Posts Tagged ‘Slovakia’

0N0 - Cloaked Climax Concealed

This strange, hybrid of noisy industrial and crushing death/doom comes to us from the enigmatically named 0N0, and ‘Cloaked Climax Concealed’ is yet another release from Transcending Obscurity that looks to challenge your perceptions of ‘heavy’. It is out now.

Opener ‘The Crown Unknown’ builds to a clattering Godfleshian nightmare, where groaning guitars thunder into uncomfortable noise atmospherics beyond. There’s deep growls and also a haunting female vocal hidden in here too, and it becomes this mesmerising wall of sound. ‘Hidden in the Trees (Sail This Wrecked Ship)’ is possessed with a ravaging dissonance, and really the two tracks run together into one, gloriously hypnotic whole. The subtle moments of soaring melody behind the layers of sound also really adds a nice wrinkle to what seems like a brutal experience.

‘Cloaked Climax Concealed’ is a short release, but these two tracks will give you an idea of what 0N0 are all about, and what that is appears to be the slow inexorable slide into industrial armageddon. An essential listen.


Krolok almost became one of those lost gems that people speak of in hushed reverent tones when they released their ‘When the Moon Sang Our Songs’ originally in 2014, in a run of just 24 copies. Containing members of Malokarpatan, and hailing from Slovakia as well, Krolok bring that old black metal mysticism back to creaking, eldritch life. It is out now through Inferna Profundus Records.

The intro is full of horror movie cliches, like thunder and lightning, dark chanting, rattling chains and screaming. It seems a bit tacky at first until ‘Ride a Roan Steed’ kicks in, and the full old school black metal, evil feelings arise from deep within these dusty riffs. This is an ode to early Darkthrone, Mayhem and Burzum, when black metal was fuzzy, clattering and had an aura of danger to it. Like a spirit arising from ancient tombs, Krolok feels like a relic from a bygone era. It is an era that black metal fans constantly return to however, and ‘When the Moon Sang Our Songs’ has that intangible that fits in quitely nicely.

Their early Carpathian Forest cover is adept, and suitably , whilst ‘The Violet Castle in the Sky’ vanishes into heavy, dark ambient territory before once more returning to the scything black metal riffs. The dungeon electronica of ‘Cosmic Rituals’ closes this record in mysterious circumstances. A truly old school album in a time when ‘old school’ is more of a buzzword than a reality, ‘When the Moon Sang Our Songs’ is a masterclass in how to make things sound authentic. Cold, bleak and utterly miserable, it is like the second wave was the final evolution of black metal.

Malokarpatan - Nordkarpatenland

A joint release from The Ajna Offensive and Invictus Productions sees ‘Nordkarpatenland’, from Slovakia’s Malokarpaten, released on both sides of the Atlantic this Halloween. Following from their acclaimed debut in 2015, Malokarpaten have steeped their second record deep into Eastern European folklore to bring us black metal of a truly esoteric and pagan nature, infested by the dark spirit of heavy metal.

‘V okresném rybníku hastrman už po stáročá vyčína’ is the first proper track, and it features some killer lead guitar work that is very classic heavy metal, while the rougher vocals keeps us firmly planted in proto-black metal territory. When you think of Eastern European black metal you’re going to go more towards the Drudkh style, but Malokarpatan are more on your Master’s Hammer side of things. The band also like to sneak in strange samples from Slovakian movies just to keep everything a little odd. ‘Ked gazdovi upeleší sa v chyži ne’ has some Iron Maiden-esque leads in it that would make most cry with jealousy!

This is definitely the kind of black metal that takes as much from King Diamond as from Mayhem, and while there is a defiant icy streak of pure northern blasphemy about them, Malokarpatan have got a flair for the theatrical at times, and possess many vintage metal riffs lurking away in their collection. ‘Nedlho po púlnoci opacha sa dopla’ is gloriously old school, and done with no hint of fashion or irony. ‘Nordkarpatenland’ exists as an album that captures the raw filth of early black metal and retains the indomitable spirit of heavy metal within.

Goholor - In Saeculis Obscuris

Slovakian death metallers Goholor dropped their debut EP back in January on Symbol of Domination, and it is four tracks of seething, bubbling deathly fury. ‘In Saeculis Obscuris’ is merely a taste of what is to come.

Opener ‘Art of Infernal Power’ beats with this propulsive power, a relentless rumbling powerhouse of a track that oozes with influences from Bolt Thrower to Obituary and everything in between. Peddling an old school groove, but blending in plenty of fierce blasting too, Goholor have got some killer, buzzsaw riffs. The scathing, Behemoth-esque ‘Naberius Daemon’ is a personal highlight, with its eerie tones and insidious melodies.

The striking thing for me about ‘In Saeculis Obscuris’ is the pure venom with which it is delivered. A flesh searing darkness and evil pervades every track, while the cavernous roar of frontman Anton channels latter day Glen Benton at his blasphemous best. Goholor have got that Eastern European ferocity down to a tee, feeding from the dark chaos unleashed by the likes of Azarath and Behemoth, with dashes of Belphegor in there too. This is a band that could be very big in the underground if their full length follows up on this debut. AWESOME!

Goatcraft are the newest band to launch from the eastern edge of black Europa, this time from Slovakia. Playing barbaric black metal, their debut EP is a savage 24 minutes, spread over thirteen tracks. It’s out Feb 22 on Iron Bonehead.

What Goatcraft bring to the torture table isn’t new, it isn’t fancy, and it sure as hell isn’t pleasant on the eardrums. There’s visceral savagery laced along every razor sharp riff, every bloodgargling vocal, every eerie interlude. ‘Isle of the Dead’ and ‘Cataclysmic Monuments’ sound the background music for one of those black and white suspense horror films, while the deathly shadows of Bathory, Archgoat and Impaled Nazarene rise above songs like the clattering ‘Temples of the Underworld’ or the morbid assault of ‘Graveless’.

A dry as dust production helps to enhance the rawness of the material. The cavernous vocals are par for the course, but are definitely more palatable than pig squealing nonsense. Goatcraft also have a love for creepy samples, which blended with their black metal style, works really well. The thirteen tracks fly past really quickly, but repeated listens help to unlock the rabid potential hidden within tracks like ‘Deathrite’, or the ambient gloom of ‘Down Below’.

Goatcraft are a jarring clash of two worlds; raw ass black metal and the most ponderous, atmospheric black metal/blackgaze blend into a quirky and ultimately satisfying 25 minutes. Looking forward to see where they go from here.