Saturday, December 18, 2010

Moonreich – Loi Martiale (De Tenebrarum Principio 2011)

All I can say to start this off is the initial response from when I got this sucker yesterday and that’s simply put, “Holy Shit!!!!”

Melodic, cryptic, raw, belligerent, nihilistic, French black metal that is as classic in sound as it somehow fresh and exhilarating. There’s a definite sense of early Emperor, Immortal, But Aus Nord minus the symphonic/pagan elements in this shredding and buzzing skeleton that is the very cold black heart of black metal. You can even feel the saliva swishing in the gnarled teeth of the vicious vocals so expect an evocative and engaging experience with this one and a definite must have for old schoolers.

Official release date: 24January2011

Friday, December 17, 2010

Solitude Prodcutions Winter 2010 Releases featured below

Below are 4 reviews of some amazing stuff from this Russian label. The release dates are shown and the links for audio samples and artist contact:

Who Dies in Siberian Slush – Bitterness of the Years that are Lost (30November2010 release)

This is the first official full-length of this Russian funeral doom band, and featuring a full line-up instead of the solo/one-man show that it has been previously. The best way to describe this one aside from the accurate album title is to say that it was a fitting soundtrack to the weird old Swedish movie “The Virgin Spring” , the one where the rich farmers daughter gets raped and beaten to death on her way to take the virgin candles to the church miles away and then the three brothers that did the deed wind up on the farm as lodgers, only to meet a violent death rather quickly when the parent figure out who they really are. Tragic and suspenseful is what this release is and yet another one for this genre that could easily be a one-note style but instead shows experimentation and variation with labels like this one scouring the Earth to find the unique sounds that it does. The sense of bitterness and struggle is strongly present and many can feel it with each epic track.

Septic Mind – The Beginning (30November2010 release)

3 very epic, mind-bending atmospheric funeral doom tracks by this Russian band that bring an all encompassing sensory experience to the listener. Each track is about 20 minutes in length and comes over you like a full-blown narrative, it’s really incredible!!!!! If this one doesn’t give you chills and thrills, then there’s something wrong with you!!!!

Helllight - …And then, the Light of Consciousness Became Hell (20December2010 release)

This one, a Brazillian death doom/funeral doom act stood out among others with the way it sounded like this majestic, Bathory (Nordland, Blood on Ice, Hammerheart) like mixture with amazingly haunting clean vocals that howl like a banshee on a blood moon night set against this really cryptic and cinematic funereal soundtrack. There’s something deeply pagan here as tracks like “Beneath the Light of the Moon” really bring in the feel of victory and tragedy. I’m a huge funeral doom fanatic but have to say that alongside Astral Sleep, I’ve never heard a band in that genre or any other exactly like this one to draw comparisons so expect melodic,epic, and devastatingly heavy funeral metal that will appeal to fans of black, death, pagan, epic metal and doom alike. I’m dead serious about the Bathory comparison!!!!!

A must hear for fans of: Bathory (Viking era), Atlantean Kodex, Astral Sleep, Evoken

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

DOTDR interview Finnish sludge/Doom act Horse Latitudes

I’m always up for finding the obscure and heavy and Finland seems to be an endless source of exactly that. I’m a HUGE fan of the Finnish avant-garde bands like: Anguished, Ride for Revenge, Skull Fuck, Irritate; and the crazy Dutch act Urfaust that fits in with these guys really well. Although not a black metal band, these guys are black and heavy like cooling molten lava drips and the sludgy black steaming textures seen after a volcano eruption is the perfect visual to go with this black sludge/doom metals sound. These guys found me and already with an impressive demo that created some demand they now have a full length that is really incredible as well. Definitely check out the links toward the end of the interview to sample this stuff.

DOTDR: You guys are about to release your first full length, Gathering, in October and has some success with your demo selling out already this year, so tell us about Horse Latitudes?

Horse Latitudes: Horse Latitudes are a Finnish three piece regressive doom band, Heidi and Vellu on basses, Harri on drums and vocals.

DOTDR: You guys have been receiving a lot of praise in the underground, how long have you been active and how did HL come into being?

Horse Latitudes: Horse Latitudes came together in the summer 2009, when Vellu and Heidi came with an idea of a band together. Both played and wanted to play bass so the first idea was to make some serious low end stuff. To do riff (and why not also drone) based music with a minimal set of instruments. After a one jam session together Heidi had an idea of Harri playing drums. Harri, who had been playing guitar and singing in a few different kind of bands and projects, had been playing drums for about half a year in a thrashpunk band and had just become very interested in different kinds of slow, doomy and sludgy stuff, so he was delighted to be a part of the band.

First half a year was just diving into the different variations and possibilities these instruments provided and as the collective view of the band became more and more focused, the songs started to exude from our minds. First it was mostly instrumental stuff, but soon the lyrical dimension rose and became an important part of our music too.

We did our first gig in December 2009, and the demo was recorded from that starting point: the same three songs we played live with the addition of the final track “Healing Stones”, which is more like a primitive improvisation than a song. We made two little pressings (overall 150 copies) of the demo and during springtime, as we started to work on new material for the album that was planned with Aurora Borealis Records, we decided not to make any further pressings of the demo.

DOTDR: I’m partially biased as a bass player myself, but I really love the fact that you guys consist of two bassists and a drummer and feel that it really adds a uniqueness to your sound, not to forget the extra heaviness in the riffs.

Horse Latitudes: Like said above, it was the whole point of the band right from the beginning: reducing the number of different kinds of instruments while at the same time as concentrating on the essentials; crushing riffs and primitive vibration with the powerful beat.

It’s actually pretty hard to balance two instruments that deal in the low end of the sonic spectrum so that both are audible and recognizable from one another. While the basic configuration stays the same, our sound is constantly evolving. The quest for the perfect sound, or brown note if you will, continues..

DOTDR: Your sound is somewhere between epic sludge and classic doom, but it’s also really hard to make direct comparisons to anything specific. What did you guys aim for in sound? The classic doom styled vocals really add something special to the delivery in your tracks and might be enough to persuade stubborn folks who prefer pure doom over the stoner/sludge varieties.

Horse Latitudes: From the early point it was also clear that the vocals will be presenting the lyrical, somehow subtle, side of the music. If the instrumentations were adjusted to the most primitive and earthly oscillation, then the vocals alongside the lyrics are to reach for the symbolic side of being, making the connection and forming the relation between the rumbling cosmos and the shivering self. Reaching for the understanding, maybe. But of course, sometimes the vocals regress too and just combine to the droning base, fusing with the core of it all, but that’s all more or less necessary from this basis!

Our somewhat different musical backgrounds also helped shape our sound; while the punk influences may not be evident in compositions all the time, they’re definitely part of the overall aesthetics and work ethic. Even with our full length album, we strived for a live feel to the sound. The traditional doom elements are also a very natural part of our sound.

DOTDR: I honestly was leveled with shock when I first heard Gathering, it was classic but also fresh and just mature in sound and composition, so in closing is there anything else you’d like to say?

Horse Latitudes: Thanks for the support!

Band Contact/audio samples:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Evil Amidst - – Lords of the Nine (Self-Release 2010)

Honestly, this one just set me on fire from the first track…this is pure old school blackened death metal brutality and a bit of a Florida metal supergroup as well. Featuring: Xaphan (Kult of Azazel), Gio Gerace (Malevolent Creation, Upon Infliction, Wykked Wytch), Sean Tibbetts (Kamelot),Gus Rios (Malevolent Creation, Upon Infliction, Ressurection) and Lenny Wambrandt (Hate Plow); it’s no surpise that this beast shreds like it does and incinerates all matter within seconds from its heat of fury. This is yet another underground essential so fans of all of the bands mentioned above will HAVE to have this one. Seriously wicked old school talent that seeps from those old festering wounds like the vile indestructible puss that is black death metal!!!!!

Support the underground and revel in the strength of its bands like this one!!!!!
Band info/audio samples/contact:

Toxaemia – Buried to Rise (Dark Descent Records 2010

Consider this your last nail in the coffin for 2010 and what better way to finish this corpse off than with the entire re-issue of all of one of the original Swedish Death metal scenes important bands. Consisting of demos, an EP and the full length Kaleidoscopic Lunacy, consider this one another completed chapter of must have death metal history worth digging up to throw yet another vulgar mass of noise on these so called holy days and also give the glory days another spin around!!!! Brutal, throbbing, crushing, and gutteral…Toxaemia will rot out your innards!!!!

