Seriously Fucked up and Essential Label

No Visible Scars Cassette Label

No Visible Scars Cassette Label
No Visible Scars Cassette Label

WOHRT RECORDS

WOHRT RECORDS
WOHRT RECORDS

Malignant Records

Malignant Records
Mind melting electronic/ambient/industrial/ power electronics

Prison Tatt Records

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ice Bound Majesty - A Tomb To Erect

Over the summer I became acquainted with this killer and very DIY/indie label from the UK, Frequency 13, described as a label of " True Sheffield black Psychedelia ", so it was definitely something that I couldn't pass up hearing. The name is true to form, this is some experimental, black, electronic, and unique audio here. Raspy black metal vocals (Burzum/Xasthur style) with some great fuzz effects and distortion, add some catchy drum machine rhythm underneath with an almost cute keyboard/synth line throughout and you have the first track on this disc, "Book of Jelands". This stuff is about as eclectic as it comes.

"Untiethebestknot" is about 3 minutes long, most of which is just almost silence until the last mintue when this great reverb drenched guitar comes in...louder and louder, very heavy on the reverb, then for the last 20 seconds of the track some other guitar work comes into it and athen it just ENDS (?). Could have been even better if a bit longer, but really cool anyway.

"Wardragon Blues", this is one schizophrenic track. Starts out almost like drone/sludge, then really kicks it up a bit with some vocal work and drum machine effects, dark territory here and about as heavy as a meteor of distorted fuzz coming down on your head. Suddenly the track sounds like some neo-folk/post -industrial ambient thing for about ten seconds and then goes back into this reverb bit...sounds as though a record is being stopped during play (literally), then the track goes fully into this filthy raw jam similar in sound to Ride For Revenge/Skullfuck/Irritate. The track interrupts itself frequently to add in samples of sounds like explosives and metallic drums with heavy echo effect. This definitely takes experimental to the next level, but does it so well that I almost hesitate to call it experimental.

"Carrion (The Carrier Of All)", is like a warmongering Xasthur track. The vocals, still raspy, are way behind the mix, the guitar is so smothered in effect that it becomes a huge whirlwind of fuzz, and the whole track ends up feeling like a swirling sensation of fuzz. I love fuzz, distortion, effects and this is another example of an artist using them well to make audible noise. Not experimental to the point of painful, but still enough to scare most away and it damn well should. If you can't handle this, you shouldn't be trying anyway.

The final track " A Tomb To Erect " is another long experimental journey in effects, fuzz, well executed distortion, and the title describes it perfectly...this could definitely erect the pyramids if played at the right decibel level.

Thanks Dave for starting such a killer label and the artists on it for making such exquisite noise.

Ice Bound Majesty page: http://www.myspace.com/iceboundmajesty
label info: www.myspace.com/karaokevocaleliminator

Gravsahl - ...A part of Nothing



I really lucked out when this guy contacted me for my show...described as atmospheric metal similar to Summoning, I immediately knew this one was a definite "must" for myself. This project is a solo artist from Germany who not only remains anonymous even to me, which in my opinion is truly awesome, but he's even refused label offers to remain independent and free of bullshit and complications, that's some true "DIY/cult" attitude right there. This attitude shows in the complexity and depth of the music as well. I'd say that the Summoning comparison is very accurate, but this is also very much it's own sound and feel.

The vocals are in the mix, they blend in well to create the ideal hazy/foggy atmosphere of a northern European pagan dusk or twilight. The keyboard work is some of the best ever in terms of creating the right atmosphere without being so overpowering and sort of borderline Prog "keyboardy", this is some sophisticated stuff, definitely a bar raisier. Along with bands like : Summoning, Wolves in the Throne Room, Velvet Cacoon, some Blut Aus Nord; this atmospheric and intensely dark music is just oozing with dew and mist, victories of war and the supernatural.

Pagans and participants of the left-hand path rejoice, this is music for conjuring up the dead, holding rituals, and slaughering the last of your enemy to obtain victory. This music is absolutely perfect for a cold night with a nice ale and a wicked storm, or even just relaxing in a dark, candle-lit room reading. This is best for anything requiring darkness and silence, if this is what being a truly independent artist does to you then there is hope, desparaging and opaque hope...

Check out Gravsahl : http://www.myspace.com/gravsahl

This album is available from the sight as a download so definitely check it out for the bleak atmosphere, Cthulu and Tolkien fans will especially love this stuff I'm sure.

Olde Corpse Road - The Echoes of Tales Once Told (Self Release)


I lucked out around December when I came across this band on a killer black metal comp, UK Black Metal Vol. 2, released by the webzine " The UK Legions of Black Metal ", which is not only a damn good comp. but the webzine is awesome too, so check that out if you get a chance (I'll add the link at the end of the review).

