Posts Tagged ‘Sixsixsix Music’

Incantation of Sorrow cover art

The first new band release I’ve heard from Sixsixsix Music in a while, and I am so glad that Steve has started this again, because he’s relaunched it with a doozy. Severe Lacerations are a brutal death/thrash band from the grim North West of England, and their debut demo release has three scorching tracks on it. Their socio-political cover art looks very Napalm Death, and it seems almost fitting, considering the aural violence on display.

First track proper ‘Extant’ opens with a rampant chug, settling into a slower verse riff where savage vocals rage before a whirlwind of brutality explodes with fiery riffing and thudding double kicks rain down upon your ears. Severe Lacerations balance a crushing chug with clever technical riffing very well, and although the production muffles some of the riffing, you can feel the power on display. The fat riff that fuels ‘The Silent Death’ is heavy as fuck, and when you come across one of those kind of riffs, its time to lie down and accept your fate.

Closing with the doomy ‘Grim Harvest’, the demo feels just enough to whet your appetite for more. Severe Lacerations have written some good songs here, and while not wildly original or anything, each contains some fucking brutal headbanging riffs. Definitely worth watching out for in the near future.

Starless Night have released ‘Lost in Life’s Endless Maze’, their new album on Sixsixsix Music. Now the label head honcho Steve and I have been friends for a while now, and I can pretty much trust his judgment on a band’s quality if he releases their stuff. I also heard the epic ‘Time Heals Nothing When There’s No Good to See’ on one of the label’s Metal Legions free downloads. I’m eager to see what the band can produce in a full length.

Starless Night play a surprisingly heavy form of atmospheric, depressive black metal. Sure, there are soaring melodies within the relentless tremolo riffing, but the underpinning barrage of drums is satisfying thick and dense. The atmosphere is very cold though; Starless Night are all about your more traditional icy riffing, howling like a frozen wind. ‘Deeper in These Realms I Go’ is a perfect example, with a relentless  throbbing assault which makes the sudden drop off into eerie ambience and then return to frigid riffs seem even more startling.

‘Lost in Life’s Endless Maze’ is a full 70+ minutes of cold dead riffs, buzzing with an icy malevolence. Swathes of dark ambient moments compliment the harsh black metal, and hearing the tinkling clarity of the title track’s intro slowly being overtaken by a looming buzz is a moment to cherish. ‘Time Heals Nothing…’ is still twenty minutes of some of this year’s finest atmospheric black metal, and is followed by another twenty minute track that challenges it for pure dark majesty.

‘Lost in Life’s Endless Maze’ is a long listening experience, but it is worth it to hear the grasp of dynamics and aching beauty in some of the riffing. Thoroughly memorable and stunningly bleak, Starless Night will be definitely worth looking out for in years to come.

Sed Auiis cover art

‘Sed Auiis’ is the newest split release from Sixsixsix Music, featuring one band I know very well (Chiral) and two I am less familiar with. I trust, knowing Steve at Sixsixsix, that the black metal will be of a high quality, so I’m looking forward to what this sounds like.

Nebel Uber Den Urnenfelder (Fog Over the Urnfield according to Google translate, please let me know if I’m wrong) open up this six track effort with the first of their two contributions, ‘Asche uber dem Leidensweg’. This is a menacingly raw slice of black metal, with a very depressive feel to it. It is all chainsaw riffs and naked fury, balanced by delicate acoustics which enhance that sense of mourning. ‘Ein Riss im ewigen Kreis’ exudes that similar atmosphere, foreboding but bare for us all to see. The bar is set high for Eternal Spell and Chiral to aim for.

Eternal Spell are Chilean and are a solo project spitting out raucous blackened thrash punk fury, ‘Black Mysticism’ being prime raw Venom worship. ‘Forces of Occult’ is the better track I think, with some cool Celtic Frost style grunts and a relentless assault. It’s dripping with classic proto-black metal moments, and the vibe it gives off is totally addictive!

