Posts Tagged ‘Germany’

Bandcamp-eremit.jpg

If there’s one thing that challenges you as a music reviewer, it is seriously long tracks. How do you explain why a thirty minute track is great, or it isn’t, without waffling on for literally half an hour. Well, German sludge doom lords Eremit have challenged me here, with ‘Carrier of Weight’, three tracks of massive atmospheric doom clocking in at over an hour. It is out through Transcending Obscurity in February.

The best way to approach this for me is to imagine it as a soundtrack to a film I can’t see. Opener ‘Dry Land’ is 22 minutes, building from quiet contemplative notes and whispered vocals into vast, groaning riffs of doom. Funereal in its atmosphere, an oppressive heft pushes down upon you, while abyssal growls summon you to the depths. When the riffs vanish, the quiet is almost as weighty. Whatever film I’m imagining is suffocatingly dark, miserable and nihilistic. The shortest track is the second, ‘Froth is Beckoning’, and it has a much more traditional chug to it; almost fast paced compared with the glacial crush of closer ‘Cocoon of Soul’.

That is the pièce de résistance; a vast world of rain, earth quaking riffs and foreboding dark atmospheres. The fact that this is a debut record is absolutely brain melting, and as for my complaint at the top of this review, well frankly I could write a thesis on the majesty of this track. From the creaking wood at the start and the gentle ominousness of the acoustics it takes a full eight minutes before the heaviness appears and then wow. The roiling riffs are mesmerising, crashing off you the way waves crash against cliffs. This is enhanced even further by a droning, humming background swell that increases the scope even further. By the time it fades away to nothing, there’s not much of you left to enjoy it.

Wrapped in a stunning piece of artwork from artist Mariusz Lewandowski, Eremit’s work is a staggering paean to gloom. Misery engulfs you like pitiless rain, leaving you sodden with sadness and doom. Bands that have been doing this years can’t come up with stuff this good, and Eremit are just debuting their primordial crush here. ‘Carrier of Weight’ is glorious.

https://eremitdoom.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/EremitDoom

https://tometal.com/

The Malice - Lamashtu

Swedish/German death metal project The Malice’s second EP, ‘Lamashtu’ is named for a Mesopotamian demon of great malice (see what I did there?) and this four track EP is possessed of some pretty demonic death metal. It has been self released by the band through their Bandcamp, and is available now!

Opener ‘In the Light of Asag’ is a writhing beast of brutal blasting and chaotic riffing power. The Malice are very much a modern death metal band; where rawness has been replaced with a cacophonous and devastating heaviness. There are riffs spilling out like lava from the core of these tracks, from the crippling blasting of ‘The Pestilence of Ibra’ to the ravaging display of power in ‘The Nimrud Assignment’. Breaking up the carnage with subtle dashes of eastern instrumentation can only act as a distraction from the powerful death metal within.

‘Lamashtu’ summons the darkened powers of the elder gods and displays it all for us to see. The Malice are a killer band with some serious musical chops, and their modern death metal assault is music to the ears of anyone who loves the Black Dahlia Murder, or actually anyone who just really loves death metal.

https://www.facebook.com/themalicelegions/

https://themalicelegions.bandcamp.com/

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‘Beneath Ancient Portals’ is the full length debut of Abythic, and it follows the stunning ‘A Full Negation of Existence’, a demo that staggered me a few years ago. Blood Harvest are dropping this in May, and it fulfils the morbid promises of doom, death and destruction that the demo showcased.

The ‘Prelude to Obscurity’ is a grinding, crawling introduction to the tone of what Abythic bring to the fore. Howling solos slot into crushing riffs, before the devastation wrought by the intense ‘Purulent Phantom’ becomes apparent. Massive, old school death metal clashing with lumbering, doomy heaviness is a recipe for headbanging and invisible oranges! The title track is cavernous, mighty and vast with an oppressive darkness about it, summoning the eldritch murkiness of prime Autopsy or Grave to the surface. The vocals are appropriately brutal but don’t lack clarity, which almost adds a humanising touch to the miasmic rumble. There’s something human in this beast, crushing you for their own terrible purposes.

