Posts Tagged ‘Finland’

Curse upon a Prayer - The Three Woes

Finnish black metallers Curse Upon a Prayer dropped their hotly anticipated new EP ‘The Three Woes’ back in July on Saturnal Records, and it is a three prong assault of highly traditional black metal hatred from a band that draws attention due to its anti-Islamic themes. However that doesn’t really come across a huge amount in their lyrical content.

‘Let Thy Kingdom Come’ is a howling thrust of classic black metal coldness, where raspy shrieks haunt blastbeat laden riffs, and the second wave gods are appeased. The fiercely melodic and gloomy ‘Thou Shalt be Cursed’ is more reminiscient of the likes of Gorgoroth than their Finnish brethren, and it allows Curse Upon a Prayer to not just be another BM band squeezed from their home soil. Blasphemies reign supreme throughout the closing beast ‘Woe! Woe! Woe!’ as well, bringing us to a disappointingly early finish. It is a masterful piece of regal, melodic black metal that will be a definite mainstay in my best songs for 2018.

‘The Three Woes’ is a superb EP, full of fire and rage, bringing forth fearsome blasphemy that will scald and flay you. Hopefully there will only be a short wait until their next full length, becasue Curse Upon a Prayer are incredible.

https://curseuponaprayer.bandcamp.com/album/the-three-woes

https://www.facebook.com/CurseUponAPrayer/

http://www.saturnalrecords.com/web/

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The third and possibly most anticipated album from Finland’s Bonehunter is ‘Children of the Atom’, and the collision of classic Bathory, punk and death/thrash has never been more vibrant. Due out on Hells Headbangers in September, I was a big fan of their ‘Evil Triumphs Again’ debut so this looks to be another gem.

Wrapped in awesome Joe Pentagno artwork, thrashy opener ‘Demonic Nuclear Armament’ sets the stage perfectly with its raspy mix of early Sodom and Bathory, but shot through with some cool punkish guitar parts. This is an incredibly hooky record, with every song having some part of it being really catchy. A very primal form of deaththrash, ‘The Reek of Reaper’s Scythe’ is a manic stabbing of a track, while the title track gallops like a more vicious NWOBHM heyday track. In fact, the whole thing reminds me of a more polished version of one of my favourite bands of the last few years, Hellripper.

It’s nice to get a break from all hell for leather though, the slower doomy section of ‘Black Star Carcass’ is a nice change of pace, before the blastbeats return with a vengeance, and the cool solo in ‘Spider’s Grave’ also mixes it up a little. Sure, the bread and butter is blackened deathy thrash but Bonehunter show that you can dip in and out of other genres and speeds without sacrificing intensity. Still, ‘Children of the Atom’ is at its best when barrelling forward like a runaway train, and the Motorhead-like ‘Cybernetic Vampirism’ is a perfect example of that.

Scouring the best parts of old Sodom and Bathory, cranking up the intensity and then dropping melody nukes right on top of it, ‘Children of the Atom’ is an absolutely beast of a record; monstrous and ferocious and yet insanely catchy. Why can’t everything be like this?!

https://bonehunter-finland.bandcamp.com/album/children-of-the-atom

http://www.hellsheadbangers.com/

https://www.facebook.com/bonehuntermetal/

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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/