Omega, and you’re kind of on the right path. ‘Fall of Man’ is a powerhouse track, while the gloomy incantations of the savage ‘Carpenter of Sorrow’ is glorious. My favourite track is the fire and brimstone laden ‘Tapestry Sewn’, which also contains just the right amount of wistful melancholy as well.

There is something paradoxically ‘right’ about black metal interpretations of Christian orthodoxy, and Tableau Mort really hammer that home with this record. This is a black metal record of heart, of substance, of ethereality filtered through savagery. A most potent mix, and I certainly will be after ‘Book II’ when we are graced with it.

https://www.facebook.com/tableaumort/

https://loudragemusic.com/

https://loudragemusic.bandcamp.com/album/tableau-mort-veil-of-stigma-book-i-mark-of-delusion

Gruzja - I iść dalej

The debut record from Polish black metallers Gruzja, ‘I Iść dalej’, is out now through Godz ov War Productions, and immediately faces an uphill task in standing out within the seething cauldron of the Polish black metal legions. But they take an interesting approach…

Gruzja’s approach to black metal is much like the scathing fire of Impaled Nazarene or necropunk Darkthrone. Their forte isn’t the supreme blasphemy, nor the icy introspection, but a kind of filthy, Bathory/Celtic Frost primal racket, layered with an uncomfortable tone. Songs are dosed in a poisonous smog, with a nasty edge to everything they do. The savage ‘Gruzini’ howls from the speakers with venomous rage, while the more midpaced grind of ‘Moja Ratyzbona’ has a rusted, ragged edge to it. Imagine Marduk if they were all junkies, and you can get a rough idea. It isn’t all one dimensional however; the likes of ‘Manam’ does have a bit of space to breathe, and the unsettling, industrial crawl of ‘Ilu nas było?’ brings to mind Anaal Nathrakh.

‘I Iść dalej’ is a record that rips at you with a nasty attitude, but also is capable to unsettling you deeply. Part vicious feral animal, part hypnotising void scraping, Gruzja don’t compete with their countrymen and their ideas of black metal. This is a record that sounds like no one else, and for that there is much commendation.

https://godzovwarproductions.bandcamp.com/album/i-i-dalej

https://www.facebook.com/GodzOvWar/

http://godzovwar.com/shop/en/

Feral Light - Fear Rides a Shadow

A two man, ferociously black metal machine, Feral Light’s second album ‘Fear Rides a Shadow’ is out now through Pulverised Records, and is another example of the malevolent fury seeping through the USBM scene.

The cold riffs permeating the opener, ‘Wake’, feels like the precursor to oblivion; the oblivion that arrives with the cascading savagery of ‘Arrow/Beast’, that is possessed of a thrilling juxtaposition of almost black and roll still riffing while being infested with a toxic, black metal fury. The production lends the guitar work a rough edge, and the unholy screams and growls accompany this ‘feral’ attitude. It immediately makes songs like ‘Spirit Inanimate’ feel more memorable, and some of the more unusual melody lines, particularly in the introverted rage of ‘Psychic Dirt’ are immediately earworms.

If you don’t feel moved by the type of black metal thrust upon you in album highlight ‘Cold Monochrome’, then your lust for black metal is truly one dimensional. Feral Light bring us the evolution, where the blasting and shrieking ferocity of the past meets the shapeshifting progression of the future. ‘Fear Rides a Shadow’ is an album that shows no fear, and takes no prisoners.

https://www.facebook.com/ferallight/

https://ferallight.bandcamp.com/

https://www.pulverised.net/

Aethyrick - Praxis

The debut album from Finnish black metallers Aethyrick aims to capture the spirit of black metal’s original, primal flames and yet take it to new and vast regions. ‘Praxis’ is out now through Sinister Flame Records, and is a swirling and savagely atmospheric record.

The opening track has both snarling, traditional second wave-isms and a plethora of sweeping, atmospheric highs that imagine snow crested vistas blasted by howling winds. If there’s one thing black metal does better than everything, it is evoking imagery. There’s some glorious moments on this record where it opens up from furious black metal into soaring beauty, and it is possibly best done in ‘Pilgrimmage’.’Quietude’ pays homage to those slower, darker bits of prime My Dying Bride in black metal form, while the mesmerising flights of ‘Adytum’ are essential listening.

‘Praxis’ is the kind of record that black metal bands try to make to show they aren’t just one dimensional, but few actually achieve. Equally epic and fierce, when the music dives back through the clouds to the blizzard beneath it feels natural, and when it soars above, you never want to leave. Aethyrick are special.

https://aethyrick.bandcamp.com/music

http://www.thesinisterflame.com/store.htm