Friday, March 26, 2010
The sound of this London band is yet another one too hard to put in words, but so incredibly intricate, gloomy, mysterious, and definitely fitting in somewhere between pagan/atmospheric black metal, neo-folk, ethereal, and Siouxsie and the Banshees. The vocals remind me instantly of the best Siouxsie moments ( for me: "Blow the House Down" and "Cities in Dust"), and some Ataraxia as well, The Maiden Marshall has the perfect voice to pull off the esoteric and cryptic sound without being too operatic and over the top. This band fits well into the more ethereal Christian Death era, Cocteau Twins, Nythra, Nekyia, Dead Can Dance (first album) sort of sound... symphonic, acoustic, woeful, perplexing and magnetic for sure...also runs parallel to the dark prog Doom acts from Italy like Paul Chain, THC Witchfield, The Black, Akron... I'd even throw in some Arcturus as well.
"Jung" starts out like a Raison D'Etre, Desiderii Marginis, Atrium Carceri track, some field recordings of old doors creaking and slamming as someone walks down a hollow hall with soft spoken words of dark poetry behind the atmosphere as it flows throughout the song. Chimes ring and suddenly the mood switches to beautiful and the feel of light shining through begins as the vocals and acoustic passages turn into soft ethereal sounds.The feel of moving amongst the shadows is felt deeply throughout.
"Wax Tribe" stets out as an atmospheric Black Metal track with male vocals and a sound similar to Carrion Wraith/Brown Jenkins/Velvet Cacoon, then it quiets down for a second and the acoustic guitar and goth/folk feel comes back. The track moves smoothly between the two styles giving it the ideal mood, but also shows the superior skill and variation of this band.
This is highly recommended in general, but esepcially if you like the sounds of : Caina, Alcest, Cocteau Twins, Altar of Plagues, Lifelover, Blut Aus Nord, Hellveto, Wolves in the Throne Room, Carrion Wraith, and the many mentioned artists above. The fusion of so many dark and moody elements in this album surpass most descriptions that are substituting for the experience itself, so simply put ... it's an experience to be had. Yet another essential release for the black/folk/ambient/martial genres and for those of us out there looking for true atmosphere of the occult and an almost theatrical Victorian feel.
Check them out at: http://www.myspace.com/ebonillumini
they appear to still be unsigned which is unbelievable.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
How to describe these guys for this review...now that's a bit of a challenge, I can compare them to Velvet Cacoon, Wolves in the Throne Room, Nadja, Hellveto, Summoning and so many others and still be either too broad or too narrow in comparison. If I add in comparisons to: Ataraxia, Olen'K, Rasion D'Etre, Allerseelen... I might be getting closer, but when music fits in so well with many styles but also strecthes and crosses those boundaries it becomes difficult to really explain in words.
This is the debut album from this Toronto group, and it's definitely a solid album that stands with others in the atmopsheric/pagan/shoe-gaze/symphonic black metal genre, but also treads deeply into the neo-folk/martial/neo-classical sector too. Mainly an instrumental album with the sparse vocals hidden behind the mix where they become more of a blur and part of the overall atmosphere then actual vocals.
This is definitely forest music, green lush forests full of moss and fungus, screams of wildlife passing through the dense mass of trees, and the sense of a secret world of elves and trolls, demons and spirits. Yet another album for the quiet cold night spent reading as a storm passes through or just before dawn. This album also would serve well as a soundtrack to a weird dream or even as an alternative soundtrack to an old silent horror film. You get the grandiose atmosphere and dynamics of the symphonic orchestra soundtrack, but the true chill of the cold and damp, somewhat lonely, somewhat desperate feel of a climactic moment between villain and hero, living versus the dead, and the thrilling confusion as to which side you stand on. True Gothic cinema, Walpurgisnacht, morbid yet romantic storyline and that about sums it up...ethereal, surreal, epic.
Fused with nature sounds of winds blowing through mountains and acoustic passages that almost massage the distorted riffs of guitar whilst clean, almost folk-like vocals pass through the fog. The drums sound almost tribal and you can feel and almost experience the ritual as the music flows. The album is truly beautiful and completely engulfing, the true sounds of the old religion and ways of the past cry out through this music. Fans of acts on the following labels will definitely enjoy this: Soleil Moon, Cold Spring, Ahnstern, Old Europa Cafe, Tesco and the like.
I’m a huge fan of black metal and have heard the many trends come and go, but one thing is for sure… there are many bands/sounds that just get better and better, maybe they age like a “good wine”, or better put, they just become more potent from decay and putrefaction that the sound emanates and lingers like the stench of a well aged corpse, I like the latter myself.
Unfortunately for that description this album doesn’t entirely fit though: first off, it’s not filthy in rough and raw terms, this is seriously skilled and sophisticated shit!!!!!!!; second, this stuff is definitely the epitome of what a good band can do in terms of dark and intense without losing the ass – kicking and brutality behind it. This band hails from Finland, and this album is some of the best in sadistic and powerful metal coming out of anywhere.
These guys show here where bands like Deathspell Omega, Peste Noire, Nachtmystium, and many others, took what was considered to be a stale, and even at times pathetic joke of a style, and made it something that not only rivaled other metal styles in skill and brutality, it also developed and fused to make some of the greatest metal albums and extreme music albums of all time. These guys definitely fall into the category of awesome and essential extreme metal and this release is anything but ignorable.
