Posts Tagged ‘Slovenia’

Dalkhu - Descend... into Nothingness

Sometimes a record needs time to weigh upon you, repeated listens to get into and to enjoy. Others are like the new Dalkhu album; immediately, devastatingly great. These Slovenian blackened death metallers create a beautiful, crushing maelstorm of metal that hits like a neutron bomb and drains you instantly of any defence against its mighty riffs and unearthly growl.

‘Pitch Black Cave’ is that initial hit, that gargantuan riff plowing voids of despair while it sounds like the vocals were dredged from one of Hell’s most vile pits. The drumming thrashes back and forth, while a tremolo riff buzzes incessantly. ‘Descend into Nothingness’ is achingly heavy and leaves you breathless. ‘The Fireborn’ is a more jagged, stuttering Behemoth, with a bowel rattling bass and double kick combo. ‘In the Woods’ showcases the band’s ability to seamlessly move into beautifully melodic territory, taking influence from the more atmospheric black metal bands, while still engaging in dense, dark evil.

Dalkhu grasp the concept of brutality and melody together perfectly. ‘Descend Into Nothingness’ is one of the most violent pieces I’ve heard this year, but its instantly memorable and the musicianship is top notch. The riff patterns that spiral throughout ‘Soulkeepers’ are inspired. Closing with the crushing behemoth ‘E.N.N.F.’ , Dalkhu have crafted one of 2015’s finest slabs of metal. Fuck yes!

https://dalkhuofficial.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/DalkhuOfficial

https://satanath.bandcamp.com/album/sat123-dalkhu-descend-into-nothingness-2015

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Mist, Slovenian mistresses of doom who burst onto the scene in 2013 with their classy, traditional doom demo, have returned with their new EP, ‘Inan’. Recorded along with their new guitarist Blaž Tanšek, ending their all female lineup, it keeps up their journey into Sabbathian riff utopia.

The title track starts with a soulful croon and a classic grooving riff. The magic instantly comes back from their demo, the Sabbath and Vitus influence looms vastly but Mist have got that stunning female lead that sets them apart. None of this flouncy folky occult rock doom that most female vocal doom bands do. Mist do it like Mount Salem; heavy and bluesy. An epic start.

‘Frozen Velvet’ is a more mature piece, opening delicately before a swooning riff leads a soulful howl out into the open. Never shying from the vintage of 70s doom, Mist have got as much soul as Blues Pills but are much more traditional in their vibe. It reeks of mournful Candlemass moments, with an evocative vocal smothering the blues with a rich tone. ‘Under the Night Sky’ is a menacing chug dripping with a ritual atmosphere, dabbling in dashes of occult rock to compliment the elephantine groove and the eerie vocals.

Closing with ‘Phobia’, rerecorded from their original demo and still holding up against the beauty of their newer stuff by the sheer groove of its main riff pattern, ‘Inan’ is another wonderful collection of songs. Mist are something very special. Like Mount Salem before them, doom has never sounded so touching, so powerful, so alive. Take Mist to your heart and you’ll never regret it.

http://www.soulsellerrecords.com/mist-inan-mcdmlp-08-05-15/

https://www.facebook.com/mist.doom

I’m assisting my friend Steve Thomas Green at Sixsixsix Music with a few compilation ideas for the next few months, so I was greatly looking forward to the release of his ‘Helvete – Confederacy of Hatred’ compilation he has been putting together recently. This is a black metal compilation of unsigned or small label bands from around the world as a promotional vehicle. It is available here at Buy It Now (Name Your Price) on the label Bandcamp page, and for what you get not donating is a sin! A track by track rundown is my contribution to the promotion of these bands. We must ALL support the underground metal scene as much as we can, otherwise we will lose our most vital and bullshit free source of quality music.

We open with ‘Manifestum Mortis’ by Serbia’s Ophidian Coil. This is how you want a compilation to start, a scything statement of intent that leaves you breathless, savaged and beaten. Punctured in the middle by a majestic, icy solo, this is a band to look out for.

Argentina’s Capgrass are next with ‘Disruption of the Deepest Dreams’. A slice of the frozen north from South America, Capgrass are channeling Immortal’s majesty with this track, six minutes of relentless, hypnotising black metal, broken only by some bleak acoustics and a wonderful solo.

Krajiny Hmly from Slovakia have a tough act to follow with ‘Hlbiny Spanku Zabudnutia’, but the only bad thing about it was my attempts to spell their name. This doesn’t seem like your conventional black metal on first listen, with oddly melodic opening riffs permeating the whole song. There’s a feeling of uneasiness about it, enhanced by the echoing rasps of the vocals and the flourishes of pagan metal.

India’s Solar Deity are a particularly highlight of this comp for me. Their ‘Circling the Moon’ track is totally killer, and is a perfect example of the great things appearing from Indian metal in the past few years. It feels like prime ‘Transylvanian Hunger’ material, energising and thoroughly hateful and raw. The moments of calm only enhance the storm.

It is time for some USBM to appear, and representing is Pittsburgh’s Nox Aeternum with ‘In the Midst of Scarlet Passageways’. It struggles to maintain the heights of Solar Deity, but only just. This is another brilliant track showcasing the quality of US black metal. It reminds me of Marduk’s blitzkrieg attack, coupled with some of Satyricon’s more epic moments. It’s not all hipster or eco-black metal over the pond.