Now to my good friend Chiral. I’ve yet to be disappointed with anything Teo has produced with Chiral, and his two contributions are more of the same high quality black metal. ‘Queste Voci Ch’Eclissano la Luce Part I’ is a pulsing slice of Emperor-esque savage beauty, from the slow melodies of the intro to the howling rage of the main riffs. The acoustic interlude leaves a final minute of ‘Nightside’ style frost, scything through your veins. ‘…Part 2’ has dashes of Dissection’s melodic flair, and has some wonderfully evocative guitar leads at the beginning and in fact throughout. A swaying tribute to the coldest of black metal’s kings, Chiral has once more proven that black metal burns bright.

In conclusion, I’d say this split is definitely worth getting a copy of. You’ve got atmospheric depressiveness, vintage blackened speed metal and soaring icy black metal greatness, all in the space of 6 tracks. What more could you want!?


The latest great idea from Sixsixsix Music is the Metal Legions digital single series, featuring 3 bands from 3 different continents on a free digital download. The idea behind this was to help bands make new fans in different countries, which is pretty laudable. Having spent a bit of time researching different scenes across the globe, I’ve come across a number of great bands that I never would have found otherwise. So, onto the singles.

Metal Legions 1 changed at the last moment, so instead of Angmaer we have Goatchrist’s raging ‘A Message Blows East on Sumerian Winds’, of which I’ve waxed lyrical enough about recently on my review of their new album, so onto Indonesia’s Maledikta. Their brand of black metal has some cool eerie moments, and a rasping croak. The riffs are thick, and are augmented nicely by some piano. It is midpaced with some nice Middle Eastern tremolo melodies, bringing to mind Melechesh’s raw work, and I like it. Starless Night, from the US, have supplied a twenty minute odyssey, ‘Time Heals Nothing When There’s No Good to See’, which isn’t the catchiest title in the book, but the song is all brooding nightmare. Slow synths build into thudding blasts and soaring riffs, with a contemplative heart at its core. This is very much atmospheric black metal majesty, with a great sense of openness and scope. It’s a magnificent piece of work, and compliments the other two tracks well, adding a welcome relaxation period during a long ambient section.

Metal Legions 2 consists of Canada’s Survival Instinct, the UK’s own Gods of War and Brazilians Corpsia. Opener ‘Hell’s Angels’ gives a nice summation of what Survival Instinct are all about. Namely, blackened thrash in the vein of classic Sodom. It’s tight, passionately done and catchy as hell. The UK fights their corner next with Gods of War, bringing ‘Fornost’ with another raw blackened thrash assault. Combining that with some clean vocal sections is brave though, and mostly works here. The solo is rampant, and the riffs are high quality. Corpsia finish off the second installment with a driving riff that is packed with heavy groove. Taking the thick chunky thrash route, Corpsia are a pleasant surprise. With the company they keep on this release, you’d be expecting something totally different, but the massive groove is fucking righteous man. I love it

If you don’t have these downloaded already, why the fuck not? 6 tracks over two releases with more to come, and all the bands are of high quality and variety. Bang your fucking head!







Goatchrist’s newest release, following on from last year’s ‘She Who Holds the Scrying Mirror’, follows a tale of Sumerian sorcerers tasked to find the Tablet of Destinies stolen from the god Enlil by the Anzu bird. Yeah. So, without knowing aNything about this story, (but totally going to go read it now) I decided to stick to evaluating the music. I’ll say one thing; its a lofty concept for a 17 year old…

The album opens with a moody intro, with some esoteric chanting and babbling while a haunting organ adds atmosphere. First track proper, ‘The Triumvirate’s Flight to Nippur’ is a raging slice of blackened death metal. There’s something very much of a rawer Melechesh about them, lacking the more overtly Eastern flourishes but the passion and the melodies are there. The guitar work is stellar, and everything from production to actual musicianship has improved greatly over their debut. ‘A Message Blows East on Sumerian Winds’ is built around a killer riff, and is soaked in easrtern melody. Slower than the previous, it brings a untold sense of groove and catchiness to the record. I love that riff, I seriously do. It’s been stuck in my head since I first heard it.