Street date: December 15, 2010

A must have for old school death metal heads (Entombed, Obituary, Malevolent Creation, Immolation,etc.).

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Urfaust – Geist ist Teufel re-issue (Terratur Possessions 2009)

I can’t get this damn album out of my head!!!!! I’ve only had it a few months, but the primitive and drunken necromantic ritualistic sounds on tracks like “Drundenfss” and “Auszug Aller todlich seinene krafte” really infect you like a brain mutating virus. I’ma long running fan of the left-field black metal stuff like Hammer of Hate Records releases, Bestial burst (Ride for Revenge), Dead Reptile Shrine, Dormant, Blood of the Black Owl, Circle of Ouroborus,etc. ,but this one hooked me the most and still leaves me confused as to why I love it so damn much.

“Drundenfss” is genuinely raw/grim occultic and yet the vocals sound almost like some folk song about ghosts or a curse, the sound is like an old shortwave radio transmission from the 1920’s-1940’s and the clean vocals have a nice pagan tone that really makes the track sophisticated and haunting. You just feel something cult and ominous although there is a slight feel of being a drinking song here.

“Auszug Aller todlich seinene krafte” is this folklike occultist jig being done by some guy with serious delusions and/or highly intoxicated, it reminds me of my parents Celtic folksong records but with me listening to them on something wicked!!!!! The vocals are awesome, they have a great tone, almost clean and the way he belts them out like a drunken folksong being sung in a cave is amazing!!!! You really do have to hear this one to understand it and once you do you’ll flip for it just like I did I’m sure. I wish I knew the lyrics so I could sing along with it because I get this one stuck in my head and bang out the rhythms for days afterward.

The album come to a close with two untitled tracks of dark cinematic atmospheres sort of similar to black ambient or neo-classical stuff like something on Cold Meat Industry (In Slaughter Natives),Cold Spring, Steinklang/Ahnstern.

This release is another one for those old macabre/horror films, put it on loud and sit in the dark watching weird macabre images in black and white and you’ll get why this thing is so damn great!!!! I had to review it because it needs to be heard and they have a new LP/CD, Der Freiwillige Bettler” out on Van Records which I’ll be reviewing when I get it in the next few weeks. If you’re a huge collector of EPs, vinyl, demos, and cassettes then grab up their back catalog, it’s totally worth it.

Band info/audio samples:

Thursday, December 9, 2010

PanzerBastard - Centurion EP (PATAC Records 2010)

All that I can really say here is “DAMN!!!!!”, this is some heavy and great hardcore/crust/metal noise!!!!! Whether your poison is death/crust/grind/sludge this one will quench you need for brutality and one hell of a violent drunken rage soundtrack. While working on a new album, touring with other diabolical acts like Hellbastard these guys also manage to throw in two undeniably worthy covers of Celtic Frost ( “I Won’t Dance” and “The Usurper”), so if the mention of CF gets to you like it does for me… check this band out for sure!!!! There’s enough Crowbar, Dead Kennedy’s, and Celtic Frost here to spread the plague for millions of years so crank it loud and tear the place apart.

Band contact/info/audio samples:

Hellbastard – Eco-War EP (Selfmadegod/PATAC Records 2010)

I’m no stranger to this UK crust metal band and am really glad to see and HEAR that they are still in the works and as filthy and ballistic as ever!!!!! I really enjoyed their The Need to Kill… album (2009) and can feel the fury on this release that smolders that last release into minute ash as these veterans are louder and nastier than ever after about 26 years or so since they began making socially conscious noise. Those who have a serious craving for chugging artillery fire riffs and battery, a punk as fuck DIY aesthetic, and love melodic and bulldozing heavy metal will be completely devastated at what these boys are doing now!!!!!! This EP rips!!!!!! Classic crust meets thrash and pure metal Armageddon!!!!!

Band info/contact/audio samples:

Svartsyn – Wrath Upon the Earth (Agonia Records 2011)

Here comes another malicious savage album from the Agonia roster that continues in the trend of pushing the boundaries of melody infused aggression in black metal. The best way to describe this one is to say that if you were drunk to the point of being two breaths away form being able to inflate a hot air balloon on your own and somehow got caught in hurricane. If that analogy doesn’t make your head spin and stomach do somersaults than just wait until you hear the album!!!!!!!! It’s “OOOH Shit!!!!!” from start to finish like one hell of a monster thrill ride that might take time to recover form before you can walk again. The riffs encircle around you like demonic buzzards ready to rip the flesh off your bones and the drums sound out the rhythm march of damnation and despair, it’s really wicked!!!!!! This thing will set you on fire and you’ll be begging for more gasoline!!!!!

Band info/Contact/Audio Samples:

Minotaur - Power of Darkness (I Hate Records 2010)

Finally….I new thrash release that isn’t NEW!!!!!! For those out there who share my nostalgic love for: Sodom, Kreator, Destruction, Darkness…Teutonic 80’s thrash, will have to get their clutches on this one. After 22 years this Panzerbeast of old school angst, blistering leads, cataclysmic percussion, and rhythms that whip your ass bare of all flesh with an iron whip is properly re-released.

This is PURE FUCKING METAL CHAOS!!!!!!!! And as usual I Hate captures my attention and admiration with another solid release this year. Like old school death metal, this thrash style is vicious and I’m drawn to it like a newly paroled convict to a cheap F#$% and this one is absolutely worth the wait!!!! I don’t see this one leaving my player anytime soon and I might even crank it at work and piss people off or start a party, we’ll see (I’m betting on the latter because this stuff is contagious and nasty too).

Band contact/audio samples:

purchasing and album info:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Horned Almighty – Necro Spirituals (Candlelight 2011)

I’ve been a fan of these Danish shits since I picked up their split with Sargeist some time ago and have to say that a lot has changed since that vile and raw little Moribund split was released. For one the production on this one is amped up, but not enough to ruin the vulgar and treble tones of the metallic guitar buzzing, and they are out of the cave and fully unloading rounds into everything they can get a bullet into. The Celtic Frost/raw crusty black metal is still present, only instead of a militia it’s a full -blown cavalry!!!!!

Grave Desecrator – Insult (Hells Headbangers 2011)

These days it’s hard to buy an album based on label alone, but as with every circumstance there’s an exception and that exception for me in terms of black/death/extreme metal is HHR. This Brazillian oldschool heretical blackened death beast lays in the desecrated blood soaked ground between early Sepultura, Incantation and Sarcofago. There’s a great crusty old school flare (Celtic Frost/Hellhammer) in the rhythms that kicks up the sacrificial tone of this virgin mutilating blood bath of an album that is sure to make heads turn, bang…and roll. This is absolutely essential for the old school horde, in fact I wholly recommend Gravehill alongside this one for a belligerent and bestial headbang. The riffs swirl around you like a tornado!!!!!! You can even hear and feel classic Morbid Angel in tracks like “Stained by Blood” complete with severing leads and brutal shreds!!!!!

Sample this rip fest@

Eastern Front - Blood on Snow (Candlelight Records 2011)

This English black metal onslaught is as brutal and intense as their cover art is. There’s something unique about this band in the sound that is haunting and elusive, it’s just a simple synth behind the crusty and in-your-face aggression these guys bring forth, and some of the guitar work, but it really does something to this whole album to make it a bit creepy without being raw and grim. With all of the talent coming out right now it really takes something to stand out and even the subtleties on albums like this one make all the fucking difference. There’s some sad atmospheres of post war death and loss, cold snow covered barren trenches, and troops moving in the near distance. There’s even some death metal gutteral growls here and there to add the sense of a battalion approaching, this release really shows a lot of diversity but still remaining a classic and raw black metal band paying as much homage to Gorgoroth, Marduk. Immortal, Bathory then anything avant-garde. Definitely check into this band, in fact the album is produced by Andy La Rocques…

Band info:

Drug Honkey - Death Dub (Diabolical Conquest Records)

I’ve been craving my old Ministry/Pailhead/1000 Homo DJs stuff starting two nights ago and after cranking The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste and the many EP’s form the great side projects of Al Jourgenson, I remembered that this one had crossed my path and perfectly fits Ministry or old Wax Trax bands doing raw early death metal sludge. It’s raw death industrial breeding with Eyehategod (?) or something in that ballpark, and really cool. Absolutely for fans of ultra low end sludge tremors like early Earth(non-drone), Rakhim, Fleshpress, with some Abscess zombie/horror vocals run through deep effects and a rumbling swamp rhythm raw and black like a 3rd degree burn still oozing and steaming. Fuck…I don’t even know what the hell this is but it grooves and bludgeons with the weight of its leaden riffs until your skull bursts, so definitely check the link below for this one!!!!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Impiety – Worshippers of the Seventh Tyranny (Agonia Records 2011)

This 7th release from doom black death metal barbarians is a 40 minute epic war track that storms over you like a galloping horde of 10 million iron horses!!!!! Seriously, this one has EVERYTHING!!!!!!!! Bestial, unforgiving, relentless, debauched and violent…what more could you ask for, or want for that matter? The vocals are also spoken word crust/nuclear fallout doom themed, in fact it reminds me of the awesome Dead Neon cassette that I just reviewed, cool shit!!!!!