The third and closing track, "The Oakmen of Naddle Forest", is an eleven minute opus that is really one of the best closing tracks that I've heard. These guys go from great old Emperor via In The Nightside Eclipse, mix in some Nordland era Bathory and Windir, some great Death metal riffs and vocals toward the end, toss in a bit of acoustic pagan instrumentals in the middle and you have one hell of fucking track. This is some seriously complex and talented shit here!!!!!! A mix of the best of pagan/black/viking metal and toss in some death metal feel for a few lines, the atmosphere here is definitely of medieval folklore and gnomes. The build up throughout the track is perfect taking on the journey through climax, bridge, riff, rhythm, it's just perfect...how many times can a track be said as PERFECT!!!!! If anything, check this track out. It'll be on my show every night for the next week or so to see if anyone checks it out.

The other two tracks on this EP are very much like symphonic/pagan black metal as mentioned in the description of the last track. The chorus is perfectly timed with clean and traditional black vocals together, you almost smell the ale flowing and the stench of the woolen kilts and blood. I go back and forth on pagan/folk metal personally, much of it is too much folksy and becomes goofy, but not these guys. Fans of: early Emperor, Bathory, Enslaved, Windir, Summoning; and newer acts like: Drautran, Farsot, Kampfar will burn the village listening to this band .

Check these guys out at : http://www.oldcorpseroad.co.uk/
Webzine contact: http://www.myspace.com/theuklegionsofblackmetalzine

Friday, March 19, 2010

Velvet Cacoon - P Aa Opal Poere Pr,33


This album is so phenomenal that it fits in with my other reviews tonight. I don't know too much about the controversy surrounding this band, but I do know them from their debut until now and am always gasping at how awesome and atmospheric these guys get. If you like shoe-gaze heavy stuff like Nadja,Wolves in the Throne Room, lo-fi Black Metal like Xasthur, Brown Jenkins, mid-era melodic Burzum, etc. you'll definitely dig this one. Their most incredible album until this one was Genevieve, which was a lot more loud and agressive in riffs and fuzz compared to this one, but no where near the intensity and emotion that is felt on this one and anyone who's heard that one will attest that that's a really high bar to raise.

It's safe to say that the sound is like drowning in an ocean, not violently though, but slowly so that you can feel every tug of the tide and current as you bob and sway back and forth then gradually sink down listening to something like Wolves in the Throne Room coming at you through the water. It really is the perfect soundtrack to a dream where you are dying slowly and peacefully, very surreal, and then suddenly realize that you can wake up and then the album is over. Maybe it's a mercy suicide soundtrack, assisted murder is illegal so you figure that it's up to you to "do it yourself" and make it the most pleasant last moments you could ever have. Sure... that's a bit twisted and depressing, but that's the beauty of it.

You don't have to turn away because it's an alledged "black metal band", if it's not your thing, or if it IS and you can't get over the shoe-gaze description. It's not emo/indie pop shoe-gaze, it's melodic atmospheric HEAVY fuzz and ambient metal (?) that is extremly morbid and haunting. The vocals are behind the mix as always, the echo effects are great, and it really sounds like a tormented spirit crying out from a deep forest through the mist and fog. This is eerie stuff, it'll make any pop trendy pussy run and sleep with the light on, so don't piss yourself in horror over melody and beauty until you actually give this album a spin.

These guys don't have an official website currently so check around online for more info: Full Moon Productions, Starlight Temple Society label pages.

Scorched Earth - Mars


Bill from the No Visible Scars Label noticed some of my reviews and my bio here on Hellride and thought that I would really dig this release, he thought right. Described as a Venom sounding band, but to me that description deosn’t do it justice, these bastards sound like a killer hybrid of old school thrash, fused with old school death via early Morbid Angel/Malevolent Creation and than throw in some doom elements in terms of slow riffs with a Sabbathy/Pentagram 70’s twist. The ideal sound this label is going for, along with the bands they sign, is the old analog sound of chrome cassettes and vinyl from the tape trading heyday of true heavy metal.