If you like it loud, blistering, shredding, fueled with hatred and intolerance, merciless and above all else completely offensive to anyone unworthy and pathetic, this is an album for you. No pussies here… this stuff will devour the weak and shit ‘em out as the first track gets halfway through its length. All substance and no bullshit here!!!!!! A must hear and another top on my list for 2010 releases, on Hellridemusic.com in reviews I declared that 2010 was going to be a great year in doom, but apparently the darker/harsher sides of music are also spewing forth some fatal venom this year and I'm anything but complaining about being infected with it.
OLD SCHOOL death heads look no further, this is the shit that got us all scrambling around decades ago to the sounds of gore and horror, and mega low end thundering bass lines, riffs and double bass drum bombing squad attacks. Remember the days of Repulsion, Autopsy, Malevolent Creation, early Morbid Angel, and the classic Gothenburg death scene? This is definitely Heavy music for the heavy headbangers, as if the cover art wasn’t awesome enough to sway the curious observer to look further, this review should.
Listening to this over the last two days the main thing that comes to mind is Incantation “Onwards to Golgotha”, the squealing lead guitar shredding the flesh as the drums pound the bones to dust and the heaviosity of the rhythm guitar and bass sound as if an army of the dead and damned are heading to finish off what’s left of your corpse. The track “ Worship” is this one that I’m specifically describing and not only does Incantation come into mind clearly in parts, but in general this is one massive, massive, MASSIVE barrage of metal coming at you. The technicality is not only present, but rather than distract from the feel of pure seething aggression and belligerence, it intensifies it until it becomes a swarm of dropped D hornets buzzing toward you in KILL mode.
“Undead Beast” is an atom smasher of an anthem in it’s own realm completely; This is one to shout back the chorus to as you shove you boot up someone’s ass.
During “Mountain of hate” , the band speeds up the tempo to full throttle and bashes your skull in so hard that you can feel the flesh fall off from the impact. Imagine the drums and riffs so merciless that it embodies the feel of your fist breaking through someone’s skull, but in slow motion replay. This music almost accurately describes the feel of bludgeoning, bashing, smashing, exploding, desecrating… performing any act resulting resulting raw and bone crushing destruction.
Music to kill to for sure, this Swedish warbeast is an absolute band to hear and this new release is ESSENTIAL to any death metal collection, even that of the old and stubborn, usually determined not to hear “New“ bands. This band manages to weave back and forth between brutality through rhythm and tempo , and guitar melody/solo work that's so sharp and clean that it cuts the flesh down to the bone as easily as walking through rotating doors of surgical grade razor blades. So whether it's pounding and throbbing you into oblivion or dicing and fileting you, it's killing the whole time. One of my top picks this year.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
A new contact for the show and this site delivered a pile of KILLER death metal and black metal. I will be working through the listening pile to get the reviews up and they will be featured all week on the show. Be sure to check back for the reviews but also check out the bands: Nominon, Sectioned, Sacrilegious Impalement, and Pure Evil. My personal collection expanded to include some not so new but essential stuff: Winter, Bestial Mockery, and Dead Congregation.
Not to mention some more NVS harsh industrial chaos coming in soon, truly DIY and excellent stuff.
Also check out the links area to get in contact with the labels and bands themselves...the sounds of hell rest upon you!!!!!
Reviews in the works for Finnr's Cane, new album out "Wanderlust", great ambient black metal with a Velvet Cacoon/Wolves in the Throne Room feel.
Monday, March 22, 2010
This is music for the left-hand path , music for the true individualist, those who not only see past bullshit but call it out when they come across it and fling it back at those assholes who deserve it. It's really bands like KOA here that prove that Satan is not just a cult figure blown way out proportion and a mockery thanks to so many bands shouting the name and imagery. True Satanism is rebellion and individuality, anti-conformity and anti-organized religion, and out of these guys extensive catalogue this album is definitely Satanic in those terms. Lying somewhere between epic black metal, thrash, and classic black metal, this release is quality without compromise.
As the album title boldy states, "Destroying the Sacred", this album does exactly that with it's almost thrash-like guitar riffs coming at you like a chainsaw, the drums belting you a black eye, and the vocal delivery so damned well executed that you can feel the intensity and hate...it's Hell's fury coming at you. In fact my stand out track is the title track, "Destroying the Sacred" , which is unmistakably summing up their message in literal explicit terms, the destruction of "Christians, Muslims, and Jews" or basically the brainwashing , backstabbing, true hate mongoring conformist institutions that contiually breed stupidity and dependence and set us back centuries as people turn to these doctrines to hide and sweep their own skeletons farther back into the closet. The rhythm on this track is that of an anthem to march out of Hell and obliterate the last 2000+ years of this bullshit and re-establish social Darwinism where the weak shall persish at the hands of the strong. This is by far one of my absolute favorite tracks period from the black metal realm. "Slaughter the Prophets" is another stand out for me, with the title being shouted as the assault of the drums gives the feel of watching Christ being marched to his crucifixion and the audience shouting this as he passes by on his last parade. This album is almost majestic in it's fuming hatred and execution, I'd love to see these guys live doing this album, it'd be hard not to beat the shit out of someone to though.
At a time when black metal is breaking many boundaries musically and throwing away the "Raw...Cult...Grim..." excuse for mediocre dribble to be packaged as a return to Burzum,this album, as said already, is a non-stop assault and battery of monstrous metal artillery. This is what war sounds like in terms of music and it's as angry and adrenaline packed as "..the smell of Napalm in the morning...". Destroying the Sacred is an aggressive and flawless metal album, another major " raise your Middle-finger up high..." release. No throw away tracks, no monotony, no bullshit and dramatics, just blistering,blazing, scorching, annilhilating metal.