Set for release on February 15, 2011 and ready to scorch the heavens and the Earth, you won’t want to miss this one and judging from the noise and awesome cover art, you CAN’T miss it!!!!!

Wooden Stake/Druid Lord - Split 7"

Wooden Stake is a classic horror occult doom fiend’s greatest holiday gift that is sure to please everyone with the sultry and esoteric female vocals that sort of remind me of the less martial Dead Can Dance vocals over some stomping raw doom thunder ( DCD is on my playlist these last few nights so it struck the righ chord with me). The atmosphere is haunting and easily could be mistaken by the novice as a field recording of a modern day black mass. Just in time for the winter Solstice, grab one of these QUICKLY and rejoice in your doomy pagan spirits. This band is one of my top new finds and will become yet another of my doom obsessions. This duo has several awesome releases coming soon including a split with the amazing Blizaro on Razorback so don’t pass up on this one!!!!

Wooden Stake:

Druid Lord is Florida based death doom act similar to the brilliant Acid Witch, but just as brilliant in their own unique way. Having just reviewed this monster bands debut, Hymns For the Wicked (HPGD), this split couldn’t have come at a better time. For fans of Coffins, Acid Witch, Autopsy, Ramesses, Winter, doom metal, and classic horror films!!!! I can’t get enough of this stuff, but then again…what am I not obsessing over in terms of heavy essentials? DO NOT PASS ON THIS ONE, their debut, or any ACID WITCH…they are limited and once they are gone you’ll regret not picking it up as I have with the first AW!!!!!

Druid Lord:

Veneficum – In tranquil Absurd (Self-Release 2010)

I’ve been a fan of this Chicago based symphonic Black metal band since there brilliant “Dysphoria” album and when they came to me with this one I was totally humbled and excited. After about 6 years in the making this recent release is not only as intense and majestic as their debut, but even more. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that this release is the exact reason why I loved this stuff beginning with “In the Nightside Eclipse”, “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas”, “Dark Medieval Times”, “Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism”, and “In Abhorrence Dementia”. The amount of atmosphere and brute force, not to mention evil, that can be captured in black metal is undeniable as these bands and newer acts like Veneficum continue to drop the bomb on the listener with their storm of metallic fury that we have come to expect from this style.

The album opens up with “The Return” featuring some haunting female vocals and chugging riffs that conjure up sensations of intense and chaotic bouts of struggle. Bands like Veneficum continue in the post Emperor era to prove that symphonic black metal can still be belligerent and annihilating to the senses through a battering ram arsenal of percussion, scathing fury, and dense atmospheres of black holes and parallel universe philosophies that’ll make your head spin as your mind tries to wrap around each piece of this audio puzzle. In Tranquil Absurd, to me is the sound of the cosmos and the dark universe that surrounds us as each tiny piece leads us further mentally and literally into unknown realms both mysterious and possibly treacherous. The entire album is a cinematic, lucid journey that is chaotic and at times celestial (?), you have to experience to understand it.

You definitely don’t want to miss this one:

Fester – Winter of Sin re-issue (Abyss Records 2010)

Fester is a wet dream for a doomy death fanatic like myself and this classic release from back in 1992 is being necromanced to unleash its raw venomous curse yet again. There’s the rawness of Autopsy and Winter and a bit of Darkthrone and Celtic Frost to freeze the blood in your veins, but overall Fester is its own beast with its own sound and feel and comes highly recommended for those who like their metal raw and filthy as much as I do. There’s a good balance between doom death and frosty classic Nordic old school black metal to savor here so definitely pick this thing up.

Band Contact and Audio Samples:


Thursday, December 2, 2010

New Stuff Coming In!!!!

New releases from Malignant Records, some really amazing electronic/kraut/psyche/prog finds and much more in the next few days. Thanks to those who stood by this site, it's been a rough last few months with many labels not following through and my time being absorbed in other things.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fornicator -Demo 2000 (No Visible Scars 2010)

No Visible Scars comes through yet again with this sexually sadistic grind/raw early death metal porn release. For those who want Mortician with T&A and full on XXXX ratings and the grotesque and brilliant brutality in lyrics and sound of Autopsy will HAVE to score a copy of this release!!!!! ALL of the lyrics are raunchy and completely obscene…cocksucking, fucking, gang rape, an overly horny dog, golden showers (urinating on people without their consent), fecal fetishes, and so many more are indulged in on this release. I’m only halfway through and am honestly in pain from laughing my ass off.

This is an absolute MUST have for the fans of the raw, brutal, exploitation, and the purely perverted: Mortician, Autopsy, Mental Funeral (the band) fans especially take note. Nothing will amuse you, thrash and kick some ass, and either amuse or thoroughly offend others around you like this one will. It’s even better than the tapes that I had as a teen that we’d play to offend the neighbors when they were walking by the house coming home from work or walking their dogs/kids: one was a bunch of cuts recorded from the adult channel that was always scrambled but we could still here the whole thing, and the other was of a guy taking a huge crap complete with farts, pissing, and grunts; thankfully this one is actually something worth listening to on its own as it completely shreds and rips. You haven’t heard sleaze until you’ve heard Fornicator!!!!!! Folks like this make me feel better about my diseased mind and help me to wallow in filth even further. With the holidays coming up, you couldn't pick a better gift for the adoring perv in your life, this one has sent me over into the top for the last few days since I got it.

Cavus – Fester and Putrefy (Listenable Records 2011)

What better way to start off the New Year then to pillage and destroy any ounce of civilization with this blackened storm of violence and malevolence!!! Set for release January 25th this will be sure to leave some corpses in its wake, so if you’re in a mood to raise hell and cause some serious trouble like I usually am, and want total chaotic black metal misanthropy with some gutteral death metal bass tones and a blood thirsty hatred gnarl in the vocals, get your hands on this fucker and burn the place down!!!!

Band contact and audio samples:

Inquisition – Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm (Hells Headbangers 2011)

As with so many acts on this label, I can’t get enough of this stuff and this band especially is just dominating this year!!!! If you haven’t picked up “Into the Infernal Regions of the Ancient Cult “ yet than do so right fucking now and purchase an advanced copy of this one from HHR as well, this is truly sludgy and plague ridden raw black metal that oozes out from some sort of demented mystical realm. The vocals are visceral like an incantation from some possessed beings intestines as the tempo and rhythms go through a slimy doomy tar layer then burst into full on hells fury and machinegun fire. I really love the slower vocals and mildewed, oily sensation of the guitar riffs, it’s almost like a mossy and grimy swamp of sound that you can just feel on your skin. I’ve recently been tripping out on Urfaust and Wormsblood, and always am digging deeper into the carcass of the more unique black metal forms to find obscure stuff like Inquisition, because no one sounds just like them and they do what they do so damn well. This is the type of stuff that makes me sit up and take notice and always makes me froth at the mouth, I MUST have this one to blast and wallow in my own filth to.

The official street date is January 18th, but definitely grab the advanced copy now unless you’re waiting for the vinyl and desecrate the holy season with this noise.

Also recommended: Ride for Revenge, Skull Fuck, Prosanctus Inferi, Profanatica for a deeper gutteral and crushing listen.

new posts coming soon

I've been really swamped and have not had the time to keep this going as of lately, but will be getting it caught up in the next few weeks with some more oddities and great stuff.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Encoffination – Ritual Ascension Beyond Flesh (Selfmadegod Records 2010)

Already having circulated in the underground and having been released previously on both tape and vinyl, the Polish hell lords of grind and brutality at SMGR have bestowed upon us the cd version of this debut release of US death/doom metal Encoffination. Gutteral bowel rupturing deep growls come out from behind an eerie atmosphere of classic death/doom sounds that take that incredible genre to another sepulcheral dimension altogether. This is visceral and demented horror coming out at a slug shit pace that’s absolutely heavy and undeniably awesome.

