Posts Tagged ‘Iron Bonehead’


Yeah I’m going to come straight and tell you that I don’t know how to pronounce either the band or the album title, but I am sure intrigued. Aztec, Mayan, Incan; these are not elements of world culture that appears often in metal, so that when I found Tezcatlipoca’s new record I was definitely interested. ‘Tlayohualtlapelani’ is out now through Iron Bonehead Records.

You feel like this record is going to be pretty standard black metal, particularly at the start of opener ‘Notlacahcahualiz Ica Yetztli, Cipactli’, but strange little background elements begin to play a role. Eerie noises weave into between the fiery, cavernous black metal tremolo. The sinister ‘Huey Tlatoani’ is a perfect example of that, conjuring images of darkened rituals done in dark caves. Searing guitar tones wail over blasting rage, while the vocals spout fearsome rasps and growls.

The unnerving incantations of ‘Macuil Xochitl Icic’ is just one example of where those ancient cultures lay scorched fingers upon this record, sitting nicely in the middle of a record that continues to burn with a raging passion. The molten fury of ‘Tlacatl Tlein In Mimiqueh Icah Tlahtoa’, the howling ‘Chichimeca, Yaotecatl Ayamictlan’ and particularly the imperious ‘In Tzinacan Itlayohualpatlaniliz’ lay Tezcatlipoca’s claim to be the kings of Mexican black metal, and a mighty claim it is. I’ve never heard anything that sounds like this.

‘Tlayohualtlpelani’ is a record replete with moments of terrifying black metal, stuff that goes beyond the usual necrotic fetishism. Tezcatlipoca draw deep from ancient and untouched evils, and their take on the genre is fresh, authentic and truly indicative of the fact that this world is full of olden evils we are not aware. Excellent.


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Chilean black/death monsters Disembowel are a particularly nasty proposition, with their debut full length ‘Plagues and Ancient Rites’ steeped in the most gruesome and morbid of filth. Released in March through Iron Bonehead Productions, this Lovecraft inspired tome has summoned something rather ghoulish from eldritch depths.

After the haunting chants of ‘Innsmouth Evocation’, the ‘Lord of Shadows’ appears with grinding death metal riffing and brutal vocals. ‘Plagues and Ancient Rites’ is a record heavy with traditional death metal power, and it is suffocating under a miasmic fog of otherworldly dread. The driving Grave-isms of ‘IA! IA! Nyarlathotep!’ is particularly potent, but throughout there is a gnawing, scratching insanity permeating each song. You can feel it in the maddeningly heavy ‘Ancient Cult of Chthulu’, like there’s something scratching at the edge of your reality, begging to get inside and cause chaos.

When Disembowel strike your ears, you will be given a lesson in death metal greatness. There’s something breeding deep in the darkest areas of South America, and this is where Disembowel have crawled from. The songs are tight, brutal and shrouded with the kind of ancient mysteries that most bands dream about attaining. High quality stuff, and I look forward to more.

Runespell - Order of Vengeance

Australian black metallers Runespell don’t fuck around, with less than a year since their debut full length ‘Unhallowed Blood Oath’ came out we have a new full length, ‘Order of Vengeance’. It is out at the start of July through Iron Bonehead Productions, and it never fails to amaze that this is the work of one man.

‘Retribution in Iron’ builds slowly into a cacophonous, cavernous black metal landscape; vast and bleak. The production is dense and murky, adding a sense of morbid ferocity to the miasmic evil within. Ghostly acoustics plague the instrumental ‘Night’s Gate’, while the crawling monstrosity of ‘Wolf.Axis’ is pure, churning darkness. Runespell also layer their darkness with a smothering melancholy, embodying each track with a haunting misery. Their approach is mesmerising, the music is nuanced, layered expertly to build a multi faceted album.

This is black metal that burns with a oily, choking nastiness, and leaves you feeling emotionally drained. ‘Order of Vengeance’ is a record that enschews the more tinpot, icy clatter of many black metal records, and smears each riff with a filthy, murky atmosphere. The sickly yellow moon is in the sky, the claws of fate have us, and Runespell are only here to guide us to our abysmal end in the voids.

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So, when the blurb for a record comes into my email proclaiming that this is not music, these are not songs, these are ‘expressions of the unconscious’, my interest is immediately piqued. ‘To the Great Monolith I’ is the debut of Death.Void.Terror, and Iron Bonehead Productions are releasing this at the start of May. Come with me now on a journey through darkness and the subliminal.

The first track is a mammoth 24 minutes, and opens with a menacing droning, complete with the odd scream from distant abyssal plains. A sort of dissonant, evil thrumming oozes from my speakers, and the intensity starts to build from there. Waves of dense, bleak feedback squalls over your ears as shrieks plummet through darkened clouds into this miasma laid out in front of me. You get flashes of black metal, blasting and screaming, but the main aim of this appears to be to drag your innermost demons out through your ears, in the medium of blackened drone/dark ambient.

The harrowing second track does just that; a cacophonous, clashing monster of sound that will probably haunt you for a long long time. Rasping screams howl from yawning chasms of sheer, abysmal torment. ‘To the Great Monolith I’ certainly explores parts of your psyche you didn’t know were there, and are now probably irreparably damged. Hugely challenging but the sheer nihilistic exhilaration is worth the experience.

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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.