Posts Tagged ‘Morbid Shrine Productions’

Spanish death metallers Opposer have been dragging deathly riffs from the miasma since 1992, and ‘Darkest Path’ combines a true old school vibe with some vintage sounding death and thrash riffs for a trip back in time to when the genres were more intertwined. Morbid Shrine Productions have blessed us with their fellow countrymen here, and it is time to rewind the clock to 1992…

Opener ‘Straight to Hell’ sounds like early Possessed or Death; thick riffing coupled with some insatiable speedy solos and a rabid, scowling vocal that oozes early 90s menace. There’s a lot of Obituary coming through the sludgey ‘Osiris Land’, and the further you go down the ‘Darkest Path’, the closer you come to a portal back to when the likes Malevolent Creation and Sepultura ruled the roost. Simple, propulsive and powerful makes tracks like the dominating ‘Under My Skin’ sound fearsome in their protection of old school death metal values.

Many hints of prime Bolt Thrower exist in ‘Darkest Path’ too, as well as dark melodies in the likes of ‘Satanas – Abode of Crow’ that remind you of old Finnish death or even Paradise Lost. Morbidly elegiac in parts, Opposer can switch between resolutely old fashioned thrashy death and more measured, darkly melodic rumblings with ease. The mark of a truly great band is to change dynamics without drifting too far from your original sound, and Opposer do this with aplomb. Resolutely old school death metal that crushes that sweet spot with devastating grace.


One man Spanish pagan black metal band Briargh (which sounds like a good spelling for a Tom G Warrior deathgrunt), is also the mind behind the excellent Morbid Shrine Productions. ‘Eboros’ is the third record of gloomy black metal in the vein of Burzum and the legendary Drudkh.

Opener ‘El Llanto del Bosque’ weaves melancholic atmosphere through icy riffage and throat shredding vocals. There is a dash of Swedish melodics in here too, particularly a Dissection influence on the glorious ‘Silem Sogo’, with its soaring lead work. A grey pagan gloom covers each melancholic lead, and while the blasting sections are fucking brutal, Briargh at their best when at a more midpaced crawl. There is a dense, icy blackness about everything they do.

‘Sun of the Dead’ has this almost Primordial vibe in places, a kind of regal pagan majesty about it. I think that’s what makes ‘Eboros’ and Briargh such an enjoyable experience. It reminds you of the genre greats, yet has a wonderful sense of originality about it. It’s a little heavier than a lot of black metal, with a stunningly miserable atmosphere (see the murky ‘El Nubero de Samhain’ or the gloriously ethereal pagan ritual of the title track’) and oozing with dark melodies. A hidden gem from Europe’s dark underground.

Gloom - Doggod

Spain’s Gloom has probably the most ironic band name to country ever. Their homeland is renowned for being a sunny holiday paradise, but there is clearly something horribly dark going on in twisted corners of España. Gloom are the birth of that beast, a flailing malevolent entity of blackened death metal chaos. ‘Doggod’ is their second record, following a six year wait from 2009’s debut ‘Mater Tenebrarum’, and it is a genuinely startling slab of violence.

Take ‘Erik Zann’ as an example. By the third track you’ve already been subject to the raging assault of the title track and this one is no different. Gloom meld the icy fury of black metal into the sheer heaviness of death metal. Crushing brutal death meets technical wizardry head on in a collision of stunning proportions. ‘Erik Zann’ is a schizophrenic exercise in pure rage and devastating riffage, that pogos around different time signatures.

It’s not all craziness however. The steamrolling opening riff to ‘Bolter’ is pure Bolt Thrower worship, and its fucking excellent. The song thuds into your brain with the force of a train, and its sheer propulsion urges your head to bang. The deathgrind ravages of ‘M.B.M’ and the thrashing ‘The Halfman’ add some variety to the mix, and there’s some superb headbanging moments, particularly in the rabid ‘Mass Infection’.

‘DogGod’ is a stunning blend of hyperblasting savagery and grinding, chugging low end. Gloom combine these elements expertly, while keeping each song totally listenable and relevant. There’s no wasted motion or notes, everything on ‘DogGod’ is exactly where it needs to be, and where that is is deep within some of the best riffs you’ll hear this year.