The focus of ‘Beneath Ancient Portals’ is the sheer heaviness of Abythic’s songwriting. It is intense, concentrating on an almost suffocating weight upon you as the likes of ‘T.H.O.N’ inexorably crushes you under its looming, groaning abyssal pressure. Abythic have probably made the heaviest record of 2018, and it is simply magical.

https://www.facebook.com/Abythic/

https://bloodharvestrecords.bandcamp.com/album/beneath-ancient-portals

http://www.bloodharvest.se/

‘The Secret Art’ is the sixth full length from Metamorphosis, a long running German atmospheric black/death metal band that has been going since 1994. ‘The Secret Art’ is the latest in a series of solid records by this one man set up, and they take much influence from Marduk, early Amorphis and even some early Paradise Lost. It is out now through Devil’s Ground Productions.

The opening title track builds with cold melody, while rough tremolo riffing cascades over harsh vocals and a more mid paced drumming. This isn’t your standard one man bedroom black metal set up; a beefy production injects body into the clattering carnage, but not so much as to lose that ‘kvlt’ edge that this genre so highly praises. Entwining ambient, instrumental passages in songs helps to set Metamorphosis apart, but the glorious savagery help them stand out. ‘Night on Bare Mountain’ is a striding icon of blackness, capturing a very early 90s European feel that continues throughout. The spoken word occultisms are also very cool, giving it a truly old school blackened death feeling.

The eerie tinkling chimes running through ‘God of the Dead’ is enough to make even the hardest of us feel uneasy and it is a trait that Metamorphosis keep running all the way through. Instrumentation and sounds appear and disappear, flickering throughout a black metal album of great songs and riffs. Simply doing these little cool things helps to make sure you won’t forget ‘The Secret Art’ any time soon.

https://www.facebook.com/thedevilsground/

https://thedevilsground.bandcamp.com/

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.

https://www.facebook.com/SacrilgiousRite

http://www.dunkelheit-produktionen.de/

https://dunkelheitprod.bandcamp.com/album/summoned-from-beyond

Nargaroth - Era of Threnody

If you don’t know Nargaroth, then your black metal knowledge is FALSE! The long running German black metal legend has returned with the first new full length since 2009, ‘Era of Threnody’, and it’s out on Inter Arma Productions on the 16th May. It is everything you can want from a Nargaroth record and more, channelling mainman Ash’s vision of black metal in its purest forms.

Opener ‘Dawn of Epiphany’ clambers from the mists with cold acoustic guitar before a snarling tremolo riff slices through the miasma and leads us onwards and hellbound. Ash’s cold snarl penetrates each bleak melody with savage intent, but the dynamics of this record are staggering. ‘Whither Goest Thou’ has a great mix of quieter, reflective moments and fiery black metal traditions. There are moments that soar on blackened wings where almost symphonic elements intrude, like the vast scope of ‘…As Orphans Drifting in a Desert Night’. There are also harrowing moments of black violence, like the scathing ‘Love is a Dog from Hell’ and the miserable gloom of ‘My Eternal Grief, Anguish Neverending’.

‘Era of Threnody’ is an album that encapsulates everything pure about the horrors of black metal; the cold bleakness, the snarling rage and the icy delicacies that play out upon heartless acoustic guitar. A thick production brings a warmth to the sound that previous releases have lacked, and it almost feels like ‘Era of Threnody’ has moved beyond mere lo-fi black metal hate into something a bit more rounded and sophisticated. ‘Era of Threnody’ is a triumph of black metal, and a re-establishment of Nargaroth as the underground force that they are.

https://www.facebook.com/officialnargaroth/

http://www.interarmaproductions.com/