Posts Tagged ‘Scotland’

Edinburgh based death/doom newcomers Wolf Sermon have got their 2016 demo out on cassette now through the always reliable Carvetii Productions. This is four slabs of dense, savage and dark metal for those of us drawn to the Asphyx/Autopsy axis of death metal. Be prepared for a couple of surprises though.

‘Pagan Skin’ rides out with a vicious, chugging Swedish death buzz to its riffing, while a strong Asphyx vibe laces its way through. Dark melodies are woven into each monolithic riff, bringing it above your standard Autopsy clone fare. It’s that sense of melody that lifts the superb ‘Violent Art’ into the realms of greatness; where mournful lead guitar meets crushing bass riffs and howling growls. When a band makes sure on their DEMO to do things a little differently to stand out, that’s a potential marker for future greatness.

Anyone who enjoys great, heavy music can appreciate the shifting sands of ‘Pillars of Vengeance’, but Wolf Sermon plant little nuances within each track that only enhances your joy at the pure spirit of their demo. Wrap that up in a tasteful cassette package from Carvetii and I’m frankly embarassed I’ve only just come across this now, because I love this shit. Grab a copy as soon as possible!

https://wolfsermonmetal.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/wolfsermon/

http://carvetiiproductions.bigcartel.com/store

Hellripper - Coagulating Darkness

New Hellripper is front page news for me these days, and a brand new debut album is CAPITAL LETTERS news. This band have been kicking my ass for years now, and their debut is now upon us. More of the same catchy as hell blackened thrash chaos? Let’s hope so.

Opener ‘Bastard of Hades’ is that same, venomous Motorhead vibe that you’ve come to expect from Hellripper. Full throttle, energetic and raw but without losing any of that potent rock and roll base. ‘Annelise’ is more of the same, with lightning lead guitar lines flying from the frets while a propulsive drumming performance is frenetic. Rarely breaking a whipstrike speed, Hellripper tear through these eight tracks in no time, and the infectious melodies and awesome riffing demands you press repeat.

Be it the contagious ‘Black Invocation’ or the soloing frenzies of ‘Conduit Closing’, Hellripper have songs for the hardcore thrasher, the fan of the raw throat savagery and the hard rocker in us all. ‘Coagulating Darkness’ melts punkish attitude into Venom and Lemmy’s greatest riffs, then cranks the speed up 100% and lets fly. ‘From Hell’ alone is enough to sell this record to me, let alone the rest. This band forever embodies the sheer joy of heavy metal, and Hellripper deserve to get massive.

https://hellripper.bandcamp.com/

http://www.witchesbrewthrashes.eu/shop/

https://www.facebook.com/Hellripper1/

Image may contain: indoor

Lock Howl, from the grey north of Scotland, come to me described as a post punk band drenched in reverb, with touches of black metal in there too. Now, as a reviewer who salivates at the idea of something out of the norm, ‘Pareidolia’ sounds like a very interesting prospect indeed…

‘The Seventh Room’ opens the record with an eerie incantation before the gloomy, post punk vibes take over. Like a black metal version of Type O Negative, there’s definite savagery hidden amongst the reverb loaded riffs. A pervasive melody lurks within ‘Nephilim’, while the dark influences of the likes of Joy Division comes through on the gloomy ‘Into the Darkness. Into the Unknown’. It is a sound that, when pierced by a savage black metal moment, works really well.

There also seems to be a great resemblance to In Solitude; while removing the King Diamond-esque worship, the miserable heavy metal riffs stay, and you get a similar vibe here. I really like the propulsive ‘Graveless’, which builds gracefully with an infectious melody line that burns its way into your mind. ‘And She Was Found by the Lake’ is a melancholic beauty; a powerful piece of emotional turmoil. ‘Pareidolia’ is a rewarding album with plenty of  awesome little moment, you’ll have to listen to it twice.

https://www.facebook.com/LockHowlBand/

https://lockhowl.bandcamp.com/

NNGNN - Forceful Blasphemy

NNGNN used to be called Nolti Nan Gana Nan Nolta, which was a bit of a mouthful to be honest, and so with their second EP release we’ve got the abbreviated version which, quite frankly, as a blogger I very much appreciate. I reviewed their last demo, the superbly entitled ‘Death by the Venomhammer’, and found it to be excellent, so the new material is hotly anticipated!

