Posts Tagged ‘Spain’

Akerbeltz - Satanic

Spanish black metaller Akerbeltz have been ploughing an evil furrow since 1996, and you would struggle to find a poor effort in amongst the six full lengths and numerous splits they have put out. The newest record, ‘Satanic’ is coming out in June on BlackSeed Productions and is another fury laden romp through dark and bleak places.

Opener ‘The Red Dragon’ draws much inspiration from the endless blasting of Marduk, and the croaking Abbath. Crafted from the most traditional of black metal riffs, songs like ‘A Deed Without a Name’ or the harsh ‘The Crypt’ are glorious to the ears of cold hearted traditionalists. Blasting drums help to enforce that blizzard like assault, while the raspy vocals invike the demons of the north.It seems cliche to claim surprise at the fact that Akerbeltz come from warmer climes, yet are capable of invoking such bleak frozen music but that doesn’t make it any less accurate. Feel the flames of ‘Opus Satanic’ wash over you and cleanse this place of non believers, and you will have faith.

Foreboding atmospheres complete a record that shies away from experimenting and rest comfortably within its traditional cocoon. Akerbeltz are great at what they do, and ‘Satanic’ sits proudly amongst some of the best and most fire breathing black metal in my collection. For that, tradition must be respected.

Spanish death metallers Opposer have been dragging deathly riffs from the miasma since 1992, and ‘Darkest Path’ combines a true old school vibe with some vintage sounding death and thrash riffs for a trip back in time to when the genres were more intertwined. Morbid Shrine Productions have blessed us with their fellow countrymen here, and it is time to rewind the clock to 1992…

Opener ‘Straight to Hell’ sounds like early Possessed or Death; thick riffing coupled with some insatiable speedy solos and a rabid, scowling vocal that oozes early 90s menace. There’s a lot of Obituary coming through the sludgey ‘Osiris Land’, and the further you go down the ‘Darkest Path’, the closer you come to a portal back to when the likes Malevolent Creation and Sepultura ruled the roost. Simple, propulsive and powerful makes tracks like the dominating ‘Under My Skin’ sound fearsome in their protection of old school death metal values.

Many hints of prime Bolt Thrower exist in ‘Darkest Path’ too, as well as dark melodies in the likes of ‘Satanas – Abode of Crow’ that remind you of old Finnish death or even Paradise Lost. Morbidly elegiac in parts, Opposer can switch between resolutely old fashioned thrashy death and more measured, darkly melodic rumblings with ease. The mark of a truly great band is to change dynamics without drifting too far from your original sound, and Opposer do this with aplomb. Resolutely old school death metal that crushes that sweet spot with devastating grace.

Deprive - Temple of the Lost Wisdom

One man Spanish death metal band Deprive have dropped their new album ‘Temple of the Lost Wisdom’ on the much respected Memento Mori, a label that keeps releasing high quality music month after month. Deprive aim for that melancholic 90s death metal sound, along the lines of Paradise Lost and Amorphis, while not skimping on the heaviness. Good stuff should await…

There’s a very obvious Morbid Angel feel about the opening rage of ‘Other Earth’, with a rumbling sway to the brutality. Mournful riffs swoop in, bringing to mind eldritch graveyards, lost in mist and time, and each element comes together as one crushing whole. It reaffirms my love of death metal in four minutes, taking a path less travelled. No afraid to weave in beautiful solos and guttural growls,  Deprive’s music is dark, heavy but instantly accessible due to the stellar melodies. The morbid atmospheres have this timeless ache about them, weeping across moments of sheer, conquering brutality. The title track exemplifies this approach.

‘Gospel of the Black Sun’ is a particular highlight, with a great mix of gloomy melody and battering death metal ferocity. But all the tracks here have that same high quality collaboration between the light and the dark, the melancholy and the brutality. ‘Temple of the Lost Wisdom’ feels like a lost classic, given a contemporary production and belched into the modern era. Vintage stuff that will go down as one of my favourite 2016 releases.

One man Spanish pagan black metal band Briargh (which sounds like a good spelling for a Tom G Warrior deathgrunt), is also the mind behind the excellent Morbid Shrine Productions. ‘Eboros’ is the third record of gloomy black metal in the vein of Burzum and the legendary Drudkh.

Opener ‘El Llanto del Bosque’ weaves melancholic atmosphere through icy riffage and throat shredding vocals. There is a dash of Swedish melodics in here too, particularly a Dissection influence on the glorious ‘Silem Sogo’, with its soaring lead work. A grey pagan gloom covers each melancholic lead, and while the blasting sections are fucking brutal, Briargh at their best when at a more midpaced crawl. There is a dense, icy blackness about everything they do.