This bands sound is somewhat of a mix of funereal doom like Evoken crossed with slow and burning death metal like Incantation, and current US based death/doom bands of Spun in Darkness and Mental Funeral, and classics like Winter and Autopsy. The purest brutality of death metal with the abysmal death and torture atmospheres of eternal suffering and postmortem vengeance is what lays in wait with “Ritual ascension Beyond Flesh”.

Agathocles – This is not a threat, it’s a promise (SelfmadegodRecords 2010)

OOOH shit is this stuff hard, swift, and heavy like a hydraulic automatic sledgehammer giving repeated blows to your skull!!!!! I’m back in my death/grind/filth/crust mood again and alongside my usuals: Abscess, Autopsy, 324 and my personal fave, Bathtub Shitter, this band recently caught my attention with this fresh stench of Grindcore savagery that’s more sobering then being trappedin an airtight room filled to capacity with ammonia.

This is my first actual listen to this notorious grind band and will definitely scar me mentally in favor of listening to them from here on. The thing that stands out is the rumbling growl almost doom/sludge tone in the anthemic punk-like riffs alongside some killer d-beats that gives the tracks that ideal wrecking ball effect as they crash straight into your brain. Definitely brutal and unforgiving old school blasts that will make anyone stop and go “What the Fuck?” before responding in favor or against.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Hammer of Hate Records releases 2010

Hammer of Hate Records has come at us hard and fast this year with several triumphantly aggressive releases from the Finnish black metal scene that push the boundaries of the cult and nihilistic to new and welcome extremes (Sacrilegious Impalment, Vitsaus). These are set for November 10th release so here’s brief look at the innards of some of these fermenting audio assaults approaching on the horizon:

1) Anguished – Cold
This is the debut release of this female solo black metal act from Finland that cuts into you with her banshee shrieks until your gashes are as raw and stinging as this albums sound will. No ethereal female symphonic shit here, this is adulterated, vindictive and torturous stripped down cult black metal pure and simple. Possessed Demoness handles all instruments herself with the exception of a session drummer and the classic black and white S&M cover art is the perfect accompaniment to the sounds heard within this dark lair.

These skeletal songs have a great melodic sound and depth to them as they perfectly compliment the isolationist and oppressive vocals and the result is a fresh leather induced gash across your bare ass. In terms of production, although deliberately raw, the sound comes out really clean for this type of sound and the mild delay effects in the guitar and vocals really define the layers of sound into something more physical and encompassing. After a few listens the lyrics really come out as on “Depart this Life” where you can actually here her agonizing rants of that exact phrase like she’s on some lunatic ramble on the verge of death.

2) Valoton – Beastificate
Set out to inflict a deadly blow to Christian dogmas and represent through sound and lyrics the theistic Satanic philosophy of mans passage through beast toward ascension, they succeed in capturing an atmosphere of turbulent trials and tribulations, often haunting and violent through these 9 glorious tracks.
The melodies and song structures are really unique and asymetrical, but are so addictive in the way the swerve, coil, and strike like a venomous serpent such that just when you realize you’ve been struck form a certain angle you’re being nailed from another direction. The amount of chaos and heaviness in these tracks is analogous to the power of a massive black cyclone coming out from some abyss that just opened up in the earth and within seconds whips everything up and desecrates into dust.

3) Evangelium – Nightside of Eden
Evengelium is the first signing of a non-Finnish band to the label and is also the debut of this Russian band as they release their poisonous aura through unrelenting and searing firestorms of hateful vocals and a maelstrom of low-end distortion and explosive percussion battery. The atmosphere here is dense and foggy through the noise and spite like the gathering of a million tortured souls set on exacting vengeance on the worthless mortal beings. It’s bands like this one that remind me of what makes this style so powerful and allows me to relive that initial chilling sensation of hearing something that just makes your viscera squirm and your heart skip a few beats because it’s so intense. This is some seriously vicious shit and absolutely one that will invoke continual listens for years to come.

General info and purchasing:

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Vex – Thanatopsis (Horror Pain Gore Death 2010)

Right from the opening track “Thanatos” it’s completely crystal clear that this is no ordinary death metal band as they play off slight progressive rhythms, black metal riffing, and purely melodic yet unrelenting dark metal. I’m slightly reminded of the truly timeless sound of Deathevokation on Chalice of the Ages, where band takes what’s already dark, brooding and heavy then somehow pushes the boundaries even further.

“Motionless” showcases some blackened death vocals and scathing buzz chords that take an old school sound and recycle it into a simple yet complicated track. The pace is steady as this track induces a sense of chaos. The guitar solo and melodic leads remind of classic death metal stripped down and charred rather than purely rotted, like the ones that are timeless and completely stick with you for years to come.

“Apocalyptic Dream” is pure gutteral, almost Incantation-like blackened death that reeks of plague and rabies, the way the rhythm spirals around and the guitar work chug along like a war machine. The lead and rhythm play off each other to give a thundering clamour that instantly feels like the moment before the apocalypse as the sky turns black.

“Erosion” is plain eerie!!!! The proper use of synth effects just reminds me of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow as the headless horseman rides through lifeless trees in the cold darkness of night to terrorize villagers. The riffs are death metal assaults that eradicate your consciousness within the first few strikes to your undivided attention. The rhythm pattern is circular, which is where the slight prog feel comes in, as it whips around with the fury of a barbaric demon swinging its mace with the sole intention and momentum to shatter whatever it hits in one blow.

There’s an essence of so many things familiar in this bands sound that makes it comfortable and at the same time they take those elements out of context a bit to where they are new and thrilling again. Prepare to be steamrolled by nihilism, chaos, and a melodic holocaust with Vex. Alongside this release I highly recommend their split 7” with Divine Eve also on HPGD and available through their site. With the likes of Vex, Divine Eve, Sectioned, and Dimentianon my endless need for the best and the darkest will continue to thrive.

Seriously whipping and furious, dark and moody Thanatopsis will make your skin crawl right off your bones from the chilling sensation they will bring down upon you. This is another album that you have to hide away after a while because it just dominates your listening when it’s right there in front of you or within reach. The depth and melody they capture is impossible to describe accurately because it’s just so hard to wear the shock off, this is one big motherfucking beast to capture without bringing the person face to face with it to experience it for themselves.

Dimentianon – Collapse the Void (Paragon Records 2010)

Expect nothing less than the sound of chaos and turmoil as you spiral through this black void of blackened death metal experience. This NY based act has been a brute force within the NY underground scene since 1995 and unleashes their strongest effort yet with Collapse the Void, their third release to date. There’s a similarity in their sound to current Kult ov Azazel and Dissection as the buzzing hornet swarm of distorted guitar chords surround classic death metal angular melodies and jagged rhythms to give this sound the weight and destructive force of the sun exploding. There’s even this really ethereal instrumental symphonic track, “Fragmented Nostalgia” right in the middle of the album that adds that extra element of some sort of dark cosmic sensation. I can see and hear why Dimentianon has gained the status that they have as they take dark metal and audio chaos to the next level and show that the multidimensional sound that only the truly skilled can create.

I also highly recommend Sectioned alongside these guys if you’re looking for brutal, dark, sophisticated, and melodic metal without being losing the essential gnashing and gnarling beast of death/extreme metal. If bands like this keep going I’ll never grow out of my love for this stuff!!!!

Maniac Butcher – Masakr (Negative Existence 2010)

After a decade hiatus this Czech horror storm or bile and contemptuous black shredding metal and completely char everything in their path. I’d be hard pressed to find something better as of lately to rip my skullcap off through scathing fury and unabashed distorted chainsaw riffing. Masakr is the sound of total aggression and horror that have been festering and accruing for an entire decade, the old school sound and feel of Celtic Frost and a bit of crusty blackness has only improved with age. Absolutely awesome and worth picking up either to finish your MB collection or just to have your balls ripped off by something vicious.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Immortal Empire - Beneath Frozen Forests and Howling Skies EP

As with another recent black metal act, Immolith, UK based solo act, Immortal Empire, is staying very true to the late 1980’s-early1990’s Nordic black metal sound without being a mere regurgitation. Aside from getting positive reviews in Terrorizor, he has also gained a strong following and reasonably so when you really get a chance to listen to IE. The sound is a blend of medieval/folk themes and rhythms, a raw and hollow production sound without jeopardizing the quality of the tracks, blistering guitar riffs, and some symphonic and ambient undertones.