Opener and title track ‘Forceful Blasphemy’ instantly kicks us off with a scything riff that severs blood vessels with its single minded savagery. There feels like a channeling of classic Venom here; alongside a more traditional black metal assault there is definitely dashes of early Celtic Frost too. The riffs are sharp, relentless blasting provides the underpinning battery for the thrashy ‘Destruction of Ingrained Illusion’ which gallops like prime 80s thrash coated in black metal evilness. Closer ‘Abhorrent Foundations’ has some great dark thrash chugging riffs, and is a perfect example of the great guitarwork on display throughout all three tracks

NNGNN have evolved since their last release, and not just in name. There’s a bit more assurance about them now; a maturing swagger that allows them to straddle thrash, black and heavy metal easily without constricting themselves to one in particular. The EP benefits greatly from that, and steps away from going down the identikit blackened-thrash band road, instead turning them towards genuine, blackened heavy metal Valhalla. An excellent end of year present!

https://nngnn.bandcamp.com/

https://eldritchlunarmiasma.bandcamp.com/album/forceful-blasphemy

https://www.facebook.com/nngnnband/?fref=ts

 

hellripper-complete-and-total-fucking-mayhem-cover

Being asked to review a new Hellripper release is like Christmas come early. Except Santa is covered in spikes, a Venom t-shirt and is thrashing his head against his sleigh, blood spraying everywhere. ‘Complete and Total Fucking Mayhem’ is a collection of all of Hellripper’s releases so far, splits and EPs etc, onto one excellent disc. Sit back and prepared to be thrashed.

‘Flesh Ripper’ does exactly that, with razor edged riffing tearing at you while a raging vocal spouts fear and death. ‘Total Mayhem’ is one of my favourite songs of last year, with its raw as fuck speed metal sensibilities scything through all competitors. Hellripper take all the raw potential of early Bathory and inject the kind of melody that Quorthon didn’t manage until much later. It’s harsh, uncompromising but still catchy as all hell, like the wonderfully ravaging RAWK of ‘Hell’s Rock and Roll’.

I had actually missed their split with Fetid Zombie earlier this year (shame upon me), so the last four tracks here were totally new to me. Of these, the standouts are the fiery fretwork moments of ‘Mephistophelian Dreams’ and the Sodom worship of the speedy ‘Blood on the Cross’. The uncanny melding of savage blackened thrash riffs and insidious melodies is what draws me back to Hellripper time after time. Insane air guitaring and headbanging ensues when you crank this up, so make sure it’s at 11.

http://granitefactoryrecords.bigcartel.com/

https://hellripper.bandcamp.com/

Runemaster - Wisdom & Darkness

For those who remember, I was absolutely enthralled by the last Runemaster release, ‘Futhark Dawning’, for its righteous trad metal thunder and epic riffery. Well, Runemaster have dropped another three track beast, and this and ‘Futhark Dawning’ is now available together on CD through Greek label Alone Records. As a fellow Scot, I feel obliged to inform you that this is awesome.

Opener ‘Path of the Serpent’ lacks the same killer hook that ‘Into the Hall’ had, but the riffs are no less epic, and the primordial power of heavy metal is tapped into directly. Runemaster have that same swagger that Grand Magus have, but on a more gritty and base level. They have an almost fuzzy, occult feel to them, where each song is like a Conan the Barbarian-style warrior ritual. Music to triumph over your enemies to!

‘God Has Himself to Blame’ has a righteous solo, and each riff smacks of vintage Pentagram, Candlemass and Solitude Aeternus. The simple groove induces the most vigorous of head banging, and the epic closer ‘Pillars in the Abyss’ is probably one of the most pure and excellent heavy metal songs you’ll hear ever. Keeping the spirit of Manowar and Dawnbringer alive, Runemaster prove once again to be one of the most vital flagbearers out there. Another stone cold classic!

https://www.facebook.com/runemaster/

https://runemaster.bandcamp.com/

http://www.alone.gr/

Spoiler alert: this is my new favourite band. So you can expect this review to be positive straight off the bat, but this is a band I only discovered only two days ago and I am smitten by their riff prowess and emotive power. King Witch are a four piece that hail from Edinburgh and play a soulful, grooving style of heavy doom. Their new EP, ‘Shoulders of Giants’ is out now, and should be an essential purchase.

When the opening title track kicks in, after delicate notes emerge from the gloomy intro part, you know you’re in for a bit of a treat. The guitar work is reminiscient of the air guitar doomlord Matt Pike, and there are a number of High on Fire-isms spread out amongst these 3 songs. But the highlight is the powerful and versatile vocal talents of frontwoman Laura Donnelly. Her siren-like voice channels the best and most potent of trad metal and doom singers, from JB Christoffersen and Dio to Emily Kopplin. The catchy refrain here is a highlight too, and the beguiling voice is one I could spend the rest of my days listening to without complaint.

The more dynamic ‘Full Moon King’, which is possessed of a mighty gallop as well as a more melancholic clean section that show more vocal range, leads into the potent epic doom of ‘Lucid’, where molten riffs of mighty doom crash against a gloomy siren on a rock. This is a tour de force, and closes the EP as brilliantly as it opened. King Witch are my new Mount Salem, and for long time readers you’ll know how much that praise means. I cannot wait for more from these guys!

https://kingwitchband.bandcamp.com/releases