‘Sun of the Dead’ has this almost Primordial vibe in places, a kind of regal pagan majesty about it. I think that’s what makes ‘Eboros’ and Briargh such an enjoyable experience. It reminds you of the genre greats, yet has a wonderful sense of originality about it. It’s a little heavier than a lot of black metal, with a stunningly miserable atmosphere (see the murky ‘El Nubero de Samhain’ or the gloriously ethereal pagan ritual of the title track’) and oozing with dark melodies. A hidden gem from Europe’s dark underground.

Ripping Death - Tales of the Ripper

Death metal can be so ugly, and yet so beautiful. This however, is just ugly, nasty brutal death metal that sounds like it has crawled from the void eternal to drag you into its riff laden nexus of fear. Ripping Death is a collaboration between Italian and Spanish metal veterans, and their debut tape, ‘Tales of the Ripper’, is out now on Iron Bonehead.

‘Midnight Terror’ is exactly how you’d expect a band called Ripping Death to sound. A cacophony of Hellhammer riffs, filtered through Repulsion sludge and possessed of a rabid single mindedness. The heavy bassline that opens ‘Night Ripper’ is thick, and the whole tape is bottom heavy through drums, bass and guitar. The tone is sickeningly heavy, and the rasping growl of the vocals adds to an innate sense of urgency. There’s nothing slow and steady, it is all hell for bloodied leather!

‘Death Blow’ encourages your heavy metal heart to embrace darkness, with its almost melodic sections, before the hammerblow of Cianide cover, ‘Rage War’, crushes your last hopes for salvation. ‘Tales of the Ripper’ is a fucking excellent slab of primitive death metal, and if you can get a hold of a tape before they sell out, you’ll be well rewarded.


Carnivorous Voracity - The Impious Doctrine

Japanese label Amputated Vein have done it again, scouring the globe for the kind of skin-flaying brutality that will violently rip at your particular scratch. Spanish death dealers Carnivorous Voracity are unleashing their debut full length after 2011’s ‘Debasement Incarnated’ EP, and ‘The Impious Doctrine’ is pure brutal death at its finest.

First track proper, after a cool intro track, is ‘Epiphanies of Perverse Egocentrism’, and is punishingly heavy in the vein of Devourment or Defeated Sanity. Double kick pound mercilessly against your skull, while chugging riffs lay waste to your mental faculties. Vocally this switches between an unintelligible grunt to a heavy growl. ‘Steeped in Magnanimity’ has a insanely heavy breakdown that would end most deathcore bands instantly. ‘The Impious Doctrine’ barely pauses for breath, battering you into submission with a succession of brutally heavy death metal songs.

It isn’t for everyone, but brutal death metal can be dynamic and interesting when done right. Carnivorous Voracity do it right; with just enough spiralling guitar lines over the crush, breakdowns that don’t overstay their welcome and even shows of restraint with the vocal interplay is key to keeping something fresh. ‘The Impious Doctrine’ isn’t revolutionary in any way, but what it is a perfect example of how powerful brutal death metal can truly be. Feel the intensity of the rampant ‘Secularise’, or the inhuman savagery of ‘Serpent’s Nest’ to truly appreciate how good this band are.







Spanish death metal legends Avulsed have been going for what seems like forever, cranking out solid death metal releases with no great fanfare or applause. Which is a shame really, because a band like Avulsed are perfect for those moments when only pure death will do. Their latest EP, ‘Altar of Disembowelment’ is out now on Xtreem Music.

Opener ‘To Sacrifice and Devour’ has a sickeningly heavy guitar tone that instantly flattens your mind. A brutal groove envelops you, while the deathly growl rattles every bone in your body. This is as heavy and as destructive a death metal release as you’ll hear all year. When Avulsed take the foot off the gas, the earth quakes under the pressure, with an almost melodic lead guitar break appearing a few times. ‘Red Viscera Serology’ is possessed of another bloodsoaked groove that is just sublime.

The rumbling ‘Ceremony of Impalement’ has its own vicious moments, but also cranks out one of the more melodic moments on the record. There are a number of these, and while you may think the band are going a little soft, they actually work really well, and for me show a band that is capable of enhancing their music with melody, rather than shoehorning it in pointlessly. ‘Tremble in the Darkness’ brings to mind Coffins at their most accessible, while the brutal cover of ‘Neon Knights’ is inspired, if almost unrecognisable. Proof that Iommi writes heavier than anyone.

‘Altar of Disembowelment’ is a rock solid EP with some cracking death metal brutality on it. Reliable and enjoyable, Avulsed have proven themselves to be one of the surest bets in death metal. Turn it up and bang your fucking skull.