From the first instant the opener “Benight the Howling Horde” comes on I’m catapulted back to early Nordic black metal days of Immortal, Burzum, Bathory, early Emperor, and Darkthrone. There’s the raw and pure energy in the pounding thunder of the drums and the heavily over distorted guitar tone like buzzes and revs like a chainsaw and the feel of being recorded in a hollow den somewhere. There’s a thrash-like youth to the riffs and the symphonic background giving a mysterious and foggy forest-like atmosphere to the track.

“Dark are the Hours” is more of a stripped down black metal skeleton of a folk/medieval influenced track. The main rhythm is a folk one, almost like a jig or old pagan dance that is accompanied by a variation of maniacal raspy screams and an almost chorus “aahh” among aggressive distorted riffs.

“Younger Days” continues the flow of folk-like rhythms and just launches out of a dark cavern with a furious guitar sound and the growling of the beast unleashing itself from deep within the bowels of utter darkness.

Artist contact and audio samples:

Friday, October 8, 2010

Furze – Reaper Subconscious Guide (Agonia Records 2010)

I’m a complete fiend for anything that’s called black psychedelic and doom, so when I heard that this one is a Black Sabbath influenced “black psychedelic doom” project by the cult Norwegian black metal act, Furze, I couldn’t resist investing the time into this one. Along with a massive Sabbath love, I really have dug Furze over the years and listening to this one I can say that this shit blows my fucking mind!!!!!

For starters, Furze is solely Reaper and here he steps away from his usual raw and cryptic Nordic old school for sludgy lysergic riffs and contagious grooves, man…this thing just fucking smokes. There’s a warm rumbling vintage hum throughout the tones of all of the instruments including a Goddamn Glockenspiel!!! This release is just so trippy that it makes me envision wild occult themed orgies as seen through a swirl of turquoise and tangerine haze, sort of like parts of the brilliant Venus in Furs. In fact, this would be a great soundtrack to that flick, as here you get the acid fuzz and weird murderous/supernatural ambience of the film with an incredibly groovy “oomph” that is heavy enough to make your chest feel like there’s an pink elephant sitting on it as you gasp for air in amazement as this album glides all over your body and mind.

Special care has been taken to capture the true Sabbath essence through recording on only high quality analog equipment dating from the 1940’s to the 60’s and 70’s and it shows, this thing is really heavy and thumping all the way. Two versions will be released: one being a very rare purely analog (A-A-A) produced LP which is absolutely essential for experiencing this one properly, and a (A-A-D) produced format for cd.

One last note: there’s still raw elements of Darkthrone-like black metal in some of the riffs and tempos so don’t be surprised to hear some scathing parts encrusted with distortion within these tracks. This will appeal to doom, prog, heavy psyche, sludge heads so don’t pass on this release, from “Earlier than the Third Might of the Cosmos” through to the final “Essential Wait” you will hover and glide subconsciously without a pause. One of my top picks of 2010 and absolutely essential period!!!!!!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Interview with Gnaw Their Tongues

I can’t even begin to say how fucking cool being able to interview the harsh death industrial mastermind of Gnaw Their Tongues, it’s like everything he creates is golden…well actually more black and crimson. Gnaw Their Tongues is a massive aural slaughterday to the senses and pure adrenalizing mindfucks galore that really extends the boundaries broken and re-established by In Slaughter Natives. This guy is a maniacal genius and chances are that if your reading this, you’re already aware of the depravity and craftsmanship that comes with the GTT title, and a really cool guy. I'll be getting the review up for the latest release this week, but until then definitely score a copy of this bastard and unleash pure apocalyptic hell upon your ears.

DOTDR: How did Gnaw Their Tongues get started?

GTT: Been making music for over twenty years now. I played in death/doom/black metal bands, but I also did electronic music. In the late nineties I started building my own studio and recorded lots of music. In 2005/2006 I decided to throw some of the music on the internet. That's how the whole GTT thing started (and DE MAGIA VETERUM).

DOTDR: You create some of the most brilliant, chaotic, and insane sounds imaginable in your releases and coming from me that’s saying lot (and also a huge compliment), there’s nothing else exactly like GTT, it’s fucking great!!!!! In terms of your view of GTT, what do you strive to create on GTT releases? What inspires or influences what you create?

GTT: I'm inspired mostly by everyday horrors and inner hatred/dissonance. With every GTT release I strive for something special. I strive for making the most fucked up sonic killing spree.

DOTDR: That’s fucking awesome, and it shows in your releases!!!!! I know that L’Arivee de la Terne Mort Triomphante hasn’t been out very long, but with a high profile project like GTT there must have already been some responses to it, so how have people reacted to it so far?

GTT: Until now I read a few positive ones and one negative one… my music is not for everyone. The reviews seem to think this is my most orchestral sounding work and I think they are right.

DOTDR: I’d probably say so too, although they all have a heavy dark symphonic sound to them. I always like to ask the artist, what would your ideal reaction to this release by the listener be? Honestly, it made me stop whatever the hell I was doing and pay attention to it, it’s unbelievably captivating and intense.

GTT: Yes, that's pretty much what I aim for. Having people notice it. Sounding original and good. I’d rather have people react to my music (in a positive or negative way) than having no reaction at all.

DOTDR: It’s absolutely impossible to miss, it’s the sort of thing that you put on and people stop and go: “whoa…” or “What the Fuck is that?”, most of my listening tastes yields the WTF one for sure. Your sound is hard to describe, which is one of the reasons for its brilliance and success, but there’s a definite similarity on this release to chaotic neo-classical/symphonic artists like In Slaughter Natives. Do intentionally you set out to create something new and unique with each release? I ask because each one is quite distinct, really involved, and really impressive.

GTT: I try not to repeat myself and I try to have each release sounding different. The classical influences have always been there as I'm a great fan of modern/avant-garde classical music and horror soundtracks.

DOTDR: so with the success of GTT and your obvious level of skill, do you plan on keeping GTT going for a few years?

GTT: I did so much music these couple of years, that it's getting harder to come up with completely new things. I'll see what happens. I think GTT music has to come natural to me. It's never a good idea to force myself doing music. If I feel like it, or if I'm feeling inspired I record music. I at least got another full length planned, with some abstract ideas in my head. Will have to see how that one will turn out. I made a decision to reduce the amount of releases the next year.

DOTDR: You could always create something new under a new name and take a direction too, regardless of what happens with GTT, there’ll always be that massive crater left form the impact you made on the extreme side of music. With that said is there anything that you’d like to say in closing?

GTT: Thank you.

GTT contact, info, audio samples and purchasing:

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fatal Morgana – In Quiet Us (Arkeyn Steel Records 2010)

I’m sure many of you already can see where the influences in this one lay, one of my favorite metal tracks of all time off of Fates Warning, Awaken the Guardian, but don’t blindly expect FW here as this band has it’s own prog metal skill and style that is extraordinary in itself. Hailing from Hellas Greece this power prog metal bands 1995 2 song Demo (hailed as a monumental release back in the day) and previous unreleased Windfall album from 1996 are finally seeing proper release as In Quiet Us this month on Arkeyn Steel. I’m a huge prog head and there’s definitely Fates Warning here, but I actually more of a heavy melodic prog album with epic metal leanings. Everything about this band is the big pink elephant in the room named PROG, you can’t miss it and you certainly fucking love it…BUT it’s 100% classic epic metal as well so don’t expect anything less than that.

“Close at Hand” opens the album up nicely with a total Awaken the Guardian like heavy prog metal track. The guitars shred and chug along steadily to give it a bit of aggression as the rhythm itself noodles around behind it as a free flowing amorphous entity, no predictability, but absolutely smooth throughout. You can hear the bass notes as they walk through the direct the curvature of the song structure, nice and clear along with the leads and drums, the production is so clear that you can see straight through the mix and capture each instrument equally.