I’ve written about Skiddaw before, and they contribute ‘Even Titans Fall’ from their self titled debut. Go read my review to understand why this Gorgoroth-esque razorblade will flay skin from bone.

A new track from the UK’s Nefarious Dusk is always something to bring a black tear to your eye, and ‘Cast Me to the Lions’ is a raw, bleak and thoroughly dark piece of black metal. This is debut record Bathory shit here my friends, and when the early 90s Darkthrone riffs kick in, you’ll think you’re listening to the corpse painted hordes for the very first time.

The more subdued acoustic intro to Paimonia of Serbia’s offering, ‘Ruined Form Catharsis’, is skewered violently by a urgent, artillery assault of fiery black metal. A track that couples the more traditional aural violence with moments of introspective calm. Another highlight of the comp. We’re ONLY HALFWAY THROUGH PEOPLE!!

Track 9 consists of Columbia’s offering, Penumbra. As traditional with South American black metal, ‘Ritual Genocide’ is rawer than a freshly savaged carcass. There is only one mission here, to batter your brain into submission with blasphemy and battery.

Belgians Sercati open totally differently to everyone else here, with an almost gothic style keyboard intro to ‘Hound from Hell’. It creates a bit of a shock, and allows a bit of breathing space between the constant barrage. Mixing the black metal with something approaching more rock sensibilities is brave, and works here rather well, creating a very memorable song.

I’ve mentioned Baalberith here on the site just recently so I’ll jump ‘Battle for the Blazing Dawn’ and straight into Norway’s Uburen and their track ‘Deprived of Empathy’. Now, these guys have a disadvantage of being from the home of proper old school black metal and so the expectations should be high. Uburen do not disappoint however, with a slower and more malevolent song than a lot of the tracks here. It is atmospheric, crawling and oppressive.

Short but sweet is the next offering from Italy’s NyX. ‘Tulpa Strigoi’ is replete with inhuman growls and is powered by an almost unstoppable juggernaut of blastbeats. Consider the no frills black metal 101 box checked by these guys.

Approaching the end of this black metal marathon, we come across the longest track on the compilation, Chiral (Italy)’s ‘Atto II: Abisso’. Opening with a spine tinglingly peaceful picked intro, you are given the feeling of Opeth’s ‘Damnation’ record. You can believe something special will occur here if a black metal band is willing to risk their ‘troo kvltness’ on such a melodic start. When the blackness arrives, it is just as bleak and mournful. The song swells with evil, a grandiose and hypnotic epic. This rivals Solar Deity as the stand out track on the compilation. Chiral are not afraid to let good song writing get in the way of their underground credentials.

The comp closes with the one two strike of Cvinger and Corruptor Ignis. The former is Slovenian, and is clearly inspired by some malignant dark beast that rages inside them. Its frantic, its raw and its fucking intense. As their homeland is a place close to my heart, I hope they do well out of this, as you’ll struggle to find much as one dimensionally vicious as this in modern black metal. When the pace slows, the feeling of unease grows. It’s fucking brutal. Corruptor Ignis finish us up with a slab of Gibraltan black metal. Yes, even the sunnier edges of what is left of the Empire is capable of summoning black magic from the depths of hell. It is difficult to appreciate the challenge of ending a compilation of some of the best bands in underground black metal, but Corruptor Ignis do it with style. They bring us to a close with some rasping black metal fury that drags you down into a suffocating atmosphere of hatred and bile.

Well, that was fucking epic. I haven’t written a review this long before, and normally I wouldn’t give each song so much depth but since each band deserves their own individual moment, I felt it was only fair. Most of these bands I shall endeavour to support financially with some physical purchases. Some I shall wait to hear more from. All I will recommend to people who like good music. Support these bands and buy this comp! Hail the Legions of Satan!

This review was originally posted here: http://www.thesleepingshaman.com/reviews/album-reviews/m/mist-demo-2013-cd-dd/

Mist are an all-female doom band from the beautiful city of Ljubljana, Slovenia. That caught my eye immediately, not only because I don’t know many Slovenian metal bands but I’ve been to their fair city a number of times, and I love it. The country is great, and their MetalDays festival is the shit. Well, it was when it was MetalCamp, I haven’t been since they changed it… Anyhoo, when you think of ‘occult doom’ and ‘female’, you’re instinctively drawn to conclusions like Blood Ceremony or The Devil’s Blood. With Mist, you couldn’t be further from the truth. These girls are refreshingly different.

Their two track demo opens with the grinding ‘Phobia’. There’s something deliciously Sabbathian about them, especially the mournful melancholy of the vocals, and the guitar leads. This is not a band who deal in flutes or any of those esoteric additions. Mist deal in heavy metal, riffing as if it were melded to their DNA. For a band who only began in 2012, to have written one song that is this accomplished is a treat. ‘Phobia’ blows most occult-doom-with-female-vocals out of the water.

The Living Dead’ is quirkier, more upbeat. It shows promise in its variety, a range that will be interesting to explore. Vocalist Nina Spruk is mesmerising; she has a powerful, soulful voice that captures the atmosphere perfectly, but doesn’t retract from the other pieces of the puzzle. It reminds me a lot of Jex Thoth, which is a major compliment since I’ve found her to be THE benchmark for female vocalists in this style.

Mist could be a staggering proposition in the coming years. They are poised to break through the 1970’s worship of recent occult doom and take us further. They have more in common with Vitus and Sabbath than Coven or Blood Ceremony. Their demo is only the beginning. With the right songs, and the right opening, Mist could be the next big thing.