Posts Tagged ‘Finland’

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Finnish doom lords Coughdust have released their follow up to their debut ‘A Means to An End’, and are taking their deathly stoner doom to new heights with ‘Worldwrench’, out last October via Suicide Records. ‘Worldwrench’ is a steamrolling record of death, doom and destruction.

Opener ‘Serpents of the Earth’ instantly feels like a more raging version of classic Electric Wizard fuzzy doom. Each massive groove is coated in fuzzing distortion, and cyclopean riffs cascade from your speakers. This is a primal song; taking you into the roots of all heavy music with huge guitar and bellowing roars. It is a pretty definitive opening salvo, and when ‘The Second Principle’ kicks in an almost Swedeath guitar tone and attitude it gives you shivers. It feels like the lost link where death and doom meet, where savagery meets the inexorable pushing force of THE RIFF. Beautiful stuff.

Wherever Coughdust takes you, be it the chugging Dismemberisms of the title track or the crumbling epitaph of ‘Blind’, ‘Worldwrench’ is a record that will instantly gratify your cravings for heaviness. Like the crushing pressures of the deep, Coughdust have dragged ancient doom to your door and left a corpse waiting for you. Are you ready for this? You had better be because ‘Worldwrench’ will consume those too weak to resist.

https://www.facebook.com/Coughdust

https://coughdust.bandcamp.com/

http://www.suiciderecords.se/

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Abhordium - Omega Prayer

Finnish blackened death metallers Abhordium have released their sophomore record, ‘Omega Prayer’, follow up to their 2011 debut¬† ‘When Depravity Incarnates’, and it is another dark and devastating tour de force through twisting and winding death metal, coating in black metal atmospherics.

Opener ‘The Chronology of Decadence’ is a thunderous, churning beast of a track; featuring a Belphegor-esque intensity and a roaring, pitiless vocal performance that doubles the power of the blastbeat riddled riffing. This is an album of strength, of rumbling density and savage ferocity. Each song brings this directly to you with little fanfare or distraction. The brutal vastness of ‘Asebeia’, the focused ‘From the Depths I Slithered’ or the cold horrors of ‘Perpetual Desertification’ each assault your ears with surgical riffing and a nasty, black metal throatiness that really suits these tales of woe, death and hatred. Many blackened death metal bands either get lost within the overly technical aspects of the death, or the esoteric atmospherics of the black and become somewhat aimless. Not Abhordium.

‘Omega Prayer’ is a refreshingly simple yet all enveloping album. Brutality smashes you into the ground, destroying your earthly shell while the bleak, hopeless black melodies pick at your rotting corpse like crows. Graceful yet carrion. Beautiful yet ugly. Abhordium wield genres like threads, weaving maniacal tapestries of violence and hatred, but each song is a masterwork. Get this record, immediately.

https://abhordium.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Abhordium

http://abhordium.com/

Desolate Shrine are nothing but productive. ‘Deliverance from the Godless Void’ is their third album for Dark Descent Records in six years, and their fourth overall. It is another exercise in pure, devastating aural darkness and hatred. If you like black metal, doom or death, this is within your wheelhouse. A miasmic fabrication of extremity awaits.

‘The Primordial One’ comes pouring from the speakers like a molten river of blackened death metal lava. Blastbeats smash down upon devastating riffs, while brutal roars echo from caverns of darkness. Desolate Shrine are immediately dense, pushing waves of sound at you in an unstoppable force. But they cannot stay one dimensional, with eerie melodies seeping from the gloom in the dissonant, doom laden ‘Unmask the Face of False’. ‘Deliverance from the Godless Void’ has no regard for the boundaries of black, death or doom metal. Desolate Shrine take these genres and combine them into a set of songs that crush not only your ears but your soul, your mind and your hope. For me, the centrepiece and masterpiece is the massive storm of ‘The Graeae’, building from desolate clean guitars into a galaxial riff that envelops everything in its path. Metaphors run short when trying to describe the titanic weight and power of such a song.

‘Deliverance from the Godless Void’ is disgustingly heavy, weighing you down mercilessly until you crumble into nothingness. These songs may be lengthy but never overstay their welcome, and the almost hour running time feels like no time at all. It does feel like your delivery from the Godless void is nothing but a trip to hell. Not a hell that burns, but a hell that suffocates and tears at your weak flesh. This is stunning.

https://www.facebook.com/desolateshrine/

https://desolateshrine.bandcamp.com/

https://darkdescentrecords.bandcamp.com/album/deliverance-from-the-godless-void

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/

Featuring members of Swallow the Sun and Amorphis, Hallatar may be a new band but their pedigree is impressive. ‘No Stars Upon the Bridge’ is a record based on a collection of lyrics and poems by guitarist Juha Raivio’s sadly departed partner Aleah Starbridge, and was composed with a mixture of reverence and despair. Svart Records wil release is on 13th of October, and it is a wonderful monument to Aleah’s memory.