These guys hail from Seattle, Washington, home to some killer underground metal acts right now, but have actually been around since ~1995. These guys have toured with the likes of Kult Ov Azazel, Drawn and Quartered, Exhumed, Impaled, Serpents Aeon, Anal Blast…. They are said to draw their sound from early cult thrash and death metal, and that’s a damn good description of it. If you like it old-school raw, but with quality musicianship, addictive rhythms, diversity in tempo,etc. this is an essential to at least hear, but I’d say get the fucker before it disappears like their other releases have.
In fact one of the songs I’m currently listening to (“Out of the Violent Planet) has this amazing horror-surf style tremolo/reverb intro that just goes into this great guitar jam, and then the vokills come in and it just makes you want to jump around and tear things apart. With that being said, there shouldn’t be anyone out there whose mouth isn’t watering and their ears aren’t itching in anticipation of this stuff.
Now I’m listening to “The Knights of the black Cross vs. the Reavers of the Red Death”, it has a great buzzsaw riff throughout sort of like old Darkthrone then fused with Sabbath, then it starts back into that great tremolo picking surf blistering sound again. This album is relentless, get off your ass and get this shit NOW!!!!!! But don’t blame them when you burn the place down in a frenzy while giving it it’s de-virginizing spin. This stuff is hotter than Hell in terms of everything a good metal album could have, and will spit out flames as it plays. The album is on red Chrome cassette and comes with mini LP style artwork, a great silk-screened patch and pin, it makes me feel like a kid again buying music. This is not only a band to watch for, but the NVS label is truly an underground force that will probably keep dropping releases that measure at a 9 on the metal Richter Scale, although if you play these loud enough they might measure enough on the real scale too. For analog recordings this stuff is clearer and more solid sounding than anything digital and is one of many reasons that I’m scrounging up cash to get my analog system together again.
If you dig any of the following and especially the idea of the best elements of each thrown in a stew of noise, you MUST get this one: High on Fire, Kreator, Morbid Angel, Malevolent Creation, Autopsy, Exodus, Venom, Celtic Frost,Slayer, Darkthrone, Mayhem, Immortal, this SOB has it all and many to add. Smoking like a burning Christian corpse at Satans Luau, and reeks of malice and perverted intent!!!!!! Honestly, this thing slams, jams, grooves, kills, slays, bulldozes, stomps….By now you probably get the idea.

This is available on awesome chrome cassette through No Visible Scars, an incredibly cool tape style DIY label, if you miss the fun of old school trading and patches/pins with crazy art, this is your label!!!!!

Ride for Revenge - Wisdom of the Few


This is another weird lo-fi and just amazing release from the Finnish scene. I figured that having finally posted Skullfuck and Irritate, being that this band consists of similar members and is from the same style it'd be the right time to do so.

This is HEAVY stuff...I have nice studio grade speakers and this thing is so low end that it sounds as though it could strain them. The vocals are above the mix in parts, so it's sort of the opposite of say Wolves in The Throne Room, Blut Aus Nord, Velvet Cacoon, where the vocals are behind or in the mix giving it that faded and atmospheric feel, but it really works well for these guys. I can't describe the vocals, except to say that they are along the lines of deep gutteral death style, but not burpy...maybe sort of closer to old underground death metal vocals. See, that's the thing that makes this stuff so damn good....it reminds you of the things that you love, but also shows variations that make it difficult to say EXACTLY what/who the hell they sound like. The vocals on top of the mix really bring out the music behind it, or maybe it's also the way it's mixed and recorded, either way it's awesome and unique. I would say that they sound very much like Skullfuck, but that's not helping out most of you here.

One of the tracks, "Dungeons of The Original Sin" is almost like weird harsh electronic stuff with pounding bass lines all distorted out in a very marching and simple rhythm pattern, but done with live bass and effects. It really reminds me of stuff like Deatsch Nepal or Brighter Death Now, basically stuff that would be released on Cold Meat Industry,Steinklang, or No Visible Scars to name a few good ones. The vocals range from growling almost spoken, to spoken with a definite Finnish accent that sounds like some of the wicked post industrial/electronic stuff just mentioned.

On tracks like: "Dedicated to Destruction", "No Saviour No Return", "Wisdom of the Few"; the drums are very present and intense. They range from catchy fills and pounding forceful rhythms, to rapid pounding with heavy use of cymbal carshes. The riffs fade in and out with distortion and the music focuses on the drum cymbal work, then comes back in full force and stomping. These guys can use effects!!!!!!! The overall result is a hybrid of lo-fi metal,DIY, early death metal, black metal, electronic,and even sludge. This would make an awesome tape release, which is also available I think. I've heard my share of garage/basement recordings and this is one of the best so far, so if you like those styles of the old DIY days then you'll really be blown over with this stuff.