“In Speechless Words” continues with the FW comparison in vocal sound, but toward the last half of the track they bust out a guitar jam that has an almost gypsy/flamingo time signature and it just totally stops your heart for a moment to go “whoa” and gasp. This is definitely an audio treasure to behold, there’s nothing here that’s standard or been done before, this band definitely stands out!!!!!

“Tempest” is the album closer and is a heavy metal version of classic prog with the theatrical and eerie vintage organ intro reminiscent of old horror soundtracks, I totally hear Antonius Rex, that streams into a killer guitar arpeggio and semi classical vintage synth piece before being blasted into a heavy prog assault. Only 6 minutes, but screams out as a more modern version of the essential: Malombra, Antonius Rex and L’Impero Delle Ombre sound.

Totally essential for fans of: Fates Warning, Enchanter, early Queensryche (oooh yeah!!!!), Psychotic Waltz; also recommended for fans of: While heaven Wept, The Atlantean Kodex, and classic prog/prog metal.

Keep an eye out for the re-release of The Last Things rare 1993 album, Circles and Butterflies” if you dig Watchtower and Psychotic Waltz as I do, Arkeyn Steel will be unveiling that in the near future.

Secret Druid Society – Restless (First Fallen Star 2010)

Opening up with the appropriately titled “Deserted World”, SDS illustrates imagery of the beginning of the universe, right after the initial violent eruption that led to the creation of all matter and the universe as a result. The ambient drones allude to the sound of an object in projection but retarded to a speed of liquid bead of viscous tar as it almost hovers past you.

The sense of aimlessly drifting in a state of uncontrolled motion and being only directed by the natural compulsion of the space around you is continued into “Restless”, as the highly entropic state of the universe is pure chaos, but the type of chaos that is pure freedom and riding a natural flow. Although the sounds contained within Restless as an album are hypnotic and cerebral, they do convey a sense of darkness…mystery, and even an eerie quality that could very well be describing absolute chaos as one would hear it if they were right on the cusp of being consumed by a black hole.

Right before entering a black hole it is speculated that everything slows down to the point a complete stop and to an observer next to you it’d appear as if you were frozen in that position for ever although you’d been long since removed from existence in the gravitational pull and “Lonely Moon” captures that odd sense of watching something freeze at the brink and remain that way as you do for an uncertain length of time that could be considered forever.

“Phobia (Stones are Moving)” is the ironic truth of the situation told through sound as particles in the universe continue to divide and collide amongst each other for billions of years and your existence was brief and almost meaningless in the whole situation. Things continue without you and the only memory of you is a snapshot carried by some sort of radiation of your final moment.

“Restless(Night is Here)” is a 15 minute drone drift through astral planes where the synth waves reverberate over you like time freezing to a pause, you can almost feel the lethargic chill from the wake of some sonic occurrence across your skin as this track makes it tingle.

“Dawn Over the Deserted World” represents your landing on the terrestrial surface of some ancient looking planet. There’s a distorted electronic flute serenade guiding your eyes across the horizon and a sense of tranquility and conclusion are now felt within.

“Endless Ice Planes” moves past slowly and heavily, as if you’re standing at the shore or on a cliff overlooking an alien turquoise sea and hear the sound of monolithic crystallic ice mountains as they crawl past you. If there was a sound for time at an almost stand still velocity, this track would come very close to it.

For audio samples and ordering:

Hell Militia - Last Station on the Road to Death (Debemur Morti 2010)

This album opens up with a trippy, pseudo-hallucinogenic audio sample of a what sounds like a doctor dictating the behavioral pattern of a junkie which is pretty unique in itself.

“Born Without Light” comes in swiftly as a chaotic black metal assault to the senses as it murderously cuts into your soul with a raw and unapologetic guitar buzz and miserable vocals. There’s a sense of spite and bitterness is this weird cacophony of despair and all out violent bouts with a nice surreal, almost horror film sense to it. The drums sound like heavy footsteps echoing down the hallway as you cower behind the door in the dark fearing for your life. Given the opening track, it could be about struggling with the paranoia and delusions from withdrawals or just a state of pure insanity taking over, either way it’s definitely a bit creepy and unique and I fucking love it.

“Unshakable Faith” is sort of the dialogue/narrative of the evolution of the situation after the last track where the character has definitely gone over the edge and now the world is coldly assessing their view. About halfway through this cold and calculating track the main character unleashes his/her psychotic break in full with maniacal groans of pure lunacy and anger.

“Et Inferno Ego” is absolute insanity and chaos, somewhat reminding me of a rawer version of Deathspell Omega. It’s pure cyclone clanging and screaming that circles around you like a massive cyclone that inevitably sucks you violently into the deepest void of misery and hell.

“The Ultimate Deception” is another uniquely haunting and grim track that sounds as though it’s dispersing through some dark crevice from deep within the Earth where all is fire and molten lava. This whole album is unique but not too avant-garde, mixes the raw and belligerent black metal trademarks with a sense of blackened hallucinogenic and torturous personal atmospheres to create something of a soundtrack to a nightmare.

Highly recommended for fans of: Deathspell Omega, Krieg, Krohm, Leviathan, Xasthur, Tenebrae in Perpetuum.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Excruciator – By the Gates of Flesh (Heavy Artillery 2010)

I recently made the public announcement in my review of the pretty impressive new school thrash act Vindicator that I’m not big on the new wave of thrash, well…as with most things there are exceptions to the rule and Excruciator is my exception. I really like this label and many like it who prevail to release some of the freshest cuts of metal flesh, and now they are releasing their "Heavy Artillery Wax Maniax Demo Series" featuring mini LPs and cds of some of the coolest obliterating metal sounds today, so for the oldschool heads out their, check that out for sure:

Now for this release, it’s vile, aggressive, colossal and just guts you like a pig ready for the roast with it’s gruff raw death/thrash vokills and unrelenting guitar stabs and jigsaw rip cuts of chords. As with many bands on the label there’s a good amount of progressive rhythm changes to give each track a sophisticated and swerving quality as you are tossed through the tracks like breakfast from your stomach due to a bad hangover. I would be willing to actually bet a few limbs that the first listen to tracks like “Nuclear Exmortis” and “By the Gates of Flesh” you will be climbing the walls as your jaw drags on the floor behind you from your initial, FAAAAAAAAWKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!! response as this thing knocked it clean off the hinges. I HAVE to have this animal in my collection and living with a grouchy old punk, I think he’ll be more appreciative to hearing this thing alongside my Blood Feast and Nuclear Assault blaring then the doom stuff. Bow down to the power contained here, this shit will annihilate anything within 1000 miles of its sonic epicenter!!!!! You MUST have this!!!!!!!!!!!

Essential for fans of: Nuclear Assault, Blood Feast, Kreator, Celtic Frost!!!!!

Audio Samples and band contact:

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Heirs - Fowl (Denovali Records)

Heirs are yet another psychedelic, instrumental rock band who are well versed in improvisation skills and the perfect use of electronic effects to create a densely sweltering environment through pure creativity and rhythmic flow. The thing that really makes this album stand out for me, aside from the amazingly tribal and ritualistic rhythm/drum patterns used throughout, is how I start the album and before I even realize it the album is over. It literally captures your mind and zaps you into its universe and you really never pause because the ride just keeps you going through turns, loops, intensity, volume, and speed changes so you never get the chance to really stop.

It’s the coolest and weirdest thing, that’s why it’s taken me about two weeks or so to write this review, every time I sit down to review it I get caught up in it and lose track of time and place. You have to hear this whole thing in one listen, you could try to break it up and it’d work, but if you don’t have it uploaded and on a sort of shuffle feature where there’s outside control you’ll never make it through only partway, it’s that solid and consistent!!!!! Seriously, for those who dig the total mind melting, heavy rhythm, jam, tripped out stuff…YOU HAVE TO HEAR THIS!!!!!!

“Dust” opens up with some ambient/moderate effects, a smooth bass line and high hat to give an almost jazzy and lounge sense to the album, but just as you think you’re safe the guitar picks up some weight and the drums bring in the stomp and pummel and before you know it, the room begins to spin and your heart pounds.

“Fowl” comes in subtly to a tribal rhythm n drums and a looming sense of entering into some unknown place, some sense of uncertainty is present and the deeper you traverse into this labyrinth of sound, the sweatier your palms get and the lighter your head gets. By about the halfway point of this elusive journey you’re fully entranced and your heart even beats to the drum rhythm. After this everything becomes one big sonic blurb of pure reverb and psychedelic textures and you really don’t come back to reality until you go down the drain at the end, aptly titled “Drain”.

