Posts Tagged ‘EP’

London based stoner doom types Morag Tong (from the assassin group in ‘Elder Scrolls’) have dropped their debut EP, ‘Through Clouded Time’, in late January. I have no

Opener ‘Monolithian’ rises from the humming feedback laden void, and drops into a thick, sludgy groove easily. Shuddering riffing ploughs a devastating furrow through your mind, bringing to mind Electric Wizard, but without the hazy occult vibe. A short but effective first track, that opens into the expansive grinding swagger of ‘Godhead’. Morag Tong are heavy as fuck, and with an overt Wizard influence that plays directly into my wheelhouse. Vocalist Adam Asquith has a primal roar but it is somewhat soothing too, especially as the track opens in to a Kyussian desert doom space.

I’m digging what Morag Tong do here. ‘Through Clouded Time’ is crushing, but every riff piledrives through with a natural, authentic feel. The ‘sunrise over the Mojave’ intro to the title track is pure magic, and there’s a naked honesty about this EP that is endearing. Dashes of early Kylesa peek through every now and then, but Morag Tong mostly go their own way. It is a way that means, by the end of ‘The Eyes of Men’ you are ready to hit repeat and enjoy this wonderful riff paradise all over again


‘The Unholy Oath’ is the third EP from Texan thrashers Widower, and it is a savage burst of primal thrashing blackness, written with razor wire guitar strings and the kind of punishing double bass that forces you relentlessly to kneel in awe. It is out now via the band’s Bandcamp.

Opener ‘Morose Delectation’ is a mission statement, with unstoppable blasting underpinning a solid guitar assault and a ragged shriek. Widower are uncompromising in their songs; each track possesses a blackened magic about them that adds to the rabid nature of their style. ‘Immortal Lament’ has an almost Immortal-esque coldness to it, and while they don’t possess the fire of the likes of Skeletonwitch, Widower have that vintage feel about them. They have got a little bit of Sodom about them, a little bit of Aura Noir, and their howling solos are very early Slayer too.

The high energy ‘Unholy Force’ is my favourite track here, coupling some badass thrashing riffs with earworm melody and a nasty vocal performance that provides the bloodstained icing on this cake of metal. This kind of primal thrash is great when it’s done right, and Widower do it right. Check out the excellently titled and rampant ‘Whore Crusher’ as proof of this. ‘The Unholy Oath’ reinvigorates my faith in the future of thrash, because if bands like this make records this good, then headbanging and air guitaring is going to get back into style very quickly. Thrash til death!

Enlighten - Illvmantithesis

Portugese black metallers Enlighten are a band building a reputation for ‘black death metal chaos’, through last year’s ‘Phösphorvs Paramovnt’ but their newest EP, ‘Illvmantithesis’ gives them a much more eerie and unsettling feel than the fury of the previous release. The EP is limited to 250, and is out in June on Signal Rex.

Opener ‘Pallor’ opens with uneasy guitar melodies and a harsh, atonal tone. Building upon the foundations set by Blut Aus Nord and Deathspell Omega, Enlighten’s black metal is obtuse, harsh and very dark. ‘Shroud’ is similar, with the distorted calm and haunting melody building into a righteous fury. Exploring the band’s more esoteric and expansive song writing abilities is what makes this release so essential.

I like black metal that explores the limits of tone and sound the way Enlighten do. They truly create that feeling of unease that is prevalent in all great, dark music. ‘Illvmantithesis’ is a short but satisfying release that will required multiple playthroughs to grasp the dark concepts behind the blackness.

A Ceremony in Darkness cover art

The second release from Glaramara, Cumbria’s newest black metal band, is their EP ‘A Ceremony in Darkness’. Like their last one, this is more harsh and traditional black metal, wreathed in the blackness of Darkthrone and Mayhem,

‘Gathering of the Legions of Hades’ opens with a ghostly keyboard and a building percussion; setting the scene of a gloomy forest clearing, with snow falling around darkened figures. Torrents of black magic writhe in the mists of ‘Psychopathic Afterlife’, and snarling vocal bile coats the frozen assault of ‘Transylvanian Moon’, a track that could be a lost Darkthrone classic.

The blackened punk vibe that is shot through the veins of the rapid fire ‘Destroying the Realm of Light’ is fucking excellent, and it’s a shame almost that it’s over so soon. But the gloriously creepy acoustics and ambient hum of ‘A Weak and Frozen Sunrise’ leads into the nightmarish thrashing chaos of ‘Eden of Despair’, and finally the icy title track, which revels in its second wave worship.

