Posts Tagged ‘Finland’

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Finland’s Lurk are due to release their new record, ‘Fringe’, at the start of August and it is a multifaceted, layered sludge doom record that incorporates elements of death metal and black metal into a churning whole. Transcending Obscurity is dropping yet another modern classic here, as Lurk take us to strange and alluring vistas of pain.

The baleful opening tones of ‘Ostrakismos’ feel very black metal; cold and gloomy. It has a perfect balance of innate heaviness and a glacial bleakness about it, with whispered growls lurking underneath. Dense and murky, ‘Tale Blade’ lurches forward with tar thick groove and a deathly roar powering it. Imagine coating this powerful beast in the gleaming blackness of Panopticon, or Wolves in the Throne Room and witnessing the soaring black metal presence. The grinding fury of ‘Offshoot’ is brutal, and the unsettling notes at the start of the stunning ‘Elan’ mixes well with the an almost soulful vocal. Both of those, of course, disappear into a void of trudging, suffocating nihilistic rage, crawling from a black filth. ‘Fringe’ is a record that encapsulates much of mankind’s darkest moments, but leaves enough spaces for the odd ray of ethereal hope to shine through.

Mysterious, ghostly but very much rooted in the soul of our blackened earth, Lurk’s magnificent carvings into the walls of sludge doom are a sight to behold. Cavernous yet fragile, visceral and yet soaring, ‘Fringe’ is an album unlike many others. It is capable of touching you in ways you didn’t expect, never losing that primal heft. A unique addition to 2018’s canon of excellent records.

https://tometal.com/

https://www.facebook.com/lurkdoom/

https://lurkdoom.bandcamp.com/

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The rotting, deathly thrash of Finland’s Axegressor is another example of how there is always something a little darker and a little morbid about music from the land of a thousand lakes. ‘Bannerless’ is out now through Brutal Records, and it is the fourth record in a slowly building discography of quality.

The opening ‘In Safe Space No One Can Hear Your Scream’ is a statement of bloodied intent, with a gripping collection of riffs and some throat shredding vocals. ‘Bannerless’ is an album full of songs that you could describe like that, each threading Bay Area riffing through a nastier filter. That’s not to say that the music is boring or samey, the opposite is more factual. There’s a little Voivod weirdness in ‘Terminal Ignition’, some galloping Slayerisms in ‘Human Travesty’ and the particularly fearsome chug of ‘Barren Bloodline Worship’ is guaranteed to set pits alight.

‘Bannerless’ is a difficult album to review, because essentially each song has the same descriptor; killer riffs, insidious melodies and cool raw vocals. An album that is totally excellent, Axegressor are keeping the thrashy nature of proto death alive, and each poisonous riff is a blade to the bone. Get this and bang your head!

https://www.facebook.com/axegressor/

http://www.axegressor.net/

http://brutalrecords.us/

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Lurking deep in the Finnish underground, Black Mass Pervertor have a new record out at the moment through Blood Harvest Records called ‘Life Beyond the Walls of Flesh’, and it is another example of how vital and exhilarating digging into the obscure underground music scene can be. This is really old school black metal stuff!

‘Life Beyond the Walls of Flesh’ takes much influence from early Impaled Nazarene and Behexen, and opener ‘Imbibing the Seas of Darkness’ has a bestial, crawling rawness about it. The guitar tone is prime black metal, a buzzing drone coated in an oily atmosphere of dread that gets kicked up into high gear in the grinding ‘The Golden Spears’. Black Mass Pervertor don’t hang around; the seven songs here barely make up twenty minutes, but none of it is wasted movement. Their brand of black metal is fiery, bestial and ‘Unorthodox Methods of Magick’ summons a gloomy occultism too.

Ancient, traditional black metal magics rise from ‘Life Beyond the Walls of Flesh’, mixing Celtic Frost (complete with ‘uhhs’) and early Venom with a colder, more Finnish black metal attitude. Black Mass Pervertor are almost, well, fun, in a Satanic and evil sort of way. ‘Life Beyond the Walls of Flesh’ is grand, and you should make an effort to listen to this.

https://www.facebook.com/blackmassperv

https://bloodharvestrecords.bandcamp.com/album/life-beyond-the-walls-of-flesh

https://blackmasspervertor.bandcamp.com/

http://www.bloodharvest.se/

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Sadistik Forest are the latest belch from the dense, dark Finnish death metal underground, and ‘Morbid Majesties’ is their third full length record, coming a grand six years since their last. It is out at the end of May through Transcending Obscurity and is a monstrosity of a record!

Opening with ‘Morbidly Majestic’, the band kick it into a massive death metal maelstrom, sounding huge with relentless riffing cascading over broken bones and a hellacious vocal growl intoning each rabid lyric. There’s a healthy dose of Swedish death here, but Sadistik Forest are clearly drawing from the dark wellspring that their Finnish forebears first brought forth. The chugging malevolence that brings ‘The Hour of Dread’ to life is unsettlingly straightforward, the thunderous rush of ‘Monsters of Death’ or the clattering ‘Zero Progress’ also unearth memories of ancient Amorphis or even Demelich.

‘Morbid Majesties’ is a record that, on the surface, seems pretty straightforward death metal fare. But scratch away that surface and you’ll find a monstrous beast lurking beneath. One that is rippling with power, bristling in the darkness, dangerous and not of this world. By the time the mammoth ‘Bones of a Giant’s comes to an end, you find Sadistik Forest are intoxicatingly heavy, and their innate sense of brutality keeps this record spinning again and again.

https://sadistikforest.bandcamp.com/

https://tometal.com/

https://www.facebook.com/entertheforest/

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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/

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