Opener ‘Mirrors’ is monolithic in its weeping majesty, with tinkling melodies soaring above titanic riffs and guttural roars meeting soulful croons in a devastating collision. This kind of dichotomy between aching beauty and massive heaviness continues in the monstrous ‘Melt’, the ghostly ‘My Mistake’ (featuring ethereal vocals from Heike Langhans of Draconian) or the poetic acoustics of ‘Severed Eyes’. It is difficult to pull out one specific track here to recommend when this feels like a complete piece, an elegy of sorts.

‘No Stars Upon the Bridge’ is deeply affecting; haunting and powerful in its execution and is a more than fitting epitaph for Aleah, whose talent must have been incredible to inspire such a meaningful record. As her own voice draws us to a close on ‘Dreams Burn Down’, it feels like the perfect end to a record that is so emotional, so dense, so real. In a world where bands and artists strive to achieve something with an emotional connection to the listener, ‘No Stars Upon the Bridge’ is almost too much at points. A gloriously evocative memorial to the departed, but never to be forgotten.

https://www.facebook.com/Hallatardoom/

https://hallatar.bandcamp.com/track/mirrors

https://www.svartrecords.com/

A world of misery and gloom awaits you inside the new Ever Circling Wolves record, ‘Of Woe’. Shades of black metal scattered over a dense and foreboding death/doom template. I first discovered them on their stunning 2009 record ‘The Silence from Your Room’, but their new record takes them to even greater plains. It is out now on Cimmerian Shade Recordings.

The haunting ‘Coeur’ is an immediate standout, where crushing doom riffs meet death metal ferocity, but it is layered with a lot of haunting melodies, as is the gloomy power of ‘Haunted’. This is a record that plays between its main strengths of massive riffs that feel like cliffs are falling on you, and a more post metal sensibility where melodies, clean vocals and a deft grasp of how space can create excellent music. With a runtime that exceeds an hour, these nuances are very important to ensure that you don’t lose interest.

But it would be difficult to lose interest in an album that is constantly shifting your expectations. At no point are you wondering when it’ll finish, more ‘how much more of this can I get!?’. The glacial opening riffs to ‘Challenger Deep’,¬† the quirky savagery of ‘Lenore’, the drawn out exhaustion of epic closer ‘These Are Ashes, These are Roots’; all lead you to an inexorable collapse where you gasp for air and beg for more. ‘Of Woe’ is an album that towers above most, enschewing the obvious for a path less travelled, and getting it totally right on the journey.

https://cimmerianshaderecordings.bandcamp.com/album/of-woe-or-how-i-learned-to-stop-worrying-and-love-the-gloom

https://www.facebook.com/ecwdoom/

Image result for ymir's blood self titled

Finland is probably my favourite country for metal at the moment, and especially when you’re looking towards some monstrous doom. Ymir’s Blood are the reincarnation of vintage Cirith Ungol and latter period Bathory, and their new self titled record is being given life by Archaic Sound. We must all be thankful for this, for the riffs within are huge and awesome.

Opener ‘Unleasher – Beerbarian’ seems to encompass the fantastic battle of the album art, with huge swinging riffs crashing down like sword on steel and a grandiose sweep of vast ancient lands. A swollen, lumbering giant of a track, wielding classic Candlemass like a hammer of doom (see what I did there….?). The Viking metal-esque ‘1589’ feels very Quorthon, while Gorephelia’s Henu does some guest vocals on the brutal death/doom of ‘Origin of Iron’. My own personal highlight however is the doom-laden take on Zeppelin’s ‘Immigrant Song’, which just works perfectly.

‘Ymir’s Blood’ will probably not cause much of a splash this year, but if you’re a doom fan this is going to be an essential hidden gem. A potent and remarkably assured record that wields its granite hewn riffing like a mighty battleaxe, while sharp melodies hone the edge of the blade. Ymir’s Blood are a band to watch, and hopefully this record will break them through to the wider conscience.

https://ymirsblood.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/archaicsound/

https://www.facebook.com/YmirsBlood