Posts Tagged ‘Blackened Death metal’

Scars of Sodom - Retribution of the Wicked

Australia is somewhat of a hotspot for some truly fiery and fearsome extreme metal, and blackened death metallers Scars of Sodom are no different. Their 2014 record, ‘Retribution for the Wicked’, has been released by my good friend Luke at the always excellent Carvetii Productions on cassette, and it hopefully allows a whole new group of people to experience this carnage.

Scars of Sodom are consistently visceral and savage, and opener ‘A Pale Horse’ looms from the darkness before arseholes are torn asunder by barbed riffing and killer blasting. Drawing influences from the likes of Dissection, Sodom and Bathory, tracks like ‘Bound by Death’s Chains’ or the howling ‘Demon Nemesis’ are possessed with rich veins of riffing magic but never come across as more one dimensional averageness. In fact, the brutal ‘Eyes of the Dead’ is a rumbling monster of a track that could take on some of the best more traditional death metal bands.

‘Retribution of the Wicked’ is a revelation, sounding even more nasty on cassette. Scars of Sodom are one of these gems from the underground that you need to keep an eye on, because if they can follow this up with something even half as good, it’ll be a cracker.

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The debut EP of Consummation is something of great note, as these Australian destroyers have crafted a uniquely twisting and serpentine form of black/death that sucks in all light like the gaping jaws of infinity. Thanks to Invictus Productions, we all now have the chance to experience pure, unadulterated madness in musical form.

Opener ‘The Weightless Grip of Fire’ is fearsome in its scope; blending ferocious black metal and an off-kilter sense of rhythm that enhances that otherworldly feeling. You feel uneasy, uncomfortable and cowed with fear as howling madness sweeps through your bones. They don’t quite reach the same levels of nausea created by fellow Aussies Portal, but there’s a definitive ‘wrongness’ about some of the melody lines here. With two ten minute plus songs, Consummation somehow manage to go past too quickly to comprehend, and invite more and more listens to unlock this dark magic.

‘Blighted Ovum’ is more of the same, labyrinthine extremity that we started with. Savage howls, a dense production that really helps the heft of this record come through, and an alien atmosphere that builds the tension to breaking point. ‘Ritual Severance’ is grandiose, malignant and bubbling with cancerous hatred. Consummation are an outfit that have struck upon something new and intensely evil.

Atmospheric blackened death metal from a member of Indian black metallers Diabolus Arcanium is the state of play with Entity of Hate and their new EP ‘Cursed by Eternity’. It’s an intricate and self assured debut, that brings to mind both Cradle of Filth and Wintersun, minus all the associated orchestral burden!

Opener ‘Cursed for Eternity’ has some great, flowing guitar leads and keyboard enhanced riffs are both eerie and catchy as hell. Vocally it is relatively basic, but it works with the kind of gothic vibe that builds with the atmospheres. Wonderful riffs dominate the insanely good ‘Bloody Lovers & Prey’, that at points feels like a horror film soundtrack overdubbed with heavy metal. The virtuoso guitar work is a big draw to this for me, and it is hard to find this kind of music that doesn’t feel overwrought with grandiose redundancy. Even the synthy instrumental of ‘Bloody Tears (Castlevania)’ doesn’t feel too much.

While defiantly mixing symphonic and cold black metal atmospheres with gallping melodeath isn’t the most obvious mix, the likes of ‘Heart Shaped Dagger’ shows how this kind of extremity can easily include oodles of melody. Entity of Hate are my new favourite band of the moment, and ‘Cursed for Eternity’ is a record that, while short, is full of awesome surprises!

These guys are fucking brutal. Vacivus have been drawing power from the blackened voids of the dark realms of chaos for a number of years now, and their latest offering is the two track ‘Nuclear Chaos’ EP. If it can create the same sickening darkness as their ‘Rite of Ascension’ EP from 2015, we’re all going to be in for a treat!

Opener ‘Unchaining the Winds of Uncreation’ crawls from the darkness with dripping water, ominous droning chants becoming a primal snarl, before a dense chainsawing riff drags an inhuman vocal from the void. Attacking like an enveloping fog, smothering each nasty riff with choking murk, Vacivus have excelled themselves once again. ‘Blind Idiot God’ has a bit more urgency about it, a blackened fury that writhes like a cyclone of hate. Challenging the darkest moments of Swedish death, Vacivus have taken that style a step further down into the depths.

