Posts Tagged ‘Iron Bonehead’

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Russian black/death annihilators Vhorthax formed in 2016 with only one thing in mind; providing us with the intonations of Satan through the medium of harsh, savage blackened death metal. ‘Nether Darkness’ is due to launch at the start of January 2018 on Iron Bonehead, and it is six tracks to start your new year with a bang.

Bookended by traditional intro and outros of morbid and evil intent, ‘Nether Darkness’ is mostly as you’d expect of a black/death release on Iron Bonehead; a cacophony of pure Devil worshipping demonic metal. ‘The Levitating Tomb’ is a thick, crawling track with a rusty guitar tone and a bile drenched vocal. You ever come across a track that feels slow even when you’re assaulted by blastbeats? This is it. The pace is dirging but the atmosphere is oily and dense. Vhorthax stand out from the legions of black/death bands due to the quality of the production (crisp and clear) and also their pace. Proving you can be just as effective at a trot as a gallop, ‘Nether Darkness’ is brutally efficient.

Of course, the thrashy ‘Thy Foul Graal’ shows that Vhorthax can do both equally well, but I prefer the slower and more intense stuff. The crowning of this EP is the excellent, maddening miasma of ‘The Vessel of the Trinity’, that is a track that will invade your mind and poison your soul. ‘Nether Darkness’ is a triumph, and I look forward to more to come from these Russians.


Australia’s Runespell are dropping their eagerly anticipated debut full length record ‘Unhallowed Blood Oath’ through Iron Bonehead Productions this year, and if you are looking for something that is deeply submerged in 90s black metal classicism then this is likely to be for you. A one man project, Runespell is the work of Nightwolf who also features in Eternum and Blood Stronghold, more profilic members of the fiery Australian black metal world.

‘Oblivion Winds’ builds into a crashing, blastbeat marathon with rasped vocals and murky production values that enhance the mystical connection between music and listener. While violent and abrasive, there is a certain black magic lurking within this slice of vintage black metal. Whether it is the cavernous ‘Heaven in Blood’, the pastoral acoustics of ‘And Wolves Guide Me Home’ or the spellbinding ‘All Thrones Perish’, Runespell really channel the feel of Norwegian black metal circa 1992.

When olden rituals are performed, spells cast and black magicks released, albums like ‘Unhallowed Blood Oath’ are the result. A gloriously dark record that pulses with a vintage menace, capturing not only the sound of old school black metal but the FEEL of it too. Runespell feel like a lost legend, resurfacing once more from depths unknown. The majestic ‘White Death’s Wings’ is a centrepiece of an album with no bad tracks. Get it!

Brazilian power trio Necromante feed from the same darkness that powered Mystifier, Sarcofago and Impurity, and their debut full length ‘The Magickal Presence of Occult Forces’ comes from a decade of honing their art through demos and live rituals. Iron Bonehead is bringing this one to us, and it is due to drop on the 6th of October this year.

The creepy, flute led intro piece is a jarring misdirection for what is to come, which is mainly first wave black metal but with a subtle heavy metal slant to it. ‘Secret Eye’ feels like early Venom, while there’s a gloomy majestic to the rabid ‘Neckrokosmick Pentagram’. Necromante know exactly how to inject a dose of early NWOBHM into their riffing, and it is a delight to hear some of the earworm riffs hiding under a blackened coating. They lack the chaotic savagery of many of their countrymen, but that is not to their detriment. In fact, it feels great to be listening to a band that appreciate the more subtle take on proto black metal.

Tracks like ‘Initiation’ and my favourite, ‘A’arab Zaraq’, show how an early take on black metal doesn’t need to be all howling ‘Bathory’ clones. Necromante have absorbed as much Venom and Bathory as they have Angel Witch and Diamond Head, and this blend is a refreshing gem of a record. ‘The Magickal Presence of Occult Forces’ is an absolute joy to listen to, and you should make sure it finds its way into your collection.

The outpouring of raw black metal that appears on this debut full length from Blood Tyrant is disturbing considering the amount of chilled out stoned stereotypes you can imagine when thinking of our Dutch friends. But Blood Tyrant have nothing calm about them, prefering instead to summon ancient evil and impart frenzied darkness upon us all.