‘A Ceremony in Darkness’ is the better of the two releases from Glaramara, as it shows a bit more of what they can do. ‘Blackest Apostasy’ is great but it stops just as its getting started. ‘A Ceremony in Darkness’ builds upon that quality, adding the gloomy melodies and some nice interlude touches to create something more rounded, and more impressive! Download both immediately!

Éohum - Ealdfaeder

Montreal, Canada’s Eohum have a gimmick, and when you play black metal, you’d maybe think that isn’t a good thing. They have a French horn player, whose additions compliment the raging anger that Eohum bring surprisingly well. Their new EP, ‘Ealdfaeder’ is out soon on Mycelium Netwroks, run by the band’s founder member Jeremy Perkins.

The pagan intro to ‘Eurocide’ becomes an eerie black metal blastfest, with a brooding ferocity entwined with brass instrumentation. It’s razor sharp in its delivery, and the flourishes of the French horn give it that little bit extra depth. The slower parts are most effective, and the moments of dusty woodwind reinforces the EP message of returning to nature. ‘Unmasking a Wolrd of Deceit’ is a furious, scythe of black metal that slices through anything in its path.

As I hoped, the ‘gimmicky’ nature of the French horn player is kept to a minimum, so that when it is sparingly used it can be very effective. You are feeling nasty, blackened violence from Eohum, like the rabid venom that courses through every poisonous riff in ‘The Apathetic Plague’. The grandeur of latter period Septicflesh is a reference point here, and ‘Ealdfaeder’ has some great moments of almost doom splendour. ‘Ode to a Martyr’ is a ferocious piece and the closing blackened fury of ‘Curative Undulations’ pushes it close for the fiercest track here.

‘Ealdfaeder’ is a high quality EP, showing Eohum to be a force to watch out for in the future. The song writing is great, the fury is real and the little additions make it all the more special. I love this record, and so should you.

Bangladesh is slowly beginning to approach its larger neighbour India in terms of quality underground metal. Burial Dust are a black metal horde who’ve been in existence since about 2013, and their debut EP ‘Oshubho Ahobaan’ (Ominous Call in English), is now available from Bandcamp.

Bestial black metal with overt Satanic and blasphemous imagery is the name of the game here. The opening title track crawls out with malevolent intent, with a lonely melody becoming a tribal drumbeat, and a nasty grinding riff rises from the gloom. There are moments in the savagery of ‘Where is Your Rahmaa?’ that channel the deepest, darkest moments of the second wave of black metal, entwined with Eastern melodies. The vocals are brutal, howling growls, and the tin dry production enhances that primitive rage.

Burial Dust  have crafted a piece of spellbinding black metal that almost pulses with malice, with evil intent and danger. ‘A Call from Home’ is a clattering piece of raw, rabid black metal traditionalism, with a killer melodic solo, while the lurking fear of ‘Sandshaded Mausoleum’ with its creepy intro, its blasting dums and proto doom riffs appearing in the middle becomes an incredibly varied piece. ‘Oshubho Ahobaan’ is an EP worth seeking out if you are a fan of how that Central Asian sound is progressing, or if you just love raw as fuck, skin flaying black metal that messes with the formula slightly. A melting pot of doom, death and black!

Denial - 11°22​.​4'N 142°35​.​5'E

It has been 6 long years since we got anything from morbid Mexicans Denial, with their staggering paeon to the undead ‘Catacombs of the Grotesque’. About two or three years early for the return of primitive, hell scraping death metal, Denial have finally returned to show everyone how its done with their new EP, ’11°22​.​4’N 142°35​.​5’E’, named after the deepest point on earth, far below reality in the Mariana Trench.

Opener ‘The Involution of Kings’ is instantly gratifying; a churning riff drags from the rift and knocks you out, then your bloodied corpse is dragged into the woods and dismembered. The riffs are heavy, but there is a wailing, atonal solo that punctures the gloom. There’s a clammyness to this reocrd, the atmosphere clings to you with dreaful intentions. A rabidity inhabits the spaces as well, and the switches from the churning maelstorm to the flailing chaos are disorientating and chilling.

‘The Elder Race’ rumbles with equal menace, channelling this massive groove through an otherworldly portal in Hell. Dream Death would be proud of what these guys have done with their song. it’s the musical equivalent of the album cover; an undescribable terror coming from under the sea, coming to send us all mad. You’d also be mad not to pick up this 7″ and delve deep into death metal insanity. Awesome