‘Plaguewood’ is another example of how mindblowing the fact that this is a one man outfit is. Whether its the brooding menace of the opening riff, the swelling keyboard effects or the juddering chug, Goatchrist’s biggest strength is the variety they bring to the UK scene. With a gurgling vocal growl, they’re playing straight into my highlights of 2015 thus far list. Overlaying blasting with creepy organ and ethereal voices works so well.

From the howling fury of ‘The Great Battle at Ninurta’s Temple’, a stunning example of blackened death, to the epic two part closer ‘Enki’ and the epilogue, Goatchrist have outdone themselves. One of the most mature releases by such a new outfit I have heard in a long time, and now they’ve risen to be one of my top acts in the underground. Wonder what’s next…

Band Website
Sixsixsix Music

Available from Sixsixsix Music, there are four non profit CD-Rs available for a measly £2 each. These are sold simply to promote the band involved, which at the current moment are India’s Eyes of the Martyr, the UK’s own Slaughter Throne and Nefarious Dusk and American melodic deathsters Necrocosm. Each comes in a plastic slipcase with artwork and is remarkably professional considering you only pay two pounds for it. Just goes to show that Steve at Sixsixsix gives a fuck about the bands he supports. I’ve reviewed the majority of this music before here at the Killchain, so this is only a brief run down:

Nefarious Dusk is one of the UK’s best hidden secrets, playing raw, atmospheric black metal the way it was supposed to be. Eyes of the Martyr are India’s equivalent of Lamb of God; chunky, heavier than a coffin slab and rifftastic. I’ve already dubbed Slaughter Throne to be the UK’s answer to Behemoth, and Necrocosm play some great, solid melodeath tracks without sounding too repetitive. I’ll review the Necrocosm demo in full sometime soon.

Simply put, this is not only a fantastic bargain at £1 per single, but helps to get these bands to a wider audience which is a must. Steve at SixSixSix is constantly thinking of new ways and ideas to promote the music he loves, and more label bosses should be thinking like this, lest we lose the magic of physical releases all together. Buy them here

A band I reviewed a while back on a split CD with Forneus and Hex Morbidity, Baalberith are long running stalwarts of the underground black metal scene in the UK. This is their fourth full length, with many splits, demos and EPs out there over the years. A band I was never familiar with until the guys at Hex Morbidity asked me to review their split, I thought they were pretty decent. I jumped at the chance to get myself a full length copy from Sixsixsix Music of their new record, ‘Apparition of Skulls’. As I’ve said before, splits are generally not my thing as I prefer to get to know a band over a full release.

‘Apparition of Skulls’ opens with the thundering ‘Quest for Satan’. A full throttle, writhing and snarling black metal beast, the devastating battery of double bass underneath is particularly heavy. Replete with savage, vocal incantations of praise for the Horned One, ‘Quest for Satan’ is a remarkably strong opener, and sets the tone for what is to come. Baalberith play black metal in the way that a brutal combination of Immortal and latter period Mayhem would. There’s dashes of atonal melodies in there too, bringing to mind the more headfucking moments of someone like Blut Aus Nord. While previously thinking this was the weakest track from them on the split, it makes perfect sense as an album opener.

‘Battle for the Blazing North’ is a more galloping beast, after a soaring opening section, and a thrusting, urgent blast. Baalberith show more variety in the first two tracks than a lot of black metal bands manage in a career. The soul of traditional heavy metal lives somewhere inside this blackened malevolence, and every so often it breaks through. Something to also highlight is the harsh, gurgling vocals. A welcome change from the more traditional banshee howls, vocalist Razakel gurgles and rasps his way through these 35 minutes, sounding for all the world he’s gargling fetid blood. It’s TOTALLY metal.

The quality fails to disappoint at any moment, and the overall standard is fantastic. From the mournful, gloomier intro to the title track, which channels elements of death/doom titans Winter into a lurching, crawling beast, to the rapid fire ‘Bloodshed’, Baalberith are a hidden gem. ‘Infinite Malevolence’ brings the groove and more of those spiralling atonal melodies that are just killer.’Abortion of Religious Futility’ is a mournful wave of black metal that crashes upon the shores of your mind, and ‘Killing on Impulse’ finishes the record up strongly, all flailing riffs and savage growls.