I don’t think I’ve come across a Vacivus release I haven’t loved yet, and ‘Nuclear Chaos’ is no exception. This is music for the destruction of the world, sounding like the wrenching of the earth and the crushing of humanity. Ther’s no going back, and there’s no place to hide, for these riffs of ancient evil will find you…

Demonic Resurrection are the Behemoth of Indian metal, and not only in their musical stylings. Around for years and becoming more and more influential with every release, Demonic Resurrection are also getting more and more ambitious with each one. ‘Dashavatar’ is their fifth full length, and is an exploration of all the avatars of Lord Vishnu in Indian mythology. For those of us that are interested in that, it is a fascinating journey. For those of us that are here for just the music, you won’t be disappointed.

I first came across Demonic Resurrection on their stunning ‘Return to Darkness’ record from 2010, and their swelling in popularity goes hand in hand with their evolution as a muscial force. Take the anthemic ferocity of ‘Kurma – The Tortoise’; it matches Behemothian intensity with ethnic instrumentation and an innate sense of the importance of memorable songs. Soaring melodies dominate ‘Varaha – The Boar’, while the atmospheric black/death of ‘Parashurama – The Axe Wielder’ reminds you of their extreme chops. Mainman Demonstealer roars, croons and riffs his way through ten powerful songs, each with their own individual character. In a world where every band strives to be unique and different, Demonic Resurrection stand out from the crowd by being simply fucking excellent at what they do.

The strings and orchestral moments of ‘Vamana – The Dwarf’ brings to mind great European power metal, as does the soaring ‘Narasimha – The Man-Lion’. Every metal fan can deny it, but most of us came to love metal because of anthemic heavy metal greatness, and that’s what Demonic Resurrection have in their core. Coat it in progressive, symphonic and complex blackened textures if you will, but at heart they are a heavy metal band and that shines through.

‘Dashavatar’ is the answer to the question, ‘can anyone do anything that feels new in metal anymore?’ Demonic Resurrection better becoming fucking huge after this, because ‘Dashavatar’ covers all bases, from powerful melodic soloing to cyclonic black/death maelstroms. I’ll be hard pushed to find a better record than this in 2017.

Crurifragium - Beasts of the Temple of Satan

The debut album of hellfire breathing, Blasphemy worshipping lords of chaos Crurifragium is out at the end of January on Invictus Productions. Like most albums that come out with a black, white and red cover covered in demons, this is a massive torrent of raging hatred.

After the unholy emanations of the intro ‘Behold (Evangelation)’, the savage ‘Stigmata Excruciation’ howls with insanity, with grinding riffs of poison clawing for your throat. Maddening solos squeal amongst relentless drum battering, while unhinged screaming vomits unholy blasphemies. ‘Unfurl the Banners of Evil’ is particularly fierce; waves of hurricane force death metal, laced with venomous black metal savagery flood your synapses as the double hit of ‘Flayed Angels’ and the frantic ‘Exalted Blasphmous Trinity’ follows.

The endless and inhuman battery that comes raining from your speakers like balls of fiery death is exhausting. Your battered and broken corpse may still be in one piece by the time ‘The Horns of Power’ closes this record, but if that’s the case, spin it right round again. You’ll be the happiest dead person out there. Crurifragium are pure, unadulterated hatred.

Singaporean ‘Vedic’ metal pioneers Rudra have been blending a potent mix of traditional Indian music and savage, blackened death metal for a long long time, and are criminally overlooked as a potent and inventive force in world extremity. I first came across them on their ‘Brahmavidya: Transcendental I’ record from about 7-8 years ago, and I was truly absorbed by their spiritual, ethnic stylings. Their new record, ‘Enemy of Duality’, should be something pretty special, and it’s out on Transcending Obscurity.

Opener ‘Abating the Firebrand’ comes floating from the gloom, with spiritual chanting and melodic riffing evolving into a blasting, savage tour de force. There’s a regal grandeur about this track, where fury is coupled to some uber melodic riffing to create this majestic piece. This style continues throughout the record, mixing with carefully placed ethnic instrumentation to create a record of mature songwriting (consider the gloriously vicious ‘Perception Apparent’) and an innate rage. The traditional instrumentation isn’t as prevalent as you may expect either for a band that prides themselves on the expression of Vedic themes and traditions. But what does appear is tastefully done, and actually the music benefits from not being smothered in sitars etc. This allows the METAL to be in the forefront, and the rest to be atmospheric and enhancing.

Imagine if you took Melechesh further east, and you’ll find the spot that Rudra occupy. But it isn’t as simple as just that, because that description fails to invoke the kind of feelings that Rudra’s music does. The guitar work is stunning, dripping with melodic solos and fleet fingered riffing. The vocals are raw but comprehensible, and the underpinning battery of drums is intense at points. ‘Enemy of Duality’ is a record that twists, contorts and never fails to impress. This could be a late run in for one of my favourite records of this year, because you cannot fail to love all those riffs!

Rudra (Singapore) – Enemy of Duality CD