“Burrow” and “Tyrant” represent the den or hive in which you’ve now entered, the clicking and echoing of the percussion and the humming and buzzing of the bass denotes that you are closing in on the central layer of this mysterious lair you’ve somehow wandered into. The buzzing of the inhabitants, alien and yet familiar to you in some way as they are just synth and guitars distorted into a new language of tones, but having the same purpose as your familiarity leads you to believe. You’re now swarmed with instrumental psychedelic meanderings and cannot see past the end of your nose form the sheer density of this audio buzz.

“Men” -Like a tornado of sound that makes the whole world spin around in a frenzied cyclone to the tribal drum beating of ones demise. The drum sound is almost hollow and ritualistic as the swirling of distorted guitar winds sweep your consciousness away into the eye of this storm.

“Mother” a laidback sonic reverberation of modern psychedelic and feedback reminiscent of Pelican and new comers Del Rey. This is where the storm has settled and you regain solid footing to find that you are unscratched from the riotous wind tunnel ride you were on only moments before, but you now have the odd sensation that you wish that it would happen again and right at that very second.

“Drain” enters with a lovely reverb guitar intro which then leads you unknowingly into a warm cataclysm of vibrating, seismic hazes of guitars saturated in effects to drown you by the end of this 6 minute throb of circular rhythm patterns. Imagine watching the water in a tub drain very slowly as it circles and spirals around the opening before plummeting through and that’s the sensation you get on here, it starts out slow bit as you get closer to the opening things speed up to a wild vortex that’ll be sure to spin your head around a few times during the listen.

There you have it, and it took me three forcing listens to break it up because I kept missing it as it just consumed my mind altogether. This is one more piece of evidence that the wave of good instrumental, effect and jam laden rock talent has not lost it’s amplitude, it’s only getting started!!!!!

Essential for most, but fans of the following will already have bought this by the time they got halfway through my dissection of it: Boris, Hellas Mounds, Isis, Neurosis, White Hills, La Otracina, US Christmas, Red Sparrows, Del Rey, The Heads, Pelican….

Heirs contact:

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Theologian – The Further I Get From Your Star, The Less Light I Feel On My Face (Crucial Blast 2010)

Theologian is the newest artistic skin being worn by power electronic artist Leech, infamous for his long-standing project, Navicon Torture Technologies, which has now been laid to rest. The unmistakable brilliance found in NTT is still present here, the very same industrial dronescapes of dense electronic layers that seduce the listener into an unrelenting state of hallucinogenic ambient.

At times the sound of Theologian is urban, sort of like the sound of a freight train or subway passing through the tunnel very slowly and almost warm, as heard and felt on the title track and “Almost Gone”. The metallic subtleties like clanking along old train tracks and the white noise reminiscent of a drizzly urban twilight as the city slows down for a few short hours and is reduced to just environmental sounds…machinery… almost void of human life as the concrete jungle speaks for itself in these daily slow moments from the havoc of inhabitant clutter and clamor.

The trademark of Leechs creations begin to unfold a new chapter, still very surreal, but the sound manipulations in spots are further venturing beyond rigid mechanical to fluid and loose ambient fuzz, like an abstract and fabricated form of a field recording. Although there are moments of warmth and drone, there are still the traditional power electronic tracks present such as “The Fragility of the Male Ego…” and “Zero”, and even symphonic almost purely ambient experiences through “In Times of Need, we all go against our nature” and “Unfamiliar Skies”. In one single artists I can hear resemblances to Phaenon, Steel Hook Prostheses, and Rasthof Dachau, set against a backdrop of modern urban inspiration.

Set for release October 26th by the Crucial Blast Label, Theologian is a guarantee to raise the bar even higher as he bestows upon us the next progression in purely mechanical and electronic audio. By far one of the best releases of the year!!!!

For info contact the Crucial Blast webstore and label (click on the log up top of the page and it'll direct you to it)

Secrets She Kept - La Fin Absolue Du Monde (Metal Messiah Records 2010)

Armed with malicious intentions, sheer brutality, and seething fury, Florida based Secrets She Kept, will be sure to sever some limbs. With SSK you’ll hear elements of Kult ov Azazel (Destroying the Sacred) fused with Incantation and even Dissection, to wield a savage axe of blackened death metal. Having started out back in 2002, this band has toured on it’s own terms and support and shared stages with well respected acts like: Horna, Nachtmystium, Dark Funeral, 1349, and Goat Whore, and now are unveiling their sophomore full length of viciousness and contempt with La Fin Absolue Du Monde.

This album opens up with the vicious and menacing assault of “Legion 666”, which wastes no time shrieking at you over this wicked guitar bit that almost sounds like the horns of an approaching army of mercenaries and the percussion bangs and pounds like a full blown artillery shower!!!! It’s clear form track one that this stuff is meant to take a thunderous dropped D tone and skin you alive with it’s speed and signature guitar shreds.

“Carrion Soul” keeps you under siege with a moderate hint of thrash riffing speed and the chaotic ramblings of what sounds like an exorcism on speed. Make no mistake…you get some dropped d bombs and concrete riff layers complete with the idyllic “squeel” of the classic death metal sound, the nihilistic hatred and blood thirsty quality of black metal, with some spiraling thrash overtones and this is not just in one track but the whole album!!!!!

The production is clean like a surgical incision and the layers of each track have a 3D effect where they really bring the full force of the SSK storm down upon you like Hells fury and scorn!!! Set to detonate in October, this one will surely be one to make an investment in, these guys blend a good amount of metal styles into a cohesive, skilled, and completely brutal holocaust on your senses!!!!!!

A definite look into for fans of: Drawn and Quartered, Kult ov Azazel, Book of Black Earth, Incantation, Morbid Angel and all things heretical and violent,

SSK contact:

Horse Latitudes - Gathering (Aurora Borealis 2010)

Horse Latitudes are a new chapter in the aptly named N.W.O.F.H.M (coined by the awesome Jussi Lehitsalo of Circle/Pharaoh Overlord) bringing us doom heads a trippy, unique and ultra heavy take on doom. For starters the band is a three piece consisting of two bass players and a drummer so that alone generally points to HEAVY and according to the label, they are a blend of epic sludge and the more leftfield bands like Ride For Revenge and Urfaust with a hint of doom in the vocals. What variables in that equation don’t add up to completely fucking wicked!!!? And this is also one of the few times that the general description fits.

Several things upon listening stand out: the vocals are very much doom styled vocals, not sludge at all actually; the Sabbathian riffs being played out on a bass, more than likely also tuned down, give the muscle and impact needed to carry this heavy lethargic beast across it’s 50 minute span; and the production is deliberately minimal giving an almost genuine live feel but not poor demo quality lo-fidelity. At times I’m reminded of recent Aussie sludge act Atollah, where you can hear the actual pluck of the bass notes from underneath a film of sonic doom haze and the maze of effects glowing and echoing as they spiral about your consciousness.

The vocals are absolute lethargic and epic doom, but are spoken word in rhythm with the riffs and bass almost poetically, so if you were groaning a the sludge part you’ll be glad to know that this is more a of a psychedelic doom trio than stoner doom. Don’t get me wrong though, there’s definite similarities to Electric Wizard, especially in the almost spacey tripped out effects behind the basses, some of the vocals get raspy and almost whispered in spots adding an extra dimension to this fairly complex and surprisingly solid album. I guarantee that many of you will find much to enjoy on this 50 barrage of doom and LSD, so be sure to check them out and look for the album release in October.

For fans of:Ride For Revenge, Electric Wizard, Burning Witch, The Body, The Bottle Doom Lazy Band, Fall of the Idols, Saturnalia Temple, and even some SunnO))) but not any excessive drone; just epic, trippy, and lucid distorted visions of doom…absolute rumbling from the decrapitated bowels of doom.