‘Apparition of Skulls’ may not be the best black metal album you’ll hear all year, but it is definitely different enough, and good enough, to be considered for its merits. I was perhaps a bit critical of their tracks on the ‘In Satan’s Honour’ split, as I’ve definitely found the songs to be growers. Baalberith are a band that deserve to be supported, and ‘Apparition of Skulls’ should be any black metallers must buy lists. NOW CUT YOUR FLESH AND WORSHIP SATAN!!

This is a joint posting with the ever ‘delightful’ head of Sixsixsix Music, Steve Thomas-Green, who I’ve spent many an hour discussing bands with over the last few weeks. We hit upon the idea of doing a joint blog post, each of us scouring our collective internets for FIVE countries not normally know as much for their metal, and finding another FIVE bands that are flying the flag for their respective lands. Naturally, the consumate metalheads we are decided to try and out-obscure each other. We’ve come up with a pretty select bunch of ‘where the fuck?’ places and acts that are pretty much excellent examples of how metal transcends borders, time zones, cultures and social classes. Let the games begin…

My first example is Nepal. Now, Nepal is home to some of the world’s biggest mountains, and therefore some of the world’s most epic, invisible orange inducing scenery. I did a bit of a spotlight on this area recently, so its a quick recap. My highlighted band is Maowli, who as far as I can find have literally ONE song available as a split with Pakistan’s Foreskin. But it is one minute and thirteen seconds of Converge skullfucking Hatebreed with a clawhammer. They say crossover thrash, I say razorblades at dawn. Split with Foreskin is available on Bandcamp as a free download right here.

Staying in this area of the world is Pakistan. I’m picking Multinational Corporations, who are a sick as fuck deathgrind troupe. Their 2014 release ‘Jamat-al-Maut’ is a gurgling, vicious attack on the senses. They rail against all the usual cliches of grindcore, namely religion, wage slavery and, you’ve guessed it, corporations, but there’s a raw spirit here that appeals to me greatly. Plus, they come from a part of the world that is as close to nuclear attack from their neighbours as is currently possible. I’d be pissed too. Free download of the EP is on their Bandcamp, and you can also get a tape release through Grindfather Records in the UK and Extreme Terror in Holland.

Hurtling towards the other side of the world is Peru. An oft forgotten South American country in the world of metal, what with all the brutal stuff coming from Brazil generally. But Peru have Infection, whose ‘Necrokindergarden’ album I reviewed way back when I still reviewed for Spirit of Metal forum. It is a thick, solid death metal record without the super shiny polish of modern tech death, yet not that sludgy ‘OLD SKOOL’ style either. Its in the vein of Monstrosity or Cannibal Corpse, and its executed well. Released when death metal was starting to feel a bit stagnant again, it was refreshingly straightforward. They’ve released a new album this year, which I look forward to finding and hearing. Hear ‘Necrokindergarden’ here.

Fourth on our list is back to Asia and to China where we have Deep Mountains. They have a debut record coming out PEST Productions some point this year according to their Facebook page, and their music is epic, atmospheric and, in parts, fucking beautiful. My personal favourite track is ‘Odes to the Pines’ but you can probably take your pick. They feel like a rainy day in a forest. It is fucking glorious. Deep Mountains are probably my favourite of these five discoveries, as their music touches me somewhere deep.

Finally I go to war torn, totally fucked Iraq for a slice of fantastic depressive black metal in Xathrites. Considering their homeland is currently in the depths of more war and religious genocide, it feels almost appropriate to be listening to some seriously nihilistic shit. ‘My Last Day Story‘ is what you’re looking for here, and it’s available on their Facebook page as a YouTube stream of the full record. It’s a morbid but fascinating, hypnotic listen, enhanced by mournful piano lines in the right places. Atmospheric and dark.

This has been a great journey. Hopefully these bands will now get a little bit more coverage and a little bit more exposure. I look forward to what Steve picks as his ‘five from five’. Given the conversations and recommendations we’ve been throwing at each other, they should be dynamite. Rock and fucking roll.