If you really want to hear something unique and worthy, get this damn album and/or their other one "King of Snakes", both are equally good. If you're a fan of stuff like: sludge, any of the weird electronic stuff mentioned, old death metal and raw atmospheric metal in general, but with more of a slower tempo and definite bass/drum rhythm this is a good choice. Many people claim to like the "underground" and "obscure", but not too many dare to venture there, I do an underground webradio show that features some incredible stuff that people self release and only a few people listen to it enough to get exposed, so indulge in your curiosity and check this stuff out. Because if you're one of the many who think you've heard it all, you definitely haven't until you step into a mound of some of this shit. The stench will linger, as will the stain, but you'll hopefully be so busy rubbing your face in it that you'll overlook those things. This album is a Bestial Burst release.

The band doesn't have an official webpage that I can find so here's a link to hear two of their tracks: http://www.mikseri.net/artists/?id=46592
and check out Bestial Burst at: http://koti.welho.com/zdiamo/ for albums and artists or and contact them directly at: bestialburst@blackmetal.fi for actual purchasing, they are really cool people actually!!!!!

Altar of Oblivion - Sinews of Anguish


If you haven’t heard this band yet, then get up off your ass now and do so!!!!!!! If any band this year deserves the top award for badass metal album, especially doom, it’s a tough call, but this one is a contender!!!!!!! These guys are yet another amazing find for Shadow Kingdom, Tim, you are one lucky bastard to have signed these guys!!!!!
Now to the review: This is their debut album, they hail from Denmark, and the theme of the album is about WWII. If want your metal epic and brooding about death and mayhem, destruction and the evils of human nature…this is for you. The guitar work is topnotch stuff, reminiscent of the great 80’s metal trailblazers: as heavy as it gets, but at the same time through the fuzz and distortion the melodies are crystal clear and it never sounds dated or retro. The vocalist, Mik “Meister der Tone” is an actual classically trained vocalist, who manages to go from this deep baritone voice up to a good pitch, and then he throws in some harsh vocal bits as well. Think King Diamond style, as in a vocalist who makes it seem as if there are about 4 guys doing it, but it’s never that high. The overall sound is unique, but definitely fits in well with Candlemass/Solitude style epic delivery, but is still without a doubt their very own sound. If you are looking for killer riffing, great leads, intense and awesome rhythm, and one of the best displays of metal talent, look no further. This is an absolute essential album, once you hear it you’ll more than likely agree. Check out their Demo too, “The Shadow Era”, it’s impossible to imagine a demo being that amazing in sound and content, and you get to hear some of these songs in their original form (but nothing aside from production was changed). These guys have so much going for them that it’ll be one hell of an experience to hear what they put out next round. For fans of: Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus, Elliott’s Keep, Concept of God, Merciful Fate/King Diamond, Bathory, awesome 80’s metal,etc.

Skullfuck- The Supreme Ugliness



I meant to have this bastard up here months ago, but have been tied down with other demands life throws at me continuously. Recently while working on increasing my radio shows raw and fucked up content I re-visited this one and made damn sure that the review was finally posted other wise I'd forget AGAIN. You really do have to hear this and see the insane cover art that this album sports so here's the review:

Attention fans of the raw, filthy, perverse, malicious, indecent, raunchy, crusty…

Here is another review of a raw, disturbed Finnish gem, as if the band name wasn’t a dead give-away to what the sound will be like. I had to buy this thing based on name and cover art alone and was anything but disappointed when I finally got to hear it. It’s supposed to be a raw black metal album, but has more of a belligerent, war mongering, faster pace to it, almost like gutter thrash with hints of death metal and punk with great vomiting vocals. It’s actually WAAAAYYYYY better than it sounds, but it really is a disgusting piece of audio filth that I back 1000%.

When they say that “you can’t polish a turd…” they obviously haven’t heard these guys. No this isn’t a joke review, I honestly love this album and would be doing back flips if any of you liked it too. Bestial Burst has one of the best selections of valid low-end releases, very underground too, sort of like those lovely B rated cult films many of us collect. There’s something about them that makes them worthy of the time and cash.

So Again, for sake of amusement in some cases, but also for variety and the chance to find something a bit unusual check these guys out. They don’t have an actual website so contact Bestial Burst Records, do an Encyclopedia Metallum search, or do a Google search for the band name AND album title to avoid getting a huge surplus of amusing yet grotesque sites related to necrophilia, etc. This band is a loud vicious duo: Riku Taipale (also in Irritate and Ride for Revenge) on vocals and bass, and Jori Sara-aho (also in Irritate and many other bands) on guitar and drums. I'm a fan of RFR and Irritate and should review both after this one. So remember to search skullfuck – the supreme ugliness, I didn’t at first and am probably now on a government watch list as a result


Check them out, Irritate, and Ride For Revenge. If you are a fan of the raw and lo-fi, but expect something worthwhile out of it this is definitely a band to check out. By now the Irritate review has been up for months so if you haven't already read it, do so and find something new and worthy.