Posts Tagged ‘Poland’

‘Tormented by Faith’ is the debut album from Polish bruisers Uerberos, who follow in a grand tradition of fearsome Polish death metal bands. But can they follow the mighty Decapitated, Vader, Hate and Behemoth into brutal infamy or do they fall short at the first hurdle?

Opener proper ‘…And Finally, I Will Come’ chases the screaming, Satanic coming overtones of the intro away with fiery death metal fury; an immediacy of Deicide influences rise from whirling guitarwork and incessant blasting. There’s a distinctly Floridian vibe here, from the waspish Hate Eternalisms of ‘Destroy the Enemy’ to the complex, Morbid Angel-esque ‘Black Emissary’. Refreshingly different from taking that uber technical eastern European style, Uerberos clearly don’t intend on getting tarred with the ‘Decapitated clones’ brush.

Uerberos batter you with solid brutality, rumbling deathly riffs and subtle melodies that sneak in under the radar. Relentless power flows from dense, Massacre-esque guitars and ‘Tormented by Faith’ becomes almost a bloodstained love note to the old school US death metal scene. Injecting death metal with a fresh impetus, Uerberos are hard hitting, destructive and thoroughly enjoyable.

Cultes des Ghoules - Coven, or Evil Ways Instead of Love

Cultes Des Ghoules are one of those bands that come along but once in a lifetime, and these Polish black metallers have stepped up their game on their magnum opus ‘Coven’. A massive, double disc album running over an hour and a half of supreme evil and oddness, Cultes Des Ghoules are changing black metal as we know it, creating unsettling and ritualistic black magic that is hypnotising.

Massive opener ‘The Prophecy (Prologue) / Devell, the Devell He Is, I Swear God… (Scene I) ‘ (catchy!) runs a massive 22 minutes, and yet is NOT the longest track here. Yes folks, this is an endurance test but one made up of some fine black metal and occult teachings. It is carved into 5 ‘scenes’, like some macabre play with a cast of characters that exist in some hellish, otherworldly void of Sabbathian groove and shrieking black metal madness. Each scene is musically dynamic, shifting from blasting to more midpaced riffing and even some rumbling doomy parts. You get latter period Darkthrone, stifling Deathspell Omega moments and creepy, Ruins of Beverast style darkness, particularly the latter in ‘Strange Day, See the Clash of Heart and Reason… (Scene III)’.

An album like this cannot be taken lightly. It isn’t just a record that can be chucked on while you’re doing other things. It is a record that you need to sit down, ignore everything else and just indulge in the sheer creativeness. Cultes Des Ghoules have taken the concept album, turned it on its head and created a shapeshifting, emotionally distraught record of unsettling music. To be honest, it is almost too difficult to review each part, as the album flows together like one piece. All I would recommend you do is to get it and settle in for a true experience, because for once this is a band that sounds like no one else.

Throneum - Morbid Death Tales

Polish death lords Throneum are back again with yet more blackened brutality on Hells Headbangers. I’ve enjoyed their previous records, particularly the raging ‘Deathcult Conspiracy’ from 2009, and like a lot of Polish extremity, you know you’re going to get both barrels at 100mph. This is the 20th year of Throneum’s existence, and in that time they’ve released 39(!) slabs of hateful, deathly music into the underground of European metal.

Opening with the three part ‘Darkness of Another Circle’, Throneum’s MO has never changed from rabid, skull rattling carnage with mad vocal howls, clattering drums and a enveloping dark aura that smothers each track here. The rapidfire of ‘The Great Project of Satan’ wails with a screaming solo while unhinged vocals rage from within a torrid storm of blackened nightmares.It’s like ‘Deathcrush’ era Mayhem met Asphyx in a dark alley and decided to hatefuck each other.

The manic, relentless ‘Belial’ is a raw highlight, as is the creepier fuzz of ‘Cacus’. Throneum’s atmosphere generation is excellent, creating this thick fog within which lurks this frenzied beast, slavering for blood. Each song is a clawing, flailing, infectious beast, dripping with bile and toxic fumes. There isn’t anything original here, nor any progression from previous works, but that’s exactly the point. Throneum are deliberately one dimensional, and that dimension consists of pure evil. This record is excellent, and well worth your time!

Eteritus - Following the Ancient Path

Polish death metal eh? I’m in. I’m so in. Poland has such a reputation for high quality brutality that this has to be good surely! Probably best not to jump the gun so quickly, because Eteritus have a big national legacy to live up to. ‘Following the Ancient Path’ is out now on Godz of War Productions.