Band site with audio:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

DOTDR talks to the black belly of the beast Nekrasov

Nekrasov is a black, avant-garde, apocalyptic, and destructive force who just recently released his briiliant Extinction on Crucial Blast and I was really stoked to have gotten to hear it early and get a chance to talk with him about it a bit. For those who like all things unique and intense in their audio, I couldn't recommend this act enough to many of you. Check out the link at the bottom for audio samples, the label webstore( direct link is activated by clicking the banner at the top of the main webpage here) and also check out my review here on this site. Enjoy and step into the labyrinth of chaos:

DOTDR: I’ve been a huge fan of the Crucial Blast label forever it seems and when your release came across my ears I was still surprisingly surprised. It was actually power electronic, dark ambient and industrial/post-industrial oddly enough that got me deeper into black metal about 5-6 years ago actually, and so I’m completely foaming at the mouth at the mere thought and sound of anything that marries those sounds as you so brilliantly have on Extinction. So to start things off, how about introducing us to the apocalyptic world and mind of Nekrasov?

Nekrasov: Hmm, intros are difficult for me! Nekrasov was never intentionally an ‘apocalyptic’ or death industrial ‘vision’. I had always been experimenting with either noise, ambient, metal, punk etc for as long as I can remember.

Nekrasov really started to form around 1997 but the focus of it, or it’s ‘form’ started really to take shape just a few years ago.

It’s really an accumulation of all aspects of my existence really – hence you will have those elements you mentioned. But also, it’s just the way it comes out. It’s a very personal beast with absolute NO interest in being hip or the coolest noise dude or black metal one man whatever. I am usually guided by what I cannot define. My focus or ‘intention’ is communicating that which is very difficult to express on a lyrical level – the eternal black beast that is with us always. For me, personally, it comes out the way you hear it with Nekrasov. It may not be everyone’s thing but it’s where I am coming from – and I need to be as far removed from anything, even my ‘self’, in order to do that. So, at the same time, the term apocalyptic is apt as it is coming from the end (whether before or after) the self or world – also it’s not coming from that…if you know what I mean? Haha

The ‘mind’ of Nekrasov is surrounded and created by an eternal abyss – that’s the channel – as best I can conjure.

I am extremely honored to have this release with Crucial Blast – I have always thought Adam had a great vision and ethic to what he does.

DOTDR: When listening to and dissecting Extinction it became very apparent to me that it was story of some wicked battles and then the looming destruction and awkwardness of the PTSD afterward, was Extinction intended to be an ongoing science fiction/annihilation narrative or is it just my always overactive imagination that hears that? What was your intention to create with Extinction?

Nekrasov: Well the lyrics are withheld as Nekrasov is not about ideas at all – it is about reaching and pulling out that beast within. That which we know is there but try to avoid because it kind of does feel like annihilation. So, yes, to some degree it is about annihilation but it’s important for me not to give too much on the ideas level. Your imagery of it is your own, not mine – which, for me, is a great thing. Admittedly I do have quite a few responses from listeners saying they had all these images of humanity getting stuck in a black hole etc…Which really is an apt metaphor for ‘the void’ of Nekrasov. I would not say that the intention is sci-fi end times but I would admit that there is a strong focus on annihilation – a very subjective cutting and slicing of it for the listener, I hope.

Giving away my ‘intention’ for the album would be giving too much away; wink wink….And away, what more needs to be said? Extinction!

DOTDR: I have to say that the tracks are very well placed and composed, they alternate between nihilistic and chaotic black metal and the atmospheric electronic tracks perfectly to give it texture. Was this deliberate on your part and how do feel album as whole now that you look back on it?

Nekrasov: I always work with the expected and unexpected. There is a sort of non-place to go to where the beast void resides so I could admit there to some deliberation. The conflict of that though is once in there there is not much control or deliberation.

I don’t really look back on it to be honest. I am happy with the results.

DOTDR: What are some of the inspirations that motivate you to create in Nekrasov?

Nekrasov: This is one of those questions I find very difficult to answer! As there sort of is no inspiration but, of course, with working in sound etc.. I cannot avoid it but the attempt is to come from where there is no inspiration, if that makes any sense.

But, please, do not confuse this with art or anything as such…oh! forbid such horror!

You can hear the musical influences in there but there’s no need to go into those sort of details. I really am trying to give my piece of liberating pain on the world! haha

DOTDR: Black metal, industrial, power electronic, dark ambient, martial, and noise on their own serve as ideal mediums to create the most intense and exotic atmospheres through and when blended the result is terrorizing and bone chilling. What made you decide upon the styles used on Extinction? How would describe Nekrasov to those who haven’t experienced you yet?

Nekrasov: Ultimately it’s the freedom of those styles that works so well with Nekrasov. The intention was not to be 100% anything but 100% nothing! Haha. I work purely from a deep personal level without much involvement in scenes etc so I have the freedom to do what the fuck I want. I’ve always worked within those fields; it’s where I am most uncomfortable!

I will have to break it to you that you an in a minority in your appreciation of what I do. Normally there’s ‘not enough black metal, too much noise’ and the noise purists think there’s too much metal etc..It’s really weird that in such a deep underground realm as the one where Nekrasov exists, seemingly far removed from ‘the everyday’ that such conservative ideas seem firmly rooted. But then again, I don’t really give eleven shits to it – I just do what I do and I didn’t even think it would get to this stage!

DOTDR: I know the release is brand spanking new, but how has the feedback been so far?

Nekrasov: It’s been good. For those that have sort of followed Nekrasov for a while – say they like it ‘the best’ (which is a funny thing to say about a Nekrasov release! Haha). To be honest, I never really know how to take it – the fact that people do listen to it is pretty awesome from my end of the world! It’s fairly tough work to get through….

DOTDR: What does the near future hold for Nekrasov?

Nekrasov: Nothing! There’s been so much coming out this year that the releases need a chance to hurt and maim a bit more…There won’t be another release till next year. The only thing that should be coming out is the previously intended split 12” with ONDO. The artwork is being done for that right now.

DOTDR: From where can one buy a copy of Extinction?

Nekrasov: Just go straight to Crucial Blast! Or if in Europe, places like Cold Spring etc..

DOTDR: Thanks for your time and a fucking wicked and brilliant listen! Is there anything you’d like to say in closing?

Nekrasov: I am honored to be a part of the DOTDR beast! Thanks for your support and interest.

Nekrasov info here:

Friday, September 17, 2010

Nekrasov - Extinction (Crucial Blast Records 2010)

Extinction is an experience of absolute chaos and apocalyptic events through a blend of power electronics, black metal, and dark ambient. Three of my absolute favorite musical styles that go together so beautifully to create the perfect mindfuck come together into this science fiction, horror masterpiece.

Starting off with a really aggressive and raw (not in production quality though) black metal track “We are just an indifferent interpretation of the black plague”, I’m reminded of Ash Pool and Dodsferd (Fucking Your Creation). The machinegun battery of the drums and they belligerent guitar storm of angry distortion and almost hallucinogenic melody.

“Disillusion” sees us in a full-fledged barrage of symphonic black metal horror, artillery shell showers of percussion, and a diesel motor sounding chugging guitar. This track sounds like a surreal and cinematic alter reality of someone experiencing the end of the world first hand. You almost envision buildings collapsing and tsunamis crash over the shores and flood the cities as the sky changes through all of the shades of nuclear reds and yellows and bright flashes vaporize things into oblivion in less than the blink of an eye.

“Matter is the Bastard” is the soundtrack to the post-apocalypse moment when you gaze across the charred black, still smoldering and smoking landscape of what once was considered the center of the universe by arrogant and ignorant beings. Here we have a dark ambient atmospheric track that is perfectly designed for the post-traumatic events yet to come. All the while in the background there’s a hammering or stomping, sort of like footsteps or minor distant explosions muddied as you fight to regain consciousness.

“Void into Non-Void Master” launches us back into brutal black metal chaos and bloodshed, so apparently the war was not quite over, the next assault was heading towards us from across that span of rubble and debris. The almost diesel powered machine sounding guitar chords shredding and expelling shell casings all around as this swarm descends upon you.

“Pre-fetal Non-Mantra” brings us back to the aftermath of another massive annihilation attempt. Bodies are strewn all over, well pieces of what once were bodies, painted through a gusting wind of ambient and post-industrial drone.

All eight tracks on this disc switch out between nihilistic and ritualistic symphonic black metal, suicidal, genocidal, and maniacal post-industrial landscapes to form chapters of complete destruction in this diabolical story. I’m not over exaggerating here in this review either so if at any point you stopped and said “oh…shit!!!!!” then you’re right about where I’m at in my response to listening to this. This here is one the truest accounts of apocalypse and complete ruin, so if you think that you’re black metal is the real deal prepare to be humbled and destroyed by this holocaust!!!!!