After the swelling, almost regal horn intro to ‘Dawn of a New Supremacy/Aristocracy of Twlight’, the savagery of the black metal that follows is immediate and jarring. Blood Tyrant plough that deep, Bathorian furrow that reeks of lo-fi, primal black metal. The depressive, melancholic hum of ‘The False Heresy’ is a highlight for me, where a thick ambience envelops frantic, clattering drums and riffage. ‘Aristocracy of Twilight’ is bleak, unforgiving and as black as night.

Atmospheric, eerie and possessed of an ancient spirit, Blood Tyrant have crafted a record that is the bastard spawn of the second wave of black metal, but kept hidden within mossy crevices and left to fester. A barbaric, icy cold assault that bombards your senses and preys upon the blood in your veins, summed up perfectly in the ugly chaos of ‘Clandestine Bloodmists’. ‘Aristocracy of Twilight’ will embrace you in frozen, bony limbs and lead you towards a lonely death. If you let it…


Nova Scotia, Canada is one of the more remote parts of this world, and with the caveat of Canadian black metal firmly entrenched in the expectations of the new EP from Versifist, you cannot help but have high hopes for ‘Cypher’, brought to us by the unholy duo of Vault of Dried Bones and Iron Bonehead. A scathing pair of songs awaits us…

Swarms of riffage roar from first track ‘Bring Back the Dark’, while an uneasy atmosphere settles in. Punishing black metal blasting writhes within a deathly cocoon, showering your ears with molten fury. A cold, merciless attitude brings to mind Watain, while a decrepit aura shrouds each shriek. Second track ‘…In Tongues’ rises from its grave with insistent acoustic guitar; building the anticipation and the gloom. It morphes into this twisting, soaring slice of esoteric black metal that has this distorted, ugly beauty about it.

If you can find the time to drop the funds, get a hold of this 7” and support this band. Whatever is yet to come from them is going to be excellent if ‘Cypher’ is any indication. Raise thy horns.

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This Danish duo have managed to cleave a great band name from the great metal name quarry, unique as well as evocative. Having their debut EP out on Iron Bonehead also tells you what to expect, as well as the quality underneath. Founding members of Sadogoat, and part of the equally ugly Sadomator, these guys have been spewing unholy black/death into the ether for a long time.

Opener ‘Sadomator’ is a thudding, rough and ready slab of retching death metal with dense, blackened overtones. That’s what you can expect here; some of the most primal death metal stuff there is. This is like an archaic discovery, hidden amongst brutality and technical sheen where the death spirit lives. The relentless ‘Voices in the Wind’ moves with primitive fury; lacking grace and subtlety but making up for it with purity of spirit. This is an eighteen minute assault on anything new and shiny. This is the death metal dragged from mossy crevices; from swamps of cloying tar, from darkness itself. Only that can explain the truly awesome rumble from ‘Female Goat Perversion’.

Vomit Angel are for those of us that can shy away from clean, sharp brutality and embrace the rawness, the murky fetid belch of the likes of ‘Host of Darkness’. The doomy blasting of ‘Time of the Moon’ is my highlight on an EP that should start the wheels turning on a full length. Awesome, nasty shit.


French underground death metallers Ritualization have deigned us worthy to receive their debut record in early February next year, courtesy of the good folks over at Iron Bonehead. They’ve been honing their skills for a decade now, so let us open the crypt and see what crawls out!

After the threatening ‘Conjuring of the Howling Depths’, the crunching brutality of ‘Last Rites to the Damned’ strikes with lethal force, drawing influence from the flailing chaos of Angelcorpse, or the fiery rumble of Immolation. ‘Sacraments…’ is a relentless, savage beating, with an almost blackened tone to parts of it. Blasphemous riffs cut ‘The Graveyard Coven’ to pieces like a rusty machete, with a ferocity and single minded intent that I particularly enjoy. If you like what Belphegor have done with death metal, you’re gonna really dig this record.

The menacing assault of ‘The Herald of Betrayal’ is my own highlight, with a kind of Asphyx groove meeting a rampant Deicide battering. Ritualization’s death metal is utterly unstoppable, and they aren’t afraid to throw in some tech death fretwork wizardry. The frenetic pace and constant barrage of riffing is, at times, overwhelming, and you’ll need to get a mop after listening to ‘Morbid Magick Stigmata’, becuase your brain will melt out your ears.

This is, simply put, an excellent record. Ritualization barely let up for the full forty plus minutes, and when they do it is merely to let you catch your breath before this death metal juggernaut kicks in again. Brutally heavy and punishingly fast, ‘Sacraments for the Sons of the Abyss’ is a mighty statement of intent.