After a suitably melodic/brutal intro, first track proper ‘Biocentric’ appears with hellish certainty and earth rumbling power. Combining the tectonic groove of Bolt Thrower, the vocal ferocity of Obituary and the buzzing guitars of Grave, Eteritus provide something different from the primal strength of Vader or the surgical devastation of Decapitated. This is important, because it would be too easy for this to disappear into the ether without a different sound. ‘Hellish Imagery’ writhes in a Swedeath frenzy, while the fiery chug of ‘Eye of the Storm’ is a thing of grotesque beauty.

‘Following the Ancient Path’ is a record that could have crawled straight from the primordial death metal years; a filthy ragged tribute to the might of Dismember and Entombed, laced with Bolt Thrower heaviosity. From the scorching ‘End of Line’ to the mighty ‘Incinerator, Eteritus have kept the flame alive for Polish death metal for yet another record. A remarkable mature debut for a band who I can’t wait to hear more from!


Gallower - Witch Hunt Is On

Eastern European bands seem to have this extra viciousness that some western bands lack. Perhaps it’s the religious influence, or the historical repression under the Soviet bloc. Whatever it is, they always sounds pretty pissed off. Gallower is a perfect example of this, as a ravaging blackened thrash group from the Polish underground, their tape debut ‘The Witch Hunt is On’ showcases this ferocity in all its blood spitting glory.

‘King of the Ashes’ is a low fi, thrashing gem that reeks of early Sodom, Kreator and Bathory. It’s along the same lines as the excellent Hellripper in that there’s touches of almost classic heavy metal stapled in there somewhere. ‘Necromancer’s intro riff is a rusty saw to the vein, savagely direct and nasty. The band are possessed of a bug eyed intensity that rarely lets up, and their enthusiasm is infectious. ‘The Inquisitor’ is the best track here, with its vintage proto thrash intro and the throat shredding vocals, laying waste to us all with squalling solo work and battering thrash riffs.

The kind of blackened speed metal thrashing that invokes many invisible oranges, the wearing of bullet belts and the praising of Satan, Gallower’s debut is a fucking excellent release. We need more of this kind of chaos in our lives, and songs like the blazing ‘Holy Light’ or the relentless ‘Burning Redemption’ mark them out as something special.

TURBOCHARGED / RAGEHAMMER - Enlightenment by Bloodletting cover art

This black thrash split between Swedish ragers Turbocharged and Polish devastators Ragehammer promises to be pretty fucking good, and each band provides a new song to the 7″ vinyl release, entitled ‘Enlightenment by Bloodletting’, out now on Godz ov War Productions.

Turbocharged’s contribution is a waspish, high speed attack of razor guitar riffs and a galloping, Sodom like thrash. There’s a crusty, d-beat rage here which is pretty cool, that channels a bit of Swedsh death chainsaw riffing too. Ragehammer’s ‘PanzerFaustian Enlightenment’ is a more direct, black metal approach, with an underlying emphasis on speed and blasting. Of the two tracks, I think I just prefer this one, only just though.

Both tracks sum up what makes each band good, and that’s what all good splits should do. Turbocharged chainsaw their way in while Ragehammer slash in with cold, metallic riffing. Yet more awesome stuff from Godz of War Productions, and you should definitely try and get a hold of this!

So at the moment it seems that if you want to taken seriously as a black/death metal sensation you need to tick a few boxes. Blasphemous? Check. Polish? Check. Purveyors of brutality and savagery? CHECK! Heretique are the latest in a long line of Eastern European destroyers, and they follow in the bloodstained footsteps of Behemoth, Azarath and Vader quite capably. It’s out now via Polish label Via Nocturna.

The Eastern acoustics of ‘Chimera (Preludium)’ are a false start, building a little menace before the bulldozing ‘Sweet Stench of Rotting Flesh’ grinds through, crushing those who dare stand in its wake. The Vader worship is obvious, especially in the guttural bellows of Stryzga, but there are some badass melodic leads that burst from the gloom, especially in the killer solo. It in no way detracts from the assault, just provides a pleasant surprise.

The eerie title track has these dark, spoken word sections that remind you almost of Morbid Angel’s ‘God of Emptiness’ in parts. ‘Dying in Hate’ is a steamrolling exercise in precise brutality. Heretique, thankfully, have not decided to coat their black/death in a miasmic production that stifles the actual music behind a wall of murk. It is clear, concise, and precision savagery, and it makes it all the better. Remember how awesome ‘Evangelion’ was when it first came out, and it was clear as a bell? Take note black/death metallers, not all your releases need to sound like they were recorded in a swamp.

‘De Non Existentia Dei’ is a fluid, adventurous album, that flits from delicate acoustic moments (‘Following Through’ and the start of the succeeding ‘Dimension’) to crushing, muscular death metal destruction (the frankly heavy as fuck ‘Unknown Whispers’, or the rumbling ‘Czarna polewka’). While not as grandiose as Behemoth, nor as relentless as Vader, Heretique combine them both to create a good album that is worth investing in. Crush, kill destroy!