Posts Tagged ‘Dunkelheit Productions’

The longest running death metal band in Italy, Horrid’s fifth full length ‘Beyond the Dark Border’ is another step out of the shadows of European underground death metal. Crushing the opposition since 1989, Horrid dropped this early last year on Dunkelheit Productions, but don’t let it pass you by. This is a dynamic, traditional death metal record that pulls no punches and builds upon a timeless sound.

Opener ‘The Black March’ is a thick, crunchy riff machine that rumbles with devastating power. You can sense the underlying Bolt Thrower influences, but there’s also a lot of subtle pieces of melody that really strike me, such as the eastern parts of ‘Cursed Dunes’ that evoke Nile’s more straightforward moments. Echoes of Celtic Frost resound throughout the full record, and other European death metal styles are equally present in places, such as the Demigod-esque ‘The Statement’. The songwriting is solid, the performance is flawless and the atmospheres are morbid without being overbearing in murk.

‘Beyond the Dark Border’ is a record that will help you fall in love with old fashioned death metal once more. A love letter to the finer, simpler days of early 90s death, when riffs were heavy, vocals were brutal and death was death. Awesome shit.

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.

Blasphmachine - Salvation

Malaysia’s Blasphmachine (I see what you did there) are one of those nasty, South East Asian bands that seem to be infected with the most vile musical disease. It’s similar to the strain that absorbs South American black metallers into channeling Bathory’s earliest work through Blasphemy, Weapon and Hellhammer to create an unholy cacophony of pure evil. Their debut full length clocks in at a mere 26 minutes, but its probably some of the nastiest shit you’ll hear all year.

‘Salvation’ must be an ironic title, because there cannot be any salvation for your soul after absorbing this record. The opening salvo, ‘Temple of Desolation’ is a dense, raw blast of dark death metal with a waspish, black metal tinge. Further reinforcing this approach is the brutal steamroller of ‘Heathen Fire’. Blasphmachine are not here to fuck about, and ‘Salvation’ moves at a breakneck pace from front to back. ‘The Beast Among Men’ is another great track, underpinned by excellent drumming, and some stelllar guitar riffs.

Contrast the early savagery with a more measured malovence in the thudding ‘Commandments’, but think of ‘Salvation’ as a whole entity. Blasphmachine have captured this dark vibe beautifully, with razor sharp guitar work and a gurgling, rasping vocal completing the feeling. ‘Salvation’ is pure, relentless death metal in parts , where more esoteric black metal elements are washed away and the band focus on ramping up the unholy fire. ‘The Last Chants of Priests’ is scathing in its delivery, and the Behemoth-esque approach to final track ‘Leviathan’ really adds something to their repertoire.

Blasphmachine have crafted themselves a fine slab of blackened fury with ‘Salvation’. Not content with putting out a purely brutal assault on the senses, the band have worked hard to create a short but memorable release full of variety and great songs. Oh, and bonus points for the frankly ace Black Witchery cover.

Fuck me, Goatblood’s first full length release is seriously raw and nasty. ‘Adoration of Blasphemy and War’ is 30 minutes of clattering, raw as fuck blackened death metal chaos that sneaks up on you in the night and violently murders you unsuspectingly. These Germans have got some serious anger issues…

‘Adoration of Blasphemy and War’ takes its cues from early Bathory and Sodom, and then injects a huge dose of evil and extra Satanism for good measure. Vocally, we’re talking gargling rasps and putrid screams. The guitars are like rusty chainsaws severing blood vessels, skewering you with Satanic rage. The song titles are less than subtle of course, with the picks of the bunch being ‘Eve Pisses on Adam’ and ‘Animal Anal Acrobatic’ which, honestly, I don’t understand.

Progressive song structures are also not the order of the day either. Basically Goatblood hammer you relentlessly with 15 tracks, with few reaching over two and a half minutes. There is no scope for anything other than pure nihilistic Satan worship, and you have to admire their spirit. As most of the tracks sound pretty similar, it is difficult to pull out any particular stand out track, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If this release was any longer, it’d probably start to drag, but half an hour of this bloodsoaked chaos is just about right. The cover art is pretty cool too.

Goatblood serve you up a dreadful, barbed wire wrapped racket, praising Satan and sounding evil. There’s nothing new, but there’s nothing really bad here either. A perfectly decent record for scaring away your neighbours, family and anything else, ‘Adoration of Blasphemy and War’ is pure hatred distilled into half an hour. Worth a listen